Long Beach Steamy Tea and Picnic

Off we went to Long Beach on a lovely Sunday morning to join the Long Beach Company of Steampunks and Neo Victorians for their Steamy Tea and Picnic.

All was in readiness for a delightful picnic in El Dorado Park.

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Picnic in the Park


Several very fine gentlemen were in attendance.

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Picnic Gents


And what could be a better accompaniment to a picnic in the park than croquet?

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Croquet


Plus, there were corgis!

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Corgis Attended by their Human Servants


Alas, we had to bid adieu to all the fine steampunk trappings, including this lovely creation.

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Tower of Steampunk Finery


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Comic Con 2017

With Comic Con a lot more spread out and so many paths blocked, we didn’t make it to quite as many panels and events this year. But, there was still some great stuff!

We’re always happy to see that
Tess Fowler is up to something new, and her new project for IDW, “Black Crown,” looks to be darkly fabulous.

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Black Crown


We made it to Cosplay 101 where
Bob Mogg was showing off his steampunk Batman costume and providing all manner of useful advice for cosplayers novice and expert.

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Cosplay 101


Sparky even spotted a Delores Umbridge in the crowd, although we confess to being more enamored with
Kelly Varner’s version.

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Delores Umbridge


We’ve been reading Arcana’s “Howard Lovecraft” series recently, so we really enjoyed the panel on the movie.

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Howard Lovecraft


Of course, there were sightings of amazing costumes including this Groot that was at least 7’ tall.

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I Am Groot


Kelly and Murray crushed this 1950s Star Trek mashup.

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1950 Star Trek Mashup


This kid was having the best Comic Con of all! Her dad would hoist her up in the air every couple of minutes, sending her into squeals of delight. Sparky wants to know if she can get someone to do this for her.

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Wonder Baby


Check out the Samurai droid mashup!

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Samurai Droids


And what Comic Con would be complete without the
Starburner Galactic Courier Service steampunk meetup and awards? Kudos to the Starburners for the ensemble cosplay with the Victorian baseball costumes.

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Play Ball!


But the highlight of the meetup was when Jeb Haught surprised his long-time girlfriend, Barbara Lekes, with a marriage proposal.

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She Said, “Yes”


Sparky spent quite a bit of time lending a hand in the
Gaslight Gathering booth. The highlight was a chance to be in KPBS’s live stream of the fan tables on the mezzanine.

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B
ooth Hand Sparky


We were quite literally heading for the door to leave on Sunday when we spotted
Nichelle Nichols! Not to be those children of the 60s, but squee!

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Nichelle_Nichols


We did find a few minutes of quiet to enjoy a romantic meal at our favorite downtown dining spot,
Café Chloe. How can a girl resist a boy who orders her sparkling rosé?

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Bubbly Drake


And, yes, we’ve submitted our professional registration materials for next year. Fingers crossed.

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Clockwork Alchemy 2017

With Sometime Later and Kepler’s Cowboys just out, Clockwork Alchemy was mostly about vending for us.

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All the Vending


Fear not, dear reader, life in Authors’ Alley is not all commercial drudgery. The authors have their own tea service to keep up our energy.

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Very Civilized


This year, for the first time, we had a contest for table decoration. We won second prize for best use of banners!


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Best Use of Banners


And most everyone wanders through Authors’ Alley at some point, sharing their splendid costumes with us.


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Authors’ Alley Promenade


But, of course, there was Drake & McTrowell’s “Hot Potato School of Writing™!”

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Now with Actual Hot Potatoes!


Although we didn’t get pictures, we did run “There Was Once a Steampunk from Limerick™” for the second time. You can find the clever and hilarious results
here.

We did manage to conserve our energies enough to make it to the evening performances for our favorite steampunk circus,
Cirque Des Bêtes, and Strangely Doesburg.

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Look Ma, No Hands or Head


And what Clockwork Alchemy bloop would be complete without pictures of
Thena MacArthur in some magnificent costume, like this resplendent red number for the fashion show?


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Lava Red Thena


Remember that Clockwork Alchemy is earlier next year: March 23 – 25th. We’ll see you there!

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Gaslight Gathering 2017

It was so marvelous to be back at Gaslight Gathering! We pulled out all the stops producing new content. Sparky participated in the fashion show, “Victorians We Admire,” as the world’s first programmer, Countess Ada Lovelace.

Drake showed off his martial arts skills with the premiere of his tutorial on cane defense. There was much clamoring to repeat it at future events.

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Take That! And That!


We premiered “There Was Once a Steampunk from Limerick™.” You can find the first batch of results on the new limerick page on our new website page
Library of Limericks.

And there were old favorites. Drake & McTrowell’s “Hot Potato School of Writing™” was way off the hook this time with newbie
Cindy Diamond and repeat offender Kelly Varner. Plus, it was right after the absinthe panel, so it was more colorful than usual.

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Why Does the Green Fairy Make Hot Potatoes so Blue?


For “Theatre of the Historically Improbable™” we performed both “The Evil Cheesemonger” and “Green Grass, Brown Well.” We were joined by
Sage & Savant and Debra Brunner, all of whom contributed a significant amount of tomfoolery to the proceedings.

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Wall-to-Wall Tomfoolery


We found just a few minutes to look in on other happenings including a sighting of
Dyno Staats.

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Magic and Choo Choo, What’s Not to Love?


But our greatest achievement of the weekend was to cast, shoot, edit, and screen a video with a great amount of support from
Dreadfully Punk and L.O.S.E.R., the video “Hiring Day.”



Watch it Here! Flaming Pineapples and Whirling Blades of Death!


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Hiring Day Set

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Audience Reaction


And in case you didn’t notice, we now have our own
YouTube Channel!

Be there at Gaslight Gathering next year to see what other tomfoolery we concoct.

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Sock Puppets!

Gaslight Gathering is only a week away, so this is our final reveal! Last, but certainly not least, we'll be doing Theatre of the Historically Improbable™. That means sock puppets and skits! So bring your inner vaudevillian and puppeteer; hilarity is bound to ensure.


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Now you have all our announcements for Gaslight Gathering:


See y'all there.

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Someone Say Hot Potato?


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If you've seen us at a convention in the last few years, you've probably seen our improvisational, audience-participation, writing game show, Hot Potato School of Writing™. But just because you've seen it once (or twice) doesn't mean you've seen all there is. It's different every time thanks to the wacky input of the audience's "Hot Potato" plot points, the audience members who volunteer to play, and the creativity of our guest authors. We'll be joined this time by Kelly Varner (a notorious repeat offender) and Cindy Kinnard-Diamond. Come lob a few hilarious flaming spuds with us at Gaslight Gathering the weekend of May 12 - 14.

If you missed our first three announcements about other engagingly comical things we're doing at Gaslight Gathering, you can find them
here and here and here.

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