So, all my torturing of elder Sims in not letting them retire and my making my teen Sims start working at a tender age have paid off. I surpassed my goal of the Schreiber clan becoming millionaires before starting all over again. Their financial worth, not including the value of their home and not including the value of the car John lost in downtown Moonlight Bay (elders!) reached 2,043,876 simoleons by the time Danielle and Roman moved into a home suitable for two Sims and a baby.
And now, for the next chapter.
We last left off with Erika moving away from Moonlight Bay to strike it rich in Sunset Valley. With just her beloved Paddington and 16,500 simoleons in her pocket, Erika is determined to find her own path on her own terms.
Her traits are artistic, loner, bookworm, hopeless romantic, and childish. Erika’s favorites are fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, the color red, and classical music. Her lifetime wish is to be a star news anchor. She also wants to have a family, with a daughter taking the reins of the family dynasty once Erika retires.
She’s also available for download.
She purchases an empty lot at 15 Summer Hill Court. That drains almost all of her cash reserves, leaving only enough money for a modest bed and three bare walls for privacy.
Erika already has a job lined up at the Doo Peas newspaper, but she’ll still need to live off the fat of the land until she starts raking in the simoleons.
All Sim cities offer many services for free. She can get her exercise, food, and hygiene needs met at the gym, and the library offers a few computers and a limited supply of books on various subjects. Even better, the gym is right down the street from her work. Score!
Her first day in town is a Sunday, so she spends the day at the library, working on her charisma and writing skills, both of which she needs to succeed in the news business.
She reads a book on charisma and starts the novel Swimming Pool.
But then it’s time for dinner and bed.
Erika’s life is going to be awfully lonely without her family near her. I guess it’s good that she’s a loner.
She starts out work as a paper boy, very modest, but it’s a start. After work, Erika goes to the library to meet some folks and work on her writing.
She meets Nick Alto.
Erika always has an eye out for a suitable man, but Nick is a little old for her, and rich. If she’s going to make her fortune on her own, rich spouses are not an option.
She gets what she needs out of him and continues with her book.
She goes on to the gym for food, exercise, and a shower, but the clock is winding down. She doesn’t have time to go home and get a proper night’s sleep before work. A nap by the pool will do fine.
Erika has nothing in the way of entertainment at home; when she wants to unwind after work, reading a book at the library is just the ticket.
God dammit, I never asked for these newspapers.
Erika isn’t exactly doing amazing financially, but she has earned enough to build a proper enclave, with four walls, a door, and a lamp.
I also broke down and bought her an easel. The art gallery in Sunset Valley doesn’t have an easel to use for free the way Moonlight Bay’s art gallery does, and I’ve yet to find one at any of the parks or other public lots.
Not having any money does have its downsides, even in Sunset Valley. The gym only has two weight training machines and two treadmills, which fill up pretty fast. Often the only option for exercise is swimming. Not the worst thing, naturally, but the old adage applies: you get what you pay for.
The journalism career track may be one of the worst ones I’ve subjected my Sims to yet. Yes, the hours of the medicine and corporate tracks can be punishing, and doctors have to work on logic in addition to keeping up on research, but journalism requires two skill sets (writing and charisma) and Sims have to write reviews and reports in addition to that, which don’t seem to contribute to their increases in writing skill, but it sure does stress them out. To add injury to insult, Erika has to write up the review/report within a short time frame or she loses the opportunity.
Normally, my Sims have the grinning moodlets on various aspects of their work performance; at best, Erika has moderately happy emoticons for all three metrics.
Nevertheless, she’s been advancing in leaps and bounds. Erika’s already at level three, freelance writer, which is where interviewing starts to come in.
The gym is prime hunting grounds for interview subjects.
She has a work opportunity to interview Dustin Langerak. She writes a positive review, because he seems like a decent guy, but apparently everyone thinks it’s boring. Oh well, maybe if she meets a total a-hole, she can write a negative review, and everyone will love it.
Erika is finally able to afford roofing, flooring and interior and exterior wall coverings on her home.
I went with a metallic cladding.
Erika conducts an interview right after work one day, but thanks to the prior night’s shenanigans (namely, my keeping her up too late), she’s too tired to do the write up.
She’ll just have to take a nap on a park bench.
Erika had, what I thought was, enough money to build a second floor for a bathroom.
At least now she has her own shower and toilet. Her rich neighbors must be thrilled to see her house every day.
Soon enough, Erika meets a young man who seems like a fine gentleman and who I’m pretty sure is not wealthy.
Ready to meet your fate, young Doyle Metcalf?
Speaking of getting what you pay for, the library only has two computers, and Sims regularly sit at the computer *reading* not actually using the computer.
Erika has the perfect solution. When some Sim is blocking a computer, she initiates a greet with them. They have to go put the book away, and then she swipes their seat.
Erika’s little townhouse is progressing quite nicely.
I was inspired by this Belgian townhouse constructed from shipping containers. I once read an entire article about the project, but can’t find it now. The only quibble I had with it was the toilet right next to the bed. Gross. That’s why I made sure to build a partial wall between Erika’s bedroom and bathroom. And the toilet is nowhere near her bed.
I discovered that the library has benches on the balcony upstairs. No more hobo-ism for my little Sim.
Sooner than I would like, Erika’s birthday approaches. I buy her a stereo and couch for guests and put them and her modest dining set outside. Her house is still too small for parties.
She’s built up a nice little core of friends. She invites Dustin, her early interview subject; Connor Frio, the coworker she shanghai-ed from the chair at the library; Doyle Metcalf, bachelor extraordinaire; Cycl0n3 Sw0rd (I hate that name), her boss; and Cora Francisco.
Cora insists on standing around inside the house the whole time.
Despite the modest conditions, Erika’s party is a phenomenal success.
And I get them a little lighting out there.
Once the guests leave, Erika keeps herself company with some hand puppetry.
Now that Erika’s a mature adult, I’m a little desperate to find her love and get her pregnant. While I was having her work her ass off on her career, she generated a wish to get involved with someone romantically for the first time and to have her first kiss. I felt a little pang of guilt. She’s a hopeless romantic, and she’s getting no chance to fulfill that part of her personality. She’s also not getting any younger, and maternity leave would give her some much needed time to work on her charisma and writing.
For the next chapter, will Erika find romance and family before it’s too late? Or will she have to settle for the first Sim who comes along? Stay tuned!