“We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room,”
– Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chap. 18

Portrait of Mrs. Bennet from P&P as a Cat

Mrs. Bennet daydreams about Jane's marriage to Bingley.

Last week, I signed up for a Skype account in order to take advantage of the awesome FREE web consultation of Catherine Caine begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, from “Be Awesome Online”… how could I resist?
I’ve been working on my site for ages, but my To-Do list never ends, and I really needed a fresh perspective with experienced criticism and suggestions.

When I was setting up the session, which I figured would take place via IM or some private chatroom, I tripped over the sentence that mentioned “Skype to Skype” as the modus operandi. I actually had to Google “Skype” because I’m that far behind the curve. Apparently, it’s voice chatting over the internet.
Immediately I broke out into hives. (….just kidding, sorta)

I sweated this virtual phone call… Actually, 10 minutes before the call, I was taking Pepto-Bismol to settle my nervous stomach, because I suffer from “telephobia” or whatever it’s called… in addition to my fear of holidays. Yeah, I’m really screwed up.

Although I’ve worked in customer service for years, and phone service was a huge part of my job, it was rarely personal. The awkwardness comes into play when I’m forced to chat candidly about myself, my thoughts and feelings… I designed this blog, in part, to share those things comfortably.

Nobody is chaining your ankles to this blog post.

You aren’t obligated to read past this line.

Or this incomplete sentence.

Ironically, I experienced a series of “technical problems” – I couldn’t get any volume on the Skype chat, but the computer played iTunes music and YouTube videos with sound. Then Catherine offered to call me on a landline phone. We actually don’t have a landline; Joe purchased a crazy MagicJack that uses the internet … and it normally works (I received a call earlier today, and Mom regularly leaves 15 minute multi-message voice mails). But it wasn’t connecting us on Thursday. The phone rang, and I answered… to dreaded silence.

So, we wound up using the instant messaging system afterall. All that bile-swallowing and nausea for naught.

Was it worth the heart palpitations and abdominal cramps? Absolutely!

Within 5 seconds, she had zeroed in on my banner and tagline….
“TaraFlyArt – For Cats At Heart”.
I thought it was cute and clever.
And she agreed… it’s clever alright, but not clear enough for visitors to understand the point.

I needed the tagline to explain What I do, and Who I’m doing it for. It needed to mention “cat art” or “cat portraits”…

A furiously fast brainstorming session began, in which she threw out suggestions like:
“Quirky Regency Cat Portraits for Cats Who Read Austen”
… shortened to “Literary Portraits for Cats Who Read”

When she finally abbreviated it to: “Literate Portraits for Literate Cats” I laughed out loud! And typed, “LOL”…
It definitely smacked of T.S. Eliott’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” – with his famous “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats”.

She admitted that it needed some work… so after a few more minutes of frantic typing and a couple additional pointers, I left the session, inspired, and grabbed a notebook;
A few of the potential taglines that tickled my whiskers…

TaraFlyArt – Portrait of A Well-Dressed Cat

Portraits for Well-Dressed Cats

Portraits for the Distinguished Cat

Proper Portraits for Well-Mannered Cats

Fine Art for Fancy Cats

Fine Portraits for Well-Bred Cats

Cat Art with Good Breeding

TaraFlyArt – The Regency Cat’s Companion

Handsome Portraits To Tempt Fastidious Cats

Portraits handsome enough to tempt ill-humored cats

Handsome Portraits of Humorous Cats

The list could go on indefinitely… it’s just a matter of choosing just ONE that will go the distance. I might put it to a Vote on Facebook. 🙂

By this time, I had picked up my copy of The Complete Novels, and flipped to the opening sequence of Pride and Prejudice for additional inspiration….
Instead, I found myself reading the dialogue between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet with a fresh eye. They were discussing the fortunes of Mr. Bingley, and how she hoped he would fall in love with one of their daughters, thus making the whole family richer by association.

With a mind still mulling over business slogans, and Catherine’s advice to focus on “My Right People” – the folks who “get” what I do, I couldn’t resist having some fun with the Bennet’s banter:

“Why, my dear Sir Dominic, you much know, Mrs. Longtail says that TaraFlyArt.com has been visited by a young man of large fortune from the north.
He visited on Monday via a Google link to see the site,
and was so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately;
he is to return before Christmas, and some of his relatives are to come by the end of next week.”

“What is his name?”

“Bingley.”

“Is he a cat-person or a dog-person?”

“Oh! A Cat person, my dear, to be sure!
A cat person of large fortune, four or five thousand a year.
What a fine thing for my art!”

“How so? How can it affect your art?”

“My dear Sir Dominic,” replied TaraFly, “how can you be so tiresome!
You must know that I am thinking of his buying one of them.”

“Is that his design in settling here?”

“Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so!
But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them,
and therefore you must contact him immediately.”

“I see no occasion for that. You and your art may go,
or you may send the pieces by themselves, which perhaps will be still better;
for, as you are as handsome as any of them,
Mr. Bingley might like you best of the collection.”

….

“Ah! You do not know what I suffer.”

“But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come to your website.”

“It will be no use to us if twenty such should come, since you will not call them.”

“Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will instant message them all.”

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