How do you cope when all your friends are dying of old age around you, but you seem not to be growing older at all? Twilight Sparkle tackles this problem for herself the only way she's ever known how: research, and then contacting Princess Celestia for advice. The explanation she gets is nothing like what she could have expected, and it will change Twilight's life forever.
17 comments · 107 views
So there have been several people now who have taken umbrage with my use of the word "y'all" in a singular sense. I'm going to address it now and put the issue to rest, because I'm tired of seeing it rehashed in the comments section every time I post a chapter.
The argument goes that "y'all" is a contraction of "you" and "all". This is true.
It does not, however, specify whether that "you" is singular or plural itself. The "all" might suggest plurality, or it could simply imply a certain strength of intent. It could also just be a caricature of the southern archetype. This last potentiality is why I use it.
In my stories, the Apple family will speak with a thick, heavy, deeply southern accent. This will, by it's very nature, include words like 'mite', 'heap', and 'hootenanny', because those are not words that one typically sees outside of parts of the country where the uninitiated needs a translator. It will also, from time to time, mean that Apples will use the word "y'all" to speak to just one person.
I'm sorry if that bothers you, I really am. It's a stylistic choice I make consciously, and it's not something I'm going to change. If that genuinely makes it impossible for you to keep reading, then that's just how it'll have to be. However, I'm tired of seeing comments about it in my comments section, so from now on, any comment that references it will be deleted. I put too much effort into word choice and sentence construction to have people nitpick a stylistic choice. I'm sorry, but I'm sick of the debate.
7 comments · 92 views
So The Most Unlikely Places has been updated, but there are two separate chapters. The first is very expository, and doesn't really flow well with the second, so I decided to break them up into separate chapters and just post them both at the same time.
The second chapter is cloppy, so keep that in mind when you go to read it.
And now for some off-hand musings on developing new canon from random minute pony puns expressed by the characters in the show.
So in Suited for Success, Twilight closes her letter to Celestia by saying "You shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth." This is a supremely odd adage for a society of what are, after all, just small, sentient horses. They make horse puns all the time, but this one seems out of place purely by the implications it expresses. It suggests that it is possible to 'give' a horse as a gift, and that--true to the original intent of the adage--it's possible for some horses to make better gifts than others.
To whit, I propose this small segment of as-yet-not-official canon to consider.
In addition to the sentient society of small horses who make up the population of Equestria, there exists a race of 'normal' sized horses who are equally intelligent, but lack the magical powers of their Equestrian analogues. Like cows and sheep, both species who have proven to possess sentient intelligence but are still 'owned' and farmed by ponies, these horses must exist in large numbers, and are 'owned' by Equestrians to do odd jobs and such, specifically by unicorns, who are ill-equipped to the grueling task of plowing, hauling, and general physical labor. Obviously where there exist earth ponies, horses aren't necessary, so in an earth pony settlement like Ponyville, you won't see any. Appleloosa is another earth pony town, and also doesn't need horses. Canterlot is on a mountainside, and doesn't do much farming, and Manehattan is obviously a metropolis, where horses wouldn't exactly fit in. This explains why we don't see any horses in the show itself. I suspect there would be smaller unicorn settlements elsewhere that would do their own farming, and would need horses for that. The song "Hearts Strong as Horses" relays the implication that horses are unusually strong by pony standards (with the possible exception of earth ponies, whose strength is magical in origin), further supporting the theory.
Now, why would ponies 'enslave' a race so similar to themselves? Well, for the same reason they might 'enslave' cows and sheep. In a world full of magical threats--timber wolves, changelings, and various magical villains--a non-magical creature is bound to be enslaved or slain by something. It's a dangerous world, and ponies are the only species with the magical power to resist it. We've seen over the course of four seasons that crazy things happen all the time in Equestria. If horses, sheep, cattle, or even bison are to survive the random whims of a magically unstable world, they need someone to protect them. Enter ponies, who--at least in the unicorns' case--possess exactly that kind of power and ability, but are exceptionally fragile and weak and exhaust easily. As a result, somewhere along the line ponies made a pact with horses like they made with cattle, sheep, and all the other creatures they care for: trade your freedom for security.
So, ponies own horses, they can trade, sell, or gift them as needed (hence Twilight's quip about 'gift horses'), and these horses are enormous and powerful, at least by pony standards, hence the Crusaders' adoration of them. And, based on the shadow the Crusaders cast, horses must look a lot like ponies.
Food for thought.
3 comments · 89 views
SorcerusHorserus's webcomic Dash Academy is goddamn adorable, and a couple days ago the most recent strip literally made me saw "Awww!" out loud at work, in front of coworkers and customers alike. I'm not a particularly emotional person, so stories and such don't usually hit me very hard, but this artist has something unbelievable in place. I've already updated my user page to reflect it, but consider Dash Academy canon for all NLL stories.
Below this line, there be spoilers, so don't look if you haven't read Dash Academy, Simply Rarity, Ask Glittershell, or any of my own stories from the beginning.
So, I have a habit of glomming on to fun canons to include in my continuities. I love all kinds of strange, fascinating new takes on the MLP universe, and inserting them where I can is fantastically amusing to me. For example, Simply Rarity's canon that Rarity's parents are not actually her parents, that she had a younger sister who died, and was adopted as an orphan by her now parents (this canon being somewhat altered to make it fit the current show canon), or the Ask Glittershell tumblr, which paints Snails as--at the very least--a confused, cross-dressing young stallion and possibly gay transmare. I love it. I love these incredibly deep, occasionally shocking sub-stories that give the largely undeveloped world behind the animation life. As an author, I like to create those stories myself, but finding a way to weave my favorite of other artists into my own worldcanon is an intoxicating experiment all its own.
The upshot of this is that it might seem sometimes that I'm trying to shoehorn strange elements into my stories where they don't belong. That is occasionally true, but the larger picture is that my worldcanon molds to my headcanon, and my stories are crafted in that canon, whether it seems plausible or not. So when I say Rainbow Dash once dated Firefly (which isn't so hard to accept) or that Snails is a transmare with a secret crush on Rumble (which is), it's not really up for debate. The impact or the implication can be, but not the overall concept. These things are true within the framework I'm crafting, and I do my best to make them make sense within that same concept.
On an unrelated note, someone once expressed concern that I was going to fall into the trap of making all my characters gay for the sake of my own fascination with the idea. While it absolutely seems that way (given that roughly 90-95% of all characters with a speaking role, and at least half of those without one who have been mentioned in passing ARE at least bisexual) I promise it's not the case. I already explained my take on pony sexuality, and that still holds true. The difference in this case is that because male/female pairings are pretty common--Ponyville being an Earth pony settlement, after all--they usually aren't worth mentioning in the story itself. If there is an earth pony who hasn't already expressed an interest in the same sex (and hasn't been vaguely foreshadowed as having one...::cough cough::), assume they're straight. It's a pretty safe assumption, and it holds true for all three species. Assume unicorns are gay until otherwise explicitly stated, and assume a pegasus has no preference either way.
Anyway, the original point. I don't make bizarre changes to canon without precedent, or for kicks. There is a broad, broad variety of unique personalities in MLP and in this worldcanon, and you're going to see a lot of them, from trans-species romance between Spike and Rarity, to a transgendered Snails, to a strange and long-standing affection between mares of vastly different ages, to outright incest (as yet an angle unexplored). So don't be surprised to find odd things cropping up from time to time. I mean, be surprised because that's sort of the point, but don't be displeased. I promise I won't just do strange things to do strange things. No "futa-Twist-lestia" or anything like that.
Unless someone writes it, and it catches my attention, and it's good...
6 comments · 117 views
So yeah, No Longer Lost has a new, second epilogue chapter. I'm aware the story is marked "Completed", and I'm aware it was a perfectly complete story without the follow-up, but I couldn't resist. The idea got to me, so I made it happen. I regret nothing.
23w, 1dYou like sneak peeks, don't you?1 comments · 118 views
Of course you do, foal. Why wouldn't you? Everyone does.
Well you are in luck. Recently someone with a fantastic sense of literature and a solid command of grammar and spelling messaged me with an offer to be a pre-reader for The Most Unlikely Places, and I naturally jumped on the opportunity, because I freaking love pre-readers. They're one of my favorite things ever, and I know you want to be one, too. If that's the case (and I know it is), send me a PM and I'll get back to you about what I'm looking for in a pre-reader (although generally speaking it isn't a lot more strict than having decent spelling, grammar, and some idea of how to read). The only real compensation for the post is that you'll get to read every chapter before it's released to the site proper, and even get to see it in progress, if that's your thing. Also, I'll consider keeping a list of readers and editors and sticking it in the description, if there's any interest in that.
For the record, the next chapter is currently 11,000 words strong, and not even close to finished, so it'll be some time before I post it (although pre-readers will, of course, get to read every awesome word AS IT COMES INTO EXISTENCE. Can you beat that?).