On June 24, at the joint BlogPaws and Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) conference in Phoenix, AZ, I won the CWA President’s Award for my short story “Sideways.” I also got a reminder about my direction.

cwa presidential award 2016 catherine holm

Awards for the short story “Sideways” — the Muse Medallion is awarded to the best entry in a category (the Short Story category, in my case); the President’s Award (plaque) is awarded to the grand winner of all the Muse Medallion winners.


I love the Shakespeare quote “To thine own self be true.” I LOVE it. But sometimes, I forget it and I forget to let it guide me.

“Sideways” is part of the award winning anthology Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes. Essentially my story was chosen as the top entry out of almost 300 entries across many genres (articles, blogs, books, illustrations, more). Think of the Best of Show award at a cat or dog show, and you get the idea.

Rama's glamour pic from Rescued: The Stories of Twelve Cats, through Their Eyes.

Rama’s glamour pic from Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, through Their Eyes.

Here is a press release I created about the event and here is the CWA’s press release.

President Marci Kladnik gave an intro, and it was so skillfully done that I had no idea I was the winner until she announced my name. Apparently my story (about my cat Rama, who was adopted almost feral, and had to be worked with for years to establish trust and security) touched her heart and made her cry. In fact, I’ve been told by a few people that this story hit them in the heart, because it reminded them of themselves.

And this is what I need to remember. THIS is what I do well, and I need to keep doing it. I write from the Heart.

Some of us in this world are great feelers, empaths, whatever you call it. We’re wired this way. I used to think of it as a weakness. I am beginning to realize that it is a Strength. This weekend brought that point home.


There were many animal companions at CWA/BlogPaws, and this is the amazing Summer, of the blog www.sparklecat.com .


Christy Paws

The athletic and lively Christy Paws, of the blog by that name.



Adorable Samson, a kitten and an old soul!


I’m vowing to let my HEART into all the work that I do. I have to have passion and heart fuel my work, or it doesn’t work for me. The clients, people, and partnerships that I want to attract will understand this. Because I am not going to hold back.


It was way too hot to hike, but a mountain view always makes me happy.


I love traveling because it reminds me to be open to possibilities. I expected that I would go to this conference, attend a bunch of sessions, and network up the wazoo. I did this, but I also took quiet time ( I needed it), met lovely people, reconnected with special friends, shared our passion for cats, and enjoyed walking and being in this peaceful place. And, I won an award. But the biggest award that I walked away with was a reminder of my purpose, and to stay true to it.