Estrella War is over, but my project list is far from completed. I’m currently about halfway through a couple of tiny embroideries for a gift for a king in another kingdom, I have a hood to make for my husband, an underdress and apron dress for me, three Arts & Sciences projects to get going, and then there’s also some mundane sewing I want to get done soon-ish.

I’m not super stressed out like I would normally be, because aside from the embroidery I don’t have any deadlines less than a few months away. This is great, because for the first time in months I feel like I can relax and take my time. Well, not relax too much. But I can breathe.

I’ve picked out the Arts & Sciences projects that I’m going to do, so since that is the next true deadline I will focus on those once the embroidery is done. I am even combining one of the above projects into the A&S stuff (but I’m not saying which one!) to kind of get a little ahead of the game. Be more efficient, I guess. Now, I need to do research in addition to the physical work, and I need to remember to take pictures as I go, but I’m getting started right away so I’m not too worried. I have most of the research materials I think I’ll need compiled, so it’s just a matter of reading it all.

Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to the research paper part of the projects. I always aced my research papers in school, so this should be a breeze. I’ll just have to dust off the ol’ “student” cap and put it on and get to typing. I even made sure I knew which format (y’know, MLA, APA, etc.) I will need to use for my citations before I got started. I’m getting kind of excited for it. Yeah, excited for three research papers. I’m such a nerd.

I also need to mentally prepare for A&S, in the sense that I know my works (written and handmade) will be subject to criticism from multiple fronts. My research papers could be metaphorically torn to shreds, or my sewing could be scoffed at. I think I’ll be okay, though.

Can’t let myself get too comfy in my sense of security when it comes to timelines. We still have to move into our house once it’s built, which is rapidly approaching, and there are more SCA events in the meantime. I can do it, though. Just gotta avoid getting to Crunch Time like I usually end up doing.


Burnout. It happens. So what do you do when your options are limited?

Here’s the situation: that drama I talked about? Well, the “resolution” that was agreed upon didn’t really resolve all that much, and it leaves me stuck. The person who was causing the drama is still around and, though they’re not supposed to directly interact with my husband, they’re still present–a proverbial thorn in the side, if you will.

This wouldn’t be too bad, save for one thing…I am beyond the point of burnout with the volunteer officer position I hold in our local group, but the only other person I can see willing to step up to the plate if I step down is–you guessed it–the drama factory. And since my position interacts closely with my husband’s position (yeah, he’s an officer too), I can’t risk this person taking over if I leave the position. I’ve been told by a kingdom officer that they will never again hold that position, but the risk is too great. It would open doors for them to passive-aggressively harass my husband, which I do not want to be responsible for.

I meant to talk to the kingdom officer in question during the war, but I just didn’t have the opportunity. She was busy, or I was busy, or I didn’t know where to find her in the ginormous site. Regardless of the why, I didn’t talk to her yet, though I feel the need to, and soon.

At this point, try as I might, I’m just paying lip service to the position. I didn’t even do anything with it throughout the war, which I know is bad, but I wanted to be able to enjoy my first Estrella War. I wanted to be able to experience as much as possible, and stopping to do X-Y-Z for this position would have hindered that.

Things are hairy in the barony as it is. Sides have been taken in this drama dispute, and it was clear by the hush that fell over the room when we walked into baronial court where most of the barony–at least those who attended baronial court at war–stand…and it’s not with us. Sure, we have our close friends who stick by us, but there are others who, for whatever reason, hold resentment towards us that is blatantly obvious. Sideways glances, or sometimes avoidance of glances, were all the indication we needed that we are no longer “welcome” in the barony we have called home. It’s a little disheartening, especially when the creator of the main drama has a known history of causing problems. Now, I’m not saying that this person is responsible for all the ill will…but they certainly exacerbated whatever issues may have been underlying.

That makes my wish to leave my officer position that much more difficult of a decision to make. If the majority of the barony, or at least the active members, are against us, then who would take over the position if I left and this other person was not allowed to come back to the position? I can barely think of a couple of people who might take on the position, let alone enough to have a pool of candidates. No, I think that for the time being I’m stuck.

I guess until I come up with a solution I’ll just have to keep trudging along, dragging myself through the muck and mire. I’m trying to hold up hope that things will work out, but I fear I’m going to be where I’m at for a long, long time to come.

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.


Posted: February 22, 2018 in Exercise, fencing, SCA, swordfighting

It’s day two of my first Estrella War, and I’m having a good time. I’m even venturing out by myself to explore, which is a big step for socially-anxious me.

My husband has been busy, so first I found my friends at Rapier Camp, then I wandered around Merchant’s Row on my ownsome to browse and look for a cloak to wear in this freezing cold weather. Sadly, pay day doesn’t come until tomorrow, so hopefully one of the three I saw that I liked will still be available.

Today I made my way back to Rapier Camp–this time armed (literally) with my rapier and gear–and participated in a women’s fighting tournament after watching several men fight in skirts. Then, after a quick lunch, I went to another camp to watch a cut and thrust longsword tournament. I left before it was done, though, because I got really tired and decided it was nap time.

I’m not sure what I’ll do tonight. Maybe cruise Merchant’s Row again and see if the things I want are still there, maybe get in touch with my rapier friends and see what they’re up to. Maybe I’ll read, or sew, or sleep. Who knows.

Tomorrow brings the first day of melee fighting, where I’ll earn an Oleander (and after cross stitching ten of them, I am damn sure going to earn one). I might do some marshalling, or I might spectate once I get tired. Then at least one tournament, then I get my red scarf, then… I don’t know.

It’s kinda refreshing not having much that I have to do. There’s one shift of guard duty for the Queen, but otherwise it’s like stuff like courts and meals.

So far Estrella is fun. The drama ended kind of at an anticlimax, because not too much got truly resolved, but enough did that I’m relieved nonetheless.

As I sip my coffee and get ready to get ready for the busy work day ahead, I am overjoyed by the fact that I managed to finish my husband’s fighting tunic on time–early, even! Okay, so it’s only a day early, but still, it’s done. Not sewing at the last minute on the drive up to war, not sewing it at war…done.

There is still some trim to get sewn onto his “Grand Court” tunic, and some minor embroidery to do on the bottom hem, but that isn’t going to be worn until Saturday night, so I have time to finish at war (and actually planned to, anyway). BUT the major major had-to-be-done-before-we-left sewing is complete. The War Crunch (the SCA version of the Con Crunch) is pretty much over with. I may even be starting to get excited about it.

The drama still looms. Less than 36 hours away…not something I want to think about. But it sits in the back of my mind, festering, and I’m sure it won’t go away until the whole mess is over.

I fear that it won’t be over, though.

I shouldn’t let that get to me though. Then the other person will have won. I should just enjoy my war and try to keep a stiff upper lip, or whatever.

Book 1’s editing has taken a back seat to other, more pressing projects, which is disappointing but something that I guess as an author working with a publishing company I just have to deal with. I can’t force everybody to my timetable–self publishing spoiled me for that, I think. I’ll wait, though. Bide my time, occupy myself with other things–maybe even get back to work on Book 2 rewrites.

Time will tell.

Well, I’m getting closer…the end is in sight! Except this one little problem: someone got a little scissor-happy when she was cutting the neckline for her husband’s tunic and now must figure out a way to add on fabric without making it look weird.

I’m sure I can do it, but not right now–not at 0100. Maybe in a few hours I will have the functional capacity to design, cut, stamp, and sew a new collar/neckline/whatever. As it is, I’m quite irritated with my body for waking me up an hour ago for no good reason. I’ve been sleeping pretty well the past several nights, but tonight it’s back to waking up around midnight wide awake and unable to drift back off.

The sad thing is, between the bipolar disorder (panic attacks or racing thoughts at bedtime if I don’t take my Klonopin) and the rheumatoid arthritis (back/shoulder aches if I don’t take my Flexeril) I take enough crap to knock out a rhino. Ok, maybe not that much…but it’s a lot for the average Joe. I also have temazepam that I can take as needed for sleep, but I’ve found that it doesn’t help me stay asleep so much as helping me fall asleep–which I generally don’t need help with. I can fall asleep just fine most nights. It’s that tricky staying asleep thing that gets me. I’ll sleep four to five hours and then wake up all energized and crap. So not fair.

Once my husband gets up and tries on the tunic (with his gorget, so I can see how much collar I need to drum up), I can get to work on it. Right now? Now I have to find something to do to alleviate the boredom until he wakes up.

Good thing I still have a couple projects pending. On to sewing trim onto a different tunic!

Finally! After weeks of waiting and rescheduling and poor timing, my sword tattoo is done! The tattoo artist’s name is Amanda Jiminez at Battleship Tattoo (to give credit where credit’s due) and here’s the outcome:


I’m ecstatic! I love it and can’t wait to show it off at Estrella War next week.

This has taken a majority of my mind off of the continuing drama, but I know it’s just a proverbial band-aid on a bullet wound. If that’s a proverb….if not, it should be. Can we coin that phrase? Let’s coin that.

I still have a few things to make/stitch, but the majority of it is done. A tunic to finish (though most of it is cut out and much of it is sewn) and some trim to stitch onto another tunic…that’s about it that I can think of right now. Oh, and some little piddly stuff to do, but that stuff is minor and less time-consuming than the above-mentioned stuff. These things also can help take my mind off of the drama things, though only temporarily, and mostly only when I have to get out the seam ripper. Gods, I hate seam ripping.

Book 1 is still in the editor’s hands, but I’m waiting patiently because I know she’s been quite sick recently. I totally understand that and have no ill feelings on it (ha! pun!). I’d like to get back to writing, but….maybe after Estrella. Right now, my time is pulled in other directions.

Two more work days until we leave for war.

Let the games begin.