So a few months back, Captain Robert of Abney Park posted something to Twitter about his suggestion to his kids that they go to the botanical garden. But his older daughter, Chloe, misheard him and said that she wanted to go to the mechanical garden. My response? I was going to write a story about the mechanical garden for Chloe.
I met Chloe when she was about 4, at one of Robert's Halloween parties. I walked in dressed in my all black belly dancer costume, to which Chloe said "It's another beautiful princess!" (Her costume was very pink and glittery, as many costumes for 4 year old girls tend to be.) I've only seen her a handful of times since then, and I was embarrassed to realize recently that she's got to be 8 by now, not 6 as I thought when I started writing the story.
My decision to write the story happened to coincide with the submission period for Crossed Genres Steampunk issue, so I said "why not?" And it paid off!
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present: "The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue". The story is suitable for kids of all ages, though it may require a lot of explanation for smaller kids. I think it comes up as about a 4th grade reading level, at least according to the grade gauge on Google Docs. :)