Friday, August 17, 2012

Author Morgan K Wyatt, today's Friday Friend

Please join me in welcoming Carole Wyatt,
writing as Morgan K Wyatt.Her latest book, Unexpected Cougar, is set for release today from Secret Craving Publishing! (It was co-written with her husband.)

Carol writes:
     How is your memory? If you can remember former high school classmates who keep befriending you on Facebook, then it’s good. Do you wonder if the realtor who keeps sending you friend requests is the same girl who started the rumor about you being a boy who dressed as a girl? If you have hard time remembering details about your own life, imagine juggling the minutiae of dozens of lives. Mothers do this, teachers too, but writers live constantly in this mental labyrinth of vanishing names and facts.
      As a mother, teacher, and a writer, I was determined to hang onto more information. As I age, I worried my memory might be the first to go. My daughter gave me the dubious assurance that my memory left long ago. I suspected as much, but could have done without her confirmation.  I have consulted books, attended seminars, and searched the Internet for surefire answers to improve my memory.
      My first mistake was working outside my area of expertise. As a teacher, I’ve spent a great deal of time with pencil and paper. My first attempt at organization was a Palm Pilot. I immediately lost the stylus making it ineffective. The paper calendar works for me. I augment it with the purse calendar and white board in my office. My nod to technology in this department is I use my Google account to interface with my cell that warns me of upcoming events and appointments.  It would be nice if it would notify me of shoe sales when I walked by DSW too.
      I do manage to show up for appointments on my own now. My previous system was questionable and it involved family members. My extended family uses the same doctor, dentist, hairdresser, etc. My sister might go in for her appointment, and be reminded mine was in two days. Unfortunately, relatives could not help me with my writing.
      My total no tech system works the best for me. I have a binder with various dividers for each story where I notes names of characters, occupations, back story, where the story takes places. This is very important when engaging in a series and you have to keep referring back to a minute detail that the readers will remember. I used to keep this information in a folder on the computer. Only problem was I could not remember the name of the folder, and opened dozens with similar names.  If I didn’t waste enough time doing that, I’d go back through the 45,000 words trying to find the section of the book I needed. I’ve found if I knew what happened in that section, I could put a line of text in the search box to locate the chapter.
      Sometimes simple systems are the best. I decided to file everything alphabetically as opposed to grouping by function. This makes it easier to lay my hands on important documents.  If I don’t file immediately I forget why I cut something out of the paper or saved a particular article.
      Remembering people’s names is a major issue for me. I heard once that the ability to remember names and spell is carried on the same gene. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. I used to rely on my daughter’s superior memory while in public. When I saw a smiling woman heading my way, I’d asked my daughter who it was. She’d tell it was someone I hadn’t seen for years I wondered why the woman could still recognize me, or that my daughter remembered her.
      The inability to remember names or details I use as a complicating factor in my stories. In my newest release, Unexpected Cougar by Secret Cravings Publishing, the main character Elise fails to recognize her nemesis until it’s almost too late. Sure, she looks familiar and there is something about her she’s supposed to remember. What could it be?
      As for names, I try to associate one thing with the person when we first meet. Maybe she has teal blue eyes, loves Elvis, or has the same name as my mother. I shake their hand and say their name at least three times in conversation. Chunking information works better for me than just a name.  When it doesn’t, I fall back on an old friend’s trick; she calls everyone beautiful or handsome. No one ever complains about her not using his or her actual name.
     What helps you remember needed information? I am always open for methods that work.

His eyes twinkled at her in the dim light, or did she imagine it?
“Nope, I am walking you out to your car. Men look out for the more delicate sex. Although, despite you’re feminine appearance, I bet you’re a tough female, a regular Captain Janeway.”
“Who?” She scanned the parking lot for her car, which wasn’t hard since all the cars were gone, except for a few belonging to employees. She walked toward her green compact sedan with Jackson keeping pace. He rattled the change in his pocket a sure sign of nervousness. What did he have to be nervous about?
“Captain Janeway commanded the Starship Voyager on the ill-fated Star Trek spin-off. Still, her character was a strong, attractive, smart woman—uhm forget I said anything.” He stammered to an abrupt stop.
Elise hip bumped him playfully and acted surprised. “Oops, sorry. I know who Janeway is. I especially liked her Native American first officer, Chakotay.
“Really? I never met a woman who had actually heard of the show. Is this yours?” He nodded in the direction of the green less than beautiful car.
“Untrustworthy as it is.”
She found herself drawn to the slightly nerdy bartender, and they were at her car. If he were a date, she’d expect a kiss. If a guy tried to French her, plastering her against her car, she definitely wouldn’t go out with him again. If he pursed up his lips reminiscent of a second grader, she’s pass on him too. A firm, light touch of the lips solicited a second date, unless he’d triggered one of her taboo areas during the evening. This included rhapsodizing about the wonders of his mother, complaining bitterly about his ex, and every other woman who passed through his life, or expecting sexual favors as a nightcap.
A press on the keychain fob unlocked the car, turning on the interior light and highlighting the backseat complete with all the bachelorette gear for a friend’s party. Maybe Jackson wouldn’t notice the cake in the shape of male genitalia. At five times the real size, it was hard to miss. Jackson covered his mouth in sudden coughing fit and turned his head slightly away. He hadn’t missed it.
“Are you a baker by trade?” he asked in a choked voice.
“Argh, I prayed you didn’t see that. A business associate in my building is getting married. Shirley, a sixty-plus widow, picked out all the goodies. I’m the lucky one who gets to haul it all around. If they knew how unreliable my car has been lately, they might have picked someone else.” She put her hand on the door only to find his hand there already.
“Allow me.” He opened the door. “What’s wrong with your car?”
“Starter.” She slid in, turned the key, and listened to the car grind and not start. “It takes a while for it to catch. I know I should get a new one, but…”
“What?” He braced his arms against the roof of her car and leaned in to talk to her. “Why aren’t you fixing it? It’s not safe for you to be out on your own and not be able to get your car started, especially in a dark parking lot.”
Same lecture her father gave her a few days before. She sighed and muttered “Thanks, Dad.”
Jackson recoiled, slamming his head on the open door frame. Damn, just when she thought he might kiss her. Not that he should, but she hoped he would. It would mean he was interested in her, although he’d already shown her more attention than she’d had in the last six months. Still, he was probably just a nice guy who walked lone women to their cars.
He spun away from her to better curse under his breath, holding his head with both hands. Getting out of her car, she walked over to him and wrapped her arms around him from the back, an extremely bold move on her part. “I’m sorry Jackson you’re nothing like my father, with the exception he’s a nice guy. You’re a nice guy. He has brown hair. You have brown hair. He has—oh, I’m babbling.”
Jackson turned slowly in her loose embrace until he faced her. “I like it when you babble.” His lips moved closer to hers when a voice broke into their romantic bubble.
“Jack, I can’t get the credit card machine to work,” a disembodied female voice called out.
She not only heard his sigh, she felt it. He backed off, dug out his wallet, and pawed thought the contents until he produced a battered business card and handed it to her.
“The guy who owns this garage is a friend and a former co-worker. He’ll give you a free estimate and do honest work. Try starting the car again. I don’t want to leave without it running.” Jackson glanced back at the figure at the door.
“Okay.” She hopped into the car and cranked the engine again, hoping it would start.
She didn’t need her wonky car holding up business. This time it caught. Backing out, she waved at Jackson. Would this be the last time she saw him? Probably not if she continued to use the restaurant to meet her dates, the thought of him watching her soldier through inappropriate pairings would make her even more self-conscious. Why didn’t she ask him out? Maybe she read the signs wrong. It might horrify the guy. The thought of even more masculine rejection tightened her lips and steeled her determination to give dating a break.
11/11 Reluctant Cougar-Secret Cravings Publishing12/11 Christmas Warmth-XOXO Publishing1/12 Cub in Blue-Secret Cravings Publishing 2/12 Puppy Love-Secret Cravings Publishing     


  1. Thanks for being my guest today, Carol. I love the cover of your new release, and I love that your hubby helped you write it. You'll have to tell us more about that!

  2. Hi Ana,

    My husband told me I should tell everyone that I wrote Unexpected Cougar in bed, which is true. I'd wake him up and ask him how a certain line sounded from an engineer's point of view. He'd rewrite it. He totally made me understand why engineers have so much trouble meeting women. :)

    Lucky for him, that I chose him. I'll let him think he chased me down. Of course, you know, he'll read this because he's my biggest supporter.

    Thanks again, Ana.

  3. Hi Carol,

    Welcome to Heroines with Hearts! Great cover and great excerpt. I think I'm half in love with Jackson already!

    I'm a bit 'old fashioned' when it comes to organizing, too. Everyone now a days seems to have some type of electronic calendar on some data device, but I stick to my trusty and true pen and paper planner...and it works just dandy.

  4. Hi Carole - Welcome to HWH. Great post, and you sound far more organised than I am! I have 5 different notebooks on my desk right now - all wth random jottings, so it always takes me ages to find some info I know I've written down somewhere! I'm not too bad with names, and can remember events from forty years ago with no problem - but can I remember what someone said to me last week??
    Super cover and excerpt - Jackson sounds wonderful!

  5. My memory was the first thing to start going--I think! I use two calendars now, and just pray I keep them in order.

    Great excerpt.

  6. With so much going on, I too forget things. To back me up I use a calendar in three different rooms and then tell my grandkids to remind me. The book looks great.

  7. Hi Debra,
    My purse calendar never loses a signal or needs batteries and is big enough to locate too. Chalk up another one for paper and pen.:)
    Thanks for visiting.

  8. Hi Paula,
    You're halfway there. All you need is a big binder with dividers...I learned this from my students that carrying a notebook for every subject makes you a juggler.:)Every now and then jugglers drop something. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Hi Liz,
    Every now and then, my daughter takes the kitchen calendar, the one calendar that tracks all our events, off to her room for nefarious purposes. Needless to say, I rescue it. :)

    My phone does call me now, but it feels a bit like nagging. Thanks for dropping in.

  10. Hi Brenda,
    Grandkids as memory joggers, I will have to get busy on that.:)I could tell my dog, but he's even holder than I am. He only remembers where the treat are.
    Thanks for commenting.

  11. Great post! I also sometimes wonder if I'm losing my memory, and am afraid that I'll forget little details that I need as a writer. But, I've lived a lot of places and met a lot of people - so sometimes I wonder if my brain can get too full. :) Your book sounds interesting - best of luck!

  12. Hi Carole, thanks for being our guest today. Your organizational methods made me laugh, because they remind me of my own. I always tell myself and others that I'm organized, but I'm not sure if I really am in real life--it might just be in my mind. And I'm HORRIBLE with names! Love the excerpt.

  13. Hi Lacey,
    I heard once that we can only remember 150 people at one time. Often we rotate people out that we haven't seen for a while. So good yourself a break, you're actually okay.:) Thanks for commenting.

  14. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for commenting and allowing me to use your wonderful site. As for names, I can have whole conversations without using a person's name once.:)

    I do usually remember it 3am at night, which does me no good.

  15. My memory is not as good as it used to be, but I think it's because I am busier. At least that's what I tell myself. I find I remember things in the middle of the night, when I'm peeled back to my core self.

  16. I, like Ana, really like the cover of your book! Good luck!!

  17. Hi Angela,

    Thanks for commenting. SCP allows me to have a say in the covers. :)

  18. I love it that your husband wrote the male dialogue. Love you cover.

  19. I loved your post, can totally relate and I loved the excerpt!