“That’s not the problem really,” Bonnie dithered. “It’s that…Tobias is here, too, isn’t he?”
“Yes. He’s here. He’s always here.” Vi deflated in disgust; domestic drama once again rearing its ugly head. “You should talk to your husband,” she groused. Tobias watched the exchange in silence, sorrow deepening the haze of his form from white to gray.
Bonnie sighed. “Yes, I probably should. It’s just…Oh it’s selfish. I shouldn’t even think such a thing.”
“Well now I’m curious,” she replied, sitting forward. “Though frankly, I doubt anything you have to admit will be much of a scandal after my little confession.”
The widow hesitated, chewing over her words with her next serving of brie. “If it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead, it should also be wrong to be feel cross with him.”
“Should and shouldn’t, right and wrong? That sounds an awful lot like religion.” Vi pulled a face. “I don’t really think in those terms, myself. As you can imagine, my line of work didn’t exactly lend itself to a ‘godly’ state of mind. What I do know is that if it were me, I’d rather stop being angry. Not for my soul, but for my own peace of mind.”
Peter’s mumble broke into the conversation. “You’re one to talk.”
“I came all the way out here to escape my demons,” she reminded him pointedly. “They simply found their way to my doorstep again.”
The spirit of her former partner nodded at Vi from over Bonnie’s shoulder. Oblivious to the weight of the name, her friend tried to follow her gaze and asked in bafflement, “Who’s Peter?”
“Hello, stranger,” the ghost said silkily, then gestured at her companions. “Is this a bad time?”
“That’s him!” cried Tobias, his outburst unnecessary in both content and volume. “That’s the guy who told me where to find you!”
A long-suffering sigh escaped the reluctant medium’s lips. “Thank you, Tobias.”
We always hear our favorite authors reading from their own work, but what about the cool things they’ve read? What are some of the works that our writers think are must-reads, or have just always wanted to perform? Want to read a part from an upcoming work? Come to the Writer’s Block after hours, have some snacks, and pull up a big cushy pillow for this freeform performance session!
In addition to doing discussion and Q&A style panels, the authors at Detroit’s second annual MCSC will be on site to help con-goers come up with a killer backstory for their Steampunk creations.
“Want a real, live author to check out your costume and give it a backstory? Want to know what your clothes and gear say to a practiced creative’s eye? Let some of our authors build a character and steampunk backstory for you based on your original con-costume!”
I can’t wait you there July 12-14 in Detroit! Get tickets now
“Are we ever going to start?” Hank’s whine cut through the quiet conversation. “It feels like we’ve been standing here forever.”
“I guess that’s what you get when you are dealing with women. Hassles, hassles, hassles,” Jeb replied, his cigarette dangling from his thin lips. His crew snickered in agreement.
“Does that explain why you’re all single, then?” she yelled back. Several of the people ranged around the scene oohed appreciatively.
“If you’re such a catch, where’s Mister Viola I wonder?” Hank cackled. Anyone who hadn’t been paying attention before was now being elbowed by their neighbors.
“You’ve got me there. I make a terrible wife,” Vi admitted. As the crowd murmured she milked the pause, then chuckled. “But it seems I’m getting awful good at being a widow.” The gnarled man turned pale behind his stringy beard and didn’t say any more. She jerked her thumb at him and called over to Jeb. “So, in the immortal words of this fine fellow, are we ever going to start this race?”
Read the previous excerpt or start at the beginning with the Ch 1 Teaser
What separates steampunk from science fiction? How is it different from gaslamp fantasy or dieselpunk? What are some of the classic must-read examples of steampunk, and why do we love them so much? Panelists discuss all of this and more in this panel on our favorite genre.
I got a chance to see a panel a lot like this one at the International Steampunk Symposium. And I’m looking forward for getting a chance to participate this time.
See you July 15!
Friday July 14, Detroit MI
Have you ever wanted to write a play? How about create your own one person show? Award winning NYC Playwright Ashley Lauren Rogers will teach you how through theatre games and discussion about what goes into contemporary dramatic structure and challenging your notions of “What is a play?”
I met Ashley Lauren Rogers at the International Steampunk Symposium and immensely enjoyed her one-woman show, Pass/Fail. Here’s a little bit more about her:
Ashley Lauren Rogers had shows produced in NYC, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Ashley was invited to the two week summer playwriting intensive at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Her one-person show PASS/FAIL received its premiere at Dixon Place Lounge NYC was performed for The Midtown International Theatre Festival, and was part of the Trans Theatre Festival at The Brick in Brooklyn, and a collection of shorter works will be presented in December for Step1 Theatre Productions. Ashley received the 2014 ACM Award for Comedy Video for the pilot of Marisa and Rocco through Dogtoon Media. Ashley has written articles for Cosmopolitan, The Mary Sue, SFWA, John Scalzi Blog, Beyond Victoriana and Steampunk Magazine Online, has been a vlogger and a blogger for NerdCaliber.com. Ashley has developed a workshop for writers to learn how write for trans and nonbinary narratives and is available on WritingTheOther.com. Ashley is the Producer/creator of the Is It Transphobic? Podcast.