On the Write Road

Write to Travel

And here I am, settled in my forever home. It looks like a fairy tale village doesn’t it.
Yes I’m retired, and although it’s taken me a while, I’m settled. Changing a routine of a lifetime doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m getting there.
Time to write!
“Princess Tess and her Mess” is almost ready to publish. The book cover is getting its final tweak. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks. Supernatural/Ghost Stories and Children’s books are very different, but variety keeps me youthful (I hope).
In the meantime I’m going to combine my travel blog https://travelwithsandra.wordpress.com/ with this blog and re-name it. Not quite sure of the name yet, but I’ll let you know when I’ve decided.
This is an exciting venture for me. I get to write about the things I love to do in one place.

Moving Right Along

I’ve been dragging my feet a little. I loved writing about Princess Tess, but once the book was finished, I was terrified.
What if it’s no good?
What if no one likes it?
I’ve never written a children’s book before.

Now I’m a little more optimistic. My daughter LOVES the book, which means a lot to me. My editor enjoyed reading it and said there were “laugh out loud” moments. Laughing is good, and Princess Tess is funny.

So I took a deep breath and started moving right along.

The cover is being designed and I’m preparing my bio and a summary of the story so hopefully in May, this finished, fun filled book will be available on Amazon. There is an ebook of course, but also a print copy so if you need a smiling Princess looking at you from your coffee table, it will be available. This is the first book I’ve written in quite some time so this is an exciting moment for me.

Princess Tess and Her Mess is the book you’ll enjoy reading to your kids and grandkids, especially if they like animals. Book Two Princess Tess Tales is already in the works. I wouldn’t want you to have to wait too long now would I?

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for updates.

Princess Tess has a Birthday!

Happy Birthday Tess Mess

Princess Tess is Two. She had a a party. I couldn’t be there, but I’m sure she had fun. Cute little thing isn’t she!
My second Princess Tess children’s book is in the works. There are tales of her morning exercises, her adventures in the snow, as well as many other tidbits about Tess. Writing about animals is a blast. Lifts my spirits in these weird and wonderful times.

My first book “Princess Tess and her Mess” is being illustrated and will be released soon. I hope it brings fun to its young readers, and one or two older ones. Let’s face it, we all love reading about the goofy things animals do.

I hope you’re all staying safe and well and whether you have two legs or four, take care.

Princess Tess and her Mess

Princess Tess

Grrrrr, snarl… The dog spat nastiness from its slack mouth filled with crooked, yellowing teeth. Tess and Sandra walked even slower. The menacing dog moved slowly, in time with them, but on the other side of the fence.Tess stopped in her tracks and looked at Sandra. Finally, Sandra was able to see the backyard gate, which was wide open.
“Oh, dear, Tess, this ugly old dog could have a collar on that keeps in in the yard, or it could come out and bite me.”
It would bite me first…
Sandra picked up Tess, who was shaking a little. “Let’s go home!”
Good idea.
Tess watched over Sandra’s shoulder until the snarling, growling creature was out of sight.
I like rabbits better!

My first Children’s book is finished. A short story about a small pup called Tess. A cute, but comical pup. My editor said the book made her laugh out loud in places. My daughter, who is the loving owner of this little bundle of cuteness, likes the story so much she is going to add some illustrations. Hopefully it will be published by the summer, so stay tuned. This is the first in a series of three short stories about Princess Tess. Children’s books are fun to write.

About Editing!

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!

Princess TessMess

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!

Queen Tess – The Story Evolves

This is my first children’s story. Inspired by Tess, a cute pup that belongs to my daughter and son in law. I looked after her for three weeks back in January 2020, before the world was turned upside down. It was an experience for me, never having taken care of a dog before. She won my heart and I found myself leaving work as early as possible because I worried about her.
COVID/Trump/2020 sucked me dry. I had no imagination left. What spare time I had was spent getting my US house ready to sell. My heart ached because, although I really wanted to move to Italy, I was sad to leave my daughter and her pups behind. I was sad because I would be leaving my job and all of my friends, but it was time.
Now I’m writing again and as I re-read Queen Tess – A short Shaggy Dog Tale, I realize I wasn’t capturing her character. She was a baby when she stayed with me. I had portrayed her as a much older dog. Now, as I re-write the story, I’m making her childlike, which of course she is. The re-write is fun. I laugh out loud sometimes as I remember the things she did.
When my book is finished, what next? Who knows, maybe back to thrillers, or perhaps a travel story.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll visit again! Stay safe.

Queen Tess – The Story Continues…

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.

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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!

Walking with Queen Tess

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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.