In Good Company: Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contest Awards

I couldn’t be in White Plains, NY, with all my fellow members of the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) this Friday and Saturday, but I was there as much as possible in spirit, obsessively checking e-mail and Facebook to read news of what was happening in the workshops and social gatherings, and at the awards banquet on Saturday night. Most of all I truly missed the opportunity to socialize face to face with all these e-friends!

I am also very proud to have won four Muse Medallions, the highest honor awarded by the Cat Writers’ Association, these chosen from the awarded Certificates of Excellence announced last month. When the awards list is published, I’ll post a link so you can explore all the winners.

the creative cat

You'll recognize this one.

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Back From BlogPaws!

photo of foodbowls

Our Welcome Mat

Wow, I had no idea there would be so many people at this conference! I don’t think anyone else anticipated it, either, but it just goes to show that social media is here to stay.

BlogPaws meeting

Our opening meeting

And the neatest thing is that it wasn’t just a gathering of “geeks” who only know how to communicate by virtual means, as some people had speculated. The din of voices was so loud all the time that most people were walking around hoarse at the end of every day.

photo of dog's tail on chair

I sat behind a canine attendee.

Lots of animals were in attendance as well, especially dogs who attended meetings.

I photographed a few Cornish Rex cats as well, but I haven’t downloaded their photos yet. Their moms brought them in style—covered carriages!

The meetings were well-planned and informative, and since we’re all new to blogging and twittering and facebooking, we could all share notes with what works for us and listen to the advice of others who have spent a good bit of time experimenting and looking at statistics and refining what brings the most readership to what we have to offer.

It’s a little overwhelming, but we all agreed we felt we were adding to both what people could learn about caring for their pets, and we could also influence the welfare of millions of animals by raising awareness and donations in our blogs.

photo of pin-felted dog

Pin-felted dog by Sarah Williams

photo of my art display

All my art sold, half of the price went to benefit shelters

I know I’ve got several ideas for articles I’ll be writing from individuals and from vendors I met at the exhibits too. Not only that, but I’m going to start my new blog feature on The Creative Cat—interviews and reviews with other animal artists. I’ll be beginning with an artist I’ve known for years and one of the artists I met at Blogpaws who makes pin-felted animals of all species, and will even do a 3-D pin-felted portrait of your animal!

photo of cookie peaches and kelly

"You're leaving, arent' you?"

I admit it was difficult to leave the kids, especially Peaches knowing we’d been struggling with kidney failure in the past few weeks and her condition has taken a few quick swings twice. I got her all primed up before I left, though, and my pet sitters, a vet tech graduate and a long-time cat owner are experienced so I was confident everyone was in good hands. Just to be sure I confined Peaches, Cookie and Kelly to my bedroom in case the kids decided to get a little rambunctious while I was gone. Kelly was in paradise, but Cookie and Peaches didn’t want any parts of it, leaving me with some pretty unhappy expressions.

photo of Peaches on my desk

Peaches is back to work.

And I will admit that I was pulling for home by the end of Saturday, thinking of Peaches especially, and the last leg of my journey by Greyhound bus seemed interminable as i practically went past my house on the way to the bus station! But Peaches and I are back to work. Everyone was well and happy, no one turned their back on me when I got in, and everyone’s been enjoying their goodies brought back from the conference.

More on BlogPaws later, and I’m sure plenty of us will be writing about it!

I’m Going to Blogpaws 2010!

I'm going to BlogPaws 2010 badgeThe guy at the top of this blog started all this blogging business for me. As I discovered, I had quite a bit to write about, but it was his imminent loss that compelled me to get in touch with the animal-loving community in this unique way.

I started this blog in January 2009, and only posted once or twice a month until I lost Namir in July 2009. I wrote two posts about him, and about loss, in that month, then began posting weekly, then more and more frequently as I found a community of others just as passionate about my animal companions and animals in general.

It’s been a wonderful way to spend a little over a year, and it’s shown me a means of communication I was apparently waiting for because now I have four blogs including The Creative Cat—Today, my daily photo blog was second, Portraits of Animals Marketplace is a great place for me to feature new works in a way I never could before, and What’s New in Bernadette’s Studio makes a feature including all my commercial and fine art, writing, photography and all else that I used to do manually. That’s not enough, because I’ll soon be setting up another one or two. Since I guess I’ll be doing this full time, it’s a good idea to get together with other bloggers and learn as much as I can, plus make connections with other people who are blogging about pets and animals.

I’ll also have the opportunity to include three pieces of artwork in the silent auction. Half of the sale price will go to benefit animal welfare.

I also hope to come back with lots of wonderful ideas to share with my customers too, as I set them up on blogs.

Read more about Blogpaws 2010 on their blog!