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  • E Scootaling

    Scootaloo's a changeling. How will her friends react?
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  • E Musicians and Dreamers

    Lunaverse. Octavia tries to recruit Lyra; Trixie doesn't trust her. Who will Lyra believe?
    20,745 words · 2,974 views  ·  227  ·  3
  • E A Present for Octavia

    Luna works with a castle page to find the perfect birthday present for Octavia
    4,825 words · 1,013 views  ·  158  ·  2
  • E Symphony for Moon and Sun

    Lyra must help Octavia play a piece of forbidden music. Both will be ruined if she fails.
    44,097 words · 2,414 views  ·  248  ·  6
  • E Luna's Night Off

    Luna takes a vacation and plays some hoofball
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  • E Greengrass's Night

    Duke Greengrass schemes to force a vote the way he wants it
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  • E The Music of Ponyville

    Octavia Philharmonica and her friends must obtain the Elements of Harmony to defeat an ancient evil
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  • E A Canterlot Morning

    Octavia and Fleur talk about politics
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Blog Posts174

  • Monday
    Rainbow Rocks

    4 comments · 60 views
  • 1w, 5d

    I try to keep a pretty open mind when I'm reading, and I do like to read a lot--at the last sci-fi convention I went to I wound up with over 30 new books--but there's one subset of the fantasy genre that consistently fails to work for me.

    I call it antifantasy, although I'm sure it has a more technical name somewhere. It's the fantasy equivalent of cyberpunk, except it lost a lot of the heart that cyberpunk had. Antifantasy stories are stories about how fantasy sucks. How magic is just a cheap shortcut that can't compare to building with your own hands. How superpowers can't help you solve any of the real problems in the world, like famine, bigotry, or the destruction of the world's ecosystems. How the dwarves are drunkards and the elves are vain and the vampires and werewolves are just pathetic sad-sacks begging to be put out of their misery.

    I don't understand these stories. If I'm picking up a fantasy story, I think it can be assumed that I like fantasy tropes. Why would I want to read 300 pages about how much fantasy is just cheap escapism for folks who can't handle the real world? Who, exactly, is the audience?

    The thing that brought this to mind was I stumbled across another review of "The Magicians", by Lev Grossman. Now, I've seen a lot of reviews for this book, and they're almost unanimously positive. And they all have pretty much the same summary: "The Magicians is about a guy who feels that his life lacks meaning, so he goes to magic school. And at first he's happy thinking that he'll become a great wizard who performs amazing heroics and saves the world. But then he realizes that wanting to be a great wizard is a pathetic, childish fantasy, and that the right thing to do is to give up on his dreams of being a hero and get used to dragging himself to a boring job he hates for the rest of his life. In the end, he learns that a real 'hero' is a happy, content cog in the machine. Only the vainglorious and the immature dream of anything more." And so the result is that every positive, glowing review of this book that I read makes me increasingly less inclined to read it.

    I mean, why would I? I like a lot of tropes associated with magic schools. I like reading about how ordinary people adapt to obtaining new powers, how they learn to use them, what setbacks they have, how they resist temptations to misuse them (or don't). I like reading about people who were once weak gaining powers and becoming more capable of defending themselves and those they care about. I like seeing the nerdy characters geek out at learning magical spell theory, and the athletic characters screaming in exhilaration as they learn to ride broomsticks. Ultimately, I like reading about the nascent heroes who become folks like Gandalf, Harry Dresden, and Harry Potter. If I didn't like those things, I wouldn't read books set in those environments. So why would I pick up a book about how Gandalf and the Harries are just immature tossers, and so am I, for daring to be entertained by them? Why would I want a book which says that the real hero of Harry Potter was Vernon Dursley, because while everyone else was gallivanting about and waving wands at each other, he dutifully attended to his job and didn't dare let himself feel even a hint of wonder or imagination?

    (Disclaimer: in case it's not obvious from the above paragraph, I have not read The Magicians. I'm just talking about the reviews of it that I read, since those reviews convinced me to never, ever get anywhere near this book. I suppose it's possible that all the reviews could be wrong. That said, unless someone I trust actually reads the book and tells me otherwise, I'm not going to pick it up. After all, there's loads of books out there with premises I don't dislike on principle).

    There's other examples too, and by some otherwise really good authors. I'm usually a huge fan of Carrie Vaughn, for instance. Her Kitty Norville series is spectacular, as are her YA works "Steel" and "Voices of Dragons." She's even one of two authors for whom I get up early on the day her books come out so I can buy them before I go into work and read them over lunch. (The other is Jim Butcher, if anyone cares). But she wrote an antifantasy duology set in a superhero universe, and--in my opinion--it was almost unreadable. The first book is called "After the Golden Age", and the title's an apt description. The protagonist is the daughter of the world's two greatest superheroes, but the only tangible result of that is that she's taken hostage a lot. She's estranged from her family, because all the superpowers in the world can't mend real issues like familial rifts. Yes, in this story, the golden age is indeed over, superheroes have lost their luster, and our protagonist just tries to muddle through her days without dealing with any superheroes, villains, or powers of any kind. (Suffice to say I haven't picked up the sequel.)

    "Hero", by Perry Moore, is another good example. The protagonist is the son of Batman (with a slightly different name to avoid copyright). But Batman was disgraced, because a mission went wrong and people died, and now he's a lowly factory worker who can only reminisce about the glory days and maim the occasional burglar. Meanwhile, the son also develops powers, but they won't help him deal with bigotry (he's gay), or redeem his family name, or anything else he really cares about. I got about 1/5 of the way into this one before giving up. Again, if I'm reading about superpowers, I want to read about superpowers being used for something, not about how superpowers are useless for anything that really matters. (I'm aware that this story was critically acclaimed and even won a Lambda award, but I just could not get into it.)

    And, for a more recent example, Sofia Somatar's "Selkie Stories are for Losers." It's a story about selkies, which means that it's calling the reader a loser right in the title. Smooth. And the story is pretty much just about how awful selkies are, how they leave broken families and shattered lives behind them, and how anyone who would ever want to hear about selkies must be out of their mind. Just what I want to hear when I sit down to read a story about selkies.

    (For those not up on your mythology: selkies are creatures that can change shape between a human and a seal body. They change shape by taking off or putting on their sealskin. Selkie stories usually feature a human stealing the skin and trapping the selkie in human form; the selkie then marries the human and raises a family with them, until one day they recover their skin. They then flee into the ocean, leaving the family behind. So yeah, out of the box they're pretty depressing, but interesting things can be done with them. They're not just for losers.)

    If I had to describe antifantasy in one word, it would be 'tired.' Because these stories always feel that way. They are stories that seem weary and beaten down, laden with cynicism, bitterly contemptuous of the idea that magic and whimsey could possibly affect anything real. They're stories that laugh at the reader for daring to seek enjoyment from them. They laugh, and then they lean in close to the reader and murmur that, while elves and werewolves and Kryptonians are all fine fantasies for a child, the reader is now an adult and should know that real problems can't be solved with a magical wand. They chide the reader for trying to enjoy genre fiction, ignoring that they themselves are genre fiction, and sigh that all the innumerable fantasy stories are just petty escapism, useless for anything except as diversions for fools who don't care to deal with reality.

    And, just speaking for myself, but when I go to read a genre story, I'd rather read one that doesn't insult me for it.

    That's about all I've got. Has anyone read books like this? Anyone know if there's a real term for it besides antifantasy? Any ideas as to why someone might like these?

    4 comments · 72 views
  • 7w, 21h
    You Can Call Me...

    Dr. GrassAndClouds2.

    I.e., the PhD thesis defense went well. :-)

    18 comments · 80 views
  • 8w, 4h
    Rejected Video Game Titles

    Five Nights with Fluttershy

    Rainbow Dash Six

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Sparkle Princess

    Amnesia: A Machine for Pinkies


    Luna: The Blue-ish Star


    Dragon: The Bruce Cheerilee Story

    1 comments · 61 views
  • 17w, 4d
    Afterlife With Archie

    ...continues to be awesome.

    That is all.

    (Oh, and really looking forward to the forthcoming "Betty: RIP" arc!)

    0 comments · 114 views
  • ...

Ditzy Doo has many responsibilities -- delivering mail, supporting her community, and even fighting evil as the Bearer of the Element of Kindness and a Knight of the Realm to boot. None of these, however, are as important to her as her primary job of raising her daughter Dinky. Through good times and bad, Ditzy has always been there for her daughter, and she works tirelessly to make sure that Dinky grows up in a happy, healthy, and loving environment. Unfortunately, nopony is perfect, and after a freak accident almost results in disaster, Ditzy becomes even more protective of her daughter. When Dinky subsequently becomes eligible for a fantastic opportunity, the foal is excited, but Ditzy is so worried that her daughter will get hurt that she finds herself wishing Dinky would pass it up. Ditzy must choose, then, between keeping her daughter as safe as possible... and allowing her to grow. Lunaverse story.

First Published
2nd Aug 2013
Last Modified
30th Aug 2013

It's just a little rain, Ditzy.  Your muffin will be fine.

I'm sort of confused as to what Dinky was referring to in regards to knights, sorry. I feel the paragraph that started with (feeling contented) was a bit awkward sorry. (This is only nominally connected to the fic so far but) A recurring issue i've had with Dinky's characterization, not just in this story but overall is that she feels "too good" almost saint like in her behavior; such as the constant concern for her mother  which felt a bit overstated to me. Again sorry. I also felt Trixie in her scene was a tad off her uses of "great and powerful" as well as how she was talking about fans just felt read very strangely to me.

The storm does present something of a question to me, as ponies can more or less control the weather and their general reaction to wild weather is some fear at the best of times how did such a storm come about so quickly? Given one of the earlier lines it appears that the storm was planned, combined with how free Ponyville foals are it seems odd for Ditsy to react with such fear so quickly, to me at least. I'm assuming they've lost control of it, but that would seem like the sort of thing all the weather pegasi in town would be out trying to resolve or would warn townsfolk about. Sorry i'm just making guesses

Sorry I know this review has more or less all been negative. Grammatically speaking it was very well done, the discussion were for the most part very animated and felt quite in character and the scenery descriptions were also similarly well executed. I do also feel the hint dropped regarding the scholarship was well executed, if it's just a matter of grades and perhaps Dinky is being picked as much because of her mother as it is because of her own accomplishments I could get behind the scholarship set up. Probably. I also feel that the emotional scene with Ditsy and Lily was quite well executed, managing to set the scene very well and it carried a lot of emotional weight even when it was only just starting out, combined with some very emotive dialogue it was a very well put together scene.

I still personally have some issues with this story idea, but I doubt either of use want to debate it especially while you are in writing and regardless of our differing opinions on some ideas, I wish you the best of luck with this story.

I am sorry if this review was unduly harsh or rude, that wasn't my intent.

>>2978171: They haven't lost control of it. The storm was planned as normal and scheduled in that morning's paper, but Ditzy was so sleep-deprived she didn't check, and of course all the other foals' parents planned to take them home before it started to rain. The storm was scheduled normally, it's just that Ditzy didn't know about it due to the extenuating circumstances, and Dinky didn't think about it because she's silly and foalish sometimes.

Glad you liked the scholarship and Lily bits. The Lily scene was fun to write.

Did I miss the story where Twilight Sparkle was reformed and accepted back in Ponyville?  :twilightoops:

>>2978218: RDD said that's happening in Crisis. This takes place after that. (I don't know about 'accepted'; I don't think the degree to which ponies will forgive her has been established yet, but that wouldn't affect the mail service. And, personally, I'd vote that Twilight be forgiven by most if not all ponies with relative ease. She did help beat Antimony, after all.)

Why is Twilight mentioned by name several times casually as if she's living in Ponyville?

i am finding it very very hard not to hurt you right now you realise *catches other hoof carefully*

hurting dinky is unmoral, unlawful, and most likely a sin agianst every diety in history *stops hoof agian*

lets hope this gets more interesting quick.

>>2978240: RDD mentioned on the boards that she would be moving to Ponyville as part of her probation following 'Crisis.' This story is set after Crisis (and Tambelon, for that matter).


In regards to the storm, even if Ditsy didn't know it was planned, considering control of the weather is just part of life in Equestria and given how freely the parents let their children wander, her being immediately terrified feels a bit odd to me, sorry. I'm still personally on the fence in regards to the scholarship itself, but I do feel it was worked into the narrative quite well. Sorry.

There's a typo in the short description. Sorry for not having a more interesting comment.

Hmmm.....I would have bet money that the "accident" was caused by a different pony:scootangel:. It was certainly building up to that sort of crap.

As for this, I should think that the sort of internal conflict that made her want to tell the Call to find someone more suitable is about to come back dialed up to eleven.

Some random thoughts: -

* The beginning has extra Awww! in it.

* Snips marble comment seemed surprisingly deep to me, which made me laugh. You characterise the foal's well as actually being children.

* I think there should be some sort of rule that all giggling parcels get automatically searched its a basic safety rule.

* Trixie's fan love was very in character as well.

Family matters is one of my favourite stories as well. I just hope things don't get to sad, I don't want bad things to happen to the Doo family :raritydespair:

It was a good start, set the mood well and weaved in what appears will be important plot points for later without dumping it on the reader. I will be interested to see where you go with this.

She realized that she had been staring at the mailbox for several moments, waiting patiently for it to reach out and take her letters. Belatedly, she realized that mailboxes didn't work like that (Twilight Sparkle's excepted).

What has magic done?? :trixieshiftright::twilightblush:

Really interesting start here. Looking forward to more. :)

A little too much Dinky/Ditzy is the perfect daughter/mother bits repeated a few too many times with slightly different wording dragged the piece down to start. But other then that I look forward to seeing where this goes. Thanks for sharing.


And now let the panic begin in earnest. Hmmmm.....If Twilight is in town, perhaps she can being a cautionary example so horrifying:pinkiegasp:, Ditzy will agree that maybe she's overdoing the overprotective mother thing.:rainbowlaugh:

The one big problem I have with this is...Dinky walks to school. The school in Ponyville is shown to be at the edge of town, while Dinky's home above the post office is basically in its center.

The point is it just seems weird that Dinky would need to be picked up at all, instead of just knowing to go home before it gets dark.

Same with all the foals, for that matter - Tales of Ponyville mentioned Dinky joining a small herd of foals walking to school, and the only reason why the foals didn't walk home in that episode was because of the rain. And certainly the Cutie Mark Crusaders in the show seem to be rather free-range ponies, rarely needing to be picked up or dropped off anywhere.

Sake of the story, I know, but it's just this niggling thing in the back of my head that is going to keep bugging me throughout. It was brought up a few times when you were brainstorming this, and I'm kind of let-down that you didn't find a workaround.

>>2985199: That's school, though. They have to be at a certain place by a certain time. This is a game the foals are enjoying, so they'd probably play for hours and hours if they could get away with it. So their parents come to pick them up when its time for them to do other things, rather than relying on them to say, 'oh, it's six, I gotta go home.'

(It's also not dark yet, or it wouldn't be if it wasn't raining. It would be one thing if the foals knew to go home before dark, but I think it's unlikely that Scootaloo, for instance, will remember 'I need to be home by 7:00' on a bright fall evening, esp. as we've never seen her wearing a watch that I recall. So her dad goes to get her.)

But when I was a kid, for example, I walked on my own to school -- but when I was at a friend's house, my parents came to pick me up when it was time to go home.

Now, Dinky probably could technically get home on her own at this point, but she's a bit flustered (due to the rain, and having Silly Foal Syndrome like all the others), and Ditzy is in a state of panic and not thinking straight. So Dinky settles on going to AJ's, and Ditzy tears all over town hunting for her.


Well, given the Lunaverse's tech level, it's not like watches are likely to be very common anyway, and everypony will probably just go by the position of the Sun or Moon in the sky and it being pretty much a given that if you agree to meet somepony somewhere at some time, you've both basically got a +/- half hour or so thing before you can be said to be "running late."

Anyway. The story is probably gonna be just fine, it's just that I'm gonna be reading it with a "fair enough, but this really shouldn't have been a problem" vibe. Conscious suspension of disbelief, basically.

Applejack had been mean to Dame Carrot Top once,

Pretty sure this is Dinky's thoughts we are in, and I find myself...doubting that she would remember to use a title that was only recently given to one of her mother's best friends in her own thoughts.

Also, Dinky is once again demonstrating that she is the most perfect child ever.

To me this story is far more terrifying that say Crisis or Boast busted. Having a crazy Alcorn wanting to kill a bunch of ponies or a town being crushed by a giant star bear are fictional problems but loosing your child in the rain and you don't know what's happened to her and she could have drowned or fallen off a cliff or been eaten by a Grue! That's a real fear which I think we can all understand.

You continue to make the foals seem like real kids as well, Dinky could probably have left some sort of note (she probably has her school bag with her)  but its more fun to spash in the mud and leave hoof prints even though they might wash away.

Dinky's cheerfulness all the way through made her just so sweet, I had a horrible feeling that at some point her cheerfulness would crack and she'd panic or start crying or something but luckily for my heart it never got to that.

Eagerly awaiting Derpy's completely understandable overreaction

This is kind of weird still.  It's nicely plotted but I'm kind of left feeling like Ditzy and Dinky need a few little more defects and that their relationship shouldn't be THIS perfect.  There's a borderline between 'aww they're so sweet' and 'where's their own personalities'.  That's not to say the writing is bad or the plot to come isn't going to be interesting it just seems a bit too picturesque and perfect a relationship.  Could at least use a couple small problems that the two have.

Bravo! U earn 10 mustaches! :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache:

Perhaps the "perfect relationship" bit was played up a little bit because of the inevitable crash that's about to happen.  Dinky's about to grow up a bit... and Ditzy's going to fight it at every opportunity, depending on how much she focuses on Dinky's "mistake" (Leaving the spot where she said she'd be), and ignores her own (oversleeping and failing to remember where she was supposed to meet Dinky).

Dinky's about to be introduced to Her Beloved Smother.

Shouldn't she be more worried that she'll have the same poor judgment as regards male contemporaries as she did at that age?

>>2989860: Ditzy was quite a bit older than this when she met Castor. Dinky's still a foal. So that's not going to come up.


Oh. good.'s sort of too bad that she's letting the fear that crippled her back in the day mess with her head again. Perhaps if she were to see an example of insanely-stupid over-protective parenting :twilightsmile::twilightoops::facehoof: in action, she might relent.

>>2989880: I did consider having Twilight come up with some sort of protective bubble that was impenetrable and so could keep Dinky perfectly safe, but I thought that'd be a little too silly.

The numbers: RDD said that Equestria has about 100,000,000 ponies. Assuming their population is roughly proportional in age to the US, I used census data to determine how many of those ponies would be under age 17 (the lowest bracket on the census that I found). Then, assuming there isn't a spate of foal deaths, I assumed a uniform distribution under that bracket. I came up with 2.8 million as the number of foals of the right age to qualify. Then I figured teachers would nominate 2 or 3 students per class (assuming average class size of 20, that's about 15%) to get 400,000 or so nominees, then the admissions committee cuts that down to the top 10% or 40,000 (this stops teachers from just nominating politically connected foals in exchange for favors; the admissions committee can figure this out and disqualify those nominees), then only 10,000 take the test, and then only the top 1% of test-takers qualify.


Is this like S02E03? I need to know where to put it in my filing system.

Dont let anything bad happen to dinky,atleast let it have a nice ending,i hate when there's a sad story and a sad ending,freakin sucks man :raritydespair: is so horrible when its sad...

Wait, yes... one of my friends... Her heart slowed down a bit, and she began to breathe easier. Her friends were good. They would never lose a foal. They could help her.

I laughed out loud at this. Has Ditzy met Trixie? I also recall a trip to Canterlot that Cheerilee might prefer not to.

Interesting to see the Mayor went to Sharpwhinny Academy, that goes against the general the Mayor is incompetent meme. Will Ditzy be talking to the local graduates later?

So if Dinky and Ditzy went through with this and the little cute unicorn went off to the boarding school in Manehattan, wouldn't that affect the rest of the season a lot or is this a foregone conclusion that she'll end up turning it down or not making it to keep the status quo?

If you wanna keep it as a surprise that's understandable, too, of course. :raritywink:

Looking back at all of this (and having watched a 'Facts of Life' maraton on a cable channel) I ended up asking myself the question "Is Ditzy aware that Sharpwhinny is going to have things called 'housemothers' on staff?"

(It's one thing to worry about her child being lost and alone and frightened in a large's quite another to worry about losing her child to Pony Mrs Garrett.)


:twilightsmile: This force field is one of my brother's earlier spells, but it's absolutely what you're looking for! Completely inpenetrable, resistant to extremes of heat and cold, and even keeps out toxic gasses!

:derpytongue2: That's great, Twilight!

:derpyderp2: Wait... toxic gasses?

:twilightsmile: Yep, it's completely air-tight, so you don't have to worry about... :twilightoops:... :twilightsheepish: Umm... on second thought, let me look up a different one.

>>2991180: Hee hee. Then again, the air-permeable one might not be any better.

Rarity: Ditzy, why is your daughter in a gigantic hamster ball?

Ditzy: To keep her safe!

Rarity: ...okay, then why is she rolling down the hill towards the big cliff that Rainbow Dash kept saving everypony from in another timeline?

Dinky: WHEEEE!


Speaking of Castor... (I had to double check Family Matters to make sure he was still alive in this universe) I don't suppose he or Sparkler are going to have any sort of intervention in this on Dinky's behalf?

>>2992394how would they even know? Castor's out of Dinky's life. At this point, not even Dinky knows, so Ditzy hasn't told Sparkler either

Can I just ask...What flaws does Dinky posses? We see that she is exceptionally mature, exceptionally caring, exceptionally kind, exceptionally smart, exceptionally cute, exceptionally thoughtful, exceptionally everything.

>>2993024: Perhaps too trusting of her mom for her own good?


Not at this point, obviously...

I guess the better question is:  Would either be inclined to intervene if they were to somehow become aware of the situation?


So her only flaw is that she trusts exactly one individual too much, and that one individual happens to be the one pony she can trust the most?

Edit: I just want to clarify, I don't want Dinky to be so full of flaws that everyone starts forgetting why she was any good in the first place. I just don't want the opposite extreme where she becomes so perfect that she becomes completely ridiculous. Which, given the direction her character is going to take in this season...

>>2993136: Well, let's see...

I'd see her as being fairly gullible in some cases, particularly regarding good deeds. She's a very loving and kind child, inclined to see the best in others, so she can be easily taken advantage of.

She seems to get frustrated/angry sometimes, as with chickens and the offscreen fight she had with Scoots.

Things like that, I'd say. Normal childish stuff.


You say that, and I feel like I should be reassured but...:ajsleepy: I don't know. Even if I keep those in mind, I can't seemingly let those connect with Dinky. Perhaps it's just that you are telling me these things, as opposed to me seeing it organically in a story. I don't know, Maybe I'm just prejudiced against such ridiculously sweet characters.

And regarding the frustration thing; It's not really a flaw of Dinky's, It's a flaw of having emotions like frustration in the first place.

I've got to admit this didn't turn quite as bad for Dinky as I though it would. Don't get me wrong, if I was in Ditzy's position I would have been absolutely terrified and I think you conveyed the fear very well. I was actually scared that this would have been more physical harm. I think this worked a lot better though so well done.

Well, this could end up going poorly.

Oh dear, this isn't going to go well.

Great portrayal of a very human (Equine?) Ditzy though, very flawed.


Cue RAINDROPS!!!! Yes, RAINDROPS!!! Your one-stop center for giving ponies a reality check via the subtle master-stroke of a punch in the teeth. (Well, it's either that or wait for Chapter 5: "In Which Cheerilee Makes The Element of Kindness Pick Her Teeth Off The Floor.")

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