This is a cross-post from Facebook. Last year, I did a “7 Things” meme about my SCA experience, and it showed up in my memories this year, so I decided to do 7 more things. So here are 14 things about me in the SCA!
1. I consider my official start date to be July 1991 in the Midrealm, but I actually first ran into the SCA in 1980 when I was at Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival back in Texas. I was so unimpressed with the carpet armor and freon helms that the fighters wore that I spent my time doing Renn Faire things instead, until I moved to Louisville, KY, which at that time didn’t have one. The SCA has upped its game tremendously since that time.
2. My first persona was Austrian and was basically the same character I played at Scarborough. I changed her last name from Maria Katerina von Habsburg to Maria Katerina von Adlerhof to get the name registered. My second persona was Anglo-Saxon. Tace of Foxele. Tace is Latin for “Be Quiet!” Foxele is a punning word for fox and holly, but is actually a village outside of Yorkshire mentioned in the Domesday book. It’s now known as Foxholes.
3. I really became interested in doing a Japanese persona by 2002, but I didn’t register Ki no Kotori my primary until 2008. Ki is for the famous poet Ki no Tsurayuki. Kotori means “little bird” and is a play on my mother’s surname, Byrd.
4. I love how so many people are willing to teach their skills for free (or just cost of materials) in the SCA. I’ve never experienced any other organization that has been so generous with their knowledge. And it amazes me the kinds of things I’ve been able to learn that I would have never thought to try had I not been involved in the Society. I’m interested in almost too many things, so I try to keep my arts focus on Japanese history, language and literature (especially poetry), calligraphy (both Western and Eastern) and sewing. I like to wear clothing from different cultures and eras, not just Japanese.
5. I started out in the SCA mainly as a fighter, and mostly focused on that activity the first six years I was involved. It took a long time for me to admit I couldn’t manage it anymore, and I just sold off most of my armor last year, except my fancy brigandine, which I’m keeping to remind myself that I could actually make armor and it WAS AWESOME. I was squired to Sir David Dragonhawk ( David Teasdale) in 1994. Since I don’t fight anymore and Calontir doesn’t allow squires to wear chains, I’ve put my belt and chain away. But Sir Dave will always be “my” knight.
6. I’m a big believer in supporting the local group (shire, barony, whatever). I’ve met so many people who are not able to play much on the Kingdom level because of job or family responsibilities, or due to finances. We’ve run into that issue as well from time to time. So it’s really vital to keep the local groups vibrant so that people who can’t travel much can still enjoy the SCA experience.
7. I have helium hand and between the various groups I’ve lived in, have served in every local office except for Minister of A&S, Archery Marshal, and Minister of Youth. I’ve also autocratted at 5 events. My health isn’t as good as it was, so I’ve been less inclined to be an officer, but I still volunteer when I can.
2nd Group of 7:
1. My motto is “Have fun, make stuff, help out.” Concentrating on those factors is what has kept me in this hobby for so long. I find if I don’t focus too much on being recognized (which I do sometimes–I’m human), the hobby is a lot more enjoyable.
2. Arts and Sciences-based events, and events with a lot of classes are my favorite events to attend. It is fantastic to see all the things people make in the SCA. I always go home on a huge high, wanting to make ALL THE THINGS. Usually after a few days, I realize I don’t have the time or money to do that and I should focus on what I already do. But what an inspiration!
3. I am so conflicted about camping at events. On one hand, yes, you definitely get an immersive experience, and wow, what a high that is! OTOH, I’ve never been good at camping, and now that I’m older, that’s even more true. But the multi-day “War” events are so much fun! So the dithering about whether to invest in another tent (our old one died) continues.
4. My husband Robert has actually been playing SCA longer than I have, but it’s not his main hobby (gaming is), and due to his job schedule, he rarely makes it to events anymore. He comes out to Shire meetings when he can. I make his garb and it always comes out looking better than mine.
5. I can’t drink alcohol anymore due to health issues. Sometimes it is awkward to navigate around that. Never was much of a beer drinker, but I miss trying the interesting meads and wines that people make!
6. A well-meaning friend advised me to make it out to more post-revels. I do try to make it out to the ones he throws, but honestly, I do not shine at all in party situations, being painfully shy, bad at small talk, and a non-drinker. At events or meetings, I can find topics to ask people about. At post-revels, I’m just a big ball of AWKWARD.
7. I love the excitement and enthusiasm that new people to our hobby bring! However, I have to stop myself from lecturing sometimes. It’s just that I don’t want to see them make the same mistakes I’ve made! Still, it’s so cool to see new people get started and then advance in their skills.