General Blogging & Writing

Zee & Zoey’s Cat Creations Honored by the Cat Writers’ Association Annual Awards

Last Saturday, October 15, 2022, the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) held its annual communications contest to honor the pool of talent that represents excellence in writing, blogging, photography, graphic design, poetry, and more. Now the third year in a row as a virtual event, for those of you that missed it, but would like to watch the ceremony, you can enjoy the YouTube video to follow at the end of this post.

CWA president, Cassandra Morgan, hosted the event and a big round of applause for a wonderful production. The video started in honorarium to the Immediate Past President, dear friend and beloved by so many, Paula Gregg, who we tragically lost on May 2 of this year to pancreatic cancer. She will be forever missed and is a reminder to be kind and loving to one another, as you just never know when it will be someone’s time to leave this earth.

While I am a writer by nature, due to a variety of reasons, I’m not able to blog or write with any frequency any longer, but I still try to dabble in another passion of mine – graphic design – so I was thrilled to find out I won a MUSE award in the Photographic Art category for my 2021 Greeting Card Collection featured on my Zee & Zoey’s Cat Creations shop on Zazzle. The series featured:

Bengal Cat Happy Birthday (cat model: Zoey)

Ginger Cat Thanksgiving (cat model: Jazmine)

Black Cat Halloween (cat model: Shadow)

Bengal Cat Holiday Greeting (cat model: Zoey)

Black Cat Happy Birthday (cat model: Shadow)

I had a lot of fun designing the cards and if you want to see them, or any of my other card designs, t-shirts, mouse pads, and more, please visit Zee & Zoey’s Cat Creations (you can also click each card image to be brought directly to the shop). Zazzle frequently has sales, too, so don’t forget to look for discount codes before you shop!

Take care everyone, enjoy the ceremony, and congratulations to all the winners!

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