Monday, October 20, 2014

Emerald City Writers' Conference

This past weekend I was privileged to have the opportunity to give a presentation on historical firearms to the Emerald City Writers' Conference, in Seattle. The conference was primarily attended by participants of the female persuasion (I think I counted eight or nine other fellows there, and one of them was a cover model for books), so there were several eye-openers for me. Even though I was there as a speaker, I learned a lot of “interesting things” from other speakers in the process. I guess I’ve led a sheltered life!

One of the things I wanted to make note of however was the professionalism and efficiency of the people putting on the conference. I at all times was kept apprised of what was going on. From the moment I was green-lighted as a speaker until I left the event, the organizers were on the ball, letting me know what was expected of me, where I was to be speaking and where I could store my “props”.  I was even met at the loading dock of the hotel to help me get my show-and-tell items to the right room. I am impressed, and I hereby award kudos to the ladies who were always available to help ensure that everything was taken care of every step of the way. I definitely hope to be invited back next year!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Catching up, or What I did this Summer

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here last… two years! Gack. I’ve decided that I need to do a bit more in this arena, so here goes with some updates as to what I’ve been up to.

I had the wonderful opportunity to do some jousting this past summer, the first in June at the Castellode Amarosa winery in Calistoga, CA.  My friend Will Hamersky and his wonderful horse Rohan were kind enough to invite me down to take part in it, and it was a serious hoot. 
Breaking lances with Will Hamersky & Rohan

Patti Friend was likewise kind enough to offer to me the use of her great little mare (well, little compared to Rohan, but otherwise not exactly tiny) to ride in the festivities.  She’s a fine little girl, and well on her way to becoming a very well-rounded warhorse.

In July, I got to go down to California again, this time to San Luis Obispo for their Central CoastRenaissance Festival, where again I jousted against Will Hamersky. Patti also jousted against Will, but we didn’t get the opportunity to joust against one another, unfortunately. This time I was riding another wonderful little (again, comparatively speaking) mare, Sophie. Sophie is owned by Dora Grund, and trained by Katrina Sanders. What a wonderful mare! Again Will and I broke a lot of lances against one another’s armour, and I had a great time in general. I hope that I have a chance to do it again next year, one way or another!

Finally, insofar as jousting is concerned, I was able to be a judge at the “Emprise of the Black Lion” (SCA) in September. I forget how hard it is to sit on the sidelines when people are doing something that you love to do, but you don’t get to be involved! Still, it was fun, and I’m glad that I was invited to take part.
I’ve also had a couple of good speaking engagements, one at Gearcon in Portland, the other at Steamposium in Seattle. Both were a lot of fun, and time to renew old friendships and make some new ones. Somehow I always have a good time at these sorts of events!

This week I’m gearing up for an engagement at the Emerald City Writer’s Conference, where I’ll give a presentation on Saturday afternoon. The subject this time is “Firearms for Romance Writers”, though I’ll doubtless talk a bit about things that a mystery novelist might find interesting…but that’s really for another presentation! I’ll be going over some of the arms used in the late-16th Century, the Georgian period, and delve a bit into the Victorian era as well. My last foray into giving a presentation to a writer’s group was at the Romance Writer’s Guild conference in San Francisco a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun.  I expect that this will be to, so I’m looking forward to it!

I’ll try to post a bit more often than I have to date, as I have a number of ideas and analyses of current events to be looked at through an historical lens, so check back in.  Hopefully it shall prove to be of interest!