(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Title by Any Name?

Recently there has been an interesting discussion on one of the online writer groups which I follow. The original question posed? “Why do some writers stress out about the title of their work?

Does the title matter?

Not too long ago, 0ne of my friends asked her readers to name her latest work – a big brainstorm session.  A favourite was chosen. That did not guarantee it would be the name of final published book. In the end, the publishers used their choice.  That is how it works in traditional publishing. The publisher can change the name. After all, they have an entire marketing team whose job is to get maximum sales. They know best. Don’t they?

I have heard both pros (the advantage of accessing professional marketing) and cons (not always being relevant to the story or unique) on this point. Whatever the outcome, it probably pays not to get too attached to a specific title for those who intend to follow the traditional publishing route.

For those who self publish, the freedom of choosing their own title can be a thrill – or a curse. There is the satisfaction on keeping creative control.  For others, fashioning a meaningful title seems to be a harrowing experience. What if it is not marketable? Not catchy enough? Irrelevant? What if does not stand out from the crowd?

For me it is exciting to discover that key phrase or word to describe a year’s worth of work.

How to find a name?

First there is the organic method. Write the words and the title will come. Eventually.  This frees the mind to wander along a non-set path, opening up creativity. There is no restriction to stay confined within the pre-set theme.

From the discussion, it was obvious that some writers can not write one word without first knowing the story’s title. This allows the writer to stay focused, not to meander off in unrelated directions. This would seem to be ideal if you are a concise writer or an obsessive plotter.

I seem to  fall somewhere between the two extremes. I can write without a title but (I must admit) I find that the title finds me – usually very early in the project. It is an organic thing. A picture, word or sentence can inspire me. Sometimes it just pops into my head, bold as brass, demanding attention. When it does, everything falls in place. It gives something for the ideas to gravitate to,  like a shining beacon… or sometimes like a big black hole.

Which type of writer are you?

A Title by Any Name?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back in the Garden.

orangeToday the sun shone. It has not done that for weeks. June and July in South Australia have been extremely wet. We passed our average monthly rainfall within the first weeks.

A multitude of flowers, fruits and vegetables have sprung up in unsuspected garden nooks. I am in bliss. I love the random nature of self seeding, the discovery of something new and unexpected – in the garden that is!

The downside is the plethora of weeds that has overrun my roses, pots and vegetable patch.  I had my first chance to get into the weeding today. The frenzy of yanking the offending plants from the dirt was very satisfying.

Three (and four-fifths) of my front vege beds are now weed-free, leaving more room for my carrots, broccoli, lettuce, silverbeet and mustard. I might even be able to start some of my planned landscaping done. (A regular winter project for me.)

weeds moe

And finally, this little raven collecting for the nest. Spring is on the way.

Back in the Garden.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Of Rewrites, Camps and Villians

One week to go, then July is over.  I am well on the way to my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I have completed the (hopefully) penultimate rewrite on The Day of the Dirigible - now in the hands of beta readers. I now have my headspace back into the manuscript for The Department of Curiosities.

I blitzed almost four thousand words in the first few days of Camp. (Thank goodness for some scribbled a rough outline I made in the middle of the night!)  The reader will  finally learn more about our Villian, his accomplices and reveal his lair.

Five hundred words into the major scene, I read the dreaded notes in my outline: ‘Tillie reads excerpt from diary (info on father/partner  - Mr ??TK -need names- and experiments. Conspiracies? Liberator not happy. Background info and clues to be added here.’

Eep! I could no longer avoid the need to solidify several plot clues and names.  (I am still debating a few character names). I began sifting through my box of doodles (did I say doodles?) – I mean notes – and jotted down ideas.  Double Eep! How not to make certain revelations sound like an information dump? Maybe I could try writing it as diary entries – hinting at events that linked to our protagonist’s past?

Call it procrastination, or call it accessing my creative brain – I decided to hand write the diary entries with an old (inherited) nib pen.  Here is where you may suggest the procrastination part: I spent the next two hours looking for a specific nib pen. Once it was found, it performed its task well indeed. I had the rough draft done – seven handwritten pages later – before the stroke of midnight. Just.

1407 handwritingdiary

Now transcribed into Scrivener, it just requires a tidy up next month – a lot, it seems.  Last Friday was my writers’ group meeting. My fellow writers provided very useful feedback and excellent ideas on how to make a  major task more worthy of  the protagonist. Once this is added, I have only two more scenes to finish Chapter 6.

The story so far: (- now 38% of projected first draft completed)
  • Chapter 1:  Of  Rivals, Surprises and Escapes
    Favourite passage:
    “I think you have something of mine that I accidentally dropped?” The stranger’s green eyes glinted as he smiled back, scrutinising Tillie’s bustle.“Sir, we have only just met and have not been properly introduced,” she replied curtly.
  • Chapter 2:  Of Silks, Kippers and Secrets - approx 5400
    I have battled with the revisions (especially one scene!) since 18th December. Dilemma #1: how much background reveal is enough/too much?
    Favourite passage:
    The smell of smoked kippers greeted Tillie as she entered the dining room. The buffet boasted a full range of delights, many of which were her favourites: bacon, fried mushrooms, eggs, toast and jam. Kippers were not high on her list.
  • Chapter 3: The Inventor, The Department and Curiosities.
    Dilemma #2: Is it time for some destruction and mayhem?Favourite Passage (first draft)“As Tillie reached for the banister, a pale grey limb snaked out of the blackness and snatched at her sleeve. Its sinewy talons floundered at the blue silk.Not my new silk dress!”
  • Chapter 4Of Diaries, Ghostmen and Dispicible Acts.
    Dilemma #3: reworking the events so there is only one explosive event per chapter. #4: A new character was now in the mix necessitating some rewrites to earlier chapters to introduce her – without a background/information dump.
    Favourite Passge (first draft):
    “Miss Meriwether stood defiantly among them, looking quite dishevelled. She brandished a red parasol,  swinging it in her hand like a golf club. Her bonnet hung precariously, held by the remaining hat pin, revealing a less than pristine coiffe.”
  • Chapter 5: Of Resurrections, Discoveries and Assassinations/Eliminations (?) first draft.
    Favourite Passage:
    “Why are you so distressed?” Tillie gripped her ribs as she spoke.
    “You screamed,” the Professor replied.
    “Did I?” Tillie replied. Maybe the pain has befuddled my brain?
    “Most definitely. I thought you may have been attacked or hurt.”
    “I have been hurt,” she grimaced.
    “… hurt again,” replied the Professor.”
    Challenge #5: Having decided to write a scene only from the camera point of view, I quickly discovered exactly what could and could not be revealed to the reader. Cameras do not think; they only record.
  • Chapter 6: Of Symbols, Half-truths and Cyphers  First draft so far: 4423 words
    Dilemma #6: How to introduce important background on the antagonist without sounding like a background dump.
    Favourite passage so far:
    ‘Mr Saunders had shown her how to operate the newfangled electric wall lighting. It made sense not to rely on gas lighting or candles in the underground rooms, especially as the oxygen supply was limited following the cave in. He had reassured her it was perfectly safe. But that was what Professor Allington had said in the descending room. Tillie did not trust his definition of safe.
  • Chapter 7:  Of Lies, Damned Lies and Treachery
    (Now a chapter unto itself, inheriting chapter 6′s old title. Plot notes completed)
  • Chapter ?:  Of Trains, Dirigibles and Steamships. – First draft: 2100 words so far (incomplete) - This was the first snippet to follow The Guest Upstairs and specifically written for this manuscript. It signifies a significant change in the story.
Manuscript Word Progress:(on hold since April)
Total Words:  
Revised Words: At 1st draft only:

Update on Doctor Jack – 1st draft- completed in June, 2014: 

Of Rewrites, Camps and Villians

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Writing Is Not Always a Solitary Pursuit

Last year I joined a newly forming writers’ group called Spec Fic Chic. Since then, I  have occasionally mentioned them in my blogs.  We are a small group of speculative fiction writers (fantasy, steampunk, alternative history). Each month we send snippets of our work in progress to be critiqued and discussed.  For those who do not have an ongoing project, a new theme is provided each month.

It is a small group – but oh so wonderful! Each of us bring a different set of skills to the meetings – with varying levels of experience – giving unique insights and very (very) useful critiques on each other’s work (at least in my case!).

I leave with so many new ways to approach my work; so many ideas buzzing around in my head to add to my ongoing stories.  (and now I have at least another chapter’s worth of work to add!)

It is a working writer’s group.  (which is perfect for me) We brainstorm, discuss and offer suggestions. Each month I learn something new. I come home full of enthusiasm and confidence.

My brain is so full of fantastic ideas and scenes, thanks to the girls at writers group. My mind is brimming with infinite (well almost) possibilities for Department of Curiosities. Some ideas I had only flirted with have now coalesced. I have almost an entire new chapter’s worth to add!

I love my writers’ group. If you are a writer – whatever your level of experience – I highly recommend joining one.

Writing Is Not Always a Solitary Pursuit

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Kind Gesture of Friendship

This month has been a stressful one with regards to my day job. I have consoled myself with my writing. My characters continually call to me –  Forget your anxieties. Come and play with us for a while. Sometimes I think it is the only thing that keeps me from screaming in frustration (and scaring the neighbours).

Sharon Doig choker 1407dI am thankful for my wonderful family – who support me. I could not have made it through the past eighteen months without them.  I am also thankful wonderful friends who have listened to my grumbles and helped wipe up the tears.

This week  one of my friends posted me a package. Inside was a lovingly hand made choker – with a steampunk theme – in my favourite colour. It even had an octopus! Thank you Sharon. It cheered me up on a black day.

 Sharon Doig choker 1407b Sharon Doig choker 1407c

Sharon Doig choker 1407

A Kind Gesture of Friendship

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tea and Tidings Out Soon

Good afternoon dear Readers,

For those of you on my mailing list, the third edition of Tea and Tidings will be out at the end of the week.

For newer readers,  you can sign up via this website for my monthly newsletter Tea and Tidings for  news, updates and exclusive or extra content,  only available via my email list. You can also sign up via my Facebook page.


Tea and Tidings Out Soon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Impromptu Writing Exercise - Short Story: Moving Day

Every now and then my friend Alonya proposes a writing game.  It is a great exercise in free writing. This is how it works: Each person writes a sentence or paragraph and the next person is left to take up the story. Here is the result, published with permission: My words are marked by ‘K’ and Alonya’s with ‘A’.  This is as was written – first draft on the day.

Moving Day.

A:  Suddenly Pixie realised that her house was moving.
K:It had not done that for a while. Maybe it had finally grown bored with its idyllic surroundings?
A:Holding on to the only thing that wasn’t moving around, the chandelier, she gripped tightly to peer out the window to see what was going on. Where were they going this time?
K:Pixie did love a grand adventure.

A: Suddenly, the house lurched to the left. Oh, damn. Was that her best plate that went flying by?
K: There was a distressed chirrup, followed by a quick squawk as her friend Roxie the Robin flew past – feathers flying.
A: That was weird, Pixie thought to her self. Roxie never normally made such a fuss during moving time.
K: And she thought that she would be accustomed to airborne travel.
A:Something was definitely wrong.

K: The house paused, jiggled slightly, then lurched forward again. The furniture settled into a rhythmic movement, sliding back and forth in concert with the clock’s pendulum.
A:Pixie started to feel a little sick. This seemed different to the last time the house moved. It felt like she was at sea.
K: She steadied herself, edging along the wall towards the window.
A: Grasping hold of the window facing and pressed her nose to the glass.

K: Gone were the bright flowers that had surrounded her yard. Gone was the towering patch of broccoli. Gone was the sound of the human children that frolicked in the yard.
A: Instead there was a different landscape. The trees were lined up in neat rows along some sort of hard grey surface. It didn’t look right at all.

K: A loud rumbling echoed around her. Roxie flittered from window to window, chirping nervously.
A:  The rumbling crashing came to a momentary halt. Pixie asked Roxie what was happening.
K: Roxie twittered furiously. Pixie rushed to the bird’s side and peered out of the window. A giant metal tree towered above them. In its branches a strange glowing red flowers. Suddenly the flowers disappeared. Glowing green flowers lit up below them.

The house suddenly was airborne again.
A: Kerthump. It seemed to Pixie that the crash felt like the house was battering at the large metal tree in a fury of bone shattering thumps. This is definitely not normal at all.
K: The house floated higher, then turned slowly. A loud giggle reverberated the walls. Roxie squealed and pointed across the room. A giant eye peered in through the window.
A: Looking through the window the eye was bright green in colour and seemed suprised that there was a small person inside the tiny window

K: Pixie rubbed her eyes and blinked. The eye in the window blinked. Roxie twittered. It did not look like any of the children from the Big House.
A: The eye was from a bigger person than a child. Pixie and Roxie had only seen big people from a far distance.
K: Was it one of the – what did they call them? The Olds? Was this what a The Olds looked like.
A: It must be the Olds. But what were they doing? What is that scraping? And why did it get so dark in the middle of the day?
K: Roxie resumed her nervous flitting around the room.
‘Oh do be quiet, Roxie,” whispered Pixie. ‘I am trying to think.”

A: Suddenly there was the sound that made Pixies heart run cold. Like a child’s clacker toy, but only much louder. Then a new noise. Was that a fire chariot?
K:  Pixie froze. A crooked smile slowly grew on her otherwise serene fairy face. She darted to a cupboard, careful to avoid the gliding furniture, and retrieved a long silver stick. It had a large hole in one end and a very – very – sharp point on the other.

A: Rushing back to the now blackened out window, she threw it open.
K: “Where did it go?” she grumbled.
A: The window suddenly was not there anymore. Pixie realised that she has cursed a little when she was rifling through the cupboard and slipped an incantation. The window glass was now completely gone.
K: In its place was a dark cloth that seemed to cover the entire house.

A: Movement. Again. This time smooth. The fire chariot seemed to be on the move and the house captured is some kind of trap.
A:  Roxie cocked her head, as if to listen. Pixie could hear nothing but the rumbling of the chariot.
K: At least the furniture has stopped moving.” she said.

A: The smooth vibration of the chariot continued for what seemed like an age.
K: Then the movement stopped. The rumbling ceased. All was quiet. Too quiet. Pixie brandished her weapon, ready to defend herself and her home.

A: There seemed to be two voices coming from the other side of the blanket. No, wait. A child’s voice. So three voices. And they were talking about a desk. What was a desk, Pixie wondered.
K: She hoped her stick would be able to defeat such a formidable sounding weapon.

“Oh this is getting very annoying,” objected Pixie. She stuck the sharp stick into the cloth, which covered the window, and pushed downwards with all of her strength. A sliver of light lit up the room. Pixie grabbed the torn edges and held open the slit.

A:  An Old’s house. With two olds and a younger human. They were speaking excitedly about where to put ‘the desk’.  It dawned on Pixie what was happening. The house shaking, the chariot ride and the black out were her house was moving to a new location.
K: She sighed. at least they were on the ground. Around her towered large wooden tables and chairs. They had to find somewhere to launch an attack. As she climbed through the slit, stick in hand, she motioned to Roxie to follow.

A: Roxie flew up to the highest vantage point in the room.
K: Pixie rolled her shoulders, extended her glistening wings and followed. For some unknown reason, humans always forgot to look upwards.

A: Breaking her concentration, there was an excited squeal. Turning in a defensive stance she saw the girl child looking at her house. A look of wonder on the child’s face.
“Mum, Dad!” The child exclaimed, “I think someone lives in the desk.”
K: “Don’t be silly Cathy,” said one of The Olds. “I am not being silly,’ pouted Cathy
A: Look. Cathy said. There is a window in the desk.
K: The three humans walked under Pixie towards the desk. The bearded one raised an eyebrow. “Well, I’ll be,” he laughed.
“Maybe it is a doll’s house?” said the one with the long hair.
A; “Whatever it is Mum, we need to not touch it. Maybe who ever lived there is here now”.

K: The bearded one pulled the drawer open. Inside was a jumble of minature furniture. “See it is a doll’s house,” beamed the long-haired one. She picked up a small, delicately carved armchair. “Such lovely work. I wonder who would throw it out?”

A: Pixie eyed off the longhaired one cautiously
“Mum” Cathy asked, “Can I please put it in my dolls house?
K: Mum turned and smiled. “Of course, dear.” Mum’s green eyes smiled.
“That is my chair” squealed Pixie. She held her stick in front of her and took aim. Her wings battered furiously as she sped at the Mum, aiming for her green eye.
A: Mum turned to hand Cathy the chair. At the last second Pixie spied the ‘Doll House’. Pulling up short she darted behind Mum, not to be seen.

K: Lights danced off the gold and silver plates inside its lavishly furnished rooms. Each room was painted in the colours of PIxie’s favourite flowers.
A: Edging closer, the colours mesmerised her.
K: Such pretty colours.  A faint twittered tugged at the edges of her senses. the twittering faded as Pixie fluttered closer.to the Doll House.

A: Roxie fluttered down from her vantage point too.
“Oh” said Mum. How did a robin get in here?”
K: “I suppose it flew through the window,” said Mum. “Can I have it too?” said the small human. “Darling, you can’t keep a wild creature in the house. It will make too much of a mess.”
A:”But Mum” cried Cathy
K: “No,’ said Mum firmly. “You know we are not allowed to have pets in the house.”
A:  ”Ok Mum” replied Cathy with a forlorn look on her rosy face. Pixie saw this and thought the girl child might be a kind child.

K: Pixie hid behind one of the velvet curtains and waited.
A: And watched.  The olds were moving furniture around the room. It seemed they were making space for the desk
K: The small human collected Pixie’s furniture and started placing it in the Doll House. She placed Pixie’s favourite chair next to the curtain where Pixie hid.

“There you go,” she whispered.
Pixie peeked out from behind the curtain. The small human looked her in the eye and winked.
A: Pixie knew then, that she had found her new forever home.
“And I will let your little Robin friend in when I can to visit too”, the child whispered.

The End

Impromptu Writing Exercise - Short Story: Moving Day

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Adventures of Kat and the Roll Top Desk

One of my long-term dreams has been to own a roll top desk. Ideally it would be made of mahogany, with a leather topped desk area and lots of little drawers to store my writing (and drawing) paraphernalia. But honestly, I was not really that fussy – almost any roll top desk would do.

On Saturday I opened my messages to see a roll top desk being offered on Freecycle. I collect it, I get to keep it – for free!   I sent back a hopeful message. Sunday morning I got a call. It was mine!

Fortunately we own a metal canopy trailer. Perfect. The weather has been quite wet of late. We were going to need a cover so the desk would not be drowned on the way home. We (as in my hubby) hitched up the trailer and we set off on a one hour tour to collect the coveted item.

Little did we know what a saga would be involved.

Twenty-five minutes later we arrived at the it’s soon-to-be-ex home.  The desk was a heavy brute. We finally got it to the trailer…

It would not fit through the back gate of the trailer. Nor the side doors. The openings were four centimetres too small!

Fine – just unscrew the bolts and remove the canopy. Easy.

Not.  The bolts were stuck fast. What to do? I took advantage of mobile phone technology, calling taxi truck companies. No go. They were either closed for Sunday or would cost $100 per hour, with a minimum of 4 hours hire. For a free, second-hand roll top desk? Not likely.

So it was that we lugged the desk back to the house, ensuring it was under cover; the grey clouds were gathering and the temperature had already dropped a few degrees.  We drove back home, unhooked the trailer and made our way to Bunnings (hardware store). Best news of the day? We got free trailer hire if we bought something. Well, we did need a new tarp – especially as we no longer had the canopy to protect the precious cargo from the oncoming storm. We had two hours until the trailer was due back.

Once again we started our one hour tour to collect my ‘free’ roll top desk. Fate was laughing at us – again. Do you know how much fun it is not  to get lost on a detour of the back streets, with malfunctioning GPS, following a total inbound road closure (three lanes) – complete with five police cars, at least one fire engine (and I think I also saw an ambulance)?

desk 1407 trailerEventually we arrived at our destination, loaded up the desk, tied down the tarp and began the final trek homeward. Yet another detour – as traffic on the main road was now backed up for kilometres on the outbound lanes as well – and we were navigating the back streets once more.

desk 1407 a writing

Home again. Only seven minutes to go until the trailer is due to be returned. Our fingers flew as we wrangled my Dear Heart’s excellent knot tying skills and finally released my prize.  The trailer was just returned on time.

On Monday night my desk found its new home – in the front room Thank you Freecycle Gifter.

A one hour pickup grew into a four hour adventure. At least the hail has held off until today.

Now what to write???

desk 1407 writing

The Adventures of Kat and the Roll Top Desk

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Twitterings for June

For those not following me on twitter, here is what I have been up to. Last month The Borough Press set a challenge of a book a day. Here is the complete list of my offerings for #bookaday for June - not an easy task.
1: Favourite book from childhoodThe Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
2: Best bargain: Jules Verne: Around the World in 80 Days/ From Earth to the Moon/20000 Leagues under sea - free at bookswap party 
3: One with a Blue Cover: Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett 
4: Least fave book by favourite author:  Honestly? I can't isolate one fave author. Too many. No outstanding < faves in their lot. Fail.
5: Doesn't belong to me: I covet my husband's copy of Raising Steam. I can'tread it until he does. (He still has not read it)
6: One I always gift: There is no 'one'. Speculative fiction usually. Terry Pratchett anything most commonly.
7: Forgot I owned it: The Jane Austin Bookclub by Karen Joy Fowler.
blue moon rising8: Have more than one copy: Blue Moon Rising by Simon R Green.  Always a good rollick
9: Film or tv tie-in: I have a series of 1970s/80s Doctor Who Target novels based on 4th Doctor
10: Reminds me of someone I love. The Bible - reminds me of my grandma & her steadfast faith. I miss her wisdom & her cheekiness
11: Secondhand bookshop gem: Hardcover compendium of Jane Austin novels. $2!
12: I pretend to have read it. Clockwork Orange. Bit too bleak & violent for me. Tried to make it through the movie. Failed.
13: Makes Me Laugh: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy with its unexpected word play & absurdity. Life. Don't talk to me about life.
14: An Old Favourite: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (cos I have already named Simon R Green's Blue Moon Rising another day.)
15: Favourite fictional father: Honestly, not many. Mr Weasley (Harry Potter). Always there. Loves his kids. bit eccentric.
16: Can't believe more people have not readThe Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: Mystery,Crime,Good vs Evil, wizards & yellow VWs.
17: Future classic. So many variables/different definitions of classic. Harry Potter - having reminded many of reading pleasure?
18: Bought on recommendation: Gail Carriger's Soulless. Love her (writing) voice. I now have all of her books.
20: Favourite cover: Handmade Renaissance & Medieval book covers. Works of art. eg. Thttp://tinyurl.com/kqusfp2  #21: Summer read: Princess Bride.  Can't resist pirates, swashbuckling and true love? PIC
22: Out of Print: Took me 7 years to get: The Italian Renaissance Interior,1400-1600 by Peter Thornton. Historical reenactor squee.
23: Made to read at School; Stig of the Dump by Clive King.
24: Hooked me into Reading: Lord of the Rings (and Agatha Christie) It was concurrent really.
25: Never Finished it: The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow. Was recommended to me. So sorry. I could not get past chapter 3. I tried. I failed.
26: Should have sold more copies: Any brilliant self-pub/indie author who has to sell without the marketing $ of big publishers .
27: Want to one of the characters:  LOR/Narnia: unwavering loyalty and doing what is 'right and good' seems to a dying commodity these days.
28:Bought at my fave independent bookshop: I Medici riesumano i Medici from San Lorenzo Basilica bookshop Florence.
29: The one I have read most often: Blue Moon Rising by Simon R Green. Always cheers me up. Usually read until the early hours of the morning.
30: Would save if my house burned down: How can I choose between all of my children. A good argument for having ebooks on one device? Would have to be the manuscript for the book I am writing as it does not exist elsewhere.
I have now started an A-Z of music - something to make life a little more colourful.  You can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/kjcarlisle - or the widget on the right of my website.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Blog... Interrupted.

Dear Reader,
I must apologise. The little flying monkeys have been on strike today. I have managed to wake some of them up but the others refuse to play.

My website is now up and running again but there is a technical difficulty in posting the blog to here. You can find it at my website
The link is Now What?
I hope I can sort this out very soon.

Blog... Waiting...

Be patient with me. My website has Internal Server Error. My apologies. I am working on restoring asap.  
The blog post is there... just stuck in the aether

Until then... a pretty picture? 
You can tell when steampunk is going mainstream when the local shop has notebooks going cheap with the following design.