Traditions of the Wedding Ring

wedding ring
My daughter and SIL

Rings as body adornment have been around for quite some time. Close to 5 thousand years ago, we get our first written hit of a circular band for finger wear from the Egyptians. All those thin reeds growing along the river? Not just for weaving baskets, girlfriends. Some ancient enterprising young lass or laddie braided the sedge into jewelry (minus the jewels) and the first known rings became a trend. 

According to their writings on papyrus scrolls, the betrothed couple exchanged these braided rings as a circular symbol of eternal love without end. They placed the rings on the left hand due to the belief that the vein that led to the heart ran from that finger. 

Caveat: I'm sure the cavewomen in their day had their own rockin' styles of body wear, but since they didn't write it down, they get no credit. Document people, document.

Moving on. As can be imagined, the reed rings of the Egyptians weren't exactly made to last. Not to worry. There was plenty of leather around. Rings were also made out of ivory or bone and just like today the more costly the material was apparent proof of how deep the love. 

The Romans put their own spin on ring giving. Maybe "giving" isn't the right word because for them, it was a stamp of ownership, instead of undying love. Ouch. "if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh."  These betrothal rings were often made of silver and often engraved. They did sport a romantic side with also wearing the ring on the heart vein finger. They termed it vena amoris (vein of love).

It actually beats some of the traditions of the wedding garter. 

It was the Christians around 800 years A.D. that started using rings in the actual wedding ceremonies. The rings were at first very ornate but somewhere along the line some uptight priest decided that was unholy so the rings became more simple, closer to what we have today.

Then when the colonists shipped out to America, the bride was given a thimble by her groom. Yeah, about as exciting as getting a vacuum on your anniversary. But they were puritans so excitement wasn't exactly what they were after. Still wanting a little frivolity or more likely an outward sign that they were a respectable married woman, some of the women took the top of the thimble off and wore them as marriage bands. 

Many cultures throughout the world have their own symbolism, myths, and practices associated with the marital ring. At its core, the circle is a symbol of no endings or  beginnings. One eternal round.  Even the hole symbolized more than dead space, but more of a gateway that led to unknown events. Which, pretty much sums up marriage.  


Why my sudden interest in bridal traditions? I'm researching for my up-and-coming Chantry Inn series, which will feature several weddings and one long-lost wedding gown. To be notified when these books will be released follow me on Facebook or my newsletter

Morning Pages

Last night I read an article in the RWR (Romance Writers Report) about a writer, Sheila Athens, who attended a recent workshop with Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way. Apparently this book is a must-read for authors, painters, singers, actors, pretty much anybody who yearns to delve deep into their artist spirit. Okay, I just made that description of the book up because I have no idea what the book is really about other than hearing other writers talk about it. I've never read it.  
The Artist's Way article
Article from July 2015 RWR (trademarked)

But the article was only a little over two pages long... so I've got time to see if everything worthwhile in the book is cramped in there.

Anyway, the writer (Sheila) summed up a few things she learned from the other writer (Julia).
What caught my attention was the tool of "morning pages".

 Basically an artist will write 3 handwritten pages every morning to connect on a spiritual level with her creativity. Just write. And for writers, we aren't supposed to use those 3 pages as part of our WIP (Work In Progress). I admit I winced at that one because if I'm writing I want it to count as something substantial. But no, WIPs are to be set aside and this is free forming. Julia claims that will make our WIPs more productive later when we let everything on our mind flow out.

So bright and early before I had to head out, prepared to sweat while helping out with my son's band's parade. And yes I did get wet and sticky. Not because I did anything strenuous, but because I was outside in Texas in July. Don't know why I bothered with showering.
Keller Central High Band 

Where was I? Oh yes, bright and early I pulled out one of my notebooks, grabbed a pen and wrote. Oh my gosh, I am shocked, simply shocked, at the spew of mucky roadkill that flowed onto my
3 pages. From "I am an introvert and would rather stay home from this parade" with a side helping of "I miss my son." and all sorts of random resentments on top of things I'm grateful for and plain old things that don't really matter at all. It was strange, I'm telling you. And those pages need to be shredded. Anyone who came across them would think I've lost my mind.

Did it clear my mind well enough that my WIP flowed better? Well, I don't know yet. I haven't gotten to it yet. Have to take a second shower first after the parade.

Maybe I better read that book.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July!!!

Tradition of the Wedding Garter

garter from ExclusivelyWeddings

Tossing the garter used to be a custom called Fingering the Stocking back in the old days (Fourteenth Century thereabouts) in England.

Back then, especially among families that were bent on getting the next heir as quickly as possible, making sure the marriage was properly consummated was a big deal. Big enough to have the entire wedding party come into the room (hopefully afterwards, but in some cases not) and take a good look at the stocking for, um, I guess some sort of evidence because apparently it was too easy to spill wine on the sheets.

If that wasn't bad enough, the guests would then fling stockings at the couple for good luck.  Because what is more lucky than stinky socks being thrown at you? Bonus points if you're the guest that gets a sock on top of the bride's or groom's head because you were then the next to get married. Has to be true, the socking said so.

But in France, the socks didn't even make it to the wedding bed. Once the bride uttered "I do" (Or rather a form of ‘I receive you as mine, so that you become my husband and I your wife'--only in French', the guests thronged her, tearing bits and pieces off her marital gown because what's more lucky than leaving your loved one in tatters at the altar? Kim Kardashian's idea of having three wedding gowns for the occasion gains a little more merit here. One gown for being torn apart and at least one other for the reception.
Kim Kardashian Wedding Dress

At some point, I'm sure in desperation, some brides decided to start throwing pieces of their attire out, hoping to avoid most of the rampaging at her and her clothing. Which went to finally the groom started taking the garter off and tossing that out. In my romantic nature I like to think of it as the protective groom stepping in to stop the mob in this manner, but who knows, it could have been the brides' idea for self-preservation. Either way, this new less-aggressive, less-invasive tradition began. Thankfully.

At this point the tradition of tossing the bouquet also arouse arose. Ha! Totally didn't mean to type arouse, but I kept it in there because I thought it was a funny Freudian slip.

There are also traditions that state that the garter represents the bride's virginal girdle so when the groom takes that off it's symbolic of what the bride is giving up to him. Who knows who connected the dots on that one but I guess it fits.

But for our modern times, there is little sock throwing and the wedding guests don't go into a frenzy to ruin that $5000 wedding dress.

Many brides will wear two garters both on the right leg above the knee, one for the toss and the other to keep.

The bouquet will be tossed first, followed by the groom removing the garter and tossing it out.

I read that the single male guest who catches the garter then places it on the leg of the single gal who caught the bouquet and superstition states that they will be the next to marry...and to each other. I've personally never heard of that part of it or seen it done, but, hey, they say going to weddings is a great way to meet people. Why not?


Why my sudden interest in bridal traditions? I'm researching for my up-and-coming Chantry Inn series, which will feature several weddings and one long-lost wedding gown. To be notified when these books will be released follow me on Facebook or my newsletter.  See my post on the Traditions of the Wedding Ring.


So I've been trying to learn more about myself as a person, be more positive, that kind of stuff. I've never ever meditated, but I found this on Mindvalley Academy and thought it was a good way to start going about it. At any rate, I'll have a few moments of quiet during the day and if it can help me sleep, win/win.

12 Steps to Thrive

Writing The End

There's not many better things than writing "The End" on a manuscript you've been working on for months.Second to that is getting through your first round of edits and sending the thing off to your editor. That's where I am now with Highland Illusion.

Out of all the Highland Sorcery novels this one has given me the most grief to write and I'm really not sure why. It's just been a bear. It's also a little different than the rest so maybe that's it.

First, it's less action and more relationship building than how I tend to write. I love action. About 90 percent of this book takes place in the same building. The Same Building!

Also for a little switch-up, the hero in this one tends to be the damsel-in-distress more so than the heroine. But he's the only human in the midst of a colony of vampires who are all stronger, older, and predatory. Plus there is no hiding anything he is feeling. The heroine--vampire, also stronger and older than him--can sense every nuance of what's going on internally with him so when he's feelin it for her, there's no hiding where the drop in his blood pressure has gone to.

I also go into religion more in this one. I couldn't help it. In the previous book Highland Son where Lance was first introduced, he is the son of a religious fanatic who preaches that anything with magic is as evil as the monsters running around eating people. Well guess what, Dad? Lance has magic. He can cast illusions, the same illusions that have been saving your butt. So dad tries to kill him. Try coming out of that with an intact love of God and religion. I don't think so.

So who does he become attracted to? A Christian vampire. Yup.

Anyway, it's written, it's off to edits. Want to read an excerpt?

Highland Illusion

New York City

Lance stared up at the octagonal tower at the top of St. Michael’s Chapel. The moonlight slashed down upon it, creating intricate shadows across the ancient building. The chapel had survived more than three hundred years, withstanding the great fire, the fall of the two towers, and also the air strikes the navy threw at the city in their attempt to slaughter all the monsters that had flocked to the once densely populated island.
It was almost fitting that the oldest enclave of vampires in America had taken up shelter there.
To say he was nervous to walk inside, even with Deverell vouching for him, was a chasm of an understatement. They’d driven in the old jeep for days, abandoning it when it finally gave out, and then kept to the shadows and traveled mostly at dusk and night to stay out of the sunlight on Rell’s behalf. The sun’s rays wouldn’t outright kill vampires, but rather acted as radiation poisoning to their sensitive flesh, a terminal effect just the same.
Once they had the vampires onboard, their numbers and swiftness of attack in getting the anti-rift serum into the Sifts’ population would give their world—their future—the advantage they desperately needed.
“Are they in there?” he asked around the growing lump swelling his throat.
Oui.” Deverell’s gaze scanned the roofline and then the columns supporting the portico. “They are all around us, dozens of my brethren. I sense their presence.” Which meant they also knew about them being on the street just outside, unprotected, yet what human really had protection around a colony of vampires? Would the old treaties between mankind and vampires still be honored? Or were they long ago forgotten, a casualty of the Sifts’ uprising.
Taking a wary step forward, Lance squared his shoulders, trying to look confident, knowing the vamps inside would detect the frantic racing of his heart. “Well, let’s get this thing done.”
“Hello. You inside.” Deverell spread his arms wide, showing he held no weapons. “We come in peace.” His long coat fluttered beneath his outstretched arms.
Lance crooked a half grin and copied the vampire’s pose, stretching his arms wide. “We come in peace?”
Deverell shrugged. “It seemed fitting.”
“Fitting and ridiculous.” An amused voice spoke right behind Lance’s shoulder, causing him to flinch. Damn, vampires moved fast. He hadn’t felt or heard the approach from behind. He twisted his head to look at a rangy vampire grinning at him, two long eye-teeth pressing against his lower lip. “And you brought lunch.” His nostrils flared, sniffing Lance as though he was meat rotating on a spit.
A hiss of irritation bristled off Deverell. “He’s my friend, August. Under my protection.”
August leaned back, disappointment quieting the eagerness of his breathing and dismissed Lance from his attention to focus fully upon Deverell. “Why have you come then?”
“To help you,” Deverell stated blandly. “To help us all. We’ve a means to rid ourselves of the Trogs once and for all.”
August’s eyes narrowed. He smoothed his hair back from his distinguishable widow’s peak. “You don’t say.” Shrugging, he turned on his heel toward the old church’s entrance. “Come along then. And bring your pet. Don’t want it left unattended out here all alone.” He grinned at Lance. “There are predators about.”
Trogs? Lance mouthed behind August’s back. The humans had first labeled them as Sifts but Trogs was as apt a name for the horrible carnivorous beasts as any.
Deverell shrugged, eyeing the vampires slinking in the shadows around them.
“I thought they’d show a little more enthusiasm at a chance to be rid of the Sifts,” Lance admitted.
“I as well.” Deverell frowned. “They must not believe us.”
“You did say they’d be hard to convince.” They passed through the doors into the muted interior of the church. Light from a dozen tall candles rubbed a low shine upon the large chapel, throwing dozens of marble angels scattered about in shadow and light. Sculptured faces seemed to follow their progress through the considerable space. Most of the pews were gone, the few left were pushed back against the wall or arranged in clusters for sleeping or conversing, rather than in neat rows facing the pulpit and large cross for worship.
Lance blinked, stumbling a step at a flash of memory pushing behind his eyes. Kneeling between two long pews, no, not kneeling, hiding, his small body curled over his knees, his sister pushed up against him, trembling, their mother whispering, “Be still, be silent,” as she dragged them into a church for refuge as though church walls could keep out hungry salivating monsters.
“Deverell,” a feminine voice, brimming with welcome pulled Lance back to the here and now. She glided toward them with the sinuous grace of a cat. Satiny black hair fell to her hips as straight and still as glass. She took Deverell by the forearms and kissed his cheek. “You’ve returned to us after all.” Violet eyes tilted. “I admit I believed you perished beneath the teeth of the troglodyte beasts as so many of our brothers and sisters have.”
The dozen or so vampires within the chapel were gathering closer, fluid of movement, detaching from the walls like fog rolling in from the sea.
Grinning, Deverell ran his hands down the female’s arms until he was clasping her wrists. “Lost to the monsters, Oriana? You know me better than that.”
She smiled demurely.
Standing beside her, August watched them steadily. “Deverell claims he has the means to rid of us the Trogs.” He shared a meaningful look with Oriana.
“Oh?” A sleek brow lifted. “That is…interesting. And unnecessary. We’ve come upon means of our own to rid us of the foul beasts.”
“Means of your own?” Deverell tilted his head, dipping his long dark hair along his shoulder. “And what would those means be?”
“A discussion for another time.” Oriana glanced pointedly at Lance. The vampires obviously didn’t want to discuss anything in front of him, an unimportant human. “For now, you will be our guests. August, be a lovely and show them where they can refresh themselves.”
It took every ounce of Lance’s restraint to remain quiet and let Deverell take the lead. Sometimes playing unassuming was the best course. They hadn’t traveled all this way to be summarily dismissed. They had a way to stop the Sifts and the vampires would listen.
The signs of his frustration must have showed through the rhythm of his pulse or the flash of heat beneath his skin for every gaze turned on him curiously. Deverell’s grimace warned him to get it under control. He couldn’t forget that he was in the midst of predators every bit as dangerous as the Sifts, old treaties with humankind remembered or not.
“This way.” August indicated they go ahead of him through the adjoining door to their right into a narrow corridor.
Coming from the other end of the hallway, a female stormed toward them. Head down, every muscle of her lithe body was tight. Fists clenched, she wasn’t paying any heed to her steps until she was nearly upon them, stopping short before crashing into Lance.
Mere inches shorter than he, her face snapped up to almost the same level. Shiny dark eyes took him in, a flash of scrutiny before they slid away to focus on August.
Lance wasn’t as eager to cease his own scrutiny of her. It would take a lifetime of practice to be able to manifest an illusion as captivating as the reality before him or the expressive qualities of the downturn of her lips.
“What is it now, Celestine?” August asked with the tint of annoyance.
Celestine. Lance stared at the slight blink of inky lashes against dusky skin.
As though feeling his perusal, her gaze fell back to him, and damn if his pulse didn’t set off to win a speed record. The quirk of her brow proved she detected the change in rhythm and understood the cause of it.
Caught, he decided to roll with it and gave her his cheekiest full-of-himself grin.
Amusement curled her lip and she leaned in close, her breath a whisper at his neck and glories help him, if his fate was to be devoured by a monster, let it be her.
Petit chat.” Indulgence purred through her husky voice and then she was pushing past him and Deverell, tossing back to August, “I need to speak with Oriana.” She paused, cautious. “We haven’t enough. It’s too soon to…” She shook her head, setting soft black curls to swaying about her shoulders, then clamping her lips shut, she strode off.
“Problems within the ranks?” Deverell arched a brow at August. “Come on, August, whatever it is you’re planning, you really need to hear us out first. What we have to say may be of a benefit to whatever it is you have cooking. You know me, you know my history. I would never come here if it wasn’t important.”
August stopped, lips flattened, and indicated they go through one of the doors near the end of the hallway. “Yeah I know you. That’s why we’re going to have you wait right in here until Balius returns.”
“Balius is back with the colony?”
Standing outside the room, August’s grin turned predatory. “Back. And in charge.” He swung the door closed in their faces.

Deverell turned to Lance as the bolt locked into place. “Balius. That is unfortunate.”