What’s New — December 2017

December might be my favorite month of the year, for a few reasons. One is that I usually get a week or so off work to unwind, and it’s great to start a new year feeling refreshed. Another is that December is a time to reflect on the past year, and I feel really good about my year this time around. The two biggest events for me were starting a new job that’s been a great fit for my skills and interests, and getting engaged. I also love December for the holiday spirit, the focus on spending time with family, and the hope for the new year as I make resolutions and plan my next adventures.

I had a very busy fall with work, a vacation, wedding planning, and focusing on fitness goals. That meant that my blog fell behind a little, and I can’t help feeling a little guilty for not posting more often lately! But that will change now, as I’m excited to start writing my December wrap-up posts and get into a new schedule with my writing — both for my blog and for my creative projects.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

Gaming

My main game lately has been Assassin’s Creed Origins. The ancient Egyptian setting, amazing story, and noble steed that is my dressed-up camel have made Origins the best Assassin’s Creed game I’ve played so far. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about it soon!

I’ve also dabbled in multiplayer with my fiancé. Destiny 2 is my main pick there, as I have been playing strikes now and again to level up my Warlock. I haven’t gotten too far yet, but with the new expansion this month, I’m excited to continue my adventures across the solar system. I’m saving that for when my fiancé is away for the holidays, since playing games together online is a great way to spend time together when we’re not in the same room (or city, or country!) anymore.

The other multiplayer I’ve tried is Star Wars Battlefront II, which has been fun if a bit repetitive. I love the scale of the battles, which make combat feel like an intense war and the competitive aspect of how many kills you get, leaderboards, and each of your deaths during the match feel less important. I’ve mainly played as the Specialist class, as I seem to do best in Battlefront when I’m ducking behind some cover, scoping out the space around me, and sniping somebody from a distance — or maybe providing some cover fire for an ally. Mostly I just need a few seconds to aim!

I have a few games I’d like to catch up on this month, once I have some time to myself and time off work: Wolfenstein IIUncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Life is Strange: Before the Storm are top of my list. I don’t know that I’ll be able to finish all of them along with Assassin’s Creed Origins, but I’m excited to spend more time gaming this month in general.

Fitness

I’ve been focusing a lot on fitness lately, which has been going well! I’m running a 5K on New Year’s Eve that I need to train for this month, but my main workouts have been spin class and barre. I’ve found that taking classes has really helped me stay dedicated to exercising. That’s partly because it’s an appointment that I put on my calendar, so I feel like I can’t miss it. Classes are also close to an hour long, so I really push myself — and keeping up with the instructor and the rest of class is a challenge that I might not give myself when working out alone. I’m especially excited to continue with barre classes, which tone your whole body and burn a ton of calories!

Writing

As I said before, I am ready to dedicate myself to blogging more often and working on my novel. It’s one of those things that I say all the time but, like so many things in life, is easier said than done. But in this case, I am making a schedule that includes a lot of things I want to incorporate in my daily life — from my fitness classes to wedding planning — and writing is what I want to do first thing in the morning, before I get ready for work. Even if I only write a paragraph, I want to set aside a decent chunk of time each morning to write, and that will regularly include blogging. I have a few ideas for posts and am excited to get back into it!

What are you all up to this month? I’d love to hear what games you’re playing and what your goals are for the month — or maybe New Year’s resolutions? =)

— Ashley

4 Comments Add yours

  1. simpleek says:

    I really agree with what you said about fitness! Ever since I started kickboxing a few years ago, I feel like by having this class on my schedule it keeps me motivated to go and stay in shape. Like you, if I was left to trying to get into shape on my own, I feel like I wouldn’t get very far. I need someone to push and challenge me as well. :)

    I’m hoping I do better with my writing goals too. I’m sure we’ll do our best either way!

  2. Happy holidays, Ashley.

    On my end, after talking about it for months, I’ve finally popped back into Star Wars: The Old Republic. I was a bit disappointed by the new content that’s been added since I left, but I can finish the last few class stories at least.

    I’ve also been checking out the new free trial for Destiny 2. I’ll have a blog on that up at some point this month. Got some other topics I want to cover first. It’s a lot more fleshed out than the open beta was, at least. I’ve also been considering finally giving Warframe a try — it’s been getting lots of positive buzz all of a sudden — but I might not get to that this month.

    For writing, I’m approaching the halfway mark for book three (which I have renamed “The Bloodforged Host” based on feedback), and that’s also roughly the halfway point of the entire series. I’ve had to lower my weekly writing quota, though, as it was making me too burnt out. Rather disappointed in myself, but so it goes.

    I’m also going to have to come up with a short story idea if I’m to continue my tradition of writing my father a story as a Christmas gift. Hrm, I’d better get on that soon…

    1. Happy holidays to you too! Oh that sounds fun to get back into Star Wars: The Old Republic. I miss that game sometimes, although if I go back to a Star Wars game, it might be the old KOTOR or something like that. I was also considering Warframe, so it’s funny you mention that one. I keep hearing how good it’s gotten, which has me intrigued. Congrats on your progress with your book as well! That’s awesome, and although I don’t write nearly as much or as successfully as you, I do relate to being burned out once in awhile. I love that tradition of writing a short story for your dad as a Christmas gift. Good luck with it! I would also love to create more personal Christmas gifts, maybe not writing something but something more creative and handmade. I haven’t decided what I want to do yet though, or what people in my life would appreciate!

      1. For what it’s worth, you’d probably enjoy SWTOR a lot more now. They revamped everything so it’s pretty much just the main story now. No more wasting time on tedious side quests. (And they are having a double XP event until the end of the month…)

        It’s kind of funny, really. These days Bioware’s single-player games are closer to the traditional WoW clone quest grind model than their MMO is. But then that’s the trend of the industry as a whole. MMOs are getting less and less grindy, while single-player games are embracing grind with open arms.

        But I digress.

        It’s weird to hear you describing me as writing more and more successfully. Granted I don’t know much about your writing (outside this blog, obviously), but I write a lot less than most other writers I know, and I generally view myself as quite unaccomplished.

        I should probably note the Soulcleaver books are quite short (60-70K words each), so the fact I’m already on book three isn’t necessarily as impressive as it sounds. This probably could have been just a two or three book series, but I felt like the story flowed better when divided into five volumes.

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