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Web Designer For Hire – Will Work For Swords

Rapier sword

Despite the headline, I am not actually looking for more work. But something happened yesterday that meant I had to tell you all about my current freelance project:

I got sword in the mail!

Rapier sword

Don’t worry, I asked for a blunt one. We all know I can’t be trusted with a sharp one


Now, to understand why people are sending me weaponry in the mail, I need to tell you a little story about something that happened last summer.

As I wrote about recently, I’m a big fan of renaissance fairs. Last year, as I do every year, I went to the biggest one in Denmark, Horsens Medieval Festival, with a few friends. Obviously, considering the kind of people I hang out with, we all got ridiculously excited about a stall where they sold all kinds of swords and daggers. I’m not sure how long we spent there, but I think there was drool on half the swords by the time we forced ourselves to move on.

Horsens Medieval Festival
No, we didn’t steal a helmet from a nearby decoration stand because one of us needed a hat. Don’t be silly.

Especially a beautiful rapier caught the attention of myself and one of my friend. I was seriously considering buying it. But at the same time my inner Responsible Adult was trying to convince me not to spent so much money on something I did not need.

(The rest of me was very much convinced that I did need it.)

I decided to give myself some more thinking time and asked the stall owner if he had a store where he sold his swords outside of markets. While he did, unfortunately it was on the other side of the country. So instead I asked him if he had a website.

And that’s where the poor guy made a mistake.

Slightly embarrassed, he confirmed that he had a website, but that it wasn’t a very good one.

I didn’t even think before blurting out, “Give me a sword and I’ll make you a better one.”

Less than 2 months before this, I had made myself promise not to take on any more freelance projects for a while, but I was rather mesmerized by all the pretty blades. I hadn’t actually expected him to agree.

We discussed it a bit back and forth, and he told me to contact him after the fair.

But there’s still more to this story.

Obviously, I mentioned this episode jokingly on Facebook, but I honestly thought this guy was just humoring the crazy chick rambling about websites, and not really serious about the project. So in the end I decided not to contact him.

Fast forward about a month.

I get a PM on Facebook from an acquaintance I don’t even know all that well. She told me she had been contacted by Den Sorte Ridder (the company with the swords) and asked about the website project.

Obviously I was confused.

Turns out the guy from DSR had confused me with another brunette he had talked to during the fair and this woman had given him a business card. By some crazy coincidence, this woman was friends with me on Facebook, because we had met at a cosplay convention years ago, and she remembered seeing my post from a while ago about offering strangers to make websites for swords.

It’s a small world.

After the confusion was cleared up, I gave her my email address so she could pass it on to DSR.

I heard nothing for a few months, so I once again dismissed the project. But lo and behold, in the end I was contacted by the guy I had talked to at the fair. We started talking details and I offered to make him a website for a sword and a webshop if he threw in another one on top. Told him it would be nice to have a sword for each hand.

He was the one who asked if I didn’t want a third one to hang in my belt. Clearly this man understands the value of bribery.

By now I have agreed to include far more features than I planned to.

The planning phase took waaaay longer than it should have (this entire story began in August of last year) because of various delays, but a few weeks ago I put my foot down and got the go-ahead to start work.

Which brings us back to the cause of this post.

I asked for a third of my payment (in this case, 1 sword) upfront and the rest once the website is done. And this is why I now have the gorgeous rapier I was gushing over nearly a year ago.

The End.

Sword rapier

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Renaissance Fair Season Kicks Off

Viborg Majmarked 2019 Ridder

Viborg Majmarked 2019 Ridderturnering

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, I’m a huge geek with a wide geek range. So obviously a summer for me includes at least a couple of renaissance fairs. Today I went to my first fair of 2019, Viborg May Market. It’s a fairly small one, and unlike at Horsens Medieval Festival last year, I didn’t wager any children in a bet with the devil (still not sure why their parents just left them with us, anyway…) or give some drunkard permission to paint me green.

So all in all rather uneventful. But I got to pet a couple of huuuuge doggies (they looked like skinnier, fluffier ponies), try out every single kind of mead from every single mead stall and watch two armored people on horses smash into each other. So it was still a good day.

Irish Wolfhound Renaissance Fair

I think they were Irish Wolfhounds. Apparently they have been used as hunting dogs for hunting wolves.

Seeing as I didn’t have to bend down at all to pet them, I can see how the wolves might have been in trouble.

But enough about the dogs…

Wait, who am I kidding? You can never have enough about gigantic dogs! However, I am going to get on with the post. I got to pet both of these incredibly good boys, so I’m happy, and you can all just wallow in the misery of not having gotten to pet these incredibly good boys.

So, the tournament!

It’s not as good as giant doggies, but knights riding around and stabbing stuff (in this case, ‘stuff’ being one of the squires) is still pretty damn good. Especially when it ends in a joust, so you get to see them try to knock each other off the horse and have splinters exploding everywhere.

Renaissance Fair Joust

And then, of course, there’s all the mead. That’s good, too. Especially because I wasn’t the designated driver this time.

But I’ll be honest… This post was mostly to brag about petting the giant dogs.

 

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I Signed Up for Witcher School… Again

LARP Sword Witcher Medallion

LARP Sword Witcher Medallion

I have always been a very cheap person. The only thing I ever voluntarily spend a lot of money are PCs, and even then, I’m currently keeping the lid on my laptop together with laundry clamps because it goes against everything I believe in to replace a fully-functioning laptop, just because it happens to be falling apart.

So when I decided to sign up for Witcher School and go to Poland, I spent a lot of time telling myself that it was worth the expense because it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As you will no doubt know if you have been following my blog posts, I just got home from this once-in-a-lifetime experience less than a month ago.

And less than an hour ago Witcher School released the tickets for another LARP event in October. I already bought mine.

Once-in-a-lifetime, my ass…

It’s not even the follow-up to the event I went to in April, but instead the first episode in a brand new season. Apparently, the individual events are part of seasons where each episode continues the story from the last one. And these seasons have 6-7 episodes, roughly one a year.

The event I went to in April was episode 5 of a season. Meaning that I have 2 episodes left of that one, then 7 of the season I just signed up for.

I might as well move to Poland.

Not to mention I had planned to dedicate 2019 to working on my books, so I could get both my new book and the new editions of the old ones released. I was so certain I would have them all done with lots of time to spare before the summer convention season.

But I’m not even close to being done. From January to April, my sole focus was preparing for Witcher School (but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it was okay, right?), which, for one thing, meant I spend a lot of time exercising. It’s no wonder so many writers take up drinking instead. Being healthy does not leave you a lot of time to get work done.

If I end up going to Witcher School twice a year from now on, I will never get anything else done.

I’m just going to put all the blame on Andrzej Sapkowski and CD Projekt Red and call it a day.

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Weird Ways I Injure Myself

Owl Bite

I’m quite good at getting hurt.

Don’t worry, I don’t do it on purpose!

I do all the standard things – stubbing my toes against doors, falling down stairs, slamming drawers shut on my fingers – but mostly people get an answer they didn’t expect when they ask, “What did you do to your hand?” or “Where did you get that bruise?”

Let’s start with the most common cause of injury:

The Dangers of Super Glue

I use a LOT of super glue, so you would think I would have learned something by now, but alas… I still accidentally glue myself to everything. When crafting cosplays or doing other weird hobby projects, I always manage to attach myself to something: Tables, laptops, myself, and a few times even unfortunate con-goers while doing emergency fixes at my author table.

But getting super glue all over your hands is something you get used to. It only stings slightly and burns through a couple layers of skin. And who really needs fingerprints?

Never mind that I have trouble navigating touchscreens for a few days.

Yep, getting super glue on your hands is not a big deal.

Absentmindedly biting your nail before the glue on it is completely dry and getting super glue on your tongue…?

Nooooope. Not a good idea.

As I said, super glue burns. A burned patch on the surface of your tongue feels both unpleasant and weird.

But the worst thing is really that this has happened to me on at least four different occasions and I’m not getting any smarter…

Super Glue Loctite

Burn, Baby, Burn

I once sat in a staff meeting, paying absolutely no attention to what was being said, and looked down at my arm before wondering, “Where did that burn mark come from?”

I eventually came to the conclusion that it must have happened when I knocked my heat gun over 3 days earlier and I simply hadn’t noticed.

That’s how often I accidentally burn myself. It just doesn’t register half the time.

As a kid and teenager, I mostly did it by being careless while maintaining the wood stove at my parents’ place or burning myself when taking stuff out of the oven. Lately, however, most of my burns are caused by cosplay. I work a lot with a material called Worbla, which is a kind of thermoplastic, meaning I have to heat it up to use it. The burns I get from handling the material itself are insignificant (like with the super glue, it mostly just burns the fingertips and they’re kind of numb by this point), but as shown with the example above, the heat gun can be rather dangerous. The top of it remains searing hot for a long time, so it’s very important to put it somewhere you won’t accidentally bump into it.

I also recently experimented with a variation of Worbla called Crystal Art. I literally wrote instructions for a webshop selling this stuff, instructions that focus on how Crystal Art’s melting point is a lot higher than ordinary Worbla, and as such SHOULDN’T BE HANDLED WITHOUT GLOVES.

…Guess who heated up a big lump and then just stuck her whole thumb into it?

And that’s how I ended up running around with a bag of frozen kebab wrapped around my thumb for a few hours that day.

Heat Gun Worbla Crystal Art

Other Geeky Casualties

As you can tell, I really wouldn’t get injured all that much if I wasn’t a geek. Cosplay is a dangerous hobby, and not just in the crafting phase. I have lost count of how many times I have stabbed myself (and others, but who cares about them?) with a spiky pauldron or helmet. Once, I accidentally hit myself in the head with a prop Gorehowl I nicked from a friend (and I hope he doesn’t read this blog, because he would never let me live it down).

Lately, I also returned to doing a bit of LARP’ing when I went to Witcher School in Poland. They taught us fencing and archery, let us throw around sharp axes, taught us how to make fire with a knife and steel, and had us fight huge monsters, so honestly it’s amazing that I didn’t lose a leg or set my hair on fire. I even only got ONE bruise and that was not my fault, as I got tackled by a striga.

Which just makes it more embarrassing how much I have injured myself with the wolf medallion they gave me… Turns out that if you’re lying on your couch, playing around with a spiky medallion made of pure metal and then drops it on your collarbone… It hurts. I also discovered I was getting bruised along my ribs from where the medallion was bouncing against my body through thin t-shirts while wearing it all day.

Cosplay Pauldron Witcher Medallion

And Then, Of Course… the Owl

It wouldn’t be a true Louringnese blog post if it bore no mention of Artemis, the Feathery Terror.

This tiny owl usually only bites me (when out in the public, he’s the perfect gentleman), but he can do an impressive amount of damage if you let him get his beak into the skin between your thumb and index finger.

There have also been a few cases of poor navigation, and there’s really no way to prepare yourself for an owl suddenly colliding with your face.

Owl Bite


I don’t know why I just did a whole post about how accident-prone I am. Maybe I should do a post about something I’m good at?

I’ll let you know when I figure out what that is.

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Witcher School Withdrawals

Carlsberg Beer Witcher Medallion

Getting back to real life has been tough.

I think I dodged the Post-Game Depression I know to be common among Witcher School graduates, but that might just be because I haven’t fully let go of being a witcher just yet.

I had expected the constant thoughts analyzing the stories and characters I encountered at Moszna Castle. I even expected insisting on wearing my Wolf School medallion to work every day, even though it stands out in a consultant office and constantly knocks stuff over on my desk whenever I reach for something, like a small canine-shaped wrecking ball.

But I didn’t expect to be unconsciously practicing fencing pirouettes in the office bathroom. Or sitting at my desk at 7:30 in the morning, going through emails and suddenly thinking, “I should be at morning workout.”

I’m a lazy person. I like doing nothing and not moving all day.

So why am I itching to swing a sword? I wasn’t even good at it!

I even miss all the yelling.

I hate people raising their voice. Usually, nothing makes me angrier than someone thinking they need, or even have the right, to yell at me.

Now I can’t get used to how softly everyone are speaking when addressing me.

The other day, I found myself reaching for one of the beers I bought for a party more than a year ago and which is still standing in my fridge.

I had to remind myself that I had only been drinking a lot of beer in Poland because my character liked it. If I had liked it, it wouldn’t still be in the damn fridge.

Carlsberg Beer Witcher Medallion

Witcher School lasted 3 days. I’m convinced you shouldn’t be acting like this unless you got used to something over several months, at least…

If I start missing Pebbles the Earth Elemental, promise you’ll all stage an intervention for me.