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


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!


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:


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!


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


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!)


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!

Monday Mentions: Frog Mouth Links & More!

Feeeeeeeeeed Meeeeeeee! (Tawny Frog Mouth courtesy of Rayya-the-Vet)

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 four new puppy articles, edit/upload six new Ask Amy videos for future blogs, and edit several more fiction chapters. Whew!

I’m trying to get a weeeeee bit caught up or even ahead of the game. November will be busy, as I’m sure it is for many folks, with Thanksgiving around the corner. I’m also prepping for the Cat Writers’ Association annual conference week after next, and will present the Shojai Mentor Award at the banquet. The night before, though, I partner with Susan Logan, editor of Cat Fancy Magazine, as the entertainment for the event. Yes, we’ll be caterwauling, yodeling, or otherwise meowing our way through a few kitty tunes. I understand there will be video (yikes!) so I’ll do my best not to embarrass the fur-kids.

Lots of fun links today, in no particular order. Except that photo (above) I just had to swipe share from a very kewl blog. Tawny Frog Mouth from Rayya the Vet’s wonderful blog, you must check out the VIDEO of this hungry baby–priceless!

Justice for Feral Cats? Zoo employee convicted of trying to poison stray kitties, yikes!

Lisa-Maria Padilla kitty Halloween pictures–FANTASTIC! You will smile, and your cats will say, “Whew–thank the cat-gods that’s not me!”

Jessica O’Neal “The Sexy Little Nerd” blog demonstrates the spirit of the best of blog-icity with her Paying It Forward post. Love the design, too–oh, and she’s got a JRT! Well worth checking out her blog!

Lessons My Cats Taught Me is a lovely tribute from one of the bloggers at Writers In the Storm–tissue alert!

Planet Dog, one of my fav sources for doggy toys, is celebrating 10 years of giving–and they’ve got a WRITING CONTEST, check it out! Your pooch is sure to provide inspiration.

Holiday E-Cards from the Awesome Morris Animal Foundation

Gene Lempp’s Zoo Arcane blog on Evil Little People, sure to give writers inspiration for fantastical plotting and bad guys. The pictures alone are worth the peek.

Rules for FaceBook–to avoid HISSING off your so-called friends. Read it. I mean now. I’ll wait.

Writer Loses $$ with Self-Pub’ing–but honestly, you gotta read the contracts, folks. Sure it’s a shame but it appears this author sorta-kinda-in-a-way invited the angst.

Dan Poynter’s ParaPromotion, from the ultimate self-pub’ing guru.

Vocabulary Quiz–all you writers out there, what’s YOUR score? (mine was 3420)

My friend and colleague, brilliant writer Dr. Deb Eldredge, recently had some heartbreaking challenges in her doggy family–but the new kid–named Babe–is sure to put smiles on faces. She gave me permission to share the new pup’s first encounter with that (gasp!) other puppy in the mirror. Enjoy!


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!

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 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.


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.


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.


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)


Should You Get Your Cat From A Pet Store? My colleague and outstanding cat writer Christine Church has an excellent 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.


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!

Feline Friday: Ask Amy, Cute Kittens & That BITES!

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kitten clawing feather

Gimme the FEATHER!

It’s Adopt-A-Cat Month! Are you in the market for a new kitten? There’s sure a bumper crop this year. In fact, my friend and colleague Lynette George hosts a kitten adoption event tomorrow at Sherman Petco, starting at 10 am. I plan to visit for some SQUEEEEE! kitten photo ops, and hope to see you there. Likely my Seren-kitty will make me sign in blood that I won’t bring home an “interloper” but the Magical-Dawg would welcome a new furry friend.

(WARNING: blatant self promo…) You can find all must knows on adopting and raising kittens in the award-winning book, Complete Kitten Care, updated and available in all Ebook and print formats. Or if an older furry friend strikes your fancy (gosh, I hope so!) discover the rewards and special issues of these golden oldies in Complete Care for Your Aging Cat, also updated and in all Ebook and print formats.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a special month for y’all to adopt a cat. Shelters and rescue organizations do the work of the angels every day, all year long, and some go the extra mile.

CWA colleague Mary Anne Miller routinely takes in furry waifs and finds them homes, but the expense both in $$ and emotional trauma can be an issue when not all have happy endings. She’d taken in 10 needy cats from a colony, and despite above-and-beyond medical effort, most died. *sigh* To recoup the expenses so other cats can be helped, Mary Anne hosts a one-week-long fund raising auction of donated items (BLING ALERT!) so visit and if you’re of a mind, support with a bid.

Should you adopt a kitten, try to adopt an older baby–one 12 weeks old or more so s/he’s already been taught how to inhibit claws and teeth. Or adopt a pair, so they can use each other as kitten punching bags! Otherwise, you’ll run into problems like the owner in the Ask Amy question!

Did you plan your kitten/cat adoption? or did your cat find you? Seren showed up on the back porch of a friend. Have your “free” found pets cost you more than expected (like Mary Ann?). But weren’t they worth it! Please share.

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: Thievery & Furry Angels

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The weekend kept me hopping, again, with a Pet Contest on Saturday I got to judge. Hey, there’s perks to this job and I luv getting all the happy wags and purrs. That’s “Lainy” up above–who won a “owner look alike contest” with the male owner named Lane. Fun stuff! The event was to benefit my friend and colleague Lynette George’s new “Kitty House” sanctuary–and interestingly, mostly dogs showed up to give ’em a wag and woof to help. Major wags & purrs!

Pet people are…how can I put this…we’re “different.” So are writers. And when you combine the two, you get spontaneous combustion, and a passion that could light up Texas and beyond. I’m eternally in awe of the community of writers and pet lovers who come together to celebrate all-things-furry and writing successes. We also support one another when the @#$%^&U! wheels fall off. Don’t hiss off pet writers–we travel in packs, and show our teeth and claws.

Copr. Melanie Snowhite.

That’s my colleague Terry Albert with shelties Tux, Lily and Bonnie.  Terry Albert’s blog recently got hijacked. Purloined. Lifted. STOLEN! The scum-sucking bottom feeder (who probably doesn’t even LIKE pets!) cut-and-pasted multiple posts and smack-dabbed ’em onto his own blog. Pretty funny when you think about it, because here’s Terry writing in first-person about her pets, her painting, her world-‘o-doggy-stuff, and this guy’s doing a “Sybil” multiple voices and viewpoints. Major howls & hisses!

Terry has two books coming out next year–Animal Planet: Labrador Retrievers,  and Animal Planet: Boxers, and I betcha this guy would try to take credit for those, too if he could. Read the REAL Terry on her own blogs and sites, with her own original art (the un-hijacked variety). In case you’re wondering, I ASKED and was given permission to post the pictures here. Click-Treat, GOOD-Amy. *s*

Terry’s painting is of “Mac,” a yellow lab. She writes, “I have about five careers, all dog related. I’m lucky- I get to combine my profession with my passion. I write, paint pet portraits, work as a pet sitter, and design websites– many for pet related businesses, like pet sitters, doggie daycares and trainers. My spare time (ha ha ha) is spent with my horses!” Learn more about Terry Albert at her website, and her pet sitters blog.

Terry isn’t alone in having her online work stolen. Another colleague, Mary Anne Miller, had an entire WEBSITE copied–text, pictures, pages, advertising and all. For those of you wondering what’s the big deal, here’s the scoop. Just because it’s posted on the Internet does not mean it’s free-for-the-pickin’s. And nope–it’s not flattering or “good advertising” to steal somebody else’s creativity and pass it off as your own.

Many bloggers and online writers–including Terry and Mary Ann–want to get good information out about our animal companions or other work, and welcome “sharing” of content. That is, sample a smidgeon of a post you like, maybe a first paragraph. Think of this like a sample at the deli, where the owner gets hissed off if you gnosh the entire wheel of cheese. Just offer a taste, and then say something like, “To read the rest of this great post, click this link…” and provide it.  I’ll give you an example:

Mary Anne with special friend.

“My name is Mary Anne. I am a 24-hour human can-opener and  Chief Petting Officer. I don’t do drapes, wear black for any reason and the running joke at the local post office is that I send all my letters “Hair Mail.” For the last thirty-plus years, I have shared my life with a very patient and loving husband and a crew of high-risk strays and at-risk bottle babies. . .” To learn more about Mary Anne, check out her outstanding website here.

Mary Anne comes to mind because she writes an incredibly touching and passionate feral cat behavior blog.  Recently she organized a fund raiser for medical care of Shell, a special kitty-girl, who ultimately lost her fight to live. Yet Shell touched cat lovers around the world in ways that changed their lives. A furry angel sent with a higher purr-pose? You be the judge.

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! REMINDER–the books COMPLETE KITTEN CARE and PET CARE IN THE NEW CENTURY: CUTTING-EDGE MEDICINE are available for a limited time for only $2.99 (Kindle price) to help out during kitten season.