Thursday, November 16, 2006

Anniversaries of Peerages

Eimile Seilide as Draeghean (Ansteorra) ...
Today I'm working on TW #6, October 1991 (#5 has been there for weeks but I forgot to announce it) and I found this:

If you receive this issue in time to assist The Honorable Lady Eimile Seilide as Draeghean in her request, please write directly to her:
c/o Emily Egan
[an old address that's probably not good anymore...]
League City TX 775....
In TW#2 (page 17, 6th paragraph) I was charmed by the description (in parenthesis) of passing the medallion to the circle. If you or any of your friends have a copy of this ceremony, either in part or in whole, or any other suitable for a laureling ceremony please send me a copy. I need input by November 1 because on November 16 the Crown will leaf me and they are expecting to be presented with a written ceremony for their prior comments/ approval. I have never written a ceremony for anyone so I am looking for as many examples as possible to study.
—Eimile Seilide as Draeghean (Ansteorra)

Today's the fifteenth anniversary of that Laurel ceremony. I went to find her to send her an e-mail to congratulate her and point out the cool coincidence, but she's listed as inactive on Ansteorra's Laurel page.

If anyone knows her and thinks she'd be interested, though... maybe forward this to her.

Last Saturday was the sixth anniversary of the elevation to the Pelican of Master Balthazar Tegero, who was my student. I knew in advance. I intended to say something on the date. We were sitting at the same feast table, at a coronation. I forgot. (Sorry, Balthazar... I hope to make it up to you on a tenth or fifteenth, maybe...)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

ThinkWell #3 is readable; 28 members on discussion list

ThinkWell #3, which was published on paper in late August, 1991, A.S. XXVI is available here:

The file isn't perfect. There's one footnote mystery (though most of them work perfectly well), and I can clean it up later. The topics links in the righthand column were part of the default file but will be fixed within a day or two.

The text, though, is readable. Feel free to send me corrections. There's an e-mail link at the bottom, and if your e-mail hates those links, use

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

#2 is up, and the discussion list has 21 members

These numbers will be outdated soon, but that's good!

ThinkWell#2, late June 1991
It probably has a few formatting glitches. I got sleepy and so I quit for the evening. The original file was a Word 6.0 on a Mac IIsi which is "blah blah blah" to most people; point is, there are some formatting characters in the text and I might not have gotten them all, but will make other sweeps later. I'll add more internal links, too. I did a couple to make sure they would work.

Meanwhile, over at the discussion list, there are several topics going.

One topic page is actually started and a few more exist in rougher form, but here's the first really established:

tw/ (in a URL) will be for the old ThinkWell, generally, and thinkwell/ will be for the new stuff. Some still needs to be sorted, but that's the plan.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


What makes a good SCA squire?

If you can think of a particular story of a moment when you saw a squire do something that added to the magic of an event for you, or if you've been involved in a squire/knight relationship or close to a good one, what might be some good bits of advice for someone wanting to be a particularly good squire?

Are there existing articles or instructions for squires online that a curious squire could get to?

Input can be left as a comment on this post, e-mailed to me at, sent by mail or you can join the discussion list.

The best bits will end up here: Squires

Friday, October 06, 2006

many doors; welcome in

I've had some good input here and by e-mail about likely problems with an attempted ThinkWell revival. AEdward mentioned synergy. The past month has been a festival of re-connections for me, and new connections. The past dozen years have prepared me for knowing enough about webpages and managing mailing lists to do something cool with a new version of ThinkWell, I believe. And the best thing about ideas is that a few are fine, and a hundred are great, and there's never a point where idea-getting is finished. An hour-long conversation can be fantastic, and the effects can last for years. About the time some people get tired, new people come along for whom it's all new.

No one has to finish, no one has to contribute, and there won't be a test.

Clarity, purity and usefulness are important to me. Cynicism and ethnocentricity will be discouraged.

There are several ways to contribute ideas--blog, discussion list, e-mail, paper mail or links. Details are at

I expect and accept ebb and flow, wax and wane, wax on - wax off. Life is lumpy.

Here's something to remember or consider as news: When ThinkWell used paper and mail, there were many filters through which ideas passed:
Worth writing down?
Worth filling out an envelope for?
Worth buying a stamp?
Worth remembering to mail?

That was before it even got to me. Then I had some filters:
Worth sharing?
Worth transcribing?
Worth formatting?
Worth printing hundreds of copies?
Worth mailing?

Others read all that, and decided:
Worth reading?
Worth considering?
Worthy of comment?

And then they went back to the beginning, deciding whether it was worth writing, mailing...

But even things that weren't worth writing and mailing and transcribing and printing still helped people think. Even readers who never wrote a word benefited from knowing what others thought, and from seeing others grow and change.

Often locals would read ThinkWell and it would inspire in-person discussions, none of which made it back to the larger group. Still, that wasn't a problem.

I think all those things will happen here, but without the benefit of the time and effort that helped rarify the writing on the original ThinkWell.

Put some filters on your own writing, then. Maybe compose it and look at it with an eye toward whether you'd be embarrassed to see it on paper, mailed out. Could it help someone become a better person? Will it make the world better? Will it help someone think? Would you be willing to ask someone to calligraph it (or to calligraph it yourself)?

Again, that link is

Thanks for being here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What do you value?

When thinking, musing or pondering, it helps sometimes to consider what we value, and why. Sometimes if there's a mental stalemate or stuckness, if one looks at it in terms of what's most valuable in the long run, or even in the moment, that can help.

Which people's opinions do you value most? Why?

What kinds of discussions or information exchanges are most useful to you? Some like in-person, some love books, or e-mail. For some, the phone is fine; for others it's torture.

In a hobby, do you value group-participation activities over singular pursuits?

In re-creation, do you value utility over beauty? Historical appearance over modern? Period methods of construction over expediency?

Thinking about it all at once might be too much work, but once you begin to evaluate such things, you'll start to know what your values are.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ideas about Ideas

Years ago, I had a publication called ThinkWell, which was on paper and mailed. Political and personal circumstances caused its untimely death. Many people mourned and asked me to take it back up. It just couldn't happen. I spent the next dozen years concentrating on my children, and a few SCA students for a while in there.

I never stopped considering and discussing the ideas, though, and was recently asked to start up another discussion series. Local in-person discussion is fine, but we might as well gather more input and disseminate the best of what's discussed. Technology has come to the point that we can do more with less organization and effort. If old issues of ThinkWell are still somewhat useful (and might all be available to read online at some point, I hope), discussions with SCA folk who are sorry they missed all that are much more important. They shouldn't be trying to live in the SCA's past.

This could be a great medium for slow-moving SCA discussion. If the topics are really philosophical and timeless, it won't matter at all if people comment on year-old posts, or five-year-old posts.