Life Update

I’ve missed you, blog!

I feel like it’s been an age since I last posted anything of substance—surprise, surprise, it has! I’ll be getting busier from here on out as I begin another chapter of my life, so the time I used to dedicate to writing anything fiction-related will unfortunately dwindle. I’ll try to make time for more personal updates at least, so this blog isn’t completely devoid of life. I apologize in advance if this blog becomes more of an online journal of sorts.

I took a spur-of-the-moment flight to go see Rise Against play earlier this month. Seeing Tim McIlrath and Zach Blair in person was pretty much the highlight of my year.

I finished the fourth and final book in my Heartstone series at the start of the year. It needs to be edited, and I still need to make the cover, but the hardest part—the draft—is done, and that’s gotta count for something. It turned out a lot shorter than any of the previous installments, in part because I think my writing has improved (I’ve always struggled with concision) and in another part because I packed so much into the third book that the fourth was just basically tying up all of the loose ends. Fiction writing is my number one hobby though, and I’m glad to say that I was actually able to stick to a series and finish it.

(I also maxed out my FF14 character because of my commitment to the grind, but most people probably don’t care about MMORPG stats.)

Maybe I should pick up another hobby? I’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, and the cello has always interested me.

I’m officially starting a PhD program on Tuesday after a welcome breakfast with my gem of an adviser. I’m glad I was placed under him. He’s been unendingly kind, and I know I’ll be able to learn a lot.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been suffering in math camp with my cohort, learning 3 to 4 semesters worth of algebra and calculus to get us up to speed with the quantitative sequence required by the program. I’m not a “numbers person,” so the entire ordeal felt very much like a hostage situation. Some of the older graduate students said that I’d look back at my time in math camp fondly—I didn’t know that word was synonymous with PTSD flashbacks.

I’m excited, but nervous about starting. Being in an MA program beforehand helped. The reading load is only a bit heavier and seminars are, for the most part, structured the same way. I hope I can meet the expectations others have of me though—and more importantly, the expectations I have for myself. I can’t express it well, but starting this program kind of feels like I’m saying goodbye to a lot of other things in my life, and I’m not quite sure how my mind will take it in the long-run. I’ll find out soon I suppose.

Last, but not least, I want to complain about how unreasonably hot it’s been lately. I got an unwelcome tan that I hope disappears soon. I dislike the cold, but I dislike the heat even more. I wish I could just stay holed up in my home as I have been over the last year and a half.

Until next time!

Book 3 Available for Pre-Order!

The Weeping Grove_Nicholas Rinth

Release Date: December 8, 2020

The Weeping Grove is Available for Pre-order Here:


“When the flames driving you are doused,
When the weight of the living cloaks your shoulders,
When you’re shackled with a lifelong burden,
Would you still struggle to rise?”

With their newfound possession in hand, Sylvie and Jack uncover the truth behind the First Zenith’s hidden past, but every answer only shapes more questions. Their journey leads them to the heart of the Weeping Grove, where they might fill the gaps in their knowledge and find safe passage to their next destination.

Unbeknownst to them, the west stirs with whispers of violence and blood. All Institutes have their skeletons, but there are those that have the power to shatter entire nations. Neither are willing to let that happen. They seek to handle matters quietly, only to discover that the tumultuous relationship between the western practitioners and their degrading Potentate Union has finally peaked. An internal struggle blossoms before their eyes, where they must fight to survive or die in the attempt. Amidst it all, old comrades gather, new enemies appear, and an ardent purist plots to restore the world to its former order.

Sylvie and Jack learn how the consequences of one man’s life can echo long after his death, marking new beginnings as a reminder that history can only be scripted by those left standing.

Word Prompt: Love

He doesn’t think it possible for his entire world to break and remake itself within the span of an hour, but after a few heated confessions, here he stands — not new, but feeling very much like it.

Love is a peculiar thing.

He can hardly handle the enormity packed into the word. It’s overwhelming, like a flood of sunshine after a long night; yet it’s small as well, as if the stars have all been fitted into one person to shower them in brilliance.

Nerves (Scribble)

She whispers his name, and it fills the room from floor to ceiling, drowning him in softness. The dense, unfathomable emptiness that once enveloped him is suddenly pierced by the sound of falling rocks. Loud drums echo in his ears—‘His heart,’ he realizes a second too late.

Beating blood, working muscle, always running off like a flock of startled birds.


I’d been walking around, looking for something. I don’t quite know what, but by the time I actually stopped searching, night had arrived in earnest. True dark fell over me like a cloak to freeze my bones clean through. There were no people on this block. No soul but my own. It was odd—this solitary wild, where the evening chill continuously chased the hour. Bundles of gathered leaves and branches were haphazardly gathered on the far right side of the walkway. They were soggy; the leaves curled at the edges. If I didn’t already know that winter had gone, then I might’ve been fooled.

Lights from the houses that were lined up in neat rows around me all burnt out one-by-one, until all that remained was the streetlight standing sentinel thirty feet too far.  That was okay though. I had a lighter and a hand to block the wind. A single flickering flame. Shakable, but familiar.

It was late now. Everybody had gone.

I thought that maybe it was time for me to go, too.

Open Letter #39

Dear —,

I’m outside, swaddled in a coat worn thin with a hand around my lighter to block out the wind. Smoke escapes me, floating above like the tendrils of another’s breath. It’s freezing. The cold night is stinging my skin. There’s a pile of fallen leaves that extends two blocks down; the leaf painters are such an enthusiastic bunch, but I feel like sometimes they forget that leaves are fragile things. They color them in reds and oranges, rarely getting a proper balance, so they fall to the ground instead—soggy, sad, and gone too soon. I’d wish for them to get better, but I’m pretty sure that only faeries grant wishes and I haven’t found one of those yet. Besides, I don’t think I’d like to waste a wish on them if I did have one (maybe that’s why the faeries hide from me?)

Anyway, it’s late. I’m tired. The day hasn’t been kind, so I come out here to breathe. Breathe and forget. There’s no need to hold my head up high in a place like this. There’s nothing nice to see anyway. The city looks like its choking. Sometimes the people do, too. They dig for dreams in concrete graves lined with furniture. But I think the world is still in the lead (for now) because whenever dawn comes around the birds continue to sing their tunes. They sound happy, and I’ll take their sounds at face value only because I don’t want to dwell on the alternative.

I don’t quite know where I’m going with this. But I do know that I can’t wait until morning arrives. I can already imagine the cold kitchen, the warm coffee, and my boredom, despite the early hour.

I’m not thinking straight right now. I don’t like my mind. It keeps wandering to places I’m not comfortable with.

I want out.

I’ll probably leave here soon—everyone else has—but I’ve still got half a carton. And you always told me that I need to leave with whoever I brought with me. But I came here with someone I can’t reach anymore. He’s six feet too far.

What should I do?

-N. Rinth

Life Update

Dear Planet,

Happy Birthday! I’m sorry we’re slowly killing you with fireworks.

I’ve reached a brief lull in my busy schedule as a graduate student; it lasted just long enough for me to remember to make a post for this dusty blog of mine. I don’t get to write as much as I used to because of adult things that monopolize time as if other tasks don’t require it. Well, no, that statement is rather suspect in accuracy. I’ve written plenty over the last few months. But they’ve mostly been research articles, papers, academic manuscripts, and occassional fanfiction. For reasons beyond my own admittedly limited knowledge, I just don’t have it in me to write for my fantasy series.

I haven’t been good with posting or keeping up with those I follow here on wordpress either, but I’ve never been great at that to begin with, so I don’t think it’s fair for me to blame school and work completely… but I will do just that of course because this is one of the few times I’m allowed to blatantly skirt responsibility with little to no consequence. I’m starting my second semester soon and getting back into the life of a Teaching Assistant and a student researcher while I’m at it. Grad school is a grind, I warn tell you. But it’s enjoyable in its own way. It keeps me busy, if nothing else.

My winter break was filled with days of absolutely nothing, which was downright glorious. It gave my mind much needed rest, even if it did make me feel horrendously unproductive. I gained some holiday weight that I’m sure will be burned off once I start the semester and skip meals in favor of books related to immigration policy and american gridlock… my life is so exciting, I know. It’s mine though, and I’m learning new things, which is considered a win in my books. (A small one, but a win nevertheless.) I’ve applied to several internship programs with government agencies for the summer. Hopefully I get into one. I hope to wrap up my education by the end of this year and get my big boy job.

In sum, my life is progressing even though I spend a good deal of it seated in a chair. I will surely fail to remember to post on this blog again for a while, but I do hope you folks stick around. My third book is finished and just waiting for me to edit it. I hope to publish it in the winter. As for my fourth and final book in the Heartstone series, well, it’s there. Terribly neglected. But I have three or four chapters done. It’s more than most people.

I’ll get around to finishing it. Eventually.

Until next time,
Nicholas Rinth

Heartstone Snippet (Book 4)

Book 4 Draft. Ending section of Chapter 1.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything remotely related to fiction. My skills have rusted. There’s a little too much narration in this… a little too much everything honestly. It needs to get cleaned up, which I will do soon I’m sure. (I hope.)

His hands glowed blue as he invoked his power.

Maurice crouched to press each digit onto the crystal. It reacted to everything he released. The awareness that he’d roused the remnants trapped within discomfited him in more ways than one. Even still, he didn’t let that stop him. There was too much at stake for fear.

Eventually, it reached a point where he was no longer unleashing his magic. The tendrils that stirred inside actively took. They slurped more than he was willing to give, utterly unconcerned for his well-being. Each second that passed bled the lifeblood from his veins. He’d be nothing more than a hollow husk if he allowed this to continue. But he couldn’t pull away no matter how much he tried. Sight and noise were made dim by an unknown veil abruptly cast upon him. The shape of a world he sought appeared, brilliant and gleaming, before his eyes. The illusion was hazy along the edges. A distorted dream that flickered on and off to leave a cupped hole of emptiness whenever he tried to reach for it.

A sparkling light appeared in front of him. The same one that did all of those years ago when he’d trapped Thelarius. It shined gold with the promise of a future close enough to taste. He craved that future. More than he’d ever craved anything before. His head snapped to the side when a distant voice called out, as deep and immense as a call to the ocean. Moments passed before he realized that it was saying his name.

Maurice reached out. Continue reading “Heartstone Snippet (Book 4)”

Accountability (Scribble)

I can so easily recall days when we’d run off to steal a few moments to ourselves. When we forgot about the world together. But my emotions have always been intense things. Some more than most can handle. I never thought they’d be too much. In hindsight, I probably should’ve known. I got careless.

My fault. Not yours.