Event Report: Birka

The short version: I enjoyed myself, though maybe not as much as I expected, and I’m not sure I’ll go back.

The long version is behind the cut.

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Pennsic 2013 diary is now up!

For those who have been waiting all week with baited breath, the Pennsic 42 (2013) diary is now up! Also up is my one new song of War, “The Titivillus Can-Can.” Go on over and take a look!

Pocket Bard’s event report – Northern Region War Camp

Today’s question: how much can you accomplish in 22 hours of blinding heat and humidity? Quite a lot, it turns out.

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Pennsic wander list 2013

Here are the camps on my “wander list” so far. I try to make it out to these camps at least once every few days, though I admit those of you in Dagan’s Dell or the Highlands may see me infrequently, if at all. I’m pretty sure there are at least a few incorrect camp locations on this list, so please correct me if you see something wrong.

My Camp: McGuire’s Marauders (N06)

Serengeti:
- Bhakail (N11)
- Dione Sidhe (N07)
- Northshield (E02)
- High Rafters (E03)
- East Kingdom Royal (E06)

Bog:
- Eoforwic (W08)
- Enchanted Ground (W09)
- Shauna’s Camp (W11)
- Bard’s Haven (E19)
- Casa Bardicci (E20)
- Wild Rose (E24)
- Regnesfolk Myrkfaelinn (E23)
- Havres des Glaces (E18)

Dagan’s Dell:
- Sharc / Quatrefoil (N21)
- Coldwood / Mountain Freehold (N29)
- Concordia of the Snows / Vestfell (N36)

Researching a New Persona, Part 2

Okay, I lied. I still don’t know who Katherine is amidst the backdrop of early 14th century England. But I’ve been doing some reading, and it was interesting enough to me that I figured I’d write down what I’ve found out so far so that I have a record of it somewhere.

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Researching a New Persona, Part 1

Yes, it’s that time of the decade again: the time where I decide I want a new persona. My original persona, a 12th century minor noble from England, was never particularly fleshed out. My second person, a Norse storyteller from the time of King Cnut, never quite gelled for me. So now I’m on to persona number three, also called Katherine Ashewode, and I think this one’s the winner.

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Pennsic 2012 Diary is online!

Friends, I know you didn’t have anything else planned for this weekend, so why not browse through 15,000 words of Pennsic nostalgia? That’s right, this year’s Pennsic diary is online! In it, you’ll discover that I became Mistress Marian of Heatherdale’s apprentice, performed for the royalty of the Known World, and went on stage for the intermissions of Lorelei of Skye’s Wednesday night show. I also performed a whole bunch of new saint stories, which will be posted online soon, and wrote a bunch of new pieces: 1. a poem for Liam St. Liam’s “crown polishing” quest, 2. Hours at Troll, 3. Sixteen Shirts, 4. The Excuse Note, and 5. Marian Doesn’t Like Wool.

I wasn’t able to put as many links in to friends’ pages this year, because it’s been crazy-busy in the office and my boyfriend’s brother is getting married in two days, but I know you’ll forgive me. The important thing is that you can now re-live the Pocket Bard’s two weeks at Pennsic as though you were there yourself. Have at!

Where to find the Pocket Bard at Pennsic, 2012 edition

Pennsic is fast approaching, and the question I know is on everybody’s mind is, “When can I get to see the Pocket Bard?” (If it’s not the question on your mind, you know it should be. *grin*)

So, to sate your curiosity, here we go!

As always, I will be camping with McGuire’s Marauders, N06. To find it, stand in front of Performing Arts and face towards the battlefield. Look on your right for the pink-and-white striped tents. That’s us.

Naturally, I won’t be in camp very much. I tend to wander around a lot. If you want your camp to be on my “Pocket Bard-friendly” list of destinations, be sure to let me know who you are and where you’re camped. I try to get out to see everyone at least once every 2-3 days, weather permitting. I particularly like appreciative audiences, people who feed me, and small children to play with.

There are a few places I’m almost guaranteed to be. Here’s that list:
- Monday Peace Week, o’dark: “Welcome to Pennsic” bardic circle (Calontir Royal)
- Wednesday Peace Week, 10 a.m.: Teaching “Sexy, Silly, Scheming Saints” (AS4)
- Wednesday Peace Week, o’dark: Haakon’s bardic circle (Aethelmearc Royal)
- Thursday Peace Week, o’dark: “Maraude at Home” bardic circle (McGuire’s Marauders, N06)
- Friday Peace Week, 1 p.m.: Teaching “Your Persona in an Hour” (AS4)
- Middle Sunday, 2 p.m.: Tea Social (McGuire’s Marauders, N06)
- Middle Sunday, o’dark: Lowdy Toady party (Casa Bardicci)
- Monday War Week, 10 a.m.: Teaching “Pennsic Without Breaking the Bank” (AS5)
- Monday War Week, o’dark: Heralding Liam St. Liam into the Royal Dinner, possibly serving afterwards (East Kingdom Royal)
- Tuesday War Week, o’dark: Harpwood Hall jam session (Harpwood Hall)
- Thursday War Week, 3 p.m.: Teaching “Your Person in an Hour” (AS4)
- Thursday War Week, 4 p.m.: Guarding the East Kingdom gate (East Kingdom Royal)
- Thursday War Week, o’dark: Hoity Toity party (Casa Bardicci)

So… that should hopefully be enough to get everyone started. I will, naturally, also be available to drink hot or cold beverages at the Inner Vagabond at a moment’s notice, and I’m sure there will be more bardic circles I’ll only find out about when I get to War. Come find me and I’ll tell you what they are! For I am Katherine Ashewode, bardic enabler! See you at War!

Sexy, Silly, Scheming Saints

This year at Pennsic, I will be teaching a class called “Sexy, Silly, Scheming Saints.” (First Wednesday, August 1, 10:00 am, AS4) This class will be focused on fun saint stories from the Golden Legend, a medieval book of saints lives. If you come, here are the stories you can expect to hear:

- St. Basil helps a slave who turned to the devil out of lust for his master’s daughter
- Emperor Nero conceives and gives birth to a frog
- St. Nicholas helps a moneylender who has been cheated by a clever debtor
- St. John the Almsgiver pays the same beggar three times
- A prefect has designs on St. Anastasia’s maidservants but instead caresses and embraces kitchen implements thinking that it is the servants
- St. Julian causes a man pretending to be dead to actually die
- St. George kills a dragon
- St. Nicholas saves a greedy noble’s son
- The Scrooge-like conversion of Peter the tax collector
- Josephus brings a hated slave before Titus to cure him of paralysis
- St. Marina, while cross-dressing as a monk, is accused of rape
- The ghost of St. Gregory kills his successor
- Pope Leo cuts off his own hand to avoid temptation and has it restored by the Virgin Mary
- St. Patrick accidentally wounds the King of the Scots, with a happy conclusion
- St. Andrew helps a bishop who has been beguiled by the devil in the form of a beautiful woman
- A virgin of Antioch is placed in a brothel, but a Christian knight exchanges clothes with hers so that she can preserve her virtue

If any of these sound interesting, I invite you to come to my class and hear the full versions! Also, you may catch a few of them as I camp hop around Pennsic.

An overnight sensation nine years in the making

I’ve been styling myself as a bard since 2003, give or take. In that time, I’ve had wonderful fun both writing and performing, camp-hopping and standing on stage, and (very occasionally) competing. And while I seem to have a knack for accumulating prizes that other people have won in competition (I think I’m up to four and counting), I have yet to win a competition myself.

That changed last night. Yes, friends, for the first time in my bardic “career,” I actually have a championship to my own name. Last night was the monthly iteration of “StorySlam,” which is like a poetry slam except for storytelling. By a very, very near margin, I squeaked into first place and won some mint fudge, which I promptly gave away in the spirit of paying it forward.

This also means that I’ll be the featured teller at next month’s StorySlam, and should probably start thinking about how I’m going to fill up 20 minutes of stage time. (For the record, last night’s winning piece was Rathflaed DuNoir’s “Beowulf.”)

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