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Catastrophe Theory (Updated 8/02)

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Catastrophe Theory

Much like agriculture started the downfall of man, free will was the beginning of the end for the Lius and Jeong-Espinosas. Their choices could lead to the blossoming of an epic romance or the dissolution of a suffocating marriage, a life spent pleasing their parents or a life spent trying to break from their influence, a life spent exploiting what their world has to offer or just living in it.

But the two skilled families have their pick of life-prolonging talismans. Ambrosia. Books of life. Death flowers. Potions of Youth. In essence, they're not dying or staying dead unless they want to. So while they have their spats and live their lives, their minds churn with the sum total of their experiences, each feeding that ultimate decision, the final choice that might be the most disturbing implication of the Sim universe.

If you want a mentally and emotionally challenging read loaded with foreshadowing and symbolism, I promise you won't be disappointed by reading the Book I summary and skipping ahead to Book II. The first chapter does not represent the story's quality; the Strangerville chapter, No Place for a Heroine, is a better introduction to what you'd be getting yourself into.

Content warning: Swearing, death, can get too real. Can describe itself as 'post-postmodern metafiction' with a straight face, or as straight a face you can make while saying 'post-postmodern metafiction.' I promise there's no math.
Post edited by Dollyllama108 on
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Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way

Comments

  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    I enjoyed this a lot and can't wait to see where it goes next.
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    @citysimmer Oh my goodness; thank you!

    Don't think I've forgotten Juliet from that casting call, either. I may have underestimated the amount of plot that has to happen before the Venus in Retrograde auditions. Which is a shame, because I'm excited to finally get all of those guys in a room together!
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,468 Member
    Sounds like it will be intriguing at least. I look forward to it!
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  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    As such, their relationship neatly mirrors that of Ms. Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and Mr. Way (no relation) in many respects.

    I appreciate that reference.
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    citysimmer wrote: »
    As such, their relationship neatly mirrors that of Ms. Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and Mr. Way (no relation) in many respects.

    I appreciate that reference.

    It was.......................................................................my pleasure!
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,755 Member
    There is math. Oh, yes. There's math. And Wittgenstein, too. Same diff!
    My hands. What do I do with my hands? WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?

    I'll be here! I'm happy you have a thread for one of my favorite stories!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    Woo! Everyone, @CathyTea has been doing admirable amounts of emotional labor and has heroically been keeping me going for the last month. If I weren't writing this primarily to work out my own thoughts, I would have broken off from the community almost immediately. Not that everyone hasn't been lovely and supportive. My authentic voice can just sound pretentious and off-putting sometimes, and it makes me feel very different---different in the sense of feeling isolated, not in the sense of feeling special, despite the common "our differences are what make us special" sentiment. It takes a lot of energy to deal with!

    But I'm sure everybody can all relate to feeling different on some level, right? And if we want to strengthen the SimLit genre, isn't encouraging a diversity of types of stories one way to do that? I'll give it time.

    So thank you, @cathytea and @citysimmer and @Irishsong! I also didn't associate the ideas with Wittgenstein until you mentioned that. Did I accidentally quote him somewhere? Many of his ideas are "no, duh"-level in my field (reeeeallly trying hard not to dox myself here).
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,755 Member
    Woo! Everyone, @CathyTea has been doing admirable amounts of emotional labor and has heroically been keeping me going for the last month. If I weren't writing this primarily to work out my own thoughts, I would have broken off from the community almost immediately. Not that everyone hasn't been lovely and supportive. My authentic voice can just sound pretentious and off-putting sometimes, and it makes me feel very different---different in the sense of feeling isolated, not in the sense of feeling special, despite the common "our differences are what make us special" sentiment. It takes a lot of energy to deal with!

    But I'm sure everybody can all relate to feeling different on some level, right? And if we want to strengthen the SimLit genre, isn't encouraging a diversity of types of stories one way to do that? I'll give it time.

    So thank you, @cathytea and @citysimmer and @Irishsong! I also didn't associate the ideas with Wittgenstein until you mentioned that. Did I accidentally quote him somewhere? Many of his ideas are "no, duh"-level in my field (reeeeallly trying hard not to dox myself here).

    You know, reading and commenting on your story hasn't felt at all like emotional labor! It's felt like eating ice cream after having given it up for lent! :)

    I often feel isolated, too, more and more so the less I camouflage, and so when I read a work like yours, where most of the characters think the way I do--or at least similarly enough that I can understand them--I feel like I've come home, in the best sense of the word.

    I can't remember if you've quoted Wittgenstein or not... maybe his name came up once through a character's dialogue? I don't think so.... can't recall... but I just think of Wittgenstein when I read your work! It seems like your characters would be quoting him...
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    Minor update today: Eyebleach with the Shallot-Lius. As the title suggests, no plot happens. It's just Xiyuan and Bernard being adorable and making me squeal.

    @CathyTea: I'm honored! That sense of isolation, that's the main reason I write. I'm glad to have found a reader who sees it the same way I do; in a small community, no less!
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • Becka28Becka28 Posts: 1,204 Member
    Wow. I haven't read anything you have written before but for something where you say no plot happens and me having no previous connections with the story, it was certainly an emotional journey. Your writing is beautiful. I need to go back and read it all now. Your imagery is very poetic even when describing scenes and ideas that aren't. I am afraid my response to it can't possibly do justice to how your writing made me feel as I don't have your writing skills. I needed to find this in the forums- your written world is a world I want to visit and enjoy. It may have been described above as icecream after lent but I feel it is like discovering a gourmet meal after living on fast food.
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    @Becka28 How sweet! For someone who's relatively new to the blogging scene and fiction writing in general, it means a lot that my work is connecting with people.

    That being said, there's a huge jump in stylistic evolution from the earliest to the most recent posts, where the focus switches from saying silly things to being driven by emotional gravitas around "The Faceless Mother." Somewhere in the middle the first-person player narration dies an honorable death. To you and any lurkers out there, let me know if this is too jarring; I may just publish a recap of the first few (thirty) posts as a shorter and less silly option.
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    Thank you posting the gallery links, I can't wait for Shu to date every sim I have.
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Becka28Becka28 Posts: 1,204 Member
    @Dollyllama108 I have just read through your entire catastrophe theory series. I noticed the stylistic shift but it's roots are there in the earlier pieces and I think it grows organically. I enjoyed your first person narration too, as you have a witty dry voice. The shift mimics, in some ways, how our sims seem to move from inanimate toys to become more real rounded characters with their own inner worlds and motivations as we play them. Well that's how I approached my reading of the shift.

    I love all your characters but Charlie resonates deeply with me. I also appreciate Shu and how different and real his serial romantic character and motivations are from the typical Don Lothario archetypes.

    I have now followed you and look forward to reading more.
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    @Becka28 Now that you mention it, that’s exactly what’s happening! As long as the progression is interesting, and, more importantly, encouraging to other storytellers, I’m okay with it not being up to my current standards.

    Also, I can’t express how flattering it is, and honestly downright impressive, that you finished the whole thing. Thank you so much!

    @citysimmer Oh heck yes. You gotta let me know what happens.

    Shu is honestly my favorite, saying a lot given that he’s competing with HIS DAD, and is easily the most complex character. He’ll be explored in depth over the next few months.
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    Ok, it's July 8th, the story contest is over, the new one is finished, we're caught up to the present day, and I did not edit this very carefully.

    This entry provides some vital context to Matt and Aileen's wedding that changes the meaning of Grey Wedding, including the title. Warning; this one is quite dark (TW: real bad depression). You may want to get into the right state of mind to read it.

    Here's our girl Aileen getting too real: Option 3

    And a link to Grey Wedding if you missed it
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    Wow, I just read Grey Wedding again after reading that chapter and it really does provide another meaning. This paragraph especially:
    The door closed, leaving Aileen alone to contemplate the differences between her own experience and the perpetually smiling couple on the front of her invitations. They’d stay in rosy-cheeked stasis even if she ripped it down the center. Marriage was more of a new beginning than a happy ending, she wanted to scream at the greeting card manufacturer, and she understood as well as anyone how heartbreaking its real ending could be.
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    I'm back from vacation, y'all! If Option 3 was the season finale, we're finally starting a new leg of the story. This first chapter is about all that built-up tension actually going somewhere, and has a quite low joke-to-relationship-drama ratio, unfortunately.

    Grab your popcorn, 'cause Shu's about to be an even hotter mess: Love Day, Actually
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    Yay! I missed this story and that was a great chapter.

    Even though the point Shu made about Charlie's definition of condependency is valid I think Charlie is right.
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    @citysimmer Seems like it! She's throwing so many red flags. And I'm glad to be back!
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    So this happened
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    CT gets its Strangerville hero, kind of: No Place for a Heroine

    By the way, if you're just dropping by and need a summary of the story so far, or even just something to help keep track of the characters, I spent way too long making one. Here it is
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    I love how tons of creepy stuff is happening and Kendra is just like "wow so cool!!"
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    edited September 2019
    Well, folks, it's crunch time for me, and will remain crunch time until early October. I'll be in and out for a bit. But at least this one's finally done!

    Get ready for mood whiplash with the J-Crew: Is this Loss?
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • citysimmercitysimmer Posts: 5,818 Member
    edited September 2019
    I greatly enjoyed Jasper memeing his father's disappearance.
    Also, uh oh at what Jo is doing at the end.
    Proud black simmer 🖤
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    edited September 2019
    @citysimmer Right? Jo has no chill.

    If you like Jasper's memes now, there's a part coming up in---let's extrapolate from my current publishing rate---a year or so (!) that you're really going to like. I guess I should be writing faster :D
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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 161 Member
    Ok, this was one of the hardest to write in this block of chapters. I was doing super-extra things like translating the native Spanish speaker's dialogue into Mexican dialect to ensure her word choices made sense. (To the best of my ability.) Hope it's worth the wait!

    Are you better off than you were with the birds of La Vibora: Al Mal Tiempo, Buena Cara

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    Catastrophe Theory: happy sims are all alike; every one of these dumpster fires is unhappy in their own way
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