The Best Laid Plans

I thought I had everything figured out.

That’s how these stories always start. The thing is, I thought I’d accounted for Murphy’s Law, too. “How can things go wrong?” I’d ask myself, and I’d try to work that into the plans, as well. Then I’d ask, “How can things go even more wrong?” and go from there. I’m no stranger to Murphy’s Law and the ways it’s affected my entire life.

On Tuesday, around midday, things got a lot stranger than I ever could have accounted for. Ever.

Monday evening at the library was busy, but no worse than usual, really. It’s summer after all. This is our busy season. It’s nothing I haven’t faced since June, if not earlier. So, when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was ready to tackle the errands I had piled in front of me. Time was running out, rapidly hurdling toward the September 17th due date the doctors had given us for the Broodling. My husband and I told ourselves that we’d have everything done by mid-August by the latest. We’d learn from last time when our daughter was born seventeen days early.

This pregnancy had been anything but easy from the get-go, but we managed. I kept spotting past the first trimester. When the doctors told us there might be something wrong with our son’s heart, we took it in stride and kept marching forward. And when the doctors told me I might have complications with the afterbirth, we took that in stride, too. We were going to get through this: one day, one ultrasound, one scan, one checkup at a time.

In fact, I was on the phone with my OB’s office, waiting to schedule an MRI to scan the placenta and contemplating the next week’s dinners for the grocery list on Tuesday around midday while I waited. Then I felt that eerie leakage of fluids. And it wasn’t just a tiny bit.

It was a lot.

If it stopped, then it was no big deal, really. That was my understanding of it. I moved to go upstairs and get changed; that’s when it kept leaking. Sure enough, my water had broken. Just a day shy of 32 weeks of the pregnancy.

You win again, Murphy’s Law. You win.

So, long story short, I’m staying here in the hospital’s special care OB ward, trying to keep the Broodling inside for another two weeks. While the water breaking at 32 weeks isn’t the worst that could happen to the Broodling, those extra two weeks to get to 34 weeks is the real key. I’m not on formal bedrest, but they want me to minimize movement because further agitating the ruptured sac is just bad juju, obviously. If the contractions and labor start up again, however, they’re gonna have to stick me back on the IV tree, which is literally a drag.

And, as with everything else in this pregnancy, we’re going to take it one day at a time, and we’re going to take it in stride. So, keep your fingers crossed. We’ll see where this strange turn of events will take us this time.

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Another Gamer Parent Profile!

I can’t keep my nose from running for a few seconds at a time, so I’ll keep this short n’ sweet.

Ken, also known as Kanter of the blog “MMO One Night a Week” and the World of Warcraft/Twitter communities, was kind enough to talk to me about his experiences as a gamer parent and how gaming has affected his family for the month of June. You can find the profile through this handy link here, or just mosey on over to the Gamer Parent Initiative pages at the nav bar up top!

Tune in next month for my interview with Heather the “Mominatrix!”

Also, Ken put forth the idea of making my own Gamer Parent profile, but according to the questions of my fellow interviewees! If you’re interested, let me know or him know and we can get it set up. Not sure if you all wanna hear about me, though… I mean, this is my blog after all and y’all have to put up with my yammering all the time anyway!

Hate to type and run but I really need to catch my nose. I’m just glad I’m not a podcaster because, good Heavens, my throat feels much worse than my sinuses are acting.

Hope your summer is going better than mine! Happy hunting, everyone!

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Gamer Parent Profiles and Miscellaneous Things

I’ve been slacking. Ever since I finished up “30 Days of Character Development,” the only time I’ve had for the blog is getting the profiles up each month for the Gamer Parent Initiative.

The third one just went up today.

I mean, sure, I could blame it on the fatigue and general “I feel like crap”-ness of the pregnancy. Seriously— feels like all I do is eat and make sure I stay hydrated so that other weird things don’t happen. And they tell you not to stress because that just exacerbates the weird things but do you know how hard it is NOT to stress about the weird things when they’re happening to your body (and, by association, to the Broodling) and you have no real idea why (which, by the way, adds to the stress)?!

Thankfully, the fatigue often has a way of flipping that switch in your head, saying, “Okay, that’s enough out of you for now!” and you either forget, get distracted, and/or fall asleep.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right— the Gamer Parent Profiles. Thanks to a shrewd observation by Ken (aka Kanter), who is also the Gamer Parent for next month’s profile, I had absolutely no idea that, if people aren’t paying attention to my Twitter feed, they have no idea that the profiles go up or even exist! Especially so if they rely on the RSS feed. So, on his suggestion, I’ll make mini-posts to announce each profile each month!

Everyone wins!

I have, honestly, been meaning to get working on the continuation of Toriah’s story, especially now that I’ve seen the end to Mists of Pandaria myself and read the latest Warcraft novel, War Crimes. Every time I do, however, something else demands my attention and whatever brilliant idea I had gets lost. And it doesn’t matter if I write it down, because that piece of paper gets lost, too.

Apparently, pregnancy comes with a modifier for the “Scatterbrained” debuff. I’m totally claiming that.

Oh, in case you’ve missed the previous profiles, here are links! (See, told you that whole scatterbrain thing is worse now than it was!)
March: Esmeralda Sky
April: Hend
May: Zuulzilla

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 30— The Grand Finale

The Prompt: And finally: Write a letter to your character, from yourself.

Well met, Toriah.

To think that I created you out of reluctance, a throwaway alt that wouldn’t last after others got bored with their Horde characters.

Instead, you prevailed and fought hard to become someone whose story I wanted to craft. You’ve been on so many adventures, seen so many things—yet, amazingly, your core values seem to have remained intact. You’re much braver than I, willing to face down even your superiors to state what you believe to be right.

In all honesty, you live your life and I just record it all. You’re, quite literally, a hero in my books. Yes, you have killed, but only when you had to. You’ve saved so many lives beyond that, regardless of their race, species, affiliation, or level of sentience. What you’ve faced so far is just the beginning. There’s so much more in store— some of it positive, some negative, and some might even make you question your loyalty to those closest to you.

Every time something seems to break you down, you get reforged into something greater, better, stronger. I suppose that is the fate of an adventurer like you. You have your flaws, of course, but you don’t let that get in the way of your work. Yes, you are outspoken and smart-mouthed. You demand that someone prove themselves to you before you give them your respect, even if it gets you in trouble. Sometimes you don’t always think things through before you jump in. I’ve given you some good people to help keep you in line for those days when you aren’t quite perfect. None of us are, after all.

And, yes, you do get cocky. It’s understandable in someone who’s good at her job, but you should keep that scar from Karazhan in mind, in the very least. You always have something to learn and you are far from the best. Oh, and would it kill you to let a couple of the people in your life know just how much they mean to you?

Keep chasing that horizon. I know, one day, you may want to take a break from it all. Nothing permanent, of course, but just something that helps you regain your wits and senses until you’re ready to come back. Even the greatest weapons of war must be take time for maintenance before they are ready to fight again.

You tell me what the next chapter of your story is, Toriah, and I’ll write it.

Al’diel shalah.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 29

The Prompt: How does your character smell? Do they wear perfume or cologne?

On a good day, Toriah smells clean. No sweat, dirt, mud, blood, goo, slime, or other unsavory stenches from various creatures. It’s usually one of those days when she has to look presentable and has to sit down with dignitaries or the sort.

On a very good day, Toriah might look like a battlefield vomited all over her but she manages to still smell somewhat clean. Call it practiced skill, the ability to regulate one’s body despite the environment. Besides, any good hunter knows that even the barest whiff of sweat can give you away. Letting your body run rampant and sweat buckets because of battle or nerves is messy and just plain irresponsible.

To that end, NO PERFUME. Some of her self-care products might come with certain scents due to the ingredients used to clean away dirt and such, but she doesn’t go out of her way to buy smelly water and douse herself in it. She has better things to spend her gold pieces upon. Also, let’s not forget those jerks at Crown Chemical Company. Every single Love is in the Air Festival, they try to pass their blight as “perfume.” It’s pure evil. It even smells like evil. No, Toriah knows better.

And, seriously… WHY ARE YOU SNIFFING TORIAH?!

… Creep.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 28

The Prompt: If your character’s life was a genre, what would it be?

Action Adventure. Could it possibly be anything else?

Caught up in a world of war, one elf dares to stand up for what’s right. She is… THE BLOOD ELF.
>”I’m sorry, ‘Ambassador,’ but I don’t find your policies… sanguine.”

>“I’m no bleeding-heart activist, but even I know this is wrong.”
>”Watch it. You’re making me see… red.”

Oh, better yet…
All she wanted was a nice, successful career as a ranger in Quel’thalas. But when the drums of war call her to duty, she must respond. She is… Ranger Captain Toriah!
>
“I might ‘just’ be a ranger, but don’t expect me to… bow.”
> “
I’m not angry; just a little arch-ery.”

Okay, so I’m not very good with thinking of stereotypical “action movie” lines and taglines  on the spot for my character. But you get the idea. She’s an adventurer. Her life thrives on the constant stream of threats that beleaguer Azeroth and her people. Explosions, excitement, and danger practically follow her like a fan club.

That said, isn’t it a little strange to try and define your character’s life as a genre? Isn’t that limiting and, therefore, self-defeating of trying to create complex, well-rounded characters? Do we try and define, work, and re-work within the genre?

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 27

The Prompt: Pick two songs that describe your character at two different points of their life, and explain why you chose them.

You want me to pick music that goes along with my character’s life? As someone who has often paired up music with certain points of my personal life and the game… I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER ASK. The real challenge is just choosing two. Well, here goes.

Current State of Affairs

If you’ve been following Toriah’s story on my blog (there’s only five chapters so far), the general gist is Tori’s really pissed Garrosh Hellscream off something fierce and she’s forced to “make amends” so that she doesn’t get axed in the most literal sense.

Of course, Toriah being Toriah means she isn’t about to comply lightly. As we saw in Chapter 5, she’s willing to bend the rules as far as she can to get under Garrosh’s skin without sending him over the edge. It’s a dangerous dance she’s performing, with every potential misstep a chance for the warchief to rid himself of this upstart elf. Unlike Garrosh, however, Toriah is a seasoned and blooded veteran of many wars. He can lay claim to his father’s legacy as a warrior all he likes, but Toriah’s prowess is proven many times over to the Horde and her people.

Adventurer, Raider, Ranger.

Toriah has molded herself into an instrument of war since her adolescence when she began training with the Farstriders. She was there when Arthas invaded Quel’thalas and destroyed the Sunwell. And she was there to restore the Sunwell and bring low the Lich King himself years later. She helped the dragon aspects take down Deathwing and save Azeroth from destruction.

While she’s had some close calls, Toriah knows she can never rest until evil is finally purged from Azeroth. She doesn’t care much for the rivalries invented between the Horde and Alliance; the elf knows all too well that evil can reside in the heart of any mortal or immortal, regardless of race. There’s always another cause, another mission, another reason to don her armor and raise the banners. Her family and friends know this, too, though that doesn’t keep them from missing her or worrying after her well-being.

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