Advice · Arts and Sciences · From the Newsroom · Real Life

Goody Advice: Cookies, A&S, and more

Dear Goody, 
Beer, cider, scotch, or cookies? I owe you. My knight read one of your pieces and backed off on his own.

Dear Grateful,

Good Scotch, excellent cheese and decadent chocolate are always accepted. Or, just buy a SCAllion shirt and wear that shit loud and proud. Tell them all that Goody Advice sent you. That will give me a real hoot.

Hope this helps!

-Goody Advice 

Dear Goody, 
I see people in the SCA doing some really cool and complex A&S projects such as casting metal and lamp working. I have no idea how to try this stuff and live in an apartment, so have no space for a workshop. 
Am I doomed to admire from afar or is there something I can do to learn these skills? 
-Lonely Artisan 

Dear Lonely, 

The advice I have for you will solve two problems at once. To misquote John Donne: No artist is an island, Entire of itself; Every artist is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. 

You do not have to do your art alone! You do not have to find all of your own supplies and sneak a whole workshop with a torch into a second floor apartment. In fact, please don’t try that. Smokey the Laurel states that “Only you can prevent craft fires.” 

Instead, start by asking around your local group and those near to you. Find out who else participates in the artforms that interest you and ask them if they would be interested in teaching or sharing their workspace with someone who would like to learn in exchange for payment, barter or service. Not having to buy all of your own equipment is absolutely worth the price of a studio fee! You may even find yourself some new artsy friends solving both the ‘lonely’ and ‘artist’ parts of your query. 

If there isn’t anyone in the Society local to you who is active in the art that interests you, look for modern guilds or other groups who work with historic arts. There are a fascinating number of these. You can find pottery studios, glass art studios, stained glass classes, metal work enthusiasts and blacksmith organizations where you can expand your circle of acquaintances, maybe make some friends and learn from people who may live and breathe their art as a part or full time gig. Local community centers and art groups in larger towns often have dedicated studio space for multiple arts and also teachers who guide sessions monthly or weekly.

Do not let the SCA be your limit. The size of your home is not a restriction to trying and finding and loving new arts. This is the part where you need to find the Creative in your anachronistic interests. Tap your local artisans and ask them for leads. We are all nerds down here and will happily talk your ear off if you show even a hint of interest. Use this to your advantage, network and art to your heart’s content. 

Hope this helps, 

-Goody Advice

Dear Goody, 
I read that article and I know it was about me. How dare you write such about me and put it online? Now I am real pissed and want to pay you a visit. 
-Angriest of All

Dear All, 

Whichever article you read, I can assure you, it isn’t about you directly. However, let’s unpack this a bit and break the fourth wall. 

The newsroom reprobates don’t really write about individual people. Editorial and Legal don’t approve stories like that. No one really wants the Editorial Board irritated with them, because they fear a column assignment like “Under the Shield Wall- an Expose of Sights and Smells” or “Most Alarming Period Recipes Prepared, Tested and Reviewed”. Being reassigned to a desk like that is the one of their few fears. They don’t have many nightmares, but here are the ones I have gleaned around the newsroom in ascending order of scary. 

  • The end of all coffee 
  • Cloaked and hooded members of the Editorial Board appearing to discuss one of your articles.
  •  Finding a weathered sea glass bottle on your desk after lunch containing a tattered memo of “Dear writer, meet me at the beach at midnight. We need to talk. Come alone. -signed Jaws from Legal”

They write satire mostly about situations of current import, archetypes of people, unfortunate situations which seem to happen repeatedly and the just plain ridiculous.

But, if you still think an article is about you, I would like you to read this next bit slowly, with care and possibly out loud to yourself then really reflect on it: 

It is unlikely The SCAllion writers know you. It is highly unlikely that The SCAllion writers think about you at all. If you identify strongly with a group that you feel has been wrongly satirized, you have no problem with the behavior being satirized and are proud of yourself for being part of that group or of exercising that behavior… then I am not someone who can help you with advice. Just lace up your asshole boots and wear those bitches loud and proud. Know that you will see a mirror of yourself in The SCAllion stories far more often than you will find comfortable and you should maybe have a long think on that if self examination ever becomes attainable for you as a person. 

Hope this helps!

-Goody Advice

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