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Dave Bryant

E-mail: dave@catspawdtp.com • Discord: CatspawDTP#9731 • DeviantArt/Twitter/Ko-fi: CatspawDTP • Telegram/FurAffinity/FurryMUCK/Tapestries: Tom_Clowder • Mastodon: @tom_clowder@meow.social



This story is a sequel to Lectern’s New and Used Books: Fall Semester

A Twin Canterlots story—first in the Brass Ring series

If it had been just the prosthetic right arm, Rose Brass might have been certified fit for duty—but when the docs also concluded her left eye couldn’t be saved, that was that. The army captain found herself down-checked and retired to the permanent disability list. Without any other direction, she moved back to the city where she’d grown up. Now, thanks to the kindness of strangers, she’s washed up at the doors of an organization dedicated to assisting veterans just like her.

Rose visits VSCC some fourteen years before “Rainbow Rocks” (about twelve and a half years before MLPFIM begins).

Hit the “Popular Stories” bar the evening of posting, 29 June 2021, woo!

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 12 )

VSCC - Veteran's Services of Cuyahoga County - not completely fictional ... :derpytongue2:

I should have known there’d be at least one real organization using that abbreviation!

Well any county starting with 'C', or City ('VS, City of...') ... quite a few combinations there ... :coolphoto:

In this case, of course, the second C is for “City”. The first C I think should be fairly clear, given the setting.

Only if the official name is 'Canterlot City' (see NYC) otherwise the 'City of Canterlot' also uses the same initials ... :trollestia:

Very nice look back. Using familiar faces to both establish time period and give Rose the help she can't bear to ask for* was a brilliant touch. Jumping around the timeline really helps convey a sense of her own drifting, uncertain identity and place in society at the time. Thank you for this.

*I don't mean to imply she's too proud to ask for it. only that, as Mr. Lectern noted, she can't recognize that she's even in a position to do so.

The jumping in time was intended to accomplish exactly that—Rose is in pretty terrible shape during this whole period—though it’s not quite as chaotic as it might seem at first glance. The narrative does switch back and forth between two threads, but each thread proceeds rigorously in chronological order. It’s just that the flashbacks thread ends shortly before the present-time thread begins with her sitting in front of Lectern’s desk.

That isn’t the only narrative trick I worked in. Rose’s name is never mentioned in any of the flashbacks until Pear Butter asks for it, which took some careful writing to avoid using she or her for any other character in those scenes. The namelessness emphasizes her crisis of identity, her depression, and, as with any individual, her being the center of her personal universe. It ends only when someone truly reaches out to her beyond a chance encounter, someone who affects her on a deep level.

Also, the scene of Rose alone in her little flat is filled with a great deal more symbolism than I normally indulge in, particularly the psychological ceiling height (most obviously), the use of darkness and light, and her choice of hand when picking up the note and flipping the light switch.

I’m not sure I could have written this before the experience of writing Three-act Play, because in that story Rose developed enormously, far more than she did in Amphorae and Virga combined. Moreover, working with, and learning from, Scampy and taking our discussions from raw conversation to finished prose was an enormously illuminating process.

sounds like you have enjoyed growth in your writing and understanding of your own character!

This... has been wonderful to read, and as an Army spouse, I never tire of reading about Rose. This is legitimately inspiring. I've been meaning to get back to running... Little too cold now, but come spring, why not?

Thanks so much for the compliments!

Now the final chapter is posted, Rose’s main arc, Brass Ring, is complete—but she’ll continue as a member of the ensemble cast in The Campus and, when it begins, Off Campus.

Glad I finally got back to this one. Outstanding character study as we see Rose rebuild herself to become the pillar so many others needed. Thank you for it.

And thank you for the kind comments!

It really did bring a sense of closure to write this. And it makes Rose’s story the longest, in terms of both word count and elapsed in-universe time. Between the beginning of Rose Brass and the opening of The Campus is just about thirty years!

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