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Archive for May, 2010

Have you ever wondered what life was like in the past…in different eras? I do. As a total history buff, I love to study about different times in history…and imagine what life would have been like if I had been alive then.

For instance, I would have loved to have lived during Regency England. The clothing was fabulous, the parties were incredible and (of course!) meeting and mixing with the gentry would have been amazing.

Civil War in the United States was another era. My family was from the South….regular farming folks…but still, visions of Gone with the Wind have always danced in my head. I would have loved to have had my very own Rhett Butler!!

What about the Roaring 20’s? Or perhaps the years that encompassed the Second World War…..Rosie the Riveter, seeing the boys off after spending an evening at the USO, England during the Blitz…all trying times and yet, as a romance writer I wonder about all the love and angst of the times.

One of my favorite movies was Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour…a writer from current times goes back into the past to meet the woman he was destined to love.  If you have never seen it you are missing a fabulous romance, a hauntingly beautiful theme song and great performances by two great actors.

Jane Seymour stars in Somewhere in Time

The costumes are breathtaking, the love story is timeless and it makes me wish I could have been there…..been Jane Seymour’s character.

If you could go back in time, to an era you would have loved to have experienced, when would it have been……and what would you be doing?

It is a fascinating question to me…the incurable romantic,

KW

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Judith McNaught is, to me, a wonderful writer. In the past few years I have probably read all or most of her books more than two or three times each. In the latter 1980’s I met Ms. McNaught as she sat at a table loaded with her books and diligently signed copies for each of the people lined up to see her. She was new to the romance world, her books were just starting to hit the shelves and I remember seeing this beautifully dressed lady, her pen in hand, smiling as she spoke with each of the people ahead of me, asking their names and autographing their respective copies of her book.

By the time I reached the table I was probably drooling. I loved books. Paperback novels. Gothic romances. Historical romances. Hardbound copies of classics. I was a closet writer….I kept journals, diaries and wrote lengthy letters (often never given). As I stuttered my name, I told her I had always dreamed of writing and to my amazement she did not laugh. Remember, this was the 80’s and it was intimidating even to me to admit I wanted to be an author.  I honestly cannot remember much of that conversation, but she and I talked for a few moments about her new career, how if I really wanted it…then I should pursue my dreams, her kids (her characters had been named after her son and her daughter) and I gave her my name and she signed my copy of her book. That book is still in my bookshelf today.

I immediately went out and bought my first computer…lol…a Radio Shack Tandy with this huge floppy disk that held the operating system. In other words, if I’d lost that disk, my computer would have no brain. I enrolled in creative writing classes at a local university and I began to write…….

Then my life started getting busy. I found myself too occupied with my day job to write, I had been married a couple of years and soon was expecting my first child. Life got busier and that Tandy soon was delegated to a corner of our spare room. Visions of Victoria Holt and Gothic castles on foggy moors were replaced with days filled with bottles and diapers and stressful days at work. I still read those wonderful books but had no time to give to my writing. Another daughter came, I bought another computer….and still I did not commit myself to my dream.  For several years life became a jumble of anxiety, being a mom and overcoming several obstacles in my personal life;  and that dream…of writing…was put on a shelf.

Fast forward to the new twenty-first century. My mother was sick with late Stage 3 ovarian cancer and was fighting for her life each day for over three years. I was with her almost every day of that period and we’d sit and talk of her younger years, she interested me in finding out about her family…which led to a passion for genealogy. In doing this genealogy research I discovered a beauty in the worlds I uncovered as I looked at Civil War documents, pictures of estates in England, lilting names of Irish counties….my ancestors. They had inhabited the world I wanted to write about…they were pioneers and root doctors and knights and soldiers. They brought my desire to write back to life, and I took a long, hard look at my future. The two kids would soon be in college, my interests had always been my family and my kids…and I was swiftly heading to that empty nest syndrome.  I’d taken care of my children and had been a caregiver to my parents and to my husband as they fought dire illnesses. My oldest sister had also passed away after a year-long fight with advanced lung cancer. In essence, there was absolutely nothing holding me back any more……..but me.

I now am following my dream. I am writing. Not only have I begun to pursue writing seriously, I’ve been encouraged by editors who’d liked my pitches and by other authors I’ve met online and at writing conferences. My one piece of advice to anyone out there who wants to pursue their passion is simply this…don’t wait. If only my parents  and my sister could see my now…

There is an old saying: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” A very good piece of advice, I wish I’d taken it myself back then,

KW

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In 2009 I attended a writers’ conference in Washington, DC which opened my eyes to the advantages and disadvantages of social networking. Now, my kids have been users of Facebook and MySpace for years and have enjoyed being able to share thoughts, photos and music with their friends. I had always viewed these social networking sites as being mainly for these young folks to maintain friendships and had never actually thought of them as sources of networking for work.

In setting up my Facebook site, I was still wary of putting myself out there on the internet. As I have said in an earlier post, it is hard to leave a permanent footprint online when I have always been such a private person. But in order to become a writer…to become a published author…I wanted to learn from experienced writers and to share thoughts and ideas with others who hoped to become published. My Facebook friends began to multiply, and I have to say today some of these people are dear friends…even though I have yet to meet most of them.

Social networking in the age of computers, Twitter, emails and texting has become part of the norm. Not only do almost all people in all walks of life do it…but it is incredibly helpful. Do you need to know about a specific part of the world? Most likely one of your friends has been there or perhaps you actually have cyber-friends in that area. Are you curious about the path to publication, the ways royalties work? Many of the published authors and even agents and publishing houses are there to answer your questions. Perhaps you will get some helpful information or a simple “How was your day?” from your favorite author.

One of the pitfalls of social networking, at least for me, is the time that should be allowed for the maintenance of a page on such a site. First of all, you must keep it up to date….don’t allow months to go by without updating your status. You also should keep up your friendships that are acquired online…if I make a friend then I feel that I should make attempts to maintain that friendship. I have often been caught in that vise of being almost addicted to my site…did someone write me? did they see my latest status or answer my messages? shouldn’t I check my site just one more time?

As I become more comfortable with myself as a writer and as an Internet participant, I have discovered myself setting limits on my time spent “talking” to my colleagues and friends online or blogging on here. I check my online status and pages a couple of times each day, then usually in the evening. As in this blog, if a thought comes to me to ramble about…then I blog. If I hit a writer’s block…and that is a total possibility from time to time; I stop to take a break from writing and may or may not look at posts on Facebook or comments on this blog.

I am thankful for learning about Facebook and about blogging, albeit several years after anyone else. It has given me great friends, wonderful advisors and potential readers. I just need to remember to spend the majority of my time on my computer doing what I do best….working with my writing.

Thanks for being Internet friends,

KW

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As a writer I find that I have a certain taste in men. But in discussing the types of men who appeal to my friends I have found we all have different ideas of the ideal mate. Some are attracted to dark-haired, dark-eyed guys; some are interested in blondes with blue eyes. Some of us love the tall, dark and handsome heroes while others prefer men closer to their height or just bit dorky. I even know some people who are attracted to those guys/girls who are not the typical romance novel lover. Maybe he/she is a misunderstood loner or a rambunctious gambler or an egotistical airhead…

What type hero/heroine do you prefer?

Just wondering,

KW

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Heroes and Hunks

Today I experienced the world of a true hero. No, he wasn’t a duke or a prince. He wasn’t incredibly handsome and wealthy. He was in his 80s, the father of several wonderful children with children of their own. But he was a true hero. He’d seen action in World War II which would have meant death for lesser men. I didn’t even know he existed until just a few years ago, when his exploits in the war were chronicled in a television series about soldiers and he had been interviewed. In fact, he was a cousin of my father’s, a fact I just learned not long ago.

In my world of writing, heroes are usually hunks…with piercing blue eyes, sensuous lips and wonderful soft hair, rippling muscles and manors on hillsides. I adore writing of Regency England and all the gentry of the era. However, in this man’s world heroes were young men, often no more than eighteen years of age, who trudged through the mire and the mud and the brush to serve their country.  Some of those boys had never been more than fifty miles from home when they were called to serve. And serve they did.  At the burial today were several old men, their faced lined with wrinkles and their eyes now dulled by age. They all wore the familiar red cap of vets, and they all lined up to say their goodbyes to one of their own. It was an incredibly humbling experience for me.  I think one of my next projects will be an homage to these dear sweet men who gave so much to serve their country. You see, they still carry those days within their hearts..they may not speak of them, or perhaps they do now…while they are older and wiser. But they were hunks and heroes too, in their time.

Bless them all,

KW

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Well, today is a new experience for me. As much as I love to write, it is quite hard for me to actually leave footprints on the web for all the world to see. Blogging will be a definite footprint…and I promise as time passes I will be able to open up and share more of myself with my readers. I am a mother who has just recently been given a new opportunity to live my dreams. I have been a patient, a caregiver, a mom, a wife, a sister and so much more. In all that time I lost myself in the everyday routines and have rarely thought of what I wanted to do when I grew up (lol, now THAT is a thought). But with motherhood comes the time the little chicks leave the nest…and you are left with the empty nest…and lots of time to spare.  My dream has always been to write, to publish, to put pen to paper and create. As I told a friend, it is my passion. I have already written before today….but today marks another milestone in my new goal…today I am actually leaving a footprint…on my way to making trails.

Join me on my adventures in becoming a published writer, I cannot promise I will be a successful author tomorrow….but I will someday be published. And I will share my journey with you.

Follow your dreams,

KW

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