Sorry I’m late with this blog entry; I had a crazy week. A good one, but a crazy one. So, Fridays (as you may have noticed) are sort of my personal day to talk about whatever’s on my mind. Whether it be disability, farming, my cats, my Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) adventures, my Dungeons and Dragons game… there are a lot of things in my head.
The last couple weeks have been a little heavy, so I thought this week I’d share something on the lighter side. While I do a lot of writing about other people’s writing, I don’t talk a huge amount about my own. Some of you might know, but my preferred wheelhouse is fantasy in all flavors with a dash of science fiction when the mood hits. Most of the time I do fantasy, though. In college I received my B.A. in European History, so you might guess that’s where tend to write. The world I have built (along with my husband) resembles Renaissance Europe since that’s what I spent most of my time studying.
As with most writers, I enjoy researching my novel’s information. Reading books on the time period is great and all (and I’ve done a lot of that), but getting to live it? Nothing beats that. I mentioned in a previous paragraph that I’m into the SCA, and this is what I’m getting to. While I can’t do a lot of the amazing activities the SCA has to offer, I get to go spend time with incredible people learning through doing. I’ve taken classes on glove making, medieval music, calligraphy, talked with fencers and fighters about historical styles, learned about the food and the clothing from people who make and wear it… There’s no better way to study something than to do it, and doing it is often a great deal of fun.
Some of the best people I’ve met, I’ve met in the SCA. My dearest SCAdian friends are a wisecracking fencer who dresses like a scarecrow and his lady (his girlfriend), a jester who brews some of the most wonderful drinks, a chirurgien (a SCAdian medic), and a spinner who owns a herd of sheep she’s bred back to medieval breed stock.
I think you may have figured out by now that I’m a nerd. Many writers are. We are also often introverts who prefer our own company or the company of those we are closest to. Something there’s nothing wrong with, by the way, but it’s a reality. The SCA is full of folks like that. I mean, most people look at us a little askance when we tell them what we do. Dressing up in silly costumes, watching mock battles, and deeply studying history tends to make people give you the hairy eyeball, but I’m okay with that. Being a writer does the same thing.
When you live in a world that, far too often, makes you uncomfortable to participate in (or maybe you can’t participate in it for whatever reason), there’s nothing wrong with finding like-minded people you can enjoy spending time with. Whether it’s comic book conventions, furry conventions (yep, I went there), the SCA, LARPing, video game communities, a craft group, a club at school, a tabletop game circle… Whatever works for you have fun with it and pursue it. There’s no shame in it. So long as you aren’t hurting anyone (yourself included) or being hurt or breaking laws then don’t let anyone tell you that there’s something wrong with your fun. If anyone asks tell them you’re doing research for your next book.