Should the Homeless Own Pets?

Illness in the family and other stressors have slowed this blog down. I miss chatting with everyone on the blog and on social media, but need to cut down on time spent online. homeless with petsYesterday, on a break and during a quick browse on the net, I came across this article in the Guardian about a few homeless people who saved pets and were saved by them in turn.

In Singapore, it is rare to spot a homeless person (though there are individuals who panhandle by ostensibly selling small items like tissue packs). When I travel I tend to either pass food or money to the homeless and move on. Glimpses into individual lives are rare. The article gave an insight into the lives of the homeless, and I found a link to this fundraiser for Ryan Mikesell.

If you’re interested, here’s an excerpt from what Ryan says in the article:

“When I’m feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, my mini Labradoodle, Josie, climbs on my chest to calm me down. She won’t take no for an answer. She’ll be like, “Go ahead, tell me to get off. I don’t care.” I have PTSD and her doing that is a grounding mechanism for me. I feel things and she just senses it. She’s like my soulmate in dog form. My therapist loves her.
My animals are my family. The oldest is Jamie, a Jack Russell-chihuahua I got eleven years ago when I was living in a house with my ex-partner. Jamie has had two litters and I’ve kept three of her puppies. In total, I have five dogs and my cat, Buddy, who I found abandoned in an alley nine years ago.
I’ve been homeless for eight years. I grew up in Olympia, Washington, but my parents were very abusive and I didn’t want to be anywhere near them, so I left for Oregon. I have agoraphobia and severe anxiety. I also have diabetes and need to have a refrigerator so I can keep eating healthily. I live in a motorhome that I have nowhere to permanently park.

I sent him a few dollars because he supports these animals and seems to be a man who isn’t letting his history of suffering and his present circumstances keep him from leading a meaningful life.

homeless own petsI’ve heard it said that people able to keep pets shouldn’t be homeless, that they’re sponging off gullible folk. But there are also those who, when made to choose between their pet and a home, choose the pet.

I believe that animals can be our very best friends, and that the homeless are just people who have fallen upon hard times–it could happen to anyone, and they have as much right to the love of a pet as anyone else. I appreciate the fact that Ryan supports animals when he himself has access to so little. He does have a motorhome, yes, but he’s also doing his best for these animals with what little he’s got.

How is the situation of the homeless in your community? Do they receive assistance, and support towards rehabilitation? Do any of them own pets? Do you believe the homeless have the right to own pets? Would you consider sending some help to Ryan?

I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of June 29!


Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have posts delivered to your inbox: SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL , please.

Do Authors Need to be on #socialmedia ? #IWSG

Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my absolute pleasure today to welcome author Chrys Fey who gives wonderful pointers on author promotions despite not being on social media.

Do authors need social media?

Authors don’t need to be on social media if they don’t want to be.

Nowadays, social media can be a drag. There are things we might like about it, but then there are things we probably hate, like the drama, feeling as though we don’t do enough on Facebook or Twitter, or even losing writing time because of keeping social media accounts updated.

Authors, if you hate Twitter, you don’t need to be on Twitter. If you hate Facebook, you don’t need to be on Facebook. I personally like to have at least one form of social media to stay current and have a searchable presence, but that is always up to the individual. And I do advise snagging those accounts on Twitter and/or Facebook to keep people from creating a false account under your name/pseudonym. That way the account is yours, but you don’t have to do a thing on it if you don’t want to, and especially not if you dislike social media or get stressed out about it. What can you do instead?

How an Author Can Promote without Social Media:

  1. Online Reviews

Online and social media are two different things. You can still take advantage of the online world and not be on social media.

2. Find Book Bloggers and Reviewers

You can do this with a simple Google search. Check out the blogs/websites for reviewers, read their Review Policy, and then send them an email with all the information they request. Following instructions is key.

Reviews are important, so even if you’re not on social media, you can still take advantage of online reviews. And once you have these reviews, you can quote parts of them in the Editorial Reviews section on your book’s Amazon page. You can even put those review quotes on your website, in your press kit, and any kind of printed promo, such as a postcard or brochure. Use them everywhere.

3. Guest Posts

I have never viewed my blog as a social media platform. There is a community there, and people can comment and share your blog posts, but blogs have a very different vibe than say Twitter or Facebook. So, blogging can be a wonderful tool in a writer’s box who hates other social media platforms. On your blog you can create a series of posts related to you book without it being too pushy-salesy. Writing a post about fascinating tidbits you learned while researching your book is a great way to attract interest.

But if you don’t want to create a blog, you can still partially hop into the blogging world by contacting book/author bloggers and asking them if you can offer them a guest post. Write a fascinating guest post about your book, add your book’s blurb, cover art, your bio and links, and then voila! You have a guest post that can attract their visitors.

TIP: Simple book blasts with only the book’s content do next to nothing because they don’t offer value. And every book blogger fills their followers’ feeds with these. Be different. Create a unique post that is less salesy and more informative.

Get on a handful of blogs. One a day for a week or two is great. In this way, you can have a blog tour. It’s virtual, but it’s not social media.

4. Local Libraries

Contact your local libraries. You can go in and talk to the people at the reference desk about doing a discussion there. This works for authors who write adult books as well as authors who write children’s and middle grade books.

5. Local Schools

If you write children’s books, see if you can do readings in the media center or in classrooms. This is your audience. Elementary school teachers love to connect with local authors, and so do kids.

Many elementary schools also hold fests, such as an autumn fest, spring fling, or summer fest. At these fests, there are usually tables. Contact the school(s) months in advance to see if you can get a table for your books at their events.

6. Local Newspapers

If you release a book or do an event locally (at a library or school), contact your local paper. Many newspaper websites list the reporters and contributors. You can directly contact one of them through email. Give them your press kit and all of the details of what you’ll be doing.

7. Radio/Podcasts

Check out your local radio stations or search for podcast opportunities for authors. You can find radio and podcast opportunities on the Radio Locator database, iTunes (under podcasts), and sign up for Radio Guest List for free to receive daily emails for current radio, podcast, and TV opportunities.

8. Go to Book Events/Fairs

Every year there are book events/fairs throughout the country, and a few of them could happen in your state. Even in your city. Signing up to be a featured author at a book event, with a table for the signing open to the public, you have the potential to find new readers. Have promo items, such as bookmarks or postcards, with your book’s information on it and pass them out to every reader who pauses at your table. I also suggest, having a tablet at your table so readers can directly fill out your newsletter’s opt-in form. Include some sort of incentive, such as a giveaway the readers will be entered into if they sign up. When I did this, I got about 50 new sign-ups from one event.

Book events are also great ways to network with other authors. Introduce yourself. Stop at their tables, swap business cards, and wish them luck. By doing this, you could be building a valuable relationship.

9. Join Local Writing Groups

Most libraries have group meetings for writers. Go to your local library and ask the reference desk for information on any writing groups that may meet there. Usually, these groups meet once a month. If you attend the meetings, you could get to know other local writers/authors, which could lead to combined promo opportunities. For example, you and one or two others could do a signing together at a local spot. You never know what could come out of the friendships you build in writing groups.

10. Readings

Host a reading at a coffeeshop, library, or another local spot. Many of the people who go to these places are artistic people. At the least, you entertain them while you read. At the most, you pique their interest and they ask you questions afterward about your book.

11. Farmer’s Market

Many cities and towns have a weekly Farmer’s Market. See if you can get a table for your books. Treat it like a real book event. Have promo items you can hand out to everyone. Whoever stops at your table, try to pull them into a conversation. You could simply ask them what they like to read and follow their answer with a reply of your own. Perhaps they read your genre. Great! Tell them that’s what your offering and pitch them your book.

Do Authors Need Social mediaIf you target all of your marketing efforts locally and get known where you are, you and your book will become successful WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA!

And if a local opportunity comes your way, say to speak at a luncheon or library, don’t pass it up. Even if you’ve never done it before. There’s no harm in trying, and you just may be pleasantly surprised.

Get creative. Think outside the box. Try anything at least once.


How else can an author promote their book(s) without social media? How much of your time do you spend on social media? Do you buy books you encounter on social media? Have you ever been annoyed by author promotions on social media?


For more information like this check out:

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication by Chrys Fey at Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Amazon


Chrys Fey on Social mediaChrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. Fey is an editor for Dancing Lemur Press and runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Goodreads book club. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips, or tweet her at @ChrysFey


Social media by Chrys FeyThis post was written for the IWSG. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) every month! Go to the site to see the other participants. In this group we writers share tips, self-doubt, insecurities, and of course, discuss the act of writing. If you’re a writer and a blogger, go join rightaway! The IWSG’s co-hosts this month are Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.


Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have posts delivered to your inbox: SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL , please.

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Do You Care about Bees? #WATWB

We are the World BlogfestTo spread peace and humanity on social media, a few of us have worked together to create the We are the World Blogfest. In a world where news and social media are awash with negativity, we aim to turn the focus on to small but significant stories that renew our faith in humanity.

We are the World Blogfest is here with its fourteenth edition.

I’m helping co-host this month along with these wonderful bloggers: Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena, Andrea Michaels, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal . Go visit them please and thank them for their hard work behind the scenes.
——-

 

I usually post individual stories of love and hope from around Asia, but this time for a spark of light in the darkness, I’d like to share an absolutely heartening piece of news for humanity in general, but for my friends the bees in particular.

bees are dyingIn recent times, worldwide bee populations have been falling at an alarming rate, and this has dire consequences for the survival of our species: bees pollinate 90 per cent of our crops. One of the main reasons bees are dying out is the use of toxic pesticides.

So I’m thrilled to learn that the European Union has voted to permanently ban bee-harming pesticides.

The ban has also received extensive public support, with a petition from campaign group Avaaz gathering nearly 5 million signatures calling on European ministers to support it.

“Banning these toxic pesticides is a beacon of hope for bees. Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence and farmers who know that bees can’t live with these chemicals and we can’t live without bees.,” said Antonia Staats, senior campaigner at Avaaz.

I was one of the millions who signed the petition, and this was a result I hadn’t expected. I hope that such bans come into effect worldwide, and that humanity wakes up to save bees before it is too late.


Do you see bees in the gardens, parks, or farms around you? Do you know if they’re safe or endangered in your area? Do you have beekeeper friends? Would you vote for a ban on bee-killing pesticides?

——–

If you’d like to take part in this blogfest, sign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Blogfest Linky List below and please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love and humanity.
  3. Join us in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More We Are the World Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. Add your post HERE so we can all find it quickly.

 The We are The World Blogfest Community Page on Facebook will continue to show links to the various blog posts. So you don’t have to hurry through. You can always enjoy one a day. Like the page and share your posts on the thread for the purpose.

We Are the World Blogfest

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community (Click on See First).

If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox:  SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL . (Feel free to share this post if you like it. You’ll find icons to re-blog it via WordPress and Blogger to the left of this post.)

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Want to Hear the Magical Tale of Two Puppies? #WATWB

We are the World BlogfestTo spread peace and humanity on social media, a few of us have worked together to create the We are the World Blogfest. In a world where news and social media are awash with negativity, we aim to turn the focus on to small but significant stories that renew our faith in humanity.

We are the World Blogfest is here with its thirteenth edition.

The cohosts for the APRIL 2018 WATWB are: Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, Simon Falk, Michelle Wallace , Mary Giese. Go visit them please and thank them for their hard work behind the scenes.
——-

My friend Guilie Castillo is a passionate advocate for dog rescue, whose book It’s About the Dog has hit the stands recently.

For today’s We are the World blogfest, I want to share how Guilie and her friends have become the light in the darkness.

—–

Dog Rescue PawsThank you so much for having me here, Damyanti—especially for the We Are the World ‘fest! In the spirit of spreading light and hope, I thought I’d share a dog rescue story of not just hope but Magic. Many of us at #WATWB are involved with projects to help others, whether it’s children or the elderly or animals or the environment.

The challenge is enormous and it’s all too easy to feel discouraged, depressed even. (In It’s About the Dog, aimed at people new to rescue, I even included a section on how to deal with the inevitable despair and dejection; it’s that prevalent.) So I’m sharing this with the hope you’ll find in it the encouragement to keep you making the world a better place, one action at a time.

Back at the beginning of April, a volunteer from Rescue Paws Curaçao (one of the island’s foremost rescue organizations) spotted an emaciated female dog wandering on a side street. She followed her into ever smaller and smaller streets, until the dog ducked under a fence and into a shabby, neglected yard. Other dogs were there, also emaciated, including some puppies that looked to be three or four weeks old. No sign of food, or even water.

Dog Rescue PawsTwo of the organization’s directors, Mirjan and Karin, armed with diplomatic smiles and more fluent Papiamentu (the island’s language) than the Dutch volunteer’s, came to talk to the property owner and see what they

could do for the dogs. The owner, an elderly preacher who they found out lived on barely 300 guilders a month (about USD 150), was welcoming enough, but seemed more interested in talking God than dogs. Eventually he agreed to let them put kibble out, which allowed them to get a closer look at the dogs.

The puppies they thought were around a month old, once they were brought to the vet, turned to be four months old. They were so scrawny, so malnourished even from the womb (judging by the shape their mom was in), that they weighed in at less than a third of the minimum recommended weight for their age. Their little bodies, tiny bones sticking out everywhere, felt as lithe as a bird’s.

Dog recueTheir ‘owner’, the preacher, didn’t seem to understand he had to provide for the dogs; his reasoning, born not of cruelty but ignorance, was that God provided for the trees and nature in general, and dogs, being a part of nature, also fell into this ‘providence’. Rescue Paws explained, as gently—but effectively—as they could, that this was not the case and, due to the man’s limited income, they are now providing food and medicine to ensure the dogs’ wellbeing.

But two of the puppies—a black-and-white furry babe missing an eye, whom Karin named Seppe, and a white-and-brown lovely that Mirjan named Mala— weren’t eating, didn’t even want water. The day they found them out in the mondi, the wild brush around the house, lying as if dead, they decided more desperate measures would be needed to save these puppies.

The vet determined it wasn’t parvo, fortunately (parvovirus is a death sentence for dogs this young); most likely it was some kind of intestinal infection, but they were so weak, so underfed, and the infection so advanced and entrenched in their little bodies, that they’d need round-the-clock care. Literally 24/7.

Clearly far beyond what the preacher could provide, even if he had been willing.

All of which meant that they needed a foster.

Fosters, as anyone involved with rescue knows, do not grow on trees. A good foster—someone with experience (or with the willingness to learn), with the dedication to follow instructions, with enough flexibility in their schedule to fit in late nights and early mornings and emergency trips to the vet—is impossible to find.

But I promised you magic, and Magic delivered. The impossible foster was found: a wonderful woman who met all the requirements and added a few more just for kicks. She took Seppe, and Mirjan—despite already having a houseful of dogs—stayed with little Mala.

Every morning both women brought the puppies to the vet, to be hooked up to an IV for fluids (and antibiotics and vitamins), and stayed on it all day. At night, neither got much sleep, trying to give them water and broth on an eyedropper, trying to feed them bits of chicken and rice. They kept them clean and comfortable, looked after their every need, showering them with love; maybe, just maybe, that would give them a reason to fight, and live.

For Seppe, the improvement started within the week. Still weak, and far from out of the woods, but he was getting better. Mala, however, wasn’t. He still refused to eat more than a mouthful or two, wasn’t drinking nearly enough liquids, seemed tired and listless. Hope, small as it had been, was now dwindling down to nothing.

And then—yes, Magic. Maybe the meds finally kicked in. Maybe the bits of broth Mirjan managed to get into him finally added up into some nourishment. Maybe it was all that love surrounding him, as if he’d decided he couldn’t let down these people who’d become so invested in his recovery. So it came to pass that, one fine day, Mala began to wag his tail. And to walk. And to eat. And then, at last, to play.

Now that Mala is so much better, Mirjan brought him over for a visit with his brother Seppe last week, and the reunion was so extraordinary—they climbed all over each other, licking and play-barking and generally acting absolutely ecstatic to see each other—that the foster offered to take Mala in, too, so that the two brothers could walk—well, more like chase and race—the last steps of their recovery together.

Their story isn’t finished yet. Rescue Paws is trying to find them a forever family together. It’s incredibly difficult to find homes for rescue dogs, not just in Curaçao but anywhere, really, so it’s far-fetched, but… well, maybe there’s still a little bit of Magic left for these two. We hope so. After all, hope is what dog rescuers are made of.

(Would you like to help Rescue Paws save more dogs? Find out more about them on Facebook and at their website. You can donate via PayPal, too—every bit helps!)

Thank you so much, Damyanti, for giving space to little Mala and Seppe, and to everyone for visiting! I hope you found a bit of light in this story, and I look forward to chatting with you in the comments. Do you have dogs, or other animals at home yourself? Have you ever rescued a street dog? Do you think you could? Do you volunteer at any shelters or animal sanctuaries? Just for kicks, care to guess how many dogs Mirjan, the Rescue Paws director, lives with? Hint: it’s more than my eight.

If you’d like to take part in this blogfest, sign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Blogfest Linky List below and please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love and humanity.
  3. Join us in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More We Are the World Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. Add your post HERE so we can all find it quickly.

 The We are The World Blogfest Community Page on Facebook will continue to show links to the various blog posts. So you don’t have to hurry through. You can always enjoy one a day. Like the page and share your posts on the thread for the purpose.

Paws dog rescue

Dog Rescue PawsI’m going to pick up Guilie’s book today, and I hope you do, too. It is the perfect gift for the dog lover in your family, and for you, if you are interested in helping animals in dire straits. I’m also sending off a small donation to Rescue Paws, so more Malas and Seppes are given a second chance at life.

With each comment on this post, you’re being entered into It’s About the Dog giveaway!

ABOUT GUILIE: A Mexican writer and dog rescuer who moved to Curaçao “for six months”—and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book. Find Guilie on Facebook and Twitter, at Quiet Laughter where she blogs about life and writing, and at Life in Dogs where she blogs about life and… well, dogs.

We Are the World Blogfest

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community (Click on See First).

If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox:  SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL . (Feel free to share this post if you like it. You’ll find icons to re-blog it via WordPress and Blogger to the left of this post.)

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What is Your Blog About?

What is your blog about?What is your blog about? What do you talk about, when you talk about blogging? What’s your niche? Your brand? Why would people read you?

Someone I know and respect asked me these questions last week, and I was stumped. My blog is a bit of everything: author interviews,  my writing life, travel, issues of the day that I feel strongly about. I’ve just let it grow, or not, as it will.

Mostly though, it is about interaction, about all the comments this site receives, and the conversations it generates on social media. I’ve not been very good with responding this year (life has taken its toll), though I always return visits, sooner or later.

Daily (w)rite has been around for ten years, and I haven’t planned on any huge changes to the way I run it.

For those of you who have been visiting this blog for a while, would you suggest I make changes? For anyone reading this post, what is your blog about? Why did you create it? How long has it been around? What are your plans for your blog?


I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of April 27!

———

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have posts delivered to your inbox: SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL.