Wanted: One Home Office


Once again, it’s time for the Marketing for Romance Writers yearlong blog hop. For  week 47, the writing prompt is:

My Writing Space

Oh boy! Talk about a sore subject with me, this would be it. For any of you who have followed my blog for some time,  you may recall a couple of my posts about an office. Here are a couple: Personal Space, Space Revisions, and The Countdown Has Begun. In the last one, I shared my color scheme for my office area.

The best-laid plans. . . alas, I still don’t have an office.

I spent hours cleaning out the area in the basement that would become my office.

This is the space in the basement that I cleared out. The first photo is from the file cabinet to the outer wall, the second one is from the point just behind the child’s rocker. 

 

 

 

I moved everything off of the bookshelf,  had the entire area cleared out, floors mopped, spider webs vacuumed. Then my husband filled the area with items from auctions for resale. What was supposed to be a small area from the deep freeze to the table against the wall ended up filling the entire area.

As you can see from my rough sketch plan, the area where the table is behind a wall of backed storage shelves was supposed to be for sorting, cleaning, repairing, and tagging items for resale and repurposing. I was not a happy camper. Still not, in regards to my office. By the way,  that’s 1200 square feet of space in the basement. You’d think a small area for an office wouldn’t be such a deal.

I don’t understand why every single time that I ask for or prepare an area for me to have my own space to work it becomes a battle. I still have my color scheme and decor picked out for the office space, but it won’t be in this house.

This is my color scheme. Beachy/coastal with Bermuda blue, dark blue accents, tan/beige (sand) walls with black accents and flooring that resembles the weathered wood of a pier.

We plan to move closer to where my husband is employed and one of the few demands that I am going to make is my own office.  I don’t care if it’s the smallest room in the house I WILL have an office.

Currently,  my writing area consists of one end of our kitchen table and my papers and notebooks are stacked on a small side table that is against the wall.   It is a mess! I need to go through my stack and refile things,  discard other things, sort the  tax info from my notes and all of that other filing stuff that needs to happen.

I do have an office for my job as an MLO. It doesn’t have any internet connection and is strictly for meeting with clients and closings.

It has purple sparkly walls! Not a purple fan myself, but I’m making the best of it. Apparently, the business that was there before me was a massage therapist.

The purple drapes over the door have been replaced with white sheer curtains, and soon to be thicker white drapes as the weather is cooler and it gets cold by that door!  My desk sits by the two outlets, along with a two drawer file cabinet. I’ve added a bit of decor as well as the obligatory licenses and documents that have to be displayed. I did take some photos with my desk in place, but the images didn’t turn out very well.

So, when I am desperate for no distractions,  I can take my laptop or notebooks to my office for some peace and quiet. Most of the time though, I write from our kitchen table.

One of these days I am going to knock your socks off and share images from a bonafide home office suitable for an author.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s that the hubs still thinks this is a glorified ego trip and expensive hobby – his words. Maybe that’s the underlying issue of why I can’t seem to get my own office space. I don’t know,  but it’s going to change. There aren’t many demands that I ever make but I’m about to make two –  my own office space and a main floor laundry area. Unless my office is in the basement, then the basement laundry area is acceptable. If that is how it turns out,  the office will be finished before we move in. PERIOD.

I’ve waited patiently. I’ve been not as patient.  It’s to the point that we’re about to rumble and I always win – partly because I don’t play fair. I fight to win and I will fight for my own office.

There better be offerings for appeasement left near my writing area now that I’ve been reminded of how long it has been since I worked so hard to clear out that area only to have it snatched away from me. Not a happy camper here. Not at all.

I’m sure the other authors in this blog hop aren’t as sensitive about their offices. They probably have offices! Go check their offices out and share some design tips since I have more time to plan my decor.  Look out Pinterest, here I come!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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WWW -Blood Key Snippet – Ellie Mack


 

November is NANOWRIMO, (National novel writing month) I thought it only fair to share some snippets from that. After all, this is my current WIP.

Weekend Writing Warriors.

HOW IT WORKS

It’s simple and fun. Sign up on the linky list with your name, blog url, and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 to 10 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.
~~~~~~~~~
8 sentences –  I can manage that, can’t I?  That sounded like a challenge and I was off!
Yes, it’s late in the year but what the heck! Maybe this will turn into a regular thing.  I ‘ve been thinking I should share more snippets anyway. Keep in mind, this is truly a first draft. So here goes! This is from the Prologue:
~~~~~~~~~

He clasped Raelynn’s hand, memorizing the soft delicate features of his own flesh and blood before he pulled up the ottoman in front of her. He clasped her hand again. “I” the words caught in his throat as the sense of urgency heightened in his senses. “The trial went poorly. Brogann has set things in motion that may mean war for our realm. Because of his crimes, you and the child are in danger. I have to get you away from here right now. Are you able to travel?”

~~~~~

 

The title of this one is called The Blood Key. It is going to be a novella from my Fae series that I’ve been working on for some time now.  This one is hopefully going into a paranormal fantasy anthology – fingers crossed that I make the cut!

Be sure to check out the other author’s snippets as well!
Write on my friends, write on!

Bragging Rights! #MFRW


Once again, it’s time for the Marketing for Romance Writers yearlong blog hop. For  week 46, the writing prompt is:

Let Me Brag For A Minute

 

 

Wow! Who would have thought that for me, a talker, this would be so difficult? I may have to go have another cup of coffee to think. Or maybe two.


Upon reading the prompt my immediate thought is  – I have nothing to brag about – period.  But that’s not true! Each of us has a story to tell, each of us has accomplishments.  I am more comfortable bragging about my friends and fellow authors than I am tooting my own horn, which is probably one reason my sales aren’t better!

But, this week’s prompt. . .  is it too late to back out?????  Yeah??  OK, FINE!  Let’s get this over with.

Ellie’s Top 5 Bragging Rights:

  1. Way back in my younger days. . . . *jump into the way back machine* . . . I earned a scholarship to attend Southeast Missouri State University. It covered everything except the housing, which at that time wasn’t nearly as expensive as now, that my daughter is attending there.  I went on to complete my degree even though I lost my scholarship.  I had to maintain a 3.5 gpa, and after the first year, my gpa was 3.47.  Nevertheless,  I won a scholarship!
  2. Have been married to the same man for 32 years!  It hasn’t been smooth sailing. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs, good times bad times, better and worse, sickness and health, . . . it was touchy for a while there but we made it through together. In this day and age, 20 years is a victory. 30 years is rare! I count this as a victory! We’re not perfect, we’re just two people who decide at the end of the day that the surplus column is greater than the deficit!
  3. I have published 3 books.  I know,  in the grand scheme of things that isn’t many but the fact that I have completed – and published 3 tells me that there is hope for the other 18 files on my computer. Several are completed but need editing. Some need revision, some need just a tweak here or there, . . . yes, I tend to be one of those who is hesitant to cut the cord because I worry that the world at large will not appreciate my babies.
  4. I am an excellent cook! Do you think I got this extra insulation by being a lousy cook? Seriously! It would probably be better for my and my family’s waistlines if I were one of those women who can’t even boil water. I can cook just about anything. I’ve mastered Italian foods – lasagna, mostaccioli, pasta marinara, pasta con Pesce,  fettuccini alfredo, and numerous other dishes including Capresi salad. I’ve mastered a few variations of Chinese foods – egg drop soup is so incredibly simple, I don’t know how anyone could get it wrong. Fried rice – it’s like jambalaya only Chinese. A couple favorites are General Tso’s chicken, chicken and vegetable, beef broccoli, and orange chicken. I’ve mastered some cajun cuisine – jambalaya, of course, red beans and rice, shrimp et tu fe, and gumbo. I’ve mastered good ol’ American homestyle – chicken and dumplings – have been requested at many family gatherings,  beef stew,  roast chicken dinner, pot roast. My family’s favorites are Tex Mex – enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, burritos, and tamales along with refried beans, and pico de gallo.   Then, of course, is my pie making abilities. The only pie I haven’t tackled is pecan pie because my husband makes it and it’s always excellent. Unfortunately,  I can no longer have sugar so my baking has dwindled down to experimenting with sugar-free recipes. On an up note,  I made a carrot cake for a recent gathering that was sugar-free and had 5 requests for the recipe! The only thing I haven’t mastered, and I feel that it’s because I get impatient is fried chicken! LOL
  5. My first book Red Wine & Roses was nominated for several awards. I was nominated for best cover, best contemporary romance, debut author, and debut romance author. I didn’t win,  but it was cool to be nominated. I was in the  top five for the final round of nominations, so I think that was pretty cool.
  6. BONUS:  I am claiming bragging rights for beating breast cancer!  I’m still here, still kicking, still writing, and getting stronger every day! I thank God every day that I wake up and have a renewed sense of what’s important in my life. I’m sorry that it took something like this to get my full attention,  but it has and I am learning to make myself a priority, which I haven’t done for a long time.

What bragging rights do you have?  What thing are you most proud of? Several things? Let’s hear what yours are!

 

Have a great one and write on my friends,  write on.

Weekend Writing Warriors -IT’s NANO time!


Hello everyone! I missed last week but I had a very good reason –  I was exhausted. Seriously, it’s true.

We had a retreat last weekend, Friday and Saturday and I was drained most of Sunday.

So, let’s jump into things now that I’ve got my wits about me again.

I’ve been sharing a bit about Roxy, but since November is NANOWRIMO, (National novel writing month) I thought it only fair to share some snippets from that. After all, this is my current WIP.

Weekend Writing Warriors.

HOW IT WORKS

It’s simple and fun. Sign up on the linky list with your name, blog url, and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 to 10 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.
~~~~~~~~~
8 sentences –  I can manage that, can’t I?  That sounded like a challenge and I was off!
Yes, it’s late in the year but what the heck! Maybe this will turn into a regular thing.  I ‘ve been thinking I should share more snippets anyway. Keep in mind, this is truly a first draft. So here goes:
~~~~~~~~~

Systematically, Brogan probed their minds. When he came to Tiernan, he came against the barrier. He pushed but the barrier would not give. Brogann mind spoke to him “what is it that you are protecting so desperately?”

Tiernan responded through his mind. “I haven’t betrayed you brother I haven’t betrayed you brother. My matters are personal.”

Brogann was not satisfied with his brother’s explanation. There had to be another reason namely betrayal of himself. He quickly ran through all of his siblings, probing their minds looking for any signs. Two of his sisters had their guards up and were trying desperately not to give him away. He would investigate that further. For now, he would focus on Tiernan.

The title of this one is called The Blood Key. It is going to be a novella from my Fae series that I’ve been working on for some time now.  This one is hopefully going into a paranormal fantasy anthology – fingers crossed that I make the cut!

Be sure to check out the other author’s snippets as well!
Write on my friends, write on!

Top Secret Briefing!


Once again, it’s time for the Marketing for Romance Writers yearlong blog hop. For  week 45, the writing prompt is:

An Unforgettable Day in My Life

 

 

Hmmm, well the obvious most recent unforgettable day was April 20th, but I don’t want to talk about that.

Then, there are of course the highlight reel moments – births of children, the wedding, graduation from high school, college, first day on the job . . .

Hey, that might work.

OK, so it wasn’t exactly the first day on the job. After college, I got a job at the county courthouse for nine months before I got the call for THE JOB I wanted. It was THE JOB that I hoped for in acquiring my degree.

Back then it was called Defense Mapping Aerospace Center. It is currently named Geospatial Information Systems or something to that effect. I worked in a top secret environment, had a high-level security clearance, and worked inside the SCIF – secure compartmentalized information field. The government is really big on acronyms.

You thought I was just a regular goober with a blog, didn’t you?  SNORTS

By now you should know there is nothing regular about me. Anyway, when I pursued a degree in cartography – which is mapping and charting not photography, they had to know I wasn’t right. I have always had a passion for earth sciences and particularly rocks. My sisters are both nurses – I can’t stand needles. I studied rocks, they don’t bleed.

In my junior year of high school, my oldest brother came home to visit. I have never really known much about my oldest brother as he’s not lived near me for most of my life. He went away to college when I was in the fourth grade. Anyway, he came home and asked the big question: So what are your plans for after high school?

I quickly responded because I had it all mapped out. “I’m going to be a psychiatrist and an author.”

“OH, so you’re going to write psychology books? Like textbooks?”

“No, like Agatha Christie or Stephen King.”

He laughed at me.

I didn’t think it was funny.

Then he proceeded to tell me why my idea was wrong, why I couldn’t do it, and why it was a very bad idea – in his opinion.

I was angry. So very angry. I hated him with a passion that only a creative author can have. My father actually sat down with me and went over the reality of the psychology thing,  and that summer I worked with him as his assistant/gopher/ clean-up crew on job sites, and he just happened to be working at a mental institution. I have to admit,  a couple of the patients totally freaked me out. He encouraged me to pursue a career in cartography because they made really good money. TRUTH – when I retired in 1997, I was making $26.00 an hour.  Excellent wages at the time.

So back to the day that was unforgettable.  *Do the timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff to catch up*

I was working in the Scientific Data department also known as Points.  I can’t tell you exactly what we did because it was classified. I can tell you though, that during Desert Storm our division had an integral part in the war. I had transferred out of a section within points division to the digital transfer section, which I thought was much cooler than deriving points from the stereoplotters. Keep in mind that this was before everyone and their brother had a cell phone.

Some bigwigs from Washington DC were coming to St. Louis to have tours of the digital transfers that we were doing, then attending a bomb damage assessment video presentation afterward. That morning our supervisor told us who the VIPs were going to be – Jim Baker, and Dick Cheney then secretary of state and secretary of defense. Yes, the same Dick Cheney that would be vice president!

The first thing I did was run to the bathroom to puke. Seriously,  I was about to hyperventilate.  I kept a toothbrush and toothpaste in my desk, so I  used them.

I had about a half hour to prepare, and I was shaking in my boots.  Being a professional environment, we wore business attire, which for the 90’s meant power suits, heels, make up – the whole shebang! I was wearing my lucky blue power suit.

I remember the small party of about twenty-five individuals,  mostly secret service men and military mps. There were only three times in the entire tour that I spoke directly to either Mr. Baker or Mr. Cheney, and to be honest, at the time I didn’t realize that it was either that had asked the questions.  The voices came out of the mob of people.

It wasn’t until afterward, in the bda briefing that a coworker pulled me aside and asked me how I managed to be so cool in front of them. I replied that I just figured it was one of the military men that inquired. Just then I recognized the voice of the person starting the briefing. It was Mr. Cheney.

I. About. Wet. Myself! SEriously!

I had to excuse myself to use the restroom,  then tried to slip quietly into the back to view the presentation. At the end, he mentioned his appreciation for the informative tour from the digital transfer section, naming me. Everyone turned looking at me.

It was a super embarrassing moment but at the same time a very proud moment.  Not everyone can say they got to brief a future ( it was future at the time) vice president.

So, let’s just keep this between you and me though because of the classified information, K?

Have a great one and write on my friends,  write on.