Gamer, Interrupted

Gamer, Interrupted

Blowing the dust off reveals…

A blog! Unused for a month now.

It isn’t that I don’t care about you all. It is that things went absolutely bonkers for the past several weeks.

Since the last time we spoke, my household has been through the following:

  • We went through our first major conference as an author.
  • The foster child that moved in in October moved right back out.
  • We’ve welcomed a new baby into the extended family.
  • An immediate family member has gone through spinal surgery. And is making a rapid and remarkable recovery, I am happy to say.

So, yeah…we’ve been busy.

So, how was the first month of your 2018?

Email Via Snowshovel

Among the (many) things that have suffered from lack of my attention this last month has been my email accounts. I maintain three of them, and they were completely overflowing by the time I got around to digging through them on Monday.

I was able to delete tons of “daily book deals” and “Amazon specials.” Same for “Act today, this price will never come again!” ads. But there were still dozens that required my attention. Messages from friends checking on me. Many writers and writing sites that I follow. A few from Patreon subscribers. And LOTS of fans wanting to know if I have shut down Misdirected permanently. (No, I have not.)

And then came the one that stopped me in my tracks: A “Welcome Back” free 7-day subscription to World of Warcraft.

I flagged it, parked it at the top of my Inbox, and have been ruminating over it ever since.

The Historical Record

If you don’t have a long history here, let me bring you up to speed: Misdirected used to be a gaming site.

Gaming was what I did back in the day. I’ve always been a gamer, but from the point where I developed epilepsy onward gaming was how I spent my time. I invested better than the equivalent of a full-time job every week doing it. First-person shooters, 4X strategy games, MOBAs, role-playing games were all on the menu. If you can name it, I probably played it.

But things shifted two years ago when I began talking, just off the cuff, about my upcoming bariatric surgery. A blog that used to have maybe 1,000 visits a year began seeing that much traffic in a month.  And it just kept growing.

So, I shifted my focus. I began featuring posts talking about the pre- and post-surgical process. I got involved in advocacy for those of us with obesity. I even went so far as to get a Personal Trainer certification so that I wouldn’t be making things up as I went along.

Once my fiction writing took off, it only got weirder. I ended up having to create an entirely different site to keep track of fiction writing. (Which is also currently covered in Internet dust, natch.) My writing about gaming grew more and more distant – a fondly held memory of a simpler time.

The Temptation In The Inbox

But, here’s the thing: I’ve never stopped being a gamer.

I’ve just had to switch to less labor-intensive games. Stuff that isn’t really worth talking about, or sharing online. Just stuff to scratch that itch, as it were.

And, now, this: an invitation to 7 free days with my all-time favorite game. The game I specifically quit playing because of what a massive time-sink it is. Dangling in front of me like forbidden fruit.

See, WoW is one of the few remaining MMOs out there that still charges a monthly subscription fee. And it is so good that millions of people are willing to pony up the $15 every month to play it.

Now, back in the day, Lor and I didn’t have the $30 a month to spend on subscriptions. But, there are ways to actually fund your monthly fee by selling virtual items in-game, and turning them into “Blizzard Tokens”. These tokens can then be used to pay for real-world items like…subscription fees.

I used to spend every month earning next month’s subscriptions before I started “real” gaming. After all, all it took was time. And back in the day, I had plenty of that.

Nowadays? Not so much.

To Game, or Not To Game?

Lor has already given me a very accurate prediction of what will happen if I pop the seal on that 7-day gateway drug:

I will invest 40+ hours in the next seven days earning enough in-game currency to pay for a month’s subscription. Because I love playing with Lor, I will, of course, have to then earn enough for her to re-up as well.

And during that time I might, if I am lucky, get about five hours of writing done.

I am committed to 10,000 words a month for the next 10 months on Executor, the sequel to Inheritance. I also review roughly 40,000 words a month of other’s people’s writing. And I also have to find time to do contract work as well: fiction writing is not yet paying the bills around here.

So, I am committed to roughly 100K words of writing and editing a month. At the pace I write at (roughly 500 words an hour), that works out to 200 hours a month.

And now, on top of that, I am considering adding 40+ hours a week of WoW-ing.

I suppose I could give up things. Like going outdoors. Or eating. Or sleeping.

Or, maybe I just need to quietly, and regretfully, hit the “Delete” button on that shiny email from Blizzard.

So far, I have not been able to do it.

Thrust Upon The Horns Of Indecision,

  • Jeremy

 

Drastic Measures

Photo Credit: Roving I via Compfight cc

My second post for the day, I know. Maybe this makes up for only producing 4 posts last week? Who knows, but I thought I had better let everyone know what was happening.

I, like all bloggers, make a hobby of watching my blog statistics. I check to see how many total page views I have had (17,000 + as of today!), how many users dropped in today, where they came from, how long they stuck around, and what they looked at while they were here. And a distressing series of events has become the norm here on Misdirected:

1. A new visitor drops in, usually referred from Facebook, but more and more from GastricSleeve.com or other sites.

2. The new visitor reads today’s post. (This usually takes 2 – 3 minutes.)

3. The new visitor tries to go all the way back to where the blog began – back in 2010.

4. Our new visitor reads a post talking about Hunters and Paladins in World of Warcraft, gets thoroughly confused, and leaves. (The visit to the 2010 post lasts, on average, under 10 seconds.)

This has become a trend.

A greater number of people are showing up every day, looking for what I have to say about prepping for Gastric Sleeve surgery. They aren’t looking for old World of Warcraft info, for observations about Hearthstone, for strategies on League of Legends.

However, I am very reluctant to just throw out 5 years worth of gaming articles in the name of expediency.

So, I have reached a compromise with myself. As of today, my older, gaming articles have been moved to a VERY old blog title of mine: “Hawkwind’s Big Adventure“. The articles are still there, still in chronological order, the only thing that has changed is the initial address to reach them. I will also put in a link on Misdirected letting everyone know where they have gone.

Remaining here on Misdirected will be the 20 or so articles I have put together pertaining to Gastric Sleeve surgery, and this is where my future writings on the subject will continue to appear. I do wish there were a more elegant solution, but making sure that anyone just arriving has the best experience possible has become my #1 priority here. Thanks for your understanding, and hopefully this will be the last major paradigm shift here on Misdirected.

At Least Until Version 3.0,

– Hawkwind

Some feedback and questions

Since I have converted Misdirected over to talking about our upcoming weight-loss surgeries, the response has been tremendous. I’ve received comments, advice, feedback, emails, text messages, etc. all supportive of and enthusiastic about the changes here – and our visitor numbers show the difference. Apparently I have struck a nerve here, talking about obesity and “big-gun” surgical methods in dealing with it. A few questions have come up that I thought could be addressed to the rest of our readership, rather than just the initial questioner:
1. “So, is Misdirected no longer a gaming site?”
The short answer is no, we are not. I have added more followers and fielded more feedback in the last 2 weeks dealing with issues pertaining to weight loss than I did in the previous 3 years talking about gaming. Now, I am still a gamer, and it remains a major part of my life. Accordingly, I will (finally) commit to streaming 5 days a week, about 3-4 hours a day at my Twitch channel. I intend right now for this to take place from 2pm-ish to 6pm-ish (MST). Since Real Life Happens, I am not committing to which 5 days every week – could be Mon – Fri, could be something else.. Inaugural stream will be later today. I need an outlet for my gaming habit, and maintaining two different blogs just did not seem like an effective way to go. Thanks to everyone who was concerned about this.
2. “What the heck blender is that you are using?”
It is part of the Ninja Kitchen System 1100 package, the latest and greatest version of which can be found here:
The pricing on Amazon isn’t quite as good as the older one we found on clearance, but still the best price around. The system itself is very nice – it includes both blender and food processor pitchers that can be used on a 1500-watt base. It creates very nice smoothies out of raw vegetables and fruits, with blend times under the magical 60 second mark. (Blending over 60 seconds begins to seriously impact the nutritional value of your raw materials, due to oxidation apparently. I am no scientist, and don’t even play one on TV.)
3. “What are you doing for nutritional supplementation?”
Many well-meaning people have been concerned about the pre-surgery diet creating some major holes in our day-to-day nutrition. I may not have mentioned this in enough detail before, but the major reason that it is going to take us almost 4 months to get through the process is that first we have to go through 3 months worth of work with a real  nutritionist, with letters after her name and everything. The first month of the diet involves adding a daily multivitamin and reducing our previous meals to meals with less than 45 grams of Carbs and with 20 (or more) grams of protein with every serving. The carb reduction has not been much of a problem, but we’ve had a rocky road trying to get up to the required protein amounts, especially in our once-a-day smoothies. Our financial status has pretty much prevented us from spending tons of money on Whey Protein supplements or anything like that, so we have been making do with high-protein vegetables, greek yogurt, and adding PB2 (aka Powdered Peanut Butter) to our smoothies. A family member found out about this, and decided to give us a hand, and last night a box full of “Love and Peas” Protein-Rich Meal replacement showed up at our door, courtesy of June Baker at The Health ConneXion. We’re very excited to try this stuff out – it has a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving, Dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, Vegan-certified – I don’t know what all that means, but Lor informs me that this is top-of the line stuff. Thanks, June!
Lastly, you will be seeing some changes to the site here as I tailor more towards our new arrivals – people who are wanting to hear about one person’s journey from obesity to weight-loss surgery. I appreciate all the interest we have had here at Misdirected, and look forward to sharing my good, bad, and ugly experiences with you all!
In Transition,
– Hawkwind