Sigrid's Writing Tips !!!

Alternate and alternative often seem as though they are interchangeable, but they're not. They mean different things.

Used as a noun, an alternate is a standby. Think of an acting role where there is a main actor and an alternate. Alternate is also used as a verb, meaning to rotate. "I alternated my tires." But the most common and confusing use of the word is as an adjective where it means "occurring or succeeding by turn.” -- "Maria is taking a philosophy course on alternate Wednesdays."

An alternative is a choice or an option. I can write a movie review or I can edit a book of short stories; I have a choice between one or more things. That provides me with alternatives. "Maria took an alternative route when she saw the detour sign."

As Grammar Girl points out, alternate is often used incorrectly when we mean alternative, but because this usage is becoming so popular, it is acceptable in many situations. However, if you want to be official, there are differences between these terms and the best time to use alternative is when there is a choice involved.

Thanks for choosing to read today's writing tip! I know that you had alternative ways to spend your time. Please feel free to forward this tip to your friends and fellow writers.

Read more about punctuation in my third book, Be Your Own Editor, available in print and now a category bestseller on Kindle.

Release of Kristin Macdonald's New Book, Second Vision: An Interactive Journal

Are You in Need of a Second Vision?

Most people have expectations for their lives. They may expect to get married and have children, or to work at a job they love. They don't expect their partner to have an affair with their best friend, their company of many years to suddenly lay them off, or their child to die of leukemia. Even though we know these things can occur, we believe they will occur to other people. But unexpected things happen and when they do, you want to have the tools to deal with them.

Even if you're not going through a rough patch, life is full of change. Ironically, this seems to surprise us. On a subconscious level we assume things will stay the same, but one of the only constants in life is change. And even when change doesn’t include loss, it can be disorienting. Growing older, taking on a new work opportunity, and having another child can all be exhilarating yet stressful.

Second Vision: an Interactive Journal by Kristin Macdonald helps you to identify what's important to you. What and whom do you love? What do you value? How can you use that self-knowledge to help you through the tough times? The Second Vision System enables people to devise a new plan for their lives when their first one fails. This Interactive Journal will walk you step-by-step through your three best attitudes -- Acceptance, Appreciation, and Action -- to allow you to map out your new life and then inspire you to make it happen.

Second Vision will enable you to reinvent yourself, starting exactly where you are today. It is a customized and personalized tool for finding yourself, and is available on as well as on the Second Vision website. Buy your copy today and please forward this to your friends and family.


Kristin Macdonald is a radio show host and a motivational speaker. She lost a large portion of her eyesight to a degenerative retinal condition called retinitis pigmentosa, but as she likes to say, “Although my eyesight is poor, my vision is still perfect”!

Kay Springsteen - Heartsight

Publisher: Astraea Press

ISBN: 978-1-936852-10-9

My rating: 4/5

On a secluded beach in North Carolina, three lonely people find hope in each other.

Trish Evers is an artist and single mother, who has inherited her grandmother's Bed and Breakfast in a North Carolina coastal town. Though she must sell the house, she decides to bring her daughter to the beach for one last summer vacation in her childhood town.
Bella is a six-year-old girl who has Down syndrome. Rejected by her father, Trish, is the only parent she's ever known. Bella likes to explore the beach and has a tendency to wander off. One day, Bella goes exploring on her own, and Trish finds her in the company of an intriguing stranger.
Dan Conway is a U.S. Marine, who had been born into a family of Marines. Now blind as a result of combat injuries and unable to "suit up," he feels he no longer has a purpose in life. He's come home to the beach, where he spends his days in solitude. Dan must learn to believe in himself and to love life again, which he begins to do through his interactions with Bella and Trish. When a hurricane strikes, and Bella wanders off again, her only hope for rescue is Dan.
Working within the confines of his blindness, he must overcome his fear of failure and recall his training in order to search for the little girl and bring her to safety.  (

My thoughts
This is a kind of story readers can only dream of.  I loved the book and yes, it's another one of those where I fell in love with the cover, BUT this time I read the blurb before purchasing it.
I do have to admit though that it took me a while until I got into the story. The constant breaks made me put it aside very often, personally I thought they interrupted the flow and it got irritating. It didn't do much harm to the story though. Springsteen did a great job creating a plot with a single mother of a down syndrome daughter falling in love with a blind marine who was injured while in Afganistan. The characters are believable and the issues of down syndrome and blindness highlighted but not "put on too thick". It was a book that leaves you wanting more and for the book not to finish.
Give it a go, it's well worth it