Wow! Red City Five Star Review of Sampler

My Writer’s Sampler: Exercises in Learning to Write Fiction by Marie Brack

5redstars

brackHow can I make my characters “relatable” to readers? Is there a certain type of structure my story should follow? What are the advantages/disadvantages of writing in the first person versus writing in the third person? How can I get my book published, and, when I do, how can I market it to my target audience? If you’re an aspiring fiction writer, you probably have many questions about how to write a compelling piece that others will want, and be able, to read. These questions can be overwhelming, and, sometimes, they can make a wannabe-writer abandon his or her story before it’s been told. But, don’t fret. Don’t throw in the towel or throw your hands up in frustration. Instead, grab your favorite electronic device, and read this book. My Writer’s Sampler, Exercises in Learning to Write Fiction by Marie Brack is an approachable, highly organized text that aspiring fiction writers can use to navigate most, if not all, of the questions and other obstacles that have heretofore stood in their way. Presented in a reader-friendly format that cycles through the alphabet twice, My Writer’s Sampler comprehensively addresses scores of writing-related topics in a very understandable, edifying manner. The first section carries readers from arc to zeugma, providing explanations of 26+ different elements of writing, each of which are bolstered by recommended readings from well-known authors, as well as by Brack’s own yarns. The second cycle carries readers from abbreviation to zombies, discussing dozens of other stylistic and practical issues a writer may face in the writing process; and, the appendices provide insight and instruction on what the writer can do once that process is done (namely, self-publishing and marketing strategy).

My Writer’s Sampler, Exercises in Learning to Write Fiction by Marie Brack is an invaluable tool for beginner and intermediate fiction writers. The format, table of contents, and index make specific subjects very easy to find, giving readers a quick, reliable way to get around their writing roadblocks—and, as a whole, the text makes fiction writing more accessible, thereby making the reader’s journey from wannabe-writer to writer a much easier, more fulfilling one.

To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.

Those Predictable But Irregular Bills

Things like property tax, car registration, the half-yearly car insurance bill, holiday spending, vacations, big car repairs, replacing appliances are all things we know will happen. Because they don’t happen every month like rent/mortgage and utilities, it’s harder to plan for them.

Years ago I had a system for that. I added up all of those expenses for the year, divided by twelve, and put that much in a savings account each month. It worked very well. I never had to use credit to pay anything, and felt a certain financial serenity that was very nice.

An article in the Dollar Stretcher today informed me that that method is called a “sinking fund.” According to Dave Ramsey, this is different than an emergency fund. The items in the sinking fund aren’t unexpected emergencies, they are expected but irregular expenses. https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/stop-the-panic-sinking-fund

 

 

Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.

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Dislike avocado? Or just want a new idea?

Avocados are a great source of potassium, fiber, essential fatty acids, and a bunch of other great stuff. But what if you don’t like the texture, or the color? What if you’d rather eat chocolate pudding? On the other hand, what if lactose intolerance bars you from enjoying pudding?

Not to worry, there’s an alternative: avocado chocolate pudding. At first, I was skeptical. So skeptical in fact that I almost let the avocado go bad before trying it. I tried it just in time.

The recipes on the internet call for things I don’t have, like coconut milk, so I just left those out. I mixed up the good part of the avocado (must be soft), 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, and a bunch of sugar, maybe 2-3 tablespoons. If you have less of a sweet tooth than I do, start with less, you can always add more. Smush it all together and add enough water to get a pudding texture.

It looked like pudding. Summoning my courage, I tasted a little. Tastes like sweet chocolate. The texture is exactly the texture of chocolate pudding. Yay!

Refrigerate for best effect.

HDMI Switcher Saves the Day

Only one of the HDMI ports on my TV works. I want to connect both cable and Roku. I thought I’d have to buy a different TV. Luckily I entered “HDMI port” in my TV search on Amazon and the first thing that came up was a “switcher.” I had never heard of this, so I Googled it and learned that it can convey input from several different sources to the TV, and it automatically displays the one that’s turned on. So for $30 I can seamlessly switch from cable to Netflix.

 

 

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Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.

It’s not the Sodium, It’s the Balance

All my life I had low-normal blood pressure, except when exposed to petrochemically-based fragrances and grooming products, then it spiked. The fairly low blood pressure was fine and dandy, until I got where it wasn’t safe for me to cook anymore. I switched to frozen dinners (mainly Marie Callender’s – they don’t taste fakey like some brands). I noticed my blood pressure started running a bit high. Not horrible like the petrochemical spikes, but too high for complacency.

Prepared foods often have higher levels of sodium than scratch cooking, and high sodium intake is often associated with high blood pressure. So I Googled around and learned, or re-learned, that part of managing sodium levels is not just reducing sodium, but balancing it with potassium.

The sites I found talked about eating potassium-rich foods like peas and bananas. There’s only so many bananas and peas I’m going to realistically eat. Eating them did lower my pressure some, but not enough, and I knew I’d eventually drift away from eating that way. So I bought some potassium tablets and added them to my weekly minder pill-keeping-track-thingy.

Well, wow. Within a few days my pressure was back to my normal 117 or so over 73 or so. I think I’ll take the potassium tablets maybe five days out of seven instead of every day, because there is such as thing as TOO MUCH potassium. If you take too much it can cause irregular heartbeat and even cardiac arrest.