Seriously Write: Overcoming Discouragement by Linda Leigh Hargrove


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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

For several years, I questioned whether I should have been writing at all. I started manufacturing reasons to do something or nothing at all.

Linda Leigh Hargrove

On the Seriously Write blog today, author Linda Leigh Hargrove gives her advice on battling discouragement while writing or along the writing journey.

When you face discouragement in your writing journey, what do you do?


New Year, New Theme: Finishing Strong

Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

For the past two years, I’ve had a theme going here. Once per month, I’ve invited authors to share their experiences regarding that theme. Those topics have come from issues I’ve dealt with—making time for both life and writing and casting fear aside to try something new.

Usually, by November, I’ve known what the upcoming theme will be, but the last quarter of 2018 left me dumbfounded. I guess that’s a good thing. It meant there were no overwhelming writing-related problems in my life.

Uh…hold on.

As I thought it over, I decided I have more issues than I realized. 🙂 Lately, I’ve seemed to bounce from one new writing project to another. (You know…those shiny new things that capture our attentions.) So, my theme for 2019 is Finishing Strong. I’ve asked my crit partner to keep me accountable. Her job this year is to hound and nag until I’ve written “The End” on whatever I’ve started.

What I’ll ask writers this year is how they choose the writing project they’ll work on next. What are their thought processes as they narrow down all those ideas that float inside their heads? Do they ever find themselves making the wrong choice and how do they handle it?

So, hang tight this year and let’s finish strong! I’ll be back Friday with a special novel review: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl.

Is there a project you’re having trouble putting those finishing touches on? Maybe you’ve gotten distracted by something else and before long time has flown and it’s still incomplete. Could be writing-related or not.

Celebrating a New Career as an Author by Pat Nichols


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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

In addition to discovering that a writer lives in two worlds—the one around us and the one inside our heads—I’ve learned some important lessons. 

Debut author Pat Nichols shares with Seriously Write readers a few of the things she’s learned on her writing journey.

What is something you’ve learned along your writing journey?

Book Review: A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz


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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

What a lovely, lovely cover for Laura Frantz’s new novel A Bound Heart. You know how much I adore covers. 🙂

The first half of the book is set in Scotland in a village controlled by the kindhearted and tolerant, yet troubled, Laird Magnus MacLeish. Though they grew up together—were educated together—and the MacDougalls were once a powerful family, Lark MacDougall lives in a small cottage on his estate and works as herbalist and beekeeper. When tragedy links them, they’re both indentured and shipped away to new lives across the ocean.

This is a story of discovering a love greater than friendship and leaving the past behind for a new beginning.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and can recommend it. However, the biggest issue I had was that the story seemed the epitome of an episodic structure that dragged down the tension, depth, and immediacy. I found myself wanting the author to dig into certain plot points and delete others which felt more like background than actual necessity.

While the main characters are noble and well-rounded, and their experiences interesting, some of the incidences skimmed the surface without going into the emotional depth that they deserved. For instance, one traumatic scene ended with little consequential impact on the character’s emotions going forward.

Another character, whose role loomed important in the first half of the book, practically disappears in the second half and we discover his destiny second-hand. Since he’d been a POV character, I would have liked to have had a front-row seat to this and felt the fear, defiance, regret, or whatever other reactions the character underwent.

For me, A Bound Heart was not as thrilling as The Mistress of Tall Acre or Ms. Frantz’s 2018 Christy Award winner The Lacemaker. However, I will give it 4 stars for the more memorable moments, the use of a deft hand with the Scottish vernacular, and for carrying me to a time and place I could picture in my mind.

Have you read this book? Agree or disagree?

Seriously Write: Waiting, Writing, and Why You Must Not Quit by Cynthia Herron


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Sandra Ardoin @sandraardoin

Waiting (especially a prolonged season of waiting) is like a knife to the weary writer’s heart. As each hope-filled day passes, so does a tiny bit of our resolve.

If you’ve been experiencing a season on waiting in your writing life, drop in on the Seriously Write blog where author Cynthis Herron shares her experience and what you can do while you wait.

If you’re in a season of waiting—be it writing related or something else—how are you staying proactive?