Sunday, September 25, 2011

Resetting the brain...

My debut releases in less than 38 days and it’s made me really think about things. The short explanation—I freaking love my job. How many people can say that? Really say that? 1 in 100? 1000? I’m one of the lucky ones.

It took a while and a ton of crappy jobs to get here. I’ve been a Real Estate agent—go ahead…you can laugh (I do). I’ve trained horses. That was actually fun since I love to ride. I did the whole retail thing (in a book store of course) and even was a nail tech for two years (SO not my thing). But I’ve but I’ve finally made it. Found my true North. I get to make stuff up for a living. It seriously can’t get better than that. And if it does, don’t tell me. I’m not sure my brain could handle it…

It’s because I love what I do so much that I sometimes forget there’s an actual world out there. One with live people and obligations, and most of all, fun stuff to do! Well, fun stuff other than torturing characters, hooking people up, and kicking some bad guy ass. Who’da thunk it, right? Downtime is good. Resetting the brain helps get the creative waves flowing!

So what’s my pastime of choice when I need a brain reset and finally walk—or get dragged as the case sometimes is—away from my characters?

*looks around*

I—well—I kill stuff.

*backs away as a crowd brandishing pitchforks and zip ties closes in*

In games. I kill stuff in games. Seriously people. Do I seem like a Jack the Ripper type? Wait. Don’t answer that.

So there you have it. My dark confession—and obsession. I’m a gamer. Specifically WoW (World Of Warcraft for those not in the know) I’ve been playing since right after beta rolled out. A little over 6 years now. I’m an achievement whore who hoards pets (Still fishing for Mr. Pinchy!) and mounts (oh turtle mount, why do you mock me?) with multiple level capped toons and bankfulls of outdated armor and various vanilla junk. I play with my husband, friends, and a few family members. We raid 3 nights a week. Granted, some might argue that it’s technically not walking away since the game is played on the computer, but it’s a mental break. For me, a great way to relieve stress, unwind, and this might surprise some, come up with new ideas.

In TOUCH, there’s a scene with a bear. The idea actually came from my time playing WoW. Selkie, my little resto Druid, is a bear magnet. If there’s a bear within a 50 mile in game radius, it will come along and NOM on me. Munch my limbs like Twizzlers. From level 1 to level 85, it’s been a disturbing and inescapable trend. This is actually amusing considering Druids, as a race, can turn into bears. I even wrote up a short background on the character explaining her bear-fear which I won’t go into because it borders an entirely epic level of gooberdom on my part...

*ahem*

Anyway, gaming gets the creative wheels in my brain turning. It helps me reset. WoW is full of awesome back story and evolving story lines.

So for those of you who play WoW—what’s your favorite loading screen tip? Mine currently is Don’t stand in the fire! Because, even though that seems like it’d be common sense, someone always stands in the fire. Remember what Buffy said – Fire bad…tree pretty!

For the non-WoWers—how do you unwind? What makes the stress melt away after a long day at the office?

22 comments:

Boone Brux said...

WOW is a time suck I've managed to stay away from. But I'll admit, I'm a bit jealous of those who know how to maneuver the worlds.

And uh, yeah, I did the nail tech gig too. Sooo not my thing:)

R Firasek said...

I'm envious of your full time job now, lol. I'm also a gamer but my love is for more the Xbox/PS3 love. My son and I have about 200 games and nearly every game system you can think of. When I need a break and he needs a bit of Mom time, we escape into war games, fantasy fights, and high fives over the Zombie Apocalypse.

Great post and another great reason why you are so freakishly awesome!

Kelley said...

I don't play WoW, but I do play RPGs and survival horror on consoles! Was just shooting up zombies last night in Resident Evil 5. ;)

Rayka Mennen said...

For me reading is my escape, and always had been, followed by mindless TV watching.
Great post, Jus.

Aubrie said...

I think that's fine to have an outlet like that. When I can't think of a story idea I play spider solitaire. I don't actually kill anything in it, but sometimes I feel like it when I can't get the cards to match up like I want!

Katie McGarry said...

Great post Jus! I have to admit, I suck at any type of video game. My husband laughs because I don't blink. My escape is reality TV. I know, I know, you're rolling your eyes, but I absolutely love the melodrama!

Patricia Eimer said...

Beats my mahjong habit I've picked up recently. I never could get into WoW but I could never maneuver the worlds very well. One of my former co-workers told me I should use exercise as a "break". She was not given goodbye cookies when I left the day job of doom as my response. Exercise, *snort* right.

Shea Berkley said...

Fun post, Jus. My fallen angels are wicked awesome at video games. Me, I don't have the attention span for them. Jak and Daxter is about as into gaming as I get. I'm more a movie and book nerd, but I can totally see how playing can stimulate your creative side. Really cool.

Christa said...

So great. I sort of love the idea of you giving pedis!

I wrote copy for Summer's Eve feminine mist. Horrifying.

Jus Accardo said...

Boone - I didn't have the temperament for Nail teching. It was a lot like waitressing LOL

Rachel - PS3 also kicks large amounts of ass. Long live the Zombie Apocalypse! :D

Kelley - Resident Evil! Good call :P

Rayka - I've been disapointed with TV lately. Anything good they pull off the air! I'm waiting for them to kill Vamp Diaries. Someone WILL die...

Kristin Lenz said...

Hi Jus! I'm not a gamer, but when I need to walk away from my writing - that's literally what I do - walk. It used to be hiking/climbing in the mountains when I lived in California, but nowadays it's walking around my neighborhood. Indoor wintertime walking is also a great escape for me because it means I get to read on the treadmill.

Kurt Hampe said...

First, woo-hoo on the impending release. You need an advent calendar with prizes like bookmarks, good reviews, jacket blurbs, and a Ferrari Dino 246 GTS (in red please).

As to down time, I've resisted gaming, partly because I worked in front of a computer, but mostly because I'd get addicted. My down time is away from the PC. At home, it’s watching European futbol. Out of the house, it’s the gym. Sad to say, you're looking at years of concerted effort with free weights—DNA, whatcha gonna do? For a longer break, I get out the table saw.

With these breaks, my brain loosens up (this is where my mother would say “I’d like to see it loosen down”) and I work out plot details. Sometimes Manchester United gets paused and I go back to writing.

elizabethreinhardt said...

Excellent about your upcoming release! I am not a gamer anymore (though I rocked Legend of Zelda back in the old Nintendo days), but I LOVE watching comedies with my husband. Comedic shows, especially ones we missed on TV (Arrested Development, Better of Ted, Party Down, Archer)that we can catch on Netflix! Oh, and I totally loved *The Guild*, which I'm told is a hundred times funnier if you actually are a WoW gamer...I feel like I'm missing out!

Barbara Watson said...

Your debut! Thirty-eight days! So awesome. I hope I can one day say the same.

I am not in the know. If you hadn't defined WoW, I would've had no idea. And I completely stink at any kind of gaming. But yes, writers need a place to go. Is it dumb, as a writer, for my place of escape to be....books???

Stephsco said...

I think it's time we stop feeling ashamed about playing video games. There are still a lot of people who think it's just for kids, but anyone who has ever spent more than 2 minutes in a GameStop can tell you there are games definitely NOT for kids. Also, I think as women we put extra pressure on ourselves because gaming is a luxury activity that doesn't have the same credibility as reading or cleaning the house.

I'm an Xbox gamer. I love action RPGs like Fallout and Borderlands and I still regulary play multiplayer Halo. I find it therapeutic to blow up aliens. More power to you.

Jus Accardo said...

Aubrie - spider solitaire is awesome! :)

Katie - *looks around* I love reality TV too! I'm rabid about the cooking ones :P

Patricia - She did not DESERVE cookies! Good for you :D

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Fun post! I don't play WoW but my son does and I'm thinking of freaking him out a little by asking him some questions based on your "insider" information.

When I need a reset, I walk. And if I can't actually get outside to walk, pacing inside the house will do in a pinch.

Lisa Tapp said...

I'm not a gamer, but I'm into Sudoku. Problem solving is a lot like plotting. Maybe that's how it refreshes my brain.

Congrats on the upcoming release. We need to do a countdown!

Creepy Query Girl said...

lol- I've never been much of a gamer but my husband loves to play FIFA when he gets home from work. It helps him to unwind. I prefer a glass of port wine and some guilty pleasure teen television. CW and ABC family are like chocolate to me.

Jus Accardo said...

Christa - All I have to say is, BAHAHAHA. Sorry :D

Kristin - I LOVE the treadmill! I flip on my Zune and keep a notebook handy.. SO many ideas came to me that way.

Kurt - Table saw sounds like FUN! What do you make?

Elizabeth - Legend of Zelda was the original awesome! :)

Barbara - Noway! Books are the ultimate way to unwind :P

Kurt Hampe said...

You are so right, Jus. Tablesaws are fun. Everyone should have rotating carbide-tipped blades. Whirrr!

When I hit a writing trough, I make furniture for the house. Recently my wife and I bought some granite remnants to use as tops for the sideboards I made. Now my wife can tell people I bought her a big rock. Except that I'm an author, so really, she bought me a big rock.

Colette Ballard said...

So excited for you, Jus! Only a few more weeks! I know zero about gaming, but i love to unwind by losing myself in a movie or going for a walk.