Blimprider Times, No. 10

Featured Site of the Week

Naomi Rawle

This week, I’m spotlighting an old friend, Naomi Rawle, or more precisely, her web page.  Naomi, who goes by Noa (which I think might be tied to her initials), is a writer who has learned to make the most of the slivers of time available to her.  You see, she teaches English as a second language in Greece, and I can’t imagine how time-consuming that must be!  Still, she finds time to write short stories that are routinely accepted by anthologies, and she blogs on occasion.  “Occasion” meaning that she’ll go a month or more between posts, then get out two or three right on top of each other.  She always makes them count, though, blogging about her projects and progress, promoting her anthologies, and even having the occasional guest, such as last month’s guest post by David Wiley, author of Monster Huntress.

I’ve known Noa for several years, having first met her in the now-defunct Scribblers’ Den writing group of the old Steampunk Empire.  She is a knowledgeable author and a deep conversationalist, and I highly recommend that you take a few moments to pay her a visit.  You’ll find this multi-talented lady holding court on her blog, Through the Eyes of a Stranger.

View from the Blimp

The aforementioned Scribblers’ Den was hands-down the greatest writing group I’ve even been associated with.  It was everything I wanted a group to be, in some part because I created it.  It lasted for two years and had 180+ members who were constantly chattering about Things Book, making our message board look more like a chatroom forum.  Then one morning, a steaming pile of rancid horse shit (sorry, I’d spin that some other way if I could) woke up in a foul mood and deleted the whole site!  Over 20,000 members lost stories, diagrams, blogs, blueprints, videos, sheet music, photographs, game prototypes, thousands of pieces of personal material, tens of thousands, gone on one asshole’s whim.

My good friend William Jackson, with the support of Lee Jahn, Steven Moore, and a few others, has attempted to recreate it on a new social media site.  Me, I don’t think a group like that comes along more than once in a lifetime, but I’m over there as an ordinary member, hoping against hope.  The fact is that only twenty-seven of us have found our way back, and some of them aren’t original members.  Still, they’re a courteous and enthusiastic lot, so perhaps…

So, why all this babble about Scribbler’s Den?  Aside from the fact that I’m still angry about our shabby treatment from a year ago, there is an upcoming project I want to get you all thinking about.  You see, each fall to celebrate the anniversary of our founding, members of Scribblers’ Den have produced an anthology with a theme.  This year’s theme is Port Reprieve.

Port Reprieve is an alternate reality we created which sees the Civil War end in 1864 by European intervention.  Mobile AL was under siege at the time, and has been battered to rubble by the Union mortar boats.  A new settlement called Port Reprieve has been established on the west side of the bay.  It is now 20 years on, Port Reprieve rivals Charleston and New Orleans for the title of “Queen of the South,” and Yankees are very much persona non grata.  The port is a melting pot of Europeans, Africans, and Asians, is very steampunk in flavor, and is populated by everything from conniving dowagers to mad scientists, dangerous street urchins to exotic prostitutes and spies.  The swamps and forests behind the town are believed to be inhabited by cryptozoological creatures from human/animal hybrids to loup-garou.  Are they really, or do people’s imaginations get the better of them on dark, lonely nights?  We writers have found the mysterious and multi-layered city a fabulous locale to let imagination off the leash to hunt, and we’re gambling that readers will share in the mystique.  We’ll all find out together this fall, I suppose…

In support of the original project, I modified this map and posted it on the group’s page.  I found no copyright info attached to it, though I’m sure belongs to someone:


My next task, before I begin the second Darklighters story, is to create a new map, owned by me, that rivals this one, and infringes no copyright so that it can be used in the new anthology.  No telling how long I’ll be on this one, but there is one rule known and respected by all serious indie authors:  If you want to get support, you have to give support!  This is just part of the dues…

Most of you probably don’t know that I have another blog called Jack’s Hideout where I blog about non-writing activities.  It doesn’t see much action anymore, but last night I saw the most scathingly brilliant movie, and felt compelled to tell the world…  And, no, it isn’t an Avengers movie!  Come check it out when you’re ready for a truly imaginative treat.

In Other News…



Speaking of William Jackson, he has re-released From an Irradiated Crypt, the third book of the Rail Legacy series, with a new cover by Bryce Raffle Designs.  William’s original cover is on the left, Bryce’s update on the right.  I’ll leave them to speak for themselves…



And we’re done here!  Join me next Monday when I’ll try to start the workweek off right with a discussion of what your motivation should be to write compelling fiction.  See you then!

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