Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cathy and Joanne’s Pets Tell All!



Critique partners Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock team up for a blog tour this month to celebrate their September releases, both featuring military heroes! Today, we thought we’d take a totally different approach to blogging.


Want to know the real truth about what happens in a writer’s life? Facebook doesn’t scratch the service. If you want a unique peek into the world of the working writer, you can hear all the details from the inside observers with a front row seat. Er, pet bed. For the first time, writer pets reveal all…

From the Files of Duchess, Norwegian Forest Cat Extraordinaire - Writing? Do not let Joanne Rock fool you. I often lounge at the side of this so-called author while she taps on her computer keys, and I can tell you that more often than not, this time is spent smiling vapidly at other cat pictures on Facebook. Today she “Likes” a dopey kitten clinging to life by a tree branch who announces “I can’t hang in there ‘til Friday,” while yesterday she “Liked” a similarly inane photo of a scrawny fluffball climbing a pillow like it’s Everest with a caption of “Don’t Stop Until You Get to the Top.”

When Joanne is done liking things on the computer for the day, she also seems to like the coffeepot. Numerous trips to this device ensue, occasionally disturbing me from a nap to do so. I deliver a variety of incensed meows and indignant looks, but I have had little success curbing this disruptive behavior pattern.

Some actual writing may take place between noon and three p.m. Relaxing music is played during this time and the house –often full of stomping, rough-housing males- is blissfully quiet. Therefore, I have a hard time keeping my eyes open to monitor events. There is an occasional tapping of keys, but I notice there is some occasional nodding off for her, as well. I have awoken more than once from my own slumbers to see Joanne’s eyes closed, head slumped to one side. When phone calls from other humans occur at this time, Joanne explains that she’s “thinking” about her story. It is a cover story I know well. When I am caught napping and wish to hide it, I lick my paw as if I’ve been busy cleaning all day.

**

My name is Sadie and I live with Cathy Mann and her family – or rather, they live with me because I am the center of the universe!  I look like a Boston terrier/beagle/pug mutt, but don’t let the snaggle tooth grin fool you.  I am truly the smartest of the canines in the Mann house.  (Technically, the cat is smarter, but he says he’s too good to be put to work writing a blog or anything for that matter.) Therefore, I’ve elected myself to share the story of Cathy’s workday as a writer.

The other dogs here – and there are many – have been tricked into going into the backyard.  See, I’m faster, muuuuuuch faster, so when the back door opens, we all charge out but I sprint back in, slipping past just as the door closes.
Victory.  I have Cathy all to myself.  For a while anyway.

Cathy’s a writer who also fosters puppies for the Humane Society, so her day goes something like this:

Wake up.  Let dogs outside (I pee fast so I can sprint back inside to watch her clean the puppy crate – silly puppies!)

All come inside to eat – I claim a sofa for a nap.  Silly foster puppies walk on Cathy’s feet while she writes on her laptop – puppy knocks over her diet Coke and wakes me up.  We’re all outside again and she shuts the door FAST.

I watch through the window as Cathy cleans up the diet Coke.  Then she lets us all inside, puts puppies in a playpen, tosses raw hides to us three dogs that live here all the time, and then she goes back to writing.

Oops – did I fall asleep? – hmmm – time for trip to the vet, groomer, dog park – car ride, car ride, car ride.  I loooove the van!

But wait, this is supposed to be about Cathy, even though we all know the world revolves around moi!

We’re home already?  Darn.

Cathy’s sitting on the porch talking on the phone or with papers in her hand.  Manuscript? Whatever.  She writes notes on them, types on the computer then either a puppy eats the papers or they become crate liners.

Nap time in the sun until kids are home from school.
Annnnnd she’s writing again.  There’s usually a food smell coming out of something called a crock pot.  I call it torture since all I get to do is smell it then watch the family at the table eat it.

And that wraps up a day in the life of my favorite person in the whole, whole, whole wide world.  The end. (Love, Sadie)

Pets can be such a special part of our lives.  Did you have a pet as a child?  If so, what was its name?  One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a copy of FULL SURRENDER by Joanne Rock and GUARDIAN by Catherine Mann.

FMI, they can be found online at:

Catherine Mann

Joanne Rock
http://www.facebook.com/JoanneRockAuthor

38 comments:

  1. I had a cat and his name was Midnight. I grew up with him. He was my baby. We have lots of animals on our farm now. I have 2 dogs and right now about 6 cats. The dogs are a Mastiff and the other is a pitbull. They are good protectors and love the cats. They are farm cats, so they come and go. The ones we have now, we have had for about 1 years. The oldest we have had him for 5 years. He is the big tom cat. Would love to win and read these books. both are new authors for me. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  2. Sounds like you have plenty of pets to keep you company! Cats are helpful around a farm... awesome rodent control :-). So glad you stopped by the blog. Thank you for posting!

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  3. No pets for us! I guess our mother figured
    having nine children about was enough!
    Our grandfather, who lived next door and
    shared a big yard with us, had a dog named
    Brownie. The dog wasn't Mother's favorite
    especially after he bit my youngest sister's
    throat almost clipping her jugular vein!
    After the incident, our Dad put a fence up
    between both houses!

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    1. Nine kids! Wow, Pat! My hat's off to Mom - my four kids keep me hopping. :)

      I'm sorry to hear your sister had a negative experience with a dog - how scary that must have been for her and for your parents!!

      Thanks for stopping by to check out the blog....

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  4. We had a dog, Velvet (who was super sweet) and several cats over the years, Fred, Basil, Sylvia and Roger. Sylvia and Roger were mine and I was 28 before Roger died. My father wasn't keen on animals, but my mom and us kids won. I've never been without a cat for longer than 6 months and currently have 3 male cats.

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  5. Anne, I love the names - especially Basil! I can tell from your note what an important part of your life your pets have been. Obviously I feel the same about mine. ;)

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  6. Hi Joanne and Catherine,
    We didn't have any pets growing up. I have had a few fish pets since then.

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    1. Hi Jane! Fish are so serene to watch!! My daughter had the most lovely pink beta fish when she was in elementary school. :)

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    2. Was that Bubble Gum? I seem to remember stealing the name for a fictional fish in In Hot Pursuit!

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    3. I love betas. My first beta was named Sapphire.

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  7. Thank you Duchess and Sadie for giving us a peek into a writers life. I have had many pets over the years all of them rescue pets except for my first dog. My father got Queenie from a man who's boxer had puppies and she was all white with right ear brown and a circle of brown around her left eye. At that time white was not an accepted color for boxers and he was going to put her down. She and I grew up together as I was only 2 when we got her. She was great with me and my younger sister, never a problem. Still miss her to this day. I now have 2 cats who are the joy of my heart. The 8 month old is just too funny at times. Love the way she just up and runs around the house and will play with anything she finds. My daughter has spoiled her with numerous toys to play with and she tells the kitten to give grandma hugs and kisses. LOL

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    1. Ruth, I agree there's something so special about the childhood pet. My kids grew up with a beagle named Trooper and even though he's been gone for three years, he's still so much a part of our conversation.... He taught my kids alot!!

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  8. I had a lot of dogs growing up but my favorite was a Saint Bernard named Samson that we had when I was about 10. He was the cutest dog. My mother ordered him from a kennel in Wisconsin, I think, and they flew him into the airport here when he was about 7 weeks old. Everybody fell in love with him. We taught him to drink out of a straw and it was funny to watch him drink that way. My grandmother lived with us and she always used to tell us that he smiled at her, it did look that way. He would run up to the rest of us and knock us down but when he ran up to her he would always stop and gently lean against her. I think he knew she was fragile and he could hurt her. He was the best dog I ever had.

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    1. Awwww, what a sweet memory of Samson being so gentle around your grandma, Linda. He sounds like he was a real treasure!!

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  9. My parents bought an Alaskan Husky when I was a baby. They named her Duchess, and we were raised together. She was very protective of me. I can remember how much she loved our mailman. She would follow him on his route every day. One day he was handing me the mail when I was 5 years old, and Duchess was going to attack him because she thought he was going to harm me. Luckily my mother was at the door and called her. I was 14 years old when she passed away, but she was my very first love.

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    1. Hi Cathy P - Husky's are such magnificent dogs, aren't they!! And what a fun coincidence her name was the same as Joanne's cat in the blog. :)

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    2. Cathy, I cared for a friend's Samoyed Husky for a couple of years when I was around twelve. Looved that dog! Such an awesome personality. I sure got my exercise walking with him. He sure could run :-).

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  10. Hi

    We had a dog (Peanuts) and a cat (Mittens) when I was growing up and I have always had a dog since I have moved out - except for now. We are so busy in our lives that we are waiting for just a few more months to bring a wonderful rescue dog home.

    Thanks for the chance
    Pam
    tpibrew@msn.com

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    1. Pam, you are so wise to make sure it's the right time to add a pet to your family. I'm on the board of directors at my local shelter and it's so heartbreaking to see how many animals are dumped off by owners because the timing wasn't right... or that puppy got too big.... Sounds like your pup will be welcomed and treasured for a lifetime - music to my ears!!

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  11. Oh, I had a few pets as a child. There was already a dog when I was born and his name was Snoopy, but he never liked me much. I had a dog named Brownie. I had a turtle named Lassie. There were birds, cats, fish for a day from the fair. And then when I was 11, for Easter I received Taffi Jo. Her mother was a registered Peekapoo, but her father was quite obviously a Cocker. So, I always said she was my Cockapeekapoo. I had her until she gently went to sleep one afternoon when I was 25. I still miss her to this day, but I do believe my cat, Snickerdoodle, is Taffi reincarnated!!

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    1. Kelli Jo, Taffi Jo sounds ADORABLE!! Did you see the photo on my facebook page of the little cocka-poo Stephanie Newtown adopted from my local shelter? An absolute DOLL! Although I thought the dog (2 yrs old) didn't know any commands. Stephanie figured out later that the dog had come from a Spanish speaking home and knew about a dozen commands - in Spanish. :)

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  12. I had a dog when I was a kid that we named Lobo. He was a great dog for kids since he was so friendly and always up for running around, but as a guard dog for the house not so much:) Now our family of cats is a different story... they were vicious:)

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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    1. Hey there, Yad! I adore the name Lobo! Sounds like he was a great buddy for you growing up (We have a cat too.... he's pretty cranky as well. ;)

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  13. We had a dog (Shiloh) but it was really more my moms dog. When I got my own apartment I got my first pet. A Maine Coon named Bacchus.

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    1. Donna, oh my goodness, Main Coons are gorgeous cats!!

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  14. I didn't have a pet when I was a child. The boy next door had a dog he let us share called Chummy. My maternal grandparents had a dog called Bonzo which we lavished with love when we visited them. We loved to share his dog biscuits.
    I have had at least one cat most of the time since I got marries 44 years ago. We have had Tiger, Fluffy (we didn't name her), Sesame, Bearcat and Amber. Currently Saxon and Dash, the Incredible Pest rule our home.

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    1. The medieval author in me particularly loves Saxon as a name. Sounds fierce!!

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  15. Thanks for a fun post!!!! Growing up we always had at least 3 dogs cuz my mom loves them so. We used to joke (and sometimes not) that she loved those dogs more than us kids. The best one was Grady, a belgium shepard/blue heeler mix. He was so smart and gentle. We should have called him Nanny cuz he used to "babysit" us. My mom said she always knew when we were fighting or hurt cuz he would either bark or go get her :)

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    1. Hi Erin! Sounds like I missed out by not getting a babysitting dog when my boys were younger!!! I could have used those extra eyes and ears, darn it.

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  16. We had plenty of pets when I was young. Dogs, cats, doves and fishes. But I consider "Bingo", one of our dogs, he was so sweet and thoughtful. Imagine, one day he brought a pack of packed dried fish for my mom, we absolutely don't have any idea where it came from. And I remember every time I came home from school, he would jump over me and give a wet kiss. :D So sad that when he died of a certain disease. :(

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    1. What a lovie!! So nice to be on the receiving end of so much unreserved joy. I think animals tap into our most basic instincts for love, the emotions that we have learned to "socialize" with the people around us. With pets, there's no need to tiptoe around a mood or wonder about reception.

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  17. I mostly remember one particular, young budgerigar we had when I was a child. Every time my Mother passed his cage, she would say "Who's a Pretty Boy?" It was not long before he would say "Who's a pretty boy?" every time you walked past the cage. He WAS a pretty boy too.

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    1. The ability to imitate human language is a startling quality in an animal. I remember reading an article in National Geographic about how smart these birds are. Pretty neat!

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  18. When I was about 13 we visited an animal shelter, where I saw the cutest dog ever! I liked it and I wanted it, but my father didn't agree because we already had a dog at home. But this was going to be MY dog, that's different. So after a lot of asking, whining and convincing we went back to get the dog. Only to find out he was already gone...
    I was so disappointed! At that time my father had gotten used to the idea of getting another dog, so he helped my look for one. I picked this sweet Schnauzer and called him Kimbo. He has been my companion for 11 years and is getting a bit old. I'm afraid of the day he won't be here anymore... I hope we still have some great years together...

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  19. What a good dad to stick to the bargain and find another dog for you, even when the first one was gone. Kimbo sounds like he was meant to be in your life!! Enjoy him! And take lots of pics! Writing the pet photographer character in Full Surrender gave me new appreciation for how special it is to capture our pets on film. Although I'm not sure Duchess appreciates my new photography enthusiasm. What is it about cats that makes them look constantly disdainful?

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  20. What a fun time we've had on the blog! We should let Duchess and Sadie do our talking more often :-).

    We've got a winner!!! Congratulations to Marybelle, winner of the thread prizes. Mary, I'm sending you a private email, but all you need to do is send me your mailing address to jrock008@gmail.com and we'll ship off copies of FULL SURRENDER and GUARDIAN asap!

    Thanks to everyone for visiting!

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  21. THANK YOU!!! I'm looking forward to some great reading.

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  22. A very cute cat and dog there! I like animals in real life and in books. In fact having them in books gives me a chance to experiencing having one :)

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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