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September 2013 I have published a blog post who compares people with different cat breeds. To make the resemblance easier for all of us I chose as models some of our female celebrities.

For a while now and since after this post I got a couple hints, I do try the same thing with dog breeds. I’m not really surprised it doesn’t work for me as easily as the people-cats comparison, but after a certain practice I got quite acceptable in that.

Again: to make it easier to us to see some similarities, I chose some celebrities as Models. And since last time I picked all women, this time, there will be Men only.

I’m sure some of the resemblance might be visible right away, with some you might not at all agree. But I had again, tons of fun to create the post and show it to you.

Enjoy!

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Doggie2_American-Water-Spaniel-2 RC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Crowe                                                                          American Water Spaniel

 

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People_Dog_Blog_2Doggie11_Neapolitan-Mastiff-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyle Lovett                                                                                Neapolitan Mastiff

 

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People_Dog_Blog_3Doggie14_Spanish-Water-Dog-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John C. Reilly                                                                          Spanish Waterdog

 

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People_Dog_Blog_4Doggie21_ugly-dog460_1650068c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Nolte                                                                                  Chinese Crester

 

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People_Dog_Blog_5Doggie17_Bulldog-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malcolm McDowell                                                                      Bulldog

 

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People_Dog_Blog_6jpgDoggie22_Afghan-Hound-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jared Leto                                                                                        Afghan Hound

 

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People_Dog_Blog_7jpgDoggie19_Pug-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Biebs”                                                                                    “The Pug”

 

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People_Dog_Blog_9jpgDoggie15_Borzoi-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Gosling                                                                                Borzoi

 

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People_Dog_Blog_8jpgDoggie6_Tibetan-Mastiff-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanye West                                                                               Tibetan Mastiff

 

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People_Dog_Blog_10jpggolden-retriever-1024x685

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brad Pitt                                                                                   Golden Retriever

 

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What do you think? Are my eyes kidding me? Am I far away from any resemblance? What would you change? Let me hear your thoughts, please, I’m curious!

 

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Pictures to find at:

Russel Crowe: http://www.starpulse.com/news/Claudine_Paul/2011/01/19/actors_who_can_actually_sing

Lyle Lovett: http://listverse.com/2007/09/08/top-10-ugliest-male-celebrities/

John C. Reilly: http://listverse.com/2007/09/08/top-10-ugliest-male-celebrities/

Nick Nolte: http://listverse.com/2007/09/08/top-10-ugliest-male-celebrities/

Malcolm McDowell: http://listverse.com/2007/09/08/top-10-ugliest-male-celebrities/

Jaret Leto: www.pinterest.com

Justin Bieber: mycelebritywallpaper.com

Kanye West: games.usvsth3m.com

Ryan Gosling: http://www.people.com/people/ryan_gosling/

Brad Pitt: http://www.theenquirer.co.uk/brad-pitt-spotted-in-billericay/

Dogs: http://www.dogbreedslist.info/all-dog-breeds/list_1_3.html

Chinese Crested: http://www.telegraph.uk

At this time unfortunately the subject of feeding a cat medication is very actual to me. My little “baby” Esme has developed some infection which unfortunately will not be healable. She will, from now on, have to take 1/4 of a little pill daily. Of course I have decided to develop a little “ritual” with her. The circle with her starting medication will begin August 1, 2014. This does give us some time to go on with this little “daily routine” of her and me in the kitchen, without the other cats, and she gets a little cat sausage, piece by piece and in between there’s “cuddle time”.  To me it will be much easier to hide the 1/4 pill within a small piece of cat sausage than to try and “feed” her the pill the way, a routined vet would do it.

 

After all it is a fact: whenever a vet describes you how to feed your cat its medication in form of a tablet, it sounds so easy maybe you want to read here how to do it.

 

How to do it right:

 

9499pilling_cat

1. Hold your cat in your left arm the way you would hold a baby. Place your right thumb and forefinger at both sides of the cat’s mouth and press slightly until the cat mouth opens. Place the tablet on the cats’ tongue and let the cat close her mouth.

 

 

 

 

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But then: when you try it yourself, it turns out a little different. (when reading this I couldn’t resist showing you what made me laugh tears lately.) I really pray, Esme and I will never have to go through this:

 

 

How it’s going to be:

 

 

1. Sit on sofa. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to it. With right hand, position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. (be patient) As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. Drop pill into mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

 

 

2. Collect the tablet from the carpet and get the cat from behind the couch. Pick her up and repeat the process.

 

 

3. Get the cat from the bedroom and throw the half way dissolved tablet into the trash.

 

 

4. Take a new tablet from the package, pick up your cat again and hold her feet with your left hands. Force her to open her jaws, let the tablet fall into her mouth, let her close her jaws, hold them together and count to 10.

 

 

5. Fish the tablet out of the aquarium and the cat from the wardrobe and call your husband in the backyard.

 

 

6. Kneel onto the ground and jam your cat between your knees. Hold her front paws and ignore her growling. Ask your husband to hold the cats’ head and carefully pull a wooden ruler down her throat. Let the tablet roll down the ruler and afterwards massage the cats’ throat.

 

 

7. Pick the cat off the curtain and take another tablet out of the package. Make notes to buy a new ruler and repair the curtains.

 

 

8. Wrap the cat into a huge towel and drape the tablet at the end of a straw. Ask your husband to please to hold the cat down that only her head is visible over his elbow. Force the cat’s mouth open by using a pen and blow the tablet down her throat.

 

 

9. Check the package’s description to make sure the tablet is harmless to humans and drink a glass of water to get rid of the taste. Disinfect your husbands’ arm and remove the bloodstains from the carpet with cold water and soap.

 

 

10. Get the cat from your neighbours’ pool house. Take another pill. Stick your cat into a shelf and close the door at neck height to only allow her head to stick out. Force her mouth open with a dessert spoon. “Shoot” the tablet into her mouth by using a rubber band.

 

 

11. Get a screw driver from the garage and fix the door hinges. Lie down and place a cold washcloth onto your face before double checking the date of your last tetanus shuts. Throw your blood stained T-Shirt into the trash and get a new one from your bedroom.

 

 

12. Have the fire workers pick your cat from the tree on the other side of the street and go over to your neighbour to apologize since he hit the fence with his car to avoid running  the cat over. Take the last tablet from the package.

 

 

13. Tie up front and back paws of the cat with your laundry rope and fix it at the leg of your dining room table. Protect your hands with garden gloves before opening the cat’s mouth with a crowbar. Stuff the tablet into the cat’s mouth, followed by a huge piece of steak. Hold the cat’s head horizontal and pour some water in to rinse the tablet down.

 

 

14. Ask your husband to drive you to the hospital and sit still there while the doctor sews the wounds on your fingers and arms and removes the tablet from your right eye. On the way back home stop at the furniture store and order a new dining room table.

 

 

15. Ask your vet to step by your house and bring some new cat medication.

 

imagesGYOLGXQ5

 

 

Have you ever had any funny experiences with feeding medication to a cat (or dog), and would you mind sharing? Let me hear your thoughts and fun, I’m curious. :-)

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Pictures to find at:

correct medication giving: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=21+1276&aid=1064

cat climbing curtains: www.town-photos.com

 

Hello Jim,Jim PSpencer2

I want to thank you first of all for your readiness to be part of this interview and permit me to publish it on my blog. I did choose you because I have heard of you before and would like for other people to know you and your writing better.

 

Would you explain what made you write in the first place?

I started writing fourteen years ago after a quadruple heart by-pass laid me up for more than a few months.  While recovering from the drugs they gave me during the operation, a huge dragon visited me.  She told me to take it easy and write.  My muse has come back to me in my dreams many times since. I laid in bed, picked up a pen and began to write.  I never put the pen down from that moment on.  Almost constantly, if I am not typing a story, I am thinking about one.

 

When did you feel the need to write?

It was the first time I wrote a story and someone took notice.  I’d spent years trying to answer the ‘who am I’ question and I knew then I might be on to something.  When one of the first projects I submitted won a prize, I knew I had finally found the correct answer to my question. I was accepted and validated for something I created.   It was a special feeling and I have been writing ever since.

 

What is it you like to write the most? Are we talking about articles, short stories, novels…  Please tell us about your writing.

I write to entertain.  I write fiction novels.  My first mystery novel, Red, White and Black Lies is doing very well.  The second in this series should be on the market by early spring.  My first epic fantasy, Swords and Tomes, should be completed around the same time.  After all these years,  I’m making money doing something I love.  Who would ask for more?

I also have a column in a newspaper published by the local senior center. I write about life as a senior and my interpretations of the events that impact my age group.  I’ve been known to submit short stories for contests.  Yes, I’ve even won a few.

 

We all hear about the chances in the publishing world. Old publishing companies are extending their offer from traditional publishing to self-publishing. How do you assess the market in the future?

I believe a variant of both will emerge due to the economics of the two models.  I see the old publishing companies being paid by the authors to publish their books and distribute them.  The old houses won’t have to invest up front, but will provide the existing structures for marketing and distribution that they already have in place.  The author will more control on his expenses and profits.  I see neither of them flourishing to the only way to go.  They both have to change in order to survive.

 

Would you mind becoming really famous with your writing – like Stephenie Meyer with her Twilight Series or J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter?

I have been told that is on my horizon in the not too distant future.  I don’t think I will mind in the least.  I remember a woman coming up to me at the market and telling me I took her out of her daily routine and transported her to a different world.  I was the instrument of her enjoyment.  I made a difference in her life for a few hours.  I don’t think I could ever get tired of the look on her face and the feeling I had.

 

Do you see any kind of “danger” within this kind of fame – for a writer particularly?

At 69 I have seen a lot of different forms of danger.  Fame does different things to different people.  I’m a dreamer and I love people.  I have a wife that has kept me grounded for over forty-eight years.  I expect that she would continue with that project. I don’t see fame endangering me over the years.  It might endanger my lifestyle but that might be a good thing.  I believe it is all in how you view your fame and how you use it.  My pet project is feeding the less fortunate.  If I had that kind of fame, I would use it to help others eat.

 

I personally think by today’s kind of electronic communication many children and young people forget how to write properly. How do you see this?

I believe those are two different issues.  I see the children of today communicating differently than we did.  As a writing consultant I have helped younger people write.  The tools they use are basically the same as Shakespeare’s.  The only difference between a quill pen and a computer is technology.  The skill to put the words together is the same.  The tools to craft a good story or write a good article are still the same.  They have to be sharpened.  The craft is still the same.  How we communicate with others, on the other hand, is evolving into something else.

 

Is there any advice you would like to give fellow authors?

I give advice, opinions and my personal sentiments all the time.  I always say let your imagination free.  Don’t let the image that looks back at you from the mirror each morning be your worst critic.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  Give that image the power to be your preeminent supporter.  I’ve chatted with many authors that I admire and they all have one thing in common.  They all are trying to improve.

 

Thank you so much for being part in this! We all really appreciate it!

It was my pleasure.  I hope the individuals that read it get inspired or entertained by my efforts.  That is what I am all about.  I try to give the best of myself to bring out the greatness in others.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Red-White-Black-Lies-Spencer/dp/0985634316JimPSpencer1

Dear “Cat Prince” admirers, Friends, Followers and Readers,

Again it is my turn to publish a “Cat Prince” post. You do know Jake’s play mate Charlet for a little over 18 months and she and I (and of course Jake too) do thank you very much for your loyalty when it comes to you visiting the Cat Prince Diary blog posts. It is a special honor for us to have you here.

 

This time, I decided to publish a “little” Album with pictures and I hope you will enjoy Charlet, my beautiful black Tabby Maine Coon Girl. at her best:

 

Raani York

 

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Port-20120708-00046Port-20120714-00049 Port-20120708-00048 Port-20120708-00047 Port-20120721-00052 Port-20120721-00051 Port-20120831-00064 Port-20120830-00062 Port-20120831-00073 IMG-20120922-00095 Port-20120921-00085 Port-20120921-00086 IMG-20121030-00108 Port-20121209-00130 Port-20121209-00131 IMG-20130227-00017 IMG-20130330-00038 IMG-20130330-00041 Uzwil-20130330-00040 Port-20130811-00123  Jake6Port-20130811-00132

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Or, click the link below to get the full Album with Bonus pictures and Sound. Have fun!!

 

Fotoalbum_Charlet_June_2014

 

 

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(Please respect that I hold the Copyright of these pictures, and if you’d like to use one or more, do me the favor and ask me. Thank you)

 

O is for Owl

I LOVE OWLS. They’re absolutely beautiful and even can become very tame and affectionate towards people. I don’t say it should be like this, but unfortunately it is. Still: please accept the fact that Owls are Wild Birds and need to live a nocturnal life out in the forests or mountains, where they belong.

In particular “Harry Potter” has damaged Owls’ reputation, giving children the impression that Owls can be held as pets and don’t need much else than pumpkin juice and nuts.

Very wrong. Owls are meat eaters and they hunt at night. Let’s see what we can find out about Owls:

 

Tawnyowl03Owls, birds of the order Strigiformes, include about 200 species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision and binaural hearing, and feathers adapted for silent flight. Exceptions include the diurnal Northern Hawk Owl and the gregarious Burrowing Owl.

Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica and some remote islands.

Owls are divided into two families: the true owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae.

(Thank you, Wikipedia)

 

Generally this means, that typically Owls live alone and nocturnal, except a couple small exception which can also found flying during the day. And, as I said, they’re meat eaters.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most famous owls globally is of course “Harry Potters” Snowy Owl “Hedwig”, which belongs to the Family of “True Owls” and is a beautiful creature, with short legs, white/grey feathers and short, strong talons.  The picture shows a female, the males do normally have less black or grey feathers and are a little taller and stronger.

 

Snowy_Owl

 

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I personally like the owls with “ear tufts” like the Eastern Screetch Owl, the Eagle Owl and the Great Horned Owl  (below from left to right).

eastern-screech-owl-id1Great Horned OwlEagleOwl

 

 

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Owl History and Mythology:owlknow2_4738

Often owls to the same time fascinate and scare us. In the past owls were either worshippped or feared, admired or hunted. The owl is a symbol for “Good and Evil”. Surprisingly many different cultures have symbolized the owl and showed it as good or evil.

Owls are different than other birds, first by their beautiful big, strictly forward staring eyes and the eyelids that they lower over the entire eyes from above, similar to humans. This makes their faces look quite human and often humnans have suspected owls to be at least as intelligent and wise as humans are. Very often owls therefore are shown with hat and gown like professors or sitting on books. Many schooks, Universities, libraries, book stores and book publishers have chosen the owl as their logo. The expression: “Wise as an owl” is based on this symbol.

 

 

 

muenzeDescriptions of owls can be found already with Aristotele, the first scientific treatise at Plinius. In the old Greece owls were well appreciated and admired and people believed them to be the “Birds of wisdom”, choosen by Godess Athene, the protector of Athens and Godess of Wisdom. The coins showed up front the head of Athene, and on the backside there was an owl with oiltwig and moon. The coin was called a Tetradrachm. But the coins had a “nickname”: “Owls”.

Since owls are normally hunting at night, they are rarely seen by humans, but they can be heard at night. Additionally their silent flight and human’s primitive fear of darkness have given owls a bad reputation in the European Middle Age. They were seen as demons and messengers of bad luck. They as well symbolized death and it was believed, if an owl was seen it would be followed by death, some cultures even believed, owls would come up to earth to grab souls.

In China people believed owls to be the birds between this world and the spirit world.

Often owls were connected to witches, black magic and bad luck, even seen as devil’s birds. In the Old Greek they developed a terrible and cruel tradition which had as well been practiced here and only ended not even several decades ago: To protect farms and houses, owls had been nailed to the barm doors, with spread wings, still alive!! This horrible symbol was considered to protect from thunderstrike, fire and hail. Still, not many farms were protected from all this, but the tradition did cost many beautiful owls’ lives.

Owls would even used grilled or cooked, as ingredients in Magic Potions or Medicine. Nowadays owls still have their spot within dream intepretation or horoscopes, but due to our modern thinking and global animal protection many owls are legally protected and cannot be hunted anymore.

Unfortunately there are other tools of modern civilization that kill our favorite birds: Electrical wires, cars, trucks, barbed wire, antennas… and many more. It nearly breaks my heart!! I can’t even think about these poor birds being killed by modern times.

My heart blooms when I see an Eagle owl like this – strong, healthy, a symbol of Good Luck and Wisdom!

Uhu

Thank you for travelling with me into the owl world!

 

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Pictures to find at:

Tawny Owl: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_owl

Barn Owl: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tytonidae

Snowy Owl: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_Owl

Eastern Screetch Owl: http://www.birdzilla.com/birds/Eastern-Screech-Owl/description.html

Eagle Owl: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/622622/nixnoodlenumbats-classroom/40

Great Horned Owl: http://wisconsinwildlifeneighbors.blogspot.ch/2012_01_01_archive.html

Athena Coin: http://www.eulenwelt.de/mythologie.htm

The knowing owl: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheOwlKnowingOne

Eagle Owl: http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/display/29197529

 

Dear Miss Adams,Amy-Adams

 

A few days ago I read something about you that immediately made me address this letter to you!

 

And believe me, Miss Adams, this is probably the most positive letter to a celebrity I’ve ever written!

 

According to Huffington post (article can be read here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/27/amy-adams-first-class-soldier_n_5538001.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular) you had been watched switching your first class seat with a soldier.

 

It seems it all happened quite secretly and without the Soldiers knowledge. He was taken to the first class seat you had been holding and you were spotted in Coach, making a friendly and nice seat neighbor to another person.

 

“Numbers never lie” ESPN’s host Jemele Hill was on the same flight watching you doing all this and twittering about it: ” Just saw actress Amy Adams do something incredibly classy. She gave her 1st class seat to an American soldier. I’m an even bigger fan now. — Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 27, 2014

 

Later on you were asked what this was about. “I didn’t do it for attention for myself,” you told Inside Edition. “I did it for attention for the troops.”

This, Miss Adams, I do consider classy, cool and a “hell of a great thing to do!!!”

 

Congratulations for your action – congrats for trying to keep it “low key” – and I do definitely applaud your big heart!! Here’s my star for you:

 

51c7f4fa9fb93_gold-metal-star

 

 

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Picture to find at:

Amy Adams: http://patdollard.com/2014/06/amy-adams-speaks-out-on-giving-seat-to-soldier/

Star: http://www.dolcevitamagazyn.pl/strona/kuchnia/skarbnica_win

During my recent stay in NJ my boyfriend took me out to have dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse in Parsippany, NJ. He knows what I like and how much I’d enjoy the country atmosphere there. – And the Music. Of course, the Music.

I know there are Longhorn Steakhouses all over the place, but this one seemed just wonderful. I enjoyed it so much. Find their Website here: www.longhornsteakhouse.com

The food was amazing, the staff very friendly and quick in their work. It was a wonderful evening!

They permitted me to take some pictures which I’d like to show you.

 

Longhorn1

 

Longhorn5

 

Longhorn2

 

Longhorn6Longhorn3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longhorn7

 

Longhorn4

 

You’ll find this restaurant on 690 Route 46 in Parsippany, NJ 07054. If you go there, just lean back, enjoy the atmosphere, the foot – and all the cows… on the wall and on your plate. – Have fun!!

 

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These pictures are courtesy of Longhorn Steakhouse and their permission to take these pictures. Please respect this! Thank you.

When I flew to Newark this spring, I was spending a day in NYC. And believe me… I felt so lost…

Park-West-Diner2Park-West-Diner1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s just huge… but after a walk in Central Park, where I found this beautiful fountain, I felt a little better…. there is actually really GREEN in this world of houses, skyscrapers, stone and concrete…

 

Park-West-Diner3

 

 

We then went back to NJ. And During this stay  we had dinner twice at the Park West Diner in Little Falls, NJ. You can find it here, when you’re interested: http://www.parkwestdiner.com

I had excellent and wonderful homemade dinner. Let me tell you: the staff is friendly and considering. and quite fast. Their burgers are juicy and taste just great!!

Park-West-Diner11Park-West-Diner10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did like their interior decoration as well. It looked a little bit like one of these “Rock ‘n Roll” restaurants in the 50’s. Very cute!

Park-West-Diner9Park-West-Diner6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh – and believe me: Their cake is incomparable!! Soooooooooooo good!! In particular the chocolate cake. Mmmmmhhhh….

Park-West-Diner8

 

When you’ve got a chance, try it! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!!

 

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The pictures are courtesy of the West Park Diner who permitted me to take them. Thanks for respecting this.

 

 

Hello Stuart,????????

I want to thank you first of all for your readiness to be part of this interview and permit me to publish it on my blog. I did choose you because I have heard of you before and would like for other people to know you and your writing better.

And I’d like to than you for this opportunity, Raani. And a word of warning to your American readers: I’m a Brit, so my spelling and idiom may be unfamiliar.

.

Would you explain what made you write in the first place?

As a youngster, I was brought up in a house with no TV until I was 14. This meant we read. My parents read, and I exhausted the children’s section of the local library at age 11 and had to ask the librarian to allow me to take out adult books from then. Reading opened up new worlds for me, replaced much of the inadequate education I received at school, and filled me with enthusiasm for the written word.

My imagination made me construct stories for my peers at school and my favourite subject was English: it was the only subject in which I excelled, winning a school prize at 14.

.

When did you feel the need to write?

My father was a professional photographer and I followed in his footsteps initially, so my first writing was in the form of illustrated articles for the British photographic press. But then I became a prizewinner in a playwriting contest run by a national TV/Radio listings magazine, resulting in my play being broadcast to the nation. I think that was what set me on the road to writing.

Although I didn’t recognize it at first, I always had a compulsion to write. It took me a little time to understand that the thing tugging at my imagination was the need to tell stories. I suspect the general opinion that people from my background didn’t become writers was a major barrier at first.

.

What is it you like to write the most? Are we talking about articles, short stories, novels…  Please tell us about your writing.

Fiction is my chosen field, though I also blog and write short factual pieces from time to time. I’ve written many short stories, a number of which have been either published or won prizes in contests. The short form is demanding, of course, but allows the expression of an idea in a version that the reader can absorb at a single sitting.

I love the novel and have written at least seven – it may sound odd that I can’t be certain of the number, but at least one was handwritten and then thrown away. I’ve published one full-length novel, a romantic thriller, Breaking Faith. My sci-fi novelette, The Methuselah Strain, is set in a near future on Earth. I’m currently working on the final edits of volume 3 of a fantasy trilogy. Volume 1, A Seared Sky: Joinings, is due to be published by Fantastic Books Publishing in the coming Spring.

I have difficulty writing strict genre books, as I find it’s the story that decides the ultimate label. My work tends not to fit easily into any pre-determined category. Some would call that a lack of discipline but others would see it as a free-spirited approach. I leave that judgment to my readers, most of whom have declared enjoyment of my work.

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We all hear about the chances in the publishing world. Old publishing companies are extending their offer from traditional publishing to self-publishing. How do you assess the market in the future?

I’ve self-published 7 books and contributed to others. My first experience of traditional publishing will be realized in Spring, when A Seared Sky: Joinings is launched by Fantastic Books Publishing. They’re a small, independent publisher with a real concern for their authors. They view the process as a partnership of equals, a truly refreshing attitude that attracted me to them in the first place.

Many traditional, especially well-established, publishers undervalue their authors and treat them poorly in so many ways. They do little to nurture talent and, seemingly now run by the bean-counters, they have no apparent vision regarding the future of the book, settling too easily for the ready bucks provided by celebrity trash, which is so frequently ghost-written, of course. Unless traditional publishers go back to what they used to do so well, nurturing talent, they’re history, I think.

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Would you mind becoming really famous with your writing – like Stephenie Meyer with her Twilight Series or J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter?

I’ve no interest in personal fame. I want my work to be read by the entire world, however. Nowadays, that seems a contradiction, with the media and most of the public seduced by the fame or infamy of so many untalented celebrities. I’d love my books to be made into films, of course I would. But I’m not about to prostitute either myself or my work in order to fabricate the necessary publicity that seems to be the most usual route to best-sellerdom these days.

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Do you see any kind of “danger” within this kind of fame – for a writer particularly?

Readers’ expectations can become a straightjacket, I think. That’s certainly true of traditional publishers, who frequently restrict their signed-up authors to specific genres. I’d hate that. I write organically, as a ‘pantster’ and would find it impossible to turn out anything worthwhile if I had to conform to specific rules regarding length, subject matter or opinion. I understand that I place myself beyond the normal parameters for ‘fame’ and resultant book sales, but I write because I love writing, because I’m compelled to write, and I refuse to be slotted into any pre-ordained pigeonhole simply to satisfy the ambitions of faceless bean-counters. Too much fame can detract from the writing process.

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I personally think by today’s kind of electronic communication many children and young people forget how to write properly. How do you see this?

Education is key. Children are distracted by many attractive entertainment formats that are often devoid of any true value beyond simple enjoyment of time-wasting. Games and the many other forms of occupying time have their value, but if they’re allowed to overtake the provision of proper education then we raise a generation of children who will be effectively illiterate as adults. The respect for language, and its facility for expressing ideas precisely, is crucial to an understanding of the complex world we inhabit. Poor grammar from so-called professional journalists in the media, causes great frustration, confusion and despair amongst those of us who care, but seems invisible to so many. Language is our primary source of communication; if we fail to give it the respect and priority of treatment it deserves, we will descend into a world of misunderstanding and chaos. Many conflicts in the world started due to misunderstandings.

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Is there any advice you would like to give fellow authors?

Established authors don’t need my advice.

Those who are new to the game would benefit from reading Dorothea Brande’s excellent Becoming a Writer, preferably before they start on the road to becoming an author.

Learn the rules of the medium you’re using. No sensible person would employ a plumber or an electrician who had no proper understanding of the tools and rules of his trade, so why should a writer expect respect for a failure to learn the necessary rules of language?

If you’re writing for money, you’re in the wrong job.

If you must write, if writing is as vital to your welfare as eating and sleeping, then, please, take up your pen or attack your keyboard.

But, regardless of everything else; read, read, read!

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Thank you so much for being part in this! We all really appreciate it!

Thank you, Raani. Sorry for being so long-winded in my responses!

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*****

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 *****

Books:

Breaking Faith: http://mybook.to/breakingfaith

The Methuselah Strain: http://mybook.to/methuselah

Ten Tales For Tomorrow: http://mybook.to/tomorrow

Ten Love Tales: http://mybook.to/lovetales

Sensuous Touches:  http://mybook.to/sensuous

Heir to Death’s Folly: http://mybook.to/heirtodeath

A Sackful of Shorts:  http://mybook.to/sackful

Fusion: http://mybook.to/fusion

But, Baby, It’s Cold Outside:  http://ow.ly/kWOI9

 

Stuart-Aken9Stuart-Aken8Low key concept photo of woman looking through window jalousiesStuart-Aken6Stuart-Aken5???????OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStuart-Aken2perf6.000x9.000.indd

The past few days I was quite busy and it seems I’m getting busier with the hour instead of permitting myself a little rest. According to this my mood wasn’t the best after I had left the office and I needed to stop by the train station to go and get something.

At this time the train station was pretty crowded and I had to wait to pass and used the time to watch a group of teens/twens, standing there giggling and laughing… one of them, a boy/young man, had an absolutely hilarious and unusual haircut. He carried his natural brown hair half an inch short but from both temples back to the neck he carried two “stripes” with longer hair, about an inch and a half and had them colored in bright blond.

It made me smirk a little… and I didn’t even realize how I had fixed my glare onto his hair when he finally looked at me and asked me in a friendly and polite manner: “Madam, excuse me, but you’re looking at me with some really “dark” look – is everything all right? I mean…. with me… or on me…” I laughed a little and replied: “Of course – please accept my apology, I normally don’t stare at people like this – but I was in fact looking at your hairstyle.”

“Oh,” he said… “I’m used to this. – “How do you find it?” I smiled and replied: “I think it’s cute.” His face fell, and a little helplessly he said: “Cute? But I didn’t want to go for cute… I wanted to go for cool!”  I shook my head, still smiling. “Nope… it’s cute.”

After thinking for a moment he asked me: “If you don’t mind me asking: “What would I need to do to make it look cool?”

I shrugged a little and answering: “If it was Tiger stripes, that would be cool.” He disbelievingly shook his head: “But Madam. This is a tiger!”

And I grinned and replied softly: “No honey, it isn’t… it’s a Chipmunk, not a tiger.”

???

And then he and his friend all of a sudden started roaring with laughter. And I have to admit… I laughed too…

He even wished me a nice day and thought it was “nice to meet me” when I left.

 

Streifenhoernchen

 

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Sunday in the morning I was paying a long promised visit to someone…  It was quite a hot day, about in its 90’s and quite humid, and I felt kind of a little bored driving all by myself on some small road when I saw a woman jogging on the sidewalk. She was sweating so badly she looked like she had stood in the pouring rain only a minute ago.

Spontaneously I brought my car to a halt next to her and turned my window down. She stopped and looked at me, a little surprised. “Can I help you?”

I shook my head and replied: “I’m not sure… I just saw you running… you seem to be in quite a hurry – and it’s extremely hot outside. Can I take you somewhere?”

—???—

Her face was completely blank, her mouth hung open and she looked totally confused before finally stuttering:” No… uhm… thank you…. I’m jogging… I’m… it’s a workout…”

“Oh.” I said, a little disappointed. “Then… Have a nice day.”

And I took off.

Believe me: For the rest of the way I was laughing about her shocked face. I’m in fact still giggling thinking about it.

Sometimes I have to say, I just need a good laugh… and I do thank these two for giving it to me!! You just made my day!!

joggerin_605_250

 

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Pictures to find at:

 

Jogger: http://www.hessen-forst.de/wald-erleben-wald-wandern-1164.html

Chipmunk: http://www.herz-fuer-tiere.de/ratgeber-tier/kleinsaeuger/streifenhoernchen/haltung/streifenhoernchen-und-kinder.html

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