• Member Since 30th Jul, 2013
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

TheJediMasterEd


The Force is the Force, of course, of course, and no one can horse with the Force of course--that is of course unless the horse is the Jedi Master, Ed ("Stay away from the Dark Side, Willlburrrr...")!

E

Spike has a hoard nopony knows about, something he's been using to do a dragonish thing in a ponyish way.

But now it's the other way 'round.

Art by Akili_Amethyst, used by kind permission of its owner, TwilightIsMagic

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 112 )

A beautiful and brilliant fic. I was prepared by Bad Horse, but even if I hadn't been, I don't think the background ship would have bugged me, it totally isn't the point. And the point is... well, a little creepy, and cute and lovely at the same time. That's a neat trick, right there.

(I prefer to think that Spike's treasure is friendship as represented by the gems, and that he really is content to make Mac his friend, and in that way keep Rarity his... If it's darker than that, don't tell me!)

5770046

If you have faith in Spike's character--and I do--he'll work things out alright. :moustache:

This was good.
Interesting way to sublimate his feelings while still being in keeping with his true nature.

A coping mechanism born of Spike's own natural instincts is very satisfying, somehow. Thumbs-up!

5770254

Yes, well, we all have to have coping mechanisms, and we can only make them out of the material we've got on hand.

It's true for dragons raised by magical ponies, and it's true for primates raised by primates. :moustache:

Touching in a uniquely draconic way. I understand Spike's caution. To dismiss this as "cute" would be the worst thing Twilight could ever do to him. Thank you for this.

(Also, I know curves don't come up much in minerals, but there's something amusingly ironic about a collection of right angles being used to represent Pinkie Pie.)

5770355
Howabout those of us abandoned as children and raised by domestic dogs? My boss is still wigged out about the chew-toys I keep on my desk, even though they're great stress-relievers. :raritywink:

Jedi Master Ed,

This is a truly excellent story, especially as your first posted here. It moved me greatly, was very much in character, and indeed, it inspired me to create a sonnet in its/your honor.

The shine of stones is rich with sweet allure
The structure, full of secrets, pulls my mind
Toward that which I once felt was so sure
But bitter sweetness now is all I find
Yet how can I begrudge what you have found
When all I wish is for your happiness
I may not be the one you want around
For to my dreams you'll never acquiesce
But know this: I will always hold you dear
And count you first among my pony friends
The love I have's no longer fueled by fear
But rather, sweet acceptance in the end

In treasure's lust, I nearly lost my way
But now I know your love I'll not betray

That you stirred my Muse is high praise, especially considering I am ill today and only just got out of bed to do some reading. Thank you for an excellent tale, and please make more!

Light and laughter,
SongCoyote

I liked this a lot. You did a great deal in 1,500 words.

I'm jealous.

5770476

Howabout those of us abandoned as children and raised by domestic dogs?

You wouldn't happen to have frizzy blonde hair and a couple wide white blunk-out eyeballs, wouldja?

Hap

I still have no idea what's going on. I don't see any ships at all? I am very confused. If I hadn't read Bad Horse's blog post, I wouldn't have even guessed there was supposed to be some kind of ship here.

Also, I spent the first half of the story imagining there was a stallion named Dusk standing there by the stream, watching Spike do his thing.

I was lost through most of this story.

5770529

I...uh...wow.

That's a good sonnet, especially for off-the-cuff on a sick day. Thank you! I'm deeply touched and highly flattered.

And I'm glad you liked the story :yay:

My feels man! Have mercy on them!:pinkiesad2:

5770570

I'm trying to do an awful lot in very little space and my tendency is to pare everything down to a minimum number of words. That's a choice that I know is going to cause problems--at least until I get better at writing.

But your comment is well taken. Terseness is a problem I have mainly with lyrical writing in narrative voice. My next story will be completely different. For example, it happens during daylight hours! (Mostly) :pinkiehappy:

I like this a great deal, but I'm also struggling to figure out with whom/what Spike's interest lies. I see a few too many distinct possibilities! That said, the tale paints vivid pictures, and it's captivating throughout.

...oh, wait, now I get it. I think. Well played! :raritywink:

The descriptions throughout the story are very pretty and imaginative. I also really like how you personified the rocks in a way that made each of them identifiable. You did a really great job of approaching a rather difficult topic and ending it optimistically.

Astounding work for your first story!

Hap

5770613 It's always a struggle between too much information/spelling it out and being so laconic that you fail to make your point. Others seem to be catching what you're throwing out, so you weren't too far over the line, if you think you were at all. Either way you lean, you won't satisfy 100% of your readers.

And here I thought I was subtle.

This was rather enjoyable, and a very interesting take on viewing relationships through Spike's eyes. Up-voted, and following in anticipation of future works.

However, you did manage to push one of my minor annoyance buttons:

an eight-sided dice

"Dice" is plural, the singular is "die".

Bravo! This is a sweet story, and I think you wrote it beautifully.

So much interpretation of a piece can be drawn from perceptions developed from our own circumstances, even from one day to the next. Which is why I have to disagree with bookplayer on the (potentially) creepy aspect of Spike's actions. I don't think - in this story - it is at all, especially not with the decision Spike clearly makes at the end. He is very young, and he's a dragon, and he's at the very least thoroughly crushed on Rarity. From my own perspective and experience, boys do go through this kind of crush phase at his apparent age just as girls often do, and they eventually grow out of it as they mature. In our world, it's simply human nature. Just my thought, though...

You did a marvelous job of bringing so many aspects of Spike's nature and character together for this, and in excellent style. I really enjoyed this.

And damn it's about time, too! Congrats on your first published story here. :raritywink:

5770550
:rainbowlaugh: Liitle Orphan Amphetimine, I'm not!

“That…means it is a mafic volcanic rock.”

Ah HA! Then it's not sedimentary, it's igneous!
Take that, rock horse!

... Aside from that, I have no clue what any of this is going on about. Is it related to those "feels" that other people frequently speak of? I'm not good at those.

Hooray, sir:

Very much hooray.

Mike

I said it before and I'll say it again: magnificent in every way.

5770046
It helps if you think about it like this: a dragon's hoard is all he loves. But, also, all that he loves is his hoard. D'you see?

5770091
This story rocks. And I mean that in the gneiss-est possible way.

5770613
I have to admit that I liked the compactness of this story; you did quite a bit with very few words. Then again, maybe I like unpacking dense bodies of information.

5770401
Hmm... Foamy, those straight lines and unfathomable geometry seem more representative of Pinkamena...

Nice work Ed!

Secret shipping, eh? Well, let's have a gander... aha! I see it plain as day. Spike has a crush on Big Mac! It's obvious he's super jealous of Rarity and been mackin' on Big Mac. Heh. I see through your rock games. I am so awesome at story interpretation—

Whoopsies! It would appear I'm still wearing my yaoi googles. I was using them a lot throughout the day :B Don't know when you'll need them to make shipping work, like shipping Freddy Fazbear with Foxy.

Heh. I don't know if it's to my own peril, but I've come to associate "terse" with "thought provoking". Sure. There's ways to get thought provoking, like SS&E's colourful settings and characterizing, but there's something I've come to expect when terse is involved with writing: quality. I dunno why, but it seems terse writing that I've seen has quality to it. I guess it feels more mature or something? It has an older feel to it, eh? I wonder if it's a style that's more prevalent in older writers.

Also, congrats on the feature!

Titanium Dragon posted an interesting observation here.

So I came this way via emergency klaxon sounded by this guy. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a dead guy doesn't understand the "lives in danger" part of "emergency."

So, despite the lack of broken bones, bleeding, or other truly critical concerns, I read this thing anyway.

Curse my abundance of reading comprehension, but here comes the spoilers. If you haven't read, go do so before continuing. If you have read and find yourself scratching your head, I'll spell it out plainly for you.


As depicted in the show, Spike has a crush on Rarity. As any sane person could point out, there is no reasonable reason to expect Rarity to return these feelings or even acknowledge them. While some fans may require some sort of drama or permission or apology to Spike, and indeed that may have happened prior to the start of this story, but this is not a story about that. Instead, Rarity and Big Macintosh got together in some sort of serious relationship.

This story is about Spike being surprisingly more mature than this fandom ever depicts him or considers him. He accepts that she's happy and, despite the pain of loss it causes him, accepts Big Mac.

He apparently has a little hoard of stones, some semi-precious, others not so much. He's kept this hoard secret from everyone, including taking precautions that Rarity (with her gem-finding talent/spell) won't find it, and has kept it secret from Twilight as well. He also apparently remembered a stone from some seasons ago that he thought was neat and showed Maud Pie while she was visiting. The stone is red clay with green bits (Big Mac with his green-apple Cutie mark presumably). So the story has us trudging along a stream bed in winter to find this hunk of clay, successfully finding it, and adding it to his hoard.

The rest of this is still spoiler, but hopefully if you're this far down you're OK with that. It's just less important spoilers than the tagged stuff.

So there is a lot of detail to this story, accomplished by way of omitting all dialogue, interaction with other characters, and stuff like plot and conflict to allow it to fit in a small word count. Instead it is strictly a character piece, and really exists just to showcase this little bit of personality of Spike. There is an immensely heavy reliance on symbolism which forces you to think more in order to get what is going on.

The grammar, spelling, etc of the piece were well done. No complaints there.

Now, of course nothing is original. But I do have to ask, when you're taking a particular element to base your story around, what kind of value are you trying to get out of it? In this case, that primary element is Spike's doomed crush with Rarity. It certainly isn't an element that has been lacking attention from the fandom, so the value isn't in putting good use to the underused. I'd agree you did a particularly good spin on it, so perhaps you saw a lack of quality in the abundant use that is evident.

In the end, it's a story about Spike's side of a one-sided romantic interest. I can't be fucked to care. Even if done well, it's simply not interesting a topic to read about. Take the well-written events of this story as "canon" and see how things go from Twilight Sparkle's POV. Her number one assistant and fax machine went off to run some errand. He comes back with bread and coaxes her to eat dinner reasonably. The end. That's about how important I consider it too.

Others may well enjoy it. The imagery of winter, stones, and so on barely scratched the surface I feel though. Had this level of attention to detail been put into a "real" story, I could see it being engaging and fulfilling to read. But a short piece about a single element feels like more of a wasted opportunity. It leaves me thinking, "OK, so what?"

Spike spends a lot of time worried about keeping his hoard secret. He especially worries about how Twilight would react. Primo conflict material. Can he keep it secret? Should he keep it secret? He thinks Cranky would understand. That sounds like some completely untapped characterization potential that actually would be interesting to read about.

Even though I don't personally have much interest in Spike as a character, others do. It isn't that I dislike Spike that I think this was a poor story, but because it was pretty shallow. Hints within the story could have been explored to turn this into a much deeper read, and it could have gotten my like in spite of being about Spike. I think there was too much attempt at faux-depth by way of symbolism and style, rather than just telling a story.

Worth.
The.
Wait.

You bastard. I am going to have to rearrange my top 5 again because of this.

I reviewed this story; you can find my review here.

5771863

Thank you for the thoughtful and extensive critique!

I kinda figured Spike x Rarity had been done to death but I wanted to make an observation about Spike's dual nature, about how he both resolves the conflict within himself (through his friend-hoard) and uses it to resolve a conflict within himself (by adding to it).

That is, what's normally a problem that he has to manage in day-to-day life, becomes something that points out a solution to his problem in a moment of great emotional turmoil. That's the thing I wanted to illustrate.

I've been told before that I should really make my stories longer so as to make a greater case for the reader to care. That's a valid criticism, but in this case I felt like I wanted to go for maximum emotional impact.

Why? Well, why write ponywords instead of something else? Cause I wanna :pinkiecrazy:

5770091
Twilight didn't raise no villain. :eeyup:

Huh, this is a well-written little thing. Why aren't you publishing more gems like this, Ed?

I had to read it twice to understand it, but now that I do, I really like it. Great work Ed!

5771863
It is a very literal slice of life; I called it a character piece in my review, and that is fundamentally what it is. The story is about Spike's reaction to something happening, and what that reveals about his character. That's it.

Works like this primarily operate on the principle of whatever it is that is being revealed - or the imagery and symbolism exposed during the reveal - being the primary draw of the story, as nothing actually happens. You are correct that the events of the story are not especially significant in the grand scheme of things, but that's not really the point.

The real key is not that something happens, but that the reader has somehow profited from the experience. Typically, this is done by telling a story; here, it is more about the exploration of the idea. I think that's why stories like this are liked by some folks; they find that the exploration of the idea, and the experience of the reading, are sufficient. Others crave something actually happening, and thus are disappointed by them, no matter how well-executed they are.

It is very easy to make a story like this and have it be a totally empty experience, but I think that as long as the "story" has a point of some kind, it is acceptable to me so long as it actually keeps me engaged.

I admit until I read the other reader's summary I had no bloody idea what happened. I thought the 'he' that Spike was talking about was the greed driven dragon inside himself. An that he had somehow befriend Big Mac.

Didn't even realize the stones where suppose to represent the girls.

5772325
5771863

Thank you for the review! I notice that both you and Hap are getting both up- and downvotes for your critiques:

"When critics disagree, the Artist has an accordion to himself."

--Oscar "Wilde Al" Yankovich

I can appreciate a well written story, definitely. This is one such story, but alas! Most of what you tried to communicate through this was lost on me until I went into the comments. I'm gonna blame my own lack of perception for this rather than the writing though, since you seem to be getting glowing praise from all the cool kids. :twilightsmile:
Definitely not bad for a first fic; it just didn't do a whole lot for me, personally.

This is actually really good. I will probably write something more detailed eventually, but suffice to say that I really enjoyed the idea and execution, even if I think it was a bit overwritten at places. Still, it is a marvelous way to explore Spike's dual nature, and reminds me a bit of the better ideas in It Takes a Village.

You really need to post more stories.

I'll just sit here and parrot everyone else.

Nice work, dude. So much said in so little...

Glad people pointed me toward you.

~Skeeter The Lurker

5772578

even if I think it was a bit overwritten at places. 

Yeah, see, I think that too. I actually sanded it down in a few spots and I was thinking of doing even more, but I was afraid of over-editing and losing my voice, or my nerve, or both.

My intent here was to write lyrically, which is a difficult thing to do, especially for a beginner, and in a time like ours in which the lyrical voice falls unnaturally on the ear (like that phrase right there).

But I needed to write this, and to write it this way, and I felt good enough about what I'd written to own it, flaws and all.

And of course try to do better next time. :twilightblush:

This was as good, subtle and, well, expressive as I would have expected from you. Excellent take on Spike as a dragon raised among ponies!

I'm now very much waiting for your next stories.

5772795
Don't worry about it. Maybe I just like my prose a bit more flowery than most, but I thought it worked very well for what it was.

In From AugieDog:

Okay. Abandoning the comments section, since there are apparently things to try and 'get' from the story. Additionally details will be added once I've read it.

...

So, I think I totally got that Spike's hoard is like a metaphor, a means to exert the feeling of control over things he believes he cannot live without. This particular interaction of a form or rationalisation that allows him to effectively (though not necessarily efficiently) cope with Rarity's affection for another – expressed through his lens of ownership.

I see this as Spike managing his child-like anxieties so that he can maintain the mature façade he needs to hide his insecurities behind.

I didn't get who the attachment was to, and in retrospect, I know why. The repetition of stones and types instantly turned my brain off. It's such an overused thing in stories (probably not your fault, in fairness) that once I know it's going to repeat the same thing for each pony, my brain is all, 'blah, blah, blah, blah'. I wasn't back in gear in time to notice the descriptive details regarding who it represented. The details themselves were right, but I think you could do with a stronger grasp of narrative proportion to subconsciously flag what is important.

Overall, I didn't get much of the 'over-written' feel that's been mentioned. Perhaps a few dashes that could have just been commas and such might make it feel less natural than it could have been, but I don't really see it. Maybe they thought it doesn't accurately reflect Spike's speech pattern or degree of maturity. I can't say, but then, I can't say it really worked for me as a story either.

Not that I'm saying there is anything wrong with it – I know a lot of people like their slice of life exactly this way – but I'm not a fan of the 'one idea without conflict' approach.

-Scott

Ah, I got it right away at the end, if that helps. I personally LOVED this and think that, if you dare to look a bit closer, there ARE several more layers here than just what presents itself. I mean, yes, it IS a little bit about Spike's erstwhile crush on Rarity, but it's MORE than that. And I enjoy every bit of it. I love the idea that he'd be good friends with Maud and take genuine interest in what she has to say about gems and rocks. I love his hoard and what it means to him, both literally and symbolically. The hoard being hidden behind a bridge stone is particularly poignant in that regard, because as much as he is pony-raised and thinks like a pony, that feel of the volcano he picks up and the way he broods on his gems is pure dragon. And as much as he loves Twilight, that's something she couldn't understand at all, which is why he DOES hide it and worry about it being called cute. That's like saying breathing is cute, or Twilight doing magic is cute. Sure, it's cute when she makes bunnies float in a figure eight for the Saddle Arabian ambassadors, but when you boil it down like that, it ignores everything that magic means to her, personally, and what it means in the scope of her experiences even just from that particular episode.

tldr: This story is one of the best-wrought character pieces I've ever seen and dammit I read a LOT.

5771863
Using the visual art world as an analogy, this story is a gesture drawing, a simple, fast sketch that is used to capture the essence of a pose and serve either as a basis for for a more in-depth work, or an exercise for training the artist's eye.* It seems as if the negative aspects of your critique come mostly from your expectations, rather than what the piece actually tries to accomplish. This story isn't meant to be a sweeping mural; it's essentially just a study, and on that level, it succeeds rather well, it think.

----------
*Which isn't to say that a gesture drawing can't be beautiful and illuminating in and of itself. You can find whole books devoted to the sketches of Da Vinci, Rembrant, DĂĽrer, et al.

Most interesting.

I was atracted by that cute pic :ajsmug: *Reading*

Cracking bit of writing there, I was pointed this way by GhostofHeraclitus, but I see that Bad Horse and AugieDog have both pointed the way here, and they're also on my bookshelves. You are in good company. (Not to mention a few others in your comments section who grace my shelves.)

Well done on a succinct story with some real depth. I liked the analogous rocks and the subtle relationships. I wonder if Spike's views are more tempered now, since Twilight's alicornification; the possibility that she could live considerably longer, coupled with that reminder of his own longevity: perhaps that provides clarity and perspective. This too shall pass.

This makes me want to ship Maud and Spike.

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