An Old Photo and My First Book

My first book’s release day is approaching fast.

Revision finished bouquet

Revision finished bouquet

 Of course, I’m getting more excited by the day and finding my fingers itching to hold this “baby” in my hands for the first time.  🙂

Over the course of this past week, once I finished the revisions on my most recent manuscript on Tuesday, I was thinking about how long I’ve been writing.  And waiting to get to this point.

 Sure, I’ve taken many side paths to other careers and roles, wife, mother, college professor, academic writer and some technical writing.  But where writing was concerned, my heart always winged back to those years before I earned a salary and wrote fiction, usually late at night or in the car while I watched my sons practice whatever seasonal sport they were playing.

 I don’t know about you but I’ve heard and read about those writers who are well-known today and talk about their early days, writing novels in longhand or typing on a manual or electric typewriter if you were really lucky.  I’ve been there, done that. 

 My first feeble attempts were in long-hand.  😦  Unfortunately, many years of college note-taking ruined my handwriting and I switched to a typewriter.  So much easier for me. 🙂

Writing at the kitchen table

Writing at the kitchen table

While I was going through old photos this week, I discovered a photo of those days.  Which brought back memories of that kitchen table where stories and college papers were written by hand or on the typewriter.  Of the meals shared around that table with my family—which meant clearing off the papers and typewriter which was a blessing but a heavy one.  

 I used that table for cooling baked goods, setting out and putting together several kinds of Christmas cookies and getting help in decorating them with my sons.  My grandmother put together pies on that old table and that small kitchen with that large table served so many functions in my life.  Not the least of which was my original writing space but all of which shape my writing voice.  I’m framing this photo and putting it in my current writing space.  It will ground me and inspire me.

 In my new and very modern office, I’m surrounded by things still important in my life, family photos, writing awards, my puppy, a few treasured objects from trips or friends.  All inspire me.

 What about you and your writing space?

Explore posts in the same categories: Memories, Photos, Writing

7 Comments on “An Old Photo and My First Book”

  1. Edie Says:

    OMG! I started in longhand in a notebook, then a typewriter with carbon paper. On my kitchen table, of course I graduated to a word processor, and loved it. From there a computer. Now I have my office of my own. I love it, but I probably got the most work done with the word processor because I wasn’t distracted by the Internet.

  2. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Love the picture! It’s those struggles that made you the woman you are today. I’ m so glad I was around to see your growth as a person and a writer.

  3. caseyclifford Says:


    Getting distracted by the internet? That’s why I’ve really liked doing rough drafts on my Alphie. No ‘net. With revisions I’m so focused on the work that the ‘net isn’t as tempting.

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    Ah, we do have history, dear woman. So you recogized the house as the old family homestead when Mom and I teamed up after my dad died. Together two single mothers sure got a lot done. Of course, Mom was so much more respectable than I was, what with being a divorced woman when that wasn’t done.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by. 🙂

  5. Great picture! I had a word processor after HS for my first year of college, but my first 2 manuscripts were written longhand in notebooks. Still have them, too. 🙂 I decided to give writing directly on the computer a try with my 3rd ms and haven’t looked back!

  6. Mary Jo Says:

    Hey, Stacey!

    Thanks for stopping by. Aren’t we lucky we don’t have to write by chipping on stone blocks? Though sometimes I feel that old. 🙂

    I for one am very glad you’re not looking back as I can’t wait to read you next book.

    Oh, and thanks for the plug about my upcoming release on the WisRWA loop. :-0

  7. You don’t look that old, Mary Jo. I meant it when I said I was looking forward to Black Ribbon Affair. Do you have any book signings scheduled yet? I’d love to get my copy in person.

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