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.

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

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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.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Catching Up

I feel like I have spurts of activity here, and I don’t mean to disappear. I do keep up with the people I’m following as best as I can, but sometimes I don’t have a lot to report on my writing front, or life in general I guess.

Spring is here so I’m in a de-clutter mode. Plus, when you live in Chicagoland, when the deep freeze is over, people start wanting to do things and come out of hibernation. So, we’ve got more to do now that it’s nice out. I’m loving to get back to walking my dogs in the warm weather.

Writing is going slowly, but I’m still participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and steadily moving along. My short story is called “Petra’s Revenge” and the more that I think it’s only going to be around 7K, it might end up being 10K in word count. Ah, so it goes.

I’m finalizing the cover for Killer Orange. I’ve been slacking on it even though I’m determined this week to get back to editing. Making the cover has given me some inspiration. I will do a cover reveal in May. So, coming soon!

I have such great support for my books. My husband is of course, is my biggest cheerleader and I don’t know what I would do without him. He even went so far to make me a fan art cover for Killer Orange. It’s ridiculous and made in Paint, but it’s just so like him to be wacky like that, to be encouraging and silly.

But it’s cool to see unlikely sources ask about my books and writing; friends of friends, in-laws, and even my boss.

I’m thankful for warm fuzzy feelings.

Well, back to the real world! Good luck with everything, guys.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Goodbye November – Update

*waves*

Hello! Yes, I’m coming out of weeks of being a hermit to update this blog. I’ve been furiously writing my new story Autumn Fire so I could make the NaNoWriMo word count, and I’m happy to say that I have won it this year. There were some times where I got really behind and didn’t think I’d make it, but I came through. I feel very accomplished, which is definitely a confidence booster that I needed lately.

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Real life has also been hectic, with Thanksgiving and small road trips here and there. I finish off the month with another small Thanksgiving dinner today with my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and young niece today. It’ll be good times with more turkey and apple pie.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be celebrating my birthday, where I will be doing my first ever Goodreads Giveaway for Unbridled to give out five free signed paperback copies. During the giveaway I will be posting links here.

This blog will go back to a regular schedule, hopefully with regular topics. I am determined to switch gears and finish working Killer Orange to release early next year. Christmas is approaching so I’m hoping for a little more time off from work and things to focus on it. Who knows? The holidays get very busy but I’m pretty adamant to get this done. I think I found a good editor too.

I hope everyone is doing well and that those who participated in NaNoWriMo came out with some great stories.

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

NaNoWriMo – Checking in!

I’m sorry!

NaNoWriMo is consuming me! And life just gets in the way.

I’m caught up with my word count though. I’d like to thank the following brain food that is contributing to my productivity:

  • salt water taffy
  • chocolate
  • wine
  • coffee
  • the bands/artists on my writing playlist: Dead Sara, Amanda Palmer, Pizzacato Five, The Doors, Sara Barielles, and Lana Del Rey
  • my husband for understanding
  • my notepad filled with an outline, notes, sketches and character bios
  • my dogs for waiting by my feet, so supportive!

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Until next time.

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HK Rowe

NaNoWriMo Progress & Writing Process Meme

I don’t know how you guys can keep up with your blogging during NaNoWriMo. Pretty much any available free time I have is devoted to my book this month, and though I’m slightly behind on my Word Count, I’m just entranced by my book this time around. It’s such a contrast from last year. I don’t know what was going on with that novel last year, or maybe I was just insanely busy, but I have been more enthusiastic about delving into Autumn Fire and working it out.

The big factor was changing up my lead female character. She’s more dynamic, more interesting, and I’ve been able to get in her head a lot better than some of my female characters. I’ve paid closer attention to her, her strengths and her weaknesses, and just her personality as it unfolds.

My male protagonist is a little more wooden, but it’s for word count right now so maybe I can finesse him during the next draft. Until then, it’s about the words!

I’m going to try to keep up with the blog at least on Mondays. I’m going to try Fridays too, but no promises!

I hope everyone is doing well with their word counts.

*

Finally, I found a Writing Process meme that I quite enjoyed. I know several writers talk about their writing processes here, and honestly, it’s not my thing. I have a hard enough time talking about my book. I don’t know why that is. I just find it more practical to concentrate on the book instead of talking about it to people for guidance. I’d like to think every writer has their own processes that fits them, and mine is not going to be helpful to anyone else.

So here goes:

1. What am I working on at the moment?

For NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a romance story called Autumn Fire. It’s a May-December relationship between an older man and a younger woman. I’m currently editing another romance story called Killer Orange. I also have several unfinished works, a fantasy novella that I haven’t looked at in over a year. I’m also working on a 7-book series to hopefully be released next year. The first book is complete, just needs some finesse.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not really into the defined sense of a genre. I like my novels to have several genres: romance, fantasy, paranormal, action, etc. I guess that’s where I differ. I am heavily influenced form Jane Austen and VC Andrews in my writing. I like relationships building from the Austen influence, and I like the dark and disturbing themes and conflict of the VC Andrews novels. My first book, Unbridled, was heavily influenced by my love of VC Andrews, especially Flowers in the Attic.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I want to share stories, and writing is my escape. I’ve always enjoyed sharing stories and writing about the scenes in my head. If people like my stories, even if it’s a handful, I feel like the writing is worth it. Not only to myself but for others’ enjoyment.

4. How does my writing process work?

I work six days a week, so most of my writing happens at night. I usually write after dinner and up until midnight sometimes in my little studio on my trusty Windows PC. If I want to write in bed, I have my Macbook. I’m a night owl so my creativity really soars in the evening. Although I get inspired and ideas during the day, I always have my notebook handy to write down what I think of. I also keep a dream journal near my bed so if I get inspired by dreams or whatever, I write them down so I don’t lose them in that lucid state. I back everything up on my Google Drive, which is the best system. I’ve transferred so many stories there that I’ve been afraid of losing.

I’m not going to tag anyone but feel free to steal this meme if you so desire.

Cheers,

HK Rowe

NaNoWriMo – It Begins…

Hello, everyone! I hope everyone had a great Halloween. I dressed up as the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Well, it was a Tardis-girl costume. 🙂

I guess I’m a day late but I definitely have been working on NaNoWriMo even before it started. Friday I uploaded a cover and summary, and now I’ve met my word count goal for day 2.

Here’s the cover:

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Summary:

Dori and Sam have always had a strange bond; they’ve both lost someone special in a car accident: Dori’s older brother Jon and Sam’s best friend. After Sam loses his job, he becomes homeless, prompting Dori to take him into her home. Dori is ready to help Sam heal from his demons, but is she ready to give up her carefree life and fall in love with an older man?

And of course, here are the widgets!

 

Participant-2014-Facebook-Profile

Find me if you want to be my buddy! My name is quirkyslayer.

For those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo, good luck and happy writing!

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

NaNoWriMo Goals – Realistic vs. Lofty

“Yes, I’m still going to edit Killer Orange when I do NaNoWriMo.” This is what I told myself when I started working out my new story for NaNoWriMo. I mean, I can do it. How hard can it be when I’m juggling two jobs, two needy dogs,a husband and household chores, social situations and anything unscheduled?

Can’t be that hard, right?

I don’t know how it’s going to happen. I don’t know how I am going to fit other staple goals, like drawing and exercise too.

Should I even be doing NaNoWriMo? I wondered about that, but I can’t give it up. Even if I don’t make the 50K, I know I’ll have something started, something that I can work with and someday share with others.

I’m going to try to fit in EVERYTHING because that’s how I am. I work best under pressure. Always have.

Nothing’s going to be perfect, but somewhere in here I’ll be stoked by the energy. I’ll always have something to do. Even if I drive myself crazy.

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Doing all of it AND NaNoWriMo, well, I must be bonkers. That’s the only explanation.

Cheers.

H.K. Rowe

NaNoWriMo – Character Change

So I’ve been struggling for the past two weeks to connect with my female protagonist in my head and emotionally. I’ve struggled defining her and giving her depth, like a real relate-able person, but trying to come up with scenes and actually formulate her as a person.

I can’t even picture her. I mean I CAN, just that she can’t come off as real to me.

So before bed, my mind was racing as the night was winding down, and I was panicking a little bit that I couldn’t grasp an overall feel to my story idea.

I began thinking that red-headed antisocial and kind Dori was just too boring. She was not interesting enough to be my protagonist. I couldn’t even picture her to DRAW her, and that’s when I really knew I was in trouble.

Ultimately… I changed her. Dori is now no longer a white redhead with long hair. She’s now a Mexican-American with short shoulder length, soft brown hair and deep dark brown yes. She smiles and engages openly with people with sarcastic quips, but she’s still guarded. She doesn’t commit to relationships, but she’s open about her sexuality- an independent and free-thinking woman. She has friends, but she doesn’t consider them close, just fun acquaintances. She’s even coming out more fleshed out in my head, and I can’t wait to draw her!

So… I think I have my character. I’m going to take a few character tests I’ve seen floating around online and flesh her out. But it’s amazing how she became more fleshed out in one night of pondering rather than two weeks of pulling my hair out, trying to make Dori Version 1.0 fit!

Cheers.

H.K. Rowe

Here comes NaNoWriMo… and those pesky distractions

As my NaNoWriMo ideas start to come together in my head, I’m looking to the internet for good tips in starting it, working on characters, and thinking about the sorts of conflicts my characters are going to have to really challenge yet stabilize their growing relationship.

There is LOTS of thinking. I’ve done Character profiles. Next I think it’ll be doodling and outlining. I’m almost ready! (I keep telling myself that, seriously.)

I’m also taking notice of some potential distractions. Though, not bad, just…well, distractions…

1) editing Killer Orange: Oh yes. That’s still happening. I’m going to work on my cover soon. I’ve made myself feel guilty enough I haven’t touched it. I am THINKING about it. Though, that doesn’t do too much productively.

2) Unfinished paintings: This may go into December, but a local art shop is looking for submissions. My Ophelia painting is starting to stare at me while I’m in my studio. “Finish me!” And I have a few ideas for some old paintings and how to rework them into something new.

3) Drawings: I still want to draw SOMETHING at least every day, even if it’s just a sketch or maybe even a life drawing study. Drawing really is like working a muscle, and well, I’ve been sorely out of shape.

4) RL: Why do I have to go to work again and not spend all day writing? Oh, right. Bills. I also suppose I have a husband and two dogs to care for. I have family that, for some reason, likes my company. Friends too. Then there’s this really cumbersome holiday coming up in November called Thanksgiving. I have two family sides clamoring for our presence. If only people could be understanding that I’m a writer and maybe I want to hole myself up into my studio and not come out and socialize! No? Well… there you go then.

5) Fitness: I really REALLY need to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise in my day. It’s good for my stress, and I’d LIKE to fit into some of my old pants again. Someday.

So there are my uphill battles for the coming month. Time to put on the armor, take up the Sword of Multitasking from the stone, and ride into battle.

Comeatmebro

Cheers,

HK Rowe