What’s on your writing desk, Elaine Stock?

What's on your writing desk- (1)

Today I’m excited to feature one of my dear writing pals, Elaine Stock. She is represented by the same literary agent I am, the lovely Linda Glaz. I’m so happy that my readers get to know Elaine. She has a very engaging blog. You’ll want to check it out.


Karla:  I love this picture of you and your cat! I write surrounded by my pets, too.

Elaine:  Although this photograph of myself is a tribute to my not long ago writing muse of the past nineteen and a half years, Wild Cat, who left me for a much better forever writing spot this past October, what you see is pretty much my writing place. Oh, I do have this great big antique oak desk that is presently in the corner of the kitchen. I think. Is that what’s under the printer, mounds of paper that can never, ever be thrown away, and writing how-to books?

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered

Karla: Oh yes. I have one of those mysterious wooden things you call desks, too. I’m sure it’s under there somewhere. Along with a pony, maybe? I’m very sorry about the loss of your cat. As an animal lover with five fur babies myself, and having had many over the years, I know how very precious they are to us.

Where do you like to write the most?

Where in the world do you write-

Elaine: With limited space, I’ve come to appreciate this corner of the sofa. It’s the closest to the wood stove in the winter, plus I look out four big windows and a backdoor for views of the countryside. Since the photo was taken I now have an additional pink marble side table. On good days I use the coffee table and side table as desk extensions—of course! To add a little more zest in my drive I’ll keep a mug of coffee—if early in the morning—or hot tea or plain old tap water. I’m not into snacking—really!—but may indulge in fruit or a granola bar if the blood sugar sags.

Karla: I don’t think I know the meaning of “not into snacking.” I wish I did! I envy that! Thanks for sharing your lovely writing space with us, Elaine. It sounds absolutely cozy and inspiring.


Karla writing from her snack fort.

Here’s a bit more about Elaine. I hope you’ll make every effort to connect with her, Dear Reader!

Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration and 10 years in community service. All great fodder for writing fiction.


(c) Elaine Stock

In the spring of 2011 she placed in the Semi-finals category in the ACFW Genesis Contest for her novel WALK WITH ME. In 2013 she received the honor of My Book Therapy’s Frasier Bronze Medalist award for her novel NO GOING BACK. And in 2014 she was blessed with the news that her short story IN HIS OWN TIME won the People’s Choice Award in the FamilyFiction Contest, which was published in the printed anthology, THE STORY: 2014 Anthology. November 2014 saw her short story, THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS GIFT, released in CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECTION OF CHRISTMAS SHORT STORIES. In January 2015 she became a regular contributing author to Happy Sis Magazine ( aimed at an international readership to “inspire women to know Christ and to grow in faith, integrity, confidence, success and happiness.”

Her own blog, Everyone’s Story ( has grown in its over 4-year existence, receiving an average of 8,000 viewer monthly visits. She weekly hosts authors, writers, and readers, which helps to further her reach and connection to many on an international level. Everyone’s Story’s theme is to uplift and encourage all through the power of story and hope.

Connect with Elaine here:





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Would you and your writing spaces like to be featured on my blog? Find out how!

See what I did there?


Punny Guy: Author Tom Threadgill

I have a writing buddy who loves puns.

He’s super hilarious and you’d never know by his sense of humor that he writes bloody suspense novels.

You can follow his blog here: Tom Threadgill.

Do you like puns? Write some of them for me in the comments below!

And don’t forget to head over to my contest where I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Enjoy these punny pics! Which one’s your favorite?












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I’m baaaaaaack

It’s been too long since I got to blog and I miss it! Juggling life and a book deadline are a huge challenge. But with God’s grace, I’ve emerged from the cave with my mind still intact.


(Okay, fine, so that’s a subjective opinion. But just because some people think sitting on the roof singing “Yellow Submarine” is crazy doesn’t mean it is.)


This deadline was extremely difficult for Mr. Himself. I’m hoping next time I get a contract my deadline won’t be so pressing. But hey, when you get the rare-these-days publishing contract you can’t exactly make demands. If they need a book by a certain date, you’ve got to make it happen.  Still, Mr. Himself felt very neglected. Poor fellow. I felt bad.


How my husband sees himself when I’m on a deadline

I have a lot to consider as I go forward. I need to somehow keep my family happy while I pursue the dream. And I think it’s harder for women than for men.

What say you?


Tweet this: Is it easier for a man to have a writing career than it is for a woman?

Write like your hair’s on fire and a FREE writer’s planner!


“I’ve always wanted to write a book.”

When someone learns I’m a writer, that is nearly always the response.

I think everyone wants to be a writer. It’s an American thing, isn’t it? But what makes the difference between someone who wants to be and someone who is?

Hard work.

hair on fire

Maybe they’ve never gotten organized enough to write. Maybe they don’t think they have enough time. I’m one of the busiest people I know. The reason I find time to write is because I make time to write. Even if I have only snatches of 15 minutes here and there, I’m writing.

Here are a few things I do to write like my hair’s on fire:

  • I use my Writer’s Planner sheet to organize my day. The night before I write down my six most important things to get done the next day. I also figure out what errands I need to run, what I need to get done in my day job (ministry and college classes) and then in the column for writing I have a list of things I need to get written. I include my word count goal for the day (it differs, but I shoot for 1000 at least a day but prefer 3000) and record what I actually got done. (Don’t think word count is end all and be all. One of my favorite authors, Kate DiCamillo, only writes 250 words a day and she’s a best-seller and has won huge awards! I tend to throw up on the page and edit later.)
  • One of the most important things on my list is time with the Lord, reading the Bible and prayer. I can’t imagine being inspired without His anointing.
  • I  keep a Word Document open on my computer with my list of tasks for the day so I won’t get distracted. Yes, this duplicates my hard copy, but it helps me stay on track. I’m trying to learn to use the Google task tracker but I’m not yet in the groove.
  • If I’m able (and not usually) I clear my calendar for two weeks to wrap up a project. I let everyone know I’m on deadline and I shut myself away. If my family isn’t cooperative I leave the house and go somewhere quiet where I won’t be interrupted such as the library or some other venue with wi-fi (because I depend on Google for research). I don’t make any appointments outside of writing.
  • During my writing sessions ignore all emails that are not blood or fire. (If they aren’t bleeding or there isn’t some emergency, I let them sit unanswered.)
  • Stock up on crunchy foods like carrots (ahem) for keeping me awake in case I’m tempted to feel drowsy. I also try to plan on meals I can eat at the computer. Snacky type stuff that’s high in protein. Since my surgery I’ve discovered a delicious high-protein powder to add to my water or milk. Yum. Perfect for working!
  • Social Media is on hold until after the word count or project is completed.
  • My family hasn’t yet died eating a frozen lasagna or ordering in. They are grown (albeit with disabilities) and they know they are on their own when I write. I had to decide to be selfish about my writing career in order to make it happen. When I finish up a project or sign a book contract, we go out and celebrate AS A FAMILY, because they all pay the price by sacrificing Mom/wife attention.
  • Water. Lots and lots of water. It hydrates the brain.
  • Make myself sleep. This is very hard for me. But I think more clearly when I’m well rested. I tell myself that God works while I sleep. I take a Benadryl to help me feel drowsy.
  • Either go for walks or use my glider exercise machine DAILY. I prefer to swim in the summer.
  • Rewards: if I’m bored with the process I set the timer and tell myself “I’m going to write for 15 minutes and then I can stop.” I also reward myself for big word goals reached by either allowing myself a small purchase on Amazon (I am an office supply and book fanatic) or some other treat such as a movie night. I think rewards along the way are important because we are so alone in the process before we see any feedback.
  • Ignore my phone. I have it with me but unless it’s important I don’t answer it. I also subscribe to an answering service through Google. Yeah, I know, they’re probably spying, but it’s pretty cool. It transcribes the phone messages and sends me an email transcript of the phone call. Then, when I’m going through emails later, I can also answer my phone messages in order of importance.
  • Organization. I think this is super key to writing like your hair’s on fire. I have a space for everything. That’s not to say I’m a neat freak because when you live with autism and three dogs, you can’t be. But I know where all my supplies, books, research, calendar are all the time and keep them near me when I need them even if it means they’re in my rolling backpack.


Speaking of organization, you can download a copy of my 2014 Writer’s Planner! It’s my gift to you for a Happy 2014!



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What will you do to write like your hair’s on fire in 2014?