The Russian Wife Experience

I once had a neighbor many years ago who “bought” himself a wife. Actually, two — but not at the same time, of course. The first was a mail-order bride from the Philippines, which resulted in a marriage that lasted about fifteen years and produced two beautiful daughters. But, all good things come to an end and after all those years, his now-Americanized wife packed up and moved out.

“I think I’ll get myself a Russian wife this time,” the neighbor casually remarked when I saw him one day after their divorce. He said it in much the same way one might speak when ordering a pizza. A bit like “Yeah, I think I want anchovies on it.”

Maybe he lacked social skills. He was a bit of a geek, and overall, my thought is that for him “ordering a wife” online was simply the quickest, easiest way to complete a desired transaction.

By the way, he did, indeed, get a Russian lady for his second wife. That marriage produced a son and lasted for quite some time, although I believe she, too, eventually packed up and left. This was years ago, and I’ve long since lost track of the fellow.

He was on my mind, however, as I pondered what to do with Michael Sorensen, a young adult sim who is living alone for the first time. Michael, you see, comes from a highly dysfunctional family, and if you’ve followed along on my blog for a while, you probably know that when I create sims or age them up, I choose traits for them at random. So it was that when Michael aged up to young adult status, he had the misfortune to get the new “unflirty” trait. It seemed a good addition to his gloomy personality, and certainly seemed to fit right in with his background.

But, as I saw him sitting alone in his new house, I felt sorry for Michael. Everyone deserves a loving relationship, right? I love seeing my sims find that “someone special”, get married, and start families of their own.

Of course, I knew that Michael could never manage this without a little help. It was time for a bit of “player intervention.”

How could I find a wife for Michael and yet make it part of a somewhat “realistic” storyline? As that question ran through my mind, memories of my old neighbor surfaced. Yes, the perfect solution. Michael could “buy” himself a wife.

I suppose I could have easily chosen an Asian townie to play the role, but instead I opted to go with a Russian bride. I quickly went into CAS and prepared to design the perfect woman for Michael. When I clicked “Add Sim” to Michael’s household, I was very pleasantly surprised to find this young lady.

From the moment I saw her, I loved her. To me, she somehow looked exactly as I’d imagined a good “Russian wife” should.

Because she had a very special role to play in my game, I didn’t use my “random factor” to select her traits. I gave her the following:

  • Neat
  • Cheerful
  • Bookworm

Those seemed like good qualities for a wife. I also gave her a “Family Oriented” aspiration. She’s hoping to have a big, happy family.

Finally came the moment of truth. I clicked on Michael’s household and went in to play. I found Galina sitting at the kitchen table. My imagination kicked in, of course, and I could sense her nervousness as she waited to meet her prospective husband for the first time. (In CAS, I left their status as “roommates” to give them a chance to develop an actual relationship on their own.)

Things went quite well. Michael sat down and they began a very pleasant chat. They discussed their interests, they spent time getting to know one another, and they had a few deep conversations. All the wile the specter of Michael’s “unflirty” personality was hovering over the meeting. Did I dare attempt a flirtation?

Finally, I tried. Of course, the best Michael could manage was an “awkward” flirt. I had hoped Galina would be understanding, but it didn’t happen that way. Next, I tried having her flirt with Michael. That was not good. Within a matter of moments, they were well on their way to hating each other. How could I stop this disaster from happening?

Maybe I should set a more romantic mood, I decided. I quickly grabbed an incense burner and soon the sweet fragrance of romantic sandalwood was wafting through the air. It seemed to help a little, but not enough to turn the tide. Even though they were in a flirty atmosphere, I couldn’t get any romance blossoming between them.

I almost gave up. From this experience, my guess is that it’s impossible for an “unflirty” sim to ever find love and marital happiness. I thought of letting them go right on hating each other — their bars were filled with red — but force them into marriage through CAS. After all, arranged marriages don’t always begin with love and affection, right?

Had I done that, I doubt that Michael and Galina could ever have had children, and that was the whole point of the “Russian wife” experience. This was supposed to be an easy, painless way for socially inept Michael to start a family.

So, in desperation I headed back to CAS. I temporarily changed Michael’s nature from unflirty to romantic. Oh, what a difference! It didn’t take long for these two to get things going hot and heavy. Too hot, in fact. While they were kissing passionately the incense caught fire and burned up half the kitchen. Fortunately, Galina had sense enough to grab a fire extinguisher. Once the fire was out, they picked up where they left off and headed to the bedroom for a little woo-hoo.

I figured it was all right to “marry” the couple since they were getting along. I slipped back into CAS again, changed their relationship status to pronounce them husband and wife, and then…yeah, I changed Michael back to his usual unflirty self.

Before I left, I photographed the happy couple at home. They both love reading, so maybe they will be able to make their marriage work.

Michael and Galina at home sharing their love of books.

Now, what will happen when it’s time for them to begin a family? Will Michael be able to actually have a relationship? Or will I once again have to resort to drastic measures to overcome his inability to handle romantic flirtations? Will incense help? Or will that only lead to burning down their house? Will Galina have patience enough to put up with her gloomy husband?

Only time will tell, but for now, the Russian wife has proved to be quite an interesting experience, both for Michael and for me.

 

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So You Want to be a Writer?

In many years of writing, I have heard over and over again how hard it is to write, how much a writer must sacrifice for his or her art, how we must bleed upon the page if we hope to call ourselves writers. Of course, I’ve heard, too, of that most-lamentable condition called writer’s block. It’s one more of the perils that face those who dare to pick up paper and pencil and express their thoughts.

Whenever I hear complaints such as these, one thought quickly comes into my head. If it’s so hard for you, why do you do it?

Let’s look at geometry for a moment. In school, I made good grades in geometry, but I hated the subject. It involved so much tedious measurement! Today, in art work, I still don’t like geometry, so I avoid drawings that rely heavily on architectural perspectives and those dreaded angles. In other words, geometry is a useful skill for many, but one I use only if I must.

Why should it be different for writing? Just as I would never want a job that required me to use geometry on a daily basis, why would anyone who finds writing difficult ever want to be a writer? Now, please, don’t tell me that I don’t understand what writing is all about. Trust me, I do.

Writing CareerIf you really want to suffer for your art, go right ahead. But just remember, it doesn’t have to be that way. Writing can be — and in my opinion, should be — a lot of fun. Especially with Sim-Lit. After all, this is a genre based upon playing a game. If that’s not a recipe for fun, I don’t know what is!

The trouble a lot of struggling writers have comes from taking themselves too seriously, and from worrying too much about getting the words right. If there’s one simple secret to writing, it’s this: the more words you write, the easier it becomes, and the more words you write, the greater the likelihood that you’ll find the right ones.

Don’t ever be afraid of writing badly. Why not? Because bad writing can be improved. You can’t do anything with a blank page, however, except stare at it. The problems you face in writing can usually be corrected by writing more.

Huh?

Sure. Practice does lead to improvement, especially if you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing and are willing to learn from your mistakes.

But what should I write about? Where do I start? How do I know what to say?

Anything.

Anywhere.

You don’t have to know what to say when you start.

The point is, if you want to write, sit down and do it. Don’t worry about choosing the right word, just write every word that comes to mind. Put down a dozen different thoughts. You can sort them out later, once they’re on the page. Forget about spelling, and for the moment, don’t even think about grammar. Spelling can be checked; bad grammar can be corrected. Unnecessary words can be removed, and jumbled thoughts can be put in order.

I know, you’re not convinced. You’re still shaking your head, mumbling that I just don’t “get it”. It’s not easy to write, you have to be inspired, you have to have some ethereal muse hovering about, tormenting your soul…or whatever it is that people think muses do.

Hate to burst your bubble, but writing is easy, you don’t have to be inspired to do it, and if you want to be a writer, you have to become your own muse. Tormenting your soul, by the way, is not part of the job description.

A writer’s job is to write. Oh, sure, there’s a little more to it than just writing, but that’s where it begins. You sit down and you write. About what? About anything. You write, you explore your thoughts, and you put your imagination to work.

You write silly things. You write bad things. You write the most outlandish, ridiculous things you can think of. Sometimes you even do it deliberately…because it’s so much fun. You write fast, you write furiously. You wander off on tangents and fall into gaping plot holes. Oh, well. It happens. You just keep writing.

Don’t know where to go next? No plot? No problem. Grab a dictionary, open it at random, and take the first word you see. Find a way to use it. Got a book of story starters or writing prompts? Take an idea and make it work for your story. Indulge yourself in a bit of stream of consciousness writing — just sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind.

Play with words. Play with writing. Make up creative exercises, such as describing twenty ways a character might walk: he ambled, he sauntered, he limped… Or try listing as many “dialogue tags” as you can: she postulated, she opined, she posited. Note: Once you’ve come up with these awful tags, throw them away. The best dialogue tag is still “said.

Write from different points of view. Write in present tense. Write from your memories or write from your dreams. Just write, and keep on writing until you can’t write any longer. Stop, take a break, and then come back and do it all over again.

Here’s a little challenge for you. Sit down today and take a look at the time. Write down the time, in fact. Then start writing about anything and everything that comes to mind. Just ramble on for as long as you want. Stop, look at the time, and write it down. How long did you spend writing before you ran out of words? Five minutes? Fifteen? Two hours? It doesn’t matter how long you wrote. This is only the starting point. Just make note of the length of time you spent.

Tomorrow, sit down again and repeat the exercise. This time, however, add five minutes to the previous day’s writing session. Set a timer so you’ll know when to quit.

The following day, add another five minutes. Repeat this every day until you’ve doubled your original time. In other words, if you wrote for one hour on the first day, continue until your session reaches two hours.

You might also want to check out Stream of Consciousness Saturday, a blogging challenge which provides participants with a weekly prompt. No rules, no word length minimums, just writing purely for the joy of it.

Yes, writing should be joyful. It should be fun. So, if you really want to be a writer, learn now how to make writing the most enjoyable thing you do each day.

 

 

Busy as a Bee

BeesRemember the bees in Sims 2 Bon Voyage? Of course, bees have been around since the advent of Makin’ Magic in the original series. In Sims 3, players with the Supernatural expansion pack could become beekeepers, and in Sims 4 we have bees as part of the insect collections.

But this isn’t really a post about bees or beekeeping. It’s a post about cliches and the importance of avoiding them in storytelling.

A cliche is an over-used expression or idea. Many of the similes we use have become clichés.

  • Busy as a bee
  • Pretty as a picture postcard
  • Blue as the sky
  • Sweet as cotton candy
  • Hot as fire

We could go on and on with that little list. A cliché can be a handy little thing when we’re communicating and need a quick and easy way to convey a thought. Cliches have become over-used precisely because they’re convenient.

In storytelling, though, it’s best to forego convenience in favor of originality. Don’t be in a hurry when you’re sharing your sims’ stories. Take a little time and choose words and phrases that catch your readers’ attention.

One way of avoiding clichés is by writing more description, showing the reader instead of telling. Instead of saying Susan was as busy as a bee, take a little time, add a few more words, and show how busy she actually is.

Susan pushed the ledger aside and groaned. With one look at her desk, she knew she’d never get the reports finished on time. In addition to auditing the books, she still had to review expense accounts, look at the credit card expenditures, and approve the invoices marked for payment. How had she fallen so far behind?

Doesn’t that give you a better understanding of Susan’s predicament than simply saying she’s busy as a bee?

The same principle can be applied to the other clichés on the list. Don’t tell the reader that a scene is as pretty as a picture postcard. Instead, show what makes the scene so beautiful and breath-taking.

Don’t simply say something is as blue as the sky. Describe the hue and how it makes the character feel. Remember, too, your characters have five senses, so don’t rely on one-dimensional clichés.

A light blue blanket covered the bed. Susan reached out and touched it, loving its softness. As she gently ran a fingertip along the edge, she thought of spring days, delicate flowers blooming, and birds singing their songs. She would like it here, she knew. Even though life would be different now, she would have this room, this bed, and this well-worn blue blanket to comfort her.

Another thing to avoid, however, is going too far in looking for original expressions. You don’t want to end up with a ridiculous simile like this jewel:

She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes
just before it throws up.

I found that one at Painful Similes and Metaphors, and now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to jump quick like a fox, hop like a bunny, and flit like a butterfly over to that website to read the rest of them. You should, too. They’re hilarious!

 

And the Winner Is…

Today’s the day, folks! The day I hand out the first ever “Edgar Evans Award for Community Service“.

Award

And the winner of this prestigious award is Liev Capra, created by Simmer RosemaryMarie for her Sim Blog Noble Doubt. Be sure to stop by, read her stories, and congratulate her for Liev’s “community service” award.

Liev Capra with Memphis Noble - Photo courtesy of RosemaryMarie
Liev Capra with Memphis Noble – Photo courtesy of RosemaryMarie
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
I am extremely honored to be receiving something as important as the Edgar Evans Community Service award. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received because I am very sure that every other nominee for this award was as adept, if not more so, of winning this award.

I have faced many challenges on my way to this moment, both personally and professionally. But each one of them has only built up my character; making me the person I am today. Winning this award would not have been possible without the encouragement I have received from my family, colleagues and community all for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have received the strength to challenge myself.
I sincerely thank Jonathan Chronicles for inspiring me to reach a stage where I can proudly hold up this award as a symbol of my accomplishment. Thank you!

I Murdered Chester Gieke

I shudder at the thought of law enforcement ever impounding my computer. What a field day they’d have with my search history. Of course, they’d have fun, too, reading posts on the Forum as we simmers casually discuss the most efficient ways of getting rid of our sims or the cruelties to which we’ve subjected our darlings.

In my own defense, I’ve never been one to deliberately kill off any of my sims. I think I’ve only done that once — way back in the original game — and only under very extenuating circumstances. Yes, I felt awful afterward.

The deaths in my game have always been natural or accidental. But then, there’s the story of Chester Gieke and his untimely demise. It was murder.

ChesterLet me tell you the sad story of Chester Gieke.

Chester was a “pre-made” in Sims 2. I didn’t normally play pre-made sims, but at the time I put him into my game, I was needing a “house-sitter.” A kind elder lady, Lucille Menne, had been elected governor and I was preparing to move her into the governor’s mansion. I didn’t want to lose her lovely house and all its furnishings, though, so I grabbed Chester Gieke from the “sim bin” and let him live in the house until Miss Menne’s term as governor ended. I had no intentions of ever playing Chester.

But then one day as I was playing a young university student, Chester came strolling down the street. This girl was definitely looking for love, and when Chester stopped to chat, they quickly realized they were a perfect pair. They had so much in common. Their taste in music, their favorite foods, their aspirations for the future…oh,  yes, Chester and nerdy Clarissa were meant for each other. They fell in love, got engaged, and planned to marry as soon as she graduated.

But then one day she tried to call Chester.

He was gone.

What? Where was he? I spent at least an hour — if not more — desperately searching for Chester. He was no longer living in Miss Menne’s house. She’d lost the most recent election and had returned home. Chester was supposed to be living back in the “sim bin” — the Sims 2 version of “household management.”

The bin was quite confusing, at least for players like me who had several different neighborhoods in the game. It was possible to remove a sim from the bin in one neighborhood, yet find the sim still “in the bin” in other neighborhoods. Soon after Miss Menne returned home, I went on a bin-cleaning binge and somehow in the process, I killed Chester Gieke. I didn’t mean to do it. Really, I didn’t.

I tried searching for another copy of Chester in another neighborhood bin. Alas, he was nowhere to be found. His girlfriend was devastated. They’d been so happy together. They were about to get married and begin their future. How could fate be so unkind?

Of course, it made for a terrific story, and to this day, no one in Bloomington — the neighborhood in which they lived — knows who killed Chester Gieke. His death remains one of those unsolved mysteries that haunts detectives to this day.

So, perhaps the time has come for me to stand up and make my confession. Yes, I murdered Chester Gieke, and I can no longer live with the guilt. I’m sorry, Clarissa. I didn’t mean to do it. Please, forgive me. May the Sim-gods have mercy on my soul.

 

Getting to Know You

Getting to Know You” is a lovely song from the musical, The King and I, and it’s always been one of my favorites. I don’t care for it so much anymore now that some identity-theft company has borrowed it for one of their commercials. The idea of getting to know you has become associated with internet fraud, and that does make the song a bit less appealing.

Getting Acquainted
Getting acquainted is a fun part of any relationship, especially an author’s relationship with a story’s characters.

But this post has nothing really to do with music or crime. It’s about storytelling and the importance of truly getting to know our characters.

With “SimLit”, much of the information we need to know is neatly compiled for us, readily available. No need to wonder about a character’s eye color or hair color,  for instance. We can simply zoom in and take a look for ourselves.

A lot of writers go to elaborate lengths to get to know their characters, putting together “character interviews”, clipping illustrations from newspapers and magazines, and reading astrological profiles to gain insights into how the character might behave.

Some of this is good, but too much can be counter-productive. You want to write stories, not spend your time writing lengthy character biographies.

For me, getting to know my story characters is probably the most enjoyable aspect of fiction-writing. I keep it simple and try to create distinct characters for each story. A lot of the information remains “in the background” as I write. We don’t have to use every detail. But it’s there in our heads, helping us understand who our characters are so that we can better know how they will react in different situations. Knowing our characters helps us “get inside” their heads — and hearts — as we share their stories with our readers.

Here are the things I want to know about each of the important characters in my stories:

  • Character name
  • Age
  • Where does the character live?
  • Favorite music
  • Favorite food
  • What color is the character’s room?
  • What is this character’s favorite memory?
  • What is this character’s most traumatic experience?
  • What is this character’s most prized possession?
  • What scares this character?
  • 5 likes
  • 5 Dislikes
  • What word do others use to describe the character?

The answers to these questions can give us a good look at who a character is and why they act the way they do. Understanding what’s important to a character — favorite memories, prized possessions, personal surroundings — and what upsets him or her — traumatic events, fears, dislikes — goes a long, long way toward helping us really know the people in our stories. This leads us to a better understanding of what our characters want, how they hope to get it, and why it matters so much.

Happy writing!

Maybe…or Maybe Not

Kat is so depressed she just wants to stay in bed all day.
Kat is so depressed she just wants to stay in bed all day.

Kat Phillips is devastated. She’s wanting to have a baby, and it’s just not happening. She thought she might be pregnant, and then she found out she wasn’t. She feels like a complete failure as a wife.

Jonathan didn’t think he wanted a family yet, but now he’s giving it more thought. What if he and Kat can’t ever have children? That would be awful. He’s still not sure he wants to be a father right now, but if Kat really wants a baby, maybe they should try again.

Or, maybe not.

Jonathan is confused. He’s been seeing Fiona Patterson, now he’s feeling guilty, and maybe he needs to re-dedicate himself to his beautiful wife.

Or, maybe not.

He enjoys the time he spends with Fiona. Sometimes he wishes he hadn’t gotten married. Maybe he really loves Fiona. Maybe more than he loves Kat.

Or, maybe not.

No, he does love his wife. That’s why he married her. He’s confused, Kat’s depressed, and at least they have their music to share.

 

Big Blue Divider

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Telling Stories: Selfish Sally and Other Characters

traitsOne of the features of Sims 4 — and Sims 3, as well — is a system of traits. There’s a wide range. We can create introverted loners, or out-going party animals. Our sims can be good or evil, clumsy, squeamish, neat, and the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately, the trait system doesn’t work too well in the game. Good sims will come up with “whims” to donate money to charities, and mean sims will sometimes go around picking fights, but for the most part the traits don’t have a huge effect on the game.

But they should have an effect on your story-telling.

Every character in your story should have a dominant trait, especially those secondary or minor characters who step onto the stage. Your main character, of course, will have many different traits, some positive, and some negative. Even with the lead character in your story, you should be able to choose one single trait that stands out from the rest. This is the key trait you’ll want to focus on in your story.

With less-important characters in a story, we don’t need to do quite so much character development. Instead, we can “zero-in” on a specific trait, highlighting it each time the character appears in a scene. It’s a bit like adding a musical theme, a motif that defines the character and tells the reader at once what to expect.

A perfect example is “Selfish Sally”. This was an example I picked up at a writer’s conference many years ago, and it makes such perfect sense, I’ve never forgotten it. The idea is this:

Whenever you show a character, always show the dominant trait in action.

Let’s look at Selfish Sally. She may be beautiful. She may be very intelligent. She may love horses and dogs. We don’t really care so much about those things, though, because her dominant trait is her selfishness. She thinks only of herself, wants more of everything, and certainly doesn’t like to share.

So, if we put Sally into a dinner scene, what’s she doing? She’s not engaging in chit-chat; she’s grabbing the biggest slice of pie or asking “Is there more ice cream?” or “Can I have seconds?” Or maybe she’s not even asking. Most likely she’s just pushing somebody aside to fill her own plate again. That’s how “Selfish Sally” always is.

Or we include her in a scene where our main character is asking for help. Is Sally listening? Not really. All she’s doing is talking about herself, turning the conversation around to her problems and what she wants.

Wherever we find Sally, she’s always acting true to character, always being her usual selfish self.

It’s a simple principle, really, and it’s one that can add interest to your stories. Give your characters a single strong trait by which you — and your readers — can quickly identify them. Keep them “in character” and let their traits help you build stronger stories.

 

Tips for Telling Stories: Make ’em Miserable

I live in the Midwest, in the state of Missouri…or “misery” as folks sometimes joke. That’s a horrible joke. There’s really nothing miserable at all about the state. Well, except for the fact that in the summers we have scorching heat in excess of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and then in the winters we have frigid temperatures far below zero Fahrenheit, and in the spring we have rainy spells that go on for days, along with the occasional tornado and hailstorm. Other than that, it’s a beautiful place to live. Autumn is nice, at least.

Seriously, all joking aside, there’s nothing really wrong with the “Show-Me” state of Missouri, but when you’re telling your sims’ stories — or writing stories of any sort — you might want to keep my Midwestern home in mind. Why? Because the more miserable you make your characters, the more your readers will enjoy your stories.

We know all about conflict — about the importance of giving characters goals to strive for and then putting obstacles in their way. But there are other ways to make fictional folks miserable, and good storytellers never miss a chance to make their heroes and heroines suffer. Just a little, at least.

I remember reading a novel in which a young woman stopped for the night at a roadside inn. This was in the earlier days of America, so accommodations weren’t what we’d expect to find today. But even by 19th century standards, the room at the inn…well, it sucked. It was a cold, rainy night — hmmm, maybe it was somewhere in Missouri — and the roof of the inn leaked. Their was no dry firewood to burn, and the blankets on the bed were threadbare. The bread was stale, the soup tasteless, and what little meat she could find in the bowl was too tough to even chew.

Poor girl! She was miserable. Even though this stay at the inn wasn’t a major plot point, the author skillfully used the setting to add environmental conflict to the story. Think of environmental conflict as a secondary source, another implement in your writer’s toolbox by which you can make your stories and characters more real — and more interesting, too.

Misery
Make your characters miserable, and you’ll make your readers happy.

We all have experience with environmental conflict, that is, unpleasant things around us. We live in a very imperfect world, and when we bring those imperfections into our stories, readers quickly identify with the miserable situations we create.

Show a character shielding his eyes from the sun, and chances are your reader will probably start squinting. Describe the taste of a sour lemon, and your reader’s lips will pucker. All the while you’re throwing major conflicts at your characters, keep hitting them with environmental conflicts, too.

Make your characters as miserable as you can.

As you do, remember again this great state in which I live. Its nickname is the “Show-me” state. Nobody knows how that came about, and nobody really cares. It’s not important. What is important — in fiction, at least — is showing, not telling.

Don’t tell your readers that it was a rainy night. Show flashes of lightning streaking across the sky. Show your character’s wet clothes and muddy shoes. But don’t stop there! Instead of just getting her shoes dirty, show her slipping and falling face down into the mud.

Ah, yes, misery.

We’ve all experienced miserable moments, and as readers, we’re drawn in by stories where misery abounds. Been there, done that. Indeed, we all know how it feels to be in stuffy rooms, to have things break down around us, to endure many, many little miseries that are part of our environment.

Make them part of your characters’ environment, too.

It’s said that misery loves company. Maybe, maybe not. But readers do love misery, so when you write your next story, think of me and where I live…right here in the Show-Me state of Missouri. Let that remind you to always show a state of misery. Your readers will thank you.

 

Graduation Day

Graduation DayIt’s the day that Jonathan and Kat have both been waiting for. They’re donning graduation caps and walking across the stage at the Academy of Performing Arts.

Jonathan is proud to have earned his Bachelor’s degree — with honors — in Violin performance. Fiona has earned her degree in Piano performance.

What’s ahead now for the young couple? Neither is quite sure. Jonathan will start sending out queries to symphony orchestras, but despite his degree, his honors, and his talent, it’s hard to get auditions. And even harder to land a chair in a major orchestra.

Katherine isn’t setting her sights so high. She’s happy being Jonathan’s wife, so she’d prefer spending her time at home, taking care of the house, cooking meals…and maybe setting up a nursery? She and Jonathan had agreed they wouldn’t start a family under after graduation day.

Well, Jonathan? Are you ready now?

Kat would love to have children, but sometimes she’s not sure how her husband really feels about it. He’s been a bit distant at times, but maybe that was just the pressure of final exams, long rehearsals, the stress of the performances he’s given, and all the worries about finding a position.

Kat hopes that there’s nothing seriously wrong in her marriage. She still harbors a few suspicions about Fiona Patterson. Now that they’re all out of school — Fiona graduated, too — there won’t be many opportunities for Jonathan and Fiona to cross paths.

Having a baby would be a great way to get Jonathan’s full attention. Kat’s hoping it will happen soon.

 

Big Blue Divider

 What do YOU think? Should Kat and Jonathan start a family now?