You may have noticed some strange changes in my avatar and my overall behavior lately. I haven't had much chance to completely explain it to people who have asked, so I'll explain everything to the best of my ability right here.

Firstly, I can't divulge any information on it, but someone close to me has been going through a... particularly challenging trial. I'm extremely worried about him, my thoughts turn to him, his well-being, and his family and loved ones at some pretty random moments, and it affects my mood at the drop of a hat. I may at times seem exceptionally cheery (which is my usual nature) then suddenly angry or sad or touchy in some way just at the next moment. During these moments, I have sometimes snapped at people, or taken jokes out of context, or reacted negatively in some way, and for that, I apologize. There's a lot of anger involved in what's been going on, and I shouldn't allow myself to snap and take it out on any of you.

Secondly, my avatar recently reflects a particular "mood" that I've been in for the last several weeks regarding Gaia Online. Over a short length of time I noticed an alarming number of announcements advertising releases of new cash-shop items. I simply rolled my eyes at this, quietly wishing there would be more updates to the gold shops, but not taking too much of an issue with it. However very quickly things started getting out of hand.

I won't get into the entire list, since I'm not 100% against what Gaia staff has been doing (regarding sales push, I'm not so uptight about it, I have some issues with the way they're being handled). The things which HAVE caused me to be upset are the offensive survey (if you don't already know about it, you may need to look it up), which has been released TWICE now with a weak apology and conflicting excuses, the un-blockable ads, and in general, seeing some of Gaia staff making snide remarks toward their users in the forums.

(For a more detailed list of the things which Gaia has done to make its users upset, check out this thread here.)

I DO take issue with the "sales" where items sell anywhere from DOUBLE to SIX TIMES the original prices! I perfectly understand that Gaia is a business, and I personally would like to support that business (and happily have in the past). However, I am only willing to support an HONEST Gaia, not a dishonest one, and I'm sorry, but also not an over-eager one that spams my inbox and flashes unwanted pop-up ads in my face every three pages, begging constantly for money. There are appropriate and inappropriate ways to generate money for the site... and those listed in this paragraph are INappropriate.

I have recently joined a guild called RevolutionGaia that wishes to initiate some changes on the site in a completely peaceful, non-combative way. These people are a delight to work with, are creative, considerate, intelligent, well-mannered, and are NOT afraid to speak their minds. Together we are all brainstorming various creative ways to let our voices be heard. I chose to join this group because I believe in standing up for what is right and what you believe strongly in. In my brief time acquainted with its members I have learned a lot about Gaia, myself, and where I stand on the topics being addressed. If you are interested in seeing improvements made site-wide, and are willing to address topics peacefully, I strongly recommend joining this guild. Even if you don't wish to join, I ask that you at least take a few minutes of your time to look around a bit and get acquainted with its purpose and methods used by its members. If nothing else, you can at least walk away with a little understanding of what unites us and our vision of what Gaia-- or any well-managed website- needs to be.

Because of my involvement in the above situations, it has become somewhat of a strain to keep up with my responsibilities in the guild, as well as certain long-promised RPs. My mood for RPs has gone down during all this, I'm sorry to admit. Mostly it's because I'm struggling to work on almost ANYTHING nonfiction at this point, and my brain turns to mush whenever I try. Rather than continue to push and force myself through this until I break, I'm trying to keep myself distracted and busy with other constructive projects. RevolutionGaia is one such area of constructive distraction. I've also been mulling over some ideas for the guild (I'm not neglecting it completely, just being slow), and editing my manga, as well as organizing notes for the RPs I'm due to be involved in. My activity in certain other guilds is dropping for now, but I do have plans to pick everything up again once I'm back in the swing of things.

For now, I'll start with my guild and see where I go from here.