Pennsic 2010 Diary: Friday, August 13

morning — Marauders

A mystery solved! Just as I was contemplating what to do with the $100 I found last week (I was leaning towards donating it to our meal plan, but not sure yet), a woman arrived in camp. Her name was Nuala. She’d seen my sign but figured no one would be honest enough to mean her cash. So I gave it back to her, and she was very grateful. Then she drove off, headed home. So that’s my good deed of the War.

There are two classes I want to take today, one at 11 and one at noon. Aside from that, I need to exchange the last of my money and visit High Rafters. I have no idea what else I’m doing today. Probably packing in the evening and getting Jeanne’s stuff into my car. Maybe some visiting. No idea what’s going on tonight. I absolutely must remember to take an antihistamine later.

The sky is overcast but — for the moment — not raining. Let’s hope it stays that way.

early afternoon — Marauders

It’s been an odd morning. I went by Dione Sidhe and played with Johann for a while, then went browsing the merchants with Katrusha and her mom. We wanted to go to Your Inner Vagabond, but they were closed already.

I took two classes, neither of which was quite what I expected. They were both good, but… unexpected. The first one was improv storytelling with Master Rory, which I expected to be about making up stories on the fly, sort of like Baron Munchausen or what I did last night. And we did a bit of that, but mostly it was about using improv games in an SCA bardic context. Fun, but I’m not sure how applicable it’d be for my usual bardic stuff.

Then it was Adelaide’s period filk class. I expected a class about writing filks to period music, maybe with some sources for period materials. And, again, there was a little of that, but it was mostly about navigating copyright issues and how almost all SCA filks would get torn six ways from Sunday if taken to court. Now, I understand the issue, and I can see how it would be a big deal if you’re printing CDs. I even see the potential thorniness if a video gets posted on YouTube. That said, people are going to continue to write filks (i.e. me) and their audiences are going to continue to enjoy them. And so long as it stays around the campfire, I really don’t think it would be worth the time of the studios to go after infringers. But that’s just me.

Towards the end of that class, I got ravenously hungry, the first time I’d been hungry during the day all week. So I left early (sorry, Adelaide) to get food and I ate.

I’ve got to go by the Pennsic Independent, High Rafters, and… I’m sure there was somewhere else. This evening I’ll pack up most of the stuff in my tent and maybe even take it down and sleep in John’s tent tonight and tomorrow. We’ll see.

mid-afternoon — Harpwood Hall

My “wergeld” from Morgana is a little silver longship pendant, with a square piece of amber instead of a mainmast. Thanks, Morgana!

Pennsic is coming down, even though it’s only Friday. Many tents have come down, a scattering of people are in mundanes, and a few have already left to head home. There are cars all over the place. While it still feels like Pennsic, it feels like a world in transition. You get the feeling that when you say goodbye to someone, you might not see them again until next year.

It got hot out again, but there’s a nice breeze that’s mitigating it. After I sew my apron-dresses, maybe I’ll make a few sideless surcoats like Derhilde has. Comfy and loose. Of course, dyeing some of my chemises so I can wear them without an outer layer would work too.

I just realised that Marian’s tent is gone. I don’t know if she’s started home yet, but I’d feel sad if she has. I’d very much like to say goodbye to her.

I’m also sad that I didn’t get to go up to Sharc this year. Sorry, Sharc! Please forgive me!

I’d have also liked to see a few of the northern treasures of Pennsic, like the Cathedral and the “Canadian border crossing.” Ah, well. You can’t do everything, and this year it’s been too hot to do all the things I’d like anyway.

I was reflected today on how grateful I am that Isabella took over the meal plan. I can’t imagine cooking in camp all War. I think it would make me very morose and angry, feeling like I was missing everything. On the other hand, I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about the way I spend my War. “So much walking? Performing in front of dozens of people? No thank you!” It takes all types, and I’m just glad there are cooking-types and camp-mom-types to counterpoint my bard-type.

Eoforwic invited me down to their “eat it, drink it, burn it” party tonight, which I’ll probably attend. Chalk Man’s also open, but I don’t really know the people there, and it’s on the far side of the site But we’ll see what happens.

There’s about two and a half hours until dinner, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with them.

sundown — Marauders

My tent is down. Jeanne’s and my stuff is in the car, which will shortly be returned to parking. My air mattress is set up in John’s tent. I have a migraine, and hopefully the advil will kick in soon.

I had a pleasant evening, chatting with Toki and his friend John, and then going for ice cream. Dinner was burgers, and packing was mostly smooth. But sometime while Jeanne and I were taking down my tent, a migraine struck with a vengeance and now I’m not feeling so well. Maybe I should drink some water.

In a little while, Toki and his camp are having a “we’d never do this at Cariadoc’s” circle, which I’ll probably go to. Eoforwic just seems too far right now. Seamus had offered me a massage, and I really, really want to take him up on it, but I don’t think it’s going to work out.

Right. Water.

Back to Thursday, August 12
Forward to Saturday, August 14



  1. Judith Fitzhenry said,

    November 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm


    First time visiting — I saw your performances at Winter Nights (in addition to the one where we competed) and at East-Mid Bardic, and your attention to and connection with your audience is laudable 8) I find the fact that you make certain the pieces you choose are pieces you’ve thoroughly rehearsed shows a professionalism not all SCA performers consistently practice (the less said about how much rehearsal time I’ve had recently, the better…). When I saw your note about the period filk class, I remembered a conversation we’d had in Liam’s LJ about sources for filks. I’m emphatically not a member of the “Listen to this, it’s good for you” school, but if I could be any help with names of song collections, please let me know. I webbed the notes for the class “Filking with history” at (It’s basically a playlist with footnotes…) Most of the collections I talk about have several short, simple, catchy, not-weird tunes, one of which I (or other bards I know) have already used with original lyrics to create pieces audiences have enjoyed. (Some of my filks are a little personalized, so I’m not always confident about performing them for wider audiences…) Listening to a critical mass of different kinds of early music gave the “earworm playlist” in my head a pool of sound bytes to draw from when I get ideas for songs. (If you have experience composing, do existing tunes ever inspire other variations that you can play with? The closest I’ve ever come to composing was adapting some vocal lines from a Spanish song.) “The Shawms of War” was originally a filk written to a simple 16th century French song called “Une m’avois promis”. I perform the lyrics as poetry when I’m by myself because the most effective way to sing the song is accompanied by wind instrument players who use recorders until the critical moment, then swap in their shawms.

    I can’t do that by myself 8)

    In the conversation I’m thinking of, you mentioned liking Gregorian chant and I wondered if you’d ever heard any of the plainsong pieces in the mystery plays from the Fleury playbook–the various characters have theme tunes to which they sing most of their dialogue, and some of the melody lines are clearly defined and pleasant sounding. I used one (from a St. Nicholas story called “Filius Getronis”) for a song earlier this year.

    I’m going to stop ‘musical name-dropping’ now and look at some of the other ballads etc. You have a gift for creating pieces that are plugged in to stories that matter to the people around you, another rare talent.

    Permission to LJ-friend?

    • pocketbard said,

      November 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

      “Permission to LJ-friend?”

      But of course!

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