• Member Since 12th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen 16 minutes ago

ManlyDerp


A writer who grew from their many mistakes, and who still loves ponies deeply.

Sequels1

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I was once a woman in her twilight, my children both old and fresh.

Now I am the child.

I was once a mother and a wife, my family held importance above even my own well being in my heart.

Now I am orphaned.

I was once a respected human being, a woman to treat as an equal.

Now I am simply an assistant.

I was once happy.

Now...

... Now I am Barbara The Dragoness.

Barbara the assistant.

Barbara the child.

Barbara the widow.

Barbara...

The Lost Soul.

This is the story of my second childhood, and how I found the strength to keep moving forward.

Chapters (18)
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Comments ( 316 )

This is new to me and i love it
more please?

Can you say insta fave?

Very interesting and original. Very well written. Very... tracking this now.

How peculiar... I will be watching this story's progress for sure.

5378262
Currently aiming for an update schedule of once a week. Next one will be up same time next week! See you then!

I'm... interested, even as I'm a little unhappy that the story is "AU Spike is not Spike but someone else" and, from the way this is written so far, that Barb is apparently literally property (ie: a slave), and that is not going to be admitted/addressed by Dusk, which also makes me uneasy!

But I'm interested, and track records have been good so... let's do this.

Also, regarding Tragedy tag: is it actually a tragedy as in the character utterly fails at the end? Or is it a tragedy because it starts with a tragic event, and is sad/bittersweet throughout?

5378454
My track record is good? Yay!

Well then, first off; it's AU so things won't always be show accurate. It'll stick pretty darn close, but not always thanks to the variable added. Hopefully that alleviates some of your concerns that this will be incredibly out there like some of my other works can be at times. Secondly; the, er, second one for the Tragedy question. It's just kinda about living life, one day at a time, with the burden such a thing would bring, that's all. Plus a look into Spike's past from an interesting point of view; addressing things often left unsaid in the show... which kinda dangerously dips into my other work's mentality but I'll be just as careful about how I go about it here as I do there now :twilightsmile:

Hmm... I must admit, I'm liking this so far. A lot. Rule 63 cast, human, transformation, younger than original form... a lot of story bases I enjoy are in this. The writing is top notch and deep. Barb's feelings and thoughts translate to the reader clearly and with good pacing. Tracking and Liked so far, Favouriting will depend on where the story goes from here.

Hmm. This could borderline be the same universe as A Cog in the Machine, minus the whole gender inverse thing.
Fun times.
Instant favorite, will be following.
~~~~
This, and the other story, are rare stories. They are human in Equestria stories (self inserts) which balance the scales appropriately. The inserted character NEEDS to have their power be comparable to other characters, and generally less than is required to solve most problems, and preferably is also limited by a number of other things. The other story had the character have retroactive precognition, which is standard for many human in Equestria stories, but limited by an extreme lack of freedom and ability to exploit said knowledge. That, along with significant world-building is why I liked Cog in the Machine so much. I can't actually think immediately of any other comparable self inserts.

Also, self insert/human in Equestria is a story basis, and not ever intended, from me at least, as an insert. Most if not all stories are self inserts of some type or another, as it is, from my understanding, nearly impossible to not have the protagonist, and other characters, get some personality traits and decision making from the author themselves.

5378510
If the story is someone coping with a burden... then it would only be a tragedy if they could not cope. Otherwise I'd say it's just sad.

The problem with Spike isn't that it's outlandish... it's that I like Spike too much. I want to see him succeed, and the more his backstory changes the more his character seems to change, and I notice I don't usually care as much. But... if you're sticking close, I'm gonna go ahead and see instead of jumping to Barb not feeling like a female Spike.

5378798
Hmmmm... would gender-bent Cogwill be Cogworth or simply Nathan than? These are the things I wonder about :rainbowlaugh:

Glad to hear you like it! And thank you for your kind words. I'm still aiming to return to updating that fic during season five and I think that's a promise I'll finally be able to keep. I hope I'll see you then :twilightsmile:

So far, this is a very interesting story. It has a good writing style that's descriptive, but also compact enough to hold the attention. And even though I'm no fan of the whole "Dusk Shine" gender reversal thing, you're using it well so far. I'm looking forward to seeing how you explain Barb's references to the standard FiM-universe.

Awesome new fic and great to hear you are alive again writing. The story has a great start to it and the alternate universe is greatly enhancing how this story will be shaped. Hope to hear more from this story and others of yours.

I like the intro, but I'm not as interested in the story presented here. It has a lot less of your personal flair, ManlyDerp, and I'm not exactly into the style of something that makes me feel old just reading it. I've already had enough of that.

If it's any consolation, it does seem unique in the aspect that it feels like a mature voice speaking.

I'm putting it in my 'Read Later' section, either way.

5384791
Oh hi! Long time no see! Glad to hear you like it; next chapter will be up Saturday for everyone to enjoy! Hope to see you then!


5386835
Okay; thanks for at least giving it a look! I'm planning on updating this fic regularly, but I'm also focusing my attention towards completing "If you ain't..." Once THAT'S done, A Cog in the Machine is back up to bat. That's my current plan; hope I'll see you both then :twilightsmile:

Hmm...

Hmmmmmm...

...

Okay, I like. More please.

5392346
Hmm...

Hmmmmmm...

...

Okay. See you Saturday then!

very good chapter,
can't wait for moar:twilightsmile:

This is very powerful stuff and an interesting premise. I can recognize the influence of Dreaming of Sunshine as you alluded to before, but that is a good thing when done well like it is here. Off the top of my head the only reincarnation stories in MLP fandom are... Shining's Log? There are so many HiE stories, but reincarnation isn't touched for the most part. The closest that stuff comes is being ponified HiE in the form of foals. Of that, probably the closest one I can think of to this genre is A Three Foal Wish, in the sense that they *could* have been reincarnated and only just remembered their human lives instead of been ponified, because they have a full set of memories of their foal years (and an extended family too). The contrast is part of the (little) drama, especially since their foal memories have them acting with their personalities so they couldn't just write it off as a body swap or simply being transformed. Still it's a comedy (and a very GOOD comedy at that) and not the full introspective domain of Dreaming of Sunshine style reincarnation.

5404635
Huh, I did not actually know about Shining's Log before now. Seems like it's been around for awhile too... I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here with this little writing distraction of mine :twilightblush:

Thank you for your kind words! Glad to hear you liked it :pinkiesmile:

5404554

I'll see you again next week then!

5406972

I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here with this little writing distraction of mine

Actually if you are talking about a character reincarnated as Spike theme, I do recall it having been done before in Soul of a Dragon, which is a Harry Potter crossover. I didn't like the story though, and it is almost nothing like yours so I wouldn't worry about it. I'd much rather read your version.

5407062

Oh, alrighty then! That's good to hear. No reason at all that there can't be two stories of a similar premise or something, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't accidentally taking the fun away from someone or something silly like that.

Great content for the story. This will fill nicely the bridge between spike and twilight. Very great chapter for the beginning few. Hope to see more chapters from you and happy holidays.

5410779
Happy Holidays to you as well! See you again later this week :raritywink:

I wonder what that book is... tune in next time?

What's in the book?

One of the more interesting multiverse theories. Good to see some present slice of life stuff mixed in with journal writing, it gives it more life.

Hm... I wonder. As much as Barb is an adult woman trapped in a child's body... the fact that she hasn't been able to cope with the loss of her family after years, and that when she was younger she would react exactly like an infant would...

Is she... still influenced by the emotions and reactions of being a child? Even with the experience/memories she is remembering?

5424216
I don't feel the need to put a spoiler tag on this; yeah, she is. As much as her memories have shaped her into, well, herself, she still has the physical mind and body of a child. She's only currently worried about the body though, as cited last chapter with her assumption that her second time through puberty will be unpleasant. Her infantile behavior earlier on, her momentary lapses as seen here, her youthful antics portrayed later; these are all clues that it has also been affecting her mind...

but Barb herself hasn't noticed, or she's simply choosing to ignore the facts.

I'm still tinkering around for ways to convey all this through the journal's writings; my current weapon of choice being the use of slashed words slashed words. Although I have the story structured out and the ending settled, the fun part of this particular fic of mine is the challenge I find in trying to convey the thoughts and feelings of a character who doesn't acknowledge her own flaws! It's a nice distraction from my other current, almost complete projects.

Happy holidays, btw :pinkiesmile:

5424003
5423648
The latest volume of The Lusty Argonian Maid; just in time for Hearth's Warming!

... Nah; it's a mystery that won't be solved right away. Maybe they'll be hints in the chapters to come... if not in the ones currently here, hmmm?

Hope you'll stick around to find out, and hope you'll have a happy holidays :twilightsmile:

wonderful chapter, great that we are starting to interact with the world in the story. Would love to see how the world changed Barbara into Barb. Great on Brab and Dusk interact. Great to see more from you and happy holidays from where I am from (still Christmas from where I am right now).

Having read this far, I must ask why have the gender flipped versions? Isn't this likely to be confusing enough without that particular aspect of it? (Seriously, is it a preference or does it serve a purpose later on?)

5433541
Both. Preference in the sense that this is the type of character I wanted to write about. Said character better fits my head-cannon of a genderbent Spike than Spike himself, thus is why I decided to go all out with a genterbent world. And it will serve a purpose much later on. Until then, as Barb's actions start to closely fit Spike's own, I will leave readers to speculate on whether this means that the Spike we know is experiencing something similar to Barb or not.

You stop making the poor woman unhappy!

5433754
... *Looks over at Big Mac from "If you ain't...", OC in A Cog in the Machine, and then Twilight in And then Twilight Exploed* ... Er... I... I-I actually don't know if I can :fluttercry:

Wait... I had assumed this entry was a significant amount of time later in the series... but the series might not have started at all, might it?

Would explain the comment about Barb not potentially being comfortable in becoming attracted to a nonhuman because Barb has not met Elusive yet... no idea if she would definitely have the mirrored reaction, but it might be something that she would have to cope with.

Hm... the interlude with Barb's current writing makes me wonder if there will be any change as she writes them, or something happening in her current life, or if it will just be a recounting and those scenes are for color.

She may be able to have kids here. It's not the same, but.....

Looks like her past family will be a sore spot for barb.

But now I cant help but wonder how this cannon will be different then the one we know- even without the influence of Barbs for-knowledge.

Not going to lie, I haven't started reading this yet. I will soon, but there is something that needs to be pointed out right away.

I simply must commend you on the incredibly effective short description you've used there. Not many stories grab my attention simply from their descriptions, but yours managed to do so strongly. I'll definitely be taking a look at this story when I have more time to properly do so!

5455129
Hey thanks! I quite like it too; short, sweet, and to the point! It's sad how people tend to judge books by their covers around here. I felt having an eye-catching description like this was the best way to get around this little hurdle!

I hope you'll enjoy the story, whenever you get around to giving it a look :twilightsmile:

Cyi

:applejackconfused: what if Elusive is barbs husband reincarnated?:rainbowhuh:

This has been rather interesting and ii'm kind of curious where it is headed. If this is all happening before the show right now then I'm curious as to what will change by her very mental presence. I can probably guess what that book is though she got Dusk if this really IS before the show.

it was then that I performed my first facepalm as a dragon.

One of many, I imagine? I can't wait for the next parts of this, actually going over Barb's life and how the reincarnated would interact with a young Dusk Shine who she is both younger and older simultaneously.

I enjoy this story...
moar please!

I really can't get enough of this story, you really have a way with words and creating moods. The conclusions Barb comes to and implications she makes are quite powerful; it's a fascinating read and I have quite a lot of hope for the future of the story. I really could read this all day, no matter if it's just theory crafting, emotional revelations, retelling her history, or even turning into a diary of events of MLP proper.

5488612
Thank you, I'm glad to hear that you've been enjoying it! And thank you for also pointing out WHAT it was exactly that you enjoyed about it; I'm always aiming to improve myself so it really helps when I'm told when I'm actually doing things right :twilightsmile: So far I haven't received any negative critique, (the downvoters didn't leave comments, so I don't know what it was they didn't like :rainbowhuh:) so I'll just keep on keeping on then!

See you next time!

It's just heartrending given her real age. At least if she was younger she wouldn't have the memories of a whole built up life and family, and the annoyance of younger beings not listening to her.

Whoof... now we're getting to the main "Barb as nothing more than a tool" part. Just as tough to read as the implication that this is all Spike is.

No matter how much Barb says she accepts this, it's painful. In fact, her saying she accepts that she's basically a tool raised to do nothing but what could help Dusk is probably more painful... I don't know what the conversation Barb had with Solaris, but it better be a doozy for me to accept that Solaris should be forgiven for stealing a child's life so that his student would have an easier one (it's not even a definitely necessary job, and as we've seen in the show, it definitely doesn't end when Solaris's main goal is completed.)

5510413
Yup; next one will be a doozy. Despite this being my in-between major projects story (still working on "If you ain't..." and A Cog), I'll do my best to give this topic the attention and respect it deserves. The Solaris conversation is going to be really tricky, even if I do know what I want to do with it. Remember that this isn't just a part of Barb's past, but potentially Spike's as well. It was a turning point for Barb becoming Dusk's assistant early; logically it would have had to have happened for Spike and Twilight as well. It'd be easy to write if Spike was a reincarnated individual as well just like Barb... but I haven't given any indication thus far if this is the case or not. :raritywink:

Needless to say, I've got a bit of a challenge on my hands for next time. Love me a good challenge. Wish me luck!

Dawww

Wait.... Is she a slave?

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