Post Con Flow

Every year I go to Gen Con and tell myself I’m going to blog about the experience. Seems like every year I also find myself weeks later trying to come up with something to write about and realizing I never did.

Gen-Con-2014-Dice-Mary-DiamondAt least this time I can be satisfied that I’ve come up with more story ideas and been more motivated as well to get over this hump I’ve been stuck on. The novel I never talk bout is a little over half done (I hope) and I’ve got story to continue on so maybe it’ll be more than just one. I hate to commit, though.

Mr. Diamond and I went to Gen Con and spent time together last weekend, and we had a pretty great time. Michael Stackpole was a brilliant speaker, I got to see and game with John Adamus (who inspires me to write, when I’m losing momentum), and we ate really well while we were in downtown Indianapolis. The Dark Dungeons trailer was even more awesome than I expected, and the 30th anniversary Dragonlance panel made my eyes water a little bit. I could probably ramble on about all the things we did, but I’ll spare you that and just leave this Google+ Story right here:


This weekend we also spent some time cleaning various parts of the house, and I got some awesome estate sale finds that I was previously prepared to pay full price for. So I’ll call it a win.

Go Go Go Mary

I had the chance to go see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last night at the Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, and it was amazing! Everytime I go into downtown Chicago, I’m reminded of how much I love the energy of that city and how badly I’ve neglected my cultural engagement.

I definitely need to go to the theater more often.  Happy Friday!


Minecraft Take Me Away

mary-diamond-minecraft-screenie-firstLately I’ve been feeling strangely pent up, like I want to explode in a million different directions with all the new things I’ve tried to take on. Essentially, I’m excited about the future and things are looking up.

My job is going well, and I am enjoying what I do each day. At the same time, I’ve been trying to divide my time between doing what I know I can do, planning what I’d like to do, and searching for ways to improve myself professionally. It’s a bit daunting, wanting to learn the things I’ve pegged for myself -but if I could just carve out the time to spend each week, I feel like I’d make good progress. That’s always the issue, for me, with progress. Making the time.

I have implied in my tweets and to my friends directly that I’m going to be revamping my schedule to create modules of time during which I can focus on things that need doing periodically so as to accomplish long term goals. The problem there is that I recently discovered that Minecraft multiplayer servers aren’t so hard to figure out and that there are several new (to me) biomes and resources in the PC version of the game. This has led to me spending more time in “relaxation mode” at home and less time working on that novel that I’ve got almost half done.

Being a gamer, a mom, a writer, and a working woman is one hell of a balancing act.

Since I struggle with simulation sickness, I’ve been trying to condition myself to play games with first-person, or even over-the-shoulder perspective camera angles. I started by tweaking my video settings and playing in bits of 20 minutes or so at a time. It seems to have bolstered my intestinal fortitude, as it takes longer and longer for the waves of nausea to force me off the computer. The double-edge of my progress there is that I’m now playing a lot more video games and writing a lot less.

I’m still working on that, as evidenced by the fact that I just wrote this post. It may not be much, but I’m not mining for coal right now -so I’ll take it as a win.

I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions Anymore

Today is, apparently, Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day. This is amusing to me, as I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to buy into the hype anymore. Why should there only be one time of year when we resolve to improve ourselves? I want to be constantly improving -and although that’s easier said than done, the cliche goes double for the whole “New Year, New You” mentality.

Zelda-running-through-snowThis past fall I joined a gym and was enthusiastic about getting to it and exercising for several good weeks in a row. The drive was a bit of a hassle, as it was across town, but they have since built one within a mile of my house that is directly on my way to and from work. Sadly, my motivation has faltered. So when co workers asked me to do squats on Thursday, I was ready to get it back. I over exerted myself pretty badly, and walking down the basement stairs still makes me feel like I’m gonna die. Since then I’ve been battling a mix of shame and amusement at my own foolishness, and the pain has become an undeniable reminder of how sedentary I have become. I swore I’d make up for it by playing Ingress this weekend, but the less arctic temperatures have been accompanied by SNOW.

One of my comrades-in-squatting from work shared this blogger’s Google+ posts with me, and reading this one about “permanent fitness” made me want to cheer.  I’m trying really hard to get back into the regular practice of exercise, and lately it’s been a real challenge.  Neila Rey’s writing about loving and respecting yourself got me thinking more about my philosophy with regards to getting healthier.

As much as I have always wanted to get more fit, live a healthier lifestyle and feel better -I am so frequently confronted by the general attitude of society that I should be thinner. I should want to look better. Perfect strangers even sometimes feel the need to point out to me that I’m not attractive enough. Random (adult) people in the world have even, on occasion, told me that I was fat and had every intention of causing me harm and humiliation by doing so. I can’t say whether this incites more rage or sadness in me.

I actually like broccoli and cucumbers, so why not snack on them?

I actually like broccoli and cucumbers, so why not snack on them?

It would be great to look good, but I’m 100% more concerned with feeling better and moving more freely. Sometimes I get so tired of hearing about being “skinny” from people around me (of all sizes) that it makes me want to stop trying out of simple rebellion. I’m sure there’s some measure of unhealthy justification there, too.

(TL;DR) Long story short, I’m going to develop healthier habits that I can live with and choose not to focus on how negatively I might be judged by myself or anyone else. Every. Damn. Day. The end.

Falling Down

I just fell on my butt on the ice for the second time in two weeks. Life is both random and orderly at times, but lately I have struggled with feelings of frustration that the commitments I want to make and meet keep overwhelming me.

Looking back,  my posts seem to betray a series of major swings back and forth between gratitude and uncertainty. My time is not my own yet, and probably will not be for many more years. But it is my responsibility to manage it for myself and my family.

Professionally,  I manage my time by assigning slots of it to the tasks and projects I need to finish,  and I think it’s time I started doing the same for my personal time as well. Maybe it’s the “inevitable heat death of the universe” getting me down,  but I feel a drive to accomplish things and the deadlines no longer rest in some unseeable horizon beyond adulthood.


Mr. Diamond and I had breakfast at Denny’s this weekend. It was kind kind of a throwback, since we met in our late teens through a group of other people like ourselves who liked to stay up late and see how long we could get away with loitering before sunlight or management chased us back to our caves. The sign today gave me a chuckle,  since we still play fantasy games with some of those people.

There must always be at least a little time for fantasy in my life. Otherwise, I might fall hard enough to break something that can’t be repaired.