Category: News

Updates on my work

 

Author Corner: Double Helix, Book 2 in Production!

I’m happy to announce that book two in the Double Helix series is currently being written. Or should I say, re-re-re-written.

I have never struggled harder with a concept than I have for the sequel to Never Mind the Genetics. Not because I couldn’t think of a plot for it. It was because I thought of every single plot possible.

When I settled on my final concept for book two (which has gone through literally five different titles), it had already traveled all across the literary universe. It buzzed with the gadgetry of science-fiction. It donned a suspense-drama uniform. It oozed with the sappiness of illness-related tragedy. It flaunted bright comedy colors. Book two in the Double Helix series has touched almost every genre imaginable, and all of them terrible, and didn’t match at all what I wanted to get across in terms of Kevin and Andrew’s relationship. The truth was, I had no damn clue what I was going to do.

My point is, I was being pretty foolish about what I was doing. Hell, I’m still kind of shambling about, wondering if I should even bother making this a “series” at all. With all of the failed concepts, signs are pointing to “maybe you should have held out on calling this a ‘series’ until you figured yourself out”. When one of my ideas was no more complicated than “they were birds in another life,” I knew I was dead in the water.

Yeah, birds. No, I don’t take any recreational drugs, but man, imagine what kind of stuff I’d write about them if I had.

The funny thing is, I revealed these ideas to those who support me. None of them stopped me and said, “That’s a terrible idea, Mel.” I mean, I’m kind of (very) sensitive, so I don’t blame them for going easy on me. I’m only glad I snapped out of it and was honest with myself, and said, “Hey, these ideas are kind of terrible, man.”

So, naturally, going from idea to idea and back again has delayed this book terribly. I wrote about three or four (I lost count) rough first drafts that went nowhere. The first book’s concept was so easy. “A father and son fall in love”. Oh, okay, I can do that. Then I had the audacity to ask “now what?” once the first book was over.

A lot of people tell me that you have to have sequel concepts already  planned out before publishing the first if you’re doing a series. Well, that’s the thing– I did have ideas. They were just all bad, and I realized a bit late that they wouldn’t work. I had to come up with something new, immediately. It was only recently that I was able to do so. It is, so far, the closest thing to being substantial. I have a feeling that I’ll reach the end of the manuscript, say “this isn’t working” and toss that out with the others. It, like all other ideas, is definitely flawed at this point, but it still follows the same formula I was originally going for, as well as the same tone. After some intense storyboarding, I’ll be able to figure out what I can throw away and what I can keep, and polish it up before starting a whole new first draft.

Book two will feature the same characters– namely Kevin, Andrew, and Kyle. No, Ben doesn’t make a reappearance (because I don’t even like him, to be honest about it– and I never did. Note to self: don’t write characters that annoy the crap out of me). Kyle has a role other than “background jealousy machine” this time, and his development is based around about a year of me writing backstory for him, something I didn’t even do when I wrote the first book. Kyle has become more of a personal character for me now.

In the first book, Kevin and Andrew lacked the conflict I enjoy in a romance story. Though they did end up having some conflict at the end of the book, it didn’t last very long, and therefore, their reconciliation didn’t feel as satisfying to me. Because Kevin and Andrew have such a tight bond, breaking it would require something pretty serious. That was another struggle of mine: finding something strong enough to break the glue that stuck them to one another. In my mind, I always think, “They’d survive that. It’s not enough. Their relationship is too unique.” It wasn’t until recently that I realized what the “deal-breaker” could be– the thing so jarring that they might not be able to carry on afterwards– and when it hit me, I felt both elated and nauseated. Now I just have to  get the poor boys through the ordeal.

With this plan in mind, I can only hope that it’s the last one. I’ve already begun to storyboard in Scrivener. I’ve been writing down tons of notes. An ending to the story is even coming into view. It’s looking like this latest concept might truly be the final one.  Part of me can’t wait to go on this emotional roller coaster ride, while another part has a box of tissues, ice cream and Josh Groban ready while he chants, “LET’S DO THIS, GENTLEMEN!”

 

The Perfect “Poor Man’s” Standing and Treadmill Desk

For those who don’t know, I do a lot of writing, and a lot of crafting. It’s my job, essentially. Up until now, I’ve been sitting while working. Unfortunately, I learned that the more I sit, the more years I’m shaving off of my lifespan, which, unlike this new desk, is the complete opposite of “cool.” Fretting, like the anxious person I am, I became determined to try one of these newfangled “standing desks” that have swept… well crept… onto the market. The first thing I noticed was that a few slabs of wood elevated off of the ground with no chair costs twice as much as a normal cheap flat desk does. Why? Beats me. Maybe because they only want rich people to exercise so we can differentiate between rich and poor at first glance (because we need more ways to do that, right?).

Not fitting into the “I’ve got tons of money to blow on wood and steel legs” category, and really adoring DIY projects, I looked into other options. As it turns out, there are much, much cheaper alternatives, and in my opinion, way cooler ones. So before you dump about three hundred bucks on a standing desk, check out what I did:

Hey, you can see my house from there!

Corny jokes aside, so far, this has been a bangin’ awesome setup, and it only cost me sixty bucks, as opposed to the usual hundreds that actual standing desks go for. Not only is this sucker incredibly sturdy (it can withstand about 1000 lb. load), I think it looks a lot cooler in silver wires than it does in traditional desk form. It’s twice the size of my old desk, and I have a lot more room to move about. The only drawback is that my feet are really tired. I did not get a comfort mat for this because I plan to get a treadmill for it! A treadmill that, at most, will cost me about two hundred dollars. A traditional treadmill desk that you can buy from the market ranges in the thousands. So, two hundred and sixty bucks for a treadmill desk is… pretty damn sweet for those of us who want to have the healthy option, and don’t have a Swiss bank account or rich mommies and daddies.

So, what is it exactly, and where can I get one to turn into my own standing desk?
Good question!
I bought this bad boy from Wal-Mart. It’s simply just a 5-tier wire storage shelf. The shelves are adjustable, so you can move them to the level of your eyes and hands, and once connected, they feel pretty damn firm. I found it in the home section, in the shelving isle. If your Wal-Mart store doesn’t carry them (or you have no idea WTF Wal-Mart is), there are other stores that do. I saw one at OfficeMax that looked identical to the one I’m using. Definitely look into getting one that’s especially sturdy, that can hold lots of weight, especially if you have more stuff. I don’t really have a lot.

As far as the treadmill goes, I’m going to post updates on that as it occurs. I am definitely planning to purchase one, since I heard that moving is better than just standing there. And I get to lose weight in the process!

So, if you’ve been wanting to check out a standing desk, and/or treadmill desk, this might be the option for you.

Just Married – Chainmaille Shop Re-opened!

I finally took the time necessary to get my business information sorted out. There are still more things that need to be done, more supplies to order, but in the meantime, my bracelets are back up for sale!

Check out my shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/thornmaille

As it says in the title, I just got married on the seventh. Naturally, I’ve been busy as hell with that, but now that things have settled down, I can get back to work. I’ve been actively writing, mostly working on the series I’d like to release, and plan to craft wedding rings for me and my mate 😀

Also in celebration of my marriage, I plan to soon do a promotion for my book. What kind of promotion? That depends on what I can afford at the time. It will likely be a promo for the Kindle edition, and I hope to do it within the next week. Stay tuned!

I’ve made another Captive Inverted Round Maille bracelet recently which I plan to post for sale. More news on that as it occurs.

I’ve had a growing interest in sculpting. I’d love to learn how to sculpt statues. Depending on my income, that will be the next thing I learn how to do.

New Chainmaille Bracelet Available!

Just released a new chainmaille bracelet today in the Etsy shop: a round maille weave in black and blue. I know. I already made one in black and blue, but they look so damn good together!

You can order it on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177923907/round-maille-black-and-blue-anodized.

As of right now, it’s up for $22.95, and only ships in the US.

I’ve been really looking forward to making more, and not just in black and blue, and I love to keep myself busy. When I’m not writing, I’m working on a bracelet, and it’s so much fun! No matter what weave I’m working on, I get really lost in it, and it passes the time extremely well. I would recommend crafting to anyone looking to hone a new skill! It feels awesome!

-Thorn out!

Novel: For the Sake of Happiness – Now Up For Sale!

For the Sake of Happiness has finally been published on the CreateSpace store. It’s been a long, long, very long year and a half writing and editing this work, and I’ve finally made it available for purchase once and for all.

I’ve ordered a couple of proofs since the first time I readied it for publishing, and I’ll include photographs of the latest proof.

This was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Once I got it ready for publishing, after reading and checking the proof, I was still too scared to release it. No matter how many fixes I make, I still see it as amateur. But if I keep working on this one book forever, I’ll never be able to write anything else. I have so many ideas brewing, and sitting on just one project for two years is way too time-consuming. That, and I have been reading and editing this book for so long, that I’ve gotten sick of looking at it. It’s time to release it into the wild, to show it to the public. The question now is: how well is it going to do? I suppose that’ll be my readers’ call. I tried as hard as I could to release quality work, gave it my best, worked my ass off, and attempted to give them what they pay for.

As for the novel itself, and what it involves… well, let’s just say, in a twist of irony, it’s not a very happy story, but a very dramatic one. Cory, a young man in his early twenties, discovers that he has a stalker, someone who has been pursuing him for two years, and who has decided to write him anonymous letters explicating their undying devotion to him. Cory goes on a frantic search for the mysterious individual, hoping to catch them in the act. When he learns the identity of his admirer, he attempts to learn all he can about them.

Proof copy photos:

The book is available in trade paperback here: https://www.createspace.com/4504831, and will soon be available on Amazon, as well as released for Kindle. It will be enrolled in the Matchbook program, and possibly for Kindle select (Lending Library).

Release for Amazon and Kindle to soon be announced!

Etsy Shop Now Open!

I finally opened my Etsy chainmaille shop, and have five pieces up for sale. You can see them on the chainmaille page here on the site, or, you can go to www.etsy.com/shop/thornmaille.

I know I’m going to post more pieces in the near future, because I’m always making things and learning new weaves. Right now I’m working on a spiral chain, and hope to move on to Jens Pind linkage. They both look like loads of fun.

My novel will also soon be published within the next week. Excite!

I’ve finished making my business cards as well, which was a really fun task. They turned out awesome. Here’s to hoping this year is a good one!