Posts Tagged ‘Steamduck’


In Uncategorized on September 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

We’ve got a cover….

What do you think? I think it’s SOOOO spunky!


Baby – we got ducks

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

Baby ducks. AWWW…. baby DUCKS. This is right up there with puppies and kittens in a basket cute.

Today’s Duck Hunt picture comes from Paul Nettles Photography, Thanks, Paul, for sending a picture! Speaking of a basket of baby ducks… here is you moment of uber-cute Zen.

Steamduck gets stuck in the mud, too. Like I said in yesterday’s post – Kevin and I rough up Steamduck pretty good from time to time. Like this:

Steamduck gets Smooshed in the mud.

Yeah – we rung his bell real good.

WHERE ARE YOUR DUCK PICTURES?! Bring them on!!! Post the at Steamduck’s Facebook page… TOMORROW – we dance!!!

Ducks in the Grass! Photo From Pam Bush (no relation)

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 7:48 am

AWKWARD! – Being a Bush is sometimes awkward. Mostly it involves being asked if I’m related to either of those two U.S. Presidents. Yes, I do have an uncle that lives on a ranch in Texas. NOT that guy. No.  But I will happily claim kin to Ms. PAM Bush (no relation).

An Engineering Marvel - Steamduck

Pam Bush says – “We can all fly, even if we really aren’t engineered for it. A-buzz-buzz.” Pam is a big fan of the BEE – which flies – even when it shouldn’t be able, too.

She sends this ducky catch and release DUCK PHOTO and gives us our THEME of the DAY: Ducks in the Grass. Pam is an engineer (read: smart cookie, this one) and she once won an award with her agency for designing artificial turf, or something really odd like that.

Now, she sent in this picture, and I picked it, and it has nothing to do with those pictures that were taken of us at Dragon*Con in Atlanta this year. Not one bit. (Kicking the dirt aimlessly.)

Isn’t it nice we’re having weather?

Oh, right. Ducks…

So – The story goes with Steamduck like this: Our plucky duck meets a goose, and realized that – like the goose – he really OUGHT to be flying as well as swimming. Steamduck goes back to visit the Otter – the tinker who built him, and asks the old dude to help him fly. With me? So they start dreaming up flying contraptions. All manner of crazy stuff. You’ll see when the book comes out October 10. BUT until then – SNEAK PEEK!

Otter's local 311 Duckfitter's Union.

There’s yer trouble…

This brings me to one of my favorite sketches from the new book. Kevin and I joked and laughed about this particular picture:

Emilie: Geez, Kevin. That’s some tool Otter’s got here.

Kevin: (LAUGHING) I know. I think it’s hilarious that he thinks he’s gonna use the giant wrench on that itty bitty duck.

Emilie: I can hear him now, “Fly, dang it! or I’m smackin’ you with the wrench!”

Kevin: It’d launch that sucker. Fer sure.

(AND SCENE!) – Steamduck I promise, won’t be smacked with the  wrench. He’s a well engineered duck, and Kevin is ALL ABOUT how that duck works, and doesn’t work. We do laugh about roughing up Steamduck from time to time, but Kev can practically draw that feathered bad boy with his eyes closed at this point. Hundreds of different angels for that duck. As a funny aside – I suggested to Kevin that he draw Steamduck with a Sousaphone (What? Sometimes life necessitates a musical Steampunk waterfowl. Oh, like it never happened to YOU?!). Kevin quickly explained to me that ducks don’t have lips. Good point, brother.

Back to the matter at hand: Duck in the grass:

From : http://nature-pix.blogspot.com/2011/09/animaux-canard-sur-lherbe-gros-plan.html

Canard debout sur ses palmes, hors de l’eau
Duck walking on grass, 2 feet away, out of the water…

Duck MADE of grass:

No not a FLOCK of ducks in the grass – A GRASS FLOCKED duck

Grass Whistling Ducks:

(Imagine THIS video here: http://youtu.be/_rO7iZezs-0)


Be sure to friend Steamduck on Facebook!

A month out… THE DUCK WILL FLY!!!!

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

Coal City stories is about a month out. The duck will fly October 10th. Until then – we are going to have some fun. Just a little bit of behind the scenes, a few sneak peeks, and some little things that will make the waiting easier for all! Steamduck Learns to FLY! is on the way!

Steamduck will RISE again!

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm

If you haven’t already – go buy my first children’s book. Go on… we’ll wait…..

Got it? Oh, good. Happy to sign it for you next time I see you. AND NOW — you are ready for:

Join us as we attempt to make the bestseller lists again on 10-10-2012 with our new book – Steamduck Learns to FLY! Thanks for your support!

And the Steamduck RISES!

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Kevin and I have been working hard. Plotting, planning, rhyming, drawing…. We have a frame for a new Coal City Stories book, and the plan is good. Take a look:

I know. Kevin does FANTASTIC work. So charming.  He really sold me on that ice cream parlor font. Before I get all into what’s coming next, I want to take a second and thank ALL the folks – and especially the kids – who have made HME such a success. Now, before the media swarm…. Here’s today’s announcement press release:

Press release June 27th 2012

Author Emilie P. Bush and illustrator William Kevin Petty are proud to announce the release date of the follow up to their bestselling children’s book Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story.  On October 10, 2012, the waddling hero of HME – Steamduck – returns with another adventure in Steamduck Learns to Fly! 

 In this new tale, the plucky mechanical duck discovers that REAL birds do more than swim. He turns to his old friend and maker – the Otter – to learn a few things about flying. They try and fail with propeller contraptions, hot air balloons and more. Despite all the mishaps, the pair eventually defy gravity and take to the sky.

“With the success of Her Majesty’s Explorer, we thought long and hard about where we wanted to go with our darling characters. Steamduck has quite a following, and we wanted to make sure he was true to his heroic nature. Kevin is a pilot, and a huge fan of flight history, so we went with those ideas for our second Steamduck story,” says Emilie P. Bush.  “So, as he tries and fails with many different types of flight, he never gives up, and he never stops learning.”

Fans wanting to keep up with details and sneak peek images from Steamduck Learns to Fly! can follow the project on Facebook – as Steamduck has his own fan page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steamduck/108061409309296


Countdown – 9 days to LAUNCH – Steamduck’s baby photos

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Awww... How adorable!

The last couple of days, we’ve been sharing our history – Kevin and I. We thought it only fair to share Steamduck’s history as well. Here is a rare baby picture of Steamduck. Enjoy! Tomorrow – Why Animal Butts are HILARIOUS.

Until tomorrow…


The Launch Page:  http://www.facebook.com/events/347525985265865/

The Her Majesty’s Explorer Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HerMajestysExplorer

The blog:https://coalcitysteam.wordpress.com/

The Video Book trailer: http://youtu.be/kHb3Wpe3F2o

The Tease Read by Captain Robert of Abney Park:http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2931604900935

Chenda and the Airship Brofman: http://www.amazon.com/Chenda-Airship-Brofman-Emilie-Bush/dp/1449542549

The Gospel According to Verdu : http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Verdu-Book-Brofman/dp/1461026466/

12 days to Launch: Hide and Seek and going in circles

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm
Hey! Where is THAT in the book?

The seek and find page from Her Majesty's Explorer

My kids are all about the bedtime story, and, for me, the best bedtime stories are the ones I can read with my kids, then I can leave while they explore the book on their own.
I hope that parents will read Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story to their kids and then leave the light on a while for the kids comb through Kevin’s very detailed images a second time or more. It’s a pleasant way to wind down.
When I planned out the structure of the main story, I wanted it to be a circle. Kids are all about going around in circles. So, St.John Murphy Alexander marches for weeks, goes home and washed up for bed, the story comes back around again to his dreams, where he has visions of marching for weeks and weeks. The story naturally takes the reader right back to the beginning.
The Seek & Find page encourages them to take a look again. I read my own book with my kids (really a thrill that they want it again and again) and point to the pictures there and ask, ” Can you go back and find the eagle? Where is the picture frame in the book?” – and so on.
I recall growing up with the Richard Scarry picture books, and in each two page spread was hidden The Gold Bug.  My sister and I spent HOURS looking at Richard Scarry illustrations searching for that little bitty thing!
Like I said – for simple creatures – kids like detail and to do things over and over again. We all know what happens when a kid is left alone in the car for a second – they climb up into the front seat and flip all the knobs and switches and play with the mirrors and stick quarters from the coin drawer into the CD player. Kids can turn ANYTHING into an exploration and experiment. Children and adults connect to Steampunk on THAT level. Together. For grown ups, we talk about the subversive nature of Steampunk – the class and gender bending in costumes, making contraptions and so on, but it really brings out the play in us – the KID in us – to craft costumes and play with the test tubes, cogs and grease.
I hope that this book is a start for Steampunk parents. But, don’t take my word for it. Here’s a review on ComicBooked.com – from John Iwasz, as he talks about kids and books and steampunk! A great review for HME, and an interesting couple of thoughts on involving kids in the world of Steam.
Tomorrow – Favorites! and Blasts from the past. Until then, don’t forget to check out:


In Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 at 3:03 am

Happy Steampunk Tuesday to you all! Two weeks to launch and we have a GREAT treat. Here it is, the best first glimpse of Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story.  50 seconds of happy!

What do you think? Does it make you want to see the rest of the book? I hope so.

I’d be a total nutjob not to make a shout-out to Alexander Stadler, who plays with Atlanta’s most popular Steampunk band The Extraordinary Contraptions. He’s been a great supporter of the book, so much so that he recorded and offered up the lovely music in the video. How cool was that?

Also – a new review has come in from TotusMel’s WunderKammer – she totally recommends the book! Read her review!

In other blurbs, DJ Doctor Q, says, “Absolutely charming.  It is the Dr. Seuss of Steampunk, and… I LOVED it.”

If you have not done so – show support for our launch by clicking JOIN at the Facebook Launch Page – it will remind you when THE day comes, and it helps keep the ball rolling by generating interest. Invite your friends as well, please and thank you. If you would like to review the book – I have digital ARCs to send – please contact me and I will be happy to send one right out…

15 days to go: The Steamduck Duo’s Third Man…

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Theresa Curtis - Layout goddess

… who happens to be a woman. The Beatles had George Martin. Football teams have the 12 Man. Whitney Houston (rest her soul) had Clive Davis. Even Holden had Banky (and he wasn’t just a tracer!). The world is full of those undersung heroes that make average people (like me and Kevin*) extraordinary.

We have Theresa Meihwa Curtis, our layout designer.

Theresa is an avid collector of children’s books -and the opportunity to lay out a book was something so tempting to Theresa that we suckered into working like a dog for us  got a pro designer to help us sort our mess of words and drawings into a real book-like thingy.

What does the layout designer do? First, Theresa proposed the overall shape of the book – she pointed to Neil Gaiman’s Instructions – saying it was the size we were thinking about, and a particular page in the book that had a shading scheme that seemed to be what I was babbling about. (She never said it like that – she’s about the nicest person I’ve ever met – and I have never seen her cross – not ever. I bet it’s scary if she gets in a snit, but I doubt it ever happens. Seriously.)

Her pointing out that picture truly saved 1000 words, and we were off and running.

The layout designer chooses the very letters on the page. There was a long discussion about what font to use, and I wanted an ‘A’ that looked like a circle with a stick. She politely blinked at me, trying to decide if I’d lost my mind, and said, “Ah, you want a ‘single story A’, as opposed to a ‘two story A’. I see,” and trotted out several fonts to try – including the one we decided on: Treasure Map Deadhand.

So, that’s what it looks like!  The other thing Theresa did was to color William Kevin Petty’s pencil sketches. When I first babbled explained to Theresa what I wanted, I said I wanted it to be something like OLD film. Sepia-tones. I had played with several of Kevin’s sketches with the crappy image software I have on my little lappy, and I found that I liked several of the earth tone tints. Theresa and I picked the basic background tone and then decided that we would only use varying intensities of that tone. Okay, she suggest it and I blinked and nodded a whole lot. In the end (with ONE exception – the rainbow butterfly) there are only 4 colors in the book: gold (the background color), orange, blue and green. The overall effect was similar to the hand painted celluloid of George Melies:

Now, let me show you! The picture on the left is Kevin’s original scan, and the right is the layout as it appears in the book:

Neat, right?

She’s made of awesome. AND – she did the whole book in a WEEK!

So, much like Luke never would have been able to use the force without that sweet little R2-D2 running the X-wing, we owe a good bit of respect and appreciation to our Theresa. She rocks.


*Correction: Kevin is not ordinary. Kevin actually rocks in every possible way.