I Feel the Love!

 I’ve always said WORK is a four-letter word and let’s not fool ourselves, writing is work!  But it’s also a writer’s passion, obsession and one of the most satisfying things we’ll ever do in our lives.  We truly love what we do.  One of the nicest things we have going for us, is our daily commute.  Why, I have to get out of bed, make myself a cup of coffee and take the long trek of twenty steps to get to my office.  No problems with escalating gas prices. No fighting traffic and no hunting for parking spaces.  All I have to do is “park” my bottom in the chair and be imaginative, creative and inspired! 

Granted there are some days, I just would rather stay in bed and watch the Today Show or Rachel Ray. There are some days I rather spend my time exercising, (yes, I mean that) or having coffee with the neighbors or reading a good book. But work is work and we have deadlines and pressure just like anyone else. 


As I step foot in my office early each morning I FEEL THE LOVE in the room.  My office is my workplace, but it’s also my sanctuary. It’s where I feel at home.  Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for helping me find my way to this place in my life.   I find myself surrounded by material things that make my office beautiful, but it’s not the “things” that inspire me and put a smile on my face. It’s the love and friendship I see on the walls surrounding me. 


Life size poster of TimThe life-size poster of my favorite country artist Tim McGraw decorates my wall.  And yes, though the hot sexy cowboy inspires my westerns and my love of country music, I see past him often time and think of my dear friend Richard who called me from work at Budweiser, to make sure I was home one afternoon and surprised me with this poster! I can’t look at that poster without thinking of my friend and his sweet gesture.   


Then there’s my Wall of Frames that sit to my right and reminds me that Yes, Charlene, you really are an author.  It’s my husband’s brainchild.  He framed my very first book, Chance in a Million. It seems like a million years ago! When my son moved out of his room and I got my very own office space, my dear hubby started the wall telling me there would be many more frames to come.  At the time, I didn’t believe him.  Was I a one-book wonder?  But when I look up and see those 21 book covers, I don’t only see my success, I see my husband’s faith and love and constant support.  Even when I wasn’t sure I could make it in this business, he was there, encouraging me and supporting me.  He knew I’d fill that wall with books, even when I had my doubts.




The wall mirror is among my favorites. It’s an angled wall and I wanted to put something there that was just the right size and shape and never found what I was looking for.  Then one day at Christmas time, my dear friend and fellow writer, Debbie set this beautiful Christmas package on my doorstep. We don’t usually exchange Christmas gifts so I was a little baffled, until I opened the note. She said, she couldn’t resist it. She knew I’d love it and she had to get it for me. Well, needless to say, it fits the wall perfectly and the gesture slid right into my heart.  So again, when I look up and see the cowboy shelf and mirror, what I really see, is an uncommon gesture of friendship.




The oil painting of my first book came as quite a thrill.  My mother-in-law surprised me with it on a milestone birthday.  I know she poured her heart into it.  She’s an amazing artist and I love having a genuine oil painting of my very first book.    When I look at that painting I think of her and all the work and time she put into making that birthday special for me.


This shelf was built by my hubby, so I could display my boot of flowers. The flowers represent each book I’ve sold and are given out at our chapter meetings. I have 24 roses in my “vase” now to my amazement.  The boot was a gift from Tanya, my dear friend and critique partner who’d found just one boot at the Pasadena flea market. She thought it destiny.  Who sells just one boot?  And the pretty lantern is from Tanya too.  The other items on the shelf were also gifts from friends.


Do you feel the love yet?  


I’m truly thankful for having such wonderful friends and family who surround me each and every day with their love and kindness and support. Even when they aren’t here physically, I feel their presence in the things they’ve surrounded me with.  It makes me appreciate the people in my life.  It makes me feel close to the ones I love.  It inspires me in ways I can’t begin to name.   For that, I feel truly blessed.


So what about you?  What do you see when you look around your room, your house, your life?  What holds a special place in your heart?  





Simply click on image if you’d like to purchase one of

Charlene’s books. 








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35 thoughts on “I Feel the Love!”

  1. Nice post Charlene…I love your wall of frames, Im sure that not only reminds you of your wonderful husband having faith in you, but maybe it also inspires you too!

    When I look around my house now..I mostly see messiness and toys..LOL…however, that does remind me how luck I am to have children who make those messes!

    I also see pictures that my oldest has drawn for me and that’s always special!

    I am a very emotional person when it comes to small sentiments like these! I love pulling out things my children have made!

  2. Hi Melissa! You’re so right. Those pictures and little efforts that your children have made are so special. I had them on the refrigerator and all around the house when my children were younger. I SAVED everything. If they put a crayon mark on a paper for me, I saved it.
    How many children do you have? It’s a fun time of life, when you’re raising kids!

  3. Yes, I can feel the love just looking at your pictures, Charlene. The oil painting is beautiful. My little house is full of things I love, battered old family pieces (my grandpa built my kitchen table, and I used to hide under it as a little girl). I have mementos from my travels and wonderful early paintings from my artist daughter, also my collection of Australian Aboriginal paintings–they make me feel connected to the wonderful women who created them. Lots of plants–and my two kitties are living decor!
    Thanks for a lovely blog.

  4. Hi Elizabeth- Oh, how cool to have a table built by your grandpa. I think as I get older, those family pieces mean more and more to me.

    And I forgot to add my kitties in the pics. Skittles is one to never leave me alone while I’m at the computer. She’s my mascot and is sleeping in front of the screen as I write this. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve had to move her to the side, because she’s obstructed my computer screen!

  5. I loved seeing your office, Char, and I know what you mean about it being a sanctuary. I feel the very same and have some of my most favorite things around me too. In my office curio is a little yellow “C” with a teacup full of cherries in the hollow that my dear friend Charlene gave me to commemorate a trip to her fair city. It’s her intitial as well as mine, and it always makes me think of her when I see it.

  6. I surely felt the love in your room, I love your book covers in frames what a cool idea i love all the things in your room! My room as i look around have several items needing to be picked up off the floor lol! Like Melissa I too have things my kids have made me I have little clay people on my dresser, a picture of a flower vase with paper flowers in it Every birthday and Christmas and Mother’s Day my kids make me book marks that are very unique and priceless! Up stairs is my reading/excersiing room I have my Pirate and nautical things in and of coarse my book shelves with a shelf of my P&P ladies collection i’m adding to. That’s my favorite room, it’s all mine where i go to read and look at my equipment i’ll start using one day lol!

  7. Ah Cher — That’s so sweet. That was a good day that we spent together. I hope we’ll be able to do it again someday.

    Maybe it’s true of romance writers, because though there are many skeptics, we believe in the power of love. We surround ourselves with things that remind us of the goodness in life.

  8. Charlene, I LOVE this. Thanks so much for showing us these things.
    Getting your covers framed is such a fantastic idea. I am in love with that. I may do it. And that mirror is perfect. And having the sentimental attachment to such great things from friends and your husband and mother-in-law makes them doubly special.
    There is boot with red flowers on the back of Petticoat Ranch. It was one of my suggestions for a cover.

    My own office is not decorated and not lovely at all, very utilitarian. BUT just a week or two ago, I went to an art show in Omaha. A friend of mine who moved away nearly twenty years ago is a painter. I bought one of her paintings, which I’ve wanted to do for about a year, ever since I found out she was traveling to art shows with her paintings.
    The painting is of red flowers. I hung it over my desk for inspiration. We were young mothers together many years ago and such good friends. Now she’s a very successful painter and I’m a published author and neither of us was doing anything like this back then. We were just changing diapers and gardening and surviving from naptime to bed time, so looking at her painting helps me remember the journey life can take you on, and how precious my children are and the wonder of wonders that I now have books sitting on the shelves in bookstores.

  9. Hi Lori,
    You know, those bookmarks that your kids made for you will always be with you. You’re surrounded by love too, I see.

    I think it’s neat that you have a room all to yourself for reading and exercising. My son called my treadmill, the clothes hanger, but I proved him wrong. I use it and not to hang my clothes. Enjoy and thanks for posting today!

  10. Charlene I love the room and I did feel the love reading your story. It is nice to have things from the people that mean a lot to you. I wished at my job I could have things that were from the family or friends we are only able to have very professional things at least in the area I work in. That is one nice thing about not having to go out and listen to someone elses rules you can have your own. I see a lot of plus things about working from home, but then I guess it would get a little lonely at times, that might not be to bad though. LOL
    I love your oil painting of your first book cover that was so very nice of your Mother-In-Law you will treasure it your whole life.
    I got an oil painting from my Mother-In-Law this year of my two daughters they are 21 & 22 so it was very special to me.
    Oh by the way I love your poster I wanted one of him (Tim) but I figured my hubby would think I am nuts being married and all but now I am going for it.
    Have a great day in your sanctury!!!!

  11. Hi Mary,
    Isn’t it funny how many turns our lives take? I didn’t start writing until my kids were in junior high. But I always felt something was missing in my life. I had a great husband, great friends, great family life, but still… I felt that there was something else out there for me.

    Your story of you and your friend reminds me of that. How cool that you could hang her paintings on your wall and she can read your books now. 🙂

    You should definitely frame your books. It’s rewarding to look up on the wall and see your accomplishments. And it reminds people that you WORK hard for each book. I don’t think I would have thought of this myself but the dh wanted this for me and it’s very special.

  12. Hi Brenda

    Uh … my hubby wasn’t thrilled with the Tim poster. I keep it against the wall behind the door! I won’t say he’s jealous or anything … but I did, in my younger years, sort of go gaga for Tim. Now, I see him as a great father, husband and artist. Still and all, I’m thrilled to have the poster.

    And it does often time get lonely here. But thanks to email and phones, I keep in touch and am so busy, I can’t think about it.
    Besides, I have my two kitties. I talk to them all day long!!

    How special to have your MIL do paintings of your girls. Are they framed and up on the wall?

  13. Hi Charlene, what a delightful post! And thanks for mentioning me. Everybody, her room is gorgeous and the Tim McGraw poster is eerily stunning, being so lifelike. Whew. He’s a hottie.

    When our daughter got her own apartment, I overtook her childhood room and told her she can’t ever come back LOL. And I keep favorite things around me: the little stuffed critters symbolizing the real-life animals I have adopted/sponsored and a Grand Canyou dream catcher and a little clay vase my daughter made years ago. I even put a little Christmas tree in here each year.

  14. Charlene, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. But…um…except for Tim, I noticed the camera stayed a few feet off the floor. Please tell me you’re like me and have piles of reading books, research books, and ‘keeper’ books lying around?

  15. Hi Pamela – I’m glad the cover wall is inspiring you. It’s a great way to remind yourself that you’re an author. I STILL can’t believe people READ my books. When they tell me, I feel so humbled. 🙂

  16. Hi Tanya – I look around my room and see all the sweet little things you’ve given me. Did you recognize some of them. I didn’t get to post all my pics, but they are there. 🙂

  17. Oh Anita – I’m sorry to say, I’m so anal that I can’t work with “stuff” around me. Everything is on a bookshelf. My dh built shelves in my closet for my tons of research books and such. I do have one pile of “to do” papers on the bookshelf, but that’s it. It’s a “neat” room and that’s the only way I can work. Don’t hate me, okay? 🙂

  18. Oh, gosh, Charlene, I couldn’t be neat if my life depended on it–when I’m deadline, that is. My office just gets more and more cluttered–I can’t stand it, but I never can seem to find the time to organize it all.

    sigh . . .

    When I turn the book in, when I turn the book in. It’s my mantra.

    But covers on the wall are an absolute must. More than once, I’ve stared at those images and told myself I did it then, I can do it now.

  19. I like the way you think Pam! I’m amazed that you work and still get as many books written as you do. I’m glad to hear you’ve got your book covers on the wall too.

    My husband loves to build, so it’s easier to be neat cause he’s always building shelves or something to keep the clutter down. Right now, he’s putting an attic in our garage so we can have more storage. Amazing, when there was 4 living here, we managed, now the 2 of us need an attic to store our stuff!

  20. Thanks, Charlene, for sharing your special
    momentos with us!

    Looking about my living room and house, I see:
    lots of family photographs, pictures drawn by my
    older grandchildren, gifts from family members,
    an apothecary jar containing names of the Sept.
    11th victims from our parish memorial service,
    momentos from our Venice trip and my 50th high school reunion, collection of spiritual items,
    and my cook-off medals & awards. Most special
    items: the 55 y/o artwork from my in-laws living
    room, their 79 y/o dining room set, the
    collage of photographs from my surprise 71st
    birthday party, and an autographed souvenir
    portion of the original Houston Rockets floor.

    Pat Cochran

  21. Oh Pat – what neat heirlooms you have surrounding you. I’d love to hear more about your cook-off medals and awards. So many neat things you have. And varied, from a collage from your birthday to the Houston Rockets floor! Wow, a lot of memories there. I bet you feel the love in your house all the time!

  22. Everything is lovely. I wish I could keep things organized but I get attached to so many things and can’t seem to throw out very much. My house is full of memories and books lol.

  23. Charlene,
    I have 2 children! Two girls to be specific!
    Savanna Hope is 7 and Hannah Grace is 2!!!! This is a very happy time for us with our girls!

  24. Oh wow, Charlene–thanks for taking the time to share your office with us! I love it, and totally can see why you love it and all the special things in it that remind you of the people you love and what you love to do!

  25. Charlene I am sorry I meant my mother-in-law paid a professional to paint it for her and she had it framed also. I have it up in the living room so I can look at each day. I wished I could keep them at this age forever. They are such a joy to spend time with now that I don’t have to tell them what to do all the time. Plus the oldest is going to have a baby in October so I can’t wait.

  26. Hi Melissa – And I bet those are adorable girls too! I like their names with Hope and Grace as middle names.

    Hi Fedora and Jeanne – glad you stopped by! One thing I CAN’T throw out ever are books. I keep them all, or give them to a good home. Same with pictures people send me. I feel like I’m throwing the people away. So I get it. 🙂

  27. The frame with all your book covers is great! It must be quite the inspiration to continue writing even more 🙂

  28. Love your office very the painting of your first cover is wonderful.

    When I look around my computer room I see lots of family pictures that mean the world to me.
    I see loooooooooooooooooooooooots of books piled up (if course my favorite pasttime). A bookcase My husband and I made together our first year of marriage. Lots of valentine gifts from my husband.

  29. Charlene – I used to be neat…before kids…before moving into a little farmhouse…before I started writing historicals…

    At the moment, I’m trying to figure out which kid took my red pen from my desk…

  30. Hi Charlene,

    Yes, I did feel the love. Thank you for taking us on a tour of your space. It;s so pretty and so neat — how I wish my office space were so neat. Sometimes it is, I must admit, but most times it’s too littered. Really wonderful post.

  31. Hi all – Just returned from mother-of-the bride dress shopping! I tried on so many dresses and tomorrow the same. I’m exhausted this week. Lots going on.

    Brenda – congratulations on becoming a grandmother! It’s something I look forward to.

    Anita mae- My kids are gone, so it’s easier to be neat, cause I only have to pick up after myself! But I remember the days … nothing ever was, where I last put it. Wouldn’t trade those days for anything. It went toooo fast.

    Hi Karen – So sweet of you to post. Is your hand better? No typos, so I’m thinking, it is!

  32. Hi Sherry – I like that you have lots of books! Me too. I surround myself with them!

    Hi Nathalie – I do feel inspired. Of course I have my favorite covers too, so I tend to look at those more. 🙂

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