Monday, November 11, 2019

A Fellowship of Friends

Many know by now my love of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. I've been blogging a bit more about it this year as I am bringing my gaming, art, and writing all into one space.

For a long time in my FFXIV experience, I was a part of a large FC (guild) and I helped to run it with a council of friends and the leader of the FC. Over the summer, however, things came to light of how horrible our leader was treating others and manipulating us. So after an exodus of over a hundred people, a ton of drama, and being called every sour name this "leader's" small mind could utter, we created our own community. While we held no animosity for those that chose to stay, many of us just could not follow or trust this leader and needed to find happiness our own way.

It was a hard few months while we managed the turmoil our leaving had caused not only to us but those that stayed behind. Our FC had been close. The friends I made being so dear to me I called them brothers and sisters. Now those that left were called traitor by our ex-leader because we chose not to follow their dictatorship, and the lies they spread about us took a toll on us all. Our hearts broke and many of us suffered anxiety and depression after the split. We did the best we could to support each other through those strenuous days.

To most this was just a game, but the relationships forged in this game world are so very real.

After we set out on our own many of us went into other FC's or made our own. But we had a discord connecting us and an in-game linkshell. We started running player made events together, having parties, Halloween events, running treasure hunting parties, doing daily content, and even playing other games together. See, though we had split into many factions, our bond was stronger than ever!

Then during a live letter stream, it was announced that a new feature of the game would be available. Fellowships! It was like Yoshi-P heard our troubles and gave us a tool to help us through.

This feature allowed us to plan events through posting on a board within the game. All of our friends' FC's could be added to keep track of all the amazing stuff we were doing together. Thus, The Fellowship of Friends was made!

With the latest 5.1 update we were also given a new raid that was a collaboration with Nier. The first Friday after the new raid dropped our Fellowship gathered for the new 24 man raid and filled EVERY position! Not only that but we cleared it in under an hour and with only one wipe (where you fail a boss battle and must start that battle once more).

The pride we all felt had us giddy and giggly. We had a blast storming The Copied Factory together and even stuck around for commemorative screenshots after.

This post is not to dredge up months old drama in any way. This post is a celebration. This post is about the pride I have in my friends and how much I love them! People ask me why I enjoy this game so much. It's for times like these! When you and your friends overcome all the obstacles put before you to create something amazing and have the best of times together.

I couldn't share my adventures with any better people!

If you play Final Fantasy XIV feel free to stop in and say Hi! My game name is Aralina Arai'li from Midgardsormr. Interested in checking out FFXIV for yourself? Play for free today! If you need any help with set up, send me an email. I'd be happy to assist!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Turning on the Nightlight

Writing is a hard enough job without having to manage a chronic illness around it.

For nearly ten years now I have suffered from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Migraines. The day to day pain and exhaustion from the fibro is torture, but the frequent migraines… I honestly have no words for the agony I’ve suffered. 

It’s like having your head in a vice while someone spoons your eyeballs out of your head repeatedly. It’s not being able to sit up because movement of any kind will make you vomit. It’s medicines that are supposed to help but only make you sicker. It’s hiding in the dark with a pillow over your ears and a cold cloth over your eyes for hours until you can finally manage at some semblance of a human being.

It’s awful.

Many times the migraine is tolerable though. Yes, I’m miserable and in pain, but I’m capable of sitting up and even walking about getting chores done, albeit in the dark or as near dark as possible. When you have a migrain you avoid the light as best you can. I’ve learned over the years that it is mainly the harsh blue light from electronics and bright fluorescents that stab at my eyes the worse.

Most phones these days have a blue light filter that you can activate by swiping down and opening the drop-down tray (with flashlight, bluetooth, ect) and clicking the blue light filter button. It's mainly for use before bed to help your brain settle before going to sleep. Blue light keeps the brain active and hyper and many will find it more difficult to sleep soundly if they use their phone before bed.

I’ve found when having a headache, activating the blue light filter lessens the stabby pain if I need to use my phone. So I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to have this feature on the PC so even if I was having a mild migraine I could still work on my writing projects from the comfort of my darkened room.

Simply turning down the brightness isn’t enough.

So I went to my system settings in windows 10 to see if I could recreate a blue light filter on my PC and found Nightlight.

To activate go to your settings>display> and right under brightness and color, you will see the option to toggle on Nightlight. Below the toggle on you have more settings that when clicked will take you to a new settings page where you can set up a time for a nightlight, set the strength, or just switch it on and off. This feature is extremely useful to all those who suffer headaches and migraines.

Filtering out the blue light makes it possible to sit at the PC even if you have a mild migraine. Granted a full-blown monster migraine won’t allow you such amenities but if you are in the throws of one of those meanies, I doubt you’ll be worried about your writing, or anything aside from just breathing and surviving.

This nightlight is also handy if you spend a lot of time at the PC to prevent headaches and eyestrain as well, so even if you don’t presently have a migraine, you may want to try it out.

I hope you find this useful! Let me know in the comments how this handy feature works for you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Following My Daughter's Example

The house is quiet except for the occasional giggle of my son. Almost too quiet. His big sister isn’t tormenting him or pestering him. I tiptoe to the mess of a bedroom she calls her evil lair, peek around the corner, and see her. She’s sitting on her bed writing in a notebook.
Loudly I exclaim “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!”
The surprise attack has the desired effect.
She jumps nearly off the bed then glares at me. “Moooooom!”
Snickering I again ask what she is up to.
She explains she is writing a book.

That’s right folks. My daughter has become a writer! *Insert proud mom face here*

She and her friends had started writing a story together about a zombie apocalypse or something of that sort, and she had fallen in love with the act of storytelling. I now can find her curled up in her favorite corners about the house writing in her notebook and proudly telling me each night how many chapters she was able to get done. She has always had a love for reading, ever since I taught her when she was three because she simply could not wait for pre-k to learn to read. She was already piecing words together from billboards or road signs. Now she is using her creativity to use those words and make her own stories come to life!

I’m impressed. I’m Proud. I’m... jealous?

I admittedly am quite jealous. She has that joy of writing that I lost years ago when I moved from Abilene. I’m not sure how I lost it really, but writing became a chore. I put it off. Made excuses. Eventually, I quit trying at all.

After watching her work on her story the past few weeks I started feeling that urge to work on my own stories. I’ve always got some ideas brewing, and have quite a few notes and scribbles in my notebook, but have never had the drive to follow them down the rabbit hole again, until now.

The last two weeks all I can think of is stories. Reading stories, editing stories, fleshing out new stories. I want my stories to live! I want to share them and say I did something.

So I’m back at it again. Working through the mood that I am nothing special, and breathing life back into my stories, and I have my amazing, beautiful, creative daughter to thank for lighting that spark once more!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

New Additions and The Adventures of Po

I've had this blog for quite some time now. Even though blogging has become less popular for the aspiring writer, I have continued to pay for my web name and contribute to the page when I am in a mood. Generally coming up with an off the wall topic once a month or so. Lately, I have been stepping away from this being a writers blog and making it more of an everything about me blog.

If you know anything about me by now, you know I'm into many hobbies. Art, gaming, reading, and writing are only a few of the many things I entertain myself with. This year I have tried to veer more towards allowing my blog to reflect the variety that is my interests. Now I plan for so much more. I'm bringing my daughter in for her own writings. She plans to start working on a type of foodie blog which I told her she is welcome to use a page from my site to write it. (Can you say proud mom?)

She is also joining me in my favorite MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV as the young Miqo'te adventurer Swaggiekawaii Potatoe (Po for short). We plan to do co-streams this summer and we will be making a page here to chronical the adventures of Po.

So please keep an eye out for our streams and check back here for more information on The Adventures of Po!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Streaming to Affiliate

As I have mentioned a few times here now, I'm looking into becoming a streamer.

Sounds fun right? Sit in front of a screen and do what you love for the entertainment of others. A dream come true, right? Bahahaha! NO!

I created my own overlays

I am a super shy, super awkward little person, and going on stream really makes that good ol' anxiety monster squirm. See, she doesn't like to be put in the spotlight. She would rather hide in her dark den and growl and snarl at all those who attempt to disrupt her solitude... including her own family at times.

Also did my own logo and buttons for the stream info page

This is one of many reasons I have taken up streaming. I'm there to talk to an audience. Now, I'm not so bad as Mia Thermopolis in Princess Diaries. I don't get sick from being "on stage" so to speak. But while I'm on stream my nerves are stressed, my anxiety spikes, and it often leaves me exhausted and sore thanks to the Fibro. Doesn't mean I'm going to give up though. I hope to one day be able to create great entertainment that people love. Like my art, my writing, and all my other creative activities, I like to make people happy.

Photoshop stream layout and also will be used for writing stream

Right now I am working towards Twitch Affiliate. You get more perks than the average member, including subs and bits which can earn you money. After that, I would like to try for partner. Push myself as far as I can. Build a community and hopefully make some new friends, all the while doing things that I love like art, writing and of course gaming.

But I need help and support.

I need followers, I need people to come to my channel and chat with me and the other viewers, and I really need everyone behind me pushing me to keep at it, and not give up just because I'm scared.

So if you have a chance to stop into Araili's Den, please do! Come say hi, ask me questions, create an account and give me a follow. It will alert you when I go live! I also have a Discord that will be an official hangout for all those who wish to follow.

Hopefully, after the internet is fixed (insert internet provider drama here) and I can get back to streaming more regularly, I can set up a schedule so you can catch your favorite streams. Until then you can check out my channel, discord, and twitter to stay up to date on my streaming activities!