Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Status Update: My Writing Projects

So, it's been a while since I gave a status update on my novel, Majoring in Murder. Well, I finished tweaking the eBook format today for the Nook and Kindle. In addition to that I worked on formatting it for the paperback edition I hope to publish through CreateSpace. I've never self-published a paperback, so we'll see how that turns out.I sent the Nook version to a new beta reader and hope to have it back sometime early next week unless he finishes before then, which he might. He said he was a fast reader. I've got my fingers crossed that he likes it. I expect to publish it in early November.

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and I've been giving some thought to what I want to write during that time. At first, I was thinking of writing a non-fiction book about making silicone masks. I still plan to do that, but as I was looking through my idea file, another story caught my attention. One that was begging to be written. It's sort of different from the stories I normally write. This one is less horror and crime, although there are some seedy characters in it. I like to think it has a stronger sci-fi element to it, which really isn't my forte, but nevertheless, I'm going to take a stab at writing it. We'll see how it comes out. The non-fiction book will follow sometime soon after that.

Also, I began editing a Southern Gothic novel I wrote last year called Lathem's Lament. After reading Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, I wanted to write a book in a similar vein. I wasn't all that excited about it when I finished, thinking I had failed as I put down that last word. When I returned to it today and began reading, however, my excitement was renewed. If all goes well, I hope to release it sometime early next year.

That's pretty much what I've got on my plate. I plan to be busy and productive. I'll let everyone know when I release Majoring in Murder. In the meantime, here's an SNL video I thought you might enjoy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Picture of my silicone Halloween mask

So, I added some hair to the silicone Halloween mask I've been working on.

I'm not so sure the hair on this mask works. It's too thin. Unfortunately, I only had one green wig to cut up and there's not much left of it. But, I like green for this mask. It would be better if it were curly so it had more body. Overall, though, I think it's pretty creepy. What do you think?

A video to help get you in the Halloween spirit

Halloween is fast approaching. The leaves are beginning to turn brilliant colors and fall off of the trees. The temperature has dipped enough to warrant overcoats. Soon, television stations will be airing horror movies. If you are like me and can't get enough Halloween fright crammed into your daily schedule, let me try to help. Enjoy this creepy video that showcases many of the evil kids from the Supernatural television show.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making Halloween Mask Progress w/ Video

I took a video of my wife wearing my first silicone Halloween mask. I still need to paint it and add hair, but so far the movement looks good and the mask wears comfortably.

This is the second pull I took from the mold. The first had several flaws due to air bubbles. Also, a lot of the clear coat stuck to the silicone. Another lesson learned: always thoroughly clean the mold before casting the silicone.

Here's the video:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Rant to Our Government

I have no intentions of turning this blog into a soapbox for politics, but I think this guy's got some valid points and needs to be heard*.

*Contains explicit language

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween Mask Concept

Halloween is less than thirty days away and I've completed my first full head silicone mask. That one was a trial run in order to identify mistakes in my molding/casting process. I encountered a few problems and have learned from those. However, I need to create another mask in order to execute the changes to my process. Below are pictures: one of me wearing the freshly cast, unpainted first mask. (If you zoom in, you might see the flawed seam. My back mold broke during the demolding process and I had to superglue the cracks :(); the rest of the pictures show my second sculpture using oil-based clay, which is still a work in progress. I have to smooth out the details and get the symmetry right, but this gives you an idea of what the finished product should look like.

As you can see, I'm going for an evil clown look. Who doesn't love an evil clown? I've taken pictures of the first sculpture and Photoshopped various makeup patterns that I am considering using. I tested my new airbrush setup on the first mask I made and wasn't very happy with the results. Maybe it's my naivete with the airbrush and silicone paint, but the white I sprayed on came out glossy. I don't want glossy. I'm glad I tested it on a rough mask first. I went out and bought some grease paint from Party City and plan to test that on the same test mask. Hopefully, it will come out the way I intend. As for the airbrush and silicone paint, well, I guess I need to research that method of painting more to improve my technique and avoid the glossy shine.

In addition, I am considering punching the hair, but that might not work since time is running out and hand-punching hair takes forever. Also, I've yet to do it myself. Keep in mind, I've only learned to do this my watching tutorial videos on YouTube. I've seen other guys make mistakes and learned from them. Not only that, I've made my own and am learning from them, changing the way I work to avoid making those mistakes again.

If you're reading this and wondering, Hey, what about your novel? Well, I'm working on it too. I'm dividing my time between the two tasks. I'm happy to report that I'm halfway through the sixth revision, which is going much faster and easier than the previous (It should since I've cleaned up much of the manuscript on previous iterations). I hope to pass it off to one or two beta readers sometime this week.

Now, the pictures:
Me wearing the first mask I cast. This is obviously unpainted. A rough draft, if you will.
This is the second sculpture I am currently working on. Keep in mind, it's still a work in progress.