Author: Sue Reid Sexton
Writing on the Road - Campervan Love and the Joy of Solitude
is not just funny (or sad) stories of campervan trips in Scotland; it is not just ‘Zen and the art of campervan maintenance’ (with stories of sweetness and light that will entertain or make you cry), and it is not just nature writing (with observations of wildlife in the western Scottish Highlands). And it's not all set in Westport beach, Machrihanish, Kintyre - a beautiful long beach popular with surfers, walkers and campervanners.
And if you enjoy reading about how books are written and about recovery stories from relationship breakdowns, and if you like reading about women travelling alone and all the things that can go wrong (and right), about strategies for facing fear, dealing with creepy crawlies and noises in the night, and about surviving all that life throws at you (especially when you are over a certain age), then you will probably enjoy this book.
This new book is by Sue Reid Sexton. Over the last six years, Sue wrote two novels. In the process of writing them, Mavis’s Shoe
(sold over 5000 copies) and Rue End Street
, Sue needed to escape from her hectic household to create some space in her life to focus. As the mother of two and a step-mum of four, Sue realised her only real option was to get into her campervan and have it function as a mobile office. Whether she camped by a beach overlooking the Atlantic in the Kintyre peninsula with buzzards, golden eagles, deer, seals, surfers, other campervanners and dead fish for company, or in the hills around Glasgow, or on Skye, Morvern, the Cowal peninsula or even in southern France, her main aim was to switch off her phone, get out her laptop and write.
Sue has made countless journeys in campervans in the last few years
and thanks to her practice of taking notes as she travels, we, too, can enjoy her campervan experiences. Sue's chosen and preferred van of travel is a Romahome, British-made, and she writes extensively about her Romahome campervan.
In Writing on the Road Sue also writes about the many and varied practical difficulties of campervan life that she has had to overcome. They include locking herself out of the campervan at night miles from home; coping with local byelaws and negative attitudes to campervans and to women travelling solo;driving a hundred miles with a window open before she could empty a cracked toilet; and finding out the wrong (and the right) way to buy a campervan. We hope this book will inspire anyone looking for encouragement in the expressive arts to get creative and persuade any would-be campervanners to get out there and enjoy the campervan life.
Publication date: 7th April 2016. Paperback : 193 x 124mm; 288pp; Review here:
This review has appeared today of Sue Reid Sexton's 'Writing on the
Road'. A lovely review, carefully written. Reproduced from Amazon.co.uk
"This unusual, beautifully written book is many things. It is the story
of a love affair with the West Coast of Scotland – the oceans, the
beaches, the birds, the seals, the skies. It's a book about accessing
your creativity as a writer, motivating yourself, getting the words down
on the page and evaluating what you've written. It's a book about
solitude and courage, and a basic introduction to Buddhism and
meditation. And it's also a book about campervans: the joys and
technical challenges of their ownership.
The author bought a
series of second-hand campervans, each with its own eccentricities and
each with its own name: among them teeny Vera, Vanessa Hotplate and
Fugue Ducato. Over a prolonged period, while her second marriage was
slowly unravelling, she headed out into the wilds of Scotland to search
for her sanity, and to write: long days working on a laptop in the van,
with magnificent vistas out the window, sustained by oatcakes, cheese
and cups of tea. As she adapted to solitude, her confidence grew, and in
this sense the book can be compared to Eat, Pray, Love, except that it
is much better written. There's an elegiac quality as the author mourns
the loss of her marriage and contemplates single life again, but you
sense she has such inner strength she will manage just fine.
didn't make me want to buy a campervan – I need my home comforts more
than that – but it did make me want to visit many of the places
mentioned. The gorgeous descriptions make you feel as though you are
actually there on the edge of wild grey ocean with a seal watching you
from a few yards out, or in complete, disorienting darkness without any
background city glow. The book is invaluable as a guide to enjoying your
own company, something all of us need to learn no matter what our
circumstances. Like all the best travel writing, it shows that the most
compelling journey is the one that leads inside to illuminate the soul."