I am about to have a very busy November (so what else is new?)
I’ve decided that I am once again going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). This is what produced my first and second books, as well as a redraft and work on the sequel to Acceptance.
This year, I’m going to use it to finish up my fan fiction so I can get that off my plate and move back to my books. Writing the fanfic was fun while I was in the midst of moving and didn’t have the time to work on my regular stuff, but now that we’re settled, I need to get back to my serious work.
(I’m also going to count any work I do on my blog towards NaNo, since I also need to revive that and get back in the habit of posting regularly.)
So, task number one: write 50,000 words in November. That should be enough to complete my story so I can move on to new things in the new year.
(Have I mentioned that I have an idea for a new romance novel? I’ve already got a basic plot planned and the time and place set. Ideally, I will get Flames of Prague published sometime next year and I will write the new book—tentatively called The Siege of Orléans—during next year’s NaNo.)
My second task for November is to make my husband a Viking outfit. A good friend of ours in the SCA recently lost his 7-year battle with cancer, and his wife is preparing a Viking memorial and sendoff for him and has asked that people come dressed. Despite the fact that we have a closet full of medieval clothes, my husband has nothing which is Viking-era. In fact, we almost never deviate from the 14th century. The exceptions are my husband’s Elizabethan, which he wore to a friend’s Renaissance-themed Laurel elevation, and a Saxon outfit that I made for myself on a whim.
Since the Saxons were repeatedly invaded by the Vikings—and a settlement of Vikings ended up living alongside the Saxons in England—my outfit will work. So that leaves me just making something for my husband.
What’s kind of odd about my husband not having anything Viking or Viking-era is the fact that “early-period” clothing is very commonly worn in the SCA. The T-tunic style is generally considered easy to make (although, for some strange reason, I’ve not found that to be true for me), you don’t need a pattern—measurements will do, both men’s and women’s styles typically take less fabric than most other options, and both wear better in the summer in the South than later-period clothing (that’s because Vikings roamed prior to the mini Ice-Age setting in, so summers in Europe were as warm or even warmer than they are now, and people all over dressed lighter than they did in later centuries).
So, needless to say, Viking wear is popular (even before the television show came out).
But I wanted to make something different—something you don’t see a lot of—while staying true to the theme of the memorial.
While researching men’s Viking-era clothing, I came across this new interpretation of pre-Christian Viking-wear by Annika Larsson, based on digs in Sweden and Russia.
We knew, of course, that the Vikings traded/raided quite far into Russia for a few hundred years, but it’s obvious that they brought back some Russian clothing styles as well—although this style was probably local to Sweden. As we like to say in the SCA, “Viking” isn’t a people, it’s an occupation. And Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Gotlanders, and Finns—i.e. Norse people—went viking separately and quite possibly collectively. So, while there was a lot of trade and communication back and forth between them, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your Swedish Viking is wearing the same things as your Danish one.
Unfortunately, my husband didn’t like this style; he said it looked too much like an apron in the front.
Undeterred in my quest for unique Viking wear, however, I continued to scour the internet until I came across yet more Swedish coats—this time, sans apron.
This style met with his approval; we both like the horizontal bands across the chest. It’s also versatile. Late November in Tennessee can be cold or it might be decent–bordering on warm. We’ll be in a hall most of the day, which is climate controlled (and therefore warm), but may be outside after dark, when it might be cold. He can take the coat off if he gets too warm and put it on if it gets cold outside.
The coat will be a dark green linsey-woolsey and I’ve decided that the undertunic will be blue. The question now is what color I will use for the coat trim and the undertunic embroidery. I plan on trimming the coat with fox fur—including that shoulder piece from the red outfit—and make a matching hat. The fur is orangey-brown, so I’m thinking that red will clash with it (although I wanted to do red embroidery on the blue undertunic; I may end up not putting fox around the bottom of the coat so it doesn’t directly clash). I was thinking yellow for the trim on the green coat, but I’ll have to see what matches the fur.
Think it will look weird if I carry a somewhat mangey-looking old fox fur coat into Jo-Ann’s to compare fabric to it?