• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

Cold in Gardez


Stories about ponies are stories about people.

More Blog Posts178

  • 1 week
    Romance Novels

    “What if,” Spike said, “Ginger Gypsy hadn’t been afraid to confess her love? Would you still hate her so much?”

    I frowned. “Hate is a strong word. I never said I hated her.”

    Read More

    24 comments · 514 views
  • 3 weeks
    Back to a more normal posting schedule

    Hey folks,

    I just published a pretty huge chapter in my favorite story, The World is Filled with Monsters. I have a good plan for the rest of the current act, and the rest of the story to follow.

    Read More

    26 comments · 487 views
  • 9 weeks
    That drone strike in Afghanistan...

    After the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and in particular after the drone strike that killed an aid worker and several family members, a few people reached out to ask about I story I wrote several years ago for the Writeoff original fiction contest. It was, in fact, the first original fiction piece I'd written in years, and it dealt with the (fictional) aftermath of drone strike that went wrong. I

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    13 comments · 846 views
  • 15 weeks
    On Afghanistan

    So, those of you following the latest from Afghanistan may have seen this item, reported by CNN:

    Taliban claim to have captured provincial capital of Gardez

    From CNN’s Tim Lister in Spain

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    61 comments · 1,677 views
  • 21 weeks
    Ten years of Pony

    So, I've been looking forward to this blog post for a long time.

    Ten years and two deployments to Afghanistan ago, I ran across an article on Wired about a weird cultural phenomenon -- adult men who loved the children's show My Little Pony. How strange, I thought. And, for a lark, I decided to check it out.

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    39 comments · 1,077 views
Jul
5th
2021

Ten years of Pony · 2:42am July 5th

So, I've been looking forward to this blog post for a long time.

Ten years and two deployments to Afghanistan ago, I ran across an article on Wired about a weird cultural phenomenon -- adult men who loved the children's show My Little Pony. How strange, I thought. And, for a lark, I decided to check it out.

I don't quite recall the exact order of things, but I somehow stumbled on Equestria Daily before I actually found the show. And, because I liked writing even back then, I read a random story lurking at the top of the feed. I remember being rather confused, because the story was rather referential, and I had no idea who any of the characters were. But it was clear that the community had a lot of love in it, so I took it a step further, found a stream of the first episode, and gave it a watch.

And it... wasn't bad. I watched the next episode, and paced myself afterward, watching one a day. It was simple, sure -- it was designed for children. But at its core there was something quite appealing. Something refreshing. Something hopeful.

Well, soon enough the first season was done, and if I wanted more pony, I had to go looking for it. So, back to EqD, and into the stories. And I still remember some of those early ones: Kits' The Storm, Somber's Simply Rarity, GanonFLCL's Of Mares and Magic. All impressive. And, as I was reading them, the same thing kept repeating itself in the back of my mind.

I bet I could do this.

So, I gave it a try. And thus it was exactly 10 years ago that this first clumsy, short, bit wobbly and perspective-flexible story appeared on Equestria Daily:

I remember being amazed, seeing that up on the front page. An actual Equestria Daily feature, for my first story! And there were comments! People enjoyed it! There were hundreds of people in the Google Doc chat (back when Google Doc had chat, not to mention that this was before FimFiction, so stories were usually just hung wherever authors could find space for them). The rush was just incredible. And I have to say, honest, I don't know if I would've kept writing if that first story hadn't done well. I think so -- I'm generally a persistent person, and even back then I had inflated opinions of my skill as a writer. But it's indisputable that the warm reception Maiden Flight received was what put me on the track to get where I am today. So, to everyone who's ever commented on my stories, or on any author's stories: Thank you. The positive (or even less than positive) feedback is what keeps us going, when we wonder if all this effort is really worth it.

Since then, we've definitely gone some places. Fifty-three stories, 173 blog posts, two deployments, and 1.07 million words words later, I find I'm still in love with this fandom. And lest everyone think this is a fancy way of saying goodbye, I'm still sticking around. I've got to finish The World is Filled with Monsters, and who knows where we'll go next!

Comments ( 39 )

Here's to the next ten years!

Oh, you're a fellow member of the first-story-made-it-into-Equestria-Daily club!

I'm still waiting for my secret decoder ring and car window decal... it's been a few years, I think they might have gotten lost in the mail or something. :raritywink:

Seriously, though, thanks for putting in all the time and effort. I've really enjoyed your stories.

Always been glad to have you here with us. :twilightsmile:

And I still remember some of those early ones: Kits' The Storm, Somber's Simply Rarity,GanonFLCL's Of Mares and Magic.

Oh, Of Mares and Magic -- I remember that one. It was the first pony fanfic I ever read, way back... six years ago now, wow... when I just wanted to know why so many people were so worked up about this cartoon. I still have a soft spot for that pairing to this day because of it. I really should reread it one of these days.

Heh. Here's to all these years and many more!

Glad to have known you for at least part of it.

And here I thought you've always existed forever~

Can't wait for more of WIFWM. Cheers for 10 years.

I hope to be reading your works for a long time to come. And I hope you enjoy writing them for just as long.

Congratulations! I've definitely enjoyed your stories and look forward to reading more of TWIFWM and Land of the blind.

It's been a ride. Thanks for creating some of my favorite stories.

I was actually wondering about you yesterday, and I'm relieved that you're still here, still connected.
Thank you for all of the wonderful stories!

Cheers to the next ten years!

Love your writing, CiG! No-one makes Equestria come alive like you do.

I have always loved your work bro it was you and Kkat that got me into writing in the first place. You are absolutely amazing and I look forward to reading more of your stuff!

For a second there I thought you were leaving and I was worried. Glad you're sticking around! :twilightsmile:

Georg #16 · July 5th · · ·

5549275 While I'm a member of the "Thank God my first story didn't make it into EQD" club. I've gotten better. Thankfully. What a long road we have traveled. Now my son's deployed in Germany.

Congrats on all of your achievements in the last decade! I love your writing, I think they are some of the most unique stories on the website with the most amazing worldbuilding. I cannot wait to see what you're able to create in the future!

Michael Bay Presents when?

Also,

I've got to finish The World is Filled with Monsters, and who knows where we'll go next!

The Other World is Filled with Monsters, clearly.

Do you think G5 will last as long? Seems like there's a lot of great story-telling potential in there.

Thanks for all your writing, CiG! It's a been weird for me to say that since I only discovered you somewhat recently, but you've been a big inspiration to my own work ever since. I'm looking forward to whatever you have next in store. :raritywink:

Congratulations! I'll admit I was scared this was a farewell but I'm glad you're still at it. I'm still too scared to post that first story even though I've been here since first season. Don't remember how I discovered your stories but they've always been a treat when I want to read something astounding. Thank you for all the horse words.

I'm so glad you've been a part of it. You're really good at this horse word thing.

5549275
Equestria Daily rejects stories? :trollestia:

5549523
Well, this one time, they rejected one of mine, anyway.
But then that turned out to be my story that got into the Royal Canterlot Library, so it all worked out...

5549524
In fairness I think I've had two where they asked me to adjust something small (or maybe one, the other one it was just a suggestion that I still took). I don't submit enough of my stories there, though, so I may get some rejections eventually. I keep forgetting to do it.

Here's to many more. Thanks for being here, CiG.

I still remember the shirt "Join the herd, resistence is futile "...your stories have kept this fandom alive and thriving even now!

What a wild ride it's been! Congrats on ten years, ya oldhead :moustache:

Nice to have had you here for that time, and congratulations on making the trip. :) Happy anniversary, and I'm glad you're planning to keep sticking around, too!

Thank you for all the excellent horsewords you've written over the years. :yay:

Also, Maiden Flight always makes me smile when I re-read it. :rainbowkiss: :scootangel:

Your hosewords are a shining light of the pony fic world - you are one of the authors that got me really into mlp fiction.

Emptybee #32 · July 6th · · 1 ·

Happy tenth anniversary! :yay:

I won't lie my heart was in my throat opening this post up. I'm glad you're sticking around. Here's to 10 more years, less deployments, and more ponies

Holy shit. Didn't even occur to me it had been so long.

Crazy to think about. Time goes by...

Here's to another ten years of horse words!

Glad you're still writing. What a wild bunch of years.

I hope I always come back to read your stories for another ten years,, Gardez.

Hullo Gardez;

You won't remember me, but about seven years ago I read Salvation, and I passed a comment that went something along the lines of 'I need to go and tell someone I love them'. I mention that because at the time, you replied and stated that it was one of the biggest compliments you'd ever recieved on your stories. I also remember adding two and two, and working out that the lion's share of your experience as a writer obviously came from your time in Afghanistan.

I merely wanted to say that still, all this time later, and even though I haven't used this site for years, I still come back and flick through my own comments on that story, just to re-live what I felt when I read it. I still remember reading particular parts, and just like how you described your entry into MLP, I remember that reading Salvation was like suddenly discovering the hole you thought was deep was actually endless; not unlike accidentally missing an extra stair on the way down the staircase. Your whole heart poured out of you and onto the pages, and I somehow knew that parts of it were real, because only something that was drawn from a real place and a real emotion that could be that good, and be that authentic. You've been through a lot, haven't you?

To this day, you are the subject of an anecdote about how people have such intense beauty inside themselves, and how that beauty manifests itself in unexpected ways. And the older I get, the more I realise that so much of life is just trying to find artistry to the words, making sure they're beautiful and that the expression is priceless. You do that so well. I wish you all the best for the next seven years.

5600643

Would you believe I actually remember that comment? It was, in fact, one of the best compliments I've ever received on my stories. And while I can't say that I've "been through a lot," (in fact, I tend to think I've lived an eventful but fortunate life), I definitely believe my experiences have helped make me a better writer. And on the other side of that coin, I think writing (and being a part of this fandom in general) has made me a better person, too.

So, thanks for coming back to comment :) And to respond to your other comment on my user page, I'm actually working on an idea for a new short comedy right now. Just got to find the time to write it!

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