Like a Think Tank, but Deeper

Ælflæd's Welcome and commentary on ThinkWell



#1, May 1991
#2, June 1991
#3, August 1991
#4, early September 1991
#5, late September 1991
#6, October 1991

Bio Pages on some of the writers

Topics, links added as pages are created:

Interkingdom Anthropology
     Kingdom Traditions
SCA Itself
     SCA as Grand Theatre
     Serious Play: Only a Game?
Personal Growth
     SCA's Effect
     Personal Growth
     Rest in Peace
     Accepting Blows
     About Wars
     Earned Advantage
     Why Die? Be Ransomed!
     Coronets on helms
     Campaigning for Peerage
     Making Peers
     Tapping Out
     Peers on the Clean-up Crew
     Peers Serving
Arts and Sciences
     Enhancing Arts
     Scribal Backlog
     Courtly Arts vs. Non-Courtly Arts
Art and Poetry
Writing and Words
     "The Dream"
     Real vs. Make-Believe
     The SCA as Religion
     Two Lives to Live
     The Nature of Power
Other Publications
Barons, Princes/Kings
     Term limits
     In Her Own Right
     Royalty and Feasts
     Sexuality, Rank and Ethics
     SCA and divorce
Heraldry, Formality, Atmosphere
Thinkwell Itself
     How TW changed folks
SCA Organization
Chirurgeons and Fighters
     "Time out?"
     Central SCA Mythology
     Peer Fear
Awards Criteria
Magic Moments

ThinkWell was once a simple project by one person with one entryway and one delivery method. The cost of photocopying and mailing would make it prohibitively expensive now, even if physically feasible.

Ideas don't need to be new or innovative to make someone think. Certainly anyone in the SCA must have had the thrill of discovering something that's a thousand years old, that many others had found before. What's new to me is new in my universe. What's new to someone who has just joined the SCA is as new as it can be. Newness to someone who's been working on the same thoughts for forty years might be welcome news.

PDF files to read online or to download are at the Internet Archive for some issues:

Issue #11, July 1992

Issue #12, October 1992

Issue #13, December 1992

Issue #14, February 1993

Issue #15, April 1993

(no 16 and 17 at the moment)

Issue #18, December 1993

Issue #19, January 1994

Those PDFs were created by Ivan Alexovich in October 2017, following this exchange:
I noticed that there are some dead links on the Thinkwell resource page. If this is because you no longer have copies of these editions, know that I recently stumbled upon issues 11 - 15, 18, and 19 in a box of files that I was gifted some time ago. I'd be glad to scan these to PDF and email them to you should you need it. Alternately, I could photocopy them and physically send them to you, should you wish it. Please let me know what you'd prefer, if anything at all.

If I may, I'd like to add these thoughts. I recently discovered this publication and was thrilled to do so. The thing about Thinkwell that made it remarkable (to me, anyway) was that the time involved to produce it resulted in what was often a truly well thought out conversation. In today's communication environment, the immediacy of communications often leads to incomplete or poorly thought out discussions. The act of typing an actual letter, mailing it, and waiting for a reply in the mail creates the necessary pause for a writer to re-write and edit their own work prior to submission, yielding a much higher quality product. I'd like to thank you, if somewhat belatedly, for producing these publications. It has been a remarkable journey for me to discover them.

Yours In Service,
THL, Ivan Alexovich
Barony of Grey Niche

Thank you!
More than the writing of the letters went into ThinkWell. I read through each letter—printed out e-mails, typed, hand-written—and marked those parts worth considering for inclusion. I noted on the side edge what topic. I sifted back and forth through the piles as I typed in the parts I was going to quote, putting them in an order that seemed most fluid and sensible. I was also formatting a Word document, in the days before Microsoft bought Word and messed it up. :-)

The newsletters were formatted just so, partly by changing the font size of the returns between lines.

One day a friend of mine upgraded my computer from OS5 to OS6 and all that formatting was gone, in the back issues, meaning if I wanted to reprint without typos, they were going to need all new format. I was sad. :-)

When I started putting them online my plan was to let peole follow a topic with a link to the next issue from "squires" or whatever it was. In the same time I was working on it, I had kids, was speaking at unschooling conferences, the SCA was increasingly pissing me off... and then I came to a point in the series where there were things about a couple of people's love lives (physical love, a bit, in a couple), and I knew the follow up of some, and I thought... maybe time to quit.

So many years have passed now, it might not matter. :-)

I considered PDFs, too. I have paper copies. But I still have the word files, and that seemed (perhaps wrongly) more useful—all searchable, and where I could repair a typo.

If you want to make PDFs of what you have, I wouldn't mind having them and uploading them to the site. Were the dead links you found links to issues I hadn't put up, perhaps?

The last thing I worked on were scans of the envelopes.

AElflaed / Sandra

So I'm sorry about the writings about romances now gone, and other such frustrations about unstable relationships. I hope the philosophy will outweigh the personal particulars used sometimes as examples. I'm sorry for sorrows, and have had some myself.

e-mail Other Ælflæd stuff