I can remember writing every single novel and story; where I was and what I wrote on. The Wishing Fields was written when I lived in a duplex. I had invested $200 or so into my very own electronic typewriter. I sat on the livingroom couch, hunched over my electronic typewriter that lived on my coffee table. I also wrote The Writer's House when I lived in that same duplex, but I had turned one of the bedrooms into an office by then and wrote in there, overlooking the back yard while my kids played outside. This was also where I wrote the very first story that actually sold (in 1999 to Highlights For Children Magazine), Ben Gets To Help. I remember my very first royalty check that came in for that story. I was so excited, even though it wasn't very much money. A few months later, I received another check from Highlights, though, and this one was huge to me ($789) because they had resold my story after publishing it, to McGraw Hill.
Shortly after that, I moved and bought a Victorian house on a river and when the company I worked for was taken over by another company, I was sure my job was gone when I was given a one month time off until the dust settled. I was in a panic, so I rushed to my huge desktop computer and immediately pounded out another children's story and sent it off to CTB-McGraw Hill and, much to my shock, they telephoned me a couple weeks later to ask if I would accept $500 for my story. I was thinking boy, would I! but outloud I simply said, "Yes, I would accept that!" I was thrilled to no end and immediately sent off another story to them which was also purchased. Then I found out I did not lose my job and I went back to monitoring news stations from my home office for a media scanning company.
I realize that writing stories is like having children. You never forget the details about the actual writing process and you never forget that very first royalty check!