Tag Archives: Thaddeus S. C. Lowe

Search Term Bingo!

This week and part of the next I am on vacation. What does that mean for you? It means I’m not going to be talking about writing. At all.

Instead I’m just going to try to have fun here. Maybe I’ll even skip a day or something. We’ll have to wait and see.

For now, please enjoy my commentary on a few of the most unusual search terms which have led people to my blog:

Is there cockroaches in spaghetti sauce?

You had better believe there is. Crushed up and dried over several years, cockroaches are the secret ingredient in all the best spaghetti sauces. This was not always the case. Up until 1947 no one had ever considered placing cockroaches in spaghetti sauce. Then, one fateful day, Curt Schumwick of Providence Rhode Island in an attempt to murder his mother-in-law ground up the cockroaches that had died behind his fridge and put them into the spaghetti sauce when she was not looking. And the rest is history.

Unfortunately many people’s prejudice against these incredibly tasty and nutritious animals has forced food companies to refer to these wonderful little critters as “carrot fiber” in their list of ingredients so be on the lookout for that.

I’m not evil. I’m angle.

They make pills for that now. Or so I’ve been told.

Dinosaur flavoured noodles

Holy crap, there are dinosaur flavoured noodles out there? Don’t even try to tell me they aren’t. The cat is out of the bag y’all, and he’s running straight for the dinosaur flavoured noodles. Because if there is one thing cats love it is the scrumptious taste of dinosaur. If your cat food isn’t dinosaur flavoured, your cat isn’t getting the very best he deserves and neither are you.

I am not having fun

And you found my blog with this search? Dude, now I’m just depressed.

Come to think of it, maybe I should write some “How to Have Fun” posts. Everyone talks about how to do other things like write and take pictures and fit in socially and stuff. Maybe someone needs to start talking about having fun.

It would seem like that would be a higher priority for most people.

Beans can make us feel fulfillment

Oh, you know that’s right. I had beans at my mom’s house the other day, and I was feeling all kinds of fulfillment. I had so much fulfillment that I went into fulfillment overload and had to vent some of my fulfillment right out into the atmosphere for the rest of the world to enjoy. Because I’m just that kind of awesome.

Writing sexy song ideas

I’ve got nothing. Every time I try to chat up a sexy song idea I get the evil eye and she moves to the other side of the room. It’s really doing a number on my self-esteem.

What was the theme song of the Union Balloon Corps?

Wait they had a theme song? Are you serious? Thaddeus S. C. Lowe actually had his own soundtrack? The are no words for how awesome that is.

I only have one question: was it a sexy song?

Green bean art

Okay now you’re just reading my mind. I thought green bean art was a completely original idea. I had it all planned out. I was going to take the art world by a storm. I was going to be the gardening version of Banksy.

Unfortunately the problem with doing vegetable art is that the medium doesn’t last very long. Half-way through The Green Bean Mona Lisa my beans started to rot at which point the sculpture turned into The Green Bean Zombie Mona Lisa.

It was, all in all, a happy accident.

My money is still on the cockroach

As is mine, good sir. As is mine.

Determination: it just takes a little hard work and a lot of ammunition

This is my new motto. That is all.

Quitting Time

You know that feeling you get when a relationship starts to go sour? I’ve been getting that feeling lately. At first everything was fine. We were happy together, the world was a rosier place whenever we spent time together. But lately things just haven’t been the same between us.

Which is why I’m announcing a separation.

I’m not talking about my wife. I’m talking about Babel and Icarus, the story I’ve been working on over the last month or so.

A while back I mentioned the concept of Babel and Icarus in my blog post titled Thaddeus S. C. Lowe and the Steampunk Space Race. Basically I wanted to tell the fictional tale of a space race between the North and South during the Civil War.

I was in love with this idea. It had all my neurons firing at full speed, and I really got sucked in to crafting a storyline that I felt had a lot of potential. But the Devil, as they say, is in the details, and when I actually sat down to write this tale I thought I had fallen in love with I felt myself grinding my teeth over each word, forcing myself to eek out one pathetic page at a time, hating each and every moment of the work.

I started to stress about my writing. I worked my routine over in my head trying to find the flaw in my plan. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, no doubt you’ve seen the fruit of that struggle. But eventually I realized that my problem was simple: I was really starting to hate this story.

Maybe hate is too strong a word. But I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I know writing is hard work. I know it’s not always going to be fun. I know sometimes we have to push through the hard times to get to the good stuff.

But there has to come a time when you can say, “Enough with this thing. I’m going somewhere else.”

Because I don’t know about you all, but I have to do things I don’t really want to do every day of my life. I don’t want writing to be one of those things.

I’m not a freelancer. I don’t have a problem with freelancers, but I’m not sure I could be happy in that profession. Writing is something that I love, and I want it to love me in return.

So for now, Babel and Icarus is on ice. I have a feeling I’ll come back to it, because I’m not going to stop loving the idea, but it may be years before I ever finish a rough draft, and I’m okay with that. For now, I’ve gotten myself sucked into a bit of weirdness with an old woman and a talking corpse trapped in the world strangest book store ever.

In spite of my preaching about outlining and planning at this point I have zero idea where this tale is going to go. I may be getting on the fast train to nowhere with this thing, but so far I’m having a great time on the ride.

Again, please take this with a measure of balance. I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea to give up on a story every time you don’t feel like writing. But I am saying that forcing yourself to keep working on something that you hate, is a fast track to misery.


For more on the benefits of giving up, I thing you might find this to be rather informative.

Thaddeus S. C. Lowe and the Steampunk Space Race

So I’ve got this problem see? A little over a year ago I had the idea for a story. Like many of my story ideas it was crazy, weird, and difficult to catagorize into a specific genre. (By the by, I’m petitioning for “crazy, weird, and difficult to categorize into a specific genre” to be it’s own genre, but so far, no luck.)

The basic premise of the story was this: wouldn’t it be neat if there was a space race between the North and South during the American Civil War?

Don’t laugh. It’s not as outlandish as it sounds.

Okay, yes. It’s exactly as outlandish as it sounds. But the the idea was to write a story that seemed believable, a kind of non-fiction account of an alternate history of the Civil War with a dash of steampunk thrown in for good measure.

I wanted to make the story as believable as possible, so I started doing some research into the flight technologies of the era, which were mostly limited to balloons and maybe a few gliders. Almost immediately I stumbled across a gentleman named Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt Lowe, a pioneer in the field of aeronotics and head of the Union army’s balloon corps.

When I read Mr. Lowe’s story something clicked in my head. “That’s my guy,” I thought. “He’s the one I’m going to build this story around.”

Why? Well, for starters his name is Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt Lowe. If that doesn’t scream EPIC right in your ear then I don’t know what will.

Thaddeus was a self-made scientist and balloonist. He rose from humbled beginnings and eventually became recognized by the scientific community as an expert in his field. When the Civil War started, Thaddeus demonstrated how the use of balloons could greatly enhance the army’s ability to gather inteligence regarding the movement of enemy troops. Despite stiff competition from several other noted baloonists, Thaddeus was eventually offered the position as head of the Union balloon corps where he served until 1863 at which point questions about the effectiveness of the balloon corps were raised, and Lowe resigned in disgust. A few short months later, Thaddeus recieved a letter from a mysterious gentleman who claimed to represent the interests of the Southern forces which proposed Lowe come to work on a project of far larger scope: the building of a device which would “gain far greater heights than a balloon ever could.”

No, wait. That last part didn’t actually happen. I made that up. Because, hey, I’m a writer. That’s what I do.

The problem is that, to a certain extent, I’m writing about real people in real history which means…deep breath, I can do this…research.

I mean really, I graduated high school for a reason you guys.

And sure, I could just go ahead and fabricate whatever I want to. I mean it’s not like anyone’s going to get bent out of shape that my book about space flight during the Civil War is historically inaccurate, but…darn it if these Civil War balloonist guys aren’t the kookiest, craziest, most egotistical nutcases you’ve ever seen in your life. Even if I wanted to just make it all up, I don’t think I could make up anything as interesting as what actually happened.

I’m still planning to go ahead with the book, but it’s going to take me longer than I initially expected. I’m going to have to dig up all the facts I can about Thaddeus S. C. Lowe and his wacky contemporaries. Something about this is starting to smell a lot like work.

But you know what? I’m kind of looking forward to it.