Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Re: Depression

Seeing as this is where I come to dump stuff that I write, I felt like this was one I should move over from Facebook (which I ordinarily keep private). It was cathartic to get out; perhaps someone else will find it cathartic to read.

Incoming wall of text. Fair warning; I'm going to be discussing depression.

Today, I graduated. Not in a good way; I went to the doctor's office because lately, I have been fighting one of my long time demons. If you have known me for a substantial amount of time, you know I suffer from depression. The severity of it has varied from year to year, but it was coming to a very nasty head. I was diagnosed as experiencing moderate depression with at-risk for severe. Thoughts were wandering where they shouldn't, I couldn't drag myself out of bed in anything close to a timely fashion, I haven't worked out in weeks, my work productivity was being severely impacted, I'd come home with a ball of anxiety in my chest and, in short, I just haven't been the same me many of you are used to.

Or maybe I have and you've not really noticed. Because, you see, I've gotten very good at hiding when I'm suffering. I have to. I work in a very publicly visible environment. I smile for the camera and add happy faces to most of my messages. I do my utmost to be polite and professional, or give a gentle, playful ribbing to my closest of e-friends. I lend an open ear and am always here to listen.

But what I rarely do is talk. For some people, depression is an intense feeling of loneliness. That isn't the case for me; while I do a really terrible job of socializing and creating a network for myself, it's not because I feel alone and that I can't relate. No, my depression is a raging bitch and likes to tell me that I don't deserve anything.

That's how it manifests for me, and why I hang on so long to things in my life I know are successes. Because I have to in order to survive. Small victories have to become big ones to me or they are otherwise meaningless because it is so easy for me to trivialize them or forget them altogether. I crave praise because it's completely tied to my self-worth and, when I'm at my worst points, I truly feel worthless. And telling myself otherwise just doesn't work.

So, today, I started medication again after twelve years of being off of it. I've scheduled counseling for next week. I am getting the help I need because, thank goodness, I am weirdly aware of my issues and when I need to resolve them. I am very glad for that quality because, if I didn't have it, I'd think taking these steps was some kind of failure on my part. Instead, I know, even if my brain doesn't want to accept it as such, that I took some very important steps today to getting better.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for listening. If you don't know what to say, that's okay; not everyone can or will understand the kind of thing I'm going through. If you want to do something, leave me something you like. Maybe it's a website you use to decompress. Maybe it's a ridiculously cute cat picture. Maybe it's your favorite meme. Whatever - I'll use this as a nice little pool for recovery for the next few weeks while my brain settles into a new chemical balance. I'm going to struggle, but I know I have met so many amazing, loving, thoughtful people who (somehow) think I'm worthwhile. And when I'm in this place, really all I need is a reminder.

Remember (and this is as much for me as it is anyone else who experiences the same thing): It's always lying to you.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

[Pathfinder] Vignette Assignment

I'm a fan of painting miniatures. Whether they're for mass armies in games like Warhammer or individuals for table-top games (or, on occasion, purely aesthetic purposes, like Gundams), I love putting models together and painting them.

Simultaneously, I'm a writer at heart. I have dozens upon dozens of stories tumbling around my brain, and sometimes, I just have to get them out on paper (or on the interwebs, as the case may be).

I'm an avid Pathfinder Society player (as is my boyfriend-face-man-thing, yes, that's the technical term), and I have quite the collection of characters. I've got an immense backlog of miniatures to paint, and while many of them are complete, there's still a big batch to go.

Because these are characters with rich backgrounds, I thought it might be fun to assign myself vignette assignments. Every mini I paint needs to come accompanied with a 500 word essay about them. Not all the characters are mine, but I've helped develop them in some way. Usually through banter both at the table and randomly around the house. We do that. Because we're weird.

Before I share any of the minis I've been working on, though, one particular character is just speaking to me so much that I had to share my first vignette despite her miniature not being completed. I ordered her miniature from the fine folks over at Hero Forge (who are totally awesome and you should check them out if you need a weird, custom miniature for a unique character). Her mini arrived recently and I haven't yet taken pictures or primed her, but you can see the original file for it here.

Emilia Ricard is my half-elf Investigator/Bard (Archivist). She is a specialist in knowing things and disabling traps and... not much else. She basically has no business being on the battlefield, but is the most excellent support you could ask for when you're risking your life and fighting the forces of evil.

If she looks familiar, and you watch The CW's Arrow, it's because she should; she's completely based off of that particular version of Felicity Smoak and I can't wait to paint the miniature to look just like her.

All that said, you might not know a thing about that particular character, or Golarion, or the DC Universe. Hopefully, after you read what I've pumped out below, you'll know my Emelia (and her travelling companion Frankie) a bit better.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Re-establishing for a New Year

Do you want to know what's frustrating?

Being a content creator in your job means that you burn a lot of creative juices doing every day things. It's your job, so it's something you're always working on, always working towards, and always pushing to the limits to grow and develop.

That's great, and I love it, and there's little in this world I would trade for my job. But it's frustrating to have so many other, primarily hobby oriented things that require those creative juices and having to constantly put them on the back burner when I run dry.

I've accomplished a lot since the last time I updated this blog. For those of you who don't know me personally, I got a job at Blizzard Entertainment as a Community Manager for Diablo III. I've done some ridiculously amazing stuff in that time, and it's still surreal to look at the launcher from time to time and see my own face staring back at me. That was the coolest feeling - being messaged and PM'd and Tweeted at by old friends who reconnected because OMFG WHY ARE YOU IN MY BNET LAUNCHER? It's been a great, though exhausting, time getting settled in, establishing my place, and figuring out where exactly the lines are drawn between work and play.

This is a constant battle I think a lot of content creators face, whether they're writers, editors, directors, artists, streamers, or whatever else might fall under that vast and varied umbrella. To that end, I want to strive in 2015 to be more productive and creative than I ever have before. However, because of that constant battle with burn out, I can't make promises on delivery. Ultimately, my health (especially mental) will always come first. Sometimes, that's going to involve wanting to be wholly unproductive because I've blown everything I've got at work.

I'm content with that. I've absolutely no shortage of creative ideas or projects that I want to tackle. Anything I do pursue is good for me; it's enrichment for not only my personal life, but for my professional life as well. I'll tackle things at my own pace, but not without a little motivation assistance here or there; maybe I'll make a post on what I've learned about time management and extracurricular motivation down the road (if only to remind myself of what I'm doing right).

That's it really; if you're new here, great. Don't expect work related stuff here. This is my playground. A place where my word dumps come to die (or be consumed by those who stumble upon it). I can explore my own interests here, create my own things, and share them at my leisure.

I wonder how many more posts like this I'll write like this in my lifetime. With any luck, this will be the last.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Holy Crap, It's July

Boy, have I been busy.

It has been non-stop Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, designing, creating, throwing away, redesigning, re-creating, streaming, and new game playing for the last two months. So much for the schedule I'd set for myself.

Here's what I have worked on, and I hope that I can write about it a bit more in the coming weeks:

-Kylind Campaign is going to be adapted to the Pathfinder system. I have a lot of reasons for doing this, but the main one is because Pathfinder is all published under OGL, or the Open Gaming License. As a writer and designer, this is a god-send because I don't have to worry about stepping on toes when I'm working on my own mechanics. If I like how something works, now I can reference it for players. If I don't like how something works, I can provide alternate rules in my document. Really, it's less of a mess and headache, so that's what I'm working on now - full scale conversion.

-Streaming! I now stream approximately five times a week on Twitch.tv. My channel is located here and has been added to the sidebar links. At the moment, I stream two things regularly: Diablo III on Mon/Wed/Fri and Minecraft on Tues/Thurs. I may swap a day here or there in and out for other things by request, but that's my general schedule. Be sure to catch me between 1PM-5PM PST/PDT Monday through Friday if you want to see me fail miserably (okay, maybe moderately succeed) at gaming.

-YouTube Videos. This was requested by the few people who currently follow me on stream. Right now, I'm drafting out ideas on what I can make videos for and how often. So this is in the pipeline, just not sure when or what just yet. I'll see what I can do. =) Because there's nothing there right now, I'm not planning on linking it. Just keep an eye out for it in the future.

-THE BOOK. And yes, I do mean THE book (my dad's). Book #3 is on the gamut next for editing and release. It has been in my backlog for two years now, and I have nothing but time to get it done now, so I want to take advantage of that. Other projects will likely have to go on hold for it, but that's okay. I owe it to myself, my father, and to the people who enjoy it to get it out there. That, and if I finish it sometime this year, maybe next year I'll have Book #4 to work on!

-THE GAME. There is a game of the video variety that I have had tumbling about in my head for quite some time now. Unfortunately, I think someone may have gone and made it already, though it isn't out yet. So now, I need to decide if it's worth developing on my own with a few trusted associates as competition. That's a whole other project on its own, and likely the lowest in priority as a result. Definitely has the most work to do.

Last but not least, I am still job searching. You may remember several months ago I posted about what to do when you find yourself without work. Regrettably, I haven't been very good at taking my own advice, so now it's time to hold myself accountable. Feel free to hold me accountable too! Poke me on Twitter. Comment on my blogs. Yell at me about why I haven't posted anything recently.

I owe the world so much for being so kind. It's about time I pay it back by letting all these head goblins out and producing something wonderful. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

[D&D] Kylind Campaign - Philosophy

Rather than just copy paste something else out of my source documentation, I wanted to talk a little bit today about inspiration and philosophy for my campaign setting. This week has been particularly rough in terms of motivation, and I couldn't help but feel like the best exercise I could provide to myself to get out of that was stepping back and attempting to analyze what it is that I want to do with this campaign.