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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | When the Cosmos Beats You Over the Head With a Sign …

When the Cosmos Beats You Over the Head With a Sign …

Okay, so last week I was excited about my pre-writing, brainstorming process, but as I started to do actual research, my confidence faltered. What was I thinking – venturing into the steampunk genre? I am the most mechanically disinclined person I know. I have never understood electricity or magnetism, or the relationship between them. How could I possibly grasp the concepts behind Tesla’s work – let alone weave that into the background of a story set in an alternate reality? If I don’t understand the actual technology, how can I conceive of alternate technology?

I was losing my nerve …

Sometimes, however, the cosmos will send you a sign. Maybe more than one. If you’re really dense (like I can be), it might even hit you over the head with multiple signs in a single week.

First, I was invited to attend and perform a reading from We Hear the Dead at Dorian’s Parlor, a steampunk ball which takes place in Philadelphia every month.


Secondly, my husband and I picked out some really cool lights for our “Let’s Brighten Up the Kitchen” project. Only afterwards did we discover these counterweight lights are very popular for people wanting to decorate their home in steampunk. (Are there a lot of those people?!)

Third, I received a nice little message on my Facebook Fan page for We Hear the Dead, and when I went to reply to the person, I discovered a “I Love Steampunk” slogan on her page.

Next, Word for Teens posted a steampunk reading list.

Then, I received an email out of the blue from someone who listened to a radio interview I did back in 2007 about the Fox sisters. In his signature line – a link to a website he maintains on Tesla-related products and articles.

Finally, I SKYPED with a class of high school writing students in Florida, and when they asked me about my current writing project, I admitted I was *considering* a steampunk novel focusing on Tesla’s work. The reaction was immediate and enthusiastic enough for me to see even on the computer screen. The teacher took the microphone to tell me; “They love steampunk. They love Tesla. They say go for it!”

What’s a writer to do when an idea slaps you in the face that many times? I’m digging into my research with fervor now. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but it seems as if I’m meant to TRY.

Have you ever been hit over the head with a SIGN?

14 Responses to When the Cosmos Beats You Over the Head With a Sign …

  1. salarsenッ says:

    “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs…” by none other than Tesla! LOL

  2. Too funny. I get hit all the time. I just posted about it today. Go for it. I don’t think you can ignore the signs you ha ve been given.

  3. Anne says:

    I love steampunk! I have a whole outfit for Halloween this year plus I’m playing around with certain elements in my new WIP. I say go for it!

  4. Anne says:

    BTW @Sheri I lived in an apartment above the old drummer for Tesla. LOL

  5. Linda G. says:

    That’s a whole barrage of signs! You’d be crazy not to follow them. 🙂

  6. I’ve probably been slapped over the head and still haven’t clued in. 😉

  7. I follow signs like crazy… only sometimes I wonder if the crazy in me just makes up those signs… but here, you should wear this shirt whilst writing: http://www.etsy.com/listing/50862144/what-would-nikola-tesla-do-organic?ref=sr_list_13&ga_search_query=tesla&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title 😀 I LOVE steampunk!! Can’t wait to one day read yours!

  8. woah- if you build it, they will come. I still don’t have a clear idea of what steampunk is but it sounds really neat and I know it has a huge following! Good on you for taking on something new! can’t wait to hear more about the project!

  9. mshatch says:

    You can do it, Dianne, I have faith in you.

  10. Candyland says:

    Not lately and not hard enough:/
    Good luck on your new venture though, Im sure it will be amazing.

  11. Plus the husband has the green light to build a Tesla coil. Research purposes, you understand. 😉

  12. Yeah! Wait till you all see what Bob’s building for me …

  13. You can do it…I know you can…You’re a teacher!