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Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Writing Space

As an author, I need my space to write and feel comfortable. I love having my own office while my husband has his in our finished basement. Bonding with your spouse is wonderful, but there are times I need to work and not be interrupted!

I recently bought a new desk. My old roll-top had outlived its usefulness. It had the monitor near the left side and a pull-out writing board on the right. Great for people who are right-handed, but not convenient for those of us who are left-handed. I constantly set up a tray table on the left side to give me room to scribble notes. Not pretty or comfortable, but functional.

My new desk has the monitor right in the center. The two shelve/drawer inserts are movable, so I can place them where they're not in my way. And, I have two pull-out writing boards, one on either side. Of course, I have lots of space now on the left side to scribble my notes without any difficulty.

I don't listen to music while I write. It distracts me. I hear the cuckoo clock in my dining room as it alerts me to every new hour or half-hour. Sometimes, though, I'm so engrossed in writing that I don't hear a thing. I'll admit, however, that I've toyed with the idea of getting a small TV in here, just so I can keep track of baseball games as I'm a big fan of two teams.

I like lots of light when I write. I open the drapes to let in the sunlight, and always have the overhead light on. At night, I also turn on a lamp on my desk. Maybe it's "old eyes" syndrome, but I need to have things really bright.

I'm surrounded by bookshelves, cabinets, and a fireplace. And, of course, lots of photos of family and friends adorn spots with shelf space. I have one vase with flowers received from Mid-America Romance Authors, my RWA chapter here in the Kansas City area. And I'm into glass flowers, so have four different vases with various sizes/types of glass flowers throughout the room.

My desk chair is comfortable and "worn-in" to suit my needs. I also have a rocking chair near the window, one I've had for almost 34 years.

This is where I create my stories. I can see out the large window near my desk and watch as the season change when I need a break from writing. I'm happy in my writing space and feel fortunate to have it all to myself!

Where do you write? Or, where do you go for some private time?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blind Dates, Part Two

I blogged about the weird blind dates and the toads I'd come across. As promised, now I'll tell you about two blind dates that turned out fine.

Again, these happened while I was in college.

BLIND DATE NUMBER THREE: Once again, my college roommate, Carol, and her boyfriend, Bob decided to try once more and set me up with another friend of theirs. I made them promise no playboy types and it had to be someone who'd at least stick by me for our date night. Embarrassed by their first try, they were anxious to match me again and show they could get it right.

This time it worked.

Steve was studious and in the ROTC program at their college, just like Bob. We hit it off right away since I'd always respected military life after listening to my father's stories of being in the Navy.

We dated for about six months and Carol and I spent many weekends double-dating at the guys' college. Even went to a ROTC military ball. Eventually, Steve and I went our separate ways as he graduated and went into the Army.

BLIND DATE NUMBER FOUR: Carol wasn't done with me yet! Even though she and the guys had graduated and I was a college senior, she tried again...thinking she had figured out how to "match" me. This guy was from her hometown but now in the Army.

Mike was great. Really considerate, great listener...and I really liked him. I dated him on weekends he was home and I visited Carol. Even had him come to my home during spring break and thought we'd had a wonderful time.

Sadly, I was wrong. Mike decided he didn't want to get serious with anyone, and I was looking for a commitment with a future together. The next time I visited Carol, he said he couldn't get home. Carol and I went to a dance club one night and saw Mike there with another girl. I'd lost him, but still have nice memories of our dating.

Have you been on a blind date? Good or bad? Or, have you had different experiences like I did?

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blind Date, Anyone?

Spring is here, love is in the air...and matchmakers are on the loose! It's time for them to find you the perfect date and they nag you until your strength depletes and stamina wavers so you agree. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Now you're in for it!

I've been on a few blind dates in my younger years after high school. Two were particularly strange.
BLIND DATE NUMBER ONE: Good friends John and Mary asked if I'd go on a blind date with John's friend, Sam. Apparently Sam had been ill, was recovering, but had lost all his hair (I can't remember what the illness was). I agreed, figuring I'd known Mary since grade school and John since we took accordion lessons together in middle school. Surely their friend would be a pleasant date, and hey...I considered myself an interesting and fun person to be around.


Not about me, but about Sam. The entire evening had me conversing with John and Mary. Sam barely uttered ten words, very few in sentences. Our trip to a club proved disappointing. He didn't dance. When we went to a diner to eat, he scooted into the booth seat next to John. In the car, he sat in front with John and was the first to be driven home.

We then figured Sam still had issues with being out in public (although I don't think I kept looking at his bald head even though I knew it was there). Blow to my ego? Kinda. I felt like I wasn't interesting enough to make him comfortable.

BLIND DATE NUMBER TWO: Carol, my college roommate and her boyfriend, Bob, set up a blind date with Jim, a friend of Bob's at their college. Carol was sure we'd hit it off as he'd dated another of her friends and I was "just like her". Bob came to our college to pick us up and drove to his and Jim's college. We were dropped off to spend the night in a sorority house.

Strange thing, though. Every time I told girls there I'd be going out with Jim Smith, I'd get the weirdest reactions. Some just blinked, others whispered to each other. And their responses were always "Oh".

Jim and Bob came to pick us up at the sorority house. I took one look at him and thought dreamy, handsome...trouble ahead. He flashed a big smile to ALL the girls there and flirted before we had a chance to leave.

We went to a frat party where he led me to the chairs, said he had to talk to someone and would soon return, and stayed away for twenty minutes. I was annoyed as I watched him flit about the room being sociable. When one of his fraternity brothers asked me to dance, I did. I danced with him for another twenty minutes until my "date" showed up to claim me.

I was out with an ever-popular playboy and apparently wasn't his type. Nor was he mine. When it came time to leave, he hugged and kissed me and we parted after talking about our friends and the argument they'd had. Jim promised to pick me up for church the next morning so I figured I'd see him one last time.

He came to get me, and had four other girls in his car. Jim drove us all to church and sat in a pew with five girls surrounding him.

When it came time to drive us back to our college, Bob stopped at Jim's dorm to see if he'd like to go with us. I told Bob not to bother as I already knew he wasn't interested in me. Bob seemed surprised and said I was wrong. He went in, came out alone and angry, and said Jim had to study. I thanked Bob and Carol but said ours was not a match Jim wanted any part of. Nor did I.

Later this month, I'll blog about two blind dates that turned out fine. Good things can happen, but watch out for the toads if you agree to a blind date!

Matchmaking is a job one of my heroines does. In "Second Sight Dating" by Marianne Stephens, Serena uses her "second sight" to match couples. Read it to find out about one client she can't seem to find a perfect match for. Is it because she wants him for herself?

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