Well, last week I signed up for an online program offered through the Toronto Romance Writers. The price was right – free – and the instructor, Christine d’Abo, is well recognized as an expert in the field. Oh, and the topic – Erotic Steampunk – is something I’ve never done before (as if I need another project right now). There are over 20 people participating and we have homework which I have to get started on…soon.

I’ve got the erotic part down all right. The first short story I wrote and submitted for publication was accepted. In fact, they paid me $400 US which, in 1999, was a phenomenal sum. Unfortunately, before Herotica 7 was published by Down There Press, there was some controversy with the editors and the publishers and the subject matter of some of the pieces. Long story short, the anthology series was shut down. I’ve checked on Amazon and it is listed as reissued several years ago, but out of print. Here’s an article by one of the co-editors, Marcy Sheiner. I can’t find a table of contents to know if my piece was printed, but I’ll order a copy anyhow and check.

Boy, did I get sidetracked. Anyhow, back to erotic steampunk. The steampunk part will be a challenge, because although I have a fertile imagination, working gears, dirigibles, keys and ray-guns into my fiction is not something I’ve ever attempted. And I have to select some sort of exotic post-apocalyptic location. I’m thinking somewhere in Africa. West Africa. North American locations have been so overdone, know what I mean?

The idea about doing something in Africa came to me when I saw this window display in Santa Fe last week. The jewellery, the facial expressions, the lean rigidity of their bodies and the man’s body tattoos that look like engraving will undoubtedly lead to something creative. The fact that they are a man and woman will set the erotic context. Now if I can only weave in the steampunk objects and create a story line…

It will be a journey, and I’ll post (I think I can, if I can prevent myself from blushing, because I’m a convent-school girl and a closeted erotic writer), some of what I produce for the project.