Books – My Heavy Obsession

As a book lover, I never realized how obsessed I was with reading until my husband and I had to pack up our house because we’re trying to sell at the end of the month.

Yes, ten bookshelves full of books seems excessive to normal people, but I never thought it was anything bordering on a weird obsession. Now I have to put my books away into storage, and placing them in boxes not only is a taxing endeavor, it’s making my house feel very lonely. As we’ve packed up two rooms of books, I walk by missing the perfectly orderly spines of books and books with titles and authors that are much beloved. I know for some time I will have to accept that my prized books are going into storage, but that doesn’t mean I don’t experience some separation anxiety.

On my nightstand, I have a stack of ten or so books that I’m clinging to just for comfort that will not go into storage (I dare my husband to pry them from my cold dead hands). Some I’m in the middle of reading, some I may read while this whole moving/selling process is going on. I keep reminding myself, “I still have all the books on my kindle.”

But I never realized until how much my books comforted me. Yes, I will probably never finish every book. Or, if I do, I will be well into my 90s. But in any case, they are not just a decoration to me. They are portals to worlds that give me comfort knowing they are there, ready for me to jump into them and escape.

Moving on its own is stressful endeavor, but taking them out of their homes on shelves definitely exhibits a sort of emptiness. I only hope in the next place we live I can proudly display them again, and I’m also hoping that I never have to move again, that the next house is the ONE and my books never have to be stored or thrown into boxes again.

In addition to that I realized something else, put all those books in boxes, and damn those things are heavy!

If I have to put my books away, I better damn well get well-toned arms out of moving them all!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Monday Blogs: Giveaway & Book Review

Happy Monday, everyone!

I am still reeling from NaNoWriMo and catching up with my never-ending to-do list. I do plan on setting up a more regular blogging schedule at the beginning of the new year, but until then my posts will be a bit random like before. For now…

Tomorrow (which is my birthday) I am kicking off my Goodreads Giveaway for Unbridled. I will be giving away five FREE signed copies of my book. So you’ll see an official post for that tomorrow when it begins. I hope you enter for a chance for a free book. Who doesn’t love free, right?

In other news, I’ve been reading a lot, and normally I don’t do much reviewing of books because it seems like everyone does that, and though it probably is a good skill to foster in the indie-book world, it also depends on time. So normally I don’t have any sort of structured time for that, but when I read a good book, I feel I should share – whether it’s an indie author or not.

amandapalmer_theartofasking

The book I read recently is The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Amanda Palmer was the former lead singer of the Dresdon Dolls, a bit of a cabaret punk band. She is an independent artist now and makes music regularly. Amanda Palmer is known for taking the music world by storm with her Kickstarter project and other advocacies, and I’ve been following her career for a while and just love her spirit, her engagement with fans, and her wisdom in art and music.

I don’t have a lot of free time to read much anymore, so I was amazed how enthralled I was by her book and finished it so quickly. I’m partial to biographies anyway, but sometimes I read them and it takes me forever, but not Amanda’s book.

I read it with ferocity, absorbing her stories, her biographical accounts, her romance with Neil Gaiman, and her struggles with asking people for help and then her art itself. Sometimes it felt like a self-help book, that I could adopt some of her wisdom with my own life and struggles. I know it probably wasn’t supposed to be like that, but once you read some of her own wisdom, you feel that her words are adaptable, and they make you think.

Especially when it comes for asking for help and receiving gifts. I feel like that can be a struggle for people, myself included, in getting over your pride and asking people for help, whether for money or goods, and when you do, as Amanda did, you see the sense of community and collaboration that is born from that. It was really touching to read about that, to see all her friends and fans come together in a unifying spirit to help.

I also enjoyed the concept of making art, how making art “is not hard” – and I guess I can see that as a more liberal sense of the concept, where if you make art for the public and someone, even one person, appreciates it, it’s a success.

If you’re a fan of Amanda’s work, I definitely recommend the work. If you’re intrigued by her, I’d look into her music and get a sense of her and then if you like her, totally pick up her book.

Here was my review I posted to Goodreads:

This book was so amazing I couldn’t put it down.
I began reading this and felt so connected to Amanda through her words, her snippets, and her stories. I was moved to tears many times that I was reading so furiously that I didn’t even realize I was crying until my cheeks were wet.
Such a powerful, moving book, that there were several parts of it I just absorbed with abandon, and other parts of it I just felt I understood her and nodded my head with what she was going through, explaining, or feeling.
It felt like a random, almost-self help book on and FOR artists, but it’s not that, (or is it? I’m not sure), it’s everything Amanda. That’s how much you connect with her when you read this book. I’ve never actually met Amanda in person, but once you read her story you feel like you’ve always known her and loved her. (But I want to meet her one day, because wow, what an amazing human being she is…)
Wonderful, wonderful book. It’s the best book I’ve read this year for sure.

Enjoy! See you all tomorrow to kick-off my Goodreads Giveaway!

Cheers.

H.K. Rowe

Ups and Downs

I have been writing and drawing a LOT. Unfortunately, it’s more exercise and practice stuff. I’m doing a lot of journaling, which is mostly personal.

I spent a two week stint designing proposal templates on oDesk so I was occupied there. Hey, money is money.

A lot of my private journaling comes from thoughts and introspections as I deal with the one-year anniversary of my father’s death, as well as being there for my mom while she goes through it. It’s not pretty stuff. One thing is a hard constant: I still don’t like sharing my feelings. Apparently people think that’s something I need to work on.

I’m musing and outlining my Nanorwrimo novel, thinking of a cohesive plot. I’m trying to get over the strange fear of editing Killer Orange. I wonder if I can get through that. It isn’t a block so much as a feeling of dread, like a dirty chore, and I need to get through that. I’m open to what other writers do when they feel overwhelmed with dread in editing their works.

On the upside, this Saturday was Madison Pagan Pride day, and I met High Priestess and activist Selena Fox. She’s one of my idols, and she’s so charming and full of love and joy. I wish I could be half the woman she is.

Work is going really well, but more is continually expected of me. Such is the game.

More writing progress posted soon!

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

My Growing Reading List

Two posts in one day? What the -!

Seriously, you guys are killing me. I got my notice today that one of the books I pre-ordered was ready in my Kindle app library, there was an Alice Hoffman book for sale on Bookbub, and I still have tons of my friends’ stories sitting and waiting for me to read them.

I have a serious problem though. I tend to read 2 to 3 books at once. I don’t know if that’s healthy but it’s how I roll.

This is just a preview of my kindle app. It’s way longer and more stacked than this. Trust me.

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And this doesn’t even count all the books in my house in multiple bookshelves. I think I have a serious problem.

H.K. Rowe