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Making Fiction Progress & Economical Suckisity

I will finish the first draft of the novel this month. No excuses. I’ve taken steps to streamline existing deadlines, and plan to say “no” to any extras this month. So weekends will be devoted to the columns and blogs, once a month I’ll do the Pet Peeves newsletter and radio gigs, and devote weekdays and most evenings to fictioning. 

I’m at page 200 on the first draft of DEADLINES, a thriller, featuring an animal behaviorist protag who happens to have a radio show called Pet Peeves. Go figure. *s* More later…I’m superstitious about jinxing things by telling too much. 

I’m also a bit superstitious about saying much about the acting biz. How many writers do you know who kept it a secret before proclaiming their status to the world-at-large, “Yes, I am a writer!” Well…I am a writer. I am also an actor. I’ve been acting longer than I’ve been a writer. So now have an NYC agent for my writing and a Dallas agent for my acting endeavors. If you know the current state of the publishing industry–the acting industry is a mirror image. Boy, do I know how to pick ’em or what?!

That said, on the writing front I received some nice checks in October for past work, payment for some kewl online article assignments and blogs, and a nice-size royalty check on the First-Aid book. Good economics. I have some contracts pending for ’09, and have several book ideas percolating with my NYC agent. Promising economics. Also had some promised ’09 jobs evaporate–and the Chicken Soup stuff remains up in the air. Sucky economics. Now I’m trying to decide whether to fund expensive flight/hotel cost for some major research trips, which might lead to some assignments…or not. Questionable economics.

The Cat Writers Association annual writers’ conference is this month (see and I’ve been nominated to serve as president. I look forward to the challenge, but am also concerned about the time necessary for the job. The current and incoming directors and past committee chairs are dedicated and insightful pros and that’s a major comfort.

On the plus side, my new Pet Peeves newsletter receives kudos, and the radio show of the same name garnered several award nominations. I’m also having a ball watching myself (and other experts) on the DOGS 101 show on Animal Planet. In addition to this LiveJournal blog, you can find me at MySpace, RedRoom, YouTube and FaceBook–a good thing for marketing and networking, but also a major time drain. So from now on, I’ll likely just write one blog, and copy to all these places.

If you want original musings, subscribe to the Pet Peeves E-newsletter. *eg*

All we can do is the best we can do during these challenging times. I’m grateful for the work I have, pray it will continue and that new interesting work comes with 2009.

Some extra hours in the day would be nice.

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

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