Where Ideas Come From

I have one of the best jobs on the planet.  I get to think about ideas, research things, and make up stories using those concepts.  Over the first seven books of my Flynn’s Crossing Series, I’ve learned about soldier PTSD, metal art, building the Panama Canal, movie making, Native American spiritualism, multigenerational ranch history, and child custody.  Talk about diversity!

For the next book, I’m delving into the fascinating world of 3D printing technology, specifically as it relates to prosthetics.  Do you know that you can make a hand to augment missing fingers for as little as $20 in materials – in your own home?  It’s not fancy, but functional.  And the best part?  You can learn how to do it on the internet!  For free!

You might wonder where my idea to include this in a story came from, or why it’s even important to a romance.  Here’s how it happened.  The Parade insert in the Sunday paper included an article about a little girl who was born with missing fingers on one hand.  It’s caused by a congenital disorder called amniotic band syndrome (ABS).  Kids don’t usually get prosthetics to replace missing digits because a full-fledged hand can cost tens of thousands of dollars – and kids grow out of it rapidly.

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But bright and helpful minds figured out that you can make the components required on 3D printers.  They offered the design and instructions for free on the internet.  As printers came down in price, making these hands became something affordable per unit and easy to resize as children grow.  I’m incredibly impressed with the selflessness of people NOT trying to make money on this, plus it’s just a feel-good aspect for a story.  (I love the picture of a Cyborg Beast hand above – isn’t it cool?)

I’ll let you figure out why this belongs in a romance when you read that next book!

Want to know more?  Articles and videos are plentiful on search engines and YouTube.  Google Ivan Owen or the Cyborg Beast Hand to being your learning journey.  And if you know a child who might benefit from this, you too can enhance someone’s future with the whirr of a printer!

Happy researching!

Yvonne

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