The battle (moor) is over

We have left Battlemoor behind, and soon Colorado will be in the rear view mirror and we’ll be staying the night in Albuquerque before we go home.

I had a great time, but I miss my Rory-kins and my River monster. It’ll be good to be home and have them happy to see me. It’ll also be nice to sleep in my own bed … and write on my couch.

I managed to get a decent amount of writing done while on vacation, but I’ve got a lot left to do. I’ve gotten my MC into a sticky situation, and I’ve got to get her out of it… but I’ve got half a book to go for that.

I met many new people and made a few new friends this past weekend. Got some good rapier fighting in, and (in a rarity only found in out-of-kingdom events) managed to get to fight only people I’ve never fought before. Won a few fights, lost a few, but thanks to my rapier teacher I’m trying a new thing where I try to remember at least one thing I learned from each fight to help teach me new things and learn how to improve. I wasn’t able to get over my shyness to ask other fighters for pickup fights, but a couple of people asked me so I did get a few non-tournament fights in.

Tuesday I go back to work and fully back to mundane life. It’ll be a little bittersweet, because I’ll be back to normal but I’ll have to leave SCA life behind for a while. Not completely behind–I never get completely away from it because I’m always working on craft projects in my off time. I have to buckle down and get my A&S projects finished when I get home. I’m not going to try for Champion this go around. Novice for me this time, but maybe for the Kingdom A&S in the fall. We shall see.

Speaking of down time, I should get some writing in while I’m sitting here in the back seat.

Whatever happened to the girl who could stab people for hours?

Man, the first time I put a rapier in my hand that was it. Game over, man. I was hooked.

So what happened?

Let me backtrack a bit: I started out super gung-ho about rapier fighting and fencing. I wanted to learn All The Things, and I would get uber frustrated if I didn’t get something right. I went to every practice I could, and I joined a local fencing school to get even more practice in. I did tournaments at events (even though I’m not the greatest at it)–once with a broken foot–, and I even tried melee fighting (which I am even less the greatest at).

Lately, though, and I mean for a good few months now, I haven’t been at it as much. I’ve been withdrawing from the rapier fighting and even exercise days with my rapier friends. Why? What’s got me shying away from the one sport that ever got me excited, that ever made me feel like I could be good at a sport?

Part of it, I think, is that I got burned out after Estrella War. I practiced so much that I just got practiced out. Another part might be that, for whatever reason, my performance in tournaments has dropped significantly. Not that I was ever even close to winning–I wasn’t–but I feel like I’m just flailing around, whereas before I was more focused and driven.

Another part, and it’s not necessarily his fault mind you, but another part is my husband. Due to some … we’ll say “unsportsmanly behavior” … from some more experienced, respected rapier fighters, my husband withdrew from rapier first, before I did. He didn’t want to go to the regular practices, and more recently he stopped going to the rapier academy practices as well. It’s largely a personality clash issue. Not to say that either personality is “wrong,” just that they don’t jive together well. He doesn’t want to go back, but I do…don’t I?

We’ve also been super busy; we go to more out-of-Barony events than we did at this time last year, so Sundays we’re either exhausted from traveling or still heading back from wherever we traveled when it’s time to practice.

I’m still gung ho about trying to get a rapier practice area set up on our land. I’m still plotting that out in my head. But I don’t go and actually practice anymore.

Is it because I live further away now? Well, that would explain the SCA practices, but I’m a tad closer to the rapier academy practices now, so that’s no excuse. I still love my friends and love fighting them and learning from them, so that’s not an issue. So what is it?

Last night I went to a different Barony’s rapier practice. I got to fight a couple of people that I don’t usually fight, and that may have helped a bit to motivate me to do better. I need something more though, some extra push, to get me back in the rapier game. Maybe if I ask my White Scarf for a set day during the week to practice I will get back into things. I mean, I can’t use traveling as an excuse if it’s a work day–I’ll theoretically already be in town.

Regardless of the hows or whys, something’s gotta change. I have to get back at the stabby-stab so I can improve, learn, and excel.

I just gotta figure out tho hows of that bit.

 

Near a fortnight

Wow…almost ten days with no posting. Where’s my mind been?

Oh yeah: embroidery commission deadline and SCA event and house stuff and work and…

There might just be a few distractions in my life right now. Lol I’m making headway on the embroidery and SCA should soon slow down a bit, but there’s still a ton of stuff going on with the last-minute house things and, of course, work is work.

Last weekend I ran my first rapier scenario as part of a tournament. It was pretty fun, and the fighters seemed to like it. I even got accolades and recognition from the event steward (who is herself a rapier fighter), though she gave me more credit than I deserved. I did the one thing, but for the most part I just helped out the Master of Defense who was truly running things for the tournament. Still, it was nice to be able to get my feet wet with running a tournament and kind of see what kind of prep is needed. Who knows? Maybe next year at this event I’ll be in charge of the whole tourney. We’ll see. 😉

This week I have to make a PVC “sheath” for our rapiers, because the prince and princess who will be stepping up in a week and a half don’t want exposed blades around them when we’re on guard duty…which I understand, but I don’t think they realize that, in order to be legal for fighting, rapiers have to have caps on the end. Secure caps. Which means a standard sheath is not going to work. So I have to improvise. I just hope I have enough scrap leather to cover the PVC so it doesn’t look so much like a plastic pipe. Yay for Barge contact cement and leftover suede from a project last year.

Depression’s not too bad compared to a couple weeks ago. I’m still a bit down from time to time, but for the most part I’m doing okay. Taking my meds and all that jazz.

Writing is still at a standstill, but I’m hoping that once SCA stuff calms down I will break through the block and get moving on Book 2.

Back to mundane life

Ah, modern life. Sleep number bed. Smart thermostat. Long, hot shower.

Yeah, it’s true that I will miss being at war with my SCA family, but I am still glad to be home. I can get back to my normal routine and worry less about freezing in the middle of the night. (And yes, it can get to freezing temperatures in the desert at night.) I got a new cloak out of it though, so that’s a bonus. Reversible with cotton on one side and wool on the other. Warm.

Today is a day for recuperating before jumping back into modern life full-on. The house is still in progress, work is still there, and bills still need to get paid. Can’t run away to a camping event forever, unfortunately.

For the most part everything’s back to normal, but I’m far from done with SCA stuff. I have things to sew, research to do, swording to learn. Basically, even though I’m back in the now, there’s still plenty of the then to keep me busy for quite some time.

I haven’t found a Laurel yet, but I’ll admit I didn’t try too hard to seek them out at war. I was too busy absorbing all that Estrella War had to offer me. Tournaments, melee fighting, shopping, Grand Court, etc. I’m proud of myself for not having a freak-out with all the people around me, but I still have a long way to go before I’m comfortable enough to try approaching strangers about stuff. I may start talking to the Laurels that I know, though, to get an idea of what I need to do to get on the path to that path.

I’m already “officially” on the path to a white scarf in that a good friend of mine accepted me as her rapier student. It’s kind of exciting to be on a set path and not just swinging blindly.

Eventually I’ll get there. It’s not like I’m on a set timetable here. Some people take a decade or more to become a peer in the Society, so I don’t have to rush myself.

The time for war draws nigh

It’s getting to be that time of year: Estrella War. It will be my second major SCA war, and my first major in-kingdom war. Like, major-major.

I’m not super keen on melee rapier fighting. Too chaotic, too closed-in, too many people, just too much for me. I feel more in the way than useful. I plan on sucking it up and diving in, though, because female fighters get an award for their first time on the battlefield at Estrella. (Thanks, Sir Trudy, for being the first.) Yeah, it’s a common award and every woman who fights in melee combat at Estrella gets one, but damnit I’m gonna earn it.

This weekend is our kingdom’s “fighting collegium” and our southern war practice. My foot is still in the stupid fracture boot thanks to a random rock at Southern war (or at least that’s the podiatrist’s theory), but I’m going to go and get the most out of these classes and this practice. If I’m going to go out on the battlefield even only once, I need to try to get that in-the-way thing taken care of. Learn to make myself useful instead.

Oh, and I made a decision on the baronial Arts & Sciences competition: I’m going all-in. Aiming for Champion. Go big or go home, right? Besides, I want to prove to myself that I can do it. Compete, that is; I’m not going to be devastated if I don’t win, but hell, at least I can say I tried.

 

‘Tis the season

Just a few more days until Christmas! Not that I’m Christian, but I like to celebrate the spirit of gift giving this time of year. I think that giving presents to friends and family to show your appreciation of them is something I can totally get on board with, regardless of the religious reason for said gift giving.

I’m a little disappointed that I’m not going to get done sewing one present in time to mail it out, and that I wasn’t able to get to the post office to mail out another one. Then there’s the one I ordered last-minute the wasn’t on the Prime program, so it won’t arrive before Christmas. And it took me forever to figure out what I was getting my husband–so that will be late, too. Boo. None of the recipients mind that their gifts will be late, but I still feel guilty that I didn’t get everything in on time.

Despite the fact that I create an Amazon wish list every year of stuff I’d like to get, I’m not really concerned with what I end up getting. Its the spirit of the season, those friends and family that I mentioned before, that really matter. Seeing how happy they are with their gift(s) (or pretend-happy, depending on how good a job I did of selecting/making said gift) is what makes me happy, not necessarily what kind of haul I end up getting. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d even be disappointed in the slightest if I got no presents–so long as I still was able to buy/make for those I care about.

As the year draws to a close, I think back on my one “resolution”/goal for the new year: to get the first draft of my WIP in finished. I blew past that goal and even finished the first draft of the sequel, plus got a publishing deal. I’m still amazed that I accomplished that much.

This isn’t where I usually post my goals for the next year, but since I mentioned it let’s just get that post out of the way, shall we? Here goes:

  • I want to continue working out with my husband and my friends to gain strength and endurance (and hopefully lose a bit of weight)
  • don’t want to break my motherfucking foot again…or any other bones
  • I want to continue to learn and grow in my rapier practice–maybe win a small tournament? We’ll see
  • I want to get Book 2 finished enough to send it to my publisher for consideration
  • Oh yeah, I want Book 1 to be published. I want to see it in print in a bookstore. Maybe some book signings? We’ll see on that one, too. Oh, and to get at least started on Book 3 🙂
  • I want to make it through my current sewing project list and then some (that one might take up the entire year lol)
  • I want to do my hardest to push back some of this social anxiety to the point where I can enjoy SCA events more and not get overwhelmed by the number of people I don’t know that are around me
  • I want to learn a new art/craft. I’ve already started trying to embroider something, but that might be my “new” thing seeing as how I’ve only just barely started
  • I want to stand up for myself more. On those occasions where my social anxiety is not under control or for events/meetings that I don’t want to go to, I want to be able to say “Hey, honey, I don’t want to do Thing X; can I stay home/in the tent for it or maybe do Thing Y instead?”
  • I want to move into our own home and out of this freakin’ apartment

This probably isn’t a comprehensive list of goals for the coming year, but I think they’re all reasonable. Attainable.

I used to grab a 3×5 index card and jot all these goals down, sticking the card on the fridge for “motivation,” but I don’t think I’ll do that this year. I can keep a running tally in my head of things I’ve accomplished that I set out to do.

Speaking of things to do, I had better get cracking on the gift I’m currently working on. It’s taking a lot of hand sewing because I can’t figure out a good way to use the sewing machine on the weird angles without screwing it up.

Until next time!

Manual labor

It’s that time again…not even 0500, and I’m wide awake. So what’s a girl to do? Well, if you’re me, you end up cruising Pinterest for interesting or helpful images and tutorials. My latest pin obsession? Images from medieval fencing manuals.

Yep, I’m taking it upon myself to try to learn more by…osmosis? I’m not sure what I hope to gain at this point from the diagrams, because I don’t really know how to read them properly–yet. Sure, I can see the drawing and say “Okay, so that guy is standing like so,” but when it comes to the diagrams of movements and such I’m at a loss. Lots of lines and circles all over the place. Or sometimes not even that; just static images that I guess were helpful in ye olde times for teaching fencing and rapier fighting.

I’ll learn how to read them eventually–that’s going to be part of my training as I progress in the rapier arts–but for now, they’re kind of just interesting drawings that I’m saving for the heck of saving. The Spanish Circle is especially mind-boggling, but I’m pinning it anyway.

My hope is that, once I learn how to read the manuals and translate the images into movements, I can start gaining ground in my fighting. Fencing is the first and only sport I’ve ever been remotely good at, and I don’t want to let my teacher down. Yep, I’ve finally chosen a fencing teacher who can give me good one-on-one guidance in my path. I know I’m years from any special awards or recognition as far as period fencing goes, but better to start studying now. Imagine: me, the always-did-her-homework-in-the-five-minutes-between-classes learner, actually studying stuff.

It may take me a while, but I’m going to kick this rapier training in the butt!

En garde!