Tuesday, March 3, 2015

World of Writing, interview



-- World of Writing -- 

Here's another installment of our World of Writing interview series - these are in Q&A format. Scroll through the archives to find this series and learn information from other people in the industry.

* Shout out to Denise Thompson, Assistant to the Publisher - with Absolute Love Publishing - who sent a query our way for today's guest.

Today we are featuring Steven Schatz, author of: Adima Rising - The Adima Chronicles Book 1. Steven has been a cook, tour guide, manager, comic, and university professor. He hitchhiked around the country for two years, seeing how people have figured their path through life. Through it all, he has written – poems, short stories, songs, and books. Adima Rising is his first published novel, and it falls under the genre of "young adult". Find out more via: http://www.absolutelovepublishing.com/#!adima-rising/c1tlv





Q: Give us a brief synopsis of your novel...

A: For millenia, the evil Kroledutz have fed on the essence of humans and clashed in secret with the Adima, the light weavers of the universe. Now, with the balance of power shifting toward darkness, time is running out. Guided by a timeless Native American spirit, four teenagers from a small New Mexico town discover they have one month to awaken their inner power and save the world.

Q: When you started your book, did you plan on writing it as a series, or did it just grow into one?

A: Adima Rising started with a single idea for a single book. However, as the characters and worlds grew and filled out, I wanted to find out more. The series, The Adima Chronicles, touches on questions we all ask – "Why am I here? What’s my purpose? What is most important to me?"

Q: What age group did you write for?
 

A: I wrote it for ages 13 – 20, a time when you are trying to find your place in the world. However, I’ve had people in their 60’s rave about it.

Q: Why did you write for this particular age group?
 

A: Books take on their own life during the writing. Adima Rising started as an adult book, morphed to a tween and found its home in YA. At that age, you don’t analyze and distance yourself from the experience, you jump on and enjoy the ride. I also wanted to show some of the real choices we all face without being preachy, a romance, or something about European beasties.

Q: Did you find it difficult to choose the right language, images and writing style for reaching this age group?
 

A: I didn’t try to use the latest slang. Besides, after a while, the characters are real enough that they talk for themselves.

Q: How do you plan to promote this book (or series)?
 

A: We’ll reach out to lots of blogs and online interview shows – both YA and diversity focused. I’m starting to contact YA, diversity, fantasy and consciousness conferences. I do readings on my youtube channel, SteveWrites. Finally, I hope that the book is interesting and useful enough that each person who reads it tells their friends.

Q: Is there anything in your book that is based on a real life experience?
 

A: I grew up in New Mexico. We went to several pueblos – both alive and ruins. I remember going into a reconstructed kiva and sitting in alone for a long time. I actually dug a hole about the size of Rory’s kiva. The rest was either from my head or guided by spirit of the book.

Q: Why did you feel this book needed to be written?
 

A: I think it’s crucial that each of us create what is sacred and important to us, not turn that responsibility to someone else. To be an Adima means to take intentional, creative, action and take responsibility for it. Finally, as Belecha says, “If you see darkness, light a candle. If that’s not enough, light a torch.”


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
   




Sunday, March 1, 2015

pet names, part 1




-- Quote of the Day -- 

“If cats could talk, they wouldn't.” 

~ Nan Porter




 -- Pet Names -- 

*Part 1 of a  series of posts offering suggested pet names. 

I came across these names while reading a book about ancient goddesses from around the world. I thought these names would work nicely for pets... you are welcome to use them if you like :)

Which ones do you like the best?


 Ayla (A-ee-lah)
Adecina (add-ess-een-a)
Sirona
Aevel (aye-vell)
Belisama (bell-iss-ah-mah)
Saber (say-burr)
Shibumi (shi-boom-ee)
Halia 
Kama 
Hanai (hann-aye)
Habia
Lalita (lah-lee-tah)
Daksha (dack-shaw)
Chandra
Nerthus (nerr-thus)
Freyja (fray-ya)



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
   


Friday, February 27, 2015

Advice, tips and resources for bloggers



-- Quote of the Day -- 




“Success is ordinary people stretching their dream to the world. 
Without a dream, you float.”


~ Bassey Dnon






-- Brummet's In the Media -- 



Valentina Drobnjak has a helpful information for bloggers ( FirstSiteGuide.com ) and she contacted me earlier this month to appear in her interview series with blogging experts. How nice to be considered a blogging expert! Please do check out the interview and if you like it, please do share it on social networks :)  * Be sure to check out the closing section of that interview where I offered numerous resources.


Published at this wonderful site:


http://firstsiteguide.com/interviews/brummet-lifestyle-blogging/
 


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frugal, Green Garden Tips



 -- Quote of the Day -- 



"Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference." 

~ Mignon McLaughlin



-- Brummet's In the Media -- 
 
 
 


Check out my latest article on the topic of reuse in the garden - great tips for a frugal, organic gardener and for anyone interested in living more green. 
Published at this wonderful site: 

http://www.garden-recycle.co.uk/trash-talks-garden-recycle/

 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Product Review





-- Whole-Food Nutritional Supplement, Part 2 --

 

On January 16th I was approached by Patrick Ross of the Marketing Staff for NutriGold Inc. ( http://NutriGold.com ) to do a few reviews of some of their many products, which Patrick reported as shipped on January 20th, but didn’t arrive until Feb 9th. Due to the number of products I received in 2 separate packages, I’ve decided to create a 2-part review project. You can click here to find Part 1 …you may notice the intro/outro of the reviews are similar.



Whenever I do a review I look quite closely at a company, read the customer comments, do online research, scan their site, and read the material they send. In this case the company sent a 20-page catalog and the first thing I noticed were 2 symbols on the index page – one for Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and a “please recycle” symbol encouraging people to recycle their product information package.  SFI certifies that the catalog is printed on environmentally responsible harvested paper and the printing inks (EcoTech) are designed to come from 65% renewable content and omit near zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).  NutriGold is a nutritional supplement company based in North Orem, Utah (US) that values a challenge, integrity, kindness, health and respect. The company guarantees that they use high quality, clinically validated, certified organic, allergen-free ingredients based on clinical evidence. Their products do not contain GMO’s, additives, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients, stearates, sulfates or dioxides, eggs, peanuts, milk, shellfish or wheat.  The company sources, purifies and manufactures their products in the US.





I received:



Vitamin C ($38.32)

Coconut Oil ($18.32)

Healthy Glucose Support ($48.32)

Men's Multivitamin ($54.98)
...and 6 trial sample packages of omega-3 fish oil (see previous review for information on that product).







Coconut Oil Gold™ comes in a sturdy, white, recyclable plastic tub (16 oz.) with a screw top lid and contains a solid, creamy white substance. This organic product is made using cold-pressed processing (heat taints the nutrients in oils) and is contains 66-77% MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglyceride = fatty acids), lauric acid and vitamin C. I read a post on FaceBook recently that touted some 80 different uses for coconut oil, including using on razor burn. Dave (husband) tried that out right away since he happened to have a shaving rash and found it did not help, in fact it made the area really red and itchy. We know he isn’t allergic to the product, as we’ve cooked with coconut products in the past. He has, however, had great results in using the product on his chapped feet and hands, you can almost watch the skin heal – it works so fast. We use a clean butter knife to scrape a tiny amount out (keeping the product sanitary) and found that 1/8 tsp. melted instantly and was enough to moisturize both hands really well. The hands are greasy for a few minutes but the stuff soaks in fast. My friend Julie swears by coconut oil and says she uses the stuff on her face in place of commercial facial moisturizing cream. The bottle states that the product “rich flavor and aroma – ideal for cooking”; I’m looking forward to trying that.



Healthy Glucose Gold™ supports and maintains healthy glucose balance, pancreatic health and circulation with a special blend of herbs and other clinically proven ingredients. The bottle I received contained 60 vegetarian capsules, and the instructions say to take 1 pill 2 times per day about 30 minutes after a meal. The solid white recyclable bottle (#2) has a flip top lid and is sealed with a plastic wrap for safety.



Vitamin C Gold™ also came in a solid white recyclable bottle (#2) with a flip top lid and was sealed with a plastic wrap for safety. As you are probably already aware, vitamin C is vital for the body and is used in everything the body does but is most important for immune, bone production, eye, aging and heart systems.

This vitamin brand stands out from others because of the organic, full-spectrum berry blend, which provides additional antioxidant protection. Their “nutriberry” blend lists everything from currants, bilberry, pomegranate, lingonberry, grape, blueberry, cherry, elderberry and cranberry, to raspberry and others. The bottle I received offered 90 vegetarian capsules – these are NOT chewable. The instructions suggest taking 1 pill, once or twice a day.



Men’s Multi Gold™ arrived in a brown glass bottle (90 fairly large capsules) with a childproof twist off cap, and a plastic safety seal; the bottle, plastic seal and lid are recyclable. I’ve often wondered what the difference is between gender-based vitamins. Comparing the women’s to the men’s multivitamin/mineral products from this company I saw that neither contained calcium, the men’s had no iron. The men’s has a little bit more B1, and a little less B6 – however there was a lot less B9.  The instructions say to take 3 pills per day with or without food. They use the term “100% whole-food and cultured vitamins and minerals” which got me wondering what they meant by “cultured”.  A little research revealed that there is 100% or more of the RDA for 19 nutrients and it is formulated (cultured) with organic whole food nutrients derived from concentrated fruits, vegetables herbs and something they call “activfood™” – a nutritional yeast blend (probiotics, bioactive enzymes, glycoproteins, lipoproteins, chlorophyll, glucomannan, limoic acid, essential trace minerals, SOD, Glutathione, B-glucans, CoQ10) as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids. 



I do have some closing comments that I feel are important to mention. All the bottles and jars were topped with an easy-to-peel (non-recyclable) safety seal under the lid. Interestingly the supplement bottles did not contain cotton swab – which although compostable (shred by hand first) is additional “waste” and cost to the company – as such I felt the fact they didn’t include this item is a plus. Sadly the bottle labels have incredibly tiny printing that strained my relatively healthy eyesight. Some other companies have dealt with this issue by using labels that peel back to allow more print space. The website also had incredibly small text – I had to increase the size of the web pages twice.



Currently  http://NutriGold.com is offering a product-wide 40% discount for online purchases, so you might want to take advantage of their 100% satisfaction and 60 money-back guarantees.




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Low Maintenance Gardening




Low Maintenance Gardening



* Written by:  Todd Haiman is a landscape and garden designer, principle of Todd Haiman Landscape Design in New York City which designs and builds residential gardens, roof gardens, brownstone gardens, large landscapes, vacation properties and public spaces. http://www.toddhaimanlandscapedesign.com




Whether your garden is a vertical landscape design or an urban landscape design it will require some maintenance. Low or easy maintenance gardening is what many people would like to embrace, either through necessity or preference. No garden will be a zero maintenance garden but most gardening activities have a lower input solution or alternative to consider.

A professional garden designer can design a low maintenance garden, but there is no such situation where it could be a no maintenance landscape or no maintenance garden design. Even a "landscape" of non-living material such as a concrete slab requires some maintenance. Over time it needs cleaning, over time it cracks due to the freezing and thawing effects of winter.

Here are some steps you can take for a low maintenance garden that you apply yourself.

1. Minimize the amount of lawn coverage. No ground cover or perennial plant you can name needs to be watered, mowed, and fed as often or as much as a lawn. Try using aggregates as a ground cover.

2. Choose plants wisely. Do research. Select plants specifically that are low maintenance plants. Ornamental grasses are extremely low-maintenance plants. The majority of rose selections while incredibly romantic, sensuous and gratifying are high maintenance with the management of aphid infestations, mildew and black spot.

3. Mulch. Mulch. Mulch. This is your greatest asset in the garden. It conserves moisture so you water less, balances temperature shifts, minimize freezing and thawing in the winter, and suppresses weed growth.

4. Limit containers. Containers need lots of maintenance from planting up, re-potting and feeding, to watering and handling. If you do opt for planters, try to use larger ones with greater volume of compost, as these should dry out less quickly.

5. Wrong plant, wrong place. Don't insist on growing rhododendrons on a chalky soil, or bog plants in a windswept dry garden. Equally, remember that lawn grasses are really plants suited to open conditions. Lawns planted in a shady brownstone garden yard, will always be difficult to keep to an acceptable quality. Consider performing a soil test to truly understand your garden and what plants are most suited.

6. Tender plants. These require seasonal tasks such as lifting, winter wrapping, moving to a protected environment or annual propagation. Instead, look for plants that are deemed fully hardy which can be left outdoors year round.

7. Hedges. If you can be patient with slower growing hedging plants until they reach the necessary height such as yew (Taxus baccata) or holly (Ilex aquifolium) you will be pruning less often. One "haircut" a year rather than 3/4 times a year.


Applying these principles in your garden design will cut down on the amount of work you'll perform and increase the amount of time you can relax in your garden.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor!



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Safety tips

February's entrancing rays of sun, glimpses of warmer afternoons, receeding snow and the flurry of birds can be deceiving - winter is not over. In fact, February can often have some of the coldest weather. Winter is a great time though to plan for emergencies, set up prearranged meeting places and check on the first aide locations and supply level. 



10 Winter Home Safety Tips


"Winter and snow can be a fun time for families, but it is important that parents take steps towards ensuring a safe home environment for children and pets," says National Child Safety and Health Expert Debra Holtzman J.D., M.A, http://thesafetyexpert.com, the best-selling author of "The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living" (Sentient Publications). Visit Debra Holtzman's Website http://thesafetyexpert.com, Connect with her on Twitter @SafetyExpert_ and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DebraHoltzmanTheSafetyExpert
 
Debra offers these easy-to-implement home safety tips to keep your entire family safe:

1. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Change batteries at least once every year—an easy way to remember is to do it in the spring or fall when you change the clocks; test them monthly; replace the units every 10 years. Smoke alarms can cut your family's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Plan escape routes and conduct fire drills with the entire family at least twice a year. Designate a fixed place outside the home where family will meet.

2. Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up: Install a CO alarm in the hallway near the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area. In addition, place one at least 15 feet from any fuel-burning appliance. More than 500 people die each year in the US from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning.

3. Three Activities to NEVER do:

-- burn charcoal in homes, tents, vehicles or garages

-- run a car in a garage, even if the garage doors are open

-- operate any sort of portable generator indoors, including homes, garages, basements, carports, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.

Follow the instructions that come with your portable generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

4. Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. Water with 140 degrees F. will produce a third-degree burn on a child in just 3 seconds! A lower water temperature will reduce the chance of scald burns.

5. To prepare for major snow storms and other natural disasters, assemble a fully stocked disaster supplies kit. Include baby supplies, nonperishable foods, water, prescription and necessary OTC medication, manual can opener, flashlights, radio, and batteries. Include essential items for your pets. Your kit should contain at a minimum, a 3-day supply. Glow-in-the-dark sticks are great to keep on hand, too; Children love them and they provide a nonflammable, non-spark producing, portable light.

Buying tip: Look for flashlights and radios powered by hand cranking so you won't have to worry about depleted batteries when power outages or other emergencies hit.

6. Assemble a fully stocked first aid kit. Include a first aid manual, disposable gloves, bandages of several sizes, antiseptic wipes and sharp scissors. Adults and teens should enroll in a first aid and CPR class.

7. Post emergency telephone numbers near every phone in your home and on the refrigerator, and put emergency numbers in your cell phone. Include the National Poison Hotline (1-800-222-1222), Police, Pediatrician, Veterinarian, Dentist, Family Doctor, and Fire Department. Also include the telephone number of a friend or relative living outside of the emergency area. (A caller is more likely to connect with a long-distance number outside the emergency area than with a local number within it.)

Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.

You can use this handy form to Post Emergency Telephone Numbers. http://www.thesafetyexpert.com/images/Form%20for%20website%202013.pdf

8. When you use anti-freeze, take precautions. Children or pets could drink large amounts of this sweet-tasting liquid if it is left out in an open container or if spilled on your driveway. The main ingredient in many major antifreeze brands is ethylene glycol, which is extremely toxic. Use antifreeze with propylene glycol, which is considerably less toxic, or use antifreeze that has a bittering agent (denatonium benzoate) added to make it taste unpleasant.

9. Place space heaters and other heat sources at least three feet away from all flammable material. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a room with an operating fireplace, wood stove or space heater. (Consider putting a safety gate in the doorway to the room with a fireplace or installing a hearth gate around the area.) Allow ashes to cool before removing them. Dispose of ashes in a tightly covered metal container, and place it outdoors, at least 10 feet from the home and any other nearby buildings.

10. Keep up-to-date on all recalled products by visiting this website: http://www.Recalls.gov If you experience a safety problem with a consumer product or want to search for incident reports about products, go to http://www.saferproducts.gov/

Lastly, make sure outdoor pets have adequate shelter, unfrozen water and food.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!