Personal log 2017.088

This last year has been a discovery for me, in more than one sense of the mind.  Many things have boiled down within this last year and many times I loose purpose and there is a period of time that I lose the reason behind what I do.  However, it usually takes one thing to make it all the world wild.

I recalled when I dived in the deeper end of our community pool and started down my path.  Most of everything that I have ever done I had to discover myself.  Coding for the websites I maintain, to understand who was in the area so I may enter their entries, locating their wiki pages if they have them, construct their arms, working with people that have ideas to run.

There are little rewards in these things, there has never been asked for rewards, these are things that are done for the benefit of everyone.  When I see the grin as one finds out their submission was completed, when I see a comment on a post about the OP or anything the like I have done for our community, that to me gives me a glow of satisfaction.

Then I tend to think of that this was within the power for anyone to do all along.  The tools where there, however it was me that took the ball and ran with it.  And that makes the work feel wonderful.

There are times I just run out of gas, that I need a recharge, or there are some things that are making what I love to do difficult to approach.  And this is where the spiral begins.

For me it’s more than accomplishment, it is a sense of being needed, at times it is a great amount of effort to start a project and then maintain it, all of which is grand. However, when I slide even for logical reasons my subconscious takes it as a failure.  And this is not just with local things it’s even in private lives.

I took months to get into a routine that I do enjoy.  I get home, make dinner, work on a couple of projects, take a bath get ready for bed.  This past winter I have found more and more that my couch to be more comfortable than anything else, and then I become lazy.  This is good for a short term, however I have learned that pathways such is this become addictive and thereby make the things I wish to accomplish, not feel like there that big of importance.  Comfort and gazing out into nothing felt really good.

So, how do I go by changing that:

That is the biggest question cause once I have started down the dark path, forever it will consume my destiny….. (Bloody Yoda, ok, ok, your right)

I have found that I have to meet my own expectations, and ignore the expectations from anyone else with the exceptions of those I directly report to as one step in this.  I have found that at the moment I am the one tasked to take on such projects so there by it is my responsibility to undertake them and no one else’s.  (this one usually gives me a giggle because really with a few moments anyone else can take this stuff on and then what next) well what next is the fact that at the moment they are what I do so let’s do it well.  And the big one that is the hardest for me to lock in for there are always extra things out there trying to disrupt it.

Believe it or not however routine can be the key for some people, get into established plans that are very not wavering and for me at least gives everything their allotment of time and time to see a task through (or at least to a logical step to a period where you can step away for a few) and if anyone wishes to learn more about what it is that I do, I am happy to teach the tools, but until then it is my duty to undertake them.  I am happy to do so.

So now I work on setting up a schedule and learn about how to take outside influences and working toward finding ways to either “pencil” them in or get better at saying “not right now I have work I need to accomplish” That way I don’t feel overwhelmed and also at the same time there is a sense of accomplishment.

Will it work?  Stay tuned

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Personal log 2017.086

There comes a time that you need to look at the dream vs real life commitment.  I would say I have hit this wall, no I am far from quitting for where I have many years to continue to serve our kingdom and dream, however I am finding that there are some responsibilities that I need to take care of at the home and hearth to make sure that when I work and live in the dream my home life is stable and strong.

Tis a good thing that my position is a work from home, for I love doing this, and will continue to serve as I can.  And that is what is bringing me to thought this day.

Many times that we look at our dream, we have to gauge just the depth that we can commit to it.  Many I have seen can go full bore with little or no thought of what is happening when they return home.  That is not wrong but that is their choice.  If they can make it work then good for them.  Then there are some of us that have to do this on our own.

The real world is becoming the more fractured then the dream can be however there are responsibilities that have to be established in our service to the dream.

If anyone has seen a way to balance their wish and duty vs real world life, please I welcome the communication.

 

In Service forever to the dream (even from the background a bit more)

 

Conall

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To be a Herald

What does it take to be a Herald?

I have thought about this question a lot.  More and more I keep hearing the phrases “we just need a warm body”, or “any monkey can do this.”  All in all, this is true as it actually takes a certain level of skill sets that many people might find entertaining enough, or rewarding enough to learn.  It is not as sexy as heavy combat, nor Is it as flashy as say Rapier.  However, for those who are willing to learn, a Herald is just as important and needed as any other position in this great thing in our communities.

Now some may be wondering why that is?  Or what is it that a herald does that makes them special?  In my experience it is really nothing that makes a Herald unique except one thing.  A passion for the position.  A Herald will take to task what he or she needs to do for the office.  Regardless if it is name and device submissions, being vocal at courts, tourney list voice herald, or even the behind the scene keeping of honors and updating records that record our history, (which some may say a good Chronicler could take that part over) and you would be correct, however after seeing both positions, the news letters, and what not that person is entrusted with, yea trust me they tend to go no thank you on the OP.

Heralds come in all shapes and sizes.  We take to task many rather not, and we are steadfast in learning our craft as much as any heavy fighter, archer, fencer.  We work hard in front of crowds and behind the scenes, we are task with the important things that might seem to some trivial however does keep the game alive and well.

I am a Herald and I love my job

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Personal log 2016.349

Depression, anxiety, feeling like a burden are all things many tend to feel like this often.  I have found that even in the joys I can feel when working on a project, or asked to take up a task for my local community to be in kin of a small amounts of joy in a hurricane of darkness.

So how do I confront these demons every day?  Often I have taken on projects for the end results bring joy for me to see it done and that the feedback allows me to feel important in the community.  These are projects that are needed to be updated if not often but once a year, and there by leads into the important part that I can do this.

These are often tasks that many have either over looked, put off, neglected, or would find a mountain of other things they rather to do then take care of these tasks.  I have found that being a part of a community, there is no slight or non-worthy task.  They all have their place.  There are some that would place one task in higher importance than others for after all they do the work in that task.

All parts can bring a community together.  And by doing so we are able to build a stronger group, willing to go forth and accomplish things that haven’t been accomplished in years, or band together to see an event or task done, not for the sake of any accomplishment or reward, however in knowledge that we did this.

Each step in its own right can fight down the darkness, so with each step we can move forward.

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Personal Log 2016.342

With all things, the journey is first with the single most step.  This can not be more true when beginning to show yourself to your new community.  My question is where this is easy for some and so difficult for others.

I have lived with a feeling that everyone can bring a unique quality to the community, given time, energy, motivation.  Not everyone comes out of the gate in the same manner, and also not everyone is extroverted to the point of saying “look at me am i not great.”  quite honestly life would be bloody dull if that it was the case.

I have seen it myself where as it took longer for me to feel truly fit in the community i have around me.  I was not a skilled fighter so that never suited me, my arthritis always made fencing an unwise decision.  Archery was a good skill I have and just trying to keep at it.  And of course Heraldry has been my pride and joy.

Once you find your nitch, and start working toward that, i have seen that a person can be overlooked time and time again, for they are concentrating doing the best job they can, and yet stay in the background often.  With this things move smooth, there are seldom fires to be put out in these areas and you find overall many have good experiences in them.

Recently with my local community (and yes my local group is being refered to as my community for I see this more than a collection of cliques, however i see this as a hard-working community that with all our differences can come together) to recognize those that have done a lot for us and basically say “thank you”.  I am sure that alone is a step into a brighter future.  Will there be pot holes?  yes cause nothing in life is certain or perfect.  However one great person told me once “a good leader places their personal goals on hold for the sake of their community.”  This I plan on doing

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Onward toward new possiblities

I have a few things on my mind as of late, all good and all looking bright.  Within the last month time frame, I was taken on as a protogie to Mistress Brita.  Now a protege for those who do not know a protege is the same as a squire is with a knight, or even an apprentice is for a laurel.  In my particular case my path is to eventually be a Pelican one day, and by doing so swore fieldity to a Pelican to learn.

This was not as easy task as you might as well imagine.  First of all who could i pledge myself to, that would understand excattly what kind of service a herald does.  For example, a Pelican that obtained their peerage for sevice in another form may not understand all the things a Herald may do, and their by not be able to instruct them well.  So I knew that I would need a Pelican that is a herald.

First attempt or thought was not as a good match as I would of thought at first, for the Pelican in question first, had his particular plate full in the ammount of proteges he had already.  This was a first lesson I learned. When taking on potental pupals for yourself, make sure that you are never overstretched.  Also i have found out that distance even with todays technology advancements is that a peer should keep in contact with their pupal, whether online or in many cases offline.  For me if the day should come, I feel that whatever works better if we can skype chat that works, as well as reading their EK wiki pages and any blogs they may have to follow their journey.

After some debate enternally and asking that of a friend of mine, who made the overture to Mistress Brita about the idea of me becoming her protege.  She is one of the local heralds I supervise as Northern Region so she knew my service and can work with me for the parts that i am not sure of.

After a years discussion and weighing out things. Back in this last fall she bestowed me her yellow belt, and now the real journey begins.

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With that part complete I am looking forward to the next set of tasks that I may either jump on or asked to be called upon.  One in particular comes to mind, however more on that as things get ironed out

Yours in Service

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The tale of the frog and willow, the moth and lizard, and the bear and cups

Good day one in all,

Today I find myself thinking back over the many years I have been working for good of my local group.  Where I registered so many for so many wonderful people.  The time took to set up tools for my province and the complements that I have heard from it.  For me it has always been hard to bring in such praise.  For I do not see my work as exceptional, I do not see my work as anything different than any other herald that takes pride in their job.  Recently I have been called a very good herald.  Well I do what I can and for my clients I do the best that I can.  Am I always on target?  Naaa and there can be times that I find myself unable to help you for your request is to complicated, or I cannot work them within our guidelines, or what is asked is clearly not heraldry, or just failure of myself to encompass all I need to make things work.

Add to all that, and I think of all the Very good heralds the East Kingdom has, im good but I am not in that league.  Who knows for what I do I could be beaten with my own heralds stick and find myself working my way up the hill to take my place among them one day.  This will take time and more work.  However, in the meantime, I do attend to pass on as much as I can for many in my region.

Some have asked about the blue paw favors.  And for me this is a way to recognize those heralds that are doing a great job and need that encouragement to keep on going.  I love handing them out and as my deputy has even made it to her email, really encourages me to help educate, train, and make new heralds.

Speaking of which on today topics:

Duncan MacCowan.   Oh you, you, you wonder delightful student.  Yes, student for after the first real conversations he had shown an interest in heraldry.  I had to do a double take on that one for someone actually looking into heraldry instead of the local group taking a huge step back, or you go to the bathroom at the province, shire, baronial meeting and come out the herald.  Guess what we grab onto that and never let go…. “one of us.”  “one of us.”

So his name came up over a course of many conversations (needless to say that conversation is buried so let us assume that we ran it through fine, check here, there, everywhere and carry on).  His device has a bit of a back story about it.  So this happened to be his first Great northeastern war, as well his first SCA event, well needless to say he got himself into his cups a bit, came stumbling back and needless to say his lady did not like it or so im told lol.  So he was gifted with the nickname of Drunken Bear.  With that he wished to play on that factor.  First we had to talked about heraldic bears vs constructs, see artist license is wonderful, however heralds will always draw, copy, paste, graft, wiggle our nose, with charges so ours will and often does look different than yours.

After we had the bear that he like in the proper position there was a talk to have a couple of them, one maintaining (holding) a cup, where as he is a heavy fighter, another one holding a sword.  After some colleague discussion as the bears sort of leaned slightly bend wise in apparently stages of drunkenness. Come to find out if you’re going to do it, then do it, to make the bears bend wise was to really make them topple into a 45-degree angle.  Ok so upright bears it is, (maybe the night is early and when he knocks over his shield then they can be tipsy) Stage two was to eliminate the bear holding the sword as the cups would dictate the fun night he had for all time, however at first we were looking at two bears one holding a cup, and one without.  To also give the appearance of drinking we divided the shield bendwise and made the bears counter changed from the colors he liked.  Vert, and argent, after another round of discussion the jury came back he would have a greater chance of getting his arms passed with the bears either both holding a cup vs not.  Makes sense if you are back downfield looking at his arms, when one is maintaining a cup and one is not there is not really any distinction (remember heraldry big beautiful and bold).  So we went with both with cups (so they are really in their cups).  Common Duncan belly up to the bar and let me present you with “per bend argent and vert, two bears rampant contourney maintaining chalices counter changed.”

drunky

And not after showing him how his name is constructed, how his device came together, how to fill out the form (in a wonderful 13 page set up I must admit) he is still liking the idea of being a book herald.  So let’s get him some clients.

Next I wish to talk about is Brienne Buckland.  This lady came to me and inquiring of getting her name and arms registered.  Name started down as they all do, ok first Brienne, I’ll admit that I went straight to family search and did the search there, I figured that the greater number of results would be greater.  Now when I did the search however I find that Brienne was a surname not a given.  Don’t panic we have a solution for that!  In one of the LOAR letters dated back in 09, Pelican ruled that in some circumstances we can use a surname as a given name.  Document that letter just to cover basis.  (here I have to get off track for a small bit.  A herald friend and premier blue paw, informed me of a wonderful way to bookmark set pages and you can add unique tags to each one, thereby when searching your library if you are looking for a particular ruling in a letter, type in the tag and bingo there you go.  Check out www.diigo.com it’s a free service and so worth it.)

Ok, so we have her first name covered, let’s go over to her surname.  She originally wished to known of Buckland, indicating a locater or place name.  Place names can either be really easy or really complicated, for the trick of them is to locate when they existed in period as a bona fide town or city, as well spelled like how in period.  This can be the complicated part as spellings can change depending on where the town is, and under what rule, etc. etc. etc.  In this particular case I was unable to easy find what she was asking for within the period we play so went to dial a friend and went straight to family search once again.  I could not find of Buckland; however, I could find a surname Buckland.  The client was happy, I was happy, it’s a good thing.

Her device that she was looking into having a willow tree and a frog.  After talking over with her about placement of both, and she indicated line division in a diagonal.  (Spidey sense tingle for see was looking at a per bend), ok then she had an idea of which color (both vert and argent) where she wanted them, and same thing with a willow tree and frog.  But what position mmmm?  Oh wait she had that covered already showing me a necklace she has with a frog displayed (this is to easy) So we get a vert frog, an argent willow on the opposite sides, I swear this is going to easy let’s run the conflict checks.  What do you know not a one?  I like devices like this, sweet and easy and the client loves it (and some of the commenters to.

And with a wave of my herald stick I give you Brienne Buckland and “Per bent Argent and Vert, a frog tergiant and a willow tree couped counterchanged.”

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The next Contestant I enjoyed the back story with and putting it together was Mòra Ruadh.  She came to me after her first event and wished to get a name and device registered this one played on the lines of Mothra the Red.  Ok Godzilla.  Alright (cracks knuckles) let’s see what I can find out.  First she did a bit of back work and was looking to something that sounds close if not nailed Mothra direct, she was looking into an Irish background, and the red do to the ease I guess to make her blush.  (and in Malagentia ohhh boy).   Ok as I had a couple of other submissions in works I ran her first regional choice toward her (and see good way to educate another one the steps a herald takes) and she took to Mòra.  Now to add a reddish one, check the dates of her given name check and then run the Annals to find that Ruadh latterly means the red.  So instead of a giant moth, we come to a period similarity that the client enjoys and for the astonishment of a couple of people that swears I can document almost anything, we move on to her device.

Now knowing the fact that Mothra was still going to play into it, I looked into moth charges.  As we started to talk with her she wished to have a moth and a dragon.  With the moth over the dragon, she originally wished to have the dragon look frightened.  (snorts) Godzilla afraid??? certainly you jest.  However what I could do is we all know occasionally that giant beast has to sleep so I had the dragon couchant, so in a laying down passive position, and with a couple of idea thoughts, like cutting it in half fess wise, do a bit of counter changed so the moth was gules, and the dragon would be argent, add a counterchanged border to the mix send it to her and she loved it.  A conflict check later proved no conflicts. (in the theme of creature double feature) so now we give birth the Godzilla, and Mothra in Malagentia with Mòra Ruadh and “Per fess argent and gules, a moth and a dragon couchant, within a bordure counterchanged.”

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Upon looking on these stories I am often amazed in the work I am able to help people in my local area, the studies I am constently learning, the trials, the successes, and for some the hick ups as we get people on their colorful way.

On  a personal note, not all ideas are going to be successful, not all ideas are going to be quick and easy.  Alternative not all ideas are going to stick the first few times.  Heralds are not the makers of making things difficult for you, we are tasked with a set of guidelines that may seam biast, really have a place in period times.  Also when some people say that heralds do not do much.  I task them to read the SENA, work on a consult, update an OP, stand in court and read, walk around a site shouting announcements, and believe me we may not fight, or fence, (then again many heralds do that really well to.) however we do our jobs as well and do our best for you each time.  And for one like me, we love it so please bring it on, give me your wish to be Ragnar Drogo, bring on wishing to have a device that will make me color blind, bring on the idea of a household of nightwalkers.  I bet I can find it, document it, and see if I can register it for in the immortal words of Geoffrey Chaucer in Knights Tale, “God I am good!”

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