Illusioneer Update and a Bonus Short Story

Good morning Dear Reader, There's been a lot happening over the past few weeks. First, an update on 'The Illusioneer & Other Tales', then a link to a bonus (so far unpublished) short story of mine. The manuscript for Viola's last set of adventures, The Illusioneer & Other Tales, is completed and edited. The galley was proofread by my busy elves. Now the final page count was finalised, I could format the cover spread. Both were sent to the printer and I'm waiting for a proof copy before I can order the first box. The Illusioneer's ISBN has been allocated and it's now listed on the National Library database (Trove/CiP). This is what it will look like on your shelf with the others <shameless plug>.

But there's more:

a bonus excerpt - the first chapter of my next steampunk adventure series, 'The Department of Curiosities' - with new characters and a new look. (The story starts in 1883 and is set in the same alternative world as 'The Adventures of Viola Stewart'.) I bought a new ring to mark the end of my first steampunk mystery series - one stone for each book.

This month's Bonus:

Penny, from The Adventures of Messrs Smith and Skarry, asked me for a short story. It will feature on her blog this week.

You can read Waking  HERE.

Photos and short story ©2017 Karen J Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Time Travel in the 18th and 19th Centuries

When you think of early time travel stories, you'll most likely think of H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel, The Time Machine. But did you know that there were many novels and short stories, written before 1895, with time travel as a central theme. Here's a list of stories you may be interested in checking out. I've added links where I could find them.
  • 1733: Memoirs of the Twentieth Century by Samuel Madden. A guardian angel travels to 1728 with missives from late 1990s.
  • 1781: Anno 7603 by Johan Herman Wessel. A good fairy sends people to 7603 AD where gender roles are reversed in society.
  • 1819: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. Technically Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years, but was effectively 'transported' into the future where his wife has died, his daughter is grown up and he is forgotten.
  • 1836: The Forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon by Alexander Veltman . The protagonist travels to ancient Greece on a hippogriff. This is considered the first Russian SF work.
  • 1843: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Scrooge is shown his past and future by three ghosts. This story was one of the inspirations for Viola's Christmas adventure.
  • 1846: The World As It Will Be by Emile Souvestre. Involves a journey to 3000 on flying locomotive, showing a future with shades of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. (This appears to be first story to use a machine as means of transport.)
  • 1881: The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell Three men go back to the 16th century by way of a clock. (Wikipedia quotes this as first to use a time machine.)
  • 1861: Paris before Men by Pierre Boitard A deamon takes the protagonist back in time to find  apelike creatures and dinosaurs.
  • 1887: El anacronópete by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau A group of adventurers travel back to 1492 Spain, Ancient China, Vesuviius and time of Noah. This story also features a machine as for of time transportation (the anacronópete of the title) -  a cast iron box powered by electricity.
  • 1887: Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy reminiscent of Rip Van Winkle. traveller wakes 113 years later from a hypnosis-induced sleep.
  • 1888: The Chronic Argonauts by HG wells This story is set in Welsh Village where a visitor proves to be a time traveller. The Chronic Argonauth was written six years before The Time Machine. The short story was mentioned in Tomorrow, When I Die, and was one of the inspirations for the story.
  • 1889: Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll involving a watch determining time.
  • 1889: A connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court by Mark Twain An American travels back in time to King Arthurs court, and uses his scientific knowledge to rise in the court.
  • 1892: Golf in the year 2000  by J McCullough Another sleep-travel story - 1892 to 2000, where golf and politics are the only activities not dominated by women.
  • 1895: Finally we get to the well-known classic - The Time Machine by HG Wells.
The initial idea of Viola's penultimate adventure, Tomorrow, When I Die, was sparked by two of the books on this list: A Christmas Carol and The Chronic Argonauts. The story is set over Christmas, 1889. Viola is given a copy of The Chronic Argonauts by her friend, Sir Archibald Huntington-Smythe. And here's some further reading about time travel in the 19th Century:

Surviving the Crash and Burn: NaNoWriMo Wrapup.

And that's it. The end of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for 2016. The aim: to write fifty thousand words in 31 days - a short novel from start to finish. For more information on NaNoWriMo click HERE.  Those who 'win' gain glory and prizes - including discounts for writing software and editing, free eBook creation, and a free masterclass by James Patterson. Mostly it's for the glory - the satisfaction of finishing the first draft of a novel. This year my project was the third journal in Viola Stewart's adventures - The Illusioneer & Other Tales.

Did I win? No. I managed just over 17,200 words. Technically I crashed and burned on day sixteen. november Did I fail? No. "But you only managed half the word count goal?", you say. "So what," say I. And here's why:

There is more than one way to win in NaNo. Just participating - getting off my butt, putting pen to paper, cajoling my brain into production and not giving into procrastination is a huge win.

The week before NaNo, I had given into anxiety (What if I haven't got another book in me? What if it's crap?) and devoured chocolate in an effort to feel better. NaNo loomed. Two days to go and I wasn't ready! Out came the notebooks. I dove into the internet, researching nineteen century illusionists, Victorian beach holidays and the Loch Ness monster (amongst other things).

November started with promise. I had a goal. I had a deadline. I was going to make it! Then real life happened. Doubts crept in. By day sixteen I was exhausted. The migraines started and I still had Supanova (convention) to content with. I tried to push through. I got frustrated, annoyed, anxious.

Then I remembered writing is like an iceberg. The reader glimpses but a fraction, the final product. There's a lot more to a novel than just the final words on paper. The foundation is the important thing.

Once I gave myself permission to 'fail' at NaNo, I managed to relax. My migraine faded. The anxiety abated. I could think more clearly. My health improved. I wrote notes. Lots of notes. Clues required later in the story; plot threads to be gathered and finalised. I drew a map, vital to follow the action and make my life easier when I returned to work on the first draft.

If I hadn't had those NaNoWriMo statistics staring back at me,  I may have continued to wallow. I didn't moan that I had a block  or I was going to fail. Instead, I asked myself: what else can I do to help achieve my final goal?

NaNo was just one of many tools in my writing box. A way to get closer to my final goal. By the end of the month, I had completed more than one-third of my final goal - the third installment to Viola's adventures. In turn, this encouraged me to start looking at the final book cover. I even got out of my chair and got some gardening done (yeah for exercise and endorphins).

So, how did I really do for NaNoWriMo? If you only look at the numbers on my dashboard then, yes, technically I did crash and burn. But in my heart, I beat this bout of anxiety. In my heart, I won.

And that's what really matters.