I spent Saturday at Concordia of the Snows up near Albany, NY, for their Winter Nights event. It was and incredible day dedicated to performance and (according to Toki Redbeard, the autocrat) very relaxed competition. This was my first time entering a Bardic competition, if you don’t count the Depressing Song contest from last Pennsic, which was wonderful (and where I tied for first place), but a different animal: an entry level contest for new bards, who only needed to perform one song, with only the stipulation that it be depressing. Winter Nights, by contrast, would be an all-day competition for Bards at various experience levels, with head-to-head performances, topic challenges, and multiple rounds of performing. For those who are intrigued but unfamiliar with such things, as I had been, or who have been to other Bardic competitions and are curious how Winter Nights is structured, I offer some details of my (joyous!) experience there.
(Okay. So I managed to write this entire post up yesterday in Wordpad on my new laptop, had copied it to the clipboard and was pasting it into the blog to review, when the laptop battery died. Didn’t go into “sleep” mode, just shut down on me. So I lost the entire thing. I’d spent two hours on it. But what I had to say mattered to me, so here we go again.)
This is the second part of my Pennsic post, and this one will actually deal with what happened at Pennsic this year. But while a lot of wonderful things happened to me at the war, what I was left with, even more than joy and, yes, pride, was gratitude. So this post is going to be a series of thanks. This war I really connected to the wonderful and generous spirit of so many denizens of the SCA who made space and offered encouragement, not just to me as a bard, but to my whole family. I know going in that this list will be woefully incomplete, and I won’t remember half the people I should single out (and of those I do, I don’t know everyone’s SCAdian name and title, or in some cases their mundane names, or any name at all). I nonetheless choose to do this imperfectly, rather than accept the excuse to not do it at all.