Where the Magic Grows

Some writers have this thing I’ve always envied, where they can be alone, meet with their muses and write, write, write. The really good ones have a little bit of magic growing there.

It’s called an office.

Marilyn Pappano’s was the first one I saw for myself. Hers is really cool! I’m awful with distances, but it’s about thirty feet from her backdoor, has two rooms, air and heat and even a place where she can nap when she’s exhausted.

I’m not sure, but I think it used to be a chicken house. Or a clock builder’s workshop. I can’t remember. 😦

I’m not sure where she keeps it, but I know there’s a place in there where magic blooms. 🙂

Another friend, a newer writer, has an office that’s outside her house, too. She has access to magic I know, because she’s extremely determined as well as enthusiastic about writing. (I’m anxious to read her stuff.) Her office used to be a barn.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a huge, two story office in her house. (Click on the link to see pictures.) She has tons of built in bookshelves, and somewhere, over in the back, a vat where she stirs up magic. (I know it’s there!)

Stephen King’s office.

Here’s a link to a pic of Leigh Duncan’s “work space” aka office. (You call it corn, we call it maze.)

My office?


These days is a recliner. 🙂 My laptop sits of a table next to it. Since I’m most creative early in the a.m., I have piles of solitude. And quiet? Yeah, except when Molly is demanding a treat or it’s storming outside.

What about my books? Most are on my Kindle these days. The rest are in my overfilled everything room. Printer? It’s in the next room. Dictionary? Encyclopedia? Thesaurus? Online. Online. Online.

What about days when I write for more than a few hours and others are around?

Well, there’s always white noise and ear buds. 🙂

Of course, there are a few things I’m missing. I don’t have an area where magic grows (just blood, sweat and tears) but I’m hoping to find one.

The video below is James Scott Bell in his office. He’s sharing his best writing advice, but he shows us someone of the things in his office as he does. Maybe I should take a tip from him.

He definitely knows where the Magic Grows.

What’s your office like? Do you have a place where Magic Grows or are you, like me, still searching?

Create a Private Writing Conference–Free!


Remember “ALL I REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW, I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN?” by Robert Fulghum? Well, I’ve decided that everything I need to learn is on Youtube.

Want (need?) to learn about writing and can’t afford a class or conference? Head for Youtube! I’m not kidding. You’d be surprised at what you can learn over there.

I haven’t always been a big Youtube user. Oh, one Halloween when I wanted to watch 13 Ghosts (the original one) I found it there. But that’s entertainment. I’d never thought about how I could really use it for my good before.

Then, the other day, I came across this video, shared by Jean Brashear. (Don’t you just love Jean?)


I loved this video.


Thank you, Jean!

Next, a Smart Woman shared a video.

Since James Scott Bell is one of my favorite how-to-write authors, I watched.



Yeah, if you want to teach me something, toss in a little humor. So I watched this, another one of James’ videos.


He’s got several on Youtube. Do a search.

I spent an hour listening to Stephen King the other day while I got ready for work. (I’m loving my iPad!)



You really could make an entire writing conference by searching out videos over there.

Of course, Youtube isn’t just about learning to write. You can learn anything. (More than I want to know!)

Ten things to see in Ireland.


How to train your dog.


Container gardening.


But this is a writing blog, and for all y’all who dream about writing and keep putting it off . . .


So . . . do you Youtube? Ever thought about making your own conference by listening to the Big Boys speak? Ever want to learn something and pop over there for your education?

What’s your favorite Youtube?

Ps: Right now I’m learning from Elmore Leonard. 😉


Traditions and Inspirations

I thought I’d share a little about the last trip my husband and I took. We celebrated a milestone anniversary and instead of going to Branson, MO, our usual destination, we went to Estes Park, CO.

Why there, you ask? There aren’t any ski slopes, although the town is on the outskirts of a national forest. No, besides being tucked into a beautiful valley, the big draw to Estes Park is the Stanley Hotel. Never heard of it? Hmm. Ever heard of Stephen Kings’ book, THE SHINING? Yep. It was his stay at said hotel, in room 217 that inspired that story. In case you’re wondering, yes, the hotel is possessed by Spirits.

Here’s a picture taken of the front of the hotel the night before we left.

While the Stanley’s were alive, the ladies gathered in the Music Room to plan their days’ activities while the men went out hunting or whatever. (Remember, it was a different era back in the 1920’s and ‘30’s.) Mrs. Stanley loved to play the piano, and sometimes late at night people can still hear her playing.

We didn’t happen to encounter any spirits during our stay. Doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Of course, we weren’t in room 217 – the most haunted room in the hotel – or on the 4th floor where guest can still hear children running up and down the halls.

Completely refurbished, the Stanley is a beautiful hotel. (Check out the lobby, complete with a Stanley Steamer automobile.)

If I wrote paranormal, I would definitely go back for more ‘ghostly’ inspiration. Want to go with me?


Linda Trout

On Writing

I’ve been reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and having a delightful time. Humorous and full of good advice, it is an easy read. This is not the first time his book has been mentioned here, but for me the timing is exactly right.

I’ve stalled on two novels, and a few novellas, and couldn’t figure out why. As Steve (I know he won’t mind me calling him this! 🙂  ) points out that you have to know a few basics then W-R-I-T-E. The emphasis is all mine. As well as read. When I would take time out to read, the Guilt Monster would fly from his hole to beat me senseless. If I wasn’t churning out ten pages, okay, five–or one–I would be attacked by guilt. Nasty fellow!

Most of you already put into practice what I’ve written above. Maybe some of you were waffling with what I’m dealing with. Maybe some are trying every new suggestion from articles,  blogs, or idea a friend heard from a friend who heard from a friend, to get your writing sellable.

Think I’ll just follow Steve’s advice and write.