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Monday Mentions: Cats, Dogs, Writing & Cute Kitten Videos

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. This past weekend I’ve managed to finish two new puppy articles on hypothermia and frostbite first aid, edit/upload a new video (see below, SQUEEEE!), and edit several more fiction chapters. Oh, and I’ve written (in advance) all the blogs for this week. Whew!

That’s because I leave for the Cat Writers’ Association annual conference this Thursday and will present the Shojai Mentor Award at the banquet. Friday evening I partner with Susan Logan, editor of Cat Fancy Magazine, as the entertainment for the event. We’ve had some challenges putting together the musical accompaniment, but I think finally the orchestration (on CD) is ready. I hope to see y’all there!

CAT SCHTUFF

Kitty Ball Bed–buy a raffle ticket, win a fashionable snooze spot for your feline, AND benefit Floppy Cats. Oh, a “floppy cat” is a Ragdoll kitty, a stunning breed, and this raffle item from The Refined Feline benefits Ragdoll Cat Rescue.

Darlene Arden’s PerPETually Speaking Blog offers a lovely post on Adopting Older Pets

Lisa Mac’s shares tender remembrances of a brown spotted tabby in Across the Rainbow Bridge

Last winter Christine Davis lost two very special fur-kids. This always leaves a hole in a pet parent’s life. But when your livelihood also is intrinsically linked to the furry loves in your life, every waking moment (and even when you sleep at night) you are reminded of that absence.  But Christine did something about her pain and the result is FOREVER PAWS, a gentle and tender fable that comforts those who hurt while celebrating our cherished relationship.

I don’t have children, don’t understand ’em, can’t write for ’em (they scare me!) and almost NEVER review kid books. Although this small gift book is appropriate for children (I think–what do I know?),  it strikes a chord with this adult. I was already a fan of Christine’s other books–but this one is extreeee spashul. I hope you won’t lose the furry love of your life for a long, long time. But when it happens, Christine’s book FOREVER PAWS will help.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Cat Writers Association Annual Conference in White Plains, New York, November 17-19. Yes, folks that’s THIS COMING WEEKEND! Currently there are 11 editors/agents scheduled for one-on-one appointments, over a dozen seminars, sparkle-icity during the awards and receptions, and–oh yes–a nearby cat show. Lots of dog-centric folks and just dang fine writers of all stripes will be there.

When Can A Young Child Testify? from Dr. Doug Lyle’s forensics blog and guest blogger Leslie Budewitz

Bloody Good-And She BITES! another from Doug’s awesome blog about a woman who truly believes she’s a vampire (and sets out to prove it, ew!)

Build Tension With Physical Intimacy–In your novel, of course! Great info in time for the Na-No…aka Nonny-Nonny-BooBoo novel writing month. But seriously, Jenny Hansen nails it again.

A Sure Thing–Not! from Dystel & Goderich Literary Agency (prepare to gnash dentures)

10 Absolutely Fantastic Intensifiers You Should Really Avoid–awesome, dude!

In early November I received a delightful note from Darlene Jones, thanking me for the Tuesday Tips series on Kindle-ization. She says the tips helped her through the process publishing her novel EMBATTLED which has already garnered a positive review. Congrats, Darlene! May your book be read and enjoyed by many, and your royalty statements have commas!

KOBO (an Ebook Platform) sold to Japan’s Rakuten for $315 million. And they say there’s no money in Ebooks. Pshfffft.

Beware The Social Media Snuggie from Kristen Lamb–she knows this schtuff! And she’s funny, too. *s*

Gene Lempp has an incredible blog and each Saturday his mashup of awesomeness lists some of the best blog-icity on the planet, including priceless info for writers. Here’s the most recent blog treasures post–you’ll want to bookmark this.

DOG SCHTUFF

Dog Seminars Directory A site that lists a variety of dog-centric seminars scheduled around the world.

Awesome dog writer Caroline Coile has launched a new blog–yay!–and you MUST read this very kewl post about 11 Famous Canine War Veterans.  The second on the list, Sgt Stubby, probably wouldn’t be welcome in many circles today. *huge sigh*

Nominate A Dog Hero  for the 2012 Dog Hero Awards through The American Humane. Categories include police, military, service, therapy, guide, and search and rescue dogs.

Susan McCullough, another talented dog writer/author, blogs over at the Northern Virginia Dog Blog about her “Nine, Going On Two” senior dog. Lovely post.

November is National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month with some great info from the experts at VCA Animal Hospitals, check it out! Since diabetes is often a disease of aging pets, it’s appropriate to learn about this the same month we’re encouraging “aging pet” adoptions. Learn about doggy diabetes here, and for the kitties you can learn about feline diabetes here. 

Jake the Dog Daily Blog, the life and times of a yellow lab.

I-DO-THIS-FOR-A-LIVING SCHTUFF

How’d I get so lucky, eh? This past week a bunch of us behavior consultant types gathered together for a very tough assignment. Seems my colleague Dr. Amanda Florsheim took in a feral kitty who was “too preggers” to fix. The resulting four babies currently are about 6-7 weeks old by the time you read this. Our fantastic fun evening arduous task was to help socialize them. You can tell from the video it was a harrowing experience.

Prime kitten socialization period is 2-7 weeks so Amanda has exposed the babies to friendly dogs, kids, many adults, different locations–and scary-R-us behavior consultants. Once the pizza arrived the kits turned into cheese-heads. I still have my fingers so the bite inhibition training has worked very well.

Please contact me if you fall in furry love with one of these babies and I can arrange an intro–although I hope you’ll consider adopting a senior kitty, doggy or other fur-love in your own locale.

THANKS!

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 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!

Tuesday Tips: Dragons, Mountains & Publishing

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I miss my mountains!

Last week I was in the mountains of Colorado–BLISS!–communed with nature, beverage, bling, friends, and fictioning (not necessarily in that order). The past several week’s Tuesday Tips have been a great help for me sharing insight from best-selling thriller authors. And I harvested a bumper crop of all-things-writerly and meant to include them in yesterday’s Monday Mentions but there were just too dang many. So you’ll find ’em here. But first a little introspection.

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Meet Maurice, my dragon muse who keeps my fictioning ass-ets on target.

Like many bookworm rabid readers I thought that I could write a novel. And I tried, oooh how I tried! My first agent told me my work was wonderful, awesome, spectacular and that when the movie-of-the-week came out, I should play the lead. Wow! Of course, that was long ago in a galaxy far away when I’d only just fallen off the writerly turnip truck and PAID said agent for those glowing reviews. (See WRITER BEWARE blog listed below). Four novels later that agent got dumped–hey I was a slow learner!–and I’d begun selling articles while I searched for another agent for the fiction.

Low and behold, the articles garnered my first book contracts when an editor from Nooo Yawk contacted ME to write The Cat Companion followed by several other pet books–all without an agent. The search for an agent continued, and one in particular turned down the fiction but wanted to see nonfiction efforts–together we sold probably 15 pet care titles. I guess you could say the fiction gave me my book career, yet that success shoved novels and article writing aside.

Fast forward to the present–Nooo Yawk no longer calls or even picks up the phone or opens the email for pet books unless the author also has a network TV show or has slept with the wrong famous person. Print magazines that launched my own and others’ careers are gone or fading fast. Online writing for pennies a page or for the “glory” of a byline has begun the new paradigm. Agents can’t sell books because editors are afraid to buy.

Ebooks are the (current) king! Scary crappiocca but exciting, too. Never before have writers and authors had so much control–IF they take that leap. Once I’d finished pounding my head bloody against the wall and gnashing teeth over the changes, my books took that Ebook plunge and Internet articles became my bread and virtual butter. So how are you managing the changes in your writing life? Still angsting over schtuff that you can’t change or taking the bull-hocky by the ballz and making a difference in your career?

Oh, it’s still scary. Y’all know that now I’m the Puppies Guide at About.com, and they’ve just announced ABOUT.COM LAYOFFS, YIKES!  The “contributing writers” program at About.com (a New York Times company) was summarily dumped last week with little more than a week’s notice to the freelancers providing 12 or more pieces of “content” per month to various guide sites. In addition, 15 “channel editors” were laid off as well (see the link). After working for nearly a year as a contributing writer (CW) to the cats.About.com Guidesite before creating the spanking-new puppies.About.com Guidesite this comes as a shock to me and others working for the company. CWs are encouraged to apply for open Guide positions or the new “Topic Guide” program.  And any other writer with the credentials may also apply and find it a rewarding venue.

I’ll be releasing new nonfiction pet books in the months ahead but there’s never been a better time to return to fiction. I’m taking a fun Email course from Lawson Writer’s Academy from Tiffany Lawson Inman on the Triple Threat Behind Staging A Scene. I won the course (YAY!) from my blogging buddy Jenny Hansen. See? you can find all kinds of kewl schtuff reading, sharing and commenting on other folks’ blogs! Speaking of blogs and other writer-icity tips, take a look at the following for some great insight, tips and inspiration.

BLOG DESIGN 101, some helpful tips on color, font and more

8 TIPS FOR WRITING THE PERFECT BLOG from Lorie Huston, great writer and animal lover (she’s a vet, too!), all about keywords and tags and more.

PLEASE SIGN MY KINDLE!  here’s how...

PERFECT STORM LOOMS IN PUBLISHING from Bob Mayer’s Write-It-Forward

AWESOME NOVEL DIAGNOSIS TIPS, a peek inside the head (wowie!) of Kristen Lamb

REVISING & POLISHING YOUR NOVEL, guest blogger Jodie Renner at DP Lyle’s blog.

AMAZON’S KINDLE FIRE (TABLET), blog discussion from David Gaughran, and another great post on the topic from Jason Pinter

WRITER BEWARE! Aspen Mountain Press and also a great post on BAD CONTRACT CLAUSES

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: Muses, BlogPaws, Monsters & More Crappiocca

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This Chinese Crested puppy knows how to keep cool! Must be talking to the Magical-Dawg.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. So I had to share these lovely pictures taken by photographer  Robbie Goodall when he posted them in my Puppy Publishing group on Flicker and there’s a Flickr Kitty Publishing group too. A number of these great pictures will also get posted over at the Puppies site but of course you can post ’em directly there with details about your baby dog’s gotcha day and more. Check out the links, below, and please don’t be shy about sending me your own links or suggestions for others to highlight.

Just back from the chiropractor and after several weeks of  therapy, I’m feeling–well–stretchy. I can bend, I can pick up stuff (with care), I can walk the Magical-Dawg without flinching, and I just regained an extra hour a week to work. That’s because I’ve graduated from twice weekly sessions to once a week.

I needed the adjustment to my attitude and work schedule as much as rehab, though. Sometimes it takes a wallop upside the head–or a pain in the back while weeding now-crunchy roses–to wake up and realize nothing should be taken for granted. Pay attention to the little things so the big stuff won’t fall off the truck and leave you stranded. Anyway, that’s the plan.

The accompanist at church fell and broke her shoulder this past weekend when her daughter’s 100+ pound Labrador took off during a walk and jerked her off her feet. That means I’ll be at the keyboard in her place until she heals–or the dog learns to heel, I suppose. That reminds me of the time I broke my wrist while bathing my dog–hurt sooooo bad, and the back injury rivaled that pain.

Now taking care of my back and my health has become part of the daily schedule, alongside checking email, writing the blog, meeting and beating writerly deadlines. When I spend quiet time with the stretches or ice pack or treadmill, it forces me to slow down and think–really think–about what’s important, and focus on the goals of the moment, the day, the week. I just wrote and posted 9 new articles over at the Puppies site–and plan to work on fictioning this week. What are your plans?

Writer-icity Info You Want To Know

Writers, didja know about the wealth of cell phone info available? From Dr. Lyle’s wonderfully useful blog, great stuff to include in your fiction!

The Printed Book is Doomed–And Here’s Why

Another fantastic chock-full-‘o-info blog from Jenny Hansen–do writers need presentation skills? You betcha!

If you’re a writer, you MUST subscribe to the Writer Beware Blog from Victoria Strauss to stay ahead of the scams. These days, there’s new ones with “editors” and “agents” approaching self-pub’d Ebook authors and others. Know the score.

Google+ Monster? Clash of the Social Media Titans

Pet-Centric Stuff for Animal Lovers

Do you write about pets? Blog about ’em? Then check out BlogPaws and their upcoming paws-itively great conference that’s right around the corner.

My latest puppies.About.com article covers proper puppy identification–how do you keep your cats and dogs safe from going AWOL?

Last week’s Monday Mentions dealt with doggy poop pick up. My colleague read that and suggested equal time for the kitties.  Franny Syufy has some fanTAStic poop about cat poop–the radioactive kind–and what to do about it. And after all, isn’t all pet waste sort of (ahem) glow-in-the-dark-EWW?

Winn Feline Health Foundation Blog–stay up to the minute on cat-tastic health info.

China and dogs–NOT a happy story here when the government bans folks from owning dogs. What would YOU do? Sounds like a horror novel plot to me.

Paws Down on Latest Animal Planet Cat Show from my colleague Sally Bahner. What do YOU think?

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day, coming to a city near you!

Marvelous elephant reunion–caught on tape! This pair hadn’t seen each other for 20 years. Totally moving and worth watching.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. 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: THRILLERFEST!

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Finally back from a whirlwind conference–Thrillerfest was wonderful as always. I’ll have some short videos later, too, but wanted to post the pictures (they’re out of order, sorry!) as soon as possible. Some of the pictures didn’t turn out. For instance, I got to hang out with my publisher Bob Mayer and editor Jenn Talty, but didn’t find the pictures that I know we took *sigh* I also neglected to get a photo of the panel that I was on with Allison Brennan, Joshua Corin, Sandra Brannan Patricia Gussin, Gar Anthony Haywood, and Karen Dionne.

Since this is Monday Mentions–that’s pretty much all you’ll find today, enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for some quick excerpts from some of the panels and interviews.

Amy & Tom Sawyer

Amy & Tom Sawyer–at the Saturday afternoon book signing. Tom’s a thriller author, playright, and screenwriter. He’s been a speaker at the OWFI conference several times.
Toni McGee Causey

Toni McGee Causey, author of the Bobbie Faye trilogy, stepped in as substitute panel master when JT Ellison lost her voice.

Amy & John Gilstrap

Amy & John Gilstrap, author of 9 thrillers and 5 screenplays--I've interviewed him on my Pet Peeves radio show in the past (yep, he's a dog lover!)

Amy & Taylor Stevens

Amy & Taylor Stevens--debut author Taylor and I sat across the aisle on the plane. Her book The Informationist sold out at the bookstore, so I'll have to get it later!

Amy & Michael Palmer

Amy & Michael Palmer--one of my all-time fav medical thriller authors. Also met debut author Daniel Palmer, his son and can't wait to read his DELIRIOUS novel which--includes a DOG!

Amy & Allison Brennan

Amy & Allison Brennan, a killer thriller author and totally awesome lady! Second year we were on the same panel--oh, and she's also a pet lover. Didn't I say she's awesome?

Amy & Jon Land

Amy & Jon Land--one of the movers-and-shakers of ITW who (of course) writes incredible thrillers.

Amy & Shane Gericke

Amy and my buddy Shane Gericke--a nominee this year for best thriller, great author! Check out his work at http://www.shanegericke.com

The Art of Pacing panel

James Rollins, Carla Buckley, Jeffery Deaver, Joseph Finder, Jamie Freveletti, Andrew Peterson, John Sanford, in THE ART OF PACING panel.

James Rollins & Amy

James Rollins, another of my fav authors with his latest book. Oh, and yes--I did wear my Bitch pin, as you see here.

Ken Follett & Douglas Preston

Ken Follett & Douglas Preston

RL Stine and James Rollins

RL Stine and James Rollins

Difference w- Male/Female Authors

How Male/Female Authors Approach the Page with Allison Brennan, Anna Destefano, Shane Gericke, Rick Molina, Erica Spindler

JT Ellison

JT Ellison--lost her voice but introduced the panel "Male/Female" approach to the page. Then on Saturday night, JT won the THRILLER Award for her papberack orginal "The Cold Room"--yay JT!

Debut Authors

Debut Authors, Class of 2011

John Lescroart & Gayle Lynds

John Lescroart & Gayle Lynds

How to lighten moment

Panel on "How to Include Humor in Thrillers" with Shane Gericke, David Bell, Toni McGee Causey, Harley Jane Kozak, Robert Liparulo, Amanda Kyle Williams

Scalpel Please

Find the Heart of Your Story with DP Lyle as Panelmaster, Brandt Dodson, Jonathan Hayes, Vladimir Lange, Michael Palmer, Stefanie Pintoff

Shane Gericke & Paula Lanier

Shane Gericke and Paula Lanier,two of my "thriller-buddies" -- Paula is a medical writer, too.

Jon Land & Paula Lanier

Paula Lanier & Jon Land--it's become an annual tradition to get this picture taken!

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!

 

Monday Mentions: Bitchy Bling, FIP & Linky Laughs

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It's mine, ALL MINE!

Happy Independence Day! The 4th of July brings lots of sky-high sparkles with fireworks, but here in Texas with the drought and burn-ban, such celebrations will be rare. And I figure, most of y’all are out picnicking with family and friends, or otherwise doing FUN stuff rather than reading (or writing) blogs.

Did I mention that I have no life?

Anyway, since few folks will be around to read, today’s Monday Mentions is short. I’m nearly packed for Thursday’s trek to Thrillerfest in New York. So these are MY July 4th sparkles. Ain’t they purty? Hey, I’m easily distracted by shiny objects, what can I say? The “BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD” tag line ain’t just for show, guys.

My colleague and friend Wendy Christensen not only writes beautiful prose, she’s a cat artist–and now also makes fantastic BLING! I’ve been drooling over this piece and finally broke down and got it–since it’ll be the purrrrrr-fect accessory when I travel to Thrillerfest this weekend. A girl can’t have too much sparkles, ya know!

You don’t know? Well, check out some of my Ask Amy videos for furry advice and the “bling parade.” Most folks wouldn’t recognize me without my rhinestone #1-Bitch pin and appropriate glitter. Ahem.

Cat Fur Jewelry might tempt you, too. Nope, it’s not petrified kitty URKS, which was what I feared. The necklaces actually are kinda cool–if you’re not allergic, that is. I’m sticking to the shiny stuff.

Luxury Paw helps you travel in style to 3-star (or better) hotels with your fur-kids. Travel woes over the howl-lidays got you down?  If you suffer from separation anxiety when away from Fluffy-kins, this site could really get your tail wagging.

FIP in the news–potentially GOOD news this time from my colleague Steve Dale and the Winn Feline Foundation.

DP Lyle’s Forensic Blog has a neat tribute to Hemmingway–you know, the guy with the many-toed cats? Oh yeah, he wrote pretty good stories, too.

Opinionator has a totally cool blog on “Google’s War on Nonsense” and I’ve been personally impacted by this crappiocca with my Puppies Site which–no brag, just fact–has some quality info compared to the crappiocca stinking up much of the Internet. I applaud everyone’s effort at dialing down stink-icity but I’ve pounded a second head-shape dent in my office wall as a result of the “sexy fallout.”

Writers (readers too) will love Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog, an irreverent and sometimes blue blog on all-things-writing-and-publishing (and off topic now and then). I like it so much, just added it to my blogroll.

And The Wuc offers a hilarious review? (sorta-kinda-in-a-way) of the latest Mary Poppins incarnation–this is NOT for kids!

Finally, for folks out there wondering about the whole blog-platform question, a nicely succinct recap of some of the more popular ones offered by author  C.C.James.

Have a safe, fun, and restful holiday! Oh, and if you’re in a drought-free zone with fireworks in the offing–I HATE YOU!–and be sure your pets stay angst-free with these tips.

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!

Monday Mentions: Cat Artists, DNA & Purr-fect Reads

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Copr. Wendy Christensen, All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my weekly mash-up of blogs, websites, articles and/or video–anything that strikes my fancy. It can be furry, bitchy, bloody, sparkly, or any combo thereof, but (one hopes!) always interesting. Today, the blog focusses on the feline. And oh! what a clowder I’ve got for you!

I’m going to open and close the blog with cat artists extradinaire. Wendy Christensen not only is a brilliant artist (that’s her painting, above), but a gifted and award winning author. Her book, OUTWITTING CATS, teaches you the secrets of the irresistible “good deal” your cat craves. Outwitting a cat means persuading him that what you want is also what he wants. You can view more examples of her paintings to contact her about a feline portrait of your furry wonders as well as getting answers to kitty questions in the book.

Those who enjoy bloody good thriller writing or aspire to do some nefarious plotting of their own, check out D.P. Lyle’s Forensics Blog. Doug’s an MD, the author of Forensics for Dummies, several critically acclaimed thrillers of his own–oh, and a cat lover.

Forensics and DNA research has entered the forefront of animal investigations. Just last month, an ASPCA animal cruelty case employed DNA evidence to convict in two animal cruelty cases, sending two cat torturers to prison.  

Lottas ullisar’s Blog features all-things-cat, a nice mix of fun-t0-serious kitty content for quick reads and your feline fix. Check it out.

Drew Strouble is another cat artist currently featured on MUST LOVE CATS show on Animal Planet. I’ll let the clip speak for itself.

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!