Traveled roads leading me here…

We said goodbye to our friends this morning as they headed back to California. It was a great visit—something we haven’t done in such a long time. The weather was amazing while they were here. 

After they left, I settled down at my computer to go over my to-do list, before heading out to enjoy more of that sunshine. I can’t quite believe it’s almost June, and if June goes as fast as May, then July will be here, and time to go on our family reunion.

Every three years we attend a Talbot Family Reunion. (My mother-in-law’s maiden name was Talbot.) The first one started in 1983, when we all gathered in Sedona, Arizona, and I met for the first time many of my husband’s cousins, who I hadn’t met before. 

The upcoming reunion got me to thinking about the speech I penned for the Alumni award that I mentioned in a previous post. In it I wrote, “…Life often gets in the way of what we have planned. Looking back over these last fifty years, I see my own life has taken numerous unexpected turns, sending me off course and down roads I had never anticipated traveling.”

I’ve often considered that sentiment when thinking about the family reunions I’ve attended and wondered if the family ever asks, “Gee, I wonder what Bobbi is doing this reunion?” When looking back at my life, it does seem I’ve done more than my share of career hopping.

Despite that, at the age of 14 I knew I wanted to be an author, and today at 67, that’s what I am. Yet, I didn’t take a direct line to reach my ultimate goal. You might say, I went all over the place.

At our first reunion, In Sedona Arizona, 1983 I was a young mother, with two children under the age of four. I had also recently opened a gift shop up in the mountain community we then lived in—Wrightwood, California. While I have no business in retail (my shop, The Whistle Stop, only stayed open a year) my time there was not a complete waste. On the days I had a sitter for my kids—and didn’t take them to the shop with me—I had my typewriter with me. That year I wrote my first romance novel.

When the second reunion rolled around three years later, I was out of retail and now publishing a community newspaper in Wrightwood. At the third reunion, I was still with my publication, The Mountain/Hi-Desert Guide, so I imagine the family probably thought I’d settled down into a career.

By the next reunion in 1992, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, my father had gotten ill, so I sold my paper, and I moved with my husband and two kids back to Havasu Palms, to help manage the family business. We were still there the next reunion in Angel Fire, New Mexico, but when we went to the Montana reunion in 1998, Don and I had opened our restaurant in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.  Now we were restauranteurs.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t belong in retail. And a restaurant is retail. When the next reunion rolled around in 2001, Don and I were out of the restaurant business and between jobs—both of us substitute teaching to make ends meet. I’m surprised we were able to make it to that reunion, considering things were rough for us back then.

Don and I eventually landed on our feet and got our real estate licenses. So, when I showed up at the next two reunions, I was a real estate agent. But then the market tanked in 2008, so I got out of real estate and returned to my roots—writing.

When our family met in Sunriver, Oregon for the Talbot family reunion in 2010, I was freelance writing for various venues, including Demand Studios. I imagine by that time some of my Talbot cousins might have thought I was flakey—yet none ever said such a thing to me, they are all too nice and supportive—but for those who had paid attention to my various occupations over the years, they might have wondered what I was doing.

I stuck with the writing, and moved from freelance back to novels, and that’s what my career has been the last three reunions—and for the one coming up. So, I suppose I have finally settled into a career—one I imagined back when I was fourteen. 

(Photo: During my time with Mountain/Hi-Desert Guide)

Mobile Office Space…

Now that I’ve wrapped up The Ghost and the Medium (30th book in my Haunting Danielle series that comes out May 19th) I’ve moved my desk back into the living room from our bedroom. When writing a book I need to be alone. Except for my dogs, they are always welcome. Since I won’t be starting the next book, The Ghost and the New Neighbor, for a few weeks; I figured I would rather work out in the living room where I can be around people.

In the photo is my 94-year-old mother who is watching TV using a headset so only she can hear it. But it looks like she might be napping, not watching TV! Also napping is Petey, our son and daughter-in-law’s dog. He is curled up in a blanket on the other blue chair. We are pup sitting today. One of our pups is also in the picture, that’s Lily. Danny was standing next to me while I was taking the picture.

As many of you know, we lived in Havasu for about thirty years when we decided to move to Oregon, to be closer to our kids. I actually lived in Havasu longer, having moved there when I was thirteen and then moved after I graduated from college. My book Havasu Palms, a Hostile Takeover explains how I moved back with my husband and children, to help my parents after Dad got sick.

But now we are in Oregon. And while I love our new home, the house is considerably smaller than what we had in Havasu. One advantage, it doesn’t take long to clean! But I do miss my office, something I lost with the move.

Will I move the desk back into the bedroom when I start my next book in a couple weeks? I am hoping to take my laptop out to our family barn, now that it’s warming up, and write out there. But we’ll have to see. 

The sun is shining right now, and there is no rain. So, I really need to get off this computer and head outside! Have a wonderful weekend!

Barn with a View

Have you ever seen one of those photographs showing someone on the beach with his or her laptop, working while enjoying the sunshine and spectacular view? It is especially appealing to the author, who can easily take a laptop about anywhere.

One problem with that image, it typically doesn’t work. At least it didn’t for me. When I lived in Havasu, the place with lots of sunshine, I’d occasionally try taking my laptop out on the patio and work by the pool. It sounded lovely, and I was under a patio cover, so it seemed like the ideal workspace.

Unfortunately, I could never handle the glare and eventually retreated back inside to work.

Now that we are living in Oregon, the landscape and climate is vastly different from Havasu. Lots of rain here, but when the sun pushes aside the rainclouds, outside is where I want to be, not in front of the computer.

Last week I tried something a little different while editing. I took my laptop out to the barn, opened one of the garage doors (our family barn has 3 RV sized garage doors). Instead of going outside, I sat on the sofa with my laptop, with the door opened behind me, as you can see it the picture.

It was amazing! I am tempted to drag my desk out there. It is like working outside, but not outside. Fresh air, sunshine, no glare, and if it does start to rain, I am safely under roof. This may be one of my new favorite workspaces

In other news, The Ghost and the Medium is off to the editor. Look for it to be available May 19, 2022 in eBook and paperback. I don’t yet have the release date for the audiobook version.