Time flies!

It's been a month since I last wrote. I have been very busy. Although if you can call taking holidays being busy I'm not sure!

Our last holiday took us from Southampton on a cruise around the Iberian Peninsula. It was wonderful, visiting places like Valencia, Cartagena, and  Cadiz. This was followed by a stop in Tangiers and Lisbon before sailing home.

We decided to take advantage of having a couple of days sight-seeing before joining the ship. We stopped at Salisbury and I was able to see Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum.

I shall ignore the comment about one ancient monument visiting

Last time I told you about my few minutes of fame on the Andrew Edwards show on BBC Radio Leeds. They did bring the show to our village library and broadcast from there. It was great fun. We were discussing The Bletchley Girls by Tessa Dunlop. By chance I discovered one of my neighbours used to work for Bletchley Park on one of the outstations. She had never discussed it in 70 years as they had been sworn to secrecy. Marjorie, who is now in her 90s kindly came along and chatted on the show.

Marjorie preparing for the show and talking to Andrew Edwards.

What about my own writing I hear you ask! Well I'm glad you did. The novel, Resolution, has been edited and revised, that's another reason why I've been so busy. It has been returned to the publisher and I hope to hear from them in the New Year or soon after. Fingers crossed for me and anything else you can manage to cross, would be appreciated.

Earlier this year I was privileged to judge short stories for the Hysteria competition. The anthology has now been published. I was also asked to supply a short piece on what I looked for when judging. It was a fascinating experience. I think I read over 100 stories over a few weeks.

You can find the anthology at www.HysteriaUK.co.uk
You would be supporting a worth while charity.

I hope I've made up for disappearing for a while. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a successful, happy and healthy 2017.

15 minutes of fame?

Here I am outside the BBC studios in Leeds. You may well ask what am I doing there?  I wasn't too sure myself at the time.

Andrew Edwards hosts an afternoon show here from 12 -3pm.  Part of his show is the Big Yorkshire Book Club. He has invited local councils to join him and pick the book of the month.  This month was the turn of my council Kirklees.  They requested volunteers for names to go in a hat. The winner would choose the book and go along to talk to Andrew on his show.

Not wanting our little library to miss out, I put my name forward, never for one single second expecting it to be drawn out. It was!

I was joined by Elaine Berry from Kirklees, who kindly came along to hold my hand and give me support.

On arrival at the studios, we were met by Katy Lambert who took us through and looked after us very well.  Anyone who supplies me with a cup of tea is immediately my best friend. Everyone was friendly and very welcoming. They soon had us relaxed and laughing. When it was our turn to go into Andrew's studio we were joined by Phil Caplan who runs an independent bookshop in Roundhay, Leeds.He brought along a selection of books to discuss.

I talked about the book my local group were about to start reading, The Bletchley Girls by Tessa Dunlop, The blurb says - an indepth picture of life in Britain's wartime intelligence centre. The women of Bletchley Park tell their story - War, Secrecy, Love and Loss. Hopefully some of the listeners will get hold of a copy and join us in reading it. Why don't you?

Andrew kindly asked about my own book, Resolution. I explained that I am busy with the revision suggested by the publisher. As soon as those are finished I will be re-submitting it to them, with fingers and everything else crossed.

The most exciting part about this is hopefully at
the end of this month, Andrew and his team will broadcast his show from our library.  It does depend on whether they manage to get a signal there and an engineer is coming to check.
We've only recently gained a reasonable internet signal and the mobile signals vary enormously here,  More fingers crossed!
Thank you to Andrew and all the team for an enjoyable afternoon, It was fascinating to learn what goes on behind the scenes,
I hope to welcome them to Shepley very soon.


Where have I been? Have you missed me?

Last week I returned from a cruise along the Danube. It was as magical as I had hoped it would be. The scenery was stunning and every time we stopped we visited medieval walled towns, cathedrals, castles and ancient monasteries
Our first stop was at Nuremburg. A city famous for its World War II connections, but a now restored beautiful medieval city and well worth visiting.  We followed this with a visit to Regensburg.  I had never heard of this town but wow, visit if you can.  Its walls are still complete and much of the architecture has an Italianate feel, truly beautiful.

 We went on to Passau and then to a very wet and cold Vienna.

The weather is Vienna was awful and we didn't see the city at its best as we dashed from cover to cover. However as we sheltered we were lucky enough to see some of the Lipizzaner horses coming out for a training session.

The weather improved the next day for us to enjoy the Schonbrun in all its glory.
 The most  memorable place though has to be Budapest. I knew very little about this city and I was stunned by its beauty. Both during the day and at night it is a city of outstanding wonder.  The architecture is amazing and most of it has now been renovated and cleaned back to its original state. The bridges that cross the Danube are in themselves pieces of art.

We certainly plan to return here  for a longer stay and to explore further.

 I can only post a few photos on here to give you a glimpse of these wonderful places, If you scroll down my facebook page you'll be able to see a few more. https://www.facebook.com/carol.warham. Of course, if you visit my home be prepared to sit through hundreds of photos!

The Quietest Time (Derwentwater)

 It is early in the morning, the quietest time.
A mist blankets the water, shrouding it from me.
The watery sun cannot yet penetrate this velvety cover.
Ghostly wings break through when, without a sound,
ducks rise and fly across the lake

A craggy outcrop sits up high, with a tree-hidden
bench on which to sit and gaze and gaze and gaze.
I can hear the lapping of the water below, where
flowers are trapped and bobbing amongst the rocks,
in memory of others who have loved this place

Dew makes a sparkling cloth on the grassy path.
The air is still damp and without warmth.
There is nothing but the grey and silver.
No insects are awake to buzz or dart about me,
I am quite alone in a silent, still and soft land.

The quiet is broken by the call of a gaggle of geese
returning for breakfast.
Soon hoards of people will arrive to admire this view.
They will break the surface of the water with dipping oars
But for me, for now
It is early in the morning, the quietest time.

RESOLUTION - A few snippets and their (summer time) locations.

"Her heart pounded and her breath came in short, irregular gasps as she arrived at the hotel. An ambulance waited outside with its blue lights flashing. Grabbing the hand rail Ben hauled himself up the steps two at a time and sprinted inside."  

"Once they were out on the quiet moorland road, he eventually spoke. His voice was almost a whisper. "I lied to you. I did try to ring you but I didn't want Savannah to know." "

" "There’s an old inn, not far from here. Why don't we get some lunch?"
Within a few minutes Ben turned into the car park of an old thirteenth century inn. It perched on top of the moor with sweeping views around it. Carly caught sight of a reservoir, as the weak winter sun gave a slight glitter on water, at the bottom of the valley.

She smiled in appreciation. “This looks lovely. I bet the views are stunning in summer.” "

 "As they entered the inn, she was charmed by the mullion windows, which faced the valley, giving diners a superb outlook. The walls were covered in horse brasses and old sepia photos of the inn in the past couple of centuries."

A Busy Time

It's quite a while since my last blog. I've been very busy dashing around. My main trip was to the wonderful city of Edinburgh for the Festival and the Tattoo. After a week of glorious weather we were disappointed to hear rain and cool winds were expected for our time in Scotland. However we were fine. Although grey and cloudy it managed to stay dry for most of the time, we only got caught in one heavy cloudburst, but dried off in a very nice teashop. Here are some photos from our stay.

 I really enjoyed our trip to see Britannia at Leith, just a few miles outside of the city. It was interesting to see how the 'other half live'.


Not so much personal writing done whilst I've been away.  I'm still busy reading books submitted for the Romantic Novelists Association Romance Novel of the Year. I'm also reading short stories for the Hysteria competition.  However, our small, local writing group held a creative writing competition for children who live in the village. We were supported by the local Co-operative store who kindly donated the prizes. They also pay the rent for our room in the village library. Here am I with Mark, the store manager and 5 of our 7 winners

 And yes, there have been many comments that nearly all of them are taller than shorty me.

Yeardon - the location for Resolution

Yeardon is loosely based on a small market town near where I live on the Pennines in West Yorkshire.

Here are some of the locations where scenes are based. You will notice that my photographs have been taken in the middle of summer. I'm afraid that's because it is much easier to get around here than in the depth of winter when the story of Resolution is set.

This is the lane leading to the moors, along which Carly is walking when she bumps into Ben walking the dog.

While walking along she remembers how much she misses the moors when they are a mass of purple heather
She invites him to go with her to the local fair, which is held behind the library and up these steps.
The view from high.

Getting around in Yeardon on foot can be quite a challenge with many steep cobbled lanes, which can be very slippery when icy or wet. The town is situated on the Pennine Hills and quite hilly in places.

Maggie's cottage is on one of the many picturesque terraces overlooking the valley

Meet Paul Smith

I 'm delighted to introduce the multi-talented Paul Smith to you.  Many Yorkshire writers (born or living here) are now familiar w...