What does it take to scratch that gaming itch?

Blaugust Day 19


I’ve always been a casual gamer, but my gaming habits have changed over time as life has become busier and I’ve transitioned from varying levels of education.

This past year I have been especially discontent with the amount of gaming I’ve done. Most of the time it was: load up something every few weeks, play a little, and then go a few weeks with nothing. Sometime between April and June this year I asked myself “How much time do I need to put in, and what do I need to get done to feel like I’ve scratched that gaming itch?”

It turns out not very much. So between April and June my gaming schedule, for the most part, looked like the following:

Step 1: Log in to Marvel Heroes. Claim daily login reward. Exit game.

Step 2: Log in to Guild Wars 2. Claim daily login reward. Run around and take some screenshots. Exit game.

Step 3: Log in to RuneScape. Use daily keys on Treasure Hunter chests. Exit game.

And that’s what my gaming schedule looked like most days. There were some exceptions. Some days I got carried away taking screenshots in Guild Wars 2 or I battled with my inventory and bank space in Marvel Heroes. And a few times I did Penguin Hide and Seek- I’ll have to talk about penguins in RuneScape sometime. All you need to know right now is that there is an organization of penguins known as the Killer Gentoo Penguins (KGP) and they’re on a mission to destroy humans and control the world. And occasionally I would get a good hour or more in one game or the other, but not very often.


So far this summer my gaming habits have looked pretty similar to what they were in June. I surprised myself when I realized how little gaming (if we can even call it that, I’ll save that discussion for another day) it takes to scratch that itch. But for now I’m pretty content logging in, do something really quick, logging out, and saving those longer gaming sessions for another day. There are days where I dream about playing for hours, because sometimes we all need to just sit down and get lost in these virtual worlds. And those days do come around here and there, and last just long enough to hold me over until next time.

Maybe I’m just content with an inconsistent gaming schedule/habits instead of very little gaming.

Let’s make this a writing prompt, or just let me know in the comments.

What does it take for you to scratch that gaming itch?

worded another way…

What does it take for you to be content with your gaming schedule/habits?

or how about another way…

How much time do you need to put in, and what do you need to get done to feel like you’ve scratched that gaming itch?

Word it however you like. I’m really curious to see what other people say.

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Traveller Thursday has Returned

Blaugust Day 18


In April while browsing Twitter I came across some beautiful Guild Wars 2 screenshots with the hashtag #TravellerThursday. My interest was piqued so I followed that hashtag and eventually came to the blog of the Traveller of Tyria.

In March he started a project called Traveller Thursday where he posts some of his favorite screenshots (usually taken in the first person) from his time exploring Tyria. I highly recommend going and checking out his archives and looking through all the screenshots he has posted so far. He also encourages others to share their screenshots by tweeting him @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday.


I believe prior to discovering Traveller Thursday between April 5, 2013 and April 5, 2015 I had taken around 250 screenshots. After discovering Traveller Thursday I have taken approximately 374 screenshots in 5 months. During a busy day of classes I always looked forward to opening up Twitter in the evening and looking through the shots people were sharing. Traveller Thursday is a great way to see where people have been exploring and the places they really love. I love exploring in Guild Wars 2, and thanks to Traveller Thursday I’ve discovered and rediscovered so many beautiful places.

Traveller Thursday was on a short hiatus, but it recently returned so keep your eye on the #TravellerThursday hashtag. In honor of it’s return I wanted to share a few of my own screenshots from Guild Wars 2.


[Click to view larger versions of the images in the gallery.]

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5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Me

Blaugust Day 17


Two of my goals for last week were to get a Blogroll page up and work on my About page. Well, I didn’t get to either but conveniently Jaedia over at Dragon and Whimsy came up with the following writing prompt at the beginning of the month: 5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Me. I am still going to work on my About page, but I figured until I get it all squared a way this prompt would be a good way for everyone to get to know me a little better.

1. I’m currently majoring in zoology and minoring in geology. The end of my undergraduate career is rapidly approaching and I’m not sure where all the time went. The next thing after getting my bachelor’s degree is graduate school (I really need to be researching graduate programs). I plan to pursue paleontology in graduate school. Before graduate school I plan to take a year off. In that year I would love to do some kind of work with animals and gain some practical experience in paleontology.

2. If you hooked me up to an IV of apple juice I would be eternally grateful.

3. I’ve never been on an airplane.

4. I’ve never broken a bone or been stung by a bee or wasp.


5. I play the alto and tenor saxophone. Admittedly, I haven’t played my saxophone since high school. I really do miss playing and one of these days I hope to play again.

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Unexpected Words

Blaugust Day 16

[A few days ago I said “at this point nothing is off-limits for this blog- within reason of course” and now I find myself writing about something that I did not expect to.]


In the past when it comes to writing I think the only thing I have loathed more than writing in general is writing poetry. I have nothing against poetry, and quite enjoy reading it, but writing it felt like torture.

The only times I have written poetry that I can recall are in school- mainly high school. Where we were generally given a subject and asked to base our poem on it or were asked to write a certain type of poem. After these experiences I never expected that I would voluntarily write poetry- write it for fun, write it to clear my head, or to sift through my thoughts.

Yet, on Friday just before leaving for a walk a little saying popped in my head, and from there it developed into a short poem as I strolled from street to street.

Words are fickle
Words are fine
Weave them, mold them
In your mind.

Relinquish your hold,
Break the binds
Share them. Pair them.
Let them shine.

After I realized what I had done my mind entered a state of shock, trying to process what was going on. All I could think about was all the times I’ve toiled over words and despised my attempts at constructing poetry. Yet, at the same time my brain was flitting about enjoying the words it joined together.

Later on Friday, I think as way to process I wrote another poem.

I do not know what’s going on
But to the words I must succumb.

To flit, to fly
Forgotten dreams
to reach the sky.
Alas, aloft-
Forsaken worries in fact were not .

For the journey of the meek will start
If only fear and doubt depart.

When Saturday rolled around I didn’t expect to write anymore, but before morning’s end I had written three short poems. Here are two of them:


A soiled path
Regrets partake.
A sullied journey
My path in wake.

If only for a moment to
Forget what’s not,
And start anew.


Indeed I feared I broke the line
Severed the path on which you mine
Confused, Distraught
Now I flee
Only to hope you now be free

And today, I wrote another. Although it took me nearly all day to find the words.

In this land content I lay
A cool wind to guide my way.
And in the sky a giant waits,
reminding fate.

And as I turn I see,
a dewdrop hanging listlessly.
Reflecting fate
Invoking shape
Signaling the stars to wake.

I have shared three of these on Twitter and find myself wondering things like: Are others going to read it the same way I read it or say it? Is the punctuation or lack thereof conveying the rhythm I was hoping for? And, can I sacrifice grammar for rhyme?

While poetry still confounds me I now have a newfound respect for anyone that writes it.

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Halfway There

Blaugust Day 15


The halfway point is here. Time to reflect a little.

Blogging and writing every day has been good. Even when I have been unsure what to talk about I’ve been able to work through it. The main thing I need to work on is giving myself more time to write. The hard part of Blaugust has been keeping up with all the other participants. I love seeing my feed reader full and always having something new to read. I’m curious how other people have been consuming Blaugust. I would like to be reading everyone’s posts on the day they post them, but instead I have been reading one blog at a time and trying to catch-up on that one blog and then move on to the next.

The problem I have been running into is that if I don’t feel like I am going to have the time or if there is a chance of interruption I end up reading nothing. I’ve got to push past this though and just read. I feel better and more inspired when I am reading other people’s blogs, liking their posts, and leaving comments.

I’m excited for what the rest of Blaugust holds. There are so many good writing prompts and topics people have touched on so far I’m not really worried about getting those next 16 posts out.

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Prompt: Know Your Role

Blaugust Day 14


Another prompt brought to you by Izlain. I found out about it thanks to Tyrannodorkus’ post.

Do you find it difficult to play a role outside of your typical class choices? This can be in an MMO, MOBA, single player RPG or any other game that uses class as a distinction for gameplay.

After thinking about this prompt for awhile I don’t think I have a typical class choice. If anything I may tend to lean toward ranged or jack of all trades classes. My tendency towards jack of all trades classes probably has to do with the fact that most of my MMO career has been spent in RuneScape where there are no defined classes and you can take on any role you want depending on the skills you’ve trained. Although, RuneScape does not really offer any kind of support role so it’s either dps or tanking. Also, besides RuneScape I have never really progressed very far in another MMO, so I’ve never invested time into tanking or healing. Guild Wars 2 is probably the farthest I have progressed in another MMO where I am currently level 57, but there I am playing a ranger.

When I try a new MMO I try to keep an open mind. I may do some research into the classes, but I try to keep the final decision for character creation. I am completely open to trying out tanking or healing, but I have never stayed in another MMO long enough to go beyond mostly dps, and a little healing. I think now I have talked myself into needing to set a goal at some point to seriously invest time into a tanking class and a healing class, although I’m not sure which MMO to choose.

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Blaugust Day 13

Blaugust Day 13

This is not a dinosaur.

Apparently today isn’t Wednesday, it took me half the day to figure that out but now I know. Although I am still skeptical of tomorrow being Friday.

Anyway, I’m going to warn you now I have no idea what I’m going to talk about, so I apologize in advance for the lack of quality and complete randomness. When I don’t know what to draw I start scribbling on the page looking for shapes in all lines, eventually I find something, usually a face, and then try and develop whatever I found a bit further. Unfortunately, I can’t quite do that with words, so instead I will continue typing words until I hit that magical 10 sentences for Blaugust.

I suppose I could talk about a few things one thing that has been on my mind lately. If you’ve been to my About page (no, don’t go look at it now) or seen my August goals post you’ll know that the About page is still under construction, and if you’ve read this blog even a little you’ll know their hasn’t been a main focus. I almost started this blog during the Newbie Blogger Initiative in May, but when I went to write up the About page I froze and set the blog aside until the end of July.

I realized in May that 1) describing yourself isn’t easy and 2) I have an overarching idea I want to infuse into most of what I write on this blog, but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that. When I originally decided I wanted to blog I thought my main focus would be gaming, but then I started drawing more often and I thought it would be interesting to document that journey as I improve my drawing skills. I then realized there probably wasn’t a main focus or at least not a niche focus, and that’s okay. At this point nothing is off-limits for this blog- within reason of course. Writing, drawing, gaming, university, animals, life, dinosaurs, books- its all up for grabs when I go searching through my mind to find something to write.

And look at that 13 sentences. Phew! Whoever said writing was a struggle? (Well actually, I did in my first Blaugust Post)

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The Gamer To-Do List

Blaugust Day 12

The Gamer To-Do List

This is inspired by Izlain over at Me vs Myself and I and Chestnut over at Gamer Girl Confessions. They both put together to-do lists of what they want to get done in a variety of games, and while I haven’t done a lot of gaming this summer maybe a few goals will give me that extra push.

I am going to try and keep what I want to get done very manageable, and if I happen to get everything done then I will will update the list accordingly.

  • Level Cooking to 92
  • Try Player-Owned Ports: a minigame where you manage and send out a fleet of ships.
  • Try Dominion Tower: a minigame where you can re-fight bosses from quests you have completed.
Guild Wars 2
  • Complete Part V of the Personal Story
  • Map Completion: Gendarran Fields
  • Reach level 60

This month I would also like to try out Star Wars: The Old Republic. I don’t know for sure if it will happen, mostly because when I try Swtor I would like to be able to dedicate at least 1-2 hours to my first play session. When I start playing a new game I much prefer to start with a longer play session than a short one. If there is story I have more time to get hooked in the beginning and I find I am much more likely to remember my first time in a game when I can dedicate at least an hour.

Yesterday, when I put together my non-gaming goals I forgot quite possibly the most important one which is to write up my blog posts prior to 10 or 11pm. I’ve fell into this nasty habit of not writing my blog posts until after 10pm and not publishing until almost midnight. I don’t recommend it. And I don’t like feeling that self-imposed deadline to be done before midnight so I have my post out for the day. Nevertheless, this schedule has gotten me this far so maybe it’s not all bad.

If you’ve come this far and still haven’t checked out Me vs Myself and I and Gamer Girl Confessions you should.

August Goals

Blaugust Day 11

august goals 1

We may already be in the second week of August, but that doesn’t mean I can’t set some goals for how I would like the rest of the month to play out. Let’s get right into it.

This and That
  • The past few months our Wii has been stubborn and decided it doesn’t like to read disks anymore. This month it’s finally time to crack it open and see if some tinkering can get the disk drive working again.
  • On July 31, I upgraded to Windows 10- besides some quick customization I have barely spent any time really digging in. It’s time to get better acquainted with the new operating system.
  • Build a desk. I need a dedicated space for studying- normally it’s the couch or my bed. If I at least get started building this month I will be happy.
  • I also have a bookshelf that needs organizing.
To Read
  • Earth One. Not sure what to expect, but I saw it at the library and decided to pick it up.
  • Battling Boy. I’ve seen this comic here and there around the internet so when I saw it at the library I figured I would give it a try.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns. I read Kite Runner in high school and really enjoyed it. I picked up A Thousand Splendid Suns a few years ago, but for some reason never got around to reading it. This month I will at very least start it, and finish it in September.

I already talked about what I’d like to get done this week in my post on August 8, but I’ll go ahead and reiterate it here so everything is in one place.

This Week
  • About Page: Currently I only have one sentence on this page with a rough definition for the meaning of Static Refresh. I would like to expound upon this further. So, this week I would like to have an About the Blog blurb and an About me blurb.
  • Contact Page: Here I want to add some icons, as well as some of my gaming identities.
  • Blogroll Page: Considering organizing the blogroll into the following categories: Blaugust, Art, Gaming, Writing and Life, and Science (geared towards paleontology and zoology).
Rest of August
  • Catching up and Interacting with my fellow Blaugustians. Sorry everyone I’ve been slacking.
  • Add Currently Playing and Currently Reading sections somewhere, maybe the sidebar not sure yet.
  • Successfully complete Blaugust.

That’s more or less it. I was going to include my Gamer To-Do List for the month but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow. I hope everyone has a fantastic and productive August.

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The Great Blaugust Sea

Blaugust Day 10


[This is a short piece of fiction inspired by Blaugust, as well as the MMO blogosphere and accompanying podcasts. My plan is to expand upon the story during the extent of Blaugust.]

Talan brushed away the vines concealing a small nook in the cliff face. With uneasy steps, he eyed the darkness that consumed the passage ahead and rummaged about feeling for his flint and steel to ignite his torch. The flame of his torch wavered as did the beating of his heart as he made his way through the narrow passage. His only comfort was the gentle stroke of moss across his soles and the cool breeze that caressed his cheek.

When he stepped beyond the recesses of the nook his brow tilted and his torch dropped singeing the moss that reached beyond its borders. Forgetting the torch had been in his hands, he reached for his map and exposed the tattered paper to the cool air. Legends told of a great library that occupied these lands. It was said a single Aggronaut collected the scrolls and tomes held within its archives. Talan lifted his eyes from the map and gazed out at what lay before him. Meeting the sun as it rose was a sea that seemed to have to no end.

This was perplexing, just four days ago a trio of battle bards had recited tales about the construction of the library and the exploits of the Aggronaut who oversaw it. Talan had even approached the trio after their performance to confirm the accuracy of his map and persuaded them to tell him more about their own journeys to the library. The battle bards had spoke of no ephemeral sea that concealed the great library. This particular trio was known for their occasional jiggery-pokery, but during Talan’s conversations with them they had seemed quite genuine.

Nevertheless, the sea was before him, in that there was no doubt. He made his way toward the sea which was now bathed in amber as the sun continued its climb. As he approached the waves that seemed so desperate to linger and the sun’s rays pierced the very clouds trying to contain it, he looked out across the sea and saw that scattered across its surface was a multitude of ships.

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