WARNING – POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR UNBOUND
I had developed the character of Rhys fairly early on. I have some Welsh ancestry, and I’ve always been fascinated by Wales, so I thought it would be cool to have a Welsh Berserker. When it came time for Rhys to finally (finally!) express his feelings for Madison, I researched courting rituals and customs of that time and discovered the tradition of the Welsh Lovespoon. The minute I saw it, I knew that Rhys was going to have to give one to Madison.
For those of you that are interested, here are a few sites that give more information about the history and tradition:
The basic idea is that a boy would demonstrate his skill and ability to provide for a family by creating an intricately carved wooden spoon to give her as a gift. If the girl accepted the gift, they were considered a couple. This is the origin of the word “spooning” (as in dating or courting, not the cozying up together kind). This was exactly the kind of romantic, formal, and old-fashioned token that Rhys would give to Madison. It was perfect!
Then I started searching through page after page of pictures of spoons to identify the perfect spoon for Rhys to give Madison. I wanted something that was elaborate and difficult to carve, but not so ornate as to be gaudy. I finally found it here: http://www.thelovespoongallery.com/collection5.htm
Judging by the picture, how big would you think the spoon is? I figured it was the size of a regular soup spoon or maybe slightly larger. It turns out that this particular spoon is a good 14+ inches long. It is more the size of a wooden spoon for cooking, rather than eating.
I fell in love with the spoon, and when my (girlfriend, at the time) read the book before it was published – one of the perks of dating an author 🙂 – she loved it just as much as I did. In fact, she bought me one for Valentine’s day. When the time came that we got engaged, I bought the spoon I had based Rhys’ on, and gave it to her as I proposed. (Don’t worry, I followed up with a ring not long after…) She understood exactly what it meant to me, and it went over just as I had hoped. She said “yes” after all. 🙂
The photo to the left is a picture of the actual spoon I gave her. When we get married next month it will hang next to the one she gave me in our house.
And now you know all about Welsh Lovespoons. I love the tradition and would love to see them make a comeback. Next time you need to give a unique gift to the one you love, you know what to do.