About H.L. Brooks

Artist & Writer

Walking Towards the Sun


Like most people, my life has had a lot of ups and downs. Though the first years of the 2010s decade sucked and my life felt totally upside-down, my heart was broken into a million bits, the end of this decade was much happier. I got married. Bought a house. Have been spending more time talking to my daughters and sister. I have wonderful neighbors and am in a cute town. I have a muggle job I like and I started a authors’ salon as well as a book festival, which has connected me with many wonderful women writers. These things have all been blessings. I’ve had downs in there, too. Some health issues. Depression. Anxiety. But overall, these past couple of years have been good.

I do this thing, this thing were if my life is going well I expect something terrible to happen. Even writing that makes me a little superstitious, like I’m asking for trouble. But I’ve worked on getting past those things. One big helper is writing down all the stuff I worry about and much later looking at it to see how many of the awful things came true. Usually not many.

I’ve always had a hard time letting go. But ya know what? I’ve gotten better at it. This quote (the one in the image) by Mary Engelbreit has always spoken to me. Looking back is very important to helping us grow, learning from our mistakes, and seeing where we don’t want to be. What we don’t want to do is keep looking back at hurts and wrongs and feeding energy into them. Giving them energy makes them more alive and it’s harder to get distance on them. In my Red August series Faolan does a lot of looking back and it makes him stunted in his ability to see anything beyond and therefore hope for anything more.

I don’t want to be stunted. I want to grow and learn. Though my growth is going to look a lot different than it would have at the beginning of previous decades, I’m looking ahead. Walking down paths that have light at the end of them whenever I can find them. I’m not talking about being sunny and positive all the time, I’m talking about letting go of hurt, knowing my worth, and not meditating on the negative.

Let’s start off the next decade walking towards the sun.



Happy Hogmanay

I’ve included Hogmanay in my Red August series. My husband has a lot of Scottish in his bloodlines on both sides and it’s probably one of the main reasons I use Scottish themes in that series.

Have you wondered what on earth Hogmanay is? Well here is a nice little piece about it, please hop over and give it a read https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/38477036











Screencap from their website.

Social Media Scale-back & Awkward Moments

Sometimes I just want to dig a little hole in the sand and wiggle in and cover myself. It’s odd how much the opinions of others can affect me sometimes. And I get (and have) a lot of opinions online. Sometimes, when I kind of admire somebody, or respect them, and something awkward happens, I just want to NOPE out of all interactions with the outside world and curl up into a blanket burrito with my cat.

I’ve been saying I wanted to scale back my social media forever. I have in some ways over the past two years, but it’s still way too present in my life. I’ve had recent arguments online in groups that are supposedly like-minded in goals and lifestyle. I left those groups last week. I’ve read most of my news online. And stay in touch with friends that way.

Today I went to check out the wall of a fellow author and newer FB friend who I’d had some nice interactions with, and it appears as though she blocked me, and I have no idea why. At first I was thinking I would write to a mutual friend and ask if they knew why. But when somebody blocks you, they have their reasons and they don’t owe you an explanation, so I came here to write and think about it and figure out a system to move past these things. I do take it on heavily when stuff like this happens, like I did something bad or wrong and tell myself stories about not being a worthy person. But I have to find ways to get past that QUICKLY, because spinning my wheels about why somebody doesn’t like me has already eaten half of my life. I used to think confronting issues and communicating was the best way to handle things like this. Like, if I could know why she blocked me and discuss it there would surely be a misunderstanding in there and we could clear it up and everybody would feel better. But at this point in my life, maybe it’s better to just let people have their view of me (informed or not), and for ME to find a way to just be ok with whatever it is they think. Clearly communication isn’t an option, but even if it was, is that how I should spend my time?

So, in the end I took it as a really good sign that I should scale way back off of online interactions because that is a place things often go sideways. I should instead put my energy into my blog. My websites. My books. My other job. My family. And real in-person time with friends.

I’ve said these things before. And each year they become truer. Will this be the time I have some success?

My friend suggested I take the Facebook app off of my phone. I’m going to try that to see if it helps.

Have you been scaling back your personal time on social media? What has worked for you?

Do you have a way of dealing with these kinds of hurtful and awkward situations?

What kinds of things do you want to do to make your life a little richer in 2020?


The Better Part of Valor


Sometimes you want to talk about things you can’t really talk about.

Sometimes you just want to wall up your heart from the pain of caring about people, or to let slip away the responsibility of having them care about you.

Sometimes you’re part of a small exclusive club of aching hearts and broken spirits.

Instead, you think about love in its many incarnations. What it requires of you, and what it gives. From a single thread, to a fully woven tapestry, you are the weaver and the collector of textiles.

So you keep it to yourself. You hold it dear. You can learn from it.

And you use discretion, because to do otherwise would cheapen the experience.



If you read my last blog entry, where I was still under 6,000 words into writing book three of my Red August seires, good news, I’m much further into it now. Between then and now I’ve had a few adventures. I’ve been outraged by this horrible administration. I’ve done a fair bit of event planning. But mostly I’ve had some health stuff I’ve been working on and it’s giving me the ups and downs that come with hormonal fluctuations. I get a pang, I come here. I suppose that’s why so many of my blog entries are filled up with the darker side of emotion. It’s an outlet.

There are so many feelings I’m having about getting older. Envy. Losing and finding myself. Holy hell, I could go on for-fucking-ever.

There is a pureness to youth that I miss. But there was also this constant sense that everybody else had some book on how to be a grown-up that I didn’t have. Balance.

I just want to find ways to close up the wounds of my past. I want to be better every day. I want to know that I do more good than harm.

I want to fill this page up with things I am not “supposed” to talk about. Of course these are my own restrictions. There are so many damned things I could say, not just about others, but about myself. What I would do differently, if I could. What hurts I would keep because they helped me grow.

Anyway, it’s late. My heart is kind of hurting, but also beautiful. And loved. I’m lucky for that.