RNA: A Gathering of the Clans

by Mary Jo

I love writers' conferences, and I've been to my share of them. The sight of so many introverts blossoming into temporary extroversion is delightful. Creativity and connections and chocolate are all much in evidence.

Web-logo-fullI've met many of my best writer friends (and most of the Wenches) at writers' conferences. Which is why when Wench Nicola, currently president of the British professional romance writers' group, Romantic Novelists' Association, invited all interested Word Wenches to come to this year's annual RNA conference in Leeds, I jumped on it. (No, of course this had nothing to do with the chance to take a deductible trip to the UK! Why would you even think that? <G>)


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Visiting Leeds!

UK_LS_HeadingleyCC BY SA 3 wikimedia curid 446343Since a posse of wenches will be attending the RNA conference in Leeds, England this month, and we’ll be visiting some historical sites while there, I thought I should brush up on the history of Leeds. Various characters in my Unexpected Magic books have passed through Leeds since it was a forerunner in the industrial revolution, which worked right into my scientific Ives’ stories.


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Five Centuries of Style

Lotherton grand hallNicola here! A couple of weeks ago I went on a family visit to my native county of Yorkshire. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the places I used to love visiting as well as with family and friends. When I was a child one of my favourite local places was a house called Lotherton Hall near Leeds The name itself sounds exactly the sort of place you would find in a Bronte novel and I remember wandering through its rooms lapping up all the historical displays and soaking up the atmosphere. It was one of the places that fostered my love of history.

When I went back a few weeks ago I barely recognised the place. It now has a bird garden, a café and a shop, an adventure playground and beautifully landscaped gardens. It was an absolute delight rediscovering it.

Inside the house there was an exhibition called “Fashionable Yorkshire: Five Centuries of Style.” Each exhibit not only showed the clothes that women wore but through them gave an insight into the lives of those women. They reflected the period they were made in and provided an insight into the women’s place in society. Yorkshire women have always been renowned for their sense of style – my grandmother was a good example – so this was particularly fascinating.

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