It’s day two of my first Estrella War, and I’m having a good time. I’m even venturing out by myself to explore, which is a big step for socially-anxious me.
My husband has been busy, so first I found my friends at Rapier Camp, then I wandered around Merchant’s Row on my ownsome to browse and look for a cloak to wear in this freezing cold weather. Sadly, pay day doesn’t come until tomorrow, so hopefully one of the three I saw that I liked will still be available.
Today I made my way back to Rapier Camp–this time armed (literally) with my rapier and gear–and participated in a women’s fighting tournament after watching several men fight in skirts. Then, after a quick lunch, I went to another camp to watch a cut and thrust longsword tournament. I left before it was done, though, because I got really tired and decided it was nap time.
I’m not sure what I’ll do tonight. Maybe cruise Merchant’s Row again and see if the things I want are still there, maybe get in touch with my rapier friends and see what they’re up to. Maybe I’ll read, or sew, or sleep. Who knows.
Tomorrow brings the first day of melee fighting, where I’ll earn an Oleander (and after cross stitching ten of them, I am damn sure going to earn one). I might do some marshalling, or I might spectate once I get tired. Then at least one tournament, then I get my red scarf, then… I don’t know.
It’s kinda refreshing not having much that I have to do. There’s one shift of guard duty for the Queen, but otherwise it’s like stuff like courts and meals.
So far Estrella is fun. The drama ended kind of at an anticlimax, because not too much got truly resolved, but enough did that I’m relieved nonetheless.
Finally! After weeks of waiting and rescheduling and poor timing, my sword tattoo is done! The tattoo artist’s name is Amanda Jiminez at Battleship Tattoo (to give credit where credit’s due) and here’s the outcome:
I’m ecstatic! I love it and can’t wait to show it off at Estrella War next week.
This has taken a majority of my mind off of the continuing drama, but I know it’s just a proverbial band-aid on a bullet wound. If that’s a proverb….if not, it should be. Can we coin that phrase? Let’s coin that.
I still have a few things to make/stitch, but the majority of it is done. A tunic to finish (though most of it is cut out and much of it is sewn) and some trim to stitch onto another tunic…that’s about it that I can think of right now. Oh, and some little piddly stuff to do, but that stuff is minor and less time-consuming than the above-mentioned stuff. These things also can help take my mind off of the drama things, though only temporarily, and mostly only when I have to get out the seam ripper. Gods, I hate seam ripping.
Book 1 is still in the editor’s hands, but I’m waiting patiently because I know she’s been quite sick recently. I totally understand that and have no ill feelings on it (ha! pun!). I’d like to get back to writing, but….maybe after Estrella. Right now, my time is pulled in other directions.
Two more work days until we leave for war.
Let the games begin.
So I’ve finally figured out what arts I want to focus on for the SCA…now I just have to get up the nerve to talk to several different peers (Laurels specifically) so I can get to know them and hopefully find a mentor.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’ll be at Laurel level any time soon. Years. Many years. But I think I’m ready to start getting to know different Laurels and hopefully find one who will be a good fit for me. Then there’s the ask-vs-being-asked dilemma…some Laurels want you to approach them about apprenticeship, while others want to get to know you and your work and will then eventually ask you. So I have to test the waters on that a bit before diving in. Don’t want to offend a potential Laurel by being too forward.
As far as peerages go, Laurel is the most likely one I could potentially get. Yes, there’s Master of Defense for rapier, but I’m probably decades off from that one, if ever. And of course I’m not going to be a Knight (because I am too weak for hardsuit fighting), and Pelican (the service peerage) isn’t really for me. Not that I don’t mind helping people or anything, but I just don’t have the intense drive to serve that a lot of good Pelicans have.
I’ll get there eventually, but first thing’s first.
I had so been looking forward to getting my next tattoo yesterday…unfortunately, the artist I scheduled with had a change in plans, so I have to wait until next Friday. 🙁
I’m still getting the tattoo, but the wait is a bit annoying. What tattoo am I getting? Why, I’m glad you asked. Let me show you my Photoshop masterpiece:
You have no idea how difficult it was to get the sword and wings straight and even when the images I used were at angles that just would’t have worked. I spliced two different images, a geometric sword tattoo I found on Pinterest and a a geometric bird I found on Google.
Yay for Photoshop! Sword is no longer nearly as crooked, and the bird wings are nice and even.
Now, if the final image looks familiar, there’s a reason: in a few lazy Google searches, I found several winged images that said they were traditionally symbols of Valkyries. Here’s an example:
Some of the images I found had a sword in place of the downward lines. Those weren’t necessarily actually related to Valkyries, but since I swordfight in the SCA and since my SCA persona is a Viking, well….yeah. A sword. With wings. The geometry isn’t too SCA-period-y, but I liked the style.
Next Friday. Perma-sword time. 🙂
Life is like a TARDIS, and right now my life is a bit wibbly-wobbly.
Let me clarify: I’m existing in multiple eras at the same time, and it’s kind of weird to think about.
I’m living in the past (the SCA). I’m working in the present. And I’m writing in the future.
So, depending on the day, I could exist in three different “times” in less than twenty-four hours. For instance, right now I’m doing medieval-era embroidery. Later, I’ll be doing some modern kitchen clean-up and laundry. And spaced throughout the day, as I’m doing these other things, I’ll probably be writing a century or so into the future. Kind of cool, but kind of confusing if you’re not used to it.
Part of the way I deal with my temporal dysplasia is by compartmentalizing. Not the most healthy of psychological mechanisms to use, but it’s one that seems to work for me. When I’m at work, the SCA and my writing are at the back of my mind at best. In the SCA, I’m oblivious to the work aspect of things, and I only write during times when I can pull myself away from the past. When I’m writing, forget the rest of the time stream; I’m in the future of my own creation, and that’s that.
Well, maybe not quite that simple. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, the streams cross. I have sword jewelry that I wear to work. I carry my phone with me at SCA events. And that future? It’s based on tidbits of the present.
I guess the reason that I can’t completely separate things is because time isn’t a straight line, at least not from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint. It’s more of a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.
It took getting hit like a ton of bricks to get me to slow down, but I finally took a weekend “off” from the hectic life I’ve been living.
Here’s what happened: I overdid things, as I am wont to do, and I ended up contracting one of those strains of flu not covered by this year’s vaccine. Yep, that’s what it takes to get me to grind to a halt when I’ve been going going going. No events for me, no war practice, no rapier practice, no nothing. Just staying home from work yesterday and staying home from war practice today and tomorrow. Home. No running. No doing…just being.
Okay, maybe a little doing. I’ve been embroidering and sewing, but I’m keeping my activities limited to at-home things that don’t require going out. My body clearly needed the rest, so resting I am.
It feels a bit weird. I have nothing that I absolutely have to be doing right now. As a matter of fact, I’m lying in bed, watching a movie in the dark. No responsibilities. So strange. And you know what? It’s the middle of the day. Almost 3:30 in the afternoon…and I’m not doing anything of worth.
The coming weeks won’t be like this. It’ll take another viral attack to get me to slow down again. There will be more practices, more projects, more more more. I should probably take advantage of this disadvantage and relax as much as possible.
I won’t get an opportunity like this for a while.
It’s getting to be that time of year: Estrella War. It will be my second major SCA war, and my first major in-kingdom war. Like, major-major.
I’m not super keen on melee rapier fighting. Too chaotic, too closed-in, too many people, just too much for me. I feel more in the way than useful. I plan on sucking it up and diving in, though, because female fighters get an award for their first time on the battlefield at Estrella. (Thanks, Sir Trudy, for being the first.) Yeah, it’s a common award and every woman who fights in melee combat at Estrella gets one, but damnit I’m gonna earn it.
This weekend is our kingdom’s “fighting collegium” and our southern war practice. My foot is still in the stupid fracture boot thanks to a random rock at Southern war (or at least that’s the podiatrist’s theory), but I’m going to go and get the most out of these classes and this practice. If I’m going to go out on the battlefield even only once, I need to try to get that in-the-way thing taken care of. Learn to make myself useful instead.
Oh, and I made a decision on the baronial Arts & Sciences competition: I’m going all-in. Aiming for Champion. Go big or go home, right? Besides, I want to prove to myself that I can do it. Compete, that is; I’m not going to be devastated if I don’t win, but hell, at least I can say I tried.
The past few years, I’ve tried different methods of planning out new year’s resolutions–I’ve made lists of several resolutions/goals, I’ve kept 3×5 index cards on the fridge, I’ve coordinated with a friend to be resolutions buddies, I’ve narrowed it down to one goal–all with varied results. Oddly enough, the years where I’ve made long lists have been about as successful as those where I just picked one thing to focus on.
What did I decide to do this year? A big, fat nothing. I haven’t so much given up on resolutions as I’ve decided that I just don’t want to be “that guy/girl” who sets lofty goals and then fails to succeed in those goals. Does that mean I have no goals for this year? No, but I’m not aiming for anything that could be quantified as a “resolution,” and I kinda started the list long before the new year rolled around. Hell, I started working towards the list before the new year rolled around.
I want my WIP to be published. I want Book 2 to be revised and polished enough for submission to the publisher. I want to learn more embroidery and sewing techniques, both modern and medieval. I want to enter something in an SCA Arts and Sciences competition. I want to advance in rapier training. I want to keep up with the exercise routine I have with my friends. I want to not break my freakin’ foot again.
All perfectly reasonable goals, right? But I’m not going to call them “resolutions.” That sounds cliche and empty. How many people who make new year’s resolutions actually keep them? I don’t have statistics on that (and really am too lazy to Google it), but I’m going to make a blind generalization that the majority of the people who make new year’s resolutions don’t follow through to the end goal. I’m basing this not on science, but on my perception as viewed through social media and friends’ and family members’ experiences. Because third-hand data, especially data that has not actually been documented and studied, is so reliable. Hey, what can I say? Being informed and accurate is not one of my goals. 😉
I’m not saying that new year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. I’ve succeeded in several over the years. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t resolve to resolve just for the sake of resolving. If you want to make it a true “resolution” to change something in your life at the start of a new year, cool beans. If you just want to set goals for yourself at your own time and pace, that’s cool too. You do what you do, I’ll do what I do, and we’ll get there eventually.
Just a few more days until Christmas! Not that I’m Christian, but I like to celebrate the spirit of gift giving this time of year. I think that giving presents to friends and family to show your appreciation of them is something I can totally get on board with, regardless of the religious reason for said gift giving.
I’m a little disappointed that I’m not going to get done sewing one present in time to mail it out, and that I wasn’t able to get to the post office to mail out another one. Then there’s the one I ordered last-minute the wasn’t on the Prime program, so it won’t arrive before Christmas. And it took me forever to figure out what I was getting my husband–so that will be late, too. Boo. None of the recipients mind that their gifts will be late, but I still feel guilty that I didn’t get everything in on time.
Despite the fact that I create an Amazon wish list every year of stuff I’d like to get, I’m not really concerned with what I end up getting. Its the spirit of the season, those friends and family that I mentioned before, that really matter. Seeing how happy they are with their gift(s) (or pretend-happy, depending on how good a job I did of selecting/making said gift) is what makes me happy, not necessarily what kind of haul I end up getting. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d even be disappointed in the slightest if I got no presents–so long as I still was able to buy/make for those I care about.
As the year draws to a close, I think back on my one “resolution”/goal for the new year: to get the first draft of my WIP in finished. I blew past that goal and even finished the first draft of the sequel, plus got a publishing deal. I’m still amazed that I accomplished that much.
This isn’t where I usually post my goals for the next year, but since I mentioned it let’s just get that post out of the way, shall we? Here goes:
- I want to continue working out with my husband and my friends to gain strength and endurance (and hopefully lose a bit of weight)
- I don’t want to break my motherfucking foot again…or any other bones
- I want to continue to learn and grow in my rapier practice–maybe win a small tournament? We’ll see
- I want to get Book 2 finished enough to send it to my publisher for consideration
- Oh yeah, I want Book 1 to be published. I want to see it in print in a bookstore. Maybe some book signings? We’ll see on that one, too. Oh, and to get at least started on Book 3 🙂
- I want to make it through my current sewing project list and then some (that one might take up the entire year lol)
- I want to do my hardest to push back some of this social anxiety to the point where I can enjoy SCA events more and not get overwhelmed by the number of people I don’t know that are around me
- I want to learn a new art/craft. I’ve already started trying to embroider something, but that might be my “new” thing seeing as how I’ve only just barely started
- I want to stand up for myself more. On those occasions where my social anxiety is not under control or for events/meetings that I don’t want to go to, I want to be able to say “Hey, honey, I don’t want to do Thing X; can I stay home/in the tent for it or maybe do Thing Y instead?”
- I want to move into our own home and out of this freakin’ apartment
This probably isn’t a comprehensive list of goals for the coming year, but I think they’re all reasonable. Attainable.
I used to grab a 3×5 index card and jot all these goals down, sticking the card on the fridge for “motivation,” but I don’t think I’ll do that this year. I can keep a running tally in my head of things I’ve accomplished that I set out to do.
Speaking of things to do, I had better get cracking on the gift I’m currently working on. It’s taking a lot of hand sewing because I can’t figure out a good way to use the sewing machine on the weird angles without screwing it up.
Until next time!
It’s that time again…not even 0500, and I’m wide awake. So what’s a girl to do? Well, if you’re me, you end up cruising Pinterest for interesting or helpful images and tutorials. My latest pin obsession? Images from medieval fencing manuals.
Yep, I’m taking it upon myself to try to learn more by…osmosis? I’m not sure what I hope to gain at this point from the diagrams, because I don’t really know how to read them properly–yet. Sure, I can see the drawing and say “Okay, so that guy is standing like so,” but when it comes to the diagrams of movements and such I’m at a loss. Lots of lines and circles all over the place. Or sometimes not even that; just static images that I guess were helpful in ye olde times for teaching fencing and rapier fighting.
I’ll learn how to read them eventually–that’s going to be part of my training as I progress in the rapier arts–but for now, they’re kind of just interesting drawings that I’m saving for the heck of saving. The Spanish Circle is especially mind-boggling, but I’m pinning it anyway.
My hope is that, once I learn how to read the manuals and translate the images into movements, I can start gaining ground in my fighting. Fencing is the first and only sport I’ve ever been remotely good at, and I don’t want to let my teacher down. Yep, I’ve finally chosen a fencing teacher who can give me good one-on-one guidance in my path. I know I’m years from any special awards or recognition as far as period fencing goes, but better to start studying now. Imagine: me, the always-did-her-homework-in-the-five-minutes-between-classes learner, actually studying stuff.
It may take me a while, but I’m going to kick this rapier training in the butt!