general SCA

EK Novice Day

I’m excited about today’s East Kingdom Novice Day event, a tourney for novice fighters and fencers. I will be a novice too, trying my hand (or rather my throat) at list heralding for the first time. (For the unfamiliar, imagine the MC at a prize fight.) One more opportunity for the use of a bard’s skillset in service. 

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Website Spring Cleaning

For those who care about such things (cricket, cricket), I wanted to mention some updates I’ve made on this website, some of which you may already have noticed. This is all about getting everything ready for the Hidden Gold release a week from tomorrow (!!!), and making sure that this site’s organization and look-and-feel are what I think it should be in the to-be-hoped-for event that there might be more traffic coming this way. In no particular order:

general SCA

Wars of the Roses 2015

Not for nothing Wars of the Roses is one of my very favorite events. Yesterday was filled with fun and opportunities to be of service. I taught my songwriting class to a lovely group of 8 students, my shift at gate was a joy, at court I got to watch several friends receive well-deserved awards, and the bardic competition was an absolute blast. Amidst all that, I got the chance to welcome a beloved friend to the East Kingdom, where I know she will thrive, and a few new (and very talented!) bards to our raucous community of performers. Then I got to end the day watching my son embrace his latest SCA passion, dancing (and even joined in for a couple. “Dad! It’s a scoring dance! You have to do it for House York!” “Oh, all right…”)

All that, and for once–NO RAIN. THIS is why Concordia is our adoptive home. This.

general technology

New Facebook Page

On your left right, you’ll notice there is now a widget for the Drake Oranwood Facebook page. Consider it war paint as we gear up to release the Hidden Gold album. All the cool kids are doing it.

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Welcome to the echo chamber :)

I have been quietly enjoying a trickle of acknowledgment that others have begun making their way here and browsing around.  The blog is getting followed by one or two other bloggers, and pages are getting “liked”.  The Facebook page I set up for Drake last year (quite prematurely, I soon realized, when what I really wanted at the time turned out to be this website) has been picking up a few “likes” here and there the past few weeks, and from people I don’t actually know.  Small confession: it makes me smile. But I’m sure many of you have the same experience.

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New Sonnet

We had a lengthy discussion on the Facebook group this week about whether we should abandon, de-emphasize, or clarify our use of the term “bard” in the SCA. I won’t rehash the discussion here, though I probably personalized it more than necessary. I will share, however, what I wrote when Isolde de Lengadoc challenged all of us to quit navel-gazing and pen to virtual paper and write a sonnet of our thoughts:

A fellowship I have, and hold it dear,
These kindred spirits lately have I found.
A fireside among these, ’tis sacred ground!
And yet, ’tis lately discord that I hear.

For we’re a motley group with several aims:
We’re singers? Writers? Hist’ry lovers? Fools?
Are we one clan or many? Have we rules?
And oft, I too get caught up in these games.

So long have I this life sojourned alone,
I dread the splint’ring of this merry band.
Whate’er the name, I know for sure I stand
In such a circle as I’ve never known.

Can we all stand together in our art?
Or shall we (with my soul) now fly apart?

bardic general

Bardman Year One

(With apologies to Frank Miller and fans of the Dark Knight)

So, as summer comes to an end, I find myself reflecting back on my first full year as a “working bard” (participating in actual bardic events, interacting with the bardic community). I tend to mark a Scadian year as falling from one Pennsic to the next. It is the biggest and oldest event in the society, and affords opportunities to live one’s passions like nothing else on the East Coast, at least.

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Updates–website and projects

Quick updates: I did the next thing on my to do list today, and submitted this year’s six new songs for copyright. I know I don’t really have to–or at least I could wait until I’ve written three more to finish the album. But having registered the copyrights, I’m much more comfortable letting my songs fly free.

Also, to submit my songs, I have to transcribe the sheet music (since now I can do the whole thing in 10 minutes and upload sheet music PDF’s online!), which means…

Yep. Sheet music to all the songs are now posted on the song pages. (Also, I re-posted the MP3 download links.) I’ve started posting chords.

And now, the serious recording process will begin. Starting with GarageBand demos of all the songs (some of which I’ll probably post).


bardic general SCA

Northern Region War Camp (Award of Arms)

So I just got back from NRWC, and boy are my legs bitten. I mean, the mosquitoes were insane. But apart from that the event was fantastic.

general songwriting technology

Mmmmmaybe I’ll blog a little more. (Technology and the bard)

So, I finally found the WordPress iPhone app. Given that I do most of my writing these days on my iPhone, that’s very cool.

I’ve been trying to manage my writing process better since I committed myself to bardic just about a year ago (a few months before I set up this site and the Facebook group). By “better”, I mean “make it more convenient to write, easier to find my stuff, easier to share my stuff, and less likely to lose my stuff”. And since I first got an iPhone in my hands last year, that has meant (as so many of you have probably already found) doing it on my iPhone.