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More Blog Posts21

  • 35 weeks
    Good morning, Fimfiction.

    Two things, right off the bat:

    I am back on a limited basis, to be terminated as and when I feel like it.

    I'm a girl now.

    19 comments · 281 views
  • 125 weeks
    How Hard it is to Turn the Page: Dealing with Grief & Writing What You Know

    I didn't really realize what I was writing about when I wrote In the Dark of the Wood. I wanted to write something before the year was officially over, and for some reason I had an Applejack itch. I started looking through the impressive gallery of NCMares, an artist who I knew was A) one of my favorites and B) did a lot of Applejack, knowing I'd hit my inspiration when I saw it. I hit on

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    1 comments · 577 views
  • 125 weeks
    400 Followers: A Lot's Changed

    About a year ago, I wrote the blog post celebrating 300 followers. In it, I expressed uncertainty about the state of the future, and said I felt good about that uncertainty.

    Now, here we are. A year's passed. The world didn't end. I've started university.

    And, oh yeah. I fell in love.

    Read More

    3 comments · 321 views
  • 127 weeks
    Tangentially Related to the Addition of Warning Tags, some words on why such tags are lacking.

    This Isn't War is not a story about suicide, you brainless, cynical wastrels.

    Read More

    19 comments · 445 views
  • 131 weeks
    What We Write About When We Write About War

    I've never really looked at my own body of work and tried to suss out a general theme. As far as I know, I don't really have an identity as far as what I write, at best having one for how I write. I don't know that you could sum my work on Fimfiction up in one sentence, the way you could say that Majin Syeekoh writes irreverent comedy with intermittent navel-gazing, or that Carapace and friends

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    3 comments · 374 views

What We Write About When We Write About War · 9:16pm Nov 21st, 2017

I've never really looked at my own body of work and tried to suss out a general theme. As far as I know, I don't really have an identity as far as what I write, at best having one for how I write. I don't know that you could sum my work on Fimfiction up in one sentence, the way you could say that Majin Syeekoh writes irreverent comedy with intermittent navel-gazing, or that Carapace and friends write fluffy romances about the contrast between sour and sweet. Of course, if you can, feel free. I always like to be surprised.

Regardless, there is one aspect of my writing where I can see the common threads even from this side of the mirror. And that's in the short series of disconnected stories about the Crystal War, the most recent of which I'll tag here just for relevance.

The general theme, I don't think anyone would be surprised by, is that war isn't cool.

My grandfather fought in the Second World War. He doesn't tell stories about that. I didn't actually know he was a tank commander until a few years ago. There are medals hanging on a wall in his basement, which were only shiny bits of metal as a child and weren't something I felt I could trespass on as a grown man. My grandfather doesn't appear to linger on the war, meaning that if he does spend much time there, he doesn't say much. My mother displayed several photos of him in his military attire quite prominently in our home for many years, but I never heard a word of it from him. To see him, he is only an old man, and none may guess what those ancient eyes have seen.

I have some friends, in the writers' group I go to every once in a while, who have seen active duty in Afghanistan and Iran. A medic and a reporter, respectively. They speak a little more of what they've seen, but only inasmuch as their knowledge can correct a discrepancy in our writing. There isn't reminiscence, there aren't any proud displays of war scars. It's just... there, something that happened to them.

This is largely all to say, I haven't seen what a soldier looks like in the middle of a war, or on the one-year anniversary of the war that they ended near single-handedly. I don't know anyone who's as deep in the shadow of struggle and loss as Rainbow Dash is in This Isn't War. I've had depressive episodes, but I don't believe that can compare.

So then I suppose the question becomes, why would I write about these things I shouldn't understand? Perhaps more interestingly, how did I manage to nail it down so accurately that I had actual veterans expressing concern for my mental state?

I don't know.

At first, I wrote about the Crystal War because it was the new cool thing on the block. Then I wrote about it because I wanted to shut up all the people screaming for more. Then, I randomly looked up at the calendar in the middle of the night. Seven hours later, I was unconscious, but before that point I was hammering away at a last-minute desperate tribute to a holiday I've never had personal stakes in, that I had the gut urge to acknowledge this one time. And I did.

And some time later, here we are. I wrote another one.

And why? Why do I come back to an alien landscape, to explore feelings that a part of my brain continues to insist is far too grimdark for pony? Why is the Crystal War so important to me, when I can't tell you barely anything about a single real-world conflict where actual people died?

...I really don't know.

I had planned to write this blog post on Saturday, but I couldn't think of what to say. What do you even say to all this? What do I say to the dramatic readings, the unprecedented outpouring of support, the actual honest-to-god soldiers telling me that I perfectly captured a mindset I can barely comprehend?

...Oh. There it is.

I write about the war because it's all I can do. I can love, I can hate, I can play card games and design magic systems, I can stay up all night because I'm afraid I might dream of all the coffins I've looked into, but I can't fight. Well, I could, but I'm afraid to. I'd like to believe I'd volunteer to go off to fight in a war, but the reality is that I'm lying on a bed in the dorm of a liberal arts university. I don't like how heavy guns feel in my hands.

I write about what war might be like for a cyborg Rainbow Dash, because I don't dare know what it's like for me. I write about bravery, because it distracts me from my cowardice. In a word, escapism.

...Why did I even write this blog post?

That one's easier. I want to start writing blogs more often, particularly about my stories. I just don't really know how to do it. So, uh... here's my first try.

Be good to each other, folks.


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Comments ( 3 )

This was an interesting blog post. If you can write a good story, you can basically write a good blog. Your recollections of war and relationship with it and comparing it to the Crystal War timeline aren't things to be brushed aside - though, I find it strange that you didn't mention maybe reading about war, through memoirs or something similar.

And if you wanted me to sum up your writing, to the best of my ability to give out my two bits here, I'd say that they all tend to revolve around a strong theme, even the comedies. Of course, themes for the war stories won't be the same as the comedy ones, but there's themes in there. Some writers don't like to write themes into their stories, like that or otherwise. They just want a story. That's okay too, yo.

More blogs sounds neato though.

A really really good blog. I'd totally encourage the idea of more.

Thank you. That's all I can say.

We live in a culture that seems to glorify warfare. We talk about heroism and bravery and courage, and that's all well and good, but sometimes I fell like, as a society, we've forgotten about the true cost. We're so busy envisioning glorious charges and and thunderous clashes that we forget about the injured private, lying for weeks in a muddy trench, disillusioned with everything he'd ever known.

Robert E. Lee once said "It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it."

I fell like we've somehow lost the terror of battle. It's so easy to sit in my bathrobe eating Cocoa Puffs playing Call of Duty, and think of war as something glamorous, as some grand display of chivalry and beauty. But true war - sitting in a bloody trench, using the bodies of your friends and comrades as cover, the sound of exploding shells ringing in your ears...

It's important to remember the true horror of war. It's important to not take lightly what the brave soldiers of the past have done. Because perhaps if we can keep fresh in our minds the terror of battle, we can avoid repeating it in the future.

Waking people up to the reality of warfare is important, Mr. Moriarty. I know it probably doesn't feel like it, but you're genuinely effecting people with your fantastic stories. And it may not be the same as holding a gun in your hands, but it's still equally important.

Thanks again.

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