I am still editing The Inn at the Edge of the World. Even so, my thoughts are often turning to the sequel, Marcus and Ara. Just as with the writing of the first book, this one is forming with little story bits that come to mind.
Often I write those bits in my mind. I play with them, shaping them and testing ideas. One element that has come to mind is a bit Steampunk. Now, I really like some of the things I have seen with the Steampunk movement. The best description is romance meets technology. I like the way the touch of Steampunk makes mechanical things interesting. It also has a fascinating fashion element.
Though a bit old for participation, I appreciated elements of the Goth movement. However, I found it a bit dark, too involved in aspects of life that reflected depression and defeat. The Lolita movement was an interesting twist, and though I found it fascinating, again it was nothing in which I felt compelled to participate.
Steampunk, however, is something I feel I can participate in. Not all out. I don't think I would be comfortable in Victorian garb most of the time, and I haven't the time or inclination to enter deeply into the mechanical elements of the movement. I do feel that I can bring elements of Steampunk into my life. I certainly can explore the movement in writing.
Steampunk seems to be a celebration of technology and creativity. The technology we live with is made warmer and compelling when dressed in Steampunk garb. The movement reflects the optimism that a new technological culture offered. Steam was king, and technology would bring prosperity to all.
Things didn't turn out that way, but the movement captures a creative nostalgia for a might-have-been culture. Steampunk lends itself to alternative history quite well. It is a looking back to a time that never was.
So, some day I may don a frock coat and some other garments that reflect the Steampunk theme. I do know that I will be writing a bit in the genre. I will continue to explore the culture, and enjoy my findings. Like the era Steampunk strives to reflect, we live on the cusp of a new age. I don't know that we are quite as optimistic. I don't know that we have reason to be.
Perhaps that is why we look to a past that never was.