What my work in progress, The Magic of Friendship, a Reference Manual, really lacks, is material for the chapter on Friendship Creation (the First Spark). I was thinking, where else could I put out a request for Friendship Lessons for my research project and maybe get a few new data points without running the risk of getting swamped with mail? Somewhere off the map of Equestria, so to speak. Not Yakyakistan, not Griffonstone, not Saddle Arabia. I'd get ignored there anyway. No, I was thinking of perhaps putting in a letter to the editor in an Earth newspaper. There's one that looks promising. It's called The Equestria Daily. It seems to have a good readership, even though it has what looks like made-up news from Equestria and it prints new editions much more often than daily. It should probably be named Fantasy Equestria hourly.
What do you think? Would I get any letters? They could send them here, either as comments or as "private messages" (this E-journal has a mail slot!). The advantages would be: no uncontrolled pan-Equestria announcement of my project, no sea of ponies wanting to tell me their stories in person, and no ponies armed with pitchforks and flaming firebrands banging on my front door if my project goes bust.
So research! Science! Yay! I think my letter to the editor of The Equestria Daily should go something like this:
Dear Earth People, as Princess of Friendship I've decided to expand my studies on the Magic of Friendship by asking for data in the form of Friendship letters from Equestria at large. As I've learned from Rarity and Applejack (Friendship Reference Manual, chapter Living With Friendship sub heading Benefits of Friendship section Observing Friends Sub Section Avoiding Traps) is that careless advertising and promises can lead to overwork. Thus, I started by having a test run using the foals of the Ponyville schoolhouse. That went well, for a test of concept. Now I'm ready to scale up slightly. I read that you like ponies and friendship. Since there are probably at best only a few hundred of you, I feel that asking you for Friendship Lessons You Have Learned won't flood my mail box the way it might if I go next to asking, say, all of Ponyville.
A Friendship Lesson should follow this general format:
Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,
Today (or whenever it was) I learned that [key friendship problem] is solved by [key action].
Fill in the pertinent details and context.
Your signature statement [for example, Yours Truly, (your name)]
I'm building a manual on Friendship covering everything from starting friendships, building on friendships, mending friendships, benefiting from friendships and stronger abilities through co-operative friendship. It's all about building better magic through science!
You can send your Friendship Lessons to me as a comment in my E-journal here at dreamwidth.twilightpony.org or as a "private message" in that same E-journal. It does both! It's really nifty!
Princess Twilight Sparkle.