So, I figure enough time has passed, I can safely say where I went and why.
I loved Gamespot, really I did, and the decision I made, well, to say I spent a lot time agonizing over it would be an understatement. I loved the people at Gamespot and I wanted to get back into writing professionally again, but it didn't seem like that would be a possibility at any point in the near future. So what it really came down to was pay and commute, and I had a great offer I just couldn't walk away from. My time spent commuting has dropped from 4 hours a day to about 2 hours total. And my pay has nearly doubled. And there was debt I had to worry about, so I consciously made the decision that if I couldn't do what I loved for a living (for the moment), then I at least owed it to myself to climb out of debt, get back on my feet and start figuring out the rest of my life.
So that's what I did.
As of the middle of last month, I started as the Community Manager at IMVU Inc. It's a change of pace, because it's not that established a company, so I'm essentially working for a startup. It's also not a game company, so in some ways, I'm more removed from the game industry than I've been for a while. It doesn't mean I'm out for good, but for now, I'm contributing less to it. I'm working in social networking and software development. And I've been a community manager before, so I bring a lot of experience to the table. I'm also functioning somewhat as a producer, a little as a designer, a bit of QA... I'm doing all sorts of things, just not game related. That said, my credit card debt accumulated from various layoffs over the past six years will be fully paid off in January and by the end of March or April, my car will also be paid off. And then I'll be entirely out of debt. A new, clean start.
Instead of riding the train from San Jose all the way up to San Francisco, I get off in Palo Alto, which has its ups and downs. On the positive side, I'm on the train a lot less and the walk is much shorter from the train station to the office (we're practically around the corner!). On the negative side, I don't get to have my weekly lunches with my good friend Ian (although I'm getting lunch once a week with Dom instead, which isn't the same, but still good to have lunch company) and I'm not getting a daily Mario Kart DS fix in.
If you think I'm not still gaming like mad, though, you're out of your gourd. With some of my gained back time, I'm getting back into World of Warcraft a bit. Oh, and Erin, myself and Sean waited in line to get ourselves a couple of Wiis, which I'm highly enjoying. I haven't really had a chance to get settled in and spend serious time with Zelda, but it's there calling to me. And I blew through Gears of War massively fast, and keep playing a bit of the multiplayer from time to time. No, I didn't bother getting a PS3, as I'm not made purely of money. I can wait on that front. There's nothing about it that I have to positively play right now. I'm sure I'll get Resistance sooner or later, but it's not enough to make me shell out that much money. Not with FFXII and a handful of other things waiting for me.
Oh, Erin and company also organized a surprise 30th birthday party for me, so apparently the Sandmen haven't found out my current location. It was nice seeing the whole bunch of my friends waiting for me in the living room after she and I got back from seeing "Deja Vu" (which I recommend, if you haven't seen), and there were tons of cool presents for me to savor and enjoy. Greg even made me a cake with my tattoo on it in frosting. Much time was spent on the Wii (quite a bit of it with Rayman: Ravin' Rabbids...) and complete chaos ensued for many hours, even while I was fighting off a cold.
Anyhow, that should give you an update of what I've been doing when I'm not working on trying to write another novel, or devouring all the fiction I can of new authors I've just found (Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series has been awesome thusfar, and I completely see why SciFi is making a series out of it) or old authors with new stuff (Brad Meltzer's "Book of Fate" didn't last three days...)
Where am I going? Dunno. I could be here ten years, or I could be gone next year. I could go back to making games, or writing about them, or I could sell a novel or two and become a professional author. It's impossible to say at this point. But I'll keep you posted. Heh.