THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CATS AND DOGS

I took a social media workshop last week that covered Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, Blogs, and Newsletters. Today, I have a social media hangover. Today, I feel like this:

LAZY

Today, I’m going to let other talented folks write my post for me. If you haven’t seen the YouTube video entitled “Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend,” YOU MUST! It’s by Fat Awesome Films. They’ve made 2 videos, so make sure you watch them both. The first one has had over ten million views. It’s funny, funny stuff.

CAT-DOG DIARY

Here’s one more video you have to see also perfectly illustrating the difference between cats and dogs. It’s taken with a phone, but make sure you stick it out until the very end.

dogs vs cats

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Being the social media slut that I am, I’m on LinkedIn. But if you were to ask me what LinkedIn was, being the woefully inadequate social media slut that I am, I’d tell you to Google it. I do, however, appreciate the writerly discussions on LinkedIn, specifically about marketing, because imo, writers are the most clueless when it comes to marketing their own work.

Example: I manage social media for an insurance company. I can come up with numerous relevant Facebook posts for them like there’s no tomorrow. My own author page however, consists of sporadic postings involving photos of half-naked men, quotes I’ve sucked off of other writers, and inane comments like, “Am eating my son’s gummy bear vitamins to satisfy a desperate sugar craving.”

One author on LinkedIn started this discussion: “There are a gazillion people with books out there. How does one stand out?” Everyone regurgitates the same old crap about how to market one’s book. She wanted to hear original ideas, crazy ideas, ideas that were outside the box.

When I think outside the box on how to market my book, it almost always involves something deviant or sexual—like, Hmm, if I do something to get arrested, I can give a shout-out about my book while being taken away in handcuffs, or Hmm, I can make a sex tape and somehow incorporate the reciting of passages from my book.

Another author on LinkedIn suggested standing on the street while naked between two sandwich boards advertising her book, so I’m not the only twisted one thinking along those lines. The problem is any idea involving sex isn’t all that original. The other folks who responded wrote about the same tried and true tactics we’ve all heard over and over again: hard work, luck, book trailers, door-to-door fliers, signings, writing crappy fan fiction without any knowledge of basic grammar. (Okay, maybe not the last one.)

Think outside the box.

The problem with cats is they think too much inside the box:

Kitty in box
They may attempt to venture outside the box:

Almost out

But mostly they remain inside the box, thinking of ways to kill you in your sleep:

PLOT KILL

Casting Charlize Theron in Monster was thinking outside the box. Gilbert Gottfried reading Fifty Shades of Grey? Pure fucking gold, as well as also thinking outside the box. James Redfield sold over 80,000 copies of his self-published book, The Celestine Prophecy from the trunk of his Honda. John Grisham who wrote A Time to Kill? He traveled around the South selling that baby from the trunk of his car, too.

This concept of thinking outside the box consumed me all week. I’m an Aquarian. I’m supposed to be unconventional and original. It should come naturally for me to think outside the box.

Sometimes I succeed at thinking outside the box in other areas of my life. Because I can’t afford to go on vacation, I vacation through beer. Sampling beer from different countries allows me to visit places without ever having to be strip searched or robbed by gypsy children. Now when anyone asks me whether I’ve gone away lately, I can tell them Denmark, for example, adding, “And their Doppelbock really knocked me on my ass.” I consider that thinking outside the box.

lottsa beer

lottsa beer

Since my first book, The Accidental Cougar is a romance between an older woman (41) and a younger man (25), I’m constantly wondering: Where does my target audience hang out? I’m a middle-aged woman, but the only place I hang out is the grocery store. I don’t really feel like standing outside the supermarket selling my book like the Girl Scouts’ sell their cookies.

So I went onto Facebook and searched “Cougar” sites and found one with thousands of followers. Now granted, most of the followers are probably men trolling for what they hope are horny, touch-starved cougars, but women over the age of 35 are invited to submit their photo for posting on the site. Special preference is given to those wearing this T-shirt: THE COUGAR CLUB

I don’t know what you’re thinking, but singlewritermom thinks she should pole vault outside that box right onto that FB page. All I would need to do is put on my Victoria’s Secret Miracle Bra, aka Wishful Thinking Bra, aka Fooled You Bra, the Cougar T-shirt, some lipstick, and with a genuine smile, pose with my book. They’ll post it, all the cougar women will see it, buy my book, and I’ll be instantly catapulted to Amazon Bestsellerdom.

OR

I could take Dean Wesley Smith’s advice and stop wasting my time on social media, focusing instead on writing my next book.

What do you think?

BEWARE OF NON-BARKING DIVAS

Chihuahua

Lola aka the Diva

I’m a cat person. I’ve had cats my entire life. I even think of myself as part feline—independent, moody, and only liking to be touched when I feel like being touched, much like a cat. Cats are low-maintenance pets, imo. You can leave a few bowls filled with food, access to water, and take off for a week without having to worry about Monsieur Chat. They’re like a great wash-and-go haircut.

I’m living proof of what happens when you don’t listen to your intuition. For a year, my son bugged me for a dog. Not just any dog—a Chihuahua. “Absolutely not!” I told him. “Chihuahuas aren’t kid dogs; they’re mean, yappy, and not even considered real dogs. A real dog is a Lab or a Collie. Chihuahuas are simply accessories for rich folks to dress up in tutus and carry under their arm like a football.”

The movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua must have made an indelible impression upon him, because his stubborn mind was set on a Chihuahua. Every week we visited the animal shelter, which was filled with nothing but Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas. On the rare occasion there happened to be a Lab mix, I had the volunteers pull the poor dog out and weigh him. (My complex only allows dogs 40 lbs. and under.) “Nope, this one’s 45,” they’d say. “Sorry, he weighed in at 48.”

Then one bright, sunny day in August, my son and I went to the shelter and stepped into the section for large dogs. There in a cage, all by her lonesome was the prettiest little Chestnut-brown Chihuahua, with fur so shiny it looked like it had been polished with lemon Pledge. And she wasn’t barking. A Chihuahua that wasn’t barking? Unbelievable! While all the dogs around her were furiously barking their heads off at us, this one simply strolled over and started licking our fingers through the bars.

SOLD! I named her Lola after the song by The Kinks, because she was sexually ambiguous. Her female part looked suspiciously like a male part, and she humped the cat, so I thought they had made a mistake about her sex. I also discovered she wasn’t potty-trained. And that she didn’t particularly like children, and she really didn’t like men, and she barked. A lot. And she chased cats, and kids on bikes, and kids on skateboards. And she’d grab your bacon when you weren’t looking.  Or your sandwich. Or chicken leg. Oh, and did I mention she barks? A lot.

As soon as my son realized Lola didn’t appreciate when he tried to wrestle with her, it became his purpose in life to try and wrestle with her every chance he got. Which further served to reinforce my reasoning to only give birth to one child.

No matter how many speeches I gave my son beforehand about how the dog was to be HIS responsibility, including feeding and walking it, they got filed away in the folder entitled, “Worthless Mom speeches to wholeheartedly agree with, and then promptly forget.”

Having a dog is like having another toddler all over again. Privacy? Forget it. Remember when your kids were that age and you tried to get a minute alone in the bathroom, only to see tiny fingers creep under the door three seconds later? This dog follows me like paparazzi trying to get a picture of Suri doing normal kid things. She HAS to be in the same room as me or she’ll have an anxiety attack. If I leave for a moment to take out the trash, you’d think I’d been gone for several weeks.

It’s been three years since Lola joined our family. She sleeps with me every night, curled up by my side. I call her the Diva because she doesn’t like to go out in the rain, or when it’s too hot, or too cold. But I’ve bought her a raincoat, and a pink fuzzy sweater, and a red velour dress that she wears every Christmas. I even dress her in Halloween costumes. I love her to death, which is a good thing considering I’m probably stuck with her for the next twenty years.

For the record, I’m still a cat person.

CRAZY CAT LADY

Action figure

So my friend sent me this care package and inside was a “Crazy Cat Lady” Action Figure. It’s an appropriate gift for me, since every time we catch up together on the phone I usually tell her I have another cat: starving strays that find their way to my doorstep, a friend who dump off her cats “temporarily” until she finds a place to live that allows cats, irresponsible teenagers whose parents won’t allow a kitten in their home, but they swear they’ll come “pick it up the very next day.”

Folks around my complex marvel over the fact that a few of my cats trot along with me when I walk the diva Chihuahua. You would think they were seeing an image of the Virgin Mary in a mud puddle, that’s how amazed they are at the sight of it.

I admit I’ve had anywhere between five and seven cats, depending on the day. I admit I’d want a few more too, if it weren’t for the fact that the cats I already have tend to mark their territory whenever a new addition shows up, and I’m barely just getting the diva Chihuahua piss out of my carpet.

I take offense to the widespread notion that women who own cats are spinsters. Yeah, I’m romantically-challenged, but what does owning cats have to do with that? If a guy owns four dogs, why isn’t he known as Crazy Dog Man?

If everyone says women are like cats: sneaky, moody, mysterious, independent, and impossible to please, then I’d have to say men are more like dogs: energetic, emotionally needy, protective, gassy, and always wanting to hump.

I’ve found men who own cats to be more creative, sensitive, and passionate than the average Joe. Hemingway was a cat lover, as was John Lennon, who even went so far as to name one of his cats Jesus.

I’d rather be known as Crazy Cat Lady because I love cats, than say, Mean Cat Lady, because I refuse to feed them. Or Psychopath Cat Lady because I take joy in pulling their whiskers off. So I’ll continue to be the butt of people’s jokes while I play The Crazy Cat Lady Game—whoever can collect the most cats wins!

Crazy Cat Lady Game

And munch on my Crazy Cat Lady Candy:

Do I see myself as always having cats in my life? Absolutely pawsitively! (Sorry, I had to.)