Monday, November 4, 2013

Climb That Fence & Take That Leap

Edmund blasts across the yard against my calls to come in. He gleely runs off and I chase him across the grass only to find a unique butterfly or a sky filled with stars. As soon as I stop and admire, Edmund promptly comes to my side and rubs against me.

Do you ever wonder if there is more to your pet's behavior than meets the eye?  Sometimes their antics are more than just random behavior.  Can we learn something about ourselves by watching them?

I believe so and Climb that Fence take that Leap is a compilation of personal, inspirational animal stories and the life lessons I gleaned from them.

After enjoying these stories, hopefully you'll enjoy more quality time with your furry friend and know what it takes to Climb that Fence and Take that Leap!

Unconditional love isn’t always easy:

You remember how I said I’d spend more time with her? That became very difficult as the disease progressed. The sickening smell, the drool, and the wet fur made it hard to be near her, let alone pet her.

Whenever she came up to me, there was always a puddle or mark left from her drooling on me or rubbing against me. Anything she laid on or was near captured that smell.

Then one day I looked at her, and she just looked so pitiful. How could I not show this cat who’d been with me eighteen years some love? That was just being selfish and mean. I grabbed some old towels and began to hold her frequently. She just loved it. As soon as I picked her up, she’d
just purr away. Yeah, the stink would get through onto my clothes, but that was OK. It was worth it.

It had always been easy to hold her when she was clean. Now that she was stinky and sick was when she needed that affection the most. As much as I loved my cat, there were days where it was difficult to be close to her. Often I’d get upset with her, and I knew that it was my frustration coming out. I just wanted to help her be well.

Unconditional love can be hard sometimes. You have to go way past the funky appearance and the odd smells, and think solely about the other person. You have to think about what it’d be like if you were in that situation. What would you really like?

Philip Johnsey thanks so much for stopping by. How did you get started writing?
Hi Emily, thanks for the opportunity to swing by! I’ve been writing technical, documentation at work for years and enjoy taking a complex subject and making it easy to understand. It’s really rewarding to help people learn something new, especially a concept they thought was too advanced.

What gave me the push to write other genres was when I was a volunteer media coordinator at a state park. My goal was to bring more people into the park and had an advertising budget of zero. Talk about a challenge!

I attended an event, which I initially thought would be a little campy, but turned out to be fun. A friend suggested I write about it and post it in an online community forum. I had no idea what to write so I just wrote as if I was talking and submitted it. I figured my article would drift off into cyberspace and never been seen again.

Much to my surprise, our local paper picked up my article and published it.  I was blown away!! In addition, the future park events were fully booked. That was the impetus I needed to put my writing out there and I kept at it. Now I have two blogs, a column at work, contribute weekly to a travel blog and of course my book.

What was the inspiration for your book?
Volunteering in a no-kill cat shelter and wildlife rehab organization, you see a little bit of everything.  As animal lover, I really wanted to do something to bring more awareness to the animals. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew it wouldn’t be dramatic, controversial or odd.
Just a way to encourage people to pay more attention to their furry friends.

Then one day I was looking at all of my stories and realized that most of them were animal related and had a point to them. The idea for the book was born from there.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I love sci-fi, especially Star Trek and while a lot has been written in that genre, I’d still like to take a shot. With sci-fi, there are no limits to the types of characters, technology, or scenes to compose. The only caveat is you’re working from your imagination and someone may wonder just what goes on in that head of yours.

I am going to take a shot at sci-fi, but from a video standpoint. I have a program on my phone that creates special effects in videos that are really fun. I have the story lines written and a friend willing to film it. Just have to find a time and a friend willing to be a co-star. I’m not sure where the videos will end up, but it’ll be a fun project.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I prefer to stay out of religion and politics just because those two subjects often get really heated and divisive. I thoroughly enjoy a good debate with the intent of just turning something inside out. With religion and politics, the debates often go beyond just inquisitive and can get personal and angry.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
Right now I write for several blogs, two of my own: and  I also write a column at work titled Backyard Tourist, and is a weekly contributor to The last two of those have deadlines which keeps me on my toes.

I have some great book ideas on my laptop that I really want to get out there. I’ve wanted to write about my hike of the Grand Canyon from rim to rim because it was so insightful, as well as my father who passed away, and many other ideas about life.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Blue. It’s soothing and yet can be very rich looking. I love a turquoise ocean and that deep, rich blue autumn sky.

Favorite movie?
That’s a tough one because I like a variety of genres. Off the top of my head, I’d say Star Trek released in 2009.  The way the creators presented the story of the crew finding their destiny or it finding them was very engaging, yet not too geeky. You didn’t have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy the movie.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a young child so picking just one is a bit of a challenge. I’d have to say that On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King was probably the best book I read to about writing and becoming an author.

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. No motors or artificial contraptions; just free like a bird. I think it’d be so awesome to glide along the wind currents and see the world from above.

The best part would be to go wherever whenever. In other words,
total freedom. Ironically, I haven’t tried skydiving or hang gliding because I’m afraid of falling.  Sounds odd I know.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
Napoleon Hill because after reading his works, you feel like you can do anything. I also appreciate the focus on the common man and becoming better as a whole, not just becoming monetarily wealthy.

Leonardo DaVinci would be next because of his inventions and visions for what was yet to come. While dinner would be nice, I’d rather tag along in his shop and see his creations first hand.

And finally, Richard Branson because of his entrepreneur spirit and sense of making a positive difference in the world. I have a few friends who are entrepreneurs and when I’m with them, my whole view changes for the better.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
That’s easy; Edmund. We’re both consummate explorers who love being outside and getting into something new. I don’t know about you but my whole attitude is better when I’m outdoors. He’s the same way; when I take him for a walk to the mailbox he just lights up. The normal, lazy, snoring (yes he snores) fur ball, transforms into a lively cat who bounds across the parking lot, meowing the whole way.

We listen when we feel it’s convenient, sometimes are obstinate, and convey a little attitude in life. Both of us enjoy a good meal, aren’t afraid to make our requests known, love to play hard and of course a nap in the sun.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Thank you Emily, it was fun to chat. Have a great week!!

My Review:
Coming this afternoon!

Philip will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.
October 21: Teena in Toronto REVIEW ONLY
October 21 SECOND STOP:Uplifting Reads
October 25 SECOND STOP: Vicki's Angelfish
October 28: Bunny's Review
October 29: Unabridged Andra PROMO
November 1: Farm Girl Books
November 7: It's Raining Books
November 8: Deal Sharing Aunt PROMO
November 8 SECOND STOP: Long and Short Reviews

Author Bio and Links:
Raised on a farm and having been a volunteer at different animal rescues, it’s no surprise that his first two published articles were about animals. So it’s only fitting that Phil’s first book is about animals and the connections we share.

From Phil’s first high school job to present, he’s spent his career working with clients, explaining complex ideas in an easy to understand manner.  In addition Phil enjoys exploring the world and sharing those adventures via writing, photography, and videography.

Phil’s credits include, multiple certifications, Reiki master, photographer, author of two blogs, author of a travel column, creates short segments for a local T.V. station and whatever else he can get into.


  1. I love Sci-Fi...I'm definitely a Trekkie as well :) Take that leap! ;) I'd read your next book if it was a sci-fi

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  2. The last two Star Trek movies were quite good! I have some ideas, just have to get them down.

  3. Thanks! Let me know what you think when you're done.

  4. Thanks for sharing the great interview and the giveaway. Sounds like a good book. evamillien at gmail dot com

  5. Three VERY interesting dinner guests! I'd like to be a guest at that dinner party.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  6. Thanks for the interview and the excerpt!
    Sounds like a great read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  7. We all need love - stinky cats included.