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An Angry Daughter... · 11:43pm
Within the darkness of her room, Fluttershy lay on the bed, having not moved since she took a shower and returned to her bedroom to change. She didn’t have to worry about taking care of Angel today; her mother had been working to the bone so much as of late that her boss insisted she take the day off. Angel had taken advantage of that, most likely: it gave him the chance to go back into those violent games of his and play with relative impunity.
Which was perfectly fine for the chiffon-haired teen. She didn’t want to be bothered right now, grateful that she hadn’t scheduled anything with her friends, nor did she have to work today at the animal shelter. Instead, she just lay on the bed, staring at the glow-in-the-dark stars that had been on her ceiling since she was eight. The stars, she remembered, were a gift, so that she would know she was always watched, always loved.
She knew that was a lie. Not the fact that she was loved, nor the fact that she was cared for – her mother worked with infinite energy and care, doing more as a single parent than any person had a right to be. She was a doctor and a single mother – either of those were incredibly hard duties, but paired together was a recipe for disaster. And yet Fluttershy knew without a doubt that her mother had done everything within her power to make sure she and Angel were growing up right, whatever that meant.
But…. She turned her head slightly, looking at the unopened package on her desk. Why does this have to be so hard? She turned back to the ceiling, remembering how things used to be – and how they weren’t anymore. Back when she knew her father loved her, before he left like a coward.
The silence of the room was too much for her. Reaching over to her nightstand, she grabbed her phone and her headphones; the latter had been Sunset’s Christmas gift to her, something to make up for a pair of much cheaper headphones the flame-haired girl had broken back when they were at odds. The fact that Sunset had apologized for that back in October was more than enough for Fluttershy, but the headphones – expensive ones at that – were something that Fluttershy had treasured just as much as she valued her friendship with Sunset.
Plus, Fluttershy didn’t have the heart to tell her friend that Beats headphones were overpriced crap and that for real sound, she had a pair of Grado GS1000Es that were worth every penny of their four-figure cost. But it was the meaning of the gift in the end that was important; money, she’d learned both the good and the bad way, meant nothing in the end.
Slipping on her headphones, she brought up iTunes and punched in her favorite song, “Gobbledigook” by Sigur Rós. The band was a favorite of her father’s, and somehow along the years, despite everything, had become one of hers as well. She both loved and hated that. It reminded her of the man that read her and Angel bedtime stories and made homemade macaroni and cheese (because nobody ever did that nowadays)…and not the man who walked out on them because of his own pusillanimity.
I am everything you ever made me, Daddy, she thought to herself, and I hate you for it.
Quick Note: · 1:45am
Pet Peeves · 1:26am
Okay, just had to get this off my chest. If you're affected by one or more of these, take these as constructive criticism. If not, well, feel free to laugh along. I'm probably going to piss off a few people by saying this. You know what? These things happen.
1. There's a system for writing creative fiction. No, it's not called the Chicago Manual of Style. It's called the Oxford Companion to the English Language. It is as important for creative writing as Chicago is for essay writing. What that means is that creative writers are recommended to (not "should") use Oxford as their guide to creative writing (i.e. stories, poetry, etc.) and Chicago for essays. There's also the AP and UPI guides for journalism, but we won't get into that right now.
What that also means is that Chicago is not the end-all, be-all for writing styles in English. There is no fucking end-all, be-all for English, because English doesn't have one! It's one of the few (if not the only) languages that does not have an official organization in charge of the language (c.f. the Académie française for French). Yes, we joke about the BBC being the Keeper of the English language, but you know what? That's not official. Even the S&P folks at the Beeb will tell you that.
Yes, I'm talking to you, fanfic prereaders at Equestria Daily. No, "But that's the style everyone knows!" is not an excuse.* C'mon, I'm fucking American and I use the Oxford (for those who are hung up on "MURICA!" mode, Harvard University also uses Oxford.) There is no fucking reason at all that prereaders, editors, etc. in the modern Inter-fucking-net Age should not know what it is. I mean, I'm not expecting people to have masters degrees in English from Oxford University, I'm just asking your lazy asses to Google it and see that it really exists!**
2. On what fucking planet does single quotes indicate internal dialogue? Or is this another damn Chicago thing some tenured fucking professor in his Ivory Soap Tower decided was for realisies? I know this might come as a shock to those of you who think that SMS should be the next style guide for the English language, but it's italics. To wit:
WRONG: 'Rob says that whoever taught you that is a doofus.' Shinzakura thought.
RIGHT: Rob says that whoever taught you that is a dumbass, Shinzakura thought.
3. No, Brian Goldner (the CEO of Hasbro) does not live his days just to piss you off. He runs a toy company; some may argue he also ran the Hub into the ground, but that's a different story. Yes, you might not be happy about Lauren Faust's ex-employment status. Yes, you might be pissed about Fighting is Magic getting Shoryukened in favor of a mediocre Farmville knockoff. Yes, Lyra and Bon-Bon/Sweetie Drops/Changeling #324213452354/whatever we're calling her this week aren't official, no matter how much DHX tries to pull it off (and on that note, nice move, guys and gals! Thumbs up!) They're a business, MLP is a toy line first, a girl's-oriented IP first and though we're on the periphery, it will take a while just to get them to expand it into viable collectors status, c.f. Transformers: More than Meets the Cash. Just be glad they aren't making FIM 4.5: Hey, 3.5 is back!
4. Yes, I'll read your story before you submit it. If I like it/or if you ask nicely, I'll edit or go to bat with you with one of my editors (hey, these guys work on my professional stuff too, so they know their shit.) Yes, if I really like it, I'll do artwork for your work.
That doesn't mean that I'll have it done in five minutes. I have a full-time job, commitments to other stuff, my side business, webcomics, a blog, two novels, websites and website commissions, fonts to design, edits to make, art to do, fix stuff around the house, and oh, somewhere in there is my four-hour commute to/from work (Ponyville is far from the Beltway) and somewhere in there I need to sleep, eat and all the other stuff that comes naturally (this includes paying attention to my wife.) So even if I offered to do something, it still hangs at the bottom rung, because it must/it's the only place for it to be. If you don't like that, there are others who are probably more than willing to look at your stuff (and I mean that in a nice way.) And if you're a bitch about it, there are others who are probably more than willing to look at your stuff (and I don't mean that in a nice way.)
5. I should also point out that I left a few of the contentious ones out, because Ayne (my wife) doesn't like having the house firebombed.
*actual excuse given to me while talking to an EqD editor.
** Same EqD editor thought I was lying until I had him look it up.
Thank you all! · 2:41pm
I honestly don't know what to say. Even with AAG on a minor hiatus right now (latest chapter goes to editing this weekend!), this still means a lot to me. And thanks to Black Jesuz for carrying it over.
I'll have some big announcement after chapter22 comes out, but all I have to say at this point in time is a sincere thanks.
A Confused Soul.... · 3:12am
“Octavia, dear – I want you to be honest.”
Rarity looked at her. “Do you really think so little of me?”
Octavia adjusted uncomfortably in her seat. “Well, you are Sunny’s friend.”
“I’m yours as well – we are a group, or did you forget that?”
“No,” Octavia sighed. “It’s just….” She sighed. “You’ll think I’m being petty.”
“Darling, we’re teenagers. This the time in our lives when we excel at being petty – it’s in our DNA,” Rarity said with a hint of a smile.
To Those Who Served · 3:38pm
If Everyone Wants... · 1:18am
A Questioning Mind.... · 3:31am
As she pulled into the parking lot of the Equestria County Alternative High School for At-Risk Students, Celestia grunted as she parked the district-issued 2007 Toyota Corolla into the staff space, thinking about how much she hated driving this thing and how it handled, well, like the clunky piece of crap it was. Admittedly, she would have much preferred to drive her baby, but parking a pristinely-kept 2007 Hyundai Tiburon GK FL2 in the middle of Sunnytown was tantamount to painting “HEY BREAK IN AND STEAL THIS CAR!” on the sides. Besides, as the assistant superintendent for the summer school program, she had to look professional, and though she tended to be a bit more impish than most of her peers, even she had her limits.
As she parked, a well-dressed gentleman with dark skin, a trim haircut, and soul patch came out of the featureless, blandly-gray building. Like her, he had a reputation for being unconventional, all the more so for his job as the principal of “The Blanks”, which unlike all the other schools, ran year-round. At the moment, he was wearing a black suit, gray shirt and a black tie that changed to a red gradient towards the end. “Ah, Superintendent Celestia, what a pleasure to see you!” he said in a growly, bassy voice that didn’t seem to fit his lithe frame.
“Dr. Sombra,” she said, flashing a smile. “You didn’t need to come out here to see me.”