Tag Archives: bronies

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Way back in May, when Lauren Faust stepped down from her work on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I set out to collect letters of thanks from bronies around the Internet in a post on this blog and find a way to deliver them to Lauren as a way of showing her how much her work means to us.  I called the project Letters to Lauren, and scores of bronies responded, sending over 140 letters total to be included in the collection.

After a frenzied day of adding letters to the post, I set out to bring them to Lauren’s attention.  I tried a few different methods, none of which panned out, and I began to wonder if I’d started something I wasn’t really prepared to finish.  Then Tek stepped in.  My friend Tekaramity, one of the blogponies at Equestria Daily, told me cryptically a short while ago that he just might have some way of delivering all of the letters I’d collected.  It turns out that he was in the process of conducting an interview with Lauren herself (read it here, it’s amazing), and he told her personally about Letters to Lauren.  I have it on his good authority that Lauren Faust is right now in the process of reading through each one of the letters that you sent me.

Yes, you read that right.  Lauren Faust is reading through Letters to Lauren.

As you may be able to tell, I am absolutely floored.  My sincerest thanks to Tekaramity for proving once again that he is the Element of Generosity and using his incredible opportunity to speak with Lauren to make this dream come true for me and the bronies who sent in their letters, and an equally sincere thanks to all of you bronies who sent in your letters and made this project come alive.  It was an enormous privilege to help coordinate this effort, and I’m so glad that it was such a success.

And, of course, a huge thanks to Lauren Faust.  You’re a great force for good in this world, Lauren, and we all appreciate what you do.

Your faithful mail pony,

Tim N.

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Confound These Ponies 2 (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ponies)

Way back in February, I wrote a post about a little show called “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”.  At the time, I’d just finished watching the first few episodes, and I was dumbfounded.  I liked it, that much was certain, but I was having a hard time figuring out why.  So I blogged about it, and nearly six months later, much to my surprise, the people of the Internet have viewed that post over 4,000 times.  Some of them identified with my observations, some thought I was being ridiculous, but most agreed on one thing: I wasn’t getting the whole picture.  They were right.

A lot has changed in those six months, and it’s time to set the record straight.

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Mind Dump – Pony Saturday and More!

Thanks to my friend Adam Swensen (he has a great blog, The Next Generation, you should definitely check it out) for inspiring me to write this mind dump post with his original mind dump post.  That said, this post is basically a bunch of things that I’d like to say that didn’t fit anywhere else, in no particular order.  Since this is all essentially off the top of my head, expect a lot of randomosity and the like.  Here we go!

-As you may or may not know, I have a deviantArt page.  If you knew about that, you probably know that I recently took up a challenge from Tekaramity to draw a pony version of myself in 48 hours.  I had a whole lot of fun drawing the picture, so today I drew two more ponies based on my brother Jonathan and my sister Christiana.  They wound up looking amazing, but since our dial-up is painfully slow, I can’t upload them to dA until Monday when I go to Lake Ann Camp, the promised land of milk and speedy Wi-Fi.  Still, I was so happy with the final product that I felt like telling someone, so there you go.

-I have discovered a substance more addictive than any drug.  They are called “Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips” and they will take over your life.  You’ll eat until your tongue is numb, but you’ll still want more.  Turn back now before it’s too late, don’t wind up like me.

-The Hub knows who we are!  They made a 30-second “Equestria Girls” promo for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic  a little while back (yes, it’s a parody of “California Girls” by Katy Perry, and yes, that is as great as it sounds).  The promo was written and produced by the MLP:FiM team and performed by the official singer for Pinkie Pie, and according to Equestria Daily they aired an extended version this very evening that included a direct shout-out to the bronies. The Hub even contacted Equestria Daily and sent them a copy of said extended promo in advance!  That’s right, the production team essentially made an official PMV with an original parody song, used the term “bronies” in it, contacted the main hub of brony activity on the Internet to let them know, then aired it on cable television.  There are no words for how stupendous that is, so I’ll just do a celebratory dance instead.  *Dances*.  In case you hadn’t guessed, I love this fandom.

-I am psyched beyond psyched to work in the kitchen at Lake Ann this summer with all of the amazing people there.  Two more days, and I finally get to see such stellar individuals as Adam Swensen, Megan Schuitema, Adam Beckmeyer, Scott Buchholz, Dan Hayton, and Chefy again, as well as many, many more.  My excitement cannot be contained in any container!

-I need more Salt and Vinegar chips.

-Oh, hey, remember that post where I asked people to ask me questions and I said I was going to make a vlog answering them?  It turns out that I’m not very good at making vlogs, so I’m going to answer those questions in a post instead sometime very soon.  There were some pretty amazing questions, so be on the lookout for that post.

-Speaking of videos and things I mentioned a long time ago and then never again, I’m almost finished with Project Reading a Book.  Again, I can’t post it until next week thanks to the serious lack of Interwebs at home base, but expect a fresh, shiny, Julian Smith/Twilight Sparkle PMV on YouTube early next week.

-Windows Movie Maker was created by an evil scientist bent on driving financially challenged video editors to the brink of insanity then attempting to control their severely weakened minds and take over the world.

-The ridiculous evilness of Movie Maker makes it all the more satisfying when you finally overcome its ridiculous evil and bend it to your will.  I feel like playing “We are the Champions” by Queen every time I successfully save part of my project.

-EVIL!

-Psych is one of the funniest shows ever written.  The only show that’s ever made me laugh more consistently is Corner Gas, may it rest in peace.  If those two shows were ever to meet, they would create an explosion of hilarity that would overcome the whole universe.

-My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius… no, wait, my name is Tim.  Never mind.

It’s probably time to wrap this post up before it spirals completely out of control.  After all, I need to vanquish some more evil and whatnot.  I’ll be back with one last post from dial-up land tomorrow, then it’s on to Lake Ann and a whole summer of PostADay awesomeness!  Much love to all of you, and thanks for reading The Author’s Apprentice and making my life more fun!

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And Then It Was Finals Week

I’m writing this blog post while my study partner for the New Testament Survey final makes a McDonald’s run.  When he gets back, hopefully we can complete the four hours of joint studying our professor requires in order for us to work together on the final tomorrow.  While that’s really not as tedious as it sounds, mostly thanks to copious amounts of Swedish Fish Eggs and random fits of distracted ramblings, it is certainly time consuming.  Ah, well, what else could one expect from finals week?

So I was planning on writing a nice Mother’s Day post yesterday, but the Letters to Lauren Faust project sort of exploded and took over my entire Sunday.  While that is undeniably the coolest interruption I’ve ever had the privilege to experience, the busyness of it all put me off my scheduled blogging groove a little, so I might not be able to write a Mother’s Day post to do my Mom justice until finals are out of the way (sorry, Mom).

Speaking of Letters to Lauren Faust, as of now the collection is at 121, which is absolutely astounding, and the submissions have mostly quieted down.  I really need to set aside some time to read them all, there are some incredible stories in there.  A big thanks goes out to all the bronies who submitted their letters, and an extra big thanks to mazeedibeedi and ThreeSix on PonyGAF for sending the post to Equestria Daily, and to Sethisto at Equestria Daily for featuring Letters to Lauren Faust.  Without you this project never would have become what it did.  You guys are fantastic.  As for the progress of the project, I have sent Lauren a note on deviantArt informing her of our endeavor and asking her to stop by and take a look, but she hasn’t been active there since then.  She should get the note next time she logs in, and with any luck she’ll read the letters and send some kind of confirmation that she did so.  Which would be awesome beyond words.

I guess that’s all the news I have for this scatter-brained update post, and Darius will be back with his McFood any minute now, so without further ado this is your friendly neighborhood faithful student Tim Newton signing out and hitting the books.  Or maybe I should just read them.  Yeah, that would make more sense.

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In Which I Say Thank You a Lot

I was originally going to create a thank-you video on my YouTube channel to celebrate the 9,001st view here on my blog, but after spending about two hours on the project I realized two very important things:

1. I have absolutely no presence on film.  I am much more eloquent with writing than I am with speaking, and I couldn’t really communicate all of the gratefulness and love that I wanted to convey in that video.

2. Windows Live Movie Maker was either programmed by a team of drunk squirrels or a sadist bent on torturing video editors who can’t afford any other programs.  I was 85% finished with the editing and the program slowly began consuming all of my video files and turning them into clips of blackness and silence.

At this point I was just about ready to re-film the whole thing anyway in an attempt to make it more interesting and less unbearably long, so when that happened I decided to call the project off and do what I do best: write.  (On the bright side, I did manage to make a small “OVER 9000” tribute video yesterday.  You can see that here.)  9,000 views is a big milestone, and, to be honest, one I wasn’t expecting to reach in the foreseeable future, so I’ve got a lot of people to thank.  Let’s get started!

First, a huge thank you to my best friend Adam Swensen, the man responsible for my blog’s very existence.  It was he who, several thousand Internet-years ago in the summer of 2009, suggested that I might enjoy blogging.  He has a blog of his own, “The Next Generation”, where he posts inspirational and challenging articles about life and Christianity, I highly recommend giving it a read.  Adam, thank you for getting me interested in this whole blogging business and for being so encouraging and supportive throughout the first two and a half years. Also, thank you for being one of my closest friends in real life, and for never failing to brighten my day.  I love you, sir!

Next in line for a thank you is the inimitable Jay Lauser.  He and I met way back in the day, when my blog was called “Legend of the Dreamseers” and I used it primarily as a platform for promoting my fantasy writing.  Jay is a Christian fantasy writer as well, and when he found my work one day he left several encouraging comments and requested that I stop by and take a look at his blog, “Sir Emeth Mimetes”, sometime.  I did, it was (and still is) amazing, we kept in touch via comments and, later, via his amazing Holy Worlds Forums (if you’re a Christian and love sci-fi or fantasy you should really check those out), and we became good friends.  I haven’t been around Holy Worlds much lately because of the busyness of school, but I still do check Jay’s blog occasionally and I love his passion for God and his penchant for thinking deeply about life.  Thank you for encouraging me to keep going when my blog was still in its infancy, Jay, and for giving me so much useful feedback to help me improve as a writer.

On that note, thank you to everyone in the Holy Worlds community who has befriended me and read my blog over the years.  I know I won’t be able to name you all, but you know who you are.  You’ve been a great help and a big encouragement to me, and I thank you for that.

I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the bronies who have stopped by over the past two months since I jumped on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic bandwagon with my first Pony Saturday post, “Confound These Ponies”, in February.  Since then, that has become the single most popular post on my blog, receiving about thirty hits a day from Google searches and a few friendly folks who have been kind enough to spread the link in various forums and such.  While I know that you guys probably don’t keep up with the blog on any regular basis, your visits to my Pony Saturday posts make up over 1/6 of my first nine thousand views nevertheless, so you deserve my sincerest thanks.  You guys are easily the most friendly, welcoming, creative, and all-around wonderful fan community I’ve ever seen, and I consider it a privilege to be counted as one of you.  *Brohoof*.

There’s one person in particular that I need to single out from this group, and that is the incredible Tekaramity.  If you don’t recognize that name, you obviously haven’t been around here lately.  Tek commented on my first Pony Saturday post two months ago, and he’s become a welcome addition to the regular suspects around The Author’s Apprentice since then.  Shortly after his comment, we got in touch via email and grew to be close friends, and I’m truly grateful to have met him.  Tek, thank you for being a wonderful friend, a dependable brother in Christ, and a continual source of encouragement in my life.  Much love to you, brony!  (Also, for those of you who don’t know, Tek has a YouTube channel filled with top-notch Mario Paint Composer remixes of songs from Friendship is Magic that you should really go check out.  Seriously, it’s good stuff.)

Next, and by far the most important, I’m grateful to my incredible, supportive, beautiful, fantastic, loving family.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect group of people to which to belong, and I love you all more than I can express.  Dad, thank you for your encouraging and challenging comments, they always drive me to think deeper about the topics that I address.  You’re a true man of God and my role model as I grow up and head out into the world.  Mom, thank you for being such a source of joy in my life.  I love reading your cheerful comments and knowing that you’re keeping up with my writing from home.  To all three of my siblings, thank you for not just being my siblings, but my very best friends as well.  To be so close to all three of you even after you witnessed all of my quirks and faults growing up is, simply put, a far greater blessing than I deserve.  I can’t even begin to list all of the things for which you deserve my thanks, so I’ll just hit the highlights.  Andrew, thank you for reaching out to your little brother and being such a big part of my life.  Some of my greatest memories are the times that we spent together, and you’ve always been one of my biggest encouragements when it comes to writing.  Jonathan, thank you for being the best little brother a guy could have.  Growing up with you has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, and I consider it a privilege to continue being your friend even as we grow older and begin to head in separate directions.  I’ll never stop loving you, never stop missing you, and never stop making sure that you know it.  Christiana, thank you for loving me far and above what I deserve.  I smile for the rest of the day every time I get one of your letters, and whenever I come home I know that you’re going to be the first one to meet me in the driveway with your biggest hug and a dozen great stories about what I missed while I was gone.  I love all of you more than I can express, and if no one else read my blog but you I would keep writing just so that I had another way to keep in touch with you.

Finally, I’d like to thank every single one of you who has read my blog in the past two and a half years.  Whether you’re responsible for a large chunk of those views or just one, thank you for coming and making this blog the most fun experiment I’ve ever tried.  Dozens and dozens of wonderful stories have shaped the writing of this blog, and hundreds more have arisen from the friends I’ve met and the interactions I’ve had, and I owe it all to you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to make The Author’s Apprentice what it is today, and I look forward to another two and a half years of adventures with you.

And, of course, my greatest and most heartfelt thank you goes to the Author of my story and every other story in His creation.  God, 9000 views means absolutely nothing if you aren’t glorified by my writing.  Thank you for giving me this gift for the written word and for giving me this wonderful opportunity to use it, and thank you for writing my story so beautifully so far.  I can’t wait to see what you have written out for the next two and a half years.

My love goes out to all of you, and may God bless you,

– Timothy Newton

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Friendship is Music

Yesterday was Friday, which means that today is (in my best WheezyWaiter impression) Saturday, Saturday, Pony Saturday!  If you didn’t get that reference, do yourself a favor and swing by WheezyWaiter’s channel to experience such wonders as the alligator pit, Quiet Clone, and, of course, Explosion Wednesdays (which may or may not be a thing).

Now that I’ve fulfilled my daily quota of shameless endorsements, on to the actual post.  This week, the spotlight is on Friendship is Magic’s two staff musicians, songwriter Daniel Ingram and composer William Anderson.  Both of these guys put a great amount of talent and effort into their work, and it shows.  Ingram’s delightful songs, from quick and cheerful ditties to full-blown musical numbers, are so catchy that they’ll latch onto your brain after just one listen, not to mention the lyrics in the two musical-style pieces, and Anderson’s background music blends with (and adds to) the action and atmosphere on screen perfectly every time.  Seriously, some of his stuff sounds like it could be straight from a movie soundtrack.  And while it might seem that only fans of the show would have the opportunity to enjoy this music, that’s not true at all.  There are instrumental and original versions of most of Ingram’s songs and several clips of Anderson’s music without the sounds from the show available on YouTube, and I can almost guarantee that you will like them no matter who you are.  Go on, give it a try!

Here are a few samples of Daniel Ingram’s work:

“Winter Wrap Up (With Voices)”
(This is easily Ingram’s catchiest piece.  I’ve never met a person who’s heard this song and not had it stuck in their head for days afterwards – and I’ve never heard them complain about that fact, either.)

“Winter Wrap Up (Instrumental)”

“Art of the Dress”
(This song has one of my favorite lines of all Daniel Ingram’s tunes: “All we ever want is indecision/ all we really like is what we know.”  It’s not often you hear thoughtful lines like that in a song from a cartoon.)

“Cutie Mark Crusader Theme Instrumental”
(Don’t let the name fool you, this is the most hardcore tune in the show to date – and by hardcore I do mean electric guitars and drums and the like.  Trust me, just listen to it.)

If you liked those, click here to read an interview that my friend Tekaramity conducted with Daniel Ingram.  It’s good stuff.

Also, here are three versions of various Daniel Ingram pieces that fans covered/remixed.  The original music is still Ingram’s work, these guys just added their own twist to it and made a whole new kind of awesome.

“Pinkie Pie’s No Fear Song (Giggle at the Ghostly) Piano Cover”
(Super-mellow, very pretty piano cover)

“Giggle at the Ghostly (Saltlakrit’s 20% Cooler Remix)”
(Super-pumped-up, very perky dance remix)

“Friendship is Magic Piano Medley”
(Super-every-positive-adjective-you-can-think-of, very talented piano medley)

And here’s some music by William Anderson:

“Photo Finish Theme”

“Rarity’s Fashion Show”
(This is one of my favorite Anderson pieces right here.  As Tek put it (in TV Tropes terms), it’s a real Crowning Music of Awesome.)

“The CMC Go Questing”

“Sonic Rainboom”
(This one feels like the score from a movie, the orchestra and rock band mixture is just fantastic)

“Final Encounter (Battle with Nightmare Moon)”
(I’ve saved the best for last.  The music from the climax of the two-part pilot is a perfect example of how William Anderson goes the extra proverbial mile to make the music for this show sound great.  Those iconic notes at 3:04 don’t sound so girlie when played by a full orchestra now, do they?)

Enjoy the musical goodness, and I’ll see you tomorrow with (hopefully) a new Work in Progress video from myself and Dan.

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You Had To Know It Was Coming

Fillies and gentlecolts, I present to you the Inception trailer – pony style.

I figured it was only a matter of time, and I was hoping that it would be A) not a long time and B) very well done.  I was not disappointed.  I could have just added this video to the Confound These Remixes post from a week or two ago, but I didn’t because A) most of you would probably never have gotten to see the magnificence if I’d done that and B) it’s 11:50 PM here and I still hadn’t done anything for PostADay.  Two final notes: A) I think I’m getting addicted to this A/B format and B) here’s another Christopher Nolan trailer mashup that you deserve to see if you haven’t already:

Also, in other inevitable news, I finally caved in and gave those confounded ponies their own category.  Just click “Those Confounded Ponies” in the sidebar over there to see my previous weekly Pony Posts… if you’re free, of course.  There are actually a lot more of them than I was expecting, which is weird considering I wrote them all.  Have I really been watching this show for two months?  Well, you know what they say: time flies when you’re having fun and/or when your days pass in a blurred jumble as you try to keep up with your schoolwork.  That’s one of my favorite adages.

Leave your favorite goofy saying in the comments below, and have a great Saturday night.

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