Thursday, August 25, 2011

Susan McCorkindale shares her office space and her book with us!

**Giveaway is now closed**

Susan McCorkindale wrote "Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl" to talk about leaving her suburban home and city career life to live on a 500-acre beef farm with her family and share the humorous side, as well as look back at what she left behind. She's here now to talk about her follow up memoir, "500 Acres and No Place to Hide: More Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl" and the place where she did the most of her writing.

Check out the trailer for "500 Acres and No Place to Hide."

Kaitlyn Kennedy from Penguin Group has one copy of "500 Acres and No Place to Hide" to give to a lucky reader in the US.

To learn more about Susan McCorkindale, visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

Working On the Fly, and Sometimes Surrounded by Them

"So this is where the magic happens," my best friend teased the first time she came to visit and saw my petite pine desk. "Seems a little small for the big livestock tales you tell." She was right, and if you saw my "office" you'd probably think so, too. But it's big enough, particularly since I do most of my work on the fly and, occasionally, surrounded by flies.

Have I mentioned I live on a 500-acre farm? I do. And sometimes, for maximum inspiration and productivity, (not to mention bug bites), I grab my laptop and head outside. Sometimes I sit in one of the Adirondack chairs in the backyard and watch the Polo ponies and the cows share a hay bale. But other times, on those days I need a serious jump start, I head out to the hen house. The birds eyeball me, I eyeball them, and we all take notes. Sure, I’d love to know what they’re saying, but just because my handwriting's chicken scratch doesn't mean I can read it.

This little fact makes deciphering my notes after working in my all-time favorite place — the car — a bit of a challenge. Why do I like the car? Fewer flies, for one thing and, unless there's a detour, (I'm one of those people who can't find their way out of a paper bag so changing the route mid-trip practically requires a rescue chopper), no distractions. And no, I don't count being stopped for "possible texting" a distraction and in fact can only say, "Thank you local law enforcement! You were an awesome test audience for 500 Acres!"

I kid you not.

There are, in fact, two different police officers who were treated to snippets of 500 Acres and No Place to Hide while I was writing it, in the aforementioned chicken scratch, in the car, on napkins, those New Testament-length printouts that come with prescriptions and, occasionally, post-surgical care instructions. That’s because these nice, patient policemen patrol Route 66, the highway my husband and I drove several times a week while he underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer at Georgetown University Hospital and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. One of them actually pulled me over twice, the second time offering to arrest me if it would help me make my deadline.

As an orange jumpsuit would look awful against my complexion and jail is the one place (despite being relatively fly-free), I know I couldn't cobble two words together, I politely declined. And put my pen away.

Since his death in April, I do a good deal of writing at my husband's desk. Sure, I still work outside and still, scofflaw that I am, write my funniest stuff on the road, but I like sitting there. It makes me feel close to him to be in his chair, surrounded by his baseball collectibles, New Yorker calendar, and little piles of post-it notes covered in the names of books he wanted to read. His handwriting, strong, swirling, proof that he was really here, makes my heart ache, but his pen and pencil holder cracks me up. It's glass, and there's no missing the fact that the entire bottom is filled with dead flies.

I like to think my husband knew I'd eventually add his desk to my list of favorite places to work on the fly and, when I did, I'd appreciate some actual flies. And the fact that they can't bite, just makes it that much better.

Special thanks to Susan for sharing her office space with us and Kaitlyn for sharing Susan's book with you!

How to win "500 Acres and No Place to Hide":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Where and/or when do you get the most productive work done?
2. Please tell us: What is the biggest change you've made for yourself in the past 5-10 years?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends August 30th at midnight EST.


Amy said...

I definitely get my most productive work done in a relatively quiet environment. I can't work, concentrate with distractions.
At the moment,I can't think of the biggest change I've made for myself.


I'm a follower via GFC and email and Facebook. I shared this givewaay on my FB.

Here is my tweet:!/jam_njellygirl/status/106749662605737985

Jeryl M. said...

I'd like to win.

Jeryl M. said...

I get my most productive work done when I am in my basement and my husband and kids are sleeping.

The biggest change in the past 10 years was having kids and stopping working.

I am a follower.

I am Facebook fan.

Amy said...

One of the probably many biggest changes in my, life over the past 10 years, has been getting married. My hubby is wonderful, but as all of you can probably relate, he can be a big pain in the ass :)

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

I am most productive between 6am and 9am because that is when the rest of the house (dogs included) is still asleep.

I haven't made any big changes other than a 30lb weight loss after a bit of heart trouble almost two years ago. I guess that counts.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Krystal Lynn said...

1 -I'm at my most productive when I'm alone, in relative quiet, energetic (usually by Red Bull or coffee) and have some kind of snack. It's a perfect storm that I have to create with everything being just perfect, otherwise I'm not doing much at all.

2- I just turned 26 so the last 10 for me brought lots of changes. Just yesterday I found my sweet 16 dress and clothes from high school in storage. Made me think of where I am now, how did I get here, is this what I wanted, etc.. I'll admit that after being laid off, things kind of went south but I've at least been doing things I always wanted to do like volunteering, writing, working projects and hobbies. Even traveled to Europe for the first time, something I always wanted but never thought I could do. So the biggest change I think I see in myself is knowing that the impossible things are possible. I have a huge bucket list now and am slowing working towards doing everything on it because I KNOW I can. =)

And I should probably write less, sorry!

Allison said...

I get my most productive work done on a rainy day in a coffee shop. :)

The biggest change ive made for myself is losing weight and actually enjoying working out.

I'm a GFC follower.


holdenj said...

This looks like a great book, thanks for sharing her with us!

I get most of my work done in the morning. It's definitely the time of day I am most organized.

I am a GFC follower.


Jilleen said...

Oh - I really want to read this book.

Most productive at the office on the weekend when no one else is there!

I am a follower by email.

I am a member Chick Lit Central club on FB

Biggest change - to a a job I love! I was so unhappy in my past job and it spilled over to every part of my life.



Seasidebooknook AT yahoo DOT com

Sherry said...

I would love to read this

Sherry said...

I get my most productive work done when the house is quiet

Sherry said...

The biggest change I've made is to not let the little things bother me and to stand up for myself and be more positive in my life

Sherry said...

Follow this blog on GFC

Sherry said...

Shared on FB

Sherry said...

Member of Chick Lit Central on FB

Bonnie said...

I am most productive when not interrupted. I like to plan things out with a list and feel a sense of accomplishment when crossing off items.

The biggest change for myself has been moving into the empty-nest phase. Unfortunately kids keep moving back in for 'a while' so I have only experienced 4 months of this and am looking forward to the experience again. :)

I am a follower.

I am a FB fan.


Baby Mama said...

I get most work done when my family is asleep

karenk said...

i get the most work done early in the morning...

i'm a follower :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Nina said...

I feel I am most productive at my home desk, immediately after I get home from work! I want to get as much done as possible in that time so I'll have the rest of the evening to enjoy without any left over tasks to get done! One of the biggest changes I've made was realizing my close group of friends were not healthy for me. The competitive nature, gossip, cattiness was just something I couldn't handle on a daily basis anymore, and putting distance between us was tough!

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I get the most work done at night after everyone is in bed while sitting in my Lazy-Boy with my Laptop.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

The biggest change in my life wasn't a change that I wanted. I fell in 2007 and my injury permanently disabled me with a nerve disorder. I have been in a wheelchair the past 3 years and in and out of the hospital more times than I can even remember. Boy do I wish I could re-wind and not be like I am. Thank goodness for my family and great blogs like this one to keep me busy.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net