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Category Archives: Theater & Performance

Tuesday Trumpet! Music, Cat-astrophe & Thrilling News!

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NEWS-ABOUT-KURVES!

First off, I’ve added audio files to the KURVES, THE MUSICAL page (above) so folks can finally hear some of the songs.

NEWS-ABOUT-CAT!

Seren-kitty had her vet visit yesterday. She’s not a youngster any more and I’ve  been worried about her health since she’s drinking/urinating more. I’ll have a full recap on Friday but wanted to thank everyone for the good wishes. It is NOT diabetes (whew!). It may be early kidney issues (her tests are ‘borderline’ and not yet in failure). We’re expecting Texas A & M results tomorrow or Thursday to let us know about thyroid function. Paws crossed that’s negative…

NEWS-ABOUT-FICTION!

Some of y’all know that I’ve long aspired to write thrillers. Last Thursday, just before I headed out for the KWA Scene Conference, I heard from my editor at Who Dares Wins Publishing that they will publish my thriller LOST AND FOUND probably this fall (date tba). SNOOPY-DANCE-O-JOY!

Animal behaviorist September Day has 24 hours to find her autistic nephew and his service dog before he–and hundreds of other children–become victims of a deadly experimental autism treatment. And yes, there is “dog voice” as well as a highly-trained kitty, along with assorted quirky two-legged characters in the book.

To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. But today I also learned that I’ve been accepted as an ITW Debut Author class of 2012/2013. When I got that email I bawled. With happiness, of course. But that really upset the Magical-Dawg. Any tears upset him. And yes, the hero dog in the fiction came about by channeling my inner dog/cat. *s*

Anyway, I had to let y’all know my news. It’s been an “on top of the world” to “worry-icity” to “floating-again” sort of week. Sometimes you reach for, grab, and actually catch the brass ring.

*humming* If I can do it, you can do it too…

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? 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!

Monday Mentions: Hill’s, KWA & Avalanche SAR Cats!

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Hill's Global Pet Nutrition Center hosted our Tuesday evening dinner at the Kansas Historical Society Museum--a lovely venue with even better dinner companions!

I’m just back from a week of two major trips, and playing catch-up for the work ahead. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, the great folks at Hill’s Pet Nutrition invited more than a dozen pet bloggers and journalists, offered lectures on cutting-edge nutrition science, gave us a tour of the facilities in Topeka, KS, and answered all our questions–some quite hard-hitting, indeed. I’ll soon have some updated (and brand new) articles and blogs here and at my Puppies Site sharing what I learned.

Writing nutrition articles was delayed while I attended the KWA Scene Conference in Wichita on Friday and Saturday (just returned late Sunday). The event was everything a writers’ event should be–congenial well prepared hosts, terrific speakers, and eager and talented attendees. I was honored to present two sessions, one on my Kindle-ization journey, and the other on Media Training for Authors (yes, I’ve shared some of this on previous Tuesday Tips blogs).

Finally, stay tuned for some audio and perhaps video of the performance of KURVES, THE MUSICAL sometime this week. Oh, and I’ve got news on the thriller writing front, too! Whew!

Meanwhile, Monday Mentions is 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. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Your Brain On Fiction A very interesting post about how specific words affect the reader’s brain, from DP Lyle, MD

Writing Contests with Hidden Agendas from the always awesome Writer Beware

Agent Weighs In on Repping Self-Pub’d Authors And I heard the same from agents this past weekend at the conference. Sales numbers must be substantial–used to be at least 5000 in a year, now more likely 10,000 (and going up!)

Smashwords Removes Censorship Policy

Facebook Timeline Tips it’s gonna happen, folks, by end of the month. Yes, I need to do this, too, arg!

Cautions about LinkedIn and Hackers

PET SCHTUFF

Highly-trained search-and-rescue cats save avalanche victims--meeeeWOW!

SAR Cats Save Avalanche Victims! Move over, dogs, the cat-heroes are leaping ahead!

9 Dental Issues You Share with Pets, my latest Hufffington Post article

Kitten Rescue Tips from Examiner.com writer Stacey Ritz

AKC Announces Most Popular Dog Breeds

Scott’s Miracle Grow Bird Seed Poisons Birds! fined $4.5 million, sheesh…

Pet Services Industry Poised to Grow despite the economy

Julian: Throw-Away No More, a touching story of a rescue cat, from a guest blogger at Sally Bahner’s Exclusively Cats blog.

Shoes with Dog Lovers In Mind Amore Dei Cani features breeds–and donates to a good dog cause.

Zen Cat Greeting

Catalyst Council Warns About Cat Poisons during National Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Many of the same poisons affect dogs and puppies–learn about common puppy poisons to avoid here

Thanks to Elena Aitken for sharing this hilarious video:

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? 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!

KURVES Pictures

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1.Maxine enters

Maxine enters and opens up MAXINE'S GYM.

2.Maxine&Mabel

"Mabel, It looks like you've got a sack of grain in your pants--I'm saying yes, your jogging suit makes your butt look big."

6.Max&Boots

"Well heloooo, and what's YOUR sign?"

7.Mabel&Max

"Tell them a story, stall for time, blow some smoke!"

8.Boots&Ronnie

"Don't cry, you make my eyes sing, sweetheart."

9.Maxine

Maxine tries to sneak a call for help.

11.Mabel,Max,Boots,Fingers

Boots sings, "My flame for chicks burns like a zippo, I like 'em thin. I like 'em hippo..."

12.Boots

"Yes, you're the chick for me!"

13.Maxine

Maxine sings, "Curves, when the road seems straightest there'll be curves, when the path seems safest there'll be curves..."

14.Boots&Celia

Celia arrives and Boots breaks the key in the lock.

16.Celia

Celia sings, "How'd this work-aholic get her everything?"

18.Ronnie,Boots,Jane

Ronnie and Jane get the drop on Boots.

19.Mabel,Fingers,Max

While Maxine and Mabel trap Fingers.

20.Fingers,Max

"My sister, in the most beautiful dress in the world."

21.Celia

"Oh this ring? It's nothing, just a memory from a long time ago."

24.Boots

"He's a man?! I thought it was two guys and five babes..."

27.Ronnie

"All you do is complain. None of you know how truly lucky you are."

28.Mabel,Ronnie

"It's time to stop your bellyaching."

29.Company

Mabel sings, "When life's a bitch sweetheart, and you've got the itch sweetheart...just remember me!"

32.Boots,Fingers,Mabel,Jane

33.Max

Max sings, "...a penny may be asking too much."

30.Boots,Mabel,Fingers

"And I've actually walked into the ladies room with you, Max, talk about a man of mystery."

34.Max,Celia,Ronnie

"To say I'm sorry isn't enough, is it?"

35.Celia,Max

"Thirty years is a long time, Max, I can't just pick up where we left off."

36.Celia,Max

"I disappeared all those years ago to protect you."

37.Mabel,Fingers

"Very nice to meet you, Willy. I'm Mabel. And I'd love to see your lunchbox."

38.Max,Ronnie,Celia

"What is wrong with you people!"

39.Celia, Ronnie

"Stop it! What does the reason matter. Do you still love him?"

41.Mabel, Fingers

"I don't say stuff all el-o-quent-ish the way educated people do, but I'll do my bestest."

42.Fingers

"Bogy said it best when he said, "Here's lookin' at you." Nothin' I say comes out just right, and that's why I am blue..."

42.Celia

"Go away, let me be, go away, set me free, I don't need you, can't you see?"

43.Mabel,Ronnie,Fingers,Troy

Troy enters through the back door. "Ronnie! Mother called, she was getting worried."

44.Ronnie, Troy

Troy says, "I was worried, too."

45.Ronnie, Troy,Max,Boots

"The back door's jammed, I nearly broke my...whatsis trying to get it open."

46.Company

Troy says, "The feds just located a boatload of missing cash...traced to some old time mafia hit man."

47.Ronnie,Troy

Troy sings, "Because you fit, you're part of my picture, we both fit, we're inside the frame..."

49.Ronnie, Troy

"That mafia hit man, his name was Joey...something."

48.Ronnie,Troy,Max,Boots,Jane

"The guy died in prison 15 years ago."

50.Celia,Max

All is forgiven...Celia has "outgrown" her sparkles." The Company sings a reprise of CURVES.

51.Jane

"It fits!"

STAY TUNED FOR AUDIO OF THE SONGS!

Learn more HERE

Monday Mentions: The New Baby & Suck It Up, Sweetheart!

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Rialto Max & Celia

Frank Steele and Amy Shojai prior to the closing night performance of KURVES premier run.

A new “baby” was born this past weekend. That’s me with my writing partner Frank Steele outside the theater, just before curtain time on KURVES, THE MUSICAL. I’ll have more pictures and even video very soon to share, but for now, wanted to offer a brief recap of one of the most awesome experiences of my professional life.

Many of you who read this blog are writers–published or someday-published–and I’m hear to tell you that DREAMS DO COME TRUE! But first, you have to dare to dream. And then you gotz-ta reach out for that brass ring. When you fall off the merry-go-round, it’s tempting to lay there in the dust and watch all the pretty horsies keep racing round and round, just out of reach.

Nobody becomes successful without eating a few dirt sandwiches along the way. You don’t have to like the taste, but you do need to get used to it, and remind yourself where that dirt belongs–in the litter box (or litter-ary toilet!). So grit your teeth, swallow and it’ll all come out in the end where it belongs, but only if you GET UP and keep reaching for those shiny objects. You can’t catch anything unless you open your hand.

Rialto view from stage

View from the stage--waiting for the house to open.

My best advice? Try. Ask. Risk. Surround yourself with those who share–or at least support–your dream. Not yes-bots, but reality-peeps with gentle sage advice willing to give you a butt-kick when needed along with that shoulder to cry on, and support your toddler steps.

What’s the worst that could happen–you fail. So what? Here’s a lesson learned from dog and cat behavior–the only way pets learn on their own is to make mistakes, so failure is value-added. Each setback stings but also adds wisdom that comes with a callous on your nether regions for future protection. Thing is, dogs and cats learn REAL FAST compared to humans. People are just wired to be stupid sometimes, and it takes head-banging angst before I learn there’s an open doorway just waiting for me to walk through.

I have a confession to make. For years, I wanted to write a play and compose music but never got around to it. I was like all those wannabe writers (not YOU of course!) who like to say, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel…” and have every excuse in the book to postpone the dream.

Ya know what it took to get me to actually get off the “wannabe” pot? An insult from someone that really didn’t matter in the scheme of things. Yet I let those hurtful comments undermine my confidence and drive me away from something I desperately loved. To fill that hole in my heart my good friend Frank and I decided to create our own show, and KURVES (and the wonderful cast and crew!) put those careless comments right where they belonged–the litter box.

Rialto, KURVES set

The Kurves set awaits . . .

The older I get, the more I realize that life’s too short to let others rule your day or take the shine out of the sparkles. We give others the power to take away our joy sometimes–it’s easy to do but I’m getting better about recognizing that in myself. And, as one of the songs in KURVES says, instead of giving in to the urge, SUCK IT UP, SWEETHEART!

Do you have someone or something–comments, an event, a disappointment–that colors your future expectations? Does it hold you back, or spur you to by-damn prove ’em wrong? How do you manage the nay-sayers in your life? They say that success is the best revenge, so is it true?

I don’t know where KURVES will take us but this toddler seems to have strapped on roller blades and it may be we’re in for an exciting ride. So stay tuned! Oh, and you can scroll down a bit for the usual Monday Mentions mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week.

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Opening night cake courtesy of the Kurves cast!

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In honor of the "new baby" the playwrights were presented with flowers, candy cigars and monogrammed "onesies." Jury is still out whether it's a boy...or a girl.

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Opening night flowers from the cast.

kurves flowers

Closing night flowers from my husband--awwwww!

WRITING SCHTUFF

Time Waster or Time Investment? Social Media for Writers from Laurie Huston

Ebook Pricing for Writers from Dean Wesley Smith, he’s actually done some research, an interesting read

Kindle Nation Survey on reader habits, interesting info

PayPay vs Naughty Pink Bits oh no you DIDN’T?! from Susan Brassfield Cogan’s Blog

Audio Books Anyone? Some how-to info

French Seize Digital Rights?! Writer Beware awesome blog!

Twitter Tips for Tweeps from my writing buddy Nita Beshear

2012 International Digital Awards contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America.

DK Seeks Online Marketing Manager

Christina Katz: Author of The Writer’s Workout from Jenn Nips blog

Firearms For Writers a conference speaker April 14 in Ohio from an RWA chapter, looks good!

PET SCHTUFF

10 Ways You Know Your Cat Rules You

AKC Names Most Popular Dog Breeds  is yours here?

Learn the Benefits of Play from Kitty from awesome blogger Angie Bailey

Owners Concerns Re: Euthanasia & Care

Birthday Surprise: Wife gets namesake pet-adoption center

Tough Job…NOT! Perfect for writers–get paid to stay home with the dog!

Trendy Pet Names from VetStreet as well as Least Trendy Pet Names

Why Cats Run the Internet and sell sell sell!

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!

Monday Mentions: Cat Fonts, Book Reviews & Animal Stars

Monday Mentions is 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. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

For the next three nights we’ll be rehearsing and fine-tuning the premier performances this Thursday, Friday and Saturday of KURVES, THE MUSICAL! Last week our preview performance received raves, and we got a GREAT REVIEW in Sunday’s paper, yee-haw! (see comments on the KURVES page) and ticket sales continue to be enthusiastic. But I know that I’ll be worthless this week, and am grateful to two terrific guest bloggers who will provide your Woof Wednesday and Feline Friday furry fixes while I pursue thespian endeavors.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy creating more puppy-licious content (some of it listed, below). To start the blog off on the right paw, check out these two new books by awesome colleagues and authors. Whether you have the urge to gift a pet-loving friend with a title, or indulge yourself, you can’t get better.

They say that confession is good for the soul–and Alia Zobel Nolan channels her ‘inner dog’ to get to the bottom of some of your furry miscreant’s antics. This fun gift book with gorgeous photos is great fun and leave you second guessing your own dogs’ motivation. Read my review here. Oh, and for the cat-centric folks, Allia has another great companion book titled I’d Rather Be A Cat: The Official “Better Than Dogs” Cat Book.

Touching, inspirational stories abound in David Frei’s latest book. Angel On A Leash celebrates therapy dogs as well as the therapy dog organization of the same name. Check out my review here.

WRITER-ICITY SCTHUFF

The Publishing Pole Vault, from traditionally to self publishing, interesting blog

Giving Away Books–Huh? Here’s why it’s a good thing

Bob Mayer on Story Ideas & Conflict, a must-do online workshop!

Why Poets Should Avoid Agents

William Bernhardt Writer Workshops

Left Coast Crime Conference 2012 in Sacramento!

Writers League of Texas Agent Conference

2012 Oklahoma Book Awards Finalists Named

WG2E–New Online Bulletin Board for Self-Pub’d Writers

WEIRD BUT FUN SCHTUFF

Prevent Sinning with The Sin Collar from the awesome blogger Jenny Hansen…where does she find this stuff!?

Cats As Fonts This could go under any of the cat-egories today.

PET SCHTUFF

World Spay Day February 28

FixNation is an LA-based nonprofit that works with more than 7,000 volunteers to implement TNR (trap-neuter-return) of feral cats. They loan traps out to the community, teach volunteers how to trap and provide information about colony management and seek funding to maintain this level of outreach. To date, they’ve “fixed” more than 65,000 cats and also offers low-cost services for companion cats.

Cat Hero Saves Owner’s Life Hours After Adoption! You may have heard of diabetic-alert dogs–well here’s a cat doing the same thing, and more!

Ohio Pit Bull Discrimination Ends

Animal Abuser Registry?

Where Do Research Cats & Dogs Come From? You’d be surprised…or maybe not. New rules …

Toxoplasmosis–the Truth! neat info from the Worms and Germs blog

Westminster Benching Moves from the Gardens!

Hybrid Vigor? Baloney! Interesting article from a vet, no less.

Update on Canine Heartworm Disease, in honor of February being American Heart Health Month.You can also help support feline heart health with donations to the Winn Feline Foundation’s Ricky Fund that seeks solutions to feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

February is National Pet Dental Care Month so check out these articles on puppy teething (when does it STOP!), a how-to primer on brushing puppy teeth, and an informative article on canine dental health.

5th annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event More than 200 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, are estimated to provide free sight-saving eye exams to thousands of eligible service animals. Registration for service animal owners and handlers begins April 1, 2012 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org

Birdy Movie Star! visits Dr. Rayya, you don’t want to miss this gorgeous parrot

MORE Animal Stars in time for scene stealing awards

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!

Monday Mentions: Writing, Acting & Pets oh my!

Maxine

"Maxine" the owner of the gym in Kurves, Texas.

Monday Mentions is 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. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

This past weekend I finished the orchestration for the overture and exit music for KURVES, THE MUSICAL. Tonight we have a photographer coming for cast pictures during the show. That photo above is during a rehearsal–and that’s my co-author–to give you an idea of the flavor of the show. *s* If you’re in the N. Texas region I hope you’ll join us for this fun time. Rehearsals are a blast, we have a wonderful cast and the venue is outstanding. A reviewer will see the show this week, and we’ll have our premier March 1, 2, 3.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Just Breathe! stress relief tips from awesome author and blogger Joy Held

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2011  so do you agree?

The Writing for Children Competition seeks submissions for all ages of young people, from picture books to young adult (YA) stories. The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to launch its 16th annual Writing for Children Competition, which invites writers to submit a piece for children up to 1,500 words in the English language that has not previously been published in any format. A $1,500 prize will be awarded to an unpublished Canadian writer, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted for consideration to three publishers of children’s books. The deadline for entries is April 24, 2012.

Pinterest for Authors, good tips from Carla Stewart

Writers–You’ve Been Replaced by a Bot this gives me chills and it’s not sci-fi any longer.

R.L. Stine Posts Horror Story on Twitter  Talk about “short short stories…” is this the wave of the future?

AUTHOR BEWARE discusses the pros and cons (lots of cons!) of  BookTango, an ebook aggregator for self-published authors has been released by  Author Solutions (owner of the iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse, and Trafford brands, and the power behind the outsourced self-publishing divisions of Harlequin and Thomas Nelson, among others).

Kirkus Launches Editing Service for Self-Pub’d Authors

SAG + AFTRA = ???  Information on the merger of Screen Actors Guild & American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

PET SCHTUFF

Dog Flags for helping signal your dog’s attitude in advance–“I’m Shy” or “I’m Friendly” for the humans who can’t read doggy communication. Neat idea!

Help for Feral Cats from Examiner writer Stacy Ritz

Westminster Steps In It  Those who watched the dog show will be interested in this discussion by savvy dog-centric folks (be sure to read the comments, too, this is a keeper!).

Super-k9.com Presents Cara Shannon – Dallas/Addison 2012. This two day workshop shows professional dog trainers how to set up ongoing admission classes for reactive, aggressive, and shy dogs. Cara’s methods are all science-based and positive and are focused on not only changing behavior in the dogs but also on changing the emotional response of the dog.

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!

Monday Mentions: Cat Lit, Hero Dogs, Pet Pix & George Carlin On Pets

Higgins--an "accidental dog" that became a beloved family member.

Monday Mentions is 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. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

Today tickets go on sale for KURVES, THE MUSICAL. If you’re in the N. Texas region I hope you’ll join us for this fun time. My voice is nearly back so rehearsals should run smoother.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time on the thriller WIP edits, going over notes from my copy editor and some beta readers. Work yet to be done before submission but now it’s so close I can taste it!

And as if I didn’t have enough to do, I was just introduced to Pinterest where you can “pin” photos that you like. It’s addictive. Gulp. But feel free to check out my meager “boards” and re-pin if you like them. I’ll add to them as I can. I’m at http://pinterest.com/amyshojai/ and (go figure!) I have pictures of pets, flowers and shiny objects–oh, and books. 🙂

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

BARNES & NOBLE, TANTRUMS R US? Maybe not. They’re just playing hardball by refusing to stock amazon.com-published books in their physical stores. After all, amazon.com pulled titles from publishers who refused to play ball on some things. Makes you wonder, who will take their Playdoh and go home next?

Kitty Lit — Cats Rewrite the Classics. Abebooks has out cat-egorized themselves by making sure cat-lacking literature got the paw-stamp it deserved. Now you can read such classics as “Furenheit 451” and “Lord of the Fleas” and even (cue scary music) Paws –Don’t go in the litterbox. Don’t go near the scratching post. Don’t sit on the sofa. And now, for the first time….don’t go in the water. With razor sharp claws and a thirst for vengeance, Kitty is back, and this time….she can swim!

THE DANGER OF “TRENDY” WORDS in your novel from Jennifer Eaton’s blog

THE VALUE OF CRITIQUE GROUPS from novelist Beth Groundwater

SWEET SPOT TWEET TIPS some data that reveals the secrets to effective twitter-icity

DIRTY HOTEL ROOM SECRETS for those writing bedroom sagas…wait, no, that’s not right! Actually blogger Marcia Richards has some great info you’ll want to know before you book your next holiday. Or put a holiday in your book.

IS YOUR BOSS A PSYCHOPATH? and is this wrong? Betcha a lot of you fiction writers can take tips from this to build your next villain. Or hero? Bwaaa-hahahaha!

CREATESPACE VS LIGHTENING SOURCE which is better for your self pub’d work?

DOG SCHTUFF

THE ACCIDENTAL DOG brought boatloads of love. Had to share, this is from my brother. Did you ever have an “accidental” pet?

INSPIRING HERO DOG HELPS FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME BOY  Read this with tissues, folks. It’s long but worth the read.

McDONALD’S APOLOGIZES FOR DOGGY GAFF

DOG WITH CANCER STILL A CHAMPION! and inspires others

CANINE SNAKEBITE SURVIVOR from “down under” vet Dr. Rayya, wow!

CLOMICALM MEDS CONTAIN WRONG TABLETS? This common medicine prescribed for dog and cat anxiety MAY have been dispensed in some cases with the wrong tablets. Click the link and read the release from the manufacturer Novartis for guidance.

HOARDING VS FOSTERING the thin furry line, a heartbreaking but enlightening article

ANIMAL LAW 101, some good info here for folks who need to know

PET FOOD POLITICS, interesting article from Dr. Marion Nestle and the great writing team at PetConnection.com

CAT SCHTUFF

FELINE WISDOM & POSSIBILITIES a simply lovely post from Angie Baily, you’ll want to read this and be inspired!

SHELTER STATS well, as close as they can get, perhaps.

MAN FIRED FOR FEEDING FERALS AT 7-UP PLANT

CAT MAN DREW feline artwork right in time for Valentine’s Day

MY NAME IS PEANUT has some lovely kitty photos

STOOPID CAT PICTURES–“BREADING” CATS

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!

Monday Mentions: Angry Cupid, Writer-icity & Pet Schtuff

KURVES LOGO, hi rez

Angry cupid says "Suck it up, sweetheart!"

Tonight we begin our third week of rehearsals for KURVES, THE MUSICAL which will premier at the renovated Rialto Theater in Denison, Texas on March 1, 2, and 3. Woot! So besides the regular writing to-do list, I’ve added learning lines, lyrics, and completing the orchestration for this week. If you’re in the neighborhood I hope you’ll check us out, we’re having a ball (and hope all the actors can keep straight faces, cuz there’s some seriously funny SCHTUFF in this show)!

Monday Mentions is 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. And I’ve got a BOATLOAD of links today, so take your time, bookmark the entry for later if you like, and share with your friends. I’ll catch you later–after the orchestration-line-learning-theater-icity!

WRITERICITY SCHTUFF

Highlights for Children Publishing Job Opening and also for Art Director

Writerly Self Doubt SPEAR THE MONSTER from Alison Brennan

JA Konrath’s ‘REALITY CHECK’ on his Indy Pub success, a MUST READ for modern writers!

Bubble-Cow Editing Offers Query Letter Template

Super E-Reads changes name to Super E-Books and the new Twitter handle is @Super_EBooks and here’s the Facebook Page. Just goes to show you that you GOTTA check those pesky Trademarks. All the other links stay the same, and they’ve added a new feature for Super E-Books authors called “Friday Freebies” as a showcase for your free Super E-Books.

Do you write romance–or want to? Check out these online classes from Savvy Authors, Some Like It Hot: – Writing the Erotic Romance – Jan 30 – Feb 26 and The Sensual Novella– Feb 20 – Mar 18

Thoughty Book Review of Stephen Kings “On Writing” from Gene Lempp’s blog.

B&N May Spin Off Nook Business

Clean Reading? Yes, a book has been ‘published’ on a shower curtain.

Footprint Give-Aways from Doug Lyle’s awesome forensics blog, how a footprint might identify a killer

Man-Speak Defined from the seriously wise-ass (and fun!) Jenny Hansen. WARNING: Set your beverage aside before viewing the “brain” video. Oh, and here’s Man-Speak Part Two

10 Mis-Pronounced Words that make you sound like an idiot. NOTE: This is a companion piece to the dog-centric list of misspelled breed names, below.

A side note–this might explain a bit about (ahem) my own sense of humor to share the following from my musician/artist father. No, he didn’t create them but this is the type of “family game” we used to share around the dinner table, each trying to top the previous offering. So without further adieu:

FAMILY TREE OF VINCENT VAN GOGH

His dizzy aunt ———————————————– Verti Gogh
The brother who ate prunes——————————- Gotta Gogh
The brother who worked at a convenience store —— Stop N Gogh
The grandfather from Yugoslavia —————————– U Gogh
His magician uncle ——————————– Where-diddy Gogh
His Mexican cousin —————————————- A Mee Gogh
The Mexican cousin’s American half-brother ———— Gring Gogh
The nephew who drove a stage coach ————— Wells-far Gogh
The constipated uncle ————————————- Can’t Gogh
The ballroom dancing aunt ——————————– Tang Gogh
The bird lover uncle ————————————– Flamin Gogh
An aunt who taught positive thinking —————— Way-to-Gogh
The little bouncy nephew ———————————– Poe Gogh
A sister who loved disco ————————————– Go Gogh
And his niece who travels the country in an RV — Winnie Bay Gogh

3--black cat in garden--2-7-08

Managing Ferals Is A GOOD Thing!

CAT SCHTUFF

Loews Hotel Universal Florida & Feral Cats had a managed feral cat colony but has apparently decided to get rid of the cats–some have been trapped and taken to a local shelter to be killed. Click the link to learn more and sign a petition to urge the company to re-think this step.

Tips for Housing Feral Cats (positive info this time!) from the awesome Dr Deb Eldredge

CFA Foundation & Feline Historical Museum

DOG SCHTUFF

Professional Animal Behavior Associates (Canada) Offers Awesome “A SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATION AND STUDY OF WORKING DOGS 3-day seminar.  These are some of the best of the best in dog behavior and training, if you have interest and get the chance, go! (I’ve a conflict with a writer conference booooooo!)

Lovely article about DOGS IN CHURCH

Dog’s Microchip Returns Lost Child

dog licking nose

"Branding" Breeds? Tasteeeeeeeeeeee!

Everyone wants their pet to be “special” but has branding gone to the dogs? These are ‘real’ breeds of dog, as collected from license applications and want forms at a USA dog shelter:

  • Westminster Terrier
  • Rhode Island Ridgeback
  • Palmeranian
  • Copper Spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniard
  • Black Labrador (from a license app, dog’s color was yellow)
  • Shit Sue
  • Dorky Terrier
  • Lopso Apso
  • El Paso (attempt at Lhasa Apso)
  • Highland Heeler
  • Alaskan Malibu
  • Belgian Manawa
  • Belgium Malenoise
  • Basket Hound
  • Bagle
  • Welch Corgi
  • Wild Haired Terrier
  • Carrion Terrier
  • Wineamimer
  • Rockwelders
  • Rottenwiler
  • Great Pekingese (supposed to be Pyrenees)
  • Great Pyramid
  • Miniature Datsun
  • Irish Settler
  • Jack Daniels Terrier
  • German Police Man
  • Chesapeake A Retriever
  • Borderline Collie
  • Chevy King Charles (Cavalier)
  • Goverment Pinscher

Novartis Temporarily Suspends Production of Interceptor & Sentinel

Serena Dracis Blog has a spot-on entry on communicating with your dog for training

K9 Mobile Grooming has a great post on dog grooming basics (I think they’re in the UK or I’d be tempted to ring ’em up for a home visit!)

ODD SCHTUFF

Colin Falconer explains all about FRIGGATRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA HINT: it happened last Friday.

Climbing Baby Mountain from Jenny Hansen’s Risky Baby Business blog–great info for expectant (or wannabe) parents.

#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!

Thoughty Thursday: Thanksgiving & Rainbow Pets

Happy Thanksgiving! After a whirlwind trip last weekend to New York and back, I’m grateful to be home safe again. The Cat Writers’ Association conference has been good to me, and this year was no exception. While I’m thankful for the business opportunities and awards bestowed, those pale compared to the friendships developed through my work. I am honored to be in the company of these wonderful, dedicated professionals.

I’m thankful to be home with my family—furry and human—rather than on the bumpy road and bumpier plane. I’m thankful my human family, though miles away, remain close-nit and loving. And I’m thankful all remain healthy.

I’m thankful for veterinarians who make life better for the pets we adore. I’m thankful for researchers who work to find diagnoses, treatments, and cures for our ailments, both for pets and for people. I’m thankful for the animal welfare volunteers who do the work of the angels when others somehow let pets down.

I’m thankful that I have the best job in the world, sharing information about the cats and dogs that have become so important to our emotional and physical health. I’m thankful for publishers, editors, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio shows, websites, bloggers and email lists that share these important resources to benefit cats and dogs and the people who love them. And I’m thankful to writing organizations, teachers, agents and all those who promote the craft of good communication and help others pursue this rewarding craft.

I’m thankful that I found a dumped kitten fifteen years ago and brought her into my home and heart. I’m thankful that Seren-kitty still acts like a kitten and stays so healthy. I’m sure my veterinarian also is thankful Seren remains spry, since she is not a happy patient and the clinic staff likes to keep their fingers intact. I’m thankful Seren only rarely presents a hairball “gift” and that I’ve not found it barefooted at 3 a.m. for many months. I’m thankful she’s given up playing “gravity experiments” with my fine breakables, and has decided it’s okay to nap on my lap now and then. I’m also thankful that she’s decided the dog is a boob and great fun to torment, rather than spending all of her time sequestered upstairs.

I’m thankful for responsible breeders who ensure purebred dogs and pedigreed cats have a healthy paw-start in life. I’m thankful that Magic-dawg at age five has become a bit…just a bit…less driven. I’m thankful for water hoses, and tennis balls, stuffed teddy bears and Frisbees that wear Magic out without exhausting me at the same time. I’m thankful my roughneck dawg hasn’t had any injury or digestive “whoops” this year. I’m thankful Magic is smart, funny, a comedian, and a wonder to train—and doesn’t argue but has accepted that the cat is the boss of him.

I’m thankful that although he never grew up with pets, my husband loves Seren and Magic as much as I do. I’m even more thankful they adore him back (that could get awkward!). I’m thankful for my church family—pet lovers or not—who also support my furry notions. I’m particularly thankful to the Cuchara Gang (you know who you are) who lift me up with friendship and love.

I’m thankful for music that has always been so much a part of my life. I’m thankful for theater that feeds my soul. And I’m thankful my co-author helps me combine music, writing, theater  and pets into exciting new possibilities–see the sample in video, below. Note that all the CUTE DOG AND CAT PICTURES are in the video. *s*

Finally, I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog or any of the other writer-icity hangouts I frequent. Without you, I would not have a career, and my life’s passion would remain unfulfilled. Without you, your pets wouldn’t have the wonderful love and care you provide. Without you, there wouldn’t be any reason for this heartfelt—THANK YOU.

RAINBOW PETS

Black and white, brindle or tabby,
Merle or brown, sable, Abby,
Persian, Collie, whole or fixed,
Rainbow pets a perfect mix.

I was young, I was old.
I was rescued, I was sold.
I was sick, and you were kind.
By some mystic Master’s design
Can’t you see, meant to be
You will always be mine.

Whoops or planned, shown or banned,
Shelter, rescue, foster, pound,
Bottle babies, purebred ladies,
Perfect, damaged, all are found.

You were clueless, so were we.
Lessons learned don’t come for free.
Can’t go back, regrets define.
By some mystic Master’s design
Shed no tear, have no fear,
Pay it forward in kind.

Blond or blue, calico, curly,
Pointed, smooth, wirehair, surly,
Sweetheart, bold, or shy thereof,
Rainbow pets—we’re yours to love.

Love me now, love me then,
Love me when we meet again
At the bridge, the rainbow shines
By some mystic Master’s design
In its light, Ever bright,
You will always be mine.

Thoughty Thursday: When A Vet Hurts Your Pet

DSC00009
The death of a pet takes a bit of your heart with them. We know when they come into our life that chances are we will outlive our special cat or dog. And then when life happens and injury or illness appears, caring owners do all that they can given the circumstances to keep that special fur-kid happy, pain-free, and by our side (or on your lap) as long as possible.

Modern veterinary medicine makes that possible. At no time in the past have there been such wonders of diagnostics, drugs, surgeries and treatments available! The whole book of Pet Care in the New Century describes the advantages and opportunities out there. And today more than ever society accepts the idea of spending funds on pets, too.

But what happens when you choose to go that extra mile, get your special pet that beyond-the-basics care…or heck, even BASIC care…and something awful goes wrong? In human medicine there’s such a thing as malpractice for such cases, right? What about for pets?
Seren On Stairs
Today’s Ask Amy is brand new. I spent most of yesterday recording 20 episodes answering questions–but this one is so different than the others. The question is heartbreaking because I don’t have good answers. I’m shocked and heartbroken over this pet owner’s experience, especially since I write about TPLO surgeries in my book.

Please share your ideas, experiences, suggestions with readers. What would you do? I really don’t know what I’d do should such a thing happen with Seren-kitty or Magical-dawg. What I do know, though, is that veterinarians are in the business of helping–not hurting–our animal companions. And that bad stuff happens to good pets.

I pray you and your pets never have to go through such an experience.

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!