Falling Leaves (and “Prince Luis”)

We headed up to Carolingia (Massachusetts) on Saturday for Falling Leaves. There were two primary reasons we ventured so far from home. The first was that our Marauders campmate Eadgyth æt Stæningum was on vigil for the Order of the Pelican. And the second? Well, I had accepted a challenge from her Highness Margarita, and had agreed to answer it in court, resulting in a new filk, “Prince Luis” (the page has lyrics, backstory, and documentation, because I had the time and couldn’t resist):

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Thoughts on Known World Cooks & Bards

Last weekend’s 8th Known World Cooks and Bards event, held in the Barony of Shattered Crystal in the Middle Kingdom, was absolutely wonderful. (I’ll do my best to avoid excuses for taking so long to write about it, though I am looking at the fading bug bites all over my arms and legs, and reflecting on recovering from a general lack of sleep. Still wouldn’t be the first time it took me a week to post about an event.) It was my first time traveling by plane to an out of kingdom event, and indeed, the first SCA event I’ve attended that wasn’t held in my home kingdom of the East, or neighboring AEthelmearc. It was also my first KWCB, since the last one was held five years ago.

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Known World Cooks & Bards

I’m in LaGuardia Airport waiting for a flight to St. Louis. This weekend is the 8th Known World Bardic Congress and Cooks Collegium (aka Known World Cooks & Bards, or KWCB). I’ve wanted to attend this event ever since I decided that “bard” was a thing I wanted to do. Known World gatherings for any given interest, or complementary pairing, usually happen every other year. (Other interests that have gatherings include dance, music, scribal arts, and brewing. There are many.) KWCB, however, is being held for the first time in 5 years, because various challenges came up (including the recent spate of 50th anniversaries for the SCA and the earliest kingdoms, as well as the challenges of finding a suitable site).

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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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Feedback vs. Gossip: The SCA and Courtesy

SCA culture is largely built around a model of Courtesy. As the model of courtesy has evolved organically, it has, to my eye (and not only mine), tended to emphasize an avoidance of confrontation and public embarrassment a lot of the time. When someone takes note of what someone else is doing, there is a standard but unwritten rule we follow: If they did something good, praise them to their face if you can. If they did something not so good…find their mentor, and pass the feedback along to them, generally with the understanding that it will be shared anonymously.

There is, in my experience (and not only mine), a rather serious side effect to this informal model of feedback. If a gentle doesn’t have a mentor, or you don’t know who the mentor is, or if you don’t have access to or a relationship with said mentor…what do you do with your feedback? Sometimes, the feedback starts circulating in whispers behind the gentle’s back. And by the time the gentle finally becomes aware of these circulating whispers, it can be incredibly upsetting and painful.

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Mudthaw / Crown A&S

Saturday was Mudthaw in the Barony of Settmour Swamp (Central NJ), which features the East Kingdom’s Crown Arts & Sciences championships. It was an eventful day for us, and my first time competing in a kingdom A&S competition.

My entry was “I asked of thee a boon”, my original Elizabethan air for four voices and lute that was first performed at the Laurel’s Prize Tourney in 2017. A&S entries created within the last 3 years are eligible, and I am proud of this piece, and wanted to see how it would be received in a formal competitive setting, and get the experience of discussing my art with interested parties and going through a judging process.

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