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 fellow Write On member Sharon Mayhew. She’s the author of that fun blog Random Thoughts.

Welcome, Sharon!

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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?

Sharon Mayhew  on her first ever train ride.

I was riding from the North of England to the South of England to see my Grandparents.

I was born in England and immigrated to the United States when I was 8.  I put myself through college (with the help of my husband) and became an elementary school teacher.  I taught third and fourth grade for most of that time.  I did one year as a reading specialist, one summer school with first graders (which was soooo much fun) and I worked with at risk 8th graders one year.

I’m really torn as to my favorite genre to write.  So I write a bit of everything.  I’ve had one fiction story for children published in Knowonder Magazine and two non-fiction articles published in an SCBWI regional newsletter.

My hobbies include; boating, traveling, hiking, photography and taking care of my pets.

My hidden talent is that I can see through walls….well, not really.  I’m really good at predicting if someone who is pregnant is going to have a boy or a girl.

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing in my office, but when the weather is nice, you can find me on the patio with either a laptop or a notebook.

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

Nothing exciting about my desk, I got it at Target.  But…I do have my very own office/studio.  I commandeered one of our guest bedrooms about a year ago.  I gave away the furniture that was in it and brought in bookshelves, my rocking chair from when my daughter was a baby, an art table, my desk, a file cabinet and I redid the closet to fit in all my art supplies.

Sharon’s wicked cool supply closet

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

My office does not look like a place you would work.  I have children’s artwork on the walls, bulletin boards covering another wall, I even have some teddy bears poking out of the bookshelves.  I need the get myself in the right mindset to write…so my office is more like a kid’s room.

Sharon’s bulletin boards and rocking chair with her special cp writing blanket

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 the mural I have hanging behind my desk.  I painted it in the early 90’s and couldn’t afford to frame it, so it stayed in the back of a closet for two decades.  Once I framed it, I didn’t have a place to hang it.  But once I got my own office I knew exactly where it belonged.

Sharon’s workspace

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

I love good coffee…but it keeps me up, so I take a flask of half-caf coffee with me when I am going to spend extended time in there.

On Writing

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

When I was a teacher I met my first real live author, Crescent Dragonwagon.  She wrote this amazing picture book called HOMEPLACE.  It made me want to be a writer…I still pull out that book and read it.

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

I don’t really have a typical day…ever…I have a 16 year old and she kind of runs my schedule…But I like to write in the afternoon, after a good nap.   I don’t know what it is about a good nap…but it makes me write better.

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

I wish I wrote every day, but I don’t.  I try to do something related to writing during the work week.  That way I can devote my time to my husband and daughter on the weekend.

Sharon’s two biggest distractions, Macy and Peaches

4. Why do you write?

This is a hard question to answer…In 2008, I was working out and thinking about my Grandmother who had just passed away.  Something that happened during her funeral kept going through my mind.  I got off the treadmill and wrote my first story.  I haven’t been able to stop since then.  If I could just get the same passion for writing query letters. LOL!

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

One of the best things you can do as a writer is be a reader.  Read in your genre, read other genres….just read!

My favorite quote comes from Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.”  Ironically, the middle grade novel I just finished is about WWII in England.


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Thanks, Sharon, 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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28 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Sharon Mayhew”

  1. Loved learning more about Sharon and seeing her workspace. I wish I wrote every day too.

  2. What a colorful workspace and I definitely need those two distractions. What cuties?
    Veronica Singleton
    http://www.veronicalsingleton.com

  3. Thanks so much for having me, Anne. This is my first interview, so hopefully I don’t put my foot in my mouth or do something wacky. 😀

    Thanks for stopping in Natalie. :)

    Thanks, Veronica, Macy and Peaches are so sweet together. Macy longed for a friend for four years and when we brought Peaches home it was love at first sight.

  4. Ciara Knight says:

    I’m jealous over that cool storage closet! :)

  5. Wonderful interview. I really enjoy seeing where other writers work. I LOVE that supply closet; mostly because it’s SO organized! I also love your distractions 😀 I think they would make writing fun!

  6. Thanks Ciara! I love it being so organized. I just wish I had enough space to put all my scrapbooking bits in there. I have them on peg board in the basement storage room…which used to be my creative space.

    Macy and Peaches are so sweet together, Jennifer. I actually take notes on Macy and one day will write it into a manuscript. She’s had some great first time adventures…staying a hotel was a lot of fun for her. 😀

  7. Susan Fields says:

    Great interview! Even though Sharon is one of my closest friends, I didn’t know about the mural behind the desk that she painted – very cool!

  8. I loved reading about Sharon! I never knew she was from England and love love her shelving organization! Thanks for an informative fun interview!

  9. mooderino says:

    Now here’s a woman who knows how to organise. Great interview.

    cheers,
    mood

  10. lenny says:

    wowee! cool interview!! i love love love that neat writing room cause its sooo full up of color and looks like a real fun place to write. now i know lots more bout my cool cp. jolly good!! :)
    …hugs from lenny

  11. Jemi Fraser says:

    Love your art cupboard Sharon!!!! And the mural. So nice. :)

  12. Sharon, I love your writing space. I didn’t know you painted too.

    And, wow, what an organized closet! Want to organize my house?

  13. Your office and supply closet are awesome!

    Interesting interview.

  14. How cool. Children help keep you motivated.

  15. I feel so special…so many of my good friends dropped by.

    Susan, I painted the mural so long ago, but never had a place for it. It was going to go in classroom, but most classrooms have cinderblock walls.

    Terri, I don’t talk about my childhood that much. Leaving England when I was little was pretty hard on me.

    Mooderino, I love my closet. My husband put in a standard closet organizer then I added the other shelving and the drawer.

    Lenny, I have lots of special things in my office…ones that you sent me or made me. :)

    Thanks Jemi! I used to paint a lot, but then decided I wasn’t very good at it. But I still love that mural.

    Thanks,Theresa. I don’t paint much. I only have two paintings and a series of three that I did in my house. The rest of my “art” I sold at a garage sale. I love organizing things…I’m a firm believer in tidy and organized. (I didn’t say dust free though…I’m not so good at doing that.)

  16. Thanks Golden Eagle. It’s nice knowing where to find my supplies when I need them.

    Oh, they sure do, Maurice. I taught for 17 years and quite a few of my former kiddos (now adults or almost adults) keep in touch with me.

  17. I don’t think anyone has a passion for query letters.
    And your office is without a doubt the most organized I’ve ever seen. Whoa…

  18. Jackee says:

    Aww! Love Sharon! She is one of my favorite people–and the kindest writer/blogger you will ever meet. Thanks for sharing her with everyone!

  19. Writing Nut,
    Thank you for having Sharon over. I am her fellow blogger as well as yours 😉
    Sharon, I now know more about you besides blogging and writing 😉
    Love the pic of Macy and Peaches…too adorable!

  20. Whew…Alex, you don’t enjoy query letters either. That makes me feel better.

    Jackee!!!! I miss you so much! I hope all is going well with life and writing.

    Hi, Claudia! Hopefully, learning more about me was a good thing. :)

  21. Sharon’s work space is colorful and awesome. That closet is amazingly organized.

    I’m glad I stopped by to learn more about Sharon.

  22. Sigal says:

    Great post, Nutschell! I enjoyed learning more about Sharon. And Sharon, I love love love your room! It looks so organized and perfectly inspiring. And you have your very own door too….

  23. Thanks, Medeia. I really love having my own space. I figured after 26 years of sharing a room with my husband I deserved my own space. We have real office in our house, but it has to be kept all grown up, as it is beside the front door.

  24. Thanks, Sigal. I really enjoy working in my room. I didn’t like writing in our “grown up” office….the bill pile was too close. :(

  25. Kelly Polark says:

    I adore Sharon!
    And wow! What an organized closet! I love your mural too, Sharon. So vibrant and perfect for an office designated for writing for children.

  26. klahanie says:

    Yay, an interview with one of my writing friends, the lovable Sharon Mayhew!
    Of course, I’ve had the great pleasure of interacting with Sharon and this was some more fascinating insights into Sharon’s writing and her life.
    Nice one and thanks for having Sharon get interviewed on your interactive site.
    Happy writing to you both.
    Gary :)

  27. Jess Haight says:

    This was such an interesting post and interview. I love how organized Sharon is! Awesome! Her work environment is filled with all kinds of interesting objects and art- which I like. I love good coffee, too. :)

  28. Thanks, Kelly!

    Hugs to Gary…he and Lenny are the only people who have seen my whole mg novel. :) Part of it is set in Gary’s hometown in England.

    Thanks, Jessica. I’m half right brain and half left brain…

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