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Tuesday Tips: A Roundup for Valentine’s Day

Cats of Egypt--helping Egypt's animals . . .

Monday Mentions didn’t happen yesterday because I was head-down on final edits for my THRILLER. I sent it to the publisher last evening, whew! And then I hurried off to KURVES rehearsal and didn’t even get to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show when I got home. Yep, these days I meet myself running, but it’s all good.

I’ve got news! I learned that my new Puppies Website won a MAJOR AWARD, the Maxwell Medallion, from the Dog Writers Association of America, woot! The awards were presented Sunday night in New York and since I’m in rehearsals, I couldn’t be there but some seriously talented dog-savvy folks were honored.

Today just for Valentine’s Day I’ve compiled a 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.

PET SCHTUFF

Lorraine Chittock celebrates Cairo’s cats, with glorious photos–and donations to a wonderful Egyptian animal welfare organization. Check out the book Cairo Cats! pictured above.

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants annual behavior conference, all about cats, dogs, therapy animals, horses and parrots! Early bird registration goes away in 6 days . . .

California Roll-Back on Pet Protection Laws? from terrific blogger BJ Bangs

14 Ways Your Cat Loves You from my good friend and cat behavior expert Sally Bahner

Inking for Dollars–tattoos benefiting shelters!

Dogs Deserve Better sent 19,000 Valentine cards to dog owners who chain their dogs all day long!

WRITING SCHTUFF

Books-A-Million and Indigo Books join B&N in the Amazon boycott  along with Amazon may open brick & mortar store in Seattle

Helpful post about How to “Gift” an Ebook for Reviews

OKC University Creative Writing Festival the art of laughter and thrills in creative writing

Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Writing Contest

Why HATING FACEBOOK Costs You Book Sales, you really need to read this

Dreamin’ with Jennifer Lawler, how her editing/publishing dream came true and she wants YOUR book, too! from

Keeping Current Without Being Overwhelmed, from Lorie Huston’s blog for Socially Savvy Pet Bloggers

Dirty Fighting, techniques to spice up your fiction, from the awesome Jenny Hansen, plus heart-pounding visceral responses from guest blogger Margie Lawson

How NOT to Get Burned Out from Kristen Lamb, social media maven

Dirty Publishing–DON’T DO IT! Great post on independent author’s ethics from Jeremy Robinson

Updating Your Ebook--how to do it.

Writers Guide to E-Pub now features the awesome Jen Talty from WhoDaresWinsPublishing.com, SQUEEEE!

Score Your Book Title, some great tips for designing a winner (with a very cool “test”) from great blogger Linda Joyce

Overdone Plotlines–yikes! Is yours in there?

Gene Lempp’s Blog Treasures, even more good stuff!

Babe the Sheep Pig has nothin’ on Champis, the bunny–wowsers!

Don’t try this at home–unless you’ve got year’s of experience, trustworthy dogs, and lots of supervision but–wow, ain’t this a fun video?!

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! NOTE a special Valentine’s Day issue will go out later this afternoon.

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: Teach Writing, Brushing Pet Teeth & Dog Show Fun!

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. I’m sure you’ll find something to bring a smile, a puzzled look, or a “who’d-a-thunk-it?” Enjoy!

Here’s a reason to celebrate, though. My good friend Priscilla Maltbie has a new book out! If you have children or just enjoy a lovely story with glorious illustrations, check out BAMBINO AND MR. TWAIN (yep, it’s true, Mark Twain/Samuel Clements loved cats!).  “Grieving the death of his wife, America’s favorite author and humorist shuts himself up in his Fifth Avenue house and abandons his writing. Only his daughter’s cantankerous cat, Bambino, seems to understand Samuel Clemens and his moods. When the feisty cat disappears, Sam is determined to find him, and along the way, he also finds the will to live again.” Congrats Priscilla! You can find the book here.

Technology has it ‘in’ for me lately. Last week our TV went kerflooey (that’s a techie word, meaning, the dang thing quit!). I punched every button the furshluggener remote and nothing happened. This was truly angst-elevating because my hubby cannot live without the TV. It–must–be–on, never mind that he’s snoozing, his unconscious hand stays clenched around that remote like a mongoose on a snake. (aside: can a hand be unconscious? never mind…)

Then the phone went kerflooey. That’s right, my landline office number went out probably sometime Friday afternoon. So much of my work is done via email that I didn’t notice until Sunday night when my husband was aggravated upon his return home that I’d not answered my cell phone or the house line despite multiple calls. Heck, I turned off the cell because I was HOME! But sure enough, no dial tone. The fine folks at Verizon have me scheduled for a fix-the-phone on February 8. THAT’S RIGHT, ELEVEN FRICKIN’ DAYS FROM NOW! Ahem. They dang well better pro-rate the bill.

Maybe they techie fairies had pity because about that same time we discovered the phone was AWOL, the right TV remote button got pushed and the television resurrected. Whew. I’d already prepped for reasons why a flat screen tv does not look good poised in front of cherry wood cabinetry or mounted over the fireplace. *shudder*

Perhaps I’m a bit hissy because we’re moving to the RIALTO tonight for KURVES rehearsal–and I’ve nearly lost my voice. That’s right, it’s a music rehearsal and I can’t sing. Oh well. It’s always something.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to distribute Amazon books Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s brand new New Harvest imprint will now publish “all of Amazon Publishing’s New York-based imprint’s adult titles in print and distribute them in North America outside of the Amazon.com platform.”

How To Teach Someone to Write Well  Is it a gift or learned skill? What do you think?

Alexandra Sokoloff’s Class Schedule  If you want tips on writing, she’s the go-to-gal for fiction, thrillers, screenplays.

Tips for Pricing Your Work

Pinterest Tips for Writers Wow, yet another place to become “social.” Nope, haven’t tried it. Yet. Already doing too much, I think.

What are the most popular #Hastags for twitter? Check it out.

Facebook “Timeline” to Become Mandatory  I’ll admit, I know nothing about this. Will this be good, bad or indifferent for us? Hmnnn.

CAT SCTUFF

Mainstreaming A Feral Cat from the awesome blog by Deb Barnes (you MUST watch the video, some kewl info about cat care for low income folks, too).
Along those same lines here’s a great blog from a Cat Guy on TNR.

Cat Escapes into Plane “Innards”  don’t let this happen to YOUR cat! A delayed flight was the least of kitty’s problems

In response to my puppy article on how to brush puppy teeth, my colleague Ingrid King pointed out an awesome link from Cornell with a video on how to teach cats to accept teeth brushing. Check it out here!

DOG SCHTUFF

All about the joys of fostering pets, a lovely article!

In celebration of dogs in art, the American Kennel Club® (AKC®) and Bonhams Auction House are hosting their annual charity brunch, Barkfest at Bonhams, on Sunday, February 12, 2012 from 10 a.m. to noon, benefiting the AKC Humane Fund, Inc. 

Don’t miss the AKC Eukanuba National Championship.  This year’s show will air on ABC on Saturday, February 4that 2:00 pm EST (check local listings). Watch as the country’s premier dogs vie for $225,000 in prizes. Additional footage, including the full coverage of groups, the Eukanuba World Challenge and the Eukanuba Breeder’s Stakes, will be available at www.eukanuba.com. Bred-By-Exhibitor group videos are available on the AKC website.  Visit www.akc.org/aenc for more information about the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

Diabetes In Dogs a nice overview that I found because (wow!) they quoted my book Pet Care in the New Century!

HILARIOUS SCHTUFF!

A Funny Funeral? Seriously? YES!  We need to laugh during sad times most of all and my friend Jenny Hansen’s blog today is one you’ll want to save. Awesome! (had to come in and add it to the list, it’s THAT GOOD!).

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: Better Late Than Never Edition

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.

Sorry this is a day late, but I’ve been head-down busy with the KURVES orchestration. Today is a catch-up day, and the Tuesday Tips next installment will be posted this afternoon.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Kindle Format 8 Launches in KDP    Kindle Format 8 (KF8), the new format for Kindle, allows you to take advantage of highlighting, colored text, text wrapped around images, bulleted lists, tables, and more! I understand the formatting guide has been simplified, and they also have conversion resources available.

Beware iBooks Author Contract!  Read this to learn what’s in the contract before you sign up (you give ’em the rights before you read the contract, yikes!)

Interview With Mark Coker of SMASHWORDS  Have you considered self publishing? SMASHWORDS allows you to create 9 different formats, from Ebooks to print-on-demand (POD). Here’s an awesome Power Point presentation from the man presented at California State Writers conference. Thanks to cat book author (Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings) Margie Yee Webb for posting to Facebook!

Thrillers vs Mysteries, what’s the diff?

Writer Beware Blog on Copyright Infringement  Be careful you’ve got your OWN RIGHTS BACK when you self publish–some authors are getting sued. (HarperCollins vs Open Road)

Self-Pub’d Author Beware from the brilliant blog by JA Konrath (you MUST read this!)

“RESCUE” YOUR GOODREADS BOOKS! “At Goodreads, we make it a priority to use book information from the most reliable and open data sources, because it helps us build the best experience for our members. To that end, we’re making a major change. On January 30, Goodreads will no longer display book information that comes from Amazon. This includes data such as titles, author names, page counts…”

Authors, To keep your books I’m told you need to “rescue” your book. Click on the OTHER EDITIONS of your book listing and follow the steps.

Confessions Of A Publisher “We’re In Amazon’s sights and they’re going to kill us. . . ”

DOG SCHTUFF

Is Your Dog A Zen Master? Kewl study…includes why some German Shepherds may have a problem with impulse control (that explains Magical-Dawg’s ADD…)

Art and Science of Animal Training Conference in Denton, Texas has been extended to close February 1st due to technical difficulties with our website.
The schedule of events for the weekend is now available.

Dr. Ian Dunbar (he’s DA MAN!)  celebrates SIRIUS® Puppy Training’s 30th birthday with the launched of a new Puppy Raising Initiative at www.DogStarDaily.com in an attempt to coordinate all dog professionals — breeders, veterinarians, retailers, trainers, and shelters/rescues — to support and promote an educational program for prospective and new puppy owners.

Golden Collar Awards Nominations Announced This is for canine stars who appear in theatrical releases (movies, TV, stage). Fun stuff!

Stop Canine Flu in Shelters from the great folks at Morris Animal Foundation

CAT SCHTUFF

Oxygen Masks for Pets to save a life in case of fire. Do your fire fighters have these? Great blog from Chris Davis’s blog.

Feline-Alinity 101 from the ASPCA helps shelters evaluate kitty personality to provide the purrr-fect adoption match.

Reducing Kitty Colds in Shelter Cats  from the awesome Morris Animal Foundation

The Cat Coach has a shiny new website! Congrats to my writing/consultant colleague Marilyn Krieger (Note: she has an AWESOME book called Naughty No More).

JUST ONE DAY when euthanasia technicians put down their lethal syringes and instead pick up a camera to post pictures–and get those pets adopted! What are YOU doing on June 11, 2012? Spread the word–see who in your community will “take the pledge” for just one day of no-kill.

A friend shared this video and it made me giggle–DON’T TRY THIS WITH YOUR BIRDY FRIENDS without extreme caution.

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: Thriller-icity, Writing & Cat-vertising

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Today I finished my thriller WIP, yeeee-haw!!! Can you see my virtual cartwheels? I hope so, cuz I can’t do real ones. I’ve sent the manuscript (DEADLINES…how appropriate, ey?) off to an editor and 4 writers/readers for first look and feedback. It’s shivery times ahead until I get their responses. But if anything in the manuscript turns out right, that’s all because of the terrific writer-icity how-to blogs often listed here on the Monday Mentions. That’s 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.

WRITER-ICITY

Publishing Poynters, is a newsletter with all the self pub’ing must knows from guru (and a friend of mine!) Dan Poynter. Why not subscribe? He’s got some terrific how-to books, too.

The Chipper Muse kicks off the New Year with a roundup of great blogs and writing resources (including this one *blush*)

Things Writers Should Stop Doing from Chuck Wendig’s awesome PenMonkey brain

The Best of Daily Writing Tips, a round up of the year’s best

Thrilleresque magazine info can be found on Facebook. He does profiles of published thriller authors, and pays for some short stories and features.

Signing Families has information about ASL–maybe you have a hearing-impaired or deaf character in your novel?

Marketing Tips for Writers from my friend Nita Beshear (she has a neat book out on quilting, too!)

Brand-Related Blogs–(not what you think!) Interesting reading from a speaker from last year’s Blog-Paws Conference

PET SCHTUFF

War Horse Movie Wins Highest Marks from American Humane

Does the Nose Nose–or Not? Interesting article on canine sniffers and how they may go wrong–take this with a grain of salt (or fur), not everyone agrees. Make a good plot twist, though. *s*

Purina Partners with Jenny Craig for slimming pudgy pooches AND YOU!

Feeding Raw from Sally Bahner’s Exclusively Cats blog

Say No to Declaw from cat expert Marilyn Krieger

Jackson Galaxy Interviewed–My Cat from Hell (Animal Planet show) by JaneA Kelly

OFF-THE-WALL SCHTUFF

Coffee-Snorting Gift Wrapping from one of my fav bloggers Jenny Hansen. This is too good not to share, even though the holidays have past.

My kewl friend Paula Lanier sent me this link–and I feel all vindicated about my life’s profession. Check it out!

#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!