TWN WWW 300

 

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 Kimberlee Turley, author of that fun blog Groundwire.

Welcome Kimberlee!

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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?

Regular Photo modified

 Kimberlee Turley

 

For my full-time job, I own and manage Kiwi Loco, a self-serve frozen yogurt store similar to Pinkberry, Red Mango, or Menchies.

Kiwi Loco modified

 Kiwi Loco

 

As a part-time hobby, I sew custom costumes for anime conventions and Halloween. I’ve sewed crazy things like a frozen yogurt costume to a cat “Toothless” costume from How to Train You Dragon.  My hidden talent is that I can do over ten backhand springs in a row and I have jumped off of a 10 meter diving platform.

 

Toothless

 Toothless

 

In regards to writing, I enjoy writing/reading YA speculative fiction novels with sassy female characters and a slow-building romance. My favorite stories have princesses, seed-bead gowns, and a magical twist, and I especially love novels written in 3rd person.

 

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing on my laptop, which has been purged of all games and non-writing programs or applications. If anyone ever asks to borrow my laptop to check their email quickly, I have been known to snarl and then clutch it to my chest while repeating in litany “My precious.”

Workspace modified

Kimberlee’s Workspace

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

My desk was purchased at Office Depot. It’s one of those particle board crap assemble-it-yourself pieces. My couch however, where I do 65% of my writing, was purchased from American Furniture Warehouse in Colorado Springs, CO. If you are ever in the Midwest area, it is THE place to go for quality, affordable furniture.

My Desk modified

 Kimberlee’s desk

 

Notable items: The bull and the bear book ends are holding up my husband’s collection of stock trading books. He trades on the Forex as a hobby.

Almost every software program installed on my computer is sitting on the shelf below the books. This includes: Quickbooks, Nero, Space Quest, Dragon’s Lair, Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Premier, and of course, Microsoft Office. I am also still running Windows XP because I’ve luckily never had any processing problems or viruses that have made it necessary to upgrade it in the 7 years since I bought it.

 

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

I have a hard time writing when the TV is playing in the background and usually end up drowning out the noise with earbuds and my Itunes playlist. I also insist on writing in a clean workspace. It’s difficult to concentrate when I have unfolded laundry on the couch or unpaid bills cluttering my desk.

 

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

When I’m on my laptop, I insist on using my chill pad. I have three because I have an irrational fear of having it break and not being able to find a replacement with all the features I like. These features are:  a soft beanbag bottom, USB fans placed beneath the battery, and a small storage compartment for my earbuds/headphones.

Chill Pads modified

 

Kimberlee’s chillpads

These were  a gift from my beta readers to commemorate an offer of representation I received for my YA Gaslamp Fantasy. The novel title, NOTE TO SELF, is engraved on the front. In the picture of my desk, this is sitting on top of the left cupboard.

Favorite Desk Item modified

Favorite Desk Items

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

I try to avoid drinking or eating when I’m writing to prevent crumbs from getting in my keyboard, but I do have a sweet tooth for smoothies.  With access to over 120 frozen yogurt flavors, the cravings have been especially hard to resist.

 

My favorite recipe:

1 cup frozen strawberries

½ can of Strawberry Banana Nectar (Jumex brand)

8 oz of any fruit or vanilla based frozen yogurt

My after midnight drink is “Choffey”. It’s like coffee, but instead of coffee beans, they grind up cocoa beans. Sugar and creamer are added to taste.

Favorite Photo modified

 My Favorite Photo: I designed this dress for a pageant and did a photo shoot in it afterwards.  

On Writing

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

Favorite author is Diana Wynne Jones. Her CHRESTOMANCI  series (c 1977) is arguably J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Harry Potter.

ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levin, is the book that made me fall in love with reading. I own two copies of this, just so I can loan one out whenever I find someone who hasn’t read it.

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

Fun quirks: I prefer sitting cross-legged in almost any chair/environment and find backrests uncomfortable. (My husband’s chair is the ridiculous piece on the right.)  When I sit on the couch to write, I sit sideways on the middle cushion, cross-legged. When I am sewing on my home-sewing machine, I sit cross-legged on the carpet and operate the foot pedal with my knee.  (As I type this, I am sitting cross-legged on my bed, laptop in front of me…)

Typical day as a writer: Between managing the yogurt store and my household, most evenings I usually only have an hour of free time. However, since I don’t have kids and my husband has a 65% travel schedule with his job, I’ll usually end up with a few nights out of the month that I can write until I fall asleep at my keyboard and thus, squeeze in an extra two to three hours.

My goal per writing session is two paragraphs. On a really good session I’ll write 500 words. Whenever possible, I try to carry a notebook with me so that I can brainstorm or outline the next part of the story so that my session on my laptop is more efficient.

 

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

My worst writing distraction:

Political News…

I have developed an unhealthy fear that the US government is turning into a socialist nation and that our president is a puppet of the New World Order. For some reason, I can’t stop researching things like food storage, emergency-preparedness, and have spent hours studying the Bill of Rights.

Ironically, I have found conspiracy articles to be an unexpected source of inspiration for my work in progress—a military/ steampunk dystopian.

4. Why do you write?

I write because I love the release of escaping to a fantasy world simply by opening a word document on my computer. I love the feeling of falling in love for the first time, over and over again. The feeling of accomplishment after orchestrating an epic struggle between the hero and villain. I enjoy knowing the ending before anyone else does and the process of deciding just how many clues to leave for the readers to figure it out too. Oh, and having my characters push each other’s buttons is gratifying in a twisted, evil overlord sort of way.

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

As a pantser and a dedicated chronological writer, I’ve found that writing  ideas on paper during the day in a notebook helps me make the most of my time in the evening. Since I can rip out the pages when I don’t like them, it’s easier to feel like I can be more explorative. The pages and ideas I like, I’ll put into a three-ring binder and arrange them in chronological order. One idea per page makes it easier to move them around.

I’m sort of a bad advocate for encouraging people to “write every day” because I have trouble doing it myself. However, when I think about how one hour only represents 4% of my entire day, I find it harder to justify putting it off.

Thank you, Nutschell for having me as a guest!

 

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

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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17 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Kimberlee Turley”

  1. SO cool to hear from other writers. Love Toothless (we happen to call our black cat that)!

  2. Great interview. I loved Kimerlee’s goal of writing a few paragraphs a writing session. I’m busy like her but it’s something I could accomplish.

    • I was almost too embarrassed to mention that I had to work my way up from 2 sentences to a few paragraphs. I guess that means my goal has always been to at least open the word document daily, even if I accomplish little.

  3. Shelly says:

    Loved this interview. Love how creative your guest is. Pansters rule! However, I like to write amongst my organized mess.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

  4. I know Kimberlee!
    Conspiracy theories – or are they…?
    Three lap pads, That’s funny.
    And dig the costume on the cat!

  5. That cat Toothless is AWESOME. It’s so awesome to see another writer who loves costuming :).

    And Kiwi Loco looks exactly like the Cherry Berry’s we have here in Oklahoma, just different colors, lol!

  6. Michael Pierce says:

    Great interview! I love the 3-ring binder idea and may have to give that a try for planning during the day, so my nights can be more productive as well. I only have limited time in the evenings, too, so I really need to make the most of them.

  7. I’m a fellow Pantser–sort of. I’m impressed by the colorful interview, and really impressed by the dragon costume. I want one of those for my cat. She’ll hate it, but I’ll love it.

  8. mooderino says:

    All that and ten backflips too. Pretty impressive stuff.

    mood

  9. I must say, I love that cat. I can’t believe its just sitting still and looking out of the slider. My best friend is a designer on 7th Avenue in New York. I remember all of those Halloween costumes for her son. That is a real gift when you’re able to do that.
    Veronica

  10. Wanda says:

    Now that’s one cool cat :) Sounds like Kimberlee leads a really neat life. Those for the peek inside her world.

  11. Very interesting post, Nutschell and Kimberlee. Love the blue sofa. They look very comfortable, but I’d have a heck of a time getting anything written.

  12. “My precious” sounds incredibly important to you. Good interview

  13. Hilary says:

    Hi Michelle and Kimberley – well that was really interesting to read and learn about .. wish I could cross my legs – never liked doing it .. and now it is not an option!

    Fun details and snippets – and good luck with your escape genre .. lots of interesting aspects can be brought in .. especially those political strangenesses!

    Cheers to you both – have good weekends .. Hilary

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