20 articles tagged as fencing


The Deserters (Sword Fight- Rapier & Dagger Duel)

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Pinched from https://www.facebook.com/thefenc3r/

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Ii wanted to give you the other side of the coin with this Salon Article —   it makes some good points about the Victorian Living article.  Mostly that Chrisman does come off as a little derisive when she talks about reading only primary resources.  Commentaries by scholars who have spent years doing research isn’t anything to be dismissed lightly…I have read Ridolfo Capoferro’s lovely Great Representation of the Art and Use of Fencing (In translation, of course, this is a good one.) but I did it with a copy of Tom Leoni’s Practical Translation right next to me.  The guy knows his stuff, he’s studied, he’s tried it out, he’s trained others.  It would be silly for me not to use his knowledge as a stepping stone.

So, yes, lots of good perspectives from both articles.  I still stand by that using and wearing does help you understand things, but that has worked in my own experience.

Fencing, last night, was incredibly amazing, speaking of.  My usual choice of weapon is single and dagger, but I do have a LOVE of single rapier, so I fought that all night.  I also made my poor lovelies do lunge drills, practicing both a back weighted lunge and a balanced lunge, and I think it made me remember to stand straighter as I fought.  Good stuff, and it’s reminding me that I genuinely love having a sword in my hand.

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Sword hilts on display at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.

1. Cup hilt rapier, early 17th century, Spanish.

2. Swept-hilt rapier, about 1600, English hilt, German blade.

3. Fencing sword, mid-16th century, Italian hilt, Spanish blade.

4. Swept-hilt rapier, late 16th century, probably German.

5. Katzbalger, early 16th century, German.

6. Two-handed sword, about 1550, German.

7. Two-handed sword, late 16th or early 17th century, Highland Scottish.

What a fine collection of quillon configurations

OMG so much beauty.  I especially love the cup hilt.  Look at that lacy, elegant metal!

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So, according to the writing software I use the most, I have 84,678 words on my newest work in progress. I think I will call it “The Key to All Things” though really, I should google it and see if that’s been used or not. I am not sure what the key I am referring to is – love? Stories? Memory? Because the book, while being a swashybuckly murder mystery with airships and fae creatures and the like is about the power of stories and the complicated nature of love and memory.

Ooh, I sound pretentious, eh? But I think all books have themes, but sometimes they get buried. Maybe we don’t even know that what we’ve written has one, because really we are writing the story that we pull from the well of who we are right now.

One of the things I think is interesting is that all my lovers knew each other before they actually start the love part of the story. Andromeda broke up with Alaister, Libby was rescued by Alex, William wrote Tamsin letters. Avriel married Edward, only to have the world change and that fact forgotten. I find that I am going to have to start fighting these odd coincidences.

I thought this would be the easy part of the book, because I have so many words down and the paths look pretty clear and I pretty much know what happens, but I find myself leaning on the brake a bit, worrying about the story. Is the ending too pat, too easily resolved? But I am forcing myself to just trust the story. When I get to the edits, when I know what I need to do better and have a fuller picture of when and where things are heading I’ll be able to fix it all and make it look like this is what I meant to do all along.

Love edits. I really do, because you get to make everything sensible and polished and worthy.

I might even have this book out before the year is out, which would be nice. And then I can maybe see where I messed up on the Chocolatier’s Sequel.

Right now it’s about the end of things/goal reaching. The end of the book. Five weeks until the end of the semester. I have one more event, and then I will no longer be the Captain of the Queen’s guard in Aethelmearc, and after I finish co-autocratting the Queen’s Rapier Championship I’ll have all my have to do’s for the SCA done – I’ll just be a regional marshal, and going where needed. Sometimes when I write about my life I feel a little surreal. Captain of the Queen’s guard. What an awesome thing to be able to say you were. Until you get that people not in the SCA are a bit “Uh, what?” and then you have to explain it and then it’s a 50-50 shot that it still sounds awesome by the time you are done.

And I will be taking two cadets – those are fencing students – so I will basically be balancing having students (which I am very excited about) with trying to rediscover the simple joy of fencing. I love the SCA – and being Guard Captain has been AMAZING. But now that I’m a White Scarf I want to use this as my big chance to rebalance my life so I am getting the most out of everything. I think having cadets will help me with this.

So, yeah, I’m at the ending of things. And that means I will be at the beginning of things, too.

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This Saturday was the Rapier and Costume Academy in Pittsburgh. I really loved it and hope we have one every year. I am inspired to go back to an idea of what I have been playing with for many years…to distill down the similarities and the differences in the different old masters of rapier styles so that you can, technically, look at the sheet, look at the fencer, and sort of guess what they are doing. I’d love to make accompanying flash cards with a mini check list…”OK, he’s standing with his feet together, but it’s not Spanish because he’s leaning forward…oh! It’s Swetham!”

But basically I would like it to be a basic primer to give people a simple understanding of what the styles are. I think if I did it I would finally get better at explaining what is what, or if I was watching a “By the Book” tourney, I could appreciate what is being done better.

I was given a Comet Vert, for being a friend of the Barony, which was amazing, but even cooler was the fact that several of the people at my fencing practice also received awards. I was standing behind the Royals, retaining, and so I had the perfect view of their faces. What happens when you receive awards in the SCA, if you do not know, is that it is done during court, and the king or queen will be whispered to before the award by the bard, telling them a couple of cool things so that they are prepared to speak. Then the person is called up, and they sort of do a take and then they come up and kneel in front of the King and Queen, and one or the other speaks of their awesomeness. Usually things like service or their arts or their martial ability. And the herald reads the scroll that is about to be handed to the recipient, the King and Queen help them stand, and then everyone cheers as the person toddles away with their beautiful scroll. It’s pretty awesome, even more so when you know the person…and so I was standing there, watching the faces of my friends as Nice Things were being said about them. Two of them peeked up and glared at me. I knew I was grinning like an idiot, but I was genuinely happy. These are good people…hard workers, passionate about what they do, and they deserved to be recognized for that hard work and love.

Did not win Nanowrimo. Partly because I got stopped on the book I was supposed to be writing but I knew what was happening in another one, so I said, “OK…well, I’d rather do that, then.” Writing is slow. But it’s going, so thank God for that.

I am also slowly looking for an agent for The Chocolatier’s Wife. She needs a new home.

And that’s my news…

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I hate Google docs right now. I’m collaborating with my editor, and it fights me all the time…and it’s slow. Maybe it would be better in Firefox than IE, but seriously, it should not take ages to backspace over a word.

Also, I think when we’re both in, it fights me more. So, not uber impressed.

Having an editor that you can trust is important. Maybe because I used to be an editor, I usually go by the idea that the author (me!) is way too close to the material to always know what’s right. You have a certain way you think, and certain way you put together words, and so, on the page, you know, absolutely, what you mean, and it all makes sense to you. But you really do need that second set of eyes to read over it. To cut out the extraneous, to question the things that don’t make sense. I accept nearly all the changes without question because I understand that fact. Also, because if one reader (my editor) finds a problem with something, then someone else will.

Coyote Con is going fairly well…lots of people in the chats, and I’m enjoying talking to people.

I don’t have any chats this weekend because I’m going away on a camping/fencing trip. The last time I looked at the weather I was underwhelmed because there are little lighting clouds over the days. There’s nothing I like more than being a lighting rod. I am tempted to buy myself a pair of plain black rubber boots, because I will be camping in the swamp with some friends, and I expect that the ground will be super soggy. Last year at the week long camping spree called Pennsic I destroyed my feet with wet shoes, and would like to not repeat that.

Hopefully the weather will dry up a little bit, and we can all have a relaxing weekend.

Right now I’m going to find something productive to do so I can stop thinking about how I am not enjoying wearing clothes over the epic sunburn on my shoulders. I went and looked at my sunscreen…it was only a couple of months out of date, so I feel slightly less stupid for getting myself sunburned than I did. All the cures that people suggested…and the ones that usually work…don’t seem to this time, and I’ve tried them all. I’ve been depending on Sarna. For instance, I used this highly recommended gel, and at first it was nice. It worked. Then it itched tons worse than before, and I became a raving lunatic. I had to run and wash it off.

I wish I could make a moral to that story…watch the expiration dates on non-edible things? Check your back frequently when you are outside?

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So, it’s the first day of the semester.  I’ve always lived by the academic calendar…I’ve never really escaped academia, so today feels like the first day of the new year, rather than the first day of the fall semester.  Somehow the first day in January doesn’t feel all that special.  Most of the fencers have dropped in to say hi, so that makes things kind of extra nice.  I did miss them.

I am pleased about the fact that I feel very calm…for the first time in a long time I feel like everything is OK and settled.  I was told by my boss that it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts, and while I believed him, I’ve been having a hard time going with that until just now.  Of late, whether it’s fencing or some other nonsense, it’s almost like I wanted to rip out whole chapters of my life just so I could skip to the end and find out what’s going to happen.  I just wanted to know how things would turn out, and have the comfort that the pain would be worth it.  But then I’m missing all the experiences that come with the journey.  And really, the outcome is worth waiting for…the best things in life, the most worthwhile, always come with a price.   So I just have to be patient, work, and live and be happy.

I had a brilliant Saturday at the Children’s Crusade event.  It was my first event where I served as a guard, so I stood behind her highness and looked serious while we watched the Baronial Championships for fencing, then, later, I took a turn standing near her at court and during feast.  I haven’t slept a night through since…Wednesday?  So I wasn’t planning on staying for feast, I just wanted to play and go home, but a group of lovely people wanted me to stay, so I did, and was glad…feasts in the SCA can be wonderfully sumptuous, and I was glad both to be able to serve (standing near her Highness for fifteen minute intervals does wonders, because you can digest between courses) and just to be able to hang out a little longer.  I did get to fence in the ribbon tournament (<lj-user=Pevcov> got my last ribbon) but once I ran out of ribbons, I went over to the others who were without , and asked who wanted Antarctica, and so we all wagered parts of the world and got more fencing in.  The next day I went to the Pittsburgh fencing practice, and tried to push myself a little harder…I won’t fail at being a good fencer due to lack of effort or enthusiasm, that’s the one thing I can be sure of.

My mind feels very jumbled when I’m fencing.  There’s so much going on, but there are things I no longer think about…Saturday I kept parrying with my dagger without thinking about it during some of the bouts, for instance, I remember my wrist just twitching a little and catching the sword, all by itself.  I’m kind of excited…in a way, I figure it’s like writing.  You have to write the garbage out of your system.  I have to fence the garbage out.


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No mouse for awhile. Maybe she took the hint the last time I threw something at her and went outside?

Life is really good. The weekend was excellent…I kept myself hydrated, pre-took aspirin instead of waiting for the pain, and only ended up with a slight headache that kept me quiet more than anything else. I’m taking this as a sign that the walks I take outside every chance I get and the fencing are conspiring to make me a bit stronger of a person, heat wise.

I liked the zoo. Well, I liked the zoo demo better than the zoo part, I only went for a brief walk with a friend, and managed to enter the monkey house, though not go all the way through it. It was a humid day and all the animals looked resigned, to me. I get aggravated with myself for being such a soft heart, for projecting my own feelings onto the bears and apes I saw, but I cannot seem to help it. I sort of want to use my passes so that I can go and tour the whole place and really get the zoo experience, but I’m on the fence as to whether I will or not.

OK, this does not, so far, sound like I had a great weekend. But I did. Melee is coming along better. I learned so much on Saturday, and since Sunday was a demo, I concentrated on moving graceful and pretty and no, those who know about the Incident with the List Pole are not allowed to laugh. One of my newest friends actually said I made her want to learn how to fence because of how I moved.

I also managed to navigate my way home from the Pittsburgh zoo, through Pittsburgh and back to 51 – get this…without any help from maps, gas station attendants or long suffering friends! I was so geeked when I managed to get to the tunnel that I was like, “Who managed to get themselves out of Pittsburgh by herself?” I guess I was only due to get lost once that day. I also went to Tom’s Diner in Dormont, (yes, there’s a Tom’s Diner in Pittsburgh, and it’s even on the corner…and if you don’t get the reference I shall have mercy and tell you it’s a Suzanne Vega song. Also, apparently, it’s not the only Tom’s Diner in the area.) The waitress was really nice, when she went through the drinks and said that she had lemonade, I said, basically, “OMG YES SO THIRSTY.” Then, later, because I felt silly about that, explained I’d been fencing at the zoo all day, and that I would doubtless be pestering her for refills. So, when I was halfway down with the bitterest lemonade I’ve ever drank, she brought me more. I drank both glasses, even though it was really so sour that the sugar I added didn’t help, simply because she made the effort. The place has gyro meat in every section of the menu (gyro meat and eggs. Gyro omelet. Gyro salad. Gyro sub…it was like the Monty Python spam skit…) that I had…a gyro. Figured it must be their best thing, right?

Also learned that people will, point of fact, stare at you if you’re singing “If Love is a Red Dress” at the top of your lungs at a red light. They must have been as amazed as I was, about how a) in tune I was for once and b) that I could hold the note that long.

Writing is actually going well, too. One of my friends put my head back on straight for me, which I need from time to time, and I think that the story I’m writing, while not coming out exactly how I pitched it to my editor, and being written in a voice I’ve never before attempted, is doing alright. And it’s on a deadline, and I tend to work better with one of those.

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OK, I am failing on my re-try of the happiness meme. Maybe I’ll just list, at random, things that make me happy when I become maudlin.

Today is exciting because I’ll be spending half of it in a Doctor’s office reading…the ear Doctor who actually fixed the problem (my ears don’t drain right, it’s sort of like having swimmer’s ear all the time…) is very popular, and the wait is always an ice age or two. But I get out of work early, so muaha? He’s going to be displeased with me, because I keep forgetting to put ear plugs in my ear when I shower. As in, I just remembered today, that, a couple years ago when I went to him, he told me to do so. Oops.

Yesterday was made of fail because I completely slept in late and forgot about going to sew at the barony. But I needed the day…I was dead tired by the time I got home. I spent it reading and cleaning up some odds and ends, instead.

And Saturday was the best, because I went to War College. There wasn’t a large turnout, but we did a lot of fighting…Corwin worked with me a lot, and then I authorized in parry objects. I feel I still have a ton of work to do, especially in cloak, but it’s nice to have another authorization under my belt. I also have to work more on using just one sword…I need to make sure that I balance and practice all arts so I don’t lose what I’ve learned. I still, also, need to decide what kind of buckler I’m going to make/buy, I’m struggling between the fact that a flat surface is nice and sticky and helps control the blade, and the fact that a metal boss is useful in deflecting a blade. I really need to get Sionn’s buckler back to him, I hate putting so much wear and tear on his.

One thing that’s been buzzing around my brain has been trying to define how I want to play in the SCA…how can I make the most of my time in the SCA, how can I do what I want to do without…I don’t want to say ruin, maybe dent or smudge…the experience for the people around me. I’m mostly worried, to be honest, about clothes. Because I like clothes from a few periods, but I’m worried about being a “time twister”…I wouldn’t normally care (really, I wouldn’t!) but it’s sort of like story telling. I don’t want to pop people’s suspension of disbelief. But I spent a lot of time talking to people, and from their attitudes I realized that there is more leeway than I think.
Really, it all comes down to doing what I want, but doing it with respect. Which is what I do, anyway, in all aspects of life.

The night was finished off with a lovely dinner with amazing people. The day was pretty much perfect.

Also, saw a woman with gussets where my green dress’s gussets are. YAY! Maybe they can go form tragic to perhaps documentable. I am beginning to think that there is…sort of a gradient in historical costuming. There’s “You really can’t do that, ick!” which includes, like, bright orange filmy pixie clothes and pink plastic buttons, and “Oh, that’s perfect and admirable” which includes everything hand sewn and the person even made their own buttons, and a grey area in between. And I think a lot of people live in that grey area, and the grey area won’t get you awards, but it won’t get you snark. I like the grey area in costuming. It has comfy cushions.

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