• Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen 12 hours ago

MrNumbers


Experience is the name we give our mistakes.

More Blog Posts304

  • 2 weeks
    Photography stuff but more

    Trying to do some impressionist stuff bare with me


    Read More

    12 comments · 188 views
  • 9 weeks
    The Mare who Once Lived on the Moon published!


    Gosh, isn't Harwick just the best?

    Read More

    25 comments · 1,249 views
  • 11 weeks
    Ponzi Schemes

    I wrote this just in time to see Reddit and Discord announce cryptocurrency integration. Hooray for me. If you want to link this to people you know, here's a non-pony option.

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    31 comments · 811 views
  • 14 weeks
    Photography stuff

    Hey! Turns out it's really hard to write while recovering from one surgery and having an even bigger one on Monday, so I've been doing more photography stuff after the break.

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    8 comments · 201 views
  • 16 weeks
    Still alive!

    First surgery went well! My face looks like it got stung by a bunch of bees from the inside, and I'm going to be out of commission for a bit, but I'm alive and safe and looking forward to the big follow up in three weeks.

    Thank you all, again.

    11 comments · 322 views
Nov
24th
2021

The Mare who Once Lived on the Moon published! · 8:25am Nov 24th, 2021


Gosh, isn't Harwick just the best?

Available here. RBDash47's blogpost about it here.

I wanted to talk a bit about my reasons this book was so hard to print. I wrote a different preface for RBDash47's print edition, one that's much happier and more celebratory of the work itself, and what I think it means. He earned that, at least, and the subsequent Ministry of Image print wouldn't be able to happen without him personally hauling this decision out of me.

Instead, here, I kind of want to explain why I turned it down for so long, and just, talk a bit about the time in my life this story came out of, and how much it helped me to write it.

Because writing this story saved my life.



I’ve been asked a lot, over the years, why I wasn’t doing a printing of a story a lot of people asked for. The truth is, the story as it existed felt rough and unrefined, and I became a much better writer in the process of writing it. To be ready to print it’d need a serious editing pass, and that wasn’t work I was comfortable putting on to other people.

Not because I was precious about my darling. Because I knew how much work it was, and I knew I couldn’t pay people for their time to do it, and I felt guilty about that.

But this is fanfiction, for a fan community. I shouldn’t have been surprised people were willing to put that work in for the joy of it.

What I found is that every time I tried to work on this story in the years after finishing it, my fingers would shake too much to type, I’d break into a cold sweat, and trying to focus on the words made my mind dissolve into hissing, screaming radio static. When I started this story, I was in a very bad place. I had gotten expelled from highschool, and then kicked out of my first attempt at university. I had survived a murder attempt, and serveral muggings, and never really recovered. Even that’s only the tip of a very deep iceberg.

And, too quickly, I grew immune to the medication I had been put on. Not resistant - after three months on paroxetine, I could go from a maximum dose to cold-turkey in the span of a day and I wouldn’t even feel withdrawal effects. To my body, they - and a dozen others - had become sugar pills.

Don't get me wrong, I'm great now. Everything I talk about here is past-tense. Everything here is something I eventually overcame. I'm actually struggling with commissions at the moment because, between those surgeries I've talked about needing, I got accepted into a training program for hospital work that will let me set my own shifts. I got it because of my, and here's the punchline, warm and extroverted personality.

At the time I wrote this book, though, I had no hope, and I was in tremendous pain all the time. I thought I would be in that pain for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t imagine living like that. It made me an aggressive and angry person, which wasn’t the person I wanted to be, and I'm still sorry for having been that person to so many people.

I had just jumped off a bridge. Not a very tall one. Short enough that, from the ground, I worked out it was probably safe. But high enough that, looking down, I wouldn’t be able to believe that. I knew that if I could jump anyway, then I couldn’t trust that I’d stop when it really mattered.

After I swam back to shore, I committed to something that would keep me here. Something short enough that it was tangible and achievable, but long enough that it gave me time to find other reasons, better reasons, to stick around.

I chose to finish a novel.

For a long time, that was the reason I couldn’t finish this story. This was the book I chose to write.

I did get better, though. I got well. Even now, I still can't work on this story. For years I put off giving it fully over to someone else to do, because I felt like I should be well enough to finish this story. I shouldn’t need this reason anymore. I wanted to prove that I didn't. Still, I couldn’t.

Then, some wonderful Russian fans translated this story, and asked if they could publish that. Of course I said yes! They had done the work, of course they deserved to be proud of it. And RBDash47, who had been asking me after this for years, rocks up to me exasperated why I couldn’t do the same for English. It shouldn’t have been a hard question.

It took this long to realize it was because I got better that I can’t touch this story anymore. It is so much the mind and emotions of the person who wrote it, and it made me experience being that broken person again, and it broke me every time I tried. I wasn't failing because I wasn't as well as I thought. I was failing because I had come too far to go back again.

So, finally, in 2021, too many years after having finished it, I gave it to somebody else. To my constant amazement, it has not stopped being special to other people, who are willing to work on what I can’t anymore.

This was always a story about finding hope in hopeless situations, and I meant it. It’s about light shining brightest in the darkness. About falling in love with people impossible distances away. About needing help.

It’s about realizing too late that you have no idea how to write endings. Ah, well. I learned.

I don’t want to give the impression this story’s more profound than it is, or that I consider it my magnum opus - I was only 21 when I finished this, and now I have a lifetime to surpass it.

What I mean is that I took this story as far as I could on my own. The work and the love of other people is the only reason you are reading this, you can hold this story in your hands. I couldn’t have done it without them. I couldn’t even do it with them.

I owe an impossible debt to RBDash47, not just for finishing this on my behalf, but for being someone I could trust completely to give that responsibility to. I haven’t done enough to deserve you yet, but I have plenty of time to work something out.

My candle burned at both ends,
but lasted through the night
The darkness passed and then at last
gave way to morning's light

Comments ( 25 )

right
as soon as i have spare money to spend, this is on high priority
this story has been one of the few i go back and re-read every so often, love it much

I love that rewrite of the Millay poem. Ever since you introduced me to the original version in the RCL blog for Moonfic, it's sat at the back of my head, especially in my darkest moments, a certainty that I'd never see the light, but that I'd go out with one hell of a bang.

Now I'm finally in a better place, basking in morning's light (literally, part of my depression stemmed from not getting enough sunlight), and I can't really express the relief I see at seeing that alternate ending to the poem.

Anyways, Moonfic is probably at least partially responsible for radicalizing me to the left, so I can't wait to buy a copy of it during Lulu's Black Friday sale, like a true capitalist.

I enjoyed the story on FimFiction, and I will enjoy it even more in my hands.

Sadly, my reading outfit is not as cool as yours.

Congratulations, on the publication, and all it means. :)

I am glad you are doing better. I hope that continues to be true. Also, you look fantastic in that outfit.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

I still think you're overplaying my role and the work I did, but I've given up on trying to convince you.

I'd also like to take this chance to formally apologize to everyone who buys the book because the author photo that opens this blog post does not appear on the back flap. You'll all have to print out your own copy and glue it on.

What a ride! Congratulations on finally bringing this gem to print.

Oh my gosh, wow. I am so happy you got better.:heart: But I can't stop crying.....:pinkiesad2:

As someone who started following you from the Demesne of Twilight... I am very happy for you. Your writing is fantastic, and you deserve to be in print.

I figured this story came from depths of great heat and pressure but I figured that was yours to tell when you felt comfortable.

Now you do, so you did, and I'm glad :-)

That's a nice heartwarming story and all, but I want to know more about your (literally) frilly-ass steampunk or possibly Napoleonic wars get up.

5610644
Nice. Fuck cops be gay do crime

I’m glad that you’re happy with the cover artwork! This story was one of my early favorites, and I was honored that RBDash47 thought of me for the covers!

I've got to engage in a little subterfuge to get onto Lulu to buy my copy, but it's well worth it! :pinkiehappy:

5610704
Gorgeous cover!

it's been a long time since I've read that story, or even thought about it...

i still think the romance between Twilight and Luna came out of nowhere and was massively rushed, by the way.

5610644
15% discount site-wide with promo-code Turkey15 right now, you know I bought the hardcover.

My goodness, what a debonair figure in that first image.

Gosh, isn't Harwick just the best?

Having worked with him to produce the cover of my own book, I can confirm his bestness is yes.

Echoing others: Very grateful you're doing better these days, but it also means something that under such pressure, instead of cracking, you turned your pain into a diamond.

You're an exceptional man and I look forward to being able to read this all over again.

are youtube readings of this fic alright with you? it seems like it’s a really personal story, i wouldn’t wanna step on any toes

5611245

More than okay, make sure to send me whatever you do with it so I can comment on it. I'm always ecstatic to see other people like my work enough to want to make it their own.

5611361
great to know!! if i go through with it, i'll be sure to send it to you! ^_^

Thank you for green lighting this. I was one of the people asking back in 2016 for a hardcover release, and I'm really very excited to be able to pick this up -- it's one of my favorite pony fictions. Any chance of a printing for A Beautiful Night?

5612037

I'm working on that now, slowly. I want to do a bigger rewrite of it, though, clarifying the earlier chapters and tightening Rainbow Dash's storyline especially, given how much more important I think the message of that story was by the time I finished it. But I plan on it getting bundled with Cinema Verite, and I finished the edit for that.

Very happy to have my copy come in yesterday and reread it for the occasion. At one point Rainbow Dash references 555 chips and flip-flops and it shocked me because I know what those are now. Next I gotta do is set up the book case so it can properly be displayed, that cover art is amazing.

5612046
I'll eagerly await the release (My physical IRL Bookshelf is going to be groaning from the weight of all the pony fics I have purchased yours included)

My copy just arrived. Its soo wonderfully put together the cover is amazing in print form.
Now to sit down and spend the rest of the day reading it

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