Very Much Appreciated · 12:23am
Dear Loyal Watchers, Interested Visitors, and Confused Passersby:
Do you know Jake the Army Guy?
I imagine that most of us are familiar with "The Sergeant" by now. He's been a wonderful contributor, commentator, and a general bonhomme since he first put aside yelling at new recruits long enough to sign up on the site. He has been a longtime supporter and reader of mine, and knows me well enough that, at times, he has even left pre-emptive "If this is T.D., then I know you're here to thank me for the favorite I gave your story X" messages on his comment field, knowing of my bizarre need to thank my readers for their investment in my works.
The Sergeant was among the many wonderful authors, readers, artists, and Bronies in general who I met last year at BronyCon in Baltimore. To actually be able to put faces and voices to the endless streams of text and avatars that I'd been interacting with over the previous three years was an amazing experience, and being able to share experiences and ideas while sitting in the Quills & Sofas writer's lounge will always be a cherished memory for me.
I missed that, this year, as I wasn't able to go. I missed that interaction. I missed watching the Orioles' play. In short, I missed out on a lot by missing BronyCon this year, and I really, really wish that I could redo all of this dying summer with a few more means, and less issues, at my disposal.
One of the things that I enjoy most about going to BronyCon was commissioning sketches from the artists. We all know how well they've turned out in the past, and it seems like a sizable portion of all the Twilight/Spike cuddling/nuzzling/hugging sketches in the fandom have their genesis from me blowing out my knees as I kneel at an artist's booth, blocking traffic as I watch my happy vision come to life at the end of an artist's pencil.
I was lamenting to The Sergeant earlier this year how I was going to miss these things, and I jokingly suggested that he may want to get a Twilight/Spike sketch in my memory. Well, he decided to go a little bit further than that. After working with the artist AquaticSun, this bit of wonderful arrived in the world:
The narrative of the work is clearly evident at first glance. Young Twilight has taken it upon herself to study a raven... a creature chosen not by coincidence. Little Spike is right there, sharing her interest. Night Light and Velvet are there, looking with pride as their daughter and her little ward begin their scientific endeavors.
A lot has happened to me since I joined this fandom, and I've never enjoyed as much success as a writer as I have enjoyed in the Pony fandom. I'm glad that my writing continues to inspire others, and that people feel moved to do things like this for me personally. It feels good... it feels damn good! Thank you, Jake. It is very, very much appreciated.