Monday, November 12, 2012

Random Rambles

Hello fellow steampunks! Nothing of astonishing merit to note, but I am beginning to see the light on the horizon (pun intended) as I write Chapter 25. Yes, indeed, the ending is near and I am fully planning to have Draft One done in the next few weeks and onto the exciting world of editing and revising.

However, on a heavier note, the reality of bills is even stronger and my Indiegogo campaign has stalled out at about $1,500 with only a few days left. In all reality, I will need to find full-time work, and I have been putting in applications. I began this fundraising endeavor knowing that it was highly likely that I would have to get another job, and I knew that even if I didn't get funding, this entire project was helpful and useful. If anything, the past couple months of financial insolvency has allowed me ample space to get the draft done, essentially the bulk of the work. Revising/editing should be easier to work around a full-time schedule than drafting. One way or another, I will get this trilogy done - it will just be a matter of time. We shall have to see how the next several months present themselves.

One of the interesting tidbits I have been researching is the use of heliographs - I came across this term a few times and started investigating it. Heliographs have so many interesting steampunk essentials. I am toying with the idea of setting up an advanced heliograph system from Constantinople to London as a way of relaying simple messages. Also, as I am revising, I might be working heliographs more into the story.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by one of the editors of Geek Life about "Steam on the Horizon". After discussing, we put together a QA about my book which was a good publicity piece. The wonderful authors Tee and Pip should also be publishing a short article I did about my experiences with Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It's always nice to see your name in print.

On a non steampunk note, I have been an unmitigated klutz as of late. I have managed to spill five drinks in less than a month, and two of them were spilled more than once. I had an absolutely spectacular fall off a treadmill, and my only regret was that no one captured my epic wipe-out on video. Today I knocked over a glass of water and then spilled gas all over my pant leg and shoe, and I do believe that this ruined the shoes as I have been unable to remove the gas smell from them. Perhaps this is all a sign that waitressing is not the job for me and that I should spend the rest of my life sitting in a chair with my hands on my lap.

Obviously, riding a pennyfarthing is not a stellar idea for someone with my accident-prone ways. Instead, I offer you a video of my younger brother Seth kicking butt on a pennyfarthing.

Yes, that is my brother in semi steampunk attire riding a pennyfarthing past IHOP. Admit it, that's pretty awesome.


  1. I have a feeling you and I should never be in the same room together. I once tripped over absolutely nothing - except maybe my own toes. And I gave myself a bloody nose once, while dressing. How do you accidentally punch yourself in the face while pulling up your pants? I also dumped a glass of water all over Craig just the other day. Yes, every time Alora does something spectacular right like somehow slam her hand in-between her forehead and the door (2 bruises in .5 seconds!), he just looks at me & says, "she is most definitely your daughter."

    1. Or maybe our clumsiness would even out if we were in the same room. If we do come together, get a camera and record the madness!

    2. Here's a comic for you - enjoy

  2. If you have any questions about heliographs, I can probably help. The references in the Wikipedia article are pretty good, but since you are talking about networks, I'll focus on that.

    The need for sunshine and clear line of sight suggest routing the Constantinople to London line along southerly (sunny) routes as long as possible. While, in clear weather and good sun, links may be made as long as the curvature of the earth permits, actual heliograph networks tended to keep the maximum link length to 20-30 miles to improve reliability [1-3]. Since optical (semaphore) telegraphs linked Venice with the French Channel coast, and the Channel coast with London, in the early 1800s, intervisibility, per se, is not an overwhelming issue, but availability of sunlight is. To see where stations for semaphore were placed in England, France, and Italy, see [4-6], which can also be reached by following links from the Wikipedia article:

    [1] 29 station heliographic network in South Africa,
    429 mile end to end, 42 mile maximum link.
    [2] Bottom of page: most heliograph links in Rhodesian network were 20-30 miles, maximum link under 40 miles.
    [3] (in Portuguese) Heliograph links in Portuguese network were up to 60 km (37 miles).
    [4] English semaphore station network
    [5] For the French, and France-Italy network, go here:
    and click on "La Carte de lignes", then click on the maps to magnify them.
    [6] Semaphore network stations in Southern Italy and Sicily

    1. Awesome! Thanks for the information! I am toying with if/how much heliographs will enter into "Steam on the Horizon" - wondering if maybe they can have some steampunk-powered assistance to boost their power. I really appreciate your input!