New Year pet goals are here, in time for 2018! Like last year, I resolved to NOT make new year resolutions. Rather than an end-accomplishment, I’d rather strive for the destination but try to enjoy the journey along the way. In my experience, some of the side-roads along the journey prove to be as much if not more rewarding than the final accomplishment. How about you?
LOOKING BACK FOR NEW YEAR PET GOALS
A new year is a time for reflection on the past. This year has been incredibly challenging for my family on multiple fronts—more about that in future columns. I’m in the process of reevaluating many things. But I’m also grateful for all of our blessings, and for the opportunity to share my work with other pet-loving peeps. I actually exceeded my 2017 New Year pet goals and hopefully, will do as well (or better?) for the coming year.
This year, I released hardcover editions of five books. Already available in Ebook versions and paperback, now libraries and others who relish hardcover reference books can get COMPLETE KITTEN CARE, COMPLETE PUPPY CARE, CAT FACTS, DOG FACTS, and NEW CHOICES IN NATURAL HEALING FOR DOGS AND CATS. All five were released last month, so they’re hot-off-the-urry-press (so to speak).
Last August, a new Quick Tips guide was released for all the dog lovers out there: MY DOG HATES MY VET! Foiling Fear Before, During & After Vet Visits is designed to take the fear out of health care visits.
You can check out all the CAT BOOKS HERE.
And you can check out all the DOG BOOKS HERE.
So for 2018, my new year pet goals are to add several more Quick Tips guides. Who knows, once a bunch are done, that may be enough for a box set or even a bigger nonfiction pet book.
PAST FICTION & MORE NEW YEAR PET GOALS
For binge-readers, the box set of my first three pet-centric thrillers was released in both Ebook and print. The Ebook version of THE SEPTEMBER DAY BOX SET, usually $8.99, is on sale temporarily for only 99-cents, for the holidays! Also, I’m in the process of writing the 4th book in the series, HIT AND RUN, which will answer reader’s requests for “more cat-centric stuff.” 🙂 That’s the first of my fiction New Year pet goals of the year. My second is to edit and release the first book in a new pet thriller series, with a new twist. Stay tuned!
Last May, the second of the Keiki & Lia Thrillers was released. TRAINED TO SERVE, A Keiki & Lia Thriller (Lei Crime Kindle Worlds) is a novella told from the viewpoint of a six-month-old future police dog, and the baby Rottweiler’s trainer. (The first one, BORN TO LOVE, began when Keiki was a puppy.) I had a ball writing this, and at least one more novella in the series is planned. There’s another writing goal!
PAST & FUTURE THESPIAN GOALS
Many of you know that I’m also a playwright and composer (and performer). Last year I got to play cello in orchestras or sing onstage for various productions in the community, including Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Grand Night for Singing, and Jesus Christ Superstar. For the third year, I also got to teach at the Texas Thespian Festival.
My co-writer Frank Steele and I also completed our next musical theater script and score, STARZ, THE MUSICAL. It will be performed in April 2018 at The Rialto Theater in Denison, with open auditions scheduled for early February.
None of this would be possible without my furry muses. It’s become a tradition to take stock of the past year from a pets’-eye-view, too, and the year to come.
As readers know, we lost our Magical-dawg last September at age 11, and then in December Seren-Kitty left us just shy of her 22nd birthday. We lost Magic’s breeder, a dear friend, last week after a years-long battle with cancer, and will be eternally grateful for the gift of Gillian Salling’s friendship and expertise. They all live on in our hearts, and continue to inspire my writing with memories of kind council, and wagging, purring presence.
Karma now is an “only pet.” He’s a hefty man-kat eager for a game of tag, chase and treats. He’s my nighttime pillow-share buddy, and was best friends with Magic and Seren’s pain-in-the-assets little brother. He keeps us humans laughing. So here are New Year Pet Goals from Karma and the spirit of Magic and Seren, with commentary by Amy.
NEW YEAR PET GOALS…FROM THE PETS
Karma: “I will train my humans to leave open the treat drawer so I can help myself. And leave the tree-gym up ALL THE TIME!”
Amy: He’s putting my holiday safety tips to the test by climbing the first Christmas tree we’ve put up in years. Read about that here (with a fun video!). We’ve had to put an extra door stop on the pantry door to keep him from opening it and chewing through food packaging. Any treats must be kept behind doors or in drawers or he carries off the packaging and empties the bag. He learned the “treat” word from his buddy Magic, so we must spell things sometimes, just like with little kids. So another new year pet goals is to continue offering Karma cat-healthy meals in “mouse-puzzle” portions he must play with to garner each meal.
Magical-Spirit: “I will remind my humans daily to cherish each joy, and remember me with smiles.”
Amy: He loved fetch clear up to his last day with us, and found joy in every sniff, sound, treat, touch or game. We’re still finding his toys hidden under furniture or in unlikely places. I take it as a message to us to lighten up… So my new year pet goals include being more like Magic and pay attention to everyday miracles of the touch of soft fur, smell of rain in the wind in my face, to find music in every brash or quiet sound, relish each taste whether tears or treats, and open my eyes to every glorious sunrise, storm cloud and rainbow in my life.
Karma: “I will stalk and tease and pounce on Amy’s feet, play “gravity experiments” on table tops, steal socks and rattle window blinds, paw-dig at the TV screen, and turn my humans into play-buddies so they chase me, what fun!”
Amy: Karma misses his tag-chase games with his best friend, and slept with Magic’s collar for two weeks after his passing. He loved pestering Seren, but toward the last weeks, became her care-taker by grooming his tiny cat-friend when she wasn’t able. I know Karma misses his pet-friends, and has become more snuggly but also demanding at times. It’s his (and our) new normal. More new year pet goals are to play interactive chase games with Karma each day to give him the exercise, attention and fun he craves and deserves. And perhaps, in the not-too-distant-future, find a new furry companion for us all to love.
Seren-Spirit: “I will remind my humans to ignore pesky aggravations like cat-brothers, stare down intimidating challenges (even if they’re 15 times your size like Magic), and find a sunny place in every situation.”
Amy: She remained in charge, the Queen of the house, to her last breath. A bit of a curmudgeon despite her tiny size, Seren ran our house and hearts with a benevolent paw. She never let arthritis stand in the way of a smidge of chicken, constantly reminded Karma who held the sharpest claws, and taught Magic—and her humans—what aging gracefully means. My new year pet goals include living like Seren, focusing on goals rather than roadblocks, stop complaining about age (not everyone gets the blessing of a long life), and giving myself permission to turn off work and take a sun-puddle nap.
Karma: “I will train Amy there’s more to nine lives than paw-tapping and staring at a boxy computer-thing. Like catnip. And whisker-kisses. And I will train Amy that playing with cats is more fun than anything else. AND I will train Amy that there’s no such thing as too many treats. But time together is even better.”
Amy: My ultimate New Year pet goals are to listen to my furry muses. What about you?
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!