Dear Princess Celestia:

The year just passed has been overflowing with life lessons, and since I hadn't written you in a while, I thought I'd catch you up on the things I've learned recently.

Some things can be fixed, but should not be.
I have no particular objection to the traditional quill well, maybe to the taste but most of my communication at a distance takes place through a screen. And that screen is dying, slowly but surely: I push the On button, and it comes on for two or three seconds, and then shuts itself down again. After a dozen or so repetitions, eventually it stays on. But the number of repetitions is gradually increasing, and eventually, I fear, there will come a time when it won't stay on at all. I can't send it back to the original manufacturer, which has vanished in a financial cataclysm. Now I have always believed that everything is fixable, given sufficient skills, tools, and parts; but the cost to repair this screen is something like half again the price of a new one. When the budget permits, I will have to replace it, which I regret, given my long-standing good fortune with finding things that last a long time, but I have little choice in the matter.

Were it not for deadlines, things would never get done.
It is, I believe, unrealistic to expect any sentient species to perform any non-routine task in a timely manner. There was a stirring, in the sense of viscera being twisted, example of this last night, in which various legislative types went through the motions of addressing a catastrophe they themselves had created, hoping against hope that nopony would notice what a botch they'd made of things and therefore would not hold it against them come the next election. It is not like me to ask for favors from the Crown, but if you could see your way clear to banishing the lot of them to the Moon, you would be doing a genuine kindness to those of us who live in this region.

The power of love is too easily underestimated.
For those of us who gave up hope years ago, the occasional romantic impulse is as genuine a torture as the wheel. (This may explain something about The Great and Powerful Trixie, now that I think about it.) When I began writing short fiction this summer, I was at least partially motivated by the notion of mitigation through attribution: by endowing a fictional version of a character with those impulses, I reasoned, I would be ridding myself of them. It did not work, as I'm sure you could have predicted. At best, it shifted the objects of those impulses from one group of characters to another. This does not mean that I will give up short fiction, but it does indicate that I need to examine my motivations more closely.

Other than that, things are much as they were a year ago. I hope all is well with you and your sister, and your niece and her husband and his sister. I will try to write more often.

The Vent

  1 January 2013

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 Copyright © 2013 by Charles G. Hill