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Welcome to the thirty-second Crowdfunding Creative Jam! This session will run Saturday, August 16-Sunday, August 17. The theme is "Community & Communication." (Visit the Creative Jam over on LiveJournal.)

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

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Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.

The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 05:22 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Word count to this point 527. Honestly, I'm just getting into the actual 'developing community'-- this begins as a snapshot of the earliest reactions to fighting women in the court. I hope you like it!

The Green Book wasn't actually a book, despite the name. It was, in fact, a disused storeroom near the salle which had been pressed into service as a space for the female mercenaries to change and occasionally dress wounds during practice when the king had first accepted them into service. When the first female mercenaries were not only thanked openly in court for their service, but /knighted/, some joker had stolen a book from the Bainsbury monastery, painstakingly torn pages from it, and in the night of a new moon had glued them to the doors of the storeroom with the hide glue saddlers used. The cover, torn at the spine and hacked roughly in narrow halves, had been glued atop the metal rings, making it nearly impossible for a knight in full armor to open the door without help, which was supposed to be insulting.

Another night, within the same week, someone had simply bored holes in each book cover, leather and wood now ornamented by a fine hacksilver chain, making a very effective, if expensive, new set of grips.

Of course, not all the pages were posted right way up. Those who'd worn the king's tabard kept mum, despite all they heard; the hue and cry and served meals during the week the abbot had argued at table that regardless of the thief's use of the stolen manuscript, the /king/ should pay for a replacement to be copied, as the book DID permanently 'decorate' his property, More generous souls, having no words to directly speculate upon, supposed that the moonless night had contributed to a few mistakes, softened the impact of the heresy these female “fighters” committed.

The joker hadn't had the decency to actually /include/ the illuminated pages, which destroyed much of his potential credibility even among like-minded souls in that first year. After all, most men and women of the court hadn't ever /seen/ a fully illustrated manuscript, while everyone at court soon grew inured to the sight of female mercenaries sitting in the women's courtyard, sharpening swords and daggers while courtly women worked needlepoint in the sunny afternoon hours when the men were in control of the salle.

To the book-lovers, that act had done more to reverse /their/ opinions against these fighting women than a month of discussions over meals. It became fashionable to take a stroll before breaking one's fast, down to the tiny chapel at the far end of the kitchen garden for morning prayers and then to the central dining hall by way of the salle and the newly christened Green Book, as they argued over which pages should've been posted first, or how anyone might piece together the story on the glued side, or which book the protester might've /intended/ to put on display. A collection of liturgical commentary seemed oddly... vague.

Behind the weather-worn, overlapping pages with curled and torn edges, bits of dark oak waited, solid and unperturbed by the decorations.

Behind the doors of the Green Book, the women talked and argued, divided in both goal and method, looking for ways to become a single fighting force, no longer divided by gender.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 07:22 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
There's some rocky road ahead, but I'm sketching out the notes despite it being well past midnight here.

One of the things that fascinated me in history class was that in this era, even nobles who /hired/ copies of important or popular or 'opportune' (making a political point, a social point, a religious point, etc.) manuscripts never saw more than one or two of the individual pages, often one with a lavish illumination, in the course of their progress reports on the copying process. Then, many of those copies would be given to an abbot in another area, a cardinal, or a higher-ranking nobleman as a gift "on the occasion of"-- they were far too expensive for a simple birthday gift, as birthdays rolled around every year!

It reminds me of people my age or younger who've literally never opened their desktop computer to see the internals, or worse, their laptops! Hubby "jokingly" says -- in that same mournful tone I use when talking about people who collect books rather than READ them, "they're afraid of letting the magic smoke out."

The nobles aren't the only ones who've taken an interest in the words on the door, either! That one act will spark a GREAT many changes, methinks! One of the earliest will be who pays for the replacement copy, and why!

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 09:00 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Knighted by whom? Uthyr? When?

Basically, I'm describing the climate at court rather than the straight facts, and the narrator's unreliability and biases should already be peeking through, even in this short bit. LOL.

Rather than an immediately inclusive "one of the knights" mindset, there would've been convoluted and often inane separations between their practicing times, their seating arrangements, which freaking /courtyards/ they could use for recreation rather than sparring, et cetera. Some of it would've been due to distrust in their status as "real" fighters, some due to their gender and the way gender roles were segregated so heavily, and some would've been deliberate blocking of threats to the status quo in the politics among the knights and soldiers established at court.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 06:03 pm (UTC)
thnidu: blank white robot/avatar sitting on big red question mark. tinyurl.com/cgkcqcj via Google Images (question mark)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
"They more they did for him, the more serious he got about making a place for him."

"They" is just a typo, but is "him" supposed to be "her" (Sir B.)? Not trying to nitpick, but to unconfuse myself.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 06:23 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
But what about "him"? The previous sentence is «Sir Brandigen lost her hand doing that, and she wanted to resign, but Uthyr wouldn't hear of it». Sir B. is a woman. I thought the sentence should be

«TheyThe more they [Sir Electra & Sir Brandigen] did for him [King Uthyr], the more serious he [U] got about making a place for himthem [E&B].»


Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 06:38 pm (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Writing: stories last longer)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
I did not explicitly identify Electra and Brandigen as knights in "Recruitment Day," only that they are already established warriors and prefer to be known as "sir" rather than "lady." It would make sense to me that the mercenaries who join Uthyr are merely warriors/mounted warriors, and that knighthood is something he later confers on those loyal to him--knighthood being a way to distinguish ordinary warriors from a relatively small group of elites loyal to the king.

It's pretty flexible in my mind at this point. It's my understanding that the traditional knights of Arthurian legend are among the later additions by French writers, and that historically, knights as a separate social class were not established yet at the time of Arthur. IIRC, the Arthurian stories in the Mabinogion don't refer to anyone by a title other than Arthur. So really, we can do what we want with knighthood and what that means in the Ursulan cycle.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 07:17 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I also tend to mess with the LEAST accurate parts of community life at the time-- the gossip, the overheard remarks moving between the different social rankings, et cetera. I'm not trying to confuse readers, just add layers of everyday life to a worlds which is presented as pretty uniform and rigid in history textbooks.

I hate oversimplification; my knitting and crocheting with ideas, let me show it!

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 06:18 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Fascinating! At the first two sentences, I thought of the "green room" in theatre.

But I'm having trouble parsing this:
«the hue and cry and served meals during the week the abbot had argued at table that regardless of the thief's use of the stolen manuscript, the /king/ should pay for a replacement to be copied, as the book DID permanently 'decorate' his property»

Should that be "at served meals"?
Even with that, though, I'm not clear how it all hangs together.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 06:54 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Yes, "at served meals." Will fix in my document.

One of the things drilled into the training to serve the high table in particular, was discretion. "Hear nothing but requests for food or drink," kind of training. But people gossip about all kinds of things, and servants from the king, making a delivery to the monastery, would be talking about the pages glued to the door, if only to grumble that the official ruling from their preist is that the pages are glued to the door and serving part of "G-d's plan," so anyone who tries to remove them is interfering with that "plan." (Honestly, i'm thinking it was a genuine concern for safety after having tried some pretty dangerous methods to get the paper up, along with the king's legitimate argument that replacing the manuscript AND the double doors would be an onerous expense because of the iron which couldn't be melted and re-cast for the new door fittings without destroying the manuscript. Political, economic compromise couched in the ex officia judgement typical of the day.)

So the abbot knows where to start looking for his missing text, gets a small retinue together, and shows up on Ulthyr's doorstep. Hospitality meant that it would take days to hash out who was "gaining the use" of the missing book, and the abbot was making the point that the guy who was (a) most likely to be able to AFFORD to have a copy produced and (b) was /seen/ as getting benefit from the book, no matter how indirect or off-purpose would have to make a show of supporting the Church by offering to replace it.

I don't picture the visit as at all adversarial, more like two men of similar age, going through the public show and discussing matters. It takes a week because the abbot is also getting a weather gauge of the actual mood toward the king's new mercenaries and how "Christian" these women are otherwise. THOSE conversations were behind closed doors, likely also under the seal of the Confessional.

The narrator is someone high enough in the staff to overhear the tabard-wearing (senior) servers as they gossip with each other, trying to piece together the discussion thread from individual parts they may have overheard, but thon isn't always able to pay attention, so thon's narration style skips around a bit as focus is interrupted, diverted to work matters, et cetera.


I genuinely hope so.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 06:24 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh, and thanks for adding hacksilver to my word-hoard. :-)

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 07:03 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Sheepish sigh-- I thought the word was in common enough usage in textbooks that i didn't include a definition. (Unlike using the term 'palimpsest'- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest, which will come up OFTEN if I use any of the scribes in the monastery as part of the stories I'm sketching out!)

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 10:43 pm (UTC)
thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
AAMOF I've known "palimpsest" since... probably since high school, and I'm Class of '65 in that! But I was always more interested in manuscripts than in jewelry, though not TOTALLY blasé to the latter.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-17 11:19 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
AMEN to the preferences!

GRIN. My oldest was the 8yo scolded in an art class for "working the wrong way"-- He promptly told the artist that /HE/ was making a palimpsest, so he had to set up the first set of writing to rub out and mark over!

And then he couldn't remember whether baseball had innings or quarters... LOL.

Re: The Green Book

Date: 2014-08-18 12:28 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

My mom was an art teacher and made jewelry, so I got some relevant education that way. I grew up knowing words that no "red-blooded American boy" is supposed to know, like magenta and beige.


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