May 11, 2020

Falling Down a Rabbit Hole –– Ending Up On a Carousel Horse in Paris..

Kaye Wilkinson Barley


The first time I went to Paris, which was a dream come true, I spent a lot of time researching the City of Light beforehand.

I love research. I love those endless paths that can carry you into surprising places meandering from the practical to the magical.

I have always been one to read everything I can find about a destination. That does not mean I am a person who plans every moment of every day while traveling, but I love learning about someplace new. It is fun to come upon a landmark and know a little something about it.

And I learned just enough about the love the French have for carousels to want to learn more.

There are approximately 20 carousels in Paris. I say approximately because it is really hard to pin down a true number. Some carousels do not stay in one place, or they are completely removed for whatever reason, and may show back up in the same spot at a later time. Or not.

While pondering the fate and history of Parisian carousels I found there is really not one good source to answer all my questions and decided I wanted to write my own book filled with carousel photographs.

Husband Donald is always up for an adventure so when I told him that I would like to go back to Paris to do some research and take some pictures he was a more than willing companion. He is also a better photographer than I am.

After two trips to Paris chasing and photographing carousels, we still have not found them all. There is an awful lot in Paris to distract a person from what they might have started out to do, you know. There are gardens, and cafes, and museums, oh my. So, I guess that means we will just have to go back.

But in the meantime, we found a publisher who liked our idea and our Carousels of Paris was born. A photo essay of some of the carousels. Hopefully, there will be a book two.

All this is to say, I am a woman who believes in following her dreams. As trite as the saying, “Life is short” may sound, it is also very true. Never has that been more apparent than right now as we are all fighting our fears regarding COVID-19.

The world closing. Who would have ever thought this would happen?

And as it re-opens many of us are wondering if it is too soon. When will be feel safe to leave our homes? To travel to another country? Will we be healthy enough?

While I ponder all these things, I write. Which sends me down yet another rabbit hole where I can live in a world of my own making. And feel safe.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley is the author of WHIMSEY: A Novel. She lives with her husband, Don, in the North Carolina mountains along with Annabelle Barley, the Princess Corgi.

Kaye is the author, along with being co-photographer with husband Don of the new photo essay book "Carousels of Paris," published March 17, 2020.

They are also co-authors/co-photographers of the book "My Name is Harley and This is My Story," a 94 page photobook written by Harley about his life in the North Carolina mountains, his travels and escapades with his Mom and Dad.

Kaye was a contributor to "Blood on the Bayou" - The Anthony winning Bouchercon Anthology 2016 edited by Greg Herren, published by Down & Out Books.

Kaye was also a contributor to three regional Western North Carolina anthologies - - - "Clothes Lines," "Women's Spaces Women's Places," and "It's All Relative." All edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham. Was a former Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Finalist.

When she is not writing she might be traipsing around with her camera or searching for THE perfect pizza with her husband. Besides pizza, she also has an undying love for ice cream.

You can follow Kaye and news about upcoming book signings at her author page -

Kaye is Blog Mistress of the popular Meanderings and Muses, which you can follow here -


  1. Thank you so much Kaye. Enjoyed your post so much. I love doing research too so I got a lot out of the post.

  2. Thanks for inviting me, Susan. I always love seeing what's hapening at Southern Writers Magazine, and contributing once in awhile is an honor.

  3. I'm glad I had just a little part in your excitement. I'll still never forget seeing Whimsey on the shelf at W.H. Smith. Now, to see Carousels of Paris there!

  4. oh my - that was a magical moment. wow.
    Back to Paris we need to go, Lesa!