Christmas gifts from my subconscious, plus a steampunk high tea

As my break has drawn to a close, I’m happy to report that my subconscious gifted me a couple of plots and some important characterization for two story drafts that were little more than scribbles last summer.  Progress!  These things must have been brewing in me while my writing was on hold.

Speaking of brewing, I finally got a chance to check out a new Victorian steampunk teahouse located right here in Beaverton, called Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium.  They held a Charles Dickens themed high tea for the holidays, and although I don’t drink tea, my mom and sister thoroughly enjoyed all three of our flavors.  (And I must say they make a mean pot of hot chocolate!)  The décor was lovely, especially with holiday touches like Nutcrackers and multiple copies of A Christmas Carol laid out around the fireplace.  I particularly enjoyed the sign warning visitors of airship pirates.