H.K. Porter is one of my dearest friends. Surprisingly, we have never met in real life. In fact, four of the five writers that I will be introducing first, I have never met. The internet is truly a great connector. H.K. and I stumbled across one another on a fashion site of all places and over the years, a friendship blossomed. She is a kindred spirit and has been a great supporter of my writing journey. I have a little writing group with her and another friend on Facebook and when we have time, we work on writing prompts together. The first time I read one of her short stories about Donnie's Emporium, I was hooked. So please join me in welcoming my friend, and fellow writer, H.K. Porter to the Writer's Block.
Born and raised in the Seattle area, I've lived in western Washington all my life. My loves include drinking coffee, reading, cooking for people I love, being at the ocean, cats, and solo road trips. I can't say that I've always wanted to be a writer. As much as I love to read (and aside from eating, it's my favorite pastime), I would rather enter someone else's world than create my own. According to family lore, I taught myself to read by the time I was 3 1/2 years old and not a day goes by that I don't read. It's only been in the past couple of years that I decided to write because I had several people mention to me that I should author a memoir about the losses I experienced some years ago and how I came through that period. Meeting Heather who was involved in NaNoWriMo was the boost I needed to write and in 2016, I bashed out 50,000 words of a memoir. And then lost half of them as I was transferring the manuscript to more secure storage.
I plan to finish the memoir at some point but the most important aspect of writing it was accomplished: a cathartic release. And when I go to reconstruct the lost pages, I hope I can strike the right balance between how I felt and the lessons I learned.
This past November, I started work on a series of short stories which revolve around a junk store, Donnie's Emporium, and its proprietor, the eponymous Donnie. Customers find the shop only when they need to and the perfect object somewhere in the clutter. Sometimes the objects are mystical and always they're exactly what the buyer needs at the time. Each short story is about a different person, their treasure, and the impact of the object on their life. I've always been fascinated by second-hand shops and antique stores and writing these stories allows me the chance to explore "what if?". And I love Donnie because he's essentially me. He's been the easiest character for me to write!
Short stories are one of my favorite genres and I credit Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for that. I discovered Sherlock Holmes when I was eight and devoured the collection of stories. Any author of short stories has a lot of information to convey in a condensed format and still make an impact on their readers. The best short stories I've read have left me both satisfied with the conclusion and wondering what happened afterward. I strive to do the same with my stories. I want my characters and their actions to stick around in the minds of the readers. If I have any kind of goal in writing about Donnie's Emporium and his customers, it's the goal of challenging the way people usually see the world. A few of my stories have an element of dread running through them; the uncertainty of a situation, the aspect of something one thinks is benign turns out just the opposite, nice things that really aren't that nice. I'm not out to scare people with horror, rather, I want my readers to think about things from a different perspective.
I may be a rarity as a writer because my ultimate goal isn't to get published. I write for fun and to entertain myself. If I manage to entertain my small group of readers along the way, even better.
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