some reason know only to the strange and fickle gods of flying (who
have suspiciously similar capricious overtones to those of traffic and
parking) it is remarkably difficult to get from California directly to
the Northern Midwest. The last time I tried it, as my Twitter followers
may recal it took me well over 24 hours. I ended up stranded in
Cleveland with Unwoman
suitcase. (Which, if I have a choice, I'll take Unwoman any day!) This
time, during the Phoenix transition, we got all the way out onto the
tarmac before having to deplane and wait for a new aircraft (a delay of a
little over 2 hours). But I did make it safely to Dearborn eventually. I
had the pleasure of sharing the crisis with Pop Haydn
his lovely lady, and, we thought, The League of S.T.E.A.M
However we arrived at baggage claim without hint of the League. There
was much confusion as to how so many, with so much luggage, had vanished
with such thoroughness. Had the League disappeared in a puff of steam?
Had they been victims of their own apparition dissolution apparatus? Or
had they lost a great battle to The Lords Of Terribly Silly Adjournments
(AKA the Lords of TSA)? It turned out they caught a different flight,
never got stranded, and easily beat us to the hotel. Never
underestimated the abilities of the League.
we spent swanning about enjoying myself until opening ceremonies where a
general lack of purpose spat me onto the sage in mild confusion and
nearly right off the other side in a serious Icarus-style flop. (I was
saved by the MC.) Quite embarrassing, but then, I'm accustomed to that.
I caught of a bit of The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
who were great fun and then poodled about enjoying the costumes and the
ambiance, tweeting photos and observations in a startlingly modern
manner, and turning in at a respectable hour as I knew I'd have a long
I explored the dealers room and met Sal, my book vendor here and owner of Off the Beaten Path Books
She is awesome-sause. My con schedule was to officially begin with High
Tea, a lovely way to start. The adorable tea room was complete with
small parasol flower arrangements, delicious nibbles, fantastic tea, and
lovely staff. Sal asked me questions and I relayed tall tales, many
secrets, some gossip, and a few rumors. (As should happen at any tea, if
you ask me.)
There was also a very Ivy hat. I blog about the con fashion over on Retro Rack.
up, I gave a lecture on the Gothic literary roots of steampunk fiction
(not to mention science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, suspense, westerns,
romances, and horror.) It was remarkably well attended for an
educational lecture and people seemed to stay awake and ask intelligent
questions. I spent most of my time on archetypes and tropes in the hope
that writers in the audience might be able to access (or break) such
tropes with greater fun and efficiency.
that, I signed in the merchant hall. There was a lovely little line
that perfectly filled up a half hour, which is all an author can really
ask for in life, if you ask me. I am reminded of that Austen quote from Pride & Prejudice.
had heard herself mentioned to Miss Bingley as the most accomplished
girl in the neighbourhood; and Catherine and Lydia had been fortunate
enough to be never without partners, which was all that they had yet
learnt to care for at a ball."
"... and the authors had been
fortunate enough to be never without readers looking for autographs,
which was all they had yet learnt to care for at a con."
was whisked away to dinner in downtown Detroit and enjoyed fantastic
Greek Food and pastries. Delighted to get an alternative to the
customary hotel fare.
There were events and things that night, but I ran into the lovely Howard Tayler
of Schlock Mercenary
and Writing Excuses
fame. He drew my portrait!
*insert squee here*
ended up drifting about with him all evening enjoying scintillating
conversation and good company. Someone had brought their entire tea
collection! It was like Gail Mecca.
and I had a delicious time watching the Aegis nerf war as if we were
1860s picnickers observing a Civil War battle. There was much discussion
over what a lovely corpse so-and-so made and whether we could
legitimately collect the teeth yet or had to wait. It was gruesomely
Victorian and quite silly fun.
was my long day, so I wore my comfortable shoes and most mobile corset.
It started out with another lecture. This one was on injecting comedy
into steampunk, although I mainly just dealt with way to aces comedy for
any style of writing. I've taught a class on this subject so it went
quick well. After that I visited the merchant hall on the hunt of
something very specific, no luck but several bags of chocolate later, I
had another high tea. I could get used to this!
there was a most excellent Authors Forum. There was a nice mix of
writers ~ different styles, different career points, different
publishers, and we had good questions and a fair sharing of the mike.
The wonderful Jay Lake
was there! I
caught a bit of the League of Steam being ridiculous (as they should).
Then there was another signing with another pleasing line and Sal ran
out of my books (which always makes a girl feel good).
I met up with fellow author (and new friend) Mike Lee
for dinner and spent the rest of the evening drifting about talking
shop. It's one of the reasons we authors do conventions . . .
was rough. I was starting to loose my voice and suffer from lack of
sleep. Mike and I were on together for a panel about villains first
thing. Poor boy, he had to carry most of it because I could barely
formulate a sentence. I think
it went OK, but I don't remember
much. I manage to squeeze in a little interview with the Leaguers and
then it was off to the airport. Mike was there waiting for his flight so
we had time to take tea and gossip further on the authorial life.
to my delight Pop and his lady, Jon, and the League were all on the
plane with me to Phoenix and we amused ourselves (and hopefully our
fellow passengers) with jocularity. It was really nice to travel in the
company of friends. I'm do occasionally get a little tired of flying
alone. Also I've decided I should keep track of how many flights I take
in 2012. Will make for an interesting tally at the end of the year.
Lovely fan art!
- Number of Cups of Tea Consumed ~ c. 19
- Number of Corsets Worn ~ 4
- Number of Shoes Packed ~ 5
- Tribute ~ 6 (tea, chocolate, and one very pretty parasol broach)
- Number of Outfits ~ 7
- Clothing Deaths & Repairs ~ 3
- Portraits ~ 1 (but it's by Howard Frickin' Hendricks!)
- Business Cards Collected ~ 7
For those of you who found my blog via the con . . .
- The corsets I wore were all by Dark Garden Unique Corsetry.
I recommend their work without reservations. Yes they can be costly but
I really suggest that you save up and invest in a good corset rather
than buying a cheap one. A cheap corset is like cheap shoes ~ liable to
leave you blistered, uncomfortable, and very grumpy.
- The corset busk covers were made for me by >Rubyblackbird Hand Made.
Her etsy shop is currently under construction but you can contact her
with your needs in mind and she'll be happy to accommodate you, I'm
sure. She does make all her wars by hand specific to the corset so you
should have an idea what you want or fabric you can send her to match. I
suggest buying one more busk cover than you need, just to be on the
- The DIY for my utility cargo belt is located on my fashion blog, Retro Rack.
- I also have a few blogs about making some of the outfits you saw me wear at World Steam Expo including the iridescent skirts and tea died shirt.
- For those who wanted stuff on thrifting for Steampunk, here's the starter guide, and then the details for women and another one for men.
- My books are available wherever books are sold. You can get the first one from Amazon in paperback (Soulless)or graphic novel (Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1)
form. The hardback omnibuses are more difficult to acquire. If you
don't want to try me in novel length, I also have two shorts available
for $0.99 Marine Biology & My Sister's Song. Although neither of them is steampunk.
- And for the truly curious you can find my exhaustive FAQ page here.
Now I really must dash, I still haven't unpacked!!!
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Packing to Avoid Fees
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Genres in Fiction Writing: Literary Fiction vs. Everything Else
PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit
~ The Finishing School Book the Second:
First draft with second Beta reader.
Etiquette & Espionage
~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013.
~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless
) First chapter reviewed, drops on YenPlus
April 12th. Print release tentatively
~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last. Out now!
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First:
Release date Fall 2013.
Quote of the Day:
"Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes."
~ John LeCarre