Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Local Blog Catapults Jake to Stardom

Maybe I'm obsessing about this "should a writer blog?" question, but it's the fault of Cat Woods and her Words From the Woods post of August 6th: On a Blogroll: Do you have what it takes? She has a little quiz that has proved very interesting, since I totally flunked.

So I keep wondering, should writers blog anyway, even if it's a tough road. If so, why?

The best answer I could find this week was in a local friend's blog post called Jake is a T.V. Star (on Animal Planet, of course). I asked Pam Wolf, a member of Northern Colorado Writers, if I could reprint her post in full instead of merely linking to it, and she said yes. Here's what happened as a result of Pam's March 29th post, Jake's Story.

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Jake is a T.V. Star (on Animal Planet, of course)

It’s funny how things happen…for Jake it has been a series of lucky breaks, certainly brought on by Jake himself. From stray cat picked up by the Larimer Humane Society, to failed adoptions that brought him to the folks at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue, to the decision for him to become a Shelter Cat, and finally to a new job as a therapy cat, he has brought joy and comfort to folks who love him instantly and are delighted by his antics.

Korats are known for bringing good luck with them wherever they go. And so Jake has. He has led a charmed life but it has not stopped there. Last week it resulted in STARDOM!

Believe it or not Jake is a TV star. I was absolutely floored when I discovered that one of my posts published in this blog, Writing Outside the Barn, caught the eye of Animal Planet. They run a terrific program called Cats 101 (and Dogs 101) that highlight different breeds or activities of certain cats (or dogs). It seems they were looking for stories about Korat cats and presto, due to our modern technology and Google, they picked up the post, “Jake’s Story” published a few months ago and languishing in cyber-space, waiting to be noticed. In that story, I surmised Jake was a Korat cat. Sarah, director of the Fort Collins Cat Rescue was contacted. Leslie (Jake's handler) and I had planned to take him to a rehab center that very day, so I took some photos, and Sarah e-mailed them to Animal Planet.

I have done a little searching myself and now am convinced he is a Korat cat because of his thick silvery coat and his heart shaped face with round green eyes and large ears set up high on his head. What really convinced me though were his small oval paws with blue to lavender colored pads.

So the next thing you know a crew from Animal Planet arrived to tape him for a program about Korat cats. Jake first visited the library where he was read to by children in the Readers to the Rescue program. His next stop was at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue where he got a breather for a while and was taped playing (bossing) around his companions, especially Princess Grace, one of HIS girls.

His last visit was a nursing home, where he was tired and may have been a bit impatient with the cameras and sound crew hovering around and following his every move, but he stuck to his job. He charmed the residents and at the same time continued to explore all the enticing sights, sounds and smells. At one point he was encouraged to spend some time in the yard but it was clear he liked being inside with his people. They were fascinated by him and all who wanted attention got some from him.

In all his visits, from the library to the nursing home, his quiet, dignified presence was calming while at the same time exemplified royalty and high position. In his native Thailand, Korats are often given as good luck charms on royal occasions, especially weddings. Jake’s performance made us proud.

I wasn’t at the shelter when Jake returned but Leslie, his handler, told me he was ready for his home base, and had had a very big day. He needed one of those famous things cats are well known for, a nap! I will fill you in on more of the details of Animal Planet’s visit soon (there is lots more to tell) plus I will let you know when his episode airs. (P.S. You can find the The original Jake’s Story here.)

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Pam is a poet, writer, and photographer who lives on an urban horse farm in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

So there's a lesson or two here, don't you think?

One, no matter how often you post or what your blog is about, no matter how many or few your followers, regardless of the number of comments you receive, you may get noticed just because someone Googles a topic you wrote about.

Two, inviting interesting guests to your blog can't hurt. Don't overlook the small stories that relate to your writing life.

For the moment, Pam is simply enjoying the fact her blog created a wonderful opportunity for Jake to be a star. But she was on site for much of the activity, carried her business cards and used them, and is now very alert to the opportunities blogging could bring her way.

So doesn't the extra work involved with blogging seem slightly less of a burden now?

20 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patricia - Thanks so much for sharing this : ). I already did think that it was a good idea for writers to blog; now I'm more convinced than ever! This is a great story : ).

Helen Ginger said...

Great story. Jake became a star and in doing so, opened doors for Pam (and himself). It goes to show that you never know who's watching and what effect a stranger can have on your life and your future. Thanks for sharing this story, Patricia.

Helen

N. R. Williams said...

Not only did Jake become a star, but he is proof of the nine lives cats are famous for. Wonderful blog and so happy for Pam, Jake and you too.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Terry Odell said...

I started my blog at my publisher's suggestion--way back when. I thought it was fun then, and most of the time, I still do. As a matter of fact, many times the blogging opens up my mind for working on the WIP (and I admit to using "I have to write tomorrow's blog" as a technique to get out of just about anything else I don't feel like doing.)

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Clarissa Draper said...

Until this post, I had never heard of Korat cats. Now, I'm intrigued. Thanks for this post and hopefully you inform us when the episode airs. ALso, I'm glad you blog. You're so entertaining. You're on my list of blogs I read daily.

CD

Ann Best said...

In my about five months of blogging, I've never thought of it as a burden. Especially lately, I see it as a great opportunity to meet wonderful people -- and cats and dogs! I think it's worth whatever time we give to it. And as you said, it doesn't matter the number of followers or comments. All it takes is one contact to change your life, or the life of someone else.
Ann

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, everyone, and thanks for all the kind words. I haven't met Jake yet, but he does look like a plush bundle of love, doesn't he?

Karen Walker said...

Patricia,
I guess I always understood the theory behind writers blogging, but this story shows that the theory is grounded in truth. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
karen

KarenG said...

I love to blog. When it feels like a burden, I just back off for awhile. Some days when I'm not posting or have no ideas for posts, I scroll through other blogs I haven't visited for awhile and make a ton of comments. That's fun too. I'm not sure what it does for selling books, but it sure is fun!

Carol Kilgore said...

I loved this. Thanks for sharing it. I have to love cats through stories because I'm allergic. Hate that.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful story Patricia, thanks for sharing.

Yvonne.

Medeia Sharif said...

You are so right. You never know what opportunities your blog may open up for you or someone else.

Talli Roland said...

Great tips and a wonderful story! Thanks! And if for no other reason... blogging is FUN!

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Neat story, and yes, Karen, I identify with you on those days I just feel dry! Visiting is fun, always, though!

Sylvia Dickey Smith

A War of Her Own

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Great story with a lesson, too. Next time I’m grumbling about writing a blog, I’m going to think about Jake.

Jemi Fraser said...

That's a great story - I really enjoyed it :)

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

That's a wonderful story. I don't think writers have to blog if they're already best sellers, have 20 + books in print, and own an island. I'm a healer who writes, and blogging is a way to ensure that I continue to write. Primarily blogging is about building and reaching an audience. Without this blog I wouldn't know that you're a beautiful person and I wouldn't have read one of your books. Having online friends is like meeting the neighbours at a stock (cows and sheep) sale once, but it happens daily instead of monthly, and it's a global experience.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I have to agree, Simon. It's like having great neighbors all over the world. Just look at the wonderful bloggers who visit me regularly. I love them all. And thanks for the kind words, too. You're a dear.

Hi everyone, I've been hard at work on blog posts this afternoon (Jake's story has given me motivation). There's good stuff going on, so stay tuned for tomorrow's Bits and Pieces.

pam2spicy said...

Just a note to thank all of you for the great encouragement. As I told Pat, I am wallowing in all the comments. It is great motivation.

N A Sharpe said...

Wow, very interesting story and food for thought. Thanks so much for sharing