The annual WordPress simeysmiler check-in.

That last post reads as somewhat pretentious to me. I think I was angling for ‘deep’ or ‘meaningful’ – but a year later (as per usual) I feel embarrassed by it. I’m fairly light-hearted, and the tone of that post isn’t representative of my personality at all.

I’m most certainly different to the girl who started this blog – but not so much from the girl who wrote that post last March, or so I thought. That’s funny, given my current opinion on her writing. Anyway – introspection aside, I’m just checking in to give a little update.

In the last year or so, I started phasing out the use of my username around the Sims community. I came up with the idiom ‘simeysmiler’ at the ripe age of thirteen when I was joining the old Sims 2 site – and then, only because ‘rainbowranger’ was already taken. Today, twenty year old me is largely fed up of it – so these days, I’m Laura around and about.

I’m still involved in the Sims community. I’m a bit of a Tumblr dweller these days, which is something I’d never have predicted a year ago. (I despised it.) I’m enjoying just playing the game and sharing the silly things my Sims do, and I’m gradually learning how to create CC – which is an element of the game I wish I’d explored sooner. You can find me here, though I’ll warn you: my updates are generally scattered gameplay pictures.

Uh, life-stage wise, I’m in my third year of a four year degree, which I’m appreciative of. Most arts degrees are a bare three years long; I think I need this extra year to think about what I like doing, and what I’m prepared to focus on. I’m happy to have made some really good friends at college and while I occasionally think I’m nowhere near as accomplished or conscientious as I should be, third level has been of huge benefit to me.

This time, I’m affirming that this blog will no longer be updated. I’ll leave everything I’ve posted here available, but I don’t think I’ll ever have more to add to this place. Not only I not do the whole Sims stories thing any more, but the writing thing has gone out the window too. Although I enjoy playing with words immensely, and I continue to write, it’s not something I do for pleasure necessarily – more so, just because a thought grabs me or because I need to vent. I don’t think of myself as a writer really, so maintaining a writing blog doesn’t appeal to me at all.

It’s not a goodbye to anyone who might be reading this – I’m still on the internet. I’m easily found. I think it’s more of an admission to myself that this isn’t what I do any more, nor is it something I’ll ever do again. Anyway. I was trying to avoid another overblown blog post I’ll eventually cringe at. ^_^

All the best to anyone who’s ever trawled my little corners of the online universe. Who knows – we might cross paths again someday. And happy new year!

– Laura.

April update

Just giving the site a bit of a tidy up, as regards categories and tags. I’m happy enough with the layout and theme for the moment, but my posts are now categorised more accordingly in a fewer number of categories. I think for a while there I was using categories as tags. *facepalm* It’s a bit easier now to read similarly orientated posts, if you are so inclined. Also, I think I might start getting into the habit of using these new-fangled tag things. WordPress is constantly telling me that I ought to do so and what can I say, I have a habit of just accepting and complying with what authority figures tell me. 😀

Incidentally, although it’s kinda old news now, Kony Video #2 is up. I haven’t watched it myself yet, which is a little silly given I’m linking to it here – but I assure you that I will, eventually.


Bit redundant putting it up now, when I can’t really discuss it, but hopefully I can save that for another day.

I’m currently moving all my remaining TS2 custom content off the family desktop and onto a USB stick, which will then be transferred onto my laptop Barney. It’s sad in a way – on the other hand, it’s as annoying as hell as the computer is really taking its time cutting and pasting (I didn’t have the patience to copy, which might be an issue if my USB throws a wobbly – fingers crossed it doesn’t!) and I’ll be really happy when all my CC is booted up and ready to roll on Barney. I found a few neighbourhood folder back-ups too, which should be interesting to load up and examine, if even just to make sure I’m not going to delete anything I’ll later miss. I’m a believer in fresh starts, as regards TS2 neighbourhoods anyway, so I’ll more then likely do a back-up clear out sooner or later. I only really mentioned the latter as I may have found a back-up of my old legacy hood–the one the Metamorphis family inhabited–though I don’t know how old it is or how far I might have progressed with it.

I know a lot of the simming community have shared tastes in books and following on from that, film adaptations of books. With that said – Hunger Games? I saw the movie last Friday, and it’s really the first time that I’ve watched a  film adaptation of a teenage book series without having read the books themselves. I thought it was pretty good actually. The effects were top class, the acting of the leads and supporting actors showed that of Twilight (a similar type of film franchise, all things considered) up and despite the fact that I couldn’t keep up with the names or the plot for a good length of the film’s duration, I really enjoyed it. It’s a film that aims to please the book fans of course and, while it has achieved this aim, that does make it a bit difficult keep up with, if you’ve yet to read the books. However, I can say I’m anticipating not just the next movie, but also digging into the books. I wasn’t too fussed about doing that before, but now I’m set on getting through them this summer. I’m won over! 😀

Nothing of too much importance to pass on today, but once my exams are over and I’m at home for the summer, I ought to have some slightly more interesting things to talk about. In the meantime – happy Easter! 🙂

Completely unable to distinguish between spam and ham

Askimet is keeping busy these days, with the amount of comments it’s been marking as spam and chucking in the ‘delete NOW’ bin. Thing is, I’m god awful at telling whether something is an intentional comment or a random one made only to advertise the site of a poster or Viagra or whatever spammers seek to draw attention too. What I mean to say is: if you did make a genuine comment and it hasn’t been approved at this stage, don’t be afraid to post again. I will, in the future, pay more attention to what I’m marking to delete in my spam box.

In more sim-orientated news – the TS2 site seems more functional than it has been of late (made it onto my SimPage at last – success!) and I’m nearly done moving all my sim custom content from the desktop onto recently repaired Barney the laptop. I can’t say this means there’s going to be a surge in updates or anything but it may mean that when I do post, it won’t be a complaint about how  I can’t post things – because I no longer have any excuses. Sims go to college, eyyyyyy. 🙂 OK, now it’s sleep-deprived essay time. Buh-bye!

Bit early for Halloween, but!

Finally I make my return to this much-neglected blog, bringing a new theme/layout/colour scheme. It’s about two months late in coming – but for me, that’s good going. I mean, it happened, unlike many of the other things I’ve promised to do here and other places over the years.

Not much to say here really, only that I’m still alive and somewhat present in the Sim-o-sphere, though you’d never know it from my activity (or lack-thereof) on this blog. No excuses this time, but I can say that I’m probably not going to be making heaps of updates for the next few weeks or so. Surprising? Not really.

This is a rushed post, I’ll admit–slowly being hounded off the computer by various parties and there’s actually important stuff I need to do online before I finally succumb–but hopefully next time I’ll be less scattered and more willing to actually talk. In the meantime, check out Umber, the latest poster girl for simey’s space. When she’s not modelling and pulling adorable faces, she’s laughing at other people’s misfortunes and being hyperactive. If things go to plan, you’ll be able to have her (and some of my other pixel dollies) in your game soon…

Laura spurs into action…

College exams. The bane of a relatively laid-back student’s life. I’m nearly done with them–two down, one (the worst) to go–and by god, am I happy about that. I think the plan for after tomorrow is to hibernate for a month, then arrive back on campus in January all revitalised and refreshed and eager to learn once again.

…In between bouts of sleeping, eating and television watching (you can tell I have a really active social life ;)), I’m planning on getting back into the two hobbies I’ve let slip by the wayside the last couple of months: reading and writing. No, I haven’t become illiterate since starting at university; but it’s been a long time since I’ve read something for pleasure of doing so, rather than out of necessity. Similarly, while I’ve been writing plenty of essays and assignments, I haven’t written much of my own tales in a while.

I’m also going about overhauling this blog. I have to say, trying to find a WordPress theme that ‘fits’ is worse than trying to pick out a dog to adopt from the animal shelter. They all look so cute and appealing; but none of them are quite what I’m looking for. It does mean that the site will be dipping in and out of visibility for the next few weeks or so, while I get my act together and settle on a layout that I’m happy with. Once that happens, I’m hoping that I’ll become a more frequent, productive blogger who actually posts content, as opposed to rants about why she hasn’t put anything up recently. 😀 As ever, with me there’s no point making promises, but just watch this space…

Done!… with layout changes

Goodbye neon-puke colour scheme; hello slightly less-painful-to-look-at, mellower one! I did a bit of tweaking with the blog layout and, although I ended up keeping the Vigilance theme, the site got a bit of a revamp. Nothing to write home about (yet here I am) .

The only thing I’m not completely happy with is the header. I really liked the last one and I don’t think this new one lives up to it. I went through a couple of versions of it, having  originally had Jade, Gwen and Hermie of Shades of Grey blazen across it, but in the end I went with a text-only version – the plumbbob rounding it back to The Sims. Everything goes back to The Sims in this blog. 😛

I don’t know. I shall fiddle with it further, I think.

Next on the agenda – Shades of Grey itself. I’ve finally got the consistent free time to work at it, so I’m expecting to finish up the first chapter soon. All I really have to do is build a school set – not even a full one, just two classrooms and a corridor – take two or three ‘scenes’ worth of pictures, edit the meh out of them, come up with a new cover,  put everything together and do a quick read-through, before plugging it everywhere I can think of.

Actually, looking back at what I’ve just typed, that is quite a lot. But! It’s thinking like that that has already delayed things by about four months. Basically, I need to get off my behind, park it right back down on a swivel chair and get building/posing/editing. Like crazy. Handy really, because I think I might just might be. o.O I think I’ll stick with non-sim writing once I’m done with this.

There was a time once when the writing was the biggest obstacle between me and uploading… funny how things have reversed as I’ve gotten older.

I mentioned that I need to make a new cover. In reality, I shouldn’t have to – I’m about to show you why. 😛 I’ve made eight covers so far – all for the first chapter – and I’ve rejected all of them. Either I’m a masochist or I’m just really, really fickle. Maybe it’s because I’ve been looking at them for so long, without uploading, that I get fed up of them. Actually, that might be it. 😀

  

In all their garish glory, that’s the eight of them. It’s amazing, how something with the word ‘grey’ in the title can have some much colour going on in its covers. Then again, it’s a kind of happy-go-lucky story in general (which anyone reading would know, if I’d friggin’ uploaded it by now… little note to self there), so it’s not really misleading – although the title might be. 😮

Moving on swiftly from that train of thought, I’m hoping to get The Scheme up in about a week or so. I’ve got a few things going on in the meantime (necessary shopping trip, friend’s birthday, orthodontist appointment, possibly a date with Harry Potter) so it mightn’t be out until after Monday of next week, but I do want to get it out before the end of July. So I’ll say before or on July 31st – though me and deadlines, we don’t usually meet. 😛

Just before I go to boot up the game – a preview, if you’re interested.

“I suppose that’s possible. Miracles do happen, after all.” That was Gwen all over. Ever the sceptic. “But you want to go with Blake.”

For the first time that evening, she made eye-contact, her expression and words very matter of fact. “You don’t even have to say it – every time he walks into a room, you blush. Every time he so much as glances in your direction, you freeze and you don’t move until he looks away. Right now, you’ve turned a not-so-attractive shade of tomato – and he’s not even here!” As ever, Gwen had skipped the niceties and hit the truth squarely on the head.

Hermie perked up somewhat. She plonked herself down on the bed beside me, blasting me with a wave of whatever perfume she had on. “She has a point. You’re hopelessly pining for him. I’d say something if you smiled at him once in a while, laughed whenever he passed a comment in class – or something. But you don’t. You’ve made no effort whatsoever to catch his attention. No wonder he hasn’t noticed. Jade, we wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t been the same way around Sean. At least that went somewhere! How can you like someone, but not want to let them know about it?”

Back, promising progress – or more likely procrastination

    

I flew home yesterday after two weeks of a Portuguese holiday. It was almost twelve midnight when we arrived home. Needless to say, it was lie-ins all round in our house this morning. I’m glad to be home, although driving from the airport, I felt a little like Bella Swan, à la Twilight. I know – not the kind of character anyone who isn’t a Twihard would like to be compared to. But Portugal, which is a gorgeous country – well worth a visit, if you do the whole sun holiday thing – is very different to Ireland. A bit like Bella, I went from a scrubby, mainly brown, dustily dry country to the Emerald Isle – think grass, trees, and more greenery than you can shake a stick at. Only difference was, Bella hated the green; I was happy to return to it. Heat and humidity aren’t my thing. Nor is sunburn, though I didn’t fare too badly. For a while, I traded the glass-of-milk complexion for something more comparable to a strawberry milkshake, but things have evened out now and I’m proud of my faint tan. Sure, most of it is freckles, but you have to work with what you’re given. 🙂

Still I hadn’t banked on the amount of rain there is back home. Let me tell you, it’s more like January than July here. Strappy tops and shorts? More like anoraks and umbrellas. I spent just a few minutes out in it and, with the help of the temprature difference (17°C versus 27°C plus :() too, I’ve ended up with a slight cold. I’m not complaining, not really… But it’s certainly back to reality now.

…Which is why I plan on escaping – through the really of fiction! 😉 With my exams over (although the results of these are on the horizon, and riding on them, my future), no real job and only the occasional jaunt with friends, I’ve got time to myself in abundance. The plan is to try and write as much as I can over the summer, not for any real purpose other than to try and get better at it. I’ll try to finish Shades of Grey (and, you know, maybe upload a first chapter – I’ve only been saying I will for the last seven months :P), work on a few short stories that would probably end up here and maybe attempt some non-sim writing. Oh, and I want to make a stab at some vampire fiction. I read Dracula about a week ago and it’s fired my passion for the bloodsucking beasties. Of course, I want to put my own spin on the legend – but be assured that there’ll be no sparkly animal killers coming from me.

I wonder, did Stephenie Meyer ever read Dracula? Honestly, given the laughable contrast between Edward and the Count (not the first literary vampire, but certainly the post most of his predecessors were measured against), I doubt it. I’m not a Twi-hater, but I’m kind of disillusioned with the whole saga at the moment. I’ll go watch Breaking Dawn – the most ridiculous book out of the four in my opinion – when the film comes out, if only to laugh at the bad plot, craptastic acting and sure-to-be-hokey CGI. I’ll probably be Breaking Down with the awfulness of the whole thing by the time I get out of the screening room though (sorry, that was pretty bad).

Continuing on my vamp fic kick, I also read Awakened, the eighth instalment of the House of Night series over on hols. I was satisfied enough with it, I guess, though in general I’ve found the later books in the saga more disappointing – mostly due to Zoey going all “woe is me” and “my life is STRESS” on us and having to put up with Stevie Rae and every other damn character in the entire series‘s POVs. It was an improvement on Burned, at least, and I’m hoping the upcoming Desired will be even better. It’s still a pretty readable series but Kelley Armstrong’s my newest favourite supernatural writer. I finally got my hands on Industrial Magic, and so read both it and Haunted (which I bought before it 😀 :P) recently. I’m rereading them now, and if I can’t get my hands on Broken, I think I might do a literary marathon and read all the Harry Potter books. Such is me on my summer holidays – I read the entire contents of my book shelf. 🙂

So, update given. It’s not even been a month since my last entry, but it’s felt like twice that. I’ve been offline for about two weeks – due mostly to the crappy computers in our hotel’s lobby. I swear, I had bad karma or something with these, because they ended up shutting down on me before I’d even gotten through half my credit. I just about managed to get through my email inbox in two sessions – the stupid things swallowed €5 of my money, and I didn’t even get as far as Facebook. 😛

I’m planning a site revamp also. You’d never guess this is a sim/story blog thing just by looking at it, so I shall remedy that as soon as I summon up the will and counteract the despair that the thought of tweaking with a WordPress layout fills me with. 😉