• Member Since 4th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen Feb 17th, 2019

Dusty Sage

I've been writing online for thirty years. One of these days I might actually get good at it.


The last of the TwiBrush tales finds the Princess and the earth pony together forever -- for certain values of "forever."

Chapters (10)
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Comments ( 30 )

Very smooth dialogue; it's making me take a look at just how I approach casual banter...

Banter is really at the heart of this story series. Twilight Sparkle never had any particular interest in humans, who were supposedly extinct; what made her keep coming back to see this one was the fact that they could talk about things, an option not always open to Twi, what with her inability to deal more than perfunctorily with her friends' quotidian affairs, not to mention the deadly-serious relationship with her mentor in the castle. The human wasn't as smart as she was -- he wasn't even as smart as he thought he was -- but he did attempt to engage her in ways the stallions she knew couldn't or wouldn't, and eventually he found a space in his heart that could be filled only by Twilight Sparkle, while she discovered a space for him. "Why couldn't you have been a pony?" she said sadly. But being Twi, she's not taking that setback as permanent.

So when they're not talking to each other, as they weren't in one particular set of scenes, we know that something is terribly wrong. Relationships founder on the damnedest things sometimes. As I said to Twifight Sparkill t'other day, nopony ever gets to "happily ever after" at the 100-percent confidence level; some of us, I suggested, would be content with 50.1.

There are those who argue that you can have too much dialogue in a story, and I sympathize with that viewpoint. But as I unspool the rest of their lives together -- this could go on for quite some time -- well, both Twi and Brush have definite problems with keeping their mouths shut.

awsome dude look forward more

The 2-3 years I've been a brony (I honestly don't remember when I signed up anymore) I've read maybe 2 or 3 fanfictions. I barely ever read, even less of the time do I read the same thing twice, and I've never read anything 3 times. Until now.
I read the first part of this back in 2012, and really loved it. I remember I messaged you or something about the cliffhanger ending and if there would be a continuation, then forgot about it. Took me over a year for this story to somehow crawl out from the recesses of my mind, and I decided I wanted to read it again.
And I did. And loved it twice as much. Wasn't until I was about to close the tab that I noticed you had written a continuation. 2 of them. (3 really, but I just now noticed this one). So I spent my Christmas Eve night reading about TwiBrush. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I don't really know why I feel the need to tell you all this, just really feel like letting you know how much these stories mean to me and I thank you for that. You're a very good writer and I absolutely love the way your conversations and story just flows.

Anyway, Merry Christmas! I'll definitely be watching for the rest of this! :twilightsmile:.

I do read every scene out loud, just to make sure the dialogue is at least slightly plausible. :scootangel:

Many pixels have been spilled over the sheer inappropriateness of stories like this: buzzwords like "wish-fulfillment" and "self-insert" are tossed about with wild abandon. But for every nonreader who decries this sort of thing, there's a reader who finds it's just what he was looking for. (And anyway, Broken Spoke, the "old pony" in The way she used to be, seems more like me than Desert Brush ever was.)

The Life That Late He Led is something of a fatalistic title: obviously he dies at the end. Twilight isn't exactly immortal, but she's going to outlive him by some unspecified Long Time; then again, this was also the case when she was an ordinary unicorn, thirty-odd years his junior. ("Ordinary unicorn," he says. It is to laugh.) I'm trying to keep this open-ended enough to maintain at least some semblance of consistency with canon, though of course this is subject to change on any given Saturday.

My own attitude toward this tetralogy has shifted a bit. It wasn't until the last chapter of The Sparkle Chronicles, which was written in one quick session with only a couple of edits, that I started to get the idea that maybe this thing was worthwhile after all. And now, while TwiBrush is hardly a household word, Sparkle is closing in on 2000 views, Second Act is over 1000 -- without even once getting featured. For some reason, I find that deeply satisfying.

Anyway, thank you for the kind words. And I'm at a good place now: I don't have to write another wedding ceremony. :twilightsmile:


I'm most definitely looking forward to it! I wouldn't be surprised if I find myself checking for updates far too often.
The story of TwiBrush I find to be very comparable to the tale of Aragorn and Arwen from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (One of the few books I actually have read more than once :derpytongue2: ) A mortal man falls in love with an immortal woman, even though they both know what is inevitably going to happen.
I still don't know what I hope happens in the end after Brush is gone, but at this point, after coming this far and not once being disappointing by your writing, I trust you'll make it as good as possible, even if that means not choosing the most desirable ending. The best of all possible endings, as Leibniz would say. :twilightsmile:

I have an ending, which may or may not be satisfactory. But it's not exactly imminent: he's not going to up and die on us anytime soon, and I don't see Twilight dwelling alone under the fading trees until winter comes.


Well, I guess that when you said "obviously he dies at the end", I just assumed you meant he literally dies at the end of the story. Which, now that I think about it, probably wouldn't happen unless the story jumps ahead quite a few years or it's extremely long. I guess I didn't really think about it too hard.

Also, I think you've broken me. It's been two days since I read them and I still can't go 5 minutes without thinking fondly of the beautiful romance you've created.
I suppose I should be thanking you even more now, seeing as emotions are fuel for musicians and I've been pretty dormant lately.
Basically what I'm getting at is I started composing a piece inspired by this series and want to make sure you're okay with that before I go any farther. :twilightblush:

A musical composition based on TwiBrush? I am flattered beyond belief. By all means, have at it.

Before the Alicorn Drama, I had a timeline sketched out for a couple of decades: a few adjustments have been made, and there will be jumps here and there, but there are several events that I simply must include. So you may be sure that this doesn't end at chapter 6.

Color matching wedding gown, nice touch! If someone could figure out how to do something like that in the real world, they would make a fortune!

This is in keeping with Brush's mission, so to speak: having been a non-pony for so long, he is occasionally able to think outside the standard pony box -- though obviously he had to get help with the magical stuff.

This is good! I hope you finish this series :)

I have started Chapter 6, which will cover all that yucky honeymoon stuff. Don't have an ETA just yet. (But this story is fairly open-ended, which is another way of saying I have my ending but no idea of how I'm going to get there yet.)

I have just finished reading... The whole trilogy. I was so engrossed in this series I thought it might cause my work to suffer. Needless to say, I'm loving this little slice of life piece you've wrote. I can only wait and see if the happy couple do conceive or if fate will still be cruel.

A spell written across one's very core. I've heard of several types of stories that use this type of "old magic." I wonder, could this be one of the only types of magic a human naturally possesses? Meh, wishful thinking on my part. After all, it's the hopeless romantic in me that thinks of things like a "heart song" to bring two lovers closer together. In any case I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Early in his ponyhood, Brush semi-jocularly described himself as the opposite of magic, partly because he's always doing this self-effacement shtick (and Twi, as we've seen, gets tired of it), but, I suspect, mostly because he reasoned that having exited his human existence, he no longer had to pay attention to that law of Arthur C. Clarke's, the one about any sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic. It has yet to occur to him that Equestria is a living incarnation of that sort of thing -- and, I suggest, of Gehm's Corollary thereto: "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."

For myself, I've pretty much decided that there is a far larger magical component to human existence than we're willing to concede, though I'm hard-pressed to come up with a concrete proof thereof. We do have our deities, after all -- and they're credited in the literature with some pretty astounding stuff. But this is just yours truly thinking out loud.


Damn, I hardly ever get that kind of response like that. Still, the concept of humans having some form of natural magic is appealing. There is still so much we don't know about our own brains as well as some very odd occurrences here-and-there in human bodies that make some more than average. Sorry to dwell on that but the concept and how you will apply it in your story sparks the imagination.

I just love the idea that I actually have a concept going here. :scootangel:

Just now noticed that with Chapter 7 in place, this story is now longer than The Sparkle Chronicles, which started it all.

That's an interesting concept, resetting the clock as it were. I suppose with the new body, Desert Brush would be pretty much physically "reset".

Well, not completely. (As he will find out soon enough.)

Zombies? That was unexpected

Then I have misled you correctly. :twilightsmile:

Now I'm uncomfortably confused...

Apart from the foreboding, I've found myself beginning to dislike Brush. Maybe all the changes are beginning to really get to him by now, but the way he's around Twilight doesn't feel at all nice anymore. More like borderline hurtful, even on their wedding day. *scratches head* Well, Cadance said it, though in not so many words.
Something's very off here.

It's still very well written with very interesting ideas and concepts. And If your intention was to utterly confuse your readers about the protagonists' relationship as well as where all of this might be leading you have certainly achieved it. Looking forward to next installment.

He definitely has his faults. (Which weren't quite so visible in Somepony New.) In fact, he exasperates me rather a lot. But he's old and set in his ways, and Twi, who was once willing to overlook this sort of thing, is, as you can see, becoming less so.

5496907 It does all make sense; that's probably the reason why it bothers me. I can't fault the story for this and I certainly won't stop following it; it's just the realistic main character that annoys me to no end by now :trixieshiftright:
But then again, being snarky and seemingly insensitive is a common coping strategy to feeling deply afraid and way out of one's depth. Being set in one's ways doesn't help of course.

One of the main strong points of this story though is just that. I've so far not encountered a HiE tale sporting anything else but an at most early twenties character. That alone makes it really interesting.

And the Hitchhiker's Guide references are really fitting. The inspirational particle that hit Faust's brain instead of some starling's or deepwater jellyfish's is the best explanation ever for the show's and the real equestria's simultaneous existence I've come across.

You also have an increasingly inaccurately named trilogy; although that's mostly harmless.

/ramble :twilightsheepish:

And "out of his depth" is pretty apt. There's a bit in Second Act in which Twilight gushes over the fact that she's the smart one of the pair and "he's okay with that." He's not as okay with it as he lets on, but he's unwilling to push the issue too much. (Note how defensive he is with Rarity, around chapter 2 here.)

The main thing, though, is to make sure there's no fifth story in the trilogy. :scootangel:

Only one suggestion: Make Desert Brush and Shining Armor Prince Consorts, since they aren't Princes of their own birthright (or accomplishment, in Equestria), but by marriage alone.

I hope this marriage isn't an attempt at patching up a crumbling relationship, but that they've really worked through their issues and are beyond them now. Just from the last few chapters, I'm not entirely sure they managed that.

“[…]Celestia has been saying I would have greater responsibilities.” — “That’s usually the deal with great power,”

…especially for Araneae. :derpytongue2:

I figured that Prince Consort status was understood from the beginning. Certainly Shining Armor defers to Cadance, and Brush isn't sure what's going on right now.

Another chapter well-written, well-received, and well-read.

Looking forward to the next piece!

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