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Archive for April, 2012

27
Apr

Wayfarers Benefit Night

   Posted by: Dan    in Events, News

On Sunday, May 20th, the Wayfarers are hitting the road and coming to lovely Hudson, Massachussetts.

We will be joining the amazing Tom Lanigan Band at the Harvest Café (at 40 Washington St) for an evening of food and drink, music and fundraising. With the help of some fantastic local businesses like Hair Divine, Hair by Chaves, Serendipity (Jewelery, Art & Whimsy), and T. C. Lando’s, we are putting on a great auction that will help us push towards our goal of $100,000 for worldwide cancer research and support.

We only have a limited number of spaces available for the event, so if you’re going to be in the Hudson area on the 20th – or are lucky enough to live there – use PayPal (with the handy widget below!) to pay for your tickets by May 16th to ensure we have the right amount of food to satisfy everyone!

[Update: Unfortunately due to lack of interest, the Benefit Night has been cancelled. Thank you for thinking of us!]

24
Apr

Interview: R.A. Salvatore

   Posted by: Dan    in Interview

This week we continue our series on the ‘blog: interviews with speculative fiction authors and illustrators about things that matter to them and to us here in the Wayfarers. Our first interviews (with J.M. Frey and Tim Marquitz) were well-received and we’re really excited to have the legendary R.A. Salvatore with us this week. If you’re new to the site, please take a moment to check out our home page and read what the Quest for the Cure is all about – raising $100,000 for cancer research and support worldwide, by doing a 500-mile trip from Belfast to Edinburgh this October using only medieval gear.

R.A. Salvatore

R. A. Salvatore

New York Times bestseller R.A. Salvatore needs no introduction for most fantasy readers – his expansive Dark Elf series about the adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden set in the Forgotten Realms world of the official Dungeons and Dragons universe were many peoples’ first looks into high fantasy, and his other works – the DemonWars Saga, the Saga of the First King, and even the novelization of Star Wars: Episode II – have touched millions of readers. You can find his work on Goodreads, Amazon and Chapters-Indigo.

On a personal note, Salvatore’s Dark Elf series contained a scene called the grand melee, where drow students would fight in simulated combat – the last man standing won a prize worth fighting for. This single scene inspired me (and co-Wayfarer Adam) to look into this strange thing called Amtgard more than a decade ago; without our involvement in Amtgard and its greater community this walk never would have happened.

In today’s interview, Salvatore talks about why he wrote his first novel, motivations, and LARPing.

1. In your opinion, is fantasy inherently about the hero’s journey – literal or rhetorical – or about something else? How does this play out in your work? Read the rest of this entry »

20
Apr

Join us tomorrow!

   Posted by: Dan    in Uncategorized

Tomorrow we are doing our second public training walk, where you will have the chance to see how we’re training and how it will feel to walk one of the more-than-twenty days we will be walking just six months from now in Scotland (six months from today we’ll be approaching Scone, getting close to the last leg of our journey!).

We start at 9:00am at High Park subway station and will be walking east on Bloor from there to Dundas West. Most of our eastward journey will be across College and Carlton, taking the pedestrian bridge across the Don Valley Parkway and continuing along Gerrard. We’ll head north on Coxwell like last time and take a straight shot across Danforth and Bloor back to High Park to wrap it up.

Lunch will once again be taken at a pub along the way. We’ll be tweeting along the way to let anyone who would like to join us do so at a convenient time and place.

Rowan, War Dog extraordinaire

War dog Rowan has decided to sit this one out.

Remember the cautions from our last walk:

What should you bring, you ask? If you intend to be with us the whole way, bring comfortable clothing and good shoes – and make sure you’re wearing appropriate socks, too! Your feet aren’t the only part of you that will be sore by the end of the day, but they’ll be the worst off unless you’re very careful.

Bring a water bottle and some snacks – things like trail mix or even just peanuts are great. We’ll be stopping here and there on the way but we don’t want to make too many trips to convenience stores, since every trip will hold up the whole group.

Plan for the weather – if it looks like rain, bring a good coat and maybe a hat. If it looks like sun, a hat is still a good idea! Sunscreen is a good idea too, even though it’s still March.

Finally, bring money for lunch – you’re going to want to eat it, I promise! – and plenty of smiles and laughs. The best part of these walks is companionship, and we’re going to be spreading the word about the Wayfarers while we walk!

We hope to see you out and have a bit of a larger group than last time! Though I hear our vicious war dog will not be joining us this time, sadly…

17
Apr

Interview: Tim Marquitz

   Posted by: Dan    in Interview

This week we continue our series on the ‘blog: interviews with speculative fiction authors and illustrators about things that matter to them and to us here in the Wayfarers. Our first interview with J.M. Frey was a hit and we’re excited to have Tim Marquitz with us this week. If you’re new to the site, please take a moment to check out our front page and read what the Quest for the Cure is all about – raising $100,000 for cancer research and support worldwide, by doing a 500-mile trip from Belfast to Edinburgh this October using only medieval gear.

Tim Marquitz

Tim Marquitz
Photo from his website by Rena Mason

Texas-based Tim Marquitz began writing in 1995 and was published a few years later as the dark-fantasy writer his metal-music upbringing would be proud of.

We know Tim through Amtgard, the live-action roleplaying game that he has been playing since he was fifteen years old, 2500 kilometres (1500 miles) away from where we live. He has been instrumental in change throughout the game system and we touch on that, his writing, and his thoughts on motivation in today’s interview.

You can find his books on Goodreads and on Amazon and Chapters-Indigo, and learn more at his website.

1. How does your work involve people, events, or actions that change the world? Read the rest of this entry »

13
Apr

Heavy Armour, Hard To Carry?

   Posted by: Dan    in Quest, Research, Training

My armour is probably the most visible thing we’ve worn to date on our public training walks. It has gotten a few comments from people, from ex-SCA players to people who wanted to know if we were making a movie; some people have wanted to touch it or even try it on. (Sadly, I have to turn down the ones who want to try it on – I would have to take off my pack, and I’m always worried that once I take it off I’ll never convince myself to put it back on…)

In a recent article on the Science NOW website, some researchers at the University of Leeds did tests on a person’s energy output when walking in 30-50kg of plate armour and found that it expended “more than twice” the energy that just walking did.

The linked article explains that a lot of that comes from leg armour, of which I won’t be wearing much – greaves, sabatons and cuisses are just things I do not own and likely won’t by the time we leave (though if you’re looking to get rid of some…). My chainmail and other armour is mostly arm and torso protection; while the arms are far enough away from my centre of gravity to cause a bit more wear, the fact that I can swing them close (or even fold them, if it comes down to it) will mitigate that.

The armour is heavy, and it certainly takes a toll – I was more tired after my last training walk than the one before it, despite more training in between them, because of the armour being worn. I also just received more armour that I’ll be wearing – some plate for my arms and shoulders – which adds probably 15-20 pounds by themselves. I’ll be doing a full weigh-in on my entire kit very soon so that everything’s accurate by the end of it all, mostly for my own interest.

In addition to all the gear we’ll be carrying – tent, food, cooking ware and health supplies – this armour will be a great strain across my back that I can’t share with the rest of my party. As I play D&D – fairly regularly again, starting just a couple months ago – every time our characters stop for the night I imagine how it’s going to feel to take off the armour…

… and I realize that they don’t, if they want to stay protected during that first watch.

Ouch.

10
Apr

Interview: J.M. Frey

   Posted by: Dan    in Interview

This week we are starting an exciting new series on the ‘blog: interviews with speculative fiction authors and illustrators about things that matter to them and to us here in the Wayfarers. If you’re new to the site, please take a moment to check out our front page and read what the Quest for the Cure is all about – raising $100,000 for cancer research and support worldwide, by doing a 500-mile trip from Belfast to Edinburgh this October using only medieval gear.

JM Frey, our first interviewee

J.M. Frey
Photo from her website by Jim Tinios

Toronto-based J.M. Frey (pronounced “fry”) is a sci-fi and fantasy author, receiving a number of awards for her short-form work in novellas and short stories; she has also been a guest panelist on Space!channel and is an avid cosplayer – so she understands about our costumes! Her debut novel, TRIPTYCH, is available at Chapters and Amazon, and you can check her out on the web at her website (jmfrey.net) and on Twitter (@scifrey). She is also one of those awesome authors who frequents literary social media site Goodreads.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Ms Frey for responding to our email with such enthusiasm. Our Quest would not be possible without the support of outstanding people like you!

Let’s jump right in:

1. How does your work involve people, events, or actions that change the world? Read the rest of this entry »

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3
Apr

A True Quest… Square Enix Style

   Posted by: Dan    in Uncategorized

For April Fool’s this year, Google gave us a great gift – an 8-bit version of their phenomenal Google Maps software.

Half a dozen people pointed it out to us while it was on this weekend, but because of our training and other commitments we didn’t get to it in time to make something of it. Thankfully, our resources are endless… and my friend Brittany is brilliant. She pointed out that it was still possible to use if you knew the browser code.

Here is our Quest and the eight “levels” we’re going to be meeting: Belfast, Glasgow, Fort William, Culloden, Scone, Stirling, Rosslyn Chapel and Edinburgh. It’s listed at just under 500 miles because it doesn’t take into account things like the trip around Loch Lomond and walking within the cities – which will take us well over the 8-mile difference you see here.

So who wants to design us some 8-bit avatars to come on this journey with us?

 


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