Tag Archives: Twilight Sparkle

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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The 5 Stages of Bronydom

1. Curiosity. At this stage, the prospective brony is likely skeptical. He’s heard about MyLittle Pony: Friendship is Magic, seen goofy image macros around the Internet, maybe read the article on Know Your Meme, but he just doesn’t understand what the fuss is about. It’s My Little Pony, for pity’s sake! Still, it couldn’t hurt to watch one episode just for fun. After all, you can’t knock it ’til you try it, right?

2. Conversion. This is the part where the prospective brony watches his first episode… then watches another, and then another. He begins to realize exactly what all the fuss is about. He even finds himself thinking that Rainbow Dash is awesome, Fluttershy is adorable, and Pinkie Pie is hilarious. At this point, the term “prospective” no longer applies. Another one joins the herd.

 3. Confusion. Suddenly, the new brony’s preconceptions catch up with him, and he is thrust into emotional turmoil. A grown man watching a cartoon about brightly-colored ponies… and liking it? That’s not supposed to happen! How did it happen? What does it mean? And what will others think?

4. Caution. The new brony is usually able to deal with the first two of those questions fairly quickly. After a few days and a few more episodes, he comes to terms with the fact that he likes a My Little Pony cartoon and realizes that there’s nothing wrong with that. At this point, it’s likely that he’s chosen a favorite pony (probably Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash) and maybe even a favorite episode and song. Depending on how Internet-oriented he is, he has likely discovered some of the more well-known fan works like Eurobeat Brony’s Super Ponybeats, YouTube PMVs, and trailer mashups. The third question, however, is still weighing on his mind. He is very selective about when and where he watches the show or mentions the ponies. This stage varies in length depending on the brony’s personality and situation, and a handful don’t undergo it at all and skip straight to the final stage.

5. Complete Acceptance. At this stage, the brony stops worrying about what anyone else might think and declares his bronydom to the world. Phrases like “20 percent cooler”, “ForEVER!”, “eyup”, “anypony” and “everypony”, and “sweet Celestia’s beard!” begin to inflitrate his vocabulary. His desktop background is probably pony related, as are his Facebook profile picture and other Internet avatars. If he uses the Internet on any regular basis, he is likely involved with the fan community. He checks Equestria Daily regularly for the news, lurks the /pic/ board on Ponychan for new macros and fan art, and maybe even posts on Ponychan, too. He’s collected as much of the soundtrack as he can find on YouTube, and he listens to it and Ponybeats Volume 1 regularly.  He’ll show an episode or two to anyone who expresses interest, and it won’t be long before one of his friends takes the bait and the cycle starts anew with another curious brony-to-be…

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Letters to Lauren Faust

Dear Lauren,

It’s been three months since I first watched an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but I still remember that day clearly.  A chain reaction started on that unassuming Saturday afternoon, one that has created more laughs, smiles, and fond memories than I ever expected, and it’s all because you fell in love with an idea and dedicated yourself to making it a reality.  Today, as I watched the season finale, I thought back on all of those memories and realized that without you, none of them would have even been possible, and I knew that I had to thank you somehow.  That’s why I wrote this letter: to let you in on a few of the best memories I’ve made thanks to your ponies, and to let you know how grateful I am for your part in making them.

So thank you.  Thank you for essentially introducing me to one of my best friends, Tek, whom I met through the comments section of my first pony-related post way back in February.  Thank you for the smile that I wore as I drew a picture of Pinkie Pie to send to my fifteen-year-old sister, whose cheerful spirit reminds me a lot of everyone’s favorite party pony, and thank you for the even bigger smile that I got when she wrote me back saying “I decided I’m officially Pinkie Pie!  Speaking of ponies, would you draw me a picture of Fluttershy?  Please?”.  Thank you for the chance to watch the show with her and my sixteen-year-old brother, and for all the fun we’ve had quoting it back and forth to each other since.  Thank you for the unexpected fun of watching one of my college friends succumb to the charm of the ponies, and for how it’s given us a great excuse to hang out every Thursday afternoon to watch a few episodes and chat.  Thanks, too, for the great laugh I got when a friend who posted “What’s up with the ponies?” on my Facebook wall in early April posted “I want a pet alligator named Gummy” just a few weeks later.

Perhaps most of all, however, I thank you for giving thousands and thousands of other people all around the world the same kind of lasting memories that you’ve given me.  You’ve really done something wonderful, Lauren, something that’s touched people from every walk of life, and there’s no way that all of us could say a thank you big enough or sincere enough to express our gratitude.  Still, we had to try, so I opened up my email to the bronies of Ponychan, PonyGAF, and Equestria Daily, people who also owe a lot of great memories to you, to send you their own letters of gratitude for all that you have done.  You can find their letters below, letters with stories of love found, hope restored, and lives changed.  I know there are a lot of them and that you’re a very busy woman, but I hope that you’ll take the time to scroll through, read some of these letters, see what your work has meant to all of us, and take pride in what you’ve accomplished.  You deserve it.

Sincerely,

Tim N.

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Ponies for Japan

About a week ago, Lauren Faust, the creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, started an auction.  On her deviantArt page, she announced that she would sell three of her original development sketches from the show, one each of Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight Sparkle, as well as a brand-new sketch of fan favorite Derpy Hooves.  The best part of this auction, however, was the cause.  Faust specified that all proceeds from the sketches would go straight to the Give2Asia relief fund to help disaster victims in Japan.

One week later, the auctions are all closed, and the final result is more than anyone ever expected.  The four bronies who won the sketches paid a grand total of over $15,000.  The most paid for a single sketch was a staggering $6,20o for Twilight Sparkle.  Faust gave the MLP:FiM fan community an opportunity to show their generosity and compassion, and their response was both overwhelming and inspiring.  These people came together and offered freely out of their own excess to help a country ravaged by disaster, and seeing just how much help they were ready and willing to give is incredible.  As Faust herself put it, these bronies embody the Element of Generosity.

Stories like this always warm my heart, but they also challenge me.  I may not have $6,200 to give, but I have far more than many of those struck by the earthquake in Japan.  Have I done my part to help them?  Have I even given a moment’s thought to the plight of those who need what I have?  $15,000 is an impressive amount, and it’s going to do a whole lot of good for Japan, but what about the $5 in Chip the Piggy Bank?  As much as it’s hard to admit, it would do far more good in the hands of Give2Asia buying medicine and supplies than in the hands of the barista at Joe’s paying for a coffee.  Just because we can’t give as much as some doesn’t mean that we can’t give at all because generosity isn’t about the amount that you give, it’s about the amount that you keep for yourself.  We may not all be able to make an overwhelming difference, but we can still make a difference, and that’s what matters.  The question is, how big of a difference could I be making?  And am I making it?

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What Does the Hit Counter Say About His Viewer Level?

I know, I know, it’s the most overused meme on the Internet, but I couldn’t help myself.  Today, I hit the 9,001st view on my blog, and since it’s Pony Saturday I created this little tribute in my excitement, just for you:

To everyone who was a part of those first 9,000 views, whether you’ve been here since I started or you just stumbled on a post of mine last week, thank you for coming by and being a part of my life.  Whether you’re  a regular reader or a casual visitor, it means a lot to me that you’d spend your time reading what I’ve written, and it encourages me to continue pursuing my dream of being an author.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a full-length vlog giving “thank you”s and shout-outs to all of the people that have meant the most to me over the first two and a half years, so until then know that I love you all and that, clichéd as it may be, I’m truly thankful to be OVER NINE THOUSAND!

Have a wonderful night and a happy Easter!

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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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