I’m from New England, and fall is my favorite time of year. The crisp autumn air, the beautiful foliage, the way the light changes and turns everything gold in the late afternoon. Apple picking (apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, apple bread…) and pumpkins. It’s the time when I miss new England the most.
Fall is also renaissance festival time here in Maryland. Yes, I am a ren faire geek. I’ve been going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival for almost 20 years now (dating myself, I know). Even when I didn’t live here I’d always make a point to come back and visit in the fall. It helps that many of my friends are ren faire geeks also. What’s not to love? Steak on a stake! Fried mac and cheese! Heck, food just tastes better when it’s ON A STICK. Jousting, singing pirates, and many great performers. The people watching is sometimes as much fun as watching the actual performers. And yes, we do often go in costume. I’ve acquired some pieces over the years. It’s fun to get “wenched out,” and I’m modest compared to some people! Being strapped into a bodice all day really does improve your posture. And make you appreciate not having to wear one all the time.
I also love the ren faire because I feel like it’s the closest I may come to experiencing the kind of fantasy world I write about. It’s not quite as gritty–there’s no open sewage and most people there have bathed recently–but the dirt streets and wooden shops do remind me of how I’ve envisioned my book. I sometimes envy people who write realistic fiction. If they want to research a place, they can read about it or go there and experience it themselves. Us fantasy writers don’t have that luxury.
One thing the ren faire has that my book does not: men in kilts. And that’s another reason to keep going back. 🙂