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Play Time!

I’ve been working hard for weeks now, with very few days off. I usually stop when I have to, for one reason or another, which is okay, but I need to get better about claiming some down time from the world in general.

Awhile back, I blogged about feeling the itch for a new game. Champions Online was what we decided on, but the buzz lasted a mere day or do. Free games are okay, but when it means you can’t actually communicate with anyone effectively, it’s pretty frustrating.

Anyways, a couple of days ago my husband mentioned Rift, which I’d previously not heard of. We did some reading, watched some videos, and decided that we’d give it a try. One guy on a vid basically said that if you like WoW, but don’t want to play WoW, then Rift is a great game for you – sounds perfect to me! We are well and truly done with WoW.

I started a character today and played through the first levels and the intro zones. It was fun. New game, but close enough to the other games I’ve played that it was like slipping back into something warm and familiar. Beautiful graphics, same keys as other games, oh yes, I have missed this. I’ve felt really quite elated this afternoon and I think this was JUST the kind of escapism that I’ve been needing.

Books are wonderful escapism typically, but lately I have hit on a few too many novels that have great ideas which fall flat on the execution. I’m getting a little sick of that. I need some pure awesome reading in the very near future or I may not want to read for a bit. I keep thinking ‘I can totally do better than this’. And I will, when I get the time. In the meantime I really don’t want to read stories that are completely over written, constantly changing pov with no notice that a shift has taken place, filled with implausible characters, studded with the totally overdone ‘omg I just met him and I LOVE him and LUST after him’ness that seems to be going around at the moment. Please don’t let me catch that. BLERGH.

Anyways. I has me some happies, because I has a new game. And that’s me for the night! Tomorrow, I get back to work. Today I PLAY.

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That old familiar itch

I can tell when my babies are getting easier by the fact that I start thinking about gaming. Of course I tell myself that I should not game, because I should be writing, but the reality is that I do the bulk of my writing stuff during nap time, not in the evening. I’m going to admit now that for the most part, at night I sit on the couch with Hubby and watch movies or TV – it would be nice to spend the occasional night playing games.

So I’m on the hunt…

We’ve been browsing the free games, and we’re going to have a fiddle with Champions Online because it’s free to play now. I’ve never played a super hero game, so it’ll be fun and something a little different for me. See I’m what is called a “newb”, I don’t know much and I don’t know how to do it well, I certainly don’t need cheap gaming chairs with outstanding performance. I need hand eye coordination, and game multitasking is not the same as multitasking.

Hubby has said that when Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out he wants to play that for a little while and by the time it is released, I’ll hopefully have plenty of hands free time and will be able to play too. It looks pretty awesome, and now that I know it’s coming and that we’re in I can start obsessing 🙂 Oh, obsession, my old friend.

It’s been too long since I’ve played World of Warcraft to go back to it. Our old guild has fallen apart well and truly by now (it managed to stay mostly together, in various forms, for several expansions, and several of our quitting and restarting episodes), and for me, a great deal of the fun is in the social side of things. If I’m going to have to re-network, I want to do it in a new game, with a new character.

I miss gaming with Hubby. We make a good team, and it’ll be nice to be doing something more mentally stimulating than watch TV together from time to time. (Not that we lack mental stimulation! He is one of the smartest guys I know, and I love discussing all kinds of things with him. Not to mention that he’s cute, and has a wicked sense of humor – P.S he doesn’t read my blog, so no, I’m not fishing for brownie points! lol).

Yay! It feels like I’m reclaiming another part of myself. I have often said that I’d not be gaming again, but you know what? That’s just a part of who I am. A gamer chick. I can love and accept that.

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A whole lot of nothing

Writing-wise, the title sums it all up. I’ve been thinking about writing, and avoiding it. Frankly, I was just too tired – I had a week where I was getting no more than 5 hours of sleep a night and by the time I got a space in the day to write, I just couldn’t face it. I’ve been hiding from the world in WoW instead, and for some reason, now that I’ve hit level 78, I feel like I can stop playing semi-obsessively (can’t call it obsessively, I just don’t have enough hours in the day to play to that level!).

And we’ve had two nights of more sleep, so I feel like maybe it’s time to start tapping back into my novella. Maybe I can save this thing, maybe I can get out 20k words this month after all (ha! I feel like I’m kidding myself here, but you never know unless you try, right?).

Things are looking up in general. I was told not to worry because all my needs would be met, and it seems to be slowly coming true: the bank has approved a loan so that we can buy a people mover, we’ve possibly found one for a really good price in Rotorua which we could pick up when we go over there next week. A friend is going to house-sit while we’re gone which means that maybe, for once, I can relax and have a good time knowing that my canine-baby is safe and secure in her own home (not that she isn’t safe other places, but she is very much happiest at home). I finally got some new bras (lol sorry if you don’t want to know, but hell, its exciting!) some sexy HotMilk ones – I decided to splurge (something I very rarely do – and I don’t feel guilty, which is even cooler!) because I’ve been in maternity bras for over a year now and am going to be for another two most likely, so why not have something nice to wear? All women know that you feel much better about yourself with some nice underwear. Also, on Monday morning I felt this baby moving inside me, it gave me a very impressive kick despite the fact that it’s quite small at this stage of the game.

So yes, things are coming together. And maybe with all that other stuff taken care of I can get back to my writing. It’s certainly not on the top of my list at the moment, and I might have to accept that it’s not going to be for another year or so. I’m actually okay about that.

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Veering off course

I’m not making any progress with Chasing Ascension at the moment, to be honest, I can’t even bring myself to read it through so I’m putting it in the ‘too hard for right now’ basket and moving on to something else for the time being (like, the next week or so).

Instead, I’m going to give some attention to a story which has languished for far too long! It needs a new title, a rewrite and polish, but I know exactly how to go about that so it doesn’t feel too daunting. The plan is to have it ready and posted here on the blog for Christmas – free fiction for Christmas, yay!

I’m also going to go through Birth Rights again, as I am considering entering it into a short story competition for Au Contraire. While I’m pretty sure that it won’t make the grade, I also think it’s a wonderful thing to support NZ stuff.

As for other stuff – everything is ticking along nicely.

I’ve succumbed and downloaded/activated the 10 day free trial of Wrath of the Lich King. Hubby and I have both decided that we’re going back to WoW on a casual basis at the end of the trial (hey, if you have ten days free play, why would you pay for it before then?? lol). I’m wasting a lot of time on it at the moment but then it’s just nice to be playing again and I know that my brain wouldn’t be working on the writing stuff at the moment anyways so there is no harm done. Now that I have a plan with the short story stuff I can move ahead with that and find a nice balance between work and play. I need my play, and I haven’t been getting a whole lot of it lately.

Anyways, that’s it from me for now! I’m going to let Chasing Ascension’s world tick over in my mind while I work on these shorts, and hopefully when I get back into it I can move ahead full steam. I’m still really keen on the idea, and the characters, but I really need to resolve the issues before I move ahead and I just don’t have the brain power for that right now. Only three weeks until I get upgraded to ‘second trimester’ and I am hoping that this funk I am in disappears along with the first trimester.

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The games we love and leave

So, I’ve been thinking about World of Warcraft obsessively lately. Several people,who shall remain nameless but no doubt know who they are, play the game still and I’m really hanging out to play. I have been for awhile now, but WoW seems to have come back into my mind and I’m wondering – can I play it again?

In my 8 years or so of playing MMORPG’s, this is the longest break I have had. I played Ever Quest for three years, I switched to World of Warcraft just after it came out, then went back to EQ briefly, then quit gaming because I had slow net and it was frustrating. Then I met Hubby and we tried Guild Wars for awhile, we maxed our characters out and there was simply not enough content for me so I convinced him that we should play WoW.

Which we did, quite happily for awhile. Though we got tired of it eventually and when Lord of the Rings online came out, we put our WoW accounts on hold and played that for four months, at which point we went back to WoW. People always seem to go back to it, without fail, no matter how many games come out, people always seem to go back to WoW.

Anyways, just over a year ago I was getting sick of the game. We phased out of raiding and then quit altogether – I knew there was no way I’d be able to sustain the game with a newborn and I was certainly right, though that didn’t stop us from using the 10 day trial for Lich King eventually.

It wasn’t the same though. Everyone I knew was higher than me, I was behind the times, the game had moved on without me and I felt like a stranger in a foreign land.

I KNOW that this is how it would be if I went back now. I logged in maybe three times over that 10 day period and it didn’t have the same hold over me that it used to. Which was nice, really nice. Though it doesn’t mean that I don’t still think about it, that I don’t miss what I had. That said, it’s been four years or more since I played EQ and I can still vividly remember parts of that as well.

So what’s a girl to do?

With November and NaNoWriMo approaching, I’m not going to buy into any games. It would be a terrible idea, though I think I’m badly in need of some kind of ‘play’ thing, something that isn’t kids and housework and husband and pets and meeting everyone elses needs. Something that isn’t writing even, so that when I’ve been critiquing and working on everyone elses stuff I can take a break, escape for a little bit.

Last night I logged onto MSN to make my old Guild Leader tell me that the game isn’t worth playing…. he’d love to see me back though. Something he did suggest was that I try out Dungeons and Dragons Online as it’s free to play and might fill the void for awhile.

So that’s what I’m going to do. It’s downloading now, I’m looking forward to escaping this world for a little bit, and if it doesn’t pan out then I haven’t lost anything in the process. After November I’ll reassess and see where I’m at in regards to gaming. I know at some point that I am going to want one, it’s just a matter of which one I end up at. I may buy Lich King and play it for a month to see if I can get back into WoW, but maybe there will be something else that catches my eye 😉

When it comes down to it, I’m a gamer, I love my MMORPG’s. I have been more than happy to have a big break from gaming, but I’m feeling the itch something wicked. Let’s hope DDO can scratch it for now!

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Tempting fate

I did this yesterday… I did. I haven’t confessed to it yet, but I did a bad thing….

I downloaded and opted in for the free 10 day trial of Wrath of the Lich King for World of Warcraft.

Yesterday we played.

It’s been… 4-5 months since I last logged in to WoW. My friends are still there, I’ve been bombarded with messages from people welcoming me back to the game. My response has been strictly ‘No, I’m not back, I’m just visiting.’ To which I am sure they are all snickering.

And sure the expansion is pretty and there is some fun new stuff. I’m positive that if life wasn’t as full as it is I could slip right back in there. But I know I won’t. Do you want to know how I know??

I didn’t dream about WoW last night. It’s not taking hold of me again.

Last night I dreamed about our new house and the potential for moving into it sooner than expected. I dreamed about packing and sorting, I dreamed about unpacking. About talks with bank managers, about sourcing boxes, about walking through it (no we still haven’t done that and yes, I am talking like we’re definitely going… the house would have to be in really bad condition for us to say no at this point though).

This morning I didn’t get up and log into WoW. Another sign that it’s not here to stay. It’s nice to visit, to catch up with old friends, to reacquaint myself with the character I spent so many hours on. But I am definitely not there to stay.

I have too much to do, and I really don’t want anything cutting into my life like that game can. I know my writing would be the thing to slide and I just can’t let that happen – I’m way more addicted to writing than I will ever be to WoW.