Friday, January 06, 2012

Guest Post by Sarah Ockler (Bittersweet Blog Tour)

Today we have Sarah Ockler here for a guest post! This post is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler. You can find out more about the tour here. Make sure to visit all the other stops of the blog tour if you'd like to know more about Bittersweet!

This is a tens list by Bittersweet's main character Hudson on how to survive winter in her hometown.

Winter in Watonka, NY: Hudson Avery’s Top 10 Survival Tips

1. Don’t go outside. Really. Wait until June when the sun comes out again, then soak it up while you can, because it will probably start snowing again in August.

2. If you must go outside, dress appropriately. How? Hint: If you’re not wearing your body weight in layers of puffy fuzzy outerwear, you’re not dressed appropriately. Think Eskimo. Think frost-swept tundra. But don’t go overboard---snowshoes and Gore-Tex will mark you as a Watkonka foreigner, weak-blooded, not to be trusted.

2a. Embrace your mom’s ghetto layering techniques. Cut the sleeves and bottom half off a turtleneck, call it a “dickie,” and put it on under your coat and scarves. Poke holes in old tube socks and stick them on like glamorous ladies’ gloves. Line your boots with plastic Wonder Bread bags. Sure, these wind- and snow-blocking techniques are embarrassing and potentially hazardous (especially the bread bags), but they work! Who needs Gore-Tex?!

3. Know your snow. In some places of the world, snow is just snow. Not so in Watonka, where there are at least 42 different types of snow, seventeen directions of wind sheer, and 100 degrees below the 0-line on the outdoor thermometer, making the number of potential combinations of wintry blasts in the millions. Is today calling for freezing rain, or raining sleet? Blustery wind, or windy gusts and whiteout conditions? Powder or needles? Snow or ice or slush? Is it falling, sprinkling, swirling, or dumping? Is it snowing down or sideways? Each condition calls for different dress, different lingo, different driving or walking skills, and different grumbling attitudes. Don’t be left in the cold on this one!

4. Learn the lingo. While you’re out braving the arctic blast, you’ll likely encounter other brave/stupid souls doing the same. If you’re not too numb to speak, acceptable greetings include: Nice day! Stay warm! Wow, it’s a winter wonderland out here! And the safest bet: Go Sabres! If additional conversation is required, you are permitted to complain about the consistently inaccurate weather forecasters and/or the transportation department’s lack of plows on your side streets. Under no circumstances are you to long for summer or lament the last winter you spent at your cousin’s condo in Florida. Everyone in Watonka knows that people who migrate south and west during the winter months are pansies who, like weak-blooded Watonka foreigners, are not to be trusted.

5. Don’t make any extensive plans for the next 6-8 months. Winter in Watonka is a time for hibernation. Order pizza and wings with bleu cheese. Catch up on your favorite shows. Put on a nice layer of winter fat to keep you warm until summer. Don’t worry---you’re not missing anything. Everyone else is holed up at home too. There’s probably a driving ban.

6. Ignore the driving bans. Come on, people. This is Watonka! A few feet of snow, whiteout conditions, and ice slicks can’t stop us, can they? No. If you can’t drive properly in the snow, you might as well not have a license at all. Man up!

7. Stock your car with an emergency winter kit. A car kit includes a blanket, dry socks, some candy, board games, a few books, matches, candles, and a pee can. If you don’t know what a pee can is, you’ve obviously never been stranded on the I-90 for twelve hours, waiting for the trucks to come plow you out and the cops to yell at you for ignoring the driving ban.

8. Plan an emergency escape route. Freak snowstorms and lake effect blizzards are common here (’77, anyone)? The last thing you want is to get stranded at home with snow covering the doors and windows and no food in the pantry. Plot out an accessible route from your house to the nearest pizza and wings joint, which will undoubtedly be open and functioning regardless of any apocalyptic weather situations. Test the route in the summer (multiple times to be safe) and make sure everyone in your household knows it!

9. Skip the shower. Sure, it’s nice and hot in the moment. But the second you turn off that water, the cold air will suck out all the steam, and you’ll step onto that icy bathroom floor, and then you’ll start freezing your random bits off all over again. If you smell a little funkalicious, simply add a few more layers to your winter wardrobe. No one will be the wiser!

10. Find a snuggle buddy. Preferably a cute hockey boy. One who has the same non-shower policy in winter, lest either of you offend the other during said snugglefest. Best way to stay warm on a winter’s night in Watonka, hands down!

Thanks for the great guest post, Sarah!

Make sure to check out all the other stops of the tour, and keep your eye out for Bittersweet, which has already been released!

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life...and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...


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