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I have an invitation to hand out to anyone who may be interested. A number of readers have started up an audiobook project for The Lost Element in a Discord group. I am also involved and the project is making some progress, though more voice actors are still needed.

To all who may be interested in voicing their favorite characters of the story, feel free to come on in and sign up. Auditions are open.
  • Watching: Yoshi and Poochy shorts
  • Playing: Skyrim SE
  • Drinking: Tea

The Lost Element and its extended universe finally has its own TvTropes page for all to view.

Anyone who is savvy enough on the workings of TVTropes can add new trope examples or edit any current examples to improve them. If anyone would like to do so, but does not know how to do so, I can provide instructions on how to edit the page.

  • Watching: Yoshi and Poochy shorts

The title says it all, people. After some time reading things somewhere that made me look inward to confront some unpleasant facts about myself, (Even reading about Bojack Horseman on Tvtropes alone is enough to illicit this) I just need to vent for a bit. Please bear with me.

I don't like opening up about personal stuff about myself online, but I do need to get some thing off my chest. To put things in context, I will have to take a walk down memory lane back to my high school days. Let's just say that while I loved the school and the people who run it, I absolutely despised the students. While I went there for relatively unique reasons, the bulk of students who attend Logos School are basically the kind of kids who really have nowhere else to turn. Raging autistics, the mentally handicapped, drug addicts, alcoholics, underage smokers, even people with a criminal history. Police visits were and probably still are not uncommon. And in such a hostile environment, I was forced to harden my heart and close out my surroundings at most times. I suffered several emotional meltdowns due to the sheer stress that built up during those five years. There were even a number of particularly vile students I genuinely silently wished death upon. I never had a friend in that school through all those five years solely because how I absolutely could not stand any of them.

Those times I have related to Twilight Sparkle due to her initial aversion to making friends? Yeah, you can blame that on spending five years in a school that routinely discouraged me from socializing and making friends due to my first choices being the kind of people I would rather see dead. Joining DeviantART was my first step in breaking out of that shell and learning to reach out and talk to people, but... And I really don't like making excuses, but I'm more than convinced that my years in high school damaged my ability to socialize and become self sufficient. For several years after graduation, I made minimal progress and only finally started getting better this past year after admitting I had a problem and sought help. Things have gotten better and I am now happily employed and even managed to meet up with a former colleague I barely remembered, but who remembered me and had good things to say about me back from the one year we shared at Logos. So thing are getting better.

However, as things stand now and how things look in the near future, I don't have high hopes. At least not for myself. I still lament how I took far too long to start taking steps to making more progress for myself. I regret that I waited until I turned 28 to get help instead of when I was 23. And next year, I turn 30 and genuinely am not sure if I feel it.  Another thing that I have discovered about myself is that I seem to be what is called an anti-nihilist. I'm all too aware of how shit this world is, but do all I can to distract myself from it to stay happy and, to further ends, make others happy. If anything, I am more interested in bringing joy to others than myself. And ironically enough, it was My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that made me take a second hard look at this world and see the stark contrast between it and the wonderful world of Equestria. That may be part of the reason why I even started writing The Lost Element in the first place.

What I am getting at here is that even for all my shortcomings, I take some comfort in knowing that my writings have pleased so many people and even helped and inspired some. And I want to keep doing that. Even if I don't amount to much in the end, I want all of you to strive for good things. You are the force that drives me and I want to continue to inspire others.

I hope I never have an existential crisis like this again, but I felt the need to share this. To everyone who took the time to read this to the end, you have my thanks. To everyone who is still standing by me, you have even more than my thanks. Have a cute bird video to help lift the mood and to help us look ahead and hope for a bright future.


It's done. Had quite a learning curve, but I finally got the hang of Lulu's interface to do my best to make for the best quality possible for these books. Illustrations are still out of the question due to having color publications jacking up the cost into the 70s and black & white illustrations just feel wasted while some you can barely make out what's going on in them. However, I am delighted to see that the font changes turned out well for when different characters write the chapters, although there is a small spacing issue I could not fix between two of the chapters in the second book. It should not be too much of a distraction.

Took a long time, but I'm glad to finally have this done for all of you. To everyone who I never got back to regarding preorders, my sincerest apologies. I just wanted to make certain whether or not such things were necessary. All books are made to order, so preorders are completely unnecessary. You just purchase and they'll be on their way to your mailbox like any online purchase. To everyone who has been following me so far, thank you. I hope this was worth the wait. I will provide the links to each half of the volume below

Volume 1: Part 1

Volume 1: Part 2

  • Listening to: Undertale OST
  • Drinking: Tea

I'm afraid that I have made a discovery about the printing process of Lulu that has me concerned for this project.

After properly scaling the first volume's word document into a PDF, I have found that the word count will exceed the maximum limit of a book to be printed on Lulu.com. This will require the first volume to be split into two books, and this will only grow with later volumes as they are longer.

I will see what I can do to make this work, but the process is proving to have a few curveballs thrown in. If anyone is still interested in purchasing a copy of each half, please let me know.

  • Listening to: Weegee
Well, it's finally happening. With all the proofreading complete, the first volume of The Lost Element is finally set for printing courtesy of Lulu.com, complete with illustrations. I know I have not been active on DeviantART for some time, but you can blame that on the site's archaic policies for written submissions.

While I am steadily taking the time to figure out exactly how to use Lulu.com's printing services, I need to figure out exactly how I'm going to get these copies of Volume 1 printed. After discussing possible approaches with another writer on the site who has had his works printed, I've decided to run a down-payment campaign. If anyone wants a copy of The Lost Element's first volume, let me know and forward a $2 payment per copy to my Paypal account. Once the printed copies have been produced and shipped to me, I will accept the remainder of the payment per copy and mail each copy to everyone who has expressed a desire to own a physical copy of my story, please contact me immediately. The preorders will be closed at the end of July.
  • Listening to: Ragtime
  • Eating: Sherbet
For those who are attending, I will be traveling to Boston in the morning to attend Anime Boston this weekend. If anyone wants to meet up with me there, just let me know.
  • Listening to: Rain
  • Drinking: Tea
I know that I have hardly been active on DeviantART for quite some time now, but can you really blame me? As I have explained before, DeviantART'S restrictive, biased, and frankly archaic protocols for text uploads have made uploading chapters of my stories to this site to be nigh unbearable. But as a result of taking my work elsewhere, I'm sure some of my readers here have had a harder time keeping up with my progress.

Well, I've started stepping up my game by joining Patreon as shown here.

After nearly ten years of writing, I've decided to try to get something out of my efforts. Those who pledge to my Patreon will be compensated depending on how much is donated, though any help is appreciated. To all my longtime readers, I hope to see you there. :)
  • Watching: Ebichu
  • Playing: Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
  • Drinking: water
  1. How long have you been on DeviantArt?
    9 years

  2. What does your username mean?
    It comes from XD-001, the Shadow Lugia of Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness for the Nintendo Gamecube and the first 385 Pokemon of the 386 Pokemon that made up the entire Pokedex of Generation 3. The codename of my first OC character ever.

  3. Describe yourself in three words.
    Quiet, patient, eager to please

  4. Are you left or right handed?
    Right

  5. What was your first deviation?
    A documentary version of the first couple of Metroid games that I will never finish.

  6. What is your favorite type of art to create?
    Literature

  7. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?
    Digital art. Would make for a much easier profit.

  8. What was your first favorite?
    The entire list of episodes of Sonic's Quest for Power

  9. What type of art do you tend to favorite the most?
    Mostly My Little Pony related art

  10. Who is your all-time favorite deviant artist?
    Difficult to say. I don't generally pick favorites when it comes to artists due to consistency issues.

  11. If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?
    :iconsuperkaito: Very good friend

  12. How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?
    :iconmewsette: inspired me to join, though that is all I am going to say about her.

  13. What are your preferred tools to create art?
    My laptop

  14. What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?
    Adriana's on the Hill. My favorite lunch spot

  15. What is your favorite DeviantArt memory?
    Possibly laughing at various Mario flash videos made by the now disappeared :iconbigfoot3290: Those were good days.
  • Watching: Ebichu HD Episode 18
  • Eating: Sushi soon
For those who have followed me for some time, you may remember journals like this from a few years back.

Project at a standstillI know it has been a while since I last brought this up, but the animation project for The Lost Element is at an absolute standstill. There have recently been newly released fanmade My Little Pony flash projects such as Snowdrop and Double Rainboom, yet this animation project has consistently failed to make any progress. Even the trailer remains undone.
I am honestly not certain of what to do at this point. The project needs more staff in order to be completed. The major issue is not voice actors, but lack of interest. If anyone knows what needs to be done to help this project at least make it to the trailer or first episode, I would appreciate it if one speaks up.
Regardless, here is the total list of characters who will be appearing in the series as well as though who are voicing them. If you would like to try out for a role, please contact me.
James:iconxd-385:
Twilight Sparkle:iconlovekiku:
Applejack:iconsweetmcgurran:
Rarity:iconlovekiku:
Rainbow Dash:icontattletail:
Fluttershy:ic


This project ultimately failed due to lack of support. However, I recently had a burst of inspiration over a possible smaller scale alternative.

Rather than gather voices for an animated series, why not have some voice clips to play here and there in the chapters of The Lost Element, like an audiobook feature for greater immersion?

I fear most of the voice actors who originally volunteered for the animation project have moved on or have lost interest, so many spots for various characters are still open. If anyone is curious of having their voice heard and just want to have some fun voicing any of their favorite characters of MLP, please contact me here or on any of my offsite accounts. I will list them below.

This is not necessary as I will continue to write The Lost Element regardless, but I felt this would make the story more enjoyable and make it somewhat more memorable and enjoyable for the readers.

Fimfiction account

www.fimfiction.net/user/Humani…

Fanfiction.net account

www.fanfiction.net/~xd385
  • Listening to: Shattered - Trading Yesterday

To those who are still interested, the Tournament of Canterlot fundraiser is still going on as mentioned in the link above. However, after a rather unpleasant yet enlightening conversation, I have an important request to ask.

To anyone who is reading this, I need help.

I am seeking to publish a fantasy novel that is a heavy reworking of a previous fanfiction of mine, but due to lack of experience, I do not know where to start. If anyone can give me a push in the right direction, where to look to find a publisher for such a work or how to approach the ordeal, I would really appreciate any advice I can get.

I've got some pretty big news to share on the dawn of the new year. It's not often a opportunity like this comes along.

A very short while ago, I received a surprise invitation from Beware the Carpenter to take part in a tournament with with use of my flagship story, The Lost Element.

This tournament involves taking part in a grand fundraiser as explained on the Tournament of Canterlot front page. The details on how to participate are right there in the forum and I recommend looking them over thoroughly for those who also wish to partake in the tournament.

And yes, what you see on the front page is quite serious. There is a hefty cash prize for the winners of this tournament. And the more that is accumulated for the fundraiser, the higher the prize will be. Also feels good to know it is going to a good cause, namely towards Syrian war refugee efforts. Seeing as how this is the chance to actually get something out of my writings, how could I say no? My fundraiser page for the effort can be found right here.

If anyone who is reading this has a story that meets the criteria of the tournament's rules, I recommend joining up as well. The more who join in, the more attention and donations that will be gathered. And as sponsorship decides who wins this tournament, I would appreciate any and all support and donations to my fundraiser page from my readers and for anyone who reads this to spread the word. I don't get any of the donations, they go directly into the site as stated in the forum post showing instructions on how to join.

Of course, I won't be slacking off during this tournament. Once I finish the next chapter of The Price of Failure, The Lost Element will be my top priority until the tournament's end on December 31st of 2015. So you will all be seeing much more frequent updates to that story for the rest of the year while the others are put on hold. Best of luck to all who partake, and a big hearty thanks to those who who donate to the cause.
  • Watching: My PS3 3D display
  • Playing: My new Wii U
  • Drinking: water
Man, I really have been pretty inactive on DeviantART for quite some time now.

Well, may as well lay it down. I have been rather quiet here and have been slow to upload stuff to my account. But considering the medium I use in my art, can you really blame me?

As I am a writer and not a painter, my submissions must be no larger than 64 kilobytes if I am to upload them here. And after putting up with this crap for very close to nine years, I am genuinely appalled that DeviantART has not abolished this limit by now. It is likely more taxing on the site's servers to upload a text document in multiple submissions, so why does this limit still exist? I know not everyone writes terribly long chapters and the like, but a fair number of writers do, so this is by no means fair.

As a result, I have become more active on other less restrictive websites such as Fanfiction.net and Sofurry under the username of XD-385, and on FIMfiction.net under the username of Humanity. While I have no desire to actually leave this site that has served as the foundation for my writing skills, the less than fair treatment of those who favor the keyboard to the stylus and brush is forcing me to turn my attention elsewhere. I will not actually be leaving this site, but I will no longer be as active here due to the obvious unfair restrictions placed upon my writings. Those who wish to keep up with my work are better off joining up on the aforementioned sites above.

I guess this is goodbye for now. And if the admins of DeviantART happen to be seeing this... Get with the times, guys. A decade of this treatment is long enough.
  • Watching: My PS3 3D display
  • Playing: My new Wii U
  • Drinking: Tea
Well, the Crystal Fair has come and gone once more. Still didn't meet up with any friends or fans, but I did see some familiar faces once again, such as some of the staff and even :iconlamiaaaa:. It felt good to meet people who remembered me.

Overall, it was a fun time. The convention was much better set up due to the feedback from last year, the game room had more to offer, and the art room had even more artists show up. Needless to say, I shopped til I dropped and probably bought more than I should have. But isn't that what going to these cons are all about? :lol:

The whole thing was great, though I ended up missing the closing ceremony at the end when they started drawing out the charity auction like nobody's business. Throwing in an extra five items is funny, but throwing in twenty is really pushing it, especially when you throw in an egg salad sandwich that spawns a new OC pony. Yes, people. Pun Salad is a thing now.

Still, a great experience and it hurt to see it all end. I will definitely be back next year, hopefully to see some friends and fans. I was dealing with a serious low point and even depression recently, so I really needed this. It's good to be home and I'm glad I went.

 
  • Watching: My PS3 3D display
  • Playing: Metal Gear Solid 4
  • Drinking: Water
The Crystal Fair convention has begun again and I will be attending each day. Like last year, I arrived ahead of schedule and am stuck in the Sheraton Westport lobby while waiting for preparations to complete. My nametag reads XD-385 and I will be enjoying dinner at the Drunken Fish just past the far glass doors every night if anyone wants to meet up with me.
OK, I've been slacking off on this for a while now and need to get myself kicked back into high gear.

As some of you know, I am attempting to get the first volume of my story The Lost Element printed. For those of you who want to purchase a copy, please let me know here. docs.google.com/forms/d/1KbfSx… I already have a sizable number of people who want a copy, but the more who do want one, the lower the prices will be. I have no way of knowing what the base price is as only Equestriapublications knows and I am not prepared to contact them again until all preparations are complete.

To that end, I need the help of artists skilled in drawing ponies in the G4 style and also humans, preferably in a style reminiscent of Equestria Girls. In order to be printed, illustrations are required. If there are any artists viewing this who take My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic style commissions, let me know and I will commission you. Any and all help is appreciated.
  • Reading: The Lost Element's chapters for proofreading
  • Watching: A Bird in the Hoof
  • Playing: Shadow of the Colossus and Skyrim
  • Eating: Brats with feta cheese, spinach, and carrot strips
  • Drinking: Bud Light
Well, the Crystal Fair convention has come and gone. And despite being nowhere near as massive as Bronycon.....I have to say I honestly prefer this one more. It was especially flattering to read over the mascots for the convention in the programs. Toasted Ravioli, Buckweiser, Flying Spirit... So much heritage of my hometown represented in those three ponies. And I think I may have been the only person from The Hill who attended...


Due to a miscommunication, and the fact that the events at Bronycon started as early as 8 am or earlier, I naturally arrived early in the morning before any of the staff had shown up. Consequently, I was the first person to register.

i40.tinypic.com/10d5hzc.jpg See? No sign of anyone.

The game room was far more modest than at Bronycon. No projectors displaying the games on the walls or anything and no HD consoles, but it made up for it with some classic console like a NES, SNES, A Nintendo 64, and topped off with a Wii. Played Bomberman 64 multiplayer for the first time and smoked the competition. And I can't remember the last time I went through a whole playthrough of Star Fox 64.

The artist room had a lovely variety, and even had artists I saw at Bronycon. Even Jenn Blake, the illustrator of the MLP FiM comic books, attended. I picked up a fair amount of merchandise for myself and a few friends. The late night events were enjoyable too although I still had to get to where I was crashing during the convention at a reasonable time to get a decent amount of sleep. The dance events had some sweet music, even a few tracks I recognized. And what MLP dance party isn't complete without a break-dancing Discord?

During the closing ceremony, I found that the convention had hit quite a few complications in being set-up, with quite a few volunteers bailing at the last second and some sponsors quitting for various reasons. Despite this, the convention was far more successful than expected and it is pretty much a guarantee that it is here to stay.

While not as big as Bronycon, I found the Crystal Fair to be more enjoyable since it was not too spread out and much easier to take in. I will definitely return for it next year.

In the end, I was the last to leave the area... I wanted to cry as I left while seeing how empty the place had become. And hearing "Fix You" being played in the restaurant I dined in for dinner certainly did not help my mood. I even made a few friends there. If you're reading this, hello Johnathan.

In the end, a grand experience.
  • Listening to: What does the Fox say

'Preorder' The Lost Element: Volume 1

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 21, 2013, 7:51 PM
Before I can get the final word in to start printing the first volume of The Lost Element for purchase, I need a tally of how many people actually wish to buy a copy. Please send me a private note if you wish to purchase one. If you are keeping track of my works on other sites as well, only contact me once so as to not mistake you for more than one person. The more copies that are printed and sold, the lower the cost for each copy.

Update

A fair amount of people have voiced their desire for a copy of The Lost Element's first volume, though more is needed to get it printed. The way the publishing site works is that a minimum number of interested buyers needs to be met before they deem the story worth printing. Unless a certain number of interested individuals is met, the story will not be printed.

What is more, I understand that illustrations can be added to printed stories as well. However, few pieces of art that have been made so far that fit with the first volume alone. If there are any pony artists out there who wish to volunteer or are available to be commissioned, I have a long list of ideas to throw your way.



  • Listening to: Kindness - AcousticMandoPony
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Drinking: water

Cover Art for story

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 17, 2013, 9:25 PM
I am attempting to publish The Lost Element with the aid of EquestriaPublications.org. Due to the length of some chapters, I feel it would be best to divide them up into separate volumes with five in all. The first is very nearly complete, but there is one problem. Each book the site publishes needs cover art and possibly illustrations to add to them. Does anyone who is reading this know if there is anyone out there skilled in MLP FiM fanart who is interested in being commissioned to design cover art for stories?

Update

A fair amount of people have voiced their desire for a copy of The Lost Element's first volume, though more is needed to get it printed. The way the publishing site works is that a minimum number of interested buyers needs to be met before they deem the story worth printing. Unless a certain number of interested individuals is met, the story will not be printed.

What is more, I understand that illustrations can be added to printed stories as well. However, few pieces of art that have been made so far that fit with the first volume alone. If there are any pony artists out there who wish to volunteer or are available to be commissioned, I have a long list of ideas to throw your way.

  • Listening to: The Night of Nightmares
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Drinking: Bud Light

Crystal Fair coming

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:13 AM

I got home from my trip to Bronycon just yesterday. It was a fun trip, with plenty of art in my satchel when I returned, so I can't complain aside from the fact that I did not meet anyone who knew me. However, due to transportation issues, I was not able to attend the third and final day of the convention.

I intend to compensate for that.

As fate would have it, the Crystal Fair convention, another MLP con, is taking place here in my hometown of St. Louis at the end of September this year. Since I will not need to spend money of transportation or hotel rooms, I will be able to save a lot of money with this one.

If anyone who is a fan of my works wishes to meet up with me there, contact me in private so we can plan out a meet-up. Wandering around without immediate knowledge of one's precise location is not likely to make us cross paths.



  • Drinking: Pepsi