Freezer Bunny Book Club – New Selections Each Week
Join us at the EA Forums each week as we share conversations about the week’s selected reading. Our conversations are guided by thoughtful questions on Friday during Coffee Hour (which lasts all day and often spills over into the weekend). You’re also welcome to drop by the Book Club anytime during the week to share your responses and insights. Hope to see you there!
Back before I was so busy…
I used to keep this up with my thoughts and reviews of stories I was currently reading. Now, the Reading Circles and Book Club at the EA Forms have taken over that niche for me. If you’re interested in looking back at the 2015 spring and summer trends, feel free to look through these past entries!
The Summer of the Real – 07/04/15
This summer, reality shows rule. Check out all the fun reality and game shows that Simmers are blogging this summer!
Here are a few that I’m especially enjoying:
AkramA’s Big Brother
Carewren123’s Get a Clue
Jes2G’s Crazy Brady’s Boot Camp
Sunny Shay’s Love Shot: A Bachelorette Challenge
Vanity High’s Blind Date
Call for Submission – 05/26/15
Wilderwolf is starting up a literary journal for SimLit which will be available for free through Amazon. This is a great opportunity for Simmers who love to write. Fiction and nonfiction are accepted, and the focus will be on literary works that explore Simming and its connection with our lives. For more details, including how to submit work, see Wilderwolf’s Tumblr. Submissions for the first issue are accepted through June 30, 2015. Wilderwolf is also looking for people to help put the journal together, so email him (his email address is listed on his Tumblr) or get in touch with him at his thread on the EA Sims Forums if you’d like to help out!
My Current Obsession – 05/12/15
You know how sometimes a Sim story gets inside your imagination, and you think about it all the time, and you get so excited when a new chapter comes, even though you haven’t even yet gone all the way back and caught up from the beginning, so you’re still wondering who exactly is whom half the time? That’s just how I feel about seraphaeili’s What are you even doing?, a Backwards ISBI with a hilarious proper world-traveling torch holder named Exra (pronounced “Ezra”) d’Amore who married Layla Lufti–yes, THE Layla Lufti, and yes, this is a Sims 3 story. (And he married Layla after having a child with Layla’s sister Mena–this child, the incredible Amal, has grown up to have her own spin-off challenge, also featured on this same blog.) So what’s so amazing about this blog? Well, besides the incredible, adorable, fascinating, amazingly autonomous ISBI Sims, the game-play and writing is delightful and inspiring! seraphaeli is such a champ with TS3. Yup. It destroys her computer. No prob–she gets a new one. Yup. It glitches, like every few minutes. Not a big deal–reset the game! Play on! Yeah. Lost a save. Lost three. No big deal. Play back from like the very beginning, all over again. Yeah, there’s all sorts of romantic complications, and odd friendships, and alien abductions, and imaginary friend obsessions–and did I mention the glitches? Not to mention that life steps in and college needs to be graduated from and a new college started and there’s all sorts of other life events, so sometimes there are big lapses right in the middle of a chapter. No. Big. Deal. Play on! That’s what I love about my current obsession, “What are you even doing?” It inspires me to keep on playing, keep on writing. And I’m laughing out louder than I have in a long time! Thanks for writing it and sharing it with us, seraphaeli.
Show Your Support For Sims Storytellers – Vote! – 05/03/15
EA is once again sponsoring the “Story of the Month” contest (actually “Story of the Quarter”). Through a poll on the EA Sims Forums, readers select their favorite Sims 4 story, and the winning writer creates a short post from this story to be featured on the official EA site!
“Goofy Love” was fortunate enough to be selected for the winter contest–it was such a great experience, through which I really enjoyed finding lots of Simmers and Sims storytellers.
For this round, seven amazing and excellent stories are up for consideration:
The Amazon Challenge: Tribe Wahine (Available on the EA Sims forums)
Any of these stories would be a great choice–they’re all top-rate Sims 4 stories, written by amazing storytellers and Simmers.
As of the morning of May 3, only 30 people have voted! We’d love to get more votes to show EA how much we value and appreciate the storytelling component of this game. If you’re a member of the forums, please vote for one of these stories!
The poll closes “sometime in the morning” (PDT) on May 8–so get your vote in by May 7, just to be sure your vote is counted!
Teen-Theme for the April Super-Short Contest – 04/20/15
SimsWriters.com features a teen-theme in their April Super-Short Story contest. Super-shorts are stories of 500-800 words supported with two screenshots from the Sims. This theme has inspired creative, poignant, and hopeful stories from 11 writers at SimsWriters. Each of us explored the ways that teens often feel different than those around them and the sense that teens so often have that there is no room for their authentic self in this adult world into which they are moving. Yet the teens in these stories find ways to develop and share their unique voices so that they can make their own individual contributions. While the winning story will be shared with the public, only members can read and vote on the stories during the contest. If you’re not already a member, you may find it worth joining this free site for Simmers simply in order to be able to read these moving and uplifting stories.
Wrapping Ups – 04/12/15
Three of the TS4 stories I’ve been loving for a while are beginning to wrap up. All readers know that sadness of reaching the end of a favorite novel–and I feel a bit of that as these stories near their conclusions–yet there’s also an excitement, especially when we imagine how proud and satisfied the writers will feel as they bring these stories to a close.
Ana Pringle was one of the first TS4 stories I began to follow, way back in September 2014. Originally a 100 Babies Challenge story, this story took a turn when Ana Pringle’s strong, caring, free-spirited, and loving personality convinced her author/Simmer Carewren123 that she had a different destiny in mind. Now, it’s a story of one big happy family: the goal of 100 children has been let go of, replaced with a supportive and loving family. Through the S-GAS events, Ana Pringle began to enjoy experiencing herself independently from her identity as wife and mother, and Carewren123 came to the decision that the original Ana Pringle story had reached the point of completion. Now, through a series of chapters in which we get to see Ana’s children as young adults, many with families of their own, Carewren123 is drawing the story to a close in a typically Ana-Pringle heart-warming fashion. The exciting news is that the completion of this story opens up room for new stories by Carewren123, which may feature some of our favorite Carewren123 Sims, including Karen Wontothree, Willow Wood, and even Ana, herself. And for more of the inspiration from Carewren, be sure to check out Wren’s Nest, her apocalypse challenge.
Megglesims’ Ikeda Legacy has reached generation 9. Oh, my. I’ve loved this legacy so much! Such beautiful, smart, and talented Sims! Many of us legacy players have noticed that by generation 5, the Sims become amazing–sparkly with intelligence, talent, and what can only be called Sim-awareness. Aya, in A Houseful of Hippies, came from the Ikeda Legacy for Plum Day–and because she’s so awesome, we kept this copy of her! Back in her home legacy, she is a beautiful and distinguished elder, overseeing the rearing of the gen 9 kids. As a reader of a legacy that has reached generation 9, I feel appreciation and gratitude–what a treat it is to get to take part of the completion of the legacy challenge!
SummerFalls is finishing up his Wonder Child story. The game-play has been completed–resulting in an amazing score for his talented Leliana–and now he is wrapping up the final chapters. So many mysteries will be revealed! A delightful aspect of single-generation challenges, like the Wonder Child challenge, is that they open up so many different ways to tell the story. SummerFalls has brought in intrigue and mystery, in addition to the delightful day-to-day events that fill the life of a family with bright and sensitive children.
Back on my hard-drive, I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the forest that is my Room Challenge, Walden Once More. Two more Sim-weeks (which is about the equivalent of two game-play sessions) and Henrietta will have probably earned the needed funds to begin construction for the completion of her Mansion Baron aspiration. And once this challenge is complete, she’s ready for her new adventure running the Emerson Institute for Children!
Read, Nominate, and Vote! – 04/03/15
The first round of the Spring Story of the Month contest is underway on the forums. During round one, forum members nominate stories to be considered, and the five recommendations with the most votes will them make the poll for round two.
You’ll likely see many of your favorites there already, waiting for you to “like” them. And if not, there’s still time to make nominations, as round one closes on April 10.
Showing your support for the nominated stories is a great way to let the SimGurus know that you value SimLit–the more “likes” the stories get, the better!
All About Learning – 03/27/15
Two adventures in SimLit reading that I really enjoyed this week have a learning focus.
Carewren123’s S-GAS Science Thread presents a three-part exploration of science–from a game-aware Sim’s perspective! Drawing from her player’s experience as a science teacher, Karen Wontothree first defines science, considering its scope, and then opens the floor to intriguing questions, such as “How can a building just plop out of nowhere onto the ground?” and how can Sims carry so much in their inventories? Through her answers, Karen introduces the concepts of Live Mode/Build Mode and ISWP: “Infinitesimal Simsma Wave-Particles.” I finished reading the session feeling like I’d learned a lot, and this is one set of posts I’ll be returning to!
AkramA is taking on the Wonder Child Challenge! His Landgraab’s Wonder Child is told from the player’s perspective, documenting the experience of playing the challenge and loaded with tips! I’d recommend anyone tackling this challenge to read this account to learn one player’s approach. AkramA’s use of funny conversations bubbles in the illustrations moves the plot along. Fans of Rose Fletcher and Dandre will be happy to see that they’re the parents! AkramA also, inspired by my This Week in SimLit feature, has developed his own creative take on it with Whims, a SimLit mag! Definitely worth checking out if you’re a SimLit fan!
True Spring Arrives – 03/20/15
With spring, it seems that more SimLit writers may be finding time to play outdoors, rather than staying in playing Sims and writing all day. This opens time and space to reconnect with old favorites and discover new ones.
The Tesla Legacy begins with a founder much like my Cedar Bough–a goofball who loves the outdoors, only this one is cheerful, rather than creative. The family’s currently in generation four, but because of a restart forced by a lost save, Alexander Goth and other premades are able to join in with this already established family. The story is told with humor and love, and some of the spares have recently relocated to FloorRaisin/WhatthePlum’s Wolff Clan galaxy, which adds a lovely sense of connection throughout the Simsphere.
KatzintheCradle by Foolicania provides another happy look at premades joining the legacy fam. This legacy is still in the early generations, so if you start reading it now, you’ll be able to keep up with all the Katz family adventures from here on out!
And, though I’ve wrapped up my portion, the S-GAS phenomenon continues over in Eric Lewis Prime’s genius world of Le Dynastie d’Angers, the warm and funny Hella Good, the quietly hilarious Fletcher Legacy, the brilliant Sims and Such, the cheerful SummerFalls’ Stories, and the joyful Carewren123’s Stories. It’s a bit of an Alice-In-Wonderland experience to see the Sims we know and love from each other’s stories meeting, interacting, and getting into mischief in all these worlds across the digital universe. It is definitely an event.
I’ve Been Consumed by GAS! – 03/05/15 & 03/12/15
Wait–am I really not only a Sim currently going to events in the S-GAS Transformation Thread?
Oh! I guess not! I am also a reader of SimLit! Yeah, I’ve been immersed in S-GAS and it’s been fun.
I’ve also really been enjoying two newly redone SimLit websites, dougsbaby12’s Sim Tales Woven and Vanity High’s Vanity High The Sims 4 Stories. This new trend (aroseinbloom, Carewren123, and Joel/SummerFalls, along with others, also have anthology-type sites) provides an easy and engaging way to keep up with all of a writer’s Sims stories. I love the rich feel that these multi-story websites provide. Have fun reading, Simmers!
Spring Bursts Out in Feb! – 02/25/15
Inspiration is bursting out all over the SimLit world! (Check out Joel (aka SummerFalls)’s enthusiastic and insightful essay on Simming and Inspiration.)
Great news! Kaleeko is back with two amazing comics, Ripples in Paradise and Home for the Holidays. You can find these on the Forums or on her Tumblr, i’m your huckleberry.
One of my current favorites, Just a Click Away, continues with engaging and moving chapters. This story is so well-written, and the Sims are beautifully expressive!
The big excitement in the storytelling community at the EA Sims Forums is the SIMposium for Game-Aware Sims (S-GAS). This idea started just a week ago when Sunnyshay, after posting Leonora’s biography, mentioned that Leonora might be the only Sim that knew she was a Sim. This prompted me to reply that I had a whole game of Sims who know they’re Sims, as does JordanNicolleJJ’s current heir, Fey. “Hey, we should hold a convention (a gaming convention) for our Sims that know they are Sims!” I joked. And Sunnyshay and JordanNicolleJJ thought it sounded like a great idea. We shared it with our wrimmingfun friends–and now here we are, one week later, and this crazy mash-up is actually happening.
ARoseinBloom created the website for it, which is so professional and so easy to use–complete with online registration! The collaboration in this project–which is just for our fun and delight–has surpassed any project I’ve worked on, professionally or avocationally. There’s been no fighting, no egos–just chiming in with fun and delight! It helps tremendously that one of our leaders, ARoseinBloom, has a graduate degree in leadership and organization management.
From crazy idea, to full-blown inspiration, this thing is actually happening!
The inspiration, joy, and friendship that are spilling out from this project promise rewards to a long time to come!
So Much to Read! -2/17/15
I can’t keep up with all the great SimLit out there! Who can? But this week, I discovered a benefit to letting reading lapse: it allows me to binge read on the all the chapters that I’ve missed since the last time I checked that specific blog!
This morning I caught up with the always delightful Alien Legacy. Each generation is written first-person from the heir’s perspective. And with such intelligent, funny, engaging narrators, the variety of voice is a treat. The legacy is currently on Generation 3, and while I usually don’t enjoy domestic drama, I am loving this, for the distance and also honesty with which this heir narrates presents family drama as something to think about–not wallow in. I love this legacy!
One of the challenges in keeping up with all the reading is that avid SimLit readers keep discovering new amazing stories to read! This week, Savannah’s Just a Click Away emerged. This is a teen chat/email/text love story. The writing sparkles, the first-person narrator is endearing, and this reads like a novel. I would love to find the discipline to skip reading this one so that I could come back later and read everything I’d missed–but so far, as soon as I see a new chapter’s been posted, I’ve scuttled off to read!
A Really Big Week – 02/11/15
With a Valentine’s Day contest, a new website, and, here at home, the return of Goofy Love, this is a big week!
Simswriters.com features a super-short Valentine’s contest for stories composed of 500-800 words and two screenshots. The result is a box of chocolate: a delicious variety of bite-sized morsels. Stop by to read and vote! A Valentine’s Day screenshot contest is also being held. This is one time of year when we can let our sentiment shine, and these screenshots are sure to stir the heart. If you are a member (and it’s free to join), you’ll be able to vote, and if not, then check back later in the week to view the entries!
@aroseinbloom launched her new website this week, A Rose in Bloom Sims. The Skinner Saga has a new home here, plus there is space for @aroseinbloom’s new projects, a Q & A section, and lots of opportunities to interact. Check out her “This Week In SimsLit” page, too, which provides a comprehensive update of Sims stories.
On a personal note, this is a big week for me! Goofy Love has been on hold since early January pending the publication of the Goofy Love “Story of the Month” on EA’s “News” section. February 11 is the day of publication, so we’ve brought Goofy Love back with five new chapters, starting February 10 and continuing through February 15 (unless I get so anxious to get post my other story chapters that I end up posting several Goofy Love chapters a day!).
It’s been so hard to take this long break from Goofy Love (for those legacy kids get under my skin), and it’s also been fruitful. I started two new stories during this hiatus, Playable and Dr. Jasmine’s Casebook. Both of these let me explore ideas both personally important and intriguing. I’ve also been enjoying the development of the Houseful of Hippies, for, yes, at long last, young Cathy Tea and Elder have gotten together! Once we’ve caught up with Goofy Love, stay tuned for Cathy and Elder’s wedding (unless she freaks out and they elope). We’re expecting family, friends, and lots of conversation.
So Much Fun This Week – 02/04/15
This week, I’m enjoying the return of a well-written and witty legacy, the review of a favorite legacy written from a true game-player’s perspective, and the delights of a first-person legacy with an affectionate narrator.
KingCobbler’s The Washington Legacy is back with two new chapters, 2.4 and 2.5. This legacy is crisp, in words and pictures! I adore the crystal screenshots of her expressive Sims. And the writing always makes me smile with its original commentary. The basic plot structure of a legacy is so familiar to all of us, yet KingCobbler keeps it fresh with her humor and perception.
I’m rereading rarei’s PiggleWiggle legacy . This legacy presents a game-player’s inside look at playing a legacy. We get tips and insights into making it through all the steps to gen. 10. This week, rarei also introduces two “Day in the life” chapters, in which we get to enjoy the day-to-day events that her legacy Sims experience. Sometimes, it’s a delight to zoom in from the big view of 10 generations and think about the ways our Sims move through the events of their days.
I’m also really enjoying @JordanNicoleJJ ‘s Sims and Such Simself legacy. The generation 3 kids, especially that evil Fey, bring such life and spark. And in Chapters 19 and 20, Sawyer’s narrative voice achieves the mellow richness of a father nearing middle age. We can hear his affection for his children–and his acceptance of their flaws–and his own wistfulness as he witnesses them becoming young adults. The progression of generations in legacy play can happen so quickly, and JordanNicoleJJ demonstrates a sensitivity towards that which one would expect from an older writer who’s lived through it. The compassion, humor, and rich emotional tones of this legacy make it always a joy to read!
This Week’s Excitement – 01/28/15
Sometimes, the experience of reading SimsLit rivals any reading experience–it’s just that good!
And this week, three of my favorite Sims stories burst out with brilliance!
FloorRaisin’s Wolff Legacy provides a tribute to love–through the generations, we come to see that the story of a legacy is the story of romance, told in different variations and styles. Beginning with third gen heir Clem and his remarkable Estrella, continuing through my heart-throb Dianthanus and the amazing Cooper, and now passing onto the inscrutably hypnotic Ede and Malcolm, the varietal flavors of romance can be sampled in all their fullness through FloorRaisin’s touching portraits of love. The chapter posted on January 26 is touching, brilliant, and satisfying. How many different ways can love be felt and expressed? FloorRaisin is exploring them all through this amazing legacy.
Bilmonaghan’s Le Dynastie d’Angers is always brilliant! Must be tough to have that much going on inside one’s imaginary world! And from a field of brilliance, sometimes a chapter erupts which is simply mind-blowingly delightful! That’s how I feel about January 25’s chapter: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Watch what this does to your perception as you read it. The craft of leading readers through shifting perspectives is the craft of magic, which is exactly what this legacy story is.
Another rewarding gift of craft comes through Robinson Family this week, as we get to hear the voice of Malcolm. If you’re a writer, you’ll recognize that distance: standing outside, but looking into the lives of neighbors and friends with an intimacy that might shock them, if they knew just how deeply you knew them. This contrast between intimacy and distance brings that delightful irony that readers of George Eliot know and love. So much goes on in the writer’s perception, and Malcolm is beginning to share his perceptions with us. I am grateful for his voice!