Monday, August 4, 2014

If You've Ever Wondered About the Way My Brain Works When I'm Writing, Wonder No More

I'm on tour! Doesn't that sound exciting? It is, but I'm touring from the comfort of my office chair. You see, my talented author-friend, Kristy Abbott invited me to join The Writing Process Blog Tour.

What in the world is The Writing Process Blog Tour?

Don't get sassy -- I'm about to explain it to you. It's a way for bloggers to share their own writing process and current projects with readers, as well as introduce them to a couple of fabulous authors they might not be reading ... which they should.

The idea also intrigued me because on this blog I mostly write about my cats, cat products and and other feline-related topics. I rarely write about myself, and haven't for a few years. When I began Catladyland (then Eclectic Catladyland) in 2009, I wrote about neurotic self, my cats and lots of musing on silly things that pop into my mind. Shortly after that, I switched exclusively to writing about cats. Why? I enjoyed it and felt like I'd found a solid audience -- it was that simple.

This post offers a little insight into me, myself and I, although I promise to bring up cats now and again because how can I describe anything I do without their inclusion? Impossible, I tell you!

On to the Writing Process Blog Tour, which includes four questions:

What am I working on?

I work on a variety of projects every day. I'm a regular columnist for, so most every day I'm working on something for that site. I also pick up freelance opportunities for other sites pretty regularly -- they're usually cat-related. Surprise. My first book, whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds came out last year, and I'm gearing up for some fall promotion in conjunction with the companion calendar that will be released very soon. I'm also working on a secret project! That's right, it's secret and it's incredibly cool. Wait and see. Oh, and I've started some writing that has nothing to do with cats. WHAT? It's true. I will share some of it soon.

I also write this blog, and the sites for Texts from Mittens and whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, as well as maintain the daily social media for all three. I stay busy.

I work. Cosmo cleans his butt.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I've always loved writing parodies and designing worlds where cats do people things. When I can combine both of those -- like in whiskerslist -- I'm a happy girl. The same goes for Mittens. It amuses me to no end to concoct that perfect mixture of human and cat characteristics for Mittens. It really has to be just the right combination for it to be funny and outlandish, yet still be sort-of in the realm of what a cat really might think or do. So I think that's maybe what's different: I like to create worlds where cats are still cats, but possess human characteristics as well.

Why do you write what you do?

Because I feel happy when I do it.

Need inspiration? Take a shower. Then feed me.

How does your writing process work?

Haha, that's funny. It really differs all the time and is based on the type of project on which I'm working. I do have a crap-load of notebooks, though. I always have an empty regular-size (college-ruled, of course) one and a small one (in case I want to carry it in my purse) handy. For everything: freelance pieces as well as books, I usually brainstorm in the notebook first, and come up with some main points of a loose plan. I love my notebooks -- they are my brain splattered all over paper. Ew. That sounds kind of gross.

I'm also a professional daydreamer. This used to be an issue when I was in school, but now serves me in magnificent ways. My daydreams often lead to my best ideas. My favorite times to daydream are while showering, driving and vacuuming -- that's the truth. I'm not even trying to be funny with the vacuuming part. That vacuum cleaner has helped me develop the best ideas -- and bonus: my carpets are clean!

When I feel stuck, I stare at my cats and rub their ears. They're my fuzzy little muses, and constantly inspire me. Plus I think that rubbing their ears kind of works like rubbing a magic lamp. Sometimes good ideas just appear!

My portion of the tour has now come to an end. Get your T-Shirt here.

Now meet my talented friends!

Amy Shojai has been reinventing herself for years. She's a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 27 best-selling pet books that cover furry babies to old fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity. She created the site as the Puppies Expert, and was the Cat Behavior Expert at Cats. And you'll find her half-hour Pet Peeves radio show here. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues, including the New York Times, Reader's Digest and Family Circle, as well as well as national radio and TV networks such as CNN, Animal Planet's Dogs 101 and Cats 101. She's been a consultant to the pet products industry and a host/program consultant for select "furry" TV projects.

Amy is also a musician, actor and playwright, and brings her unique pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances and performances, audio books (hers and others), writer of webinars, conference keynote/seminars and THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Learn more about Amy when you visit her site.

Deborah Barnes currently resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida and was inspired to write The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey -- a Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary as a result of the lessons learned from her family of seven cats after her life took a downward turn in 2009 when she was unexpectedly laid off at 48 years of age.

She is also the creator of the award-winning blog Zee and Zoey's Chronicle Connection, that not only continues to follow the everyday journey she shares with her cats (including her newest additions, a rescue kitten named Kizmet that she adopted from Pet Supermarket, and a feral Maine Coon kitten named Jazmine that was rescued from an abandoned farmhouse), but covers topics from the humorous behavior of cats to the very serious subjects on pet responsibility. Her current circle of works has brought her where she is today -- a serious cat advocate and Secretary of Pawsitively Humane Nonprofit organization in Miami, Florida, whose mission is to create public awareness and reduce the number of animals on the street and in shelters through an extensive educational campaign.

Learn more about Deborah when you visit her site.

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Paws for Comment!!

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