The good folks of the Steampunk Society of Nebraska have a rather odd tradition for every TeslaCon event: a post party on Sunday that is best captured in this image:
Yes, in case you were wondering, that is not tea in those cups. I believe most of the people in this picture are imbibing absinthe or other brews of an alcoholic nature. Because nothing says classy like a group selfie in a Jacuzzi. If our group continues to grow and our TeslaCon caravan continues to expand, we will need to find a hotel room with a bigger tub.
Since standing fully clothed in a bathtub with a teacup full of whiskey is not amusing enough, the post-party was capped off by a rousing session of group karaoke to Disney songs. My mother would no doubt be proud to know that four years of college French allowed me the ability to belt out "Le Poisson" from The Little Mermaid with rousing gusto and a near-perfect French accent. Another member of our group happened to have a fine pair of suspenders to act out "The Lumberjack Song" and a Phantom of the Opera mask for "Music of the Night".
While much of the con is somewhat of a muddle in my head at this time owing to fatigue and system overload, I have fine memories of Frenchy and the Punk delivering yet another wonderful concert, costumes galore, and hundreds upon hundreds of people. I had a panel scheduled on Thursday at 7:00pm entitled "The Pen and the Cog: Writing Steampunk" and I cherished few hopes that more than one or two souls would attend, owning to the day and time. To my surprise, about ten people showed up and we had a fine time talking about cliches in steampunk, character development, and self-publishing. For those who asked, here is a copy of my powerpoint presentation that I displayed during the panel.
Thus far, TeslaCon has been, by far, the best steampunk con and best con I have yet attended and I eagerly await to see if next year's con tops this one.
Back at the ranch, the Horizon has been cooling her heels in Constantinople waiting for me to get back to writing. When I last left off, she was undergoing a thorough winterizing to prepare her for the harsh weather that she will face as a military supply airship during the Crimean War. She will spend a nice portion of Clouds of War sailing over this:
Today I was out putting air in my tires in the face of a drizzling cold rain, enough to numb my hands and send me scurrying back into my car after a few minutes exposure. It was such a brief encounter with discomfort, but it made me think of how little most of us in the modern world fully understand deprivation and hardship. I briefly envisioned how my pilots of the Horizon, Barking Jack and Bloomberg, must stand on deck in the open air, steering the airship forward despite freezing rain, hail, tearing winds, and other weather conditions. The Horizon and crew are facing a bitterly cold winter of grinding work, chronic shortage, hazardous war conditions, and very little sleep: hard, tough men in a brutal world that chews up the weak and only leaves the strong alive.
While my characters struggle to stay alive, I think I shall leave them to their work and go have a cup of tea and curl up with a good book!