Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Monday, August 30, 2021

Media Appearance

Media Appearance

I have to say, it was so cool to participate in this project with Amy Metz for her blog: A Blue Million Books.  We started networking this spring and soon after that Amy sent me some topics to give feedback on for this special feature on her blog. I was so curious what it would look like, how it would read once published and I really enjoyed what Amy put together. Please do check it out... leave a comment here, or on her blog, to share your thoughts. Feel free to share on your social networking sites, if you decide it is something your contacts might enjoy. 

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Author Interview


World of Writing - Author Interview

Today we are joined by Kelly Mitchell - who describes herself as an: " author, podcaster, serial entrepreneur, thought leader, education junkie, and rebel with a cause" :).  Her educational carnage includes a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and Associate's in Paralegal Studies.  The duality of her analytical mind and dark sense of humour are showcased in her writing and podcasting. Join us for this indepth discussion about writing, making a difference in the world and discover a couple of quotes today's guest wanted to share with you as well. Kelly invites today's readers to drop by her Blog and her Podcast:

Q: Hi Kelly - thanks. for dropping in our blog today to share your experiences in the world of writing! :) Let's start by discovering who or what inspired you to pursue a career in writing.

A: Writing has always been the gravity that holds my world together and the one thing I gravitated towards throughout my career and education.  The one thing that turned it all on for me and gave me the overwhelming need to commit to being a full-time author was Paul Coehlo.  He said - 'Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public'.  The quote struck a chord and empowered me to get naked--in a literary sense.  I was exhausted from getting up every morning in a fully adorned poker-face and becoming everything everyone needed me to be -- none of which were me.  I'm that person that has thousands of acquaintances but a handful of friends.  Writing and baring the intimate pieces of my soul is therapeutic and I feel comfortable in my own skin.  I'm not exhausted any more, I'm rejuvenated.  

Q: How does writing help you make a difference in the world?

I am a forward-thinker and can see solutions from outside the box to bring a complete picture into fruition.  For example, a majority would agree that educational reform is needed, but the focus is usually on one area of the problem when it is a culmination of things -- a perfect storm of problems.  My book, Clap If You Can Hear Me, is a navigational guide discussing practical solutions to several problems and provides relevant solutions that can be implemented immediately for parents and students.  On the slower moving bureaucratic end, I provide a separate set of resources and solutions that serve as a jumping point for conversations in PTAs and educational forums.  The book is well researched and highlights what the true story of education looks like and the specific areas that need to be addressed for national prosperity and secure generational wealth.  My point:  Parents and students need practical resources that they can utilize now while the wheels of bureaucracy turn to catch up.

Q: What do you do when you are not writing?

If I'm not writing, I'm either thinking about it or gathering intel and scribbling it on post-it notes to write about.  Such is the life of an author.  Friends and family are well aware they may be in my next book.  You write what you know.  I do enjoy reading, binge watching TV series, casual gaming, podcasting, and backyard barbecues.  I people watch.  I guess you could call me a life lurker.  Social psychology is a hobby and addiction.  Most of my time is probably spent asking, WHY?  I can give any toddler a run for their money.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction book(s)?

The biggest challenge for me is avoiding the curve ball.  When I start researching a topic, I find myself getting caught up in subject matter that runs off topic.  I am a hyperlink junkie.  The hard part is circling back to stay on course with what I was talking about.  I have been known to wander off and away from groups because something will catch my interest.  I'm fairly certain my phone's GPS system has saved my life on more than one occasion.  Oddly, this challenge is frustrating, but also one of the reasons why I love writing.  I am a forever learner and love to stack my conversational arsenal to the point of bursting.

"Don't let schooling interfere with education."

~ Mark Twain

Q: What age group did you write for?

My genre is 18+ for this book because of the crucial guidance; however, my audience tends to be within the 30+ age group because of my prominent dark humour and sometimes 4-letter colourful word phrases depending on what I'm writing.  I am a girl next door and speak to an audience like we are at one of my backyard parties sitting around the pool while day-drinking and defences are down--unguarded.  My desire is to have open, honest conversations with my audience that are authentic and not necessarily shaded in etiquette.  The value is in the quality content.  The presentation is secondary.  The audience I hope to connect with are voices not echoes.  I write for adults that engage in debate and understand the profound impact and importance it can have in change.  Debate strengthens arguments and encourages your ideology to live up to its potential, or changes it altogether.

Q: How do you plan to promote this book (or series)? (...Favourite writer websites, resources that you use, where you advertise, how you advertise, do you network...)

I am kind of winging it really.  I create a lot of social posts, showcase it on my website, submit it for reviews and contests.  I am a fan of OnlineBookStore.com, Reedsy, and Readers Favorite.  I'm also a book reviewer for the last two.  I promote posts on Instagram and am eternally looking for the 'viral post' which I have not mastered quite yet.  I am a member of the Nonfiction Authors Association and was recently featured as their author of the week.  I also promoted the book on Ebook Fairs and had the honor of being Best In Show.  I cross promote the book on my Podcast, blogs, and am featured at LeadershipBooks.com.  I am appearing on Dare To Be Authentic Radio next week and the Douglas Coleman Show in May.  I honestly didn't realize how much marketing I was participating in until just now.  The revelation is disorienting.  I was just being social.  

"To educate a person in the mind 

but not in morals is to educate a menace to society."

~ Theodore Roosevelt

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

Nearly everything I write is connected to real life experience.  Clap If You Can Hear Me draws on my experiences as a college-age student, adult-student (what people like to call unconventional--atrocious, everyone should be a forever learner), parent, mentor, and continuing education course creator.  I have been frustrated in every role with one thing or another.  I have participated in both on-campus and online studies.  Remember the main question I ask all day is WHY?  I have spent a lot of time in the educational space and discovered there is room for improvement.  Just like that, I was an advocate for change.  The importance of a globally competitive education that is relevant in today's world cannot be understated.  The challenge of COVID will be an obstacle for years--all the more reason why solutions need to be implemented now.

Why did you feel this book needed to be written?

Education + Schooling = Wisdom.  Education touches every life and is a life-long pursuit.  

I was compelled to write the book because technology has many blessings, but comes with a social cost.  People have become disconnected from the community and look to the government to solve community problems when the government actually creates most of the problems.  We need to invest in our communities and take on the responsibility to better ourselves by way of community.  Service-learning provides that connection.  It also provides cultural and emotional intelligence, leadership and mentoring skills, virtue learning, personal responsibility, time management, self-confidence, pride in community, civic duty, and so much more.  Service learning is the catalyst for personal growth, self-discovery, and the empowerment of making a difference while networking.  Roosevelt's quote provides an accountability to society, not separation from it and is detailed throughout my book.

We should never be so arrogant to believe we know everything.  The key here is active listening.  Active listening means hearing what someone is telling you instead of filling your mind with ammo to fire back a response.  Too much of the world communicates with their finger on the trigger, waiting to prove themselves.  Wisdom is meek, egoless, and interested in hearing the other side because they need to process what is being said.  Schooling, in nature, has a lot of one-sided conversation.  The teacher speaks, the student listens.  Education is a participation sport from conversations and real-time experience.  Twain was promoting the pursuit of life-long learning.  I took this to heart.  As it stands, we are a country interrupted.  I'm hoping that my book ignites conversation and influences America to be inspired and situationally aware.  Denial 'aint just a river in Egypt.  

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Guide for writing a collections letter

Step-by-Step Guide to Write a Collection Letter

* Jean Taylor posted numerous articles on a distribution site for members of the media to use and I chose this one. It required extensive edits however. Thanks Jean for making this available. Jean invites our readers to check out her FREE guide at: https://101businessletter.com
Today she shares how to get a client to pay an overdue invoice in this detailed guide below:

The types of overdue invoice letters are:

• Notification

• Reminder

• Inquiry

• Urgency

• Final Notice

• Insufficient Funds

• Thanks For Payment

• Missing Payment/Apology

The objective of the collection letter is to get the client to pay an overdue invoice.
Be careful to concentrate on observable behaviours and to avoid assumptions. End each letter with a positive mindset that this scenario will be solved satisfactorily.

For instance: 
Saying "We have not received payment," is a observable behaviour.

"Haven't sent payment" is a negative assumption. Remain positive.

A reminder letter is to inform the reader that the invoice is overdue, and the payment still has not been obtained. 
The inquiry letter asks why the bill is not being paid off. 

The invoice "is overdue" creates urgency. It is great to follow this correspondence using a a personal telephone call asking concerning the payment delay. An alternative strategy can be organized to match the receiver's present budget limitations. If a different arrangement is made, send a copy of this new payment plan to the receiver. Continue following up any subsequent letters with telephone calls and maintain all log of calls.

Step 1: Check that the spelling of the receiver's name. 

Step 2: The first section of the letter should explain the scenario and concern. (date bought, the total owed and due date ).

Step 3: The letter must indicate the deadline for paying the invoice. You may also want to indicate your company's penalties or other payment policies.

Step 4: The third part of the letter must indicate the consequences of the overdue invoice. Originally, these can be penalties, however, since the bill grows more delinquent, it may involve a collection agency.

Step 5: The Last part of the letter must prompt the receiver to send the whole payment or contact you to manage a payment schedule.

A checklist is always helpful to use along with the collection letter.

• Did you confirm the title of the receiver?

• Was the tone of this letter firm but understanding?

• Did you say the total amount owed?

• Did you state when the invoice has been due?

• Did you propose an alternate payment program?

• Did you state the new deadline?

• Did you trace phone contacts?

• Did you indicate that the effects of not paying the invoice?

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Media Appearance :)

Media Appearance

Drop by this discussion, only 1/2 hour long, to hear host Karen Kelly and I talk about how easy it is to make small changes, tiny decisions, that will have a measurable, positive impact on the health of the planet and our communities. What we do with our trash and our purchasing decisions can have a profound ripple effect... learn more: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3k9Z7BSLcTtzwVrkiSuJ73

~ ~
Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca

~ ~

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day 

"The trouble about man is twofold. 

He cannot learn truths 

which are too complicated; 

he forgets truths 

which are too simple." 

~ Rebecca West

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Monday, August 23, 2021

Emergency go-bag preparedness

* Today's article comes to us from Sarah Hollenbeck, who specializes in content strategy leads via Siegemedia.com

How to Create a Go-Bag For Emergencies

When an emergency happens, will you be ready for it? That’s a question everyone should ask themselves at some point, especially if you live in high-risk areas prone to disasters like wildfires or earthquakes. If you find yourself unsure if you and your family are truly ready, don’t panic. There are plenty of steps you can take now to be prepared for whatever comes your way, from prepping your home to withstand extreme conditions to creating a family go-bag. Below, we’ll break down how to create a go-bag that will help your family get to safer grounds with all the necessities in tow.

Creating a go bag is relatively simple. First, you need to cover the basics. This means non-perishable food, water, extra clothes and a first aid kit for everyone in your family. By making sure you pack enough essentials, you won’t have to fret about your family running out of important items if you have to be away from home for an extended period of time.

The second thing you need to pack in your go-bag is important documents (or copies of them). This includes a list of emergency contacts, birth certificates, wills, medical records, Social Security cards, passports and driver’s licenses to help you get where you need to go. This is especially important if your home happens to undergo major damage, as you won’t have to worry about not having the right papers you need to file an insurance claim or book a hotel room.

Finally, you’ll need to consider your family’s individual needs. Do you have a partner with medical needs? Young children who will need to be entertained? Or maybe a teen who can’t live without their phone? Packing all necessary items such as medicine, games, flashlights, stuffed toys and phone chargers will keep your family sane and healthy throughout this stressful time away from home.

For more information on what to pack in your go bag check out the graphic below from Hippo, read their post on prepping for power outages and look at our recommended resources page. (https://www.hippo.com/blog/prepare-for-power-outage)

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Quick business tips

Quick Tips for Business Success : 

Use correct grammar and full sentences.

Express gratitude and appreciation of their time.

Offer more than what you are asking.

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Media Appearance :)

Media Appearance

I felt so lucky to stumble upon a resource that listed Reading In The Wild Wood Blog, managed by Megan Salcido. After checking out the blog and all it had to offer, I just had to reach out to Megan and as it turned out she invited me to appear on her wonderful blog for an interview. Please check it out (below) and if you like it, do share it via social networking sites, etc. I'm sure Megan would appreciate the help in getting more traffic to her really cool blog :)


Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca

~ ~

Friday, August 20, 2021

Recommended Resources

Recommended Resources

Campus Greening is the theme of EcoLeaders Project - helping colleges and universities work to create and protect wildlife habitat on campus. Having these green spaces to work in actually improve gardening, biological, water and geological related science classes as well as providing food for the cafeteria and a comforting place to lounge while on campus. 

Campus Race to Zero Waste focuses on challenging all campus visitors to think about waste in a new way, to encourage recycling and sustainable living, and more.  

Alabama Wildlife Federation - has been working for wildlife since 1935 and offers a great classroom page for hands-on projects. 

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Author Interview

World of Writing - Author Interview

Cathy Lynn Brooks is an author from Ontario, Canada. She spent forty years working with special-needs children and young adults. Her experiences gave her new insights into the problems she wrote about in her two memoirs. Drop by her Amazon Author Central page to find her 2 books - while not a series, these books are related; they both cover the issues, emotional joy and grief of raising and losing a bi-polar child. Watch for her upcoming novel, Rose Coloured Houses, coming soon. 

Q: How do your friends and family feel about your writing venture in general? (How have you handled the situation?) 

A: My family and friends are extremely proud and excited for me. Many have read both of my memoirs and given great reviews. They tell me they can’t wait to read my novel when it’s published this summer. 

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax? 

A: I enjoy reading, of course. I love to garden in the summer. We’ve recently downsized from a house with half an acre of gardens implanted myself. I can’t wait to work on my small garden at my new place. I love to walk along the lake at my new home. We winter in Florida and I’m very active with aqua fit, bike riding and line dancing there. 

Q: What is your favorite book? 

A: This is a hard question because it’s like choosing your favourite child. You can’t pick just one. The first book I read was Anne of Green Gables and it instilled my love of books. We’ve visited PEI twice because I love all of L.M. Montgomery books. 

Q: What do you want to accomplish with your books? 

A: My first books were therapeutic for me to write because my 29 year old daughter had died in a car accident and it helped me work through my grief. I wanted her not to be forgotten. My novel is a book that I would enjoy reading. I hope my readers will enjoy it. 

Q: How long does/did it take you to write a completed book manuscript? 

A: It takes several months to write a manuscript. I write at least an hour a day. The writing part is the easy part. The editing and marketing are the most difficult. What successes has your current book done for you? My two memoirs established me as an author and encouraged me to continue writing. Now I’m at the editing stage of a novel and I’m excited to launch it. 

Q: Describe your writing space. 

A: I write on my couch with my iPad. I don’t use a desk or special office. I edit with my Chromebook on my lap. Re: public appearances & services: 

When you are getting ready for any public appearance what are some of the behind-the-scenes activities that you do ? 

A: I set up a table displaying my books and hang a banner and a few posters around the space. 

Q: How did you arrive at setting your goals? 

A: An author I admire gave me great advice. She said "write at least an hour a day". I followed that advice and have completed 3 books. 

Q: How do you handle stressful moments?

I use deep breathing techniques. Taking a walk or just putting down my work for a short while calms me. I enjoy cooking so I often head to the kitchen for a short break.

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day 

"Go and love someone exactly as they are 

and then watch how quickly they transform 

into the greatest, 

truest version of themselves. 

When someone feels seen and appreciated 

in their own essence, 

one is instantly empowered." 

~ Wes Angelozzi

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Poetry Time

Poetry Time

In Towards Understanding, her first book of poetry, Lillian was able to share her real life journey  of growing up on her own, struggling to survive, breaking the chains of inner conflict and finally growing "towards understanding" of her value and purpose in life – but not quite reaching it. Readers witness her survive childhood trauma, learn that her life does indeed have value and discover a passion for the environment, animals, gardening and writing. The collection of 125 poems is arranged chronologically in order to walk the reader through her experiences over a 17-year period (1988-2005). Many of those poems won awards and literary recognitions for Towards Understanding were published in a wide variety of online and print publications in Africa, UK, US and Canada.


*Note by author: This one shows the emotional upheaval and recovery process, the exhausted elated victory of one wall eroded away while the realization that there is so much left to do sinks in. 

Somewhere down deep below,

Feelings inside me multiply and sow.

The harder, colder feelings then enhance,

And outside, they are determined to show.

Sticking to all four sides, they take control.

Bouncing back and forth, the inner starts an echo.

Resounding lessons and sermons –
All mixed up words that reap confusion

As they bond and fill every hollow.

Somewhere down deep below,

The ability to love dimly glows.

It sends a shadow down the forbidden path…

And then one wall begins to erode.

One down, yet thousands to go…

Slower, yet steadier, the programmed feelings flow.

This endless battle has made the slightest advance,

Behold! The cycle has surely begun to slow!

Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca

Monday, August 16, 2021

Networking Tips

Understanding what networking involves is vital, you need to know about and be prepared for the hidden behind-the-scenes activities that make it all happen. Do you have time in your schedule or can you utilize staff (or family members) to handle it for you? What are your intentions, procedures and current campaigns? There is a lot to consider before rushing out and sending out something that could be considered spam, instead of a valuable networking opportunity.

Networking Tips 

Throughout the many years since I first became a business owner in 1990, I have noticed the incredible value of having strong relationships with contacts. Networking with these contacts, or approaching someone new for networking purposes, is an important aspect of any marketing plan. 

Personally, I've run a household management service company, helped manage a drum teaching and repair business, was a radio host, blogger and a writer in several fields (reviewing, blogging, freelance, published author). Many of the strong relationships we built early on in writing related industries are still valued contacts today,  over 30 years later.

Understanding what networking involves is vital, you need to know about and be prepared for the hidden behind-the-scenes activities that make it all happen. Before starting out on a campaign, reflect on how your communications need to reflect your company's image. This can include colour scheme, design, logos, links and other intricacies that reflect your branding. Consider also the visual effect of your communications: whether it appears clean, concise, appealing and uncluttered. Clean, crisp and simple is the best way to go.

Networking means you need to have something to offer. Will you include their name in your ad? Can you feature some aspect of their business activities, policies or community projects on your customer e-bulletin? Are you able to partner with them for a special sale, or get your staff together for a volunteer activity? Can you offer them great resources, for no other reason than to just help them out? Will you refer customers to them? Perhaps you can be a mentor, provide advice, offer services, discounts to their staff, coupon exchanges. Networking campaigns will vary over the years and you may find that you have to come up with reasons to reach out and re-connect with those contacts (at least annually).

It is equally important to have a plan in place so that when someone reaches out and does something nice you can express your gratitude quickly and efficiently. 

Keep a brief record of communications you have had with your networking group. It is easy to use a simple program like Excel to create a brief worksheet where you can enter names, contact and latest campaign project. Colour-code the worksheet so you can see at a glance who needs to be followed up with. Each time you reach out, be sure to offer something – a helpful link, a contest they might be interested in, a discounted product, a gift of some kind, a networking idea they may want to join in, or check to see if they need more content for their blog. 

Finding new networking contacts is rarely an issue. Start with your current pile of business cards, your suppliers, employees, and customer lists. Don't forget your personal phone book where you have a list of people you already know. Drop each of them a quick note letting them know how much you appreciate them, what it is that you appreciate about them, and how you hope to work together in some way, or maybe you are reaching out just to let them know how you are doing and what you are up to. 

Drop into local employment centres to learn about businesses in the area that compliment or compete with yours. Small business advice groups, workshops and events can be found through the local library and government offices. Don't forget to network with the staff while you are there - at least introduce yourself, invite them to reach out and give them your card. If you go to any events, have a ton of business cards on hand. Write on the back of your card (or theirs) a note about the conversation and what you promised to do, i.e. you may have said "I'll reach out to you tomorrow to let you know who my son's baseball coach is." and you've made a note of it on the card he gave you too. After the event, it is easy to glance through the collected cards remembering everyone you met and reach out, referring to the conversation and fulfilling your promise. 

Watch for articles and interviews with people who specialize in a similar field as you – learn about steps they’ve taken, successes and mistakes they’ve experienced, resources they might recommend. Visit their websites and try to figure out why they chose that layout, the design, the images, etc. Reach out to them to let them know they have influenced you, that you liked their article or interview, or that you’d love to connect with them on social media. Search like-minded websites for resources, helpful links and articles. Check out their media pages to see where they’ve gotten exposure; perhaps the media listed there would be interested in you too.

Personally I love networking and invite todays readers to follow, like or share this article. Feel free to reach out if you have a networking idea, or would like to feature us on your blog, etc. Below are some of our links in case you find them of interest (other links can be found in the side-bars of this blog):
Brummet's Website: http://BrummetMedia.ca

Drum It With Brummet blog: https://DrumItWithBrummet.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Media Appearance

Media Appearance 

Diane runs PensPaintsAndPaper.com and runs a lovely blog ... I met Diane over at Alignable in early spring of 2021 and we started networking from there.  Today I am thrilled to share the link (below) to a fabulous interview she put together with us, published on her blog in July:

Please do share the link if you enjoy the interview :) 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Just For Writers

Just For Writers !!   

Today is the 4th installment of this new series of posts Just For Writers ! Watch for a new post in this series around the middle of every month !! *Note: these links go back as far as early 2000's and may refer to our old website and perhaps  other old links. Ignore that. Go to: http://BrummetMedia.ca

--  Looking for Book Review Resources? ---

Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews began in 2014 and since then Amy has reviewed thousands of books, yet her passion for writing book reviews, the challenge of making each one unique and interesting for her readers has never waned. Amy and I have been networking for some time and I can tell you that she is a thoughtful and organized individual. She has graciously invited our readers to drop by her blog and send a book review query her way anytime. Mention that you saw her information here on our blog, and she may just give you special preference. :)  http://writeramyshannon.wixsite.com/bookshelfreviews


On a talk radio show (no longer on air) we once managed, we held an interview about the world of writing with author and motivational speaker, Ali Marsman is our guest of the day. She is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada & currently resides in the province of BC – which is the same province where Dave & I live. Her first 2 books, Heal with Me and Our Journey Goes On, were quite successful in schools, group homes, shelters and various other organizations and societies across Canada. She has also written a trilogy - her wealth of knowledge in the world of writing was the topic of the day.* This archived broadcast refers to our OLD website, ignore that.


“…Grandfather Little Hawk is  a Mikmaw storyteller – they are the Natives of Nova Scotia Indian storytellers, and he follows the storytelling techniques passed down for literally 8,000 years. …His storytelling was so beautiful, so we started a program on storytelling… and we expanded on that to put it into a book. He did the telling, I did the writing. ...I love the process of writing and I tend to give myself a goal of writing 5000 words before I go to bed each night. I often take long walks dictating in a tape or writing in a note pad. The first writing of the book took maybe a month, and the editing of the book took almost a year – so you have all these words that you through them against a wall to see what sticks. …I read it now and I think ‘Wow, those are my words – but are they? They are Little Hawk’s words – but are they?’  It was a great process and I love writing.”

~ Frank Cipriani (author)



This next link will take you to an old blog post that was published back in 2012. You'll find it starts with a very interesting quote (which I'll share below here today) and if you scroll down that page just a little you'll find a very good article written by Jill Jepson, a writing advice expert.



Back in 2014, Toi Thomas featured me as a guest on her blog - the Toibox of Words.  If you scroll further down that page you'll notice that Toi linked to some articles and other posts featuring us on her blog. * This may refer to our OLD website, ignore that.


Visit the Brummet's @: http://BrummetMedia.ca