No! I’ll never be a best selling author. Would I like to be? Yes, but I write for pleasure, its my hobby.
I’ve written for therapy since I was a teenager, and it works, I’m still sane. I self publish and promote my books as best as I can, but my sales never amount to enough to make a profit. If I make enough money to break even with the editing/book lay out fees, I’m happy.
Princess Tess and Her mess has been one of my favorite books to write. It didn’t wrestle with any inner daemons, it was just a book about a funny, curious pup. I’m working on a sequel. Will I finish it? Who knows?
I’m retired now and living in Italy, life is more relaxing, but I have a lot of exploring to do before I get too old. I also have a pretty busy social life for an old girl. Hopefully in between all of that I can find time to write.
If you have a couple of spare dollars, invest in my book, make me feel famous. It’s a fun story you can read to your children and grandkids, or if you’re an animal lover, read it yourself.
You can click on the link below, or on the book cover at the side of my blog.
Tess sat on the sofa watching and waiting. Jo and Christian, her people, had left her with Jo’s mum while they were on vacation. Jo’s mum was often referred to as The Treat Lady. “Don’t give so many treats to Tess and Fendi”, Christian would say, “It’s not good for them to eat so many treats.” Fendi, who was older than Tess, was staying with Christians’ parents for a couple of weeks. Tess didn’t know how long her people would be gone, so she was watching the driveway, hoping they’d be back soon.
Here I am all alone with this human who doesn’t speak dog! She’s always busy, she’s forgotten about me already.
The Treat Lady had a real name, it was Sandra. “Hey Tess, cheer up, we’re going to have fun together.”
Fun, I not having any fun, I’m bored.
“Oh dear, you don’t look very happy at all, let me finish sorting out my bank account and then we can go for a walk.” Did you say walk?
Tess leapt from the sofa, skidding on the wooden floor, and ran across to where Sandra was sitting.
Come on, walk, you said walk.
Sandra laughed as the champagne colored bundle of fluffiness pawed her leg. Tess’s turbo charged tail was wagging just as fast as it could and her little pink tongue hung out of her mouth. She was panting in anticipation.
Come on, you said walk, I heard you.
“I need to remember not to say that word. I needed a break anyway. Come on, we can walk for a while.”
I started writing again just over 10 years ago. Not really sure what sparked it. I hadn’t written since I was in my early (troubled teens). Suddenly, when I hit my fifties, stories began flooding my brain and screaming to be let out. The first story to emerge was “Guy at the Bar”, which brought back lovely memories of a small village in North Yorkshire called Brompton on Swale. Tears flowed as I wrote about my parents, how I miss them. If there really is an after life, they’ll be looking down at me and shaking their head and saying, “Our Sandra, a rebel to the end.” Guy at the Bar wasn’t a best seller, but it piqued my interest and more stories followed. I recently re-wrote Guy at the Bar, and bundled it into a collection of short, slightly scary stories, called “Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales.” It’s still for sale on Amazon, along with my second book “Dead of July.” Ghosts on the SandDead of July – Amazon Now I’m retired and have a little more time on my hands so I’m writing again. I’ve just finished a Children’s book, inspired by my daughter’s pup Tess. I took care of Tess for a short time while my daughter and her husband vacationed in Japan. I never knew dogs could be so funny, or have so much character. I adjusted my mindset to write for children. I also had to think like a puppy. It was a blast to write. “Princess Tess and her Mess” will be published sometime this year. The pictures above are my mum and dad. I never stop missing them. On the right is the King William IV, where Guy at the Bar came to life. Writing makes me happy!
Yesterday I got my manuscript back from my editor. She has completed the first set of edits. For some reason I love reading through the stories again in edit mode. Not sure why. It gives me more pleasure with red lines and dots that it ever did when I read it prior to sending to her. Maybe I’m reading the story in a different way. Maybe subconsciously I’m happy it’s on its way to being finished. Or maybe I’m just a freak, yes, I think thats more likely. This book has been fun to write. I enjoy writing short stories, and this was surprisingly easy to pour from my brain onto the keyboard. Tess is a real living dog. She’s cute and funny, which coming from a “cat person” is a huge compliment. I hope to follow this first book with two more, and then what? Do I return to fantasy/thrillers? Or do I write another children’s series? It remains to be seen!
My move to Italy slowed down my writing a little. Settling into a new routine took a while. Finally I’m there. As many of you know, writing isn’t something you can force yourself to do. It has to flow. As I re-read my book I realize I’ve rambled a little to much, it needs to be trimmed to 10,000 words or less, I’m currently over 11,000. Short stories have to be just that, short! I’ve also changed the name. Originally it was “Queen Tess – a Short Shaggy Dog Story”, but after chatting to my daughter (Tess’s Human), I’ve decided the book will be called “Princess TessMess”. This is a much better title. Tess is a bit of a mess and “Princess TessMess” is perfect for a children’s book. Stay tuned, my work is progressing! Writing will never make me rich, but it does make me happy!
I started writing when I was in my early teens. It helped me get through some very tough times. My early childhood was terrifying, but thats a story for another day.
I was born with at turn in my eye, I didn’t even realize I had it when I was a young child, but as I got older, it began to ruin my life. Back in the sixties there was a TV series called Daktari, which was about a vet in Africa. One of the animals in the series was a lion called Clarence It was crosseyed. As an eleven year old girl I remember the boys in my village chanting “Daktari” every time I walked by. They never used my real name when they talked to me, but called me Clarence like the lion. It broke my heart. Luckily for me, during a routine visit to the doctor, he noticed the turn in my eye. “Wouldn’t you like to get that fixed?” he asked. “Yes please!” I had the operation just before I started High School. Of course some of those kids still called me Clarence, but it didn’t really matter anymore because the offending eye had been straightened. My eye was red and scarred for a couple of months. The scars on the inside were there for a lot longer. Life never lived up to my expectations back then and I rebelled against everything. I was obviously a troubled teenager, but back in the sixties in rural northern England, you just had to grin and bear it. Thats when I started to write. I wrote a different life for myself. I don’t have any of those stories now, but remember them well. They weren’t all about love and happiness, but they were about me, and I was strong. Writing is my therapy. I’ve written a couple of books I’m fairly proud of, with three more in the works. I’m an old girl now so I hope I live long enough to finish them all.
Yes, I’m finally writing again! I must finish this Children’s book. It’s dedicated to my beautiful daughter, her husband and TessMess, the fluffy bundle of cuteness that is part of their family now. Fendi, the older, smarter and not so patient pup in chief, should get a mention too. I usually write supernatural thrillers, but this is fun! Below is a taster of Queen Tess – a short shaggy dog tale.
An irresistible aroma wafted into Tess’s nostrils. She stood motionless, watching the slim slivers of delicious meat being peeled from the plastic. Hey, I’m right here, right next to you, don’t forget me. Tess stood on her hind legs, but still wasn’t able to reach the countertop. Hello, puppy dog eyes, right below you. Look at me. “Perfect, I feel like I’m in Italy again.” Sandra said as she wrapped the meat and put it back in the fridge. Tess rubbed against her legs. Hungry pup down here. “Tess you can’t possibly be hungry!” Why not, you are. Woof! “Hey quiet, no need to make a fuss. OK, just a bit though, I’m not even sure if you can eat prosciutto. Don’t want to make you sick.” Tess, who had already gone through the motion of sitting and lying down, now stood on her hind legs and placed her front paws on Sandra’s knees. Her mouth was wide open in anticipation. gimme, gimme, gimme Sandra put the prosciutto back on the counter top and carefully tore a couple of small, thin slivers from the meat. She dangled them above Tess’s nose before letting them drop into her mouth. “You are a good little pup aren’t you!” You’re not so bad yourself lady!
Wow! For a few minutes this morning I have time to sit and reflect on my life. I’m 63 and a budding writer! I was born in County Durham, raised in North Yorkshire (Brompton on Swale). When I was 20, I got married and moved to Dorset. In my late thirties I moved with my husband and daughter to Colorado. Now this old girl is retiring and moving to Abruzzo, Italy! I’ve been around a bit! In a little over a month I’ll be sitting at the kitchen table of my new home, looking at the view and easing another story from my old, but overactive brain…I hope you’ll read it.
Woah, what do I smell, sniff sniff… What’s that? If I stand perfectly still, it won’t see me. Now I’m going to walk very slowly and maybe I can catch that fluffy little thing. It isn’t paying any attention to me at all. Alright here I go. Ahhhh!
Sandra tugged on the leash, “Come on Tess, we’re out here so you can pee, not bother the rabbits.”
Rabbit, that’s what it’s called? Alright, be quiet now, I’m going to play with the rabbit, slowly, slowly…going to get you…
Tess launched herself like a missile. Who knew the chubby bundle of silliness could move SO FAST!
“Tess, stop, I almost let go of your leash. I’d be in trouble if you got away.”
Tess watched in dismay as the rabbit disappeared into the thicket. It turned around to look at its pursuer.
“Ha ha, can’t get me now can you?”
I nearly had you.
Yes, I know, this isn’t my usual demented ghost tale, bit I see a story in everything. From the time I get out of bed in the morning, my world is a narrative, so writing about my experience with taking care of Tess came natural. I really hope someone enjoys it. Children’s stories are fun.