#MondayBlogs – Goal Setting

I love how Monday rolls around and I get this strange motivation that the beginning of a week will be different than all those other “failure” weeks. I have this confidence that if I was able to drag myself out of bed at 6 am and work out to a particularly hard Jillian Michaels video, then I can conquer the world.

Today was no different. I woke up in a really good mood. I got 30 minutes of intense work out in, and I made my lunch and fixed my breakfast, and I had minutes to spare before my husband got ready to carpool to work.

I arrived at work feeling READY. I tasked out all the things I had to catch up on, and I made a plan. As usual, most of my work was done in the AM, and now I’m working on my goals for the evening.

If I’m this productive in the day, hey, why don’t I try that schedule again? Meaning – it’s a new week, I will go back to trying to work at an art/creative schedule after work.

I grabbed the post-its and opened my calendar and laid it out.

GOALS PER DAY:

– 30 minute morning workout

– 1 drawing/sketch

– 1 hour of editing/writing or 500 words of writing

– 15 minutes of yoga/meditation

– stay under 1500 calories

Seems doable right? But there’s always this underlying fear in the back of my mind that something is going to trip it out. Murphy’s Law has put a target on my back. The shotgun is ready, and he’s already digging pitfalls for me to encounter during my perfectly pristine week of simple goals.

Maybe I have time to still fill those goals in barring any trip ups. Maybe I have nothing to worry about.

But I made a pact with myself, and I’m the person that I can let down. Let’s see what happens.

I always bet on myself.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Hello, March!

*waves*

I have such a busy personal life. It’s been really hard to juggle things, and I’m dealing with a lot of stress lately. But the good news is I AM writing again. Even if it’s not much, just fan stuff and outlines, and sometimes nonfiction and poetry stuff. But I’m WRITING, so I guess that’s something.

I have lots of plans for Killer Orange and editing a second edition of Unbridled. I’m working on sifting through a series I started about grim reapers. I found some old outlines that might be good novellas someday. I’m hoping something comes together soon.

Until then I have March to contend with. I have a lot going on personally, some of it scary some of it wonderful. I’m hoping work goes better lately and I’m able to have some sales. I’m working my butt off so here’s hoping I see results.

I hope everyone is doing well. I will try to catch up with posts as best I can.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Something Different

It’s true. My writing schedule is sort of paused right now. I’ve been insanely busy, dealing with some anxiety and trying to find any motivation in these subzero Chicago temperatures. It’s been brutal. I feel the cold so deep in my bones it’s been hard to do anything productive. I’m most useful at my job, it seems, because that’s how I have to be. Otherwise, I’m just energy drained.

Here are some things that passed across my Facebook feed that I felt I needed to share:

7 Romance Publishers that Pay – For those romance writers out there. 7 Publishers looking for submissions.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – $200 for non-fiction poems or prose.

I hope those links help out! For those of you dealing with the snow and cold, stay warm! For those of you in the warmth and sunshine, enjoy it, you lucky bastards!

Cheers,

HK Rowe

Is it okay to openly mock books?

hkrowe:

Great insight!

Originally posted on Aether House:

Last week, one of those most infamous books of our generation became a blockbuster. For the few who don’t know, Fifty Shades of Grey is a movie adaptation of a book that was originally a Twilight fanfic. Not to say anything bad of my beloved genre – fanfiction – but that isn’t a promising origin story for a novel.

Obviously, Fifty Shades is an easy target for tomato-throwing in the literary world, as was it’s spiritual predecessor Twilight. I’m sure you already know the various insults hurled at both. I can’t really argue – I’ve read excerpts of Fifty Shades and the writing is indeed terrible. I’m amazed that it became such a phenomenon when the romance/erotica/harlequin section of Barnes and Noble is packed floor-to-ceiling with similar, better written books. Was there not a book already published about BDSM with a rich bad boy? I can hardly believe that market was untapped (cue pun noise).

I…

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Book Marketing: How to Sell Your Book in Independent Bookstores

hkrowe:

Great points.

Originally posted on Sound Bites with TyCobbsTeeth:

How to Sell Your Book in Independent Bookstores

In my last article, I showed you how to get your self-published book stocked in mainstream bookstores. Getting into independent bookstores can be easier, depending on the quality of your book. Indie stores are usually more open to hosting local authors for book signings than mainstream stores because they don’t have tight ties to big corporations that set rules against supporting local self-published authors.

Here are 3 easy ways to get stocked in an independent bookstore:

  1. List with Ingram. Ingram Book Group is the largest wholesaler/distributor of books in the world. Almost all indie bookstores have an account with Ingram, so the easiest, most sure-fire way to get stocked on their shelves is to have your book listed with Ingram.
  2. Consignment. Unlike mainstream bookstores, indie bookstores love local authors. Putting your books on…

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Flash Friday – Update and Excerpt

I’m back! Sort of! Sorry I’ve been absent. I hope to get back to my regular blog schedule soon.

Truth is I’ve been battling sinus headaches again, so when I’m not busy I’ve been taking it easy. I’m also behind on things but I hope to get back in the groove soon. Headaches are no fun.

In the meantime, here is a sweet excerpt from one of my in-progress short stories called “Blazing Heat.” Happy Valentine’s Day!

(Any undrafted mistakes are mine.)


The revolving door burst open, and Sal nearly knocked her over as he came inside next to her. “Bernice! Jill! Go home for the day! We don’t need you complaining anymore and we ain’t got customers for you to jaw at!”

Anna watched the relief on the two women’s faces as they stopped pacing around for a chance to relax in the freezer, and they sighed after thanking Jesus and then running to the back to grab their stuff. Anna furrowed her brow, wishing she could go home too, knowing at least her air conditioning unit in her apartment was functional. She’d love to just sit in the living room by the window where her unit would hum at her while it blew sweet, chilly air into her face. She’d catch up with her favorite TV shows, take a nap and just enjoy the chilly air, and the fact that every pore in her body wasn’t leaking sweat.

Alas, she was stuck at work with two other waitresses who looked just as peeved as she was toward Sal at not giving them a break like he did Jill and Bernice.

“Now the rest of you get back to work,” Sal said, and he turned to Anna. “Styles, come with me to the back of the bar. I need your help.”

She sighed. She knew exactly what kind of help he needed her for too. She was the tallest waitress, therefore she was the best choice to help him wipe off the bottles and clean the higher shelves on their booze cabinets. Anna couldn’t back out either; it was obvious Sal was in a cleaning frenzy, channeling his anger through wiping down his bar until Bob came in to fix the A/C, if that would ever happen. Anna would bet her next paycheck Bob was chilling in his own air conditioned home, swearing at Sal and taking his sweet time to come at all. Knowing he’d be dealing with Sal’s hot temper, she’d bet Bob would avoid it as much as he could.

“Yeah, I’m coming” she said, and she followed him out into the bar. Surveying the area, Anna noticed four customers in the whole bar. It was the slowest moment of the day. All four were regulars, and all four of them were carrying their pieces. They also had a few beers in them too, and the ice cold beer seemed to stave off the desire to leave the bar at any point.

Anna trailed after Sal as he sauntered to the largest booze cabinet. A small step stool was waiting for her, but most of the shelves she could reach. She thought perhaps Sal was also torturing her for complaining earlier but she hoped that maybe this would get her mind off the heat. She felt another drop of sweat run down her forehead and she groaned. Perhaps not.

She lowered her gaze, watching Sal walk and then turn toward her as they stopped in front of the cabinet. She had a second to enjoy that ass in tight Wrangler jeans, and she appreciated it just as quickly, adding it to all those other times she’d sneaked a peek at it.

He cleared her throat, drawing her thoughts toward him. She met his eyes, wiping the sweat off her brow in the mean time. She wiped it slow and pursed her lips at him, hoping he got a good look at her misery.

Unfazed by her suffering, he threw her a damp, clean towel. “Get started on that top shelf and work your way down.”

“What are you going to do?” she asked bluntly, hoping the words came out more playful than mean. He didn’t seem to take it that way, but he rose to the challenge.

He smirked. “Enjoy the view,” he said, and she blinked when she got the joke. She should have expected it. When anyone teased Sal, he teased right back, only playing dirtier. Anna felt her cheeks go warmer, if that was possible. She didn’t even want to entertain thoughts of where she could take that remark – where her imagination could take it further. Damn, Sal! She hated that he was smooth. She hated that he was good looking and the heat was getting to her.

She also hated that he was paying his sole attention to her when he rarely ever did. Uh oh.

‘He must really be mad at me for complaining so much today,’ she thought, biting her lip.

“I’ll be working on that cabinet,” he said, interrupting her thoughts again, and he pointed to the cabinet to their right, which was about the same height. He had a step stool waiting for him too and another towel. “It’s faster with two.”

“Got it,” she said with a sigh, and she moved past him and got to work, stepping on the stool, finding her balance and grabbing the first dusty bottle: Johnny Walker Blue. Soon, she fell into routine cleaning the bottles and wiping off the shelves. They weren’t really dusty, but when she cleaned them up, they definitely looked clearer, and the light reflected off them giving them an iridescent glow. She stepped off the ladder and began working on the third shelf from the top with two more shelves to go. Anna snuck a glance to her right, watching as Sal came down to the floor and caught up with her on his row.

Oddly enough, she enjoyed his company even though he was completely silent. She could hear him breathing, a little more labored from the heat, and he’d finally started to sweat. Sweat shimmered off his tanned forearms and she found herself catching a long look at one of her favorite tattoos: a detailed, realistic looking leopard.

“Anna,” he said, and he only needed to say her name in that commanding tone for her to snap back to work.

© HK Rowe

#MondayBlogs – Pause

Hey!

I know I’ve been a little slow on updating my blog posts. I have been totally busy and dealing with a small cold, so some things have had to take a backseat. I am regularly editing Killer Orange as well as working on the cover design. I’ve been reading A LOT as well.

Last Thursday was my husband’s birthday so I’ve been spending as much time with him as I can. We also inherited a computer, which I have since had to reformat and then re-install Windows and all its updates. Fun stuff! Work continues to be busy. Now I’m just catching up with things. (It never ends!)

I hope to get back on my blog schedule either Wednesday or Friday.

See you all then! Cheers.

HK Rowe