Wars of the Roses 2019

We got back late last night from Roses, and boy, is our everything tired. We’re a bit under-slept (which often happens, but a couple of unforced errors on my part made it worse than usual), yet at the same time my heart feels energized and refreshed, and my spirit is lighter and clearer than it’s been in a while.

In the SCA, the idea of going “home” to an event is bandied about a lot, and I’ve seen my share of backlash posts from people who object to the idea of an SCA event, particularly a camping event, as their home. Your mileage may vary. But returning to Concordia of the Snows’ big start-of-camping-season event (hosted by the Shire of Glenn Linn) really felt like a homecoming this weekend. The Albany area is generally a 2-3 hour drive for us, so we get up to the Barony less often than we’d like, and there are places closer to us that probably would welcome us and offer opportunities to do things we love to do…but ever since our first Roses six years ago (referenced in the opening verse of “Concordian Soil”, this has always been a place where we felt we really fit. And the Barony took the opportunity to remind us yesterday that the feeling is indeed mutual.

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Black Rose Ball

My family attended our first Black Rose Ball at the Barony of the Bridge on Saturday. It was a lovely event, full of sweet surprises.

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Weekend update

This has been a rich and exciting weekend, full of connection, engagement, and opportunity (sometimes masquerading as adversity).

Saturday, I attended the inaugural East Kingdom College of Performers (EKCOP) Bardic Challenge event, held in the Barony of Iron Bog (Southern NJ). This was a full scale, all day event, with lots of bards in attendance, including several dear friends from out of kingdom. (We managed to get a photo representing four kingdoms.)

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King’s & Queen’s Bardic Champions 2019

I’m back once again from our King’s and Queen’s Bardic Championships. And once more, it is bittersweet. I was not selected–in fact, I didn’t make the final four this year. Which on the face of it, seems like it should be a real letdown, after having been a finalist the last two times I entered.

And yet, that’s not how it feels. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely disappointed, and I’ll have to carry that with me for a little while as I process it, because feelings are stupid. I particularly loved the these royals, Wilhelm and Vienna, and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them during this reign, and bring them enjoyment as a bard. The idea of being selected by one of them meant a great deal to me. I could feel my overconfidence problem rearing its ugly head.

And then…I actually got there and laid eyes and ears on the competition, and I’m glad to say I sobered up real quick.

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Upcoming events

Hi again. (Ooh, two posts in the same week? Suddenly he’s all chatty!) It occurred to me that now that I have more time for SCA events, I should mention that I will be at a couple in the next few weeks. Continue reading

Some updates

Hi. I’ve been doing the thing again where I go quiet for much of the winter. A piece of that is that I am prepping for K&Q Bardic Champs once more, which is coming up a week from Saturday. I’m doing what I can to focus on that.

There is some real life stuff that I will take a moment to mention. A year and a half ago, a long tenure working at Intralinks came to and end in the wake of a troubled acquisition and the elimination of my position. I needed to find a new role, which led me to a consulting position at Bluewolf (which was already in the process of being acquired by IBM).

The experience at Bluewolf was valuable professionally, and provided terrific growth opportunities, including the trip to Marrakech that I took with Bird last year. However, the demands of consulting work, client engagement, changing projects, and ongoing business travel, limited the amount of attention I could give to other parts of my life, particularly the SCA.

As Bluewolf has been absorbed into IBM, those demands have only grown. I realized at the start of the year that I needed to make a change, and so I have left the organization. This week, I will be starting a new in-house role at Wiley Publishing in Hoboken. I believe this new opportunity should provide a much better work-life balance, so that I can have more time for the SCA, as well as my family and my other interests.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know. I’m hoping to have more to share with you going forward.

Missing Winter Nights this year

It is with the utmost regret that I share that I will not be making it to Winter Nights this year. Getting out to Massachusetts next weekend would torpedo things for my family, both of whom have commitments. I hope to see most of you at K&Q Bardic Champs later in the month.