When it comes to writing novels, I have an interesting problem. I’m sure other writers face this, too, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, or read any articles about it.
This is the one thing that slows down my writing the most.
I’ll be going along with my writing, with scenes planned out and ready to go, when I have to stop for the moment or the day. When I come back to the scene, I feel as though I can’t continue. It’s not writer’s block, per se, it’s something in the back of my mind saying, “There’s something not right with this scene.” It usually takes my subconscious a few days before it tells me what’s wrong. At that point, it’s easy enough to figure out how to fix it, and then to go forward with the story.
Some writers will say it’s their characters guiding them, wanting to go in a different direction. My issue may be the same, but the characters wait awhile to point out what’s wrong.
Now that I’ve articulate this, maybe next time I can speed it up, like, “Hey, subconscious, why isn’t this scene working?”
All right, that’s my rant for the day. Time to go fix the scene that has been vexing me this last week.
Today, we’ll start with this question. What is filk music? Starting in the early 1950s, sci-fi and fantasy fans began writing their own music with speculative fiction themes. There are songs about everything from ‘Lord of the Rings’ to ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ and filk sessions are popular at many sci-fi conventions.
Now, for the real question of the day. What is steampunk music? Picture people in the late Victorian era writing Vaudeville-style songs about the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Much of today’s steampunk music is just like that.
Musician Half-Rats writes and records his own brand of steampunk tunes alone, ostensibly because the rest of his band died due to “a rather unfortunate incident involving time travel.”
He also dubs his songs “neo-Victorian.” They tell the story of a man living through the late 19th century, into World War I, and forward to the 21st century. Half-Rats finds inspiration for his dark lyrics inspiration in the works of 19th century authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In addition to Victorian and Gypsy influences, much of the music is recalls modern composers like Tom Waits and Danny Elfman.
Steampunk fans can listen to samples of Half Rats’s “Ague” album at CDBaby and purchase individual tracks or the entire album. You can also visit his Facebook fan page, and read more about Half Rats and Ague on Steampunk Wiki.
Over the past week, I’ve been working not only on Bodacious Creed, but on 3D printable items to sell on Shapeways. I re-branded my store there to “Bodacious 3D,” and created several steampunk-themed iPhone cases.
On Tuesday, I went all out and created one that I think is a work of art. The others were much simpler, and I removed them. I want to have only amazing things on in my Shapeways store.
Here’s the case:
You can check it out here, and check out my store here.
You may be wondering, why is it listed as in beta? That’s simply because I haven’t ordered one yet for photos. I’ll be doing that in the next week or so, and will find someone with an iPhone 6 so I can show how well it fits.
The template for the case came straight from Shapeways, though, so it will fit the iPhone 6 just fine. The product template then becomes the canvas for my work.
I also discovered Pinterest! Well, a friend told me I should really be on there. Follow my Pinterest here! I’ll be posting links to my 3D stuff as well as to my books and other related content.
Today is the last day of my first National University class, which means that I’ll have next week off school. I do have an important meeting during the week, and expect my first financial aid refund to come through, allowing me to get a new (well, pre-owned) car, at last. But I should also have some extra time to work on Bodacious Creed.
Rome, Italy, recently hosted “Steamfest Roma.” More places need Steampunk festivals, so go Rome! The Italian site for Rolling Stone Magazine has terrific pictures of the event, where many steampunk fans came in costume. The images give a good sense of sheer variety of attire. Yes, there were a lot of top hats, a lot of glasses with round lenses, and a lot of goggles. There were also leather and metal masks, jewelry, corsets, and general steampunk fashion. Some wore gadgets, and some gadgets were actually modern technology given a steampunk look.
The festival featured food, music, booths, and much more. Not everyone came costumed, a sure sign that the event brought in many people who wanted to learn what steampunk is all about as well.
The Steamfest Roma Rolling Stone page features dozens of pictures. I had no idea that Italians were so into steampunk, but I just love it. I wish I could have gone!
If you’d like to read more about Steampunk Roma, here are a few links. If you don’t speak Italian, I recommend using Google Chrome and the translate feature.
Steampunk Roma 2014
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The Creedverse is what I call the world of my upcoming steampunk novel, Bodacious Creed.
I’ve had the Bodacious Creed website up and running for over a year now, but I had left a few pages blank. Today, I began to fill those in. Why has it taken so long? The main reason has to do with writing the book. I had to set up certain rules for how my steampunk universe would work, and though I had a good idea what those would be, they weren’t ironed down enough.
How are the robots (automata) powered? How do they function and think? Are there any other historical differences? Is that steampunk device “The Luminiferous Ether” somehow incorporated?
Now, you can read some fascinating specifics about the technology and science of Bodacious Creed! Just head over to the site and click on the link for “The Setting.”
If you also want to subscribe to the weekly “Steampunk in Art and Writing” newsletter, you can do so at the bottom of the site’s home page.
I’m a big fan of steampunk and of crowd funding. Big shocker, I know. Though I’m a 3D modeler, I also love hand-drawn animation. I have to share this project I recently found that taps into all three.
Hullabaloo is an animated steampunk adventure film staring female protagonists Veronica Darling and Jules who use their wits, courage, and science during their journey. I don’t want to go on too much about it here, because you need to get to its Indigogo page go check it out.
Here are a few more details, though. Hullabaloo is the personal project veteran Disney animator James Lopez, who has worked on films like The Lion King with Disney. His vision is to create a fantastical steampunk adventure and to promote interest in traditional 2D animation.
The project has already gained its funding, so at this point, it’s a matter of helping Lopez take the film farther, and to get some great backer rewards. With just $5, you’ll get an advanced online screening of the film. The $125 reward includes a pair of steampunk sunglasses. At $5,000, you’ll get producer credit on the film. Rewards are cumulative; at each tier, you get all the rewards from the lower tiers.
I’m excited about seeing the film when it’s finished, and I think you will be, too!
P.S. Subscribe to my email newsletter for weekly updates about this blog and my upcoming novel, Bodacious Creed. You’ll find the form at the bottom of the Bodacious Creed website.
for an outfit?
I often wonder about all the non-functional gears in steampunk styles. Would people in a steampunk world wear decorative gears and gear-patterned leather and cloth? It looks cool, so yeah, they just might. In my own art I try to restrict the gears and such to functional machines, but I don’t think in terms of style so much.
Anyway, I love this outfit. I’d love to see people out and about in the every day, mundane world sporting steampunk fashion. Oh, the lady here also looks a lot like Anna Boyd from Bodacious Creed.
My astute readers may have noticed that I’ve changed the title of the blog to “Steampunk in Art and Writing.”
I will still share all my Bodacious Creed updates here! I wanted to officially expand the content though to include anything interesting I find online about the steampunk genre.
There’s a musician out there whom I owe an entry. I’ve been too busy to create videos. I enjoy creating them, but I find that they take a lot of work, and that I can share information much more quickly by writing about it and sharing images and links. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
As such, I’ve updated the my Patreon account. You can now support this blog and all the writing, art, and steampunk entries by pledging $1.00 or more per month. There will be vlog entries as well, sometimes, but not very frequently, so think of them as a bonus.
You may be wondering what I’m doing with the rest of my time! Well, I’m a single father, so raising my son is the most important thing I do. I’ve just started a new masters program in special education, as I plan to work as a special ed teacher for children with mild to moderate disabilities. I do some freelance writing to make ends meet, and, of course, I’m working hard on Bodacious Creed: A Steampunk Zombie Western. I hope, hope, hope, to have the book out around next August! I continue to create 3D models as a hobby.
Visit the links in this entry! If you support writing, the arts, and are a Steampunk fan, please support this blog on Patreon as well!