Fan input: zilch

Showrunners and staff haven’t looked at fan creations since, oh, ten minutes after Buchwald v. Paramount was decided. Despite this, every now and then somepony claims to have substantive impact on an episode of MLP:FiM, though few seem quite as deranged as this:

Silvi [Cultrix] here believes that she is a writer and collaborator for My Little Pony, and that she is not receiving the credit that she so deserves. She is even claiming plagiarism of her efforts.

On what basis?

Silvi believes that she worked with Lauren Faust to create the character of Treehugger in the Season 5 episode “Make new friends but keep Discord.” She believes this despite the tiny detail that Lauren Faust hasn’t worked on My Little Pony since Season 2.

Now if you ask me, the first order of business for a collaborator on that episode would have been to come up with a better title than “Make new friends but keep Discord,” which, on a scale of awkwardness from 1 to “Scootaloo goes through puberty,” ranks about 7.5. Silvi’s claim, however, is based on having had a Twitter convo with Faust about what hippie chicks might be like — in July of 2014, years after Faust left the show and, perhaps more important, three months after the script for this episode was finished and the character of Treehugger was graven in stone(d).

This is, incidentally, yet another reason why you’ll never get anyone on the show to read your fanfic, even if it’s as good as Background Pony, which it almost certainly isn’t.

In which I turn out to have been right about something

The entire opening of my story Somepony New is dependent on the grownup Lyra Heartstrings living in Ponyville but coming to Canterlot now and then: she meets up with Desert Brush at the Canterlot train station, sees him going away with Twilight Sparkle, and then duly reporting what she’s seen once she’s back in Ponyville.

I owe M. A. Larson for setting that up in Amending Fences. Really, I do.

A complete lack of progress notwithstanding

I seem to have hit the 7500-view mark on Fimfiction this week. Interestingly, the biggest boost came from Dead Pony Flying, which is now nearing a thousand on its own. (The first three TwiBrush Tales have over a thousand each; The way she used to be has hit 900.) Imagine what these numbers might look like if I actually, you know, wrote something once in a while.

Yes, my mountain flower

From the Why Didn’t I Think Of This? files, a My Little Pony/Ulysses crossover.

Come to think of it, why didn’t M. A. Larson think of this?

Properly revisionist

That Treehugger business, revisited:

Around other ponies, she was Treehugger, the cryptozoologist hippie pony. To her colleagues at the Agency, she was Agent T, tasked with controlling infectious invaders in Equestria. She had managed to gain admittance to the Gala by using her powers of persuasion on an ordinary pony — in fact, a rather weak-minded ordinary pony, if a kind one. This was all necessary, because her Director had got wind of Discord’s invitation, and he had suspected something “off” would happen.

They didn’t write the episode that way, of course, but they could have.

The question of the ages

The lovely and talented Mindy Kaling served up this semi-zinger last night:

You may remember this from Chapter 5 of The Sparkle Chronicles:

I shrugged. “Why does any couple fight? So they can make up later.”

Her eyes grew wide. “Are we a couple?”

“I have no idea,” I said. “When you came in saying ‘We need to talk,’ I just naturally assumed that we were going to discuss that matter.”

“Very well, then, let’s discuss it.” I was not even slightly surprised to see her produce a pad and a quill. “First question: are we actually dating?”

“No. Well, maybe yes. In the broadest sense of the word,” I said, “perhaps we are. We meet sort of regularly, we don’t have any particular agenda, and we spend a lot of time getting to know one another.”

“Along with everything else,” Twilight noted. “Getting to know one another doesn’t seem to be the major priority.”

True love came later. (A whole chapter later, actually.)

Suddenly it’s 1967

I admit to being somewhat mystified that Natasha Levinger, who wrote “Make Friends but Keep Discord” — worst episode title of the entire series, if you ask me — had come up with a character who was obviously patterned on that most mysterious of humanoids, the hippie chick. Now I’m old enough to have known actual hippie chicks in Real Life, and frankly I couldn’t imagine how one of them would translate into the pony Zeitgeist: she’d have to be far Fluttershyer than Fluttershy ever dreamed of being.

As it happened, Levinger’s positioning Treehugger as Flutters’ almost-bestie worked out exceedingly well: not only would it be clear that they shared some basic values, but Treehugger lived up to the hippie-chick ethos by not becoming frustrated with Discord’s ongoing shenaninganza until she was faced with forcible removal from the dimension. Besides, didn’t Fluttershy once say that she’d like to be a tree?

So I’m okay with Treehugger. It did seem to me that Nicole Oliver transposed her Celestia voice up a half-tone or so to further differentiate it from Treehugger’s, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s always fun to see Discord pitch a hissy fit when things don’t go his way. If you’re not familiar with the hippie chick as an archetype, I suggest Dean Friedman’s 1977 song “Ariel,” which captures her spirit admirably in a mere, um, 4:20.

What goes up, and so forth

On the upside, Somepony New, the third TwiBrush tale (though the second one written), has reached the magical 1000-viewer mark at Fimfiction.

On the downside, the WordPress Jetpack gizmo reports that the most popular search here in recent days was “fimfiction pregnant midsection.” I suspect this is payback for having acted at some point like I actually understood pony anatomy.

Nothing but the dead and dying

About three years ago, I turned out a little one-shot story called Dead Pony Flying, hoping to see if it was possible to do a story about death in the MLP:FiM universe that wasn’t actually sad.

Now the mothership in Vancouver has shoved this premise several degrees out of phase. Tanks for the Memories almost certainly is intended as a treatise on death: Rainbow Dash, confronted with Tank the tortoise’s need to hibernate, goes through, in order, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. It couldn’t have been more obvious if they’d made a background pony that looked like Elizabeth Kübler-Ross herself. (Bonus points if you can imagine a cutie mark for said pony.) And sure enough, it’s not actually sad, though enough tears are shed by five of the Mane Six — Applejack cries on the inside, doncha know — to fill a small pond.

I’m guessing the target audience won’t get this, at least not right away; maybe when they’re older they’ll remember this episode, and it will help them. I’m pretty sure it’s going to help me, and I’m already old.

Twittermites

Dear Apple Bloom: After six years on Twitter, I can testify that the little buzzing bastards [whoops, sorry about that] are very real indeed, even if few of them are actual insects, if you know what I mean, and I think you will in due time.

And besides, Babs was destined for those scissors.