Monday 29 November 2010

“Where you do you see yourself five years from now?”

I hope I am never asked that question in a job interview, because I will have to pass. If I had honestly answered the question at any point during the 16 years since I graduated from high school, my vision of where I would be five years later would have been laughably different from the eventual reality.

Certainly on November 29th, 2005, when I loaded up The Sims 2 and created a new neighborhood called (almost randomly) Lothere, I did not imagine I would be here five years later, not only still working on the story but with it having become such an important part of my life. This story made me a writer—something I had forgotten I ever wanted to be.

Looking ahead

I don’t know if I’ll still be working on this story five years from now, whether in its current form or some evolution I can’t imagine yet. I would say it isn’t likely, but then I would have said that five years ago.

Perhaps instead I’ll be writing another story, flying with the wings this story gave me.

Or perhaps I will have moved on to something else entirely; perhaps all traces of the site will have been eroded away from the Internet, but even then this story will endure in a small way in the minds of a few people who will never look on the Norman Conquest in quite the same way again—who will read an old-​timey story featuring forbidden frolics during Advent and hear the echo of Father Matthew’s outraged exclamation—or who will long feel a flash of nostalgia when hearing of a lady named Matilda.

Looking back

For now, I have no intention of abandoning this story, but five years feels like a major milestone: a good place to pause and look back up the path. December also happens to be a month filled with Top 10 Lists and Best-​ofs, and heaven knows after 2.25 million words and nearly 1800 chapters, we have plenty of things to reminisce about.

So in celebration of five years of Lothere, this December I plan to do a series of blog posts about “The 10 Greatest Xes of Lothere” for a wide variety of Xes. I have a number of posts planned already, but feel free to give me ideas about Best-​of lists you might like to see.


As much as I may be a storyteller by nature, as much as this feels like a story I “have to tell,” I do know that it would never have become more than a shadow of what it is today if not for my readers.

Thank you all for your interest and attention, for your comments, for your hilarious quotes, for your corrections, for your objections, for your friendship, for your sympathy and concern, and most of all thank you for being the breath of life that transforms the ruminations of a solitary storyteller into a soap-​bubble shared universe that will endure so long as it remains in at least one reader’s mind. This story is the most amazing thing I’ve ever created, but it would be a dead heap of megabytes without you.

To be continued

Nanowrimo is wrapping up again without me, but here I am as I was five years ago—in the same chair, but heaven knows I wouldn’t have dreamt I’d be typing this on a Mac—getting ready to embark on the next stage of this journey to I don’t know where.

Check this space on December 1st for the first Top 10 list, looking back on the Best-​ofs of the past five years. I hope that what’s to come will be even better.