Getting ready for The 1940s… are you?

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Well, the MC4 girls are working hard on their Martini Club 4 – The 1940s stories. I have about 3 more scenes to complete. I am very excited about this story. You see, Lady Margaret and her only child, Audra, are not so close. Why is that, you ask?

Well, she overheard an argument between her mother and father when she was only ten and it skewed her whole perspective.

In any event, I suppose that is all I should say. I can tell you that most of the stories have titles…

Pampered

“Provoked” (hmm, I don’t believe Alicia Dean has completely decided yet)

Perilous

Priceless

I’m also playing around with covers. What do you think of this?

Beautiful young woman retro style studio portrait

Or this?Fashion in retro style. WW2 reenacting

Still just mulling thing over. Anyway, there should be a pre-order link up before long. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the Martini Club 4 – The 1920s, you might start with these:

Rebellious ~ Ruined ~ Reckless ~ Runaway

Or you can have all four in a print copy.

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Happy Reading! ~Kathy L Wheeler

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A New LITTLE Hobby ~ Kathy L Wheeler

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Like I have time for anything else. After all, there was Halloween, two trips to Seattle for a family emergency, an arts festival, an author signing, coordinating the NRCA, the Regency Reader and Novel Notes newsletters—-and what do I decide to add?

Painting. Yes, art. And it is fun!

Here are some of my efforts:

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A pathetic attempt of the Eiffel Tower

Another sad try, but hey, I'm new at this.

Another sad try, but hey, I’m new at this.

eeh

eeh

better. I do like this.

better. I do like this.

One of my favs so far.

One of my favs so far.

Yes, this I like.

Yes, this I like.

So, this is my new hobby. My husband thinks I’m painting to avoid writing. I think I’m painting to clear my mind…

I certainly won’t quit writing. After all, KOCO’s morning anchor said she loves reading so I sent her a copy of The Price of Scorn: Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother. She posted a great picture on her Facebook page.

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And!!!! The Mapmaker’s Wife – my little civil war novella, won 1st place in the Historical Short of the International Digital Awards. I’m so happy, that I joined NaNo this year.

First up, is Pampered – Martini Club 4 – The 1940s.

Have a good Sunday, all.

Kathy L Wheeler

How Does Your Writing Retreat Go?

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9452967753B603E25Sadly, one of our Martini Club 4 members moved out of state. And, sadder, she is not with us this weekend as we plot out our 1940s stories.

Happily, she’s happy. Sadly, I’m REALLY hungry. —- ( 2 hrs later. ) I’m much better.

So our retreat was supposed to be in Dallas this weekend at the imagesinfamous Adolphus Hotel. This is where we were supposed to stay:

I’ve really got to stay there someday!

RO-8725121065306099291y6471_GOur room was to be a junior suite. Nice, huh?

Instead, we decided to stay in the Oklahoma City area and do our plotting / brainstorming at Alicia’s quaint home. And now we’ve had pizzas and brownies and, of course, wine. And are back to the grind. Without, Amanda. But we are busy sending emails back and forth and sadly/happily I need to get back to Meggie and Harry’s daughter, Audra Faye. She’s a bit “Pampered”.

Happy Reading.

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How personal does a sex scene have to be?

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Even though I write romance, sex scenes are one thing I don’t want to write. They’re uncomfortable. Sex is the most intimate act between two people. So intimate that it feels personal to me. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the advice write what you know. You’ve got to dig deep down and put yourself on those pages. That advice can be hard enough to follow in the best of circumstances. When it comes to love scenes, I really don’t want to go there.

One of the reason love scenes are difficult for me to write is I’m breaking one of the cardinal rules from my youth. You might have sexual experience but you certainly don’t talk about it. That might come off as bragging. And if you brag, the world knows what you are. A loose woman. Yeah, I know times have changed but that ingrained inhibition is hard for me to get around.

Then let’s say I write a sex scene that is a little over the top. Very spicy with some naughty activities. If my friends (okay not all my friends) and family read it, it would not be pretty. You do what? I never thought you were that sort of girl. No matter how much you smile and tell them it’s fiction of course, it’s already out there and they don’t quite believe you. At least that’s what I fear.

Yet many types of romance stories not only require love scenes, they are expected to have a certain number of sex scenes. That means that I must write sex scenes if I want to write romance.  A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend the Romance Writer’s National Conference in New York. I attended a session titled ‘Insert Sex Scene here…” that changed my view on sex scenes. Vivian Arend, Kristen Callihan and Tessa Dare explained what sex scenes were really all about in a romance story.

Turns out they aren’t just scenes to include after a certain number of pages. They are much more than that. The love scenes show the evolution of the character’s relationship. It’s about the character’s experience told from their point of view. Is this their first time? Has the character had sex many times but this time is different?

This approach made so much sense. I will never forget when Dr. Who rebooted. My daughters were still in elementary and middle school. They couldn’t understand what I saw in the show. Then one day they sat down and started watching it with me. My youngest said to me “Mom, I like this show but I don’t watch it for the science fiction. I watch it for the relationships.” Both of them did that. They witnessed the relationship between the Doctor and Rose, then the Doctor and Donna and the Doctor and Amy. How these characters interacted with each other, felt about things and taught each other were the elements that held the show together. This is true for any story.

So if I approach a love scene from the point of view of the character complete with their attitude and what it teaches them, then the scene has nothing to do with my experience. That’s a relief. Those talented writers helped me reach an epiphany that has freed me up on a very difficult aspect of my writing. We’ll see if it works.

There is more to their talk. If you are having difficulty with this area of writing I would highly recommend you listen to it. The full session is available on the Romance Writers of America website.

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

Krysta

So Many Projects, So Little Time…

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I’m freaking out. (Well, not really, but I should be). Currently, I have 11 stories, (some novels, a few shorts), that need to be written. Yes, 11. I am almost finished with one, and another of them is actually just compiling some of my already written shorts into one collection and revising. However, the rest are due or long overdue. And some of them will require sequels…

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You know what? I take on too many projects, I agree to too many things, and I set too many unattainable goals. But, since I have committed to all of this, I need to figure out a way to make it happen. I am trying to finish Book 3 in my Isle of Fang series, then I MUST write Book 3 in my Northland Crime Chronicles series. Until I complete those two, I can’t write my Martini Club 4 1940s stories, and my friends are counting on me. Plus, I’ve got a good handle on the story and characters, and I’m sooo anxious to get started.

I also work full-time and edit for Wild Rose Press and freelance edit. I blog and I have a promo loop. I love to watch TV. And hang out with my family and friends and visit my mother in the nursing home at least once a week. Yesterday, my sisters and our friend went to dinner, then out to hear my brother and the band he plays for at a bar. I hadn’t been out to a country bar in ages. We had a blast and it was awesome to hear my brother play. He’s an incredible lead guitarist. Here is a snippet I recorded: (The quality of the recording sucks, but you can see how awesome he is :))

 

Unfortunately, I also waste a lot of time when I could be writing. (and none of those things I mentioned are what I consider wasting time. I meant things like playing around on the internet) I need to become more disciplined, and I have a few ideas on how to up my production. One is to use the ‘Speech Recognition’ function to speak my scenes instead of typing them. The other is to make myself get up two hours earlier than I have to. So…wish me luck. After all, those books aren’t going to write themselves. (But, how cool would that be???? :))

Any tips for me? Any tricks you use to be more productive?

Well! I’m an airhead….The Pellman Family would not believe it1

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It’s true. I used to recall the strangest details. Facts, that have my two sisters, two brothers, mother and dad, cringing to this day. You know, details that include an argument between my youngest brother and youngest sister in a huge row in the kitchen one year. Oh, that’s a funny story.

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Our house was similar to The Brady Bunch. My stepfather married my mother when I was eight-years-old. He had two boys, and my mother three girls. I was the oldest and, er…the bossiest. I was not the smartest but I was always reading, as I happened to be that one afternoon leaning against the kitchen sink when things went to “hell in a hand basket” or whatever. And of course, I was minding my own business. (All of my siblings would attest to that!)

The next thing I know, is that a piece of chili landed on the page of my (Harlequin, I can promise you) book. I do not remember the title. I do not remember what those two juveniles were fighting about either. But I do remember looking up and Sandy, who is six months Brad’s senior, had dumped a bowl of chili on his head. My brother Mark  was standing there too, laughing. Then my dad walked in!

Our lives were in turmoil during that particular time in our lives. I had just graduated from high school, had left home and had come back. My sister Terry and Mark were in high school, Sandy and Brad still in Junior High. (Not middle school).

Sadly, our dad had just adopted us girls, and within the year our parents had divorced. Still, you can’t just throw away ten years of your life growing up with the man who raised you. In any event, the girls moved to Texas (with my mom, of course), and the boys stayed in Colorado.

While I regret the dissolution of their marriage, I am happy to say that every three years (for about 12 years) the five kids, Me, Terry, Mark, Sandy and Brad…oh, and our dad have had a family reunion with all the kids and their kids. And our mom made the last one as well. So all’s well that ends well.

Oh, and the airhead thing? (I almost forgot!) My post was due yesterday! But, at the risk of redundancy…All’s well that ends well…Well, you know what I mean.

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Happy Reading! ~Kathy L Wheeler

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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