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.
My cats do lots of cute things. Some of these mannerisms are sweet and unforgettable. Read about these, here:
Karma and Norton snuggle in an almost too-tight cat bed.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Many of my teachers have been cats. I’ve always believed that our animal companions have much to teach us. Here’s how mine have shaped who I am, hopefully for the better. Read it here.
Selfie with Jamie Bluebell, a young teacher.
It’s a big deal to lose a pet, and every one processes this differently. Here are some tips to help your friends get through this time.
Here’s where I make the case for why six cats are more fun than none. We (mostly, I believe) thrive on loving and nurturing others. This is one way in which I do it. Read about it here:
I never thought cats could be mircomanagers — until I met the unforgettable Leo, black cat of a friend of mine. Leo has micromanagement down to a science and he’s impressive! Is your cat a micromanager? Find out more here:
The beautiful Leo and his sister Katy.
I’m beginning to get giddy. I love fall. Fall is not here yet, but I am assured it will be spectacular. But…I am feeling the nudging beginnings of this transition.
A few leaves are starting to turn
Crickets are singing day and night
It’s a little too cool to swim in a pond
Veggies are being harvested
Wood is put up
Aster is blooming in the woods and in the garden
The blackberries might actually make it
The raspberries are almost past
I’m excited. Later, i might be sad because winter will be coming. Right now, I LOVE IT.
It’s humor, but it’s true. I found similarities between my cats and my mom. Does your mom have eyes in the back of her head? So do your cats. Read on, here!
My Velcro cat, Zorro, is probably like some mothers.
I had this experience the other day where I gave into Corona’s (our dog’s) desire to get on the porch, and had a scare…it made me think about why dogs love porches and cats love beds. Read it here at http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-dog-behavior-care-deny-things-love-porches-beds-bedroom
Everything is new! Usually, that is thrilling. Sometimes it is edgy. Once in a great while, it’s almost too much. But really, it’s mostly amazing and fun.
And there was a sense, the other day, of bringing in the “old” to the new. My husband and I stacked wood together for the first time in the new place. I think things had been feeling way too easy and soft! It was so good to be working outside together. Not that we haven’t been working our butts off, but this was a familiar kind of “homestead” work that carried over from the other place. It felt good. And then I processed a bunch of peas and beans, and that felt good, too. For a garden that was put in Very Fast and pretty late, it is yielding some nice veggies. I am happy.
Not my garden, but all gardens are interesting and beautiful. From Flickr.
I amused myself walking down the mountain today. Where we lived previously, we had to fight like heck to get carpenters to come help us. Here, there are carpenters fighting to help us. #eastcoasthustlehustle
I like to focus on the positive. Yes, there are things I can’t do at home because of cats (leave dangerous things out, leave doors open, etc. etc.) but there are many things I CAN do. It’s more for humor than anything (and hopefully, there’s some informative value) that I wrote this article on cats — read it here — 8 Things I Can Never Do Because I Have Cats.
Some animals have a quality that’s hard to nail done. They seem a little more aware, in tune, mature than others. I write about this Old Soul quality in some of my cats, and how it shows up.
I am easily entertained, and I love watching my cats playfight. Certain moves are universal, and seem to be part of the cat canon, much like archetypes. I’ve seen these moves over and over and over again. They amuse me. For your entertainment, here’s a primer on cat playfighting, at Catster.com.
Zorro and Norton have at it — hours of play and exercise fun.