December 5, 2017-The upcoming holiday season spells excitement for most people; animals also get excited because there is so much to see and so many new things to get into! Read the tips below from our friends at The Spruce! Happy Holidays<3
November 16, 2017- This article is from the good people at Modern Cat Magazine; it focuses on the stay-at-home cat and how to keep them interested with inexpensive and inventive ideas! Enjoy and as always, please sound off in the comments section below.
October 31, 2017- This article is from our friends at Peta.com about how to keep your animals safe and happy this Halloween. Please remember to keep your cats indoors, ESPECIALLY if you have a black cat! This is imperative to the safety of your beloved feline because let’s face it, people can be cruel and horrible. Click on the link below for tips to enjoy Halloween with your pets!
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!
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!
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)
Ferns (Maidenhair, Boston, and Bird’s Nest)
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.
Hi Friends, I just wanted to quickly tell you about the newest thing happening at Pandamonium Publishing House! I’ve started a weekly newsletter titled The Panda Post and I hope that you’ll enjoy it. It offers new books, general information about what’s happening in the publishing and book industry, trends, events and more. Here it is…Enjoy!
Halloween is my favourite day of the year and in our house, we go all out! We decorate the inside and outside, we dress up, never buy enough candy and are always on the hunt for the coolest/cutest costumes for ourselves and for our cats. With all of the excitement and let’s face it chaos, that surrounds this time of year it’s easy to get distracted when it comes to caring for your pet. Here are a few tips to keep your feline friend safe this Halloween.
Give Your Pet a Safe Haven. If you live in a busy neighbourhood that is full of kids, it’s a given that your doorbell will be working hard on Halloween night. It would be so easy for kitty to sneak out the door while you’re handing out treats to ghosts and goblins, plus cats can become easily startled by kids wearing masks and costumes. To prevent this and to give yourself piece-of-mind, prepare a special place for your cat that will be away from all of the commotion. I usually usher Simba and Sebastien into the spare bedroom with a few favourite treats and toys on Halloween night. I also make sure to give them plenty of fresh water and I check on them frequently.
Pick the Right Costume. If you happen to dress your cat up on Halloween there are a few things to be mindful of. Pick a costume that is comfortable for your cat. This means that they can move freely and will not overheat in their outfit. Be mindful of any decorative items that could be consumed by your cat and that might pose a choking hazard. Be sure to pick a costume that is non-toxic. Don’t subject your kitty to wearing his costume the entire night. As an added tip, I make sure that my cats are only wearing their costume when they are supervised. This way, I know that they are safe and comfortable. We usually take a couple of pictures and then I take the costumes off of them.
Keep Kitty Away From Human Treats. Cats are curious creatures and they have a penchant for getting their nose into everything. Whether you’re throwing a killer Halloween party or handing out candy to kids, be sure to keep kitty away from the goodies. Chocolate is toxic to cats and even a small amount can cause seizures, muscle tremors and vomiting. Large doses of chocolate can be fatal. Give your cat his own treats that night and only 1 or 2. This way you can all enjoy a safe and happy Halloween.
Sometimes in a cat’s life they will be required to take medication in pill form. Sometimes cats will happily take medications…most of the time, they think you’re trying to poison them. Administering pills requires patience and determination, and these two things are so important when we need our pets to take medication.
Wrap your cat in a towel and sit on the floor with the cat between your legs.
Place your dominant hand around kitty’s head so that your fingers are under their cheekbone.
Tip the cat’s head back and their lower jaw should open.
Using your middle finger, ease their jaw down and place the pill near the back of their tongue.
Release your pet’s head and stroke their throat to encourage swallowing. This is important because they often will just spit the pill out.
Stroke your cat and reward them with extra love and cuddles.
Follow these steps for success and kitty will be back to health in no time!