Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guest Post: Kari Lee Townsend Shares Her Workspace

Curling Up By The Fire is pleased to have Kari Lee Townsend with us today.  Kari is the author of the newly released Tempest in the Tea Leaves (published August 2, 2011), a new cozy mystery series set in Divinity, New York.  It features Sunny Meadows, and a host of intriguing characters as she sets the town upside down searching for the murderer of the town librarian who would like nothing better than to frame her.  Using her psychic abilities, she partners with the town's detective to hunt down a killer before the killer finds another victim, or gets to her. Kari is her with us today to share her workspace with us, and how she uses that workspace to get her inspiration.

Kari Lee Townsend’s Workspace

by Kari Lee Townsend

People often ask me where I work so I thought I’d give you all a peek inside my world.

In the past, I never had an office. We always had a main computer, but I tended to work on my laptop wherever I was most comfy. But I ended up carrying around tons of notes, and sitting in the worst possible position, writing for hours at a time without getting up. Now, after mega deadlines, a bad back, and a lot more common sense, I finally decided I needed an office.

So my wonderful hubby built me an office when he finished off the basement. It has a nice big desk, filing cabinets, book shelves, etc. The problem is our main computer is there, and I have four children. You also have to pass through my office to get to the workout room and the extra refrigerator. Did I mention three out of four of my children are teenage boys? They are always on the computer and always in the extra fridge. At first I thought this was no biggie because I tend to write when they are all at school anyway. But then I realized my notes got moved, and everything got messed up. Besides, the house was empty, and I did not want to be in the dungeon all day, no matter how nice my office is. Although by the picture I posted, you can see how messy my animals—aka children—keep the main office.

So, now my frustrated hubby got me a desk to use in our formal living room. I’ve never really seen the point of a formal living room. We all tend to congregate in the family room and kitchen, while the formal living room sits empty. No TV and not really closed off completely for privacy anyway. I still store a lot of things in my “official” office that is more like the “family” office, but now I have a writing space that is just mine. No kids allowed! They still wander into the room; they just aren’t allowed to touch my desk. And, um, yeah, according to this next picture, you can see where my kids their messiness from. I can’t help it. When I’m working on a project, I need quick reference to lots of notes and research. And I know where everything is, so it doesn’t get cleaned until I finish a book. But then I start the next one pretty quick, and there’s always promotion materials and schedules, so I guess it’s never “really” clean.

I love my writer’s nook because you can’t see it from the rest of the house unless you enter that room. I am upstairs and available if anyone needs me, yet hidden enough to work…most of the time. Besides, I mostly work when everyone is gone. And that room has nice big bright windows that let a lot of light in, something the dungeon just doesn’t have!

Finally, I now try to remember to get up every hour and move. When I am really under the gun and my back is killing me, I’ve tried standing. Standing works really well, but bothers my legs after a while. The perfect solution would be a walkstation, but they are so expensive. So in the meantime, I rigged up my own in the basement. A board on my treadmill, and then I turn the treadmill on really slowly (like a 1 or 1.5, but no more than 2). That way I can easily stand and type at the perfect level so my back doesn’t hurt, and yet walk slowly so the circulation in my legs keeps flowing and my legs don’t hurt. I’ve lost track of time and spent two hours doing that before. Even at that slow of pace, you’d be surprised at how many extra calories you burn. Here’s a picture of my homemade walkstation.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a peek inside my world and how and where I write my books like TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES which is out now. CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL comes out in June 2012 and TROUBLE IN THE TAROT comes out in March 2013. Guess I’d better go get started on that one now.

You can find out more about me and all my books at and my group mystery blog Follow me on Twitter at Like my Facebook Author Page at


  1. This was fun, sharing my workspace. Hope you all find time to do a bit of work yourself :-) Happy reading and writing, all!