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 Shelly Arkon, author of Secondhand Shoes.

Shelly’s Bio

 When Shelly isn’t doing the laundry, cleaning, cooking, chasing grandkids, listening to daughter drama (five of them), or lopping heads of hair at the salon, she’s writing beside her two fur-peeps, Sir Poops and Hair Ball, while her hubby is flipping through TV channels. Her debut novel, Secondhand Shoes, will be out soon. She’s also the keeper of  Secondhand Shoes, A Novel, http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/ and The Life of a Novice Writer http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com/

 

Welcome, Shelly!

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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?

 Shelly and her cute grandkid

I’m a hair lopper for one of those chain salons. I’m like a hair cut robot. It’s a lot like factory work. The chair is my conveyor belt for heads of hair.

My hobbies are trying to keep up with Jillian Michael’s workout videos. I used to go to the gym 6 days a week at two hour pops. I spinned, boot camped, and weight trained until one day I drained my adrenals. So now I work out at home, 3 days a week, and stop when my body says its time. Nausea speaks pretty loud. Don’t you think?

I can write and spell anything backwards. Now that’s a special talent.  I’m dyslexic. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me as a writer. An attorney, I once worked for told me I’d never get any where since I could never spell anything correctly. Ha! Lesson learned. I’ve got spell check, and I always ask people how to spell their names now when I sign them in for their appointments. Also, I have a nice collection of dictionaries to help me out.

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

My writing areas are all over the place lately. When my 23-year-old daughter moved back in I lost my office. Sometimes I write at the kitchen table but my legs and feet swell.  So when that happens I opt out for either the sofa or my big bed.

 

Shelly’s workspace

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

I got my kitchen table from a store called Sticks and Things in 2005. They went bankrupt not long after.

Our bed came from Haverty’s.

 

The sofa came from The Leather Store.

 

I use Sir Poops and Hair Balls crates to organize my ‘how to’ books, thesaurus’s, dictionaries, and note cards. I also keep a poster board full of Post-It Notes with ideas. I’m a pantser so plotting ruins everything for me.

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

My tablet. Just in case something pops into my head about the story I’m writing or another one I’m working on. Strange how that happens. Maybe it has something to do with the cinnamon and vanilla smelling candles I keep burning near-by. Gotta have candles.

 

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 the kitchen table because I have a great view of a palm tree and a blue Florida sky. And like I mentioned above, I need my tablet and my candles.

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

Water and hot tea are my writing beverages. I love British, mint, and jasmine teas. Stevia is my choice of sweetner, too.

 

On Writing

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

I don’t really have any favorites. Although, there are a lot of new authors I love like Lorelei Bell, Lisa Olsen, and Mike Saxton. When I was a kid, I devoured Anne of Greene Gables and the Laura Ingalls series. My inspiration came from these series along with watching the old vampire and werewolf movies. I’ve wanted to write ever  since I was nine. 

 

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

The mornings I use to write my blog, read other blogs and comment. I also go through e-mails and do a little social networking on my days off. Most times I’m an evening writer but will stop by 10 PM. I need sleep. I also write to Egnigma, Soundscapes, and Sarah Brightman. This music puts me in the zone.

 

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

 I spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day writing. It depends on how I feel. If I can’t push a full four hours I don’t because then I just can’t produce. As for distractions, once I’m in the zone no one can take me out. Sir Poops and Hair Ball are my best motivators. They listen to me read my stuff a loud. And they always approve.

Sir Poops-a-Lot and Hair Ball

 4. Why do you write?

I write because I have to. The voices don’t stop. Ideas are always coming even when I’m sleeping. Good stories come out of dreams, you know.

 

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

Just write. Don’t worry if its perfect. Doing something everyday makes you better. We’ll never be perfect. Even after our book is sitting on a shelf or on Amazon. We’ll still find something we could have changed. Go to a critique group to get feedback. Reach out for beta-readers, too. Never beat yourself up. My favorite quote is a Nike one: Just do it!

 

And thank you so much for inviting me to do this. This is one of my favorite posts that you do. This was an honor.

 

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Thanks, Shelly, 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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45 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Shelly Arkon”

  1. momto8blog says:

    very fun and interesting to get a glimpse into a writers life!

  2. tara tyler says:

    love your unconventional, write where i can space!
    and i have to take your lead and read to my poop machine, comet =)

    perfect is boring =) great interview!

  3. E.J. Wesley says:

    So cool to learn more about the fabulous Shelly. Such an awesome blogger and sweetheart of a person. :-)

    Do the dogs approve of using their dens as a bookshelf? Mine would not, but like Shelly, I’d probably do it anyway. 😉

    Great interview ladies!

  4. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell … Shelly sounds fun .. and Shelly I love your answers – just do what you do whenever you can do it … and most definitely perfect is boring …

    You obviously have lots going on and that leads to loads of fun … Good luck with Second Hand Shoes … cheers Hilary

  5. Southpaw says:

    I love your story! Gosh with five daughter plus grand kids you must have a lot of great stories.

  6. Tonja says:

    I agaree – just write. :)

  7. tcavey says:

    Wonderful interview, very enjoyable. Wish I could write as much as you do a day, but for now, that’s not possible.

    Oh, and I love hot tea too!

  8. Nut, whatever you did, it works fine for me now, and I am so happy about that!

    What a great post. I am going over to check out Shelly’s blog, and can’t wait to read her book, because I bet that it is funny.

    Kathy M.

  9. M.J. Fifield says:

    I use my dogs crate to hold blankets mostly but now I’m thinking maybe I can use them as bookshelf space. Thanks for the idea, Shelly!

  10. deniz says:

    Lovely to meet you Shelly! Writing in bed, for up to four hours, sounds wonderful. And a palm tree! It’s so cold here…

    And thanks for all the photos of Japan, nutschell! I feel like I’ve been on a tour, all from the comfort of my living room.

  11. No nosh for the pups if they do disapprove!
    Shelly, you look so young.

  12. Hello! I’m new here. Lovely to meet you both. Great interview – I am always inspired by reading about another author. xx

  13. Love these Wednesdays! We should have named our dog Sir Poops-a-Lot, it fits him to a tee. Glad to see someone else enjoys writing on the bed 😀

  14. Wonderful interview, and great to meet you Shelly:)

  15. William Kendall says:

    Splendid interview, Shelly and Nutschell!

    I’ve read the book, and it’s smashing!

  16. What a fun interview! I love that she has such a great view from her writing table. I also think it is great that she writes every day! Thanks for sharing. :)

  17. My SIL is dyslexic, as well, and was not a happy camper when her school started requiring all teachers to teach writing for part of their class as the scores were so low (she’s a math teacher…). Good interview! Drained your adrenals? Unpleasant.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    • Shelly says:

      Shannon,

      I can tell you this much, the first four years of my school tenure were rough. I was stuck in a slow class for a while. But then I just took off. Still struggle with spelling but I keep at it. Practice makes better.

  18. Laura Eno says:

    Nice to meet you, Shelly! You have a wit about you that I appreciate and I love your dogs’ names. :)

  19. Sylvia says:

    Very Cool Shelly. Love the dogs – Thanks for sharing!

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

  20. Julie says:

    Great interview Shelly and Nutschell! Shelly, your grandson is adorable, and I agree with Alex about your youthful appearance. It’s amazing how you finished your book with your hectic schedule. I can’t wait to read Secondhand Shoes!

  21. Miranda Hardy says:

    Love the writing space and the pictures.

  22. Ella says:

    So fun to learn more about Shelly! Wow, your grandson is so cute! YOU look too young, to be a grandmother~ I guess I need to eat more chocolate, have n’ give more hugs and more Jillian wkouts! ;D xo

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