Friday, January 1, 2010

"First Foot"

from Emily Bryan . . .


In Regency times and even earlier, part of the 12 days of Christmas celebration was the custom of the "First Foot." It was considered particularly auspicious if the first person to cross your threshold on January 1st was a tall, well-favored dark-haired man. (Of course, I would argue that a handsome dark-haired man at the door is good luck on any day of the year!)



In smaller villages, a fellow who fit the qualifications was designated the "first footer." He'd visit every home, being treated to wassail and food, and often he distributed symbolic gifts of salt for wealth, coal for warmth and bread for abundant food for the coming year.






So, this morning when Mack the Wonder Dog needed to go outside at oh:dark-thirty, I convinced my own well-favored, dark-haired man that he should take Mack out so my DH could fulfill the "first foot" requirements when he came back in. (Hey, girls, whatever works!)

I've got lots of plans for 2010 and a couple of fun things happening on my website right now. As a "thank you" to my readers, I've started a new FREE online novella called A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS. I'll post a new chapter each month and I'm asking my readers to help me decide how the story will go. Each month, you can vote for one of two paths, or suggest something totally different, and not only will you help determine how the novella goes, but you'll also be entered each month in my quarterly contest. (The prize is a $100 Borders, B & N or indie books store gift card!).

After you pop over to read A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS, I'd love it if you come back here to leave comments or questions. Hope 2010 brings you all the best life offers!

6 comments:

librarypat January 1, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

Like your choice of pictures for first footers - three handsome men. My DH was our first footer after letting our dogs out. If he didn't go out and come back in, our son was the next male in, so either way we were covered.
Your A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS novella "project" sounds like fun. I look forward to it.

Hope everyone at the Chatelaines has a Wonderful 2010!

EmilyBryan January 2, 2010 at 6:41 AM  

Hey Pat! Thanks for the comments on A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS you sent me through my website. That kind of reader participation is exactly what I hoped for!

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner January 2, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

I'll take Colin Firth for my first footer! Any day, actually.

I had fun with First Footers as a plot point in Highlander Ever After. The Nvengarian heroine has fun learning all about Scottish customs of Christmas and New Years.

Your novella sounds like fun! What a cool idea.

EmilyBryan January 3, 2010 at 4:04 PM  

Hi Jenn, I'm with you on Colin. I was dismayed by the character he played in Mama Mia! Shame on his agent! He does the Mr. Darcy type so well.

librarypat January 3, 2010 at 9:43 PM  

I just saw Mama Mia a week or so ago. I kept looking at the Colin Firth character trying to figure out why he looked familiar. When I realized who it was, I couldn't see him in that part. He will forever be Mr. Darcy, which I guess really isn't fair to him as an actor.

Bonnie Vanak January 5, 2010 at 8:09 AM  

The novella is a great idea, Emily! Good luck with all your writing projects this New Year.

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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