Steampunk Hands Around the World – 2016

Steampunk Hands Around the World returns for it’s third year, continuing the celebration of the best that the global steampunk community has to offer.
I have a few things to add as "my favorite steampunk things", and I tend to ramble on, so have a seat. My wife Hanah Tikvah and I first came into the Steampunk world around 2009 I think. (my memory sucks). We used to live in Cincinnati, and if you don't know already, Cincinnati has a rockin (literally) Steampunk scene. Over 50 regularly show up to monthly Salons, sometimes over 100, and that's not counting the regular events where music is being played live. Al Fox was the first Steampunk I met there, and he's at the heart of the community when it comes to things to do. I became interested in Steampunk because of the crafting that goes hand in hand with it, and I seem to have a good knack for modding and re-painting toy guns. So much so that I had built up way more Steampunked toy guns than I could use before the first Steampunk Empire Symposium, so I got a vendor table there and sold out everything I had made. So lets add "The League of Cincinnati Steampunks" as the first favorite steampunk thing.
Seal_Clan_of_Teks_purple_copper_smallAlso after the first Symposium, at which the Symposium Games became a thing, I decided that I wanted to create a group of Cincinnatians so that they could compete in the next year's games. This is when The Clan of Teks became a thing. With my wife's help we managed to cobble together 30+ members along with a number of "affiliated" groups who we regularly party, craft and eat with outside of the events mentioned in the last paragraph. I've never felt as socially complete as I did in Cincinnati, but as you can tell by the tense in that sentence, things change. Due to real life reasons I won't go into, my wife and I had to move away from Cincinnati last fall. The Clan of Teks is still around, I'm maintaining it's website and the Facebook group is still there, but I don't know if they will continue their independent events in our absence. There was no definite transfer of power to another member.
Anyway, back to the "affiliated" groups that the Clan of Teks works with. So early on, I had written a very in depth back story for the Clan of Teks. It exists in a post apocalyptic alternate dimension, and to explain how the group can manage to have business with, and party with groups and airships from the "normal" dimension, I came up with this idea of adding inter-dimensional and time travel to the story, so that we could get visitors and so we could visit other groups (in character). That is when I added the "Friends of the Clan" section to the website and asked some of our closest group friends if they would like to have an Inter-Dimensional and/or Time Travel Visa. After several year we had given Visas to several local groups, and then I started talking with the leader of a not quite so local group called The Circle City Aerodrome. After a few chats back and forth we hatched a grand plan:  We would make the aligning of our groups a bit more detailed than just putting a fake Visa on the blog's Friends page.
Kat Alyst and I began writing In-Character blog posts on our group's web sites in which we told the story of how a dirigible from my group accidentally broke through a dimensional barrier to their group and after our first meeting we began state and trade negotiations for a trade and inter-dimensional travel agreement. There were several back and forth blogs telling an in depth story all culminating in a meeting at Teslacon in 2014 where we would stage a public signing of the agreement, then follow that up with a room party. We even managed to have the signing witnessed by Lord Bobbins himself. If you would like to read this story you can do so by going back through the blogs here and at their website, but it might be easier to just read it at The Pandora Society, where both Kat's and my blogs on the subject were syndicated.
RSS_colors_smallOk, so back to the present, Hanah and I moved to Richmond Virginia in the fall of 2015 and when we got there, we couldn't find any sort of Steampunk scene, other than a steampunk night held once in a while at a local night club. We couldn't find any Richmond airships or other groups, or any regular Steampunk social events. We had only been here a couple of months and we were really missing our large. . . HUGE steampunk community in Cincinnati, so we decided to try to build one here. This is when I created the Richmond Steampunk Society facebook group and went about finding a local restaurant to host monthly Salons at. I was lucky enough that the search didn't take long. A bar/restaurant mere blocks from where we lived had an owner that was happy to have us, AND had a very steampunk logo AND had a dirigible hanging above his bar!  We've now been holding the monthly RVA Steampunk Salon since October 2015 and while the local scene is still small, it's growing, and we've made a lot of friends.
The moral of this story is, if you are a lonely Steampunk with nothing to do, you can always MAKE something to do, and people will come. OK, I think I'm done. If that didn't bore you to death, take a look at the rest of the blog posts and pages here, I don't know if I'm a good writer, but you might like it.

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