Something is happening in the hallowed streets of Canterlot. A madpony hunts for those he believes responsible for his disgrace, urged on by a mysterious force that gives him terrifying power. Captain Shining Armor of the Royal Guard is in a race against time to apprehend this felon before blood is spilled and lives are lost. And in order to do so, he must turn to an ally that may be more threatening than than the very pony he is pursuing. A story from the Lunaverse, it follows the consequences of Greengrass's Night.
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6w, 4dStory 7 is up4 comments · 309 views
Apologies for what is probably a weird hour, but the next story in the series is up. Go and take a gander...if you aren't already asleep. I should warn you that updates might be a bit more sporadic, starting out, as I have something of a confusing schedule right now. But hopefully I can still make the once-a-day goal. Enjoy!
9w, 2dUpdate (finally)17 comments · 439 views
Hey there! I'm glad everyone's still sticking around and waiting so patiently for my work. I'm aware that my hiatus ran a bit longer than usual and there are a few reasons for that. However, I am pleased to report that the next story in the Savage Skies series is nearly done. Once I finish this next chapter, all that should be left is to make the arrangements for posting (proofreading, formatting, etc...) which might eat up a couple days of time.
Now that I've done that, I'd like to inform you as to the reasons for why this took so long. Firstly, real life has been a bitch. There's no two ways about it. The store that I work in was (and is presently) suffering from a serious staff shortage. That means that everything takes longer and that you have to work harder to get stuff done. On top of that, I keep getting asked to come in for extra hours or on my days off because somebody called out and now we're even worse off. It's hard to find the energy to write when you feel wrung out like a wet towel. And don't get me started on how it's the middle of September and we're already putting out the Christmas crap on the floor. Dear God! The Christmas Creep just makes me feel more and more sympathetic towards Ebenezer Scrooge pre-three spirits. Humbug indeed...
The second, and more important, reason this took so long was that the story would not stop growing on me. What I'd originally intended as a brisk filler arc filled with heartwarming moments turned out to have some of the most important developments in the series to date. As a consequence, a lot of important things happen in this story, particularly in terms of character development and relationships, which make this the longest story in the series so far...even if it is pretty light on the action sequences. I'd thought I was close to finishing a month ago and kept thinking "this next chapter should be the last one," only to find that there was more stuff going on than I originally planned and I had to push it out for another chapter...and another...and another... This is why I never give definitive dates as to when something will be ready by, because I can almost never make them. Even now, I'm not certain how long this last chapter will be, but I'm determined to make it the last in the story...even if I have to draw it out for 10,000+ words. As for when I'll actually start posting...Um...Let me get back to you on that.
20w, 6dOne Awesome Mom Followup:4 comments · 465 views
So, One Awesome Mom finally dropped off the featured list after roughly...three days...I think...probably a little less. It certainly stayed there the longest of any story I've ever written and managed to net me my followers up through 700. Totally awesome! I was a bit surprised that the oneshot I finally kicked out the door because I was tired of sitting on it for months on end turned out to be one of my most successful stories yet, but maybe not all that much. After all, it's a feel-good bit about Scootaloo and her family that doesn't involve her being either and orphan or abused, the latter of which is a very overused plot device. I know this because I've used it too (self deprecation for the win).
I'm fully aware that the story doesn't feel complete, especially since there isn't much in the way of conflict. At the time that I was writing, I didn't really feel like taking things farther than that and was happy (and am still happy) with what I have. I don't believe in writing sequels or continuations of something just because other people think I should. If I'm done with something, I should be allowed to be done with it. If some people don't like that, it's sour grapes for them. I don't pressure other authors to continue or write sequels to stories that they feel they're done with and I don't bow to pressure when people do it to me. Authors who do buckle to that pressure generally produce sub-par work because their heart isn't in it. They start to get frustrated and vent it in the blog and it really starts to sour their relationship with their fans and this site as a whole and a few of them seem to drop off the face of the earth (or fimfiction...which is more or less the same thing) as a consequence. I don't want to do that. I hope you don't want me to do that. Maybe things would be different if I were writing professionally and I was getting paid for this stuff (I think we'll all agree that I'm not exactly professional-grade when it comes to my writing). But I'm not and this is a hobby project that I do mostly to amuse myself and, hopefully, amuse and entertain some other people while I'm at it.
However...I've recently been reconsidering my stance on this project being "done." Since I've started thinking about it a lot (what with it being on the front page every time I go on this site the past couple days), my creative juices for it have been flowing again I've gotten some pretty nice ideas. I'm not sure whether I'll change the story's status to incomplete and add additional chapters or simply make a sequel (most likely the former since I don't want to end up on the site rules regarding sequels and additional chapters), but it probably won't happen for a while. I have other projects that I'm working on (you know which ones) that I feel that I have an obligation (particularly to myself) to finish before I start pumping out chapters to another story. So I'll let this one stand complete as is right now, just in case I never actually get around to that continuation. I don't want to get your hopes up too much after all. It'll be a ways in the future.
One last thing before I sign off. I am very lazy. It's a fault that causes me enough problems in real life. That said, I'm not one for answering comments and I don't have time for it anyway. If someone is gracious to point out errors in my text, I generally fix them, but can't be troubled to respond "fixed" to every single comment that points them out. Generally, when I respond to a comment, it's because an error that someone pointed out has caused confusion in the understanding of the text (one of those happened for this very story), which I feel that I do have an obligation to respond to. So, if you point out textual errors in my story, don't think I'm ignoring you just because I haven't replied to your comment. I will fix errors in my own time.
Otherwise, thank you all for your support, your favorites, your watches, and your likes. I'm thrilled everyone liked this so much.
21w, 2dProgress Report:7 comments · 431 views
A lot of you have been asking how long until I start posting the next story of Savage Skies lately. Unfortunately, the answer is "I don't know." I'm working on the next arc, but it's been proceeding kind of slowly. I want to use it as a bridge towards the next couple of story arcs, which will pretty much be the climax of the series as a whole. I also want to use it as a time to explore some more everyday stuff for Dawn, spending time with his family, hanging out with friends. There are a couple of important events that are going to take place, but this arc is going to be lighter and more pleasant than the earlier ones, because what comes after is going to be some heavy stuff.
As a bit of an apology and to show you that I really am working on it, I hereby present to you a short sampling of an excerpt from the next story in the series.
Scootaloo yelped sharply as another snowball smacked against her flank. "Hey! I wasn't ready!"
"Then practice your readiness," replied Dawn, his voice seeming to echo from all over the place.
Scootaloo spun in place, shooting her glare in every direction, trying to get a fix on the ebony colt's position. Unfortunately for her, the forest was Dawn's playground. He moved amongst the trees like a shadow, always seeming to hover just outside the range of her peripheral vision. Even her wind-sense wasn't much help, as Dawn kept the air around him moving smoothly and evenly, hiding the eddies that his body would normally generate. Her only warning would be from the very edges of her wind-sense when the next projectile came streaking in.
"You're trying too hard to find me," said Dawn, "Instead, focus on what you're here to practice."
Scootaloo's brow furrowed as she recalled his instructions. She wasn't the move from her spot. When Dawn sent a snowball in her direction, she couldn't dodge it. Her only option was to defend. She cold scatter the snowball with a burst of air from her wings. But the real task was to catch the snowball and send it flying back. When they'd started this morning, it had been in an open clearing, with Dawn simply standing across it from her and launching snowballs at will.
Once Scootaloo had gotten used to catching them in her wind without breaking them, then throwing them back (something that was very tricky to do after having just caught it), Dawn had upped the difficulty, leading her into the trees of the Whitetail Woods. He'd hidden himself in their shadows and was now playing a game that was halfway between dodgeball and hide & seek with her. Now the snowballs could come from any direction, at any interval, without any warning whatsoever.
When she was taken by surprise, Scootaloo was rarely able to maintain her control well enough to actually catch the snowball. More often than not, she blew the incoming ball into powder. Twice, she overreacted and accidentally smashed the trunk of a tree, causing it to topple over.
"If you tense up, you restrain your own ability to act," Dawn coached from the shadows, "You know the motions and you know how it feels. Let your body do what you trained it to do."
The orange filly paused, thinking about what Dawn had said. She knew she could catch his shots. In their earlier practice, she'd even gotten to the point where she could do it without hardly thinking at all. It was just easier when she knew when and where those shots were coming from. Closing her eyes, Scootaloo took a deep breath and willed her body to relax, letting out all the tension and agitation she could feel in that breath. Her wings drooped slightly, but she kept them extended, allowing her awareness to fully expand out into the air around her. Almost immediately, her awareness registered the presence of the trees as the air flowed through and around them, curling about their trunks and branches.
There was a strangely steady movement to the air in her immediate vicinity and Scootaloo realized that it was because of Dawn. To keep the air from curling around his body, he had to smooth out the flow of air as it washed over him. The resulting current had set the air all around him into deliberate motion. Tracking the flow of air, Scootaloo found it, the point where it changed paths, as though it were flowing around something. However the motion was so smooth that she'd hardly even noticed it had been there at all. Her lips pulled back in a grin. I've found you.
True to her suspicions, she suddenly sensed a sharp change to the airflow around that spot. Some of the air flowing around the space seemed to suddenly converge onto a single point before bursting outward sharply, propelling another snowball in Scootaloo's direction. She barely even sensed it before Dawn had launched it.
Now the feeling was more familiar. She'd sensed Dawn preparing to throw the snowball, she'd known which direction it was coming from. Already, Scootaloo's wings were in motion, her body moving without her even really needing to think about it as one wing began to gather the air around her, increasing its density. She felt the movement of the snowball through the air, feeling its mass, shape, and how tightly it had been packed and was already adjusting the air-cushion that she was preparing accordingly. The projectile hit the wave of air and slowed down, coming to a stop mere inches from Scootaloo's wing. Not waiting for it to fall to the ground, Scootaloo was already in motion, moving the air that was compressed between the snowball and the surface of her wing. Driving the limb forward, Scootaloo launched the snowball outward without breaking it apart.
The snowball shot almost straight back the way it came. Scootaloo's grin became one of triumph as she felt Dawn suddenly leave his concealment, no longer bothering the keep the air flowing smoothly around him. Instead, the colt enacted a near perfect recreation of what Scootaloo had accomplished, catching the incoming snowball on a cushion of air and bringing it to a stop before his wing and then launching it back at her.
Scootaloo grinned triumphantly. Dawn was on the move, refusing to just stay in one place after he'd volleyed her shot back at her. He was also trying to smooth out the air currents around him again, but she had his number now. Rather than try to fully stop the snowball as it hurtled towards her, she instead swept it up in a current of air that she created to alter its course and send it rushing towards Dawn's new location, where the colt had stopped to make a new snowball for himself.
Her ears twitched at the sound of Dawn's surprised yelp as the snowball burst across his blank flank.
"Ha!" crowed Scootaloo as she quickly rushed towards Dawn's location, "I got you that time!"
"That you did," agreed Dawn with a smirk that made Scootaloo pause as a shiver of fear went down her spine.
"You seem to be getting the hang of it," Dawn continued with a sly look at her. He spread his wings and Scootaloo was horrified to see that, instead of only one or even two snowballs, six projectiles hovered in swirling patterns over his wings as his smirk became a grin. "What say we take it up a notch?"
Scootaloo's shrill screams echoed through the forest throughout the afternoon.
Forgive me if it's a bit rough. I'm still in the process of writing, so I haven't had the chance to go back through and do some more editing. I primarily picked this excerpt because it gives a good idea of the overall tone of this story. Namely, it's mostly about Dawn getting the chance to have some good-natured fun as he spends his first winter in Ponyville.
And so, there you have it. I really am working on this story. It's taking a bit longer than I'd like. But, as always, I'd much prefer to have it finished before I start posting because I think you all would much prefer to get the chapters in a timely manner, rather than getting one and having to wait who knows how long until I have the next one ready. I hope this helps at least a little.
6 comments · 678 views