Tea & Automatons

Diana Vick's corner of the interweb

Clockwork Alchemy

Me with my handsome husband

Recently,  I had the privilege of attending the first Clockwork Alchemy as their Fan Guest of Honor.  It was even more special because it was my birthday on Monday, a very nice way to spend one’s birthday.  It was slightly lessened by the fact I had a very mild cold and was on decongestants, but I didn’t let it slow me down much.  Clockwork was held in San Jose over the Memorial Day weekend in conjunction with Fanime, a large and long standing anime convention.

My husband and I arrived Thursday so that we would be ready for Friday’s festivities.  We are very well acquainted with the Doubletree hotel where CA was held because it had housed several fannish conventions in the past including Baycon and Further Confusion.  There was a meet and greet going on that night but since it was rather loud, we chose to sit in the bar and chat with folks instead. The bar in this hotel is centrally located and open to the lobby so people can easily find you and join in the conversation.  You’ll note a trend in behavior beginning here.

Kory - The very dapper con co-chair

Friday morning, we attended opening ceremonies.   Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, the Author and Artist Guests of Honor were introduced and spoke briefly.  Kory the con co-chair said some very complimentary things about my role in west coast steampunk fandom.  I was touched and truly appreciated the recognition.  Erica “Unwoman” Mulkey, the Music Guest of Honor performed with her strap-on cello, which got a lot of buzz.

Steamcon promo table

Martin and I set up our promo table for Steamcon and chatted with the few folks who came by.  Attendance was light, but it was only Friday.  I did a talk called “Modding for Wimps” that was not well attended, but still enjoyable.  I did it as a Powerpoint presentation since bringing all my props down from Seattle on a plane is too difficult.

Fanime attendee

That night we took the opportunity to head over to Fanime at the convention center to check things out and do a little shopping.  The folks at Xcentricities have a fabric with a gear pattern that I had asked about getting it in purple with copper gears.  They made it as a waist cincher and my husband graciously bought it for me as an early birthday present.  My friend Margaret gave me some gorgeous purple lace and feathers to deck out a hat I had bought from her at another show.  I bought a curly purple wig to go with all the purple.  We met up with Paul, Anina and two more friends and headed off to dinner.  After food, we went to a private club and had cocktails.  The other patrons were completely enamored of the steampunk look and I think we made some new converts.  One gentleman offered to buy my goggles, and since they were a pair that I made, I was very flattered.

The Guest of Honor Group Interview - Photo courtesy Jean Martin

Saturday after breakfast I was booked on a large block of programming.  From 11:00 – 1:00 Jean Martin did a group interview of the Guests of Honor.  Kathy and Shannon O’Hare from Neverwas Haul were the Maker Guests of Honor and told stories from Burning Man and other events.  Paul and Anina talked about Boilerplate and their new book Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention .  I talked about how Steamcon got started and how that lead to me becoming a speaker, an educator and many other improbable things.  Erica spoke on her music and to my delight gave Steamcon a nod for getting her a start in the steampunk community.

I ducked out a little bit early to grab a quick bite (not an easy task) and get ready for my “Steampunk Litmus Test” talk.  It was a large and enthusiastic crowd and we had fun discussing the various things that really make a story steampunk.

Unwoman & I

The rest of the day, we talked to folks at the promo table and I managed to get some interest in my book, “Steampunk Archetypes.”  We had dinner at the sushi bar again and then I changed into the new corset and wig for the concert.  My feet were tired and my cold was wearing me down, so we adjourned to the bar with some new folks to chat.  You spotting the trend yet?

Sunday, we again manned the table and talked up Steamcon.  In the afternoon I did my talk on “Seven Steampunk Fallacies.”  I had not done that particular talk before and being a Sunday, I wasn’t sure how popular it would be.  I guess the title piqued their curiosity because the room was packed and stayed that way.  I took questions after I went over the initial points and the audience seemed entertained.  Afterwards we were supposed to go to dinner with the con chairs, but Spencer’s was unexpectedly closed.  Martin and I eventually resorted to bar food once again for expediency.  Shortly afterward, I spoke to a reporter from USA Today about all the fun that is steampunk, so that is something to watch for.

I changed into my copper gown for the Ball, but since I don’t dance we ended up in the bar chatting with some fabulous people.  It was a good weekend for lively conversation with fascinating people.

My Monday outfit

Monday morning, the con was still going, but many people used the day for travel, so attendance was light.  I hadn’t completely lost my voice yet, but it was getting squeaky and it hurt a bit to talk.  I was supposed to be on two back to back panels but they were both full of lively panelists, so I suspected that I would not be missed. Besides, it was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate a bit.   My husband and a friend took me over to Fanime to do some actual birthday shopping.  The majority of the booths were filled with figurines, and anime videos.  I love looking at the art books, but they are quite expensive.  The costuming is mostly too small for me, but I did find a gorgeous copper colored corset at Timeless Trends and my husband got it for me!  Two corsets for my birthday!  I am so spoiled!  I bought myself a couple of small Re-ment boxes of tiny food and a tea service, indulging in one of my hobbies.  I also got some colored reflective lenses for my goggles.  We took the opportunity to eat away from the hotel for lunch.  By the time we got done, the con was basically over and the dealer’s room was closed.  We took a few pictures at the picturesque Sainte Claire hotel before heading back to the Doubletree.  We found Paul and Anina in the bar and we spent a pleasant while chatting.  A friend whisked us off to a Teppanyaki place for dinner.  Prawns!  Yum! Then back to the hotel bar to chat.  My loving husband had procured a red velvet cupcake for my birthday.  No candle, but they are really unnecessary, not to mention a fire hazard, after a certain age.  Ahem.

Me & Thatch, the other con co-chair

It was a wonderful way to spend a birthday weekend.  My thanks to the convention organizers for having me as fan guest of honor.  I was quite proud to be instrumental in the launch.  For a first year convention, there were some hiccups, as there always are, but it ran quite well on the whole.  The staff was friendly and responsive.  I expect great things from this convention in the years ahead.

The main problem was not the con itself but primarily the hotel food.  It’s a decent hotel, but it’s major flaw is that it has very little food within walking distance, if you don’t count Denny’s which I don’t.  There is a coffee shop, a coffee bar, a nice bar with a sushi bar in it and a pricey steak house all inside the hotel, but as they cater to mainly business clientele the offerings became less each day through the holiday weekend, making it very difficult on those of us without vehicles.   The bar menu shrunk by half its selection after the first day and the sushi bar is closed on Sunday.  Spencer’s was closed Sunday and Monday.  Sprig’s, the coffee shop was only open for breakfast and lunch.  There was supposed to be a “grab n go” for quick sandwiches and such, but the hotel decided not to run it all weekend after it didn’t do well enough the first day.  The coffee stand was open sporadically and the sundries shop ran out of many things fairly quickly.  We muddled through as best we could, but it was frustrating.

Aviatrix at the Sainte Claire Hotel

I think I would have possibly forgiven all of it if it wasn’t for Tuesday morning.  I was feeling quite run down from my cold so grabbing a coffee and pastry for breakfast didn’t seem like a good idea.  I needed a real breakfast to get through a day of travel.  We went to Sprig’s in the hotel since getting to Denny’s seemed a bit daunting.  The waitress waved us at a table but didn’t bring menus.  When she finally came over to help us, still not bringing menus, she said simply “buffet? implying it was easiest on her, so we shrugged and nodded tiredly.  She then quickly waved in that direction and muttered something about the hot buffet was not out.  Slow restaurant, she said and did we want eggs?  What kind?  Anything else?  We both said scrambled would be fine and bacon for him and sausage for me.  She left and eventually we got two plates of scrambled eggs and hot tea for Martin.  Martin went and got a bowl of fruit for us.  My drink was missed, but the busboy kindly brought me an iced tea. We never did get any meat.  As we finished the eggs she came and asked if we wanted potatoes, but we really didn’t want to wait around and eat in shifts.  This was beyond ridiculous.  I went and got a bowl of oatmeal.  I really wish she had just given us menus to begin with and told us they didn’t have a hot buffet that day.    Martin said he had difficulties with that particular waitress earlier in the weekend.   I find it odd because most of the staff was fantastic despite the issues.  The waitress in the bar was so good that we felt compelled to give her manager a compliment about her.  I do understand the economics of the situation, so I am not surprised, but it definitely negatively impacted my weekend.

There was a mishap with a transformer in downtown San Jose on Thursday night, that didn’t affect us.  The five hour power outage did cause problems for Fanime, but they soldiered on from what we heard.  It caused registration to get way behind and by far the most oft heard complaint was about registration and having to go to the convention center.  I know the organizers have heard this and are working hard to make it better next year.


The photo Gallery for the pictures taken by my husband is here.


Whatever Shall I Wear?

RedAs I said in my last post, it’s that time of year.  So many events to attend and the big question is “What to wear?”   Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy figuring out new outfits for steampunk events.  I may enjoy it a little too much, but that’s a different topic.  It’s just that I don’t really want to wear the same thing over and over.  Or at least not in exactly the same way.  Many of my steampunk clothes can be mixed and matched to make new outfits. I have been wanting to have a large gallery of all my outfits that I can view on one page.  Unfortunately my computer doesn’t seem inclined to help, so I played around with some photo storage sites.  I finally found one that would let me do it.  Photobucket’s albums lets you view an entire album on one page.  Go and see my daunting 61 outfits all on a page!  That isn’t even all my outfits, but I don’t have full length photos of all of them.  It gives me a good overview to make decisions from.

Marshall & Bear

Marshal Hunter & the Bear - photo by D. Vick

The other huge question is what will work for the particular environment?  Will it be all indoors?  Outdoors?  Will it be too warm?  Too cold?  Steampunk clothing is generally layered and so fairly warm, often too warm.  Hats, gloves, corsets, tights, boots and such will all add to the warmth.  It’s great for fall, but summer can be tricky.  So each event poses it’s own problems.   I am working up a few outfits that are a bit cooler, with lighter fabrics for the outdoor events, but I am never quite as happy with them.

As they say at the Adventurers’ Club “Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you, but always dress for the hunt!

And then there’s what to take to a convention.  Travels a curse!  But that’s a post for next time.

Upcoming Steampunkery

As usual this month marks the beginning of the whirlwind steampunk event season.  I was very sad to miss both Victoria Steampunk Expo and Gaslight Gathering this year, but it’s being made up for by my wonderful birthday weekend adventure in California.  I have been asked to be the Fan Guest of Honor at Clockwork Alchemy!  I am going to be doing a few talks, and panels and we will be running a promo table for Steamcon all weekend.  It should be quite a nice way to spend my natal fete, getting to dress up, see my California  friends and help initiate a brand new steampunk convention.

While there are lots of steampunk events happening all over the country, I am only going to list on the ones that I might have a chance to attend.  You may want to check out the Airship Ambassador’s site for event listings for things that are further afield. If you are on the west coast or even better in Seattle,  check out the events below and click the links for more information.  I hope you can join us for some of these splendid steampunk events!

* May 20th – Annual Seattle Steamrats Train Outing – Northwest Railway Museum

* May 25th – 28th – Clockwork Alchemy in San Jose, CA

*June 9th – The Brass Screw Confederacy in Port Townsend

*July 7th – Abney Park & Karina Cooper Rock Bellingham

*August 4th – Steampunk University and Store – All Pilgrim’s Church

* August 17th – 19th – GEARcon – Portland OR



Born Too Soon

I was born in the wrong time.  You are thinking “the Victorian era, right?” No, I actually think I was born thirty years too soon.  Let me explain.  I have been going to science fiction/fantasy conventions since the early 1980’s.  One of the things that really interested me about them was the costuming.  When I put on a costume, I felt empowered.  I had confidence.  I didn’t even do much costuming back then.  What little I did was pretty simplistic, but I was shapely, young and vivacious.  I had my picture taken a lot.  At Chicago Worldcon, I modeled chainmail and I have three grainy Polaroid’s of me in the outfit.  As the years went by, I got a bit braver and one year a friend who later went on to make props in Hollywood, made me a Valkyrie costume.  I donned a curly red wig, and my new costume and I entered the masquerade.  Long story short, I had fun and had my picture taken a lot.  I have about five pictures of that outfit.

From 1982 until about 2003, I attended hundreds of conventions, wore dozens of outfits and have a very pathetic amount of photos to show for it, most taken in front of a hotel room door before we headed out.  Somewhere in photo albums, my past is captured, but I rarely got to see the results.

In 2004, I got into doing more costuming.  My costumes got more and more elaborate.  I usually had a friend to take photos, so I at least have one or two photos to show for each new costume.  Still, each time I’d have my picture taken by strangers knowing full well, I’d never get to see the results.  Digital photography helped a bit, but most people were still putting them in random personal online albums and exhaustive searches might yield one or two if I was very lucky.  Tagging would have helped, but the photographer rarely knew your name and for the most part it is just too much work.  I get that.  Then I found Flickr.com.  Someone finally did photo sharing right.  You could not only tag, but you could allow others to tag your photos.  You could make groups and sets and galleries.  There are still some flaws, but overall it’s fantastic.  I have been encouraging people to scan their old photos and upload them.  The quality isn’t great but those of us who never saw them would be thrilled.

I still have a very hard time finding my photos, but now it’s often due to the sheer volume of photos uploaded, or improper bulk tagging of every possible tag for a set, which just obfuscates the information.  So, if I had been born later, then I would have a better chance of seeing photos of some of my earlier costumes.

So, here I am in my costuming prime so to speak, more elaborate than ever, with the miracle of digital photography and good sharing sites, but no longer being young and svelte, I am just not the photographic subject of choice anymore.  Costuming as a hobby is more popular than ever before, but it’s still the girls in the least amount of “costuming” that get the most attention.  It’s their time.  I get that.  Well, at least they will have a chance to find their photos.

——Please do not use this post as a platform to rant on weight, youth, beauty or feminism.  Take it for what it is, a lament about timing, on the lack of a technology and the hole in my past that can never be mended to my satisfaction.  ——


Easter weekend will find me once again at the Northwest’s largest general science fiction convention, Norwescon. I will be at the Steamcon promotion table  where we will be running Eggstravaganza.  Each egg contains a prize code.  Prizes will include a copy of Anno Dracula, copies of the Lady Mechanika comic book from ECCC, passes to the EMP museum, and memberships to Steamcon IV and much more.

On Saturday there are a few panels that might be of interest to you.  I will be giving my basic steampunk talk at 9:00 AM -Steampunk 101 – Diana Vick – Saturday 9 am Cascade 11.  Then there will be a couple more interesting panels throughout the day.

Steampunk Culture – Saturday 11 am Cascade 3&4

Native Steam: The Rest Of The Victorian World – Saturday 5 pm Cascade 5

Hope to see you there.





Steampunk Exhibition Ball

On Saturday, the hubby and I attended the Steampunk Exhibition Ball, put on as a fund raiser for the Center for Sex Positive Culture.  It’s an event we look forward to each year.  Most people dress to the nines and tens, so it’s a very fun people watching event.  It’s held at the Museum of History and Industry which is quite a fascinating place.  There is a room for dancing, a small merchant area, a photo area, several bars and the main auditorium held the music and burlesque this year, but it was always packed and the low lighting made it almost impossible to make your way to a seat safely.  My main focus is talking to folks, so I tend to mingle all night.

This year, I was asked to be one of the judges for the costume competition.  There are three categories per their website:

  • Most Impressive Beard and/or Moustache: Judging criteria includes size, styling, originality and incorporating steampunk themes,such as how facial hair complements the overall outfit. Preference will be given to naturally grown facial hair, but an amazing prosthetic moustache can still win.
  • Fabulous Hat: Our judges are looking for not only the most fetching hats, but also most original, marvels of engineering and hats that compliment the overall theme of the outfit. Preference will be given to milliners sporting their own haberdashery (hats you made yourself).
  • Enticing Ensemble: New this year is the Most Enticing Ensemble competition. We want you to show off your steamiest attire for our viewing pleasure. Judges will choose finalists based on the overall look of the ensemble, not just a sexy corset, flattering trousers or appearance of the wearer themselves. This isn’t about if you got it, it’s about how you flaunt it.

I was asked to choose a few finalists for the last two categories and I found some wonderful contestants.  Winners were chosen by audience vocalization, which I find to be an incredibly unfair and inconsistent method of judging, but there you go.  The first two competitions went well and suitable winners were chosen.  In the last category however, the announcer failed to make it clear that you had to be given a finalist chit to enter and the stage was flooded with people, mostly women in skimpy outfits.  Having been instructed to look for sexy, but well thought out ensembles and ask about whether they had a hand in the construction, I was a bit disconcerted.  I went to the contest official and voiced my concerns, but when the MC was apprised, he blew it off entirely.  So what?  As long as the audience is having fun, who cares, right?  Well, I didn’t appreciate putting work into something that was then completely ignored, so I departed.  I had better things to do than watch a competition that was now so obviously going to be the steampunk equivalent of a night at Hooters.  I am told that despite the chaos, the winner was one of the other judges picks and her costume was quite good and showed almost no flesh.  I am glad to hear it but surprised at it.  I guess one never knows the mind of a mob.

Aside from that, the evening was very pleasant.  I met a lot of wonderful people and had some great conversations.  The outfits were grand, people were convivial and the absinthe was flowing.  All the ingredients that steampunks appreciate most.

My husband only took a few photos but you can view them here.

International Steampunk Day?

Today, I’ve noticed that the internet is filled with cries of “Happy International Steampunk Day!”  While I am all for the celebrating of the genre that I love, I had to wonder about the reasoning behind choosing June 14th to be ISD.  After all steampunk clothing is generally layered and quite warm.  When looking at dates for Steamcon, we tried very hard not to schedule it in an extremely warm time of year so that our attendees could go all out and not roast. My steampunk ensembles tend to include boots, tights, gloves, hats, wigs and then several layers of clothing.  Sweating is not very dignified and so we do avoid it, if we can.

I did a little digging and I still cannot figure out whose knuckle headed idea it was, but I did find out why they chose this particular day.  It is H.G. Wells’ birthday.  Mystery solved.  Although, if you wanted to choose a birthday to honor steampunk, why wouldn’t you choose Jules Verne’s birthday?  After all, he is even more associated with the genre and his birthday is February 8th!  That is a much better time of year for steampunk regalia!  And if you will notice there is not a fabulous Google doodle for the day like there was for Monsieur Verne’s birthday.

I am not sure who to petition about this matter, but I would like to see this day re-scheduled to February 8th.  I am not even going to discuss the “Worldwide Strut Your Steampunk Stuff Day” that is proposed for July 10th.  Aside from a terrible title, it is once again an uncomfortable time of year to choose.  Not that I won’t join in, but it will take a bit of work to find the right clothing.  Summer steampunk events are already the bane of my existence, but I will do what I must.

So, I will stop my whining and go back to my steampunk task filled day.  No outings planned and I have no voice so it’s for the best.  Plenty to do though and almost all of it genre related.  I hope that you enjoy yours in whatever manner suits you.  Happy Birthday Mister Wells!


Hold the presses!  Wells wasn’t born on this date.  He was born on September 21st?!  Okay, then why the heck is this IDS?  it makes absolutely no sense at all.  I am baffled.  Can anyone tell me why they chose this stupid date then?

Training Day

Today I have a mild head cold and have lost my voice, but I am determined to finish a few things.  My day was brightened by finding out that I was singled out on my other blog site for what they call the “Lens of the Day” for my article Dressing Steampunk.  It’s nice to get recognition and it’s helping a lot of new folks find out about steampunk as well.  Yay!

On Saturday a group of us from the Seattle Steamrats went up to Snoqualmie and rode the train.  Naturally, we dressed up for the occasion.  You can see the entire gallery here.  Afterwards many of us went to the Woodman Lodge for lunch.  The food was great and the staff was very accommodating of our large group.  I highly recommend the place if you are every in the area.  It was a wonderful day even if I did lose my voice.


Pacific Northwest Summer Steampunk Activities

The summer months in the Pacific Northwest tend to be busy due to the possibility, mind you not definite, chance of nice weather.  This summer is looking to be quite busy, so I thought I’d give you a peek at my schedule in case you might be able to join in the fun. Click the links for full details.

June 11th – Steamrats Train Excursion

June 18th – Portland Summer Solstice Circus and Ball – I am going to be giving an “Intro to Steampunk” talk.  I’ll add details as I get them.

June 26th – Reading and Signing by Emilie P. Bush

July 1-4th – Westercon – Okay, not quite in the target area, but steampunk themed and the Foglios are guests!

July 16th – Chehalis Train Trip (more data to come)

July 22 – 24th – Gearcon in Portland

August 6th – Bremerton Costume Contest and Tea

August TBD – Queen of Seattle Paddlewheel Excursion (more data to come)

I will try to update the one’s missing data as soon as I can, but you can mark your calendars in the meantime.  There may be more additions as well.  I hope you can join us.  There is also a regular Monday meet-up in Seattle and several others around the are, which I occasionally manage to attend.  Feel free to join the Seattle Steamrats group on Facebook if you are in our area and want to keep up on all the events.

Gaslight Gathering’s Maiden Voyage

I went down to San Diego to attend Gaslight Gathering, southern California’s first steampunk convention.  Conveniently for me, my copy of Morlock Night arrived so I had new… well recently reprinted reading material for the flight.  I arrived on Thursday night so I could get a fresh start in the morning.  My main purpose was to run a promotional table for Steamcon III.  I also had a few panels and one talk to give.  The venue is a truly curious mish mash of former hotels, motels, convention facilities, restaurants and a spa that is now called Town & Country.  On my way there I discovered that we were going to be sharing it with a swing dance convention as well as a few others.  Luckily, it’s a big place, sort of an overly ornate rat maze for humans as it turns out.  There were many gardens, trellises and gazebos scattered about as well as lots of quite random statuary.  The room we stayed in was quite sumptuous.  I did have the good fortune to ride the elevator frequently with many curious mundanes who were quite charmed and intrigued by my description of our gathering for the weekend.  I suspect some of them dropped in on the festivities.

On Friday morning, after a very mediocre breakfast at the Terrace Café, I investigated the convention space.  The spacious merchants’ room was still getting set up and happily my Steamcon table was right inside on the right hand wall.  Registration, due open at 10:00 A.M. did not open until after 11:00 A.M. as often happens the first year, but I got tech support for my talk “Steampunk 101”, which was to occur at noon.  I feared that no one would make it since they couldn’t get registered in time, but I did have a small but enthusiastic audience, nonetheless.  It went well and I later heard a few people comment that they really wished they could have attended.  Afterwards, my roommates and I had a quick nosh and I went back to man my table and answer Steamcon III questions.  I must admit that this review will be a bit incomplete due to my table duties which prevented me from seeing the entire convention.  I bought a plushie octopus and a miniature brass diving helmet from a merchant in the room, which made wonderful table décor to go with Steamcon III’s 20,000 Leagues theme.

At one point I ventured out to get officially registered and found the door to registration closed.  I looked unsurely about and a spritely young thing asked what I needed.  When I told her that I was a panelist, she flung open the door and pranced inside announcing my status.  I was served promptly.  The program book is lovely and Steamcon’s ad is right on the inside front cover.  Sadly, there is a conspicuous absence of a map.  The membership badge is ungainly, approximately the size of a flattened paperback novel and attached to a lanyard, which I find less than useful.  I usually bring a spare clip to rectify this, but I had neglected to repack it.  My badge had a blue ribbon stating “Second Class” and a red ribbon that said “Panelist” already attached.  Anastasia, the fan table liaison came by and gave me a lovely little cloth insignia to wear.  I also purchased one of their handmade Gaslight Gathering pewter medals which are quite fabulous.  I spent the rest of the day talking up Steamcon and enjoying the enthusiasm of the attendees.

Food that night was found by walking across a bridge to the mall.  Dressed up as we were, we got a lot of strange looks and several inquiries.  People were generally bemused.  When we came back we checked out the dance.  It was up a flight of stairs.  The foyer was almost impossible to traverse due to all the photographers and their victims.  Once through, we discovered that the entrance to the dance let out into the middle of the dance floor.  This meant that the flow of traffic was blocked by new arrivals and once again … photographers.  We chatted a bit, wandered a bit and finally decided to call it an early night so we would be fresh for the day.

Saturday morning I went to the Terrace for breakfast again, and it was again fairly mediocre, but food is food.  I wore my Nemo’s Daughter admiral outfit complete with tentacle fingers for the day.  It got lots of attention for the special effects and the hat.  I sat at my table and was so busy promoting Steamcon III that I was a tiny bit late for my panel, which was down the courtyard, across a pool area, and up to the 9th floor of a neighboring building.  The lack of a map in the program book was inconvenient and since it is the most confusing space, I think it might be a very good addition for next year.  The panel was on faux finishes and it was very well attended.  My fellow panelists were quite knowledgeable and the hour flew by.  I think we could have gone on for a while, as we sort of did with random audience members afterwards.  I think that appointing a moderator might be helpful as there is a certain amount of chaos if there isn’t one.  Afterwards I ducked in to get my photo taken by “Tobias Eastman”, a professional photographer, since I was in the vicinity.  While waiting, I got an opportunity to talk to one of my fellow panelists, Arabella Benson, who is an absolute delight and very creative.

Later in the afternoon, I chanced upon the League of S.T.E.A.M. in the courtyard.  I would have chatted longer, but they are just so popular it’s hard to deprive others of their awesomeness.  I did get to chat with Baron Von Fogel for a bit afterwards and we are already scheming for Steamcon III.

Dinner was found at the mall again.  The manager at The Art of Shaving called out to us as we passed and was very interested in our endeavor.  He gave us some samples to take to our men.

We didn’t have concert tickets, so we didn’t bother to check it out although I later heard good things about Steampowered Giraffe.  The dance that evening was period dancing, which I am atrocious at, so I didn’t partake.  One of my roommates did choose to stay and dance but after chatting with folks for a bit we wandered off to find more people to chat with.  One never really lacks for entertaining people to talk to at a steampunk convention, and this one was no exception.  We found the charming Anastasia and she introduced us to more folks.   I talked myself hoarse, but that is nothing new.

Sunday morning, third time’s the charm, breakfast was better.  Or maybe you simply can’t screw up oatmeal?  Due to having to pack up, move all my things to the table and check out, I decided not to dress up.  I really hate being at a convention and not being dressed up.  I just don’t feel like me.  I had a panel on Thrifting at noon and then a panel I wanted to attend, so I knew I might be too busy to change.

Once again, I was deep in conversation when time for my panel came.  Luckily it was very close this time, so I wasn’t horribly late.  It was a full house again and it seemed to go quite well.  Arabella was there again and had a lot of show and tell, so I didn’t feel bad about slacking somewhat.

Right after my panel, there was a talk I was very eager to see, so I rushed off.  Gavin Scott, the creator and writer of the television series: The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne was going to be talking about it and showing some episodes.  The room he was scheduled in was changed, so I took the opportunity to walk with him and introduce myself.  I explained that I was a big fan of the show, had seen some of it when it aired and had done some casual campaigning to get it released on DVD.  He was gracious and seemed pleased of the attention.  The panel was sparsely attended, but it was Sunday and not everyone is aware of the show.  Rick Overton, one of the actors had been scheduled to appear as well, but had a family emergency, which I must say I was sad to hear.  I am a fan of his comedy as well as some of his past roles.   Gavin told us some of the history behind the show and then began showing episode 2.  He gave commentary and took questions during it since the sound was very faint.  To my deep chagrin, I really had to go and eat so I could not stay for the entire talk.  I debated finding something quick and returning but I also had an obligation to go back to my table, so I did.   Happily Gavin came and found me after his talk and gave me a copy of the newly released soundtrack, which I had him autograph.  He showed me his book of clippings from the show.  I wish I could have spent more time looking at it, but he did need to get going.  I told him that in many ways I felt that show was ahead of its time.  I mean think how popular it would be now, with all the steampunk interest.  I always point to that show when someone asks if there is a quintessential steampunk show.  It even has Jules Verne himself in it!  He seemed to feel that I just might be right.  Maybe we’ll see something come of it.  Meanwhile he says to write to Talisman Films and let them know you would love to get a copy on DVD.  I know I’m going to write them.  If they do put it out on DVD, I hope they take the time to create some extras and let Gavin tell the history behind it.  After all, he was steampunk before it was cool.

So that was a great end to my fabulous weekend.  I met so many wonderful people.  Saw so many interesting costumes and gadgets!  I heard that they got three times the number of expected attendees, but it never felt crowded.  It’s a quirky venue, but it works for our quirky crowd.  Well done Gaslight Gathering crew!  Book me on next year’s excursion!

My photo gallery for the event is here.

About The Author

Diana Vick

I am an illustrator, writer, costumer and steampunk enthusiast.
I have done illustration for comic books, animation and collectible card games such as Magic the Gathering and Legend of the Five Rings. Currently, I do art for my own line of cards and gifts in my Zazzle shop.