Friday, September 28, 2012

1.13 - If You Love Something ... Set It Free

The summer of Isabel's birthday, and last days in Appaloosa passed quickly. Far too quickly for Simon, who knew his soon-to-be ex-wife intended to take his little girl away with her.

Isabel, it turns out, is growing exceptionally intelligent. She now spends most of her time reading to herself, Even as a tiny toddler, she seems to comprehend what all those symbols mean.

"Oh The Destinations You'll Briefly Visit" (This is prophetic!)

Simon spends a great deal of time every evening reading to Isabel and telling her elaborate adventure stories which she loves and sits attentively listening, hanging on his every word. Isabel is destined to be adventurous.

"More Dragon story, more more!"

Emma, meanwhile, spends her remaining days in Appaloosa - networking.

Schmoozing it up with local celebrities and money-makers might come in handy once she got back to the city and needed some references.

"My Father is on the city council in St. Claire, I will put in a good word for you."
(Yes, apparently Booker Singleton is running for Mayor, what a scoundrel!)

Emma tries to take Isabel to her round of parties and social gatherings.

But Isabel is not impressed.

"How can you guys stare at that stupid moving picture box? It's so boring!"
(Malina and Ethan Parrott growing up on a steady diet of television reality shows.)

Saying good-bye to her best friend Melody was hard for Emma. Melody now had two young daughters and her husband was a traveling businessman so she was lonely a lot.

"I'm sad you're leaving Emma, but I understand your marriage was just not working out."

Emma's been wearing her hair up in a sophisticated up-do Melody taught her, and she's also been teaching her to do Isabel's hair like little Anna and Bethany's. Such cute little girly-girls.

Emma promises to have Bethany come visit them in St. Claire as soon as she's settled in.

"Lets get together and go shopping and to the spa town of Bradford, soon!"

Emma gets a call from Daryl Jackson, who has something special he wants to give her for a going away present. Daryl's wife just had twins, and they already had two sons, so their house is quite full, but Emma dresses up for the occasion since Daryl's a celebrity.

An appropriately snooty look ...

Daryl asks Emma to step into his office and shows her a new website he's working on for his catering business. At the top is a tab for the various locations catering can be ordered, and Emma notices right away one of the listed locations is St. Claire!

"Emma, I'd like you to help me run a new catering division in St. Claire if you're up to it. Your style is great!"

Emma's stunned. She expected to return to St. Claire a failure in her parent's eyes. A single Mom and struggling to make ends meet. But here is an opportunity to work for Daryl in a business which allows her to socialize and work with wealthy people. How perfect! Suddenly everything's looking up for Emma.

"Me?! I can't believe it, this is the most amazing business opportunity I've ever been given. Yes of course I'll do it!"

The day of Isabel's birthday finally arrives. Emma's planned for them to leave immediately after Isabel has some cake and spend one last day with her Dad.

Simon, of course, wants nothing to do with big parties or 'strangers' at the house, and its too small to have more than a couple of people inside anyways. So Isabel gets a tiny party in the yard with just her parents and Cupid.

Emma dresses down in old clothes. She doesn't want to get sticky cake or dog hair on her new city clothes. (My how quickly she's changed from the girl-digging-in-the-garden-days!)

"Emma please, for her sake, can we just pretend to be happy for one day?"

Isabel's already got a wish ready - she's been waiting for this day since she could talk and walk!

"Someday I want to find the dragons!"

And then she gets that funny little tickle thing happening ...

Cupid: "Woah, there's sparkles coming out of your butt!"

And ages up into a very pretty little girl.

Happy Birthday Isabel!

She promptly does some fist pumping in celebration while Mom blows a horn in her face.

"Oh YEAH - this ROCKS!"

Isabel gains the Genius trait. This was pretty much a given considering how quickly she learned her skills and how well she could already read books!

Simon's not at all surprised. He's very proud of his little girl. It's a sad moment for him, his wish for her to be a genius came true, but now she's leaving.

Awww... poor Simon!
 What's even worse, Simon gets to be the one to break the news to Isabel that she's going away that very same day.

As one can imagine ... Isabel's reaction is priceless.

"Just this one day here, for your Birthday. Then your Mom is taking you to a new school in St. Claire.

Simon tries to find a constructive way to tell Isabel her wealthy Grandparents are paying to send her to a fancy boarding school while her Mom settles in and gets a business going in St. Claire - but he just blurts it out because it makes him feel sick at his stomach.

"What?! But this is my home, I don't want to go away to some stupid boarding school!"

Simon tries to explain all of the exciting things she'll get to do in this new school. A new adventure!

"Your Mom says there's a great art program there ..."

But Isabel's not impressed.

"The only art I want to see is the school getting nuked into oblivion!"

Simon can't help but chuckle at how brave his little daughter is, and how smart too.

"I'm not going to a boarding school, I'm going to live here with you!"

Simon casually says that's an issue she'll have to take up with her Mother. (Secretly he hopes she does)

Suddenly, Isabel's got a plan ...

"Oh. Well that's easy!!"

Emma comes back from some last minute planning and business paperwork with Daryl, and is anxious to get going, ready to rush poor Isabel out the door.

Surprisingly, Isabel doesn't put up much of a fight ... for now.

Simon tries one last time to talk Emma out of her decision.

"Just think about what Isabel wants?" ... Emma's losing her cool. "NO Simon, we're getting a divorce! We don't even have anything in common anymore and I want this business opportunity! Isabel will do great in the city!"

Resignedly, Simon hugs Isabel goodbye and tries to keep from showing any emotion at all.

"Bye Daddy, see you soon!" Isabel whispers to Simon ...

Emma's not even afraid to flaunt the fact they're riding away in a taxi. She's happy to show Simon she's absolutely done with the "Going Green" deal! (And flaunting Watcher's roll too!)

Emma dreams of her new exciting life ahead while Isabel  - plots revenge.

Hours later, they finally arrive at the boarding school where Isabel is to be enrolled. Emma can barely keep up with her daughter who suddenly seems very anxious to go inside.

"Isabel wait, we have to check in at the office!"

But Isabel rounds on her Mother and glares angrily at her. She tells her she's not going to be embarrassed and coddled about this stupid school idea. If her Mom thinks she's old enough to go to a boarding school, then Isabel thinks she's old enough to go in all by herself!

"All the other girls will laugh at me, and call me a baby! I don't even want to BE here, but I'm going to go in alone!"

Emma's not that surprised by Isabel's anger. She expected her to act out long before now actually. She's relieved its just a case of the jitters and independence. Isabel's a brave girl, she's going to do fine.

"Well, if you're sure ... "  says Emma   --  Isabel sighs, "Yeah, I'm sure Mom."

Emma has no idea just how clever her daughter has become.

"Bye Mom, I'll call you tomorrow when you get to St. Claire. Don't worry about me."

And just like that, Isabel's chance to escape is wide open.


Simon, meanwhile, has been having an absolutely terrible time.

This is not a dog you'd want to mess with, right? (even with happy face thoughts!)

Less than 48 hours has passed, and in that short span of time everything has gone wrong. First a thief came and tried to get in the house. Cupid manages to run the invader off, but not before they make off with Simon's bike AND the ratty old washing machine!

How, exactly, do they DO that?! (Santa Claus magic bags I guess)

Then Simon has to explain to Cupid that no one has stolen his best friend Isabel too!

"Dude.... WHERE IS SHE?!"

Cupid is now thoroughly convinced everyone's a bad guy and here to steal his humans.

The mailman does not fair well and runs for his life.

"Aaaaagh, haaaaalp!!!"

Simon can't sleep. He wakes up several times a night with anxiety attacks.

"This all feels so WRONG!"

He can't even focus on work, and stays home. Worrying.

Simon ends up sitting up half the night on the floor next to Cupid. Isabel has not returned his call. He has no idea if she's doing ok at her first night of boarding school ...

Isabel is doing ok, but she's not at boarding school ...

Everything with her escape plan goes pretty good, at first.

Scoring a bus ride was no problem. The half asleep attendant never even looked at her when she bought the ticket, nor did the bus driver care that a kid was traveling alone.

But then there was the problem of not knowing her way around town when she got back to Appaloosa Plains. She decides to just sit and think about it for a few minutes ...

Isabel's first big adventure, falling asleep on a park bench!

And then she runs into a cop outside the coffee shop.

"Oh hi there officer! Time for donuts?"

And of course, can't explain why she's out in the middle of the night with no parents. Nor can she even give her address since she never learned it before Mom dragged her off immediately!

"Looks like you're going to have to come down to the station with me little lady."

Simon's half asleep when he gets a phone call from the Appaloosa Police Station. Every parent's worst nightmare ...

The boarding school also calls Emma to report that Isabel never showed up for check-in. Both parents are appropriately freaking out right now.

"Sir, we have a little girl here named Isabel, who was picked up at the local coffee shop. She says you're her Father, can you come down here and bring some identification please?"

Isabel waits casually outside the police station for her Dad to arrive.

Playing with her dragon. Of course!

And then Simon gets there and scoops Isabel up in a fierce protective hug, crying and laughing at the same time - relieved that she's safe.

"Daddy! Yes, yes I'm ok, its ok, its ok!! I'm so glad to see you too!"

Simon immediately calls Emma, because the first order of business is ironing out this mess.

Isabel's thinking, "Oh man, I'm so busted."

But Simon talks a looong time with Emma, and to Isabel's surprise, Simon's very firm about Isabel staying there with him now that she's returned. Isabel can hear her Mom yelling on the other end, but then things go quiet for awhile, and after a few more words, her fate is decided.

"What do you want to do Emma, force her to run away again?!"

Emma's apparently so relieved that Isabel's safe, she relents and says Isabel can stay, she won't seek full custody when the divorce is final.

Simon gives the required lecture and threats for punishment if Isabel ever tries anything dangerous like this again!

It was actually a pretty scary thing to do, but she's determined not to let it show!

And that night, everyone slept safe and sound.

This little girl gets what she wants! (and enjoys sweet dreams in her very own bed.)

Go on to read Ch. 1.14 - "Just Me and My Dad" HERE!



- I hope you enjoyed Isabel's first BIG adventure! This chapter was so much fun to write! I'd been planning it for some time. I originally thought of actually enrolling Isabel in boarding school and having her flunk out or demand to return after a short while, but the 'runaway' scene wrote itself when she struck up a convo with a police officer one evening outside the Flying V coffee shop!

- The mailman attack scenes and burglaries were totally unscripted and really happened the same day Emma and Isabel supposedly 'left town' (Emma actually just spent the night at Melody's then I removed her haha) so I figured the fates must have decided this was a bad idea for Simon's family!

Monday, September 24, 2012

1.12 - The Sink That Broke The Llama's Back

The day of the Barnes fancy catered party arrives. Emma's very excited to show off some of her new dishes she's cooked as well as her fine produce. Darryl has asked her to be there early, so Emma leaves Isabel home with Simon. They're hanging out together on the porch when the mail arrives.

A strange Sim secret revealed ...

"Why do you insist on throwing the mail on the ground when the mailbox is right there??"

The mailman looks embarrassed for a minute. "Uh. Sorry. Your wife usually takes it. Your, err, mailbox is glued shut."  He's suddenly in a big hurry to get back to his mail route.

How very odd. 

But now. Simon knows.

"She's been keeping this from me, all this time?"

 And without another word, pays the ovrdue bills. All of them.

"And this brings our savings back down to zero. Done."

But Simon's nonchalant attitude hides the neurotic side... lurking, and waiting for a freak out. He makes a very bad decision to go immediately to the party at the Barnes house.

Another all time social low point for Emma occurs, ranking right up there next to going into labor at a party. Getting into a huge fight with your husband about money. At a party full of rich people.

Confronting your wife, at a party, with your kid watching, minus 500 points buddy!

Emma can't believe Simon would get so mad about anything worth making a scene at a party.

"Simon this is a very important party. What are you doing here --- wearing a camouflage cutoff shirt?!"

But now its Simon's turn to really let Emma have it.

In a mean mocking tone, "What's the matter Emma, your snooty friends might cut you off the VIP list?!"

And now that he's started, he can't stop. He accuses Emma of lying to him and hiding the truth about her credit card bills which he just paid out of their household retirement savings!

"I thought we had a trusting marriage Emma, but clearly your priorities are somewhere else and not with me or Isabel!"

Simon storms out of the party, leaving Emma to stammer and try to save face with everyone who had heard the whole thing.

"Oh wow, I'm so sorry. He's been really stressed out lately ..."
Jaqueline Lanson and Darryl Jackson are both thinking: "Awkward!"
(Nevermind Melody back there in her swimsuit, it was supposed to have been a swimming party!!)

Isabel tries to change the subject too ...

"Daggins are THE BESTEST. Someday I'm going to find one and fly away!"

Things really start to go downhill now. Emma doesn't even come home most evenings, staying late at Melody's or with her other friends while Simon stays home with Isabel.

Sneaking upstairs like a teenager out after curfew is pretty miserable.

Simon takes care of Isabel's early morning wake up and breakfast every day before he heads to work.

"DADA!! ... Daggin!"

Isabel can climb out of her crib and her high chair now (clever monkey). Simon's glad he's sleeping downstairs to hear her wake up for more reasons than just avoiding Emma.

"What? I am just an innocent baby, playing in my food!"

However, everyone does keep a closer eye on Isabel, especially outside.

Once she learns to walk ... she literally starts to run. Everywhere! She seems fearless, and loves being outdoors more than anything in the world. She cries if she's brought indoors except to sleep!

Cupid keeps a very close eye on the little pup who runs on two legs.

Emma still takes Isabel out daily for their social rounds. But Isabel is much less happy about that now and often tries to run away or climb out of her stroller.

Emma tries not to worry too much, Isabel couldn't possibly know how strained things were between she and Simon now, right?

But Isabel KNOWS

Emma tries to cheerfully plow on with life, attempting to maintain some semblance of normalcy even though she spends all day with Isabel and Isabel spends all evening with Simon. The two are never together with her.

Emma potty trains Isabel, who thankfully turns out to take to it very quickly.


And she buys her some picture books, to teach her counting, and more words.

"Twooo Daggin!"

Emma has no idea why Isabel keeps saying "Daggin" ... though she taught her to talk, not every word makes sense.

It's the first thing she asks for in the morning when she wakes up.

"Mama! Daggin!!"

But Isabel keeps crying for "Daggin" all the time, and Emma's frustrated on top of already being stressed out about Simon.

"Waaah, Daaaggin. Daaaaagin!"

But Daddy knows what "daggin" means ...

He's been taking Isabel along on his zoological study trips around town.

"And this, Isabel, is a little horned toad, which is actually a reptile, not an amphibian"
Isabel: "DAGGIN!"

And Isabel has her very own special one ...

"Dada Daggin! Izzy Daggin!" ...but Simon still insists "No this is not a dragon, just a very distant cousin."

Isabel squeals with babyish delight as she looks up to see the 'real' dragons ...

"DAAAGINS!" (And now we find out Isabel is brave!)

This is now Isabel's favorite place in her whole tiny world of existence.

The oddly creepy (and closed down) Fossilized Dinosaur Park.

Today's a good day. Simon gets a call from his boss. His internship is complete, he's now obtained his goal (and lifetime wish) to become a Zoologist!

"20 different animals caught, tagged, and released back into the wild!"

He gets a promotion at work too.

And promptly freaks out.


Clearly, the stress of work and a strained marriage is getting to Simon.

Home life isn't so great either.

Emma comes home to find the dog, and Isabel, soaked and playing in the water as Simon tries to repair the sink - again.

And once again, the fighting starts up.

"I don't hear you Emma."

And goes from bad to worse.

( didn't really just go there!?!)

But Emma's lost all her fight. There's just no reason to keep this up anymore, is there?

"Do you even love me anymore Simon?"

The awkward silence that follows is unbearable.

Simon does love her, but just like her, unhappiness is making it hard to find.

The sudden realization that its over.

Emma makes an awkward phone call to her Mother the very next morning.

"Hi Mom, its Emma. Can Isabel and I come stay with you and Dad for awhile?"

All the details come spilling out now. The fights, the lack of money, Simon's strict rules about buying things and never having visitors. Of course Emma's Mother thinks this sounds absolutely terrible. This is no way for her daughter to live.

"No, things aren't going so well. I think I'd like to start a new career - maybe go to culinary school or something?"

Emma's Mother is delighted to have her daughter and granddaughter return to St. Claire and they work out all the details. Isabel's birthday is in a few days, and they will make the trip soon after that, before she starts school.

"We're going to go see the big city Isabel - you will love it!"

But Isabel firmly lets her Mom know, even as a toddler, that this idea does not make her happy.

"Mama Sad. Izzy Sad"

 This is definitely not going to be an easy departure.


Read on to Ch. 1.13 - "If You Love Something, Set It Free ..." HERE!



So sorry for dragging this one out!! It's my founder family. I invariably always get attached to them the most, and spend a long time developing their story - and this is my first time trying to write it in story format though I've done legacies up to around 5 gens before on my own. Rolling "second chance" has made it a harder beginning than the happy "Grandma and Grandpa" scenario one typically wants for the heir - so things start out rough for little Isabel - BUT - as you can see, she's tough (and has a mind of her own already) - she'll do great. She got Brave and Loves Outdoors for her first two traits. =)

Also - I probably started Emma and Simon breaking up too early based on how I want my plot to go. This first run is really trial and error like I said, new to the storytelling part. I think I probably should have waited until Isabel was through toddler days. SO many things to do with the walking/talking/books/potty routine which I really wanted her Mama to do.

So yeah... Generation One will be a long one for me, but the legacy will move on - haha!