My Week in Warcraft: Leveling with my daughters, Pathfinder, and playing through Legion again

The highlight of my week in Warcraft has been starting new characters with my teenage daughters and leveling them together on Zangarmarsh, which is the realm I'm playing on more now because I've finally found a guild I like there (Team Murloc <3 ). So they wanted characters on Zangarmarsh too because eventually (when I lift parental controls a bit) they probably want to join the guild as well.
So we started our characters. I started a night elf druid, my oldest started a gnome rogue, and her sister started a draenei shaman. After a couple hours of playing, they're sitting at level 10. We're planning to get back to leveling them a bit more on Saturday. We leveled them Tuesday and Wednesday nights for about an hour each night, after their younger brother and sister went to bed. It was a fun way for all three of us to relax and spend some time together at the end of the day.

Flying (level 60)

I started my first character on Zangarmarsh for Team Murloc a few months ago,…

Brainstorming: Free Writing

Yesterday I talked about my favorite brainstorming method, especially for coming up with ideas in the first place. Today I want to talk about another method that I use fairly often, and this was a method I picked up YEARS ago reading Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind. I remember her saying something like, say you're working on a scene and you're having trouble with it, maybe it needs more detail or emotion or something. Her advice was to open a notebook and just pour everything you could possibly think about regarding that topic or character out onto the page. Much like listing, chances are good that the longer you write, the deeper and more meaningful the details or thoughts you have will be.
Free writing is a major tenet of another popular system, Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. The idea being that you write three pages, stream of consciousness, no stopping, every single morning. The purpose is to help you uncover your authentic creative self.
Which is great and if…

Brainstorming: How I Use Lists to Generate Better Ideas

This week's Blaugust theme is "brainstorming topics" and I'm going to start out with my favorite method of brainstorming, which is the simple act of listing things.
So boring, right?
Stick with me, though. Sometimes boring and simple is exactly what you need.
I primarily write fiction, so I'll focus on how I use list brainstorming for that, but I'll also have some examples for using it to come up with blog post topics.

Lists for Plot Details, Character Traits, Etc.
We create memorable plots and characters by doing something out of the ordinary. I primarily write romance, several subgenres of it. One of the criticisms less-informed people like to make about the genre is that it's formulaic, you know the couple are going to end up together. And yes. Without a happily ever after, a book is NOT a romance.
But it's not about knowing the couple will end up together. The thrill is in how they get there, how they navigate both their own internal issues and th…

Writing Rituals

This week's Blaugust theme is "brainstorming topics," and I will definitely have some posts up this week about brainstorming because, for me, it's such a vital part of the writing and editing process. But today I want to share my own little weird writing rituals, inspired by this post from Magimos' blog.
As I've mentioned before, I write and edit for a living, and I'm currently preparing to start mentoring a beginning writer in a group I'm in. I write anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 words most days, but I've had to develop some tricks to get myself going. It's so easy to end up scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, or reading just a couple more posts from stuff I've subscribed to in Feedly. But the work needs to get done.
Writing is a mental game, and in the end, all that matters is finding which cues and rituals work for you. I spend my mornings editing, blogging, and reading blogs, have lunch, get dressed, go outside and water the garden, …

Figuring out what I want to write about here

When I decided to give this #Blaugust2019 thing a try, I went back and forth for a few days about where I wanted to blog. I have a blog on my main author site and, admittedly, it's rarely updated. So I considered just blogging there.
But, will people looking for information about my various books and series want to wade through posts about how I'm struggling to get the Pathfinder achievements in Warcraft? And will I feel more of a need to be "professional," whatever the hell that means, on my author site as opposed to rambling about whatever's on my mind?
Since I'm blogging here, I guess it's pretty clear what I've decided. I want to blog regularly. I think that's a good thing for me to do, to build up this discipline of posting on a daily, or almost-daily basis, whether I feel like it or not.  I used to be able to do this quite easily. Not so much anymore, and I'm hoping that by getting into a regular posting routine here, I'll eventually…

Warcraft: solo, and as a family

Most of the time when I'm playing WoW, I sort of use it as a way to zone out and relax. I'll quest, or pet battle, or gather herbs, or fish. I'm not a very driven, motivated WoW player. I definitely tend to take things at my own pace, and I don't feel the least bit of guilt or FOMO if I decide I don't really feel like spending time on something.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I haven't been able to fly since Mists of Pandaria. Precisely because the grind to get flying isn't worth it to me. I don't need another job; I work enough hours as it is!
So my solo Warcraft time is a way for me to just zone out at the end of the day, or to relax during breaks from work during the day. Complete a quest or two, log out, done.

My husband and I used to play together more, leveling, and I don't doubt that we will again someday when we both have more time and life isn't so hectic. A few years back, we started a family Warcraft night in which me, my husband,…

Warcraft, hobby, and reading goals for August

July got away from me in a flurry of writing deadlines, and then my sweet asshole of a cat knocked my laptop (which is what I play Warcraft on, since my desktop is really slow) off of my desk, cracking the screen. So I can still play WoW on it, but it's hooked up to an external monitor, sitting on my desk which makes it... not a laptop anymore. And I usually played WoW while sitting on the couch in the evenings, watching TV with my kids.
So that has kind of sucked. On the upside, I've read more since the laptop has become less laptop-ish, and I'm feeling excited about other hobbies again as well. So, silver lining, I suppose?
Limited WoW time doesn't mean I can't still set some goals, and probably it's better that I do so I'm not wasting my limited gaming time! And I have some goals for my other hobbies and reading as well.

Warcraft Goals 1. Start working on the various Pathfinder achievements. I haven't been able to fly since Mists of Pandaria because…