What My Very First Writing Desk Looked Like

What My Very First Writing Desk Looked Like

Ah, my first desk. I suppose I feel about it like most teenage boys feel about their first cars.

Recently, I was digging through old family photo albums (you know, the non-digitized kind) in search of something I wanted for my upcoming course How to Write Amazing Character Arcs. While in the midst of all those Fujifilm artifacts of my childhood, I stumbled on a snapshot my mom had taken of me at my very first desk. (Aww! How cute!) 

Me at my first desk at age 13.

The calendar says it was taken in February 1999, which would have made me thirteen. A year earlier I had started a newsletter called Horse Tails, which was, of course, about horses. I wrote it for five years, through high school, during which time I ground out 60 issues and almost three times that many short stories and articles.

Horse Tails Newsletter

Below is a closer look at my desk. Hover your cursor over the pic and click on the black dots to get more info. (If you’d like to see what my desk looks like these days, click here).

Let’s chat! Do you remember your first desk? What treasures were on it? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. Paul Forster says:


    “I only felt like Methuselah for a few seconds.” I’ll have to remember that line, it might make o good opener. Im not sensitive about my age, I’m proud of it; mostly that I’ve managed to survive. I do not “Feel” my age, but it’s the shock of seeing you then and realizing I was 57 when that picture was taken and now I’m learning the craft of writing from her! I could read by 5 and had collected and read all of the Oz books by 6. I’m 75 now and I’ve never stopped reading. I’ve read 3 to 6 books a week for most of the last 70 or so years.

    Science Fiction almost exclusively until I was in the navy in 1969 and Michners Hawaii drug my mind to many other genres. I’ve wanted to write since I learned to read, but didn’t start until I was 70 and fighting, trying to keep my wife alive. I needed something to keep my mind alive. I’m an engineer and designed computers for 35 years. My first one to program was using toggle switches as inputs and flashing lights as outputs. It was considered a miracle when punched paper tape came along with 150 baud teletypes.

    After my wife died I wrote several poems about us meeting, our 43 years together and trying to live for her and failing January of 2015. I’ll publish them somewhere, I’m just not sure where yet. I started looking for someone to read them before I submit.

    I’m working hard at learning the craft of writing. I have many stories I’d like to tell, but I’d also like it if whoever reads my work likes it and recommends it to others. I stumbled across your web site in February and have been working my way through all of your posted blogs. Others too like Holly Lisle and Larry Brooks, several others too that I think present information in an understandable format.

    Thank you for that, I appreciate everything you post. Now I’m trying to figure out if several ideas I have are capable of carrying a short story or novella then finding characters that have a big enough need with big enough internal problems to show a character arc change big enough to carry 20,00 to 40,000 words. Of course I first have to learn what all that really means and how to integrate it into how my mind works. I’m going back through your outline series because I think your approach is best for me.

    Thank you for providing the information you do. It is greatly appreciated.


  2. I found your blog through your article ( I was googling how to outline on Scrivener and your post came up early in the results. BTW, love Scriv, couldn’t agree with you more.

    I love this photo of you as a kiddo at your writing desk. As a father of two teenage daughters, I can only imagine how proud your parents were of you and your dedication to an idea.

    Also, I noticed that you haven’t posted for awhile, I hope everything is good. Keep up the good work and all the best in the new year.

  3. Your typewriter is awesome!

  4. I forgot I meant to ask- is your last name dutch for ‘meadow land’?

  5. Hey Katie!! Thanks for writing so amazing books and moreover, posting so good articles. I absolutely love them.

  6. Dungeons and dragons notes, dice, paints, and a borrowed blue typewriter – although I still did most of my writing longhand (hard to imagine now!) This was a lovely picture to share, thankyou.

  7. Your first writing desk is fabulous and how lovely that you have these old photos to reminisce over. You obviously had a passion for writing at a young age.

  8. Tanya Wells says:

    Hello Ms. Weiland. I just recently found you on spotify. Thank you for all of your podcasts. You are the best resource for anyone who is trying to write a novel. Although I still feel as if I’m forcing my way through writer impostor syndrome, your guidance is easing the discomfort of the relentless self criticism.

    Thanks again for being a guiding light.


    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Thank you, Tanya! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the podcast and finding it useful. That makes my day! 😀

  9. Akshaya Sutrave says:

    Hi Ms. Weiland!
    It’s really amazing to see what you’re first writing desk looked like, because I’m 14 and I love reading about successful authors when they were young! Your blog posts are always so fun to read, and I really want to use your books for outlining my next novel and creating better character arcs.
    Thank you!

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