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Blog Posts400

  • Tuesday
    Hype!

    Tomorrow, Persona Q is released, and I can honestly say that I've never been more excited about a video game in my entire life (though given that I didn't really start playing them in earnest until I was in graduate school, that statement isn't quite as hyperbolic as it sounds). But in all honesty, I think this game just may be the first time I've ever made a "Day One" purchase of a video game.* I'm absolutely certain that it will be the first time I've ever taken a day off from work because of a new game, though in my case, that day off will be Wednesday, because a) I'm not going to have a chance to play the game until it arrives in the mail on Tuesday afternoon, and b) Thursday and Friday are the Thanksgiving holiday, so I figured, "Why not make it a 5-day weekend?"

    Whatever. In any case, this game is the reason I bothered to purchase a 3DS in the first place. I'm excited.

    *The closest I'd ever gotten before was an impulse "Day Three" purchase of South Park: The Stick of Truth earlier this year, which turned out to be a "Day One" edition because my local independent video game store had slightly overestimated the demand for the game.

    4 comments · 70 views
  • Friday
    Prereader Conversation: Silly

    me

    Thanks for the bunny picture.‏

    MaskedFerret

    friend just linked it and i couldnt resist‏

    me

    I get panicked when silly music doesn't help [with a bad mood].‏

    MaskedFerret

    i know that feeling‏

    me

    Usually, silly music makes me happy really quickly.‏

    MaskedFerret

    for me it's friends telling jokes or cute animal pics‏

    me

    Of course, maybe I didn't pick the best silly music.‏ You see, the songs I've been listening to are silly because the lyrics don't match the actual tune.‏ The lyrics are all goofy and happy-go-lucky and squeaky-clean-sunshine, but the actual music is over-the-top aggressive.‏

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdJicpjitMM‏

    Ordinarily, hearing someone rhyme‏ "Paul Bunyan" with onomatopoeia for a chainsaw motor ("run-yun-yun-yun") makes me smile every time.

    P.S. - If you're one of my other prereaders, don't worry -- you didn't miss a message where I said I was working on something. This conversation was in Skype, not GDocs.

    3 comments · 114 views
  • 6d, 13h
    Flash Fog: Revision 2

    I've posted the second of the two revisions that I've planned for Flash Fog. This one is a bit wordier than the last one, so I'd just recommend reading it in the epilogue. It's the section about Lyra and Bon-Bon. I know a few people might prefer to have a more detailed description of the actual meeting that Fluttershy mentions, but there was one very huge obstacle to doing it that way: I'm out of material. Given that Lyra and Bon-Bon, being delusional weirdos,* don't change their opinions on humans at all, the actual conversation itself would just be a retread of all their previous conversations, and I simply could not think of any more approaches to the subject that were amusing enough to warrant a full scene.

    * Though, as I've noted before, the final sequence of the first EQG movie demonstrates that there is far more truth in their delusions than anypony (or their author, or that matter) could ever have anticipated.

    5 comments · 148 views
  • 1w, 6d
    Flash Fog: Revision 1

    I've posted the first of my planned revisions to the ending of Flash Fog. Since it's not particularly long, I'll also post it in the quotebox below for those who have already read the original version.

    As Celestia’s sun beat down upon her face, Apple Bloom smiled broadly. She’d completely forgotten that it had been a warm day before the fog rolled in. Nearby, she could see Rainbow Dash transporting Scootaloo in a similar fashion. The fog slid beneath them, though it was a brilliant white now that they were above it. To the east, a great column of white rose over the Everfree forest, expanding outwards like a great vertical fan as the sun’s heat warmed and evaporated the newly reborn clouds, the whiteness gradually blending into the bold, bright blue of the cloudless sky. And to the northwest, the peaks of the Unicorn Range jutted out of the last vestiges of the fog, free to once again bask in the late-summer sunlight.

    If you're wondering why it took so long for me to finish this paragraph, there's two reasons. First, I decided to take a little break from writing after finishing Flash Fog, and second, one of my prereaders wasn't certain whether the description of the dissipating fog was meteorologically feasible. To be honest, I'm not certain myself, so I let it sit for a day or two while I decided whether the allusion to Dante's Paradiso was worth the potential use of artistic license.* As you can tell, I decided that it was.

    * This was a particularly vexing decision since I'm fairly certain that Dante himself didn't bother to point out that he has arranged Heaven in the shape of a fan, since all of his original readers already shared his geocentric worldview. Still, this aspect of the Paradiso was one of the most memorable details in the lecture one of my professors gave on the Divine Comedy, and it still holds a lot of meaning for me.

    2 comments · 134 views
  • 2w, 6d
    The End?

    This blog post deals with the end of the story Flash Fog, which means that if I used spoiler tags over every potential spoiler it would just be an ugly wall of black text. I'm going to do my best to avoid excessive detail, but to be on the safe side, you may want to give this blog post a pass if you haven't finished the story and you actually care about spoilers.

    Alright, folks, I've been reading over the responses to the ending, and I figured that I might as well make a blog post instead of responding to a few repeated points in the comments section. I noticed that some of you had a few qualms with my approach. I'd like to respond to three points in particular (quotations are paraphrased):

    1. "You never actually showed the fog dissipating."

    I literally smacked my forehead when I read this, because I had planned on having Apple Bloom look at the fog dissipating over the Everfree Forest before she turned her head and saw that the mountaintops were now mostly clear (meaning that the wind had blown all of it over the mountain range). Boneheaded forgetfulness on my part; this part will almost certainly be rewritten to include the imagery I already had in mind for the dissipating fog. I'll be sure to inform you in a later blog post if/when this change is made.

    2. "What about Lyra and Bon-Bon?"

    Honestly, it hadn't occurred to me that their subplot, being primarily a form of comic relief, needed any sort of resolution, though upon reconsideration, I can see why that might be desired. At the moment, I have a few vague ideas of how to modify the epilogue to include the fate of SPHERE without it feeling like a blob of exposition that was shoehorned into the conversation between Pencil Pusher and Fluttershy for its own sake, so there's a good chance that this will revisited as well. Again, if changes are made, I'll make another blog post.

    3. "Abrupt."

    This one's a bit trickier. I suppose I can understand why the some of my readers thought that the rescue of the CMC would be more drawn-out and complicated. At this point, all I'm willing to say is that I had planned for their rescue to go off without a hitch since the earliest stages of this story---soon after I realized just how complicated the rest of the story would be, in fact. I don't want to go into a lot of details, mostly because I don't want to shove my personal interpretation of the story down my readers' throats, but I made this decision for thematic reasons, as opposed to any intuition that I needed to "wrap up" the story as quickly as possible. (I was going to write a sentence explaining things further here, but everything I came up with sounded way too pretentious and/or rather blatantly contradicted my stated desire to not shove my interpretation down your throats.) This aspect of the ending will almost certainly not be rewritten, but I hope that those of you who disagree with my decision will at least be able to take some enjoyment from the story as a whole.

    22 comments · 384 views
Viewing 1 - 10 of 10 stories
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It’s never particularly easy being at the top of the food chain, even under normal circumstances, but Eleanor’s circumstances are hardly normal: as one-third of the chimera who prowls the fire geyser swamp south of Ponyville, the tigress must deal with all of the usual stresses that come with being an apex predator, and she has to manage two bickering sisters who simply refuse to shut up and do as they’re told. However, she and her sisters face an unexpected challenge when they come across evidence that a new predator is trying to push into their territory.

(For anyone who's concerned about the gore tag, the violence in this story is of the sort that is typical of a nature documentary. If you can handle the stuff on the Discovery Channel, you shouldn't have too much trouble with this.)

Artwork by Page Turner.

First Published
30th May 2014
Last Modified
30th May 2014
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This story is a sequel to π

After Twilight Sparkle made her biggest secret public much earlier than she'd originally planned, the lives of the Element-Bearers and their closest friends somehow managed to become even more complicated than they already were. Yet despite the flurry of all of the added activity this brings, Princess Celestia decides to undertake a particularly ambitious project: the reformation of Discord. She delegates the task to Penumbra Noctis, who, more than anypony else, can empathize with the draconequus' situation, and who is therefore best suited to showing Discord the magic of friendship. On the surface, it's a very reasonable plan.

Unfortunately, Discord has never had much patience for reason.

This is the fifth and final story in The Petriculture Cycle. Reading the first four stories, which begin here, is highly recommended.

Artwork by Page Turner. TV Tropes page by an unknown number of anonymous persons on the internet.

First Published
22nd May 2013
Last Modified
24th Dec 2013
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This story is a sequel to Avocation

Life in Ponyville has been relatively quiet recently, which is somewhat surprising, given that the town's librarian tried to usurp the Equestrian throne only a few months ago. Aside from the appearance of a grumpy pegasus who set up shop as a cloudsmith, the aftermath is so unnoticeable that most ponies aren't even aware that the incident happened at all. Unfortunately, all that's about to change, thanks to the return of a certain revenge-obsessed showmare....

This is the fourth story in The Petriculture Cycle; reading the first three stories, which begin here, is highly recommended.

The artwork was provided by Page Turner, and the TV Tropes entry can be found here.

First Published
2nd Mar 2013
Last Modified
2nd Apr 2013
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It's been twelve years since Applejack's ascent to her current status as the Earth Goddess, Princess Mara of Equestria. In that time, she's gotten quite used to her duties, be they ceremonial, executive, or judicial in nature. But when she's called upon to rule on a particularly contentious lawsuit involving some of the most obnoxious ponies from her past, the results may end up altering the very nature of Equestrian law.

This story is a spin-off of Blue Print's Appleverse, however, it's not necessary to read his stories first (though I do recommend them for a more thorough explanation of the backstory).

Cover image by Page Turner

First Published
7th Jan 2013
Last Modified
16th Feb 2013
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This story is a sequel to Inscape

Penumbra seeks gainful employment. Hilarity ensues.

This is the third story in The Petriculture Cycle. The TV Tropes entry can be found here.

Artwork by Page Turner.

First Published
7th Dec 2012
Last Modified
7th Dec 2012
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When Fluttershy received her certification as a fog specialist, she only wanted a plausible excuse to write off the expenses associated with her ground-based house on her taxes. However, when an accident in Cloudsdale sends a blanket of industrial-grade clouds rolling towards Ponyville, Fluttershy suddenly finds herself in charge of coordinating the response, mostly because she's the only fog specialist in the area. Can our heroine step up to the challenge at hoof, or will she risk facing the wrath of the Equestrian Revenue Service?

Artwork by Page Turner. Now with a TVTropes page!

First Published
18th Sep 2012
Last Modified
3rd Nov 2014
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This story is a sequel to Petriculture

It's been several months since Pinkie Pie made a stunning admission about her past that permanently changed her relationship with her friends, particularly Twilight Sparkle, but life seems to have settled back to normal (well, normal by Pinkie Pie's standards, at least). However, when an old nemesis returns and ensnares Twilight in her influence, it's up to Pinkie to make things right.

This is the second story in The Petriculture Cycle. There is a TV Tropes Page for the entire Cycle here.

Cover image by Page Turner; "Princess Twilight" vector by Nianara.

First Published
1st Jul 2012
Last Modified
9th Sep 2012
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Today's the day that Applejack is leaving to compete in the Equestria Rodeo, but something's... off. Derpy's been acting strange, even by her usual standards. Eh, it's probably nothing, right? After all, what are the chances that an eccentric mailpony behaving even more oddly than normal could ever be important in the grand scheme of things?

Artwork by ZuTheSkunk.

First Published
16th Jun 2012
Last Modified
16th Jun 2012
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After reading a book by Spitfire's personal trainer, Rainbow Dash decides that the best way to get closer to her ultimate goal of joining the Wonderbolts is to add strength training to her practices by having one of her friends ride her. However, when she decides that Twilight Sparkle is just the mare for the job, the pegasus gets a bit more than she bargained for.

Artwork by Piggybank12.  Used with permission.  Thanks to DPV111 for assisting me with story planning.

First Published
15th Mar 2012
Last Modified
3rd Jun 2012
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In an effort to keep her mind occupied, Twilight Sparkle decides to delve once again into the grand mysteries of Pinkie Pie. This time, Twilight's focus is on her claims of growing up on a rock farm: like so many things related to Pinkie Pie, the idea that somepony could grow rocks as an agricultural product makes absolutely no sense. However, the investigation eventually leads Twilight to a rather... surprising discovery.

This is the first story in The Petriculture Cycle.

Artwork by Page Turner. Now with a TV Tropes page.

First Published
6th Mar 2012
Last Modified
6th Mar 2012