The Liebster Award needs no introduction by now, it’s hit SimLit blogs by a storm! In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been blessed enough to be nominated… six times! Wow… I’m lost for words. It means so much to me that people are enjoying the Bloomers as much as I am!
When I was first nominated, I had quite a decent idea of who I would like to nominate. But, as it happens, life got in the way and before I had a chance to write up my post, all of the bloggers I had been intending to nominate have ended up nominating me over the past couple of weeks. That’s left me in a bit of a pickle! I’ve been mulling over how to go about my Liebster Award post in the light of this and at the end of the day, I’ve decided to change NOTHING.
That’s right, I’m nominating every single person who has nominated me. I realise this is not the correct way to do this, but those who read my story are aware I have problems with following the rules to a T. As far as I’m concerned, the core of the Liebster Award, i.e. spreading the word about the blogs I enjoy, still remains intact in spite of me doing this cartwheel. I stand by my nominations, and the fact these writers happen my story too is just the icing on the cake. What can I say – the love is mutual!
So without further ado, here are my nominations/the lovely folk who have nominated me:
1) carovnamaruska of Truly Curly for her Disney Legacy.
If you enjoy fairy tales, this is the one for you. Maybe it’s because Maruska and I grew up in a similar region, but to me her story really brings back my childhood memories of all the classic stories I grew up with. Her sims make me want to sing (and I’m quite far from your typical Disney character!). I also admire the close attention she gives to naming her sims; while I typically panic whenever a baby is born in my legacy, Maruska chooses the names of her characters carefully and pays attention to their deeper meanings. This blog is definitely a feel good read, and if you haven’t come across it yet I highly recommend it!
2) Rorygilmore34 for Legacies of the Sims
If you read my story, you are probably familiar with Rory’s blog AKA the home of the irresistible Meatballs. But limiting this blog to being the place of origin of everyone’s favourite mafioso would be doing it a disservice! Rory introduces you to the world of Grace, a lovable orphan who will steal your heart from the get go. You will laugh with her, struggle wit her and cry with you. Do keep a box of tissues handy as this story is an emotional one. With season two just about to start, this is the perfect time to start reading.
3) iheartdinosx3 for the Belle Legacy
As you know, this is the new home of the Bloomer twins, and I continue to be amazed by what iheartdinosx3 has done with them; she’s breathed so much life into the girls and given them a story I had no idea they were capable of living! But of course, the stars of the show are the Belles, a family that has already managed to carve out quite a legacy for themselves in spite of only being on generation 3. Head over to this blog and be prepared to meet one of the most charming founders ever, her somewhat impulsive children, and the current evil heir who is bit of a loose cannon… iheardinosx3 has also recently started a series called Simlit TV, where she interviews writers of various sim stories out there (yours truly may or may not be one of the interviewees ;))
4) Julyvee94 of Julyvee’s Sims Stories for the Unusual History of Tribe Arayeo
If you would have told me that one of my ultimate favourite SimLit stories would be an Amazon challenge one a couple months ago, I would not have believed it. And yet, while I generally don’t seek out any Amazon stories, Tribe Arayeo has me waiting for updates impatiently. July is excellent at character development, she makes you understand her sims (even the unlikable ones!) and she manages to keep the story well balanced in terms of humour and drama. And let’s not forget to mention she gave the world Baato, my favourite sim in anyone’s story, period. I loved him so much I had to sneak him into my legacy, after all! July also writes a mystery called Discovery which is based on the room challenge, but the story goes much deeper than that!
At the risk of sounding
mildly obsessive, I am always keen to hear what Jordan has to say… practically on any subject matter. She’s blunt, funny, opinionated and injects her stories with just the right amount of spice. As you can see above, her insights are spread over a fair few blogs. Her Build Newcrest story is probably the closest to my heart, since I love seeing how differently the challenge unfolds for her. The founder has a really unique back story, and Jordan is not afraid to explore her characters’ good and bad sides in equal measure. Although the same could be said of her Johnson legacy, started with no other than her simself. If you are looking for a read with an abundance of sims with rich personalities, park yourself here; there’s six generations to indulge on (well, technically five, but I’ll let Jordan’s blog explain that one!).
6) Summerfalls of Summerfalls Stories for the Devine Legacy
If someone asked me to describe sim stories by Sumerfalls in one word, it would have to be vibrant. Summerfalls is the master of capturing those fleeting moments that you treasure for years – that’s something people easily miss in their own lives, let alone paying attention to it with their sims. He also depicts childhood in the most wonderful fashion. And all of this is accompanied with colourful pictures that just invite you to explore his world. Sumerfalls also writes Greenwood Dormitory, a story based on the Ultimate University Challenge, which is on my to read list. I hear he’s also cooking up a new delicious sounding story, Rocky Road.
Time for my questions – since all of you nominees have already posted their Liebster Award entries, feel free to skip these or update your existing posts, whatever works for you!
- What came first for you, writing or simming?
- If you could describe three of the characters from one of your stories with a song, what would it be?
- What sim from your story do you have most in common with?
- What would you do if you were a sim for a day? (Your player caters to whims and has free will on ;))
- Who is the first sim you remember making?
- Have you ever dabbled in writing that has nothing to do with SimLit?
- What would be the top 3 countries you would like to visit some day?
- Who is your favourite book author?
- If you could be transported into the setting/world described in any book, what would it be?
- What was your all time favourite expansion of any sims game?
- If you could meet any sim from anyone’s story (apart from your own), who would it be?
Now for my answers… there will be 66 overall so feel free to stop reading now or zone out!
Questions from carovnamaruska:
Why did you start blogging?
I’ve had several blogs over the years before this one, and they focused on all sorts of topics. But I think that wanting to share thoughts/stories/tips was always at the heart of it. With this particular blog, I wasn’t even sure where I was going with it at first, I just knew I wanted to write something sims-related. I started off writing reviews, an then when i came across the Build newcrest challenge, the Bloomers came to be.
What is your favourite activity to do with your Sims? (e.g. I love when they slow dance!)
I really like big family celebrations, like birthdays and weddings. It’s great to catch up with all distant relatives and see them do their thing at the party!
Do you play with pre-made sims? If so, who is your favourite?
I used to with the previous games, especially with TS2 – I think the Pleasant twins were my favourites to play, actually, the whole Pleasant family was riot! I’ve not been as inclined to play with premades in TS3 or TS4, but I do like having them around.
Which trait (or aspiration) is closest to your heart?
Let’s see, one of my favourite traits is clumsy, because I’m a huge clutz and it pleases me when my sims are too! As for the aspirations, I probably like Renaissance Sim the best, because I hate only focusing on one thing.
What do you want to express with your Sims Stories?
It differs depending on the particular chapter, but for the most part, I want to have my sims live out the life and take the decisions that suit them, and share the whole experience. I try to tell a story of who the sims really are. Of course, whether this takes them to a good or bad direction is whole other thing…
What do you think is the best thing about The Sims?
Ah, this is hard. I love the unexpected moments that you don’t plan and the sims decide to do on their own/happen accidentally. Also, when I was younger I think my main draw to the game was that it’s basically a virtual doll house, meaning you don’t have to clean up the mess after playing 😀
What are your hobbies except The Sims?
I love to travel (and plan travelling – I completely dork out before any major trip). I also like playing non-sims games reading and visiting castles near to where I live (in other words, I have interests of a granny).
What is your spirit animal?
Something that flies. A quizz I took said I’m a butterfly, but they creep me out a little. So I’d say some kind of a bird. Hopefully a colourful one!
What would be your job if you didn’t have to think about money?
I’d love to be a travel writer. Getting payed to travel the world – who wouldn’t want to do that!
Which historic era would you like to live in?
I’m quite happy living in the present. If I could travel to another era for a short period of time, I’d like to see the 1920s. But I definitely wouldn’t stay for too long, with this decade being stuck right in between the two world wars!
And finally, which Disney princess is your favourite and why? 🙂
Pocahontas. I wish i was as cool as her!
Questions by Rorygilmore:
What inspired you to start your blog?
I got to a point in my life where I suddenly had a lot of free time and a huge urge to express myself a bit more creatively. As I mentioned I did use to have blogs earlier, and I missed having that interactive outlet.
What is your favorite pastime?
If this is measured by the amount of time I spend doing something, it would probably be daydreaming. I tend to space out and wander around imaginary worlds A LOT. Though i’m not sure if that’s considered an actual activity! 😀
How do you stay organized when you get ideas for your story? Paper and Pen? An App? Post-it notes? Other?
I’m very much a pen and paper type of person. I usually jot down my ideas all over random papers – i could definitely be a lot more organised when it comes to my story! Though a lot of it is game-driven, so it doesn’t require as much preparation as story-driven SimLit does.
How do you keep up with reading all of the blogs that you read?
I binge read. There’s a handful of stories that I try to keep up with as updates get published, but for the most part, I wait for the right time and mood and then read a huge chunk out of someone’s story!
When you write, do you prefer quiet or noise in the background?
Quiet. I’m not great with distractions when I write. I know that some people like to listen to music whilst, but I typically like to give the songs that I listen to a fair bit of attention so that wouldn’t work for me.
What do you rely on to bring you inspiration?
Honestly, I don’t prod it in any way. Sometimes, an idea just comes when I’m in the middle of doing something and things just click. But I never really try to force it or induce it. Considering I only write a couple times a week and schedule the updates afterwards, I feel like it’s fine to wait for whenever my mind feels like cooperating.
Quick, you’ve washed ashore on a very small deserted island with no escape with 3 Sims from any of your stories. Who are they and what would happen?
What a great question! I’d probably want Kirk, my legacy’s founder to be there, because he’s quite handy and I feel like he’d find us a shelter, his wife Maranda, because she can cook just about anything, and hnourary legacy member Juanita, because I find her incredibly entertaining.
When did you start playing The Sims?
I think i was about 13, it was around the time when The Sims House Party came out. I’ve been obsessed ever since!
Do you play non-simming games? If so, which ones?
Yes! Though I suck at most of them! I particularly adore the Bioshock series (especially Bioshock Infinite), but I also enjoyed Withcer 3, Octodad and Ico.
Do you have a favorite Sim in your stories?
Yes, but it does change over time, with me writing about a legacy. Each generation brings new favourites. At the moment, my favourite sim is probably Yennefer, the biological daughter by two of my old favourites who has been adopted by my legacy family. She’s a loner, but somehow draws people to her like a magnet, and it’s really interesting to watch.
If you could meet any one fictional character who would you pick?
Probably Harry Potter. I’ve grown up with him and his series, so I’d love to see what he’s up to now.
Questions from iheartdinosx3:
What is the one Sim blog that you follow almost neurotically because you can’t wait for the next update?
All of the above!
What is your favorite Sim from any of your stories?
I think I answered this in Rory’s questions. It does change, and sometimes I have several favourites at a time. But there’s always at least one – I get attached to my sims!
How long did it take for you to get your blog up and running?
Not long at all. I’m quite lucky, my boyfriend hosts my blog on his server, we got the domain registration sorted and then I just picked a free WordPress theme. Though I imagine it wouldn’t have been as easy without getting VIP treatment from my admin/host 😉
How long has your blog been up?
Since June – about two and a half months now.
About how long does it take for you to write a chapter for your story?
That depends on what you consider a part of the writing process. If you count planning, playing, taking screenshots, selecting the screenshots and organising them into chapters as well, it could be quite long. I usually figure out what I want to say in the chapter whilst picking my screenshots and putting them into a order that flows well, so I normally have a pretty good idea of what I want to say when the literal writing starts. If you only count the actual typing part, it’s not too long once I have everything ready, it’s not long at all. Probably about half an hour.
Where do you do most of your thinking?
On the go. I don’t really designate a specific time to planning out my story, but f I get an idea that seems to make sense, I work it in. For the most part, my story isn’t all that planned at all though – I like to keep it spontaneous and let the sims guide me!
What’s your favorite food?
Only my Czech readers will know this one, it’s a Czech dish called svíčková. It’s a very heavy meal consisting of meat (traditionally this would be beef), a delicious creamy sauce and yummy dumplings. It’s heaven on a plate – but so unhealthy!
Do you play any games other than The Sims? If so what game are you working on finishing right now?
I already answered this one earlier. I am sort of on the lookout for a new game that will grab me. I look forward to the release of Mafia 3 and No Man’s Sky, whenever that finally happens.
If you could choose any place to live in the world, where would it be?
I’d like to live in many places consecutively. I’ve actually lived in 4 different countries so far. Me and the generation three heir’s wife Lilah have a lot in common!
If you could bring one of your Sims to real life, who would it be?
Yikes, probably none of them – what if they’re not happy with the life I’ve designed for them! Definitely not Cassiel!
What is your favorite thing to do in your freetime?
I think I sort of answered this one already too 🙂
Questions from Julyvee:
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing as long as I an remember. Even as a child I always had notepads where I liked to write stories, and I drew little comics series. I’ve always enjoyed coming up with characters and bringing them to life, which The Sims series have made incredibly easy for me.
Why SimLit and not just normal writing?
Simple, I love The Sims and I love to write. Combining the two seemed natural! That being said I do other kinds of writing too. But at the moment I’m finding this particular blog the most fun.
Did you ever get really emotional about your own story?
It did happen to me a couple of times, in particular when I wrote The Best Night of Your Life, The Case of a Lifetime and Villain Interlude Part 2. Writing those chapters did move me, because each of them is very emotional in their own way. But the feeling didn’t linger for that long. It’s important to be able to move on quickly when it comes to The Sims.
What do you prefer: simple praise or constructive criticism?
Can I say something in between? I like it when my readers tell me about how they feel about the events of the chapter and how they’ve interpreted what happened. I don’t think I’m after literary critisism per say, because I don’t really see my legacy as a piece of writing, I’m merely sharing the story of my sims, so I’m not that bothered about the form.
But I always like to see more in depth comment than something along the lines of “Great chapter!”. I want to know what exactly my readers liked or disliked. I actually enjoyed when many people said Cassiel made them angry in a recent chapter. I want my story to spark up emotions!
How long did it take you to decide on a theme and design your blog?
Honestly it was incredibly quick. I went through a page of free WordPress themes, picked one that I thought would work, customised the background image, and that was that 🙂
How many other blogs do you follow at the moment?
I think it’s around 10 that I try to keep up with on a regular(ish) basis. I also have a to read list of stories I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
What do you like best about your story (or one of them)?
Probably the uniqueness of each of the sims in the story. Each of the Bloomers (and their extended family) have been very different so far, and that keeps me interested in them. I never know what the next generation will bring!
Which character from your stories did you think about most before writing?
Cassiel. But not necessarily because I found her difficult to write, more because I have a strange fascination with her. She is the reason for the Lollipop Lair subplot, I was so intrigued by her I really wanted to give her more space within the story.
Is there any sim in your stories who you struggle to write? If so, why?
I think I never gave Ruby a lot of prominence in my story after her resurrection. That was partially due to me being so focused on Isaac, but partially because I didn’t fully know how to write her. She was a cheerful goofball, but has been through so much in her life that it didn’t seem quite right. So I ended up avoiding focusing too much attention on her.
Which character do you enjoy writing most?
I love them all! I enjoyed writing about Isaac’s transition and character development, about Erica’s romantic dreams of her teen years, about Lilah’s struggle with settling down, about Cassiel’s evil plan… At the moment I am really enjoying Yenn – she’s very enchanting without even trying!
When did you start writing or reading simlit?
I read a lot of SimLit stories back in TS2 and TS3 days. I didn’t read much of TS4 SimLit until a couple months ago, when I decided to give writing a go. The SimLit writing community is amazing, there’s so many talented writers out there!
Questions from Jordan:
Who inspires you?
This will sound really cheesy, but it’s my boyfriend. He loves what he does, his job is his passion and he is always eager to take on side projects that fulfill him. I strive to be like that.
What is your favorite book genre and why?
I like fantasy and sci fi books. I enjoy being transported into a whole different world, when this is done well it’s such a great escape from everything!
What is your all-time favorite piece of writing? (Can be a novel, poem, short story, SimLit story, anything.)
The Harry Potter series. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up with these books; I always got incredibly excited when a new book in the series came out and devoured each of the new installments in about a day. It’s not high literature, but I’ve never gotten as excited about any other book.
Who is your all-time favorite fictitious character? (Can be a Sim, or a character from a book, video game, movie, anything.)
Elizabeth from the Bioshock Infinite game. She’s amazing.
What is your motivation to keep writing when you lose interest, or do you just stop writing?
Generally I don’t try to force it. I have another blog that I’ve been neglecting a bit in the past couple of weeks, because I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m not sure how I feel about writing when the passion isn’t there, I feel like it would have a major impact on the quality of the piece.
If you could live in any fantasy world, which would it be and why?
When I was younger I used to play Second Life, and I would always go to a place called Metateria in there and sit on a giant mushroom. It was this beautiful elven fantasy world full of breathtaking colours, unusual pants and creatures and celtic architecture. A magical place to escape to. So probably there.
If you could live anywhere in the real world, where would it be and why?
I already answered this. I’d like to live in many places for a short period of time. Some that come to mind are Australia, Scandinavia and the Netherlands.
Aside from Simming and writing, what are your hobbies?
I also answered this one in charmingmaruska’s questions.
What music do you like to listen to when you write (if any)? What music to you like to listen to when you aren’t writing?
I don’t listen to anything during writing, but I do like to listen to music before. I have songs that remind me of certain characters from my story, so I often go for that before writing. To name a few, George Ezra, Hozier, Sia, Lorde… Oh, and Sufjan Stevens! His song Chicago makes me think of Lilah.
Are you detail-oriented or more of a “big picture” person? Does this affect or show up in your writing?
I’m not detail-oriented at all! I’d love to be, but I think I usually go for an overarching feeling or a certain story concept I have in mind, and fine tune the details later. The Sims are great help with that, because if I have a general idea of where I’d like to take things, they give me the smaller bits themselves. Though my legacy is mainly determined by my sims and their personalities anyway, whenever I do include scripted stories it’s only because the characters have inspired me to move the story in a certain way.
How well do you balance “real life stuff” (work, school, other hobbies, etc.) with Simming and writing/reading SimLit? Any tips for those of us (me) who aren’t so well-balanced?
I’m not the best to give tips on that at all, because I have an obsessive personality. If I do find balance some day I’ll let you know! 😀
Questions from Summerfalls:
What inspired you to write?
I think I had that one in the last set of questions 🙂
Coffee or Tea? Milk? How many sugars?
I like both. When I say tea I generally mean green tea though. No milk and no sugar in either.
What is the best moment you’ve had while playing any Sims game?
Oh, that’s a hard one! There have been so many wonderful moments over the years. I suppose the very best one was when I got the first Sims game and played my first session ever. I was hooked than and there.
What is your dream job?
Travel writer (I think I answered this one already as well!)
What do you like to do in your free time?
I definitely answered this one!
Say the first word that comes to your mind after you read this word: “Plumbob”
My blog! 😀
Name your top 5 pieces of fiction to read! (Novels, SimLit — I don’t mind!)
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (duh)
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald
If you could live in the world of Sims, what lot would you move into and how would you live?
Ooh I like this one! I’d move onto the lot where Oakenstead is in Willow Creek, but build my own house. Something fairly modern with many big windows, but furnished with a mix of old and new furniture. I’d like to go to the little beach strip in front of the property and watch the sunsets there. I’d work on my Renaissance Sim aspiration and maybe open a business in Magnolia Promenade. Once Get Together is out I’d probably move to Windenburg though! I’d probably end up having a kid (or 3), hopefully with the sim version of my boyfriend.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer to someone who’s new at writing SimLit?
Dive into it, even if you’re not sure. Publish a post even if you’re not sure if you’re writing is good enough. Just go for it, you’ll improve along the way!
The Gods have spoken! You have to sacrifice one of your main characters from any of your stories. Who would you choose and why?
Oh man, I can’t do that! I love them all so much! Even the evil ones…
Finally, why do you like writing SimLit?
Because it allows me to combine my love of writing with my love of The Sims. I also love the community aspect of it, getting to bond with other Sim Lit writers. I love sharing my sims’ stories with the simming community!