Not only Fast Draft, how about Formatting?

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I’m in the middle of two major—-make that 3, major things. Yes, we’ve talked about Fast Draft. Sadly, I’m way behind. I’m also teaching a month long formatting (ebook, print, and covers) for the Celtic Hearts RWA Group.

I’m getting lots of great questions. It’s different from anything I’ve done before. There are 28 people in the class. And if it wasn’t for the questions, it would feel like I’m doing all this work with nobody any the wiser.

After this class is completed, I’ve decided I’m going to put all my posts and illustrations in a book. I’ll show you a couple of examples and then I’m going to get back to my Fast Draft… Oh, and the 3rd major thing? The National Readers’ Choice Awards are all in, tallied, finalists notified, trophies, plaques and pins ordered and completed. Now I’m printing out certificates (178) and wrapping up the final details for the food in San Diego for July 14th!

Here you go:

Week 1 of 4 for Formatting: ebook

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Creating a Style for Headings

Week 1 of 4 for Formatting: Using Calibre to strip out MS Word’s extra nonsense

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Week 2 of 4 for Formatting: Print

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Using Sections instead of Page Breaks for special purpose suppression of Headers and Footers

Sadly, that’s all I have time to share right now.

But look for a new book on formatting in the month or two. This sucker was a lot of work…

Happy, er…uh…oh, yeah, brain freeze there…Reading (or formatting)!

Kathy L Wheeler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fast Draft Insanity

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In response to Krysta Scott’s previous post – as a die hard Oklahoma City fan. I cannot speak. I’m soooo angry and disillusioned with the NBA. But truly, that has nothing to do with Fast Draft Insanity…which is what me and three of my writing cohorts have decided to undertake in an effort to get our writing habits kicked into high gear.

First of all, this is a method that Candace Havens created because she was so busy. Well, I’m busy too! So Mary Jo Springer, Alicia Dean, and Krysta Scott have decided to try it.

Here’s the thing. We have fourteen days to write a complete draft of a book. Candace recommends 20 pages per day. That is enough for a 70k word Single Title, or 280 page book.

The rules:

No editing

No tv

No reading

Must give a daily report to your cohorts

NO EXCUSES…

I think there are more rules, but I’m freaking out over just these. So, for the next fourteen days, I am teaching an online class, but will still have to churn out my pages and report my accomplishments.

My daily reward for completing my goal? To read before I go to sleep each night.

We have aready made reservations for our celebratory dinner, set for Friday, June 17th at The Melting Pot. Wish us luck!

 

Martini Club 4 Does Dallas

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Ahem…now that I have your attention… 

The Martini Club 4 group traveled to Dallas this past weekend for a writing retreat. Our little jaunt wasn’t quite as titillating as the title of this blog post might lead you to believe. We were there to work. Seriously. I promise! Although, we did goof off a bit. One of the things I love to do almost as much as writing is to, in the words of the Cleaver boys ‘give people the business.’ And, when my poor MC4 friends are stuck with me on a road trip, business-giving ensues. Kathy was so pleased at my antics on this trip, she thought I should share them on this post, so, here’s what happened…

We stayed at the Market Center Renaissance Hotel in Dallas, and it was an excellent place to stay, really nice and offered a lot of extra amenities. We had access to Club Level, where they served breakfast, snacks, and dessert. In the room was a conference table where the four of us could spread out our notes and laptops and work on our stories. On Saturday, Kathy and Krysta were upstairs already, and Amanda and I were in the room. (We had adjoining rooms, so that was really nice. I roomed with Krysta and Kathy and Amanda roomed together).  Anyway…Kathy texted and asked if… Well, I’ll just show you:

Kathy: Can one of you grab that tour book and map when you come up? It’s of the Northeastern States.

Me: If I can find it

Kathy: Thank you. I think it’s on the desk.

(I located the tour book and map quite easily, although it was NOT on the desk. It was on the nightstand. I’m just a really shrewd detective, because I STILL found it.)

Me: This?

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Kathy: Yes

Me: I can’t find it

Kathy: That’s it. The tour book. If you don’t find the map, don’t worry about it.

(See how patient and calm she is? I was impressed. I mean, if I couldn’t find it, how the hell did I send a pic of it, right?)

Me: Is this the map?

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Kathy: Yes

Me: Is this the way I go to get to where you are?

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(our hotel room door)

Kathy: Smart ass

(It appears she’s run out of patience.)

Kathy: Look for us here

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🙂  (The ‘in’ door to the Club Level (that’s Krysta Scott hard at work)

Besides all the tomfoolery, we also had a productive weekend. We pretty much nailed our story lines for the Martini Club 4 1940’s series, although, before I can write that story, I have a few other books I need to finish. Krysta helped me brainstorm Isle of Fangs 3, so maybe I can get that one wrapped up so I can work on Northland Crime Chronicles 3. Then, I’ll be ready to dive into the 1940’s story.

Oh yes, and about the teaser of a blog title, if you’re still in need of titillation, maybe this will help. I spotted this on one of the hotel doors:

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Hahaha, pretty funny, right? I guess we weren’t the only ones giving people the business!

Be sure and check out our MC4 stories while they’re on sale for only 99 cents each!

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Click here to purchase

Please Help Me Find a Title. Also…a Fun Giveaway!!!

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Happy Easter everyone! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

**** BE SURE TO follow the blog in order to enter our giveaway! (Button can be found on the lower left side)

Yesterday, our MC4 group took a road trip to Anadarko for a book signing. We had a great day, not only at the signing, but the drive time of nearly three hours, round trip (with a stop off in Okarche for chicken and okra at Eischens), gave us an opportunity to brainstorm the next books in the Martini Club 4 series. These books will be set in 1947 Boston and will be about the offspring of our characters from the 1920’s series. We came up with some fun ideas for all four of the stories. Spending time together like that is so beneficial.

This is the four of us at the signing:

Me, Kathy, Amanda, Krysta

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I’ll let the others share their story ideas when they’re ready, but I’ll give you a brief glimpse of my idea. Also, we brainstormed titles, and where we went with ‘R’ before, it appears we’re going with ‘P’ for this one. I believe the other girls have decided on their titles, but I’d like some feedback on a few that I’m considering.

If you don’t mind, read the brief summary of my plot below, and let me know which of the potential titles you prefer.

A very rough summary:

Nina Taggart, at the prodding of her mother, is engaged to be married to a wealthy member of Boston’s blue-blood society. Nina isn’t madly in love with him, but as her mother pointed out, he’ll make a good match for her. But, when a dark secret from her mother’s past surfaces, Nina’s fiancé is horrified. He publicly humiliates her, calling her unspeakable names.

Sylvester is a World War II hero, now police officer, in Boston. He has loved Nina since they were children and has protected her reputation all these years. When her fiancé degrades her, Sylvester flies into a rage and beats him senseless. The man’s family insists on Sylvester’s removal from the force, and his superiors comply.

Sylvester has been working a case involving the kidnapping of wealthy Bostoners for ransom. Now, he’s taken off the case and has lost his job, not to mention, Nina is furious with him for nearly killing her former fiancé. In the blink of an eye, he’s gone from war hero and protector to unemployed outcast. With or without the force, he’s determined to solve the case. And to prove to Nina that he is worthy of her love.

Titles from the other stories: Krysta Scott: Priceless, Amanda McCabe: Perilous, Kathy L Wheeler: Pampered. (of course, these may change as we go forward)

For mine, I’m considering:

Perception

Precipice

Paragon

Protected

Provoked

What are your thoughts? Any preferences? Any new ideas?

GIVEAWAY – Exclusive, Customized MC4 Martini Glass and a print copy of all four Martini Club 4 – The 1920’s stories in one volume, signed by all the authors. To enter, simply use the ‘follow’ button, found at the lower left, and follow our blog! Winner will be chosen at the end of April. (Only residents of the Unites States are eligible)

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Coming Together when it comes to Titles ~ Kathy L Wheeler

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Below is a series of discussion when the Martini Club 4 girls were trying to come up with their titles. The first note was handwritten that had a list consisting of Lady Bootlegger, Lady Wayward, Lady this, Lady that. But it didn’t fly. As you can see from the notes below it was mostly a brainstorming session over email. titles1
titles2titles3titles4titles5titles6titles7titles8titles9titlex1titlex2titlex3In the end, as you now know, we came up with the current titles of Rebellious, Ruined, Reckless and Runaway. This happened one Saturday at the Oklahoma Romance Writers monthly meeting when Krysta and I were trying to write blurbs of under fifteen words. This exercise was intended to make the blurb as strong as possible. In the course of writing my blurb, I came up with Meggie’s behavior as Reckless. And since Amanda seemed to like Rebellious, I thought Reckless worked pretty well. That led to Krysta and I brainstorming (in person) for her story, coming up with Runaway.

The next couple of days I started using the Thesaurus trying to come up with an “R” word for Alicia’s, currently titled, Wayward. I found a word that I thought would be perfect, but I couldn’t remember it when we met for another purpose later that week.

I pulled out my little mini iPad and started back through the process again, knowing the word would jump out at me when I ran across it. We were in a crowded restaurant when I said, quite loudly, RUINED. Her reply? “It’s perfect!”

And, there you have it. The simple process of finding a series of titles that MIGHT just work.

Happy Reading ~~ Kathy L Wheeler

Reckless (2)

Martini Club 4 Kickoff ~ Kathy L Wheeler

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So I’m kicking off the official Martini Club 4 blog with some of the planning issues the four of us ran into, last minutes freakouts, and promo ideas we ran into along our 1 and ½ year journey of getting this series going from conception to publication. As you may have realized, all four stories were released on Thursday, February 26th.

So here we go.

In a message dated 12/30/2013 11:52:07 A.M. Central Standard Time, amccabe7551@yahoo.com writes:

I’m getting started on my story opening, which features everyone on the ship going to NYC!  What I need from all of you right now is a physical description of your heroine, and her reason for being on the ship…
Thanks!!
Ammanda

Sorry I’m just now responding. My  heroine was hanging around the docks, she’s been on the street since her mother, who was a servant, passed away and the owner of the manor, a duke or whatever, tried to rape her. Maybe she tries to steal something from one of the girls, they catch her but feel sorry for her and take her along. She wants a new opportunity in america.

She has long dark hair and light brown/sometimes hazel eyes. With a beauty mark on her right cheek. Here is her pic, which I’ve also attached.

from Alicia Dean

1/4/2014 10:13am

Subject: Links that might help

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/new-york-1920s

http://www.1920s-music.com/

http://www.last.fm/tag/1920s

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20sfood.html

Alicia Dean

1/4/2014 11:02am

Subject: Transportation

From Kathy L Wheeler

Subways
subwayTo ease New York City’s demand for rapid transit, city authorities determined to build a subway that would meet two objectives.  First, it would quickly and efficiently move people about in crowded Manhattan.  Secondly, it would move them out of crowded Manhattan.  Subway lines would extend out to vast tracts of undeveloped land, where new neighborhoods could be created, helping to turn a cramped island city into a sprawling metropolitan area.

The IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit Company) began construction on the first subway line in 1900, and less than four years later, the IRT began whisking New Yorkers beneath city streets, carrying over 100,000 riders on its very first day.  Subways, traveling at close to 40 miles per hour, were much faster than trolleys (6 miles per hour) and elevated trains (12 miles per hour).  Passengers appreciated features of the system, including choices between local and express service, fewer weather-related delays than street transportation, and the single fare they had become accustomed to on other modes of public transit – five cents regardless of the distance they traveled.

Most of the subway system we know today was built swiftly during a great burst of construction from 1913 to 1931.  To encourage rapid growth, the city divided subway contracts between two companies.  This arrangement, known as the “Dual Contracts” or “Dual System,” awarded rights to the IRT to expand existing Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bronx lines.  It awarded what later became known as the BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation) contracts for new lines in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Trolleys
trolleyFor seventy years trolleys ran in all five boroughs of New York City.  Trolleysoperated by electrical power delivered through wires running overhead or in underground conduits.  They were faster and cleaner than horsecars and cheaper to build and operate than cable cars.  However, the rapid increase in fuel-powered cars and trucks in the 1920s doomed the trolleys.  Running on fixed tracks in the middle of the city’s streets, trolleys became a nuisance in traffic and getting on and off them was dangerous.

Next month I’ll go through our process of finding titles!

Happy reading, everyone! ~~Kathy L Wheeler