Dear fellow steampunkers, I am nearly overwhelmed by the great number of so-called "social network" venues which I must monitor and, according to custom, interact with on a regular basis. Hence, I've fallen behind and I can't get up!

In all reasonable seriousness, I believe that were I to have in my possession one of those hand-held devices that contain linkage to all of the required communicative resources that are so common on this world, I may be able to better cope. I can't imagine the heft of the necessary steamworks to drive them, however. One must likely use a carriage of some sort just to tote the machinery along with you!

Indeed, on my adopted world of Ghoupallesz in the late 1500s, by comparison, such devices operate via clockwork, a much more portable means. However, they are limited to a single communicative link--one which, unfortunately, is usually monitored by one's wife or mother-in-law, thereby defeating the purpose for which many gentlemen initially obtained the device.

Said device quickly becomes a resource for locating wandering children or soliciting sporting scores. And, so I've been told by my fellow interdimensional voyagers, in the next fifty years or so, the government will be closely monitoring all communication from these devices--prompting citizens to revert back to old-fashioned handwritten communication that can be burned after reading.

Nevertheless, I am endeavoring to find an appropriate balance between the mechanical world and that of flesh, blood, and bone.

Carry on!

Views: 105

Comment by Tracy Zielinski on August 31, 2011 at 10:20am

This was fabulously written!


Comment by Stephen Swartz on August 31, 2011 at 2:14pm
Oh dear! I am once more truly embarrassed at the slippage of my fingers! The strange word "tehreby" should, quite obviously, be translated at "thereby," a perfect fine English word. On occasion my fingers out-think my mind--one of the unfortunate side-effects of interdimensional travel. Pardons! And thanks for your comments.
Comment by May Water on August 31, 2011 at 5:27pm
pssst...people won't even notice, they'll just figure it was just a word from the planet you came from... :)
Comment by Stephen Swartz on August 31, 2011 at 6:21pm

I certainly would wish for such to be true! On Earth, it still is, I believe. On my adopted world, however, words are often mis-spelt intentionally as an insult to readers. A slip like that could get one killed, depending on who the reader might be (an official from the Ministry of Lexicography, for example), so it's wise to mind all of the letters, not just the Ps and Qs.

My humble gratitude, Lady May, for your patience with an old fool.

Comment by May Water on August 31, 2011 at 10:02pm
Ah Sir Stephen! I knew you looked familiar. When I saw you last you were no old fool. You were a robust young man with  twinkle in your eye. I see from your lack of recognition that the sour matrons of your world carried through with their threat to erase yours, and the others, of memories of meeting me. It twas so  long ago and I was simply taking a little holiday from my own planet Osheana. A world where there is no need for words or even speech unless one wishes. Tis a soothing world.Kindred spirits are free to express themselves through music,dance, and the arts & simply let be. But my description was an obvious threat to the females ruling your world at that time. You see, the females of my planet are so intune & harmony with themselves that they have no need to control their men with bitterness & withholds. The women are very demonstrative in their love & our men follow willingly & are rewarded quite nicely for their adoration :) I did manage to leave behind one of my romance novels, mayhap someday it will be uncovered & the younger ladies will see the light.... Love & warmth, MW<3
Comment by Stephen Swartz on September 1, 2011 at 9:20am

Thou art another scribe! I am so pleased to meet you. I had been under the impression that you were "merely" a reader. On my adopted world, there is great division between those who create, invent, produce and those who admire, consume, destroy.

I must confess that I remain at a loss when I attempt to remember you or any previous associations. That is not uncommon for interdimensional voyagers. The more travel one undertakes, the more damage to the nervous system. I used to faithfully keep calendars, recorded with the minutiae of my dalliances. That, too, I'm afraid, has fallen by the wayside as many things do over the course of one's life.

On my adopted world, I fell in with one such "sour matron"--though she was at the time not so sour; rather sweet in fact, with a decidedly spicy fragrance that was thoroughly intoxicating--and so I was taken under her spell. I doubt, however, she was of your sorority. In truth, she was a dazzling example of female biological perfection, and I gradually came to understand her gifts, what the locals called 'senzenaxii'--a kind of manipulation of the aura, rather like giving a person a massage through only the focus of one's mind. It can become rather sexual as the sensations run through the body. Nevertheless, it is quite a ravaging experience to undergo, especially for the comparatively weaker Earth males. Senzenaxii practitioners also dabble in herbal enhancements that help produce exquisite repercussions.

Ah, the ravages of time! I was waxing nostalgic. Although by the calendar I have a normal life in Earth years, I have collected approximately 215 years of existence from the many visits I have made, extending from a few days to, at the most, 22 of their years on my adopted world. The latter adventure occurred when I suffered the spell of she-who-shall-not-be-named (Others refer to her as the "Evil Empress"!) and acted differently than any rational man would. Of course, that is a far more dangerous tale to tell. Even now, I duck to avoid spies who would plot to do me harm.

I much prefer the wiles of your ilk, your kith and kin, as it were. They seem to be appropriately carefree and beautifully uninhibited. I especially am impressed with your mention of their demonstrativeness. Although I was compelled to 'follow' the whims of the Evil Empress for a time (my protege eventually released me), I do not believe I would enjoy for very long being led around like a precious pet, even in a loving manner. Oh, it could be an interesting experiment, a momentary pleasure for pleasure's sake.... Yet in the long term...?  Could be prohibitively addicting.

It is likely a charitable act you do in leaving a script on your world, perhaps to serve as a warning. I, too, have knowledge which is crucial to the survival of my adopted world and, thus, I shall need to return there eventually (soon!) and attempt to persuade the population to alter their ways and take steps to thwart the impending planetary destruction. I have calculated I have almost 37 years on Earth before I must return, depending on how the portals shift.

Such is the life of an interdimensional voyager! And, with First-Class status, I have so many responsibilities. And so, for now, I must bid you farewell, as my mundane tasks call to me. (Love & Warmth, eh? An interesting combination. Somewhat rare, I think. Nevertheless, I wish the same to you.)

Comment by May Water on September 1, 2011 at 1:01pm
Comment by dave bartram on September 1, 2011 at 2:42pm

'Merely' a reader? Without 'mere' readers for whom do we write? Ourselves? Pointless solipsism. For posterity? Arrogant presumption. For others... 

Never, ever, ever, underestimate, patronise or insult your readers. Just my humble opinion.

Comment by Stephen Swartz on September 1, 2011 at 7:19pm

Dear steampunkers (i.e., Mr. Bartram et al.), you must kindly forgive me for not making the point about which you argue more clear! My intention, which I believe I fulfilled, was to state a fact, not a preference. The fact is thus: on my adopted world, the widely-held attitude is similar to that against which you rant. I must declare that I never stated--nor intended to suggest through either omission or deception--that I hold such philosophy. On that other world, I wish to add, those who create and produce are considered superior to those who consume. Surely, I did not invent such rules; they developed independently over the course of many centuries. The unspoken irony that many do not acknowledge, however, is that most of those folks who create and produce also, in different areas, engage in a significant amount of consumption There are, quite reasonably, few folk who only produce and, gladly, few folk who only consume!

Having restated this situation, there is something to be said of the proper relationship between a writer and a reader. For example, if writers only wrote in accordance with readers' wishes then readers have the sole power and writers become merely cogs in a vast entertainment industry rather than true artists. Literature, in such a case, becomes an assembly line process delivering tailor-made texts set within specified formulae. Conversely, were writers to write only for themselves and their own perverse pleasures, as you suggest, then writers risk going monetarily uncompensated. The reality is that the writer needs to exhibit a certain degree of independence, what some may even label arrogance or conceit, in order to produce said  literature. Readers, on the other hand, can be demanding as they choose and thus read only a narrow range of literature, essentially feeding their minds with limited cuisine, rather than allowing the writer to present new and different literature that expands and deepens the mind's eternal scope. Furthermore, I would not wish to see implemented a kind of referee system whereby writers and readers are matched according to a list of commonalities, much like the "speed dating" rigmarole--about which I have reported on my adopted world.

I have heard it said, in words far grander than any I might conjure, that the entire universe of literary pastimes is "a crap shoot." It all remains a miracle that anyone composes and anymore reads. Someday, we may all yet swallow a pill and know the story in an instant!

Rest easy, for I am a Reader and a Writer!

Comment by Stephen Swartz on September 1, 2011 at 7:24pm
Dear Lady May, I am curious about the symbolism in the characters you present in your previous post. It appears to me to be a caricature of the feminine delta superimposed with a paired set of surfeited breasts. If I gaze upon it with my head tilted, I can see through my imagination a cone of ice cream containing two scoops of the dessert. Very interesting design! What is its origin?


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