The New Year has come and brought significant changes. I once again have full time employment with the theater I was previously attached to, and this opens up a lot of possibilities that were not feasible before. Stability is thrilling. And I absolutely love my work as a scenic carpenter.
I chose three words to be my touchstones for the year. Balance, which has been my word for several years now; Challenge and Growth.
My Genji Project continues. I had been able to keep pace with the schedule until this week. I started with only a 2 week cushion, and in hindsight, this was a mistake. I got to the point where I was recording the main chapter videos and editing them to throw immediately onto YouTube. For chapter 9, I pulled an all-nighter. And I couldn’t continue that way. The quality of the videos suffered, and I really just couldn’t pull another all-nighter. So I’m taking a break from uploading videos. I’m still going to do the work and get new videos ready, but I won’t upload again until April 1, so I can regain a cushion.
Scroll Assignment! I accepted a scroll assignment. It’s for an Order of High Merit due at Mudthaw on March 25. It’s going to be a 16th century Italian piece. I’ve picked the hand, the calligraphic style, and I have a line on the word structure, I was advised of a popular rhyming scheme for the period. I think I’m going to use English and not translate this one. I have a few more days to pick an exemplar for the illumination and then I move into production mode. This will be my first piece with real gold leaf, I’m finally going to do it.
Auction Offering: I’m going to have this project, a lined robe and hakama, finished by April 1. If I can manage it a little faster, I’ll be able to hand it off in person to the very patient recipient at Mudthaw.
Samurai Training. I’m back at it. Slowly ramping up through March while I finish the scroll and auction commission, and then rattan combat training becomes my main focus (outside of the Genji Project, of course)
I now have a list of events I’m going to try to attend leading up to Pennsic. Mudthaw (maybe), Coronation, Balfar’s Challenge, War of the Roses, Southern Region War Camp, War of the Pearls (maybe), Northern Region War Camp, Great Northeastern War and Pennsic.
Pennsic prep has begun as well. I have alterations to make to most of my garb, and a few new items to make. And I have classes to plan. I’m thinking of teaching my Pilgrimage and Power class, and 2 variations of my Get Ready With Me (GRWM) class, one for a travelling outfit and one for a courtesan’s ensemble. My current thought is to teach each class twice, once during peace week and once during war week.
And since we’re talking Pennsic prep, as Baronial Largesse Coordinator, I need to do something to ensure there is enough largesse for Pennsic and Carolingian 50 Year. To that, I’m going to host largesse crafting nights once a month (in lieu of the A&S night I had been thinking about). The first meeting will be virtual, and the rest will be hybrid.
I have a long list of possible projects, things that I would really like to make or do. And things get added to that list with frequency. And sometimes a project that has been relegated to obscurity for years announces suddenly, “it’s time!” But as I look ahead, I’d like to decide what gets priority.
Focusing in is hard, especially when there are so many different things I really want to do. The beauty of this blog is that it forces me to really interrogate my choices, because I’m sharing them.
I want to choose projects, perhaps time projects so that I can manufacture my own joy as I progress on the path I’ve chosen. I need to pick things that make me happy and work toward my goals. My SCA goals are first and foremost, to continue to explore the Heian period through it’s clothing, material culture and literature; second, to fight in the Empire of the Sun Battle at Pennsic 50; third, have fun while doing it.
Obviously my “Samurai” Training is an ongoing project. But I need to do more to prioritize it, to actually get in armor and fight.
I will continue to write tanka, everyday.
I’m still working on starting The Genji Project in earnest. I have the announcement video filmed, I just need to edit and upload it.
Those three are my main focus right now.
But of course, there are minor things brewing too. And these have deadlines. Or, a deadline. I want to make one new outfit for my partner and a new uwagi for myself. Both of these projects were conceived long ago, and the uwagi is even already cut out. Both will be large challenges, and I’d like to have them ready for Birka in January.
I’ve also submitted my Pilgrimage and Power class to Daigaku-ryō: Pan Asia University happening October 14-16, 2022. I’m considering turning the handout into a slideshow to better suit the digital format, and I plan to record the class if at all possible.
There are some completed projects! Clothing for Their Majesties of the East was made and sent to Pennsic via a friend. I spent at least 70 hours on that project as I also listened to the Dennis Washburn translation of The Tale of Genji while I made it, I highly recommend the audiobook for its accessibility. It’s a compelling 72+ hours worth every moment spent. An award document/scroll was finished, but it didn’t seem to go out, so I can’t share it yet.
The East Goes East – was a rewarding event to autocrat/schedule. Their Royal Highnesses attended, and much to my surprise, They even sat in on one of my classes. It was such a deep honor. And speaking of honors, Lady Patience Faircloth and I received a commendation from the Board of Directors of the SCA for the event. I was floored. We have discussed the possibility of making it an annual event.
Aisles of March / Crown’s A&S Championship – In what will be a recurring theme, I did not complete the items I wanted to for this event for myself. Eventually I’ll make a hiogi (wooden fan) but it has not happened yet. I did complete the scroll/document for the next Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences. The next blog post will be its write up.
I was very emotional stepping down. I didn’t cry in public, but it was incredibly difficult to let that position go. I am quite in awe of the project submitted by the new Queen’s Champion. It was a deep honor to be in the room consulting with Their Majesties and Highnesses regarding the next Champions. I am so very grateful for my time as Champion and the work I was able to do to inspire the Arts.
Gulf Wars in Gleann Abhann – This is a 22 hour drive one way. For this trip, 9 of those hours were through heavy snowstorms. I don’t know why I decided that driving straight through was the right idea, but that’s just what I did. We arrived early enough to get on site and set up camp, but with the temperatures predicted in the high 20s and weary from the drive, we stuck to the original plan and a hotel was procured. Our tent heater got a workout as it was in the low 30s the next night on site. I spent the majority of my free time sewing, even staying up through the night and sewing for nearly for 24 hours straight to finish the items for the Champions A&S Competition. I was very pleased with the work I did. But there was disappointment at the A&S Competition. Of course I wanted to win for the Glory of the East Kingdom, but that did not happen, and that’s ok. It was my first in person A&S competition, and there was definitely a learning curve. I did get some confusing and even angering comments from my judges that made it clear they did not have the time to read my documentation. I’m puzzling over ways to make it easier to get into the documentation for future competitions. I’m also very grateful for the Laurel who took me aside after the competition to talk me down and help me reframe the competition. I didn’t know if camping/eventing would complicate it, but I was able to continue writing and posting poetry the entire time. My partner and I did decide to leave the event a day early (there was a minor flooding issue) and the drive home was very relaxed. This event was also the 19th anniversary with my partner, we met at Gulf Wars.
Gathering of Fools – was a pot luck local event. I made two lovely Japanese dishes, a carrot and daikon salad and a shitake mushroom dish. I was astonished when I was called into court and made the First Poet of Carolingia. Her Excellency Carolingia presented me with her own quill, tied with a beautiful silk ribbon to mark my new office.
Coronation – was a beautiful event. I displayed the kosode that I sewed at Gulf Wars and retained for the first time officially. I was also able to process in with the new Royals in evening court. This was the first time that I was able to wear my travelling outfit at an event.
Balfar’s Challenge – gave me another chance to retain for TRMs. I spent a lot of time chatting with friends and meeting new people. And I also learned that the makeup I wear is not adequate in preventing sunburn.
East Kingdom College of Performers Challenge Assembly and Schola was a delightful Bardic event that I attended with Her Excellency Carolingia. I took a few classes and performed a tanka. It was a beautifully relaxing day, if a little warm.
Otter’s Welcome was the Barony of Carolingia’s event to welcome newcomers. I had a ferocious migraine, and showed up late, but eventually found where I was supposed to be to set up for the Largesse Derby. I spent most of the day speaking with Mistress Cathain who was watching over the A&S display. In court I was inducted into the Order of the Moon, the Barony of Carolingia’s A&S award. Just before court, His Excellency Master Aquel presented me with a small box. inside were two beads, a beautiful glass bead, and an astonishing carved bone netsuke charm in the shape of a tiger eating it’s tail. The gift was presented with a directive to carve my own inro, a decorative case used to hold small objects that usually hangs from the obi/belt.
War of the Roses did not happen for me. That migraine I had at Otter’s was actually a COVID symptom. Luckily no one seems to have gotten ill from spending time with me at that event. I did not complete the items I wanted to for this event either, even if I couldn’t go. Every time I approach making myself something other than Japanese garb, I freeze up. I know how to make these things, I just can not picture myself actually wearing anything other than Japanese. So I guess there’s no point in making any of it. I do still need to make a few non Japanese items for my partner, a Viking under tunic and pants, and a late period shirt and doublet. We also discovered at Gulf Wars that he really prefers more simple garb, so I’m devising ways to make the ties on his hakama much easier and will be revising all the sleeves on his kosode.
As much as I would love to go to every event I can, that is just not currently financially feasible. I’m grateful for the 8 events I’ve had so far this year. I plan on 1 in July, Great Northeastern War; 1 in September, Falling leaves, though I’d love to attend Ducal Challenge to see the former Sovereign’s A&S Champ be inducted into the Order of the Laurel; and 1 in November, St Eligius Arts and Sciences Competition. I will consider Coronation and Crown list once they are scheduled. Unless circumstances change, this will be it for the rest of the year.
Beyond events, I have a few active projects…
TRMs Garb is “due” this month. I may need to ask for another two weeks, as I lost two weeks to COVID.
New Scroll! I actually turned down the next assignment I was offered. I was asked to make the Bardic Champions’ documents, and really would have loved to do it, but I was planning to compete and thought that would be a little weird. This assignment is an AoA. Luckily the gentle has an East Kingdom wiki page, so I can easily pull the information I need that was not included by the person who recommended them. This document has a quick turn around, and will need to be completed by the end of June so that someone can hand deliver it to the event on July 1st. There’s no way I can give up the time required to mail it. And I’m loathe to mail scrolls/document anyway.
Samurai Training – I’ve picked this back up. I’ve been attending Fighter Practice and doing daily drills. I need to get my armor together so I can actually start sparring.
Genji Project – I’ve now talked to a number of people about this project, and I think I’ve worked up the courage and cleared my project schedule. I’ve decided to start in July. I’ll do a write up of the project to officially announce it. And there will be other happenings. This will also mean more frequent updates to the blog to follow along with the project.
And I have a completed project:
100 Days of A&S – At last, a completed project. I spent at least 15 minutes, every day for 100 days doing something A&S related. Usually this was writing a tanka, but it was also work done to support A&S at events and studying Japanese, sewing and researching and teaching classes. I’ll admit this was an easy project, and that it continues as I am still writing tanka, every day.
Oh dear. I didn’t mean to let January get away from me, but it did. I spent it moving back into good habits.
I’ve been writing tanka, everyday. And I’ve picked back up my daily studying of Japanese. Still coming up short on my samurai training, but I do manage some small amount of stretching or exercise most days. And I found a potential armorer for when I purchase my first full kit. He’s currently working on my partner’s kabuto (helm).
I now have more projects (I know, I know) and firm deadlines. I’ll lay it out.
February 7th. My last contribution to Meet the Artist Monday.
February 19th. This is the day of The East Goes East, the virtual event that I am co-autocratting. I’ve been hard at work confirming classes, answering questions and creating the class schedule. I have a number of things that still have to be done for this, mostly advertising and communicating with teachers, and including slide-shows for my classes which need updating! I plan to do a run through of my classes as well.
March 5th. This is the day of the East Kingdom’s Crown’s A&S Championship. For this I would like to complete my karaginu and hiogi in order to wear full karaginu mo for the first time when I step down as Champion. I also have a scroll assignment due at the event. I have the research complete and a possible layout designed. I’m also working with a wordsmith (someone who crafts the words of the scroll). I intend to do the calligraphy myself, but have a couple of calligraphers in mind if I can’t accomplish it. I also intend to contact someone who has made a similar scroll for advice. And there’s also the secret project. I have all the materials I need for these projects.
March 10th. I’ve decided to attend Gulf Wars in Gleann Abhann (specifically in Hattiesburg, MS). I generally have enough garb as I was headed to Gulf Wars (and an hour from site) in 2020 when the pandemic closed the US down. but I do have a few things on the agenda to do: (1) Complete travelling outfit 2.0 to be entered into the A&S Championship. This requires a kosode, kyohan (leg protectors), and a kake-obi. I have all the materials for this. (2) Make a linen asetori (undergarment/sweat wicking garment) I’ll need to order linen. (3) Fix my partner’s hakama; the ties need to be redone. (4) A Viking undertunic and a pair of pants for my partner (also requires linen to be ordered). (5) Pretty cloth masks to go over our kn-95s. (6) Inventory/Organize Wardrobe and pack garb.
April 7th. I have a potential commission due. The proposal goes out this weekend.
May 25th. The time travel outfits. One full Viking and one full 16th century Scots ensembles for me, and a new doublet for my partner.
June. I’m part of the team making the wardrobe for Their Royal Highnesses. My contribution is due in June.
Annotated Bibliography will happen over time.
Eboshi (hat) happens when it happens.
Still dragging my feet on starting the Genji Project. I have revised it, and I now think it is best spread out a bit over two years. The 1 year timeline was just not feasible with all I want to do. And that’s just fine. I’ve also listened to the librivox recording for the fifth time. The recording is of the translation by Suematsu Kencho, the first to translate it into English, but it’s just the first 17 chapters (there are 54), and it’s not exactly faithful to the original. He states in his introduction that he has cut bits out. Still worthwhile. I learn something new with each listen, and have purchased the paperback.
Now that we’ve reflected on the year, it’s time to get set for the next. Shall we start with reviving the old project list? Perhaps a list by type of project? Or prioritized by deadline? Hmm. I think we’ll just go by how they pop into my head.
Travelling Outfit 2.0 – this needs a kosode and a kake-obi. While I still haven’t decided about the sleeves (whether or not to remove the “extensions”), I have the materials for the other two items. This has no hard deadline, but would be best if it was ready for spring.
Karaginu Mo – I would like to wear full court dress at the upcoming Crown’s A&S Champions. This requires amending the karaginu I was gifted so that it has a lining. Deadline is the event, but it hasn’t been scheduled yet. Depending on when it is held, I’ll be wearing either hana tachibana (flowering mandarin orange) or yamabuki no nioi (scent of kerria rose) as those are the only appropriate kasane (color combinations) that I can make with my current wardrobe.
Hiogi – wearing full court dress requires the appropriate fan. I have the supplies for this as well, I think. I might need a sturdier pin for the pivot, but that would be the only thing. Same deadline as karaginu mo.
Eboshi – if I make a hat, I can get away with wearing my partner’s hitatare kamishimo, a matching outfit of hitatare (like a jacket) and hakama (pants). My partner would also like a hat. I think I have some black silk to use for this, I don’t know if I have enough for two or not. No deadline.
Secret Project – I’m tremendously excited about it. The deadline for this is a the same as the karaginu mo and hiogi.
Samurai Training – I need to come up with a plan and stick to it. This is complicated by it now being cold enough where I live that I’m not really willing to spend much time outside. Also still dealing with a pesky injury.
Language – I’ve fallen behind, badly, having not studied in months. I’m trying to be gentle with myself with the projects like this one that languished while I was dealing with the loss of my father. I’m honestly still dealing with that. Grief is complicated.
Tanka – this is an ongoing practice. I write at least one every day. It feels good to have this constant artistic outlet. I will admit I’ve been toying with the idea of doing another 1000. Probably not though, as I have a different project that requires the kind of dedication it took to complete that and then some. (See Genji Project)
Possibilities Dancing in the evening air Intoxicating
One idea outshines the rest And a plan begins to form
Time Travel – I have two full outfits for myself and some pieces to make for my partner to complete two outfits for him. None of this is Japanese, and it has a deadline of May 25th.
Classes – the Saishi/Hair Ornaments class still needs research. Pilgrimage and Power needs its handout spruced, and so does Introduction to Japanese Women’s Dress. I’ve recently dreamed up an advanced kasane class (which requires a ton of research), but my basic class, Kasane for the SCA, still needs its handout worked on. There’s a theme here… I also have a demonstration video I want to record showing how to use modern theatrical makeup to fake the look of period Heian makeup. I’ve done a test run, I just need to do a full go. Deadline-wise, I’ll need to have the intro class and kasane class ready for February 19th.
Meet the Artist Monday – this project will continue until I step down as Consort’s Champion of A&S , probably April. It would be neat if the next set of Champions decide to continue it.
The East Goes East – a virtual event on February 19th! I’m co-autocratting the event with Lady Patience. It’s planned to be a virtual schola centered on East and Southeast Asia celebrating the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Tiger. There will be classes, an A&S display, and it will wrap up with a renga party. (Renga is collaborative poetry)
Genji Project – Have I actually described the project before? Maybe bits of it… I don’t really want to divulge its secrets just yet if I haven’t… I want to get this started, but I’m having trouble committing myself to the time as I find my footing with the work I’m doing to pay for my hobbies and life in general. It’s a major undertaking, and a commitment of just over a year. I have all of the resources I need for this one, I just need the courage to start. It occurs to me that starting this project for either 2022 or the Lunar New Year might be appropriate.
Annotated Bibliography – a list of books and papers with whatever notes I care to share. I’d like to create a resources page, and the annotated bibliography would be part of it. This will drive me to read more books, and really get to know the resources I have at my disposal so I can more easily share them.
Wardrobe Organization – as I contemplated the massive amount of delicate laundry I need to do having dragged yards of silk behind me at an event, I realized my wardrobe has gotten a little unwieldy. I need to give everything a proper organization and create a spreadsheet so I can better fill in the gaps as I create new pieces. My partner’s wardrobe could use the same treatment.
Commissions – I’ve started taking in commissions. I have one solid and another likely. And a large group of possibilities. The likely one requires a bit more research and patterning.
So many projects Responsibilities and Quickly moving parts
A little work every day And all remains in motion
OK, so that’s a lot of things going on. And a lot to keep track of. A lot of responsibility and so many moving parts. The priorities are starting to shake out as deadlines firm up. It will require a fair amount of discipline to execute everything well. Perhaps the daily tanka practice has exercised my perseverance muscle? We shall see.
1000 Tanka – Current count is 816. There are just under 3 months left. I’m writing two poems per day, and I’ll need to write at least 3 for 20 or so of the remaining 84 days to hit the mark.
Awakened from sleep By a sudden hard downpour Rain against shutters
Interrupted dreams fading As the storm batters my mind
Language – I had been using two programs, but this past month I mostly used Duolingo. I need to get back to using Rosetta Stone daily as well. Also received some advice on getting practice with a native speaker, though I don’t feel ready for that yet.
Consort’s Champion – The Sovereign’s Champion and I have decided to start a series of bi-monthly Facebook posts, Meet the Artist Mondays, to spotlight Artisans of the East. That link will take you to the first post. In the next few weeks, we’ll get a wiki page set up for the series so that those who do not use Facebook can also read the posts.
Travelling Outfit 2.0 – The project is coming out of time out and I’m going to race to finish it. This will mean fixing the sleeves of the hitoe, making the red kake-obi, and creating a kosode. I’m racing because I will need it for an event next month. Also, I’ve discovered through the book that I acquired that the kosode’s length should be about a foot past floor length. (It’s tucked up for wear/walking) I do not have the yardage for that, so that will be another little thing that isn’t quite right with the outfit, but it will be as close as I can make it.
I have two events this month, and one next – in person events. At Bjorn’s Retreat on the 14th I’ll have the great privilege of standing in court as Champion for the first time. And then on the 28th, Coronation. And for September, Harper’s Retreat where I have volunteered to teach two classes, Introduction to Japanese Women’s Clothing (working title) and Pilgrimage and Power – The Travelling Outfit. I’ll be working on those handouts for the next few weeks. I’ll also be attending a virtual event in September, Falling Leaves, where I’ll display my finished kosode.
Now it’s time to get to work, there’s a lot to do!
In the information on my splash page I state, “I fight anxiety and other challenges.” Right now those other challenges, and the anxiety, have me struggling. And it’s all been a little too much. My projects are suffering. I’m suffering. And I’m entirely overwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still doing things. But it feels like dragging myself through mud filled with broken glass. I’m slowed to a painful pace in everything I do. And everything takes so much more energy than it should.
I’m going to have to let as many projects as I can sit idle for a while, though not many can.
Saishi – The first is my Japanese Hair Accessory class. I’ve postponed the class for a few months. I’d like to get some more research done before I feel comfortable speaking to actual people on the subject.
Bardic War is entirely done. Which is a huge relief. Unfortunately the recording of the Original Poetry warpoint seems to have disappeared from Facebook. I did record my portion, just in case though. More on that in the next section. The best news is that the East/Atlantia alliance won the war!
Laurels’ Challenges are essentially done. Helping to set up pages for entrants was fairly quick and easy. I will need to meet with each of the Laurels for the challenges I entered in about a week. You can find my entries here. The recording of my performance for Bardic War is also available on that page.
Consort’s Champion of A&S – I have a discussion later this week with the Consort’s Bardic Champion for a potential joint initiative.
1000 Tanka – not a project I can stop, nor do I want to. Writing poems is often very cathartic for me. They serve as an outlet for my emotions and creativity. I find writing them helpful for my mental health. So this stays. Current count is 626.
The writing desk sits Patiently waiting for me To pick up my brush
There are more poems to write, Another story to tell
Samurai Training – this is also something I will not be giving up. Physical health is vital to mental health. I’m still struggling with my injury, but I get stronger every day.
Language – it seems that I’ve moved to a Monday through Friday schedule for this. Unit 3 milestone today and then off into unit 4.
This blog. Not something I want to give up. I may not get the posts up exactly when I want to, but they will go up.
Secret Project – I have one secret project that I can not put down that is the source of a lot of my stress. I talked it through with a wonderful friend this morning and have a clear plan for my next few steps. But this project tests the limits of my skill and that has had me paralyzed with fear for over a month.
Listing it out you may not wonder why I’m still so overwhelmed. Perhaps it has something to do with not being willing to make some projects idle? But there are also things on my plate that are not SCA/Heian related projects. I have responsibilities to my family that can not be put down. There’s also still a pandemic going on. And I’m still reeling, months later, from both the death of my companion parrot and the loss of my job. Both have me in tears daily. I wish I was exaggerating.
So, yeah, I’m struggling. And I’m still doing my best.
I get to mark a few things off the list this week starting with Bardic War.
Bardic War – My live performance of Original Poetry is complete. I have no idea if I’ll ever know how I scored, but I’m proud of the job I did. It hasn’t been posted to YouTube yet, but it can be seen on Facebook. My performance is at minute 33. The A&S warpoint will go live on YouTube later this week. I’ll post its link when it’s available.
Laurels’ Challenge – Officially done with the entrant part.* I entered into (1)The Planning Stages – for this I created a document explaining how I planned my travelling outfit complete with pictures of my first longhand notes. (2)Stretch That Comfort Zone – for this I created a small write up of how I planned for the performance and how I felt before and after. (3) Solo Performance/Bardic War Performance – this one required that I share a bit about the process and a performance. (4) Period Poetry – for this one I submitted a brief description of my inspiration for the 3 poems that I wrote for my performance:
Delicate branches Exploding in pink blossoms Brighten the garden
One wonders what Spring whispered To prompt such a sudden blush
One hesitant bloom Unnoticed amongst the rest Waits, undecided
It knows Spring can be fickle And tomorrow might be cold
The occasional Chill of early Spring will be Forgotten quickly
The gardener is patient As he goes about his work
Once the website goes live I’ll include a link.
1000 Tanka – Current count: 600.
Language – I’ve learned how to say a thing is clean or dirty, whether something smells good or bad and I know that feet are called ashi.
Samurai Training – Definite progress! I’ve been upgraded in the difficulty of my physio exercises.
Consort’s Champion – the official handoff of regalia is complete. I know that we had already done our recording, but we appeared “in court” at the recording session this week. I actually wore my regalia, a sash and a collar of office during my Bardic War performance. His Majesty Alberic praised me for the job I’ve been doing so far as Champion in waiting (Poetry Month Challenge). There were a lot of big feelings. This will be in the June 13th court. And now back to that * I put on Laurels’ Challenge. Being Champion makes me a Kingdom level A&S officer. As such, I have the privilege of helping the Ministry of A&S when called upon. My first bit of helping will be setting up webpages for a number of entrants to Laurels’ Challenge. It’s going to be fun work because I’ll get to see a few of them before anyone else.
I hope the bit of momentum I have after completing a couple of things can carry me through and help me finish a bit more.
Travelling Outfit 2.0 – I finished the new sleeves on the asetori. I may take a pause on this project for a little while.
Consort’s Champion – I met with the outgoing champion and received the regalia. My partner filmed the handover, and then edited it with some music. I think it’s magical. It’s been given to the webminister. I’ll post a link to the court it’s used in when it goes live in June. It was very surreal to do something in garb with another person.
Bardic War – My documentation and entry video have been submitted for the A&S war point. I’ll post a link to the YouTube video after it airs with timestamps. For the Original Poetry performance, I recorded a full dress (except glasses) performance and had people review it. The overwhelming response was to increase the pause between my verbal documentation and the poems, and between the tanka themselves. I was more critical than the people I asked for review. This will be a live performance streamed live on YouTube on the Bardic War channel. Original Poetry is slated to start at 9am this Sunday the 16th of May and run to approximately Noon. I do not have any idea where I will be in the order.
Laurels’ Challenge – I need to continue to fill out the document I’ve started for the planning challenge and create a framework post for the stretch your boundaries one to be filled out with final thoughts after the performance. I’ll need to read over what kind of information is wanted for the bardic performance and original poetry challenges. 4 challenges may seem like a lot, but 3 of them center around my the three poems I wrote for the Original Poetry warpoint for Bardic War, so it doesn’t feel like a lot.
Language – Slow and steady wins the race.
Samurai Training – I think I’m getting better. I’ve been able to accomplish all of my exercises staying in the “sore” range of sensation. More professional help tomorrow.
1000 Tanka – Current count is 581.
The rhythmic tapping Of the handle of my brush On the writing desk
Words marching to my heartbeat Advance across the paper
All hobby progress stops for mundane needs. It has to be that way. There were things I just didn’t get to this week.
Samurai Training – My age is playing a larger factor than I thought it might, I guess. I get injured more easily and sleeping wrong put my shoulder out of commission for days. But I say this not for sympathy, just to acknowledge that it will be harder now than it would have been 12 years ago when I first authorized to fight. And that’s ok. It’s going to take time to get into the kind of shape I have to be in to fight heavy list in the SCA. And even if I discover it’s not really for me, I’d prefer to get into shape now and stay that way. I’m not getting any younger, but being in good condition will help me live better and longer. Currently I have an hour of exercises of physical therapy, a two mile walk and a light calisthenics routine every day. I’ll probably add yoga back in soon.
Consort’s Champion – The Poetry Month Challenge is now complete. There were 62 participants who wrote more than 450 poems. There were 7 people who wrote to each of the 30 prompts and a couple more who only missed one or two. I’m very impressed. I also created an East Kingdom wiki page so the poems could be easily found and read. The page just provides links to the individual Facebook posts, though a Facebook account is not needed to click on the link and read the poems. This Saturday I’m meeting with the outgoing Sovereign’s Champion of A&S to do that in person, in garb recorded hand off. That should be a lot of fun. And a little stressful.
Bardic War – I got the confirmation emails about the two war points I’m involved with. I have one week to finish things for submission on the 8th. I still need to practice the poems in front of people. I hope I can manage it all.
Laurels’ Challenge – No progress aside from a little thinking.
Travelling Outfit 2.0 – No progress.
1000 Tanka – Current count is 557. I wrote this one for the end of the April Tanka Challenge and the Poetry Month Challenge:
A month of poems Drawing now to a finish As the last day ends
Gathered words released in lines Meaning given to phrases
Language – I’ve missed a few days, but I’m still determined to learn.
All in all I’m a little overwhelmed and I’m feeling a lot of pressure. There’s a lot to do on a short time frame. There are people counting on me, so I’ve got to do my best.