People lie every day. It’s nothing new. And we often times justify them depending on the situation. Allow me to give you a scenario: You’ve had a hellish day at work, and you’ve just sat in horrendous traffic commuting home. All you want to do is get sit down, eat dinner and relax. But then you remember its Thursday. Aren’t you supposed to be hosting dinner for your mom and dad? Ugh. How can possibly entertain them when you’re feeling so drained? You pick up your phone and are delighted at the sound of your mom’s voice on the answering machine. Great! Now you won’t have to answer any questions. At the beep, the lie begins: “Hey mom, hi dad! I’m so sorry for the late notice, but I’m still at the office and I have no idea what time I’ll be home. Let’s schedule dinner another night next week. I miss you!” And just like that, you’re off the hook and you feel great. This is what many refer to as a white lie. You’re in the clear, no one got hurt. It was simple! So… why do you feel guilty the next day when flowers arrive at your office with the note: “You work so hard, honey. I hope your boss recognizes your efforts as much as I do. Love, Mom”.
For the record, the aforementioned story was not my own. But it happened to a close friend of mine last year and when she told me, I felt guilty and I hadn’t even done anything. It also made me thankful that I took an honesty oath with myself a few years back and have managed to avoid those types of blunders that seem to happen every so often when people lie.
With that being said, today is Tell a Lie Day, and I’ve been trying to think up a juicy one since I had my first cup of coffee this morning. So far I’ve got nothing good, but the day is still young. If you have any good ideas you’d like to throw at BookRix, please share with us in our comments section. If not, take a look at today’s reading recommendations below. They both share a connection. Can you guess?
When Hans Christian Andersen passed away in 1875, he left behind a legacy that only grew larger over time. His stories and poems appealed to large audiences across the globe and is still widely read and respected to this day. His talent, combined with his fan reach, inspired the production of various animated films, motion pictures and plays. April 2nd is recognized as a celebration of his life and works which inspired the creation of International Children’s Day. On this annual celebration, the focus is on children’s literature where writing activities are encouraged, competitions are held and book awards are announced. If you are interested in participating, check your local listings for events and shows you can attend.
Although I have always been fond of Hans Christian Andersen’s works, The Little Match-Girl remains my favorite. Over the summer, 20 years ago at least, I checked out a series of books at the Library. Between the pages of a Nancy Drew mystery, I found three printed pieces of paper stapled together and folded in half. On those sheets was the story of The Little Match-Girl, but the authors name had been excluded. Despite finding the story sad, I loved it immediately and read it several more times. In those days you couldn’t scan a document. So I sat at my dad’s typewriter and typed out each word so I could return the Nancy Drew book as I had received it while keeping a copy for myself. Years later, I came upon a copy of Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and saw The Little Match-Girl was included in the book. I had loved so many of his other stories and never knew he had penned my favorite one. And on that note, I’d like to share this little animated gem with you. (You’re welcome.)
In celebration of National Children’s Day, we’d like to recommend these stories from our BookRix library (the first one includes The Little Match-Girl).
When I saw today was National Health & Fitness Day, it took me back in time. Like many people, I wasn’t a big fitness fan. It’s rough making a commitment to the gym. Who wants to sweat , intentionally get out of breath and feel sore the next day? Not me. But those years of being able to eat a bag of Doritos for breakfast with a chocolate shake without consequence were long gone. These days just looking at a cheesecake added weight to my waist and thighs. I’d never been a big salad person, I like meat and carbohydrates! Don’t get me started on cheese, delicious dips and fried food either. Getting older sucks.
I refused to buy bigger clothes, so instead I bought a gym membership and was excited to start. The first day I walked on the treadmill for twenty minutes and rewarded myself with a burger and fries for lunch. I’d earned it, right? After two weeks of doing that, nothing had changed. I’d actually gained a pound and I was still sluggish and tired. When I joined the gym, they offered me 3 free personal training sessions but I ignored them. After zero success doing it on my own, I decided to give the training a try. The day I trained with Daniel was one I’ll never forget. He had me doing jumping jacks between arm bars, squats and lunges between sprints on the exercise bike…the brutality went on for an hour and it was torture. The following three days I could barely move. I decided the gym wasn’t for me and threw in the towel.
About a month later, I was at a bridal shower where I met my now good friend Meagan. Somehow the topic of working out came up and I divulged my story about Daniel the boot camp master. Meagan admitted that my experience was a sour one, but told me working out didn’t have to be hell. Within twenty minutes, she convinced me to work out with her. That following Sunday we met up and she showed me a few things. Meagan, who used to be a Pilates instructor, explained a few simple stretches and put me on the elliptical for 20 minutes. My heart rate went up, but I didn’t feel like dying. After that, she showed me some low resistance arm exercises and a few machines that worked my legs and abs, all with minimal or no weight added. We were done in under an hour and to my surprise, I actually felt pretty good. The next morning, I woke up feeling great. I slept solid the whole night through, which is rare for me. Meagan also sent me some links to healthy cooking sites. Who knew heavy cream and pesto had so many calories? *shakes fist*
It’s been 18 months since my first workout with Meagan. It was a little difficult getting into a routine and making time for the gym. But she told me it takes 21 days to form a habit and after that it would become second nature. Once again, she was right. This also applied to healthy eating. I still splurge every now and then on pizza or a delicious bacon burger, but I don’t feel guilty. Most likely because I cook almost every night and have incorporated well balanced meals into my diet. Small changes in portions and ingredients make a huge change. I may not look like Jillian Michaels, but I can wear a swimsuit in public now and feel confident. I couldn’t have said that two years ago! I also have more energy, my skin is clear, and I’m not hiding behind baggy clothes. It’s truly an awesome feeling!
If you’re looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes, don’t do what I did and go overboard on your first attempt. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Set realistic goals and push through it. If you’re looking for a little motivation, you should look into No More Aerobics by Paula Williams. She’s been a personal fitness coach for over 30 years and offers great advice about getting in shape and getting your life on track.
It’s (not its) Grammar Day!
March 4th is Grammar Day, so we’d like to share our Grammar Lesson #1, in hopes that later on, we will share Lesson #2. I know that grammar lessons can be boring and often lead to napping instead of learning, but I’m here to say, “WAKE UP!” because you don’t know everything about grammar yet!
A few months ago, we shared a helpful blog, How To Avoid Common Writing Mistakes, in hopes that we could put an end to those pesky mistakes. Alas, it seems that the BookRix Grammar Police will never be able to use their vacation time because they can’t even go off-duty for a second without one writer or another bungling up the English language. Here is an example of inappropriate grammar behavior:
Offence #1: Inappropriate Apostrophes – I know I do this all the time – there are certain words that just beg for apostrophes when they’re not necessary. I am constantly writing “author’s” when I’m really just talking about more than one of you. Keep in mind that the only time you use them is when the ’s = is or when the ’s = possession.
- There are seven authors entered in the competition. (requires NO apostrophe because it is a simple pluralization)
- The author‘s about to enter the contest! (requires an apostrophe because it is really “author is”)
- The author‘s book didn’t win the competition. (requires an apostrophe because the book belongs (is possessed by) the author)
- The authors‘ were all hoping to win the grand prize. (requires an apostrophe after the word because it is possessive and pluralized)
This problem is so great that there are at least two blogs devoted to pointing out the world’s mistakes.
Apostrophe Catastrophes and Apostrophe Abuse
Offence #2: Inappropriate Quotation Marks – I’m very adament about not overusing, or misusing, quotation marks and it drives me up the wall when I see inappropriate quotation marks. They are called quotation marks for a reason. They should be used to show off material that represents quoted or spoken language. They can also be used to show titles of things that don’t normally stand by themselves, like short stories, poems, and articles. Unfortunately, they are often misused and make text appear sarcastic.
- We are very “sorry” for your loss. (This doesn’t make it seem like we are physically saying, “Sorry,” instead it makes it seem like we’re not really sorry at all.)
Check out The “Blog” of Unnecessary “Quotation” Marks for some hilarious examples.
Offence #3: Inappropriate Commas – There are so many rules, that it feels near impossible to keep up. It’s best to print out the rules and keep them next to you. Our blog is too short to include them all, so here is a link to GrammarBook.com’s section about Commas. Basically, the greatest advice about commas is to use them with caution because their greatest offense is OVERUSE.
Offence #4: Inappropriate Homonyms – Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Sometimes, they’re also spelled differently. If you mix them up it can cause confusion (for the reader) and embarrassment (for you).
For example: She pulled out a bow and handed it to him. Well, if this is a hair bow, she obviously wants help with her up-do, but if she is pulling out the weapon (as in bow and arrow) then we’ll know that they are about to have an adventure.
Their/they’re/there and To/Two/Too are good examples of ways for writers to embarrass themselves. If you don’t know the difference, or find yourself often using the wrong one by mistake – practice! If that still doesn’t help, get an editor who knows the difference to save you from the endless criticism that these mistakes will bring you.
Click HERE to see some more examples.
Having fairy tales read to you as a kid is somewhat of a childhood staple. Whether your parents made them up as they went along (my dad’s favorite thing to do) or they pulled from the classics, almost all fairy tales had a moral. I think morals were introduced to encourage good behavior in kids. Be good or else! And it worked relatively well in my case. Not to toot my morality horn or anything, but I picked up on what to do and what not to do (within reason) very fast. I learned not to be greedy (The Goose that laid the Golden Egg), to take proper precaution and not to cut corners on projects (The Three Little Pigs), to dream big and believe in myself (Jack and the Beanstalk), and not to be a prissy little brat (Goldilocks). All in all, I think I turned out alright.
Today, in case you haven’t figured it out, is Fairy Tale Day. Sure it might sound a little silly if you’re an adult, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re bored at work or are working on writing project that has you brain dead, take a break and write a fairy tale. It can be geared towards kids, written for adults only, or just something you do to pass the time. Whatever you decide, just start off with ‘Once upon a time….’ and see where your imagination wanders. Don’t worry too much about setting a plot or establishing a moral to your story. Just let go and write. I’ve got a million ideas buzzing around my head and can’t wait to get started. C’mon and join me. It’ll be fuuuuuuuuun!
If you’re looking for some fairy tale inspiration, check out Joined By Love by Tatyana Black on BookRix. Her tags “romance, love, fantasy, healer’ should be enough to peak your interest. But in case you want to know more, you can read her book blurb below.
ANGELIQUE: Angèle and her grandparents will always be grateful for Angelique’s kind heart. If it hadn’t been for her, Angèle’s grandfather would have been dead years ago. Angelique had been a great woman. She had cured lots of people during the french revolution and in the end, gave her life for those who had loved her.COLETTE: A prince is searching for a princess, Rapunzel to be exact. He travels far and at last finds the tower he was looking for. But a surprise awaits him as he calls out to her and her braid cascades down the tower.
There are two types of people in this world: Those who love animals and those who don’t. I like to believe the latter don’t actually exist, despite the existence of the Humane Society and the ASPCA. Take my money, but please don’t subject me to your heartbreaking commercials or television specials. Ever.
As an animal lover, I was undoubtedly thrilled when I learned today is Love Your Pet day! On all accounts, my pets are doused with love and affection daily. But adding a little extra something doesn’t hurt, right? After all, we’ve got Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas to spoil our loved ones, so why not dote on your pooch, kitty, feathered or reptilian friends once a year?
At BookRix, we LOVE our pets. One could argue that we love them a teeny bit too much at times. But today we’ve all committed to spoiling our critters rotten. I, for one, am a cooking fanatic. I don’t claim to be the next Julia Child, but I know my way around a cookbook (and my kitchen) so when I found this recipe for chewy cat treats, well… you can guess. Hey, we all enjoy a home cooked meal, so why should pets be any different? And if you’re looking for a fun way to pamper your pup, maybe take him out to the clip and curl so he can show off his shiny coat to the neighborhood hounds. There’s nothing cuter than a freshly bathed pooch, looking and feeling their best. It’s as if they glow! If you’re not a four legged friend fan, and prefer the company of feathers, check out these relatively inexpensive toys at Petsmart. If you’re crafty, I’ll be you could make little Tweedy a nifty new toy with the help of Pinterest. Check out this one I found here! Easy peasy.
And while we’re on the topic of pets, you should really scope out our BookRix library because we have a plethora of amazing titles to tickle your reading fancy. Not sure where to start? Check out three of our favorite animal themed ebooks below. Each are unique and enjoyable reads. Add them to your favorites to read later or download now and get your read on!