April 4th 99c Special on 20 Books

Twenty books for less than $20 on April 4, 2014!

My friend Jacqueline Diamond, author of more than 90 books, invited me to participate in a book promotion. Since I have two new short stories for Kindle out on Amazon–“Cora Lee” and “Falling for the Prosecutor“–I was eager to be involved. For the promotion, we reduced the price of our book or story to $0.99.

Our readers are the beneficiaries. The topics and writing styles are eclectic–offering something for every reader, whether you like literary, romance, paranormal, or suspense. Support your local Orange County writers. Buy and review the books. We all thank you!

See Michelle Knowlden’s blog below for the list and links.

Michelle Knowlden writes...

I wanted to be part of something special this week because: (1) I’m publishing Riddle in Bones , the third Abishag mystery and (2) my Dad would have been 81 on April 4th.

On April 4th, the books listed below will be available on Amazon at 99 cents. Twenty books for less than $20.  Books of all flavors: mystery, adventure, fantasy, romance, Young Adult, paranormal, women’s fiction, historical, and western.

Indelible Beats copy-001Including my short mystery, Indelible Beats, the sequel to Sinking Ships.  At this low price, why not send the book to all your Kindle-owner friends with April birthdays AND other family, friends, and mystery-loving acquaintances just for fun?  The release of Riddle in Bones, the third in the quartet of Abishag mysteries, approaches.  Great time to buy the first.

I’m scouring my own gift lists to take advantage of this wonderful deal.  Thank you for your support!

Kathy Bennett, A Deadly…

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Standing in the Lee of the Wheelhouse

Dixon fishing boat

The Dixon, Dan Rear’s high-liner oldie

Like people, some of the oldie fishing boats are the best-looking because of that subtle, aged condition called character. In the most ancient oldies, it’s as if all the capability and success and hard times have been reduced down; the residue of experience is carved into weathered lines that impart a humble authority, a grace.

Years ago, my brother Dan Rear had a forty-two-foot horse-shoe-stern fishing boat called The Dixon, built in 1910. She’s sunk now, young hands lost, but at the time I came aboard, trying with impossible optimism to heal from divorce, Dan fished out of Pelican, Alaska, a boardwalk village with a cold storage that bought his fish and half a mile of road that led to the dump where the bears fed.

When you were underway  on The Dixon, if you stood on deck behind the wheelhouse, you caught diesel exhaust and it made you ill. But if you stood on the bow, you saw all the wild beauty of the Inside Passage; you heard the scream of the eagle overhead; you felt the thrum of the old engine and the vibration of the whining winch when fish were on, and these were solid things that felt real.

Dan caught a lot of salmon on that old beauty. Here he is on The Dixon, his first fishing craft, and I can’t tell, and can’t recall, whether he’s checking some busted gear or getting that port beam pole down.

Either way, it takes me back, this photo. It makes me feel the passage of time and how distant is that optimism—and that grace. Maybe I’m just not old enough yet. Or perhaps I’m still standing in the lee of the wheelhouse.

Hallelujah! Drift Down to Music Greatness

by Louella Nelson This blog reveals a little-known anecdote from my past and highlights a few of my favorite songs and troubadours. Skip this one if you don’t want to drift down the corridors of sound-magic; click urls to hear greatness; or are just too damned busy to STOP–which covers most of us. I understand. I’m doing this. You don’t have to. Thinking of music, it occurs to me that I haven’t written anything about my ex before. Among his many artistic talents, Merrill had a gift for mixing contemporary music, which, back then, was folk, rock, and acid guitar.  You know how an artist or writer needs her tools to create art? My ex had his palette and brushes, his Air Mac if you will: an awesome McIntosh sound system, a Teak reel-to-reel, a Rabco turntable. Kick my own butt for giving a lot of it away later, when I was a single mom with limited space. houseAs a family, though, we’d have Sundays. We opened all the doors and blasted the music into the valley below, where we sometimes rode in the sandy washes and switchbacks of the dry Sweetwater River Valley.  We’d let the horses loose, those Sundays, and they’d gallop through the acre-plus of avocado, pecan, and macadamia nut trees, crossing the hill in front of the old Spanish manor house we lived in, clattering across the drive, lunging up the west side of the property, and back around.  While Merrill cooked breakfast, a Sunday tradition I respect in a man, Stacee and I watched those horses getting in touch with their wild, and the music filled us…Hendrix, the Eagles, the Beatles, Zeppelin, Joplin, Croce, Dylan, Moody Blues, Baez, Pink Floyd, Simon’s “Kodachrome,” Lightfoot’s “Sundown”…. I gotta stop because there are too many legends to list. During my time on Earth, I’ve loved the torch songs of several great female singers, including— Patsy Cline (“Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces”) singing the immortal “Crazy”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na5Y9FxR0lg Miss Brenda Lee’s early rock presence in “I’m Sorry”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuqrd_Hau4c Joan Baez’s “Sweet Sir Galahad”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujfqB1CD6VA

Joan Baez
Joan Baez
KD Lang

KD Lang

And OMG—truly, readers…KD Lang.  In L.A. one year, I heard KD’s concert version of “Down to My Last Cigarette.” None of the studio recordings compare, and still, in my memory, it’s right up there with my favorite arias.  One of the most moving vocal artists of our time, KD Lang sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and gives his own wonderful, moody concert version a run for its money: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oZN2eTgvVs Recommendation to renew the spirit: Close your eyes and listen.  If you’re in a nostalgic, music-craving mood, drift down…. My favorite music moves me deeply. The lyrics—the story—they get me; but the impact of the song’s message can’t be separated from the body-slam of emotional resonance, the tone and texture and depth of the singer’s vocal art, the rhythm, and the notes themselves. Give me full-body-contact with my music. How I play a CD at home hasn’t changed. When my roommate is gone and it’s the middle of the day, I play it on full crank, just the way we played Led Zeppelin on Sunday mornings in the manor house in Bonita. Oh, and, yeah. The guys made an impression, too. Andrea Bocelli’s “Nessen Dorma” from Central Park on a cold, rainy night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iATcerBZvGk  I have to add, hearing this number standing 30 feet away from him in the darkened Honda Center in June 2013, with Stacee, was even more spell-binding. Compare Bocelli’s genius to the same piece by Pavarotti; I owe the late-tenor a debt for making me fall in love with this aria. That he owned and loved Arabian horses only adds, for me, richness to the intrigue of his artistic spirit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKAW1YWVihc And–oh, hell, now that we’re on the men singers, I gotta add this favorite. Willy Nelson and the late Ray Charles (remember the watershed album I Can’t Stop Loving You?) make us feel something old and reverent and sad in “Seven Spanish Angels”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8A9Y1Dq_cQ I can’t get enough; the arrangement is brilliant.

Willie Nelson, Ray Charles
A still from the Sony music video featuring Willie Nelson and Ray Charles

We haven’t even gotten into the superb guitarists.  Ry Cooder gives us his gritty bluesy ironic “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6efQ_GyQW3o I defy you to remain unmoved. Leo Kottke! Compare his late eighties http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVMYfwrorp4 when I saw him in San Diego on a university stage, to the current http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_nsgBmgqzQ Here is the complexity of the gifted classicist I also saw in a concert in Southern California, before he passed away at age 94, the late Andrés Segovia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx9fPeaD_Ns Also passed, far too young—and missed—is the rarely-mentioned song-man B.W. Stevenson: “My Maria” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9iJ1sUDF6g Holy cow, shut me up and tell me to go write my book. I am drenched in memories and sound. I have not taken a music appreciation class (yet), and studying the piano for a few weeks in fifth grade back in New Hampshire, before the family moved to yet another town or state, doesn’t qualify me to wax eloquent on composers, lyricists, singers, musical instruments, or anything in the music category. But like all great art, great music does not require a degree for enjoyment, especially when it moves the soul, makes the heart thud, and carries one away to mystical paradise, which is pretty much how I react to the performances linked here. It just requires you to stop and listen. These links and memories are brought to you via the miracle of YouTube, with my gratitude. Special thanks to the copyright holders of this art for keeping it available to the public; to the photographers, videographers, support crews, and producers. My original link to a live performance of Jimi Hendrix’ “Star Spangled Banner” was blocked due to notices to YouTube of copyright infringement. However, I was able to find this performance at the iconic Woodstock Festival of 1969. Enjoy it for as long as it remains available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt3cYpFLJiM It’s appropriate I close with a passionate paean to the word that launched this blog, “Hallelujah,” from the scribe himself in Montreal in 2008—though the London concert was also very fine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=2FpwjQLZTTs Support your artist—buy music! Feel free to comment or share links to your favorites. Apologies for the commercial ads that keep you from greatness for seconds four, three, two….

No Fleas! Silver Aces Out Flea Meds–Finally

Louella Nelson

October 24, 2019 Update to Original Post:

Correction to July 7 update: I have not used flea meds on my cats since the summer of 2011, eight years ago. Instead, I have used colloidal silver in their water.

My cats are still flea-free.

Tuxedo has gone on now. Papa Joe and his son Mamba Joe weathered the loss of our friend well and have been enjoying the garden about once a day for a couple of hours, before coming inside to be safe from weather and any wildlife that may somehow get into our fenced and secure yard.

And now we three have a new delight, a June 2019 tabby kitten we call Rain. She’s feisty, intelligent, and about as pesky to the elder gentlemen as a baby sister of the human variety would be with older brothers. She, too, drinks water with colloidal silver.

I’m currently putting a dropperful…

View original post 1,242 more words

Debra Holland’s Starry Montana Sky honored

book cover

Holland’s winner

The second in Debra Holland’s sweet historical romance Montana Sky Series has been named for Amazon’s Top 50 Best Love Stories list. Among the other honorees are Pulitzer-winning Michael Chabon and Margaret Mitchell for Gone With the Wind.
“I’m over the moon, disbelieving, humbled by being included in such impressive company, and very, very grateful,” says Debra. “Amazon picked a book per state, and Starry obviously represents Montana. Wow! What a wonderful early Valentine’s Day present!”
I am Debra’s writing teacher, editor, and mentor and couldn’t be more proud.
Read Debra’s blog to find out the juicy details on the development, launch, and success of Starry Montana Sky: http://drdebraholland.blogspot.com/

Out of the Box: A Steampunk Event

Notes from an Orange Bookfaire panel discussion at Chapman University
9-22-2012
Report by Louella Nelson       www.LouellaNelson.com

Panelists:
James Blaylock (Homunculus,The Aylesford Skull, and others)
Tim Powers (How to be Among the Graves; NYT best-selling author)Suzanne Lazear (Innocent Darkness and others)

The cover of a French translation of a Blaylock novel showing the ubiquitous airbus

James Blaylock and Tim Powers hung around with Phillip K. Dick in the 70’s and steeped themselves in beer at the local pub in Orange, California, while they discussed the “greats” in literature as prelude to an as-yet unheralded fiction genre, steampunk. The Victorian Era fascinated these men and provided the foundational setting for many of their novels and themes.

Dick says of Blaylock’s prose, “A magical world, magically presented…having journeyed there you will not wish to leave, nor ever to forget.”

Blaylock’s website and new title, The Aylesford Skull, mention his roots in the once-unknown genre: “The first new steampunk novel in over twenty years from one of the genre’s founding fathers!”
“Blaylock is a singular American fabulist.”William Gibson

Wearing a feathered hat, waist-cinch, and fingerless gloves, Suzanne Lazear expressed keen interested in fashion. She dresses “steampunk” for her speaking engagements and waxes eloquent on the pleasures of choosing a wardrobe to match her fanciful imaginings and costume her characters. Steeped in the history and scope of the genre, and excited about the possibilities of mixing steampunk with elements from vampire fiction and other contemporary fantasy fiction genres, she acknowledged she was pleased to be paneling with two of the great steampunk authors, Blaylock and Powers.

Some definitions:

Steam = Featuring technology that is anything but electric; steam-driven inventions that take science beyond the Victorian era which inspires the settings of many steampunk novels and films. Some of the common transportation items: air busses, trains, and skate-boards that soar.

Punk = the spirit of resistance and rebellion that characterizes the central characters of the stories–with an underlayment of decency and moral righteousness.

Panelists’ websites:

James Blaylock  www.jamespblaylock.com

http://www.sybertooth.com/blaylock/index.htm Also of interest is the Blaylock Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Blaylock

Disney picked up Tim Powers’ novel for the film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Tim Powers   http://www.theworksoftimpowers.com/ Also of interest is the Powers Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Powers Of note is that Disney optioned his book On Stranger Tides for the film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Suzanne Lazear   http://suzannewrites.blogspot.com/ And her page on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4342615.Suzanne_Lazear

Other authors to check out:

O’Donnel’s Modesty Blaze

Susan Clay Griffiths’ God Save the Queen

Pavane by Keith

RobertsMayhew’s books for background on Victorian life, especially London street life

William S. Burroughs’ novels (a satirical writer who influenced Blaylock)

Films to check out:

Hugo (2011 based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick pub. 2007)

The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen (1911, 1943, 1988, and others under various titles based on The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe, pub. 1785)

H.G. Wells’ Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1907, 1916, 1952, and others based on the book pub. 1870); Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959, 1978, and others based on the book pub. 1864);

Around the World in Eighty Days (1919 and 1956 based on the book pub. 1873)

Additional research:

Steampunk Scholar http://steampunkscholar.blogspot.com/2010/11/idols-eye-by-james-blaylock.html

There was a First Annual Steampunk World’s Fair May 18-20, 2012: http://steampunkworldsfair.com/

EBay sells steampunk “stuff”: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=steampunk

There’s a steampunk “lab” to collect steampunk projects: http://www.steampunklab.com/

There’s a repository for your steampunk inventions: http://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/category-technology/channel-steampunk/

Here’s an emporium where you can buy steampunk goggles and clothing: http://www.steampunkemporium.com/steam.php?gclid=CLDh74_zzrICFbSmPAodPE4AjA

Announcing Fiction Releases

I hope you will celebrate with me the digital release of three writing projects for 2012 that I’ve worked on this spring and summer and another I will release this fall.

On July 9, after extensive editing to add historical events, clothing styles, music, etc. of the era in which it was first published, I commissioned a cover and re-issued Mail-Order Mate, my best-selling novel from 1987.  On August 2, I repeated the process and launched Emerald Fortune with its new cover, a book which initially came into print in 1991.  Author Delle Jacobs from the Seattle area designed the covers.  The glacier on the cover of Mail-Order Mate is a photo I took of the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.  Both novels are available on Amazon in all digital formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad/iBook, Kobo, and others.  The third project, released digitally this month, Romancing the Pages, features my story “The Prosecutor.” Meanwhile, I’m working on the fourth project, Days of Fire, as well as The Great Writing Series for fiction and creative nonfiction writers.

Thank you, everyone, for your support through the years.

Here are a few words about each book:

Coming in the fall…  Days of Fire, featuring a romance between two competitors vying for a million dollar purse and the prestigious title “Cutting Horse World Champion.”

Available now…

From best-selling author and award-winning writing instructor Louella Nelson, a tale of romance, deception, and danger in the wilds of Alaska — Mail-Order Mate.

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008IVW8C6

Emerald Fortune,a novel of international intrigue, revenge, and love….  Dangerous, instinctive, his battle-scarred body hardened from months of deprivation, Mickey Stone is a man with a mission.  And love is a complication.  Guys like this one!

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008S4PH1W

Romancing the Pages is an anthology of romantic short fiction conceived by two of my former students as a fund-raiser for the Orange County Romance Writers of America.  This collection of contemporary, historical, and fantasy stories is sure to delight at all seasons and would make a wonderful ebook Christmas gift. Love blossoms at the least expected times.

Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B0097DOAO8

Ten Ways to Promote Your Writing with Social Media

by Louella Nelson

First, the back-story:

Newly-published writer Alexis Montgomery (L) with best-selling author Linda Howard at the RITA Awards.

The mood at the Romance Writers of America National Conference was more upbeat than in past years, probably because writers feel more empowered than ever with options beyond traditional publishing for their work.  In addition to traditional publishing opportunities, writers can apply to small press houses which are likely to respond more quickly to their queries and submitted manuscripts and who often give more personalized service if not the big budget for promotion.  Scribes can also send their work through the once-frowned-on “vanity presses,” such as Amazon’s CreateSpace, and for a fee have the book designed, printed, and distributed to bricks-and-mortar bookstores via the huge granddaddy of distributors, Ingram, or out to digital retailers such as Amazon.  But most of the buzz at the conference was about self-publishing direct to eBook retailers such as Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, and others.

During a session called “Self-Publishing: A Discussion,” which was open only to published authors, the panelists disagreed about the financial potential of self-publishing.  One pundit offered the opinion that 90 percent of self-published authors make less than five thousand dollars a year from their digital books, and ten percent make a whole lot more.  Another panelist, Courtney Milan, who was published in 2009 by Harlequin and now ePubs her books, took exception.  She said she could “name forty names who are making $300,000 a year and had never published before.”  No statistical evidence was offered for either opinion.  Interestingly, Ms. Milan is paying in the range of $6000 to $7000 for translation services and going after the increasingly lucrative and burgeoning German market.  She says she has made a profit of $2000 on the most recent translation.  Study her website; you’ll find it interesting.

And as you might recall, Debra Holland sold just under 100,000 units in a year in the U.S., mostly on Amazon (but increasingly on B&N and Smashwords), with cover prices ranging from $.99 to $2.99.  Two of her “sweet western romance” trilogy, The Montana Sky Series, were launched on Amazon in April 2011, and the third in January 2012

In addition, several writers in the Orange County chapter of Romance Writers of America are doing “very well” in sales of erotic digital novels.  According to Jon Fine, author liaison at Amazon, and others on a booksellers panel at the RWA, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is giving a boost to sales of both romance and erotica.

Best-selling author Kristan Higgins (on the self-publishing panel) recommends writers try to market their work to both traditional and electronic outlets to capture readers who prefer one medium over the other.  That means selling books to traditional houses and self-publishing other work electronically.

With this background, here are some quick tips for subtle self-promotion from the famous authors, agents, and editors at the conference:

1.  You should Tweet that!  Select two forms of social media and do them well.  Authors love Twitter and readers love Facebook (photos are winners on FB), but if you love another form, such as Tumblr, do that well.

2.  Share you.  Readers want something personal about you.  Are you passionate about gardening?  Cooking?  Fashion?  Whatever is YOU is what they want.  But dress it up.  Make it pretty. And blog, tweet, email, or FB it!  Having a website is key, too. See Nora RobertsUp Close and Personal tab on her website.

3.  Love you!  Love you more! Build readers by working on electronic relationships.  Talk about others/other subjects 80 percent of the time and yourself and your projects 20 percent of the time.  “Think of social media as a conversation,” says HQN goddess Malle Vallik.  “Attract the right bloggers and cultivate them.”  Join eGroups at Yahoo, Goodreads, or ?  Help others.

4.  I get you.  Follow people you’re interested in.  Comment on and “like” blogs and books that interest you.

5.  Details at eleven.  Send out a periodic newsletter.  You’re interesting because of the things you’re interested in, the research you do for your books, and the people you know.

6.  Mr. Ambassador…  Turn readers into ambassadors. See Robyn Carr’s site “Hold Out for a Hero,” created by herself and HQN to give amazing gifts to military families. Authors run contests to name characters, books, outcomes.  Voting is involved.  Authors aren’t saying, “Buy my book.”

7.  Video is king!  Goodreads, YouTube, and your own website are good places to upload videos.  Most newer computers are equipped with recording capability.  Or create a Powerpoint and record as you flip through slides.  And don’t rule out the interest aspiring writers and reading fans will have in a video chat that informs.  Here are two low-cost recording examples at Y/A author Kim Baccellia’s site.

8.  Investigative reporting #1:  See who’s reviewing the popular books in your genre and contact the reviewer to see if she will review your book.

9.  Investigative reporting #2:  Visit countless author websites and see what they’re doing.  You may chose not to be busy in social media, but you must know what’s happening out there.  You’ll see promotion ideas.  You’ll discover which publishers are buying, what topics are hot, where authors are going in popular social media, and more.

10.  Feed the beast.  Nothing happens without the words.  So as one speaker in the self-publishing panel discussion suggested, “Pick a genre or theme and write as fast as you can.”  Readers are waiting.  Okay, so this isn’t a promotional tip.  But it could be the start of an exciting career if you get the book written, and then all the other tips will make sense.

Thank you to the panelists and speakers at the July 2012 Romance Writers of America National Conference.  You change lives with your shared wisdom.  Next year’s conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.  Attending conferences is an excellent way to stay informed about the market and decide where to go next in your writing career.

Louella Nelson’s Upcoming Classes, Series

  • “Sizzling Scenes:  Setting, Scene Goal, and Sensory” seminar at the Romance Writers of America National Conference, Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, CA, July 28, 2012; 4:30-5:30pm.
  • “Writing Your First Novel/Short Story.” 10-week series Sept 20-Nov 29, 2012. Character, plot, POV, voice, setting, dialogue, sensory, query letter, and more.  Location: Lake Forest, CA.  For more info or to sign up, contact Lou at lounelson@cox.net   RWA members, take $20 off the fee.
  • “Genius Plotting: A Day-long Plotting Workshop”–Saturday Jan 19, 2013.  Participants come away with a complete, plotted external story and an internal character arc of change, with both storylines dovetailed.  Includes writing an effective synopsis.  Contact OCC/RWA: http://www.occrwa.org/

No Fleas! Silver Aces Out Flea Meds–Finally

Mamba Joe, manning up before his wrestling match with Tuxedo a few years ago

October 24, 2019 Update to Original Post:

Correction to July 7 update: I have not used flea meds on my cats since the summer of 2011, eight years ago. Instead, I have used colloidal silver in their water.

My cats are still flea-free.

Tuxedo has gone on now. Papa Joe and his son Mamba Joe weathered the loss of our friend well and have been enjoying the garden about once a day for a couple of hours, before coming inside to be safe from weather and any wildlife that may somehow get into our fenced and secure yard.

And now we three have a new delight, a June 2019 tabby kitten we call Rain. She’s feisty, intelligent, and about as pesky to the elder gentlemen as a baby sister of the human variety would be with older brothers. She, too, drinks water with colloidal silver.

RAIN Sep 2019

Rain at about 3 1/2 months

I’m currently putting a dropperful (from the 2 oz. bottle)–the dropper only fills halfway–into a large soup bowl of water.

Many of my followers have written with questions about how to gauge amounts for other animals. I don’t know, really. I would go by body weight. Here’s a quote from my full article, below:

The directions on the label say that adults can take a teaspoon five times a day for long-term immune support.

Regardless, I like hearing from you about your animals and your hopes that colloidal silver will help them. See my original post below.

July 7, 2013 update to the original blog post:

Here it is nearly 18 months since I first started using colloidal silver in my cats’ water and we are still flea-free! This is the second summer we’ve had no flea problem.  Initially I think I began putting colloidal silver drops in my cat’s water in March of 2012.  It might have taken a month or so to take effect, but I have no way of knowing. I simply did not put Revolution on my kitties that spring or summer, and that first summer we didn’t have fleas. We still don’t!

I have standardized the dose to 5 drops in fresh water every morning. All three cats drink it. Mamba Joe hasn’t had an outbreak of dermatitis. Nobody has been to the vet since 2011 except for Tuxie’s checkup last September.

He continues in good health. His favorite exercise, if he’s not wrestling with the other cats, is racing from the back yard, across the patio, through the kitchen and dining room, and down the hall, putting on the brakes, nails scratching the hardwood for traction, and butting up against a table at the end of the hall; then whirling around and running pell-mell into the back yard again.

I used Revolution for years, hating it the whole time. Now I use nothing but the colloidal silver. If you decide to give it a try, I would appreciate hearing from you after a few months of use. Thanks for posting to my blog.

Here’s the original blog post from July 10, 2012:

In my household, colloidal silver has replaced flea meds.

There’re a couple of good reasons why.  To begin with, I really dislike putting harsh, toxic chemicals on my pets, myself, or my plants.  Secondly, one of my cats gets a mange-like reaction to fleas–flea allergy dermatitis (read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flea_allergy_dermatitis).  Mamba Joe’s skin gets itchy, he jumps around like he has the Saint Vitas Dance, he bites and scratches, and then his hair disappears. Most people know fleas are downright dangerous to a cat’s health.  So until this spring, I was forced to use prescription flea-prevention “medicine” on my three fur-balls–very, very reluctantly.

No more.

At my local health-food store, I fell upon a remedy this year that amazes me: I put 5-6 drops of colloidal silver in a large soup bowl of water daily.  Initially I added the drops thinking to boost the immune system of my nearly-14-year-old male, Tuxedo, because he was recovering from a grave onset of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (feline AIDS, which is not “catching” to humans) from a cat bite. Read more at Cornell U’s website: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fiv.html

Digression here!  Yep, Tuxie escaped one night and tangled with an HIV-carrier with teeth and claws; one of Mr. T’s feet was bitten clear through.  That bite gave him HIV, the cat version.

Tuxie in March 2012

At the onset of the disease, the cat gets very, very ill and sometimes doesn’t make it.  After some very expensive treatments to see if the  Feline IV could be killed, we re-tested and found him to still carry the virus in his blood.  So homecare was the next option.  After six weeks of babying Tuxedo, giving him daily sub-cutaneous fluids, feeding him every two hours, etc., he gradually felt a little better and put on some weight.

Immediately I began to look for immune-builders.  A child of the sixties, I’d heard something about the restorative properties of colloidal silver, which I found at my local health-food store and began to administer.

The directions on the label say that Adults can take a teaspoon five times a day for long-term immune support. So I guessed that 5 or 6 drops in the water would work for kitties.  They’ve been on it for about four months, and…

No fleas!  No allergies!

I’m thrilled to report I have not used any flea control meds since the summer of 2011.

The brand I’m using is Sovereign Silver Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol 10ppm (It’s 50mcg of silver in pharmaceutical grade purified water).  It’s manufactured by Natural Immunogenics Corp., Pompano Beach, FL  33069 USA. 1-888-328-8840. http://www.n-icorp.com.  It’s usually available at your local naturopathic retailer.

Papa Joe – a nap aces a wrestling match when the mercury is at 88

P.S:  A piece of advice:

If you “think” your pet is not feeling well, you’re right.  A quick visit to the vet can give you a diagnosis.  That could lead to tremendous relief for the pet who can’t talk to tell you how lousy they’re feeling.  The visit will also let you sleep at night knowing you did what you could to ease their suffering.

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P.S:  A second piece of advice:

Most of the websites on pet health are put up by drug companies.  Most of the remedies for flea problems are toxic-drug oriented.  Do some searching.  You will find veterinarians who practice traditional as well as holistic medicine.  You will find natural remedies for common ailments.  They are hiding but they are there.  Seek them.

Resources & A Little More Advice

Go here to read an EPA labeling warning about flea meds:

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/pet-pesticides

Go here to read about the health problems and risks to animals from flea bites: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Articles/flea_faq.cfm#answer_4

Totally off-topic but important:  Do NOT give chocolate to your pets.  It’s toxic: http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/toxicology/f/FAQ_choctox.htm

My two favorite vets in the Orange County, California, area are

1. The Cat Care Clinic in Tustin, CA.  Dr Wexler is multi-published in cat-care books and has an excellent philosophic ethic about pet ownership and care.  Mamba Joe and his dad, Papa Joe, were my foster fur-balls a few years ago, and The Cat Care Clinic, who really helps out the SPCA rescue efforts, cared for them initially.  Their ability to humanely control and work on a wild feline is nothing short of miraculous.  Their website: http://www.catcare.com/?gclid=CLLsstfJjbECFVJntgod9VawJg

2. Newport-Harbor Animal Hospital, an acclaimed teaching hospital, is located in Costa Mesa, CA.  For serious-illness care as well as maintenance visits, Dr. Millian has been amazing over the years with my kitties.  Dr. Carpenter is a dog man, but he stood outside on the porch with his arm around me as I said good bye to Tiger Kitty some 25 years ago, so he typifies the sensitivity of this vet practice. Like them, the other vets are  excellent and the staff is caring and kind.  You can find a $15 off coupon on their website: http://www.newportharborvets.com/

Vets who provide alternative medical care that caught my eye include:

A vet in Texas, who is multi-published, uses holistic medical practices, and is accessible by phone-appointment as well as online, is Dr. Shawn Messionnier of the Paws & Claws Veterinary Hospital:  http://www.petcarenaturally.com/dr_shawn.php . I subscribe to a yahoo group that he contributes to: naturalpetcare@yahoogroups.com

I like the look of Dr. Ballard’s alternative-medicine vet’s website, too: http://www.alternativeveterinaryhospital.com/our_staff.htm

Spending a little time online or asking friends, you can find an holistic vet practice in your area.