The Liebster Award

Hello, all! I am happy to share that I was nominated for The Liebster Award by two three fellowliebster-award-300-px SimLit bloggers 🙂

This is a fun, pay-it-forward type of award passed around by fellow bloggers to help bring more traffic to some of their favorite blogs that they follow!

If you are nominated for The Liebster Award and choose to accept, write a post about it on your blog in which you…

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog
  2. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you
  3. Nominate 5–11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers
  4. Create your own list of questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it
  6. Post the rules on your blog, so everyone can join in on this community of sharing!

So… here goes! 🙂

Thank you so much to  bluethundakat, Rorygilmore34, and eXokamikaze (whose nomination isn’t “official” yet, but I still want to thank her!)  for nominating by blog! I am so flattered that you guys enjoy my story so much, and I hope that my readers will take the time to check out both of your blogs as well and see your wonderful work!

I will answer your questions further down on this page! 🙂

My nominees:

  1. Rorygilmore34 (whose incredible Legacies of the Sims was the first SimLit I ever fell in love with! We both nominated each other around the same time — too funny, right?)
  2. eXokamikaze (who has a few great SimLit stories on her blog, but my personal favorite is Project L.E.G.A.C.Y! Another one where we found out we were nominating each other around the same time!)
  3. Jes2G (whose blog has so many incredible things to offer (beyond just stories), including wonderful SimLit! I adore F.I.S.H, and she has an amazing legacy going on too!)

My questions for you!:

  1. What inspired you to first start writing SimLit?
  2. What’s your favorite Sims EP (from any game) and why?
  3. What’s your favorite movie?
  4.  If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
  5. What are your top three favorite books of all time? (I know, it’s hard to choose!)
  6. Do you play other video games besides The Sims? What are your favorites?
  7. What was the first concert you ever went to?
  8. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. If you were trapped forever on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?
  10. Who is your favorite literary character and why?
  11. If you were allowed one trip in the TARDIS (or time machine, for non-whovians), where/when would you choose to visit and why?

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My answers for bluethundakat:

What initially inspired you to write the story you were nominated for?

Back when I played TS3 (before I got into SimLit), one of my favorite “stories”/scenarios to play-out was having a child sim grow up to fall in love with their imaginary friend, then work to bring them to life so they could be together.

I started thinking about how I could do something similar to this in TS4, and I got the ghost/ambrosia idea. But the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking “What if things weren’t that simple?” and more and more dramatic twists started getting added until it eventually resulted in Dust to Dust as you know it today!

What is your favorite part about sharing your story?

I love reading all the feedback from readers, and getting the sense that other people really care about these characters and their story as much as I do! It makes the whole thing feel worthwhile 🙂

(Oh, and this will sound horrible, but a secondary thing that I secretly love is seeing readers’ reactions to some of the negative events that happen XD I’m an awful person haha but I’m always on the edge of my seat wondering what people will think of some of these chapters!)

What is your LEAST favorite part about sharing your story (if there is one)?

It’s kind of a side-effect of the second aspect I mentioned above: Seeing readers feel unhappy with how things are going. I know you aren’t supposed to write to please your readers, but I really want everyone to enjoy it and like where the story is going (even through the unhappy times).

I always feel a lot of pressure every time I post, because I fear readers won’t like it!

From where do you pull ideas that you use? Life events, a similar story/show, or just your crazy imagination?

Most of D2D is from my imagination, inspired (at least originally) by the “imaginary friend’ angle, as I’d mentioned!

How many times do you re-write a scene before it becomes the gold you post?

That’s kind of tricky to answer — I don’t really “re-write” anything. What I do is I write a draft continuously, without stopping or re-reading to edit anything. I just “let it flow” (so to speak).

Then, I go back and re-read. Sometimes, I think it’s great and leave it there. Many chapters that you see are the first draft that I was satisfied with! Most of these sorts of chapters are the ones that are “lighter” (if you know what I mean).

But there are others that I meticulously go over again and again, changing and re-changing the wording of a certain line, adding or removing details, etc. These are usually the more intense or dramatic scenes (like fights or very romantic moments). I think the chapter I’ve done the most editing on (so far!) is Lucas and Ev’s breakup chapter.

Have you ever thought about just stopping? For any reason from lack of inspiration to just leaving the readers on a 1,000 foot cliffhanger.

Nope! I am so so so determined to finish this story, you have no idea XD That’s part of why I do daily updates — I force myself to write at least one chapter a day (sometimes 2 or 3, if I miss writing and need to catch up!).

I’ve been writing for years, but in all that time, I’ve only ever finished two stories (one chapter long stories don’t count!). It’s my goal to have Dust to Dust be #3!

Is there any one/thing you would thank for having? That without said person/thing, this story wouldn’t be possible?

The Sims! Such a cliche answer, but true. I’ve always wanted to write a dramatic story like this on my own, but without TS3 and TS4, I wouldn’t have gotten the inspiration to do it this way. 🙂

When do you find is the best time for writing?

Any time, honestly! Sometimes I write in the morning, and sometimes late at night… And any time in-between! When the inspiration hits, as long as my computer is nearby, I start writing! 🙂

If you could re-do any part/scene/episode/chapter of your story, which would it be? Why?

I hate dragging things out to much, but I guess I would have made a few extra chapters where we see Lucas and Evelyn happy together. They were happy for 2-3 years before things started going downhill, but about 90% of that happened “off camera”, and is only thought about afterward.

How long do you think this story will go on for? And if it has already ended, do you think you could ever write some sort of sequel or spin-off?

My original outline of Dust to Dust was only about 32 chapters long. My most recent outline is 72 chapters, and I feel like it will probably be even longer than that! Things I think will take one chapter often end up taking 2 or 3! There is a definite end in sight though… By the end of September, it should be over! (Which will be so bittersweet!)

I don’t think there will be any follow-up to this story — it will just stand on its own 🙂 I admit it will be hard though — I am so attached to these characters, and would love to continue writing about them forever!

However, I will definitely continue writing SimLIt in the future!

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers and fans?

Just a huge THANK YOU to everyone for reading my story and sticking with me, through both the good times and the bad!

Here’s a tidbit I’ve shared before on The Sims forums 🙂 This is the song that inspired the title of my story:

The song is so beautiful, and I feel like you can apply it to both Lucas’ relationship with Evelyn and his relationship with Melanie — That’s what these three main characters have in common — they are all so lonely (in different ways), and find an escape from that loneliness through each other (though we know for Evelyn, it unfortunately does not last!)

The theme of the song, plus the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” (which is all about the cycle of life and death — something that ties in well with my story!) just combined perfectly in my head and ended up becoming the title 🙂

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My answers for Rorygilmore34:

What inspired you to start your blog?

When I first decided to start Dust to Dust (if you check out my answer to bluethundakat’s first question, it will give more insight!), it wasn’t even going to be a real SimLit story! I made the sims, came up with the plot, and played the entire thing out for fun, taking screenshots along the way for my own personal enjoyment.

It wasn’t until afterward that I started thinking about how fun it would be to actually write out the story and post it somewhere. I still had my original save file from when I’d started playing, so I went back and used that to re-play through everything, this time taking more carefully staged screenshots 🙂

As a lurker on the Sims forums, I’d seen some WordPress blogs before and it seemed the best way to share my story, so that’s how it all came together!

What is your favorite pastime?

Besides writing? 😉 Listening to music and playing video games! 🙂

How do you stay organized when you get ideas for your story? Paper and Pen? An App? Post-it notes? Other?

I use a combination of many things! I have a file on my computer that’s nothing but an outline of the story, which I add to periodically as I think of more things to expand upon or details to add.

I also have a note on the Notes app on my phone that I use if I’m ever away from my computer and find inspiration. And I have a paper notebook that I jot down thoughts in on occasion as well 🙂 The ideas from my phone and notebook eventually get transferred to my computer outline, which is the main “hub” of my story’s plan.

How do you keep up with reading all of the blogs that you read?

This will make me sound awful, but I don’t read many blogs! I should read so many more, but I really struggle finding the time to diligently follow many stories. Between WordPress and the forums, I only read about 8 stories… But when D2D is finished and I have more freetime, I hope to check out more!

When you write, do you prefer quiet or noise in the background?

Always quiet. I try and try to write with the TV on or music in the background, but I lose focus so easily! It sounds so boring, but I sit in a completely silent room when I write.

What do you rely on to bring you inspiration?

Hmm… Nothing in particular, really! Honestly thoughts and ideas just kind of come to me at random times. 😛

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?

Haha interesting question! Okay I’m picking Lucas, Evelyn, and Juniper (who is the main character of my side-story (which I really need to update soon…), (Para)Normal Neighborhood).

Juniper would wander around cluelessly, 100% oblivious to the gravity of the situation and thinking that me, Lucas, and Ev (who she will think has a bizarre skin condition that makes her transparent) are now her best friends because we spoke two words to her.

Lucas would promise everyone that he’d get us off the island, then start working himself to death on finding a way to escape. The time would come for a big decision regarding our escape plan and he would spent 8 chapters agonizing over it before finally settling on the obvious-but-less-popular choice. 😛

Evelyn would make excuses for any mistakes Lucas makes and rationalize any questionable decisions on his part. She would divide her time between enjoying the chance for so much alone time with Lucas and moping around sadly/lamenting the helplessness of the situation.

And I would probably end up annoyed by Evelyn’s moping, amused by Juniper’s cluelessness, and enthralled by Lucas’ dreamy handsomness and perfection determination and cleverness 🙂

When did you start playing The Sims?

When I was 11 years old, back when the original game first came out! I’ve been completely hooked ever since.  (Crazy to think I’ve been playing these games for most of my life!)

Do you play non-simming games? If so, which ones?

I love video games! My favorite game series is Mass Effect, but I also love the Fallout and Halo series, Skyrim, Dishonored, Telltale’s Walking Dead & Game of Thrones games, Destiny… There are a few more I play, but those are my top favorites!

Do you have a favorite Sim in your stories?

I am basically in love with Lucas, in case anyone didn’t realize already 😉 Not only is he a good-looking sim (haha) but I really really love his character (even his imperfections). Obviously 99% of “who he is” comes from my writing, rather than the game, but as a consequence of this, I kind of “project” my feelings about the character onto the sim as I play him.

If you could meet any one fictional character who would you pick?

Just one??? Probably Jaime Lannister from the A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I could give him a hug, tell him I know he’s not a monster, and beg for him to fulfill the valonqar prophecy and run away with Brienne 😛

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I will answer eXokamikaze’s questions when she’s done with her Liebster post! 🙂

3 Responses to The Liebster Award

  1. I love your answers to the questions! Especially the deserted island question! You are so right about what every character would do! 🙂 I love it! 🙂 Congratulations on your nomination. I’m so happy to see that D2D will be around for at least 72 chapters (maybe more!) 🙂 And to see that Juniper may get more chapters too! Yay! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jes2G says:

    First of all, thanks again for the nomination! Secondly, I’m really glad you enjoyed F.I.S.H.! Wanna know something? Of all the Sims stories I’m doing, I personally think F.I.S.H. is the one I’ve struggled with the most! If I didn’t love Melody & River so much, I probably would have stopped writing it shortly after I started. It’s also the least popular. Well, it used to be before book club! So, to know that so many people are enjoying what I felt was my Achilles heel…wow! It’s coming back really soon!

    Ok, your answers!

    What inspired you to first start writing SimLit?

    I had heard about legacy stories in TS3. I never seriously looked into it, but the times I did read the rules, I thought it was too complicated and I wasn’t interested. Then, TS4 came out and I joined the forums. I took a look at the stories & legacies thread and saw that SimsLit was a HUGE thing. I started checking out stories and thought that it was the coolest thing ever. Then I checked out the rules for TS4 legacies and thought it didn’t sound terribly hard, so I decided to try it. I actually wasn’t going to write a story originally. I just wanted to play. But, I know me. I knew there was a high possibility that I would abandon the challenge the first time I got bored, so I decided to do a story to have a reason not to quit. I’m more apt to do something when people are counting on me than to do something for myself. So, I suppose you could say that I created my own accountability system!

    What’s your favorite Sims EP (from any game) and why?

    Gosh! There are so many, and I had them all! Ok, I’m gonna pick two because I never follow the rules :-p I was dying to have Generations because although I never did a legacy, I always played with families. I also loved…oh gosh, the name just flew out of my head! The one where you could have a singer and send your Sims on tour. I used to love the professions, and I love music, so I always had singers.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    I’m not sure if I have just one. Let’s see. One movie that I talk about often is Madame X (1966). My mom got me into old movies when I was a teen 🙂

    If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

    Ummmmm…can I be a professional SimsLit writer? Please? 😀

    What are your top three favorite books of all time? (I know, it’s hard to choose!)

    Ack! It’s hard for me to pick favorites of anything! Especially this because I don’t read much. Ok, when I was a pre-teen, I read Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume twice. In high school, I enjoyed The Great Gatsby a lot. As an adult, I got into non-fiction and self-help type books. I enjoyed one called God: As He Longs For You to See Him by Chip Ingram.

    Do you play other video games besides The Sims? What are your favorites?

    I like gaming, but I’m not a gamer, if that makes sense. Like, I don’t have a console, and I don’t have any of the big named PC games; but I like the idea of gaming. I have other games, but I haven’t played them since TS4 has been out. I like SimCity, racing, and puzzle games.

    What was the first concert you ever went to?

    Whoa. That was a loooooooong time ago! I was like…six or seven? My family went to go see a trumpet player named Phil Driscol.

    When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A teacher!

    If you were trapped forever on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?

    Oy. I think I’d just die. Solar powered satellite radio–hopefully that’s a thing lol–a fishing rod, and a friend. Ha! lol, no way I’m being trapped alone!

    Who is your favorite literary character and why?

    I honestly have no clue.

    If you were allowed one trip in the TARDIS (or time machine, for non-whovians), where/when would you choose to visit and why?

    I wouldn’t want to go back too far because, well, I’ve got to have plumbing and electricity LOL. I think it would be cool to visit the roaring 20s and see what it was all about.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ninjapigsims says:

    Hello! Thanks once more for the nomination! I’ve finally got around to posting my super-long Liebster Award acceptance post, so feel free to answer my questions/or not as you see fit! 🙂

    I really enjoyed reading your answers by the way! It gives us a huge inside look into the creative process of your stories.

    Like

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