vg_ford: (Default)
( Jan. 29th, 2017 05:48 pm)


As I write this, Birka 2017 is now in the books. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Birka is the big winter event that the Barony of Stonemarche runs every year, and it’s basically a con masquerading poorly as an event. There’s food, there’s a hotel, there’s a hot tub, there’s a few tournies, and there is court. Oh yes, and there was shopping. Oh lord, there was shopping.


I’ve run Herald’s Point at Birka for too many years to remember, and this year, although I wasn’t running it, I was volunteering there. It’s a ton of fun, but a lot of work too, and that’s why there was no posting last week, either here or at the Patreon blog. My brain was full of Birka.


Now that I’m home, my brain is still full of Birka, but for other reasons. I’m charged up, like I get at cons, and finally coming to an idea of what I want to do in the Society now that I’m not Baronial Herald. There will be changes coming here, as I work through things, but regular posting will resume within a few days.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.



I’m currently sitting in a comfy chair in an infusion room at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, with an IV in my arm, waiting for my next Remicade infusion. It’s raining outside, and as I’m on the 6th floor, I have a lovely view of the parking lot, and the rain. (Hey, at least it’s not snow. I don’t have to shovel rain.) Days like this, when I’m due for my medication and it’s grey, and I’ve had a very busy weekend, I’m usually NOT wanting to do anything. I want to just curl up in my chair and let the Benadryl take me away into dreams, but I’m still working on deadline, so no sleeping today.

I’ve also been re-reading The Artist’s Way – I am feeling…not blocked, precisely, but more unsatisfied. Like I know there is more I could be doing, but I’m stuck in the “don’t wanna” phase. I want to have this book done. I want to have the next book done. I just don’t want to write it.

At the same time, I don’t want to not write. I love writing. I love it when the words flow, and I love it when they don’t, and every page is a struggle, but it’s there and it’s blood and you can see it. It’s a tension within me, and the more days I go without writing, the more I hurt. And it’s a mental hurt, that slowly twists within me to a physical hurt. And I didn’t realize WHY, until I looked at The Artist’s Way and realized I haven’t been doing morning pages or artist dates or really anything other than slogging through life and work and BLEAH, as Snoopy would say. Not the way I want to live my life.

Part of this was what happened this weekend. Birka was this weekend, and it was a mixture of sad and happy things. The sad was going by the empty chair outside the merchant hall that someone had written “Uncle Olaf’s Chair” on, since Baron Olaf, who started the event and was almost always there, passed away suddenly in December. The happy was two-fold – I was feeling well enough that I didn’t need to “recover” so much from running around for two days straight, and I was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent, a service order in the Kingdom. My whole family showed up! It was awesome! And best of all, my mom passed along her medallion to me. I will cherish it.

But it showed me that life is fleeting, and that you can’t make excuses, or one day, there won’t be any more time. So morning pages are going to start again. I’m going to plan an artist’s date for myself, even if it’s something as simple as going to the library and browsing the books, or going to Gibson’s and coloring in one of my new coloring books by myself for an hour. It’s time to start refilling the well.

I start editing a new piece for a friend this week too, which I am SUPER excited about. And I’m putting together a website for another favorite project that I’ll be able to link to soon, I hope. I need to finish the Winter’s Secrets rewrite, and then it’s on to working on launching a Patreon project. I have plans, and I don’t intend to not work on them.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

Today is the day I go back to work full-time.  So naturally, today is the day I wake up with a screaming headache.  Of course.  I have taken tylenol and I have both water and tea next to me.  I’m hoping that takes care of it.  I’m also dealing with a stuffed nose, so this might be a sinus issue, but I hope not.  I’m tired of being sick.


Argus and I camped this weekend at the Palio di Stonemarche, which is an SCA event near us.  It was a great weekend – I had a lot of fun, and we beat the rain home yesterday and didn’t get our tent wet!  (We camp in a 12′ x 16′ canvas pavilion.  It’s big enough to hold a bed.  Yes, we camp in style.) This was also the dry run for our new camping oven and it worked amazingly!  I can’t wait to try it at GNEW!


Writing continues as well.  I did a bit more on Sapph this weekend (had my little computer with me for one day) and I started the first ramblings on Raindrops, which is going to be my next novel project.  It’s a fantasy project, set in city-states that are based on Renaissance Florence and Venice, and it’s shaping up to be really interesting.  Once I can get my computer unpacked from the car, I’ll be able to finish up Sapph (that’s the goal this week) and then really start working on Raindrops.


I did write every day at Palio, and now I’m starting my normal schedule – writing in the morning (with cup of tea in hand) and then going to work.  This morning, I have a couple of things to do, including sending the court report to my Baron and Baronessa, and printing out some things.  Also, need to find something to do with leftover ham for dinner.

It never ends….

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

It's been a hell of a week. We'll just leave it at that and start new, okay? Good.

I'm working on comments. I'll have them all answered by tomorrow, I hope.

Work: Mondays and Tuesdays suck, but other than that, it's been good. I actually am pretty happy where I am. Mostly because my callers (although a little nutty) don't swear at me most of the time. I used to be in Health and Insurance - this is the season where I would be working 60+ hour weeks. And while the OT pay was nice - I don't miss it. At all.

Weight: Ugh. Fell off the wagon HARD after Pennsic, and am slowly recovering. Soda habit reactivated (and Mountain Dew, no less!), but we are slowly weaning off. Minus XP points to the grocery stores around me for discontinuing Jones Cola - we hates you all! Ah well. It's mulled cider season now, and I'm going to enjoy it. Also apple season. And apple crisp season. Mmmmm. Also starting my gym attendance again, and it looks like [ profile] beard5 might be joining me. Yay, gym buddy!

SCA: I've started Argus' Christmas present and am contemplating documenting it over on my [ profile] captain_hobbes livejournal. [ profile] beard5 helped me draw the pattern for the embroidery, and I'm currently tracing it out. On Tuesday, I'll be putting the first patterns onto the black twill and starting the couching. Did I mention there will be pearls, now? [ profile] beard5 is an evil influence.

Writing: Here's where Val hangs her head. Nope. Got nothing done this week. But I have ideas. And tonight, instead of playing WoW all night, I'm going to write. I need to get Last Rites started, and I want to finish Death's Deceit. Also, I'm hosting Writer's Group this weekend and will be horribly embarrassed if I don't have anything to crit. Bad Val is bad.

This has been a long way of me saying I need to get my ass in gear. Consider it kicked.
I'm in early again - I've been really lucky with traffic, so despite waking up late (I really, really need to remember to either take the 24-hr allergy meds, or take another 12-hr med at night, because this waking up at 3 am unable to breathe because of snot in my nose is NOT cool), I'm still in with plenty of time to eat breakfast and finish waking up. AND I managed to hit the grocery store, so I could restock my bread, peanut butter and jam at work (Yes, I live on PBJ sandwiches sometimes. Welcome to my life).

Things I wish I could remember BEFORE I leave my house in the morning:

1. That I have microwavable steel-cut oats for oatmeal, so I could have a hot, fast breakfast. (I should leave the package on the counter the night before. With a bowl. Maybe then I'd remember.)

2. That tea from the coffeepot is damn hot and takes forever to cool.

3. That I need sneakers to exercise.

I'm heading to Craft Night tonight, so I might (if I'm remembering correctly and have sneakers in the car) stop at the Planet Fitness in Manchester and do some biking before I head to Deerfield. Yay black ticket membership!

I also have homework to do, and I really should get cracking on that packing list. I'm hoping [ profile] woadchic will help me with my new pattern tonight - I'd like to get it cut out so I can hopefully start whipping up some new garb tomorrow night. Yay new garb! We'll see.

Had an odd dream last night, where I was a multitude of different people - but each person was the same thing: a demon hunter. I could tell when the demons were around because I'd get this awful pain in my chest. It's an interesting concept (nope, never actually SAW the demons, but I knew they were there!) and I might noodle with it a bit today. I'm in that kind of noodling phase.

Now, on to work! 13 days and counting to Pennsic!
1. Make sleeping masks
2. Make new necklace
3. Get wood shelves and clothing rod from Lowe's
4. Make new dress
5. Finish Argus' vest
7. Make garb for the Bear.
vg_ford: (daniel die)
( Jun. 12th, 2009 07:07 pm)
Seriously. And I have the BEST sibs - [ profile] caitlindancer and Deb brought Mom over to help, so we got everything done.

So far today, I have:

- Cooked a turkey
- Cooked a ham
- Boiled 15 dozen eggs
- Roasted 10 lbs of apples that the girls peeled and cut up for me (thankyouthankyouthankyou)
- Made spiced butter, herbed butter, and honey butter
- Made 9 lbs of black porray (spinach and bacon)

Now I'm making the last 8 blaunderellys (using said roasted apples) and I'm done. Period. (Well, I have to peel the tea eggs when they stop simmering in 3 hours, but that's fairly easy.)

Tomorrow, I'll be at the site by noon. I don't think we're camping - we're only 30 minutes away. I might bring some stuff so I can sleep there if I want, but I don't know. I really like my bed.

Then again, I could sleep in one of the buildings... Depends on how much I drink tomorrow night.
Just stressed. I've got to learn to say no once in a while, to myself especially. As in, "No, you really don't need to be taking 2 classes, working full-time and then decide that you need to do dayboard for an event." Ah well, it's getting better.

Dayboard is progressing well, because I have an awesome crew helping me - thanks, crew! :D And once it goes off well, I will be doing martinis for the rest of the night. :D

Writing? Let's not go there. I need to start working on Last Rites soon.
vg_ford: (bugsbellydance)
( May. 16th, 2009 07:37 pm)
Have hit the "OMGQUESTISINAWEEKANDIHAVENOGARB!" shock pattern. Sewing trim onto vest and plotting garb for me in my head.

Oh, and have to do homework tomorrow too. Ack!
Well, I considered today my weekend. Yesterday was recovery.

Thank you so much, guys - I had a ton of fun today! And when I got home, I was STILL able to play Maltese! I'm going to practice and see how long it takes Argus to kill me. :D

Now I need a recorder icon...
1. I am following the discussions on the various lists about the proposed 4th peerage in the SCA with interest. I have opinions and they are personal. I do not have a peerage, nor do I aspire to one, but I am interested to see where this discussion goes.

2. Birthday plans have shifted slightly, since Argus has decided to take the day off to celebrate with me. Yay!

3. I saw a porcupine on my walk yesterday! It was very cool - he was very grumpy, so I stayed a cautious distance behind him. Alas, my cell phone camera is not good and it was twilight, so no pictures.

4. My daffodils are still alive!

5. Everything is better with pirates.*

*Extra points if you recognize the movie quote.
vg_ford: (skull and crossbones)
( Mar. 28th, 2009 10:27 pm)

Black Rose Ball photos are up now!
We're home from Black Rose - what an awesome time. And our hotel? OMG - I think we're going to go out on Friday next year - we stayed at the Newport Spa and Whirlpool Suites, and we had a microwave, coffeepot and fridge in our room! And we had two queen-sized beds - so we could split a room with another couple. It was great.

Now I've got a ton to do. So I need a list to keep me in order:

1. Cooking
a. chicken thighs for the week
b. salad
c. quiche
d. steaks
e. corned beef and cabbage
2. clean off dining room table

3. laundry
4. change Blizzard password
5. 1 crit for DII
6. 4 chapters for class

Lots and lots to do. I'm going to do a quick rundown of the F-List and then get moving.
Especially since it means yesterday is OVER!!!

For those who didn't hear, my crappy day (starting with sleeping late and developing a lovely hacking my lungs up cough) ended on a spectacular high note, as I locked myself out of my car at work. Not only was it EFFING cold, but AAA couldn't find my membership.


And where was my card, you ask? Why, right next to my keys - on the front seat of my car. *sigh*

Luckily, the Merrimack police didn't ask for a freaking membership card - they just asked for a signed waiver and then popped the door. Yay! So I finally made it home.

Made [ profile] argus7hills's robe too. It has no trim on it, but it's done for tomorrow.

And today, at noon, I'm out of work and on my way to BIRKA!!!!!

I can't wait. Today is setup and the Hafla tonight. Tomorrow is the whirlwind that is the Marketplace at Birka. This year, I'll actually get to see a bunch of it.

Which reminds me. I need to get rum tonight. The Bottle(tm) must be filled so I can be official bottlebearer for Baron Bil tomorrow.

And yes, the Scorned Lady meeting is still on for tomorrow night in our room. And although I haven't had a chance to make Kobalds, we'll still be playing (it takes like 10 minutes tops to make a character).
vg_ford: (green eyes bast)
( Jan. 28th, 2009 09:12 pm)
Hey, [ profile] macfrode, I remembered a song I wanted to sing for you. Remind me at Birka, when there aren't any young ears around.
What a weekend.

[ profile] argus7hills got his fencing qual this weekend! And we went skinny-dipping last night - it was cold, but awesome. I haven't been skinny-dipping at Harpers in a few years, so this was fun. We drank, we ate, we laughed, we cried (just a bit) - and it was good. I needed an event like this to end the summer.

Not only that, but we have 3 new members of The Scorned Lady! Welcome to Earial, Anya and Batty the Black!

Our event schedule is crowded for the next few months! We're dithering over Coronation - depends on school. But [ profile] argus7hills will be at Williamsfaire on 10/4/08, and we're contemplating camping at Baronial Birthday on 10/11/08 - we might do a Ship's Breakfast there.

Now we're home, there's a veggie-packed quiche in the oven cooking (with veggies from our garden!) and I was very excited to find one little green heirloom tomato on my new tomato plants! I haven't killed my garden!

I'm still allergic to HFCS. Of course, now Pepsi has brought back the Lemon-Flavored Pepsi I loved. *sigh* Stupid allergies.

This week is Snow week. I'm only working OT tomorrow and I've got no classes, so I should be good. I want to hit 15k by next Sunday. I'll be bringing what I have to writer's group on Saturday, so they can see how it's coming.

Debating fencing practice on Tuesday. Definitely hitting Craft Night on Thursday.

Man, so much to do, so little time to do it.

Oh, and the Magic number? 15.
Yep, Argus and I are hosting the Sunday night potluck again - we're in our normal cabin, and we'll have the fireplace roaring! Bring stuff to share (like booze! oh, and food too) and we'll drink and sing and talk all night long.

Just a reminder. ;)
This is another call for any court business at Harpers - please email me NO LATER than 11 pm EST on THURSDAY, AUGUST 28TH at captain_hobbes at yahoo dot com.

I have no access to my home email from work, and I'm heading straight to the site from work on Friday, so if you don't get it to me by then, please grab me at the event. I'll be at Troll on Friday night and at the yard sale Saturday and Sunday - I'll be easy to find!!!
Here is the court report from Midsummer's Faire this weekend (June 7-8)

Part one (June 7)
Outgoing Baron's Champion - Fencing: Morty of Malegentia
Incoming Baron's Champion - Fencing: Eadaoin Inghean Eoghain

Outgoing Baronessa's Champion - Fencing: Baron Bilgysar
Incoming Baronessa's Champion - Fencing: Lady Frenya Thorsteinsdottir

Golden Foil: Lady Batijuan Nasan

Golden Arrow: Lairiona Inghen Cealleigh

Keeper of the Flame: Master Harald von Auerbach

Part two (June 8)

Outgoing Baronessa's Champion - Archery: Lord Cynric the Dabbler
Incoming Baronessa's Champion - Archery: Lord Ragnar MacHardy

Outgoing Baron's Champion - Archery: Master Harald von Auerbach
Incoming Baron's Champion - Archery: Camran MacAuley

Bowman: Conchobhar MacLughdach

Marksman: Camran MacAuley, Chris of Stonemarche, Alan of Manchester, AJ Pultz, Joris de Tolosa, Rachel of Rochester

Archer: Altani Khatagi, Leslie of Stonemarche, Jillian of Stonemarche

Silver Tongue: Lady Cassandra Hobbes


- Baronial Rattan Champions and Golden Sword will be rescheduled for later in the fall.
- Baronial Youth Archery Champions will be rescheduled for Harper's Retreat
- Stonemarche fights with Malegentia at GNEW
- Lady Anastasia of the Oaks has stepped down as Chancellor Minor. Anyone interested in becoming Chancellor Minor, please get in touch with Their Excellancies or the Seneschal.
- Morty of Malegentia is the new Northern Region Fencing Champion
So, here's what I need to do this week, before Friday morning, for Quest.

1. Clean up the fencing kit and charge the lightsaber (and duck, before [ profile] caitlindancer beats me)

2. Wash garb and pack it

3. Make sausage rolls

4. Find someone to feed kittens over the weekend ([ profile] aishabintjamil, are you guys going to Panteria?)

5. Decide what from the freezer is going for the grill Sunday night

6. Decide the rest of the menu and go shopping.

7. Bring the other skein of yarn home so I can work on my scarf at Quest

8. Make sure to pack Apples to Apples in garb box

I think that's it. I'll update through out the week.


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