Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Roundup - July

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I've been in such a reading slump for almost a year that I haven't really read much of anything. This last month, though, things changed and it was WONDERFUL! I think joining Bookbub helped. Bookbub is a website that gives you recommendations only for books that are on sale! Most of the books that come up for me are $3 or less, which is awesome for a bookworm on a budget like me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Love Letter to Book Boyfriends

Book Boyfriends. We all have them. We all want them. Let's talk about them.

We're all readers here, and here's my list of the men from bookdom that make me swoon. They're kind of in order of importance/desirability, but not carved in stone. I'm wishy-washy.

1. Caney Paxton - The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
2. Grimm - To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning
3. Jericho Barrons - Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
4. Benedict Bridgerton - An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
5. Gabriel Fairchild - Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros

Yes, there are two from one author. What can I say? Ms. Moning writes amazing guys.

My sister Beth at Black Spruce Hound started this with her own post.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Writing Tips: Split Those Infinitives

Today, we learn all about splitting your infinitives, because this is supposed to be against the rules. But, here's the thing: it's totally not, and I'll explain why!

Infinitives are two-word forms of verbs, like 'to read' and 'to go.' To put this as simply as I can, a split infinitive is when you put a word in the middle, between 'to' and the verb. Like 'to intently read,' or 'to boldly go.' See what I did there?

The word in the middle is usually an adverb, which you already know is a no-no in my mind, unless we're talking about dialogue. However, some people don't have such hard and fast rules about adverbs, which makes splitting your infinitives just fine.

Henry Alford, the Dean of Canterbury, first introduced the idea you shouldn't split your infinitives in his 1864 book The Queen's English. He didn't say this was a rule, though, just that he saw no reason for anyone to do it. Other style guides have made this into a rule since this one style guide was published, though, and it's become something that's even taught in university creative writing classes.

I have a strong distaste for adverbs, so I don't think I do this very often at all, but I've read plenty of authors that do and it doesn't bother me. I, like Alford, don't see any reason to do it, but I also don't see any reason not to. It's not like the Grammar Police will show up at your door and take away your Super Special Writer's License if you do.

So, go forth and split those infinitives! If you're into that....


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Words of Inspiration

I like to surround myself with words that inspire me. This spring I bought a few cheap 5x7 frames and printed out quotes that keep me focused when I'm getting distracted, or pick me up when I'm feeling like a fraud. It happens. Impostor syndrome is a real bitch.

"This is how you do it. You sit down at the keyboard and you put down one word after another. It's that easy and it's that hard." - Neil Gaiman

"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say." - Flannery O'Cnonor

"Fill you home with stacks of books. In all the crannies and all the nooks." -Dr. Seuss

"I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of." -Joss Whedon

What quotes inspire you??


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Day in the Life

Everyone know what a writer does, but they don't really know what a writer DOES. Know what I mean? How does this process work from day to day? What does a writer's average day look like?

I have your answer! Well, my answer. Come with me on my average writing/living/being mom/being wife day.

First things first, I turn the Wi-Fi on my phone on and let it catch up with any messages while I take care of my sons' breakfasts. I told you in a post a couple weeks ago that Evan is Type 1 diabetic, so getting him his daily dose of long-acting insulin and getting his blood sugar checked before breakfast is important. Our lives revolve around this tub of supplies.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Love Letter to Reading - Feels Edition

Today, I begin a brand spanky new series of posts called Love Letters. A couple of my old reviews will be retitled so you can still see all the things I have wonderful feelings about. Any of my reviews that were negative have been deleted (sorry, guys). I also deleted the Reviews page up north and replaced it with a page for these Love Letters.

This is all in an effort to remove negativity and keep the Sarah Winter Experience™ the fun place it should be.

My love letters to reading are going to be reviews of books I have loved with my whole heart, and why I loved them so much. This love letter is dedicated to a book that makes me feel all the feels. I reread it at least once a year, and cry every time.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

My sister read this first with her third grade class, and gushed so much about it that I picked up a copy myself. Ugh....the feels this book brings on are like no other. The story begins with 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, who we know as Sal. She and her father have just moved to Euclid, Ohio from their farm on Kentucky after her mother leaves the family.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Month of May

This whole year has sucked The Big One. March was terrible, and the month of May might have been worse (jury's still out though, March was hard as fuck). On the 8th, Max was hospitalized overnight for a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. It wasn't anaphylaxis, thank goodness, but he broke out in the worst hives I've ever seen and had some serious joint swelling. It took a couple weeks to completely clear up, but the little man will be alright as long as we triple-check his prescriptions from here on out.

Two and a half weeks later, on Memorial Day, it was Evan's turn. He'd been suffering some odd symptoms for a few weeks, but we never put together what was going on. I was going to take him to the doctor because we'd all noticed he was getting up several times in the night for a drink of water and to pee, but then he got what we thought was the stomach flu so I decided to wait until that passed.

What was happening to him turned out to be diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes. He was vomiting, was severely dehydrated, had very labored breathing, and was in a lot of pain. He suffered from muscle contractures from the dehydration and was so out of it he doesn't remember much from that day. His blood glucose was over 400 and, once the doctors figured that out, he was rushed to a hospital ninety miles from our home to see a pediatric endocrinologist.