These last four weeks having been a roller coaster of ultimate highs and desperately sad lows.
On January 31st I had the awful duty of making the decision of laying my adorable cat Widgett, and extra feline son, to rest. I struggled to make that decision and delayed it for one week only because he wasn’t in apparent pain. It enable my husband (self-isolating with Covid) to spend some quality time with him out on the lawn in the sunshine. I got to spend a couple of evenings cuddled up on the sofa and bed, but finally I could see, I was only prolonging the ultimate choice. It is a choice, but such a hard one. He’d stopped eating a couple of days earlier and when he looked up at me my heart broke each time. I could almost hear him in my head saying, ‘Is it time yet? How much longer before the end? I cried buckets and still am tearful writing this, the tears filling my eyes and making it hard to write…..
Most of my pets live on in my work, which has always been a combination of my life, my experiences, and my imagination. Widgett is no exception, he appears throughout the Witch on the Warpath trilogy as Tenamunday the dimension shifting cat. You will find chapter heading illustrations of Widgett taken on my phone and transformed by me into drawings. On the cover of Gristle’s Revenge is Onk the troll sitting on Ramsgate harbour with a purring Tenamunday/Widgett at his feet.
The following week, after my little one was buried, and in a complete reversal of emotions I attended a ceremony at the Turner Centre to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service as part of the Ageless Thanet group MBE. Part of me felt a little bit guilty attending because I hadn’t done hardly anything compared to the Trustees and long-serving volunteers, just took part in an open day, attended a couple of meet-ups work permitting, and delivered a few meals during 1st Lockdown etc.
My husband reminded me that though I hadn’t managed to do a great deal with Ageless Thanet, I had in fact volunteered for 4 months during 1st lockdown at QEQM Hospital when everyone else was too frightened to leave their homes. So, I decided to accept the award with that knowledge too.
I met some wonderful people at this event, who I hope I meet up with in the near future. They were inspirations in themselves. I was also overwhelmed, as you may have seen in the press photos, when a lady, CEO of AgeUK was introduced to me as Debbie and I saw a woman I did my nurse training with in 1977. It was astounding and I was again a bit tearful…
And in between all this I write.
My book launch of Quest for Courage went well enough. I sold a total of 21 books and was pleased that a couple of were of my previous books. The Classroom Bookshop were great. So welcoming and friendly. My thanks go to Adam Taylor the owner for his tireless support in preparation and stocking my work. You can purchase all my work through The Classroom Bookshop in Westgate now.
The week after my award, I attended my writing support group Gremlins, and was attacked by a new inspiration, and thus Chicken Wizard was born. It came about during a discussion and suddenly the phrase appeared in my head and I blurted out “Chicken Wizard!” Rather loudly as it happens. It stayed with me most of the afternoon, with me adding it into conversations irreverently.
I remembered it the next day, Sunday. It boiled around my mind so much that Monday I had to write Chicken Wizard’s complete story. Aimed at 5 – 8 yr olds it’s a picture book, story of a cockerel and the hens who adore him and believe he is a wizard because he can tell which eggs hold his chicks. I’ve also come up with two further books in the series, Sheep Sorceress and Pig Prophet, but more of them later, if I manage to catch the valuable attention of either an agent, publisher or illustrator keen to draw for this colourful book.
Until next time. Love one another because you never know how much time you have. Life is far too short to stay angry with someone over silly slights. When they're gone you'll be the one left with negative feelings and memories' which you don't deserve to hold. Be the bigger person. I know its very easy for me to say this and equally hard to do, but do it anyway. Die happy, in the loving arms of your family just like my Widgett,