Steampunk Hands Around the World

by Ray Dean

by Ray Dean

What do you like about steam­punk?

What I like is the fact that many peo­ple like and even love steam­punk and they don’t even know it. That would have been me a few years ago. I’d watched steam­punk inspired movies and ani­ma­tion, total­ly dig­ging the spiff and shine, the gad­getry and mag­ic, and the mash up of gen­res, tropes and imagery to cre­ate some­thing, well…unnameable. Except it does have a name. Steam­punk.

Until three weeks ago I nev­er thought for a sec­ond that I would do more than read a steam­punk book or watch a movie. This will soon change.

Steam­punk Hands Around the World is the brain child of the Air­ship Ambas­sador, Kevin Steil. I was invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate by group mem­ber, Suna Dasi, who had put out a call to attract a mul­ti­cul­tur­al group of women to par­tic­i­pate in this quirky, fun event. I am so very glad that I accept­ed. The Mis­sion State­ment reads as such:

Steam­punk Hands Around the World is a month long event in Feb­ru­ary 2014 show­ing and shar­ing that steam­punk and the com­mu­ni­ty is glob­al and as such, all steam­punk every­where are con­nect­ed. There are new friend­ships to be found in every con­ver­sa­tion and event. “Hands” is pre­sent­ed in mul­ti­ple for­mats from blogs to videos to live events. Each per­son is respon­si­ble for orga­niz­ing their own con­tent and for­mat, but the cen­tral theme is that of glob­al con­nec­tion and friend­ship.

While con­tri­bu­tions to this event will be unique and var­ied, by an equal­ly unique and var­ied group of artists and steam­punk lovers, my part will be a short sto­ry ten­ta­tive­ly titled The Gold­en Bird. In keep­ing with the theme of this event, it will of course, be a steam­punk tale and it will be mul­ti­cul­tur­al. I’ll be post­ing it right here on Feb­ru­ary 23rd. And, if all goes as planned, The Artist will pro­vide a unique piece of art to go along with my sto­ry. I am both excit­ed and ner­vous because this puts me on a dead­line. *shud­ders*

So…I’m sign­ing out now so I can get back to work on this sto­ry.

by Ray Dean

by Ray Dean

The Ministry Blog Tour



I am excit­ed to be able to par­tic­i­pate in The Min­istry Blog Tour in cel­e­bra­tion of the com­ple­tion of the final book in Ale­sha Esco­bar’s Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy, Cir­ca­di­an Cir­cle. Con­grat­u­la­tions Ale­sha! It’s phe­nom­e­nal to be able to rub shoul­ders with such smart pro­duc­tive indie authors. It inspires me to work hard­er and to believe in my writ­ing. Thanks Ale­sha for being an inspi­ra­tion and for pro­duc­ing a qual­i­ty piece of fan­ta­sy lit­er­a­ture.

The Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy is a mash-up of mag­ic and espi­onage, set in an alter­nate WWII era where the Nazis join with war­locks and vam­pires to gain the upper-hand, and the Allies employ wiz­ards to stand in their way. The tril­o­gy fol­lows the exploits of Isabel­la George, an alchemist trained by the Gray Tow­er and hired as a spy by British intel­li­gence. After los­ing friends and col­leagues to the hor­rors of war, she’s ready to retire. How­ev­er, a vam­pir­ic war­lock stalk­ing her, and a dead­ly secret from her past, only draw her fur­ther into a world of dan­ger and decep­tion.

If that doesn’t sound like a fun and inter­est­ing sto­ry line check out what oth­ers have to say about it:

In addi­tion to the vari­ety of allies and ene­mies Isabel­la George encoun­ters in the first book, an array of new char­ac­ters and sit­u­a­tions await a read­er in Dark Rift. Some of the char­ac­ters are warm while oth­ers are of a most sin­is­ter and evil nature. I even found myself hav­ing some dif­fi­cul­ty falling asleep at night after one par­tic­u­lar encounter. While I will not dis­close any of the major plot ele­ments, I will reveal that there are sev­er­al plot twists for which there is lit­tle or no warn­ing. While there might be extreme­ly sub­tle hints, Ale­sha keeps her secrets well hid­den.” (Goodreads Review)

This is a fan­tas­tic finale to a series of espi­onage and fan­ta­sy woven into a com­plex plot with well-devel­oped char­ac­ters and intrigu­ing sto­ry line. I could not put this book down! There was ten­sion, sus­pense, mag­ic, love, mys­tery, and more over an excit­ing con­clu­sion. Cir­ca­di­an Cir­cle gripped me to the very end.” (Saman­tha LaFan­tasie, Made To For­get)

Go for a chance to win some loot by sign­ing up for the Min­istry Raf­fle. Come on, you  know you want to! Have fun! And con­grats again Ale­sha!

a Raf­fle­copter give­away

The-Towers-Alchemist-Kindle-cover-600x800-72dpi1The Tower’s Alchemist (The Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy, #1)

Dark-Rift-Cover-low-rez-singleDark Rift (The Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy, #2)

Circadian-Circle-CoverCir­ca­di­an Cir­cle (The Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy, #3)

Endings Keep Running Away From Me


I use Gram­marly for eng­lish proof­read­ing because if I didn’t you’d be read­ing this post in Mar­t­ian.

I’ve been work­ing on a sto­ry for near­ly three weeks now and I’ve hit a wall.

It start­ed with a char­ac­ter I cre­at­ed a few months ago for anoth­er project. Her name is One, which is short for One­sipho­rus. She has a dilem­ma. She’s come into pos­ses­sion of a book and that book is for­bid­den. I fol­lowed her through her day to day life. I’ve got­ten into her head and heard her thoughts. I under­stand her. I’ve giv­en her some­thing to sac­ri­fice and fight for. I’ve chal­lenged her cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. I like her.

I had a vision when I start­ed this short sto­ry (an off-shoot of my cur­rent nov­el length WIP) of where she would end up. In my vision, One is look­ing out over the walls of her city into the vast bar­ren plains that con­sti­tute the hin­ter­lands. She is con­tem­plat­ing self-exile.
The vision ends there. I’m not cer­tain how she gets to this place or how things went so bad­ly. I real­ized that the end­ing, in par­tic­u­lar the jour­ney my char­ac­ter trav­els to get to the end, eludes me.

End­ings, no mat­ter the sto­ry, elude me. I almost always know where I want my pro­tag­o­nists to be in the end, but the just before is this mys­te­ri­ous place I can’t seem to get to. It scares me too because this is part of my craft, a huge part of what I want to do and some­how I feel like I’ve run into a wall every sin­gle time

I had such dif­fi­cul­ty when it came to the end­ing of An Unpro­duc­tive Woman. AUW came to me in effort­less lin­ear waves. There was nev­er a moment when I felt stuck, when I had to go back and fill in any gaps. And I did this all with­out an out­line. But when it came to the end­ing, I choked. And this is evi­dent in the reviews that AUW receives. Some of those reviews site an unsat­is­fac­to­ry end­ing.

How do you know when a sto­ry is fin­ished? What con­sti­tutes a sat­is­fac­to­ry end­ing to you?