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  • E Princess Celestia Hates Tea

    Seriously, a lot.
    8,536 words · 39,515 views  ·  3,653  ·  54
  • E Sun Princess

    In the final days of her life, an exceptionally faithful student muses on the subject of her perfect and immortal mentor Applejack.
    1,709 words · 14,302 views  ·  2,158  ·  29
  • E Martial Bliss

    Shining Armor learns the most important tactical lesson of his life.
    1,514 words · 16,502 views  ·  2,030  ·  27
  • E How to Remove a Unicorn Tooth

    Three missing pieces, two loving alicorns, and a single stupid decision that will set young Princess Cadence on a fresh new course.
    11,618 words · 13,094 views  ·  1,071  ·  12
  • E Derplicity

    Derpy Hooves is secretly a changeling. Nopony particularly notices, or cares.
    7,984 words · 21,355 views  ·  2,441  ·  35
  • T Shipping Sickness

    Twilight Sparkle and her bedside table: like two 'ships that pass in the night.
    2,286 words · 17,910 views  ·  1,901  ·  26
  • E Infernal Machines

    The touching tale of a pony and her pet mechanical salamander.
    8,113 words · 7,111 views  ·  563  ·  5
  • E Lady Prismia and the Princess-Goddess

    Filly Cadence turns her first heart.
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Blog Posts106

  • Wednesday
    Feeling Bad About Feeling Good

    (Sorry about the doublepost.  Accidentally published too early, and I didn't want comments coming in on the incomplete version before I had a chance to explain myself...)

    So.  Just watched "Rainbow Rocks" again.

    I actually really like this movie, and it makes me sad, because I keep on imagining what Ms. Faust must think of it, and what she would think of me, by proxy.

    This is nothing new to me, of course, speaking as a Cadance fan.  It's well-known public record by now that the show's original developer never wanted more than two alicorns, and yet, here I am, devoting most of my creative energies in this fandom to the once-controversial third alicorn.  (Is Cadance drama even a thing anymore?)  When pressed on this topic, I will always fall back on the following conclusion:  Cadance is a Bad Thing, and we are making the most of it.

    If I am being brutally honest with myself, however, I realize that I am saying this because I have the specter of a disapproving Lauren Faust watching me over my shoulder.  I like alicorns.  I like to have a selection of alicorns.  I like that there's a younger alicorn.  I like that I do not have to choose between "godlike, regal, and canon-perfect" and "struggles with inner darkness."  I like everything about the fact of Cadance...

    ...except for the fact that I feel like I'm stepping on someone's childhood imaginings by doing so.  Pity the professional artist, who frequently has to sell control of her childhood friends to a corporation who never knew them, and who will take them places you never wanted them to go.  Craig McCracken, Ms. Faust's husband, as much as confirmed that "Equestria Girls" was contrary to her original vision.  And I can see why, of course.

    The original Equestria Girls was very much an honest "making the most of a Bad Thing" period for me.  That movie was a bit of a mess; I enjoyed bits of it and did not criticize it too harshly.  The fans and creators were both dealt a bad hand by management, and I liked the idea of us all sort of enduring it together.  But now we have a sequel, and while rough edges still exist, on the whole, it's a much more satisfying film experience.

    Nothing about it being a satisfying film experience changes the fact that it's never going to be the direction this show, this franchise, was intended to go.

    My entirely non-scientific surveys of the Ponynet suggest that people are generally pleased with "Rainbow Rocks."  I am... disheartened by the people who are unquenchably angry about the whole thing, the ones that point and say, functionally, Skywriter, you are the problem.  That you continue to consume this media spits on the thing Lauren Faust was trying to do with this show.  You, Skywriter, have participated in muddying this from something great into something merely okay.  One in particular has exhorted the general public as follows:  "Don't you dare forget what could have been!"

    I wonder what this hypothetical show looks like in that fan's imaginings.

    I wonder if I would like it as much as I like the show I'm currently watching.

    I wonder if I am a worse person for liking what "could have been" greater.

    I wonder if it's even true that it "could have been" greater at all.

    I wonder what Lauren Faust thinks of me.

    Ms. Faust, there is no chance that you are reading this, so I say this purely for myself:  I actually like what they did with the characters you thought of first this time, and I'm sorry if anything has been diminished because of what I do or don't like.

    It's the best I can do.

    Final non sequitur:  Why haven't I seen any crackfic stories where Cadance is actually the fourth siren of the coven, the only one redeemable by Star Swirl?  Get on it, fandom!

    61 comments · 582 views
  • 4w, 4d
    "Rainbow Rocks" (flagrant, persistent spoilers throughout, obvs.)

    Welcome to another edition of "Because You All Perforce Must Care What I Think."  Let's make this short and sweet, shall we, getting the unpleasant bits out of the way first.

    Category A:  Things That There Was Never Any Hope For Improvement On

    1.  Human character designs still not doing it for me.  No amount of time and effort will make our girls not look like somewhat sexualized and rainbow-hued versions of Mr. ZIP what with the huge heads and stick bodies and all.

    2.  Still no substitute for actual pony film.  Actual pony screen-time even lower than last time around.

    3.  All protagonists are suddenly skilled musicians, when canonically only Pinkie, Fluttershy (maybe?) and A.J. have even been shown handling an instrument.  And Twilight is appropriately lampshaded in the narrative, so I guess I'm only questioning Dash and Rarity?  I dunno.  Let's move on.

    Category B:  Things Actually Worse Than Last Film

    1.  Vinyl Scratch.  I am absolutely great with fandom nods.  No allergy whatsoever to seeing Octavia, Snowflake Bulk Biceps, and lots and lots of Trixie.  Welcomed.  But basic storytelling dictates that you cannot have a functionally nameless character pull not one but two eleventh-hour saves without seeding the plot properly first.  Story structure demands that the protective qualities of her omnipresent headphones be hinted at before they are used to save our heroes' bacon (something so simple as including a version of the the disapproving Celestia / Vinyl interaction we saw in the "Music to My Ears" short would have been absolutely sufficient) and the Bass Cannon Sedan needs to have been at least established (if not fully revealed) prior to its use as a problem-solver.  When you count on an audience's in-joke knowledge and delight over a character to fill in the cracks of a story, that is when your fandom nod has crossed the line.  Furthermore, I can't tell if the creators are putting her forward as a strong-silent master of her craft or actually envision her as the same loudmouthed Bohemian that the fans see and are merely having her stay mute to appease the "Nowacking or Nothing" crowd.  I wish they would just pick one, because the more the plot actually hinges on her the more distracting her silence becomes.  Thank goodness they actually had Octavia speak a line.

    2.  No Candybutt, not even in cameo.  This is not a fault in the story as such, I'm just (predictably) disappointed and furthermore holistically trepid that my functional OC will continue to fade into the background as Twilight becomes more and more Cadanceified.  She's got wings now, is a princess, and lives in a crystal castle.  All she needs is a coat of pink paint and to get married, and the narrative will have no use for dear sweet Candybutt whatsoever.

    Category C:  Things Better Than Last Film

    1-n.  Virtually everything else.  The scene compositions were more visually adventurous and intriguing, the villains had a plot which made some damn sense this time, the songs are marginally superior, plot points are followed through on and not just mentioned and dropped, and the whole thing seems to have been stitched together with a lot of love and affection for the property.  And Sunset Shimmer is handled exactly the way I wanted her to be handled.  The scene where she once again attempts bad-girl intimidation in the darkened hallway only to have it fizzle this time is just splendid, and I for one gratefully welcome Sunny as the unexplained sixth peripheral star in "Magical Mystery Cure."

    That is all.  Thoughts?

    54 comments · 664 views
  • 6w, 3h
    "Cadance of Cloudsdale," the... official soundtrack?!

    I am... a tad gobsmacked but nonetheless unquestionably overjoyed to report that via the generosity and talent of esteemed pony musician Night Breeze/Wind Wolf and my good friend S.R. Foxley, "Cadance of Cloudsdale" has an upcoming song cycle dedicated to it!  So exite!  Very yes!

    Check out the first track, "Reduit," below.  Thanks, you two.  You helped make my day.

    21 comments · 315 views
  • 6w, 4d
    "Princess Celestia Hates Tea," thoughts on a sequel.

    No secret whatsoever:  the number one reason people hate this story is the flippin' ending.

    It's not the number one reason I hate this story, but it's certainly up there.  Those of you who have gone on to read "A Short Story by Twilight Sparkle" have doubtless perceived the autobiographical inspiration in Twilight's experience, particularly this part:

    ...the whole ending felt shockingly rushed and weak, because, frankly, I was so darn tired of writing it by that point I couldn't see straight. I had testily sworn to myself that I would not endure another morning with that stupid "Tea" story hanging over my head...

    ...which is, of course, all true of me.  That said, it's not like another day of writing it would have "fixed" the ending, either.  It's been like two years now (insert shocked-dismay emoticon) and I have yet to come up with a "better" ending that feels right.

    So.  Message received, from like hundreds of you.  You hate the ending.  I get it.  I hate it too.  It's too late to edit the original story, but if it had a sequel, what do you most want to see in it?  What, specifically, chafes your gizzard about how this story closes?  The general lack of all-around happy?  That Twilight doesn't get her just desserts for an entire evening of torturing Celestia with the memory spell?  That, in a world where you can literally turn birds into oranges, that some kind of solution wasn't forced using unicorn magic?  What?

    Please note that the characters will remain kind of panicky and stupid, so if the fact that the characters are panicky and stupid is your major beef, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to accommodate a fix of that nature.

    103 comments · 815 views
  • 8w, 1d
    "Cadance of Cloudsdale" gets another addition...

    In a short story done for a fic competition!  It was written by Eakin, a master of arts; his story "Hard Reset" is top of the charts.  This one is does not deal with time loops and despair, but rather a fortress and the Sisterhood there.  I'm so glad to see another tale told of our Pretty Pink Princess when she was just a foal.  It's really good work--if I haven't been clear--and I recommend checking it out over here.

    (If you are concerned why I'm talking this way, it's apparently "Type Like Zecora Day."  I find my Zecora-style writing quite dismal on account of my rhymes being hella abysmal.)

    18 comments · 364 views
  • ...
 65
 3,902
Source

This story is a sequel to Heretical Fictions

Following the events of "Heretical Fictions", Princess Celestia tries to get dinner, fails, and learns an important lesson about loss and love and the healing power of vegetable kebabs.

First Published
3rd Mar 2012
Last Modified
3rd Mar 2012
#1 · 138w, 6d ago · · ·

This was lovely.

I really like your Celestia and the lessons she's learning. And your Luna is simply adorable.

Maybe more to come later; I'd intended to sleep and then saw you'd posted this, so there went that plan.

#2 · 138w, 6d ago · · ·

Well that was rather emotionally rollercoastery wasn't it?

Poignant message and portrayal though.

An immortal finds something they truly desire with all their heart, more so because they will outlast it by default, but the only way to allow this thing to be what it was meant to is to detach and remove themself from the equation.

It's actually a lesson I already acknowledged, myself, and also a great metaphor for... a lot of things.

I especially liked the concept of the crossbred Asian dragon/ponies as well as the references to "boons" from Observatory Hill.

My biggest problem would be, I guess, that I have great difficulty reconciling the characters with their canon versions. Makes me feel detached, kind of like I'm not really reading a pony fic.

One question I do have, however: If you are going to use Moonbeam from Laurence Brown's series as Luna's "meta" disguise, why would you have Celestia pick a random OC when there is already an established "meta" alter ego for her in PhantomFox's Sunny Skies? (It would have been oh so sweet meta irony considering the contrasts in personality.):trollestia:

#3 · 138w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

That was a wonderful read. The part where Celestia was getting insulted was lulzy, though her reasons for responding in that manner is vague.  

however, the pedant in me calls me to voice a trivial objection.

"chromatically-reduced minor seventh" = Diminished 7th

You're welcome. :pinkiecrazy:

Are you planning to write more of these? It's very enjoyable. :rainbowwild:

#4 · 138w, 6d ago · · ·

Lovely indeed :ajsmug:

Rather silly on how tia got very possessive on Beloved

#5 · 138w, 6d ago · · ·

>>283622

"If you are going to use Moonbeam from Laurence Brown's series as Luna's "meta" disguise, why would you have Celestia pick a random OC when there is already an established "meta" alter ego for her in PhantomFox's Sunny Skies?"

My total lack of familiarity with that story!  I realize this might be a major gaffe, but I'm pretty new to this thing.  May hafta do some more reading...

#6 · 138w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>283623

""chromatically-reduced minor seventh" = Diminished 7th"

OBVIOUSLY MORE WORDS ARE BETTER THAN FEWER WORDS.  Seriously, I should probably change that.

#7 · 138w, 6d ago · · ·

I'm quite liking these stories, you write a pretty good Celestia. Would love to see more from this series! :twilightsmile:

#8 · 138w, 6d ago · · ·

>>283623

Oh, and...

"...though her reasons for responding in that manner is vague."

Clarified a bit more with one additional line of dialogue.

"Are you planning to write more of these? It's very enjoyable."

Thanks!  Barring some weird inspiration particle, I think that's it for this arc; while it's fun writing Celestia as an angsty old war-queen with serious daddy issues, that's only one tiny piece of her, and any attempt to extend the events of this night will just start spiraling further and further away from the "real" Celestia, who has, I think, a much greater sense of perspective than the one you see above.

#10 · 138w, 5d ago · · ·

@Skywriter: OBVIOUSLY MORE WORDS ARE BETTER THAN FEWER WORDS.  Seriously, I should probably change that.

Glad you did. It sounds very silly to anyone who's been through Grade 4 music theory. xD

while it's fun writing Celestia as an angsty old war-queen with serious daddy issues, that's only one tiny piece of her, and any attempt to extend the events of this night will just start spiraling further and further away from the "real" Celestia, who has, I think, a much greater sense of perspective than the one you see above.

Nothing is impossible, friend. Think of it as a challenge to you as a writer! It would be awesome if you pulled it off. :twilightsmile: I've yet to see a portrayal of Celestia that truly reflects the wisdom one would attain at her age.

#11 · 137w, 18h ago · · ·

You could always write a sequel that doesn't start immediately after this one you know :ajsmug:

'course, then you'd have to come up with an entirely new story beginning.

In any case, brilliant as always.  You have a gift for first-person perspective.

#12 · 137w, 13h ago · · ·

>>329178

Thank you.  It's my favorite perspective to work in, probably because it allows me to be more indulgent with internal monologues.  Possibly too indulgent, at times.

#13 · 135w, 6d ago · · ·

Lovely story, in every which way. Your Celestia is a true treat to read about. :trollestia:

#14 · 135w, 5d ago · · ·

>>361538

Thanks!  As I implied earlier, I'm not sure it's accurate, but I love the picture of Celly as an old warhorse who's gradually learning, albeit at a glacial pace, to actually love rather than just care.

#15 · 133w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

More please?

#16 · 133w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>439555

Hm.  The only thing left that night is probably some exceptionally chaste Twiluna, and I'm not sure it's noteworthy enough to devote a whole story to. But... maybe something different happens after midnight than I expect?  I've been thinking about this one and trying to keep my mind open.  Thanks for your interest, in any case!

#17 · 133w, 2d ago · · ·

I ment the storyline in general, but continuing the night's events would also be good. Keep up the good work.

#18 · 131w, 4d ago · · ·

This was absolutely delicious!  I love your version of Celestia and the lessons you've been having her learn.  Thank you so much for sharing this with us!  :twilightsmile:

#19 · 131w, 2h ago · · ·

I think I felt something. Im not sure that I like that.

#20 · 130w, 6d ago · · ·

Your ability to present new concepts into FiM canon flows much better than most of the writing in the show proper. Time to continue reading...

#21 · 128w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

Dammit, now you got me jonesing to listen to Rite of Spring again.  All of it.  I can't decide if I loathe or adore you.

#22 · 128w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

>>580006

This whole thing came about over the course of listening to, like, a thirty-six hour orchestral music appreciation crash course on audiobook.  I was pretty impressed by "Rite of Spring", and wanted to include it in the piece, even though what few details we get of the "Adoration" in the final version don't really match the inspiration work at all.

Incidentally, the fact that I had a whole mess of music history mashed together in my brain like this leads to the odd juxtaposition of Chanticleer, a ponified Vivaldi (with Mercy Stable standing in for the Pieta) commenting on his appreciation for the music of a composer who wouldn't be born for several hundred years.  But, I guess for a show that features armed centurions with spears guarding a steam locomotive security checkpoint, that's pretty much par.

#23 · 128w, 6d ago · · ·

Once you name him, I can't stop myself from picturing him as 'that' Chanticleer, which makes thing quite silly. Then you add in his stereotypes comment and I love him more.

#24 · 128w, 6d ago · · ·

>>582255

Oh, dear, did I evoke some other cultural reference with that name?

#25 · 128w, 5d ago · · ·

>>582493

Well considering his cutie mark, I thought his naming was intentional. Was he not to be named after Rock-a-Doodle's leading rooster?

#26 · 128w, 5d ago · · ·

>>584394

Nope!  It's just an iconic and fancied-up word for "rooster", from Olden Times.  Wikipedia tells me that it's derived from the "Reynard the Fox" cycle of  folktales, which I would probably know without Wikipedia's help if I'd been an English major back in college.  Pony Vivaldi, like regular-flavor real-world Vivaldi, has shocking red hair, so that's what I was going for.  Never really watched that movie, is it any good?

#27 · 128w, 5d ago · · ·

>>585092

It's decent to be, but I also have nostalgia working against me. It's a 90's Don Bluth movie about what amounts to rooster Elvis getting discouraged and dooming the world to eternal night. It's also got a kid who gets turned into a cat who has to save the world, meh, the doom part is more fun.

#28 · 128w, 5d ago · · ·

>>585137

Clearly, all that mucking about with the Elements of Harmony was unnecessary, then.  What we really needed for Nightmare Moon was a Don Bluth cartoon rooster.

I have the worst crossover fic ideas.

#29 · 128w, 4d ago · · ·

>>585171

What are the Elements of Harmony but a huge rainbow flashlight?

#30 · 126w, 1d ago · · ·

You write a better humorous Luna than anyone I've ever read.

#31 · 126w, 1d ago · · ·

>>673742

Thank you!  Now all I need to do is write a credible emotional Luna.  Romance is a far weaker thing from my pen than comedy is...

#32 · 125w, 2d ago · · ·

This made me smile.

   -Delta-

#33 · 125w, 1d ago · · ·

"It was the fluid catalytic cracking unit.  It made shoes for orphans."

I probably would not have caught this had you not mentioned there was a Portal reference to be found here, in the comments on Heretical Fictions.  :P

#34 · 105w, 1d ago · · ·

>>283754  To find Sunny Skies All Day Long:  Go to the top of the fimfiction home page.  Mouse over 'Browse'.  Click on 'Top Rated'.  Click on the one at the top.

This is very funny, and a wonderful character study/development story.  It's two stories for the price of one.  (Or I could say that my comedies are each only half a story.)  I see no deviation from canon, but a filling in of details around the edges, in the shadows.  Yet another Skywriter story for my favorites list.

"Surpassing only her sister, the noble Princess Luna" - I think you didn't mean for Luna to say that Celestia is the second-least-important pony in Equestria, and Luna the least-important.

Do I have to give Stravinsky another chance now?  I feel obligated to hate his music, and even derive some self-righteous satisfaction from doing so, because of its impact on later "composers" like Schoenberg and Berg.

#35 · 105w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1502164

I have since found and read "Sunny Skies..."!  Thanks for the location tip, though!  By virtue of general good quality and non-offending content, I guess it became the top-rated story on FiMFiction, huh?  It's sort of funny, I mean, it's a very good story and I love it to death, but it's so unassuming.  It's kind of like learning that an Eagles "Greatest Hits" album is the best-selling record of all time.  (Though it looks as though Thriller has finally surpassed it.)

Re: my bad grammar... yes, I've always hated that line, but I couldn't get it to work in production and then I stopped thinking about it.  I think I fixed it now, though.  Thank you for nudging me to fix it, finally.  And thank you also for the kind words!

The Adoration as described here, while stealing its title from one act of "The Rite of Spring", does not really resemble Stravinsky; inasmuch as there's not much resemblance between ol' Igor and his pony namesake here, you don't have to give him another chance.  That having been said, I kind of like the interesting complexity of his music, but I'm something of a musical masochist.  I have willingly listened to all three hours of Glass's "Einstein on the Beach" (at least, the only three hours that have ever been put to disc; the whole thing lasts like five hours in live production.)  I do not recommend this to the casual listener.  "Einstein on the Beach" is a real brain-destroyer.

#36 · 95w, 2d ago · · ·

Incredible writing, story, characters, etc. Just brilliant.

:rainbowlaugh: Also, "fluid catalytic cracking process". Oh my god, I see what you did there! I didn't realise straight away, I was in the shower about 10 minutes after reading when it just twigged and I burst out giggling.

#37 · 95w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

>>1889344

Achievement:  HEY I PLAYED THAT TOO unlocked!

#38 · 92w, 6d ago · · ·

and then they kissed ...

...

...

???

:raritycry:

#39 · 92w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1986919

THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW.

#40 · 89w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Made me happy, made me sad, but in an entirely different way than Heretical Fictions did last night. I think that one hit me a bit harder, which isn't a great surprise to me considering how much I love to read (I suspect the comment I left was mildly incoherent, but I haven't gone back to check yet), but this is very good as well. Your characterizations are so well done.

#41 · 88w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>2106940

Thanks so much!  :pinkiehappy:  I don't always respond to every comment, and some are kinda late (like this one), but I felt like tossing you a thanks on this one as well.

#42 · 73w, 5d ago · · ·

I enjoyed this thoroughly when I first read it, and I enjoyed it even more this time.  This time, I thumbed it up and favorited it.

I long to see, and shudder at the thought of, this particular Celestia's attempts to cope with the sudden alicornification of Twilight, especially in light of the canon origin of Cadance.

#43 · 73w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2664626

Celly in this this arc is a bit of a wreck. The Cadance stories I'm doing have a slightly similar, but more composed and with-it, version. Neither seems 100% show-accurate to me.

#44 · 67w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>2665313

Well, Celestia in the show is a very difficult character to write about as a protagonist due to her general personality qualities. She isn't a Mary Sue because she isn't the protagonist of the show, the center of the story.

When she is the center of the story people have to try to keep things interesting with her, which is probably why she is such a mess in most fics that focus on her.

#45 · 67w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>2889363

Celly says exactly this in another story of mine.

#46 · 67w, 23h ago · · ·

Friendshp was, in fact, magic, I supposed.

"Friendshp" should probably be "Friendship".

#47 · 67w, 22h ago · · ·

>>2897676

Ah!  Thanks for the good eye!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#48 · 61w, 1d ago · · ·

While I liked this, I felt Celestia's voice was way off. I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, so it could very well just be me.

#49 · 61w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3123727

You're not the only one!  War-Queen Celestia in "Beloved" and "Heretical Fictions" is somewhat removed from a good canon Celestia.  "...Hates Tea" has one that's a little better, but not by much, and the one in the Cadance stories is viewed through the lens of that character and is thus distorted slightly there as well.  The only evidence that I even can write something close to a fair Celly is in "A Short Story by Twilight Sparkle."

#50 · 61w, 23h ago · 1 · ·

>>584394 Rock-A-Doodle is very, very, very very veryveryveryveryveryvery loosely based on an old story from a collection of french folktales.

Yes I know it's been over a year. I don't care.

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