1) Would you rather have your writing critiqued by someone famous (whose work you admire) or have your writing published in a journal or magazine that isn’t well known?
I’d rather have the writing credit to put on my writing resume. It’s been my experience that lots of writers love the opportunity to critique someone else’s work, but a lot of them, like the rest of us, have good and bad days. Get your favorite writer on a bad day, and your work gets savaged. But a publishing credit — that means you have a better chance of getting noticed. Even a minor journal or magazine means you have a chance to come to another reader’s notice, and your work may get critiqued anyway.
2) How did you end up in the job you’re doing now and would you do it again, given the choice?
Pure nepotism. I called my high school principal about a job with that school, and he said, basically, “we don’t want you working here until you’ve been teaching about five years; we don’t hire alumni except for administrative positions, because usually they’re gripped with nostalgia rather than a genuine desire to teach. But… your former history teacher is now a principal himself. Contact him.” So I did, and he offered me a spot more or less immediately.
Since then, I’ve done a pretty darn good job of proving myself a good teacher, but I realized the other month or so that 90% of the people I love seeing live within an hour of me right now, and I’m disinclined to move elsewhere. I might head out, but I’m more likely to stay where I am, and move off campus.
Would I do it again? Knowing how hard the first few years of my job were, I’m not so sure that I would do it the same way, given a choice. I think I would have preferred to start in a day school, where I had the same creative freedom in the classroom, and considerably less stress at the end of the day, and more freedom to see who I want, when I want. But it’s taken me eight years to build a life that I love, right where I already am — That’s a serious investment of time in friends and ‘family’, and it’s not easy to give those things up without becoming a radically different person in a new place.
3) If you could game with any 5 people, living or dead, who would they be and what RPG would you choose to play?
I think I’d choose ordinary D&D, or maybe Mage: The Ascension.
I would love to game with J.A., my former Old Testament professor. She was a wonderful woman, and she died after I’d been studying with her for only two months; her daughter died of anorexia about 10 days later. I think it was the biofeedback loop of the daughter’s weight loss that triggered the cancer in J.A., and the daughter’s anorexia was triggered in part because of her mom’s fight with cancer. Disgusting. Anyway, she was beautiful and kind and intelligent. As a priest, she’d probably play a Celestial Chorister or a cleric, but part of me would hope she would try for a Euthanatos — a kindly one, or a monk or a sorceror. She could recite long sections of Isaiah, so maybe she’d be a bard.
I’d like to game with sometime, face to face. In internet play, he’s pretty darn good, and the All-Elf game he ran about a year back was awesome. Bru has health issues of his own, that he’s beginning to deal with in positive ways. I’ve never met him personally, but he has a rich and capricious sense of humor that can be sophisticated and sophmoric at the same time. I suspect he’d play a great, wise-cracking safe-cracker or cat burglar-type rogue, or a stately and sedate Akashic Brother. These are opposite sides of his personality, and he’d be fun to play with in either role.
J.R.R. Tolkien. He might be a blowhard at the gaming table, but I see him not as the rules-lawyer but the setting-lawyer. He’d be the one who’d say, “that contradicts what goes before.” And his blue-booking work would be totally awesome. What would he play? Who cares!? In Mage, he’d probably go for an Order of Hermes, but maybe a Celestial Chorister. For fun, we should make him play a Cultist of Ecstasy. He invented the D&D classes for the most part, though, so I think he should get to pick what he wanted, there.
“Homer”. OK, maybe there wasn’t really a bard named Homer, and maybe he didn’t compose the epic narratives of the Iliad and the Odyssey. But come on… wouldn’t you, just once, like to have him as your Dungeon Master? Clarity of action, beautiful battles, excellence of characterization, stunningly invented NPCs… I’d like to see what he did with a wizard, though, or a sorceror. There’s not much magic in Homer’s work, at least not from mortal hands, and I’d like to see what came of that kind of thinking on his part.
. My current girlfriend. This is being more realistic for a moment, because it would be really nice to have a real, live, genuine gaming group. Given how much time I have to do this kind of thing, it would be hard to do any gaming at all with a group of adults, without her interest and support. It’s not something we’ve discussed recently, but it’s there. For that matter, and and and could all be part of this one — they’ve expressed either interest or live close enough or both, that gaming with them would be a good thing.
We now return you to the regularly scheduled LiveJournal.
My throat remains sore and squeaky today. I don’t feel sick, but I’m not able to talk much, and I’m tight in the throat. I’m not stuffed up in my sinuses — I can breathe properly — I just have difficulty speaking above a quiet, tiny voice. Today is going to be teaching hell.