A One Word 2013 Retrospective

We’re creeping up the end of 2013 and I’m as shocked as anyone at how quickly it has gone by. At the beginning of the year, I blogged briefly about my One Word for 2013 and how I wanted to apply Focus to my life.

In that post, I talked about a few things I wanted to focus on. So how did I do?

Weight Loss

I did fairly well here. I wasn’t always totally committed to Weight Watchers, but neither was ever totally uncommitted to it. I honestly couldn’t say how much I have lost over this past year (not currently being subscribed to WW because reasons), but I definitely lost! As of this writing, I am only one pant size away from what the top end of my goal weight range was and have reached the top end of my healthy BMI. I have 15-20 pounds more to go and I’m hopeful that 2014 will see that happen.

Writing

I also did fairly well here, although I can’t claim that I was ever entirely focused on this either. Still, I made myself a sort of sub-resolution that I would finish a certain writing project. As of now, I have two chapters to go to reach the end of it. For me, that’s only about 7000-9000 words. Definitely achievable before the calendar rolls over, especially since December tends to be slow at work. It’s been a good experience and I’m eager to get started on the next book.

WoWing

This was certainly the area where I did the worst this past year, and I can’t honestly say I care. I think things would have been different had my guild continued to raid, but it didn’t. Without that and with a hefty does of being unwilling to try to find a new New Guild when I had just gotten comfortable in ProCo, there was simply no incentive for me to keep up on my gearing or to keep playing at all. I’m still dabbling, but I’m also dabbling in SWTOR again more recently, and may at least run some Story Mode Ops with some old friends.

Other General Stuff

I didn’t touch too much on the personal areas I wanted to focus on except to say I wanted to develop some better friendships with local people. There were some mixed results there, with one of my friend prospects turning out to be an insane narcissist and another of them not ending up that being all that close of a friendship. That might be for the best since the not-that-close-but-still-friends person is moving away in a few weeks. Still, I did more with more people this year and that was difficult for me, but also rewarding, so I am calling it a win.

Looking Ahead

As I look ahead to 2014, I have a new word all picked out. That will be its own blog post though, as it has a lot to do with my recent loss and will doubtless be an emotional topic for me to try writing about.

Before I go, I want to say that I hope everyone else had an excellent 2013. I haven’t been around much and I’m not sure I see that changing, but having this outlet and the few hangers-on from when I was more active has always been a comfort to me. I love you guys and wish you all the best, as well as a safe and happy New Year.

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On Returns

Ah, BlizzCon. An exciting time even for those of us who are keeping up only by virtue of Twitter or gaming news sites. Exciting even for those of us who haven’t been logged in for several months.

I won’t even attempt to add to the discussion surrounding the announcements of the new xpac and all the changes and additions that should come along with that. I will say I have liked more or less everything I have seen and heard, particularly that part where it’ll be a full 10-level xpac. Call me old-fashioned, but the 5-level xpacs never sat right with me. It might be my love of even numbers talking there.

I can certainly see myself coming back to the game when the xpac drops, though probably not much before. The main hurdle as I see it is that I don’t have a guild to come back to. The secondary problem is that I’m not sure what sort of guild I’ll even be looking for when it comes time, except to say that I would like to see a few familiar faces from the WoW community at large and I will need it to be active, even if I’m not directly part of the activity. The crushing silence of a mostly-dead guild got to be too much for even my introverted ass to handle in the last few months I was playing.

Part of me thinks about making a go of rebuilding Eff, possibly on another server since Azuremyst is out of the question. I doubt it would actually happen. While I can think of one or two people who might join me, the sad truth is that most of my pre-existing WoW family no longer plays the game and isn’t likely to make a return. Also, I’m aware that my Real Life situation might not permit me to take the time that is involved in GMing, let alone Srs Raiding.

And do I want to start over on another server again? I put a lot of effort into supporting alts on both Azuremyst and Moonrunner. Walking away from the Moonrunner alts might be more effort than I can make.

All in all, I have a lot to sort out. Lucky for me I’ll have time to do so. At least I know I will be back and I am excited to see what they will have to offer for end game content!

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Leadership, Leveling, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wherein it becomes even more apparent that I need to get Zel back to playing WoW because she is comedy gold

Conversation1 this afternoon between me and Zel. You guys remember her. She’s freaking hilarious and I miss her snark in the green text that is guild chat.

Zel: so the lawyers in your office remind me of my cat
when I bring fresh water out, she has to drink it all
like just snarfs it up
and then gets this LOOK and yaks it all up and spins around like a damn sprinkler
and I’m wiping mostly water off the floor with the occasional bit of cat food in it
going GODDAMMIT
and that is what I imagine your office like
they all flock as soon as you put something out and then make the biggest mess they possibly can

Alas: That is… accurate

  1. Edited slightly for maximum readability
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Procrastination is for winners

So it’s almost July 1, and I finally decided that maaaybe I should work on getting a Google Reader replacement. Thank goodness for Grimm’s recent reminder that I would therefore also need to work on the good old blogroll. You’re a champ, Grimm.

I worked on it today since I was feeling all self-satisfied about having gotten a Reader replacement, and added some new categories. A lot of blogs have gone all defunct on me1, so I was way overdue for a pruning. What few WoW blogs I do still read made for a small and dispiriting list, so I decided to toss some other categories up there. It’s all still a work in progress as I seem to have somehow lost some feeds along the way. I’ll get there eventually. You know, if the procrastination doesn’t set in alongside my general apathy and cripple all my good intentions.

Anyhow, if you’re a blogger of some stripe and you have some reason to think that I do read you and managed to leave you off a list, let me know. If you are on the list and something is wrong, let me know that, too. Adding links in manually is so effing painful that I stopped paying close attention somewhere after the fifth or sixth one.

  1. I remained subbed to all of these, but generally speaking, if there was not a post within the last three months, I didn’t make a link.
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Odds and Ends

Remember when I had something to write about every day?

Me neither.

Oh well. Writing has not been something for which I have had much mojo lately, for which I blame several stressful months at work. At least my terrible coworker is finally gone and the good coworker who precipitated the whole mess by going part-time in the first place is back to being full-time and I stuck him with my old hours and my old job. That’ll teach him to leave.

I have been playing WoW somewhere in all the odd moments of time to myself but there hasn’t been anything super exciting going on. Nothing that seemed to merit its own blog post, anyhow. But if I put it all together in one mess of a post? Well, it’s still not that exciting but it is what you get today.

The guild remains quiet and not raiding, which is still a bit sad but not enough to make me pursue those fleeting thoughts I have about starting up my own guild and recruiting and remembering why being a peon is so nice and being a guild leader isn’t.

Besides, my army of alts is still keeping me plenty busy. Franq is 87 and still spends all her time running around with At’s Druid. He’s a bear and she’s finally started to live up to her name by having gone resto. The spell I accidentally cast the most and at the worst possible times? Tranquility. I really ought to make a macro that points out in some clever fashion that Franquility is casting Tranquility. Again. Even though we’re all just standing around trying to decide what to roll on the loot that just dropped and no one is even thinking of taking damage.

In other news, my rogue went Gnome and changed her name. I just dislike the dwarf models enough that I couldn’t stand playing Alexxira any more and what use is a level 90 that I won’t play even long enough to do farm dailies and such? None. I haven’t done much more with her in her smaller state, but she sure is cute!

As cute as a Gnome can be, anyway, seeing as how they are vaguely creepy.

As cute as a Gnome can be, anyway, seeing as how they are vaguely creepy.

When I’m not on an alt, which is rare, I’ve been working on pet gathering on Alas. I’m working on the Raiding with Leashes II achievement, which has been slow-going with only three pets in the same number of weeks.

I did, however, somehow manage to finally obtain this:

Totally disappointed with the mount, to be honest.

Totally disappointed with the mount, to be honest.

And yesterday I finally managed to find the wherewithal to finish beating the Outland Pet Tamers. Pet battling is just barely manageable when I barely pay attention to it while I’m indulging my shameful Candy Crush addiction on the second monitor.

Naming pets is far more enjoyable, but that has also been a slow process. I was pleased to finally come up with a good name for my Lil’ XT yesterday. I was yelling “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!” at the screen as he did his tympanic tantrum and then commented to At that I am always reminded of Tamarind’s having described Lil’ XT as a “histrionic little bastard” and… well…

Although "Lil' Bastard" would have been fun, too

Although “Lil’ Bastard” would have been fun, too

Last but not least, I’ve indulged in a bit of ‘mogging recently, tired as I was of Alas’ all-white look. The result of my careful planning and dedicated gathering is rather epic, if I do say so myself.

Now that your eyes are bleeding, I'll call this post a wrap

Now that your eyes are bleeding, I’ll call this post a wrap

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a long-neglected hunter who is waiting to finish up her Loremaster of Northrend achievement. Project QuATT will eventually see an end. Probably. Eventually.

Posted in Leveling, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Engineers. What a bunch of bastards.

One of the best things about having parked my boatload of baby alts in the Shrine is that they usually get a chance to be the toon to talk to the Blingtron 4000 and have a chance at getting 5 free profession skill-ups.

Profession skill points are one of those things you sort of grow to covet when you decide to make nearly every character you have a dual-production profession character. Like I did. When I decided I needed an army of alchemists, with 7/10 of my existing toons busily engaged in making potions and flasks in a bid to corner any current and future transmute markets.

But that’s another story and not a very exciting one. It’s just the reason why seeing this in the Shrine one day made me see red:

Rude

I ran around the Shrine for… a while, trying to track that sucker down. Was it downstairs and outside? Was it on the roof? Was it upstairs on one of those inside balconies, appearing to be more central on my minimap than it actually was?

No, no and no. It was on a random platform just inside the door, far out of reach for any of my baby toons who cannot fly at all anywhere, let alone Pandaria.

I sulked.

I growled a bit.

When At started laughing and saying he was going to find even more difficult-to-reach places, I declared that Engineers must have an inherent jerkishness that makes them quite unpleasant to even be around.

Out of reach

 

I mean, really. Don’t they know that Blingtrons are for me and my use?

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Focus, several months later

I blogged towards the beginning of the year that I wanted to make my One Word for 2013 be the word “Focus.” I’ve been awfully quiet around here as of late, so here’s a quick post talking about my progress so far.

Let’s start with the good, shall we?

Writing

Not only have I been working diligently on my fiction, I’ve been working on the project I’ve determined to get finished this year. Just yesterday I took all the words from all the individual documents (I post it to ff.net so it’s been easier to write it literally a chapter at a time) and compiled them into one big document. My word count is sitting just a hair under 64000, so I’m pretty close to getting that finished up. It could be anywhere from 40-60k words more, but I am less concerned about that than I am in actually telling the story. Plot-wise, we’ve turned a major corner, so I’d put things at roughly halfway done.

Once I finish that, I’ll be turning to a more serious pursuit. Like, the book I think I could actually make a run at actually publishing. Whenever I can’t bring myself to focus on the JAFF1, I plot ahead for this other project. When I first got the idea for it last October, I immediately hurled some 17k words at it, so I have a decent beginning and almost can’t wait to write more.

All in all, my writing is in a good place. Possibly the best it has been in over five years.

The Social Life

I am very pleased to report that my real life social life has also been going rather well. I’ve made a few friends at work and those interactions have progressed to the point where we’re actually getting together outside of work and I’m actually going to open up my home to one of these women for three weeks while she is between living situations.

I’ve also gotten closer with my sister and a few people from her circle of friends, again, even hosting them on several occasions. As my home is very much my retreat from the world, these are big steps for me. What’s been great is that they haven’t felt like big steps. We’ve just been having stupid amounts of fun and it doesn’t seem to matter where.

I believe At is much relieved to finally have other people to interact with again. Poor little extrovert living with an extreme introvert!

On the downside, I feel like the more time I make for the people I actually see every day, the less I am inclined to socialize online. I’m sure that’s more of a downside for me than it is for anyone who might otherwise be willing me to shut up already on Twitter.

Weight Loss

Coming up in a grey area as having been neither terribly awesome nor terribly terrible is weight loss. My tracking has been out the damn window and with all the social events, I am not eating or drinking as little as I ought to be.

On the other hand, the job is keeping me very active most days. So, I have lost a few pounds but only a few. I keep telling myself to focus and to track and combine the activity with a rigorous approach to eating, but my best intentions keep getting swept away on the weekends when I share a meal and some wine with friends. Sometimes multiple days in a row.

All of that being said, I totally need to get out and buy some smaller pants and that’s always a good feeling.

WoW

Of all things, my focus in WoW that I had planned to be on my main is coming along the worst. To be fair, there doesn’t seem to be much point in working on my raiding skills when I’m not actually raiding. I’ve stalled out on the new rep grind and the legendary quest line. I’ve only been to the new raids two or three times and haven’t even seen past the turtle boss guy at all. See? I don’t have the slightest idea what his name even is.

My alts are getting most of my attention and time, as I’ve (somewhat ambitiously) decided to make most of them dual production professions. My rogue, who is a dual-gatherer, has been mining and herbing her little heart out and I’ve been trying to establish the flow of materials based on who is the highest level and who is the lowest. I also took the time to get all of my alts up to at least 75 points in both of their primary professions and all but one of the secondary professions (archaeology being too painful to level without flying, imo) in time for the Darkmoon Faire.

Next month, I will have to take care not to attempt to run all of them through the Faire in the same day as that got very tedious. But it is over and done for this month and I am blissfully ignoring the Faire dailies since I have all the mounts and pets at last.

Looking Ahead

As this year continues to turn, I plan to keep my focus on my writing and the weight loss issue. I feel that my social life is happening naturally enough at this point that I don’t need to push myself to get out there and do more. If there is a shift back towards raiding in my guild, I’ll worry then about really being diligent on Alas, but feel that it’s okay to be a bit lackadaisical about her now.

An area that I would like to add to focus on is in developing my career. What I said about my book above notwithstanding, I don’t want to work a succession of crappy, low paying jobs just to write. I am proving to myself that I can fit it in when I make it a priority and I’d like to transition to a career that will be an actual career.

The idea has stumped me until recently, since I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted to do that I had much of a prayer of getting into. After all, I’ve spent over a year watching my company’s postings looking for the “dream job” and the closest I can get to it seems to be a part time shift with crap hours.

I’ve at last landed on obtaining my PMP certification and hopefully breaking into doing Project Management for IT. It seems like something that my skills would complement nicely while also being something that would challenge me.

Anyhow, that’s how my year of focus is shaping up so far. Maybe in another couple months I’ll get desperate enough to blog again that I’ll give another update. I haven’t even posted this one yet (well, I will have by the time you’re reading it, but… whatever) and I can practically feel the excitement you guys have in all the boring details of my boring life.

  1. Again, a vaguely steampunk/urban fantasy Pride & Prejudice; ping me for a link if that is your cup of tea, though I will throw disclaimers at you first
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Dreams really do come true

Oh, hello there! Everything around here has been on the quiet side lately, hasn’t it? I blame my job. Not the coffee making one, but the one I just recently got.

I’ve been super excited about it and have wanted to tell you guys, but there have been a few factors preventing me from doing so until now. The first of these is that I have been terribly busy just trying to find my footing and establish a routine. The second is that I signed an agreement stating that I wouldn’t talk about it until we were ready to launch.

Well, we’re finally ready to launch!

So here it is, guys: Dreams really do come true and I am now being paid to write! Like, for words and the typing them up in a certain order. Amazing, right?

There is a caveat or two. One is that this isn’t exactly writing the next Great American Novel. In fact, it’s a style of writing I’ve never expected to get into on a serious basis before. And the subject matter, while being similar to something else near and dear to my heart, isn’t what I am really passionate about.

I’m not complaining, truly. I mean, this is a wonderful opportunity and I’m so excited to finally get a chance to see my name in print. On something that has been really published on paper, and not just in an electronic format.

Anyway. That’s enough excited chatter from me. I’ve gotten permission to share the cover of this month’s issue with you all here. Hey, maybe some of you will even purchase a subscription! I’m tremendously excited about this and I hope you’ll love it, too!

 

 

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Minipost: Stomp this!

I made an inadvertent discovery today1, squawked about it on Twitter and discovered that I was not the only person who didn’t know this before. So. Here we are. Halfhill. The daily in question is called Pest Problems and you have to stomp on marmots or mook mooks. This is tedious, seeing as how you have to avoid swarms of bugs and wait for the marmots to spawn and then be close enough to jump on them.

Well, not if you do it in these three easy steps.

1. Talk to the guy on the wagon.

2. Wait in the air for about a minute.

3. Land and AoE the crap out of them. It counts. You’re welcome.

 

Screenshot courtesy of my husband

 

  1. I just really hate those marsh fiddler things and so popped an Arcane Explosion to kill one and caught a handful of marmots by accident. It’s right up there with the discovery of penicillin!
Posted in Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Minipost: A possibly unpopular opinion

Several weeks ago, I saw a bit of a kerfuffle on The Twitters regarding the PvP stage of the legendary quest. I don’t actually recall who was involved in the discussion, so take my recap with a grain of salt. My takeaway was that one side was arguing that PvP shouldn’t be required for a PvE-centric quest line and the other side was more enthusiastically for it.

I knew I was coming up on that part of the chain and I wasn’t inclined to look forward to having to win a few battlegrounds. PvP and I don’t really get along very well in general, and if I am going to engage in it, I prefer to not have to do so on my mage. I favor being able to pick my battles, so I tend to prefer PvP on a rogue or a kitteh druid.

Still, I’ve been meaning to try my hand at more PvP on Alas, simply because I believe it will push me into honing skills that I don’t hone while killing ten whatsits for the sake of a daily. And then came a quest that required I win two battles. I went in expecting to lose a few times. I went in expecting to die a lot. I went in expecting to have to capture a base or a flag. I wasn’t expecting it to be fun.

Turns out, the mechanics of the battlegrounds I needed to win were different, easy enough to figure out on the fly and a whole lot of fun. Oh, and the Alliance waltzed in and won with ease.

The only Powerball I'll ever win

 

“I love this PvP!” I exclaimed to At after finishing the second battleground. “It’s so much fun!”

“War is only fun when you’re winning,” he observed in reply.

Way to encourage me to branch out there, babe.

The point is, I’ve resented Wrathion a lot along the way for the crap he wants me to do. But for the PvP portion of this quest line, I am grateful. I never would have tried the battlegrounds had I been left to my own devices, and I wouldn’t know that it really can be fun even for me.

And I wouldn’t have mopped up a few more achievements.

So if you are like me and PvP isn’t typically your thing, don’t get mad about it. Just try it. You might like it more than you could have anticipated!

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Mage Related | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments