Hello my friends.
A young lady in France by the name of Marie has a reading blog named ‘Drizzle and Hurricane Books’. I am happy to be participating in her ‘Souvenirs from Across the World’ project. Marie’s friends are invited to describe their hometowns and share local souvenirs. As I am an author of steampunk books, I thought I would point out a few local points of steampunk relevance.
I live in Irondale, Alabama, USA. This community lies directly against the Eastern border of Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city and the place of my birth.
Birmingham has an unusual symbol of the city: a cast-iron statue of the Roman God, Vulcan. It was built for the 1904 World’s Fair in Louisville, Kentucky. Standing 56 feet high and weighing in at over 100,00 pounds, he must have been pretty impressive, first hand. Poor guy, had a tough time after that. He was dismantled, shipped back to Birmingham and dumped alongside the tracks. In the twenties, he was reassembled at the fair grounds, but they put his arms on incorrectly. :-/
In the thirties, the city built a pedestal for him atop Red Mountain, overlooking the city. That is where he stands today, a magnificent statue. In fact, he is one of the largest statues in the United States. He proudly inspects a spear point he has just crafted at his anvil, as he looks out over the city. His apron leaves his bare bum facing the community of Homewood, on the other side of the mountain.
Something I find interesting is the base of a tower on top of an old, downtown building. I think I had always supposed this to be the base of a water tower, but I have recently learned that this is the base of a dirigible docking tower. There are very few such creations remaining, anywhere.
The third and last point of interest I would like to show is Sloss Furnace. This complex was built in the 1880’s. This is an iron producing facility. Iron is a primary component of the steel industry. It takes an uncanny amount of heat to separate the iron from the ore. One method is the ‘blast’ furnace. Super-heated air is forced beneath the melting furnace. ‘Blast’ refers to the forced air. Sloss Furnace is home to the largest steam engine on earth. Eight titanic pistons force a blast of super-heated air. It is a crazy facility. It is considered one of the most haunted places in the United States. It was such a Hellish and dangerous place to work and many workmen died there. I have been all over this facility many times, and it is endlessly fascinating. I always find things there I have not seen before.
Thank you, my friends!
“I say, this fantastic craft you have built has transported us to a new world, Mr. Temperance, eh hem?”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am! Gosh, we find ourselves among many mythological beasts of outrageous legend. It would take three of me to make just one of the dwarves that live around here.”
“Yes, quite, and I find that there is no shortage of troll, gremlin, or magical creature to assail us in our destined quest.”
“You sure are right about that, Ma’am. In fact, I think we have gotten embroiled in a sweeping, high fantasy saga of epic proportions!”
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Volume Eight: The Title of Temperance
Ohhh, my noggin. What has happened? I took a whallop upside the head and woke up in a place far from my time and home. Instead of it being the modern era of 1877 like it ought to be, I am in the distant past of England’s Dark Ages! There are mighty warriors in gleaming armour, and beautiful ladies wearing colourful gowns with taffeta secured dunce caps.
This is the castle Camelot! I am in the company of King Arthur and his majestic Knights!
Golly, can you imagine? Me, Ichabod Temperance, an Alabama tinker in King Arthur’s Camelot!
Oh, Goodness, it ain’t took too long before I already have trouble up to my hat’s brim what with Mr. Merlin, Miss Morgana, and a big mean knight in black armour getting bristly with me. Gee whiz, if I ain’t careful, I might end up wrecking there ever having been a Western Civilization!
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Volume Seven: The Seventh Voyage of Temperance
“Leapin’ lizards, Miss Plumtartt, we’ve got big trouble, really big trouble!”
“Indeed, Mr. Temperance, for unethical experiments carried out in this remote locale, somewhere south of Nippon, has left this Monstrous Isle aswarm with uncanny creatures of titanic dimensions, eh hem?”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am, and if we ain’t careful, one extra jumbo-sized mega-reptile is going to run rampant all over our unsuspecting planet!”
“Then let us gather what comrades we may, however unlikely they be, and face this, the greatest of your challenges: Ichabod Temperance versus the Monarch of all Monsters!”
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Hello my friends!
It’s your humble pal, Ichabod Temperance.
I have a real blog/website now! How thrilling!
I shall do my best to keep you up to date as to the latest happenings in the World of Ichabod Temperance. At this date, July 30, 2014, I have four self-published novels in electronic and paperback format. The fifth is fast approaching and I am trying to get my head around number six.
Be well my friends!