Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – the First Boast of King William and Queen Isolde

Colin O’Flannery’s Court Baroncy was the last piece of business in the morning court.  We all had a few hours to catch our breath, and then it was time to jump into the deep end.

William and Isolde had already picked soon-to-become Mistress Lucia to be their Kingdom Bard, but she wasn’t going to take the position till crown, so I offered to write a boast.

A processional boast is a peculiar thing.  It needs to be long enough that it doesn’t leave the assorted champions and attendants, but short enough that it doesn’t leave the King and Queen standing while you finish.  This site also had a fairly long space to process in (although not as long as for Crown three weeks hence).  I think it ended up being timed ok.

Those who know William know that he’s a traditionalist, so it was very important to him that we use some of the older references that have, in recent years, fallen out of favor.  The two that have stand out the most are Baron Under the Mountain and Protector of the Inland Seas.

There were two problems:

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Like What You Like, Leave Other People Alone

Originally published on November 27, 2017.

Folks, the man-cave vs study meme is bullshit, and designed to divide us and make some of us look down on others of us.

No photo description available.

Here’s a news-flash: you can like doing sports, watching sports, playing fantasy sports, and coaching sports and still be a smart, contemplative, compassionate, reasonable human being. The interior decorating in your house has got fuck all to do with it.

Having a man-cave doesn’t make you a light-beer-swilling, fat, Trump voter, and having a fine-wood trimmed library with multiple leather-upholstered armchairs doesn’t make you a scotch-drinking, progressive liberal. Also, having a man-cave doesn’t make you a better american, and having a library doesn’t make you a pansy.

Look at that picture. Which one do you think the Koch brothers have in their houses? How about Hillary Clinton?

I love sports. Baseball is my main gig, but I love watching hockey, and I used to follow football as well. I love sports movies. I love playing catch with my kids. I loved coaching little league. And in my “man-cave” I have a shit-ton of Cubs paraphernalia. Also in my man-cave? A bunch of Star Wars toys, a collectible die-cast Voltron, a metric ton of sci-fi books by people as diverse as Heinlein and Elizabeth Bear, the Illiad, the Odyssey, Shakespeare, my Bloom County collection, and a bunch of poetry and songs I wrote myself.

Don’t let yourself think you’re better than anyone else because of what you do for fun. For decades, nerds were made fun of. We were bullied and pushed around, and now, a decade into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in a world where there’s a Wonder Woman movie AND a Black Panther movie, we aren’t the little guy anymore.

So remember what that used to be like, and don’t fuckin’ do it to other people.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Originally published November 23, 2017.

I have a hard time with this holiday, especially right now. My families’ histories are ones of oppression, imposed by one side, received by the other, and for my wife, received again just as bad if not worse. So celebrating a day that is so soaked in brutal colonization just isn’t something I’m terribly interested in.

I struggle with the rampant commercialism that started ramping up a month ago and will go on ramping up for another. I struggle with the false imposed nationalism that forces so many of our soldiers and sailors to be away from the families, for no real good reason.

I struggle with the lack of justice in this country, that today, as on many other days, there will be families separated by bars or borders because they aren’t the right kind of citizen, or they don’t have money to make bail, or they are forced to work on a day that is supposed to celebrate community.

But as a day to celebrate community, as a day to celebrate family, that is something I can get behind. So what I say is that to all of you, who are part of my family of choice, to you who are meeting up with your family in tradition, for those of you who are connecting with family again after a long estrangement, and for those of you who are alone and missing those you would be with:

I am glad to know you. I am happy to celebrate you. And know that it doesn’t take a national holiday for me to recognize how blessed I am, from my wife to my children to my friends old and my friends new.

For this – for you – I give thanks.

Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – Colin O’Flannery Court Barony

In the last post, I talked about creating a new poetry form for Edmund and Kateryn’s Kingdom Augmentation.  But that was not actually the first text that William and Isolde had asked me to create.  Instead, way back in February and March, when we started discussing awards and coronation scripts, the first thing they asked me to do was to write a scroll text for Colin O’Flannery, who we all called Flan.

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Brother Vido!

Originally published November 20, 2017.

Back in the mists of time, I went to college in North Central Ohio with a skinny beanpole wearing coke bottle glasses. We talked about politics and debate and sports and girls. One memorable spring we roomed together during break.

Now, I love my life. I got good kids and a fantastic forgiving wife. But I’m sure she will forgive me for saying that Randal, after enduring some serious shit, hit the jackpot, because he now works as a high school teacher in beautiful Hawaii.

He brought his debate team to Chicago and today I got to spend a few minutes with him at the Art Institute. Neither of us are so skinny anymore, he lost the glasses somewhere, and I got seriously gray, but… Brother Vido, it was a pleasure to see you.

Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – Edmund and Kateryn Kingdom Augmentation

As I said a few months ago, I wrote nearly 60 scroll texts for awards given during the reign of William and Isolde.  The thing about awards, tho, is that while everyone knows you got them, if they weren’t there to SEE you get them, they don’t necessarily know what it was for, what was talked about, etc.

So I’ve decided that a good use for this blog that mostly sits around doing nothing would be for me to go through the scroll texts I wrote (and any others I might come up with along the way) along with some other things, like boasts, etc, that I wrote for the reign, my process, etc.  In chronological order.

So let’s get started with the first scroll text I wrote for them: the Joint Kingdom Augmentation of Arms for Edmund and Kateryn. Continue reading “Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – Edmund and Kateryn Kingdom Augmentation”