Friday, December 21, 2012

BaroqueNexus' The Pony in My Pocket

Today's Vault entry is a little unusual, in that it doesn't take place in Equestria, or even in a reality connected to Equestria. It takes place in our world, in fact, a world where My Little Pony is just a show for little girls.

[Human Crossover] • 13,500 words
War is war. There is no in-between. In the midst of chaos and death, sometimes incredible stories surface in the military community. And sometimes, the story becomes the reality.

Corporal Ben Wolfe of the 13th Army Expeditionary Unit shouldn't be alive, but he is. He's alive because of his daughter. He's alive because of Rainbow Dash. He's alive because of the pony in his pocket.

Hit the break for a chat with BaroqueNexus and links to The Pony in My Pocket out on the interwebs. Don't forget to grab yourself an ebook copy over at the Downloads page!

Where do you live?

I was born in California but moved to Atlanta, Georgia about ten years ago.

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

I am currently unemployed and a senior at high school. Finding employment at the moment is turning out to be quite the hassle.

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

I actually first discovered it while watching a YouTube Poop from the renowned YouTube goofball Dikekike. After that a brony friend convinced me to watch the first episode, and I've been hooked ever since.

Do you have a favorite episode?

The Season 2 finale. No question about it. I mean, come on! Shining Armor, Chrysalis, Changelings, action, ponies, funny stuff, and romance all in one!

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)?

Hmmm...of the Mane Six I'd say a tie between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. However, my all time fandom inspired and show inspired favorite ponies are Big Macintosh and Shining Armor. The love and care they show for their family always touches my heart.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

I like to bring unique and emotional stories to the table, and I was greatly inspired by the Baroque Period of European history to try and focus my emotions, of which there are plenty, into my writing. Hence I consider myself a nexus of emotion, and when I thought of that, I thought of BaroqueNexus.

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

I also write short fiction and poems, and sometimes I dabble in songwriting. Currently I'm working on a self-published novel that I've been writing for about four years. I started writing when I was around three years old; my first 'book' was a picture book about pumpkin pie.

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

Video games, mostly. However in my free time I love to drum and produce digital music on Logic Pro or GarageBand. Other than that, I like drawing, reading, and listening to music.

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

I LOVE Michael Crichton, and Tolkien and Clancy are big names on the list as well. Brad Thor is also up there. Fanfiction-wise, I love totallynotabrony. Craterfist's Meeting Them is also a personal favorite of mine. From Crichton I love Prey, The Andromeda Strain, and A Case of Need. I don't really have an absolute favorite fanfic but I must say that I greatly enjoyed My Little Dashie. Then again, who didn't?

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?

Well I think in order to be a fan of my writing you really have to bear with me. I don't stick with one style for long, so my ideal reader is one who is willing to follow an author who never stays put. For example, TheOnly loves to write comedies, while totallynotabrony is more into action and thrillers. I love them both, and I also dabble in both. My ideal reader is one who likes change and is willing to accept a writer who experiments with all kinds of different writing styles.

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

Well, yes, because I used to be one. I've written some good stuff and some bad stuff, but I finally learned that I shouldn't be discouraged either way. Here's what I learned throughout my experiences as a writer: Imperfection is the key to being a good writer. No writer is perfect. No story is perfect. If any story were perfect we would be falling head over heels to read it. My work isn't perfect. Your work isn't perfect. This imperfection is what drives us to go beyond ourselves and seek ways that we can better ourselves as writers. Let imperfection drive you. You will never find perfection, but you will be damn close.

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

Typically I get an idea and write that idea down on paper or on my computer. Then when I feel like I'm ready to write a story, I sit down at my computer and begin to write. It takes me anywhere from three days to three months to complete a story, and even more for multi-chapter fics. I occasionally use pre-readers and editors.

What inspired you to write The Pony in My Pocket?

Many people think it was inspired by the story of the soldier who had a Fluttershy doll in his pocket and it saved his life, but I didn't hear about that particular tale until long after the first part of The Pony in My Pocket was complete. The story IS inspired by true events. I once read a real-life story of a WWI soldier who had a Bible in his chest pocket, and the bullet went through it but the man survived. I blended that story with ponies, and what I got was The Pony in My Pocket. Parts 2 and 3 emerged when I felt that the story hadn't ended well enough.

Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing The Pony in My Pocket?

Mainly realism. When you have absolutely no military experience, writing a military story is hard. I got a little flak when the story was initially published because of factual errors regarding military terms, conduct, etc. I consulted various people to help me correct any errors I had made. Other than that, there were no extreme challenges while writing.

When you set out to write The Pony in My Pocket, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?

Not initially, no. But as I wrote, I thought about how powerful love can be sometimes. I personally think that a child's love for his mother and father is among the most powerful forces on this planet. Rainbow Dash is merely the middle man...or middle mare, in this case. As I wrote I realized that I could put myself in the shoes of Ben Wolfe, the main character. There are people that I love and would give my life for, just like Rainbow Dash gave her life to save Ben. I want people to realize that war is disgusting and love is powerful, and from what I can gather, so far I've succeeded.

Where can readers drop you a line?

If you wanna talk you can email me at My SoundCloud is Hit me up there if you'd like to hear some of my music. Otherwise PM me on FIMFiction or on DeviantArt, where my name is also BaroqueNexus.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Just an interesting side note: The Pony in My Pocket was actually never supposed to make it to FIMFiction. As I would later find out, Poultron read it too fast and approved it without really thinking about it. When I tried to turn the second chapter into a separate story, it was shot down and the reason was that it wasn't really part of the MLP universe. That's when I figured out that The Pony in My Pocket was, in the simplest of terms, a mistake. The irony is quite thick. I'm just thankful that it managed to get on FIMFiction, and I'm still very grateful for all the wonderful praise it has received.

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