It’s a musical-Suspend your disbelief


I love to go see musicals. Ever since I was a little kid I was enthralled by the music and dancing as the story evolved between two acts. That’s not true for everyone.  I have a friend who doesn’t like musicals because he can’t suspend his disbelief. He would tell me that people just don’t break out in song at key moments in their life. It’s just not believable. My reply is always. It’s a musical. Of course people sing and dance. If you go knowing what you’re about to see, you should have no problem enjoying the show. Alas, we won’t ever resolve this issue. He really can’t accept the singing and dancing aspect of this sort of show. That is really a shame because he will miss out on fabulous shows like the one I saw last night.


When I was in college, the movie Ragtime was released in 1981. I saw it but didn’t remember a lot about it. What I did recall was a bit vague. Mary Steenburgen was in the movie. It was a period piece in the early 1900’s. It focused on the trials of a wealthy family and I remembered the final image of the movie. Apart from that everything else was a blank. So I was not prepared for the impact this musical had on me. I’m used to musicals like Cinderella, My Fair Lady and Gigi. Sure they reflect the belief systems of the time. At the conclusion of the show, the audience might leave learning a lesson. But for the most part, they are light airy and happy.

Ragtime is not that kind of show. After a quarter of the first half, I had the same feeling I had when I saw Chicago. About the time Roxy Hart lands in Jail, I thought ‘Isn’t this a musical? What have I gotten myself into?’ Well it happened again. Ragtime follows the lives of a privileged family as they wrestle with the influx of immigrants and racial stereotypes in 1906. The show does an excellent job of highlighting all points of views with these issues as it rushes to a stunning conclusion. Few musicals are capable of having this type of impact on social unrest. Even the issues dealt with in the early 1900’s have relevance to debates occurring in our country now.  This show is thought provoking and well worth seeing.

That’s all I have for now. Thank you for reading my post.



The Gang’s All Here…


As you’ve probably heard, since we whine about it frequently, one of our MC4 members, Amanda McCabe moved to New Mexico earlier this year. We miss her a great deal, whether it’s during our weekly Friday MC4 gatherings, our weekend writing retreats, or various other get-togethers. She’s happy there, so I’m happy for her, but I don’t have to like it!

Fortunately, she is in town for a few days and we met last night at Boulevard Steakhouse in Edmond for dinner and drinking and brainstorming.(Our 501 Martini Club Lounge is a part of the steakhouse, so we didn’t stray far from our favorite hangout. We were even served by Evan, one of our favorites of the waitstaff, who Amanda tried to convince to move to New Mexico…we put the kabash on that immediately!)


It was so nice to catch up with one another and to chat about what’s been happening in our lives. And, it was awesome to brainstorm about our 1940’s Martini Club 4 stories. Amanda was struggling a bit, thinking she needed to make sure her story worked in with ours. We told her the best thing to do is just to write her story as it comes to her, and we’ll make sure they all fit together in the end. We learned with our 1920’s stories that, while some of our scenes connect and overlap, not all of them need to be shown in each story. If my girl, Nina, appears in one of the scenes in Kathy’s story, unless that scene is also critical to my story, I don’t necessarily have to show it.

Most importantly, we have to make sure the time line works and that our scenes don’t contradict one another. For example, if my girl twists her ankle, Krysta can’t show a scene with her girl and my girl running a footrace. (Admittedly, that’s not likely, but you have to cover all eventualities) And let’s say Amanda shows a party scene in her book on a Friday night with my girl in attendance, I have to make sure that, on that Friday night, my girl wasn’t elsewhere, like being attacked by a vicious killer or something. 🙂

I’m looking forward to digging into our 40’s stories. I have a plot pretty much worked out, but I have a few other projects to complete before I can actually begin writing.

Collaborating is hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Especially when you get to collaborate with your BAFFs!

The NRCA Contest that is strictly for Readers! Are YOU in?


This post will be a little different. And while I’m directing this to readers, primarily, I will also include the author information too.

This year (2016) marks the official beginning in my career as the

 Winner - 2013 Contemporary Single Title

Winner – 2013 Contemporary Single Title

“complete” coordinator (last year I was the figurehead!) for the Annual National Readers’ Choice Awards. In other words, I’m in charge of the whole chi-bang!

This is a huge undertaking, but an exciting opportunity. I will be gathering contest coordinators and readers for the different categories of which there are 12.

What is truly exciting about this year, is that it is the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America’s 25th year to host this prestigious contest.


Winner – 2013 Historical

The NRCA is the only RWA contest where, not just the author is celebrated, but their editor and agent as well. Also, I would like to point out (for authors) our contests still includes a category for Romantic Elements.

If you love to read, consider signing up. You, as a judge, are mailed 4 books that you read and rank within approximately a 3 month time period. The books from well-recognized romance authors are yours to keep. Your only obligation is to return your scores to your assigned category coordinator within the specified time frame.

As you can imagine after 24 years, this process is streamlined pretty flawlessly, thanks to the previous overseers: Terri Schaefer and Silver James.

So, if you want more information on judging, check the OKRWA website.

And if you are ready to dive straight in and register as a reader/judge, click here.

Now for you fabulous authors, I think you know this is a well-received and well-renowned award. Just ask past winners like Brenda Novak, Tracy Ann Warren, Susan Mallory, Margaret Mallory, Roxanne St. Clair, Julie James, Candice Hern, Jodi Thomas…well, the list goes on and on and on…I mean, really, there are 24 years worth of winners. Just saying.

So, check the rules regarding the publishing copyright date of your book here and enter your book!

I want this 25th year to be spectacular, and I aim to make it so.kathylwheeler

Your humble Contest Coordinator for the 25th annual NRCA and Martini Club 4 member, Kathy L Wheeler