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    State of the Mono + Story/Tec Updates

    Hi everyone!

    I was on the fence about writing this, but enough people have asked here or on Twitter about my lack of activity, so I thought I should try and write something. Originally I didn’t want to because I felt bad that here was another blogpost explaining the shit I’m going through, but didn’t I leave Fimfiction so I wouldn’t feel that way anymore? 

    So here I am. 

    I’m going to divide everything into sections, including individual updates on stories, but for a TL;DR, the past six months of my life have been insurmountably difficult on me, and it’s only just begun to ease up. I still want to write but it’s been hard. But I still want to, which I figure counts for something. 

    I’ll start with the general life stuff and then go to stories.

    JOB
    There’s not much to say here except that my current job is draining the life out of me. It has been for a while, and extremely so in the past few months where I get home so exhausted I can’t even think. I particularly had a coworker who would undermine me so much for so long that it just ruined my self-esteem and confidence. They left a few months ago, and though I’ve managed to build some of it back up, it’s still very much still in the ruined area. I’ve also held off looking for a different job because I’m going to school next year, and because my bosses are nice people even if they’re god-awful bosses. But I can’t anymore. I miss feeling alive, lol. I’ve finally just started applying for other jobs, but obviously, this comes with the crushing blow of rejections and anxiety and feeling like I’m not going to get out. It’s been really rough. 

    HOME SITUATION
    I haven’t really addressed this anywhere else, but I think I sort of can now. My home situation for the past few months was not great—through no fault of anyone, it’s important to add. Sometimes a good situation just comes to an end, and that’s okay. Unfortunately, because of my mental health being drained both at home and at work, for the longest time it felt like I was a shell. I only just recently moved out, and though I think it was the right choice and the relationships I cared about have started to heal, it’s still rough. There’s been moving, and getting acclimated, plus this was a lot more expensive than I anticipated, so it’s just been A Lot. I also had a personal problem spring up that was brutal to deal with, and I’m still dealing with the lasting damages it caused, but… But it’s improving and I’m working on it. Healing is slow, but it’s there. 

    MENTAL HEALTH
    I’m gonna keep it short, because the next segment will be long. My mental health has been in the shitter. There’s really no other way to put it. Between work stuff, and home stuff, and just stuff happening one after the other, and also world in general stuff, I’ve been dead. I also feel guilt for not writing and guilt for selling my books at Everfree and just guilt for everything. I feel like every day my life is shit, and every day all I can think is “It’s my fault”. I am trying my best to overcome it, and work on it, and going to therapy and all that, but it is so hard. I barely feel human. I feel like I’m on auto-pilot, mindlessly going through it because what is the point?

    Which leads me to

    WRITING

    Welp. 

    I miss writing. I miss missing writing. But with just how ruinous this entire year has been, every day is a struggle to want to do it. I’m still doing it and am trying because I want to despite it all, but every day is a fight against the voices saying “who cares, it’s just stories, just cancel them and move on”. 

    I remember the saying “writing is a lonely job”. I never got that or felt that way, but now I get it. I feel so alone with my writing (except for with Crimson/Sapphire). Every day it gets harder and harder to not convince myself that finishing stories isn’t worth it, and no one cares, and everyone’s moved on. I wish I had a glory story, that I left Fimfiction, and all was well, and I’m thriving. 

    But I’m not! And I knew it would be hard, and it is, but with everything going on it’s just been too much. So many aspects of my life have beaten me down to such a level, to a place where I can’t see the point to anything, so it’s easy to convince myself others don’t. I don’t know. I’m just struggling. But I’m trying. I’m writing little drabbles and oneshots and trying. I am, even if it’s hard. 

    There’s a tweet I really love that’s like “If I owe you an email, please find some comfort in the fact that my every waking hour is haunted by my debt to you.”

    Well, if I haven’t finished a story, please find some comfort in the fact that my every waking hour is haunted by my debt to you/myself. 

    Still in this topic, I will address three stories and give a generalized update on them. 

    TRAVELERS OF CAELUM
    Quick and simple. This is still cancelled until I finish my other two big fics. I want to finish this, but considering everything going on, I’m not giving anyone hope until I feel it’s actually viable. 

    SAPPHIRE EYES
    Sapphire Eyes is on pause right now while I recover my writing muse, but it will be updated as soon as that happens. Crimsonverse is probably the only thing in my life right now still beating if only because it’s good enough I’m using it for my Grad School applications. And because I recently saw the theatre version of Moulin Rouge and that really inspired me. But Crimson is okay right now. 

    THE ENCHANTED CAROUSEL
    I’m going to be blunt with this because I need to be, for my sake and yours. 

    TEC is on what could be considered life-support right now. I am so exhausted by life, like I said, beaten down to a point where I don’t know if anything matters anymore, and TEC and the Enchanted Series as always is the one that suffers the most. 

    I am struggling to find a reason to finish this. I thought I could do it support entirely by my own love for the series, but when I have no love or life left to give, I don’t know what else to do. I feel so alone writing this series. And right now, in this state, I can’t bear another year or two of the effort it is to write this and write it well, only to feel alone, like I’m putting so much work for something that so little will enjoy. 

    I recognize that’s toxic. God, I know that relying on external validation is the root of all evil, and it’s not right, and you shouldn’t, but God, I am fighting and failing to find a point to trying to finish it at all. It’s part of the reason I haven’t updated even though I know how the next chapter goes. Because I’m so afraid that I’ll go through it, get excited about the series again, post it, and feel like it didn’t even matter, like it was a blip in the radar. 

    I don’t regret leaving Fimfiction, that place was not good for me (highlighted by some really disturbing stuff that was said about me there recently), and I thought TEC would survive the transition and loss of audience, but every passing day, I’m starting to feel it won’t. Maybe if my life hadn’t been a shitshow for so long, it would have.

    And yet. 

    And yet, I was recently re-reading Crimson Lips in preparation for selling it at EFNW and I came across an excerpt that felt strikingly apt. Painfully so, almost. 

    I turned to the Lady when she sniffled, the both of us looking at each other as we earlier had when I’d first arrived. There was still love there. That’s the worst part of it, I think. The fact that there was still life beating in the mangled pulsing flesh that was the heart of our relationship.

    Everything I was, I was because of her.

    Crimson Lips, “22. ‘Till The Streets Bleed Like Our Hearts”

    In so many ways, I am who I am right now because of The Enchanted series. I am living in Los Angeles because of it, I met my closest best friends because of it, I am who I am as a writer because of these stories that are so much a part of me that they’re the first to bleed when I am bleeding. 

    Nothing hurts me more to a visceral level than struggling with TEC. But I’m struggling, and it hurts, and it feels like shit, and it feels so much easier to quit just so I can stop feeling this way. But I can’t. I don’t want to. 

    A long time ago, when I was struggling with finishing The Enchanted Library, I was telling my dear friend Cynewulf about it and she said this to me: 

    It would be a sad thing to quit. (It is always a sad thing to quit just about anything that isn’t a drug of some sort. And even then, subjectively one FEELS sad, as if some thing or other has been lost. That is the cruel thing about addiction.) Not only would it be sad for your readers and, I confess, myself, but it would also be sad for you. The relief that comes from throwing off a long-held and dear burden is immediate but shortlived. The regret follows you for much, much longer. 

    I think about this quote so much. Because it’s true. If I choose to quit the story, it will haunt me until I die. But I am struggling. The regret is starting to feel like something I can live with, and I don’t want that. I don’t want to quit, I have been thinking about the ending of this stupid series for so fucking long, I want to see it through. 

    So, I am fighting agains my shame and guilt to ask a favor of you, if you are reading this and care. 

    If you care about TEC, if you are in any way invested in seeing it finished, if you care, then please help me. I’m asking for help. If you have favorite passages, post them, or talk about them I don’t know. If you’re on the Discord server, you have my blanket permission to harass me for updates, to poke me about it, I don’t know. If you care, if you want to see this finished, help me believe that there’s a point to it. 

    I know people care. I know this on brain level, I know this, but right now I am so deep in the hole, that I need to be pummeled with hammers to see it. This isn’t about my writing. It’s just about TEC and The Enchanted series. If you care about them, in any way you can, please metaphorically hold my hand and help me walk until I don’t need the help.

    “I have to help Princess Luna and the others. I’m sorry. I can’t give up on them.”

    Now Rarity reacted, her hoof flying down to her chest. “I know that. I would never dream of asking you to do that. I’m just… If you get hurt, or…”

    “I know,” Twilight said, gently. Remorsefully, her ears folding back. “And I wish I could, but I can’t promise you I won’t get hurt. I can’t promise you something won’t set me off, or I won’t lose myself again, or Discord won’t hurt me, or… Or that I won’t blame myself anymore because I’ve been doing it for centuries! That’s a lot of years of bad habits to break! But…

    “But I’m going to get better. Even if it’s hard. I won’t be great at it all the time, and even though I’m statistically likely to have tons of regressions, I’m still going to keep getting better no matter how long it takes me, whether you’re there or not.”

    The Enchanted Kingdom, “Chapter 22 – The Filly Who Believed”

    I’m going to finish TEC. I know this. Sooner or later, I will, be it in ten years or twenty or three or four. Just like Twilight will work through the fifty million traumas I saddled her with even if it takes ten years or twenty or three or four. 

    But if you, like Rarity, care and want to be part of that journey, I am stuck real deep in my underground library and could use some help in getting out of being dead displaced.

    -Mono

    59 Comments

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    1. graynon
      May 3, '23 at 2:15 am

      Every work you make just dazzles me. Whatever you feel like or don’t feel like writing, is a decision I will respect. I’m not much of a commenter but all of the works I’ve read from you have left my breath hitched and my heart racing and I know no better author, in all honesty. I’m here for whatever you will write, personally. I hope everything will go well for you in the future, Mono. You’re spectacular.

    2. CC
      Apr 12, '23 at 8:45 pm

      For what it’s worth, I adore the enchanted series. I came to it late, reading the first story well after the show ended and fimfic stopped being a daily site for me, but I eventually found it all the same. So know that your works are still being discovered and still being loved. And I’ll keep checking for Carousel now and again, here and there, till I see that complete tag.

    3. Victoria
      Dec 9, '22 at 1:18 am

      I love your Enchanted series, Mono. It’s among the most favorite fanfics I’ve ever read.

      As the author with an unfinished story myself, I understand your struggle well. I really hope you’d feel better and find the strength to work on TEC.

    4. SQ
      Aug 30, '22 at 8:14 pm

      From someone stuck in their own underground library, I hope you find your way out of yours. I’ve always been partial to your short stories; while I would love to see TEC finished, I hope the weight of expectations there isn’t keeping you away from writing in general. In any case, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep checking the site from time to time for updates.

    5. asdfghhjkl
      Aug 28, '22 at 7:59 pm

      I just finished reading The Enchanted Library and really enjoyed it. I may read The Enchanted Kingdom next, but I am a little hesitant as I know that if I finish, I will want to start Carousel next and I like binging series instead of waiting for updates. But when you find the strength to finish Carousel I will definitely finish it.

    6. Nation
      Aug 28, '22 at 12:55 pm

      I feel your weight and appreciate you being open about it. Your friends remarks are spot on and I really hope you internalize them. Regret weighs tons… Discipline weighs ounces in comparison. You don’t see it now, but you will know if you choose to submit to your demons.

      That said, you should balance your life. Might I suggest prayer? It can sound silly, but it really has made a difference for me at times.

      I pray you find the strength to navigate your challenges. I would love to see this finished. I remember my giddy excitement when reading each new chapter. I love this series. If no one else does, I do. You can do it. I feel it and know it.

    7. Harwick
      Aug 26, '22 at 9:34 pm

      Hello there Mono!

      I confess, I dropped by to see if you had made any post about EFNW, as I had heard that you were there and was jealous that I wasn’t and couldn’t cross paths with you and others again. You were such a bright spot of both of my convention experiences, even in brief interactions.

      I feel bad that I am so late to updates here, especially reading your post above. You have seen me and as such, you have likely noted both my age and my clueless expression, both of which I will point to to explain how I’ve never figured out how to get notified of new content at this site…. I simply have it bookmarked, and I check in hopefully now and again.

      So I do want to let you know that those updates are a delight to me. As with many, including yourself, these last few years have been difficult for me as well. There has been loss, and sickness, and struggles. One hopes that the slope of one’s life will be consistently or at least generally upwards, and so the downward turns and new lows coming later in life can be rather gutting. There have definitely been times when I’ve needed an escape, and here you’ve been supplying thousands upon thousands of words adding up to countless hours of entertainment that allows me to do so…. Taking me out of my own head, sharing with me the perspectives of others, and spinning tales of hope and love and caring that can help restore a sometimes wounded soul. I really can’t overstate the gift you’ve given freely… the drops of your thoughtfulness infused with your talent for spinning yarns that are warm and wonderful that I just happen across online, like random gems scattered through the path of my life.

      I hope that you’re being reminded of that uplifting touch that you have graced the fandom with right now in Everfree. I’m sorry that I can’t ease your own troubles, but I wanted you to know that every small brush with you via your writing has been a treat in a world where positive moments can seem scarce. I want to thank you profusely for sharing them.

      —Harwick

    8. Baree
      Aug 26, '22 at 5:03 pm

      It was rough to read that. Which might not be a helpful thing to say, even with some elaboration, which I’m going to give. But I can only hope you will take this in the way I mean it.

      I have some friends who struggle with life’s issues, perhaps more so that average ( I mean, everyone encounters challenges, but they are not fairly distributed). Part of the struggle is who they are, how they tick, but yeah, life can really be unfair sometimes. And I can’t really relate. I have my challenges but they are perfectly manageable and I think the way I thick helps too.

      I don’t know how I can help them (or you, that’s the rough part), other than listen and maybe give some ideas or insights, probably stuff they already have been told or thought of themselves many times. I’m sure it’s worth something, but it’s no solution.

      It’s kinda the same here. Sounds like there is a lot going on, a lot of it is (very) bad. I wish you didn’t feel that way. just because I don’t think anyone should. I can relate somewhat to feelings of guild, I am very good in coming up with scenarios about why I let people down and I have to be careful to be realistic about what I can do, accept the fact I make mistakes, or that you can’t always do everything you want to do. Life can get in the way and that’s ok. I recognize some of that in your blog. But that’s a small part of stuff from what I understand.

      There’s is a lot I want to say here, but I don’t think I can say it properly. I will try to summarize my thoughts. The main thing is, I really hope you can get to a place where you are feeling better again. Mentally, emotionally, physically. First and foremost because everyone deserves happiness. Secondly, even if we don’t know each other, I have really enjoyed the Enchanted series (and some of your other works) and that has to count for something.

      I would love for the series to be finished, absolutely. I would also love to be able to eventually have all three books in my possession. I have a LOT of pony books in dead tree form, including The Enchanted Library part One and Two from the Ministry of Image. And I will definitely get the PFP version as well. I will get all books published by either, and if there would be more versions that are different I will get those as well.

      I also reread. A lot. Couldn’t tell you how often I have reread the Enchanted Library, but at least three times so far (though it’s been a while). Enchanted Kingdom twice. And I will revisit them, many times, I’m sure. The ending of Enchanted Kingdom is the most fresh in my memory.

      I remember the teddy bears. I remember Tilly Rose remembering Luna, and realizing the wings are real. I remember Spike choking up. I remember Luna’s eagerness to meet Pinkie when she finally got out. I remember The Cupcake and The Pacing of the scene in where they finally meet, and how perfect that pacing was. No joke, I’m tearing up a bit thinking about it again.

      I remember the epilogue, and the moon, and the suspense felt by a certain character. And then the stars, and the immense joy and relief when it was finally certain… yes, Luna was back. And I remember the final gut punch with Celestia (although part of that I think was in one of the first chapters of The Enchanted Carousel).

      The finale is the freshest in my memory and it was such and emotional roller coaster that it kinda takes preference over most other stuff. Memories of the Enchanted Library are more abstract (I actually really want to start rereading it again now… I’m currently rereading another story but I’m fairly sure I can safely say EL will be next again).

      When it comes to EL, I wonder how true some of these memories are right now. But let’s give this a go. I remember Rarity falling down into the tree for the first time. I remember her fleeing pretty quickly I think. I remember being charmed by the name “Princess Bookie”. I remember the description of the tree and I think some remnants or memories of the town that once surrounded it. I remember a strange feeling of nostalgia for a town that was still perfectly fine and present in the actual show because of it. I remember a floating(?) chandelier I think. I remember the owls (though not their names right now). I remember moving bookcases. I remember Twilight standing on one of them and speaking to Rarity. I remember the CMC, and loving their interactions with Twilight. If i recall correctly Sweetie was the first to meet her. Or maybe she talked the other two into meeting them together (I think it was the first).

      I remember the invisible wall. I’m pretty sure I remember a game, and Twilight having fun. I remember Twilight’s wonder about moderns books and other objects (the camera), and Rarity’s fascination with Twilight’s wonder. I remember Fluttershy getting involved, though not the exact scene. I remember Twilight’s anxiety and guild. There’s a lot here I don’t remember, another reason to reread.

      I remember a story of how Twilight got trapped in the library. I remember a being who may or may not have been Discord. I remember guild about not wanting to make a certain sacrifice. I remember meeting that sacrifice, both as a reader and the scene with Twilight and Spike. I remember despair, and hopelessness, and a long period of it in the story world, though not so much for the reader. I remember the moment of freedom, and the reunion. I also remember the first chapters of the EK. The emotional struggle and all the baggage that had to be worked through throughout the EK.

      I remember Canterlot, and Denza, and her issues. The kind of ingenious way her trap worked, or seemed to work. I think I remember something about an NPC (guard?) and Canterlot and tunnels and a possible betrayal (but that’s rather vague).

      I think I remember something about food and tasting it for the first time.

      I’m sure more would come to me if I would give it time. But I’m honestly excited now to start reading it again and rediscovering everything I have forgotten or that is buried somewhere in my mind. In a week I have two weeks off, and I’m pretty sure I will have finished rereading my current story by then. You asked for favourite scenes. After this lengthy ramble, I will just say this. I recently made an estimate I must have read about 800 million pony words by now (including rereads), and that’s a fairly conservative estimate. I’m sure I have forgotten a lot more than I remembered. Everything I do remember means the story left an impact (even if I maybe didn’t remember everything correctly). And since I read it al multiple times (and am about to do so again) it obviously has been a positive impact.

      At the end of the day, as much as I would love to see this finished, I mainly hope that you find yourself in a good place and a good way at some point in the (preferably nearby) future. If that is possible without finishing the Enchanted series and it turn out that way I’ll gladly call it a win. That means no feeling guild or regret for the rest of your life. If it does get finished, I have another trilogy to come back to every once and a while and keep enjoying. Even if I’m not active in the fandom anymore and haven’t been for many years, reading fanfiction is the one thing that stuck. I read it pretty much daily. For now I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. even if it doesn’t get finished I’ll reread this. Time and time again. If i does get finished, even better. If there will be physical copies of all three books, even better better. By both MoI and PFP, even better better better.

      I know I was kinda all over the place with this, but if you manage to read (some of) it, I can only hope it will help somewhat. I’ll be sure to post again after rereading it and actually go into my favourite scenes (the finale of EK definitely is one though, that Cupcake Scene… OMG). I hope life treats you better, and I hope you can get to a point where you can look back at this part of your life and go “Glad that that’s over! Things are so much better now!”

    9. platinumSKIES
      Aug 22, '22 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Mono!

      I have a confession to make:

      I haven’t read any of the Enchanted series yet. And…I kind of feel ashamed about that.

      Not in any way that reflects on you, please please please believe me. I didn’t read them for a while for a really stupid and….goofy reason.

      I wanted to read them as physical books in my hand.

      Like…I say that and I feel dumb for writing that. I always saw so much praise and love for this series, and I’m holding off on it??? Am I crazy? But…but part of me feels like reading them in my hands, holding the story you wrote that was voted the Best Fanfic on Fimfiction, would be worth anything and the wait for them.

      Now…

      Now I wish I read them much sooner so I could see them at the same time as so many other people. To give them the same treatment as I gave Crimson when I read it here. I did you a disservice in that regard. You’re a wonderful writer and I’m so excited to get my hands on the PPP versions so I can get to reading them ASAP!

      And I plan on commenting on every chapter as well, because there’s no way I don’t have things to say on it.

      But thank you again Mono. Even when you’re having a hard time, know that we out there who love your writing want nothing but the best for you. 💙

    10. StalwartHeart
      Aug 21, '22 at 3:25 pm

      Hey, rest assured, if you go ghost for ten years and then out of nowhere post again, you can be sure I will be here to lurk all over it. I have this site bookmarked and it’s part of my routine to check it for updates regularly. 🙂