• Member Since 17th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Skywriter


loves tiaras.

More Blog Posts197

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  • 69 weeks
    Hearts and Hooves, 2020

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Aug
7th
2019

Well, that was one for the record books. · 2:30am Aug 7th, 2019

I don't have much to say that hasn't been said by others in better and more eloquent ways, so I'll have to make this short. (Also, I have to get a blog post out before Aragón makes all other BronyCon blogs obsolete.)

I met, and re-met, so many wonderful people. To even start to create a list would be doomed to failure, and I'm going to have to throw up my hands and admit defeat before I even begin. You're all beautiful people. I will, however, make a special exception here and give a shout to my fellow community guests Horizon and Monochromatic, whose powers of coolness and competence shone out like flipping beacons all weekend long. Shout out also to my staff contact Amanda (who I saw exactly twice but whose presence was felt throughout the con in a million small ways) and to convention co-chair Dexanth, without whom none of this would have been possible. Extra credit for my con roommate S.R. Foxley, who in 2018 basically single-handedly convinced me to come to Baltimore this year at all, when I expressed my hesitance and ambivalence about it to him. After everything I've seen, I'm convinced now that staying home would have been a terrible mistake.

A little under eight years ago, in a fit of pique, I wrote a light TwiLuna shipping story called "Observatory Hill," because I wanted Equestria Daily to accept something, anything I wrote. I had been trying to sell a short story to a professional publication at the time without success, and the fact that EQD had subsequently rejected writing that I was offering to them for free was too much for my fragile little ego to bear. "I will write," I said to myself, "a story that they cannot help but accept."

Eight years later, I found myself on stage at the last BronyCon, doing a VA script-reading panel. Most of the words were Horizon's, but I did contribute, and hearing Andrea Libman reading one of my Pinkie Pie jokes--essentially a tiny little sliver of fanfic--is an experience that transcends easy categorization. I do not have a reference point for this. It is not a good experience; it is not a bad experience. I am still trying to get my brain to register that it happened at all.

Thank you--all of you--for being who you are. May God grant you all the stories that you require, in whatever way that sentence makes sense to you. Good night.

Comments ( 31 )

Great to have seen you. It's not often I get a moment of genuine mutual artistic appreciation. (And I'm still keeping an eye on Unity to see if my thought pans out.) Congrats on making in to the big stage, especially when the whole thing started as a mission to show those fools at the institute EqD.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

It was a delight to finally meet you! A towering presence in the ponyfic community in more ways than one.

I, too, would have trouble internalizing whatever feeling you felt in the process of getting your fanon ascended to the closest thing to canon. There may be a German word it.

If you ever make a Cadence of Cloudsdale hardcopy book, I'm down to buy it.

Also write more Cadence of Cloudsdale.

I hope I didn’t come off as too sycophantic. Always a pleasure to meet you. Look forward to reading the most recent Cadance of Cloudsdale on my flight home.

5101145
So just out of curiosity, in a sample size of one, would you be interested in the first five stories as a "volume one" sort of deal? Or would you like the complete package once it's done at some point prior to the heat death of the universe?

5101148

Like most reasonable men, I would prefer a 'complete' version of the cycle. But I'd accept an interim version in the form of volume one, if that's the only offering likely to come down the pike in the near (or any) future.

5101148

5101150
I too would prefer them all once the cycle is complete. Also CiG, I’m sad I didn’t get to meet you, but hope you had a great time!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

So pleased I could say hi. :D Also that you bear so much resemblance to your icon. Really proud of you for repping fanfic the way you did in front of the whole con!

It's funny how often "I'll show them all!" is a genuine motivation.

I wish I had managed to tear myself away from the vendor hall to come meet all of the authors, wherever your cool hangout room happened to be!

A pleasure, as always. :ajsmug:

"I will write," I said to myself, "a story that they cannot help but accept."

Man, EQD fanfic submissions in 2011. As long as it was spelled and formatted properly, a TwiLuna story was basically guaranteed to go five-star. Really, anything Luna-related was.

Someone should compile a history of the rise and fall of fanfic trends before all that knowledge is lost.

5101150
I too support this idea.

Sir, I met you only briefly, but I appreciated getting to meet you at all. Thank you for coming out and doing the thing. Truly, you have shown them!

5101210
This is a great idea. I missed the “early fandom” entirely, so I’d be curious to know what the trends etc. looked like. I have to think that others would find it interesting (or even of some historical value) to be able to study that as well.

5101210
5101300
Man, that could be a HUGE undertaking to do correctly. Would be awesome to see though.
Not just the story trends but the massive amount of in-jokes that have gone out of fashion, but were a huge feature of the fics at that time.

I didn't pay a huge amount of attention to all of it, but let me see what I can remember.
I came in around the start of season 2, but I've read some fics from before that.
Going mostly from memory and a brief look at my library pages, so I'll likely miss a bunch.
mlp.fandom.com seems to have a lot of this recorded as well, so I checked it for some details.

What I remember most was the massive obsession the entire fandom had with Derpy and Trixie. Gilda as well, but less so.
Because there just weren't as many episodes at the time, there was a massive variation in worldbuilding and tone. In particular, Equestria's tech level varied wildly, being everything from modern-day to medieval. Sometimes both. Equestria was either a utopia or an Orwellian hell-hole, with the first being more common. Characterization also varied wildly.
Nothing was canon, so everything was possible. It led to a weird disconnect where every new episode both gave the fandom new material and shut down massive swathes of fan-canon.
There was no map either. As far as I can tell, the first official map with any sort of detail was released in an artbook in 2015.

Because Luna Eclipsed happened in S2, Luna's adult form was not known in S1. She was always depicted as either Nightmare Moon or the foal-like form she took at the end of the second episode. Moonstuck seemed to have a large impact on how she was portrayed.
Luna also often either relapsed into Nightmare Moon, or was just pretending to be reformed. At the end of season 1, NMM, Trixie, Gilda, Blueblood and the Diamond Dogs were the only sapient antagonists, so they got a lot of the limelight.
Parasprites often cropped up as well, as a sort of natural grey-goo scenario.

Names varied wildly for every non-main character. Consensus had not been reached for many of them and any previously seen character getting a name caused excitement (and disappointment, arguments, you know the drill). Compare to Snowflake in later seasons, but for just about everypony.

Just about everything involving Pinkie referenced the horror fic Cupcakes in some way, ESPECIALLY after Party of One aired.

Season 2 aired, and the fandom got its strode.
The Discord craze began. Screwball was briefly popular as a character, though she seems to have been mostly forgotten since. Same for Barking Mad.
Mare-do well fics occasionally cropped up. I don't think they were ever massively popular, but there seemed to be more of them than there are now.
I never paid much attention to them, but I think this was the high point for Dr. Who/mlp crossovers as well. Usually featuring Derpy or Twilight as a companion. I think it was mostly based on a fan-made audio drama.
Twilight ascending to become an alicorn was a common trope. Sometimes with the rest of the elements. Not always a popular story device, which made twilight's canon transformation nearly two years later.... interesting.
Canterlot Wedding led to a MASSIVE changeling obsession. Every individual was a changeling. Everyone was a changeling at the same time. There were, without exaggeration, changelings disguised as changelings.
After that, at least to me, things seemed to stabilize a bit. The rough shape of the world was hammered down and there was a decent sized cast, so each individual new episode had less of an impact.

Common Ships:
Season 1:
Twilestia was huge, as, I think, was FlutterMac. And Twixie of course.
Dash was shipped with Gilda,everyone and everything including shipping itself.
IIRC, Big Macintosh and Caramel were the only male ponies named at the time, so Big Mac was again, shipped with pretty much everyone.
Season 2:
After Luna Eclipsed, Twiluna became a thing and Discord/Celestia was common.

Common gags (roughly by chronological order):
Luna being completely out of her depth with modern technology
Luna being obsessed with an abacus
The princesses blowing up kitchens when attempting to cook (no idea what the source of this was)
Celestia banishing everything/everyone she didn't like to the moon. (After Return of Harmony, this was often replaced with a... statue collection instead)
Twilight messes up a spell, kicks off plot of the fic. (Still happens, but less so)
Trixie eating pine cones
Trixie being homeless/washed up after Show Stoppers
Owlowiscious. (Who?)
Lyra being obsessed with humans and hands. (Was a thing in the early days, blew up massively around S3, then everyone got sick of it)
Celestia and/or Luna being a massive troll
Massive prank wars between the princesses
Socks. Just.... so many socks. On everypony.
Just about everything that happened in Lesson Zero (Seriously, that episode was a goldmine)
Fluttershy being a tree.
AJ considering her trees as family. To every possible logical extreme.
Hugh Jelly, briefly
Pinkie pie popping out of nowhere at the slightest mention of a promise (FORRRRREVERRRRRRRRR)
Celestia's cake obsession (after MMMystery on the friendship express.)


....I've spent way too long on this and I don't think I even scratched the surface.

5101142
The stepladder he always carries around with him sure helps a lot with that, doesn't it?

5101148
It depends on whether we're talking about Volume One and Volume Two, or Volume One and The Whole Thing.

5101352
Gamer Luna was a thing; I think that may also have been based on a tumblr?
Lyra/humans is still kinda around to an extent, but now it's got a layer of ironic distance; a wink-wink nudge-nudge "here's Lyra and she likes humans; see what I did there?" rather than a straightforward "here's Lyra and she likes humans".

RBDash47
Site Blogger

5101148
Look at all those upvotes on 5101145's comment. Look at them.

If you ever finished Cadence of Cloudsdale, I've got an in with a publisher...

5101352 You forgot the grimdark Discord tales with Discord being a psychopath on the level of Hannibal Lecter crossed with Stalin... which to me always demonstrated how little many people understood his character. They also didn't grasp that if Discord actually was like that, there wouldn't have been an Equestria. Ever.

5101143 The nifty, nasty thing about German is that you can make up your own words.
I'll call it "Niedrignachhochbewegenkeit".

It had been an absolute delight to meet you in 2016, and I only wish that Stitch and I could have made it this year, but that really wasn’t in the cards. Glad to hear that SR is still being awesome and facilitating the con for those who really should go, though. I’m glad to hear that you had as good a time as most I’m reading from.

May the wellbeing carry on forward with you for a good long while.

5101432
Noted and appreciated. Let's not put the cart before the horse, so to speak. I have to write the damn thing.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

5101646
No pressure!

My biggest regret of the con was missing that script reading. It was right after the panel with Lauren and Bonnie, and by the time I got out of there the line for the reading was already cut off. :raritydespair:

Do you know if it's on YouTube?

Anyway, it was great to meet you and some of the other authors there. It may have been the last BronyCon, but maybe I'll check out some of the others. Hopefully we will cross paths again. :twilightsmile:

5101432 ...and I've got an in with a writer who likes to write little side stories to established series...

5101694
I'm pretty sure it's not on YouTube. Historically, these things can never be recorded since they exist in such a legal grey area.

However, I have heard rumors that a digital version existed and was streamed to the EQD Twitch channel. Cannot confirm, and cannot offer a VOD link. Happy hunting, I guess. :fluttershysad:

That panel was amazing!

Missed the other panels, but the script reading was wonderful. I'm delighted to hear how much that experience meant to you; you absolutely deserve it. Sadly never managed to say hi, hopefully someday.

5102634
Glad you enjoyed! It was a hell of a thing to be part of.

And yes maybe someday!

5101148
COMPLETE CYCLE OR BUST

It can be in multiple volumes but preferably released together

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