• Member Since 26th Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen 12 hours ago

Lapis-Lazuli and Stitch


Profile of Retired Writer, Lapis-Lazuli, and his editor, Stitch / Inky. Thanks for the memories, FiMFiction.

More Blog Posts167

  • 15 weeks
    A Parting Glass

    It is never easy to confront when you've changed.

    Read More

    14 comments · 563 views
  • 20 weeks
    The Code Series - Emerald Flare, Code of Dissonance, and Unrealized Projects

    Continuing with a longstanding desire to put old works to rest, this blogpost goes over the extremely scattered notes, ideas, basic plot threads and ideas that would have taken The Code's Apprentice stories to a 5 story... conclusion of sorts.

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    8 comments · 372 views
  • 22 weeks
    The Twilight Shadow - Basic Plot Outline Spoiler for Twilight War sequel.

    As long promised, below was the full outline - along with a couple of half-finished scenes and a big prologue blurb - for The Twilight Shadow, the Penultimate "Twilight Struggle" story, and sequel to The Twilight War. These are mostly short blurbs, along with chapter names, and a general outline of the final set of events. I have other notes, but they're extremely rambly, and not terribly well

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    7 comments · 330 views
  • 115 weeks
    Looking Back

    Been a long time, hasn't it?

    I know a lot of you have probably moved on, but I figured I at least owed it to the longtime followers - and continued readers - to finally check in.

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    27 comments · 1,504 views
  • 248 weeks
    Another year passed.

    So if you're wondering where I've been, here's the short version.

    Living outside of a home of your own kinda sucks, and my new job is incredibly time and energy demanding.

    The long version takes a bit more.

    Read More

    15 comments · 1,804 views
Oct
11th
2021

A Parting Glass · 6:25am Oct 11th, 2021

It is never easy to confront when you've changed.

In 2012, I was one year into my 3rd attempt at college. I had moved back to my home town after two separate, failed attempts to make it in the world without a college degree. I had made a lot of mistakes, but I had grown from the experience. In this moment, I was adrift, going to school for something extremely practical in the hopes that it would give me an 'out' to working for poverty wages. I lived on borrowed student loan money, boosted by some sporadic help from my parents and a part-time overnight job.

In many ways, I was adrift in the world, deeply uncertain of myself. It had been but two years since the decade-long-lived furry forum / roleplaying community I had been a part of, Master Zen-Dao Meow, had come to an end, scattering my only close internet friends to the four winds. I had no friend group I could turn to in those times, at least not one that I was deeply involved in, when by the purest chance a you-tube clip of Winter Wrap-Up crossed my path. The music had such a feel of "Broadway" to it, and I was stunned at the quality. Even by then, I was 'aware' of the Pony phenomenon that had taken over the internet. The few chat rooms and groups I still socialized with were talking excitedly about it, but I had been sure it was some kind of irony thing. Then I got slapped upside the face of how good it COULD be.

Over the next few weeks, I watched all that there was. For one of the first times ever, I was fascinated by the concept of fanfiction for a world that was so ripe for expansion. That was, in many ways, the magic of Seasons 1-5 of Friendship is Magic. There was always this tantalizing idea that on the edge of all the stories, there was more to be discovered. It was, of course, a show made for small kids, and so there never was going to be any further canon that truly expanded the universe. This too, was intoxicating to someone who had spent 10 years of his life writing fiction, and had been starved for something new to sink his teeth into.

So did I set down and, with all of the writing ability of a prolific forum roleplayer - Which is to say, lots of words to say very little, and purple-prose strong enough to strangle a horse - I wrote The Twilight Struggle. The name itself was a play on a board game I had begun to be very fond of, and thought it might be fun to do a sort of weird, mysterious sort of tale about Twilight wrestling with an inner darkness that was equal parts power and pleasure. A one shot to dip my feet into the fiction world.

I would follow this with The Code's Apprentice, which was less of a well planned story and more of the world's most singularly long writing binge. Famously laying down 150 thousand unedited words in the space of a 5 weeks, to this date it remains a reminder to me that when I truly hyperfocus on something, I can accomplish monumental tasks.

A small burst of horsefame - such as I ever achieved - followed. People liked what I wrote, but writing big epic stories was exhausting. I moved to other subjects, wrote some short fluff-fics, wrote a not inconsiderable amount of clopfiction (as I have long been a avid Erotic-Role-player, and at the time had no one to enjoy that with.) and gained a reputation of sorts for my work, but I never achieved any kind of significant following or fame. I never made the Equestria Daily page. I never won a writing contest. I never caught the attention of the fandom at large. Despite my follower count climbing up into the esteemed heights of other well-regarded writers, I lived eternally on the outside of those who gained "horsefame" In some capacity or another.

I had reliable readers, to be sure. I had fans, for which I have eternally been thankful for the support of my work, but my writing was never *quite* 'good enough'. I tried branching out to other genres, writing one-off ideas, following my fictional heart down genre paths. Some of them gained attention. Most of them failed to gain any attention at all. As the years passed, and I came closer to the end of college, I found out the most ancient truism about Internet Fame. You can never, ever predict what will take off, and no matter how hard you try, sometimes it will just plain never happen to you. Even my very biggest successes were more flashes in the pan that never, ultimately, led to sustained readership.

Then, my real life fell apart. I graduated college. I made some personal mistakes. And Time I had spent writing was now spent desperately searching for financial stability. Time I had spent story-boarding, editing, talking to other writers about fiction ideas, it all vanished in a puff of real-world grime and need. I left my hometown again to seek fortune where I could find it. I scrabbled at food-industry management to keep my head above water. My ability to focus on writing fell into oblivion.

And little by little, all of the connection I had to my works fell away to other, non-pony stories. I wanted to write something that people would genuinely remember. I wanted to do something more than just a fanfiction a few thousand people would get a chuckle out of. I delved into all of my old workstation files, all of my half-baked story ideas, and found nothing that sparked the imagination. Every three months or so, I tried to throw myself at something, and always came up with blank pages and nothing worth talking about.

Maybe Gen5, when the series comes out, will reignite my imagination. But I am very much a different pony than I was in 2012. A lot has happened to me. Good, and bad. I'm not sure I have it in me anymore to produce works like this, of a quality that I would now be happy with publishing. Perhaps, in some ways, that is for the best. Change must come to us all, else we have done nothing with our lives worth mentioning.

6 years have passed since I last published... anything of significance on FimFiction. The time has come to confront the obvious fact. I'm not going to be writing Ponyfic again anytime soon. Perhaps I will one day be able to publish original fiction. Or maybe I am simply doomed to be That Guy with a manuscript in his trunk he'll never finish.

Without question, I learned things and loved things both from this fandom, and from writing within it. I have made several good friends through the writing, and found other communities and tribes to spend my time in. I have reconnected with old friends, in the years since, and I am slowly piecing together what some other people might call a 'life'. I'm even going to get married, believe it or not.

But I cannot leave those who come now to this account with the belief that someday I may finish the unfinished stories. That ship, I must now confront, has sailed off to the summerlands.

Many of you who were here during the hayday, I owe you more than I can ever possibly describe. Your comments, your support, your cheers and encouragement, were the fuel that made my evolution from a lost young man, to one who has grown into a person of reliability and steadfastness. To one who can now forge a path forward, through whatever years have been given to me.

To those of you came after, I will be leaving these writings, at least for a time, to be enjoyed by all of those who may find joy in them, for as long as the vagaries of the internet may leave them here. I do formally request that my writings are not redistributed or re-used under other names, without my explicit written consent. Should FimFiction die, then my writing will pass into memory with it.

And to all of you, the earliest fans and the latecomers, I thank you for your passion, your support, and your community. I hope wherever the winds of life blow you, that you find the path that you can forge into a bright and beautiful life to enjoy. I hope your sorrows fall to the wayside, and that your pains are brief and soothed by love. I hope that you find love, and that you find it in your heart to love others. I hope that someday, you will tell your children about me, and the stories I told you. I hope that my stories may inspire you to find the strength to carry on, even in the darkest of times.

I hope that you will all walk in Harmony, or thrive in Dissonance, as befits you.

As I am, for the last time,
Most Sincerely Yours,
James M.E. K-
aka
Lapis-Lazuli

So of all the good times that e'er we shared, I leave to you fond memory,
And for all the Friendship that e'er we had, I ask you to remember me.
So when you sit and stories tell, I'll be within your hearts to dwell,

And fill for me a parting glass,

Goodnight.

And joy be with you all.

Comments ( 14 )

*Salutes*
Believe it or not there were quiet a few of us who enjoyed your stories and even took inspiration at such works like 'The Codes Apprentice'. While it will be a shame to see such talent leave, we all can understand the struggle. So I salute you good sir and wish you not only luck to find the opportunities you deserve but the wisdom to see them for what they are and the strength to grab them and hold on tight.

May the stars forever light your path.

I know that you have been a good guy but I will stay on this site why you ask is that when fimfiction starts to die I will stay and be here
till the end I will be here until fimfiction ends:twilightsmile:

Only just discovered your works. I will enjoy reading them. good luck for your future.

Time happens to all of us. I'm sorry things have been difficult for you, and I wish you all the best.

It's sad to see you go, but it was great to have you around. I wish you all the best in the future.

Best of luck in all your future endeavors. :twilightsmile:

Here's hoping for all the joy and success you can dream of in whatever you choose to pursue.

Fair winds and calm seas.

Life will beat the creativity right out of you even if you're careful, sometimes. A toast to what might have been. Good luck in what comes next.

I really enjoyed your stories, and I hope you find happiness and thrive in whatever you wish to do. Good luck with the marriage, and finding creativity, and all the rest of it.

Best of luck in life. The Shadow Trilogy were some of the first stories I remember really enjoying and following as they came out, and, you're definitely one of the authors I remember most from the early days. I hope you're able to find your muse again, wherever it may lie.

Sincerely, that one girl who called herself Twilight Shadow years and years ago

Aww

You're selling yourself short. I don't remember authors of all stuff I read. But I remember you, and your stories. And, as everything posted on the internet is there forever, so shall be your fiction :twilightsmile:

Best things in life for you :rainbowlaugh:

*tips hat* Until we meet again, here or in another place. Good luck :eeyup:

Cheers mate! Good luck on all your current and future ventures! Thank you for all your works. Fair winds, and following seas. o7

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