I spend a lot of my time writing, thinking about writing, not writing, wishing I were writing, blogging about writing, feeling guilty about not writing, or otherwise with writing somewhere in my conscious or subconscious. Sometimes, I forget that there are other creative works that I have percolating around in my mind. This weekend, I started re-connecting with one, namely the Society for Creative Anachronism.
This is a group that has been around for just about a half century, and that I first become involved with almost twenty years ago, when I was a freshman in college. It’s a group that recreates the middle ages, from a period of about 600-1600 CE. People do research, experiment with techniques for recreating various elements of the time period, and then periodically get together to share those techniques, whether they be armored martial arts, fine embroidery, music, or — and this is a particular favorite — brewing and cooking.
This weekend I dragged my spouse, little one, and a bunch of other newbies up to Raleigh for an event, the Windmasters Hill Cooks and Performers Symposium. It had been a while, and I spent most of the prep time putting together garb for LJ and Rob, so I threw on some really old last-minute-Pennsic-purchase garb and went on in.
The event itself was wonderful, and the group was incredibly welcoming. I took a class on making flatbread, which was a class of bread-baking that formerly eluded me, but which I now feel a little more confident taking on. I took another class on the development of Italian music in the Renaissance period, which featured some lovely listening (which also put LJ to sleep, so double score.) And when I was feeling a little like I needed a break, I headed out to a piece of grass where some people were sitting and playing some desultory tunes, and worked a little on a piece of embroidery.
Suffice it to say, this previous two week’s away from writing as my primary creative endeavor has actually been quite helpful. I’ve gotten a good deal of work done on revising one of my manuscripts, trying to make the magic word count that will tip it into the “novel” category, and thus be more marketable to agents and publishers. I’ve also broken through one of the major delaying points on Steel-Toed Blues, and have even gotten some stuff done on my nonfiction chapter.
My intention is to continue to re-connect with my other creative endeavors — the SCA, music, fiber projects — in order to keep the writing juices flowing. I sometimes forget that all these experiences show up time and again in my writing. To neglect them would be to turn off the tap for whatever it is that feeds the writing flow.
And with that, I am off to grab some buttons for a fiber project, and do my best not to spend all of this glorious day indoors with the sprog.