Worldbuilding Wednesday: TMI?

All fiction writers must do research. It’s an inevitable fact. Even if you are writing contemporary fiction, you must still research your venue. The reason for that is that fiction, unlike reality, has an obligation to make some sort of sense. When we write stories, we are expressing truths about the world around us and […]

The New Green and The Old “Make-Do”

In spite of the increase in visibility over recent years, the “Green” movement has been chugging along for decades. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s environmental classic, “Silent Spring,” in which Carson raised consciousness about the detrimental environmental and health effects of the use of chemical pesticides. People are beginning to […]

The Very First Road Trip

The early days of the automobile are populated with images of dashing, young, well-to-do men tooling around in their new and somewhat dangerous toys. Then, as today, the ladies seemed to simply be along for the ride. Of course, those images don’t nearly tell the whole story. This spring break I did what thousands of […]

Worldbuilding Wednesday: No One Is Above the Laws (Of Magic)

If technology exists along the same lines as magic, then it surely must follow, then, that magic, too, must be constrained by limitations and laws just as science is. Our wonder comes from not sufficiently understanding the laws by which it must abide. In stories as old as time, the hapless humans who suffer the […]

Making Things

I’m one of those people who loves making things. If there’s something out there that can be constructed at home, on a small scale, I’m game for trying it out. I’ve made the usual things like clothing, costumes, and home decor–crafty stuff that everyone’s more or less tried their hand at (and I may show […]

Tragic Centennial: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

If anything about the Diesel era appeals to me, it’s the era’s characteristic future-focused attitude. Even in the midst of Depression, there existed a determination, a hope that better times were just around the corner, and a stubborn refusal to lie down and give up on the future. But that was all borne out of […]

Worldbuilding Wednesday: Technology Or Magic?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke Clarke’s Third Law above can’t help but draw the mind towards the understanding that magic–whether it’s the world of an English boy wizard, a fellow in a top hat and satin-lined cape, or an ancient system of causality and belief in a world […]

A “Can-Do” Attitude

One of the driving forces in the Diesel era (roughly 1920s-1950s with wiggle room of about a decade on either side) is the DIY nature of the time. Automobiles were finally saturating the market, making the internal combustion engine something not only remarkable, but useful, and within the grasp of the average Joe. And in […]

Something About an Airship

We are all familiar with the Goodyear Blimp and the Superbowl and the occasional hot-air balloon.  When we think of “blimp” we think of something rather like a large balloon–big, bulky, ungainly, and maybe just a little bit bumbly-looking, compared to a Stealth bomber or a fighter jet. Something harmless. Then we think of an […]