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

Summer Blues: an update

My plans to release Mod Fury have been delayed once again. Most of it’s from my pregnancy. Please believe me when I say that I’m usually not in control of it. It makes me tired more than anything, and our summer has been busy. Free time is scarce, and just having a functioning brain sometimes is trying.

I did not anticipate this pregnancy to be so demanding of my free time, but it is. So juggling everything has been an art form. And not just pregnancy stuff too. House stuff, family stuff (I’ve had to deal with some terrible family news recently that has affected me emotionally) and work adds to all the stress and pressure.

At least the cover is done! Now onto finish up this draft. I DO intend to release it this late summer (hopefully), and at least work on the next three short stories in the series for NaNoWriMo.

But everything is a crap shoot now. My baby girl is due in late October and  her needs will definitely come first. Still, it would be nice if everything came together as I wanted!

Stay tuned.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe, exhausted momma-to-be

 

Back to Writing

I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s been almost a week since I had any severe morning sickness. YAY! I’m still really tired and take naps any chance I get, but at least I don’t feel sick all the time.

I’m getting back into writing. I still write a lot in my journal about my pregnancy, and I’m looking into a couple contests that are coming up. I’m going to ATTEMP Camp Nanowrimo again, so fingers crossed on that. There’s a challenge community at Livejournal that has some prompts that I’m hoping will jumpstart some original fires.

I’m hoping to post some snippets here.

Also, my short story “Mod Fury” about the Greek Furies in modern times seems to be growing into a series. I might release the #0 prequel origin story mid-April. That’s my goal anyway.

“Killer Orange” is still in edit-mode, when I want to look at it! Ha.

I’m trying to just roll with things. We’re still extremely busy with the house and making it ours. I hope everyone is have a good Spring so far. I can’t wait until it gets warm and STAYS warm in the Chicagoland area!

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

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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It’s almost over!

In one week, I will be moving! Well, moving from a small condo into a single-family home, hopefully the home of my dreams! Haha, after all the moving, house hunting, house showing, and processes, I’m ready for this to be the last house of my life. My husband is another story.

I have been pretty incapable of writing lately. I’ve done SOME writing, but it’s little stuff and more for practice than anything.

I have a lot of plans, especially when I get in the new house. I have a lot of WIPs to work on to get ready for betas and my editor, and it’s my goal to get to them this year. I know that should be an easy goal but for me, it’s a challenge.

Besides the WIPs, I am accumulating a list of short story anthologies that I want to enter. I’ll probably be looking into that as well.

So, other than writing, my free time will be taken up by decorating and settling into my new house. I’m already making plans for my office room, which is currently a medium shade of blue and really pretty – and I’m not changing it. I am thinking of adding a decorative element to the door. Such as this…

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😀 I think the space would be very creative if I did that. It would be a big project but definitely enjoyable. But of course, this is just one of many projects I want to do.

I just hope that 2016 is productive for writing and great for creative energy!

I’ll be back soon, hopefully less frazzled once I move in.

Cheers.

HK 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

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

Letting Go – Old Writing

The big packing and de-cluttering continues at my house as we prepare to get it ready for selling. I’ve gone through so many of my things, that I’ve gotten to that exhaustive point of not caring and throwing old stuff out.

When I began sifting through my old writing stuff, I admit I was nostalgic. Looking over the print outs with notes of my own as well as from some of those in writing groups – the good and the bad. I wondered if the stories were worth salvaging in their half finished forms. I wonder if I could go back to them. In my gut, I knew I can’t. I saved a few ideas, a few snippets of notes with ideas written on them, but as far as the stacks and stacks of old stories, I sent them to the recycling bin. I felt a small pang for them, but then I realized that I have to start fresh. I can’t hold onto old ideas or stories that I never felt the motivation to complete.

I even discarded the notes and critiques. What good are they for me now? Do I take them in the move and get something out of them later?

Or would I rather nurture new ideas, ideas that are fresh in my mind that I can actually do something with them?

The answer is of course obvious. After chiding myself for wasting so much paper on the print outs, I knew that if a story was going to last, I would have kept at it. I would have transferred the idea onto my Google Drive, a much more environmentally friendly repository for all my copious thoughts.

Sometimes you gotta let things go. I’m starting to learn that as I slowly de-clutter my life. I’ve grown out of those stories, and though I may have gained something out of them in their time, they are no use to me anymore. Sometimes characters and stories just have to die; especially, if your writing style and craft has grown so much more since then.

What do you think? Can you de-clutter your own past writings and move on from them? How much do you mourn them knowing other better stories and ideas will take their place?

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