Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile (Hi Michelle!) may remember that I volunteer at a cat sanctuary, Fat Kitty City. Yes, the same sanctuary that I ran the Pens for Paws Auction for in May, raising some much-needed funds with bidding on critiques and signed books.*
After missing a few weeks of sanctuary visits while I was sick, I've been back to see all my kitty friends once again. And along with all the old favorites, who are mostly permanent residents, we have some newer adoptable cats. Like Gonzo:
And the thing that strikes me the most is, why don't these great cats have homes yet? Gonzo is so desperate to be close to someone that she'll fall asleep draped over my arm (usually because the competition for my lap is too fierce). And another kitty, Thomas, sounds like you've started a wood chipper when you pick him up, his purr is so loud.
All these wonderful, unique cats just waiting to be noticed and matched up to someone who can appreciate them. Sorta like manuscripts, right?
I've lost count of how many times I've read writing samples, or critiqued entire manuscripts, and thought, "Why hasn't an editor or agent snatched this up yet?" Sometimes the agents and editors wise up and sign the writer, but other times that fantastic manuscript continues to languish in slush piles.
Those of us who have been querying projects for awhile, only to get rejection after rejection, continue to write and query in the hopes that someone will come to love our books as much as we do. And in so many "I got an agent!" success stories, that's what seems to be crucial: a series of circumstances that land the manuscript in the right hands at the right time.
Then, that formerly-homeless book becomes a beloved new member of an agency family, appreciated for what it is as much as what it might become. Just like Gonzo and Thomas, and all the other cats waiting for their new people to find them, have the potential to do.
Maybe we need to start an overlooked manuscript sanctuary? And if an agent adopts one, it comes with a cat to watch you while you type.
*I've already gotten a few commitments for the next Pens for Paws Auction, and will be moving it up to March.
If you'd like to do something to help Fat Kitty City right now, you can go to Purina's Rally to Rescue page and vote for our ambassador kitty, Bogey. He is one of four finalists, and the winner's shelter group gets $5,000 worth of food. Our 100+ cats eat a lot of food, and voting doesn't cost anything but your time. Please help us help other cats by casting your vote for Bogey!