It’s been quite a month. I’ve spent half of it in the USA, and the other half moving house. Both of those projects went splendidly, but left very little room for anything like writing- even writing a blog post like this. I really ought to do a post-seminar-review-post for my first ever Boston seminar (the short version: it went very well, with lovely students and kind hosts (the Athena School of Arms – we’re planning a return trip), plus I stumbled upon the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which needs a huge post of its own, and the North Bennet Street School of craftsmanship), my first ever Providence RI seminar (a bespoke afternoon with Alexander Ripa, and two of his students, Halley and Victor- it was a delight, and we in HMA could learn a lot about running schools from sport fencing coaches like Alex), two days R+R in Madison with Heidi Zimmerman (of Draupnir Press) and Chris Vanslambrouck (the Meyer chap), then off to Seattle for lunch with Rory Miller (yes the Rory Miller), and a full weekend’s teaching.
There were many slots in that schedule where I could have stolen an hour to write, but you know what? Spending the time with friends old and new was a much better use of it.
I got home on the 16th, just in time to move house on the 24th. Yay! The new house is much better than the old one, for several reasons- not least:
1) I have a proper study.
The swords aren’t up yet because I need to build a rack for them. Something nice in oak, probably. Now, if only I had somewhere to build it…
2) The garden is long enough for archery
And 3) There’s a very nice shed at the bottom of it which is now a woodworking shop. Huzzah!
But you know the problem with a really good writing set-up?
No fucking excuses.
Normal service will resume henceforth.
Oh, but I’m off to Helsinki on Thursday for a photoshoot for a book project, so….
During all this chaotic busyness I’ve stuck to my standard operating procedure, of identifying the one thing that most needs attention, and moving that thing forward by one solid step every day. For the last couple of weeks, that’s been the move.
But now, I have these on my plate:
1) the Fiore Translation Project. I shot some more video for it in Seattle, and should carry on with the writing up and publishing.
2) part four of the Rapier Workbooks series: Rapier and Dagger. It’s coming back from the editor soon, and I should get covers, blurb, etc. sorted out for it.
3) Sean Manning has written a very interesting thorough review of The Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts on his blog. You can read it here. It’s clear that the book does most of what I want it to do, but the academic/research section needs expanding, because his response to it is absolutely not what I was aiming at. We’ve corresponded quite a lot about it, and I’m planning to expand that section, post the new stuff here on this blog, and re-do the book somewhat. That may be a whole second edition, or just an expansion on the first.
So I have some questions for you.
Which project would you like me to prioritise?
And regarding The Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts, if you’ve read it, is there anything else you’d like me to add to it? Because it costs money to get the print files laid out again, and it all uploaded to the print on demand services, so I’d rather make all the changes in one go.
Answers in the comments below, or by email please; I’m unlikely to see anything you put on social media.