In the interest of keeping up a regular posting schedule, I am going to hold myself accountable with updates and progress reports. I have set a timeline of monthly for primary articles, as I am confident I can maintain such a schedule. Of course, when I’m in a writing mood I want to write and publish everything immediately. Posting to the Facebook Page when I have an idea has helped make it easier to pace myself, but an official update on the fortnight opposite articles will give me an outlet to jot something down more than a status update. It is also an opportunity to open the content flow so the community has a voice in future projects and their order.
The State of the Estate
Our community has grown to 17 direct subscribers to the website, 198 members of the page on Facebook, and 28 followers on Instagram, a considerable boost from where we were before. I will not be harping on stats much, especially since the website and articles are always going to be the bread-and-butter of what I want to do. However, Facebook is a convenient method for having conversations with the living history and reenactment community which makes tracking the intensity of the signal something to keep an eye on. Lots of good conversations happen over there, and in the interest of trailblazing and curating medieval related content on the internet, I tend to share or signal boost hobby-specific content I find through Facebook. It is a superior medium for spreading those messages than trying to post content which I did not write here to the articles feed.
Since our last update, I began a new idea of doing a “Medieval March” event where people local go on a hike together in period kit. It is an excuse to put on the soft kit more than a few times a year, helps people become accustomed to period footwear, and is good healthful exercise. It was chilly, but not cold enough to hurt (though I expect the January hike will be.) It was only Karley and myself and we walked not much over a mile in about half an hour. I intend to continue these casual hikes every month-ish. More stringent hikes will be added as interest and fitness improves with the hopes of conditioning those interested in a possible period hunt project sometime in 2020.
A joust and deed of arms I am interested in participating in involves going to out at Scott’s place in January. When I first heard about it I was immediately ready to go and eager to mortgage the house and the dog to finance it. As time wears on I worry I will not be able to afford to go. However, it has inspired me to take some riding lessons so I can brush up on saddle time, I have not ridden a horse since I was in my twenties. Even if I miss this event, the concept of actually jousting has wormed its way into my brain and will not go away. No self-respecting esquire or knight of the era I portray would be as ignorant of horsemanship or as inexperienced with a lance as I am. Having competency with the physical skills your impression would have is an important method of fleshing out the authenticity of your presentations. My friend nearby also is interested in jousting and has horses, so anticipate seeing jousting pictures, videos, and even articles . A fun anecdote, I have not told the school yet my fundamental goal with lessons is to joust, just to “break the rust off my riding skills.” I thought I’d ease them into it.
In the spirit of achieving some sense of martial skill as part of my impression, I have a rekindled interest in swordplay and have been talking with the Black Falcon School of Arms, since I would like my sword technique to be authentically English to complement my English impression. I don’t know if I will do articles, but I will have to take video of my progress since Colorado is a long drive from my part of Kansas, so I may share those as I grow more comfortable with my swordplay. In fits and spurts, I have been meeting with Ben and Reece to work on poleaxe and other weapons.
Articles and Research Projects
I have a number of articles in various states of completion. It was important to publish my last article, about the cost of a trip, out as close as I could to when I actually took the trip which inspired it. When I go to events, event reviews or articles related to the event usually receive front of the line passes. The projects below have no specific order of urgency, so this is an opportunity to voice your suggestions or requests on upcoming content.
- A “Behind the Metal” interview featuring Trevor Clemons of the Kansas City Sword Guild, focusing on his considerable expertise and success with creating a crossover HEMA and living history group.
- A personal musing on making “consolation” purchases when you cannot wait or afford the perfect piece of armor or kit; exploring the boundary between “settling” purchases and ones simply “good enough for now”.
- I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
- In the past, I hand drew some diagrams/floor plans for tents to establish an idea to what extent concepts like “headroom” and “floor-space” exist in any given tent. With access to a CAD program now, I have some far superior drawings of a series of Tentsmith Conical tents I could share as a resource. These drawings are very time consuming though, and with how many size/shape variations exist among the preeminent manufacturers of medieval tents, it will take me years to work through them all (or sufficient support to work on the website full time.)
- A personal pet peeve of mine is how product photos for medieval clothes and items usually only have one model. My idea: a line of “Red Carpet Reviews” of people in their outfits to show what clothes and items from various merchants look like when worn by various people, with the bonus of some explanation as to why the wearer chose the item and how it fits into a coherent and cohesive impression. To springboard the series I would write one about all the elements of the picture of me wearing the sword looking off into the distance, and while it’s easier to write them about me and take pictures of me, I’d try to feature a variety of personalities.
- I have mentioned once or twice in the past, especially regarding building the elements of my impression and pulling from sources such as effigies, I resist the idea of portraying a specific person. I suspect I am due to put something up which defines what I mean by the statement and my thoughts on unique portrayals versus reenacting historical figures.
- Research is a major part of this game, and I had a major urge to do some research recently involving names, more specifically my own name and the name I would/could/should use for my impression. This is shaping up to be a long article on a topic brushing up against hard academics (of which I m not a professional or educated historian or academic.) However, I have enjoyed what I have put into it already and will definitely publish it sometime in 2020.
These are the most fleshed out projects so far. I have about two dozen ideas in various states of work, not including any events I go to such as the KCSG’s deed, Scott’s deed, upcoming year’s DoK, and more.
What article would you like me to prioritize for you? What are you seeing on the website or the social media accounts you like or dislike? Drop me your feedback by comment or email.