Favorite Summer Moment — Sword Fighting, of Course!

Summer is drawing to a close, with a wistful sigh from me.  I grew up in Southern California where it’s can be 80 in January.  Seasons — and snow — were a new thing when I joined the army, and I find that I much prefer the sun and warmth of summer.

This year, my favorite summer moment was watching a sword fighting demonstration.  Actually, several.  As a reader, I love action novels, and my book Miasma has at least eight action scenes (maybe more as I revise my subplots.  Nothing like adding more action to the story!).

I’d gone on travel for work to Norfolk, Virginia, and then followed it up with a drive to North Carolina for a fledgling convention called ConTemporal, which was primarily steampunk.  But NC has a local group of people who like to fight with swords, so we got awesome demos!

The first demo showed us how the movies do sword fighting, which is different than how they happen in real life.  That fight where the hero is matched against five bad guys and still wins?  In real life, the fight would last about one second, with the hero on the losing end.  What the movies do is have each villain launch at the hero at about a second and half apart.  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s significant amount of time in a fast moving battle.

The second demo was outside.  June + NC = hot, hot, hot.  The humidity was up, and we were melting — but the demonstration got a good crowd to watch people whack at each other with real weapons.

Two women fighers armed with epees attack a man with a sword in a demo.
Two women fence against a male opponent.

The unexpected bonus was that I also got to see how a whip worked.  A whip is a frightening weapon.  When the tip snaps out, it breaks the sound barrier — CRRRRAAACCCKKK!  I was so surprised at the sound that I jumped enough that the guy doing the demo commented on it.  I think I’ll keep my distance.

What’s your favorite summer moment?

Check out my review of the con, plus a gallery of photos that include cosplay.  The Escapist also has a huge gallery of Steampunk photos from the con that’s worth a look for all the great costuming.

My story “A Soldier’s Magic” has been accepted by Mosaic Indigo Publishing for their anthology The Darkness Within.  It’s a contemporary fantasy set after Desert Storm.  Two female soldiers have to make the difficult decision to kill a friend to keep a parasite from infecting the military world-wide.  The anthology is due out in September, so I will post more information when it is available.

4 thoughts on “Favorite Summer Moment — Sword Fighting, of Course!

  1. Ooh congrats on landing your story in the anthology! Sounds really cool.
    I think my favorite summer moment was when we were in Lake Chelan in Easter Washington. The town of Chelan is built along the Chelan river, and we were heading down to the river walk (paved stretch through town along the river). We came to the amphitheater where a band was playing, and we were just in time to see Elvis jump out from an alley right in front of us and run down onto the stage. Timing is everything!


  2. Congrats on your story’s acceptance into the anthology! My favorite summer memory was a day spent at the lake with my 12 y.o. and her friend. Sunshine, swimming, and lounging about with my book. Summer at its finest – imho.


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