To any who read this. The blog is dead. Quite clearly evident by the constant inactivity. The characters and the stories are, however, will return in one form or another. I just don’t have the resources available to me to produce really anything for it now. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this endeavor. I’ve learned a great deal from my time spent on Tumblr. Pasta luigi everybody! (that means bye).
An update for those who missed my previous announcement: The Detective Gumshooves comic has been ceased. The artist for it didn’t have the commitment and I felt it would be better told as a novel. (I post the first chapter here: Chapter One.)
I should have chapter two done soon, I just have to refine it a bit more. I won’t be posting the entire story to tumblr though as I plan to publish it; just to ebooks so it wont be expensive to buy, still gotta do more research on it so I’ll keep you posted.
The blog will more-or-less center around the story but with some other stuff as well (I guess it will just be an author blog or something?) Also, I could really use any and all thoughts and opinions you guys have. I very much enjoy writing and want this story (and subsequent stories) to be as enjoyable as possible.
Anyway, until I post the next chapter, have this poem (really it’s a song but I don’t want to sing it….)
[[ I obviously can’t draw things going down/up stairs x_x I’m considering going back to the way I used to draw pony legs, it’s more fun. Also, I need to practice drawing Carnation, I’m having trouble with her hair xD]]
Update on the Sun Dapple arc.
Part One: Mestari’s Carnival
Silence. Despite the usual boisterous activities of peddlers and merchants flooding the city’s markets, Trottingham Proper sat still, west of all that hustle and bustle. Barely the tapping of hooves on the cobble pavement echoed forth from this secluded section of the city of Trottingham. The clock tower located just north of this once wealthy district displayed the time, roughly a quarter-hour into the afternoon. Few could see this though, as the clouds encompassing the entire city dipped menacingly low. Just then, at half past the hour, the clock bell rung, disturbing the stillness of that early afternoon. Carnation’s ears perked.
Her eyes flicked open and pierced into the darkness. The rough wooden ceiling met her as it always did, half arced as she rested just below the roof’s northeast corner. Her eyes drifted about the unlit room. Her bed sat lengthwise next to the wall, all matted and tousled from a full night’s rest. A rarity for her considering her employer’s usual temperaments. To its left, her nightstand topped with a soft white doily held aloft a common brass lamp. A few feet further, the door to the upstairs corridor faced her, ever the vigilant guardian.
An ancient brass mirror hovered abreast the door, opposite the foot of the bed. Eternally afraid of it’s demise by falling, the aged mirror clutched dearly to it’s brackets. Sitting in the corner just beyond, a massive chestnut wardrobe dominated the wall. Proud and mighty, it stood, imposing upon the rest of the room. The jutting chestnut giant nearly blocked the small hexagonal window peering out over the street of Trotter’s Drive. This window let a dim light into the otherwise darkened room.
Carnation rolled to her stomach and stretched out her limbs. Her hooves tingled as her blood started moving through them again. She flexed her feathered wings out to their fullest, they too tingled as her heart worked to catch up. Carnation lay nestled in her blankets as her body warmed and loosened from a long night’s rest.
After a few moments, and almost dozing back to sleep, Carnation stepped forth from her covers, slowly until all four of her hooves stood firmly upon the floor. She flicked on the lamp, brightening the room considerably, and turned towards the window. Despite her rigid limbs, Carnation walked over and peered out at the desolate swirling gray sky. “If only the Weather Factory would clear out these blasted rainclouds, or in the very least let them fall. I’m tired of all this gloomy weather.” She thought to herself, clopping her way to the nightstand. She pulled on the brass knobs to open the nightstand’s topmost drawer. The lamp shown brightly upon the objects set neatly inside. A tightly folded bright green ribbon and soft blue hairbrush stared up her.
Smiling, Carnation picked the brush up with her hoof and positioned herself in front of the mirror. She scowled at the sight of her slovenly appearance. Immediately she began to smooth out her disheveled pink mane and soft pink coat. Carnation could feel the magical energies dancing through her bones, holding the brush to her hoof. Once she finished reeling out the chaos of her hair, Carnation stretched the ribbon out tight and deftly tied a neat little bow to hold her mane in check. She took a moment to admire and inspect her work before returning the hair brush to its spot in the drawer. Calmly she closed the nightstand so not to disturb the item within.
Carnation, stepped out into the short corridor of the building’s topmost floor, gently closing the door behind her. There were only a few rooms up here. Her bedroom and her employer’s own, primarily untouched, were the largest two. A washroom sat tucked into the corner adjacent to Carnation’s and finally a spare room opposite. The stairs led down the western side of the house, opposite Carnation’s bedroom.
Making her way across the non-carpeted flooring, Carnation glanced at the doorways. Slightly chipped yet still polished to shine, they blocked each threshold completely. She came upon the door to her employer’s bedroom and stopped briefly to look at it.
Trottingham Private Investigator
He had attached a craved wooden plate to his door. Sanded and polished, he had done an all together tidy job of the sign. “It’s a shame he never actually spends any time in there.” Carnation thought and continued forward.
Carnation’s limbs finally lost their rigidity as she reached the stairway and gazed down. The stairs were old and they creaked, but Carnation looked on them warmly. She stretched out her wings and took the first step off the landing. Carnation flapped each wing with each step down, easing the pressure off each hoof from the angled movement. Reaching the bottom Carnation paused and stretched her limbs one last time.
She passed down the hall to a large open room with a small dividing wall hanging through the center. The closest of the two sections held a large ovate wooden table. Carnation smiled fondly at it. There were no chairs so Carnation was easily granted access to brush her wing across the tables top as she passed. Her feathers dipped and rose to each tiny imperfection and rivet, each more familiar than the last.
Entering the latter section of the room, Carnation fanned out her wings, humming softly to herself. This section proved as a kitchen, equipped in full with a stove, cabinets, water basin and even a small pantry in the far right corner. Hanging from the ceiling into the center of the room, twelve pots and pans of various sizes swayed back an forth.
The pots clanked together as Carnation passed, tilting them with her outstretched wing. Her other smoothed itself out on the counter, flowing with it’s aged curves. Carnation’s gaze drifted about the crockery lazily but blinked with surprise when her eyes fell upon the clock ticking away just above the stove. She sighed. With her belated morning cut short by the imposing afternoon, Carnation set about the kitchen in a dutiful manner. Smoothly, Carnation’s hooves danced in and out of cupboards, fetching various items for her craft. Carnation chuckled to herself as she gazed at her line of soldiers newly formed upon the counter top. Oats headed the rank, joined by a flask of aged honey and a bottle barley. A small vial of vanilla sat nervously at the end.
Carnation fetched a medium sized pot from it’s hook and filled it with water from the basin. She set in on the stove to boiled and turned herself the archway leading into the entry room. Very little claimed this room; just a small chest and coats a upon hooks. A plain black umbrella sat poised in the corner next to the large wooden door leading outside. Carnation opened the oaken barrier and peeped out into the faint mist bearing Trotter’s Drive.
Nothing. Most tenants of this district were old copyists and clerks of the capitol. They were all busy at work whilst she and her friend slept. To her left upon the stoop, a small newspaper slumped against the house. Carnation grimaced as she delicately picked the soggy papers up and brought them inside. She set it on the table and returned to the bubbling pot of water.
Carnation added in a healthy amount of oats and the other ingredients she set out earlier. As the oatmeal simmered away, she fetched a tray from leftmost cupboard. Setting it upon the table, she began to decorate it with two ceramic bowls and a dish of dried berries from the pantry. Carnation poured the bowls full of the steaming oatmeal. Lastly she accompanied the ensemble with two spoons.
Carnation, with the tray balanced daintily atop her head, trotted her way down the steps to the musky basement. She gasped at the sight of what her employer had left for her to traverse. Books and papers, bottles and quills lay scattered all about the room, not to mention the numerous contraptions and apparatus’, many of which Carnation could not recognize. Despite the imposing gauntlet, Carnation moved steadily on. Carefully, she made her way past the mounds of clutter and refuse to the desk where the young brown-maned equine named Sluethian Gumshooves sat drooling upon his notes on his worn office desk.
Carnation warily set the tray down on a somewhat clear portion of the desk, the bowls clinking in response. “Time to wake up.” she chimed as she prepared a spot for them to dine on his mussy desk. Sluethian didn’t budge. “Time to get up!” she repeated, nudging her unconscious friend. Sluethian’s hoof flopped off the desk and dangled beside him, still fast asleep.
Carnation sighed heavily turning to face away from his limp form. “I said,” she paused, leaning forward “’time to get up!’” Carnation kicked her rear hooves back, launching the rickety chair out from underneath Sluethian. His form rolled into the unfinished cobble wall, a look of confusion splayed across his face. Carnation collected herself, tucking her hair back.
“What time is it?” Sluethian asked hastily.
“Turning about one in the afternoon,” Carnation replied, repositioning the chair. “I cannot believe I let you sleep in thi-”
“Oh no!” Sluethian cried, scrambling to his hooves. “I’ve lost too much time, valuable time! I’m on the verge of a breakthrough” he muttered as he ran about grasping at notes and tools, knocking over several of the more unstable mounds in the process.
“What are you going on about this time?” Carnation asked as she tediously watched Sluethian scramble across the room to a half-broken bookshelf mounting a large half-decayed ‘Volume of Mechanics’ upon his back.
“I’ve nearly reached the production of a blueprint of a possible solution to the plight of the non-aerially inclined of us not born with alae pinnarum protruding from our back!” He grunted under the strain of the book.
“Mechanical wings!” Sluethian cried. “I’m almost there, I just need to-”
“You need to eat!” Carnation commanded. Sluethian fell silent.
“Very well.” he replied dissently, dropping the rotting folio onto the floor causing even more stacks to topple. “Do you have today’s paper?” He asked.
“Yes, it’s there on the tray.” Carnation gave a point of her hoof towards the desk, her aggravation subsiding.
Sluethian grabbed a few berries off the tray and popped them in his mouth. “Anything to report from our depraved neighbors?” he asked as he scanned the newspaper, his eyes dotting back and forth in search of intellectual stimulus.
“Well I spoke with Marigold briefly last night, before you tore me away to that filthy basement, to avail of nothing I might add!” Carnation fussed.
“That’s odd,” Sluethian responded plainly “you and Marigold seem to get on fairly well normally.”
“I meant the basement Sluethian!” Carnation snapped.
“That’s a relief.” he replied cynically as he flipped through the pages. “I began to fear you two had a falling out.”
Carnation rolled her eyes, “Anyways, she and I talked about that carnival coming into town, what was it called… Mestari’s-”
“Mestari’s Carnival of Mystery.” Sluethian interrupted.
“Uh, yeah, how’d you know? I thought you hated carnivals.” Carnation answered perplexed.
“It’s right here.” Sluethian handed Carnation the paper. “It would seem their prized performing monkey has gone missing.”
Carnation took the paper; “A tragedy has befallen Mestari and his mysterious carnival. The performing monkey known as Apina disappeared last night. Mestari himself is extremely distraught, leaving his carnival in a state of disarray and chaos. It seems the carnival will be shut down until she is found.” she read aloud, her voice growing worried. “That’s terrible, I hope the poor monkey is okay. What do you think Sluethian? Sluethian?” Carnation looked up from the paper to find that her colleague was no longer standing in front of her.
“I think it means we, at long last, have a case to solve, though menial as it is to locate a lost pet.” he answered as he clopped up the stairs.
“Where are you going?” Carnation asked as she set the paper down and turned towards the fervent detective.
“Where do you think? I’m going to the carnival.” Sluethian put one step through the threshold at the top of the stairs. “Care to join me?” he muttered back and continued through to the front door.
Carnation raced up after him, and just as Sluethian was about to open the front door thrust her hoof in front of him. “You’re not going anywhere looking like that.” Carnation glared intently at Sluethian. He took a step back.
“As well then.” he replied.
Carnation recomposed herself and grabbed up Sluethian’s old brown trench coat, deer-stalker cap and a green scarf, to match his eyes, off the peg by the door. After outfitting him and quickly brushing down his unruly mane and forelock, she fetched her own attires from the second peg. “There.” she said, quickly donning her hefty side packs and tying a bright green bow in her hair, “Now we actually look like we live in this city’s houses and not it’s streets.
“Hurry on then!” Sluethian stated, his excitement brimming just beyond his usual repose, as the pair galloped quickly out the door, down Trotters Drive, through the murky streets of Trottingham Proper and to the sodden fairgrounds just off the city’s western-most edge. A light mist began to fall.
A few of you will have noticed that I did not post last week. After painful consideration and talking with my artist, I’ve decided to close the comic. Do not mistake that this is the end for Detective Gumshooves. The main reason is that using tumblr as a means of presenting my story will take far too long. Instead of the comic I have commenced writing an actual book which is planned to be published by next year. I will briefly post an excerpt from the book after this one. As for the future of the blog, I think I will keep it open, to keep you updated on progress and answer questions as they arise.
Scene 3 – The Cage / Apina’s Tent Part 3
Sluethian cautiously made his way to the dropped lock. He picked it up and examined it. Frowning he looked more closely. Then he carefully bounced light from one of the cheap light ball spells across its face.
Laying the lock gently aside on the table, Sluethian examined the area around the cage more carefully than before. He also looked about on the carpet around the table.
Carnation, long familiar with her friend, knew that Sluethian was not searching at random. Something had engaged his sharp mind. Sure that she would be told in due time if it was needful, she turned her attention to another part of the disorder. She was examining the books where they lay scattered about.
Without looking up from his careful scrutiny of the carpet, Sluethian asked quietly, “What have you found, Carnation?”
Smiling at her employer and friend’s ability to notice everything about him, even when it appeared that his attention was elsewhere, she replied, “These books. There are some children’s story books but they are mostly undisturbed. These that are open are for children too. What caught my eye is that they are all sign language for the deaf or mute.”
Sluethian’s gaze locked onto Carnation’s. He asked, “What do you deduce from that?”
Carnation looked straight back and said, “Apina was more special than Mestari led us to believe. Whichever pony did this, knew that.
“Remember, he said that she could respond to cues and even improvise in her act? These books are well worn. Mostly by larger hooves like Mestari’s. There are some new prints in these that were left open and they are small, like the ones on the carpet. Apina was clever enough to use sign language.”
Enthusiastically, Sluethian agreed, “Good catch, Carnation!”
His eyes drawn to the books and their tell tale tracks, he pointed, “And there is where the monkey-napper came in and out! Just behind that big wardrobe trunk!”
As Carnation helped Sluethian to shift the trunk, she asked, “What was special about the lock? Surely it is obvious that it was picked.”
Sluethian nodded at once, “Right. What was less obvious was that the lock-picker had really good, tempered picks but not enough experience to avoid scratching the face of the brass lock.”
Pausing, he pointed behind the wardrobe and said triumphantly, “That cut or tear is where one went in and two left!”
[Sorry for the tardiness today guys, had a late shift at work today. Thanks for reading ^.^]
Scene 3 – The Cage / Apina’s Tent Part 2
Carnation, looking at the mess, was reminded once again, just how sharp Sluethian’s mind and eyes were. Agreeing without words, she just asked, “So, how do WE manage without making a trample of our own?
“Besides, none of this makes any sense. Why would anypony steal a carnival monkey? Do you think that they will hold her for a ransom or would they keep it for a pet, maybe?”
With a grin, Sluethian replied, “As far as a motive goes, I suppose that those are POSSIBLE reasons. I do not think so, though. We don’t know why Apina was taken yet.
“To avoid making things worse, we need to go very carefully. Be sure that you are not stepping on any track or disturbing any of this mess until we can sort it out. I want to examine the padlock and those tracks far more closely. That colt did not go out the front of the tent.”
Setting action to his words, Sluethian entered, looking carefully before placing each hoof. His sharp eyes scanning the area carefully, Sluethian noticed and agreed with Mestari that, in spite of some mess, there were no signs of any struggle.
Tellingly, there was not a single foot or hand print of a monkey anywhere outside of the cage itself, though there were some smudges on the table.. Not even the feed or water dishes showed any sign of slopping or disturbance. The cage was still neatly sitting on its table and had not shifted about as he would have expected if Apina had tried to resist being taken.
Sluethian nodded to himself with interest as things added up. Carnation, long familiar with the ways of her employer and friend, noticed. She asked, “What did you just see?”
With a grin for the observational abilities of his assistant, Sluethian replied, “It is what I DO NOT SEE that is fascinating. See the water dish? Not even slopped a little. There was no struggle. Apina knew and trusted who took her. Small hoof prints that do not enter or leave the tent properly. That lock is too far from the cage for Apina, the monkey, to have somehow opened it. If it was opened from the inside, the lock would be on the table, not over there. Monkeys have very distinctive hands and feet. There are no monkey tracks here except in the cage and two on the table.”
OH COOL LOOK A NEW MESSAGE!
THAT BAD BOY RIGHT THERE IS A VIRUS.
YEP, YOU HIT THAT TEMPTING LITTLE CIRCLE AND YOU HAVE A ONE WAY TRIP TO VIRUS-VILLE ON THE MY COMPUTER IS NOW CRASHED BUS!
DON’T CLICK IT.
CLICK IT AND YOUR HACKED.
CLICK IT AND YOUR COMPUTER DIES.
CLICK IT AND BASICALLY YOU’RE SCREWED.
Reblogging because I received this today. I automatically didn’t trust it and deleted it. You should do the same.
[[Nothing like a huge, soaked Anukhis on your doorstep. Also, Carnation has to be the most beautiful pony I’ve ever drawn ;u;
Panel 1: I hope your words hold some truth in them, otherwise this is a waste of time.
Panel 2: You ask an impossible task in my current situation. Guards have their own responsibilities, they will not just follow along if I ask. I need a better lead and position for that.
Panel 3: Hmm…There is one thing that I instruct for the ones that speak to her, when her position has become almost unbearing.
Panel 4: When she seems to have finally lost her spirit, and is dwindling in despair. The time when she feels broken, is subdued, and seems to have lost all the spirit and fight in her, tell her this one word.
Panel 5: …Wicksnickazippadoodle. She’ll understand.]]
(Enter in the Sun-Dapple arc. I will only be reblogging posts that include Sluethian and/or Carnation. For the whole story please visit http://asksundapple.tumblr.com/ Be warned though, it’s currently very grimdark as to Sun Dapple’s current predicament.)