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Guest Post & Giveaway: Writing Space Evolutions by Deborah Michel

Prosper in Love by Deborah Michel is a book that takes misunderstandings and unexpected circumstances to a new level, but it certainly sounds like the book will provide humorous moments and joy.  Check out this synopsis from Amazon:

A good marriage lasts forever . . . until it doesn’t.

From the start, Lynn and Jamie Prosper were one of those couples who seem meant to be—so content with each other that they barely notice the rest of the world nodding approvingly at their wedded bliss. But sometimes, even in the very best of marriages, all it takes is a mischievous outsider to bring the perfect couple toppling off the top of the wedding cake. . .

True, Jamie has been working so hard and traveling so much as a young lawyer that he hardly has enough energy to show his devotion. Not that Lynn, a junior museum curator, has any reason to question it. But when Lynn’s old college friend turns up at a cocktail party, chinks in their marriage’s previously unassailable armor start to show.

Suddenly, without meaning to, Lynn and Jamie have both acquired divorce lawyers. And those benevolent onlookers—meddling in-laws and competitive friends alike—eagerly bear witness to each new misstep. Is love really enough to make a marriage last?

Doesn’t this sound like a fun book about the intricacies and follies of marriage? Today, Deborah Michel is going to share her writing space with us — with photos — and of course, there’s a chance for a U.S. resident to win a copy of her book.

Without further ado, please give Deborah a warm welcome.

First Abandoned Writing Space

I have three separate desks in my house, each of which I have, over the years it took me to write my first novel, Prosper in Love, intended—with the best intentions—to make my writing space. The first desk came with the house—a cozy built-in in the family room. It has heavy paneled file cabinets, matching cupboards perfect for writing and computer supplies, and pre-drilled holes to hide phone and computer cords. It even has what could be a charming reading nook if only I’d get around to having cushions made. When we first moved in I paid bills there. I don’t even do that there anymore. Never once did I sit down to write anything more than an email.

Glass Table Desk in Bedroom

Instead, I found my dream desk, a pretty, airy, glass-and-wood modernist table for my bedroom. As a former shelter-magazine writer and senior design editor, aesthetics were important to me. I know, you’re not supposed to put your workspace in your bedroom. But it was such a pretty space! I had a wall of glass looking out on verdant greenery, soaring ceilings, a place for ideas to fly. As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry about somehow sabotaging my bedroom as a place of relaxation. I barely worked at that desk for a season before my constant wandering into the kitchen for a snack or more tea ended with me moving my laptop there altogether, to a high stool at a butcher block island. Which isn’t to say the glass desk didn’t prove handy. It makes a lovely, translucent dumping ground for books, unfiled insurance papers, and the endless stacks of revisions. (Editing and re-editing the old is always so much easier than creating the new.)

Mudroom Desk

The kitchen counter wasn’t ideal. Never mind the chronic back and neck pain. (Did I mention the expensive ergonomic chair that went with my lovely glass desk?) My kids hated my working there! They hated coming home to see me bent over my laptop in work mode, too distracted to ask how their day was. And to prepare so much as a snack, everything had to be cleared away. So when we decided to add a mudroom off the kitchen, I included the perfect desk in the plan, carefully measuring for everything from the printer down to the shelf where the pencil sharpener would sit (I still write first drafts longhand). You guessed it. Never worked a day there. But it’s the perfect recharging center for everyone’s phones and gizmos—and even for my laptop on those nights when I’m forced to move it from my current writing spot.

Current Writing Space -- Dining Room Table

That would be the dining room table, where I agonized over the proofreading of my galleys and sat with a deep sigh of satisfaction to looks at my first author copy when it arrived. I still have to move everything on the nights when I cook dinner, but let’s face it, that doesn’t happen as often as it should. I’m like my protagonist, Lynn Prosper, that way. And it’s a beautiful table: a long, narrow stretch of shiny red glass in an airy room with walls of windows to the outside on three sides. So which direction do I face when writing? The only one with no view, of course.

Thanks, Deborah, for sharing all of your writing spaces with us. It can be difficult to find the perfect one.

Author Deborah Michel; Photo Credit: Shreya Ramachandran

About the Author:

Deborah Michel, a former magazine editor and freelance writer, has worked on a long list of publications that includes House Beautiful, Premiere, Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She worked as an editor and nightlife columnist for Avenue Magazine, was the west coast correspondent for Spy, and served as a contributing editor at Buzz.

 

To enter to win 1 copy of Prosper in Love, you must have a U.S. address and leave a comment on this post about your own marriage advice or funny stories.

Deadline to enter will be May 15, 2012, 11:59 PM EST

  • I love how there are so many windows in her house. I would have put my writing desk in the same spot!

    No idea what I could contribute in terms of marital advice. Maybe that it’s a lot of ups and downs but you have to concentrate on the ups and try to forget the downs? Or my mother’s famous advice, marry first for love, the second time for money. LOL

    I’ve posted the giveaway in my sidebar.

    • I love your mom’s advice.

      • Deborah Michel

        I love that advice, too. Couldn’t you talk about questions of how we choose who we marry all day long? Has anyone ever given THE WRONG relationship advice to a friend?

  • Loved this post — I had to laugh at the changing writing locations — although her rationale makes sense! I do love the view with the windows — gorgeous!

    • I have similar issues with writing spaces too…surprise surprise.

      • Deborah Michel

        Audra, you are too kind about my rationale making sense. I don’t think there’s any sense to it! Just excuse after excuse. What I finally realized, though, is that it was all about proximity to food. If I have something to eat or drink next me, I’ll stay seated–and working. My next guest blog should definitely be about why dark chocolate covered raisins are a healthy snack.

  • Great post. She sure does have a lot of writing spaces which is good as she wnt get bored. Lol. I love the glass table one and her current one. I love all the windows – they look like the perfect places to settle in and write.

    • I love writing spaces with windows as well.

  • Deborah Michel

    Thanks, Serena, for having me on your wonderful site. I’m seeing these pictures with new eyes, and wondering if I’d have an easier time getting down to writing at ANY desk if I’d just clean up the clutter!

    • I think most writers find that they have stacks of papers everywhere…but there must be some kind of organization to the disorder…at least in the writer’s mind. Besides, cleaning leads to procrastination…trust me, I know.

  • What lovely, unused desks, LOL! 🙂 I certainly can’t judge, though. I have a massive roll-top desk in the bedroom, but it has been years since I worked at it. The best “desk” is the place you find that inspires you to write, wherever that may be.

    • I have a desk too, which is a hand-me-down from my parents, and I hardly ever use it…it is mostly a printer holder..lol

  • It looks like she can write practically anywhere!

    • It does look that way!