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Technical Writer from the U.S.A.'s Deep South. Writes horsewords, and reviews both independently and for Seattle's Angels. New reviews posted every Thursday! Writing Motto: "Go Big or Go Home!"

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Paul's Thursday Reviews CLXXXI · 9:02pm Oct 31st, 2019

A Happy Halloween to all my readers! I intend to spend this evening watching horror flicks in the dark. At least one legit horror and at least one dumb one. Not sure what, though. I’ll peruse my rent options.

Not much to say or time to say it today, friends. Let us go straight to the reviews, shall we?

Stories for This Week:

A Study on Alicorns: Cause and Effect by Jaelommiss
Why the Nobles Are Big, Stinky, Stupid Heads. by Clockworklich
Taste the Rainbow by Lynked
Applejack's Secret by Applejack224
Stitches by Harmony Pie
Spell Bound by LackLustre
Never Okay by DarqFox
Matchmaker, Matchmaker... by ThunderChaserCreate
Three Magics by Arkensaw Pinkerton
Wedding March by Carabas

Total Word Count: 178,263

Rating System

Why Haven't You Read These Yet?: 1
Pretty Good: 5
Worth It: 3
Needs Work: 1
None: 0

This story, written shortly after Magical Mystery Cure was released, has unicorn Twilight receive a book from Celestia that, to her surprise, reveals the spell used to transform a unicorn into an alicorn. When she tries to ask Celestia about this, she ends up summoned to a Council of Alicorns composed of Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and Chrysalis. The Council’s duty: to decide if a pony is worthy to join their ranks in eternal life and unlimited power.

I must wonder about the motivation behind this story. Is it a “fix fic”, where Jaelommiss tries to conceive of a ‘better’ way for Twilight to ascend than what canon offers? Or perhaps it is more of a “this is what really happened, and the show is what they did to convince the public”. Or maybe Jaelommiss conceived of this idea before Twilight ever became an alicorn and the show just beat them to it. All are perfectly believable scenarios given the nature of the story.

In this variant of Equestria, we discover that the alicorns (of which there are far more than we know) continuously play a ‘game’ for rulership of Equestria. Conceived entirely due to boredom, each alicorn schemes against the current ruler (at the moment, Celestia) to rule the land, not out of any antagonization, hatred, or personal vendetta, but simply because it enlivens their mutual existence. Or, to put it as Twilight does: alicorns wage war for fun (although it should be pointed out that not all, or possibly even not most, of these conflicts directly involve mortals in any way).

Most of the story revolves around Twilight speaking to one of the four above-mentioned alicorns at a time as she is evaluated as a potential new player in the Game. The problem faced here is that all of them, even the relatively young Cadance, have succumbed to the aloofness of immortality and see mortals as only being pawns in their Game (now put Shining Armor in that context). Along the way we are introduced to a wide range of worldbuilding, including the history of Equestria, its relationship with the changelings and dragons, the history of alicorns in general, how this magic works, the history of the Elements of Harmony, and the histories of the four alicorns themselves. If you’re a worldbuilder, you’ll love this.

There are a few issues to be addressed. For one, Twilight’s reflection on her friends’ potential reactions to becoming an alicorn are wildly off. I suppose we can credit this to her being stressed and overthinking things, but the idea that Rainbow Dash would accuse Twilight of being disloyal for ascending, amongst other assumptions, is so stupid that it makes it very clear Twilight is in no mental condition to make this monumental decision.

The second big issue to me is how Twilight casually acknowledges and dismisses the callous nature of the Game in regards to the lives of mortals, a group of ponies of which she happens to still be a member. She’s supposed to be the avatar of Friendship, and yet somehow she’s not immediately disowning Cadance for using her brother as a sex toy or being upset that Celestia openly admitts she manipulated Twilight’s entire life around this moment. Twilight treats the whole thing like a historian uninterested in the actual impacts on the lies of people who were affected by the events she is reciting, and that simply isn’t Twilight. At all. The fact that she doesn’t even consider how she’d have to become just as aloof and indifferent to the lives of those who would be beneath her damages the story. And to make it even more ridiculous, she doesn’t bother to call them out on it when they have the audacity to make her swear an oath to protect and serve the ponies they are manipulating and killing for a giant game that exists purely for their entertainment.

So… yeah. Some big plot holes in there.

But there is one thing that very much intrigues me: the consequences. Let’s just assume that Twilight chose to become an alicorn (the story leaves this open for debate). This story was written right after Season 3 ended. Take everything that has happened in the seasons since. Imagine, if you will, that all of Twilight’s work, all her actions as a princess, were not just her learning about the Game, but all an elaborate series of movements designed to make it look like she’s learning to be a princess when she’s actually setting herself up in the long term to replace Celestia by sheer public mandate. Granted, this is not wholly supported by canon (take Chrysalis, for example), but it’s still an interesting thought exercise with loads of potential. I can only imagine what Jaelommiss could do with a sequel to that effect.

My feelings for this one are very mixed. The plot holes are significant, but the worldbuilding is great and the potential consequences are huge. There can be no denying that the story is a fun read, if only for the sense of discovery it grants the reader in terms of alicorn history. If the author had focused a little more on not making the alicorns total hypocrites and Twilight look at this from a realistic perspective, it easily would have fallen into my favorites.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

When filly Twilight loses her chance to spend some time with Celestia learning about magic, she gets understandably upset. Needing a way to vent her frustrations, she spots a scroll sitting in Celestia’s rooms and decides to use it to write an essay about the stupidity of the ponies in Celestia’s government. What she doesn’t know is that the same scroll is holding a speech Celestia is to give later that day. When Celestia finishes her speech and spots Twilight’s essay she decides, in a moment of whimsy, to go ahead and read it out loud.

Wow, was this entertaining. More so than the usual filly Twilight stuff I see. It runs under the overall premise that the nobles in Celestia’s government mistake little Twilight for any other foal, not to be of concern or bothered with, and so fail to realize that the unusually intelligent filly is learning all their corrupt secrets right under their noses. So when Twilight decides to vent about them… well, let’s just say Celestia may be about to do some personnel adjustments.

It’s as fun as you might expect. The most difficult part in all of this was reading words clearly written by Twilight in Celestia’s voice. Worth it. That little Twilight clearly has no idea what the nobles are doing or that she’s essentially outing all their criminal behavior is the delectable icing on the cake. I’d love to find out if Celestia ever brought this story up to her once she grew up. “Say, Twilight, do you remember the Great Personnel Restructuring of 991 that made the media go berserk?”

Bookshelf: Pretty Good!

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

I know, I know. But despite the title, this is not some cheap clop material. It’s actually a comedy. Twilight has decided she wants to understand why Celestia’s and Luna’s manes flow, and builds a new device that can supposedly extract a mane’s magical properties. Her first test subject is a barely willing Rainbow Dash, and the device successfully sucks out all the color from her mane. After some reassurances that the process is fully reversible, they head out to get some lunch. Then Pinkie walks in and finds a vial of rainbow liquid in Twilight’s fridge…

This is, for the most part, Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie. It’s certainly like some of her more dubious moments in the show, but at least there’s precedence. She gives each of her friends a drink of Rainbow’s colors, which leads to some simple and expected side effects, namely giving them all rainbow manes. I’m not sure why some of them, Fluttershy and Applejack in particular, are so bothered by this. I mean, as far as Twilight’s experiments go, this is pretty tame.

Is it amusing? Some, yeah. But it’s more situational, chuckle funny than gut-busting, and the lack of narrative wit does it no favors. I’d call it a decent all-rounder.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
All the Stars in the SkyWHYRTY?
The Diary of Morning and DuskPretty Good

Alternative Title: The Tags Are a Lie!

Applejack is an egghead. No, she’s not just smarter than she lets on. We’re talking full-blown quantum physics and Advanced Magical Theorem intellectual elite. But she doesn’t let anyone know, not a soul. At least, until she gets found out by Pinkie Pie.

This one ignores what the description and tags lead you to think in favor of something else entirely. If you read that description and view the cover art, your expectation is something silly in which Applejack knows some dark secret about how the universe works and keeps quiet about it. What we get instead is a perfectly serious non-comedy in which Applejack is secretly a math and sciences wiz-kid too scared of being bullied to dare let anyone else know about it.

Which  is strange, when you think about it. I mean, Applejack, afraid of bullies? But I suppose it can work in the right context, and I believe this qualifies.

Another little lie of the description is this suggestion that, because of Pinkie Pie, the secret’s coming out. Except Pinkie has nothing to do with it. I mean, yes, Pinkie does find out, but the insinuation that Applejack is forced to reveal her secret because of Pinkie is completely wrong.

Anyway, the story is very simplistic in its manner. Direct. AJ is a nerd, Pinkie finds out, AJ decides to tell Twilight, cue flashback of AJ being bullied, the end. The story makes little effort to showcase Applejack’s emotions through all of this, to its detriment, nor offers any sampling of Applejack’s knowledge. This would have been easiest it AJ, having walked in to see Twilight working on complex equations (which she did), simply made a correction to one in demonstration.

The idea is not bad on the whole. I for one am perfectly on board with the idea of AJ being smarter than she lets on. Yet the straightforward manner of this story, along with the needless misdirection of the description, doesn’t sell it very well at all. Plus, I have to call shenanigans when the writer tells us Applejack literally wears glasses and a lab coat in her off time for the sake of it. That’s just dumb. Twilight doesn’t do that, so why would AJ?

A decent story in concept, but it could certainly use some polishing in its approach.

Bookshelf: Needs Work

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!


4,879 Words
By Harmony Pie

Ditzy Doo comes to Rarity to get a dress made for Dinky. Being the kind of pony she is, Rarity gives Ditzy the time and attention she needs. She needs a lot.

The very first thing that comes to mind with this story is that, had this happened in the real world (at least in the U.S.), Ditzy would be in jail for child neglect, because our nanny state is just that cruel. Anyway, yeah, Dinky is dead because of an unfortunate accident and Rarity takes it upon herself to let Ditzy… vent. The result is a bittersweet story of loss and seeking the strength to move on.

This is one of those rare stories in which the emotions feel heavy-handed in delivery, and yet I can’t imagine it being written any other way. It’s like sandpaper: unpleasant but, with the proper applications, required. I think Harmony Pie did a pretty good job balancing the descriptive emotional state of the characters with the need to keep the story going.

The only real thing that gets to me is Rarity’s regular mentioning of Sweetie Belle. There’s this effort to compare Rarity with Ditzy, and the final lines are strongly suggestive, and yet it’s never clear. Point is, it is entirely possible that Sweetie is dead too and has been for some time, but I can’t tell if I’m interpreting hints that aren’t really there. This is hardly a complaint, just an observation and a curiosity that gives the story extra flavoring. The catch is that I don’t know if Harmony Pie did it on purpose.

Regardless, this is an excellent piece overall and one I strongly recommend for the sadficcionados out there.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good!

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
The One That Stayed BehindWorth It

Spell Bound

3,798 Words
By LackLustre

This story is set in an alternate universe where the Mane 6 are from a Crystal Empire that never got banished with Sombra. Indeed, Sombra is never so much as mentioned, nor are Celestia and Luna. Cadance and Shining are still the rulers of the Crystal Empire and the Mane 6, while not specified as friends, at least know of one another. Anyway, Starlight Glimmer is a sorceress who decides to kidnap Rarity, known as the “Gem of the Crystal Empire”. After three heroes (Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack) get sidetracked in their quest to save her, Twilight decides to do it herself.

This reads more like a children’s fairy tale than anything else. The writing and the events are simplistic to the point of sometimes not making sense. For example, the story suggests that Fluttershy’s rescue attempt is waylaid because she found a lost rabbit and had to care for it first. Because she couldn’t, y’know, take the rabbit with her. Or Rainbow Dash getting into an argument with Trixie that takes so incredibly long that she never gets around to doing what she’s supposed to. And so on.

If this were a serious story with serious repercussions and dramatic weight, I’d say this is all a bad thing. But again, it reads like a child’s fantasy, and I have every reason to suspect that was intentional (not least because the description says so). Approaching it from that perspective, it’s really not so bad. The only part that I might have a problem with is this string of ‘butterfly effect’ events that Starlight causes which leads to Rainbow, Applejack, and Fluttershy getting distracted.

If this were aimed at children, that bit feels a little too complex for said children to grasp. Better would have been for Fluttershy to just randomly find a rabbit and her caring nature to take over, or Rainbow to meet a brash unicorn who challenges her, or Applejack to find an injured pony and feel obligated to help. None of this complicated background stuff to clarify the whys; fairy tales of this sort don’t need them.

Otherwise? Not a bad story on the whole, given its intentions. It won’t wow anyone looking for an adventure of the more mature variety, but it certainly meets its stated goal.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Never Okay

1,014 Words
DarqFox failed to provide cover art.

Twilight is depressed. Suicidally so. Fortunately, her marefriend Fluttershy is there.

This, folks, is why I avoid abandoning writers after reading a single flop by them. The story focuses on a single moment where Twilight, once more thinking of suicide, is gently confronted and comforted by Fluttershy who, by simply being there, is able to turn things around. It is at once sad and pleasant, a tricky combination to pull off, but DarqFox did a decent job of it. This one takes a minimalist approach to the emotions, which I would normally not care for, but it worked well in this instance by not drowning the reader in long descriptions of Twilight’s absolute misery (as these stories are wont to do).

The one and only thing that really gave me pause was a single moment of WTF:

Twilight shook her head sniffling as tears began to fall from her face to the floor, crashing down with the force of meteors.

Wow. Those are some tears. That the rest of the story doesn’t even remotely read with this kind of overactive description only makes it stand out more.

But ignoring that, I like this one. Definitely worthwhile if you’re looking for a moral pick-me-up from everyone’s favorite butter pony.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
Ever FreeNone

Out of nowhere, Discord pops up to place a curse on Rainbow Dash. Why? Because Discord. The curse is simple: if she doesn’t become romantically involved with one of her five friends within the next month, he’ll take her wings away forever. Oh, and she can’t tell anypony about her curse. Now Rainbow, the most romantically ignorant pony in all of ponydom, must find a way to make one of her friends love her. How fortunate, then, that Rarity is more than willing to be her wingmare.

This story was at times entertaining, at others touching, and all-around shipping. Some of it involves Rainbow’s failed attempts to win over her friends one at a time. The results of those are… mixed. Pinkie’s was straightforward, Applejack’s was shocking, and Fluttershy’s legitimately worrying. In fact, I’m kinda disappointed we didn’t get to see a real resolution to Fluttershy’s. It’s clear some more needed to be said between them.

But this story is also heavily about Rarity and Rainbow. As characters. As friends. Their similarities. Their differences. I’m sure you know who Rainbow ends up with by now, so yes, their relationship. It’s surprisingly well done. I even caught a couple points that I thought were narrative mistakes, but then the epilogue comes along and reveals they weren’t mistakes at all. Well played, author.

My only complaint is in Discord. I get that he’s Discord and we can’t expect him to do everything logically, but you have to wonder what really made him decide to do this. As off as he can be, he doesn’t do things for no reason, but his reason for starting this little series of misadventures is never explained. He is, at best, a catalyst for the events. And while he does make a few brief cameos to remind us of why Rainbow is going through all this trouble, he really seems to be nothing more than a plot tool. Especially regarding the ending.

Still, this will be golden for anyone looking for some humor at Rainbow’s expense. Or the shippers. Shippers will love this. And it makes some surprisingly good arguments in favor of the ship, some of which I’m surprised I’ve not heard before. I certainly had fun.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
Their Hearth's WarmingWHYRTY?

Three Magics

38,880 Words
By Arkensaw Pinkerton
Requested by Crimson Dawn

Twilight has been so very busy. Too busy for friends. Too busy for going out. Too busy for much of anything other than her research. So when she notices that her cutie mark is fading, she is mildly surprised… but not concerned. She mentions it off-hoof to Celestia in a letter, but otherwise dismisses it as unimportant. Then Celestia sends her a message that she needs to deal with her cutie mark problem now, and even makes it a royal order. Now she’s stuck “learning about the magic of unicorns, earth ponies, and pegasi”, all of which she is certain is a waste of her time.

This was a pleasant story in which Twilight made a grave mistake over the course of years and, upon realizing it, sets out to fix everything. That means rekindling her lost friendships with the rest of the Mane 6, doing right by Spike, and generally being the avatar of Friendship she’s supposed to be. Bear in mind that this was written long before she became an alicorn, so it allows itself some liberties with its own canon.

This story was requested specifically, but it takes place after Pinkerton’s other story, Fixing Up Miss Smartypants, and I regret not reading that first. There are a lot of things I simply had to roll with, including but not limited to the marriages of Rainbow to Rarity and Fluttershy to Applejack, Twilight once being in a serious relationship with Big McIntosh, and Pinkie being the (ex?) marefriend of Princess Luna. That’s just the shipping parts; there’s a stream of grown up kids with cutie marks and their own lives and hints at histories that may have been easier to see coming had I read the original story.

The good news is that the story starts off with the idea that Twilight has literally missed at least the last two years of everything happening in Ponyville, so she’s going in almost as blind as we are. That lends itself to the wildly different nature of everything we’re seeing and greatly eases the surprise and confusion. Once you learn to just roll with it, it’s really not so bad. It helps that I couldn’t say what revelations were new to this story and which ones were already present in the previous one.

At any rate, the story is heartwarming. The first half is spent with Twilight unhappily going through the motions Celestia has forced upon her, whereas the second is Twilight doing everything she can to make up for a few years of total social isolation and, essentially, abandoning her friends. Along the way we get some interesting headcanon, including a demonstration of how all three forms of Equestrian magic work, the nature of cloud homes, and a little about cutie mark magic. It’s quite the package.

Of course, there are issues. The writing is dialogue-heavy at times, which forces the reader to get their emotions through only what is being said and with minimal narrative assistance. There’s also this whole sub-plot in which Spike is being constantly watched by a council of dragons, although no explanation whatsoever is given for how they’re able to do this without being obvious about it (they are dragons, after all). On the one hand, it makes sense that the dragons would fear the idea of a Celestia-controlled puppet taking up the dragon’s throne. On the other, it doesn’t make any sense at all why they’d fear Spike losing his connection to Twilight and starting his own separate life in Ponyville, to such a degree they were considering forcing Celestia to remove him from the town entirely. Why? For what possible reason? This felt more like some crummy, half-baked excuse to light a fire under Twilight’s flank than anything else. There are also a number of unfortunate human-based references made throughout the story, such as Applebloom worrying about the “men” in her life. Yes, the author spells it Applebloom; in the author’s defense, I don’t know that there was an official spelling at the time.

So there are some definite quirks. Still, they’re minor enough in the overall to not affect my grading that heavily, especially considering how good the story is in terms of its relationship and character growth, to say nothing for how well it captures each of the Mane 6’s characters despite the vast changes made to their social world.

I am, overall, quite pleased. I strongly recommend this one for the slice-of-life fans. Shippers will probably indulge in it as well, considering many of the reveals involve relationships. But either way, it’s a solid story of Twilight growing as an individual and making up for lost time.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Wedding March

75,630 Words
By Carabas
Sequel to The Tempest

Arch-Minister Burro of the Asinian Republic wasn’t expecting much. Go to a royal wedding, drink with his lifelong partner-in-crime, Chieftan Gellert, share a bit of entertaining yet subtle passive aggressiveness with Tyrant Fairy Floss, and be home in time for dinner. And it was all going so smoothly, too. Up to the point that the bride was revealed to be a shapeshifting abomination capable of defeating the presumably undefeatable Celestia and ordering her swarm of bug-like minions to conquer Canterlot. A shame. Burro really hoped he could spend a little time in Equestria without some potentially world-destroying calamity, but no donkey gets everything he asks for, right?

And so we return to the mad genius of Carabas’s world first seen in Moonlight Palaver. For those of you out of the loop, the first story had many of the world’s most powerful leaders ‘enjoy’ an emergency meeting to discuss what to do about the return of Nightmare Moon, and was a beautiful smorgasbord of worldbuilding and petty rivalries on display. Its sequel, The Tempest, expanded upon that premise by having Discord trap all the same world leaders (and a lot of them we weren’t yet aware of) in a magical prison, which was every bit as chaotic and hilarious as that sounds.

This story changes things up a bit by having the world leaders, or at least some of them, meeting not for a disaster, but the happy occasion of Cadance’s and Shining Armor’s wedding. That it turns into a disaster anyway is pure coincidence. Where this story really differs from its predecessors is that, at long last, we get to see each of the leaders actively engaging in and attempting to resolve the situation, which allows us to grasp their cultures, their capability (and culpability), and their merit as leaders. It’s a wonderful change of pace and Carabas milks it for all its worth.

Much of the story is told from the perspective of Arch-Minister Burro of Asinia, i.e. the duly elected ruler of the donkeys. I should note that I love this guy and he was a great choice for a protagonist. He’s witty even when events are at their worst, a fellow who evokes an endless stream of charm and feistiness considering his advanced age. The introduction of the donkeys’ own natural magical ability, Cunning, is both inventive and used to great effect for the overarching story. Honestly, I think I could watch this guy all day.

He is, of course, supported by a narrative that refuses to take anything too seriously. Be it choosing the proper hat for the occasion or remarking on the imminent lethality of a hawk created by the Gods for no reason other than eviscerating anything within eyesight whether it breathes or not, the narrative maintains an optimistic attitude that not even a provoked polar pachyderm of perpetually penned prejudice can stymie.

Oh, that reminds me: Charity and Dame Lyuba, both of whom got moments to reveal us their personal perspectives, were among the highlights of the story to me. I loved when Carabas matched the narrative’s ceaseless pleasant wit with their visceral violence and battle-ready paranoia, respectively.

The story is one of steady buildups. The first chapter is perfectly calm and peaceful. Even as we all know where things are about to go, it’s hard not to relax and enjoy the banter of the world leaders, whether that be two lifelong friends poking fun at each other or established enemies hurling barely concealed verbal barbs through rictus grins. But with every chapter, the wildness grows, with things seemingly unimportant popping up at assorted times and everything coming to an intricately connected climax of total, chaotic insanity that would make Discord weep with rapture.

This is the perfect end to a resoundingly delightful trilogy. While I’d very much love to read more of this universe and see the world leaders’ reactions to events like Tirek or Starlight Glimmer, I can understand Carabas’ unwillingness to continue. How does one top this? I genuinely think it’s in everyone’s best interest that he not bother to try. This story is an amazing romp of worldbuilding, action, and comedy topped off by a perfect interweaving of assorted mini-scenes into a remarkably filling whole.

If you haven’t read this, stop what you’re doing and read it now. Heck, if you have read this, it’s worth the re-read anyway. In fact, forget just this; read the whole damn trilogy. You won’t regret it. Unless you’re like those three weirdos who downvoted this, in which case what the hay’s wrong with you?

Bookshelf: Why Haven’t You Read These Yet?

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
The Motion of the StarsWHYRTY?
The TempestWHYRTY?
Moonlight PalaverPretty Good

Stories for Next Week:

SweetieMashMinecraftAdventures YAY! by CristalGalaxy
A Letter To A Friend by 1Bit
Kicking Back by Loganberry
Bowled Over by Baal Bunny
Shychotic by Majin Syeekoh
And That's How Equestria was Made... by Dusty the Royal Janitor
Let Sleeping Gods Lie by Obselescence
Getting Dressed by Jondor
The Daring Adventure of Dentist and Bookworm by RB_
Sunset Shimmer in the Land of Enchantment by Darkstarling

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Comments ( 14 )

Exceedingly gratified you liked Wedding March, and much obliged to you for reviewing it! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, despite the interminable delays between chapters and pervasive feeling it was too much of a change of pace from the two preceding it. Folk seeming pretty happy with it as well was a relief.

Unwisely or otherwise, I've been swithering about a fourth entry in the series for a while now, vignettes covering the events of season 3. There's even a google doc with its title and possible chapter names and a sprinkling of paragraphs and everything. It couldn't top Wedding March in terms of spectacle, but if I end up deciding it's a good idea and give it the care it would need, it could give a more holistic view of things. We'll see.

Only one I've read is "Stitches," and while the premise sounds vaguely familiar, I don't remember how it went. I'm not even sure in what capacity I read it—I wasn't reviewing it. It might have been one the author asked for help with, as there were one or two of those.

If you're looking for horror movie recommendations, this youtuber I really like reviews a wide mix of campy ones:

I have to ask, because curiosity and self-interest demand it: how far ahead is your reading to your posting of reviews?

Anyway, good selection this time around. I'm never sad to see more adulations to Carabas, who is a wonderful person as well as a wonderful writer.

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Actually, that’s my alt. account.

Well, if you're not trying to top Wedding March, then I look forward to it! Assuming you ever do take the concept seriously, that is. And if not, I'm perfectly happy with what we've got, because what we've got is great.

I know the feeling. When you've done so much, some things become an indistinct blur. Even the good ones.

This has my attention. If he's reviewed some I've seen (which is likely) then I may take a look at them just to see if his thoughts align with my own. Thanks for the tip!

Oh? I had no idea. But it's still technically a "New Author" as I've not read anything under that account name (LackLustre, I assume?). I spend far too much time on these reviews as it is to spend even more time trying to identify authors' alt accounts. Plus it would mean revising my spreadsheets to identify them as special cases, which I'd have to code in separately for each newly discovered account. I'd much rather stick to the rule of "if you want them all under one umbrella, post them all under one name." Much easier.

It varies. Wildly. To get the full details of my scheduling methods, you can visit this blog. Beware, it's very long and detailed.

To try and summarize, what I read is set to a six-week schedule updated every weekend, and every week I go through ~30k words a day (or 210k/week). There are also regularly scheduled weeks where I'll read half that, and some regularly scheduled weeks where I may, if I'm feeling pressured by a deadline, read up to twice as much (although that's only happened two or three times, and not in years), and also some scheduled weeks where I don't read at all (one of those "reading vacations" is coming up around Thanksgiving). Every blog is ten stories, but the wordcounts of those blogs can vary wildly. I've taken steps in the past year to put controls on total wordcounts per blog, which I won't go into here.

The point is, I can control how far ahead I am in terms of reading vs. publishing deadlines. For example, right now I'm reading material that won't have the reviews published until late in January. This is because I intentionally limited the wordcounts of my blogs to around 90k for several weeks – and they often went much lower than that – allowing me to cram dozens of reviews into a single week. Heck, a couple weeks ago I wrote 40+ reviews in seven days! Which I did so that I could build a huge lead for a certain blog in late January that needs it.

To summarize the summary: it could be a few weeks, it could be a few months. It's highly variable depending upon how far ahead of schedule my reading is.


Heck, a couple weeks ago I wrote 40+ reviews in seven days!

Good grief, that's a lot of words. Can I say that we all really appreciate how much work you put into these blogs?

And I appreciate that people appreciate it. I enjoy the task, although some weeks are draining (like that 40+ review one).

Thank you for the review! :twilightsmile: I'm surprised to get one after so much time has passed.

Yeeeah, it does take a while for me to get to a story once I've added it to my queue. :twilightsheepish:

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