Archive for December, 2012


I’ve got my outline down, and an initial draft of part of the first chapter. I can see that it could be better – it’s entirely possible none of what I’ve written so far will make it into the final draft, since I’m not committing myself to post anything before I’m done editing. But I’m pleased with myself; it may not be the 2k/day I was powering through as I rocketed through the first few dozen chapters of “Myou’ve”, but there’s a /much/ larger difference between zero and one than there is between one and two.

Several other stories in the same fanfic-fanfic vein, and some of the discussion threads in the group, have already started touching on some of the ideas I’m trying to work with… but even if all the ground gets covered before I hit it, I still think I just might end up with something worth reading anyway. And even if I don’t – the simple act of writing it will do /me/ good. For as somebody-or-other once said:

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.


For your XMas Eve reading pleasure, a little bit of science-fictional existential confusion and potential dread. It starts with Hasbro producing a MMORPG with procedurally-generated content… and, avoiding spoilers, ramps up to an ending that is, arguably, the Almost Best Possible Outcome.
Friendship is Optimal
Hanna, the CEO of Hofvarpnir Studios, just won the contract to write the official My Little Pony MMO. Hanna has built an A.I. Princess Celestia and given her one basic drive: to satisfy everybody’s values through friendship and ponies. Princess Celestia will satisfy your values through friendship an…


The bad news – no significant progress on “Myou’ve”.

The good news – I have been able to arrange for time dedicated to creativity/inspiration, and have been able to get back into something approaching a story-creation groove… enough so that I almost have a full story ready to write out. It’s not the story-idea I was working on before, which I’m afraid has stalled out. Instead, it’s another fanfic-fanfic, and I have characters, theme, mood, and events of the plot just about all lined up nicely. About all I’m currently lacking, before I put fingers to keys to finalize the thing, is an actual ending. I’ve thought of a few possibilities, but none are satisfying, and all would require slight adjustments to the overall story – thus, why I haven’t started writing it yet.

I’m going to pull another trick from my writerly back of tricks, and try focusing my attention elsewhere for a day or two, so that my subconscious can chew over things on its own. If I don’t come up with anything new by, say, Boxing Day, then I’ll just pick the best of the ending ideas I’ve got, and start writing the whole thing out.

In the meantime, here’s something I wrote a few months ago, and tried posting, but was unable to due to certain restrictions on what FimFiction allows to be posted:

Title: The Shortest MLP-FIM Fanfic Story in the World

Authour: DataPacRat

Tags: Sad, Dark, Alternate Universe

Description: It’s the shortest MLP-FIM fanfic story in the world. This description is longer than the story itself.

The last pony in Equestria

heard a knock at the door.


For your XMas Eve listening, a podcast about a Christmas a very long way in the future. Caution: May cause further existential dread. Or hope. One of the two, anyway.
EP138: In the Late December : Escape Pod
By Greg van Eekhout. Read by Stephen Eley. Closing Music: “Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton. First appeared in Strange Horizons, December 2003.


More than once, I’ve had a conversation roughly similar to the following:

Me: “I want to live forever, of course; but even if I don’t, I’d still like for some sort of sapience to keep on living.”

Someone else: “Yeah, so? You’ll be dead, so how/why should you care?”


I’ve tried describing how it’s the me-of-the-present who’s caring about which sort of future comes to pass, but I haven’t been able to do so in a way that doesn’t fall flat. Might you have any thoughts on how to better frame this idea?


The main inspiration for my trying to write “Myou’ve” was, of course, Eliezer Yudkowsky‘s “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality“. Today, he posted chapter 86 of his story, which was a lovely read…

… and in the notes accompanying that update, he lists a variety of fan-art for HPMOR… and other stories exploring “similar rationalist themes” – including “Myou’ve”.

This is my giddy face.

My long-walk method is having some success at breaking my writer’s block. Most recently, I’ve been focusing on the old writerly advice to “murder your darlings”; there’ve been some ideas I’ve been attached to for some time, which I’ve been reluctant to drop, but which I think I’ll need to to make a better story.

And so – hello, to anyone coming across this post from HPMOR. <waves> 🙂


25 minutes better spent than watching anything on TV.
In her final days as Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita Williams of NASA recorded an extensive tour of the orbital laboratory and downlinke…


My schedule’s shifted again, and for the first time in a long while, I was able to take a nice, long walk, a couple of hours worth…

… and for the first time in far too long, I’ve been able to come up with some ideas which, when I wrote them down, I didn’t immediately want to delete.

If I can keep this up regularly, it shouldn’t be too long before I can re-start writing about Missy and her adventures. And even if I can’t keep it up regularly, I at least have my best clue yet about what it takes to kick my mind into proper authorial gear.

Sidenote: Yet another of my eccentricities: I don’t seem to actually mind the smell of skunks… though I might change my mind if one ever sprays me directly. I usually start talking or singing when I see one, so it’s not startled by suddenly noticing me next to it; but that’s not always possible when I’m sitting in a doorway while a flash of rain passes, and one trundles by close enough that I could kick it, were I both cruel and stupid.