After the collapse of civilization, the show goes on....
(A post-apocalyptic steampunk story about a circus traveling through the collapse of civilization. New episodes every other Tuesday.)

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The Circus of Brass and Bone is a post-apocalyptic steampunk serial story (and podcast) that follows a circus as it travels through the collapse of civilization. Things fall apart. People come together--or die. Above all, the show must go on.

Update 1/19/2014:

This story has been written for and in memory of my mother. At this point, the medical bills she left behind have been taken care of. With that said, if you've enjoyed reading the story and would like to donate to support it, donations are more than welcome! With two small children, new expenses occur all the time. (Sigh.)

One-time donation


My mother died recently. This story was started in her time of need. She was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer while working at a school in India at the time of diagnosis, so she didn't have health insurance. My parents came back to the U.S. for treatment, so they both gave up their jobs. And they had spent much of their lives working to help others--working with farmers in Africa and teaching in India--so they don't really have anything in the way of a savings cushion.

She survived about 15 months after being diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer. I don't say she struggled or battled or fought--she didn't like using violent imagery to describe it. She endured it with remarkable grace, and it seemed to leave her outwardly untouched for a very long time, even as it spread through her body. Up until the very end, she would run--and then walk--along the Sand Creek bike path, taking photographs that will be displayed in a gallery exhibit later this year.

In the last year of her life, she was able to do much. She saw her photographs from India exhibited in an art gallery. She held her first grandchild. She rejoiced in hearing from many of the people whose lives she had touched over the years. She told me how much it mattered to her that she got so much support from friends, family, and even total strangers who knew of her only from news articles or from The Circus of Brass and Bone. During the darkest days of her treatment, my mother found inspiration and comfort in the kindness of strangers.

One of the last things she did was to celebrate her 33 1/3 wedding anniversary. People came from all over the world to see her, to honor her life, and to say goodbye.

She died because breathing became just too difficult. When my aunt, a nurse, told my mother that she thought my mother would probably die that night, my mother's response was to give her two thumbs up. She was ready to go. And when she stopped breathing, she smiled before she died.

Her last coherent words were to my dad: "I love you."

She lived a rewarding and adventurous life, and she had a good death, though we all wish she could have stayed with us longer.

So what happens next with The Circus of Brass and Bone?

Well, I am constitutionally incapable of leaving things unfinished. Now that I'm back to writing, I hope to be able to put up new episodes about every month, as infant-rearing duties permit. During my mother's illness, some significant bills were racked up. Donations are still what keeps The Circus of Brass and Bone going, and every little bit will help. And if we hit the target donation by the end of the story, there will be a free ebook/audiobook final version circulated once all the editing and polishing and extras are put in and the print version is made. (We're a bit more than 2/3 of the way there already!)

Until next time, keep looking for the light in the darkness.

Abra Staffin-Wiebe

Circus of Brass and Bone


Music is courtesy of Vermillion Lies. Go to their website at to hear more.

This episode is brought to you by the generous donations of Tonya Wershow, Chad Elstad, Alice Marks, Adele Murray, Chad Valentine, and Roxanne Murray.