Sunday, April 25, 2010

APA: Lillian Brummet

Good morning, readers! Today, we have author Lillian Brummet as our guest!

Lillian Brummet is the co-author of Trash Talk and Purple Snowflake Marketing, author of Towards Understanding; host of both the Conscious Discussions talk radio show & the Authors Read radio program. She is a passionate, proactive individual who donates time, books, money and more to Seeds of Diversity, Canadian Wildlife Foundation, the Grand Forks and West Boundary Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, Women's Resource Center, Whispers of Hope Organization, Grand Forks Public Library, and the Community Futures Resource Center. Lillian and her husband Dave write as a team, and on their day’s off they can be found playing in the dirt (a.k.a. “gardening”), spending time with their dogs and enjoying low impact outdoor activities (snowshoeing, canoeing, hiking, etc).

Good morning, Lillian! Is there anything in particular I can get for you?

Oh Coffee! Definitely coffee, please. :) I’ve a huge passion for unflavored organic coffee – yum! Although I do limit myself to no more than 3 cups per day, there is not a day that goes by without at least 2 cups!

One thing that struck me right off the bat with you two is your diversity in work. You have Purple Snowflake Marketing - how to get your book noticed;

Towards Understanding - a non-fiction poetry book;

you drum, repair drums, etc. You also seem like a very eco-friendly couple. Is it easy for you to have so many different passions and callings?

Well, now THAT is an interesting question. Is it easy? Well, yes – and no. My passions run strong and if I could I’d split myself into ten strong ambitious people to take on everything I would love to be able to do! - lol – This is probably where the hard part comes in: being self disciplined enough to choose priorities from my list of to-do’s and following through until each project is completed. I am not a fan of waiting, and I am probably one of the most impatient persons you’ll come across. (She laughs) So slowing down and plodding along is a challenge for me, but it is one that I embrace at the same time.

Having Dave as a partner in all things makes the process easier. The simple act of having the other person to bounce ideas, to clear up confusion about what should be done next or how to handle a difficult issue – this is a pillar in our career, having each other for these kinds of things. We have been working together since Dave’s drum business, Drum-it Percussion, began back in the late 1980’s, and have been able develop a nice balance for each other’s strengths and weaknesses over the years.

Quite personally, I am beyond impressed. So often, we see people with just one passion and that can almost come across as flat. You, however, have such a beautiful, broad range of work and interests. Could you tell us a little about all of them and how they all ended up so deeply woven into your lives?

Sure, I’ll do my best to condense the last 20 years… It started with Dave being a drummer and wanting to be more self-sufficient. So he started Drum-it Percussion, and with me as a general helper and “gopher” (go for that part… go for this tool… lol) we began building and repairing drums. This portion of the business continues today although we no longer build drums… however Dave still teaches, hosts workshops and does repairs and tuning for a variety of percussion instruments. For this portion of the business, I am Dave’s helper.

We began the writing portion of Drum-it (which is an umbrella for everything we do) back in 1999 when a tragedy shocked us into realizing we were not living passionately. You see I was running a business, Dave was running his business and he also worked another job… and then I was in the middle of a 3-car pile up and those injuries required me to say goodbye to my business. At this point I hit bottom, I was in chronic depression and was thrown by the loss. I wondered why I had survived such a traumatic childhood, being on my own at 13, putting myself through school and starting a business… all for nothing. Then I realized that I was not following a purpose – I was conforming to society’s “should’s” and expectations. So I decided not to “should” on myself any more. I found that I could have value as an individual, leaving a lasting legacy with small daily actions. I loved writing, it came naturally to me and so after much discussion Dave and I took some courses to get us started on the path of professional writing and never looked back. We choose to write about things that will empower individuals to become more proactive in their live, and realize they have value and their everyday action can have a positive impact on the world around them.

That is such an incredible story! So many people do follow society's "shoulds" as you said. It's great that you are both living so passionately, and that you are sharing those passions with us.

Towards Understanding is perhaps one of your most profilic ways of sharing your passions with others. It is such a unique piece. So rarely do we see non-fiction poetry, and with such a powerful message! Was there a certain moment or turning point that made you decide to open yourself up that way and to create a book from your poetry?

After the release of Trash Talk, I weighed the idea of compiling the already written poetry into a book format – but was terrified since I felt it would feel as if I stood stark naked in front of the world. All my flaws are there to see. All the anger over the sexual abuse, all the confusion over the neglect and abandonment, the wonder at “normal” people and the desperate yearning to connect with people after feeling so isolated for so long. The dating woes, the yearning for true love… everything is there.

However, from personal experience I knew that the power of reading this kind of material could change a person’s life. I was also aware that many counselors and social workers were not fully equipped to deal with children from trauma – Oh, they are book-taught for sure, but they didn’t have the empathy, compassion or portray a comforting, understanding presence. The courage to share the work came slowly, starting with just a few pairs of eyes (friends) who encouraged me to enter poetry contests in my late-teenage years. After winning awards and honorable mentions, I began submitting to publications and when they began picking up my work, I thought – Hey! Maybe I can do this!

It is my hope that this book will show other victims of abuse, violence and neglect that they can live a wholesome life without baggage from the past. Second to that I wanted to provide a roadmap that showed the healing process that victims go through, letting others know they are not alone. People who are involved with victims can learn what that person is going through or will go through and therefore they might be able to provide a better support system. At the same time it reveals the angst and confusion that teenagers go through as they try to find a balance between the fairy-tales they were fed as children and the dangerous world that adults live in.

Your website talks a lot about inspiring and encouraging other people, and helping them to find their own personal value as a human being. Was there any one person - or even a group of people - who helped you to do the same?

There were so many… Books led me to more understanding of myself, what I went through, the phsycology of it all, and the healing process… I absorb books like nourishment. And I guess that is why I have such a passion for literacy. My mother inspired me with gardening knowledge and frugal living through reuse. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Thoreau, Colman McCarthy, Albert Schweitzer, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Wangari Maathai…There really are so many. Today I find myself continually inspired by the guests I have on the Conscious Discussions talk radio show. I have such amazing discussions with people from all over the planet – from Austria to Belgium and Africa to the US and Canada… these individuals work passionately to make the world a better place. Their work is inspiring because it feels like there is such a grand movement out there that is just not recognized by mainstream media. If it was recognized, I believe more people will become proactive and fill a need in their own neighborhood. In fact I have seen it happen. People listening to the Conscious Discussions show have started organizations, began volunteer activities, clean up projects and donations to literacy groups. Having our listeners share how much the shows inspire them has kept me going as well.

That is incredible! You are clearly doing good work and making a positive impact on the world! Thank you for your work and inspiring others to do the same!

If there was just one positive change in the world that you would like to see happen, what would it be and why?

Composting and recycling alone can reduce human waste and green house pollution issues (such as methane gas) by at least 60%. Just these simple acts alone can have a huge impact on this planet. I would love to see more people realize the benefits to their own budget, and get on board with this very easily attainable goal. The amount we put on the curb is reduced, the landfills last longer, organics and recyclables are turned into valuable materials that create jobs and stimulate the economy. Every coffee cup lid, every bottle, every tin can and every banana peel has value. I mean, did you know that recycling one tin can will actually save enough energy to power your television set for 3 hours? THAT is the impact we can have, just you and I – starting at our own desks, or at the kitchen sink. As my mother once said – “Start how you mean to continue” and “Start where you are”.

Truer words were never spoken. Those are all so attainable and as you pointed out, can have a tremendous impact on our planet.

Looking at yourself on the whole: all of your work and passions, since you don't really hone in on one genre or interest, do you have a favorite?

I get a lot of joy out of running the Conscious Discussions show. I feel like I’m helping the planet with the Brummets Conscious Blog simply by sharing knowledge and resources, and that fulfills a part of my heart as well. Gardening is my therapy, at the same time it allows me to contribute to the community through food bank donations and sharing harvests with friends, to offering seeds to others who are interested in gardening. Poetry is also my therapy - I learn to see the world differently, my evaluation of society or my place in society changes… The perception of my past also changes as I go back and re-read poetry I’ve written and I can embrace emotions and changes in life through poetry. So of all the things I do, these are my favorite.

That is phenomenal! Thank you so much! Please check out all of the Brummet's work and websites below!

Happy reading! :)


Conscious Discussions radio:

Authors Read radio:

Brummets Conscious Blog:


Sun Singer said...

I really like PURPLE SNOWFLAKE MARKETING. I liked the interview, too.


Lillian Brummet said...

Thank you so much for the kind comment! I am so glad that you enjoyed our book promotion plan guide e-book! :) Please visit me anytime at: