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  • T Last Sparkles Of Time

    A tragic loss will set the future on a ruinous course - is it ever too late to change the future?
    18,453 words · 825 views  ·  14  ·  0
  • T The Inferno Within

    Sometimes friendship is taxed and tested. Other times, it is forged in fire.
    6,874 words · 393 views  ·  12  ·  2

Blog Posts3

  • 113w, 1d
    The Pursuit Of Joy (OR, Why Andrew W.K. is a brony we should all aspire to be more like, OR, Pinkie Pie: The Analysis)

    I want you to remember all the things that I said

    I want you to remember – you’re not better off dead

    You only have a minute to go back in the line

    To bring it on home – and make up your mind

    I want you to remember what you came here to do

    I want you to remember that I’m talking ‘bout YOU…

    ~Andrew W.K., “I Love Music”

    In the 10th anniversary edition booklet of his debut album I Get Wet, there’s a rather detailed interview reflecting on the album a decade down the road. At one point in the interview, the journalist makes the mistake of implying that the things Andrew sings about – having a good time, having self-confidence, ‘partying hard’ – provide a sense of frivolous escapism in the wake of hard economic times. He means it in the best possible way, but Andrew W.K. shifts gears so hard it’s scary: Pinkamena happens for just a minute. The man takes off both pairs of sunglasses he was wearing on top of one another, the smile fades, and he calmly, eloquently tears the journalist apart for insinuating that joy is anything less than an essential part of the human experience. The journalist apologizes, it is accepted, and the interview resumes as normal.

    Later, Andrew would tweet, “There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure – only pleasure”. True words, friends.

    But it was that interview – that moment where Andrew grinds the gears to a halt to make sure everyone knows just how important the concept of Joy is – that I really began to understand what he’s been saying ever since coming out as a full-blown brony. You know, all that stuff about being the physical embodiment of Pinkie Pie.

    Pinkie Pie’s Smile song actually changed my opinion of the character. Before, I viewed her as a free spirit, an extreme extrovert, and a very positive entity (albeit with the occasional psychotic break), but bordering on “adult child” tendencies.

    I’m a product of my society, but I’m self-reflexive enough to turn and say, “Why do I automatically come to the phrase “adult child” when it comes to Pinkie Pie?” Is the concept of ever-present joy childish? Immature, and therefore to be avoided? I think there’s something wrong with the notion that because something provides an explosion of positivity instead of cynicism and negativity, that it is automatically childish and to be avoided. Let’s take it a step further: if we just let be the notion that something exuberant and positive is automatically “childish”, then I suppose the most mature role model we can imagine becomes Heath Ledger’s Joker, an absolute of chaos and negativity, working himself to the bone to try and tear down any notion of idealism. The human race is hardly a sliding scale from Pinkie Pie to the Joker: individually, we’re too nuanced to be slotted into a hole like that. But when did it become too much to ask for us to take a cue from the former instead? I don’t find unending cynicism “cool”. Do you? But then, I say much the same for anything more interested in putting negativity out into the world than positivity.

    But back to Pinks.

    When I heard the Smile song, it gave me greater insight through the windows of the character’s psyche. Pinkie Pie just wants you to be happy. Isn’t that something? It seems so simple, but then why is it so exceptional? Pinkie is often played off as the court jester, but if you think about it, her ideals are about as Kingly as they come. If the Joker (or, hell, Discord) represents chaos, Pinkie represents the spreading of happiness, and more to the point, the message that unlike sadness, there doesn’t need to be a reason for joy. Happiness is, by default, a more preferable state than sadness, and you don’t need to try and justify it.

    And I’m not just talking about telling your friends a new joke you heard and seeing them grin for a few seconds before you move on to other things. I’m talking about living your life with the goal of making the world around you just that much brighter.

    I’m talking about things like Bronies For Good, who summon up our very own community’s National Treasury levels of goodwill to help those in need. I’m talking about the Make A Wish foundation, who go to extreme, dare-I-say Pinkie Pie-ish levels to animate the dreams of people who got dealt a bad hand.

    I’m talking about every one of you who has a chance to batter down others for the way they dress, the way they talk, or what they believe – and doesn’t take the chance. But that comes down to not being an asshole, really; not being poisoned by our ‘normative’ culture’s mean-spirited and exclusionary practices. What I’m really talking about here is taking the next step beyond that.

    According to Andrew W.K., he does what he does (Going around the world and playing high-energy music for people) because it gives people joy. Because, according to him, “there is no part of the human experience, if it connects you to joy, that is anything other than godly.” Joy is, it seems, literally his religion. And it takes all colours, creeds, orientations and aspirations. The world needs someone like Andrew W.K., able to be an absolute, some kind of positive spirit. One of his concerts is the closest you’ll get to a Pinkie Party.

    But he doesn’t have to be the only one.

    I’ve said before that as bronies, by definition we’ve already transgressed what’s considered “acceptable” and “normative” in a society that’s obsessed with tearing people down for frivolous reasons and just generally being mean without conscience or legitimate reason. Yeah, we’ve got a few bad apples, but I guarantee you that the orchards are fresher in here than out there, so to speak.

    So, like I’ve been saying, let’s be the example. Right now, we’re the backup chorus to Pinkie’s Smile song crescendo, but why can’t we take a nod from Pinkie and Andrew themselves?

    I believe that hate corrupts in a very real way, like a toxic cloud surrounding the person spewing vitriol. But if that has merit, doesn’t the opposite also have to be true? Spreading joy is a healer.

    Obviously, not all of us are going to be able to sing on stage for a living, or be able to summon up flash-mobs of ponies just by cantering around Ponyville and singing about smiling. But let’s look at art for a second – art being defined anything that you create, I think. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a musician, a graphic artist, an author, a video game designer, someone involved in the movie business – it’s art. And by putting it out into the world, you’ll find there will inevitably be people who will like it. It will give them joy. You, in doing so, have sent joy out into the world. (Unless it’s hate-literature like Mein Kampf or something, in which case it has a very negative effect on the world around it and you should critically re-examine your life.)

    Hell, just look at this site: it’s fan-fiction for a specific series, much smaller-time than an actual published work, and yet it’s brought me enough joy that I feel the need to thank personally too many authors to name. To bring one to mind right now – thank you, device heretic, for writing Eternal and bringing me joy (as well as helping me become a better writer in turn). Thank you, guy who wrote Naked Singularity, for making me laugh my arse off time and time again, and giving me joy. See? That wasn’t so hard. I could go on and on.

    I’m not just talking about relatively “tame” fare like Friendship Is Magic. I’m talking about anything from bubblegum-pop to death metal; anything from Super Mario to God Of War. To use an extreme example, Cannibal Corpse might sing (growl?) about subjects too abjectly grotesque to describe here in any manner of detail, but they have many fans, and they routinely give them joy – so they’re good for the world. Same with the gory video games: Mortal Kombat and Dead Space might show dismemberments in gruesome detail, but so long as they have entertained just one player, then they have brought joy into the world, and it was worth it.

    I make no bones about the fact that I love art at its most basic level. I venerate it. Be it a painting or a graphic novel, or a video game or a good book, these are works meant to inspire by their very being. Fantasy is an incredibly powerful thing, both a reflection of the world we live in, and the world we would like to see. It doesn’t matter if the story in question is Eternal or Cupcakes. Yes, I went there: Cupcakes might have disgusted a lot of people, but just like death metal, it has also inspired, even if you’re not a fan of what it’s inspired.

    I also make no secret of the fact that I have little love for people who will antagonize others simply for transgressing the “normative”. If the positive energy, of charity, art or otherwise, is the gateway to inspiration and happiness, then this attitude is the opposite. It slams the door on all of those things. When you choose to put abject negativity into the world rather than positivity, you slam the door on the things that make life worth living. So it might not be physical violence, but it most certainly brings death.

    At the risk of sounding like that one Jim Carrey movie, I choose life; I choose possibilities.

    And that kind of joy – that which comes at the expense of someone else’s joy – is a corrupted joy, poisoned by a willfull blindness to how it impacts the world around it. To take it back to Pinks, this is actually why some fans recoiled from Pinkie’s characterization in Luna Eclipsed: because while Pinkie’s whole “it’s fun to be scared” shtick certainly entertained herself, it made Luna feel like Parasprite droppings. In that respect, I do feel it was out-of-character, given all I’ve said about the character so far. However, it’s a decent illustration of something we see all the time, of people who get their kicks from making others feel like crap. Can this really be called ‘pure’ joy if it produces the same results as hate?

    At the risk of losing anyone who wasn’t prepared for me to go this deep, I’m actually reminded somewhat of people who have had near-death experiences. The tunnel of white light, long-departed loved ones beckoning them in, the whole kit and caboodle. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious, atheist, or anything in between – this is what they came back with. There are numerous commonalities between peoples’ experiences, one of which is this idea that while in the light, they were love, incarnate. That this concept that we know as love is the fabric that binds the entire universe.

    I’m still not entirely sure what I think of all that, and I’m not honestly sure that I’m even meant to, but it got me thinking. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Maybe that rush, that tingling of the spine we get when we see something truly remarkable, some act of kindness or charity, is just a glimpse of what perfection really is. And anything else – the pollution of blind hatred, of binary thinking that keeps us divided, of snap judgments and crimes against our fellow – maybe all that is just a deviation from the path. Not speaking religiously, spiritually, or anything like that. I’m just talking about love. In its purest, most distilled form.

    To spread joy is, to I think, express your love for creativity, inspiration and life. And personalities like Pinkie Pie and the human race’s very own Andrew W.K. are acutely aware of this. Follow their example: don’t wait until tomorrow. Do it today. Go to that one friend who can never seem to hold their head above water, and lend them a shoulder. Post a story, online or others, that will get people to engage, think, and enjoy themselves. Call a relative you don't see often enough. Spread joy.

    So yeah. You can say I appreciate Pinkie Pie’s character a lot more now than when I first started watching this show.

    Party hard, bronies. Torrents out.

    4 comments · 306 views
  • 147w, 3d
    Notes on stories

    Good time here to lay down some notes on the stories I've got posted so far, that I didn't feel would be appropriate as a part of the descriptions proper or as authors' notes.

    Last Sparkles Of Time: Blame Spider-Man: Edge Of Time for the plot inspiration. This one is on borderline hiatus right now while I take some time to think about the pacing. This was initially to be a reserved affair, length-wise, but I've started to realize that I'd be completely wasting the concept if I rushed through it, and it wouldn't be as good as it could have been, so I have a feeling that, as Tolkien once said, this will be a 'tale that grows in the telling'. I'm of the opinion that if one does something, then no half-flanking it. You gotta throw your whole flank behind it and let the pieces fall where they may.

    Last time I wrote fanfics, I wrote a series so massive that practically nobody actually read it to its end, and I wasn't about to let that happen here. But after seeing the activeness of the FIM fandom compared to the one I used to write in, I realize I shouldn't put arbitrary binders on a story that deserves room to breathe.

    Running From Myself: Childhood bullying is a subject that we're all familiar with, but this story wouldn't have existed if not for the recent, tragic rash of teen suicides over bullying and school harassment. It got me thinking about the long-term effects that these events can have on a young mind. I chose Twilight as the protagonist here (rather than, say, Fluttershy, who was canonically harassed in fillyhood) because she's the one of the mane six I most closely relate to, so emotions in the story could more easily be genuine and not merely demanded by the narrative. I hope everypony likes it, or barring that, agrees with the message.

    0 comments · 78 views
  • ...
 68
 10,417

The way others perceive us can affect how we perceive ourselves, and the results are rarely pretty. When a couple of Canterlot ponies from her past come to Ponyville, Twilight has a difficult time revisiting a traumatic event from her foalhood.

*Now on Equestria Daily! Thanks are in order to the pre-reader(s) who put their time aside for this story. Final scene changed from "alternate ending" to "epilogue", and extended, because sometimes we only think of scenes after things see publish.

Reading by Obabscribbler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bitGUNZKNmU

First Published
27th Jan 2012
Last Modified
27th Jan 2012
#1 · 147w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

Sad,  but I like it.

Anyone read Scootaloo dash fanfic?I nearly laughed my ass off at "tasting the rainbow"

Nice ,moving and deep story.Thank you.

:fluttershysad:

That was beautiful:yay:

#4 · 147w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

:applecry: Very nice story.

#5 · 147w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

As someone who's been bullied and picked on in the past...

I just...there are no words.

This story really made me tear up.

All I can say is...

Thank you.

A wonderfully unique take on Twilight's school days. Normally, the fics I read have Twilight and the other students have a neutral relation. But in this one, Twilight gets bullied and thus developes OCD? Five Stars!

#8 · 147w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

Beautiful. That's all that needs to be said.

Nice work man. This is really well done.

#11 · 147w, 22h ago · · 1 · Epilogue ·

does she kill herself in ch2

#12 · 147w, 22h ago · 1 · · Epilogue ·

I think, when it comes down to it, fics like this are the best sort.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for adventurous fics or romance fics and sometimes the occasional crossover  or a tactfully-handled grimdark. They're all good.

But this, this kind of simple, almost episodic thing? This is what the show is all about. And it doesn't need to be any more complex than this--pure, honest, emotional, but completely and entirely beautiful in its simplicity. So there are some pretty amazing adventure fics and some pretty gripping mysteries and some pretty endearing romances, but all of those are fluff--things we as writers, as people, impose on their world because they're part of our frame of reference. And I'm guilty of that, too; I write that kind of stuff.

This is what the show is about. This is what the fandom is about. It's so... refreshing to see something like this.

You have my deepest gratitude.

Pretty good. Would you mind if I gave this a review for my webcast? Feel free to say no.

#14 · 147w, 21h ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>181667

Go right on ahead. :yay:

#15 · 147w, 21h ago · · · Epilogue ·

The situation is unfortunately realistic, tragic and unfortunately... very dangerous when the target is a super-powered unicorn with massive, cosmic powers.

Why I see brackets and squares and other symbols everywhere?

#17 · 147w, 21h ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>181785

I'm not sure. I just checked after reading your post, thinking I might have misplaced an italics bracket or something, but there's nothing of the sort on my screen. I know the kind of thing you mean, but it might just be an error in the way the page loaded for you or something.

#18 · 147w, 19h ago · · · Epilogue ·

This was beautiful. As LysanderasD already said, these are the best sort of fics, the ones that deal with the characters struggling through a situation - struggling with themselves, even - and trying to find the means to pull through. That takes skillful writing to do well, and you have displayed it here. Thank you.

#19 · 147w, 19h ago · · · Epilogue ·

This was absolutely marvelous! It was very beautiful and moving.

I'd be emotional if I could!

Nice story, excellent writing!

When twilight sat that "I caused a tree to burst into flames. Right down to the bark."  wouldn't it make more sense to say heartwood? I mean the bark is the outside and would be the firs bit to burn and all.

Enjoyed the piece. Keep up the work!

Princess Trollestia strikes again!

Great fic though :D 5/5

#23 · 147w, 13h ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>183127

You've got a point. The image I had in my mind was that the leaves catch fire, and then it spreads right down to the body of the tree, but your suggestion makes more sense overall. It'll be done! :rainbowdetermined2:

#24 · 147w, 13h ago · · · Epilogue ·

I enjoyed everything BUT the last part.

Rarity trying to get them fired? No. Nononono.

#25 · 147w, 13h ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>183221

I understand what you mean, but I attempted to play it in such a way that it didn't involve any of the mane six taking direct action against the two (Because countering bullying with bullying leads to a broken aesop), but rather Opal doing what cats generally do because of a mistake. I look at it as more like laser-guided karma, or having some nasty mares get knocked down a well-deserved peg. It wouldn't be in Rarity's nature to actively destroy the film herself, but there's not too much she can do at this point about it.

#27 · 147w, 11h ago · · · Epilogue ·

wow...all i can say is wow, its a little strong for children, but it relates well to older audiences... good work. Although my praise can only be taken with a grain of salt as I have not written anything at all.

#28 · 147w, 11h ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>183244

Yes, I did misread that part. Still, not sure how to feel about that.

After all, they got banned from Celestia's school after picking on Twilight.Now after meeting Twilight again they're going to be fired from that job as well. They had something coming, all right- but that?

I wouldn't be suprised if they come to the conclusion Twilight's responsible for that as well; Especially if they ever learn just where they lost their film, and how.

#29 · 147w, 9h ago · · · Epilogue ·

so

many

tears

were

shed

:fluttercry::pinkiesad2::applecry:

I love the story

#30 · 147w, 5h ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>183221

She didn't DO anything. They left their cameras there and Opalescence destroyed the film in their camera.

She was just observing that what goes around comes around---

Though I do have to counter-point: they may have been awful and cruel as fillies, but on the other hand they spent <I>their entire lives</i> paying for that childhood cruelty. They lost their place in the most prestigious school in Equestria, and with it every higher opportunity they might have aspired to. How long should someone keep paying for something they did as a child?

Perhaps as long as they keep refusing to change what they do.

#31 · 147w, 42m ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>183734

Yes, and I already admitted I misread that part.

#32 · 146w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

Wow, this was a wonderful tale of Twilight getting to move on and grow. Thank you for sharing it.

Well written, good job.

Ah psyche, always an interesting topic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Great characterization, good dialogue, original plot and true emotion.

5 stars to you!

I very much feel for Twi on this one, and to a not much lesser extent Cheerilee.  Been there.  In both positions.  It's one thing to have to go through that yourself and only realize 10+ years after the fact just how much of a mess it's left you.  Possibly the only thing more depressing is watching it replay itself on another kid right in front of you.  And sadly, teachers don't have the kind of authority Celestia did to expel students for bullying unless it gets violent, nor the foresight to know just how long-term the damage can be.

The only thing I'd point out is that Twilight probably has read enough law books to know the exact implications of Lesson Zero.  I mean they're enormous, soul-crushing tomes of needlessly complex language.  That's right up her alley!  :twilightsheepish:

#36 · 146w, 3d ago · · · Epilogue ·

Wow, you've done a very good job. I must confess I hate any sort of bullying and if I could I'll do.. Well, nasty things :trixieshiftleft:

Let's say, you really got a reaction from me :twilightsheepish:. I love how you interpreted Twilight's breakdown (though I still want to believe it doesn't happen to her for real... Not real, real but.. You know what I mean :pinkiehappy:)

That was very touching and I really like how Twilight sort it all out. Much better than basic revenge. That's kind of obvious, but I think it's worth pointing out !

I like how Celestia handled it. That was a pretty long shot though, but she's sort of cunning.. ?

Anyway, I'm glad I wasn't unnerved at the end of the story. Actually, I'm quite in peace with the world and myself right now, thank you for that :twilightsmile:

#37 · 145w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>181672

Finally got around to it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp5xk_9RGvI&feature=colike

Sorry it took so long, my computer crashed

#38 · 145w, 6d ago · · · Epilogue ·

>>208327

Thanks a lot for your attention :twilightsmile:

By the way, the part where the bullies try to get sympathy was indeed intended to backfire and make them look worse. Rarity is kind of my author-surrogate at that point when she reminds them that anything bad that happened to them in the flashback is their own fault.

#39 · 143w, 3d ago · · · Epilogue ·

I can relate to this story. I was bullied a lot at school and it was not pretty. Excellent story.

I know how Twilight feels. I went thought the same thing in 8th grad. My early years school was quit normal but once 8th grad hit. It was the darkest times. I was pick on contently. I kept getting jump and end up fighting back to defend myself. I was send to detention for self defense. Which is really mess up. It actually still bugs me today because I will get flash back once in awhile.

I'm surprise I didn't shoot up the school. I'm glad I didn't because I'm pretty happy where I'm am now.:rainbowwild:

    

#41 · 141w, 3d ago · · · Epilogue ·

:twilightsmile::heart::twilightsmile:

What can I honestly say about this?  It is AMAZING!  The introspective of Twilight and the origins of her OCD hang-ups, Rarity defending her, Cherilee's talk, it's all so GREAT!

And let's not forget: “They’re gonna learn that if you buck with my friends, you’re gonna taste the Rainbow!”  Awesome line. :rainbowdetermined2:

Massive applause to you!!!!

And in all honesty, I was bullied in middle school, so seeing my personal favorite character in this situation hits close to home, but in a good way.  It just lets me connect with the story more.  Many of us have been in this situation, and it lets us really feel for the character.  It's a major point in your favor for an already great story.

I relate all to well to this. Being a kid with ADHD (which is common), with neurotic tendencies didn't help me much in elementry school. I got picked on not only by students but even my 3rd grade teacher. He hated my guts, made a point to call me out in class, and this made the kids smell the weakness. Ironically I had my own Celestia. It wasn't until I decided to throw a chair at the teacher to say I will not suffer anymore I got the help I needed. Rather than being expelled the principle talked to me, transfered me to another teacher and suddenly I had earned some respect for taking a stand against a mean teacher. I recently got to run into both the teacher and my elementary principle. I must say that it was amazing to feel so liberated to know that asshole actually lost his license because he was such a mean teacher. Its weird to think how much our child hood really influences who we are...

Oh and for you story, I thought it was amazing and just a perfect amount of trollestia...:trollestia:

Someone tell me how do you bloody add stuff to favourites because I need to add this story to it.

you know ive only had one incdent that was related like what twilight happend to and it was awful i cant even begin to imagin how bad it was for her:fluttershyouch: thankfully i started to read like twilight and made some friends execpt not enough happend ot me to mess with my mind crap i wish twilight fried them or celestia sent them to the moon in retribution

#45 · 136w, 2d ago · · · Epilogue ·

i still wish they got sent to the moon

TO THE MOON:trollestia:

I am really annoyed at FIMfiction for merging "Favorites" and "Read Later", as it cheapens the meaning and qaulity of your ACTUAL favorites. I don't have time to finish this tonight, but it looks like this is going in my Favorites via what "Favorites" actually means :twilightsmile:

I hope to have a more in-depth and quality review when I have the time later on :twilightsmile::ajsmug::yay::rainbowdetermined2::raritystarry::pinkiehappy:

Well done sir that was a moving story. I give it 5/5 Keep up the great work :twilightsmile:

#48 · 115w, 5d ago · 1 · · Epilogue ·

>>183734

Apologies for the late reply, but I just stumbled over this fic.

As for your question, well I'd be more sympathetic of them 'still paying for a fillyhood mistake' if when the first time they meet Twilight Sparkle they didn't immediately fall back into the same hurtful behaviors.  And Twilly spent just as long 'paying' for their petty cruelty to her, to the point she is just climbing out of that pit.  The fact they can't learn from that mistake proves they shouldn't be around that kind of power, for their own sake as well as their potential victim's.

And it should be pointed out getting Blanchette and Maylene out of Celestia's school arguably is saving their lives.  Deliberately antagonizing a unicorn of Twilight's power to the point she looses control is quite possibly Darwin Award territory.  Imagine the gruesome results of a pony more inclined to lash out at an attack.

IMHO this could be read as more than Celestia trying to get Twilight over her issues.  It was also a test of character for Blanchette and Maylene.  If they shown they had grown up, understood how wrong and hurtful that 'joke' was, well I'm sure Celestia might have slipped some opportunities their way.  But instead they shown they hadn't grown up at all emotionally and flunked their test of character rather spectacularly.

I'd read this before I got an account, and I've just read it again.  This description of how being bullied makes one feel brought me to tears, remembering my own wondering why they wouldn't just leave me alone?!?

So, thumbed and fav'd.

*Gives Twilight a hug.* I feel your pain....

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