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Steampunk Steam!

Fall is here!  All those heavy Steampunk clothes can come out of the closet and be worn with panache!

Need some events to show off your steamy style?

Heeeeeere we go!

Steampunk November

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Live entertainment, libations, games, music and more at the 2nd annual Cut Thrust and Run Steampunk November.  I had the honor of being at the 1st gathering last year, MUCH fun, but small.  I’ll be interested to see how much it has grown.

Features: Belly Dancing, Burlesque, Comedy Shows and “Electrified Dueling for the Gentle-persons”…

Starts: Nov 10 @ 2pm

Ends: Nov 11 @ 2am

Where: 492 Cordes Drive, Venus Tx 76084

Camping available for an added fee per tent.

http://www.cutthrustandrun.net/index.html

Showdown at Unobtainium 2012: Tesla vs. Edison

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Two days of musical and Vaudeville-esqe entertainment, mysterious “soon-to-be-revealed Austin maker groups”, a Maker Mad Science Lab for kids of all ages to create and experiment. A little to vague in its description for my taste, but, meh still sounds neat.  They have a good music line up such as…

Marquis of Vaudeville, Shakey Graves, and the Darwin Prophet.

Family Friendly, but watch out parents, after 10 on Saturday things get feisty.

Starts: Nov 10 noon

Ends: Nov 11 6pm

Where: Bell Farm, 119 Redbird Lane, Dale TX 78616

Prices range from $20 – $30

http://www.showdownatunobtainium.com/

Not feeling the Steam? Feeling a bit more Industrial? I have just the thing.

Lord Byron’s Panoptikon

Get your dance on with Industrial, New Wave, Electro and Synthpop.

When: Nov 9 @9

18+

http://panoptikondallas.com/

Back to the steam!

Wasabassco’s 8th Anniversary Extravaganza

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An amazing two day extravaganza celebrating fabulous Burlesque!  Just on night one there will be over 40 performers with over six hours of entertainment lined up for your viewing pleasure!  (If I were in New York Friday I would totally be there).

Day 1 Starts: Nov 9 @ 6pm

Day 2 Starts: Nov 10 @ 6pm

Where: City Winery, NYC

155 Varick Street, New York, New York 10013

http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/tickets/doc-wasabassco-s-burlesque-8-19.html

Fascination

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Three rooms of music!  One dedicated to jazz, blues and classic swing. The second for Electro Swing DJs. Aaaand guess who’s behind door number 3??? That’s right MOAAAAR Burlesque, Atlanta style.

Start: Nov 9 @ 9pm (EST)

Where: XS Ultra Lounge

708 Spring Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30308-1013

http://www.theartificeclub.com/doctor-qs-fascination-nights.html

Steampunk Exhibition Leek

The Exhibition is a collaboration between the Derbyshire Steampunk and Time Travellers Guild and The Nottingham Steampunk Social in the UK.

The Exhibition actually began in October, and runs through November 18th.  So if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs go check out the fabulous show of artwork that this Exhibition highlights, sure to be a fabulous adventure!

Weekly on Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun until November 18, 2012

Starts: 10 am – 4 pm

http://www.foxloweartscentre.org.uk/events_tags/steampunk-exhibition-leek/

Alright my steamy friends I hope you have a chance to find some Steampunk excitement this fall.  And my apologies (yet again) for my internet absence.

It has been going to good use.  I have been actively working on my upcoming novel.  It is in the editing stages.  It is tedious, but to see it coming together is truly exciting.  You’ll recognize a character or two from my short story Animatae’s Shadow.

 

 

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Steampunk: Animatae’s Shadow

I am excited to share my Steampunk short story Animatae’s Shadow

 

Synopsis:

The peaceful Port Animatae is terrorized by monsters in the night.  Mattie discovers her friend murdered and wants to get to the bottom of it.  When her life is on the line, will her fiancé William be able to save her and their town from the dark specter hanging over them?

To read the story in PDF form please click here: Animatae’s Shadow.

This is the unedited version.  The edited version will be available on Amazon Kindle early next year.

Thank you Klem for the use of your amazing photo.

 
 

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Steampunk: Burn Myschievia Burn

Oct 6 – 10th I participated in my first MyschieviaBurn in North Texas.

Gypsy Steam Circus

It is tiny compared to Burning Man, but…the atmosphere is unique.  The performance art was one of a kind.  I have never experienced that level of all-consuming personal performance for four days straight at BRC or Burning Flipside.

Who are these scions of performance  art? Their name is C.O.L.D camp.  They are the antagonists, they are the assholes, they are the ones that push you to know your boundaries.  It was annoying, it was frustrating and I learned how I handle conflict in both positive and negative forms. COLD was the most alien form of Burner I have ever met, adding to Myschievia’s unique feel.

The community is so small that you don’t just run into people have a single conversation that may or may not change your view-point on life then never see them again…nope it’s a community where you see the same faces, the same beautiful Burners and are able to go back for more stimulating conversation.

I loved that.  I also love the unique one time wonder of meeting people on the playa at BRC, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Now I would like to share a very personal story:

At Burning Flipside this past May, Positron (my other-half) and I ran into an ambiguously brown smiling young man by the all night Taco Stand, beside the Lava Lounge.  Electronica rang out its oontz-oontz as we three ran the gamut of conversation on late night snack attack food.  It turns out that our new-found friend prefers Reubens. Yes. That’s right.  The sandwich to end all sandwiches.  He so became known to us as Reuben.  His ‘grassy’ playa name had been bequeathed unto him.

We three proceeded to journey together.  It was a journey that lead us to play Giant Jenga, where Positron earned another name “The GrassHoppa King”, we continued to wander about drunkenly speaking of grasshopper, tasty Reuben, we tested our skill toy skills at the Electro Circus, we waxed poetic, or drunken, about the amazing art and weaved our way back to the Lava Lounge where we danced, danced, danced and danced until dawn heralded the morning.

Reuben was like the best friend Grasshoppa King and I never knew we hadn’t had.

We tried exchanging information (pitiful attempt all our phones were dead and of course who brings pen and paper to these things…obviously not us), so when we went back to default world our default names were so generic we were unable to find each other on social media.

Oh well, after terrible disappointment we just put it out of our minds as best as we could, knowing the playa gives and the playa takes away.

Back to Present:

My first night at Myschievia we had just set up camp “The Gypsy Steam Circus”.  I was free to wander…so of course I did.  I made it no further than the Doodle Camp…large swathes of butcher paper and crayons called to me, so I went and…doodled.  After a few moments of chatting with the lovely Burners running the Doodle Camp, out of the corner of my eye I saw some one else walk up, I thought nothing of it and continued to doodle.  Then he spoke.  The echo of a thousand Reuben sandwiches clamored in my ears, I turned, pointed, jaw dropped in the vicinity of my cleavage, stuttering over the words “Rueben!”

He turned and laughed, we laughed, we hugged, we hugged, we laughed, this continued for a disgracefully long time.  But it was perfect, it was so beautifully perfect to see this beautiful soul again, and that his joy was as fierce as my own made it all that much more potent.

We spun in circles in our glee, finally the ground rose to cushion our fall.  Laying breathless, still hugging we laughed on, until our long dormant senses returned.  We staggered to our feet in search of Grasshoppa King.

The sheer chances of us meeting again were so slim.  None of us had talked about going to Myschievia.  This was truly a gift from the playa.

This time around all three of us actually had phones that were not dead, we could successfully trade our information.  I will freely admit that this is the first time in the five Burns I’ve been to where personal contact info was given.

Having the post-burn connection with Reuben has been invaluable.

After a Burn there is always a high, then a lull, then with any luck a decompression near you.  My personal decompression has been speaker phone chats with Reuben of our personal experiences from Myschievia. This Burn (or UnBurn, there was a burn ban in effect.  An amazing light show that looked just like real flame stole the show) was the most self exploratory Burn since my very first Burn.

I’ve learned more about myself as a person, where my boundaries are, and what I need or want from the Burning Man experience.

Reuben and GrassHoppa King, I want to thank you for being with me on the journey to adventure.

 

More on the Myschievia Experience Later This Week.

 
 

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Steampunk: What lurks in the dark?

This past week photos were released of the abandoned subway in New York.  I

New York Subway

found the pictures on Huffington Post rather inspiring as a writer, so I wanted to share.

There was something reminiscent of Steampunk. The whole affair got my grey matter’s cogs turning.  Wouldn’t it be neat to see what other subterranean areas there are lurking beneath our heels?

If you are a fan of Steampunk fiction you are already aware that there is usually a tone of slight creepy abandonment that lies somewhere within most novels.  Thus abandoned subterranean exploration is making its début on The Top Hat Exchange.

New York Subway Tunnel

Apparently the world is riddled with underground abandonment, living tunnels, roads and workstations that look like they have jumped right out of the pages of epic Science Fiction.

I narrowed my results to the following:

Budapest, Hungary

Caves and tunnels run the gamut under Castle Hill.  Word is the

Budapest Tunnels

labyrinth dates back several centuries and it was created for military use.

Civilians used them for shelter during WWII.  Now tourists and visitors can visit the breath-taking tunnels.

If you are a glutton for the creepy you can take a flashlight tour  (I shudder to think how frightening that would be).

OR you can take a fully lit tour.  I would personally opt for this.  Hey, if I’m going to visit century old caverns I want to see what it is I’m paying for.

Now the next stop on the subterranean tour is for all you Gothic kids out there.

London, England

West Norwood Cemetery has tunnels full of coffins stuffed into crevices, man-made shelves, and simply laying out on the ground.  Exploring the deteriorating pine coffins and sturdy mahogany resting places of the dead might appeal to many out there, I think I will pass.

The spectre of ghosts and goblins still scare the wits out of this writer.

Moving on to the Magic Kingdom

Orlando, FL, USA

That is correct, the Magic Kingdom has a whole system of underground tunnels that their employees use.  Not only do Disney employees walk through the passages connecting kitchens, dining areas, and offices but the tunnels are large enough for motorized vehicles.

So as your little girl poses next to Cinderella for a Kodak moment, somewhere beneath your Birkenstocks lurks a truck creeping through the underground tunnels delivering  chicken the Disney cooks will prepare for your lunch or dinner.

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Real life Hobbit House anyone? Yes please.  This fantastical home has fresh

Welsh Hobbit Home

water running into it (by gravity only) from a nearby spring and all the materials are local.  The exception is the plumbing.  Recycled materials were saved from the bin for that…seriously.  I love this house and the minds that put it together from renewable and recyclable materials.

Tokyo, Japan

Japanese researcher Shun Akiba found an old map of the Tokyo tunnel system.

Japanese Spaces

The old map did not match the current maps.  As he researched further more and more inconsistencies were found.  It all points to hidden spaces underground.  Sounds like the beginning of a novel doesn’t it?  Well the Japanese government denies any hidden underground spaces.  But check out these pictures of acknowledged Japanese subterranean spaces.

Subterranean Japan

There are many, many more subterranean wonders around the world.  I could easily ramble on but I will refrain.

I mention these because I found these particular  wonders awe inspiring as an on-looker and as a writer.

Anything that sparks my imagination is (of course) interesting to me and deserves more research.

As much as I find all these wonders awe inspiring there is something almost suffocating about them.  C’mon it’s all underground! I could be buried alive!

If you would like to explore under the earth further please follow the links below for more eerie underground wonder.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/10/the-hidden-abandoned-city_n_781669.html#s179141

http://weburbanist.com/2007/10/15/7-more-underground-wonders-of-the-world-lost-caverns-and-cities/

http://weburbanist.com/2007/09/30/7-underground-wonders-of-the-world-labyrinths-crypts-and-catacombs/

All photos used are from the above websites.

 

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Steampunk Event: Post-Musical Menagerie

The Curtain Club of Dallas was host, once again, to a Steampunk success in music and imagination.  The Marquis of Vaudeville was in fine form.  The opening acts were a startling surprise.

I was unaware of the nature of the opening bands music.  I knew it was rock, but I did not realize that the other three bands did not have a claim to the Steampunk genre.

Maybe it was dehydration, but perhaps it was the screaming pseudo metal bands that rocked their stuff in very tight pants, but before I left the Curtain Club I most assuredly had the mother of all migraines.

This is what I came away with:

The Midnight Carnival likes to yell.  A lot.  Their front man is a petite rocker with Billy Idol-esq

Midnight Carnival Lead Singer, Steven

hair.  Actually I really liked his style.  Their sound was a mix of Billy Idol and Vernian Process. (For more on Vernian Process please see http://bit.ly/gDOQV6)

So even though my cranium was throbbing after their set I have to say I will stalk them online a little to get a better feel for their recorded tracks.

I still want to recommend them to anyone who likes their music loud.  I think you will really, really like the Midnight Carnival.

The Orange are an interesting group with a member very much dedicated to his tambourine.  He danced, he jumped, he hopped, he gyrated, and generally made love to his tambourine for an hour.  It was actually quite impressive.  My hats off Mr. Tambourine-The-Dancing-Man.

The Orange

For this particular group I took a moment to lounge on the second story of the Curtain Club.  I quite liked listening to their music.  Still loud, a bit more yelling than I am used to, but hey!  Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Pantera, Slipknot and System of a Down did not make it big by themselves.  They had a following of scream loving, black t-shirt wearing metal heads.  Honestly I can’t think of a popular band to compare The Orange with, maybe it was the headache or maybe it is to their credit they are not easily boxed in…I’ll leave that to the readers and listeners discretion.  I will say this they are more like Incubus than any of the afore-mentioned heavy metal bands.

Before they took to the stage they hung out to the side of the pit close to backstage, where I happened to be.  I took a moment to carefully look them over.  Now close your eyes and imagine the Beatles in the sixties.  Just their clothes not their hair.  Yeah, that’s The Orange.  Mr. Tambourine-The-Dancing-Man sported a floral print tight button down.  Now that I’ve talked about their wardrobe more than their music I will move on.

Admiral Grey

Now…Admiral Grey.   Admiral Grey is straight up rock’n’roll.  I am now a fan of their songs “Nice Guy” & “Lose Control”.  I must say they have stage presence.  The lead singer is tall and easy on the eyes.   Their bassist is a stunning female, a long-haired head-banging brunette.  The lead guitarist is all that is suave.  The drummer…well he is a cross between a male model and a young Lars Ulrich or working on becoming the next Tommy Lee.  He thrashed, he sang along with the singer (albeit with no mic) and generally impressed the female audience with his physique.  Sex sells in a Steampunk audience too…especially in a Steampunk audience.  After all Steampunks are just fashionably posh nerds.

It was a hot, steamy, dirty, grimy evening and it was wonderful.  The Steampunks turned out in support of their favorite artists creating a carnivale of fancy and mysterium out of the otherwise normal Dallas Saturday night…actually I don’t know if I can call any Saturday night “normal” in Dallas.

Before the night got underway the city of Dallas literally did turn off the water of many of its citizens.  Oh what a dirty bunch of ‘punks there were.  Actually most of them looked like they had a bathe at some point before appearing in costume.  (I was much pleased by this.)

The last act that most of the Steampunks waited for was of course, Marquis of Vaudeville.  Their opening song was new and really, really good.  “Nightmare Machine” is one of their new songs, and I loved every second of it.

I was not alone in this.  I wish I could pen the detail of the smiling excited faces of my fellow top hat and facinator wearing crowd.  It was as though everyone turned into an excited child on Christmas morning, all giddy to open their gift.

Marquis of Vaudeville indeed did gift their fans Saturday night.

In the Steampunk community one usually finds incredibly elegant and well-mannered people.  Sure there are crusty sky pirates flying about, but there is still a level of respect they share.

The Marquis also exudes this level of elegance and well-bred manners.  Toby, the lead singer, is

Toby Lawhon of Marquis of Vaudeville & Miss. Fox

the epitome of a gentleman off the stage.

Saturday night he greeted me with a hug and a smile.  Just another reason I like the band’s music and the society of Steampunks.

I was thus saddened when my migraine reached epic proportions and I had to leave early (I was the designated driver, so it would not do to have the D.D. incapacitated further, when she was in need of operating a motor vehicle).  So I missed the Marquis second new song with a facinating and wonderful title “Bones of Knotwright Lane.”

If we are very, very lucky maybe they will post “Bones” on their Band Profile page for us to listen to.

For more information on the bands that played Saturday night please see the below links:

Admiral Grey

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Admiral-Grey/204951366205230?sk=app_2405167945

Marquis of Vaudeville

http://www.marquisofvaudeville.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marquis-of-Vaudeville/193405844056?sk=app_2405167945

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDHD-k0wrPk

The Orange

–I cannot find an online presence.  If anyone has any information please share the link on the comment section.

http://www.facebook.com/theorangeband

Midnight Carnival

–I, again, cannot find an online presence for them.  This saddens me, as I quite liked the Billy Idol/Vernian Process mix of a few of their songs.  If anyone has any information please do share.

http://www.facebook.com/midnightcarnivalmusic

UPDATE

Thanks to very helpful comments I was able to listen to more of Midnight Carnival’s music on their FB Band Page.

I am taken with “Dream”, “Familiar’s Call”, and especially “Reflections”.  These songs will have an appeal to Steampunk listeners.  For that matter, “Red Skies, Orange Horizons” will appeal too.

The timbre in Steven, the lead singer’s, voice sends chills down my spine when he reaches into his lower register.  Chills are good. Chills make me happy as a music listener.

I was also remiss in describing their stage presence.  They are one of the most energetic acts I have seen on stage.  I have not seen so much physical activity on stage since I saw Bono last fall hopping over railing on his 360 stage.

 

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Steampunk: MECHMANS MALICE

It is with great pleasure that I announce my intention to actively pursue publication of my Steampunk novel “Mechmans Malice”.

I have created a new page with a short summary and excerpt of the first chapter.

Let me know what you think.  Feedback is invaluable.

~ Elaine

 

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Hiatus Until August

This post is both happy and sad…and woefully overdue.  The Top Hat Exchange is on hiatus until August.

This is so full attention can be turned to the total completion and editing of AIRSHIP REVENANT: BOOK ONE (working title).

Please cross your fingers, rub a crystal ball, wave a magic wand, say a prayer, light a fire, bury a bead, braid your hair, rub a rock or whatever it is that you do for luck and remember me during the upcoming month.

Many Thanks and see you in August!

-Elaine Turner

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 5 July 2011 in publishing, query, steampunk, writing

 

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