This evening, I will be lugging myself and about 20 lb worth of costume to the Joslyn Castle in Omaha for a steampunk promotion shoot. Joslyn Castle is undeniably lovely...take a look at the link! http://www.joslyncastle.com/ Inside is all intricately carved wood, stained glass, swooping banister just begging someone to slide down on it, and one would assume at least one or two resident ghosts. It is almost mind-boggling to think that a place like this exists in Nebraska where one would expect only to find corn, tractor pulls, and baseball caps. However, Omaha has its grandeur if you know where to look.
Out of the shoot, I should be getting a good picture for my business card - the graphics designer I am working with had never heard of steampunk before I presented the project to her. After much information from me (probably a tad overwhelming), she concocted this design:
Pretty nifty, huh? The URL needs to change and I have a backside to the card with more urls, but the overall design is quite nice: appropriately steamy and Victorian. There will be a picture in the white square, so thus why I have a photoshoot arranged for today.
The costume for the shoot was put together with the help of some friends and comes in multiple layers: crinoline, underskirt, overskirt, blouse, corset, jacket, hat, gloves, necklace....... I am pondering how easily driving will be today and wondering if I might need to just lay down in the backseat of my car and have my brother drive me.
Back to the trilogy: the draft of Chapter 9 just has a paragraph or two left, then I am plugging away at Chapter 10. One of the pleasures of writing is when a minor character springs into life and very quickly you realize that he or she needs to become a much bigger element of the story. Yesterday, I needed something for the Horizon to transport, and I seized on the idea of mail: the Royal Mail Service certified airship that was supposed to transport the mail was late, so the postmaster contracted the Horizon to take it. By the end of the chapter, the short, rather unimpressive looking postmaster had survived an attempted raid by a pirate airship and had shown courage and quick-thinking, leading Roberts to offer him a position as the day pilot.
A few days ago, I seized upon a book entitled "The Age of Steam" by a certain John Van Duyn Southworth: it details the development of steampowered war ships and has been extremely helpful. One point I picked up was further information about anthracite coal. A month or two ago, my dad had recommended that the Horizon be powered on anthracite coal, and he suggested pulverizing it so it could work with a fluid bed boiler. Anthracite is very hard and burns smokeless, but it is quite difficult to light and is not found all over the world. Luckily for my book, Wales is a major producer of anthracite, so shipping it to London would not be a problem. Also, the Horizon will be flying to China, and China is also a major source of anthracite. Pennsylvania also has massive anthracite beds, but I do not believe my airship will be flying over the colonists, so Roberts is going to have to depend on Wales and China to get him the fuel he needs if he continues to use anthracite.
As of late, I have been mentally classifying days as "good to fly" or "not good to fly". Today seems to be presenting tolerable flight conditions: the clouds are thick and sullen but low enough to fly over and the winds are stilled. It is time for me to get the good ship Horizon back in the air and figure out what adventures await her today.
Twitter @ Melissa_Conroy