(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Illusioneer & Other Tales: Book Blog Tour

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/19/the-illusioneer-other-tales-book-blog-tour/

This is my first Book Blog Tour.
The tour celebrates the upcoming publication of the paperback compilation - The Illusioneer & Other Tales:
The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #3.
You can follow the blog tour on my webpage, twitter or on the FB event page: The Illusioneer & Other Tales: Book Blog Tour
Watch out for these posts: (Australian Central Time)
Monday 25th Sept: I'm doing a guest blog post, Down the Rabbit Hole: A Cautionary Tale (Researching Viola Stewart’s Adventures), on book blogger Suzie Eisfelder's blog: Suz’s Space
Wed 27th Sept: Poet and author Christopher Hawes will be interviewing me for his blog.
Thurs 28th Sept: Penny Blake is doing a book review on her blog, The Curious Adventures of Messrs Smith and Skarry.
Thursday 28th Sept: Book review by steampunk author and enthusiast, Lynne Lumsden Greene, on Cogpunk Steamscribe 
Sat 30th Sept: Interview by Stephanie Kato on her blog.
Sunday 1st Oct: I'll be doing a guest blog post on steampunk author, David Lee Summers' blog
Thanks to fellow authors, book bloggers and steampunks for taking part.
I'll also be hanging around, so if you have questions or comments, please post away. I'll do my best.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Something Personal

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/17/something-personal/

This week has had its ups and downs. Anxiety has a way of skewing one's view of the world. Sometimes I just need reminding of the wonderful friends and family I have. Thank you all.
Something Personal.
Sometimes the black dog howls. Its lies overwhelm me,
doubt and anxiety take hold.
Self confidence leaks away.
Does anyone know I exist?
I am alone.
I sit in chaos, claustrophobic clutter.
The world constricts me,
consumes me.
Does anyone care?
A blank page stares back, mocking me,
accusing me of failure,
pathetic, useless, unwanted.
Am I fooling myself?
A tinkle of the door bell, a knock rouses me.
An unexpected, smiling face,
Words of friendship, a gift.
A stranger asks how I'm faring,
Am I still writing?
They want to know more.
A house full of well-wishers, of friends and family
Of smiles and hugs, unconditional.
Conversation, music
and most of all,
Love.
  • Art/Photography:  I've designed the final poster for the Viola Stewart series... It arrived this week. Look for this at events.
  • Costume:  I've been helping our daughter make patterns for her current costume project.
  • Writing/Reading: Another scene rewritten, another edited. Then a hiccup - pinched nerve in my arm(but kept going. Taking a break today, to celebrate the anniversary of my arrival into this world.
    PS. I suck at poetry. Apologies.
Other little Green Men:  I have such cool friends. I'm working my way through a mountain of goat's cheese, dark chocolate and board games. I have  a new tea to taste and the most gorgeous purple orchid brightening up the kitchen.
Huzzah

Words and photography ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A Look Back in Time.

original post:  http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/03/a-look-back-in-time/

Several things have tugged on my mind this week- anniversaries of the passing of friends and people I admired, finding old scraps of writing and a birthday looming. So I started to look back this week, and ponder things that were.
My first blog post on this webpage was on 1st July, 2013. I'd done costume blogs and re-enactment blogs before but this time I planned to share by writing, other passions, and share my journey as a writer. My purview was (and is still) encapsulated in my tagline:
Imagineer. Writer. Artist. Gardener. Chocoholic and tea lover
Way back then, I would regularly share updates on my various passions  (starting in November, 2013):
  • Art/Photography: pictures I've taken or drawn.
  • Costume: things I'd made or planned to make (though I don't get as much time to make any significant dent in my costume wishlist these days.
  • Writing/Reading: This is a main focus of my blog these days. Since having to quit my job in 2014, I now write full time. I've posted updates on current works in progress, about my forays into NaNoWriMo, flash fiction, research articles and the occasional poem.
  • Other little Green Men: - This quote was from the final episode of one of a favourite TV series, Star Cops (UK): Little Green Men and Other Martians. Here I listed things like D&D games, gardening adventures and updates, and insights into my personal battle with anxiety (which resulted in quitting my previous job).
Today I thought I'd revisit that format:
Art/Photography: For the past few years I've been sharing daily pictures of my growing collection of tea cup (and mugs) and teapots during September. These are posted on Twitter and Facebook at either 10.00am or 6.00 pm (Adelaide time). You can see them in my twitter feed (to the right of this blog post). Here's today photo:
Costume: I've just finished up my steampunk Wicked Witch of the West (here's the post if you missed it last week). I've been going over my unfinished costume projects. There are a few. I really need to finish some of them - like Queen Victoria (from Pirates Misfits) or Missy's purple outfit (from Doctor Who). Maybe for Supanova in November?
Writing/Reading: I have a massive pile of books to read. It keeps getting larger. I've promised myself: I will start reading them after The Illusioneer & Other Tales is published (late this month, early October). In the meantime, I write. And write. And rewrite.
Other little Green Men: My garden is getting some attention finally (after recovering from major surgery, extreme summer heat and three months of recurring bronchitis) I have started the long road back to a weed-free (is there ever?) edible garden.  I'm spending ten to fifteen minutes weeding each day and enjoying the winter flowering. The fresh air, sun and endorphins are also good at keeping the black dog at bay.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Time Travel in the 18th and 19th Centuries

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/08/27/time-travel-in-the-18th-and-19th-centuries/

When you think of early time travel stories, you'll most likely think of H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel, The Time Machine. But did you know that there were many novels and short stories, written before 1895, with time travel as a central theme.
Here's a list of stories you may be interested in checking out. I've added links where I could find them.
  • 1733: Memoirs of the Twentieth Century by Samuel Madden.
    A guardian angel travels to 1728 with missives from late 1990s.
  • 1781: Anno 7603 by Johan Herman Wessel.
    A good fairy sends people to 7603 AD where gender roles are reversed in society.
  • 1819: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving.
    Technically Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years, but was effectively 'transported' into the future where his wife has died, his daughter is grown up and he is forgotten.
  • 1836: The Forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon by Alexander Veltman .
    The protagonist travels to ancient Greece on a hippogriff. This is considered the first Russian SF work.
  • 1843: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
    Scrooge is shown his past and future by three ghosts. This story was one of the inspirations for Viola's Christmas adventure.
  • 1846: The World As It Will Be by Emile Souvestre.
    Involves a journey to 3000 on flying locomotive, showing a future with shades of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. (This appears to be first story to use a machine as means of transport.)
  • 1881: The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell
    Three men go back to the 16th century by way of a clock. (Wikipedia quotes this as first to use a time machine.)
  • 1861: Paris before Men by Pierre Boitard
    A deamon takes the protagonist back in time to find  apelike creatures and dinosaurs.
  • 1887: El anacronópete by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau
    A group of adventurers travel back to 1492 Spain, Ancient China, Vesuviius and time of Noah. This story also features a machine as for of time transportation (the anacronópete of the title) -  a cast iron box powered by electricity.
  • 1887: Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy reminiscent of Rip Van Winkle. traveller wakes 113 years later from a hypnosis-induced sleep.
  • 1888: The Chronic Argonauts by HG wells
    This story is set in Welsh Village where a visitor proves to be a time traveller. The Chronic Argonauth was written six years before The Time Machine. The short story was mentioned in Tomorrow, When I Die, and was one of the inspirations for the story.
  • 1889: Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll involving a watch determining time.
  • 1889: A connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court by Mark Twain
    An American travels back in time to King Arthurs court, and uses his scientific knowledge to rise in the court.
  • 1892: Golf in the year 2000  by J McCullough
    Another sleep-travel story - 1892 to 2000, where golf and politics are the only activities not dominated by women.
  • 1895: Finally we get to the well-known classic - The Time Machine by HG Wells.
The initial idea of Viola's penultimate adventure, Tomorrow, When I Die, was sparked by two of the books on this list: A Christmas Carol and The Chronic Argonauts. The story is set over Christmas, 1889. Viola is given a copy of The Chronic Argonauts by her friend, Sir Archibald Huntington-Smythe.
And here's some further reading about time travel in the 19th Century:


Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday: Sounds and Pictures

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/08/25/friday-sounds-and-pictures/


In place of Photo Friday - this week I'm talking music.
A few weeks back I was contacted by Townsville indie steampunk band, The Littmus Steampunk Band. They wanted to know if I was interested in listening to their work.  Why not, I said.  Richard said he'd send me a CD to check out.
I found their youTube channel. I listened to a couple of songs, liked what I heard and awaited my pressie in the post. Not long after I got a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting one CD i the post. I received three!
First thing I noticed was the band had female musicians through its various incarnations. This was lovely to see (though many steampunk bands appear to have female members - woot!)
Next, was the cover artwork (well, I am an artist). My favrourite was the clock on Grand Hotel (#2). The third album, Watching You We Are, is striking, with a metallic-makeuped model.
Richard sent a note with the CDs and recommended I listen to them in order (and was kind enough to number them); I recommend the same as there is a progressive story threaded through various songs on each album. (very clever). These are the 6th, 7th and 8th of their CDs with a steampunk style.
I like music that is a little different - with an interesting voice, unusual key changes or a quirky chorus. Richard (The Red Gentleman)'s voice has a steampunky-folksy-cabaret feel, with an accent sliding from Australian to English, depending on the song.
The music is fun and relaxing (and great writing music! I got two scenes completed listening to the CDs). I found myself tapping my toe and singing along on many of the songs.
The band's Facebook page describes their music as Steampunk Pop/ Folk. I think I'd describe their style as steampunk folk cabaret music.
One of my favourite songs is Say Goodbye to Steampunk. (The answer of course is 'I don't think so.')

Band members are:
Richard (The Red Gentleman - Guitar / Vocals)
Keith (Mungo Stoker - Electric Guitar)
Jemma (Commander J - Bass)
Tony (Harbottle Grimstone) - Congas, Ukelele
Sam (Countess Victoria Edison_Ives- Violin)
Record Label: Syrup Records
Where to find The Littmus Steampunk Band:
Verdict: If you like The Cog is Dead (one of my favourite steampunk bands), I think you'll like The Littmus Steampunk Band.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle/ ©Littmus Steampunk Band.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cover Reveal - The Illusioneer & Other Tales: Journal #3

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/08/20/cover-reveal-the-illusioneer-other-tales-journal-3/

If you've been at the Steampunk Festival, you would have seen the cover for the third book (and the back cover, complete with blurb) in The Adventures of Viola Stewart series. Now here's the cover reveal for those who could not attend:
   
The first two ebooks were launched yesterday and the pre-launch announced for the paperback. Here's some pics from yesterday for those who couldn't attend:
  
   
  
Photos  ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights resolved.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Photo Friday: Books, Tophats and Steampunk Festival

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/08/18/photo-friday-books-tophats-and-steampunk-festival/

Tomorrow is the book launch for From the Depths and Tomorrow, When I Die at the Steampunk Festival at National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide - scheduled for after lunch on Saturday.
Those attending will be able to buy copies of both ebooks at the special launch price of US$0.99 - just for the weekend of the Festival. If you're attending, come up to the table and mention this post to get the voucher code.
  
The third eBook is scheduled for September publication.
I'll also be taking pre-orders for the third journal (paperback) The Illusioneer  & Other Tales - the compilation of all three eBooks. This should be arriving late September/early October.

PRE-ORDER your own copy of JOURNAL #3
at Steampunk Festival

$20 - includes postage within Australia.

Come and see me at the table. The first 50 pre-orders get a signed postcard of the paperback cover (to be revealed over the weekend).
You can also purchase some of my newest craft projects - crocheted tophats (Green:$15/ octopuses:$20)
  
Here's my own tophat!
And if you are entering the costume competition, then don't forget to say hello. I've been asked to help judge the costume competitions on both days. Prizes will be awarded 2.00-2.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday. (Ask at the entry door for more details on how to enter).
Here's some costumes from previous events to inspire you:
Photos (c)2017 Karen Carlisle/ Catherine Curl. All rights resereved.