Blogaversary: Year Two

MASTRESS ALITA: Hey Rose, hey Shadow.

ROSE: Oh hello, Dear.

SHADOW: Mrrrrrt! <Curse you red light, I’ll have you this time!>

MASTRESS ALITA: So, you’re free to leave the Mind Closet for today. Your story is two years old today, and your readers sent in a few questions for you to answer during the livestream today.

ROSE: The live what now?

MASTRESS ALITA: Err… just head on upstairs, there will be tea and cookies!

ROSE: Oh! I love tea and cookies!

MASTRESS ALITA: I’ll be up in a bit…

MASTRESS ALITA: *sigh* Things sure have changed over the last year, haven’t they, Cora? I’m really sorry about this… When the new year rolled around and I looked back on the direction this blog was taking, I knew some things had to change. For the majority of 2016 I’d only managed to get one update a month out, and most of those were Short Story Challenge entries, with a few scattered Cat Chronicles chapters over the year. And your story… I didn’t manage to update it at all during that time. I lost a lot of readers then, when my update frequency dropped so drastically, so this year I knew I needed to re-evaluate things and try to find a schedule that would work. Having two stories, with my fulltime job and chronic migraines… just wasn’t working. I really am sorry, Cora.

…But you want to know a secret, just between you and me? You are still my favorite Sim I’ve had the pleasure of ever playing. Perhaps I can find a way to revisit you again sometime…

MASTRESS ALITA: And you, Fia. I had great ambitions for a really grand, fantasy-inspired Amazon Challenge story, and you were to be the star. That story was dead before it ever had a chance to begin. I just don’t have the time. Maybe one day, I’ll get to tell your story…

This year, I’ve finally managed to get Cat Chronicles back to a somewhat normal update schedule, but it certainly has left a lot of skeletons in the Mind Closet as a result…

MASTRESS ALITA: How is everything coming along up here?

TODD: The A/V for the livestream is all ready.

CODY: And there are plenty of Cody Cookies!

MASTRESS ALITA: Fantastic! You guys are the best.

*ding-dong*

MASTRESS ALITA: Ah! That should be Simsophonique and Chelsea the Cat! I’ll go greet the guests, if someone could track down Rose and Shadow and show them to their seats… oh, and don’t be alarmed, Rose may or may not be wearing any clothes!

MASTRESS ALITA: Simsophonique! My favorite French reader! You’ve been following Shadow’s story for such a long time, I’m so glad you could make it!

SIMSOPHONIQUE: Bonjour, Alita! Thank you for having me!

MASTRESS ALITA: And Chelsea the Cat, fellow cat-enthusiast from Russia! I’m so happy that you are here! It feels like you’ve been reading Cat Chronicles and my short stories since nearly the beginning!

CHELSEA THE CAT: Pri-VET, Alita! Aaah… can you get that spot behind my left ear? *purr*

MASTRESS ALITA: It is so humbling to have such great friends among the Simmer community… and it really means a lot to me that Cat Chronicles has such international appeal! Let me show you to the dining room… this year I’m going to be livestreaming a cozy little tea party with a Q&A session! It’ll be a little more low-key than last year, but it should be a lot of fun!

MASTRESS ALITA: All right, everyone, just find yourself a comfy place while I get this tea steeping! After a week of restless sleep trying to decide which tea to make, I’ve decided to go with Cinnamon Plum, which tastes like a warm, inviting, fruity cider and is caffeine-free and Vegan-friendly, for those with special dietary needs.

TODD: And the stream is live in 3… 2…

MASTRESS ALITA: Hello Internet! I’m Mastress Alita, author of the blog “Sim Stories: Hijinks from the World of Sims 3” which hosts Cat Chronicles as well as several short stories, and today is the second anniversary of my blog, so I’m having a little tea party in celebration… thank you all so much for being here and attending from the digital realm! I wish you could smell this steeping tea, it smells just divine!

I’m joined today by my good friends, Todd and Cody, who are wonderful sounding boards when I’m trying to work out story ideas, always willing to lend that helpful ear, whether I just need to talk myself through something, or they are giving me the perfect spark of inspiration with their great insight! You can find them frequently as cameo roles in my Short Stories, including Bibliotaph, The Thanksgiving Weekend Rescue Mission, and they also attended last year’s Blogaversary!

From the Simlit community, my good friends and long-time Cat Chronicles readers Simsophonique, author of Simsophonique and the Sims, a story where she goes on many adventures as a detective around Sunset Valley, and Chelsea the Cat (better known as chealsycat), author of Goldilocks and Bears, a slice-of-life featuring a family of bears that adopt a little girl, are also in attendance! It’s an honor to get to share this special day with them.

And finally… yes, I did it. Per viewer request, I’ve let Rose and Shadow out of the Mind Closet! Letting characters out of the Mind Closet is a dangerous ordeal… remember last year? So savor it!

ROSE: Who are you talking to, Dear?

MASTRESS ALITA: The people watching at home right now, Rose. Readers are tuning in online right now to see you, isn’t that exciting?

ROSE: *blinks* There, there, Dear. You hear those voices, too? It’ll pass soon.

MASTRESS ALITA: *sigh*

MASTRESS ALITA: All right, let’s get this Q&A session started! I have a letter here from RosemaryMarie, author of the popular Sims 3 legacy story Noble Doubt! It’s been such a privilege to have her as a reader, she is such a ray of sunshine in the Simlit community… and she has an adorable cat, too!

It reads,

1. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

2. How do you select the names of your characters?

3. What are the challenges of bringing your characters to life?

Thanks so much for the questions, RosemaryMarie!

MASTRESS ALITA: Hmm… I have a lot of favorite books, but as an author myself, I don’t think I could ever steal the accolades from any of my favorite authors, as much as I wish I would’ve come up with a certain story idea myself, hahaha! (Dragonriders of Pern, I’m looking at you!)

If I wrote my own novel… honestly, it’s hard for me to think about what it would be about, because I don’t really like doing novel-style writing. I enjoy interactive formats of writing; I used to do play-by-post writing on forums (and I’ll admit, I played on a forum based around my favorite author, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels novel world for years!), I still do interactive writing with a coauthor over Google Docs (it’s of the *coughs* boys’ love variety) *flashes her “Watashi <3 Yaoi" shirt to the camera*, and I see Simlit itself as a very interactive process, with the game itself as a coauthor, giving me new material and ideas to work with, and I in turn giving it the same. But when I write something by myself, I always find myself getting bored with the project and never see it through to the end. I already know the story, so there is nothing to really keep me entertained trying to pen it out, while the interactive forms always have this air of mystery, because I never quite know what is going to happen next, which keeps me engaged and interested to discover just that. Does that sound strange?

So I think if I were to be the original author of a book, I’d probably end up writing something non-fiction, likely about asexuality, because it is still a topic that does not have much educational literature out there.

MASTRESS ALITA: Oh look, the tea is ready! Does anyone take sugar? Milk? Cream? …Casanova, get your paws off that teacup! You can have some milk and cream later!

MASTRESS ALITA: Mmm… delicious! Selecting names for characters can be an arduous task. I remember when I first created Rose and Earl, I admit I picked their names because I thought they sounded like “names from an older generation.” I believe I let the game randomly assign a family name and it came up with Hatcher, and I was fine with it. Since “Rose” was the matriarch I just decided that I’d give her children plant-themed names, so her son is Ashton and her daughter is Senna. Her grandchildren are Ivy and Rue! I’ll admit that I tend to pick themes and run with them!

Shadow was created by the game, not myself, and he came with a different name, though I can’t remember now what it was! When Shadow first arrived after being adopted, I noticed that he looked a bit different than what I had pictured from the tiny thumbnail in the adoption window — more brown than gray (and gray is my favorite color) and he was bobtailed, and I prefer cats with a long tail. So I went into CAS and made a few light edits — I just slid the color wheel to a slightly darker tone so it was closer to the gray shades and added a tail, and when I was in there, I changed his name to Shadow because an aggressive, adventurous little hunter that was gray with those black patches made me think of a ninja (and Shadow is a great name for a ninja, isn’t it? Final Fantasy VI certainly thought so!) Cayln was adopted by Senna through story progression, so her name was just left as it was; it is the name the game gave her. I don’t know… the weird, alternative spelling kind of seems like something that would appeal to an artsy person like Senna! Shadow’s kittens were born the day before Spooky Day in-game, so I wanted them to have names themed for that! The female, Trixie, came to me because around the time the kittens were born I was going to get to see a show by a Drag Queen I adore, Trixie Mattel, who was on Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race! Boo was actually named after Todd’s late cat Boo and Cody’s late cat Bootsie! I think both names have a very Halloween vibe to them!

MASTRESS ALITA: Hmm… the challenges of bringing my characters to life? One of the biggest challenges, in Cat Chronicles, is that the viewpoint is limited to Shadow’s perspective on the world, and his understanding is… well… that of a cat. Can the humans in his story still manage to create any sort of an impression on the reader this way? I have to try to let little details about them slip through just in the pictures, and hope the meaning comes across, but I’m not always sure that is apparent. Does the reader really grasp why Rose is crying when the Christmas tree goes up? Because Shadow certainly doesn’t, and he can’t tell the reader. So I just have to hope such nuances do come across, and manage to paint a better picture of the characters!

I try to put pieces of people I actually know into my characters… bits of each of my grandmas are within Rose, and I was extremely close to a grandfather that I lost in 2006, and whenever I see that big ghost smile on Earl’s face, I can’t help but think of him. The traits the game gave Shadow — aggressive, adventurous, and hunter — fit a cat I had as a child, Tabby, perfectly, so a lot of that cat is in Shadow.

CODY: I have a question!

MASTRESS ALITA: Mmhmm?

CODY: Do you work for the Tear Fairy? Does she pay you to tug at our heartstrings so she can feast on our delicious tears?

MASTRESS ALITA: Pffffffffffffft! *cough hack hack*

MASTRESS ALITA: *glare* Yes. You’ve found me out. She says your tears taste like ambrosia.

MASTRESS ALITA: Hahaha ha ha… I admit it, I have written some pretty brutal tearjerkers! You know the worst part? Even I can’t read some of my own writing without tearing up! Remembering Earl and For the Love of Furbabies get me every single time! And there have been some rough chapters in Cat Chronicles lately, haven’t there? Days 46-49 were pretty much a “gauntlet of sad” on the coattails of a lot of cute kitten chapters… eh. It happens sometimes.

Hey, Tear Fairy, where is that 20% cut I was promised for writing all those sad chapters, anyway?

CHELSEA THE CAT: Speaking of sad… The wrinkly one is getting older and older. What are you going to do when she goes to Heaven?

MASTRESS ALITA: *wibble* Oh… I really don’t want to think about that! I will admit, her life bar has been full for some time now, and I… I’ve been “medicating” her on Lifefruit because… because… I just can’t…

ROSE: Everyone has their time, Dear. I’ll have no regrets. Earl will be waiting for me, and I have an amazing family that I know will take care of Shadow. Everything is going to be fine.

MASTRESS ALITA: But… but… I don’t want you to go!

TODD: *inserts 10th Doctor .gif into the stream overlay*

MASTRESS ALITA: Damn you Tear Fairy, you strike again!

CHELSEA THE CAT: I have a question for Shadow!

MASTRESS ALITA: *dabbing eyes* Lazy cat… go ahead and wake him up then.

CHELSEA THE CAT: Shaaaaaaaaaaadow! *lick* I know that you tell your stories to Mastress Alita, but I must know how a two-legger who has never had her own kitties understands you so well! *lick* She’s a Kitty Fairy, isn’t she? *lick* I’m going to keep giving you kissies until you answer!

SHADOW: Mraaaaaaaaaaow! <Okay, okay, I heard you, no more kissies! …Really, it is quite simple. Like dealing with any other two-legger, I simply have her well-trained.>

MASTRESS ALITA: Well-trained! Well-trained?! You’re the one that lives inside the Mind Closet!

SHADOW: Mrrrrrrrrrt. <That’s what you think…>

MASTRESS ALITA: *long sigh* It’s true that I don’t own any cats at the moment, Chelsea, because they are against my apartment lease. My roommate currently is a very old cockatiel of around eighteen or nineteen years of age, Kali. My family has always had a cockatiel in the house since I was a baby and I’ve always grown up around one, and I got Kali when I was sixteen… when I moved out, she came with me since birds and fish were allowed in the lease! I’m thirty-five now and she’s still with me!

But cockatiels aren’t the only pets we’ve owned… I actually had a cat most of my life! My earliest cat was named Snickers, she was a female that ended up “gifting” us with three surprise kittens when none of us realized she was pregnant! We found homes for all of the kittens except for one — he looked just like his mother in coloring — and he became an outdoor cat and was sort of taken in by the catlady that lived next door to us, Candy. He sort of scuttled between her yard and ours, as well as the whole neighborhood! When we moved to another state, that cat, “Whiskers” as I called him but named “Rufus” by the catlady, officially became her cat… but whenever we came back to visit our grandparents, who lived just around the corner from Candy the Catlady, Whiskers/Rufus would stop by and visit us! It always astounded me that he never forgot us. My grandparents even put food and a heated blanket for him in their garage, which he quite enjoyed as he made his neighborhood rounds. My grandma says he lived to be a very, very old cat!

Sadly his mother did not… she disappeared one day and never came home. I was heartbroken! I think I was only five-years-old at the time, I just wanted my kitty to come home. Thinking back on it now, and having a lot of experience with outdoor cats, I believe she would’ve come home unless something happened to her… I feel like she may have gotten hit somewhere. But I put up lost fliers that I had drawn myself (with my glorious five-year-old art skills) desperate to have my cat back. A lot of Shadow’s back-story comes from this experience.

My father was working for a hardware store at the time, and a very resourceful stray cat kept running inside to get warm in front of the electric fireplaces they had for sale! The owners were going to call the shelter to come capture the cat, but my Dad said, “I’ll take the cat” because he knew I was heartbroken over Snickers not coming home. So he brought home Tabby. He was very wild and distrustful at first, but my Mom said, “If we butter his paws, it’ll calm him right down.” I don’t know what it was about that old wife’s tale, but… it worked! He remained an outdoor cat but was fiercely loyal to our family; our house was his territory, and he was very protective of it. In the hot summers when my sister and I would sleep outside in a tent because it was cooler than indoors, he would sleep with us, and bring us “presents” from his night hunts! He was an amazing cat. My family moved house twice and he came along both times… I was in my early 20s and had already moved out when my parents told me that because of his severe arthritis and difficulty moving around the yard, they had made the decision to put him down. A few weeks prior to that I had visited the house, taken him with me down to my old bedroom, and just laid with him on my old bed for a long time… it was a strange experience, like something passed between us as we laid there together, like we both just knew that his time was coming and we needed to be there, in that moment. So I wasn’t surprised when I got that call. He lived a long, happy life. I don’t think Shadow’s story would have been possible without Tabby!

After Tabby, my parents had another cat and a dog, Maya and Tink. Maya was a tubby thing and no one was quite sure why… it was funny to watch her waddle up and down the stairs. When my parents moved out of state, she found a home with a family friend. Tink went with my parents but sadly passed away several years ago due to epilepsy (a condition my father also has… his passing was very hard on my Dad and Step-mom). If the opportunity ever arises, I may have to find a way to bring good ol’ Tink into Cat Chronicles

I really miss having a cat now, and hope one day I can buy my own house so I can have a cat of my own again. Right now, when I visit my sister, I spoil my fur-nephew Meekus rotten! He was also a stray, that a former roommate of my sister’s found eating out of a dumpster where she worked. She brought him home, and said, “I promise I’ll take him to the shelter on Monday, but I just couldn’t watch him eating out of that dumpster and mewing at customers at the door any longer!” Her roommate already had a cat, and two cats in that little apartment did seem like much… but Meekus immediately took to my sister, slept in her bed, and didn’t want to be away from her. The next day my sister said, “You can’t take away this cat.” He was very sick, he got worms from the dumpster and spread them to the other cat, but they got both cats healthy and Meekus is a spoiled little thing. He was previously owned (he was already neutered and very tame) so we aren’t sure how he ended up in such a sad state. He is very cuddly and loves his auntie! I get a lot of inspiration from him as well! I went on vacation last month and even brought him back a toy filled with organic catnip, which he really enjoyed!

I’m not sure if I would call myself a Cat Fairy *blushes* but I am certainly a big ol’ cat person and would be a catlady if circumstances were different!

SHADOW: Mrrrr. <You don’t give me organic catnip.>

MASTRESS ALITA: You have Rose to spoil you! I already have to cater to Casanova’s sad mews and cute eyes…

CHELSEA THE CAT: Oh, I’d like to see more of Casanova on your blog!

CASANOVA: Maaaaaow! <Haha! See, I am number one cat around here!>

SHADOW: Hsssssst! <Oh please! You’ve been in a handful of short stories, I’m in a fifty-five part masterpiece! I’m clearly the star around here!>

CASANOVA: Mrrrrrrrroooooooooooow! <Big talk from a feline that lives in a closet while I have two cat houses, a cat tree, and my own room of comfy places and playthings upstairs!>

MASTRESS ALITA: Gyaaaa!

MASTRESS ALITA: Boys! You stop this catfight right now or so help me I’ll have you both neutered before the end of this livestream!

MASTRESS ALITA: Hahaha… so territorial! But I’m glad you enjoy Casanova! He’s my soulmate, so you can be sure that whenever a short story theme pops up that is just right for sharing our silly day-to-day antics, he’ll be around… and I’ll probably be suffering for it!

TODD: Shadow, your kittens Trixie and Boo were adopted recently. What do they think of those they are acquainted with, including two-leggers?

SHADOW: Meeeeow mrrrow mrrt. <I have trained my kittens well; they know how to train a two-legger to fill the food dish, to clean the catbox, to share their comfy places, to always give pets when demanded, and how to flash the cute eyes to get out of trouble. They have grown up around two-leggers and are comfortable at these tricks. I believe they selected their new two-leggers because they are the right two-leggers for them. Their training in other areas is not remiss as well… they know felines are superior, and canines are to be hissed at. And of course they think I am best cat… because I am. Err… don’t tell their mother I said that!>

MASTRESS ALITA: Thanks everyone for their questions! I have one more letter here to read, from CathyTea, author of more great Simlit than you can shake a stick at over at Cathy Tea’s SimLit Anthology! She is also one of the nicest Simmers I know, and hostess to a multitude of great resource threads on the Sims forums which I highly recommend checking out!

She writes:

1) What do you find most rewarding in keeping the Stories and Legacies Index on the forums?

2) During your two years as a blogger, what’s been your biggest surprise?

3) What advice do you have to bloggers just starting out?

4) What are your goals for the next two years?

Thanks so much for the questions, CathyTea!

Oh!

MASTRESS ALITA: She even sent a card along! Daaaaaaw, how sweet!

MASTRESS ALITA: The Stories and Legacies Index is nearly as old as this blog… I started it in August 2015! I remember when I first discovered the forums, which was the same month, feeling overwhelmed to discover so much Simlit which I didn’t know existed. There was no organization for all these stories, and I felt like there needed to be a greater effort to bring them together in some kind of cohesive, organized way, so new readers like myself could easily find stories without having to randomly wade through threads and just stumble upon them at random. That first month, I only got around twenty sign-ups. Over the last two years, it has now grown to index roughly 345 stories at the time of this livestream!

It takes a lot of work and effort to maintain, more than anyone probably imagines (if they were to see what I do every day behind the scenes they would probably be shocked!) But I find it is worth it when someone actually says that they found a new story using the index. I send out PMs often inviting people to come sign up and many of these folks still never drop by and add their stories, but there are readers out there that use it as their first stop when they want something new to read, so it really is benefitial to submit your work! Not only that, but seeing all those listed stories is very inspiring to those readers that want to write Simlit for themselves! And that is extremely rewarding!

I think this message that was posted on the index by forum user @LunaNova really sums up why I work so hard to keep the index updated:

LunaNova: @SimGuruDrake You asked on Twitter a few weeks back for some of your favourite simblrs/bloggers to check out and this is a great place to look for them! If I’d never found this thread I’d probably not have gotten inspired as I have to start my own. After reading through a few I finally got the confidence to start my own story and post it here! Stickying this great resource would be a huge benefit for those who love to get inspired by others!

MASTRESS ALITA: My biggest surprise during my two years blogging? Probably that there are people out there who are interested in my work!

You know, I see time and time again, from running the Stories and Legacies Index, stories that are abandoned by their authors because they don’t suddenly see the views, likes, or comments they were expecting the second they put their work out there… and that isn’t the reason to write. You have to love your work and have fun writing it… and if your story accomplishes these two things for you, then you’ll stick with it. And if you stick with it, in time you’ll get visitors. You can’t just wave a magic wand and suddenly have a fanbase.

I started Cat Chronicles in April of 2015, but the earliest readers didn’t trickle in until around November/December of that year! And that was just a handful of folks… I remember Raerei, author of the great stories from Raerei’s Fortress, was one of those early readers! Most of the really early readers trickled off when my update frequency tapered off in 2016, but then I got a lot of new readers too that binge-read my backlog during that time, and now I have a small but dedicated bunch of Cat Chronicles supporters!

MASTRESS ALITA: My advice to bloggers just starting out… Oh, there is so much!

Like I said above, make sure you are writing for the right reasons. Write because you enjoy it. Have fun. No matter how you present your Simlit, whether you write a plot-heavy novel or a simple picture-heavy gamelog, your enjoyment reflects in what you write. If you are writing because you love playing Sims, and love your characters, and love your story, it will show. And if you love writing it, there is no other reason to write. It is for you; it makes you happy. That is the best writing!

The one thing that will turn me off from a blog is when an author posts a self-pitying post about not having any readers, or not having enough readers, or does anyone even like this story because no one is leaving comments. Do you know how those kind of posts make those readers that are around feel? No one wants to see that. If you are writing just because you want to see view counts, likes, comments, or any other measurable stat go up… you are writing for the wrong reasons! If you are going to get discouraged by not seeing views, likes, and comments the second you put up that first chapter… you are writing for the wrong reasons. Remember… it was eight months before I had any readers on my site! If you are writing because you love it… just keep doing it. They’ll come. You’ll have a body of work ready and waiting. And your work will shine with your love and enjoyment, not the bitterness of, “Oh woe is me, where are all the readers at?”

Also… community, community, community! I can’t count how many times I see someone just post their link around and then disappear, and they think that is going to bring in the views. Ask anyone on YouTube, Twitch, or any other online platform… building viewership is about building community. Be an active part of your community. Chat with the Simlit community on the forums. Talk about yourself, and engage with others, and your peers will remember you. When folks feel like they know you, they are far more likely to check out your work. Read other stories! When an author has time for reading, they often look to those written by the authors that frequent their own site, and in this way, natural reading circles form! Join a reading circle, or run a community event! There are so many ways to actively engage, and they make a big difference!

Don’t be afraid to take risks! This year I started two new segments on my blog, neither of which were Sim story-related. One is Teatime Tuesday, where I review a different tea every Tuesday, and the other is Photo Friday, where I display Sims 3 photography with a short quote. I did not think either of these would work out; the tea reviews had nothing to do with Sims but was simply something I’ve wanted to do for a while as it is a personal interest, and the photography is something that is popular on Tumblr but not really on WordPress. But both segments have found viewers, and not all of them were previously Cat Chronicles readers! So you never know what might work out… if there is something you feel your heart is in, don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Respect every reader! Do not have preconceived notions about how a person should read your work. Every reader is precious, whether they read one chapter or binge-read your entire story. Every reader is precious, whether they prefer to quietly read each chapter, silent and anonymous, or whether they leave a like or comment on every chapter. Remember, the most normal and natural way to read is simply picking up a story and quietly turning the pages, uninterrupted. Some people feel downtrodden to see someone binge-read their work without leaving a single like or comment when they should be rejoicing the fact someone couldn’t put their story down! Remember that people have different schedules; some readers come… and then they go. And sometimes, they suddenly come back. Every reader has a different schedule and different preferences to how they like to read… treat each and every one of them with dignity and respect. Don’t value some more than others!

And finally… write what you want, not what you think others want! After I discovered the plethora of Simlit out there, I quickly came to realize that “the legacy” was “the norm” for stories… but I just really have no interest in playing them. I went through a period where I thought, “Do I need to make my story a legacy just to appeal to others?” But if you are playing something you are miserable playing just to try to catch a certain fanbase or because a certain expansion pack or challenge happens to be the rage at the moment… again, you aren’t writing for the right reasons, and your unhappiness will show through. Maybe only in little ways, but it will. Always write what feels right to you… it will feel right to the readers, too!

MASTRESS ALITA: My goals for the next two years… Right now, I really want to get better at creating a schedule for my posts, so that I don’t always feel like I’m writing content “right at the deadline” which is often the case at the moment! It would be nice to have things pre-written and scheduled so I feel more “on top” of things; trying to keep to a schedule like I have been since the start of the year can get very stressful, I’m not going to lie! Especially since I never know when my migraines are going to strike.

I’d love to complete Cat Chronicles! Here it has been two years and I feel like I’m not all that far into the story, but this is Shadow’s story, so perhaps in that amount of time I’ll manage to get there. I think it would feel really rewarding to have a completed work!

MASTRESS ALITA: In fact, since we are on the subject of future endeavors, as a special blogaversary livestream treat, I’m going to let you in on an exclusive! You see, I have a few ideas already as to what my next story may be after Cat Chronicles

SIMSOPHONIQUE: Next story?! *holds breath*

MASTRESS ALITA: Yes, I think you are all going to be pretty surprised with th– hey, what the heck is going on? The power’s out?!

*crash*

SIMSOPHONIQUE: Oh mon Dieu! I think I just broke a teacup!

*cat hisses*

ROSE: Oh… is it bedtime?

*more cat hisses*

TODD: Internet is dead… the stream is offline.

MASTRESS ALITA: What?! Nooooooooo!

CODY: Umm… at least there are still cookies!

SQUIRREL: Chrrchrr! <Mwahahaha! How dare they have a blogaversary celebration without giving me all the attention! I’m the VIP! Me! Me! Me! Let’s see how they like having no power and Internet! Mmmmmm, cables for breakfast!>


This was written for the two year anniversary of this blog, and is a bit of a sequel to Blogaversary: Year One (a few references may not make sense if you missed out on last year’s blogaversary story!) This story features not only my Simself, but the Simselves of @Simsophonique and @chealsycat and my off-the-interwebs friends Cody and Todd! Thank you all so much for allowing your Sims to be used in my game! Also featured are Rose and Shadow Hatcher from my story The Cat Chronicles.

I would like to give a big thanks to @RosemaryMariee, @CathyTea, @chealsycat, Todd, and Cody, who all provided questions for the Q&A. My last blogaversary I didn’t get any question submissions, so I think that alone shows how much this blog has grown in a mere year!

I would just like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you that visits my blog, has checked out any of my work, uses my forum thread The Stories and Legacies Index, or simply is friendly, welcoming, and kind to me on the Sims forums in any of the threads I haunt in the Stories and Legacies and Sims 4 Stories and Legacies sections. If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, by all means, feel free to do so and I’d be more than happy to answer! Thanks so much for all your support, keep on reading, keep on writing, and keep on Simming!

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About Mastress Alita

I'm a fulltime librarian, a chronic migraineur, a tea addict, and an avid Simmer that writes SimLit and maintains the Stories and Legacies Index, a link directory of SimLit on Wordpress. Though I obviously love cats, I actually don't own one! (Blame my apartment lease for that!) I do have a charming old cockatiel, Kali, that has been my companion for the last seventeen years!
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30 Responses to Blogaversary: Year Two

  1. cathytea says:

    Yay ! Congratulations ! This was so fun ! Best advice for bloggers I’ve ever read, and Chealsycat stole the show ! Thanks for writing this !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. chealsycat says:

    It was very interesting to learn more about you and your cats in RL. (I think I can say YOUR cats – nevermind that they don’t live with you.) The video with playing Meekus is adorable.
    Also thank you for the advice for the writers. Really useful!
    And when Rosa’s answer about death reminded me on this cartoon, which is funny and touching at the same time:

    Congratulations and thank you for this awesome tea party!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is AWESOME! :D Happy Blogaversary to You! I love all your answers and the entire post. I was especially fond of how you likened the game’s role in simlit; it is really like that! Like having a writing partner. :)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. O'jenn says:

    Happy Blogaversary Mastress!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. RipuAncestor says:

    Congratulations again for the blogaversary. I feel bad for still not having read Cat Chronicles. I mean, cats <3! How can I not have read it yet? It IS in my bookmarks, though, and I'm thinking I'll start reading it in the summer when I have more free time. :) I'm looking forward to it!

    Also great advice you gave there! This was really nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LadyLobster says:

    Really enjoyed reading this! Such fantastic advice for bloggers. And thank you once again for all your hard work on the Stories and Legacies Index!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. HAPPY BLOGANIVERSARY MASTRESSALITA !!

    ahah True around Miss V breaks often because she’s hot-headed as I am. and special yeaaah for because she speaks French as well. She’s fluent in Simlish and French.I sometimes write a little bit in French too :p an other surprise you let her clothes as I clothed her in the same style. Thank you she’s great and I am glad she’s present there ! A lot of my sims are French /French like ^^.
    I am not vegan but I appreciate teas and tisanes , I also like cookies that are fully vegan. I often brought some. In the next part, she drunk black strawberry tea with cream . I guess it’s made with Darjeeling. I also made a tea place at the Spa from Sunlit Tilde to drink teas and do tea time.
    She’s not fearing pets , she lives with a female cat and a dog and she cares when she can of the others.

    I will write a special post for your second anniversary when I’ll time and I will speaks about this special event in Miss V regular story. C’est formidable it falls now just I finish to write the next mission. I have some words to translate.

    I can’t be disagree with what you said about writting. I write Miss V because I love the sims 3 gameplay I got so much fun with her as detective (private investigator) . I don’t care if people ignore me , I write it for myself first. I choose English to avoid me to forget the few I know.

    I am sorry you lost followers for having new stories in your mind. I won’t unfollow you for choosing to wrote on some projects. People who follows me write different kind of stories using ts3 and ts4 I don’t play. I have a large choice of stories despite my small number of followers. I am not a reader in reality.
    I also follow people who are totally different than me. I don’t care if they don’t follow me back or if they won’t read Miss V someday. I am happy to get the like I have got, and the few discussion I have got about my story.

    I am happy to have being part of your second anniversary I am glad to have sent you Miss V .

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend Todd is Vegan. I take the opportunity to jab him about it whenever I can. ^_~

      I think it is really commendable to use writing as a way to work on another language! I know a tiny bit of Japanese, but not nearly enough to actually write a story in it!

      I didn’t loose followers for having new stories in mind, I lost a lot of Cat Chronicles readers because for a long time during 2016, I was unable to update it on a frequent schedule so they just sort of “forgot” about this story and moved on. It happens. That’s the nature of online mediums… you have to have some consistency and I was letting my migraines get the best of me. This is why now I only work on one story and don’t try to juggle more than one project at a time. I know it won’t work for me if I try to write multiple stories at once.

      Thank you for being a part of this!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am not against Veganism as long as it’s people personal choice not forced, plus there are succulent food made without any animal stuffs. I am a meat eater but I am not always often agree for always using meat or animal for everything we eat or we wash , we wear etc.

        Yes if you learn a foreign language you didn’t use it everyday you loose it. I loose Spanish a lot . I badly knew it a little bit I am no more able to write a sentence. I don’t know enough English to write in reality I often use a dictionary to help me to translate.
        I just do it to avoid to loose English because it’s one of the best door open to the world even if French will be important in the future according to the Francophonie Observatory.

        Yes sometimes it’s hard to always being there but I do my best for everybody. I know if someone doesn’t publish everytime there are reasons I respect, it’s probably because I am a slow reader and a slow writer compared to last year I accept people to be slow as well I don’t know. I don’t myself for focusing on many projects because it’s hard to switch on them. Fortunately my bsides are very close to what I am writting.

        I also have often pains not in the head but sometimes you can’t do anything for being better. Pains often win on me too.

        You are welcome. I was very happy to do something back for you. My second blog anniversary will be in November and I probably won’t do anything special.

        I am going to publish my special gift for you , it’s small but I hope you’ll like it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on two years of blogging! :) This is such a great post! I especially love the advice about letting your readers enjoy your work however they want, even when it’s not how you expected them to. I wish you continued success with all your wonderful projects xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Green Cat! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ll admit, as a librarian I’m a deep advocate of allowing readers the freedom to enjoy reading at their own pace and in whatever way makes them comfortable, especially if that is to simply sit in the corners in silence and anonymously read through a work (I see Simlit authors undermine the “silent reader” far too often, when that is simply the most natural way readers pick up a book and read). I also have had a certain bad experience in which I was treated… less-than-idealy by a very popular Simlit author because my own reading style did not meet their own wants and expectations. So valuing each reader and treating them all with the same respect is something I feel very passionately about!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so sorry you had that experience! But I’m glad you were at least able to learn something from it about how to approach your own readers – and thought to share that with the rest of us xx

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Todd Allis says:

    Happy Blogaversary! That rascally squirrel did steal the show. Remind me next year to put some Bitter Apple or CritterCord over the power and Internet cables!

    Being a sounding board for story ideas is always fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That squirrel is just jealous because last year everyone kept leaving the party to give all the attention, because apparently squirrels are far more interesting. Or, you know, everyone has the attention span of Dugg. ^_~

      Like

  10. lisabeesims says:

    Congrats and here’s to another year!

    Liked by 1 person

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