All Because of Chickens

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Katie L. Carroll's Creative Spaces

There’s just something fun about getting an inside peek at where creative people work, whether that be an artist’s studio, a chef’s kitchen, or a writer’s desk. So today I thought I’d give you all a look at where I’m likely to be found clacking away at my keyboard crafting a masterpiece (or you know, whatever you’d like to call my stories!).

You’re most likely to find me in my home office.

This is my desk…well, technically this is my husband’s desk because my desk is too full of knickknacks, greeting cards, little boxes of stuff, and my jewelry box to actually use as a desk. I like to call this room the library (though nonbookish people may be inclined to call it an office) because we took the door off the closet and squeezed two large bookcases into it. It also serves as a playroom for my 2-year-old son and a temporary storage space because our attic is empty.

Why is our attic empty? Because it’s being renovated into what will be my new writing space.

I’d love to tell you that I’m such a hot-selling author that I’m treating myself to a new office as a reward for all my book sales. Sadly that is not the truth. I work from home full time (work that includes stuff other than writing) and finishing the attic is a way for my family to have enough space to grow. One of the perks of expanding the house upstairs is that we don’t need to use it as a bedroom yet, so I’ve laid claim to it as a writing space, though it will probably be taken over with toys as tends to happen in a house with a toddler.

One morning a week or so, I do try to get out of the house to write. Most often you’ll find me at the local coffee shop in the downtown area.

From my favorite corner of the coffee shop, I can watch the traffic, trains, and people going by. I also get an eclectic mix of music and eavesdrop on any conversation people around me might be having. Great fodder for a writer! And if the weather is just right, I might even get to sit outside in the courtyard to work.

No matter what writing space you catch me in, I almost always have a cup of tea with me. Tea and my laptop are the only necessities for a good writing day for me, but having such great work spaces helps! What’s your ideal work space?

Elixir Bound blurb:

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote Elixir Bound and the forthcoming Elixir Saved so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app The Bedtime Knight and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where Do I Write?

by Mindy Mymudes

That’s sort of an odd question. I would think most writers write in their heads, or on the computer. Maybe even on paper.
 I guess I do all of the above. As to location, mine changes with the season. In the summer, I like to write in my garden. My education and vocation was in horticulture, so mine is pretty big. We have a two-acre lot in the city. That doesn’t always work very well. I start getting into the plot, and a dog runs through. Or I spot a weed. Or maybe something needs  to be moved. Or. I admit it—I have ADD.

 Plus, Wisconsin isn’t always the best when it comes to weather. So that means going inside.

That doesn’t always work so well, either. It seems my desk collects a lot junk that wasn’t there when I started.

If I could find the keyboard, I’d certainly be able to spend some time writing. But I can’t. So, I end up at a coffee shop, with a spiral-bound notebook (like the one on the top, that’s a picture of a puppy I bred), and write with a cup of chai in my hand.


Eventually, though, I have to transcribe what my character has told me onto the computer. George is funny that way. My husband gave up with my dancing around the house, filling desktops, (I actually have three computers, if I could find them), so he got me a MacBook Air. I can go anywhere.

Sorta. I guess I write where I can.


Friday, April 4, 2014

My favourite haunts

As soon as I pop the lid on my laptop, I’m in my own fantasy world. Theoretically, I could work anywhere with a flat surface, but in actuality, I have two favourite haunts – depending on the weather. 

My favourite place is, shock horror, the dining table. Well, with the view out onto the garden, I can hardly be blamed. 

The north-facing windowsill is a haven for orchids – and I have quite a collection. They have a certain serenity that I find appealing. My current star is a Miltonia, which has the scent of roses, especially in the morning. 

Garden birds are a constant delight. We have blue tits nesting in box just a few yards from where I sit, meanwhile two pairs of robins like to fight over the two bird baths.

The view out of the window is wonderful the year round. Spring-like at the moment, but just a few days, we had a Gothic storm, complete with thunder, lightning and giant hailstones. All fun to watch!

When it’s dull and drab (or I have a tight deadline!), I perch at my desk, facing an inspirational bookshelf. The desk is usually hidden under mounds of scribbled notes, open books and the connectors to an assortment of devices. I switch on my Art Deco arc lamp and get going.

My two rescue dogs, Chester and Lottie, never leave my side, and are constant companions, day or night. I value them even more now my daughter is at University, and I’m often on my own. Writing is a solitary profession: there’s no getting away from that.

Speaking of writing, I do tend to plot things out using pen and paper, usually in a comfy chair. I find it helps me to think. Then I shift to the computer and get rattling. Finally, if I’m finding it hard to concentrate, I change my desktop screensaver to something relevant. For The Cloud Pearl I had a fantastic mountain view with a rainbow to keep me in the zone. Sometimes I just prop up a postcard. It’s surprising how it can help, just staring into a picture.

I gave up working in an office a few years ago and I’m lucky to be able to write full time. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

By Pamela Kelt

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Writing Space

My study is my favourite room. I spend much of the day and night here. Mostly I'm at the computer but sometimes I clear my desk and replace the computer with my sewing machine. I'm not sure which makes the most mess, threads and material scraps or books, papers and notepads. Either way, I feel I'm in a cosy cocoon. And I'm never alone.

Spitzli is always with me.

It's funny, but even when she is outside in the garden, I still sense her presence on her mat beside me.

Some writers are wonderfully self disciplined and stick to a writing routine. Not me. I need a deadline to meet when I write, even if I have to create one, myself.  With my current work in progress, I am sending each finished chapter to my cousin who pushes me to write the next one. With earlier works, I sent chapters to critique groups and needed to keep writing to keep up with the other members. The added benefit of this method is the valuable feedback which helps correct flaws and provides encouragement as I go.

Completing the first draft is torture for me, and yet, when it's done there is that unimaginable satisfaction of coming from, 'I can't do it. It's impossible.' to 'It's done. I achieved the impossible.'

But you know what I love best about writing? Editing what I've written. Having the complete story in front of me ready to be rubbed and scrubbed, pruned and polished, removing the tarnish until it gleams, that's the joy of writing for me.  :)