You Are a Winner!

Congratulations! You have won the Publishers Give-a-House Christmas Extravaganza for Readers and Writers, a free, all expenses paid, life-time use of a Reader/Writer Dream Hideaway. And…you get to choose the location, contents, and amenities of that fully-equipped library/office, WITH NO LIMITS. Yes, a dream come true!

So, when you stop dancing with joy, tell us how you will choose and equip your dream site (and remember, your imagination is your only limitation):

  • Location – country, region, city, town
  • Setting – castle in the mountains, cabin in the forest, sea-side bungalow, castle in the Scottish Highlands, English country manor, yacht in the Caribbean, anything you can imagine
  • Library – size, description, book collection, and view from the window(s)
  • Computer/electronic gear
  • Software
  • Amenities – coffee pot, maid service, room service, masseuse

When you have experienced “the high life” long enough to want to revisit your current home, I will be happy to occupy and protect your hide-away for you while you are gone, with no charge for my services.

Hint: If you choose a large enough venue, you could invite all of the TKZ community to come and visit you.

34 thoughts on “You Are a Winner!

  1. Ahhh, dreams . . .

    I would stay in Iowa because we have the most wonderful black dirt in the country, and I would want lots of flowers and a vegetable garden. I’ve lived on the Gulf of Mexico and in the Tetons of Wyoming, in rural Virginia and in four other states, as well as traveled to all 50 states, across Canada, the tropics, and 18 foreign countries, and like it here the best. A section of land would be perfect (a mile square), with a hardwood and evergreen forest and a large lake so I could watch the wildlife. A side note: We have deer, raccoons, opossums, bobcats, and even mountain lions right here in the city, but I’d prefer them in their natural habitat.

    My house would be two stories, with my upstairs writing desk in front of a wall of windows overlooking the forest, lake, and gardens. I already have all the electronics I need or want, and ditto for software.

    No library, which seems strange for a writer, but when we downsized, I gave away over a thousand books and have no desire to have them back. I will always have a bookshelf of my favorites, however.

    Amenities would be simple. I don’t drink coffee, a maid service would be nice, wouldn’t like room service because I need to get out of my office and out of my house, and the walking and exercise I do keeps pain away so I don’t need a masseuse. A gardener would be nice, though. I love to design and plant, but upkeep, not so much.

    So, no castles or yachts or islands for me.

    • Thanks for your great description, Becky. Home, sweet, home. You’ve already found the “most wonderful black dirt in the country.” I like your forest, lake, and wildlife. And that gardener, yes. We like to create, not maintain. We’ll start looking for that section of land. In the meantime, thanks for sharing your idea of a dream hideaway. And have a wonderful weekend.

  2. I need the beach, soft breezes, and beautiful sunsets. My ideal home would be a gorgeous but renovated old house on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay with a big wraparound porch for sunset cocktails. Of course you are all invited.

    Occasionally Fannie Flagg’s old house comes up for sale. Local legend has it she wrote Fried Green Tomatoes there. I have no idea if it’s true ir not, but I love the story.

    • Wonderful, Cynthia. Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite movies. I think of it every time I eat barbequed ribs. When your have Fannie Flagg’s house refurbished and occupied, I’d like to come and see it. Keep dreaming big. And thanks for participating.

  3. No exotic answers for me. I love AZ & would never want to leave but I am thankful for the Publishers Give-A-House win so that I can own my own home! 😎 I would love to have a territorial style home about 1500-2000′ built with open spaces in mind.

    Would have:
    * A gym with all the needed equipment so me & my friends can strength train and be mobile for life.
    * Built in bookshelves are a must. They don’t have to be extensive because a well thought out plan for built in bookshelves provides all the space you need.
    * It must have a hands-on creative room that faces the mountains to the east where I do my painting, drawing, leather work, etc. plus a corner set aside for learning to play banjo.
    * A separate room for writing.
    * A wood shop in the backyard to dabble with wood-working
    * A SMALL space for a garden so I can make an attempt at growing a few things of my own (but I better keep a gardener on stand by).
    * It is of course landscaped with the natural beauty of the Sonoran desert

    A second home in northern Montana would be tempting but I’d only use it a couple of months a year. I have zero cold tolerance and anything below 70 is unbearable. LOL!

    • Thanks, BK, for your answers and description of your dream hideaway. I love all those creative spaces. And save room (or make room) in your woodworking area for woodturning. As a creative, once you’ve learned the basics of woodworking, then tried woodturning, you’ll be addicted to turning. It’s the most creative area of woodworking.

      With all your creative endeavors, you need a time/space machine so you could duplicate yourself and do more than one thing at a time.

      When we get your creativity mansion/hideaway built and outfitted, we’ll let you know. Of course, I should probably try it out first, to make sure everything is working. I think I could test everything in several months. Have a creative weekend.

  4. Thank you, Steve, you’re too generous!

    One level, no stairs. High ceilings that are cobweb-proof.

    Two wings–one in Montana overlooking any lake with nearby hiking trails, the other in the middle Florida Keys with a wrap-around veranda facing a white sand beach and turquoise water.

    Office–an ergonomic chair that changes shape to relieve arthritis. My Windows 7 laptop that will never need updates and stays forever compatible with any programs I use (that’s a real fantasy). Reference books and filing cabinets that stay organized and automatically yield needed info w/o digging.

    Amenities–a daily masseuse.

    One other request–climate control to set the mood of various scenes. The ability to conjure up blizzards or wild lightning storms, fall weather and colors, long-lasting sunrises and sunsets.

    • Thanks, Debbie. Wonderful creative description, well planned. I like that everlasting software. And when we find those self-organizing file cabinets, I’m going to buy some for myself. And congrats on sneaking in two hideaways for the price of one. Nice term – “wings.”

      I fear that climate control of seasons and storms is not yet invented. It sounds like something the Big Guy (the real one) may have to sign off on. He may not want anyone invading His omnipotence. But we’ll ask. We’ll tell Him it is for a well deserving writer with a big heart.

      Have a productive and self-organizing weekend!

  5. I’d stay right where I am, in my house in the mountains of Divide.
    My library would be across the hall (Sorry, Hubster, you’ll have to relocate your office), and it would include a view of Pikes Peak that wouldn’t require going outside. I’d keep my current books, but in an effort to save trees, any new ones would be digital.
    I’ll keep my Dell XPS with Office 365 and second monitor–too old to learn new tricks.
    I’ll keep my housekeeper, too.
    Only thing I’d have to add would be food delivery service up here. And my massage therapist would start doing house calls.
    And my dog, of course, because exercise is important.

    • I like your answers, Terry. I expected more people would stay where they are. You did make me laugh pretty loud when you described the need to move your husband out of his office. I think we can spring for funds to build him a new wing on your house. We’ll just say it is for you. And that view of Pikes Peak, if it is visible from your house, you definitely need a window with that view.

      I’m off to see what we can do about getting that masseuse to deliver groceries and do house calls, one trip, two services.

      Don’t tell your husband you’re taking his room.

  6. An island somewhere (but no hurricanes) where it’s a balmy 75° year round. My office would be on the lanai with a view of the ocean.

    A massage therapist every other day–every day and I wouldn’t get any writing done. A housekeeper who knows exactly what I want done…a horse or two, and my cats, of course.

    Oh, and now that I can paddleboard, an extra hour or two a day and while we’re at it, words that flow freely instead of having to cut my wrists…

    • Wonderful, Patricia. That island and weather sound delightful. I had to look up lanai. There is a Hawaiian island by that name.

      Galloping horseback down the beech with your cats racing to keep up, it might be difficult to find time to write. Sounds like too much fun to me. You may want to run this idea past your agent and publisher before we start construction. Hope your weekend is delightful.

      • Sorry, galloping down the beach, not the beech. Beech trees can get very big and tall. That might be a little dangerous galloping down that tree.

  7. Good morning, Steve. Thanks for the fun and easy questions this morning.

    Location – New Orleans
    Setting – A condo in the Garden District, preferably within a block of St. Charles Avenue.
    Library – I’m good with a Kindle Fire.
    Computer/electronic gear: Kindle Fire, Media Player, Sony Wireless Headphones, Chromebook
    Amenities – Kuerig Coffeemaker, Black American Express Card that someone else is paying, and Elizabeth Hurley.

    Thanks again, Steve. Have a great weekend!

    • Good morning, Joe. Somehow, I knew you would say New Orleans. You may want to add your own plane and airfield, so you can get out of there when the inevitable hurricanes hit. And the credit card; leave it to an attorney to find a way to stretch the benefits. Now, for Elizabeth Hurley; we’ve already talked to her. And she is in negotiations to work for Publishers Give-a-House. If you win again, she may visit you to deliver the check.

      Thanks for the creative answers. Have a great weekend!

  8. That’s very generous, Steve. Let’s see:

    Like Debbie, my dream reader/writer hideaway would have two wings.
    One would be an enlarged version of my current home, with a separate library, since our books are currently split between my small office, my wife’s small craft room, and our living room. My wife’s craft room would be larger, and we’d have a guest bed room. A game room for board games. There would be a gym room with weights and space for yoga and cardio. The backyard would be bigger with better horizons and less light pollution etc. A small observatory (where my my astro-gear could be stored in–currently it’s in my writing office).

    My writing office itself would have a better writing chair, high backed–probably a gamer chair, a larger monitor, a comfy chair in the corner, and a couch to nap on. Lots of natural lighting.

    The second wing would be at Cannon Beach at the Oregon Coast, just south of Seaside, and would a have eight bedrooms, a huge dining room, a large writing den with comfy chairs and a couple of writing desks, a living room and a big library. Lots of space for fellow KZBers to come for writing retreats.

    As a dear friend used to say, “If you are going to fantasize, go for it.” 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Great ideas, Dale. Way to fantasize. I loved all your ideas. I did raise my eyebrows when you mentioned “eight bedrooms.” And I would love to attend writers’ retreats. One caveat: You may want to keep that hideaway a secret from your extended family, because you will suddenly become the host of all family gatherings, and relatives you’ve not seen for decades will want to “use” your space for vacation lodging – of course for free. And they bring friends and friends of friends. Establish some boundaries.

      That observatory sounds interesting. You’ve thought this out carefully. And I see the “second wing” expansion is catching on.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas, and have a wonderful weekend.

  9. I must not be a “typical” writer because a secluded house doesn’t appeal to me.

    I’d want to be in a writers room, preferably at Marvel, with all them cool people. I want them to be as warm and supportive as they appear on the bonus features on their movies. I’d be fine with a small room, since my library is electronic and won’t take up wall space.

    The cherry on top would be if I could do some acting.

  10. Thanks, Azali, for your description of your dream writer’s room. It sounds warm and supportive. And minimalist with an electronic library. Great ideas. Something to aim for. Good luck with the acting.

    You’re correct. A lot of writers are reclusive introverts at heart, and have to push themselves to get “out there.” If you’re more gregarious, that’s to your advantage. Good luck with your dreams.

  11. I’d build a house in the woods in Berkeley County, West Virginia. I’d have a modest library on the first floor, down the hall from the theater. My office would be on the second floor, and would share a deck overlooking the trees and wildlife, connected to my bedroom by a deck. Oh, wait. I just moved there. 🙂

    A daily housekeeper and errand runner would be nice, though.

    • Nice, John. I’m glad you’ve made it into your dream home and writing hideaway. And better, it’s so good you have nothing further to add. That’s wonderful. We’ll start looking for a housekeeper and errand runner for you to interview. Hope the Christmas decorating was completed successfully.

  12. Thank you, Steve, for your generosity. I can hardly wait to visit my writing hideaway.

    I’d like a modest home — not too big, not too small, with a dedicated writing room, an exercise room, accessibility to an outdoor track, and moderate climate. Okay, I’m describing my own home. But since we’re dreaming…

    I’ll move my home to a five-acre plot in the foothills of the Smokies, add a couple of guest houses for my TKZ visitors, a stable for the horses, and a staff to cook, clean, and keep the grounds. I would have to enlarge the house to include a library with all the writing craft books ever written, as well as my favorite novels, volumes of the Great Books and Bible commentaries. But I would retain my small writing room with its messy desk, Murphy bed, recliner, and three-door closet.

    I would keep my three laptops with their separate missions in life: one windows box and two Macs. Software: Scrivener for writing, Vellum for formatting, PaintshopPro for images, Norton for safekeeping, and a various other tools. I’ll need an unlimited Amazon gift card to take care of anything I left off of this list.:)

    • Thanks for telling us about your dream writer’s hideaway, Kay. Interesting how recreational pursuits are creeping in. And the credit cards. We may have to discuss some limits.

      I suppose one person’s masseuse is another’s running track and horse stable. I’m actually surprised that no one has yet suggested a yacht big enough to go globe trotting. The day is still young.

      I do appreciate the guest houses for TKZ visitors. I’m sure that many of us will want to come visit…as long as we don’t have to do chores. (My first job as a 12 year old was cleaning out a horse barn for a summer camp. Ugh!) Hope your weekend is wonderful.

  13. I’m going to go with a cabin in the mountains, right outside of one of those cute little Christmassy towns from a Hallmark movie, but within an hours drive from some city. Of course, a snow removal service would have to be included. At least three wood burning fireplaces – main room, master bedroom and master bath by the huge tub, Actually don’t need to be greedy, the master bath and bedroom one can be the same, just two sided. the wood delivered on a regular basis. Three bedrooms so I could have a writing room and a crafting room, both easily converted to guest space should the need arise (but the town needs a sweet little bed and breakfast – I am already imagining which guest would visit I would – and they would- prefer to stay there). With great views of the surrounding area. And a pool – deep enough to dive in and long enough to swim laps – so not one of those it’s slightly bigger than a bathtub ones.

    Maid service twice a week – I don’t need things to be spotless.

    Not really up on all the electronics and software so it should come with someone who is, someone who could set me up with everything I need for today and ten years down the road – and free upgrades.

    A magic link to the publishing world to use as I see fit.

    And since I am now a successful writer living in a Hallmark movie – the perfect boyfriend (or girlfriend) who has their own fantastic spot by the ocean.

    Oh yeah, since I have to get around, a zippy two seater sports car – manual transmission and REAR wheel drive and an SUV – four wheel drive as I am in the mountains.

    Well got to go warm my tootsies by the roaring fire with a nice mug of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.

    • Michelle, are you done? That’s quite a list. You’ve put some real thought into this. One thing you listed that really caught my eye was the “magic link to the publishing world.” Now that’s something I had not heard of. If it’s magic, you might want to consider patenting it, and live off the royalties. Oh, I forgot, you just won an expense paid everything. If you don’t mind, can you tell me how this magic link works?

      I like the fact that you will be a successful writer living in Hallmark movie. I hope you can inject some subtle advertising for Publishers Give-a-House. Thanks for sharing your dream.

  14. FYI

    I spent over $200 on a keurig and then, before I opened it, came across one in Walmart that does EVERYTHING the other one did except make ice coffee (which the $200 one doesn’t actually do! – yes it is cooler when it comes out, but it still just melts the ice).

    Anyway $79.99 – espresso, cappucino shots frother

  15. I already have a home where my roots are sunk so deep I’ll only leave when I’m carted out drooling or dead. One of the things I enjoyed most about my first novel’s creation is I designed a home where most of the action happened. The hero was a famous stage magician, and he built a faux castle with secret doors and passages. Since a chunk of the plot was a hide-and-seek game between two characters and some goons in the house, I did some serious thinking and drew a general schematic of the layout of the rooms and the passages. It wasn’t until two years later I realized I forgot to include bathrooms since fictional characters rarely need to poop. Snicker.

    • You made me laugh, Marilynn. No bathrooms, that’s great.

      It’s good that you have a home with history and roots. I hope that you’re enjoying it. I’m living in the family home where I first moved when I was thirteen. I couldn’t wait in my teen years to get out of there. Never thought I would intentionally buy it and move back in. Going full circle. Have a weekend full of good memories.

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