Are stallions obsolete?

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd once wrote a book called Are Men Necessary? (Did I read it? Well, yes.) This weekend there’s an op-ed in the Times called “Men, Who Needs Them?” by one Greg Hampikian, professor of biology and criminal justice at Boise State University and the director of the Idaho Innocence Project.

I would suggest to Ms. Dowd and to Dr. Hampikian that they might want to take some extended vacation time in the land of Equestria, where the male/female ratio at birth is officially unstated — I speculated 40/100 in chapter 4 of The Sparkle Chronicles — and where stallions are apparently both prized for their rarity (no pun intended) and ignored for most everything else. Worldwide ponification is just a matter of time.

New(ish) story

You may have already noticed something else that WordPress considers a page rather than a post. And yes, it’s a story: Dead Pony Flying is a brief (2000 words or so) tale I knocked off in two and a half sessions and am still tuning. The title, of course, is a dead (sorry) giveaway.

Update, 19 August: It’s probably not going to get too much better than it is, so I’ve submitted it to FIMFiction as a one-shot.

Go cry, emo pony

For some reason, I felt compelled to explain My Little Dashie to a coworker today. (Having the poster for one of the film versions hanging in the office will lead to such things.)

And I completely and utterly lost it. I mean, we’re talking a whole rack of bawls.

So if you saw something here, or elsewhere, with my name on it, and you thought it was overly emotional — well, I come by it naturally.

A different angle

If you just can’t get enough of Ordinary Guy Falls Hard for Twilight Sparkle and you don’t feel like waiting for me to conjure up something resembling a sequel to The Sparkle Chronicles, allow me to recommend My Little Earth: Human’s Are Special by Skyler Walker, which so far has been received well by FIMFiction readers. It’s not the same story by any means — Twilight in this version gets transmogrified into human form, thereby reducing the Squick Potential — but there are a couple of vaguely similar scenes. And Skyler, unlike me, was wise enough not to put too many constraints on where his story could go.

He says at the beginning:

I do hope you enjoy this offering. I don’t want flames, but if you have criticism I’ll gladly take it, if only to improve. If this isn’t your cup of tea, then I understand. Still, thank you for taking a moment to look.

If you liked The Sparkle Chronicles — or even if you didn’t like The Sparkle Chronicles — by all means, give this story a look. And pay no attention to the misplaced apostrophe in the title. We can’t all be copy editors.

A word to those wiser than I

When you’re asked “How’s your novella?” the proper response is something along the lines of “It’s done, thank [name of pertinent deity]“; if the next question is “What’s it about?” you might not want to indicate that it’s a human/pony romance unless you know for certain that the asker is at least somewhat aware of this particular definition of “pony.”

You might not want to ask why I’m bringing this up, either.

And it’s done

The last of The Sparkle Chronicles has been sent to FIMFiction. It got a better reception than it deserved, perhaps, though the individuals who disliked it, I suspect, really disliked it.

Is there a second story coming? I don’t know yet. I’ve had exactly one idea, but I don’t think I have quite enough story mojo to keep from revealing the punchline in the first half-dozen paragraphs.

Random musical observation

My usual procedure, once I’ve downloaded a new song from some source other than the iTunes Store or Amazon — I buy a lot of stuff from Bandcamp, for instance — is to direct it to a desktop folder for easy access, and then eventually move it to its permanent location once it gets to the point where I don’t play it every day.

I just looked in there, and every single track was pony-related. This one has been in that folder since April.

Pressing ahead

I’ve submitted Chapter 1 of The Sparkle Chronicles to FIMFiction. At this writing it is awaiting moderator approval. Assuming it isn’t immediately broomed off the premises, the remaining chapters will be posted, one per day, through Tuesday. (Wednesday, if it takes more than two days to approve.)

This is the story link.

Update: Approved 2 August at approximately 8:10 pm my time (UTC -5).

We don’t even fade away

Why, yes, I did submit this to My Little Dashie’s Love and Acceptance blog. And I meant every word of it.

Update, 3 August: Somepony was kind enough to post that on Derpibooru.

That Bronies book

(Previously mentioned here.)

Despite the title, Bronies: For the Love of Ponies is not specifically aimed at adult fans of My Little Pony. It is, however, a wonderfully eclectic collection of contemporary short stories in which ponies of various descriptions play substantial roles, and the afterword by editor L. Lambert Lawson explains how those stories, like the MLP: Friendship is Magic series, contribute to the ongoing effort to upset, or at least rattle, the gender-role applecart. The highlight of the book is Kij Johnson’s “Ponies,” which won a Nebula Award, but all of these tales are worth some of your time; I think my favorite might be Kristy Buzbee’s Western (yes!) “How Bacon Saved the Pony Express.”

(See also Rebecca Angel’s review for Wired.)