Ok folks, time for an update on this one!
Managed to get some hardscape materials and this is what I came up with after a couple days:
S. Repens (will go along the left side to hide some funky joints)
Some stems to grow out of the water on the left back corner, to make this tank beautiful from both the front and top since this tank is short.
The pieces of wood I bought turned out to be a little too large for my liking, and as a result the scale is slightly off, but I kind of like how it came out in the end, and will keep it if I don't get any good suggestions/critique.
HC was dry starting for a couple weeks in this tank when it was un-scaped. I simply tossed it back in after scaping.
Since this is my first time for DSM, I am going on the safe side and currently do not have any sitting water in the tank. I have to mist everything thoroughly a couple times a day, but it has been working so far.
However, I will be out of the country for a month, so before I leave, I will put about 3/4" of water in there and pray for the best upon my return. And pray.
As always, comments/critique is appreciated.