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  • T Whom the Princesses Would Destroy...

    Behind the scenes of a perfectly normal visit to Canterlot lies chaos. Also, custard.
    19,758 words · 22,843 views  ·  2,001  ·  26
  • E A Canterlot Carol

    Dotted Line discovers the true meaning of Hearthwarming, mostly by accident.
    6,464 words · 4,958 views  ·  662  ·  6
  • E Obiter Dicta

    A collection of short stories, vignettes, and deleted scenes, mostly based in the Civil Serviceverse and tending to be either slice of life or comedy.
    15,642 words · 2,811 views  ·  457  ·  8

Blog Posts49

  • 1w, 20h
    It's official—I'm old

    Hello my readers marvelous and munificent!

    My birthday—which is today, alas—has sneaked up on me and now—to my shock, horror, and consternation—I am officially Old[1]. I no longer know what the kids (who I would certainly want off my lawn, if I had one) are into these days[2], and when I try to explain things to them—my day job is teaching—I use confusing old man analogies[3].

    Pity me, o Fimfiction, for I am in my twilight years!


    Sorry. I just felt like writing an overwrought birthday lament. I like a bit of contrast, me. Though my students do in fact consider me only marginally younger than the Sun.  They have that curious zoomed-in view of age that undergrads seem to have where everyone over twenty-five or so is impossibly ancient and of roughly the same (impossibly vast) age.

    I was going to write you guys a little story as a present but work interfered. Still, it's high on the priority list and it'll be around as a chapter in OD sooner or later. Well unless my pre-readers go green and throw up when I show it to them. Which is a possibility.

    [1] For the purposes of this blog post, 'old' is twenty-eight years.  

    [2] Okay, okay, I never did, granted, but still... Besides, the concept of 'Whatsapp' had to be explained to me recently and when I described it as 'So, basically Skype? Or Viber?" I got a 'You don't get it old man.' look. First of, I'm sure, many.

    [3] Apparently this generation's CS students are young enough that they don't remember what an AGP slot was. And they also appear not to play video games. At all. What use they put their computers to is a bit of a mystery, because it certainly isn't programming, either.

    70 comments · 416 views
  • 1w, 4d
    Bespoke Ghostwords! Fresh off the spectral keyboard!

    Hello my readers lovely and likeable.

    Well, you know how the wonderful and talented Bookplayer has set up a system by which you can chip in a few bucks to support her (and her lovely Trixie) while she regales you with marvelous blogposts? And if you chip in a certain larger amount you can pick what she writes about?


    It's not what you are thinking. There's no Ghost Patreon or a tipjar[1]. My purpose is slightly different.

    Here's the deal: Henceforth, whenever someone gets the right to pick a blog post subject for Bookplayer, they also get to pick a blog post subject for me[2] using the same method—sending a PM to Bookplayer who'll then inform me. The posts will be published at the very least on a biweekly basis, or quicker if my schedule permits it. I can't offer any guarantees as to length[3], but I'm a verbose bastard[4], so there shouldn't be any trouble.

    As for subject matter, I ask only that your requests respect the boundaries of reasonable good taste and avoid profoundly controversial topics. I reserve the right to reject a request and renegotiate something that's acceptable to the both of us. That all said, I don't expect there will be any trouble whatsoever. You are, after all, my readers and as such have the most refined of tastes. :twilightsmile:

    As to why I'm doing this, well, it's because Bookplayer's awesome, Trixie is the most adorable baby in all of existence, and my impecunious nature prevents me from supporting them directly. Short money, I'm trying to make good the lack with words.

    [1] Well. I am GhostOfHeraclitus, so it would be more of an urn, surely, which you would be expected to fill with spectral obols.

    [2] It can be the same subject or a different one.

    [3] I can offer a guarantee of quality, though: I'll be writing it, so there won't be any. Guaranteed.

    [4] Verbose Bastard could actually be a pony name, I just realized. I mean, if 'Filthy Rich' is allowed...

    11 comments · 246 views
  • 1w, 5d
    The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated

    Hello my readers caring and kind!

    I'm not dead. Honest.

    I have been unspeakably busy with work for a long long time and (sadly) I'll probably continue to be so for the foreseeable future. To make matters worse I've been having a bit of a... rough patch, let's say in my personal life. It's not been a fun few months.

    However, I promise I'll try to post more things here[1]. There may even be a (short) story sooner or later. I just need to get on top of things.

    [1] In fact there may be an announcement-sort-of-thing regarding that quite soon.

    18 comments · 255 views
  • 12w, 5d
    Signal boost: The Rose

    Hello my readers jocular and jolly!

    Quick note: Bradel wrote a new story—no, he isn't dead, he was just... um... pining for the fjords—called The Rose which I think you may want to look at. I'll take the gross liberty of quoting my own comment on the story:

    Normally I stay away from those tags like they are made of bees and on fire. And the fire is also made of bees. But it is Bradel.

    Now, what I'm about to say will spoil the story, so unless you've read it go away and read it. It's worth your time. No. Really. Go away.




    So, if you feel up for a bit of [sad] and [tragedy]—and mind, this is absolutely not a sadfic—you can hardly do better than Bradel's latest.

    15 comments · 343 views
  • 15w, 5d
    A very happy holiday!

    Hello my readers incredible and interesting!

    I wish all of my dear American friends a very happy holiday: may your barbecue be delicious, your fingers unexploded, and your country independent, with justice and liberty for all. Cheers!

    For my equally-dear non-American friends I can offer earnest felicitations on the occasion of a lovely summer's day/winter's day[1]/day-in-general, as well as a shout out to any Filipino readers whose Republic Day this happens to be. Not sure if it is a big deal, but no reason the Americans should get to have all the holiday cheer, now is it?

    [1] My attention was drawn in the comments to an entire hemisphere I seem to have missed. :facehoof:

    36 comments · 339 views
  • ...

Early one morning, Twilight Sparkle gets up to make some tea.

Sometimes, a cup of tea is just a cup of tea. This is not one of those times.

First Published
24th Oct 2012
Last Modified
24th Oct 2012
#1 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

So. Here it is. My first stab at a sad story. I didn't mean to write it when I did, but it just sort of forced its way out one day. I've shown this to quite a few of my friends and so, as short as it is, this story has been pre-read by a number of fine pony folk:

Bad Horse

Dagger Tongue



I'd like to thank all of them for being so helpful and for putting up with me when I was being difficult. I'm a bit stubborn, me.

#2 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Nice and simple. Much better than the usual "Pony Does X" garbage in other one-shots.

and first

#3 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

And thus, the ritual -- and the memory -- is honored.

#4 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Beautifully done. You have a way with words that I truly envy.

#5 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Wow. Portrayal of the Princess was excellent, and the ending made the story for me.

#6 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Nicely done on this one.  Verging just on the edge of too long; even as short as it already is, I think you've got enough content here to fill about nine-tenths of what was eventually actually written.  But the scenes are well-drawn and the imagery good.

#7 · 104w, 15h ago · 1 · ·

Ahhh... very nice. That language was like a breath of fresh air. The ending was particularly nice, the way it was open-ended, leaving you to wonder what exactly she's sad about, but the realization comes quick -- that it doesn't really matter.

Plus, I'm quite fond of the idea of the princess telling stories over tea.

Well done!

#8 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

*Inspects tags*

*considers story again*


I think the line about hope not having the heart to disagree was the real kicker.

#9 · 104w, 15h ago · 3 · ·

And thus Twilight grieves that she is in longer in Celestia's presence, and that she was no longer something to fill the void of Luna's absence.

Wonderful story.

#10 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

That was a very good read.  I found it captures the feeling between them better than anything else I've read so far.

Very well done, my friend.


#11 · 104w, 15h ago · 1 · ·

Hmm, I'm thinking they've grown apart somehow, or that Twilight, now living in ponyville, rarely sees much of her mentor, and being twilight, wonders if the princess has forgotten her.  It could also be a 'Celestia is dead' deal, but given that one line about 'Celestia not noticing if Twilight is there' seems to me to suggest it's not that situation.  

Anyway, I like it!  Always enjoy a good Twilight and Celestia centered fic.  You used an interesting mix of tense/perspective too.  Keep it up. :twilightsmile:

#12 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

The sadness of growing up and growing apart.  Your parents felt it, and your grandparents, and all the way back to some skin-clad biped looking forlornly out the mouth of the cave, wondering just what valley their children have gone to, and missing their presence around the smoky fire.

The Immortal Princess of the Sun has always struck me as the kind of being to appreciate what is, remember what was, and anticipate what is to come more than any mortal being.   May she rule Equestria forever.  

#13 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

This is... wow. I like it. Keep up the good work, and have a mustache and a yay. :moustache: :yay:

#14 · 104w, 15h ago · 1 · ·

I.... I... It's the strangest thing... I'm crying and I don't know why....

I read the last words and about a minute later I am crying..... Why?

#15 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

Really quite a beautiful little story, and a wonderful exploration of the quiet and personal importance that Celestia has in Twilight's life.  An easy favorite, and a joy to find!

#16 · 104w, 15h ago · · ·

If the last story read like a Pratchett tale, the melancholic mood of this story give it a kind of Device Heretic feel to it. I can almost see this leading into Eternal actually. (Sorry I keep comparing you to other authors, it's kind of a thing I do. Can't seem to help it. :ajsleepy:) You continue to show a grasp of language that makes your stories in particular so enjoyable to read though. :twilightsmile:

Kinda makes me feel bad to point this out. :fluttershyouch:

Twilight keeps her tea in a copper tins lined with glass.

That a has gotta go.

#17 · 104w, 15h ago · 1 · ·

Loved it, the story was as delicate as the tea.

Not to presume but:

and talk instead about a peculiar game she saw foals play in a field that’s now a desert two thousand years ago

I think its clearer this way:

and talk instead about a peculiar game she saw foals play two thousand years ago in a field that’s now a desert

Again, love your work

#18 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Will read later.

#19 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Absolutely sublime.

#20 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

In the time it took me to read through this story and go give it an up-vote, it got 6 others.

Good job.  Pacing is always the thing that kills anything I try to write, and the main reason I haven't posted anything yet.  But you've got a decent pace to this, going just slow enough to capture the feel of the ritual, without dragging the story on too far.

Also, loved the last bit.  Twilight puts so much effort into learning how to make it just right, even though she hates Jasmine tea.

#21 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

It was okay and well written, but I didn't get any of those Feels. :unsuresweetie:

#22 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

She even schedules her moments of sentimentality. Oh, Twilight. :ajsmug:

(Closest emoticon I could find to "amusement mixed with sorrow at the degree of control the protagonist demands of herself.")

A fantastically written character piece for Twilight and Celestia alike. Well done, and thank you.

#23 · 104w, 14h ago · 1 · 1 ·

A  memento mori for Twilight?

"No matter how powerful you will get, how much light or darkness you will cast, becoming one of my memories is the best approximation to eternal life you can hope for."

Yeah, I wouldn't drink that tea either.

#24 · 104w, 14h ago · 1 · ·

Huh.  One down-vote.  I guess this isn't...


Everyone's cup of tea.


#25 · 104w, 14h ago · 1 · ·


I think I know the exact moment when I broke my mother's heart with this sadness.  I was playing a video game downstairs, and had forgotten she was upstairs.  A monster jumped out at me, and I blurted an expletive.  The silence, both hers and mine, was deafening.

#26 · 104w, 14h ago · 2 · ·


You have no idea how much I tried to cut it down, but I'm terrible at brevity. This is in many ways me deliberately going so far out my comfort zone you can't see it with a telescope. If I wrote it in my natural style there would be a two-thousand-word digression on every single type of tea Celestia fancies, how they are made, where, what of and what unique cultural, social and economic factors lead up to them.


Hey! Steel Resolve! :yay: I'm glad you will. I really like your stuff.


No, it's okay. It is in many ways experimental. Quite natural for it not to be your, ahem, cup of tea. (Dammit, Martian, beaten to the punch!)


You keep comparing me to other, better, authors. Clearly I must be doing something right.


That is an interesting take on it. It's not why the princess does it (in my head-canon, obviously) but it is very interesting.

#27 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Wow.  That was surprisingly deep, GhostOfHeraclitus.  Thank you for writing this.  As odd as this sounds, it cheered me up.

#28 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

Et sic recordati sumus.....


#29 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

This was nice. Simple. Just like this review. Have a thumbs up.

#30 · 104w, 14h ago · · ·

...well then. That was a wonderful short story. :twilightsmile:

Just a little something, but it's a wonderful little something... ummm... I think I might go make myself a cup of tea now. :unsuresweetie:

#31 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·


well, it seems some one has beaten me to the punch.

ah well, good on you :rainbowlaugh:

#32 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·


That was...


I guess....


You know what? I'm not quite sure what to say. There's no story, no conflict, no anything. Just purely writ emotion. And I love it. Never before has 2000 words of nothing given me such feels. Bravo author, bravo.

                ~Signed, InfiniteBrony

#33 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Oh look, this is a featured story, must be good.


I feel like a cup of tea.

#34 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·


Still, all joking about you secretly being Terry Pratchett aside, you DO have your own style of writing. Other influences show, but I am not going to actually mistake your stories for someone else's, and I don't want to cheapen your stories by implying otherwise. Does that make sense, I am godawful at this.

#35 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Sometimes, a cup of tea is just a cup of tea just like sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Or am I reading too much into this?

#36 · 104w, 13h ago · 3 · ·


Relax. It's fine. How else are you going to describe someone's style that by comparing it to others. What else do you say? "The writing style is, yes, quite blue with a hint of purple 'round the edges. I especially appreciate the rotundness of it and the hint of lemon." :twilightsmile:

Actually...I think that's how I'm going to pre-read stories from now on.

GOH: "The story was, yes, quite yellow."

UnfortunatePreReadee: "Good yellow? Bad yellow?"

GOH: "Pale yellow."

UnfortunatePreReadee: *sounds of rage*


#37 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·


"The writing style is, yes, quite blue with a hint of purple 'round the edges. I especially appreciate the rotundness of it and the hint of lemon."

This is why you are best poni. :twilightsmile:

#38 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Simplicity turned to a masterpiece.


#39 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

now the thing is, do i even care?

#40 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

Ahhh. Nostalgia. You make us remember the better days. You make us remember all the smiles, the joy and the happiness we once shared with loved ones. You make our heart ache when you tell us it's all a thing of the past. You hurt us when you make us realise that indulging you is unhealthy.

And that is called humanity.

PS: Your noticeable love for tea puts you high up in my mental list of people I respect.

#41 · 104w, 13h ago · · ·

I don't always trust the feature box to give me stories I like, but I did trust Bad Horse's recommendation.  I'm glad I did.  This is quietly poignant, dense in a way that's a joy to unfold.

My only regret is that, after reading the last paragraph, my brain will not stop insisting that this is a prequel of some sort to Princess Celestia Hates Tea.

#42 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Ah. Introspective Twilight is best Twilight. This makes me feel that tiny hint of melancholy That I generally reserve for quiet, reflective times when I remember special times passed and special people moved on. Not sad, per se, but properly still in the face of a universe that all to often insists on turning the page whether we are ready or not.

In any case, as you may have deduced, I liked this. Your command of the English language and seeming talent for mood and pacing have made both of your stories quite enjoyable for me and so long as you are willing to continue writing them, I shall be more than happy to read them.

#43 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Oh god... The feels. Well done, nonetheless.

#44 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Melancholy and poignant. A very good read, GoH! :twilightsmile:

A single nit-pick: it should be "leached" instead of "leeched" in the first italicized interlude.

#45 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Very well written, and had/has alot of potential. I just find the end falling off. I thought it was building up to something, and felt it was, only to have it end with Twilight going to read. :ajsleepy: Still, worth the time to read, and TY for it.

#46 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Ah, that was a nice change of pace from all the action and clop crap in the featured window. I have to say, you seem to put your own voice into the story quite nicely, and I will give you a very high rating for this. 9.2/10. Keep your writing fresh, and I might just have to learn something from you.:twilightsmile:

#47 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Very well written.

I just don't know what's going on. :twilightblush:

#48 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

A pleasant little story:raritywink: I liked the ending quite a bit.

#49 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

Lies, tea is great cold as well Twilight. Unsweet Iced tea, yum.

#50 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

loved it!

i usually hate sad stories, there are a few exceptions of course, but not many; they always leave a bad aftertaste, and while the same is true for this one; it wasn't as bad as most of them and the way there was very good.

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