I’m so pleased to introduce my readers to Karen Wingate. I got to meet Karen in person at ACFW Conference 2015, and we sat by one another during the awards banquet. She is the loveliest, sweetest soul. We were both in tears when fellow author, Kate Breslin, won the Carol! I fell in love with Karen that night, watching her rejoice with other authors. I knew in her I had a kindred spirit. But enough blathering, I’m sure you’re eager to meet her, too. So here we go.
Karen claims to be “an ordinary woman who has watched a powerful God do awesome things.” She lives in the farmland of Western Illinois and is married to a minister. They live with a bossy Welsh Corgi and are parents to two “grown and gone awesome daughters who are using their God given gifts to make a difference in their corner of the world.”
Karen loves “cooking, Corgis (did I already say that?), knitting, reading, history, reading about history, and of course, writing, especially writing about God’s place in history. I love to share how God does great things through ordinary people and I love connecting with my Christian sisters to hear how God is transforming their lives and using them to extend God’s grace to those around them.”
Since Karen is such a gifted writer, I’m going to let her tell you about her cozy writing space. Take it away, Karen!
I love my writing room! Even though I’ve worked as a writer for nearly thirty years, I’ve had my own special room for only the last five years. Since my husband is a minister, we’ve lived in parsonages most of those years and I’ve been afraid to ask to decorate a room to fit my taste. I finally got the nerve and created my own space. One of our elders even did the painting for me! I’m glad I did. My room has become more than my office; it’s my own personal retreat where I feel calm, comfortable and quiet, a place where I can think big thoughts.
I find the tan walls with lime green accents soothing and relaxing. So does my husband who often wanders into my room in the evening to sit on the bed and chat. I’ve hung two picture on the wall above my desk that remind me daily of my purpose. The larger picture depicts a scene I would like to write about some day. The Moravian missionary, David Zeisburger was called to share Christ with the Delaware Indians. My framed art tells the story of the first time he preached to a group. You can see his audience in various stages of accepting the Gospel message. The smaller picture was taken by a friend at a writer’s conference. That’s a sunrise, not a sunset and it reminds me to keep dreaming, and that God’s faithfulness is new every morning.
On the opposite side, I have a day bed for guests or for when I want to stretch out and read. The knitted squares on the bed are part of the afghan throw I’m creating for the bed, another expression of my creativity.
My old and faithful Welsh Corgi, Tuesday often sleeps by my side. She asks for walks less often now but I often stay at my desk longer than I intend because I don’t want to disturb her.
As women’s ministry director at my local church, I oversee the programs of our Women’s Fellowship and facilitate two on-site and one online Bible study small groups. Right now, our network of groups include over 45 women. In addition to prepare bible study materials, I keep up with my blog at www.graceonparade.com and write articles for The Lookout. I’m currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense set in Southern Arizona and have dreams of writing several historical fiction novels set in Ohio, Kansas and Illinois, all places where we have lived and served in the ministry. Finally I’m waiting for the green light to write a book of adult bible study materials for a company that has previously produced my children’s curriculum.
Regardless of the space you have as a writer, I encourage you to make it your own. It doesn’t take much—framed art, your personal color scheme or even something whimsical like a stuffed teddy bear or a Mrs. Potato Head like I have in my room. For years, I kept a figurine of a Norman Rockwell self-portrait that reminded me to look into myself and be who I really am in God’s eyes. Surround yourself with symbols that represent you, your faith and your passion.
Karla: Karen, I absolutely love your space. And I have wanted an office with a bed for years! I think it would be lovely to take a little nap to recharge right there in my writing space. I’ve even considered making a nest under my desk. Hee hee.
Everyone, be sure to connect with Karen online. She has the most lovely blog and was the winner of one of my January Brilliant Blog Award Picks!
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/graceonparade/
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Would you like to share your writing space with my readers? If so, you can find out how here: What’s on your writing desk?