THIS POST IS ALSO VERY FOCUSED ON THE SCA SCRIBE.
But its a secret remember? So how do I get help when I’m having a problem?
Scribes may work alone but that doesn’t mean we can’t get help from others. In my career as a court scribe I have asked for lots of help. More when I began than what I do now, but I’m still asking for help from the “scribal hive mind,” as it were.
Here is what you don’t do.
“Hey Lord Bob, I’m doing an award for Lady Jane and I’m having trouble with the paint not doing layers very well. Can you help with that?”
Here is what you should do.
“Hey Lord Bob I have a court assignment and I’m having trouble with the paint not doing layers very well. Can you help with that?”
Omit the name of the person. Also unless you need to name it, you can also eliminate the name of the award as well. It simply isn’t information that needs to be given out to get the help you need.
Simple steps to follow when discussing the problem over the phone, on the internet and generally when you are not in person.
ASK OTHER SCRIBES or applicable crafts person if it is being done in a non-traditional manner.
1 – Mention that this is for an SCA court scroll/charter. At this point you have let your fellow scribe(s) know that this is a confidential assignment and they should honor that without asking inappropriate questions.
2 – Give the required date finish. Make sure to remember travel time etc.
3 – Describe the problem.
4 – Describe the steps leading up to the problem.
5 – Describe what, if anything you have done to solve the problem and what that those results were.
6 – Describe what resources you have that may be of use in solving the problem.
In the SCA the person who assigns scrolls to be done is usually called a Signet. If you contact the Signet who assigned you the scroll you can speak freely with them, assuming NO ONE ELSE IS AROUND TO HEAR THE CONVERSATION.
If you need to show someone the scroll either by taking pictures or in person, make certain to cover up the recipient’s name. If for some reason there is no way to show the problem without the name being known, GET PERMISSION to do so BEFORE HAND. Without permission you do not share the recipient’s name with anyone other than the assigning signet and the Kingdom’s Signet. Not with you spouse, not with your Laurel/Pelican/Knight/Royal Peer not with anyone. Period.
Often you can get ongoing permission to share with certain people. Meaning that you are free to talk with that ONE person without getting permission each and every time. I have permission to share with my wife, but then again, she does the painting work on some of my scrolls. So she’s a collaborator often enough. But I do not share anything with her on the scrolls we do not collaborate on.
Getting help on a court scroll/charter is actually pretty easy. Just remember to only ask questions you need to to get the advice and help you need. You never need to mention the recipient’s name to get the help you need so just don’t. If for some very rare reason you must mention or show the name, then get permission first from the assigning signet or their higher up(s).
Give the six pieces of information mentioned above and you should be able to get help without giving away who the recipient is. Thus you get the help you need, the assignment gets done in a good way and the recipient gets a very nice scroll/charter!
Wins all the way around!