As many of you know, I have several cats. Staying organized in this busy world requires skill of its own. Staying organized with six cats to care for really requires organization! But it’s not all that hard, with a little forethought and planning. My article 5 Ways to Streamline Life When You Have Multiple Cats talks about some strategies I’ve used to give these guys a good home, enjoy them, and synchronize it with the rest of life.
Read the article here: 5 Ways to Streamline Life When You Have Multiple Cats
Ever watch your cats and wonder what it would look like if humans acted like cats do? It could get pretty interesting. I ponder this at Catster.com today — read it here:
Zorro demonstrates sleeping. We’d all sleep a lot more if we acted like cats.
The Great Purr, my feline fantasy novel, got a nice review by Melisa Lapierre of www.MochasMysteriesMeows.com. You can read it here at the Cat Writers’ Association website blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
“With fantasy not being my typical genre of preference (that would be mysteries), I was unsure of what to expect when I started reading The Great Purr. I never imagined that I would be so completely drawn into the magical world created by this talented author…The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking what a wonderful movie it would make, and in the end I was left with one burning question: is there going to be a sequel??? I would love to have the opportunity to infiltrate these cats’ lives again.”
Truly, I had fun writing this book. “Go where the fun is!” is probably a good motto for writers and creative people to follow. There’s nothing more fun than creating characters from the cats you love, and a few new ones as well.
Will there be a sequel? Yes! I am working on it now. It will either be a sequel, or a series (same magical world). I am nailing that down, now.
A cool new book has come into print (and is also available electronically). Check out Rescued, the Stories of 12 Cats, from Their Eyes.
Rescued features the stories of 12 rescued cats, told from their point of view. My own cat Rama has a story in this book! Rama tells the story of how he had to get over some major fear and trust issues to learn to love humans again. Eleven other cats tell their amazing stories of rescue, too.
And that’s not all...One third of the profits from Rescued always benefit cat rescue. Rama hand-selected a special local organization (Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society, Orleans, VT) for his month of June!
So, check out this book! Here’s a pic of the cover. And here’s a pic, too, of the handsome Rama.
Author Q and A — Rama talks about his story in the new anthology RESCUED: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes
Hi! I’m Rama, 10 year old beautiful black cat, and I allow Cat Holm to share a life with me! I was asked to author a story about my rescue. I have quite a story! My story appears in this wonderful book, Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes. I share this book with twelve other cat authors, and we have some stories to tell! I was quite a crabby, mistrusting cat at one time! I still act crabby, but it’s mostly a show. Rescued‘s editor interviewed ME and my person (Cat). You can read my interview here!! Go read it now!
The other day I had Minnesota Envy; today it’s Vermont LUST.
I can feel Vermont, churning gently beneath the snow, getting ready for SPRING.
Spring in VT is out of this world. Locals don’t care for mud season, but I don’t mind it. Sure, it is not as pretty as the real spring, but it is still pretty! Water runs at angles on the hilly roads as snow melts. Streams grow and churn. We can hear a river miles away. The apple trees on the sides of the roads stand ready, waiting to make buds. The maple syrup is running.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a place so pretty.
Vermont is a huge seductress. When spring comes and everything erupts into green, I’ll fall in love again and again.
One favorite view.
Norton is one of the smartest cats I’ve ever lived with. You can almost see the wheels turning in his eyes.
I love this guy.
I think about the strangest things. But I do want to be sure I am aware of my biases when it comes to making important medical decisions for my loved ones. In my case, some of those loved ones include cats.
The two human deaths I’ve witnessed were relatively peaceful. I have wondered whether these experiences bias me in some way when I have to help a pet at the end of life. I wrote about this for Catster. You can read it here:
Cats and yoga go together in more ways than you might think. I bring out the yoga mat, and the cats are instantly on it. But there’s more to yoga and cats than meets the eye. Read about it here:
This morning, I have Minnesota envy.
And I miss my Minnesota friends.
MN is having temps in the 60s and 70s, I’m told. Here, we had 10 degrees this morning. There is still lots of snow on the ground.
I cannot complain. My first winter in Vermont has been the easiest and warmest winter I’ve ever experienced. If you can get through a northern MN winter, you can get through just about anything. Forty five Minnesota winters have trained me well. Seriously, my biggest freakout here in Vermont (which I’ve since gotten over) was learning to drive the icy mountain roads. I discovered that they are not as bad as they look. Snow tires are a must. So is common sense. All wheel drive is very nice. (I drove rear wheel drive for many years in Mn. Dicey, to say the least!)
I’ll just take a drive in the Vermont mountains later today (it is impossible to go anywhere without driving in the mountains) and the Minnesota envy will disappear, even if it is 20-30 degrees cooler here in VT. I’ll just look at the mountains, go crazy with happiness, and deal with the temps. I can do it.
I may take a XC ski, too, right on the hill/mountain out my back door, if I can summon the energy after recovering from the kick -ass flu.
Creative people with projects underway need to be firm, and constantly discerning, about saying no. I have learned this the hard way over the years, and I keep re-learning. Seems I also have a little helper gene that tends to want to help with this and with that. But…I can’t do it all. If I try to do any of it, I won’t have any time to write. That is why successful writers guard their time fiercely. I will admit that I have not always been as fierce as I should be. When I am, it feels right and true.
There is some kind of a fine balance to be worked out with this — obviously I can’t say no to making a living. I don’t want to say no to my family. I need some time with friends, or enjoying my beloved “outside.” But over the past few months, I’ve found myself repeatedly turning away “other opportunities” that would take me from my writing.
Here is a succinct article on this very topic, that popped up this morning. It’s a good reminder.
I am so very excited to be included in this unique anthology, coming out this January.
I will have books in hand by mid February.
A portion of proceeds from all sales always benefit local (to the authors) animal rescue organizations.
Here is a press release and a graphic of the cool cover. My Rama is the black cat on the bottom of the front cover!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
An Anthology of Rescue Cat Stories—With a Difference—to Be Published January 27
LOS ANGELES —January 15, 2015—Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes is not your average anthology. It contains a dozen compelling, funny, moving, true cat rescue stories, each one told through the cat’s own perspective. In addition to its unique point of view, Rescued’s marketing campaign is geared specifically to help 12 pet rescues that were pawpicked by the book’s authors.
Cats are saved in many different ways, and the stories in Rescued reflect that variety. There’s the castoff who wanted a home, but on his own terms; a victim of cruelty who only had love for his saviors; a purebred but special needs Tonkinese whose breeder almost put him down; an emotionally traumatized cat who had to learn to love—and live—again…and more. The human writers behind the cats are just as interesting: a leader in cat rescue, a musician and filmmaker, a producer/director, and a cozy mystery author, just to name a few. Many of these cats already have a strong presence as bloggers or on Facebook; some of these writers have won awards. Rescued features an impressive group of authors, both new and experienced.
The editor of Rescued, Janiss Garza, wanted to do something a little different from the usual indie publishing campaign, and because of its theme, she wanted to promote cat rescue along with the book. So she had each author choose a rescue that was near and dear to them, and a full third of the book’s profits will be going to these rescues. Many of the authors will be setting up events locally to promote their rescue and the book together. This way, everybody wins. “I’ve designed Rescued’s promotion and marketing campaign so both the authors and cats in need will benefit,” says Janiss.
Rescued is available worldwide on January 27, 2015. Many of the authors (in cat or human form) are available for interviews, as is the editor.
Contact: Janiss Garza firstname.lastname@example.org FitCat Publishing P.O. Box 411461 Los Angeles, CA 90041 323-258-2660
We recently had the fun good fortune to bring our friend’s dog into our household for the weekend. Here is how it worked. Keep in mind that this is an exceptional dog that probably wouldn’t hurt a fly. Still…we learned a few things about how to do it, if we do it again.
Read it here:
Photo courtesy of J.S.
“Norton Author Wins National Award” — Press coverage of the Great Purr and Muse Medallion award at Newport Daily Express, 11-14-2014
A local paper did a story on me and THE GREAT PURR, and the Muse Medallion that the GREAT PURR just received from the Cat Writers’ Association.
Here’s the link, and also, the entire text of the article below (the link will only show a header).
Gratitude, friends in Newport, who helped make this interview possible!
Norton Author Wins National Award
By LAURA CARPENTER
Newport Daily Express Staff Writer
November 14, 2014
Local author Catherine (Cat) Holm has won an award for one of her latest published books, The Great Purr, a fictional cat fantasy. Holm, who now lives in Norton, traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, recently to attend the Cat Writers’ Association Awards Banquet not knowing she was going to win the Muse Medallion. She actually tied for first place with another author.
Holm moved to Vermont less than a year ago from Northern Minnesota. The story that won the award is set in a Northern Minnesota mining town.
In the fictional story the cats had always maintained that the Great Purr is a force that holds the Real World, the Under Earth, and the Spirit World together. But when the Great Purr becomes corrupted and threatens to destroy the world, the magical cats of Ironton must work together to prevent disaster, Holm said. The different cat character traits are revealed, including temptation and evil, which threaten to unravel the Great Purr.
Holm’s books are available for purchase at the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative, Creative Natives in Colebrook, NH, Miller’s Thumb Gallery in Greensboro, at Green Mountain Books in Lyndonville, and Amazon. Most books are available on Kindle.
Cats and dogs have always been important to Holm, but she didn’t realize, until living is rural Minnesota, how important and how much cats meant to her. Holm has been a writer and editor for a long time, and enjoys fiction.
She has short stories and other books published, including memoirs, like one called Driving with Cats, which has received rave reviews on Amazon.
Holm doesn’t always write about cats. Another favorite topic is exploring the impact of land and place on people.
Holm is pleased with her and her husband’s relocation to Vermont. He is a native New Englander, and the couple visited Vermont for years before deciding to make it their home. Holm said she is expecting to love living in Vermont, finds the landscape beautiful, and anticipates that the winters will be milder than what she is used to.
Asked about how she came up with the idea for the book, Holm said that ideas tend to gestate and form in her mind for a long time before writing.
“I have always been fascinated by the possibility that magic or the unusual may be a lot closer to us than we realize. There was a particular town near where I used to live in Minnesota, a mining town. The town had steam heat and you could always see the steam rising up from the grates (manholes) in the sidewalks. My imagination probably just went to work somehow and eventually tied it all together.”
She added that the character development of each cat helped to shape the story. She had a black cat named Target who had the best single pointed focus she had ever seen.
“So naturally, in the story, his focused personality will contribute to certain actions that only he could take.”
My Handsome Zorro! It’s hard to believe that last year, he was a scared “feral” in our unheated garage. I couldn’t get near him.
I got lucky. We were able to trap and neuter him. It became apparent that he wasn’t really wild, just very very scared. He enjoys a nice indoor life now and seems completely uninterested in going outside.
TNR stands for Trap-neuter-release/return. Obviously, we did not return Zorro to the outdoors.
Cats are opportunists! And when the temps start dropping, cats start seeking heat. Much of this involves cuddling.
Read more here:
Two kitties snuggled tightly in a cat bed.
The Great Purr, my cat fantasy fiction novel, walked away with a Muse Medallion at the annual Cat Writer’s Association contest. Woo hoo!!
What this means is that it scored the highest (in a tie with mystery author Clea Simon) of ten or more books, submitted under the category of “Books: Fiction.” There are many categories in this contest and there were over 260 entries across the board.
It’s a great honor to be recognized by your peers. Big congratulations to ALL the talented winners this year!
Jamie Bluebell watches falling snow.
It’s true. My cats have a conspiracy. Keep mom from working, and then she’ll have more fun. And this is true! Though if I don’t work, how can I afford their fancy cat food?
Here are some of my cats’ strategies for keeping me from working. How do your animal companions keep you from working? Read it here:
Zorro doing a good job of covering the keyboard.
MAC Center for the Arts in Newport, VT opens the Fall 2014 Watercolor Exhibition tomorrow, 9/12/14, 5-7 p.m.
The MAC Center for the Arts, in Newport, VT, opens a fall watercolor exhibition tomorrow night, 9/12/14, 5-7 p.m., with a reception.
Music and refreshments will be provided, and I will be reading from my work at about 6:15 p.m. as part of the entertainment. I will have 10-15 minutes, so am not sure what I will read yet — perhaps a short excerpt from Voice Lessons, My Heart, and/or Driving with Cats. It’s all good. See you there! There’s a gallery full of beautiful artwork at the MAC, so come by if you’re in the area!
Those of you who know me know that I love people as much as cats. Really! There’s some editorial license taken here to make the article a little more fun. But seriously, I think my relationship with my pets actually helps me be a better human, and probably helps me deal with people for the better. Read the article at catster.com — Read it here:
I am a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, a group of professionals of all kinds who do cat-related writing and visual art. The organization has an annual contest. The Great Purr has won a certificate of excellence in that contest for 2014. This means that it scored at least 90 out of 100 in the category for fiction novels, and is eligible for a Muse Medallion. The top score in each category (and there are many categories of writing and art in this contest) wins the Muse Medallion — awarded in November.
Congratulations to ALL the winners!
My cats are all loving, and generally they get along. But one cat has started bullying the only female. It’s subtle, and I think it’s on the way to improving. Here’s what I am trying.
I have a few appearances and events coming up soon. These should be varied and fun. If you’re in the Vermont/New England/Quebec area, please come and check these out!
- MAC Center for the Arts, Newport, VT, Friday, September 12, 2014, as part of the “It Happens in Vermont,” exhibition and sale, sponsored by the Vermont Watercolor Society, reception from 5 – 7 PM. I will be reading at 6:15 pm.
- First Universalist Parish of Derby Line (VT), Sunday, October 5, 10 a.m.; I will speak about my relationship with animals and how it has shaped my path in life and as an author, as part of the Blessing of the Animals Service.
- Cat Writers’ Association annual conference, Saturday, November 1, time TBA; book signing and autograph party at the Westin Buckhead Hotel, Atlanta, GA.
- Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT, Tuesday, November 18, at 6 p.m.