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.



I’d planned to have this book released by Christmas 2017. I know, it didn’t happen. I love writing so much I don’t have time to publish, and I certainly can’t afford a publisher. Oh well, when it eventually does get released later this year it’s going to be a bargain book for those of you who love England, especially the north-east. The stories packed into this book include;

Ghosts on the Sand (set in Blackpool)
Guy at the Bar (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
Camera (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
The Engineer (set in a fictitious village in County Durham)

Why are most of my stories set in the North East? Because it’s the best part of England. Northerners are genuine, down to earth and fun!

I was born in Bishop Aukland, lived in Shildon until I was 4 years old. I then fled with my mam to Etherly and Butterknowle to escape my violent dad. Mam finally found a job and house in Summerhouse, county Durham, where we lived until 1967. When she remarried we moved to Brompton-on-Swale, the village that shaped my life. Even though I live in the United States now (well until I retire to Italy), Brompton-on-Swale is on my mind a great deal. I wish I could become a famous writer. If I did I’d make sure to let everyone know where I came from. I’d tell them about that down to earth little village, where everyone knew everyone else and looked out for their neighbors. Many folks were born there and never moved away. They are the lucky ones. My wandering spirit won’t let me stay in one place too long. I pop back every now and again. Yes, it’s changed, but I still think of it as home.

The Smoking Volcano


The fires on Vesuvius looked small from our hotel room in Naples this morning, but tonight the smoke is much thicker, and clearly visible from Capri. This it the view from Ana Capri, where we’re currently staying. The colors are fantastic, but I pray the fires are extinguished soon.

Flying into Naples

House sitter in place, cases packed, boarding passes printed…let the vacation begin!
I’m excited to be flying through Munich. My daughter was born in Germany, but I haven’t been back since 1985. I’m sure listening to people talk in the airport will make me feel nostalgic. An added bonus to my trip.  After Munich, its Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Feel like a kid about to open the best present ever.



Pigeons, Time and my Life Fly By

Wood PigeonI am awakened by the sound of Wood Pigeons. I smile and roll over snuggling into my warm bed. It’s Saturday so I am in no hurry to move.

No school today. My mum only works for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning and will be home soon. We always enjoy breakfast together before getting ready for the one o clock bus into Darlington.

Saturday is shopping day. First stop is ‘Pietro’s’ where my mum gets her hair fixed. Pietro is a very handsome Italian, he makes my mum blush, and that makes me laugh. Next stop Woolworth’s, where I always get a treat. We wander around the ‘covered in market’ for Yorkshire Curds, meat and whatever else takes our fancy, and we finish up in the Co-op.

Sometimes we buy fish and chips and eat them on the way home.

Yes, I like Saturdays.  CIMG0145

I like shopping with my mum in Darlington. I love the little village of Summerhouse, my home.

Finally I open my eyes, ready to enjoy the day.

Something isn’t right. I rub my eyes and look again.

This isn’t my cozy bedroom in Summerhouse. It’s a lovely room, but not mine, or is it?

I see white wooden shutters on the windows with a green and gold chaise beneath them. I look towards the double doors leading out to the stairs, and the vaulted ceiling of the room beyond.

This is a lovely house, but it isn’t Summerhouse, this is Colorado.

It’s not 1963 anymore and I am not six years old.

In what seems the ‘blink of an eye’ the years flew by. Where did they go?

The year is 2013 and I am old. My mum passed away a long time ago.

The Wood Pidgeon is still outside, but I think he is mocking me now.



Sunsets around the World

Those of you who have been following my blog will know I love sunsets. I would like to share some of my favorites sunsets with you. All of these photographs were taken by me.

September sunset in Colorado!

Nuevo Vallarta Mexico – May 2012

Snowy Colorado – October 2011

Cabo San Lucas - December 2009

Cabo San Lucas – December 2009

Sunsets are pretty special. It marks the end of another day.





Editing ‘Dead of July’ is bringing back lots of memories of my days in Germany and how the locals enjoyed a bottle of beer and a sandwich on the tram on the way to work at seven in the morning.

This excerpt from my book actually happened to me.

When he noticed he was being watched, he took out another beer, which he proceeded to offer me, speaking to me cordially in German. “Nein danke,” I said smiling, but I was curious about how a beer would taste a seven o’clock in the morning.

“Ahh Fraulein, you are English, but you live in Germany. You should try this sometime. It is sehr good.”


This was taken from the first chapter of ‘Dead of July’ which will be available later this year from Amazon. My writing career started with my two short stories, which are also available on Amazon.

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Happy New Year – A relaxing resolution


January – Published ‘Girl on the Beach’ as and e-book

February – ‘Girl on the Beach’ published in print

March – “Guy at the Bar” re-launched as an e-book

April – “Guy at the Bar” published in print, took up snowboarding again.

May – Flew to England, marketed my book a little, had a little fun, visited family, ate curried goat and other delicious Jamaican food as well as good old fish and chips.

June – A little time in London, visited Gordon Ramsay’s wonderful restaurant ‘Maze’

July – Celebrated the fourth at the Gonzales residence with Fireworks aplenty.

August – Holy Moses – been married 34 years – I am getting OLD.

September – My lovely daughter turned 27.

October – Worked on my book as often as I could – it’s almost finished.

November – Celebrated Thanksgiving and my husband’s birthday in Vail, my daughter came along too.

December – A month of Christmas parties and getting together with friends and a lovely quiet Christmas together.

I am starting the New Year by relaxing a little. I wore myself out last year. I blogged and tweeted and wrote and worked and worked out and did chores and did classes and so on and so on and so on.

Even my vacation was a rush, two fun weeks in England, but during those weeks I visited family in London, Birmingham, Darlington, North Yorkshire, Berwick-upon-Tweed and then back to London. It was fun, but it was not restful.

Yes I know, that’s life, but this year I am going to prioritize a little better and relax a little more. Life should not be so stressful. We are only on this earth for a short while so we need to stop and smell the roses!

There is no doubt I will finish my book ‘Dead of July’ this year. I will most likely be finished with the writing this month. I will then re-read it before forwarding it to the editor.

I think I have found and editor I can work with for copy and content editing as well as proof reading. Next comes the lay-out  for print and for my E-book.

Lots to do, but I am going to pace myself and enjoy the process rather than rush through it. With that I wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.