Outlining in Scrivener

Ok, so today I’m going to show you a bit how I do some of my outlining in Scrivener. I’ve fallen in love with this program. I won’t extol the virtues of it because I can go on about it for a while. I also won’t go through how to use step by step because there are already quite a few great resources out there that explain things a lot better than I can, so when I talk of things, I will be assuming you know the basics of Scrivener, so apologies if you don’t! But I know it can be helpful to see the process for other writers.
I will say that my process is ever evolving and it can be different for each project I work on. But I’ve found a layout for myself that works quite well. Now, the amount of time I spent looking at examples of how other writers set things up is pretty ridiculous actually, but I find I am a person that does best when I have something to go off of. I tried using some of Scrivener’s templates and while they are helpful, they didn’t quite fulfill all of my needs. So I have begun to create my own templates. I actually have templates for novels, one for blog posts, and one where I keep a collection of story ideas that don’t have their own Scrivener project yet.
draft-binder The layout for novels is ever changing, as I said, but I’ll show you the layout I am using for my current work-in-progress. Because I can’t seem to do just one off novels, I originally set up a blank document and set it up where I have the first level as Book 1. Each Book is divided up into chapters, then of course scenes/sequels.  That’s the “manuscript” part of Scrivener in the binder. Then, it gets a little—complicated, I guess you could say XD I do like to outline, though I don’t do as much as others I have found. I tend to go right in the middle. I like a solid idea of where I’m going, but I don’t want to plan so much that all of the fun is gone for me. This is an entirely personal preference, of course.
plot-binderAfter the Manuscript or Draft section, I set up one called Plot. There, I keep a number of things. The story idea (if I did one) which is a template I set up so I can just fill it out for each project goes there, as does the Premise that contains several things including: premise, theme, dramatic question, as well as subplots. I also put my “What ifs” here as well, which is something that I learned from KM Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel. Highly recommended to check out! I also keep what I call a Plot Plan here, which is marking down a few things like: the inciting and key events, theme, the hook, the first plot point, the first pinch point, the midpoint, the second pinch point, the third plot point, the Climax, and the resolution. It lets me see a sort of road map, just something to keep me on track as I go. Again, this is from Structuring your Novel, another read I highly recommend!
Last but not least, I keep a separate folder in the Plot part for Scenes. This is where I use another template to record the ideas for scenes I already have. Now, for those that really love to outline everything, you can sit down and just record all the planned scenes you have, detail their goal, their conflict, all of that. I don’t detail out every scene because things often change a bit as I go, so I mostly just detail out scenes that I know I want to hit. So starting out, I’d do those my plot plan and any others I have off the top of my head. I may or may not detail more as I think of them during the project or I may just write them out and see how it goes.
character-binderThe next bit is Characters. I really enjoy getting to know my characters both during the Outlining phase and of course, writing phase. I have several things that go here. Each character gets their own folder. In that folder are a few things: they get a checklist which is a list of about 60 questions that I try to answer for as many characters as possible. Many characters also get a Character Questionnaire that involves their arc, and then lastly, I do a bit of a questionnaire that outlines their character arc based on structure. It seems like a lot, but I do enjoy this process because it helps me to see where certain parts of the character arc fits within the novel.
world-notes-binderAfter that, there’s the Settings folder, which is where I keep track of well, the setting. I put any world notes here, keep track of locations, cities, etc. I even might keep house layouts here (yes, yes I actually do this XD). In the Research folder below that, I often will keep what I call inspiration pictures of my characters, maps, research notes and the like.
This is a quick explanation of the beginning of my outlining process and how I set up my Scrivener projects. I am going to pause on this and do a review of K.M. Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs for next week! But I will pick up on this the following week, so if there’s anything you want to see, let me know in the comments below or contact me via the form.

Beginning Writing and some Outlining

I was going to break down my process by what I use, but I realized that I use most of my tools at all stages of the writing process, so for now, I am going to go in a more chronological order for how I write.

The beginning of any writing process starts with the obvious: an idea. For me, an idea can be a character th20161222_191719_censoredat pops into my head (this is a frequent occurrence), a setting, or even sometimes a scene that comes fully formed. If I’m smart (sadly, I am not always smart when it comes to story ideas), I write whatever it is down. OR, I have recently begun using a simple recording app on my phone if I am absolutely in a place or situation where I can’t write something down. With the WriteMinds, there’s a handy little Story sheet that I’ve begun to use.

Now, ideas can be a very odd thing. As I said above, ideas come in all varieties. Sometimes they are crystal clear and other times it’s like trying to peer into a murky lake to see what might be lurking on the bottom.

This is where I like to free write. Once I write down what my initial thoughts are, I give myself a bit of time to think and then just start writing. K.M. Weiland calls it ‘What ifs’ and that is definitely part of it, but I write down everything and anything I think of, even if I have no intention of using it. Sometimes, that kind of thing makes it’s way into another idea, or becomes a new idea all its own! Hm… that might explain why I am having the problem of not finishing anything! Too many ideas! Anyway, trying to record as much as you can is a good habit to get into.

Once I have a solid handle of the kind of story I want to tell, I start working on a premise statement. I don’t follow any kind of format for this part. I just do a sentence or two of the kind of story I want to write. Once I have that in mind, I tend to go in a couple of different directions, all depending upon what sparked the idea to begin with. If it was a character that popped into my head, I try to get to the know the character first. I do that by filling out a character checklist that I have from a book called “Fantasy Fiction Formula” by Deborah Chester (this is another great resource and highly recommended, though details will be a future post). I tend to tweak it as needed, either deleting or adding questions when I need them.

If it was a scene that popped into my head, I write it out, often taking notes as things about the world or characters occur to me in the margins (or as footnotes). If it was a vague idea, or a general premise, then I tend to have a bit more fun and just start free-writing. I may even jump around from character interviews/sheets to worldbuilding to planning out a few scenes.

I tend to go back and forth between my WriteMind Journal and Scrivener here. Sometimes, I just like to write long-hand and then transcribe it into Scrivener. This is especially true if I start this at work or when I’m out and about scrivener-premise_censoredwithout my computer. Once it gets into Scrivener, I compile it and then print it out so I can put it into my WriteMind. Once I have the initial ideas down, I begin to flesh things out. Lately, after doing some important reading (especially ‘Structuring your Novel’ by KM Weiland), I try to look at some of the themes and the Dramatic Question (Deborah Chester calls it SPOOC) of the story in question. Once those are figured out, I again jump around to characters and more worldbuilding.

It’s often at that stage that subplots start to form and so they get noted down as well. One of the things I struggled with previously is how to outline without feeling as if I had trapped myself. The secret is in jumping around. Don’t feel you have to follow a linear plan or do it in just such a way; it took me a while not only to realize this, 20161222_191750_censoredbut to feel comfortable with it. I like my plans and knowing what to do when XD But this way seems to help spark a lot more creativity and it is all very much connected. While it makes sense to start with your initial idea and the premise, trying to complete just one thing before moving on is actually more limiting.

Once I have enough of an outline (and this tends to vary for each piece or project I’ve found), I sit down and start writing. I tend to prefer to do this part almost exclusively in Scrivener. I also use Scrivener to help plan scenes out. I don’t plan each scene out beforehand all the time. Some scenes don’t come to me until I’ve begun writing. One thing to keep in mind; just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. If you find a side-road to take, take it, see where it leads!

Welp, that’s the beginning part of my process. Next week, I’ll show you some of the things I do in Scrivener, both while Outlining and what I do during the actual writing process. See you then!

A Slightly Dampening Realization

So, this week, I had planned on delving more into my writing process, but I think I am going to delay that one for a week or so. I’ve been talking with some friends of mine about Works in Progress (hereby known as WIPs). I had said I was a bit scared to go back and see what all I have to work on (I’ve been collecting ideas for far too long XD). Well, last night, I did some cursory diving into some of my writing folders to see just what I had.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I REALLY need to just- finish something. I have about 15 novels just from past Nano projects (starting in 2013), plus at least another 15 novels from other projects, some of which have been kicking around since junior high, or even before. Of those 30 novels (and that’s a low estimate, honestly since some of the other projects might need to be split up into more), there is only one completed first draft.
As I came to this realization, I made a few decisions. The first one is: I need to finish something, not just the first draft, but all the way through. The second one is- I have no idea how to do that. I tend to go into fairly intense cycles when it comes to working on projects where I will be almost manic when it comes to working on a project. I’ll devote large chunks of time, focus, etc on working on it for days, weeks, even months. But eventually, that peters out. And then I will lose focus, lose motivation. I need to find a way to keep plugging on a project. I have attempted to slow down a bit, do little parts at a time, hoping I don’t burn myself out, but that only works for so long and then the same thing happens: I lose that motivation.
Right now, I plan on trying to pick a project, a new one and go from first step (outlining), then to the first draft, and even to editing. I have never managed to do it. The reason I am telling my readers this is because I am truly curious to know any little secrets you may have for your own writing, any advice. I have been writing since kindergarten and still, I can’t seem to stick with a project long enough to finish it. I hope to change that and again, any advice (including links to blogs, books, just personal stories) would be greatly appreciated!
So feel free to reply in the comments or through the contact form. Next week, I will tell you a bit about my writing process, where I start and I will be focusing on my WriteMind planner!

Camp NaNo and Goals

So today, as in just now (midnight) marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m excited for it, mainly because I’ve decided to make this blog and my two sims stories the priority for this month.  I might be able to sneak some work in on the Wyverns as well, but figured I need to ease my way back in.  Being unable to focus lately has been really difficult.  It’s even affecting being able to read which is agony!  So, here’s to hoping!

Now, Camp NaNo.  The one thing I love about it is that it allows you to set your own goal.  And you can choose any project you wish.  Which is why I’m focusing on the blogs this time around.  My goal for this months is 25k.  I think it’s doable. But if for some reason, I run into any snags, I won’t have to push myself to make that goal.  In the same vein, I can blow that goal out of the water.  In fact, I might up that goal if I meet it first.  Here’s to hoping that’s what I can do!

Now, I’ve talked about goals before.  It’s important to have them.  But it’s also important to realize that even if you don’t meet that goal, it isn’t the end of the world.  One of the things I’ve learned from NaNo is that it’s better to get any words down at all.  Will they be the best?  Most likely not.  But the real challenge is getting those first words down.  Whether it’s the first words of that rough draft, beginning a chapter, or a blog post.  The beginning seems to be the hard part.  Oh, sometimes the middle can be tough too, so that’s why just getting words down can be very helpful.  Now, normally, I’m a pretty linear person, linear writer.  I like going in order.  But sometimes, it’s just not possible.  Being flexible is important.  All it might take to get that ‘spark’ that everyone seems to think is how writing happens, is to move onto a different part, or maybe to work on an alternate scene.  Sometimes doing that is enough to make you realize that alternate scene is exactly what you were looking for, or it’s enough to get things going for the actual scene.

It can take a bit to get used to it.  It took me a while, I know that.  Finding stuff like the Snowflake Method helped, as did doing something called Word Sprints.  Word Sprints are the things that have saved me!  Pick an amount of time (I prefer half hour increments because it always takes me a bit of time to get started), pick a starting time, and then just write for that amount of time.  Look at your word count during that time.  Trying to up it each time, or having others to compare word counts with can be a big help.  Here’s a big shoutout to the PA Elsewhere group!  Without them, I don’t think I’d ever have been able to get through Nano!

Actually, I’m writing this for a sprint!  I’m sure it’s pretty rambling, so apologies for that, but I think you can see my point.  I think for my next post here, going to finally get that post up about the various writing tools I use and others that I’ve tried as well.  If anyone wants information on either NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo, leave it in the comments, or just check out my General Writing Sites Page.

1.09: Welcome to the Family

So this one isn’t quite as long as I’d like it to be.  But I wanted to end on a certain point.  So sorry for slight lack of content, but hopefully next week, I’ll have a longer update ^^

“Hey Mama!  How you feeling today?” Yoshi asked as he passed his mother in the hallway.

“I’m ok, baby.  Little sore yet.  I was just coming up to check on you.  You want some breakfast?  Your Papa is making some French Toast now.”  Camron had just gotten home from work a couple hours ago.  He enjoyed making breakfast for the family before he went to bed for the day.

“Woo!” Yoshi exclaimed.  “I love French Toast.  Dad makes the best, hands down!”

Mulan laughed and ruffled her son’s hair.  “Yes, yes he does.  Your Mama can handle eggs and toast, but that’s about it.  That’s why your daddy is the cook in the family.”

Her son giggled and nodded.  “Yeah, I know Mama.”  His mama was amazing and could do a lot of different things, but cooking wasn’t her strong suite.  “How’s the baby, Mama?  Can I touch them?”

“Of course you can, baby.  You don’t need to ask me ya know.”

“I know, but I like to,” he said with a smile.  He put his hands to his mother’s stomach.  “Hey in there.  It’s almost time for you to come out.  I can’t wait to play with you.  I’ll be the bestest big brother ever!”

Tears pricked at the corners of Mulan’s eyes.  Oh, how had she gotten so lucky with such a sweet boy as Yoshi?  She couldn’t help the sniffle that escaped.  Yoshi looked up at her, concerned.  “Mama?  Are you crying?  Is something wrong?”

She let out a little laugh.  “Oh not at all, baby.  Everything is perfect.  Sorry, your Mama is being silly.  I’m just so happy, baby.  I love you.”

Yoshi smiled up sweetly at her.  “I love you too, Mama.”  Mulan leaned down to give him a hard hug.

She kissed the top of her son’s head.  Yoshi looked up at her, grinning.  “I’m gonna get dressed, get some of that French Toast, then go out and play!”

“Sounds like a plan, baby.”

He scampered off, Mulan watching after him with grin and those tears of happiness in her eyes.


“Hey son, how was your breakfast?”

Yoshi looked up from the computer game he’d been playing after he’d finished his breakfast.  He grinned at his dad.  “It was great!”

Camron grinned.  Done with his game, Yoshi leapt up and ran outside to the monkey bars that his parents had had installed not long ago to give him someplace to get out some of his energy.

Wolf: Having fun there, champ?

“You bet, Wolf!  Watch this!”  He proceeded to show off for his Watcher as he raced across the monkey bars.

Mulan changed her clothes, preparing to sit down to do some work on her computer.  But she just stared at it for a long moment.

Wolf: Wow.  I uh… hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means…

“What?  What are you talking about?” Mulan asked.  “Look, I know I’m huge.  I feel as big as two whales, already.  I don’t need your commentary on it, alright?”

Wolf: Right… yeah, forgot, hormonal pregnant woman.  Sorry, Mulan.  I didn’t mean anything by it.  Just that… since the last patch there have been a-  Wolf’s voice trailed off as she began to mumble to herself, something about patches and some kind of a chance sky-rocketing.  The truth was, Mulan wasn’t in any shape to decipher her Watcher’s ramblings.  She had so much work to do and no mental capacity with which to do it.

Camron was working on preparing some spaghetti for dinner that night.  He liked getting a lot of the prep work done first.  Mulan joined him at the island, letting out a sigh.

He looked at her.  “You look done in, love.  When I go to sleep, you should come and join me for some shut eye.”

Mulan nodded.  “That sounds like a good idea to me.  I’m beat.  I wasn’t this bad with Yoshi, I don’t think, was I?”

“At times, but you seem to be more tired this time around.”  He came around the island and stood next to her stool.  He pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.  “I’ll finish preparing the sauce, then we can head to bed, ok?”

Mulan nodded gratefully.  She was ready for this pregnancy to be over.  It was true that she didn’t mind being pregnant, but the constant energy drain this time around was difficult on her.  That, and she wanted to hold her baby.  “Would you check on Yoshi before you come to bed?”

“Of course.”  Camron threw on some clothes so he could go out to let Yoshi know that they were going to lay down for a bit.  “Your mom’s pretty today, but she said she’d be up in a few hours so if you wanna go to the park, she said she’d take you.”

Yoshi grinned at Camron.  “That’s great dad!”

Camron ruffled his son’s hair, then went to join his wife.

Mulan felt like she had only just managed to close her eyes when she felt something give way inside her.  She sucked in a breath and stood up.  That’s when the pain began.  She was in labor!  But she wasn’t due yet!  This was too early!  She let out a yell as a particularly bad contraction ripped through her.

That woke Camron up and he was in quite a panic.  “Mulan!  What is it?!”

“I’m in labor!” she snarled.

“What!?  But it’s too early!” he exclaimed, clapping his hands to his head.

“No kidding!” she snarled, then let out a wail.  “B-but it doesn’t seem to matter!  The baby is coming!”  Camron panicked.  He had no idea what to do.

After she let out another cry, Camron took a deep breath.  “Should we go to the hospital?”

“N-no.  Don’t think I’d make it.  I-I’m going to go to the nursery.”  Still letting out a short scream every few moments, Mulan toddled her way to the nursery.

Upstairs, Yoshi was looking at the giant stuffed dragon his parents had gotten for him.  He hugged the big dragon.  “Dad says Mom’s having the baby now,” he whispered to his friend.  “S-she’s doing a lot of screaming.”

She was, indeed, doing a lot of screaming.  She stood beside the bassinet that had been taken from storage, alternating between moans and full out screams.

After a few hours of labor, Mulan felt the pressure ease considerably and in a shower of sparkles, Leonidas Rampart was born!

Except… well, no sooner had she settled little Leo into his bassinet than she felt another contraction!  “CAMRON!” she screamed.  “There’s another one!  ANOTHER ONE!”

After another couple hours of labor, Mulan could lay little Alaric Rampart next to his twin brother.

Mulan could only stare for a long moment.  Twins… she’d been carrying twins!  No wonder she’d been so tired.  She had been carrying two the entire time!

Wolf: Yup, knew it because of the last patch.

“What are you talking about?”

Wolf: Eh, it’s not important.  Congratulations, dear.  They are beautiful boys, regardless.  And hey, at least you got it all done in one go, right?

Mulan said nothing to that, afraid what might come out of her mouth at that moment.  But looking at her two boys, a tender smile crossed her face.

Welcome to the world, Leonidas and Alaric Rampart!


1.08: Great News and a Good Life

Before she told her son about the fact that he was going to become a big brother, Mulan figured it would be better to let her husband know that he was going to be a father again.  But according to the clock, it would be a bit before he was home.  Feeling sleepy, she curled up on her bed to take a nap so she’d be plenty rested by the time her husband, then son came home.  But as tired as she was, she slept right through her alarm.

That’s how Camron found her when he got home, still curled up on their bed, cute little snores issuing from her mouth.  He smiled tenderly and sat on the edge of the bed, turning his head to watch her sleep.

After a moment, he couldn’t help himself.  He scooted up and leaned down to gently press a kiss to her cheek.  Her eyes fluttered open.  “Oh, Camron!  I-I didn’t mean to sleep this long!”  She sat up and went to stand.  But Camron grabbed her hand and pulled her back down.  He crawled over his side of the bed so that he was sitting next to her.  He greeted her properly with a kiss.

Then Mulan lay her head against his shoulder.  “Hi,” she greeted, grinning.

“Hello, my lovely wife.  Tired, love?”

She nodded, then she sat upright!  “Oh!  I have something wonderful to tell you!”

“Oh?  Do tell.”

“Camron, I’m pregnant again!”

His smile disappeared and he sat there in stunned shock.  “Wait, what?!”

Wolf: Pregnant, you know, what happens when a man and a woman-

“I know what pregnant means!” he snapped at Wolf before turning his attention back to Mulan.  “You’re pregnant again?  You’re sure?”

She nodded eagerly.  “I’m positive.  Took the test twice.”

He stood up for a moment, Mulan doing the same, frowning.  She had thought he’d be ecstatic about the news, but at the moment, he just seemed shocked.  She reached a hand out to put it on his shoulder, but he turned and pulled her into a gentle embrace.  “We’re gonna have another baby!” he murmured breathlessly.

“Yeah, yeah we are,” she replied, swallowing back tears of joy.

He put her at arms’ length and gently brushed a hand over her cheek, his eyes tender.  “I love you, so much.”

She hugged him tightly.  “I love you too.  So you’re happy?”

“Of course I am!  Sorry, just a bit of a shock, that’s all.”  He smiled widely.  “Can’t wait to meet our newest little one!”

As Mulan opened her mouth to reply, they both heard the door open then close and Yoshi’s voice rang out in the house.  Mulan swallowed and looked at Camron.  “D-do you think Yoshi will be as excited to hear about a little brother or sister?”

Camron smiled, unworried.  “Let’s find out.”  He called out for his son to join them in their room.

Yoshi came bouncing in, smiling at his mother and father.  “Mama, Papa!  I drew some great pictures in school!”  He ran to Mulan and gave her a big hug.

“That’s great baby!  C’mere, sit next to your Mama.”  Mulan sat down as Camron helped their son scramble up onto the bed next to her.

“What’s going on?” the boy asked.

Mulan looked up at Camron for a moment; he just smiled down at the both of them, looking so proud.  Mulan smiled back and then turned back to Yoshi.  “Well, baby.  Your father and I wanted to share some great news with you.”  She swallowed.  “You’re going to be a big brother, baby.  Your Mama’s gonna have a baby.”

Yoshi’s eyes went wide.  “A baby!?  Really, Mama?”

Mulan nodded.  “Yup, really.  You’re going to be a big brother.”

“That’s so cool, Mom!  Will I have a little brother or little sister?” he asked, looking really excited.  Mulan was such a proud Mama at the moment.  She couldn’t believe she’d been worried.  Yoshi was such a sweet boy.

He cuddled to her side.  “I’m gonna be the bestest big brother, mama!”

“Yes you will,” she murmured softly, holding him close.  Camron looked on, smiling proudly at his family.


Wolf smiled down at them.  It was time to make some more room for them.  Yoshi had been sleeping in what was the nursery, but now it was time to give him his own room and then make room for his new sibling.  So as the family settled in for the day, Wolf went about her work.  The Keep (as she called it) got a second story.

There was a hallway and two bedrooms that were connected by a jack and jill bathroom.

Wolf looked at her handiwork.  They were ready at least.  She turned her attention back to the family.  Camron was helping Yoshi with his homework by telling a story so that Yoshi could write it down and ask questions about it.

Wolf: Hey guys, c’mon upstairs, Yoshi.  Got a surprise for you.

“Ooo!” he exclaimed, jumping up.  “A surprise?  Really?”

Wolf: You bet. C’mon.

The boy pounded up the steps and ran into the room Wolf told him to do and found a room with his bed in it, as well as a giant stuffed dragon and an activity table, just for him.

He leapt at the little desk and began to create immediately.  Wolf smiled.  Good.


“That went well,” Camron murmured as he stared at his wife across the chess table.

“Yes, yes it did.  I don’t know why I was so worried,” Mulan replied.  “Our Yoshi’s such a good boy.  Such a sweet boy.”

“That he is.  That he is.  Are you hungry?”

“I am actually, want to make me a parfait?”

“Coming right up, gorgeous.”  Mulan ate her parfait happily, positively glowing even as she and Yoshi sat down and watched TV.


Time passed fairly quickly for the little family.  Mulan showed more and more each day.  “Ugh, my back is killing me,” she complained as she sat at her desk, trying to write.  Yoshi was upstairs, in bed already.  She wanted to take the time to get a bit ahead of some of her work.  Though she had some time off saved up, she didn’t want to waste it yet.

Wolf: Not surprising there, dear.  You uh- are carrying at least another person in there.  Bound to create some aches and pains.

“You’re the Watcher, can’t you do something about that?”

Wolf: How about no?  Don’t think you want me messing with any kind of coding… it would just end badly.

Mulan thought about that a moment.  “Yeah, you’re right.  That would end terribly.”  She turned back to her computer, situating herself so she was at least a little more comfortably and then she began to write.  It seemed to help because before she knew it, it was time for Camron to come home.  She changed out of her pajamas and had decided to watch a bit of TV when he came home.  He swaggered in wearing a white Chef’s coat.  He greeted his wife by grabbing her hand and pulling her close, then pressed his lips to the knuckles of the hand he held.

Then he claimed her lips for a steamy kiss.

After he released her, he immediately leaned down to begin talking to her belly.  “Hey little one.  Guess who got a promotion?  Guess who’s a Line Cook now?  Yup, that’s right, Daddy’s a Line Cook now!”

Mulan’s eyes widened.  “Wait, you got the promotion!?”

He smiled up at her and winked.  “You bet.  Like my shiny new coat?  I’m so close, baby.  So close to getting put where I want to be.  The boss says that in a few days, there might be an opening at the bar.  Where I really wanna be.”

“That’s wonderful, Camron!  I’m so happy for you!”  He kissed her again.  “I’m going to go and change.  What ya planning to watch?”

“Thought we could watch a movie together.  Sound good?”

He smiled as he disappeared into the bedroom for a moment.  “Sound great.”  Mulan sat down, grinning from ear to ear.

Camron came out in street clothes, sitting down.  Mulan curled up against him, but a sharp twinge in her back had her grimacing.  “Hurtin’ babe?”

“Yeah, it’s worse this time than it was with Yoshi,” she murmured, trying to shift around.

“Here, let’s see if this helps.”  He turned her around and then began to dig his fingers gently into her shoulders and neck, then down her back.

She let out a few moans and then curled up against him.  She fell asleep about a quarter way through the movie.  Camron just smiled tenderly down at her, kissed the top of her head and let the movie play.


1.07: New Life

Mulan looked at her precious little boy for a long moment.  Then she brought him close to her chest.  “My baby boy,” she murmured softly, her voice thick with emotion.

Camron opened the door and peeked in.  His jaw dropped and his eyes went wide as he watched his life cradling that little bundle in her arms.  A baby…  Their baby.

Wolf: Your son.  Her voice was gentle and even proud.  That’s your son, Camron.  Go on, go to your wife, your little boy.

He approached slowly, reverently as Mulan gently lay Yoshi down into his bassinet.  She turned to her husband, tears in her eyes and a warm smile on her face.  “C-can I hold him?” Camron asked his voice cracking.

“Of course,” Mulan murmured, stepping back so Camron could get his first real look at his son.  “Isn’t he beautiful, Camron?”

He could only nod lamely, at a loss for words.  He wasn’t sure how long he looked down at the little baby before he found himself reaching tenderly into the bassinet.  Part of him was terrified; how could anything that small be alive?  Oh sure, he’d seen babies before but it was a whole different thing when that baby was your own small little son.  Yet looking down at that sweet little face made his heart melt.

The uncertainties that he hadn’t really been aware of seemed to evaporate as his son giggled and grinned up at his father.  “Hey little man,” Camron murmured, his voice cracking.  “I’m your daddy.  I’m your daddy little one.”

Mulan watched, having to swallow past the lump in her throat as Camron brought Yoshi up to his chest and held him securely there.  “I’m gonna look after you and your mom.  You’re gonna grow up, find someone just like your mom too.”

He lay his son back into his bassinet and then went to his wife.  He took her hands in his and looked her straight in the eyes.  “Thank you,” he murmured.  “Thank you for my son and for being mine.”  He pulled her to him and hugged her tightly.

“I love you, Camron,” she whispered.

“I love you, too Mulan.”

Wolf looked down on the two of them, smiling softly.  The little family was adorable.  She couldn’t wait to see what the future held for them.


With an infant in the house, it was important to develop a routine.  Luckily, work schedules were such that they rarely had to drop little Yoshi off at day-care because while Mulan was working, Camron was home, even if he didn’t get much sleep and vice versa.

Little Yoshi was at the center of everything.

It wasn’t a hardship, however.  Camron and Mulan loved him so.  Losing sleep was a small price to pay for their child.  While Mulan was at work, Camron would take his turn with Yoshi, feeding him from a bottle that Mulan would prepare the night before, changing him, even just cuddling with his boy.

After she got home and Camron went to work, it was Mulan’s turn with Yoshi.  She was breastfeeding and there was nothing like it in the world to her.

Just because there was a child in the picture didn’t mean that Mulan and Camron didn’t find time to just be with one another.  It was normally only an hour or two each day right after Camron woke up and before he got ready for work and after Mulan had come home from work.  They mostly sat and watched TV together, just enjoying the moment of quiet with one another.

And of course, amidst all the diaper changes, the bottle feedings, the rare occasions where Yoshi cried and cried and cried, work was being done on their home as well.  They were finally able to begin decorating.  So aside from the nursery, the kitchen and living room were finally painted and the floors were finished.

There had also been an expansion and an addition of a small entranceway.  Even the façade on the outside had been completed.

On their rare days off together, Mulan often went for a run in the morning, trying to get back down to her pre-baby weight, though it was awfully hard with Carmon’s delicious cooking.

Wolf: Hm, I wouldn’t worry so much about that if I were you.

“Why ever not?” Mulan demanded to know, though it was said with her out of breath.  She was realizing how out of shape she was.

Wolf: Oh no, reason…

Mulan frowned.  Despite having gotten used to having Wolf pipe up intermittently on a frequent basis, there will still times that she had no idea what her Watcher was up to.  It was definitely disconcerting.  “What do you know that I don’t?”

Wolf: Oh, nothing at all.  I don’t actually know anything, really.

“Forget I asked…”

Wolf: You got it.

“No wait… ya know, just never mind.”


Time seemed to have flown by.  And before they were even close to ready, their baby boy was no longer a baby.

In fact, he was a bright boy and quite self-assured.  He wanted to dabble in the arts, so Mulan and Camron happily bought him an activity table.

Yoshi was a good boy.  He came home from school and began his homework right away.  When Mulan would ask if he needed help, he’d grin up at her.  “Nah, I got it, Mom.  It’s pretty easy.”

About the time he’d finish with his homework, Camron would get up and then he’d get to spend time with his dad before Camron had to go to work.

He spent his time before school with his mom, telling her all about how he couldn’t wait to get to school since their music class would be getting to play instruments.

He scampered off to go get dressed, then dashed out the door.  Mulan waved after him.  She got up, feeling a bit queasy.  She’d been feeling a bit unwell the last couple days.  Luckily, she had today off.  She planned on going to the library for a bit of peace and quiet before Camron woke up.  But only a few minutes after her arrival and sitting down at one of the computers, that queasiness became full blown nausea and something actually started to come up.

Luckily, she made it to the bathroom before she was sick.  She barely made it home before she fell down into her bed.  After a few hours of sleep, she was feeling much better.  But she had her suspicions.  And sure enough… after going to her medicine cabinet and pulling out a pregnancy test, the + sign on the stick looked up at her.  Mulan was pregnant again.

Wolf: I told ya.  Feelin’ better?

“Wait, you knew!?  Why didn’t you tell me!?” Mulan demanded.

Wolf: Well, I didn’t know for sure.  But then again, you and Camron have been fairly… uh, well, busy of late.  It was bound to happen, after all.

Poor Mulan didn’t really have anything to say to that.  What could she say?  It was true.  Despite their opposite schedules, she can Camron tended to find time for one another.  She smiled.  Camron would be ecstatic.  They had talked about having another child.  They thought Yoshi needed a sibling.  But as she thought that, her smile faded.  Yoshi had had all their attention since he’d been born.  How would he react to the news of a sibling?  She looked at the clock.  She supposed she would find out in a few hours…


1.06: What Every Legacy Reader Looks Forward to!

Mulan got up that morning, went about her normal routine.  As she sat down to eat breakfast, she was grinning from ear to ear.  She had something very important to tell her husband as soon as he got up.  He hadn’t gotten home until late in the night, so she’d let him sleep, but she was fit to bursting!

 

Time seemed to drag on and on.  She kept glancing at the clock on her cell phone, then she hopped on the computer, knowing that she needed to do something, or risk going batty before Camron woke up!  Before she knew it, the door to their bedroom opened and Camron wandered out, looking a bit sleepy still.  He wasn’t at his best when he first woke up.  She always thought it was rather endearing and couldn’t help the giggling.

 

“Morning, love,” he greeted her right after a yawn.  He plopped himself down in to the comfortable chair that Mulan had gotten from work.

 

“Morning,” she returned, still grinning.  She thought she was going to burst!  But she wanted to do this right.  Camron came to stand behind her, putting his hands on her shoulders and giving her a rub before he leaned down to press a kiss to the top of her head.

 

She put her hands over his, then stood up.  Taking his hands in hers, she led him to the couch and they both sat down.  “Turn on the game!  The Llamas are playing the Alpacas today!”

 

Mulan shook her head, looking solemn.  “Not yet, love.  We need to talk.”

 

“Aww, but I’ll miss the opening throw!” he pouted.

 

Mulan just grinned.  “Well, I think telling you that you’re going to be a father is a bit more important, don’t you?”  To put just the right amount of emphasis on it, she pointed down to her stomach.

 

It took a moment for Camron to process what she was saying.  After all, he’d only just woken up and he hadn’t even had any coffee yet.  Mulan watched as it suddenly dawned on him.  “Wait, are you serious!?” he exclaimed.

 

She laughed.  “Yes, I am serious.  We’re going to have a nooboo!”

 

Camron reached up to wipe a tear from his eye.  Then he took her hands in his and just looked at her.  A father.  “Did ya hear that, Wolf?  We’re gonna have a nooboo!”

 

Wolf: I did.  I surely did.  You guys are gonna be great parents.

 

Camron pulled his wife close.  He was fitting to burst with happiness.  Mulan wasn’t far behind either.  They nuzzled their cheeks against one another, neither quite able to get words out just yet, each just wanting to be with the other.

 

After a moment, Camron leaned over and whispered in her ear.  Wolf couldn’t hear what he said, but Mulan started giggling.  “Yeah, we won’t tell her.”

 

Wolf: Hey!  No secrets!

 

The two burst out laughing.  “Don’t worry, Wolf.  It’s nothing bad,” Mulan assured her.  “We’re just very excited.  We hope there’s twins!”

 

Wolf: Ack!  Don’t you put that out there!  Not right now!  It’s true, you guys are doing fairly well, but still… twins could bankrupt you at this point!

 

The two giggled some more.  They were on cloud 9 and nothing Wolf said was going to burst that cloud.  Wolf was happy for them, really.  If the nooboo ended up being two nooboos, they’d just deal with it.

 

*****

 

Mulan began to show pretty rapidly.  She wasn’t even at the second trimester mark yet and it was more than apparent that she was expecting.  She was beginning to wonder if she really was carrying twins!  Maybe even triplets… though she kept that one to herself.  As much as she wanted a large family, the thought of having triplets right off the bat made her exceedingly nervous.

 

She and Camron had made enough money of late that they were able to add on a small office that was going to double as the nursery for now.  It wasn’t anything spectacular, but bills were going to be due soon enough so they had to be careful.

 

Camron tried to talk Mulan into taking some time off work immediately, but she insisted that they couldn’t afford it.  Besides, she enjoyed her job.  Despite the nausea, she headed to work after one of her long weekends.

 

Of course, once she came home, she may have regretted that decision…  She’d been pretty ill most of the day.

 

But Camron had just gotten up.  He came out to her and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek and offered to make her a cup of tea to help settle her stomach.

 

Despite working late nights, Camron did whatever he could so that Mulan didn’t have to.  He was often pretty tired because of it, but he wouldn’t have changed it for the world.  He loved Mulan with all his heart and he wanted to make sure she was healthy.  Her and their nooboo.  He was fascinated with her belly and could often be found feeling it and talking to the little one inside there.  “I’m your Daddy there precious.  Your Mama and I can’t wait to meet you.”

 

Mulan thought it was adorable.  What she didn’t think was adorable, however, was how big she really got.  By the time her third trimester hit, she felt like a beached whale and she was sure she looked the part, too.

 

As she climbed into bed with Camron after a long day at work, she groaned.  “Is it time yet?  I’m so tired of being pregnant… I want to be able to see my feet again!”

 

Camron turned over so he could face her.  “I know, baby.  I know.  Soon.  Soon.”  He caressed her cheek.

 

Mulan smiled.  “You always know what to say.”  They snuggled up together.  Camron had a little while before he had to go to work yet and they enjoyed the time together.  But an hour or so later, Mulan had to get up.

 

“You ok, love?”

 

“J-just uncomfortable,” she muttered, though there was quite a pressure building in her abdomen.  Camron got up with her, intending to give her a message when Mulan let out a scream.  She looked at her husband, her eyes wide.  “M-my water just broke!” she whispered, a hint of panic in there.  Her face contorted in pain as a contraction hit.

 

Now, they had practiced for this.  But all that practice went right out of Camron’s head.  As Mulan let out another cry, he stood there, waving his arms about.  “Breath!” he kept yelling.  He remembered that much from the coaching classes.  But that seemed to be all he remembered…

 

“Camron!” Mulan snarled.  “I’m breathing already!”

 

Camron knew the better part of valor and retreated as far away as possible.  He would only be in the way.  Mulan seemed to have it under control.

 

Indeed, she did.  Though she felt like she was being ripped open, Mulan seemed to know what she was doing.  She went into the nursery where she could be alone.  She huffed, and puffed, and screamed some more.

 

Then with an explosion of sparkles and a blessed cessation of pain, little Yoshitune Rampart made his appearance in the world.  Welcome little Yoshi Rampart.


 

1.04: An Unforgettable Date in the Park

Mulan sat on her bed, reading.  Camron was next to her, munching on a bit of scrambled eggs and toast.  He’d have to leave for work soon.  He was still working the late shift at the diner.  “Our next day off, we should go on a date,” Camron said, chewing his food thoughtfully.

 

“A date?” Mulan looked up from her book, an intrigued expression on her face.  “Yeah, I like that idea.  You have tomorrow night off right?  I have tomorrow off and won’t have to go in until 10 am.  Will tomorrow night work?”

He grinned and stood up, nodding.  “You bet.”

Mulan stood up, too.  She gave Camron a hug and a quick kiss.  He lingered, not heading to work quite yet.  He brought his hand up to gently brush the backs of his fingers over her cheek.  “You’re so beautiful, ya know that?  Inside and out.”

 

Her heart melted on the spot; she had to swallow past the lump in her throat as moisture pricked the corner of her eyes.  He always seemed to know what to say.  She was the writer of the two of them, but Camron was definitely no slouch when it came to words and how to use them.  Before she could think of a coherent reply, he kissed her cheek and headed off to work.  She watched him leave, sighing softly.  Unable to stop grinning, Mulan sat at her computer to work on her latest novel.


 

The next morning, Camron came home to find Mulan already getting up.  He grinned at her, just drinking her in.

 

“Morning beautiful,” he murmured.

“Hey handsome,” she returned.  They were in one another’s arms in an instant, kissing tenderly.

 

“That’s quite the welcome home,” he murmured in her ear after the kiss ended, though he still held her in his arms.

The corners of her mouth turned up in a grin.  “I stayed up so we could go to bed together.  Do you mind?”

“What kind of a man would I be if I said no to that?  Especially after such a welcome, hm?” he asked, pretending to take a little nip at the tip of her nose.  “Besides, I’d like to see you try to get away from me after we lay down.”  Mulan laughed.  Camron changed and the two of them hopped into bed.

 

Mid-afternoon saw them both dressed.  While Mulan worked on a few household chores (namely, cleaning their toilet and shower), Camron prepared a bit of food.

 

After he found Mulan fixing the sink that sprang a leak-

 

Camron shook his head.  “I could have done that, love.”

Mulan shrugged.  “It didn’t take me long.”

He just chuckled, taking one of her hands in his.  “Alright.  Are you ready to leave then?”

 

She nodded.  “So, where are we going for our date?” she asked him curiously.  He hadn’t been very forthcoming with the details.  She was trying hard not to act like a kid at Christmas, trying to pry his secret from him, but it was difficult.

It was only made more so when he grinned and winked at her.  “You’ll find out when we get there.”  He took her hand in his.  “C’mon, I think a nice walk will do us both good.”  Mulan succumbed to the excitement of looking forward to whatever surprise that Camron had concocted and she squeezed his hand as they strolled out into the neighborhood.

As they walked, Mulan rested her head on Camron’s shoulder.  She let out a sigh.  “It’s a beautiful evening, isn’t it?”

“Hm?” he murmured.  His attention had been on her.  He looked around a bit.  “Yeah, yeah it is.”  The truth was, he was nervous.  He was amazed his hands weren’t bathed with sweat.  The object in his pocket felt heavy.  He was so lost in thought that he barely spoke until they reached Magnolia Blossom Park in the center of town.  “Here we are,” he murmured.

Mulan was intrigued.  She hadn’t explored much of the town, certainly not the park.  It was a pretty place, with a peaceful air at this time in the evening.

 

“It’s beautiful here,” she breathed.  Camron swallowed and had to let out a quick breath before leading her to a bench.

“Why don’t we have a seat here, just take it all in for a minute, huh?”

Mulan was only too happy to comply, following after him.  She sat down next to him, looking into his eyes.  “Thank you.  It’s nice to get away from home for a bit.  This was a great idea.”

 

He grinned.  “Yeah, I thought so,” he teased.  “Thought we could both use a bit of time out, getting some fresh air.”  He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.  He pressed a soft kiss to her hair.  “Hey, why don’t we go check out the fountain?”

Her brow furrowed.  “The fountain?”  Her eyes narrowed a bit and she shifted to really look at him for a moment.

 

“What are you up to?” she asked suspiciously as he helped her up.

“Just this.”  He pulled her to him, twirled her around a bit and then dipped her down, his lips over hers.

 

Fireworks exploded in Mulan’s brain at the kiss and her toes curled up.  It was a darn good thing that Camron had a secure hold on her because she very much doubted her legs would have been able to hold her.  When Camron righted her, she leaned against him for a long moment, trying to catch her breath.  “W-wow,” was all she could say.

Camron grinned and pressed a kiss to her forehead.  “I’ll take that as a compliment,” he murmured.  Slowly, he led her to the fountain.  She still seemed dazed because when he released her hand, she stood there, swaying on her feet a bit.

 

Wolf: That must have been one brilliant kiss, there Camron.

“Whoa!  Crimeny, Wolf… must you do that?” he grumbled out of the side of his mouth, hoping Mulan wasn’t hearing this.  “Thought you said you were gonna be scarce for a while.  You promised!”

Wolf: Relax, relax.  Just wanted to compliment you on your choice of venue.  I’ll leave ya alone now.  Go get ‘er, tiger!

Camron had to let loose another breath.  Oh boy…

Steeling himself and slipping his hand into his pocket, he fingered the little box that resided in there.  He felt Mulan’s presence right next to him.  Pulling in another quick breath, he turned around and got down on knee, something hidden in his hands.

 

Mulan could only stare at him, stupefied for a moment.  Her brain wasn’t quite registering what she was seeing yet.  “Mulan Rampart,” Camron murmured, looking up into her eyes.  “It has been my honor to share the last few weeks with you.  I want to share the rest of our lives together.”  He had to gulp in air quickly.  “W-would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

 

“O-oh, Camron,” she whispered, her voice cracking even as tears gathered in the corners of her eyes.  She had automatically brought a hand up to her chest in surprise and shock.

 

“I love you, Mulan.  Make me the happiest man in the world and say yes.”

 

“Yes,” she whispered.  “Of course, yes!”

Camron slid the ring onto her finger, his own hands barely able to hold steady.  Mulan held her hand up, admiring it as it flashed on her finger.

 

Then she threw her arms around him and the next thing he knew, she’d leapt straight into his arms.  He held her and just gazed into her eyes, lost in their cool blue depths.  “I love you, Mulan.”

“I love you, too, Camron.”

“Are you ready to build that legacy now?”

“With you?  Of course.”

“Let’s go home, then.”  Camron refused to put Mulan down; he insisted upon carrying her all the way home.

Wolf: *lips curl into a grin* Thatta boy.  She was proud of her Sims.

1.03: Things Looking Up

Mulan motioned him to follow her.  “Are you hungry?  I actually was able to afford a counter and a stove.”

Camron tilted his head.  “Nice.”  He was feeling a little leery.  But he liked Mulan, a lot.  He watched her cut up the ingredients for a simple salad.  “I could eat.”  He gave her a smile.  “You- uh, wanted to talk?”

 

She nodded.  “But first, let’s eat.  Hope you don’t mind salad.”  She handed him the bowl before he could protest and then she led him to the only real seat on her lot: her bed.  He shrugged and followed her.  They sat down and ate in silence for a moment.

“Good salad,” Camron commented.  “I like the dressing.”  He almost hit his forehead with the heel of his palm.  ‘What an idiot’, he thought to himself.  He was really anxious to know what she wanted to talk about.  He hoped it was something good.  He hadn’t handled things well so far.  But the truth was: he was nervous and he wasn’t at all sure of himself.  Mulan was beautiful and smart and funny.  What did she see in a guy like him?  He had begun to think that she hadn’t wanted to hang out with him because his prospects weren’t so good.  Even finding out she hadn’t wanted to hang out because she was embarrassed hadn’t silenced his inner critic.

Mulan grinned.  “Thanks.  Figured to make something simple.  I uh… burned the last batch of grilled I tried to make.”

He laughed.  She took his empty bowl from him and set it on the only surface she had: her desk.  He stood up, his hands unsure what to do.  Mulan went to him.  “Camron,” she said solemnly.  “I wanted to apologize.  I’m really sorry about everything.  I should have been honest from the get-go with you.  I was embarrassed, though.  I didn’t expect to have so little when I came here.  I-“  She paused and sucked in a breath.  “I didn’t want you to think less of me.”

He stopped her with a hug.

 

Putting her at arm’s length, he shook his head.  “Mulan, none of that matters to me.”  His gaze went off to the side.  “Truth be told, you deserve better than me.  I’m an orphan with very little prospects.  I’m sleeping on someone’s couch.  I can’t even give you what you have here.  And I know what you were used to-“

He was interrupted by the fact that Mulan took a step forward and her lips touched his!

 

She stepped back and just looked at him.  He stood there in shock for a long moment.

 

“Camron,” she said softly, taking his hands in hers.  “I really like you… a lot.  I left home because I needed to get out on my own.  Yeah, this is different than what I’m used to, but that’s ok.  And honestly, I don’t expect you to give me anything.  What I’m looking for in a partner is just that: a partner.  Can we… start over?  Or maybe, just go from here?  Take it further?”

 

He didn’t say anything; he just pulled her into a hug.

 

Mulan rested her head on his shoulder, letting out a soft sigh.  Then they separated and she gave him a mischievous grin.  “Now, I know you are sleeping on your friend’s couch.  There, you have a roof over your head.  How about making different arrangements?  Sleeping under the stars isn’t so bad,” she murmured.  She looked sideways at him and raised her arms, as if presenting her bed to him.  “What do you think?  Think you could deal with switching accommodations?”

 

“Wait, are you asking me to come and live with you?”  There was incredulousness in his voice.

“I do believe I am,” she murmured, just looking at him.  He couldn’t tell what she was thinking.  Those beautiful blue eyes were almost enigmatic.

He swallowed.  “Yes.  Yes, I’ll come and live with you.”

It seemed to shock her.  “Wait, you will?”

“Yes, I will.”

Mulan began to dance a little, waving her arms in the air in excitement.  “We’re going to live together!”

Her enthusiasm was catching and Camron found himself waving his hands up and down with her.  “We’re going to live together!” he echoed.

 

There was another hug, this one a bit longer.

 

They separated and just stood there for a moment.  They were going to live together.  It was taking a little while for it to sink in, for both of them.

Wolf: Well, this is sweet!  I was hoping you’d come to your senses, Mulan.

Camron just about jumped out of his skin, spinning around.  “Who said that!?”

Mulan winced.  “Oh boy… Hey, I thought you weren’t going to interfere!”

Wolf: I won’t, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still talk to you, now does it?

Camron just stared at Mulan.  “Um… Mulan, h-honey?  What’s going on?”

“That was… Wolf.  She’s- our Watcher.”  She held up her hands.  “I know, I know.  It sounds crazy.  But it’s true.  Apparently, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a legacy founder.  I-I… is this a deal breaker?  Because me being a legacy founder has nothing to do with me asking you to move in.  I really like you and-“

“Whoa, whoa, slow down,” he murmured.  “It’s ok.  I believe you.  Y-you really want to make a family with me?  A legacy?”

She nodded.  “Eventually, yes.  When we’re both ready.  A-are you interested?”

He nodded slowly, his face breaking into a wide smile.  “I am.”  Mulan let out a whoop then began to hop up and down, giddy as a school girl.


 

Mulan and Camron settled into a nice little routine in the following days.  Camron worked at a local restaurant as an assistant dishwasher, but he was already on the fast track to moving up.  He had been taking some online culinary classes.  So while Mulan worked on writing (she had moved up to where she was actually writing her own books; she’d even self-published a couple), Camron practiced his cooking.

 

He often worked till 1 am or later, and Mulan would already be in bed.  Camron would crawl in next to her, smile at her sleeping form, then let himself drop into sleep.

 

They’d both wake up together; Mulan always had a kiss for him.

 

He’d pull her to him; he just loved to hold her in his arms.  “I love you, Mulan,” he’d murmur, nuzzling his cheek over hers.  Mulan would murmur back, her eyes alight with happiness.

 

Wolf looked down on them, smiling.  Yes, things were going very well for the two of them and it made the Watcher very happy.