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Monday Mentions: Heike Update and Furry Muses

Lucy inspires Allie, a cat writer (see below).

It occurred to me over the past week how very connected we are—be it through our writing, our mutual love of pets, or other issues. These connections can be intentional or accidental, but all have benefits. I’ll be posting “shout outs” to friends, colleagues, and worthy folks from time to time in a Monday Mentions blog. First, an update on my Egypt friend.  

After a couple days’ silence, I’d been worried so her Saturday not was a relief! Heike said the German Embassy advised its citizens to leave Alexandria and Cairo, so she’d traveled to Germany with a group of German journalists. 

”It looks like things are calming down. And the government confirmed safety of journalist,” she wrote. “But better wait and see. Cannot wait to go back home to cairo. Thanks for keeping cwa friends posted.” 

(My reply) Will update all. Soon you can do that yourself. 

“I look forward to freedom and new chances for the young people. You know, after all these years I feel so close to the people and to some extent I am ”egyptianized.”  I am very proud of the peaceful protesters and many of the old people admire them. I condemn the cruel clashes. But also I found a wonderful spirit among the people.  Much care and helpfulness, much warmth. 

“This is the second time in my life to be in such political crisis. First timewas when I lived in india and rajiv Gandhi was killed, Punjab + Kashmir were fighting for independence. Curfews, bomb attacks, lots of things. But people in Egypt are cooperating much better than what I saw in india. One reason my family is worried.” 

Today I received a further update: 

“A new word in our dictionary *s* Mubarak (v.): To stick something. Example: I will Mubarak you to the wall. People have begun to joke again. A little light at the end of the tunnel.” 

LOL! Very encouraging. Folks wonder about your pets, and the animals. Did you get them out? A friend caring for them? 

“Cats in my home, neighbor looking after them. Dog in my friend’s kennel. She’s very capable.” 

Oh good. How are you? Will you (or anyone) have a job again anytime soon? “No, my company will close, so I lose my employed job. But I already have another offer. Plus I have my own company. So not too serious for me. But for others critical.”

What’s your company…I can give a shout out. 

“Worddesign. And H+A which is a local insurance brokerage and dealer of second hand machinery.”

 Good deal. Are you staying w-friends in Germany? Or family? 

“Mother.”

She must be so relieved! 

“Sure! But if things remain calm,I will go home next Saturday.” 

Prayers it will happen! 

“Yarab!” 

Those who have followed this blog know that Heike is a cat lover and member of Cat Writers Association. Yes, there are professional writers who focus on works about animals. I sent a request to writers to hear back about how “furry muses” inspire their work, and heard back from cat writer and author Allie Phillips

Current furry muse: “Lucy (12-yr-old Black Bombay) who sits with me in my office as I write my books, work on my website, or YouCanDoMoreForAnimals blog. Either she sits on my lap or sits on her cat perch that is 2 feet from my desk. She sends me inspired looks with her green eyes! I also have 12-year-old Tuxedo cat named Oscar, who is more dog than cat and he brings me toys and drops them at my fee when I am writing. Sammy, a 13-yr-old flame point Siamese, says Monroe when he meows. He belts out a Monroe when I have been writing too long and need a break. All adopted from an animal control in Michigan.” Allie just finished writing her latest book, “Defending the Defenseless: A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets” which is in editing with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing and is due out late summer.

 But many writers share their lives with a furry muse or two, even if they don’t write directly about animals.  Joy Held shares her life with three cats, and says she’s very familiar with what the term “elevator butt” describes. That’s not surprising since her work focuses on writer wellness, and we all know how good for our health companion kitties and doggies can be. Her latest book is Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity.  

Kristen Lamb writes a killer Warrior Writers blog several times a week. A fellow Texan dealing with recent snowy weather, says, “Right now I have a mini pin who refuses to go out and pee because he is afraid of the snow, and a cat who hunts Scrunchees all day (which she tosses in the middle of my bed and howls like she’s dying until I come make a big deal out of it). Who is the owner again?” Kristen is the author of We Are Not Alone: The Writers Guide to Social Media and I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

Bob Mayer, best-selling thriller writer, shares his life with two Labradors who literally keep him running to keep up. Otherwise I suspect he’d be stuck at his desk all the time, between his WriteItForward blog (which is an EXCELLENT resource for writers, by the way), current fiction projects, and work with WhoDaresWinsPublishing.com which publishes great how-to books on writing (plus a few of my pet books *s*). 

Are you a writer with a furry muse? Drop me a line about how your pets inspire your work, for a future Monday Mentions column.

Purrs & Wags,

amy

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About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant, award winning author, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

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