Tag Archives: Lowcountry

The Desk

Desk Blog ImageI’ve been a writer since before I was born.  A writer is all about her desk.  My first desk was a small, kneehole, four-drawer black desk.  If I still owned it, I’d hang it on the wall and just look at it.  It had been painted red, green and black over the years, as nicks and gouges clearly showed.  It was the kind of desk a school kid from the 1950s might have done their homework on.  It’s hard for me to imagine that I once corralled a typewriter, reams of yellow paper, a dictionary and all the other accoutrements of a writer on that measly pad of real estate.  Mostly I remember writing on it, including my first book—at night, many nights; many, many nights.

The kitchen table has often served as my desk.  I have fond memories of my small children banging away on pots and pans while I banged away on my first manual typewriter.

Over the years I graduated to swankier desks:  a thick glass slab atop chrome sawhorse legs…a slick candy-apple red desk with oak legs…and a lovely tobacco-leaf carved quarter-moon desk perched beneath an iron gazebo dangling lavender wisteria in a room overlooking downtown Savannah.

I’ve had other “desks” over the years:  the hoods of cars and trucks, my lap in bed, the floor of many a motel room when on the road doing research, and now, with my ultra-light Mac Book Air, the crook of my arm serves as a desk just fine.

When I travel, and visit literary historic sites, I always pay attention to the desks:  Carl Sandburg’s orange crate desk at Connemara in Morganton, North Carolina.  (Located in the boiler room, he often bottle- fed his wife’s prize-winning baby goats while he wrote.)  Thomas Wolfe was so tall he preferred to slap his typewriter on top of the refrigerator to write.  He often wrote “nekkid,” much to the consternation (or amusement) of his neighbors, since he cared not for curtains.

Since moving to Palmetto Bluff, the island in my light-filled laundry room has served as my desk.  I think I bought this house because of this thick slab of dark beech wood reclaimed from an Ohio barn.  It is glazed slick as glass and gleams with the clean slate look of possibilities.  Somehow, I could just imagine myself really cranking out the words there amidst the canned goods and cameras…the swish-swash of the washer and kalumph-kalumph of the dryer…the flicker of cell phones and iPads charging.  I enjoy being able to see what’s going on outside while I’m trapped inside writing, to wave to a neighbor, keep an eye out for Bob to fetch our red “Ladybug” golf cart so we can go to lunch.

I can always tell when I am “about to write.”  I do a desk check.  Today, I moved my yellow Parson’s table so I could sit facing the fireplace to write.  It just felt right.  The right desk at the right time in the right place makes all the difference to a writer.  All the difference in the world.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Image IIThis lovely yacht harks from the golden age of the Golden Age, when the ultra-wealthy purchased Southern plantations the size of small states and built gorgeous “cottages” the size of French chateaus.  They knew how to live the good life, a life that did not last, alas, due to the Civil War.

However, this nautical relic has survived for more than 100 years, and with a new major face lift from the inside out, she may thrive for another 100?  The Grace fetches us from a landing on the May River, usually at sunset, to take us on a ride into the past.  Not literally, of course, but with a glass of wine and the breeze in your bonnet (of course I wear a bonnet!), it sure seems so.

If you’re a parent or teacher, grandma or anything close to that for a child, print this out or show them on your computer screen.  Tell them that the Grace is on a journey.  Perhaps to the depths in a hurricane!  (Only in fiction, folks!)  Maybe to a sandbar awash in prehistoric megalodon teeth, shed from the monster sharks that once roamed these water?  Or is it the Golden Age of Piracy?  Perhaps Blackbeard is about to attack!  And, your young readers/writers can always imagine a 1940s soiree of the rich and famous of the day?

It’s not hard to get kids to unleash their mighty imaginations!  Just give them a photograph, and a hint or two, and turn them loose.  Ah!  There’s the fiercest pirate of them all stomping ashore, right now!  Uh, no, that’s just Papa wanting his lunch.  Oh, well, I can write about anything.

Old Sheldon Church

old Sheldon Church Blog

Old Sheldon Church is located 20 minutes off I-95 in South Carolina on highway 21 between Beaufort and Yemassee, at the crossroads of Awe and Wonder.

Take a ride…come around a curve…see something beautiful you did not know was there:  that was my experience with Old Sheldon Church.  These lovely ruins are the remains of Prince William’s Parish.  The church was built between 1745 and 1755, eventually burned twice, once by the British during the Revolution, then by our southern nemesis with a match—General Sherman, during the Civil War.

Today, the beautiful ruins’ red brick pillars and outside walls gleam in the sun.  The serene setting is popular for outdoor weddings and lobster lunches in the grass.  Kids enjoy operating the still-working hand-operated water pump.  It’s a great place for hide and seek, too.

I write history all the time for kids, but do a kid a favor and take them on a ride…come around a curve…show them something so beautiful that they will beg you to stop, bombard you with questions, and ponder the past as a still-living thing.

Bring some graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.  After all, Sherman might have left a match behind.

Welcome!

Author writing children's mystery books blog middle gradesI’ve been a writer for more than 30 years—time flies when you’re working your fingers across the keyboard to the bone!

Today I write from my laundry room perch in Palmetto Bluff.

I’m seeking conversation with others who love books, reading, writing, kids, food and such. Of course I’m trying to sell books—I have at least 6,000 in print, ya’ll! But more so, I love to share what I’m working on, what I know about writing and publishing—in real time, as if we were having coffee together. You know who you are: moms, grammies, teachers, everyone with a book hidden in them, and all who love to help children navigate today’s world.   Tune in! Stay in touch! Let’s talk!

—Carole Marsh Longmeyer