Steampunk Hat Phase 2

In which my cat, Spook, looks like an alien cat come to abduct my hat

In which my cat, Spook, looks like an alien cat come to abduct my hat

It’s finished! I wish I had time to model it for you, but I’m way behind packing for the ACFW Conference, so I’ll have to take pictures at the genre dinner and post them for you then. In the meantime, here’s a very short video of Spook checking it out. Of course, anytime I start to video my pets they immediately decide not to cooperate.

The lighting was awful when my son took pics of the hat, so I had to enhance them a bit. They don’t at all capture its essence. Yes, it has an essence. I promise.

The bow is much prettier and doesn't look so oversized in person.

The bow is much prettier and doesn’t look so oversized in person.

 

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If you can’t tell, that’s a bird’s nest on the top with an old key.

Here’s a video. Still doesn’t have the same pizzazz as in person, but you get the idea! Remember, my character is a steampunk biologist (naturalist, but it’s Christian steampunk so I say biologist; it’s complicated).

What do you think? Did I overdo it? Do you like your steampunk more streamlined? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tweet this: Check out this amazing steampunk hat!

Steampunk Hat Phase 1

Bing Free Use Image

Bing Free Use Image

I need a steampunk hat to go with my genre costume at the ACFW National Writer’s Conference in Dallas, Texas.

As I explain in the video below, I decided that making a steampunk hat would be less expensive than buying one ready-made from an Etsy store.

I was wrong.

The hat I really wanted was one like this (I adore ships):

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Click pic to shop!

But it was $65.00. So, I thought to myself, I can make one for less. I love all the hats in the ChikiBird shop, so I sort of used them as inspiration.

But guess what? I was so wrong about the price. Not only are feathers and other materials expensive, I don’t know what I’m doing! I probably should have just bought my hat. But since when do I do things the easy way?

Below is a video of phase 1: the materials. And below the video are some first pics. I’ll post the finished product and my entire costume later, so stay tuned!

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More pics to come! What do you think of it so far?

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Tweet this: Is it less expensive to make it yourself? Not always!

Live Blogging Realm Makers Conference: Keynote Speaker Tosca Lee

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What an amazing day I’ve had at Realm Maker’s conference today!

This morning’s Keynote Speaker was best-selling author, Tosca Lee. If you’ve never read any of her books, I highly recommend you do. Her style and voice are unique and powerful. As I wrote before, she has a voice akin to liquid velvet. I can’t get enough of her.

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Did you know that she cut her eyeteeth in the writing realm with online gaming? Who’d have thunk it? But it makes sense to me now. She spent hours and hours creating a character and a world playing a role playing game. In fact, the character she developed and eventually “killed” has a fandom! People to this day write poems and tributes to this character.

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Now, I’m not into role playing games. I’ve never “got” that lifestyle. In fact, I’ve protected myself from that sort of fantasy life because I didn’t understand it, feared it, and was concerned that with my personality I’d become addicted to it.

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But as it turns out, lovely Tosca was once the Overlord of a gaming community that still holds tournaments in her character’s honor. Talk about creating a powerful character! This character was so real to those playing this game that they mourned her and continue to this day to honor her. Wow. Can I create characters like that? Can you?

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Following Tosca’s keynote address, I attended a workshop entitled “Touching Evil: Reflections on Writing Villains and their Villainy.” The take-away for me was when he said that the villain is the measuring stick for the hero. Excellent stuff!

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This afternoon Steve Laube spoke about the ins and outs of being represented by an agent.

SteveLaube2Jeff Gerke presented a workshop on “The So-Called Rules of So-Called Fiction and what to So-Called do with Them.” As always Jeff was engaging and funny.

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Lisa Walker England taught on Steampunk, which is the reason I’m here as I have several steampunk novels running through my head. Doesn’t she look great in her costume? (She’s pictured below with Ben Wolf.)

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 The last presenter before the evening awards banquet was Kat Heckenbach who spoke on writing YA.

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The banquet tonight was attended by various unique and special guests:

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The Clive Staples Award for the best in Christian Speculative Fiction this past year went to Patrick W. Carr for A Cast of Stones!

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The Parable Award for best-designed cover on a speculative fiction book directed to the Christian or family-friendly market went to Numb by John W. Otte.

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The food was delicious and my brain is just as full as my stomach. I’ve learned a lot today and can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to start all over again!

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Click to tweet: Best-selling author Tosca Lee!

Live blogging from Realm Makers Conference with BREAKING NEWS!

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I’m in Radnor, PA for the Realm Makers Conference! I am a slightly surprised to find myself here but there’s a nagging in my heart to learn how to write compelling YA, specifically in the Steampunk vein.

I’m not really sure what to expect, but so far things are good. On my drive to Pennsylvania there was a rainbow! That’s a good sign, right?

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It took me two days to drive here from Indiana. Today before I checked into the conference I stopped at a mall in King of Prussia, PA, and had lunch at Ruby’s Diner. The clam chowder was so scrumptious I was tempted to order another cup!

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I sat in the diner and worked on my work in progress. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I can write pretty well in a diner environment. I need to try it again. Although, there aren’t any diners in my neck of the woods. Certainly not ones that have such great decor.

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I was wishing my guys were with me to enjoy such pretty bikes!

The conference is on Villanova University’s campus. The college has beautiful old stone buildings and we’re staying in dorms. The dorm I’m in is actually an apartment. I have the entire thing to myself but there’s enough room for 4 people.

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Tonight as I type this I’m at the Splickety Magazine Critique Party. On the panel critiquing the first few pages of novels submitted and chosen before the conference are Tosca Lee, Jeff Gerke, Steve Laube and Avily Jerome.

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I’m so excited to hear Tosca Lee speak in the morning! I love her books. She has the sort of writing voice I love. Like liquid velvet.

I’ll post again tomorrow (hopefully I’ll have some time to sneak in here to share with you) and let you know all I’m learning. Tonight the panel seems to be in unison regarding that first hook in the first few pages of a book. Lovely writing might be beautiful, but will it keep a reader’s attention? If you want to be published, you need to learn to write what sells.

But if you want to write for your own pleasure, then write what you want!

Tonight Steve Laube announced the new name of his publishing company (formerly Marcher Lord Press): Enclave Publishing! You heard it here first!

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Steve Laube making the announcement:

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Tons of excitement tonight! I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

steampunk-twitter-birdsmallerClick to tweet: Live blogging from Realm Makers Conference!

Click to tweet: Steve Laube announces Marcher Lord Press now Enclave Publishing!