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Monday Mentions: Plague, Spam & Writers

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I wrote these!

Welcome to all the new followers! After last week’s Monday Mentions after the amazing Thrillerfest weekend, lots of folks “discovered” the blog. Turns out that folks who read (and write) thrillers often have a furry muse in the background–and also may be considering the pros and cons of continuing the traditional pub route vs “going rogue.” *ahem* I mean, ‘indy.’

More on specific writer-icity tomorrow as the weekly Tuesday Tips Kindle-lization Journey continues with tips on self promotion. This blog focuses on furry stuff usually on Woof Wednesday and Feline Friday. Monday Mentions–hey, that’s today!–offers a mash up of awesomeness, some of the great blogs, articles and other assorted WOW schtuff that makes me sit up and take notice. So I figure it’ll wag some other writerly tails, too.

To that end, those who have a new book, blog, article, fill-in-the-blank that might be a fit, please email me (amy AT shojai.com) with the particulars of your book/work and I’d love to feature you on a future blog. Hey, it’s all about helping each other out, right?

I suspect thriller writers (including those with a fantastical bent) appreciate some of the biting tidbits in today’s blog. Enjoy and share.

MINI BOOK REVIEW

Got a copy of “the Things That Keep Us Here” by Carla Buckley (Bantam) as a freebie at the Thrillerfest banquet. Started reading on the plane flight home. Couldn’t put it down, read straight through and finished it late that night. OUTSTANDING!

It’s what I’d call a “quiet” thriller, one with such internal tension and driving characterization that you nearly explode waiting to see what happens next. It’s “Hot Zone” meets “Ordinary People” and is awful and heartrending and scary-bad in just the way a thriller should be–with brilliant writing. Oh, and a dog appears in the story with a pivotal role.

WRITER CRAPPIOCCA NEWS

Rejections-R-Us: 30 Famous Authors’ Rejections–plus some more Well Known Self-Pub’d Authors and now they’re thumbing their collective noses, doncha think?

Spam Hits Kindle  Okay, this is old news to self published folks, but others may not be aware of the latest get-rich-quick scheme to “aggregate” content (legally? illegally?), roll it into a ball and self-pub for big bucks. Uh…nope. IMO readers are smarter than that. But it does create lots of crappiocca.


CANINE CURIOSITIES

AMAZING pictures and story that purports to be the dog SEAL that cornered Osama Ben Laden

Seeing Eye-To-Eye: How Dogs REALLY See the World, a fascinating look at eye structure and debunking past ideas about canine sight.

New AKC Therapy Dog Title — it’s about time! Dogs that have met the criteria can be awarded the AKC Therapy Dog title (THD)

FANTASTIC FELINE FACTS

Should You Get Your Cat From A Pet Store? My colleague and outstanding cat writer Christine Church has an excellent examiner.com column you’ll want to check out

Where Does Kitty Roam? A study of free-ranging ferals and housecats, covers some amazing ground. All you folks writing about were-cats and suchlike might want to take a look at how real cats do it.

SCARY SCH*T & LOL!

Bubonic Plague Affects Pets–And People!  It affects cats most often because they hunt critters infested with disease-carrying fleas, but dogs also can catch the disease. That “cat fight abscess” might instead be a bubo! (Anyone else thinking “medical thriller plot?”)

Learn To Pick Your Battles–A Tale of a Metal Chicken a hilarious blog my friend Judy Gharis sent me, enjoy!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thoughty Thursday: Patterson Sells 26 More Books

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My paw calls "dibs" on the toy.

"It's mine, ALL MINE!"

The Email newsletter Publisher’s Lunch reports industry news including highlights about books sold. On Tuesday, this notice was included:

#1 NYT bestselling author James Patterson’s next 26 books, including 4 new series for young readers, with 13 titles each for Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown, and Megan Tingley at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication through the end of 2014, by Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly.

I mean–REALLY?

Do publishers even know what publishing will be like in 2014? And what happens if (God forbid!) Mr. Patterson gets kidnapped and held for ransom by a down-and-out wannabe sci-fi author who suctions out his brain-matter and auctions Mr. Patterson’s shelf space to ghost writers of celebrity instant-books paid by the word (with a nice “bump” for extra syllables) but Google Panda disrupts the brand-search when spell-check freezes the software and the whole schmear collapses and . . . traditional publishing goes down the toilet?

What if?

I’m jess all a-tingle over the wondrous writer-icity of this announcement. It’s sorta like the AKC or Westminster and CFA announcing the next 26 Best-In-Show dogs and cats, without any chance of a BOS or HORRORS! a Premiership. Oh, and those of y’all not in the show world can google those terms for your furry insider’s terms.

So what do YOU think? What does this say about the future plans of traditional publishing? Where does that leave you as a writer? Can you hear the ringing of the nails hammered into that publishing coffin or can the undead arise, ARISE and take matters into their furry fists?

Just askin’ cuz…I mean–REALLY?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Diarrhea & Taxes

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Based on yesterday’s “dogs roll in stuff” video and today’s posts you’d think this blog has gone into the toilet . . . and some days/weeks it really does turn out that way. Sharing your life with dogs and cats, being self employed–or dealing with a !#$%^&*()! boss, means we all shovel a lot of if on a daily basis. Sometimes literally.

The Magical-Dawg has a whoopsie tummy. *sigh* Last year he developed loose stools off and on for a couple of weeks, but still felt fine. We did the standard routine–withheld food and water for 24 hours to rest his gut (pissed off the dawg!) or offered only small amounts of bland food. Plain yogurt to help repopulate the “good bacteria” in the gut, or highly digestible cottage cheese with plain white rice.  How do you handle your pets’ diarrhea?

The boy luvs his food!

Magic likes these alternative foods so much, I sometimes wonder if he doesn’t break with the runs just to get the treat! Anyway, last year we thought it was under control until the several days I had jury duty and wasn’t home to monitor–and returned to find a mess with a majorly sick dawgie. Stoopid me should’ve had him vetted before it turned serious. Oh, he recovered after some major horse-capsule worm medicine rid him of the “bugs” he’d imbibed from swilling drinks from the tank. (A “tank” is Texan for “ginormous manmade puddle)

Anyway, since that time the Magical-dawg’s CREATIVITY has been carefully monitored. Yesterday the vet checked a stool sample and found it negative.  So we’re guessing it’s a result of stress being confined for loooooooooooong hours this past weekend while I spoke at the Professional Journalists conference and my hey-honey prepared taxes for 14+ hours a day.

The gate in the Magic-Mobile should be tax deductible!

Yes, countdown to tax season faces us all. Do taxes make you whimper and howl? I’m still waiting for the Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty to be legal to claim as dependents. And hey, if we write about pet food, shouldn’t we get to deduct that cost? Oh, and since the dawg’s diarrhea resulted from the stress of my job (being away), seems only fair to list “diarrhea expense” under itemized deductions.

How many of us don’t have health insurance–or at least, as much coverage as we should? (…raising furry paw) Since pets are good for our health — check out the blog on the topic — Uncle Sam should pay US for housing, feeding, training, and loving our furry charges!

The AKC just sent out a press release “From Puppy Bling to Lavish Toys…” and my furry ears pricked up. Seems they conducted a tongue-in-cheek survey and found “63% of dog owners who receive a tax refund will use the money to pamper their dog.  The most popular splurge-worthy item was doggy bling (a rhinestone collar or fancy leash).”

Will your tax refund “go to the dogs?” How would our dogs choose to spend their tax refund? Never-ending smorgasbord? Herd of sheep? Cats that allow sniffing? Magical-Dawg has his eye on a yogurt machine.  Channel your “inner dawg” (or kitty!) and share how they’d spend a tax refund.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!