How I Wrote a Book and Other Sundry Tales by Kristen Kindoll

It was a dark and spooky night; the lighting flashed and thunder boomed, jarring me awake. I rose with a clatter from an odd dream, where a black raven tapped his beak upon the keys, typing one phrase repeatedly: nevermore, nevermore.

Swinging my legs and body away from my slumbering inclinations, my feet knocked against an ancient typewriter. A sheet of paper flapped, and then fell against the roller. I yanked the note free, discovering a yarn full of minor characters who wander through a subplot prologue. It gave me pause, so I sat in a classic lotus position, a moment of clarity within my meditation: writing a novel doesn’t entail overused clich├ęs, but a vast amount of
accumulated hours scattered throughout a year.

With those words in mind, I began my trek. I had limited time to prepare. My day was full of teaching, house drudgery, and ferrying children to activities. The free time I had available was precious and few. My goal of purpose was to accomplish something toward my current novel, poetry projects, plays, or future book projects. In order to do that, I typically wrote from 4 AM – 7:30 AM.  Sometimes, while the children were working on their “homework”, I could slip-in some writing during the day. However, most often, I devoted it to teaching my other children or doing housework. Recently, I have started writing before I go to bed (similar to reading before bed).

The weekends or Wednesday evenings, I devoted significant time towards writing. My children and husband knew that I went into lock-down and was not supposed to be bothered. Even then, because of family activities, I had brief writing spats. Once a year, I have taken writer’s retreat, a long weekend to myself. It was such a luxury to be that productive. While I had gotten a lot done, it was still impossible to finish a novel in that time period. The truth is all of my writing has been accomplished on a catch-can basis.

Even if I have only corrected one part of a story, poem, or play, it is one section closer towards the finish line. This has kept me going during those dark and stormy times, when a whole project seems completely daunting. Writing is a long and lonely process, brief moments snatched which inch me forward out of the dream of writing and into a writer's life.

Kristen Kindoll was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and then headed deeper South to Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Under the magnolias and dripping Spanish moss, her writing infused with the local flavors. She eventually settled in Brentwood, Tennessee with her husband and three children. It's there that she began to cook up an idea that a book about good food, a dash of humor, and stories of family love would be a perfect example of true southern comfort. You can learn more about Kristen at

Kristen's latest release, Deep Fried and Southern Sides, is available here.

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