15th February, 2011: Her Majesty’s Mysterious Conveyance

I’ve mentioned The Wasp in the Lotus several times now and charted its progress on this blog. For those who missed it, this is a steam/clockpunk novella that checks in at around 21,000 words. I wrote it in January on commission, which is the first time I’ve had to commit to a sort of write-on-demand schedule. It was hard work but it was fun, and I hope the end result is entertaining. And now I can spill the beans on what I wrote it for!

The Wasp in the Lotus is one of five novellas appearing together in a steampunk anthology from Echelon Press, a US-based small press. The anthology, Her Majesty’s Mysterious Conveyance, is due for print and electronic release in May this year, and my story sits very proudly alongside novellas from Jennifer Williams, Kim Lakin-Smith, Sean Hayden, and Nick Valentino. If all goes to plan we should have some stock available in time for Alt Fiction at the end of June, which myself, Jen and Kim will be attending. I understand there is a press release coming from Echelon, but the word got out on Twitter last night.

And what better way to celebrate than with the pinball number count from old school Sesame Street. Right? Well, I just so happened to be watching some vintage episodes this morning (what?), and I noticed that this classic piece of animation (which I first saw when I was probably 3 or 4 years old) is actually steampunk. Seriously. Check out the video and see if you can spot it.

Strangely enough, I’ve got an index card on my corkboard for a story about very high altitude airships. Which means Sesame Street counts as research.


Yesterday was a busy day for writing as I worked on both Godless and Hang Wire. In the former I tied up chapter six and sent our hero on his way to the town of Sentinel, Wyoming. In Hang Wire, Ted, having suffered blackouts and lost time, heads off to San Francisco’s Chinatown district, following the directions given in a mysterious note signed in Korean that was slipped under his apartment door. It feels good to be back in both of these worlds, and they are different enough that working on both on the same day didn’t seem to pose any particular problems.

Project: Godless (horror Western novel)
Words today: 841
Words total: 20,131/100,000 (20%)

Project: Hang Wire (superheroes and serial killers in San Francisco)
Words today: 1219
Words total: 32,872/100,000 (33%)

Total words today: 2060
Total words for 2011: 51,857

Books: some pages of Firestarter by Stephen King.
Comics: None yesterday. Although I just acquired a job lot of classic Marvel GI Joe comics, so I may need to add those to the list sooner rather than later.