Boop! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read this. TL;DR? I'm going on a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The very first blank document opened in the name of writing "The Stranger and Her Friend" was created April 7th, 2012. It has been ten whole months from that time, and ever since then, I've been working tirelessly on it. Currently, it boasts a whopping 273,000 words across 26 chapters of Adventure (or 31 chapters, take your pick). At the time of this writing, it has over 600 favorites, 50,000 views, 400 likes, and is featured on Equestria Daily whenever it updates. It is not by any means legendary, but it does get progressively better. I am extremely proud of it.
For the better part of a year, I have been writing this. And it's all the fault of a cartoon that was literally meant for little girls, and the strange, strange fandom it accidentally attracted.
You guys... my heart is full.
As it stands, I won't be able to see many of your comments. I'm going to bed tonight, and sometime tomorrow, I will begin my first day of missionary work, and by extension, my first day of living by missionary rules. I'm not worried, though – if you've made it this far, I'd like to think most of you would have something nice to say.
I need to get this all out before my eyes run out of tears or I collapse from exhaustion onto my keyboard. There are some people that need thanking.
First of all, thanks Arby Works for the awesome cover art. Without pretty, eye-catching pictures, who would ever read the story underneath?
Thanks to Blueshift for approving my story on Equestria Daily, and also for helping me come up with a cover summary that didn't absolutely suck.
Thanks to Elusive Shark, pre-reader, sword fighter, and expert on all things lore, both in the real world and in Equestria. Without you, I would never have known that plate armor is overpowered, longswords are actually two-handed weapons, and that you're actually supposed to go for the limbs when attacking. I shudder to think of the ensuing chaos. Thanks for jumping to call even though you are, quite possibly, the busiest college student I have ever seen (compared to myself, who had no life outside of writing and work).
Thanks to Neighkodemus, half zombie editor, half pony, all German. This man made bad prose good, and good prose great. You readers have him to thank for some of the more brilliant sections in the story. We once had a discussion, NKD, about which Element of Harmony was your favorite. Or was it which one you would be? I can't remember, and it doesn't matter. I told you mine was generosity, and you told me yours was loyalty. You said something about the ferocity of friendship, how that inspired you, how the bonds between brothers were the strongest bonds there were. I never said it aloud, but on the other side of the computer screen, I rolled my eyes, and thought to myself, "We'll see." Well, I saw. 200,000 words and literally hundreds of editing hours later, long after the charm of editing a new story had worn off, I saw. You embody loyalty as well as any man could ask for. Thank you for being there. You are a wise teacher and a great friend. I hope our friendship does not dim with the passage of time.
Thanks to Cheesedork, without whom, the story of The Stranger and Her Friend would be a completely jumbled mess. Here's some fun facts for you: Celestia's creation had some gaping holes that have since been patched up, the Element of Laughter was initially slated to be human (this was scrapped before the Hieyuma chapter came out), Cotton's name was originally Chuckles (which is awful), and actually, Cotton didn't exist at all. That's right folks. Best pony would not have existed were it not for Cheesedork. Thanks for introducing me to MLP, and thanks for being the first one to jump on board when I poked you and said, "Hey man, I wrote a fanfic you should read!" Understand, reader, that this occurrence had happened before. It just never turned out this successfully. So, CD, thanks for having faith.
As a matter of business, Cheesedork will be my proxy during my absence. The business of this account, as well as the story "The Stranger and Her Friend", are under his supervision. Talk to him if for some reason you have to.
Thanks to a bunch of other people I just know I have missed. If I have forgotten, know that it was not intentional. I appreciate absolutely everyone's effort.
Lastly, thanks to you, dear reader, for sticking through with me. I am sorry I was not able to finish my tale, but who knows? Maybe I'll have even more people vying for its continuation when I come back, and if that is the case, then I will happily do so.
Well... this is it. I have to go now. I loved this fandom, and I can't wait to see it again.
God be with you till we meet again, reader.