The Spool of Souls: Updates & News

Spool of Souls: September 2023 Wrap-Up

We haven’t done a Spool of Souls in forever! It’s time to give all of you an update on Thread of Souls and our current projects.

Writing Book V

Book V in our Thread of Souls series is in the process of being written, with an anticipation of publication in Spring of 2024. As the books get more involved and the series plot thickens, more time is needed for each book. So 12-month releases are unlikely haha. Part 1 has been completed and gone through its first two rounds of edits. We are currently in the middle of Part 2.

book covers


We only have one chapter left to record for the first audiobook of Phantom Five. After that, we’ll go through the editing process and then release it! We are only a team of two, and we do work full time on top of running Thread of Souls and Game Sandwich. We are excited to soon be getting the first of many audiobooks released!

New Merch

We have a launched a handful of new merchandise in our Redbubble shop! These include a Jade typography shirt and sticker, a Drybarrel Ale shirt, a Phantom Five phone cover, an Ash & Thunder journal, a Path of the Spiders bag, and an Asunder scarf!

Our Lives

This year has been a busy time of transition. We’re coming off both being laid off from our FT salaried jobs, a period of unemployment, and getting back to work in July after moving to a new state. We’re finally settling back into a routine and returning to our Thread of Souls projects. We also sold our car and bought a new one, a sexy yellow hatchback! All in all, it’s been crazy busy and we’re ready for things to slow down haha.

Until next time!


The Misadventures of Buying Our First House

This is an autobiographical post. The names of people and places may be changed.

We decided to write autobiographical posts about the colorful life we have lived. There will be tales of sleeping in a campervan on the beach, of defending a bird’s nest from a snake, and of running away from wolves while sick with bronchitis. There will be tales of diagnosis with PTSD and ADHD and how it changed our lives, of meeting biological family, and of job loss. It’s a tale of overcoming challenges, of finding out who we are, of love, hope, cats, and of a marriage that’s gotten stronger through it all.

Autobiography Post 8

“I don’t have you on the schedule today.”

We both stood there in the office to finalize our house purchase, perplexed. It was a busy area, with staff on the phones and crossing between rooms.

“We’re not on the schedule?” Dorian echoed slowly, not fully understanding. “We got a message from Branon, our loan officer. He said to come here on this date and at this time.”

The woman across the desk frowned. “That’s odd. Can I see the message?”

As Dorian passed over the phone to show the text, my mind raced. How could we not be scheduled? We’d been given this date two weeks ago and had planned around it. The contract with apartment was ending. We had everything packed in boxes. We’d taken off work for the next week. None of it made sense.

The woman stood up. “Okay. Let me go check with my manager.” She vanished through the door.

Dorian and I looked at each other nervously. Nearly a year ago, we’d signed a contract with a custom home builder to build our first house. We’d watched it through all phases of construction. We’d talked a handful of times to our usually unresponsive home builder. We’d hand-selected all the paint, the brick, the appliances, and more. At the time, we thought it was our perfect house on a corner acre lot. Our home builder wanted us to use his brother, Branon, for the loan. Our first meeting with Branon had gone well, but he rarely returned calls, emails, or texts which had been frustrating. We were ready to get the process over with and move in.

The woman came back with two other employees. “I am sorry, but we were never told you were coming. We have nothing prepared. You cannot close today. I have no idea why Branon would have sent you that message.”

We were baffled. We explained that everything was packed, what were we supposed to do? We called our home builder who didn’t pick up, so we left him a message. We obviously tried to call Branon with no result.

Our home builder texted back. “Wow! I had no idea Branon didn’t finish things up. Even though he’s my brother, he’ll get a stern talking to lol! We’ll get this rescheduled.”

When we returned home, we were furious. Our whole lives were in boxes around us. As I started unpacking the basics to get by, Dorian finally got a hold of our builder on the phone. A tense conversation was followed by our builder threatening to cancel everything and leave us with no house if we didn’t just accept this and wait for a new date.

What choice did we have?

Two weeks later we finally got to sign the documents and close on our house. It was a wonderful time! We loved our new place. There were still some things that our builder had to send contractors to do. The garage was never cleaned out of construction equipment. The hot water tank wasn’t turned on. And the attic still didn’t have insulation in it. But over the course of a month, it all got fixed.

Still, we had to know if this happened to other people. When we got the chance, we asked other people in this new neighborhood.

“Oh, yeah, he’s awful to work with!”

“He lied to me the entire time.”

“You can’t trust that guy.”

The story was the same over and over. And yet, this custom home builder was winning business-to-business awards and being honored by his church. It was enough to make me laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Three years later, we noticed a house that was in the process of being built seemed to just burn down overnight. We never knew what happened until older neighbors that had been there for over a decade told us an interesting story. As we stood on the street, in the middle of a spring sunset walk, we got an inside scoop.

“Our friend is a firefighter,” the couple told us. “He was sent to investigate what happened. It happened over night and got put out without anyone knowing. He said it wasn’t an accident. It’s clear someone deliberately burned it down.”

“Why would the builder do that?” we asked, intrigued.

“The house was built on land he didn’t own. He didn’t get the proper permits, but built it anyway. He got in trouble and has been barred from building houses in Collinsville now.”

Well, at least karma finally catches up to some people.

Misc Posts

How it Feels to Publish Your Book

Do you have a dream to publish your book? Perhaps you think about having a large following of readers, being famous, or getting good money. But none of that is important if you don’t love the process. The true reward of creating, is having a creation. The real payoff, the thing that matters the most, is holding your published book in your hands.

I’ve have written many things throughout my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Books hundreds of pages long written in notebooks with pencil. Multiple award-winning fanfics. My dream, however, was to officially publish a book.

It felt significant to have the book fully written, edited, and finalized. The process of publishing the first time was overwhelming. It had to be formatted a certain way and data set up specifically in the KDP system. It took me days to figure it out with a great deal of stress (I am very practiced at it now!).

But when that book finally came in, and I could hold it in my hand, I was blown away. Dorian and I stared at it, flipped through it, and set it in a place of prominence. We had worked together to create something, and now we had brought a new story into the world!

How does it feel to publish your book? It feels like the achievement that it is. That all your years of hard work were worth it. Your story is now yours to read as you please. While having other readers and making money are good results, they pale in comparison to simply the act of creating. That is something that can never be taken away.

Misc Posts

How to Write Fight Scenes

We discuss the three main strategies to use when you need to write a fight scene.

Adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, horror . . . while all these genres are different, you can expect to find fight scenes in them. Scenes where characters are pitted against other characters, against creatures, or against monsters and fighting for their survival. It could involve weapons, magic, or hand-to-hand combat. Even genres such as drama or romance might have more action-oriented scenes involving escapes, chases, or trying to hide from danger.

As writers, our job is to convey the tension of these fight scenes to the readers. But that is often easier said than done. I am one of those writers that struggle with fight scenes. I take a very long time writing them, and they often go through way more revisions than any other aspect of my work.

In this post I’ll talk about the three main strategies I use to craft a good fight scene in hopes they will help you, as well!

Vary Your Sentence Lengths

When you write fight scenes in your book, readers must be drawn into the intensity of the moment. A good way to do this is to write short, focused sentences. For example:

“She lunged forward. She turned into a kick. Her foot slammed into his spine.”

These are great to keep up an action pace, but no one wants to read an entire fight scene written like that. A good rule is to keep a balance of your sentence lengths. Work in multiple short, action-focused sentences with longer, more descriptive ones. This will give your reader a time to pause and visualize the fight before drawing them back into the quick action. For example, a follow-up might be:

“The force of her kick knocked him from his feet. He was sent sliding across the dirt and the mud, staining his jeans.”

write fight scenes

Study Wrestling Fights

Remember that all good fights need to be character-driven. What the character wants should be clear. Someone who wants to escape won’t spend a lot of time going toe-to-toe with their opponents. And with each move your character makes, it’s an opportunity to show their personality.

I recommend studying the way wrestling fights are conducted, such as the ones on WWE or AEW. These fights are structured in such a way that they tell a story. Every character as their own unique move set and unique purpose to be in the fight.

There is also a good give-and-take in the way wrestling fights are staged. Especially for big paid live shows. They will work in shock and awe moments, there will be times when you think the hero character is being defeated only for them to mount a comeback. In short, they push the narrative forward. Watch these for inspiration on structuring your fight scenes.

write fight scenes

Use a Randomizer

When I write fight scenes, I will know my high points. But how do I connect them? How do I fill in this space to transition from one big moment to another?

Sometimes, I use what I refer to as my “randomizer”. I use a self-created spreadsheet filled with various fight moves or actions. These can include parry, trip, punch to the face, lose balance, overhead strike, etc. I will then roll either with a dice or with an online roller. The number it lands on is the next move in the fight. Of course, I must then translate it narratively. But that turns it into a fun challenge.

For example, let’s say I’m in the middle of my fight with two characters facing off. They are fighting on a roof. I roll and get a 5. I look at my spreadsheet. The 5 slot says “lose balance”. So I write:

“He swung wild and hard, aiming his sword for her throat. She quickly spun out of the way and his attack went wide. Losing his balance, he tumbled toward the edge of the roof.”

Now I roll again. I get a 13. The 13 slot says “parry“. I write:

“As he struggled to regain his footing, he made a quick strike at her. Hoping to land a blow as he passed. But she deftly parried, remaining unharmed.”

Are there any tricks you use when writing a fight? Let us know below!


Our Wedding & Honeymoon

This is an autobiographical post. The names of people and places may be changed.

We decided to write autobiographical posts about the colorful life we have lived. There will be tales of sleeping in a campervan on the beach, of defending a bird’s nest from a snake, and of running away from wolves while sick with bronchitis. There will be tales of diagnosis with PTSD and ADHD and how it changed our lives, of meeting biological family, and of job loss. It’s a tale of overcoming challenges, of finding out who we are, of love, hope, cats, and of a marriage that’s gotten stronger through it all.

Autobiography Post 7

When We Knew We’d Get Married

We knew we’d get married a few months before we actually got engaged. It would mostly be small comments like “When we get married, we’ll…” and “Our honeymoon will be a huge party…”, etc.

In 2014 we decided to book a cruise. Dorian had been on cruises before growing up, but I never had and thought it seemed so exciting. We were young and didn’t have a lot of money, so we looked for an affordable cruise about 14 months in the future so we’d have plenty of time to pay it off.

As we were deciding between two cruises, I said, “You know, a cruise to the Caribbean would make an amazing honeymoon.”

Dorian perked up. “Well, if it’s going to be our honeymoon, then we’re choosing the 7-night cruise.”

And so we booked it. We had a date for the honeymoon. Which meant our wedding date was already decided. It would be two days before the cruise, giving us one day to drive from Oklahoma to New Orleans and spend the night there before boarding the ship the next day. It would be November 27th, 2015.

The Proposal

Dorian popped the question during the night we watched the Golden Globes. He had the fun idea to dress up in a suit and dress like we were at the event. We were also eating pizza which made everything fun haha. Throughout the show he started giving his own awards for various things that had happened in our relationship. It was super cute, and I started to suspect this might be the time.

With the last question he asked he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. He’d secretly propped up his phone to record the whole thing, and I thought it was perfect. He knew I didn’t like big crowds or public displays, so an intimate moment between the two of us was special. The station he worked for at the time put up a picture of us, and we still have the screenshot to this day.

Planning the Weddding

We had 10 months to plan the wedding. If you want to hear about wedding drama you will be disappointed haha. We are both easy going people. It was an easy planning process, and we didn’t spend much money at all because we used friend discounts for services. For example, we were friends with a photographer, and friends with a DJ who threw in lights for free, etc. We paid for 90% of it ourselves and I can say with certainty that everything turned out exactly as we wanted it to. We planned every item together, and had a blast doing it.

I will entertain you with the only incident of drama that happened. I made a seating chart and I wanted to get approval from both sides of the family before the layout was finalized. I ran it by my adoptive mother who said it was perfect. Then I ran it by my mother-in-law.

“You are the bride!” she exclaimed. “It’s not for me to make changes. Whatever you say goes. It’s your wedding.”

The day we actually did the setup for the wedding, it seemed like those conversations never happened. Immediately my mother-in-law came up to me complaining about the seating and saying things had to be changed.

“It’s no problem,” I said. “You can move people if you think they should be closer.”

Not only did she move her own family, but she moved mine, as well. Which caused my adoptive mother to come to me.

“Our family is now sitting all in the back. Can I move the seats around?”

I refused to get involved in this drama. “Go ahead,” I answered. “Do what you need to.”

I was subjected to an hour of both of them “secretly” coming to me behind each other’s backs asking permission to move seats around, undoing what one another had just done. I pretended not to know what was happening. I wasn’t going to get drawn into their drama. And now that I’m older and wiser, I will say I think it’s ridiculous two middle-aged women couldn’t talk it out and come to an agreement between the two of them instead of acting like children.

The Wedding

Our wedding took place in the evening. Our theme was “starry night”. It was a magical experience. Leading up to the wedding, plenty of people warned us we’d have no time to eat, and everything would just be a blur.

But that wasn’t our experience. We got to eat our full meal and the cake. And I remember everything quite clearly. I remember the way all the mini lights reflected in Dorian’s eyes as we said our vows. I remember dancing to different songs. I remember posing in various photos, and going around and chatting with everyone. I remember taking time to look around at how beautiful it all was.

If any of you are curious about your own future wedding, I can say for certainty that I felt it. While saying my vows, while putting on the rings, while signing the wedding certificate, I felt it. I felt the importance of the moment, I knew my life was changing. It sunk in immediately and I was so happy.

The Cruise

We spent our wedding night at a hotel in the city. That next morning we did the long drive through Oklahoma, Texas, and into Louisiana. It rained most of the drive, so we got into town way later than we thought and crashed on the bed in exhaustion. The next morning we boarded the cruise ship. It was a confusing process. And the luggage examiner people weren’t happy about our sex toys and had us throw them away. When we finally boarded the ship, though, I was taken in by the grandeur of it all.

It was a trip around the Caribbean, stopping in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico. We ate too much food and spent many hours lounging on the decks and watching the ocean. We did trivia night a few times and gambled at the casino. Once we got lost on the outside decks and ended up at the front of the ship where the wind was so violent it tore the sunglasses off my face and threw them down into a stairwell! Dorian rescued them and we quickly got inside with no idea what part of the ship we were on. We laughed the entire time.

Once we had room service delivered. The waiter took in all the decorations in the room and asked, “What are we celebrating?”

We smiled. “It’s our honeymoon.”

His eyes popped wide and he exclaimed. “HAPPY HONEYMOON!”

Of all the excurions, the jeep tour of Jamaica was our favorite. Our guides were amazing, and we saw so much of the island. It was the first other country I’d ever been to.


There was only one downside to the entire cruise. I discovered I get seasick. I was fine until about halfway through the cruise. When we were supposed to go to Cayman Islands, we had to take a small boat there because the ship couldn’t get close enough. The waves were massive, and shortly after getting on that boat I quickly got back off. I couldn’t do it. It was making me sick.

The last two nights I really started feeling it. We’d hit rough waters. The upper decks were closed and shows were cancelled for safety.

“I’ve never felt rocking this bad before,” an older couple on the ship told us. “I don’t think this ship has good stabilizers.”

When we returned to land, it kept feeling like the ground was moving. This lasted for a week afterward. I had to bring prescription nausea medicine to work to cope with it.

As much fun as I had on the cruise, I would never get on one again.

Ever After

As I write this it’s been 8 years since our wedding, 10 since we started dating. It was an incredible time and a truly special memory. We wanted to celebrate us and our love, and that’s what we got to do. And each year has been more special the one before it.

Misc Posts

Pricing Your Book on KDP

We talk strategies for pricing your book on KDP.

If you are a new or experienced author on Amazon’s KDP, you might wonder if you are pricing your book competitively. Will it make you enough money? Is it overpriced? Is it underpriced? It is attractive to consumers? And why is there a 35% or a 70% royalty option? Who doesn’t want to make more money? We’ll talk about each of these points below to help you price your book!

Is My Book Overpriced?

You spend a great deal of time and effort on your book. You know you should earn income appropriate to your efforts. However, are you pricing your book to high? Readers often consider price when choosing which book to purchase, and not everyone has the extra money to buy whatever they choose.

A good way to determine if your book is priced too high is to survey similar books in your genre. When you open your book’s sale page on Amazon, you can scroll down to see similar titles other people have bought. Look at the prices of these. Is yours the most expensive of the list? Visit your local bookstore and browse your genre, checking each price. If your book is always on the highest end, you may have overpriced it.

pricing your book

Is My Book Underpriced?

If you price your book extremely cheap, everyone will rush to buy it. After all, who doesn’t want a good deal? Well, this isn’t necessarily the case. Actually, you could be “shooting yourself in the foot”, as it were, by pricing your book too cheaply.

Consumers often attribute the quality of an item to its price. While everyone wants a good deal, if people think something is surprisingly cheap, too cheap, they may assume it is a low-quality item. Therefore, they may assume your book is not good and that is why it’s so cheap. When pricing your book, don’t make the cost so low that one questions how good it is. Also, your efforts deserve a good price. Don’t undersell yourself!

pricing your book

Who Wouldn’t Want a 70% Royalty?

When publishing an ebook specifically on KDP, it gives you the option to choose a royalty plan. You can choose between 35% or 70%. This seems confusing. Who wouldn’t want more money per book sale?

First thing to know is that not all books qualify for a 70% royalty. Your ebook cannot be priced higher than $9.99, or lower than $2.99, to qualify. You must also have this book enrolled in KDP Select. Enrolling in this free program allows your book to be part of Kindle Unlimited (subscribed readers can read your book for “free” and you get paid per page read), your book is allowed to be lent between readers for 14 days, and you can run discounts or free promotions of your book.

Be aware that even if you choose 70%, this may not apply to certain international markets. Honestly unless you are a worldwide-known author, there is no reason to not take advantage of the perks you get from choosing the 70% royalty plan. It gives you better outreach to potential readers.

We hope this has been educational! Happy publishing!


College Days

This is an autobiographical post. The names of people and places may be changed.

We decided to write autobiographical posts about the colorful life we have lived. There will be tales of sleeping in a campervan on the beach, of defending a bird’s nest from a snake, and of running away from wolves while sick with bronchitis. There will be tales of diagnosis with PTSD and ADHD and how it changed our lives, of meeting biological family, and of job loss. It’s a tale of overcoming challenges, of finding out who we are, of love, hope, cats, and of a marriage that’s gotten stronger through it all.

Autobiography Post 6


Dorian graduated high school a year before me, before either of us knew each other. We both had the same goals, however. We wanted to apply for colleges outside of our state focused on the creative arts. Ones that would help us on our journeys as writers and creators, and get us networked with the right people and organizations.

But our families had other ideas. They chose the colleges for us, saying that is where they wanted us to go even though the right degree programs weren’t available. My family said they would die if I ever left the state. Dorian’s family simply said it was out of the question without an explanation.

I remember a specific conversation with my adoptive father.

“You need to go here and become a teacher,” he said.

“But I don’t want to be a teacher,” I protested. “I hate speaking in front of other people.”

“It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. It’s a dependable job, and that’s all that matters.”

I won that argument, at least. Even though it wasn’t my ideal college for my career goals, I got to major instead in psychology.

College Days – Talia

I went to two different colleges. The first was a community college where I got my associate’s degree in psychology. I loved psychology classes, and I enjoyed being on my own. I finally got time and space to myself away from my helicopter family. I will admit with a laugh I got so caught up in my own freedom I skipped classes and browsed shops. I didn’t have money to buy anything, I just liked finally being out for once. I’d never been allowed to go out on my own unless it was for school purposes.

Money was tight. I was only allowed to work a few hours a week at a local pizza place. I would split up the $70 paycheck across the two weeks to pay for gas, and I would divide it to spend $3 a day on my lunch. But it was my own money, and that made me happy.

After my associate’s I went to a new college to complete my bachelor’s in psychology. I went to many classes with the same people, and enjoyed their company. There wasn’t anything around this campus, so I spent my free time walking around the buildings and getting exercise.

I should note that neither of these colleges had dorms. I was encouraged by my adoptive parents to stay at home and help out with the family. The idea of living with strangers also made me feel very anxious. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had CPTSD, and one of its hallmarks is high social anxiety.

I was very proud of myself for graduating with a 3.5 GPA, and still am proud of my degrees even though I am still paying off the loans.

College Days – Dorian

Dorian went to another local college and did not stay at a dorm, either. He chose broadcast journalism for his major, which was as close as he was going to get to a degree in television and game production. His parents forced him to go to school full time and work full time at the local news station simultaneously. Needless to say, he was exhausted constantly and often fell asleep at the college’s library or on the roof hangout areas.

A high point of his college experience was helping out with its local radio station. He got to be involved creatively, planning and recording promotions.

“You have a talent for this,” his manager told him. “You’re really good.”

School was never Dorian’s strong point. He’s exceptionally creative, innovative, and intelligent. But at the time he didn’t realize he had ADHD. And it made the traditional school format of long lectures and memorization-based exams very difficult. But none of that was the reason that, despite completing a full four years, he didn’t graduate with his bachelor’s.

When it came time to graduate, he was told by the registrar he hadn’t taken all the required classes. He would still need to stay another year.

“I don’t understand,” Dorian protested. “I took every class my advisor told me I needed to take.”

Upon examining the classes, Dorian discovered that his advisor that was supposed to help him graduate simply had him enroll in all of his own classes. Not the classes he actually needed.

Tired of the long hours, and already promoted to Associate Producer at his job, Dorian left the college.


I think most would agree the American education system doesn’t work right. Some of the best jobs we both have gotten in our career didn’t ask about our college at all, and were more interested in our 10+ years of experience and skillsets. But that isn’t always the case.

Even though I’ve been writing professionally for years, and have won awards for my work, I’ll still have employers tell me they want someone with a journalism or creative writing degree. If my colleges had offered it, I certainly would have done so.

“I see you majored in psychology,” one interviewer said to me. “How did you overcome that challenge to make a career shift and get where you are?”

“It’s a misconception that psychology is just therapy,” I answered. “All of my courses were focused on communications, media, and consumerism. I feel that has made me a better writer.”

Even though, years later, Dorian did get an associate’s degree in psychology, and even though he’s an executive producer for television, the lack of a bachelor’s is still an uphill battle for him.

Let’s hope there’s an easier future for those that didn’t have the best options, or any options, when it comes to college. My heart goes out to those that never even got the chance to take classes due to money or family obligations.

Misc Posts

Baldur’s Gate 3: Act I Impressions

Our spoiler-free thoughts after playing the first act of Baldur’s Gate 3.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Baldur’s Gate 3 since we played early access three years ago. The thing that appealed to us most was that we could create our own characters within a TTRPG setting, allowing us to create Taliesin and Ruuda. We always play them, and other characters from our game/book series when allowed to create an entire party. We’ve done it for Pillars of Eternity II, Neverwinter, WWE 2K23, and Solasta. As soon as the game was officially out, we jumped at the opportunity to begin this new adventure.

Character Creation

The character creation is decent. Since we tried to recreate our characters exactly, it was disappointing. When games with less development time like 2K23 allow you to enter your character height by inches and weight by pounds to adjust their physique, we expected to see a game with this much detail allow sliders at the very least. We were super happy you could play a duergar, however. That race always gets overlooked and it is a joy to finally have that option.

The graphics are certainly very pretty; the hair looks soft enough to touch. And the ability to dye your clothes to further customize your look is a wonderful addition. We wish you could preview the dye look before committing to it, though.


The gameplay is extremely user-friendly. You can toggle the camera between characters and swivel it around, giving you much more flexibility than the typical top-down perspective of similar games. You point and click where you want your character to move instead of having to fuss with directing yourself through the keyboard. It is easy to target enemies, and the hot bar has simple navigations to find what you are looking for.

Combat flows really well. You are allowed to scale the difficulty based on if you want to focus more on the story and less on fighting the same boss over and over. The three-dimensional environments allow for some really fun fighting locations.


The story is the heart and soul of Baldur’s Gate 3. The characters have depth, are complicated, and have interesting backstories that influence your quests. You are allowed to make moral decisions, and it isn’t always clear on who to trust. You care about NPC’s, you are driven to explore, and the absolute vast amount of dialogue options allows you to feel like you are truly part of the story.


The first act of Baldur’s Gate 3 is an epic and dark adventure sweeping you into a fully-fleshed out world. You truly lose track of time when you play this game due to how simply fun it is.

Pros: Beautiful graphics, compelling story, great characters, user-friendly gameplay

Cons: Limited character customization, too gory

Misc Posts

Feature: Game Sandwich

Earlier this year Dorian co-founded a website called Game Sandwich. With how busy we’ve been we’ve neglected to talk about it! Though it’s only been around six months, it’s already seeing tremendous growth and success. We would be remiss not to let you know about this exciting venture and its backstory.

In the spring of this year, Dorian was one of a large number of freelancers all suddenly let go from a gaming website. Everyone was devastated. Freelancing is difficult enough as it is, with very little pay, sudden cuts in hours, and limited work availability. Many of the people let go relied on that job to afford groceries.

“I’ve had nothing to eat but chips and pop-tarts all week,” one of these people told Dorian. “I can’t afford anything else. I don’t know what to do.”

This got Dorian thinking. While he couldn’t do anything about the money, perhaps he could do something to lift everyone’s spirits, and give them a new purpose. He suggested the idea of bringing together everyone that was laid off to create their own gaming website. One where they could create quality content based on their expertise and experience, and not what an executive who had never picked up a controller deemed to be acceptable.

The response was immediate. For days Dorian was bombarded with messages of everyone interested. Writers, editors, SEO specialists, website creators, and more. After a few meetings, talking with a small business specialist, and submitting for an LLC, Game Sandwich was up and running!

The passion each of these creators has drives the website. All of them do this for the love of it, and that love is paying off. Game Sandwich continues to grow, giving these once voiceless creators and platform and a purpose.

Please check out the website to show your support for indie creators!


The Pixie Cut

This is an autobiographical post. The names of people and places may be changed.

We decided to write autobiographical posts about the colorful life we have lived. There will be tales of sleeping in a campervan on the beach, of defending a bird’s nest from a snake, and of running away from wolves while sick with bronchitis. There will be tales of diagnosis with PTSD and ADHD and how it changed our lives, of meeting biological family, and of job loss. It’s a tale of overcoming challenges, of finding out who we are, of love, hope, cats, and of a marriage that’s gotten stronger through it all.

Autobiography Post 5

The Desire

As a child, I always liked pixie cuts.

As a child, I always had long hair.

My adoptive mother loved long hair. She kept mine down to my hips. My hair has always been very thick, and it took absolutely forever to wash, comb, and dry every single day. I have naturally oily hair, and if I don’t wash it every day it becomes a terrible mess.

When I became a preteen, I started to realize I could choose how I wanted my hair. I was becoming more independent, starting to learn who I was.

So when the family would go to the hair stylist we always used, I would ask her, “Can I have it really short?”

Her response would always be the same. “Not this time. Why would you want to cut off your beautiful hair?”

Every time I left with hair that wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t who I am. It was a frustrating and powerless experience. When I turned 16, I finally convinced the stylist to cut it off as short as I had ever had it before: a bob! I loved it. It was so light, it was so free! I felt so cute in it. The drastic change definitely got a lot of attention at the high school, all of it positive.

The Rebellion

When I turned 18, it was my senior year of high school. My adoptive mother left to run errands while I got my hair cut. I showed the stylist a picture of what I wanted.

“My mother will hate it,” I warned her. “But it’s what I’ve always wanted.”

The stylist gave me my first pixie cut. Granted, it was actually much shorter than the picture. Throughout the process she kept saying, “I’m really nervous. I’ve never done this before.” But I loved it anyway!

My adoptive mother was furious. On the drive home she yelled and cried.

“Why would you do this to me?” she asked. “Do you want to punish me? Do you actually want to be a boy?”

The punishment continued all through the months my hair grew back out. She kept referring to me as “her son” meaning it as a form of bullying. However, I didn’t think it was insulting to be a boy, so I didn’t care what gender I was called.

The whole situation, however, was still very upsetting. After that I always kept it at a bob or just at shoulder’s length. I didn’t want to go through that again with her. Even when I reached my 20’s, got married, and lived on my own, I was too afraid. I knew when I saw her, she’d make a big deal and I wouldn’t hear the end of it. I also had gained a lot of weight during the time Dorian and I were laid off, and I worried short hair would show how round my face had become.

The Self-Love

In 2022, I considered cutting my hair once more. At this point I had lost a lot of weight and had cut off ties with my adoptive family. I was learning who I was, exploring who I wanted to be, free from judgement.

Dorian also had a drastic change he wanted to make. “I’m balding,” he admitted with a sigh. “I’m becoming my father. I think I’m ready to just shave it off.”

One afternoon we both dropped into a nearby salon. We told them what we wanted.

The stylist looked at me with a smile. “Once I do this there’s no going back. Are you ready?”

“Yes,” I replied. “Let’s do this.”

She gave me the best haircut I ever received in my 32 years of life. When I looked into the mirror I was moved. I loved myself. I loved how I looked. I felt confident. I felt in control.

Now, a year later, I still have my beloved pixie cut. I cut it myself now. And Dorian has stayed bald, which we both love. I think he looks rugged with no hair and just a beard. When I look in the mirror, I’m reminded of how I fought for so many years for this. To others, it might just be a unique haircut for a woman, someone they pass a glance at while in the store. But to me, it means so much more.