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.)

For lo, I cloppeth not

I mentioned on Facebook that I was doing a story in the MLP universe; an old friend said that she’d like to read it, and that it would have been nice if dearly departed youngster, closer to the MLP target market, could have read it — provided it wasn’t X-rated.

Um, no, it’s not. It skirts PG-13, maybe, but that’s as far as it goes.

It’s a trifle offputting, though, to think that “clopfic,” in some quarters at least, is considered the default.

Progress report of sorts

The Sparkle Chronicles is coming along nicely, if not exactly quickly; I reached the 8000-word mark last night. I am somewhat undecided as to the ultimate destiny of the story, though. I’ve pretty much committed myself to posting it at FIMFiction, but I’m still thinking that I should finish it first, then dole it out one chapter at a time, which would allow for the possibility of rewrites on the fly.

Update, 30 July: It’s done.

Not your sister’s ponies

Just received at DSHQ: the anthology Bronies: For the Love of Ponies. It is not necessarily MLP-related, but I still expect it to be worth the read. I will report on it once it’s made it through my ridiculously large backlog of books to read.

The great wing exchange

Weird scene on Twitter tonight, in which the following scheme was proposed: “Why don’t Scootaloo and Fluttershy trade wings? Fluttershy is afraid of flying and Scoots desperately wants to fly and can’t.”

I liked the idea, but questioned whether the surgery would work – We went from there to magical solutions, which would take at least alicorn-level power: I suggested that Celestia might go along with the idea if Fluttershy asked for it first, and that this would make a dandy fanfic.

So they’re writing it. I claim no credit for the scheme, unless of course it’s really, really good. (Kidding.)

Nomenclatural query

One phrase that occurs entirely too often in human writings — because there’s entirely too much of it in real life — is “man’s inhumanity to man.” It may be that the comparable concept does not exist in Equestria, though any number of stories tagged “grimdark” might suggest otherwise — but assuming that it does exist, how would you phrase it? Ponies clearly have their own ethics and morals, but they know nothing of “inhumane” and variations thereupon.

[I originally posted this at FIMFiction; I figured I’d bring it over here. —DS]

Mary Sue and her friends

The problem with inserting yourself into a story, or writing one around yourself, is creeping Mary Sue-ism, the appearance of “a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the author or reader.” According to legend — clearly I haven’t read anywhere near all of them — the entire Human-In-Equestria genre is rife with Mary Sues, Larry Schmoos, and similar unsavory types.

It also works the other way, which is why I’m currently wrestling with some way to salvage a story idea, which can be summed up — high concept, this — as “What would happen if you tried to explain My Little Dashie to Twilight Sparkle?” Not wishing to drag myself into Equestria, I figured out a reasonable expedient for getting Twilight into my own universe, albeit temporarily, but there’s still something disquieting about the whole thing. Writing it in third person won’t necessarily help, and while I have no trouble characterizing myself with noteworthy, even annoying, flaws, Mary Sue in reverse is still Mary Sue. And let’s face it, an encounter, however brief, with Twilight Sparkle qualifies as “wish fulfillment.”

So I’m not sure which way I should go with this. Maybe I should just dump the concept entirely.

Update: Obviously I stuck with the concept.

By the numbers

This particular observation was prompted by a glance at my FIMFiction stats, which indicate somewhere on the far side of two million words read, although the really startling aspect of it, for me, is that I’ve managed to favorite over fifty stories. And this burst of activity took a whole twenty-nine days. All this, yet still keeping a day job. I must be in the good graces of the Princess.

In fact, there were two updates while I was checking those stats, so I’d best get to reading.