The Forum

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What follows are a few emails from the original creators of our Baronial Newsletter, The Forum, Katarina Wanderer and Wulfwen of the Bells. Co-Chroniclers for about three years, they sometimes signed Forum articles 'Wulfkat'.

-Milesent Vibert Chronicler

Actually, the whole "Forum" story is kind of funny...Katarina (now Peregrine) tells it better than I, but here goes!

Let me just say first: I have *no* idea of the actual time frame. I am sure Karen does, though...

Karen and I were sitting around debating what we'd do if we had a newsletter to run. Actually, what she would do and I would help to fact-check and proofread! And it was fun. So we penciled out a little draft (literally a "little" draft; it was a sheet of 8.5 x 11 folded down five or six times to make "pages"!). And we realized that Cleftlands had no newsletter (that we knew of), and so we decided to run it by His Grace (Her Grace wasn't attending much at that point, due, I believe, to real-world time constraints).

He liked our (mostly Katarina's) plan. He liked it so much, he said to go for it! He also informed us that, per Kingdom requirements, the Barony *did too* have a newsletter...only it was put out infrequently, as situations required, and was edited by Her Grace. He suggested that Her Grace should be the titular Editor-in-Chief, and we the actual Editors. Of course, we loved that!

As we were walking away from His Grace with foolish smiles on our faces, rubbing our hands together gleefully and heading for Emmelyne (to arrange funding), he called us back. "You *do* know, don't you, that being the Chronicler is an *office*?" We hadn't really though that far, of course! We looked at each other, gulped a bit, and tried to look like we did, in fact, know that... I don't think he was fooled! We were both at the time from *geographically* outside the barony, but only participated there. I guess it counted!

As the organizational plans for the newsletter began to take shape, we needed a name. And we ran a "contest" asking for suggestions. Many Cleftlanders were kind enough to submit ideas, and the one we liked best was "The Forum." It seemed to reflect what we hoped the newsletter would become...a place where anyone could print anything they needed to be known, and where a thoughtful and (hopefully) useful exchange of information could take place. I don't remember who suggested the name, but I believe Katarina printed it in the first issue titled the "Forum." I believe there was one or two issues prior to the name selection, but I can't remember.

Katarina did all the desktop publishing, layout and most of the writing. I did some of the writing, checked names and protocol, and helped to proofread. The only thing I contributed that (I think) is still there was the "Hoobah" corner...the rest was all her. It was cool!

And we made it so.


What Wulfie wrote in her original email is what happened. But you really need to know that the fact that she volunteered to do the dirty work of proofing and fact checking meant that the load was evenly split, in my opinion--no matter what she says! :-)

And Wulfie did her share of info gathering, and making sure that everything I wrote was actually in English...there was lots of collaboration on the writing as whole, especially during the proofing and editing process.

And we had absolutely -no- idea that we were volunteering to fill an office. And I'm betting His Grace had a big fat chuckle at the looks on our faces when he told us that we were now "officers".

We'd seen the group grow, and we just knew that information needed help getting around. His Grace was really super about our thrashing around at the beginning, getting the format right, getting the design solid and all that sort of thing.

If I remember correctly, we started printing in spring of 1991, and we stayed in office until summer of 1994. I was getting married in the fall, and my job had changed quite a bit, and it was getting harder and harder for me to do right by the office. We decided to step down together, since we'd stepped up together. So we called for candidates, and found...Oh, my God. Wulfie. Who'd we pick? Why can't I remember? (Wulfie, everything is blurry from then, with the job and wedding stuff...wasn't our last issue the July-just-before-Pennsic one?)

And, like Wulfie mentioned earlier, we were really active in both Cleftlands and Gwyntarian. Couple that with the job and wedding, and, for me at least, something had to shift. Soon after we stepped down as Cleftland's chroniclers, I became Gwyntarian's demo coordinator and deputy seneschal. Talk about from the frying pan into the fire! :-) And right after my wedding, I was part of gate staff for a Cleftlands event that was a forerunner of the "Regular Event" format. Ephraim was event steward, I believe...

I think that Duke Syr Laurelen got really comfortable with us over the three years we worked on the publication. It got to the point where he'd tell me over the phone what he wanted to say in his column, and I'd just tidy it up some. I'd fax for his approval, and usually, there were few changes. He was spectacularly easy to work with.


In addition to Katarina's real life stepping in (how dare it!) ; ) I was preparing to move to Florida. And, while His Grace was cool about us being from outside the barony, I doubted his tolerance would extend that far! Heeheehee!

When Katarina and I asked for, volunteers to take over the office, we had three people approach us - Lady Angharad, Lady Solveigh and Lord Giovanni. We decided to ask all three people to cover a story for us (reporting on a local event), and we would use that as the basis for our decision, since the three candidates were otherwise very capable in every way.

Lady Angharad and Lord Giovanni submitted articles. Lady Solveigh's real life bit her in the butt, and she couldn't submit on deadline. She was crushed.

Of the two articles (which both were very good), we decided that Lord Giovanni's was the better of the two. We asked him if he would be willing to work with a co-Chronicler, and he said yes. We asked Lady Solveigh; she said yes. Lady Angharad said she would be more comfortable working by herself.

Since we *knew* how much easier the job was with two people in it, and we liked Lord Giovanni's article better, and Lady Angharad was already very active in the Barony in many ways, we selected Lord Giovanni and Lady Solveigh as co-Chroniclers. As far as I know, they worked together well, and held the office for 1.5-2 years. After that, I'm not sure who took over...I was still in Florida!


Giovanni and Solveigh were replaced by Lady Celeste and Gaffer, then Lady Celeste was Chronicler alone until she named Lyonnete as her deputy in the fall of 1999. Soon after, January of 2000, Lyonnete took over as Chronicler. Having been our Baronial webmistress up until that point, Lyonnete started publishing The Forum on our webpage for the first time. Soon after taking the office she elected a deputy, Christiana, but the good lady needed to give up the office quickly. Milesent became assistant Chronicler, and then in 2001 was elivated to co-chronicler. Now in the fall of 2002 Milesent and Lyonnete are diligently producing The Forum with the help of their deputy, Mathew de Beaumount.