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Monday Mentions: Awards, Mentoring, Pets & Writing

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Thanksgiving weekend was a time of catch-up, too much food, and playing with the fur-kids so there aren’t quite as many links as usual. There ARE some fun videos at the end, and don’t forget to comment to get in on the book give-away (only three more days!).

I have to take a moment to  thank everyone who made the recent Cat Writers Association event such a stunning success, and all who have worked publicly and behind the scenes for the past 19 years. One of those CWA heroes was Michael Brim, a cat lover and feline advocate, brilliant communicator and tireless cheerleader for cats, and for the CWA. When he died way too early, the organization created a memorial award in his name and he was the first recipient last year of the Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award. This award goes to those who have made a positive difference in the lives of cats through their work.

In past year’s I’ve been very fortunate to have my work recognized by my peers. As writers and communicators everyone relishes–in fact thrives–on receiving an “atta-boy/girl” now and then. But I don’t think I’ve ever been so moved as when I received Michael’s namesake award. He had some very large paw-steps to fill and I’m humbled to be considered for this honor. That’s the plaque on the right–but my name will also be added to the wall plaque at the Cat Fanciers Association headquarters, along with Michael’s. Wow.

A big part of the original CWA vision of the founders was to create a place for experienced and beginning writers to gather and share their love of cats while supporting each other’s writing success. If you come from the world of either “cats” or “dogs” or “animal welfare” or any of the other labels used today, you’ll realize how divisive it sometimes can be. Heck, put three dog trainers in one room and you’ll get 5 opinions on the RIGHT way to train. Place three cat lovers in a room and you’ll get that many and more opinions about breeds, animal welfare, showing, ferals and on and on and on. So the CWA from the beginning was designed to be ALL-INCLUSIVE’ and to foster an atmosphere of mentoring. And to recognize how important that concept is to me personally, each year  the SHOJAI MENTORING AWARD recognizes the CWA member that by word, action and/or deed has made a positive difference in another’s professional cat writing life. The plaque features a pair of hands giving a kitty a boost up to reach that star hanging from the moon. This year’s winner is Dr. Debra Eldredge–she was nominated by three different individuals, all who purrred her praises as a helper, guide and mentor on their cat-writing journey.

Do you have a mentor? Who has helped you succeed and reach your writing (or other) dreams? Maybe it was someone’s quiet comment of praise on your WIP or another’s suggestion about improving a query, or just a friend who took the time to listen. Please share!


Remember the PetNet promotion a couple weeks ago? I received word just before Thanksgiving from that this year’s Pet ‘Net event has resulted in the donation of 41,450 bowls of food from Iams to local pet shelters. Bravo!

Kristl and Lee Franklin have just opened a new boarding and doggy daycare facility Camp Bow Wow in The Woodlands, Texas (outside of Houston). I met Kristl at a writers conference–hey, pets and writing just seems to go together. *s* Unfortunately that’s a bit of a commute for me but from what I’ve seen at the website, my Magical-Dawg would be in canine heaven. I wish them all the best on the new business.

Airline traveling with your pet over the holidays? Stacy Mantle has some great tips here. You can find some tips for car travel with puppies here.

Great Dog of the White Man, a blog from Judy Ridgley all about horses–for writers who write about riding. Terrific history and info, check it out.

Have you seen the new Animal Planet show SAVED? From these excerpts, looks like a winner.

Cat-mas Cards for the Holidays from Jane, creater of “The Pride” cartoon. I hear-tell there’s a new series of the 12 Cats of Christmas, what feline fun.

More holiday cards from MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION, and an opportunity to donate to worthy animal causes.

Can't be destroyed--or is that a challenge YOUR dog wants to take?

Chelsey’s Toys (above) for the dog who destroys everything. Go over to Chelsey’s facebook page and tell Chelsey you heard about her toy here. *s*


Jodie Renner: Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller from D.P. Lyle’s “The Writer’s Forensics Blog–bookmark this site, you won’t be sorry.

Kristen Lamb’s  Novel Structure Series–Balancing Scenes, the yin & yang (or in pet-speak, the Push-Me, Pull-Me of scene structure). Awesome info.

Learn More about SEO –search engine optimization and all that hoo-haw important stuff, from the cat-tastic folks over at MouseBreath (cat bloggers unite!)

Using Internet Images–the low-down on the copyright, fair use and more on online images (you’ll be surprised–and not in a GOOD way).

Messages from the Beyond–really? from the Boomers & Books Blog–you have got to see this video, with ways to thumb your nose (or send your love) from beyond the grave.

The perfect gift for your dog–well, maybe. Are they kidding? Actually they’re not kidding. And I have to give a shout out to Piper Bayard who finds some of the kewlest videos around.

And below that first one, two more videos that are the REAL present your pet wants this holiday season.


This month as a special “thank you” to all my furry-fantastic-followers, I’ll give away a paw-tographed copy of Complete Care for Your Aging Cat and Complete Care for Your Aging Dog. To get in the running, simply post a comment in the blog about your special pet (old fogey or not) and I’ll draw two names at the end of the month. You can use these award-winning updated books as a resource for yourself or wrap up for a pet-friendly holiday gift to a fur-loving friend. And as an EXTRA-special incentive–and to encourage all of y’all to mentor each other and spread the blogging/twitter/Facebook love–the two winners get to name one purr-son who gives them wags of support and deserves a book, too!

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting. We’ve become a great community including those in the #MyWANA social network twibe hosted by the awesome @KristenLambTX.  So I’m stealing borrowing Kristen’s methods and creating my own hashtag. Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

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.

13 responses »

  1. Woohoo!{{{{{{{{ Pompoms waving}}}}}}}}}}}} Congratulations on receiving such a prestigious award, Amy. Well deserved!

  2. Congratulations!

    While I’m at it, I should mention Ginger, our very old, but still beautiful Tortie. Ginger would love your book [GRIN]. Well, actually I’d love it, because I want to make sure that she stays around as long as possible.


  3. Duly noted, Wayne. *s* Torties have such c’attitude, don’t they?

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Amy! We’d love the book. My loud Siamese, Mao, is almost 16, and I count my blessings that he’s in great health right now.

    • Greetings from my Siamese wannabe to your Mao-kitty. *s* Wow, almost 16…Seren is almost 15. I take comfort in the statistics that Siamese kitties tend to be long lived.

  5. Congrats on your award! We’d love the book too, of course! Can’t believe our furry one is already six years old.

  6. *Twirling Pink Pompoms Wildly*!!!!
    CONGRATS on receiving such a fahhhbulous award!! Soooo deserved!

  7. LOL Bowser Beer sounds like something we shoulda had when Jodi was alive. She tried to snarf the last drops from empty beer bottles when she thought my parents weren’t looking. At least that’d be safer. 😉

    As for “messages from the beyond”… I’m betting it’s serious. Because I know I’ve wondered MANY times, as have some of my online friends, how we’re ever going to tell people if something happens. James and I have traded passwords as a current measure just in case, since we usually stay logged in to everything, so then the person would just have to hit the usual haunts and post something explaining what happened. I figure eventually we’ll end up having a file marked for the other person that keeps a running list of who to contact and such, and what forums/etc need posted on. But that worry became very real for me earlier this year when I got word that one of my online friends had recently died. Thankfully one of my friends knew somebody that knew his fiancee, otherwise we may never have found out. I always kind of worry about how I’ll find out if anything should happen to my brother-in-all-but-blood over in Italy, since he has nobody overly trusted nearby who ould be able to tell me, and he’s so far away.

    That beagle video was just cute. LOL

  8. Pingback: Blog Treasures 12-2 « Gene Lempp's Blog

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