October 16 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here.

"Sims and Friends: Share Your Stories!!

Comments

  • Spacey72659Spacey72659 Posts: 1,478 Member
    @FayeShinomori : Insurance companies are the worst! My job changed insurance providers last year, which made me lose the preapprovals on a drug I was using which is very hard to get and had taken me several years to get through the approval process to get, and I refuse to "start all over" with a new company to try to get it approved again, so now I've just been off that treatment since then. Sadly they care about their bottom lines way more than anyone's actual health... it's a terrible situation. -_-;; I sympathize.

    @lisabee2 : Ah, I write the cat story. Unless someone else writes a cat story that I'm unaware of, hahaha. I'm glad you enjoy it!

    @SilentWolf101 : Have you ever seen Spacey Sims on YouTube ( @Spacey72659 ) ? She's actually listed with the Stories and Legacy Index, and she does that often, combining several challenges together. Like her 100 Baby Challenge also has elements of the Black Widow and Four Immortal Sisters challenges thrown in. Kinda gives old challenges a bit of a twist and is a lot of fun!

    Hahahaa, yep I love to combine ALL THE CHALLENGES!! Mostly b/c I am terrible at following rules LOL. My Runaway Teen challenge turned into an alphabet legacy and I spin off challenges too. A Sim from my Time Lord challenge has a son that's the main character in my Single Father Challenge and my Building Newcrest Legacy is spiraling into a spin off (I'm building it in my head and will be building it in the game soon b/c it just has such a wonderful backstory). HA! Actually, my warehouse on black st challenge spun into my Highlander Crest legacy...

    I think I spin-off more then I combine these days LOL!! But whatever works I guess. :smile:
  • xMike_BxxMike_Bx Posts: 222 Member
    @lisabee2 wow 256 reads! any pointers on how to get that many readers!?
    i'm lucky if i get 10 readers per episode lol.
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    edited April 2016
    @FayeShinomori : Insurance companies are the worst! My job changed insurance providers last year, which made me lose the preapprovals on a drug I was using which is very hard to get and had taken me several years to get through the approval process to get, and I refuse to "start all over" with a new company to try to get it approved again, so now I've just been off that treatment since then. Sadly they care about their bottom lines way more than anyone's actual health... it's a terrible situation. -_-;; I sympathize.

    @lisabee2 : Ah, I write the cat story. Unless someone else writes a cat story that I'm unaware of, hahaha. I'm glad you enjoy it!

    @SilentWolf101 : Have you ever seen Spacey Sims on YouTube ( @Spacey72659 ) ? She's actually listed with the Stories and Legacy Index, and she does that often, combining several challenges together. Like her 100 Baby Challenge also has elements of the Black Widow and Four Immortal Sisters challenges thrown in. Kinda gives old challenges a bit of a twist and is a lot of fun!

    @mastressalita OMG you are so right .. I was scrolling down my reader and did not realize I had hit a new author .. I am so embarrassed! I am still so new on this WP thing :) It is now fixed!
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    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    xMike_Bx wrote: »
    @lisabee2 wow 256 reads! any pointers on how to get that many readers!?
    i'm lucky if i get 10 readers per episode lol.

    @xMike_Bx I have no idea .. I was so shocked. I have some very sweet FB friends who love the story (I had been running it on FB when @VIRTUALEE encouraged me to blog. After a long dragging of the feet I posted a few shots at it and kind of fell away when a delightful new friend @miki gave me a quick kick into action <3
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    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • MikiMiki Posts: 1,692 Member
    @lisabee2 .. actually I just missed seeing your ever-so-pretty and quite proper avatar in here.

    and apologies if you've been in here all along, I was thinking of the "other" writer thread, starring Cathy Coffee.

    There are a number in there who don't to the facefreak thing. I am in there-- marginally-- mostly lurking and sticking my 2 cents in where appropriate. (and me, of course, don't tweet.)

    But I also felt badly for poor nutty Santa-- and the other asylum sims-- patiently awaiting their next day..

  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    @xMike_Bx : My site hit its first year blogaversary, and that is what I get on average, too, for my "normal" stories (my short stories do slightly better, since the participants in the Short Story Challenges thread tend to read all the entries each month). I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it again... don't get tied up in the numbers! As an archivist of Sim stories, I have seen this be the downfall of too many stories to count. They don't suddenly see "amazing stats" and just give up. Don't write for "the stats." I daresay don't even look at them (or look at them sparingly). If you focus on writing for you first and foremost, and your own love and enjoyment of writing, then you simply can't go wrong. And if a reader comes along for the ride a week later, a month later, a year later, you can share that experience with them. Honestly for me, I'm just as happy to share the experience with one reader than one-thousand. In fact, in my blogaversary, for the question, "What is your biggest achievement?" I answered with this:
    MASTRESS ALITA: My biggest achievement… I know a lot of people would say it’s the amount of views they get, or how many followers they have, or how many likes or comments they receive. While I certainly appreciate these things, because it lets me know there are people out there checking out my work, I honestly don’t think about them much, and I certainly don’t consider the growth that I’ve made in these regards over the last year “my biggest achievement.” My biggest achievement is that, after a year, I’m still here doing this… I’m still writing! As the maintainer of The Stories and Legacies Index, I see over and over story sites that never make it past three months before they give up. So I think that is something to be proud of.

    And I still mean every word of it!
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    Miki wrote: »
    @lisabee2 .. actually I just missed seeing your ever-so-pretty and quite proper avatar in here.

    and apologies if you've been in here all along, I was thinking of the "other" writer thread, starring Cathy Coffee.

    There are a number in there who don't to the facefreak thing. I am in there-- marginally-- mostly lurking and sticking my 2 cents in where appropriate. (and me, of course, don't tweet.)

    But I also felt badly for poor nutty Santa-- and the other asylum sims-- patiently awaiting their next day..

    HI @Miki ... LOL I love your 2 cents worth. Got me off my lazy bum! LOL I thought for all the world Santa was the winner. I was even setting him up with "family" from the outside world. But Snow snuck in under wire .. beating first place Santa AND second place Sol the insane violinist ... who BTW is one of my very FAV simmies ... she has been in so many of my stories! My next post has a quickie update on the old gang.
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    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    @xMike_Bx : My site hit its first year blogaversary, and that is what I get on average, too, for my "normal" stories (my short stories do slightly better, since the participants in the Short Story Challenges thread tend to read all the entries each month). I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it again... don't get tied up in the numbers! As an archivist of Sim stories, I have seen this be the downfall of too many stories to count. They don't suddenly see "amazing stats" and just give up. Don't write for "the stats." I daresay don't even look at them (or look at them sparingly). If you focus on writing for you first and foremost, and your own love and enjoyment of writing, then you simply can't go wrong. And if a reader comes along for the ride a week later, a month later, a year later, you can share that experience with them. Honestly for me, I'm just as happy to share the experience with one reader than one-thousand. In fact, in my blogaversary, for the question, "What is your biggest achievement?" I answered with this:
    MASTRESS ALITA: My biggest achievement… I know a lot of people would say it’s the amount of views they get, or how many followers they have, or how many likes or comments they receive. While I certainly appreciate these things, because it lets me know there are people out there checking out my work, I honestly don’t think about them much, and I certainly don’t consider the growth that I’ve made in these regards over the last year “my biggest achievement.” My biggest achievement is that, after a year, I’m still here doing this… I’m still writing! As the maintainer of The Stories and Legacies Index, I see over and over story sites that never make it past three months before they give up. So I think that is something to be proud of.

    And I still mean every word of it!

    @mastressalita Well put .. I honestly did not think any would really come and read mine .. and even if they do not or if they stop I will keep going :)
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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • Lckygrl1975Lckygrl1975 Posts: 1,582 Member
    Hi,

    @lisabee2, How are you? hope you are having a good day :)

    @mastressalita, Hi, how are things and how was the weekend?

    @SilentWolf101, Waves and how are you?
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    Hi,

    @lisabee2, How are you? hope you are having a good day :)

    @mastressalita, Hi, how are things and how was the weekend?

    @SilentWolf101, Waves and how are you?

    @Lckygrl1975 ... I am well TY. Having a nice quiet day ... how about you? Any happy simming?
    SebEwnF.jpg
    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • Lckygrl1975Lckygrl1975 Posts: 1,582 Member
    @lisabee2, I'm working today but things are so slow :(
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  • Jes2GJes2G Posts: 13,032 Member
    Good morning!

    My lovely SimSelf goes to Newcrest to introduce herself and get Braylon to agree to be on her new show. Will Braylon be interested? Find out!

    http://www.jes2gstories.com/j2g-meeting-braylon/
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  • Jes2GJes2G Posts: 13,032 Member
    @xMike_Bx : My site hit its first year blogaversary, and that is what I get on average, too, for my "normal" stories (my short stories do slightly better, since the participants in the Short Story Challenges thread tend to read all the entries each month). I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it again... don't get tied up in the numbers! As an archivist of Sim stories, I have seen this be the downfall of too many stories to count. They don't suddenly see "amazing stats" and just give up. Don't write for "the stats." I daresay don't even look at them (or look at them sparingly). If you focus on writing for you first and foremost, and your own love and enjoyment of writing, then you simply can't go wrong. And if a reader comes along for the ride a week later, a month later, a year later, you can share that experience with them. Honestly for me, I'm just as happy to share the experience with one reader than one-thousand. In fact, in my blogaversary, for the question, "What is your biggest achievement?" I answered with this:
    MASTRESS ALITA: My biggest achievement… I know a lot of people would say it’s the amount of views they get, or how many followers they have, or how many likes or comments they receive. While I certainly appreciate these things, because it lets me know there are people out there checking out my work, I honestly don’t think about them much, and I certainly don’t consider the growth that I’ve made in these regards over the last year “my biggest achievement.” My biggest achievement is that, after a year, I’m still here doing this… I’m still writing! As the maintainer of The Stories and Legacies Index, I see over and over story sites that never make it past three months before they give up. So I think that is something to be proud of.

    And I still mean every word of it!

    I wholeheartedly agree! That was pretty much my answer for my biggest achievement too--especially when I completed my legacy. I usually quit things, so to have actually completed something as mammoth as Pruett Family Legacy...GOSH! That feeling of accomplishment far surpasses the excited feelings of seeing hundreds of readers every day.
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  • MikiMiki Posts: 1,692 Member
    @lisabee2 ARGHH! You spoiler, you! I haven't been to the blog since you were over in Hawaii so I didn't know who won til now. Hahahaha Saved my eyes some reading, I guess.

    No, don't worry about statistics. That stuff is for the birds (and politicians) Just go on creating and posting. It will always be read.

    But for info purposes, I personally prefer shorter, closed-end stories as opposed to long and sweeping legacy-based ones. BUT I read both kinds equally.
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    @lisabee2, I'm working today but things are so slow :(

    Mine will not be quiet today .. i am keeping 2 of my grands for a couple of days (but I adore it) .. so I am off to preschool in just a bit. I get a lot of good blog reading and youtube watching done then :)
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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,423 Member
    Miki wrote: »
    @lisabee2 ARGHH! You spoiler, you! I haven't been to the blog since you were over in Hawaii so I didn't know who won til now. Hahahaha Saved my eyes some reading, I guess.

    No, don't worry about statistics. That stuff is for the birds (and politicians) Just go on creating and posting. It will always be read.

    But for info purposes, I personally prefer shorter, closed-end stories as opposed to long and sweeping legacy-based ones. BUT I read both kinds equally.

    OH @miki .. Soo sorry :( I tried to make this a shorter story .. but will keep it at that because it would be a spoiler LOL As for the traditional short story format I have long toyed with it but not sure if my mundane life experiences would be exciting enough to capture attention. (I actually have a granny's sleepover done .. the pics are great but the story is kind of zzz .. well it is a sleepover tho ha ha ha)
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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • thesealofthesimsthesealofthesims Posts: 722 Member
    Well, I'm back. :smile: If you're wondering where I was, I was on a 5-day trip to New York. Now, normally, this might be something to be excited about, but I really didn't want to go on this trip. To me, a vacation anymore is having the house to myself and no one to tell me what to do. But I actually did manage to enjoy myself. We saw Jersey Boys on Broadway, we ate at Rice to Riches (great place if you like rice pudding), we ate desserts at Serendipities, walked through Central Park (I saw a sea lion off in the distance at the Central Park Zoo), and ate at one of Guy Fieri's restaurants, and had the best bowl of gelato I've ever had the day we left. We even took my grandma to the top of the Empire State Building.

    I got in at midnight Saturday, I lurked on Sunday, and now, I'm making my presence known again.

    But all in all, I'm glad to be home. I see this thread has been pretty busy. I probably won't have time to go through them all, but it's good to see all of you again.

    *waves to everyone here*
  • Jes2GJes2G Posts: 13,032 Member
    Well, I'm back. :smile: If you're wondering where I was, I was on a 5-day trip to New York. Now, normally, this might be something to be excited about, but I really didn't want to go on this trip. To me, a vacation anymore is having the house to myself and no one to tell me what to do. But I actually did manage to enjoy myself. We saw Jersey Boys on Broadway, we ate at Rice to Riches (great place if you like rice pudding), we ate desserts at Serendipities, walked through Central Park (I saw a sea lion off in the distance at the Central Park Zoo), and ate at one of Guy Fieri's restaurants, and had the best bowl of gelato I've ever had the day we left. We even took my grandma to the top of the Empire State Building.

    I got in at midnight Saturday, I lurked on Sunday, and now, I'm making my presence known again.

    But all in all, I'm glad to be home. I see this thread has been pretty busy. I probably won't have time to go through them all, but it's good to see all of you again.

    *waves to everyone here*

    Hey there! Sounds like a nice trip! Busy, yes, but nice. :p
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  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    @Spacey72659 : That makes sense though! If you end up with a character you love that doesn't get enough screen time in one series, may as well give them a series of their own! I can see how the combination of memoriable Sims + finding fun and/or interesting-looking challenges has a way of letting the mind-bunny population explode, hahaha!

    @Lckygrl1975 : Things are pretty good. I got one good day out of the two pain-wise and for me I consider that a pretty decent weekend, so I'm not complaining! Even managed to squeeze a few hours of Sim time in on Saturday, which rarely happens. How have things been for you?

    @Jes2G : Thanks Jes! Finishing a story is definitely an awesome accomplishment, and why I've been so sad to see people deleting completed stories lately! I know a lot of readers who would rather start something they know is finished than read something currently publishing that could just stop publishing at any time (I've even seen legacies that quit in their last generation, or 100 baby challenges that dropped a few mere children from completion... its always just so sad to see a story go so far and then not get a proper ending at that point). It is definitely a long-term goal of mine to one day finish a story! I know it might take a long time because with my health and the time I have available I work at a snail's pace, but slow and steady, right? As long as I get there one day, I will be satisfied!

    @lisabee2 : If you are interested in trying really short form stories, you should check out the Short Story Challenges thread! It's a lot of fun! Every month there is a different theme, and typically you have to write a short story of 500-1500 words using 1-12 screencaps focused on that theme. If you like the challenge of stretching your mind to write short pieces around different themes, it might be worth checking out. You can use any Sims game and any Sims (make new ones or use ones from your other works) for the stories. This month is a very different sort of challenge: there are two different sets of pre-determined screencaps, and you have to pick one of the two sets, and write a story for those pictures (you can re-order the pictures however you wish, though). We've never done anything like that before and reading all the different entries has been as entertaining as always!

    @thesealofthesims : Aww, I love going on vacations! I've never been to NYC though (I'm a western US gal and hardly ever get out east; I have been to Boston once, though!) I'd certainly like to go sometime, though! Glad it turned out to be a good time for you, though! My next vacation is pretty much a "stay-cation" since it's just two hours away to the state capital (driving distance and the town where my sister lives!) but its for an anime convention I've been attending every year since 2003! (So this will be my 14th year in a row...) My best friend who lives in California always flies up to attend with me, and getting to enjoy it with him always makes it really memoriable, even if it isn't "far from home."
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  • Jes2GJes2G Posts: 13,032 Member
    @Jes2G : Thanks Jes! Finishing a story is definitely an awesome accomplishment, and why I've been so sad to see people deleting completed stories lately! I know a lot of readers who would rather start something they know is finished than read something currently publishing that could just stop publishing at any time (I've even seen legacies that quit in their last generation, or 100 baby challenges that dropped a few mere children from completion... its always just so sad to see a story go so far and then not get a proper ending at that point). It is definitely a long-term goal of mine to one day finish a story! I know it might take a long time because with my health and the time I have available I work at a snail's pace, but slow and steady, right? As long as I get there one day, I will be satisfied!

    People delete stories?! :o [clutches pearls] Why in the world would they want to do that?? You know... it's so rewarding to see people still beginning to read my story. I switched websites in the middle of the legacy, and of course the previous blog was more well known than the new one, so a lot of people are still reading on the old blog. I get notifications all the time about the stats, and like that site sometimes gets more views than my current one and I haven't touched it in a year! So, why would I delete it if people are still enjoying it? And it's a free blog, so it's not like it's costing me money lol. I just don't understand. :p
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  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    @Jes2G : Ya, I saw a veritable rash of it happening from maintaining the Stories and Legacies Index over the last few months (when you track sites and their updates, you notice trends like that!) Though I have no concrete answers, my sneaking suspicion is people running out of space on their free webhosts and thinking, "Well, I need to keep publishing my new story, so I'll just delete my old finished one!" instead of doing the logical thing and either a) looking into external image hosting solutions b) resizing their images (I can't even count how many sites I see that upload all their images at full resolution when they really don't need too, inadvertantly killing their onsite storage in no time) or c) simply moving their completed story to another free host to free up space on their current site. But ya. Deleting them! I had the same reaction. As both a fan of Sim stories and a librarian, seeing completed stories dropping left and right about made me go into a HULK SMASH rage.
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  • ValoisFulcanelliValoisFulcanelli Posts: 672 Member
    edited April 2016
    [ ... ] resizing their images (I can't even count how many sites I see that upload all their images at full resolution when they really don't need too, inadvertantly killing their onsite storage in no time) [ ... ]
    Not only does that kill their onsite storage, but it's also not considerate of their readers, since it forces their computers/tablets/phones to download the full sized, large image. For those on a data cap (especially those browsing via mobile) not resizing your images can result in them facing excess data fees.

    Every single image that I post, regardless of where I post it, is optimised to the enth degree. I make sure they're resized (aka: width etc) to the optimum size for the place I'm posting (650px for my story, 1000px for this forum, 1280px for Tumblr) and then I use Photoshop's "Save for Web" option (most free image editors have an option - sometimes called "web-safe" - similar to this, too) to get the file size (aka: the KB needed to download the image) down as small as possible. If you have no web-safe/save-for-web option on your image editor, look for a JPG quality option when you save. Slide it down to 90% and you'll shave a lot off the file size without losing any of the quality.

    I just did a quick test using a full sized screenshot that's in my folder. I run The Sims 3 at 1920 x 1080 resolution, so that's the size of the original screenshot. It's already a JPG, so I don't need to worry about converting it. (PleasePLEASE don't ever upload screenshots as PNGs or - Watcher help us - BMPs!) I then resized it using Paint (which all Windows users have) down to 700 pixels in width, which is perfectly adequate for most blogs. And for a third test, I used my old version of Photoshop to resize to 700 pixels and then save "for web" (which basically means using web-safe colours. This doesn't affect the colours of the image at all).

    The resultant file sizes, if they were on a website or blog and being downloaded are:

    websafeexample01.jpg

    (And yes, I even optimised that image!)

    Apart from the visual size, there is no noticable difference between the three images. Not even between the web-safe 700px version and the normal 700px version, even though it's almost half the size. This is the screenshot in that web-safe format:

    websafe01.jpg

    (This is a raw, unedited screenshot. Normally, I would have changed the contrast and also sharpened the image after resizing, too, hence it looks just a teeny bit fuzzy, which it normally wouldn't.)

    The free version of Wordpress gives you (I think) about 2GB of storage. That's 2,097,152KB. Not counting the space you'd use for your actual posts, using the image sizes above, you'd be able to fit the following amount of images in that storage:
    • Original, unresized image: 2,653 images
    • Resized to 700 pixels: 33,288 images
    • Resized to 700 pixels and web-safe: 53,773 images
    This assumes that all of the images are of the same visual complexity. The screenshot that I picked for my experiment is a fairly simple one: a dark background with a few lamps and two dark figures, one playing a piano and one a violin. If I choose another image with far more detail in it (in this case, a brightly-lit scuba diver, opening a treasure chest) the original file size of that is 1.83MB. That's more than twice the size of the other image.

    Here's the resizing and web-safe file sizes for that second one:

    websafeexample02.jpg

    And here is that more visually-complex image in the web-safe format:

    websafe02.jpg

    With most Sims stories containing multiple images per chapter - many of which will be quite visually complex - it's easy to see how a long story such as a legacy could burn through that storage in no time if the author doesn't resize and optimise their images. But it's also easy to see how a reader could burn through their data allowance if one chapter of a story contains 15 images, all over 1MB in size!
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  • Lckygrl1975Lckygrl1975 Posts: 1,582 Member
    @lisabee2, I have teenagers :( and one is driving me crazy. I did a lot of picture taking yesterday but no time for reading the last few days :( glad you can fit it in when grands are at preschool :)

    @mastressalita, squeezing in sim time is very important to keep you sane :) hope it keeps up. Did picture yesterday and tomorrow, on my day off will do more then if I have time hopefully get to write.
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  • MikiMiki Posts: 1,692 Member
    @ValoisFulcanelli Bitmap files... BAHAHAHAHAHAAA! Learned that one ages ago in the days of Dial-Up! A 78 k JPG can come out of a > 3.5 mB bitmap....

    I don't post pics here often but always as J-Pegs, though "shave to 90% for mobile devices had not occurred to me since I do not have one (nor will I).

    Useful tip. Thx.
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,194 Member
    Hi everyone! I haven't been very active on the forums lately because I've had a lot of school-related things to worry about, and the time I haven't spent studying or doing something athletic has been dedicated to writing my stories. So... well, that means I have an update!

    It's been some time, but to be fair, these next chapters required a lot of building, Sim-creation, and thinking. But here it is: the next chapter/exposition-dump of The Fey of Life

    Lynn and Rem finally get to discover the truth about Rem's past. The answers will probably not be all that pleasant. Of course they aren't.
    pk6MPzg.jpg?1
    Chapter 18: Changeling


    I hope you have a wonderful time!
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    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
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