Filk Friday: Steam Powered Giraffe

Friday, July 27, 2012

One of my friends tripped me onto this really fun video last week, and since I promised some more steampunk, here you go. Steam Powered Giraffe performs their song Brass Goggles. But after you go la da da along with the bouncing pug head, you might also want to check out the website of this musical pantomime group. They've recently released their second album which you buy either off the website or from iTunes. Personally, I think with this group, I want the actual CD with the extra goodies. And the DVD. These guys can not only sing; they can perform. I wouldn't have been surprised if one of them had broken out in a soft-shoe-shuffle. My feet were certainly tapping along.


Swords and shelves

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Been a little busy 'round the dragon cave lately. Between cleaning, organizing, and catching up with old friends, I haven't had much time to get back to answering questions about steampunk. Still more to do, but the cave is looking less cluttered. The fairies are brighter, and the gnomes are humming while they work. We need more shelves around here, but I've gotten them better arranged to get things off the floor. Much nicer when we aren't tripping over things, don't you think? And I'll see about elaborating further on steampunk in my next post.

Last Wednesday, a couple of friendly neighborhood knights took me on, raw beginner that I am, to begin teaching me sword and shield. I didn't hurt all that much, but I had almost no energy the next day. I have another lesson this afternoon. We'll see how well how I keep up today. And least the pixies didn't snicker too much, and the knights both said I did well enough for my first time.

I'm off to do some reading and maybe a bit of gratitude baking. The knights are so patient; they deserve a treat of some kind. Maybe some fairie cookies or brownie biscuits. What do you mean, do they have real fairies and brownies in them? Of course not! Azuranna would flambe me. Oh, that was a joke? Ohhhh. Silly me. ;D

My writing goals are going to have to change. I pulled out my one completed story the other day and started working on revising it. So instead of a word count goal, it's going to be by scene. By Sunday, I want to finish the first scene. My other goals can stay the same.

Society of Steam and ROW80 goals

Monday, July 9, 2012

My thanks to Azuranna--the big blue library dragon, for those of you who haven't met her yet--for posting my notice about moving. I think she's been glad to have me around her library cave the past couple years though she says little to me directly. But now I'm back to reading and writing after getting mostly settled in to my new home. So, today I have both a book review and writing goals to share.

While wandering the cave and saying hello again to the resident sprites and fire lizards, I found a newish book on the shelves that I hadn't read yet. It's book 1 of The Society of Steam: The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer. Since I was in the mood for a bit of steampunk, I pulled it out. I am so glad I did, but now I'm banging my head against the shelf because I want book 2 and it's not out yet. I sincerely hope he's working on it.

It's 1880, New York. Young ladies are expected to do what men tell them and make good marriages. They aren't allowed to vote or do heroic deeds. But Sarah Stanton, a young socialite, still hasn't given up her dream of joining the Paragons and helping them fight crime and villainy. The fact that her father is one of the Paragons only makes the restriction against joining more pronounced. As a child, she'd been allowed to roam the halls of the order's building and spend time with inventing genius and leader of the Paragons, Darby Dennis.

But after he's murdered right in front of her, Sarah is barred from the Hall by her father and ordered to have nothing more to do with the order. Now she must work with the mechanical man Darby created known as the Automaton in order to unravel the mystery behind the murder.

What they find along the way is a conspiracy involving one of the order's members, a traitor in their midst. To save the order and uphold her mentor's dying wish for her to help the Automaton, Sarah must become more than what society expects of her and become the hero she's always dreamed of being.

In retrospect, I think I'd call this book omniscient POV, though I didn't really notice while I was reading. There are multiple viewpoint characters, none of which are in deep perspective. There's a distant feel, but it works very well for the style. From what I've noticed about steampunk stories in general, they all tend to be distant, more observational, which is much like stories actually written in the 1800's. I thought it was very done, so if you want an example of how to write this way even if you aren't into steampunk, I recommend this book. And the steampunk elements are mostly restricted to the heroes and villains, so it doesn't play a huge part in society as a whole. Steampunk-lite, I suppose you could say. Whatever you want to call it, I'd say read the book.

ROW80 Goals:
1) Write for a minimum of 1 hour or 200 words (whichever comes second) 5 days a week.
2) Read at least 5 ROW80 blogs each check-in.
3) Write 2-3 blog posts each week.

I think there'd been something else I wanted as a goal, but I'm a bit distracted right now. Too much talking going on in the room. But this is a good start. We'll see how I do by Wed's check-in.