Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebrating All Kinds of Things Bookish & Steampunkish

Hi and Happy Friday, but wasn't it Friday just yesterday? And wasn't January the day before that?



Thanks VIKLIT




If I'm to celebrate anything it has to be my good bloggy friends who stop by and entertain me with their comments. So that's who I'm celebrating today. No small thing, of course, but very important.

Maybe there's one small thing I can add. A good night's sleep last night. My characters snoozed from the workout I gave them the other day, so I got to snooze, too.









Helping with this mighty important hop are:




LG KELTNER @writing off the edge
KATIE @TheCyborg Mom
CAFFEEMAGGIEATO @mscoffeehouse


Stop in to say hi!



*****

Now here are some authors who didn't take that sage advice, "Write what you know." And aren't we glad they didn't! Look at what they've come up with.



WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

By 
joylene nowell butler

Two years ago, author Pat Bertram asked if I’d like to collaborate with her and 8 others on a steampunk mystery.  

Because it was Pat asking, I said, “Sure."

Problem: I’d never heard the term -- steampunk

Wiki’s definition: 

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century….[etc., etc.]

To give you a better understanding, here are short list of steampunk movies:

Hellboy
Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Van Helsing
The Brothers Grimm
The League of Extraordinary Gentleman

Warning: if you have to Google your intended genre, you might be in a wee bit of trouble. 

Hence the reason it took two years to complete the project, none of us knew what we were doing. Well, three did, but they dropped out within the first year. The rest of us debated every six months or so whether we should quit. 

It was tough going. I know there were moments when I wanted to shout, “I give up!” Why I didn’t was strictly stubbornness. I hate giving up. 

Still, I suffered. I pulled chunks of hair out of my head trying to determine what motivated our antagonist. I eventually figured out what my character, Dakota David's motivation was. Like me he was confused most days. I knew I could work with that. But when it came to incorporating his story with the novel’s lead character, I was completely in the dark. Had it not been for the patience of Pat Bertram, we’d all still be at it, or worse, there’d be no BREAK TIME. 

When “they” say you should write what you know, know that they mean research and the Internet are your new best friends. 

I had no idea what steampunk was when we began collaborating on BREAK TIME. I watched a lot of steampunk movies on Netflix. I studied everyday life. I learned which gadgets were essential for everyday living. I kept it up until one day I announced, “I get it. In fact, I like it.”


Welcome to Break Time, a collaborative steampunk anthology written by seven authors from four countries—USA, New Zealand, Canada, Australia—who have never met. 
The year is 1966. Steam still reigns. Oil never became king. Coal is used to heat water to create steam to run engines, and because of it, pollution is a serious problem. The last war was the Great War. World War II never happened. There was no Korean Conflict, and no build up of troops in Vietnam. Despite what might be idealistic times, not everyone is happy. 
Alexander Giston, 64 years old in 1966, invented a machine that broke time and allowed him to return to the past and save his wife and son from the train wreck that took their lives. Heeding his advice, they agreed to travel by aeroship instead, and were lost when the aeroship went down. A third attempt failed to keep them from dying. 
Al promised himself he wouldn’t again attempt to save his wife and son. Instead he decided to go to the past to kill steam, the means of their death. But some who live and prosper because of steam will do anything to save their way of life, even to kill Al as often as they need to.


Here’s a sneak peek from Dakota David’s section:

Grandfather also saw the wolverine. He looked back at David. “The bear hunts the wolverine. Yet he comes to you to prove that rage can be controlled. He is warning you that your gift has purpose. One day, many years from now, a man will approach you, coveting the suppressed rage of the wolverine’s enemy. This man will be prisoner to the past yet present to the future. It will be your gift that sets him free . . . if you choose to help him.”
Present to the future; what the hell did that mean!
“What if I don’t want to help him, Mushom? What if I can’t?”
Grandfather closed his eyes, lifted his chin to the heavens. The smooth lines in his face softened, and David knew he was speaking to God.
He’s praying for me, Great Spirit. Please listen.
After a time, Grandfather looked back at him. “I don’t know that you will help him. It’s a choice to make then, not now. All future can be changeable, Nosisim.”
It hadn’t been the answer David hoped for and he raised his arms to the sky and called out to the Great Spirit. “Manito! Thank you, but the gift isn’t wanted. Please don’t make me take it. Honour someone else . . . !”
“. . . And that’s my story,” Al Giston said, startling David from his reverie. “Will you help me?”
When David looked at Al, he saw a desperate man, a man who felt justified by his insane request.
Or am I the one who’s insane. I’m talking to a matchitehew from the future.
“You have my deepest sympathies, Al, but I can’t help you.”



And be sure to visit 



Joylene, Métis, has been writing her entire life. She began her first novel in 1983 to honour the passing of her father. Today she and her husband live in the home they built with their own hands on Cluculz Lake. Her first novel Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Her suspense thriller Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal for Canada West. Joylene is currently applying final touches to two suspense thrillers. Contact her at cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca




64 comments:

  1. I have my copy of that anthology! Joylene rocks.
    Glad we can entertain you with our comments. I am here to amuse.
    And be the first to comment...

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  2. Thank you, Captain. You're not only first here, you're first in most ninja's books!

    Thanks for having me, Lee. You're the best!

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  3. Thanks for the feature. Grabbed myself a copy and thinking this will be some good weekend reading!

    p.s. about time I caught up with you and your blog!

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    1. Hope things are better. Know you and your husband have had a rough week.

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    2. Thanks so much for grabbing a copy, Deb. That made my day even better. Happy Weekend.

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  4. Yeah for a good night's sleep! :)

    It sounds like Joylene learned a lot during the time it took for the anthology to be completed. It sounds like a wild ride. I haven't read any steam punk books yet- but I do have one on my shelf. This collection sounds great. Wishing Joylene the best of luck!
    ~Jess

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    1. I'm behind in that category. Some short stories might be just the way to find out more about it.

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  5. Writing something you've never before heard of would be a really interesting adventure! Glad it worked out so well, =)

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    1. I imagine there'd have to be a lot of reading before the writing started.

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    2. Thanks, Joyce. I did a lot of movie watching so I could visional the day to day stuff. It was fun until I started writing. LOL.

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  6. Good writers are always up for a challenge. I hope your chunks of hair have grown back in. :)

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    1. We'll have to ask Joylene how the hair thing is going.

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    2. I'm glad you asked, Carol. It's gotten thicker. Who knew. Hope you're enjoying summer's eve. I'll be over to see you today.

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  7. Replies
    1. Me, too. Short stories are among my favorite things to read.

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    2. Thanks for that, Diane. Even though I have two older books, I'm still nervous until reviews start coming in. Have a great day.

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  8. Sounds like a book I'll have to read.
    Sometimes I like writing what I don't know, because it always takes me someplace I didn't expect. :-)
    http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. I love winding up in a new and unexpected place. Guess that's why I'm a pantsers.

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    2. Ooh, I like your analogy, Debi. I remember reading War and Peace the first time. I had avoided it for 30 years because I thought it would be boring. Boy was I wrong.

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  9. Blogging friends are wonderful, aren't they? So is a good night of sleep. Unfortunately, I'm overdue for one of those. My kids are early risers a lot of the time.

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    1. Maybe this weekend you'll snatch an extra few zzzz's. Hope so.

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    2. I'm lucky. My kids are grown and have kids of their own. Summers are quiet here, until the heat. Then it's all about me dreaming of sleep. LOL.

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  10. Isn't it nice to exhaust your characters so you can snooze?! Good for You!! Breaktime sounds right up my alley, I like steampunk.

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    1. Oh, great. A steampunk reader. I love that. Hope you'll check out Joylene's anthology.

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    2. That's so nice to hear, Cathrina. Thanks!

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  11. I'm embarrassed to say that for a long time I had no clue what steampunk was. I think I've finally managed to figure it out now. Break Time sounds great.

    Here's to more snoozes for you! Enjoy your weekend. :)

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    1. We're on the same path, Julie. I have friends who write, but I"m just catching on too. Have to read this anthology and become an "expert." :-)

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    2. I was in the same boat, Julie. Thank goodness for the Internet.

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  12. Thanks for sharing - sometimes it really is best to NOT write what you know. We'd have a lot of very similar books if everyone did that, I think...

    -Lauren

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    1. You are right there, Lauren. Have to stretch ourselves and what better way than to write about what you don't know.

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    2. I loved the challenge of writing Break Time, but mostly after the fact. Thanks, Lauren.

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  13. Glad your characters let you get a good night's sleep!
    Steampunk isn't a genre I know a huge amount about, I did actually 'Google' it a few weeks ago as I was intrigued. Will have to check out the book.

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    1. They can be sweet once in a while, but not often.

      Hope you do check out this anthology. It does sound intriguing.

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    2. It's quite popular in film form. So I think the genre is on the rise. Hi, Suzanne!

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  14. Oh my I would be soooo lost! I didnt know Steampunk was a genre ... well that it was the genre it apparently is! I would be sooo bald ! You arent wearing a wig in that photo right? You said you pulled hair but hmmm... pretty convincing toupe ya got there! You are a better woman and I suspect writer than I!

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    1. Zoe, I have a ton of hair. A few chunks here and there... Actually, I aimed for mostly the grey. Thanks, eh!

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  15. I've met a couple of Steampunk writers at book signings, so that's how I learned about it. Now we have Joylene's book to really give us the scoop.

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    1. I work with a steampunk author from Alberta who is very talented. He was very surprised when the anthology came out. I was too embarrassed to warn him in advance. Strange, eh.

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  16. I'm glad your characters let you snooze, Lee. I hope you and they get re-charged!

    I love the premise of the steampunk book! So original! Congrats to Joylene and the other authors who had the courage to write what they didn't know! :)

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  17. I enjoy steampunk! Actually wrote a YA novel in steampunk for fun - doubt it'll ever see the light of day tho! :)

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    1. I never thought ours would either. Never say never, Jemi!

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  18. Kudos Joylene, to sticking to it! Sounds like a great project. It's amazing how we can stretch and even more amazing to see the results. Wish you and your fellow authors all the best!

    Lee, thanks for hosting! Enjoyed the post.

    Happy weekend! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen. Your continuing support means a whole lot.

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  19. Well, stream my punk! I'm celebrating that your celebrating the celebration of celebrating comments.

    Joylene, Canadian author and mighty fine human being. Quite the combo, eh. Quite the collaboration of some amazing writers n'stuff. This seems just the type of reading I can get stuck into. No, not literally. Congrats and happy dances to Joylene.

    Thanks for having the delightful Joylene on your delightful site, you equally delightful lady, Lee.

    That's it, I'm outta' here..................

    Your starstuckest fan,

    Gary

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    1. But Gary, I thought you were MY starstuckest fan!

      Thanks for all that nice talk and stuff. Means a lot.

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  20. You're a sweetie. I feel like such a special person :-)

    And that steampunk anthology sounds very intriguing!

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    1. Thanks, Angela. Yes, Lee is a very special person.

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  21. Congratulations to Joylene!
    It's the first time I arrive to your site from your profile and I got the chance to see your author's page. So neat! I liked it very much.
    Good you got the chance to snooze. Dragon Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, Al. And btw, your Tuesday post was powerful.

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  22. I haven't read much steampunk, but what I have read I have liked. It's a rather odd and unique genre.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I've had the same experience, Arlee. It's good to try new stuff.

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  23. CONGRATS to Joylene! I enjoy a good steampunk novel!

    This anthology looks great. I guess I'll have to buy it...

    Thanks for featuring it today, LEE... and WE APPRECIATE YOU TOO!

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  24. "Warning: if you have to Google your intended genre, you might be in a wee bit of trouble. " I love that! Steampunk is like the perfect blend of scifi and fantasy.

    Congrats!

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  25. What a fabulous collaboration!! And love the word "matchitehew"!!! Yay!! All the best! Take care
    x

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  26. Joylene, I applaud you for not giving up and for venturing out of "writing what you know" and soaking your feet in what must have been miles of deep, uncharted territory. I'm not big on this genre of books but because I admire your work and sincerity, I would love to read Break Time once I've gotten through the five books I've promised authors reviews for. It does sound interesting and I wish you the BEST of luck with it!
    Thanks for sharing, C Lee.

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    1. That's so nice to hear, Gina. Thanks for your support; it means a lot.

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