Saturday, December 11, 2010

Author's Note

I’m a real novice at doing a Sims 2 stories blog. When I started the blog I mostly wanted to show off my self-created Sims with descriptions and pictures, but then after reading quite a few people’s Sims stories I liked the idea of telling my own Sims 2 stories. At first I was just explaining their background, so I threw a lot of characters that I liked onto my blog. I probably should have just done a couple families. However; I have several families interconnected so it would have been difficult at best. Then I began playing and after a couple days of the game I would relate what had happened. I did not plan ahead. That’s fun all right. But I began to form some simple plots based not only on my playing but also on whatever photos I took during the game that I especially liked. (I’ve dabbled in creative writing and probably that’s why I like this aspect of the game so much).

Unfortunately, I have now managed to write myself into a corner on one story thread. The other thing that caused the problem is that I was in the game and a character I had sent to the bin temporarily showed up in the middle of playing, much to my surprise. I decided to use him as minor character that would not last more than a couple chapters and possibly be a villain. He took it upon himself to become a main player, though, rendering parts of previous chapters useless. He will figure predominantly in my story and has become a good guy, if somewhat troubled by his past. No matter how I’ve tried, I can’t finish the earlier storyline the way I wished. It is irrelevant now since that character is no longer the bad guy. So I will have to shorten a couple of previous chapters to delete the unfinished thread. These will mainly be sections of recent chapters on the John Lassiter family, and the Glenn Caswell family.

My apologies, but I’m still learning as I go. I hope I can decide whether to play first and then tell the story (I’m so bad about micro-managing my Sims that I don’t think I can do that) or write out a skeleton plot ahead of time and then manipulate my play. There will still be surprises no matter what but that’s one thing I love about Sims 2. What I guess I’ll also need to do is write and play much farther ahead to make sure it’s coming out all right before I post.  Please bear with me, if you will.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Shep Ferguson Family Ch. 3

It was summer and time for the twins to celebrate an important birthday for they would become teenagers today. Madeleine brought in two cakes. Jeannie Walton had been a guest for dinner and she celebrated along with the family. Both Holly and Harvey were fairly happy with the way they looked. Madeleine became a little teary-eyed while Debbie realized she had lost her playmates. On the other hand, Holly pointed out, they'd soon be getting cars (at least they hoped they'd be getting cars) and then they could take her places, like to the roller rink and the Dairy Queen. That perked Debbie up quite a bit.

Her youngest three children were growing up. Time was moving faster and faster it seemed to Madeleine. So much was changing Madeleine reflected, except us. Me and Shep. She had worn her hair the same way since before she even met Shep. He loved it like that, but…Madeline was definitely feeling a need to update herself. A new hairstyle would be just the thing. Besides she didn’t want to wear a chignon into old age. Platinum hair in a chignon was one thing; white hair in a “bun” was another. She wasn’t ready to leave her hair its natural color which would probably be nearly white, so she went to the Golden Shears beauty salon in a nearby town and got her hair cut and styled. She loved it and afterward treated herself to a few new outfits as well, but in the meantime Shep nearly had heart failure. He was feeling the years too, his hairline had receded quite a lot in the last few years, so he understood why she would want a change although he told her had no intention of buying a “rug” or getting hair plugs. Like it or not, it was their time to become the older generation. Madeleine told him she liked him just as he was. No sooner did Debbie see her mother’s new hairdo than she said she must have her hair cut too.

“I just want it all chopped off—I need a change!” Debbie said airily, in almost the very same words Madeleine had used. So she took Debbie to the same hair stylist and let her choose an easy care wash and go style.

Now that her shyness was going away little by little, Debbie made more new friends, including little Janice Blackford. 

One Friday night Holly invited Gareth Caswell over. They were friends and had been friends since they were quite small. 

They’d had kind of a thing for each other as well, but only recently had Holly begun thinking of Gareth as a serious romantic prospect. Gareth had never asked her out, but they frequently met up town, Holly would come with one or two of her friends, Gareth would do the same, but they would spend most of the evening together. Her mother said Holly should just ask him to dinner, he used to come all the time as a child and Holly used to eat at his house, until they went through a shy period. Gareth seemed happy to come over. They already had one guest with Gareth and then Debbie brought home Janice to eat with them.
After supper Gareth kissed Holly out on the front porch and asked her to go out the next night. All the gang were going to the Arcade in Bluewater, but he wanted to pick her up separately and go by Sam's to grab a bite to eat first. Then they would meet the others. Soon they were an item.

“Does that kid live here or what?” Shep asked Madeleine one night after Gareth left. She just smiled,

“Don’t be such an old poop. Try to think back and remember your first love.”

“Oh. Yeah, that’s right…way back then,” he drawled in his Shep Ferguson way, taking Madeleine in his arms, “Hmmm, I think it’s coming back to me.”

One afternoon when Holly waited for Gareth to get there she was all smiles. But she did have to shoo Harvey, out of the room. He'd been jamming to his MP3, making goofy faces.

“Please, Harv---I need privacy!”

“Yeah I’ll bet; just so you and Caswell can suck face,” then he shrugged, “Well, I gotta practice anyway.” He started to trudge upstairs to the third floor where his drums were stowed.

“You should talk, you practically dive-bombed Lori at the Arcades two nights ago--I saw her jump!” she yelled up the stairs then grumbled under her breath, “At least Gareth and I don’t make out in public.”

"Let's have a little less noise out there," Shep called out from the art studio.

Holly fretted a moment. She had a strong suspicion Gareth wanted to ask her something. Something like 'will you go steady with me?'. A boy couldn’t ask this kind of thing if there were distractions or intrusions. Her dad was painting as usual, her mom was sewing, both of them in the back studio. As long as she and Gareth were quiet Holly thought her parents would stay put. Debbie was in the playroom on the 2nd floor. Until Madeleine called her to have a bedtime snack, she would stay up there. Holly could hear her chattering to herself as she colored. Just as she heard Gareth’s car come rumbling up, Harvey hit the drums full force.

As a rule she and Gareth sat down on the love-seat and put the TV on. They’d watch about five minutes then he’d pull her onto his lap. It might be 10 minutes more before they started seriously kissing. It was a gradual thing.

Tonight Gareth moved a little faster. Maybe it was the drums. Harvey was still torturing those skins at a breakneck pace. Suddenly Gareth broke off for a moment, slightly breathless, “I need to ask you something.” 

Holly’s heart started going like a trip-hammer, “Yes?”

Gareth was not a shy boy as a rule, nor ever at a loss for words, but he seemed hesitant this time. His baby blue eyes looked into hers,

“You know you’re really special to me, I mean you’re more than just a friend, you know? So I was thinking, it’s been enough time, I mean…I was wondering, if maybe we ought to…I mean maybe you’d like to…Sheesh, I suck at this,” he finally laughed, “Okay, I’ll just say it, do you want to go steady with me?”

Holly pretended outrage,

“Gareth John Caswell, if you don’t know we’ve been going steady since we were 8 years old, then I give up!”  He looked startled.

Then she smiled, “Yes, Gareth, I do want to go steady with you.”

The drums were louder than ever, Harvey was going all out. He was trying to do the drum solo from Wipeout. It was considered one of the all time classics and he had temporarily swiped the old record by the Surfaris from his parent’s collection.

Usually, after Madeleine thought it had certainly been long enough she would pop her head in from the kitchen or dining room and say, “Don’t you two think you should come up for air?”

Then she would offer a bribe, “I’ve got cherry cheesecake…”

Holly and Gareth almost didn’t hear Madeleine that night. They weren’t even kissing…just sitting side by side. Gareth had his arm around Holly; she had her hand on his arm.  They looked blissful.

Madeleine leaned into the room from the kitchen and ventured, “Um, can I interest anyone in pecan pie?” She took a longer look, “Okay then, how about Gooey Butter Cake?”

*Note from author:  if you’re not familiar with Wipeout by the Surfaris or you just want to hear it again, check this link out:  The intro with film clips takes a few seconds.

Shep and Madeleine walked next door one afternoon to see their first grandchild and congratulate, in person, the proud parents. Gillian thought it was hilarious that her mother, after giving birth to five children, would have forgotten how really awful dirty diapers could smell.

 Gillian's husband, Jeremy, with  his son, Robby

But Madeleine got over it and spent the evening mostly with the baby, oblivious to the others. Robby seemed to take to his grandma just as quickly.

Author's note: Evidently grandparents not living in the same house as the baby can only perform certain functions. Madeleine could get the baby from the crib, hold him, feed him, cuddle him, bathe him and play with him but she could not use the changing table or even just throw him up in the air to change him and she could not put him in the crib. She could not even hand him to Gillian, nor could Gillian take him from her. Poor little nooboo started crying too. She had to put Robby down on the ground for Gillian to change him and the same for when it was time for him to go to sleep. Beats me. When I had the Ottomas grandmother (Nana Doralee in my stories) living in their home she did almost all the care of the twins, So I guess they have to be a resident of the home to care completely for the child.

“I didn’t even get to hold the baby,” Shep complained on the way home, “His grandma was hogging him the whole evening.

Madeleine smiled, “I’m sorry, Grandpa, next time we go I promise to let you hold him all night.” He looked at her.

“Almost all night,” she amended. She'd just had the best time with Robby and soon Margo's baby would arrive, "I think I'm really going to love this grandma thing. You can play with them all you want, and spoil them, then go home and let the parents worry and lose sleep." She gave a thumbs up to Shep, who had to laugh.


Next installment of the Shep Ferguson Family HERE


The Shep Ferguson Family - Ch. 2

Following my post from  October 4.

When I wrote Ch. 1, there was virtually no story, only the information on how I made this particular family, based on the film actors, James Stewart and Kim Novak and characters they played in two movies. Since that time the Ferguson's oldest daughter, Gillian, had her baby, a little boy named after both his grandfathers (Bob Blackford and Shep);  Robert Sheppard. They called the baby Robby. Jeremy and Gillian lived right next door to Shep and Madeleine. It was a rather big house because they expected to have more children.

Second daughter Margo was awaiting the arrival of her first baby.  She and her husband Kevin Candeloro lived in the center of Pleasantville. Nicky had moved out of town for the time being. So the only children at home were the twins Harvey and Holly.

During the cold winter, mostly shut inside, the twins still found ways to keep busy. Holly went ice-skating at Wonderland with Lori Lassiter. Harvey and Holly had to exercise a lot, sometimes they swam in the heated pool. It didn't seem fair that the adults worked on the exercise machine for 20 minutes and kept trim, but the kids had to do calisthenics or swim for at least an hour or they would get little pot bellies. Afterward they were thirsty and they both loved to drink fruit juice.

 Harvey still loved gaming and when the snow disappeared for a day or two he was out on the Tribal Flame a la Coconut Pinball machine his brother Nicky left behind. Holly still took piano lessons.

Madeleine had not worked outside the home since she began having children. She did not believe in maids or any kind of servants and did all her own cooking and cleaning. Of course even the best cook has her off days. Once in a great while she burned something which really depressed her. She loved to sew and made many of the clothes her family wore and even sewed curtains for her dining room. Shopping was another interest of hers and she didn't let cold weather keep her home.

The twins were always bringing their friends home for supper, like Skylar Scott and Andy Lomax or Tina Traveler. They'd play rock-paper-scissors, Sims or SSX3. Sometimes they colored or built things with their Lego set.

It seemed like spring would never come, but finally the snow melted away and the flowers began to peek out of the ground. That meant it was fishing time. Shep was teaching the twins how to fish. As for Madeleine, she was getting almost as good as Shep.

One day in early spring Holly brought home a new girl, Debbie. Madeleine was surprised because the child was a few grades younger than the twins. While they were having supper, Madeleine said, “My, it’s getting late. What’s your phone number, sweetheart, and we’ll call your mommy to let her know we’re bringing you home, she must be worried to death.”

“I don’t have a mommy,” Debbie looked at her.

“Oh, well then we’ll call your daddy,”

“I don’t have a daddy either.”

Madeleine looked at Holly; who burst out,

“She’s an orphanage, she told me!”

“I’m an orphan,” Debbie corrected solemnly in a soft voice. Madeleine looked at Shep,

“So you live in the Children’s Home?”


"Well, I’m sure they will be concerned so I’ll call. You don’t have to rush your dinner; we’ll take you home in a bit.”

Madeleine went right then to call. The home had no idea that Debbie got off the bus with Holly and Harvey. When she said she had no parents, Holly thought that was just horrible and she just decided to bring her home.

So the Fergusons took Debbie back that night. When they got home, Madeleine spoke to Holly, “You mustn’t bring home children without getting permission for them to get off the bus, Holly, you know that. Failing that, you should have at least let me know right away so I could call the children’s home to get permission.”

“I didn’t want her to go home to that orphanage! She shouldn’t be all alone.”

“I know how you feel, but we still have to follow the rules. I'm surprised the home didn't put an Amber Alert out.”

However; the next day Shep and Madeleine went to speak to the head of the Pleasantview Children’s Home. The upshot was that they took Debbie in as their youngest child. Madeleine put her in the bedroom with Holly and moved Harvey to Nicky’s old room. Then she took Holly aside,

“I want you to be protective of her and help Debbie through things and encourage her. This will be a big change for her, Holly. I’m counting on you; you’re older than she is by four years, and I know you’ll be my kind sweet girl and give her a second, a third, and a fourth chance. Try to be patient and understanding.”

Holly was so happy they were giving Debbie a home that she nodded and said, "I promise, Mom! I'll be a really good older sister."

"That's my good girl."

Madeleine found Debbie automatically helping with chores the way she was taught at the children's home. She’d make everyone’s beds, and clear the table. Much better than Holly and Harvey!

She was just cute as a button and followed Shep around like a puppy and did he love it.When she brought home her first A+ Debbie was simply ecstatic and Madeleine made a big fuss over her.

First morning in her new home:

One the weekends the family frequently enjoyed the pool and Madeleine would barbeque chicken or grill chop or steaks. Sometimes she grilled shrimp or fresh fish.

The twins had taken swimming lessons, and could execute almost any kind of dive, although one time Holly nearly landed on Debbie. Madeleine, however, usually belly-flopped.

Spring had been wonderful, especially with the new addition to the family. The prospect of a beautiful summer stretched before them.