About H.L. Brooks

Artist & Writer

Pride and Love

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Pride is a good time to talk about who we are “supposed” to love. Who we are “supposed” to have sex with. I love writing fantasy stories because you can talk about all sorts of things that are hard to talk about. Plus, when you start with a classic fairy tale, some of the framework is all set up. So if you’re telling a story about different kinds of magical creatures, it’s a little easier to say a Hunter shouldn’t be with a Lycan because that’s not as anchored in the “real world.” In fantasy and supernatural stories you can talk about things indirectly in a way that removes the real world politics that are already in place.

I do have a gay and a bisexual character in my Red August series and I hope that when readers who might not normally be open to that idea will see the parallels between saying one species of magical otherkin shouldn’t be with another  – or with a human – it begs the question: why does it matter? If you’re rooting for the wolf and the non-wolf to get together, maybe you should be rooting for love instead of being concerned about which gender loves which. How does it hurt you if a wolf falls in love with a shifter? How does it hurt you if a woman loves a woman? How does it hurt you if a person’s biological sex doesn’t fit the gender they choose? It doesn’t hurt you at all. It challenges some of your beliefs, sure. I get that. I didn’t always know or understand all of those things. I sometimes reacted badly to new information. But challenging your beliefs is not the same as it hurting you. Show some grace and let people live their lives. It is hard to take in new information, but once you do try and allow yourself to change your mind.

Once upon a time I got very defensive about my use of yoni (vulva) imagery in my artwork. I upset some people by trying to over-explain why it mattered to me and I didn’t mean anything bad by it. But I couldn’t grasp the deeper issue because I personally had never dealt with it. Through that experience I eventually came to realize the below image would have really helped me. Why didn’t I think of it right away on my own? Because I was being reactive. Feeling attacked. But I stepped into a conversation I really should have not stepped into so defensively to begin with. I should have stepped in with more curiosity and less defensiveness. One thing some people will eventually learn is that the older you get the more things you will have to adapt to if you want to grow as a person. Things change over time. Change can be hard. But if it makes the world a better place, it’s worth it.

This below image is one I found on Facebook. It doesn’t have a credit, so if you know who made it, please let me know! I feel like it’s a really good representation of what I’m talking about and it’s a great image to share. Thank you, whoever did it!

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In the Time of Love and Corona

I caved and bought the complete “Murder, She Wrote” series on Amazon, and the four-movie set on ebay. When in times of great stress, I turn on the easy-watching T.V. shows. In the end, you know the mystery will be solved. Or in the case of The Dick Van Dyke Show, that no matter what shenanigans Rob and Laura get up to, no matter what fights they get into, they are going to be ok.

The real champion of soothing television right now is The Repair Shop. It’s so pleasant. Nobody is mean. People have beloved treasures and skilled artisans lovingly restore them. The people bring in their ancient teddy bear, Victrola, sled, you name it. They bring it. They leave it, a little worried usually, in the hands of The Repair Shop. Then they come back and get the unveiling of their restored family treasure. It’s perfect T.V. for such a stressful time.

One thing I wonder is how single people who are falling in love are faring in their mostly virtual worlds.

I wonder how marital partners who were having some trouble before all of this are faring. Healing? Growing further apart?

I have seen a lot of gardens growing, home renovations, and side-projects pop up all over my friend’s feeds.

What are you growing? What are you letting go of?

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.

HallowRead 2017

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I’m very excited about tomorrow. I will be at HallowRead tomorrow in Ellicott City, which is very charming. I highly recommend day trips to Ellicott City in general.

I will be speaking on the “Coming of Age” panel at 1:15pm, if you are into that kind of thing. I will have tee shirts available for sale, and swag bags for reviewers.

Come by and say hi and, if ya like, buy a book!

Tickets are available for purchase here: http://hallowread.com/tickets/

Hope to see you there!

Guest Blog by Natasha Lane

When Natasha and I spoke about her doing a guest blog entry on my blog I was very excited to have her voice speak through this conduit. She’s always been energetic and thoughtful about her approach to writing in the year I have known her. She has a video series on Youtube as well as your usual social media outlets. I suggest you follow her because she is bursting with ideas, and enthusiasm, which can be quite contagious.

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Why the Literary World Needs Fantasy

By Natasha Lane

It’s no secret that when it comes to writing being considered literature, fantasy gets a swift kick in the head. Often so far stretched from reality, many snobs out there don’t consider any fantasy novel worthy of being called literature. “Lord of the Rings” is one of the most renowned book series in the world, some would even say it set the foundation for epic fantasy adventure, yet there are still those who would never equate it to works like “Pride & Prejudice” and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Continue reading

Summer Days When You Loved Me

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While waiting at the fast-food restaurant drive-through there was a young couple in the car behind me and this came to mind:

There were summer days, the car windows down and the smell of that old ’71 Bonneville and its aging flecks of fabric and a thousand layers of Armor All, all dancing around in the wind. A bored Saturday at a fast-food restaurant and then the mall to look at and touch things we wouldn’t be able to afford for another ten years. Back in the car a hair-band ballad swayed us and we would both smile.

You said you loved me then. You took it back later. Much later. But sun-drenched summer days don’t lie and no matter what followed, in those moments you were either a liar, or you loved me.

Author’s Corner – October Event

WHERE: Glenn Dale, MD – Marietta House
WHEN: October 7 @ 2:30pm
WHAT: Historic House Tour, Reading, Signing, Costume Contest (with prize!), Refreshments

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October 7th – come join us for a supernatural afternoon of readings, refreshments, and tour the historic home. Are there ghosts? You tell us!

Marietta House Museum’s “Author’s & Playwright’s Corner” presents supernatural fiction with authors H.L. Brooks, and Dea Schofield.  This event is a great opportunity to support independent women authors. Continue reading

A River Runs Through Her

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I once wrote a poem about myself as a river. It was convincing, I think. And I felt it. Powerfully.

But.

Maybe it’s smaller, like a brook. A small meandering gentle flowing place to dip my toes and wash my blues away.

Smooth river stones. Winking diamond reflections as the water moseys by.

I feel small. I feel herded, funneled, mined by corporations who only know me by what I buy, watch, listen to.

I just want to float. I want to feel free enough to catch the rays as I float on by all of the glut and greed. I only need enough. Enough love. Enough money. Enough creativity. Just … enough to sustain my spirit and body. Enough to help the people who need it.

I need rest. I haven’t had rest in months. I haven’t had a vacation of any kind in years. I need rest before my spirit gives up. Before my body gives out.

I also need to find out where I dropped my faith and hope. They are stones in the brook, somewhere. I’ll keep looking, before it’s too late.