Flash Fiction Friday – Another Day

Another Day

She wipes the sweat off her brow, lets out a hardened sigh and bends over to lift the body.

She wrinkles her nose when the smell hits her. Dave’s been spoiling in her cellar for a week now. She’s had no choice, after all.

Poor Dave, she thinks, but like the rest of the world, she has to go to work tomorrow. Some things never change, even if her marriage has.

Dave makes a thunk sound as he weighs down the trunk. She sighs again and holds her breath. Slamming the door, she hopes she’s remembered to bring a shovel.

© H.K. Rowe 2014-2015

Nonfiction Wednesday – Vision of Her

Vision of Her

I had a vision of Her, in the most beautiful clearing of a forest, a little slice of Summerland on Earth just for us.

She saw me weeping and took my hand, and She drew me to a hill glittering with yellow spring flowers and emerald green grass.

As She pulled my hand to follow, I saw Her face, Her smile – the brightest  I have ever seen, brighter than sunlight, and Her hair was long and flaxen, wild and windblown.

Her laughter was warm and soothing as a summer breeze and Her head had a crown of flowers atop of it.

Suddenly as we twirled, dancing and laughing together with our hands still entwined, fairies began to shimmer around us, playing ancient music of happiness and joy.

I laughed with Her. Danced with Her, and with Her eyes of moonlight, she gazed at me lovingly, warming me through my heart and soul.

We danced until the sun went down, where it felt like no time at all had passed.

Finally tired, we collapsed into the grass, cool from the twilight. I caught my breath, but She still held my hand.

I turned to look at Her, and She smiled one last time.

I followed Her gaze to the stars, and when I looked back, She was gone, returning to the Moon, but never really leaving me, looking down at me, watching and forever dancing with me within my soul.

© 2014-2015 H.K. Rowe

#MondayBlogs – High Expectations of Self

To everyone that writes out there I want you to know that I have faith in you.

I may not know you, I may have never read your work, but if you love to write like I do, I feel a kinship with you, so therefore I have faith with you.

I understand some days really suck for writing. Some days you can’t look at a white screen without getting nauseous or anxious. You post a poem or a flash fiction on your blog or journal and you don’t get any likes or comments. The world seems quiet and you feel like no one is paying attention to you, no one gets you, and it’s the loneliest most awful feeling ever.

Some days you may even want to give up writing altogether.

I’m telling you now - don’t do this to yourself.

Keep writing, even if one person in the whole world reads it and appreciates it – keep writing. Keep writing so much that people can’t help but stumble upon your work. TALK about your writing to others. Talk about them to your loved ones, your friends, and strangers on the bus or train.

If you’re an introvert – well, try to have bursts of extraversion and TALK about your writing. SHARE it. Don’t give up.

But remember this – don’t have high expectations of others when it comes to your writing. Don’t expect everyone to love it, rave about it, and tell you that you’re the best writer they’ve ever encountered.

The only one you should have high expectations of is yourself. The writer in you needs to write like you need to breathe. The writer in you needs practice, as well as gain exposure to other groups of writers to learn basic writing formulas and structure, grammar, and critiques. You need to expose yourself to how others write and what they think of your writing in order to develop a sharp mind and a thick skin.

You need to have a high expectation of yourself because you believe in your writing,  you know you can work through the pain, grief, anxiety and self-loathing and someday become confident and strong so that criticism HELPS you, and flames and nastiness bounce off you like nothing.

If your feelings get hurt, learn to be the bigger person and move on. Learn to accept that not everyone is going to like your work. It isn’t personal. If it IS personal, then maybe it’s that person who has issues – not you, because you’re strong, you’re a rock star, and you write 1000 words every day, and read other books, and go to the local writing group on Wednesdays.

Do what you need to do to be the best writer you believe you are.

When you share your work with others, and you engage with other writers and readers, you form relationships. You need to be genuine and sane, and for gods’ sakes, open your mind to their writing and opinions. Writing is never a one-way street. You don’t fling your work out there like pasta on the wall and expect it to stick to everyone’s favor. Engage with your followers, writers, and readers and become a real person to them. Don’t expect too much out of them, but try to be receptive to what they like and do. Share and have opinions. Encourage others and engage with them at a real, personal level.

I say this because forming a one-sided relationship in life never works. It can’t all be about you and not anyone else. You have that thick skin now, so you can talk to others and not let small things bother you that you’ll turn into a drama llama and then block and flame them on your posts. Remember when I told you to be sane?

The only person you can disappoint is yourself, and that’s how it should be. If you disappoint others and it cripples your writing ability so much that you want to quit writing forever, I wonder if it’s really important to you.

How important is writing to you exactly? And how important are you to yourself?

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Excerpt Sunday – Autumn Fire

From my Work in Progress Romance novel, Autumn Fire.


The dream shifted, and Sam was staring at Jon and Dori again in their kitchen, laughing and teasing each other. The sunlight seemed to drown them all in ethereal light, so bright that Sam could barely see Jon’s face. He saw Dori’s clearly, but not Jon’s.

He was heading out, beckoning Sam to come with him. When they’d gotten in the car, Sam could feel them driving – rolling through an endless tunnel of white light, cocooned in an unknown void. When the impact hit them, shattered glass littered around him, cutting through flesh and singing through the air. When he looked up, darkness killed the heavenly light, and Jon was slumped over in the driver’s seat, the metal fragment piercing his brain, spilling out his blood into the car and onto Sam. Sam could feel his own pain dulling when he’d seen his lifeless friend.

Over and over again he saw Jon die. The dreams, the memories, the fear played on an endless loop, trapping him in an amber web of his own terror, his own guilt that his young friend had died that day and some higher power had spared him.

Suddenly, he felt very wet, and he wondered if he was covered in blood, but instead, Sam was weeping, almost endlessly, the cries of horror and agony coming out in small whimpers, echoing through the black corridor as his friend laid lifeless beside him.

He couldn’t save him. Sam had saved him once from alcohol addiction. He’d saved him and helped him, and Jon had finally become a wonderful man – a soldier, a caretaker, and a loyal friend. Sam couldn’t save him from this. No matter how much the dream looped, Sam couldn’t save Jon from a fate like this.

He was gone. Jon was gone and Sam still couldn’t breathe or think the moment he realized his friend was gone, that he’d seen his death wedged in his mind like a cancer, haunting him and making him weep.

“Sam!”

He’d inhaled a sharp breath and his eyes opened in surprise. His cheeks were wet, and he turned to Dori, whose hands were on his shoulders, bringing him awake.

“You were crying,” Dori said. “I’m sorry; I didn’t realize you were sleeping.”

“No, it’s okay,” Sam said in a small, crackled voice.

“No, it’s not. Jesus Christ, Sam. Is this every night for you? These dreams about my brother?” she asked, and she slid next to him on the couch. Her thighs lightly grazed against his, and he felt stilled from the touch.

“Yes,” he answered her, unsure of how to feel about her closeness and worry. He’d always dealt with his demons alone, and he couldn’t burden her with knowing that her brother’s death had literally changed his life. And not for the better. He’d struggled every day with it, the memories, the trauma – and he couldn’t tell this sweet woman that her brother’s death had brought him so much struggle and pain.

© H.K. Rowe

Flash Fiction Friday – Detached

*Warning: This story contains adult sexual situations and bad language. Read at your own risk.

Detached

I cupped his shaggy face and scrunched my brow. “You don’t look like him at all,” I said.

I was submissive and moist underneath his body, and he was too heady to care for my usual musings about the man I truly loved.

Continue reading

Nonfiction Wednesdays – Silent Knight

The sexual tension between us was like silly string. Though I’m sure it was thicker on his end and thinner on mine. Despite the carnal looks he gave me behind that sheepish smile, I knew that it was time. I had the scissors ready in my hands to end this gauche chase.

I made the motion to him to come follow me out of the sweltering store and have a seat on the ground. I sighed heavily and rested my back against the window. Dirt and pebbles crackled beneath me as I shifted into a comfortable position on the rough concrete.

He followed me nervously like my dog does after a rough scolding. How could I tell him? He was my friend, but I could see in the way he looked at me that he wanted to be more. I knew he would patiently wait an eternity if I gave him one obliging signal over any course of time.

If I wanted to save this friendship, I had to be the one to bravely speak. I wasn’t going to let this tension haunt us any longer. I shifted the dirt between my fingers. I wasn’t nervous, but I was scared I’d hurt him. I cared about him, but he wanted a different kind of care that I just couldn’t give him.

“You know, you’re one of my best friends.” I licked my lips. I still couldn’t look at him. “But I can’t think of you as any more than that.”

There! I did it!

I choked back a sigh. I wanted him to see that this didn’t affect me.

But it was painful. I knew that inside him the gallons of hope for me to ever love him swiftly evaporated away with that statement. I was the coward though. I couldn’t even look him in the eye while telling him something that would change the way he looked at me forever.

Superficial conversation soon followed, and he sauntered around lightly acting out that nothing had hurt him. But I knew by looking at his eyes that it did.

© 2004 – 2015 H.K. Rowe

There are no Write-By-Numbers kits …

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

When I was a kid, we spent our summers at the family cottage, north of Toronto. Two entire months to amuse ourselves – preferably, according to my mother, out-of-doors. But there were often rainy days we’d be forced to spend inside, and one of the “hobbies” I got into was Paint-By-Numbers. My parents would buy a kit and I’d create a work of art (in my mother’s eyes only, of course) that would then be framed to hang on a nail. But eventually, over the years, that painting would either fall behind the furniture, or be replaced by a genuine work of art. I prided myself on those “paintings” because I managed to keep inside the lines and always used the recommended colours of paint.

So much for encouraging any creativity or originality.

Now that I’m writing and publishing, I’m very glad that no one has ever come up with…

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