Notes, ThinkWell #3

Owner, Publisher, Editor, Typist,
Proofreader, and Production Manager:
Ælflæd of Duckford

If you’ve received this copy without subscribing, either someone told me you would be interested or I found your address somewhere and thought it up myself.

ThinkWell is a private publication, and the views expressed are those of the authors. Although the subject matter concerns the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., this is not a publication of any division thereof. Subscriptions are available for $10/four issues from Sandra Dodd, 8116 Princess Jeanne NE, Albuquerque NM 87110. If you do not specify the issue you wish to begin with I will assume it’s the current issue. If you’ve gotten the newest from someone else, please let me know, by number, what you want to begin with. Letters or submissions should be sent in any legible format to the address above. Other information about publication policies will be found elsewhere in this issue.

© Copyright: Sandra Dodd. Submissions belong to the contributors. Except for keeping these issues in print, I’m not reusing articles or art without permission, and you can’t either. I will be glad to help you get in touch with individual contributors if you want permission to reprint whole articles. If you’d like to quote small bits in the context of what might be considered a review of this publication (i.e., letting people know it exists. what sorts of things are to be found, and how they can subscribe) that’s fine. I’d appreciate it.

Footnotes for Issue #3

1   Harumph about hardwood spearshafts. Rattan has been the basis of SCA weapons since before the first Pennsic, right? Were there other weapons there not made of rattan? Were spears not considered to be weapons? Harumph. —ælflaED

2   Not really anonymous, more like “name withheld.”

3   This is where mundane differences really compound SCA differences. East and West coast everyday behavior is so different that it seems each set finds the other nearly unbearable sometimes. What people “out here” (New Mexico and thousands of miles in many directions) see of East Coast behavior is that they seem relatively pushy, selfish and uncaring about individuals, and unwilling to consider that what we consider to be civilization really qualifies. What I think they see of us is that we’re less formal and more direct (and therefore too familiar too soon—asking personal questions as casual conversation), which could be seen as obnoxious and insensitive to people who didn’t grow up that way. (Other observations?)

4   Newer members might not be aware that long ago the board of directors was called “Imperial Electors” and addressed as “Your Serenity.” They used SCA names in board business. It changed about the time I started paying attention to such matters, give-or-take thirteen years ago.

5   Because it’s your turn to play Santa Claus (Bright Ideas and True Confessions, chapter 1, available from some SCA merchant at Pennsic or from Ælflæd by mail.)

6   Ælflæd says: If they express that resentment or make it obvious, it can make it really hard for supporters they may have to further their case (in the case of peerage, one aspect of which is attitude and behavior).

7   This was the original ending, which I especially like. Later in the week Hope changed the last verse so that the last two lines become:

and, welcomes them into THE KNIGHT ERRANTRY!
In part because “knight errant” has had odd and particular meanings in various SCA times and places, I’ve printed the original, 3:00 a.m. version. If you’re moved to recite it someday, do it either way and credit the author!

8   They’re not mundane in-laws. If I didn’t know these people well enough to know they can take it, I wouldn’t have printed it. Don’t let fear of your in-laws (SCA or otherwise) keep you from writing to ThinkWell

9   Sometimes people are nervous about others in their kingdom identifying their opinions, and I can respect that. If I know who wrote the comment I’m willing to withhold the name. I’m afraid to print wholly anonymous bits, so if it says “anonymous” in here, it’s somebody I know exists and I have reason to think they know what they’re talking about. If I identify the kingdom, most of the readership will think it doesn’t apply to them.

10   This count is subject to change around November.

11   Coloring with crayons beats many other activities, but I don’t want to name them all to avoid embarrassing people.

12   TMNT=Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

13   I don’t think yo-yos are period, but tops are.

14   (from Ælflæd): At the Laurel’s Prize Tournament at TFYC I gave maybe eight gifts, but they weren’t handmade. That’s fine for some, but I’m a musician! I gave books, a good fur collar, some tatted lace which had been give to me for that purpose (so it was handmade but not by me, and I explained that), a little painted leather box, and some notes on personal stationery. I tried to match the gift to the person’s apparent tastes and interests, and when I had nothing appropriate, wrote as nice a note as I could to make up for it. I’d hate for any laurels to be stigmatized for giving other than personally crafted items.

15   Maybe I just know some lousy people, but I’ve heard it expressed that if one has gotten fairly far without membership it only proves membership’s not important. —Ælflæd

16   The SCA is a hobby for paid employees, too. They’re getting paid to do mundane paperwork, data entry, form-filing, etc. Their medieval recreation activities are separate, their memberships cost them as much as anyone else's, etc. —Ælflæd

17   Note from ÆLFLÆD: In my experience, non-pelican types already know how to say “no.” It’s the pelicans who have the difficulty.