Loving What You Do
February is known as the Month of Love. Writing has been a love for me since childhood when I crafted stories based on television shows I watched. In my imagination, I rode horses alongside Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza and helped stop criminals with Starsky and Hutch. I dabbled with poetry during my 20s and submitted freelance articles to magazines in Montana in my 30s (I also worked as a reporter for a small-town newspaper in that state during that time).
For several years I had an idea for a children’s book based on the time I lived near Yellowstone National Park (the start of that story remains on my computer), but it took a blind dog named Sage to spur me into finally writing a book … and a few short stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul. My authorship grew from there. I didn’t quit my day-job, however, until more than a year ago, as I edged closer to 62 and could qualify for Social Security. That stable income keeps my husband (who is also on Social Security) and I financially steady as I await royalties from books and money from freelance writing.
I love being an author and freelance writer! I love that I can craft sweet romance stories that weave pet rescue and adoption into the human love story, and I love that I can help animal rescue organizations with a percentage of book sales that I donate to those groups.
Yes, I love what I do!
Booksigning event last summer in Cody, Wyoming.
I also still write children’s books, inspired by my adopted animals. In addition to stories about Sage, the blind dog we had for more than 10 years, I’ve written stories about our puppy mill survivor, Jeremiah, about Mary, the cocker/springer mix who lived with us for nearly six years, and Sadie, the spaniel who exuded joy during the four short years she shared with us.
Find all my books on my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/gayleirwin.
Animals and nature inspire much of my writing. I’ve been a journalist and creative writer for more than 30 years, serving as a reporter, editor, freelance writer, blogger, and author. I enjoy sharing stories and photographs of travels, including to America’s national parks, and helping people understand the importance of pet rescue, adoption and caring for our furry friends. I share information I hope others will find helpful – I also write books to entertain, whether that’s a story for children or my line of sweet, contemporary Pet Rescue Romance books.
One of magazines I freelance for, Wyoming Rural Electric News (WREN), has published several nature essays I’ve written. I learned last week one of those won an honorable mention at the Wyoming Press Association’s January conference. I’ve also written about volunteering as a transporter for pet rescue organizations, something else I love to do. I enjoy helping animals find homes, whether through monetary donations to rescue groups, serving as a transporter, adopting my own pets, or educating people about the importance of pet rescue and adoption through my writings.
Sadie and Jeremiah, our adopted dogs.
Why is pet rescue and adoption such a passion for me? Because of the numbers. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, nearly 6.3 million companion animals enter America’s shelters every year, and nearly 1 million don’t leave – they are euthanized, including healthy, adoptable animals. Every day, dogs and cats are abandoned. Every day, puppy mills are filled with animals that are unsocialized and only used for making money through breeding. Every day, shelters and rescues fill with dogs and cats a person decides s/he no longer wants. Every day, animals wait to be loved by a responsible person/family. Every day, my heart breaks as I read the stories. Read a few here from rescue Facebook posts:
And this one from an NBC News affiliate in Massachusetts:
These stories, all too common these days, are why I write. Why I educate. Why I volunteer.
My goals as a writer are to educate, inform, inspire, and entertain, and weaving my passions for nature and animals, including pets and pet rescue and adoption, helps me achieve that goal. I love what I do, and I feel blessed to share stories that I hope will touch readers’ hearts while also entertaining them.
I hope you're able to work at something you love ... or volunteer for an organization you love.
BOOKSIGNINGS COMING UP IN FEBRUARY:
I will be at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Cheyenne, WY, Saturday, February 10, 10 am to 2 pm sharing my sweet pet rescue romance stories set in Wyoming and Montana.
I will be at Whistle-stop Mercantile & Books in Douglas, WY, Saturday, February 17, Noon to 2 pm, sharing my sweet Pet Rescue Romance books and also three of my children’s books: Sadie the Smiling Spaniel (about joy), A Kind Dog Named Mary (about kindness), and Jeremiah Finds a Home (Jeremiah’s adoption story).
Come see me if you can!