Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lou Belcher: Pet Blogger

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Lou Belcher back to Thoughts in Progress as the special guest blogger.

Lou is the author of THE ZEN OF MAX, but she’s here today to talk about another one of her passions - pet blogging. Lou is a blogger, writer, editor, and photographer. Almost two years ago, she gave her cat Max a blog and Twitter site in hopes of breaking through the trouble she was having finishing a book about him. Now, Max's blog has taken on a life of its own with Max's voice and personality coming through loud and clear. Today's post is about her start as a pet blogger and the purpose she has found in this endeavor. Lou is here to talk about “Pet Blogging: A Labor of Love.”

I didn't set out to be a pet blogger. Initially, I dipped a toe into the blogosphere by starting Brevard Art News (a blog about art in Brevard, Florida) and Florida Book News (a blog about Florida writers, their books, writing organizations and events).

Instantly, I found I enjoyed the process of blogging. Therefore, it was only natural when I reached a sticking point in a book I was writing that I put up a blog in an attempt to get un-stuck.


You see, before my cat Max died in 2008, I had started a book about him. After he died, I just couldn't work on it. One day, I decided I had to finish it. To ease back into writing about him, I gave Max his own blog.

It did the trick. At first, my writing was a bit stiff, so I set out to find other pet bloggers. I (or Max, that is) began to talk to them by commenting on their blogs and through chatting with them on Twitter (@MaxTheQuiltCat). Soon enough, Max found his voice.


Max's blog is diverse. He blogs about daily events, such as the time a fish fell from the
sky near a local restaurant and the staff made Lucky (the fish) into their pet. That day, Max put out an alert to all cats to get out in their yards: "Fish are falling from the sky!" He also blogs about pet products, writes book reviews, and blogs about anything that has anything to do with dogs, cats, and pets of all varieties. He loves to write poetry, but he doesn't do it that often. And, he writes short stories in the first person where he is the hero, of course.

There are pet blogs in many formats. At MaxTheQuiltCat.com, Max blogs in the first person. That works well for him. Other bloggers blog about their pets in the third person, and still others blog by posting photos or drawings with captions or youtube videos.

No matter the format, pet blogs seem to have several common threads: to raise awareness on how valuable pets are, to inform others about the connectedness of all species, and to help raise funds and/or find forever homes for animals who need them. In addition, I've found one important common factor: pet bloggers really care about one another. They are quick to help each other, to send followers to one another, and to offer assistance when another blogger seems to be having a rough patch.

Of all my blogs, I consistently find Max's the easiest and most fun to write... of course, that might be because he practically writes it himself. Please feel free to visit Max and
leave comments for him. He loves to hear what others think. http://www.maxthequiltcat.com

Lou, thanks for stopping by and sharing about Max’s blog. I think pet blogs are a great part of blogdom. There are several pet blogs that I try to visit daily and you’re right, they are very caring people.

Here’s a little background on Lou. She started her writing career through editing and has written four non-fiction books. Recently she wrote Ready, Set, Tweet: A Speedy Guide to Twitter. The book was well-received, but she would not recommend writing a book about current technology. Ready, Set, Tweet was published in February 2010. It provided detailed instructions on how to get up and going on Twitter. A mere six months after publication, Twitter changed its format, making the new book obsolete.

Lou began blogging several years ago. Two of her blogs are specifically designed to help artists and writers. Two are personal blogs about her writing and photography, and almost two years ago, she became a pet blogger when she set up Max’s blog. One of the purposes of Max's blog is to support animal adoption efforts through periodic posts about animals needing homes and through donating a portion of the proceeds from her book, THE ZEN OF MAX (A MEMOIR OF GREAT WISDOM AND MANY NAPS) to agencies devoted to finding forever homes for pets. THE ZEN OF MAX is available through Amazon.com. The link for that is: http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Max-memoir-great-wisdom/dp/1456310992/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3

I’ve read a number of cozy mysteries, as well as books in other genres, that include pets as minor characters. What are your thoughts on including pets in your writing - books and blogs?


19 comments:

  1. Lou, thanks again for posting about pet bloggers. There are so many great pet blogs out there and Max has a wonderful blog. I'm glad to have found him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting - thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love Lou and am thrilled to see her featured on your blog today!

    I didn't meet she and Max til later in 2009 but once I did I was hooked!

    I also have a pet (Cat) blog..."Cat Chat" http://opcatchat.blogspot.com

    Started mine late in 2009 and cannot believe the number of wonderful people I have met (including you and Lou!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pet blogs are very popular--with me. I love reading about their side of things. I've been thinking about adding that feature to my blog.

    I'll have to read the book. Looks very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Max sounds like a great blogger! And I bet the pet blogging community is really supportive and warm. I think adding pets to books works really well and helps to bring characters to life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mason - Thanks for hosting Lou.


    Lou - Pets are such an important part of so many lives! I'm so glad you decided to reach out through a pet blog. I think our love of pets binds pet-owners in an important way...

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's great Max's blog has done so well!

    ReplyDelete
  8. never heard of the pet bloggers, but I totally love the idea :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the idea of pets and blogs, and have to check out Max's blog. The animals bring a certain whimsy with them. My own cat will be making a guest appearance on my blog next week, she's very much looking forward to it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. omg! LOL--"Fish are falling from the sky." I LOVE Max. This sounds like so much fun. Thanks for sharing~ :o) <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love Max and covet his typewriter!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well, I've certainly blogged about my furry family members (they disapprove of the term "pet") but it never occurred to me to give them a blog of their own. A whole new world to look into. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Max!

    My blog, The Conscious Cat, is a mix of topics: feline health, nutrition, and lifestyle, cat-themed book reviews, product reviews for cats and their humans, and more. And Allegra, my sixteen month old not quite adult cat, has her own column, in which she writes about her life. Her posts are among the most popular on the site, and frequently get more views than the ones I write! Go figure. Maybe she needs her own blog.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love animals too. We adopted an Australian cattle dog but she keeps running away. We don't have a fenced yard, so sadly, I think we must find her a new home.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Pets and blogs go together wonderfully I think.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We love Max and his blog. We also loved the book. It was a great read. We have a pet blog too and try to help some poor homeless animals find homes. Great post. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Mason for the opportunity to guest blog on Thoughts in Progress. I have enjoyed it, enjoyed all the comments, and I just love your blog.

    Lou (HH)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Mason and Lou .. always interesting to read. I came across a Church Newsletter written by a cat!! Seemed a wonderful idea ..

    I might do one on Hardwick, my mother's beloved dog on her bed in her last years .. sometime!!

    Pets are certainly another outlet .. and the thought of Max inspires me .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.