General Blogging & Writing

Deb Barnes of Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles Recognized for Three MUSE Medallions from Cat Writers’ Association

Hi everyone! Whew, while I am no longer president of the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA), I’m still heavily involved in the organization, specifically, helping to coordinate our 27th conference and awards ceremony that was held October 22 – 23, 2021 and it was a lot of work to pull it off! The conference was virtual this year – a first for us – and while it presented some technological challenges, overall, it was a great event with some superb speakers. Registration was required to attend the sessions, so I can’t share specifics on the sessions, but what I can share is our communications contest awards ceremony which was open to everyone (details to follow)!

As I’m sure most of you notice by now, I don’t have the time to blog like I used to, so I really don’t have many pieces I can enter in the contest. That said, I’m honored to have received three prestigious MUSE medallions. One for a post I wrote last year, “Ten Great Reasons to Celebrate Jazmine for Her 7th Birthday,” one for an article I wrote for Catster magazine – Cool Cats: From Motherless Kittens to Ambassadors, (published in the May/June 2020 issue; about the decreasing Florida Panther population) and my Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles Facebook page for Rescue/Advocacy.

With limited time at my disposal – between my day job and trying to write my next latest and greatest non-fiction novel, Facebook is my primary source of communication, so I was really thrilled to receive recognition for the page. If you don’t currently follow the page, I hope you will after this.

And for those of you that would enjoy watching the CWA awards ceremony in full, check out the video below for your viewing pleasure! Thank you all for your support over the years as well. You all are so dear to me and I appreciate you sticking by me and my feline gang!

P.S. One of my proudest moments as CWA president was starting the tradition of holding a fundraiser for a cat rescue in conjunction with our conference. I’m pleased to say that tradition continues and there is still time to donate if you want to participate in this year’s fundraiser. Donations are welcome by anyone and we have some great door prizes, too. This year, our rescue partner is Help With Cats, a nonprofit organization that coordinates resources to help community cats in the Greater Phoenix Area with their primary focus on targeted and sustained trap-neuter-return.

Help With Cats was chosen by the incredibly talented Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther, our keynote speaker this year, to receive our support for cats who are in need but often forgotten. You can learn more about Help With Cats, the fundraiser, and the prizes, by checking our fundraiser page here.

Cat Writers’ Association Certificates of Excellence Announced – Thank you for 10 Years of Memories

My first CWA conference in 2011 – White Plains, NY. I’m here with friend and fellow blogger/writer, Janiss Garza.

Wow. It’s been ten years since I’ve joined the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) in 2011 and with a blog, three books under my belt, and several national print and online freelance writing gigs, it still sometimes feels like a dream. I didn’t start life out thinking I’d be a published writer, it just sort of fell into my lap when a tough economy in 2009, along with my two cats – Zee & Zoey – who had a litter of kittens that helped get me out of deep depression and inspired me to write my first book – The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary, that it all changed. Read more

Join the CWA for our From Glammies to Jammies Virtual Awards Ceremony and Tabby’s Place Fundraiser!

For those that follow this blog, you may well have thought I fell off the earth it’s been so long since I’ve posted and in many ways I have. Once this COVID pandemic really kicked in several months ago, forcing the Cat Writers’ Association to cancel their 2020 Cat Writers’ Association 26th Annual Conference and Awards Banquet that was supposed to have been held July 16 – 18, 2020, in Iselin, NJ in conjunction the CFA/Garden State Cat Show and Expo, my life took on a whole new direction. Read more

Cats, Comfort, and Coping with Coronavirus – The New Normal

Staying in and working from home is becoming the new normal for many of us.

Like many, I’ve had to reinvent myself numerous times. I’ve been a child of divorce and a child who was bullied. I’ve been divorced myself, resulting in me being a single mom of two boys, struggling to keep us afloat. I’ve also been unemployed several times over the years, wondering how I’d ever pay my bills – all circumstances giving me the resilience and fortitude to survive. With the coronavirus epidemic, I’m reinventing myself again, only this time it’s not just me, it’s the whole world reinventing themselves and the planet we live in. Read more

A Presidential Peek Into the Cat Writers’ 25th Anniversary Conference and Awards Banquet

Tick, tock – the clock strikes noon and I grab my purse in frazzled haste, heading to my car where I sit in the sweltering South Florida heat to make some phone calls during my lunch hour in the parking lot. I sweat; loose papers are haphazardly strewn on my makeshift desk, which in this instance are my blue jean clad knees, while I frantically try to take notes amid the disruptive roar and rumble of afternoon traffic, rendering it nearly impossible for me to hear. Did she say the room would be for seating of eight, or we’re meeting at a later date? Read more