A Writer’s Inspiration
Once upon a time…
I looked at her and I only saw pure beauty…
It was dawn, just another average day in the life of an earth pony. I got up, and made a cup of coffee…
The brave explorer put on a brave face and entered the cave, ready to claim the treasures within…
“No, no, NO!”
Fed up with trying for the umpteenth time today, the frustrated young blue colt with black hair threw piles of papers on the floor, each containing only a sentence or two. Quills grumbled and shoved himself away from his desk.
“Why can’t I think of anything?! I’ve been at this for hours!” he yells to his house. After stomping his hoof a few times, trying to vent frustration, he eventually gives up and sighs. “Oh who am I kidding… maybe I’m not meant to be a writer.” He says, looking sadly at his flank, which was quite bear of any sort of mark that resembles his talent. He was well into his teenage years, and his classmates never stopped giving him a hard time as to why he hasn’t gotten his cutie mark yet.
A sudden rumbling erupts from his stomach, and frowns, especially as he looks over at the clock by his fireplace.
3 P.M… he thought to himself. I’ve been trying to make a story since 10 and now I missed lunch… he says rubbing his aching tummy. Admitting defeat to his stomach and lack of inspiration, he throws on his saddlebags with a few books in one side, and some parchment, bits, and a quill in the other pouch, before he walks to the door and pushes it open, revealing a sunny day in Ponyville.
I’m craving a daffodil and daisy sandwich right now… The Flora Café sounds good… Yeah, definitely Flora Café. They got good prices on their sandwiches.
He smiles to himself, pleased with his decision, and breaks into a fast walk toward the café, which resided near the edge of the town.
Once he arrived, he took a seat at one of the outside tables, and lets off a sigh of relief.
Maybe once I eat, I’ll definitely have an idea for my story.
He thought about this long and hard for a moment, before he eventually frowns.
Who am I kidding… I’ve been at this for years… and I have yet to come up with a story idea that sounds original.
The waiter approaches him, and having already known what he wanted, he informs the well-dressed pony, who nods, and walks back to the shop to prepare his meal.
Quills stared up at the sky as he slouched in his seat, not knowing how much time has gone by as he looks into the clear blue space, where he saw a few random pegasi flying to and fro across the sky, some moving clouds, others just getting from point A to point B in town. This amused him for a moment, but couldn’t quell the headache that pounded his brain.
Stop thinking about it Quills, you’re just going to get more of a headache. Just eat some food, since you skipped lunch today and dinner last night, not to mention you refused to get much sleep. As hard as he tried, his mind was still bombarding all over the place, looking for a story to write.
He was so distracted, he nearly jumped as the waiter came back with his food, then lets off a nervous chuckle as the pony gave him a strange look, before attending to the other customers.
The blue pony stared at the sandwich for a while, not sure if he actually wanted to eat it or not. Reluctantly, he picked it up and took a bite. It was the first meal he’s had in what felt like ages, but deep down he still felt incredibly empty.
He took only a few more bites, before he slouches on the table, pushing aside a half-eaten sandwich, before sighing in defeat. After a good while has passed, he decided to pull out a book from his pouch, and open it on the table. It was the latest Daring Do story, something he enjoyed very much reading.
His eyes scanned across the many words of the heroic pegasus’ adventure, looking for some sort of inspiration in them. But before he even finished that page, that deep emptiness crept on him again, the emptiness that he couldn’t think of a single thing to write himself.
Reading had been this pony’s life, and would even attend theater, because there was thing he knew he loved more than life, and it was a good story. Daring Do was his childhood favorite, taking him to all kinds of grand adventures, and he wished maybe some day he’d create an epic just as brave and adventurous, even memorable, as her.
However he spend years trying to create a story, even asked classmates who also liked writing for help. Some of them gave him ideas, others decided to help him on one big idea he had, but left the project, as well as their friendship, far behind. The blue pony just sat there, staring blankly at the book, recalling all those unpleasant memories of story after story that never came to existence.
Quills always had trouble with finding the right words, and putting them in the right place. Even more so, he didn’t know what he ultimately wanted to right. Inspiration never existed for the poor pony, and therefore after years of wanting to write, he came up with nothing.
Maybe it’s high time I give this up… I’ll never be able to write anything like this… or anything for that matter. He thought to himself glumly.
No longer wanting to look at his book, he decided to look around at the other ponies at the café, see what the rest of the world was doing. He saw a couple of ponies nuzzling each other at the table across from him, and pouted at the sight. Loneliness was something he was too familiar with, but kept himself secluded hoping that next big idea would pop up. He never felt the need for such things, but his heart and soul begged otherwise.
His eyes wandered off to the left, where a group of four ponies were sitting around a table, coming up with ideas for a song of some sort. There was a grey earth pony with a blue mane, with red tips, and wore the most peculiar pair of blue headphones, then there was an orange pegasus with a near-flat-top mane, a brown-ish unicorn with an even darker brown mane streaked with red, and there was a green/bright-green pegasus with a large jagged-looking mane.
He knew these ponies well, and thought about going up to talk to them sometime, but he feared he’d only come off as a fan, or someone desperate for a story, so he decided against this. However, he just continued to watch them for a while as they swapped stories, yelled at each other and even sang a little, even stomping their hooves a few times with three of them nodding their head in agreement. Just watching them made him a little curious…
How do they do it…? He thinks to himself, as he turns his head back toward his half-eaten sandwich. Just come up with the music they do…? Where do they get their inspiration from?
The thoughts flew all over the place, wondering what could inspire each of them to create such beats, rhythms, vocals, and so on. Never in a million years did Quills think he could write a song, nor did he want to try. He loved music but never had that kind of creativity. But still, he wondered.
Suddenly a “swoosh” got his attention. There it was again, louder and sharper this time. He wondered what the noise was about, until he glanced up at the sky, and there he saw her.
A pegasus as blue as the sky was, with a streak of rainbow following in her wake. He couldn’t help but watch for the longest time as that pegasus performed lops, spins, dives, and all sorts of other dramatic aerial maneuvers that nearly made his head spin.
It took him a while to notice his jaw was hanging open, then abruptly closed it as that same pegasus flew down to the town, and approached the very café he was seated at. He registered her as a mare, once she was close enough, and quite a stunning one at that. Quills had to do a double take and rub his eyes, to make sure he didn’t fall asleep or anything, that he wasn’t dreaming or something of the sort, to be completely bedazzled by the prismatic mane she carried, and the way she carried such an overwhelming around of pride with herself.
The waiter approached her, and the two of them spoke for a moment, something Quills couldn’t hear, before they walked over to a table just across from Quills. The pegasus glanced over at him for a moment. Panicked, he quickly just picked up his book and hid behind it, pretending to be reading.
His thoughts raced, his heart pounded, and he bit his lip. He was so overcome by the display and appearance of that blue mare, he couldn’t think straight.
Get a hold of yourself Quills! She’s just… the most beautiful pegasus you’ve ever seen in your life and never would’ve once hoped to ask out while you were in school. He bit his lip. Shut up shut up shut up… just shut up, read your book, and pretend she isn’t there you foal.
He clonked himself on the head a few times, trying to get his act together. Before long his breathing returned to its’ normal pace, but his heart was still thudding hard against his chest. Out of curiosity, he peeked over the top of his book at the pegasus, who was casually reclined back against the table. She looked worn out, but beaming with pride. He wondered what was going through her head that made her smile so much…
“Shall I go ahead and take your dish, sir?” came a voice that made him jump, and accidently knock his book on the floor.
Where do you keep coming from?! He thought to himself in annoyance.
“Uh, yeah…yeah… just… let me get my purse out…”
He accidently gained the attention of a few of the other customers, and he felt a burning red in his cheeks. Ignore them Quills, ignore them! He screamed at himself in his head, as he pulled his coin bag out of his saddlebags, and dumped the contents on the table. He was practically shaking with nervousness and anger. After all, spending so much time secluded never did make him the most socially adept of ponies. He never liked attention, it would always give him something that resembled stage fright… even though he’s not actually on a stage.
The waiter just raised an eyebrow at him.
“Would you like a receipt…?” he asked.
“No! Just… go ahead and take that… keep the change…”
There was nothing more he wanted right now other than to just get out of there. The waiter continued to give him a puzzled look, then just shrugged and picked up the bits that were strewn on the table, and Quills hurriedly picked up his empty coin purse and threw it back into his saddlebag.
He was ready to get up and get out of there as fast as he could when he remembered. My book! Having completely forgotten he knocked it over, he got out of his chair and leaned down to pick it up, but somepony else beat him to it.
The blue pegasus was holding it out in front of her to him using her teeth. His heart stopped, as his eyes met magenta, and the blue earth pony completely froze in place. He wanted to say something, anything, maybe even compliment her on her aerial maneuvers, tell her how pretty she was…
No you idiot!
He didn’t realize he was holding his breath, and released a bit of air as he nervously chuckles.
“Uh… eh-heh… thanks…” was all he could muster, as he took the book from the blue pegasus, and he set it on the table so he could close it up, put it in his saddlebags and get out of here before he made any more of a foal out of himself.
“You like Daring Do too?” she suddenly asked.
“Yeah actually but…” came a quick and automatic response, then he bit his lip. Unsure how to proceed, he put the book back in his saddlebag, and was ready to leave until…
Wait a second.
He couldn’t help but turn back to the pegasus.
“You mean you read Daring Do?”
There’s no way she actually reads this… it’s just a kid’s book series…
“Duh! Daring Do is like the coolest pegasus, ever! Well, next to me of course, but still!”
He blinked a few times, not exactly sure what to do next.
“Which book is that?” she asked.
“Oh it’s… um… the new one…” he cursed himself for not remembering the name.
“Really? I haven’t read it yet, I heard it was pretty good!” she said with some level of excitement, wings even flared out to express this.
What am I doing… was something constantly bombarding his brain, and wouldn’t shut up.
“It’s… uh… good.” Came a flat, even nervous response. The blue pegasus tilted her head a little.
“How much have you read of it?”
“Half of it or so…”
“Oh cool! I heard it’s the most dangerous one yet!”
“…Something like that…”
You’re going to slip up, just get out of here, right now.
“…Why are you shaking?” she asked after a moment later.
Oh shoot! He thought sharply to himself as he realized he was jittering like crazy, and all eyes were on him and the pegasus.
She tilted her head a bit.
He completely froze in place, not sure what to do, and those eyes from the other customers were starting to feel like daggers impaling him.
“Hey! Why don’t you come join me? Maybe you can let me see your copy for a bit?”
What do I do what do I do what do I do whatdoIdowhatdoIdo…
She just smiled, perhaps the thrill of getting to read Daring Do’s latest adventure probably lighting her up.
“I…..guess…” he stuttered.
Great, now you’re just going to make yourself look more like an idiot. Way to go Quills!
She brightened up immediately. “Awesome!” she exclaimed, before returning back to her table, with Quills slowly following behind her, and reluctantly taking a seat across from her.
“Can I see it?” she asked.
He hesitantly reached into his bag, and pulled the book back out, before setting it down and sliding it across to her. It wasn’t much longer later that she opened it up and immediately started reading.
A good while of silence passed between the two of them, and Quills looked off elsewhere, trying to distract himself.
“You know I don’t know a whole lot of Daring Do fans. My friend Twilight showed me these books but she isn’t that into them.” Said the pegasus as she happily turned another page.
Quills just darted his eyes all over the place, too afraid to make contact with those magenta gems that were the blue pegasus’ eyes.
It was around now all the sudden she looked up at him.
“You don’t talk very much.”
“Why are you so nervous? Relax a little!”
“I can’t relax!” he said loudly, then bit his lip and sunk into his chair.
“Because…” You’re the most beautiful mare I’ve ever seen? Yeah, I don’t think so. “I…I’ve been trying to write…and…” was all he could muster.
Her ear twitched and head tilted out of curiosity.
“You’re a writer?”
“Trying to be…”
“What have you worked on? Ooh! Are you making something like Daring Do?” she asked excitedly.
“…Not… no. I haven’t written anything because… I can’t think of anything to write.”
She looked at him quizzically for a moment.
He just sighs, and slouches against the table.
“I want to write… because I love books and stories and all that… it’s just… I don’t know what to write about.”
She frowned briefly, and her eyes trailed back to the book, just idly reading it.
“You… you were really incredible up there…” he mumbled a bit.
You idiot! What are you doing!?
“Huh? You were watching me?” she said looking up from the book.
“…Yeah… I was hoping if I got some food… maybe I could finally write something so… I brought my books and writing supplies here. Then I heard you flying overhead and performing those tricks.”
“Hah! Did you like them?” she beamed with pride.
“Yeah actually… they were really… mesmerizing.”
She raised an eyebrow, then shrugged and smiled.
“Well I am the Best Young Flier in Equestria, so of course I’m awesome!” she somewhat gloated.
Things were silent for a moment as he looked at her, then he slowly connected a few dots.
“…Wait… Hang on! I know you!!” he exclaimed. “I read something about that in the Ponyville Express. The author was saying something about a jawdropping ‘sonic rainboom.’ It took up the entire front page!”
“Yup! That’s was me!”
“That’s… that’s just incredible!” he couldn’t help but say.
“Thank you! Thank you! Glad to hear I got adoring fans out there!” she said with a giggle, but her prideful and confident smirk creeped back across her muzzle.
Quills was suddenly at a loss for words, as he settles back into his chair.
“Hey I know! You should totally write about me!” she exclaims, practically beaming.
“Huh…?” he said shaking his head. His mind was apparently elsewhere for a moment.
“I’ve always wanted somepony to write a book about me or something, and how incredible I am!” she says with another grin.
“Um…” came a meek response from Quills.
“I was just kidding.” She said rolling her eyes. “Jeez, lighten up a little will ya?”
She tilted her head again, looking at him curiously.
He sighs, “I didn’t sleep much… or eat much… I usually don’t. I’ve just been trying to write something that somepony would like to read but…”
Thinking about the sandwich he never finished made him hungry again.
“Maybe I should stop trying.”
At this point she put the book back on the table with a loud thud.
“You don’t quit! That’s… that’s just stupid!”
He blinked at her a few times.
“But I can’t write… it might not even be my talent.”
She opened her mouth to say something, then couldn’t help but glance at his rump, noticing a disturbing lack of a marking for somepony his age.
“You don’t have a cutie mark…?”
“But the way you made it sound since you like reading, you’d be a good author.”
“Reading and writing are two different things you know…”
“So what? It’s something you enjoy isn’t it?”
He mulled her words over for a moment, not thinking of an argument.
“I love flying, in case you haven’t noticed, and if I gave up just because I wasn’t good at first, or didn’t get any of my tricks right the first dozen times, I wouldn’t have found my special talent!”
He sighs and slouches against his desk.
“Maybe you just haven’t found your inspiration yet.” She suddenly said.
He furled his eyebrows, and looked up at her.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, think of it this way. It sounds like you’re writing just to write. You haven’t made yourself sound into it or anything.”
He stares at her for a few minutes, before his eyes trailed off to the left thoughtfully.
Could that be it…?
“Maybe what you should be doing is finding something that you feel like writing about more than something like… like Daring Do!” she suddenly says, holding up the book. “If you just tried to recreate this, it wouldn’t really feel from the heart would it? You’d just be making a knock-off.”
He stares at the book for a little bit.
“So what do you think I should be writing about?”
“Who knows! I definitely don’t, heh.” She says with a roll of her eyes.
He frowns a little, and looks off to the side. Her expression sags a bit, and tapped the table to get his attention, to which he turned back to face him.
“Look, don’t write something like something, and don’t just try to write the first thing that comes to your head. You need to write about something you yourself want to write about, and get excited about writing about. You got anything like that?”
He thought long and hard, before his eyes fell back on the pegasus.
Silence passed between the two of them for a while.
“…Well… maybe I might have one thing.”
“Then there ya go! If it’s something you feel like telling a story on, then just write about it! Maybe even write whatever comes to mind when you’re talking about it, and surely it’ll all come together just like that!” she says with a slam of her hoof on the table.
It was once again silent between the two of them.
He didn’t seem to notice however he was staring at her.
“Uh…something on your mind buddy?”
Snapping back to reality he shook his head, and tapped his head with a hoof.
“Uh, yeah! Sorry… was thinking about… the thing… or whatever it was…” he says shakily, glancing off to the side sheepishly, but the pegasus didn’t seem to pick up on it.
She chuckles a bit, “You’re a strange pony.” She says in a somewhat playful tone, as she got back to reading some more of his book.
It was quiet between the two of them for a while, as Quills slouched against the table and looked off elsewhere, the rusty cogs in his mind slowly starting to turn.
Maybe that was all I was missing all along… was inspiration. I didn’t know what to write about because there was nothing I truly knew that I wanted to write about. Suddenly his eyes lit up a little. For what seems like the first time ever in his brief life, something came to him.
He looked back at the pegasus, and studied her features once more. His mind also wondered how he was feeling whenever he was just looking at her. His heart was pounding, he could swear there was a bead of sweat trailing down his brow, his mouth felt dry, and he was just simply in awe. His eyes even wandered to her wings, a gift he wished he possessed, and suddenly envy crept up over him. The last thing he could think of was no matter how hard he tried, he could not stop thinking about that pegasus.
Quills opened his mouth to speak, but she suddenly closed the book, and slid it back over to him.
“Hey, thanks for letting me see the book for a bit, it was a great sneak peek, I’ll have to get my own copy later. For now I think I need to practice some more, now that I’ve caught my breath. It was nice chatting with ya!” She said grinning, rolling her shoulders and slowly stands up, flaring her wings, about ready to take off.
She stopped herself from launching into the air, and looked over at the blue pony who was holding a hoof out at her, then he bit his lip and retracted his foreleg.
“Um…” he faltered at first, as he looked into those eyes of hers, before he picked himself up and stood in front of her, extending a shaking hoof. “I’m Quills…”
She blinked a few times, but smiled, and gently shook his hoof in return.
“Rainbow Dash. Nice to meet ya Quills.”
Hours had gone by, and the pony already took off after their brief introduction. He was back at his home, and the sun was setting. Quills had picked up his papers, and stacked them neatly on his desk, as he picked up the quill in his mouth.
Write what I want to write about huh…? He thought to himself.
He stood there for a long while, and his eyes looked upward, toward a large window, where he could swear he saw a rainbow streak cutting across the evening sky. He smiled brightly, and dipped the tip of the quill into the ink bottle, and he began writing.
“I think I’m in love,” he began. “That is something I’m sure of.”
Quills was there all throughout the night, smiling as the words poured out across the pieces of parchment. The blue pony never felt more full of inspiration than he did then, so much so he never bothered to notice as he was writing his first tale that a marking had appeared on his flank, resembling the shape of a book.