The first time I heard the word steampunk, and actually paid attention, I was at work. One of my coworkers looked at my outfit that day and said, “oh, how steampunk.”
Well, I wasn’t about to have a label applied to me and not know what it meant. So I went to the Internet of course. And what I found opened up a whole new world for me. Ironically, my coworker had been completely wrong. There was absolutely nothing steampunk about my outfit. But the damage had already been done.
The aesthetics were so intriguing. I had to know more.
Plugging my nose, I held my breath and jumped down the rabbit hole. I watched every movie I could get my hands on. I tried to find books. I found a few. But at the time steampunk hadn’t exploded into pop culture yet.
One day while my husband and I were at a boardgame shop, I found a notice on their bulletin board. There was a local steampunk group. So I called the number, and after a few meetings, I soon found myself a solid member of the Kenosha Steampunk Society.
It didn’t take me long before I was all-in. And after my first urban fantasy book was published, the president of our society convinced me to try my hand at writing a steampunk novel next (see later post for more about that).
Like most steampunks, creating is a huge part of what I do. Making jewelry, making accessories and clothes. And most importantly for me, taking the laziest way possible to modify thrift store finds into awesome steampunk pieces. My favorite is to do a crossover, steampunk a non-steampunk character.
Here are some of my favorite steampunk cosplays I’ve made or cobbled together.
Other than conventions (I’ll have a separate post about that as well), I loved steampunk events. Our club would have all manner of gatherings. We would watch movies together. Mostly we’d sit around and make fun of them Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. We had tea parties, and we even had an annual picnic at our local park. We’d have crafting events or just get together to knit and talk.
The picnics, tea parties, and movie nights were my favorite. We usually had new people attend, everyone in their steampunk garb. We always got super weird looks from the normies, though sometimes people would come up and as us about it. But even if no one new came, even if it was just our core members. It was so nice dressing up and hanging out with friends.
You notice all that past tense? Don’t worry. The Kenosha Steampunk Society hasn’t disbanded. We’re still a thing. We just haven’t met for what seems like forever due to COVID.
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.
Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.
Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).