Month: August 2017

Snoring Remedy

Several months ago I discovered Xylimelts tablet for dry mouth. I was waking up in the night from a sharp, pinching pain because my mouth was so dry. The Xylimelts that stick to a tooth and slowly dissolve through the night fixed that problem.

What I didn’t realize at first was that it also stopped my snoring. When I doze off without the tablets, I wake myself up snoring. With the tablets, my mouth stays closed, and if I snore, it isn’t loud enough to wake me, so I don’t know about it.


Book Fair!

Deltona Regional Library Hosts Authors Book Fair

Over fifty authors will take part in a free book fair Saturday, October 28, at the Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona, 32725. The authors represent a wide range of genres including children’s literature, Florida and American history, mysteries, spirituality, memoirs, poetry, and health.

The public can meet the authors and buy signed books from 1 to 4 p.m. Local author Marie Brack will be there.

There is a $20 fee for the general public to attend workshops and they may pay at the door. Workshops are free for students with ID.

  • 9:30 – 10 a.m.: “Turning an Idea into a Book” with Elizabeth Vollstadt
  • 10 – 10:30 a.m.: “Media Law” with Kimberly Voss
  • 10:30 – 11 a.m.: “Don’t Get Scammed!” with Melinda Clayton
  • 11 – 11:30 a.m.: “Book Marketing Kickstart” with Rik Feeney
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: “Write Right, Right Now! An Advanced Editing Bootcamp for the Modern Author” with Liz Coursen

The book fair is sponsored by the Friends of Deltona Library. For more information, call Christy Jefferson at 386-218-4087.







Ink Removal Magic

A careless gesture left a swipe of black ballpoint ink on the front of my favorite yellow shirt. I laid the affected area across the drain of the sink and poured rubbing alcohol on it. The line immediately softened and widened. After perhaps a minute, I squirted more alcohol on it and watched the ink magically disappear.

Rinse immediately, lest the magic also remove the color from the garment.

It’s probably smart to test in a hidden area such as the inside of a hem–some clothes might lose color right away. On the other hand, if removing the ink also removes the color, you can squirt it at random and wring it out to make a sort of tie-dye pattern.




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

Report Robocalls

It’s easy to report unwanted calls. Just go to, and click Report Unwanted Calls. Fill in your number and the number of the caller, along with some details, and that’s it. [This assumes you’ve already registered with them, which I did in 2010.]

I get some satisfaction from tattling on these annoying brats.

Pressing 2, or whatever, to be removed from the list doesn’t work. It just tells them the number is active, and they sell it on to even more advertisers. Talking to the reps does the same thing, it just makes it worse.

Report them!

The Three Second Rule is not for Eye Drops

The eye drops bottle is not kidding when it says “Do not touch the tip of the bottle to your eye or any other surface.” Not even for a fraction of a second.

My frugal instincts led me to continue to use the (nearly full!) eye drops after they touched my eye and all it did was make the conjunctivitis worse. Because the bottle became contaminated in that less than a second in which it touched my eyeball, and I was just dripping germs back into my eye every day.

Throw it out.


I Might Cry: Contest Finalist!

My book, My Writer’s Sampler: Exercises in Learning to Write Fiction, is a finalist in the Red City Review contest! Winners to be announced September 1.

Sampler and Further Investigation (a mystery) are each finalists in their own categories in the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. (Winners to be announced in October.)

This feels overwhelming, since for most of my life I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I wrote stuff, like one does, school papers; memos, procedure manuals, and reports for work. My first book, Frugal Living for the 21st Century, has good reviews on Amazon. When I tried to branch out into fiction, I learned that a good imagination is not all it takes to write fiction that other people will want to read.

I was slowly learning, from concepts brought out in two critique groups. One day I realized that thanks to the magic of Google, I didn’t have to wait for writing skills to happen to come up in the group, I could look for them. As a part of that research I wrote thirty-two short stories, each meant to exercise a skill I had found. That research became My Writer’s Sampler. We all have stories to tell. Telling them in a way others will like can be learned.

One of those short stories expanded and became a mystery novella, Further Investigation. People who read it seemed sincere when they said they liked it, so I’m now working on two more, Cold Case and Flight Risk.