Monday Mentions: Blonds, Pirates & Two-Legged Cats

Fresh fruit right off the tree just tastes better than anything you can buy in stores. We had a bumper crop this year on our little peach tree. And last night I turned some of those peaches into cobbler–yum! Today’s blog also has some “fresh picks” that I hope will be just to your taste. 🙂

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.

I also urge you to check out last week’s Woof Wednesday and Feline Friday blogs for a chance to have YOUR pet’s name featured in my upcoming thriller LOST AND FOUND.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Desk Posture Conundrum–Sitting Straight “Bad” for Backs?

Class Action Suit Against PublishAmerica as reported by WriterBeware

Conan the Librarian from the fun blog of Myndi Shafer

Timeline Help from ScribbleCode when you have plot points that require detailed info to get it right! This looks awesome

World’s Smallest Artificial Heart should be great jumping-off point for you fiction authors

Dangerous Compassion–writing villains from real life experience. Scary blog post you’ll want to read!

Why I’m Trashing My “Blond” Card from the awesome writer August McLaughlin

Writing Treasures from Gene Lempp’s terrific blog, links to all-things-writerly

Facebook Friendly How to get FB to “pull” the right content in your posted links

Online Pirates & How to Send A Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Notice thank you Diana Capri for the link

PET SCHTUFF

PetFinder Is Hiring looking for a digital associate producer–love animals? love writing? Check out the link!

Litter Box Issues–Free Online Chat from certified cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger

National Dog Party Day June 22 from my colleague and awesome paw-ty animal Arden Moore. It’s also National Take Your Dog to Work Day sponsored by Pet Sitters International

Pet Tips for Road Trips

Alley Cat Rescue National Feral Cats Survey

Golden Retriever Lifetime Health Study helps cancer issues, bravo to Morris Animal Health! Enroll your Golden today.

Training Bras–for Cats? lessons from a true cat-aholic!

Elephant Care & Protected Contact, thanks to awesome dog trainer Gary Wilkes for sending the links to this article.

Iranian Cat Finds New Home

Finally, two videos that bring a smile to my face, and I hope to you, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIdry2YnJII

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? 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 for your chance to NAME THAT DOG character in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Turtles, Snakes & Writer-icty

I hope your Memorial Day is restful, positive, and brings you all that you wish. Those lost and the causes for which they fought for our sake is indeed something to remember.

I also have to share that the Magical-Dawg, roughneck that he is, has managed to injure himself in some way. Oh, he’s clueless. Apparently it doesn’t hurt but the lop-sided swelling on his right jaw turns him into a bizarre hamster-esque creature with a pseudo cheek pouch. Y’all may remember he has  in the past turned into hippopotamus head due to insect stings–but this isn’t itchy, painful, or soft. It’s a goose-egg hard lump under his right jaw/ear. Maybe the Seren-kitty finally nailed him SCORE! I feared it might be a snake bite (we have copperheads and rattlers) which inspired me to share the video, below. It’ll come in handy if any of y’all ever need to dodge cobras!

But since there’s no pain, more likely it’s a simmering abscess or another allergic reaction. I’ll keep you posted. Of course, it happens the first day of a long holiday weekend. Sheesh.

This week I’m channeling my inner turtle–or trying to do so. A hard shell impervious to slings and arrows, a safe retreat in which to hide my head and eyes, soothing water to cleanse myself–ah that is peace! I’ve someone cleared my calendar to work on final edits of LOST & FOUND thriller. Evenings I’ll be at rehearsal — yes, my friends, I’m in another show and we’re closing in on tech week followed by performances every weekend in June. Maybe I’ll have pictures at some point to share.

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.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Buzz Your Book, an awesome how-to from Doug Clegg and MJ Rose (they really know their stuff!)

Bob Mayer Chat on PubIt! I had to miss this in person but thankfully it’s still available, some GREAT info! (he’s my publisher for the fiction, woot!)

Interesting Survey Results from self-published authors (thanks to Jillian Dodd for pointing out the link).

Writers Digest Self Pub Book Contest Deadline Extended to June 15

Houghton Mifflin Publisher Bankruptcy

DON’T Pay for Online Ad…Until You Read This great post from Jane Friedman

SoonerCon in Oklahoma City June 15-17 looks like a great session!

Augmenting Your Twitter Audience posted over at Piper Bayard’s awesome blog.

PET SCTHUFF

Great Video Why ‘Alpha/Beta’ Wolf Terms Ain’t Accurate

Cat Being Vacuumed Oh–my–gosh, my Seren-Kitty would sooooo be out of there! Is kitty on drugs? Learned helplessness? Too pudgy to escape?

Pain Therapy for Dogs from the awesome Morris Animal Foundation

Cat Pain Therapy also from Morris Animal Foundation–they rock!

CatLandia Spoof Video for TNR this will make you smile!

Cesar Milan Feedback (don’t watch if you’re a fan…just saying, the scientist may hiss you off)

Soldier Trades Cigarettes To Save Dog

Poison Ivy & Pets Great info from The Creative Cat blog (thanks Bernadette!) ew, hate this stuff! and while pets aren’t as susceptible they can spread it to 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? 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 excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Writer-icity & Pet Talk

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.

Awesome Shirt Folding Tips! from Margaret Miller’s Blog, this is amazing, you gotta see!

Own Your Beauty–It’s Contagious from the awesome blogger Myndi Shafer

Facebook Timeline Tips from Lorie Huston

WRITER SCHTUFF

Kansas Writers Association “Scene 2012” Writer Workshop, and yes, I’m a speaker offering sessions on “kindle-ization” and “media training for authors.” Come say howdy…I’ll be wearing the sparkles (surprise!)

AgentFest, a part of Thrillerfest with some awesome opportunities for writers (yes, I’ll be there)

Branding For Sissies Hey if I can do this so can you. Just sayin’ . . .

Book Club for Authors/Readers a fee-based sign up for authors to get works-in-progress in front of readers for feedback.

RWA®’s Kiss of Death Chapter presents~~ The 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery Suspense

Heightening Suspense from Guest Blogger Jodie Renner

Gorgeous Mousepads! for spiffing up you office decor (yes, I want one of these…)

Writer Beware on Trusting Sources (or Not)

Turning Author Site Into A Store tips from Jen Talty

Tribr How-To from the awesome Jenny Hansen

PINTEREST SCHTUFF

Pinterest for Biz

How Pinterest Engages Better than Twitter Et Al,

How Random House Uses Pinterest

Pinterest Boo-Boos to Beware

Embrace Your Inner Doberman from Sonia Medeiros, good info for anyone including writers

PETS & ANIMAL SCHTUFF

VAFA Shelter Now on PetFinder yeee-haw! This is the FIRST animal shelter in Iran, and dogs fostered in the US now can find their forever-homes via PetFinder connection. Here’s a video you MUST SEE of two rescue GSD-mix pups on grass for the first time.

Pet Industry Estimates $53 Billion Spending

9 Dental Issues You Share With Pets, my latest at Huffington Post

Zero Odor Wins Product of the Year Award! If you haven’t tried this product, check it out

A Beloved Horse Lost–and Found! this is a 3-hanky story you’ll love!

Lost Woman’s Cat Never Leaves Her Side

Australia’s Love-Hate with the Dingo

Greyhound Races Thing of the Past?

Animal Sounds Around the World you say toMAtoe, and I say meow…

NPR Transcript Discusses Animal-Human Bond Benefits

So…what’s the cat saying? And does the toddler understand? Are both “learning” from the communication?

http://ww.www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpYyTeQhX48

Totally tongue-in-cheek how animals talk (or beak in feathers…)

Westchester Cat Show Interview

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!

Thoughty Thursday WARNING!

”WARNING

A colleague of mine recently sent a link to something called the Writers Pitch Book that purports to “Connect Writers With Agents, Editors & Movie Producers.” The idea is that YOU (the author) send them your ‘pitch’ and they publish it in the book which goes out to the “right people” to get you noticed and published/produced.

Oh yeah, did I mention there’s a fee involved?

Shoot-fire, it’d be worth it to spend $50 to get your pitch before those with the golden keys to the kingdom, wouldn’t it? That’s what these folks bank on, people! Let’s take a deeeeeep breath and think for a minute.

TAKING ADVANTAGE, GRRRR!

What’s the benefit here? Well, you will get your pitch published. The “pitch book” certainly may be sent/delivered to all the movers-and-shakers in Nooo Yawk and Hollywood, very likely that will happen.

But why in the wide world of sports (or publishing/movie making) would those editors/agents WANT TO READ THIS FREAKIN’ BOOK? I mean, come on, people–agents and editors receive thousands (yes, that’s several zeros) of pitches a week. Not a year, but in a week. Ask yourself, just who is this publisher/person who has the means to persuade a busy editor or agent or (gasp!) movie producer to open up a book filled with pitches, sift through, and say, YES, I want to make YOU a star!

I apologize if this offends anyone but it makes me jump up and down and gnash teeth and say SIC-‘EM MAGICAL-DAWG! when anyone takes advantage of the hopeful aspirations of writers. There are many online sites that already purport to “connect writers with X” and they’re just as ineffective.

SCAMS, DREAM-KILLERS, SUCKING WRITERS DRY

Is it a scam? Well…some are, some aren’t especially if they do what they promise–publish a pitch and send that pitch to the agent. But the only people benefiting are the ones that take your check.  That sucking sound you hear is your wallet being lightened.

Similar “opportunities” are offered to actors for getting their head shots and resumes in front of casting directors–you submit your teeeeeny tiny picture and info to these ginormous catalogues that end up as a doorstop (at best) or hamster bedding (at worst).

Please, people. It’s never been easy to get work seen by editors, agents or producers. And nobody can do it for you. Instead of spending your hard earned money on one of these “short cuts” that don’t work, save those nickles and dimes and invest in a really good writer conference that allows you a face-to-face with an agent or editor. You’ll also hear success stories–and cautionary tales–from writers in the trenches, just like you.

I wish there was a magic wand–or magic book–that would do the job for you–and for me. If you ever happen to find that sparkly magic spell, please clue me in. Until then, watch out for the dream-killers. Protect your dream, it’s priceless, and don’t let ANYONE devalue your work with such things.

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!