Every Wednesday, I feature a writer/blogger and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow bloggers/writers better through their workspace and writing habits. I also wanted my bloggy friends to share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Kelly Polark, author of two fun blogs Book Recs of the Rock and Famous and Kelly Polark.

Welcome, Kelly!

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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?

Kelly Polark

I’m a married mother of three living in the Midwest. I used to teach grade school full time. I enjoyed being a stay at home mom for 12 years with some substitute teaching here and there. I am now a teacher’s assistant in a kindergarten classroom at my kids’ school. The kindergarteners make me smile every single day. I’m so happy easing back into the realm of education.

I write poetry, picture books, and middle grade. My writing is usually lighthearted. I love to laugh. I have a few picture book irons in the fire that I will reveal sometime this year on my blog. My first picture book app will be published this year with Meegenius.

My family keeps me busy, but I do like to get out every once in a while to see a rock concert. I love music.

I have two blogs. One connects me with other writers (I love how supportive the writing community is). My newest blog is called Book Recs of the Rock & Famous. My hope is that fans will google their favorite celebrity, see what their fave musician or actor is reading, and then read that book! A unique way to promote literacy.

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I accomplish the majority of my writing on my laptop either at my desk that is in our family room or on the couch. The laptop I use sat low on the desk and I slouched terribly while writing. My husband set me up with a wireless keyboard (which was helpful since my K key was gone on the laptop) and a laptop pedestal so the screen would be eye level. He saved my back!

Kelly’s workspace

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

My desk is built in, so it came with the house. :) The desk is usually cluttered with books, mail, and kids’ school papers. I do have an organizer to set papers in. But that needs to be sorted through! I also have file cabinets under the desk, but I need to find all the files I packed (we thought we were moving last year & I packed 30 boxes. Long story.) and reset my filing system. Then hopefully I will be more organized!

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

The most important thing I guess is the laptop. If I’m writing rhyming poetry or picture books, I have my rhyming dictionary handy. I also have a gazillion spiral notebooks filled with ideas, poems, picture books. I’ll have one of those handy as well.

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

I love that my workspace is at home. I’m a homebody. Nothing too sentimental on it right now as we packed framed pictures and knick knacks when we staged our home to sell (which I should one day put back up!).

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

I love, love, love fountain Coke from McDonald’s. Love. I usually just have 3-4 a week, so usually my writing beverage, if any, is water. But I pretend I’m more alert to write with a Coke so I have an excuse to get one!

On Writing

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

I have three favorite authors. I memorized Shel Silverstein’s poetry as a child. He is a huge influence on my poetry writing. I also love S.E. Hinton. Her writing is so honest. I reread The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now for the umpteenth time last year. I follow her on Twitter, and when she tweets me back, I’m like a 12 yr old girl with Bieber fever. My favorite current author is Adam Rex. I met him a few months ago at a book signing. He is just so clever and witty.

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

I’m a sporadic writer. I don’t have a typical day. Or rituals. I’m boring.

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

I don’t write everyday. I don’t want my writing to feel like a chore. I probably should push myself more than I do to get more writing time in. Some weeks I write 5 days a week, other weeks I may write 2 days a week. It just depends on my and my family’s schedule. I even took December off from writing entirely!

I am currently addicted to Twitter. That is a fun distraction!

4. Why do you write?

I started writing when I was a stay at home mom to three kids. I needed a creative outlet. I’ve always loved books. I used to teach third grade and loved sharing them with the students. I love sharing them with my own children. Our house is packed with bookcases and books. My current job in the kindergarten classroom allows me to read a different picture book a day to the students. I LOVE that! My adult writing passion first started when I dabbled with poetry (which I loved writing as a child.) I took a few online writing courses, attended some local SCBWI meetings, and went from there.

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

I think the best lesson I’ve learned about writing is keep at it. I’ve grown so much as a writer since I started. Just do it. And don’t quit.

6.Do you have a favorite picture that you’d like to share with us?

This is me with my grandma’s dog when I was four. Man, I loved that dog.

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Thanks, Kelly, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

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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37 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Kelly Polark”

  1. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell .. great interview with Kelly – fun to see some sides of her life – 30 boxes packed .. are they staying or going! Writing with little ones around must be tough .. great she’s writing and making notes along the way ..

    Nutschell – are you having a look at Wimbledon .. I’ll always think of you now – and your tour with the pics you took for us on the blog ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Bish Denham says:

    Sweet Kelly! I can see how that four-year-old smile developed into the one you have now.

  3. Kelly Polark says:

    Thanks for having me, Nutschell!
    Hilary, I’m slowly unpacking those boxes! Some are going though! If I haven’t used them in 1 1/2 yrs, I don’t need them too much! (though many are books and photos so those are keepers).
    Ha! Thanks, Bish! I’ve always been a smiler!

  4. Waving to Kelly! Great interview. Good luck with all those boxes and keep smiling. It’s beautiful.

  5. Great interview!Love that picture of you with your doggy love. And your workspace is awesome! “Don’t quit!” *sigh* I’ve been having that conversation with self lately. I love writing. But I want to find an agent. Before I can, I havta get it right. Sooo hard. *deep sigh* Thanks for this interview, Nut! I really enjoyed having a look into Kelly’s writing life. *waves*

  6. I really like this weekly feature! It’s great to get to know you, Kelly. I’m a young mom of four, and I started writing for the same reason. My book worlds keep me sane. :)

    Thanks, Writing Nut!

  7. Nutschell, so nice to see Kelly here.

    Kelly, I love what your husband did with the keyboard. I have a slouching problem, so I should set up something like this too.

    I like the idea that you don’t want writing to feel like a chore. Write on!

  8. Leslie Rose says:

    NIce to meet you Kelly. I taught K for two years. It really is a laugh a minute, especially when you wear nylons and the kids have to “pet” your legs.

  9. Morgan Shamy says:

    Such a fun interview with Kelly, Nutschell. 😀 Thanks for sharing her with us!

    And came by to say thanks for your kind words over on my blog. You’ve got a lovely site here! 😀

  10. Lexa Cain says:

    I loved finding out more about Kelly (and I agree, Adam Rex is witty and clever). I went to her blog and followed her. Thanks, NutShell, for the great post! :-)

  11. tara tyler says:

    what a sweet interview, capped off with a precious memory!
    i feel very similar to Kelly, taught, sub, 3 kids, started writing later, poetry, midwest… love it!

  12. Nice to meet you, Kelly. I love my at-home workspace, too.

  13. Kelly Polark says:

    Thank you for all of your wonderful comments! You make me smile!
    Lee- Waving back! :)
    Robyn – Writing can be tough, but you HAVE to keep going and you WILL eventually succeed.
    Emily – Yes, writing definitely kept me sane when my three children were all very young! It’s a great outlet!
    Theresa – My posture is awful to begin with, so that stand seriously helped me in all kinds of ways! I still have to remind myself to stand up straight though!
    Leslie – Ha! So cute! I adored the kindergarteners. They are so honest and sweet!
    Morgan- Thank you so much for coming by!
    Lexa – Thank you! Yay! Glad you share my affinity for Mr. Rex! :)
    Tara – Wow! We are leading parallel lives!!

  14. Nice interview. I love your writing desk. It’s nice to meet a new writer.

  15. Aloha Kelly,

    Great to hear from another parent who stayed home with three kids – you give me hope :)

  16. Kelly forgot to say she’s a rocker chick as well!
    Hope you’re a fast packer.

  17. Great interview. It’s so fun peeking into the life of another writer and seeing the similarities. Love the wireless keyboard for the laptop.

  18. Mary says:

    Great to meet Kelly. I’m jealous of all of you that can see your desk. I like Twitter a lot, too.

  19. Kelly Polark says:

    Clarissa- Thank you. It’s not as clean at the moment. 😉
    Aloha, Mark! :)
    Alex- I hope I’m a fast unpacker! (I’m not…)
    Jennifer – I love that wireless keyboard. Thank goodness my hubby knows what he’s doing with all the tech stuff!
    Mary- Nice to meet you, Mary! I’ll try and find you on Twitter!

  20. Kelly Polark says:

    Clarissa- Thank you. It’s not as clean at the moment. 😉
    Aloha, Mark! :)
    Alex- I hope I’m a fast unpacker! (I’m not…)
    Jennifer – I love that wireless keyboard. Thank goodness my hubby knows what he’s doing with all the tech stuff!
    Mary- Nice to see you, Mary! I do follow you on Twitter! :)

  21. Jemi Fraser says:

    Great interview! I love your writing space – I’d love to have one! One of these days… :)

    I adore Silverstein and Hinton so I’ll have to check out Rex too – don’t think I’ve read any of his stuff yet! Thanks for the tip :)

  22. Great pictures of you. :)

    I love Adam Rex’s YA books. They’re so unique.

  23. Great interview. I loved learning more about Kelley, where she writes and what she likes to write. She’s such a sweetie.

  24. Ciara Knight says:

    The Outsiders is the book who turned me into a reader.

  25. Lynn Kelley says:

    Ah, what an adorable pic of 4-year-old Kelly, and your dog was so cute! Hanging with kindergartners all day is a nonstop adventure of giggles and challenges, I’m sure! My niece is a K teacher and loves it! Your hubby is a gem for getting the ergonomics just right for you, Kelly. That makes a huge difference, huh? I love Shel Silverstein, too. And how cool that you get tweets from SE Hinton! Also, I think your blog with rock stars reading books is a super great way to promote literacy.
    I totally enjoyed this interview, Nutschell and Kelly!

  26. Kelly Polark says:

    Jemi – I think you’ll really enjoy Adam Rex’s books. He writes PB, MG & YA & illustrates too!
    The Golden Eagle – Yes, Fat Vampire was a unique spin definitely!
    Thank you, Natalie ! :)
    Ciara – I wonder how many times I’ve read that book. MANY! (and watched the movie!)
    Lynn – Yes, the computer stand made a HUGE difference. Thanks for coming by, Lynn!

  27. Francene says:

    I always love personal interest stories. Kelly’s charmed me. Yes, desks are important in a writer’s life. We need a place where we feel settled.

  28. Debbie says:

    Lovely interview!! Kelly has a warm and inviting smile. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to get to know her more!

  29. Its great to know you a little better Kelly. And Coke from McDonalds is the best. Period. We don;t go anywhere else for Coke.

  30. Leigh Moore says:

    Yay, Kelly!!! You are too smart lifting your laptop like that. Now I’m wondering if I should do the same… 😀 But look at that CUTE picture of little you w/GM’s poodle! Ahh, my favorite author was SE Hinton, too, and since I’ve started writing, I often wonder if I should go back and reread some of those old books for “clues.”

    Here’s to loving to laugh! And yay for great bloggy friends~ <3

  31. Kelly Polark says:

    You are sweet, Francene!
    Thank you, Debbie!
    Stephen – Now have such a taste for McD’s Coke!!
    Leigh <3 to you!

  32. Great answers… I’m quite similar in that I don’t have a writing routine… I do it when it feels right:)

  33. YAY Kelly–you are made of awesome. And you are just as cute (cute as a button) today as you were when you were four (for a rocker chick)!!! *wink* <3 <3

  34. Lydia K says:

    What a great interview with one of my favorite bloggers! Kelly, you had that same awesome smile as a girl, no surprise there!

  35. So happy to see this interview with the fabulous Kelly! I love her blogs. What a treat to get to know her better–I especially love how she shares her love of books with the kids that she teaches. Yea!!!

  36. Kelly is awesome! We met through lit agent Mark McVeigh….well we knew each other a bit before Mark, but will be forever friends since him….

    Kelly owes me a cup of coffee….and I won’t forget it either. (hint hint hint Kelly)

  37. Kelly makes this whole writing with a family thing look so easy! I know we’ll see her books on our shelves one day. Looking forward to it.

    Also, that picture is adorable! What a sweet little Kelly, and the pooch? Awwww. It makes me miss my Peaches, our little apricot toy poodle we had to give away when we moved to England. Broke my heart.

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