Liebster Award

Updated August 29, 2017

We’re getting Liebsterized! And Liebsterized again! And again!

The Liebster Award is a pass-it-forward, blogger-to-blogger movement designed to draw attention to the blogs we love. I call it the “Love It” award.

Our good Simming and blogging friend Jes2G announced her Liebsterization when she launched her new site in early May 2015. Since the Liebster Award is a pay-it-forward designation, I was fortunate to be selected as one of Jes2G’s nominees. Thanks, Jes2g! It’s an honor to have been nominated by you! 🙂

Jes2G’s amazing, beautiful, intelligent, heart-felt blog is Stories by Jes2G.

And the ever-optimistic and joyful lovesstorms has also nominated Goofy Love! Lovesstorms’ There Goes the Neighborhood features a completely rebuilt Oasis Springs and Willow Creek, populated with humorous, intriguing, and quirky Sims from EA Forums members. The stories are delightful and funny! Lovesstorms also writes a Sims 3 Wishacy, the Ramsey Wishacy, which is a classic! Thanks so much for nominating me, lovesstorms! The answers to your questions are after the answers to Jes2G’s questions.

And RosemaryMariee (author of Noble Doubt, whose weekly updates have become a Saturday treat), TheoriesofHappiness (author of Cornucopia of SimLit , where  you can find rich, complex stories) and peatock/losebetter (the author of the charming and intriguing Velasco Legacy) nominated this blog for the award in June 2017. You can read my answers to RosemaryMariee’s questions here, my answers to TheoriesofHappiness’s questions here, and my answers to peatock’s questions here. Thanks so much for these nominations!

And now, in July 2017, here’s a nomination from AdamsEve, who writes amazing, interconnected stories with rich lore over at The Krazy Life of Kass. You can read my answers to AdamsEve’s questions here. And in August, a nomination from Asaoyoru, who’s writing one of my current favorite legacies, Music of Life. Here are my answers to Asaoyoru’s questions.

Accepting the nomination comes with these conditions:

1. Post the award on your blog.

2. Thank the blogger who presented the award and link back to their blog.

3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers whom you feel deserve this award and have fewer than or equal to 3,000 followers.

4.  Answer 11 questions posted by the nominator, and ask your nominees 11 questions.

My Nominations

Happily, the pay-it-forward aspect of this award lets us invite others to become fans of the blogs we love. Many of the blogs I love have already been nominated by others (or will be soon)–so if you know I love your work, and you’re not on this list, that’s why! Here are my nominations which I hope you will come to enjoy, too.

  1. bbqpenguinwingsTrish for A Penguin’s Adventures in Simming: Featuring the Knight Legacy and Get to Work vignettes, I love both the storytelling and the visual elements of this blog.
  2. caitlin8824 for Simmerworld: I am so in love with this blog! This young Simmer and writer shares the lives of her Sims through a legacy challenge, an orphan challenge, and a Wonder Child challenge.
  3. carovnamaruska for Truly Curly Disney Legacy:  This Disney Legacy is so sweet and so well-written! The characters are charming–and beautiful!
  4. Eddie Sims for Sloane Legacy: I love this legacy so much! The Sims are complex, and Eddie portrays each with such love and compassion! (Plus, Eddie Sims is one of the most avid Sims blog readers I know–I’ve got to find out how she keeps up!)
  5. fooliz for Katz in the Cradle: This lovely and funny blog contains so many delightful literary devices, such as weaving a specific theme (like fishing or “the snowball effect”) through a post. Through this, the story of the legacy family helps us reflect on all the various parts of our own lives that are not in our control but that we try to make sense of anyway.
  6. martymor for Sims on Paper: martymor’s “The Willow’s Way” is a compassionate, loving portrait of a struggling family and the kind souls who help them find their way back when they get lost. In addition to this story, told in comic style, marty’s Tumblr has other Sims stories and sometimes also features his amazing and inspiring artwork! I’m always uplifted by marty’s work.
  7. MeggleSims for the Ikeda Legacy: One of the first legacies I followed. It’s almost over! Meg’s Sims are amazing–smart, intelligent, very autonomous! (Aya, in the Houseful of Hippies, comes from this lineage.)
  8. raerei for Raerei’s Fortress: A gamer’s paradise! Raerei’s blog features Sims stories, plus minecraft and skyrim posts. I love it for the inside-gamer’s perspective it shares.
  9. seraphaeili for What are you even doing?: This Backwards ISBI for TS3 has some of the most amazing autonomous Sims I’ve seen. (Plus, the wife of the gen. 1 torch holder is Layla Lufti! How cool is that!) And I love the way that this blog is written. If you love Simmers who don’t give up in spite of game-crashes, computer crashes, school-life-work obligations, and the passage of time, you’ll adore this inspirational blog!
  10. simscoffeeandsunshine for Tale of Seekers: I love the home page on this blog which always presents some gaming/Simming insights from the Simmer! And the story of the legacy family is told with love and care.
  11. The Storysimmer for Around Aleaton: An engaging, random neighborhood rotation with Sims 2. Beautiful, fascinating, and endearing Sims!

Answers to Jes2G’s Questions

1. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m going to cheat on my answer to this one! One of my main focuses in life is health, and a varied diet is so essential to maintain a healthy body… so, my one meal will be a great big platter of sauteed veggies! Kale, carrots, broccoli, butternut squash, snow peas, green beans, English peas, cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, squash blossoms, Brussel’s sprouts, purple cauliflower, and okra, with onions, garlic, and ginger. Seasoned with basil, oregano, and thyme. On the side are three grains: quinoa, kasha, and amaranth. Sprinkled on the top are ground pumpkin seeds and tamari. This way, I can eat some veggies and some grains some days, and others on other days, and still get the variety I need! Ha!

2. Can you write with music on?
Absolutely! If it’s classical music. Often when I write, we’ve got Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky or Clara Schumann playing in the background, and sometimes, Jim plays the piano while I’m writing. I also often write in silence. Classical music tends to help me focus–and silence helps me hear the words, so both work well for me!

3. How/why did you begin blogging?
I started blogging in September 2014 as a way of inspiring me to (finally) finish a legacy. I’d started a legacy in TS2 and I posted the story on the Sims site back then (remember those slide shows?), but it was so tedious with our slow internet connection back then to upload the stories that I lagged out around generation five. Then, with TS3, I had a few legacies posted on the Sims site–but one legacy bugged out at gen 4 and the other story was removed because someone objected to the content. (Bummer–I thought I was G-rated!) So when I decided to try a TS4 legacy, I thought that if I blogged it, I would be inspired to continue the legacy all the way to the end, and I knew that if it were a blog, I’d be the one in charge of the content, so I wouldn’t have to worry about it being removed. It’s been an incredible experience–I had no idea how rewarding I’d find it. The best part is connecting with other bloggers and Simmers.

4. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Total introvert. I need regular solitude and turning inward to recharge. I am always picking up the emotions and thoughts of those around me, so if I’m with more than five people at a time, I will require a fair amount of time in nature or playing music to relax and let the others’ feelings and thoughts flow out of me. Simming and blogging are perfect activities for sensitive introverts (as I’m sure most of you reading this will agree!)

5. Describe your dream vacation.
I’ve been lucky and have worked hard and carefully to set up my life so that it feels like a vacation most days. I love a little structured time and time to do projects for others. I love daily tasks like cooking, gardening, and washing dishes. I love time for writing, gaming, playing music, spending time with Jim, walking and doing yoga, and just hanging out. This is what my dream vacation is–and I get to live it almost every day!

6. So…you’re a famous author now. What’s your life like? (e.g. Do you write all day? How do you spend your time?)
It’s pretty much like it is now.

7. Mac or Windows?
My heart is Mac and my mind is Windows!

8. Summer or Winter?
I love whichever I’m currently living. In the winter, I love not being hot and being able to go for a walk outside at any time of day! In the summer, I love the summer rains and listening to the toads. Each has its beauties.

9. What is your least favorite household chore?
I enjoy most chores–I love to sweep the floor, wash dishes, and I adore cooking. Fixing leaking faucets makes me nervous, so it would be my least favorite.

10. If you could be any character from a book or movie, who would you be?
I can think of three: Janie Mae Crawford from Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Dorothea Brooke from George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. These three characters came to my mind almost instantly–and I’d be happy to be any of them, which leads me to wonder, what do they have in common that draws me to them? Each is strong, independent, authentic, and striving to live a life as true as possible to who she is in spite of obstacles and lack of acceptance from those around her. And each one ends up, like I so gratefully have, with the love of her life who sees who she is at her core and loves her for it.

11. Does it bother you that there are 11 questions and not 10??
Absolutely. I’ll feel a little off all day. Couldn’t we have had ten?

Answers to lovesstorms’ Questions

1. When you write, do you choose the computer or paper/pen?
These days, I nearly always choose to write on the computer. I have drafted a few novels in notebooks, and I loved the scratch of the pen on the paper and that tangible sense of the words flowing. Then later, I’d transcribe the text into the computer, editing and revising as I went. I like that approach for works that I know will have multiple drafts. Currently, my reading synapses feel plugged in to electronic media: I read mostly on my nook and on the computer these days. And that affects my writing synapses, too, that seem to flow in a much more direct current when I write on the computer.

2. Do you write your story ahead of time, then take photos (if you have any)? Or do you take photos, then write?
Unless I’m writing a piece for a specific purpose, like the Story of the Month or a super-short contest (See “Madrona in the Middle,” “Spring Again for the First Time,” and “Mr. Higgins“),  then I will generally play the game, taking screenshots as I do, and watching the story unfold while I play, then write. Now and then, I will find that a specific Sim seems to be helping me explore specific themes (Silduun does this all the time!), so I might draft a few paragraphs first, then go into the game to see how the game and the Sim will help me explore this theme further.

3. What made you want to start writing? A book? Life? A person? Other?
Oh, goodness. I grew up with a storytelling sister, a bookworm mom, a research-oriented brother, and a dad who loved to read aloud–stories and books have always been part of my life. As soon as I could hold a crayon, I was drawing illustrations, and as soon as I could form letters, I was writing. It wasn’t anything special–it was just life.

4. What’s a country you’ve always wanted to visit?
You know, I’m very much not a traveler. We traveled a lot when I was a kid, and I’m a home body. My favorite travels are when I sit on the couch and read or when I sit in the garden and daydream.

5. Outside of the Sims, what’s another favorite game you play?
Though I haven’t played for years, I adore Chinese checkers. I also go through phases where I’m addicted to Blick-Block.

6. When you become disinterested in your story/characters, what do you do?
I start a new story! I have so many games going on, and this allows me to rotate from one to another. What’s interesting to me is that it’s the game I’m currently not playing which is the “active” game for me, for there is so much happening in imagination and reflection during the interval when the game is paused.

7. When you write, do you prefer quiet or noise in the background?
Currently, a neighborhood mockingbird has begun singing every night when I do my late-night writing session. That’s my absolute favorite music to write to, the mockingbird’s song. I also enjoy writing with classical music playing (especially string trios or quartets). And I enjoy writing in quiet, also. It’s challenging for me to write when someone is talking to me. My words streams get jumbled!

8. If everyone stopped coming to your blog, would you continue to write and share?
I guess I wouldn’t be sharing, since no one would be there to receive or respond! I think, though, that I would still write–most of the fiction I’ve written in my life has been works that, likely, no one will read. Yet I find the practice of writing it to be so fulfilling. I am most happy, most healthy when I write. Not having readers brings such incredible and joyful liberation! I can write exactly what I want–with the purpose of exploring my own understandings–without exposing myself or fearing rejection. The biggest challenge in writing this blog is having readers. It brings great reward, too–especially when I take what feels like a huge risk for me and someone reads it and says, “I’ve always felt that way and never heard anyone else express it!” But I have to continually unhook myself from the reward of getting “likes” and comments. I have to continually imagine that I have no readers–that I am writing for myself–so I can allow myself the freedom to write the way I want to and to express what I want to express, even though I know that readers might reject what I have to say or come back with a sarcastic or snide comment. I have to put myself out there anyway, so that I can explore what it is that I want to say. If I didn’t have readers, I wouldn’t have to develop this strength of expressing myself at the risk of rejection: I could just write freely. The rewards, however, of both developing that strength and of sometimes reaching someone are so worth it, though! Thank you to everyone who does read my work–even if you are one of the sarcastic readers!

9. Do you have a routine for reading other blogs, like reading until you’re caught up on one, then moving to the next one? Or do you enjoy reading little bits of many stories?
I want to read everything, and there’s so much! It’s hard to keep up. I generally have a few pet projects, works that I really want to be sure to provide timely and encouraging comments on, so I try to read these as soon after they’re updated as I can. With the others, I have a variety of approaches. Sometimes, I’ll go through my email and check out the updates I’ve received notification of. Sometimes I’ll go through my reading list here, just work my way down the list to see if I’ve missed any updates. Sometimes, I’ll choose a new favorite and have it for my before-bed reading for a while.

10. Do you keep a notepad & pen/phone/tablet by your bed for those late night ideas? If so, do you actually get up and write them down?
I don’t. I tend to get most of my ideas while doing dishes or while hanging out in the garden. I’ll usually let the ideas swirl around for a while, then as soon as possible, I’ll start a new post just jotting down the sentences that have been forming.

11. When you write, do you just do a quick glance and post? Or do you take a day or two or more and proofread, move things around, delete, re-write, etc, etc?
It depends on the piece and when I’ve written it. It also depends on if I’m trying something new or challenging. Most blog posts, I write fairly easily, so I just do a preview, proofread, and post. Sometimes, I’ll need to let it sit for a while so I can reflect.

Thanks for these questions, lovesstorms! They really got me thinking!

My Questions for My Nominees

Please feel free to skip any of these questions–or to substitute your own–if any of them feel intrusive, boring, or not interesting.

1. What do you find most gratifying about sharing your Sims’ stories?

2. What’s a moment you had when your playing of Sims (and/or writing about it) helped you to understand life better?

3. What’s one thing you’ve read that has changed your way of experiencing or understanding life?

4. How do you manage to keep up with reading all the blogs that you read?

5. What’s your favorite part about blogging?

6. Describe your favorite walk or a favorite place outside where you like to go to relax.

7. What music inspires you?

8. What do you hope to express in your Sims stories?

9. What’s one of the funniest things that has happened to you or your Sims while Simming?

10. What inspires you to continue Simming and blogging when you think about stopping?

11. What else would you like to share with us that I haven’t asked?