Let’s Talk About #Woad Baby!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

pict-main.jpg

Thank you, BraveHeart, for showing us woad’s unsubstantiated use in native Scotland. Hopefully, that paint you applied was not mixed with semen as a wild, I read it on the internet so it must be true, story goes…

But did you know-

Woad is a plant that flowers yellow and has beautiful full green leaves. When made into a tea you can extract its pigment which is blue. Of course, you knew that, but what about the fact that the plant was commonly used as an antiseptic and now is being used to help fight breast cancer?

Or that when used as a dye the plant is famous for fabrics, preventing colored cloth, not only its famed blue, from fading in direct light or by heavy washing. The seeds, de-winged, produce an oil that can be used for making soap. Hey, I thought everyone was dirty back in the early centuries. Not so.

Also, woad is perfect for using in magic rituals when you find yourself shape-shifting and or determining past lives. Chinese medicine hails its valor for curing throat ailments and the common cold. Although beyond goats, the plant is not edible for livestock.

In the 1500’s Queen Elizabeth issued a proclamation, “Against the sowing of Woade.” Too much land was being used to cultivate the crops and not being used for harvesting grains. The plant does grow wild but during the time of food shortages and famine, no one person could sow more than 20 pounds yearly. A single parish could have no more than 40-60 acres.

Continue reading

In the land of “I do.”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Did you know these crazy facts about ancient world weddings?

 
Melded together over the years, different cultures and their customs have created a hodgepodge ceremony we now engage in our declaration of ultimate love. So let us peek at a few.

 
Wedding vows did not take place within the church or religious houses. The commitment occurred at the bride’s home, her intended’s household or outside the chapel door, blessed inside after the initial ceremony. Celts preferred to remain outside among nature and barefooted, connected to mother earth.

 
Hand-fasting was a trial arrangement. No need for pre-marital jitters here, after a year and a day the agreement between the two to either split or to make their union official would be finalized. To get married no formal contracts or ceremonies were necessary. Simply giving your consent freely and stating your commitment was enough to see you dually hitched.

 
Public contracts were necessary later in history due to legal claims and other religious changes.

 
Blue, brides in Western civilizations more often wore a blue gown on their wedding day as was associated with faithfulness, purity and later the Virgin Mary. White was not a favored color until after the 19th century. Did you know the color white was worn by French Queens while in mourning? No, I did not.

 
Bridesmaids were a needed distraction. These women were required to dress in a similar fashion to confuse malicious spirits intent on harming the bride, and that is not all. The bride’s bouquet contained herbs warding off these same intended party crashers whose goal was to curse the blessed virgin. Well that, and if covered by a veil these evil machinations would be unable to see their intended target. That or scared off by wedding bells. Duh!

 
Groomsmen were the protectors of the lucky woman from thieves out to steal her dowry, her person or even her life, ensuring the maidens timely arrival to the ceremony in all aspects, including the potential runaway. The best man often had the role of ultimate guardian and remained armed and ready to protect the groom from perhaps angry family members who may try to intercede the wondrous event, retrieving an abducted sister, daughter or cousin. Hence the groom and groom’s man kept their right hands free in case needed for defense. Forgiveness was a possibility with the cooling off period of a honeymoon or the groom coughing up some mullah and doling out a bride’s price.

 
I will not spoil our romantic versions of love within a marriage or the freedom of marrying by choice, most often quite rare. 

 

That is where your historical romance authors come in to tell a fine tale! 

 

Write On! ❤ Jessica

Characters Burst to Life

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Me and my Paranormal Romance…

There is a lot to say when it comes to talking about getting to know your characters. Who are these people anyway? I am hesitant. I want my readers to develop their own imaginary depictions, not what I may see.

Recently while beta reading an author made Pinterest boards of her characters. And like a happy follower, I viewed the boards. Explosion, mind-blowing, heart-breaking, bereft. Hallelujah and Amen, I read the whole story first because it was a kick in the belly.

Those people were not the same individuals I imagined in my mind while reading. If I had seen these photos in the middle of reading the story, I might have bailed. There is a reason romance covers often cut off faces.

At first, I thought what an awesome idea. But then it made me think, do you want to see who I imagine? After all these people don’t exist, and the author is forced to drum up images of real individuals.

A member of my critique group cautioned me from the beginning, “Cast your story. If this were to be made into a movie who would your lead actors be?”

I must say the task was not any easy one and took many hours scouring the internet to come up with this small collage. These are different versions of the same leading characters. My Hero and Heroine and their horses. Lol!

There will be a day when this is in print; I promise you.

 

Defender Collage

P.s … Soon I may let you meet the family

 

As I learn … #LarryBrooks meets #KristenLamb

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Two power houses indeed … and I work at improving this thing called – craft

I may well embarrass them both in my valiant, grappling attempts

 

The_Woman_and_the_Dragon.jpg

Concept … Rome’s failure to conquer a mysterious kingdom, Pictland and her people.

Premise … An unwary woman inherits the faculties to alter a nations destruction through re-birth.

Log-Line … Kept oblivious of her destiny a young woman is fated to wed a stoic demi-god in Ancient Caledonia, unleashing forces meant to rob her of life, ultimately, joining both houses of the mortal and supernatural.

Expanded … A young woman kept oblivious from her destiny is fated as the Womb of New Life, committing her to wed a stoic demi-god of Caledonia, stealing her independence, whisking her into a foreign land, impelling her to come into her own as wicked changelings try to rob her of life. The last stand in joining both houses of the mortal and supernatural will force her husband to choose between immortality or the love of his new bride.

Beauty and the Beast meets demi-gods.

So much more than a paranormal romance novel.

 

Sometimes Fiction Bears the Ring of Truth

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Fiction has a tendency to bear a ring of truth intentional or otherwise and here is my year in review … (I assure you this is the condensed version, hah!)

First, I am touched and honored by those who have followed me and I am loathe to admit my serious lack of attention to this site. Tears fill my eyes as I see my list of dedicated friends and fellow criers of the written word. Thank you is a small token of a much deeper appreciation I concede to you all.

My debut novel has been on hold for a short time now. Originally hoping to see it published by the end of June turned into the end of the 2015 year, moving itself into the new year of 2016. These goal setting deadlines have a way of being manipulated whether in our over active minds or by real-time events. Continue reading