Peering Through My Window by Karen White

I hope everyone enjoyed my review of Karen White’s On Folly Beach yesterday.  I’ve really enjoyed all of her books, which you can find reviews of the Tradd Street Series, here and here.

Today, I have a real treat for you.  Karen is going to take us on a journey through her writing space.  Please give her a warm welcome.

In the days when I was a young and blissfully naïve reader, I imagined my favorite authors (Victoria Holt, Katherine Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Susan Howatch) creating the books I loved to read.  I had a fuzzy picture of them relaxing on chaise lounges, wearing feather boas and either dictating each word to a handsome stenographer or slowly pecking away on a manual typewriter in a glamorous office as seen in the movies.

And then I became a writer (imagine old-fashioned needle screeching across vinyl record).

For the record, I don’t own a boa, feathered or otherwise.  Nor do I have a handsome stenographer (or a pool boy).  I’m a working writer, emphasis on the working part.  I haven’t calculated how many hours each day I work—but I get up at 6:15 each morning and go to sleep around midnight and I’m usually filling quite a lot of those hours in between either writing or editing, or attending to the non-writing parts of my career:  fan mail, Facebook, website, pre-publication planning, mailings, back and forth contact with editor, agent, publicist, book club visits etc.  I also work seven days a week because besides all of the above, I’m also a wife and mother and SOMEBODY has to do the laundry and feed the dog!

When I was asked to send a picture of my workspace, I was so tempted to send a picture of my laundry room.  I’ve joked (semi-seriously) about setting up a desk in there to spare me the trouble of walking down the hall fifteen times a day.  But I digress.

I actually have several work spaces.  I have an office on the main floor of my house where I have all my files and books and my desktop computer.  This is where I do the non-creative parts of my job.  There’s a door in this room that leads to the driveway—very convenient since my dog, Quincy, likes to go in and out about one thousand times a day and having the door so convenient to my desk makes the trek back and forth to the door easier for me.  I’m currently working with a professional organizer to organize all of my research books on the large bookshelves on the long wall of the office (which is why everything looks a mess—I’ve just yanked off and donated about 100 books).

Supposedly, this office is supposed to be off limits to other members of the household (except for Quincy).  My husband has his own office, and the kids have a bonus room upstairs with their own computer.  But everybody still uses mine.  Sigh.

For my creative writing, I use the large chair and ottoman up in my sitting room.  I have a fireplace for when it’s cold (I turn it on with a switch <g>), I have a mini-fridge for my Diet Dr. Pepper (I’m addicted), and a little bar area for my coffee maker.  My bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace are for my keeper books and books I’ve not yet read, and the small black bookshelf next to my chair is for the reference books for my current work-in-progress.  Right now they’re filled with books about Charleston, its gardens, houses, and ghosts since I’m working on book three in my Tradd Street mystery series.

Please note the wideness of the chair.  I had a smaller chair but my writing companion (aka Velcro Dog) couldn’t fit in it with me.  Since he insists on pressing against my side while I write, I had to accommodate him by buying a larger chair.  Sigh.  I guess being always in my sight is the reason why I’ve written him into the Tradd Street series as the protagonist’s dog, General Lee.

When the weather is nice (and the pollen is gone—we had a pollen count of 6,000 last week here in Atlanta so not quite yet), I love to sit out on my screened-in porch.  It’s almost as long as the width of the house and looks out over our back yard (we’re three stories up since we live on a hill and on about an acre) and the horse pasture behind us.  I’ve got a bird feeder, stereo speakers, ceiling fans, and quick access to the kitchen—pretty much the perfect setup for a writer and her laptop.  And her dog.  When the temperature gets too high (which it does since I live in Georgia) I move back indoors to my writing chair in my sitting room.  With my dog who doesn’t like the heat either.

It’s not glamorous or exotic.  Especially since when I’m at home writing I dress like a candidate for What Not to Wear.  Notice how I didn’t share any pictures of me actually writing. But it gets the job done.  I suppose it’s because when I’m writing I’m transported to a completely different place altogether where it doesn’t really matter what’s around me.

Maybe I should get that desk in my laundry room after all.

Thanks, Karen, for showing us your writing space.

I had a feeling that General Lee was your dog when I saw the photo of Quincy!  I hate to disagree, but those writing spaces look gorgeous and exotic to me, though I live in a tiny apartment!

If you’ve missed the giveaway for 2 copies of On Folly Beach for readers in the US/Canada, go here.


  1. Velcro dog is very cute! I have one that curls up with me in my chair (I need a bigger one) or lies underneath the chair.

    It’s good to have more than one place to write.
    .-= Amber Stults´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday – May 17th =-.

  2. Oh I love getting a sneak peek at where all the creativity takes place! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I love that porch!
    .-= iliana´s last blog ..The Stack =-.

  3. What a wonderful collection of writing spaces! I would love to have the screened in porch. 🙂
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..Jumblicious 5/14/10 =-.

  4. Great office space thank you for sharing.

  5. See, it is posts like these that feed my fantasy of life after my kids go to college (and therefore sans 3 tons of laundry) I will get my little white dog and write a book. What I will write about? No idea. Muse yet to be defined. I think Karen is so much fun. She has the humor necessary to make her so down to earth, you feel like you already know her.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2010) =-.

  6. I love your writing spaces! I would love sitting out on that porch too, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t get much done. We have woods by our house and when I sit out on the deck in the summer I just get entranced by the sights and sounds of everything around me. Quincy reminds me of my Eli that passed away last fall…what a cutie!
    .-= Jo-Jo´s last blog ..Current Giveaways!!! =-.

  7. I’d love to trade houses with Karen! And I’m so glad to see the real General Lee. He’s adorable!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Review: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann =-.

  8. Karen’s space looks wonderful to me, and Quincy is just a doll. No need to enter me in the giveaway.

  9. It may seem a little mundane to Karen, but I am fascinated by things like this! Thanks for posting.