• Welcome to my studio!

We recently moved from our small town to the city! I love my office in our new home, but this office in our small-town house will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first dedicated office.
After writing my first novel at our kitchen table, and others in the bedroom and various corners of our living room, I was delighted to finally get my very own writing studio. I never minded having my desk in the hub of the house, and in fact, I once vowed that even if we lived in a mansion, I'd never move my little makeshift office out of our living room. Good thing it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, because I've  loved this sunny, colorful room and the painted farmhouse table that serves as my desk.

Come on in and I'll show you around.

If you've visited before, you know that I frequently revamp my office. Something about changing things up really sparks my writing creativity. Here are just a few of many ways I arranged my office in our small-town home:
My sister stripped the "little boy" wallpaper and painted my office a lovely, grown-up shade of mink. A new chair replaced the pink and blue ones I had in my office, but they both found happy homes elsewhere in our house.

My Dad built this reference bookcase for me a few years ago, and I don't know how I ever wrote without it! Along with my dictionary and thesaurus in the library file on my desk, it's so nice to have all my reference books within easy reach and at just the right angle.

Another Dad-crafted item is this "clip wheel" that reminds me of those order wheels chefs use in cafés. It's perfect for hanging research materials, inspirational cards, coupons, tickets ... whatever suits my fancy.

Another favorite addition: a world map used as a blotter on my desk. I'm inspired looking at continents I've never visited and countries I would love to tour – or at least set a story in.
I love old wooden boxes and have them all over my office (all over our house, actually). Here, this drawer from an antique box scored at a farm auction, my business cards are organized with alphabet dividers one of my sisters crafted for me.

My book covers, framed on the wall near my desk, a "turntable" taboret for supplies, a blackboard, and cork for the IdeaBoard I pin up for each novel with photos of my characters, setting, and other items to inspire me as I write.
The comfy chair doubles as my office chair as well as a great place for my husband to plop for an update on our days or a quick brainstorming session.

And no, my desk isn't always neat and tidy. Here's what it looks like when I'm on deadline:
I write on a trusty MacBook Pro laptop, so if I ever need a change of scenery, I can easily move my office out to the front porch . . .
. . . or the sunny deck overlooking the beautiful Kansas prairie garden my husband has created in our backyard.

I love writing outdoors with our kitties snoozing beside me and the birds and fountain making music to write by. My studio is where my writing day begins every weekday morning. But more and more, around mid-morning, I find myself bringing my laptop out to the hub of the house...curled up on the sofa by the fireplace, or perched on a tall bar stool at the counter in our sunny kitchen.
PhotobucketMy first novel was written at this kitchen table: But where we lived then, it was our only table, meaning before we could eat supper each evening, I had to put away all my research books and notes and move my little computer so we could fit our family of six around the dinner table.
Lincoln Perk
Metro Coffee
Other favorite spots to write are a local coffee shop, Lincoln Perk (above) where Mary and friends make a Very Vanilla Latte to die for, Metro Coffee (right), and a new favorite, Sips.

I always get a ton of words written in the inspiring atmosphere of a coffee shop.

Recently my husband suggested I try to "import" some of that productivity to my own office by turning it into a mini coffee shop. A Keurig coffeemaker was just the ticket. Now I can enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea at the push of a button, two steps from my desk.

Thanks for coming along on the tour. I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my writing world.