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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!

Thoughty Thursday: Hummers, Writers & Antsy-R-Us

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How do you feed your hummer soul and kick buggy butt?

Ants invaded the hummingbird feeders. This isn’t two or three , but a thundering horde. They squiggle into the birdy faucets, clog up output, and commit ant suicide in the sugar water. This doesn’t seem to bother the hummers–more protein, yum!–until the floating ant DOAs exceed a half inch depth.

Setting the pole in a pan of water works for half a day until the 110-degree weather steams it away. The little bit left provides the bugs with water ski opportunity. The little buggers cry, ‘WHEEEEE!’ as they slalom a pathway to reach a drink.

Smeared Vicks on the holder won’t keep them at bay. It just clears tiny ant sinuses so they appreciate the sweet taste all the more.

These days, fiction writing time gets clogged up with ant-icity just like the hummer juice. Some of these “bugs” offer necessary protein. They suck away a modest amount and bring in $$. And hell, these days the economy–like Texas temperatures–creates a climate that demands everyone bow to the forces of nature. House payments come due, AC goes out, fur-kids need kibble in the bowl–life’s funny that way. But when lots of the ant-icity bring nothing to the table other than a giant sucking noise, something’s gotta give.

The fiction am a-calling. So’s the play. Two more nonfiction books are on the to-do list. All those projects feed a writer’s soul the way hummer juice switches on birdy delight.

You’re a writer. You know what I’m talkin’ about. Yet ant-distractions demand more and more time.

When the ant-load gets too deep for sparkly tennis shoes to navigate, the hose comes out. The hummers–and writers–deserve a bit of uninterrupted beverage, after all.

How much ant-icity clogs up your soul? What are your limits–2 or 3 bugs in the juice, a dozen, a half-inch of floaters? When do you cry UNCLE and get out the hose? How do you flush away the the sucky parts so you can enjoy the nectar?

Cuz I don’t want the hummers to get chased off by #$%^&*!@#$%T^&! ants.

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!