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Contributor Page: William Reed

NICHE: Writing & LEGO from a legally blind perspective
GALLERY: Brickshelf, flickr

Will played with LEGO as a small child and favored the LEGO Castle theme over the other lines. At times he indulged himself in LEGO City, LEGO Space, and LEGO Pirates, but he always returned to LEGO Castle. That’s why it was no surprise that it was a couple of LEGO Castle sets that propelled him out of his own “Dark Ages” and into the Medieval.

Fortunately for Will, he had married Sarah. (See Sarah’s profile here.) She too had played with LEGO as a child and dabbled in LEGO Castle sets briefly. As an adult, what drew her attention to LEGO again was the fantasy element of the new LEGO Castle sets. Skeletons were attacking knights in shining armor! It was too hard to resist! Since then both Will and his wife have been hooked on LEGO yet again.

Having a love for writing, it was only natural for Will to want to write about LEGO. What he didn’t realize was how much he had to say on the subject! He found so many interesting details about the LEGO sets he and his wife picked up that article after article was just flowing out of his virtual pen.

Will and Sarah’s growing passion for the LEGO-hobby led them to seek out other LEGO-fans in their area. Fortunately, where there is an official LEGO store, there is also a LEGO group. Located in Sacramento CA, the Sac Brick Builders were a perfect fit for the couple. Taking some of their own creations to their first club meeting they quickly found new friends.

Will has recently ended his job as a math-tutor with the California Department of Rehabilitation and has given over to freelance writing. Much of his writing assignments revolve around LEGO; aimed at informing the casual LEGO fan, but he makes sure there’s something that an old-hand LEGO fan may find useful as well. (You can find his profile with links to all his articles above.) To be able to communicatewith the more die-hard  LEGO enthusiasts Will has decided to branch out from his usual publishing venues and sought an outlet at theBrickBlogger.

There is really no specialization category that Will fits into. (Well, he does have an unholy love of the LEGO Castle theme.) But what’s different about Will is that he is legally blind. Therefore the opinions that he gives come from a very different perspective than most fans. For instance, when Will builds something, the feel and heft of the model is just as important as the look. This is an area that is seldom explored by LEGO fans, aside from the proper bracing of a LEGO creation for stability.

In addition to his blindness, Will happens to communicate differently than many people. He has a B.A. in Mass Communication, which means he has not only been trained to write clearly, but to look for subtle communicational elements in everything; including LEGO. Throw all this together and you’ve got one very different point of view!

UPDATE: Will’s first book is now published and available from CreateSpace.com and Amazon.comThe Cleric is a humoristic tale of moderate adventure with a dash of romance.  This is not a LEGO-related book, but he wouldn’t mind seeing LEGO creations inspired by it.  With this first novel finished, Will has started writing a new fiction novel and is also working on a book-proposal for a LEGO technique book.


{ 18 comments… add one }
  • ntk743 July 16, 2012, 8:42 PM

    Hello! Nice to meet you!

  • i really love knight legos to! i love that lion castle! 😀

  • Fikko3107 January 31, 2013, 6:27 AM

    I don’t understand what legally blind mean…

    • admin January 31, 2013, 10:26 AM

      “In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible.”

      • Aakanksha Shah January 26, 2015, 10:53 AM

        Dear William,

        I am Aakanksha Shah, a 4th year student in graphic design, from EcoléIntuit Lab., Mumbai.

        We are currently doing an editorial project on Lego and while I was on my earlier stage of research I happened to stumble on your article and I’d love to get a few insights from you further on this subject so if you could please provide me some form of contact detail it would be great.

        Your help would really be appreciated and of great help in regards to this project.

        • admin January 26, 2015, 11:05 AM

          I have forwarded your request to William. He should get in touch with you soon. 🙂

    • Will September 16, 2015, 12:16 PM

      If you are curious my left eye sees 20/400 and my bad eye sees 20/600.

      In simple terms a person with 20/20 vision can see about the same 400 ft away as what I can see 20 ft away.

      Therefore, when it comes to activities that require a license like driving I’m not legally eligible.

  • DX ZX KENDO NRG PWR JAY-MOUTH OF LIGHTNING (Seriously i have a mouth of lightning) :) May 10, 2014, 5:37 PM

    I liked your post today! It was good! Thanks for the insight on the minifigs!

  • What minifigure from the Simpsons is your favorite? Mine is Mr. Burns 😛

    • Will September 16, 2015, 12:18 PM

      I’m sorry, I didn’t realize there was a comment section on my profile.

      I have to say Mr. Burns is also my favorite. That fish bowl minifigure head is something I can’t stop being impressed by.

  • Hannah Kanakares November 25, 2014, 12:49 PM

    Hi, I check your blog like every week. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work!

    • Will September 16, 2015, 12:23 PM

      Thanks Hannah,

      I realized a more relaxed conversational style works best for what I write here. Although given the various pieces I’ve worked on my style changes to suit the project.

      Personally, I like writing here the best because it feels more like a conversation. I’m glad that more than just me digs my style.

      Or as I say from time to time, “You dig my jam, yo!”

  • floridabrick September 30, 2015, 10:17 AM

    Hi Will.

    So it’s been over 4 years since your post about the LUG bulk program (which was great and super informative by the way). Is it time for an updated post to include what has/hasn’t changed? Yes 🙂

    • admin September 30, 2015, 10:41 AM

      I forwarded your comment to Will as I’m not sure how often he checks his page. 🙂

  • Will September 30, 2015, 11:25 AM

    Yeah, I think updating the LUGBulk program is in order.

  • floridabrick September 30, 2015, 4:01 PM

    Sweet. Thanks.

  • Chris Baldwin February 8, 2023, 1:24 PM

    Hey Will, I’m currently building the Millennium Falcon Ultima Edition. I’m at stage 3 and building the pop down blaster that you see in ESB. The issue I’ve encountered is that the blaster doesn’t retract and the back of it is impeded by the sides of the hatch. It’s annoying but did you encounter this issue? Is it me making an error (I’ve checked the stages over and it seems correct) or is it an error in the building instructions? Any help you can render would be great.


    • Will February 12, 2023, 11:44 PM

      From what I recall the blasters do not retract.

      I recall building part of that and getting excited that it looked like it could retract, but they went for the asthetics.

      The only functional elements when it comes to the central gun port is more in regards to being able to place a minifigure in that space which is why you can pull the top off. Otherwise the gun is simply meant to be posed in various positions but that’s it.

      So, you are building it correctly.

      The ship seems to have the occasional head scratching moments.

      As far as I could tell the only elements that seemed to be functional from a minifigure’s perspective were the radar dish, but that is just on a basic turn table, and the loading ramp. Oh, and how that gun is positioned.

      Beyond those elements everything is to enable the builder to get their hands inside the model.

      Hope that helps!

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