AT HOME AND WORK WITH MAGGIE

I moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1975 and moved to my present home in 1979.  I have an office on the first floor where I can look out two windows that face different directions.  Out one window I have a bird feeder which I keep filled with seed for the variety of birds and squirrels that visit throughout the day.  The other window faces a tall maple tree which turns beautiful shades of yellow, orange, gold and red during the Fall.  As most of my time is spent in my office, I have it decorated to my taste.  Pink curtains with the edges laced in white eyelet.  The walls are covered with wallpaper in a light beige with rows of pink flowers growing on green vines from the bottom to the top. 

The walls are adorned with huge Mardi Gra mask with long tall feathers, draping beads, sequins, roses, ribbons and such.  I have one red one, one black, one purple and one white.  They add a touch of my wild side to the room.  I also have a "sticky board" which I call my "Vision Board" and on it I have pictures that relate to my goals. 

In addition to having bookshelves full of books in my office, it's also lined with stilettos.  I collect stilettos and have an extensive collection that I've purchased herself or been given by friends, family and my many fans.  Sometimes I go to collect my mail and there'll be another stiletto-related item waiting! I get so excited to see where it 'walked' in from!

Mouse inside Coffee CupThen, of course, there's Mouse - my micro-mini teacup chihuahua (pictured at left).  I've been an animal lover all my life.  At one time during my childhood, I had eight beagle hounds, a German Shepherd, a squirrel monkey, a chihuahua and four cats.  My love affair with chihuahuas began in my childhood with a chihuahua named Ike (standard size white and brown spotted) which an Aunt gave me.  Ike was an adult male when I got him.  His age was uncertain at that time but he lived another 10 years before his death.  He is buried in my Pet Cemetery behind my parent's home in Alabama along with the many other pets from my childhood.

Joe with PuddlesAfter moving to Iowa, I acquired another chihuahua, Puddles (pictured with my son, Joe, at left), a small black chihuahua who lived to the ripe old age of 19.  It was quite a few years before I could bring myself to get another animal but eventually Mouse won my heart.  Who could resist that cute little face? 

Mouse sleeps in several places around the house as I write.  First, if she can con me into it, she sleeps in my lap.  Failing that, she has a little pink bed underneath my desk with a heating pad inside and a baby blanket piled on it to provide something for Mouse to snuggle down into and then the snoring begins.  Mouse can out snore any adult human!  She will lay on her back with all four feet in the air, head thrown back and then it begins. 

Mouse in Doggie BedThe Diva of Doggies provides hours of entertainment and love for me.  Mouse's other favorite place to sleep is on the couch in the living room.  However, the couch is way too high for her to get onto so she tries hard to get my attention.  Once she succeeds, she prances toward the living room, stopping occassionally to be sure that I'm following.  Once there, Mouse starts jumping up and down in anticipation of me lifting her up and placing her on her blankets which I keep on the couch just for her.  She snuggles down inside them and I pull the cover over her and Mouse will sleep there until nature calls and she has to jump down and head to the bathroom for a potty break (Mouse's not mine).  Once finished with her bathroom duty, the whole scene starts all over with her trying to get me to hold her (which usually isn't hard to do).  After that it's back underneath the desk onto the heating pad and eventually winding up on the couch again and the ritual continues all day.

My day normally begins around 7:30 a.m. when I get out of bed and head downstairs for my first cup of coffee.  Black and hot followed by my cinnamon raisin toast and chocolate milk.  Then it's into my office to begin my day's work.  My writing process is simple.  BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) and WRITE!  I write until my stomach starts complaining that it needs food.  Then I rummage through the fridge to find a snack (an apple, maybe some grapes, a bit of Bri cheese) and then I head back to my office for more writing during the afternoon.  After supper, I usually read.  One night a week, I teach a writing class for the Des Moines Public School System's Community Education Program and on the weekend I voluntarily teach a writing class to the inmates in Iowa's Prison System.

I am a member of Romance Writers of America, Iowa Writers' Corner, and the Beaverdale Writers Group. 

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Stiletto LampI collect stilettos in case you haven't heard!  Anything stilettos.  There's stiletto keychains, tape dispensers, pencil sharpeners, paperclip holders and so many other things I've been given over the years.  I even have a stiletto lamp.