Good Girls Don’t Become Best-Sellers—Channeling Your Inner “Bad Girl” to Reach Your Dreams


Fantastic blog post!

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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I am currently reading Kate White’s I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. There are bad books, okay books, good books and great books. But there is another kind of book and it’s the rarest.

The game-changer.

White has a witty, sassy style. She is seamlessly intelligent and down-to-earth in her fiction. And guess what? Her nonfiction delivers more of the same.

I’ve never recommended a book I haven’t finished, but this one has me far too excited. Even if Ms. White devolves into dirty limericks for the rest of the book? I still feel I have spent my money well. There are some points she makes which I feel are especially poignant and applicable to writers.

Part of the reason I’m referring to her book in this blog (even though I’m not yet finished) is that I might just chicken out unless I…

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Disruption and Disorder

I have not been around much here, and it’s causing me a lot of anxiety. My life has been turned upside down, and I don’t even feel comfortable in my own space anymore.

A week ago, we put our house up for sale. Before that, we had to pack things and declutter the house and put our prized belongings into the storage locker for better showings. I have very little of my possessions with me or even around me in my “house”.

My house doesn’t feel like a home anymore. It is distinctly “not me” and it’s very hard to be creative in a space I once considered sacred.

While we are showing our house, my husband and I are also looking for our next “home” which is even more stressful because I really don’t have any clue where we will be. I can’t plan ahead and know exactly the time frame I can settle back into a space again and be myself.

I don’t know how long it will take for a new house to become my home once we find it.

I know these things shouldn’t deter me from my passions, like writing, but it certainly is disrupting it, and I can’t find any semblance of normalcy to get into any sort of creative mood.

I feel like I’m in limbo. I’m hoping the fire and inspiration will come back to me. I’m hoping I can rise above the disorder, the chaos, to find my creative space again.

If anything, I just hope we can find a new home soon.

Stay tuned.


H.K. Rowe

September/October Writing Contests


Saving for later!

Originally posted on Rachel Poli:

September October Contests

Here is a reminder for contests in September. Below are contests due in October.

Good luck!

September 2015:

Type: Popular Fiction
Hosted by: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: Early bird–September 15, 2015; Final deadline–October 15, 2015
Entry Fee: Early bird–$20; Final deadline–$25

Type: “Family Matters”
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $15

Type: Standard fiction
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $0

Type: Essay
Hosted by: Literal Latte
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $10

October 2015:

Type: Poetry
Hosted by: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: October 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $15

Type: The Joy of Less
Hosted by: Chicken Soup
Deadline: October 30, 2015
Entry Fee: None

Type:Alzheimer’s and Dementias Family Caregiving
Hosted by: Chicken Soup
Deadline: October 30, 2015
Entry Fee: None

Type: Very Short Fiction
Hosted by: Glimmer Train
Deadline: October 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $15

*Please note that any contests are subject…

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Letting Go – Old Writing

The big packing and de-cluttering continues at my house as we prepare to get it ready for selling. I’ve gone through so many of my things, that I’ve gotten to that exhaustive point of not caring and throwing old stuff out.

When I began sifting through my old writing stuff, I admit I was nostalgic. Looking over the print outs with notes of my own as well as from some of those in writing groups – the good and the bad. I wondered if the stories were worth salvaging in their half finished forms. I wonder if I could go back to them. In my gut, I knew I can’t. I saved a few ideas, a few snippets of notes with ideas written on them, but as far as the stacks and stacks of old stories, I sent them to the recycling bin. I felt a small pang for them, but then I realized that I have to start fresh. I can’t hold onto old ideas or stories that I never felt the motivation to complete.

I even discarded the notes and critiques. What good are they for me now? Do I take them in the move and get something out of them later?

Or would I rather nurture new ideas, ideas that are fresh in my mind that I can actually do something with them?

The answer is of course obvious. After chiding myself for wasting so much paper on the print outs, I knew that if a story was going to last, I would have kept at it. I would have transferred the idea onto my Google Drive, a much more environmentally friendly repository for all my copious thoughts.

Sometimes you gotta let things go. I’m starting to learn that as I slowly de-clutter my life. I’ve grown out of those stories, and though I may have gained something out of them in their time, they are no use to me anymore. Sometimes characters and stories just have to die; especially, if your writing style and craft has grown so much more since then.

What do you think? Can you de-clutter your own past writings and move on from them? How much do you mourn them knowing other better stories and ideas will take their place?


H.K. Rowe

Breaking The Stigma of Commercial Fiction: Why Writing “to Entertain” is Not A Lesser Aim


Fantastic insight. You should read.

Originally posted on Aether House:

Recently, I picked up a copy of The Creative Writer’s Handbook from the used bookstore a sort of college textbook on creative writing. It is dense, detailed, and contains several short story and poetry samples from well-respected authors.

But in the opening chapter, that was a line that made me put the book down a second and just…stare at the wall, shaking my head. It went something like “when a writer’s goal is to encapsulate the whole of human experience, or more modestly, to entertain…”

This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed a gentle, condescending pat-on-the-head towards those who write primarily to entertain. John Gardner didn’t even bother with formalities when it came to genre fiction, calling most types of sci-fi or fantasy “junk” in his guide, The Art of Fiction.

Over and over again, usually in writing books or writing classes or journal submission pages or perhaps even writing circles, I see…

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