lenora_rose: (Default)
Since I have been so behind on posting. These, for those who don't read my facebook or who missed some, probably sum up several things I don't feel like discussing at length.

On the Desolation of Smaug:

I liked expanding Bard's story so he doesn't just appear at the end of the Dragon thing. I liked the dwarves in the mountain attempting to do something other than just wait for Bilbo and actually confronting Smaug, up to the point where it turned into more video game antics. (Also, you'd think they'd have, you know, some dwarf sized corridors....). Most of the other changes I think could have been dropped in favour of more time with Beorn and more of Smaug and Bilbo's banter, both from the book.
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(Re: Someone's comment that Legolas was there for the women....)

Legolas was indeed unnecessary (And I say that as a woman). He made a little sense being there as the son of the King, but only a little.

But what he really made me do is long for the Legolas of Lord of the Rings.

Jackson seems to have decided that he wasn't badass enough -- but *this* Legolas has me wondering why he let all those annoying humans and Hobbits slow him down in the Lord of the Rings. As he was shown in Smaug, he'd have been all the way to Mount Doom with the Ring before it even had time to tempt him, hopped over the giant black gate in a couple of Parkour tricks, killing all the guards in the process, chucked it in, surfed away from the lava explosion on a piece of debris, and wouldn't have even mussed his hair.
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My son:
Dec 19: As I just mentioned to Colin, I was just re-watching "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances". And, hearing it so often on screen, Joseph starts repeating "Mummy. Mummy."

Not sure whether to giggle or shudder. #WhoHumour

Mid December Photos, including the Christmas Tree I made for JoJo. )

December 27 (The first not miserably freezing day in a while at that point, and only a day or two before a cold snap that lasted distressingly long. We're talking vicinity of -40 for DAYS cold snap... and when it wasn't that, it snowed...)
photos behind cut )

Jan 2: JoJo has sung along to music a few times now. He's had some rhythm (Not enough, but some) for a while, and has seemed less random in his choice of notes and sounds, if not harmonizing at least clashing less and less.

But today, he found the actual melody for London Bridge.

Toddler progress is progress after all.


Jan 9: It's official. Joseph can climb out of his crib on his own.

He got out of his playpen (Used as a travel crib) twice on New Year's Eve, so it's not like we didn't know it was coming.... but still, sigh.

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Other:

Jan 4: We got to archery today! Current plan is to keep going on all Saturdays we can. (Though Not Imbolc, obviously, but I did reserve babysitting for the Friday night shoot)

(ED: we have kept this up. Shooting regularly again feels GOOD.)

Jan 8: First day of work since Before our trip to AB and BC! Finished the horse, other than the bits under and around water.
photo behind cut )

Jan 15: Sigh. Mom was sick (Get well soon - and not for my sake) so no chance to mural paint because no babysitter. Then ploughed through the snow with a stroller to get JoJo and myself flu shots. Sigh. Well... on the plus side, the new orthotic insoles I slipped into my boots WORK LIKE AWESOME. A lot less pain now...

(ED: Plantar fasciitis. Had it before, but this last bout was BAD. Days of barely being able to walk bad. I still galloped around daily with Joseph on my shoulders, though, because awesome.)

Today:

"Imagination is a little white light, waiting for a chance to grow
bigger and bigger till it glows so bright it eliminates all you know..."

Wait, what?

Oh. ILLUMINATES.

Enunciate, Fred.

#FredPenner #mondegreen
lenora_rose: (Default)
Last Wednesday, serendipitously, the healthy baby topic was "introducing your baby to solid foods." (it had been requested by several of the other moms, even though it was covered relatively recently, as in about three months ago). Serendipitous because I'd been sort of hoping to ask about just that. In any case, it did help decide me to do just that, though the first stage is hardly solid. Nonetheless, as of last Wednesday, Joseph's been eating a bit of rice cereal once or twice a day. So far, he seems to rather like it, and he certainly gets the idea of a spoon, even if he needs to work on some refinements. (Ie, he still ends up with food all over). I let him try to handle the spoon a bit; really glad it's a soft tipped, as I wouldn't be willing to do that with a metal.

Plus, as a bonus, I'm offering him sips of water from a cup. It will be a while before he gets to hold *that*, I can say. I have no sippy cups for him yet; they're not strictly a necessary thing, as I understand it, though convenient as anything, it seems to me.

He made the most interesting faces when I tried him with egg yolk, though. I was thinking for a second try I should mix it with milk, not water. but first I'd need some means to Get milk that doesn't involve hand expressing, because that hurts. I'm not practiced at it, and I have no desire to be if I can avoid it.

Anyhow. Yay for strange food exploration.
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Sigh.... a friend of mine started calling Joseph "JoJo", and while we were in Spain, I realised it stuck in my head, too. Iulianna, I have a bone to pick with you.

Better than Joey, I guess.
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I started going through the pictures from Spain. May post some soonish, along with a bit of babble about what we did. As much for my own record as for anyone else's curiosity.
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Sigh. I should make a new icon for myself. I haven't been to archery in a while. Ineed to get to dance practice, if only to prove I have no intention of dropping the SCA.
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Apparently, I'm considering revising The Serpent Prince again. Actually, I started.

Here's what happened. In that writing meme I still haven't finished, one of the unfinished questions questions is "the ten worst things about your novel." It's unfinished because I didn't get to ten. But two of the things I did get down are the general fight with doing things in a patriarchal setting, and the difficulties that causes, and an issue specific to Serpent, which is that in the course of the novel, a woman gets Refrigerated*.

I could have lived with one or the other, but the combination was nagging at me. Because of the nature of the patriarchy they're in, I already felt I was stretching the bounds with the number of active female characters I had. And there wasn't a lot of room to make more of them active; Ketan is focused on the events that lead to the big ending. As to the Refrigeration, her death starts the whole climax and collapse, and has effects that carry over into at least the second book. She had to die. It's unfortunately very in character for the one who did it to slaughter innocents, knowing it hurts the people he's punishing worse than killing them would. But I still found it rankled. I don't tend to like Refrigeration in other peoples' stories. There are a few cases where it worked; in all of them, the woman had agency and personality before it happened, and was About more than her death. This female character has some personality, but the constraints of novel length and the main plot don't give her as much on-the-page time as would be needed to really make her shine.

So I started worrying again at ways to make this better. Give her more screen time. Leave her as is but get even more female characters up and active. Again and again I bounced off the fact that there just seemed no more room for a change. Count on the rest of the books in the series, or the rest of the books I write, to make up for it? Didn't seem like enough.

And of course, I'd already turned yet one more character female in the second book. I really couldn't do that again...

Two days after we got back from Spain, and suddenly, I found myself thinking there WAS one character I could feasibly turn female. A major player in the story. Someone whose gender would alter the whole dynamic of the story and happily spit in the face of the whole damned patriarchal setting. Mostly because it would highlight a whole lot of hypocrisy. Theo.

Instantly, I started going through his scenes and revisioning them with a "her", and trying to see if they would fit. Some of the scenes and plot points made even More sense than they had; she or her antagonists had stronger motivations. Some didn't -- until I started debating definitions of legal versus actual gender and how that might work in this particular culture. (In this case, it's More transgressive for her to be a cis female than it would be if she were transgender -- because if she wanted to be male, the Gods would just grant her wish, and the whole gender flip would pretty much end on the first page. And if she was born male, it also wouldn't work as well, for reasons that would involve getting too far into plot and culture for an already overlong ramble.)

And the name was easy. At VP, I had a lot of people who didn't much like Theokoi anyhow; one person said they stalled on the "koi" because they saw Fish, and therefore associated it with Japanese, when most of the stuff around it was obviously Europeanish (French for the Serathi and Cerissan, Scandinavian for the Germainesh). But as soon as I wondered what feminine thing I could use instead, I immediately remembered Jo Walton's Tiffany Problem, and she was renamed Theophanie. And thinking how to shorten it, my brain instantly went "Teo", pronounced, well exactly like Taeyo. (The "th" in French is usually a t with a bit of aspirated sound after it, not a th as it tends to be in English. Most of the 'e's in all the other names are already pronounced as if they had an acute accent over them.)

And yeah, I started right in; saved a new copy of the last draft and started poking away. I really think it could work.

(A friend of mine said that when she has thoughts about changes that big, she just writes another novel. I considered that, and my brain immediately rebelled, because adding another unfinished novel would be far far worse than doing even a major rewrite.)

Of course, I'm already trying to sell the story. So the real question is, do I keep sending samples and queries to agents, or do I stop again so I can finish yet another draft? The draft I have is finished and polished enough that I don't think they have anything to worry about re: newbies trying to sell unfinished works. Without Joseph, I think this might be the work of a month, maybe two. But I *am* slowed down by the baby...

Well, I'll see if it stalls partway through. I do still have the whole and complete novel with the guy Theo to fall back on.

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I can't help think I make a very poor feminist. EVERY time I've changed a character's gender, it's been male to female (In one case, one female character replaced not one but TWO male characters from the prior drafts). Because, Labyrinth aside, I keep shortchanging the women and focusing on the men. :P I suppose it's a kind of consolation that other than this series, most of the men are gay or bi. But really, too many ingrained assumptions.

And yet, obviously these things do matter to me or I wouldn't keep worrying at them.
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* For the few of you who don't know the term, this means: a female character is killed JUST so a male character can have massive Angst and Manpain. She's not killed for anything she is or does, but entirely because of her relationship to the man. It got its name from a comic book wherein a woman is literally killed and stuffed in a refrigerator.
lenora_rose: (Baby)
So the big explosion in the writing blogverse this time is based on these two items:

Yes to Gay YA

and

Agency's Response

(To which Brown and Smith issued a joint statement basically saying they stand by their original words, and emphasizing that this should be about the blanket issue).

I would advise reading both articles before delving into either comment section if you really want to form your own conclusion. I don't know how someone else's more objective analysis of these two perspectives would go, but mine is that one of these two did their best to keep the complaint professional, and one made it very much personal. And that keeping it professional seems to increase that side's cachet, while making it personal reduces the other. But I am not objective. I AM a writer, for one, though not in YA. Moreover, I am a regular correspondent with one of the authors as well as a fan of several of her works, and a regular reader of the other's blog (and have read some of her fiction work, in the form of some manga-esque comics). The agents/agency, while on my list to query, are effectively unknown entities to me.

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On more personal and thus more boring notes:

To go back in time slightly:

The event mostly went well. The lack of husband and several friends was more than made up by some of the people who WERE present, including two pleasant surprises (One was only there to merchant for a day, but we got to chat a fair bit. The other shared my cabin, so we spent more time together). And some newish people I didn't know well and like even better now. Lots of good company, overall. I got to the semi-finals in the archery shoot -- though my first round was in many ways the most interesting, as it really was a case of winning by a handful of seconds; he shot at least as well, and ended with a beauty. But semi-finals! I think that's the best I've done.

The food was EXCELLENT. I got through court without making any major oopses (though I stepped down as Baronial Herald, I ended up asked to do Royal Court at nigh the last minute. The extra running around had the queen say that if all this bustling put me into labour... apparently the last few reigns have been punctuated by queens or ladies-in-waiting who were quite knocked up> Theirs was the first one without). I even got to do a bit of dancing, though i took care not to overdo it (Cristina worried as it was, becuase I start panting so soon these days, but that's more about having less space to expand my lungs and less about how I feel while I'm panting. Actually, it reminded em of the times I fenced in a corset.)

The weather was meh - we had a thunderstorm roll in Friday night (Which made a spectacular backdrop for dark ages court), and it went drizzly and wet part of Saturday. But I kind of preferred that to sweltering, and by Saturday night it was pretty much cloudless, so we got to do both fire pits and fire arrows.

My one disappointment is hard to articulate without spending more words on it than it deserves. The bardic circles went well, and I was very happy with all I heard from pretty much every comer. I was, however, exceedingly disappointed in what I SANG on Sunday night (Saturday went okay but nothing standout). Mostly because that night, I sang three times, and

A) ALL three were someone else's requested song, not songs I would choose to lead if anyone else were available (One Colin usually leads if either of us does, and he's much better at it)
B) two of these weren't songs to which my voice is well suited, which means I WILL be disappointed in my performance to an extra degree, as wil the listeners, no matter how much they want THAT song NOW. (One, people pointed out that even though I'm an alto with an occasional tendency to tenor, I sing too high for most people to join in, and trying to drop it pushed, not the lowest part of my range, but one of those weird transition zones voices have, though they thanked me for trying anyhow).
and C) my voice wasn't at its best, especially in the deeps. Which last I could have lived with, if I'd done my own choosing.

However, the circle included a lot of strong new voices and a lot of strong out-of-towners, so i got to hear a lot of good stuff both nights. Which is a lot more yay.

Since then:

Renos progress. Most of the outside of the house is done. Next for Colin and my FiL is electrical, wall destruction, then insulation, and while they're doing this, HVAC is happening.

Baby progresses. Lots of kicking and moving. Which I usually LIKE to feel, except when it's too big and sudden and I jump or squeak. Hips occasionally bad. Got a therapy ball to sit on some of the time, which is fabulous, though for now, I can only do so for a couple of hours or so, not full time (and I'm always playing music, so I bounce fairly often, which is better than just sitting still - realistically, just sitting on it isn't *much* better than perching on a chair, and my posture's not that improved.)

Work progresses. I'm on for sure to the end of September. More happy. And this week I made the other part time person almost ecstatic by the amount of work I got through. (I do two jobs; one, which has been in extreme high priority mode all summer, which I do exclusively, and one which we share, but which has been low priority for me, and thus piling up on her. I finally had a week where I could take some of the strain off her.)

Writing doesn't progress. The week before the event was focused on sewing (to excellent effect) and the week after I was too tired. After that, I felt a bit disconnected from the story, so I started to run through a quick reread/editing pass. I'm near the end of that (and which gets less reread and more edit the nearer I get to current work, no surprise.) and feeling better about the answers to where and how to break this story from its sequel.

Bike -- had a big argh. I took it in last week because the bearings in the pedal system were badly messed up. Got it back Tuesday, rode it to and from work Wednesday, and this morning I had a flat tire. Which either implies - the guys at Gord's screwed up, or my timing sucks incredibly. If it's a busted seam instead of a hole, I WILL assume they over-inflated the tire. (Because I had a busted seam once before, and I KNOW that time they didn't check how far they inflated, they just made it as hard as they could.) Sigh. Just when I was all happy that she was no longer taking extreme effort just to take to and from work.

Had a good visit with a pair of friends I haven't seen in AGES -- we needed to speak to one for practical home-renovation related reasons (he's an electrician) and he brought the other friend along for a chance to hang out. REALLY happy; I hadn't realised I missed her until i saw her. We ended up feeding them both supper - made mildly embarrassing by the fact that this particular brand of farmer's sausage has a layer of plastic inside the plastic wrap that looks just like the natural skin, at least until it's cooked. (The sausage turned out tasting fine anyhow, but it's kind of ugly to have to remove plastic. Honestly. I think between my MiL and us, we've bought three or four brands and kinds of Farmer's sausage the last few months, and never had this problem before.)

Anyhow, on that dull note, I should sleep.
lenora_rose: (Default)
So.

My back has been nigh screaming all day. I've been tired like a tired thing. I was this tired yesterday and it resulted in a nap from about 2:00 till 5:00.

And my head hurts, which it didn't yesterday.

I wimped out of work early by about three hours - which I got away with because until yesterday, that was the plan ANYWAY. (I work 2 1/2 days a week. Another woman works the other 2 1/2 days a week on the same computer, and this week, she needed to get some extra time in due to doing payroll. We found me a plausible non-computer thing to do if I had half the morale or energy or desire for pay I usually do. I don't.)

Got hand-washing done for event. Put stuff in washing machine (And dryer) for same (And so I have something to wear for work et al when I come back on Monday, really.) Brought some stuff up from basement for packing. Piled up garb & toiletries that are ready to go. Found feast gear and Herald gear. Charging up the electronics I may or may not even need, but want with me.

Still to do:

Put garb & such in bags. Probably will wait for the dryer to be done. Some of it, in fact, must and will wait for the morning, though my ride is planning to leave noonish. (Colin is not going, due to prioritizing house renos over medieval stuff. I expect real life will do that to us both a lot more in the not-too distant future. Which is part of why I do want to go. Though the lack of about 4 people I'd really want to spend time with, one my husband, who would usually go, is not encouraging.)

Finish sewing project I've been working on in lieu of writing or housework this week. (Last step: Grommets! AKA, yay for my headache. Hammering is just what I need.) POSSIBLY, but probably not, also attempt to finish the cotehardie thing I also have almost finished, but have for months (Probably over a year). Which also involves grommets if I do. (I was hoping for loops and buttons, though, and since I don't have the material for making loops, that's kind of a non-starter for this event.)

Get to the archery range and get my bow and arrows. (Generally, events go better with these things in hand.)

Attempt to memorize the melody of "The Goodman" for Bardic.

Possibly help Colin clean the basement. (This is part of house renovations; it ALSO needs to wait for the dryer to be done, as one of the things to move will be the washer and dryer. But so are a lot of my pottery supplies.)

What I really want to do: Curl up with a cat & a book or movie (or the new Doctor Who episodes I have not seen yet) and a nice cup of tea.

Hmm. At least I can have the tea.

Anyhow, See you after this weekend. I expect to: have fun, not overdo it, miss Colin, miss the cats, shoot badly, sing mediocrely. (Not bringing along the mandolins, I'm not remotely in practice enough.)
lenora_rose: (Default)
Two job interviews so far this week - the first went quite well, the second didn't seem to be as good, to me.

I haven't, however, managed to get new resumes out this week. Someone needs to kick me in the arse. (I was looking at postings today, and some are flagged to go for tomorrow, because I do feel weird e-mailing past 10:00.)

Went to archery Monday and shot noticeably worse than I had Saturday. Tried to go on Tuesday after that interview, and the third time horrible pain shot up my stringside forearm, stopped and packed it in. The first was early on, and seemed isolated - I had a twinge or two between, but hard tot ell if that was the nerves settling down again or warning. The second and third were one shot right after the other, and I stopped immediately. (Though I couldn't exactly shoot well while clutching my forearm the way I was.)

Alas, one thing I did notice was that the twinges and the shooting pain happened when i was using better technique. So, lest I accidentally start committing aversion therapy on myself, I'm not going to shoot again until Saturday, though I will see if I can't do some strength building exercises meantime. And if one happens Saturday, call it until Monday.

Went to dance practice; alas, there ended up being only three of us for most of the evening, and a fourth showed up late enough that we shrugged and kept talking, even though four is usually the point at which we can be productive. OTOH, we made plans for making goodies on Pi Day (Monday) to use to supply as a dessert revel for next dance practice, and lure out dancers, non-dancers and anyone who likes pie.

So far, I got a fair bit of writing on a necessary plot summary done, but not much actual text. This two-pronged thing with Labyrinth is kind of strange; I wrote Heather's stretch to date as one steady sequence. Not that it lacked scene breaks, but one writes slightly differently if one knows there's a pause and cut to another locale coming up. Certainly, Laurel(formerly Holly)'s side is being written with me fully aware there are time gaps. But mostly the issue is that I know what the end result of the next big scene is, but not how to get there.

Tomorrow, I need to lock myself in the library or something. After I've put out some more resumes and done all the tax/financial stuff on my to-do list.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
As a follow-on to a prior LJ post, this is the revised version of the aspirations thing.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press. or enough rejections to prove I made a really damn good try.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

- On each of the next few years, i will have completed at least two large-scale pottery projects, large scale being defined as either one object like Nessie, or a significant number of smaller objects. Failing this, five medium-sized projects. (I know what I would personally define as large or medium. The pendants for the event in January, for example, qualify as one for 2010.)

- Each year, I will endeavour to complete at least one drawing or illumination project from scratch, and to complete at least one of the partially finished ones in the queue.

- By December 2011, I will learn enough on the mandolin to actually succeed in playing the song Abacchus gave me as the next level up and which I've never yet managed, and to be able to play simple melodies as well as accompaniment. *

-I will have all of my current practice repertoire up to performable standard, and have added at least 10 new pieces to the practice or performance roster outside songs given me by Abacchus for teaching.

- I will get my driver's license, or at least have passed the driving portion of the test, before the snow falls.

- I will break 100 points in this upcoming winter shoot. (Archery-related.)

- To my already extant exercise, I will add at least one regular weekly swim, and at least 3 sessions of 20 minutes of heavier cardio (such as dancing), excluding that swim.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

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* Weirdly, this will likely be easier when he moves out; I feel awkward practicing where my teacher can hear me when I know I haven't been practicing enough and I've lost technique. So I practice less. So I feel more awkward. So I practice less.... Honestly, I did more practice when we were travelling in BC and AB.
lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
The event this weekend went well; being our 40th anniversary, a great many people made an effort to show up who haven't in a while, or have never been this far north (their Majesties for one - eeep.)

Rather than leave it in the middle of the ramble, I'll put our best news up front:

Oh, lord, we have a quadruple peer.

Duke Tarrach Alfson is now a Pelican, too. And it truly, genuinely, and totally could not have happened to a nicer guy.

(Also, Gabriel de Lion and Azalais got engaged!)

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Friday was its usual self; getting in, setting up, catching up, greeting old friends, and War Court, our short Dark Ages court for the Huscarls and the people who got to events-other-than-our-own to do one of the martial activities through the war season. We were given little pewter towers.

Personal thing: I've been rather wishing that the Huscarls spend a moment in this court to turn around, remove their helms and introduce themselves to the populace. Because three of the central Huscarls spend most of the event in the kitchen, making us our wonderful feasts and bacony breakfasts - and thus end up talking mostly to their old familiar friends. Which has the notable disadvantage that we have members who've been around a few YEARS who've pretty much NEVER met them in anything but passing (even the kitchen clean-up area is different enough from the rest of the kitchen that . And in the dark, in full Norse regalia, people really can't tell who they are, so even the ones we know well and love dearly (HEs Robin and Hreodbeorht even newbies have likely met, and it wasn't that long ago that HE Thrym came back for a while, and his name is still passed on in many a story) are turned into strangers. It works for the impression of the Elite Guard, but not so well for the feeling of connection. These guys feed us and toil for us all weekend; it would be great for even newer members to be able to look at the Huscarls entering the War Court and making their solemn oaths and to recognize them as Part of Us.

And some of them are very worth getting to know. I remember that from when they came out to all the other things.

We also had a class on what's involved with wine-tasting and mead-tasting and appreciation. With, yes, chances to try out the samples. Much fun.

The night seemed to end a bit early, even with that. I'm surprised, with the number of younger members, to be reminded that the group as a whole is aging.

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Saturday began leisurely with the aforementioned bacon (and French toast and other breakfasties), then set-up of the archery range, and long slow shooting. We ended up with so much general practice we only did 2 royal rounds, nothing more -- everyone knew the Water Duel was waiting for Sunday, when the heavy fighters weren't doing their thing. I did okay - 45 - on my better round. (The other one was an embarrassment which ended with a freakishly good speed round - which earned me literally 2/3 of my total points on its own.)

Then it was running around trying to figure out where I was supposed to be going to find their Excellencies to set up for court. I ended up at the chapel we chose to use for court, and almost at the royal cabins before I was pointed the right way. At least I was only needed to stand there and look pretty (Archer Captain), unlike Colin, who was Herald, and had needed to be off doing his set-up well before.

Sometime before the event, their Majesties had decided their court would be Sunday noon, and so, "aside from one piece of business", our evening court was all local work; making Hadassah, a much-loved member who moved back to Ontario, a Forester (A local award for people who don't live with us but are considered part of the group. Inducting a new member into our order of the Snowflake, for people who've done good service. etc.

The whole court was actually run by the Prince and Princess (Hrodir and Anne - incidentally, both also Foresters for our group), since the King and Queen arrived less than an hour before.

Which meant that when their Majesties arrived, they swept in just after Hadassah's award, and took over on the spot. Which involved shocking the hell out of Duke Tarrach Alfson. Mistress Ia said that she felt he needed to be required to attend ALL the peerage meetings. (I first thought they were accusing him of slacking off on attendance, and only about the time it was occurring to Tarrach what was going on did I start thinking, "No, wait. HG FINA has the Pelican. He doesn't...")

We also got back the Baronial court long enough to make Tarrach and Fina foresters, of which the only surprise to me was that they weren't already.

(A fun bit of trivia; Colin, at the start, forgot to officially open the court until Hrodir told him to. When their Majesties came in, their herald Moraig, not knowing, forgot to open court until their majesties chided her. And on Sunday. Colin forgot to open court...)

And Tarrach was put on a very odd vigil.

See, after feast, Tarrach has been one of the main people to stand up, and challenge the other lord in the vicinity to go to the kitchen and help with clean-up. (The Lords specifically because the tradition involves stripping off tunics and doublets; we Ladies go just as enthusiastically when it's our cabin's assigned job - and it was for me - we just don't strip. Er. usually. There was that one time I walked in the kitchen and was shocked dead still to discover Branwen had removed her Tudor gown and was working! In! Public! in her chemise and her corset alone. (GASP) The little detail that she was more decently covered than I'd seen her outside SCA many a time in the summer...)

Because of this, though, they had set up two chairs in the corner of the washing room. His Grace was to strip off his shirt... and sit there on vigil while we worked around him. (He did, in fact, insist on drying some dishes. He stopped when the Prince came in to berate him. Also, I managed to keep him from getting a fresh drying towel.) When we were done, his vigil moved to the fireside, then to watch the fire arrows. I hung around various places, including fireside, to chat with various people.

They'd made one change to the fire arrows this year, thanks to Lord Bearaich; enough to make me feel it worth my while at least to watch the first few. Bearaich had figured out how to make "whistlers" for the arrows out of ping pong balls. So not only were there the sparklers to make beautiful arcs of light in the midnight sky, there were also sounds. Coolness.

Then we burned a tower down (as is traditional), and chatted, and called it a night.

______________________

Sunday's focus was on court and on the Water duel, as far as I was concerned.

Court went very nicely. I was surprised to get an award - a Crwth, for continuously singing around the campfire when there's a chance. (I have a Balefire, but mostly for pottery). Many people got many awards. A couple from Fargo were surprised by a sneak Court Baroncy.

And Tarrach got his Pelican.

Little story about that...

After Brunch in the AM, Tarrach and Mistress Ia, his sponsor, went and and distributed slips of paper to the populace with what are called admonishments - things the person being elevated into the peerage should do and be. Things like, "A peer should be generous to others and not boastful of his own accomplishments."

One of the locals given such a slip remarked that they looked kind of like fortune cookie sayings.

Which meant that he HAD to mention to HG Tarrach that some of these read REALLY well when you append "in Bed"...

Tarrach almost lost it during his own elevation.

Anyhow; the water duel went well. I won my first round - against a rather decent archer, Ingvar, who pointed out that he always went yup against either me or Cristina in his first or second round, and always got taken out by one of us. (Hee). I lost in my second round to a beautiful one-shot by an overall less experienced archer. I'd told her that it didn't matter that she thought I was better. She just had to get one in the right place at the right time. Evidently, she listened.

I wandered off then and did some knife-throwing for fun, got back in time to see the finals, which was Tarrach's younger son, Gregor, against Magnus. Magnus won.

I did four challenge rounds after; lost one for shooting like crap, one in a somewhat closer battle, and won two. Including against Colin. (Technically, I one-shotted him, since I took the bottom out of the target right on the first shot. But I kept going, and put another one through later. And had one skin off a corner, and probably would have hit with the last one if his target hadn't dropped. To be fair, he did hit it too, just not well enough to drain and balance out.)

We ran in after that, late for supper, and when that was done and the fire was lit outside, we sang bardic songs (though it took a surprising effort to lure members of the group hanging out on the balcony to the fire; they were singing occasionally, but there was a younger member at the fire begging for music. We paused long enough for lady Cristina to fulfill a longtime dream:

In Lord Gabriel's very first event, his mother made him garb. Of horribly synthetic fabric with silver spray paint, in the shape of a giant hoodie. (He said when she asked him if he wanted a hood, he said yes, thinking she meant a period-style detached hood).

Cristina had, last Winter, acquired this dubious piece of garb. (Okay, some of the worst I've ever seen). And at the event, she built an effigy, and burned it on the fire with great ceremony as a warning to all other bad garb.

Then we sang to late, and slept until it was time to get up and pack.

And now I should sleep again.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Last weekend I went to an event. Then I wrote a long journal entry. Then our internet died.

So here's what i wrote, edited a fair bit:

Weather was unpromising; the site was saturated from the excess rain (including the floors of the indoor locations), and the whole camp layout had to be rearranged to use the high ground only at the last minute. Friday night, we ended up barbequeing under what should have been a perfectly useful shade fly, but the wind was high and the drizzle light, sot here was literally no place we could put the barbie, our ourselves, that didn't involve drizzle. Saturday morning was horribly windy but not much drizzle, so we did archery after all; the afternoon remained the same almost to court, at which point we started seeing real breaks in the cloud, and by feast we weren't worried about being rained on; after dark, we were watching stars.

Colin had what seemed to be a minor cold. Then we slept Saturday night on an air mattress with a distinct leak, and he was worse. he went home around noon with another friend feeling pretty bad. Turns out he came out with a fever that night; I grant that I had fun without him, but I missed him. But I'm also glad he was in our house taking care of himself.

I do quite like the site! Truth be told, I thought the rearrangement, putting everything much closer together than it would otherwise be, actually made for a very good set-up for the number of people present. In future years, as it attracts a larger number (Which it likely will, being close to Avacal, allowing for visitors from Sigelhundas (Regina) at minimum, and close to the Shire of Midewinde (Minot, ND), with whom we have good relations), it's good to have the original plans for the set-up in mind, but this year, we didn't need to have to walk most of the length of the fairground for the archery. (It was literally at our back door.)

Except for the one major issue besides the weather, and not totally under the Event Steward's control; Saturday morning, the washrooms wouldn't work; the septic tanks were full. This did get fixed within a couple of hours.... but that they were full again a handful of hours later. We weren't overusing the site that much; the septic tank appeared to be cracked and taking in groundwater. And it was by low ground. The next nearest washrooms we could use were in an RV park, about ten minutes' walk from site (Half that if you were willing to use the cut-through beside the RCMP building, which was more boggy ground this time), and, once they had wind of our problem, the inn/bar, also about ten minutes' walk. (There was also a public washroom building further in town, to which I was driven once.) And of course, many availed themselves of bushes depending on garb, gender, and need.

I was actually shooting pretty decently in spite of the targets being at longer ranges than our indoor range can handle. I missed winning by *one* point, which made me feel pretty good (I had one bad round, so it was a fair cop, though I also had the best individual round of the day. To which: Squee!) To a literal newcomer to the sport, which was slightly deflating.

I bought myself three new pretties (Two ceramic necklaces from different dealers, and a pashmina scarf in my wardrobe's most ubiquitous shade of turquoise). Also hot apple cider from a booth manned by two girls of ~ 9-11 years, but that didn't make it more than ten minutes while the pretties came home with me. I also got to watch a bead-maker do two different styles of lampwork beads - the pendant I bought from her was porcelain and glass, which she couldn't demo on site, but which I have a pretty fair grasp how she did it anyhow.

I then decided that, having not tried it before, I'd try the thrown weapons tourney. I was at first afraid I'd be the one newbie among people who'd at least tried it before (Thrown weapons is usually a very small side activity with about 4 regular contestants - I was betting on 1-2 more from the visitors from Avacal.)

We had a line of over 15, most of whom were new to the activity (Some of them were brand new, first-event people for the SCA, even cooler). I liked the throwing knives. A lot. I was okay with the axes, and I'd certainly try them again, but really didn't like the spear, and not just because I managed to clock myself in the head with one of my practice throws.

Lots of fun.

However, Colin being away, I was then drafted as the Herald for Court. The awards were of course excellent to call, but the mood was ... well, frankly, borderline seditious, including the Prince.

The Big upcoming event in Wisconsin, Warriors and Warlords, or Dub-Dub, is usually set up as a competition of King & Queen versus their Heirs; Hrodir's 'sedition', was set-up for that event, inspired by a number of events in other courts or on Northshield's hall, including a recent time when the King deliberately "shamed" our Baron in front of the court - a schtick that may or may not have gone a bit overboard, tales differ - as our excuse to be on his side.

Then feast, which was very very tasty, as feasts around here are wont to be (Though the Brandon group hasn't had a lot of chance to demonstrate until now, they carried on the tradition with aplomb.)

The Prince had each table try and do something to entertain on the spot, in an informal competition; our table was taken out the first round, and deservedly, for choosing to do the Hokey Pokey (the choice of one of the girls who'd been running the hot drinks booth all day - I was happy enough to go with it. It didn't demand I sing in any real way; projecting my voice in court pretty much brought back the worst of the cough.) There were very few serious entries.

I was supposed to be running a bardic competition that night, but first the competition got cancelled due to lack of participants (While the weather was now promising, it had been miserable for enough of the day that we lost a LOT of people who opted to feast then drive home, both to Avacal and to Winnipeg) then we cancelled the second fire pit, as the one in front of the Baron's tent was pretty much becoming the place to be.

I sang along between coughs, but the one time the Prince really pinpointed me to do a song, enough other things happened that I didn't actually have to try. (It's rare when I say 'phew' to not getting to sing, in spite of the fact that i'm quite often nervous as hell at doing so.)

And they got Abacchus drunk! Fortunately, while he was a great deal of fun drunk, he didn't go so far as to forget himself, and he did down lots of water before he slept. But it's his first time. And he's my age, not a young'un. (Granted, the most I've been is giggly. But at least I've been that, and I actually have no interest in hitting "I can't walk", which is how far they got him before he started to sober himself.)


The main fun on Sunday, besides cursing that this would be the warm and sunny day, was driving home. To be clear; Cristina is an experienced driver, but she's also a country girl. With this being the second time in her life she'd handled a standard, while she managed to get us onto and most of the way down the highway, she had no confidence with doing so in a city. So me, the one with the learner's permit, got to do the last stretch, especially in the city.

Clearly, we got home alive, since it's been a week now since that happened. No problems, either.

I have to say that a highway that drops from 100 klicks to 70 with widely scattered lights for at least ten minutes before it drops to city speeds (60/50) is a LOT more comfortable than one that drops from 100 to city on the spot, as the highway up from North Dakota does. It's not nearly so much the speed, as it happens, but that the cars don't go from wide-spaced to cramped in one fell swoop.

So. That was last weekend. This week was quieter. Colin got better slowly. I did archery and dance practice. I've been mostly not writing, except for edits and an attempt to get the synopsis for Bird of Dusk down to a reasonable length (It's currently 11 pages double spaced. And that's after I cut. It will take at least two more cuts, or a major brainstorm about doing it a totally different way, to get it to seven or less. Ideally, I'd like five.)

Also, we cleaned house and started to get more furniture into place and more of the little jobs remaining on the renovation done. It begins to look like a real living room/dining room again.

That's all.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Last weekend I went to an event. Then I wrote a long journal entry. Then our internet died.

So here's what i wrote, edited a fair bit:

Weather was unpromising; the site was saturated from the excess rain (including the floors of the indoor locations), and the whole camp layout had to be rearranged to use the high ground only at the last minute. Friday night, we ended up barbequeing under what should have been a perfectly useful shade fly, but the wind was high and the drizzle light, sot here was literally no place we could put the barbie, our ourselves, that didn't involve drizzle. Saturday morning was horribly windy but not much drizzle, so we did archery after all; the afternoon remained the same almost to court, at which point we started seeing real breaks in the cloud, and by feast we weren't worried about being rained on; after dark, we were watching stars.

Colin had what seemed to be a minor cold. Then we slept Saturday night on an air mattress with a distinct leak, and he was worse. he went home around noon with another friend feeling pretty bad. Turns out he came out with a fever that night; I grant that I had fun without him, but I missed him. But I'm also glad he was in our house taking care of himself.

I do quite like the site! Truth be told, I thought the rearrangement, putting everything much closer together than it would otherwise be, actually made for a very good set-up for the number of people present. In future years, as it attracts a larger number (Which it likely will, being close to Avacal, allowing for visitors from Sigelhundas (Regina) at minimum, and close to the Shire of Midewinde (Minot, ND), with whom we have good relations), it's good to have the original plans for the set-up in mind, but this year, we didn't need to have to walk most of the length of the fairground for the archery. (It was literally at our back door.)

Except for the one major issue besides the weather, and not totally under the Event Steward's control; Saturday morning, the washrooms wouldn't work; the septic tanks were full. This did get fixed within a couple of hours.... but that they were full again a handful of hours later. We weren't overusing the site that much; the septic tank appeared to be cracked and taking in groundwater. And it was by low ground. The next nearest washrooms we could use were in an RV park, about ten minutes' walk from site (Half that if you were willing to use the cut-through beside the RCMP building, which was more boggy ground this time), and, once they had wind of our problem, the inn/bar, also about ten minutes' walk. (There was also a public washroom building further in town, to which I was driven once.) And of course, many availed themselves of bushes depending on garb, gender, and need.

I was actually shooting pretty decently in spite of the targets being at longer ranges than our indoor range can handle. I missed winning by *one* point, which made me feel pretty good (I had one bad round, so it was a fair cop, though I also had the best individual round of the day. To which: Squee!) To a literal newcomer to the sport, which was slightly deflating.

I bought myself three new pretties (Two ceramic necklaces from different dealers, and a pashmina scarf in my wardrobe's most ubiquitous shade of turquoise). Also hot apple cider from a booth manned by two girls of ~ 9-11 years, but that didn't make it more than ten minutes while the pretties came home with me. I also got to watch a bead-maker do two different styles of lampwork beads - the pendant I bought from her was porcelain and glass, which she couldn't demo on site, but which I have a pretty fair grasp how she did it anyhow.

I then decided that, having not tried it before, I'd try the thrown weapons tourney. I was at first afraid I'd be the one newbie among people who'd at least tried it before (Thrown weapons is usually a very small side activity with about 4 regular contestants - I was betting on 1-2 more from the visitors from Avacal.)

We had a line of over 15, most of whom were new to the activity (Some of them were brand new, first-event people for the SCA, even cooler). I liked the throwing knives. A lot. I was okay with the axes, and I'd certainly try them again, but really didn't like the spear, and not just because I managed to clock myself in the head with one of my practice throws.

Lots of fun.

However, Colin being away, I was then drafted as the Herald for Court. The awards were of course excellent to call, but the mood was ... well, frankly, borderline seditious, including the Prince.

The Big upcoming event in Wisconsin, Warriors and Warlords, or Dub-Dub, is usually set up as a competition of King & Queen versus their Heirs; Hrodir's 'sedition', was set-up for that event, inspired by a number of events in other courts or on Northshield's hall, including a recent time when the King deliberately "shamed" our Baron in front of the court - a schtick that may or may not have gone a bit overboard, tales differ - as our excuse to be on his side.

Then feast, which was very very tasty, as feasts around here are wont to be (Though the Brandon group hasn't had a lot of chance to demonstrate until now, they carried on the tradition with aplomb.)

The Prince had each table try and do something to entertain on the spot, in an informal competition; our table was taken out the first round, and deservedly, for choosing to do the Hokey Pokey (the choice of one of the girls who'd been running the hot drinks booth all day - I was happy enough to go with it. It didn't demand I sing in any real way; projecting my voice in court pretty much brought back the worst of the cough.) There were very few serious entries.

I was supposed to be running a bardic competition that night, but first the competition got cancelled due to lack of participants (While the weather was now promising, it had been miserable for enough of the day that we lost a LOT of people who opted to feast then drive home, both to Avacal and to Winnipeg) then we cancelled the second fire pit, as the one in front of the Baron's tent was pretty much becoming the place to be.

I sang along between coughs, but the one time the Prince really pinpointed me to do a song, enough other things happened that I didn't actually have to try. (It's rare when I say 'phew' to not getting to sing, in spite of the fact that i'm quite often nervous as hell at doing so.)

And they got Abacchus drunk! Fortunately, while he was a great deal of fun drunk, he didn't go so far as to forget himself, and he did down lots of water before he slept. But it's his first time. And he's my age, not a young'un. (Granted, the most I've been is giggly. But at least I've been that, and I actually have no interest in hitting "I can't walk", which is how far they got him before he started to sober himself.)


The main fun on Sunday, besides cursing that this would be the warm and sunny day, was driving home. To be clear; Cristina is an experienced driver, but she's also a country girl. With this being the second time in her life she'd handled a standard, while she managed to get us onto and most of the way down the highway, she had no confidence with doing so in a city. So me, the one with the learner's permit, got to do the last stretch, especially in the city.

Clearly, we got home alive, since it's been a week now since that happened. No problems, either.

I have to say that a highway that drops from 100 klicks to 70 with widely scattered lights for at least ten minutes before it drops to city speeds (60/50) is a LOT more comfortable than one that drops from 100 to city on the spot, as the highway up from North Dakota does. It's not nearly so much the speed, as it happens, but that the cars don't go from wide-spaced to cramped in one fell swoop.

So. That was last weekend. This week was quieter. Colin got better slowly. I did archery and dance practice. I've been mostly not writing, except for edits and an attempt to get the synopsis for Bird of Dusk down to a reasonable length (It's currently 11 pages double spaced. And that's after I cut. It will take at least two more cuts, or a major brainstorm about doing it a totally different way, to get it to seven or less. Ideally, I'd like five.)

Also, we cleaned house and started to get more furniture into place and more of the little jobs remaining on the renovation done. It begins to look like a real living room/dining room again.

That's all.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Hurrah for the Dana again. I got a significant chunk of Bird of Dusk threaded together; the stuff I wrote just a few weeks ago, plus all the connective tissue. The Dana isn't usually good for editing or moving around a lot in text, but as ever, in spite of having the original draft of said scene on hand, I ended up doing the connecting scene by typing in almost 100% new stuff.

On the bus. In bus stops. And briefly, while waiting for my food pick-up order to be ready.

I Heart my Dana.

For those who don't know, a Dana is an AlphaSmart system; a keyboard close to full size, a touchscreen large enough to hold about ten lines of plain text and a command bar activated entirely by touch. It gnerally includes a lot of the features from things like palm-pilots, plus a word processor. Danas also include wireless capabilities, which I've never actually used, but I presume are also on the level of palms and blackberries and the like*.

They were originally designed for students with developmental disabilities that mean typing is easier than text. However, the fact that they are smaller than most laptops, sturdier than most laptops (Having been designed for people who are more likely to drop electronics) and have an 18 hour rechargeable internal battery that can be swapped with ordinary AAs (Including letting you load the AAs before disconnecting the internal), and can take memory cards makes them really good for your average writer or student, too. (And they sync files with your computer. The Dana version trumps the computer version - but it knows enough to shunt the old file on the computer into a slightly renamed version, not wipe it, just in case. It just means that to get the newest version of a file *onto* the Dana, you have to do extra work.)

The disadvantages I've found so far:

The touch screen abilities don't always perfectly make up for the lack of a mouse or certain commands (I don't know how to do Control-End or Control-Home, for example. They have keys for F1-F8, but I never learned the F key commands.)

In a bouncy car ride (Ie, bad shocks or a rough highway), the keypad sometimes misses strokes. I can't help but think this has to be a problem with at least some laptops, too. But the results are entertaining, as three disparate words become a wriggle with no spaces.

The internal light for the screen eats the battery power way faster, so in the car, I have to stop working when the sunset turns to actual twilight.

If the battery runs out, it loses *everything* internal. Thus the permanently designated Memory card. And the occasional paranoid watching of the battery indicator. And again, 18 hours of working time first. I've never yet run the battery out enough to need the AAs, though I always have them.

It's bad for editing. Between the lack of mouseability and the tiny screen and the fact that typos aren't as obvious, it's much better for first drafts. But then, it makes up for it by going everywhere without running out the way a laptop will.

Still, having a Dana in combination with a solid home computer for the editing and clean-up means more ability to work in more places. And I'm faster and more comfortable than I am with a paper notebook. Though I've used those too, they have an obvious disadvantage when it comes to long ongoing projects, and the need to retype everything. I do prefer being able to just link files back together.

_______________________

Note to self: Heather Dale is good archery music. It definitely helped me concentrate. Except for "the Holly and the Ivy".


*I look at the last clause of this sentence and wonder again at the shift in language.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Hurrah for the Dana again. I got a significant chunk of Bird of Dusk threaded together; the stuff I wrote just a few weeks ago, plus all the connective tissue. The Dana isn't usually good for editing or moving around a lot in text, but as ever, in spite of having the original draft of said scene on hand, I ended up doing the connecting scene by typing in almost 100% new stuff.

On the bus. In bus stops. And briefly, while waiting for my food pick-up order to be ready.

I Heart my Dana.

For those who don't know, a Dana is an AlphaSmart system; a keyboard close to full size, a touchscreen large enough to hold about ten lines of plain text and a command bar activated entirely by touch. It gnerally includes a lot of the features from things like palm-pilots, plus a word processor. Danas also include wireless capabilities, which I've never actually used, but I presume are also on the level of palms and blackberries and the like*.

They were originally designed for students with developmental disabilities that mean typing is easier than text. However, the fact that they are smaller than most laptops, sturdier than most laptops (Having been designed for people who are more likely to drop electronics) and have an 18 hour rechargeable internal battery that can be swapped with ordinary AAs (Including letting you load the AAs before disconnecting the internal), and can take memory cards makes them really good for your average writer or student, too. (And they sync files with your computer. The Dana version trumps the computer version - but it knows enough to shunt the old file on the computer into a slightly renamed version, not wipe it, just in case. It just means that to get the newest version of a file *onto* the Dana, you have to do extra work.)

The disadvantages I've found so far:

The touch screen abilities don't always perfectly make up for the lack of a mouse or certain commands (I don't know how to do Control-End or Control-Home, for example. They have keys for F1-F8, but I never learned the F key commands.)

In a bouncy car ride (Ie, bad shocks or a rough highway), the keypad sometimes misses strokes. I can't help but think this has to be a problem with at least some laptops, too. But the results are entertaining, as three disparate words become a wriggle with no spaces.

The internal light for the screen eats the battery power way faster, so in the car, I have to stop working when the sunset turns to actual twilight.

If the battery runs out, it loses *everything* internal. Thus the permanently designated Memory card. And the occasional paranoid watching of the battery indicator. And again, 18 hours of working time first. I've never yet run the battery out enough to need the AAs, though I always have them.

It's bad for editing. Between the lack of mouseability and the tiny screen and the fact that typos aren't as obvious, it's much better for first drafts. But then, it makes up for it by going everywhere without running out the way a laptop will.

Still, having a Dana in combination with a solid home computer for the editing and clean-up means more ability to work in more places. And I'm faster and more comfortable than I am with a paper notebook. Though I've used those too, they have an obvious disadvantage when it comes to long ongoing projects, and the need to retype everything. I do prefer being able to just link files back together.

_______________________

Note to self: Heather Dale is good archery music. It definitely helped me concentrate. Except for "the Holly and the Ivy".


*I look at the last clause of this sentence and wonder again at the shift in language.
lenora_rose: (Default)
In archery, sometimes, when you make too bad a shot, your next several arrows also suffer as you try to regain equilibrium. Technique gets extra sloppy again. I call this flinching.

Once in a while, this also happens after an especially good shot. You flinch because you know you can't repeat that.

However, in writing, you can be having both at once. I just wrote through an emotionally wrenching scene.

Then I rewrote it, because the first was sloppy technique, and therefore read as emotionally stale, and I knew it as i did it.

The second time through, I was deep in that zone. Poor Colin tried to talk to me and got snarled at. It all went right; it did what it needed to do. And because the scene was doing what it needed to do, and being horrific for the characters living it, even as I think it became much better technically, and hit the mark dead on, it hurt like F*** to write.

So today, Having got to the point of writing the rather easier stuff in the next chapter, it's a bit of a fight getting words down. Some of this is that there's exposition happening, and that's a personal weak spot, so I get hyper-aware of bad technique.

Some of it is that I'm expecting the writing to hurt again. So, between knowing I can't hit the good technique high, and due to having too recently hit the emotional low, I'm flinching.

I've got to stop that.

((Thus, I ran off and read some Shadow Unit, of which I am like half a season behind, a week before the season ender. because my own writing isn't wrenching enough. OTOH, what happens to those characters isn't getting filtered through me.)
lenora_rose: (Default)
In archery, sometimes, when you make too bad a shot, your next several arrows also suffer as you try to regain equilibrium. Technique gets extra sloppy again. I call this flinching.

Once in a while, this also happens after an especially good shot. You flinch because you know you can't repeat that.

However, in writing, you can be having both at once. I just wrote through an emotionally wrenching scene.

Then I rewrote it, because the first was sloppy technique, and therefore read as emotionally stale, and I knew it as i did it.

The second time through, I was deep in that zone. Poor Colin tried to talk to me and got snarled at. It all went right; it did what it needed to do. And because the scene was doing what it needed to do, and being horrific for the characters living it, even as I think it became much better technically, and hit the mark dead on, it hurt like F*** to write.

So today, Having got to the point of writing the rather easier stuff in the next chapter, it's a bit of a fight getting words down. Some of this is that there's exposition happening, and that's a personal weak spot, so I get hyper-aware of bad technique.

Some of it is that I'm expecting the writing to hurt again. So, between knowing I can't hit the good technique high, and due to having too recently hit the emotional low, I'm flinching.

I've got to stop that.

((Thus, I ran off and read some Shadow Unit, of which I am like half a season behind, a week before the season ender. because my own writing isn't wrenching enough. OTOH, what happens to those characters isn't getting filtered through me.)
lenora_rose: (Default)
Two weekends before last was Schutzenfest, a splendid archery-and-equestrian based event (There's NO heavy fighting, which is practically unheard-of at most outdoor events). It was on a new site, and one I rather like; there are mini-cabins instead of exclusive tenting, though there is room for tents. However, since Colin is allergic to horses,t he path to and from cabins and archery range tended to be traversed quickly, lest the horses get into his lungs. Brannie would have been rather beside herself with squee at the horses.

I shot mediocre, mostly too wound up to focus, but I had some fun anyhow. The winner, for the first time in eight Schutzenfests, was from the group that runs the event (Nordskogen/Minneapolis). Robin came in second. Colin was disappointed with his performance. And TOmaas, who came in second last year, started out with a fabulous clout shoot (Which is the 100-110 yard target.) Turns out he's been practicing out at his parents' cabin, with abacchus and Iulianna. I think Colin and I would have loved to join in had we but known....

The oddest thing that happened, I think, was the successful return of a swallow chick to its nest well overhead, balanced on the very end of a very long pole. Poor thing fluttered down, flapping enough for a controlled glide down, but no way in hell it would get back up alone. We had mostly been presuming it would simply end up doomed, but somehow it got enough attention given to its plight that someone came up with the idea of the pole.

Mo music around the bardic circle; it ended up a conversational fire instead. The woman who showed up at WW with the carbon cello had it out again, and she did play a couple of times (and added the occasional tongue in cheek musical supprot, including a snippet of Muppet Show theme at the appropriate moment). I had the Angry Chicken out, but I ended up noodling in practice rather than performing. Just as well, the conversation was really good, and we heard at least one hilarious story about a prank played - at one of our own former Gimli events, and of which I had been entirely oblivious.

The weekend between was.... odd, in almost entirely good ways, but I can't really say more.

Last weekend was our own Gimli event. And our new Baronial Investiture. The court and investiture went pretty smoothly, considering how much of it was pretty much prepared in the last half hour before court, and that shortly after the investiture, we also switched around all the Baronial officers, so that Colin was running his first court ever. The only real hitch wasn't in the investiture; it was that two people were given AOAs that already had them. (One of them actually had the king say, "I would have given you the Griffon's Sword, but we have a personal policy that we don't give Arms level awards to people without an Award of Arms". Argh!) So now Gabriel is, by his own joke, Lord Lord Gabriel. Which is better off than Hadassah, whose first award proclaimed her a 'he', so she's a Lord Lady.

The Vicar's Cup A&S challenge ended up with only 5 entrants, alas, but considering she was looking for masterwork level stuff, she got what she'd been asking for. Tarrach, last minute, opted to judge rather than adding a 6th entry; his excuse was that his documentation was on his computer but not printed - several people remarked that Tarrach could probably just put his name down and people would consider it sufficient documentation that it's done to period spec. ("No, dear, I'm sorry, Tarrach does not count as a primary source...")

I came in second to the person who fired my pottery for me the second time; and rightfully so. M's plates and mugs were very handsome, and much more documented and researched, and much more closely based on a real period source than the pottery part of my work (I made it a double-entry, the ballad and the plates going together as they do.) This meant instead of the cup itself, I got a copy of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. No complaints here; that was a delightful prize. And really, she did good work. (Pedro came in third with his gauntlets.)

I never did actually sing the ballad; the Saturday night fire, starting late as it does (After the fire arrows into the lake) and beginning with the burning of the tower (And this year, the village around the tower; Colin had built a bunch of miniature houses, too) ended up with too short a time for much singing to happen, though Hadassah started us off very well with a song she called the Holland Handkerchief (And I know as the Suffolk Miracle; her source was Connie Dover, mine Jim Moray) and Dirk and Robin together did a pretty fair rendition of Rite of Passage (Robin should sing more), and abacchus/Armonn actually got a couple of songs in. Sunday night there was much more singing, including an actual stretch of mostly medieval pieces, but I felt like I was somehow rather more the main Sunday singer than I meant to be; I kept being called on, not to perform on my own, but to start off and lead people in various SCA standards. I very much missed Abacchus and Iulianna, who'd left that night.

Archery went well; I was first out of the water duel (Only ebcause out of a field of 32, single-elimination, I drew the number to shoot first; 15 other people were taken out in the same round as I). And of the general challenges afterwards, I won two and lost two, one for an as-yet-undetermined forfeit (The only one where we had stakes, we were too lazy to decide what stakes. Since the person in question is known for risque flirting, I fully expect her to demand something totally innocuous "just to throw people off".)

And even happier, Colin won, and won well.

And Iulianna made me a henna phoenix (With flowers) on my leg. it's not *quite* as gorgeous as the peacock from last year, but it's still work to be proud of.

War court was pretty, fire arrows were pretty, mosquitoes were.... EVERYWHERE. In monstrous quantities. The week of sun after the summer of rain was exactly the thing to make them hatch in the billions - and after the main dragonfly swarms have gone. Yeek.

And now... Colin has a flu. And I'm starting to show symptoms. Uh oh. As long as I can make it to work tomorrow, I can afford to be laid up for the next weekend (We were contemplating Coronation, since it's only in Fargo - and yes, that would make a 6th driving trip this summer, though Gimli, at an hour or so, barely counts - but opted not.)

Oh, and I've decided I really like the people who just moved here from Alberta.

And mom, thirstysmurf said to say hi to you and grandma. She asked about both your healths; I told her what news there is on that front, as far as grandma is concerned. She wishes you and she both well.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Two weekends before last was Schutzenfest, a splendid archery-and-equestrian based event (There's NO heavy fighting, which is practically unheard-of at most outdoor events). It was on a new site, and one I rather like; there are mini-cabins instead of exclusive tenting, though there is room for tents. However, since Colin is allergic to horses,t he path to and from cabins and archery range tended to be traversed quickly, lest the horses get into his lungs. Brannie would have been rather beside herself with squee at the horses.

I shot mediocre, mostly too wound up to focus, but I had some fun anyhow. The winner, for the first time in eight Schutzenfests, was from the group that runs the event (Nordskogen/Minneapolis). Robin came in second. Colin was disappointed with his performance. And TOmaas, who came in second last year, started out with a fabulous clout shoot (Which is the 100-110 yard target.) Turns out he's been practicing out at his parents' cabin, with abacchus and Iulianna. I think Colin and I would have loved to join in had we but known....

The oddest thing that happened, I think, was the successful return of a swallow chick to its nest well overhead, balanced on the very end of a very long pole. Poor thing fluttered down, flapping enough for a controlled glide down, but no way in hell it would get back up alone. We had mostly been presuming it would simply end up doomed, but somehow it got enough attention given to its plight that someone came up with the idea of the pole.

Mo music around the bardic circle; it ended up a conversational fire instead. The woman who showed up at WW with the carbon cello had it out again, and she did play a couple of times (and added the occasional tongue in cheek musical supprot, including a snippet of Muppet Show theme at the appropriate moment). I had the Angry Chicken out, but I ended up noodling in practice rather than performing. Just as well, the conversation was really good, and we heard at least one hilarious story about a prank played - at one of our own former Gimli events, and of which I had been entirely oblivious.

The weekend between was.... odd, in almost entirely good ways, but I can't really say more.

Last weekend was our own Gimli event. And our new Baronial Investiture. The court and investiture went pretty smoothly, considering how much of it was pretty much prepared in the last half hour before court, and that shortly after the investiture, we also switched around all the Baronial officers, so that Colin was running his first court ever. The only real hitch wasn't in the investiture; it was that two people were given AOAs that already had them. (One of them actually had the king say, "I would have given you the Griffon's Sword, but we have a personal policy that we don't give Arms level awards to people without an Award of Arms". Argh!) So now Gabriel is, by his own joke, Lord Lord Gabriel. Which is better off than Hadassah, whose first award proclaimed her a 'he', so she's a Lord Lady.

The Vicar's Cup A&S challenge ended up with only 5 entrants, alas, but considering she was looking for masterwork level stuff, she got what she'd been asking for. Tarrach, last minute, opted to judge rather than adding a 6th entry; his excuse was that his documentation was on his computer but not printed - several people remarked that Tarrach could probably just put his name down and people would consider it sufficient documentation that it's done to period spec. ("No, dear, I'm sorry, Tarrach does not count as a primary source...")

I came in second to the person who fired my pottery for me the second time; and rightfully so. M's plates and mugs were very handsome, and much more documented and researched, and much more closely based on a real period source than the pottery part of my work (I made it a double-entry, the ballad and the plates going together as they do.) This meant instead of the cup itself, I got a copy of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. No complaints here; that was a delightful prize. And really, she did good work. (Pedro came in third with his gauntlets.)

I never did actually sing the ballad; the Saturday night fire, starting late as it does (After the fire arrows into the lake) and beginning with the burning of the tower (And this year, the village around the tower; Colin had built a bunch of miniature houses, too) ended up with too short a time for much singing to happen, though Hadassah started us off very well with a song she called the Holland Handkerchief (And I know as the Suffolk Miracle; her source was Connie Dover, mine Jim Moray) and Dirk and Robin together did a pretty fair rendition of Rite of Passage (Robin should sing more), and abacchus/Armonn actually got a couple of songs in. Sunday night there was much more singing, including an actual stretch of mostly medieval pieces, but I felt like I was somehow rather more the main Sunday singer than I meant to be; I kept being called on, not to perform on my own, but to start off and lead people in various SCA standards. I very much missed Abacchus and Iulianna, who'd left that night.

Archery went well; I was first out of the water duel (Only ebcause out of a field of 32, single-elimination, I drew the number to shoot first; 15 other people were taken out in the same round as I). And of the general challenges afterwards, I won two and lost two, one for an as-yet-undetermined forfeit (The only one where we had stakes, we were too lazy to decide what stakes. Since the person in question is known for risque flirting, I fully expect her to demand something totally innocuous "just to throw people off".)

And even happier, Colin won, and won well.

And Iulianna made me a henna phoenix (With flowers) on my leg. it's not *quite* as gorgeous as the peacock from last year, but it's still work to be proud of.

War court was pretty, fire arrows were pretty, mosquitoes were.... EVERYWHERE. In monstrous quantities. The week of sun after the summer of rain was exactly the thing to make them hatch in the billions - and after the main dragonfly swarms have gone. Yeek.

And now... Colin has a flu. And I'm starting to show symptoms. Uh oh. As long as I can make it to work tomorrow, I can afford to be laid up for the next weekend (We were contemplating Coronation, since it's only in Fargo - and yes, that would make a 6th driving trip this summer, though Gimli, at an hour or so, barely counts - but opted not.)

Oh, and I've decided I really like the people who just moved here from Alberta.

And mom, thirstysmurf said to say hi to you and grandma. She asked about both your healths; I told her what news there is on that front, as far as grandma is concerned. She wishes you and she both well.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Still too wiped from WW to really say what it deserves.

Question one: was it worth missing the folk fest to go to what happens to be the biggest SCA event I've personally been to?

Answer is...

Not sure, really. It was a lot of fun, and not all in ways easy to describe. We travelled down as seven people in a convoy of two cars (Colin and I were in B's car), and joined more Winnipeggers once there, and re-met a number of out of town friends. I liked having so much archery happening that it seemed hard to fit in all the shoots you actually want and have time to eat, take classes, shop, etc. (Okay, the one with the problem about eating was because the archery lunch break was *when* the class happened, not because they failed to include a lunch break). Much shooting was done, and much of it was fun. i stopped when the serving (a part of the bowstring) broke, though a wonderful lady on site fixed it and I could have continued soon after. (Reminder to self; bring her money at Schutzenfest. I was lacking change at the right time.)

The bardic circles had enough new and varied blood to be worthwhile, and talent ranging from the professional to the painfully earnest (and off-key) newcomer. I remember being that newcomer. But it still sometimes hurts to listen. (Although the worst one for managing to be determinedly off-key also had fairly interesting lyrics he'd written for a university project.)

SCA filk circles include two genres rarely seen in other folk or SF filk circles: the occasional well researched, authentically medieval or renaissance song that isn't Greensleeves or its ilk (Which i think is the coolest to hear, and have occasionally dipped into the borders of, though quasi-historical is more my usual skill), and the ongoing "Hail {SCA kingdom of your preference}" genre, which includes some fabulous tunes but can be wearing in aggregate (How many people do you know who listen to fifteen ****heavily**** patriotic songs in a row - for fun?) The rest is the quasi-historic, and the original quasi-medieval songs on other subjects, and the filk parody, usually but not necessarily to a modern tune. Also usually the most easily abused song style, since we all think we can do that. Fortunately, one of the guys there this time was a past master at the parody filk, so the bar was higher than usual on that one.

(My favourite of the filk parodies at WW was not his, though. It was "Shakespearean Pie", which is Hamlet to American Pie, and actually Clever. Rather than have the identical chorus each time as AP does, it progressed through new and different snippets of the "To be or Not to Be" soliloquy).

I was mildly saddened that said person, whom I have met before and found memorable, had no memory of me; the other Bardic person i remembered from before (Unforgettable, really, if you pay attention to the authenticity side of music) seemed to have some inkling of me.

I saw little of the fighting, but it looked big and impressive. The shopping was actually worth scoping out, even if all I bought was a small pretty necklace and two modern shirts. (I was looking for quivers, which no leatherworker actually seemed to have, and a little tempted by medieval shoes and a handsome fencing buckler, and cut myself on a pair of bracers that were lovely but didn't have their grommets hammered in right - odd, as all the other pairs were properly finished.

Court was preceded by a concert by the Northshield choir, which Abacchus and Iulianna had joined for the event. It came across very well indeed; some period peices and one SCA piece adapted for chorus. Smooth enough to sound polished; since the Northshield choir meets intermittently, and takes in people from everywhere to rehearse at event and perform with the core, it was impressive. (I hadn't joined in because I was favouring archery at the time the two practices happened). Court was like court but more of all of it. More big impressive awards given to people who dearly deserved it, more smaller awards given to people I didn't know, longer, boring in stretches but *Really* interesting when it got interesting.

And it included a bit of a surprise, as one of the former Kings and Queens (Aesa and Raito: with Aesa also being one of the event autocrats, usually REQUIRED at a court) vanishing partway through, though for the best of all reasons: the announcement at bardic circle, once received via the highly medieval network of cell phones and text messages, was "It's a girl!"

The site was pretty good, being in reach of workable showers, in the middle of a town and thus close to things like grocery stores (When you can't take meat, veggies and fruit over the border, and want to cook some of your own meals, this is IMPORTANT.) and hardware stores (One of the tents in our encampment proved to have been packed without stakes), but large enough and hilly enough that such modern things were reasonably out of sight when you wanted to be in the mood. (And the far end of the park from the range - and nearest the area where we put our tents -- also sported a pool if you wanted to pay for the chance to cool off.)

Alas, it was also horribly infested with bugs one of our camp-mates identified as wigs of some kind (Not earwigs, but kin). They decidedly liked all the dark snug corners they could find. This meant that we had to knock them out of the sleeves for the tent poles on EVERY tent, and from under flaps, and out of the hollow metal ring on the fire pit, when we were packing up. (They also infested Abacchus and Iulianna's tent. They'd been flooded out Thursday Night/Friday morning by the sole serious rain, and left it open to dry all day Friday. Friday night, they slept in the car.)

The stop the night before the event at Tarrach and Fina's house in Fargo was nice for having beds, and it was good to see Fina that morning, as we hardly saw either at the event proper. The stop after at TE's Anne and Geoffrey's in Minneapolis was LOVELY, because we had hours to unwind and relax that evening, a pizza party, lots of time to visit them properly, and a leisurely start in the morning before we spun about, and did some shopping in Minneapolis.

Most of the driving was good, as much as driving can be (I got more done on Soldier of the Road, read a fair bit of a pregnancy book, and heard most of the radio play of Douglas Adams' Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, though I drifted off for a good bit of the climactic scene and thus got a lot of denouement and problem solving missing some context.)

The last stretch, from Minneapolis home, was the only one to go sour, and it did it in a big way. First we lost our fellow convoy car (Armonn, Iulianna, and Tomaas) leaving Minneapolis (construction detour...), then Colin braked hard to avoid a duck and ducklings crossing the highway (Not wholly successfully; mom and three of the five ducklings made it to the curb safely.) and the soft thump I had thought was ducklings... wasn't. B's car would not shift into park when we stopped for supper (Which also meant the keys would not leave the ignition), and nothing B or Colin did could get it to actually shift. Granted, B had an auto-lock he could remove from the keychain, so we could lock it behind us, but he's currently low on employment and did not need a repair.

And THAT distracted us enough that we left town without filling up. And there was some doubt we would actually make it to one of the suddenly sparse small towns that was big enough for a gas station before we ran out. We did make it, and by more than we feared, but the problem with a car full past the gills is not being quite sure how much less efficient the fuel is.

Between the slightly longer than intended supper break and the turn off the main highway to race for gas, our former convoy car got ahead of us, and once they were in Canada and free of cellular roaming charges, called to check how we were doing. (Which we'd been planning to do when we crossed the roaming charge border, too, so we were glad to hear.)

We got to Winnipeg later than desired, but seem to have all survived, and when I talked to B today, his car damage was minor enough they fixed it for free when he got his oil changed. (One thing in the shifter had slipped out of alignment, and the mechanic had happened to see it before and knew how little it took. Which was good; if it had been what we feared on the way, the part cost alone would have been $400.

So. Camping similar to folk fest, with related attendant risks (rain and wind, getting boiled out of your tent if not under enough trees, bugs). Fewer drums. A similar quality level of Music circle around the fire at night, if different subject, and there was one circle for the whole place, not twenty or thirty scattered. A swimming pool rather than a potentially-chiggery lake. Different merchants. Archery and fighting and dance and classes (Yes, I did some of the latter two, though not *much* dancing; I skipped the post-court mini-ball.) instead of dozens and dozens of professional live musicians. (Normally, I'd mention the great deal more booze, but not this year for me.) The food wasn't as good; but there I'm spoiled by Folk Fest volunteering, where we're fed free lunch and dinner and a lot of water and drinks that didn't have an old-hose aftertaste. (The tapwater direct at WW was actually pretty good, when we filled our own, but either the water-bearer jugs or the thing they filled them from gave a pretty foul aftertaste.) For WW, we had to cook ourselves or go into town for most meals.

Still, glad to have gone. Glad to have tried a couple of classes and sung a few songs (And screwed up one on the mandolin, as you do) and shot arrows at odd, inventive targets.

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