Morning all,

I just look outside at my deck. The snow there is piled up to my waist, at the least, and the fence in the backyard has snow covering 2/3 of it.

We’ve had a lot of snow. 🙂 And a lot of snow days from school which is keeping me busy and putting me behind in many things. But, happily, I’m at least about done with the steampunk detective story I’ve been working on.

It’s tentatively entitled “The Case of the Brimstone Contract,” and I have put the big confrontation with the villain and the romance aftermath to finish. I also have to go back through the story and layer in the world-building that’s sprung up as I was writing. I’ll top off at about 20,000 words or so, I think.

To make my life difficult, I put magic in the story but I didn’t know how it worked until this morning.

Then I was watching “How the Earth Was Made” while drinking my tea (loose tea, from Fortnum & Mason, yummy) and learned about the microscopic algae things at Shark’s Bay in Australia that basically convert sunlight into oxygen and exudes rock as part of the overall process.

Basically, the buggers convert light (energy) to an actual substance.

This seemed, I don’t know, somewhat magical to me.

So I thought a version of this would be a good basis for magic powers.

The magic users in my alternate Victorian world can convert energy to something else, with a by product as well.

So the steampunk machines are run on coal but the coal would be produced by a spell cast by a magician that converts energy into coal. Of course, it’s a little more expensive than actual coal, magicians being rare, but it’s more reliable and runs the machines much more efficiently.

I know, I know. It doesn’t make real science sense.

But it does make magical/imaginary science sense, at least I hope it does when I’m done with it.

So my magic users would basically have this plant-like talent for converting energy and it comes out in various forms.

My heroine does it unconsciously. To a talented magic user who can see the process, she walks around with somewhat of a glow as the sunlight is converted to radiance around her. But she has no idea she has it or how to use it.

The hero, my Holmes character, basically has a slight of hand talent, in which he can get rid of light/energy and thus can appear surrounded or hidden in blackness.

Which comes in handy for a sneaky detective.

So my Big Bad, the devil-type, can basically take energy from *people* if they agree to the process. It’s just another form of conversion of energy to something useful. But the process requires the person to agree. So the Big Bad learns how to tempt them into agreeing.

All this evolves into the legend of the devil tempting people in order to steal their souls.

And I think I can go forward with this in the short stories that come next after this tale and develop and overall Big Bad that takes a few adventures for my Holmes & Watson to solve.