Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Karen Lange

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Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Karen Lange, author of Home School Co-ops 101 and blog mistress at Write Now.

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Welcome, Karen!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

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Author Karen Lange

 Thank you for inviting me to stop by, Nutschell!  I am a wife, mom, and grandma. My husband and I have two sons, a daughter, a daughter in law, and a very smart and handsome 6-year-old grandson. (I might be a little biased about my grandson. :)

 

In addition to writing and blogging, I am the bookkeeper for the carpentry business my husband and oldest son own.  I also teach online writing classes for adults at the Coffeehouse for Writers and for homeschooled teens in the Homeschool Online Creative Writing Co-op.

 

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing on my laptop at my desk.  I find I get the most work done in the quiet of my office.

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Karen’s workspace

 

2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

My desk is a large, old secretary’s desk that someone was throwing away. My husband rescued and refinished it for me.  The laptop takes center stage, and I have a bookshelf made by my husband and a printer sitting across the back of the desk. There are stacks of current projects and bills on one side. I call it organized chaos.  Most times I can find what I need. :)

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Bookshelf made by Karen’s husband

 

3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

For writing, my laptop is important, but I also have family photos on surrounding shelves. These remind me what’s important when I get stressed.

 

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

I like that I have a room to call my own, where I can spread things out and shut the door when necessary.

 

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

I drink water and unsweetened iced tea. Occasionally I drink Diet Coke, but I’m trying to cut back on that.

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

Oh, I have many favorites! Jane Austen and L.M. Montgomery top the list, and then I love the work of current authors like James Scott Bell, Cathy Gohlke, Jody Hedlund, and Julie Klassen. There are so many wonderful ones out there, you know?

There isn’t any one person who inspired me to write, but my Mom was always a great cheerleader for most anything I did. I remember her telling me I was a good writer; I still smile when I think of her encouraging words.

 

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

In the mornings, I do household stuff like laundry, run errands, exercise, and answer emails. I usually write, do bookkeeping, and work on any online classes I have going in the afternoons and evenings. I don’t have any rituals or quirks, that I know of anyway, but I make sure I have water, a snack, and my cell phone handy. My best trick for actually getting things done is to ignore the internet. I get too distracted otherwise.

 

3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I try to write everyday but it doesn’t always happen. It depends if I have a deadline pending, or need to do a blog post or something like that. I am however, writing in my head almost all the time. Does that count?

 

4. Why do you write?

A writing mentor and friend once said that she wrote because it gave her joy. I have to agree! I love to write and I enjoy communicating this way. My desire is that my words would help others in some way, no matter what I write about.

 

5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

One thing I’ve learned over the years is the importance of self editing. One of my favorite tools for this is to read my work aloud. It really helps help find errors and rough spots.

As far as quotes go, I like what author Ann Gabhart said in a blog interview a few years ago. “Rejection is not fatal,” she said. It made me laugh at first, and the more I thought about it, it made so much sense. It isn’t fatal, and we have two choices when our work is rejected. We can wallow in self-pity and doubt, or we can move ahead, learning and improving.

Thanks so much for sharing your space with me today. It’s been a pleasure!

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Karen Lange is the author of Homeschool Co-ops 101. She and her family were active in homeschool  activities during their sixteen-year journey. Her three children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for adults and homeschooled teens. Connect on Karen’s  Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Blog: http://karenelange.blogspot.com/

Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available on Amazon:

Kindle

Paperback

Twitter: KLELange

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/KarenLange

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkarenlange

Homeschool Online Creative Writing Co-op for Teens: http://www.homeschoolwritingco-op.bravesites.com/

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Karen!

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

 

 

 

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40 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Karen Lange”

  1. Loved seeing Karen’s workspace since I know her. We writers seem to be a practical bunch getting our desks where we can. I have a practical one too–my dining room table–and write on a laptop too.

  2. mooderino says:

    Sounds like a rich and full life. I’d love to have a carpenter in the family. I’d fill the house with desks and shelves.

    mood

  3. Karen Lange says:

    Nutschell,
    Thanks again for hosting me! It’s always fun to visit a friend. :) You are a wonderful host!

    Natalie,
    I think we are a practical bunch. We have to, to get the job done, right? :) The handy thing is that you can eat right at your desk. lol

    Mood,
    As they say, it’s a crazy life, but it’s ours! It is a blessing to have a few carpenters in the family. Now to write that best selling novel to fund all the projects I’d like to do…:)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

  4. As I’m just venturing into homeschooling, Karen’s book caught my interest! Karen, I love your bookshelf! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Southpaw says:

    I love that your hubby rescued a desk and refinished it!

  6. Karen Lange says:

    Margo,
    Wishing you the best with your homeschooling endeavors! Thanks, I love the shelf too! He’s going to eventually build another on the other side of the window. :)

    Southpaw,
    He has done that with two other desks too. He loves those large secretary’s desks, and seems to spot them often. I think we’ve reached our quota here, but I could ask him if he delivers to anywhere else in the country…:)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

  7. Loved the interview. Loved the desk too! :-)

  8. Writing in your head definitely counts!
    Water is my first choice. You’ve be hard pressed to find unsweetened tea where I live though.
    And your husband did a nice job with the bookshelf.

  9. Karen Lange says:

    Jennifer,
    Thanks! Nutschell makes it easy! She’s a great host. Some days you can see the top of the desk better than others…lol

    Alex,
    We need a term for the in head writing, I’m thinking. Maybe “mental writing”? weet tea is the norm here too in north central KY. Can’t stand the stuff though, it makes me nauseous! I’ll stick with lightly or unsweetened tea.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

  10. Yay, Karen! I love that shelf and I’m envious of the closed door policy. I guess my 7 yr old would do something like what he did today…with an stamp pad…and the walls…door knobs…doors…toys…floors… These kids are dangerous things! 😉

  11. Karen Lange says:

    Crystal,
    Oh I can relate! Until recently, I couldn’t do the closed door thing. I still have to beat back interruptions, though, if it makes you feel any better. :)
    Happy writing,
    Karen

  12. Julie Luek says:

    I always enjoy reading and seeing how others write. Karen, your days sound much like mine. But I need to get better about ignoring the internet! Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. It’s so nice to see your space and learn more about you, Karen. Your posts always leave me feeling relaxed. Thanks, Nutshell~!

  14. Becky Povich says:

    Hi Karen, I left a comment much earlier today, but it hasn’t appeared, so I guess it got lost somewhere! :) Great interview! I don’t remember what else I said in the previous one! LOL

  15. What a nice little peek into Karen’s writing life! Love the pictures. Her desk and my desk are cousins, I think. Or maybe our husbands are. Mine “rescues” things and gives them new life, too.

  16. Loved the interview, glad I am not the only one with cluttered chaos !
    I am easily sidetracked some days. Writing in speedbo has helped.
    Linda

  17. Karen Lange says:

    Julie,
    I too, enjoy reading about other writers and how they work. I also need to ignore the internet more! LOL It sidetracks me more often than not, I’m sorry to say.

    Joylene,
    Thanks for hopping over! I am glad you feel relaxed. We’ll just have to get together sometime for tea or coffee and relax together someday! :)

    Becky,
    Thanks so much for being persistent! I appreciate your efforts and support!:)

    Susan,
    ‘I bet our desks are cousins! :) We are writers, after all, so it must be so! Some guys take in animals, ours rescue desks. Saves money on pet food then, right? :)

    Linda,
    Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, more days than not there is cluttered chaos here. And most of the time I know where things are…LOL :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

  18. It’s always fun to discover tidbits about blog buddies and especially to view their workspace. Karen knows how to “get it done.”

  19. Tyrean says:

    Great quote and a good one to remember! I love that bookshelf – your husband does beautiful work, and I love that you keep those photos handy to remind you of what’s important. Thank you for sharing your Writer’s Workspace, Karen.
    And thank you, Nutschell!

  20. Dorothy Adamek says:

    I loved seeing your workspace, Karen! Thanks to Nutschell for sharing. Perfect post for a sticky beak like me to read. :)

  21. I’d like a larger desk. I love the shelves. I wish my books were closer to me so that I could gaze at them when I’m giving my eyes a rest.

  22. Ceil says:

    Hi Karen! I feel like I’m peeking into a little corner of your life, well, a big corner of your life :)

    That desk looks so great. A nice big space to fill up with all the piles of stuff you need but have no idea where to put it so it’s handy(that’s my dining room table currently). It looks like a wonderfully creative place.

    To write because it makes you happy is the best reason of all. You have many outside commitments, jobs and a family. If you didn’t love it, I think it would become a real drudgery. Keep writing!
    Ceil

  23. Karen Lange says:

    Tyrean,
    Thank you! I must agree – that my husband does nice work, but I can be a little biased. :) I’ve always loved keeping family photos around, and even more now now that my Mom and one of my sisters are gone. Thanks again!

    Medeia,
    If you want, I can have my husband keep an eye out for one for you too! :) Well, maybe the distance would be a bit of a hindrance…Perhaps someday you’ll get one! Glad you came by, thanks!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

  24. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Karen – what a fun relaxed post about your work and study .. I know I admire your 101 home schooling book … also to learn a little about your family and how you can now shut your door …

    A light read .. but so wonderful to hear all about what is going on in the Karen household …

    Cheers to you both .. Hilary

  25. So, so interesting to peek into your office, Karen. I love that bookcase your husband built,and it looks like you’ve got it full. 😀

    I devoured L. M. Montgomery’s work as a girl, and I enjoy James Scott Bell’s mystery novels. Great minds!

    Nice to visit a friend here at your blog, Nutschell. Thanks.

  26. Hey Nut, hey amigo! Love your desk and that bookshelf. My hubby does stuff like that too. (He’s a jack of all trades) You know I always love visiting with you. But I just gotta know. How do you keep your desk so neat????

    Thanks for having Karen over, Nut. Great interview.

  27. Karen Lange says:

    Hilary,
    You are so sweet! So glad you came by. :) The “Karen” household, I like that! Yes, seems like there is always something going on around here. We’re never bored, anyway! Would love to see your workspace too!

    Rhonda,
    Yes, the bookcase is full. Have actually been meaning to organize it better and I have another bookcase that needs to be done as well. Something for a rainy day, maybe! :)

    Robyn,
    Hey amigo! Handy husbands come in, well, handy, don’t they? :) Many days my desk is neat. But don’t tell anyone…today is not one of them! lol

    Happy writing,
    Karen

  28. Thanks for the glimpse into your writing space and writing life, Karen. I agree with your advice about self-editing. It is so important.
    I love the quote that “rejection is not fatal.” Also, a quiet space and joy are such a large part of writing.
    Your husband is a gem!

  29. What a nice bookshelf, Karen. How cool that your husband made it.

  30. Karen Lange says:

    Theresa,
    Thanks for coming by! Appreciate your thoughts! :)
    Have a great week,
    Karen

  31. Hi, Karen:

    I knew you were a bookkeeper for a family business, but did not know that business was carpentry. I have carpenters in my family and grew up around the buzzing of saws and banging of hammers. The smell of sawdust still reminds me of my father. :-)

    Thank you for your wise writing tips. Like you, I also appreciate self-editing. I take a break from my work and then re-read it, often aloud. I catch errors that way or clunky wording. I’m a work in progress!

    Thank you, Nutschell, for hosting Karen. It was nice to get to know her better and see her workspace. I like the lamp, Karen!

    Be well, ladies.

  32. Karen Lange says:

    Janette,
    I didn’t realize you had carpenters in the family! Now we have even more in common. :) I’m with you, a work in progress too!

    As for the lamp – I picked that up at Lowe’s because I needed a desk lamp. When I got it home, I realized that it had beads handing from the shade. They were tucked up under the shade and the packaging hid them (and this lamp was not on display, so I couldn’t see it ahead of time). I wasn’t thrilled with it at first, but it has grown on me!

    Blessings,
    Karen

  33. What an excellent post! So fun to learn more about Karen. Her writing space looks great and it is wonderful that she has a space of her own. I agree that reading my writing aloud is one of the best things I can do to edit my work (or have someone else read it aloud). Iced tea is my drink of choice too! I try to split my drinking with unsweetened and sweetened (trying to cut back on the sweetened). :) Wishing Karen the best of luck. :)

  34. Karen Lange says:

    Jess,
    Thanks so much for your kind words! Appreciate your time and support. Reading aloud is a cheap and easy way to edit, isn’t it? :) Thanks so much!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

  35. Whew! I’m seriously late to this party, but I’m glad I came. :)

    It’s neat to see your workspace Karen. Now I can picture where you write. I like unsweetened or lightly sweetened tea as well. Right now, it’s chilly, so I had some hot tea.

    Thanks, Nutshell, for hosting Karen. She’s a terrific friend.

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