Another tale in the works

   Twist is looking at you

The working title for this one is The way she used to be, and it’s based on an image macro I once saw that had nothing to do with ponies, but which was sad enough to stick with me. During an unplanned trip to Ponyville, a young colt meets up with a filly named Twist; forty years later, he can’t seem to get her out of his mind — or his heart.

I have no idea how long this will run. The exposition to set up the tale ran about 2000 words all by itself. For now, this link will work. I have no idea how long it will take to complete it, but I’m far enough into it now that I’d feel utterly horrible about abandoning it.

Update, 16 November: First chapter is now on FimFiction.

The semi-official TwiBrush timeline

Not to say that I’m actually going to write any of this, but these are the assumptions I’m working with:

1002: Twilight Sparkle steps through a portal and meets a human.

1003: Said human arrives in Equestria and is ponified — because, he says, it’s an irreducible aspect of being a Very Special Somepony. He takes the name Desert Brush.

1004: Twilight and Brush are wed in the Main Hall at Canterlot Castle. Princess Celestia presides. Rarity catches the bouquet — and keeps it.

1009: Twilight applies to be an Assistant Mage. The Archmage is dubious. Celestia intercedes, and Twilight’s application is rejected outright.

1010: The couple adopt a seven-week-old earth-pony colt, and change his name from the uncomplimentary Jetsam to the less-presumptive Arcade Fire. Twilight says the name came to her in a dream; Brush advises her to cut down her tea consumption.

1012: In the expectation of getting another chance at the Mage office, Twilight gives up her position at Golden Oaks Library. The Royal Office of New Technologies is relocated to Canterlot, where Brush, now running the show, has a staff of two. It is pointed out that Brush, now sixty-nine, technically is over the mandatory retirement age; Luna overrules the bureaucracy, saying that they have no way of knowing how long he might live.

1013: Twilight is appointed an Assistant Mage, the previous Archmage having failed to object from his deathbed.

1015: After a pregnancy that defied the medical establishment’s proclamation that ponies not born ponies, like Brush, were necessarily unable to reproduce, Twilight gives birth to Skyborne Dream, a pegasus filly. Brush, as it happens, was hospitalized at the same time; during the sixteenth hour of contractions, Twilight yelled “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” and propelled the stallion into the nearest wall.

1015: Brush takes not-all-that-early retirement to care for the foals.

1019: Twilight argues that there should be term limits for the position of Archmage, to the annoyance of the current Archmage. Celestia agrees, but specifies that the new ten-year limit will not apply to the current holder of the office.

1020: Twilight is appointed to the office of Archmage, her predecessor having passed on.

1022: The Royal Office of New Technologies is re-relocated back to Ponyville, and Scootaloo becomes the new director.

1027: Brush is hospitalized briefly following an apparent cardiac incident. No anomalies were found.

1030: Twilight declines a second term as Archmage, citing constant infighting in the office, and accepts a teaching position in the Department of Magical Arts at the University of Canterlot.

1039: Twilight is made a full professor and is granted tenure.

1042: Desert Brush passes away, six days before his 99th birthday. Celestia and Luna proclaim a Day of Mourning. Said Twilight Sparkle at the ceremony: “It may be truly said that never before was there anypony like him.”

Coming distraction

I’m starting to home in on a concept. It’s primarily a CMC story, with a guest appearance by Sweetcream Scoops, who’s older than they are but who is perfectly capable of giving them questionable advice. And it’s (vaguely) based on a true nonpony story. It will take a while, of course, but this is what’s on the table.

Update: I am indefinitely shelving this idea, and by “indefinitely” I mean “until I can come up with an ending that doesn’t look obviously forced.”

And that’s something of a wrap

The three TwiBrush stories — fourteen chapters, 40,000 words — are done, and frankly I don’t see how there can be a fourth one. Presumably they get married, and eventually he dies (he’s a lot older, of course), but I don’t have any particular desire to get into either of those scenarios just now.

Which means that I have to look elsewhere for another story. I have a couple of ideas, but neither of them are anything more than passing fancies just yet.

Another nomenclatural query

Trying to explain my characterization of Twilight Sparkle in the three TwiBrush stories went awry the moment I realized that there’s no pony equivalent for “She’s not what you’d call a people person.”

Now Twi has actually used the term “people” canonically, but “people pony” just sounds funny.

(Similar befuddlement here.)

I’m not one to brag

Well, actually, maybe a little. My story-reads count at FIMFiction went over 1,000 this past weekend, which is somewhere around ten times what I figured I’d get in my wildest dreams when I started messing with this stuff three months ago.

Anyway, if I seem a bit less Eeyorish of late, this is why.

Work in progress

I have begun something called Second Act, title subject to change, which is that third TwiBrush story I hinted at earlier. I’m not putting a link here yet, but since it is technically a Page, as WordPress calls such things, it will be in the navbar.

Update, 10 October: The title stays, and the first chapter has now been submitted to FIMFiction.

Further update: Approval has come.

Where things stand at the moment

I had a 600-word vignette called Domestic Bliss which picked up the Twilight Sparkle/Desert Brush story from Somepony New after about six weeks; after staring at it for about a week, I finally glued it onto the far end of Somepony New, bringing my two-chapter, 6000-word epiclet to four chapters and 9000 words. Obviously planning is not my strong suit.

The demand for TwiBrush is more than I ever anticipated. (Then again, I never anticipated any demand.) Two storylines suggest themselves. One of them, the inevitable wedding, does not strike me as promising, since things would have to happen to rain on their parade, and let’s face it, nopony is going to top the changeling invasion that day in Canterlot.

That leaves something a bit more clinical. Brush, of course, was originally a human — presumably you knew that from The Sparkle Chronicles — and when the story picks up in Somepony New, he’s already been ponified and turned loose by the authorities. I’m thinking, then, that the period from Twilight’s return to the human world to take him back, through his extended sojourn in the Royal Canterlot Hospital to become a pony, might be of interest. I’ll have to mull this over for some time before it starts looking like an actual narrative.

Okay, maybe once

Back in July, I suggested that I had no inclination towards writing anything particularly cloppy, and truth be told, I hadn’t read anything that spicy and had no urge to.

Still, somepony I follow on FIMFiction came up with the notion of putting out a story and a clop scene separately, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see what was done.

And while it suffered from most of the same issues as human stories of this type — pony anatomy, like human anatomy, is fairly well standardized, and efforts to avoid repetitiveness usually end up in deepest Thesaurusville — I have to give the author credit for at least showing a couple with genuine affection for one another, and letting that affection shape their, um, moves. He got an upraised thumb for his trouble, you may be sure.

We are driven

There’s a reference to “pony cars” in The Sparkle Chronicles, in the context of not wanting to explain the concept to a visiting pony. No big deal. Then there’s this seemingly unrelated bit from Somepony New:

“Seriously, Dashie,” Pinkie insisted. “He doesn’t sit like a pony, he doesn’t walk like a pony, and nopony has ever heard of him. Suppose he’s not a pony at all?”

Compare and contrast with the review of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec by Michael Karesh on the blog The Truth About Cars:

Yet it remains unclear what the Genesis Coupe wants to be when it grows up. Many reviews compare the car to a Mustang or a Camaro. But the Gen Coupe doesn’t look like a pony, sit like a pony, walk like a pony, or talk like a pony. It’s not a pony.

There’s no reason to think Mr Karesh actually read any part of Somepony New, but I have to admit to finding this hilarious.

(Crossposted to FIMFiction.)