Steampunk inspiration and resources

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500 Posts and Counting…

Hello friends!

Right after I hit “publish” on my crowdfunding article Monday, I got this nifty little notification that it was my 500TH POST!!! Woot!

The timing was apt because I am currently working on my editorial calendar for the next couple months and I am having a little trouble coming up with ideas. Steampunk is a wide, wacky world, but with 500 posts under my belt I have run through all my planned material. Never fear, I am sure I will be able to keep bringing you fabulous new stuff, but I thought this would be a nice opportunity to open up the floor to requests.

Want to see a tutorial for my paper engineering feats? Got a book to suggest I review? Love a Steampunk band that I have yet to feature? Have a topic or person in history you wish you knew more about? Let me know and I will add it to the calendar:)

I’m going to start my yearly birthday hiatus next week, so I’ll be back the week of August 8th with the inside scoop on GenCon. Thanks as always for your support, and here’s to the next 500 posts together!


Steampunk Crowdfunding July/Aug 2016

Summertime and the living’s easy… unless you are one of those people currently running a Kickstarter campaign and biting your nails as you watch for pledges!

My friends over at Aerolyth Enterprises reached their funding goal for Stars of Empire, but there are awesome stretch goals still to meet so check them out.

What’s Going on Right Now?


Adventure: A Collection of Steampunk Short Stories, Ends Sept. 5

Watch the Video:

We are the Citizens of Antiford, a steampunk collective of amateur cosplayers, artists, and authors. Our fictional world was created about 6 years ago and we’ve been active in the steampunk community and growing ever since. We held a challenge for our members to write short stories worthy of publication. We selected six stories that represent the idea of adventure in the Citizens of Antiford’s world.

If you’re interested in discovering more about us and our world, there’s a plethora of stories, videos, comics, and more on our community’s website

My Favorite Reward: $15 pledge gets you a paperback copy and a choice of bookmark

Find out more


Airships of Oberon (Tabletop Game), Ends Aug. 5

Watch the Video:

Game componentsAirships of Oberon is a fun, highly social strategy game in which you go on missions to pick up and deliver Flux Artifacts for experience points. The Artifacts are in short supply so you’ll be chasing other players and using Anti-magnetic Effects to get the ones you need. When you gain 36 experience you become a Flux Master. Then you can complete your final Mission: capture the three keys and bring them to Oberon City to win the game!

My Favorite Reward: If you can’t afford the $50 for the full game, you can get a “print and play” version for an $8 pledge.

Find out more


Columnae: A Past Under Construction, Ends Aug. 9

Columnae still

Watch the Video:

COLUMNAE: A Past Under Construction is a Windows/Mac/Linux nonlinear point & click adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world. The story of COLUMNAE is set more than a century after an environmental catastrophe made the air on the surface of the earth unbreathable, and the rich locked themselves up in Deus: a closed heavenly settlement built upon gigantic metal pillars called Columnae. Beneath Columnae, a huge apparatus Machina was built to automatically extract underground resources and pump them up via pipes, through Columnae and into Deus. Trying to escape the lethal environment on the surface, those not wealthy enough settled in Columnae, where they now live by parasitizing on resources coming from Machina. Not only unable to enter Deus, but also unwilling to cooperate with people living on nearby Cliffs, the society of Columnae is plagued by corruption, political manipulation, power struggle and poverty.

My Favorite Reward: $14 pledge and you get the game, plus lovely digital artwork

Find out more

Tinkerbits Steampunk Meeples (Tabletop Gaming), Ends Aug 21


Meeples are iconic in the tabletop gaming world.  They have many uses and are great little tactile toys.  Giving them a Tinkerish steampunk twist is something that we’ve wanted to do for a couple of years.  They started in Carcassonne, but meeples can find a home almost anywhere.

As for offering them in metal, well, that’s just one of the things that we enjoy.  There’s just something nice about the heavier, solid feel of metal game components, and they bring a certain panache to the table.  It’s not necessary for them to be metal to be playable, and yes, they are more costly than wood or plastic, but we think it’s worth it.

My Favorite Reward: $14 for 5 of these adorable little guys

Find out more

Other Fun Projects

Time Flies: Levitating Nixie Clock, Ends Aug. 19

Watch the Video:

Nixie clock

From an early age we are aware of the laws of physics and their effect on how the world around us behaves. If we pick up an object, it has weight. If we place it on another object, such as a table, shelf or the floor, it will rest upon it. If we drop it, it will fall. We become so used to this behaviour that any exception is a surprise and delight. Remember the first time you saw a helium filled balloon, straining to escape, fighting the ties of gravity? Even though levitated objects have become increasingly common, there is still the air of magic about them.  When the levitated object is radiating energy you know it cannot be generating in itself, the illusion of magic is complete…

Find out more

Friends, Steampunks, Bloggers, Lend me Your URL!


The Airship Ambassador has a huge list of Steampunk blogs and websites on his site, but as I combed through them I found the majority are defunct. I decided to devote a page here at For Whom the Gear Turns to the sites that I have discovered that are still going strong, and to open the floor to anybody who’d like to get added to my list.

I’m especially looking for sites that share interests with this blog, such as book and movie reviews, fun historical facts from the steam era, and resources for fellow makers, but leave me a link in the comments below and I’ll take a look at whatever you’ve got and make the call from there if it is a good fit for the list. Feel free to share your own site or the work of others, all are welcome.

Happy Friday:)


Hat’s Off to the Flight Cap

I don’t have any kids yet, but I already have plans to dress my future children in a variety of silly outfits. And no, I don’t just mean Halloween, I mean as long as possible before they catch on. Because let’s face it, shrinking down just about anything, making it really soft, and putting it on some unsuspecting kid is just about as adorable as it gets. Take flight caps, for instance. If I see a kid in a tiny aviation outfit I can’t help but squeeeee with joy. Like this kid. Am I right?


Of course I am.:)

But where did these iconic caps come from? It turns out they have been a part of aviation since aviation was just a baby.

When the Wright Brothers made their famous first flight in 1903, Orville was definitely wearing a hat. No man of that era would be caught outside without one. On that day, he wore something akin to a page boy cap, but of course flying is a windy occupation and it was basically impossible to keep a regular hat in place. Plus, the pilot’s ears would get cold as the plane climbed and they needed protection.

By 1908,  Wilbur had a brand new hat that quickly became a sensation, not just for people in flight, but also in Parisian fashion. The tight-fitting but soft leather cap (though not the goggles yet) was nicknamed the “Vilbur” and was popular for a short time among young men and boys. Soon after, aviator Louis Bleriot crossed the English Channel, and he added the goggles to protect his eyes from oil and other debris. And you can bet Amelia Earhart got into the action, with her custom-made white cap to match her white flying jacket.

Amelia from Dan Patterson collection

So there you have it. The flight cap and the goggles that we all know and love to wear as part of our Steampunk ensembles grew up alongside the airplane from the very start. I picked up a WWII aviation cap while I was in Bulgaria and wear it with a purple ad black tutu-bustle. Not the least bit accurate, but it sure is a comfy hat!

Here are a few other examples of Steampunk flight caps. Enjoy!

Dropping the Ball

Hiya Gearheads

So, I am definitely suffering from a bit of summertime lull in activity over here on FWtGT, and my apologies about that. The last month has been quite a trial what with living out of my car, taking care of my 5-month-old nephew, and some very discouraging news on both the career and writing fronts.

You may have noticed I have been removing all mentions of my affiliation with a certain publishing company. Unfortunately, the relationship did not work out as I had hoped and we parted ways at the end of June, so we no longer have a release date for Riftmaker to look forward to. Thankfully, I know that the quality of my book was never in question, and I will continue working to get Riftmaker off my laptop and into your hands. But the querying process is a long and arduous one filled with rejection, and it’s not always easy to muster a fully-formed article at the end of the day.

Even though I haven’t been writing long articles for the blog, my writing brain has been far from idle. I am currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is an abbreviated version of the November event. So far this month I have managed to write 10,000 words on my next novel, bringing the total word count to over 13,000. I am also applying for jobs and ironing details to set up shop as a freelance editor, not to mention remedying that whole “living out of my car” issue with a move to Michigan at the end of July.

Some things to look forward to later this summer:

  • The inside scoop on Gen Con (Aug 4-7)
  • Book reviews of Toru: The Wayfarer Returns, Arachnodactyl, and selected short stories from Steampunk World.
  • More information about how to submit to the short story collection I am compiling for the 30th anniversary of the word Steampunk in 2017.

So, thanks for bearing with me while I get that ball back in its rightful place and spray my hands with that sticky stuff to keep it from escaping again.

Have a whimsical day!


I Am Featured Today as Part of a Celebration of Female Science Fiction Writers!

Y. Correa is featuring women all this month on her blog, and I am one of the lucky ladies who got to come along for the ride:) Check out her post for an updated and much longer blurb for Riftmaker as well a few words detailing my reasons for loving science fiction as a genre.

Women in Science Fiction: Phoebe Darqueling

Glub glub in a Steampunk Sub

I have started work on the sequel to Riftmaker, and I am planning to include a super cool Steampunk submarine. I have been collecting images for inspiration so I thought I’d share the fruits of my labors with you. When possible, I have credited the artist but most of these images came via Pinterest so if you see something miss-credited or you know who was the brains behind a certain sub please let me know.



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