Practical Steampunk fashion

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The Locksmith’s Secret, my next Prunella Smith book, has a steampunk story within the story of Ella trying to uncover the locksmith’s secret, and as part of the steampunk story (about Nell), I reveal how certain aspects of the female style came about; the hitched up dresses for example. Because I love the style so much, I've taken to wearing practical steampunk fashion on most days. A lot of people think that steampunk clothing isn't practical, but I find the layering very practical. If I get hot, I remove a layer; get cold, add one. Also one doesn't have to tie oneself into a corset, elasticated belts do almost the same thing in a more comfortable way. So I decided to get hubby to take photos of me wearing my practical steampunk and share them with you. They show that anyone, even old size 14 girls like me, can wear steampunk. Mind you, I may be slightly crazy. This is the first in  a series of posts called Practical Steampunk Fashion, so click the link for more. I also have … [Read more...]

What are Words Really?

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  They’re a label, that’s all. Even label is a label. The word label isn’t what a label is. It’s just a word: a sound assigned to something. Words only become language when it can be understood and repeated by others. Isn’t that fascinating? … when you think about it. Words are convenient. They allow us to express ourselves to others, to ask when we need an answer, and to reply when asked. With them we can direct, inspire, move, educate, and affirm others. Yep. Words are awesome. Without them, we’d have to point all the time. You can see how grunts became words distinguishable from each other. Do you ever wonder where a word comes from? I mean, who first thought up the name for tree? Someone must have used the word first, then others must have liked it and used it. People tend not to use words if they don’t like them, so those who made the word tree (and whatever the same word is in other languages) must have felt a certain … treeness in trees. Something that made the … [Read more...]

Why use Tumblr?

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Why use Tumblr? I have a Wordpress blog here and on my mask website, (though I use the mask one rarely) so why have I just created another one on Tumblr?   I like the visual nature of Tumblr; it really works for the mask making side of my creativity, and feel I can be more spontaneous with it than with the blogs on my websites which tend to need to relate to what the websites are about. There I feel I can post whatever I want, regardless of whether I’m talking about books or art or how to pick your nose, and I don’t feel that it has to be a major piece of writing. I can post easily my phone too. I like the quote option too. I've decided to call it Noble Selves because that's what connects my writing and my masks. The masks are reflections of our innermost nature, our noble selves, and my stories are all about characters in search of that level of their being. Aren't I just making more work for myself? It takes time to set up, but with the cross posting options, … [Read more...]

Blog schedules and creativity don’t match.

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blogging I started the year with the aim of posting to a schedule, different topics on different days. A couple of days ago, I decided to scrap the idea. Why? Because I get inspired for all sorts of things at all sorts of times. I don't necessarily get inspired to write about writing on Wednesdays or about my cat on Saturdays. Yes,  I could write the blogs at anytime and schedule them; that's what I've been doing, but then my blogs lose their relevance to what's happening in my life. One of the things I like about blogging is that it's immediate. Write it, publish it and talk about it. If I publish it five days after it was written, I'm not necessarily interested in it anymore. Also, I tend to write about related topics in bunches. That's the way of inspiration. You get an idea, you write about it, and it stimulates another related idea, so I might have masses of material on my cat in one week and nothing on writing or the other way around. Also, I'll probably be writing some … [Read more...]

Should I self-publish? The trouble with self-publishing

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  A couple of traditionally published authors asked me recently: "Should I self-publish?" I was surprised at how quickly my answer came. I said, “No,” without a moment of hesitation. Then I added, “Unless you already have a strong fan base and you want to become a publisher and a marketeer as well as an author.” Their faces showed their surprise. Here was someone who had self-published, and who helps others to self-publish and who runs a self-published books accreditation system saying that self-publishing wasn’t a good idea. Why? Let me qualify it a bit. It isn’t a good idea if you expect to sell your book, or even if you expect your book to be read. It’s a good idea if you just want your book published and you don’t want to jump the traditional hurdles. It’s a good idea if your book is so unusual that no publisher would pick it up even if you did go that route. And it’s a good idea if you look at it as a hobby and don’t mind that you’re unlikely to get back the money you … [Read more...]

The Power of One Simple Prayer

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Words have power. Consider the great orators, how they move people and inspire them to action. Consider great books, how their words and concepts linger. And consider prayer. Do prayers have power?  Studies have shown that people who are prayed for, in general, heal faster and have a better prognosis than those who are not prayed for, and this is whether the person knows they are being prayed for or not. A prayer can be a plea to a religious figure of some kind or it can just be a heartfelt wish. You don’t need a religion to pray because you don’t need to pray to someone to have a prayer, your heartfelt wish is a prayer if you cast it into the universe with a real desire that it eventuate. Positive and selfless prayers have more power than negative ones too. How do I know this? I can feel it. Negative and selfish words close up your heart. They constrict you and make you smaller. I can feel this as a tightening in my chest. Wishing for something negative doesn’t just feel wrong or … [Read more...]

My Performances in Australia 1978 – 2000

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I'm interrupting the weekly Cute Cat Column to give you a look into my performing past. I've put this on a page under About, but I thought if I didn't put it in the blog, no one would see it. The videos below come from performances in Australia 1978 - 2000. My daughter Rose of Velvet Wings Design put these short snips together from old footage. I performed with my husband Chris Newland in fringe theatre, schools and nightclubs from 1978 to 2003. First we called ourselves Mr Jupiter's Children's Theatre, and our adult shows used the name  Jupiter Dance Theatre, then we became Tahlia & Kris for the nightclub shows, and finally Centrepiece Productions. Clowning   Nightclubs School shows Roving … [Read more...]

Steampunk Murder Mystery: Cafe Scene

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Every week in Friday Free Web Fiction I post a first draft scene from my work in progress (WIP), or a short story, or an excerpt from one of my books. Today’s offering is from my Prunella Smith WIP,  The Lock Smith's Secret. This is from the steampunk thread, the story within the story, which is turning into a murder mystery. Nell opened the door and stepped into the cafe. Beth followed her into the dim interior, and they stood scanning the room for Richard. They spotted him at one of the tables at the far end. Gregory, a friend he’d known since school sat beside him. They chuckled together over some shared tit bit. ‘He’s very handsome, you know,’ Beth said as they walked across the café. ‘Richard, that is.’ ‘And you look gorgeous; the perfect lady,’ Nell replied, glancing at Beth’s pink waist corset over a sweet cream dress with tiny roses embroidered on it. It looked like several months’ worth of wages. Her friend had exchanged her work books for elegant little brown … [Read more...]