Category Archives: events

Apologies, Real Life and Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, Chelsea Pensioner in uniformToday’s blog is not only late but also shorter than usual — just apologies, a brief explanation (real life!) and a bowed head for Remembrance Day.

This picture is a photograph I took some years ago, of the West Gate to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. This wonderful building by Sir Christopher Wren was built at the instigation of Charles II as a home for old and injured soldiers. And so it is still.

The two people in the photo are a serving policeman, and a resident Chelsea Pensioner. The latter is wearing his famous scarlet coat. When I bump into them in the local supermarket, they are generally equally smart but slightly less startling in navy blue.

I am really fond of that not very good photograph. I took it on a day in November — mist in the air, trees turning to gold before they started to lose their leaves. Very like today, indeed.

Real Life (Mine)

The reason the blog is late is that I have new member of the household.

After my dear Tom Kyd died in July I heard him about the house for weeks.

But then I began to smile more and weep less, when I thought about him. Then I started to feel I wanted to share all that love we generated between us.

The obvious course was to adopt a cat who had somehow lost their own family. So I have, thanks to the rehoming programme at the wonderful Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Continue reading

Romance Conference Diary by Liz Fielding

Liz Fielding, multi-award-winning author, celebrates her arrival in the Libertà Hive with a Romance Conference Diary, after Joanna’s blog about the RNA Conference. Welcome, Liz!

Liz is just back from Denver, where the Conference in question was that of the Romance Writers of America — and where her lovely Sheikh’s Convenient Princess was short-listed for the 2018 Short Contemporary Rita® Award.  

LIZ’s ROMANCE CONFERENCE DIARY — Monday

Romance Conference Diary - suitcasesPacking for Conference is ridiculous. You have no idea how cold the hotel is going to be. You do know it’s going to be steaming hot outside, so you pack twice as much as you need. Plus conference “swag”.

I checked in online and printed my boarding card. Tick. Car delivered me to Heathrow in good time. Tick. Bags dropped. Tick. Through security… Er, hello Border Control. I was drug swabbed! I mean, could it be any more ridiculous? Noticeably all the swabbees were women. The lady in front of me had a scented candle. I hadn’t taken the plastic pouch with my toiletries out of my hand luggage before it went through the x-ray machine. Slapped wrist. Don’t do it again. Continue reading

Never stop learning : inspiring working authors

RNA conference reception with goody bags, coffee, bookstall

Goody bags for delegates, tea, coffee, bookstall
Just what arriving delegates need (possibly + wine later?)

Last week, the Libertà hive was buzzing round the annual conference of the
Romantic Novelists’ Association at
Leeds Trinity University. 

In Yorkshire.

God’s Own Country, I’m told.

And here was I thinking it was Scotland 😉

open courtyard for RNA conference delegates to relax in

Leeds Trinity’s courtyard where RNA delegates relaxed

It was a fantastic few days — as it always is — with dozens of inspiring workshops to choose from, old and new friends to meet, [many, many] glasses of wine to drink… Continue reading

Georgette Heyer Study Day

  1. Special Licence Marriage — Heyer’s Research Failing?
  2. Heyer Heroes And Falling in Love With One
  3. New Heyer Stories? Guest Post by Jennifer Kloester
  4. Day 8 of 12 Days of Christmas : 8 Maids a-Milking & Heyer
  5. Beautiful heroines, handsome heroes : never ugly, never bald?
  6. Georgette Heyer Study Day
  7. The Romantic Hero Revisited — Essential Hero Qualities
  8. Heyer’s children : too young, too old, just right?
  9. Georgette Heyer: the problem of brothers (for sisters)
  10. Who made Georgette Georgian?
  11. Beau Brummell has lots to answer for…

Georgette HeyerThis week I spent a day with Georgette Heyer. Billed as The Nonesuch Conference, this was at a hybrid gathering at London University, offering a selection of papers from accredited academics together with reader/writer participation from people labelled in the programme as independent scholars.

Clearly, and heartwarmingly, most of the speakers I heard were also fans.

Georgette Heyer regency invitationIt was preceded by a writing workshop the day before. And there was a Regency Soirée in the evening after the conference, which sounds like a lot of fun.

Sadly, I couldn’t make either of these events. For one thing I’m still convalescent. (My energy gives out unexpectedly, so I didn’t want to push it.) For another, the programme was really full. Academics seemed to be supercharged, cheerily steaming from session to session, enthusiasm still at white heat.

When I read my notes I was astonished at the sheer volume of ideas I had noted down for further consideration. Continue reading