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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

This is how I Roll (Play)

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2016/01/31/this-is-how-i-roll-play/

Good afternoon everyone.
<Pulls curtains closed and grabs the crumbling remains of birthday cake.>
Apologies for a late post today. Last night we celebrated my Dearheart's birthday. We played board games, with fabulous friends, until one in the morning.
221BDaveBD2016_copyright2016KarenCarlisle codename2DaveBD2016_copyright2016KarenCarlisle
Today my body is reminding me it's not keen on truncated sleep.
<Pours another cup of tea.>
Next week is our regular D&D night. (Squee!) Guess I'll be pouring strong tea next Sunday as well - while smiling the smile of the deliriously adventured-out Rogue. Just as well I have my Steampunk Hands Across the World posts all lined up.
Tomorrow is a bonus post as it is the first day of February and my first blog post in the Steampunk Hands Across the World project. Don't forget to check in tomorrow. Then all is back to normal post schedules, each Sunday.
Now where's that chocolate cake?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Steampunk Hands Around the World, 2016

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2016/01/24/steampunk-hands-around-the-world-2016/

It's on again - Steampunk Hands Around the World. Last year our theme was  Our Playground, Our Classroom, Our Workshop. This year we are sharing Our Favourite Things - starting on 1st February.
What is Steampunk Hands Around the World?
It is essentially a world-wide blog tour, organised by Airship Ambassador. I'll let him explain: Steampunk Hands Around the World "shares and celebrates the amazing and the extraordinary as several dozen steampunk creators – bloggers, authors, event organizers, and others – join in a month-long multi format presentation about the international connections and communications in the community, for steampunks and non-steampunks alike."
- Kevin Steil - Airship Ambassador.
How does Steampunk Hands Around the World work?
You can find blog posts on each participant's own blog site. If you don't know who is contributing this year, just check out the official Steampunk Hands Around the World blog and read your favourites.
Where to go to follow Steampunk Hands Around the World.
My Favourite Things
Starting Monday, February 1st - 29th, I will be sharing my favourite steampunk things with you - every Sunday.  I would love you to share yours too. See you then.
Photo: Steamkittens
Past Steampunk Hands Around the World.
All contributor posts, from previous Steampunk Hands tours, can be found on Airship Ambassador's Steampunk Hands Link Lists:
My posts for 2015 incuded:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Trail of Tales at the Fringe

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2016/01/17/a-trail-of-tales-at-the-fringe/
Mad March is looming. The Adelaide Fringe is almost upon us. And I am part of it.
My very first Fringe!
Time to tell you about a project I have been involved with. About six months ago, our writing group was invited to submit short stories or poems to an exciting project - A Trail of Tales - created by The Tea Tree Gully Writers Group, Tea Tree Gully Library and Gallery1855.
Our mission? Write and submit a short story or poem linked to historical Pine Park, based on local history, legend or fantasy set in Tea Tree Gully. Local artists were then invited to create a visual installation, based on their choice of written word.
We were given a guided tour of the local Pine Park (and Linea Park) at Tea Tree Gully. This included lectures on local history, by Carol Symons of the Preservation Society of TTG, and indigenous flora by historian, David Brooks. We learned about traditional Aboriginal and European history as well as local legends. (There was even some ghost stories.)
My story, Hunted, was acccepted for the project. It is set around the mid 1880s and was inspired by old newspaper clippings and based in historic Tea Tree Gully, including the Old Council Chambers, Pine Park, and various landmarks in Linea Park - an old gum and the creek. (And inspired further research into local history of the area.)
You can find more information and dates of the Trails of Tales installation in The Adelaide Fringe event listing.The installation runs from 12th February to 14th March at Pine Park at 2 Haines Rd Tea Tree Gully 5091 SA. All of the accepted written works are listed on the website.
I'm crossing my fingers one of the artist's liked my short story.
(All Photos: copyright 2015 Karen Carlisle)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ditching the Black Dog

orginal post at: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2016/01/10/ditching-the-black-dog/

It's a cliche, but a new year can give a fresh outlook on life - always a good thing when the black dog is growling, nipping at those anxiety triggers.
So far, 2016 has been relaxing, thoughtful and inspiring. So I'm sharing my tweets for the week, hoping some of the vibe will head your way.
Day 1: Best way to start the new year - with friends.
2106 day 1
Day 2: More friends and firing up the imagination. I started roleplaying in 1978. It has been very cathartic and inspires my muse.2016 day 2
Day 3: was inspired to finish my 2016 business plan - and asking you what you would like to see in the future (details in Of Ideas, New Beginnings and Feedback) and catching up on some well-written UK tv.2016 day 3
Day 4: spent time going through thoughts and events popped into my Thankful Jar during 2015. (More on what a Thankful Jar is here.) There were 155 separate entries, not counting repeats (I was really excited about my first book being published and mentioned it five times). That's one entry every two-ish days. Wow!
I had thought 2015 had been a bit of a bumma. This has put things into perspective. I had been thankful for family moments, times with friends, my garden, creating - costume and art, writing, writing-related firsts - interviews, guest blogs, book reviews and conventions.
2016 dy 4 thankfuljardone2015
The happiness buzz lasted for a days (and is still lingering). It made me smile (a lot), inspired my muse and kicked me in the butt to work on my manuscripts. I already have a few notes in the jar for 2016.
Day 5: A morning session of manuscript rewrites deserves a reward (with a quick side-trip to a Spotlight paper pattern sale).
Have I ever mentioned I am a Forever Knight fan? (WIKI info here) I remember watching it late at night on the telly back in the 90s. I am introducing it to a good friend, Anne. Today we continued season one, with a mini marathon. 
2016 dy 5 spotlight sale 3 for 10 160105
Day 6: Hump day. Feeling industrious and relaxed.
2016 dy 6
Day 7: 2016 dy 7
Day 8: Writing group! We have regular critique sessions (more like beta-reading) and mini-lessons to improve various aspects on the craft of writing. I have learned so much in the past two years.  I love my writing group. It is a welcome tonic, procrastination buster, the members are good friends - talented and supportive.
2016 dy 8
Day 9: Creative sparks are still flying. Started with some secret scribey (calligraphy/illumination) business. I'm looking forward to doing some more artwork. Continued the day doing more rewrites. Very happy with the results. Finished off collected a sewing machine (my daughter is learning to sew) from Freecycle.
2016 dy 9
What a week! A fantastic start to the year. Time spent writing, playing and creating. I have a supportive and loving family, wonderful friends and writing colleagues. My imagination is fired up.
When the black dog comes creeping, when the hour of the wolf is at hand, I will defy you. I will banish you - kick you back to the dog house. I have too much to be grateful for, too many ideas to fulfill and not enough time in the day - none to give a dog space, right now.
So bugga off.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Of Ideas, New Beginnings and Feedback.

It's a new year. Thank goodness! Career-wise, it was rocky. Do I wind down a previously successful, and profitable, career continuing to suffer the health costs - both physical and mental? Or do I boldly step onto the bottom of the escalator and begin all over again - in a much more rewarding but unpredictable career?

After twenty-eight years working for others, looking after others and stifling my creative muse,  I made a decision: 2015 was the time to focus on my health, my family and my muse. I turned my back on my old career and endeavour to reduce the anxiety it spawned and rebuild lost income, so I can continue writing.

2015 was not a total downer. It also produced amazing highs. I published my first book, had my first book launch, first radio interview and feedback from readers. The best! Thank you.

2016 lies before me. Fresh. New. Promising. Devoid of stuff ups. Here begins Year 3 of my 5 year plan.

In September I listed the planned stategy:

  • Do talks on steampunk, my book(s)  (Thanks to Critical Mass, I have one talk down.)
  • Make more videos for YouTube, including new book trailers for Eye of the Beholder: The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #2 and DOC. (A new video of a recent steampunk event is now online)
  • Write and publish the next journal in Viola Stewart’s adventures. (in progress)
  • start (and perhaps finish?) a second Department of Curiosities book (only a few chapters left on the first draft.)

Since then I have done a lot of re-evaluation and the updated the list. Year 3's purpose is to try new things - some of which will be out of my comfort zone.

  1. increase my output - finish the two books in progress,  and start on the next in each series.
  2. new publishing and distribution avenues - I am looking at local (Australian) avenues for publishing and distribution, to cater for Australian readers. I want to keep the cost of books down for readers - against the fluctuating dollar and onset of GST payments for books ordered overseas, via Amazon. This may include approaching bookshops open to indie books.
  3. get noticed - get my works seen by more readers. This requires ongoing study to improve my writing skills, publishing more books (see #1) and will require marketing stategies, including direct sales and convention sales.
  4. increase earning potential (practical economics) - publish more books and open up new ways to kickstart potential writing-related earnings. I'm currently looking into my options for talks (maybe at conventions or libraries). This leads to the most important item on the list:
  5. connect with more readers - I've added another event video - Time Travellers' Picnic - to my YouTube channel. I already have a Livestream channel and am intrigued by Patreon.  A few artist friends have registered on Patreon and have recommended it.

And here is where you, dear Reader, come in.  Would you be interested in following me on Livestream? Should I register for Patreon? What would you like to see? Your feedback will be very helpful in the directions I may follow this year to connect with my readers and tackle economic factors associated with writing.

Here are my very first polls.

1. Livestream

Would you watch a Livestream video and what would you like to see?
I would like to see chapter/short story readings
I would like to discuss characters and background
I would like to see steampunk stuff
Please Specify:
Quiz Maker
2. Patreon 
Would you be interested in being a Patreon and what sort of rewards would you like to see?
I would like to see short stories
I would like to see annotated notes on writing (in pdf)
I would like to see blogs on research and background
I would like to see story-related artwork or photography
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. .