UNTO: All Scribes

FROM: Alarice Beatrix von Thal, Principality Provost of Scribes

Greetings, finally!

This is February Scribenotes. Unfortunately it is a little late, because just when I was due to produce it, I had to move house, and it's taken me until now to uncover the computer. Some of you may have realised I had moved if you have tried to phone, however I should have got your letters because I have a mail redirection.

So here it is:

7/7-11 Stokes Street

Phone number is (02) 428 3767, and incidentally my work number is (02) 257 3111, (not the number in Pegasus, this is being corrected), but try to avoid using it unless you need to get me urgently - I'm usually very busy and can't talk long.

Scribe of the Month

I need to announce Scribe of the Month, but since my scrolls are a little hard to access at the moment, that's a bit of a challenge. As far as I can fathom from memory and available records, the winner if Muirghein ni Ghrainne, from Aneala, with 6 points. Unfortunately, this announcement lacks a little in grandeur, sorry about the Muirghein, but thank you for your efforts, the College really appreciates it.

Scribenotes 10, at the end of April (I hope), will announce the winner for the year, who will get a free year's membership. So start sending those scrolls in! Also next month, I hope to be reorganised enough to supply current backlog figures so we can all see how we are going.

Scroll Sizes

To settle the confusion about scroll sizes, these are the rules. There is no minimum sizes for a scroll, provided the seals and signatures will fit (apparently some have been done in the West as miniatures - a very cute idea, just as long as there is enough room for the seals and signatures). In general, the maximum sizes of peerage scrolls is around the A2 size, and the maximum for AAs and Leaves is A3. The sizes which are on the American wordings I hand out are 18" x 24" and 14" x 11". These imperial sizes approximately equal A2 and A3 metric respectively. I'm not going to measure every scroll I get, these are guidelines, so use your judgement.

If you want to do something larger than that, then you need to seek approval of the College to do it. Keep in mind that all Peerage scrolls need to be sent to the States for signing and sealing, and while they can be delivered there rolled up in a tube, the seals generally prevent them being transported any other way than flat. Anyone who has ever transported scrolls for me will know that the larger the scroll case, the more trouble one has convincing airline staff to let you carry it. Other considerations are whether the person you are doing it for will be able to afford to frame it, or fit it on their wall. Keeping these things in mind, there is nothing, in principle, to prevent you doing a scroll larger than recommended sizes. Just check with me first.

Looking for a Job?

Maybe you would like to be Principality Scribe?

I took on this job in October 1989, and am therefore due to step down in October 1991. Because of a recent promotion, my mundane commitments are getting on top of me and I'm not sure I can last until October with this Principality office, at least, not running it the way I would like to see it done. I therefore propose to give up my office at the Coronet event in August (Llyn Arien). If I can't find a replacement before August I will carry on, but I can't guarantee the quality of the job any more. So I have now begun to fish for replacements.

What do you need to be a good Principality Scribe? Well, you need to be prepared to spend a fair amount of time answering queries from scribes and administering assignments. This is harder to control than you might imagine, and requires a fair level of diligence.. If you have a computer with software that keeps track of assignments for you, then it would probably be easier, but this is not a prerequisite. It would certainly help if you had a good knowledge of calligraphy and illumination techniques, so that you can perform the teaching obligations of the office, or at least have an expert close at hand to act as adviser for new scribes, and in judging the quality of exemplars received.

You need to be prepared to spend a large proportion of principality events rounding up previous royalty and tying them down to sign scrolls (unless you travel a lot, this would be your main opportunity to get it done). You need to organise regular couriers around the country and to the States. If you are in an outlying group this will be difficult unless you want to rely on the mail a lot. As you probably all know, I am rather opposed to relying on the mail, but there is nothing to stop you doing it. The Post does tend to be rather nasty on seals and the edges of scrolls, but good packaging may prevent that.

Which brings me to cost. Sending batches of scrolls blanks around the country is quite expensive and adds up quickly. If you need to courier stuff to and from the States through lack of travellers, then that is even more expensive. If you decide to send a regular newsletter such as Scribenotes, you will be sending it to around fifty people (on the mailing list at present), and a couple overseas. And then there is the burden of long distance phone calls. There is some money belonging to the office, but in general this needs to be spent on materials for poorer scribes, and not solely on administration.

However, the job does have its pluses. You learn a lot about scribing and techniques by being able to study everyone's work. You meet a lot of people you wouldn't normally meet. You get to see all the scrolls before everyone else and you get to see them all up close - not just a quick glimpse during court. And of course you get the pride and satisfaction of being a contributing member of the Principality.

If you are interested in the job, please write to me expressing your interest and how you could run the office. Unfortunately, it is not up to me to choose my replacement, I will pass on your applications to my superior in the West to decide. But I would like to have my replacement settled well before August.


Well, that's about it from me this month. I am sorry that I will be unable to attend the Coronet event in Aneala in May, but I look forward to seeing many of you at the Rowany Festival later this month.

Until then, I remain, Yours in Service,