Lucky Number 7

I wanted to give a shout out to those who have read and reviewed my book Unbridled. I got my seventh review at Amazon recently, and I know I’m no where near some of the other indie writers when it comes to reviews, but each and every review and rating on Amazon and Goodreads means the world to me and gives me hope for the next book.

Thank you! And thank you for giving me such positive feedback.

If you have read Unbridled or are planning on reading it, thank you as well!

How about a treat? Here is a snippet from my new series, The Avenging Sisters, with the first short story entitled Mod Fury coming out this summer.

The mood mellowed with that statement, and they met each other’s eyes with mutual understanding on why they were here. They couldn’t play and enjoy themselves all the time, even though the twenty-first century made that easier. The Furies still had important tasks to fulfill; it was in their blood, and in any given moment they could resort to their darker selves if it meant saving the innocents. It was their true purpose, hunting terrible people one by one so they could bestow their justice.

And last but not least, if you just love writing, reading and blogging in general please take a moment to visit my sister’s blog: Fear Nothing, Risk Everything. She’s a wonderful, strong and beautiful soul, a great mother and even more amazing woman, and she’s fighting breast cancer right now. She’s documenting her journey through this troubling time.

If you could pop by and just give her a comment, like or encouragement, I think she’d appreciate that!

Cheers.

H.K. Rowe

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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.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

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

Writing – A Lonely Life

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For as long as I could hold a pencil and weave my own stories, I knew writing would be a lonely life. I may have the company of imaginary characters, squawking at me to tell their stories, to live their lives, but in the real world, my identity as a writer is often overlooked and even ignored. Generally, people will acknowledge my passion and will humor me in their interest to read my stories, but usually this is a passing fancy.

Rarely, do I garner support or understanding for my writing habits from others. Only when I am writing in groups or joining online communities do I get the feedback I want. I am not saying that there is no chance for feedback and criticism out there.

However, support is different than engaging with likeminded writers. Some writers give you their opinions out of help, and sometimes they do not participate in the mutual relationship that is writing – such as, you read my story and comment and I will read yours and give you the same energy. Some writers that I have encountered have given a little to others and expected a lot from their peers. To me, this is not true support.

Another type of support where I see a lacking is with family members and friends. Many of them do not understand the long hours required for writing, editing and polishing. They do not understand that you can not always plan a weekend of fun getaways and backyard parties because you’re knee deep in your draft. The idea of setting aside time to “just write” is foreign to others.

The worst part of lacking of support is when people closest you obviously do not care about your writing. They feign interest and support, but those are platitudes. Their support is sporatic and only skims the surface of the kind of encouragement that you need. I have found maybe one or two people in my entire life that are close or related to me that really truly support me. One person who sees I’m working hard and encourages me with simple expressions of hope and luck. One person who understands I need to take a Saturday night holed up in my office and just write, even if I’m languishly staring at a blank screen for minutes after minutes.

One of these two people is me. I’m my biggest supporter. I’m the one person that sends me good vibes of encouragement, congratulates myself on achieving a goal, and knowing that one day the hard work will pay off. The other person that is my biggest supporter is my husband.

But writing is still a lonely life because I expect even more family to encourage and support me. I expect some bragging when I’m not around on what my passions are. I expect some sort of general praise of someone who is my relative to tell others what I’m passionate about. When they think of me and are talking to strangers about me, what would they say? Would they only say I’m an artist? Would they only say that I’m a techie who could come fix your computer if something is wrong?

My writing always seems to escape them. It’s not as important a talent as drawing a landscape or managing machines.

I did not mean for this post to be narcissitic. I’m only acknowledging what a lonely life writing can be, that not everyone close to you is going to embrace it or feel it with the same passion as you do.

I’m aware of this like I’m aware that there are seven days in a week.

It’s hurtful. It’s frustrating. Why couldn’t my loved ones support all of me? Every talent, evey passion? It seems fruitless, and I don’t get any work done crying about it, or throwing myself pity parties.

If strangers can look at my writing and give me something then that’s good enough. If I can tell the stories and know that I am happy with myself and my accomplishments that is enough.

And for those who don’t believe in me or support me – maybe if I keep working hard enough I can prove to them that they are wrong in discrediting my writing.

That’s not the kind of encouragement I was expecting, but it’s definitely a challenge to show them just exactly what my true strengths are.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

And now… for something completely personal

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H.K. My artwork – 2002

Let me tell you a little about myself, not just the writer and artist, but ME.

(Although this post may be a bit random…)

I don’t like opening up about myself. I don’t like sharing my feelings with people. I don’t even like sharing feelings to my best friends, my family, or even my mom. I have a hard time opening up to my husband. It’s not that I can’t; I just don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want people close to me to see the flaws or to find flaws in my hard work. I want them to think of me as strong, determined and capable.

I want to see myself like that, but that means I have to work at it. As an abuse survivor, I had to grow up rather quickly and become independent. I don’t even remember my childhood. It’s a dark space in my brain that I can’t access, blocked off from all the things that happened to me. I know what happened to me, I remember my feelings, but I don’t remember events clearly. Most people have memories so clear it’s like a movie. In my movie, there’s a big ink spot in the center and I can only see faint unrecognizable shapes on the sides.

Counseling aside, I didn’t talk about it like most things. I knew that it was a part of me, and that I am the person I am today because of it. But I also know that it has influenced me to have some rather infuriating social skills. I prefer a loner’s life, even though I enjoy being with friends. I enjoy listening to my friends, I enjoy their confidence, and helping them. I enjoy being the shoulder they cry on. I enjoy giving them advice. But I do not enjoy asking for such things in return.

I have chosen this behavior, and I am aware of it. I’m comfortable keeping most things to myself. It takes a lot for me to even show pride in anything I’ve done or accomplished. For example, when I published my book, I distributed it as much as I could, but when I would meet new people, it was always someone else telling them that I wrote a book. They were immediately entranced. “Tell me about your book!” And… it was awkward for me. I didn’t feel they’d be interested at first. When I talked about it, I was cautious. Most people are kind, and they are excited to know someone that has written something, but sometimes I feel like I act like a complete stone-faced moron, like I can’t even be excited about it and promote myself.

I internalize praise just as much as I internalize criticism. Criticism wounds me where praise embarrasses me.

I feel like a weirdo. But it’s my nature to be more introspective than overt. It’s my nature to plan and do things rather than talk endlessly about things. It’s in my nature to make impulsive decisions without telling others or getting others’ advice. I feel sometimes this makes me seem snobbish or aloof, but I don’t know how else to be.

I was once a young girl who sat in the corner with her drawings, her paper and pen, her books and her dolls in a different world while the rest of the real world carried on. I was the young girl who wanted to do things to show people I wasn’t this victim, that I wasn’t to be pitied, rather I could show people how self-sufficient I am.

I guess I just got to good at it because when my friends or family find out that I’m doing something or something happened and I didn’t tell them, they take it as a personal slight. Trust me, I never intend to hurt anyone. I’m just not good at sharing pieces of myself.

Most of the time I just don’t know how.

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