We are here today to interview LisaBee2 on the gallery, @LisaBeeSims1 on twitter or, as many of us just call her, LisaBee. Lisabee, it is an honour to have an experienced Sims blogger here today.
So coffee or tea?
Well in that I am from the Pacific Northwest and that we are notoriously famous for our love of coffee. It is no surprise that I love my coffee. That being said, I am also a tea fan. When I was growing up my Irish grandfather and I would sit at the kitchen table every night and we would have a wee cup of tea before bed. That memory has stuck with me and as an adult I have very few nights that I don’t have a cup of tea before bed.
Lisa, for people who are meeting you for the first time through this interview, can you tell us a little about your simming journey and your identity as a simmer?
My simming journey had a funny beginning. My eldest daughter was playing Sims 1 in high school and she was sneaking it because she thought, “Oh, mom is not going to approve this game.” Eventually she wanted her own copy so she approached me with the subject of purchasing this game. Being the ever-dutiful mom, I checked it out ahead of time. I got addicted pretty quickly. My other two girls were gaga over it as well and to this day we all share an affinity for the sims.
I know you have revived the SimLit competition. Can we call it a competition and do you want to tell us a little about that?
I am extremely excited about the monthly Simlit Short Story Challenge. The short story challenge has been around since 2015 and it’s been through a couple of hands. They’ve done very well but the challenge suffered because it was locked in the forum.
A few months ago I saw that the challenge had been discontinued and it was just too wonderful of an opportunity to let it die. So I volunteered and here we are.
I have started an attempt to knock down the walls that were built around it with the forum. We will stay in the forum as a host, but I hope that the word is spread far and wide to all sorts of social media and even word-of-mouth. I would even hope to bring gallery folks in, because I think those who can write a background story in those tiny CAS description blocks would be naturals at writing short stories. I really look forward to all of the different groups that will be represented as people try their hand at this. It’s a very exciting time.
What are your best and worst writing habits?
My worst is an easy thing for me to identify. I am way too easily distracted. There’s like 1 billion things I want to do and they are sort of just shuffled all over my desk and all over my computer. I will go in and start to shoot for a story and the next thing you know I’m making CAS challenge Sims or I’ll go to work on screenshots and next thing you know I am doing my Words With Friends. Sometimes it scrolling on Twitter and snooping around everybody sims stuff. I recently added a new distraction called Instagram. OH I don’t need any more distractions.
As for my best, I believe it’s because I do try to be considerate of folks when I publish my blogs. I know that the world is a busy place and so I work hard to make sure that my stories are not burdensome by being too long or too frequent. I know that people say oh they’ll read it even if it’s really long but the reality is that life is busy for all of us. I know it can be discouraging to get behind and difficult to find time to get caught up. I don’t know if it counts as part of the writing but I also am very, very, very picky about my screenshots and it takes me a few days to get my screenshots to where I want them.
What was your proudest blog entry or simlit story and why?
Guess it would be one of two short stories that I did early on. One is called “The Chair” and the other one is called “Grandma’s House.”
“The Chair” was written about a homeless man that I met in a coffee shop (just as the story explained). He was my muse as I started my writing journey. I was chatting with a friend who encouraged me to explore (in my own mind) his back story. Why was he homeless and what brought him to this place? It is a special story for me, recently I reread it and STILL cried. LOL.
“Grandma’s House” is also very near and dear to my heart. I was thinking of my own visits to grandma’s. All the smells and the warmth along with the comforting sound of her voice came back to me. How very much I loved it there. Then I thought of my own grandchildren and how much they love being at my house. I wrote it as a tribute to my grandma and as a promise to my grandchildren. It’s the story of a grandma who has her little ones over for a sleepover and she tells them a story in as in all of her stories, it features them. Grandma Fae’s four dear little fae gathering fruits (and for one adventure) for a fabulous dainty berry pudding. Even now it makes me smile to think of my grandma.
What advice do you have for new Sims writers?
My advice for simmers that write is don’t quit. It can be a very discouraging art form. I don’t know how many times I’ve felt unsupported by those who I have given support. Sometimes the old guard in the community can be a little bit harsh. I hope to bring some new energy to the community with the Monthly Short Story Challenge and change that up a bit.
During one of my early dark times, a wonderful friend of mine shared a lovely analogy that have never forgotten. It is a lot like placing a bird feeder in your yard. You fill it with the best “seeds” that you have to offer and then you wait. Sooner or later the birds come and they find you have left a wonderful meal for them. Some come and eat and leave fat and full. Some come and flit about looking as though they are eating but they fly away only making a great show of themselves. Then there are those few who come to enjoy and before they leave, they sing you a sweet melody that makes it all worthwhile! SO fill up your bird feeder with your best and don’t get discouraged when the birds don’t come right away. Don’t count the number of birds that are there singing or discount them by saying they are too few.
Which “The Sims” blogger would you recommend to someone who has never read a simlit story … yes, sorry, you can only choose one. It’s like a desert island question … you can only take one item …
Actually, even though I have many scribblers that I love, I have one that honestly every time I see her stuff I will drop everything I’m doing to read it right away. When I click in to her stories I often feel like a little kid ripping into a piece of candy. Her name is Charlii Mai (RainbowPlumbob) and her work is magical. A link to my favourite stories from her: https://rainbowplumbob.wordpress.com/shivers/
Do you want to leave us any teasers to upcoming projects and storylines?
I think a lot of people look at my stuff and they say “Oh, she’s been writing a long time there’s no way I could catch up with that.” And I understand that, because I feel that way when I see long time blogs as well. But I have upset the apple cart completely and although my characters are the same, the stories are very different and I am running rotational story lines with just enough each time, so it’s easy to digest in small pieces. I am only a VERY tiny way into each story. (Link to Lisa’s story recaps, progression and updates)
Thank you, Lisa! Yes, “catching up” should not deter us from getting into it and reading theses stories! It’s going to be fun to see the SimLit forum thread revived too!
I am looking forward to the challenge that will start April 1st. It’s very exciting and I want to see lots and lots of fresh faces. I know that in time it could be something that will help Simlit come out of the attic, where it’s been hidden away and become a legitimate force in the creative world of The Sims.