On Writing and Other Thoughts

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Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #25 on: Mar 02, 2015, 11:28:23 AM »

Some of my characters have been decidedly quiet of late, especially Collie. I'm not used to that. It's generally her voice that is strongest. The only thing I can think of is that she is plotting something and hasn't let me in on it, yet. ;)

How many of you have experienced moments or times when a character is either dead silent in your head or, for lack of a better phrasing, takes over the story/scene you are writing then runs off laughing at you? It's much like watching a child dash off calling out, "Nyah, nyah, you can't catch me!" I often find myself telling people to think through their character's head as opposed to what they think the character should do. I think those of us that employ that method find that the character has far different ways of handling certain situations than we do.

One of the things I have encountered over the years are players that are in a such a rush to get their characters introduced into the community, that they haven't got even a slim grasp of their own character. Yes, characters do develop and grow through our writings, but ... we as writers/players must learn who those characters are and create who they are before expecting others to accept them for who we want them to be. Research is our friend. As is often said, though, don't believe everything you read on the internet. Keep in mind that on any given subject, there is likely to be someone that knows it better than you do and will know if you grabbed two lines off a wiki entry and took it as gospel. I've run into this with things like disease and symptoms of other medical conditions. Cultural differences and language dialects are other sticking points.

Simple examples: There's a mayonnaise that's sold in the United States. The company uses the same tune for their jingle in their advertising. Those living east of the Rockies are no more wrong to call it Hellman's than those living west of the Rockies and near the Rockies to the east are for calling it Best Foods.  You might be talking about exactly the same thing, you just know it by another name.  Pig in a blanket, halupki, and golabki are all pretty much the same food; meat wrapped in cabbage. The current crop of Americans is likely to think of a hot dog rolled in dough as a pig in a blanket. Bottom line, don't automatically get your back up and get in someone's face to tell them they are wrong because it's not what you know to be right. Approach something with curiosity rather than judgment and you might learn a thing or two that you didn't know.

Last time, I posted a picture of Kids' Castle Theater. This time, I have a different phase of the Play Park to share:



The pirate ship is a restaurant rabbithole. I was able to use the ship as a form to create a playable area that includes the play room pictured below and the deck where the chess table is.  Above the bathrooms and between the stairways is a berth with bunk beds.




I'm still working on the lot which is going to include a restaurant or picnic pavilion.
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #26 on: Mar 02, 2015, 03:29:47 PM »

I find that happening often. Right now I've got a chorus yelling at me and and several that are dead silent.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #27 on: Mar 16, 2015, 07:13:17 AM »

Collie's still quiet, but she has been poking her head out and peering at me from time to time. I have the feeling that when she finally does start talking, it will be a few days, maybe a few weeks, before she is quiet again. I'm hoping she starts talking soon. Given how the Sublimation piece was shaping up, there's a lot going on there, but she's still not ready to speak.  Maggie has been going in spurts. I have this feeling that in about a month, several of my characters will all clamor for my attention.  It's funny how things can change in the matter of a day or so. (I had part of this written and ended up adding things) While I was lurking at the Fashion Show on DM on Sunday night, a crack appeared in Collie's shell. I think she is likely to just crack open and all kinds of things are going to spill out. Whether or not all of it will be posted remains to be seen.

I have finished the Kids' Castle Theater model for Hatton Point. While adding to the portfolio thread for Harker & Hall Architecture, I realized that a castle venue could be used for a lot of things. So, after a short discussion with Aja's player, it was decided that there is another castle venue, elsewhere, available for things like weddings and photo shoots.  I still have the S. S. Mini-Mate (pirate themed) venue in progress. I'm working on a restaurant building for it. The final venue will be western/farm type set up. I have considered building a lot with cabins, but I think I'll forgo that.  I like to think that most people know what a cabin is like.

This is the stage for the theater:


The desire to build a dollhouse again has reared its head. This time, though, I have better skills to work on the project. Whether or not it will come to fruition, time will tell. Speaking of dollhouses ... A while back I was introduced to a toy line called GoldieBlox. The product is meant to encourage girls to build things as well as to ignite or expand any interest they might have in how things work. They can learn or build onto skills that will help them in math and science careers down the road. When I was kid, my male cousins had the Kenner erector set, Lego, etc.  When I expressed an interest in building things, I was 8 or 9, my parents gave me a junior handyman tool kit. While I am not a master carpenter by any means, I was allowed the freedom some of my peers weren't. Another toy came out recently called Roominate. Basically, it's building a dollhouse, but it also teaches there's more to that dollhouse than just moving dolls around and dressing them. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with pretend play. Everyone that's a member of this forum engages in pretend play; that's what role play is in its basic form. Our minds are engaged in a pretend world whenever we write a piece of fiction.

When my daughters and son were growing up, they had several toys that should be considered unisex like Lego, Playmobile, and a number of Fisher-Price Little People sets. A toy should not have to have pastel colors for a girl to want to play with it. How many girls were playing with Lego bricks before the advent of their Friends sets? The point I am trying to make is that some companies have gone so far overboard to making their product that was/should be unisex into a girl  toy that they miss the fact the some girls just want to play with the toy as it was in the first place.
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #28 on: Apr 15, 2015, 04:15:07 AM »

When I finally got the models in gear for the play park, I had no thoughts of having any of them as the centerpiece of a forum event. A recent post in DM's OOC area on holidays and the IC Town Meeting held last month sparked an idea. Why not let Maggie speak up? Anyone that has a character with a strong voice in their head can probably relate to this. I did my thinking through Maggie's head. Most child characters, including some of my own, are NPCs and not generally out there in the public view, so that could have been a disaster. Those children that are out there in active stories and live play like Lyneth Granger, Doran Ilnaren, and the Ravenlock twins are a lot of fun to watch. These are the children of Rhydin, they have other things to cope with besides the everyday events of growing up. I sometimes sit back in awe of how their stories flow and how they are approached from a standpoint of this is my life and who I am. They're more than words on a page, the writers/players of these young characters breathe life into them.

I went off on a bit of a tangent there as I am wont to do. Maggie's voice in my head was saying ... lots of people to help with this, not alone, speak up or let it go. Anyone that has read any part of Maggie's little vignettes or seen her in play can probably guess that she dug her heels in and spoke up. Celebration plans for Children's Day 2015 got into gear. I seem to recall they went by the wayside last year with the possible exception of Wonderplex opening for the season on Children's Day. I don't remember.

I looked over what I already had done, the castle, the pirate ship, and the campground. The pirate venue needed a bit of tweaking as I like my Sims models to be as playable as possible. One of the things that had been talked about in the past was how the play park was connected to the other attractions of Hatton Point. That thought was apparently in the back of my mind when I started on a butterfly dome. Eregor's player created the wonderful concept for the arboretum at Hatton Point. Arboretums are all ages attractions, but in many of them touching is not encouraged due to the delicate nature of some plant and animal life living there. Exhibits geared toward children tend to encourage active hands on participation. Butterfly Village, that has a pathway connecting it to the arboretum and gardens, was born.

To make the dome playable, I had to create an underground routing path. To keep with the concept and appearance of a controlled environment, I kept the entry path as closed as possible.



Here are a couple quick screenshots:






If you look closely at this one, you'll be able to see butterflies off to the left under the fruit trees and one of the beekeeper's boxes and bees surrounding it off to the right. The butterflies were created with a combination of butterfly spawners and fog emitters.



This is not the best of quality and despite me turning the sounds on for recording, it doesn't seem to have the sound effects in the finished product.




All in all, I think it will work nicely as the last piece of this setting design. Which reminds me, more to come on the ship update!
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #29 on: Apr 26, 2015, 04:08:09 PM »

With Children's Day over, I have a bit of time to breathe before doing the write up for the Mother and Daughter picnic for the Beltane events. I finally have a layout in mind for the Wonderplex project (Think circus, carnival, etc.) I've been mulling over for the last few months. Going to take a few lots and quite a bit of time to accomplish that and bring it from mind's eye to tangible form. There is a great deal of happiness in seeing this stuff come to life. Not to mention a sense of accomplishment and pride in the finished product. My Sims models might not be that best things someone will ever see, but I like to think they are uniquely tailored to a character or event. Mind you, I'm not saying that I disapprove of using photos as representations of character homes, etc. I just happen to think characters deserve something more than cookie cutter places to live and play.

As I was saying in my last post about the pirate ship venue, it had a few updates. I ended up using an island in the world of Isla Paradiso from the Island Paradise expansion pack to get the moored boat look that I was shooting for. No matter what I tried, the ship needed to be on the ground or have the bottom on a foundation level. Sitting it on the deck worked, but my goal had been to allow the Sims to walk inside the ship part of the rabbithole and make it usable. I managed that by creating a foundation height wall on the deck. This created two minor problems. My Sims were getting into the room I created via a short stairway which looked out of place. My Sims were complaining about being hungry and not being able to use the restaurant rabbithole part of the ship because the stairway blocked access to entering the rabbithole. Another challenge was that building that foundation height wall created was that the wall I built on top of it came through the deck of the ship.

This is an overview shot of the island. There's a restaurant under that octagonal roof with a hibachi grill. If you look at the deck of the ship just to the left of the crow's nest, you can see how I solved the problem of getting into the add on room without going through the front door.


This picture shows it a bit better. Problem solved by a ladder. Removing the stairway that lead to the doors seen on the right solved the problems of a stairway going through a front door looking quite out of place and being able to use the rabbithole.



That left the last piece to work on. If you look at the overview photo, you'll see that the deck on the island and some parts of the ship's deck match. The parts of the ship that match the deck are pieces I added and they are usable. This picture doesn't show the ladder. It does, however, show the short staircase on the right. Everything in this picture that is on the ship's deck was added on and is playable. One of these days, I hope to figure out how to put that ship on a house boat lot.

 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #30 on: Jul 19, 2015, 05:51:03 AM »

I have been lax in my writing and my Sims creations of late. Despite having two projects on the proverbial drawing board for Sims, I can't seem to focus on finishing them. I expect the same thing will happen as did with the Hatton Point Play Park project. I'll hit a day when things explode like fireworks and, voilĂ , the picture in my mind's eye will take shape in tangible form.

Been attempting to clean out things in my house. I say attempting because I don't exactly feel successful in the endeavor. Despite having cleared out every closet and drawer inside the house, I don't think I'll be content with it until I have the attic, garage, and yard dealt with, too. I'm effectively fighting with my own body to get some things done, so, I get short tempered and frustrated. That's one of the reasons I've been taking breaks from being logged into IM Services, I don't want to snap at people that haven't done anything to deserve being chewed on. In June, twenty years passed since the car accident caused this snowball of physical problems. Oddly, the worst part of my present situation is being allergic to most OTC pain killers. No one seems to be able to identify what specific ingredient or combination of them is triggering allergic reactions, but the bottom line in that scenario is needing prescription pain killers to cope with any level of pain. This makes me very sympathetic to people that suffer from migraine headaches and have yet to find relief. Lately, my sleep cycles are very odd. Pretty much, I seem to stay awake 24, 36, or 48 hours then crash down into sleep. It's as though my body has adjusted to the cycles of minimum discomfort and is making the best use of them. I catch a catnap from time to time, but they don't seem last more than 10-15 minutes.

I've gone back to reading a lot. I'm hoping it will spark a few ideas. I have only two characters that are very willing to talk to me right now. A third seems to want to be heard, but isn't quite getting through just yet. Started reading the Jack Reacher novels. During the clean out of some of our bookcases, Himself decided that since he had certain books in digital format that he wanted to donate, give away, or try to turn in some books for store credit. I opted to hold onto the books in his discard pile that I wanted to read. It's a good thing that I did. Turns out one of the Jack Reacher novels was signed by Lee Child. Told the man that book was staying when I was finished reading it, he didn't argue.

What is it about getting older and coming to terms with our own mortality that causes this desire to create something to leave behind? It doesn't matter if it's a novel, a scrapbook, photo albums, or something crafted by hand. Something to leave behind that says ... "I was here, remember me." It might even be a treasured possession. I don't mean give your favorite things away before your time is up as that could be interpreted as a cry for help. That reminds me of something that happened a few years ago. The relative of a friend passed away and during the clean up of the house my friend found herself wondering just why the relative had collected this or that and decided she didn't want to leave a mess like that for her family to clean. While there's nothing wrong with that, I got to thinking about my own piles of stuff. My son and I have have a running joke about how he's going to be the only one that knows what plans I had for items X, Y, Z and 1, 2, 3 in my craft supplies. I guess I just don't see the point in giving away something while I'm still enjoying it. Some people might think of that as being selfish and leaving things for someone else to deal with. Death is a fact of life, and there's nothing wrong with having our treasures about us until that time comes.
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #31 on: Feb 20, 2016, 10:06:12 AM »

I'm having a hard time grasping how long it's been since I posted. Seriously, July of last year? Time marches on and waits for none of us.

Last night, for the first time in ages, my oldest character made her voice known. I wrote a very small piece, maybe two paragraphs, but it's a breakthrough.  Maggie, on the other hand, has been quite vocal in my head with what she'd like to be doing. Madness is coming up and that's going to be her gig this year.  A few others are talking, but not as loudly as Maggie.  I have yet to post what she's been going on about.

I got back into Sims building early in January after a very long break. My current project had been waiting a long time for me to get things into gear. I still have a house that I plan to work on for someone's RP characters, but this one was in waiting now for about a year. When Christmas was over, the ideas for Wonderplex and Typhoon Bay venues just started to explode in my head. It didn't hurt that I had discovered software called "Free Mind" that helped me to sort out my ideas and track them in a much easier way.

Here's an idea of what one of these projects looks like:
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #32 on: Apr 08, 2016, 08:37:04 PM »

I edited my previous post. How in the name of whojawhatsit did I not notice that it had been posted in triplicate?

Having just had major dental surgery, I've been in drowzy sleepy mode for the last few days. However, if the alternative is screaming and carrying on like a fussy infant, I'll take sleepy. My surgeon is great, even called to check up on me. Usually, a staff member does that kind of thing.

Due my health issues, Children's Day for RDI was put on hold. That's kicking off next week with some vapored stuff, a board event, and a live event for the 16th. The Renaissance Faire Castle will be the setting for the live event.  I haven't posted a content list for this, yet, but I'm pretty pleased with how it looks.


This is the clock tower. Under it are modern bathroom facilities.


Front view with treehouse and other play equipment for kids. To the left side is a picnic area.


Rear View shows the royal pavilions, archery range, and the weapons racks set out for demos. The area is also large enough for jousting.


Courtyard: A meditation garden and fountain.


First Floor: Kitchen, dining room, music room, library, and audience chamber.


Second Floor: The King and Queen's bedroom suites, a study, five guest suites, and viewing rooms at the rear of the castle.
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #33 on: Feb 06, 2018, 03:05:20 PM »

It's been nearly two years since I wrote anything here. I seem to have quite a bit of updating to do.
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
Re: On Writing and Other Thoughts
« Reply #34 on: Jan 09, 2019, 02:35:18 AM »

The last year or so has been ... what's a good word? Tiring? Disappointing? Frustrating? Confusing? Draining? Pick a word. I can barely commit a few words to paper, etc. before I lose track of what I'm doing. 
 One minor healing spell enchants this necklace. Once the spell it used, the necklace turns into ash.    A splendid long cloak dyed as black as a starless night. To keep a body warm or to keep them hidden in the shadows?   RhyDin's finest home made brew. Random and questionable contents which all lead to the same thing: getting stupefied drunk. Warning label reads: May cause fire breathing, murderous rampages, embarassing confessions, illusions of grandeur, overly affectionate thoughts and gut rot. Drink at your own risk.    A chunky bracelet made of gold. It's heavily encrusted with emeralds and sparkles beautifuly.   
This player has requested and manages their own subforum on GreaterRealms! The Enkindler Award is given to the Top Ten Topic Starters here on GreaterRealms. A small thank you from us for starting something good! An award given to the Top 10 members who have spent the most time online here at GreaterRealms. Thank you for your time! This award is granted to an individual who has shown remarkable spirit in the RP community of GreaterRealms, be it in character, out of character, in the forums or in the chat room.
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