Friday, April 30, 2010

Save the Frogs



-- Announcement --

SAVE THE FROGS DAY EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN 20 COUNTRIES TODAY
Largest Day of Amphibian Education And Conservation In Planet’s History

Amphibians are rapidly disappearing around the planet, and a worldwide effort is underway today to save them. The 2nd Annual Save The Frogs Day, taking place today, is the largest day of amphibian education and conservation action in the planet’s history. Over 80 Save The Frogs Day events are being held in 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, Ireland, Madagascar, India, South Africa, and Australia. The events are being coordinated by SAVE THE FROGS!, America’s first and only public charity dedicated to amphibian conservation.

Amphibian populations worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world's amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Up to 200 species have already completely disappeared in recent years. “Habitat destruction and an infectious disease called chytridiomycosis are decimating frog populations worldwide” says Dr. Kerry Kriger, Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS. To make matters worse, pollution and pesticides are weakening frogs’ immune defenses and in some cases even turning male frogs into females. There are 18,000 registered pesticides in the United States.

Dr. Kriger hopes that Save The Frogs Day will dramatically increase frog awareness on a global scale. “This is one of the most significant environmental issues of the 21st century. Save The Frogs Day is all about people stepping up, getting involved, and taking action in their own community, and that’s exactly what is happening”, says Dr. Kriger.

Save The Frogs Day events include presentations by scientists worldwide; a moonlit frog walk in Seattle’s Discovery Park; a Frog Leap-a-Thon in Toronto, and a frog art contest in Brazil. The Miss Earth South Africa ladies will join in the action by teaching children in the villages about frogs. The first protests in defense of frog populations in the planet’s history will take place at restaurants in VA, MD and TX. The restaurant chain refuses to remove the frog legs from their menus. Over 100 million frogs are taken out of the wild for food each year. SAVE THE FROGS recently succeeded in getting San Francisco’s Restaurant Gary Danko to remove wild-caught Pig Frogs from their menu.

Save The Frogs Day has been legally recognized by Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia; Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver, British Columbia; and Mayor Mike Rotkin of Santa Cruz, California. Mayor Rotkin will join Dr. Kriger for his morning talk on frogs at an elementary school. Afterwards, Dr. Kriger will give an interview on Martha Stewart Radio and then he will present a free online webinar on amphibian conservation. In the evening he will give a lecture on The Wild World of Frogs and lead a frog walk through the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve.

What’s next? Dr. Kriger says SAVE THE FROGS will be organizing an International Day of Pesticide Action, planned for October 24th. “We aim to get Atrazine federally banned by the 3rd Annual Save The Frogs Day”. Atrazine is one of the most commonly detected pesticides in American groundwater, tapwater and rainfall, and there is abundant scientific evidence documenting its negative impacts on an array of wildlife. Eighty million pounds of Atrazine are used in America each year.


SAVE THE FROGS! (http://savethefrogs.com) is America’s first and only public charity dedicated to amphibian conservation. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! is to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.You can learn more about Save The Frogs Day at www.savethefrogs.com/day

** Check out the Conscious Discussions Radio interview with the founder of the Save the Frogs organization by clicking on the link here: Interview With Save the Frogs


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at: www.brummet.ca

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The reality of a career in writing


-- Brummet's @ the Watery Tart Blog --

Check out the Brummet's Guest Blogging "You've Signed the Contract - Now What?" at Watery Tart Blog: http://waterytart23.blogspot.com 


 -- Writer-Related Interview --


Lillian will be joining host of the Page Readers radio show, Nanci Arvizu, for a 1/2 hour interview at  10 AM (pacific) this morning. The show will be archived for those who cannot make the live episode:
 

We'll be discussing working with a spouse as a co-writer, sharing an office, learning to accept each others limits and skill range... Promotions take up a majority of a writer's time and so few out there realize how hard one has to work for just a few book sales. So we will discuss the reality of the career, how to create a plan and stay organized. 



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at: www.brummet.ca

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writers Beware :)


-- Authors Read Radio --

Yesterday on Authors Read radio we had the honor of featuring award winning author Swati Avasthi. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago in theater and literature, and her short fiction has been included in several journals and her first novel, Split, is a young-adult novel about a 16-year old boy named Jace who shows up on his brother's doorstep with a bruised face, courtesy of dear old dad, and a secret. Split is the story of what happens after you get out and how to live again. Check out the archived episode by clicking on the hyper-linked book title, or click on Authors Read radio and access any episode you would like to hear from there. 



-- Spotlight Feature --

Check out our spotlight feature at: http://virtualbooktourcafe.weebly.com




-- Writer Interview #10 --


As many of you are already aware, we are participating in a special event throughout April & May (Poetry & Library Month), helping to spread literacy and the love of reading to a wider audience. * BK Walker has been behind this - the full schedule for the participating authors is: http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com/virtual-book-tours.html 

Myrna Caudill - http://myrnarcaudill.com - is here today to share her thoughts on the world of writing:


Q: Why did you decide to write?

A: I’ve always loved to read. I like the classics, romances, suspense, adventure, mysteries and westerns. So, I thought I would try it and see if I could do it and/or enjoy doing it. I have found that I not only enjoy writing; I love it.


Q: Where did you find all the sources for your research?

A: I use the Internet for most of my research although I have purchased a book “Police Procedures and Investigation”, “Forensics”, and “Book of Poisons” they have been very helpful.


Q: What do you think about electronic-publishing?

A: I believe it is a simple way for new authors to get published for the first time. It provides the opportunity to learn about the publishing industry and hopeful present a new author with other opportunities.


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

A: I practice my music. I mainly play the organ and some piano. I like to sew and to paint in oils or acrylics.


Q: If you had the opportunity to able to do anything during with your book differently, what would you want to change?

A: I would have course loved to have submitted to a major publishing house and/or obtain an excellent agent. I did not have the courage to go in that direction.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at: www.brummet.ca

Sign up for the Brummet's e-newsletter via the widget sign up form on the top-right of this blog.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rainforests and Celebrations


-- Quote of the Day --

"Every victim of crime - no matter who they are, 
where they live or the way in which they were victimized,
should be treated with compassion and respect for their dignity."  

~ www.victimsweek.gc.ca


--Conscious Living Events --

Wednesday, April 28
Greening PUSD
Location: Willow Grove Elementary School MPR San Diego, California (USA)
When: 6:00PM
Info: # 858-674-5610 http://greeningpusd.wordpress.com

April 26 – May 2: 
National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 

April 27:
Canada Book Day
Info: According to Wikipedia.com "Canada Book Day is celebrated on the same day as World Book & Copyright Day, ...to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright."


-- The Plight of Rainforests --

* Source: Rainforests – The burning Issue, from the Prince of Wales Rainforest Project, a part of the Prince’s Charities.

Did you know that...

Over 1/2 the world’s plant & animal species are found in rainforests?

The Amazon forest releases 20 billion tones of moisture every day helping to water crops thousands of miles away?

Deforestation releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than all the cars, planes and ships put together?

Healthy rainforests absorb up to 10% of man’s carbon emissions each year?

...or that rainforests will virtually disappear within 50 years if no action is taken?


So why are rainforests being mowed down at an alarming rate if they are so valuable? The reason is economic, my dear Watson. For instance a forest might first be opened up by miners, who build roads and tear up the earth to access the precious ore. Then loggers move in, using the roads to access valuable timber. The farmers move into the clear-cut sections bringing cattle with them, which further ruin the soil. Finally the land is converted to soybean, coffee and cocoa production (among other crops), which is force-fed with fertilizers and chemicals to induce larger volumes of product. Products on grocery shelves reflect rainforest destruction as well – palm oil is a product of this destruction.

Some solutions might be to make rainforests more valuable alive, then dead – and this can be done by paying the countries for every section of healthy forest they maintain. Supporting living rainforest crops, like Brazil Nuts, is another option.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at: www.brummet.ca

Support the Brummets by sharing their work with your friends on social media 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Writer Interview #9

-- Quote of the Day --





  "The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them." 

~ Raymond Chandler

 

 

-- Writer Interview #9 -- 


*Interview with “Swimming With Wings” Author, Lee Libro,  on the Importance of Writing Groups

Lee Libro is a fiction writer who has just released her first novel, Swimming With Wings, this past March. The title is a metaphor for soul searchers, who can’t quite find themselves within the confines of the social mores of their time. Lee manages a blog called Literary Magic that helps readers and authors connect, aid in book club selections and sharpen writing skills. According to Lee, “words have magic. It's up to us to conjure and cast spells with them”. Find Lee at: www.literary-magic.com

Q: Do you belong to a writers’ group?

A: Yes, I belong to a critique group with the Sarasota Fiction Writer's Group and I'm a founding member of the Association of Independent Authors: www.independent-authors.org

Q: How long have you belonged to this group? (how you found them, why you joined & the process of becoming a member).

A: I've been meeting with the Sarasota Fiction Writer's Group events since the fall of '09 after discovering them at the Sarasota Farmer's Market we have every Saturday in downtown Sarasota. I was finalizing my novel and after talking with them, I realized they had several different outlets for writers, a critiquing group, which is my main activity with them, but they also host talks given by visiting authors and regular monthly meetings. The Association of Independent Authors I discovered by way of Stephen Windwalker, the author of the Kindle Nation Newsletter available on the Kindle. The AIA is an organization of really dynamic people who support the innovations currently affecting the publishing industry and which empower the self-publishing author.


Q:  Where do you meet? How often? What do you do there?

A: The AIA is online. We offer each other critiques, tips, and updates on ourselves and our books' promotional efforts. The administrators of many of the forum topics also provide news feeds and links to help us all stay abreast of the industry. My critique group with the Sarasota Fiction Writers meets twice a month at a local bookstore where we each bring in a piece of writing to read aloud and critique. Reading one's work aloud to others helps you gain a whole different sense of your writing and the critiques offered by fellow writers and the leader, a retired editor of one of the major publishers, (whose name I'd mention, but I didn't get his permission so I better not.)



Q.  Where do you see yourself with your writing in five years?

A: I see myself having more free time to write as I'm entering the empty nest years.  I have five children with only two high school students living at home. I’d like to spend more time consistently on writing. I’ve had to write in what I call my overtime hours, often into the early morning hours, just so I can fit this passion into my life. It will be nice to write when the sun is still out. I look forward to completing my current novel and continuing on with several other story ideas I have in the works.


Q:  What advice would you give for aspiring authors?

A: The best advice I ever got I still live by today and that is that the only thing standing between you and completing your book are the words you haven’t written, so WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Once I realized that publishing is secondary to the process and passion of writing, the pressure was gone. Writing has to be a function apart from publishing. Ironically when I stopped caring about being published I was able to unleash my best writing and also increase my amount of writing activity. My other advice though is to always seek to improve your writing. Know your rules of grammar first of all. I can’t tell you how many people call themselves writers and don’t even realize they’ve written a comma splice. Also if you are writing fiction strive to understand how your idea can be shaped with plot, character development, dialogue and all the other elements of well-formed fiction. I recommend my two favorite books on writing: Donald Maass’ “The Fire in Fiction” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird."



 
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at: www.brummet.ca

Saturday, April 24, 2010

writer interview #8 :)



-- Writer Interview #8 :) --

As many of you are already aware, we are participating in a special event throughout April & May (Poetry & Library Month), helping to spread literacy and the love of reading to a wider audience. David Fingerman is our featured author of the day, and he can be found at: www.davidfingerman.com. * BK Walker has been behind this - the full schedule for the participating authors is: http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com/virtual-book-tours.html


Q: So, David – tell us, what motivates you to write?

I hate to sound cliché (a terrible thing for a writer) but pretty much everything motivates me to write. I can be taking a walk and something might catch my eye, or sitting in a restaurant and inhale an odd scent or overhear a snippet of conversation, or even be staring at my computer screen when I'll get a flash of an idea. Then my brain goes "What if . . .?" And with a little twisting around ~ there's the beginning of a new story. I've got a file folder full of scraps of paper with story ideas.

Q: How do you spend your writing time?

Usually in my office staring at the computer (and hopefully typing too). Some days, especially spring and fall, I might take my laptop outside, but I find my concentration is better in my office. I'm familiar with all of those distractions. 

I try to spend at least six hours per day (Monday thru Friday) writing. If the muse is really rolling, sometimes longer and sometimes on weekends. Those six hours may very well include editing, research, promotion, and other odds and ends related to writing. Now that "Silent Kill" is just about to hit the shelves, I have been spending more time researching marketing plans, In fact, you are my first stop an my first virtual tour, so I thank you very much for that. 

Q: What is your favorite genre of writing?

I love reading and writing horror and speculative fiction, with mystery right behind that. The vast majority of my short stories have a Twilight Zone type feel to them. Oddly, "Silent Kill" is my first novel. It's a suspense/thriller and has nothing supernatural going on. I dunno, I guess things just happen that way sometime. I do have a couple of horror novels in the works, though.

Q: Do you write only non-fiction? Or fiction?

I would guess that ninety-plus percent of my writing is fiction. I do have a blog now that I try to keep focused on my writing life. I do an occasional essay, and very rarely a nonfiction short story.

Q: What keeps you writing while getting rejection letters or struggling with writer's block?

LOL! Last year I gave a talk at the Rochester (MN) Writers' Festival about dealing with rejection letters. When they first approached me about the subject matter I told them that I was way over qualified. One thing I tell all writers who are just starting out ~ develop a thick skin and don't take rejections personally ~ it's a business. I wrote one fantasy story in my career and sent it out. I got a scathing reject basically saying I should trash it, but if I don't, I certainly need overhaul it. I sent it out again without changing a word and that next editor loved it. It's all subjective. I wonder if the person who rejected Carrie by Stephen King (telling him the public just isn't into that kind of book) still has a job with a publisher? 

As for writer's block ~ as I stated above, I've got a folder full of story ideas and I'm working on at least two novels. If I get blocked or bored on one, I jump to the other. If I'm not in the mood for novels I switch to short stories. I guess I have a weird strain of ADHD that way. Whatever, it works for me. The only danger is continually starting and never finishing.

Q: Do you use certain tricks that help prevent you from straying from your goal?

I set goals for myself and my main trick is pure stubbornness. I was writing the sequel to "Silent Kill" and last August I gave myself a goal to finish the first draft by the end of the year. I did get blocked a couple of times and switched to short stories for a bit, back to the novel, switch to the horror novel, then back to the sequel . . . With a couple weeks left in December, I concluded I could no longer procrastinate. I finished on the 31st with about four hours to spare. Pure stubbornness.

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & more:  www.brummet.ca

 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Events & Interviews...

-- Conscious Living Events --

Today, April 22 is both: Earth Day & Administrative Professional’s Day.

Administrative Professional’s Day was first put in place back in 1952 when it was used to encourage people to consider secretarial careers. Today it is celebrated world-wide to honor administrative professionals for their often unrecognized contribution to the organization's success.

For Earth Day and in fact for Earth Month (April), there are likely a lot of eco-events happening in your community today and throughout this upcoming weekend. Locally we have some interesting alternative energy and energy efficiency workshops going on, and New York City is hosting one of the largest student run events in the world...



BC Interior Eco-Workshops to Check Out:
Info: Bring yourself up to date on all home heating systems - Wood, solar, Propane, LP gas and using electricity. What’s the latest and how to apply for grants and incentive programs. Workshops are free with pre-registration.
* Sponsored by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport.
* FREE- Pre-registration required; please phone or email and leave your name and which event you will be attending: 1-866-992-9663

Date: April 17 @ 2PM
Location: RDCK; Nelson, BC (Canada)

Grand Forks Home Energy and Heating Workshop
Date: April 23 @ 7PM
Location: Selkirk College; Grand Forks, BC (Canada)
Info: Special Guests -- Jennifer Stephenson of Jenergy Technologies; Solar, Wind and Micro Hydro Technician. -- John Vere; Wood Heat 101, overview of latest home energy incentives and grants. Electric, gas etc. Live Smart updates, Affordable warmth grants. City Green and home energy assessments.

Date: April 27 @ 7PM
Location: Firehall; Midway, BC (Canada)

Date: April 28 @ 7PM
Location: Community Center; Fruitvale, BC (Canada)

Date: April 29 @ 7PM
Location: Miners Hall; Rossland, BC (Canada)

Date: May 6 @ 7PM
Location: Community Centre; Montrose, BC (Canada)

-

Date: April 24
Location: New York City (USA)
Info: One of the largest educational environmental conferences that is entirely student-led… Registration is FREE www.e4-nyc.org


-- Recommended Resources --

Cross Cultural Solutions – a recognized leader for international volunteering projects: CrossCulturalSolutions.org

Earth Watch – a diverse community of scientists, educators, students, businesspeople, and resolute explorers who work together to get the fullest benefit from scientific expeditions. EarthWatch.org


-- Interview With Lillian Brummet --

Check out the latest interview with Lillian Brummet at: www.literary-magic.com


-- Schedule, A Month @ A Glance --

I'll be finishing the last touches on May's schedule later this morning; you can browse upcoming media appearances, radio program scheduling, and more at our Book Tour site: http://booktour.com/author/lillian_dave_brummet

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca


Support the Brummet's Conscious Blog, the Authors Read and Conscious Discussions radio shows, and the Brummet's Muse newsletter by purchasing one of the 3 books written by Dave & Lillian Brummet: ww.brummet.ca


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Writer's Interview #7


-- Quote of the Day --

“Being an author (who’s joined writer’s organizations), there is so much information – so much to weave through and trying to find out what is right. …So being a part of these organizations they help to weave through the information, find the right information, being able to network with their members and gain marketing tips from them – it is very helpful. …I also belonged to a local writer’s group really helped me in that it gave me the courage to write my first book.” ~
~ Barbara Techel


Today's quote was derived from the Conscious Discussions interview with Barbara on March 9th... Titled: Animal Therapists - where she discussed her volunteer work using her disabled dog to help others. *Check out the interview by clicking on the hyper-links above.


-- Writer Interview #7 --

April 21 - Margaret West is here today to share here experiences in the world of writing within the paranormal, romance genres. A professional UK-based writer for over 20 years, shehas numerous short stories, novels and articles published to date. She likes nothing more then to sit with a good book int he quiet realms of the countryside, with her dogs. Find Margaret at: www.margaret-west.com

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

A: It was when I began working for Eon Productions – The James Bond film producers. They wrote scripts. I wanted to write a book!

Q: How long does it take you to write a book?

A: That depends. I work full time; so probably about four or five months if I’m lucky.

Q: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

A: If I’m home all day, I’ll lock myself away in the office and trap away from nine until I drop! lol On working days its usually a few hours in the evening.

Q: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

A: My quirk... Mmm that’s a hard one. My husband days when I’m writing I’m oblivious to what’s happening around me. No one can talk to me, or get much more than a grunt in response. Maybe that’s my quirk!

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

A: I have so little time for hobbies. But I am a working Medium, Crystal Therapist and a Psychic Development teacher. So that keeps me very busy when the computer is silent!!

Q: What does your family think of your writing?

A: My family has never read my books! - lol - My husband always buys one and wraps it in cellophane, saying one day I’ll be famous and they’ll be worth a fortune. But they are all supportive in their own way!

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

A: Always, always ask advice from published authors. Read tons of literature on writing and never get complacent that your work is just ‘okay’. It has to be fabulous and stand out from all the rest.


Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Call for Change

-- Quote of the Day --

“The call to change began as most transformations do;
a subtle form with no discernible texture,
a microscopic breeze that signals a change in wind direction,
a little voice speaking in tongues – that we either trust
without knowing why, or ignore at our own peril.”

~ Jeff Brown, author of: Soul Shaping


-- Green Building --

Green building is catching on and since today’s construction standards has buildings life cycle lasting 100 years – the need to build more efficiently just makes sense. This is why such programs as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) exist. The public sector is very much aware of the benefits of owning a green home and real estate reflects this trend with a 9% increase in estate values.

Some options that are really neat for people to consider are Solar Hot Water systems which can provide, according to Michael Jessen’s article “Global Warming Doing the Right Thing”, 30% of a home’s hot water needs. Geothermal heating... this heating system can reduce energy heating costs by 65%.

A friend of my husband's - John Vere - sent these resources to us regarding some green alternatives for home-owners to consider:

http://www.affordablewarmth.ca/incentives_lowincome

http://www.solargift.ca

http://www.solarbc.ca

(Thank you, John!)

Our province – BC (Canada) – has set a goal of a 33% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and achieving electricity self-sufficiency by 2016.

This is going to be a big challenge for us all to face – for each of us will play a role in reaching this goal.


-- Conscious Discussions Talk Radio --

Today's Positive Eco-News episode offers information on electronic waste; I'll discuss vehicle tires, composting (yes - my favorite topic!) and I'll offer numerous resources as well. Have your pen handy - and drop by anytime to hear today's broadcast. Airs live at 10-11 AM (Pacific) & will be archived for anyone to access anytime of the day for years to come :)

Ah, the beauty of online radio! All you need is an Internet connection to find Conscious Discussions radio - or access to Itunes ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id262138144 ) to download, or listen to any episode that appeals to you. :)

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca


Monday, April 19, 2010

Plastic Bottles & Hopeful Future

-- Quote of the Day --

Mankind has a genius for survival, often only manifested at the eleventh hour.
Now is the time when we must act together to avoid the catastrophe of climate change.
Saving the rain forests will be an essential first step.
Deforestation is one of the largest contributors to climate change.
Rain forests provide countless services to humanity, often unnoticed
.”

~ The Prince of Wales


-- Bottled Water --


There are numerous environmental concerns with bottled water: the production and consumption of bottled water consumes energy, pollutes the environment, and contributes to global warming. Producing the plastic bottles uses energy and emits toxic chemicals, environmental implications of bottled water. Transporting the bottled water across hundreds or thousands of miles spews carbon dioxide into the air, complicating our efforts to combat global climate change. And in the end, empty bottles are piling up in landfills.

* Source for statistics below: TakeBackTheTap.org

• Worldwide bottling of water uses about 2.7 million tons of plastic each year.

• In the US approximately 86 % of used plastic water bottles end up in the garbage, instead of the recycling bin (about 2 million tons of PET plastic, annually)

• Plastic bottles of all types and sizes are often incinerated, due to their high BTU content, which releases toxic byproducts - such as chlorine gas and ash that is laden with heavy metals.

• Manufacturing the 28.6 billion PET water bottles in the United States requires the equivalent of 17.6 million barrels of oil.

• Bottled water costs hundreds or thousands of times more than tap water.

• Manufacturing the 28.6 billion PET water bottles in the United States takes the equivalent of 17.6 million barrels of oil - enough to fuel more than one million cars.


Alternatives include installing a water purification system in your home and office coffee room areas for drinking purposes only. These come with a special tap that helps people remember to use that water for beverages only... not for hand washing or other purposes, since the city water is still available. Encourage employees to bring a reusable glass and coffee cup of their own - they can keep it in their desk to avoid others using it, if that is a concern. Or the business can provide reusable drink holders for the office use.

We have purchased several reusable drink bottles that are refilled and taken with us everywhere we go. This helps us avoid purchasing calorie laden beverages, wasting away our budget and creating more waste. At the same time, we know the water we are drinking is from a safe source (not all "spring water" is tested appropriately) and that it is being held in a safe container (some plastics will leach into water). Plastics numbering 2, 4 and 5 are said to be healthier than others.

For more information about plastics and other toxins in everyday products, check out the following interview: Toxins in Every-day Products, with Teresa Holler


-- Authors Read Radio --

Irene Latham is our guest of the day on the Authors Read radio program. She is a poet and novelist focusing on heart-touching tales of unexpected adventure. Her debut mid-grade historical novel Leaving Gee’s Bend is set in Alabama during the Great Depression


Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Celebrations & Coffee Cups

-- Quote of the Day --

In 2005, Americans used and discarded 14.4 billion disposable paper cups for hot beverages. If put end-to-end, those cups would circle the earth 55 times. Based on anticipated growth of specialty coffees, that number will grow to 23 billion by 2010—enough to circle the globe 88 times. Based on hot cup usage in 2005, the petrochemicals used in the manufacture of those cups could have heated 8,300 homes for one year.”

http://www.metaefficient.com/bioplastics/innovation-biodegradeable-coffee-cups.html

-- Conscious Celebrations --

April is an incredibly busy, and exciting month - so many proactive actions happening across the globe...

We've done our best so far to celebrate activities and celebrations for April; Poetry Month, Library Month, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, Prevention of Child Abuse Month, Autism Awareness Month... and we'll continue to offer great tips, interviews and resources for these celebrations all month long on our blog & the Conscious Discussions radio show.

Annually, during the 4th week of April, communities across Canada participate in – Pitch In Week. Millions of Canadians join in more than 22,000 recorded proactive projects with other volunteers, greening the planet in a myriad of ways. http://www.pitch-in.ca

Prevention of Violence Against Women Week is happening this week as well... you can find lots of information online about activities happening in your area, but some general resources for finding out more about this awareness holiday:
www.wavaw.ca
www.endingviolence.org
www.vawprevention.org


-- Coffee Cups --

Did you know that there are nearly 1.2 Million paper coffee cups thrown out in the city of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) every single day? Can you imagine a pile of a million cups on your lawn every single morning? That is a lot of cups - and that is only ONE city on this planet. Times that by a few million and you'll have a better idea as to how one single, seemingly small disposable item can become a problem. In fact, ANYTHING disposable is a problem... But I digress...

The cost of these conveniences on our cities is three-fold. First - cities are noticing that the cleanup costs from people leaving cups at bus stops, along streets, throw them out the car, leave them in parking lots... or blown out of the back of truck beds - is huge. Larger cities can spend as much as $50,000 annually on the clean up aspects alone. Secondly, the items are sent to the landfill - since they are not usually accepted in the recycling system - and in the landfill they take up valuable space... and landfills are filling up fast! Third - the cost organics in the landfill is rarely addressed. Coffee cups break down like all organics in the landfill... which is anaerobically. This means the organics are breaking down without oxygen where their gas and liquid leachates combine with other liquids and gasses in the landfill, creating a toxic soup. This "soup" leaks into waterways, seeps into the land and air... causing all kinds of pollution issues. Methane gas, which is one of the gasses released by organics in the landfill, is extremely damaging to the planet.

So what can be done? Well, I'm sure that we all have seen a couple of things happening in the coffee suppler's shops... Personally I've seen coffee cups go from polystyrene foam (a.k.a. Styrofoam) to paper cups that will break down over time, despite being waxed. I've also seen suppliers offering reusable options for the consumer right beside the till or somewhere near the coffee dispenser. These are excellent steps in the right direction, that is for sure. But we can go much farther with this issue.

Some cities are putting out bans on plastic lids associated with to-go drink containers, others are putting fines or taxes out for the use of disposable food contianers, and incentives for those who choose alternatives. Other cities, that have organic recycling systems available (composting facilitites), are offering pick up options for businesses, cafes and individuals. There are issues in the composting process of these cups however since many of them actually have a plastic liner, and the separation of this item can be difficult. However biodegradable options are available for us to consider.



Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca

Saturday, April 17, 2010


-- Writer Interview! --


Today we speak with: James C. Wallace II, originally a native of West Virginia, with his wife Amanda, their 5 children and 12 grandchildren, now serve as the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma, Sovereign Ruler of Oz and endeavor to fulfill her royal command to tell the tale of her newest Royal Magician to the children of the Great Outside. Obviously the joy of storytelling is a passion in their life. James is here to give some insight into the world of writing; to find out more about him go to:

http://magicianofoz.blogspot.com


Q. Tell us something about yourself.

A. I am, above all else, a parent and grandparent. This defines my world and it is from that definition that I embrace a number of other disciplines. These include being an Educator and Advocate for Youth Literacy. In addition, I am an Astronomer, as well as a Magician. I took up Astronomy and Magic in 1970 and have continued a life-long love of these subjects ever since. Education and Youth Literacy are more recent additions to my resume, having taken up these causes during the mid-80’s.

Q. What is the name of your current book?

A. I am currently promoting the second volume of my three volume, Trilogy series. It is known as Royal Magician of OzShadow Demon of Oz and follows Magician of Oz, which was released last summer. Shadow Demon of Oz will be available by May 1st, 2010 and will be a major part of my appearance at Oz-stravaganza 2010 in Chittenango, NY; the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1899) and 13 other Oz books. Family of Oz, the conclusion of the series, will make its appearance next year.

Q. What are common mistakes authors make?

A. I can only speak from my perspective but… I believe the most common mistake authors make are allowing others to dictate what you write, how you write it and how you promote it to others. So often, we permit someone outside our realm to give superfluous advice that, at the time would seem to make sense, but in reality does nothing but impair our productivity. As an example, I allowed others to convince me that Twitter was the do-all, magic bullet that would propel my work into stardom. In fact, I have found Twitter to be a colossal waste of time, taking away from other, more productive avenues of marketing and promotion. Others will disagree but my perspective is mine alone.

Q. What are your greatest obstacles and motivators when it comes to writing?

A. I have found my greatest obstacle to be the rotational period of the earth. 24 hours in a day is just not enough time to accomplish all the projects I am currently involved in. Time is the enemy and it is Time that dictates all. As for motivations, my children and grandchildren are my greatest motivator. I also find motivation in the faces of inner city children I have worked with who cannot read. When a 6th grader tells you they can’t read the sentence in front of them and you ask why they never learned, they’re answer is often times stunning. One child told me, “Ain’t nothing worth reading!” From that moment on, I have endeavored to provide children “something worth reading!” I hope I have accomplished that goal.

Q. What is your favorite memory in your career as a writer?

A. For me, writing has been a lifelong pursuit, although I have primarily written in the science/tech/education fields. My favorite memory as a writer would date back about 13 years as I recall my completion of the planetarium show script for Garfield: A Cat For All Seasons. It was my first test out of college as Planetarium Educator for SpaceQuest Planetarium at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. I was given the unfinished script for a script with Winnie-the-PoohGarfield hints here and there written by my predecessor, Lisa Harmon. She had recently passed away and I inherited this project, with a major change. Taking that work through writing, studio work and all related production onto the dome; working with some of the most brilliant people I could ever hope to work with; was a most rewarding experience and the beginning of many more such experiences.

Q. What do you think about self-publishing?

A. I am a true believer and prime example of the power of self-publishing. It is said that as a result of this new publishing model, there are now countless bad stories out there and they now can come to light. Among that throng are occasional good stories, of which I believe I have accomplished one. It also permits me the honor and pleasure of contributing to the Wonderful World of Oz, which is both vast and unique. I believe that within 5 years, self-publishing will become the dominant player in publishing, if anything I’ve seen at BEA is an indication.



Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Updates & News :)

-- Quote of the Day --

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare,
it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."


~ Seneca


-- Chatter --

The Brummet's Muse newsletter goes out this morning - sign up via the widget on the top right on this site if you'd like to receive a copy. This newsletter goes out every 2 weeks via email.

Our Canadian Authors MySpace Blog was just updated: http://blog.myspace.com/canadianauthor

-- Conscious Living Events --


April 16-17
China International Recycling Conference & Exhibition.
New Century Grand Hotel - Hang Zhou, (China)
Info: www.chinairc.org


April 19- 25
Bauma 2010
Munich, Germany; New Munich Trade
Info: www.bauma.de/en


-- Steel Recycling --

Steel recycling rates have made the industry very eco-friendly with between 28 and 90 percent recycled content in today’s manufactured steel products. Steel holds the record for the highest recycling rate of all materials currently accepted in recycling waste management systems across the globe.

On top of this the industry has reduced energy consumption by 33% since 1990 and a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas production – very green indeed !



-- Stand for Less --

Jim from the Stand For Less organization would like to invite you to share what you do with everyone else. What do you do to make a difference, reduce consumerism? Do you do anything to live sustainably?

When you post your eco-tips you will be entered into a draw:
http://standforless .com/metro

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Literacy


-- Quote of the Day --

"If you're going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write.
Do not wait for an idea.
Start writing something and the ideas will come.
You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow
."

~ Louis L'Amour



-- Taking Literacy for Granted --

Today's post comes from Fiona Ingram who is here to share her thoughts on childhood literacy, a passion of hers. Fiona’s earliest story-telling talents came to the fore when, from the age of ten, she entertained her three younger brothers and their friends with serialized tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, which they survived through courage and ingenuity. After 15 years in the field of journalism, Fiona has released a children’s adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone – the first installment of this series has already been released and the second is on the way. Find Fiona at: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

I love this piece Fiona wrote for us today on childhood literacy - and I invite our readers to comment on her article, share your experiences and literacy resources. :)

...

Some background to this post: I grew up in a house filled with books and took literacy and reading for granted. It's only when I became a children's author and adopted an underprivileged African child, still basically illiterate at age eleven, did I realize just how important early habits of reading are in creating an empowered, literate child. My daughter is now scoring high marks in school. We achieved this together by my reading aloud to her, and teaching her the love of books and reading. Now I can't get her away from books (especially the Twilight series) - isn't that wonderful?

Why Reading With Your Kids Is So Important

I recently found a great review by Jen Robinson of Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook. This is a marvelous book that should be mandatory reading for all new parents. Kids spend more time out of school (7800 hours per year) than in school (900 hours per year) so it’s illogical to place the burden of creating a love of reading in kids on the teachers’ shoulders. That role should begin with the parents.

In Jen Robinson’s assessment of the book, she has this to say, “Among the many reasons to read aloud to kids, one of the most important is that it helps them to associate reading with pleasure. Human beings are by nature pleasure-centered—we will voluntarily do things repeatedly if we get pleasure from them. And because reading is an accrued skill, spending repeated time reading is what enables us to get good at it.

Any parent keen to see their child excel in school and indeed in life should heed Jim Trelease’s words: "Reading is the ultimate weapon, destroying ignorance, poverty, and despair before they can destroy us. A nation that doesn't read much doesn't know much. And a nation that doesn't know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth. And those decisions ultimately affect an entire nation—the literate and the illiterate." (Page xxvi)

Books should be in every household, and reading an entrenched part of family life. Parents can get their kids started while young, showing them just how much fun books can be, and just how much fantastic information is contained in books. But even more importantly, reading with your child will have the most beneficial emotional effects. Kids love doing things with their parents and reading, discovering an exciting story, waiting in anticipation to hear what will happen to the hero/es, is better shared in an atmosphere of loving familial warmth. Parents can assess their child’s emotional, mental, and spiritual development, and help them learn about life, (and sometimes death), decisions, and choices that will determine who they are in life and build their future. Children learn their moral and ethical guidelines early in life. Be there when they do!

Find Fiona at: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com
-

Check out these archived Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show interviews with specialists in the world of literacy:

WriteOn Literacy Foundation (Jan 12/'10)
Literacy Bridge Org. (Feb 24/'09)
Literacy Org.s Why They Exist (Dec 11/'07)
Author Speaking on Literacy (Nov 29/'07)
In-Print Literacy Org (Nov 5/'07)

upcoming... May 20: Ina Hillebrandt - Topic: Literacy for Youth

*Feel free to comment on these interviews while listening, and to "tweet" or "facebook" to your friends :)

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poetry :)

-- Quote of the Day --

"A word is not the same with one writer as with another.
One tears it from his guts.
The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket."

~ Charles Peguy

* Keep dropping by to find writer interviews and special guest posts throughout April & May! Check out the 5 writer interviews we've posted on our blog so far by scrolling down and browsing previous posts.


-- Conscious Discussions --

In honor of Poetry Month (April, 2010) we decided to set up a special day for poetry readings today (April 13): www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions

*Today's episode will be archived for anyone who would like to access it at their convenience. Simply click on the URL above to find the radio program and all our archived episodes.

Here's one of the poems I'll be reading today:

True Knowledge
*Excerpted from the book Towards Understanding. by Lillian Brummet:


Each of us is motivated either by intuition of self-servance.
Dented and buffered by our distinct memories,
Which are shaped by our context of experience,
We struggle to find understanding in a structured society.
Who says structure has anything to do with reason?
Society is really based on what we do not know…
Yet we generously share knowledge internationally.
So – understanding little we grope for leaders, heroes…
When what we need are active citizens.
Un-stifled imagination – it is the tool of certainty.
One era’s ethics only corrupt future generations.
Nonconformity is an insult, a sign of disloyalty to society…
But does true knowledge belong only to scholars?
True understanding comes not from a degree;
Not from stretching our small mouths to fit
A vocabulary we are meant to recite.
We are the heroes that we seek. You and I.
What are you doing in you life? That is where it lies.
Does this mean money? I think not.
Does it mean good deeds? Maybe.
I believe it lies in understanding …
And accepting – before judging or acting.
It lies in the heart – in the mind;
Settled in self and matter around us.
A society of followers, of conformists, of memorizers and repeaters.
Why repeat what has been done before?
Be a hero.
Act today.
Create.

(©2002 – published in Towards Understanding, page 149.)


-- Blog Interview With Lillian --

Please check out this fun interview I took part in at: http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/2010/04/interview-with-author-lillian-brummet.html

Feel free to post comments there on this blog and check out Lisa's other posts - this is a really interesting blog for those interested in the world of writing.


Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca