Thank You

I have decided what I am going to do next.

I have a draft open with what I’ve written of Ten so far. πŸ™‚ I’ve decided I’m going to write and publish it scene by scene like I did with Valley, but it’s not going to have pics – well, not most of the time but I might include them from time to time if I feel like it – and they won’t necessarily be game pics. It’ll be a bridge between Sims Valley and non-Sims Valley, a way for me to learn how to write without using the game.

Apparently eight months of intensive writing makes it a habit that can’t easily be let go. Who knew?

And it has indeed been an intense eight months.

I started my first Sims story in the summer of 2005. Here is my Sims 2 story page if you want to check it out. Do note that Valley is the first story I’ve finished.

So Sims 3 came out and I wanted to do another legacy. I read the first few that were published, checking out the competition. I read a comment that grumbled about everyone using the same spouses for their first generation and decided I would have a different spouse. So I thought “How would I do that?” and the answer was “Push the game ahead a few generations.”

Then it all just sort of came from there. Lilith was the founder, and originally Seth was going to kill her and she was going to be a ghost for a while and then just randomly find and eat some ambrosia and come back to find that she’d been dead for generations and that Seth was extremely pissed at her for eating his ambrosia.

I had these visions of the chapter where she’d be a ghost, all abstract and dark, and of her going back to her house to find that Jason had moved on and gotten married and had kids and his adult grandchild was living in the house now and had no idea who she was. She’d be all angsty for a while and eventually find another guy (I was going to cannibalize a save I’d played through four generations already for the legacy) and Seth would be the legacy villain.

I found this note in an old notebook yesterday. It’s from when I first started planning the story.

Dude – insane, evil – grows over time, garden, scientist
Wife – innocent, coward
save camera angles?
If so – get shots of house with different color lights?

So I really did think it was going to be a legacy at first, but as it went on it took on a life of its own. I never was in control. I would occasionally outline a chapter shortly before writing it, but I never had an overall outline. I never had an idea of where the story was going until near the end. I think I saw the ending at about the time that I switched from headlong two updates a week finger vomit to one update a week and struggling to pull the words out of my fingers and then heavily editing them.

I have grown so much in the last eight months, both as a writer and as a person. I learned about editing, about sentence structure and rhythm and the power of the delete key. I kept going in the face of anonymous hate. I realized some of my character flaws and I’m working on them. I finished Valley Sunday night despite waking up sobbing on Saturday.

I made writing a habit, and one that I can’t bear to give up. Who knows, maybe one day the non-Sims version will be available for sale at your local bookstore. πŸ™‚ We’ll see. But that’s years in the future.

I can’t express how much I appreciate my regular readers and commenters, the people who stayed with me through the whole thing, including this last month of sturm und drang. I love you guys so much, and you have no idea how your words have touched me and have kept me going and have been a reason to smile when I was at my lowest. I hope that I entertained you and that you enjoyed going on this adventure of discovering Valley with me.

I meant to discuss themes and symbols and metaphors and things in this post but I find that I’d rather do that in comments and have a dialogue about it and see what other people’s interpretations are – which I think it’s really cool that there are different possible interpretations and that we see Valley through our personal lenses and find things in it that resonate with our feelings and beliefs and how other people see it as sometimes vastly different than how I think of it. So please reply to this post with any thoughts you want to share about the story.

And lastly – it wouldn’t be a post about writing Valley without some YouTube links.

Possum Kingdom, by The Toadies, is the ultimate Seth song. And the video is a fan video for an anime that I haven’t watched but I might have to because it certainly does look Valley-ish, with the moon and trees and things.

Gingerbread Coffin, by Rasputina, is Lilith’s song. I think you’ll see why. πŸ™‚

I can’t decide which song to share for Jason so I’ll go with both of them.

Lillian, Egypt by Josh Ritter. Which by the way – Josh Ritter rocks and my husband and I are going to see him live for the third time in May. πŸ™‚ But yeah – there’s the name thing and then the whole damsel in distress/villain thing going on – and certainly Lilith was tied to the train tracks the last time Jason saw her.

One by U2 was the first Jason song. I’ve been thinking about Jason a lot lately and really wanting to explore him and his relationship with Lilith, which kind of makes me want to go ahead and get started on non-Sims Valley. When I was gearing up to write Death, I felt like he understood that he had to go for the story and was okay with it as long as I made it good.

Sarah – Sarah’s songs started coming to me as I was preparing to write her diary. #1 Crush by Garbage seems to sum up her vibe pretty well. I also want to explore her more and may yet still write that zombie apocalypse story with her as the main character.

Yes, I was a teenager in the 90s. πŸ™‚

So I guess that’s it for now. See you in replies to comments, and look for the first chapter of Ten to be posted fairly soon.

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31 Responses to Thank You

  1. WOW! I didn’t expect such a heartfelt post, and am so happy that you have decided to continue with the writing. πŸ™‚

    I truly enjoyed reading all the updates with Valley, and am now anxiously awaiting your new project – Ten!

    OK, since you want personal interpretations, here’s mine:

    Valley, to me, is the story of personal demons. Lilith’s journey in battling with Seth was immensely personal – and one that she had to endure by herself. Jason tried to help, but couldn’t. She had to go through the process alone. While Seth was clearly an externalβ€”supernatural in a wayβ€”being, he forced Lilith to deal with parts of herself in order to remain in control. She grew during the process, in a way should not have otherwise.


  2. Mariia says:

    Yay! I really hope you make an actual book some day, and if you do I’ll be sure to buy a copy :D. Just make sure to post a note on the site though :D.
    I love your first idea for Valley, and I’m sure it would’ve been perfect, just like this version!
    I think that Valley is:
    A story about believing in things other-worldly. One day everything’s fine, and the next, something insane could happen. Like Seth ;).
    LOL, I know it’s completely wrong, but oh well πŸ˜€


    • medleymisty says:

      Oh, I will definitely post it here if, years from now, I finish the non-Sims version and send it out and it gets accepted somewhere.

      And yeah, I still think the original idea could be a good story. If anyone’s reading this, feel free to take it and use it as a starting place for a story if you want.

      That’s a pretty cool interpretation, and fits with how the story started out pretty normal and realistic and then got more and more abstract and weird and insane as we went. πŸ™‚

      Thank you!


  3. tipix7 says:

    The Valley was very enjoyable to read and I’d love to see some further development of Seth’s characters in other shorts of yours. Thanks for such a great story (:


    • medleymisty says:

      Thanks! πŸ™‚ And oh, there will be more Seth – got my husband to make me another mix CD tonight. This one is named The EmoTeen!Seth Experience. πŸ˜‰ I don’t think Ten will be short. I’ve done some planning for it already and I could see it turning into quite the project.

      Yay you are awesome! πŸ™‚


  4. Quanta1000 says:

    Congradulations on continuing! I am very excited and on the edge of my seat to see what you come up with next (it will be amazing, as always). As a fellow writer, I think you have an excellent talent at this, so please continue!

    Best wishes!


    • medleymisty says:

      OMG I use so many smilies. Here’s one again. πŸ™‚

      Thank you! I am getting all excited about Ten now so who knows, the first chapter might be out fairly soon. It will include the bit that was in the teaser and finish out that scene.

      I have always loved your comments – you always got where I was going and what I meant with the story. πŸ™‚ Thank you so very very much, and I hope you like the new story.


  5. amyjobee says:

    First of all, I want to say thank you. I know you wrote this story for you and because you enjoy writing, but it has also been a gift to myself, as well as many others. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Valley.
    I am so happy you are writing another story. I can’t wait! If you can, if it doesn’t tell to much, what would you say the mood or… genre is of your new upcoming story? Is it similar to Valley? Or completely different. Also I am going to go through and re-read valley tonight, then I will give my insight on the story. =]


    • medleymisty says:

      I didn’t write it quite as much for me as other Sims writers say you should. πŸ˜‰ I tend to think that stories are meant to be shared and if I was just writing it for me I wouldn’t publish it online.

      As for the new story – wrote a teaser for it last month. πŸ™‚ Ten It’s about Seth as a high school sophomore and the events that set him on the path to becoming the Seth of Valley proper. I think it will be somewhat different – for one thing, I’m not planning on using many pictures, if any, from the game. And I imagine it will be less abstract – everything I can see at the moment about it is based in reality and not in any sort of weird dreamscape.

      The characters will be teens, but I don’t know if I’d call it YA exactly. It is still Seth, after all, so it will still be dark and insane. πŸ™‚

      Ooh, am eagerly awaiting to hear what you have to say after rereading it. Oh dear – don’t hold me up to too high a standard. I had no plan or outline when I started, after all. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so very much for all of your kind words and lovely comments. I’ve really appreciated them. *hugs*


  6. Connor says:

    … I don’t really know what to say.
    Just thank you. And you’re welcome.

    And I’ll buy the novel version when it’s published.


    • medleymisty says:

      I like the “when” as opposed to “if” there. πŸ™‚ We’ll see what the next few years bring, eh?

      Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments. πŸ™‚ I’ve always enjoyed your thoughts and opinions on the story and they made me feel all warm and fuzzy and happy and helped me keep going. *hugs*


  7. Jessie says:

    Its not often I find a writer on line who can put two words together coherently, much less bring me to the point where I wait anxiously for the next installment, but you not only hit those markers but surpassed them! My boyfriend actually grew irritated with me for getting pissy when you didnt update regularly! πŸ™‚ I’m very much looking forward to your next story line. Also I have to say that my voice must join the chorus of others when they say they will be stading in line to buy your first book. You have a talent and a way with imagery that so few have these days. I hope you nurture it and appreciate it…and that I am along for the ride. Thank you again.


    • medleymisty says:

      Thank you so very very much – I honestly almost cried when I read this.

      I do plan to do all that I can to nurture it – hopefully Ten will get me closer to the book by helping me learn how to write without pics.

      There’s so much more I want to say but it’s late and I’m tired and the words don’t seem to be coming. Just – I am deeply grateful and very much appreciate your words.


  8. carnaxa says:

    “we see Valley through our personal lenses and find things in it that resonate with our feelings and beliefs”

    This is so very true of all stories; the ones we enjoy the most and fall in love with are ones we can connect with on a deeper, emotional level; at least that’s how it’s been with me whenever I read a novel. If I can’t connect with something in the story, then I really can’t read it. That’s not to say it was a bad story, it’s just that it didn’t speak to me on a level that made me appreciate and want to read it.

    Through the course of this story, I will say that I understood where Seth was coming from and the motivation behind what he did. Loneliness can be a very hard thing to have to deal with and eventually it can drive you insane if left for long enough. By the end of the story, I really did just see him as this lonely misunderstood man who just wanted someone who understood who he was rather than dismissing him as the “Terrible Evil Overlord” from the get-go. He also had flaws, very big ones and that is a good thing to see in a character. There is nothing more boring than a flawless character and these flaws are not only what defined who he became but also made him human.

    At least, those are my thoughts on the protag of the story.


    • medleymisty says:

      Oh, look at that. Someone besides me who gets that Seth was the main character. πŸ˜‰

      And yes, he is very isolated and alone. And yes, I’ve noticed that a lot of my favorite songs have isolation and loneliness as a theme and I have pondered on that and where Seth came from.

      Thank you so much for being you and being awesome! *hugs*


  9. Mariia says:

    Eh, y’know, I haven’t gotten any hugs so I’m upset D:.

    *MAJOR HUGS!!!! (Hopefully they’ll be excepted :)!!)*


  10. Rad says:

    Yay for thank yous and reflections. Lovely stuff – well done on finishing and thanks for sharing all this. You’re great x


  11. Thanks for an amazing story! I enjoyed every chapter. I can’t wait to see the new story. πŸ˜€


  12. glee111 says:

    ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀
    Good luck with your writing!


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