April Dates!…Where to Find Panda…

Hi friends, Please take note of the upcoming events for Panda the Very Bad Cat. I hope to see you at some of them and I’d love to chat if you stop by and say hi!

Saturday, April 1, 2017: From 10:00 am -4:00 pm I’ll be in Niagara on The Lake at the Spring Time in Old Town Charity Craft and Vendor Event with my book Panda the Very Bad Cat. I’ll be signing them and personalizing them for an extra special touch. Just in time for Easter!

Sunday, April 2, 2017: From 11:00 am-4:00 pm I’ll be in Niagara on The Lake for the same event! This is a two-day event and I will say that it is spectacular! Hope to see you there.

Saturday, April 8, 2017: I’ll be at Chapters Waterloo from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm signing and personalizing copies of Panda the Very Bad Cat! Come and visit me!

Saturday, April 15, 2017: I’ll be at the Annual Bunny Trail Event in Niagara on The Lake at the community centre from 10:00 am-1:00 pm with Panda the Very Bad Cat!

Saturday, April 22, 2017: I’ll be at Ren’s Pet’s Depot in Kitchener (1525 Victoria St N, Kitchener, ON N2B 3E4) from 11:00 am-3:00 pm doing a VERY SPECIAL event as I partner with Pet Patrol in an adoption/book signing event. Pet patrol is a cat adoption and rescue centre and I can’t wait to help them raise funds for the animals in their care. I’ll be there with my book Panda the Very Bad Cat and I hope you’ll join me in helping this amazing rescue.

Sunday, April 23, 2017: I’ll be doing a book signing event at Chapters St. Catharines (285 Geneva Street) from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm. Come and get your copy of Panda the Very Bad Cat signed and personalized!

Saturday, April 29, 2017: Panda the Very Bad Cat and I will be at A Child’s World Family Festival from 10:00 am-2:00 pm in Welland (244 Thorold Rd. W L3C 3W1). The Child’s World Family Childcare Centre is hoping to raise funds to buy new equipment and supplies for each of their 24 centres. I hope you’ll join me in supporting them that day.

How to Write a Memoir…Binbrook Women’s Institute Presentation…

March 29, 2017- I’m absolutely honoured to speak to the members of the Binbrook Women’s Institute today about the Do’s and Dont’s of Memoir Writing. I’d like to share my points with you so that if you’re ever inclined to pick up a pen and start writing your story, you’ll know where to start.

Memoir- Is a French word that means memory or reminiscence. The dictionary defines it as a historical account or biography that’s written from personal knowledge or special sources.

It sounds like memoir and autobiography are the same, but in the publishing world, they’re not.

There’s a key difference that publishers use to define each—the timeline covered in the writing. An autobiography focuses on the chronology of the writer’s entire life while a memoir covers one specific aspect of the writer’s life.

How to start your memoir The Do’s and Don’ts

  • (DO) Decide if you’re going to write a biography or a memoir-This is super important if you’re going to a publisher with your story. We want to know if it’s a complete work of your life or just a fascinating piece of it. This helps us as publishers, to position the book in the market.
  • (DO)Do an outline-I cannot stress this enough. An outline is an invaluable tool that allows you to stay on track and know where you’re going with your story. And let’s face it, your life is a story, everyone’s is. Without an outline, it’s very easy to get sidetracked, lose your place and procrastinate.
  • (DON’T) If you’ve chosen to write a memoir, don’t begin at the beginning. Remember the difference between memoir and biography. In memoirs, readers want to know the most exciting or emotional point in your life. Eg. The summer of 1978. Be specific in your memoir.
  • (DO) Use all of your senses while describing your scenes. Eg. The air was thick with humidity, and the rumble of thunder (Sound) in the inky blue sky (Sight) made the skin on the back of my neck prickle (touch). I loved the smell of the salty ocean especially on days like this. Seagulls flapped above the patio as I took a long drink of beer (taste) from a frosted glass. (Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell).
  • (DO BUT DON’T) Show don’t tell! This is SO important! As an author, I’ve been browbeaten with this term, and I also obsess over this with the authors that I publish. Don’t tell me the moon is shining…show me how it drips across broken glass in an abandoned parking lot. Show me how it catches in his eyes and illuminates his face.
  • (DO) Tell the Truth-This might seem obvious to all of you but there have been plenty of scandals on tv about people writing fiction and passing it off as their own life or true story. Does anyone remember the man who wrote a book about meeting his wife at the concentration camp? He was on one side of the fence, and she was on the other, and she gave him an apple. His story was so compelling that he was on Oprah twice. Once for the story and again to apologize to the public. The only way you would get away with lying about your life story is if everyone you know is dead and if you were planning on moving to a place where no one has ever heard of you. You will eventually get caught though when someone asks you questions about your life/book, and you can’t corroborate your story.
  • (DO)Sit the reader next to you- What I mean by this is, illustrate your life in the first person. This makes sure the reader is involved in your story. They have more empathy, and they’re more engaged. You don’t want them to be an outsider looking in, you want them to be sitting right next to you. Here’s an example. Who wants to read a story that starts with, “Lacey L. Bakker was born on June 14th, 1982. She was 6 pounds 12 ounces and had 10 fingers and 10 toes.” Honestly, no one cares. Sorry to say but you need to start your story out with something interesting. It needs to engage the reader if you ever want a chance of being published. If being published is not something that you care about then, by all means, start your story off with facts. But, how much better does this sound? On June the 14th at precisely 8:00 in the morning there was a lot of screaming. Not just from me but from my mother as well. I was stolen from my place of comfort and darkness to be plunged into the light by a perfect stranger surrounded by people in masks and gloves. I was naked and covered in someone else’s blood. See what I mean?
  • (DO) Create an emotional journey-Make your reader feel something. Whether you’re concerned with getting your book out to the masses or just a few people this piece of advice stays the same. Make your reader feel something, and they will always come back for more.
  • (DON’T) Don’t live a boring life!-If you don’t have anything interesting to write about, then you need to get out there and do something worth writing about. You don’t want your life story to be: I was born, I worked, and I died.  Life is to be lived, and there’s an entire world full of adventure in front of us.
  • (DO) Have fun-Make sure that you’re having fun with the process of writing as well as the writing part. Add humour if it’s something you want to add, be silly, show your readers who you truly are and don’t leave the funny, fun or embarrassing parts out! These things allow us to all be connected. They show everyone that we are the same. People will relate to you and after all, isn’t that the point? To relate to each other and say, I know how you feel!

Seabass’ Diary…Day 138…Almost Free…

March 27, 2017-“Why do I have to do EVERYTHING?” the tall, thin woman screamed. She continued running toward us, and by this point, the large, stupid human had defeated his captor. The henchman was laying unconscious on the gravel, but there was still one to contend with. The man tried to grab for me again, but once again I bit down on him as hard as I could while Simba bit his ankle and Bernard broke free of the muzzle.

“Get him, Bernard!” I screamed as he charged at the henchman and knocked the wind out of him as he fell to the ground in a massive heap. Bernard dragged him by the coat cuff and whipped the man’s arms around viciously. He growled and snarled and spat slobber that washed over the henchman’s face. The tall, thin woman loomed over me with a huge stick. She swung it wildly, but I was able to roll out of the way just in time.

In the distance, I saw the large, stupid human grab a knife from the henchman’s utility belt and cut himself free of his restraints.He took the knife and ran towards the small, stupid human. The tall, thin woman swung at me again and missed as I rolled in the opposite direction. I knew that I couldn’t keep her at bay much longer. Bernard gnashed his teeth but couldn’t get near the stick that separated him and the tall, thin woman.

I looked for Simba but couldn’t find him. I needed him now more than ever. The henchman that was unconscious sprung to his feet and reached for his knife. “Let me do away with this one!” he said. “It’d be my pleasure,” he snarled at me.

I heard sirens in the distance. If I could hold on until they got to us, we would be saved! I was still underneath the van when I heard something up above me. Within seconds the van roared to life and suddenly my hiding place was compromised.

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Interesting Facts about Our Feline Friends!…

Hi Folks, Here are some interesting facts about our feline friends that you may or may not already know. I’ll be honest and say that some of these facts surprised me! Let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below:)

 

  • Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth. Scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor.
  • When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.
  • The technical term for a cat’s hairball is a “bezoar.”
  • A group of cats is called a “clowder” or a “glaring.”
  • A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down.
  • Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.
  • There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with approximately 40 recognized breeds.
  • While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more.
  • Cats are North America’s most popular pets: there are 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs. Over 30% of households in North America own a cat.
  • According to Hebrew legend, Noah prayed to God for help protecting all the food he stored on the ark from being eaten by rats. In reply, God made the lion sneeze, and out popped a cat.
  • A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. And a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.
  • A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.
  • A cat rubs against people not only to be affectionate but also to mark out its territory with scent glands around its face. The tail area and paws also carry the cat’s scent.
  • Researchers are unsure exactly how a cat purrs. Most veterinarians believe that a cat purrs by vibrating vocal folds deep in the throat. To do this, a muscle in the larynx opens and closes the air passage about 25 times per second.

So there you have it! Interesting facts about cats, thanks for reading:)

LLB

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Do You?…I Do! And So Do A Lot of Others!…

A lot of people do this…and I must say that I am one of those people. To be honest, I feel like this is a normal thing in our house…but then again define normal:)

I am a cat mum that buys her beautiful boys Easter baskets. There I said it, and I must say that it’s freeing! Sure, I buy my guys Christmas and Birthday presents, Halloween costumes and toys by the truckload but it’s because I love to and because they kind of expect it. Sigh, I’ve created monsters I’ll admit it.

If you’re a pet parent that buys your furry friend presents of any kind, take heart because you’re not alone. Did you know that 95% of pet parents buy their cats/dogs/rabbits/ferrets/hamsters/fish…presents? And why shouldn’t we? They make our lives so special.

If you’re planning on gifting the special pet in your life an Easter basket this year, here are a few ideas:

1) A cute bowtie or bow– I did this for my cats Simba and Sebastien, and I must say that they look dashing! I can’t wait for them to wear them on Easter Sunday for their photo shoot:) Again, define normal. Please make sure that the bow or bow tie is quick release if attached to any kind of collar to prevent from choking. I only put outfits and accessories on my kitties when they’re supervised and only for a short amount of time while I snap a few photos. I want them to be comfortable and safe, but I’m not necessarily worried about them being embarrassed:) Stay tuned for their photos which I’ll post closer to Easter!

2) Organic catnip– I find that my cats go crazy for organic catnip. Every once in a while I give them a sprinkle, and they’re in heaven! Be sure to use a high-quality catnip to ensure there aren’t any adverse preservatives that will be harmful to your cat and only include this in their Easter basket if they enjoy it in the first place.

3) A new toy– While I was at the Hamilton Cat Fanciers cat show this weekend, I managed to scoop up a few treats for Simba and Sebastien. I always choose toys that are made of excellent quality materials. I never choose anything with bells or small balls/eyes that they might be able to chew off and swallow. If I do pick a toy that has ribbon or feathers, I make sure that my cats are supervised while playing to ensure that they don’t ingest anything. When I’m not home, those toys go in a box with a lid.

4) Treats– I’m not a huge fan of giving my cats treats for the simple reason that they don’t need them. The other reason why I don’t often give treats is that my cats are both on prescription food. Every once in a while I’ll buy them some freeze dried chicken that is made specifically for cats. They seem to like it, and I feel better giving them something close to the real thing. Include a couple of high-quality food treats in your Easter basket to make it extra special.

So there you have it! The perfect Easter basket for your feline friend.

LLB

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Tips for Keeping Your Cat Safe this Easter…

Easter will be upon us in a few short weeks, and I think it’s essential to spread the word on how to keep your cat safe during the holiday. Follow these tips to ensure a happy and safe celebration for everyone in your home!

  1. Just say, “No”- to Easter Lillies that is. Lillies (ALL parts of them) are especially toxic to cats. A small nibble of a stem, leaf or petal can be fatal and cause severe kidney damage. Even the POLLEN is toxic. Be safe this Easter and choose pet-friendly plants if you must have them. The following plants are NON-TOXIC to your cat so choose one of these instead. As always don’t let your pets chew on them, though. Plants are to be admired not eaten:)
    10 houseplants that are safe for pets (non-toxic)
    • African violet.
    • Air plants.
    • Ferns (Maidenhair, Boston, and Bird’s Nest)
    • Orchids.
    • Peperomia.
    • Prayer Plant.
    • Spider Plant.
    • Zebra Plant.

    2. Keep Easter grass away from your cat-Baskets filled with Easter grass may look cute but the grass can be fatal to your feline friend. Ingestion of the grass can cause intestinal obstruction and an emergency trip to the animal hospital! Use brightly coloured tissue paper or patterned cloth in festive colours to fill the bottom of the baskets instead. This way your baskets will still look great and your cat will be safe and sound.

    3. Don’t share your dinner-This is a good tip not just for Easter but in general. Cats should only eat…well, cat food. I know that with my guys specifically, they’ll look for tiny pieces of ham or turkey that fall on the floor and are waiting at the ready to steal a piece. Don’t do this! It not only encourages bad behaviour that is hard to stop after it starts, but it’s not healthy for your cat. Fat and bones will cause significant problems for your cat if eaten by accident and garlic and onions used in stuffing are toxic. Keep your cat away from Easter dinner so that everyone can enjoy their own meal. That includes your feline friend.

    4. Keep an eye on chocolate and candy-Hiding Easter eggs for youngsters is a fun way to celebrate Easter as a family. Keep the celebration safe by having a list of where you’ve hidden all of the Easter treats to ensure that kitty doesn’t sink his teeth into some forgotten chocolate. Chocolate is toxic and can be fatal to cats! Consider keeping kitty confined to his room while your family hunts for the eggs to ensure his safety.

     

    I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful during your holiday celebration. *These guidelines were originally posted by our friends at Guelph Animal Hospital.

LLB

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The World’s Richest Cats…Number 4

March 22, 2017-WOW! This next cat is one of my favourite cats of all time. It’s funny because I thought that she would be way closer to the top of the list. You probably know her really well!

Number 4 on the list of The World’s Richest Cats is none other than GRUMPY CAT! YAY! Tardar Sauce is her real name, and her unique look is caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite. Her birthday is April 4, 2012, and she was born in Arizona. Grumpy cat is a viral sensation and an international superstar whose net worth is said to be around $100 million! That’s a lot of zeros! She’s been the star of her own movies and countless endorsements, has a sponsorship with Friskies and let’s not forget about the merchandise she loans her grumpy look to. I don’t know about you but I love her grumpy face and I absolutely LOVE Grumpy Cat. I’m glad to see her on the list!

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