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 Teresa Powell Coltrin, blogger at and the, and author of Grim Tales from the Ruralhood.

GrimCover for blogs


Welcome, Teresa!


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?

meworkingphoto1for NutshellAuthor Teresa Powell Coltrin

By day I’m a school based social worker, by night (mostly early morning) I write. I am the mom of a son and daughter and grandmother of four perfect human beings.

Thus far, I’m a short story writer. I’ve started a couple of novels and have a YA halfway there, but my attention span is well…. What was I talking about? Oh yeah writing.  I have loved writing since the sixth grade when I rewrote a few fairytales as skits for our fifth and sixth grades to perform for our country school.  And then I wrote IT—a love story, a play with me in the starring role. It wasn’t for production, and only my best friends were allowed to read it. I started writing again as a young adult while waiting on my first child to be born. I didn’t write fiction much after that, but did journal. After my second child was born I began writing children’s stories. During those years, I sold five stories to Today’s Farmer Magazine for their read-aloud section. Two were published before they stopped providing that section. I still love writing children’s stories and do from time to time.

I can’t think of any hidden talents—maybe they’re too hidden for me to realize. I can’t whistle or do a cartwheel. I have to say, though, that I know how to do a little of a lot of things—maybe a jack-of-all trades kind of girl, master of nothing. I play the guitar a little, sing a little, can fix a running toilet, use an electric drill and saw, sew just about anything and decorate on little money.



On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing in the family room, in a comfy chair, with a laptop on my lap, but my official workspace is at a desk located in what used to be my living room. Sometimes I need NOT to be comfortable. It is then I sit upright in my chair at my desk.


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

My desk is actually the first piece of new furniture that my former husband and I bought from Sears many moons ago—early in our marriage. It is part of a dinette set—table with two chairs.

my desk

Teresa’s workspace


3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work? What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

On my desk, I of course I appreciate my iPad Air, a Christmas present from my daughter. I like my lamp because it makes me happy to look at it. I bought the lamp to use on my desk when I was a secretary. A funny story. One day, a teacher friend of mine asked me if it was a Tiffany lamp. I frowned at him and said “Would I bring a Tiffany lamp to put on a desk where students and teachers are in and out?”  He said, “Yes.” This made me realize I didn’t want it broken, so I took it home and bought a brass lamp for work. BTW, I bought my “Tiffany” lamp at Wal-Mart. It’s circa 1990’s. :)


Teresa’s Tiffany Lamp


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

I drink lots of water, so mostly water except in the morning when I drink coffee—LOTS of coffee.

On Writing

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

I read a little of everything, but in recent years, I read less than I’ve ever read because I write more. My dad inspired me to write. He’s written stories for years and read some of them to his children when we were growing up. He’s a self-published author, a woodcarver and artist of many paintings.  I used to read Stephen King a lot, but not so much now. Lately, I’ve enjoyed some wacky writing by Aimee Bender and also writing by Jo Ann Beard.  But my favorite discovery of late is T.C. Boyle. I’m also inspired by the funny writings of the late Erma Bombeck. I love funny.


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

My typical day is to get out of bed (goal is 5 -5:30 a.m.) with eyes closed, make coffee, open at least one eye to reread a paragraph or two of what I was writing previously and then write. At 7 a.m. I get ready for my money making job.


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

I do try to write every day, even if it’s not for a long span of time, because I truly enjoy writing. The biggest curse and sometimes blessing is the distraction of the Internet. It’s a time waster, but also a quick way of retrieving information when I need it.


4. Why do you write?

If I didn’t write, I would have a traffic jam of gargantuan proportion with ideas and characters pushing and shoving to get out of my brain. However, I often think about a story I’ve written and/or the characters long after I’ve finished writing it.


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

Nope. I’m still learning. Well, maybe I do. First of all, hook up with wonderful writers by following them on their blogs. You’ll learn so much this way and never regret the comradery. Also, if you like writing don’t stop just because you haven’t been published; writing is good for your soul.






meworkingphoto1for Nutshell


Teresa Powell Coltrin, also writing as T. Powell Coltrin, is an aspiring writer of short stories. She enjoys writing in various genres:  mystery, thriller, comedy, fantasy and at times a bit of bizarre, with an occasional children’s story thrown in there. A few of her children’s read aloud stories appeared in Today’s Farmer Magazine in past years.  Her self-published EBook anthology (the result of an A-Z April Blogging Challenge) will be available in April. Grim Tales from the Ruralhood is a compilation of twenty-six short stories inspired by a Brothers Grimm title and set in a rural setting. Currently, Teresa is writing on a YA novel, with the working title of Twice in a Blue Moon and another short story compilation with a working title of Body Bags.

T. Powell Coltrin can be also be found writing on her blogs Journaling Woman, where she writes whatever is on her mind plus a Sunday inspirational post, and at The Ruralhood, where she journals and posts photos of growing up as a rural child and beyond.

To purchase a copy of Grim Tales from the Ruralhood go here

Journaling Woman

The Ruralhood





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

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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9 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Teresa Powell Coltrin”

  1. mooderino says:

    I’d say being able to fix a running toilet is a talent all its own. And Erma Bombeck is probably the best name for a humorist writer I’ve ever heard. Nice getting to know you Teresa.

    Moody Writing

  2. Amazing you can write first thing in the morning. I’d be doing it with both eyes closed.
    And an iPad Air is essential!

  3. Mason Canyon says:

    Teresa, it’s always fun learning more about you. I’m with Alex on the writing in the morning – amazing. Love your writing space, especially the lamp.

  4. Another early morning writer! I won’t feel so lonely now when I’m tapping the keys and it’s still dark outside.

    Lovely writing space, Theresa. Cozy and inviting for those writing sessions.

  5. Pat Hatt says:

    Wow, that is too early for me lol but yeah the biggest time waster can be the internet

  6. Thanks, Nutschell, for having me on your blog.

    Thanks, Mood, for coming by. Erma was the best.

    Alex and Mason, I can do lots of things in the morning after I have my coffee except…I don’t like to talk when it’s early.

    Lee, I’ll give you a call one early morn.

  7. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Teresa – I’ve loved reading Teresa’s blog .. it’s authentic and just introduces me to her world … and it’s been fun finding about her father’s writing and then the family history surrounding her early life with her grandparents and then those memories .. evocative about rural life in America.

    She’s amazing at what she can make do with and painting and tidying up her home – it’s great to see .. and she mows .. she doesn’t mention her prowess in the back-yard and her grass!

    Loved seeing the beautiful tidy writing space, and then the Tiffany lamp – quite a delightful touch and I’m glad you brought it home safe and sound!

    Cheers to you both .. Hilary

  8. It’s great that your kids inspired you to write children’s book Teresa!

  9. Ld Masterson says:

    I envy writers who can work in the morning. I can barely make it to the bathroom.

    I like your description of your grandchildren. Mine are “four perfect human beings”, as well. Or were, at least, until the oldest one hit his teens. (just kidding)

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