Saturday, October 31, 2009


I'm still thinking about Steampunk for my Nano project. I may write something involving an island and some lost gold. Not certain yet. Any ideas for a plotline? Please comment and let me know what you're thinking.

And if you're a writer wanting to write your first (or second) novel, be sure to enter the Nanowrimo this year. It might give you the opportunity to actually get that story out of your head and on the printed page.

Comments are always welcome. (It's lets me know people are reading this stuff.)

Friday, October 30, 2009


Those of you who don't know me may be interested to learn that I've been writing since I was in elementary school — and that much longer ago than I care to admit. Fortunately, my style and vocabulary have changed (I hope!) since completing my first short story, Flipper the Fawn, back in Miss Carmichael's third grade class at Wachter Elementary School in Independence, Missouri.

Since then, and since I began taking writing more seriously, my primary area of interest has been in the Fantasy genre, targeted toward the middle grade reader. So far, I've written four novels in that genre of approximately 40,000 words each. All four of those novels are still seeking a friendly agent to take them to the public, who will most certainly fall in love with them in a short period of time.

I've only recently acquired a significant interest in a relatively new sub-genre of fantasy and science fiction called Steampunk. What's that, you ask? Let me try to explain it as I understand it.

Typically, a work classified as Steampunk will be set in the 19th century, usually in Victorian England (or Edwardian sometimes). Steampunk can have some, or all, of the elements of fantasy and/or science fiction. But there's something special about it that differentiates it from the mainstream in those genres. You'll find a lot of gadgetry that was common in that era, i.e., steam-powered devices or clockwork mechanisms. Generally these novels take place prior to the Edisonade adventures following the advent of electricity. It's not unusual to find modes of transportation such as trains, dirigibles or submarines.

To give you an example, imagine the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, including The Time Machine and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. More recently, I would classify Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy in the Steampunk arena. By the way, if you haven't read the trilogy, they're excellent. If I've piqued your interest, and if you'd like more information, here's an excellent SITE that will enlighten you on more of the elements involved.

In many Steampunk novels, there is an inventor or a character who is obviously a genius in matters scientific, mechanical or chemical. This character may wind up being the protagonist or, just as easily, the villain of the story. I find it of great interest, and I'm thinking about trying my hand at it.

How about you? Have you read any recent Steampunk novels? Are you writing one now? Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you're up to.


In less than 24 hours, over 100,000 writers will begin the journey known as NanoWrimo, a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month. It takes guts to commit to this undertaking. Will you be a part of it?

If you've always known that you have the Great American Novel inside you, this is your opportunity to let it out for the world to see. Except for the stress you may encounter trying to come up with a story, characters, a plot, etc., it costs you nothing. There is no charge, other than the drain it will create on your creative juices. But you've got plenty of those, right? All you have to do to be a winner is to come up with 50,000 words that contain the great story you know you have inside your head. Piece of cake, right?

And there's help along the way including writing groups, discouragment counselors, and people who feel your pain because they're going through the same thing. Misery loves company, right? Right!

So, what are you waiting for? If you've always wanted to write a book, this is your chance to do it along with thousands of others who have always had the same goal. To find out more, visit the NANOWRIMO site and get signed up. (It's free. Remember?) Then at midnight EDT on October 31, start hitting those computer keys and crank out those words that could lead you to publication. You never know what might happen. Createspace (from Amazon) also has a great prize of a published copy of your book if you succeed in writing those 50,000 words.

Put on your creative hats and get ready. Nano is coming soon. If you're entering this year, leave a comment (below) and we'll root you on to the finish line. You can do it!