For Halloween I created my costume. It was a labor of love in true Pocket Gail style. After scouring the thrift stores of NYC and picking up bits and bobs in my wanderings over the last month, I then spent a day with needle and thread and pliers and wire cutters and sandpaper and at one point, even a drill in hand. And these inspiration images:
A Spec-tacular Steampunk EngineerIn service to Her Majesty, the Queen of Electro-Magnetism
You’re probably now asking yourself, what exactly is Steampunk? That’s what most people asked last Saturday night when face to face with my Spec-tacular self. While it’s hard to put into words … I’m betting you already know, you just didn’t know it had a name.
Did you ever see the 1969 television series which was made into a film in 1999 starring Wil Smith? It was called Wild Wild West and it was one version of Steampunk. The had guns that looked similar to vintage rifles but fired like modern lasers.
Maybe you’re more familiar with Back to the Future Part III where Emmett Smith gets stranded in the past then creates a steam-powered train-based time machine by meshing his 1980s knowledge with 1880s parts.
Steampunk, to me, is the blending of modern technology with an earlier period’s sense of style. To others, it’s even more. Here is the wiki on Steampunk:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternate history of the 19th century British Victorian Era or American Wild West, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power … Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.
So why a Spec-tacular Steampunk Gadgeteer for me? It seemed only fitting as I learned more about the genre and thought about who I am as a person. I like to tinker and make things. I like to take something old and make it new. I like to improve on a current thing, making it better and more useful. I also like to create the character as much as the costume. I am a writer which makes the story important!
Hence all the minute costume pieces which I’m sure went unnoticed by others, but are the pride of my making. The medals on my lapel were awarded by the Queen of Electro-Magnetism for my expansive work in Time Travel and Electro-Magnetic Energy. My walking stick began as a pool cue but is now a subterranean energy detector, another of my Spec-tacular creations which has won me accolades and honors in my field.
It’s a lot of detail for a costume, but it was a good kick-starter for my imagination as I get ready for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You see, when I read for pure pleasure I like an author who can suspend reality while keeping their book rooted in a real possibility – assuming this one thing or another had happened. So starting tomorrow I am suspending a great deal of my own reality because I’m taking on the challenge.
I’m going to write 50,000+ words in 30 days or less.
I’m not yet sure about the ultimate direction my book will take. Apparently, the secret to success lies in turning off your internal editor along the journey. Suspending your own expectations and ideas and letting the story create itself. So you’ll likely hear less from me here because I’ll be devoting 1667 words a day to my book … but I’ll pipe in every now and then and let you know how the month is progressing.
Anyone else out there taking on their first NaNo? Maybe you’ve done it before and can offer some tips to a newbie?
Happy Halloween – stay safe tonight!