2020 Update & Upcoming Topics


I know it’s been awhile since I last updated this blog. My writing has been… scattered, and to be perfectly frank, I haven’t done the amount of it I’ve wanted. I wanted to work on War Fury, the sequel to Mod Fury, as well as my other WIPs and short stories. I have plans, but time has been limited. Being a mom has taken up most of my time.

Back in mid-March I lost my full time job, a job which I loved, to the COVID-19 hardship and have been job searching ever since. In the meantime, I’ve been catching up with projects, freelancing, learning new skills and updating my portfolio website.

I am also a full-time mom now, as our shelter-at-home decree have forced the family to stay home, that means my daughter is not attending daycare as much. Taking care of a three year old is a full time job. I’m teaching her baking, painting, and we’ve mastered riding a bike! Being able to be with her during these pivotal life moments is a priceless treasure I wouldn’t trade for anything.

However, as job searching is starting to slow for me, I’m starting to shift back to my writing projects. There are a couple of projects in the pipeline:

  • Protector, a short story part of an anthology. This has been on hold as only half the group have turned in stories. I’m one of the authors behind… It’s in the editing process at the moment.
  • Blazing Heat – Just a short story romance story, almost finished.
  • Unbridled – 2nd version, with a new cover and some more editing.

I’m hoping to keep up with these, as well as begin to work on some of the other stories that need heavy editing and drafting.

I hope to keep the blog more updated and active. I’ve been thinking about posting some articles on various topics, like navigating the self-publishing world, as well as give some insight on some of my processes.

I became inspired to do this when a friend came to me to ask me where I published my book, and she seemed surprised that I did most of it myself, albeit with the help of freelance editors and betas, but as for the artwork, fonts and layout, that’s all me. She was surprised because a friend of her used a professional publisher to publish her children’s book, paid a hefty sum of money on it, and the artwork and layout of the story is terrible, the pictures are too dark and the font choice was COMIC SANS (RAGE), and it was not only used on the titles and sub titles, but also in the actual story.

No professional worth their salt would ever do the things this publisher did to this woman’s story. It was supposed to be a cute story about a dog, and it’s a huge mess.

No design student would use Comic Sans. No design student in MIDDLE SCHOOL would use dark pictures on dark backgrounds. Nor would they draw the main character in the CREASE of the binding.

I was appalled. This poor author saved up her money to have this half ass book made for her, a children’s book that was soft cover, no less, like something you get printed at Staples, and she has 3 reviews on Amazon.

I cannot stand predatory vanity publishers. Every time I see the commercials for publishing companies on TV peddling their book packages to new authors, I cringe. You can do the hard work and send queries and get an agent and have a big boy publish your work, or you can self publish and utilize the tools out there, do your own marketing, and build a network of freelancers, reviewers and betas to help with your book. Both situations do not promise a bunch of bullshit for a large fee and then you end up getting a subpar product.

So something must be done about this. I hope with some of my guidance and experience, I can help.

Take care, everyone, and stay healthy. See you next time very soon!


H.K. Rowe

Fight for Your Right to…

I know this is an author blog, but it must be boring waiting around for someone to write about “writing” or books and never really get anything. I’m beginning to think that this blog is not all about writing. It’s my blog, so my choice, I guess.

On that note, I work at an IT company and I have a big important meeting tomorrow with a great company in Chicago – on a project that could really boost my career and I’m really excited about it. Unfortunately I’ll be going there on the tail end of a sinus infection and pink eye thanks to my five-month old (don’t worry, I totally plan on bringing this up to her later when she’s older), but life is full of pitfalls. One thing I will not compromise on is my breast pumping. I damn well plan on breastfeeding my kid for a year (or until she weens herself) and I’m sticking with it, no matter where I have to go.

It’s been easy to go to work, pump 2-3 times in the spare office, and then do my work and not worry about being somewhere where I *can’t* do my motherly duty. I asked the Project Manager to make sure they talked to our client and ask where I can go to do my thing, and of course his response that they probably didn’t have some place. I try not to get discouraged about this, because I’ve pumped in bathrooms before — really bad, disgusting ones too, and I made it work.

When he called, they DO have a lactation room, and we got the contact number and person and I’m all set! I get excited when this happens. I ADMIRE companies that have designated rooms for mothers. Then, I kind of want to work there, because the room I have to use, I have to put on a sign to stop people from coming in because there is no lock, and as expected, no one reads signs and interrupts me anyway. Hey dudes, your problem not mine if you saw something you didn’t want to see.

I guess the lesson here is don’t get discouraged. Fight for your rights and take a stand on things that make others uncomfortable. You don’t have to settle for “No.” If I have to bring my cover and sit in the break room and pump with people coming and going, I WILL. I hope I won’t have to, but I will. Anything for my daughter.


She’s the reason I procrastinate on my writing projects.


Two short stories are coming soon. I gave myself a deadline for the end of April.  Yes, Mod Fury is one of them. I’ve teased that enough. The cover reveal is coming shortly too. I promise!

I’m going to attempt Camp NaNoWriMo again this April. It’s hit or miss to find time for myself with a baby, trust me. Sometimes I’d just rather cuddle.


H.K. Rowe

Boy and Girl Clothes

Happy Ostara! Happy Spring!

I’m hoping 2017 will be good for me to do some spring cleaning. I have already begun my Great DeCluttering of 2017 and 2018, where I’m making goals for myself – read all the books and empty one bookshelf by end of 2017 and sell the books. Unfortunately I tend to accumulate more books. I don’t know how that happens…

I did clean out one shelf so that’s good. If anyone is my friend on Goodreads you’ll see a mass addition of “read” books in the coming year. Next I want to clean out closets again, especially the baby’s as she grows out of clothes, and then start on the kitchen with dishes that we don’t really use. My friend and I intend to have a garage sale soon, so I’m gathering up stuff in boxes in a place in the garage for when that happens. I just hope the weather gets nicer so I can go out and start pricing things.

Speaking of kid’s clothes, I have another friend who’s expecting a boy soon and she’s always lamenting how boys clothes are not at cute as girls clothes, and it’s funny because I’ve kind of felt that both clothes are cute, and I’ve wanted to buy my daughter boys clothes before, and we have, but clothes with dinosaurs, super heroes, and power rangers on it were cute too, and made me miss having a boy as well. I love my daughter, but maybe some day I’ll be able to have a boy? I know it’s not really up to “me” if that happens, but I would love a little boy to buy clothes with dinosaurs and lizards on them, as well as play outside in the mud with him, find toads and earth worms — I guess I can do that with a girl too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not limiting what my daughter can do either…


We definitely bought this boy’s onesie for our daughter. Because this is totally her. You can find this at Target.

But maybe I feel cliche as a mom that wants to have one of each. I’d love to see my husband bond with a son like I do with my daughter, and hope that he has a relationship with a son that he had with his father.

Oh, and yeah, I’m sure he wants to buy our future son dinosaur shirts too.

No matter what, if we have girls, a girl and a boy, or just one girl, I hope we can take them to Gatorland like we did for our Honeymoon in Florida. No matter what gender you are, they have to enjoy seeing big crocodiles, pythons, turtles and all the other kinds of animals they have there. That’s my hope anyway.


In other news, I’m still working on the short stories. I was looking for stock art for covers the other day and enjoyed it very much.

There is this stock photographer that I follow at DeviantArt that has a lot of book cover contests with her art. Sometimes I vote on them, but I also think in the back of my mind that I can do a better job. I know that’s rather pretentious of me, so I kind of thought if I think that, why don’t I do it? I can’t be all talk. I have to show that I can do it. So I looked at her current contests and downloaded the images and plan on entering. Fingers crossed!

If anything it’ll be good for my portfolio.


H.K. Rowe

Stuck in a Time Warp

It’s been ages since I last updated here. And like the last time I don’t intend to abandon this blog.

I never realized how busy I’d become being a new mom. Sometimes I’m “not” busy, and am just caught up with all the moments of my daughter. To say that my writing has suffered because of this is an understatement… but I’m not really complaining. I’m happy being a mother and taking in all the new experiences.

Someday I hope to write about them.

But I “have” gotten back into my groove. I’m catching up with my to-do list since I went back to work and got used to being a 9 to 5 professional again, as well as with my daughter now in daycare, and I have to continue my motherly duties at work by making milk for her.

Sometimes on down times at home or during my lunch break, I work on my writing. I’ve been doing some drafting lately, as well as planning out a couple of short story series.

All of the things I want to do takes time to get used to, even more so now that I have a baby, but I’m determined to get my writing out there again.

I’m hopefully going to update this soon with a more concrete writing schedule. Mod Fury is about 85% done.


H.K. Rowe

Nonfiction Wednesdays – Unclaimed Ring

Another old tale of mine… a family tale when I was a teenager.

About ten years ago when my great-uncle Homer died, my family acquired no lavish inheritances or priceless antiques. Following an ordinary auction, all that was left was a few cases of precious things. After sifting through service medals and faded dime novels, I found a dusty tarnished ring in a small pool table-shaped jewelry box.

It was odd that a lifetime bachelor like Homer would have such a feminine looking ring among masculine looking service medals. The ring looked like a diamond, but my grandmother said it was quartz. The quartz had clouded from all the time it was tucked away in the jewelry box. The gold wasn’t real either because it was tarnished underneath the ring. However, it certainly was an engagement ring.

As grandma sifted through old boxes of dishes, I put the jewelry box in my lap and studied its contents. I wanted to play a small game of pool with the top of the jewelry box, but sadly the cue and the tiny balls were glued to the top of the dusty green felt. I had no real interest in the medals after Grandma had told me they were standard issues for time in the service and going to World War II. He had no purple hearts; thus he didn’t do anything to keep my interest in the medals. After Grandma had bored me about how all her brothers were in the service and did this and that, I turned my attention back to the ring.

I tried the ring on, and, of course, it was too large for my ring finger. The only finger of mine that it remotely fit was my thumb.

“This ring was made for a big woman,” I said, a little baffled by the size of it. “Whose ring was this, Grandma?”

Grandma walked over looking quizzingly at the ring. “Oh.”

“Whose was it?” I asked when I saw her look at it in heavy concentration.

“Homer was going to marry some girl when he got back from the service.”

“What happened to her, Grandma?” I asked. The ring was still here. How could he give this to someone when it survived after his death and it belonged to no widow? “Was Homer married before?”

Grandma stepped back, and her face tripped into a daze, “No, your uncle never married. He was engaged to this woman and she sent him a ‘Dear John’ letter while he was stationed in Europe. After she had left him, he never saw another woman.”

“Wow! How cool!” I said, “Well, it’s sad too.” How dramatic! Without knowing this woman, I felt as though she was cruel to break my uncle’s heart for so long. I felt the urge to find this woman and let her know how she made my uncle feel until he died.

“Who was she, Grandma? What was her name?”

“Oh, I don’t remember. I think it was Katharine or Betty or something.”

“Wow! Can I keep the ring?” I asked.

She looked at me puzzled. “Sure, I guess. It’s not worth anything.”

Yes, it was, I thought. The ring held an amazing story within the cloudy quartz and tarnished gold plated band.

As I stared at the ring I thought about what really happened, and for some reason, I could only imagine in black and white. Two people were standing on a pier where thousands of soldiers were ready to depart. The woman was short and petite and had dark hair like Betty Davis and gentle feminine eyes like Ginger Rogers. She wore a medium gray hat, jacket, and shirt. She hadn’t pantyhose on because she couldn’t afford them. Her heels were scuffed and her gloves were slightly damp from crying. She gave her damp handkerchief to my uncle, who I could not imagine young. In real life, my uncle Homer was always mean looking and brooding. Was he always brooding about that lost woman?

Instead, I pictured my uncle tall like Gregory Peck and with a soft youthful face like James Stewart. He really didn’t want to leave her, but it was his duty to go for his country.

“I’ll write you,” he said softly as she choked on her breaths.

The scene faded into another where my uncle was in a dismal soldier’s bed reading letters by a weak gray light. His demeanor was more tired and disturbed than from the last scene. Reading letters was his only moment of comfort among the dizzying reality of war. As anticipation filled his face in opening a new letter, his face crumpled after he read the first couple of lines. The gray light fell weaker and was swallowed up into strangling darkness as my uncle slumped crying into his own lonely arms.

I could almost hear him reading her letter in his head. Like Anne Frank reading her diary, Katharine or Betty spoke calmly and full of hidden anxiety. Did she write her letter bluntly and shortly? Or did she write in great lengths and in much detail? I felt that if she had caused my uncle to be single for the rest of his life her letter must have been unfeeling and short.

“Dear Homer (that was his nickname and I never knew his real name), I know this may be hard for you to understand but I cannot see you anymore. I am sorry for the pain this will cause you but this long distance between us has made me restless. I can not wait any longer for you. I regret to tell you that I have met someone else. I hope you will understand this parting to preserve my happiness. Sincerely, Betty or Katharine.”

The only record of these two lovers was the ring that he had gotten overseas. He must have gotten it large enough for her to size down when he found out her real ring size. I envisioned him buying this ring in small English shop cheap because he could not buy pricey things on his soldier’s salary. I still feel this ring doesn’t belong to me even if I had inherited it. The ring was for only her finger and its value became richer than any diamond.

When I put the ring away I still think of the mysterious woman who could have worn it. I wonder what would have happened if she had waited and claimed this ring.

[Originally written in 2004.]

© 2015 HK Rowe