The Scribal Yin Yang Puzzle

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describe how complementary, connected, separate influences compel and connect. I know many such twosomes that exist. Fire and water, expansion and contraction to name two. The SCA has its own. Current creation methods and historic recreation efforts. As a scribal production Laurel, I am drawn to Medieval illuminated manuscript techniques and style yet creating award scrolls […]

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Do You Steal…Like An Artist?

I bought myself a present. I love the writer/artist Austin Kleon. He has a new book, Steal Like An Artist Journal. I’m flipping through the pages, seeing a little of everything.  The first image I came across relates to scribes so well. Kleon describes simply the difference between plagiarism and creative repurposing. He calls it good theft and bad theft. And he […]

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How To Toot Your Own Horn…Unobnoxiously

I am not a politician. bragging about my accomplishments. I don’t want to be that obnoxious person needling your nerves with bluster and boast. Even so, we all need ways to spotlight our own talents, scribal and other. As a scribe, our works commonly are grandly shown at court, taken home and hung on a wall. While they are appreciated by the recipient, their friends, family, and on-line social network, few others know the work.  This makes getting noticed as a scribe challenging. It’s also challenging because, in general, acclaim does not spread as well or as fast as drivel. So, how can you toot your own horn without being a show-off? I’d begin by proving my worth and let my creations speak for themselves. As a scribe develop a quality craft, and be reliable. The person assigning you a scroll depends on you to do your best work and present it before it’s needed for court. Anything less is a deficit for them…and you. Along the way, create works and show them to skilled scribes. Ask for their suggestions. In Calontir great ways to do this are entering Queen’s Prize or Tri-Levels competitions. I love these competitions because I learned the next best step to take, and who was doing what I wanted to learn next.  I’ve also privately shown my work to scribes I admire and asked for comment. Most love to share information and often learn from your techniques as much as you can […]

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What’s An Award Scroll’s Purpose?

In the SCA we devote hours to award creation and giving. Whether entry level or the highest awards , from start to finish, their total creativity hours are in the thousands for each six-month reign. With all that consumed time, what’s their purpose? Their obvious purpose is to acknowledge the recipient’s accomplished efforts. Whether novice or peer, we celebrate together and mark […]

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7 SCA Peer Mentoring Expectations

I’ve apprenticed to two different Laurels in the SCA and live more remotely than many in Calontir. It’s why I’ve considered peer mentoring at length.  When asked, my answers depend on who’s asking. Still, I have turned over in my mind the essence and aspects of floating a peer-associate boat . Proximity–The closer the better. There should be a possibility to connect more often than at SCA events. You don’t have to live in the same town, but I would limit travel to day-tripping, three hours one-way tops. You want to spend more time sharing than driving, to bond and work as mates.  Respect–Each must know and respect the other to succeed. Without mutual respect, the student won’t take the peer’s advice seriously. The peer’s guidance may seem inconsiderate. Does the student consider the peer’s craft, service and deportment appropriate? Does the peer feel the student exudes learning desire and caring?  Honor–Reputations rub off on close associates and each person’s behavior reflects on the other. Do you share compatible moral codes? Who does each visit at events? Even before a formal announcement, repeated connections are noted by others. The relationship should be a blessing for all, and the community too. Learning Environment–Do both have available time and compatible schedules? Does the teacher know what the student wants to learn or where to find it? How is criticism shared and taken? These considerations float the association boat and make learning possible. Goals–Mutual goals are important to any relationship. What does each want […]

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70 Years And Still Counting

I turned 70 this month. A shocking number for me because for centuries, people didn’t often reach that age.     I remember in high school learning the average life expectancy was 72 years for women and I’ve almost reached that age. Scary. The good news for my generation in the USA is life expectancy rose to 78.8 years in 2012, a new high. And life […]

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One Word Challenge 2016

Have you heard of the One Word Challenge? I recently discovered it. You pick one word as your year’s focus. A positive challenge that fits with My Atypical 2016 Chuck-It List concepts. Easy. (I like simple.) The first thing I did was google the phrase. Just in case, it was more complex than it seemed. I learned there are only two basic steps. Thoughtfully […]

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