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If you’re procrastinating on reading today’s story: You snooze, you lose.

Sleeping Habits
[Slice of Life] • 8,504 words

Rainbow Dash has rather a poor reputation when it comes to her workload. Everypony always thinks of her as the pony who takes three naps during daylight hours, and four on weekends, and always seems to be looking for something to do to pass the time. All of this is true, of course. But ponies seem to think this means that she must not ever get very much work done.

Can the weather captain for all of Ponyville really be as lazy as she seems? Is that the only explanation for Rainbow Dash’s free time and constant napping?

The weather is a full-time job. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And the worst weather happens at night.

So weather ponies have strange sleeping habits.

FROM THE CURATORS: We’ve read (and featured) stories with exotic approaches in a wide range of crossovers and AUs, which makes it all the more awesome to find a fic which can impress with nothing more than a low-key look at the day in the life of a weatherpony.  “This story might — as the chapter title says — cover just over twelve hours, but it packs a lot in,” AugieDog said, while Chris’ nomination focused on one of the elements we found immediately endearing: “By cracky, it’s just a pitch-perfect take on the classic ‘job that looks easy from the outside’. I can appreciate Dash and co.’s quiet exasperation over the Mayor making their jobs that extra bit harder for unrelated bureaucratic reasons, or their frustrated-yet-tolerant attitude towards the Apples’ ridiculous list of demands.”

A large part of our appreciation was the life that it breathed into that job.  “Every time it talks about weather, it’s fascinating,” Chris said, and Horizon agreed: “The loving detail the story gives to the weather work is a joy to read, both as stellar worldbuilding and as a way to round out the core characters’ lives.  And all this from a story about her naps. This fills in the gaps in canon so smoothly, you could drive an egg truck through at full speed.”  He wasn’t the only one commenting on the synergy with the show.  “One of the things that struck me while watching the first two episodes all those years ago was the way our heroines had jobs that they enjoyed and that they were good at,” AugieDog said.  “This story gets that aspect of Dash’s character absolutely right. At this point in her life, she has her sights set on becoming a Wonderbolt, sure, but she still has a job to do in Ponyville, and she’s going to do it as awesomely as she knows how.”

We also repeatedly commented on how the strong and memorable cast rounded out the story.  “Raindrops was a definite highlight; it’s rare to see friends or coworkers bantering like this, written so naturally,” Present Perfect said.  Chris appreciated the protagonist work: “It’s a nice character study of pre-show Dash, which shows and tells her mix of cockiness and insecurity without resorting to grand gestures.”  And Horizon liked them all.  “The character work is uniformly stellar,” he said.  “The dialogue is consistently excellent, and grounds Dash’s character nicely, as well as all the ponies around her.  That helps shines a light on Dash from an angle I’ve never quite seen, and does a fantastic job of illuminating her with it.”

Read on for our author interview, in which Redric Carrun discusses neglected Mario, recolor beginnings, and parental praise.


 

Give us the standard biography.

I’m an American author who has trouble finishing what he writes. In fact, the only stories I’ve ever finished are the three that I have posted up on FimFiction.

I drew comics as a kid with pencils on sheets of printer paper, and they were exactly the quality you’d expect from a kid, and I loved them. My first real foray into storytelling was with sprite comics, in the line of Bob and George and Neglected Mario Characters, which I enjoyed reading and were a big inspiration.

Fast forward a number of years, and the sprite comics have run their course. I’m away from my home and family, and desperately in need of a hobby. I had been watching MLP:FiM for some time, as well as reading the fanfiction, and I had even written some snippets of my own. Now, I decided to post some.

That was the start of two of my works, one of which would become the first story I ever finished, and the other of which languishes in hiatus until I finally get around to finishing it. Since then, I have posted two other shorter-scope stories, one of which is Sleeping Habits.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

“Redric Carrun” is the name of one of my oldest childhood characters. He started out as just being a recolor called “Red.” Then I wanted to make that his nickname instead, so I came up with a real-sounding name for him. Since then, the character has changed a lot to make him more my own work, but he’s still one of my favorites. I use Redric as my alias for a number of things.

Who’s your favorite pony?

It’s between Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. They’re the cheerful ones.

What’s your favorite episode?

“Pinkie Pride”. I also like “The One Where Pinkie Knows”.

What do you get from the show?

I enjoy watching it. It’s well animated, and the characters are very likable. It also provides unique opportunities for worldbuilding, with its magic and its many different interacting species, most of which are non-humanoid. Not something that’s easy to find elsewhere, or that is easy to make from scratch. That makes it ideal fanfic material.

What do you want from life?

Being able to make a living telling stories would be great. We’ll see how that goes. Life is pretty great so far, though.

Why do you write?

I enjoy stories. They allow us to experience things we would otherwise never get the chance to do. By writing my own stories, I can make them just how I want them to be; and sharing my ideas with other people is fun, too.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

The first step is to write something. Anything. Think of a story that interests you, and put words on paper.

Once you have something, take some time off, and then come back and look at it. You can catch a lot of mistakes just by coming back and rereading what you wrote. Do that several times, especially if you don’t have an editor.

What inspired “Sleeping Habits”?

I had another story (one I didn’t finish or post) with a scene where Rainbow Dash did some weather work. I thought the way it explored the mechanics of pegasus magic was interesting, so I made that idea into its own story.

The idea that weather management was a job that went on 24 hours a day made sense to me. I think I read a fanfic by someone else that used that idea, but I can’t remember what story that was. This provided a reason for Rainbow’s napping aside from just being lazy. An all-day job gives Rainbow an unusual sleep schedule, which means someone we think just naps a lot could actually be an incredibly hard worker. That’s a twist that can make a story.

The difference between this new interpretation of Rainbow’s job and how the other characters perceived her behavior provided a source of conflict strong enough to make a story out of. So I decided to write a day in the life of Rainbow Dash, telling the story of how she was not as much of a layabout as she appeared.

Why make the story a prequel to the show?

The most important thing about the setting was that Rainbow Dash had to be dealing with her weather job, and it had to be a big part of her life, the bigger the better. That means it had to be early on — later in the show, as Rainbow Dash works towards her dream of becoming a Wonderbolt, any influence her job as a weather pony has on her is going to be reduced. In addition, the earlier in time the story is set, the fewer achievements Rainbow has under her belt, and thus the more vulnerable she is in terms of confidence. I wanted to explore that vulnerability, compared to her ego and her considerable physical capabilities.

The first big accomplishment Rainbow Dash has in the show is winning the Young Fliers Competition by pulling off her second Sonic Rainboom. This happens very early in the series. I wanted the story to take place before that, meaning that there were basically two choices: the story happens right after Nightmare Moon, or it happens before the show. Because I didn’t need Twilight or Spike as characters, and I wasn’t going to examine Rainbow’s relationship with any of the Mane Six, I had the opportunity to make the story a prequel. This had the benefit of meaning that I didn’t have to specify which events came before or after my story. It’s also not a time frame I’ve seen much done in, making it interesting to set a story in.

Do you subscribe to the notion that Rainbow’s job as a weather wrangler is just something she did to pass the time while working toward her dream of becoming a Wonderbolt?

I imagine she gets paid for it. The job is something Rainbow can do with her skills, and provides her with flight experience, time outdoors, and a steady income, and she excels at it. However, I don’t think that Rainbow looks at being a weather pony as anything she wants to base her life around — her goal is, and has always been, the Wonderbolts.

Aside from her napping habits, what other facets of Rainbow Dash’s personality strike you as fertile ground for exploration?

I’d like to explore the effect that the constant praise from Rainbow’s parents has had on her. She clearly dislikes it, given how completely she cut them out of her life over it. She didn’t even want them to share in her celebrations over achieving her childhood dream.

A story could be made exploring how their behavior contributed to both the size of Rainbow’s ego, with them telling her how amazing she is at literally everything she does, and also the fragility of said ego, as she questions the sincerity of their praise when it’s given out for trivialities just as much as for her great successes.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m glad so many people have enjoyed my work. It’s a pretty great feeling, and it’s also nice to see how well received a pure Slice of Life story like this one can be. Simple things can become really interesting when there are people involved.

You can read Sleeping Habits at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

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