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Cat Crap Fever

Not sure if you know this or not, but we live in a world where cats crap in toilets.

You doubt this?

Allow me to introduce you to the Litter Kwitter. It’s a potty training system for your cat, of course.

I’m always amazed at the dumb marketing copy that companies think up. The Litter Kwitter folks say that they’re product “improves people’s lives.” If the presence of a litter box is disturbing the quality of your life, I feel really sorry for you.

They also claim that the Litter Kwitter system is “award winning,” as if there actually is an award for cat pooping systems.

I’m not the chief poop scooper in our house, but I would sooner take on…

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Midwest writers unite!

I’m speaking at the Midwest Writers mini-conference today. The organizers originally expected around 25-30 attendees, but 100+ signed up. Why so many more? Annie asked if it had anything to do with me. (That was nice of her.)  But I’m sure it doesn’t.  You give a free writing conference and supply it with donuts and they will come.

Since there are so many attendees, I decided to forgo the killing of trees and just share my bits of wisdom here:

A kick in the pants
On editors
Exploiting aspiring writers
Getting an agent
Blogging build a writing career

Books I recommend-


On Writing Well

Self-editing for Fiction Writers


Write the perfect book proposal: 10 that sold

How to Write a book proposal

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The Most Interesting Man in the World is Interesting

Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who plays the Most Interesting Man in the World in the Dos Equis commercials, loves Mexico.

On a recent flight on Frontier Airlines I read his “10 reasons I love Mexico” in the on-flight magazine Wild Blue Yonder. At the end of the list the editors added a short bio:

Turns out the veteran actor, who had roles on TV shows like Dallas and Dynasty–plus dozens more–may actually be just a bit more interesting than his commercial creation. Mr. Goldsmith’s next adventure is aboard his 47–foot sloop, which he plans to sail down to the Sea of Cortez to retrace John Steinbeck’s research journey in 1940.

It seems that Goldsmith just might suffer from

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Free Money update…

Wow! This week’s #ten4tues has been amazing.

Who knew that offering free money would introduce me to so many worthy causes supported by new friends and old? This is definitely something I’ll replicate in the future.

The tough part was choosing who to give the money to. Here were my top selections:

1)Kristi Scott is going to Trujillo, Peru to work at an orphanage. She writes that “the orphanage houses about 40 Peruvian children from various backgrounds including abuse, neglect, and extreme poverty.”

My thoughts: I spent a week at an orphanage in Guatemala and the experience has never left me. Giving to Kristi is a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of thing. It exposes orphans to a talented and passionate young woman. And it exposes a talented…

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Free Money! I want to give you $10



Tell me why you need $10 and if I think you’re worthy, I’ll send it to you.  Why? Because it’s Tuesday and every Tuesday this year I’m giving $10 to a worthy cause as part of my #ten4tues project.

Maybe you have a charity that you want to pass the $10 onto. Maybe you want to take your grandma for a cheeseburger.  Maybe you’re saving for a trip to Africa. Maybe you’re my wife and think I shouldn’t just give money to some random person. Whatever the reason, let me know via email, in this comment thread, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@kelseytimmerman).

It’s all about the Alexanders, Baby…

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Meet iPhone Girl

Do consumers care about the people making our stuff?


Don’t believe me; meet iPhone girl…

In 2008 a British man fired up his new iPhone and discovered photos of a worker at the Chinese factory where his phone was made. He posted the photos on macrumors and in a matter of weeks the ensuing comment thread had nearly 700 comments and people all over the world were asking, “Who is iPhone Girl?”

iPhone girl became a sensation. Her smiling face was on cNET , on MSNBC, and in the Washington Post.

They tracked iPhone girl to a factory in Shenzhen where a company spokesperson called the incident a “beautiful mistake.” And it was for Apple. They had been blasted in the press for…

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Africa calls

“You can leave Africa, but Africa won’t leave you.”

That’s what the high-powered executive told me after I mentioned my upcoming trip to Kenya. He spent three years in Africa teaching English when he was in his early twenties. He never said what it was about Africa that makes it not leave you, but I expect he might not know.

That was on Wednesday night.

Today I saw a friend’s Facebook post that Africa was calling him to return, Liberia specifically.

I’ve visited sunny beaches and shantytowns around the world and, I must admit, it’s the beaches that tend to call for my return. (Oh Na Pali coast of Kauai, how I long for you!) Sure, I’ll never forget the dump I visited in Cambodia, but I have no…

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Chile Earthquate: The #ten4tues Project

Okay, since I started #ten4tues we’ve had more than enough earthquakes. I think we’ve more than met our quota for the year, so let’s stop having them.

That said, this week I’m supporting the relief efforts in Chile by donating $10 to the World Vision Project. I hope you’ll join me.

I know that some folks are hesitant to donate to faith-based groups and I understand and respect that. Missionaries haven’t always had the best reputation through the years. At their worst they are culture-killers that offer a message along the lines of “our God provides us with food. Worship Him and you won’t go hungry.” At their best, which is where I believe so many have evolved to today, they serve their fellow man. They don’t…

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The safest place in Hawaii during a tsunami

I spent the better part of my Saturday hoping that Hawaii (and everywhere else in/on the Pacific) didn’t get blasted by a tsunami. Eric Harr — CARE representative, IronMan, journalist, and Twitter-fiend — posted a video of his view from the relative safety of the Four Seasons in Kona.

This got me thinking about the time I hiked on Mauna Loa. There’s no chance of a tsunami getting you up there, but the lava, the boredom and the lack of water might.

I dusted off an old column about the hike…

Life, Death, and Lava
(I wrote this in 2002. It was one of the first pieces I ever tried to publish. I think I got paid $15 from some long-forgotten website for it.)

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