Thursday, April 8, 2021

Writing A Biography or Autobiography


Have you considered writing a biography of your parents, grandparents, or your own life story? Whether you’re writing a story about a loved one or your own autobiography, you want to make the story intriguing for your readers. But it seems overwhelming to you. Right?


If you have an interesting character to write about, an inspiring story to tell, and an intriguing incident to describe… perhaps writing their experiences as short stories would be easier for you. Each chapter could be a short story. Creating a short story for each chapter might be easier than beginning at birth and listing one thing after another chronologically.


Beginning your story can be difficult. Sometimes starting with a bit of humor can grab the attention of your reader. Here is an example from my father’s biography that I wrote.


“I can make my cat eat a pickle,” said Marcus with a grin, his bright blue eyes shining with mischief.

“Eat a pickle? I bet you can’t. Prove it,” replied his friend.

Marcus related this story to me one day, of how his cat had eaten a pickle. His statement had made the exact reaction that he had wanted. What person wouldn’t be interested in seeing a cat eat a pickle?


Now I’ve got the attention of my reader. How is Marcus going to make his cat eat a pickle? Next… how do you organize your story to make it interesting? First thing to do is divide it into four sections.

1. The hook: Introduce your character. Tell some interesting things about him and what he was like… something to grab the interest of your reader.


2. Develop your Character: Invite your reader to be part of the story, by adding description. What does he look like? What were his hobbies?


3. Construct Events: You need events that lead up to the plot of the story. It sets the stage for what you’re about to tell your reader.


4. Present the Theme of the Story: The character should be faced with a decision to make or a problem to solve. This is the plot of the story.


Remember! Write your story in narrative style rather than just adding facts. Keep it interesting. Add description. Here is an example.


Marcus was asked to bury the skunks his father had shot. Before burying them, he would drain their scent into a bottle first. When he took the skunk oil to school with him to show his friends, he accidentally dropped it and it splattered all over the floor. It smelled so bad that the teacher excused school for the rest of the day. His friends considered him a hero because he had gotten everyone out of school.


Now… taking these facts, I narrated this story and added description. This is how it turned out.


When Marcus was thirteen, one day he closed down the school. It wasn’t on purpose, but his friends thought he was a hero. Marcus was asked to bury the skunks that his father had shot. Before he buried these skunks, he went to his bedroom and got his glass jar. Then he drained their scent glands and screwed on the lid nice and tight.


The following day, he took the “skunk oil” to school with him to show his classmates. Marcus was so excited as he explained what he had done. His friends were listening and a few girls were peeking over his shoulder. They had never seen “skunk oil” before. With all the excitement and attention he was receiving, he felt the bottle slip from his hands and land on the floor of the schoolroom.


The bottle broke into a million pieces and skunk oil splattered everywhere. It landed on the pant legs of his friends, the skirts of young girls standing nearby, and on his own shoes. As the oil saturated the wooden floor, the children moaned as the room filled with the most putrid, foul, disgusting, detestable odor anyone had ever breathed in. 


The children instantly held their noses with their fingers and turned and ran out the door, stumbling over one another as they ran. Marcus was close behind. And so was the teacher! She excused school for the rest of the day and Marcus did not get into trouble. He figured the children were so excited to get out of school that no one told on him.


Did you feel as if you were there, a part of this story, with the narrative style rather than just the facts? While editing your story, watch for repetition. Snip clarifying details. The reader is smart, so you don't need to re-emphasize a point. Even though it's said differently, it's still repetitive. Lastly, don’t forget to add photos. Pictures help to bring a story to life.


Don't forget to write your own story. I am now 70 years of age and decided it was time to write my autobiography for my children. I gave it to them for Christmas. This is the cover my husband made for me. I like it. Now it's your turn!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

From One Small Garden

Lillian and her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list. After moving to their dream location (in the Kootenay Region of BC, Canada), they have been methodically converting the abused lot over to the little park it has become – and in doing so have gained certification with bee, pollinator and wildlife organizations. Their home, too, has become energy efficient via the many upgrades they have done. Their business includes Dave’s music studio and percussion accessory products and graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books and popular blogs. Today we help them celebrate their latest book release - From One Small Garden, with over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes!


Dehydrating Garden Harvests


Owning a small dehydrator can avert a great deal of kitchen food waste, and you’ll never have to pass up people offering you their garden extras again. Also, leftovers from meals can be easily dehydrated and used later for on-the-go situations like backpacking or snowshoeing.


After dehydrating any vegetable, use a blender, or grinder, to create a fine powder, and store in separate jars. Every year we dehydrate at least one jar each of chopped sweet peppers, hot peppers and ripe tomatoes. If any recipe calls for chopped chilies or peppers, fresh or 'sun-dried' tomatoes, we can easily substitute with a dried version. We also have a jar of mixed vegetable powder; using a few teaspoons of this mixture in homemade stocks for more flavour or to help thicken and enrich stews and soups. Simply reconstitute powders by covering in a little boiled water for a few minutes. (Reserving any excess water to use as stock.)


Adding tomato powder to hamburger patties or meatballs makes for an entirely different, delicious experience. It also works as a fantastic thickener for salsas or tomato sauces that are a little too watery. Also, in a pinch, 1/4 cup of reconstitute tomato powder can be used in place of a small can of tomato paste.


Try rehydrating a few tablespoons of dry product with a small amount of water, making a paste to rub onto chicken breasts or roasts before cooking. Alternatively, add a little to store bought chicken coating mixes. In our latest release, a recipe collection of over 300 delicious, nutritious meals (From One Small Garden) we have a great recipe for making your own mix.


So, next time you see a great sale during peak harvest season, or a neighbor threatens to give you another box of vegetables, bring out the dehydrator and get it going!



Available at AMAZON USA


Amazon Author Page:

Brummet's Website:



The Secret of Writing a Biography


Have you considered writing a biography of your parents, grandparents, or your own life story? Whether you’re writing a story about a loved one or your own autobiography, you want to make the story intriguing for your readers. But it seems overwhelming to you. Right?


If you have an interesting character to write about, an inspiring story to tell, and an intriguing incident to describe… perhaps writing their experiences as short stories would be easier for you. Each chapter could be a short story. Creating a short story for each chapter might be easier than beginning at birth and listing one thing after another chronologically. I have a few tips to help you. Visit my WordPress Author Blog to read the whole article and learn more.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Beloved of the Bridegroom: Mary Magdalene

EBook Giveaway: Feb 15 – 22. Leave a comment and your email below, so an eBook can be sent to you as a gift.


Jewel Adams is a wife, the mother of eight children, and a grandmother. She has been writing inspirational romance for over twenty years and has over forty published works. She is an inspirational and motivational speaker to both youth and adult audiences. 


Always one to share a message of God’s love through her stories, Jewel is a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loves the Lord with all her heart and has experienced many blessings and miracles in her life because of that love, and she is secure in the knowledge of God’s love for her and all men. In her spare time, you can find Jewel curled up with a good book and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs. She and her family reside in Utah. 


Mary Magdalene: You think you know me. You may think you know my story. But you don’t. There have been many things said about me, about my life–things that have been taught and touted as truth, lies that have been received and then retaught as fact. It is a human weakness to accept writings of antiquity with assured certainty, never questioning the validity of said writings. As a result, the tangled web that is woven ensnares the mind and heart, leaving no room for question. Nor room for God’s answers.


To the world, my life is a mystery–a fabricated one, but a mystery, nonetheless. Only a precious enlightened few know my heart. And only they possess the gift of discernment to know what is real. As for the rest, allow me to humbly set the record straight. Some hearts may not be open to my words. But no matter. Hidden truths will always be brought to light. And my story has been suppressed long enough.


"Mary Magdalene: Beloved of the Bridegroom is a sweet novella that follows a possible life path of one of the bravest heroines of the Bible. Mary Magdalene is heroic and courageous, learning and growing through the course of this tender love story." ~Loralee Evans, author


This is not the only book that Jewel Adams has written about a noble female character from the Bible. After much research, she wrote a book called: Women of Wisdom: Courage and Virtue. This book is about the lives of four women whom she admired: Eve, Ruth, Esther, and Mary... the mother of the Savior. 


When asked why she wrote this book, Jewel said, “These four holy women have greatly influenced my own life, and thoughts of their examples touch me so much, I can hardly find the words to express my feelings. Each of them owns a special place in my heart, and I don’t even know where to begin to share it. This small booklet contains personal, spiritual thoughts about four righteous women in the Bible…why I love them, and how they touched my life.


Jewel has many fans. One of her readers wrote: “Please never cease to bless us with your amazing stories, full of true love and wisdom." - Janel, a fan


Check out Jewel Adam’s Website.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Southern Jargon in a Southern Romance


An Ebook Giveaway! Make a comment and leave your email so the author can get in touch with you.

Robin Young has worked for one of the largest audit and assurance firms in Ohio for thirty years. Her career has left little time for relationships. After receiving an urgent call from her sister’s neighbor, she hurries to the small southern town of Fairhope, Alabama. The ambiance of Alabama has Robin contemplating life and meeting Tucker Ray, the quintessential “good ole boy” of the south, adds to the charm. Her stay in Fairhope uncovers a secret, and a chance for love, but the Buckeye state is where she belongs. Can Robin accept change and unravel matters of the heart?


Southern Jargon


As a lifetime southern gal, I enjoyed introducing Robin to a little bit of the south. Tucker (her love interest) and her new friend, Edith, uses some good old ‘southern slang’ in their vocabulary. Robin, being from Ohio, had a bit of difficulty with this language. To quote her friend, Edith, “Not everyone speaks with slang, but all southerners know the sayings. We hear it from our parents or grandparents.”

No matter where you’re from, slang can be humorous. Let’s enjoy some of the common jargon of the South.


In many places, people use a shopping/grocery cart at the store, but in the south it’s a buggy.

Any dark carbonated drink is a coke, not a soft drink or pop.

I’m fixin’ to, simply means I’m going to do something.

Where I’m from it’s okay to throw in the towel. That means we’re giving up!

If you’re as slow as molasses, then you’re very slow.

You’re preachin’ to the choir when you say something that is obvious to the listener.

Y’all. Yes, that’s you all!

Southern guys use the word buck to mean deer, not a dollar bill.

Anything unattractive must have got hit with an ugly stick.

When someone in the south can’t do a task anymore, it’s… they used to could.

We’re not craving food in the south. We’re hankering for it.

People don’t get mad as hell. It’s mad as all get out.

If you’re having trouble calming down, you’ll hold your horns, now.

When we get upset in the south, we throw a hissy fit or pitch a fit.

Children in the south are our young’uns.

After a long day’s work, you’ll either be tuckered out or wore slap out.

There are no snobby people in the southern states. All those folks are uppity.

 If you’re from my town, you’ll never assume anything, but you’ll reckon so.

In the south, being as happy as a frog in a pond full of Lillie pads means you’re excited about something.


The last one I want to mention is “Bless your heart.” This phrase has different meanings. It all depends on the tone of the person’s voice and their facial expression. Sound complicated? It’s really not.


If a southern gal thinks you’re pitiful and you do realize it, then she’ll say, “Bless your heart!”

If you don’t understand what we’re telling you, then… bless your heart.

We also say, “Bless your heart” to mean, I’m hurting for you and wish I could help.

Bless your heart works well for “I forgive you.”


 I guess you can say I’m GRITS (Girl Raised In The South) and proud of it. We care for each other, call others honey as a term of endearment and like to hug. These are only a few of the many slang sayings throughout our southern states.


Thank you for highlighting my latest release on your wonderful blog, Linda. Most romance novels are centered on age 20-something characters, but my publisher (Winged Publications) gave me the go-ahead to create a series based on characters in their autumn years. Since, I’m entering the later years, Southern Joy, Book 1, was exciting to write.


Southern Joy- book 1- is available on Amazon.


Mary L. Ball is a multi-published Christian author. She resides in North Carolina and enjoys fishing, reading, and ministering in song with her husband. Her books are about small-town romance, suspense, and mystery, influenced by the grace of Jesus Christ. 




Readers can connect with her.


Monday, September 14, 2020

A Children's Book Illustrated by the Reader!

About Brooke Sanchez
: Brooke Sanchez was born and raised in southern Utah. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Utah Valley University, majoring in Integrated Studies with emphases in English and Business Management. Brooke is a wife and mother to four children, who inspired her to write a children's book. Reading, napping, writing, The Beatles, binge watching TV series, and artificial intelligence are just some of Brooke's passions. Foogle and Me is Brooke’s first published book.


A new concept for children’s books: Brooke created the novel concept to allow readers to illustrate a book. Children are naturally inclined to draw. Illustrated by Me was created to allow children to stretch their creative minds to accomplish illustrating a book and taking part ownership in its completion.


About Foogle and Me: Foogle is a kind robot who is best friends with Me, the reader. As they play, their friendship seems to irritate Next Neighbor. Foogle and Me choose an act of kindness in response to Next Neighbor’s mumbles and grumbles.


Take a look at a page from my book, illustrated by four year old Winnie: 


*Illustration drawn on a red piece of construction paper (separate from book) and inserted in the page with photo corners (also separate from the book)*



In an unprecedented time of seclusion due to efforts to heal our pandemic-stricken world, find joy in exercising your creative talents by illustrating.


Thank you, Brooke, for visiting my blog. I read your book and believe it will help children to be more creative. 


You can buy Foogle and Me by Brooke Sanchez at Amazon.



Friday, September 11, 2020

THE DATING ITINERARY: Contemporary Comedy Romance

Book Giveaway and an Amazon gift card of $15


As if it wasn’t bad enough to be deemed the “most single person” at her magazine’s office, budding reporter Penny has now been tapped to write a series of features called “The Dating Game.” From speed dating to Tinder, old-fashioned matchmakers to up-and-coming “dark dating,” Penny now has to go on a lot of dates. Silver lining: meeting new people should be fun, right? But running into her old rival, George, at her first dating event is decidedly not. Not only does the arrogant know-it-all have zero trouble attracting women, wherever Penny goes, somehow he just. Keeps. Showing. Up.


Geo knows he’s right on the cusp of writing success with the chance to have his own syndicated column. All he has to do is follow his agent’s ideas for showcasing different dating avenues, and he’ll pull in enough to help his sister’s non-profit women’s shelter get off the ground. Sure, his itinerary is starting to look strangely similar to his old rival Penny’s, but all’s fair in love and syndication, right?


The more they look for love in all the wrong places, though, the more they start to wonder if it was right in front of their noses all along. Still, the brutal dating scene just might end them, if these two don’t kill each other first.



Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer turned stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. Brooke finds that creating fictional characters and placing them in odd situations is a bright spot in any day and so she continues to do so with fervor. She has been married to her husband, Sean, since 2002 and they have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie. Brooke’s books include: Someone Always Loved You, Wrong Place Right Time, Accept this Dandelion, Dandelions on the Road, Mamarazzi, and Shower in the Rain, among others.


The Giveaway is for an Ebook of Accept This Dandelion and for a $15 gift card.


Author Website:


Amazon Author Page:

The Dating Itinerary on Amazon:


Friday, September 4, 2020

Jo Huddleston, Author of Sweet Southern Romances

EBook Giveaway: Sept 4 – 11: Anyone who comments will have a chance of winning Her Christmas Dream. A drawing will take place on the morning of the 12th.


Bio: Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author who writes novels inspired by her fascination with the 1950s and her love of her native American South. Novels in her endearing Caney Creek series, her West Virginia Mountains series, as well as her stand-alone release, Tidewater Summer, are sweet Southern historical romance novels. Visit Jo at her website (, where you can sign up for her mailing list and read for free the first chapters of her novels and novellas.


Blurb: A Christmas romance sprinkled with suspense!

In this sweet romance set in north Georgia, all Marilyn dreams of for Christmas is a relationship with someone who cares for her. Someone who really knows her. A stranger volunteers at the rescue shelter where Marilyn and her best friend George volunteer. George has concerns about Marilyn’s safety if she dates the stranger. When George becomes overprotective of her, will Marilyn choose the bad-boy-stranger or her best friend to spend Christmas with this year?


Read this 20th-century story to find out which one Marilyn chooses.


A Fun Character Interview:

I’m here at the Promise Rescue Shelter in White Pines, Georgia, for an interview with the shelter’s director, Miss Mabel Malcolm. I’m to meet her in her office.


JH: Good morning, Miss Malcolm. Is it convenient for us to talk now?


MM: Yes, of course. Please come in, have a seat.


JH: Thank you. How long have you been the director of this shelter?


MM: For ten years now. Before that, I was first a volunteer here as a teenager, then an hourly employee in my twenties.


JH: So, you grew up here in White Pines?


MM: Yes, I did.


JH: You must be doing an excellent job. As I walked through the front living area, several people there seemed content.


MM: Yes, we offer those without stable living conditions a place where they can feel secure and comfortable to spend a few hours each day. Of course, the meals we serve bring in the most numbers. Our local merchants support the shelter by donating clothing and shoes for our clothes closet, and they generously give to our budget.


JH: You mentioned you were a volunteer initially. Do you have volunteers now, or are all the folks working here on the payroll?


MM: We still have volunteer help who spend time here dictated by their schedules. We need volunteers for mealtimes, and also for giving our patrons attention as required.


JH: How many volunteers work here?


MM: At the moment, we have three volunteers—two who have helped us for many years, and one who just started and probably won’t stay here long.


JH: Does that last one you mentioned find the work undesirable? Is that why you think that person won’t be here long?


MM: Well, yes, and no. The young man does find the work here undesirable. He has a bad attitude, thinking the work here is beneath him…I just think he won’t be here long.


JH: You hesitated. Is there some other reason he’s not fitted for working here?


MM: I’m not at liberty to discuss that person any further.


JH: Very well. Then, can you please tell me a little about the other two volunteers you mentioned? What do they do? How many hours do they give to the shelter?


MM: The other two are Marilyn and George. They also grew up in White Pines and are delightful to have around. They show love for our clientele, who love George and Marilyn in return.


JH: Sounds like they’re cut out for this kind of work.


MM: Yes, they are. Their personalities lean toward helping others. They’re compassionate and patient toward those less fortunate than themselves. They both have careers, but they’re here all day every Saturday and usually a few hours after church on Sundays. I’m thankful for the help from both of them. I’d like for you to meet them but, unfortunately, it’s not the weekend and they’re not here.


JH: How old are these two volunteers?


MM: They’re both thirty years old, neither married. Like I said, they both grew up here, went to school together, even went off to Athens for college at the same place. The whole town expected them to marry each other by now, but they’re simply best friends.


JH: Interesting. But your brow creased there for a second. Do you have a concern for those two?


MM: Well, maybe off the record?


JH: Of course.


MM. The third volunteer we have—I think he’s a fly in the ointment. I’m afraid he’s worming his way between Marilyn and George. He’s flirting a lot with Marilyn. George is aware of this, and he doesn’t trust the new guy. He’s tried to warn Marilyn about dating him because we know so little about him, but she’s not listening. I think she’s flattered that someone as handsome as this new guy is interested in her. George and I try to watch out for Marilyn, but so far, she’s ignoring our advice.


JH: I can see where that is a concern.


MM: Christmas is almost here, and I’m afraid tensions may mount and spoil everybody’s holiday. But all I can do is stand by and watch and pray for all of them.


JH: Thank you, Miss Malcolm, for talking with me. I hope your fears about your volunteers don’t become a reality, and you have a very Merry Christmas.


MM: Merry Christmas to you as well.


Jo Huddleston’s Links:

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