Everything, NaNoWriMo

Goals for 2015 Wrap-Up

2015 has been a good year for me, and I really kept my goals in mind as I made decisions throughout the year. In this post, I’ll go over how I think everything went!

You can find my original post with my goals for 2015 here, and you can find my mid-year check-in here.


One // Build a healthier lifestyle

I’m not focused on weight as much as overall well-being and satisfaction with where I’m at and what I look like. I’m not super happy with what I look like, but I do feel a lot better ending the year than starting it.

Here’s some of what I’ve been doing to work towards this goal:

Walking nearly everywhere.

I have / I’ve been:

-walking whenever/wherever I can

-walking 20 minutes or more to meet my mom for lunch once a week

-walking to meet my husband when he gets off work and I’m free (about two miles)

-walking whenever we eat out downtown

-walked two miles for the 4th of July rather than driving to watch the fireworks

-walked over five miles with my mom for Mother’s Day

-walked a mile and a half to work and back a few times

-hiked with my parents on a few photography adventures

-completed a walking challenge at my workplace!

-walked several miles through caves for our anniversary

-walked to and from Gen Con, and walked a bunch around the convention

Drinking more water.

In the month of December, I have drank at least one 8oz bottle of water a day (with a slice or two of lemon in it), and most days, I have drank over 40 ounces a day! I hardly ever drink water, so this is a small success for me, and I hope to keep it up.

Clogging.

My mom, husband, and I started clogging lessons in September. They were once a week, and they ended a couple of weeks ago. They’ll pick back up in February, and in the mean time, I’ll be going to a donation yoga class in that time slot.

Square Dancing.903604_10208121542618984_4338893230900242138_o

Square dancing has slowed down for me since the summer, but I still dance at least once a month!

Biking.

I’ve only biked to work once this year, but I’m gearing up to bike more in 2016!

Journal-writing.

I have somewhat kept up with my journal, though not as much as I would like to. I have started a five-year journal, and I’ll be changing up how I journal regularly once I finish my current”Italy” journal.

Meditation.

I still haven’t re-read 8-Minute Meditation, but I do meditate once every now and then. I have been practicing mindfulness lately, and that is taking over my urge to sit and meditate.

Not Eating Fast Food.

This saves money and is healthy. I have limited myself to Arby’s (occasionally Popeye’s) and the occasional stop while travelling.

Loom Knitting.photo 3 (2)

My friend, Erica, taught me how to knit using a loom in November. Since then, I have knitted over 10 scarves and one baby blanket. This is an activity I use to keep my mind and hands occupied, and it’s a way to decompress after doing schoolwork.

Reading.

Like knitting, this is a peaceful activity I have tried to do more of lately. It’s much better than sitting on the computer or in front of the TV. I’ve read 50 books this year. 🙂

Two //  Spend less money on things I don’t truly need

Daniel didn’t really like the cash system, so we’ve switched back to using our debit cards. The second half of the year saw a lot of birthdays, celebrations, weddings, and holidays, but we are still doing really well and saving a lot.

I haven’t used my budget Google Doc much lately because Daniel didn’t want me to spoil my birthday and Christmas gifts before they arrived. I will go back to it in January.

Daniel and I have been doing a good job of cooking from home, and we hardly ever spend money on going out to eat anymore.

Whenever I feel the urge to shop, I do try to stick to Goodwill, and I try to purchase clothing I know is sustainable and versatile.

Three // Read A Song of Ice and Fire series (AKA Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin

Still not going to happen this year (or for a very long time?) 😦

Four // Finish writing my novel from National Novel Writing Month

This didn’t happen, either, but I did participate in NaNoWriMo in November.

Five // Participate in National Novel Writing Month again

NaNoWriMo Widget
After one day of writing, my word count was 2181

I did it! I didn’t meet my goal for sure, but I did write, which counts! I really love the novel I’ve started, and I hope to participate next year.

You can read about my experiences this year by clicking here.

Six // Volunteer at least once a month

I’ve kept a Google Doc titled “Volunteer Tracker,” and I update it every time I volunteer. I sort of forgot to update it a few times with details, but I have tried to keep a general tally.

I have also started keeping track of ongoing commitments. So far, I have five commitments, which I don’t necessarily count towards my monthly goal. Those don’t all have “events” where I volunteer, so I don’t count them.

Here’s how many times I volunteered each month in 2015:

January: 4

February: 3

March: 7

April: 4photo

May: 4

June: 3

July: 3

August: 2

September: 4

October: 3

November: 6

December: 4


I think that I did a good job trying to stick to my goals. I made necessary adaptations, and I accepted the goals I didn’t meet.

Overall, it’s been a great year, and these goals guided me throughout the year.

Now, on to 2016!

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Being Big for Kids, Current Events, Everything, GA Adventures, Grad School, NaNoWriMo

My Year in Review: 2015

2015 was an awesome year for me.

Here’s some of what I did (in no particular order):

  1. I got accepted to grad school!photo
  2. I accepted a graduate assistantship with Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement.photo 1 (4)
  3. I completed square dancing lessons and went through plus square dancing lessons.10945533_10205733396476823_249063993592293292_n
  4. I started clogging.IMG_5224.jpg
  5. I attended my first two professional conferences.12238121_10207929170329797_5391703298051292162_o
  6. My best friend got married, and I was her “Lady of Honor.”photo 5 (3).JPG
  7. I participated in the IUPUI Regatta.photo 2 (5).JPG
  8. I read 50 books. UPDATE! I’ve read 52 books, since I just finished Lending a Paw and Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass.Goodreads Reading Challenge 2015
  9. I voted for the first time.12183954_10207845843046667_8556377505169139438_o.jpg
  10. I started knitting using a loom.photo 3 (2).JPG
  11. I biked to work for the first time.photo (2)
  12. I became VP of Membership for the alumnae chapter of my sorority.12314535_674288999379794_3357469934167776297_o.jpg
  13. I successfully completed my first semester of graduate school with a 4.0!photo 4
  14. We celebrated one year with our Little!12132485_10207711842376734_5082884238161835521_o.jpg
  15. Daniel and I celebrated one year together as a married couple!11160640_10207506329359037_7245455612742873513_o.jpg
  16. I participated in National Novel Writing Month (again).Me and Kayla writing during the first day of NaNoWriMo.
  17. And just because this picture gives me so much happiness… 🙂887410_10207864805360713_50468107508961177_o.jpg

I hope you had a wonderful 2015, and if not, I hope your 2016 is awesome!

Everything, NaNoWriMo

The Start of NaNoWriMo 2015

Many of you familiar with the usual look of my sidebar will notice a new widget. This widget is a NaNoWriMo word count tracker, which serves two purposes: it allows you, the (hopefully) curious reader to see what my progress is, and it forces me to actually write something.NaNoWriMo Widget

For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and I started participating last year (it’s one of my goals to participate this year).

During the month of November, participants write towards the goal of 50,000 words. It isn’t a race, it isn’t a contest; it’s just a way to get people (especially people who say, “I wish I could write a novel”) to start writing, even if they don’t finish.

I most likely won’t finish this year, but I’m trying anyway!

Me and Kayla writing during the first day of NaNoWriMo.
This is my friend Kayla and I on the first day of NaNo 2015.

Are you (or have you) participated in NaNoWriMo? What was your experience like? For those who haven’t participated, what’s stopping you? 

Everything, Grad School

Grad School: Voki Introduction

This is a post for my LIS S401 class: Computer-Based Information Tools.

Hi All!

As part of a class I’m taking this semester, I’ve had to create a Voki introduction to my blog. To view it, please click the link (I’m having issues embedding the video). I hope you enjoy!

http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=12007520&height=267&width=200

Voki Screenshot

Everything, Gen Con

Gen Con: Blind Lady Vs. Gaming

Gen Con 2015. Blind Lady Vs. Gaming. Stefany Boleyn. Past & Present. StefanyBoleyn.wordpress.com.This is the first post in my Gen Con 2015 miniseries. To access an archive of the posts, including the introductory post, please click here.

Elsa S. Henry “is a feminist scholar, disability rights activist, and burlesque historian.” She was also an industry insider at Gen Con 2015. She led the first seminar I attended: Blind Lady Vs. Gaming.

According to Gen Con, it would be “an in depth seminar about the experiences of playing TTRPGs, LARPs, video games, & board games with low vision & deafness,” and I believe it lived up to that description.

Tabletop Role Playing Games

One of the first things Elsa talked about was how we design character sheets for Tabletop Role Playing Games. They’re frilly, with small writing, and tiny little boxes to check or write numbers in.

Imagine having low vision and being asked to fill in a character sheet that looks like the one pictured. Not only that, but imagine you’re playing this game with people who don’t understand why it’s taking you so long to write down your stat.

Along with character sheets, dice are another issue. One answer to the call for dice that people with low vision can use is to make bigger dice with bigger numbers. According to Elsa, that’s good, but it could use some innovation. Bigger isn’t always better, and who wants to lug giant dice around with them?Pathfinder Character Sheet Example

Lastly, it’s sad that I have to write this, but we, as temporarily able-bodied folks, need to have more patience. As players, we need to cut side conversations. As players and Game Masters (GM’s), we need to slow down. GM’s need to allow the group to take breaks often and take lots of time for character creation.

Video Games

Most of what Elsa had to say on video games had to do with needing depth perception and allowing options to change contrast.

LARP (Live Action Role Playing)

Choose accessible locations, and don’t be a stickler about “what is and isn’t period appropriate.” If a gamer needs a wheelchair or their white stick, let them have it, and don’t bug them about it.

Representation in Geek Media

I haven’t watched Daredevil, but apparently, it’s not a good example of a person that’s blind, and it contributes to false ideas about what having low vision or being blind means.

“You don’t act like Daredevil, so you must not really be blind.”

Other Quick Ideas from the Seminar

-To introduce yourself, give your first name, last name, and Twitter handle. Personally, I’m not on Twitter, so I don’t have a handle to give. These instructions were especially to help her recognize people she’s interacted with online.

-Want to know if your game is accessible? Have people with disabilities play test your games, and listen to their recommendations.

-Think of the injuries in your games. Are most of them not just disabilities? Isn’t there an issue when you get this injury, but you can heal or be cured from it over night?

-Think of your language use in and out of game.

-Disabilities aren’t static things.

-See an issue? Have a recommendation to make a game more accessible? Contact the gaming companies.

.epub is more accessible than .pdf.

-Consider having Tabletop Role Playing Games played online via Google Hangouts.

-Easy Hit Points (HP) Method – Have a bowl for each player with chips in them. Take out chips as they loose points.

Personal Thoughts

Short of just saying, “I agree 100%,” I figured I should probably add my thoughts here.

Accessibility is often an afterthought in many situations, including games. By b eing willing to work with and listen to people with disabilities from the start, you can make your game accessible and, “gasp,” enjoyable to begin with.

People with disabilities play games, and it isn’t really all that difficult to design a better character sheet, craft better dice, and provide the tools to make your video game more accessible.

What do you think? Do you know of any accessible games? Do you know of ways to make gaming more inclusive? Let me know!

In addition to being an awesome seminar leader, Elsa S. Henry runs the great website, Feminist Sonar.

Gen Con 2015 Graphic. Stefany Boleyn. Past & Present. StefanyBoleyn.wordpress.com. Blind Lady Vs. Gaming. Women & Gaming. Rolling for Change: The Therapeutic Side of Gaming. Diversity in Gaming. Worldbuilding: Mythology. Not Your Grandfather's Religion.
Current Events, Everything, Gen Con

Gen Con 2015

Greetings, Internet Folks!Gen Con 2015 Graphic. Stefany Boleyn. Past & Present. StefanyBoleyn.wordpress.com. Blind Lady Vs. Gaming. Women & Gaming. Rolling for Change: The Therapeutic Side of Gaming. Diversity in Gaming. Worldbuilding: Mythology. Not Your Grandfather's Religion.

If you regularly check this blog, you might notice I didn’t make a Grad School post this Tuesday or last Tuesday. Sorry about that. Not only have I been busy planning for grad school to start, but I started my time as a graduate assistant on August 3rd (in case you’re wondering, I love it so far).

On top of all that going on, “The Best Four Days in Gaming” rolled around a tad early this year. If you aren’t in the tabletop gaming community, that would mean Gen Con.

Gen Con is a massive gaming convention that takes place over, you guessed it, four days (Thursday-Sunday, though there are events on Wednesday). Being local, it’s easy for us to go.

My husband and I have been going to Gen Con together pretty much every year of our relationship (I don’t think we’ve missed one, yet). First, it started out with us going on Sundays, which are cheaper.

Daniel eventually decided he wanted to do more gaming at Gen Con, so he started purchasing four-day passes.

Finally, this year I purchased a four-day pass. Surprisingly, though, I didn’t game much during Gen Con. Their sign-up system for games is based off of everyone punching a button on their computer at the same time after having selected certain games to go to. It’s pretty much left up to chance.Stefany and Daniel take a selfie in front of the Dr. Who booth.

Unfortunately, Daniel and I didn’t get into a single game together (I didn’t get into ANY of the games I signed up for). Still determined to play together, we did play some Games on Demand, which use generic tickets rather than pre-purchased ones.

Anyway, I had signed up for some free panels / seminars, and I just filled in the voids in my schedule with more of those.

I had originally signed up for ten panels / seminars. One got cancelled shortly before Gen Con began, and I ended up being too exhausted on Saturday to go to any of my scheduled events and took it as a day of rest.

Total, I went to six seminars / panels and took 18 pages of notes (bullet-pointed notes, don’t worry, I’m not that good).

As I always do, I like to process material by writing about it, and that is a lot to process.

So, over the next several months on Thursdays, I will post about each of the six panels / seminars I attended during Gen Con 2015. The photo at the top lists out the titles of the six panels / seminars, so be on the lookout for each of their corresponding posts!

 Have you been to Gen Con before? What was your experience?

Everything, NaNoWriMo

Check-In: Goals for 2015

We are roughly halfway through the year, and I figured it was time to check-in and see how I’m doing goal-wise for 2015. You can find my original post with my goals for 2015 here.Past & Present (6)

This is a long post, so here we go…


One // Build a healthier lifestyle

I’ve lost about five pounds this year, which isn’t much, but I’m not focused on weight as much as overall well-being and satisfaction with where I’m at and what I look like. I’m slowly getting there.

Here’s some of what I’ve been doing to work towards this:

Walking nearly everywhere.

I have / I’ve been:

-walking whenever/wherever I can

-walking 20 minutes or more to meet my mom for lunch once a week

-walking to meet my husband when he gets off work and I’m free (about two miles)

-walking whenever we eat out downtown

-walked two miles for the 4th of July rather than driving to watch the fireworks

-walked over five miles with my mom for Mother’s Day

-walked a mile and a half to work and back a few times

-hiked with my parents on a few photography adventures

-started a walking challenge at my workplace (we’re in our third week, and my goal is at least 3000 steps a day)

Drinking more water.

Drinking water is something I’ve never been good at, but I’ve been trying to drink some every day. I took a water challenge that my workplace was hosting (which didn’t go very well, but it got me drinking a lot more water than I would have had I not taken the challenge). And the more I walk, the more I make sure I bring water with me and drink it.

Square Dancing.1618561_10205160074104122_4574066075674137892_n

I’ve been square dancing at least once a week, if not twice a week.

Things have started to slow down because everyone’s been going on vacation, and we can’t seem to get enough people sometimes. However, I’ve still been dancing whenever I can.

Drinking smoothies.

One of my former supervisors got us a Nutri Ninja as a wedding gift, and I’ve been using it. It’s a good way for me to eat fruits since it’s not something I usually do (surprising enough, I LOVE vegetables, but I’m not a big fan of fruits).

My recipe:

-One banana

-Frozen berry mix or just frozen strawberries

-Orange juice

-Ice cubes

There are some weeks when I have a smoothie every day of the week, and there are some weeks where I only get one or two in, but some fruit is better than no fruit, and at least it’s not a Dr. Pepper or coffee (which is my usual drink of choice in the mornings).

Journal-writing.

I’ve been keeping up with my journal. It helps me get my thoughts out on paper, so they don’t swarm around in my head and consume me.

Meditation.

Daily meditation isn’t something I’ve been able to do, and I still haven’t re-read 8-Minute Meditation. Every now and then, I set my timer for about five minutes and meditate. Small progress is still progress.

Two //  Spend less money on things I don’t truly need

I feel pretty good about this goal. I’ve created a Google Doc where I input all of our spending each month, and our goal is to lower that number every month, which we’ve been doing.

For the most part, we’ve been doing a good job at spending less, but I wanted to take things a step further.

Last month, we started using cash more and more. We tried to limit ourselves to just the cash we had (it didn’t always work, but I’m a big advocate for not being too harsh). At the end of the pay period, whatever cash was leftover would go into savings.

Our first round of savings wasn’t spectacular, but I think this system will help as money will get tighter as I start grad school.

Three // Read A Song of Ice and Fire series (AKA Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin

Not going to happen this year 😦

Four // Finish writing my novel from National Novel Writing Month

I don’t think this one is going to happen, either, but I will try to participate in NaNoWriMo in November.

Five // Participate in National Novel Writing Month again

I think I’ll be able to write some. I definitely won’t meet my goal, but I will try to write!

Six // Volunteer at least once a month

I’ve kept a Google Doc titled “Volunteer Tracker,” and I update it every time I volunteer.

Here’s how many times I volunteered each month so far this year:

January 2015: 4

February 2015: 3

March 2015: 7

April 2015: 4

May 2015: 4

June 2015: 3


Overall, I think I’ve done a fairly good job trying to stick to my goals this year, but there’s still about six months to go!

Did you set any goals for the year? How are you doing so far?