Do You Miss the Renaissance Faire?

Faire is one of the most wonderful times I ever had. Dancing 'round the Maypole!  Learning Basic Faire Accent! Wearing period clothing! Not to mention the nights after the guests had left and we partied on till dawn.  :)

With faire cancelled in 2020, people are revelling in their pictures and sharing memories. Facebook groups are popping up left and right, named for the faire nearby where friends long to be together and can't.

If you search for your usual faire by name, you are bound to find your group. And if you don't, then start one! It's easy.

There is also the TV series to watch or rewatch, American Princess. It's on Lifetime TV and it's good. I was a washerwoman at faire, and I thought they did us proud. I loved the ending of the series, too. I don't want to give too much away, but the song they played was perfect, as the queen waved at everyone from the stage!

There are also hundreds of faire videos you can watch on YouTube, footage of your actual faire. It too is searchable. I found stuff like celebrity visits to my faire.
 History searches online are another way to recapture the feeling of faire. I wondered about people painting themselves blue, for example, and found a wealth of info about the ancient Picts of Scotland, defending themselves from the Romans.

The Picts were so fascinating, I wrote them into the third book of the series I had started at the faire. The Picts' priests were the Druids. Picts painted themselves blue with woad, a dye made from a plant with yellow flowers.

I made the woad dye magical in my version, just for fun. :) It acts like armor, which is how my Pictish warriors are able to defeat the Romans and keep them out of Scotland.
 Huzzah for the tipper!

That's extra funny if you've seen American Princess. I heartily recommend it.

Another thing I miss about faire is the food and drink. Turkey legs, of course, but also The Queen's Buns, Toad in a Hole, a full service banquet hall my faire has called The Boar's Head.

And OK, yeah, the food fights!

Did I mention I was a washerwoman? Well (pun intended), we spent more time making our clothes dirty with food fights and mud fights than we ever did actually washing clothes. :)

We didn't waste the food we'd bought with our precious food tickets on fights. No, instead, we brought along with us foods that would make the biggest mess. Watermelon looks like it would do nicely, but I wonder if it's period.  We used raspberry jam.

Oh, and the hobby horse had to come kiss one of us to start its parade. We would all rub mud on our faces so as to be as unattractive and gooey messy as possible, lol!

I was scared of the hobby hoss. I think we all were. He would do this long speech about how come next year, whoever he kissed would be "full round and pregnant!"

It was more fun when the Puritains would come play with us. They berated us for having fun during what was supposed to be work. One time, we sang a Latin hymn for them, and they berated us for singing in Latin and not English!

 One time, I borrowed a Puritain hat and went to play with them.

"Ooh, look who's learned now," their leader exclaimed. "Which University did you study at?"

I put my chin up high and my hands on my hips. "The Univsity of the Washing Well!" I told him proudly.

He scoffed. "Never heard of it. Where is that?"

I raised my chin even higher. "It's in every village and hamlet the world over. See if you can say that about your precious University."

I had friends who were in Midsummer Night's Dream as fairies, and they had more fun than any of us that year, climbing up into trees and laughing and ringing little bells so that the guests looked up and laughed with them.

 Even before that, though, we would play games with the guests. One game was fairy ring. We would all join hands and circle around a couple who were obviously on a date, then chant:

You've been caught in a fairy ring!
A fairy ring is a magical thing!
You must kiss the one you're with
And kiss her well
To be released from our spell!

There was also the kissing bridge, where strangers would require a kiss as a toll to cross! That was at Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California.

 Other games were silly: asking guests to beg for our pardons and tossing Rudolf the stuffed 'plague rat' around, singing:

Plague, plague, how it does wander
From one clan into another
Is it fair? Is it fair?
To throw poor Rudolf in the air.
Decompose. Decompose.

And the parades! Opening was fun:

Awake, awake the day doth break
Good craftsmen open your stalls
Alight, alight, shake off the night
The faire is open to all!

There were a bunch of different songs for closing the faire. My favorite was:

Run for the front gate
Hell for leather
Run for the front gate
Hell for leather
Rennie faire is close-ed!

Oh, and in the middle of the day, no nap is complete without a good peasant pile. :)

Jane Stain

Author Jane Stain Printable Book List as of March 2020

Thank you, Whitney, for requesting a printable booklist of all my series in the recommended reading order. This photo is what I came up with.

In case you have photos disabled in your browser, this downloadable and printable photo has all the book covers on it and shows the set series as well as the individual book series.

This is the order I wrote them in.

Enjoy! I will list them below in plain text in case anyone needs them that way.


Kilts at the Renaissance Fair / RenFaire Druids / Renaissance Fair Series
1 Renaissance Fair
2 Renaissance Festival
3 Renaissance Man

Dunskey Castle Series
4 Tavish
5 Seumas
6 Tomas
7 Time of the Celts
8 Time of the Picts
9 Time of the Druids
10 Leif
11 Taran
12 Luag
13 Meehall
14 Ciaran
15 Baltair
16 Time of the Fae
17 Faeries or Druids
18 Time for the Clan

Dark Horse Series (alternating books with Monica Campbell)
19 Rock Candy
20 Rock Bottom
21 Rock the Boat

Druids or Faeries?

It wasn't every day the faeries claimed the man your friend loved. 

So Marybeth did her best to comfort Suellen. She had her arm around her
and kept hugging her and saying “Shh, it's okay” as they walked along the
Scottish sea cliff. They passed by the iron-age underground fortress where,
in 1100 years, Robert Adair would build Dunskey Castle.

She would stay here in the distant past and support her friend for as long
as Suellen could reasonably be expected to stick around looking for
Donnan. A week, tops. Marybeth could only afford to miss one 
 more Thursday at the ’Til Two. Any more, and her teammates would find
a new darts player.

Everything Suellen said reinforced Marybeth’s resolve to get away from here.

"I ken everyone's mad at Donnan for gang off tae find the faerie horn when
he should hae been here when the Romans attacked. Wull I dae ken. But he
was ainly trying tae break the clan’s druid curse." 

This was about as many words as Suellen ever got out before she drifted off into sobs.

Marybeth hugged her and said “Sh. Sh.” 

They would walk along for 30 feet or so, and then Suellen would start in again.
"He was sae good tae me, Marybeth. Ye dinna ken how good he was tae me. He fought
those Romans off me. He killed two dozen o’ them who had taken me prisoner and
were gaun’ae make me a fort slave." 

More blubbering and sobbing. 

More of Marybeth saying “Sh.”

30 feet later:

"Donnan does na even mind that I dinna ken how tae card wool or herd sheep or
clean the skin o’ freshly killed game. He is sae understanding. I need him back,
Marybeth. Tell me they're gaun’ae find him and bring him back." 

Sobbing and blubbering and crying, the tears soaking into Marybeth's right shoulder. 

Fortunately, the clothes Marybeth had borrowed to wear in this ancient time were
thick wool. The air was chilly, but the wool kept her warm even when damp.
Something to be thankful for. No, nothing Suellen said made Marybeth want to
stay here in the year 71 AD one minute longer, let alone a week longer. 

Marybeth felt somewhat safe with Cathaleen, the woman she and Ashley stayed
with while Suellen gallivanted over the Scottish Highlands with Donnan. Cathaleen
was cool. She was teaching Ashley and Marybeth how to make herb remedies, which
were popular back at home in the 21st century. 

Marybeth was looking forward to showing off her new skills when she returned to the
future. She imagined the faces of her teammates when she whipped out one of her
new vials and relieved someone’s headache. There were also skin moisturizers the
women at work would like, and even a mixture meant to remove makeup. Who
knew women in this time wore makeup? Kohl on the eyes was apparently widespread
the world over. Of course, the Gaels claimed to have come from Egypt, so that
might explain it.            

Ashley and her old friends from the future, Connell and Friseal, had rushed on ahead of
Marybeth and Suellen. Marybeth wasn't even sure they remembered she and Suellen
were with them, they looked back so infrequently.

But Ashley looked back now, and seeing Marybeth and Suellen so far behind, she broke
away from whatever she'd been chatting about with Connell and Friseal. "Suellen,
Connell and Friseal wull get Donnan back. They hae a good plan. They wull invite
Kelsey here with a request tae talk. She always has the faerie axe with her. If she
does na give it back, they wull surround her and take it by force."

The path wasn't wide enough for all three of them to walk side-by-side, and Suellen
was already latched onto Marybeth, so Ashley walked in front of them, having to
turn her head once in a while to see the expression on Marybeth's face. She did now.

Marybeth frowned. "Dinna ye think it wrong, tae grab the faerie axe by force?”

Ashley batted the air as if what Marybeth had said was dismissible. "The faeries gave it
tae Ciaran, who gave it tae John. Kelsey stole it from John. 'Tis na wrong for John tae
steal it back from her."

Connell and his brother Friseal were back with them now.

Connell stuck his chest out and his chin up in a show of bravado. "Darn straight,
‘twas stolen from us. Kelsey's gotten full o’ herself, syne she went off tae
Celtic University. That, or she has been brainwashed by all those Druids. We used tae
be friends, but now she's gone tae far. We wull be taking that axe back from her sae
we can save Donnan. End o’ discussion."

Pre-order Druids or Faeries now!