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  • T The Equestrian Spring

    Nine months was all it took for one earth pony to put Princess Celestia on the defensive.
    25,005 words · 1,376 views  ·  81  ·  4

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  • 81w, 1d
    Dipping a Toe or Two

    It's been too long.

    266 days, to be precise. But who's counting?

    I've been staring at this blank blog post for a good long while now, and simultaneously feeling pretty silly about that fact, since I don't expect too many people to read it. I'm having somewhat more of a response to stepping back into this space than I thought I would.

    So, in an attempt to rein in as much of the excess self-indulgence in this blog post as is possible, I'll try to keep it brief.

    First and foremost, I must express how touched I am to see that people have continued to read and recommend Ordem during my extended absence. I poured weeks' worth of dawn-to-dusk labor into that fewer than 10K-word piece, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been somewhat disheartened by the relative lack of interest—with full recognition of the selfishness inherent in that sentiment. It's as humbling as it is fulfilling to see that it received something of a second wind just over a month ago. I would like to thank anyone and everyone who has ever read, commented, favorited, rated, promoted, or criticized my work. It does not go unnoticed.

    Second off, I have to apologize to the readers of my significantly less-polished The Equestrian Spring series, for abandoning it without posting so much as a brief notice to that effect. It was unfair to those of you who had devoted your time and energy to following the story.

    Lastly, I'd like to explain my current position. I have been completely removed from all aspects of the MLP fandom for the past 3/4 of a year, barring the occasional check-in on this account every few months or so. And truthfully, I don't have too much interest in following the show at the moment.

    But I don't feel that way about the MLP fanfiction community. Strange as it may seem (though I suspect this will resonate with some), I love the themes, concepts, and universe that this fandom have derived from MLP, independently of the show itself. I don't know how sustainable this stance is with respect to my trying to contribute to the community again, but it is my plan to begin doing so at a snail's pace. I have yet to determine whether that will be through editing and proofreading others' stories as I began doing 13 months ago (possible), writing some sort of sequel or parallel story to Ordem (very unlikely), or rewriting and continuing The Equestrian Spring (likely).

    In brief: Thanks for the love, I'm sorry for disappearing, and it's good to be back.

    —CM

    7 comments · 117 views
  • 123w, 1d
    Or-Done e Progresso

    Hello, crazy followers! I'm very sorry for the title pun.

    As promised, and after over a month of editing, I've just released my first short story, entitled Ordem e Progresso. It's about a Royal Guard cadet who is given a tough choice by a Night Guard after being kicked out of the academy, but it's a bit more universal than that brief description would imply.

    Now, I have to warn those of you who read The Equestrian Spring (an update of which is next-up): this is a very different story, as the synopsis and tags can attest to. But give it a shot anyway. Never a bad idea to broaden your horizons, right?

    -CM

    PS: Back when Ordem was just a teeny-weeny 6,000-word story, it was an entrant to the 3rd Ponychan /fic/ Write-Off, coming in fourth place of 22 stories. The 4th Ponychan /fic/ Write-Off is coming up very, very soon, and I would encourage you all to participate, either by submitting something or reading some of the submissions and voting on your favorites. Details here!

    0 comments · 124 views
  • 127w, 1d
    At last!

    Chapter four of The Equestrian Spring is complete and published for you political pony pleasure. Apologies for the wait time, but this story has a mind of its own, I tell you: this chapter ended up almost 50% longer by word count than I expected it to be, and I think it's all the better for it. I hope those of you who read this story enjoy the new chapter!

    Also, a heads-up: I wrote my first one-shot for the Ponychan /fic/ write-off and came in fourth place with it. It takes place in a similar world as TES, so if you like Spring, be on the lookout for a finalized version of Ordem E Progresso in the coming weeks.

    -CM

    PS: The winner of the write-off was a story called Beyond the Wall, written by Filler, who infuriatingly refuses to recognize what a good job it does of characterization, world-building and scene creation (if I hear "but I ripped the plot straight from The Village!" one more time...). Please be on the lookout for that one too. It's a must-read.

    0 comments · 74 views
  • 127w, 4d
    The Elusive Chapter Four

    My sincerest apologies for the delay of Chapter Four. I've written 3000 words of it so far, and I've got a whole day to write today, so you can expect an update very soon. Brace yourselves!

    -CM

    2 comments · 65 views
  • ...
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 1,999

After Summer Sirocco's expulsion from the Royal Guard Academy, a captain of the Night Guard offers her an unexpected alternative. The choice: sacrifice her relationships and abandon her identity, or walk away from a singular opportunity to escape the pony she never wanted to be. It dredges up difficult questions of how she sees herself and who she really is—and her answers won't be easy either.

First Published
12th Jun 2012
Last Modified
12th Jun 2012
#1 · 123w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Much improved since the write-off. This deserves every single favorite and thumbs up it will receive.

#2 · 123w, 1d ago · · ·

woah, loved it. Loved it a lot! :pinkiehappy: The charcters are well developed, background is given where needed, and I think summer is an excelent character and I would love to see where she goes in her life after the transformation. All in all a very well done story my good mare/colt :ajsmug:

#3 · 123w, 20h ago · · ·

You were featured on EQD. Prepare yourself, author.

#4 · 123w, 19h ago · · ·

I don't relate to the mane character at face value. But the more I think about it, the more I understand her. Well done, have a track! You better gimme some updates here!

#5 · 123w, 19h ago · · ·

Exemplary characterization.

I wish more authors handled their OCs this well.

#6 · 123w, 18h ago · · ·

I wish all stories could be this good.  To my mind, the best kind of conflict is that found within man's own self.   It introduces that extra layer of emotion, of connecting to the character.  And here, you've done that masterfully.  In under 10,000 words, you've fleshed out a character, her background, and what she wants.  Very well done, and going in my favorites folder.

(Also of note is that as of this writing, it hasn't gotten a single thumbs down.)

#7 · 123w, 17h ago · · ·

This... ok, this was a VERY interesting piece. I like your theory about the Night Guard, for one. For two, Summer Sirocco is a very... I guess the word I'm looking for is REAL... character, with real problems deep-set. I also like what you did with her. The character didn't really develop, but that is to be expected in this kind of short fiction. My kudoes to you, and as of this writing (and the click I gave), the score is 25 ups with no downs.

#8 · 123w, 14h ago · · ·

awesome I like Storys about the Night Guards so much. very nicely done.

#9 · 123w, 13h ago · 1 · ·

Interessante... eu posso até extrapolar a situação e traçar um paralelo com a situação de alguns lugares do Brasil. Claro que nada é 100%, mas as correlações são muito, muito interessantes. A "falta de identidade", por exemplo... me lembra muito do nordeste (correndo o risco de parecer pré-conceituoso {não preconceituoso}). Engraçado é que... eu tenho um amigo do nordeste e ele me contou a mesma história que a Summer contou quando ganhou a Cutie Mark dela. Claro que, sem Cutie Marks.

E ele disse que tal coisa é bem comum lá. Claro que eu não posso tomar tudo 100% como verdade, como disse antes, mas dá pra ter uma ligeira idéia.

Bom, não importa se foi intencional ou não, o que importa é que essa história foi muito interessante de se ler e refletir sobre.

#10 · 123w, 13h ago · · ·

Max Payn3...? Saved so I can read it later

#11 · 123w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

If I met Summer Sirocco during the events of the story (or before), I wouldn't like her at all. She uses her friends, then abandons them. She hates her cutie mark and makes no attempt to understand or grow into its meaning, even going so far as endure becoming a member of the Night Guard to change. Given only that information, I wouldn't like her as a person, because I think is is weak to refuse to see your talents and refuse to apply them, and I also think it weak to rely on someone else's magic to draw your talent out (the ultimate result of Night Guard training, presumably).

As a character, however, I get more insight into Summer Sirocco's psyche (such as her backstory :pinkiesad2:) that I would not get otherwise. I like her cutie mark and my only real frustration with her character comes from how she doesn't attempt to explore or further understand its meaning (I didn't lose interest in her though, so good job!). I know that if there wasn't an obvious connection of my special talent with something I liked doing, I'd explore every connection and meaning of my cutie mark until I was satisfied (still working on that).

So her cutie mark is a single Palm tree in a bed of sand, gained when she cut school with some friends to go to the beach. Palm trees symbolize a lot of different things, not just relaxation or an easygoing nature. What I see from her cutie mark, in context with the story, is a singleness of purpose: she pursues her own ends regardless of the cost to herself or others (ditching school, destroying her relationship with her mom by wanting her to see the truth, confronting her dad). Her big problem is that, when it comes to a career, she has no direction or purpose. She joined the night guard for the wrong reason, but despite that it will allow her to grow in ways that she couldn't before, so good for her.

I love your exploration on the meaning of cutie marks in both your stories here on FiMfiction, even if I don't like how negatively they affect your characters' lives.

#12 · 123w, 9h ago · · ·

Really glad to see it up here AND on EqD! Great job, Choco!

#13 · 123w, 8h ago · · ·

I really like this! I'd love to see her ongoing adventures as a fresh recruit of the Night guard.

#14 · 123w, 6h ago · · ·

Interessting... i can see the connection with some Things that happen here in Brazil, maybie thats why "Ordem e Progresso" is written in the Brazilian flag too.

well, its very well-written, i really liked it.

Favouriting now.

#15 · 123w, 5h ago · · ·

Thought provoking and very well written! By the end, I wasn't really sure about her choice at all.

On one hand, she's not doing right by the stallion... but that doesn't mean leaving him necessarily. As far as her noble intention go, she does at least recognize her own flaws to some extent. She also does right in some fashion by Placket by returning and explaining.

But... her twisted individuality is just... it leaves an awful, awful taste. It's a common thing I encounter both in fiction and in real life, and I simply don't understand how one can live that way, fearing settling down and being still and "giving others a say in me". No man's an island.

So... I don't like her. I think her reasons are flawed, but her character is flawed to the point where picking less reckless choices would've been just about as bad. It's like an infection. The best choice would be to treat it quickly, but you didn't and you waited and you whined, so now the only choice is to lop your hand. Either way, you live, but the first is obviously better. (Unless you fear needles and doctors like I do and then dying sounds awesome. )

#16 · 123w, 3h ago · · ·

*Drops pen*

That's it. I'm done as a writer, especially with stories like this out in the world. Farewell, literary world. I'll trouble you no more *Absconds from writing FOREVER*

Nah I'm kidding. Seriously though, this was a great story. Summer didn't have the greatest personality, being selfish and defiant, but the circumstances you showed us to explain how this came about made her real. Just another victim of elements out of her control, and you presented it excellently. I mean, damn, girl had it rough:fluttershysad:

I got out of the military during training as well (after three weeks though:facehoof:) so I relate to that feeling of failing to take a big step in changing oneself. Unlike her though I'm alright with being a civvy, though the sting of not sticking with my goal does resurface from time to time. Enough of my prattling, you made a great story, and I'm definitely faving this. Way to go!

(And btw I do kinda like Summer, mainly for the aforementioned tragic/real factor. Still kinda selfish though, but eh)

#17 · 123w, 1h ago · · ·

That was... surprisingly good. Really, really good. Every character in your story except one is an OC, which is something that generally counts as a negative to me, but you built Summer up into somepony believable. Did I like Summer? I'm not sure. I don't like the way she treated Placket, though I can understand why she did. I also do understand the feeling of not being in control of your own life and lacking discipline, and thus I see some parts of myself in Summer. That said, I can't see myself ever agreeing to the transformation.

The side characters were simple but not caricatures, and managed to have some of their own depth despite their short appearances.

The writing is solid all the way; it was easy to understand yet complex and creative enough to hold interest easily. I didn't spot any spelling or grammar errors.

Great story.

#18 · 122w, 6d ago · · ·

Cool. I hate the father:twilightangry2:, feel sorry for the delusional mother:pinkiesad2:, and also for Placket:fluttercry:. And the story as a whole is really good:pinkiesmile:.

:yay:

#19 · 122w, 6d ago · · ·

Congrats, Choco, and good work!

#20 · 122w, 6d ago · · ·

I think I have to agree with the others that say Summer does some things that are really selfish.  I can sympathize with her though, as she has a history where nopony has her best interests at heart- everypony appears to see her as a means to their own ends and that if she’s not a proper means then she has no place.

I started reading this and was swept along.  The way the focus shifts to different times in Summer’s life is used well as a storytelling mechanic.  Having gotten emotionally involved in the character’s life and curious about your worldbuilding of the Night Guard (nice characterization for Luna by the way) I found myself intensely disappointed that this appears to be a one-shot (but only because of just how good it is).  Know that if you happen to write more for this I will definitely check it out!

#21 · 120w, 22h ago · · ·

I quite enjoyed this fic, you forced me to empathize with a character whose personality is vastly different from my own.  You've made me think about my own life.  Here's one thumbs up for you.

#22 · 110w, 18h ago · · ·

Wow. I JUST figured out what your story means. Some friends of mine were talking about what it takes to become a marine, and how they change you into a completely different person. And I was just like, :rainbowderp: Holy epiphany!

#23 · 99w, 4d ago · · ·

Uma highly recommended this. And now I can see why. Impressive characterisation there. Have my favourite and thumbs up.

Ezn
#24 · 92w, 2d ago · · ·

It's criminal how I hadn't even given this a thumb-up until today. Loved it in the write-off, love it even more now. Please come back to us one day, Choco.

Benman
Site Blogger
#25 · 91w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

I feel like I just read the first third of a very good story. The characters here are excellent, but the plot seemed incomplete. The backstory is cool and the ending would work well as a jumping-off point for Summer's journey of growth and change, but as is, it leaves us right where we started, with Summer joining an elite military outfit in the hopes that it will change her for the better. You do a great job showing what she's running from, but it would've been nice to see what she's running to.

Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. This isn't an uplifting tale about a pony surpassing her limitations. It's a tragedy about someone doomed to chase her own tail, forever telling herself this time will be different.

#26 · 89w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

You did a really, really good job of building and developing Summer's character. That really made the story into what it is, and that "what it is" is a great story. Well done.

#27 · 88w, 2d ago · · ·

Very good.  However I will say this: I would like to see what becomes of Summer Sirrocco now that she has made this decision.  A sequel is definitely in there somewhere.

#28 · 86w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

Whoa, whoa. Where did this little masterpiece come from? If I ever need to write a guide on making well written characters, this will be my point of reference. Brilliant.

#29 · 76w, 3d ago · · ·

Awesome story! Only some parts feel a little rushed. I think it would have worked better if it had been a multi-chapter story, somewhere between 40 and 60 thousand words.

Also, I don't get where the title comes from? The story doesn't seem to have anything to do with order, progress, or Brazil, as far as I can tell...

#30 · 19w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

I think you should make a sequel

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