EKCoP Assembly, and My First Performance

On Saturday, I did a thing. For me, it was one of the bravest I’ve ever done.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I joined the SCA in the fall, and became interested in Bardic recitation and performance. I did a very short story on Novice Day in front of a giant crowd of…three?..Four?.. It might have well been a hundred, for I was terrified. But I did it and I was hooked.

Saturday was an event for bards called the East Kingdom College of Performers Assembly and University. I not only taught a class on story structure (which I’ve done before at libraries so I wasn’t that worried) but I got up on stage and did two separate performances. Both were original pieces. I’ll post them below.

This is the first one that I did. I swear that I was trembling inside, and hoped that I wasn’t trembling on the outside too.  

This was the second one that I did. I felt a little more comfortable, but still nervous.

 

So why is this such a big deal for me? After all, I teach. I get up in front of kids all the time and talk away. I’ve even taught adults.

When I was a kid, I was impossible to understand. My voice was so garbled that no one knew what I was saying until aged 4 or 5. I had years and years of speech therapy and orthodontics (head gear, lip bumper, retainer, braces, the whole thing), to fix my crooked, chaotic mouth. Even then, my voice was still whiny and the target of many a bully.  (I still get mocked for my voice by students. It’s a very sore spot for me). Add in that I once literally froze while giving an oral report in college, and I have all sorts of anxiety problems.

This was a big freaking deal, and I’ve proven to myself that I’m not the unintelligible child that I was. I killed that monster that’s been hounding me as long as I can remember. Yes, my voice is still weird, but it was much, much worse.

I’m looking forward to more of this. I have many stories in my head that need to come out.

doge in space card redux

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When Writing Stops Being Fun

Why doesn’t this spark joy anymore? What don’t the words make me happy?

I honestly don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t seem to get the same pleasure out of writing as I used to. Maybe it’s because I’m having trouble with this 3rd book in the Watchmage Chronicles. Maybe it’s because I’m burned out on promoting and sales are showing that. Maybe it’s because three publishers that have owned my novels have gone bankrupt. Maybe it’s because working at something you love means that you never stop working, and that love becomes a chore. Maybe I’m no longer amazed.

I haven’t blogged in a long time, and I don’t understand why. Writing used to be my constant Northern Star to sail the seas by. Now I’m constantly in the dark… I’ll be at the bar.

I need to be inspired again.

Maybe this is why I’ve been so depressed. I’ve been uninspired, so I lose the joy of writing. Without that joy, I’m uninspired, and so on. Wheels within wheels in the windmills of my mind. And while I used to tilt at those windmills, now I fall off my horse onto a dusty spring field. Even creating a trail of seemingly unrelated metaphors that lead into each other in obscure ways gives me only a small amount of joy. It was a happy accident, anyway.

Okay, it felt kinda good.

doge in space card redux

 

Reunion

Last night I went to a reunion of sorts, and it turned out much better than I expected. Backstory: When I was a teen, me and all of the other local scummy people hung out at a local coffee house. The owner was an ex-cop that sold drugs out of the back of the shop.  He was also allegedly banging an underage employee, but that is just (likely) rumor.

I didn’t get along with everyone there. I was shy and weird. But I had a small circle of friends that I was very close to. Over the years, we didn’t lose touch, but they moved away one by one.

For the past few years, my best friend from the group has been coming back every christmas time, and a couple of us would get together and have a few beers. This time she thought it’d be a good idea to have some more people, and to have it at the bar where the owner of the coffee shop now bartended.

So one friend created an event on Facebook. And it grew. And it grew. And it fucking grew like an out of control giraffe erection. All the people that I hated and caused massive amounts of drama were coming. At one point the Going or Maybe Goin list was over 100. I started to dread it.

I should not have been afraid for flakes will always be flakes.

Only a small amount of people showed, 20 at the most. Most I was friends with, and I found that the formerly obnoxious ones were…still obnoxious but not as bad. In all, it was a great night that I thought would be an awful one.

So I raise a glass to good cheer. May all people we dislike turn likable in time or turn away.

doge in space card redux

 

It’s Been Such a Long Time

I can’t believe just how long it’s been since I blogged. What happened? I’m not really sure. I suppose that it’s because I’ve been busy with my life. My job eats up a lot of time, and I’ve jumped in headfirst into the SCA stuff, especially writing or reshaping folk tales for the College of Performers (Bardic performance). But I’ve been neglecting the therapeutic, er, therapeuticness of journaling.

I really love the SCA. I wish that I joined as intended 20 years. Not only is everyone super awesome, but it allows me to not only delve into medieval history, but also to write in a completely different way. The spoken word is not like the written one, and public performance is still pretty scary. But I’m doing it. I’m out of my comfort zone, but I’ve been doing okay.

Saturday was the Yule feast in Bhakail (the Philly area) and I’ve never experienced anything like it. Feasts are unique. There were servants (I’m assuming members that volunteered) and court was very interesting. I participated in a “court of love” based on the Elenor of Aquitaine style, and got to show off not only my eloquence, but my ability, poor as it is, to speak in rhyming couplets. And I won myself a basket of Hershey’s Kisses.

And yet, there’s still so much I want to get into. I’m deep in the SCA hole. I just need to balance it with my novels.

And Life. I hate being tired all of the time. I hate waking up at 4am and nodding off by 9. I’m old before my time. I want to be young again, or at least not so old.

Sometimes there’s so much that you need to say that you can’t even say it. Like, it’s so overwhelmingly that to expel it will take your heart, your lungs, and organs that you can’t even pronounce. The purge will destroy you. Keeping it inside will destroy you. No matter what, it will destroy you.

I am waiting to destroy myself or be destroyed. It’s in me, waiting. I cannot purge it. It’s attached to too many VERY IMPORTANT THINGS and I’m afraid of the blood and guts that will pour out.

So I will ignore it. It will go away. Or not. Neither way is better. I just wish that it wasn’t necessary.

Cold Iron, Feverish Writer

Sooo, now that the chaos of Cold Iron’s book release is over, my body decided “hey, wouldn’t this be a super awesome happy jolly fun time to get sick?” Of course, it didn’t tell me this until I was mid-date with Katie, so she’s probably sick too.

At least my summer position in the job coaching program is over. I have 2 weeks of summer before school starts once again.

I hope that the cold doesn’t last that long. Despite being the size of a small bear, I am in poor health and many of my colds turn into bronchitis or pneumonia. Just something to be concerned with.

Yay

Oh, i should make a graphics ad for Cold Iron. This book is really freakin good, and I usually hate the things that I write 😛

guinea pig card

Trainwreck Day

Yesterday was a heckin trainwreck at work. This summer I am working as a job coach and mentor for special-needs high school students. I’m at several job sites in the local mall.

Yesterday the mall was closed, but they didn’t tell us. I found out when I got there at 7:45. The students get there at 8:00.

I had to run around, find all of the students before they panicked, and arrange rides for them to get home. Okay, that was aggravating. But what really pissed me off is that no one told my boss. I called her to let her know, and she was shocked.

Then I went to the doctor and discovered that I gained 5 pounds since starting the job. Unacceptable.

Also, I pulled a muscle in my back. Unacceptable.

Oh, and today I woke up at 3:30. Unacceptable.

That whole day and this morning were unacceptable. I’m not happy.

But at least I started revising The Third Watchmage Novel…”Watch Hard With a Vengeance…” not really the name…or is it?

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux