Sunday, November 3, 2019

Writing Spaces and the Writing Journey by @Karen Whiddon

I first started trying to write a book when I was pregnant with my daughter, nearly 40 years ago.  Handwritten in a lined spiral notebook, I had about 70 pages in a romance story when my now ex-husband found it and set it on fire, burning it into ash. That's another story for another time and I won't go into it here, but suffice to stay I didn't try again for years.  8 or 9 years, to be exact.

I'd always wanted to try writing a novel again so when I had six-eight weeks off work due to a hysterectomy, I knew that would be my time.  By then I had an electric typewriter (no computers yet,) and I sat at my kitchen table and typed.  I completed that book, single spaced (not knowing any better,) and roughly 140 pages.  So proud, I sent it in to Harlequin Books and went back to my insurance job.

That book didn't sell, in fact it would be five more books and another 8-9 years before I finally sold a book.  By now it was 1996 and Kensington Books (Precious Gems) purchased a book.  My first sale!  By now I had a computer and I used the advance to purchase a laptop.  My own laptop, an open box IBM clunky thing that I was so happy to have!

I'd graduated from the kitchen table to a desk in our guest bedroom.  I shared the space with a bed and dresser, but that was ok.  When my daughter graduated high school in 1998 and went on to college, I turned her bedroom into a real office and I use that room today still.  I collect stuffed dogs and books (obviously,) though I have really thinned out my paperback collection (and I still have more bookshelves full of books in another room!)

Many computers (and books) later, I now have both a desktop and a laptop.  I do my writing business in the office (email, blogs, proofreading, line edits, etc.) but all my actual writing is done in my recliner in the den on my laptop.  I usually share the seat with one of my dogs.  If it's winter, I have a fire in the fireplace and a mug of hot tea or cocoa.

Sometimes if the weather is nice, I'll sit outside on a swing in the backyard and write, but more often than not, allergies and insects drive me inside.  Writing makes me happy, and so do my writing spaces.

Recently, I put several more of my backlist books up on Amazon.  Free in you're in Kindle Unlimited, and $3.99 otherwise.

Check out The Wolf Whisperer.  I love the cover.  Buy Here on Amazon

November is the month for Gratitude, Appreciation, and counting your Blessings if you are religious and/or philosophical. Grateful, Thankful, Blessed—that's what we Romance Gems Authors feel. Join us this month in celebrating the Life Lessons we all learn. Enter our November Rafflecopter now for a chance to win 1 of 5 Amazon Gift Cards.   

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  1. Thanks, Karen for sharing your story. No one can say you're a quitter. Determnation and talent won your day. May you have many more.

  2. After all my kids moved out, I turned one of the spare bedrooms into a beautiful office for me. Only a few years later we sold the house and completely downsized into a very tiny space. So now I use my laptop on the couch. I do miss having a room of my own to work in, but I do like not having a big place to clean or pay for.

  3. My home office is the darkest room and has a view of a retaining wall. No distractions, but I still play too many games on my computer. I started with a notebook too. But no one burned it. Then I rented a typewriter and finally got a pc in 1989. It’s been a long road...

  4. Hugs for the burned notebook. Such an invasion. I have a similar story. We won, despite them.

  5. You must be a very strong and brave person to keep writing and trying after your first book was burned. That's very inspiring. Gosh, I can't even imagine having to go through something like that. Thank you for sharing!

  6. When we were in the RV traveling, I wrote on the bed with my laptop. Now that we're back in a real home, I turned one of the bedrooms into my office and Karl uses the other bedroom for his. I love all the space.

    I'm so sorry that happened with your first book. Sad how people can destroy dreams. I'm glad you found your strength.

  7. Karen, so sorry you experienced the trauma of having your dreams trashed. I'm glad you persevered. I have a similar story. Thank goodness, I now have a supportive husband. I wish my desk was as neat as yours. I love my desk and computer station. I use a TV as my monitor after Jacquie Rogers pointed out the benefits. I do have a laptop but prefer writing at my PC in my office.

  8. I'm sorry for that story, too. It was a cruel thing. When we retired, my husband and sons built me an office/sewing room in the garage. It's a cluttered space, but every inch my own, and I do everything here. I love your desk, too!

  9. I'm so sorry you had someone who didn't have faith in you. I'm happy you believed in yourself to try writing again. Look where you are today. Be proud and happy writing! <3

  10. Hugs on your notebook experience, Karen! Glad he's your "ex." We had a 4 bedroom house and two children, so I always had an office in the house. Now we've downsized to a two bedroom condo and my office is the "guest room" more or less. And none of my spaces have ever looked as tidy as yours!


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