I've just reviewed last month's blog in preparation for writing this month's piece and was amazed that only four weeks have passed since I lost Billy Big Beak. It feels like he has been gone months and still a tiny place in my heart exists just for him. Sounds soppy doesn't it, but I think of the life he should have had and what he might be doing now. I believe that its this part of me, that makes me able to write. Able to put myself in someone else's shoes and empathise with a character in depth.
Ironically, some might not think so knowing me face to face, but I think I learnt as a child, to keep that part of me deeply submerged to such an extent that I get into trouble for not being sensitive to others feelings. I am, however, very sensitive to my patient's needs and I don't believe I have ever had a complaint about my apparent insensitivity from the people who matter to me.
If you knew me well, you'd only have to see me reading a book, or watching a film or programme. It's rare for me to get through anything without tearing up spontaneously. I feel subject to my emotions in these situations, only letting my guard down at home, which is also where I write.
So, BBB is no more sadly. Since then three mice, two voles and a beautiful coal tit have joined the ranks of my lucrative cat's kills. Its hard isn't it, loving someone or something, when they do awful things that you can't sanction yourself. I did look into performing taxidermy on the coal tit so he could live on, but after reviewing the absolutely horrific procedure which includes scooping out the brain through the neck - once you've broken it - my sensitive heart couldn't face it. And I thought attending a post-mortem was bad!
On the book front, re-writing the last sections of What If? continues and I've submitted the first three chapters to the Higham Agency Open Day event in the hope it might eventually lead to finding an agent to represent my work long-term. This is the first step in another long process, or as I call it Round One in the next fight.
Another new adventure I'm involved in, is the new home-based Bookshop, Paige Turners. I've submitted my novels and Inspirations Anthologies too . A Facebook bookshop they sell new and used books. You can browse on-line and if local to Thanet, they will deliver, or you can collect, or they will post anywhere in the world - providing you cover the postage costs. Please consider liking their page, this is a new business trying to make a future in troubled times and if you like their wares, just contact them.
Finally, I've started going out for meals again and naturally started my reviews on Trip Adviser once more. Last time I looked, I had a 55,000 readership. Imagine my surprise, when I added three more reviews this week to find first, that 88 people had reviewed them in three days, but more interestingly that I now have a readership of over 90,000 people. I only wish a third of them would consider purchasing my books if they like my words. I'm going to end up being known as a resturant critic before I ever get a traditional publisher.
Currently, a small number of folk follow me. Please feel free to add your name to my followers list and you'll be informed whenever I visit or eat somewhere. I do it a lot - I love my food - and I always tell the truth, so its a good indicator of whether a place is good or not.
By the way, if I have an average or worse experience I rarely comment. I don't believe in slagging folk off. I will complain if its beyond terrible though to protect other diners. I also offer constructive criticism on how places can improve. Several restaurants have acknowledged my constructive comments and improved their establishment practices. I know because I've re-visited afterwards. As a result, I feel my reviews are valued and worthwhile - as shown by my readership.
I also answer a large number of questions about holiday destinations and activities in addition to resturants.
Don't forget, I'm still reading Witch on the Warpath on my YouTube channel - Carol M. Salter. If you go there you can start from Chapter One and if you subscribe (its free for now) you'll be inofrmed when my next chapter is published.