My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In March, that photo was of a cowboy, but it also included some other steampunky images. Here are the tweets I came up with for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.
We were part of a top-secret government mission assigned to a time-travel trip to the Old West. My partner, Palmer Jackson, was a smart, techy guy with a nice back side but a blunt tongue. We’d had a brief fling when we first joined the unit.
Palmer was dressed for our mission with a Stetson hat and cowboy boots. It was his third trip to the past; my first.
“Emily,” he said. “There’s nothing to worry about. We’re only there for a day.” Didn’t he realize the dangers of the Wild West?
They’d warned us that the time-travel teleport was still in its beta stages. Our trip was safe, but the Old West we landed in was not the one I knew from history books and movies. A raven the size of a dinosaur greeted us on the barren landscape.
Palmer drew his gun, but I told him not to shoot. I faced the raven. The huge bird opened its beak and said, “Welcome to Planet Rodeo.”
“Planet?” Palmer gave me a curious look, his hand on his gun, “We were sent to the past, not to another world.”
The raven regarded us through its beady black eyes. “Obviously, your time-travel trip went askrew. From what planet do you folks hail?”
Palmer eyed the bird warily. “We’re scientists from Earth. I’m Palmer Jackson and this is Emily Grant.”
Emily couldn’t believe Palmer was speaking with a raven. The bird opened its beak again and said, “My name is Reo. I am but one species inhabiting this world. Some are deadly, so beware.” He flapped his wings and flew away. “What now?” Emily asked.
Palmer pointed toward a hill. “That way. We’re explorers. Let’s explore.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. We prepared for the past, not another world. We should go back.”
“And how do you propose we do that? Our teleport link is broken.”
If she wasn’t so afraid, Emily would laugh at Palmer in his cowboy duds scaling the mountain. She’d asked him how the teleport link had broken and whether they could fix it. He said it had disintegrated. Their only hope lay beyond the mountain.
Emily followed Palmer up the mountain. When they reached the top, they looked down upon the world the raven Reo had called Rodeo. The land below was a barren plain except for a huge door. “Wonder what’s behind that?” Palmer asked.
The door was tough to budge despite their combined efforts. After several yanks, it gave swooping them into a vacuum. Emily screamed as they plummeted down into the lab from where they started. Palmer said, “Rats! I didn’t even get a bull ride.”