Flashback: June 14, 2002

Assuming all went well, I should be back from Australia by now. But I expect to be utterly exhausted and not up for blogging, so I figured I’d run one last blast from the blogging past.

In June of 2002, I was working as a computer tech for the Michigan Department of Transportation. This could be … frustrating, at times.

Oh, and the story I was working on, “No Worries, Partner,” eventually sold to the anthology Modern Magic.


June 14, 2002 “Casting ‘Cure Xerox Printer'”

Working on: “No Worries, Partner”

Today’s Word Count: 969

Why Life is Not Like a Role-Playing Game:

Game Master (GM): When you try to print out your document, you find that the color printer is jammed.  What do you do?
Random Computer User from 4th Floor (RCU): I open up the printer to see if I can find the paper.
GM: (Makes a few dice rolls)  You see a bit of white trapped among the ink cartridges and the fuser.  I’d like to remind you that you don’t have the Repair Printer skill.
RCU: I’ll use my intelligence statistic.  I grab the fuser and yank it out.
GM: (Rolls the dice)  You burn yourself.
RCU: I try again.
GM: (Rolls his/her eyes)  You sustain two points of damage, but you finally get the fuser out.
RCU: I yank the paper out.
GM: (Makes another die roll)  It tears, leaving an inaccessible strip of paper jammed in the fuser.  You also notice that there’s two more sheets of paper jammed in the printer, one on the right side, and one beneath the ink cartridges.
RCU: Can I cast “Summon Computer Technician”?
GM: Make your spellcasting roll.

So why is life not like a role-playing game?  Simple.  In your average RPG, the Computer Technician, once summoned to see the mess made by RCU, would have cast fireball on the printer and transformed the user into a toad.  Or maybe I’ve got that backwards.  Nonetheless, I instead managed to restrain myself, and after a half-hour of work, the printer was functional again.  Consider it the real-life version of a Healing spell.

I also did a bit more work on the story.  (Though, to be honest, writing the snippit above was more fun!)  I had my characters deal with the ghost and move on to the dead guitarist.  I’m still trying to get a feel for my protagonist’s character… he’s overworked and overstressed, but I need more.  Same for the secondary, Rhian.  Neither one is really fleshed out just yet, and it makes it harder for me to figure out where the story should go.

Still, it’s progress.  Two big scenes down, and who knows how much to go.