I am terribly sorry for the mis-information this morning. I set the post yesterday and apparently should not blog when I'm not feeling well. My sincerest apologies to Miss Velda. She deserves better.
I am so excited to visit with today's guest. Velda Brotherton is one of the most prolific authors I know personally. We've been friends for close to 25 years.
The first time I met Miss Velda was at the Ozarks Creative Writers conference. To me, she will always be Miss Velda. I love her dearly and I think you will, too.
A bit about Velda Brotherton:
Velda Brotherton writes of romance in the old west with an authenticity that makes her many historical characters ring true. A knowledge of the rich history of our country comes through in both her fiction and nonfiction books, as well as in her writing workshops and speaking engagements. She just as easily steps out of the past into contemporary settings to create novels about women with the ability to conquer life’s difficult challenges. Tough heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for, all live in the pages of her novels and books. Her love of history and the west is responsible for the publication of 25 books and novels since 1994.
This busy writer who has co-chaired a large weekly critique group since 1988, also gives two yearly all-day workshops and mentors promising young writers, plus teaches at conferences in a four-state area. She isn’t sure what will come next. With all those voices in her head, she’s bound to let some of them out to play before long.
Thank you for giving us a peek at your nest, Miss Velda. So happy to have you here.
Describe your writing nest?
My nest is a mirror of the way I write. Scattered, dis-organized and comfortable with a window to the world I live in where deer and squirrels and other occasional night time wildlife play. Once a bedroom, I usually visit with my mother who slept here. It has been refit for my wheelchair with wider doors and convenient lowered closet rods. On the wall is a quilt my daughter made from tee shirts I’ve collected that reflect my 30 some-years spent writing and traveling for research as well as some appearances I’ve made.
In a corner is a wardrobe made by my son in law who also built my computer desk. On it is a desktop computer and a printer. The laptop I’m working on today sits on a roll top table along with a scanner. I’ve also got a couple of larger screens to help with the reading of my work. Funny story about this double arrangement. I can’t seem to give up my Windows 7 and my laptop for use only of the Windows 10 which is giving me headaches and occasional fits. I’m too old for this huge change but still fight the battle of learning to use Microsoft 365.
What is it about this space that inspires you?
The blessed silence touched only by birdsong and occasional music which I choose. Never lyrics only instrumentals lest I begin to sing along and lose my concentration.
Has finding your space been an evolving journey? How so?
I down-sized five years ago when I could no longer manage the stairs in my original home which is across the driveway from where I live now. My mother had lived here until her death when we began to rent the house. I fought leaving my home of over 40 years but it soon became necessary. Considering my mother’s spirit here, the house surrounded by flowers she had planted over the years, I soon snuggled in and am very comfortable.
My daughter and her husband did everything possible to adjust my new place, especially the office where I would work. My new nest, you might say. For the first couple of years it was move this, refit that, get rid of these things. I finally have it the way I want it. Books remain in a smaller bedroom as I don’t use them often, except when the Internet fails to give me information I need. I still find myself once in a while turning to pull a book off the shelf to look up something, only to find no shelf there. Alas it is an evolving world to which I have a problem adapting.
Anything you would change?
The answer to that question takes me directly from my last statement. No. I find myself too old for much change. Note the problems with Windows 10 as a huge example of that problem. I want to know when I reach for something I may have to paw through a stack or two. I usually find something else I’ve been hunting for on such an occasion. I’m thinking only of one more change and that is one I cannot control that eventually comes to all of us. The final move and I hope to make it gracefully. Let my daughter get to know me all the better by going through my piles of stuff.
What advice would you give to someone looking to build their own nest?
Make your own plans. Don’t listen to someone else, but have it your own way. If you like to scatter notes and copies and books make sure you have lots of flat surfaces. If you’re a neat freak then have plenty of filing and storage holes. In other words, design it to suit yourself not a magazine photo or the advice of a builder.
Our group meets on Zoom every week and I’m happy to see writers in their own “nest.” Each one so different yet so like the person who sits there. It is evident each one is comfortable and happy in their surroundings and not ashamed to let everyone see it.
Thank you, Miss Velda. Let's take a look at your follow up to Beyond the Moon.