Tag Archive: Medieval


Yep, I’ve been away for a while. I had some personal-life things to take care of. Nope, I’m not going to describe them here, because they don’t have to do with writing or fun stuff. This ain’t no LiveJournal or MySpace here, bub! (Aaaaand I just dated myself. Moving on.)

I was going to make my first post back be a book review, but instead I decided to get off my duff and start the worldbuilding series I’ve been meaning to do for months now. The reason is that two parts of my life have converged on the same topic very recently. The first is that my workshop at Christendom College has restarted; the second is that I play World of Warcraft on the side.

What’s the relevancy? you might ask, and rightly so. Warcraft players might be able to guess, of course, but I’ll address the workshop angle first. Most of my students are interested in writing fantasy, which is a happy coincidence for me as I fully expected the opposite even though all evidence of youthful interest in fiction backs it up. (Just glance through the Teen Fiction section at your local bookstore, or see what the most popular movies are among the teens-and-twenties demographic.) I tailor my workshop lectures to my audience’s interests, and when I mentioned I could do some lectures on worldbuilding, there was much rejoicing.

One of the things many people overlook when worldbuilding, however, is economics. That doesn’t mean Wall Street and esoteric ideas of bull and bear markets or how one makes money using other people’s money. No, I mean taking into consideration what is valuable to a different society, what constitutes that level of value, how you represent and trade that value, and how you go about creating value.

Oh, dear. I did promise non-technical, didn’t I? It’s right there in the post’s title. I guess I need to live up to that! Continue reading

March 25: Ring Destruction Day

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Kind of like remembering a messy divorce, only with more epic battles.

That’s right, Tolkien fans! It’s the anniversary of the day when, mumbleteen thousand years ago, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum entered Mount Doom to pitch the One Ring into the fire below.

“Wait,” some of you are asking, “Why did Tolkien use modern dates in a fantasy world like Middle-earth? I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be our super-duper epic forgotten past, but really.”

Yeah, I get that. But you also have to remember that Tolkien was three things, in this order: a proud Catholic, an expert philologist, and a fascinated medievalist. What does all that have to do with March 25th? I’m glad you asked!

Continue reading

BrickFair

Well, BrickFair is over for this year, and it was pretty good. Actually, it was a blast. I met some new people, and plan to collaborate with some of them next year on the Castle theme. I like displaying “civilian” stuff; most people who build in the Castle/Knights theme build, well, castles and knights. I like adding in the peasants, the market town, etc.  In fact, here’s my modest display.

DSCF1939

Because every medieval Lego minifigure needs a place to shop, listen to music, and have a bar fight.

Random trivia: a town could be, and often was, smaller than a village. A village is where most of the people in an area lived. A town is where the market was, and people from different villages would go there to buy and sell. That’s why the phrase “go to town” means spending a lot of money.

This particular scene had a lot of little details, but my favorite was the barfight in the inn. On market day, a town’s population would swell, often causing tensions to flare.

Pow!

Pow!

I also had two thieves, a bakery, a blacksmithy, a group of musicians entertaining a crowd, merchants with stalls, and little things happening all over (like a minotaur fighting another minotaur . . . okay, it’s not 100% historically-accurate). The piece of paper you see hanging off the table was a list of things for kids (and adults) to find. It was to let them have a fun little game and feel awesome when they found everything — and it also meant more people would stop and look at what I did instead of moving on immediately to see the more impressive stuff right next door. I’m sneaky that way.

This was next to me, making me look bad. It was made by a fourteen-year-old-girl. I feel completely inadequate. *sob*

This was next to me, making me look bad. It was made by a fourteen-year-old-girl. I feel completely inadequate. *sob*

But as I said, next year I’ll be teaming up with some others to work on a collaborative medieval display, hopefully with a focus on towns and medieval life. One guy in particular, Charlie (there with his kids because he’s an awesome father), plans on coordinating to the extent that we have matching styles for buildings in our landscape. We’ll have more buildings, more people, more activity, more landscape . . . I don’t know what it’ll look like just yet, but it should be fun.

I’m adding at least a chapel and a stables next year. I might even be able to add a watermill, but we’ll see how things work out. I still need to reorganize my collection into a new space in my house. Right now, it’s hard to remember where I put things!

I’ll be adding more pictures later on. Hopefully that means “soon,” but I haven’t even posted last year’s photos on Facebook yet. I may add some to Flickr, and I’ll definitely be posting to the Novel Ninja Facebook page.

Right now, though, I need to prepare for New Jersey tomorrow, at the Catholic Marketing Network; and after that, I go demonstrate the Fate Core RPG system at Labyrinth Games on Saturday. After that, I need to write a book and prepare to teach a non-credit workshop at my alma mater this fall.

Oh, and edit. And maybe post more about writing for you guys. Yeah. Lots of stuff to do!

 

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