My Little Pony Lost Media VHS Backcard

My Little Pony VHS Backcard / Lost Episode

My case, for the lost G1 My Little Pony episode or prototype VHS case with blurb, has been cross posted to Lost Media Discord and MLPTP forums and my FB page.

My family was on vacation across the upper west heading toward Butte, Montana in the summer of 1991 or 1992. I was eleven years old at the time. They stopped off at a video rental store in Butte asking for directions to a National Park of some kind. I looked around the store. There were three white painted wood carousel shelved VHS shelves. Six to eight shelves worth packed three to a shelf. So, they weren’t very large in width to hold much more than that.

One VHS caught my eye right away after two slow turns of the closest carousel case – My Little Pony with the signature rainbow logo against a pale blue background. The VHS case was paper cardstock, and the tape would slip out from the bottom. The front was titled “Down Memory Lane” or “Frolic Down Memory Lane”. I had seen all the cartoons from age 6 to current at that time. I knew every single episode. Something seemed off to me, I turned the case over and the title again over the blurb said, “Down Memory Lane” or “Frolic Down Memory Lane”. At the bottom of the sleeve the copyright was 1987 or 1988. The Hasbro logo of the time was also on the bottom in the center.

There were two ‘still’ shots in square panels below the blurb showing (on the left panel) adult Firefly and adult Northstar frolicking together running toward Lullaby Nursery. On the right panel showed Firefly laying down near an open window looking out and Northstar behind her near the other wall and a ‘thought bubble’ showing the two ponies wearing a pink baby necklace and one had a diaper. Both were kicking a ball around out front of the nursery.

This panel/still was on the left. The other was on the right on the VHS backing. Below both panels was the blurb.

The blurb read something like this:

It was a beautiful day. Firefly and Northstar are enjoying the sunny weather when they happen upon the Lullaby Nursery. Firefly is flooded with memories of when she and Northstar were baby ponies together. The fun times they played in the nursery came back as they entered the nursery telling stories of their childhood. 

All the while I was reading the blurb, the old man, which was obviously a family-owned generic video rental store, watched me like a hawk. This was a time before cell phones with cameras attached. All my parents had was the optical long lens camera that I knew was put away in the professional gray bag. I wasn’t about to run in the station wagon to use that camera. The concept of taking a photo of an item such as this strange MLP VHS cartoon case would have looked even stranger to everyone around me. Besides, I wasn’t about to steal the item as I know for a fact just by how the old man stared at me, he would have snatched me by the arm. Not to mention my abusive parents would have beat me. So, I was trapped.

Mom called out to me that we were leaving. I put the MLP VHS case with its tape in the sleeve back on the carousel shelf. I looked back longingly at knowing I would never see that item again, however, I would never ever forget what I saw and read of this strange item.

Now, over the years I’ve tried to determine what it really could have been. Today on the MLPTP board I brought up the case again. This time with a tiny bit of help with the power of elimination, me and a few MLPTP members may have figured something out.

The cartoon VHS case cover and video may have been a first draft episode. The case would have been made in a basic print mockup. At that time between 1986 to 1988 the cartoons were being produced by Toei Animations. This prototype episode may have been scrapped for the “A Little Piece of Magic” episode (air date October 24, 1986). “A Little Piece of Magic” episode showcases Buttons and Ribbon telling some baby ponies about the fun games they would play when they were babies in the nursery. How they would use their imaginations using a red ball. This concept of the actual finalized episode reads like it was loosely based on the scrapped concept.

As for how the mockup case got thrown in for use with a possible legit or prototype episode, I have no idea.

As for the old VHS rental place in Butte, Montana, it was closed and gutted in the early to mid 2000s. When I posted about this mystery episode back in 2008 I think it was, a MLPTP member who lived in Butte had gone to see the video store I mentioned. She said the three white painted wood carousel cases were still standing as she could see them through the window.

For now, I will be recreating the two panels from the back of the case in watercolor. This piece will take me a few days as I want it to be as perfect as possible.

If you know anything about this mystery prototype or missing episode, such as script notes, physical VHS in question, anything, please let me know.

Nose to the Grindstone

Nose to the grindstone if I want a professional editor, here’s why and how for me

A novel is never created alone forever by one person. It takes an unexpected team of people who believe in the final piece that will be put up on store shelves. How the author is found to gather that team usually goes like this.

Draft 1 – Written by the author alone.

Draft 2 – Basic edits, spell check, punctuation, sentence structure. Things that catch their eye quickly with some notes for further deeper fixes later.

Draft 3 – Sent off to Beta Readers to find any hiccups in the wording, plot and flow. To see if the basics of the story are enjoyable. I had three beta readers at this stage for book 1.

Draft 4 – More Beta Readers to find bigger edit issues. I had four other new beta readers for this stage. One found the critical mistakes that I suspected. We brainstormed to reposition these mistakes for book 2. I then went through the edits that were found and fixed them. Next, I sent it off to a friend, who has currently stalled at her edits/beta reading process due to medical issues, but she isn’t off the case completely. She’ll return when she is fully able. Then one found basics that were not workable to give a stiff idea of what really needed to be fixed. I knew there was far more issues because I know the story inside and out. Then a fourth one for this round, and he’s still working on it right now.

Draft 5 – hopefully a professional editor that can do their part to finally clean it up totally. Then I will send it off to querying for an agent.

Thing is, that Draft 5 stage has hit a snag. I just started working in retail again. Reason – I must pay for my own professional editor. This will cost me $2,500.00 at least for developmental edits. (Yes, I am strongly aware of free editors. However, there is a level of deadline I’m looking for and full professionalism that must be met. I’m far too wary to risk someone filly farting around. It is NOT a slight of anyone in this position to do their craft for free for a future author. It is only that I believe strongly that my work needs a full paid professional hand.) This means any major mistakes will have to be cleaned up before it ever is sent out to querying. It has to be nearly publishing ready. It’s the physical representation of the final product in an interview form, as it were.

Since I just started working for Bartell Drug Store the hours have been seriously slashed to everyone. This means my hours, being part time, I would either work one day a week to two days a week so far. The store manager does not know when hours will pick back up to normal levels. Meaning, I don’t know when I will have 25 to 38 hours a week.

Now that the new minimum wage for Washington state is $15 an hour, and I’m making $16.40 an hour, which is the most I’ve ever had in my life in start pay, because my hours are so drastically cut it will take three times as long to save up $2,500.00 for my editor.

$16.40 an hour x 9 hours per week = $147.60 (before taxes)

Now, let’s say these slashed hours go on for 4 months. $147.60 x 18 weeks (4 months) = $2,656.80 (before taxes)

Now, the drastic thing I could do, once Tim my current beta reader is finished and I’ve fixed the edits he’s found, I could send the manuscript into querying to see how it goes. BUT…if I do that and the manuscript is rejected by all agents (36 I’m going to send this to when the time is right) I would not be able to send the manuscript out again until a professional editor has gone through it. Even then I wouldn’t be able to send it out until the following year, which would continue to slow me down in getting this book into the hands of a publisher. (No, I do not want to self-publish simply because I cannot afford it on all fronts of the process. I’m going after traditional publishing because I know what I have created.)

I very well could take that serious risk and send it to querying in a few weeks to see how it goes. It may be picked up by an agent or two. Who knows? Stranger things have happened to new authors like myself. It is a risk I don’t want to take until I figure out what my work hours are going to be in the next few weeks.

I have had the odd thought on doing a GoFundMe for paying for my editor, but something seems off to me about that. Almost a disrespect to my own person. I’m not sure I would put myself at such a level. It’s not shame. It’s a principle of myself for my manuscripts for the path that must be taken.

While on the sales floor or register I must always remind myself I have this job so I can pay for an editor. I have no other choice because my boyfriend isn’t able to pay for my editor due to financial restraints on property tax, three main constant bills, gas and food, ya know the basics. We in this household are just the two of us. We are working poor. And now I have to do what I can to make my dreams of becoming a published author the only way I know how – nose to the grindstone in editing and working my manuscripts to perfection as far as I can take them and working as many part time hours that are available to me to create a paycheck to put into savings.

There is on other way to do this and I will NOT give up!

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