Friday, September 13, 2013

Corejo's Reading Rainbow

Hasbro/DHX really missed the boat – how cool would it have been if season 2, episode 16 was named "Reading Rainbow" and the doctor was voiced by Levar Burton?

[Slice-of-Life] • 7,300 words
When a freak reading accident causes Twilight to be admitted to the Ponyville hospital, Rainbow Dash is right by her side. Compelled by a sense of duty and repayment, she takes it upon herself to cheer up her friend.

Hit the break for a chat with Corejo and links to Reading Rainbow out on the ponynet. Don't forget to grab your own ebook copy over at the Downloads page!

Where do you live?

I live in the wonderful state of Ohio, where the women are always beautiful and the weather is always weird.

What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)

I am a fourth-year biochemistry major. Fun stuff.

How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?

I have always been a follower of The Escapist. One day, this little article showed up. I watched them in good humor, eventually coming to the conclusion that if people were putting such effort and care into these things then they must have genuine interest in the show. So I gave it a shot. I was skeptical at first, the storybook opening not really the best for garnering an adult male following in my opinion, but was blatantly surprised by the first guitar riff as Twilight races back to the library within the first two minutes. I think that was what kept me from closing my browser within the first five or so. After given the chance, all the qualities that make this show awesome were able to settle in and I was hooked by episode three.

Do you have a favorite episode?

For a long time, that position had been filled by "The Show Stoppers" (the whole watch-a-trainwreck-coming-from-a-mile-away story format has always been one of my favorites (and you just can't beat that montage!)). But after season three, I'm sort of split between that and "Sleepless in Ponyville." Because Scootaloo.

Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?

Scootaloo. She is Rainbow Dash without the ego. Plus, I am the younger of two boys in our family, so I've always had that "big brother" role model. She's easy to relate my younger (and a fair bit of my current) self to.

Including the fandom? I couldn't really say anymore. It used to be Rainbow Dash, then Twilight, and then Pinkie Pie, but I think that has changed too many times to give a proper answer.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

It was a misspelling of "conejo" (Spanish for ‘rabbit') back when I first started playing WoW. By the time I realized it, I was too well-known to change it. Besides, there were hundreds of characters with the name Conejo across a bunch of servers; I liked feeling unique after finding I was the only Corejo in the game. Accidents have their silver linings.

Have you written in other capacities (other fandoms, professionally, etc)? When did you first start writing?

No, I have not. The first time I sat down to write anything besides a school paper was when I began my first draft of Transcendence.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I often find myself playing video games (just beat XCOM the day before answering this interview, as a matter of fact), thinking about writing, hating myself for not writing as much as I should be, and running.

Who is your favorite author (published or fanfiction)? Do you have a favorite story or novel?

My favorite fanfiction author would have to be Cold in Gardez. His story Maiden Flight was actually one of my inspirations for writing.

Published would be John Parker Jr., for his novel Once a Runner. It is by far the most engrossing, moving, hilarious, and mentally accurate story I have ever read. In short, it is about a man training for the four-minute mile, and is encompassed by all the quirks and nuances of the collegiate runner lifestyle. I highly recommend it.

Stephen King believes that every author has an "ideal reader" – the one person who they write for, the one person whose reactions they care about. Do you have one, and if so, who is it?

I've never really put an answer to this question before, as I have read it many times in others' interviews and wondered it for myself. The best answer, though, if I had to give one, would be me because I write for fun.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?

1) Get an editor
2) Grow a thick skin
3) Keep an open mind
4) Keep on truckin'

They're cliché, but clichés are cliché for a reason, right? As an author, you need someone with the ability to critique your writing, both grammatically and structurally, that isn't afraid of telling you your stuff is crap (if it is). You need to be able to handle criticisms as blatantly harsh as this and understand that they do it for your own good. It may not feel like it but what they have to say is usually right, regardless of how much you may disagree. But at the other end, don't take their word as a be-all end-all. They may be right, but you still know a lot more about your story than they do. Learn to blend the two together, strike that balance. And whatever you do, never give up. The only true loser is the one that quits early.

What is your typical writing process? (Do you work through multiple drafts, do you have any prereaders/editors, etc?)

I throw words onto my screen, yell at myself because they're bad, rewrite it all, grimace at it, rework it some, change this, shorten that, and then finally smile and give myself a mental pat on the back for having written one sentence. When I finally do that enough times to finish a chapter, I send it on its way to a reviewer. Currently, that wonderful being is known as Belligerent Sock.

What inspired you to write Reading Rainbow?

Being on the cross country team, I run a lot of miles (averaging between 6-10 a day, 13+ on overdistance days). When I'm out running with the other guys we screw around and chit chat the whole time. But when I'm alone, as quite a few of my runs had to be last year due to class/practice conflicts, I think about anything from a past race, to the assholes that yell shit at me because they can't believe how witty they are, to ponies. But mostly ponies.

I think it was because of a writing class I was taking at the time (all about plays and stuff… Shakespeare, mostly), and that our teacher harped on the fact that we would have to write a play as our final. Naturally, one thing led to another and I fantasized scenes like Twilight drawing a rapier to a Renaissance-dressed Rainbow Dash and spouting forth some oath of vengeance or other in flowing iambic pentameter. And then when I saw this picture in a drawfriend a day or two after Read It and Weep aired, I knew fate had decided for me.

Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing Reading Rainbow?

On the first iteration (which was the initial, published version, sadly) I didn't stick to strict meter when writing the poetry in-story. So no, not then. It was when I revised the whole thing that I really had a run-in with conveying the proper message/imagery while sticking to anapestic tetrameter.

When you set out to write Reading Rainbow, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?

Messages? Not really, no. Like I said above, I saw the Reading Rainbow picture and was like, "that's a nice picture. It needs a story." So I wrote one. As far as themes go, though, I did try going for a Dr. Seuss feel with the general silliness and repetition of the poem.

Where can readers drop you a line?

My email is, I always check my mail on fimfiction, and if you play you can find me on Warcraft: Corejo, Emerald Dream-US, Horde. I'm a PvP buff, so BGs and the like are always welcomed.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I would like to give special thanks to Cassius, my first reviewer. Like the above advice, he was not in any way afraid to tell me I sucked. His expertise has been paramount to my growth in this art. Thanks, man.

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