My Kickstarter project is off and running - with 49 days left to go and 2 backers already pledged! Please show your support for steampunk and visit my link to learn more!
Yesterday I went to the printers to see paper copies of my business cards and posters, and they are so splendid I nearly exploded from happiness right there on the spot. It is, however, a trifle odd to see oneself in glossy print - very official and authory-looking. After years of seeing such media presenting other writers, it is indeed strange to put yourself in that position. Mostly it is a strangeness born out of a slight panic that there are now people who expect quality writing from you. After all, it is you who is on the poster, so you clearly know what this writing stuff is all about and better deliver the goods.
Such is what I am attempting to do with all my might. I finished the draft of Chapter 13 yesterday and by my estimates, I am half-way through Draft 1. Someone asked me the other day if the storyline is progressing as I expected and my response was, "More or less." The basic plot has stayed consistent, but there have been an abundance of delicious surprises scattered liberally throughout the chapters. My characters have an amazing ability to take on a life of their own and go striding blithely off into their own direction while I stumble behind bleating out, "Wait! Where are you going? The plot's THAT way!
What I have found particularly fun is embedding snippets of my travels into the book. I have tramped through ten countries throughout my life, and some of them will make cameos in the trilogy. Gibraltar was one of them, and the Horizon was just there in Chapter 13. Tangier, Morocco is slated to make an appearance, and I would love to work in Oxford if I can, but we shall have to see.
Speaking of travels, Captain Robert of Abney Park posted on Facebook yesterday that he and Kristina will be on the first-ever steampunk cruise http://steampunkcruise.com/ It leave New Orleans March 16th and sails to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel. Without seriously thinking this through, I called up and paid a non-refundable $100 deposit to attend. My train of logic (such as it was) went like this. "Oooohhh! A week hanging out with Abney Park! Hey, my book should be published by then; what a great promotion opportunity! A week to spend in steampunk garb hanging around with other steampunk people! It's a business trip; I can write it off!" Not exactly featured in the train of thought were things such as 1) Overall cost factor, not including getting to New Orleans 2) Cruises involve tons of people jammed on a ship and herded around like cattle, not exactly my idea of fun 3) I burn like a turkey in a blast furnace whenever there is the slightest ray of sun falling on my delicate skin 4) I have no money 6) According to experienced cruise goers, it is common to gain a pound a day on a cruise. However, I reasoned that if I cannot go, I am just out $100 which is a significant chunk of money and the deposit will ensure that rooms won't sell out while I am toying with whether to go or not. So, plans are to find $1,800 or so lying around and spend seven days sailing the high seas with steampunks!
On a non-steampunk note, I implore you: do not, for the love of all that is holy, buy Cascade with Gain action tabs for your dishwasher. The pods are heavily overscented and leave soap residue on your dishes. My brother and I had diarrhea for two days until we tracked down the source. I don't know why American culture insists that all cleaning products must reek of flowers and be oversaturated with perfume - what is wrong with a faint clean smell of soap? Why in God's name do dishes need to smell like flowers? I was burping up perfume all day yesterday, and I had to rinse all of our dishes in hot water laced with vinegar and run several rinse loads with vinegar to make the dishwasher lose its perfume scent. That and I have a game leg that has forced me to limp around the house and which sends shooting pains constantly up my leg and also have a twitchy eyebrow from too much caffeine. Then my brother is congested and still feeling icky from the dish soap - it is now a quarantine zone at my house!