To all the friends and fans of The Opinionated Pussycat:
To begin this, the 900th entry on this blog since it began on New Year's Day, 2010, Nikita, Elvira, and I wish to express our gratitude for your support and encouragement, especially all of you who have followed Nikita and I from 2002, when he shared space on my own blog before I got wise and gave him his own place.
It has been a remarkable journey, one in which I still have much to learn. Things have got more interesting by the month, the past year, and I hope you stick around to see where it all leads.
On the Friday night, at Blog Paws, as I struggled to stay awake during and after a gathering to listen to some great presentations by a variety of rescues from around the country, something so totally unexpected happened that shook me awake in no time flat.
I found myself chatting with respected, award-winning, author of 26 best selling pet books, Amy Shojai, about my cat blogging, my efforts, hopes and dreams for my writing life and two particular story arcs from this blog. I was amused by the sight of this woman, older than me, with a "#1 Bitch" pin on the shoulder of her fancy outfit and this somehow led to a discussion about one of the more controversial essays on this blog and its related campaign.
Tom Collins, co-founder of Blog Paws, soon joined in the discussion as I also mentioned the poetry, short stories, reviews, and more that are part of the repertoire of this blog, including the month-long short story a day campaign that was then under way. They were both enthusiastic about the publishing possibilities of an expanded version of the old essay and even the short stories as a collection.
Most important, they encouraged me to continue thinking of myself as a writer and gave me a strongly felt tutorial on why it was important that I not "break the contract" with my readers and those I've linked to over the past 11 years, by eliminating my old material, on my various blogs, from the internet. As an online writer building a positive reputation, they explained, doing so would break a bond of trust and reliability, hard-won and well deserved, in my long years as a blogger.
A lot to ponder just in that bit of advice alone.
They also schooled me in not being afraid to believe in myself and my talent as a writer.
Our talk was a long one and I had wanted to sit in my hotel room, afterward, and write down all I could remember before the events of the last day, to come, overwhelmed me, but I fell asleep. Sunday morning, sitting in a nearby McDonald's the day after the conference ended, was the first chance I had to put my thoughts on paper and this week the first chance I've had to organize it for this post.
Amy strongly encouraged me to do something when I finally got back home, something that, to me, came at my tired brain so unexpectedly that I was almost at a loss for words trying to understand how I, a mere blogger, though a man who proudly calls himself a writer, could do it. I had my doubts having explored the notion myself, a couple of times in the past couple of years, and vaguely remembered a few things from my research, but she strongly assured me I should do what she suggested. On Saturday someone else seconded her suggestion.
So, once I returned home I did it. There is a lot to gain and learn if I succeed. What did I have to lose?
This afternoon I received an email advising me that a decision would be made in about 10 days.
I'll end this post by letting everyone know that Nikita and Elvira will be hosting Carnival of the Cats next Sunday evening.
In 15 weeks the oldest weekly pet blogging carnival in the world will celebrate its 500th edition.
Consider helping us celebrate in grand fashion by contributing.
You can explore the carnival history and past carnivals via links found here, and submit entries every week to carnivalofthecats(at)gmail.com