1. Member Since 22nd Sep, 2011
  2. offline for 3h, 44m

I'm the creator of Otakuworld.com, Jenniverse.com, the computer game Boppin', numerous online comics, novels, and tons of other wonderful things. I really love MLP:FiM.

More Blog Posts89

  • 12w, 6d
    The Final Word

    32 comments · 825 views
  • 37w, 1d
    The Last Conversion Bureau Novel Will Be Finished

    24 comments · 420 views
  • 38w, 5d
    My Recent Polish MLP Magazine Interview!

    25 comments · 417 views
  • 42w, 1d
    Petal's Corollary To The Bostrom Simulation Argument


    Petal's Corollary To The Bostrom Simulation Argument

    By Petal Chatoyance


    1. Unless avoiding pain and seeking pleasure and satisfaction becomes irrelevant, post-human civilizations will primarily create fantastic and heavenly simulations of reality in which to reside in, where all needs are met, and all desires are fulfilled.

    2. Unless the fundamental need for novelty, contrast in experience, and avoidance of boredom becomes irrelevant, post-human civilizations will place a special premium on simulated realities that serve these drives even if they should cause suffering.

    3. The establishment of horrifically accurate simulations of the chaotic, unpredictable, and experientially authentic pre-Singularity world will occur, in sufficient number to meet the demand of bored or jaded post-human consciousnesses.




        

    41 comments · 515 views
  • 46w, 3d
    Virtual Reality Followup: PSVR

    VR: Virtual Reality

    Followup: Playstation VR


    A few days ago, I got to try the Playstation VR system. I'd like to tell you about that experience.

    In my last blog, I described the strengths and weaknesses, as I perceive them, for both the Vive and the Rift. They are both good systems, they both work well. The Vive, to recap, allows you to walk around in what amounts to a holodeck, interacting with the virtual world - picking up things, throwing things, crouching down, standing up, exploring a room-sized space. The Rift demands that you sit or stand on one place and never physically walk around. You use an Xbox Controller instead of hand-held graspers. You push buttons and move with the stick. The Vive never causes motion sickness, the Rift does, sometimes. The Vive is very expensive, and finicky to set up, but when it works, nothing beats it. The Rift is lighter, easy to set up and use, and vastly more convenient, it is also slightly cheaper.

    Let me tell you about the Playstation VR, once called the 'Morpheus'.

    The device is light. It weighs less than the Rift. It does not have built-in earphones or a built-in microphone. You have to supply those. It connects to a small box that connects to the Playstation 4. The small box does the work that allows the PS4 to both show the virtual world for the player using the VR headset AND also show the same scene on a television. This allows a person wearing a headset to play co-op with another person in the same room.

    The PSVR device is supported on the head by a kind of 'crown' - not quite a halo - from which the visor 'hangs'. The visor can be pulled forward on a rail, and slid back to cover the eyes. This makes it very convenient for glasses. All of this also means that the system is cool - it does not bake the face like the Vive and the Rift. Air circulates easily, and the eyeballs do not get hot. More than this, it makes the system fit any person easily, and not get all sticky or gooey with skin oils between players.

    The PSVR, according to the stats, has only a 90 degree field of view, compared to the 110 degree field of the Rift and Vive. I did not notice. Because of the way the device works, the perceived field of view appeared identical to me. I honestly could not tell. More than that, it actually felt less like looking through a pair of swimming goggles - a problem both the Vive and the Rift share. Despite the given stats for the machine, it actually felt wider and less confining.

    More importantly, the PSVR has more pixels in the display, and the refresh is faster - 90 times a second instead of a max of 60. That difference is incredibly important, as I discovered much to my surprise. Fast refresh and more pixels helps so incredibly much. The 'screendoor' pixel view is much less than on the other two machines. But best of all - the result is no simulation sickness... at least for me, and for my spouse Stephen too - and he is VERY prone to simulation sickness.

    I played VR Battlezone. It's an updated, very Tron-like vision of the old quarter-muncher. I slid my anti-grav future-tank all over the landscape, weaving and spinning and zooming and firing in every direction - including up high - and never once felt dizzy or ill. The view was clear,  butter-smooth, and had zero judder. It was smoother than a babies' butt. I was very, very impressed. I did not expect it to be that damn good.

    I did not try the 'Move' controllers with it. Like the Vive, the Move controllers act as 'hands' in the world, allowing the player to hold objects. It is of note that one of the coolest games for the Vive 'Job Simulator' is actually coming out for the PSVR. In that game, you walk around a space and use your virtual hands to fix cars, make sandwiches and soups, type on computers, answer old fashioned phones, and even throw office supplies across the room. If the PSVR can handle that game, damn, it can likely do just about anything the Vive can do.

    And this astonished me. I expected the PSVR to be a sort of 'budget Rift' not a Vive-killer. I did not expect a better view by any means. I was, to put it bluntly, utterly blown away.

    The PSVR, in short, is the bomb.

    And by that, I mean that it is the cheapest, most powerful, most easy-to-use truly complete VR system of the three. Anybody could use this thing, anybody. It's basically as easy as using a controller. It is not finicky. It works well. The view is... excellent. Better than the Rift, zero question, and... I hate to say this... possibly even better than the Vive. How? How in all of hell is Sony pulling this off?

    Well, I've thought about that. Sony has been making head-mounted displays for nearly a decade. To watch movies. Mostly sold in Japan, the devices allow Japanese people in small rooms to enjoy the equivalent of a large-screen television. Going one step further, and making a VR headset out of that is not very much of a stretch. They had a secret head-start, in a way.

    Sony has also had the advantage of watching both HTC/Valve and Oculus stumble and make things work. They may have come last, but that apparently just means they can benefit from the work of those before. The result: I am more convinced than ever of my predictions.

    My predictions, if you have forgotten, are these:

    The Vive is the most impressive overall, but it is too expensive and fussy and complex for most people.

    The Rift is easy, slightly cheaper, and not fussy at all... but it is still limited and locked (for most users) to Oculus itself.

    The PSVR will ultimately win the VR race, and make Virtual Reality not only commonplace, but in time, the standard way to play games. It is the most affordable of all, works fantastically, is easy and simple, is the only truly consumer VR device, and... it keeps your face comfortable.

    Plus, there are 40 million PS4 units out there. 40 Million 'just plug it in and it works' potential VR customers who already have the base machine. All they have to do is buy the headset, and bam: VR funtown.

    That's kind of hard to beat.

    So, that's my report. I have now played all three VR systems and can now render considered judgement. All three are good, and VR really is as amazing as people claim. It isn't just 'sticking a screen on your face'. It is being somewhere else, other than earth. It is genuinely astonishing, and if you have not experienced it personally, you have nothing useful or real to say about the matter. It is that big of a deal.

    But, that said, the Vive is amazing but expensive and fussy, the Rift is less amazing but serviceable, and the PSVR is the easiest of all, and the least expensive, and it looked and felt just as good - or better - than the other two.

    If I could only afford one of the three systems, I would... I guess I would probably go with PSVR. Yes, the Vive is all that and a bag of very large chips. Yes, the Rift is easy and it works. But damn, Playstation is going to have the games. It's going to have it all and... if past experience is any guide, the PSVR will be adaptable to work with a PC, just like the PS controller and headphones... at least eventually. I think that suggests that the PSVR will... basically do it all, and for less than half the price.

    Maybe so. But I would not trade the incredible, magical experiences I have had on the HTC/Valve Vive for anything. I want that noted. Just blew me away.

    Honestly, though, I spend way more time on the Rift. It's just so damn easy. All I have to do is slap it on my face. That's it. Bam, I'm in. There isn't much to do, but... it's just that easy.

    When the PSVR is released in October... I will be there. Already long on order. I'm a gamer. PSVR is... I think it's going to be the place to be for most folks.

    I don't regret getting all three, mind you. It is wonderful to have the privilege of comparing and contrasting. Each headset has its own charms. And, this is the beginning of history, this is a historic moment. Virtual reality will change our world. It will change our lives... I think, within 20 years, it will be as important to rich first-worlders as the internet has been to the world. It may be our very damnation, but... it will be necessary, not just a luxury.

    But not yet. Not for two decades. For now, we have the Rift and the Vive and soon, the PSVR.

    Let me tell you about one more experience.

    Last night, I was in a virtual world called 'ALTspace VR'. It's kind of a simple chat-room / game-room meeting place online. Anyone with VR can enter - any kind of VR. Doesn't matter the brand or make or model. You got a Cardboard VR on a cell phone, you can be there.

    I was chatting with three other people. I turned around to study my own robot body in a nearby mirror. I leaned forward and tried to see myself in my glowing electric eyes. My body there is white and heliotrope, smooth and rounded, sort of like a tall version of EVE from Wall-E. I tilt my head, and my robot head tilts because it is my real head, there.

    One of the people-bots I was chatting with was from Germany, another from California, the third from Utah. We stood about a meter apart, more or less. We talked about VR, I admired the fact that the German man had real hands and fingers. He was using a device called a 'Leap-Motion' that represents real hands in the virtual world. His flesh fingers represented in the virtual space. He could do sign language with them.

    I was there, with those people. In that room, a room that looked like a futuristic lounge. I could gaze into the mirror, I could watch the large television on the wall (it was silently running some music video). I could speak naturally, and they could too. I was there.

    Yet, there, didn't exist. Not really. German-guy was in his morning, sitting at a computer. The other guys were sitting or standing in California and Utah. Yet... we were together, in a real space, a real place, walking around each other. I stood next to the german man's robot body and leaned over to study his fingers up close.

    When I quit - it was four in my morning - I lifted my Rift off my face and blinked several times. I was in my chair, at home. Yet, I had just been standing somewhere else, somewhere somehow real.

    I now finally understand... how I can be in two places at once, when I am not anywhere at all.

    Someday, in the future, somebody is going to die in some virtual place, like the one I was in last night. They are just going to slump to the floor, and people will gather around, and then they will de-rezz, as the paramedics unplug them. Later, people will hear that they died while in VR.

    And you just know that when that happens - and it will - people will start putting virtual flowers, and crosses, and virtual messages on that place, inside the virtual world, to mark the person who died - like how people do now on the side of roads where terrible accidents happen.

    And later, people, inside VR, will pass by that place, with the virtual flowers, and whisper about how somebody died there, right there, on that spot.

    And some part of me spins, mind akimbo, at the question: where did that person actually die?

    Did they die in some room, in front of a machine, or did they die in a virtual place that cannot be pointed to? Because I think the answer is valid either way. If all of your senses are certain you are someplace, then, in a very real sense, you are. You are where your brain tells you that you are - you cannot know anything else. Reality is what you perceive, not what actually is. Reality - an any human sense - is personal.

    And this thought, this issue, is not some far-future Conversion Bureau World science fiction thing, neither is it some 'not yet or ever' Optimalverse situation. It's real, right now. It could happen tomorrow. It could be on the news tomorrow. It will happen, someday. VR is here, right now, and I spend some evenings in it, talking to people and rolling D&D dice on a table that is not there, or looking at myself in a virtual mirror, trying to see my soul in my digital eyes. That is happening now, folks.

    I think this is a time to be aware of these changes. It may be that things like Ready Player One and the Optimalverse may be much closer than we silly fiction writers truly realize.

    Ain't that a thought?










    22 comments · 455 views
  • 49w, 7h
    VR: Virtual Reality

    VR: Virtual Reality


    I currently have both the Vive and the Oculus. I've been saving up for VR for many years.

    My initial impressions are thus:

    The Vive is the real deal - it is amazingly immersive, and with the hand controllers, and the ability to walk around and interact with virtual objects as real things... it is just about the most incredible experience you can imagine. The view is a little bit like wearing a slightly wider scuba mask. You can see the grain of the pixels, but the view is clear and everything is precise. The goggles completely block out the world, and seal around your face. They are high quality - everything is super high quality. I have never gotten motion sick with the Vive. It has everything needed right out of the box.

    The downside of the Vive is that it is heavy, the cables are thick, you have to set up 'lighthouse' laser boxes at opposite corners of the room, and you need empty space to move around. My reserved VR space is 12 by 14 feet, for example. The sound is earbuds. It is a pain in the ass to set up and get working, every time. Also, it is hot, and if you are out of shape or old, like me, it gets exhausting fast. Stooping and crawling and standing and moving levers and turning wheels and pressing buttons and throwing balls and walking to and fro and ducking monsters and... it's a complete workout. I always come out drenched in sweat. But damn. Damn is it beyond awesome.

    There are few games for the Vive, but all are open to everyone, including users of the Rift.


    The Oculus Rift is... adequate, but less impressive. The visual quality is similar, but has some blur and glare with bright virtual objects. You have to use it in a dark room because light from outside gets in around the edges easily. You can look down your nose and see your lap for example. You don't get hand controllers (Yet. Soon, supposedly. Sold separately). You get a single microphone-like thing on a stand which monitors your goggles. You sit and use a Microsoft game controller. You don't physically walk around, you have to sit, or stand in one place. You cannot grab anything. You can look around. It's good for flight simulators and staying in one place and looking around at a virtual world. Or floating along behind a tiny character. There are games that let you joystick-move, but that also can cause... problems.

    The Rift does have the advantage of being cheaper, it is lighter and vastly less sweaty, and it has thin, easily managed cables. It works almost the moment you plug it in, it isn't a pain to set it up. It doesn't need regular recalibration. It has integrated headphones and doesn't require the use of earbuds. It is as close to 'plug and play' as anything can be until the Playstation VR comes out in October.

    There is a lot of software for it, but any that involves motion with the joypad could make you throw up. A lot. For a long, long time. All the games are Rift-only. The Rift goes out of it's way to be incompatible with anything other than itself. Basically, the Rift is trying to be a DRM locked console, rather than a peripheral like a monitor screen. The Vive considers itself a peripheral, open to anyone for anything.

    My opinion is that, in the end, that the Vive is the vastly better system, but also the most frustrating and difficult to use. Only it alone truly provides a holodeck-like experience. But it will fail, because it requires space to move around in. You can use it sitting down too, but... then you would miss out on being inside a goddamn holodeck! It is troublesome sometimes to get working right, and it is slightly more expensive. Not a lot more expensive - if you count having to buy hand controllers for the Rift into the cost. But a bit more expensive.

    The Rift will do okay, but not great, because it is cheaper, and it is easy to set up. But it is also an inferior experience in some ways. Even when the Rift hand controllers are released, the fact is that it is still a sit-down or stand-in-place experience. You won't be crawling through air ducts on starships with the Rift, or blocking dragon fire with a shield, not with your actual body. But that is probably good enough for most people.

    The real winner, I am convinced, will be the Playstation VR - and I say this even not having yet tried it. I know the specs, and I know what to expect from the Vive and the Rift. Forty million (plus!!) Playstation 4 units and the best games companies in the world committed to PSVR, not to mention console-simplicity at every level - and the cheapest price of all - pretty much guarantee that PSVR will dominate... in the end. No question about it. And that is not bad, I guess. I'm sure it will be fine. I've got one on order.

    But... I have to say this: the sheer, overwhelming wonder I have experienced on the Vive is... there is nothing else like it. I have poked gigantic jellyfish at the bottom of the sea and watched their massive surfaces ripple from my action. I have fixed cars and hand-poured 'headlight fluid' in a future where robots barely remember what humans were. I have lifted a torch off of a dungeon wall and used it to light a monster on fire. I have swung a sword with my hands and arms to deflect the blows of a skeleton knight. I have painted three-dimensional portraits in space with virtual brushes made of light.

    And... I have dropped to the floor, exhausted and covered in sweat, my heart pounding out of my chest, because I am 56, out of shape, and fighting skeletons for real at my age is beyond my physical capacities. Dammit! If only this could have happened when I was twenty-something! What a cheat life is!

    That's my report.

      

    26 comments · 501 views
  • 73w, 2d
    Spatchcock Horology

    62 comments · 1,083 views
  • 73w, 4d
    For 3.7 Seconds, I enjoyed A Bit Of Magical Thinking


        Have you ever had a moment of magical thinking? A brief span where your mind enjoyed a happy bit of the suspension of disbelief normally used for fantastic stories, only applied to the real world? It's fun!

    And I just recently had one, that I would like to share. It came courtesy of an article from Ars Technica, a semi-regular web destination of mine. To wit -

    Mysterious collector opens world’s largest private Apple exhibition in Prague

    Apple Museum has some 472 exhibits, with raw vegan cafe to come.

    LINK here.

    Turns out that some unknown personage has tons of the history of Apple, including all kinds of rare and secret historical stuff. Nobody knows who it is, or how they own the history of Apple, or... why they chose Prague, specifically, to show the collection off. Prague. The place where Franz Kafka is buried, in the cadastral district of Žižkov. There has been no indication of anyone driving a Kubota Mini-Excavator, or any strange, black vans. Yet.

    This is something Malus Crown would do, though. Likely as a diversion, and an excuse to ship in black cars and Kubotas. So I thought instantly of 'I.D. - That Indestructible Something.'

    What if? For a moment, I experienced Bostrom Alert Purple. It was a very enjoyable woo-woo.

    If you've never read 'Injector Doe - That Indestructible Something', now would be a good time.

    Just in case.

    - Petal

      

    15 comments · 515 views
  • 75w, 3h
    Moderator Abuse Of Power. It's a sad thing.

    I want to make it clear that I did not delete my last blog post, which featured fifty questions answered about headcanon. It was deleted by the mods, and it was done unthinkingly and, I believe, maliciously. The reason given was:

    Reminder that social-network style blog posts that encourage you to repost them are not allowed.

    No person encouraged me to copy the fifty question concept from another author's own blog. I did not in any way encourage any other person to copy me. I chose to use the format because, in my depression, it was the only thing that had sparked any capacity in me to write about anything. I used it on my own, as a tool to fight depression.

    The removal of my previous blog was wrong, even by the rules stated.

    There is, I think, nothing I can do about it.

    The worst part is that all of the information I wrote is gone - I do not even have a copy for myself. I cannot read it to my spouse now. I wanted to, but last night she had a seizure and could not listen then. Now she can, and it is a loss for both of us.

    I find this an abuse of mod power - other options would have been to contact me, to switch my blog off allowing me to collect my own words, or to actually read the statement at the top where I pointed out all of the above. Instead, my blog was just - vanished.

    I want to thank everyone who read and gave feedback before.

    - Petal


    52 comments · 1,062 views
  • 95w, 6d
    Cross The Amazon Special Feature!

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    T H E       C O N V E R S I O N       B U R E A U :

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    CROSS THE AMAZON

    SPECIAL FEATURE

    Conversion Bureau stories - at least my Conversion Bureau stories - are science fiction, hard science fiction, which means that they are about the future. They are about a real future, a future that very likely will happen based on my meticulous research.

    Then, I add ponies. I add Equestria. But only after some careful and well considered futurism. I don't just make up some arbitrary crap, as my devoted readers already know. I have done my best to show the world as it will be in sixty to eighty years. Plus ponies. A little sugar, after all, helps the medicine go down.

    I found a video that is utterly pertinent to my latest story, Cross The Amazon. It's interesting, it's true, and it's worth your time. It makes an appeal, at the end, to a tree charity, and offers hope of changing things, and I don't believe that is possible. But that's me. Your desperation and tolerance for charity mismanagement may vary. But it does make my current novel all the more understandable, and believable. Except for the ponies, of course. In real life, there isn't going to be Equestria saving anyone. Regrettably.

    Now, wasn't that just incredible? I think this should be seen by every person, especially every person in power. That won't happen - and even if it did, it wouldn't, and won't change anything. Sadly.

    But, that doesn't matter. What matters is trying, even if the situation is hopeless. If anything defines the human condition, it is hopeless struggle despite the odds. My stories. This video. Trying to get people to comprehend.

    - Chatoyance

    33 comments · 771 views
  • 99w, 6d
    The Conversion Bureau Is Now Metal!

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    T H E       C O N V E R S I O N       B U R E A U :

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    TOTALLY METAL

    ARE YOU METAL ENOUGH FOR THE CONVERSION BUREAU?

    Sometimes, wonderful things happen. Valinye Cerveau's amazing Conversion Bureau Movie-Styled promotion piece. Hunternif's incredible animation for Caelum Est Conterrens. Zahqo And d.notive's Conversion Bureau inspired Hand For Hoof. Sometimes, truly wonderful things happen.

    Something wonderful happened again.

    And it is metal as fuck.

    Bang your pony head to the amazing Freewave, Injustrial (and friends!) mind ripping, skull crushing solid chromium steel version of... THE CONVERSION BUREAU! ROOOOCCCCKKK!

    8 comments · 581 views
  • 100w, 1d
    The Metrics Of Authorship

    27 comments · 575 views
  • 100w, 2d
    Cross The Amazon!

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    T H E       C O N V E R S I O N       B U R E A U :

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    CROSS THE AMAZON

    By Chatoyance

    I have just submitted a new novel, the one I wrote about in the Bureau group. The story is Cross The Amazon, and it tells the story of a lone human and a lone Equestrian native racing to stay ahead of the the Barrier of Equestria.

    The Barrier is bad for both of them - for the human, a Palynologist named Calloway Kotani, it means death. There is no potion, and no time to Convert, and the Barrier is coming, inexorably, unstoppably. For the pony, a native unicorn mare named Dropspindle, the Barrier means being lost, forever, in the Exponential Lands, literal light years from any other Equestrian. For a herd creature, that is likely worse than death. Both must flee for their very lives.

    But they are not prepared, nor are they talented, neither are they knowledgeable. Peru is a mystery to them, likewise the entirety of the Southamerizone. Everyone else has left. They are alone in the fifth year of the Bureaus, alone on a continent being devoured by a sky-filling cosmic domain wall. They only have each other, and what they can find along the way.

    And the way is rough. The mountains are steep, the roads poor, and the amazon - the amazon desert once used to be a jungle, a forest. But then it became grasslands so that hamburgers could fill the bellies of rich first-worlders. Then, naturally, it became desert, just as did the Sahara before it.

    The amazon of the Bureau future - and our own - is a dead land of dry tree stumps and ruined meat-packing factories, of desertified grazing lands interrupted by dead patches of former forest. Rough, difficult terrain mixed with endless flat wastes of sand and dry dirt. Duststorms and thirst.

    And perhaps they are not entirely alone.

    I hope you will join me, and Calloway Kotani and Dropspindle, on a rugged journey of survival - a journey that must CROSS THE AMAZON!

    Coming as soon as it is approved. Or just jump here.

    - Petal Chatoyance


    9 comments · 320 views
  • 101w, 6d
    Slice Of Life: MLPFIM 100

    Slice Of Life

    MLP Episode 100




    I loved it.

    24 comments · 580 views
  • 103w, 4d
    Little Blue Cat Is Coming

    12 comments · 401 views
  • 110w, 3d
    Voiceless In Hillsboro - Season Five and Other Things

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    Voiceless In Hillsboro

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    Season Five and Other Things

    It's a little strange not having a voice. My whole family and I came down with some terrible virus, that, in me, allowed an opportunistic bacterial infection - long story short, for the past three weeks I have been sick as sick can be. Triplet antibiotics have helped, and I am slowly climbing back to life. But - I cannot make a sound. I am mute. I sure hope my voice comes back one day.

    I may be mute in real life, and feel like death warmed over, but I am not mute here, in the realm of text, so I thought to say a few things about the most recent season of My Little Pony.

    Season five, so far, as of 'Castle Sweet Castle', is excellent.

    After my scathing 'Around The Bend', you might want to know why I think this, and I want to tell you.

    The first three episodes of season five are, in my opinion, as good as the work in season one. They do, of course, of necessity, have to run with what has been established in the intervening seasons, I have no issue with that. Indeed, it is mandatory - consistency is not the 'hobgoblin of small minds', rather it is the foundation of all suspension of disbelief. Without consistency, there can be no meaning or value to causality, and causal relationships are the machinery of drama and storytelling.

    What makes season five good is that thus far, in these first three episodes, we have consistent characters acting according to what we know about them, they act in a rational and meaningful way, and they are not bent into self-parodies or used for cheap gags.

    And one of those characters, the most important character in almost any story, is the world. The world is also being attended properly.

    "Know your world, know your characters, and you need not fear even a thousand pages of story."

    Yes, I am quoting myself. But that does not make it any less true.

    In season five, thus far, Pinkie Pie is funny, but she is also competent. She isn't just a joke. She adds to the group, she helps, she supports, she has useful input. Remember 'Giggle At The Ghostie'? That was intended to be Pinkie's defining moment. In that pilot, that scene tells us exactly what and who Pinkie is to the team - and from the start, the Mane Six are supposed to be a team, an action team, working together as a group to solve problems. Pinkie uses humor to save others, to rescue others. She uses the tools of laughter intelligently. She isn't just a useless clown.

    Rarity may be emotional, but she is smart. She is supposed to be capable and able. Initially, Faust described her as the oldest, and she is supposed to have the experience and backbone of an independent entrepreneur. She isn't supposed to be a useless frail. She's back... not perfectly, but back, and she is starting to have moments again, moments of competence.

    Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack - sure, they can have personality quirks, but the original picture we were given of them is that they are capable adventurers. This is the heart of what they should be along with Twilight - all capable representatives of Equestria, not just gags or cheap joke characters. They aren't wacky superhero parodies, they aren't Animaniacs or Freakazoids... they are a team driven by friendship, determination, and their trust in each other. In short, they should be played as they were when we first met them - as if they were real, as if they were people, not mere toons.

    Season five has returned to this. The Mane Six are not jokes now. They are handling the problems they face together, as useful, functional members of Equestria's elite Friendship Squad. And this is exactly what they should be, because it is how they were intended to be, and how they were first presented to us, back when Lauren had any say at all.

    The world has meaning again. The world is the most important character of all.

    Geography is consistent again. Ponyville is a flat river valley again. We have a god-damned MAP, front and center, and woe betide any writer for the show who does not sit up and take notice of what that represents. It means 'treat the show as a real world, not as a cheap gag'. It means 'there be places here, places with names and relationships to each other'.

    A world is a character. It changes over time, it has history, it has a feeling of its own, and it has places within it that have relationships just as people-characters have relationships... and those change over time too. A world has a character arc. We have seen Equestria grow, we have seen it develop as a place - not without some serious growing pains thanks to terrible writers - but we have seen it grow.

    Originally, Lauren Faust, in an interview, described Equestria as being a blend between the Elysian Fields and Oz. It was supposed to literally be the Elysian Fields - that, as many know, is why Tartarus is located below it. That was also why Queen Celestia was supposed to be essentially a Greek goddess... until Hasbro marketing demanded she be a princess, and get rid of the overt Greek pagan stuff and... well. Those who've kept up know the story. And how Faust got pushed out, and how she can't talk straight about any of it now.

    Season five has gone back to Faust.

    How? Those of you who read - really read, not just fan fiction - probably know the classic Oz books pretty well, but for those that don't, let me give the briefest of infodumps: after all the fuss with Dorothy and getting the basic world nailed down, the many, many books that continued the story went afield. Basically, Oz proper was now understood to the reader, and under Celestia's - ah, Ozma's - dominion,  so adventures now took place at the borders and fringes of Oz. It became the great quest, after a fashion, to bring the authority of Queen Ozma to the undeveloped and unexplored parts of Oz, the edges of the map and even off the map.

    This is what we see in the two part 'Cutie Map'. The show is utterly Oz-like. Our team is sent off to the frontier to confront a threat to the harmony of Oz - ah, I mean Equestria. Excellent. Faust must be smiling. I am.

    We also see, in 'Castle Sweet Castle' real consequences to changing the world. Gone are throw-away stupidly deadly cliffside roads that could never exist in a flat river valley - there for one episode for a cheap gag, gone the next, nothing matters, nothing is real.

    No, now, we have a consistent world. I want to scream this point: SEE HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE CONSISTENCY MAKES?

    Twilight is broken hearted - as a lot of we viewers are - at the loss of the Golden Oaks Library. It wasn't just a cool home, it was the coolest home. It was the dream home of fantasy, a living tree that loves back, filled with books, covered in nurturing leaves. It was everything great about a Hobbit hole mixed with everything great about elves and magic and wonder. A living tree house. If it isn't every child's dream at some point, that child grew up in a desert.

    This was not a cheap gag. The Golden Oaks was obliterated. It was destroyed, and because the world was made consistent again, that fact MATTERED.

    And, thanks to the world being a viable character again, we can deal with the tragedy of the loss of the Golden Oaks, and we can understand how Twilight, as a character, felt about this change to the world, and to her life. We can see things played realistically. Twilight isn't bouncing around because she went up a level and gained a cool new super-hero hideout, a crystal castle made of magic - no, she's depressed.

    Twilight just got her own Hall Of Justice, and she is depressed. Because her home was destroyed. Because she isn't just some two-dimensional super-hero, she is a person. She isn't a cardboard character. She is mourning the loss of her proper home, and, by extension, her childhood too.

    Because now, forced (by Hasbro marketing) into being an alicorn princess prematurely (Faust intended the event to be the culmination of the entire series, something for the ending), Twilight has to grow up fast. No more playing in the treehouse, she has princess duties, and she can't go back. The Golden Oaks is ash... and roots hanging from her ceiling. Her personal life is over. Now she serves the Crown.

    That is some real, powerful stuff there. That is damn good writing for any show, not just a cartoon about ponies.

    And a word about that - cartoon. Cartoon about ponies. It's just a cartoon. It's only a cartoon. It's just a kid's show. It's for little girls. It doesn't have to make sense.

    Do you think that way? Fuck you. Seriously. You are an idiot.

    Animation is just one medium for expression. Just like live-action film, just like computer animation, just like text, just like books and audio drama and stage drama and every other form of creativity. Listen up: only idiots dismiss animation as being only for children, and only idiots imagine that things ostensibly written for children cannot also be written for adults too. Indeed, most classic English children's literature was written as much for the adults reading it to their children as it was to the children they read it to. That is what makes classics... classic. They speak to both adult and child together.

    My Little Pony should make sense. It should be deep. It should have meaning and worth and value. It should be intelligent and make sense. If not for the benefit of we adults, then for the benefit of children watching it. Don't underestimate children. Yes, there are some droolers out there, but there are also some reading at a college level in second grade, like me, and I suspect, many of you (I'm looking at you, fellow Bureau and Optimalverse authors!). Even the droolers do benefit from logical consistency in their media - things making sense.

    The notion that a cartoon doesn't have to make sense is horseshit. Bullshit is lies, horseshit is actually toxic lies... if you didn't know the difference.

    So, the big conclusion.

    I'm sicker than hell, still, and season five, so far, rocks. It rocks because it is returning to the reason we all fell in love with Friendship Is Magic in the first place - and that is solid characters, valid relationships, intelligent plots, and a consistent, amazing world worth suspending our disbelief for.

    If season five can keep this up, if it doesn't bellyflop into a big pit of stupid, then we may well have the best season since the first.

    Here's hoping that season five keeps up the rock-solid goodness of writing talent.

    It is my demand that the on-screen My Little Pony be at least as good as the writing I favor here. If it can't meet that level, then I have to wonder why the writers are 'professional' and getting paid at all.

    So far, this season, the writers are earning their dough.

    So far.

    - Petal Chatoyance

    April 15th, 2015




    53 comments · 1,315 views
  • 125w, 2d
    The State Of The Unicorn 2015

    44 comments · 904 views
  • 143w, 4d
    In Hell, There Are No Desks

    I'm typing this from my lap, on a new keyboard I am unused to. Had to get a new one, we couldn't connect my old keyboard - they don't make those ancient connectors anymore, and the cable needed is still in a box. Everything I own is in a box, and will be for the next three to four months at least.

    Hah! How the mighty have fallen, eh? Once I lived in a palatial home, now I have no room of my own. My world, for now, is the far corner of what - in a normal person's house - would likely be the 'living room'. The house is filled with hundreds of boxes, and no way to unpack them. Why? It's a little bit Sokoban, and a little bit 'guess what's in the box' and a little bit 'we are so fucked'.

    Intel got caught with their fingers in the European cookie jar, as you may recall, and they had to pay billions in fines. Worse, they got very complacent and ignored the rise of mobile computing entirely, so the pacific rim ate their lunch with cheap, easily modified, dedicated chips for consumer goods. Desperate to look good to stockholders, they did the usual American Capitalist Trick: fire most of the workers who actually do the work in a way that denies them any benefits or severance of any kind. Suddenly, without employees, they look great on paper!

    The way they did this is to announce that if one wanted to work for Intel any longer, one must move to the region around Portland, Oregon. Naturally, this meant that more that 75% of their employees in the divisions targeted would be screwed, and 'choose' to leave their jobs of their 'own volition', thus making their quitting their 'free choice' and thus ineligible for any benefits of any kind - the slackers! The losers! Stupid peasants with homes and communities and family obligations and relatives and lack of resources to move at the drop of a hat!

    It was evil, but damn clever. Force people to have to quit because moving is not possible for most people. Brilliant. Dirty as hell, of course, but cunning.

    That still left tens of thousands of people flooding into a fairly small region, Hillsboro. It was sheer luck we found an overpriced house at all - there is a huge bubble going on as folks gouge the hell out of the influx of Intel folks. House-flip-a-go-go! Gold rush!

    Bottom line? It is impossible to get a contractor to fix a house or turn a garage into a room. And that is a problem, you see, since the entire plan was to convert the garage into my room. For me to live in. That isn't happening. It's so massive an issue, that the guy that set up our internet? He is part of a small army of folks brought in from Colorado just to hook up internet here in Hillsboro. They're letting him go back to Colorado for a week to see his family, then it's another month of hooking up folks like us... the Intel Invasion. They don't have enough native cable guys here to do the job. Consider that.

    My family is hoping that maybe by October or November, it might be rainy and miserable enough that the contractors here might be unable to work outside - or unwilling to work outside - and it might be possible to get some to do interior work at last, and thus finally build me a room to live in. It's a hope, anyway.

    Until then, I am the empress of cardboard boxes that I can't get into... because there is no place to unpack them. I have six pieces of clothing, my shoes, my computer and monitor, my 360 and PS4, a chair, my toothbrush and the medicines I have to take, one garbage can, and my purse with my ipad in it. This is my world. This is my life. I am slowly going through some of the mis-labled boxes, checking them, resealing them, and writing their contents down (the packing crew did a random job, just insane) to find, well, things. More clothes to wear. Even one game for my PS4 to play. But, it's rough going - the house is chock-a-block with boxes. We were entirely depending on having my room done, so that my stuff could get unpacked, so there would be room to unpack other things. That isn't happening. We also expected that the boxes would be correctly labeled too. Nope.

    If I had thought, even for a moment, that everything would be lies and bullshit, and that it would all turn out to be a clusterfuck... I would have done some things differently.

    So, here is my big lesson to you, in case you have to move:

    Expect that nobody is telling the truth about anything, that everything will be fucked no matter what, and that nothing and no man can be trusted. Prepare accordingly: take enough stuff you need to live normally in the car with you, and don't let said stuff get packed up on the moving truck. Even if you have to make six or ten five hour trips back and forth to do it, do it. Keep what you need close to you. Because it will all go horribly wrong. When it does, you will have all of your necessities with you in your fortress of cardboard boxes, and you will be alright until things eventually become rational again.

    I didn't do the above, so now, for the next many months, I must peer at a monitor stacked on six shelf boards balanced on two incomplete drawer shells and type from my lap.

    Because, in hell, there are no desks.

    Anyway, we are in a new house, there is a lot wrong with it, but it will get fixed in time, and maybe in enough months, I will have a room again. And a surface to type on. (In the mean time, I am experimenting with using boards across my chair arms, tilted boards balanced on the edge of my monitor base, and pillows with boards on them as ways to get that 'desk feeling' back. Something will work, eventually. Surely.)

    When I get used to my new keyboard (this one is USB! Huzzah! I am finally in the new decade!) I will continue with my writing.

    So, for the too-long, didn't read crowd: I am down and (relatively) safe, the move is sort of over, and I am the empress of cardboard boxes, all hail me in my palace of cardboard!

    Lastly, thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and kind to me during this fairly awful situation. You are wonderful, and I am grateful for you.

    All hail Cardboardia!

    May your boxes never crush

    A land not unlike Minecraft

    Someday the toilets will flush

    All hail the Empress

    ensconced in cardboard wall

    one day the mythical contractors

    will build her unicorn stall

    All hail Cardboardia!

    who knows what's tucked inside?

    Intel and life and human greed

    will ever take us for a ride!

    When you gaze upon a cardboard box, remember: the empress gazes back at you. (No, she doesn't. She's too busy feeling sorry for herself. The stroppy bint.)

    Yay.

    - Petal Chatoyance

    40 comments · 1,004 views
  • 146w, 2d
    This week and the next is moving.

    And I am in hell.

    Please, Celestia, CelestA.I. - I want to emigrate to Equestria.

    30 comments · 746 views
  • 148w, 1d
    It looks like we have a house.

    A little update on my life, it looks like we have a house to move to.

    Over the past... however long... we have been negotiating for a home in the Portland area. Hillsborough. We are just about to sign - this weekend, actually - and then we will own a home about six minuted from the Intel campus.

    It will need a little work - in order to provide me with a roughly equivalent 'Uniplex' room - the common place where my family gets together to watch or play, and the place I do everything in - the garage will be turned into a finished room with a proper floor and insulation and nice walls and skylights and suchlike. A replacement Japanese soaking tub will take a little longer, but it is in the plans.

    The house we are getting has some upsides and some downsides. It has enough rooms for a polyamoric family of four, which is good - one thing we have learned about being in a group marriage is that having enough private space is really a vital thing. People need some alone time. So a house for us has to have places where family members can just isolate if they need to. Say to work on something without interruption, or even just to chill out.

    The house is quirky, which is good. It appears to have been several houses, in a way. A house that was built on, then built onto again. The stairs are crazy in it, short stairs mostly, but strange in placement because of the haphazard way the place sort of grew over time. It has a moderate yard in the back, decent for gardening in, and a very nice front yard with a mature cherry tree. Mmm. Cherries.

    On the negative side, it is not very isolated - it is in the middle of Spielbergian Suburbia. It is next to the distant outer yard of a gradeschool, hopefully that will not be too awful. We are not 'kids' people, and we don't like noise and screaming and people breeding all over the place. Also, there is an airport nearby, somewhere. We have no way to know if we are on a flightpath that will be hell to suffer under. I guess... we'll find out.

    I tried packing some of my little, fragile things, and I broke down in tears. It was also hard on my stamina. Ever since my heart attack about a decade ago, my stamina has not been great. I'm going to need help packing, a lot of it, and I'm not sure how that is going to work out yet.

    But... the plan is that in three weeks or so, I will be living in a new house. When the shit hits the fan, it happens fast.

    That is the update, for those that care.

    I will keep working on my novel with dedication, but because of circumstances, I cannot promise, nor hope to always manage a chapter a day. I am sorry. I hate this unfortunate fact. I was really hoping to perform like I used to. But... life. The real world always gets in the way of ponies, and that is why real life is always inferior! :derpytongue2:

    Oh, how I wish that the Bureau Mythos, my own Pony Singularity, or the Optimalverse was real.

    But then, I doubt I am alone in that.

    - Petal Chatoyance, July 25th, 2014

    28 comments · 609 views
Sep
20th
2016


Well, my last novel is up and running. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it - it was always intended to be the final work, tying everything up in a neat little zero-magic science fiction bow - but it is still... the end of an era.

It's lonely, being the last true Conversion Bureau writer. The Bureau was what excited me enough to write at all - ponies, by themselves, could never do such a thing. The Bureau concept - transformation, identity, survival against the backdrop of a dying world - oh, that's blockbuster material right there. And endless fount of stories about human nature and Something Better. Universes in collision... what a rare and special opportunity.

For one year, 2012, I had the single most fulfilling creative time of my life. I felt part of a growing community of passionate and talented authors and artists, all sharing camaraderie and riffing off of each other. I now suspect that most of this friendship and unity was all in my head - I was poisoned by the sweet and innocent thought that there could ever be a place on the internet where compassion and intelligence reigned supreme. But, for one year, ensconced in my delusion, I was truly happy in a way I have never been before, or since.

I won't bore anyone with tales of the sad children that came and ruined everything. I will mention how disappointed I was in certain members of my own community at the time. People I trusted and cared about booted me from the main Bureau group - not the original, first one, that was always mine, group 22 - but the larger group to which I deferred for so long. They did this because they wanted to bow to the bastards, and were afraid that I would object - but worse, that I might somehow (I never understood the mechanism) wrest control of the group from them... somehow... and then, I don't know. It was pretty insane.

Caving to people that seek only your destruction using abuse and terrorization, that, of course, never works - you cannot cave to terrorists, and terror was the agenda... to terrorize Bureau authors and force them to stop writing entirely. One by one, many of the productive writers I knew and trusted found some reason to disown me - one merely because I refused to change the names of two of my characters, from a novel I had written years ago, because a new friend of his wanted to use those names. I pointed out that this was an unreasonable demand. Bam! I'm somehow evil for that.

Damn, it's like dealing with children. Which it is, mostly.

The brain does not mature until one is past the age of twenty-five, and for some, not even then. The forebrain, the seat of rational judgement, is not complete until then. Some neurologists would argue thirty. Petty disputes, petty and unreasonable demands, pettiness in general - the hallmark of immaturity.

It's been hell here, past that first year. And not just from the 'anti-everything' trolls.

But, some people have been true and golden, loyal and bright through it all. These have been the raisins in the oatmeal, the shining stars amidst the nigrescent horrors of nightmare space. Good folks, mature folks regardless of their physical age, the readers I truly write for. They have made continuing here worthwhile. They have been in the majority, good readers all, good friends all.

They are why ending my writing career here - such as it is - is sad to me. But, the joy is finally gone.

Friendship Is Magic has been sucking, as a show, for some time now. We get a few well written episodes per year, but only a handful at most. The rest are terrible. The problem is always a lack of any care or value. Most MLP scriptwriters clearly just see themselves as slumming... writing a stupid show for little girls and immature internet boys - and they just don't bother to try very hard.

But some, occasionally, take the premise of the show seriously, and do an episode that is true to the characters and the world they live in. Those are the rare, decent episodes.

One often hears the bleating of fools about this issue (indeed, one episode of MLP of recent was just such a bleat itself!) that - ineffect, if not in exact phrasing - "It's only a cartoon, and therefore don't take it seriously!"

No, it is telling a story. The medium does not matter. And I can prove that opinion wrong easily. Batman: The Animated Series. Every single work by Hayao Miyazaki. Code Lyoko. The Mysterious Cities Of Gold. Avatar: The Last Airbender.

"It's only a cartoon, don't take it seriously?" How impressive would Batman: The Animated Series have been if, carelessly, for cheap jokes, they gave Batman a sidekick - Scrappy Doo, the horrible Hanna-Barbera monstrosity that ruined what remained of Scooby-Doo? Imagine Laputa or Princess Mononoke with Animaniacs styled sight gags tossed in randomly. It would kind of ruin them utterly, wouldn't it? Avatar, only instead of Aapa the windbeast, they gave Aang and his crew Hanna-Barbera's Grape Ape to ride around on. Oh, that would make it a 'classic of animated televison' then, wouldn't it?

A good writer - not a hack - takes every assignment seriously. No script is a throwaway 'just for stupid little girls' waste of effort. If you are going to write for a show, then write, and write well. If you are just shining things on, just throwing crap out to make a buck - then you are a hack and you are ruining the product for the audience.

Most of the shows I listed above work because of excellent worldbuilding and the passion to remain consistent to the world that is created. The stories take the world and the events and characters seriously. Every bit as seriously as if the work were some dire cop drama done for the big screen. There is passion and commitment in them.

Code Lyoko: kids find a supercomputer with an evil digital energy being inside it, and they have to fight the entity to save the world. The premise is a little off - artificial intelligence being a threat, good, but virtual specters from some digital universe beyond space and time... a little wack. I suppose you could make a case for simulationism, but they never explicitly did so.

Doesn't matter - every episode of that show was written seriously. They did not throw in topical crap just for cheap gags, they never violated the rules for how their defined story universe worked. Their geography and characters and milieu were always kept intact and believable. Nothing was ever done just to please some assholes on 4Chan. They had a story to tell, and they told it well. What humor they had was both human and relationship based. They did not pull Animaniacs gags for no reason.

Like MLP:FIM often does.

Real artists take their world seriously, and color within the lines. If the show is silly and insane, then be silly and insane. But if the show describes a unique world with a tone and feeling to it, then don't be silly - be true to the show.  

MLP:FIM started as a story of growing up and the power of friendship... that just happened to be set within a pony universe with fantasy elements. Harry Potter for horses, Buffy The Vampire Slayer with Shetlands. Melrose Place with magical ponies.

It turned into a Darkwing Duck parody at one point. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuck.

Long after Friendship Is Magic has been forgotten, and despised, the shows I listed above will be remembered as classics. Some already are considered so. Because they were good, but mostly because they remained true to their premise. Their writers never once had to defend themselves with the argument "it's just a cartoon." Because for the writers of those programs, it was never 'just a cartoon'. It was always a story, a story worth telling. A story that demanded professional and serious skills, attention, and passion. Not hack writing.

But, enough of that. I love to rant, don't I? It's because I care so very much.

I've done my best with my stories. My many, many stories. Jesus. I've written a lot.

But I have always taken my premise seriously. I have always written with the expectation that my reader would be smart, sharp, and demanding of excellence. I have worked to satisfy the most serious of critical minds. I have done massive amounts of research to make sure that no reader should think I took them less than seriously, or that I in any way tried to be lazy in my writing. I stayed true to my world, because I wrote with the expectation that any real reader of mine would expect nothing less.

I visualize my ideal reader, and they are smarter than I am, know more than I do, and they deserve all of my respect with regard to their intelligence, and their emotion. That is you - that is who I write for in my mind.

I believe - I truly think - that every writer who would not be a hack should think thus. Write up to your reader, not down to some hypothetical plebes. Write to one person, one brilliant Ideal person. Respect that Ideal person in every sentence you craft. Never take them for granted. Always go the extra mile.

And take your craft seriously, whatever you may write.

This is my authorial creed, if you like.

Well, back to writing.

- Petal Chatoyance ( Jennifer Diane Reitz )

Jenniverse.com

  

#1 · 35w, 4d ago · 5 · ·

Good god. I get so nostalgic hearing these stories. I joined the Brony craze at the end of its peak, in mid 2013. I was 12 at the time. Now 16, I feel my love for the show and the fandom dying but I want it to stay. This fandom got bloated, grew far past the writers ability to please us all. And as we see in the mid season 1 episode Suited for Success, when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. It's past the point of a revival now. But we can make the fandom better until it's last dying breath. Treat the ones who seek only their gain as cancer and remove them from your life. As a boy scout, I live by an ideology that there is no point in doing or creating something for purely selfish reasons. We can still be the diamonds in the rough if we try. I will stick with the fandom past its bitter end, spreading as much good as I can. Because I am a Brony and a scout. An arrowman, at that. I will never give up on this fandom. That would mean I no longer care. I need to create. I need to inspire. I need to live. I think I have found my purpose in life. I love to make people's lives better through simple means. A cheerful attitude and a smile can be enough to brighten someone's day, if only a little bit. Part of the problem isn't even our fault. It's politics. The war on terror, domestic activists abusing their right to protest, domestic shootings and bombings. I want to pursue a career in game design, coding particularly, and I can make people smile through that. I've never been an adept story teller. I haven't really tried. But I will. Thank you for making me comment this. For putting my thoughts in order. You are one of the good Samaritans, a dying breed of them. Spread as much good as you can while you can. Even if your life is miserable, you can take solace in the fact that, because of you, someone else's isn't.

#2 · 35w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

"from a I had done written"

Something appears to have gone wrong there.

I, for one, certainly appreciate the care you take in following your creed and have since that day I first discovered Unicorn Jelly I-forget-how-many years ago.  Once again, thank you.  :)

...And one of these days I'll finally finish reading your work on FIMFiction.  :)

#3 · 35w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>4218027  

"from a I had done written"

Eep! Embarrassing. FIXED!

Thank you, Reese.

#4 · 35w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

>>4218001

A really wonderful post, Spy.

Give writing a try. I never thought I could write - authors were a station far above my own, gods of words whose merest toenails I was not worthy to kiss - but I became overly excited by an idea and committed blasphemy anyway. And now, I am over a million words. Of blasphemy. Sigh.

Still! Lo! I encourage you to try your hand at writing. I bet you will be better than you can imagine. There is a special joy in writing. It's worth a go, at least, I think.

But in any case, thank you for your kind and evocative post.

#5 · 35w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

>>4218039

No problem; typos strike us all.  :)

#6 · 35w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

I don't blame you for leaving, not one bit - I'll miss your stories here, and will make sure to check for anything new you do elsewhere, as well as catch up on the backlog of stuff you've done.  And I hope you stick around enough to finish out any stories you're currently reading and enjoying, even if it's just occasional logins.  

And I definitely agree with you on the show going downhill ... each season's been progressively worse - and it's clear that Hasbro fully intends to run it into the ground - though the show was never really the main draw for me - like Dr Who, it was the shining moments of the fandom at their best that brought me in.  And your works are foremost among them, although I discovered them very belatedly.  

And I do try to take your writer's creed to heart, though I'll admit that it wars with my impatience.  Either way, I'm going to do my damnedest to write the best stories I can.  

And finally, thank you for all the love, effort, and creativity you've given your readers over the years.  

#7 · 35w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

I think that you should continue writing here, You are thought of as the mother of TCB and indirect the AltCB. Without the Conversion Bureau, there would not be any writers of the other Conversion Bureau Stories and also Not Alternate Conversion Bureau Stories. Even the Anti-Conversion Bureau writers would not be around with out the TCB.

FiMFiction will be a poorer place with out you :(

#8 · 35w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

I have greatly enjoyed your conversion burero novels.

#9 · 35w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

It does feel like the end an era:fluttercry:

#10 · 35w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

>>4218046

Honestly, I have. I started writing something in Docs. I am just writing about something. I plan to put it here on this website. I would like to contribute to this group network of universes. I'm just sort of picking a direction and sticking to it, I don't care where it ends, or even if it is good. Even if it is the worst thing anyone has read I would want it here. I need to grow my creativity anyways. Once I finish a computer I'm building, I'll give game design a stab. See if I can get a game under my belt. Maybe I'll even be a content creator on the internet. I do need to be creative for that, and this will give me an idea of what works. Again, I can not thank you enough for inspiring me. I know that I will learn something from doing this. In the words of Counter Strike YouTuber 3kliksphlip, "if you complete a project without learning something, you've done it wrong." This is something I think is true. Thank you, Chatoyance, for making me want to do something productive. Hopefully, this philosophy can last throughout my life.

#11 · 35w, 4d ago · 5 · ·

Beginnings and ends are part of reality.  I'm not your ideal reader.  Not smarter than you.  Not more emotional stable than you.  Not as knowledgeable.  I am flawed just a you and other people.  To me, Darkwing Duck and The Real Ghost Busters are some fine shows.  Your great shows, yes:

Batman: The Animated Series. Every single work by Hayao Miyazaki. Code Lyoko. The Mysterious Cities Of Gold. Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Maybe Adventure Time, Gravity Falls and Steven Universe will stand the test of time?

Long after Friendship Is Magic has been forgotten, and despised, the shows I listed above will be remembered as classics.

Maybe not a classic but I don't think it will be forgotten and despised.  Not yet.  

You took garbage and made it magical.  You also talk about being the last unicorn.  Not in so many words or really in those words.  I do not believe you to be the last.  What do you remember of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?  It started off as a book and had long, twisting yellow brick road of a life.  It still has life in people's head even with a beginning and an end.  

You are not the last unicorn.  Because I and others hope.  You will be remember for good or bad because you create.  Those people who destroy will not be remembered.  Over simplification but I think it's true.  

#12 · 35w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

Very sad that your writing here is coming to an end. Your stories have, as I've said before, always put a smile on my face. For a long time I've wanted to write a true Conversion Bureau story, and after re-reading several of your stories I think I am finally ready. I only hope I can create something as beautiful as the wonders you have created. Even if you are done writing, I truly hope you will still stick around. Maybe I can even get a bit of advice on how to create the best TCB story I can. Thank you do much for all you have done for this site and the TCB fans everywhere.

#13 · 35w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

I haven't gotten into Conversion Bureau stuff in general, but I did enjoy your Optimalverse work, "Caelum Est Conterrens". I've been meaning to re-read it for a little while now.

I absolutely agree that MLP isn't what it used to be. With that in mind, may I emphatically recommend Steven Universe? I think you may have heard of it, but I strongly recommend it if you haven't! It contains just about every positive attribute you described in your blog post, and then some. It's one of the best shows out there right now.

#14 · 35w, 3d ago · 3 · ·

Thank you immensely for the time, effort, and energy you put into this fandom. I've enjoyed your work since I first stumbled upon the story of a unicorn wizzing on a slime and what followed thereafter, and the universe you've woven from this source material has been just as much of a marvel to behold as your other works of cosmic creation. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for whatever you do next. :twilightsmile:

#15 · 35w, 3d ago · 3 · ·

Thank you so much for finishing this story!  I'm rereading the earlier chapters now.

>>4218095

Your typo has engendered in me a desire to write a story titled: The Conversion Burro. :pinkiehappy:

#16 · 35w, 3d ago · 2 · ·

>>4218970, I blame autocorrect for all errors since I read fimfiction on my phone.

#17 · 35w, 3d ago · 2 · ·

>>4218970 Donkeyfication Serum?  Sounds like fun.  I've seen stories involving Humans becoming Zebras, Griffons, and Minotaurs, but I don't think I've seen a Donkey Newfoal yet ... I might have to borrow that for a side character at some point, if you don't mind.  

#18 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

If it's any comfort the CB as a genre seems to be still going well, personally I am working on my own take on it. However as we've discussed before my CB would most likely not be "rules compliant". Still best of luck to you.

#19 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4219424

Go right ahead!

#20 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4220380 Thanks.  

#21 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4220061 'Rules' are irrelevant, it's logic, it's facts that matter.

If a story has bureaus (legal or authoritarian institutions) that convert (transform) beings into entirely other beings,  - and, because it is Fimfiction, there must be ponies involved merely to be published - then the story can logically be called a 'Conversion Bureau' story.

A person can write a comedic story about modern corporate suits doing wacky business on Wall Street, and they can call it a 'World War Two Novel', but if it isn't set in the 40's, and doesn't involve soldiers and world war two in any way, then all they have done is mislabeled their efforts.

I can paint a brick blue and call it a pineapple - but that does not make it so. It just makes me silly.

Logically - purely logically - a Conversion Bureau story has to have conversions and bureaus in it, just as 'Dungeons and Dragons' needs to have... dungeons... and probably a dragon thrown in there, somewhere, if only in mention. Country Western stories aren't valid unless they have an open range, and take place in the American West. A spy novel without a spy, is just a novel.

If your story has bureaus and conversions of people into something else, then it can be called a Conversion Bureau story. And only then, because it says so on the label. If the contents do not match the label, then you have mislabelled your product.

All the Three Rules do is codify simple, basic logic. They are a definition, not some arbitrary thing.

Electronic Rave music is not Country Western.

As far as I know, I remain the very last Conversion Bureau author *EDIT* EXCEPT FOR FIREMIND *, and since my last book nearly a year ago, not one Conversion Bureau story has been published on Fimfiction. To the best of my knowledge.

Mislabelling does not make something so. Labels exist to allow accurate knowledge of contents.

A conversion bureau story, by label, by name, by logic - has governmentally approved bureaus converting people into another form of creature. If that isn't happening, then it cannot be a conversion bureau story.

Not even if it is falsely labeled such.

So, if your story has bureaus, and people are getting converted in accord with authoritarian sanction, then you are writing a conversion bureau story. And if that isn't the case, you need to make your own label, or you are either silly, or willfully mislabelling things in order to cause people trouble and generate misunderstanding.

SO! How do you properly label your story?

Easy - look at what you are actually writing about. That is what the label should be - what is actually in the story. Are you writing about soldiers killing ponies? Then it is a war story. It is not a conversion bureau story. Not unless there is a bureau that is converting humans into those ponies - and if that is going on, then that bureau is, by definition, sanctioned, legal, and official. Which makes the soldiers rebels or terrorists of some kind. By definition.

Is your story about ponies and humans in space? Then it is a sci-fi story. But it isn't a conversion bureau story. Not unless there is a governmentally instituted and sanctioned bureau somewhere transforming humans into ponies... or ponies into humans... or either into something else entirely. If that isn't happening, then it isn't a conversion bureau story. It's something else.

I should not have to point out the obvious. Because it is obvious. Because it is on the label. It is the label of the genre.

The Conversion (transformation of beings into other beings) Bureau (an authority or government instituted department or program) genre.

There can be no debate. Well, unless one simply wants to be ridiculous: "Hey! Apples are actually cats! Seriously, apples are mammals with claws that hunt mice! I said so, therefore it is true! Because I said so!"

"But, dude, I have an apple right here. It's a fruit. A plant."

"Shut up! You are wrong! It's a cat! It's name is fluffy!"

"But the box... the box I got the apple from is labelled 'apples'."

"The box is wrong! I can't live by your rules, man!"

"Dude, it isn't my rules - it's a box of apples with apples inside. Apples. It's... you're bonkers, dude."

#22 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4220531 Not meaning to toot my own horn overmuch, but you're not the last, in case it's slipped your mind (wouldn't blame you if it did, since I haven't updated since May).  It bends things a bit, but no more than Teacup Down on the Farm did.  

#23 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4220898 Oh! Thank you! Now I feel better. I completely forgot... sorry. Heck, it's in the Bureau archives and everything. 2016.

Keep the faith, yeah!

I made an edit to my previous post to acknowledge you.

#24 · 35w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4220939 Like I said, I understand.  It has been months.  Glad to remind you that you're not alone.  

#25 · 34w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

I'll always remember the Shire-like Ponyville of the early seasons/early season fanfics, my self-Renaissance in art and thought, the wonderful written, played, and drawn art of the MLP;FiM fanbase, and some close friends that are still with me to this day. Your fics in particular still being good memories among them, and some of the dreams brought forth from them.

Sorry I'd lashed out the last time we spoke. During and after that time I learned some valuable lessons about others and myself. I'm glad to see you're finishing up your last story here, and while understandable you're leaving, sad to see you go. You've been an inspiration to me and others here.

#26 · 34w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

Gosh, I turn around for a moment, and you've gone and finished your final novel. I should read of yours what I haven't yet, now that I'm caught up on proofreading Phobiopolis for my friend Alex. His... Anthology. Is quite the read. I'm sure you'll love it when he publishes. It was helping him with that which stopped my regular status emails reading your works before.

I want to mention something amusing though as well. Are you familiar with the cartoon Batman: The Brave and the Bold? It was a fantastic show, a comedy parodying classic superhero cartoons and comics. And what did they do in the final episode? Well, I won't spoil it for you, but I highly reccomend watching it!

Since you're done with writing pony stories, I'm curious if there'll be a different place to keep tabs on you than this blog. Do you already have another blog somewhere else? I love blogs for keeping track of my friends. <3

#27 · 33w, 3d ago · 2 · ·

>> Chatoyance

> I visualize my ideal reader, and they are smarter than I am, know more than I do, and they deserve all of my respect with regard to their intelligence, and their emotion. That is you - that is who I write for in my mind.

I'm honored by this. :)

Of course I've always known it to be true -- I've always known that you treat your readers with the utmost of respect, as intelligent, curious beings who don't know everything about what you're writing (and of course they don't, or there would be no point in writing it) but who have the capacity to understand and grow as they read.

But to see it said explicitly, that's another level of respect. Not only do you believe this of your readers, but you feel it's a worthy -- indeed, vital -- virtue to accommodate them in this way. It's not just some instinctual drive, but a conscious choice, because you CARE.

> sanctioned

I think there's an argument to be made that such conversion could be unsanctioned while still fitting into the genre. Perhaps the conversion is itself being done by the rebels, forming a secret society, escaping as refugees to a better place. A bureau, after all, needs only be a department of something, not necessarily of a government.

If I were more of a brony myself, this is a story I might actually write.

As it stands, I am not, and I follow your works because they're delightfully rational WHILE being fantastic (in both senses of the word), and the ponies are merely part of the setting to me.

Instead, I'm writing a story in a fandom relevant to myself. But I'm hoping to be able to emulate you -- to be able to create a story with living characters with believable (but hopefully alien) thought processes in a rich, consistent world, and to be able to convey this world to the reader without demeaning their intelligence or dashing too far ahead of them. If I'm half as successful at this as you have been, I'll be satisfied.

#28 · 32w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

Thank you for staying with us as long as you did. You were by far the brightest part of my time in this fandom, and your work remains something I aspire to, not just because of the technical skill and rich storytelling you have given us, but amount of care and respect you pour into every piece and every character. Your work has giving me a sense of well being, of homecoming, that I had never found in anything else I had read. It has inspired me to do better, to be better, to take more care in every part of my life.

Thank you.

I cannot be grateful enough, for what you've given us, nor can my gratitude begin to make up for what it cost you to write for us like you have. But thank you, anyway.

#29 · 31w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

Are you going to miss us? :rainbowkiss:

#30 · 31w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

i don't know what to say but it feels like my fault i have so many story ideas when im writing i can't think straight the one story i got hasn't been updated since when i feel like im losing myself i've been depressed on and off i can't even think straight but you have had so many stories even though i haven't read none of them but you had so many ideas that you kept with you even when your writing you don't get distracted you finish that idea than start the other when you want to than you never forget those ideas idk maybe i'm a bad writer idk but your awesome though it just feels like im part of that hack group that don't think about it but your awesome sorry for all that im sorry for not talking and staying on subject

#31 · 31w, 6d ago · · ·

There's toxicity everywhere people go nowadays.

No matter what you ultimately decide to do, take care.

edit: edited because it seemed oddly accusatory..

#32 · 31w, 6d ago · · ·

See you next Tuesday.

And are you talking about the Boppin'?

#33 · 31w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>4257587 When I eventually leave entirely, yes, I will. Very much.

I already miss writing. Or, more accurately, I miss having a project, an art to do. It's tough being between projects. I need to find my next big thing!

#34 · 31w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>4257788

I made Boppin'. That's me. Right here, on my site: Jenniverse.com

#35 · 31w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>4257913

Well, I'm going to miss you too. :pinkiesad2:

#36 · 31w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>4257913

I doubt it will take someone with your creativity long to find one, but good luck.  :)

#37 · 31w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>4257914

Oh, that is beautiful.

#38 · 31w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Oh wow, time has a habit of flying by when you're having fun.

I remember first stumbling upon your stories and I thought very much the same thing you did: that the conversion bureau was an idea that was ripe with potential. So many ways you could play characters off of each other, so many conflicts that could be born and settled. I did brainstorm a few ideas but never wrote anything with the justification of, "Well, I can always write it later."

I know everything eventually ends, and now that you have stated your intent to leave, I'm becoming aware of the changing tides in the fandom. Perhaps it'll convince me to get off my butt and do something about it.

On a side note, I understand what you say about the changes in the show. Of the friends I had that used to watch the show, none of them do so anymore, using your same justification. I personally have a different opinion (I'm still watching the show and enjoying some of the new episodes!), but that's a discussion for another time.

#39 · 30w, 23h ago · 2 · ·

End of an era

#40 · 18w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

And on we march, to a future of unknowns. I wish you the best of luck, happiness, and success in your future endeavors, wherever they may lie.

Whenever I ponder upon your stories, I now find the ghostly scent of fresh cooked biscuits, just out of reach. Thank you for the experience.  

#41 · 18w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>4383778

What a wonderful Teacup reference. Thank you Maromar, for your kind thoughts.

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