Friday, March 30, 2012

Steam What?


An interesting sounding word. But what does it mean?
At a quick glance it would seem to have something to do with punks and steam, which begs the image of spiky-haired, leather-clad social deviants with a penchant for hot, vaporous water. Not exactly what it's all about, really, but not entirely off the mark either. Anything not on the main-stream radar could be considered deviant, and certainly Steampunk imagery is often powered by corseted ladies captaining air-ships or mad-scientist gentlemen, with wild hair and amazing spectacles, employing steam-billowing engines for dastardly means. Not exactly your run-of-the-mill role for a historically accurate ladies and gentlemen.

Steampunk is 19th century with a twist. A re-imagining of how history might have unfolded had certain devices and choices been made. Think Victorian bustles and parasols, heeled boots and brass buttons, dirigibles, steam-locomotives, printing presses, clockwork gears and a host of mechanical inventions which embody the adventurous spirit and optimism of the Victorian era.

Not that Steampunk has to be set in Victorian England. No, no, it works equally well in the 'Wild West' of America, or in a post-apocalyptic world which has been reborn with 19th century aesthetics. To be true to the genre, however, and resist the temptation to dabble in Dieselpunk and Cyberpunk, it is generally considered that Steampunk should not rely on elements of invention which predominantly occur in the 20th century such as gas engines, television and digital computers.

As a sub-genre of science fiction literature, according to Wikipedia, we can blame--or admire--K.W. Jeter for coining the term in an effort to describe a relatively "new" adventure in writing which incorporated 19th century style and setting with the mechanical devices imagined by the writings of H.G Wells and Jules Verne.

The Time Machine. 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea. Victorian era adventurism and invention, with just a hint of the fantastic....that's what Steampunk is all about. Just imagine the adventures you could go on by reading it.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Muse messages

And today my brain is busy receiving critical messages from my characters so off I go into writing land.

Happy Friday everyone!


Friday, March 2, 2012

An Interview of a Different Kind

In the interest of discussing the advances I’ve made in revising my current manuscript, I thought I’d ask my heroine, Lady Anne Amberleigh, for her opinion on the matter. Not sure if it was a wise choice, but this is what she had to say:
Me: “Hello? Lady Anne? Are you available?”
Lady Anne: “I beg your pardon? Are you addressing me?”
Me: “Yes.”
LA: “Well, I dare say it’s been long enough. A girl could go quite mad, sitting here with nothing to do except fuss with the silverware.”
Me:  “Okay, well, it’s time to give an update on how the book is progressing. I thought you might like to explain.”
LA: “Progressing? Surely you jest.”
Me: “Um, no. Where are we up to in the revisions?”
LA: “The exact same place we’ve been for over a fortnight, my dear; the beginning of chapter three. I’ve grown quite hungry, you know, staring at this platter of scones while you have me dallying about with napkins instead of chatting with the Captain and drinking tea.”
Me: “What does it matter? You hate scones. And you don’t end up drinking the tea in this chapter anyway.”
LA: “That is entirely beside the point. I need progression. You have been entirely too lax in your literary duties as of late.”
Me: “What about the new scene I wrote? And all the time I’ve spent plotting book two?”
LA: “Ha. You have been dallying about on that Faceplate nonsense.”
Me: “I believe you mean Facebook. And it’s not all I’ve been doing.”
LA: “Oh yes. This new obsession of yours with exercise. Quite obnoxious if you ask me, deliberately making yourself all winded by, what did you call it? Jogging? Lawn tennis is a decent lady’s past time, but I suppose Mr. Kellogg would approve of that sweaty business.”
Me: “A healthy body is a healthy mind.”
LA: “Then you should not have eaten all those chocolate biscuits.”
Me: “Okay. We are so off track right now. Back to the point…. About the revisions?”
LA: “It’s this invention of the difference engine that’s the problem.”
Me: “What are you talking about? Do you mean the computer?”
LA: “Quite. It’s a devilish distraction. What in heaven’s name is wrong with using a pen and paper, or if you must be mechanically assisted, a typewriter?”
Me: “The computer makes it easy to do edits to a manuscript. The way I write, I’d go through a ton of paper with all the spelling mistakes.”
LA: “The way you write, a character could die while waiting for the book to be finished.”
Me:  “Ha ha. Very tempting. But then it would be a tragedy and not a romance.”*sigh* “Are you really in such a hurry for the story to continue?”
LA: “Certainly! I want to try my hat at persuading Captain Leonidas that it will be advantageous if we become friends.”
Me: “Ah, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not sure he will agree.”
LA: “But he is very fascinating to talk to.”
Me: “Hum. You sound awfully interested in the Captain. Aren’t you supposed to be getting married to the Duke?”
LA: “Oh, please do not mention that atrocious cad. How could you have me betrothed to such a loathsome creature?”
Me: “Heh. I think you have some surprises coming your way, Lady Anne.”
LA: “Surprises sound fantastic, as long as they do come. You will write faster won’t you? I’m not enjoying the long passages of nothingness and this tea water is quite cold.”
Me: “Heaven forbid.” *rolls eyes* “Very well. Let me get back to it then and start heating things up for you. And next time I do an update, I think I’ll chat with Captain Leonidas instead.”
LA: “Good luck to you, then. He’s a solitary creature. Quite reclusive, even for an Automaton.”
Me: “On the contrary. I do believe I know one subject he’d be more than willing to talk about.”
LA: “Oh? And what might that be?”
Me: “You.”
LA: “Er…”
Me: “Ha! Shocked you into silence, have I? Well, goodbye Lady Anne. Thanks for chatting and putting me straight about where we are in the revisions. Not.
Well, I hope she enjoys the stale scones and cold tea…because by the end of chapter three, they will be the least of her concerns. And her day will only get worse from there.
It’s always fun to end a blog post on an evil cackle, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and having some fun here today…
~Kate * who is staying OFF the internet for a bit and sticking her nose to the writing grindstone.*