What it means to have a writing space all your own

As Virginia Woolf wrote 85 years ago: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Virginia Woolf’s words hold up to this day. Over the weekend my husband fashioned a “writing nook” for me in our bedroom. He thinks much better in a spatial sense than I do and suggested that we put a desk that he had before we got married into the bedroom so that I’d have my own area to write. There was some shifting around of furniture, but we got it to work. The timing couldn’t be better. I’m giving my manuscript a final read-through and plan to start contacting agents in a few weeks, literary agents who handle fiction and are interested in first-time novelists. My writing nook makes me feel that all the toil on this manuscript all these years spent on it were for something of merit that people will want to read. I hope that proves to be true.

Win an autographed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game!

InkwellBe the first person to correctly answer the following trivia questions about famous writers and I will send you an autographed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. Keep in mind that these are not your standard boilerplate publicist-vetted factoids about these writers. I dug a little deeper for this trivia quiz to expose the salacious, offensive, petty, and admirable side of those you’ve come to love and hate through their crafting of the written word.

Don’t be put off by these 10 questions! Researching the answers will be fun. Unlike scratch off tickets, the odds of you winning are very VERY good. That’s because very few people actually read my blog. So good luck. I look forward to hearing from you.

  1. Which 19th century writer continuously got his wife pregnant and then got mad at her when she was too tired to travel with him overseas on his lecture tour?
  2. Which writer, who in later years became famous during the Harlem Renaissance, strung along a high school romantic interest through letters for years with no intent of having a relationship with her?
  3. Which married 20th Century writer invited other women into his bed while his wife was in it, knowing that the wife would lie there in humiliation and pretend to be asleep?
  4. Which contemporary author spent much of his youth getting into bar brawls and street fights, partially because of his anger at his father, also an author?
  5. Which contemporary author spent much of his youth being raised by the regulars who frequented his neighborhood’s bar?
  6. During the 1800s this author helped a financially struggling African-American law student pay his tuition at one of the most prestigious universities in the country. The law student in later years mentored Thurgood Marshall, who later because U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
  7. This writer was tossed into jail repeatedly for what was called “The love that dare not speak its name”
  8. This writer was a college dropout who moved in with reclusive writer J.D. Salinger. The relationship ended when he announced to her that he didn’t want anymore children.
  9. This prolific writer’s relationship with prison inmates inspired the two novels that launched her career.
  10. Oprah seeks advice from this author and poet.

I “sold” some “Chicken Soup” today

FRUGAL BOOK SIGNING CUSTOMERI had a lovely time at Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury, signing copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. A number of friends stopped by to lend their support, including members of the Myrtle Baptist Church Book Club. I was also delighted at the new acquaintances who purchased the book. I even had a couple of children come up to me, aspiring writers who wanted to know how to get published. I was glad to be able to give them encouragement.