• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
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Reports from beyond the Grave · 4:01pm Aug 12th, 2015

¿Qué tal, todos?
Hace ya bastante tiempo que estoy desaparecido de la faz del internet, ¡mucho más aun de lo que pensaba! Aparentemente, no había escrito un blog desde el 2013… ¡Cómo el tiempo vuela! Sin uno darse cuenta, el mundo sigue su inexorable marcha adelante, dejando a la deriva aquellos que nunca se detuvieron para oler las rosas y leer los fanfics…

...Had you going there for a second, didn't I?

Anyways, let's talk. (It's a long one, bring a sandwich.)

As I said in the introduction, I've apparently been away for a lot longer than I'd realized. My semi-phobia of large internet crowds should be well-documented by now, evidenced in my extremely sporadic blog posting here, and on deviantArt. Be that as it may, I just can't help coming back and checking in with you guys, because somehow, improbably, masochistically, some of you check in on me to this day! And I love you all for that. Keeping up with everything, keeping track of people, stories, and comments and replies is very mentally exhausting for me, for some reason, so I tend to just tune out and do that whole 'Yes, tomorrow! Tomorrow, I'll reply to all those unanswered comments on Ballad!' putting off thing.

Obviously, stupidly, I just repeat that mantra every day until I realize I've been away for over a year. Don't get me wrong, though, I absolutely love discussing fics, characters and their motivations, and the fandom as a whole, with other people. That's why I freely invite anyone on Skype or Hangouts or Steam to add me if they want to shoot the breeze (or tell me how I've ruined their lives by not updating in years; it's all good); I'm an 8-to-5 office drone, so being able to talk to friends and readers during my workday is a definite highlight for me.

To the people that have taken me up on that offer, I give my thanks! I've got a motley crew of assorted weirdos on my Skype contact list that help me pass the time by discussing all things tiny-horse and Smash Bros-related. You know who you are, you wonderful chucklefu friends. As I've mentioned before, right now in my life, taking time out for writing has been relegated to a much lower priority due to everything else I have going on at the same time. Mind you, this is not out of disdain for writing, but just a personal need to prioritize certain other things first, and then not having much time at all to give to serious writing. There are a lot of things I want to do, and there's only one of me to do them! Being cooped up inside for more than one day gives me cabin fever, so on the weekends, when I'm off from work, I tend to go on day-long road-trips and hikes.

Artistically, writing (and drawing, I'm sad to report), have taken a backseat to photography. Those of you closer to me might already know that I've always been a bit of a shutterbug; I'm the person that brings his camera everywhere and documents every outing (I'm staunchly anti-phone-camera-as-a-camera-replacement). This hobby love of photography gradually got more and more romantic, up to the point where I just went ahead and finally took the plunge into the world of DSLRs. With all the hiking and Urban Exploration I do, witnessing so many landscapes and abandoned factories, and with a number of friends that love modeling, it was inevitable. This is a sample gallery of the stuff that's occupying my time, or, just have a go at all the albums of photo-trips I've taken.

Given all that, you might think that writing is but a distant memory by now, but (un?)fortunately, I can't turn that off! My mind is seriously overactive, and it takes very little prompting to get me to quickly string together a random scene out of anything I happen to be discussing at the moment with someone else. My chumps and chumpettes from the GTP forums, HiddenBrony, and Telaros especially, should be able to attest to that.

By the way, if you're wondering about the cause of this sudden de-lurking of mine, the blame falls almost squarely on Monochromatic. Something that most of you might not know about me, given my early notoriety in the fandom back in the day, is that I'm unrepentant, incorrigible shipping trash.


Ok, yeah, even people that don't know me knew that. What you might not know is that, while I find Twixie hilarious and fun, my absolute fave ship within the Mane 6 is RariLight. Seriously, that stuff is like catnip to me. And while I'm not usually able to concentrate on writing as much as I'd like, I can definitely browse Fimfic from time to time and find a few minutes to read during slow hours at work.

Yes, in a roundabout way, I'm getting paid to read about pone.

So naturally, navigating the too-small pool of RariLight available, I started seeing one name pop up often: Newman Monochromatic. It didn't take long for me to confront her and accuse her of being the evil, dark god-empress of RariLight on a secret mission to convert everyone to her ways (and by 'accuse' I mean 'join her cause with zeal and aplomb'). Turns out she's pretty cool people (for an evil, dark god-empress), so everyone should go and read her stuff (because she updates, unlike I do!).

Going back a paragraph or two, I'll give you an example of how my mind works: the other day, Monochromatic and I were chatting, and she mentions Rarity going on a journey and donning a green tunic, because fairy boys are always in fashion~ ...And immediately, I go on this tirade:

I can picture her accidentally looking more and more badass as she travels... Like, she picks up that green tunic, and as she travels it becomes a little frayed at the edges... And then she picks up a nice blue scarf she thought looked very pretty with the tunic, and it's pretty long, so it billows heroically in the wind without her notice...

And then she picks up other assorted gear and light armor, and by the time she comes back to Ponyville, she looks like a Lv100 RPG character.

Everypony in town stares at her slack-jawed. There may be a few wingboners in attendance. Fluttershy included. "R-Rarity!"

"Fluttershy, DARling! It's been far, far too long! You have no idea how sweet it is to see a friendly face after such a dreadful month!" Rarity says, happily trotting up to her friend and giving her a hug.

"You, um, you look..."

"DREADFUL, oh Darling, I know! I'm afraid my makeup and beauty kit was simply not up to task for such a sojourn! My eyeshadow ran out after the first week, and I had to live off the land, as it were, by making my own from whatever wildflowers I could find. Harrowing!

"And the fields, Fluttershy! I'll have you know I plan to write a strongly-worded letter to Purple Prose about the outright fabrications in her stories! Nowhere in these novels do they mention how tall the grass and the brush is!

"Beautiful, romantic, ankle-high meadows of endless flowers? Hah! More like forests of green blades taller than Big Mac! Why," she continues, patting the sword hanging from her side, "I could not find a single gardening store past Goldenrod! I had to hire out a rather ill-tempered blacksmith with a, shall we say, tenuous grasp of the Equestrian language to fashion this crude grasscutter for me! I swear, that old mare was not all there, darling. I'm not even sure I caught her name; it was rather odd, Hatty Hanzo or somesuch thing."

And that kind of stuff happens all the time when I'm discussing fandom with people. I have a whole mess of snippets like that saved up in different places, and almost all of them end up being RariLight for some inexplicable reason. Maybe I'll post a drabble collection at some point. Telaros even word-counted one of them, last year, and basically halfway convinced me to make a one-shot out of it.

We'll see, Telaros, we'll see.

Anyways, let's talk Ballad for a sec! So, dat Twixie, huh? Ballad was started pretty much immediately after Season 1 ended, and is therefore set between S1 and S2. Now, as I've been somewhat slow in updating it, four seasons of character development have passed it by. Now, with the slowed progress of the fic, some years ago I'd started updating the first few chapters of Ballad to better match the better-written newer chapters. At the time, I had posted the revision to the first chapter, but haven't still released the other revisions.

One interesting turn of events is that--because I'm apparently sharing story details with M.A. Larson--in the revised chapter 2, Moondancer had a mention as a bit of an unwittingly scorned friend. Then Season 5 happened, and whoops. And that's just one story detail, Seasons 2-5 have thoroughly Jossed a lot of planned Ballad points and details (Like Trixie's name)... So, what would you guys prefer, should I ever have the chance to continue Ballad? Label it Alternate Universe, or try to mold in some of the future canon? Mind you, this is not a promise that Ballad is definitely back on track to be finished right now, but it's something I've been mulling for some time now. Let me know what you think!

Anyways, I've rambled long enough, I'll cut it short here, and I'll make damn sure to at the very least check this blog post for comments, and not disappear into the ether without replying to you guys. Baby steps, after all.


Monochromatic's Q&A to her thrall Rarilight audience!

So, why do you like the ship? What got you into it? Or, even, why don't you like it if that's the case?

Mazzyrazzy's Lost in Love might've been my gateway drug into it. Cool dude, great writer and, just like me, inexplicably disappears for long stretches of time! But yeah, I think that might've been the first, or at least, the first memorable Rarilight I read, and it's also what inspired me to experiment with first-person POV storytelling in A Lot Like You. And personally, there's just something about their personalities that I feel meshes well, together, and complements the other. Twilight works the big pictures, while Rarity tends to the small details. Where Twilight might lack tact or subtlety, Rarity masters them effortlessly. Where Rarity can get emotional and distracted, Twilight is logical and centered (except when they both get a little neurotic and a smidge crazy). The list goes on, and it's really worth its own separate blog post.

What do you like about it in the show? Something you'd like to see or be done? An aspect of their friendship you'd like to see explored? Frankly, I'm still baffled there WASN'T an episode with Rarity trying to teach Twilight how to be a princess.

I mean, the show started, and in the first episode of the first season, Rarity just fawned and snuggled all over Twilight soon as she met her. It's like the show came prepackaged with Shipping Goggles. I think Twilight and Rarity definitely deserve an episode, perhaps a Friendship journey, like the one Pinkie and Dash took to the Griffon kingdom? I They'd play off each other so well!

What about fanfics? What do you like about them? Alternatively, what don't you like in RariTwi fics? Anything you'd wish fanfics explored more?

Obviously, it's a crime how few fanfics there are of these two (and fanart!). I certainly love the variety on hand, even with the low numbers! I'm reminded of the various AUs (RoyalBodyguardTwi? Yes please!) and other roles RariLight takes, for example, as Clover and Platinum in Bookish Delight's Revisionist History.

And the fandom? What's been your experience in it?

Haven't interacted with many in the RariLight fandom, due to my lurking status D: Of course, quality over quantity, right, Chrome?

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Comments ( 36 )

Slap it with that AU label and continue with your original plans is my suggestion! Don't let a silly thing like cannon get in your way. Don't let your Dreams stay Dreams.

Continue with AU! I want them to cuddle already.

Also, all hail Monochromatic!

Monochromatic is definitely captaining the HMS RariLight quite nicely these days. The Enchanted Library, oh yeah.

Regarding Ballad, why not both? Put up an AU tag, but feel free to pull in more recent show canon if it fits easily enough. Canon should be a springboard for ideas, not a straitjacket.

Daaayum son, good to get a sign of life from you. I personally don't see the need try and move mountains to try and follow canon. if you want to its fine, but don't do it just for the sign of doing it. it's your story, nothing wrong with deviating from the written path.

Wanderer D

Sabes, si vas a estar otra vez por estos rumbos, tenemos una historia que acabar! En todo caso, es bueno verte afuera de Skype! Espero ver varias historias en el futuro... aunque te tardes en escribirlas.

As long as it gets some sort of that original Twixie and Rarity confrontation I'm all for whatever you come up with!

3314405 Pretty much this! New show material or comic or whatever you find that you think can add or just create some new headcanons, I'm totally for it. Never limit yourself to just show canon. Hell, YOU did Derpy before S2 Derpy and she was adorable in it! XD

M.A. Larson needs to start adding you to the credits list, you two would probably create the craziest (and likely best season yet) of MLP yet. lol

P.S. Damnit, we need more Rarity episodes in MLP. How is it we went a whole season without her one time? That was horrifyingly unjust! I've had plenty of RariJack (which I still love) but I'd love to see more Rarilight and possibly more RariDashery in this fandom. Thank heavens for Mono and her love of drowning us in all things Twilight and Rarity.

3314479 Based on the upcoming episode spoilers that I've seen, the rest of season five has us covered for Rarity episodes.

3314482 Yeah, been wanting to see how they'd handle her fame if she ever moved to Canterlot as she's aspried to. I suppose we'll get something like the whole RD goes into the reserves stuff instead of going full on Wonderbolt so she can still be around Ponyville and her friends. Which is how the writing itself seemed to have went not that the episode says that, outright at least.

Can't wait for it. A Rarity episode on such a special month for me. I couldn't ask for a better gift. <3
(Aside from a Diamond Tiara episode, seriously, where is that "whole new side of her" they mentioned? Only 2 episodes left without synopsis that it can be!)

Excuse me a moment as I add "Evil God-Empress" to my username.

Well, welcome back, sorta. ;)

As someone who's had something of that dilemma, IE the show going faster than my writing and rendering some points non-canon, I say...

See what can fit and what doesn't. Use the AU label. It's there for a reason. There's nothing wrong with an AU fic.

So, what would you guys prefer, should I ever have the chance to continue Ballad? Label it Alternate Universe, or try to mold in some of the future canon?

I would stick to whatever you were planning on doing unless the change would make the story demonstrably better.

The cartoon is irrelevant to the discussion. It's your story. If it's still a strict season 1 story, and that'll make it the best story it can be, do that.

If changing it will make it better, do that.

Don't change anything just to stick to some vision of what "should" be the case. The only "should" is the "should" in your head.

I'd love to know where you were going with it.

I'd say make a few key revisions while keeping it within the period between S1 and 2. Stuff like Trixie's true name should be present, as you say. Though nothing's gonna stop the world from imploding once The Ballad actually reaches a conclusion anyway. Perhaps a longer, complete revision would actually benefit humanity in the short-term...

That said, if you can end The Ballad before I finish look through the raft of BookMallow fics you recently dropped at my feet, I'll buy you some kind of Abandoned Porn photo book (with a pack of marshmallows). :duck:


Vox populi; the people have spoken- 4 more years! AU it is. Honestly, that's what I was leaning towards. Most every drabble I've written is already ridiculously AU, anyways, (like Rarity being the skipper on the Royal Equestrian Navy's HMS WAHAHA). I suppose I was still feeling somewhat attached to canon because, at some point in its history, it only deviated ever so slightly. But screw it, we're blowing full steam ahead. The sky's the limit, boys and girls! Time to add sharks, space battles, and magic lesbian pony babies!


Tanto tiempo! Y es verdad, tenemos un par de cositas que se han atrasado solo un poco... Pero tengo fe de que podamos publicar algo antes de Half-Life 3!


The misunderstanding pileup is gonna be so much fun to write :twilightoops::trixieshiftright::raritywink:


See, I thought that was always implied, already...


Ok, so what you're saying is, as long as I keep linking you more Rarilight stories, I can extend my deadline? Perfect! You heard the man, ladies and gents, #Ballad2056

3315021 Since you have accepted the Evil God-Empress Monochromatic as your saviour, does this mean you are going Twixity? :pinkiecrazy:

One caveat to my vote, if all you are doing is writing more of a more or less season one compliant fic, I'm not sure I'd bother with the AU tag at all. That kind of dilutes its meaning compared to the HMS WAHAHA alternate universe type of story.

IMO the tag should be for something that is intentionally AU, not accidentally AU simply because of the passage of time.


Dude, picture this:


How's that for an OT4? (Seriously, how is one of the most obvious ships so blatantly ignored? A Student of Everything and the resident town teacher? Cheerilight has less fics than Rarilight!)

Ahem... I digress. Also, on a super-random note, your username reminds me of one of my favorite manga of all time (Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou), and that makes me happy. You get 10 Rarilight Points for that. (And 5 Friendship Points, 2 Teamwork Points, and 2 Marshmallow Points)

3315021 Excellent. A wise choice. :)

May I add you on Skype? And if so, what's your username?

Well, if Children of an Elder God can finish after something like eight years hiatus, than maybe one day I'll see the end of Ballad of Twilight Sparkle.

Please don't make it an eight year hiatus, though. I really want to learn more about what crazy ideas Rarity got into her head based on past experiences and see Twilight find out the real nature of Trixie's movie.

Well, I guess I don't even need to drop my vote, since it would have been "also continue with your AU version, just put an author's note in the summary that this was started after Season One and diverges from there but feel free to steal anything from later seasons that you think would make it better".

3315099 I approve of this pairing. The knowledge and magic ability shall rival the princesses of Equestria! The Magical Lesbian Foals shall be the smartest ever!

Nice to hear from you again. :)

I'd say go Alternate Universe. You can try to mold in future show canon if you want to and it fits, but I don't think you ought to try to cram it in where it doesn't.

There is absolutely no shame in having the story set in an earlier season; you don't have to adapt or move ahead with canon events unless you want to. All fanfics are technically Alternate Universes anyway; I reserve the AU tag for stories that are drastically different, like if Celestia instead of Luna was banished or everypony has cybernetic upgrades. Fanfics that springboard off a point in normal canon to spin their own story aren't really AU. Otherwise, non-AU stories would have to be rigid retellings of the show with little or no deviation from canon - which would be redundant and boring.

Also, so good to see an update on this. Ballad has been an inspiration.

So, you'd rather prolong humanity's survival than gander at high-quality, physical warehouse shots while dining on sugary snacks?

I honestly admire such selflessness.

I'm of the belief that you should finish your story with the original intent, regardless of what canon has done, since you started your story before certain details came out.

It's much better that way, to see imagination fleshed out without it feeling forced to adhere to something that didn't exist at the time. Stories end up more interesting that way (as they should be).

I'm of this opinion as well. Standard practice, as I see it, is to treat stories written in line with canon before canon proceeded to negate the path they took as kind-of-sort-of grandfathered in, even if that exact term doesn't quite apply.

A little author's note on the story page about when it was written/takes place would suffice if you really care, though.

Nobody Skype Grave, he just talks about naked people and rusty buildings and Smash Bros all day


One of my least favourite friends 3/10

I'm loving the story, I'd say go AU and stick with what you had planned but wherever you take it I would follow.

Also, I just realized I somehow neglected to follow you. Allow me to right this most grievous sin.

Edit: You mention we should add your steam and/or skype but I can't actually find a link/username for either on your page

I too think it would be fine to continue on. There are a few others that I'm following that are in the same boat, and I'm OK with suspending later seasons in light of things. Of course it's OK to toss in a few nods if you so choose.

And as far as badass Rarity? Nothing wrong with that, although you seem to have hit that mark already. Shield-maiden chic, anyone? Then again, considering that the show's confirmed a few things as such ... seriously, when you outrace Rainbow Dash to get in a hoof-fight with a manticore ...

AU is definitely the way to go, but you seem to have decided on that already. I'm glad to see the potential return of Ballad! It had a really fun bit of AppleDash in it, and I hope you keep it going :)

You forgot to mention Felt Heart in your Q&A! Or was this a filthy lie? :rainbowwild:

Grave: Here is my own little bit of rarilight contribution, though it may not have as much as you might like. But it's the driving element of the fic, if that makes sense, somehow? xD

My Skype's Gravekeeper817!

Why is it that no one likes Smash and naked people? I feel so alone in this world... :raritycry:

Yup, you guys are right. This wouldn't be AU, it's just canon divergence, which is completely normal, just slightly more noticeable on season 1 fics! Honestly, I blame the show's writers for going through my story idea docs. The nerve.

How about this: if it's not updated in the next eight years, I'll donate the story to shortskirtsandexplosions so they can finish it.

They'll be living Skynets or Brainiacs. It'll be perfect.

Hmm, I usually do my best to diminish humanity... This is a bit of a pickle.

And she almost never resorts to fighting with magic. She's a brawler!

Hah, joke's on you, loser! I'd already faved, read, reread and rec'd the thing when it first came out!

3316853 Curses, foiled agai- err, wait... :trixieshiftright:

3316853 Actually, while we are at it, why don't we just add the princesses to the cuddle pile while we are at it? I mean, if you want the bestest offspring in Equestria, I say go all in!

Con un carajo, ¿cuántos autores son mexicanos también? *deskflip*

Es gracioso porque justo esta semana Mono y yo regresamos a clases

I say change it to AU, this is the story that brought me into the fandom and made me the fan of Twixie I am, glad to see you back though and thought I'd offer my two cents!

I'm a year late to the party, but I feel like I need to leave a comment here.

So, what would you guys prefer, should I ever have the chance to continue Ballad? Label it Alternate Universe, or try to mold in some of the future canon?

Label it AU. Or whatever. Just have some human decency to mark it as "on hiatus" or "cancelled". After four years with no updates, this fic is nowhere near "in progress" and leaving that label is straight out misleading.

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