Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rusty Left His Paw Prints All Over Me

When my eight year old son ran up on the porch with that little orange tabby bundle of fur, I said, "No! Next week you and your dad are taking it back to the country!"

"He doesn't have a mom; I found him in the barn with two other ones."

All I could think was, maybe the kitten's mom needed a reprieve too if her boy was as rambunctious as mine. The country cat became a city cat who snuggled on my chest for seventeen years. Tonight his memory is alive, and I can almost hear his purring, and feel his soft little paws wrapped around my neck. I loved that cat; he was the only constant in my life at one point, and we loved one another unconditionally.

Hopefully, readers across the globe will learn how Rusty left his Paw Prints On My Heart when they read Chicken Soup, My Cat's Life. This is my thirteenth story accepted by Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I probably have that many more stories floating out there. I submitted this essay December 12, 2009 and received a contract today, 8/31/10 The release date is April 12, 2011.

My Dog is My Hero is an anthology edited by Susan Reynolds, published by Adams Media, and that book contains a story about a goofy dog who owned us in Alaska.

Waiting for an acceptance or rejection, and especially for the contributor's copy of the book is harder than writing the story. We authors just itch to have that book in our hands.

My advice to writers, once you write it, you must release it, because it takes quite sometime from submission to publication. Just when I think an editor has passed on one of my stories, I find an acceptance in the mail. Patience is as important a tool as the keyboard or pen.

Did you ever have an animal that left its paw prints on your heart? Briefly, won't you tell me about it?


Karen Lange said...

Congrats on the published story! I agree, patience is an important tool. Never thought of it like that, but you are right:)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Congratulations! I have a lot of paw prints on my heart. I can't recall a time in my life when I didn't have a furry friend who loved me unconditionally. Some of God's greatest gifts walk on four paws.

Bookie said...

Great job, Linda. Good for you. Yes, I have paw prints on my hearts but from dogs. I have never been a cat person. My friend thinks I am a cat person at heart, says when I read and write I have a personality that would apprecaite a cat i the room.

Well, she about had me convinced until I just spent time at my son's house with two cats, two dogs and a grandson. Those cats drove me nuts!!!
The hid out and slept in the day. About 7 each night they came and screeched all night long. One tried to sleep with us while he meaowed. Oh it was wild there! :)

Susan said...

Congratulations, Linda, on your story acceptance.

I submitted a story for that Chicken Soup book, too, but never heard a single word. It was all about Honey Cat who caught a 12 inch iguana lizard in her mouth and let it go in our living room; who survived a snake bite; and who came cross-country with me in a bag on the plane! I even wonder if they ever GOT the story. Oh well. Happy yours was accepted. Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Karen,
That is one of the main things I have come to learn as a freelancer, the waiting is worse than the writing.

Linda O'Connell said...

Lisa, I agree!

Linda O'Connell said...

I have had dogs and cats. I guess if you've never been a cat person it must have been a nightmare with those cats. And you thought the grandson would do you in!

Linda O'Connell said...

Susan, I would love to read your story about Honey Cat if you care to send it to me. Don't be too quick to think it hasn't been accepted. I have been surprised long after I thought the book was off to print. It would be very neat to have both of us in the same book, wouldn't it?

irishoma said...

Hi Linda,
You amaze me. Congratulations on your acceptance and the wonderful way you wove your story about Rusty into your post.
We had a dog Rusty who left a paw print on my heart. We got him while we were living in Texas. A young Army couple had too many dogs to handle, and we happily got him. He was a rust colored mutt, and one of the best dogs we've ever had. He and my son Erik were constant companions. Erik taught jump our back wall. Rusty got out one morning and got hit, but he survived. We joked that with our vet's bills we must've bought him a new car. Rusty moved with us to Missouri. He lived a long and happy life and is buried out at our place in Osage County.
Thanks for reminding me of our very special dog.
Donna V.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Hey Linda!

Isn't it grand, though, to get an acceptance out of the blue? Congrats to you! And though I haven't had much luck with cats, I do have Sally the Crazy Dog. She's pretty much left her paw prints (indelibly printed in some places) all over the house!

Tammy said...

Congratulations and great advice. Love the word, too: release! I am pretty much covered in paw prints. Even a few fin prints! :-o

Linda O'Connell said...

We too had an army dog, two in fact. I know what you mean about vet bills. Keep Rusty's memory alive, our furry friends are precious.

Linda O'Connell said...

Cathy, Sounds like your Sally dog is a keeper. Did ytou write about her for CS?

Linda O'Connell said...

Paw prints on the heart, soul, carpet, bedding...I know what you mean.

Lynn said...

Wow Linda, congratulations - you are the Chick Queen! Remind me again when the book is out so I can get a copy and have you sign it for me :-).

K9friend said...

The animals who have been part of my life all left special memories. Though I'm primarily a dog person, there have also been cats, birds, gerbils, and even a snake that I'll never forget!


Terri Tiffany said...

Oh my! You are the Queen of Chicken Soup!! I thought I was doing good at six but thirteen is awesome!! Congrats!!

Linda O'Connell said...

Oh Pat, I know what you mean about many animals. Once we had a gerbil who fell off of his wheel, so I tried my best to stand him back up, but he must have had a heart attack, He was dying. Why I don;t do the treadmill.

Linda O'Connell said...

I keep plodding along. Truly if you look at life, there are stories everywhere,and I do not embellish. Congrats on your six, fellow Chickie.

Linda O'Connell said...

Lynn, We are doing abook signing in St. Charles in Dec. but this book won't be out until 4/11. Get that pen cracking and submit. Youa re a great writer!

BECKY said...

Hi Linda! Congrats, once again! I haven't even submitted to CS in a long time. Not sure why....just too busy doing other stuff, I guess! Both my dogs, Rocky and Tiger have/had left paw prints and more, all over!! And now, Mark's hampster has captured a piece of my heart, too! He's adorable!