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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Photo Friday Update

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/10/13/photo-friday-update/

Last Sunday I posted this: Time for Some Changes.
For those of you who missed it, there will be changes to my post scheduling. The post explains the reasons behind my decision; please take some time to read the post.
This is what it means to you, Dear Reader:
"Currently I write two blog posts a week: Photo Fridays and a weekly Sunday blog post. I’ll be cutting back to one Sunday blog post a month (there may be occasional bonuses depending on how I’m going) and I’ll post at least one Photo Friday a month. You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter for updates, events and sneak peeks of upcoming stories. The time gained will be channeled into writing stories – both short and a new book – for you, Dear Reader."
Rescheduling starts next month. If you subscribe to  blog updates (on the right widget bar), you will get email updates when each post is published on this webpage.
Here's some pics from this week:
  • Art/Photography: A friend returning from the UK, bought me this dinky little octopus by artist, Heidi Sturgess.
  • Garden: More irises are blooming and there's hundreds of orange blossoms on our tree.
  • Writing/Reading: I'm plugging along with rewrites to finish The Illusioneer.
  • Other little Green Men:  We survived another D&D game, but the world is ending... yet again.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Time For Some Changes

This week has been exhausting. Lots of things going on. Lots of decisions being made.
I've been battling to catch up on my writing, following three months of bronchitis at the beginning of the year. The end was in sight. Almost there... One ebook finished. Two finished - and published. One week of a book blog tour and then I'm on the final writing spree.  Just one more...
Then came the September Trifecta of Terror. A month of hell. Two weeks of ear infection, and side effects from yet another course (two this time) of antibiotics (I'm allergic to most these days, so I don't have much option). I picked myself up and continued writing.
September ended with a definite clanger - a double barreled attack. The first was totally unexpected.
Regular readers will know how much I love my garden. (Here are the latest pics of the front yard)
I have an organic mixed vege-flower garden and am proud of my bees - my hundreds of bees. I've lived here for twenty-five years, incident free. Until last weekend.
It's been over forty years since I've been stung by a bee and had a reaction (the doctor said it was a very good thing it had been so long. Or else...) Now, technically the bee didn't sting me. As far as we can gather, it most likely brushed up against my coat and dropped its stinger on it. About an hour later I brushed my arm against my jacket when I was at the shops. Yowsers! The pain!
Two staff members came to my aide, not sure what had happened. I grabbed some antihistamines and a cold bottle of water from the shelf and limped home. There was a little trepidation when my lips tingled and my heart fluttered - was it a reaction or just anxiety? The doctor arrived and dosed me up with Prednisolone and strict instructions not to get stung in the near future.
Two days later I still had a lump on my arm (right) and all-over itchiness! Next month I'm off to the specialist to see if an epipen is in my future. I'm still having joint pains, headaches and exhaustion.
The second dredged up my worst fears - electronic failure. I was taking steps to avoid such a disaster and purchased a super-duper external hard drive to save all my writing, art and video work  - in case of a computer demise. On Tuesday I turned on my computer to try to get some writing done.
All my research files and some book files were nowhere to be seen - not on my laptop, not on the new external hard drive!
This time the heart palpitations were definitely an anxiety attack.  My Dearheart finally found them and we are now trying to recover them and confirm they are all intact. (It looks promising.) I did lose the pre-formatting I had done for the upcoming paperback, so that will all have to be reconstructed. And all the time, I'm trying to write two blog posts a week.
Now I am retracing my steps, with (hopefully) not more than three or so weeks writing time lost. I have now adjusted the publishing date for the final eBook and paperback, in the Viola Stewart series, to some time in November.
And those changes I mentioned?
I've had to reassess my writing scheduling. It looks like the summer bronchitis (from dust allergies) will be a yearly thing. This was my third year. That means I will lose at least one month (it was almost three this year) of writing time. Right now I am struggling to stay awake. The doctors aren't sure how long this will last.
I need to add more 'fudge' time - time to recover from unexpected crises, panic attacks, allergic reactions, and computer betrayals.
I have so many stories that are fighting to get told. I need to focus on writing and publishing those stories. I've had a heart-to-heart with some fellow writers and have decided to cut back on blog posts and concentrate on writing stories.
What does this mean?
Currently I write two blog posts a week: Photo Fridays and a weekly Sunday blog post. I'll be cutting back to one Sunday blog post a month (there may be occasional bonuses depending on how I'm going) and I'll post at least one Photo Friday a month. You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter for updates, events and sneak peeks of upcoming stories. The time gained will be channeled into writing stories - both short and a new book - for you, Dear Reader.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Photo Friday

Books:  This week has been about books and new beginnings. Another book arrived via post (What Matters in Jane Austen) to add to my research library. Then off to an antiquarian book sale for some goodies.
My oldest books are now dated 1821- two volumes of translated Don Quixote.
Home: I've updated my hair - more purple - and finally started putting up displays for the first of our (six) lightsabres.
Doctor Who: Then off to a local comic and toy fare. I managed to get a Doctor Hoof! Back home and I've sewn on my patches for my 'Bill denim jacket'. Just waiting on one more patch to arrive for the front set.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

For our final stop on this book blog tour we travel back to the States for my second guest blog post on David Lee Summer's Web journal.
I met David on the original Scribblers' Den steampunk writers' forum. He's an author, editor (science fiction and fantasy magazine, Tales of the Talisman) and sky-watcher, living somewhere between the western and final frontiers in Southern New Mexico. I'm quite jealous of his job at the observatory.
Follow the link to read my guest post on David Lee Summer's Web journal.
Please feel free to comment at David's Web Journalhere or at the FB event page.
Competition #6: Once you've read today's guest blog at David's Web Journal (the answer's there), don't forget to answer the quiz question in the comments below on my webpage.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Book Blog Tour Stop#6: Interview by Stephanie Kato

Original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/30/book-blog-tour-stop6-interview-by-stephanie-kato/

Today we’re visiting the west coast of the States for an interview on writing and steampunk by Stephanie Kato – writer of steampunk and post-apocalyptic stories and sci-fi blogger.
Follow the link to read the interview on her BLOG: Looking Toward the Future - http://www.stephaniekatoauthor.com/blog/steampunk-interview-karen-j-carlisle

Please feel free to comment at Stephanie’s blog, Looking to the Future or on my webpage -http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/30/book-blog-tour-stop6-interview-by-stephanie-kato/

Competition #5:
Once you’ve read today’s interview on Stephanie’s blog (the answer’s there), don’t forget to come back and answer the quiz question my webpage for a chance to win a free copy of 'From the Depths'.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Blog Tour Stop#5: Book Review & ‘From the Depths’ Excerpt

Originally published at http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/29/book-blog-tour-stop5-book-review-from-the-depths-excerpt/ You can comment there.

Next we’re off to sunny to Queensland for a book review by Lynne Lumsden Green on Cogpunk Steamscribe. Lynne is a professional writer of both fiction stories and nonfiction articles. She also spends time online as Steampunk Sunday on Facebook and as Cogpunk Steamscribe on WordPress. (Chocolate and flowers most gratefully received as tribute.

Follow the link to read her review of ‘Doctor Jack’, and an excerpt from ‘From the Depths’ on her BLOG: Cogpunk SteamScribe - https://cogpunksteamscribe.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/karen-carlisle-steampunk-goddess/
Please feel free to comment at Cogpunk Steamscribe, or original post.

Competition #4: Once you’ve read today’s review at Cogpunk Steamscribe (the answer’s there), don’t forget to answer the quizz question on my webpage.
One winner will be randomly selected from entries with the correct answers and announced in tomorrow morning’s intro post.
Prize: ebook copy of 'Tomorrow, When I Die.'

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Blog Tour Stop#4: Book Reviews

orginal post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/28/book-blog-tour-stop4-book-reviews/ 

Today we’re flying across the other side of the world to the UK for a morning cuppa with Penny Blake - storyteller and writer of mythpunk and steampunk - on The Adventures of Smith and Skarry. Messrs Smith and Skarry chat about my latest eBooks in the series.

Follow the link to read my guest post on her blog: The Adventures of Smith and Skarry

Please feel free to comment at The Adventures of Smith and Skarry, or on my webpage post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/28/book-blog-tour-stop4-book-reviews/

Your chance to win a free eBook:
Once you've read Penny's post at The Adventures of Smith and Skarry (the answer's there), don't forget to answer the quiz question - the competition is running on my webpage  http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/28/book-blog-tour-stop4-book-reviews/ )

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Blog Tour Stop#3: The Illusioneer

orignal post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/27/book-blog-tour-stop3-the-illusioneer/
And now for a quick stopover back in Adelaide before heading out for the next leg of the book blog tour - and a bit about my books for those who are reading about me for the first time. I'm currently finishing off the third book in my Victorian steampunk mystery series - The Adventures of Viola Stewart.  You'll find out more about the characters on Friday (Australian Central Standard Time) in my final stopover in this tour.
The Illusioneer & Other Tales: The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #3 (paperback collection of all three stories) is the final set of Viola's adventures in this series and is currently scheduled for publication late October. There are three novella-length stories:
  • 'From the Depths' - Viola needs a holiday. But even at the beach, things are afoot.
  • 'Tomorrow, When I Die' - A knock on the door could change everything. It's just a matter of time.
  • 'The Illusioneer' - Seeing is believing. Or is it?
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'From the Depths' and 'Tomorrow, When I Die' are currently available as eBooks. Find out where to buy your copy.

You can read an excerpt of the upcoming The Illusioneer on my webpage: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/27/book-blog-tour-stop3-the-illusioneer/
There's no competition today - but there are freebies:
Want more information on publishing dates, upcoming events, sneak peeks?
and receive your free eBook of the short story collection:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Blog Tour Stop#2: Interview by CW Hawes – Books

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/26/book-blog-tour-stop2-interview-by-cw-hawes-books/
Next we're off to Minneapolis to visit CW Hawes, poet and writer of Mystery, Alternative History, Post-Apocalyptic, Macabre. You'll learn a little bit more about me in his interview on reading and books. (And some of them weren't easy to answer!)
Follow the link to read the interview on his BLOG

Please feel free to comment at his blog, here or at the FB event page.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Blog Tour Stop#1: Suz's Space

Original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/25/book-blog-tour-stop1-suzs-space/
We’re starting our tour in Melbourne, Australia, and visiting Suz’s Space. Suzie Eisfelder is an Aussie book blogger and fellow Pratchett fan. One of my earliest guest blogs was for Suz’s Space – a vignette from the point of view of a beat-up VW. Thanks for letting me do a return visit, Suzie. This time my post is about writing research.
Follow the link to read my guest post on her blog: Down the Rabbit Hole: A Cautionary Tale.
Please feel free to comment at Suz's Spacemy webpage or at the FB event page.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Photo Friday: Week 3 #Tea September

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/09/22/photo-friday/

This week's #tea September photos:
Day 15: My new favourite tea set. I got the teapot as an anniversary present.
Day 16: Anzac bikkies made by my friend, Cheryl. Oh they are yummy!
Day 17: Tim Tam Slam...
Day 18: Some eye candy...
Day 19: My first non-generic tea ball. This started off my collection.
Day 20: Guess where Viola is right now?
Day 21: Another opshop find. The tea was a present.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

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,
  • 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.

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.