Featured In5

More Stories9

  • T Hoofin' It

    3,856 words · 16,342 views  ·  1,375  ·  64 · sex
  • E Fine Tuning

    Octavia has been tuning her cello for way too long, and Lyra is getting sick of it.
    6,407 words · 3,079 views  ·  197  ·  5
  • E Overthinking It

    Over-rationalizing can be a terrible thing.
    6,677 words · 2,461 views  ·  160  ·  4
  • E One Simple Choice

    Rainbow Dash must choose between pursuing the Wonderbolts, or staying in Ponyville with her friends.
    12,530 words · 2,108 views  ·  95  ·  2
  • E The Pursuit of Happiness

    Twilight reflects on how her friends have left, and wonders what true happiness is.
    9,165 words · 2,896 views  ·  127  ·  4
  • E As Time Goes On

    Twilight wonders how long time will allow her and her friends to stay together.
    5,548 words · 808 views  ·  31  ·  0
  • E Cross my Heart and Hope to Fly

    When life is good , sometimes it's easy to forget about what we have, and instead long for more.
    8,834 words · 455 views  ·  28  ·  1
  • E Behind a Sunny Face

    How does one deal with infinite, inevitable loss?
    12,355 words · 1,065 views  ·  41  ·  3

Blog Posts29

  • 9w, 4d
    The Winding Road: Thoughts on Writing and Self-Examination

    To all my followers who are surely flabbergasted that a notification has popped up in their box regarding the long-forgotten Tayman: you probably expect some questions to be answered. Why hasn't he made a peep since he blogged about Bronycon last year? Is he still alive? Is he still writing? Does he actually live in a remote North Dakotan cave and access the internet using a rusty crank generator?

    (To the last query, I say no, silly. Everyone knows that North Dakota is a fantasy conjured to convince people that good ole' small town America still exists).

    Truth be told, this post has been in the shop for a long time running. The primary reasons why it's only just going up directly tie into the reasons why I haven't published anything within the past two years.

    Self-loathing. Self-esteem issues. Low self-confidence. Brutal stress that put me in a chokehold whenever I so much as  considered writing (which isn't a healthy way of functioning, truth be told). None of these issues saw the light of day when I first started writing fanfic in the origins of 2012, when I was a starry-eyed author with dreams of grandeur and legacy, a young lad looking to make his mark on the world. During my initial foray, I had wild ideas, self-esteem bordering on arrogance, and a fervent drive to create.

    (This is going to be a lengthy tale of exposition, as a heads up. You've been warned. Hell, I should've hit the emergency alarm a few paragraphs up).

    Now that two years have passed since my last published story, Hoofin' It, it's obvious to those astute observers that there's been a fundamental shift in my worldviews - one bad enough to pull the plug on my creative endeavors for the past twenty four months. So, what happened?

    Long story short: A met a few precious friends and mentors in a time of great personal despair, launching a long, winding journey of introspection and self-development. While one of these gentlemen isn't on fimfiction, the other, my dear friend and sagely teacher Sunchaser, responded to my woes in my time of need and took me under his tutelage. Beyond being Buddhist monk levels of enlightened, a chill and well-adjusted dude, and a savant of pop culture and potpourri knowledge, he's one of the best, most under-appreciated writers here on fimfiction. You may have seen a couple of his stories pop up in the featured box, but if you've never heard of him or checked out his work, what are you waiting for?

    I met Sunchaser shortly after my Post-Hoofin' It sob story of a blog post, where we immediately sparked an intimate and intellectual relationship on Skype after I messaged him on fimfiction. After Hoofin' It, I realized there was something wrong with me. The overwhelming success of Hoofin' It, a story I, at the time, wrote of as a hackneyed, cheesy cash in of a comedy fic brought a crashing realization down on my head: I wasn't very good at all. I was a horrible author who had reached his zenith with a shitty pseudo-clopfic that wilts beneath the majestic resplendence of other writers who sat at a bar I would never even glimpse the shadow of. I'd worked my ass off for the past several months, and the tainted epiphany washed over me like a swarm of locusts devouring the damned and the worthless.

    (In hindsight, it was a really silly thing to think, but this was the mindset that devoured my thoughts. I was in no proper state to write. The passion had vanished. The flame had been snuffed out by the inevitable ego-conjured breeze. No matter how much I enjoyed writing, what was the point if I would never be one of the greats?)

    I've always had a bad (well, crippling is more apt) habit of comparison. Not just comparing myself and my accomplishments to others, but comparing my ideas to the hypothetical ideal version of something. If I brainstormed a story idea, I would immediately compare it to a hazy, illusory version of the story. One that was lofty, epic, perfectly written, well-executed and an all-around smash hit, a legacy of the fandom that would endure even as the final canon episode was pressed into the memory of its viewers. Perfectionism is a dangerous thing, and more often than those who suffer from it hold it up as a point of pride, a badge of honor that exemplifies high standards and settling for nothing less than the best. In actuality, it's an insidious mask that veils the true culprit: a crippling fear of failure and the belief that if something isn't perfect, it's a horrible failure that doesn't deserve to be released into the world.

    Obviously, I had some problems. Problems that were 21 years in the making and were finally being excised like a throbbing tumor, to the horror of its bearer. I wasn't as good as I thought I was. I was scum. Other authors, other stories were smarter, cleverer, more eloquent, more poignant, stuffed with minute details, witty asides, and top-notch characterization that were miles ahead of anything I would ever produce. I would always be a shadow, obliterating by the radiant majesty of these titanic author kings.

    Needless to say, I wasn't exactly right in the head.

    My ideology during this time was an antiquated dead-end agent of self-sabotage. Until this point, I'd always believed that anything less than stellar wasn't worthy of the world's attention and should be buried as to not waste anyone's time. (Naturally, I never came out and expressed these views, because I recognized them for what they were: callous and assholish. I summarily believed that if people's best efforts didn't meet an incredibly high bar, they should just shut up and let the true stars shine. Our time on earth is limited, so why dabble with anything but the best?

    I'm sure everyone can guess that I didn't speak up much when I thought ill of something. Hyper-criticism was the name of the game, imposed upon myself and my surroundings for as long as I could remember. I was an intensely harsh critic, especially to myself, to the point of self-annihilation.

    (Left-field aside: Chrome doesn't flag "assholish" as misspelled. Google, you truly are in touch with the masses).

    The inner-critic is the demon on the shoulder that I've been wrangling with ever since the wheels fell off two years ago. I swore to myself that I would be better, that I would dispose of the issues that had been plaguing me for my entire life. My former personality was a caustic exoskeleton that needed shedding as soon as possible. Ironically, this only aggravated my proclivity towards self-criticism. During this fervent crusade of self-improvement, I spotted personal flaws everywhere I looked. Cold in Gardez wrote an awesome story? Look at that amazing tale you didn't write. Blueshift makes a witty aside in one of his humor fics? How come you're not that clever? Shortskirts is showing off his erudite vocabulary? Look at all those words you don't know. You're not good enough. Look at where you fall short. Look at all the gaps in your knowledge, the things you don't know, the pieces that are missing from you. You need to get better. You're worthless if you don't improve.

    I realize this reads as indulgently melancholy, but these were the thoughts flying through my head on a daily basis, exacerbated by my tendency to compare myself to others, holding myself to impossibly high standards. Whenever I tried to sit down for something as simple as brainstorming, I would immediately place enormous amounts of stress on myself to write the most absolute, pitch-perfect, astonishing, legendary, clever, fandom breaking story in all written history.

    I'm only exaggerating a little.

    Hindsight is 20/20, afterall. And now I recognize my behavior for what it was: needlessly imposing external measures of self-worth upon myself and ignoring all the arenas where I already excelled. Even tapping away at this blog post, I'm recognizing my style for what it is: simple and raw. A year ago, I would've chastised these traits as despicable because other stories were eloquent and verbose, sporting pitch-perfect vocabulary. Even with all the improvements I've made, there are still myriad words I don't know, including those I feel I should know. Like I'm a dolt for not knowing them. Hell, even I didn't know what a rotunda was until it was dropped in "Games Ponies Play." Does everyone else know that word? Is it common knowledge? How far behind the curve am I?

    I've been enduring a long-winding road of self-improvement. Sunny has been a Celestia-send (appropriate, given that Celestia is his best pony and he'll stick you with verbal daggers if you try and say otherwise), and I shudder to think where I would be without his constant presence and counsel. Time after time, he's set me straight in my silly, western-enforced worldviews of self-worth while constantly reminding me of my own uniqueness, even if I was too lost and sullen to believe him at the time.

    (Honestly, my chance encounter with Sunchaser has convinced me that the universe is kind and will nudge us towards where we need to go. If I hadn't posted that mopey blog post, I never would have met him. Or would I have? There layins the chaotic beauty of the world. Things can only turn out the way they are).

    Now, two years later, I'm beginning to see how silly I was. Even though there's miles left on the track, littered with myriad words and topics I don't know that I see sprinkled in every story, that's no reason to write off writing. Just because my stories may not be perfect doesn't mean they're worthless. Finally, finally, this mindset is dawning on me, like a mother nuzzling her foal awake after a long and twisted nightmare. I still compare myself to others now and again, yes, but I recognize it for what it is: the ego's attempt to sabotage the self from knowing its true glory. I still have difficulties brainstorming and developing story ideas, but now I know how to stop imposing a notion of what the story should be like, and instead look for the potential lingering right in front of me. I won't write for the wrong reasons anymore. I won't write to prove to the world that I'm good enough. I'll write for simple reasons: because it's fun, and because it's a noble craft that breathes the summary essence of humanity into the world, touching us in ways that linger far beyond the closing words. Because there are wonderful characters with stories to tell and I'm cheating them by saying they're not good enough to be known.

    This blog post is not a promise, but a reassurance. I'm still alive, I've learned, I'm better, and I hope to go places.

    The road winds on amongst rickety bridges and towering summits, but looking back, I can already see how far along I've come.

    Thanks to everyone who's stuck around through my absence and been patient through my stagnance. I hope to be with you all shortly.

    (As a final signoff, I'd like to share a speech by David Foster Wallace that has helped dispel years of western social conditioning. It's the wisest, truest advice I've ever heard, and I believe the knowledge contained therein is essential towards living a well-adjusted, perceptive life. I've listened to it over a hundred times and I still find myself nodding sagely along every time).


    Take care, everyone!

    -Nicholas


    5 comments · 95 views
  • 113w, 2d
    Let Me Tell You What's Been Going On

    19 comments · 276 views
  • 116w, 4d
    Dear Celestia, Help Me. I Have Sold Out.

    3 comments · 160 views
  • ...
 94
 5,067

Immortality doesn't just mean losing every pony close to you. It also means watching the world crumble to dust.

Featured on Equestria Daily June 16th, 2012.

First Published
1st Jun 2012
Last Modified
1st Jun 2012
#1 · 124w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

I... I... :fluttercry:

#2 · 124w, 5d ago · · ·

Wow, that... that was really good. I really like the fact that you went into a characters head, became that character rather than just be an omniscient floating orb in the world. It was something new altogether as well, and that's the part that pulled me in the most. The fact that it just barrages you time after time with grief and pain at the pointless existence of the sisters is just wonderful. I love this story, and I would really enjoy something that could explain how all this came to be (A prologue if you will). All in all definitely a good read and has earned a spot on my favorites list. Well done.

#4 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

....Explain to me, in this very instant, why this has yet to be read by the countless millions of people in existance?

You took the thought of immortality, and showed us what would happen if we were TRULY immortal. If we couldn't die, this is what it would come to: Watching the world crumble away...

I say, bravo.

#5 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

Amazing. One question though - how could Luna get taken over by Nightmare Moon earlier, meanwhile Celestia can't drive herself insane/into oblivion?

#6 · 124w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

And in his prison made from time Azrael thought "I remember when all of this will start again."

#7 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

>>679001

:applejackconfused: You mean Nightmare Moon?

#8 · 124w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>679031

:derpytongue2:

Sleep deprivation tastes like wubs.

#10 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

Yikes... scary yet beautiful at the same time.

#11 · 124w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

So very poignant. It's a fairly simple premise, but you really made the bleakness and the inherent existential terror of eternal life palpable.

(It reminds me a little of the short story The Last Answer by Isaac Asimov - which features an immortal, omniscient, god-like figure whose sole purpose in existence it has become to find the solution to the only question he cannot answer - discovering a way to finally die.)

#12 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

:ajsleepy: The part with Twilight nearly broke me...

#13 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

Ouch, that stabbed through my heart.

#14 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

Generally good, but my questions are 1) What happened to all the ponies, given that the sisters could surely have protected them from an external threat, and 2) With that kind of power, one would think they could eventually either design some interstellar-level teleportation spell or else magically alter the planet to provide for the abiogenesis/evolution of new life.

#15 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

I have seen this topic before, but not this well written. Well done.

#16 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

It was well written, and an idea that isn't often done. You pulled it off nicely.

#17 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

An excellent story. Let's just hope that this isn't how things really end for the two. :fluttershysad:

#18 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

>>679234

Because avoiding deus ex machina when two real flesh and bone goddesses are available is very hard.

#19 · 124w, 4d ago · · ·

>>679234>>680213

Pretty much this.  If the sisters could just wave their horn around and make everything okay, then that's not a very interesting story, is it?  Also, I wanted to imply that even Celestia and Luna are powerless over the passing of time, which is what caused their kingdom to crumble to nothing.

#20 · 124w, 3d ago · · ·

Interesting that Celestia still has some hope...

#21 · 124w, 2d ago · · ·

Wow this is a really sad story. I couldn't imagine living that many years losing all memories of everyone. You really got the emotions nailed down. This was a wonderful one-shot. Really enjoyed this.:heart:

#22 · 123w, 4d ago · · ·

A lifeless eternity is the one thing I fear above all others and you've captured that quite well. A fine read this was.

#23 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

No words. Only tears and favs.

#24 · 122w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

I'll just pretend that The Doctor saves them so I don't spend the rest of the night miserable.

#25 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

I...am afraid I'm going to have to go against general consensus here.

Immortality and its burdens are a favorite of mine (witness Tozomuc from Apotheosis, or the Island God from OTEOTM), and while this isn't neccessarily a bad treatment of them, it's an extraordinarily flat one.  There's no real punch or moment of catharsis here, just a nihilistic misery.  Which is miserable, but lacks, to me, something to connect it emotionally.  Admittedly I'm sure part of this is due to my own thoughts on the subject, but this just seems a straight play of Who Wants To Live Forever, where immortality is the burden unto itself, with no meaning beyond the fact.  I just feel the story would be more engaging if it went somewhere or drew some conclusion, instead of just petering out.

#26 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

I gotta say, this is really well-written and powerful. It really captures the endless monotony immortality truly would be. As a result, it really is depressing.

Semi-related side-note: this really reminds me of that episode of Futurama, The Late Phillip J. Fry, where they had the time machine. In a good way, of course.

#27 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Holy fucking shit!!!!! I haven't cried like this since Titanic!!!! Fuck!!!! That was sad!!!!:fluttercry::applecry::raritycry::raritydespair::fluttershbad:

#28 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

That was truly sad.  Reading that makes me feel hollow in a way.  Very few stories can do that type of feeling.  Bravo.  

#29 · 122w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

...Uhm... I think there's something wrong with me. D: I'm not feeling feels. Curse my steel-plated chain chomp heart. Here's a picture of it:

#30 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760327

Damn, I'm sorry to hear that. I can understand your point, though.

A well accomplished author didn't like my story, time to give up writing forever :(

:P

Now, perhaps this is just an excuse, but this is what I felt would actually happen. Celestia has lived so long, her memories all faded and fuzzy, that she simply has lost the capacity to draw an emotional connection to anything, even her own sister. That's what I feel is the worst part. That's why the tone was flat.

Now, you have much more experience than me, so please feel free to call me out on this, but here is what I was going for: I was trying to play off the reader's emotional attachment to the show and setting. In the present, Equestria is a vibrant and lively place to live. Now, Celestia thinks about its destruction so matter-of-factly, I was hoping that would provide the punch for the reader. Not to mention Twilight Sparkle, her prized student, and probably the pony Celestia is closest to in the present (either her or Luna), and she has simply been reduced to a simple thought that Celestia has no emotional attachment to. By talking about things that the reader cares about so much, and reducing the value of these things (gah, awful word) to absolutely nothing, and acting like it's not a big deal, I was hoping this would make an impact.

I'm still a new author. I would love it if you'd be willing to carry on this conversation so I can learn and apply these lessons in the future. Thanks for taking the time to read my story.

-Nicholas

#31 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

:applecry::fluttercry::pinkiesad2::raritydespair:

#32 · 122w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>760327

I actually thought the story just "petering out" was very appropriate.  There is literally nothing left.  Celestia wishes with all her heart to die, to put an end to this emptiness.  But all she can manage is a slow fading away, like a mountain being ground into dust over millions of years...

#33 · 122w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>760354

Nah, it's not just you bro. I don't know what your reasons are, but for me, nihilism just isn't that interesting. What's the point in talking about pointlessness?

When it comes to the idea of peering into eternity, I prefer the idea of experiencing more and more meaning in existence, not less and less. Entropy is a dull and uninviting tale; I like storytelling for its ability to make me feel strong emotions like joy and sadness, not apathy and depression. That's one of the reasons I like the show—for its love of life, you might say. No offense to the author of course, it's always nice when a story is well-written and conveyed effectively, but like I said, nihilism just doesn't stir me at all.

#34 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760354>>760481

I certainly respect that attitude. It certainly is a depressing topic to think about.

This piece honestly came out of nowhere. I woke up one morning, and I felt kinda weird after having this odd dream about my friends and I visiting this generic amusement park in Florida. For some reason, I felt sad, as if I had just relived a memory that I could never retrieve (an idea which you can see in this fic). I felt empty, and I channeled that feeling into this story.

I will admit, this story is a rambling thought experiment. I basically turned myself into Celestia and pondered the topic of true immortality, and did my best to make the reader feel empty. It certainly isn't for everyone. Regardless of what you thought or felt, thanks for reading :)

#35 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760481

Gonna go ahead and agree with this one. The story is very well written, but I must have a heart of ice because nothing makes me cry anymore.

#36 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Not with a bang, or even a whimper.

According to legend, somewhere in Tibet there is a mountain of pure diamond, about one mile high. Every thousand years, a bird comes to sharpen its beak on the mountain. When the mountain is completely worn down by this, one second of eternity will have passed.

If this is the sort of time frame Celestia and Luna are up against, it's hard to blame them for wanting out.  There have been times when I've lost my own emotional mooring, and confronted with that state of uncomfortable numbness, I wanted out.

Still, there is some tiny sliver of hope, easy to overlook: if the memories are failing, other functions can fail, and presumably eventually will.  Stars wink out; planets crumble to dust - or are destroyed with their stars.  Nothing is truly "forever," except maybe a Pinkie Promise.  Or a temporary tax.

#37 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Holy shit, I always said to myself that, given the choice, I would never become immortal.  That reason was because I would outlive EVERYBODY, again and again in an endless cycle.  What I never gave thought to was something like this.  Only knowing that everyone I cared about existed at one point but having no memories of them, not even their name, not being able to feel any kind of emotion, that idea scares me more than merely outliving everybody

>>760569 Yeah same here, ever since My Little Dashie I haven't cried once

#38 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Bravo Sir, Bravo

Carry On

#39 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760327

I think you're looking at this from the wrong perspective. Like a timeline crunched down to fit on a piece of paper, and looking somewhere towards the end and wondering why there isn't something there to tell it apart from the rest of the ink.

I think we're meant to look at it from the perspective it's given in, with our own understanding of just what's transpired and continuing to happen. She blinks, and centuries pass like the beat of a heart. This is perhaps several dozen million years after the events of the series. The races have gone extinct for whatever reason, the balance of nature and the magic in could not last forever, and the loss of the attendant species apparently didn't help that.

She's already gone through any moments you might consider a punch. Possibly millions of times. The concept here is that this is -so far- beyond all of that that she's even beginning to have trouble discerning herself from the stone she sleeps on. Any kick left would be the realization that this is only a short breath of the time they still have left to spend just like this... cognizant thought itself breaking down as they wait for the end of all things, some part of them that can understand feelings even if they don't remember what words are, HOPING that when it all comes to a close, they finally will get to as well.

Just because it's got a trope page doesn't make it any less solid a concept. True immortality is its own burden, in ways no mortal can ever truly grasp. There's not a human alive, no matter how old or how intelligent who can really understand what these characters are going through.

#40 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

All that went through my head whilst reading this was sympathetic emptiness exclaimated by the occasional slice of sorrow.

Egads, immortality sucks in the long run, although I can't help but wonder why they didn't invent AI, if only to have some semblance of what was there before, seeing as they exhausted all conversation.

...What does one do when they tire of everything?

#41 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760771

Hm, this is a good question. Perhaps they are simply too numb to care anymore? Or their magic can't create physical objects? (Canon may contradict me on this). After all, the world is just dirt and rock now.

#42 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

A personal question question: are you against indefinite health extension or is your view more along the lines of "I'm okay with living millions of years but not billions."

#43 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760877

That is another question in itself.  I suppose I would be okay with living for a few hundred years if everyone else could.  I like to think I would live until I became ready to go peacefully.

#44 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

I'm actually scared now. It takes a lot to get me scared, but this is the worst I've felt in a long time.

Is this what ceasing to exist feels like?

I'm crying for the first time in 6 months.

It feels almost good.

#45 · 122w, 3d ago · · 1 ·

The true horror of immortality. I think if I had the chance I would turn it down. In fact, the idea of it scares me.

Spectacular story. I have to ask though... What happens when the planet does grind to dust, and the stars themselves die? Do the Alicorns to which they were tied die with them, or do the two of them exist forever in an endless void.

#46 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760984

The alicorns' immortality being tied to their elements is one interpretation of it, but in this fic, I was going for complete and total immortality, regardless of the sun and moon.

Will they be floating in an infinite void?

I... don't really want to think about it.

#47 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Reminds me of "Growing Up"... just more haunting... :raritycry:

#48 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

>>760531

Thank you for writing this and sharing it with me and the rest of the world. While I was not affected strongly by the emotion of the story, I found it satisfying to read another author's emote-piece. I've now written at least two stories built entirely around a single emotion or series of emotions, and I'm currently writing a fictionalization of a dream I had recently. I know what it's like to get that feeling out and onto the computer or paper. So fulfilling, in its way.

Reading your story brought that to the surface. Even though I'm not quite the right recipient to full appreciate your message, and many won't be, that's just the nature of literature. Those people who are able to feel it, will feel it hard. You did well in your capture of a character's emotions. (Would Celly really be able to feel exactly that way? Probably not in her canon characterization. Does that matter for this story? Not in the slightest.)

Good job. Keep writing. If you get any more stories from dreams or strong emotions, I'll want to read them.

#49 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Eternity is only hell if you spend it alone.

#50 · 122w, 3d ago · · ·

Absolutely incredible. Depressing, sad, heart-wrenching, but incredible ...

One minor nitpick though, you imply Luna and Celesta became gods by using the Elements of Harmony; yet Twilight and the rest of the mame six died of natural causes ...

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