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dervish

May 28th, 2014 (02:02 pm)

all my life
I have practiced spinning.
as a child in cornfields,
as a swimmer underwater,
as a dancer making spirals
with her feet
with her veils.

all my life
I have practiced spinning
so I may keep my feet
when the bright rush
of gnosis
makes me wheel.

dervishspin [userpic]

Shadows.

April 14th, 2014 (09:54 pm)

I love and hate writing this game.
I love and hate running this game.
It is intensely satisfying and also hollow making.
I love being surrounded by the community of LARPers.  But in the middle of it, I feel isolated because I am a GM.
I dislike the number of mods I am writing that I don't even get a chance to see.
This process needs tweaking in order for me to stick with this.

And ultimately, I need to get back to playing.
I foresee burnout eminently if I don't.

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"Poet rake the stings. Strike fire"

March 24th, 2014 (02:07 pm)
Tags: ,

So this happened over the weekend:

Guthrie Tean Killed in Housefire

Terick was the eldest son of Earl Owen and Countess Genevria of Ansteorra. They were King and Queen of Ansteorra while Edward and I were Prince and Princess of the East. The two of them and I are not super close, for one thing they live in Oklahoma and don’t travel very much outside their kingdom, but we remember each other with fondness. Genevria just asked Edward about me at Gulf Wars a couple of weeks back. If you have ever heard me tell the story about trying to steal the White Scarves of Ansteorra for Pennsic 39 on Ogedei’s request… and then getting bagged for doing it, it was Geneveria (and Duchess Ebergardis) who caught me. She was very gracious about it, considering the amount of scheming the staff and I had gleefully been plotting about this. There is no question that she utterly outclassed me. She has a Southern Woman’s charm. Her White Scarves were completely devoted to her.

I met Owen first. I was seated next to him at my very first State Dinner ever at Gulf Wars. We were the only Prince and Princess in the room, everyone else was sitting King and Queen and I was intimidated as hell. Owen was friendly, engaging, guessed that I was freaked out, and put me completely at my ease. We traded Southern humor. Then he just stared at me, delighted, when I told the whole table about Cohousing and living in Camelot, and what we had done to get there. Later on he made a point of introducing me to his squire who was interested in the same thing. Owen is a big man. A BIG man. I am sure he must be god damned terrifying on the field. He is a fabulous and charming dinner companion who is clearly deeply smitten with his wife and his family. There were big hugs all around when we left the event and promises to meet at Gulf.

That Gulf Wars HRM Owen was ill, so ill he had to go to the hospital in the middle of the war. (Imagine being King and Pennsic and having to get carted away in an ambulance). Genevria took over so smoothly, if you didn't know what was personally happening to Owen, you would have barely noticed. She is a formidable lady.
She's also blind. Completely blind.

So the thought of her trying to get out of her house with her children in the middle of a fire, and not being able to get to Terick, and not being able to figure out what was going on and then finding out... and then being displaced from your home and the grief and the having to take care of your family in the wake of that... well, it's kind of fucking me up.

There are places where you can donate money to the family, and I am going to do that. Does not feel like enough though.
https://sites.google.com/a/cornelius.norman.ok.us/jackson-family-donations/

dervishspin [userpic]

On Writing

March 18th, 2014 (09:39 am)

These days I wake up every morning and want to put pen to paper and write. I want to fall into the madness of head down pounding out of images into words.  Of ideas into dialoge.  And I have this annoying imediment of a 40+ hour a week job.  And responsibilities and nurturing relationships taking up much of the rest of my time.

Shadows of Amun is driving me in ways that surprise me.  It has truly got me back into _storytelling_ rather than writing.
And it is a form of storytelling that is not unlike poetry.  I make the barest scratches, the most restrained suggestion of language committed to paper, and the reader reads into it what they want, and takes away from it what they need.  I write a 3 to 8 page outline of what I want to have happen, how I want it to look, make suggestion about character to the NPC... and then the NPCs and the PCs make it come alive, they interpret the story how they wish, they internalize the story as they need.
And just like the act of reading poerty, sometimes when the module runs I am not even there to witness the consumption of it.  The impression and the impact it leaves behind.   This is my current  obsession, this writing none of you can see, this art that even I may not get to see.

When I was in Key West I saw a girl in the park sitting on the ground pecking away at a typewriter.  She was sitting behind a sign that said "Poet For Hire".  There was a small cloth basket in front of her that contained 3 or 4 rolled up scrolls.  The sign over the basket says "Fresh Poems".   She was literally typing up poetry as I watched, first drafts, and then letting them fly away from her, with no record in her possession of her creation of them.  As a woman who possesses her own strong need for control, to be that willing to let go of what comes through you was utterly humbling.  I felt very small.  I don't think I have it in me to be that courageous.

She had a small pile of hand bound books she had made with some of her most recent work.  ("They are fresh", she assured me).  She told me to pay what I thought it was worth.  It's a slim little volume, poster board cover, photocopied pages cut a little haphazardly.  Hand stamped cover that reads "Tin Roof Songs".  I gave her $20.

Since meeting the poet in the park I have tried to remember to be more like her. To let others place themselves inside my lines of verse.  To let what is inside you well up, overflow, and bleed away. To let go of what I have created. To let go.

dervishspin [userpic]

K&Q Bardic Entries, 2014

March 9th, 2014 (02:20 pm)
Tags: ,

This is mostly for my records:

Read more...Collapse )

dervishspin [userpic]

On Competing

March 9th, 2014 (11:07 am)
Tags: ,

I competed in Kings and Queen's Bardic Champs yesterday. Like last year my performances were strong enough to get me selected for the final round.
I think there were only 2 things I would have done differently with my pieces. One single word I messed up in round two (but no one noticed) and one image I invoked in round 3 that I would, in retrospect, take back, only because there could have been more subtle ways to get my point across and not because the idea was wrong.
I nailed the round 3 piece. I read my audience correctly and I delivered both what they wanted (humor) and something they did not know that they wanted (actual serious observations about the topic at hand), stirred their emotions and elevated their thoughts, the way a poet should.
Considering I had been handed the topic and the format all of ten minutes before, I god damned slammed the round 3 piece home.
It's been said other places, but it's true, there were A LOT of very good pieces and very good performers. I have been told the Royalty really, really struggled to make the final selection.
And they picked two of my fellow finalists to become Royal Bards.

And I am, for the first time in my competitive life, having a hard time parsing the results.
Normally I can point to reasons why someone else excelled over me, or can point to serious flaws in my own work which makes sense for elimination. This time I can't.
I don't think this is ego. At least I sure the hell hope it's not. I really do think, as objectively as I can manage, that I engaged in work a Master of the Arts would not be ashamed of.
What it comes down to, though, is my brand of performance is not what the Royalty feels like they need right now.
And that is a hard thing for me to slot in an objective place in my mind.
Hm. Perhaps here is where my ego starts creeping into the picture.

Parsing the results of competing in combat is easy. You kill all your opponents and you win the tournament. It's self evident. You are the best (at least on that day).
But competing in a subjective pastime like performance arts is a different thing all together. Even though the champions of each stand behind the throne side by side, the selection process is not the same. hotspurre said to me last night that skill and talent and excellence only get you to round 3 in K&Q Bardic. After that, it is all whim. Then he gave me a ring he had made as a token to remember his words by.

I went home last night and pulled out all the tokens I had been given by the other bards in appreciation of my performances, and I petted them and reminded myself out loud that I did not suck. I feel badly now I didn't give other performers more of my own tokens. I gave out some, but I was distracted and trying to concentrate on remembering my pieces, so I didn't do as many as I would have liked. Having the little beads, tassels and plaques helped.
I know other bards are probably feeling what I am right now.
I went to sleep wearing hotspurre's ring as a talisman against post competition blues.

dervishspin [userpic]

Polydactyl for Key West

March 5th, 2014 (10:00 am)

This is in draft form, I think. I needed to get it out of my head. I have been working on it for 3 days, and it is at the hurting my brain stage.


1

The roosters strut,
iridescent tail feathers
flashing the tourists,
justifiably proud
of cockscomb and spurs.
I hope the hens
don’t mistake their mating display
for suitability of a lifelong mate.

2

Bright sun.
Bright house colors meant to distract
from the poverty and the dust.
Decay, the ladies journals tell us, is a form of charm.
Darkened men amuse themselves with cards,
while the women talk to each other,
balancing babies on their hips
or in their hands.
No one writes articles on how to realize when
we have placed shackles around our own wrists,
or how to get free again.
Show me a woman who loves
without consequences.


3

Poet for hire.
Her typewriter makes earnest
clicking sounds for the passersby.
“Fresh Poems” the sign says;
an envelope half filled with rolled scrolls,
fluttering like wings in the ocean breeze.
Ash brown girl. Slow, slurred speech.
Old eyes.
Such courage to type out
only one copy of the muse’s whisperings,
before letting them fly away.
“Pay only what you feel they are worth,”
she tells me.

4

Four photos, like moons
circling a literary sun.
Four wives.
There is no shame in loving
only in the lies
that lead us there.

5

A drink and a souvenir t-shirt
buys me an improbable tale
concerning an aging mayor’s
sexual conquests.
Then another about
a pirate’s doxy and a hanging tree.
Then Hemmingway.
Business cards and bras
collect dust on the ceiling.
Everyone has a way to put
women in their place
in this story telling town.

6

90 miles from Cuba.
The southern sun makes electric blue
sparkles on the surface of the water
which only I can see.
The drink from Hemmingway’s bar
sits uneasily in my stomach.
I wonder, what am I heir to?
Not his news reporter prose
or his womanizing, or his unhappiness,
but perhaps his love
of six toed cats;
his sense of adventure.

dervishspin [userpic]

Shadows of Amun NPC Appreciation Party

March 2nd, 2014 (08:23 pm)

Hello, Lovely Shadows of Amun NPCs and Potential NPCs,
We, the Writer Staff of Shadows of Amun want to invite you to an NPC Appreciation Party and Season 2 Reveal Session at our place on Sunday March 16th from 12:00 until 5:00.
We will provide food, drinks and nefarious plans. You bring yourselves, your war stories, your schedules and some of your costuming. We are looking to cast initial face roles for the next 4 games, so we need to know which games you can make.
Game Dates for this year are:
Game 3: April 11,12, 13.
Game 4: May 23, 24, 25
Game 5: Sept 19,20, 21
Game 6: Oct 10,11, 12
We are going to go over a basic plot schedule, including spoilers, for the 2014 season. This will include some costuming suggestions. If you think you are interested in turning PC, this is NOT a party for you. (We still appreciate you, but we won't tell you our secrets. Sorry. )
We would like to take some photographs of you in some of your existing face roles, so if you are willing to allow us to take photos of you and put them on our website, bring your personal costuming, and Kathy will bring the costuming stash.
If you have been intending to drag one of your friends to NPC with us, now would be the time to bring them. They can meet the Writing Staff and the other NPCs and get a leg up on the plot and the game world.
There will be food and drink, and a pool table to hang around disreputably while we strategize on how to make the players cry.
Please RSVP to cristovau at gmail dot com
We hope you can join us!
Date: Sunday, March 16 from 12- 5 PM.
Location: (GPS works for this location)
Camelot Common House (In the Basement!)
69 Village Court
Berlin, MA 01503

Oh, and players? Please let other potential NPCs know.
:) *smooch*
Shadows of Amun Plot Staff.

dervishspin [userpic]

(no subject)

February 10th, 2014 (03:27 pm)
Tags: ,

I am getting that over-peopled sensation again.
I was glad to go to the event and the post revel. at least intellectually, but by the time we hit the Dark Place I was fried and I didn't want to be around loud people or people with very high energy.
We had a stressful money meeting on Friday and another cohousing meeting on Sunday,  and we had guests for a long portion of the weekend.  Guests I was happy to host!  But there was not much time for lounging in PJs and not engaging with the world.

The one arts project (IE retreat into myself thing) I worked on this weeekend I ruined. 1 white silk banner and 1 jar of spilled black paint does not a satisfying arts experience make..

It's only Monday, I just stepped out of a contentious sign off meeting I was running, and I can feel myself starting to melt down.

I wonder when I will go back to being the extrovert I used to be.

dervishspin [userpic]

(no subject)

February 10th, 2014 (01:00 pm)
Tags:

Pure
  not because she is
  a white mare with a
  spiraling horn.

Pure
  because her focus
  is lifted to the eye
  between her eyes.

Pure
  not because her flesh
  is yet untouched
  by man.

Pure
  because her attention is fixed
  upon the one she
  makes love to.

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