June 3rd, 2010: Uriel Wheeler

“I can’t rez objects at my skybox,” she wrote in her IM.  I read it in my e-mail and sighed before going inworld.

I rent skyboxes in Second Life.  They aren’t fancy (or too expensive) ones, and that’s intentional.  Not a lot of prims, not a lot of frills, but ones that “just work”. Most of the time, I have few problems with tenants.  But when I do have a problem, it’s a doozy.  This time, it turned out that a tenant had almost 400 prims in their skybox – when they were only allotted 100.

My next e-mail was from a student.  In real life, I’m finishing my student teaching for this college term.  They are almost all college seniors, with the final paper is due next week.  For the last eight weeks, I’ve been teaching them how to use a statistics program to analyze and look for relationships in the data.  “So,” my student’s e-mail said, “is there some way the stats program can help me look for relationships in my data?”  I rested my forehead in my palms, then sent them the powerpoints again.

Then off to work.  I can’t talk too much about that, but let’s just say that I know what Scott Adams is talking about in Dilbert.  Sometimes it seems like our customers are part of a managerial plot to make our jobs as hard as possible.

When I checked my e-mail at lunch, there was one from a publisher.  I’d sent in a story a month ago – one that I was sure would be a perfect fit.

It was a form rejection letter.


I remember my tenants who have thanked me – even ones who moved away and later came back, or became friends.

I remember the students who really got it, the students where I could see the spark of understanding show up in their eyes.

I remember the customers who came in nervous and left us reassured and happier.

I remember getting my first payment for a story, the way a friend’s face lit up after reading one of my stories.

And I think that maybe today will be okay after all.


Steven Saus (inworld as Uriel Wheeler) injects people with radioactive material as his day job, but only to serve the forces of good.  He also rents skyboxes (the rental office is here), is pursuing a master’s degree, and writes both fiction and non-fiction which have appeared in several anthologies and magazines both online and off.  In all aspects of his life, he tries to tell lies that are absolutely true.  You can find more about him at http://stevensaus.com, or read his blog at http://ideatrash.net .


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