Archive | April 1, 2020

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 7 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.

Malina’s feet were tired; her eyes were tired. Her head was tired. Yet she was exploring again.

The inner wall and the outer wall of the castle still appeared intact, at least in this corner. Sand drifted heavily enough in several places that Malina couldn’t see more than 1 or 2 dozen cubits in either direction from the L intersection where she stood, the corner of the castle from which the tower grew.

She was being led by a fishlike sprite that had appeared to her request – no, to her demand.

She had seen stranger things, but then again, she was being followed around an abandoned castle named for her ancestor by a talking cat.

The sprite was taking her away from the entrance she’d come in, down the branch of inner-outer wall space she hadn’t explored yet. This could be a very bad idea – but yet, the cat was following her. It seemed entirely unworried about any of this. Of course, being a cat (although she did not know the rules for sand-cats, she supposed), it would likely seem unworried by anything at all. Continue reading

Work From Home Blog: Day 12


Sitting through faculty meetings on Zoom, where I don’t have to watch what my face is doing and most of the time they’re not aware I’m there — it’s very, ah, educational. 

Riffing off of something Kunama asked, I’m thinking about ways my jobs make their way into my writing. 

The first thing that comes to mind is the library at Wells College, where I worked for a blessed, awesome, 9 months.  Well, I worked in the Book Arts Center, but half of some of my days were spent doing very little in the library while working for another associate Dean. 

The architect of that place was allergic to right angles and to floors that lined up and, like a split-level that we once tried to rent, it just kept going and going, up, up, up.  You never really knew where you were, but you were definitely somewhere, probably. 

That library had made its way into more than a few stories.

So’ve the facilities staff at my current university job, who are basically elves.  They are startled when you see them, they do magic when your back is turned — especially the groundskeepers. 

Watching them trim the ivy to exactly the right amount is both amazing and amusing. 

And, while the faculty at the unnamed university in my The Trouble With Chickens stories are, ah, well, they’re a little more bloodthirsty than those at the university of my job, there’s definitely a bit of leakage there. 

Actually, in general, you’ll find that there’s a lot of academia in my writing when I’m working in academia.  It’s more of a trope than when, say, I was an admin for a software company. 

(After these faculty meetings, the professors at several fictional universities might be getting a bit darker…)


Oh! Oh, a story I never finished and only posted one bit of — but some maps, I posted some maps! — Portal Bound, — this was inspired both by my experiences working in libraries (First at the SUNY I did my first 2 years of college at, then the Rundel Library/Central LIbrary of Rochester & Monroe County  in, ah, Rochester (NY),, then the aforementioned Wells LIbrary) and by the architecture of the university I work at now. 

I think I’ve taken the question and run sideways and backwards with it, but hey, I got a post that isn’t about my pajama pants!


Does your work or previous workplaces show up in your art? In your hobbies?

(Like me, have you found yourself staring at a building wondering “how do I do that in Minecraft?”?)