• Member Since 3rd Aug, 2014
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

Cosmic Cowboy

I'm a linguist. I like ambiguity more than most people.


Why You Should Read "The Skyla Pseudonym" by iisaw (if you haven't already...) - - - Top Shelf #4 · 1:24am Sep 8th, 2020

Thought this blog series was long dead? So did I!

Overall, my passion for this fandom has definitely cooled over the past few years, and even my enthusiasm for the endless possibilities of fanfiction has ebbed. Over this past year or so, I even started picking up real, non-pony books again (and finishing them!) in situations where I'd traditionally be reading a fanfic on my phone instead.

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An editor before an author, and a boy before a cow.

Hey there. I'm a freelance editor of wordy stuff IRL, and I have way too many ideas for my time and motivation.

Check out my stories if you want; there are one or two that I still stand by as okay. Afraid I'm too busy right now to do any editing for you, but maybe someday that will change. We'll see.

Also check out my blogs if you want to know why that old fic you've heard of might be worth reading, or if you want some help improving your writing on a technical level.

"Anybody can say you can't write, but don't let anybody say you don't."

-Ken Rand

Writing Helps

Occasionally I do something to help people write better pony fanfiction. Still not sure if that's a healthy use of my free time, but hopefully I help some people.

Grammar for Real People

Commas in all the wrong places? Readers complaining about messy writing? Proofreaders bailing out of your sinking ship of a fic?

Check out my ongoing series of blog posts trying to explain in simple terms how grammar and punctuation really work.

Part 1: Magic and Science
Part 2: Sentences, Phrases, and Clauses
Part 3: Phrase Functions and Parse
Part 4-1: Modifier Confusion
Part 4-2: Specifier Logic
Part 4-3: Heavy Complements
Part 4-4: Positive/Negative Unity (The Truth Behind “Double-Negatives")
Part 4-5: Scripts and Sleepy Phrases (The Truth Behind “Passive Voice”)
Part 4-6: Script Details (Coming Soon)

Luna For Dummies

Not feeling confident about writing dialogue for Luna? Congratulations, you weren't raised in 16th-century London. If you're looking for a quick-and-easy guide to getting the "thee's" and "thou's" right, look no further. Or maybe you're just bored and like reading amateurish summaries of linguistic history. I don't judge.

- Currently going through rewrite (unfinished) -

Story Structures

This is a video from a Brony fanfiction class I once taught in about how to use different story structures, like the famous Three-Act Structure, Orson Scott Card's MICE Quotient, and the Hollywood Seven-Point Structure. Check it out if your writing is worth an hour of your time.

Writing Excuses

Alright, this one isn't mine, but it's helped me out immensely. If you're looking to improve your skills as a writer/editor/whatever, but don't have time to take writing classes (since most of us have lives outside of this kind of thing), I highly recommend you check out this weekly podcast by some of my favorite authors. Each episode is only fifteen minutes long, and I listen to one every time I walk to campus. There are also transcripts of each one, and I suggest having some relevant ones open while you write/brainstorm/research/whatever.

Bad Horse's Blog Index

This one also isn't mine, but it needs to be linked in more places for easy access. Bad Horse keeps an index blog with links to pretty much every Writing-Help blog post on the site. Way more than I have time to actually read, but you need to know that this exists and it is useful.

(if you haven't already...)

Looking for something really good to read, and too impatient to chance the next fic in your Read Later list? Try something from one of my bookshelves! Trust me, they're good. Some of them are classics that you've heard of before, some of them are complete unknowns, but either way you want to know why people like a fic before you read it, right? I know I do, and that's why I started making these recommendation blogs. More to come, eventually!

Top Shelf
Why you should read "If Horses Had Gods" by Ponky (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "Friendship is Optimal" by Iceman (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "I Am Demon" by Aquaman (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "The Skyla Pseudonym" by iisaw (if you haven't already...)

Middle Shelf
Why you should read "The Moon's Apprentice" (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "Five Score, Divided by Four" by TwistedSpectrum (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "Blackacre" by Princess Woona (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "Diaries of a Madman" by whatmustido (if you haven't already...)
Why you should read "Not The Hero" by alarajrogers (if you haven't already...)

Scroll down for a peek at the shelves themselves, or at least the Top Shelf and the 18 highest-rated of the Middle and Lower Shelves. If you want more, check out my library page. Have fun!

Top Shelf - Best I've Ever Read

Middle Shelf - Very Impressive

Lower Shelf - Worth Reading

Link to the bookshelf, since it's rather large and I can't fit another bookshelf module onto this page anyway.

Quote Wall

Sprouting from his face were bushy but tamed sideburns and a glorious bristling moustache that looked as though it would leap off his upper lip at any moment and wrestle the nearest bear.

--Municipal Engines, Night's Favoured Child

"Calling me a monster does not do your vocabulary or my actions any justice."

--AestheticB, The Immortal Game


--GhostOfHeraclitus, Whom the Princesses Would Destroy...

"We'll talk about that in a second. First, I want you to remember this moment. Just close your eyes and sit here in silence for a little while."

...When I opened my eyes, I saw Celestia was just looking at me with what I might call a pitying expression. "Are you ready?"


"That's a shame. Now, let me go get your fiancee."

"I'm sorry, my what?"

She grit her teeth and forced out, “Fine, daddy. That’s a very pretty skirt you’re wearing.”

"What do your intentions matter when you compare them to the true results?"
"Are you going to blame the man who invented the oven for the holocaust?"

"Dammit, so she beat me to eugenics!" I said.

--whatmustido, Diaries of a Madman

The pipe itself was empty - Nurse Redheart had strongly recommended he give up blowing bubbles for the sake of his health - but it still felt good to have something to grind on when he was in a bad mood.

"If we’re going to be monsters, let’s be monsters like Equestria’s never seen. Monsters so great and terrible, the world will never need another monster again."

--Nonagon, Death Note: Equestria

“Bad Twilight Sparkle. No megalomania.”

“Twilight, you are banned from ever attempting any sexual innuendo in this castle.”

--Cast-Iron Caryatid, Sharing the Night

"Welcome to the club. We have crumbled cookies and spilt milk."

"Like, why do you have an egg timer? Isn’t that, like, cannibalism or something?"

--Somber, Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons

“He’s not dead... yet.”
“Whoa. You got plans?”

--Ponky, The Sisters Doo

"You have far more endorphins than I'll ever be able to produce."

--Ponky, Through the Looking Glass and What Pinkie Found There

"Ah— Er, I— Oh, you..."
"And sometimes Y. Language is a fascinating thing, is it not?"

--Moowell, A Pony Named 'You'

"We wait for their next charge, then my team pushes back with everything we've got, you hear? We make an opening, then the rest of you follow!"
"If you say so. Hey Applejack?"
"Yeah, sugarcube?"
"This is really fun."
"Course it is. That's why we do it so often."

--AestheticB, Sparkle's Law

"Twi, you had me at secret agent. Then you added fame and glory and space. I think you can count me in."

“Discord knew statistics?”

“How else would he know if he’s being random?”

That…was an excellent point. I couldn’t argue with that.

--Forthwith, The Moon's Apprentice

"Come see the Friendship Castle, everypony! It'll eat your damn soul but colt is it pretty!"

--ManlyDerp, "If you ain't got anything nice to say..."

Even Power Chord's House of Rock, while a bit misleading, did have a pebble by its entrance which she found intriguing.

--Twinkletail, My Sediments Exactly

"She's twelve feet tall, alabaster white, and her mane glows in the dark... And you lost her."

--Princess Woona, Blackacre

"You're just mad that mom likes me better than you!"
Twilight blinked. "I didn't know you two were brother and sister."
"We aren't. My mom just likes him better."
"Yeah, she's a b*tch."

--defender2222, The Many Secret Origins of Scootaloo

Pinkie Pie didn’t have access to anything reflective enough to see her face, but on further consideration, there was only one sensible conclusion: She’d been transformed into a sasquatch.

“The... internet?”
“Oh, yes, there are plenty of sites that keep those kinds of records. I can help you find them if you don’t know where to look...” The librarian paused when she noticed that her guest’s slightly irritated gaze had morphed into something that resembled otherworldly fascination. “Sir? Are you alright?”
“Hmm?” Discord said, briefly returning from his reverie. “Yes, I’m fine. It’s just...”
“Just... what?”
“I’m not sure, but I have this strange feeling as though I’m about to have the best day of my entire life.”

"Hey, who else is going to keep you sane, if not the voice in your head?"

--Kwakerjak, Transdementia

A firm ally and free cake? Star Gazer can suck a lemon, I'm the best talker.

--Rune Soldier Dan, The Blueblood Chronicles

It began, as many mistakes do, with a restless mind coupled with the best of intentions.

"You would think so, Armor," said Lt. Weaselface, whose pegasus mother did not love him at all.

--Skywriter, The First Time You See Her

"Luna... you can't go because they think you're dead. They'd know right away you're an impostor."

"Neigh, I rose from the grave. With my moon powers."

--alarajrogers, Elements of Opposition

"Have you considered firing all your guards and replacing them with training mannequins? It'd be cheaper! I'll draw the angry faces on them myself!"

--soulpillar, The Sun & the Rose

"That's dreadfully-- Twilight, please stop laughing, I'm trying to tell your friend that wasn't funny, and your laughter is somewhat detrimental to my argument."

“I think it's utterly awful that you're discussing whether to kick a puppy or a kitten at all,” Fluttershy scolds us, looking rather upset with us... until she adds, with a cheerful smile, “when there are so many baby birds out there that would just try their absolute hardest to go as far as their little wings could carry them, if you gave them that first little push.”

"Just because I can liquify a pony doesn't mean I — you seem to have gone dreadfully green all of a sudden, which is a shame, because you're the first pony to ask a question right now that didn't annoy me."

--MrNumbers, The Demesne of the Reluctant Twilight Sparkle

"That’s easier said than done, Ditzy," I muttered.

“Like most things in life, but that doesn't matter as long as it's doable," she replied with a gentle smile, before wrapping me in a hug.

--Swan Song, This Game of Mine

I guess what I'm trying to say is...sometimes you'll fail. Maybe you'll start something, and want it so very bad, and it'll just unravel in front of you. Or you'll get so far and then realise you didn't plan it right and it just slowly ends up not working out. Sometimes you'll feel like it all should work without a hitch, but then it just...doesn't, for no reason other than bad luck. Other times you'll keep trying to improve to be good enough to do it, but you never feel like it's coming.

I lost count of the times I failed, and it hurt a lot. I fell down, I started thinking I couldn't. I never stopped being scared, and it won't ever stop being scary to fail.

But if you just keep finding a reason to get back up and try it again, maybe from a different angle, or adjust how you think about it...maybe someday, you'll find some things that'll help you get there in the end. If you don't keep trying you'll let whatever it is hanging over your head win, be it chains, your place in life or just feeling like you can't. It won't be easy, but failing...it's not the end.

--FuzzyVeeVee, Fallout: Equestria - Murky Number Seven

“Didn’t your parents teach you to knock?” Gilda let go of Grunhilda and sat, staring at the door while Grunhilda hid behind the bed.

“They did, but I heard struggling and your thrall screaming ‘no’, so I took a peek, and it sorely disappointed me.” The green griffon deadpanned at her.

--Metemponychosis, Fólkvangr

Comments ( 35 )
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Could you be my collaborator

2204266 Thing is, I can't even picture that. But I think I can imagine it, and it's pretty sweet.

I JUST now realized that the gray part of your avatar is a nose. NOT a gray face with huge blue hair and a sweet hat.

  • Viewing 31 - 35 of 35
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