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Hearth's Warming Helper

Found 76 results

  1. I have a present for you this Christmas evening: A little glimpse on how MLP:FiM is promoted in China. Preface As its many knock-offs show, MLP:FiM is very popular in China, with small shops selling everything from off-color clay figurines of Princesses Celestia and Luna to almost official-looking play sets of tea parties with Rainbow Dash and Rarity. This fandom does not hesitate to share the knock-offs of the toy line, and to wonder why Hasbro does not crack down on the peddlers more. I have taken many photos of the merchandise on my trip, but very likely others have found these a hundred times over. Surprisingly, I have found that comparatively little of MLP:FiM merchandise other than toys from China gets shared, especially the books. (This seems to be true of other countries and languages too, but of course, this is an American/Canadian (and therefore English) production.) For a show that emphasizes values and therefore a concept of culture, the lack of analysis of books in other languages is rather surprising. Many of us love the show for both the morals and the way it presents the morals, and while the values it presents are very universal, it is still informed by a Western philosophical tradition (and perhaps even an Anglo-Saxon one, as language does shape thought). To see how the East (or China more specifically) treats the morals of the show and their presentations would be quite enlightening. I first bought the second book in the series “MLP: Presenting You 18 Good Habits” to help me learn Chinese using stories I was already familiar with, but soon became interested in the way it presented the stories in themselves. I eventually got the whole series. Introduction The covers are elegant and simple: A floral pattern dominated by one color, based off the member of the Mane Six that graces the center. The series is published by the Tongqu (lit. “childlike”) Publishing Company Ltd., a joint venture of the People’s Post and Telecommunications Publishing House and the Danish publisher Egmont, and apparently only has offices in Beijing. So far as I can tell, this company only has a Chinese distribution. It specializes in children’s books, with IP licenses not only for MLP:FiM but Thomas and Friends, Astro Boy, and various Disney properties, as well as publishing their own original material. Each book is 120 pages long, containing adaptations of three episodes from the show with a common theme of a class of good habits. The first one, “Good Habits of Learning,” which appropriately shows Twilight Sparkle in thought, contains “Read It and Weep” (loving to read ardently), “Rarity Investigates!” (observing and reflecting), and “Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3” (having right study methods). Second has Pinkie Pie delivering “Good Habits of Living,” and features “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000” (eating a healthy diet), “Hurricane Fluttershy” (exercising), and “Flutter Brutter” (taking care of oneself). The third one, with Rainbow Dash reclining casually on a cloud, is (rather ironically) titled “Good Habits of Working,” and comprises “Somepony to Watch Over Me” (working independently), “Sonic Rainboom” (being earnest and down-to-earth), and “Newbie Dash” (developing team awareness). Fourth has the soft-spoken Fluttershy presenting “Good Habits of Speaking,” through the stories of “Luna Eclipsed” (speaking politely), “Putting Your Hoof Down” (learning to say no), and “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” (not taunting others). In the fifth, Rarity dresses three episodes as “Good Habits of Relationships”—“Amending Fences” (valuing friends), “Make New Friends But Keep Discord” (not monopolizing friendship), and “The Gift of the Maud Pie” (empathizing with others). Finally, Applejack brings us “Good Habits of Safety,” gathering “Appleloosa’s Most Wanted” (staying away from dangerous places), “Viva Las Pegasus” (not falling for sweet talk), and “A Friend in Deed” (not doing dangerous games). The books start with a preface, “Good Habits for Achieving a Good Future,” written by Xue Lei, a National Psychological Consultant, Learning Competency Instructor, and Early Childhood Education Instructor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Psychological Institute (among other things). (I have not been able to find her listed on the CAS website, perhaps because of her status as an instructor.) She is associated with the Faber and Mazlich series of parenting lectures and workshops based on “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” which both explains quite a few features about these books and gives it somewhat less of a Chinese slant than I hoped. In the preface, Xue notes that the key to good behavior for “the long prop-up” is not changing bad habits but developing good habits, and that stern lectures tend to backfire. She then goes on to explain the set-up of the book, and concludes with two quotes about cultivating good habits, one from the American psychologist William James, and the other from the Chinese journalist and author of children’s books Ye Shengtao. Curiously, though she describes the stories that follow as “vivid and interesting,” she doesn’t give any explanation of why she chose the stories from MLP:FiM in particular as her vehicle of cultivating good habits. So far as I can tell, however, she has not drawn from other franchises for similar series of books. The Stories Each story, after a title page, begins with an introduction of the major characters in the story. Remarkably, the series often varies the description for the same character, highlighting facts about the character that are relevant for the story that follows. For example, in “Read it and Weep,” Twilight Sparkle is noted as often encouraging other ponies to read more books, because “she knows most ponies do not know the historical legends.” For “Amending Fences,” however, her introduction focuses on her not caring much about friendship before coming to Ponyville, and even “Hurricane Fluttershy” describes her as “able to make all sorts of precision instruments.” At times, especially if it involves one-shot characters like Zephyr Breeze or Gladmane, the introductions end up giving away the story that follows, but not enough to completely spoil it. The stories are written in a colloquial, brisk style, using plenty of common Chinese idioms to add spice and informality. (They editors are particularly fond of using the phrase “bugan-shiruo,” meaning “not to be outdone.”) As one might expect, the stories follow the events in the episodes, but there are some exceptions. These likely are to keep each book at their 120-page limits, but perhaps also is a matter of style. Notably, the cold open from “Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3” is mostly omitted, despite its great characterization of Twilight and RD, instead going straight into reading the Wonderbolts history book. The reader does not really understand the significance of the test until RD fails Twilight’s pop quiz. In the adaptation of “Sonic Rainboom,” Twilight does not warn Rarity about the fragility of her wings, and their melting in the sun comes as a genuine surprise to the reader. Foreshadowing and other hints at possible futures thus do not appear to be favored devices. The hyperbole gets toned down too: A few of AJ’s protective measures from “Somepony to Watch Over Me” are skipped, as is Fluttershy’s encounter with the tourist in “Putting Your Hoof Down.” At times, the stories assume the reader is familiar with the show, despite the character descriptions at the beginnings of each—“Viva Las Pegasus” begins with “The Map once again called out…” even though it is the only Map episode to be featured in this series. The changes are not just limited to omissions. In “Read it and Weep,” Rainbow Dash actually invites Fluttershy and Twilight in when they come to visit her at the hospital, instead of the two knocking and entering themselves. This of course softens the interruption, so the reader is not as attached to RD’s annoyance at being stopped from reading the Daring Do book. The changes and additions are particularly common when necessary to fit the intended good habit. Sometimes these additions and changes are fairly creative and fitting: When, in “Crusaders of the Lost Mark,” Diamond Tiara announces her about-face and gets her father to pay for the playground, she explains that her cutie mark talent is not only about getting other ponies to do what she wants, but even makes a point of the fact that it is a tiara, that she thought it meant she could “dictate to everyone without regard to [their] feelings, even speaking meanly.” This rendition thus emphasizes the flaw of arrogance because of social status more than the actual episode does. (I almost suspect, because it is published by People’s Post and Telecommunications, that it’s Communist Party meddling.) Others are completely shoehorned: For “A Friend in Deed,” the lesson that Pinkie Pie takes from her antics with Cranky is not that everyone has their own way of expressing friendship, but “[to] never do a dangerous game again!” which she even swears on a Pinkie Promise. Earlier, the editors even interpret the Smile Song at the beginning of the episode as not just that she likes seeing everypony smile, but that as long as she can make everypony smile, her friends will let her do whatever she wants, framing her as more careless than the episode would suggest. One shoehorned, but still fun, addition is in “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000,” where, to make the episode better fit the “healthy eating” theme, the editors add a pony getting a stomachache from drinking the Flim-Flam Brothers’ cider. The Pictures The pictures, as expected, come from screenshots of the show, one (sometimes two) per page. More than occasionally, the pictures do not perfectly correspond with the actual text per page, sometimes even omitting key information. Again in “Read it and Weep,” the page where RD starts reading Daring Do in fact has a picture of RD trying to resist reading the book. A picture of RD wearily starting to read does appear on the next page, although the text describes RD’s reactions to be far more exciting. For “Putting Your Hoof Down,” the text mentions Angel Bunny several times, but only one screenshot with him appears, and there the corresponding text doesn’t mention him. Even more puzzling is the omission of Applejack from any screenshot from “Flutter Brutter,” even though she is listed as one of the described characters at the beginning. It seems as though the editors were less concerned about matching the text with the picture and more content to just remind the reader of what she (or he) had seen in the show. The pictures are largely unedited, but there is at least once instance where something is added: Princess Luna in front of the spider target game in “Luna Eclipsed," using an obvious vector to make clear that she was the one making the spiders real. With the exception of “Rarity Investigates,” each story has at least one line that summarizes the moral of the story, highlighted in colored text, a direct commentary to the reader put in a heart-shaped blurb in a screenshot, or both. The blurb commentaries do not always serve the same functions. Some summarize the moral, others make a tangential point, and yet others give direct advice. Some are self-aware that the ponies are not perfect role models: For “Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3,” in the scene where RD blows spitballs at Twilight during her flashcard lesson, the editors give this warning: “Throwing spitballs [lit. marbles] at other people is very dangerous, kids, you cannot imitate it!” One unusual case, from “The Gift of the Maud Pie,” describes the characters’ own thoughts when Maud retrieves the party cannon. A few are even addressed to the parents rather than the children, such as in “Somepony to Watch Over Me," where, as a caption to Apple Bloom taking care of the chores before Applejack returns, the editors say “Kids are more capable than we imagine. Give kids a free hand to do what they can for the housework.” The Follow-Ups From the stories themselves we turn to the more unique aspects of the books. One of the most interesting is a section called “Pony Voices from the Heart" which summarizes in four frames the story from the perspective of one of the characters, often, but not always, from the one who had to learn something from the events. For a show that emphasizes character development, this approach is quite fitting, to further help the reader empathize with the characters and therefore better internalize the message. Next is the section called “Pony Classroom," which further explains the good habit that the story is supposed to inspire, with three “tricks” each providing a way to develop the habit, and some lines for the child to write down any additional tricks that she can think of. Here the editors are freer to use screenshots out of context, which is usually not a problem but can result in some awkward deliveries. One of the stranger ones, shown to the left, is in the healthy eating tricks after “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000,” where the second one takes a screenshot from “Spice Up Your Life,” where Rarity and Pinkie are trying the Zesty Gourmand-approved cuisine. The caption that follows reads “Don’t be a picky eater, focus on matching meat and vegetables, and eat vegetables, meat, and fruit of all sorts.” Given that “Spice Up Your Life” was an episode about not eating the same things over and over again, it’s a surprise that it wasn’t used as the story. At the same time, it seems very odd for our vegetarian friends to tell us to eat meat. (It is also interesting in itself that Chinese children also are picky about eating meat, when Western parents would just expect their children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Having tried a lot of authentic Chinese cuisine while in China, I suspect it is because in many meat dishes the bones are chopped up and cooked with the meat.) After that is a section called “Magic Practice Camp,” which presents the kids with a series of hypothetical situations that they are to judge either right or wrong, based on what they have learned. For the ones that are wrong, it further instructs the kids to discuss with their parents what should be done instead. What is particularly notable about this section is that the editors appear to have made a real effort to make the hypotheticals gender neutral—that is, both male and female characters are presented as virtuous and not-so-virtuous about equally. (I qualify this tally, though, because, especially as a non-native speaker, it is difficult to tell which names are male and female, and many Chinese names can be both.) This is interesting because in previous pony storybook publications from Tongqu, the audience was blatantly gendered—one series from 2015 was called “My Little Pony Teaches You to be a Perfect Girl.” Even more interesting is that there is no answer key in the back to accompany the questions. Though nearly all of the hypotheticals are not morally ambiguous, it still shows that the editors are more concerned with getting the children to think and interact with their parents in a dialogue, rather than to come up with the right answer. (Either that or there wasn’t room in the 120-page limit.) What Xue considers the most important part of the books is the “Good Habit Cultivation Chart,” to encourage children to “progress a little every day.” In this four-week chart, she instructs the reader to make a small goal for oneself to develop the habit just taught, and to color in the cutie mark each day that the goal is met. Interestingly, these pages never vary per habit, always using RD’s cutie mark. I find it cute, though that Applejack always heads the chart, as a sort of watchful eye over the reader to ensure that she (or he) is honest in filling in the marks. But what is most puzzling to me is the application of such a chart to the negative injunctions in the safety book, as not playing dangerous games, avoiding dangerous places, and not believing sweet talk always require someone or something else to provide the temptation to do otherwise. There is no reason to believe that a child will encounter such situations every day, unless the goal is not to put a fork in every electrical socket one sees. Each book ends on three notes: First is a reflective send-off of sorts, headed by these sentences: “The cultivation of good habits requires unremitting persistence. The ponies will always be there for you to cheer you on.” These are followed by a blank space next to one of the Mane Six, so the children can draw or paste a picture of themselves next to them. Next is a gallery called “Pony Fan Artwork Exhibition,” which celebrates the artistry and creativity of those who love the show (and the books). I am not sure if these children send these pieces of artwork to Hasbro’s China offices or to Tongqu, as the book doesn’t invite them to send their own artwork to any particular place. In any case, some of the artwork is quite impressive for those from three to eleven. One six-year old (not pictured here) created a traditional Chinese shadow puppet of Fluttershy with the help of her teacher. She must have had her stage fright in mind, for she comments “Although Fluttershy is timid and shy, I hope that she can be as happy as I am every day.” Many of these young fans also like writing letters to Princess Celestia of the moral lessons they have learned in real life. Unlike the hypothetical characters, all the fans featured are girls, but it’s hard to find a young boy who is into MLP:FiM anyway, so that’s not a huge problem. Finally each book provides a paper cutout craft of one of the Mane Six, somewhat boxy but still cute. Miscellaneous Thoughts Although the editors designed each story to be read on their own, there are some indications that the stories also flow from each other. Most obvious is the order of the books: Learning how to learn is of course fundamental to developing good habits, so that is taught first. The basic needs of living are explored in the second book, followed by the habits of good working, which support the basic needs of living. The higher-level ideas of communication with others and forming relationships come next. The only book that completely bucks the Maslow hierarchy of needs is the last book on safety, which should have come in either between the habits of living and the habits of working, or before the habits of speaking. (To its credit, there is a blurb in “Somepony to Watch Over Me” where the editor advises the reader, as Apple Bloom encounters the swamp chimera, that “safety is most important.”) It is also interesting that “Somepony to Watch Over Me,” the story about working independently, directly follows from “Flutter Brutter,” the story about self-care, as a natural expansion of the idea. I have already hinted my puzzlement at why “Spice Up Your Life” wasn’t used as the “healthy eating” story. I suspect two things: First, the Flim-Flam Brothers, as symbols of capitalist dishonesty, are easier, safer targets than the voice of authority that Zesty Gourmand brings. Further, Saffron Masala and her father are clearly inspired by Indian culture, and because of the border disputes between China and India, the Chinese are more likely to see India unfavorably than favorably, so having a story featuring them might get some backlash. (I did not see a single Indian restaurant when I was in China. At the same time, I do not know how "Spice Up Your Life" was received there.) What puzzles me even more is why “Wonderbolts Academy” wasn’t used for the “don’t play dangerous games” lesson instead of “A Friend in Deed.” As I have already said, the editors had to really shoehorn that lesson in. Meanwhile in “Wonderbolts Academy,” not only does Lightning Dust purposely take extreme risks, but RD feels overshadowed by Lightning Dust because of all the risks she takes. It’s hard to interpret the fire in “A Friend in Deed” as anything more than an unhappy accident, and certainly that accident wasn’t morally significant the way that the tornado in “Wonderbolts Academy” was. Perhaps, in light of using “Newbie Dash” for the “teamwork awareness” lesson, the editors found themselves debating whether it was a good idea to show RD retrogressing on her implied awareness in “Wonderbolts Academy” on how the Wonderbolts really should operate. Maybe they thought that RD had too many episodes centered around her at that point. Maybe they just saw “A Friend in Deed” as more fun for the kids. Maybe they also thought that the scenes where Pinkie Pie keeps on waiting for mail from RD to be too distracting from the main story. It puzzles me in any case. (I should further note, however, that this series is not the only set of pony-themed moral development books that Tongqu has recently published; there is one that focuses on making children feel proud of themselves as unique, and another that seeks to impart a more general “wisdom.”) Conclusion While far from perfect, “Presenting You 18 Good Habits” manages to capture a lot of what makes MLP:FiM so appealing to many bronies: the engaging stories, the impact of the morals, the empathy we feel with the characters, and the creativity it inspires. And probably because it was made with the parents in mind, it is no wonder it attracts fans like me, more than many English-language pony publications. (Or, at least, those who know at least a little Chinese.) Happy Hearth's Warming Everypony!
  2. Oh hello there, totaly forgot this place existed! Well well, why not throw in som drawings I've made that I don't think I've shared before.
  3. I am in the middle of writing a children's book called Mouse in the Coffee Cup. I might collab with someone to help illustrate it. Depends if i find anyone interested. Story Mouse is a very tired and lonely character. He doesn't act anything like his siblings who are active and social. One day, Mouse discovers a substance to change his behavior; coffee. Mouse starts to use coffee more and more often eventually changing him... and not in a good way. Mouse learns the dark journey of addiction.
  4. Anonymous~

    Your Favorite...

    Hello and welcome to the "Your Favorite..." game!.. It's not really a game, but still, it's quite a fun method to get to know each other and maybe even discuss about our interests!.. Yay, so exciting!.. Anyhow, you basically have to fill the gaps (not necessarily all of them) with your favorite things (check the example below). Also, you can rate the above poster's (or anyone's) chart while you are at it! NOTE: it is advised to pick your second favorite cartoon if MLP:FiM is your favorite (that means that you should not add MLP:FiM into the "cartoon" field... unless you REALLY want to). Here is the template you have to use: Here is an example (my favorites (yes, I edited it... the first one was "meh")): Alright, let's get this party started! (I can see this easily dying out in a day, or being deleted/moved by a mod) EDIT: If you are lazy you can always do a text version of this, like Red Diamond (of course, I'd be nice if you posted an image.)
  5. Vainamoinen

    Writing Help with book?

    Hello all. I am currently writing book, and getting help from American neighbor next door. He is very nice, and helpful with parts of book in English. But I have question. I am stuck. And need help with idea of what could happen in story. The story isä about group Of tribal people defending homeland. They try to speak to ancestors for guidance in current part and can not because of curse. And they are starting off to find source of curse. I do not know what to make curse be from. Help?
  6. So, what are your thoughts on the castle's interior shifting and creating new rooms/altering its interiors based on the wants or needs of those inside of it? Do you like the idea of the castle constantly shifting and altering itself to suit the current situation and being able to create objects/spells on the fly, or would you rather the castle be immutable and non-sentient?
  7. Well, I'm gonna try and write a story in the "The Last of Us" style MLP universe. No, it won't be from Joel and Ellie's point of view, or from any big character in the games point of view. It'll be completely original characters, and their experiences and stories as they go through and witness Joel and Ellie's travels. It's my first time writing a story/book thing, so I'm looking for a bit of helpful critique. It's still a work in progress, but I'm trying to do something I think will be really cool and special. You can find the story, or at least the very first part, here Ya, I know, no actual chapters yet. I'm working on it!
  8. So there's an official MLP 32 page book that will be put on sale on April 11th, 2017. The book is titled "We Are Family" and it covers various pony families in the show, including Shining Armor and Princess Cadence with Flurry Heart, Celestia and Luna, and AJs family, but also it covers something that's a little more interesting...Discord and Fluttershy. Turns out I wasn't just seeing things in the Season 6 finale with Discord and Fluttershy. Check it out on Equestria Daily: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2017/01/discord-and-fluttershy-family-new-book.html
  9. Next year on August first, A prequel book to the My Little Pony movie will be released. Here is a link: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2016/11/my-little-pony-movie-prequel-book-next.html
  10. As a kid we all had that one book we would ask our parents to read us again and again. Sometimes we still even like to read it occasionally what was your favorite book when you were little? Do you still like it? Let us know! I'll tell mine later
  11. Unlikeable Pony

    When will you be reading the LoE book?

    Who here's going to read it as soon as it comes out on the 6th, and who's going to try and hold out till the movie itself comes out in october?
  12. LHfunk

    Finally Another Update

    I finally finished something else for my book! Writing, as it turns out, is really difficult when you have so many other things you like to do, like watch Supernatural or read Homestuck. However, I have finally written something else! Hooray! What I've written is the first of many paintball matches that the team plays. I'm not really familiar with paintball (having only ever played it once) and so I don't really know if what I've written is actually something that would make sense. However, I think it does, and so I've written it. Without further ado, here it is!: Teresa, Alex, and Jade started forward, staying close together. They reached a crossroads and split up. Teresa went right, Alex forward, and Jade left. Teresa and Jade stayed in each other’s sight for as long as possible. As they made to go forwards, there came the sound of someone firing on Jade’s end, and paint splats appeared on the ground a little ways behind her. She fired back some while running for cover. She crouched down behind a corner and gestured at Teresa to come help. Teresa started towards her, but froze when something flew past her and splatted on the building to her right. She turned quickly to her left and searched for the paintballs origin. She couldn’t find it until another shot went whizzing past her face, missing her mask by inches. She looked where the paintball had come from and saw Nick aiming through the first story window of a building at the other end of the area. Teresa fired off a couple shots, then ducked behind the building to her right. She peeked around the corner and got hit with the remains of a paintball that had splattered on the wall barely an inch from her face. She whipped back around and crouched. She took this opportunity to check on Jade. Jade was no longer there, but there were quite a few more paint splats. She looked back around her corner and saw that Nick has disappeared. She abandoned that route and moved to the middle, where Alex had gone. She cautiously peered around the corner and almost got a face full of paint. When the paintball hit the building however, it splatted green rather than orange. She looked around the corner again to see Alex standing in the middle of the lane. Teresa pulled her head back and held out her gun to show that she was on the same team. When no shots came she slowly came out from around the corner. Alex was walking towards her. Teresa came out and quickly walked to Alex. When they were close enough Alex said, in a muffled voice because of her mask, “Did you get anyone?” Teresa shook her head and said in an also muffled voice “Nick almost got me, but I have no idea where he went. Do you know what happened to Jade?” “No, but she’ll probably be okay. I’m pretty sure it was Felix that was shooting at her, and she’s much better than him.” Alex responded. She looked around, then opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted when Teresa shoved her down. A second later a paintball hit the ground a few feet behind where Alex was standing. Teresa aimed about where it came from and saw Jayden aiming down at her from a balcony. They both fired at each other. Teresa hit the door frame behind Jayden and he hit the ground to her left. Jayden turned back into the building and ran. Teresa lowered her gun and walked over to where Alex was noisily getting up. “Was shoving me over really necessary?” she asked annoyedly as Teresa helped her up. Teresa responded, “Hey, it’s not my fault you fell over. I was just trying to push you out of the way.” “Whatever, we need to find Jade.” said Alex, turning towards the crossroads. They walked to the corner and looked around it. Nothing was there except the paint splatters from before. They both slowly walked to the other corner and ducked down. Alex quickly edged out around it and pointed her gun upwards. After a few seconds she stood up and said, “All clear.” Then a large amount a paintballs splattered all around her. She jumped behind the corner and almost fell over again. “Never mind.” she said, “Not clear.” The paintballs stopped raining down after a few seconds. “Where do you think they were coming from?” Teresa asked. Alex pointed in the general up direction. “Over up that way I think.” Then she moved over to the edge and pointed her gun around the corner. She fired about ten times before they heard a muffled shout of, “Damn it!” Alex and Teresa then both cautiously walked around the corner. In the upper right balcony on the second closest building stood Nick, with one large paint splat on his right shoulder. There were other splats on the wall to his right. Alex put down her gun and shouted, “Ha! Gotcha!” Then she took a paintball to the face. From the doorway of the house Nick was in stood Jayden, his gun still pointed towards them. However, he didn’t see Teresa until it was too late. The paintball hit him right in the chest and he jerked back a little. He looked down at where it had it, then looked back up, walked out, and held up his gun in surrender. He walked to the exit to wait for the game to finish. Not too soon after, Nick came down doing the same thing. Alex gave Teresa a thumbs up and followed Nick. Now teresa was all by herself. From what she could tell, neither Jade nor Felix were out yet. She walked down the lane, gun up and ready. She reached the next crossroads without incident. There she found the largest collection of paint splats yet. She looked around at the spot, trying to determine where they had gone, when she spotted movement on a balcony a house down. She fired off a few shots, but missed. However, the person shot the ground roughly ten feet in front of Teresa, rather than at her. One check of the color told her it was Jade. Teresa ran to the building and ducked inside. After checking that Felix wasn’t around, she ran to the stairs and up to Jade. She was still on the balcony, looking for Felix. She turned as Teresa approached. “I think I know where he is, so I’ve been trying to draw him out. So far, I haven’t seen him, but I heard him fall down the stairs in one of these houses.” “Ouch,” said Teresa. “What do you think he’s planning?” Jade shrugged and said, “Not sure. I’m sure he’s probably coming after us, but he’s being very ste-” THUMP Both Teresa and Jade whipped around, guns pointed into the building. After a few seconds, they relaxed slightly, only to tense up again with another THUMP. They moved slowly into the building, expecting Felix to suddenly jump out from somewhere. Then, quite suddenly, there was another thump right behind him, and the sound of a paintball gun going off. Teresa spun around quickly, firing blindly. She heard a grunt of pain from Jade and a very loud, “Ow!” from Felix. She looked and saw that she had Felix right on the inside of his left thigh, and Jade had been hit on the back of her right hand. After a few seconds, she realized what had happened and punched the air, shouting, “Suck it, Felix!” Felix grumbled a little then said, “That’s not very sportsmanlike.” “Oh shut up.” Teresa said, happy from her victory. Then she, Jade, and Felix all left the building, ready to finish up and get something to eat.
  13. LHfunk

    Better Idea for Side Series

    So back in May I made an entry about the second book I have thought of writing. Well, that has just kind of sat in my brain for a bit, until recently. A few days ago I checked out the anime Monster Musume and found it was pretty good. It's funny and entertaining. It's also an ecchi anime. I also started reading the manga, which is basically the same as the anime. To sum it up, basically it's the same as real life except there are species of half human creatures (like centaurs and lamias) exist and are attempting to integrate into human culture. The story follows of the protagonist who's name I can't spell who was accidentally made into a host for a lamia. Hilarious antics ensue where more half human girls end up living with him and they all attempt to seduce him. There's a bit more to it than that, but that's the best short summary I've got. Anyway, on to my original point. I think I should have the kids all transform into these half human creatures. I think this would work better, since they could more easily blend into normal humans society. I thought of a name for the book: Unhuman. You know, like Unmirrored? I think it could do with some work though. What do you guys think? (Please answer, it takes five seconds.)
  14. LHfunk

    My Craziest Notes

    These are the notes that I have on my iPod that I've been taking since the start of this whole process. They are all of whatever I've come up with (that isn't actual writing). As you can probably tell, these are all very convoluted and some are much older (such as the fact that Alex is called Unnamed Female). So, that's that. Enjoy. Also, the ; things are the dividers. Ideas: Boat chase scene with Teresa being knocked out; 1133 appearing somewhere; Order 66 appearing somewhere; Felix making an 88 miles per hour reference; Felix also making a Civ 5 reference; Felix dying but turning out to be alive in the sequel; Felix's "last words" are a reference to The Outsiders; Felix has a slingshot; Felix has slingshot ammo that explodes; There is a movie night where they have a box of terrible movie ripoffs, including: Cretaceous Park, Mission Improbable, Stair Wars: The Elevator Strikes Back, Ternimator To: Jugment Daay, Carpnado, Finding Emo; Teresa has a great repeating dream featuring mist and the mirror; Felix makes a G. I. Joe reference after asking what the mirror looks like; Felix gets embarrassed after explaining how to see "World Glitches" and leaves, leaving (Unnamed Female) to explain that he got really upset and almost cried after a fictional character died in his book; Something does something to vaguely annoy Felix and he says "YOU FOOLS DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE." in a sarcastic, dramatic voice; Felix says, "In this world, IT'S SMILE OR BE SMILED!" and then Teresa and (Unnamed Female) stare at him blankly; (Unnamed Female) reveals she has a girlfriend in the real world when Teresa asks if she likes (Unnamed Male). Teresa says, "Oh. You don't seem very, well, gay." (Unnamed Female) says, "What, do you expect me to look like this?" and shows her a picture of person wearing a rainbow t-shirt, face paint, and flag. Teresa goes slightly red and says, "Well, uh, no but-" (Unnamed Female) cuts her off and says, "It's fine, I'm not stupid and sensitive. Here's a picture of my girlfriend." She shows Teresa a picture of a pretty Black girl; When Teresa tries to go into Felix's room, she knocks and he says, "No one sees the wizard!"; Felix has an all graphite pencil; Everyone is playing Mario Kart at one point; Felix is told he looks like a girl. He responds by saying, "Well, I'm a pretty one, right?"; Alex wants something with Felix, but Felix says, "Can't right now, sorry, in the middle of a heated internet debate on time travel." Alex says, "Of course you are. Well, I guess we could find Jadeyn. Let's go, Teresa."; Alex asks, "Did he get delivery?" Jade says no. Felix says, "What about Digiorno?"; "If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die with a Sonic slushy in my hand!"; Spoons but with knives; Unicorn jacket for Felix; Still a better love story than Twilight joke; Dr. Scientist; Suddenly there came a shout of, “I came in like a wrecking ball!” and a large object swung past them. Upon further inspection, it turned out to be Felix;
  15. So all I've done since the last entry is what I made five minutes ago: Felix said, “No ma’m, I ate a chameleon and fell through the skylight.” It's a stupid reference to Gravity Falls that I thought of. If I get around to writing another entry I'll post my even more jumbled notes.
  16. Howdy all! The 3RD volume of the Princess collection is out and features the Princess Of Love. I picked up the book yesterday and its quite good. I wish there was a audio book fer this woulda LOVED to hear Britt McKillip (Va Fer Cadence) in it. Well worth picking it up.
  17. LHfunk

    Side Series Idea

    So I have had a few ideas for other books, but one developed farther than the rest. The idea is that a group of kids is accidentally transformed into mythological creatures (so far I've got dragon, pegasus, unicorn, gryphon, and elf). My plan is for this series to run along Unmirrored and the two eventually converge and there is one big thing at the end. I decided to link them through two ways: One, a genetics company where the kids are transformed. Two, one of the characters in the second series is Alex's girlfriend. One more thing: The point of this blog was to hear feedback and thoughts, So, what are your thoughts? I do want to know. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) commenting!
  18. LHfunk

    Some more stuff

    I wrote some more. Not much else to say. Writing is really, really hard. “Whoa there Nelly, slow down,” Alex said. “I’ll answer your first few. According to Felix, this is supposedly an alternate world, what he says is the other side of a mirror. It’s supposed to be a better world where everyone is always happy, but as you saw, it’s not a very good world. The mirror, he says, is the connection between the two, and acts as a sort of portal. That’s all I really understand. You’d have to ask him to hear his whole theory.” Teresa was still trying to process all that information so she went with an easy question: “Who’s Felix?” Alexis said, “He’s our techy guy person. You know what, I think it’d be better if we started with introductions. So yeah, I’m Alex. I came here about seven months ago. I’m from Florida, near the Miami area. Over in the kitchen is Nick, He’s our sort of leader person. I’ll let him introduce himself.” Alex walked to the kitchen and Teresa followed slowly and cautiously. Before they got to the kitchen though, Nick came through the doorway. He was tall, probably around 5 foot 10, and black, with dark brown hair and eyes. He was about the average weight, but he was built strongly; definitely what you’d expect the leader to look like. His voice, however, was definitely more like a combination of a comedic relief character and Samuel L Jackson.. “Hi there Teresa. I’m Nick, obviously.” He smiled at her, and she stared. After five seconds, she realized she was staring and quickly said, “How did you know my name?” “Well, Alex here isn’t exactly quiet.” Nick and Alex both laughed, and Teresa smiled a little. Nick stopped laughing and continued his introduction. “Well, there’s not much you really need to know about me. I’m pretty good at martial arts and I’m an excellent cook. I’m 17, from South Carolina. I came through the mirror when my family was on vacation. Fell right into when I tripped down the stairs at our hotel. Hurt a lot.”
  19. LHfunk

    Small Humor Addition

    So I wrote down a little humor bit and though I'd might as well share it since I haven't added an entry in a while. This goes under the heading of Humor bits my parents would probably disapprove of (also, they're getting ready to play paintball): As Alex, Teresa, and Jade were getting their equipment set, Alex started telling a story. “One time when we were playing, Felix jumped down from a platform yelling Scotland and shot me in the ass.” said Alex, grinning wickedly. Teresa looked apprehensive. “What did you do?” She asked. Alexis replied,“ Turned around and shot him in the dick.” “Ouch.” I'm pretty much out of things for other entries, so you guys can ask what you'd like to know or see and I'll do something with that.
  20. Trinitron Keys

    Books Whisper the Winged Unicorn

    Has anyone else read this series? It was the first book I ever read, now that I think about it. Later I learned there's a whole series following this title, several of which I've never had the chance to read yet. The title character even bears a slight resemblance to princess celestia! Thoughts anyone?
  21. So, I need help. I have everything for my book except a beginning. I want some help with ideas. I want Teresa to have to wait a while before going into the mirror. I want her to just experience her life normally, but with odd visions of the mirror cropping up randomly. I'm not sure what should drive Teresa to touch the mirror, though I'm thinking a bad storm. If anyone would like to help, comment some ideas or suggestions. Thanks in advance!
  22. LHfunk

    Bit's and Piece

    So this entry will be very long because It showcases every single little bit I've written. It's not a large amount, but still a considerable amount. What I need help on is a beginning. I'm not sure how to write Teresa. I'll give some more details on what I'd like in my beginning and what I want help on in the next entry. Anyway, now for the book pieces. Bits and Pieces: Teresa’s introduction Teresa Loch sat at her desk, poking around at the inside of an old radio. After a few moments, she sighed and moved the radio aside. She picked up a pencil and a notebook. She said, “Ok, let’s see here.” She wrote while she said, “Radio Reconstruction Day 3: I still have no idea how the hell this thing goes together. May or may not have lost multiple screws. Will report next time.” She set the notebook aside, and stood up from her desk. Teresa is saved by the five other main characters A small canister landed on the ground in front of her and the people. With a click it went off, filling the air with a foggy gas. Teresa spun around wildly, coughing, searching for anything identifiable. Something black flashed in the corner of her eye, and she saw someone standing a few feet away wearing a gas mask. Then, the person said, “Come with me if you want to live.” Teresa just kept coughing and stared at him. He sighed and said, “Just come on. Here, hold my hand.” Teresa backed away, right into another coughing person. She jumped away, but the person wasn’t paying any attention. Teresa turned back around, but the gas mask person was gone. Suddenly, another voice spoke from behind her. “Sorry about this, we didn’t want to have to hit you.” Teresa turned, saying, “Hit me? Wh-” Then everything went dark. Teresa learns some stuff Teresa woke to feel her head throbbing painfully. She stared at the ceiling for a second, then started to panic. Where was she? This wasn’t her room. What happened? Then her memory returned, and she stopped panicking. Then she started again, because she remembered that she’d been knocked out. She sat up, and realized she was on a couch. She looked around, taking in the room. She was on one of two couches, the second one facing a large flat screen TV. Below the TV was a cabinet. A doorway led to a living room, and another one led to a kitchen. In the few seconds it took for her to take all of that in, a girl walked into the room. She looked around her own height, maybe a little taller, with longish, reddish brown hair and pretty hazel eyes. The girl saw Teresa and then said, “Oh good, you’re awake.” She then called loudly over her shoulder, “HEY, THE NEW ONE’S AWAKE!” Teresa covered her ears. From the kitchen behind her she heard a someone say, “Good! Tell her about what’s going on. I bet she’s pretty confused.” “OK!” The girl responded. She then sat down next to Teresa. “So, I bet you’re pretty confused and probably scared right now.” She said. Teresa just stared for a second and nodded. The girl continued, saying, “My name’s Alexis, though everyone calls me Alex. Probably could have just said to call me Alex. Anyway, what’s your name?” Teresa stared for another few seconds, then stammered out, “Te-Teresa…” She then realized she had been staring for way too long and looked away, blushing slightly. Alex said, “Well Teresa, I bet you have questions, so if you’d like to ask them, you can. Before you ask though, I need to tell you that all of us also came through the mirror, so that’s why we kidnapped you. Anyway, ask away!” Teresa looked back at her, sat a little straighter, and started asking, “What is this place? Why is everyone happy all the time? How did I get here? What does that weird mirror have to do with this? Why did you come here? Why aren’t there more of you? Wha-” “Whoa there Nelly, slow down,” Alex said. “I’ll answer your first few. According to Felix, another one of us, this is supposedly an alternate world, what he says is the other side of a mirror. It’s supposed to be a better world where everyone is always happy, but as you saw, it’s not a very good world. The mirror, he says, is the connection between the two, and acts as a sort of portal. That’s all I really understand. You’d have to ask him to hear his whole theory.” Movie Night Felix came in, holding a large box and saying, “I got a good deal for these. A whole bunch of classic movies for only ten dollars!” He set the box down and opened it up. Alex got down too, and picked up a movie. She stared at it for a few seconds, then burst out laughing. Teresa asked, “What?” and Alex held the movie up for Teresa to see. It said Stair Wars: The Elevator Strikes Back. Teresa started laughing too, as well as Nick and the twins. Alex then asked Felix, “Why exactly did you buy something at a bargain when we’re rich? I mean, look at these. Cretaceous Park? Mission Improbable? Would it have been that hard to buy these normally?” Felix defensively replied, “Come on, cut me some slack, I procrastinated getting movies until yesterday. I had to act fast.” Jade, who had been looking at a movie called “Finding Emo”, looked up and said, “Where did you even get these?” Felix said, “Some guy named Duke sold them to me. He didn’t seem very shady and he had a family esque minivan. I assumed he just wanted to make some money by selling some movies.” “How come you didn’t even look at these? This one’s called Ternimator To: Jugment Daay. It’s not that hard to miss.” Said Alex. “I did look but it was dark and it looked fine!” Felix said indignantly. Humour bits my parents will probably disapprove of 1. Alexis grabbed two paintball guns, jumped up on to the divider, shouted, “Take this, goat f***ers!” and started shooting everyone below. 2. Alex crouched down, then gestured frantically at Teresa to do the same. Teresa crouched, and Alex started talking into her headset. “Ok, there’s like, five guys. Wait, now there’s ten, no fifteen, wait-Oh f*** me!” Felix responded, “Maybe later, right now you need out of there.” Humour bits my parent’s would probably be fine with 1. Felix said, “I’m not good at advice. I can only give you chess tips and sarcasm.”
  23. LHfunk

    Characters

    So, last time I just went over the characters quickly, just saying their name and age. This time I'm putting in my notes on each character. Teresa Loch, Age 14, Has Complete Heterochromia Iridum; Blue left eye, Green right eye; Long, milk chocolate brown hair (normally ponytailed), 5 foot 5, Slightly skinny, Athletic, Ambiverted, American, Single Alexis Winn, Age 16, Hazel eyes, Longish, reddish brown hair, 5 foot 6, Average Weight, Extroverted, Cocky, American, Has a girlfriend Felix Lennox, Age 13, Goldish Amber eyes, Longish, dirty blond hair (until dyed), 5 foot 7.5, Thin, Social Introvert, Plays the Theremin, Does lots of accents, Half American, Half Scottish, Single Jayden Alkaev, (Twin of Jade), Age 15, Dark green eyes, Average length, black, slightly brown hair, 5 foot 8, Slightly thin, Ambiverted, Mysterious, Russian, Single Jade Alkaev, (Twin of Jayden), Age 15, Apple green eyes, Average length, black, slightly brown hair, 5 foot 7, Slightly thin, Ambiverted, Mysterious, Russian, Single Nicholas Clark, Age 17, Light brown eyes, Short dark brown hair, 5 foot 10, Average weight, Leadery, Half American, Half African American, Has a girlfriend
  24. LHfunk

    More specific

    So, I'm going to be more detailed on what exactly happens in my book. So yeah, Teresa finds a mirror in her basement. It's a few weeks before she touches it and is pulled through, probably because of a storm driving her to the basement. Now for the alternate world. It is a world where everyone is always happy. No one can feel any other emotion. Obviously it sounds great, but it's the exact same as our world. If everyone was happy in our world, it'd be weird, creepy, and bad. Teresa learns this quickly, and is chased by people at one point. She is saved by a team of five people that came through the mirror. They are: Alexis Winn, Age 16; Felix Lennox, Age 13; Jayden Alkaev, Age 15; Jade Alkaev, Age 15; Nicholas Clark, Age 17. She adjusts to their life of fun and adventure. They rob banks because they are all very skilled in some way, and don't exist in that world. They have fun most days and nights, but things do get serious and sometimes things go south. And in the end, something terrible happens. I am planning on there being a sequel. In the next entry I'll go in depth on the characters.
  25. EthRitt

    Best fanfic?

    Hey everyone! Just wanted another fanfic to read now that I'm done with all four of the My Little Dashie books (THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! you should read them!). So just say what you think is the best fanfic! Please do put what the fanfic is about and what kind it is! Thank you I bet there are some awesome fanfics! Mine is My Little Dashie! Again... mine is My Little Dashie. I WUV IT SO MUCH IT SO BEAUTIFUL! Although the fourth one is kinda sad... <3 U Robkakeran53 (may be spelt wrong) (\ /) '\/'