News Archive

  • Sunday
    SA Reviews #105

    8 comments · 577 views
  • 1w, 1d
    S7E11: Not Asking for Trouble

    68 comments · 2,289 views
  • 1w, 2d
    S7E10 - A Royal Problem

    251 comments · 3,786 views
  • 2w, 1d
    S7E9 - Honest Apple

    112 comments · 2,587 views
  • 2w, 2d
    S7E8 - Hard to Say Anything

    147 comments · 2,786 views
  • 3w, 1d
    S7E7 - Parental Glideance

    163 comments · 3,594 views
  • 3w, 2d
    S7E6 - Forever Filly

    66 comments · 2,669 views
  • 3w, 3d
    AlicornPriest's "Alicorn Time" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The memories of today's story will stick with you.

    Alicorn Time

    [Sad] • 2,138 words

    Twilight, believing something has happened to her memory, seeks out Princess Celestia to see if she recognizes it and can offer a cure. But the answer lies far deeper in the root of her nature and her life as the Princess of Friendship than she would have ever expected.

    FROM THE CURATORS: It's not often that a short fic laser-focused on a single idea — especially an idea without direct roots in the show — makes us sit up and take notice.  "At the outset, this looks like a pretty typical 'bit of headcanon disguised as a story'," Chris said.  "That does, though, sell this fic short in one crucial respect: the author is able to deliver some truly heartwrenching moments in the back half of this.  Celestia gets a couple of absolute back-breaker lines, and the final sentence of the fic is heavy in just the right way."  Horizon agreed: "It's a headcanon fraught with emotional issues, and the author hits the right notes to effectively draw those out."

    That was due not only to the story's choice of topics, but also the choice of perspectives with which it approached the idea.  "I've had trouble with my memory my entire life ... so the idea of experiencing most of life only 'in the moment' doesn't seem that awful to me," AugieDog said.  "But AlicornPriest does a good job of conveying how devastating this is to Twilight and of following her through the stages of grief as she comes to realize how this is going to affect her and her friendships."  That was brought out further by strong secondary character work.  "The story also made an effective decision in Celestia's characterization," Horizon said.  "Her casual acceptance of the phenomenon just underscores how disturbing the situation is if you actually stop and think about it."

    Those made this work not just as an idea fic but also as a story.  "I've zoned out while working in the yard and 'lost' a half-hour or more before," Chris said.  "Alicorn Time is that feeling, writ large, and it achieved a poignancy as a result which few 'headcanon fics' can match."  And the fic's solid extrapolation of that phenomenon to immortality was what made it exemplary, Horizon said: "I think asking important questions about our own experiences through the lens of fantasy is one of the highest goals that a fanfic can reach."

    Read on for our author interview, in which AlicornPriest discusses tweening, Account Patterns, and zoned-out YouTube flickers.

    Give us the standard biography.

    Hi! I’m Alicorn Priest. I’m 24, I graduated from college about a year ago — English, as you might expect, though I also earned a BA in Chemistry. (Yes, there are Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry. Whodathunk?) I’ve been a brony since season 2 — I was there speculating when we were wondering what Discord was gonna look like, and I started reading “Background Pony” back when there were only two chapters out. My first fic (if you don’t count the terrible one I sent to the EqD reviewers) was posted up on in March 2012. (It’s called “The Table at the End.” Go check it out.)

    How did you come up with your handle/penname?

    It’s kind of a funny story. When I made my first GMail account, I fancied myself a philosopher — really, I just liked to think about complex topics — so I named my first e-mail after my first name (which starts with an A), followed by “philos.” When I started making accounts on Reddit and such the like, I decided to make it easier for myself by making every account with the same pattern: a word starting with A, then a word starting with P. “Alicorn” seemed like the obvious A word, and “Priest” for P was the first word that seemed appropriate. I like the imagery it provides: one who worships and serves the princesses. One of my clients calls me Ali P, which I find adorable.

    Who's your favorite pony?

    Twilight Sparkle, almost certainly. I have the same personality as her: studious, awkward, friendly, and a little naive. Somehow, all of my fics seem to include her one way or another. Close behind are Rarity and Pinkie Pie — Pinkie’s my problematic fave, because while I really like her personality and background, I think her depiction in the show is done right only about half of the time. “When she was good, she was very good indeed, but when she was bad, she was horrid,” if you know the poem.

    What's your favorite episode?

    As much as I’m a season 1-season 2 fanboy, I’ve gotta give it to “Pinkie Pride.” Every song is spot-on, Weird Al’s guest appearance is perfect, and the thematics and character exploration are stellar. It’s the quintessential episode of the show.

    What do you get from the show?

    I remember when I first got into the show, I was stunned at the attitude and charm it had. The main character is an awkward student who throws snark at everyone she meets? Is that even allowed in kids’ shows? And it had such tension and drama in those opening episodes, I was immediately hooked. I suppose if I had to distill it down to one word, it’d be “relatable.” The characters have real problems, they struggle with their friends, and they overcome through conversation and apologies. The bright colors and poppy songs draw you in, but the relatability is what keeps you watching.

    What do you want from life?

    ... Wow, what a tough question. I suppose I could just point to Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs and say “that,” but I’d better explain a bit more. First of all, I want to be happy, but “happy” is such a poor word. It includes everything from the satisfaction of a job well done to the zoned-out flickers when a YouTube video is slightly more interesting than the previous one. Unfortunately, the latter is much easier to get than the former, so ... there’s that. Second, I want to feel as though I’m useful to the world somehow. I want to feel like I’m creating things people enjoy, or helping make people’s lives better — something that has value. I suppose in a venial way, I like getting praised for doing good work, so that’s part of it, too.

    Why do you write?

    I write because an idea gets lodged into my head, and I want to expand it out into a story. I get a vision of a scene, or a line of dialogue, or a source of conflict, and I want to see how it plays out. The hard part is all the little interactions to get from one major scene to the next — in animation, they’d be called “tweening,” right? Other than that, I write because I have some idea I want to share with the world, and either my blog posts or my fiction is the best way to do that. I come up with a story about how weatherponies came to be, or I want to share a connection between transactional analysis and character interaction, so I write a story about it or create a blog post discussing it. Recently, I’ve had people regularly commenting on my posts, which helps a ton. If I felt I was just spitting into the wind, I wouldn’t keep doing it. (Hence why I went dark a couple years ago.)

    What advice do you have for the authors out there?

    Network. Network, network, network. If you want to rise in the ranks, you need to take writing seriously. Part of that process is talking with the community here on FiMFiction and establishing yourself. Make friends, so that your friends will read your stories, and then they’ll recommend those stories to their friends, and so on. If you’re an introvert like me, this is really hard, I know, but you’ve gotta do it. As to writing advice, it’d be “write what’s important” and “character relationships give you more to work with than each character separately.” And the editor part of me wants to add, “Wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” That’s Samuel Johnson, by the by.

    What inspired “Alicorn Time”?

    A couple of things. To a lesser extent, ruminating on what it would be like to be immortal, and how the passage of time would feel after long stretches. As Celestia explains in the fic, I felt the sort-of dissociative episodes would be a blessing, to save their minds from having to experience every single moment. (The science behind it is pretty circumspect, I’m aware.) Primarily, however, it’s based upon my own experiences of college and previous. I wasted so much time on books, video games, and the Internet that at this point, it all feels like a blur. I would have done no worse if I had simply blacked out at the start of it and coasted through unconsciously. So Twilight’s resolution to “make every picosecond count!” is my own desire, and Celestia’s response is my resignation at the impossibility of that.

    What elements would you consider essential in writing a successful “explainfic”?

    Hah! You used my terminology. You really did your research. The biggest danger to writing an explainfic is that the explanation, the caulking to fill the holes in the plot, is all you have going for the story. A good explainfic should also have strong character interactions, an arc as the characters grow and change, a central conflict that the explanation factors into ... you know, all the workings of any good story. So in “Alicorn Time,” as Twilight tries to cope with having this new condition, her attitude changes, and she struggles to decide what she’s going to do going forward. A bad explainfic will simply set up a condition for a character to ask, “Why does this thing happen,” a character explaining it, and then the first character saying, “Ah, that makes sense.” I’ll be the first to admit “Alicorn Time” is not a perfect fic, and one of its weaknesses is that the characters simply sit down and talk at each other. This is another weakness of explainfics, and the solution is to write a plot which can involve moving around and interacting with objects.

    Do you prefer planning your stories out ahead of time or letting them grow during the typing process?

    I love when little details appear mid-writing session, but I can’t rely on that to be the driver of my story. Sometimes personality quirks will change certain scenes, or the way I decide to execute a scene will create connections I hadn’t considered. For example, in a chapter of “Mother and Child” I’ve been working on, I discovered a place to put Cadance in the Beta timeline of Equestria which I hadn’t really planned when coming up with the chapter. I also noticed how the events Pinkie accidentally puts into motion will reflect a later scene where she does the same thing more intentionally. So that’s really neat. However, I’m not a seat-of-your-pants type writer, as much as I pretend to be. I find I get the best results when I can sit down (with a spiralbound notebook, not a Word document) and sketch out the chapter progressions, the character arcs, and the event timeline. Otherwise, I procrastinate because I don’t know what to write. Of course, even when I do plan, I procrastinate anyway, but eh. That’s how it goes with me, I suppose.

    Do you think Twilight will ever be comfortable enough in her alicornhood to unconsciously call Celestia by name?

    Heh. Twilight and I suffer from a pretty similar problem. When someone superior to us earns our respect, we tend to ... idolize them, just a little bit. I do it with all the amazing writers that frequent my blog, and Twilight does it with Princess Celestia. Talking with one of your idols isn’t quite the same as talking to one of your equals, even when your idol is your equal. (We’re all horsewords enthusiasts here, in the end. Even when one of my commenters has 17 times as many followers as I do.) So for me, that means putting them on a pedestal, and for Twilight, that means she can’t quite get over adding “Princess” to the front of Celestia’s name. I’m not sure it’s something she’ll ever get over, perhaps until she finds herself doing as much as Celestia does.

    Is there anything else you'd like to add?

    Hmm ... the shill in me wants to plug my new monetization strategy, but I’ll leave that for the readers to find on their own. What I will plug of mine, though, is my series of blog posts entitled “Writer’s Workshop.” Every so often, I share a particular trick that can help make your writing more interesting. I’ve used examples from South Park, the RPG Fate: Accelerated Edition, The Arrival of the Mail Train, and the psychological methodology of transactional analysis. I’ve also got a couple other stories people might like if they’re curious — my other smash hit would have to be “It’s Impossible!” (with the unofficial slogan, “The Ride Never Ends!”).

    Other than that, I want to thank all the readers out there. Thanks for reading this interview, thanks for making “Alicorn Time” as big as it has been, and thanks for checking out my other writings. Hope you enjoy. :)

    You can read Alicorn Time at Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

    4 comments · 809 views
  • 4w, 1d
    SA Reviews #103

    7 comments · 993 views
  • 4w, 1d
    S7E5 - Fluttershy Leans In

    78 comments · 3,053 views
  • 4w, 2d
    S7E4 - Rock Solid Friendship

    120 comments · 2,658 views
  • 5w, 2d
    S7E3 - Flurry of Emotions

    123 comments · 3,104 views
  • 5w, 5d
    Announcing EFNW Scribblefest 2017 Winners!

    After much deliberation, reading, rereading, and judging we finally have our winners for the Everfree Northwest Scribblefest 2017!

    I want to first congratulate all of you who submitted your hard written stories!  We had a field of 36 contestants, and that’s amazing!  Thank you so much for all your hard work that you do!  Now, without further ado, our finalist and their respective categories!

    Twilight Sparkle Award

    Ebon Quill with “Slouching Towards Canterlot”

    Twilight was a tough fight, and it got down to the wire in the end between the final four stories!  Excellent job, Ebon Quill, writing a story that showed you did the research and made sure everything was picture perfect!  Just like Twilight herself would love!

    Rarity Award

    Loganberry with “The Book of Ended Lives”

    This story was gorgeous, and it was a clean sweep with all 6 judges voting for it.  Both pieces in this category had beautiful, flowing prose, but ultimately the gorgeous flair that Loganberry had for his piece won him the prize!  Beautifully written, Loganberry!  

    Rainbow Dash Award

    Novel-Idea with “The Cycle of Flame”

    To win in this category, the story had to be 200% cooler than all the rest, and Novel-Idea’s piece swept this category with all 6 finalists voting for it.  It was a tough decision, but his ability to write action, turmoil, and involve a side of Philomena that we don’t see in the show made for an amazing piece of fiction.  Way to be awesome, Novel-Idea!

    Pinkie Pie Award

    Posh with “The Next Best Thing”

    We wanted to have a funny, snickering, hilarious story to win this category.  Posh actually manage to make us smile in this one as well.  His piece was equal parts funny, heartwarming, and sarcastic, just like we’d expect if Diamond Tiara were interacting with Spike and Starlight Glimmer.  Posh, you were nominated in 4 categories, and we all loved your story by degrees!  Excellent work!

    Applejack Award

    Apple Bottoms with “Nihtmer Niht”

    The Applejack Award was one of the most contested categories we had for judging.  Ultimately, Nihtmer Niht ended up winning out in the end for being very true to the show.  The theme showed strongly throughout the story, and we loved the Aesop at the end, which really made this story win.  Hard work paid off in the end, didn’t it, Apple Bottoms?

    Fluttershy Award

    The Hat Man with “Freedom Flourishes”

    The Fluttershy award has to be my personal favourite category, because I love heartwarming stories.  This story made all of us tear up at the end.  The Hat Man expertly blended past with present through a series of flashbacks in this heartwarming tail, that took all of the judges by surprise.  Freedom Flourishes was an extremely touching piece, The Hat Man.  Fluttershy would be proud.

    18 comments · 1,169 views
  • 6w, 2d
    SA Reviews #102

    8 comments · 1,102 views
  • 6w, 2d
    S7E1-2 - All Bottled Up / Celestial Advice

    167 comments · 3,641 views

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.

Just inside the Seattle’s Angels prison compound, the new guy burst through Ferret’s bedroom door.

“FERRET!” he yelled with a crazed look in his eye. “I just realized, we don’t have an introduction, let alone a conclusion!”

“You know, Matthew, you aren’t technically the new guy anymore... we have Chris now.”

“True... but still, what do we do for the intro?”

“I don’t know, you should make something up. Just make sure it’s funny.”

“But that’s the problem, Ferret. I’ve been thinking about it for a week and I’ve got nothing. Pretty soon, Scarlet over there is gonna start hounding me about deadlines.”

“What about Arch? We could shanghai him into doing it.”

“I tried... he was too busy stroking his beard, drawing a picture of TOM and Derpy snuggling while cackling like a first-rate shipper, and drinking Griffonian Ale.”

“That’s oddly specific.”

“Yeah, I think I need brain-bleach. Any idea where I could get some?”

“Storeroom 17, where we also keep supplies for fixing doors...and don’t forget we still need to do the reviews to go with the intro!” She calls after him, waving a sheaf of messy papers.”



To Guard the Light, by 7th Outpost

An old stallion is tasked by a mysterious god with keeping the fire burning in an old lighthouse. He guides the way for the ponies of Equestria's past, present, and future, both teaching and learning the simplest truths of life in the process.


This is one of the first stories I read on this site, and it’s one of the ones that made me get an account. And it is an absolute shame it has few enough views to be featured here.

With it’s 12k words, it contains a lot. And I mean a lot. It’s the kind of fic where if you actually read instead of skimming it, you will (probably) love it.

It’s set in the time period of the entirety of Equestria’s existence. And throughout all of that time, there is a stallion charged with keeping a flame burning. Hence, the title. Anyway, it becomes his job to guide those in need of him. It does a great job of showing how he helps others, and how, in turn, the others affect him. I just about burst into full-blown sobs when a certain character left him.

My only real complaint is the ending, where it feels a little out of theme. But it’s not actually that bad.

So, yeah, get out there and read this thing.


Some stories are written around mysteries. Whether it’s a mystery that can be solved by clever deduction of the readers, or whether it must be solved by the characters or whether it’s simply that the mystery is never solved at all can vary. This is a story of the third type.

It opens with a mysterious figure tasking another to keep a fire alight. To follow the duties of a lighthouse keeper. To ensure the flame always burns bright, and to provide shelter and succour for all who need it. No matter where or when they come from.

And that is our entry to a very intriguing and well written story. It has beautiful flow and cadence to the word choices and it’s very intriguing. I found myself falling in love with the protagonist and his struggles and triumphs as he helps others with their own troubles and discovers his purpose and reason for being there.

The characters he meets and helps are all wonderfully crafted and truly come alive on the page. From their highs and lows, I found myself wanting to encourage and comfort them, just as our protagonist does.

I won’t deny the final section made me tear up at it, but it fits beautifully with the narrative. I won’t spoil things, but this is definitely worth taking a chance on.


Not-so Voiceless, by cloudedguardian

Sometimes it is not the spoken word that allows one to be heard.


While this one may be short, it does not lack for content. It’s hard to write characters with disabilities, most of the time, you get “this pony has overcome his/her disabilities so well, we should all feel inspired by them,” or “this pony is so helpless.” With this one, we get a nice balance. It mentions the disability, but doesn’t try to make it this big thing. It just simply is.

Despite the fact that the narrator has a disability, and the users reading this may not, it is a very relatable story. Everypony I know, and me, has struggled with finding their place in the world.

It can be a little confusing as to what’s going on at first, but it will all make sense at the end. Now go and read it


Writing characters with disabilities, physical or otherwise, is a tricky tightrope to manage. Too far one way and you’re making them overly capable. Too far the other way and they’re martyrs for how they cope with such helplessness.

This story manages to skirt the issue nicely by giving the character a way to speak that doesn’t aggressively fixate on their disability. While the story acknowledges the disability, the focus is not on ‘Oh how sad’ or ‘Oh how brave’ It simply is what it is.

Even though the narrator has such a disability, it’s a very relatable story. Everyone has struggled growing up to find their place and figure out their passions and this feels very natural and familiar.

It’s beautifully written and feels very gentle and flowing as well. I felt as though I was really standing there reading a letter and hearing a voice in my head.

I really recommend anyone check out this story and find yourself remembering your struggles and triumphs.


Co-Incidence, by Bradel

Twilight discovers that the winter solstice and the new moon are happening at the same time. Exactly the same time.

With the magic of Equestria in danger, Twilight must hurry to Canterlot and save the princesses from... well... Something. Probably.


I’m not really sure what this is. It’s like, a mystery comedy. Maybe? It might just be an adventure fic.

Anyway, Twilight discovers that the New Moon and Winter Solstice are happening at the same time. And something is bound to go wrong. So, Twilight sets out to stop whatever disaster is most certainly inbound.

This one’s real strength comes through subtlety, and I will admit it took a few reads for me to figure it out. It gives us a somewhat-mystery to solve by analyzing the characters. So really pay attention while reading it. Your sanity could depend on this. Don’t blink. Don’t even blink. Blink and you miss out. It’s subtle. Subtler than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.

Good luck.


This is a mystery story of a different type than the previous story. This one falls into the category of a mystery for the reader to solve. Potentially. Actually, it’s not certain.

Twilight has discovered an intriguing co-incidence is about to occur. One that will have huge repercussions for a critical period of time. Nobody else has noticed of course. Thus it will be up to her to solve it! No matter how much others downplay or dissemble, she will not be dissuaded!

I love this story for it’s subtlety. It makes some incredible characters for us to interact with and gives them a very intriguing puzzle to solve. But only Twilight seems prepared to solve it, as usual. It’s reminiscent of the very first introduction we had to our favourite purple pony.

At the same time, it has some big changes as well. It really does show the way Twilight has grown and changed from her first big discovery and the ways she reacts and handles things really show it. She isn’t inclined to go solo and assume no one else can aid her. She reaches out to gain assistance from others, and even if their help isn’t exactly what she wants, she keeps persevering. Determined to save everything no matter what.

How she copes with the results is a very humanizing moment. It allows us to see her frailties, her fears and vulnerabilities. It reminds us that she is after all, just a pony and that sometimes she has trouble slowing down to listen.

I really think this is intriguing and if you’d like to spot the mystery yourself, I suggest ignoring the comments.


It Doesn’t Matter Now, by Loganberry

The Spirit Pony is responsible for the End of All That Ever Was. It has always been so. This particular End looks like being a straightforward one – until a certain pink pony intervenes to prevent it happening. Pinkie has a very, very good reason for stopping the Spirit, too...


This is a short, meaningful story about the end of the world. Pinkie has Pinkie-Promised to exist until she makes everypony laugh, and that includes the Spirit Pony.

It goes beyond Pinkie’s typical fourth-wall breaking, beyond the usual meta of Sunbutt and Lulu at the end of time, it’s a representation of the importance of promises. Promises are extremely important, and are too often forgotten. The power of a promise can plunge an entire universe into chaos, or bring a world out of one. And this is most likely why Pinkie takes hers so seriously.

I normally don’t like Pinkie Pie fics, the authors make her too silly, or too random, or stupid instead of giving her a meaningful character. But not Loganberry. Loganberry over here, he showed the side of Pinkie that always remembers because everypony is important to her. It Doesn’t Matter Now was able to take my fourth favorite of the main six, and make me feel for her.

And that is why I can safely say: drop everything, and spend at least 15 minutes on this fic. Look beyond the silliness, and beyond the randomness, and see the power of faithfulness.


This is a simple and sweet piece and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Promises can be very powerful things. They can be as simply as a promise to meet again someday by friends. Fleeting and never expected to be fulfilled. They can be between best friends who know they’ll be together forever, no matter what. They can be a statement of vengeance whether in jest or flat seriousness, that two shall meet again and things shall go differently.

We’ve become well aware of promises in our time with our favourite pastel ponies. We make them ourselves and know that the threat, whether real, or pretend, will keep us honest and make sure we follow through. This is a story about that kind of promise.

It’s a classic Loganberry piece, a story bordering on being a simply scene unconnected from anything else and thus not a story, but it has just enough to keep it whole and cohesive. It keeps itself steady even when everything else is floating around it.

Getting to see a different side of Pinkie can be tricky to pull off. Too serious or too macabre and she stops being herself and becomes a cheap facsimile of the one we love. This Pinkie is herself through and through. By turns serious and silly, she shows that there will always be someone who remembers.

“Okay, so I’m reading a book when you walk into the room with a stack of papers and tell me to write some reviews, right?” Matthew asks, writing stuff down in a notebook as he goes.

“There has to be some more to it than that, but yeah,” Ferret answers.

“What if I complain about why it has to be me?”

“That could work, I suppose. But who would you say it should be?”

“I don’t know, Corejo?”

“Sounds like it could be a good introduction,” Ferret said, nodding her head.

“So, should we do it?”

“That’s up to you, I don’t write these things.”

He stroked his chin in thought. “I guess I can make it work.”

“Just make sure it gets done on time!” Scarlet yelled from across the hall.

Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Wanderer D · 702 views ·
#1 · 2w, 3d ago · · ·

I blame Chris.

#2 · 2w, 3d ago · 1 · ·


You spelled Pav wrong.

#3 · 2w, 3d ago · · ·

Talking vehicles that fight crime are making a comeback into popularity. Obviously there is the classic talking car, and I do recall a talking boat, but what kind do the Angels drive?

#4 · 2w, 2d ago · · ·

Ah, I wondered where those extra views had come from! Thank you very much! :pinkiehappy: Both of you are very generous in your assessments, so thank you for that too. I don't really agree that a single scene can't be a story, but that's by the by. I'm particularly pleased that you thought I did a good job with Pinkie's character. As you say, she's very easy to get wrong -- and I've certainly not always got her spot on -- but this particular fic is, I think, the Pinkie-est I've ever managed. :pinkiehappy:

#5 · 2w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

Is geeking out appropriate here?

Don't mind me. I think I'm going to geek out.

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