Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. In my early youth, poetry was how I dealt with emotions too powerful to voice in any other way. Short stories helped me explore human frailties and express compassion for others. As an adult, non-fiction freelance writing introduced me to the idea that I could make a difference in the world. Over time, experience and confidence grew and the popular biweekly column I wrote, Trash Talk (reduce / reuse / repurpose, etc), was published internationally and then evolved into our first book. Today, we have 6 published books, with a 7th on the way.
I’d like to walk you through the events in my life that lead to a career in writing that enabled me to have a positive impact in this world.
I grew up in an abusive unstable home life until I was nearly 14… moving more than 13 times before I was 8 years old – when we emigrated to Canada from California/Nevada (US). My mother married 4 times in her life; I was abused by 2 of our 3 step-dads and was on my own at the tender age of 13.5. I survived by taking on enough part-time labour-intensive jobs to pay for my rent, food for myself and other runaways or street kids that stayed with me periodically. I had no furniture, just a bean bag and a coffee table until a friend leant me her bedroom set while she was out of town.
While I tried to stay in public school at first, home pressures and feeling different from school aged peers ended that for me. I went back to school temporarily at the age of 16 when I was discovered living on my own and was put in a foster home for a year. At 17 I was legally able to live on my own and at 19 I went up to the arctic circle in Northern Canada to pursue an apprenticeship in drywall mudding, and ended up leaving there in a hurry after just 7 months.
Upon returning to BC I took correspondence schooling while studying hospitality management in college, followed by a few business management courses. I started a business that ran successfully for 6 years before a car accident put me in physiotherapy full time (5 days a week, 3 hours per day) for a year an a half, and left me with chronic pain and spasm issues. It was at this time (1999) that I started feeling like life was not worth living, I returned to suicidal thoughts and needed to find a way to give my life meaning, to bring purpose and to feel like I was making some sort of positive contribution. Personality assessments via employment service offices and college programs lead revealed that writing kept popping up – and upon taking a course (the first of many courses), I saw how I could use this craft to contribute to a more sustainable world.
My biological mother and I started tentatively working on a relationship and we became fairly good friends in the end. Sadly she was later diagnosed with a chronic illness – and 2 days after xmas, four days after her birthday (December 27, 2010) she committed suicide along with her husband. I was entrusted with handling their estate and several years later we also did caregiving and estate and funeral services for Dave’s late-father.
All of these life experiences influenced Dave and my need to change our lives, to reach for our dreams now and not wait for tomorrow.
My husband – Dave – (30 years together, so far) and I sold everything and moved to our dream location (Kootenay region of BC, Canada) in October 2010. Here we relaunched our business under a new name with new services, totally new website and blog, and revised editions of our books.
While we no longer host or manage the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio (aired 3 x week for 6 years) the archives are still available via our website. We maintain our popular blog and continue to develop the business. We have 2 other manuscripts in various development stages: a cookbook (expected release this summer or fall), and a biodynamic gardening book. Dave is also working towards the production of the percussion accessories he has designed and beta-testing for a few years now.
My husband and I work as a team in our business, Brummet Media Group, and through it also run a music studio where my husband teaches, has jam sessions and band practices and offers repairs and services to all percussion instruments. We have a small gift shop area in the studio as well, where our books, percussion items and some of our garden harvests are shared in the form of jam, jelly, relish, syrup and so forth.
In our business, we are able to make a difference by inspiring people to become more proactive in creating a green and sustainable world with seemingly small everyday actions. My personal passions are in the realm of zero waste, gardening and composting, animal adoption (from rescue centres), doggie playdates and puppy-sitting for friends and neighbours. However the every-day focus for us is becoming more proactive and helping to leave a lasting, positive legacy with every passing moment. Every breath, every moment is a gift and it is up to us as to what we will do with it.