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When Chronic Illness Strikes

When Chronic Illness Strikes

This post is (1/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

Blaugust Has Begun!

Today marks the first day of Blaugust. This week, the theme is “Prep Week”. As explained by Bel, “This is a time for those of us in the community who have sorta figured this blogging thing out to help get you started with some tips and tricks style posts.”

I’m not always great at working within themes, but today inspiration came to me as I tried to work my way through another depressive episode to make this first post. (I’m fairly open about the fact that I have depression and anxiety. It’s something you may see mentioned here often.)

Chronic Illness Is a Thing

It’s a thing that many people deal with day-to-day, whether it be an invisible illness (mental illness, chronic pains, etc.) or a visible illness, it is something that can be especially draining. And some days, you just don’t have enough spoons to get done what needs to get done… so how does one even begin to tackle the “want to do”s, like blogging?

Well, that’s something you need to decide for yourself, but here’s some tips and tricks I use that may prove helpful for others.

Rabbit From a Hat

Sometimes it can feel like you’re doing magic tricks to tackle the “want to do”s. But there’s ways I’ve found to help me  manage that. I’m hoping they prove of some use to others.

  • Sometimes, accept that it just can’t be tackled and change your goal. I know the vast majority of us have lofty goals to try and complete all 31 days with no issue. But sometimes, goals need to be adjusted so that you don’t run yourself ragged. While I very much wanted to try to get this post out today (and I succeeded) I also had to accept that maybe it wasn’t a good day to try.
  • Find other avenues if it’s too much. For me, this sometimes means writing it down in my bullet journal until I get to a place where I have the energy to sit at the computer to re-write, tweak, and find images to go with it. On really bad days, it could mean that I use a voice recorder on my phone and just speak my ideas until I get to a place where I can transpose them. Maybe for you that means you just post an audio log and add an edit to a post later transposing it. Or maybe you just leave the audio as-is on your blog. Don’t hold yourself to just writing walls of text.
  • Don’t hold yourself to writing walls of text. Yes, I know I just said this, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to writing more than one or two paragraphs. A great example is Aeyvi‘s blog/website Screenographic. Her posts essentially consist of a batch of photos in a gallery format. While not a traditional “blog”, per se, it’s still an amazing resource, and one I love to indulge in. If you’re not feeling walls of text, don’t do it. Post a bunch of screenshots you took and give a sentence or two. Or even just one paragraph is enough. Microblogging is a valid form of blogging.
  • Get ahead on the good days. If you’re lucky enough to have a few days where your spoon management has paid off, you might have some extra energy/time. Use these to your advantage and start putting together draft posts. Then when you have a bad day, pull out these (hopefully at least mostly finished) posts, add a tweak or two, and post it. These will probably have to be something a little more evergreen in topic, but you can always adjust something later (assuming it isn’t about current events).
  • Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. This is a trap that everyone falls into, and I can attest it can be difficult to practice what you preach. But it goes back to the first point: accept that you just might not be able to tackle it. Sometimes, we just can’t do everything. Chronic illness is tough. And, at least for me, I get in a mindset of, “how can I not even handle this? I must be terrible!”. Luckily I have a wonderful Manthing who reminds me that no, I’m just doing the best I can.

And I want to tell all of you, if you run into this… YOU. ARE. DOING. THE. BEST. YOU. CAN. It won’t necessarily look like someone else’s best-they-can, and that’s okay. You’re on your own journey. Use it to your advantage. Work with it. Find new ways to tackle things. Y’all got this.

Ch-Ch-Changes

Ch-Ch-Changes

Moving to WordPress

As a thank you to Beej, I’m pimping his stuff. Because he’s a great content creator, too!!

When I first started up my Patreon back in January 2017, one of the big goals I wanted to hit was to move over to WordPress and get a domain name. I’d yet to hit that goal, but it just so happened that Beej saw that goal on my Patreon and offered me space over on WordPress.

So the blog will be moving very soon (I’m hoping by April 17 at the latest)! I’m in the process of re-designing the pages at the moment, as well as trying to settle on a theme, and whether I need plug-ins. And before I move over, I’ll export all my blog posts, then make a final post here redirecting folks… It’s a bit daunting, but I appreciate all of the help that folks have offered as I’ve had questions or issues. I’m looking forward to learning my way through WordPress.

Patreon

I’ve had a Patreon for a while. But I always feel weird mentioning it, even though I know I really need to promote it more. So I’m just going to leave this here, and ask that if you’d like to make a monthly donation, please do! I also have a link on Patreon to my Ko-fi account if you’d rather do a one-time donation. There are both SFW and NSFW tiers available for those that are interested, and anything of $2+ gets access to Discord! So check it out. Get a thank you on my blog. Get to vote on what I game. Get other fun things if you’re so inclined. It’s a win-win for everybody!

Me the Gamer, and Gamer Sins

Me the Gamer, and Gamer Sins

So, I haven’t been very good at keeping up with the NBI Writing Prompts that have gone down. I caught the first and second prompts but didn’t really have much to say on them. For the first one, I really didn’t want to get into GamerGate, so promptly avoided the prompt (sorry, Izlain!), and the Kickstarter one was a great topic… except I’ve only ever backed one Kickstarter in my whole life, and it was just recently for some dice.

But I do want to try to cover the other two topics (timeliness… I know. I’m hoping Blaugust will help with that!), because they’re pretty awesome, so here goes!

What Made Me a Gamer

Jaedia posed this topic for the third week of the Talkback Challenge.

I remember playing the Berenstain Bears when I was about five on the computer (back when the 8-inch floppy was a thing). I remember being one of the only kids in school having a computer, because my Dad needed one for work. I played the crap out of that game. Any time my parents would let me on the computer.

We didn’t have a gaming system, though. At least not until my grandmother (to the annoyance of my parents) bought my brother and I an N64 (which my brother has claimed…damn!)  for Christmas one year. I had, before then, played on a friend’s PlayStation (some Monster Rancher and Rhapsody, mainly), and watched my cousins play various Disney-related games on some sort of system. I don’t remember which one at this point in time (all I remember is that I always kicked their asses).

Soon after that, my parents accepted the fact that it was something my brother and I enjoyed doing–playing video games. So they started letting us purchase a game here or there from the store for the N64. I also remember my father purchasing my younger brother Lego Island to play on the computer. I think I totally played it more than him, though. He just really liked the cars and race track. I remember “rage-quitting” the game because I couldn’t ever chase down the Brickster. I just kind of cried and sulked and didn’t play it again.

I also remember the hours I spent watching my father play Myst. I couldn’t ever really solve the puzzles myself, but I thought the scenery was the most amazing thing ever.

From there, I kind of jumped into gaming and geekery head-long. My brother and I got Game Boy colors for Christmas from our parents one year, and played them for the longest time, until we sold them to get the Game Boy Advance (which I’m sad at myself for doing). And then I sold my Game Boy Advance to get the original DS (which I still have).

My parents have always been geeks/nerds–we were raised on Star Trek, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. I feel like gaming was just a natural extension to this because of the stories some games told (I’m still miffed I got rid of my Golden Sun games!).

I also remember being grumpy about the fact that as a girl into gaming, there weren’t many games for me. I mean, there was the Tamagotchi game for GBA I played the crap out of, but I was considered “weird” because I bought things like, well, Golden Sun, or Donkey Kong. But that’s a completely different topic.

Seven Gaming Sins

Joseph Skyrim posed this interesting topic for the fourth week of the Talkback Challenge.

Lust – Do you enjoy games more if they have scantily clad and “interestingly proportioned” avatars? Do you like playing as one of these avatars? Why or why not?
I think there’s a difference between “sexist” and “sexy” characters. As a curvier woman, I want my lady avatars to have curves! But I want them to be semi-realistic. Not K-size breasts, a stick waist, and a butt worthy of Apple Bottoms. Sure, keep the K-breasts, and Apple Bottoms, but add a little more proportion to the middle. Same goes for the outfits. Unless it’s going to be equal opportunity booty shorts (let’s go, WildStar! I want my male booty shorts! I will roll a Granok Male just for this!).

Gluttony – Do you have a game backlog of unfinished games but still buy new games regardless? Why or why not?

BAHAHAHA. >.> Me? Backlog of games? NEVER! <.<
Yes, I have a backlog of games. It’s the fault of Humble Bundle, really. Do I still buy new games? Well, I’ve become a bit more selective in my choice of Humble Bundle deals. If there’s not more than two games that really catch me, I’m going to pass it up. I’ve started adding more to my Steam list, though, in comparison to when I just willy-nilly bought Humble Bundle deals.

Greed – Do you enjoy hand outs in a game? Have you ever opted to NOT do an action / in game activity because the rewards were lacking? Why or why not?

Define handouts, first and foremost. I think everyone sees different things as handouts. Yeah, there are activities in games I do or don’t do, but it’s more the intrinsic motivation, rather than extrinsic (though, sometimes, it really is for the bragging rights, or that badass mini-pet).

Sloth – Do you ever leech or AFK in a party? Do you discourage others from attempting things that you feel are difficult? Have you ever seen someone that needed help, but decided not to help them? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. We have kicked folks from the WildStar guild from doing such things (AFK/leeching). And in WoW, I never liked getting “run-through” because it felt cheapened. I also didn’t really like doing it for other folks, either. I don’t discourage folks from attempting things that I feel are difficult–it just might mean that I don’t participate in that particular thing. Like raiding in WildStar, for instance. I want to become attuned because it’s a neat (and tedious–and I love tedious, for some reason), but I don’t think I’ll ever raid current content. FFXIV, however, maybe I’ll get to raid some at level 60.
As for helping folks, yeah, there have been times I haven’t helped. I generally do, but sometimes I either don’t have enough time, I need some time where I’m not being social, etc. Most of the time, a “I’m sorry, I’m working on some other things at the moment, maybe later.” suffices.

Wrath – Ever get angry at other players and yell (or TYPE IN CAPS) at them? Have you ever been so angry to stalk a person around in game and / or in the forums? Why or why not?

I’m a Mama Bear. Of course I get angry at other players, especially when they diss my guildies or are asshats. Do I type in all caps? Occassionally, and most of the time it’s a joke thing. Do I stalk? Never.

Envy – Ever felt jealous of players who seem to be able to complete content you can’t? Do you ever suspect they are hacking or otherwise cheating? Why or why not?

Yeah, sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s not something that interests me, and unless I want to put in all that time and effort for something that doesn’t interest me, then it’s not something I really should be jealous about. Y’know? As for hacking/cheating… unless there’s something that clearly defines it as such, no, I don’t suspect that.

Pride – Are you one of those people that demands grouping with other “elite” players? Do you kick players out of your team who you feel are under-performing? Why or why not?

I sometimes see myself as a prideful person. However, elitist behaviors are not prideful behaviors. Am I “an elitist”? I damn well try not to be. And no, I don’t kick under-performing folks. Everyone has to learn at some point. In WoW, we would run with a Boomkin who wasn’t the best at mechanics, and sometimes brought the group down, but he was the sweetest guy, and appreciated the help we gave him. And you know what? Despite him not being the best at first, we still got some server-first kills in 10-man runs. And no, I don’t feel like we carried him. Because he was always alive on the first down.
New Layout Inc

New Layout Inc

Just a notice that things may look a little…weird…the next few days as I work on a new layout for the blog. This old one has about had it, and the Peons just can’t be trusted in a job like this, so I have to take matters into my own hands.

On a completely separate note, expect updates and more of Saga’s “20 Days of WoW” challenge very soon!

And, we’re back!

And, we’re back!

I know it was a while, but the Elephant and I are finally settled in (for the most part) and life has calmed down (after this Wednesday, anyway… defending my thesis equivalent! YIKES!). But, I’m back! I can’t wait to start back on BA topics. I’ve missed them so much. And the community.

While I’ve been following my favorites, I haven’t had much time outside of life and raid to even comment. Which makes me quite sad, considering there have been some awesome topics out there since my mini-hiatus.

Expect a post from me this week on the new BA topic! 😀 Really happy to be back.

Also, I’ve gotten back into playing Sims again, and have started a Legacy challenge I’m fairly certain will not become either (1) corrupted or (2) destroyed by a computer crash.

Anyway, happy gaming!

Life Changes

Life Changes

This is just a quick little update and heads up for any followers that I may be MIA for a few weeks. (Man! And I’m already behind on BA entries and Saga’s challenge too!) The Elephant and I are in the process of moving while finishing our school semesters and working. I would honestly really like to take a break every so often from the hectic activity that is packing your life up and blog, but I cannot guarantee such an action. Hence the little notice. I will officially be back mid- to late-April, with another “official” notice. But, if I blog before then, I will be one happy camper. 😀

I shall also continue to keep up with the feed reader every few days at the very least. Have to keep updated with the community SOMEHOW. 😉 <3

20 Days of… Why I Decided to Blog (Day 2)

20 Days of… Why I Decided to Blog (Day 2)

This is Day 2 of Saga’s 20 days of WoW Blogging challenge! Been a tad behind in keeping up with this, but now that things have [slightly] normalized with school, I’m back to blogging!

I started blogged way back in 2001 with DeadJournal with my best friend, and then migrated soon after over to LiveJournal as soon as a friend from school got me a code to join. I was always on there–lurking in the communities, joining a few here and there, and updating like mad, thinking that people cared all about my life. It was sort of the precurser to MySpace, come to think of it. Though, it was a great outlet for a difficult time in my life, and a very good way to keep in contact with some of my closest friends (before Facebook ever existed).

But, eventually, I tired of the community, and stopped writing in my journal. I kept a few paper journals here and there for various reasons–usually just to keep my creativity fresh, sometimes to organize my thoughts.

And then I got into the Google Feedreader to keep track of some blogs I was reading, such as B3, R4L and Ramble Rori, among others. Nowadays, my feedreader is so full that I check it every day just in case. Following B3 and R4L inspired me to start my own blog… eventually.

The end of 2009 inspired me to start my cooking/weight loss blog. I’d been having a lot of trouble with medications and health complications on my former 40 pound weight loss, and gained it all back. I thought that keeping myself accountable via the internet was a good idea. I don’t update my cooking/weight loss blog as often as I would like to, and have really been trying to get on top of that.

Since I enjoyed blogging so much about the recipes I was cooking, I decided to try joining the WoW blogging community, since they seemed so robust and pretty cool, based on what I’d seen on B3 and more. And the community IS as awesome as I thought! I love getting comments from others in the community, and being able to share my thoughts that coincide with their own–much like this.

So, the long-and-short? I love blogging, and I like the community, and I’m glad I started way back when with DJ and LJ.

20 Days of… Introduction (Day 1)

20 Days of… Introduction (Day 1)

Saga over at Spellbound proposed a “20 Days of…” challenge based upon Ama‘s “20 Days of Warcraft”. I found it by following Saz, and found it really interesting… so I’m going to do it in hopes that it will get me blogging more regularly and keep my creative juices going.

So, without further ado, here’s Day 1!

Day 1 entails an Introduction of myself. Now, I could direct you to my first post, where I give a brief introduction of myself, or I could direct you to my Autoblogography from a previous BA:ST, or even direct you to my various pages about me.

But, to be fair, I guess I’ll give a little out-of-game description of me, despite how much I hate giving a description of myself!

I’m a graduate student in corporate educational design. TL;DR?It’s the process of analyzing a group’s (business, or school, or even government) needs, and then designing and developing new (or improving upon old) instructional materials, usually with technology, and then putting these into practice and evaluating how they hold up. I graduate this summer, and have been working my butt off on some pretty heavy-duty work this semester along with developing my portfolio for graduation.

It’s something I’ve been interested in since I was an undergrad. I love it, I really do. And I’m blessed with a job where I do just that. It’s also really cool that my co-workers also fall into the plethora of geek and nerd interests.

I have quite a few health problems, and I am trying to lose weight thanks to some of said health problems. I won’t get into details, but normal days can be very trying thanks to them. I keep another blog based upon my weight loss, and the recipes I create to help facilitate said weight loss.

I have a neurotic dog that is slowly adapting to a normal life (poor thing was abused and a stray), a demon cat with a loving side (also adopted), and then there’s the Elephant’s tarantula, Esme. I have a huge fear of spiders and scorpions, but I’m slowly getting used to Meeda. (Emphasis on the slowly.)

Speaking of the Elephant… He’s the most amazing thing in my life. I am lucky to have found him. We met just before I was thinking of leaving Graduate school and moving back in with my parents (a few states away), and we hit it off instantly. We rolled our Druids together, and, well, the rest is history. Every day with him is an adventure, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive and loving man. We know we’re soul mates, regardless of what others think of the concept. We do pretty much everything together, both in-game and out, and I love it.

And that, in a nutshell, is me outside of game and my crafts. Bare bones, as it were. Stay tuned for the second part, “Why You Decided to Start a Blog”.

BA Shared Topic: Autoblogography!

BA Shared Topic: Autoblogography!

I joined Blog Azeroth recently and have been enjoying my time in the community so far, even if I am more of a lurker than anything… at the moment, anyway. This week, Ophelie of Bossy Pally asked that we write an Autoblogography.

What pushed you to start blogging? What challenges have you faced? What are your favorite posts and why? What are the stories behind them? How has blogging affected your gaming?

If you’re a new blogger, you can write about your experience so far, about what you hope for the future.

As much as I would love to write about the first few ideas (and I think it would be easier by far), I will tackle the second topic idea–being a new blogger, as I still fall into that category, so I think.

I started blogging on games, geekdom and crafts a while after I started blogging about my cooking and weight loss goals as a New Year’s “Resolution” (I call them Winning Outcomes… Resolution just has such a negative connotation to me). I was inspired because I was bored and didn’t have many friends after moving down South for graduate school. I still don’t have many, but that is besides the point considering I found the Elephant… Anyway.

I wanted to write about what I enjoyed that didn’t fit into the theme of my other blog. Then I just kind of abandoned it for a while. Just like I did the other blog. I don’t really have any good excuses outside of my life being turned upside down (in a good way!) and lots of school.

I started back up and joined Blog Azeroth soon after as a way to keep up with the community in a more engaged fashion–to keep me social and keep me inspired. While being involved in the blogging community is no replacement for live people, the few comments and new friends I have made so far have made my blogging experience amazing, and a lot less scary than I originally thought.

I hope this blog continues to be a place of inspiration for me. And not just on WoW topics! I want to start crafting more, and sharing what I craft. And I want to share more about my D&D campaign lawl-moments. I’ll never be a theory-crafter, though I’m sure I’ll write tutorials or guides at some point or another. It’s something I love to do, and do extensively on my guild’s forums (quite possibly to the dismay of guildies–I imagine the “OMG, another one!” groans in my head every time I post a rep guide or such).

Where my heart lies, though, is just sharing my experiences with others–no matter what realm of geekdom or nerddom that falls into.

Thanks, Ophe for the topic!