The Story of My Writer's Journey
Please help me welcome the talented Bruce Rowe to the Writer's Journey Blog this week.
Growing up, my mind always found pleasure in the fantastical things of life. Living in the south there was plenty of folklore and superstition available to draw from. Before having the idea of becoming a writer, I have always loved telling stories, mostly historical, with embellishments, or made up.
At the start of my junior high days, my father took us on a trip to California where, unbeknownst to us kids, he had plans of moving. Exposure to Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, and especially Disneyland, my imagination exploded. Not that it needed it, mind you.
With Pirates of the Caribbean being our favorite ride, dad came up with a challenge for my two brothers and me, to see who could draw the best treasure map. We were not to sign our names to them only to leave them on the kitchen table for him to judge them the next morning. Surprisingly he picked mine. My brothers looked more like a map used for GPS where mine was burnt around the edges with a few burnt holes in the middle. Dad said it looked more authentic. Thus, began my first artistically and creative endeavor.
My first inclination was to become an artist. I took an art class during my sophomore year of high school and made all A’s and one B. That confirmed my belief that I had what it took. Later I found out I was nowhere near being an artist. Nevertheless, I continued making up stories and telling them at family get-togethers and to coworkers.
So, being part of a musical family on my mother’s side I bought a guitar and thus began my journey as a rock musician on a very small scale. For the next twenty years, playing in various bands from Louisiana to California provided me with the creative outlet I was searching for. As well, the lead singer and I wrote all the lyrics, which in the 70’s always leaned toward the mythical. That’s when I really understood words like ‘metaphors’ and ‘prose’.
Then starting a family put a halt on my music career. When you become responsible for others, sacrifices have to be made. So, for years, I joined the 9-5 workforce finding it dull and dreary in relation to the excitement of being creative but kept playing my guitar at home. After a couple of divorces, I decided to move back to California. (I had moved back to Louisiana with my mom after her and my dad divorced when I was 14.)
Moving back to California in ’88, I worked with my brother during the week and eventually got into a band and played on the weekends. After learning that to make it in the music business, it was ‘who you know’ not what you know or how good you are, I decided, though I still play and record for personal enjoyment, it was time to get back to working in a more secure job.
It wasn’t until 2007 that I thought I had an idea for a story that could be written as a novel. Loving animals, and having a Netherland dwarf rabbit for a pet, I slowly developed an idea for a story including the landscape, characters, and plot, all based in a dark fantasy world. I spent the next four years writing it. It was self-published and went absolutely nowhere except for a few friends and family members. Reading it now, I’m grateful it didn’t. If there were laws against bad grammar and punctuations, I’d be in jail for life.
For the last two years, I have spent rewriting the book with the help of an editor that knows, in my humble opinion, how stories really work.
My novel, The Chrysalis and the Creatures of the Highlands
will be released in 2021.
Bio: Bruce Rowe was born and raised in Shreveport La.
He has had short stories published at Spillwords.com, Dastaanworld.com, and Cafelit.com. The Rider, his first short story, was nominated Publication of the Month at Spillwords in October 2018 and will soon be released in Full Moon and Howlin, A Werewolf anthology by Zombie Works Publications.
Grandfather’s Clock and Broken Wings were feature pieces at Spillwords. The Lonely Traveler received a special mention at Cafelit. He has been nominated twice as Author of the month at Spillwords. His poem, Twiggy Thin, is published in Clarendon House Publication’s, Poetica. His story, Hair of the Dog, is published in Zombie Works Publication, Monsterthology 2. His fantasy novel, The Chrysalis and the Creatures of the Highlands, is set for release in 2021.
For more short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, please journey to his website: https://bruceswritingroom.wordpress.com/
He presently lives in Oceanside California where he spends his time writing, body surfing, and playing guitar.