Boots before Corsets: the Steampunk Shoe Fetish (Part One)

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Victorian Shoes fashion blue vintage shoes old antique victorian historical 19th century - WANT THESE!!:

I’m afraid I have a weakness for shoes and boots. I don’t like admitting it, because it is such a cliché for a woman to love shoes. But I blame my Great Aunt, who gave me her wedding boots as a gift, and I blame my great grandfather, who was a cobbler and a boot maker. I was driven by both nature and nurture to love shoes.

1870 velvet and gold leather button boots.: 1870 velvet and gold leather button boots

antique shoes, victorian shoes, shoes 1900, shoes 1895, antique dress, 1900, antique gown, shoes Vienna Victorian-era, jet-beaded, leather lace-up boots dating from 1895

Pair of woman's boots, embroidered silk lined with linen and kid with leather soles, c. 1885, French.: Embroidered silk-lined boots, made with linen and kid, with leather soles, circa 1885

It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that they started making pairs shoes that were distinctly left and right. This is obvious from Queens Victoria’s wedding slippers below, where the shoes have nearly identical configurations. By the end of the 19th century, shoe making was taken to a high art and all pairs of…

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On the Countdown to the New Doctor Who Episodes!

The Victorian Doctor.

Just over a week to go!

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Tamatoa – the best Disney Villain Ever!

Moana-Shiny-Tamatoa

As I may have mentioned, I really enjoy watching a good villain. Villains always seem to have the most fun. The perfect example is Tamatoa from Disney’s Moana, who has the all the best lines and steals every scene he is in, while also having the best bad boy song ever. My only problem … as a zoologist, I looked at Tatatoa and immediately thought to myself “But most crabs moult. Wouldn’t that mean he would lose that love shiny shell every year?”

Nope. Juvenile coconut crabs do moult, and like hermit crabs, the little crabs wear scavenged shells for protection. However, as adults, they grow a tough outer integument. The coconut crab reaches sexual maturity around five years after hatching. but they reach their maximum size only after 40 to 60 years. They are fully terrestrial once they mature, and can drown if held under water for too long (hence Tamatoa living in an air bubble).

So Tamatoa could have grown to be huge, and he could be wearing a shell covered in treasure from one year to the next; even if has moulted, he could be wearing his old shell over the new one. These little details are important to me, even though giant singing crabs don’t exist. They certainly don’t have teeth!

So, why do I have to try and make sense of an animated character? Well, Tamatoa wasn’t the original form of the villain. It is obvious that the animators had done quite a bit of research of their own to come up with our glam crab. By knowing how they came up with such a charismatic antagonist might help me add a bit of that glamour to my own villains.

Tamatoa-Sing SHINY.png

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Feeding the Muse

Muses

I have been working on the end to my Steampunk Work-in-Progress (yep, I’m WiP-ped). In the past week, some serious thinking and research helped me come up with the logical progression for constructing the ending. This will mean more re-writes, but not huge structural edits.

muse-3

I see research as part of the process of feeding the muse. My main problem is that I can never predict what is going to inspire a good (or even great) idea. So, I do a lot of research. I read news stories, science articles, textbooks, anything and everything gets fed into the files for the muse to sort through. Sometimes I wish I could just click my fingers and the best idea would swim to the front of the pile, but that isn’t how it work.

Sorry, but feeding the muse takes effort, just like anything else. This is why I am a little cynical when I hear a writer claim that he/she doesn’t do any reading.

aggressive muse

The muse is unforgiving. It just ins’t a case of ‘Garbage in, garbage out’. No fuel, and the flame splutters out entirely.

Currently, I am reading up on Victorian-era model villages. These were both a great concept and a really bad idea, depending on who was in charge. On one hand, these were developed to create ideal living conditions for a planned community. creating comfort for families and a guaranteed population base for businesses. On the dark side, these were nearly gulags for imprisoning a workforce to labour under unpleasant and dangerous conditions. What a perfect setting for both a hero or a villain!

Muse

This is the last piece I need for the puzzle that is my book. It is almost a frightening thought.  I’ve worked with these characters for so long, that I will miss them once the book is complete. However, I’ve been through this ‘breaking up’ period a few times now, when you have to distance yourself from your creations. The best solution is have a new project in the wings, a shiny new toy for the muse to play with.

outsidethebox muse.jpg

 

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Paranoia and the Magic Box

Sometimes,
When I sit down to write
I pray that I am not a fraud and
That I am a real writer.
I often feel that I am
Misguided, deluded or insane
To spend so much time
On Writing.
I wish I had the Magic Box
That my author friends have:
The Magic Box of Wonderful Ideas.

I need a key to open it.

And yet, I toil on,
Hoping, hoping,
That hard work can be a substitute for talent.
(And that I am not a fraud.)
And then I decide to make my own key from my paranoia …
And write this poem.

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What does Steampunk mean to me and the WiP?

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Ah yes – what can I tell you about my WiP? Well, we can safe assume that it is falls into Steampunk as its literary category. But what defines the Steampunk genre?

The term retro-futurism gets bandied about a lot. I think it is a good term, but it requires some explaining to people outside of the genre, because it doesn’t specify WHICH era it applies to. Even the title ‘Steampunk’ confuses some people, because they don’t realise it means steam-powered, as in the start of the Industrial Age.  And other people only see the ‘punk’ and think the genre must be people by anarchists who pierce everything and beat up little old ladies for listening to Barry Manilow. I find it easiest to tell people I write stories in the style of Jules Verne.

The Steampunk Aesthetic and Steampunk subculture we can safely ignore for another post.

To me…

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March 31, 2017 · 8:37 am

I need this in my life by Meredith Carlisle

That duster is absolutely to die for. I love the way it poufs up where the top of the sleeve meets the shoulder (I’m sure there’s an actual term for that but I admit I have no clue what it might be) and the cut of the neckline, the way it accentuates the collarbones. The […]

via I need this in my life. — meredith carlisle

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