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.
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Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
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US only. Giveaway ends August 30th at midnight EST.