Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why


I'm Sorry This Edition Isn't Bound. [1]

I trust that you can find a three-ring binder at a thrift store or garage sale. The next edition should be nicely bound, and probably more expensive because of it. My current guess is $12. The color cover of this one is a certificate you can redeem for a $3 discount. Please keep a blank sheet between the cover and any vinyl binder cover, as the black part is photocopied and will stick to vinyl if left on a shelf over the years.

Because of time constraints and TFYC deadlines, there are a few things I wanted to get in here I just wasn't able to. I expect the next edition to be a little longer, fattened up not only with things I find or remember later, but things people let me know they wish had been in there. I would appreciate your feedback.

Very beginning things were sometimes left out on purpose. I tried to include information useful to people at all levels of Society experience, and purposely have not aimed solely at new officers. I'm not trying to duplicate or replace any existing publications (except The Atenveldt Seneschal's Handbook from long ago, most of which has been incorporated into one chapter or another), and so have tried to say things which haven't been said everywhere else.

I think if you're interested in these matters you should own

The Known World Handbook
The Pleasure Book
The SCA Organizational Handbook
and every officer's handbook you can get your hands on.

I'm sure many of my readers have read all those things already, and so I am confident that those of my writings which are aimed at experienced SCA members will reach an audience ready for a different kind of information.

Second coming of the First Edition, with corrections and updates-August 1992

Third batch of the First Edition; some format changes, some updates-February 1993

Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991

Photocopying this whole book would not be nice, but:

PERMISSION TO REPRINT ARTICLES is granted with the following conditions:

  1. The reprints should be presented for the benefit of members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
  2. The author (whether myself or one of the authors quoted herein) should be fully credited.
  3. The publication should be credited as well, with the price and address for ordering.
  4. No editorial changes may be made without my advance permission.
  5. A copy of the publication in which the article appears should be sent to:
    Sandra Dodd
    2905 Tahiti Ct. NE
    Albuquerque, NM 87112
    (505) 299-2476

Two Complaints Answered Right Up Front:

Do you know this book is really choppy?
Yes. There were things I moved from one chapter to another, and there are tangents that go off toward another chapter's subject and never quite get there. I would say it's a stream-of-consciousness arrangment, but it's not smooth enough to have been a stream. It's sort of like a lava-flow of consciousness. Some of the stuff came out hot and fast and in the end it's all lumpy.

I don't agree with everything in here.
I can live with that. I'd rather you would think and disagree than to agree without thinking. (Disagreeing without thinking is even worse, though.)

This is the work of Mistress AElflaed of Duckford, who joined the Society May 1, A.S. XII, and who has been, sort of in this order:

  • local chronicler (of a shire once, a barony twice, and a principality twice)
  • local arts officer (shire)
  • Principality Seneschal (Outlands)
  • Kingdom Seneschal (Atenveldt)
  • Princess of the Outlands
  • Steward of the Society
  • Chronicler of the Society
  • Queen of the Outlands
  • Gimlet Pursuivant

Honors which have been awarded for this work are

  • Award of Arms
  • Order of the Light of Atenveldt
  • Grant of Arms
  • Queen's Grace of Atenveldt
  • Order of the Pelican
  • Grail of Grace (Outlands; award from princess)
  • Bearer of the Queen's Cypher (Atenveldt)
  • Viscountess / Lady of the Dove
  • Scorpion of al-Barran (baronial service award)
  • Augmentation of Arms
  • Premier--Order of the Russian Thistle (baronial arts award)
  • Leaping Stag (Outlands principality arts award)
  • Order of the Laurel
  • Stag's Tynes (Outlands principality service award)
  • Countess / Lady of the Rose
  • Walker of the Way of the Outlands


The cover/certificate is the work of Mistress Rodema de Rohan, of the Outlands.

The following people read and commented on sections of the first edition in early 1991, and their input was extremely helpful.

  • Adina
  • Mistress Ava Trudine
  • Lady Siubhan MacDuff
  • Master Hagar the Black
  • Cashelle
  • Lady Merlina
  • Lord Vagn
  • Mistress Rodema de Rohan
  • Lord Bjarni Kenhelm
  • Master Mark Lasie of Westminster
  • Duchess Leah Kasmira
  • Lady Genevre le Tisserand
  • Master Gunwaldt Gulbjorn

I'm sure I could never remember all the people who gave me feedback on the original seneschals' handbook, but I am especially grateful to several who helped me adjust for the differences in kingdom practices: Duke Jason Griffiths of Shadowhyrst; Duchess Ithriliel of Silverlake; Master Robin of Mannefeld; Master Thomas the Wordsmith; Her Excellency, Mistress Hilary of Serendip; Duchess Sieglinde; and Baroness Jocelyn Crokehorne. (If there are title changes of which I'm unaware, forgive me.)

To all those people whose requests for copies of that little Seneschal's Handbook trickled in over the years, thanks! That one was wholly a freebie. I hope this one will help help support my SCA habit in my old age.

I have learned from everyone I've ever dealt with, but I am especially thankful for hours of informal discussions on history and philosophy with His Grace, Duke Siegfried von Hoflichskeit. I feel fortunate to have been in a position to exchange ideas with Countess Bevin Fraser of Stirling, Duke Henrik of Havn, Duke William the Lucky, Baron William de Montegilt, Bishop Geoffrey d'Ayr and Sir Loren Sur la Roche. I consider the greatest reward for my service to the Society to have been the opportunity to meet some of the finest people I could have hoped to meet, who shared with me thoughts and ideas that changed not just my SCA life, but my real life.



[1] This portion of the Preface was written for a paper version which was loose-leaf and three-ring punched.

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Copyright © Sandra Dodd, 1991 Original site design by Marie de Blois
Revision, AElflaed