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Where I Write by Beth Hoffman

Beth Hoffman‘s debut novel Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a New York Times bestseller that is set in late 1960s Ohio and Georgia.  The young protagonist Cecelia (CeeCee) Honeycutt has a hard life with a mother who has lost touch with reality and a father who is hardly at home.

Stay tuned for my review of this novel on Friday, May 21.

Today, we’re going to get a peek into Beth Hoffman‘s writing space.  Please give her a warm welcome.

When I made the decision to leave my career in interior design and pursue my dream of writing a novel, I had the idealistic thought that I’d take my laptop to the local park and sit at a picnic table overlooking the Ohio River. I imagined my fingers would blaze over the keyboard for hours, and now and then I’d stop to watch a coal barge lumber its way toward West Virginia. Oh, the serenity of that image was burned into my mind and I couldn’t wait to make it a reality. But, I soon discovered that I was the kind of writer who needed to be at a desk working on a big screen.

I live in a restored Queen Anne (circa 1902), and on the second floor I created what I call the writing library. The room isn’t very large, but it’s cozy, filled with bookshelves and artwork that I love, and, it’s the perfect size for my needs. Three large windows are set in an ashlar-cut stone bay that overlooks the front gardens. Morning light floods into the room, and it has a fireplace that I keep burning throughout the winter.

This is the room where I imagine, create, and dream. I’m happiest when I’m sitting at my desk in a totally quiet house, writing, researching, and developing characters and scenes with my cats sleeping at my feet.

Though I don’t strive for a specific word count for each day, I’m quite disciplined and will spend a minimum of six hours working on my writing. When the muse is with me, I’ll often write well into the late night hours, or, until my hands grow numb! And, on those days when the muse is maddeningly silent, I’ll spend time researching and editing.

Do I have a special totem? Yes, I do. My great aunt Mildred had a powerful impact upon when I was a child. She was a true Southern lady who possessed great charm and wit. She lived in a big old Greek revival home that I fell in love with, and, it was she who lit the fire I carry to this day. My great aunt introduced me to historical homes, antiques, and the power of the written word. In fact, the character of Tootie Caldwell in my novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, is based upon my great aunt Mildred. One summer’s day I plucked a stone from her walkway and brought it home with me, and it has since become my totem. I keep it on the fireplace mantle and will oftentimes pick it up and hold it for a moment.

The other thing that I look at to help me stay grounded is an antique carousel horse and teddy bear. From my desk I can peek around my computer screen and look into the den. By the fireplace sits these two happy creatures, and they remind me to smile easily and often, nurture a childlike spirit, and not take anything too seriously—the good or the bad.

Thanks, Beth, for sharing your writing space with us. Wouldn’t you just love to get a sneak peek into those shelves?

Global Giveaway Details — three copies for US/Canada readers and one copy of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman for international readers:

1.  Leave a comment about what book you think is on those shelves.

2.  Blog, Tweet, Facebook, or spread the word about the giveaway and leave a link here.

3.  Become a Facebook Fan of Savvy Verse & Wit and leave a comment.

Deadline June 2, 2010, at 11:59 PM EST

Also, stay tuned Friday for another chance to enter the giveaway.

  • I’m going to guess that ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ is on one of those shelves, because it is a wonderful novel with an extraordinary 11 y.o. protagonist.

    I love the idea of a carousel horse as decor!

    mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

  • Sarah E

    My comment on the guest post:

    I especially enjoyed reading about the author’s Great Aunt Mildred, on whom one of the book’s characters is based, and how the author’s ancestor still influences her to this day.