Saturday, October 16, 2021

Good News and Bad News, by J.C. Kavanagh



The Twisted Climb – Darkness Descends 

Book 2 of the award-winning Twisted Climb series


2021 sailing season is officially over for me and my partner, Ian. To that end, we have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is - we sold our beloved sailboat.


The bad news is - we don't have a sailboat.

You see, our dream is to sail to the Bahamas, to the Caribbean islands and across the ocean to the Mediterranean. Our 36' Catalina sailboat could do the job in the Bahamas and even the Caribbean islands, but we want to sail BIG. That is, sailing with comfort and without worry when encountering 20+ foot ocean waves. We also want to invite family to stay with us for a week or two at a time, and our current boat would not do that comfortably.  

1st Journey to Bahamas: Route from Georgian Bay through Trent Severn Canal 
to Lake Ontario then down Hudson River to New York. South through
Intercoastal Waterway to North Carolina then southeast to the Bahamas. 
Vacation in Bahamas for up to six months, then head north to Annapolis, Maryland,
or Halifax, Nova Scotia. 



Cross-Atlantic Journey: Route from New York or Nova Scotia (Canada) across
Atlantic Ocean to the Azores, east to Portugal and Strait of Gibraltar (perhaps Europe?)
Weather window regulates passage south to the Canary Islands, then
southwest across the Atlantic to Antigua, Grenada, British Virgin Islands.
Note: arrows denote ocean currents.

So we are boat-less for now, but greatly enjoying the online experience of searching for the most suitable boat. Ian loves to sail fast (he used to race sailboats) so we need a boat that handles well, sails fast, and for me, is super comfortable. Our preferred boat is a Catalina but we're also looking at Moody and Hylas brands.

Catalina 47 aft cabin (Captain's Quarters)

Hylas 49 main salon

Moody 46

We had 13 wonderful seasons onboard our Escape Route II (and before that, three seasons on our first Escape Route, a 27' C&C). Here's to sailing another 16 seasons :)


We purchased our 36' Catalina in Sandusky, Ohio in March 2009
and had her transported to Georgian Bay, Ontario (Canada).

Hike to Lake Topaz, Baie Fine, North Channel

Escape Route II at anchor, Henvey Inlet, Georgian Bay.
At anchor, Covered Portage Cove, North Channel.



Captain Ian enjoying the sunset at Beckwith Island, Georgian Bay.

Oh and more good news. I'm honoured to say I was voted Best Local Author for South Simcoe, Ontario. Thanks to everyone who voted - Book 3 of The Twisted Climb series is on its way! Below is my upcoming Star Metroland Media newspaper ad.


Stay safe everyone!

J.C. Kavanagh, author of 
The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends (Book 2) 
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2018, Critters Readers Poll and Best YA Book FINALIST at The Word Guild, Canada 
AND 
The Twisted Climb,
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers Poll
Novels for teens, young adults and adults young at heart
VOTED Best Local Author 2021, South Simcoe, Ontario Canada
Email: author.j.c.kavanagh@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/J.C.Kavanagh
www.amazon.com/author/jckavanagh 
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh) 
Instagram @authorjckavanagh

 








Friday, October 15, 2021

A Couple of New Publishing Technologies by Mohan Ashtakala

 

The last twenty years have bought extraordinary changes to the publishing world. Among the most important have been the emergence of the Digital Marketplace, and its younger brother, Social Media Marketing. While purists may rue the days when everything was in print, not to mention available in dozens of small bookstores, there is no doubt that the new technologies have made writers’ works available to an enormous, global audience.

        The days of innovation are not over. Newer, more democratic, ways of publishing are on the horizon. Here then, are a couple of emerging technologies that hold promise:

 


1.      Auto-generated Audio Books.

Currently, only a select few books are turned into audio books. The process involves professional narrators and expensive equipment. The conversion takes time and money. Google, which controls Google Play Books, has been working to developing Artificial Intelligence to automatically transcribe text-to-speech. Far from the robotic voices which mangle names and words, Google has worked on using natural voices that can handle complex words and proper nouns, and deliver speech with authentic pitch, stress, rhythm and intonation. Once widely available, this technology will allow audio books to become available to a vast number of publishers and writers.

 


2.      Books to Graphic novels.

Crazy Maple Studios, a tech company based in California has developed a software which allows authors to recreate their books as graphic novels. While not an automated process, it offers authors the chance to create graphic characters, plates (or scenes) and insert animation and sound. The technology allows the author to even introduce game play, where readers can decide what a character does. In this way, it creates an immersive reading experience which can include gaming.


Mohan Ashtakala (mohanauthor.com) is the author of "The Yoga Zapper," a fantasy and "Karma Nation," a literary romance. he is published by Books We Love (www.bookswelove.com)







Thursday, October 14, 2021

Joined up writing...by Sheila Claydon




In my last post I wrote about finding a story, and about the trigger that prompts my imagination sufficiently to write a book. It can be a picture in a magazine, or a holiday, or an article in a local newspaper for example. I also talked about my next book, due out in June 2022 which, while it still doesn't have a title, is the final story in my Mapleby Memories trilogy, and how this is proving more problematic because, whatever the trigger, it has to tie in with the first two books Remembering Rose and Loving Ellen. 


And that is the reason I have a collection of triggers on the back burner. Ideas and pictures that I save until the right story comes along, which in this case is a 600 year old water mill that I chanced upon hidden in woodland. If you have read either of the Mapleby books you will know that they are a mixture of romance, fantasy and history, so a very old mill seemed just the ticket. And when I started this was very definitely the case. The first couple of chapters came easily, as did the main characters, and I was very quickly able to introduce them to some of the characters from the earlier books. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, I was stuck.

I had the back story, the characters and the geography, and I knew how I wanted the story to develop, but I couldn't make it work. Because it was summer and because there was plenty of time before publication I stepped back for several weeks, hoping all would become clear when I started writing again. It didn't! So what to do?

Slowly a possible solution dawned. Instead of writing as I usually do, from the beginning of the book to the end, I was going to have to separate the plot into character led sections, write each one separately, and wait for the right time to join them up.

So right now I have Sophie, the main protagonist, in 3 separate places in 3 different time zones, interacting with 3 different groups of people, and somehow I have to make sense of all of it. Confusing? Maybe, but it has unblocked the writing process. The 'Sophie in the immediate past' section I'm working on at the moment is flowing easily, and because I am typing it up in red I won't confuse it with the 'Sophie in the here and now' section which is in black, or the 'Sophie in the distant past' section which is in blue.

Also I think the joining up process will be interesting and as I always like a challenge, satisfying, when it eventually works. I do think the book will require a bit more editing than usual though and I still have to find a way to link Sophie to the long ago people who worked in the mill. I can 'see' them and 'hear' them but to go back 600 years requires an enormous leap in culture, geography and social mores. Fortunately I have found some really interesting history about old water mills. For example, in medieval times in the UK many water mills belonged to the Lord of the Manor who hired a miller to operate it for him, and he also insisted that all his tenants used his mill and no other! I just know I'm going to enjoy finding out more, so watch this space.



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

October Surprise by Eileen Charbonneau



Greetings, dear readers!

My October surprise is a sneak peek at my November 2021 release, Ursula's Inheritance. The third book in my American Civil War Brides series, it was a surprise to me, too! After publishing Book 2, Mercies of the Fallen, I thought I was finished with Ursula's story. But readers thought otherwise! 



Mercies took place between the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. It ended just after the infamous New York City draft riots of July 1863. Readers wanted to know what happened next in the lives of Ursula and her Union officer Captain Rowan Buckley. Does he survive the war? Can she come out of hiding and clear her name? Will their young marriage born of desperate circumstances become a lasting union of souls? And what about the secrets still between them?



Did you know that this is how Louisa May Alcott's Little Women got written too? The first volume (1868) was a great success. But readers were eager for more. Alcott quickly completed a second volume in 1869. The two volumes were issued in 1880 as a single novel that has become our cherished classic

I hope you'll enjoy what happens next in the story...The opening is from Rowan's viewpoint, and I hope you'll learn what a great dad he is becoming....


Chapter One, Ursula's Inheritance  


April 1864, Gramercy Park, Manhattan


Even with the one eye the war had left him, Rowan Buckley knew the wee one pilfering from the garden was a girl, despite her trousers. He frowned at the canvas bag at her feet.

“So it is not a squirrel with an interest in our angelica, then?” he asked quietly.

The urchin turned, startled eyes narrowing. “Better me than an Irish thug!” she spat out. 

The girl took advantage of his hesitation and his limited depth perception. She grabbed the sack and raced toward the iron garden gate. But after three hard years of soldiering, there was nothing wrong with Rowan’s reflexes. He caught up, took her wrist, and, when she resisted, her waist. She had a waist. So she was a little older than her small size had first impressed upon him.

“Please let me go, sir,” an even smaller voice came out of her.

“Am I ‘sir’ then, now that you’re caught?”

“You are a black Irish scoundrel to hold me against my will!”

She kicked him. Hard enough to throw off his stance. He maintained his temper and light grip as he steered her toward the tradesman’s door of Ursula’s house.

“You’ve nothing to fear from me, lass.” He sent her through the entrance with a nudge at her back. “Now hush up your caterwauling, the baby’s asleep.”

Jonathan was stretched out at the hearth, his stockinged foot rocking the cradle. His eyebrow arched.

“Company? The kettle’s on, my fine fellow.”

“Your fellow is a girl, and there’s nothing fine about her,” Rowan corrected, lifting the cap off his captive’s head. Fair-haired braids descended. “May I present our angelica and camomile thief?”

Jonathan smiled. “Ah. Mystery solved.”

The girl’s eyes fired. “I planted that garden!”

“Did you?” Jonathan asked in his most charming southern tone. “Fetch the young horticulturist a chair, brother.”

“She kicks,” Rowan warned.

The girl’s light brown eyes narrowed as she looked from one to the other. “You’re not brothers.”

“And you neglected to pay for your trousers,” Rowan observed, yanking off and reading the dry goods store tag. “The proprietor might want a word with you about that.”

“The proprietor is my father. His name is Selby, see?”

A rustling of nightclothes and Ursula stood in the back doorway.  “Mr. Thomas Selby?”

Rowan saw something familiar in the girl’s trapped look, the tears stubbornly held back. 

“You are so confusing! All of you!” she shouted, loud enough to startle wee Henry to wailing. 

“Aw, there now then, fledgling,” Rowan soothed, lifting the baby from cradle and into his arms. “You’ve had enough of the lot of us, have you?”

Ursula kept her eyes fixed on the girl.

“What is your name?”

“Penina.”

She glanced in the sack, “Thank you, Penina. A little camomile is exactly what we need for our Henry’s teething gums. Take the rest home. Will you not join us for breakfast first?”

Rowan sighed. His wife had found another stray. He rubbed his sore shin, then fetched the frying pan. This little one might enjoy some of his oatcakes, he supposed.



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Do You Need a Sensitivity Reader?



A friend who read a draft of my new novel, Winter's Rage, suggested I ask someone experienced in transgender issues to read the manuscript. It hadn't occurred to me that I needed this. While one of my characters in the novel has sex change surgery, I considered it a minor point in the story. But I knew instantly this was sound advice, given current awareness of LGBTQ+ concerns. 

My friend offered to look for a sensitivity reader if I couldn't find one on my own. As it happened, several years earlier another friend had told me his sister had recently transitioned. I contacted my friend and asked if he could put me in touch with her. He gladly gave me her email address, although he didn't think she read mystery novels or fiction in general. 

His sister replied right away. She thanked me for making this effort with my book because she was constantly annoyed by people's thoughtless and cruel remarks and misused pronouns. I gave her the choice of reading the full manuscript of Winter's Rage or the relevant sections. When she chose the latter, I emailed her five pages with all the pertinent scenes. She came back with comments I wouldn't have thought of myself. In addition to these being useful for the book, I found it interesting to hear her perspectives. 

On the positive side, she liked that I'd had my protagonist observe my trans person's physique as not typical for her gender. My reader finds her height can be a problem--she's 6'3" in high heels--but she knows other transgender women who have it worse, with barrel shaped chests and very masculine features. She found it realistic that my trans character would be depressed and alcohol dependent before discovering who she was. It also sadly rang true for her that my character would experience abuse on social media and from unsympathetic relatives.    

But she questioned my trans character's close friend saying that she'd miss her as a man. My sensitivity reader had heard that type of remark too often. 

"Tough shit," she told the obtuse friend. "This isn't about you." 

I'd also had my trans character say she'd miss her former self. My sensitivity reader said most trans people she knows can't wait to shed their old selves. "We love them for getting us this far, but their job is done, and we're excited to move forward." I had thought, in that situation, I'd feel nostalgia for a large part of my life I was leaving behind, but bowed to her experience and tweaked my trans character's sentiments. In addition, my reader thought I'd made the process of changing ID and other documents too simple. I added an explanation that didn't impact the plot.      

My sensitivity reader found no fault with my use of pronouns, but later, during the proof read of the manuscript, it struck me that I might have used 'he' incorrectly in one instance. I asked my proof reader for her opinion. She replied that, in her view, 'he' was correct in the context. It can be tricky to get it totally right. We also shouldn't assume all transgender people think alike any more than all women think alike. There might be some who disagree with my decision to leave 'he' in that sentence.  

By definition, we fiction writers create characters and situations that go beyond our personal experience. The more feedback we get from readers who fill the gaps in our knowledge, the more true- to-life our stories will be. When we don't belong to a misunderstood and oppressed group, we're often unaware of its particular issues. A first step in deciding whether or not to seek out a sensitivity reader is knowing when you need one. 


Monday, October 11, 2021

Oreos are Kosher. Who Knew? by Karla Stover

 






I will read anything. I have a particular weakness for ads in the backs of magazines. The NRA has a cigar club. Who knew? However, it was a crossword puzzle question that taught me that in 1997 Oreos became a kosher food. Nor did it tell me that the cookie's designs incorporate the Cross of Lorraine (carried by Knights Templar during the Crusades) and the 12 Templar Cross Pattees.  Interesting, but not as interesting as when a man named Phil Sokolof "spent roughly $14 million campaigning against saturated foods, such as McDonald's French fries. Having survived a heart attack, he made it his life's mission to influence major food companies to remove saturated fats from popular foods." Imagine being part of a generation that never experienced the real deal.

It was Alexander McCall Smith's book, The Revolving Door of Life that introduced me to the Queen's and lord treasurers remembrancer  (QLTR). In the book, one of the characters left a book in a railway locker and was told that in Scotland, at least, unclaimed items eventually will belong to the queen. I tried to research items the QLTR had 'inherited,' as it were, but the websites seemed only interested in Scottish estates. Nevermind. A friend gives me her old movie magazines and today I learned that Maybelline's Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara contains bamboo fibers which are are supposed "to visibly lengthen fringe." I don't know what "lengthen fringe" means but bamboo in mascara seems a bit odd, not to mention dangerous if a flake gets in an eye. Half the ads on the same magazine page touted plant byproducts in their makeup: fruit enzymes, black vegan pigments, coconut, avocado or chia seed oils, etc. Do these horticultural claims really sell products?

And speaking of movie magazines. I now know Paris Hilton has a cooking show on Netflix. And here's an interesting quote: "Yacheron Constantin. The luxury Swiss watchmaker, worn by the late Princess Diana . . ." She wore an entire company? Who knew and, more importantly, how?

As I mentioned previously, I have been giving blood to replace units my brother needed for a cancer surgery. One of my pandemic book purchases was Roses of  No Man's Land. It's about nursing soldiers during World War 1 and one of the diary entries quotes is about how the Americans taught the British about blood transfusions. It sounded like the needles were enormous but transfusions (if you could find a healthy volunteer) saved lives.

Something I read that really caught me off guard was that the #MeeToo movement isn't all that popular in parts of Europe. For example, French actress Catherine Deneuve and more than 100 well-known Frenchwomen signed a letter and sent it to a newspaper saying the movement "hampers the fine art of seduction in the workplace and repressed the sexual freedom of men who only tried to touch a knee, steal a kiss, or speak about pornographic matters at a business dinner, as well as the sexual freedom of women who might like it." I have to say, I see no problem with a little workplace flirting.

The humorist Jeanne Robertson advocated looking for the humorous in your day. I agree but I also try to find funky new facts. They contribute to my spices of life. So much to read; we haven't watched any network TV, except the news, in years.


 



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Ghosts

 

Ghosts

What else am I to write about in October? I watched “Casper” as a kid and the great TV show “Topper”. I loved “Medium” and “Ghost Whisperer”. If you bend the spectrum a little, shows like “Highlander” and “Forever”, which deal with immortals, could also be considered in this realm of otherworldliness.

I believe in ghosts and have gone on “haunted” cemetery tours, and “talked” with spirits on a Ouija Board. When I was maybe thirteen, I woke one night and swore I saw a ghost (or angel) at the foot of my bed. It may have been my sister, but considering I was on the top bunk, maybe not.

There was a favorite old road in Charleston, SC where we would go in high school to be on the lookout for ghosts said to haunt the swamps. (There were “sightings” which were probably just swamp gas.) I have come to realize that it was most likely a story invented by the guys because the area was very dark, very spooky and a very good place to take a girl on a Saturday night.

I’ve had ghosts appear in several of the books I’ve written, but they’re never malevolent or threatening because I don’t write horror. I can’t watch scary movies either, so my ghosts must be helpful in some way and not harmful.

My first pair of literary ghosts were Zeke and Lucky, two old prospectors in PROSPECTING FOR LOVE, a story that was such fun to write because in addition to the ghosts, the story is a time travel. That also puts it in another dimension, for who is to say whether the present as we know it is the only time plane currently evolving. In fact, perhaps our present is actually another person’s past, or future. Does that make us the ghosts to someone else’s existence? It can all get rather complicated.


Zeke and Lucky died in a mining accident 1870 and have been wandering around Peavine as ghosts until they can undo the accident that also killed their friend, Jesse Cole. When they spy Ellie, they realize the time has come because she looks exactly like Jesse’s girlfriend, Elizabeth. They can transport Ellie back to a time prior to the accident, but because she knows nothing of the 1870s, they must act as her guides and mentors to keep her out of trouble. PROSPECTING FOR LOVE is a light-hearted read and at times hilarious as Zeke and Lucky attempt to keep Ellie in line while trying to discover what went wrong the first time in history so they can prevent it from happening again.

I don’t always intentionally use ghosts as characters. In A GAME OF LOVE the ghost of an American Revolution era woman practically demanded that I tell her story. She made her presence known to my main character and no matter how much Megan didn’t want to believe in ghosts, and regardless of where I thought the story should go, Laurie McCluer was not about to be silenced. Megan leans more toward believing the ghost is trying to help her solve a mystery, but it creates friction between her and her childhood crush turned current love. Perhaps it’s because he’s a Boston detective who believes in physical evidence, not hazy green apparitions. Ghostly Laurie proved relentless and I finally had to let her story be told, which in the long run was really quite helpful.

If you like stories with ghosts but without the scares, I think you’ll enjoy A GAME OF LOVE (contemporary) and PROSPECTING FOR LOVE (historic time travel). They’re both available at https://bookswelove.net.

Also for the holiday season, Books We Love is having a give-away now through December 15. You can easily enter at https://bookswelove.net for a chance to win a free holiday eBook (my newest is included) and a chance to win an eBook reader. Books We Love knows how much you love books and we want to help spread the cheer.

Early Best Wishes,

Barb

http://www.authorsden.com/barbarajbaldwin

https://bookswelove.net/baldwin-barbara/

 

 

 


Saturday, October 9, 2021

Writer's Block? Find a Friend to Write With! by Vanessa C. Hawkins

 Vanessa Hawkins Author Page


Big news readers! 

Did you hear about the author that went to jail last month? If not, I'd suggest tuning into Live at Five because apparently they put him in the writer's block when he couldn't get past his first sentence... 

 

Wait, you heard that one before? Oh... you're just sick and tired of my tremendous sense of humor! Well, that's okay because this month we are going to talk about how I managed to get past my writer's block, pump out a story, all WHILE birthing and raising a child during the covid pandemic!

What did this $%@! just say?!

It's true! And no, I didn't neglect my child, lock her beneath the stairs OR hire a nanny to take care of her with all my big author-made bucks... (heh... heh... *cough*) What I did do however, was ask my friend for a little bit of help. 

Okay a lot of help...

Okay we co-authored a story.

And it's true! Scroll up! I'm only one name on that sexy, art deco cover page! The second one is just as important because without it, Ballroom Riot would never have made it to shelves, or on Amazon, or... well, anywhere books tend to be in your house...

Next to the toilet... for reading and when tissue is scarce!

But as a result, I've had LOADS of people ask what it was like working with another author. What was it like to actually hear a voice in your head that was REAL and able to tell you when your writing was crap! What was it like to have someone as invested in something as you were that you could bounce ideas off of? Obviously, it was pretty good for a ton of reasons. 

1. All those people swimming around in your head are now in the head of another person who KNOWS them. 
2. That other person is JUST as excited as you are to talk about them and what your writing and that time Scarlet had to fight off the Goblin Brother's at the dragon bar to protect her then boyfriend from...
3. When you get writer's block they totally motivate you.

Sometimes she was the one holding the *squirtgun filled with pee*
and sometimes it was me.

Now that last one is a biggie. Because if you've ever written anything in your life, chances are you've encountered this block. It sucks! It more than sucks! And getting past it can make a nice, happy hobby/writing career into an ugly mess of paper, and dead words that you have no faith in. There are writer's who have given up! Cold turkey! They've been unable to shoulder the burden of their block and continue on and I don't blame them. Writing can be a very thankless hobby. But! Writing with another person can be fun, because at least then your not alone? 

That's not true. Please sit with us! You can read a few pages!
You can... wait, where are you going?

I know there have been times where my co-author and I have been brainstorming and instead of doing any writing at all we just laugh at all the meaningless and hilarious stuff we'd like to insert into the plot. A few characters are hers to write, and a few belong to me, and it's a lark discussing how best to put them into awkward situations. 



It's also inspiring. Because not only are you bouncing ideas off a real human person, they know all the minute details of the book and how said ideas may, or may not fit into the story! 

Pros: 
There's someone interested in what you're writing
They encourage you because you have to set a time and date to meet/write via zoom 
They're an extra set of eyes when editing

Cons?

Well... there are some




It can sometimes be hard when you don't see eye to eye on things. I've known my co-author from the time when I could stay up past ten o'clock in the evening, so we are pretty familiar with each other. We've also written together before--just for fun-- That's not to say that we didn't sometimes have to throw down over some small plot point we disagreed about...

Always pick rock... nothing beats that!


... but we were able to be open enough with each other to figure out solutions when problems or disagreements arose. Also, because we had written with each other before, our styles weren't vastly different. 

Tara: This makes it out to be that one of us sucks...
Me: Leave me alone, I have low self-confidence!

Of course there is always the issue of splitting the royalties and the such, but I mean, if you have writer's block and can't write anything, chances are you aren't going to be making much money anyway. And come on, try it out! All the famous authors are doing it. Even George R. R. Martin let the guys at HBO give it a go on his Song of Ice and Fire series. Like Batman, "it may not be the ending we all deserve, but it was the ended we needed..."

Wait, scratch that! Where's Winds of Winter?

So if you're struggling with writer's block and have a friend--who likes you enough to write with you... and can also write semi-decently... or is even INTERESTED in writing or things you like to write about--give it a go. The worse that can happen is a disjointed story full of plot holes and meaningless drivel. The best that can happen is... well, Dragonlance was written by two authors... And I'm sure Terry and Neil had a blast with Good Omens! 

Between here and the end of the universe there's [...]Loads of buggerall, dear boy."
"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered.
"How?"
"It doesn't matter!"
 
**Quote from Good Omens






Friday, October 8, 2021

Wedding Rings by J. S. Marlo

 

 



I welcomed a daughter-in-love last month. She is the love of my son’s life, and I couldn’t have picked a better woman for him.


After they got engaged last Christmas, my new daughter and I shared some interesting conversations about wedding rings. She’d read that the wedding ring is supposed to go first on your finger, then you slip the engagement ring back afterward, so she was wondering when or if she was supposed to switch her engagement ring to her right hand before putting it back to her left ring on top of her wedding ring.

I’ll admit staring a bit weirdly at her, only because I had never heard of wearing the wedding ring first. When I got married thirty-eight years ago, there was no Internet. New couples basically followed the traditions set by their parents/grandparents. My mother and my grandmothers wore their engagement rings next to their knuckles, then when they got married, their husbands slipped their wedding bands on top. There was no taking rings off or switching hands. It was simple and straightforward.

So, I did some research on the Internet about wedding rings, and stumbled on some very unusual ones along the way.



The first wedding rings are believed to date back to ancient Egypt, some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. Egyptians wore their rings on the fourth finger of the left hand, believing that a vein from that finger led directly to the heart. The Romans call this the “vena amoris”, or “vein of love”.

The early Asian civilizations were certainly not as romantic as the Romans. Weddings were seen as a legal contract between a man and a woman, and the wedding rings were considered a physical representation of that binding contract. Therefore,

couples would seal their marriage with puzzle wedding rings which would immediately fall apart if they tried to remove them from their fingers.

Wearing your wedding ring on the left hand is not a global tradition, mainly for one of these two reasons:

-  The word left is derived from the Latin word meaning sinister. Therefore, wearing it on the left hand is considered unlucky or evil.

-  In the Bible it was the practice to wear rings on the right hand, the hand of authority and power, completing the pledge of commitment.

This holds true in countries like Russia, Poland, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and India.

Interestingly enough, in Sweden and Chile, it is not just brides-to-be that receive engagement rings, men wear them too.

In many cultures, it was traditional for only the woman to wear a wedding ring, but it changed during World War II. Many servicemen began wearing their wedding rings as a sign of commitment and as a way to remember their wives while stationed overseas.

As far as which ring should come first? My new daughter was right about most traditions favoring the wedding ring, but it is also not uncommon to stack them starting with the first one that was received. So, like me, she is wearing her wedding ring on top of her engagement ring.

Happy Reading & Stay Safe

JS

 


 
 

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