Gaslight Gathering, a Steampunk Convention in San Diego, CA

Last weekend I attended the Gaslight Gathering convention at the Handlery Hotel on hotel circle in San Diego, California.

It was the first time for me at a Steampunk convention. I have been to many science fiction conventions including several World Science Fiction Conventions. So this was a different experience for me.

Someone mentioned that the attendance was small. I disagree. This was the first time they held this convention. I was not tripping over people, but I felt that the attendance was right for the space available. I don’t know how the vendors did, but one vendor came up to his friend that I was talking to and told him that he had sold sold enough to cover expenses in one sale. I bought enough brass items from another vendor to make him happy.

I had a mission in attending the convention. I know it sounds mercenary of me, but my goal, or purpose if goal sounds to dogmatic, was to find a process or a place to find Beta Readers for Steampunk writing.

I succeeded. After talking, (more like badgering) a bunch of authors I had one author patiently explain in detail, with links, what to do. I am not a social media type or user. I have a Facebook page, if you can find it, that I look at every ow and then (at least once a month, maybe).

I’m an engineer, that’s an introvert with a degree. Engineer’s have a spirit of self reliance, independence, self-sufficiency (think go away and I’ll fix it). I have been accused of not playing well with others and breaking thing to see how they work.

One author on a panel accused me of looking like an writer. Boy, did I have her fooled. I write, I write a lot. But you don’t put on a 1900s style shirt and un-become an engineer. It’s Dilbert to the bone, just like ugly (beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes all the way to the bone).

I liked the convention. I got some important things done. I made friends. I accomplished a goal. I should have been writing (I did some in the hotel room) so you can’t win them all.

If your a writer consider going to a steampunk convention. The panels on writing are not well attended. That makes access to the panel members (they’re authors, they’re experienced) much easier. Makes for one on one communication. That’s what writing is all about, communication. Most attendees are into period clothing, there were sewing classes at the convention. This convention had a knitting class, I think.

The convention had a magic show put on by a chemist. Warning what comes next is gross. One part of his act he drives a nail into his nostril, with a claw hammer. You can’t help but watch. He does wear safety glasses while driving the nail into his face. Then he picked a pretty girl from the audience to pull the nail out. He girl he picked was nick named Squeak. As she was standing next to him holding the claw hammer and he was going through his spiel she squeaked like a mouse and the squeak went ultrasonic. She did not want to pull the nail out. But the crowd started chanting, she had lots of friends in the crowd. She did pull the nail out (with lots of squeaking) and looked thoroughly disgusted doing it.

So, look into attending a Steampunk convention it you’re a writer.

Oh, and one of these days I will fix the link at the top of the web page so you can look at the rest of the graphic novel.

Stay strong, write on.             Professor Hyram Voltage.


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