Chapter 4.2 – Rising Tides

You’re probably all tired of hearing my apologies. So all I’m going to say here is, given that it’s been such a long time, it would not surprise me if most of you have kind of forgotten what’s going on with Gabriel. If that’s you, I would recommend rereading his first chapter, The Artistbefore reading this one, as this chapter picks up right where the previous one left off.


“Hugo? Open up. I need to talk to you.”

No answer.

I knocked again. “Come on, Hugo. I know you’re in there.”

“He’s downstairs.”

I turned at the sound of Hope’s voice. “What’s he doing down there?” I asked, surprised.

She sighed. “Exercising, what else? What happened between you two?”

“I… don’t really know,” I admitted. “It’s kind of a long story. I think he’s angry with me over a girl?”

Hope groaned. “What else is new?” she muttered. As she turned to enter her own room, she added, “You’d better go talk to him. I’m not sure it’ll help the situation, but he might end up killing himself from overexertion if you don’t.”

I grimaced, and nodded, knowing that she was only half joking. I made my way downstairs to the rec room, where the communal exercise equipment was located, and found Hugo pumping out pull-ups like his life depended on it.

“Uh… hey,” I said uncertainly. “Can we talk?”

Hugo ignored me. I couldn’t blame him. In the back of my mind, I had begun to form an inkling of what might have happened in the lead-up to tonight, and I honestly expected him to storm out of the room again, or punch me, but he did neither. He just pushed on with his workout as though I wasn’t there, a tightening of his muscles and a deepening scowl on his face the only indications that he was even aware of my presence.

Several minutes passed, the tension between us becoming thicker by the second. More than once, I considered just giving up and going back to my room. It would be much easier to simply ignore whatever problem Hugo had with me and lose myself in my art, but I knew that if I didn’t address this now, things would only get worse. So I waited. After about ten minutes, my brother lowered himself down to the floor with a grunt of exertion, dusted off his hands, wiped the sweat off his face with a towel and gulped down several mouthfuls of water from the bottle at his feet. Only then did he deign to acknowledge my presence, turning and meeting my hopeful gaze with an angry glare. It was clear that I would have to be the one to extend the olive branch in this case.

“Can I talk to you?” I asked again. “Please?”

“What about?” he snarled. “Come to gloat?”

“What? No, of course not. Look, what you saw up there… it wasn’t what it looked like.”

“Oh?” his face hardened, disbelief etched in every line. “So you weren’t kissing Adelaide in your bedroom, then?”

“No! I mean, yes, technically… but it wasn’t like that-”

Hugo cut me off with a growl. “I suggest you get your story straight next time you come here trying to act like you didn’t just screw me over. Again. I don’t care how you’re trying to justify it, I know what I saw. Now get out of my way, I’m going to bed.”

He turned to leave, but I grabbed his arm to stop him. “What do you mean, ‘again’? When has this ever happened before?”

“When has it not?” he retorted. He slapped my hand away and rounded on me instead. “I always come second place to you, and you know it.”

Second place? What are you even talking about?”

‘Gabriel’s so smart! Gabriel’s so talented! Gabriel’s so hot and brooding and mysterious! Are you Gabriel’s brother? Oh, wow, can you introduce me to him?'” He dropped the high-pitched voice and glared at me. “I hear that shit every class I go to. So don’t you dare try to tell me it’s all in my head!”

I stared him, stunned. “Is that what this is about?” I spluttered in disbelief. “You’re mad at me because you’re… jealous, or something?”

Hugo’s scowl deepened, and his hands curled into fists at his side. “I’m mad at you because I’m sick of living in your shadow, Gabriel. I’m sick of always being second-best to you. I’m mad because it’s not enough for you to go about kissing a girl you know I had feelings for, you had to shove it in my face like she was some trophy you won!”

I gaped at him, speechless. Was that really what he thought had happened? There had to be something I could say to defend myself, but  no words came to mind.

“Nothing to say, huh?” he snarled. “I figured as much.”

I swallowed, knowing if I didn’t say something soon, he would give up and I’d lose any chance I had at redemption. “Hugo… please,” I managed. “Let me explain.”

“Explain what, exactly? What is there to explain?”

“First of all, I don’t have any feelings for Adelaide. She kissed me. I didn’t even know she liked me that way!”

“Right, she came on to you,” Hugo repeated, his tone dripping with sarcasm. “And she invited herself over as well, did she?”

“Well… no, but-”

“Seriously, Gabriel? How do you expect me to believe that? You invited her over to your house, took her to your room, with purely platonic intentions in mind, is that it?”

“Yes! I didn’t realise what it would look like. I didn’t know she liked me, and I didn’t know that you had feelings for her. I wouldn’t have brought her here if I’d known.”

“That’s the biggest pile of bullshit I’ve ever heard. No one is that thick, especially not ‘Mr. Genius’ himself. Just because I can’t do equations in my head or whatever doesn’t mean I’m an idiot, Gabriel. And only an idiot would believe that story. So save it for someone who cares.”

And with that, he turned and left the room. Moments later, the slam of an upstairs door echoed through the house. I sighed. I wasn’t the most intuitive person on Earth, but I was beginning to understand that whatever this was between Hugo and me ran a lot deeper than I had realised.

* * *

The following Saturday, the entire family was seated at the breakfast table (a rarity in itself) eating pancakes Mum had prepared for us. Mum was usually far too busy with work to have time for the domestic side of things, but today was one of her rare days off from her job as city mayor that Dad was occasionally able to convince her to take, and all of us were reaping the rewards.

Partway through the meal, Mum put down her fork and announced to the table at large, “I’ve decided that we should all go out and do something today. As a family.”

Surprised, I glanced up at my siblings to see how they were taking this unexpected development, but Hugo was stubbornly avoiding my gaze and Hope was too busy looking excited to spare me a glance. “Can we go to the beach?” she asked Mum eagerly. I hadn’t thought that Hope was really much of a beachgoer, but lately I had been learning that there was a lot I didn’t know about my younger siblings.

Mum hesitated, but then said, “I don’t see why not. It might be a bit busy, but it’s a beautiful day, and it would be a nice change in routine.”

I snorted. Mum, enjoying a change in routine? She must have been more tired than I thought. The sound drew her attention, and she frowned at me. She probably knew exactly what I was thinking, knowing her. “Is something wrong, Gabriel?”

I shook my head, trying to suppress a smile. “Beach sounds good.”

When we arrived at the beach, Hugo immediately announced that he was going for a run and took off down the shoreline. Dad took Mum’s hand and dragged her down to the water, where they proceded to splash around in the shallows together, laughing like children. Hope scanned the area eagerly, but apparently who- or whatever she was looking for was nowhere to be seen, for she gave up after a few moments, looking disappointed,  and left to join Mum and Dad.

I, meanwhile, had brought along a backpack with my portable easel, a small canvas and some painting supplies, and so headed down near the shore to set everything up. I didn’t often find the chance to paint from life like this, so I was hoping to seize the opportunity while it offered itself.

The beach was fairly crowded that day. As I painted, I enjoyed listening to the sounds of shouting and laughter around me, watching toddlers paddling in the shallows or building sandcastles with their parents, while their older siblings splashed around in the surf. At one point, I spotted a child standing alone up the far end of the beach near the cliffs, with no parents or siblings in sight.

It struck me as somewhat strange that he would be so far down the beach on his own, but I gathered from his street clothes that he wasn’t planning on doing anything dangerous like going in the water. I might have spared him more than a moment’s concern, but at that very moment I was distracted by the sound of someone shouting my name.

“Gabriel!”

I turned my head at the sound, to find none other than the catalyst of relational rifts herself strolling down the beach towards me.

I glanced around furtively, hoping that Hugo wasn’t around to witness the interaction. The last thing I needed right now was to give him more reason to think the worst of me. Luckily, it seemed that he had made good on his workout plans and was currently doing sprints along the stretch of beach where I had seen the young boy a moment earlier – too far away to notice anything. Relieved, I put down my brush and pallet and turned to politely greet Adelaide.

“Hi,” she said, somewhat shyly, when she reached me.

“Hey,” I returned. “What are you doing here?”

“Same as you – enjoying an unusually warm Saturday at the beach.”

I nodded and shuffled my feet awkwardly, unsure what to say next. Deciding I should probably make some attempt to clear the air after the other night, I began what I hoped was an apology at the same time Adelaide started to speak as well.

“About the oth-”

“I wanted t-”

We both paused with a halfhearted chuckle. “You first,” she said.

“Er… right,” I stuttered. “Well, what I was going to say was I’m sorry for throwing you out like that the other night. Things have just been… rough, lately, between Hugo and me, and I kind of panicked. And… I’m sorry if I lead you on in any way. That wasn’t my intention.”

“Oh, no, that was my fault!” she exclaimed. “Um, with Hugo, I mean. I didn’t know he was going to ask me out, and I didn’t know – I mean, I knew you were brothers, but I guess I didn’t think things through very well. Um… I never meant to make things difficult between the two of you. And as for the other thing – well, it’s okay. It was a misunderstanding.”

“So… you’re not upset?”

“Upset?” she repeated, somewhat incredulously. “I mean… I sort of am. I don’t blame you, exactly, but it’s hard to get over someone that quickly, you know?”

I didn’t know. I’d never had to get over romantic feelings for someone else, but I tried to look as sympathetic as possible as she continued.

“I really liked you, Gabriel. I mean… I like you. Still. I’d… really like it if we could still be friends, at least? Platonically bond over art, or something?” she added with a small laugh.

Relief flooded over me. I did like Adelaide, as a friend, and I had been worried that this would make things awkward between us, especially at Art Club. I was grateful for how well she seemed to be taking this. I would have had no clue how to handle it otherwise.

“Sure. I’d like that.”

She smiled, but her smile quickly vanished as she glanced over my shoulder, peering closely at something in the distance. “Oh my… is that Hugo?” she cried, and without waiting for an answer, took off running down the beach.

I followed her without thinking, and together we raced across the sand towards what did indeed appear to be my brother, now emerging from the water with a limp, dripping bundle in his arms.

“What happened?” Adelaide exclaimed when she reached him, a few paces ahead of me.

Hugo didn’t respond immediately as he lowered the boy in his arms gently to the ground and checked his pulse and breathing. I looked wildly around for a lifeguard, but the patrolled area was a few hundred metres back the way we had come, and almost out of sight where the beach curved around the cliffs. There was no way any of the lifeguards would have been able to see a boy in the water from that far away, especially not with their attention on the crowds populating the main beach. It was lucky, really, that Hugo had been around when he had.

Adelaide and I both jumped as the child suddenly started to cough violently, spewing seawater onto the sand in front of him. Hugo gently helped him to sit up, and sat rubbing his back soothingly as he heaved and spluttered. None of us spoke until the boy had recovered sufficiently and sat sprawled in the sand in front of Hugo, shaking from with appeared to be a combination of shock and cold, but otherwise unharmed.

“What happened?” Adelaide repeated. Hugo looked up, and scowled as his gaze landed first on Adelaide, then on me. I could feel the accusation burning in his glare.

“He was drowning in the water,” Hugo explained stiffly to Adelaide’s feet. “I don’t think he can swim. What’s your name?” he added, turning his attention back to the boy.

“S-S-Samuel,” the child spluttered.

“Alright, Samuel,” Hugo said, his tone softening. “Where are your parents? Are they here?”

Slowly, Samuel shook his head.

“Where are they?”

“They’re… they’re at home.”

“Do they know you’re here?”

He shook his head again.

“Alright, well we need to get you back to your parents. Can you tell me where you live?”

Samuel looked terrified, but he nodded. He took Hugo’s offered hand and got shakily to his feet, staring wide-eyed at his saviour with a mix of admiration and trepidation.

“I’m going to take Samuel home,” Hugo informed us. “Let mum and dad know I’ll be home late,” he added, without looking at me.

I nodded, then realising he hadn’t seen it, said, “yeah.”

“I’ll see you later.” And with that, he took Samuel’s small hand and strode off up the beach, with the boy following somewhat reluctantly behind him. I watched them out of sight, before it occurred to me that I had left my art supplies and half-finished painting abandoned on the shore.

As I turned to go, a gentle hand on my wrist stopped me.

“I saw the way Hugo looked at you,” Adelaide said. “I’m sorry… I feel like that’s my fault.”

I paused. I didn’t want her to feel bad, but I couldn’t deny it either. “I think there’s more to it than just you,” I said at last. “Don’t worry, he’ll get over it.”

She bit her lip, looking worried. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” I lied.

 

Advertisements

Genderbend Challenge

The final interim challenge I’ll be doing is the genderbend challenge. No one actually nominated me for this, but I did it anyway. Very presumptuous of me, I know. But I know I loved seeing it on other people’s blogs, so I guess my hope is that some of you will be interested in seeing what my characters look like as the opposite sex, too.

I didn’t do a pretty photoshoot like a lot of people I’ve seen, because I absolutely loathe posing sims and find it really tedious, lol. So here is the Gen 3 family, in all their unedited glory!


First up, we have Dion. 

He looks… pretty much as I would have expected, really. Sims 3 is really terrible at a lot of genetics-related things, one of which is how proportions are converted when switching from male to female, or when the sim ages. Ever had a child sim that was super cute, then when they aged up they looked like a duck? Yeah. (Cody from Gen 1 is my worst example of this – comparison here and here so you can see what I’m talking about.) As a rule I don’t like to edit sims who are born ingame, but the way my female sims look does not tend to translate well to the male face. So lately I’ve taken to editing my sims a bit to make up for it, which to me feels like cheating and I feel really guilty about it. But my poor male sims deserve a fair shot. Otherwise they just end up looking like that. ^


Next is Dion’s wife, Lucy. 

This is basically what my female sims look like if I try to edit them so that their male children won’t be ugly. Objectively, she looks okay, but I’m personally not a huge fan. Side note – that’s another thing I’m trying to work on, introducing more genetic diversity to my sims, mainly through the looks of the spouse-to-be. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, and there’s also more than one way to make a sim look pretty. We’ll see how it goes.


This is their eldest daughter, Gabrielle.

She’s kind of a weird mix of her parents, but mostly she looks like Lucy. Except somehow… worse. To be fair to poor Gabrielle, if this was someone else’s sim, I’d think she looked fine. But I’ve always known that Gabriel wasn’t as good looking as Hugo. I guess I thought he’d look better as a girl?


Next up is the middle child and eldest twin, Hopper.

Damn, what a cutie! The suit jacket doesn’t hurt either. Makes sense though, because Hope is basically the girl version of Luc. Personally, I don’t think she’s as pretty as most of the other girls I’ve had in my game, but I guess she can take comfort in the fact that her alternate-universe self is fine af.


And finally, we have the youngest, Helga.

She’s actually pretty cute, but not at all what I was expecting. I thought Hugo looked so much like Diana that Helga would basically just be a clone of Di. I guess Helga’s genetics are more mixed than I gave her credit for. I honestly wouldn’t mind having an actual sim that looked like this. I took these screenshots before I decided on the heir, and honestly Helga’s looks as opposed to Gabrielle’s was a strong element in Hugo’s favour.


So there we have it! I’m all caught up now. Stay tuned for chapter 4.2, and the continuation of Gabrielle-but-not’s story 🙂

Liebster Award

I was nominated last year for the prestigious Liebster Award by two of my favourite sims bloggers: Kate of The Loewe Legacy (once again) and fluffymao of The Mayfields.

As late as my acceptance is, thank you very much to both of you! ❤ I’ve always considered the Liebster Award the most prestigious of these blogging awards, so I’m really very honoured.

The rules are as follows:

  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the award.  (see above)
  • Answer the 11 questions the person [or in this case, persons] has asked you.
  • Nominate people (comment on their blog to let them know).
  • Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions. (again, I will neither be nominating nor asking questions because I’m so late in accepting the award)

… But I will answer the questions! So here we go.

Kate’s Questions:

1. What was your most memorable dream or nightmare?

Oh, this is a good one. So when I was about 5 maybe, I had this nightmare that I was being sucked up a giant vaccum cleaner by two huge, humanoid shadows. I woke up freaking out, as you do with nightmares, and the shadow-people from my dream were there. In real life. And this wasn’t a hallucination or sleep paralysis or anything. Basically the way my room was laid out, the wardrobe was right next to my bed, and with the shade on the ceiling light as the head and – I never quite figured out what, perhaps the door? – as the body, it created a tall, human-like silhouette on my wardrobe. I could see that shadow, and sometimes another, smaller one behind it, every night when I went to bed, and they terrified me for a good five or six years until I got a new bed and rearranged the layout of the room. So that one nightmare stayed with my physically for years.

2. When you were a kid what silly thing were you deathly afraid of?

My brother used to make fun of me for this. Like, he drew mocking cartoons and everything. I don’t remember how it started, but as a child, I was terrified of what I referred to as “the Toilet Ghost”. The Toilet Ghost would be summoned by the sound every time I flushed the toilet, so every time I went to the bathroom I would flush and then sprint the hell out of there so the Ghost couldn’t get me. I only went back to wash my hands once the flushing sound had ended. Sometimes, especially at night, I was too frightened to flush at all.

3. What is your biggest fear now?

That’s a lot harder. I’m not actually sure, at this point. I think probably being alone. All my other big fears – failure, friendlessness, etc. all have their roots in the fear of being utterly alone and unloved. I think it’s the same way for a lot of people.

4. If you could instantly know how to speak another language, what language would you choose to know?

Probably French. I love French, and I learned it in high school, but I was never anywhere close to fluent, as much as I would like to be. Plus, it’s like the secondary international language or something, after English, so in that sense it’s most useful.

5. When does time pass the fastest for you and when does it pass the slowest?

As a general rule, time passes fastest when we want it to slow down and vice versa. I find that the two often go hand-in-hand when I’m under a lot of stress – say if I have a lot of deadlines in one place, I want the time to go quickly so that I can get it over with, but I also want it to pass slowly so that I have time to finish everything. So I guess it fluctuates a lot? It used to be a lot more clear-cut, but I’ve learned to cheat the system to an extent. Like if I’m looking forward to something, where the time would ordinarily pass slowly, I fill the time in between with things I enjoy so it feels like it goes by quicker. And if there’s something I’m dreading, I find something to look forward to around the same time so the two kind of balance each other out, if that makes sense.

6. What was the strangest gift you’ve ever received?

I don’t know that I’ve received many strange gifts. My mum almost gave me a bulk-box of dental floss for my 21st birthday because she got the boxes mixed up… Oh, actually I did think of one.

So in high school, I was part of a rather large group of friends, with sort of a bunch of sub-groups. So even though we were in the same group, I wasn’t that close with a lot of them. There was one time when one of the girls I didn’t know too well got back from overseas with souvenir gifts for everyone in the group. Mine was a handkerchief. Not that I wasn’t grateful for whatever she wanted to give me, since I wasn’t expecting to get anything, but it was a really weird gift since I have never used a handkerchief in my life and never mentioned anything to do with handkerchiefs to this girl.

Basically, I have a bit of a strange accent that people tend to have trouble placing (I’ve had people guess New Zealand, Britain and Canada) but essentially it’s a bit more “proper” than the typical Australian accent. So as it turns out, based on MY ACCENT, this person had concluded that I was super posh and English or something, and therefore the perfect gift would be… a handkerchief. So yeah, that was pretty strange.

7. What weird smell do you really enjoy?

Paint, maybe? Or paper. Different kinds of paper. They all tend to smell different according to how they’re made and what kind of environment they’ve been kept in. Like, say, old books have a very distinct smell compared to magazines. But all the different scents have really strong and generally positive connotations for me. That, and wet asphalt/wet soil. But I think that’s pretty common for a lot of people.

8. If you could talk to animals, which animal would you talk to and what would you ask?

So I can only talk to one? I suppose I’d ask the nearest domesticated cat what they really think of people, haha! It seems like a bit of a mystery.

9. Would you rather live in the wilderness far from civilization or live on the streets of a city as a homeless person?

Definitely the wilderness. Apart from all the daily financial and health struggles, not to mention safety issues, I would encounter being homeless, if you think about it the main disadvantage of living far from civilisation would be lack of access to things like shops and the internet. Imagine being homeless and not only not having access to those things either, but every day having the people who do shoved in your face. I think that would be way worse.

10.  If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

“What will happen to me when I die?” Even as a Christian, I sometimes have doubts. Not so muh about what I believe exists after death, but about my own fate specifically. It would be nice to have absolute certainty about that, although I’m sure there’s a really good reason why I don’t have it already. I generally assume, if there’s something that humans can’t solve no matter what we try (for example the absolute truth about what happens after death) it’s because there’s a really good reason for us not knowing everything. I’m sure it would have a profound (and perhaps not very positive) effect on how we live. So maybe it’s best not to know at all.

11. Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

This might sound really lame to some people, but honestly I’ve always been more interested in the marriage-and-kids idea than that of pursuing an all-consuming career. I think I personally would find more fulfillment in a family than I ever would in a job. So ten years from now, I want to be married (hopefully to my current boyfriend because I like him a little bit), and maybe with a kid or two. I might even have a job I love on the side, if I’m lucky.


Fluffymao’s Questions

1. What Lovecraftian horror would you least like to encounter in a dark alley?

I am ashamed to admit I have never read any Lovecraft. However, after further research, I’ve discovered that ‘Lovecraftian’ is a much broader term than I thought. Still, I’m not much of a horror buff. From what I can tell, I would probably have to go with IT (Pennywise) or… the Babadook really freaks me out, even though I’ve never seen the film. One of those. Did I get the definition right? (If not, blame the Villains wiki: http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Lovecraftian_Horrors)

2. Have you ever played a tabletop RPG (D&DPathfinderDCC, etc.)?

I have! I’ve played DnD a couple of times. My boyfriend is trying really hard to get me into it again at the moment, he wants to set it up as a regular thing so he’s been encouraging me to make my character. Now that uni is over for the year, it’s finally happening. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s making him very happy which is the important part 🙂

3. Whether or not you have played a tabletop RPG, what class/race do you normally/would like to play?

My current character that I’m building for this game with my boyfriend is a Changeling (a shapeshifter, essentially, although the race isn’t set  in stone yet) Warlock, which was something I decided later on to fit with my original vision, which was not specific about class or race. Ordinarily, I tend to be attracted to humans, elves or half elves, and either stealthy rogues or dexterity-based warriors. Race-wise, though, I’ve discovered that there are a lot more than I thought, and some really interesting ones. On the shortlist for this character were also Aasimar (descendants of angels, normally charged with upholding the powers of good and righteousness ), Genasi (half human, half genie, citizens of both the material and elemental planes), Kalashtar (part human and part spirit, whose soul is bound to that of a spirit) and Tiefling (“devil children”, cursed by the sins of their ancestors).

4. Milkshake or smoothie?  Details.

It really depends what mood I’m in. I will never say no to a good vanilla or chocolate milkshake. But there’s just something about making and drinking a mango/banana/strawberry smoothie that makes me feel like I’ve got my life together. It feels all healthy and summery, whereas milkshakes are more of an indulgence, like hot chocolate. If I had to pick one and live without the other forever, though, I’d probably pick milkshakes.

5. What do you like best about your blog (layout, story, anything)?  What do you like least?

With regards to the physical blog, I really like this new theme, it makes the chapters much easier to read and the pictures appear larger. In a more abstract sense, I also love the fact that it gives me a platform to share my story and read other people’s, and the comments I receive are always a highlight 🙂 In terms of the story itself, I think the best part is the characters. I don’t know if they come across amazing, but in my head I get very attached to them and invested in their stories.

As for what I don’t like, that would be the way WordPress compresses my pictures so that they look just a little pixelated. It’s an issue I’m still working on solving, while also keeping my media space usage under control. I don’t know if any of you guys even notice it, but I do and it drives me MAD.

6. Who’s been your favorite character to write about or watch in-game?

Favourite character to write so far would probably be Luc. I love him so much as a character, and I feel like I know him better than any previous love interests because of the two years he and Di have been hanging out in my brain. My favourite character to watch, though, would have to be either Emily, because her traits make for highly entertaining gameplay, or Gabriel, just because I love to watch him paint. Every time he produces a good painting, I hang it on the wall. All the paintings in the house currently, with the exception of a couple in Hope and Hugo’s rooms, were done by Gabriel.

7. What’s something you really want to incorporate into your story, but just haven’t managed to (yet)?

For a while now, I’ve been toying with the idea of venturing into more supernatural territory. On that note, there are so many things that I’ve never tried from all my expansions that I’d love to play and put into the story. For example, different neighbourhoods I want to try out, but I can’t have the family moving all over the place with no good reason.

Another thing is I’m trying to explore different possibilities for romance in my story. A while ago, a reader pointed out that all my protagonists tend to follow the same pattern of falling in love with their best friend who they somehow didn’t realise they loved until that one moment. While there’s a good reason for the best friend thing – it’s my favourite type of love story, I think it’s the most romantic and also the best foundation for a relationship in real life – there’s really no excuse for everyone to follow the exact same pattern. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to subvert it totally in the next generation, but I do want things to play out a bit differently. And I think I’ve set Gabriel up for a fairly interesting romantic arc, so at least there’s that to look forward to.

8. If you could ask the Internet Conglomerate anything, and have It answer, what would you ask It?  What kind of answer do you expect?

I have many questions for the Internet Conglomerate, but in the interests of not getting political I’ll try to think of one that’s less controversial. I guess one question that springs to mind is, how many of you are there? And how many just lurk around and read stuff without ever saying anything? I feel like so much of what we think applies to “most people” (i.e. what they believe, how they act, etc.) actually only applies to a vocal internet population, who I suspect are actually in the minority when it comes to all of humanity.

9. Would you buy a goat if it meant you could pet it whenever you wanted?

Are you kidding? Hell yeah I would buy a pet goat. Who wouldn’t? There’s a man on my street that used to own one, and he’d take it for walks every day. I think the goat is dead now, sadly, because I haven’t seen it around in years, but I think it would be pretty cool. I realise there are a lot of downsides to owning a goat, but I’m just going to ignore those for now and live in my petting-zoo fantasy.

10. Special licenses aside, and suspending reality for a moment, what kind of animal would you have as a pet if you could?  Sparkle dogs are not animals and will be shot on sight.

You had to know that I was going to say sparkle dog if you said that. But no, if I’m being serious, I’d probably go for something like a quokka. Something small and cuddly and friendly, because I am a person who likes cuddles a lot and I never get enough of them.

11. When was the last time you had good pizza, like NY/Chicago good pizza?

Well I’ve never been to New York or Chicago, so I don’t have any basis for comparison as to what constitutes “good pizza” by those standards. However, Domino’s in Australia does have a range of HUGE pizzas that are supposed to be like the ones you get in New York, and I had one of those like… two weeks ago, I think? Hopefully that counts. But if we’re talking actual good pizza, and Domino’s New Yorkers really are like the ones you’re describing, let me just say that there are way better pizzas out there (in my opinion), like the ones you get from actual Italian pizzerias.


And there you go! 22 more things you probably didn’t know about me. There’s one more challenge I intend to complete, which is the genderbend challenge, and then the next thing after that should be chapter 4.2! We’ll see how we go. For now, I hope you enjoyed this chapter-length insight into my personal life, and hopefully I’ll see you again soon 🙂

I’ve Made My Decision

… Sorry it took so long. I actually decided this weeks ago, but then uni and assignments and… yeah. You’ve heard it all before. So without further ado, the heir to Generation 4 will be…

Gabriel Hunter

(I haven’t done an official “heir photoshoot” so please accept this smiling Gabriel as a placeholder. Side note: does anyone know why some of the shadows in my game/screenshots – like the ones around Gabriel’s neck in the above picture – are so pixelated, and how do I fix it?)

I know a lot of you liked Hugo – some more strongly than others – and will likely be at least a little bit disappointed by this decision. So I’m going to try and, not justify it exactly, but walk you through as much as I can of my thought process without spoiling the story, so that you can hopefully understand why I came to the conclusion that I did.

First of all, when I asked for advice on the heir vote situation, the majority of you said that I should pick who I wanted/go with my gut. So to start with, I plotted out both Gabriel’s and Hugo’s stories, in the hope that it would help me to decide who I liked better, because I really did have a great deal of affection for both of them.

Initially as I was writing the stories, I was leaning towards Hugo, because his involved a sort of redeption arc and a teen-child mentor type relationship, which is another of my soft spots (a bit like Bianca and Tyler in Gen 2, but not quite). However, Gabriel had the interesting romantic arc going for him, as well as the fact that I just enjoyed writing him more.

It was really important to me that the events of the stories made sense, not only in terms of the timeline but that they were consistent with the characters themselves and that the way they played out was logical and meaningful. And the more I explored their stories, the more Gabriel’s seemed to make sense, and Hugo’s just kept hitting wall after wall. There were a couple of scenes that were common to both storylines, and I found that pretty much all of them made more sense and had more significance in terms of character and plot development from Gabriel’s perspective than Hugo’s. Eventually it came to a point where the only thing Hugo really had going for him was that he was (in my opinion) better looking. And at that point, I thought, if it’s really that big a deal I can edit Gabriel’s face. It’s not something I do often, but I will if it bothers me, and characters and story are far more important.

So that’s why I ended up choosing Gabriel. I hope my reasoning made sense, and you can understand where I’m coming from even though I’m sure some of you will still be somewhat disappointed. If it’s any consolation, Hugo is still going to be around a lot (remember we still have that whole Adelaide debacle to sort through). I plan for their stories to be interwoven a fair bit, especially near the start while they’re still living in the same house. So rest assured, we’ll still be seeing plenty of him and his story will still be playing out in the background, just from Gabriel’s perspective.

Thank you all for voting, and I’m sorry the whole heir-picking process didn’t go quite as planned. I’ve told you the story before about how Diana was actually my least favourite when she was first voted in and now I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’m sure that as the story continues I and hopefully you will come to love Gabriel in the same way. In the meantime, feel free to let me know your thoughts, and (fingers crossed) I’ll see you soon for the official start of Gabriel’s story!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Another day, another tag. This time, it’s the Memory Lane Challenge, for which I was nominated by Kate of The Loewe Legacy. Thank you, Kate ❤

Rules

Congratulations! You’ve been nominated for a totally legit award.

1. Get a gold star and stick it on your forehead like a boss.
I don’t have any gold stars handy, but I will be sure to do so the next time the opportunity presents itself.
2. Share FIVE of your favourite moments from your legacy/challenge/story so far.
See below.
3. Nominate 3-5 blogs to do the same.
Again, I won’t be nominating because I’m doing this… 3 months late, in this particular case.

I’ve listed my five moments below, in order from least to most favourite. For the record, it was super hard to narrow it down to just five. All of the top five are from Gen 3, because it has the best writing overall and took the longest so its characters are the ones I’m most attached to. However, I have included an honourable mention from each of the three generations, so I’m not ignoring the first two completely.


Honourable Mention: Gen 1

Ian and Nicole’s first kiss

“There’s… something else I need to tell you,” he said.  “Believe me, this move is hard for me too.  I’m really going to miss Aidan… and you.  Nicole, I don’t know how to tell you how much… knowing you, these past few years, I… you mean a lot to me.”  He was stumbling over his words, clearly very nervous about something.  I smiled encouragingly, hoping to put him at ease.

After a few deep breaths, he continued.  “I wanted to tell you this before I go, because I don’t know if I’ll ever get another chance.  I love you, Nicole.  I… just wanted you to know that.”  He paused, looking anywhere but at me.  Even in the darkness, I could see that his face was burning red.  “I’ll… I’ll see you around,” he said confusedly, and turned to hurry away, while I stood paralysed, still trying to wrap my head around what he had just said.

He loved me.  Ian said he loved me.  I could feel happiness bubbling up inside me, so quickly that it scared me.  I couldn’t stop repeating his words in my head.  He loved me, he loved me, he loved me.  And if he loved me, that meant-

“Wait!”  I called after him.  I couldn’t let him leave, not now.  “Ian, wait!  Please!” I stumbled through the snow after him, while he kept walking as though he hadn’t heard.  When I reached him, I grabbed his hand to stop him from moving further away.  “Ian… stop…” I panted.  He looked back at me, his expression unreadable.

“What is it?” he asked, sounding resigned.

I hesitated for a fraction of a second before pulled on the hand I was holding to bring his face down to mine, barely noticing the surprise mapped across it as I gently pressed my lips to his.


Honourable Mention: Gen 2

The beach scene from chapter 2.4
(or Pretty much any time bianca and james were goofy together)

The sea was blissfully cool.  I felt more relaxed the moment the water hit my toes, and I was more than glad that I hadn’t decided to go home earlier.  I didn’t check what the others were doing, but I guessed that they were enjoying the sensation like I was.  That is, until a wave of salty water hit me square in the face and my eyes shot open.  I gasped and spluttered furiously, looking around for the culprit.  My eyes landed on James, who was treading water a few feet away and grinning.

“James Vistden!” I yelled his name accusingly.   He just laughed, so I drew my hand back and sent a retaliatory splash of water in his direction.

An all-out splash war soon escalated between the two of us.  Eventually, Tyler got fed up with us both and swam away, announcing that she was going down the other end of the beach to look for turtles. By that point both James and I were breathless and worn out, so we stopped splashing and just trod water while we talked.

“Do you know what you want to do, now that we’re out of school?” James asked me.

“Yeah, I already registered at City Hall the other day.  I’m going to be a professional angler, and sell my fish for a living,” I told him happily.

“That’s awesome, Bee!”  ‘Bee’ was my new nickname, courtesy of James and Tyler.  I’d never had a nickname from anyone before, but I have to admit I kind of liked it – it was cute.

“What about you?” I asked him.

“Well, I got a part-time job as an assistant chef at the bistro a few months back, trying to earn some extra money as a student, you know.”  I nodded, and he went on, “I actually really enjoyed it, and I’m hoping they’ll keep me on so I can maybe make a career out of it.”

So James wanted to be a chef!  “I didn’t even know you could cook,” I said in surprise.

“Oh yeah, I’m pretty excellent,” he said with a playful grin.

“And modest, too,” I added, and we both laughed.


Honourable Mention Gen 3

emily’s return

“What are you doing here?” I asked her, trying to keep the accusatory tone out of my voice. “I thought you were supposed to be on trial.”

“I haven’t been convincted of anything yet,” she grinned. “For now, I’m still on bail. And the trial is over for today. I was actually going to come visit you at home, but then I noticed you here.”

I suppressed a shudder, thinking of the dramatic mess that would have ensued if she’d carried out her original plan. “So, what do you want from me?”

“Do I have to want something? What if I just wanted to see my sister?”

I rolled my eyes. “Don’t play innocent, Emily. You always have an ulterior motive. Cut to the chase already, I’m getting cold.”

“Fine, fine,” she said, holding her arms up defensively. “I’ll cut to the chase. Rumour has it you’re about to become pretty influencial in this town, sis.”

“No,” I said immediately. I could already see where she was going with this.

She grinned. “No need to be mod-”

“I meant, no Emily, I won’t use my political connections to bail you out of trouble.”

She scowled. “Why the hell not? I’m your sister, aren’t I?”

“So you say. But that doesn’t mean you get to walk all over me. I covered for you when we were kids, but I won’t have any part of your criminal activities. You should know that. I wouldn’t do it then, and I won’t now.”

“Don’t act like you’re better than me, Diana. Don’t you dare. You always got off on being Little Miss Perfect, but I know the truth about you. We both know you’re not who you pretend to be.”


Favourite Moment #5

Luc and Di’s wedding

When I turned to look forward again, I found my whole world right there before my eyes, looking more wonderful than ever.  He smiled – were those tears in his eyes? – and took my hand in his.

There was no third party present to conduct the legal part of the ceremony.  I didn’t want to be married by a stranger and we didn’t know anyone personally who was authorised to perform a wedding, so we had taken care of that part of it the day before at the courthouse in town.  Today’s ceremony was all about celebrating with our family and friends, and (most importantly) with each other.  Vows, therefore, were to take place today.

“Luc…” I took a deep breath, and clutched the ring more firmly in my trembling fingers.  Oh God, please don’t let me forget my own vows.  “I… I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that, from the first time we danced together, you changed my life… for the better.”  I tried to look him in the eyes as I spoke, but found it almost impossible to do so without crying.  “There has never been, and never will be, anyone for me but you.  My heart, my body and my mind are yours forever.”  Drawing a ragged breath, I slipped the ring onto his third finger with shaking hands.  ” ‘I give this ring, in pledge of my love and devotion.  With this ring I thee wed.’ ”

As I finished speaking, I looked up into his beautiful green eyes, shining with unshed tears.  He smiled at me, and my heart melted.

“Diana,” he began, almost in a whisper.  His voice was quite steady, but the hand that gripped mine was shaking slightly.  “The first time I saw you was the first time I really fell head-over-heels for anyone.”  He paused and chuckled.  “I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s the truth.  For as long as I’ve known you, you have been the most important person in my life.  I’m so grateful that I’m the person you chose to spend the rest of yours with.  I promise to love and treasure you forever, no matter what we come up against, and the harder it gets, the tighter I’ll hold on.  I give this ring in pledge of my love and devotion to you, my beautiful genius.  With this ring I thee wed.”  The cold metal felt foreign on my finger, but at the same time, it felt right.  “I now declare us husband and wife,” he announced.  Everyone laughed.  “May I kiss the bride?”

Laughing, I nodded.  The last rays of the setting sun danced off the water behind us as Luc threw his arms around me and pressed his lips hungrily against mine.


Favourite Moment #4

the big fight

“Luc, please, say something!”  I begged, tears welling up in my eyes.

“I can’t… believe it.”  His voice was less than a whisper.

I raised my eyes to his.  “What?”

“I can’t believe it,” he repeated, more firmly, and I winced at the pain in his voice.

I grimaced, still trying to keep the tears at bay.  “Well, that’s what I’ve been thinking for the past ten minutes.”

He scowled at me.  “This is totally different.”

“Oh?”  I challenged him.  I was still feeling miserably guilty, but I wasn’t going to let him think that everything he had just told me about his past wasn’t going to affect me because of that.  “How so?”

He gritted his teeth in frustration and shut his eyes, refusing to look at me.  “That was years ago-”

“-That doesn’t make a difference!”  I interrupted.  The tears were flowing in earnest now.

“Look, I was young-”

“-I was drunk!-”

“-You still cheated on me–”

“-You still vandalised a school–”

“-You kissed another guy-”

“-YOU BROKE THE LAW-”

“YOU BROKE MY-” he stopped himself abruptly and just glared at me, red-faced and breathing deeply, as though he had suddenly realised what he was about to confess.

We both knew what he meant.  The unsaid word hung in the air between us, an impenetrable barrier where seconds earlier there had been nothing but hot air.  I stood, frozen, staring at his face, tears streaming down my cheeks while he still refused to look me in the eye.  And I, terrified of what I might see there, didn’t want him to.


Favourite Moment #3

Pat comforts Di after her fight with Luc

Pat reached out to comfort me, but instinctively I cowered away from him, afraid to let him touch me.  “No…” was all I could whisper.  “Please…”

“Di, please.  Tell me what’s wrong.”  He looked as though he was about to cry himself, but made no move to touch me again.  I buried my face in my hands and shook my head.  I couldn’t speak – it felt as though I was being crushed by the pain.

“Is this about Luc?” he asked, gently.  Surprised, I lifted my head to look at him, and nodded.  I bit my lip to stop it trembling, still struggling to form a coherent sentence.

Pat scowled at my admission and started to stand.  “That’s it,” he said furiously.  “I’m going to kill him for this.  I told him… I wouldn’t… but if he’s hurt you-”

I grabbed his arm to stop him, frantically shaking my head.  “No,” I croaked.  “Please, Pat… it wasn’t his fault.”

Clearly fighting to stay calm, he sank to his knees again.  “Then what is it?  What’s happened, Di?  Tell me.  You know I’m here for you.”

Choking back my tears, I explained to him, as best I could, what I had done.  With Jake, and with Luc, and all about our argument that night.  I tried to leave out as much as possible of what Luc had told me of his past – that wasn’t mine to share.  When I got to the part about walking out the door, my voice hitched, and another sob caught in my throat.  What had I done?

Pat, who had listened calmly throughout, stretched out a hesitant hand to gently brush against the side of my face.

“It’s going to be okay,” he told me, wiping the stream of tears from my cheek with his thumb.  “Okay?  I promise.  I don’t know Luc all that well, but I know you, and if- if you love him…” his voice faltered and a new sorrow filled his eyes, but he pressed on bravely, “… if you love him, he’s got to be a pretty great guy.  There’s no way he’s going to abandon you just like that.  Not after all that’s happened.”

“But…” I wasn’t convinced.  “Pat, everyone has their limits.  I cheated on him.  I kissed another guy.”

“You were drunk.”

I shook my head.  “That doesn’t change what I did.  Why would… why would he want me after… after that?”  I barely finished the question as the pain of what I had done rose up again inside me.  I threw my arms around Pat’s neck and pressed my face into his shoulder, drenching his shirt with my tears as I cried.  I felt his muscles stiffen under my fingers, but refused to let go.  This was all I had.  Without him here, I wouldn’t be able to bear it, I knew it.  He was all I had to cling to as my world fell to pieces around me.


Favourite Moment #2

Luc defends Di against Oliver danes

“Do you think you’re irresistible or something?” I hissed, turning my head to the side so that his presumptuous lips landed on my neck instead.  “Get the hell off me, asshole!”  With a yell, I launched forward off the lockers and brought my knee up as hard as I could into his stomach.

He let go immediately, staggering backwards with a surprised “Ooft!”  I advanced, ready to take full advantage of his weakened position to land a few well-deserved punches.  As I raised my fist, however, I felt a gentle but strong grip close around it.  Whoever it was pulled me backwards, catching me against his own body, one hand wrapped securely around my waist while the other released my wrist to rest soothingly on my right shoulder. For the second time in a span of several minutes, I found myself trapped in someone else’s arms against my will.

I struggled, still seeing red, fighting with all my strength to get back to Oliver Danes and give him a long overdue beating up.  “Let… me… go!” I panted furiously.  He’s getting away!  I scratched at his arms and stamped as hard as I could on the toes of my assailant, but though he grunted in pain, his grip held firm.

“Di!  Calm the hell down, it’s me!”  a pained voice said in my ear.

“… Luc?”  What was he doing here?  He never came to school.

“Yeah, so stop trying to beat me up, okay?”

I let myself relax, watching in defeat as Oliver Danes got to his feet and brushed the dust off his jeans.  There goes my chance of a lifetime, I thought glumly.

Oliver Danes stood up, glancing between me and Luc with a scowl on his face.  “Who the fuck are you?” he addressed Luc.  I felt his body briefly tense up behind me, but when he spoke, his tone was quite calm.

“You should be thanking me,” Luc said.  Even though I couldn’t see his face, I could hear the amusement in his voice.  “I just saved you from the retribution you undeniably deserve, at the hands of someone perfectly equipped to deliver it.”

I glanced up at him in surprise.  If he thought it was so well-deserved, why did he stop me?

Oliver’s eyes wandered over Luc’s hands, still spread protectively over my shoulders and abdomen.  “Is she your girlfriend or something?”

I half expected Luc to lie and say yes, but he didn’t.  Neither did he deny it.  “That’s none of your business,” he replied coolly.  “But you had better leave her the fuck alone… or you’ll regret it.  A lot.”

His green eyes bore threateningly into Oliver’s light blue ones, and for a moment the other boy looked ready to punch him.  Several tense seconds passed before Oliver spoke again.

“Whatever,” he spat.  “She’s not even worth it.”

With that, he pushed past us, turned the corner and disappeared.


Favourite Moment #1

Luc and Di’s first kiss

The sun had just begun to set when he took my hand in his.  The warmth in the gesture calmed me, even as I struggled to contain my own feelings of loneliness which threatened to spill over and overwhelm all the good that had come with being accepted into the course of my dreams.  I had been trying not to think about it too much, but I was going to miss him too… how much, I don’t think I had quite realised until that moment.

“It’s not that I’m not happy for you,” he went on hurriedly.  “I’m so happy for you!  I just…” He took a deep breath.  “There’s something I have to tell you before you go.  I wasn’t going to say anything, but I can’t let you go without telling you, and then not see you for months and months and…”

I had never seen him look so uneasy.  He groaned in frustration, turned away, ran his fingers through his hair the way he always did when he was stressed or confused.  Then he turned to face me, and something in his eyes made my heart stand still.  Without another word, he stepped forward…

Cupped my face in his strong hands…

And kissed me.

Luc.

Kissed.

Me.

Luc kissed me.

For what felt like forever I just stood there, trying to make sense of things as a thousand feelings and thoughts and sensations bombarded my mind.  I had to stop this… had to tell him that we were just friends, that we couldn’t be anything more.  I had decided, I had promised myself.  Regardless of how I felt, or he felt, or… just friends.  I was too terrified of losing him for anything else.  But even knowing that, I…

… I…

… never wanted this to end.


So there you have it! My favourite moments from the story so far. I tried to vary them a little, so that they weren’t all romantic, even though I’m a sucker for romance and so those tend to be my favourite scenes. I hope you enjoyed reliving these as much as I did 🙂

Sunshine Blogger Award 2018

Here we are, only seven months late. I’m accepting this award. Thank you very much to Kate at The Loewe Legacy for the nomination.

According to her post:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

That is adorable and I’m very grateful to be thought of as meeting those criteria 🙂 ❤

Here are the rules:

  • In a blog post, thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.  (I won’t be nominating anyone or asking them questions because of how late I am in accepting the award.)
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

And now to answer Kate’s questions!


If you could set one season for the whole year like in TS3, which one would it be?


Spring is my favourite season. The weather is just starting to feel summery, but without the oppressive, mind-bending heat that characterises Australian summers. Also there’s just something in the air that reminds me of summer holidays, so it makes me feel cheerful and carefree. And another thing, most plants are in bloom, so there are flowers everywhere and everything is pretty and sweet-smelling 🙂


Where would you love to spend your summer vacation this year?


My current plan is to spend it at home, working on this blog and various personal projects and hanging out with friends/boyfriend. I have a crazy long break from uni (5-ish months) so I’ll have a lot of time on my hands. I guess if I could spend it anywhere, I might like to go down to Melbourne to visit some friends. I have a lot of online friends in that area (that I’ve met up with previously) who I would love to visit more often if I had the money to do so.


What weather is it in the part of the world you live in?


It is currently Spring. Yay! 😀 Most days are still pretty cold, but we’ve had a couple of really gorgeous, 25-ish degrees days so far this month. (That’s mid- to late-70s Farenheit for all my US readers 🙂 )


Empty your handbag/backpack. What are the items you see?


Emptied my handbag. Inside we have:

– Two snack bars
– Headphones
– Old concert tickets
– Lip cream
– My loyalty card wallet
– My actual wallet
– Hairbrush
– Deodorant
– A champagne cork (?)
– Camera
– USB case
– Sunglasses
– “Girl products”
– A few pieces of rubbish
– My insulin medication (I’m not diabetic, I actually have the opposite problem – too much insulin)


Do you have some kind of fashion obsession (shoes, handbags, belts, hats, vintage items, jeans, designer clothes, dresses etc.) or none at all?


In spite of Spring/Summer being my favourite time of year, I am a big fan of scarves and beanies. Problem is, it’s rarely cold enough to wear them in Sydney :/ And it’s getting rarer every year, what with global warming and all. However, my one clothing item that I really love is probably dresses – specifically what I suppose you might call vintage style (A-line, mid-length skirts). I wish I owned more of them.


How much money are you willing to spend on a fashion item you REALLY like?


Depends on the quality. For a really nice dress or something, maybe a couple of hundred dollars? I’d be willing to pay more or less depending on what store it was from. Not because I care about the brand, but because some stores have a reputation for quality that others don’t, and their clothes tend to be proportionally more expensive.


What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?


I don’t really have a single movie that I’ve watched hundreds of times, so I don’t know if there’s one I can watch that much without getting tired of. The movie that springs to mind, however, is The Prince of Egypt. I’ve seen it many times, both throughout my childhood and more recently as an adult, and I still love it. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is incredible, and it’s just really well-crafted in terms of story and characters. Plus, the childhood nostalgia factor probably helps.


If magic was real, what spell would you want to learn first?


Are we talking Harry Potter magic? Since you mention specific spells, I’m going to assume so. In that case, I would probably want to learn something like Reparo, because it would just be so damn useful in everyday life even if I didn’t do magic stuff ordinarily.


Do you print your photos or do you just keep them in the folders of your PC?


I don’t take many photos in general, and those I do rarely make it to my PC and just sit on my phone. I would probably only print photos if it were for a project of some sort, or if I wanted to frame them or give them to someone as a gift.


Have you researched your family tree? If yes, how deep in the past did you get?


I personally haven’t, but I believe my grandfather has. Only with his (and his wife’s) side of the family, obviously. I think he traced it back a good four or five generations at least, before my ancestors came to Australia from… I think the UK. I would be interested to research that sort of thing myself, but not enough to pay someone for it, and I wouldn’t know where to start or how far I could get for free.


Do you read the Loewe Legacy? The story is currently on hiatus, should it be continued…?


I do, although I’m woefully behind. It’s one of the stories I haven’t yet caught up on after my year out of action. Given that I’m not up to date and don’t know the circumstances surrounding the hiatus, I can’t really give my opinion on whether it should continue. I can only say that I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and I think it would be a shame to end such a creative and in-depth story before its time.


So there you go! As I mentioned above, I won’t be tagging anyone or asking questions because I’m so late to the party at this point, but I answered Kate’s questions because there might be someone reading my blog that’s interested in knowing all these random facts about me. Stay tuned for another selection of random facts in my Liebster post, as well as the Memory Lane challenge coming soon!

Moodboard Tag

I was tagged for this challenge by Lila Remonn, whose moodboards are just… so extra it’s amazing. Inspired by the lengths to which she took the challenge, and because I had nothing better to do with my time, I created moodboards for the founder and both heirs, as well as the rest of Diana’s immediate family. I won’t be tagging anyone because the original tag was seven(!) months ago so I’m a bit late to the party. With that said, I hope you enjoy!


Nicole



Bianca



Diana



Luc



Gabriel



Hugo



Hope


This Heir Vote is a Mess and I Need Your Help

Hello, friends.

So, as you can probably tell from the title, I’m in a bit of a dilemma. It doesn’t seem like whoever voted for Hope is going to come forward and break the tie, which means I have to do it, or host an entirely new vote. I’m not sure what to do, and after some reflection I’ve decided to be completely honest with you all about what’s going on and ask how you feel about the whole situation (assuming you care, I suppose – maybe I’m making too big a deal out of this whole thing, who knows).

Here is my dilemma:

a) Left to myself, I would probably choose Gabriel to be heir. If it had been a simple tie, that is probably what I would do. However, I cannot in good conscience make that decision, because

b) I feel like Hugo should have won the vote. This is because Hugo was actually winning up until the night before the vote closed. On that night, I was talking to some friends about the story and the heir vote, and one of them decided he wanted to participate. I made him read the intro chapters before he voted, but he hasn’t read the rest of the story. As far as I know, he doesn’t have much interest in the story, he just wanted to participate in the vote. He voted solely based on his own preferences, because I didn’t tell him what mine were, but

c) Because my friend (who voted for Gabriel to make the tie) is not a regular reader of the blog and has little investment in the story, I feel as if it would be wrong to count his vote. It feels like I would somehow be cheating those of you who do read and enjoy the story and so actually have investment in who becomes the heir – and the majority of you voted for Hugo.

However,

d) I have no way of knowing whether all the other votes were legitimate. People may have voted multiple times, even accidentally (say, if it seemed like it didn’t go through the first time), or people like my friend who enjoy heir votes but don’t actually read the story may also have voted. So, following that logic, any or none of the votes could have been “legitimate”, and so I should either count every vote or discount the whole lot.

In light of the above, I have several options.

  1. Redo the heir vote, potentially between only the two boys, and hope we have a clearer outcome. This will take the longest, and might not even work.
  2. Declare Hugo the winner on the basis that, as far as I can tell, he was the favourite among my regular readers (although this may not be the case).
  3. Declare Gabriel the winner on the basis that my friend’s vote was as legitimate as any other from a non-reader, which some of the others may have been, and therefore the vote was a tie, to be left to my own personal preference.
  4. Wait until the person who voted for Hope comes forward and breaks the tie, which will probably happen at some point if they’re a regular reader, but may never happen if they just came by to vote in the heir poll.
  5. Ignore the vote and ask someone like a friend or family member to tell me who they prefer and just go off that (I don’t really want to do this, but it is an option).

So that’s what’s happened. I’m sorry everything has been all messed up and delayed, and maybe I shouldn’t be so bothered by it in the first place, but I want to be completely transparent with you guys. If you’re wondering, the reason I didn’t tell you all this about my friend earlier was because I did consider his vote legitimate, but upon further reflection, it felt dishonest, to me, to do so unless you agreed with me.

I always value your opinions on my story very highly, and so I ask once again that you tell me what you think of this latest development, and which of the above options you think would be best.

Thank you very much in advance.

I Missed You… And a Lot of Tags!

In a little over a month, it will be three years since I started this blog. Although it’s been pretty quiet around here for the last year or two, I’m hoping to remedy that in the coming year! I do regret letting my activity on here slip, because so much has happened while I was gone and when I came back I felt like a bit of an outsider in the community. It’s pretty sad, because my favourite part of doing this is being able to exchange stories with all you lovely people, reading each other’s stuff, commenting on each other’s posts, sharing feedback, etcetera. There’s a special sense of cameraderie in it that I’ve really missed.

So, in the interests of rebuilding and working my way back into the community (assuming you’ll still have me… lol), in the coming weeks I’m going to be following up on all the challenges/awards that I’ve been tagged in over the last year or so and never responded to, and one that I haven’t – specifically, the gender-bend challenge that went around a few months ago. I have no idea if anyone will find that interesting, but I did when other people did it, so I’m doing it. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to.

Specifically (and this is mostly for my own reference), these are the challenges/awards I’ll be posting:

Moodboard Tag (nominated by Lila Remonn at The Kingston Legacy)

2018 Sunshine Blogger Award (nominated by Kate at The Loewe Legacy)

Memory Lane Challenge (again, nominated by Kate at The Loewe Legacy)

The Liebster Award (nominated by The Loewe Legacy again  – wow, thanks Kate! – and by fluffymao of The Mayfields)

The Genderbend Challenge (nominated by no one, perhaps because everyone thought I was M.I.A., but I’m doing it anyway because it’s fun)

So anyway, you can expect to see an influx of miscellaneous posts like that coming up. I hope you find them entertaining. I’ll also be thinking about what I want to do when the actual anniversary comes up, but right now I’ve got no clue, so feel free to throw my way any ideas you have/things you want to see for the anniversary special!

As always, thank you for reading and I wish you all a great day 🙂

Who Voted for Hope? (Heir Vote Tiebreaker)

So as it turns out, the heir vote was a tie between Gabriel and Hugo. Since we can’t have two heirs, there are a couple of ways this could go. I could choose whoever was in the lead the longest, or I could leave it up to my personal preference, but what I’d like to try first is ask whoever voted for Hope (there was only one – poor Hope 😦 ) to come forward and break the tie. So whoever you are, thank you for voting, but I need you to vote for one of the other two now, lol.

If you voted for Hope, please comment below to let me know who you are and who your new choice is.

I won’t have this up for a week like the heir vote, probably just a day or two. If no one comes forward in that time, I’ll have to either make the decision myself, ask a friend to break the tie, or host a whole new vote for just Gabriel and Hugo and hope that it comes out uneven this time. Let me know which option you guys would prefer.

Thank you all for voting, I hope we can get this sorted soon so I can start planning Gen 4!