I've been sort of taking a break from raid leading (although... I was in a raid last night, and I think I cheesed off another one of our officers, who was leading it, with some things I said, that maybe I shouldn't have said. I don't think he reads this, but I'm sorry! I need to just learn to keep my mouth shut.) and in the mean time playing with alts, leveling some professions and running the occasional heroic here and there with Lal's three 80's. I finished up the Outland and Northend Loremaster achievements (doing most of the quests in those zones) with Elionene, which put some funds in the gold bank and got her closer to a Seeker title. Just need to grab about 600 quests in Old Azeroth and I'll be set!
With 3.3, I'll be heading back into the muck of scheduling, leading, banging my head on frustrating boss fights while trying to appear calm and confident. I'm only planning on taking one 10 person team into Icecrown. In no small part because leading two separate raid teams in Icecrown each week will be too much work and time commitment from me. This, even though we may very well have two full 10 person raid teams for Icecrown. I imagine I will get some very vociferous PMs and whispers. "Why am I not going to ICC? Why do you always take X person and not Y person? That raid time doesn't work for me. Are we going to be 'serious' about progression or not?" Sigh.
Reading the above you would think I'm not looking forward to Patch 3.3, but I am! I'm very excited about the new 5 person dungeons, and the story line therein. I'm excited about Quel'Delar and doing the quest line to get it. I am totally looking forward to killing the Lich King, though that in itself is a few months out due to the gating mechanic of the raid. And for all it's headaches, I am looking forward to leading our best and brightest raiders into Icecrown Citadel to overcome the challenges therein. I need to work on my frustration and just sort of let it go. Most people in the raid don't see it (sometimes they do...) but Lal sees it and she doesn't like it. I don't blame her.
I'm also eager to write more stories. I've been mulling over a character history for Bogdan and Nadyezhda, our Draenei couple. We've played them a bit more and I'm enjoying that too, but feel a little lost without a background for them. I also want to write some more from Elio's perspective, probably about Icecrown, Arthas, and company. Her journal site has been dormant for too long.
Lots to look forward to, and on top of that, Cataclysm! I'm speculating on release dates already. Right now, I'm thinking Summer 2010. But we'll see.