A Steamy Treat for Tuesday…

Hey, everyone!

Just in case you missed the big launch last week, Pip and I premiered Tales from the Archives,  a collection of short stories from the Victorian England of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. With original theme music composed and created by Alex White, we are featuring original steampunk short stories from…

Last week, Pip kicked things off with “The Evil that Befell Samson” and this week we present the supernatural steampunk “Dust on the Davenport” by author O.M. Grey. Continue reading

Black Friday: The Dark Side of Viral Videos

Social Media carpetbaggers (as I call them here, and I’m liking the term the more I use it) would challenge me on many of my work beliefs and ethics, two of which that have been brought to light just this month:

    • You can’t make a viral video. They just happen.
    • There is such a thing as bad publicity.

      I have seen this as a topic on many a conference track — “How to Make Your Videos Viral!” or some such nonsense — and I also get the “Let’s make a viral video…” request a lot from my day job. After my skin stops crawling, I pull no punches and speak the best-kept-secret truth that the carpetbaggers won’t admit: you can’t make a viral video. A video goes viral due to traffic on social networks increasing awareness (of a product, person, or cause), and through self-replicating processes that gain momentum on both the Internet and mainstream media.

      Did you catch that “self-replicating” part? That’s key. No one can make self-replication happen. You can promote a video, sure, but that does not necessarily guarantee it going viral.  The constant thread (if there is one) is luck. Good or bad, it comes down to luck. You can’t predict it. You can’t produce it. You never know what will strike that nerve. Viral videos just happen.

      And in the case of Rebecca Black, that is exactly what happened. What two comedians referenced off-handedly has now become 2011’s viral sensation. Continue reading

      A little something for #SteamTuesday

      Hey, everyone!

      You might have heard about this on Twitter last week when Pip and I premiered the first episode of our anthology podcast (more on that in a moment), there is a pretty strong showing of steampunk on Twitter, and one writer in particular started up a movement that have become a weekly event I always look forward to on Twitter.

      Meet Nancy Overbury, the creator of #SteamTuesday on Twitter.

      Nancy is a graphic designer and artist located in Montreal, Canada, and has nursed over the past few years a passion for steampunk. She promotes on Twitter a variety of  links — literature, film, art, fashion, music — you name it! If it’s steampunk and she hasn’t mentioned it on Twitter, you’ll find it on her blog.

      So when Pip and I were trying to figure out when we wanted to drop episodes of Tales from the Archives, I immediately thought of Nancy’s special day on Twitter dedicated to steam, gears, and cog. Last week, the first episode “The Evil that Befell Samson” written by Pip Ballantine, went live:

      It is revealed just how Miss Braun ended up being exiled from her native country, New Zealand, and working for the Ministry in its London Offices. It’s a tale of nefarious doings, stalwart ladies, and the sound of clockwork.


      With original theme music composed and created by Alex White, Tales from the Archives will be featuring original steampunk short stories from these talented authors:

      You can subscribe on iTunes (and leave us a review there) or with your podcatcher of choice at the Ministry website. If you hear a short story you particularly like, go on and feel free to syndicate it on your own blog or podcast.

      And make sure when you are on Twitter, give Nancy a tweet and consider tracking the #SteamTuesday for some incredible finds out there in the aetherwebs!

      “You Can’t Give Up. You’re Not Allowed.”

      I never like seeing friends stressed out. Whether it is intensely stressed out or just out of their groove, it just kills me. It is amplified more when I feel the bumpy ride of Life’s rougher patches. Last week, snapping back from what can only be described as an “emotionally charged night” between me and the World, I read up on a writer and friend I admire and hold dear. Turns out he was also hitting a rough patch of road.

      Phil Rossi, the multitalented man with the flowing hair of awesome, began a series of posts called “Paralysis.” He’s working through a writer’s dry spell; and in “Part I: Stranded,” he went “All In” like the rock-and-roll badass that he is:

      “Another truth–I’ve never been in this place before. I don’t recognize the countryside.  The air here is different—heavy and overwhelming. Talk about a wrong turn. In the past, I’ve been able to work through any creative block. This is different.”

      It was in this passage from the second posting in this series entitled “Part II: Patience” where I felt like I clicked with Phil on the raw fear now gnawing away at him: Continue reading