Tag Archives: Empires of Steam and Rust

Camp NoNaMakkaHooJooBilly

2014-Participant-Facebook-Profile*”Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…”

Or some such thing.

In my continued half-assed efforts to get back into the swing on this EMPIRES OF STEAM AND RUST project, I have signed up for the April CAMP NANOWRIMO.

I know, I know, we all hate all the hullaballooza surroundign these little things, all the backslapping and bragging on seemingly hourly word-count achievements and endless self-congratulatory tweets and Crackbook posts. All those annoyingly upbeat and caffiene-raging wannabe writers acting out their fantasies on your social network feed 24/7 for a whole month. I know. Believe me, I know.

What else I know? It works.

In 2009, after stumbling along with my second or third attempt (emphasis on attempt) at a novel for many a month, I signed up for this weird new thing called a Kajagoogoomochafrappelattehow’syomomma or some fucking thing. The idea was to hold your breath, tighten your gut and barrel through 30 days of intensely focused commitment to laying down words. It was the first really tough time I’d given myself with my writing, forcing myself to comply and put out. At the end of that 30 days I had the bulk of what would become HOT SINATRA, my first published novel (which you can find all the links to purchase HERE. Seriously. Buy my book. Buy it. BUY IT NOW!)

Lately, I will admit, I have suffered against the terrifying, soul-crushing and all-powerful ghoul of writer’s block. A phenomenon borne mostly of exhaustion, partly of self-doubt, and entirely of delusion.

I’ve been remiss in finishing a number of projects because of it and now has come the time to “shit, or get off the pot”, as my ol’ grandaddy would have said. So, in the interest of stoking the fires and getting that train a’ rollin’ on down the line, I am challenging myself to kick it up a notch and put responsibility where it always should lay… at my own damned feet.

So, wish me well. Keep an eye on me. Kick me in the ass when I need it. And pray for an end to this godsforsaken winter.

Check me out on Camp NanoWriMo: AxelHowerton

*”Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Let pry through the portage of the head like the brass cannon;

Let the brow o’erwhelm it as fearfully as doth a galled rock o’erhang and jutty his confounded base, swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height.”

It’s writin’ time.



*Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act III, 1598




Now you can help support me in my mad pursuit of wordage, as well as help fund further programs and excellence from the good folks at NaNoWriMo, who educate, inspire and support writers everywhere year after year after year.

You can go make a donation to my NaNoWriMo page right now. $5, $20, what-have-you.

Not only will you have my endless respect and appreciation, but I’m going to put your name in my book. Anyone who donates will automatically receive, direct from me, digital copies of as many of my titles as can be mustered, along with inclusion in the Thanks and Salutations section of KEY TO STEAM AND SALVATION when it is finished and published (a deal is already in-place with Coffin Hop Press)

Anybody who donates $50 or more will also have a character in a future story or novel named in their honour.

And, if there’s anybody out there with a spare $100 to throw in the pot, you’re going to get all of the above mentioned swag, plus an autographed copy of KEY TO STEAM AND SALVATION, and an original Axel Howerton objet d’art… maybe a boxing painting, maybe a Steampunky mixed-media piece, maybe a notebook with a hand-written short story.

Just GIVE GIVE GIVE! http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=308999

Sunday Bloggery: Lucky 7 presents The Key to Steam and Salvation

british-indian-army-uniforms-the-11th-bengal-native-infantry-regiment-1890-170507-p[ekm]101x130[ekm]I was tagged on Crackbook by a couple of authory pals, in something called the “Lucky 7”. Rules state that I am to go to page 7 of a work-in-progress and post two paragraphs and then tag 7 fellow authors to do the same. So here are my two paragraphs, I’ll do the tagging on FB. This is from the Keys to Steam and Salvation novella (maybe novel) to fit in with Bob Vardeman and Nathan Long’s EMPIRES OF STEAM & RUST series, which features some amazing stories by Master Vardeman, as well as David Lee Summers, Stephen D. Sullivan and Sarah Bartsch. These tales cover various times and spaces around the world in what starts as an alternate history 1915, full of sci-fi and steampunkery. Rick Overwater is also working on one full of deep-sea diving and military espionage. Mine own tale mixes the factual history of my own great-grandfather into the alternate universe version of Empirical India, WWI and a far-flung post-apocalypse. Here’s your first taste:

Arthur set the crate next to the man in the alley, noting that the doctor had obviously put his tools to work, a series of syringes lined up neatly next to the leather bag.

“Do we really have to do this here, Davey? Maybe it would be better to get him back to the clinic…”

“No. Thanks to the Sergeant, he may already be useless to me. Time is of the essence now. Prepare the box Arthur.”

Arthur opened the hinged lid of the small crate and carefully removed a strange glass box, of about three feet square, framed in a dull metal, and enclosing a smaller version of the same. Small coils of coppery wire ran in the corners between the inner box and the outer, and a small canister was attached to the outside with a pipe running through a rubber seal into the inner workings. Arthur set the contraption next to the man’s head.

“Quick and clean this time, Davey? Please?”

“It takes what it takes, Arthur. This is science.” David removed a roll of canvas and spread it out to reveal a series of gleaming metal instruments. He carefully extracted a large scalpel and turned the man’s head to one side, slicing neatly through the skin of his neck, a thin line of blood following the track of the blade. As fast as it appeared, the blood was washed away in rivers of pink and mixed into the flood at their damp knees.

“Jesus.” Arthur whispered, swiping at the tangle of wet hair hanging in his face and turning his eyes to the end of the alley where Robert had disappeared.

“He has no place here, Captain Lettington. Science is the true God.”

The hand that shot up and grasped Arthur’s shirttail was accompanied by an unearthly scream. Arthur jumped and fell away, landing with his back in a cold pool of watery mud.


© 2014 Axel Howerton