Wedding Receptions in the You-Tube Era

 Posted by N. M. Cedeño

 

 

What’s going on with wedding receptions these days?

My husband and I were apparently married in a bygone era, the pre-YouTube era. Consequently, our bridesmaids and groomsmen did not choreograph dances, put on a ballet, or produce a Broadway musical during our reception for the entertainment of our guests. I would never have asked them to do so. And, it wouldn’t have occurred to them.

Now, the newly engaged search YouTube for what’s “traditional” at wedding receptions. Because if it’s “traditional,” it must be on YouTube, right? And, if the newly engaged believe the videos online, then an important part of the reception is the “Introduction of the Bridal Party” who are called out by name and title by a DJ, as if he were introducing contestants on the Price is Right.

“Introducing the Mother of the Bride! Mary Smith, come on down!” yells the DJ as music booms loudly in the background.

The members of the bridal party then enter the room in pairs or individually, dancing into the room possibly with props, to the applause of the gathered guests. Sometimes, the entire wedding party then gets together and performs a choreographed dance number for the watching crowd. Based on YouTube, this is a required duty of the bridal party and an important part of entertaining the guests. The bridal party had better be ready to put on a show.

cakeclipnmc
My wedding cake

Not having been involved in any weddings recently, I had no idea that this practice had become so ubiquitous. Back when I got married, the bridesmaids went to showers, paid for a dress, showed up at the wedding, and posed for pictures. The maid of honor and best man had a few other duties as well: giving speeches and planning parties. So, when asked to be a bridesmaid recently, I said yes, not knowing that I would be receiving instructions on choosing an appropriate song for my grand entrance, selecting props and/or costume items, and, of course, choreographing my dance moves.

I have never aspired to be on Broadway or dance in musical theater. I have two left feet and no sense of rhythm. The ballroom dance class I took in college taught me quickly that my ability to see a dance step and then copy it was almost nonexistent. Imagine my shock when I received my instructions.

So of course, I told the bridal couple that my husband wasn’t willing to do any of that stuff. He’s a required member of the wedding party, so I threw him under the bus. The bride was surprised, but understanding. Having carefully studied YouTube, she hadn’t realized that bridal parties haven’t always danced into the reception. It never occurred to her that we didn’t know that entertaining the crowd with a dance routine was a duty of the bridal party.

In days past, I remember the bride and groom being introduced as they came to do their first dance. No one bothered to introduce the entire bridal party. Bridal parties didn’t do choreographed dances and post them online in the pre-YouTube era, that bygone era, before 2005.

*****

N. M. Cedeño writes short stories and novels that are typically set in Texas. Her stories vary from traditional mystery, to science fiction, to paranormal mystery in genre. Her debut novel, All in Her Head, was published in 2014, followed by her second novel, For the Children’s Sake, in 2015. In 2016, For the Children’s Sake was selected as a finalist for the East Texas Writers Guild Book Award in the Mystery/Thriller category. Most recently, she has begun writing the Bad Vibes Removal Services Series which includes short stories and the novel The Walls Can Talk (2017).

Visit her at www.nmcedeno.com or find her books at her Amazon author page .

 

 

I love A-Zs – Don’t you?

For CCThis post is by Nancy Jardine

An author friend of mine at Crooked Cat Publishing commented that he was having a ‘go’ again at the world wide April A-Z Challenge Blog Hop. He’d done it last year for the first time and recommended it. A number of ‘we’ fellow ‘Cats’ signed up.

image from www.123rf.com
image from http://www.123rf.com

Rules are simple. Blog for 26 days of the alphabet on anything of your choice so long as your post is centred around the letter of the day (Sundays off for good behaviour) Try to visit at least 5 other blogs each day – lots more if you can is very welcome.

Main idea – ENJOY reading/viewing everyone else’s posts.

Why did I decide to fit this into my already busy life? Good question and my answer is for lots of different reasons. There are 1942 people signed up on the linky list. I’m sure I will meet some new people during the hop who will hopefully remain cyber friends. I’m also learning something new every single day when I visit other blogs, and most of that has little to do with writing.

This year they’ve put up a category listing, so if you choose to you can sign up for one of these and post about that subject eg. LI posts are about Lifestyle. There are classifications for photographers, artists, gardeners, politics minded people – lots to choose from if your posts are themed.   If you don’t want to enter a theme category you can post anything so long as your daily post is centred around the letter for that day.

I’ve chosen to do all my posts about Celtic/Roman Britain AD71-84. What? Loads of you might say – that’s nuts! Why have I restricted myself to historical posts like that for 26 days?

Food fresco from Pompei - Wikimedia Commons
Food fresco from Pompei – Wikimedia Commons

During the last 6 months, when not doing my full time babysitting of said cherub who is my granddaughter, I’ve been writing the sequel to my historical novel, THE BELTANE CHOICE, which is set in Celtic/Roman Britain AD 71-84. Surprise, surprise! I’ve amassed a huge amount of historical data that will never sneak into my novel- though I do that whenever I can!

The A-Z Challenge is a superb way of ‘airing’ that knowledge and finding a practical use for my time researching. Since I love history and am obviously steeped in Celtic/Roman Britain I’m loving the CHALLENGE already.

What I’m sure would be far too difficult would be ‘winging it’. I’m more inclined to be a ‘pantser’ in my writing but I’m sure I’d be spending all day long chopping and changing my mind if I had no theme to work to. So, does that make me more of a ‘plotter’. Oops- I guess I’m that too!

Whatever…  the challenge of posting an A-Z entry forces some discipline on me. I intend to complete the challenge… and get my sequel completed this month.

Apples, pear, plum, cherry!-image acquired from www.123rf.com
Apples, pear, plum, cherry!
-image acquired from http://www.123rf.com

Oh… did I forget to say I got 5 fruit trees as a birthday gift a few weeks ago from my daughter. (mother of grandchild) They arrived a couple of days ago and since the snow outside has now melted, and we’ve had a couple of nights almost frost free, I guess I’m spending my day planting my trees in patio containers.

 Roll out that compost!

I’m delighted to do that since, around AD 84, there were possibly as many as 10,000 Roman soldiers encamped about 400 yards away from my garden. (Yes I really do mean that number as recent evidence has proved the camp to have been very large) My fruit tree garden compost was possibly trampled down by them. (Spurious- I know but the thought makes me smile a lot!)

Any guesses why I love my Celtic/ Roman history posts?

If you’re interested my post today is all about the Roman food my Roman character might be eating in Northern Britannia.

Roman food

(NB. When I added my HI for ‘history’ as my A-Z Challenge theme it has been posted as AC for ‘Adult Content’. This is because my blog is set to that in case I’m posting a risqué romance cover when a guest blogger comes to visit… or as in today’s case a risque historical image from Pompei! My blog is, otherwise, a safe one.)

BeltaneB 500

The Beltane Choice is available from:

Amazon.com   

Amazon UK

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/221383

View my Youtube trailer http://youtu.be/igJmfBoXRhQ

Nancy can be found at:

Amazon UK author page for all novels  http://amzn.to/N6ye0z  
Amazon.com author page for all novels http://amzn.to/RJZzZz  http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com  http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com   http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG   Twitter @nansjar  http://about.me/nancyjardine http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/nancy-jardine/3a/9b0/a91/   Google+

Enjoy your day! I’m sure I’m going to enjoy mine.

 

 

 

 

The Origin of the Easter Egg By Barb Schlichting

I should’ve known that it all is centered around Christianity, but was surprised at how deeply it is!

This time of the year is open to new life—love—and a time to refresh yourself. Easter is a great time to do that since it’s spring! It’s been a long winter so it really is a time to rejoice! For you as a writer, it’s time to look at your work in a new light just like looking at the multi-colored Easter eggs.

Did you know that the eggs date back to Pagan times? A time for rebirth. Christianity brings forth the colored eggs and the remembrance of the Blood of Christ. I didn’t know that—so now I look at them differently. It’s another different point of view.

The eggshell is symbolic of Christ’s Tomb. So the shell or tomb was to hold his body and keep it safe. There’s also a rumor that Mary Magdalene brought a basket of eggs to Christ’s tomb to share and they miraculously became brilliant in color. Well—now we have another point of view. Really, we do. During your writing, if you feel penned in and don’t quite know what to do with a character, you can think of the eggshell, and breaking out into the world. Add another character or break out an older forgotten one who you’d introduced but then didn’t quite know how to keep him interesting.

Blessing of eggs in Poland

A notation in the household accounts of Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts. The first book to mention Easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago.

Czech Republic

Now that we’re soon ready for spring, at least I am, let’s be ready for change. Let’s take a different look at ourselves at our writing and see what changes can be made. Enjoy writing with a fresh new look, and you’ll feel on top of the world.

How can you change your writing, characters, setting to give them a fresh new look? Happy writing.

To learn more about the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, you can take a look at my link: http://bschlichting.blogspot.com

Here’s the two links where I found my information: http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/easteregghistry.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg

That Burning Feeling

mug shot 200This post is by Nancy Jardine

It’s a cold and snowy outlook from my desk as I look at my winter garden, and a fire is exactly what I need to cheer me up and warm the cockles of my heart. I have a very old fireplace in my dining room-my workplace-that’s probably antique now. Sometimes it looks pretty ugly and worn, but I can’t bear to rip it out and replace it. Though today I’m getting a niggly feeling about a new and different kind of fire. A germ of an idea is forming in my head for a new novel. What’s it going to be about?

This is how my Work In Progress planning should go. But does it? Not exactly… but maybe kind of close.

I’m rolling up those paper spills for the fire – not too tight or they won’t catch alight, and not too loose or they’ll burn far too quickly and they’ll have fled like a lost spark up the chimney. I’ve laid the groundwork, but not one that’s too tight or rigid. It can expand or contract, warm up or cool down, as I need. I might even want to ditch bits of it before the match is applied, or place them somewhere else in the grate. Of course I know that paper alone burns too quickly, giving off instant heat, but it has no lingering nourishment or substance.

fire 9So what now? It needs some of that kindling that catches alight easily; stripped wood that will help to keep the initial flames going till the fire really gets going. I’ve got that kindling applied now and it’s looking pretty neat.

But I’m not quite there. It’s got no character, none of those individual warm bits that give off emotion and light.  Aha! Got it sorted. I’ve added some nice solid and gritty coal, yet it’s also sparkling with personality in those little jagged bits. But it’s a bit wet- I did say it was snowy outside -and might be wet around the ears till I get the pieces nicely warmed-up, and feeling cosy. Later on they’ll maybe shift about a bit like coal does when the burning paper and kindling bed down into the grate. I’ll get that coal placed really carefully though before I launch onto the hot seat!

fire 10What’s next? The match. To make that coal come alive – I need to spark it up. Showcase the coal’s personalities and get the mood going. I’m ready to strike now! It has to be done sometime so…off I go!

Tap, tap, tap…crackle, spark. A little bit of heat’s appearing, though I need some more to get the action really going. There’s a great bit of light shining which will shed some lovely illumination on the setting. It’s going nicely now. I need to keep that fire stoked, and feed it up when it’s flagging. Throw it a little more fuel at regular intervals.

Presently it’s roaring away, and it’s got all those interesting details around the fire. The pace burning brightly, especially with those added light embellishments.fire 12 Not  too messy: not too tidy.

What did I want to achieve. Lots of warmth, comfort, a lovely feeling of becoming well-rounded and successful.

Aha! One candle has burned out. What does that mean? It’s time to let the fire begin to die down and let it come to a natural conclusion. By the time the second candle is burned out, and the fire too, the end will have come and I’ll be thinking of the getting the next one started!

fire 14A different kind of fire is central to my Celtic/ Roman Britain (A.D. 71) historical novel  -The Beltane Choice. In that story Nara, of the Celtic Selgovae tribe, has a dilemma of finding her lifelong partner, and lover, before the fires of the Beltane Festival burn brightly. But can she do that when the mighty army of the Roman Empire descends upon them? The Beltane Choice is a story of war, tribal amity, and different kinds of love.

How about your Writing in Progress? Which fiery stage are you at just now?

TBC 200

Books and Book trailer videos by Nancy Jardine can be viewed at her amazon author page:

http://amzn.to/RJZzZz

Book Trailers at YouTube

Books are also available at Barnes and Noble The Wild Rose Press   Smashwords   Waterstones ebook store

Nancy can be found at http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com   http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com    http://facebook.com/nancy.jardine.56    Twitter @nansjar

Check out Nancy’s blog this weekend for a FREE copy of another of her ‘hot’ novels!

Wishing you all happy writing this weekend!

ps  – I’m very conscious of the global warmong aspects of the use of coal and oil, but with temperatures of minus 2 or 3 deg celsius outside I need to use something! The author freezing in the garret doesn’t quite appeal!