Tag Cloud Typography

Today I’d like to share with you my latest tag cloud typography. I’ve done a number of these for fellow bloggers in order to refine my skills. I’m open to constructive criticism so I can improve.

I Have Touched The Sky Tag Cloud

Tag Cloud of I Have Touched The Sky. Inspired by Enkeling.

  

Psynister's Notebook Tag Cloud

Tag Cloud of Psynister’s Notebook.

  

Inquisitor's Roadhouse Tag Cloud

Tag Cloud of Inquisitor’s Roadhouse.

These are all done in ink on marker paper.

Category: Sketch Notes  5 Comments

Sahsha’s Journal Entries: My Favorite Spot (Where No One Can See Me)

I lost my journal.

I don’t understand. I had it in my pack. Maybe it got mishandled while I was transferring bags through the bank yesterday. I know we’ve accepted Goblins as part of the Horde now, but I really don’t trust the grubby-handed little cretins. I’m not saying one of them took it, but who really knows. It seems like I somehow end up with less in my bags each time I retrieve them from the bank. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them ‘confiscating’ some of my items to cover their ‘overhead’ costs.

I don’t know what they’d want with a beat up old tome, though. Its only value is to me. It’s the only thing I have from my father: A chronicle of adventures he likely never expected his daughter to see. I only started writing in it five years ago. Before that I guess I was too afraid I might damage the memory somehow, but it seemed a shame to let all the blank pages go to waste.
more…

WoW Couples: Artemis of Alextrasza

Wrapping up my Positive WoW Stories contest, here is the Honorable Mention from Artemis! Many of us use WoW as our own personal sanctuary, but Artemis was able to truly lose herself in the game, escaping a negative home life that seemed all but hopeless.

After 4+ years of playing the game, it’s no longer about the things she broke away from, but all the wonderful things she gained.

This is Artemis’ story:


World of Warcraft has made a huge splash in my life and many of those around me. Flash back to the month that The Burning Crusade came out in stores, I was unhappily married, in a dead end job and working my ass off, and generally miserable in every other aspect of my life. I was 24 years old and I felt like absolutely nothing inspired me,.no pretty sites to see or distant lands I could afford to travel to, I spent much of my time reading or doing web design. In fact the only reason I was interested in buying the game was for my husband whom I simply just wanted more time away from, I had no idea I would be drawn in and completely addicted in a months time. 
more…

Asshats

I’ve mentioned several times that games like WoW allow us to be the best version of ourselves. While it’s easy to lose yourself in a virtual world that can bring you great friendships, great relationships, and amazing accomplishments, at least you’re striving to be better; to do good and give back to the community that’s embraced you.

But the same isn’t true for everyone, is it?

I hate to be cynical about it, but I think for every one person who wants to leave a good impression there’s someone else out there who just wants to be a complete and utter dick, mostly because they can. John Gabriel of Penny Arcade lovingly dubbed this the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, basically stating that a normal, everyday person, when given complete anonymity and an audience via the internet, will turn into a total asshat.
more…

Category: WoW IRL  Tags: , ,  4 Comments

Sketch Notes: Bad To Glad #1: The 4 Stages of Knowledge

Bad To Glad 4 Stages of Knowledge sketchnotes

Original Video:

WoW Couples: Overcoming Obstacles

Today I’d like to share another WoW Couples story with you, this one from the lovely Veroicone. While many couples meet through online games like World of Warcraft, there are very few who have faced the hardships set before Veroicone and her significant other. This is truly an inspirational story of love overcoming tremendous obstacles and I’m so glad to be able to present it here:

I’ve been a Warcraft player for many years (since 2007) and although I enjoy the game itself (who doesn’t love taking down the bad guy or attacking other players?) I’ve always been a huge fan of the social aspect of the game. I have made many, many friends through playing this game and have many friends who have met their significant other through the game. In fact, if I never played WoW I would have never met my boyfriend.
more…

Healing Over Time: A Butterfly Poem For My Daughter

6 years ago today. 6 years and about an hour ago I walked into that dreaded hospital. I was very hopeful. I had faith. I truly believed she was going to be better. I never felt so right about something. But no.

The doctors pulled me into a special room, a room I hadn’t been in before. There were many other doctors in the room. Pretty much every doctor that had been involved in our nightmare were there.

I knew she wasn’t going to make it when the doctor said, “When someone asks you how many children you have, you will always say 2.” I knew what he meant. And I lost it. I don’t feel like reliving the nightmare today, so I’ll end the story there.

Instead, I’ll share a poem.

A butterfly alights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it.

- Author Unknown

I miss you baby girl.

Hugs, kisses, and high-fives,
Mommy

Sketch Notes: Game Awareness & Positive Mindset

These notes are on Zelyx’s Skill Capped video, Game Awareness & Positive Mindset, told from a Disc Priest point of view for Arena. I applied these notes in our matches last night by calling out that I had my teammates when someone was at less than 50%. “I got you after I break out of this stun.” I also glanced at our enemies’ frames more often, specifically their trinket timers. It sounds miniscule but training my eyes to glance there is a pretty big milestone for me. Acting as the team’s cheerleader… did that too! “Go go go, you got this!” as I lay there dead, watching the rest of the match. Some we won and some we lost, but staying positive through it all sure does make it more fun.

Game awareness positive mindset sketchnotes

 

And here’s another set of Sketch Notes done on Zelyx’s other video on Skill Capped, “Effective Life Grips, Inner Focus & Armor Usage.”
 

Effective life grips inner focus armour usage disc priest sketch notes

Skill Capped Video by Ashman: “Shadow – How To Do Damage”

Shadow How To Do Damage Sketch Notes

Zee’s Holorecording

People around here call me Jedi. I call myself Zee.

It’s hard not to correct them, you know. I don’t really feel like a Jedi. I feel like I’m trapped. Like I’m me, but not. I tell them what they want to hear, and not what I actually think. I’ve gotten really good at that, because that’s what I’m supposed to be. Humble. Demure. There is no emotion, there is peace…

Oh, what the hell. Nobody’s going to see this recording anyway. And if they tuck it away in a holocron for some poor Padawan to see after I’m dead, well, maybe it’ll be good for them. Maybe they’ll understand why I feel this way. All this potential and not a damn thing to do with it except run around and fetch this, that, and the other.

They’ve got me holed up in a flat on the Senate Plaza. All expenses paid. They even threw in the rumbling and whirring and incessant beeping of the air traffic zooming by my window at all hours of the day and night. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. It’s definitely a different life than what I’m used to. People see the Lightsaber and they either want to kiss my ass or avoid me completely.

I think I’d probably prefer the latter, though I can see how the Sith get off on it. It does make you feel powerful for a few seconds. Until you realize they just want to use you like everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong. What I’m doing is important. When Master Yuon got sick I figured that was it for me. She was the only one who ever stuck up for me in that stuffy Council room. I don’t know why she believes in me, but she does. Now she’s losing her mind, and somehow everyone thought it would be a good idea for me to save her. Not a Jedi Master, but a newly-appointed Jedi who didn’t spend nearly enough time as a Padawan.

No pressure or anything.

I do have someone to help me. Or something. I don’t know. Master Yuon explained it, but I still don’t know what the hell it actually is. A Tran… something. Honestly it just looks like a giant lizard. Like if a rill started eating everybody in a ten mile radius.

He speaks in his own language that I only half understand. And even when I get the translation, I don’t know what he actually means. He likes hunting. And killing. And honor. Sounds like he’d be easy to figure out, but he pretty much hates every word that comes out of my mouth, whether I’m trying to be a good, proper Jedi or whether I slip up and just be myself.

He didn’t say a word to the tenth incompetent local today who lost their datapad in gang territory and begged me to retrieve it. I wonder how he’d feel if I told them to just fuck right off.

When he’s not stepping on me or getting in my way or staring at me stupidly while I kill something by myself, he’s asking me what it’s like to be a Jedi. What it’s like to see the things Jedi see; to be bound to the Force and everything in it.

I tell him it’s a lot to take in.

The truth is I don’t have a clue. I don’t see the things the other Jedi see, apparently. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m not a Master, or because I just really don’t belong here. Like I said. All the potential and the flashy powers.

But I don’t feel like any more a Jedi than the lizard.

Sketch Notes: Disc Priest PvP Tips & Tricks

Disc priest pvp tips and tricks

Done on regular drawing paper using Pilot Precise V5 Pen, Crayola colored pencils, and Sharpie Accent Highlighter. You can watch the original video here:

How To Play Priest Warrior in 2v2 Arena

Priest Warrior overview sketch notes

Original video:

Sketch Notes: Disc Priest Multitasking in Arena

Disc Priest Multitasking in Arenas

Skill Capped Video: Disc Priest Multitasking (In Arena) by Craze

Done on regular drawing paper with Pilot Precise V5 Pen and Crayola Colored Pencils.

Sketch Notes: How To Heal As a Disc Priest In Arena

I’m lovin these Skill Capped videos. Last night I respecced my Disc Priest to mimic that of Craze and applied what I learned in one of his videos. Because of that, I noticed a big difference with my efficiency in Arenas. Here are my sketch notes from yesterday. Sketching and drawing really helps the info to sink in.

Again, I want to stress that these sketch notes aren’t meant to replace watching valuable Skill Capped videos. My notes are just a small portion of what I’m learning. In addition, I sometimes don’t note tips and strategies that I already use and apply, but may not be obvious to others. So I highly recommend checking out their site!

how to heal as a disc priest sketch notes

Sketch Notes: Dealing With Melee – Disc Priest Arena

As you guys know, my main does alot of PvP and has been focusing on Arena the past few months. A few days ago, my arena partner told me about Skill Capped. I went ahead and became a member so that I could get access to their World of Warcraft PvP instructional videos and articles. For the cost of a couple lattes it was worth a shot and I looked at the $5 monthly fee as an investment.

After watching my first video, Dealing with Melee by Disc Priest Craze, I felt what I learned was worth the $5 already. What I love about these videos is that Skill Capped goes through the video step by step, analyzing moves, breaking things down into small pieces so that someone like me, (noob), could understand. What good is a youtube video of someone fighting in Arena when everything is moving so damn fast and they’re not even explaining what they are doing?

Anyway, writing sketch notes is a way for me to really get stuff to sink in and to help me retain the information long after I’ve learned something for the first time. The sketch notes below are of one of Craze’s videos and I decided to share it here. I want to stress that these sketch notes aren’t meant to replace watching valuable Skill Capped videos. My notes are just a small portion of what I learned. So I highly recommend checking out their site!
 

This was done on paper with my son’s Crayola colored pencils and scanned. I’m obviously not an artist or have a talent for illustration! But I’ve been having a lot of fun on Draw Something so really excited about adding the WoW icons. I hope to one day be good enough to draw fighting stick figures!

How Social Anxiety Affects My Game

For the past few weeks, I just haven’t felt like myself. It’s not that I’ve been particularly antisocial, but I began to dread the idea of interacting with new people or getting myself into unfamiliar situations. And meeting new people and trying new things is such an important part of my life and my business that I knew I couldn’t keep feeling that way. So I sat down and had a chat with Dr. L about it…

Me: I’m not sure why, but I’ve had the hardest time getting outside lately. Even if it’s just to go to the store. It’s the weirdest thing; I can’t get motivated to do anything that requires me to be out in public. Picking my son up from school is a big deal, too. I do it because I have to, but I really dread it. And it’s not because I’m lazy. At home I clean and do chores like crazy.

Doc: So it sounds like it’s not due to fatigue or depression. What’s this block you’re talking about?’

Me: I have no idea. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want people talking to me; I don’t want anyone to even LOOK at me. If D is with me I can go out and do anything. As long as he’s by my side, I have no problems. But it’s doing things by myself… just talking about it is making me flustered.

Doc: I can see that. I can see you’re blushing… Tell me, when you were in school were you always in the back, never raised your hand and dreaded the teacher calling on you?

Me: Yes!

Doc: And it wasn’t because you aren’t bright and didn’t know the answer. In fact you’re probably extremely bright but your teachers didn’t know it because you never spoke up in class.

Me: You’re totally right.

Doc: In business meetings you probably never spoke up even if you had a brilliant idea, because you were thinking: “What if I say the wrong thing?” or “What if they make fun of me because I say something stupid?”

Me: Yep, been there. And I’ve found it very hard to pick up the phone to do business-related stuff these past couple weeks. I’d much rather email. I can get on the phone, but not without a cigarette. But I’m an introvert. Don’t all introverts feel this way?

Doc: No. This is beyond introvert/extrovert. I’m an introvert and I don’t have those fears you’re talking about. What you’re describing sounds like social anxiety. It’s characterized by intense fear in social situations. To some it only occurs in new, unfamiliar social situations.

Me: I’m scared I might say the wrong thing and then replay the words over and over in my head. But I also say: “It’s okay. In a week you’re probably not going to remember you said that stupid thing. And most likely that other person has already forgotten you said that stupid thing.”

Doc: Right. People with social anxiety have this fear of being judged by others and a fear of being embarrassed and humiliated.

They're all gonna laugh at you!

So the doc went on about it, describing my past few weeks to a T. I told him I didn’t want to be on any more medication; that I wanted to try and tackle this on my own and find other tools to help me, especially since I’m already on bipolar medication to stabilize my moods and I feel like a zombie at times.

And perhaps most frustrating to me, the situation he described doesn’t ALWAYS happen. I’m not always curled in a ball of anxiety, dreading the world around me. Some days I’m perfectly social. I’ve gotten up on stage and spoken in front of hundreds of people before with no problem! I’ve done motivational talks to small groups. I’ve competed in jiujitsu tournaments with hundreds of people watching me. I used to have a job that required me to meet new people every day. Some days it’s not even anxiety, but fatigue or depression that keeps me from interacting. But when it does happen, it seems as crippling and restrictive as any other mental disorder. So I might take his advice and seek group therapy. I’m kind of looking forward to putting myself in a group with other people that feel the same things I do.

Because I do like making new friends. I do like getting to know people. I like to be present and authentic and share my stories and listen to others. I like to show compassion and be a good listener. That’s ultimately what I’m most passionate about: Helping others. But how can I do any of that if I’m limited by this thing called social anxiety?

Sometimes I wonder where I’d be if not for this occasional block. I wonder how far I could have taken my businesses if not for the fear of speaking.

So I guess I’ve always had social anxiety. But when I’m hypomanic–and only when I’m hypomanic–I can speak to people no problem. Now I’m on medication that prevents me from seesawing into a hypomanic state and the one bit of armor I had is stripped away, revealing the anxiety underneath.

It wasn’t really good news. Knowing there are apparently several layers to my mental health is always going to be a challenge as I cut through each of them one by one. But just knowing means I can recognize that I’m not being lazy or purposefully anti-social. It makes sense to me.

And it gives me another justification for my intense love of World of Warcraft. I can be social. I can think about my responses and mitigate the fear of putting my foot in my mouth. I can laugh out loud and not be afraid of sounding stupid to anyone. I can greet new people without instantly thinking they’re judging me. I can contribute my thoughts to a guild chat discussion without worrying about what other people might think.

But this also explains why I sometimes have a hard time speaking up in Vent, even with guildies. Even though I know they’re all super cool and for the most part drunk or at least buzzed and won’t remember that stupid thing I said or the stupid way I said it. There’s just this underlying fear that holds me back from saying what I want to say, even if it’s on the tip of my tongue.

It might also explain my recent Arena frustrations. I want so badly to be good at it. My teammates say I’m doing great. But there’s still this thing in the back of my mind that believes they’re lying. They just can’t tell me how much I suck to my face. They talk behind my back about that thing I did where I fucked up and lost us the match and how much they hate me and the world is coming down and it’s all my fault… Yeah. Do you hear how redonk this is? It’s so totally irrational and I’m smart enough to know that. But there’s just that SOMETHING that lingers within, telling me I’m the root of every problem imaginable.

The sad thing is, there’s a shred of truth here; I’m at least partially responsible for our record. While we win more than we lose, almost every one of our losses can be chalked up to lack of communication. Could it have something to do with my half of the team being too afraid to say anything on Vent?

And my Arena partner… Light bless his patient soul… Listen up @ShifteaIRL (And @KrisstinaWoW when we do 3s): I’m pledging right here and now to communicate better! I know we’ve already made strides toward it. On Friday after each match we talked in Vent and evaluated what went right and what went wrong, and we’ve already gotten a lot better! (Could be that he’s running a DK instead of the Warrior… not sure).

I want to be able to communicate at the highest point of stress when it matters the most. Because I’m a damn good disc priest. Okay, maybe not damn good. But I’m not shitty. I’m that annoying priest in BGs that you can’t kill (unless you’re a rogue). I’m that “Shoo pally! Go be efficient! Help get your flag back and stop wasting your time trying to kill me! Or if killing me is really THAT important to you, come back with some friends” priest.

I may be good. But I want to be great. I’m talking 2200+!

I have decided to tackle this on my own. I don’t want it to limit me. I don’t want to be held down by anything. This isn’t a passive affliction I’m going to let rule my life. This is a challenge I can conquer just like any other.

Funny how the “thing” that’s been holding me back… was myself.

If you have symptoms similar to the ones I’ve described— symptoms that have kept you from doing the things you want to do in life—please at least check out the links below and speak to a doctor. Life doesn’t have to be this way. We deserve better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_anxiety_disorder

http://www.socialanxietyinstitute.org/define.html

*Photos from http://www.trialx.com and http://www.anxietycounseling solutions.com

Winning Contest Entry: Karegina

Today’s post comes from Karegina, the tied second place winner of my Positive WoW Stories contest. Like me and many others, Karegina was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and forced to endure the rollercoaster ride of daily highs and lows; a safe haven while manic and a productive environment to pass the time while depressed.

And it’s even meant more than just therapy. It’s opened up doors and shed a whole new light on relationships she once thought lost.

This is Karegina’s story: more…