I am home safely from a fantastic trip to Armistice. I’m so glad I went.
For those who aren’t aware, Armistice was a replacement event for the largest SCA event around, Pennsic. It was held at the same site as Pennsic, Cooper’s Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, PA. There were about 1450 attendees where Pennsic has about 10,000. Pennsic is an official SCA event run in partnership with the campground.
First, the weather was awesome. Best weather I’ve ever seen at events at this time. We had one day with a little rain. The rest were in 70s/low 80s. Cool at night. The final Saturday was a little warm and humid, but still better than many days I’ve enjoyed at Cooper’s Lake.
From a work standpoint, it was an unqualified success.
It has been my experience that the first time a particular group has an event after things got started, I saw less traffic but had a higher hit rate. This was true for Armistice. Now, of course I’d see less traffic with about 1/7th the attendance, but the hit rate was solid for sales. In fact, I sold more this year than I’ve sold at any Pennsic.
I was lucky in that a couple of my regulars from previous Pennsics were there and they both bought a bunch, but even so I sold more than I have in the past.
I also managed to get a short story out the door, make progress on another short story, and make progress on the final rush of stories for the upcoming Talons & Talismans anthologies.
I was an idiot for scheduling the deadline *during* this event, by the way, but I muddled through. I had less time for writing, however, so I didn’t reach my overall writing goals. As mentioned, though, I was moderately productive in this too.
One big thing is that I now have a traditional shop location at Pennsic. It’s between Calontir Trim and Gaukler Medieval Wares across from Windrose Armory. This is, in many ways, the ideal spot for me. Makes me excited to go back next year.
From a personal standpoint, I had a great time. In fact, this will go down as one of the best medieval events I’ve attended. I attribute this in part to everyone’s desire to have fun.
This may sound odd, but it is the case that some people participate in things in part so they can be doomsayers. This tendency has, not surprisingly, been in full force of late. Nobody at Armistice was unaware of the world’s challenges, but the naysayers didn’t come. I think everyone went there with the intent to be cheerful and spread that cheer.
So many smiles. So much friendship, even amongst people who hadn’t met before. The friends I see once or twice a year are my favorite part of Pennsic, and while I missed a bunch who weren’t there, I had more than a few who were. Plus, I got to know some people I hadn’t really talked to before.
I also discovered just how important Pennsic is to me. It’s been my summer home for over 20 years now. I knew I missed it last year, but not how much. I discovered the truth when I got a hug from a buddy at Gate, and I almost broke down crying then and there.
So good to be home. A refrain repeated by many throughout the week.
I spent a lot of time at the campsite hosted by Elizabeth Silverloc where High Rafters normally camps. This was the biggest concentration of friends at the event, plus there were bardic circles several nights. Exactly my thing.
Another positive thing is that my attempts to eat and drink wisely went pretty well. I basically held my weight during the event. Since it’s become clear that a big challenge for my weight are my trips to events and cons.
I went with the plan to drink primarily low-carb IPAs. There are several good ones out there. My two favorites are Slightly Mighty and the Lagunitas Daytime. The latter is dryer and reminiscent of Schlafly’s APA, one of my favorites. I also had the Sweetwater option, which was solid, but not great like the other two.
Anyway, these allowed me to essentially drink as much as I wanted to without hammering all the carbs and getting blasted. They aren’t my all-time favorite IPAs, but certainly more than tasty enough. Since I drink sparingly anymore unless I’m at events and cons, their low ABV helps me not be stupid. Ideal all around, in my mind.
My only disappointment was that I didn’t really party as much as I’d hoped. I should have opened the shop later and let myself roam a bit more. I wanted to meet people I’d not seen before, and I didn’t do much of that.
Basically, I had a great time. It is the case that I love selling/writing during the day with the opportunity to spend time with friends in a medieval setting. It’s like the ideal work day for me.
I’m ready to go back.