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Ragnar


Black Lives Matter, this isn't hard

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  • 217 weeks
    amazon job fact sheet

    +$12 an hour, full time with benefits
    +their warehouses are a marvel of distribution engineering
    +Amazon doesn't care enough to lie to you
    +they have employee training down to a science
    +the break room has cheap food and soda
    +day four and my hands are fine!!

    -there are two break rooms in one massive warehouse, so five minutes of your breaks are spent walking

    Read More

    5 comments · 514 views
  • 217 weeks
    a rewrite by Pinklestia

    https://www.fimfiction.net/story/392308/a-new-sun-rewrite

    I'm posting any ANS material I get. Here's one! A New Sun Rewrite, by Pinklestia.

    1 comments · 293 views
  • 218 weeks
    regarding fanfanfics

    To reiterate, A New Sun is dead. It's so dead that I'm having trouble forcing myself to summarize the ending. But I know a lot of people still care, because they've told me so. More to the point, someone just asked me for permission to do a sort of rework of ANS.

    Read More

    12 comments · 783 views
  • 226 weeks
    old plans, part 5

    I'm busy with school, my hands hurt, and it turns out my dog has pancreatic cancer. So these are going to get shorter, but they have to happen because, I don't know, they just do.

    The following is either one or two chapters.

    Read More

    10 comments · 492 views
  • 229 weeks
    old plans, part 4

    Meanwhile, Playboy puts out a special rush issue with Celestia on the cover and consisting mostly of the interview (they found time for that one photograph, never mind how). It turns out that Bob, the interviewer, didn't edit out a damn thing except where Celestia requested the removal herself. Celestia's power and personality are both a matter of public record now. Jeff compliments Bob's

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    15 comments · 523 views
Aug
25th
2017

old plans, part 4 · 8:49pm Aug 25th, 2017

Meanwhile, Playboy puts out a special rush issue with Celestia on the cover and consisting mostly of the interview (they found time for that one photograph, never mind how). It turns out that Bob, the interviewer, didn't edit out a damn thing except where Celestia requested the removal herself. Celestia's power and personality are both a matter of public record now. Jeff compliments Bob's testicular fortitude in ignoring all censorship demands in the name of honest journalism, but Bob and a lot of other people are now in deep shit. This includes Mag, who is now wanted for questioning. Mag has no intention of cooperating unless Celestia or Luna insist, and neither princess cares about cooperating with laws anymore.

La Paz is in full revolt. It's now obvious that Nayra is too crazy to run a government, and is mostly using it to dismantle any institution she considers corrupt, burning bridges with trade partners she doesn't approve of, imprisoning important assholes, and then not replacing any of these things, sometimes because no replacement is good enough for her, sometimes because she's right, and sometimes because there aren't any replacements available. Every street in the city is a single thrown rock away from a riot, and Incan riots are no joke. Celestia can bloodlessly shut down a conflict in the streets, but it's amazing what you can accomplish in a minute and a half before she poofs in--especially if the people the people involved have planned things out, which they have, because urban warfare is an Incan specialty and the Anarchist's Cookbook is kiddie shit for babies if you know what you're doing.

(An aside: this is another one of those politically tricky positions I would have gotten myself into. I came up with these plans a long time ago, and then the irl political environment morphed in ways I didn't expect and now this all reads like I'm trying to make a point. Some of this was in bad taste in the first place, and strategically unwise as well, because I can see myself getting into a flame war in the comment section and getting my ass banned. All it'd take is one person posting "lol, epic takedown of BLM, love your work. :frogface: :frogface: :glass of milk:")

Anyway, public opinion is that Nayra and Celestia are on the same side and need to get the hell out. Keeping people from setting fire to the capitol building is a full-time job. The princesses are now way too busy to handle everything themselves, which means Mag and company sometimes have to take risks for supply runs and such.

Mag and Jeff get caught by a militia. They run. Jeff gets away and Mag doesn't. She's pinned down in an abandoned corner store with no safe exits. She gets a crazy idea and talks Luna into going along with it. Now, I've hopefully established at this point that the limits of one's magic powers are partially defined by their self-concept. Mag knows this, and casts her dharma decay spell on herself, thereby temporarily wiping certain aspects of her own existence, including her understanding of her own identity. Luna jumps in and convinces Mag that she is in fact Luna, Princess Luna, stuck in a strange new body with enemies closing in.

Mag now believes she's an all powerful god-queen from another world. Her self-concept has changed radically, and her abilities have expanded accordingly. She can now walk through walls like a ghost, blot out all the light in the area, take a full AK-47 clip to the gut without caring, pull guns out of people's grasps with one hand, and just generally not care about getting mobbed. The downside is that you can't convince yourself that you're Luna for very long because that doesn't really make sense, and the process of coming to grips with this is a debilitating mindfuck. Mag is out of commission and nobody is okay anymore.

(This is all very comic-booky, but I bet I could have made it work. I've got to stop again because my hands hurt. Shit, how long does it take to heal from carpal tunnel syndrome?)

Report Ragnar · 523 views · Story: A New Sun ·
Comments ( 15 )

Jeez, none of this is going at all how I expected, not even after I knew it'd be in South America!

I think it'd be awesome to read specific high points that you're mentioning here, even though you'll never get to the point in the story where they belong. The Luna bits especially interest me, since those tend to be the trippiest and most memorable scenes. When she's fighting the nightmare with concepts and when she's doing this thing with mag!

Goddamn, that's impressive sounding. I definitely can see how things might come across differently now than they would've in the past.

As for healing from carpal tunnel, i'm told it can take a while...

Even the summary is fascinating. And painful, evidently. :twilightoops:

It does get more intriguing the more you post, so rest up and when you feel up to it, can't wait to see the next!

About carpal tunnel, I was never diagnosed with it but for me doing some stretches daily for a couple months got rid of the pain and more or less half a year for what seemed to me a recovery.

Relevant vid with stretches

Goddamn this is interesting. As 4647780 said, even the summary is awesome. Please do keep up, but try not to hurt yourself anymore. And get well soon.

4647770
I'm considering it. Some of these scenes would have been incredible fun to write. I can't justify asking AA to help, though, which means they'd be much less polished than the usual.

I might have to write a Luna story or two that has nothing to do with ANS. I don't know, I've been considering what to write next. Something simpler, shorter, and not such a downer.

4647887
I tried to follow along but it started to hurt, so I just sort of watched it. This would have been great a year ago and it would have nicely complemented those squeezy Swedish egg things I bought. You ever use those things? An artist friend told me about them and they ended up buying me another few months of work.
I might be beyond this kind of help at this point. I've been keeping up with my doctor on all this and it sounds like the healing process comes down to not overexerting, not bending my wrists to far for too long, and wearing the braces they gave me.

4648483
Never heard of a Swedish egg, googled it and looks like some kind of stress ball. I imagine that would only get you so far considering how complicated the hands are, I only ever did the stretches and otherwise rested.
It sounds like I probably didn't get it near as bad as you right now, I'd definitely listen to your doctor and read up on it yourself.

I must admit I hadn't anticipated the story would go in this direction.

I figured it would be a bit more straightforward, with Celestia eventually finding a way to undo whatever happened to Equestria (I almost typed un-unmake). I hadn't anticipated adventures in an alternate-universe South America.

4649260
not to be a downer, but I think this is illustrative of a major problem the fic has, and always has had. It's shapeless. Readers should be able to predict things, as per Vonnegut's fantastic advice:

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The real answer to this kind of issue isn't complicated, though it's harder in a serial format if you're impatient like me: plan the whole thing properly in advance, write it out from end to end, ruthlessly cut anything that isn't necessary to push the core tensions, THEN show it to an editor. In my defense, that level of discipline is something authors usually charge money for.

For a solid paycheck (yes, welcome to the fantasy world where this can happen and where I'd be willing to do it) I would rewrite this sucker in the following ways, carpal tunnel syndrome be fucked. It'd be a different animal in the end, but a better and more coherent story with the same core.
1. Separate the two plotlines into multiple complete stories, each thematically complete and tonally consistent, but different from one another in those senses. The first would start similarly to where I began originally, but would probably shift toward the end. It'd end where it started, with the implication that Celestia wants the impossible and knows it, but will spend the rest of eternity trying, and she's at peace with that. Mag would do something similar, accepting herself as flawed but resolving to keep trying. I might make the Throne scene the finale here, but change that chapter to be less about Mag getting powerful and more about the characters confronting the idea of inevitable oblivion. This book would be a crisp 40k or 50k words in length, a slow and moody slice of life where nothing gets solved and the reader just has to accept that. The evil scary book might or might not make an appearance. It'd probably end up in the back of Mag's closet. I'd also work harder to show the difference between Mag's Earth and ours, by the way. It's a good opportunity for surreal details. Maybe Lincoln is on the dollar now, I don't know. It'd be fun. I'd try to mention Inca.
2. The next book would start with Celestia outing herself to humanity on purpose, and I'd make a point of signalling to the reader that this isn't slice of life anymore, and now the characters are going to try and get shit done on a larger scale with more focus on the Earth. This is around the time the Nightmare would show up, and one of the reasons Celestia comes out is because she has to warn people about this new monster the princesses brought with them. The unnamed organization she works with would be a task force for figuring this shit out. There might be another wing of the organization aimed at figuring out what's even happening, asking the princesses questions, testing stuff out, trying to figure out these new rules humanity wasn't aware of.
3. Book two would have to give Mag and the princesses a simpler problem than the Nightmare turning Inca into a failed state. Her host would be someone less important and the end solution would be simpler. The Nightmare would leave, but continue making a nuisance of herself. I'd establish room for future tensions between Celestia and the rest of the world, and then the book would end.
4. Book three would be what you've been reading. Inca, Nayra, and the ending I've got planned. I could probably get a book four that'd continue after the end of what I was planning with ANS, another slice of life that puts a bow on everything and ends the series.

So there you go. Four shortish novels that make more sense than ANS both individually and as a whole. Shame about the whole "never going to exist" thing, but every story has flaws.

4649577
I can understand that point of view. And I used to be something of a Vonnegut enthusiast but my tastes changed as time passed.

Anyway, if we get too predictable, why are we telling the story at all? Can the reader really be entertained by a story when he already knows what's going to happen? Even comedic stories need tension, conflict, the unexpected, if they are to retain the reader's interest. In my opinion. Not trying to pick a fight here.

Possibly it is an older, pulpier work, an artifact of another era with different sensibilities, but in Mickey Spillane's "Vengeance is Mine" the whole plot and the whole meaning of the story, the whole meaning of the climax, hinge on a single sentence at the very end--even a single word. "Juno was a man!"

Then, too, I make no claim to being any great storyteller. Certainly I am not trying to compare myself to Mickey Spillane. Most all of the horsewords I've written have been deliberately weird trollfics posted anonymously at 4chan. I have a weakness for twist endings, even Feghoots. It's a cheap hobby. So my opinions are worth what you paid for them.

I will also say I am intrigued by the setting, though bits here and there jump out at me.

I am trying to imagine this South America, in which, oddly, no foreign powers--nation-states or powerful corporate entities--appear to be meddling on any large scale in the ongoing conflict. If the USSR existed in this world, surely either the central government or the revolutionaries would shortly be waist-deep in AK47s, RPG rocket launchers, and "advisors" who spoke Spanish with thick Russian accents.

Even discounting ideological motivations, a century or more ago, Mauser-Werke, Remington, Fabrique Nationale, the Skoda Works, and others were more than happy to sell rifles to both sides of any war at the same time, and often did.

Do the "cartels" you mentioned sell coffee or cocaine? Either way, do they have a lot of money on deposit in big banks in New York or London, who want to safeguard the interests of their "investors?"

Likewise, I am a bit nonplussed to see a modern firearm described as "like a stiletto." Form follows function absolutely and mercilessly in that particular field of engineering, even more so than most, and for those with an interest in mechanical engineering there can be a certain grim fascination with objects whose users bet their lives on their proper function, in which not a milligram of matter is present for any purpose unrelated to their function. I can only guess that she's talking about some kind of small concealable handgun, but that's only a guess.

4650088
Remember there's a lot of stuff I'm skipping over in these blogs. That includes dealing with the impact of foreign interests, which, yes, have heavily impacted Inca over the past few decades. But I'd also be downplaying this kind of thing in the text because this is one of those areas it's so easy to write something in bad taste.
When I say cartels it's basically my lazy blog shorthand for all non-public entities that have an opinion on the situation, from human traffickers to Lockheed. I'd mostly stick with the biggest assholes for the sake of space.

I understand why you canceled the story because your fanfic went off the rails.

Mag and Luna would have dragged Celestia kicking and screaming if needed, to another Regent for therapy and advice by now. And would be trying to give the cursed Elements back. Or take it to storage in certain place.

Is quite evident you are in a bad place mentality and that screwed with your writing.

I am not gonna risk reading the other old notes this was depressing enough.

4725803
Observations an editor might have made, if mine had gotten the chance to actually edit these imaginary chapters. AA might well have made me include answers to all these things. I'm puzzled about your post that Mag would want to leave Inca to its own devices, though. Mag is like Celestia in some ways, and one of them is that she's a bleeding heart do-gooder who has this constant, niggling little feeling that she could save the world if she only figured out how. This is about 80% of the reason she's such an angry person, and it's not uncommon in the real world either. I've come across whole forums full of people who have the same problem. Journalists, teachers, political canvassers, volunteers, and something like a third of them had drinking problems and would post the most bitter screeds about the world. There's nobody so nihilistic as a saint having a bad day.

Anyway, I'm in a better mood these days, but I still think ANS had to die. "Why not uncomplicate it?" Stubbornness and sunk-cost fallacy. The best move would have been to cut everything from when humanity finds out about the princesses, I think, and start over from there. Maybe the stuff about the rest of humanity could be the sequel.

4725877

Mag may be a bleeding heart but she knows “keeping busy and ignore your dreams” because she was doing the exact same thing. The fact she is willing to call Celestia out of doing the same thing, humans are not ponies and Celestia just found a big mess to keep busy, shows she cares.

Plus even worse, Celestia is using Inca to ignore her own problem of wanting to revive Equestria or whatever her planet was called.

They are just wasting time and Mag is aware of that. She also has a lot of self hate so she always tends to remember hurtful words so she actually paid attention to what the Elder said.

In fact she might as well do an angry call to the Elder and ask if the whole thing with Inca was something to just keep Celestia busy.

The Elder would answer in his own assholish way and say that Inca exists the way it does Because someone used the same sacrifice anything to get what you want spell the Nightmare was using as bait

So the whole problem is not humanity finding out Equestria, is Inca being a whole mass distraction almost tailor made to abuse Celestia bleeding heart.

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