Pretty broaches made by Pun!

I’m crazy busy this week, and I’m just leaving for a birthday celebration for my mom.  (Happy Birthday, MOM!)  So, I’m sorry but today’s post will be brief.  I’ll have loads more to say later on, I’m sure.

In the meantime, check out these lovely little broaches!  Aren’t they just delightful?  Not too ostentatious, just enough elements to be visually quite fascinating, clever asymmetry, I approve!  And I want one, lol.

 

Check out my friend Pun’s Etsy for ordering details.  We just met at Clockwork Alchemy, in California, and hit if off right away.  But when she said “oh, yeah, I’m making some broaches…” I didn’t realize they would turn out to be this lovely!  I suppose, I should have.  Sorry, Pun!

Join me now and support the little guy!  …or, girl, in this case.  Check out her Etsy, and share her art.

Twist is going to Clockwork Alchemy 2014!

UntitledI should probably mention this, considering the con starts Friday.   I had too much stuff to do to get ready for the con, and I plum forgot to tell anyone I was going.  Whoops!

Anyway, yes!  Twist will be making an appearance at this year’s Clockwork Alchemy con, in San Jose, California, from May 23rd through 26th.  Just like last year, I’ll be signing books at the table, and selling swag.  I’ll have the first 2 books on sale, and even some new shiny buttons.

20140519_123740If you’re in the San Jose area and like a bit of steampunk, come in for the day!  There’ll be musical and special guests, lots of things to buy with gears glued on, weirdos–erm…  I mean, wonderfully attired individuals, and a library of all things steampunk with loads of authors and book signings!

Of course, you know, I won’t get to see much of the con myself, as I’ll be mostly at my author table.  So, please do come and say hi!  It would be lovely to chat with you.  And if you come in costume, I’ll be taking as many pictures as I can and posting them all right here on the blog!  I had a lovely time meeting a lot of you last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again.

Suggested Reading: Echoes 2!

eBook coverAfter the success of Echoes: Neo-Victorian Poetry, we have now been gifted with another wonderful collection of poetry by JaniceT!

Once again, the works you will find in this volume are all of a classical style.  There are no confusing prose, or ostentatious turns of phrase.  These are poems that echo the more refined and understandable rhymes and rhythms of Emily Dickinson and Poe, but with JaniceT’s own unique voice.

I find that much of modern poetry is aloof and self-important, as if the work itself were looking down its nose at me with judgmental eyes, assuming that I could never truly understand its so-called greatness.  Others are so rough and simplistic as to make me wonder why it’s called a poem at all, and not simply a very short essay.  Slam poets can reach me once in a while, but usually I’m off-put by their aggressive shouts and clear intent to offend.  Either way, I always end up going back to the more inviting, delightful, and damned understandable works of old, where I can enjoy a moment of truth and beautiful melancholy with Yeats, or dance happily through the clean air with Shelly and his skylarks.

Because of all of this, I’m very happy to announce that JaniceT’s work is something anyone can easily relate to and enjoy.  She took great care and attention to give these pieces rhyme and structures that are familiar and comforting, while bringing up many new and fascinating ideas.  She writes both about the modern condition with poems about organic foods and on-line trolls, as well as venturing farther into Steampunk than before with airships and a delightful look at Verne.  All the while, you will find graceful moments of relateable human experience and true emotion.

If you’re put-off by poetry in general, or feel that you just don’t get it, then do yourself a favor and give this one poet a try.  These poems will welcome you in with open arms, and show you that this art form really is one that you too can deeply enjoy.  You were simply reading the wrong poems, all along.

Get the paperback or eBook on Amazon or Smathwords.

Get a taste for JaniceT’s work on her blog, at http://janice-t.weebly.com

Janice T’s Facebook page.

—-

Are you an author who loves Steampunk as much as I do?   Or, are you just a big big fan of a Steampunk/Neo-Victorian author?  Would you like to see  your favorite book, or your own book, featured on this blog?  Please leave a comment on this post with a short pitch and a link!   I’ll happily feature anything that I think will fit the style of my blog.  And even if I don’t feature it, please please leave your info in a comment anyway!  Who doesn’t love new books?

Update on all things Twist, and what it’s like to write a long series.

Hello internet.  Usually on this blog, I share cool things that I find in the course of my steampunk existence or learn as a writer.  But since it’s Mother’s Day today, I thought I’d just tell you how Twist is doing.  I tend to call him “my baby” more often that he’d probably appreciate, and I love him so that I sometimes feel like a mother myself.  Don’t worry.  There’ll be more silly steamy things next week.

Since publishing Waking last year, and Trick last January, I’ve been working extra hard on finishing the first drafts of the rest of this 12 part series.  I’m getting ready to publish the 3rd book in the series later this year, and realizing that I’d like to be sure of exactly where the series is headed before I publish too much more.

Of course, I already know how I want the story to close at the end of the 12th novel, and I have copious notes on what will happen in the meantime, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve gotten there yet.  At the moment, while I write this post, I have completed writing (not editing) the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th books, along with 27 pages of the 7th.  So why, you ask, aren’t more of them out yet?  Because things in these books like to change over time.

As I write this series, I find that little details turn out to mean unexpected things as future events unfold on the page.  The events might occur just as I’d meant them to from the beginning, but sometimes the implications change.  And sometimes, I suddenly realize that I was completely wrong about a plot line and have to go in a totally different direction, while still following the same basic story line.  Some scenes that I mean to write turn out to be useless when I get to writing them, while other unexpected moments appear and surprise me by how perfectly they fit.  And sometimes (more often than I like to think) I realize that the book I just finished writing is actually a better fit for the fourth or fifth book in line, rather than the third, and I now have to write a whole other book or two between it and the last one.

With all of this flux, I hate to publish too close to where I’m writing.  When Waking first came out, I had already finished the 4th book and was half way through the 5th.  When Trick was published, I had added a different book in the 5th place, and then re-wrote the old 5th book to make it the 6th.  As long as I have about 4 books between where I’m writing and where I publish, I can feel confident that I won’t ever have to adjust anything in the published work to make the ending work.   It’s my goal, after all, is to share this story with you, in a smooth, complete, and solid form.

Are you writing a series as well?  Have you ever encountered these sorts of things?  Please leave me a comment down below if you have.  I’d love to know what you think about all of this.

In the meantime, I’m working very hard to finish the series as quickly as possible, so that I can make sure it will be the best work it can be.  In the scene I just wrote a few days ago, Jonas casually mentioned that he, Twist, and Myra had already traveled to every continent on the globe, and ventured into orbit as well.  I so wish I could tell you all about what is happening right now in the 7th book, but I must hold my tongue!  But I can promise that there are wonderful things in store for you as you follow Twist into the future books.

I hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day, however you choose to spend it!

Picture Day: Mark Page

Today, I’m sharing the delightfully whimsical work of Mark Page.  Click any image to find out how to purchase a print!

Aren’t these lovely?  Check out Mark Page’s blog for more info on his work.

Are you an artist/photographer/sculptor who loves Steampunk as much as I do?   Would you like to see your work featured on this blog?  Or, do you know of someone else who’s work you adore?  Please leave a comment on this post with a link or two!   I’ll happily feature anything that I think will fit the style of my blog.  And even if I don’t feature it, please please leave your info in a comment anyway!  More art is always better than less.

For the hipster Steampunk…

So, I got creative today and decided to start a movement…

first

This is the first draft of this image.  What do you think?  Did I miss any vital elements?  How do you like my font choices?  Is the balance all right?  Do you think it should say “before I knew it was a genre” instead, of can we just enjoy the self-righteousness?  Do you think I should I print some Tshirts?  I got the idea, talking with my Mom about our shared love of the genre.  She can claim to be a fan from well before the first appearances of the word “Steampunk” even appeared, but since I was born in the 80s, I can’t.  Even so, I’m always saying that I was a Steampunk way before I knew that was even a thing.  Here’s just a few examples of my world before I knew what the word “Steampunk” meant.

My favorite cartoon as a kid was TaleSpin: not Victorian, but filled with airship pirates.  My favorite movie has always been, and will always be, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (do yourself a favor and watch the Giorgio Moroder soundtrack version): Steam-powered dystopian paradise with a robot chick.  My favorite TV show was Brisco County Jr: basically a B-version of Aliens Vs Cowboys, with Bruce Campbell.  In my teens, I loved the Myst games so much that I learned how to write whole letters in the in-game language “Shorah!” and had a vast collection of ink-dip pens and parchment: heavens, what ISN’T Steampunk about those games?  And, just a few years before someone told me what Steampunk actually was, Firefly captured my heart: You can’t take the sky from me…

Talking with other fans of the genre, I hear similar stories frequently.   What about you?  Did you find that all of your favorite things were always Steamy, and you just had to be told the name of your life-long obsession?  Were you there well before us all, reading Verne and dreaming in steam?  Let me know in a comment.  I’d love to know.

In the meantime, why not enjoy a little well-deserved hipstery indignation?   Tug your woolly scarf tighter in the summer breeze, slip on a pair of chunky retro lens-less specks, and repeat after me with self-important pride: “I liked Steampunk before it was cool…”  Doesn’t the just feel delightful?  I love it.

Bright Shiny Announcements that you missed!

Copyright © 2006 - 2007 Tiago Grácio

First of all, I’m terribly sorry that this blog has been silent for the last few weeks!  See?  Look how sad the clock is…  My nasty, broken, no-auto-posting blog is just as sad.  We had a talk.  Thing should be running smoothly again, with a weekly blog and an extra picture or two, as of now!  And if it doesn’t run smoothly, we’ll have another talk.  That’s right, I’m looking at you, blog!

Announcement 1!

I’ve quit my day job!  Pop those party popper, break out the music, and hand me a drink!  After trying to juggle a full-time job and a 12 part series, I finally dropped all the balls at my feet and thought “Gee, this is silly.”  I simply had to let something go.  So, bye bye full-time job!  I’m now only working part-time (more on that later) to help pay the bills, and spending most of my time writing and editing my books.  And honestly, as much as I liked my old job and my co-workers there, I finally feel like Twist and I are really getting somewhere!  Expect great things…

Announcement 2!

I got a part-time job with SteamyTech!  You know them, right?  Every good steampunk knows them.  They’re the people who make the wooden geared things that actually work.  Go check out their Esty.  SteamyTech is expanding and trying to get their lovely little toys and wooden bow-ties farther out into the world.  And that means that they need to cut loads of wooden bits on their fancy laser cutter…  That’s right, I now get to play with lasers.  I win!

Announcement 3!

In case you haven’t heard, Clockwork Twist: Waking has been nominated for Best Fiction by the Steampunk Chronicle!  I can hardly believe it, and I’m so honored.  Go check out what else has been nominated for the best of steampunk!  …and maybe, you know, scroll down to the literature section and … you know… (coy smile)  *Whispers* “It’s the ‘best fiction’ one.  Clockwork Twist…”

My mother, the awesome poet JaniceT has also been nominated for her book, Echoes: Neo-Victorian Poetry.  I’m ever so proud.  Voting will close on the 12th.  Just, you know, in case you wanted to know that… *wink, wink*

Announcement 4!

There’s still time to support Clockwork Twist and get sneak previews (and a free copy) of the 3rd book, Clockwork Twist: Dreamer, which will be out later this year!   Inkshares is a new crowdfunded publishing house, that is very excited to help propel the Clockwork Twist series into the world on a much wider distribution than it’s ever had before!
Get in while it’s still new and trendy!  Click here to see the Twist posting.

Wow!  That was a lot that my stupid blog didn’t post about.  Well, now you should be all caught up.  And if I missed anything, I’ll let you know about it all as soon as I remember!  I’m sorry about for the technical issues.  I hope you’ve all had a lovely few weeks as well!

You need to see Tai Chi Zero

So, my Dad casually mentioned that he found a fun looking Chinese movie on Netflix.  My Dad has a tendency to try out movies on a whim, sometimes finding Asylum movies or things that he turns off after 10 minutes, and sometimes finding gold.  If the movie is no good, we can always just switch over to the Catherine Tate Show or re-watch an old Black Books episode to enjoy the rest of our evening.

On this occasion, as with so many others, we settled in for a cozy evening of movie and snacks, innocently unaware of what we were about to watch.  The movie started in the middle of an epic war between a huge army and a single man with a magical horn.  That got my attention.  Then the guy with the top hat, the phonograph, and the giant steam-powered tank  showed up, and I turned to my Dad in shock. “This is steampunk kung-fu?  That’s a thing?”

That’s right, it’s a story about a young man who wants to learn the most powerful fighting style in the land, with a backdrop of beautiful,  late 1800s, rural China.  And it’s steampunk.  It’s a delicious combo that I suddenly realized I hadn’t seen before.  So much of steampunk is either set in London or desolate and dusty patches of America, that I found it a real treat to see all my favorite steamy fun a different setting, and in a different culture.

The whole thing is delightfully goofy.  The characters were charming, the action is great and often comedic, the settings were lovely, and the true villains were excess and the future itself.  If you like kung-fu movies, you’ll like this one.  If you’re a steampunk, you’ll like this movie.  If you like to see the little guy fight for traditions and truth in the face of a greedy and corrupt future, you will like this movie.  If you like cute and bantering rom-coms, you’ll like this movie.  Even if you just like goofiness for the sake of goofiness, you won’t be disappointed.  There really is something for everyone!  And for me, it was a lovely surprise as well.

Most critics gave this movie a 6, but I like off-beat things.  If I were a movie reviewer type, I’d give this fun little find at least an 8.5 out of 10.  Sure, it’s not Serenity level movie watching perfection, but it’s fun, silly, and entertaining throughout.  So, if you’re looking for something fun to watch tonight, go stream Tai Chi Zero on Netflix.  There’s even a sequel!  I haven’t seen it myself yet, but the story continues with Tai Chi Hero.

What’s you’re favorite Steampunk movie?  Leave a comment and let me know!  But if you say The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, then I will all throw things at you and call you names.

Picture Day: Bjorn Hurri’s Steampunk Star Wars.

There’s a lot of Steampunk Star Wars images and sculptures out there.  I’ve seen some fun cosplay too.  Today I’m going to treat you to my favorite version, with the art of Bjorn Hurri.  Click any image for enlargements and source pages.

      

      

      

What’s your favorite version of Steampunk Star Wars?  Drop a link or an image (site the artist if you can, please) down in the comments!

And may the steam be with you.