Your tears... so delicious... so sweet...
So the movie got announced, and it was better than expected, but some overzealous neckbeards decided they didn't like it and sent death threats to DHX Media.
Holy freaking crap. Death threats? Seriously?! The only thing they're going to kill is the fandom we all know and love. Not only is the community's image going to suffer for this, but our negative stereotypes will be reinforced. For fuck's sake, guys, we're trying to get out of a hole as it is! STOP DIGGING DEEPER!
My thoughts on the trailer- It looks good, to be sure, but I'm not going to go see it in theaters. I'll wait until it's out on Netflix or Youtube to watch it. Also, like most others are saying, I'm pretty sure that guy Twilight bumps into is Shining Armor (thank god). I would've been majorly put off if they tried to throw in some flat, half-assed love interest story on top of everything else, but it's not anything I'm about to write fucking death threats about.
In other news, I've got some more interviews this week! Two tomorrow, and another one on Friday. Will they bear fruit? No idea, but if they do, I'll be sure to let you guys know on here! Tentatively, my plan is to get things settled for the first few weeks, then once things are settled down I'll start writing again. But I also have to refresh myself on my notes, as well as finish plans for the rest of Act Two. Once that's done, I'll be able to resume as normal. The next chapter is a Fluttershy chapter, btw.
Speaking of Acts, I'll mention some things in regards to how the rest of the story is going to go. As I've said a few times, TPOH has always been structured in the traditional set up of a three act play. The first Act is where you meet all the characters and set the scene, the second Act is where you get the characters in the worst possible trouble they could get into, and in the third Act you get them out of it.
Act One: Make Everything
Act Two: Break Everything
Act Three Fix Everything
I'm currently anticipating the overall length of TPOH to clock in at around 500k-600k words. Act Two is about a third of the way don, and I plan to a three chapter arc for each member of the Mane Six after the Scattering (i.e. Luna's Eloquent Rebuttal.) So far I've done the first portion of that Arc for every member, save for Fluttershy. Rarity, is an exception to this for reasons I can't reveal yet, though you can probably guess.
These chapter arcs will then culminate in the reuniting at Dragon Turtle Lake, and the events there will also signal the end of Act Two. Act Three will be roughly around the same length as Act One, though possibly shorter. It's hard to tell just yet with all these irons in the fire.
That's the current plan at the moment. Chapters of WotSaM will also be released periodically, though that story will likely finish before TPOH as it's going to be considerably shorter. As for after TPOH, who knows? I'd originally planned to have this little adventure wrapped up before I went to Bronycon (yes, I'm still going) but that's not going to happen now with this hiatus. I might be able to finish it by year's end if I get a job, say, within the month, but I can't make any promises without being able to predict the future.
DAMMIT RARITY, Y U GET POSSESSED BY CETUS?!
Oh, right... because I wrote the story that way.
A Criminally Underappreciated Story · 7:34am
I often tread off the beaten path when searching for new stories to read. I think by now I can safely say I have a decent amount of knowledge of this fandom, as well as intermediate knowledge and skill of writing in general. Most of you probably have at least one or two stories on your favorites list that haven't received much exposure, and I myself am no different. The reasons for why these stories fly under the radar are varied, ranging from lack of exposure to a tired idea, (but done well,) or just bad luck. I'd like to give them all the attention they deserve, but since I can't, I can at least recommend one or two.
Thus, I'd like to draw your attention to Exhibit A.
The Alchemist's Heart is an ongoing Human in Equestria story written by Seven Fates. It's actually a sequel to an earlier story of his, but the events of that story are covered succinctly in the beginning of TAH.
Translation: You don't need to read the first story to know what's going on.
I think what's turned so many people off of this story are the tags. I was leery as well, but the story is now 45k words in, and the darkest thing that's happened is the main character coming to terms with everything she did in the first story, and how she's trying to atone. It's difficult to interpret the actions of an individual under the influence of mind control, but in this case, it's easy to see that the majority of what happened really wasn't the main character's fault.
And that's what makes TAH so interesting. Silver may have been absolved from her crimes, but the whole ordeal has psychologically scarred her, and the story focuses on her recovery. It very much has the feel of a redemption story to it, and I'll admit that I've always been a sucker for that. It's well-written, there are few grammar mistakes, the narrative is fluid, the characters are fleshed out, and the plot is engaging. I'm excited to see where the story goes, I'm also happy to see the author improve on his writing as he goes on.
All in all, it's a good fic. The author has said there's going to be a sex scene later along with two gory scenes, but in my humble opinion, you don't need to give a story a Mature tag if that isn't the WHOLE theme of the story. TPOH has a few gory scenes, (Cetus uses Avascular Mass on Celestia! It's Super Effective!) but I don't think that's enough to merit a Mature rating or a Dark tag. The author put clear warnings on the chapter that had the sex scene, and I'll wager he's going to do something like that again. As long as you give fair warning, it's not an issue in my eyes.
So, yeah. The Alchemist's Heart. It's good. I recommend it. Go give it some love. Tell 'em CS sent you.
Angel Sent From On High · 3:45pm
Well, would you look at that, Wildy's done it again. Turned out rather awesome, if I do say so myself! This guy never ceases to amaze me. I was kinda surprised so many people wanted to see a pic of this scene over all the others, but hey, I'm not going to argue with the masses. You guys asked, I delivered.
I managed to line up another interview later this week. This one's with an actual company, so it might bear fruit! Wish me luck, and enjoy the pretty picture.
Act One, 2013 Edition · 10:09am
IT IS DONE.
A few months ago I started a project with my pre-readers to go back and proofread Chapters 1-16 to clean up a few things. I originally thought it wouldn't take that long, but further examination revealed that many poor grammar choices required a more in-depth revision that would take more time that I originally anticipated. It's not perfect by any means, but it'll do for now. This is probably the last time I'm going to revisit the old chapters, so what you see from this point is what you get, (unless there's a glaring mistake someone points out to me.)
Here is a list of the most important changes. The ones listed here are the ones that clarify a plot point, or add something in to better line up with later events. You don't need to re-read Act One by any means, I just did this because I'm aware that the majority of new readers aren't going to get to the newest chapters, where my writing has vastly improved from what it once was.
That being said, here ya go.
Act One Patch Notes
-Fixed several typos.
-Fixed many cases of passive voice.
-Fixed several incorrect em dashes.
-Fixed many cases of 'as' and '-ing' disease.
-Reworded several poor grammar choices.
-Removed a LOT of semicolons.
-Removed many instances of the word 'gave' in action and dialogue tags.
-Fixed many incorrect uses of 'it's' and 'its.'
-Zecora now refers to Pinkie as 'Maalufunzi.'
-Ares' name has been changed to Aries.
-Fixed several interjections.
-Changed the spelling of 'Gryphon' to 'Griffin.'
-Changed the description of Blair's cutie mark to 'An omega symbol with a line underneath.' It sounds better than 'a strange symbol reminiscent to a set of weighing scales.
Added the names of the pre-readers to the title.
Gave the Echoes profile descriptions.
Added a passing reference to Crystal Song in Rarity's initial meeting with Elo and Grovi.
Added a better description of Zecora's hut.
Added a minor Element manifestation during Applejack's flashback, and added more to her outburst at Norric.
-Altered Rarity's dream slightly to better reflect later events.
-Tweaked the Rarity and Sweetie scene for additional cuteness.
-Added a few lines of dialogue between Elo and Grovi before they speak to Rarity about her insomnia.
-Clarified Grovi's duties as an Enchanter in the conversation between Elo and Rarity.
-Referred to Pegasus magic as 'Tempulari.'
Added a minor Element manifestation when Blair talks to Twilight on the balcony.
-Changed Twilight's reaction to Rainbow's teasing to make her seem less... violent.
-Blair mentions that Celestia is revered throughout the world, and is known by several names in other cultures during the picnic.
-Blair's reaction to Twilight's question about whether he's had to kill has been fleshed out to better reflect his past.
A music link has been added to the graveyard scene.
The ending paragraph has been reworded for clarification.
-Several lines of dialogue have been added to Piro and Ace's discussion on the balcony.
-Changed a part of Rarity's dream at the end of the chapter to better reflect later events.
-The turtle that tells Fluttershy the Master is coming to see her now gives a subtle reference to a certain well-known movie.
-The Master of the Lake gives a brief rundown of the state of the other countries of the world during his initial discussion with Fluttershy.
-Many of Rainbow's lines and internal monologue have been tweaked to make her less of a douche.
-Removed the commas in Tastar's dragon rant. It's funnier that way.
-Esra mentions the Zhojia Mitfa, or 'Desert of Glass.' It was created fifteen hundred years ago, which coincidentally, was also when the Dromardians declared war on Equestria.
-Esra mentions that the capitol of Drakkenridge is Shearwind.
-Vigil mentions the Peccatum Pactum in his confrontation with Ras about the fate of Nightmare Moon's soldiers.
-Pinkie mentions her family is skilled enough in Geomancy to perform Petriculture, but she's never been strong enough to do it. This is the reason why she left home.
-Mentioned that Paladin was the son of Charlemane. It's not important to the story, just a fun little nod to history.
-Discovered that there's a rather large plot-hole in the story here, but since no one's said anything about it, I'm going to leave it be.
-Luna uses Ye Olde Caps Locke when she's screaming above Canterlot. I now get goosebumps when Nightmare Moon screams, 'The night will last forever.'
-Added a description of Tendoncutter's armor.
-Added a greater description of the after-effects of Libra's addiction the first time he uses it, and an explanation to why Scorpio is so pissed off about it.
-Fluttershy clarifies the location of the Changeling Wastes in correlation to the Great Southern Rainforest, and mentions the Peccatum Pactum.
-Rarity mentions that the manepin she gives Twilight is made of Hopestone.
-Elo mentions that Horizon appeared in their dreams the first few years after the accident in his discussion with Blair, Ras, and Grovi.
-Ace's conversation with Megnii has been slightly reworded to better explain his reasons for not taking an apprentice.
Chapter 17: (BONUS CHAPTER LOL)
Added more description and prose to the section where Celestia preens Luna to emphasize the importance of the act.
Been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that. I can tell some of you are starting to get antsy with my hiatus, and while I wish I could give you the literary fix that you truly crave, I'm afraid you're going to have to wait a little longer. I figured I'd make a few other announcements of things that've occurred in the last six weeks, as well as give all of you a little status update as to what I've been up to. Some of it's good, some of it's bad, but that's just the way life goes sometimes, and the only thing you can do is deal with it, which is exactly what I've done.
Most recently, an individual by the name of Illya Leonov contacted me with the interest of turning Can't Choose Your Family into an audiobook. Illya has done this with other well-known stories here on fimfiction, such as Past Sins and Eternal, so I was super excited to give them the go ahead. It's just been finished, so if you're a fan of audiobooks, you can find it here!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Golden Vision to speak at the Weekly Writer's Workshop. The W3 is a Youtube series in which they discuss the do's and don'ts of writing, and give aspiring authors advice so that they avoid the common pitfalls that so many first-timers fall into. They bring in a well-known writer from the community at the end of each segment to interview them about their works, and they've talked with Pen Stroke, Aegis Shield, InsertAuthorHere, JasontheHuman, WandererD, and others. I was super-excited to do it, but unfortunately, they cancelled on me at the last minute, saying that the series is going on hiatus for several months. I was bummed, but they said that when they continue it, they'll contact me and see if I'm still up for it. Obviously I've no idea when this'll happen, but when it does, I'll be sure to let you guys know!
I tallied up the votes for the new commission piece, and the winner, (by a significant margin) is Fluttershy revealing her wings to Megnii and Spesci. I'm surprised that so many people want that over a more action-y scene, but the votes are the votes, heh. I've already gotten in touch with Wildy, so when it's finished I'll post it here, as well as in the TPOH Forums.
I've been sitting on this announcement for a while now, as I haven't known when exactly was the right time, but I figure now's as good a time as any. I'm going to be writing a prequel for TPOH. It's going to be called 'The War of the Sun and Moon,' (TWotSaM) and it will cover the events of the war between Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon. The story has already been planned out, so I can give you the following pieces of information:
-TWotSaM will have thirteen chapters, each told in the 1st person.
-The purpose of this story is to fill in some of the gaps left from TPOH, and give the original Order of the Zodiac some time in the spotlight.
-The story focuses on the OotZ and their battles against the Astral Guard, culminating in the Battle of the Hollow Shades, wherein Celestia uses the Elements of Harmony to banish Nightmare Moon.
-Each chapter, the narrative will switch to the perspective of a different Zodiac Knight. The last chapter is an Epilogue told from Celestia's perspective.
-The individual members of the Astral Guard will be named and discussed in detail.
-The tags of the story will be Dark, Alternate Universe, and Adventure.
-I'm going to be writing WotSaM at the same time as TPOH. This means that the release of TPOH chapters will slow down slightly, (when the hiatus is done.)
Finally, a status update. A lot of things have happened lately, most of them medical, and I'm not a fan of typing out entire paragraphs explaining how much my body sucks, I'll try to give you the abridged version, but even that's probably going to be long, so feel free to skim it.
I had, well... I don't know what to call it, exactly. It wasn't a relapse because the pain's been there for almost two years now, so maybe a flare-up? Heh, in all truth, it was more like a goof-up. My left forearm started to hurt more than it usually did, like a LOT more, so I went down to the Mayo to have them take a look at it. They did an EMG, an MRI and an Ultrasound, but they saw no damage, trapped fluid, cysts, or inflammation to my ulnar nerve. They did, however, discover that my ulnar nerve is enlarged, which makes sense as I have Type 1A CMT. They can't do anything about that, though, so they told me that I was going to have to live with the pain.
I didn't like that answer, so I took it upon myself to figure out if there was anything I could do on my own. Turns out there was, but it took some trial and error to discover. I took all the meds they prescribed me, but none of them worked. I COMPLETELY stopped typing for five weeks with my left hand, but that didn't help. I started sleeping in a chair with my hands propped up on pillows, and while that made the pain tolerable, it didn't get better, either. I started doing forearm stretches, altered my diet and started taking supplements, and those helped a little, but didn't make the pain fully go away. Analgesic creams with menthol in them temporarily ease the pain, and ice makes the pain go away completely for a little while.
The two biggest things, though, was wearing an elbow brace on my arm, and sleeping on my left side. See, wearing the brace made the pain in my ELBOW go away, but when I tried to type with it, it made my HAND feel like it was on fire. Funny how nerves work, isn't it? I took off the elbow brace, and while my elbow always hurts, it's a pain I can deal with. As for sleeping on my side, I hadn't done it in months, and I'd been suspecting that was the root cause of the pain so I'd been sleeping in a chair like I said above, but it could've been coming from other things, too, and I wanted to rule those out. Finally I manned up and did it one night, and well... let's just say I won't ever be doing that again. I can sleep in a bed now, but I have to either be on my right side, or sleeping sitting up with my left arm propped up on pillows. It's not an ideal scenario by any means, but it works for now. I'm also doing acupuncture and physical therapy, and those are helping, as well.
Trying to figure out how to make the pain in my left arm bearable has taken up a considerable portion of my time these past weeks. I've been applying for jobs on about an average of three or four a day, but I haven't gotten any real leads yet. I've only had about half a dozen phone calls, and only one face to face interview. And the entire time, I've had to ask myself whether or not I can actually DO a programming job with my left arm the way it is, (I can, I just have to be careful.) That hasn't exactly been the greatest motivator, and while I've kept going despite that, some days have been worse than others.
Thanks to everyone who's wished me luck on my job search so far. I'm going to be putting more effort into it now that I know I can keep my pain at a tolerable level, and while I wish there was a way that i could make it go away entirely, the unfortunate truth is that I'm going to have deal with this for the rest of my life. It's a bitter pill to swallow at age 25, but then again, getting hip replacements at age 15 wasn't much sweeter, and I got through that well enough, so I think I'll be all right.
I hope you're all staying strong in the face of this horrible TPOH drought. Believe me when I say it's hitting me the hardest, and I look forward to when I can sit back down to writing in earnest. If you're looking for some other good stories in the meantime, I suggest you take a look at my Favorites list and see if there's anything there you haven't read yet.
Feedback for new art ideas! · 11:17pm
I'm thinking of getting two pieces of art commissioned for TPOH. The first is going to be a new cover pic, and the second is going to be a cool scene from the story. I've already got an idea for the new cover pic (it's SOOPER SEEKRIT though so I can't tell you) but I don't know what scene I'd like to have commissioned! I've several ideas, but I couldn't pick which one, so I decided to get some feedback from you guys! Of course I'd love to get ALL these pictures made, but unfortunately that'd cost a liiiiiitle more than what I've got at the moment, so I'm gonna have to settle for just one.
This is what I've come up with so far.
-Applejack hugging Applebloom in front of the graves of their parents and grandfather (Chapter 10)
-Grovi giving the repaired Necklace of Generosity to Rarity (Chapter 11)
-Fluttershy revealing her wings to Megnii and Spesci (Chapter 12)
-Rainbow and Esra sparring in her home (Chapter 13)
-Pinkie and Ras standing before the graves of the Order of the Zodiac in the Royal Crypts (Chapter 14)
-Ophiuchus threatening to kill Blair inside the barrier with Tartarus below (Chapter 15)
-Granny, wearing her dress, speaking to the crowd with her gaze fixed on Applejack (Chapter 16)
-Twilight witnessing the memory of Libra using his Lifeforce addiction to subdue Nightmare Moon's army (Chapter 18)
-Blair using his Lifeforce addiction to kill Zemblani (Chapter 19)
-Twilight yelling at Blair inside a water cyclone right after the Element of Magic awakens (Chapter 20)
-Celestia threatening Cetus with the Effulgent Epuration hook as she's wrapped up in chains (Chapter 21)
-Shining Armor hitting Cetus in the face with Color Spray (Chapter 22)
-Granny facing off against Eclipse (Chapter 23)
-Rainbow diving after Esra and pulling off a Sonic Rainboom just as the Element of Loyalty awakens (Chapter 24)
-Twilight and Trixie dueling (Chapter 25)
-Pinkie using her Healing power in the Zhevran hospital (Chapter 26)
-Rarity talking to Harmony in Limbo/Prance as the souls of the departed pass them by (Chapter 24/27)
-Applejack throwing fish carts at Changelings while Norric faces Veraxi. Granny is in the background slicing foes up with Aconitum. (Chapter 28)
So? What'cha think? Let me know which one you'd like to see the most!
Yeah... I suppose that works.
Ode to a better time · 2:54am
I had a pretty lucrative career in World of Warcraft. In WotLK I was a part of several top 50-US 25-man guilds, and in Cataclysm I was in three separate guilds, ranked 4th, 6th, and 10th-US, respectively. I was even paid to play before I had to quit because of my hands, which means I can literally call myself a professional video gamer. How many people do you know that can say that?
I could go on for hours about what it's like to raid competitively, and all the things I learned while doing it. Long story short, it's merciless, stressful beyond words, but at the same time, the sense of teamwork, dedication, effort, and desire to succeed make it all worth it. Seriously, the sense of satisfaction and achievement you get from downing a boss that you've worked for days on while in the midst of progression is indescribable. It's a high better than any drug, and the bragging rights, oh, don't even get me STARTED on those. I made dozens of friends all over the world, some of them I even got to meet irl. I learned things about myself that I never knew, and I got more than a few life lessons out of it. My social life suffered in a way, but in another it was more proactive than I ever could've dreamed, because in my endeavors I wound up working with and getting to know literally HUNDREDS of people.
A part of me will always miss it, but another part of me understands that for all my accomplishments and success, I haven't gained any profitable skills. An HR representative doesn't care that I've managed a team of 25 for over a year in a high-stress environment, because it was in a video game. They don't care that I've experience creating and maintaining a website, along with hiring, interviewing, and recruiting new members, because it was in a video game. They don't give a shit that I know what it's like to put in 80-hour work weeks performing in a competitive position in a high-stress environment, BECAUSE IT WAS IN A VIDEO GAME.
Take this from a guy who's played video games for 20 years, has studied the theory, history, development, and has undergone the complete process of creating them, and has actually talked to several dozen HR members from major software development companies. The skills may be translatable, but HR doesn't care, and they're not going to give you the chance to explain yourself. You can dodge the bullet all you like, but eventually they're going to ask for the context, and as soon as you drop the 'VG' words, everything goes to shit. You can fool yourself into thinking what you're doing is somehow beneficial, but in the end, it's not going to get you a job.
That being said, during the last few months of WotLK I took a break from raiding competitively and played with some friends until Cata. I helped them get through ICC, and together they managed to kill Heroic LK the day before Patch 4.0 dropped. It was a great feeling, and while it wasn't very impressive in the eyes of the raiding scene as a whole, it meant a lot to my friends, and I was honored to be a part of it.
Here's the kill vid.
And here it is again, from our Warlock's PoV.