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Posts Tagged ‘steampunk ball’

I had a blast at Comicpalooza’s weird and wonderful Memorial weekend. Every aspect of Comicpalooza was a carnival of the fantastic and the Steampunk ball was no exception.

A Belle of the Steampunk Ball

A Belle of the Steampunk Ball

The music was merry the hall was grand and one and all came with their dancing shoes on, in costumes both elegant and outrageous.

Buxom damsels in bustles and corsets and dapper men in Victorian attire swung their feet, kicked up their heels, and bounced at the ball.

Performances began with Frenchy and the Punk. Their flapper cabaret, Great Gatsby sound was a party in itself.

DSCN0464Professor Elemental’s performance as always was rollicking fun. I say steam, you say, punk. “I say steam, you say, ____.  I say steam, you say, _____.” Proffesor elemental’s youtube video

Marquis of Vaudeville with their rockin circus of sound, the smooth mellow vocals of Toby Lawhon,  and a sensual base guitarist with a magnetic flair and whipping hair had everyone prancing and dancing. Marquis of Vaudeville’s youtube video

Abney Park

Abney Park at Comicpalooza

The ball reached the height of amazement when Abney Park took the stage and the magic of music reached a whole other level. Abney Park’s youtube video

May I have this dance?

Now that the ball is over, the dancers have left, the booths at Comicpalooza have been taken down and all the stars have gone. So we are left waiting for the ball and Comicpalooza to come in 2014.

Maeve Alpin is the author of four Steampunk/Romances: To Love A London Ghost, Conquistadors In Outer Space, As Timeless As Stone, and As Timeless As Magic.

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We have a special treat for you.  February is “Fantastic February” and we will be having some fantasy-themed posts, some great authors, and featuring some fantastic books.  Come join the fun.

Last weekend was the annual Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball, which is part of the Riverside Dickens’ Festival.

Every year the hubby and I go. It’s a chance for us to actually go on a real date and hold hands and dance all night.

It’s also an excuse for me to dress up in a Victorian ball gown.

This year I didn’t make a new dress. I have two perfectly good gowns, the one I “made” last year and the I “made” the year before from two old prom dresses. The hubby thought I should wear the cream prom-dress one, which is the more steampunky one of the two.

Our usual group of friends didn’t make it this year, but another one of my friends came, which was fun.

It also meant I had no hotel room to get ready in so I had to get ready in the bathroom  (I was *not* driving two hours in a corset and ball gown).   Getting into a corset, a bustle, a petticoat, and a lace-up ball gown in a restroom stall isn’t very fun.

Because my dress was cream-colored and I wore my gold clockhand tiara, I got *a lot* of people asking me if I was a bride while I was getting ready.   I told them I was Cinderella getting ready for the ball.

I did discover that I’d brought one white glove and one cream glove, both of different lengths, so I went without, even though it was a little unladylike.

It did bring forth the idea what might happen in a movie or a book where a young woman looses one glove and does everything one-handed, hiding the bare arm behind her back (you know, like when Jo March spent the ball with her back to the wall because of the patch on the back of her dress, only with gloves…)

The venue was different this year and instead of being in a lavish dancing hall, we were in a room at the convention center which lacked the same ambiance.  Still, the ball was packed and so were the “observation seats.” People come just to watch the dancing and the pretty dresses (or, as the Hubby says, watch the parade floats go by.)

The dresses are always fabulous from period-correct custom dresses (down to the underpinnings) to girls in prom dresses.  There were also bustle gowns, prairie dresses, several day dresses, and a few really amazing hats.  There was also a couple where the wife made both the costumes and the fabric of his coat matched her dress.   And of course, the king of Siam.

I do have to say I loved this blouse/skirt outfit.  Why?  Because it’s almost exactly what my character Noli wears in the opening scene of Innocent Darkness, only Noli’s doesn’t have a hoop skirt, and wears a leather apron on top.  This sweet girl (whose name I didn’t get), even has Noli hair!  (Only Noli doesn’t wear glasses).  Even though she probably thought I was strange, she gladly posed for a picture.

Like a true Victorian Ball, it starts with couples being “announced” to the room. This is the first year we actually got there early enough to be announced. We’ve never come up with a persona. The Hubby decides that we’re “Lord and Lady Lazear from Paris, France,” since apparently that’s where the name came from (I didn’t know that.)

Everyone has dance cards and there’s live music. I ogle the pretty gowns and make the hubby waltz, polka, and do the occasional set dance. We did get to dance briefly with the Queen during one of the sets, which delighted the tot to no end. She’s to little to go, but she loves hearing about mommy going to the ball.  The set dances are always so much fun, both to dance in and to watch.  Some of them are very pretty (some are very long.)  I think I need to invent a steampunk set dance — Airpirate’s Fancy anyone?  I also have the urge to write a ball scene in the Innocent Darkness sequel.

Like always we had an amazing time.  In fact, the hubby said this year was the most fun yet.  (That’s what I love about the hubby, I can take him anywhere and he does just fine.)

I can’t wait for next year, only maybe this time I won’t forget my gloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As you read this I’m on my way back home from Orlando, which is a terrible, horrible multi-plane hike across the time zones. Not very fun.

But the Romance Writers of America 2010 conference was fun indeed.

Fellow Lolitas Shelley Adina and Cindy Holby and I did a Steampunk panel along with agent Jennifer Jackson. I’d been terrified that no one would come, since we were opposite some great workshops. But as it turned out, it was standing room only with some very interesting people in attendance.

We got great questions ranging from women’s roles in steampunk to the darker aspects such as colonialism, imperialism, and child labor. Overall, I thought it went well, especially since I didn’t have the vapors…and with the outfit I was wearing I thought I might.

Another highlight of the conference was the Steampunk ball and Prism awards, hosted by the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal online chapter. Everyone was welcome to come in costume, so, of course, Shelley and I dressed up. I came as a Steampunk Princess, complete with tiara made of clockhands. Considering I was walking through a hotel at the happiest place on earth, I got quite a few looks from little girls.

I am convinced that fellow Lolita Leanna Renee Hieber is my long lost sister–and not because people get us mixed up. She was nominated for not one, but two Prism awards. There were a few jokes since she wore all black and I wore all cream. Does that mean one of us is the good sister and one of us the bad sister?


Leanna ended up winning in both the fantasy and best book categories for The Strangely Beautiful Tale of miss Percy Parker . Cynthia Eden also was a double prism winner, taking both the dark paranormal and novella categories.

Since the ball/awards was steampunk themed, there were some amazing costumes. I didn’t win the costume contest because my steampunk princess costume lacked gadgets.

Hmmm….what gadgets would a steampunk princess have?

Anyway, the conference was amazing, and I attended some excellent panels on everything from social networking to DNA and got to hang out with my fellow lolitas and YA writers (more about that on my personal blog over the next few days.)

I leave you with a couple of pictures from the Steampunk ball.

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