The Lincoln Steampunk Asylum (Part Two)

Yesterday’s post was Saturday at the Asylum. Since it rather got into heavy wordcount, I decided I’d split the days. Yesterday was all about nerfs, friends, shopping and drinking. Today – fiction, guns, jetpacks and the closing ceremony.

Day two

Vendor_AlexBAfter pulling myself from a listless four hours sleep at 7am, I proceeded to breakfast – and joined the table of the four other young steampunks who couldn’t afford more than £40 per night, two of whom offered to drive me into the Steampunk Quarter in Lincoln – and onto my activities for the day. As my room had to be vacated by 10, the morning was a little of a rush, but not one I couldn’t handle. I arrived at the Academy Rooms at 11 on the dot for the second part of yesterday’s writing workshop, and we didn’t start reading out our pieces until 10 past at least. And I went first – not by choice, I add. *gulp*

Anyway, twenty minutes later, I didn’t place, and I do wonder if I’d have had a little more luck with the original – to be fair, I hadn’t changed much, and I’d focused on strengthening verbs and giving the piece its desert atmosphere – but the piece that won was something I’d definitely vote for myself.

It seems narrative flow has tripped me up once again; one of the judges afterwards remarked to me the gist that I ought to have had dialogue tags when the conversation was confusing. I guess I’m so used to editing them out that my default is to avoid them altogether.

After the brief general writing chat we had with the judges, I had fifteen minutes or so free time – as we’d finished early – and I attempted to write on, to no avail. I guess, as well as overview planning, I ought, or even need, to write a sentence or two in my plan about the direction of the chapter and its chapter shift

GunTalk_AlexBThe time passed, and I remained in the same spot for the Weapons in Steampunk Fiction talk. Whilst a steampunk martial arts class was going on in the main ball room (Bartitsu), I had the weapons talk down as one of my definites. I may have missed all the other talks – supernatural in steampunk, the book signings and general book fair stuff (in fact, I mark myself very poorly on attendance of the literary side of the festival) – but this one I’d always planned to attend because correct use of weapons I find needs more accuracy than correct use of technology and science. After all, one of the elements of Steampunk is its anachronistic and futuristic use of science. Although I have yet to improve and turn into a novella Cavendish Mechanics, I made sure that I thought long and hard about the types of pistols the MC, love interest, and antagonist would be using in the final scene. Agnetha will also assert that correct naming of calibre pistols comes from my being a former Colonel’s daughter.

I digress. The talk was great and very in-depth, though the small room heated up quite a bit and a few of us started feeling faint. The focus was mostly on the types of handguns and rifles that were used in Victoria’s reign and into the early Edwardian reign, but we got to handle a couple of replicas at the end. Always good research, multi-tactile.

As much as I adore this photo – and thanks to Ryan for the background editing away the scaffolding around the castle – I am very promptly the odd one out, wearing neither hat nor goggles. I didn’t find a hat I wanted to wear, sadly, and my goggles are in Reading.
As much as I adore this photo – and thanks to Ryan for the background editing away the scaffolding around the castle – I am very promptly the odd one out, wearing neither hat nor goggles. I didn’t find a hat I wanted to wear, sadly, and my goggles are in Reading.

I had planned to see a lot of things on the Saturday and not so many on the Sunday, partly due to the fact that there were less anyway, but I think I had more of a case of not making my mind up which of the amazing convivial’s activities I wanted to take part in. From the weapons talk, I browsed the Academy room’s market, restraining myself from buying books or some fine, expensive goggles or even a waistcoat, though I ought to, and rejoined the soldier, the rifleman, and The Spine (looking decidedly less Spine-like today) by the Hendricks tent in the Academy grounds. And more gin.

As Rabbit would say: the only way to fly...is with a jetpaaaackk.
As Rabbit would say: the only way to fly…is with a jetpaaaackk.

We caught up with the pink-haired lady to watch the Minimum Altitude Display team (I can’t think of a better way of putting it than “running around making aeroplane noises”) and the Wacky Races – an event which involved actual human-powered machine running a course around the castle grounds, and not-so-actual jetpacks.

As I’d missed yesterday’s fare, I was hoping to make my way back to the centre of the Steampunk Quarter for the Tea Duelling UK finals. We hurried back to the Assembly Rooms, but were informed that the Tea Duelling had finished. Sorry, people of the internet – I couldn’t get you any Lincoln 2014 footage of Tea Duelling. However, an apology is not enough, so here’s the Tea Duelling from DragonCon (USA), courtesy of Professor Upsidasium. Professor Elemental is MC-ing! Yay!

Nevertheless, we hovered around the markets to past the time. The Illicit Market, where traders, those who’d had stalls and those who’d not yet, offered their wares more cheaply and in the hustle of the crowded ballroom. After all, if the Piemen (members of the Guild of Privateers, Illicit Entrepreneurs and Scoundrels) caught any of us, the whole of the illicit venture would collapse. Hehe. 😉

When the closing ceremony came around, we were, of course, all dismayed to think that the weekend had come and gone so quickly. In particular, I regret that I hadn’t had the ability to drive up for the Friday’s events and that I was substituting the Sunday evening Dead Dog Party for taking four trains home. Still, I was exhausted and I don’t actually know if I’d have survived that night as well.

That’s it, folks! I had a great time and am definitely thinking about returning to the Lincoln Asylum next year 🙂

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