Hello Catherine, it’s nice to meet you!
Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing for your FaceBook/Blogger group what else do you enjoy?
Hello, thank you for having me. I’m a mother of 8, a wife of nearly 37 years and have a deep love for Christ. I grew up in California and have lived in the city my whole life until my husband, and I moved our family to Texas and bought a farm. This farm life excites me! There is always something new to learn, to experience. It’s an amazing life. I have always been a writer. Even as a child I wrote stories. This life certainly provides plenty of inspiration.
Why did you start this Facebook group? What was your inspiration to create?
When I started raising Goats, I had very little help. I made many mistakes and lost animals due to my lack of knowledge. I decided I had better learn or get out of goats. If one has never owned a goat, it may be hard to imagine the attachment to goats that grow in your heart very, very quickly. So I learned, and kept learning and I am still learning! I started the Goat emergency FB page to help fellow herdsman like myself. I wanted to share what I learned and learn from others…I was not prepared for the rapid growth a group could grow in a short time! This made me very aware of the need of blogs, FB pages and support for those of us in the goat world.
Do you have a favorite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?
Not sure I have a favorite, as I have many, but I will mention Jan Karron I think. She took me into a world that was close to my own. My husband being a pastor put me in a place that I understood many of the characters in her series with Father Tim. She has a way that drew me in, made me laugh out loud and shed a tear. I looked forward to each book to see what my friends were doing. I was sad when the series ended. Although my writings are different, she was refreshing.
How did you start this group? Do you do it all by yourself?
Starting an FB page was the easy part. Getting it out there for fellow herdsman to find was harder. I made mention of it on my personal page. Friends shared the link. Slowly more and more people found it. When we were 500 members strong, I invited a member to help me admin the group. I tell her she is the ying to my yang, lol. We have added Moderators to help us. The Group jumped to 1500, then 3000 and kept growing. We are now 14,000+ members.
Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could, what genre would you like to dabble in?
I have. I have a pretty wild imagination. I have written many short stories in my head, but this one story, it took me by surprise. It delighted me and frightened me, it thrills and convicts me…I would call its genre “mystery” I have it all written in my head. One day I may figure out how to get it on paper.
What has been your most proud moment as a provider for your Facebook group?
Oh, there are many proud moments. The FB page is an emergency goat page..as you can imagine, its filled with emergency situations, When you spend several hours or days helping a Member save their pet goat or help diagnose what is happening in a herd, or help them deliver a stuck baby goat, those are all proud moments.
What three tips would you give any aspiring blogger?
- Do not let it consume you
2. Create balance
3. Be true to yourself
So… where can we get all your information on goats?
You can join my facebook page. Also, visit my web sight. And soon my book. The working title is “ Goat emergency guide for the barn and field.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before answering questions?
I write “files” for my group. These files help members learn about Goat issues and how to deal with them. I have studied many hours and even days on some subjects. I find documented experiences, scientific journals and many many blogs and papers written by goat producers…I weight these finding together with my experience to define a proper protocol.
Do you receive reviews on what you have written? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I receive feedback many times. It’s not the same as a review on a story or blog, but how we handle ourselves in any given situation, whether it a quick answer to a question on medication or an emergency that is life or death. Members are very gracious with their gratitude. It’s not always a happy ending, but we strive to be caring and supportive. Any time you have more than one person to contend with, you will have those who disagree or give a bad review. I have had several bad reviews or negative opinions on my advice I had given. I take a moment to step back and see if what they are saying has value. If it does, I adjust my thinking, if no value, I stand my ground.
What is the hardest advice to give to your readers?
Euthanasia. When the animal is far past anything the owner or vet can care for, when the animals are suffering, we sometimes have to give the gift of letting go. Many times these are pets. Well loved and owners want to save them. We want to save them..but sometimes to try is cruel.
What’s your writing schedule like?
Hectic, lol. It’s not a schedule but a life. I spend many hours online helping 14000 members with their goat needs. Between the Admins and moderators, there’s someone on almost 24/7.
How have your family and friends accepted your career as a blogger? Are they supportive?
It can be difficult for them at times. It’s very time-consuming. I have had to learn to walk away from the computer. My family knows this is a deep love of mine, but I also know its important to gain balance.
What would you like readers to know?
The picture is my sweet Rosie, My first dairy goat. She taught me so much about goats, milking, kidding, and illness. We lost her a few years ago, and she is greatly missed.