It Really Is a Small World

This real life experience is so surreal that I thought I’d share it with you. I think what intrigues me the most, given how expansive our world is because of social media, God still gives those small world moments, too.

I recently joined the Women’s Literary Cafe and I participate in their networking opportunities to highlight authors, new books, and Indie reads. Most of the networking is through Twitter, and I’ve enjoyed meeting new authors and readers through this.  During Christmas vacation I learned I had a few new Twitter followers, and with low cell phone signal, tried to thank them.

One follower stood out more than the others. It wasn’t so much he was an author, but where he was from. He mentioned his area as the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. That’s pretty specific, and it had my attention because that’s where I spent 34 years. I thanked him for the follow and mentioned the shared location.

He sent a Tweet saying how funny that was, and that his hometown is a place I probably don’t know, a place called Geneseo.

Geneseo is where I gradated from college.

Isn’t that wild?

But wait, this isn’t finished.

He confesses he doesn’t just live in Upstate NY, he also sets his mysteries in Upstate NY. The Adirondack Mountains, in fact.

I tweet that my work-in-progress, a contemporary romance, is based in the Adirondacks.

Now we’re both seeing how crazy this is.

Yet, there is more.

He writes back, wondering if I know of Speculator, NY, as that’s where his story takes place.

My story, Spectacular Falls, is based on the Adirondack village I love so much—Speculator.

Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York/picture by Julie Arduini

At this point we’ve exchanged e-mails (my husband is aware and I’m keeping accountability as I often preach about the dangers for married people to correspond with the opposite sex and this author is happily married with a beautiful family) and the small world wonders continue. He had a book signing at the only grocery store in town and the staff helped him with accuracy.

Spectacular Falls has a store based on the real one, where the hero is the co owner. Many of my scenes center on that very store, or my version of it.

This author is Aaron Paul Lazar and the world is small enough that he was able to describe his home to a single intersection and I know exactly where it is.  He’s been kind enough to extend his upcoming release to me for a read, and offered to look at my WIP as well. Although our genres are different, already we both weave that unique Adirondack smell into our stories. It’s balsam and evergreen and is such a part of Speculator life, it’s impossible not to mention the fragrance.

Aaron isn’t the only Upstate NY and Speculator connection. I met Elaine Miller a few years ago when I was a Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS, mom of a toddler and Elaine was our guest speaker. She’s a dear friend to the mentor mom we had at the time, and I remember Elaine’s book, Splashes of Serenity. I loved the book so much I ordered copies for friends. Years went by and I caught up with Elaine on Facebook. She wrote about Speculator. I told her my WIP is based in Speculator.

The Miller family has spent 30+ years in Speculator.

The writing life is isolated and one piece of trivia I put in Spectacular Falls is that there are no traffic lights in Speculator. It’s a small place, but the mark Speculator leaves on your heart is canyon wide. What I love about working through the story and connecting with others to learn the craft is how small the world is.

Do you have any stories like this? What do you think about all these shared events?

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the new contemporary romance series SURRENDERING HEARTS (Anchored Hearts, Repairing Hearts, +four more.) Her other romance series is SURRENDERING TIME (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged.) She also co-wrote a YA series with her daughter, SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ (You’re Beautiful, You’re Amazing, You’re Brilliant.) Her stand-alone romances include MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. Julie maintains a blog at and participates in the team blog Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at
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