I entered Buckley’s Story in Writer’s Digest’s Annual International Self-Published Book Awards last year. I was just notified that even though the book didn’t win, it achieved an overall rating of 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 meaning “poor” and 5 meaning “excellent”).
“Ingrid made me love little Buckley (and Amber, of course). Ingrid has writing talent, and I hope she’ll pursue a new career in that field. I was impressed with her observation that Amber quietly “held the space” for her and Buckley. Just the idea of “holding the space” is profound; being able to observe Amber doing it is amazing. I hope she’ll write another book about Reiki and massage for animals. Her veterinary expertise added a lot to this story. My husband recently took our sixteen-year-old cat, Grendel, on his one-way trip to the vet. Before they left, I took Grendel into my bed and hugged, rubbed, and told him he was the best cat in the whole world…King’s story brought my kitty back and I cried when Buckley died.”
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I’ve enjoyed “year in review” features for as long as I can remember, and it always amazes me how much of what happens to us during the year is already forgotten by New Year’s Eve. Of course, for most of us, each year holds any number of events and occurences that we’d just as soon not recall, but hopefully there’s at least an equal, if not greater, number of things we want to remember and carry forward with us. For me, this annual reflection is also an opportunity to let go of what no longer serves me, and set my intentions for the new year.
January/February: The Washington DC area saw one of the worst winters in over a century, and I shoveled more snow than I ever care to see again. I’ve never been much of a snow lover, and the older I get, the less I seem to enjoy cold weather and all that comes with it, but this winter just about pushed me over the edge. On the plus side, I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was, and I discovered muscles that I never realized I had! And despite the hassles the snow brought, it was beautiful, too.
March: March brought one of those “dream come true” moments for me when I had a book discussion and signing at my local Barnes and Noble store. This is my hometown bookstore, and I’ve attended many author events there over the years. Holding a book signing there was part of the dream of writing and publishing Buckley’s Story, and the feeling of having it come true was indescribable.
April: On April 6, Amber and I welcomed Allegra into our home, and into our hearts. Other April highlights included meeting Garth Stein, the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, at a local Border’s store, and The Conscious Cat’s first Ask the Vet teleseminar.
May: May started off with a great event at the Reston Pet Fiesta, but quickly turned into what will probably always rank as one of the worst months of my life when Amber got sick, and passed away on May 13. Even though it’s been almost eight months now, I still can’t quite believe that my beautiful girl is no longer with me. 2010 will always be the year I lost Amber.
June/July: June and July were difficult months as I tried to cope with my loss. Summer is my favorite season of the year, but this year, Amber’s death cast a shadow over what is usually a happy time for me. The fact that there are few highlights to report during those months makes me realize just how much Amber’s loss affected me.
August: I attended a workshop sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America ‘s MWA University at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. The workshop was fun and inspirational, and made me happy and proud to be a writer.
September: Buckley’s Story was a sponsor of the National Capital Cat Show, and the event was one of the most successful of the year. If there’s a better way to spend a weekend than in the company of hundreds of cats and thousands of cat lovers, I don’t know what it is. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.
October: Buckley’s Story went to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest book fair in the world. As a child growing up in Germany who always had her nose in a book, the fair sounded magical to me. What could be better than a place where you could find thousands and thousands of books? So when I was approached with an opportunity to showcase Buckley’s Story at Frankfurt, I didn’t need to think about it for very long. My only regret was that I couldn’t go with my book!
November: November brought the biggest highlight of the entire year: Buckley’s Story won the 2010 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. The award was given at the International Cat Writers Association conference in White Plains, NY. This award is particularly meaningful to me because of its connection to the veterinary profession.
December: I loved watching Allegra experience a lof of “firsts” in December: first Christmas tree, first snow, first Christmas. I enjoyed a number of holiday celebrations with friends, and for me, the year is ending on a quiet, reflective note.
2010 was definitely a mixed year for me. It was a good year in a lot of ways, but it was also a very difficult year that brought tremendous loss. However, as I was once again reminded, darkness and light can, and do, co-exist, and real personal growth probably happens when we learn how to embrace both. As I’m looking forward to 2011, I’m embracing the possibilities a new year brings, and I think it will be a very good year.
Happy New Year!
Endless Love and Joy
October 9, 2006* – November 28, 2008
On this second anniversary, the sadness of missing you is tempered by the knowledge that you’re still teaching me, and that you’re reaching far beyond my small world through your book. Thank you, little girl, for being the joyful master teacher you were, and still are.
*the day Buckley came home with me
Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, but it is also a time for reflection on the many things we have in our lives that we are grateful for. Gratitude is a wonderful way to raise your vibration and shift your energy. The vibration of gratitude is a powerful force. It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance.
I started my “Thanksgiving ABC’s” last year, and found that the simple exercise of writing down 26 things I’m grateful for was a wonderful way to shift into a vibration of gratitude. Here are my Thanksgiving ABC’s for 2010:
A – Allegra, for bringing love and joy to my life every day; and Amber, who left much too soon. I will always love you, my beautiful girl.
B – Blogging. I love connecting with my readers, and with other bloggers. I’ve made so many wonderful friends in the blogosphere, and I’ve learned about so many things I otherwise never would have known about.
C – Clients. It’s a privilege and a joy to be working with my wonderful Reiki clients, both human and furry.
D – Dreams. Without them, life would be pretty dull.
E – Eating out. Eating, period. I love food!
F – Friends. I am richly blessed in that area.
G – German food. Especially German holiday cookies: Lebkuchen, Pfeffernuesse, Marzipankartoffeln, Zimtsterne.
H – Health. I’m fortunate that mine is excellent.
I – Intuition. Honoring it has never led me in the wrong direction.
J – Joy. Especially the joy in life’s small moments.
K – Kindness. Small random acts of kindness, extended to all living beings, matter.
L – Latte. Especially the return of my perennial seasonal favorite, Starbucks Gingerbread Latte.
M – Music. Anything from heavy metal to classical.
N – New York City, my favorite city in the world.
O – Online shopping.
P – Pilates.
Q – Quiet time. It’s vital to me for mental health, creativity, and inner peace.
R – Reading. It’s as essential to me as breathing.
S – Solitude. It helps me recharge my batteries.
T – Tortoiseshell cats.
U – Uplifting people.
V – Veterinarians everywhere, for all they do for pets each and every day.
W – Writing.
X – No matter how hard I try, I can’t come up with anything starting with X.
Y – You! All of you who are reading this: subscribers, friends, social media and blogging buddies – you enrich my life in so many ways.
Z – Zone. Okay, I’m reaching with this one. What I mean is the feeling of being in the zone, being in the flow, being so immersed in something that all sense of time and space falls away.
What does your Thanksgiving alphabet look like?
I’m thrilled and honored to announce that Buckley’s Story won the 2010 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award at the International Cat Writers Association’s annual awards banquet on Saturday.
The award is presented to the entry that best reflects and promotes the strengthening of the human-animal bond, highlighting the bond between a cat and its owner, as well as their relationship with their veterinarian as another direct caregiver.
“There was a heavy emphasis throughout on material that reflects and promotes the strengthening of the human-animal bond as well as highlighting the bond between cat and owner, “says Betty Carmack, author of Grieving the Death of a Pet and leader of a long-running Pet Loss Support Group at the San Francisco SPCA. “There was example after example – each touching and each significant to the overall story. Additionally this writer clearly articulated her relationship with the veterinarian throughout the writing. There were continuous examples of the important role of the veterinarian and the impact the veterinarian had on the relationship of the writer and her cat as well as the outcome of care.”
As a former veterinary hospital manager, this award is very special to me because it not only celebrates the human-animal bond, but also recognizes that the relationship with a pet’s veterinarian is a key component of the human-animal bond.