Fail-time Lesson!

Last week, I had another bow failure, this one on the range at Gulf Wars. Happily, this wasn’t a catastrophic failure, but was sad nonetheless. The bow had been shooting really well and I was pretty happy with it. This failure happened at the upper limb nock, actually. As you can see, I had chosen to go with the period appropriate longbow side nock, but as I don’t have any antler or horn to work with at the moment, I hadn’t tipped it with the period appropriate horn. The pressure of the string downward on the nock actually split the limb in half lengthwise, rendering it useless. The bow itself is still intact and that’s probably the least dangerous way a bow can break in use, but it was still a sad day. I didn’t even know that could happen! Lesson learned: In the future I would not recommend anyone using the period side nock style unless reinforcing with a horn tip. I’m aware of some non reinforced Native American style bows that have the side nocks and do just fine, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. On the upside, yay for proof positive of the practical purpose of horn nocks!







As per request, here’s a photo of the bow before it became all broken and sad. This was at our baronial championship shoot. I shot in a terribly mediocre manner,  but with enthusiasm. The bow itself performed well. I’m actually holding the bow too high at center, because I put my nocking point on in a hurry five minutes before we were supposed to hit the range.  😛 #procrastinator4lyfe



Jueju: The Last Rose

Here’s the final form of the Lushi that I wrote for the Rose competition at Tournament of Foxes last year. I won’t go into a great deal of explication, as I’m currently mid-read on a book that was a serendipitous bookstore find, The Art of Chinese Poetry, that will be informing some modification on my attempts at a method of writing “faithful” (insofar as one can in a non-tonal language) original jueju/lushi in English. It corrects a couple important fallacies in the scholarship I was drawing on, though does confirm a lot of other points as well, so I won’t have to scrap everything, just rework it a bit.

The Last Roses

For the last time, I meet you in the rose garden.

Though seasons pass, quickly for all men,

To next spring, is a journey of ten thousand li,*

For these roses, will not bloom again

Anyways, on to the poem itself. I’m actually pretty pleased with this poem, as I was able to adhere to the strict formal rules while at the same times creating the thought/mood/affect that I wanted. The theme was roses, so of course I set the scene in a rose garden, used a traditional rhyme scheme of AABA, and followed the rules I’d laid out in an earlier post to build a five character (character meaning “major concept word” in this sense) line. I also followed the two character/ceasura/three character format, which looks a bit odd to my no doubt Western eyes, but reads nicely. Chinese formal poems like this tend to be square on the page, where the trend for English poems is to flow downwards. Hence:

The Last Roses

For the last time,

I meet you in the rose garden.

Though seasons pass,

quickly for all men,

To next spring,

is a journey of ten thousand li,

For these roses,

will not bloom again

^ has a more “appealing” layout that looks entirely different, and radically altered page flow, but reads exactly the same aloud. It conveys a mood that is more fluid and less formal. The above layout is (to me at least) reminiscent of how Pound poems look on the page, in that respect.

*a li is a unit of measurement that at various points in history has ranged from 1/3 km to 1/2 km. The unit “ten thousand” is often colloquially used in Chinese to indicate a number too large for measurement. Therefore, used in this sense, the phrase “ten thousand li” refers to an impassable or impossible distance. For example, a folk tale may state that a hero travels ten thousand li to reach a mythical land.

Warsong: Bryn Madoc’s Children

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, I have been busy busy busy with regular life things on top of all the SCA things on my to do list. 🙂  A work trip to South Carolina didn’t help much, either. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing SCA things! Here’s a warsong for my barony that I wrote while I was bored at work one day. My friend Mathias, who has an excellent singing voice, unlike myself, performed it at our Barony’s 12th night celebration this January. Ideally this would be for two singers, male and female, with the first and last stanza’s sung in concert, with the rest alternating between the two. The 4th and 5th stanzas have dirty versions, with “dance” being substituted for the offcolor verb of your choice. 😉

Bryn Madoc’s Children 

Bryn Madoc’s children, purple and gold
Covered in glory when stories are told
We’ll take the black road, we’ll take the white road
We’ll take the south road that leads us to war 

Son of Bryn Madoc, doughty and strong
My heart beats in time to the war marcher’s song
I’ll take the high road, I’ll take the wide road,
I’ll take the straight road that leads me to war 

Bryn Madoc’s daughter, honest and brave
My foes fall back from my spear and my glaive
I’ll take the sharp road, I’ll take the fierce road,
I’ll take the red road that leads me to war 

Son of Bryn Madoc, bonny and bright
I’ll fight all the day and dance all the night
I’ll take the hard road, I’ll take the rough road,
I’ll take the rock road that leads me to war

Bryn Madoc’s daughter, southron’s delight
I’ll fight all the day and dance till first light!
I’ll take the wet road, I’ll take the salt road,
I’ll take the sea road that leads me to war 

Son of Bryn Madoc, never will yield
Steadfast stands my sword and my shield
I’ll take the hot road, I’ll take the dry road,
I’ll take the sand road that leads me to war 

Bryn Madoc’s daughter, quick to the fray
My kinsmen and I shall carry the day
I’ll take the cold road, I’ll take the snow road,
I’ll take the ice road that leads me to war 

Bryn Madoc’s children, faithful and true
We’ll not shirk when our service is due
We’ll take our lord’s road, we’ll take our queen’s road
We’ll take our king’s road that leads us to war