To people who follow me from my Facebook Author page, this post probably won’t make sense. This post is definitely geared more towards the people who’ve been reading my other blog, The Book of Karri, where I was known by the pseudonym, MM Simmerific or Em.
To those people, I am so grateful to you guys for the support and the kindness you’ve shown me and my story. It definitely filled a gap in my heart and challenged me in ways I never thought simlit was capable of doing. I’ll expand more on this later…
But let’s back up a little…
I started The Book of Karri in July of this year out of sheer boredom. I just returned home from China, went to Egypt and Israel for a couple of weeks, and then… nothing. I had no real clear direction regarding what to do. I released my first novel December of 2016, and let’s just say it’s been a tough journey getting the work out there, especially for someone like me who is quite an extreme introvert.
I can say that I needed some sort of creative outlet, but I don’t think that’s it. I was looking for instant gratification, people assuring me that I was good and creative and that I can pull this dream off.
I didn’t really plan for it to happen. I added RAM to my laptop, and my sister and I decided to play The Sims 3 one day we were bored. The game was really fast and enjoyable, so I started playing Karri, and… the rest, I guess, is history.
When loladiamond of Never Do It Again discovered my story and shared it to other simlit writers, I knew I was sucked in. I really really loved the story I had plotted out for The Book of Karri. Writing it was a blast. But more than anything, it was the community that drew me in.
I remembered what it was like when I was writing my simlit story back in 2014 (The Chronicles of Clarke), how fun it was, how creatively gratifying.
I stopped writing The Chronicles of Clarke for reasons beyond my computer giving up on me. And it’s the same reason I stopped writing The Book of Karri.
I’m a Christian.
And this may sound strange to those who aren’t (which most of my simlit readers don’t seem to be), but I knew in my heart of hearts – even very early on – that God was asking me to surrender The Book of Karri to Him. In fact, He was asking me to surrender the entirety of my writing dreams to Him.
I want Jesus to be everything to me, and for a while there, He wasn’t. An atheist friend of mine once told me that I should never become an atheist, because my life would be meaningless if I ever stopped believing in God. I want to keep living my life that way – so defined by my faith, my walk with God.
On the night I deleted The Book of Karri, I just came from a conference celebrating The Feast of Tabernacles. One of the speakers said something along these lines: “I’m speaking to someone right now. This is the time. No more willful compromise.” I want to live and die by the belief that I can hear my Shepherd’s voice, and I knew I had to delete the blog, which was extremely painful, especially since we’re at the point of the story where I felt like it was about to get really good.
I was sobbing when I deleted The Book of Karri. I was sobbing right after. I was even telling God that “If You don’t exist, then I’m miserable right now for no reason. Does it even matter to You?” I didn’t think The Book of Karri would mean that much to me, but it did, mostly because of all the things it began to represent in my life. It filled areas of my life that was wrecked by frustration, hurt and my own foolish expectations.
Even now, as I write this, I am teary-eyed, because the story and the community meant a lot to me. I wanted to have some sort of farewell post or something, explain why I was suddenly deleting the story, but I felt like I did that, I wouldn’t be able to follow through.
When I deleted it, I thought that would be the end of it, and I would have to just deal with the agony of a story untold.
Then sempreviva happened…
One of my favorite simlit writers got worried and did some investigating. I’m still dumbfounded how she was able to trace my real identity down, but well, I’m relieved she did. (Seriously, girl, if you ever create a sim self, consider getting her the Computer Whiz trait or something like that.)
At least I have this opportunity for closure.
Sorry for just dropping off like that, guys…
I really hope that knowing my real identity and what I stand for won’t make you step away from me. I understand if it changes your view of me, but I hope you’d still want to remain as online friends, because I certainly do. I’d still love to read your stories and give feedback, but no longer as Em, but as the actual me… Joanna. Certified Jesus Freak, whose personal beliefs may or may not be in line with the stands you take in your stories or even the themes I explored with mine (another reason I deleted it).
If you still want me to follow your story, I’d be willing to, though I may not be as active as I was as Em. Just give my site a follow as a signal that you still want to hear from me. If you’d rather not hear from me, I’d totally understand. All that being said…
I never expected to find such a lovely and creative group of people when I first started The Book of Karri.
To Lila, I told you once that Fern has had an impact on me. I’m challenged to get back to trying to be physically fit because of her. There was a particular line in that generation where you wrote about her entitlement and how she grew away from that, and those lines, girl… It felt like you were talking about me. You have such a creative hand at writing and quite an eye for beauty and art. I really do envy your talent in more ways than I can express!
To Jowita, you’re like the simlit community’s glue or something. You effortlessly bring people together just by being encouraging and supportive of those who try their hand at simlit. You make the journey worthwhile, and in turn, it becomes such a delight to just get into your story and learn more about how that creative mind of yours works. You do love your tragedy, but I hope and pray your life becomes nothing like that of the characters in your stories. I wish you happiness, Jowita, because you’ve brought so much of that to me.
To Kymber, you know what I think about your story and writing. I think my comments and my now non-existent review has expressed so much how excellent I believe both are. More than any of that, I appreciate your humility. I never once got a sense from you that you thought yourself as better than others, and it takes character to not let these things get into your head. You’re always so kind and encouraging and even if you have a story (and uber skills) that you could totally hold over a lot of us, you never did. You always kept your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. I admire that.
To Louise (notjustabook), I felt like I lied by omission when I didn’t immediately say that it’s not the first time I encountered you or your writing, because I was pretty involved with your stories when I was still writing The Chronicles of Clarke as Ivane. Sorry about that. I’ve always loved your storytelling, writing and overall creativity. I always will. I’d still be following A Monte Vista Story as well as your other story. No questions asked. Again, I apologize. I could only hope to be as good a writer and storyteller as you are.
To Amy Queen, I really still want an ending to Broken. Haha… Your stories remind me of a lot of the ideas and storylines that I used to be really drawn to when I was younger. I love that you explored those lines, but I also think you are capable of so much more and so much better. I love how you create worlds in your mind and how you develop characters. I’m sure Sight will be amazing. I’m looking forward to where you’ll take it.
To sempreviva, of all the simlit writers I’ve encountered, it’s you that felt a lot like a kindred spirit. More than once, I considered reaching out to you to ask if you’d like to beta read for each other or maybe even collaborate on a story line. I never did do it, because I wasn’t sure you’d want to. But yes… I really felt like we could be really good friends. I still hope we could. Thank you again for caring enough to reach out, for being just that kind of person who cares deeply. I love that empathy. It’s rare nowadays to find people who care enough to do something about it. You amaze me in more ways than one.
To Kater Creation, I love your characters and images. I admire your strength. You are in my prayers. 🙂
To fluffymao, I can’t even! The Mayfields has been such fun to read, and I was actually reading it while I was in that conference I was talking about. I’m still gonna continue reading with or without your permission. Mostly because I really want to know what happens. Really so grateful that sempreviva found me, because uhm… At least I can comment as Joanna.
To SimmeraldOtter, it was such a treat when you started reading and commenting on the story. I still end up in an accounting site written in Polish when I try to visit your blog, but I think I can read it through reader. I was gonna jump over to your story right after reading The Mayfields and Set Apart. I’d still love to do that if you want me to.
To raymondsanti, Trip, Kate Loewe, The Fairwood Legacy, gccatsims, the author of The Grey Witches (can’t quite remember your username), thank you for the comments, the likes, the indications that I’m not alone in putting the story out to this world.
That felt like I’m about to die, and I just wrote a farewell speech or something… Again, I’m sorry for all the secrecy and what-not. I really felt hypocritical talking about authenticity and representing myself in a completely different way as Em.
At least now, I can really be authentic. Out of hiding.
If you’re interested in finding out where The Book of Karri would’ve gone, I can create a special post here that tells where the story was headed, as well as answers why Karri was an anomaly. I can also include links there to the downloadable objects I created for Never Do It Again, Noble Doubt & Smoke ‘n’ Roses. I will also eventually include an object download for The Kingston Legacy, which I totally adored.
Let me know in the comments below if you’re interested enough to know. 🙂
Again, thank you. And sorry. And…
Hi! I’m Joanna.
For real this time.
I’d love to be your friend if you want to be mine. 🙂