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Monday Mentions: Thriller-icity, Writing & Cat-vertising

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Today I finished my thriller WIP, yeeee-haw!!! Can you see my virtual cartwheels? I hope so, cuz I can’t do real ones. I’ve sent the manuscript (DEADLINES…how appropriate, ey?) off to an editor and 4 writers/readers for first look and feedback. It’s shivery times ahead until I get their responses. But if anything in the manuscript turns out right, that’s all because of the terrific writer-icity how-to blogs often listed here on the Monday Mentions. That’s the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week.


Publishing Poynters, is a newsletter with all the self pub’ing must knows from guru (and a friend of mine!) Dan Poynter. Why not subscribe? He’s got some terrific how-to books, too.

The Chipper Muse kicks off the New Year with a roundup of great blogs and writing resources (including this one *blush*)

Things Writers Should Stop Doing from Chuck Wendig’s awesome PenMonkey brain

The Best of Daily Writing Tips, a round up of the year’s best

Thrilleresque magazine info can be found on Facebook. He does profiles of published thriller authors, and pays for some short stories and features.

Signing Families has information about ASL–maybe you have a hearing-impaired or deaf character in your novel?

Marketing Tips for Writers from my friend Nita Beshear (she has a neat book out on quilting, too!)

Brand-Related Blogs–(not what you think!) Interesting reading from a speaker from last year’s Blog-Paws Conference


War Horse Movie Wins Highest Marks from American Humane

Does the Nose Nose–or Not? Interesting article on canine sniffers and how they may go wrong–take this with a grain of salt (or fur), not everyone agrees. Make a good plot twist, though. *s*

Purina Partners with Jenny Craig for slimming pudgy pooches AND YOU!

Feeding Raw from Sally Bahner’s Exclusively Cats blog

Say No to Declaw from cat expert Marilyn Krieger

Jackson Galaxy Interviewed–My Cat from Hell (Animal Planet show) by JaneA Kelly


Coffee-Snorting Gift Wrapping from one of my fav bloggers Jenny Hansen. This is too good not to share, even though the holidays have past.

My kewl friend Paula Lanier sent me this link–and I feel all vindicated about my life’s profession. Check it out!

#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.  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.

11 responses »

  1. I’ve been sort of pondering the police dog article since a friend tweeted another article about the study the other day. That article called for a ban on drug-sniffing dogs entirely, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I think, as more of a compromise to avoid the potential for handler bias, they shouldn’t be used as a reason to search somebody, but instead, after the warrant is obtained, the dog can then be used to find out WHERE something may be stashed – if they don’t find anything where the dog is indicating, then they don’t count it as evidence unless they have something else to prove it. And if handlers are causing that many false positives, that’s an argument for not allowing those people to be handlers until they are re-trained. They should be regularly tested with that sort of test to make sure they continue to avoid signalling the dog in any way that would cause them to give a false alert. That, to me, would be a wider solution than to ditch the dogs for that kind of work.

    Almost everything I hear about raw diets seems to leave so much out. First of all, if you’re switching because of the recalls, and yet buying a pre-made raw pet food – how is that much better? Not saying it’s wrong to do so, just saying that particular reason is a bit flawed. If you’re going to do it for fear of food safety and avoiding recalls, buy something for your pet when you’re at your local butcher’s for your own groceries. If the meat is safe for you, it’s probably safe for them. But I have yet to see any articles that talk about TRANSITIONING an adult animal to a raw diet. Thing is, I know some humans who can eat raw meat (one of whom prefers his steak that way), and others who can’t. Something I learned in my anthropology coursework was that it involves something called “parasite load” which you develop by your own habits. In other words, if you’ve never eaten raw meat in your life, it’s not safe to just sit down and munch on a raw steak without findign a way to build your tolerance up. I suspect the same goes for our kitties. Now, they do still have the longer digestive tract needed to digest raw meats, however the issue is whether their bodies have been conditioned to handle the bacteria and such that even well-prepared raw meat can have. For example, Simba I will feed little strips of raw meats now and then, because she grew up as a mouser and her stomach is used to all that. Anubis, on the other hand, we won’t risk it with, because he has never hunted, has never eaten anything raw, so it might hurt him. I think it’s important that if you are going to switch to a raw diet, to make sure you look into the steps to go about it safely, if your pet has never been out where they’re munching down dead things on their own (because if you live in the country and have an outside dog, we all know that dog has at least once eaten something that’s been dead for a week LOL). Of course, there’s also the happy medium that a friend of mine uses, where she doesn’t feed raw, but rather mixes doggie vitamin supplements with homemade beef stew specifically cooked up for her critters. Same meat she and her husband eat, just making sure to go heavier on the meat, very light on noodles, and stick to pet-safe veggies.

    On the declawing article, I wish more people would focus more on teaching appropriate behaviors instead of doing something so drastic. It makes me cringe when I hear such arguments in favor of declawing like “well they’re anesthetized and then they get painkillers so it’s no different than any other surgery” or “well isn’t it better than them getting euthanized or dumped?” On the first… tell that to my mother’s cat whose vet failed to tell my parents what the procedure REALLY entailed, who walked on his KNEES for at least a week afterward because his paws hurt. On the second… no, getting killed or dumped isn’t better, but I wouldn’t call declawing a better solution. In a shelter at least they can go to a home that cares enough to care about the cat’s needs too (because I’m sorry but an owner who has a pet and then only thinks about their own convenience should NOT HAVE PETS), and… well… much as I hate to say, if they’re euthanized at least they’re not suffering. But if you would go have your cat put to sleep just for scratching the furniture… there’s something wrong with you. For the love of all things furry, give that poor animal to somebody else! Sheesh! Sad part is, I am less against tail docking and ear cropping than I am against declawing. In part, I think, because the origins were a bit different, and meant to keep a working dog – especially guardian breeds – from getting hurt in the line of duty by somebody yanking ears and tail being too easy to grab for. Makes no sense to do it if the dog isn’t going to be in that line of work, but the original reasoning was more than just the owner’s convenience. Of course, as I have to explain to some folks, the local shelter has docked a few tails because we’ve had in some FURIOUS waggers who got so excited they busted their tails up against the walls until they bled or the bones cracked.

    Not that I’m an opinionated cuss or anything. 😉 Of course we all know I’m neeeeeeeeeeeever a stubborn pain in the tail. LOL

    Also, I think YouTube has already proven that the internet loves cats. 😉

    • Wow…I think we’re on the same page, Karyl. Good point about the transitioning to raw diets–same is true really for changing to ANY diet.

      On the cat fanciers email list (lots of show cats) I hear from breeders that it takes a while for the kittens to learn to eat raw (or transition from mom’s milk bar to anything else) but then they’re off and running. It’s the adult cats that have only known the canned or kibble that have problems. Really if the cat (or dog) is healthy, I generally recommend don’t mess with success. But there ARE pets who have been ill and do WAY better once on a balanced raw formulation. It just takes a lot of work and time, and I don’t spend the time on myself either, LOL!

  2. Congrats on finishing your thriller, Amy! Such a huge, celebration-worthy event. Are you planning to spoil yourself rotten, I hope?? I’m pretty sure I cried the moment I typed my first last sentence… 😉

    Thanks for the fab links!

  3. Oh. My. God!!! It’s done??! I’m SO EXCITED FOR YOU. I cannot wait to read it, and I thank you for all your links…they’re always the bomb. (p.s. I’m glad that Chip’s Tips made you laugh as hard as it did me!)

  4. Congrats on finishing! It’s very exciting, isn’t it? Hope you get great feedback from your critique partners/editors. And thank you for the links!

  5. Thanks for the shout-out. Congrats on finishing your novel. That’s huge! Oh, and thanks for sharing the catvertising video. I got a good laugh out of that, and now I’m thinking my employer should use a cat video too. LOL!

  6. Amy, Thank you for your great resources. I loved War Horse. Love you tips on writing a proposal on writing a nonfiction book.


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