Good morning, my friends of the Flame. I am in the midst of packing for a two week long camping event. That, in itself, is quite a monumental task. An interesting wrinkle – not only do I have to be certain all the pieces of the tent, and the pop-up we use for a dining area, and tables, stove, cooking implements, etc., get packed – I need to worry about two kinds of clothing. Modern clothing, as one normally does when one is camping somewhere that the temps range from 30 to 110 degrees AND “garb”. You see, I will be attending an event known as The Pennsic War – an event of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). I have been a member of the group, off and on, for 27 years. I met my husband at Pennsic 26 years ago, and have been married to him for 25 of those years! Short explanation (before the clips, there will be clips, hold your horses): in the SCA, one chooses a time period (generally, Fall of Rome to the death of Elizabeth I) AND a country AND a station in life – and then builds a “persona” around that. Which means – you study what a person of your time and your country and your station in life would wear, what he or she would have done on a daily basis, where they would have lived, what they would have decorated their bodies, hair, clothing, and homes with. Of course, you get to choose a name to be used. Some people use their modern names. More people do not. My persona name is Ariane Desiree des Cedres, called Cedar. There is a whole story built up around that…my Mother kept an inn called Le Cedres (the Cedars). I worked at said inn. (It was in France.) Mom took up with a fella who didn’t like me at all – and the feeling was mutual. So – I ran away. I have many things I built into my persona story – I won’t bore you with all of them. I do sign language for folks who request it in this organization, so I needed to build in a reason to know sign language. So – I built in taking refuge in Cistercian monasteries – they used a sign language because they kept The Great Silence.
People get involved to varying degrees. Some people don’t care much about being authentic, they just come for the fighting, or the arts, or just because there are some really cool people in the SCA. Some people try to make their garb in the way they would have made it in their time period, using modern materials and modern tools for sewing. Some people hand-sew all their garb. Some people do a reasonable job on their garb at first – and then learn to dye and spin wool, and then weave it into garb. (Or parts of garb.) Some people study embroidery, others poetry, and music, still others how their shoes were made, or their knives, or how they cooked, still others WHAT they cooked and in what fashion. It’s a very fun group. Anything that can be studied in the SCA – there will probably be a class offered on it at Pennsic. There are people at this event from all over the US and Canada, and from all over the WORLD. My husband and I used to attend every year. Then we stopped selling (he made and sold candles), and our finances took a down turn, and various other things happened, and we stopped going to Pennsic, and left the group completely for a number of years. Late last year, I was asked to come back because the organization as a whole has begun to encourage sign language use again. In May, I was appointed Sign Language officer for my Kingdom. YAY!!! Since my Kingdom is where Pennsic takes place, and is arguably the biggest event of the Kingdom for the year – I decided I needed to attend. I told my husband: “Ruedy, I’m going to Pennsic. You want to come?” He blinked a couple of times, and said “Yeah, OK, sure.” We are leaving next Thursday. (Have no fear, I will schedule my chatters before I leave!) This week is frantic with garb making (I can sew a seam. I told myself for years I could not – I found out this week that I can!) and packing. Instead of stepping out of that (which I am not sure I could do at this point), I decided to bring you into my world for just a few minutes. I hope you enjoy the ride!!
There is a sign-up post for the week three topic. Get your name in before the list is locked down, tomorrow.
Saturday night is your last chance to submit a story (or two) for week two. The topic is “Doll’s Eyes” and any form of writing 200 words or less is welcome.
Add a desiccated digit to RicoChey’s exquisite corpse. Read an installment of Kathy’s interview with Gentle-wordsmith Robert Okaji. Check out the info skyllairae shared ongetting published. (She knows this stuff, you should see her CV.) And stay tuned for another article tomorrow on Brigit’s Flame.