Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kari's Kave: A Peek Inside My World!

March Madness is upon us, folks! The time of year when I usually start going nuts being cooped up inside after a long cold winter.

Only...this winter has been anything but long and cold. It's going to be 82 today and 84 tomorrow. I live in central New York.

I's March! And this is madness :-)

Though I do have to say because it feels more like summer, I have been inspired to open the windows and clean out the clutter.

For me, that means clean out the office.

When I'm in the middle of a project, I have papers everywhere. Since I just finished book 4 in the Fortune Teller Mysteries called Trouble in the Tarot, I needed a breath of fresh air.

My husband built me a nice office in the basement. Big desk, bookshelves, lots of room. The only problem is he works and the kids are all in school.

WHY would I confine myself in the dark dungeon as I like to call it? I won't, plain and simple.

Believe me, I appreciate having a place to really store all my stuff. And it's great when the family is home and I'm under deadline and need a quiet place to work. But on a regular basis, I want light and sunshine and fresh air.

So I gradually started sneaking upstairs and working in the formal living room. Which, by the way, no one else EVER uses in our house.

Once in a while someone will go in there to read, but pretty much I am the one who uses that room ... sooooo ... I decided to make it mine :-)

I gradually started working on my laptop on the couch or in the chair. Then I started binging my notes up until they eventually took over the room.

Finally, I bought a small desk and put that in the little corner between the living room and the family room. It was a perfect little hideaway.

Then I started adding bulletin boards, a small book shelf, etc.
Suddenly, I had two offices. Okay, so I call the downstairs my office...and this I call my workspace :-)
Recenty, I even turned my desk away from the wall so it would face the window. I love to look out and be inspired by the outdoors.
Hubby doesn't get it. Then again, he's a man :-) A great man...but a man nonetheless, and let's face it, men really are different than women.
He can work out in the basement, work from his own office down there, etc. and it doesn't bother him. He is logical and efficient and practical.
I, on the other hand, need ambiance!
I can't workout down there because there's no atmosphere. Same with writing. I need atmosphere for inspiration. I am a romantic and a dreamer and WAY more sensitive and emotional than he is.
We balance each other out perfectly, which is probably why we have 4 kids and will have been married 23 years this July :-)
So what kind of person are you?
Do you need a certain atmosphere to write or read or do whatever it is you love to do?
For me, inspiration comes in the pretty things around me. The things that make me stare off into space and daydream.
Some day I am going to go away for a weekend alone to someplace with a spectacular view like the mountains.
I can just picture a cabin in the woods like the Poconos, with views of the mountains and a hotub, porch, etc.
Or when I watched the movie Nights in Rodanthe, I wanted to go there so badly. And I want to go during that time of year.
It wasn't hot yet. The house sat on the beach. The waves were big. There were chairs outside next to a firepit. I could just picture myself wrapped in a sweater with a glass of wine and my laptop, staring out at the ocean and dreaming of the next story I want to write.
I've never taken a writer's retreat like that. My CP Barbara Witek and I have done a simple overnight in a hotel room just to get some work done.
It was sooooo productive, we swore we were going to do it again. Only, life with 4 kids involved in everything under the sun and a husband in sales who travels is crazy and hard to ever find a time that works. But I am determined to find a weekend that works for both of us, and just do it!
Hubby fully supports whatever I want to do, he just laughs and thinks I'm crazy sometimes. Especially because when I'm under the gun and behind on a deadline, I can pretty much tune the world out and write anywhere.
That doesn't mean I like it.
I want to be inspired. I love what I do, but when it becomes a chore, it takes the joy right out of it for me. So I work at always making the most of my writing time and shooting for inspiration wherever I can get it.
I even like to set the scene and prepare my space with the perfect lighting, maybe light a candle, have a glass of wine or cup of tea, etc.
It really does make all the difference in the product that comes out of your fingertips and onto the page at the end of the day :-)
What inspires you? What's your office look like? Do you have any rituals or things you like by your side as you write? Inquiring minds want to know :-)


Kari Lee Townsend said...

So tell me, folks. What inspires you?

Anita Clenney said...

Kari, the weather here is incredible. I love it. I don't like being cold. I loved the peek inside your house. I'm so jealous that you have TWO offices. I write in the laundry room. Not a lot of ambiance there, but I have a brick wall and a mirror so that helps. I love brick walls. I want an entire kitchen with brick walls, but that's another topic.

I'm also jealous of your uncluttered house. OMG. My house is probably half the size of yours and I have twice as much stuff. Honestly. I LOVE my stuff, but there's so much of it. If Austin sees these pictures, he may try to come and live with you guys. He hates clutter and I have a shopping disease.

Congrats on almost 23 years of marriage! If I can control my over-decorating habits, Austin and I will probably make that. :)

Liz Lipperman said...

Your house is lovely, Kari. Having been there, I know that for a fact. For me, I would use the basement office since I am so easily distracted. I have a great office with a window that lets me see everything that's going on in my street. Thus, the deadline panic because I haven't started book 4 yet!!

Seriously, I get inspired and do my best plotting horizontally--right before I drift off to sleep.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Anita, I'm with Austin...I hate clutter. Ugh. I can't work or watch TV or do anything until my clutter is picked up :-)

Now, my kids bedrooms are another story! Grrrr.....

And just because it's clutter free, doesn't mean it's shiny clean. I am a huge surface cleaner. Must spring clean soon!

And...sometimes the tiny nooks are the BEST places for inspiration. A room just for you. I might have 2 offices, but my kids take over the one downstairs because it has the main computer in it. And the one upstairs is too accessible, but works for me when everyone is gone.

Happy writing!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Oh, Liz, you're so sweet :-)

I work best upstairs when no one is home. And my street isn't that busy when during the day. Mostly just the occasional walker.

I too plot as I'm getting ready to sleep, but I'm not a nap taker. I also plot while doing laundry, dishes, etc. If I get stuck, I get up and do one of my chores until something inspiring comes to me.

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

siighe..I would LOVE my own office. But i would end up in the basement too, and i know I would never go there. :-) I need light and windows and fresh air. So I have my little nook in the corner of our formal living room. I too have my bulletin board and some inspirational pictures. I will light an occasional candle or burn insense. it's my own little space and I love it! When I feel the need to spread out, I monopoloize the dining room table - much to hubby's dislike. But hey, it doesn't last long (maybe only a week or two) and then I'm back in my corner, or outside on the deck - I love that the most!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

I work best in coffee shops. The house talks to me even when everyone is gone. Or I work great late at night, and I'm talking late, like after midnight, when the world is asleep. Magic happenes. I have a very cluttered desk, with a cup of tea at hand, music playing, and a bag of dark chocolate covered almonds just in case I need brain food. But I can usually write anywhere. I started IMPACT on an airplane. Kinda nuts writing a story about crashing an airplane while you're flying on an aircraft. I think I'll post a blog about that. :)

Great post, Kari, and I hate your clean house. Throw some cat hair around would you?

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Ooooh, I love writing outside, too, Barbie. I just hate carrying everything with me and then picking it up.

And Tiffinie....I have enough animals of the "human" kind, with plenty of their own hair, etc, thrown about. Ugh...they are slobs!

But I do love my space! LOVE my nook with a view :-)

And the only thing that talks to me in my house is my damn kitchen!! Grrr....