Seriously Write: Two Writing Tips (Bonus: Helpful References) by Joanie Bruce


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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

Being able to talk to an author and ask questions would have been amazing, but fortunately (for them) I knew no authors personally to pester.

In addition to sharing a couple of important tips for new writers, author Joanie Bruce shares a list of some of her most valuable writing resources on the Seriously Write blog today.


Do you have any writing resources you can recommend?


Historical Flavors: Parking Meters


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Sandra Ardoin @Sandra Ardoin

Okay, I’ll admit it. Today’s Historical Flavors post is highly random. Parking meters?

I came across an article on the History website about the invention and installation of the first parking meter in the world. One would think that would have taken place in New York or London or Tokyo, right? No, according to History, it was 1935 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the brainchild of newspaper owner Carl C. McGee.

Now, no offense to Oklahomans, but why? Why give us such a stress-inducing machine? I mean, how many times have people been wandering downtown, checked their watches, and nearly passed out while sprinting back to the car in order to add a few more coins to satisfy the meter maid? Are there still meter maids? No, don’t laugh. I remember adding pennies. (I was a kid, people!)

The article reminded me of my first experience with a parking pay station…this spring. It’s even more intimidating than the old kind. Until I did some digging, I had no idea they had been around for years. You see, we don’t have any kind of parking meters in my downtown. (I’m so blissfully rural!)

We drove to a lovely—crowded—island and wanted to walk the beach, so we pulled into a little area with an equally lovely median. We quickly found out the only reason the median existed was to house the machine that gladly swallowed coin or credit in exchange for granting us the privilege of leaving the car.

I drew the short straw when it came to presenting our offering. Since there was a line, I spent the time wisely by peering around everyone ahead of me, studying how they did it. What buttons did they push? When did they add money? Did it take cash or only credit? I can happily report that, when it came to my turn, I stepped up to that beach guardian, pushed its buttons like a pro, snatched the receipt, and waved that trophy in the air.

So, for those of you who have yet to face this keeper-of-the-concrete, here’s a little propaganda how-to:

I hope you enjoyed your trip to downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. 😉 What is the latest invention that provided you with a bit of trepidation?

Seriously Write: Details, Details by Cindy Ervin Huff


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When my family watches TV shows, we notice details. Details from our own experience. My years working at a blood center make me painfully aware of portrayals of blood banks on TV or movies. 

Author Cindy Ervin Huff visits the Seriously Write blog today to share her experience with the importance of getting the details right in a novel.


What details in books or movies were so inaccurate you groaned in disbelief?


Book Review: A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden


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After I read the first novel, A Dangerous Legacy, I was looking forward to the second book in Elizabeth Camden’s Empire State series, A Daring Venture. However, I had no idea I’d enjoy this one even more.

One thing you can usually depend on in this author’s stories is an enticing hero. Nick Drake does not disappoint. He’s a blue collar guy with a rich man’s bank account, a widower with a three-year-old he spoils, and a man determined to provide better plumbling facilities for the poor.

It had taken months for the final traces of plumber’s grease to disappear from beneath his nails, then another year for the last of the calluses to be buffed away. Now he looked as polished and groomed as any of the other blue bloods here this evening.

That didn’t mean he would ever be welcome in their ranks. But he didn’t care about being welcomed, he cared about getting appointed to the State Water Board of New York. Only then could he ensure that poor people and immigrants got the same quality of water that rich people took for granted.

Dr. Rosalind Werner knows first hand the devasting effect of water-borne illnesses on individuals and families. She competes in a man’s world of science, one that resulted in past scandal. Even with that, she’s driven to put into place a new and better way to purify water and prevent diseases like the cholera that killed her parents.

Though both Nick and Rosalind want what’s best for the health of others, they butt heads in the courts, each thinking they are right in the way to achieve it. In private, they’re drawn to one another with an instant attraction neither has experienced before. Yet…

There’s a lot going on in this novel that has little to do with the romance, but affects it in various ways. There are layers from each character’s past that intrude on the present, teaching them to become better persons as they face intrigue and betrayal on multiple levels. In fact, there were a couple of plot points I felt were serious enough to be drawn out and given greater space.

I would have liked to have seen a little more resolution between Rosalind and Nick with regard to his child, especially since the two adults had such differing views on how to raise her. In fact, the child seemed less a character than a prop. That thread could have been better satisfied for me.

However, the book was an engaging read that flashed by as I was absorbed in the depth of the characters and their plights, along with the unique historical story. I’m giving A Daring Venture 4.8 stars. 

And we meet the main characters from Book Three of the series! Bring it on!

Have you read this novel yet? Want to read it? Comment with your thoughts. 🙂

Seriously Write: Let the Fireworks Begin!


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Today I thought I’d share some encouraging writing quotes…like special fireworks to inspire writers. 

I’ve posted inspirational writing quotes on the Seriously Write blog today. In keeping with the July 4th celebrations, I hope they set off a big BOOM! in your writing life.


What is the most inspiring writing quote you have read?