puppy-mills

7 Actions to Stop Puppy Mills

If we could stop puppy mills, we would put an end to one of the worst of the worst places you could ever imagine a lovable dog should ever have to spend his/her life. Too melodramatic? Well, it’s true.

As an avid animal advocate and lover, I feel it’s critical for human beings to protect the welfare of animals. They rely on us, trust us, and remain by our sides with loyal, unconditional love. When I wrote my lesbian romance novel, A New Leash on Life, I did so to not only entertain, but also to educate about animal welfare and the importance of supporting no-kill animal shelters through adoption, fostering and donations.

puppy mills

Thank you for not supporting puppy mills!

The Truth About Puppy Mills

According to The Humane Society (www.stoppuppymills.org), puppy mills house dogs in shockingly poor conditions. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are often killed, abandoned or sold cheaply to another mill to try and get “one more litter” out of the dog. The annual result of all this breeding is millions of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.

Why would anyone choose to support puppy mills?

The short answer to that is most supporters don’t even realize they are supporting them.

So what can we do to stop puppy mills?

  1. Never shop at pet stores that sell animals. Never. Even buying a bag of kibble from such a place supports them and will continue the harsh, cruel cycle of commercial breeding.
  2. Never buy a puppy from a pet store. According to the Oprah show, 99% of all puppies from a pet store come from a puppy mill. Whatever you do, NEVER buy from a pet store. You will only fuel the business of puppy mills. Instead, seek out pet stores who support homeless pet adoptions.
  3. Adopt a dog from an animal shelter.
  4. Support and volunteer at your local animal shelter.
  5. Exercise your right to vote and work with your state legislature on the passage of local laws in your own community that will improve the lives of dogs in puppy mills.
  6. Download and print these flyers (courtesy of The Humane Society) and bring them to your veterinarian or groomer’s office: “Getting a Puppy?” and “How to Find a Good Dog Breeder” are designed to help potential pet owners avoid puppy mills.
  7. Spread the word. Most people have no idea what a puppy mill even is, let alone that the cute puppy they purchased from the local pet store was born in the worst of conditions to a mother who has lived her entire life in a wire crate under despicable circumstances.

The longer we support pet stores who support puppy mills, the more dogs will have to continue to suffer at the hands of careless human beings. Let’s end this thing.

If you are considering welcoming a pet into your life, please consider adopting a shelter pet.

As with all of my books, I enjoy giving a portion of proceeds back to the #lgbt community as well as to the Hearts United for Animals: www.hua.org, a no-kill animal sanctuary.

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr, Novelist

P.S. Please chime in… Before I volunteered at an animal shelter, I had no idea what puppy mills really were. If you could pick one action (from the above list or one I didn’t include) to help stop puppy mills, what would it be?

Benefits of a Book Club

Joining a book club is one of the most effective ways to understand what readers really desire and expect from a novelist. Though, as writers, we often feel guilty for taking time away from our writing. Easiest way to solve this is to make yourself accountable by joining a book club and committing to being an active participant.


I’m a novelist who writes lesbian romance novels. I noticed a major improvement in my own writing when I joined my book club.

 

You’ll gain much as a book club member.

You’ll gain a three dimensional perspective on what is most important in a book. Some of the greatest benefits and writing lessons I’ve learned have come directly from my book club meetings.

book clubJoin a Book Club to Read More

To be a better writer, read more. Writers have doled out this advice to aspiring novelists forever. A well-read writer is someone who is better equipped to churn out words that matter to a story. The more a writer reads, the more he/she will understand the subtle nuances that get readers turning pages.

Join a Book Club to Read Stuff You Never Would’ve Read

You’ll read the good and the bad. Everyone has a different opinion on what creates that urge to flip to the next page when their eyes are tired but their curiosity says full steam ahead. You’ll be exposed to books that will take you on journeys you never imagined traveling on. You’ll read outside your comfort zone, reach higher into the nebulous world of fantasy perhaps, the intoxicating rush of a heated romance, and turn onto the fast lane of action. This will widen your perspective and grant you a front row seat to a whole new world of literature.

Join a Book Club to Gain Insight into the Minds of Readers

We’ve all said at one point, “gosh I’d love to be a fly on the wall right about now.” Well, as a writer, there is no greater gift to insight than that of gaining access to the inner workings of the reader’s mind as she pours over words crafted by a fellow novelist. To understand what readers think about characters, motives, themes, plots, is to understand what makes a great book a great book. What better clarity can a writer possess?

A book club sits you on center stage in front of your readers. The view is spectacular and eye-opening.

Wishing you all the best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

P.S. Let’s keep the conversation flowing… has joining a book club helped you become a better writer?

Improve-Your_life

3 Ways to Improve Your Life

Improve your life…sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re like most people, you want to be at your best because deep down you know you can’t bring out the best in others if you’re not on that same wavelength.

A great way to get on track is to ask yourself the pointed question of whether something is adding value to your life. An even more helpful question often spawns from this and that is – if it’s not adding value, why are you still breathing power into it by allowing it to stay in your life?

The frankness in this question can be jarring and eye-opening. It is perhaps one of the most important questions a person can ask, though. Life is so short and too precious to waste energy, time, resources on those things and those people who aren’t bringing out the very best in you.

I would even stretch to look at it this way: you’re doing the world a great disservice by not surrounding yourself with those things and those people who help you to put your best efforts forward.

Improve your life, and you also help to improve the lives of those around you.

So what do you do if you discover you are surrounded by things, activities, and people who are compromising your ability to rise to your highest level?

Improve Your Life

Improve Your Life by Eliminating Bad Habits

Bad habits can drag you down. Period. If your actions are not lifting you to higher ground, then they’re burying the very best in you. This sounds harsh. Often the things people want to hold onto the most, are the ones they want to protect the most. But, in protecting, they’re inadvertently hurting themselves and possibly others.

Improve Your Life by Learning to Say No

Are you stretched to full capacity, leaving no room for new opportunities? Do you have a hard time saying no to requests that aren’t exactly in alignment with your greatest assets, dreams, and desires? If yes, then you’re compromising those very ideals that make you so unique and valuable. It’s okay to say no.

Improve Your Life by Letting Go

Are you holding on to a relationship out of fear, comfort, or guilt? Are the people you surround yourself with helping you to grow? Or are they stunting your growth by holding you back from enriching your life through new pursuits? Letting go of relationships that aren’t healthy any longer can be hard because of feelings of guilt, loneliness, and fear. Sometimes letting go is the only way to take that leap forward and fulfill your full potential.

A Final Note on How to Improve Your Life

Taking an honest look at your value system is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others. Learning to love yourself and take the best action is never an easy lesson. But to really improve your life, it’s necessary to ensure you’re nurturing that part of yourself that helps you to positively impact the world.

Wishing you the best,
Suzie Carr, Novelist

P.S. Let’s open this up to an honest discussion… Do you agree or disagree with any of these points? What are some steps you’ve taken to improve your life?

freewrite

How to get Creative through Freewriting

Freewriting is a great way to spark your creativity. The benefits are numerous.  When I write my lesbian romance novels, I freewrite every time. I do this to clear my mind of clutter and to purposely break the rules. By doing so, my characters come alive and let their voices be heard, my narrative voice comes out of hiding, and the ideas flow. This sets me up for a productive writing session. I set a goal, achieve said goal, and get busy doing what I love, writing my lesbian romance books.

Here are 3 reasons you should freewrite:

 

1. Freewrite to express yourself without rules

Rules and restrictions limit our creativity. When we fret over whether a verb agrees with its subject or whether a sentence is too passive versus active, we unplug the power of imagination. Writing is all about unleashing what’s deep in our minds. When we bind to rules, those powerful emotions that bring a string of words to life suffocate. Set yourself free by eliminating all judgment until you’ve gotten the words out where they belong. The only rule to follow when you freewrite is to set a goal of either time (10 minutes is highly recommended) or space (1-2 pages).

2. Freewrite to remove anxiety and pressure

When I first started writing books, I ran into major writer’s block. I would sit and stare at the white space and panic. I’d try to type a sentence and couldn’t even think of a single word. The pressure of filling white space with a saleable story can kill an idea before it even has time to live. To avoid this, temporarily rethink the purpose of this white space as a safe place where you can jot down any thought that pops into mind. The goal is to remove all pressure by clearing the mind of clutter and ultimately getting the words to flow.

freewrite

3. Freewrite to find your voice

Every writer has a style, but many struggle to discover it. When we freewrite we learn to find our unique style. By freeing our thoughts to spill out onto the screen, we are in essence allowing our opinions and true voice to come through. As writers, when we find our voices, we bring our writing to a whole new level. We uncover feelings we didn’t even know existed.

Whenever I sit down to write my novels, I always freewrite.

Freewriting puts me in a magical place where I set myself free to explore fantasy, reality, and everything in between. Give it a try. You’ll be amazed how freeing it can be.

Wishing you all the best,
Suzie Carr, Novelist

P.S. Let’s keep the ball rolling here… chime in if you will… Do you freewrite, and if so, how has it helped in your writing?

3 Steps to Thinking Positive

Thinking positive can be easy even under trying times…don’t believe me? Read on…

For starters, my morning started off slightly rocky. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. to work on a time-sensitive project. I worked on it until 4:30 a.m. Just as I was saving it, the program closed out and all my work disappeared. Yup. Can you imagine the rage? Thinking positive was the last think on my mind!

I had a choice. I could dwell for the rest of the day on the misfortune, punch a wall, frustrate everyone around me with my negativity, or find a way to start thinking positive.

I choose the later.

Thinking Positive: Exercise can help

Exercise was my tool of choice this morning, Insanity’s Max Cardio Circuit to be exact. I worked out like a complete maniac! I never did so many pushups and with such gusto… ha. Bottom line, with every ounce of energy I poured into exerting my muscles, a little piece of negativity here and there started to break off. After an hour, I felt empowered and ready to tackle whatever else the day will decide to toss in my path.

Thinking Positive: Pets are wonderful

thinking positiveI love my dogs. They have gotten me through many a frustrating moment. A pet’s cuteness will take over and make you realize that you’re never alone in your struggles. They are always right there to offer a poochie kiss, a lean, or a good laugh if you’ve got a Boxer like me who never fails to entertain. Pets have a remarkable way of smoothing over the rough edges of any situation.

Thinking Positive: Shift your focus to other things

When tested, the last thing we sometimes want to do is let by gones be by gones. However, this is often a great strategy. The downward spiral of ‘what-if’ thinking can be devastating. Whatever happened, happened. Nothing we do will turn back the clock and erase it. So, do what you can in the ‘now’ by turning your attention to something you can control. Maybe it’s a project you’ve been putting off, a letter you need to write, a new set of shoes you’ve been meaning to buy. Just go do it. Do something to get your mind off of what’s bothering you so you can move forward and return to the problem with a more balanced mindset.

This morning, when all hell broke loose on me with my unsaved project, I caved into the moment with a good hearty scream. It’s good to let it out. But, it’s more important to let it be, learn from it, and move forward.

Wishing you all the best,
Suzie Carr, novelist
www.curveswelcome.com

p.s. If you will, comment here and tell me if you agree or disagree with these thinking positive tactics and whether you have more suggestions.

Let us End Bullying

We all want to end bullying. It’s hurtful and its effects can last a lifetime.

End Bullying by Reaching Out

Joshua Ramos is a fellow blogger and an incredibly compassionate person who blogs about bullying. Today, he shared a post that really inspired. He touched my heart in such a way that I felt an instant need to hop on here and write this blog so you can experience his big heart, too.

Joshua’s honesty and sincerity are ever present. He’s someone who is making a difference and is reaching out to the community as a caring and compassionate person. Just like me and so many of us, he’s trying to put an end to bullying.

A lot of people ask what can we do about bullying as a society? Well, Joshua Ramos wrote something the other day that I want to share with you. He’s showing us one of many ways we can positively affect our community.

To Help End Bullying, Connection is Key

Here’s compassion at its finest…From Joshua Ramos

This message is for everyone and anyone; nobody is left behind. I want to do something that no one had done for me when I was growing up; I want to listen. I want to read your stories; this goes for kids, teenagers and adults. Tell me your story and how you’re dealing with it or how you dealt with it. If you want, tell me what no one knows and I promise I won’t say a word. If you have any questions about things like this let me know. If you were a bully and want to make amends, talk to me. Now is the time to make things right, it’s not too late. Be the better person and make things right. If you just need to get something off your chest let me know and I will be there for you. You can message me on Facebook under Joshua Ramos or find/follow me on Twitter @bullied2airman. If you don’t have either accounts, you can easily comment this post and I will send you my personal email. I am willing to listen if you’re willing to open up to me. I don’t want another individual to take the ultimate sacrifice when there was something I could’ve done. Lets do this everyone; tell me your story.

Please hop on and support Joshua by reading his great blog.

Wishing you all the best!

Suzie Carr
Novelist

P.S. We can all make a difference and End Bullying by reaching out to others and being that positive light.
butterfly

The Secret to Happiness

The secret to happiness is a gift we all want. Smiling and laughing feels a lot better than sinking into a well of bad feelings.

collaboration

Spirit of Collaboration

Collaboration is a beautiful thing. When we tap into each other’s talents and skills and work collaboratively with each other, getting ahead is a whole lot easier.

wealth

A Wealthy Life is Full of Love

A wealthy life to me has nothing to do with money. It has all to do with love and how we interact with the world around us.

bullies

Bullies Hurt. Period.

Bullies hurt. The other day, someone I recently followed on Twitter publicly and privately criticized me for not being open to his ‘tweeting’ advice.