Safe Space

I learn something about myself! Also, I marvel at how much a small addition changes a huge location.

So, I think I just made an important self-discovery: This is my safe space.  I have such a constant fear of being “just right” at my job and in my real life that I never get a chance to just relax and be a big ole’ screw up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against making mistakes in public or being perfect all the time.  I just have a problem with it after the fact. I will sit and contemplate about what I could have done differently to the point of absurdity, asking myself, “What could I have done differently?”  Sometimes it’s just nice not to have to play clean up after a mistake.

This blog is entirely different. I KNOW this isn’t going to be perfect. As I said before, I treat this as a stream of consciousness type deal.  This allows me to just get all of my ideas out, and who cares if they aren’t the best? Who cares if I rush into something?  I don’t have this blog to impress people, even though I compulsively check my stats to see how many people have seen my work.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. Honestly, I think it’s important that I leave it though.  This can serve as a reminder to myself that this blog is safe. I am allowed to make mistakes. I am allowed to relax. I am allowed to be the real me, and I like that.

Today’s post–now that the feel-good session is over–is once again at the library.  I got to the point where I was enjoying what the library was developing into, and I wanted to relax and have a low-key post as I begin to develop more ideas and my “next-steps.”  Luckily, even though this is a “Diet Post,” I still think it actually adds quite a bit and is something that I’m quite pleased with.

Like I said, not really anything special, but the addition of the pathway really sets the path apart now.  I know, it’s silly, but by connecting the staircase to the library, everything starts to pull together.  I know, you’re probably thinking “How can you tie stuff together when you haven’t built anything yet?!”

It makes sense in my head, ok?

Woah, Nelly! Slow yer’self down!

Sometimes, in order to go forward, one must take a step back. Also, I have a really bad habit of rushing into things without thinking them through.

I have a terrible habit of occasionally rushing into things headfirst without slowing to observe my surroundings.  The last post is kind of an example of that.  The last time I actually had mentioned that library was at LEAST 5 months ago.  Instead of organizing my thoughts, I jumped in half-cocked and now feel a little silly.

Hey, that’s what I have this blog for though! Not only does it help me to organize myself, but it also helps me write better! (Ha, see what I did there? I know, I’m hysterical!) Anyway, please allow me to take a second and backtrack, enabling me to organize these thoughts.

The Northern Library

This is the reason the entire town exists.  The library was created on the top of this hill, and it was the best library ever. Ok, back to the serious tone. The old district of the city developed around the library in a way to support the needs of the library.  Food, ale, shops, and the like soon popped up around the library as the village grew.  Shortly there after, the Grumpy Bear Inn opened, albeit, much smaller than it currently is now.

A question still to be answered: Why was the library built in this location, to begin with? I feel like it would be cheating to say something along the lines of “Magical energy permeates the space” or “This incredibly rare resource is only found here!” Time to think about this some more…


The Build Palette


Plus red bricks I think. Not sure, but it would give me some more shapes to work with.

Why are you building it into the mountain from the side?

So, I kind of alluded to this two posts ago and again in some lore a LONG time ago.  I wanted to have the library be attacked and severely damaged.  If you want to keep people dumb and easy to control, you remove learning and education, right?

The picture on the left shows what remains of the mountain that the library sat on.  I want there to still be some part of a structure left, yes, but most of the above ground structure would be laying in shambles at the base of the mountain, pictured to the right.  The childhood game of “Draw Your Future House” is in existence only because the library and mountain had been blown away by our yet-to-be-named-fallen-hero (That, and I think it’s an excellent and creative game to play. Who DOESN’T want to have a secret staircase?).


A Stroll Down Memory Lane

A fun game that my friends, my brother, and I played while much younger serves as inspiration for today’s post.

Alright alright alright! How are we doing today? I am incredibly excited for today’s post about the library, so I’m just going to jump right into it without any crazy build up like normal.

Many years ago, in a neighborhood down memory lane, I remember fondly playing with a set of brothers. My brother and I would walk the six houses down to our friends’ and spend hours doing what kids do.  One activity that I remember vividly is that we were going to design our “adult house.”  Basically, we would tape together a bunch of printer paper and draw our house from the side.

Basically, we would tape together a bunch of printer paper and draw our house from the side. Once we had the exterior drawn, usually just a big square, the fun really began. We would add the rooms with all kinds of wacky and zany additions.  There were slides, giant ball pits, secret doors, trap doors, huge kitchens full of crazy food and a whole bunch of crazy features.  I’m pretty sure we had a zero-g room at one point!

Today’s post is the first part of our massive house build. I literally begin to take the mountain the library sits on and start to carve it away into floors.  I’ve not added any rooms yet, nor have I done anything but carve out large rectangular prisms in the wall, but there will soon be rooms!

The rooms are going to be all sizes and shapes, with some stretching multiple floors and others being no larger than a broom closet. You’ll also see I’ve got the start of a grand staircase going on…not sure what’s going on that, I’ll be honest. That’s a problem for future AJ!

Enjoy the slideshow! More posts to come!

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“Shhh! This is a Library!”

Planning time! What am I thinking for this library? Come check it out!

Please reread the title of this post, but this time, use your best angry librarian voice. It makes it SO much better! Trust me, I’m a teacher.

Speaking of being a teacher… *dead*

The start of a school year is rough for everyone, and yes, that includes teachers. I’ve randomly fallen asleep around my house twice this evening. Sigh, is it Friday yet?

When I first started this world, I was young and innocent. This mountaintop isn’t very large, is it?


It’s ok though! I was panicking due to my silliness and inability to register size, but after re-reading some of my old posts, I was struck with some inspiration.

The ruins stand atop the mountain, silent and forlorn. Once the premier institution of magical learning and research in the land, only the wind’s whispers are heard in these halls now.

It’s been a while since I’ve done some lore, hasn’t it? I like those two sentences.  I’ll try to do more of it in the future. Anyways, back to the library.  Most of the library on the surface of the mountain has been destroyed. It was built (or rather, will be built seeing as I haven’t built it yet) down into the mountain, so there will still be plenty of ruins left to explore.


This sharp drop is looking down from the top of the right side of the peak.  Eventually, there will be ruins of the library down there. Yup, part of the mountain was blown up by our villain.

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This last group of pictures is meant to show some of the physical damage that happened to the mountain.  I was toying around with some possible builds and styles and was relatively pleased with how it turned out.  It did take a little bit to figure out how to make the depression in the crater for some weird reason though, but I think it turned out well in the end.

Over the next few posts, we will be developing this library build.  I’ve got some really cool ideas that I think will be relatively successful, and I’m looking forward to sharing them. Until next time!


I’ve caught something…


Today, I bring you a post that I’m hoping is a start of something awe-inspiring.  The subject of our post today?


Yes! The library! Boom! And it’s even going to have a secret exit. Every reputable place of magical instruction needs a secret exit, right?

So, here’s what we’ve got. We’re currently sitting in the north section of the kingdom, between the exterior wall and the Old Town Square.  Behind the row of houses (dare I say, cottages?), there is a hill.  One day, I was just flying around the kingdom admiring my handiwork, and I saw this little section of nothing.  It’s nestled between some houses and the wall and is quite literally “wasted space.”

I don’t like wasted space.

It came to me almost immediately. It’s unassuming, it’s nothing special…let’s make it special.  All of a sudden, we are now looking at something special, and the idea of a secret exit came almost immediately. So let’s take a look at the build process, shall we?


My first idea was to turn this into some sort of tunnel like entrance.  As you can see, though, the area doesn’t necessarily lend itself to anything like that, so I had to change my course of action.  “Well, AJ, what is unassuming?” It hit me then…a well!

The stairs were my idea of a footprint for this well.  Scale/Ratio is something that I find myself always struggling with, and this was no exception. Minecraft isn’t the best medium sometimes, but it’s been amazing so far in every other aspect, so I’m gonna keep at it!

With the footprint in place, I started trying to tie it into the surrounding area. I’ve decided to make one of these cottages have a back door for easy access to the well.  A few path blocks later, and now I’ve got the makings of a path, albeit, an obviously unused path, but a path all the same.


Fifteen minutes later and now I have a well.  I ended up giving up the idea of using the stairs.  I was complaining about scale and ratio earlier, remember? By using some slabs, I was able to give myself a little more wiggle room with sizing  (Sidebar: I really wish that they would put vertical slabs in this game).  Anyway, when you approach the well, a sharp eye may notice something strange in the water.


Do you see it?


A ladder! This is the view from the bottom of the well. What? How’s the water not going all the way down the well? Uh, magic, apparently! This is a secret exit for the MAGIC LIBRARY SCHOOL place after all.


This is all that I have done for the secret tunnel, and it brings me back to the beginning of the post. Hopefully, this is a project that I will feel that elusive “inspiration bug.”  Ultimately, I would LOVE to have this tie in with the tunnels on the western edge of the city that has the sewer grate on the wall, but we’ll have to see.

Playing With Some Blocks…

Decisions, decisions….

Yeah, I know the title is pretty self-explanatory. I’m playing Minecraft after all, right? So what could I possibly mean?

Well, I’ve been thinking about working on the Library–one of the first sections I partitioned out on this world. So far, all I’ve done is put some torches at the top of the hill and watch llamas, cows, and pigs accumulate there. Seriously…so many llamas.

I really want this build to look good.  If my villain is going to be successful at being a world class tyrant, then I feel the first thing his first objective would be to eliminate education and free thought.  This leads to my next dilemma though: should the structure be dilapidated? If so, how would I even begin to do that in Minecraft…I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me. But first, I need to decide on my block pallet.

Two options:

I feel like option 1 is the safe choice. It’s a build I’ve played around with already, and it would fit into the theme of the surrounding area.  On the other hand, If I want to make this building really pop, option 2 would totally stand out quite a bit. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of reds or warm colors, but I like this one.  I could also add the bricks into it (Maybe…in small quantities) to add some more differentiation.

I’ll think about it. The good thing is that the option I don’t use can be used in other places, so it’s not like it’s gone forever.

The Shrine of….Pizza

The introduction of the northern library….hill.

I found this really awesome hill just outside of my North Wall that stands tall and proud, all by its lonesome. I figure, “Hey, this could totally be this really cool shrine build at the top, right?”

Now I have to figure out how to design a cool looking shrine.  I want to shy away from towers, I’ve got some of those planned elsewhere.  Maybe a cool library-type building?

Learning and education were things that were no longer free and accessible to the general populace.  When the Hero returned and “freed the land” from its burden of freedom, much learning was lost.  It’s easier to keep a population under control when they don’t know better.  

This building is falling into disrepair.  The wizards who once lived here in their pursuit of higher education and learning left nearly 30 years prior, shortly after the new regime started to crack down on free thought.

Where did the pizza come from you ask? I was hungry and Papa John’s just got here.


It’s rough, but the start of a staircase up.  I know, it looks like total garbage.


This is a better angle. See? You can totally see a cool building up there, amirite?