Did you miss me? Aw, that’s sweet. I’m around, but I’ve been busy working on the sequel to Temp and contributing to my alma mater’s alumni blog. If you’re a Mayer fan, then bless you. Enjoy this post about the fantasy life, and stay tuned for the fall release of Temp’s sequel. Cheerio!
When you’re a writer, you essentially sit alone in a room all day and talk to yourself. That’s not healthy behavior. It’s important to get up and go visit the world you are describing. Talk to people. Get messy. Pay attention to who folks are, what they do, and why they do it. Soak in the sounds, smells, and sensory nuances that make an environment what it is.
That was the enterprising attitude that led me to the sidelines of a thing called Dagorhir.
If you’re not familiar with Dagorhir, it’s basically a group of folks who gather in local parks, dress up like medieval or fantasy warriors, and pop each other with sticks for a couple hours. Through the miracles of Facebook, I recently learned that a former high school cohort does this nearby.
I was intrigued.
He arranged for me to show up, enjoy the crowd, and snap a few shots. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but let me tell you, these people are not messing around.
I showed up to the appointed park at the appointed time, camera ready, sunglasses off so I could take in the full glory of the forty or so people bolting across a dusty field with swords in full view of picnickers, tree climbers, runners, and a busy street. I scanned the troops for my friend, but then remembered I hadn’t seen him in years and had no clue what he looked like outside of Facebook. I queried the crowd, knowing he was a prominent member, but no one knew a Jeff.
“Jeff!” I yelled into the crowd of warriors. Nobody turned. “Jeff!” I tried again. At long last, a lone soldier eased around to face me. He was a stern bearded fellow, bedecked in layers of armor. Silly me, here he goes by Leaf.
We caught up on the pleasantries and he filled me in on the ground rules of battle, which are intricate and fairly strict. These players are serious about their craft. They have cool swag that they make themselves and can tell you which type of foam is best for forging which type of weapon. A lot of their handiwork looked good enough to make it onto a movie set. Dagorhir is a real sport, with lots of dust, sweat, running, and good fun.
Some might scoff at Dagorhir for being unusual, but I admire the clan. These are people who embrace their imagination and still know how to play. As kids, we know how to play with gusto, but the too-cool years of teenhood smack that out of us. I wanted to visit this group because their behavior is considered off-the-beaten in our society, but mostly because I admire that they can stick to their guns and rock what they think is fun.
If you are the type of person who pokes haughty jibes at others for loving costumes and swordplay, then someone should blow a raspberry at you. Actually, let me: Pffft! Scoffing is no fun at all, but joining up with fun folks to whack swords and run around with arms cut off? That actually is fun.
I say long live Dagorhir, even if it is wicked hard to spell. The next time you see some medieval warriors going at it in a public park, give them a nod. Or, better yet, grab a foam sword and get to clobbering.