• Member Since 22nd Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 7 hours ago

Chatoyance


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

Sep
20th
2016

Up And Running, Seriously. · 1:31am 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

Comments ( 41 )

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.

"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. :)

4218027

"from a I had done written"

Eep! Embarrassing. FIXED!

Thank you, Reese.

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.

4218039
No problem; typos strike us all. :)

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.

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 :(

I have greatly enjoyed your conversion burero novels.

It does feel like the end an era:fluttercry:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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:

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

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.

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.

4219424
Go right ahead!

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."

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.

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.

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

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.

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

>> 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.

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.

Are you going to miss us? :rainbowkiss:

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

There's toxicity everywhere people go nowadays.

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

edit: edited because it seemed oddly accusatory..

See you next Tuesday.

And are you talking about the Boppin'?

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!

4257788

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

jenniverse.com/images/instr1big.gif

4257913
Well, I'm going to miss you too. :pinkiesad2:

4257913
I doubt it will take someone with your creativity long to find one, but good luck. :)

4257914
Oh, that is beautiful.

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.

End of an era

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.

4383778
What a wonderful Teacup reference. Thank you Maromar, for your kind thoughts.

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