Where do I write? Everywhere (Melissa Robbins)

I have four small children. I write anytime and anywhere. I have small notebooks in all my purses and the diaper bag. I have been known to write while waiting for my daughter in the car rider lane, during my girls' gymnastics classes, and on long car rides. I even sneaked in some writing during the five minute intermissions of my exchanged student's school's one acts.

My favorite spot to write is my library. Isn't it beautiful? For my birthday last year, my husband and I ditched the dining room that we only used twice a year and turned it into a library to contain my ever increasing book collection. Reed built all the adjustable shelves and desk from scratch. I did all the painting. We still have the trim to do and change out the light fixture.

I have the desk, but I haven't found the perfect chair yet. Okay, I have, but I'm still saving up for it. My favorite spot to write is in that chunky armchair with matching ottoman. The ensemble takes up most of the room and my husband wants to trade it in for a smaller chair. Isn't it usually the guy who wants to keep the furniture? There is also a lovely window seat for writing or distractions, but it holds the keyboard now since my writing stuff takes up my desk.

The floating shelves above the desk contain treasured knick-knacks, like my antique printer's letter tray, a model Spitfire (a WW2 plane), a deck of cards from Williamsburg, and my 1936 copy of Murder on the Orient Express, along with pictures of my kids.

Nothing inspires me more than being surrounded by my books. If those writers could write and be published, so could I.

Creativity Stops Here...and There. (Frances Louis)

Due to the easy portability of a pen and a pad of paper, and given that my laptop ventures wherever a plug and/or a full battery is present, there aren't many places that have not been graced by my writing and imaginative devices.

Which is why I thought it would be much more fun describing locations that I refuse to meet, as Pat so aptly described, at the 'intersections of romance and adventure'.

Location #1: The Bathroom

I know, I know. This room is perfect for wasting copious amounts of time (which is a direct consequence of creative behavior). But bubble baths and long hot soaks aside, this room is not one in which I want to spend extra time in--especially when other people demand its facilities. Besides, it simply isn't conducive to an electrical device such as my laptop, and I despise writing on damp and/or soaked paper.

Location #2: The Office

What?? What do you mean you don't write in an office? I mean, dear readers, that I don't write in an office. It's simple really, given the fact that I don't own one. In a 3 bedroom house with 3 boys and 1 female exchange student, well--you do the math. There simply isn't room. That doesn't mean I don't want one. Once our current exchange student leaves, this mom may move in on the open room--that is, if my 10 year old doesn't beat me to it.

Location #3: The Car

Again, I see the confused faces. After all, isn't the car the perfect place to spend time and dream, especially on long 1o hour trips to the frozen wasteland of Minnesota that I call my childhood home? It would be if a.) I wasn't prone to motion sickness b.) If I wasn't the one usually driving and c.)If I didn't always chat and totally put off the notebook that stares back at me, making me feel as guilty as...well, you know what. Let's just say that after 6 trips north, I've learned not to tempt fate and have left the notebook (both electronic and not) in the back of the car--and not the front.

Location #4: Children's Events

Besides looking like a disengaged and totally bored parent, writing while at my children's sporting/musical/school/etc. events shuts out opportunities for me to see my kids at their best. These are opportunities for my kids to shine, and I owe to them, as their only mother, to give my children my full attention. Yes, practices get long, but I find that time spent gabbing with other parents makes me feel more a part of my kid's experiences, and as my boys are growing fast, I don't want to risk writing while they glow in their successes.

Now that you know the places that I don't, I'll let you know my favorite place that I do--on my living room loveseat. It is positioned in front of our front bay window. This allows me to keep an eye on my boys while I kick up my feet and just...dream.

Here I Write, There I Write (Penny Rader)

Here's my writing space. Isn't it awesome?

Just kidding. It's a puzzle I gave my daughter for Christmas. Wishful thinking on my part.

I don't have one specific writing place. The main computer is in the living room...but my dh spends as much time there as I do there, if not more. But that's okay because I usually write most of my first drafts by hand. I like the portability of a notebook and pen/pencil. And the connection I feel between the pen and paper.

Sometimes I write in the recliner or on my bed. Sometimes I write in my car. A couple weeks ago, during Mass, I surreptitiously pulled my trusty little notebook out of my purse and jotted a couple notes while trying to conceal my actions beneath my coat. All the while I expected a nun to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to share with the class. Sorry. Memories of parochial school. ;D

Then there are times my brain wakes me up while sleeping. Sentences will whirl through my head. If I don't get it down on paper (or into the computer), it's gone. Time and time again a great idea wanders into my mind. I repeat it to myself a couple times and even though I know better, I tell myself this time I will remember it when I woke up. Most of the time...nope. It's just gone. Other times the thoughts pester the dickens out of me until I get up and Write. It. Down. Which just aggravates me 'cause I like to sleep and when something wakes me for more than just a split second I have a horrible time getting back to sleep. Which makes me all draggy at the work the next day.

Enough about me and my weird brain. I like to poke around the Internet, so I decided to see where other writers write. Here are snippets from a couple that spoke to me. Maybe they will appeal to you also:

The Importance of Place: Where Writers Write and Why (Alexandra Enders)

Why do some writers prefer company and background noise, while others need isolation? Why do some need the magical monotony of sameness, and others the inspiration of variety? What does it mean for a writer to be locked into a place? What does place even mean to a writer?

Where I Write #3: Wherever and Whenever I Can (Kate Geiselman)

I would start writing in earnest, I kept telling myself, when I had a place to do it….But in the meantime, over twenty years and in twenty-minute chunks, I had managed to write only bits and pieces….It was my husband who finally called bullshit one Sunday morning at the breakfast table. He had been gently nudging me for years…. “All you have to do is send it. It’s a deadline. Finish something. Please.”

Since I don't have a real office, I poked around and found these:

Writers’ Rooms

Where I Write: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors in Their Creative Spaces Cool pics, though Chip Delany’s office makes me a bit dizzy.

This got me to thinking about what I'd like to have in an office. Blogger and I are having a disagreement about putting pictures where I want them (instead of shoved to the top of the post), so I can't show them to you. But I can give you links to them. :D

I like these warm pink walls and the pictures and notes tacked up on the walls. I find it helpful to have pictures and notes out where I can see them. This is where I would probably work on my first drafts.

The openness of this room would be perfect for those days when I need to wander around and think. Lots of room for my books and notebooks and files and such. Lots of room to spread my stuff out so I can see all the pieces and parts. I think there must also be a comfy window seat on the other side of the room for when I need to take a break to read or daydream (aka ‘nap’).

I love the coziness of this room. This would good for when I need to get words into the computer.

The sharpness of this room drew me in. I’d probably use this room for reading through my mss and editing.

This one reminds me of when I first started writing in a drafty dining room on an electric typewriter.


Do you have a special writing space?

Where are you going?

At the first of the year our fearless leader sent us all goal sheets. What's a goal sheet? Well it is an instrument of torture, confusion, and realization that engenders, shock, betrayal, resignation, and finally acceptance. Yes, it resembles getting a dread disease. However, it also points the way to a cure.

Several years ago when our fearless leader previously held the same whip-handed position, she had us learn and set goals. I was shocked then too. First be being asked to set a goal, finding out what a goal was, getting the explanation on how the fool things are supposed to work, rejecting the very nature of self-inflicting such a yoke on mine neck, and generally being a faunching pill about the whole thing. But then I buckled. I can only keep up the howling bits of immature resistance for so long--about thirty minutes. So, I wrote out my writing goals, put the near ones in as well as the far, sent a copy to mine leader (If I remember right), and then went on with life.

But a very strange thing happened. At the end of the year, when I ran across the goals, I was so surprised to find out that I had actually met most of them. I pondered how that could be when I had ignored actively working towards them and discovered (by studying up) that goals can be internalized and therefore subconsciously we use them to make decisions about how we spend our time. The very act of writing them down does some of the work. Did I set writing goals the next year? Of course not. I was in experimental mode by then and wanted to know if I DIDN'T make a goal would my subconscious work on making writing a priority? Guess what, my stinking subconscious went on vacation. NO writing goals were met. She's such a slacker! It appears that without direction she goes nowhere.

Really. This explains a lot. I'll give you a minute to think it through. Go get some serious beverage. I'll wait.

So this year, when our leader sent out goal sheets, I thought, Yeauh, OK, I'm on board with this. Then I opened ALL of the sheets. Geesus, blind, cripple on a bicycle in heavy traffic in a snowstorm! Ok, you swear the way you want to, I'll swear the way I do. Those sheets threw me completely. Why? Because to make my goals fit into my life I had to re-goal or make goals for everything else I want to make progress on. Then I realized my whole life needed an overhaul. No wonder things I was working at piecemeal weren't really being effective.

What could I do about it? Duh. Think of course. What did I really want out of life? What did I really want to accomplish? How many pies did I have that I was nibbling on? So, what did I do? I borrowed a book, a nemesis book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Why is this a nemesis book? Because I had tried to read it several years ago, carrying it with me wherever I went so that I could finish it--and many a time someone would call me and ask me if it was my book I'd left behind. Yup, small communities notice these things (my name wasn't in it). I gave up on it when I accidently left it in the post office and they called me. I was too embarrassed to get yet another call.
I'm halfway through the darned thing and I've filled out all the goal sheets. I've a calendar of events through July with goals for every thing I'm working on and breakdowns on how to achieve those daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, goals on such things as writing, of course, then stickers out of the yard, and all of the other goals I decided were ones I wanted to pursue on EVERY front. You see, that's the thing. Making only writing goals only gets you partially there. I believe it should be integrated in with the rest of my life or it something isn't going to make it and I'm going to be unhappy with myself. I don't like that.

By seeing ALL of the goals in one place and attempting to schedule them in, I realized that there is no way a normal person could do them all. Some things had to be relaxed and rescheduled. Some things had to be let go and not feel guilty about it. The goal setting relieved me of many burdens of inadequacy. Sure, I don't have everything smoothly working like a well oiled gun, but on the other hand, I don't feel like shooting myself either. I'm sure there is a better way to do this, but right now I have a master goal sheet, a calendar that I'm scribbling notes in, a scratch paper for deciding which week of each month will get what done, and when I review these which I do a couple of times a week, I pencil things onto my actual working calendar to get done. Actual doable tasks. Smoothing all this out to where it is easier and faster to do is also one of my goals.

Here's the breakdown: Master Goal Sheet, Monthly tasks broken down into half-month's to achieve goals, Weekly tasks on scribbly junk calendar to help integrate into life with farm, husband, friends, other work etc, Purse calendar that is my life. All are used once a week to plan the next week.

Think of yourself for a moment. Wouldn't you like to be free of mental burdens weighing down your spirits? Then consider setting goals, lots of them, refining them, tossing some away, and then you'll know where you are going and how you're going to get there.

Ever grateful to peerless leader with strong whip arm--Thanks!

Have latptop, will travel...

Where do I write? Anywhere and everywhere. When I used to write on a desktop computer only, I felt so confined. I still write quite a bit on my desktop computer at the office where I work part time. But the majority of my writing these days is done on my laptop.

My laptop and I have become great friends. (Okay, most of the time we're friends.) We like to find a comfy corner in my livingroom and curl up together in my oversized chair to spend some quality time together. Sometimes we take a road trip and find a spot to share time in Panera Bread or Barnes & Noble. When the weather is nice, we like to spend time outside on my patio on a comfortable chaise lounge. Or maybe we will mosey over to Botanica and find a bench somewhere to enjoy the views and quiet time in the gardens. We even work well together in an airport restaurant or a semi-secluded spot in a gate area.

The photo I've included is from my comfy chair in my livingroom. I can sit there and let my fingers fly willy-nilly over the keyboard. And I can occasionally glance up and see the exercise bicycle that someday I'll actually use. Right now I mainly move it around and dust it off. I don't want to get crazy with the idea of exercise. If I wear myself out exercising, I'll be too tired to write. Right? Right.

The Writer's Habitat

A reasonable person, who is not a writer would think a writer would need a desk, a comfortable chair, a window, some good light, a book or two like a thesaurus or a dictionary, maybe a cigar or two and some angst in their soul so that they could speak to your heart through their words. They would tap dance on your nerve endings, sooth your soul, and feed your ego, shoot fear through your temples, and then toss you adrift to land on smooth golden shores.
What a writer really needs is a good long shower, some food shoved their way occasionally, plenty of readers that adore their every word....
Ok, what a writer really needs isn't much. A scrap of paper, a little time between interruptions, and a writin' stick. A computer or other word recording device is nice. Time to write while the muse is hot is even better. But some simple understanding that writers are not quite like other people and accepted for that anyway is truly balm and roses.

Writers live in their heads most of the time creating situations that other people don't really have to live through.

What do I need? Some time away from my other life. My husband likes to have company when he needs to go to town. I can guarantee he will need to talk for hours with people at the welding and machining shop, the farm supply store, as well as stop, walk around, and stare at every machinery row that has something with wheels on it. This leaves me alone in the pickup for quite a bit of time. Left too long and I'll start another book. I always take work to do with me because time in the pickup with the windows down and a huge drink, means that I can have no other responsibilities nibbling at me. I am free to run down the meadows in my mind and create whatever I need. Sometimes I edit what I've written. No scrap of that time is ever wasted. I love it.

Every week I have a town day that requires I meet appointments, do grocery shopping and run other errands. Then I meet my sister and we discuss important things. There is time in between these tasks that are 'spare'. Those times, depending upon the season are spent in secret locations around whichever town I'm in. Those locations will find me working on 'stuff', with a big drink handy, and a bathroom not too far away. One place is just out side a huge golf course in a forgotten cul-de-sac. It is just me and the birds and a view that goes for miles. That hidden spot is only 10 minutes from anything in the town. Another town and another private forgotten corner. I shared a couple with a friend recently who had too many people in her home and needed a little space. She hadn't ever thought of the many places a person can be relatively private in a town.

Restaurants are also a favorite of mine--especially in inclement weather. How can you beat a snowy afternoon where someone brings you more coffee? I just leave a nice tip for the table rent. On off times restaurants don't give half a honk that you're there as long as the place isn't full and you're taking up profitable table turn around. People like having writers around--it gives the place a certain cache. Find a place. Be a regular. It's great.

Then there is the bathroom. For whatever reason, during showers, while I'm soaking my head, I get some of the best ideas. The trick is remembering them long enough to get the soap off.

Now I lay me down to sleep. Yup, another muse favorite. If the words are flowing in my head just like beautiful jewels cascading through my fingers, then I have to get up out of my warm, warm, cot and put them down on paper, whether I like it or not!

I bought a revenge desk many years ago. Revenge you ask? Yup. I didn't want an office at our seed company's headquarters because I didn't want to have to work there. I told them if I needed to be anywhere I'd either use someone's desk who wasn't there or the conference room (old dining room table at the end of someone else's office). But when my husband bought his u-shaped beautiful desk, there was a used one that had so many little cubby holes and interesting places in the drawers that I said I wanted a desk too. I had absolutely no need for it at ALL! At that time I used the kitchen table for all office needs. In our guest bedroom, the largest bedroom in the house (through a design flaw), I wanted that desk--not to use, but to have. It has a finish on the top that cannot be ruined, but looks like dark lustrous wood. There are dents a few in the wood parts, that give it that used patina and I filled it with curiosities. Then after about ten years of ownership, I began to write. Only the top is the least useful. Those cubbyhole drawers are NOT AT ALL helpful for real work. And yet I still love it, stupid as it is to own it.
The walls are a green color that makes everything on them 'pop'. I have a set of size four high heels from the 1950's on a small shelf with a slave bracelet. A huge blown glass fishing net float that went from Japan to Oahu. I've gargoyles and nymphs, a Foo dog, and a conch shell that can be blown and rivals a loud blast from a trumpet. Ya, I blow the thing every once in a while. I've cartoons displayed and a picture my grandmother painted of a French castle. There is a jungle picture and a porthole from a ship. A necklace bought at the RWA conference hangs on the porthole screw knobs. I love interesting book ends. One set is made from two square planters filled with silk iris. They sit on my desk with a fifth edition Websters, the Synonym Finder and Strunk & White's Elements of Style along with Essentials of English.

Over the copy machine and the fax machine, hanging on the wall, is the poster from the book signing at Penny's old bookstore with WARA writers. It makes me feel like a real writer--evidently merely creating books doesn't quite do it for me. Besides it was a lovely day with fun people--WARA people.

The piano had to go which was ok as I was using it as a filing/priority system and stuff kept falling off. Now I have a black shiny safe instead. (Why are people compelled to buy safes whether they can open them or not? Can't quite see the value there, but my DH seems to.) However it sports on its top a huge basket of flowers (over four feet wide) that has taken me years to fill up. Every year I add a small bit of the best silk flowers I can find to my basket--it doesn't matter the season or the color. It is stupendously beautiful!!!

There are books of course, but I have books everywhere--my clothes closet, the living room, guest bedroom closet, end tables. Books are my friends. Some are for fun, some are for learning, and some are for later.

It has been fun reading about where others write. My lair is a perfect writer's lair. It has the window, the desk, the comfy chair, the books, the light, and the portal to other writers. What more could I possibly want (other than a little more discipline)!!?

Ummmmmm. It looks like there may be a trick to putting pictures on the blog. Forgive me all you perfectionists.....

A Place to Write

I'm not even going to try to take a picture of my desk as it is right now.  The one on the left is from a year and a half ago.  That's Jaxon, who, at the time, was the youngest of my grandkids.  He had a penchant for sitting on my desk...especially when I needed to be working.  He's three now and has moved to my lap...along with his little sister.

Like so many others, I've done my writing in many places.  Back when I lived on a farm in a 70-year-old house, I'd sit on the floor at the edge of the one floor furnace, a legal pad on my lap, a pencil in my hand.  In the winter, I'd have to straddle the grate or burn my legs, but it was the warmest spot in the house.  There was a  small porch that had been enclosed years before, and I claimed it as my office, but not in the winter, because the heat didn't reach there. 2X4s stretched along three of its walls near the ceiling, perfect for the hundreds of romance novels I'd been collecting.  There was no need to worry about gaining weight.  The computer I shared with my husband was upstairs.

After my divorce, three of my four daughters and I moved to a three-bedroom apartment.  Here's a snippet from an email I wrote to an online writers' group at that time.

I'm sitting on the floor of the utility room in our new apartment, keyboard in my lap. I don't have my desk moved yet, so all I have for company is a washer---which I've already put to good use.
That was the first of four moves in two years.  In that time, I also shared my mother's dining room with her and her computer after leaving the apartment, then in the next place we lived, I used the utility room again--and bought a new desk!  Over the past eight years in the current house, my office has been in two of the three bedrooms, thanks to changing family dynamics.  Now in the biggest of the three (a converted garage), I'm surrounded by all things writing, with no washing machines, no sharing a computer, no sharing computer space with someone.  The fish bowl in the above picture is gone, along with the fish, and the M&M container (to the left of the monitor) now sits atop the refrigerator where it's safe.  I'm no longer in front of the north window that oozes cold air in winter.

So why no picture?  I'm a multi-tasker, and my desk is currently at its worst. Desk clearing usually happens after finishing a book.  This time it didn't.  In addition to having just finished that book that will be out in September, I'm working on revisions for it, several websites, and there's another pile here that's for income tax.  The keyboard and monitor are the only things that I'm able to find without searching.  Still, I continue to have visions of the perfect writing office.  I have everything I need for that...except time.  Maybe someday...

Where I Write -- J Vincent

I am fortunate to have an office in my home—one of the blessings of living long enough to get one. When I first started writing and for many years after that it was at the kitchen table or on a card table and always with pencil and paper. The photo above is my much sanitized desk. Organized disorder, of course. Behind me as I key this in are bookcases and a large window. There are four seven foot tall by forty-eight inch wide bookcases stuffed full of 18th and 19th century research books-- proof positive that book collecting is a progressive disease.

The window wall is wallpapered with an English style floral with a window seat that is filled with family and friend photos. The other walls are painted and on almost every open space are hung period prints (at one time a favorite gift choice of my family) or maps. There are family photos on the top of the computer hutch. It’s too small for you to see but the Boyd’s bear by the Keeper’s legs sits on a book that has “Love’s Journey” written across the spine. I do love the Keeper of the Plains –this one is a Christmas gift that I cherish.

So I write in a room surrounded by sources of knowledge and signs of love. But “where” do I write? Is it on the Iberian Peninsula in the middle of a battle? Is it in the English countryside in a castle or a mansion in 1810? Is it in London or Paris wild from the Waterloo victory?

We are physically where we live and reside and I suppose that is where we write. But when I first read the topic I didn’t think of my office. My “mind” is what, pardon me, came to mind. In our brains--our minds-- the story ideas form, flesh out, mature. Within that mysterious sometimes computer-like organ we live the complex juggling existence of woman, wife, mother, maid, chauffeur, author and a multitude of other jobs. Yet our minds usually keep everything compartmentalized—schedules, appointments, calendars, characters, settings, plots. When we write we draw on our experiences. It’s what makes us unique as persons and as writers. We could all be placed in a grey walled cubicle with sterile office furniture and yet we would still create our worlds that are nothing like that cubicle; that are not hampered or enhanced by it.

Where do I write? In a place I’ve never seen, with workings I don’t understand We draw from experiences when we write but I don’t believe the actual place we sit in determines what we write. What do you think? Ruling out noise and chaos, does where you physically write make a difference?


My name is Reese (points to name badge) and I will be your tour guide for this portion of the Where We Write tour. I write many places but I happen to be my most productive in a converted bedroom that belonged to each of my children at one time or another. I feed off their lingering creative energy and, now that they’re grown, I appreciate their continuing support of my writing endeavor.

As you walk into my office the first thing that catches your eye has to be the seven sagging shelves and the bookcases all bulging with books. What can I say? I love books more than I love chocolate. No really. I do. Unless you count M&M’s. They hold a soft spot in my heart but tend to create soft spots over the rest of me.

The walls in here are really pink and barely white and covered with dozens of family pictures, art work from friends and a loveable armadillo Pat gave me in Dallas along with a note (which I still have) that reminds me that I can be tougher than the rodent when it comes to perseverance in the writing biz. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Pat. And the rat. I also have a letter from Deborah after I received a rejection. Her kind words are a gentle kick in the rear to remind me that I CAN do this. I just can’t give up. Thanks, Debo. A love note from my hubby completes the trifecta.

I have a large corner desk that is cluttered with the riff-raff of my daily life. Including manuscript pages, pens, catalogs, my IPod dock, more pens, research books, notepads, sticky notes, an M&M mug from my sister, trinkets of affection from my kids and hubby, candles and a picture of my mom and I from our trip to Florida. Believe me when I tell you I need these things around me. They make me happy. Until it comes time to dust them—but that’s another blog topic.

A large sign hangs above my desk that says And They Lived Happily Ever After. Beneath that is my wedding picture and next to that is one of us on the Caribbean cruise we took for our 25th wedding anniversary. Of course, the real story of my adult life lies not in these two framed pictures but in everything that happened between them.

Over there (practiced two-fingered point) is a futon to park yourself on and a whole wall of dry erase boards to plot on. A closet full of shelves—holding more very important paraphernalia including a box that contains letters of encouragement, congratulation cards from friends and family and every single one of the sympathy cards I received when my dad died that I can’t yet part with complete the picture.

This room fits my personality and it's my happy place. I come in here to just be me.

That concludes our tour for today. Help yourself to some homemade brownies or cookies on your way out and please remember to visit the gift shop before you leave.



Where do I write?

Pat Davids here to answer the question, where do I write?

I write at the intersection of romance and adventure.

Okay, I write in my own little office, a third bedroom in my home that gets the morning sun through two big windows. Not that I see the morning sun very often. I’m a night person.
I have a cluttered desk, a cherry wood two-door filing cabinet and a closet full of bookshelves and books. Above the filing cabinet is a three-foot by three-foot mirror.

My mirror frame is a collection of postcards and photos of my grandkids. When my grandson was little, I often took him to places like the Kansas Aviation Museum, Oklahoma’s Aquarium, the Cosmosphere in Hutch and the Sedgwick County Museum here in Wichita. We loved to explore new places and learn new things and each time we went somewhere, we got a postcard for him to put on my mirror. Over the years, that collection has grown.

Sitting at my desk I see the sharks cursing underwater and the spires of the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria touching a cloudless blue sky. I see the dark and glittering world 800 feet below the surface of the earth in the Underground Salt Museum. I remember the weight of the earth pressing down overhead and tang of salt on my lips in the cool darkness. I remember how good ice cream tasted when I was standing in the August sunlight afterwards.

On my mirror are pictures of graduation, first communion, and baptisms. I can see my granddaughter’s first pony ride, my daughter hugging her kids at the fair, me standing beside my elderly parents at my daughter’s wedding. I’ve kept a school play brochure and a drawing of a stick figure that is Jesus on the Cross: all highlights of my life as a grandmother.

My mirror is a refection of the joy, sadness, pride, and adventures that are gifts for my soul and inspiration for my work. I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for a million dollars. One funny thing about my mirror, as it gets more crowded, I can see less of myself in it, and isn’t that the way it should be?

If you’re wondering why a romance author hasn’t mentioned her husband’s picture on the mirror, I’ll tell you why. Dave doesn’t like to travel. He’d rather be a home, but he likes that I go and do things without him. He’s always waiting for me when I come home and he’ll always ask the same thing. “Well, did you have a good time?” Not only do I get to enjoy my adventures, I get to recount them and they do get better in the retelling. As I sit at my desk, all I need do is turn my head slightly to see him sitting at his desk across the hall. Usually, our eyes will meet and we will both smile. Because that’s what you do when you spot the one you love.

My office sits at the intersection of romance and adventure—on a quiet street in Wichita, Kansas—and that’s the way I like it.