Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Perfect Place to Write

Sandra here with a steaming pot of chocolate velvet coffee and some lovely hot chocolate with whipped cream. Come chat and let’s talk about the best place to write.

Bigstock photo

Years ago, when I took a sabbatical from teaching and wrote some novels, I arranged my life to what I thought was the perfect set up for writing. My office was pristine, quiet and I had all day to myself. I had cleared all responsibilities, hubby was at work all day and I had no interruptions.

Guess what?  It was horrible. All of a sudden I had nothing to write about. I wasted an incredible amount of time. With no structure and responsibilities, time can just dwindle away. You know the old adage: "If you want something to get done, ask a busy person." Well in my case that is true.

Right now, hubby and I are taking advantage of our good health and our freedom and are living in our RV.  The kicker is, we are staying in an RV Resort for 55 plus and it is only 17 miles from our house.  Is that hysterical?  We get the strangest looks when all the other residents from Canada, The Pacific Northwest, the Northern Midwest, etc. ask us where we are from.   (btw we call them snowbirds)

A Tower Point snowbird dressed for Halloween party

Well our response is “We don’t go home because there are chores.” There is yard work at home and none in the RV resort. (Okay, I might have to sweep off the patio once in awhile) It takes four to six hours to clean the house. And something about the motorhome being a vehicle, hubby helps clean it. Once a week, we invite someone over and then he pitches in and we have a clean motorhome in less than half an hour.

Goldfish pond in the entrance way to Tower Point RV Resort

And the other response is, “This place is like Disneyland for adults.”  And it is.  There are hundreds of activities here. We could participate in one every hour 24/7 and still not do everything.  But Tower Point RV Resort is really a fun place to be. Check it out. Click on the webpage and see the list. Now doesn’t that sound like a hoot?

So you might ask, “How on earth do you get any writing done?” Surely if you live there, you aren’t going to have time to write.

Well, actually, living here stimulates my writing.

For one thing, I save hours a day by not having to drive to places. I bicycle to the pickleball courts, which saves me forty five minutes every day. (Forty five minutes to write)

Pickleball courts, Bocce ball and horse shoes in the back.

I bicycle to the pool and spa every day, which is only a block away. From my house it is a two-mile bicycle ride one way to the YMCA. So that saves me an hour.

I have my choice of three or four Bible studies and I can pick a time I don’t like to write, like the evening. And I don’t have to drive there either.

With all this free time, residents get involved in a lot of philanthropic activities. There are drives for all kinds of charities. One of my favorites is Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan Purse. You fill shoeboxes with gifts for children and Samaritan Purse sends them all over the world. I have been doing this for years. One of the residents here collects the boxes so that saves me the time that I used to take to find a drop off center and the long trip there to deliver the shoe boxes.

I go to crafts workshops and make my Christmas presents instead of having to go out and spend hours shopping. (I really dislike shopping btw). Right now I’m taking stain glass workshops and am making some lovely stained glass window hangings for Christmas.  (Sure hope my family doesn’t read this blog. LOL)

I still can't believe I made this - smile

And there are always happy hours, social activities, programs, plays, and just visiting with the people around here.

They have live bands and dancing by the pool every evening

So guess what?  I have more time to write.  And I have tons to write about because all of these people from so many different places have really interesting life stories and do they ever love to talk about them. Every time there is an event, we meet more people.

Living in an RV resort is not only great for writing but it also is great for reading. The time savers I use for writing, are great times to read. One of our Seeker friends, Marianne Barkman and her mother are snowbirds from Canada and they fly south to stay in a Senior Resort similar to the one we are in. In fact, hubby and I stayed at her resort, Pueblo El Mirage  for a short visit last spring.

Here is what Marianne told me:  I would have to say that many of the things Sandra has pointed out about the RV community being a great place to write also holds true for me as a reader. Although I don't get inspired in quite the same way as a writer does, in a close community of active seniors, mostly, I get lots of book recommendations from my friends and since where I am, we have an extensive library, as well as access to more, I have found many new authors. Having less responsibilities in the way of housework and yard work helps. There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting in the sun with a good book and a cup of coffee, chatting with friends as they walk by.

Marianne reading in her lovely park model home.

So what is the perfect set-up for you to write?  What is the perfect set-up for you to read?

In reality, we all have to make it work where we are at, don’t we?  Hubby wants to be in an RV resort, so I look for the good side and I found it.

An Arizona sunsset at Tower Point RV Resort

When I was working, I used to write in the morning before work and then take the bus to work and edit what I wrote while riding the bus. That saved time and it made the commute into the city much more interesting.

Hubby is a night owl and likes to stay up late at night. Because of that, he loves to nap in the afternoon. This is the perfect time for me to write. It is quiet. I have been stimulated with good exercise and fellowship. And I get right to it. (no pun intended - smile)

So let’s talk about other ways to set up the perfect writing situation.

What works for you?

What doesn’t work?

Those who comment and share will have their names put in the cat dish to win a surprise package from Arizona.

This surprise package is to celebrate my latest release: Love's Dream Song which is available on Amazon and is set in Arizona's amazing color country. A second winner will receive an ebook or print copy of Love's Dream Song.

Before you go, Sandra wants to jump up on her soapbox for a minute. Christmas is coming and I want to remind you that autographed books make delightful gifts. We are writers. We need to support our industry. Go to your local author groups and get signed books to give as gifts. If you see an author's book in the store that you know, buy it for a friend. Support the authors in your community and buy their books as gifts. A book is a priceless gift. It not only is a lovely present to unwrap, but it opens up a whole new world for your family members and friends. Happy shopping.

Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She is based in Arizona, but she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome and enjoy the outdoors. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible. You can read more of Sandra's posts here.


  1. Good morning! So now you know how I got your book finished so quickly, Julie! And Sandra, since I'm in The Phoenix area, I always buy books by Seekerville authors and friends when I see them! At home in Grande Prairie, Alberta there is not that opportunity, so I take advantage of it here.
    I brought cheese rolls today. They may not be as sweet as my cinnamon rolls, but they taste great with coffee

  2. While I don't drive 17 miles, I do find that sometimes getting away from the house (i.e. to the nearby coffee shop) does stimulate my writing.

  3. On the normal days of the week, I try to write until until I have written at least 500 words, then I try to hurry through my housework and other responsibilities so I can have time to read and write later in the day.

    I loved your post and it was great to see a picture of Marianne.

  4. The resort sounds fantastic.

    I am not a writer, but as a reader I can read anywhere, anytime.

  5. Sandra, that does sound like Disneyland for Seniors! What fun! I think you're showing an amazing talent for blossoming where planted. Good for you. That's clutch in this business.

    As a working writer (still with outside job although I cut my hours in half in September), I work around the daycare schedule and that pretty much governs/structures me, but it works so I'm running with it!

    And because I love writing family situations into small town/rural/urban settings, I love immersing myself in the lives of young families. Being part of their circle breathes a different life into my work, our inspiration for one another goes full circle. I see what kids like and do and how they perform from first-hand experience.... and also how my young parents react to and with technology. That way I can put it into book form with that grain of reality.

    I am loving this chocolate velvet coffee, and Marianne's cheese rolls! Every year I do what Beth calls my "Pre-emptive strike" diet, to shed a few pounds before the holidays hit, and I haven't had more than a few cookie crumbs since the week before Halloween. That way I don't feel guilty when the Pumpkin Pie Fairy visits this week! :)

    Sandra, thank you for your insight. It's so very valuable!

    I'm adding a fresh white cake with dark chocolate frosting (Not From a Can!!!) :) Enjoy, and see youse later when people are awake!

  6. Good Morning Marianne, What yummy cheese rolls. Thank you for bringing them and thank you for sharing your insights with me today.

    At Seekerville, we love meeting our friends in real life. It is so special.

  7. Hi Walt, A coffee shop is a perfect place to get away to write. Mainly because you have coffee. smile I know several authors who do the same thing. One author writes for teens and he sits in the coffee shop after school and listens to their conversations and gets great ideas for the emotional levels of his stories. He claimed it also helped him with their dialogue.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  8. Good morning Wilani, Its really helpful to have a word count goal like that. And then if you go over, that is a bonus.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  9. Hi Mary These resorts aren't that expensive. Most of the Northerners who come here, buy a park model because they are so inexpensive and low maintenance and then they have their place to come to every winter.

    Like Marianne said, its great to be able to sit outside in the warm sun and read.

  10. Hi Ruthy, You have always been an inspiration to me. You find a way to write no matter what and you make it a top priority. That is so important.

    And yes, you really need to be around those young people to be able to write them in your stories and you do it so well. smile

    Thanks for the cake. It will also go well with the coffee. smile

    Have a wonderful holiday with your family.

  11. What a fun place to live, Sandra. Living in an environment with so many people from all over the country must spark numerous story ideas.
    Staying active is great for our creative side too. I've got to try pickle ball. I hear so many people talking about it.
    Since I'm at my day job at 6:00 am, I can get up any earlier to write. I write after work, but the majority of my writing happens on the weekend, when the house is quiet. I've never had much luck writing in a public setting. I'm easily distracted by people coming and going.
    Your stained glass is beautiful!

  12. Hi Jill,, Thank you for the compliment. I'm not very artistic so I'm thrilled to pieces that I could make that stained glass. It was really fun and the other people making theirs are fun to visit with also.

    I surely understand about writing in a public place. The good thing about the bus ride is that so early in the morning most passengers were happy I was busy writing because they wanted to snooze or read themselves. smile

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  13. Hi Sandra! I loved reading your post. I'm an Arizona gal, too and the constant energy and activities of the local snowbird population just astounds me! I keep begging my husband to let me take a sabbatical from teaching and concentrate on writing but he says no (too close to retirement)...maybe he's right? Isn't it funny how we have to keep busy, no matter what? When my kids all graduated, my husband thought my days of running back and forth to town and running around like a crazy person was over. HA! I ended up opening a tumbling business in town and am gone more than ever. I just received a lecture from my daughter because I'm never home and her dad is getting bored.

    I haven't discovered the perfect place to write yet, so I'm still searching for it. Right now I write in the mornings. I have an hour between the time my husband leaves for work and I have to start getting ready. I usually don't get home until after 8 most weeknights and I'm too tired to write then. The hubby finds something for us to do on the weekends, so right now I cherish my one hour. Amazing how much you can get done,when I'm not on FB and reading Seekerville posts, that is!

  14. Hello Sandra! My perfect reading spot is quiet and well lighted. Thanks for sharing this fun post. It's always nice to see where writer's create magic.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Please put me in for the drawing.

  15. Hi Sandra!

    Why do people worry about having something to do in retirement? You're so busy doing FUN stuff!

    I have people ask me all the time how I write and work full time. Truthfully, I've always worked full time and I don't know any other way! I write on my breaks and lunch hours. You'd be surprised how much you can get done in short blocks of time.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Hi LeAnne, Wow, you sound like I did. I so wanted to quit teaching and write full time when I was first published in the eighties. But that was not God's plan for me nor my hubby's plan. He said the same thing as your hubby. He said to finish teaching and retire and then write full time. Well I am so thankful now to have that secure retirement pension so I can write what I want to write. Before I was taking writing jobs I didn't really want to have the income. It is freeing. But also takes away some of the drive. LOL.

    But hey, whatever you're doing must be God's plan for you. So be like Paul and look for the blessings in whatever circumstance you are in.

    It wonderful that you've discovered the best time for you. That really helps me a lot. If I try to write in my bad writing times, it becomes a big waste of time. Better to focus on your body type and do what is best for you.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  17. Hi Caryl, You need quiet. Me too. Some writers prefer noise or music. Isn't it fun how we are all so different. That is what I love about hanging with writers. We are all so different. But we get the job done all in our own way and in our own time. Yay

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  18. Hi Rose, Isn't it interesting how people have such different interests? My Dad retired five times. He loved working and starting new projects and turning them into profitable businesses. He was amazing.

    Sounds like you've learned to make the most of the time you do have.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  19. I am (except when unemployed) a weekend warrior. I am also a creature of habit. I don't like to write anywhere but on my desktop in my office. The office has been elevated over the years. I started in the basement next to the furnace. Now I am upstairs and have a door.

    If I can't write on my PC, the other option which is almost as good is pen and paper.

    You can take a pen and paper anywhere as long as you bring along your Mack's ear plugs.

  20. WOW, Marianne! I like where you spend the winter. A girl could get spoiled there.

  21. Good morning, Sandra! Ah, a world where it only takes an hour to clean house. Now THAT is a winning sales pitch for living in an RV if there ever was one (although I know your hubby has to do the "dirty work" also associated with RV 'plumbing'). No wonder you're sticking with the RV year-round!

    I'D love to have one of those little pre-fab "cabins" with a porch like they have in Mund's Park--but in my back yard. Then I could just walk out to that clutter-free environment and get away from anything demanding in the way of housework & other chores staring me in the face in "the big house." :)

    Your stained glass piece is beautiful!!

  22. HI Tina, Habits are good. If you are in the habit of writing and have a designated place to write, it really helps because you can go there and get right to it. And I know you. I really admire how you can get right to your writing and you stick to it. Great going.

    And Tina, you should go check out El Mirage Resort. It really is fabulous. Much nicer than the one I'm at because its newer. All the same activities though.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  23. Hi Glynna, Those little houses are called park models. They are basically like a big trailer and in fact are on wheels. You register them with the department of motor vehicles. But they aren't very mobile. They are like a little house and there to stay. So fun, practical, efficient and easy peasy.

    Have you been shoveling snow? We heard you had some.

    Have a wonderful weekend and thanksgiving. I know you will spend it with your delightful family.

  24. Hi Sandra:

    By my seat of the pants reckoning you are saving more hours than there are in a day. That means you should be getting younger. I'm ready to move now!

    Great idea about autographed books as gifts of all kinds. It helps if you know the receipent reads those kind of books and helps even more if you can get the author to sign it with the receiplent's name mentioned. Those books are more likely to be read and have the very best chance of being keepers. (And keepers remind the reader of an author's work).

    I recommend 'killing two birds with one stone' -- a term no longer ecologically correct -- by supporting authors who are doing charity book signings where the proceeds go to a good cause and the books go to good friends as gifts. Debby has been doing this which I think is a credit to the romance industry.

    For me the best place to write is where I work. I have my own office (my wife calls it my senior day care center) where I work on my real estate school business and then, when I clear my work for the day, I write my fiction and non-fiction books. At the office I'm already in the working mood in a working environment when my mind, body, and soul all expect to be working. This is a very nice arrangement with me being my own boss. But as they say, "It's nice work if you can get it and you can get it if it is true that there are 'no limits'.

    As for ideas: I don't need to get ideas. I need some way to get them off my back and to select the best of all the stories demanding to be written. It's hard running an empire. : )

    BTW: Congrats on "Love's Dream Song" being out on Amazon. I just bought my own Kindle copy because I want my wonderful review to be from a verified purchaser. Nothing less would do!


  25. I love this glimpse into an Arizona writer's life. We just had our first snowfall and I'm a tad jealous, I think. LOL It looks like so much fun though I did take note that your activity selection doesn't include a book club. You might have to start one up. Amazing that you have your choice of bible studies -- now that's really cool. I'm in envy of everything except the high heat. LOL

    I'm a reader who can read anywhere -- even on the bus. Since I used to commute an hour each way, I loved the distraction reading gave me. Although sometimes I'd get so engrossed in the story I'd miss my stop! I write in spurts throughout the day because it's hard for me to sit at a computer for longer than fifteen-twenty minutes or so.

  26. Here's fresh coffee.

    I mostly write curled up in my recliner with my notebook and laptop. But when I get stuck, I go down to the ballpark to escape the distractions. I either sit in my car with my notebook or at a picnic table in the pavilion.

  27. Sandra, you are very active and yet get so much writing done! RV living might whip me into shape. My idea of exercise is to take a walk, but I need to find a full body exercise regime.

    Your stain glass window hanging is so pretty! Your family will love these gifts!

    Like Tina and Vince, I work best on the desktop in my office. I sometimes write on my AlphaSmart in the car. I can't create in noisy environments but I can edit there. For years my cp and I would meet at a coffee shop and got lots done, once we quit talking. :-)

    I'm going out to get my copy of Love's Dream Song.


  28. Sandra, thanks for the encouragement to give books for Christmas. Books are great gifts for those inexpensive gift exchanges. Love Inspired books even fit in a stocking. :-) Books make lovely hostess gifts.


  29. This Thanksgiving I'll be giving our daughters and grandkids copies of my January release The Bounty Hunter's Redemption. I've done this with every book. Depending on the release date, I try to give them out on holidays in a group setting. Not saying the kids actually read them, but their delight to be given a book I've written blesses me more than I can say. And signing those books gives me the opportunity to write a personal message encouraging them to pursue their dreams.


  30. Good morning!

    Sandra, my best writing place is nowhere, and everywhere. It has nothing to do w/place or time. I can have all day to myself at my house or a cabin in the mountains (I actually did this once) and it doesn't make a difference. I just have to get serious and make myself sit down and write. If I'm in the mode, I can write in a vehicle or in bed or at the kitchen table as long as I everyone is quiet or gone.

    But I dream of writing in a little writing hut or cabin. I prefer my surroundings to be clean, but let's be honest, it rarely is. If I waited for my house to be clean, I'd only write ten minutes before company arrived.

  31. Wow, Sandra--RVing only 17 miles from home? I'm shaking my head, too, but after reading about your rationale . . . it makes a crazy kind of sense! I admit, I've fantasized (briefly) about chucking suburbia and living in an RV. But I guess I'm too attached to my stuff. Not to mention hallways and doors to insulate me from my talkative "Project Guy" when I need quiet to concentrate.

    Love the stained glass, and congrats on your pickleball success!

  32. Good morning Vince, I wish I was getting younger, but all the latest research shows that people who stay socially active do stay young and age better than most. It has nothing to do with diet and exercise, but attitude and social interaction. I think that is wonderful to know. So where I am at is perfect for that.

    Great idea to have an office where you work because then when you go there, you are programmed to WORK. I love it. The RV has limited space, but when I sit in a certain place, I know its work time. Hubby knows also which helps.

    I love that your wife calls your work place your senior day care center. I call being with hubby my latest elder care. He is so spoiled. chuckle. I suspect you are also.

    How sweet that you bought Love's Dream Song Did you see my response to your comment yesterday? I was late getting back to the blog, but I was so tickled by what you wrote.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  33. Hi Kav Two thirds of the population here in this park are Canadians. In fact, they fly the Canadian flag as well as the American flag to honor our Canadian visitors. Yay. So come on down. You'll be right at home with all your fellow countrymen. smile

    This park has a lovely library. Most of the parks do. And the park we were in last winter had a writing club and group as well as a book club. You are so right. We need to get one started. Thanks for the idea.

    I wonder if Marianne's park has one?

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  34. Hi Helen, Now the ballpark sounds like a winner. Sometimes it helps to relocate especially if you're stuck.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  35. Hi Janet, I'm laughing at the coffee shop routine and the quitting talking to get to work. Been there. Done that. LOL. But hey, that's half the fun of getting together with a cp.

    I love how you encourage your children in your messages in your books. Finishing a book and fulfilling your dream sets a great example to your children, friends and everyone actually. Like me. A fellow writer. smile

    And YAY for giving books as gifts. They are so special.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  36. Hi Connie Queen, I'm so laughing at your ten minute writing before company arrives. That's why I invite people over at least once a week so we get the place cleaned. LOL. But I read a study once that showed creative people have messy desks. I saved that article and framed it. Had it in my office for a while. I think hubby hid it. LOL

    And good for you to be able to write anywhere. What a blessing.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  37. HI Myra, It is a crazy kind of sense, isn't it? And you are right. No escaping hubby which is why it is a blessing that he loves to nap. The Spanish blood in him, chuckle. Siesta time. Yay. However, there are lots of hideaways in these parks. Empty rooms in between events. I've snuck off to them once in awhile.

    And thanks. The stained glass amazed me also.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  38. hi Sandra
    great stained glass art. makes me want to take a workshop. I love making Christmas gifts and am hopefully instilling this fun into my six year old. I try to have him at least draw Christmas cards for all the Grandparents and make a Christmas ornament from a egg with the innards blown out. (he's fascinated with the blowing out process, which keeps him interested in doing the art project).

    When I worked on my KV entry, I seemed to do best writing at the local coffee shop. Did okay at the library, but that was a tad bit too quiet a few times. I can't really escape to the coffee shop because of the Gupster (did during KV because, well... it was a contest and I felt I could justify "abandoning" my hubby and child for a few hours). If I'm writing at home, it needs to be before my two boys wake up and I'm usually in my recliner using my laptop. Except my laptop is currently not functioning and neither is my hubby's (my back-up). *sigh*

    Your post has me taking notes and hoping to be able to do something similar to you and your husband when I finally retire. Chances are we'll be somewhere in Florida though, so hubby and I can continue scuba diving as much as we desire.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  39. Sandra, I'm so glad you found a perfect writing place for you!! I would never have thought of going to a nearby RV park, but what a great idea. You're in a climate you like without all the responsibilities of your home. :) I'm not TOO far from 55, but with pre-teen boys at home, that world seems far away. :)

    I actually enloy writing at my kitchen table, though I confess there are times when my mind gets distracted by the piles and the stuff around me. Last month, my hubby let me to go Glen Eyrie for a few days to write. I LOVED IT. IT was a beautiful setting, and the room I was in was spacious with lots of windows. I loved watching wild turkeys, deer and other critters outside my windows. Being there spurred creativity and productivity for me. :)

  40. Hi Deb I LOVE that you are teaching the Gupster to make Christmas cards and gifts. That has been the tradition in our family for years. My mother had her grandson's first cards they made up till the day she passed. smile. So special.

    And Florida is the capital of retirement resorts. Yippee. Well worth saving for. And hey, its cheaper to travel south than stay home and pay the heating bill. The exact reason we leave in the summer. Cheaper than paying for the air conditioning. smile
    but thank the Lord we have those elements when we have to stay home. Thank you Lord.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  41. Oh Jeanne, How lovely Glen Eyrie sounds. And idyllic. Oh I'm not going to be jealous. smile I love the kitchen table also. Most of my writing done here.

    And those boys will grow up faster than you can believe, so enjoy them now and look forward to the fifty-plus. It comes faster than you think also. chuckle

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  42. Sandra, I knew you'd understand!!!!! I feel more capable by immersing myself.

    And I had to teach myself (well, FORCE MYSELF) to write under less optimum conditions. When I'm traveling I scout out the hotel lobby and when I get up in the wee smalls, I tiptoe down there, set up and write in the lobby.

    In my pajama pants and sweatshirt so I don't wake Dave. Sometimes they take pity on me and bring me coffee.... :) But even without that first shot of caffeine, I can get a two hour work session in before real, normal people start invading the work space. And then I go back upstairs at a more reasonable hour so Dave gets his sleep.

    I've copied Julie, too, and I take the laptop outside. I've learned to set up shop as needed, and that cuts down on my excuses.

    Honestly, that wasn't easy to do, I am a creature of habit, but I kept thinking "What would you tell the kids? You'd say MAKE IT WORK. If you want it badly enough, you'll find a way to do it," So I had to take my own advice.

    That is not always palatable! :)

  43. When my husband and I retired, we were going to move to the Villages in Florida because we both like to golf. But the kids needed us. It's good to be needed, so we're still here. I write in my recliner and hop up and down to do stuff in between, the stuff that has to be done like the laundry and cooking. I read in bed. If the book isn't interesting, I just go to sleep, a win-win situation for me. Of course I've never fallen asleep reading a Seekers' book. I've found that if you have a story in you, it doesn't matter where you write. Just recording it before it slips away is the challenge.

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

  44. Like I said Ruthy, I have great admiration for you. And look what an example you've set for your children and grandchildren? And they have taken your example to heart because they are all following their dreams. Way to go girlfriend.

    And yes, I know you love to slip into the lobby early. I've witnessed it myself when at conferences. smile

    Although in our case it wasn't to let me sleep, because I wake up early too. It was to have peace and QUIET. chuckle.

    What are you baking today? I bet it is something yummy.

  45. Hi Elaine, So funny when you described a win-win situation. How true. And also true that if you are gifted with the story-telling gift, you are definitely going to find a way to use it. My mom had it. She never wrote as didn't have the opportunity I guess, but she would play with us kids while growing up and make up all kinds of stories. We would crawl under the dining table covered with a large sheet and that cave would become all kinds of imaginable places in stories she would make up. No wonder I became a writer. smile

  46. Just found out that Tower Point Resort just put up an angel tree and the gifts are for the students at the nearby school. Yippee!!!

    I'll add them to the angel tree ornaments for church.

  47. What a great glimpse into your life, Sandra. You make retirement sound so fantastic.

    Why do I think when/if retirement happens here, it'll be a lot less interesting????

  48. Great post! I love reading on my back swing. Fun to sit and feel like I am away from it all. :-) Enjoy your RV.

  49. Thanks, Sandra! I wish my grandchildren read more. I think the older kids' assigned reading is destroying their love of books. :-( I remind myself I didn't read much for my own pleasure in high school and college so there's hope.


  50. Hi Mary, Well hubby says his job is that he is in charge of fun and you can see that he is very good at it. If it was just me, I'm afraid it wouldn't be near as interesting. Mainly because I'm basically a chicken. The family all call me "La Clucka" (cluck cluck cluck-get it? A chicken)

  51. Ah Becky A back swing sounds delightful. I love to swing. I bet that fires up your imagination. smile

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  52. Hi Janet, I think most high school and college courses have so much assigned reading that the kids need a break. I hardly read for pleasure while in college. But once I graduated, I was back to reading a book a day. Yay.

  53. I love your passion for RVing, Sandra, but unfortunately, it makes me claustrophobic. I grew up in a trailer with my parents and three siblings. The largest we ever lived in was 8'x40'. That's only 320 square feet before you cram in furniture, a teensy kitchen, and a bathroom. Chaos to the max!

    That's why I love my office at home. It's roomy, quiet, and full of light. The perfect sanctuary for me. I work my schedule around Silver Sneakers exercise, lunching with the girls, and church. Ah, sweet peace.

    Please throw my name into the dish for one of your books. :)

  54. Hi Sandra:

    "Where you place your body in space is of far less importance for achieving writing success than where you place the font where the creativity comes out within the landscape of your mind."

    Now doesn't that sound kind of famous?

    I like your idea about physical and social activity keeping one young. Wouldn't it be great if it could be said of one that, "He died young at 100 years of age"?

    Yes, I read your comment late yesterday about my reading your book so slowly. Well it is not a tease. If you are really into the southwest genre, romances, adventures, suspense and mysteries, then "Love's Dream Song" is like direct mainlining. An O.D. is a very real risk. I have to cut it by also reading a few other worthy romances as I go along. : )

    BTW: Each night my wife rations the pages of the book she is reading so it will not only last longer but also so it will last until the next great book on her hold list arrives at the library. Evidently Linda has not quite assimilated the idea of buying books yet. I keep telling her she can afford to just buy the new J. A. Jance book but she just doesn't hear me. She has this 'not hearing' mastered better than most husbands do. 


  55. No snow in the mountains since LAST Monday/Tuesday, Sandra. High winds and possibly flurries tomorrow but, thankfully, no accumulation expected. I did hear, though, that the Snow Bowl ski resort north of Flagstaff opened last Friday!

    I find I do my best writing sitting at my desk at home with the window next to it open for sunshine and fresh air (not open in the WINTER, though). I don't much like typing on a laptop, but sometimes when I travel I do carry along my AlphaSmart--or a portable plug-in keyboard.

    I love the idea of a cozy little writing space like in an RV, though--and being able to look out an the varying vistas depending on where you camp for the night!

  56. Hi Barbara, Isn't it wonderful that we are all so different? Your quiet room sounds lovely. And I love Silver Sneakers. Its a great program. My insurance pays for any gym that has Silver Sneakers. woohooo.

    Your name is in the dish.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  57. Sandra, you (easily) convinced me: I'm moving.....you can expect us in Arizona next week. (Stained glass classes, dancing every night.....and more time to write and read!)

    The truth in finding time to be a writer really is expressed in your comment:
    "In reality, we all have to make it work where we are at, don’t we?"

    And that is the reality I need to live. Thank you for your post!

  58. Sandra,
    I enjoyed learning more about your life in the RV world. Hubby and I have thought of renting a trailer and giving it a try. Although we haven't done so yet. Still, it sounds like fun. Plus, your weather looks gorgeous!

    I need that article about creative people and messy offices/desks. My laptop is surrounded by papers and notebooks, but it's my world and I love it. I have a wall of windows that overlooks a lake so lots of birds and squirrels to watch when I'm stumped for the next phrase or plot point.

    If I'm doing my first/fast draft, I'll sit in the family room off the kitchen, again surrounded by windows. Love watching nature and having my "area" filled with light.

    At times, when I'm not writing fast enough, I'll head to Starbucks. For some reason when I'm in a crowded room of people, I can create/type at a good pace.

    Have a joyous Thanksgiving. Is there a community-wide feast or do you cook a turkey in your RV oven?

    Happy RVing!

  59. Sandra, no baking today.... But we have a beautiful white cake with dark chocolate frosting from yesterday's baking spree!

    I think having husbands underfoot can be problematic. I have learned to go upstairs, and shut the door and work if need be. Me and my Diet Snapple.

    Although I am CONSIDERING pickleball, Sandra!!!!

  60. Mary, I think you're right.

    Sandra actually does it PERFECTLY.

    I'm a little envious because she's a hoot.

    But I can't leave upstate, too much family here. There will be soccer games to watch and school concerts and Breakfast with Grandparents....

    But I must admit I have SANDRA ENVY!!!!!!!! Which means I'll have to make a trip to Arizona sometime and annoy her and Tina and Glynna!

  61. HI Vince, I love those quotes. And yes, "He died young at 100 years of age." If we live that long then we are only middle aged now. chuckle.

    And I am in awe of you and Linda. That is like trying to eat one potato chip. Or an alcoholic having just one drink. You two are amazing. But it sounds wonderful if you have the will power to do it. My poor hubby suffers when I get my nose in a good book. No dinner. No playtime. etc. But my heart aches when the book is over. Way to go.

    And how honored I am that you feel that way about Love's Dream Song.

    Happy thanksgiving to you and Linda.

  62. I love to have an excuse to write at Panera in Lexington. I can put in my earphones and block out any noise. Not a chore in sight, and I don't feel guilty.

    At home I've turned a bedroom into my office which is so much better than the basement. Chores still call out to me, but I try to put them off as long as possible.

    Thanks for sharing, Sandra!

  63. Hi Glynna, I'm glad you aren't getting too much snow on work days anyway. And you have a great view from our house so I know that it must be inspiring to sit by your window and work. I can so picture you there. smile

    I heard the Snow Bowl was open. I know many are happy about that.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  64. Hi Sherida, Yes, we all have our own reality and we all have such different ways that work. I love the variety. That's what makes writers so fun and interesting.

    And let me know when you arrive. It is really a nice way to live. Thousands flock here and to Florida to do it, so it must appeal. smile

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  65. Hi Debby Let me know if you're going to try it. I can give you all kinds of great tips and hubby knows all the fun places. We have a couple author friends here in Arizona who have actually come out for the day and "camped" with us. They fell in love with the lifestyle.

    But your house is gorgeous and it is like being in a HUGE RV with style because with all your windows it is like being outdoors. You have a wonderful place to write and that's what counts. We all have different needs and tastes.

    And your office is lovely. All that stuff. Its wonderful for creativity.

    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

  66. YAY Ruthy, You will love pickleball. But we always warn everyone we teach. "It is very addictive." chuckle. And fun.

    The thing is, with a wiffle ball, it is easy to learn and play. And the paddle is so big you can't hardly miss.

    And do come to Arizona. Please, please, please. We would love to share our beautiful state with youse.

  67. Hi Jackie, Great idea to take earphones. You could put white noise on as well as block out the outside noise. Thanks for sharing that.

    How wonderful to have a separate office. You are blessed my friend.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  68. SANDRA!!! Oh, you little brat -- your life sounds like HEAVEN to me!!! No wonder you're always so calm and peaceful when I see you at conferences!!!

    Of course, I guess I'm a little brat, too, because I sit outside on my veranda with my feet up by a lake, 3/4 of the year. I'm out there in 100-degree weather or 39-degree weather, rain or shine -- it doesn't matter to me. Just the other night (yes, it was nighttime and dark except for my computer), Keith kept trying to get me to come in when it was 39 degrees out. But I had layers on and a big comfy blanket, and my fingers were flying so fast, it kept me warm. :) I'm gonna absolutely HATE IT when the temps dip below 32 ... :(


  69. LOL, MARIANNE ... so THAT'S how you did it, you sweet thing!! I wondered how you finished it so quickly ... ;) Although I will admit I was totally shocked when one author/reader with five kids read it after her kiddos went to bed and had a glowing review posted for it by the next evening. I mean, really??? Talk about Evelyn Wood speedreading!! I almost wondered if she really read it, you know? I mean, who can read 520 pages in 24 hours with FIVE KIDS???? But she mentioned enough plot points for me to know she actually did read it, so that shocked me to NO END!! Heck, it took me 2 days to read the galleys, so go figure.

    RUTHY SAID: "I've copied Julie, too, and I take the laptop outside. I've learned to set up shop as needed, and that cuts down on my excuses.

    YAY, RUTHY!! Outside laptops are the way to go, in my opinion. I've taken mine everywhere from the car and boat, to the doctor's office or down on the dock. I would be absolutely LOST without it, as I'm sure you would be too! :)

    Hugs and more hugs!

  70. I like to write when I am alone and it is quiet, but if I'm home there are too many other things to do. Sometimes when I am at my substitute teaching job I will have some free time when I can work on writing, but that isn't always the case. I need to figure out my best time and place.

  71. Wow, Sandra! Tell me again how you have time to write? :-) I'm amazed. The stained glass is lovely. They'll be treasured gifts, I'm sure.

    When I was involved in journalism I had to write with noise all around me. I think maybe that's why I prefer the quiet of my home desk now. All my research, my writing craft books, my notebook full of editing tips, my binders with story info in them ... all of that is right here a few steps away. The fact that the windows by my desk open to nice views and allow lots of sunlight in helps, too.

    And on the subject of nice views, that sunset picture is beautiful! Maybe you could write a book with that on the cover?

    Nancy C

  72. Fun post, sweet Sandra! Your RV resort looks SO nice - - wow!!
    I am blessed to have my computer desk right beside a window. I look out onto my front yard (from the upstairs) and see my big Elm tree, complete with birds and squirrels sometimes. :) In the evening I get a good view of the western sky, and have seen some gorgeous sunsets.
    My other favorite place to write is when I visit my sister's beach house at our Georgia coast. I always feel inspired there! ;)

    I really enjoyed LOVE'S DREAM SONG and have posted a review on Amazon. :)
    Am also loving the precious tote I won from you (made by your talented friend)!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Hugs, Patti Jo

  73. Oh, Sandra! Take me away! I love your post. I grew up traveling in my grandparent's RV. Every day was different and fun. SO cool that you're doing this now.

    I like writing in my office, which is really a converted living room. The room is bright, thanks to the palladium windows. However, there is a time of year when the sun beats in on me through those pretty windows so I end up retreating to the sun room at the back of the house which overlooks a small retention pond. Although, frankly, I'm not as productive in the sun room because I get caught up in the water fowl and wildlife living along the lake. It's easy to get distracted!

    The room where I was most productive was a very large dining room in a house we rented in New Jersey. There was something about that spacious room that kept me motivated. I felt like my world was opening up. Hope flooded me. I wrote five books books in less than three years, including two non-fictions that were published. Been trying to get back to that pace ever since I left!

  74. Oh Julie, Your veranda by the lake sounds like heaven. Aren't we all blessed to have that special place to write? And isn't it fun to hear about all the different places.

    That woman had to speed read. And she probably stayed up all night. I've done that with a good book. Yep. But mind you, that was years ago when I was much younger and could get away with it. LOL

    But 39 degrees. You be careful now. Don't want you freezing out there.

    Have a wonderful thanksgiving. I can picture you with that fabulous view.

  75. Hi Sandy, Let us know when you get it figured out. And you know, sometimes it isn't one place. Its wherever you can get it. The few moments here and there do add up. And one day you find yourself writing THE END. Yippee.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  76. Hi Nancy, Hubby really does love to have a view. And the sunsets here in Arizona are always spectacular. What do you see out your windows? How wonderful to have lots of light and windows around your desk. I would like that very much. You are blessed.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  77. Awww Patti Jo, Thank you for the wonderful review. It is so humbling when someone says such nice things about a book I've written. It is always so scary when it goes out because in your head you are saying things like, "Is this really any good? Really?"
    So thank you again, my sweet Georgia peach of a friend.

    And your view from your writing place sounds wonderful and so southern. smile. I can just picture a squirrel bouncing along a big giant limb. What inspiration.

    Have a blessed holiday. Hugs to you too.

  78. Hi Lyndee, Sounds like your perfect place is better without the windows. The scenery can be distracting. Isn't it funny how it inspires one person and distracts another. God really does love variety. smile

    And five books. Wow. You have already embraced the #no limits. If you can do it once.....

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  79. Sandra, I loved this quote: "All of a sudden I had nothing to write about. I wasted an incredible amount of time. With no structure and responsibilities, time can just dwindle away. You know the old adage: "If you want something to get done, ask a busy person."

    Busy can be an ugly four letter word but I love that you made a good one here. :)

    I need absolute quiet to hear all the voices in my head (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!!) to write. So my desk is set in my bedroom and it's where I spend hours typing away, in between all of the other daily responsibilities.

    Your book looks wonderful!

  80. Hi Sharee, Thank you and I appreciate your complement. smile I'm like you. I need quiet to write. But many people like the noise or music or something.

    I always think a bedroom is a strange room because it isn't used during the day. But you've found a way to use that nice quiet space. Great going.

    Happy writing and happy thanksgiving.

  81. Sandra, I'm sorry I'm late. Two of our three kids are home already, plus I've been baking! :)

    Fun post! I love seeing photos of the RV park.

    My favorite place to write is the beach. It's like the perfect white noise. But since I don't live near one, I tend to enjoy writing in the corner of our sectional sofa with our dog by my side or at my feet. :)

  82. Awww Missy, Sitting on the couch with the pup? Love it. I'm afraid I wouldn't get a thing done with the pup there. chuckle.

    And yes, the beach is lovely. I can picture you there. smile

    Have fun with your family. I know you are happy to have them there. Happy thanksgiving.

  83. My niece just called and is baking orange bread which is a recipe handed down from my grandma. It is to die for. Anyway, I haven't been making it lately and this darling girl called and said she had made a loaf for me. I'm so touched. And excited.

    Missy is baking and several others said they were baking. Hmmmmmm must be a holiday coming up. How many more are baking? I can smell cookie dough now.

  84. Well its nine o'clock here in Arizona. I'm off to bed. I will check in the morning for any of you who may have commented after I leave. Remember to check out the weekend edition for winners.

    I am so thankful for all of you that visit us here in Seekerville. I am thankful for my Seeker sisters. You all have been such a blessing in my life.

    Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Day.

  85. Hi Sandra, Your comment about the busier you are makes you get more done hit home with me. I also found I wrote more at different places if I got out of my home office. The most unique place for me, would you believe, when I take a cruise I spend two hours a day writing? My husband takes naps and even if we get off at a port, in the late afternoon I carve out time. I wrote a confession story on a ship once and sold it to True Romance when I got home years ago. Now I bring my IPad along with a Microsoft Word program and keyboard and work on my novel in progress. Living in Florida helps, we get good deals on cruises and go twice a year.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving all.

  86. My office is in the front of the house in what should be a formal living room. We live on the main road of the subdivision and there is traffic all day. In addition there are no doors for this room. There is an entry way from the main hall and another opening from my office - through the bar area - and into the family room. In other words, there are distractions all the time. I've learned couple of things to do:
    1. Hang a "Do not disturb" sign at both openings.
    2. I have one chair in my office (besides my desk chair) and I keep "stuff" in it all the time. This discourages a certain husband from coming in, sitting down, and chatting for an hour or longer.
    3, Disciplined myself to not allow anything going on around me to distract me - in 30 minute - 1 hour increments!

    Please put my name in for the drawing!


  87. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, we Canadians had our Thanksgiving in October. But to add to the pretty places to write. My favorite is snug on my sofa looking out in the street below. Lots of light, and my tea mug is handy at my elbow. Lovely post. I've often dreamed of RV'ing fulltime too.

  88. Congratulations on the release of your new book, it sounds so exciting. You make retirement sound so fun. With me being a stay at home Mom, there really is no retirement for me. My favorite place to read is snuggled up on my couch with my cat on my lap drinking a mug of warm tea. I used to live in Yuma, AZ and would really love to win this Arizona prize. It would be so special.Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Have a beautifully blessed day.

    Deanne P.

  89. Outstanding post, Sandra.

    How creative! Can totally see this!!!

    Definitely best of both worlds right there.
    And Seekervillager sightings and fellowship even more fun!

    Thank you and congratulations on your books. You're inspiring to say the least!

    Now that DH is working more from home, I'm still adjusting. Rather unsuccessfully at this point, but hopefully gaining on it.

    Must second your sentiment on Operation Christmas Child.
    We participate also in that program as well as http://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/gift-catalog/

    It's super when the Body of Christ comes together in such a way.
    What a blessing you and the other Seekers continue to be in my life.

    Happy Thanksgiving and *gasp* MERRY CHRISTMAS, one and all!