If one were to browse my search history from the past few months, one would encounter quite a bit of hits on drug-related sites as I scour the annals of the internet (mostly Wikipedia) for information about opium, cocaine injections, Turkey's role in the Victorian drug trade, and other topics related to substances people have abused over the centuries to alter reality. This is because the crux of one of my fanfiction stories and my steampunk trilogy is the Victorian drug trade, which sadly was an extremely vibrant and influential aspect of the 19th century. When you have a culture that enthusiastically markets cocaine drops as a cure for fussy children, you know you are dealing with people that had little clue about the devastating effects of drugs. I just hope that my cyber activities do not capture the attention of a vigilant member of the DEA and result in an unpleasant visit from somber, dark-suited fellows who will commandeer my computer.
Even more so as I am doing my research happily ensconced in a bathrobe. Today, I do not need to drag my rear into work until after lunch, so I have had a lovely morning of researching and writing in various states of dishabille and quickly falling into patterns so easy to succumb to when one works from home: namely getting up for a snack every thirty minutes, thoughtfully picking your toenails while thinking about the next sentence, punctuating sessions of writing with various cleaning activities, dragging the laptop around the house to try out different work station such as the couch, and in general engaging in the types of activities one only does when one is home alone.
News announcement - I may be doing a writing workshop/seminar at OctopodiCon, a steampunk con which will be held October 5-7th in Oklahoma City http://octopodicon.org/ On a whim, I wrote to the chair of the con and introduced myself and my writing credentials, then asked if they would be interested in having me present a panel or workshop on writing with a steampunk theme. I intend for this to be a good session of how to become a better writer and make the focus on steampunk writing. They responded with enthusiasm, so we are corresponding to discuss details. This will be a tremendously fun activity, informative for the con-goers and helpful for me as I will be able to promote not only my upcoming novel but my Kickstarter project which will be going on at this time.
I will soon be offering some podcasts of my book available for free on Itunes - today I downloaded Audacity which is a free audio editing program, and I have been fiddling with it to learn its mechanics. Sadly, I do not have the best of voices with which to record. Perhaps a male of my acquaintance with a deep, growly voice would be willing to narrate for me since Morgan Freeman is currently unavailable.
Stay tuned - actual chapters will be appearing for your reading and listening delight!