Thursday, January 12, 2012

Down Indefinitely

Hey everyone. Sorry I've been out of touch. The holidays pretty much killed me. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm having to suspend this story for now. I can't play sims on my computer without it crashing. My boyfriend thinks I probably just need a new video card, but it would mean I'd have to turn my computer over to Geek Squad for a couple weeks, and I just can't afford to be without it for that long right now just so I can play sims. I'm hoping I'll be able to pick it back up in a couple months because I really want to keep moving with these characters. I'll try to post another update when I know more, and at some point, I'll have to catch up on everyone else's stories too :)

Something to look forward to when my story starts back up:


Friday, December 9, 2011

Nickel Note #3

Just an FYI...I'm going to have to change my schedule from doing a post every Monday and Friday to just a Monday posting until after Christmas. I thought I could keep up with the schedule, but since I work retail, I just have zero free time right now. I'm actually in the middle of a 10 day work week right now and could just die of exhaustion. So, the post that was originally scheduled for today will be out Monday (God willing). The plan is to get back to two posts a week in January.

Also, while I'm here, I wanted to see if anyone had any idea why this is happening: when I click on my "followers" it only shows one person (who is my most recent one), although I have more than that. I'm starting to wonder if that whole system was down when I first joined because until yesterday, none of the blogs that I follow showed up on my dashboard. I went through my list and re-followed all of them, and it works fine now. So, experiment time. If those of you reading this could hit follow again for my page and let me know when you do, I'd like to see if that fixes the problem. Thanks!

Fun fact: Anna Brennan (formerly Anna Wells...that will be briefly addressed in the next post) is now on the exchange as a YA. You can find her here. If you end up downloading her, I'd love to know! I was actually pleasantly surprised to see she has several downloads already. Pretty cool to think of her walking around someone's game :) She's also missing a trait apparently. I could've sworn I gave her the 5th one when I aged her up, but I guess I missed that somehow. So, she'll probably end up turning out a bit different for everyone, which I also think is nifty, although unintentional.

Anyway, I shall return on Monday, and the babies will be introduced (seeing that basket coming out of the hospital surprised me too!).

*Edit: Update* So, I went to play the game for a bit to relax before bed, and my graphics driver crashed. I restarted and ended up getting a blue screen, so I'm not sure how torn up my computer is now. Luckily, I am dating a computer-geek-extraordinaire, so hopefully he can make it all better. I may have to turn my graphics settings all the way down, which I really, really hate to do. If my computer is messed up, I won't be able to get another post out for a bit, but I'll keep you updated. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gen 1: Chapter 1

*Make sure to visit "The Brennan Legacy" tab for links to the prologue!*

I rolled down the window of my cab as I passed the sign "Now Entering Sunset Valley."  The ocean air filled my lungs, and I felt the excitement and anticipation stirring inside of me.  This was a fresh start. The beginning of the rest of my life.

It wasn't hard to leave Twinbrook behind.  The pain of this past summer was too much, and my reputation too tarnished, to force myself to stay.  Besides, I had no reason to remain.  My parents had disowned me, my sister was at boarding school, my friends shunned me...there was simply nothing left.

The taxi dropped me off in the center of town to get paperwork done for the transfer. So here I was.  A new town with new faces.  And, I had heard, the population here were a bit more accepting of the "non-traditional."  I was going to need that acceptance when I started back to high school.

I was also excited because I wasn't going to be living alone, as I had feared when my parents turned me out.  My wonderful, sweet grandma had agreed to take me in, which was a big part of why I chose Sunset Valley as my new home.  On the phone, she said she was disgusted with the way my parents were treating me and that she didn't understand where my mother, her daughter, had gotten such an ill manner.  She said she would be honored for me to stay with her, and she would love to help with the baby.

Despite my relief at her offer, I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty.  Grandma teaches 2nd grade, which means that her funds are quite limited.  As a pregnant teenager, I was going to be more of a burden than an asset.  But, she claimed we would manage, as she always has before in one manner or another.

My anticipation grew as I began to recognize the streets leading to her home. We passed by the little blue house my friend Shannon had lived in growing up. Someone else lives there now.

I had always loved spending summers with Grandma as a child, and I felt that same joy now.  We hadn't visited in several years (my mother hated to be reminded of her "common" childhood), but I remember everything vividly.  The house was very much a "grandma" house, with that homey feeling and musty smell.  I think the television is as old as her.  I couldn't wait to sleep in that old upstairs bedroom that Ashley and I used to share on these vacations.

Finally, we arrived.  A wash of memories poured over me.  Standing on the balcony on a starry night gazing through the telescope.  Ashley and I swinging on the playground out back.  Grandma tending the flowers out front.  The happiness welled inside of me as I realized that my own child would be able to experience the love and joy felt in this house.

Unable to contain myself any longer, I ran toward the house and up the stairs of the front porch.  After knocking repeatedly, I finally heard footsteps coming around the house from the backyard. A woman walked up the front steps. A woman who was definitely not my grandma. "Um, can I help you?" she asked.

Who the hell is that? "Hi!" I said, "I'm Anna, and I'm moving here to stay with my grandma."

Her eyes shifted around nervously.  She gave me a weak smile and said, "That's um...that's great."

<Awkward silence>

"So..." I finally said, "is she home?"

"Is who home?"

" grandma...Maisy Brennan."

"Oh! You're Maisy's granddaughter!" she exclaimed. Geez, took her long enough.

She continued, "Sorry, I thought you were really crazy there for a minute. Some weird girl going around to random strangers saying she lives with her grandma.Yeah anyway, Maisy hasn't lived in this house in, oh, I guess about a year now."


"Mmhmm," she nodded, "she moved down onto Sunnyside...last summer I guess it was. Real cute place. Kinda small though."

I stared in disbelief for a few moments. "Excuse me," I said, whipping out my cell phone and dialing as I walked.


"477 Sunnyside Blvd. You sure you got the right place this time, darling?" my taxi driver asked with a smirk on his face.

Jerk. "Yeah, thanks," I muttered, gathering my things and stepping out of the cab. I found myself standing in front of a small (very small compared to what I was used to) log cabin. With really pretty flowers. Bright side...I kept telling myself.

Apparently after my grandpa died a few years ago, my grandma was unable to afford the maintenance on such a large house. My parents refused to help on the grounds that they "didn't want to set a precedent for handing out money." Translated, that means that they have no souls.

So, Grandma was forced to sell the home that her and Grandpa had built together 50 years ago and move to a much smaller house. The new house was right on the beach, which meant that she wasn't able to afford very nice furnishings either. But, there was a spare bed and a crib ready, which was the important thing.

So, why didn't she bother to tell me that she had moved? Seems that Grandma's mind is not what it used to be. For one, she forgot that I didn't know. Secondly, she forgot that I was coming.

"My little Anna! Oh my goodness, come here to grandma!" She didn't have to tell me twice. I ran into the arms of the one adult that I could count on to love me unconditionally.

"It's wonderful seeing you, Grandma. Thank you so much for doing this for me," I said.

"Oh pssht," she said, waving her hand, "think nothing of it, my dear. Now come on, let me show you around."

We walked into the house, and I could tell Grandma hadn't truly lived here for very long. The walls were bare of anything except the traditional "old woman" flowery wallpaper. In the old house there had been paintings everywhere. It was one of the things my parents had hated most about it.

The rooms were small. Very small. There was her bedroom with her bed and a small dog bed and toys for her pug, Fancy.

My bedroom, which was completely bare except for a full-sized bed. Not that there would be room for anything else in there.I really couldn't argue with that view though.

The nursery, which currently consisted only of a crib. Toys and decorations would have to come later.

The bathroom, where the washer was also located. There was no dryer, as Grandma was a staunch believer in the ability of the ocean breeze. The bathroom held the nicest thing in the entire house: a shower/tub combo.

Finally, there was the kitchen/dining/living room.

At least one thing hadn't changed...she still had that damn television.


The following months passed by quickly. School had started up shortly after my arrival, and I was pleasantly surprised at how kind most of my classmates were. Naturally, some of them stuck their noses up at me, but for the most part, I was able to make friends quickly for the first time in my life.

Things were wonderful at home. Grandma was an amazing cook, and I enjoyed a home-cooked meal every night.

I talked to Ashley regularly. She had also adjusted well and was starting to enjoy life at boarding school. She had somehow managed to get Ethan to agree to a long-distance relationship, and things were going surprisingly well for them. She was looking forward to graduation in a few months and was even considering moving to Sunset Valley afterward!

My life had settled into a kind of blissful calm. The kind of calm that anticipates that everything is about to change. One day, in the middle of a field trip to the cinema, the calm disappeared.

That was the day I became a mother.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prologue: Part Five

It was June 4th. I'd had nearly a month of summer vacation, and everything was going great. I'd survived my first year of high school, with a few stories to tell, and it was nice to stay home and paint. But everything changed that day.

I woke up early feeling incredibly sick. It was all I could do to make it down the hallway to the bathroom before I lost the entire contents of my stomach.

At first, I thought I must have a stomach bug. My friend Tracy had just gotten sick a couple days before. But as the weeks wore on, and I continued to familiarize myself with the tile on the bathroom floor, I knew something else was wrong. There had also been a monthly visitor that was mysteriously absent.

I made an appointment at the clinic in the hospital. I kept hoping that maybe I'd developed some kind of food allergy or something. Either way, I needed to know. I didn't take anyone with me. Ashley was the only one who knew the truth about Shark and me, and she was so fragile sometimes...

The news wasn't good. I somehow managed to make it all the way back home before collapsing into tears.

I don't know when I stopped crying. At some point I think I just ran out of tears. I sat on the floor, unable to move, until evening.

Ashley came into my room, worried after not seeing me all day. "Hey you," she said, "what's the matter?"

I knew there was no point in keeping this to myself. Everyone would know at some point. I cleared my throat, my voice not wanting to work after crying for so long, and managed to whisper, "I'm pregnant."

I expected Ashley to freak out or faint or something equally dramatic, but instead she simply sat beside me. "I figured as much," she said.

"What?" I whipped my head around and looked at her quizzically.

"Well, you've been throwing up every day for three weeks. It's not rocket science. I had planned on talking to you about it tonight." We both just sat there, staring off at nothing, but I was comforted by her presence.

***One Month Later***

It took a long time for the initial shock of my condition to wear off. In fact, sometimes, I'm not sure it ever really did. But about a month after I got the news, and around three months into my pregnancy, I knew it was time to start making plans. First stop: telling my parents.

I was absolutely terrified. It's one thing to have different career plans than what your parents want; it's something else entirely to break every moral boundary they've ever given you. It had to be done though.

I got both of them together, and after preparing an elaborate, lengthy, and well-thought-out speech, I got too nervous and simply blurted out that I was going to have a baby.

For a few horrifying moments, they just stood there and stared at me. Then, as if someone had paused us and then hit play again, my mother suddenly burst into tears as my dad simultaneously started screaming at me.

They calmed down after several minutes and began discussing my options. In their mind, I had two: get an abortion or stay with my grandmother in Sunset Valley until I had the baby and then put it up for adoption. I refused to even consider an abortion, and I was honestly shocked that they even mentioned it. As for adoption, I held the women and girls who were able to do that for the sake of their child in very high regard, but I didn't believe I would be strong enough to go through with it. Neither of these options worked for me. I was going to keep the baby. I finally found enough courage to tell them so. Their reaction was predictable.

I was finally excused after they realized my mind was made up and went up to my room. I heard Ashley start to come up behind me, but my dad called her back. I cried myself to sleep.

The next day, I woke up to my mother in my room going through my things. "What are you doing?!?" I exclaimed.

"I'm packing your things," she replied, curtly.

I swallowed. "Where are you sending me?"

"We're not sending you anywhere," she said, "We're going to help you pack, give you a little money, and then it will be up to you to make your own way in this world. Those are the consequences you have brought upon yourself if you refuse the options we have given you."

My heart stopped. Make my own way? Completely on my own? But I'm barely 16! I tried to hold back my fears. If this is what I had to do, then I would do it. I wasn't afraid of a challenge. And I was incredibly stubborn.

"Fine," I said, "but I don't need you to help me pack. I can do it myself."

"Have it your way," she said, and then turned around and walked away. That was the last time I saw my mother for several years.

I looked around my room, trying to decide where to start, when Ashley came in. "Hey Anna," she said quietly.

I didn't even say anything. I just walked over to her and gave her a big hug. "I'm so sorry, Ash. I'm sorry I was so stupid, and I'm sorry that you'll be here alone."

"Well, don't be too sorry. They're sending me to boarding school, so I won't have to be here alone after all."

I was shocked. "Why are they sending you away?"

"Because I vouched for you before school let out and said Shark was a liar, everyone is going to be looking at me too. We all decided it would be best if I finished up high school somewhere else. It'll be good though. I'll get a much better education." She looked very resigned to it.

"God, I am so so so sorry Ash. I really messed things up for everyone."

She took me by the shoulders, "Don't you dare think that, Anna. You're the strongest person I know, and you have to promise to stay that way. Hold your head up high and show everyone who doubts you just how wrong they are. I will always be here for you, even if I can't be there physically."

We said our goodbyes, and I left. That night, I went from being the lucky rich girl living on the wealthiest street in town with everything handed to being homeless.