I am quite behind on accepting a few awards this blog has received over the last few months. Rest assured this has in no way been because I am ungrateful; it brings a smile to my face each and every time a reader goes out of their way to let me know they enjoy my work, especially when I know my updates can be erratic and few and far between recently, as I’ve been dealing with not only my chronic migraine condition, but also plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and with pain on both ends of my body, finding the time and energy to put into Sim writing has been hard. It is extremely humbling to have readers willing to stick with me during these difficult times that appreciate my work, despite the slow updates. Thank you so much!
This nomination came from RosemaryMarie over at Boomcha, where she writes Noble Doubt, a diary-style Sims 3 legacy that updates weekly! Please check it out, RosemaryMarie always brings a smile to this librarian’s face by how she just manages to pop up on nearly every blog I visit, she is such an avid reader!
I also received a nomination for this award from AdamsEve1231, who writes The
Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright, a Sims 3 legacy story that has several spin-off series over at Livin’ a Simmin’ Life, and from Simsophonique, who writes Simsophonique and the Sims, a Simself story following a detective in Sunset Valley. Please check them out!
Then just after the new year I received a surprise nomination from jillbg, who writes The Grey Witches: A Magical Legacy, a supernatural-themed legacy story for Sims 3, and Dancer-freak, a fellow Random Reading Roundup reading circle member who writes The Blakesley Legacy for Sims 3!
Just when I thought this award had run it’s course, it received a new resurgence and a new reader was kind enough to nominate me again! Thank you so much mckatsims, who writes the plot-based Silent Lucidity for Sims 3 as well as some other gameplay-based works, and is a fellow tea-lover, librarian, and LGBTQ+ supporter! Please be sure to check out Stories and Other Sundries!
Thank you so much, RosemaryMarie, AdamsEve1231, Simsophonique, jillbg, Dancer-freak, and mckatsims! You guys are so sweet!
1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
4. Ask them three questions.
Answers to Questions I Received
Q. What is something unique you’ve wanted to try but were too scared or nervous?
A. I’ve always wanted to travel to Japan, because I have had a huge interest in the culture there since I was very young, but I’ve always been too scared to ever go alone (I don’t feel my language skills are up to par, and who wants to go on vacation alone?) and have always held myself back because I believe my health would make the trip unpleasant for my current traveling companion, who I know has been wanting to go with me for a while. I can’t seem to get over my own guilt enough to just bite the bullet and go!
Q. What’s a unique quality or attribute you have?
A. I have a crazy obsession with organization, which is why I can work as a cataloger in a library, then come home and run The Stories and Legacies Index in my free time! I have a ridiculous amount of spreadsheets cataloguing different collections I own, like my anime collection, or my visual novel game collection, etc! Yet my house is more of… organized chaos? Since I live alone, never have guests, and have migraines so often, I put off cleaning, and my apartment is abysmal! You’d never think someone with such tidy and organized Internet spaces could have such a messy home!
Q. Is there a documentary or book that really changed the way you thought about something?
A. I’m not sure if I can think of something that really changed my thinking off the top of my head… but my favorite book ever is The Giver by Lois Lowry, because I always feel like I get something new out of it every time I read it, that somehow it gives me a new vision or appreciation of the world each time I read it. I own two copies of it and re-read it every few years!
Also, I really loved CathyTea’s Aimless: A Kindness Warrior Call to Action, because when I was feeling very down-trodden and despirited, it really made me feel better. I shared it with my BFF Todd who was sharing my feelings and he felt much the same way; he isn’t really “into” SimLit, but said afterwords, “What a great use of Simlit!” which I can say is quite the compliment coming from him. ^_~
Q. What is your favorite Sims game moment of all time?
A. Hahaha! In Entry 30 of my story Yandere Diaries, there is this odd moment where the main character, a yandere (a character archetype popular in Japanese media that appears loving/unassuming but her feelings of love get twisted into obsession and turn into very dark territory, such as stalking/murder), was stuck having to wait for a while for her victim to drown, so I switched back to the other household members to make sure they were properly taking care of their needs left to their own devices. When I switched back, she had just happened, all autonomously, to have positioned herself right over the drowning Sim, with her cellphone out, and was “Capturing the Moment.” I paused for a moment, not sure if I should be appalled or laugh hysterically. And because I have such a dark sense of humor, laughing won out. “Cora dear… Murder… your doin’ it wrong. What, you updating your Simbook status with this or something?” I just died a little inside… and couldn’t stop laughing. Even after the murder, her odd autonomy continued, as she turned her back to the Reaper and just let out this odd, unsettling laugh, like she was so proud of herself… I’ve never had a Sim quite like her. She just mugs the camera like she is all too aware of what is going on.
Q. How would you describe your writing style and process?
A. My writing background is in “play-by-post” forums, where players created characters and then made posts from said character’s perspective, adding to the story back-and-forth with other writer’s on the forum. So I’m used to having a writing partner, not writing by myself… and therefore, I see my Sims 3 game as my “co-author” rather than a tool. As my writing partner, I rely on that give-and-take relationship with it. So I never “write ahead” or outline plots… sometimes I will jump into game with a general idea of an event or route for things to go (I consider that “my turn to post”), but this is always with the knowledge that the game can give me something else entirely in return (the “return post”) and I then will respond/modify accordingly. I consider it a very fluid process, a river where I never know exactly where the rivulets are going to end up.
My short stories are slightly more structured, but not by much. Usually for those, because of the tight word limit, I have a pretty good idea in my head of how I want the story to go from start to finish. I still jump into the game to get my images first, before penning a single word. Then I can narrow down my image set and that gives me a better idea of exactly what direction I want to go with the story. Finally, I write based on the images. Usually I do pretty good keeping within the limit, but on a few instances I’ve had to edit to get the word count down after the fact.
Q. Who or what inspires/motivates you to write SimLit or write in general? (okay, that might be a two-part question… *grins sheepishly*)
A. My persistent (read: stubborn) nature has a lot to do with it. I feel like if I stopped writing, it would be letting my migraines win. I’d rather write slowly, I’d rather have to know my limits and put off starting that new story nibbling at the back of my brain because I know I can’t handle anything more right now, than not write at all. Even if I can just keep getting that one update out a month, like a new short story for the Short Story Challenges thread at the forums, at least it is something… it is forward momentum, and I am still making progress. I am still writing. Because there have been times in the past where I have given up on my writing, for years at a time, and I’d rather be the turtle that is “slow but steady” and eventually wins the race than that!
It is also extremely fulfilling when I get a comment from someone that they could really relate to something really personal I’ve written. There are several stories I’ve written on personal topics that meant a lot to me, and to see they meant a lot to someone else and it was appreciated that the topic was brought up… it is touching and also encourages me to keep writing about those sorts of topics. The amount of people that were going through body issues in the comments on Resolutions Resolved, the people that understood and could share in each other’s pain of losing a pet on For the Love of Furbabies, being told “posts like these keep my spirits up” from writing a story for Asexuality Awareness Week on Play Your Ace, and the overwhelming love and support in the Simmer community last Sims Pride… it makes me really glad to be part of such an amazing community!
Q. As a Sims author, do you plan to publish your story as a real book?
A. I’ve actually never had any desire to be a professional author or have any pubished works, though my sister has been working towards that goal for quite some time. For me, writing is something I do for fun, and I feel like if it felt like a job, it just wouldn’t be enjoyable for me anymore. Deadlines, publishers, plus just the style of novel writing that requires so much outlining, drafting, and editing, is just not for me.
Q. Do your friends and close relatives know about your story/legacies? Do they read it? What do they think of it?
A. I don’t hide from my friends and family that I write Simlit, but pretty much none of them will read it. My family — even my sister who does her own writing — has absolutely no interest in it. The majority of my online friends are the same. Something about having pictures from Sims 3 included in the writing makes them completely dismiss it as being legitimite writing; it’s like they can’t understand they don’t need to play Sims to appreciate it, it’s simply illustrated writing, but there seems to be some consensus that “illustrated” is “lesser”… or something. Which is rather sad. I have one friend/coworker, Cody, who reads my work, and my friend Todd reads my short story Simlit occassionally (but not my ongoing stories). Mainly my readers are other Simmers/Simlit writers.
Q. What is the best/worst part of your current stories/legacies?
A. The best part is that I feel it keeps my creativity from falling stagnant; I love to see the different things the game gives me to work with, and getting to interpret that in fun and interesting ways!
The worst part is that getting into my game is such a time-intensive process, and I just haven’t had that much time for it lately because of my health, and I know my projects have had to suffer because of that.
Q. What is the most annoying thing that has ever happened in your game?
A. I am one of those people where if something isn’t working quite right, I cannot let it go… even if it is something quite minor and insignificant. I go crazy trying to “figure it out” and fix it, and this wastes valuable time that I could just be getting on trying to do something else for my story instead… for example, I can’t get my animals to interact with strays (I have no idea why; the interactions simply drop from their queue), and I was working on a short story once and wanted to do the “Tell Spooky Story” interaction, but the characters would simply do a normal talk interaction instead; they wouldn’t pull out the flashlight and do the spooky story animation. I spent hours upons hours trying to figure out how to make these things work just to get a few screenshots when in the end, I had to just figure out doing something entirely different for my stories instead, because I never could come up with a solution; if I’d just let it go from the start, I wouldn’t have wasted days worth of time I could’ve been making story progress!
Q. Do you play with the sound off or on? Why?
A. I always play with the music off, though I’ll keep sound effects on at a very low volume. Since I have chronic migraine, I tend to keep all my games and applications muted, and if I do have sound playing, it’s very quiet. I even watch television programs on a low volume and just turn subtitles on!
Q. Which premade really gets on your nerves?
A. I actually don’t really have any experience with premades at this point in time. I haven’t been playing for very long yet, and most of the playing I have done so far has been with custom-made Sims.
Q. If you could make any Sims game/stuff/expansion pack for any of the games what would it be and what would it include?
A. This is going to sound incredibly niche, but I find that custom content offerings for children and toddlers and next to nil, all the truly unique items for fantasy and sci-fi genres that interest me are always only for adult-elder (and occassionally teen), so I’d want the “Ultimate Child/Toddler Dress-up Pack” filled with the crazy sorts of things you’d expect at a ren-faire or sci-fi con… only for kids. Then I could finally make the cool fantasy and sci-fi races I want to make, and actually write these stories plaguing my mind, which I can’t at the moment, because while I can find the things I need for adults, those adults would never be able to procreate, on account of those same items needed for those races not being available for children and toddlers!
Q. What was the first Simlit you ever wrote called, why did you start writing it?
A. Well, I’m still writing it (I’m a slow writer, what can I say?) which is Cat Chronicles. I do have one other story, The Yandere Diaries, which is currently on hiatus and taken off my site for the time being until I have the time to revise it (I’ve found I work best being a “one story at a time” sort of person).
Why did I start Cat Chronicles? I was still really new to Sims 3, and one of the only other households I’d even played at that point was my Simself and her cat, Casanova, which I really enjoyed (since then they have returned in several comic-relief short stories!) So I guess somehow an idea lodged itself in my mind to do a story about a catlady and a cat, but to write it from the cat’s perspective. I knew almost immediately I wanted the catlady to be an elder who was grieving the recent loss of her husband, which is why she adopted a kitten.
Q. Other than writing Simlit, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing with the Sims games?
A. Right now, I don’t really have the time to just play Sims casually… which is really a shame. I actually got the desire to write Simlit from an early Brothel Challenge I’d tried out shortly after I got the game, and I kept seeing these “stories” in my head following the Sims in my household around, so I have played the game casually before… but now I pretty much only play to produce content for my site. However, Cat Chronicles is a sort of laid-back and mostly game-driven sort of game, so when I go in to get new screenshots, it is mostly just playing… unless the game throws some spark of inspiration at me and I get some idea that would make a great chapter, and then feel the need to stage something, which can be a bit more work. I also like to use it for photography, and now have a Photo Friday segment where I just like “capturing a moment” as there is a lot of beauty to be had in a single image, and it lets me get practice with camera angles, posing, making Sims, different custom content, and lots.
Q. How were your main character(s) born and why did you choose them?
A. I knew I wanted my catlady in Cat Chronicles to be an elder — I myself really like elders and feel they are under-represented in Simlit, which seems to always start its stories with young adults. I created her in CAS, and her traits were based heavily on certain characteristics that I had in mind for this character — Absentminded to try to show late-onset dementia, Loner as she is quite satisfied to live alone with her cat, Greenthumb and Natural Cook because I have grandparents with those hobbies, and of course, Catlover (what sort of catlady isn’t a catlover?) Shadow was created by the game; Rose called up for an adoption to get a kitten to deal with the grief of just losing her husband, and there were two kittens available (Shadow and Cayln) and she selected Shadow. I hardly made any modifications to him (he was a bit more brown in color, which I just shifted to gray as that is my favorite color, and he was lacking a tail and I prefer cats with tails, so I added one). His traits were left exactly as is — Adventerous, Aggressive, and Hunter — which reminded me exactly of the cat I owned as a child, a stray tabby my family took in that we uncreatively named Tabby. To this day I’m surprised the game gave me a cat that reminds me so much of my childhood cat in personality!
Q. Will your main characters have a new look soon? If yes, why?
A. Naah. I’m quite satisfied with how my characters have turned out. At Rose’s age I don’t really think of her as the type to really change up her look, and Shadow is… well… a cat. Senna, however, might be up to it sometime!
Q. If you don’t play with your Simself, what characters are close to your personality? What do they bring in your story? What are their parts?
A. My Simself doesn’t play a role in my main story, but I do use her in short stories sometimes… she is sort of an exaggerated or characature version of myself, the butt end of a joke against her comedy-duo partner, Casanova, her cat. As far as my main story characters, since each one is a creation of mine, I suppose each one has at least a part of myself in them… Rose embodies my deep cat-loving nature and my overall “derpiness,” Shadow my independence and stuborness, Cora my evil side.
Q. Do you want to collab with other Simlit authors? If yes, in which stories do you want to see your characters? For people who already collabed, are you open to see your characters in a story that is different or opposite than your own story or of your own genre preferences?
A. I actually have a crossover coming up in the near future! Shadows kittens are going to be adopted into a few of sweetnightingale’s stories, and the adoption should be taking place sometime in April 2017! So keep on the watch for that!
Q. Why did you start your WordPress, and more specifically, is your blog Sims-specific?
A. Originally my blog started on LiveJournal, but I just couldn’t get anyone to check out my work on that service. I started writing Cat Chronicles in May of 2015 (and shortly after a story that is currently removed for the time being called The Yandere Diaries) and built up quite a big log of chapters on LiveJournal. In August of 2015 I became an active part of the Sims forums, and noticing everyone there used mainly WordPress or Blogger, I decided that the best thing to do to try to get readers was to port it to WordPress. That happened in November of 2015.
As for why I started a blog in the first place? I was fascinated with the story-telling aspects of the Sims shortly after I got the game. I was watching LP series shortly before I got the game and I got intrigued about all the stories being woven about these virtual people. I wanted to tell stories about my own Sims, but knew video wasn’t the avenue for me. When I discovered my first Simlit (Alice and Kev), then everything fell into place for me on exactly how I could tell these stories.
My blog was only Sims content until January 2017, when I decided to add tea reviews. I’d always said that if I could have my own Twitch channel, I would stream on Twitch Creative and review tea and color. But again, I don’t have the equipment (or let’s be honest here, personality) for that sort of thing, so I decided to bring that idea to my blog. I thought it would have zero interest. I was shocked to discover how many Simmers were willing to read my tea reviews!
Q. What aspect(s) of any of the games in The Sims franchise do you like?
A. The open, sandbox-style “create your own adventure.” Games like that just allow for so much creative potential! I’ve had Sims 3 for two years now and haven’t even scratched the surface of all the possible things I can explore and do in the game! I also love using mods and custom content to really stretch the game’s potential and do things you normally wouldn’t be able to do!
Q. Describe your game play in the Sims game you play most.
A. Cat Chronicles is a very laid-back play experience. There is no goal I’m trying to achieve, no challenge I’m aiming to complete. I simply hop into game and see what the day brings, much like stepping out of bed each morning. Which may sound quite boring, but when your story is from the eyes of a cat, you honestly don’t have to be too concerned about the intricate going-ons of a large plot-heavy legacy family or anything (and to be completely honest, I’m not really that keen on “legacy” or “family” play anyway). Sometimes I’ll let wishes or a certain story idea guide my play, but just seeing what the game has to offer me is by far my most common approach.
As always, if a site I nominated as already received a nomination for this award by now, I certainly don’t expect anyone to have to alter their acceptance posts and answer any additional questions, so please don’t feel you need to on my account! These are all Sim story sites that are unique to me in some way, be it in plotline, style, presentation, or characters! Please check them out!
chealsycat, Chealsycat’s YouTube Channel
Eddie Sims, Eddie’s Sims World
gurllivinlarge, Bogsmirth Legacy
PalmArrow The Bluejay Legacy
Peach77, Reverie in Simlish
Rorygilmore34, Rory Plays the Sims YouTube Channel
SilentWolf101, My Sims 3 Stories 3.0
Simsophonique, Simsophonique and the Sims
Socallucyfan, Once Upon a Legacy
Spacey72659, Spacey Sims’ YouTube Channel
Thrippa, Gilt Sparrows: A Fifty Foal Challenge
thuggishsplicer, Gamer’s Corner
Twiggy, Twiggy’s Sims Adventures
Questions For My Nominees
1. Who is your most memoriable Sim and why?
2. What is a Sim Challenge or story idea you’ve always wanted to try out?
3. Was there ever a moment playing one of your Sim games that made you seriously cry? What about a moment that made you crack up hysterically?