Tell us about your writing space.
My space is a bit unique in that it serves as both my art studio and writing space. I’ve owned and taught art to children and adults for nearly twenty years through my side business, fondly named Piggy Toes Art Studio. I do most of my writing in my office that adjoins to my art space, but I find myself meandering between the two, especially when I’m needing inspiration.
I love the name of your studio! What makes it special for you?
This space is special to me for many reasons—in a household of all boys (14, 17, 20, and my husband), it is here where I relax, create, and rejuvenate within my periwinkle-painted walls. It’s my little world that I fill with books, quotes, art, music, and photos that have special meaning to me. There is an ever-changing assortment of artwork covering most of the walls. In an extremely busy household, my space is where I write, paint, pray, catch up with friends, hang out with my dog, and simply “be still”. Since it’s my space, I can make a mess and leave it, or better yet, get it organized and tidy and it stands a chance of staying that way (mostly!).
I totally understand a male-dominated household! And your dog is precious! What is one element of your space that makes you smile?
A simple photo sits next to my computer—it’s of my oldest son when he was about two. That dear little face reminds me of how quickly time passes, the preciousness of a child’s heart, a checkpoint to try to be true to my most important priorities, and daily reminder of my many blessings.
They grow up too quickly! What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?
Before I can make much progress, especially with a manuscript, I must have my desk in order. That way, my mind is less cluttered and free to create. If it’s daytime, I open all the blinds and let the sun fill the room. If it’s nighttime, I like to have soft light from a few table lamps. Often, I’ll play acoustic music to keep me company. A cup of coffee or water with lemon, are always helpful companions.
I like to write with music, too. Share a typical writing day.
Someday, I hope to report back to you that I consistently write from X time to Y time. For now, I tend to write in large blocks when I escape to my writing space. Before I head off for the day to teach school, I try to make it into my studio office early in the morning to tackle some of the marketing elements of being an author. Often, I find myself back in the evening, tying up loose ends. However, when I catch those wonderful moments of “being in the writing zone”, it’s in those uninterrupted times when it feels as if I’m in another world—so fun!
If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?
Truthfully, I love the space I have. Ideally, my boys would air their hockey gear and sort fishing tackle boxes somewhere else. Yet, I suppose those are the reminders of the current season of my life, and someday I’ll miss those things. As far as productivity, I’ve gotten the most writing done when I’ve headed alone to a friend’s mountain cabin. Isolation can be a good thing for a writer—especially for an extrovert like myself! I’m trying a secluded beach in June—I’ll see how that works out.
I hope your beach trip was a great success! Tell us a little about your latest release.
Chasing the Butterfly was a wonderful experience to write, and continues to take me on a journey I would have never imagined. It was recently named 2015 Book of the Year for Historical Fiction by Christian Small Publisher Association. It released in October 2014 from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and has been graciously received by reviewers, book clubs, and readers looking for a story rich in the sensory images of France through the eyes of an artist, Ella Moreau. A sequel and hopefully, prequel will add to the storyline.
My next contracted book is titled Rush. It’s a story based on my great-great grandmother’s brave adventure participating in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893—such a thrill to fictionalize, and at the same time, pay tribute to an amazing woman.
From a vineyard in the south of France to the sophisticated city of Paris, Ella Moreau searches for the hope and love she lost as a young girl when her mother abandoned the family. Ella’s journey is portrayed through a heartbroken child, a young woman’s struggles during the tumultuous times surrounding World War II, and as a reflective adult. Through a series of secret paintings, her art becomes the substitute for lost love–the visual metaphor of her life. But when her paintings are discovered, the intentions of those she loves are revealed.
Jayme, congratulations on being named Book of the Year for Historical Fiction. Your books sound wonderful! Thank you for the pleasure of getting to know you better and seeing your creative spaces!
Readers, what are your creative outlets?