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"Do it right, do it with style and never dream small!” - Author, Designer & Project Lead of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm - (Patreon)

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Takka Takka Takka: September 2017 - Sunsets, Airships, Movies & Cloudsdale · 6:02am Oct 1st, 2017

Would someone please tell me where the heck September went? Seriously, someone’s locked me in a damn speed bubble and I want out!

I think.

So. Let’s talk words.

September Word Count: 35,051

Did you know if I counted my story-related stuff, I would likely add an additional 20K-30K words or so to my monthly total? Between my blog posts, worldbuilding, the chronicling I do for my MLP D&D game and more… yeah. It’s a lot.

But I can’t count those words. Dammit. So let’s count the ones I can, shall we?

I didn’t quite make my 40K goal this month. But that’s okay, because a freaking ton of stuff went down this month. I submitted my entry to the AppleDash contest with Spectrum of Gray, I did a thousand things behind the scenes for Sunset Shimmer Day, I finished reviews and judging on the Sunset Shipping Contest run by Oroboro, I ran the Community-Rated 10 Top Sunset Shimmer Stories poll, plus I ended up starting on an entirely new writing project.

That’s not to mention the new addition of Philomena to Novel’s Nook (seriously, she may be too snarky and I’m considering rewriting her dialogue), learning how to run an Amazon AWS EC2 server (and troubleshooting SoulBot, the framework for Philomena, for Crystal Wishes), plus several other projects which I’ll be talking about in a bit.

Plus… I have two major announcements to make!

But first (and I'm sorry I forgot this for the inital publish!), you need your random excerpt!

To Sunset’s disappointment, her wife simply rolled her eyes instead of giving her the usual annoyed pout or huff of exasperation. That, more than anything, indicated that she did not believe this was the time for levity. “My dear Sunny. Did you have a pleasant flight?”

“Navigator Spark did her best to keep me out of trouble.” Sunset replied as she strode up to her beloved and gave her a chaste nuzzle upon the cheek. “Between her piloting skills and some quick demonstrations of ancient Maretopian combat forms, we managed to mostly stay out of trouble.”

Even through the doorway open to the bridge, Sunset heard Navigator Spark giggle.

“My,” Twilight replied with a bemused smirk, “if she is able to keep you out of trouble, I daresay she likely deserves a command of her own. Anypony who could tame the mighty Sunset Shimmer is fearsome indeed.”

Sunset’s lips quirked… then quirked higher when she noticed the faint blush upon Twilight’s cheeks.

Ah, so there is a bit of time for levity, Sunset realized. Well, I cannot let such an opportunity go to waste.

“Come now, Sparks,” Sunset purred in a low tone pitched in the right way to carry back into the bridge. “We both know you’re the only mare to have even gotten close to taming me.”

As expected, Twilight flushed as Sunset scored the hit.

It's hard being this hysterical all the time, you know. Really hard.

Patreon Stuff!

First, obligatory Patreon reminder. Yeah, I know, this stupid thing again. But… things are going on in my life. A recent job opportunity didn’t pan out. I’ll be honest. I’m a bit scared of the future. But my family and I will make it work.

No one really seemed all that interested in the rewards idea I suggested last month, so I guess I won’t be doing that, at least not right now (unless you decide to speak up, ya know).

National Pony Writing Month

For those of you who are unaware, National Novel Writing Month is a special event held in November, where the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. This coming year will be my eighth year participating in the project.

Now, I know most of you think doing this is totally insane. But I’m living proof that it’s quite possible. I pulled off a NaNoWriMo with a baby born on October 31. So I’m laying down the challenge to every author out here to participate.

And I’m going to help you.

With the blessing of Sethisto and ABagofVicodin, I will be personally running Equestria Daily’s version of NaNoWriMo. This is something I brought up last year after NaPoWriMo, as real life got in the way of EqD being able to show proper love to the writers. While I know there’s a bit of animosity toward some of FimFic and EqD, I remind you that this is the pony fandom. Let’s work together to make this awesome.

More details will be forthcoming on this in the future. My current plan is in the form of both weekly encouragement and daily encouragement in different locations. Not only that, but I strongly encourage anypony participating in NaPoWriMo to also go to NaNoWriMo and register. Just because they’re pony words don’t make them mean any less. Plus, there are some pretty cool rewards through NaNoWriMo for both participating and winning!

The best advice I can give you about NaNoWriMo is to start preparing yourself now. As of October 1, my goal is going to be 2,000 words a day. I want to train myself so that when November comes around, I’m totally ready to go. Just remember, NaNo/NaPo only counts the words you write during November. 

I’ll be sharing some more tips and suggestions on how to get fired up and prepare yourself for this madness in the coming weeks!

Announcing: SunLight Sliders II

TSunLight Sliders
Due to a minor calibration error, Sunset and Twilight find themselves lost in the vast possibilities of the multiverse. Now, they search for a way home… and find something neither expected in one another.
Novel-Idea · 40k words  ·  379  19 · 5.1k views

That’s right folks. As of today, I’m officially announcing that SunLight Sliders II is a go. I’m still hammering out details, such as where it’ll be hosted (it will not be on the Sunset Shimmer group this time due to requests by the community), how to sign up, word length and the process... and kinda everything.

Right now, I’m strongly considering starting exactly where the last one left off in RadiantBeam’s Epilogue, with a bloodied and beaten Sunset Shimmer appearing in SciTwi’s bedroom begging for help. I’ll be posting a few threads asking for opinions on this. But I do want to reuse the Talisman/TPT, because by its very nature, the device is perfect for short chapters by multiple authors.

Before you get worried, I know there are many of you out there who did not enjoy the Accord storyline. Though I think it ended well (with both Tirek and the Accord), one of the first rules of SunLight Sliders II will be that you cannot use any character, organization or location featured in the original SunLight Sliders. Why? Because I want you to be creative!

Of course, there are minor exceptions, such as the fact that we’ll be reusing the Talisman, SciTwi and Sunset (though this is a different pair than the stars of SunLight Sliders), but in general, this is meant to be fully original!

At present, signups will start halfway through November and run about a month.

Kickoff date to begin writing is currently set to January 1, 2018.

So saddle up, folks. It’s time for another jaunt through the multiverse!

The Best Review Ever!

PaulAsaran’s Review on The Cloudsdale Report

Before I go any further, I should warn you that Paul’s review of The Cloudsdale Report does spoil most of the story, so make sure to read the story first (though seriously, if you haven’t read The Cloudsdale Report and the rest of the Applications Arc, why are you even here?!).

I have been waiting for this day ever since submitting The Applications of Unified Harmony Magics to PaulAsaran last year. Paul’s been amazing, reviewing both Applications and History and rating them both as Pretty Good. I should mention that as these were among my first stories on FimFic, I am quite proud of that rating.

Many of you know what happened when The Cloudsdale Report came out. Things went nuts. I still don’t fully understand why the end of a trilogy (and it was clearly labeled as such) became such a smash hit. However, I had always known about this moment in time. Because the events of The Cloudsdale Report redefine the Wavelengths Timeline completely. It rewrites everything in a blink of an eye. Even worse… you now know far more than our heroes.

In conclusion, The Cloudsdale Report is a great final to an introductory story arc that is on the whole fascinating, thought-provoking, and more than a little frightening. It takes what has been introduced in the other two and puts it all together in a way that suddenly makes everything so very clear. More than anything, I want to read the rest of the stories set in this universe and see if Novel-Idea has any intention at all of taking it where we all know it’s going. If so, it may end up being one of the best franchises this site has to offer.

Paul comments in his review that Wavelengths could become “an awesome multi-story epic” and “one of the best franchises this site has to offer.” Honestly, this gave me such a rush, I squeed for days. I still get goosebumps reading these words.

But there’s a caveat: I need to take it all the way.

Well, guess what? I’m going to do exactly that. Wavelengths started originally as worldbuilding to make sure the finale of the series made sense. In fact, the entire series is name for the finale, Wavelength Theorems. I know exactly where this story is going.

That being said, I’m a little freaked out by the sudden pressure. Not that it’s going to change anything, as I have the whole thing mapped out pretty well. It does mean I’ll likely fill in even more time period with more epics stories of our heroines. But now I feel like I’ve got huge eyes on me (as if 670+ followers weren’t enough eyes). It’s scary… but it’s also really exciting!

One final comment: I’m not confirming or denying any of Paul’s theories about the future of Wavelengths. So don’t think you know what’s gonna happen! You can’t be sure!

Thank you, Paul, for such a glowing review!

You can find the full review right here!

Sunset Shimmer Day

Sunset Shipping Contest Judging

I’m delighted this contest is complete! Not only that, but it was incredibly well-received! We had a total of 54 entries. That means we somehow beat out FanofMostEverything’s Imposing Sovereigns contest, which had 44 entries. (Love you, FoME!)

Many of you submitted to this epic adventure and we got some amazing stories out of it. People poured their hearts and souls into these tales. In fact, it should tell you something that the finalists featured stories from almost every genre of FimFiction, including Comedy, Slice of Life, Dark, Horror and Tragedy!

It was brutal going through all of those stories, but we did it. Since we had five judges, we randomly assigned 11 stories to each judge. Then each judge would select three finalists. We had a 1-5 score system in place. Then finally, we checked out the scores of all the finalists. Using that as a base, we discussed it amongst ourselves until we came to a consensus.

I’ll tell you, the fight for third place got intense. It got super close.

Here’s a bit of a secret: I’m the one who wrote the BBCode form Oroboro ended up using for the results post (so any errors are my fault and no one else’s!). I also built the spreadsheet we used for judging, inspired by the one Jykinturah created for Monochromatic’s Interwoven Colours contest.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was to be a major part of this project. You all did an amazing job and I hope you enjoyed this epic swath of Sunset Shimmer romances as much as we did!

Community-Rated Top Sunset Shimmer Stories of 2017 Poll

Now, as some of you know, I actually did this last year for Sunset Shimmer Day. That project had been designed to get a feel for what the community felt were the best Sunset Shimmer stories of all time were. And I was quite happy to see many of my favorites on that list!

I wanted to do the same thing for this year… only to realize it would likely end up as a rehash of last year’s results. Come on, Long Road of Friendship, Sunset of Time, Fractured SunLight and Witch of the Everfree are always going to be awesome.

So I quickly changed the plan to make it stories done within the last year (yes, I said best stories of 2017. It’s catchier than “Best Stories from August 1, 2016 to September 22, 2017”).

Now that you have my initial vision… let me get this out of the way: mistakes were made.

The first thing I should probably address is why I presented the stories unranked. Well… it’s a bit embarrassing. But if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably curious. One of the main reasons I didn’t rank them was… errr… The Alchemy of Chemistry tied for first place with The Albinocorn’s Spectacular Seven. And I didn’t want it to! Because it made it look like I rigged the whole thing!

Now, I’m hoping you folks know I would never do such a thing. Hell, I was embarrassed that I ended up with two stories on that list (even though I don’t consider SunLight Sliders to be my story). Part of these results is likely because I was the one promoting it everywhere. But I don’t think that can really be helped. Someone’s got to do the dirty work and I’m a big believer in making stuff happen yourself if the need arises.

But I like being the cheerleader, too. There’s a reason I try to link almost every story or every author I ever reference in both my story synopses and my blogs!

Also? I felt kinda bad for the other authors. Justice3442, The Albinocorn, Oroboro and myself all ended up with two stories each! Yeah, I know we’re like probably some of the most read Sunset Shimmer authors… but that was a bad call on my part.

So yes, I’m already planning on doing a Poll next year. And I’m going to change things. For one, I’ll make it only one story per author. Second, I made a mistake in early judging where the poll required all three fields to be selected. The goal had been to encourage people to choose other stories, but I realized the result was that if a reader had only read one story, then they’d probably vote for that story three times and that wasn’t really fair, to both the reader and the rest of the stories. Third, I’ll make it clear that I’m going to only announce the Top Ten, but I’ll still make a post with all the nominations.

Finally, the last mistake was that I didn’t get to put a new thread up. This was done on request by someone, a request I completely understood and respected. Still, it put me in a difficult situation. I wanted to make sure everyone could see the results (if you followed me or not), but there was no way to alert everyone in the Sunset Shimmer group, since it doesn’t alert people in the feed when a new comment is added to a thread. Really, that was a no-win situation for anyone. Sorry folks!

I’ll make sure to blog about the initial nominations here too! And make sure to give you guys like a few weeks for both nominations and voting.

Still, I hope you folks got something out of it, even if it’s only a few new stories to read. We did over 120 responses, which isn’t too shabby for something done in four days.

That being said, getting this done was exhausting. It required a ton of witchcraft in Excel… and as for the EqD part, that was hard too!

The Equestria Daily Sunset Shimmer Day Project

So, you know I don’t usually like taking credit for things. I like supporting folks. I’m fairly good at playing cheerleader. However, I did do a ton of things behind the scenes that doesn’t have my name on them… like anywhere. So, please forgive a bit of “credit addendums.”

First of all, I was the point of contact between Adge from SciSetDaily and Seth from EqD to set up the Sunset Shimmer Day banner. I wanted to make sure one of the best and most active artists did the job right. And she blew it out of the park! Even better, she made a banner that wasn’t specific to Sunset Shimmer Day! Adge did that entirely on her own! It means (hopefully) we’ll continue to see it throughout the year!

In addition, both the Sunset Shipping Contest Results and the Community-Rated Top Ten Sunset Shimmer Stories posts were written by me, with the stories inserted by the EqD Team. I was asked to submit each story through the FanFic Submission System, so that’s exactly what I did. All 18 stories (3 winners, 5 honorable mentions for the Contest and 10 Poll winners). That… took way more time than I expected as I kept having to pull data from these stories… and then promptly forgot about parts. Ugh. That was a rough night.

Still, with it all being said and done, I’m delighted with how it turned out. Even though EqD had a ton of MLP Movie news, the Sunset Shimmer crowd made a fantastic showing with epic art, music, PMVs, animations and of course, stories.

While I may have enabled you guys get to get spotlight, it was you who created something worth spotlighting, Contest or Poll. So thank you for all your hard work!

September’s Writing Bookshelf:

Spectrum of Gray - Complete and Published

At long last, this story is done.

In the Nook (my Discord server), after Undome Tinwe read both The Tarnished Crown and Spectrum of Gray, I asked him on his opinion between the two. I felt that Gray was far more intense than Crown… like by a factor of fifty. Well, he had a different interpretation. An incredibly poetic one at that.

It's hard to compare intensity levels since it's two very different kinds of intensity.

The Tarnished Crown is the intensity of the battlefield, that point when everything comes to a boil and emotions are unleashed with deadly effectiveness.

Spectrum of Gray is the tension of the trenches, the quiet hours between the din of battles where you wonder when the next bomb will drop and whether any of you will ever see the light of day again.

Each is beautiful and terrible in its own way.

I forgot to mention. I think it’s a perfect commentary on the kinds of stories.

While we’re still waiting for the results of the AppleDash Contest (which I’m dying to know so I can get some real closure on this story), I can say I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I had more editors and pre-readers than I knew what to do with for this story. And after reading it, I’m guessing you can understand why.

You guys know I enjoy fluffy stuff, like a lot. However, I tend to write adventures and dramas. Why that is… I don’t really know. This is about as far removed from so-called “fluff” as you get. This story is about a very real problem… a very honest reality that couples in a long-term relationship have to deal with. It’s also something I think a lot of romance authors around here may not have experience with. That’s not saying that they can’t write it well (seriously, some stories blow me away by how amazing they are and the person has no personal experience with the subject). All I’m saying is when you’ve lived this sort of thing… it gives you a view on it few others will get.

To be honest? I hope a vast majority of you never have to understand what AJ and Rainbow are going through in this story.

I knew from the get-go that this story wouldn’t be for everyone. This is a hard read. Many people might not get it at all. And I’m okay with that. That being said, I admit to being surprised that for the first day or so, there were next to no comments on this story. I think it was because a lot of readers were just… stunned by it. Stunned by the intensity. By the emotion. Maybe I’m projecting.

However, Gray was also very unique for me. It was my first attempt at capturing not only four different types of diction, but four different types of internal narrative. Everyone knows that Twilight talks differently than Rainbow, Rainbow talks differently than Applejack and nopony talks like Granny. I’m sure you caught onto Applejack not using a single “y’all” in her entire chapter. However, Granny used a ton of those style words. Even though I know there are plenty who don’t care for that, I felt it was appropriate for Granny. So much of her speech lends itself to that style, and as long as it’s not unreadable (and I’ve seen “accents” that became nigh impossible to read), I think it’s fair game.

But internal narration? That was a challenge. Twilight’s approaching things analytically with a “must help” attitude of reason and borderline panic. Rainbow’s dealing with the situation with a flurry of emotions, including apathy, anger, guilt, fear, all in fairly quick succession. She also uses different words, such as the word “stupid” in her narration. I don’t see Twilight using that word. It would be “foolish” for her. Applejack is dealing with this lethargic depression at the edge of hopelessness, totally lost as to what to do. And Granny? Granny’s feels terrible for what her granddaughter is going through, but she also knows that they need to figure it out. She’s seen this sort of thing work out before (I was really happy to get to use Apple Rose in Granny’s story), but she knows there’s no perfect guarantees.

Three second chances. One for Rainbow. One for Applejack. And one for them together. And it ain’t gonna be easy. But… as you saw… in the end, well… take what you will from those shooting stars.

Sunfire - On Hold

So, since spending so much time in the Austraeoh series, I’ve sorta fallen in love with the concept of airships. They’re also important to the ongoing custom MLP D&D game we’ve been playing. So I’ve constantly got airships on my mind. The Moon Dancer & Sunset story originally spun around the airship Friendship One, but eventually, I decided I had no idea what the hell was going on in that story and decided to move on.

Instead, I started a new one called Sunfire, about Equestria’s first prototype non-dirigible airship (meaning it doesn’t have a balloon, like the Skybreaker above). The concept of the ship was a unification of Earth Pony mechanics (Pinkie Pie made that silly helicopter thing, after all), Unicorn Magic (primarily for the power systems), Pegasi Aerodynamics (Um… they can fly. They’re good at it) and to top it all off, human engineering techniques, provided by Sunset Shimmer.

Essentially, I opened the story up with them launching the airship to an adoring crowd, but the more I wrote in it, the bigger it got. For example, I realized I needed the rest of the Mane 6 on there, aside from Sunny and Twi. The moment that happened, it became a massive adventure story (or at least it felt like it). Eventually, we would actually get to see the Sunfire earn her name as having a surprisingly impressive amount of firepower that Sunset knew about but Twilight didn’t (she knew about some of it, but just not the sheer power).

Then I wrote a bunch of griffons attacking her and trying to capture Sunny and Twi. It doesn’t go well for them. In the end though? I didn’t really want to launch a massive adventure story (I’d been reading too much LongSkirtsFic, honestly). And after some discussion with my team, I decided to finally go back to On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas…

On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas - In Progress

This got a nice little revision polish. It turned out to be quite fun… but I admit my heart wasn’t in it right now. In fact, I got to the point where I was just about to start things up and write new material instead of revising (a very light revision) of what I already had when…

Well, something happened. I didn’t land something I really thought I was going to land at work. And it hurt. A lot.

So I basically went “screw all the projects I should be working on. I wanna blow stuff up and have fun.”

So, it was time to head back to a story idea rattling around in my head for months

And a Star To Steer Her By - In Progress

Say hello to the Riftbreaker.

Star takes up about a week after the events of And a Sky Full of Stars. If you’ll recall, at the end of Sky, we discover that the Emergence, the legendary event occurring every one hundred years that links the “Skyworld” (this particular AU) to the rest of the multiverse, was to end several hours after the final events of the story.

In Star, we find out that the Emergence didn’t stop as it had countless times before. We don’t know why, if it was because of the foes in Sky or something else entirely… but now Princess of the Dawn Sunset Shimmer and Princess of the Dusk Twilight Sparkle must embark on a desperate mission to save their world against a terrible threat, one that harkens back to ages past when they were but two young unicorns in love.

I got a lot of feedback on Sky saying that it wasn’t enough. Everyone wanted more of the world and they hadn’t gotten enough the first time. Now, this is different than people saying they wanted more. In this case, Sky is focused solely on Sunset and her quest to save her wife and her world from a dark and sinister abomination. Star will give you a far better picture of that world.

Still, expect a ton of action, wild combat sequences with intensely powerful characters, massive airship battles over desolate landscapes, ancient mysteries that span multiple worlds, friendships still strong after eons apart… and one very, very snarky phoenix.

Ironically, I got to the first major engagement of the Riftbreaker with the enemy and found myself… bored. So I ended up completely revising the story from scratch, adding in an immense amount of backstory, banter and worldbuilding along the way. Now it feels much more natural.

This is going to be fun and exciting. I have no idea when you’ll get a chance to see it, but it’s going to be pretty damn sweet.

Secret Project - In Progress

So, I’m working on another story. You’ll likely never see it, but it is contributing to my word count, so I need to include it. It’s a bit of experimental stress reliever for me. It’s silly, stupid and goofy and if I do ever publish it, it likely won’t be here!

Ha! So I’m telling you about something you’ll never see! But it’s cathartic. Go ahead and speculate all you want. I’m already amused by your theories (because they’re probably gonna be dead wrong, and yes, I’ve already guessed what your first answer is going to be). :rainbowlaugh:

October’s Writing Bookshelf:

How Not to Use Your Royal Prerogative - Polish & Publishing In Progress

That’s right folks! Chapter 4 goes live on Monday at 10AM Pacific! You’ll finally discover the fate of Spotlight, meet the frantic manager of Hoofbeats and maybe… just maybe… see a familiar face you have not yet met in Wavelengths. Prepare yourself!

Prerogative is now locked in on a biweekly schedule and that’s what it’s going to stay as. Chapter 5 should release October 15th, with Chapter 6 on October 30th (and so on).

We’re still polishing the story as we go (which has turned out to be a double-edged sword as occasionally we find things in editing that technically need to be fixed one chapter back, but since I refuse to retcon… we’re stuck), but you will get all the way to the finale by the end of the year!

The Kind Regard of Quiet Things - Edit, Polish & Publish

Kind Regard is a story I wrote several months ago as therapy. If you folks remember, a while back, someone wrote a story in the WriteOff that screwed me up so badly, I couldn’t think straight for 36 hours. Well, I kinda got stuck on the idea and wanted to put a pen to paper about that sort of situation.

Come to think of it, I think Ebon gave me the prompt which was something simple and subtle. While I don’t want to spoil the whole thing, here’s the current synopsis:

In the middle of the night, sometimes waking up to a whimper is worse than waking up to a scream.

It’s a short story (my target was below 3,000 words, but it’ll likely expand a bit as I finish the edits). I hope to have this out by the middle of the month.

Special thank you for the one and only Adge from SciSetDaily for doing a very slight modification of her pre-existing comic page to feature Princess Twilight instead of SciTwi and to expanding the background to the top so I could create that cover.

The Path - Top-Level Revision, Editing

Written in March, The Path is my very first attempt at not only a Zecora story, but a piece of MLP Lore that’s always had a bit of a hole in it. Path is a unique story for many reasons, including a dialogue-only half of parallel storytelling, two timeframes going forward and backward at the same time, exploration of the Zebra Lore and maybe a reason why Zecora is in the Everfree in the first place. And I suspect it’s a reason none of you have ever come across.

It’s going to be one hell of a trip. And, my plan is to release it on Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a horror story, not at all. It’s a mystery, but during a dark time in Equestria history. It’ll make sense. I promise.

On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas - In Progress

I’m not sure how long I’m going to end up working on Star. Once I’ve gotten far enough, I’m going to jump back on Tea. Once that happens, I’m going to burn through it until it’s done or until NaNoWriMo hits in November.

Because at the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I’m going back to Wavelength Theorems, the grand finale of the Wavelengths Timeline. I aim to do 50,0000 words in it and then any additional words will be put into the next arc of Wavelengths. You know it as “Infatuations and Other Lies,” but I’m seriously considering changing that name to “Dreamers.” Why?

Well, “Infatuations and Other Lies” is too bloody long for the first part. And “Dreamers” works with the overall theme of the story.

The "Currently Reading" Bookshelf

1,342,524 words have been read since my last entry. Actually, it’s probably another 50-60,000 over that, come to think of it, if I taken into account the Sunset Shipping Contest Entries.

That’s right folks. I’m actually current with the Austraeoh series. Now, in all honestly, I haven’t started the next book, Ofolrodi. I’m not sure if I’ll start it until it’s done. I haven’t decided. But what I have decided is I’m taking a damn break from super-mega-epics.

It’s time for some fun stories. I’m going to get a lot of stuff off my “Future Fictional Experiences” list (IE, my Read-it-Later list) and actually enjoy myself for a bit. Utaan was quite a ride, but I need something smaller now. Seriously, the last week of reading that, I spent almost every night up until 1-2AM.

So now, it’s time for a break. Time to enjoy myself again. Maybe dive into Monochromatic’s The Enchanted Kingdom. Find a few fresh stories out there! Go through all the Sunset Shimmer shipping stories I didn’t get to read!

Monthly Story Recommendation

So, did you know that Timaeus complains every single time I read one of his stories because I tend to add his stories to numerous bookshelves? Usually they include...

The Top Shelf
Dangerously Adorable
Epic Romance
Cute Romance
Far Too Amusing
Completed Narrative Experiences

I guess I shouldn’t mention that I also have “Leave a Damn Comment” and “Completed Completed” as hidden bookshelves, huh?

...and by the way, he messaged me with the following literally as I was writing THIS PART of my blog post:

Anyway, I think I was going to recommend something where was it OH RIGHT!

You guys know Unexpected Hazards of Interdimensional Transit? A great deal of the inspiration for that story (and my personal vision of Amethyst Star) came from The Perfect Setup. Heck, this story pretty much defined Amy for me in Equestria.

This is the story of the semi-disgraced Amethyst Star, forever head organizer for Winter Wrap Up. That is, until last year’s debacle. Now, after nailing Cranky and Matilda’s wedding, she’s trying something new with her help of her best friend Blossomforth.


Timaeus is a brilliant author of some of the sweetest romances I have ever read. Seriously, this guy is pure ship crack. I have yet to read a single story of his that didn’t give me warm fuzzies all over. In fact, above, he was complaining about my responses to To Warm a Mare's Heart in Two Hours and Taking a Breather.

Now, there seem to be two views on the definition of “fluff.” One is a derogatory term, meaning a story without any meaning or substance. It’s like cotton candy. Well, frankly, people who use terms like that for stories like that are simply missing one of the greatest joys in life: getting to see two characters fall in love or at least hook up and try out that whole “romance” thing.

Not every romance needs to hit as hard as Spectrum of Gray, guys. Lighten up and enjoy your life!

The other definition, the one I prefer, is a lighthearted wonderful romantic comedy designed to make you smile and enjoy yourself. For example, I happen to be an enormous fan of Love Actually. In fact, every Christmas Eve, my wife and I watch that movie with my homemade chicken fried rice. It’s a tradition we’ve kept on for 11 years now.

Is it a riveting tale of two people desperately trying to make it work when the entire world is against them, one is a recovering drug addict dealing with post-traumatic-stress-syndrome after coming home from a horrific war and other is struggling as a single parent to a rebellious teenager who got a seventeen-year-old girl pregnant after a one-night stand?


It’s about eight couples in the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve and the way their lives intersect, combine and turn into something really cool, cute, fun and adorable. All the different ways love shows in the world.

People who can’t appreciate that sort of stuff? Really, I kinda feel sorry for them. For those type of people, you may not like the stories I like of Timaeus.

For the rest of you (you know, the ones with exquisite taste?), you will love every single word from this guy. I looked at his follower count today and… my jaw just dropped. I went, “What the hell is wrong with people?! How does this guy not have like 1,500 followers!?!”

And how better to start things out with everypony’s favorite “I was the best organizer until Twilight showed up?”

And maybe a little hint of what might happen someday between Amy and another hyper-organized pony…

Go read it!


So yeah. I’m looking forward to that. A lot.

BTW? Please don't watch the stupid versions some twit recorded on his phone we all know are going to come out. Go see this in the theaters. We want this to be successful. Because if it's successful, we get more pony. Seriously guys. I'm not messing around here. Find a way to make it there and pay the money. Don't pirate this one. Don't make Applejack cry on the inside or the outside. :applecry:

Or worse... make Fluttershy cry. You don't want to do that. Bad things happen to people who do that. :fluttershysad:


Anyway, there’s a lot in store for all you folks this month! You should get three new chapters of Prerogative, The Kind Regard of Quiet Things and The Path, if all goes well.

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention! I redid my entire User Page! I’d like to thank Crystal Wishes and Monochromatic for the inspiration. Snazzy, eh?

...huh, how long is this—

6700+ words?! Are you kidding me?! Seriously, I need to rethink my stance on blog word counts not going toward my monthly word counts.

So… I did that. And ended up with the same conclusion.

Sigh. I guess I should get back to work, eh?

Until next time, have fun out there!


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Comments ( 19 )

I would like to formally agree with the truth you have written about Timaeus. For some reason, he doesn't seem to understand how good his stuff is, so I'm glad there's people who're ready to showcase the facts! :twilightsmile:

Plus that particular recommended fic has AppleDash. Which, y'know, is always good~

Congrats on beating out IS in terms of entries! I would've made it fifty-five, but... well, I didn't. I may still write that Flashimmer story I had planned, though.

Also, I'll be keeping a very close eye on Sunset Sliders II.

Author Interviewer

How do you find the time to write this much? @_@

They say love is a battlefield, but what no one seems to figure out from this is that battlefields aren't always in a constant state of fighting. Most of the time, there's just a tense silence as both sides prepare for the next round of conflict, tired, weary, and sick of having to keep soldiering on, but knowing that it's necessary to bring about a better, brighter future.

Tarnished Crown is a great story, and I definitely recommend it, but it's a story that's been done quite often, even if not in that specific iteration. Spectrum is a much rarer look into the long haul, that special combination of hopelessness and hope that permeates the day-to-day, and I think it's important that a lot of people read it, just so that one day, should they find themselves in that situation, they'll know they're not alone, that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Glad to know you're taking the reins this year. NaPoWriMo is a fireworks display when done right.

I was already committed to doing the event this year. Last year, I overzealously aimed for 100k and managed only 75k. Good, but could be better.

This year, I have every intention of rectifying that little discrepancy. October's merely going to be the test run.

Woo, another (incredibly) long blog post to reply too!

So, to start off with, even if you didn't reach your word count goal congrats on everything you accomplished in September regardless. You should be proud of yourself. :twilightsmile:

NaPoWriMo...doesn't come at the best time for me, admittedly. I've got a wedding to go to in the first half of November that'll keep me from doing more than just planning since I'll be away from my computer and thus everything I've written. But...I suppose I'll at least give it something of a shot; it might be just what I need to boost my productivity. Though I'm not about to dump all that effort into something entirely new when I have three series I'm currently working on (two separate pony timelines, and one original novel I've stalled on).

Definitely interested in signing up for Sunlight Slider II, though.

Congrats on another fantastic review; I have every confidence that you'll be able to pull off the rest of your epic just as well as what you've already written. And regarding the flubs with the Top Stories stuff...well, at least you know what to do better next year.

Seeing Spectrum of Gray go so long without comment was weird on my end too, especially cause I ended up being the first. From my experience at least, I'd say 'stunned' is a good word to describe my initial reaction. I knew I wanted to say something, I just didn't know what. Even now I think the comment I posted wasn't adequate, but it was what my mind settled on, and it was honest.

Speaking of honesty, since you brought up the topic of character voices, I gotta (reluctantly) say that your rendition of Granny's voice...didn't feel quite right to me. Don't get me wrong, I understand what you were going for and I absolutely agree that she needs plenty of style words and such, I just don't think all of the ones you chose were quite right. The overall feel of the character was good, but I couldn't always hear her lines in her voice and that detracted from her parts of the story a bit.

The scrapped airship story sound cool, but I understand you not wanting to go forward with it. Maybe some day you'll be able to come back and revisit the idea or something. But hey, at least we have Star to look forward to now! Plus Kind Regard, and the Zecora story, and more of Prerogative of course. October's looking to be a good month of reading, at least as far as I'm concerned. :twilightsmile:

I don't know if you've gotten around to reading my entry to the Sunset Shimmer shipping contest yet, but I'd definitely love to hear your thoughts on it. Especially since I'm currently working on both expanding the original story to fix some of the flaws that Oroboro pointed out to me, as well as eventually start work on a sequel series.

Anyway, looks like I've got another story to check out. But more importantly, I'm super excited for the movie too! :pinkiehappy: The comics have been great, the characters and trailers and music are all great, it all just looks amazing! :twistnerd: Only problem is that I won't be able to see it in theaters for...reasons I don't really want to get into right now. :pinkiesad2: Oh well, I'm sure it'll be in other non-piratey places soon enough. I'll just have to content myself with official clips and spoilers for the time being. :ajsleepy:

Definitely looking forward to the time when I get to use some of those characters myself, though.

But until then, have a great month! :pinkiehappy:

4683597 Dang skippy! In fact, I've already got a few plans to make sure a heck of a lot more people know about him. (Yes, Timaeus, you should be afraid.)

4683631 You're consistent. I'll give ya that.

4683647 Flash Shimmer? You just want to infuriate me, don't you? And don't worry, I remember you saying you were disappointed you missed out on SLS. You were already on my go-to list!

4683697 Obsession, writing every weekday on my lunch... and dropping pretty much everything else entertainment-wise (seriously, I miss playing video games, but it's hard to enjoy those when my muses are guilting the HELL out of me for not writing).

Basically, I'm crazy. But just remember, there are also people like Skirts out here who are several orders of magnitude more insane than me! (I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing...)


I think it's important that a lot of people read it, just so that one day, should they find themselves in that situation, they'll know they're not alone, that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

I couldn't agree more. If one of these stories or blogs helps someone down the line... even if it's a thought they don't even associate with my stuff when the time comes... then I will be happy beyond description.

4683901 Phew! You've already got me beat. Last year was 75K for me, but it was my best year to date. Sadly, with TWO conventions plus the usual mayhem of a full-time job, a wife and two kids and holiday prep, aiming for 100,000 is a bit beyond my capabilities. That being said, I will always encourage everyone to push themselves past their limit.

Therefore, challenge accepted. (At least to 75K) :rainbowdetermined2:

:ajsmug: What, you're surprised?

Woo! Another incredibly long blog post reply to reply to! :derpyderp1:

As usual, thank you for all the kind words. I do enjoy every single one of them!

I understand your hesitation for NaNo, but I've got two major conventions (including one I'm working), too. Remember, even a few words helps! The reason they decided on November was because it was a hard month. It's designed to be a challenge, so don't rule it out before you even start! In addition, it's been years since I've started a brand-new project for NaNoWriMo. I usually just continue with what I'm working on. It's a very common thing to do!

From my experience at least, I'd say 'stunned' is a good word to describe my initial reaction. I knew I wanted to say something, I just didn't know what.

I believe you were not alone in this (at least I hope so!) But your words, as always, do help. As far a Granny goes, to each their own. Granny Smith is a character I've never written before. She was hard to do and a lot of the stuff in Gray came down to the wire. In truth, it was a terrible idea to launch that story for a contest. That should have baked for months.

But, it's done and I ain't lookin' back. :ajsmug:

I don't know if you've gotten around to reading my entry to the Sunset Shimmer shipping contest yet, but I'd definitely love to hear your thoughts on it. Especially since I'm currently working on both expanding the original story to fix some of the flaws that Oroboro pointed out to me, as well as eventually start work on a sequel series.

Your story wasn't on my slate, so I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I just made sure to add it to iBooks so hopefully I'll get to it soon and I'll see what I can scrounge up in the way of comments & feedback!

From you? Never. I just miss the days when you fueled it with words more than throwing money at artists. :derpytongue2:

Maybe someday, but... meh :P
Though i do plan to do a chapter for Sliders 2~

What's this PLAN stuff?! :twilightangry2: You're gonna do it!


I understand your hesitation for NaNo, but I've got two major conventions (including one I'm working), too. Remember, even a few words helps! The reason they decided on November was because it was a hard month. It's designed to be a challenge, so don't rule it out before you even start! In addition, it's been years since I've started a brand-new project for NaNoWriMo. I usually just continue with what I'm working on. It's a very common thing to do!

Ahh, fair enough, fair enough. I'll definitely give it my best shot, then.

Your story wasn't on my slate, so I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I just made sure to add it to iBooks so hopefully I'll get to it soon and I'll see what I can scrounge up in the way of comments & feedback!

Yeah, that's what I figured. Thanks for taking a look at it when you have the time. :twilightsmile:

I'd see it in theaters, but I don't want to go alone. Something about a 33 year old guy showing up alone to a pony movie that just strikes folks wrong for some reason. -_-

September went fast for you? Lucky! I spent the last three weeks of it wishin' it was over, waiting for a work injury to heal enough to go back to work and hoping nopony at corporate is enough of a horseapple-head to deny the pay claim (something you can't take for granted with the really big corps). Had to find ways to keep busy off my feet.

I wrote a song (sort of), translated a couple others to a new language I learned-ish (Tul praag sikdeykel, dii mal malkey!), wrote a couple chapters of a story before the write-mojo ran out, transcribed some music so I could play it on my string-thing (its not a really a violin, not really a viola, violina maybe?) caught up on several shows that had been languishing on a dvr hard drive for months...and let's not forget read WAY more pony words than you wrote! :rainbowlaugh:

And now...now I have mexican take-out. *droool* 'nuffa this post, I'm gonna eat!

Oh, and thanks for the recommendation. I'll be giving Timaeus a look in the next couple days.

If he complains of too many notifications to me, I'll be sure to blame you! :rainbowlaugh:


I'd see it in theaters, but I don't want to go alone. Something about a 33 year old guy showing up alone to a pony movie that just strikes folks wrong for some reason. -_-

Then the question you need to ask yourself is if that matters. I asked myself that... and realized the people I worried about were people I didn't even like. :rainbowdetermined2: Just food for thought.

Oh, and thanks for the recommendation. I'll be giving Timaeus a look in the next couple days.
If he complains of too many notifications to me, I'll be sure to blame you! :rainbowlaugh:

I accept this fate. :yay:


If he complains of too many notifications to me, I'll be sure to blame you! :rainbowlaugh:

Don't worry. I do. :trollestia:

4686463; 4684257
(And I'm fairly sure he's about as serious as Rarity flipping out over a missing blue ribbon). :duck:


:raritycry: It was an absolutely divine ribbon, though.

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