The Day That Became Steampunk

This is a repost of an article I wrote on my old blog. From September 8, 2012, I bring you . . .

The Day That Became Steampunk

We just had the weirdest day.

We’d set off from home intending to visit Shambhala Mountain, a Buddhist place up near Red Feather Lakes. We never got that far. First, Google Maps gave us a route that was definitely not the most direct. Still, I followed the directions and we were at least heading the right general direction.

As we came to a tiny place called Masonville, Kate started to feel a bit queasy (she sometimes gets motion sickness in the car) so I pulled over so that we could take a break. We looked around this little outdoor museum kind of thing for a few minutes then decided to check out the general store across the street. There’s a picture of the place here. And inside we found a wonder. Right there in the middle of nowhere, Colorado, in a place that looks like it has a two-digit population and that doesn’t even have mobile phone service, the general store sells STEAMPUNK STUFF. Well, not just that; they also have Victorian period style replica clothes and a bunch of other things – but hell, Steampunk things in such an out-of-the-way place?

IMG_20120908_143806Clothes. Jewellery. Hats. Goggles. Monocles. Even bridal wear. The place is way bigger inside than you’d guess from a look at the front.

IMG_20120908_144726

(This hat here? I’m ordering one in my size.)

So I took some pictures – which I couldn’t tweet because of aforementioned lack of phone service – and I bought some stuff. (I’m only sorry now that I didn’t take more pics. However we’re planning on going back and I’ll make a point of taking a bunch more.)

IMG_20120908_144836

And the lady that runs the place mentioned that quite a few people go there for this stuff, and asked us whether we were planning to go to the Steampunk Convention in Denver that we’d never heard of and is happening in just a few weeks. (I did a search and the only thing I can see for about the right date is MileHiCon; if anyone reading this has better information I’d like to hear it.)

IMG_20120908_194459

So it’s all very strange in hindsight. If Google had given me the most direct route, or if Kate hadn’t started feeling odd when she did, or if we hadn’t decided to go and take a look in the store, we might never have known about this place. Weird.

A Status Report

I’m back at work, now that the shutdown is behind us, and I can get back to where I was before the whole thing started—which is turning out to be pretty hard, actually. Two weeks is more than long enough for me to have pretty much forgotten where, precisely, I was with each of the projects I was working on. That, plus a number of distractions as other people have come to me to ask questions—so that they can remember where they were with their work, too—has made today pretty much a wipe as far as actually getting any work done. It’s going to take a couple of days to get back into the routine.

Also, I’ve become completely unused to getting up early. I allowed myself a couple of extra hours this morning, mostly because I wasn’t certain that the office would actually be open at the usual time. Even with that extra time, I feel exhausted already. So I decided to take a few minutes out to write this, and get my mind off the other stuff for a bit.

Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia was released last Saturday, and I know I’ve had a few sales already, and I’ve had one four-star review on Amazon. If you’d like a copy, check out the Fiction page by clicking the tab at the top of this screen—the links are all there. It’s available as an e-book for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Paperback copies can be ordered from Amazon only as I write this; hopefully Barnes & Noble should be making print copies available soon, too.

Yesterday I finished a new, improved draft of a steampunk short story, which I’ll be submitting to Xchyler Publishing’s Around the World in 80 Days anthology contest at the end of the month. That’s going on the back burner for a week or so, then I’ll give another polish pass before the submissions open.

Next up, I’m getting back to work on Smoke & Mirrors, the full-length steampunk story I put to one side a few months ago to make way for Gunn & Bohemia. The plan is to get that finished in time to submit.

Enough blog for now; time to get back to work. Until next time . . .

Lazy Weekend; Games and Cloud Atlas and stuff

I haven’t done anything constructive all weekend. It’s been great.

Friday night we went out for a belated birthday celebration (steak at Outback, which was disappointing; the rib-eye was tough and over-seasoned), and bought a bunch of birthday goodies—some games, a Steam gift card, and some TV shows and movies on DVD and blu-ray.

Saturday: I had to re-install my Steam client (it wouldn’t connect), then I bought a couple of games with the card: Alice: Madness Returns—the sequel to the original American McGee’s Alice—is ready to play, but I haven’t started it yet; Syberia and Syberia II were 75% off so I got those, too.

I played Syberia when it came out, but that was a long time ago, so—especially since it only cost about $2.50—I went ahead an bought it. And spent most of Saturday playing it. I hadn’t intended to—I was going to play Alice—but I started it off, just to remind myself how it looked, and got kinda hooked. Interesting game, and very Steampunk.

Sunday: started into some of the DVDs. First up was Cloud Atlas, and it’s been haunting my thoughts since. For the first half hour I didn’t know quite what to make of it, and I wasn’t sure how the bits connected, but things started to come together by about halfway through, and by the end I was enthralled. I can’t get certain scenes out of my head. I’m going to have to watch that again soon.

Next, Star Trek: Into Darkness. Damned good. I will say no more.

Rounded off by watching a few episodes of Castle, season 5. I love that show.

So: it’s Monday morning, 6:45am, and almost time for me to fire up the work laptop and get into day-job stuff. I feel rested and ready to go, so without further ado, I’d better get on with it. Until next time . . .