Monday, May 30, 2011

Goodreads: When Beauty Tamed the Beast

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Happily Ever Afters, #2)When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another great re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, this one with an added pop culture twist. I was in need of something fluffy and romantic, and "When Beauty Tamed the Beast" hit the spot.

Linnet is a beauty who's reputation is tarnished by a rumor and who's family is tarnished by an adulterous mother. When society believes her to be pregnant, she is taken by a Duke to marry is son, a not-so-pleasant "Beast" of a doctor who walks with a cane and can't forgive his father for his past addiction.

I think we know where this one is headed.

What author Eloisa James did well was to take the story and add some great dialogue and stunning scenes to turn it into a great romance novel. The pop culture twist...if you didn't catch that the Beast is stylized after Dr. House from the show "House M.D." If you didn't catch that, don't feel bad. Admittedly, I didn't realize it until I read the author's notes. Then again, I don't watch the show, so maybe that's okay.

I really enjoyed this book, but it did have a minor annoyance for me and that was that some of the scenes seemed to drag on forever. For the most part the story as a whole didn't drag. But there were several scenes I thought lasted a little too long and gave information that wasn't really needed, especially because it wasn't important at any point in the rest of the story.

If you're looking to satisfy the sweet spot that only a good romance can touch...and/or you like fairy tale retellings...I highly recommend this one.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Freedom in Saying “Nevermind”

I recently posted on being rejected. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that there could be a chance of me ever being the rejecter. That opportunity came a few days later.

When I say I was the rejecter, I wasn’t really rejecting anything. What I was actually doing was changing my mind about something I thought I wanted to do.

I found an opportunity on a writing forum. It sounded like fun and something I could easily fit into my writing schedule, so I applied. I applied for two different topic positions, thinking I had a good chance at one and a not so great chance at the other. A few days later, I got the rejection email for the one I thought I had a chance at. No big deal. I’d just wrapped up the rejection post and figured I wouldn’t get the other one either.

Turns out, the people doing the accepting had a different idea because I got my welcome letter the next day. I went to the page to read the training tools and the welcome information and was quickly hit with the nasty feeling of dread. It wasn’t that the rules were hard to follow, nor was it anything different than what I’m already doing. It was partially the fact that even though I applied for it, I really had no idea what to write on the topics they were giving me. It was mostly that they wanted me to commit to 10 to 20 articles a month.

I’m somewhat of a writing commitment-phobe. I like to do it in my own time with no pressure (unless I’m putting it on myself). Short term commitment is fine. I’m okay with claiming assignments as long as I know that I can release them back into the wild if I need to. But considering I’m writing for two other platforms, trying to maintain at least 2 blogs, and working 40 hours a week, there was no way I was going to be able to kick out that many articles for this site, not if I still wanted some downtime now and again.

So I did what I probably wouldn’t have done in the past: I declined the position. It feels weird to decline a position I applied for in the first place, but it shouldn’t, right? People do that in the job world all the time if something doesn’t feel right them. Writing shouldn’t be any different.

Plus, I have a feeling they would have told me to take a hike after the first month when I fell way short of their expectations.

The feeling of relief I had after sending that email was huge, and I realized that most of what stresses me out is stuff that I take on when I really could have just said “no” and not worried about it. In this case, I can continue to write for the platforms I enjoy writing for, I can keep my blogs, and I can still have time to watch Doctor Who and knit a scarf every now and again.

“No” is a good word. “Nevermind” works just as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Word on “Regretsy”

A Word on “Regretsy”

Right next to the hot button topics of politics and religion sits the topic of Regretsy. If you’re not already familiar, Regretsy posts the less desirable items found on Etsy. They also call out people who blatantly steal from others and Etsy itself for turning a blind eye to this sort of practice.

Regretsy tends to be mean spirited. It’s also hilarious, snarky, and blunt. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that it sucks to have something you’ve done or said made fun of by hundreds of people. But there are a few points I’d like to make about Regretsy and the internet in general.

1. We’ve had the internet long enough to know what goes on there. Identities get stolen. People get trolled. Rickrolls come and go. If you put something on the internet, you are automatically opening yourself up to ridicule and meanness. Some of the things I’ve written have gotten nasty comments, not just about the writing but about me as an individual. It stung, but I hitched up my big girl pants and got over it. If you don’t want people to be mean to you, lurk quietly in the cyberspace shadows.

2. I understand that art is subjective, but sometimes bad crafting is just bad crafting. Sure, you made something, you put your “heart and soul” into it, blah blah blah. I remember a time when just putting time into something wasn’t good enough. You had to actually produce something that was aesthetically pleasing, functional, or high quality. Now it seems that as long as you do something, anything, you expect someone to tell you how great you are. I call shenanigans and Regretsy does too (they just do it louder). Not everyone is a special snowflake just because they exist.

3. Hideous or not, stuff that appears on Regretsy sells. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked the link (because they do link to the original sellers work…yay page hits!) only to find that the item sold. One person actually wrote to Regretsy and complained that they suddenly had more buyers. Really! So yeah, someone called your stuff ‘crap’, but obviously someone else thought it was great because they paid you money for it. I’m not sure what the problem here is, other than someone got their feelings hurt (re: big girl pants…pull ‘em up). I opened an Etsy store for some of my knitted items and actually thought about putting one of my really bad projects up there on the off chance Regretsy would give me some air time.

4. What about the good things Regretsy does? They have a section called “April’s Army” which helps people who are having a hard time. They’ve auctioned things for charity. They’ve also developed rapport with people who were good sports about being featured and helped them sell even more stuff. Just because I enjoy following Regretsy doesn’t mean I always agree with their assessment. There have been a couple things that they’ve completely ripped on that I thought were adorable, and I was happy to see they sold before I even got a chance to go to the page.

Regretsy isn’t for everyone. People have the right to defend their work, but I think there’s also something to be said for a good sense of humor. So roll with it, people. Or don’t follow the blog. But getting angry and crazy about the stuff they post isn’t really going to help anyone, and it’s just going to make you a bigger target.

And please, please, please…just ignore the comments.

Monday, May 23, 2011


In several areas of my life, I’ve been purging all sorts of extraneous things.

My apartment has recently undergone a huge purge. We’ve gotten rid of pieces of furniture that were just taking up space. After one of our snakes went to that big snake pit in the sky, we found someone to buy the massive extra tank we had sitting around. We boxed up books and clothes and knick knacks and all sorts of things and sold them at a garage sale.

I go between two extremes. Sometimes I really like being surrounded by stuff. I like the coziness of it. Other times, I hate stuff. I want only the bare necessities: Nothing on the walls, only one or two pieces of furniture - nothing extra that I have to maintain.

Right now I’m somewhere in between. Now that we’ve gotten rid of so much, there’s room to move in our house. I don’t mind having people over again, and I’m looking forward to Christmas because I have room for a tree and places I can decorate. It’s easier to pick things up and keep them clean and I feel more organized on a regular basis.

I’ve even hung some things on the wall, a fact that thrilled my mom when I told her (she hates bare walls).

This need to purge clutter has moved into other areas of my life. I’ve pared down my Google Reader to make it more manageable. You’d think that this wouldn’t be something I would worry about, but it was driving me nuts. After pulling out most of the things I was following, I felt so much better. Sure, I got rid of some of the funnier sites I enjoyed, but I obviously wasn’t enjoying them that much if there 150 unread posts for them. I also parted ways with a couple celebrities I was following and even gave up on some recipe and knitting pattern blogs.

I’m also slowly but surely getting rid of extra things on my computer. I have a ton of old files that are just taking up space, including music I really don’t like, eBooks I probably won’t read (I got a little crazy with the “free” options), and programs that I thought would be cool and then never used. Some stuff is being moved to the external hard drive. Others are just getting booted, especially because at some point, I want to purge extra stuff from the external as well.

Clearing out clutter is therapeutic once you actually do it. It took me forever to just break down and start moving. To tell the truth, the only thing that made me really do it was 1) the garage sale prospect and 2) the impending re-inspection of our apartment. Now that it’s done, I feel so much better. We still have things to do, closets to clean out, and some organization still pending, but minimizing the stuff we had was definitely a good first step to feeling less stressed at home.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Goodreads: Grundish and Askew

NOTE: I was asked by the author of this book to do a review and was happy to do it. It always makes me feel more important than I really am when I get these sort of opportunities. I say it all in the review below, but this book was AWESOME! If you want to check it out for yourself, go buy it here on Amazon. I can't wait to read more by this author!

Grundish and AskewGrundish and Askew by Lance Carbuncle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If George and Lenny lived in a trailer park, drank beer, had few ambitions and a violent streak, they’d be Grundish and Askew. This is the second book by the good Dr. Reverend Lance Carbuncle, but the first one I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’m looking forward to satiating myself on more raunchy, cult inspiring awesomeness.

Grundish and Askew are soul mates and hetero life partners who haven’t been dealt the best hand but are determined to make the most of what they have. Askew is determined to break the generational cycle of prison bound men in his family while Grundish, after serving his time, just wants to stay out of jail. But when a frozen hot dog prank in their trailer park goes awry, the two men have to flee, taking their one-lunged senior citizen aunt with them.

The characters in “Grundish and Askew” are great. The two main characters are raw and disgusting, yet I found myself rooting for them. Turleen, the one-lunged aunt, is well developed as a secondary character and one of my favorites, especially during her interactions with two dogs that show up in her hallucinatory dreams. Minor characters add spice and plot and Carbuncle weaves them into the story with either great skill or lots of luck (I’m going to say the former).

“Grundish and Askew” isn’t for the faint of heart or virgin-minded. There’s sex, violence, gore, bodily functions and some disturbing scenery along the way. But it’s a fun, wild ride that’s well written and one I highly recommend.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gym Commitment

For what feels like the millionth time, I've once again joined a gym.

A new 24 hour fitness center recently opened here in Manhattan, KS, and the company I work for made a corporate agreement with them to offer employees a discount. Even with current financial issues, I did a quick check of our budget and found a little wiggle room to join, mostly based on my extra writing income.

I don't do well with self motivation. I know I could walk or dance around my house or do any number of things to get in shape, but if I'm not paying for it, I won't do it. For me, home represents relaxation, and as much as I would like to walk (and will start doing more of it), at the moment I can't make it very far. A gym offers options that will help get me in shape without killing me in the first ten minutes.

Plus, I can exercise without feeling like an idiot, which is generally how I feel if I try to workout in my apartment. Even if no one is watching, I feel self conscious.

This isn't my first gym membership, and I'm sure it won't be my last. I've had an on and off again relationship with gyms since college, when I used the little exercise room in the lower half of the Walker Cisler Center.

The most recent gym was the one owned by the hospital system. They sold it, and so I find myself where I am now. I'd like to say I'm going to stick with it, and I probably will for awhile. I may even stick with it for good this time.  Realistically, there's a good chance I'll get lazy again, but it seems like I manage to go longer each time with less down time between commitments.

While my long term gym use seems less than enthusiastic, I'm actually really excited about this. It's another start, another chance to get in shape, and another chance to start feeling good again.

This time, I'm in it to feel better. I'm in it to build my endurance so I can spend a day walking around without wanting to collapse. I'm in it to have confidence, to ease anxiety, and just to feel better.

Everything else can happen in its own time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

iTunes Musical Journey: Starting Line

I've been listening to a lot of music lately. Unlike my multi-tasking husband, I can't write and watch TV at the same time, but I hate complete silence. My iTunes has really been getting a workout lately.  I usually shuffle. Sometimes I pick a good song and then "Genius" it, a method which has yielded some amazing results and shown me gems I didn't even know I had in my 7007 song collection.

I decided to take a little journey through my iTunes list. Instead of ordering it, I did an album sort (A-Z) and am listening to everything in order. There have been a few so far I've been able to purge, random songs that found their way in without my original okay. I'm not very far, hence the "Starting Line" of the title. I have almost 20 days worth of music and that's assuming I was to listen to music 24/7.

My hope in doing this? I'd like to have all my music rated. I'd like to get rid of things I really don't like. With the exception of a few artists, I'm less interested in keeping full albums and more interested in making sure my iTunes is loaded with things I enjoy.

In conjunction with this journey, I'm using the albums I listen to as article fodder for AC. Because who can't use some extra topics to write about?

The rules: Listen to music in order and let every song play all the way through. Even the sad ones. Even if they make me cry.

This is going to be a long trip.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Upside of Rejection

Rejection sucks. 

Even if the rejection is specific to one area of life, it gives me a feeling of overall unworthiness. I've cried over rejection in the past. I've also brushed it off outwardly and then went to drown my sorrows in a cigarette (back in my smoking days), alcohol (back in my drinking days) or food (I still eat, but I've avoided major binges for quite awhile now). 

It's not possible to be a writer and avoid rejection. Well known and well published authors are rejected. Stephen King hung his rejection letters on his wall and almost gave up writing when he couldn't publish his first novel. Very few people are charmed enough to lay the golden egg of manuscripts each and every time they attempt it, and even small rejections can be painful. 

Most of my submissions to Associated Content over the past few years have been accepted, but a several have been rejected for upfront payment, and a couple have been outright deemed unworthy for publication. It stings to know that something you thought it was good didn't make the cut. It's not easy to hear your work wasn't good enough ("I'm never writing again" mini tantrums have happened, though I'm ashamed to admit it). 

I've grown a thicker skin and I've even learned to find the upside of rejection. Articles that don't make the cut with AC give me something to send to a different platform or give me a blog post I didn't already have. Rejections of larger projects generally come with feedback to help me improve my writing. You can't get rejected if you don't try something new and put yourself out there, so I've managed to even take pride in some of my rejections. 

Most recently, I applied to be a movie writer for a gaming site. During the application process, I was really excited about applying and really wanted the job. I didn't get it. The rejection was very nice...the writing was good, they were just looking for someone with more experience. I had a moment of disappointment, but I avoided the whole "I'm not good enough to be a writer" scenario. To be honest, I felt relief, realizing only in hindsight that I may have taken on a little more than I could handle. 

That's not to say I won't keep trying. It's in my nature to overschedule and deal with the consequences later. But I've managed to change my thinking to look at the brightside of the word "no."

Heck, someday I might even frame my rejection letters and hang them on my wall. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

BzzzCampaign: Cover Girl NatureLuxe Foundation and Lip Balm

Many of you already know this since I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter with the info, but as a BzzAgent I am currently part of a campaign to try out CoverGirl’s new NatureLuxe line of foundation and lip balm.  
I’m not a makeup expert. Most mornings I’m too lazy to put it on.  I decided to give this one a try, because even if I don’t put it on every morning, I do have the occasion where makeup is suitable.  In the past, I’ve been less than thrilled by heavy foundations that leave a cake like appearance and less thrilled with lipsticks that make me look like a candidate for the clown department with the circus.
The NatureLuxe foundation is probably the best foundation I’ve ever tried, and that includes product from a high priced manufacturer. Instead of the thicker emollient used in traditional foundations, this one uses cucumber water, natural jojoba, and rosehip extracts.  It goes on smooth and feels light. Though it evens out my complexion, it doesn’t cake on like ones I’ve used in the past. Plus, I can touch my face or cup my chin without coming away with foundation “ick” on my hands and fingers.
The NatureLuxe Gloss Balm is also a good product that goes on smooth and gives a touch of color while softening lips. The balm is made with natural butters, including mango and shea. It’s not sticky, and it has a staying power that a lot of balms don’t. Because the color is light, I feel like I can reapply it several times without getting that over applied lipstick look.
The foundation comes in 14 shades and has an SPF of 10. It retails for around 11.99. The gloss balm comes in 16 shades, has an SPF of 15, and retails for around 6.49.
If anyone tries or has tried this, let me know what you think! If you’re not a BzzAgent, let me know and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have if you’re interested.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I did it! I finished Script Frenzy this year!

There was a scary moment of doubt where I didn't think I was going to, a moment brought about by video game addiction, day job overtime, and general laziness. However, with the assistance of an extra day off courtesy of my birthday,  and the help of my husband, who took the video game controller from me before I hurt myself, I finished it this afternoon....33 hours before the end of the event.

To back up, if you're not sure what Script Frenzy is, I wrote this article before the month started. It's the spring counterpart of National Novel Writing Month. Last year I attempted...and failed...both events. Having finished this one, I'm optimistic about this year's novel.

I went for romantic comedy, though it took awhile for the comedy to find its way into the story, and I still can't guarantee anyone else will find it funny. It's a typical cute, chick flick script. It's not well written, but that's the point of the event. Revision will hopefully polish it up. The plot: Not-so-nice "higher up" at a big business corporation loses a file for a business proposal that could get her a promotion to company promotion. IT guy happens to be walking by and agrees to help her find the file if she "dates" him for a undetermined amount of time. Though she doesn't want to, she worries that he'll ruin her job with his technological know-how, so she agrees.

There's nothing surprising happening here, folks, and I'm okay with that. You can already tell what's going to happen by the synopsis. I'd like to think the journey would make for a fun story, though. I've incorporated the following into the plot: my main female has a taste for serial killer trivia, my characters play DnD, and the two leads travel to Sault Ste. Marie for a wedding.

Even though I hit the 100 page mark and am close to being done with the initial writing, I still don't have the ending done. I'll have to make this a project and line it up alongside my other writing and revising projects. I think I'm going to need to set up a specific month to personally work on all my revisions. June? July? September comes with a built in 4 day weekend and no foreseeable travels.

Accomplishments are awesome, especially when I can now put something to rest...temporarily...and focus on some other things that need a writer's attention.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion (5/9)

Since it's been awhile since I've done this, I thought I'd go ahead and post some articles I've done in the past few months. This is also a little bit of a cop out as I'm trying to get caught up on writing goals, overtime work, and getting the apartment ready for an inspection, so I guess this is just filler? Still...never hurts to throw some stuff out there.

In the Spirit of Being Reunited - I don't have the knack for poetry that others have, but AC was holding a sonnet contest for National Poetry month. Though I don't anticipate winning, I had fun writing this. I haven't been to any reunions, but this is sort of how I imagine one might go.

Netflix TV Series Consolidation - Netflix recently put many of their television series into single show files instead of individual ones for each season. While it cuts down on the number of items in a queue, it does have its downside too.

My Top 10 Favorite Summer Movie Releases - I took an AC assignment and recapped several of my favorite movies. The title says it all. I've been called out on a couple of my choices, but for whatever reason, I stand behind them all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Two Years Down

Last weekend, I turned 32. The year I turned 30, I made a list of 100 things to do by the time I was 40. Two years in, and I'm happy to say I've actually done some of the things on my list. The point was that I wanted my 30s to be great. My 20s were okay, but I believe that we get better as we get older, and I wanted to continue to do things. Lots of things...varied things.

Even though I've only crossed off a few things on the list, I've also done all kinds of other things that I never even comprehended. I never anticipated going to a Lords of Acid concert or being a Passion Party consultant. I couldn't have anticipated the friends I'd have or the things I'd experience. Even if I don't reach my 100 items goal, I'm going for quality over quantity.

To recap, this is what I've crossed off my list so far (in no particular order):

1. Walk the Relay for Life - This was one of the first things I did. Unfortunately, we didn't make the whole night due to a Kansas thunderstorm, but heading up the group was a good experience and I'm glad I did it.

2. Get married - It was kind of a no-brainer, but we hadn't yet made plans when I made the list. I have no complaints. I'm a lucky lucky woman.

3. Knit or crochet a hat - Knitting is my craft of choice, and I've done this one many times over.

4. Knit or crochet a purse - I've done this once. It wasn't the best purse, but it was alright for a starter project. I'd like to make more, but I always find something more interesting to knit that doesn't require stitching.

5. Open an Etsy store - For something I put off for so long, this was really easy. I sold one thing. I wouldn't call it a success, but I wouldn't call it a failure either. I'd like to try to list more things in the future and see what else I can put out there.

6. See a musical - Jon and I got to see "Avenue Q" on stage when it come to K-State. It was an amazing show.

7. Bake homemade bread from scratch - This is an idea from my more domestic phase, but I did manage to do, even in our tiny kitchen. It was a little bit flat, but it tasted great. In the future, I can see myself baking more, even though I prefer fast rise breads.

8. Do my own online radio show - This was really short lived. Life got busy and I lost my motivation. It was a fun experience though. I've since thought of doing a webcast, but the radio show proved I wasn't cut out for long term on-air time.

9. Run a D&D Campaign - It took me forever to get up the nerve to run a game, but I finally did it thanks to the user friendly 4th edition of the game. A year later, my game is still going. I love my gaming group and I love the storyline I created. I'm no longer writing my own full encounters, but the basic storyline I created is still there, and I throw in my own flair when the urge hits.

10. Ask for a raise - Right after I did this, several things changed with regards to the work I was doing, but the act of doing it was an accomplishment in itself. It's hard to put yourself out there with something like this. Somehow, I managed to do it.

11. Go to a sci-fi, webcomic, or gaming convention - GenCon. Nothing else needs to be said.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Time for Some Reflection

The night we heard the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed, I posted a lengthy Facebook status which ended with “I should have blogged this.” In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t.  I was tired and emotional and hadn’t yet had time for it to sink in.  Reading through my social networks, I was overwhelmed by the quantity and variation of the reactions.
From the collective group of people I know/follow/interact with, there was the “Whoo hoo! Let’s party hard and show ‘em what happens when you mess with America!” to the “Death is nothing to celebrate.”  There was also a few “I guess this means the war’s over” and a scattered, “Oh no! Now it’s just going to get worse.”
I feel like the connecting circle in a Venn diagram of all these opinions.
Yes, I’m glad bin Laden has been taken care of, but it’s not the kind of glad that has me doing a victory dance. It’s the kind of glad that comes from relief. After 10 years, we’ve managed to do what we set out to do.  We’ve been persistent, and it’s finally paid off. I’m proud of the people who accomplished this. I’m also proud because it reminds me of what our military men and women are doing for us every day.  I’m proud because as a country, we’ve had this shared goal for ten years and now we get to share in the end result.
However, I don’t feel celebratory.  One death doesn’t bring back all the lives that were lost. Death in itself isn’t something that makes me want to light fireworks and dance.  There have been times in the past when things I’ve said have indicated otherwise due to animosity I’ve felt towards the people in question. But at the point of death, and at the point of seeing the impact it leaves on others, those feelings are not something I’m proud of.   Of all the people who I should be glad to see gone, bin Laden would probably be at the top of the list. But I can’t even bring myself to celebrate with the enthusiasm so many others seem to have.
It was mentioned that his death should be exactly what he deserved. I think the fact that he was hunted down and killed kind of took care of that part.  It should also be noted that death isn’t a punishment….it’s a fact of life. And we’re not out of the clear. This one act isn’t going to stop other dangerous political leaders, it’s not going to stop wars, it’s not going to eradicate our military or the need for them to be doing what they’re doing.  It very well might lead to more dangerous times.  The leader is gone, but there are still terrorist organizations out there who will inevitably find a new leader and new ways to make themselves heard.
The president said that the country would continue to be diligent, and I have no doubt of that.  I also don’t want to come across as completely doom and gloom.  I think this event has given people faith in what our country can do and hope that we’re on the right track. I think everything happens in its time, and perhaps this death is what the country needs right now. 
Everyone has a purpose in this life, and for better or worse, it seems as if Osama bin Laden has served his.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gaming: When Video Games Attack

A couple weeks ago I was sick. Really sick on a Monday with stomach flu and fever and chest congestion.

The bad thing about taking a sick day is there's really nothing you can do around the house. Being sick doesn't make anything easy. I tried to write, and that didn't work out. I thought about cleaning, but who wants to move when they're feeling horrible? Even reading wasn't cutting it because I couldn't focus on the story through the nausea.

On a whim, I decided to play our latest Gamefly game, "Fable: The Lost Chapters." This game was made for the original XBox but is compatible (sort of) with the 360. I'd heard alot of things about it and thought I'd give it a try. I'd started it over the weekend and wasn't sure if I was sold or not.

Apparently, I liked it better than my initial impression said I would, because I finally put down the remote ten and a half hours later.

That's right. 10 and 1/2 hours of video gaming.

I know people do this. Heck, I know that for some gamers, 10 hours is normal, a short gaming day even. It's not anything I've ever had strong opinions about either. I remember when the original Nintendo came out I'd want to be on it for hours playing Mario Bros. or Tetris. Video games are addictive....really addictive...and they can be hard to put down.

Since I started playing games on the XBox, I've been good about not getting too engrossed in playing. In hindsight, scary games like Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alan Wake, and Saw probably help by being creepy enough to where I have to take frequent breaks to do other things. Fable, on the other hand, is fairly whimsical and bright and even funny.

It's not the gaming I try to stay away from either. It's the fact that I know myself, and I get depressed if I don't do something productive. Which is likely why I had to keep telling myself yesterday not to feel guilty about taking a day to rest. The video game kept my mind engaged, so I didn't have to focus on how crappy I felt.

Yes, it's slothful, but the day after, even though I wasn't feeling physically healthy, my mind was recharged and reset and ready to work again. I was back at work being productive and blogging and getting back in the swing of writing.

It may be the game, or it may be the situation. I don't know if I could game like that all the time, but for the future, I may have to consider scheduling some alone time for me and the XBox to give my mind a rest from the real world and a healthy jolt of cyber gaming goodness.