Featured In9

More Stories32

  • E The Gift That Keeps On Giving

    The Princesses' birthday celebration is here again, and Mayor Mare needs a scapegoat—er, trusted citizen—to handle Ponyville's gift. Deciding what to get for an ancient ruler who's seen everything will be a piece of cake.
    5,155 words · 2,465 views  ·  396  ·  2
  • E Teacher's Pet

    Fair or not, most classes have that one perfect student, that one little flower that the teacher can't help but adore. Cheerilee's class is no different.
    3,259 words · 3,556 views  ·  436  ·  3
  • E Canon

    Partway through her morning practice routine—and routine it is—Octavia seems to have gained an audience. Well, if that mare wants to listen, she'll get a good show.
    3,489 words · 2,318 views  ·  320  ·  2
  • E A Hiccup in Time

    Twilight Sparkle definitely learned her lesson from her last time-travel experience. This one's not her fault. Really. Sometimes nature can be... annoying.
    4,508 words · 4,550 views  ·  680  ·  9
  • T He Kindly Stopped For Me

    An accident leaves Scootaloo fighting for her life. While everypony tries to help, a few in particular discover a few new things about what exactly it means to be a sister.
    16,950 words · 3,803 views  ·  402  ·  6
  • T Ragnarok

    As many such things do, it all started with Discord trying to help. And now Fluttershy can't escape the apocalyptic proclamations. Next time, she'll try the trick of wishing for no wishes.
    4,538 words · 1,312 views  ·  161  ·  1
  • E A Taxing Situation

    When Derpy fills out her tax return, she finds that she owes quite a bit of money. However, she seems to have an alternative way of settling the debt. She might even have fun.
    6,382 words · 1,727 views  ·  250  ·  3
  • E The Art and Science of Letter Writing

    While on a work trip to help family in Appleloosa, Big Macintosh strikes up some correspondences with friends back home. These are the letters that crossed Twilight Sparkle's desk. Sometimes words don't mean what they say.
    10,541 words · 4,071 views  ·  495  ·  10

Blog Posts17

  • 1w, 6d
    Another fic reading! And it's a good 'un!

    My compadre Present Perfect has been involved in a reading of one of my favorites of my own stories and kept it secret for months. And it's a Scribbler performance, so you know it'll be good. Really, she's the top for dramatic readings, and she's doing dark fics all month, so head on over, enjoy her talents over all the recordings she's made, and give her some love in the comments!

    0 comments · 61 views
  • 3w, 22h
    Duet in the Folk Style

    I don't normally blog when I release a story, but Duet in the Folk Style had a big effect on me. It started out as a completely different type of project a long time ago, one which I had to abandon for lack of direction. Then it got a thorough overhaul of the original four chapters with an actual ending in mind. After writing the last two chapters, it made it very difficult to do my final editing sweep. It's just one of those stories that has a very different feel to it after the first read-through.

    It's also my first chaptered story I've published since my first fanfic three years ago. I haven't been in this position in so long that I don't really know what to expect anymore. I won't ramble—I'll save the reflective thoughts for the author's notes at the end of the last installment, and even then, I'll keep them relatively short. I just wanted to say here that I've developed an extreme emotional investment in this story, I loved developing and writing the characters of the three listed as main characters, and it's been a rough last couple of weeks while I put the finishing touches on it. I think it does some things not often found in the romance stories in this fandom.

    As I said in the synopsis, the story is complete. I decided long ago to finish a story before posting any of it, if I ever wrote another chaptered story, because so many things can pop up to sap my motivation to work on it. But if I complete it first, there's that drive to the finish line without anything negative holding me back. So here it is. And as a little bonus for those who read the blog, here's the full schedule:

    Sept. 28> Chapter 1: Overture

    Oct. 5> Chapter 2: Crescendo

    Oct. 12> Chapter 3: Divertimento

    Oct. 19> Chapter 4: Elegy

    Oct. 26> Chapter 5: alla Rustica

    Nov. 2> Chapter 6: Toccata

                  Epilogue: Encore

    4 comments · 77 views
  • 5w, 4d
    My Domestic Equestria

    So I posted this story earlier today, and it's an odd bird. More a peek at my home life with a budding MLP fan. As such, it's nonfiction, which surprised me a little that it passed moderation. I figured it'd be called too meta or something, and that I'd have to do it as a blog post instead. So here's a blog post to signal-boost what might have been a blog post.

    By the way, my wife just baked some cookies for real tonight. My son always helps with that, and this time he asked if Pinkie could help, too. Everypony got to share a cookie with him! I hope everyone finds this a cute window into a child's perspective on the show, along with a few of my own thoughts sprinkled throughout.

    2 comments · 104 views
  • 7w, 21h
    Some writing advice which may or may not actually help anyone

    Some weeks ago, Avox posed a question on my user page:

    How do you usually go about writing your stories? Do you outline them beforehand, or do you just dive in headfirst? Do you finish them in one sitting, or do you write bits and pieces of them here and there? I'd love the chance to dissect your brain learn more about how you write, since you clearly know what you're doing.

    Given that he was the one who asked, and that I didn't think a large number of people would be too interested in the answer (not that I'll get many here anyway, as my blog posts only tend to get 30-50 views), I responded via PM. Avox thought I should post the reply somewhere more people would see it, so... eh, why not?

    So here's what my response was. If you have a rat's ass to give, leave it in the donations box.

    I’m definitely not someone who follows a standard process each time. I don’t have a period set aside to write each day, I don’t go through any preparation exercises, and I don’t use the same method every time. Really, the main issue for any writer is to find what works for you. Just because a system works for one writer you may like doesn’t mean it will do the least bit of good for you.

    There are a few things that I think help, though. For instance, look at how many of my stories came from write-offs (I always note in the synopsis when that’s the case) or are lengthened versions of minifics from write-offs. For me, that’s what it takes to be motivated to write. These contests are a fun way to push yourself to get an idea written quickly and get some nice feedback (usually) as part of the deal. Then when the contest is over, you can use that feedback to revise the story at your leisure. If you can get yourself to write anyway, that’s great, but this is what it took for me to have a consistent prod to come up with ideas and make them into something.

    The minifics in particular are a great exercise. I’d encourage anyone to participate in the write-offs in general and the mini ones specifically. They have an upper word limit (usually 750, but it’s been as low as 400), which really forces you into an economy of words. You have to make every one count. And yet they’re short enough that all you need is to pick a character you’d like to write about and maybe a one-sentence concept of what happens in the story, and you’re off.

    So, how to get started? Even for longer stories, it’s sometimes as simple as the minifics: a very brief description of the scenario or a character I wanted to write about. Seeing as how many of my one-shots are extended from minifics, even that small a seed can become something substantial. I’m one who doesn’t start a story until it’s all planned out in my head. I’ll get the initial idea, then roll it around in my mind for days, weeks, even months, until I know how I want the entire story arc to go. That doesn’t include the full detail, of course, because that’d be too much to keep track of, and you have to account for the little delightful things that occur to you during the actual writing anyway. You also have to be open to changing your mind about that initial plan to accommodate new ideas, massage things to get them to fit together better, or even make drastic changes when you realize your plan isn’t working. Because I plan first, I already have an outline in my head, and at times, I’ve formalized it by writing it out in a document. My outlines tend to run nearly half as long as the finished story, because while I do just keep to bare-bones action and description in this phase, I go ahead and write out most of the dialogue. Then when I’m ready to write, I add a few blank lines to the top of the outline and start expanding on what’s there. Other times, I just work from my head.

    For me, there are two critical things to consider in a story. First is to keep asking yourself why. Why do these events happen, why do the characters act the way they do about them, why does the story matter? Even in descriptions, you can set a mood with how the room looks, but if it occurs to you to put some detail in there, like a particular knickknack on the shelf, why should it be there? Did you make some subconscious link to something about one of the characters that it’s supposed to represent? If not, can you invent a way for that object to be significant? You get some leeway for scene setting, but for the most part, if you can’t answer the why, it’s probably not worth including. I do want to call attention to one of those questions, though: why does the story matter? Too many stories skip this part, particularly comedies or random stories, but all types violate it from time to time. I call this the “before and after” test. Look at a snapshot of the world as a whole or of the specific characters at the beginning of the story and again at the end. Has anything changed because of the story’s events? It should. There should be some conflict that’s come up and gotten resolved, and at the end, we should see that life is different now, or that we’ve gained some new insight into one of the characters. To pick on comedies, too many authors are satisfied with telling the joke and leaving it at that. While it may be funny, it’s not a story.

    The second is another kind of why: characterization. After all, that’s the establishment of why the characters act the way they do. We know enough about canon characters already, so you only need to worry about any personality traits that you want to add to their canon forms. For an original character, you need to plan them out so that you know more about them than you’ll use in the story. That level of familiarity will become apparent in your writing. But how to achieve that familiarity? Again, different things work for different people. Some imagine a list of very esoteric questions and think of what the character’s answers might be—things like their favorite sandwich, if they’ve ever been ice skating, etc. If that works, fine, but to me, that’s overkill. Often, a lot of those types of things can be knocked out with more broad ideas so that you only have to think of the exceptions. If it’s a shy character, chances are he hasn’t done stand-up comedy or gone skydiving. If he has, that’s the exception to remember, but a lot of the rest happens by default. Still, these things can be overkill as well. In my mind, it’s not really necessary to plan the character beyond things that are tangentially related to the story’s events, but even tangential things can be pretty far removed. For example, his reaction to causing a fender bender could be influenced by how his grandmother treated his mother when she was young. Relevance is the key.

    If you know your character that well, it will be easier to figure out how he behaves in any given scenario, and you really do have to consider that. Take on that character’s persona and adjust for differences in personality. Or perhaps consider an acquaintance who reminds you of the character. Then really ask yourself what you or that acquaintance would do or say in the situation. When you constantly make yourself tie that character’s behavior to what a real person would do, he comes across as so much more authentic in your writing. And character is the strongest thing in a story. That’s why the reader is there. Events are far more interesting because of who is there experiencing them. Great characters can survive with little plot, but the opposite is rarely true. I have a test for this as well: the “but” test (go ahead and snicker). If you want to describe your character in a short paragraph, how many times do you have to use the word “but”? This is why Rarity is my favorite character: she’s full of internal contradictions. She demands the finest in fashion, but she doesn’t ridicule her friends when they come up lacking. She has expensive tastes, but she doesn’t mind sharing those things. She’s obsessed with social status, but she takes great pleasure in being with friends who would certainly not fit in those circles. Real people are like this, full of unexpected quirks and competing interests, so it’s no wonder that written characters become more interesting when they show such traits.

    Stories that rely on situational emotions need to develop that situation with as much care as a character. If a reader is to feel invested in a romance or a sad situation, he has to feel like he knows that situation as well as he’d know a character. So it’s not enough just to say that two characters are in love, or that one is sad that another has died. You have to give the reader enough context to know exactly what’s at stake. For a sad story, you need the context to establish why it’s sad. Don’t just show me John Doe on his deathbed. Show me what led up to it so that I know everything he means to Jane. Then I miss him too, and I feel bad for Jane. Otherwise, it’s no more sad than reading a stranger’s obituary. For a romance, prove that the couple works well together, that they have chemistry. This can happen either by showing the gradual start of the romance, so I see the little dance of getting to know each other and melding of two individuals into a unit. Or well after they’re a couple, show me the little banter and interactions that couples have. In some way, give that relationship the same depth you’d give a character. Starting with “John and Jane are in love” is no better than starting with “John is a financial analyst who drinks a lot and suffers from depression, so go ahead and care about him already.” It all comes down to demonstrating those things to the reader and convincing him. If you leave it to him to invent the reasons he should care, many will decline to do so and just wade through the story with a minimal attachment, if they don’t give up altogether and move on to another story.

    For a write-off entry, this all necessarily takes whatever the allotted time period is, three days for most of the one-shots, and one day for the minifics. But when I revise them later on or write a story not connected to a writing event, I work on it in bits and pieces. I only get a few hours a day to split between reviewing stories and writing, so it’s just whatever time I can scrape together. Sometimes it takes a day or two, but it may well stretch more than a week.

    There, all that long-winded stuff is the writing part. It’s not really worth getting into the physical part. Whether you work well in front of the TV or need a quiet place is fine. There’s really no good advice there. I just wanted to describe the types of pitfalls that I’m conscious to avoid as I type.

    Afterward, then. I put the story down for at least a week. Go find other things to do, don’t go back and look at it, try not to think about it. You want it out of your head as much as possible. It’s surprising what you’ll see when it’s not fresh in your mind. I’ll find phrasings that are unclear, and I can’t remember what I meant them to say. I’ll find a word I used in three consecutive sentences. I’ll find something a character said that I’d intended to be a recurring thing but forgot to include in the rest of the story. And lastly, get an outside opinion, someone who you trust to be honest. Even if it’s someone who can’t help you with the grammar, he can still tell you that he didn’t understand what a sentence is trying to say, or that he doesn’t believe a character would reasonably act in a particular way. A lot of these kinds of problems are things readers can sense intuitively, regardless of whether they’re good writers.

    I hope this answers what you wanted to know, Any more questions, please ask.

    8 comments · 260 views
  • 10w, 5d
    Yet another reading!

    DRWolf has done a reading of "If Memory Serves," and he sure has the voice for it! Send him some views and love on his YouTube channel!

    1 comments · 184 views
  • ...
 64
 4,188
Source

"Strong" is definitely a word that describes the Apples, and their family bonds are one of their biggest strengths. But Applejack will need to show her vulnerable side to get the most out of this day.

With her friends' help and a few cracks in her armor, Applejack is going to make this Mother's Day the best one yet.

Featured on Equestria Daily!

Cover art by Conicer

Thanks to Cassius, Filler, Corejo, Uma, Dublio, and Compendium of Steve for reviews/feedback.

First Published
30th Nov 2012
Last Modified
30th Nov 2012
#1 · 98w, 3d ago · · 8 ·

AND THEN THEY FUCKED

#2 · 98w, 3d ago · 2 · ·

sad story is sad :fluttercry:

#4 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1712424

Duuuuude.

Again?

#5 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1712809

Spambot. Ignore.

I'm glad to see this up.

#6 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·
#8 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

Overall a nice touching story. Revealed a lot of Applejack's character.

I really want to know what the inscription reads. In some ways it is perfect that we don't find out.

I got caught when I reached "itailian." Took me a good 30 seconds before I realized the joke.

Nikola of Tesla

-Head of Applied Magic, Canterlot Institute of Technology

#9 · 98w, 3d ago · 2 · ·

>>1713728

>I really want to know what the inscription reads.

See story title, which also implies another phrase. The full quote would be, "Many women (mares) do noble things, but you surpass them all."

#10 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

Awwww. :fluttercry: Stupid Applejack fanfics, making me cry . . .

It's really well-written. Nice. :twilightsmile:

#11 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

And I was naive enough to think that this would be one fic in which Applejack's parents aren't dead...

Well, never mind.

#12 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1713752 Dude, high five bro hoof extravaganza

Anybody who can work Proverbs into a pony story get's props from me. I'll read it when I get home.

#13 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1712024

Oh come on, show some respect for the story, man.  :ajbemused:

#15 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

yep i cried and congrats on EQD

#16 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

Predictable yet endearing, and deserving of its EQD feature. Well-written throughout and characterized just right. Thumbs up for you!

#17 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

Fantastic work! One of the best and most well written fics I've read, and very emotional. My hat off to you :ajsleepy:

#18 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

I has a sad nao... I should really do something like this to remember my mom >.<

#19 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·
#20 · 98w, 3d ago · · ·

I'm going to go be sad now and think about life ;_;

#21 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

Bawling like a filly now! :fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry:

#23 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

A good sweet story, with a happy.sad feeling to it. :pinkiesad2:

#26 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·
#27 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

Good story. :raritywink:

Don't know why, but I kept thinking this was gonna end up revealing Applejack to be Apple Bloom's mother.

I clued in right before the reveal about AJ's mom and thought,

"Why didn't I see that coming sooner?"

I didn't get teary-eyed or anything, but I did enjoy the bittersweet feels at the end.

#28 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

:applecry::fluttercry::pinkiesad2::raritycry:Beautiful story, I cried.

#29 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

Right in the feels, man. I've had a few friends go through losing a parent. Thanks for writing this. :ajsleepy:

#30 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

Dear lord the FEELS:fluttercry::raritycry::raritydespair::applecry:

#31 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

Oh man that was so bittersweet I loved every minute of it though. You captured Apple Jacks character wonderfully, wonderful work dude wonderful. I'm in tears :fluttercry::fluttershysad::

#32 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

powerful.

#33 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

I've waited far too long for this.:fluttercry:

#34 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

D'awww....

This story is beautifully written, and gives a nice view of AJ's mom and dad.

I believe  that Mr. Backpack said it best.

Powerful.

Also,

#35 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

Cute story, and very well written. I love bittersweet.

#36 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

:pinkiesad2:

#37 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

How to say absolutely nothing in eight thousand words. This isn't a sad story, it's better titled: "Applejack goes grocery shopping."

#38 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

you amazing writers you....life must be quite the adventure with your imagination, keen observation and sensitivity.

the story is also awesome  :pinkiesmile:

#39 · 98w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1721079

Such is the nature of a character study. Sorry you didn't like it.

#40 · 98w, 1d ago · · ·

Why am I a sucker for these stories?:raritydespair:

#41 · 98w, 1d ago · · ·

I knew exactly how it was going to go right from the get-go, and I still got teary-eyed at the end.

Cool story, bro. It was truly beautiful.

#42 · 98w, 1d ago · · ·

A word of advice, delete Regidar's comments. You have he power, use it. Any mod will agree that it is a rightful use of your power.

#43 · 98w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1721398

While I do agree to some extent with LunaUsesCaps, you could comfortably make the argument that showing a bit of her daily routine on Mothers' Day actually hammers home the routine of preparing a memorial lunch. The casual acceptance of it almost makes it even harder to accept because it's so rote for her that she has to force herself to stop and think about the mare she's remembering.

That said, I do think you went a bit too in-depth--there were plenty of interesting characters, but after getting 5k words in and still not reaching the main event of the story things started to drag a little bit.

#44 · 98w, 4h ago · · ·

This was absolutely beautiful. It was very well written and it avoided stating the obvious ending. All the the characters played their roles they way they should. Nice Job and Well Done!:pinkiesad2:

#45 · 97w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

You've got a good talent on the written word, there's no denying. But there's a good deal of very unnecessary scenes, dialogue, description and events that just don't need to be here. In writing, its called "deadwood". You could've reduced the grocery-shopping scene to a mere paragraph, and gone through the errands in short order as well. The focus of this story is exploring the bittersweet celebration of Mother's Day for the Apple Family. Yet, we spend about 3/4's of it following Applejack around as she prepares for the event. As readers, most won't care, to be honest. If you cut this down, it would have been Twilight learning about the odd traditions, and then the feast scene and headstone scene. There's just so much here that adds nothing to the story and the reason for the story's existence, we get bogged down and forget why we're here. Its not as sad and meaningful as it could be, because we spend half a page arguing over the price of food (i.e. What does this have to do with the price of tea in China). This had wonderful potential, but its just poorly done. :fluttershyouch:

#46 · 97w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>1736169

Well, I'm sorry you didn't like it. There was more to it than Applejack's journey, as you've indicated, but if that didn't connect to you, it's neither here nor there. Not everyone likes every story. Along those lines, I would encourage you to temper such statements in the future:

>This had wonderful potential, but its just poorly done.

That's much different than saying, "I didn't like it." One would clearly be your opinion. The other presumes to be everyone's.

#47 · 97w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>1736276 Very well then.

"I didn't like it."

#48 · 97w, 3d ago · · ·

I sort of agree that the story should be shorter, but there is something to be said for the juxtaposition of the mundane and the tragic.  So maybe...

20% shorter to make it 20% cooler :rainbowderp: ?

I still liked the story.

#49 · 96w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

I'm not sure why everyone feels that the story needs to be chopped down, quite honestly I thought the story needed to have Applejack going about all her shopping. It shows exactly how much work she puts into celebrating her mother's memory on Mother's Day, and clueless Twilight was somewhat adorable/somewhat painful because I kept wondering if she'd realize somewhere along the path that it was a very personal day for Applejack.

All in all, I think this is an excellent story as it is. Thank you for uploading it! :heart:

#50 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Not much of a shocker, of course, and it treads familiar ground, but it does so very, very well.  You've got a really good grasp of the canon character voices and their presentation on paper, something that I always seem to have trouble with.  Nicely done.

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