Chapter 4.18: Not a Perfect Man

Chapter 4.18 Not a Perfect Man

A/N: The following is a short and sweet Epilogue for our Generation 4 Heir. Enjoy ❤


Two Years Later


“Come on, everyone! Hurry up!” Gemma shouted, her bare feet racing across the sand.

“I can’t run that fast!” Augustus panted, trying his best to keep up.

“We’re right behind you!” Candice assured. She bounced Tobias on her hip and he burst into giggles, his little hands reaching up to play with her hair.


“Like, way behind you,” my mom added with a laugh. My father laughed from beside her, the two carefully maneuvering their way to the coastline. They giggled like teens whenever they stumbled, the soft sand giving way beneath their feet.


The sun beat down on our backs. It was perfect, clear day.

Gemma and Augustus ran into the shallows, Joanne right behind them and squealing as the cool water splashed her. She was turning 18 soon and was already accepted into her number one choice university. It would make her the first Winters to ever attend and I couldn’t have been more proud.



Candice caught up to them with Tobias, his laughter continuing loudly as she dipped his feet into the water. The kids splashed each other, their screams of delight filling the salty ocean air.

Making a family trip to Isla Paradiso once a year was probably the best idea we’d ever had.


I settled myself into a beach chair, using my toes to bury my feet in the sand. The deeper I burrowed, the cooler the sand felt. I closed my eyes, a soft breeze tousling the hair on my forehead, and I just felt so peaceful.


It was a feeling I wasn’t used to—even as far back as I could remember, I worried. I worried that my mom only put so much of her time into me because she thought I was weird. I worried that I was weird because I didn’t want to talk to the other kids….


I worried because in high school I was at the bottom of the totem pole and somehow always managed to get myself into trouble because of it.


I worried when I finally did find friends that they just wanted to use me, and even when it became clear that that wasn’t their intention, I worried that they tolerated me more than they actually liked me.

Screenshot-1467 Screenshot-1469 Screenshot-1474 Screenshot-1512

So when they stood up for me, and took me in as one of their own, I worried that it had all been just one huge mistake.


And when someone showed interest in me beyond that of a family member or a friend, I worried that it was some cruel joke—until her lips met mine and promised it was real.


How frivolous those worries were though compared to what I would have to worry about next….


How stupid and pathetic….


How completely and utterly inconsequential.


It had been such a relief when I found a cure—a way to numb my worries, numb my mind, and numb me.


But it wasn’t a cure—not even a little bit, and by the time I had discovered this most malicious of deceits, it had already taken a hold of me, leaving me a slave to its sadistic whims.



I sighed, leaning back in my seat and stretching out my legs now. I closed my eyes once more, but opened them quickly when I felt drops of water splash onto my face. I jumped and blinked only to find Candice standing above me, grinning.

“Where’d Tobias go?” I immediately asked, alarmed.

“He’s with your mom, silly. What are you doing hanging out by yourself?” she asked. Her hand was on her hip; a soft, inquiring smile on her face. I couldn’t help but smile too.

“Sorry,” I said. “Just thinking, I guess.”

“Hmmmm,” she hummed softly, reaching out to run a hand through my hair. I closed my eyes at her gentle touch. “Is everything okay?” she asked.

“Everything is perfect,” I murmured truthfully. I opened my eyes and smiled at her reassuringly, and she smiled back at me, just as radiant as ever. The sunlight glittered in her warm brown eyes. Her radiance must have come easily, because she was light itself. God did I love her.


“Well then let’s go, babe!” Candice announced, grabbing my hand to pull me up. “I believe you promised a certain set of twins that you’d go snorkeling with them,” she grinned.

“Ah yes, and a terrible curse befalls those who break a promise to those twins,” I said seriously, allowing Candice to help me off my seat.

“A curse that naught but earplugs can possibly cure,” Candice added gravely. I laughed, kissing her and then taking her hand as we walked down to the shoreline.

As soon as we got near the twins began squealing in excitement. I let out a breath of air as they collided with us, hugging us tightly around the waist.

“Daddy can’t breathe,” I coughed out, exaggeratedly gasping for air.

“Mommy needs air!” Candice choked out at the same time.


They giggled and stepped back, their two bronzed faces grinning up at us.

“Can we go snorkeling now?” Gemma asked. Her eyes were bright with excitement—the only one of our children to have inherited my strangely colored ones.

“Yes, can we please go now?” Augustus chimed in, bouncing on his toes eagerly.

“Hmmm, I don’t know….” I said, folding my arms across my chest. “You guys did just try to suffocate us.”

“Daaaaaaaaaaad,” they groaned, and I laughed, shaking my head.

“Okay okay, sure. Go get your sister, quick!” I said, bending to tickle them both. They shrieked with giggles and ran off, calling out Joanne’s name.

“Ahhh, they’re coming for me!” my eldest daughter shouted, and then yelped as the two tackled her into the waves. They all came up spluttering and laughing, stumbling in the current as they tried to stand back up.

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” the twins both cheered.



I am not a perfect man, nor have I ever claimed to be one.

I am a recovering alcoholic. I am one of the many victims of a chronic anxiety disorder. I am a man who has been shattered and put back together more times than I count, but I am also a man who wouldn’t have written his story any other way.

You see, a person is made up of more than just cells; they are, instead, the complex creation of a consortium of circumstances.

So had my story been written any differently, if even one event happened in a way deviant from the course my life has taken, then I wouldn’t be the person that I am today…and I like the person that I’ve ultimately become.


I am a son….


A brother….


A husband….


A father….


A writer….


A painter….


Every glorious high….


And every terrible low that I have ever experienced.


I am the complex creation of a consortium of circumstances…


…and I wouldn’t ever change those circumstances, not even for the world.

The End 3


James Winters: Painter/Writer—Generation Four


· Master Painting Skill ✓

· Master Writing Skill ✓

· Paint 20 Paintings ✓

· Be Friends With Parents ✓

· Get $5,000 in Royalties (or sell 15,000 from paintings) ✓

· Paint Family Pictures (spouse, kids, parents if alive) (spouse yes, the others no X)

· Join Book Club (if applicable)

A/N: AHHHHHH, another generation down! What a roller coaster! This was honestly probably one of my favorite generations to write, so I’m super sad to let it go. That being said, this is not the last you will see of James, as he, Candice, Tobias, Augustus, and Gemma will all still appear in the next generation. Ah and yes, that means exactly what most of you have already surmised–Joanne will be our heiress for Generation 5. I know that for James & Candice lovers (like myself!) that may be disappointing, but I can at least assure you that Joanne has quite the story to tell.

As always, thank you all for reading. Like seriously, THANK YOU!!! Some of you even came back to read Different Winters after I was gone for over a year and that’s just freaking awesome! Seeing as we’re closing this chapter, I’d love to hear your feedback as well, since I’m always looking to improve on this blog! Most of all though, again, thank you for reading 🙂

Now we close this book and press “play” as we enter the world of music in GENERATION FIVE. AHH! ❤


29 thoughts on “Chapter 4.18: Not a Perfect Man”

  1. Oh James. He is so right- everything is perfect. I got such a nice feeling reading this chapter. I am sad that his time is over but I’m looking forward to the generation of music. You really did a great job accumulating the points too. I can’t wait for the next chapter! As always, it was an awesome read!

    1. Thank you ^_^ I got happy feelings while writing it to be honest.

      It helps lessen the sting of Generation Four being over…:P

      I am really excited about Generation Five though! I have most of the first chapter already prepared–I just need to play a little more and grab a few more snapshots.

      The biggest thing I have to do is change the formatting and layout of my blog for the new generation. It’s always been a pain in the past, so we’ll see how this goes….lol.

      1. I wanted to ask you about the photos. When you’re taking photos for a dramatic story, do you just photograph everything like an ISBI and pick the photos that go with the story-line the best at the time or do you make a mental note of the pictures you want for the chapter and get all the photos first before playing the game? I’m wondering if you get in much game play because you have to stretch out the life stages so long for the story.
        I’ve never quite been able to wrap my head around how you guys always get the most perfect pictures. It must take so much work and I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

        1. I do a bit of both, but I will say that the further I’ve gotten into this challenge, the more I make a mental note of the pictures that I need for the chapter.

          It used to be that I would play, take pictures, and assign writing to it, while occasionally thinking up a scene that I needed specific pictures for, but now I find that I’ll have entire chapters written sometimes without having touched the game at all, and THEN I have to go back and get what I need x_x

          With the life stages, since they are so stretched out, sometimes I make “Filming” copies of my current game where I can turn the aging off and completely mess around with it to get what I need without worrying about messing up the original save file or running out of time.

          It does take more work, but I find that unless you literally have to use Pose Player to get the shots you want, it isn’t too bad. It’s often just a matter of having your sims interact while watching them in camera mode really close up like a stalker and snapping shots of every freaking facial expression they make, lol. Then I choose the ones that work and use those. As you might imagine, I literally have THOUSANDS of photos. Literally. Thousands. x_x;

          TL;DR: A bit of both, but mostly making mental notes. It is more work, but it’s usually not too bad. 😉

  2. This is the perfect end to my favourite generation. James has been through a lot and has come out the other end, and I rooted for him all the way. I knew he could do it!

    Good job 🙂

    1. Thank you! He really did go through a lot, far more than of my previous heirs, but he still made it in the end 🙂

      How could he not though when the writer is such a firm believer in hope? 😉

      Thanks again ❤ I'm really glad you enjoyed it so much! ^_^

  3. Awww, I loved this. I felt like I was reading one really long insightful poem. It makes complete sense that James’ finale would be like that though, considering he is a writer. ROFL. I related to James and Maddie, so freaking much, ugh. I love that Candice and James were able to get together eventually, even though Maddie had to die before that would even be a possibility in Candice’s mind. James’ generation stuck out to me way more because even though Tamara went through hard times as well, I think that James’ stuff really reiterated that whole “Good things really do come out of tragic circumstances,” it’s like something I’ve really come to realize after all the shit I’ve personally been through. I agree wholeheartedly about the “consortium of circumstances.” I also feel like the more shit a person goes through, the stronger they become, of course, if they choose to, but I’m thinking positively here. LOL. Obviously some people are like Maddie, and they can’t pull themselves out of their shit. I think I particularly liked this generation because there were two different reactions to the depression, (James pulling through, while Maddie gave up), both of which I’d been through, and I can say now that having been on the brink of almost giving up, it makes me understand that line of thought a lot, even though I didn’t go through with it. This generation was very insightful, and I am very glad that I got to experience it. ❤

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve appreciated all of your comments more than you know, especially your willingness to share your personal thoughts, experiences, and reactions. It made re-experiencing this generation all the more awesome.

      Also, hehe, that’s actually why I wrote this the way that I did; it seemed a fitting end for the writing generation 🙂 It’s for those reasons that this generation sticks out to me as well. I had a very hard time leaving it and even today still miss writing it sometimes, haha. There’s just something about it that stays with me. Perhaps it’s like you said though: the relatability factor.

      I’m such a sucker for the “good things come out of tragic circumstances” thing, lol, but I wouldn’t change that for the world. I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to write a completely unhappy ending though because of it. I always believe there’s some kind of hope to be had, but I suppose that too is from what I myself went through. On that note, I’m also such a sucker for a “no regrets” sort of attitude, because of course you wouldn’t be the person that you were today without every experience that has made up your life; all the wonderful highs, and all the terrible lows. We grow from pain and out of it become stronger, but I guess I’m thinking positively here too, lol. The fact of the matter is that isn’t always the case, and so Maddie’s story is included as well. Sometimes the reality is that you don’t make it; and while that’s hard for hopeful me to accept, I wasn’t always like that, so the hard dose of reality remains as a reminder.

      Thank you so much once again! I’m so humbled that you found reading it to be a worthwhile experience that you gained insight from. Seriously…that’s some pretty high praise, lol. I don’t know if I’ll ever live up to this generation, but I hope you’ll also enjoy Generation 5. See you there ❤

  4. *sniffles* This is such a perfect ending for an imperfect man, I love how it was written; it was very poetic. James suffered from so many tragedies and demons, however he survived, he healed; he went from a single father who was coping, dealing with his grief by drinking, to an accomplished writer with a loving wife and three more adoring children to complete his and Jo’s family.

    1. Thank you! I’m both humbled and happy that you loved how it was written–I thought it an appropriate ending for our generation 4 heir 🙂 James really has been through so much, but he fought, survived, and healed. Remember when I said back that Maddie’s story, while tragic, has a role to play because it shows different outcomes of these serious issues? Well, James is yet another potential outcome, but in this case, the person wins. Still, each arc can teach us something valuable.

      *brings out cake and mashes the balloon button once again* HOORAY! You’ve just finished Generation 4 and now you’re onto catching up to the CURRENT generation–oh my! Once again, I hope you enjoy it ^_^; It’s uh, quite the interesting ride too, lol.

      Oh and as always, SINCERE and UTMOST thank yous for continuing to read and leave such amazing comments! They’ve been so inspiring and I find that my mind has just been going crazy with ideas lately. Thank you, thank you!

      1. Aww, really, I should be the one thanking you for writing such amazing generations, you write so compellingly, it’s kinda like a “I HAVE to see what happens next to these characters” feeling, and I know that whatever does happen, it’ll be wonderfully written. I can’t wait to see what generation five has in store; I’m prepared for an interesting ride. ❤ 😀

  5. Reed has been my favorite Winter thus far, but James is a close second. Like, REALLY close. I think Reed wins just because I can relate to him more. But James is awesome and his story even more so. I’m actually kind of sad to see the end of his generation.
    I’m really enjoying how you write each of your narrators differently. Each one has a unique voice, personality and word usage. It makes for a very immersive read. Again, thank you for sharing this gloriously written story. ^_^

    1. Reed was my favorite Winters until James 🙂 In my book, James does beat him out, but I will still always love Reed so much, so I’m very glad that he’s still your favorite ❤

      Oh gosh, don't even get me started! I am STILL sad about the fact that James' generation is over, and I'm now nearly done with Generation 5! I get so attached to my characters, lol.

      Gah, thanks so much! It really means a lot to me that you say that because perhaps the number one thing I try to focus on is ensuring that each heir has an entirely unique voice and character of their own. I want it to actually FEEL like someone totally new is narrating, so my biggest challenge in starting a new generation is always finding that "new voice." The fact that you do see the distinctions between them tickles me pink! Hehe.

      And again, thank YOU for reading and for your kind comments. You've been putting so many smiles upon my face! ❤ ❤

      I hope you continue to enjoy Different Winters. Generation 5 is a whole new experience 😉

  6. I really liked the way you wrote his alcoholism. You described it as a sickness, not a choice. Which is clearly is. You could’ve written it very badly and made a lot of people angry, but I think you did justice to a troubled young man and his story. I do wish at least one of the kids more resembled Candice and her beautiful dark skin, but hey you can’t blame genetics!

    I enjoyed this generation probably more than any other. Because it was REAL. It dealt with real things so many people have to deal with, suicide, mental illness, alcoholism, single parenthood, mixed families and I think you did it really well.

    Can’t wait to read Jo’s story!

    Question, why don’t you let the readers help you pick the heir?

    1. Thank you. I really appreciate you saying that. As I stated in a previous response to one of your comments, I drew from real experiences as well as a lot of research to make sure that I presented this in the way I feel it should be presented. Alcoholism really is a sickness….as is depression and anxiety and so on. I’m glad that you think I did the story justice. That was always a worry for me in writing this generation….hence me drawing from so many sources! The last thing I wanted to do was write it wrong…especially when, like I said before, it’s a story that really hits close to home with me.

      UGH ME TOO. Honestly I kind of wish I had cheated and used MasterController to transfer more of Candice’s genetics down to the kids, but that’s just the way it ended up, so I stuck with it. Dumb game -_- lol. The kids are still perfect though, so I guess I can’t complain too much :X

      Thank you ❤ This generation is also my favorite so far. If I ever go back and read my past writing, it's always this one that I go back to.

      Joanne's story is quite the ride 😉 Haha.

      Oooooh and so, I don't let the readers help me pick the heir for two main reasons that go with one another. For one, it's a Differences in the Family Tree Challenge which means that the "theme" for the next generation is already chosen for me. BECAUSE of that (reason 2), from the moment the children are born I find myself having to begin the characterization process in order for the child to fit the next theme best. If you look back, you'll notice that even when Joanne was a tiny cocoon baby, James says that the only thing that soothes her is playing music. So from the moment of their birth I'm already shaping the character and their future story. Sometimes I try and shape more than one just to keep it more ambiguous, but in the end one always speaks to me more than the other. Plus, I've kinda liked this whole "girl/boy/girl/boy" rotation I have going, so I've found myself wanting to keep up with that as well. It could be that one day in the future I'll do a poll, but because SO much planning goes into each character, I probably won't. As I look toward the future though, I do hope that I'll be able to include my readers in other decisions…I'm just not sure what! lol

      Thank you again for reading and commenting ^_^

    1. Weird, in my little feed thing this comment comes up blank, but now that I’m actually on the physical post, it shows up fine!

      Anyway, lol, thank you very much ^_^ An applause definitely works, and is very much appreciated *blushes*

      Also, throwing this out there again: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR READERSHIP AND YOUR COMMENTS! I’ve loved reading your thoughts as you catch up on this story and I look forward to seeing what you think of what’s to come. Eee! ❤

  7. This generation was beautifully written. You handled the tough issues of suicide, depression, anxiety and alcoholism just right that it was portrayed as a disease and not something someone chooses to do to themselves. Also the way you showed how it effects everyone around them. While I loved the chapter it was difficult for me to read and at times I had to leave it because I lived through this nightmare and I identified with James a little too much. So it took me a while but I’m glad to see he found peace, happiness and love. While it brought up feelings I didn’t want to face and more than a few tears it was beautifully done.

    1. Thank you sincerely. That’s exactly what I wanted to convey, so I’m glad that you got that from this generation.

      I admittedly had difficulties writing it at times and even re-visiting it now, so I get what you mean. I drew heavily on past experiences to write this, so you could say I identify with James a little too much too….but that’s also why I wanted to include a generation like this. In a way it was personally important for me to write, so I’m both grateful and humbled that you thought it was beautifully done. Thank you for your kind words and thank you so much for reading! I’ll see you in the next generation ^_^ ; ❤

  8. I have kind of been holding back from commenting because I didn’t have that much time these past few days and wanted to read as much as possible so now I’m going to leave one big comment, hope you don’t mind 😀

    First off, I know I (probably) said you are a great writer already but you just keep getting better! After finishing this generation I was really like: “Wow!” It is so beautifully written, and interesting and just… wow!

    In the beginning you said this generation will have a lot of cliches and I did pick up on that but still you handled that so well that it came out really original and mostly because of James, even though he is a sim he is so darn REAL and so he isn’t just a “depressed alcoholic writer” he is JAMES, he has his own unique voice and personality and although he is your favorite and I probably shouldn’t say this 😛 but he did annoy me at times, mostly because I felt sad for Jo, she was just a child and she lost a mum and was on the way of losing her dad as well, but then by the end of each chapter I would end up feeling sorry for James because he didn’t deserve any of it either, and he was trying his best and I admit a few chapters actually brought me almost to tears, and congrats on that! 🙂

    And then there is Candice… She is such a beautiful sim! And has such a great personality, she starts as this grumpy teen and ends up as probably the best thing to happen to James and Jo because of all she did for them, not many people (or sims :D) would handle it all so well and I think she is a kind of partner everyone of us should aspire to find.

    And although I really liked Tamara and Jiang* they also pissed me off a bit in this generation, I get why they let James go on his own, I get that they wanted to give him space but they should have understood that he is so young, and he had been trough all kinds of bad stuff, and I get that parents always believe in the best when it comes to their children but they should have checked in on him more, at least for Jo’s sake, I mean he was lucky Candice came along but if she hasn’t… Who knows….

    What else… (I will probably forget something :D) Right! The kids! They are all so cute! I mean all your kids are cute… But I really like Jo, I’m glad she is the heir, and not just because she is so beautiful. 😀 But maybe I am biased because I knew from the start she is going to be an heir so I ignored the others 😛 We shell see… It’s late and I have to get up early to get to work tomorrow but I hope I would start reading the next generation soon. I can hardly wait 😀

    *(the other day, after reading Tamara’s generation my sim got the opportunity to go to China, bring his book or whatever and I sent him there and Jiang and his wife showed up in camp!!!! I was so excited I spent a few sim hours watching them and just left my sim exploring the forbidden city on his own hahaha)

    1. I don’t mind at all! Whatever works best for you ^_^ Plus I love long comments, so it’s a win/win situation honestly, lol.

      Gahh, thank you! Probably my number one goal every generation is to try and write it better than the last, so hearing that you feel I’m improving makes me extra happy. Gahhhhhh *HUGS YOU* lol

      Yessss, James is most certainly JAMES. Oh and don’t worry at all about the fact that he annoyed you at times. My most favorite characters are typically the most frustrating ones, which is why James ranks so highly on my list. There are times when you just want to shake him, and other times when all you want to do is hug him. Or at least, that’s how I always felt throughout writing this generation, lol. In all seriousness though, what he was doing to Joanne really was painful to watch. It’s very lucky that Candice showed up when she did because as hard as James was trying, it was clear that it had passed the point of “You should get help” to “You have to get help…for the sake of both yourself, and that innocent little girl.” On that note, I definitely teared up myself writing this generation so I’m right there with you! ;___;

      CANDICEEEEE. I freaking love Candice and honestly aspire to be more like her in life in general. She never gave up James, even when anyone would have understood her doing so. I don’t think many people would have handled it so well either, and while it was obvious it took a helluva heavier toll on her than she expected, she managed to pull through in the end. The fact that she was doing this not only for James, but for Joanne as well, definitely helped. After all, she’s her best friends’ kid and didn’t deserve any of this. The least Candice could do was try to protect her…and she did that and so much more.

      I don’t entirely agree with Tamara and Jiang’s decision either. I understand it, but I don’t agree with it. Perhaps because they were such independent people themselves they didn’t see that James was not quite like them and needed the extra help. Not to mention he was indeed very young, already an anxious sort, and dealing with far more than even full grown adults are expected to handle. They did try to reach out, but James had made himself pretty untraceable up until he wrote his first best seller. Still, one could argue they should have tried harder instead of simply respecting his decision as they did. Of course, I know people who would have also said that respecting his decision was the right thing to do, and Candice was in the wrong for forcing herself into his business. All different approaches….and in some cases I imagine one way would be the best, and in others I imagine the other way would be best. In this case, James needed the help.

      Hahaha, yes I LOVE LOVE LOVE the children of this generation. I think it’s the first time when I truly gave all of them their own defined personalities, stories, and so on, to the point that as you’ve seen, I’ve been writing Augustus and Gemma their own parallel arc.

      Joanne is indeed adorable though and I knew pretty much from the start that she was going to need to be heir. Of course, since I did fall in love with the others, they get some story time too, hehe.

      LOL oh my gosh. That’s so funny XD It amuses me when I go to China and see Jiang there too XD Of course that means I also have to be careful about opening up a wormhole or something when I send the Winters there because I have to make absolute certain that the Liu family doesn’t show up in any of the screenshots! Hahaha. The downsides of marrying in a townie XD

      Thanks so much as always for reading and commenting!

  9. Awwww *HUGS YOU BACK* I’m glad I made you happy. 🙂 Thanks for reading my long comment and replying with an even longer one 😀 You summarized all the characters so wonderfully, I have nothing to add but I had to reply if nothing just to give you a hug, you deserved it 😀 after all you did give them all a nice happy ending, I thought Tamara’s generation ending was a relief but this one was an ever bigger one 😀

    hahahaha you could explain the “other jiang” as some distant relative if he does show up by accident 😛 Marrying a townie seemed to have a good impact overall, it gave us this adorable children 😀 and James freaky but so cool looking eyes 😀

    1. Hahaha, well then, thank you for the return hug. It is very much appreciated =)

      Lol “other Jiang.” Yesss, that could work. Or perhaps some sort of supernatural plot line? XD. Well, he did definitely add some great genes =) James’ eye color was probably more of a game flub like Reed’s hair color, but eh, we’ll go with the distant relation hypothesis 😉

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