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WritingSpirit


Try again. Fail again. Fail better. (Ko-Fi / Tip Jar)

E

Seek comfort, should you need it.

Tell yourself that you deserve it. Force it upon yourself, if you must.

And when you find it, keep it. Keep them close.

For there is no greater comfort than knowing there’s somepony in your life who wants to take care of you.


A gift for the effulgent Novelle Tale,
written as part of the Quills and Sofas Speedwriting Group's Christmas Fic Exchange.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 16 )

Nice story, though I can't help but wonder.

Who is Twilight talking to in the end?

11094971
Don't know, really. Could be anypony you want it to be. :twilightsmile:

This is soo wonderfully sad and beautiful.

That was a good story.

only to have her responsibilities be relegated to Spike instead when she almost tore upon a rift into another dimension while deciding what colour the tablecloths should be. Were it not for Princess Celestia interfering in time, Equestria would certainly be floating in some tessellating hexahedral mesh by now.

Absolute perfect way to start a story. Very strong opening.

This whole story was confusing, but weirdly heartwarming. Very poetic and beautiful, yet incomprehensibly complex.

11099434
Yeah, this is probably one of my more obtuse stories in recent memory. Glad that you enjoyed it regardless though! Thanks for reading!

Howdy, hi!

I read this during the contest it was run in and I still enjoyed reading it again. It's beautiful and complex. There are so many threads and emotions weaving through the story that really brings forth this gorgeous prose. I enjoyed the ambiguity, surprisingly, despite not liking it in other instances. I think the ambiguity is a selling point, the sort of je ne sais quoi that makes the writing grip you when you read.

That you also leave it up to the reader to decide whom Twilight went to after gently rejecting Luna was a great moment. Let's you kind of puzzle it out and think the answer, which I think then says more about the reader then the story when they eventually decide on it.

The writing is beautiful, the prose thoughtful, and frankly it's an enjoyable read.

Thank you for the story!

Hi there! I saw your story recommended over here and thought I'd give it a look. It turns out I had marked this story to read later anyway, so I was happy to take some time for it!

I love the mood you set in this story. I've found it hard to capture the feeling of a moment of quiet contemplation, the feeling of staring at the heavens on a warm night with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company. You did a wonderful job of it here, so much so that I'm a little envious, and may have to give it another read to piece together how you did it.

The conversation between Luna and Twilight was well done as well. Beginning with a humerous, but potentially symbolic, anectode was a good choice, and the way Luna expresses her regret is really beautiful. There is hurt there, but also a recognition that the hurt is of her own making, and that interrupting Twilight's life for her own sake would be wrong. It's especially appropriate as Luna's time is coming to an end, and so she has decided to finally make peace with herself. The fact that it is also a warning to Twilight is just an added, and wonderful, bonus.

I usually try to offer some advice or explain something that didn't work for me, but I'm having a hard time doing so with this story. I did find the occasional phrase to be clunky or hard to understand. For example:

“You should get used to being referred to by that soon.”

I know this is Luna, and she has odd phrasing sometimes, but this particular line forced me to stop and figure out what she meant. That's not always bad, but in this case, it did pull me out of the story, so I do consider it a very small flaw.

Great story. Keep up the good work!

She was dressed up for the occasion in yet another one of Rarity’s many masterpieces—a charmeuse gown richly hued in a deep and dazzling shade of dark violet, the colour pairing very nicely with her gilded horseshoes and her almandine-encrusted crown.

i wish i could describe pony outfits like this! really gets across the, uh, "fanciness" for lack of a better term, which i would have were i more fancy

No, the incoming ruler of Equestria just felt no immediate need to mingle with this crowd of strangers, especially when they seemed to be enjoying themselves already. To her, the contentment of her guests was crucial, first and foremost. Her participation might stifle that.

and the separation from her subjects begins already, with Twilight seeing her place as ensuring their happiness rather than feeling like a part of them. agh, great stuff

She chuckled at herself, recalling how she spent the past few weeks agonising over the idea of making this year’s function more interesting, only to have her responsibilities be relegated to Spike instead when she almost tore upon a rift into another dimension while deciding what colour the tablecloths should be. Were it not for Princess Celestia interfering in time, Equestria would certainly be floating in some tessellating hexahedral mesh by now.

this is so delightfully Twilight, i absolutely love it

She found the Princess of the Night in a dress several sepulchral shades shy of navy-blue, strolling down the dirt path adjacent to the outer walls of the hedge maze and slowing down at times to appreciate the potted blossoms placed along the way,

just want to point out how great "several sepulchral shades shy" is, agh, i wish i could write like this

“The gala, it’s an exorbitantly embellished charade, all of it.” Luna turned her snout up and away from the unwitting guests. “I have no intention of participating, lest I become beguiled by their masquerade. One wonders how my sister has the patience to put up with them.”

really love the contrast between the sisters here; it's all so very Luna!

“The opposite, quite actually,” Luna said, hiding a soft laugh behind her hoof. “I had a fun time teasing my sister over it. I swear, Celestia can be absolutely careless on the most mundane of matters at times, so much so that I sincerely wonder to this day how she was able to rule all of Equestria in my absence for such a long time. It must’ve taken a miracle, frankly speaking.”

ah, even this moment speaks to so much! Celestia's aloofness and inattention, oof

Like many times before now, it didn’t take long for the younger alicorn to indulge in her foalhood sensibilities as she lost herself in the vast splendour swirling over her.

as i mentioned, love the misdirection here

“Do you know what an aisling is?”

i did not, but i will always remember thanks to this. the idea of Equestria ponified visiting in a dream is one so freighted with possibilities for meaning and poetry, and it lives up to its potential here

Twilight did as she was told. Trapped in the embrace of the night with nowhere else to go, she allowed herself to submerge into the softness surrounding her, the warmth. The rhythm of her breathing crumbled alongside her form, her every exhalation shaky as it was quiet, but as her eyes steadied to a close, she found herself listening to Luna’s instead. She found herself guided by it, a shepherd leading her to the calm waiting at the end of a winding road, and in a matter of seconds, she was breathing once more.

i want to write like this! :raritycry: i could just feel the calm wash over me as well

“It’s necessary, Twilight Sparkle. Sometimes, what might seem cruel may be the kindest thing you can do.”

agh, so true, and oof

“Do not allow yourself to be alone, Twilight Sparkle,” she continued, almost pleading. “Do not make the same mistake that I did. Seek comfort, should you need it. Tell yourself that you deserve it. Force it upon yourself, if you must. And when you find it, keep it. Keep them close. For there is no greater comfort than knowing there’s somepony in your life who wants to take care of you.”

repeating the above


honestly, i wish i could write better just so i had more meaningful things to say about how much i loved this Twilight and Luna. all the pain and regret and wisdom in their exchange feel so well-earned, fitting in perfectly with this beautiful atmosphere you have crafted. just the aesthetic fits in so well with the themes. dreaming and airiness and sorrow and the alluring pull of aloofness brought down to earth by the somatic sensations so beautifully described and agh

and this glimpse of Celestia's perspective! that she is, if anything, more lost than Twilight about what the future holds for her is very interesting, and adds another layer to this for me. it makes me think of how my journey deeper into adulthood has been just realizing that the adults that seemed so capable and knowledgeable to me as a child were really just humans winging it like any other, except on the scale of immortal alicorn rulers. and that soft moment between them, of Celestia comforting a quietly whimpering Luna, agh. wonderful stuff

and agh, ending it on that last line is perfection. as is the decision to leave just who that bounding silhouette is ambiguous. i loved this fic during the Quills gift exchange commenting, and i love it now as i am rereading it. thank you so much for it, and for giving me a level of writing to aspire to

After reading this through once, the knowledge gained prompts a second read to catch the details contributing to the buildup. That is just the thing I did.

But of course, even though she may quite be the most important pony in the room, Twilight remained content with taking up the familiar role of impassive observer.

She chuckled at herself, recalling how she spent the past few weeks agonizing over the idea of making this year’s function more interesting, only to have her responsibilities be relegated to Spike instead when she almost tore upon a rift into another dimension while deciding what colour the tablecloths should be.

The Twilight we all know and love.

“I should look for her,” Twilight opted. “It’s her last gala, after all…”

Very thoughtful of her. Normally, we do not see those that are missing, so adds depth that the Princess of Friendship is cognizant of others.

“Nothing of that sort. You’ll understand when it happens.”

Seems less spontaneous and more intentional now. In hindsight, this is the most organic the interaction can be, as Celestia must have some idea of what Luna’s going to talk to Twilight about, but not the entirety.

The cool air of the night lacquered her cheeks…

Oh! Nice description!

“Tell my sister she need not fret. I’ll return to her side once the gaggle has dwindled some.”

Like the characterization here. I relate to Luna, as gatherings can be taxing. Enjoyable, yes, but can drain your energy.

“…lest I become beguiled by their masquerade…”

I didn’t expect such a strong reaction/aversion.

…pallid trumpets that sang in silent chorus to their twinkling counterparts high up above.

“These flowers were a gift from my dear sister, you see. To celebrate my coming home.”

The metaphor sets the stage to what Luna has to offer. Datura/Thornapples; an honest mistake done in good faith. A mistake that would later become a regret

“Those are the insidious ones, Twilight Sparkle. Those are the ones you have to look out for.”

Not very comforting, Luna.

“Not every sacrifice is worthwhile.”

“regretted not doing?”

“Sometimes, what might seem cruel may be the kindest thing you can do.”

This keeps keying into the big reveal at the end. Every subtle hint.

I like the unexpectedness of everything set before us:

Yet it did not seem frail or forlorn as she had expected. Rather, there was a vivacity in it. A mischief. As though this was all according to plan.

Yet, when she was done, she would still make time for me to chare my own afflictions.

This parallel’s Twilight’s cognizance of Luna’s absence from the gala. Perhaps there is something deeper here. A double meaning. She is referring to

both Equestria and Twilight

simultaneously. That may be what you are getting at here, but at the same time, I might mistake.

That, and the ending. No doubt that Twilight was caught off-guard and not just by the sudden wing-hug.

This carries onto the next chapter where we are met with a Celestia POV:

Before Celestia could ask her sister about it, however, Luna suddenly cantered up to her and, without uttering a single word, buried her face into her chest, the softest of smiles growing on the elder alicorn’s lips when she heard the quietest of whimpers.

Luna is being emotional today, undoubtedly a change of pace for both Twilight and Celestia.

Finishing off with a Twilight POV:

It was a place she knew she would come back to, solely with the intention of having the conversation she hoped would one day take place.

Something about this makes me feel empty. It feels like a promise unfulfilled, but will be fulfilled in due time.

At first, I looked back to see if there were any clues I missed towards the identity of the pony Twilight visits, but looking at the other’s comments, I realize it is stylistic. Left to the reader’s imagination.

Altogether, glad I read this!

So...I have a lot of questions, but that's the point of this story isn't it? To keep you guessing?

Ya I have so many questions, my curiosity is gonna drive me crazy now, thank you.

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