Thursday, January 29, 2015

Keeping Pet Records

Recently I took my two bad boys to a shot clinic to get their vaccinations.

My two former shelter kitties, Bugs and Fred
 
Although I've given lots of shots to animals myself, these two characters are of the scratchy, clawing variety when it comes to holding still for shots. (I mean, most of the time they are very sweet.)

But since they needed rabies this time, I grabbed their records and headed down with them in a large pet carrier.

And the veterinarian remarked not only on how beautiful these cats were (of course he says that to everyone) but what an excellent job I did of keeping records. *grin*

So I thought I'd share my very simple method, which works much better than jotting it on a calendar, daily planner, or a note that is easily lost.

This one was set up for horses.
 
Simply take an unlined sheet of paper and mark out some columns, like I did in the picture.

At the top, put the animal's name, date of birth (or approximate) and perhaps the date you brought the animal home (from the animal shelter, in my case. )

Then, I mark the columns (for dogs and cats):
Vaccinations
Worming
Flea Treatments
 but you could put anything you want in those columns.

Keep in a folder marked Pet Records in your file cabinet, or some other safe place, and you'll always have it.

If you are lucky and have your sweet pets for a long time, those columns will fill up over time, with all of the wonderful things you did for your friend and companion.

That's all! Easy Peasy!

So tell me, how do you keep records for your pets or your livestock?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Announcing - THE NEWLYWED CAT

I'm pleased to announce that my newest in the series Cat Tales was just released, and it's called The Newlywed Cat.


Alison and Matt have been married for only nineteen days and they're already having their first fight. When an awesome grey cat comes into their lives, they both adore it and things go more smoothly. But when money gets tight and things look bleakest, will this free-spirited cat drive a wedge between them?
 
Priced at just $0.99, I hope you'll like this newest short read. Of course it features a cat, but also some very real human characters with their own share of problems.
 
Here's the link on Amazon (in the United States) and it's also available on other Amazon sites all over the world. http://www.amazon.com/Newlywed-Cat-Tales-Book-ebook/dp/B00SI16GM4/

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On Finishing the Draft

As we wind down the year 2014, I thought this would be an appropriate topic - finishing.

When I was a fairly new writer, I made a mistake that I see many writers make (and yes, I'm still guilty of it from time to time myself.) And that is editing, again and again, the beginning of a manuscript, until it's almost perfect - but never actually finishing the darn thing!



Especially for those of us with time constraints - jobs, children, animals, housework, yardwork, exercise, or whatever else takes up your time - it's common to set aside a WIP (work-in-progress) for awhile. But here's what often happens when you jump back in to it: you re-read the entire thing from the very beginning, fixing things along the way. Over and over! Yes, edit, edit, edit: it's a writer's job, right?

Wrong. A writer's first job is to finish! And the best way to do this (I've learned over the years) is to not begin from the beginning. Instead, when you open that manuscript to work on it once again, look over the last few paragraphs where you left off. Just enough to give you the feel of where you were, and where you intended to go (if you can remember.)

Just jog your memory and Keep Going! Keep going towards the end. Resist the urge to edit that thing to perfection every time you open it on your computer.

I've known many writer friends over the years who have fantastic, partially finished manuscripts they've been working on forever, but who never, ever, get to the ending. Don't let this be you!

There are no better words that an author likes to write than "The End."

After that, set it aside for a little while, and then (with fresh eyes) you can start your edits, your polishing, your re-working those words to make them sing.

But first and foremost, you have to finish the thing. So resist the urge to correct every mistake. Resist the urge to polish, polish, polish. Just press on, and keep going  until you actually reach The End.

Well, this is the end of 2014. Soon we will say Hello to 2015.

As for me, I am working on a brand new Cat Tale, which will be called The Newlywed Cat.

Watch for it in early 2015. Happy New Year, Everyone!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kindle Count-Down Special

Just dropping by to announce a sale - but the price is a moving target, so hurry over and check out what it is right now! At the moment (and for the next day and a few hours)
CAT TALES (Books 1-4) is on sale at Amazon, on a Kindle Count Down for only $0.99.

http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Tales-Books-Linda-Benson-ebook/dp/B00P5KMD28

That means you can read all four - The Winter Kitten, The Springtime Cat, The Summer Cat, and The Autumn Kitten - for the price of one.

Then the price goes up a tad, and then back to regular price at midnight, Pacific Time, Dec 7, 2014.

Hope you can take advantage of this great sale, and read the ones you've missed!

http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Tales-Books-Linda-Benson-ebook/dp/B00P5KMD28

Thanks, and Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Seed of an Idea

As a writer, I've been asked many times "where did you get the idea for that story?"

I normally come up with some common response, like "oh, it just came to me" or "I just sat down to write and this is what happened."

http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Remembered-Horses-ebook/dp/B00PHVIR0C


But while writing The Girl Who Remembered Horses, I was quite conscious of a number of questions during the several years it took me to finish, revise, edit, etc. One was my constant wonder about why some girls (not all) become so passionate about horses. Why do some become "Horse Crazy?" This actually led me to build a college research project around this question.

Are horse crazy girls influenced in early life by cultural factors, or television, books, or movies? Or are they (as many of my research subjects attested to) "born with it." And if certain women and girls are actually "born" with a crazy desire for all things horse-related, did they actually inherit this tendency, or was it perhaps passed down from another relative they had contact with? Which leads us to another question - is there a case to be made for "genetic memory?"

Lots of questions, and as my rational mind sought answers, my creative side was dreaming of a future world where horses had largely been forgotten, as well as books, computers, cell phones, automobiles, electricity, and many other things that we take for granted in today's modern society.

The Girl Who Remembered Horses was just re-released with a gorgeous new cover and a new lower price of only $2.99 for the ebook. And it's available on Amazon.

I hope you'll give it a try, and maybe discover some answers for yourself!

Oh, and do you like the new cover??

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brand New

Hi Everyone - I am pleased to announce that all four of my Cat Tales are now available in one edition. And priced at only $2.99.

http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Tales-Books-Linda-Benson-ebook/dp/B00P5KMD28/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415129387&sr=1-2&keywords=Cat+Tales

Available on Amazon, here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Tales-Books-Linda-Benson-ebook/dp/B00P5KMD28

These heart-warming stories, celebrating the bond we have with our pets, are suitable for the entire family and can be read in any order. Now enjoy the first four of the series in one volume - guaranteed to warm your heart in any season.

THE WINTER KITTEN - Brianna doesn't know how she'll make it through her first winter in Portland. When she finds a kitten trapped in the garage, nothing goes as planned.

THE SPRINGTIME CAT - When Dee finds an injured tabby, she has no idea of the surprises ahead. Can one cat heal an entire family?

THE SUMMER CAT - Spuds is missing, and Hannah's whole world comes crashing down. Did the horseshoer have a hand in the cat's disappearance?

THE AUTUMN KITTEN - Life becomes complicated when Grace falls for a pair of blue eyes she spots online. Will she let a kitten decide who she should date?

I would love to know which one of these is your favorite. Please share!

And very soon, I hope to have some more great news about one of my most popular books.
So stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Everyone needs a little Wild

Wilderness that is, which is good for the soul.

Here are a few pics from a recent camping trip, which refreshed both mind and spirit.

Chetco River in Oregon, where otters and osprey entertained us nightly.
 
Trail through the northernmost habitat of California Redwoods, near Brookings, Oregon.
 
Ancient Oregon Myrtle tree (big as an oak) growing along the Chetco River. This plant is called California Bay Laurel in CA, and is mostly a large shrub in that state. One of my favorite plants, these are the largest I've ever seen.
 
Along the Redwood Trail
 
Twin Redwoods
 
Here's wishing that you all find a little spot of wilderness to keep you sane .