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Part love story, part grief memoir, Dear Blacksmith recounts the author’s brief and unconventional love affair with 'Blacksmith Paul', a maverick who lived out on the moors in the Peak District – and the heart-rending details of her grief after his sudden death, just eight months into their relationship.

Adapted from the much-loved blog Swimming Through Clouds, the story charts a complex journey from the depths of sorrow to the beginnings of recovery, this book is a work of extraordinary sincerity; and ultimately, a hard-earned testament to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit.


Archie Nolan: Family Detective

A funny, illustrated story for 8-12yr olds.

Science geek Archie Nolan tries to keep a low profile, but when his class are told to research their family tree, he is terrified twin sister and school swot Jemima is going to reveal that they are donor conceived. Archie’s in turmoil. He doesn't want to have to talk about all that embarrassing stuff. The only person who understands is his donor conceived friend Cameron, but he seems to have unearthed a village vampire…..and Archie's far more interested in investigating that!

Open Archie’s secret diary and join him and his friends on an action-packed adventure to find out what family really means.


Beverley Ward writes fiction and poetry for adults, children and young people. She facilitates a wide range of face-to-face and online workshops as well as working one-to-one as a coach for creatives. She is a single parent who lives in Sheffield with her two children. In 2015, her partner, Blacksmith Paul, died suddenly and she frequently writes about loss.

Grief Can Be Hard On Your Mental Health When No One Wants To Talk About Death

We all die, but to say that feels shocking, uncomfortable and inappropriate, even though I know I'm not alone in experiencing loss.

16/05/2019 12:21 BST

In Between The World Of Loss And Living

I have a theory – I doubt it’s new but still, it’s mine – that there’s some kind of boundary separating this world from another

13/06/2018 11:53 BST

When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Man – And Then He Dies

How does it feel to lose love when you’ve only just found it? How does it feel to meet your partner’s mother for the first time to plan his funeral?

27/04/2018 09:43 BST

Two Years Ago My Love Died

In grief terms I grieved for at least 101 years before I fell in love again

13/03/2018 16:42 GMT

The Cost Of Losing A Loved One

I’ve just done my tax return. You wouldn’t expect a tax return to be a trigger for grief but it was. Being a hapless artist

30/11/2017 17:33 GMT

I Feel It Creeping Up On Me

It’s that time of year again isn’t it? At this time of year my mum would start phoning, asking what I’d be doing for Christmas

28/11/2017 11:45 GMT

Writing Saved My Life

When my new partner, Blacksmith Paul, died just twelve weeks after my last remaining parent, it was to writing that I turned in my despair. In the darkest of days, writing gave me a purpose. The blank page listened when there was no-one to talk to. My laptop understood when no-one else could fathom the degree of my heartbreak. Writing was my best friend.

24/10/2017 12:17 BST

Love Is The Only Option For Me

So, I met someone. It seems almost too perfect for words. I grieved fully and completely for a year, then on the 13th March, three days after the anniversary of Paul's death, I re-wrote my grief narrative to include the possibility of loving someone new and, just a month later, someone appeared.

06/06/2017 13:19 BST

To The Mother-In-Law I Never Had

You were by far the best mother-in-law I've ever had, even though your son wasn't there to see it. I want to thank you, Pat. I hope that you are with him now where both of us so longed to be. I hope you look down and see that, it is partly because of you that I can still smile and live on with your memories in my heart.

08/05/2017 13:21 BST

I Would Do It Again

'Two lovers, destined to be together, miss their chance repeatedly, spend their lives apart having a pretty miserable time, finally unite and then, just when things are going great, he dies and her life is ruined'. Maybe it makes a good weepy but it's certainly not an easy story to write a sequel to and, left here without you, that is, essentially, what I have to do.

03/05/2017 12:33 BST

We Can't All Be Butterflies In Grief

This time last year I was mostly amongst friends and holding it together pretty well in company until, one evening, one of the participants didn't come down for dinner and I found myself drowning in panic thinking that he might be dead. I stood up, excused myself and rushed sobbing to my room and didn't stop crying for hours.

25/04/2017 12:55 BST

Dating After Death

I started gently, casually, by reactivating Tinder and adjusting my personal statement to reflect my change in circumstances. I made it clear that I was not ready for a relationship but would like some male company. It was a clumsy beginning. The first person who approached me got short shrift when he asked me about my taste in books, films and music.

10/04/2017 13:00 BST

How Do You Survive?

I can still see him standing in my front garden that night writing messages to Hephaestus the blacksmith god with them, releasing paper lanterns into the sky. They loved him. I loved him. He loved me. And that was the last time I saw him. Five days later, he was dead.

09/03/2017 12:12 GMT

It's That Time Of Year Again

It's that time of year again. The shops are awash with red, the streets suddenly lined with hearts and flowers and teddy bears. Love is in the air. Love is on air. Love is everywhere. Valentine's Day is looming and there is no avoiding it.

12/02/2017 16:56 GMT





Wild swimming - Part 4

The sea calls me into the present.

Stop, look, listen, she says,

everything you need is here:

this sand, this sky, this page, this pen.

Here you are free to begin again.

There’s a song on the breeze

and your only job is to catch it

before it’s


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