Tag Archives: SCA

Interview: Karl Gallagher

Wow, it’s been a while. Sorry for those waiting on interviews and mag reviews and my updates. Starting to get back in the groove on that after an incredibly busy March.

Anyway, today’s interview is with Karl Gallagher, who I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with a number of time at conventions. I enjoy chatting with him, in part because we agree on a number of writing things. Also, since he’s also in the SCA, we have a connection there as well.

Interview: Karl Gallagher
Karl Gallagher
Karl Gallagher

What is your quest? I’m writing the kind of stories I want to read. Science fiction wrestling with ideas, people doing their best in hard situations, tactical challenges, adventures that are fun to read about but usually hell to live through.

What is your favorite color? Green. I like competent people doing smart things. Whether it’s mages figuring a clever use for a spell or engineers fixing something under fire, I like seeing people do their jobs well. Competence porn is one of my favorite genres.

What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush? In the six years and counting I’ve been writing seriously I’ve averaged over seven thousand words written per month. I’m not consistent about it. Some people aim to write a fixed amount each day. Me, some days are nothing, some have two thousand words. I’ve also had zero word months. There was one where I wrote nearly 19k. So not attempting NaNoWriMo any time soon.

What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade? I’ve picked up some useful experience for an SF/F writer. I’m an aerospace engineer with lots of experience on satellites and rockets, which lets me get the orbital mechanics right in my hard SF novels. Game mastering table top role-playing games developed my storytelling abilities. When one of my characters decides to take a right turn off the outline I know how to roll with it. Other useful experience: some time in the military, raising kids, and being a heavy fighter in the SCA.

Lightning Round

  • Favorite Muppet? Kermit. I sympathize with trying to manage the chaos. Gives me Battalion XO flashbacks.
  • Best Thing From the 80s? Reality: Fall of Soviet Union. Fiction: Star Trek – The Wrath of Khan.
  • Your Wrestler Name? Weeble.
  • And Signature Wrestling Move? Not letting go.
  • Favorite Weird Color? Strange Tartan Combos.
  • How Will You Conquer the World? Infecting people with memes spread through my books.
  • What Cartoon Character Are You? Foghorn Leghorn.
  • Best Present You’ve Ever Received? First Edition hardcover of Starship Troopers.
  • What Do You Secretly Plot? How to escape my day job.
  • Crunchy or Creamy? Creamy.
  • Favorite Sports Team? Harrington Treecats.
  • Cake or Pie? Pie.
  • Lime or Lemon? Lemon.
  • Favorite Chip Dip?  Onion.
  • Wet or Dry? Wet.
  • Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? Jumpin’ Kate (Nebraska rocker).
  • Whisky or Whiskey? Whiskey.
  • Favorite Superhero? Ironman. It’s fun pointing out Stark Industries products actually made where I work.
  • Steak Temperature? Medium, especially if I don’t know which way that cook is going to err.
  • Favorite 1970s TV show? Classic Star Trek re-runs.
  • Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fall.
  • Best Game Ever? For tactical challenge, Ogre/GEV. For pure fun, Firefly the Game.
  • Coffee or Tea? Tea.
  • Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Lean toward sci-fi, but never exclusive.
  • Brought to you by the letter _? R for Rocket.
The Lost War
The Lost War

What question(s) would you like to ask me?  How do you throw such great room parties?

Rob’s Answer: Practice, I guess. Plus watching my parents and their friends did. I mean, high school parties were boring, but the ones Jim Erickson threw were amazing.

A lot of my party experience comes from Pennsic. There’s a certain amount of KISS principle involved. First, you need to limit the drink choices a bit. For me, that’s cider, a variety of beers, and one mixed drink that is premixed. The goal is to limit the time waiting to get a beverage. Secondly, you need to do everything you can ahead of time, just like setting out props in a play. Make it so everything is easy to see. Third, don’t stress about how many will or won’t come. Invite all you can, but make sure no one feels they have to come. Parties are about fun, not forcing people to be there. 

Basically, you create a field with all the toys and stay out of the way of people having fun.

Tell me again where we can find your stuff? 

And where can we find you? I’ll be at Libertycon (Chattanooga, June) and Fencon (DFW, September).

Do you have a creator biography? Karl Gallagher has earned engineering degrees from MIT and USC, controlled weather satellites for the Air Force, designed weather satellites for TRW, designed a rocketship for a start-up, and done systems engineering for a fighter plane. He has, on a few occasions, put on armor and been hit in the head with a stick. His sole moment of martial fame was being one-shot in Crown so efficiently there was a three paragraph write up in the kingdom newsletter. He is husband to Laura and father to Maggie, James, and dearly missed Alanna.

Final question for you: What should I have asked but did not?  

You should have asked if I have any new books coming out? Why, yes! I’ve just released The Lost War.  A group of historical reenactors expected a weekend of costumed fun . . . instead a magic spell pulled them into a world where they must struggle to survive.

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-War-Karl-K-Gallagher-ebook/dp/B07QKHZCZP

The sequel, The War Revealed, will be out May 7th.


Thanks to Karl for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.

Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at rob@robhowell.org.

Finally, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.

Have a great day.

Rob Howell

ShadowCon AAR

Greetings all

I got back last night from the first con of 2019, ShadowCon in Memphis. I got invited to the convention a couple of years ago because it’s essentially an SCA household holiday party writ large. Schedules have prevented me from going previously, and that’s too bad because I had a very good time.

Given its origin and its billing as a Relaxacon, you would be correct to assume that it’s laid back. It has all the stuff. In fact it’s got a ton packed into Saturday, but it’s pretty laissez faire about structure. This is a virtue for a con of its size. I was able to get on three panels, play a round of Pathfinder Society, and socialize until 3pm on Friday. I’d have done more but, as a Cowboys fan, I essentially took Saturday evening off to watch them play the Seahawks.

The first panel I was on discussed books new readers should look for to get started in science fiction and fantasy. There was some confusion on where it was supposed to be, and I think it might have actually been done in two places. For me, I sat with four or five people and discussed where to go and some of the subgenres. In all honesty, this was probably the best way to have this sort of panel. It might be fun to schedule a session with a number of authors in a room with various tables and interact with new readers on this level as opposed to lining us up in front.

I intended to join the Indie Publishing Pros and Cons panels. Unfortunately, I wrote down 2pm Saturday on my notes instead of 12noon. Of all the panels, it was the one I wanted to be on and I missed it. Next time, I suppose, but I’m still frustrated with myself on that one.

The one panel the organizer wanted me to take was a comparison of Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville. He had a scheduling conflict at the last minute and needed help on that panel. Humorously, I’ve never watched either, though Orville looks fun. The other person on the panel had only watched a few episodes of either, but was a major Trekkie with a ton of experience in that fandom. We ended up riffing on the kinds of characters that draw us into shows and the kinds of writing keep people watching. More than anything, we talked about how Babylon 5 did both of those things well, as did some other shows. All in all, it turned out OK, but I sure felt clueless walking in.

Immediately after was my favorite panel, Where Did It Go Wrong. We panelists all had slightly different viewpoints where we going with that, and we sort of settled on where movie adaptations of books go wrong. The first answer, which is fairly obvious, is that two hour long movies will always struggle with a novel. Short stories, like the ones that spawned Shawshank Redemption and Blade Runner, are much more likely to translate well to the big screen. Novels that do translate well will tend to be fluffy, short, or both. Other novels, like Lord of the Rings or Dune will need mini-series or seasons of a regular series to tell their complex stories well. The second answer is that the producer of the movie needs to know and love the ethos underlying the book. My personal pet peeve is the animated Beowulf, where they did not have any recognition of personal responsibility. Contrast this with 13th Warrior, which gets it. That’s what makes 13th Warrior a much, much better film and, in my opinion, the best retelling of Beowulf on the screen so far.

In general, it was a good schedule of panels. Had I made the Indie Publishing Panel, it would have been about the right number for Friday and Saturday. I could have done more, but about right.

Nothing was officially scheduled for Sunday, by the way. It’s a decision I’ve thought about on the drive home. On the one hand, scheduling stuff for Sunday allows time more panels and more things to do. On the other hand, Sunday panels and events, especially those at 10am, are inconsistently attended. In the case of ShadowCon, which is at its core a social gathering, setting it up that people can hang out until whatever Saturday night without any real need to be at a thing Sunday morning makes a lot of sense. At some other cons, where the basic foundation is different, Sunday scheduling is important, but not ShadowCon.

I really enjoyed myself, though I must mention the quality of the hotel. Or rather, lack thereof. It’s the first hotel I’ve dealt with that will not allow, under any circumstances, room entrance before 3pm. It’s a request I often make, and only a request, but every other hotel I’ve asked tries to accommodate it. Then, at 3pm, they had a shift change, but if the next shift is late, as this one was, there was literally nobody to check anyone in. That meant there was a ton of people in the lobby trying to check in, waiting for way too long. Panels and other events started at 4pm and I barely made it despite being one of the first in line.  For all this, I blame the manager, who was rude and clearly did not want to deal with anyone. How dare customers intrude upon her job? Oh, and as a side note, the posted hours for the breakfast aren’t actually true. Get there early, or you won’t get anything. It’s a decent con space, especially for a con the size of ShadowCon, but I’d suggest not going to the West Memphis Clarion for any other reason.

Despite the hotel, the con is worth it. The people were helpful and relaxed. Lots of good conversations. The gaming was good and there was lots of it. The con suite was one of the best I’ve seen. I didn’t go to any, but there were a number of SCA and Larping demos. The dealer’s room was bigger than most of a con its size. The panels all had attendees who were interested and had good questions. I am intending to go back every year that my schedule allows.

Sunday Scroll Text – Chiara’s Cross

I’m going to start putting some of the texts I write for SCA scrolls here on the blog. We’ll call it Scroll Text Sunday because why not.

For those who are not in the SCA, scrolls are provided whenever a person is granted an award. Many are written based on the time and place the recipient chooses to focus upon. From my perspective as a writer, I am constantly challenged to write in a different style to match that time and place, giving me a great chance to expand my skills.

Today we’ll start with one that was presented yesterday. The Cross of Calontir is an award representing years of service to the kingdom.

Cross – Chiara di Paxiti

Chiara’s persona is of a 15th-century Florentine, hence I looked to Lorenzo di Medici for inspiration. He was not only the ruler of Florence from 1469 to 1492, he was also a patron of the arts and a poet himself. I wrote the text in ottava rima style, which originated in Italy and was used for heroic poems. It uses iambic pentameter and ABABABCC rhyming scheme. Medici used this style in some of his works, and I also used some of his other poetry as inspiration for some of the word choices.

The falcon soars across the shining sky
with swiftest wings to claim a northern breeze
Zephyr that lifts him is the softest sigh
as he circles over towers and trees
and to the wind he sends a searing cry                                  5
when thus with eyes aware a prize he sees
below him is a sweet daughter of peace
performing deeds that seem to never cease

Oft she appears when giants make their wars
as fierce as brinded cats with flashing swords                 10
for golden crowns the reddest blood they pour
their greatest joys and deeds she right records
then she to those with deepest wounds succors
with water sweet relieving wounded hordes.
When she completes such deeds, what spies his eye? 15
why tis but sweetest purple butterfly

The falcon’s eyes not only ones that see
for Logan king and Ylva queen are wise
so Chiara di Paxiti must be
for deeds so collected clearly comprise                                20
a Cross of Calontir now must decree
and title given not her only prize
from Pontmerci bestowed ten saccato
and her sworn lady’s love now all shall know

Line 7: di Paxiti means daughter of peace

Line 9: she is a fan of the New York Giants, and I’m combining that love with the fact she is often helping out at tournaments and battles

Line 10: she is also a fan of the K-State Wildcats, and Shakespeare uses “brinded cats” in Macbeth as a reference to wild cats

Line 11-4: this is intended to cover both her job as listmistress and scroll text writing

Line 16: her device includes a purple butterfly

Line 23-4: Issabell wanted to make sure that Chiara, her protege, got land from Pontmerci, her own holding. A saccato is a Tuscan unit of area that is about 1.389 acres

Ashir and Maerwynn’s Preprints

A&S Challenge Day 3. To continue onwards, now I challenge Susan Carroll-Clark to provide examples of some Ealdormerian scroll texts. I think you’ve already been challenged, but I don’t think you did any scrolls texts. In any case, they don’t have to be yours, just some good examples.

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege or writing a great many preprint texts. My favorite set, probably my favorite set of any preprints mine or not, were the ones I wrote for Heath Clifton and Maerwynn Holme. The inspiration for these texts comes from the Cleaves translation of The Secret History of the Mongols (http://altaica.ru/shengl.htm).

My particular favorite is Iren Fyrd 1.

As a side note, if you’re looking at this as a template for writing a set of preprints yourself, I always write 3 Torses now. We give out more of them than the other AoA-level awards. Also, Ashir and Maerwynn ended each scroll with a standard ending, basically the legalese of date and place. You’ll want to make sure you account for that, either in the text or as a standard addendum.

AoA 1
The Qan Ashir has made thieves to beware and made all lies to be in vain.
His Qatan Maerwynn has divided wealth and judged proper judgments.
Now Ashir speaks and Maerwynn judges the fate of person’s name.
They decree that person’s name is a lord/lady of Calontir henceforth
and allow them to display their banner across the lands of this world.

AoA 2

We, Qan and Qatan, Ashir and Maerwynn, have seen that
person’s name has ridden loyally at Our side and
tarried not, at the moment when We were journeying;
journeyed not, at the moment when We were tarrying;
and We decree that your proven nobility shall be known
and bid all in this world to call you a lord/lady forevermore.

AoA 3

We, Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan, have ridden from the heights of Mount Burqan Qaldun to the shores of Tunggelig Stream leading Our people. We have watched Our people hunt the red deer and ride the black horses. We know Our people well and now tell to all of this world that person’s name is truly one of Our Calon Ordu, and shall evermore be known as lord/lady from all of the mountains to all of the rivers.

AoA 4

Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan were feasting beside their golden ger. Their anda approached and gave counsel. These great souls said that person’s name is a person who will never forsake you. These great souls said that person’s name is a person who should be regarded as a companion. Ashir and Maerwynn listened and now decree that person’s name will be forevermore be their companion and a lord/lady of the Falcon Throne.

AoA 5

Ashir Qan said to his Qatan: “I have seen Our people shatter the foe like lightning.”
Maerwynn Qatan said to her Qan: “I have heard Our people call for justice like thunder.”
Ashir Qan said: “person’s name has not been properly rewarded for his/her service to Our Ordu.”
Maerwynn Qatan said: “Then let person’s name be recognized henceforth as a lord/lady of Our Ordu.”

Iren Fyrd 1

You have made Our foemen’s hearts empty.
You have cut out parts of their liver.
You have made their beds become empty.
And you have made an end of their descendants.
For this, We Ashir and Maerwynn, Qan and Qatan
Join your spear to Our ranks of spears
And name person’s name a Fyrdman of Our Calon Ordu.

Iren Fyrd 2

Qatan Maerwynn spoke saying:
“person’s name became a shield for Us on the day of battle. He/she shattered stones when you assaulted the enemy.”
Qan Ashir spoke saying:
“person’s name became a shelter for Us against the enemy. He/she smashed cliffs when I led the charge.”
Together Qan and Qatan spoke saying:
“He/she must be added to Our Order of the Iren Fyrd. From this point forward let him/her bear the bright iron lance in Our service.”

Boga Fyrd 1

Qan Ashir spoke saying:
“Who then shot the arrow so as to break the back of my enemy?”
Qatan Maerwynn spoke saying:
“My Qan, it was person’s name who shot the arrow from the mountain.”
Together Qan and Qatan spoke saying:
“He/she is worthy among Our clan. Let him/her be given a quiver of bright arrows and placed within the ranks of Our Boga Fyrd that Our kinsmen shall be shielded.”

Boga Fyrd 2

Drawing his/her bow, person’s name has released his angyu’a arrow so as to pierce ten foes who are beyond the mountains and steppes.
Drawing his/her bow, person’s name has released his keyibur arrow so as to pierce twenty foes nine hundred alda away.
Qan Ashir and Qatan Maerwynn decree that such a man/woman of the falcon lands must from this day forward be a companion of Their Order of the Boga Fyrd.

Eo-fyrd 1
As Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan rode leading Their ordu into war
They spied one who rode the black horse even if their cheeks were pierced
They spied one whose standard flew in the wind even if their black blood flowed
They spied one who had a mouth full of fury and lungs full of heart
So Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan spooke after leading Their ordu into war
Person’s name rode swiftly against the foe, fearing no harm
We would now call person’s name one of Our külü’üd,
Stalwarts who are called in the far Western tongue eo-fyrd.

Eo-fyrd 2
Ashir Qan spoke saying: “My elder khevtuul who guarded me by night, what say you.”
The khevtuul spoke saying: “Person’s name has stood long in the cold which makes one shiver.”
Maerwynn Qatan spoke saying: “My vigilant torguud who guarded me by day, what say you.”
The torguud spoke saying: “Person’s name has faced the willow-bark quivers of our foes.”
Together khevtuul and torguud spoke saying: “Person’s name took no rest while guarding Your throne.”
Together Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan spoke saying: “Then, Our guardians, We now enlist him/her into Our kheshig, Our eo-fyrd, to protect Us until Erkhii Mergen shoots the seventh sun.

Torse 1

In the swift warfare, person’s name did not suffer Qan Ashir to spend the night empty in a night of rain.
In the face of Our enemy, person’s name did not suffer Qatan Maerwynn to spend the night without broth.
In the striking of Our lances, person’s name did not suffer Our people to be wanting of the fire that was red.
Hence, We shall not suffer any longer that the deeds of person’s name not be recognized and call the soaring falcon to deliver him/her the mantled Torse of purple and gold.

Torse 2

At the moment when Qatan Maerwynn was wearing a dell of gold thread, person’s name was tending to her black horses.
At the moment when Qan Ashir was eating the meat of the red deer, person’s name was pitching his ger.
At the moment when the people of the Qan and Qatan needed help, person’s name was there.
Hence, at this moment, the Qan and Qatan decree that under the sun and moon person’s name is a companion of Their Torse.

Swan 1

Even as seeing Mother Sun when the clouds become clear,
Even as finding the water of the river when the ice becomes clear,
Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan have seen the beauty of person’s name’s art become clear,
And forevermore decree that the golden grace of this Calon Swan to all become clear.

Swan 2

Ashir Qan said to his Qatan: “Certain thoughts have entered my dreams in the black night.”
Maerwynn Qatan said to her Qan: “Certain thoughts have disturbed me in the bright day.”
Ashir Qan said: “person’s name has woven golden cloth to warm Our royal persons.”
Maerwynn Qatan said: “person’s name has sung silver songs to warm Our royal souls.”
Ashir Qan said: “Then let Us call him/her by the name that he/she has earned.”
And Maerwynn Qatan said: “Then we shall call person’s name a Golden Calon Swan.”

Mallet 1

From the time when the brown Earth was only the size of a clod,
From the time when the sea and rivers were only size of a stream,
We have needed wisdom to enrich this land for which We have fought
And have enriched those who fought for wisdom with their dreams.
Now We, Ashir and Maerwynn, Qan and Qatan, in heartlands we have trod
Bestow Leather Mallet to person’s name as token of Our esteem.

Mallet 2

These truths are recognized in all lands where the falcon soars:
Qatan Maerwynn needs those to make the golden bridles for her black horse,
Qan Ashir needs those to make the shining steel for his gleaming arrows.
Thus We name person’s name as one of the craftsmen of Our Calon Ordu
And bestow the symbol of the Leather Mallet as a sign of Our will.

Jorunn’s Baronial Text

Day 2 of the A&S challenge. First, I’m going to nominate Fernando Rodriguez de Falcon. Again, I’d like to see some scroll texts. In Fernando’s case, one in particular.

Today’s text is one of my favorite ever because of the challenge. This is Juli Kupperman‘s court baronage. It was not a scroll, but rather a law-ring made by Darren Jennings and Heather Green Jennings and what that meant for me is that I was limited to 250 characters or less.

Yes, that means this is essentially a phone text-length scroll text.

But I cheated. Here’s the version on the ring itself:

Before gallowslord I Tyrsring say that ᚨ beyond praise and I Freyjassmile heartlands goldbreakers for the ᚱ of ᛃ lordᚹ wailing wind and moonslove as ᚠgiver to seas grant the ᛟ warded by Gunnsᛖ with ᛒ and ᛇ against ᚻneed for her hearth until godsdoom according to peoples law Carved by Baldursguard and Sifslightgift

You’ll notice a lot of runes in there. Interestingly, the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons gave runes not only a letter value, but also a word value. Occasionally, they would flip back and forth using both types of values in the same document. So here’s the expanded version using the word values of the runes:

Before gallow’s lord, I Tyr’s-ring say that, Anton, beyond praise, and Isabeau, Freyja’s-smile, heartland’s gold-breakers, for the riding of Jorunn: lord-joy, wailing wind and moon’s-love, as wealth-giver to seas, grant the estate warded by Gunn’s-steed, with birch and yew against hail’s-need for her hearth until gods’ doom according to people’s law. Carved by Baldur’s-guard and Sif’s-lightgift.

By the way, Reimond is etymologically derived from “protector of wisdom” and Mirabel is etymologically derived from “uncommon beauty.” Apt for both of them, I think. Hence the two kennings at the end.

You get to figure out the other kennings yourself

Erich Hlodowechssun’s Chivalry Scroll

Over on Facebook, there’s been a post examples of you artwork meme. I thought I had made my Dodge roll, but I just barely missed. I I’ve been nominated for the 5 day art challenge by Juliana della Rena so here’s day 1. Get ready for some scroll texts, people, especially since I hope John Kostisin will put some of his texts amongst his 5 day challenge.

This is one I did that was, well, let’s just say, given as a backlog scroll. A back, back, back, backlog scroll. Written at the behest of Elasait Beaty-Schraer for Erich Schraer.

When the sky jewel sailed two score times
Since the maker of lists made a home for dreams
Calontir’s cyning and cwen called this proud son before them
An acorn that grew amidst a forest of falcons

A seedling of the heartland hailing from high oak’s hall
His roots were planted in the land he first plowed
Suðri’s shield warding against Surt’s sword
There he first became a feeder of ravens
Hastening on sea-steeds over swan-roads

He sought sword-storms and showers of spears
In eastern fields filled with shady trees
He defended dragons and defeated tigers
And proud warlords watched wondering at his courage
Naming him one of falcon’s first feared spear-wielders

Striking blows for freedom and striking for the land
He helped the heartland become a home for princes of legend
Bold ring-breakers bearing storm-cleavers
Gave him shining gifts of gold and steel
And forevermore he holds the falcon’s twelfth axe

Not only girded with steel, but also with Grimnir’s gifts,
His prowess and poetry served princes in war and peace
As they forged a kingdom from the bones of far firewyrms
Then his cold steel glistened in Calontir’s golden halls
Still he stands fiercely fighting to defend the king’s land

Wielding wound-hoes in western sands
Under the watchful eye of Arvak and Alsvid’s guide
Thus, We, Asgeirr and Miriam, wielders of scepter and sword,
Calontir’s fifth cyning and cwen
Call Erich Hlodowechssun, this ender of eagle’s hunger,

To kneel before Us and this day we make him a knight
This fifteenth of Hreðmonað, in the third year of falcon’s flight
Read in the halls of smælbera and runungspreca

A Full KWCB Report

I’m in an Old Chicago eating Italian Nachos recovering from Knowne World Cooks & Bards Symposium.

Lots of neat stuff happened. I met some people like Galeran of An Tir who is very impressive and I’d like to learn more from. I had a chance to get to know some acquaintances better, especially Fridrikr, Orilee, and Fiana. We ate an amazingly really epically huge feast. Or at least we tried to. Innumerable excellent performances in a wide variety of styles.

I entered a challenge, which I misunderstood but prefer my misunderstanding. I thought the challenge was to write a new piece relating to cooking or food at site during the event. So I did. It’s still raw, and Dolan and I will be smoothing the edges. I’m posting the lyrics on Facebook.

The challenge was actually just to prepare a piece related to cooking, not necessarily a new one and not at all necessarily written on site. Oh well. I’ve spent worse afternoons and it was a fun challenge my way.

I, of course, spent a goodly amount of time pushing Lilies 2015. Many thanks for HRM Elizabeth of Northshield to allow me the opportunity to speak in court about it. I think between HRM Gwen and I we put Lilies at least on the list of events to contemplate for a number of people.

The most interesting of these people was the gentleman who brought a Food Lab to the event. Basically, it’s a portable medieval cooking playground that would make a great addition, I think, to the A&S area. At some point, I might oughta tell Thora, who’s running A&S about this 🙂

There was also some Inter-kingdom Anthropology that was very striking to HRM Gwen and I that we discussed on the way home. I’ve got a couple of ideas I might see if I can’t sneak into the SCA 50th event.

Mostly though, it was a weekend of friends, writing, top-notch bardic circles, and cool medieval food. Not too shabby.

A Quick Post From KWCB

For those who don’t know, KWCB stands for Knowne World Cooks & Bards Symposium.

Basically, it’s an event that happens every year somewhere in the SCA that encourages cooks and bards to come learn, teach, and strut their stuff.

For me, I’ve spent most of the time writing a song. We’ll see how it goes.

Oh, and the final score at the feast:
Cooks: 10 kajillion and one
Feasters: Retired from the field in awe

Twelfth Night

I don’t often preen, but I am going to now because there’s quite I bit of things worthy of preening from Twelfth Night.

At the risk of sounding immodest, I was an A&S god at Twelfth Night (as if there’s a way that sentence could be anything but immodest).

I judged the bardic contest, and did some teaching related to that.

I entered and won the Requiem for a Huscarl-inspired A&S contest. I entered my attempt to re-write the song as if I had lived in 1067 and wanted to remember the battle. My version was in Old English, in the Anglo-Saxon alliterative poetic style, and I’m pretty pleased with it. I learned a ton about actually writing in Old English, and had a great deal of fun playing with words and word choices. It was a fun exercise in re-creation archaeology.

I wrote a pretty spiffy scroll text for Damien’s knighting. I thought it was pretty good, but the number of people that came up and said it was great has made me revise my opinion upwards. Damien said it was the best scroll text evah, though I still lean towards Maerwynn’s county scroll on that 🙂

I also performed a portion of Beowulf at feast for Maerwynn. This was the portion where Wealhtheow comes into the mead-hall and offers the cup in proper order to Hrothgar, Beowulf, and the lords in the hall. I did it in both Old and Modern English. I did not have time to properly memorize it, but I had gone over it enough that I was told it did not sound like I was simply reciting it. Several people told me they thought it was a great touch to feast, and that makes me preen a wee bit more. Maerwynn, however, chastised me, because she says she’s not perfect, as I said in the performance. In this one thing, Your Majesty, I am forced to disagree 🙂

For an Anglo-Saxon word-smith type, there’s not much more I could have done in one weekend. I worked in Old English, taking me one step closer to understanding what it is to be a scop, and I really think I made the event better for not just me, but for a number of others as well. For all of that, I think that this one time, I get some justifiable preening.