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Tonight, I have the first of the five War Chapters for you: Rosalie's Story.  Click on the picture to read the chapter.  If you have trouble with the embed, please feel free to download the chapter as a PDF.  Comments can be left here or on the thread at Boolprop.  I hope you enjoy.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
Rosalie may be self absorbed but I still found I really sympathized with her. She really does believe she's doing the right thing and I really respected her for allowing Clarence to say goodbye despite her objections.

An incredible, although heart wrenching chapter. You manage such a horrible period of time with dignity and grace and I look forward to the remaining chapters.

Feb. 7th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
I think it’s easier to empathize with Rosalie when you have a chance to see things through her eyes. She really does believe that she’s doing the right thing. I think her willingness to let Clarence say goodbye is more about her wanting to put a close to the whole issue. Plus, if she’d made a scene, she would have really outed her brother (pun intended).

Thank you! Although it is a difficult period in history, I think there are such incredible human stories in it. I hope the rest of the chapters are as satisfying for you.
Feb. 7th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
[Spoiler (click to open)]
I like Rosalie more after this, even though some of her thinking comes from tradition and self absorption she is a good person and I found her perspective quite interesting.

Poor, poor Gilbert! How sad that was.

Looking forward to the next chapter. :D

Feb. 7th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
Heh, Rosalie is a little more likable, when you’re able to see how she sees the world. Her way of thinking is a bit antiquated to our modern sensibilities, but she does have quite a bit to offer to the story.

I know! When his name came up as one of the losses I was quite upset. I feel like I didn’t have enough time to let the readers get to know him, so I’m glad you were saddened by his death.

Shirley’s chapter is up next! It’s probably 30% written, so I’m hoping to get it out sooner rather than later.
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC)
[Spoiler (click to open)]First I want to compliment you on all the awesome costuming. Along with Renaissance and Victorian Steampunk, the fashions of the 1940's are my favorite. I found myself wishing I could have Rosalie's clothes in real life.

Rosalie. Man oh man. I could HEAR Mary's voice (my Mary) when I was reading her stuff. I came to the conclusion that if my Mary had been a war wife, she would have sounded exactly like Rosalie. Believe it or not, that's not meant to be a bad thing. I think they would have been two peas in a pod.

I felt a slight twinge when Gilbert died. I KNEW that people were going to die during the war, but I was saving myself for the death of the person I suspect is going to die. However, when I was reading the letters between Clarence and Gilbert, I got choked up, particularly with the last letter that Gilbert didn't get :(

Hooray! We got a glimpse of the next Bradford heir! You finally got a redhead! From what I could see, he looks exactly like Nick other than the hair. MOAR pictures will help support that thought :)

I feel awful that Rosalie and her family lost their brother/son but I'm glad that Rosalie agreed to stay at home and raise her family there. By the way, I was always kind of up in the air about Bruce, but now I think he's a good guy.

You know, when I saw the scene with Gilbert and Rhodri, I could TELL that the Sim who wasn't Gilbert was one of Lark's Tudors. And Rhodri died in like the second chapter of the Tudor Legacy, and that was well over a year ago. BUT, even though you could see Alexandra in color with more of her face showing, had the same hair, and was even wearing the same COLOR, NOT TO MENTION she was referred to as "Mrs. Smith," I had no idea that she was another import until I saw the credits. I was trying to figure out if I had missed something; some Bradford spare family with the name Smith. So yeah, instantly recognized a character who wasn't on screen all that much in the legacy he came from which hasn't been updated in something like a year and half, but I failed to instantly recognize one of Zane's adoptive parents who has been on camera a whole, whole bunch, and fairly recently to boot >.< I am not that smart sometimes *shakes head*

This was such an awesome chapter. I kept looking at the page number hoping that it wouldn't end and I was always relieved when I saw that I still had more left to read. I am eagerly awaiting your next chapter!

Edit: Because LJ decided to smush all my paragraphs together.

Edited at 2013-02-07 08:22 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I’ve had a lot of fun trying to get everyone’s outfits just right.

I always compared your Mary to my Jan, and then Jan to Rosalie, so I have no idea why I never made the connection between Mary and Rosalie, but yes, they are two peas in a pod. I bet Mary would have very much acted like Rosalie if she were a war wife (though I can hear her writing to Goopy reminding him of the horrible venereal diseases that those foreign girls must have :P ).

I was a bit concerned when Gilbert drew the short straw, because I really haven’t had a change to give him a chance to shine on his own, so I’m glad to hear that his death (eventually) was getting you choked up. That was part of the reason I decided to let Clarence share the letters.

Yup, heir spoilerage! I *did* get me a redhead at last. He is pretty much a clone of Nick, save for his hair and eyes, both of which he got from Alice. MOAR pictures can be found here, in case you missed them: http://silverbelle1220.livejournal.com/102827.html

It only makes sense for Rosalie to carry on the family in the house at this point, if not the name. I think a lot of people weren’t quite sure what to think about Bruce, but overall he’s a decent fellow. I have more plans for the Thornes, as you’ll see once the war’s over.

I’m laughing at your story about recognizing Rhodri and not Alexandra. Granted, I didn’t use her first name. I imagine it has something to do with how much you and Lark talk; her characters are closer to the front of your mind. I imagine you’ll find it interesting that both Rose and Di agree that Rosalie’s head would explode if she know what Alexandra, the “perfect hostess,” had gotten up to in her youth.

Thanks! It was a bit shorter than normal, but when I’ve got 5 different perspectives on the same time block, they were bound to be a little shorter than average. I’m working on Shirley’s chapter now, and hoping to get it posted in the next few weeks.
Feb. 8th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
Yay! I was looking for an excuse to avoid going to bed and found your update :)

[Spoiler (click to open)]so despite Rosalie being one of my least favorites I still really liked this glimpse of the war years from her pov. It's very in character with her need to focus on herself and I don't mean that in a bad way. She just doesn't seem the type to get over emotional or to carry on or dwell on tragedy. She almost brushes over the trauma of those years and the death of her brother as though she's already had many, many, many years to get over it. Seeing a small glimpse of the war from the povs of Gilbert and Clarence had more resonance and meaning.

I'm also glad to see a look at the Marines during the war. Seems most people forget that WWII was about more than Hitler, Normandy and Pearl Harbor. Thanks for giving our troups in the Pacific a shout out.

Edited at 2013-02-08 07:30 am (UTC)
Feb. 12th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
:) I doubt Rosalie will win any awards for favorites, but I’m glad you liked hearing things from her side. She is very self-centered; you can say it, but it’s a part of who she is so it was important to represent that in her story. She isn’t the type to show emotion, no. She would probably think the British motto of “Keep Calm and Carry On” was right on target. In the grand scheme of things (which I’ll talk a bit more about in a behind-the-scenes type post when the war chapters are done), these reflections are being written from roughly five years after the war ended. So Rosalie has had a bit of a chance to reflect and move past “all that.”

Since I knew Rosalie would remove herself from the story, I felt it was important to show a more emotional aspect of the story through Gilbert and Clarence. I had hoped that people would like seeing things from their point of view.

:D I had actually watched The Pacific prior to writing this chapter, which is where I got the idea to have Gilbert be in the Marines. The Pacific feels like it is forgotten a lot, so I wanted to be sure to include it.
Feb. 8th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
[Commenty!]As I told you, I really love Rosalie's "grown up" look. It suits her quite a bit, and it's also pretty. :D Rosalie is totally the type to wear pearls all the time.

I assume Rosalie actually did complete college in game, if not in story?

Love Rosalie's reaction to Shirley's reaction to having to wear a pink dress. It's lovely, yes, but it's so not Shirley.

It's really interesting to remember that Rosalie is in her early twenties when all of this is happening, as she'd have been 20 or 21 when she got married - it seems so young to me, as I'm 28 and not interested in being a wife and mother yet, and certainly not in a life in which everything is completely about the husband. Rosalie, however, seems to be thriving on it, which is partly her personality and partly the culture of the time, I would think. But it's interesting, because Rosalie isn't as much of an equal to Bruce as Alice is to Nick or Shirley is to Walter, but it's because Rosalie has chosen not to be - she's chosen to put herself in the subservient role.

I really do wonder if the "no longer in love" piece is her, because it seems like the type of issue she might have after years of marriage and suppressing her desires in favor of her husband's and children's, when she suddenly realizes that her life has passed without her noticing.

Love spotting that Rosalie does have some of the familial influence - with the gardening from Elizabeth and all, when Jan hated it. She's not nearly as bad as Jan, though there are definitely issues. I mean, she's trying - the letter writing may be generally boring to her brother, but she really is doing the right thing here, and not just for appearance's sake - she's writing letters to truly try and keep Bruce and Gilbert entertained and connected. Also, as much as she has strong opinions about what is right, she's willing to put in the work to live up to those opinions, and to take care of her parents when they need it. Honor your parents, honor your husband - Rosalie does her best to live up to these principles.

As much as it is selfish, I can't blame Rosalie for being relieved that Bruce isn't actually at the front. No one wants their loved ones to possibly die in war. I assume he (or she in his place) was in the drawing for who would die, but he came off fine, so you put him somewhere where living made total sense?

Love Rosalie's pride in Gilbert. As much as she has issues with him (and certainly with his homosexuality), she still loves him, and he's still her little brother. And she truly is sad when he dies.

The fact that they know from experience that it can take days or weeks to sort out the casualties is worrying for what it implies - that someone else already is dead or is thought dead.

Is Steven significantly older than anyone else in the generation? *curious* I suppose we'll see as you cover the rest of these chapters, but I'm curious now! :P

Continuing in another comment because it's too long.
Feb. 8th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)

[MOAR commenty!]I must admit that I got much more worried about Gilbert the instant I saw your cover - Calla and Taddy were clearly mourning, from what I could see, and based on what you'd said and written in drabbles, I didn't think it would be Bruce, which left Gilbert - as Rosalie clearly wasn't going to the war front herself.

I'm glad the pregnancy pulled Calla out of her depression. Poor her, having to lose a child.

Yay babies! You know, since they had twin sons, if they wanted to keep the Seiff name going, one of the boys could take it. Of course, I'm not surprised Rosalie managed to throw you twins even though you didn't plan on it. It suits her. :P

I'm glad for her parents that Rosalie and her family are going to keep living there, as well as for the fact that it gives you one less house to play. :P

I see Clarence kept hanging around. I feel bad for him, losing his lover like that. :(

I can't help but wonder if Gilbert and his insistence on getting what he wanted and being true to himself meant that he lived more than Rosalie did, in some ways. She chose her husband logically, but I've noticed that she doesn't use the word "love" when describing what she was with Bruce. She wanted to be Mrs. Thorne, she didn't want to live with the man she loved. Gilbert managed to fall in love and go for it whole-heartedly, but Rosalie's relationship is the socially acceptable one, which...well, it's sad.

I'm glad you gave us Gilbert and Clarence's letters as well. It's a very different view from Rosalie's.

The idea of Shirley giving Rosalie a hug without cleaning up is hilarious. I totally want to see that. :P

I do hope Clarence can be a good husband to Loretta, because I'm sure she deserves one, though we don't know her at all - she seems nice, and we certainly have seen nothing that she's deserving of any trouble.

I'm not sure what I think of Clarence allowing his father to make sure he didn't go to war. It's...not the right choice, but it's also something that is very human. We can be cowards, and, I mean, look at the Civil War - paying someone to take your place was legal! It's still not a good thing to happen, though.

Can't wait for Shirley's chapter!
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
Rosalie’s grown up look does suit her. She is very much the pearl-wearing type. And yes, in-game Rosalie finished college, even if story Rosalie did not.

Heh, Rosalie wouldn’t hesitate to make her friend look like an idiot to make her wedding perfect. But no, Shirley was NOT happy about wearing a pink, frilly dress.

It is sometimes hard for me to put myself in Rosalie’s shoes, for all the reasons you said. She is VERY different, not only for wanting to get married and pop out babies at an age when I wasn’t ready to contemplate that, but because she does put her husband in the driver’s seat. It’s very much in keeping with the times, yes, but even among her peers she’s very different. Rosalie is in no ways equal to Bruce, while Nick and Alice and Walter and Shirley are on more equal ground. But yes, it was Rosalie’s choice, so don’t go feeling too bad for her.

Not going to say who’s in the “no longer in love” piece. That will come up in the story soon enough. :P

:) Rosalie does have some Bradford in her, and it’s not all from Jan. She does try to do what she thinks is right. And she does live up to what she thinks are her obligations: taking care of her family (even when she doesn’t agree with what they’re doing), obeying her husband and parents, etc.

It’s a little selfish in a way, but I don’t blame Rosalie for being relieved that Bruce wasn’t overseas either. Yes, “Rosalie’s Husband” (as I didn’t yet know who he would be; I did let the crystal ball pick Rosalie’s husband and they have 3 bolts!) was in the drawing for casualties, and he was pretty much at the bottom of the list. So he got a cushy, safe, stateside assignment.

I think Rosalie is also proud of Gilbert because his willingness to enlist in a branch of the military would help remove any “tarnish” from his (and therefore the family’s) reputation. But yes, it’s partially because he’s her little brother and she loves him. And she really was upset when he died.

Not going to comment on what their knowing how long it takes to sort casualties out means. :P

Steven would have been born roughly in 1943; the twins late 1945/early 1946. So he’s about 2-3 years older than his cousins. So older, but not by much (and certainly not as bad as it would have been if I wasn’t using my aging hack!).
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
[MOAR Reply!]
Yeah, I knew the cover was spoilery, but I figured that it could also be interpreted as them being upset because someone (Gilbert) was severely wounded as well. And yeah, I have made it pretty clear that Bruce was not going to be a casualty.

I’m glad that Calla found a reason to pull herself out of her grief. It made sense to me that seeing her surviving child in need would be the thing to do it.

Babies! Ugh. Rosalie WOULD throw me twins when I least expected it. I hadn’t thought about having one of the boys take the Seiff name; maybe that will be a plot point in a future chapter.

Yeah, when I knew Gilbert was going to die I decided that Rosalie and Bruce would take over the Seiff house. No point in playing more houses that I have to. :P

Yeah, Clarence was always in the background. He got quite the rough break. :(

There is quite a contrast between the two Seiff siblings and their relationships. Rosalie chose the “safer” route, and Gilbert followed his heart even though it wasn’t socially acceptable at the time. Only time will tell how the rest of the story plays out.

Gilbert and Clarence’s letters were quite the contrast to how Rosalie told the story.

Heh, I may have to slip Shirley giving Rosalie a hug when she’s all dirty from riveting into a future chapter.

I think that Clarence will try his hardest to be a good husband to Loretta. Just because he’s not in love with her doesn’t mean he won’t try to keep up the illusion. I do feel bad for her if only because she’s probably more in love with Clarence than he’ll ever be with here.

As Clarence said, he was scared. It wasn’t the right thing to do, of course, but I think that if he’d been drafted he would have gone.

Working on Shirley’s chapter right now!
Feb. 20th, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
Yay chapter!
[Spoiler (click to open)]Oh man these are all going to be hard to read aren't they? I do like Rosalie a bit better after this chapter. She's suffering just like everyone else and although her husband was safe on American soil her brother was very much in the thick of it.

I could tell that Gil wasn't likely to make it home once you enlisted him in the Marines and started talking about D-day. It still broke my heart (mostly because of Clarence's reactions). Including the letters between Gil and Clarence was great and it was nice to see them a bit more when they have largely been in the background of the older members of the generation. I do feel a bit guilty though because a part of me is glad that Gil didn't make it back because that means that Nick has that much more of a chance of just being injured and not dead.

Yay for twin boys! I'm sure Rosalie is thrilled to have an heir and a spare in one go. Glad that they will be staying in her childhood home to support her parents too.

I am both looking forward to and dreading the next installment!
Great job as always!
Feb. 20th, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
If reading them is anything like writing them, yeah, they’re going to be hard. I’m glad to see that people are liking Rosalie a bit more know that they’ve had a chance to see things from her perspective. She did suffer quite a bit during the war.

I kind of figured that some people would pick up on Gilbert being in the Marines not boding well for him. It was heartbreaking to write (and it took me forever to actually kill Sim!Gilbert). I’m glad that you liked hearing about Gil and Clarence and their star-crossed romance.

Not saying anything on whether or not Nick’s chances of survival have improved because Gilbert died. The randomizer knows no mercy. :P

I’m still slightly mad at Rosalie for throwing me twins when I had originally written her just one baby. Of course, now I have plotz in mind for them. With Gil gone, it makes sense that she would stay in the family home and raise her family there.

Once I get through midterm papers and such, I’m hoping to be able to buckle down and get the rest of the chapters out. Thanks!
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