Friday, January 31, 2014

A Cat Named Bob, an Interview, a Goal, and a Friday Celebration

I've been in a blog slump and unable to think of anything to write about since Christmas, so it's kind of funny that today I have enough to write about to fill several posts. 

First up, Natasha Hanova was kind enough to interview me on her blog today and I'm very happy to be featured there. Thanks to Natasha for the feature! Please visit us here

And speaking of interviews, Clancy is still psyched about the fact that he was featured on Two Fur-Peeps and a Writer yesterday. If you missed it, come see us there and see what he got up to with Sir Poops and Hair Ball and their mom Shelly Arkon.

Next is the monthly meeting of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid. The Coffeehouse is a fun and simple group where we share our favorite book we've read in the past month. Visit Armchair's site here to view participants or to sign up to join us. 

Source: Amazon purchase page

My favorite book that I read this month was A Street Cat Named Bob And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen. 

Bowen was a heroin addict living in government-supported housing in London when he found an injured street cat outside his door. He used the small amount of money he made busking to help the cat and ended up finding a life-long friend and the catalyst for turning his life around in return. 

It's no secret that I love animals and this book showcases the bond that can develop between a human and an animal in a touching and heartwarming way. While it's a very sweet and "feel good" story, it's not sappy or trite. I'd recommend the book to any animal lover, and especially cat lovers, and I think anyone who reads it will fall in love with the handsome and charming orange cat named Bob. 

Thanks as always to Armchair for hosting this group!

This is the first month I am participating in Misha Gericke's Goal Bloghop at The Five Year Project. The purpose of the hop is to share a goal that may be considered crazy by some and then keep everyone up to date on your progress towards reaching it, while also encouraging other goal seekers. Visit Misha here if you'd like to sign up and get involved. 

I decided to join this hop in the hopes that setting a deadline for myself and making my goal public would help motivate me. I'm very fortunate to have a full-time job while I pursue my writing goals but ultimately I would like to be able to work full-time as a writer. In order to do that I want to focus on finding freelance assignments in addition to working on my novels. 

While I had big plans to kick off 2014 by working diligently on this goal, it hasn't worked out that way. So I really don't have any progress to report this month. But knowing I will be reporting in again at the end of February does help motivate me and I am going to make it a point to have something more substantial to share then. I gave myself a deadline of June, 2015 to realize this goal. Stay tuned to see if I get there!

Last but never least, it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author. This week I'm celebrating the end of January! This has been a month I'm glad to see end. I normally don't hate winter, but the weather we've had this year is not at all what we are used to and I've had more than enough of it. 

I will be very glad to turn the calendar over to February tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed that we have already seen the worst that winter has to offer this year. 

Happy weekend, all!


  1. Saw your interview with the Fur-Peeps yesterday.
    Animals can do amazing things for people just by being present.

  2. I'm one of those girls who fell madly in love with Bob and his books. I'm currently reading the second book and I hope there will be many more.

  3. I know you can achieve that goal, Julie. And so what if it takes maybe a little longer to get there or there are slumps along the way? You're still moving forward and that's what counts! :)

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Best of luck with February. Misha's Goal hop is amazing, I'm glad I joined and welcome. Will check out your guest post and my fave books this month are The Beginning of Us by Sarah Brooks and Starters by Lissa Price.

  5. Having a goal with a deadline, and publically sharing it, is a great way to stay motivated. Welcome on board - I hope it works out for you.


  6. @Alex, definitely. This book really illustrated that.

    @Vanessa, I am looking forward to Bob's second book! It doesn't come out here for a few months yet. Love everything about this story.

    @Madeline, thanks for the encouragement! I hope you have a great weekend too.

    @Sheena-kay, thank you!

    @Angeline, thanks for the welcome, I am looking forward to being part of this hop.

  7. I agree with you on the weather, Julie. The past 2 weeks have been brutal with wind chills -20. I hope your dream as a full time writer comes true!! If anyone, I think you can do it!!

  8. The book sounds wonderful. I always enjoy stories of human resilience. Toss in an animal that helped carve the path, and it's all good.

    Not all months are blogging months. I've seen stories about the cold weather on the news - dreadful! Spring is coming - all will be well.

  9. It looks like everyone's been struggling through January this year, I for one am glad it's February tomorrow.

  10. So much info! You are turning into a version of Alex, LOL.

    Must look into Mishe's bloghop. Sounds like a good thing for every line of work.

    A Street Cat Named Bob is exactly the kind of book I love. Thank you for the tip!

  11. I named my first dog Bob (when I was around 5-6) and our second dog is called Bobby. You can't beat animal love. :)

    Welcome to the Goals trains - And what a great goal. Best of luck with that Julie. X

  12. Yep. That's a big reason why I actually started this bloghop. Accountability is actually a great motivator.

    Best of luck with February!

  13. This January has been bad for a lot of us, let's hope February will be better. Or shorter.

    I loved the cat-story. I have a disability (autism spectrum disorder) and my cats are so important to my well being. From my bossy old cat Niki to my disabled dwarf kitten Therese.

  14. @Cathrina, aww, I appreciate that, thanks. And here's to warmer temps!

    @MJ, that's just how I feel, this book had everything I love.

    @Laura, yeah, it seems January has been a lousy month for a lot of people. Here's to a much better February for all of us.

    @Huntress, I think you would love Bob, it's such a touching book! LOL, I will probably never have this much to post about again. :D

    @Shah, aww, I think the name Bob is so cute for a pet! And thanks for the welcome to the train.

    @Misha, thanks for hosting this, I feel good about joining in. :)

  15. @anna, oh, I bet your cats are precious! I've been around cats all my life and love them to pieces. Nice to meet you!

  16. That does sound like an uplifting story!

  17. Yes, I'm over this winter already…I'm ready to say a big good bye lol

    I have to check out Misha's hop, I need to stay more motivated and accountable :-/

  18. Hope you get better weather for February!

    I may check out that Goal Bloghop too. Thanks and good luck!

  19. @Elizabeth, it really is.

    @SK, I hope it helps me stay accountable, I need something to kick my butt LOL.

    @mscoffee, thank you and same to you!

  20. That Bob the Cat book sounds great. I loved the James Herriot novels as a kid, and I'm sure I'd love reading about Bob.

    I'm sorry January's been hard so far. Truth is, I didn't get as much done this month as I wanted to either. But there's always February! Keep working, keep writing! :)

  21. I hear you about your celebration of the end of January. I'm right there with you!

    Have a wonderful weekend. ☺

  22. I'm getting all emotion just thinking about the Street Cat Named Bob. Guess I should check that one out—definitely my kind of story.

    And I am so over winter this year too.

  23. @Lexa, oh, I loved the James Herriot books too! And the tv show, my mom and I watched it all the time. <3

    @Dana, thanks so much.

    @MJ, I think you would love it, it's such a great story.

  24. I am also glad to see the end of Jan!! it's been wet and miserable.

  25. @Vikki, it seems like lots of us are feeling the same. Not a great month all the way around.

  26. Hey, that sounds like an interesting book. Is it a memoir or a novel?

  27. @Lorena, it's a memoir and a great read. :)

  28. Sounds like a great book! And like you I'll be glad to see the end of Jan but for other reasons. Setting goals has always been positive for me, but alas my goal from 2013 was not realized - still working towards it though!

  29. I'm glad to see January go, too. And that book sounds like something I'd like :)

  30. A feel-good story about a cat and "his person"? I'm all in! I'll have to look for that one on Amazon. Thanks.

    Good luck with reaching that freelancing goal. Not that you need luck. Have fun with it!

    Happy weekend!

  31. Good luck in February! I'll be happy to see the cold gone with January, but the evil weather guys are saying at least another 8 inches is coming our way early next week. Yikes! Have a good weekend. :)

  32. I love storis about animals and their humans. Always good for a few tears! I'm a bit of a softy when it comes to stories like that. =)

  33. I'm sure your goal is very achievable, Julie. My goal is so far away that there's no point recording my progress from month to month - I have a profound belief I will win the Booker Prize when I'm 56. I first mentioned this to someone when I was in my late twenties, so it's definitely on the 'long-term' spectrum... I just have to cross my fingers that the award still exists then!

  34. Cats are amazing. One woke me this morning by snuggling into the crook of my arm. Sounds like a great book.


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  36. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, Julie.

  37. How could you not love a book that cat on its cover? Don't be too hard on yourself, Julie. You'll get those freelance jobs lined up, and I expect to hear about your best seller soon. Once that happens you can kiss the old day job goodbye. :-)

  38. TGIFebruary! Actually, I liked bits of January, but I'm still glad to turn the page for February. I feel like I want a fresh start, and February 1st offers that.
    A Cat Named Bob sounds like a great read!
    Best wishes on all your writing endeavors and with life!

  39. Don't you dare go slumping about, Julie! I know, winter has been hard and your fans are waiting for more writing from you. Besides, there is always Clancy to lick you into shape! Your friends are behind you with all their wishes. Do not EVER give up. Hugs, Inge

  40. Julie, I'm going to recommend the book about Bob to my daughter, the cat lover. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  41. What a great sounding book.. shall be checking it out:)

  42. @Yolanda, oh, I'm sorry you didn't make your 2013 goal but I've no doubt you'll get there this year.

    @Marcy, I know you would love it.

    @Susan, yeah, you'll love the kitty book, I'm sure of it. Thanks!

    @Christine, oh no, I hope your weather forecast turns out to be wrong.

    @Leandra, I'm a total softie and cry all the time with stories about animals. Much more than I do with stories about people LOL.

    @Annalisa, oh, what an awesome goal! And having read your stories I don't doubt you'll achieve it.

    @Armchair, that's just how I woke up today! Nothing like a cat's purr. <3

    @Carole, you're welcome, take care.

    @Tyrean, LOL, love that new TGIF. Thanks so much.

    @Inge, you're so nice, thanks!!

    @Mary, my pleasure, I think your daughter will really enjoy it.

    @TF, I hope you like it, the cat is irresistible. :)

  43. Oh I'm totally swooning over that book right now. I have to get it. I adore cats and this sounds so heartwarming. :)

  44. @Pk, you will love it! Bob the cat is too cute for words. <3

  45. We're still waiting for winter to arrive in SoCal -- but you probably don't want to hear that. (Bad drought, no rain, boo-hoo.) Writing full-time is also a dream of mine, but I too am grateful for the day job and the three months I get off each year for good behavior.

  46. Will go and read your interview. The animal book is something I need to read as I am currently writing a book with a dog as the main character.

  47. Count me as another who recognizes the animal-human bond and its the greatest kitty I've ever owned is rubbing his face against my laptop's screen!!

  48. Just checked out your interview!

    And I agree, making your goals public is definitely a great motivator. Good luck with becoming a full-writer! I can definitely picture you achieving this goal... :)

  49. Celebrating the end of January with you! It is such a gloomy month. Also wishing you all the best on the goal front. Actually pushing towards goals is something to be proud of. Many people just wish. Have a positive year with it!

  50. Yes, I'm totally a cat lady, but I still haven't read this book! I only recently read the Dewey book for the first time, which was a cute and heartwarming read. But I think this one would be extra special.

    It's definitely on my list. ;)

    and welcome to the Goals? hop! It's kind of fun just throwing out crazy goals out there and starting to think about achieving them, isn't it? :)

  51. @Milo, I'm jealous you're in SoCal but the drought does seem awful, it seems the weather is crazy everywhere.

    @Rachna, I think it would help, hope you like it.

    @MOCK, aww, too cute.

    @Heather, thank you! I need to picture it myself LOL.

    @Rebecca, thank you, that's a good way to look at it, I will keep that in mind.

    @Trisha, I thought this one was better than Dewey, I read the whole thing in one day. I know you'd love Bob, he's a one in a million cat, no question. Thanks for the welcome!

  52. Think I would love the cat story. Will be looking out for that one :-)

  53. It's interesting how much animals can help people in dire straits. "Here is something that needs me," they think. "I can't fix myself, that's too big a task, but I can do something about this poor creature." And by doing the latter, they unwittingly do the former, too. Sounds like a great book.

  54. @Stephanie, exactly! It really is a wonderful book.

  55. Hi Julie .. A Street called Bob: James' cat saving his life and becoming his companion ... in a way reminds me of Roland.

    Animals can be huge releasers of positive energies ...

    Goals - yes I have a few .. which this year will definitely come to fruition ...

    Cheers and good luck with yours - it's always difficult in the colder months to get going full on .. Hilary


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