Unscheduled Sabbatical

It seemed like only yesterday since I updated this blog. Though I know it’s been longer. Wow, I feel so bad how behind I’ve been on my writing and my blogging and catching up with my friends’ posts. Though it was all for good reasons, I assure you.

I wish I could say I was writing. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing, and I’ve been writing for work and personal things, but other than that…I’ve just been enjoying this roller coaster that is my life.

We sold our townhome, moved into a new house (in which we are still not settled), and I’m happy to report that after two years of stressful trying and worrying, my husband and I are finally going to be parents! I’m still early in my pregnancy, but the last month or so I’ve been ill (creating a human as my friend calls it) so I’ve been resting.

I hope eventually I will find some time to write, though, now I’ve just been “writing” my experiences of pregnancy in my journal. The descriptions and accounts may come in handy someday, especially since babies grow up so fast – I hear. It’s a different experience for sure, one that needs to be thoroughly recorded.

I hope to share some of my writings with you here soon. Thanks for those who stick around and I shall definitely catch up with you as well.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

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The 777 Writer’s Challenge

I’ve been nominated by Aether House to participate in The 777 Writer’s Challenge. The rules? Go to the 7th page of my WIP, find the 7th sentence on that page, and then paste the following 7 sentences into my blog post. And then select 7 other writers for the challenge.

From Killer Orange, the fic I hopefully can finish this year!

Her gaze swept across the lawns of her neighbors, and she realized how much time had passed since she set out on this journey. The sun was already setting over the horizon behind the towering homes.

Her eye caught one of her new neighbors, briskly walking her two dachshunds down the sidewalk. Rebecca noticed her stiff back as she power-walked the two dogs skittering happily in front of her. The woman turned slightly to glance at her, and Rebecca tensed up, hoping she didn’t have to force a greeting. She felt instant relief when the woman quickly looked away, obviously bored and uninterested at her arrival.

She’d hoped that more of her neighbors were like this woman, and if they wanted nothing to do with her, then they would just leave Rebecca alone. 

For anyone who wants to do this, please take the challenge!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Trying to Make a Comeback

So I suck at keeping up with this blog, but my goal this 2016 is to keep up with this more regularly. Let’s see how that goes! I’m definitely determined.

The main reason I haven’t been online is that I’ve been busy. Plain and simple. We’ve been trying to sell our house for more than two months and it’s stressful and daunting, and I honestly didn’t want to overload people with my personal battles with it. This is why I still keep an LJ, and I even suck at keeping up with that journal.

Now that we’ve got a contract with someone to buy our house, as well as a house to move into, I’m hoping my life will have more order after February.

I can’t tell you how much this whole process has disrupted my creativity. My house was basically torn apart, packed and put into storage. My safe haven writing room was stripped of my beloved books, artwork and files and made to look like nothing for house showings. It was very difficult for me to write in this space that no longer felt like my own. I hope this changes for the new place, but I will probably struggle through the malaise through the holidays as we pack some more in our old house.

In the meantime, I’ve just been making plans on what I’m going to write for 2016, drafting ideas, writing character profiles and basically writing down any haphazard thoughts that skim across my brain. I’m hoping to do some fiction prompts soon just get back into the swing of things.

Ready or not I’d like to get Killer Orange available for publication, as well as a second edition of Unbridled. Somewhere in between those projects I want to do some short stories.

I will be back trying to keep up with everyone. I hope to post some writing snippets soon.

I’ve missed this blog and everyone I follow, and I intend to make it more active again!

Cheers and Happy Holidays,

HK Rowe

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

Fantastic blog post!

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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September/October Writing Contests

Saving for later!

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

Fantastic insight. You should read.

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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29+ Ways to Market Your Book

Good info

marketing woahsAt a recent #IWSG confab, I was whining to online friends about the difficulty of marketing my books. I got a long list of great comments, both on the blog and via emails from writers who have approaches that worked well for them.

To share these with you and then continue the conversation, I chose a Google Spreadsheet. If you’re familiar with Excel, it’s quite like that, but easier to share out and collaborate on.

Using this method, we can:

  • read about everyone’s thoughts
  • share ideas by clicking the link and adding contributions to the bottom of the spreadsheet (it’s set to share and edit)
  • repost the spreadsheet to your blog where you collect ideas from your readers. Those will automatically be shared on this same spreadsheet, meaning they’ll appear on my post here (and my readers’ contributions will appear on your blog). If we can repost this to lots of…

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Why authors should never comment on negative reviews of their own books

Great article. Something to keep in mind.

Thought Scratchings

You’ve written a book. It’s been published. Your agent told you that he/she has never read a book like it. Your publisher has told you that your voice is entirely unique. The quotes from celebrities on the front cover of your book reinforce this sense of untouchable brilliance. The first fifty amazon reviews have flooded in from industry people who are encouraged to display kindness. Traction begins…but all of these opinions are inherently biased.

Then comes the first negative review from Jeremy, from Hounslow. Your brain immediately reacts by telling you that Jeremy must be mentally ill. Then you decide he must be a troll. (Because you’ve convinced yourself that you are so special, that there are people alive who spend their free time attacking your books, hoping you say something, because that’s how you think they think they will get famous. Even though nobody read your last novel.) So…

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Short Story coming soon!

It’s true I’ve been MIA for awhile, but besides my busy personal and work life, I’ve been squeezing in a lot of writing time. I am happy to say that I just sent a short story off to my editor and I’m going to be releasing it soon.

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The story is called Mod Fury, and it’s about the Greek Furies in modern times. It’s not a romance, but it is urban fantasy and suspense, and though it’s short, I do want to share it with others. I have a photo picked out for a book cover so I’ll be working on that in the coming week. I think you all will enjoy it. Look forward to some short excerpts and a cover reveal soon.

The cover reveal for Killer Orange is still coming in May! I am still working on some font choices but I know the right one will fit soon!

Camp NaNoWrioMo is still going strong and I’m dedicating some time to that story as well.

Busy! Busy! Busy!

I honestly don’t know how I manage to do it all…especially with real life, social things and work lately.

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe