Here is the last video from the archery series I did on Hypable.com. This video was released last Friday on the same day as The Hunger Games movie opening. Hope you like it! They were a blast to do. And please remember, I am in no way an expert, just a hobbiest having fun.
Join me in Part 2 of the video series I did through Hypable.com looking at archery and how it relates to The Hunger Games. In this video I look more at the recurve bow and the different parts of the arrow.
In anticipation of the upcoming The Hunger Games movie I have teamed up with Hypable to release a 3 part video series looking at archery and how it relates to Katniss. In the first part I show you some of the different types of bows there are and the kind that Katniss would be using. Check it out and let me know what you think!
This past weekend I got to spend a day in nerd paradise: the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Up until a few weeks ago I was completely ignorant that this paradise existed. It was not until after I began writing blog posts about my not-so-secret secret fantasy to be Maid Marian or an elf from The Lord of the Rings (or any number of fictional characters that wield swords and bows) that I was enlightened by my stepmother. When she told me of this most wonderful Faire and asked if I wanted to go I answered with a resounding “YES”. So it was that this past Sunday I entered nerdtopia.
The Faire was presided over by King Henry II and his wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. I became very giddy when I found out about this because, as you may know, this is the time period just before the legend of Robin Hood. I hoped this meant that my dear Robin would make an appearance and I was not disappointed. We had barely been there 15 minutes when my dad said, “There’s your boy.” Confused, I turned my head and let out a gasp as I saw Robin and Marian casually traipsing by. I gracefully leapt to my feet and started jumping up and down squealing about how I wanted a picture. I then took off after the merry pair at something between a skip and a prance.
It did not take long to catch up with them and they were more than happy to oblige me with a picture. I, of course, felt the need to tell Robin (yes, we are on a first name basis) that I am a fellow archer complete with a pantomime of me drawing a bow. We had a nice little discussion about our archery skills where I regaled him of my recent triumph of skewering an apple. Twice. He was very friendly and invited me to join him later when he and Marian did a storytime with the children. I ran into him not long after and, not only did he remember me, HE sought ME out to remind me to join him for the story. I did indeed attend and it was incredibly cute. He thanked me for coming after it was over.
One of the things that I was most looking forward to at the Faire was the joust. That’s right, there was a joust and it was just as exciting as I had imagined. There were two knights, Sir William and Sir Jacob, who competed against each other. Each side of the stands was given a knight to cheer for. My side was given Sir William, the knight of
Gryffindor red and gold, while the other side had Sir Jacob, the knight of Slytherin green and gray. They took four passes at each other and then engaged in a sword fight from both horseback and foot. Naturally Sir William won and I was able to get a picture with him.
The Faire was not as big as I had expected, but it was still full of fun vendors, rides for the kids, many different stages with a variety of entertainment, some of the best people watching I have ever been a part of, and delicious food. There was also a station where for $5 you got to ride a horse. You better believe I jumped all over that! The ride actually lasted a decent amount of time and served to get me more excited than ever for the trip my husband and I are going to be taking to Bed & Breakfast where we get to go horseback riding. I should probably mention that I felt the need to tell the girl leading my horse all of this as well. And I told her about my bow. And my desire for a sword. And that I’ve written a fantasy book. When I get giddy I lose all filter… *hangs head in shame*
As you can probably tell, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire was an experience that cheered my nerdy little heart. I was right in my element. Now that I know of its existence I will be marking my calendar for it each year. Maybe next year I will even take my bow with me!
As a parting gift I am going to leave you with the quote of the day. One of the events at the Faire was a live chess game between Prince Richard and Prince John to determine who would be heir to the throne. Before this chess match happened there was a prosessional through the Faire of all the characters. As they passed by, many of the heralds and knights called out for everyone to make their way to the chessboard. This is what one such character called out: Make your way to the chessboard! It’s like Harry Potter, but for straight people!
Have you ever been to a period Faire like this? What was your favorite part? Did you dress up? Any funny experiences to share? If you haven’t been, would you want to go? Let me know in the comments.
If you want to see more pictures you can visit my Facebook Page.
My long time love affair with all things fantasy and historical has resulted in me having a strange fascination with archery. From Robin Hood to the elves in Lord of the Rings to battles fought in ancient times, archery has become romanticized in my mind. It was natural, then, for it to play a significant role in my own writing. Armed with the excuse that it was research for my novel I began to learn everything I could about archery. I researched the different types of bows, the parts of arrows, which peoples in history utilized each kind, how far each bow could shoot, the proper technique for shooting – I learned it all. And my fingers began to itch for my very own bow.
Somehow I was blessed with an amazing husband who pays attention to the strange things that his nerdy wife wants and, even more impressive, encourages the pursuit of those strange desires. So what does he do? He gets me my very own recurve bow for Christmas!
After I opened it he told me that all of our friends thought he was crazy when he told them what he had gotten me. No one believed that I really wanted it – they thought it was really a gift he wanted for himself. It hasn’t taken long for everyone to realize how wrong their assumptions were. Of course, when everyone finds out why I wanted a bow they laugh and look at me as though I have grown a second head. I guess people still don’t realize what a true and utter nerd I am.
I have now been out a few times to shoot and I love it even more than I could have imagined. My husband set up a shooting range for us (he has since gotten a compound bow) in a fenced off wooded area on his parent’s property. It’s incredible. I feel like I am in Sherwood forest or Lothlorien when I am out there.
I haven’t gotten to shoot nearly as often as I would like, but enough that I have learned the importance of proper technique, such as keeping the arm holding the bow slightly bent.
After about an hour of shooting I was already getting a blister on one of my fingers and had popped myself on the arm with the bow string, so we went to buy me some protection. I got a nice arm guard and a special glove that would protect the three fingers I use to shoot. With my new protection I was ready to go. Apparently I was also tired. I started locking my arm with the result of popping myself on the inner edge of my elbow – an area not protected – four times. It hurt. Badly.
The next time I went out I made sure to always keep my arm slightly bent and I made it through nearly two hours of shooting without once popping myself. Yay me! And, even better, I was already improving. I still can’t hit the specific spot I’m aiming for, but at least I am starting to hit the target nearly every time – even if it is only from ten yards. Hey, I’ll take it. I gotta start somewhere, right?
Needless to say, I have a new
obsession hobby. I can not wait until the next time I can get out there and pretend that I am Maid Marian or Arwen. Now all I need is a sword and shield.
Have you ever tried archery? Do you have any strange things that you are interested in (or normal things for strange reasons)? Let me know in the comments.
There was a bee. I swear!
I’m getting better
As I mentioned before, my series looking at some of the characters from Harry Potter has concluded and today I am going to be starting a new series. I had an idea for what I wanted this next series to be about, but recent events have caused me to change my mind. In light of the fabulous recurve bow I received for Christmas and my newfound archery skills, I have decided to do a series on the most famous archer there is: Robin Hood.
The Man Beneath the Hood
I doubt there is anyone who has not heard the name Robin Hood and some version of his story. Over the centuries his story has morphed and grown with each retelling. Today, most of us know him as a noble turned outlaw who lived in the Sherwood forest where he and his merry men would steal from the rich to give to poor. But how much of the legend is true? Did Robin Hood really exist and if so who was he?
Historians and scholars have been seeking the answers to these questions for years and none have been able to come up with any definitive answers. One of the earliest written records of a candidate for the famous outlaw comes from the year 1225. In an assize from York there is an entry for a Robert Hod, fugitive who had chattels worth 32 shillings and 6 pence. This same entry is included later with the addition of the nickname “Hobbehod”. Other than the name and the fact that he was an outlaw, there is nothing to connect Robert to the Robin Hood of legend.
Most of the other records of men with names that could be considered a variation of Robin Hood have something else that seems to disqualify them. Many of them were not actual outlaws and others appeared at a time too late to be considered serious candidates. There is evidence that the name Robin Hood was symbolic of outlaws as early as 1261 when an outlaw by the name of William son of Robert le Fevere is referred to in an official document as William Robehod. There are even some who believe that the name was never anything more than a symbol that various outlaws wore as a mantle. If he was a real man, though, the account of William Robehod seems to support the idea that he was around during the time of King Richard and Prince John or an even earlier time in history.
I am certainly no historical scholar, but it seems to me that if Robin Hood was based on a real person it was probably a compilation of multiple people. Thankfully, the people who are actual historical scholars agree with me. Score one for me.
There was a man named Hereward the Wake who was an outlaw in the time of William the Conqueror and fought against the Normans. Two centuries later Eustace the Monk left the monastery and became an outlaw. He began his career in the forest, but later moved to the Channel where he led a fleet of pirates. Around the same time as Eustace one of the more interesting candidates came on the scene.
Fulk fitz Warrin was a baron from Shropshire who had been a childhood playmate of Prince John. Beginning in the year 1200 he spent three years living as an outlaw in the forest after which time he was pardoned. It seems, though, that Fulk enjoyed the life of rebellion. In the year 1215 he left the king’s peace and joined the rebellion of barons who supported the Magna Carta.
On the surface, these three men may seem to have very little to do with Robin Hood, but there are many parallels between some of the things they are reported to have done and the stories of Robin Hood. Things like adopting the same disguises as Robin, such as a potter, and rewarding those waylaid for displays of honesty can be attributed to these men. It is also speculated that the idea of the displaced noble could have stemmed from Fulk.
There are many other names throughout the centuries that have been claimed by some to be connected to legendary outlaw. Whether or not any of them are the actual inspiration for the legend is not yet known, but it is fascinating to look through the possible candidates. And who knows, maybe one day the crucial piece of evidence will be found that definitively ties one of these men, or someone we don’t even know about yet, to the outlaw of Sherwood forest.
What are your thoughts on the search for the real Robin Hood? Do you believe he was a real person or a compilation of people? Or do you think that he was never anything more than a symbol with no historical counterpart? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Last week I talked about how I no longer get that excited anticipation for Christmas as I did in childhood, but I still always love the actual day. This year was no exception. Christmas morning I got to watch my two 3 year old nephews tear through wrapping paper as fast as their tiny hands could rip it open and squeal in delight at what they uncovered. My husband and I then got to spend the rest of the day with my family members. It was a day full of good food and lots of laughter.
This year, for the first time in ages, I was really excited about the gifts we had gotten for everyone. We had a little more money than we usually do, so we were able to get some really nice things that we knew our friends and family really wanted. Watching all of them open their gifts was just as thrilling as I had hoped. Everyone was so pleased (and surprised) with what we were able to give them. It felt amazing to be able to give back a little something to the people who give us so much throughout the year.
And then it was my turn.
I must have been a really good girl this year because, let me tell ya, Santa got me some good stuff. I know it’s not supposed to be about what you get from others, but it would be wrong of me not to brag on the things they got me. Right?
As usual my mom went overboard and got me boxes and boxes of fabulous clothes (even after all these years she does most of my clothes shopping). My sister got me some clothes and a super fun Glee bag (pictured above). From my in laws I got a Glee board game, some boots, the entire DVD set of the BBC Robin Hood series, and some other goodies. My dad got me some groovy pajamas and a Kindle (woot woot!).
One of the funnest things I got was from two of my really good friends. They got me a wand, but not just any wand. This wand can be programmed to be a remote control for the TV. With 13 different wand movements I can adjust the volume, change channels, and all kinds of other stuff. How fun is that??
Then there are the gifts from my husband. He outdid himself this year. He got us a two night stay at this really nice bed and breakfast that is on a ranch. Included in this stay are four 2-hour horseback riding sessions. I am beyond excited. I’ve only ridden a horse once and I loved it. Gah! I can’t wait!
But not even that was my favorite gift. My husband also got me a recurve bow and some arrows. I can now live out my fantasy of being Robin Hood (or the bad ass version of Maid Marian from the BBC series).
Thank you for indulging my need to gush over my fantastic Christmas gifts. I am sure that the two gifts from my husband will make for some fun blog posts in the future. Especially when you take into account my extreme klutziness.
What about you? Any especially awesome gifts you got this year? Any other holiday stories you would like to share? Let me know in the comments.