Mar 25, 2009

What do you make of this?

"Well I can make a hat. A brooch. A pterodactyl."

Have a look at these results on the Real Life Meet-Up survey at ÆtherChrononauts. It seems fairly clear at this point that there is no ONE major place that the Neo-Victorian/Steampunk sims will meet this year. But perhaps this is the "off year" when folks get together in mulitple smaller venues with a larger con next year.

It looks like there is enough interest to put some specialized events on the SLCC calendar, and we will work with the SLCC Board to do so. Some folks also wish to attend SteamCon in Seattle. There may be opportunity to organize along similar lines there.

There were also a fair number of folks throughout this process asking about it could be that this becomes the east coast location for a group. All these things are to be decided after review of the results and calls for volunteers.

Thanks for your participation!

CaleCon artwork from last year.

Mar 22, 2009

I have a great desire to write more about this evening, but now after dancing into the wee hours of the morning, I don't feel as though my mental faculties would do any justice in prose to the glorious night.

Here I stand awaiting my first guests
in the new gown created for me by the talented, Miss Teaa Demina.
The gown is called: The Lady of Skye

So for now a few pictures and a small kinescope/slide show of the night.

Suffice it to say for now, that with all the old friends and new acquaintances that shared in the joy last night, I feel very loved. And Caisteal Teanacadh feels more like home.

I am blessed.

Mar 17, 2009

Fleet Intel from familiar waters

(written as part of a series for

It had been only 15 minutes or so since the yeoman brought the steam kinescopic device and accompanying envelope to my desk. I immediately recognized Bestoso's handwriting. Good- she had survived the trip back through the rift. Even better - she was alive and was able to get a report back through time to me. After I studied the information, I packed it up and walked across the yard to the Commodore's offices.

I found him standing around charts with CDR Murakami. They were speaking to Mr. Zatzai Asturias, the autocrat of these lands. Apparently updating him on the floating island recently found.

I cleared my throat and they all looked up.

"Lady, what do you have for us, then?" asked O'Toole.

I simply walked over to the drafting table and laid my folder on top of the charts. This picture was on top.

Of course Murakami and the Commodore immediately knew where this was taken. I could feel more than see the junior officer in the room shift uncomfortably in his boots. O'Toole's jaw dropped involuntarily, his pipe splashing into the mug of coffee he had placed so carefully on the edge of the table. Zatzai watched in growing curiosity...not quite worry...but concern.

"What else, Eva?" the Commodore managed in a quiet tone.

I handed him the brief note from LCR Bestoso and continued describing what appears to be a rebuilding of the fleet in Caledon.

"Well - obviously - we see in that last picture, the Guvnah's mansion in Victoria City, although it appears to have undergone significant changes since we were last in that time and place. As a side note, Bestoso did not give any indication if she arrived back through the portal at the same time/place she left it with us so many months ago or if time had advanced significantly for Caledon and the world as we knew it."

"This new class of ship they are building appears to be of a pre-dreadnought design of some sort. The power plant is large, but I cannot make predictions as to the fuel used based on our limited information. There are also at least 4 light guns and possibly a torpedo ram."

Fleet Intel Report
CDR Bellambi - I hope this kinescopic device and the few still pictures make it back through the rift. We have found what appears to be HQ for the rebuilding Caledon Navy. I am safe here back in 19th Century Caledon and will stay to provide future reports. Hope to have orders from you soon. Yours- LCDR Bestoso

"Good lord, woman! I've enough on our hands with this blasted floating island approaching. What do you think this means? Will the Caledon fleet now follow us into the rift of time? Do you think they want us back there? Or dead?"

"Hotspur, I don't think we can answer those questions just yet. We just don't have enough data....not by a long shot." I felt Zatzai and MrBunwah watching me closely as I continued. "Desmond does not seem to have more than this one ship at present, and it is still in the shipyard - such as it is. What we HAVE is a warning. Something to watch and be very sensitive to, because you are absolutely right. That floating piece of discarded ships and whatnot is a far greater threat to us right now."

I felt his resolve return as he picked his pipe up from the coffee and began wiping down the charts with his handkerchief. He straightened up and then...


Zatzai jumped as did the young Commander.

"Yessir Commodore. I'm right beside you sir." He managed.

"Do you have the task force of Tyrians, Kotetsus, and Lavancos ready to go? We must get out ahead of this it along it's path. That will be our surprise for them."

MrBunwah shook his head and began to detail some delay or another when O'Toole interrupted,
"Well get a move on boy! We've no time to lose! Disssssmisssssed!"

As he ran out of the offices, I turned to Zatzai and Hotspur...."Now let's review the kinescopic data and see what else we may be in for..."

We huddled around the machine only beginning to digest what this all may mean for the Wrath Fleet and for Lilliput and surrounds.

Mar 15, 2009

Castle Warming - March 21st

Announcing the inaugural ball of Caisteal Teanacadh:

Space Pirates of the Caledonian!

The pirates flying at 2500 meters

And another Relay for Life season is upon us.

Dancing and donating!

Many thanks to Captain Kiralette Kelly; Pirate King & Queen, Alfonso Avalanche & Fuschia Begonia; and DJ Gabrielle Riel for the most excellent RFL Kickoff for Team Caledon!

The Pirate King himself: Alfonso Avalanche. Gabi DJing from the plank.
(I regret that the Pixie remained hidden from my camera the whole time I was there.)

I look forward to Caledon's theme of Cancer Prevention and Education this year. Much more to come, I am sure!

Yarrrrr! It's Kiralette and me with swords in hand.

Mar 10, 2009

The Fleet of Wrath Exiles' Open House

In the new lands of Roatan. It was great fun as DJ Therese Slade cranked out the electronica for our Time Warp event. (Which really was our way of saying come in ANY theme you like. )

Crap Mariner even dropped by to dance a while.

I am in my Burlesque costume, and Therese is in her French pre-revolution era costume.

Iason Hassanov, Baron Klaus Wulfenbach
Part of the crowd

View from the sky

Mar 9, 2009

(OOC) "You be the Water Nymph, Mom."

Words to the wise: When one's daughters want to play spa, remember that you will be getting soap mixed with sunscreen mixed with lotion for your foot treatment. You will have your hair and scalp brushed energetically.

You will get make-up applied.

And then they will want to pretend they are actors in a play. A SHAKESPEARE play. And Mom -

"You be the Water Nymph, Mom. OK?"


The other bit that crossed my mind was:

Mar 6, 2009

Caisteal Teanacadh

*note to the reader: Throughout this post, I will drift in and out of character as I describe the creative process that allows the story of Eva Bellambi to bloom and grow. These out of character (OOC) moments will be indicated by text written in italic font. To catch up with this chapter of my story thus far, one may review the posts here, here, and here).*

And now, Caisteal Teanacadh.....

Lunar had been working on the restoration of my family's castle and keep for the last several months (well months of our time accelerated SL - really only a few weeks). I have been living high above Isle of Skye in one of Miss Serra's fine builds during the excavation and construction. One night, he sent a message to me, "Lady Eva, the work is essentially complete. Would you come have a look?" Now of course I had been following the progress with great amazement on a daily basis, but to hear the builder say that it was nearly complete set it in an entirely new light.

His restoration of the clan home has been thorough and incredibly caring and patient. He has had the wood carvings cleaned and repaired, the stonework stabilized, and the papers and painting all painstakingly restored or recreated.

When I moved Eva from Loch Avie to Anodyne, I knew that everything about the land needed to be different. The story needed to expand on my character, and new layers of her history and life experience needed to become known. Much of my inspiration for Eva comes from my own grandmother (also named Eva), my love of the actual history of Scotland and her clans, and the fictional tales as told by Diana Gabaldon in the Outlander series of books. The Frasers of Lovat are Eva's ancestors on her father's side of the family. It is this part of the family that we now begin to explore in historical fantasy/fiction, of course. As you recall from the stories referenced above, Eva has found herself in the lands of these forebears thanks to Nellie, who guided her here. She found evidence of her family, and has reclaimed the lands. Discovering the ruins of the Clan Seat here on Isle of Skye, she engaged Lunar to rebuild, and rennovate. In reality I found inspiration for her home by searching about castles in Scotland - and in particular - on the Isle of Skye.

The one that caught my attention is Dunvegan Castle.

I sent this inspiration picture to Lunar and he felt that he would be able to create something similar based on this. I also sent along a few interior shots for his reference. We talked a bit about the history I was creating and for what purposes the castle would be used. He amazed me. He was even able to find and review blue prints of the castle, and work with an friend on what interior textures and stylings would be for castles built in this time period. What a talent this man truly has. (You will see more, in a group of exterior shots further down in this post, but I will be posting interiors as soon as I have decor where I want it.)


When I arrived at the bridge in front of the castle for my grand entrance and tour of the (essentially) completed restoration, Lunar handed me a bundle of yellowed papers that he said he found as he worked in the vaults of the underground portions of the castle. I did not read them at the time - only shuffled throught them, but what I found later as I sat in my new library and carefully unrolled the dusty pages amazed me. There were years of documented clan accounts from the monthly audiences that those under the chief's care had with him. Private letters, which I shall pour through with great interest. And some history of the castle and clan written over periods of time.

What I can surmise thus far are the following things.

  • It was once the greatest and most renowned among Hebridean strongholds.
  • The picturesque quality of the building itself is matched by its glorious surroundings. "Ane starke strengthe biggit upon ane craig", or so it is described by a writer of the early 1500s.
  • And as the stories in my family have always indicated, the Frasers, at the time of the '45, supported Bonnie Prince Charlie. At the time from the castle on the other side of Teanacadh Buinne was Galtrigal, the home of the Prince's pilot, Donald MacLeod of Galtrigal, the man who brought the Prince 'Over the sea to Skye' during the time when the Prince was a fugitive.
  • The chiefs have been fair for the most part, if very demanding and tough.
  • Our clan motto has been truly earned: aut viam inveniam aut faciam
    "I will find a way or make one"
Please explore the link that follows, as a starting point if you'd like to know more about Dunvegan Castle.

Caisteal Teanacadh

Those who know me well understand that I am a strong woman, but also very expressive. When I gazed upon my completed home for the first time in it's entirity, I literally bounced up and hugged Lunar's neck, kissing his cheeks as tears streamed down my own.

The rear elevation

Simply gorgeous!

This castle on these lands. It is perfect. It is my family. It is ME.

**Teanacadh Buinne is Scots Gælic for Healing Tide. Miss Serra is gracious enough to have allowed that to be the name for the waters surrounding Isle of Skye. Although in the elven tongue it is called Eless Eccaia.

Therefore it follows that Eva's ancestors would have called the castle, The Castle of Healing,
Caisteal Teanacadh. And that may be the reason that the women in Eva's family have always been known as healers. Were their abilities and strength drawn from these mysterious waters? Perhaps we'll explore this and other questions. Hmmm?**