Seriously Write: Four Secrets of Sensory Detail: Making Your Writing Come Alive by Noelle Marchand

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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

It was like holding an entirely new world right in my hands, traveling to places I could only dream of going, witnessing moments that had long passed away. Eventually, I wasn’t content with just experiencing these things. I wanted to create them. But, how?

The Seriously Write blog hosts author Noelle Marchand today as she provides her four tips for adding the sensory details to your story that readers love.

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Do you have a particular process for adding in those sensory details that make the story come alive for the reader?

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Historical Flavor: Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

The novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, published in February of 1885, has been a lightning rod over its 133 years being termed on occasion “coarse” and “racist.” Somewhere along the way, it became a classic. (I believe I still have my copy from high school literature class packed away in a box somewhere.)

I scoured YouTube—where you can find just about anything—and discovered the following brief video for the first film based on the book. The movie was produced in 1920, ten years after Twain’s death.

 

Below is a short biographical video about Mark Twain from the History website. In reading about him, he certainly led an interesting life, though it seemed a somewhat contradictory one. There were several instances when he’d first believe in one thing, then change his mind later to support the opposite viewpoint, including his opinions on Christianity. 

 

Do you have a favorite Mark Twain story? What was the must-read-for-a-grade novel you enjoyed most in school?

Seriously Write: The Rule of Five for Writers by Misty M. Beller

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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin 

I love this concept for so many reasons, but mostly because it makes succeeding at huge tasks manageable, and helps build productive habits.

Author Misty M. Beller is on the Seriously Write blog today to talk about The Rule of Five and how to use it to become more productive and keep your writing and marketing on track.

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What are some of the things you do intentionally each day to keep your writing and marketing on track? 

Book Review: Ain’t Misbehaving by Marji Laine

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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

I certainly don’t review all the books I’ve read, but too often, my reviews are for novels from the large Christian publishers. In many ways that’s a shame. They get plenty of publicity on their own and smaller publishers and indie authors put out some engaging books. One of those is Marji Laine’s Ain’t Misbehaving from Write Integrity Press. This first book in the Dallas Duets series is set in (of course) Dallas, Texas.

I’ll be honest, one of the reasons this former, long-time Dallas resident enjoyed it was the fact that it brought back memories of places like Turtle Creek and White Rock Lake and my work for a former Dallas mayor.

Another was the heroine. I cared about what happened to Annalee Chambers, a young woman with a good heart, which could be her undoing. Then again, maybe not.

With her father running for mayor, Annalee’s sentencing to community service doesn’t sit well with her family, especially her controlling and ambitious mother…and sister.

Annalee almost glowed at her sister’s defense.

‘My family has lived in the county for over a hundred years, and my father is running for mayor. If anyone is hardworking, he is.’

And there went the warmy-fuzzy. Splat. Ramona couldn’t help her attitude. Her ancestry and the social circles in which she ran meant everything to her, as they did to Mother.

‘Yeah? And that makes you think you gots the right to run over innocent folks in the street?’

‘If he hadn’t been in the street, she wouldn’t have run him down.’

Oh, yes, that was much better.

Poor Annalee. Pleading guilty in an accident seemed to be the right thing to do. For it, she’s assigned community service hours at a non-profit afterschool program where she meets the “janitor” CJ Whelan. CJ has his own family problems, as well as issues with the wealthy—like the Chambers family. But he’s a true hero when it comes to those in need, including Annalee.

This story contains a number of antagonists determined to ruin the lives and romance of the hero and heroine, either for their own self-interest or the good of the main characters. It also contains its share of  humor, insecurities, bold moves, applaudable secondary characters, and spiritual insight. 

Ain’t Misbehaving is an enjoyable start to this new series and a sweet Valentine’s treat. I give it 4.5 stars for its romantic escapism as well as the author’s ability to make us care for and want the best for the main characters.

Do you have a favorite book centered around Valentine’s Day?

 

 

Seriously Write: Establish the Work of My Hands by Michelle Shocklee

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Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

During my devotions one morning, I read Psalm 90:17: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” The words leapt from the pages of my Bible to my heart. Here was my pinpoint prayer!

Author Michelle Shocklee visits the Seriously Write blog today to talk about praying for our writing in a specific and meaningful way.

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Are you praying for your writing? If you have a special verse or a prayer need you’d like to share, feel free to post it in the comments.