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Loganberry
Group Admin

Some might well be asking me that question, given that for the second month running I've failed to get the thread up on the 1st. Here we go, though:

Here are the full rules.

Remember, there is no prize, as such, for this contest -- but if you win, you will be able to choose the prompt for the next contest. You'll also get a mention on the group's front page, though with my absent-mindedness being what it is, I wouldn't class that as more than a 50/50 chance at the moment!

Title: "What were you thinking?" (selected by last month's winner, Amereep)
Rating: E or T
Word limit: 150
Closing date: Monday 23rd July 2018, 11:59 pm UK time (world clock)

Please reply to this post with your entry. This makes it easier for me to keep track. Please do not leave feedback until after the closing date.

Entries are now (finally) open! Have fun!

Huzzah! I already have a plan for what I'm going to write. Logan will hate it.

6493605

Given that the beginning was delayed two days, would it be worth delaying the deadline too for the same amount of time? I ask because it seems fairer to me to preserve the usual time limit. Of course, I can't say if this would be convenient for you, but I thought someone should air the opinion, just in case.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6493614
We shall see! But I trust your judgement, so you're probably right. :rainbowwild:

6493852
Yeah, all right. The deadline has been moved to the 23rd for this month only.

6494014

Not that it matters to me, of course, since I'm usually quick off the mark. I was thinking of the children. :trollestia: :rainbowwild: :derpytongue2:

Sorry. I have a daily silly quota, and today's needed using up.

6493605

Also, first entry is here! Our subject today: the Egyptian fish-out-of-temporal-water, Somnambula the Sphinx-subjugator! Indeed, what was she thinking when she confronted that eldritch enigma?

Plus, any excuse to use Dinky again. :yay:


The Ancient Egyptian and the Modern Dinky

“Miss Sambula…” Dinky said over her clipboard.

Uncomfortably seated in Dinky's lounge, Somnambula winced. “Somnambula.”

“Uh… When you went up against the sphinx, what was it like?”

“Remind me why…?”

“History homework!” Dinky beamed. “Cheerilee says recent history is more reliable because there’s witnesses around. But a witness one thousand years old…”

“I see. Creative.”

“Thanks! More tea?”

“Five sugars, please. This modern tea isn’t sweet like my homeland’s…”

Silence.

Getting back to the sphinx…”

“Miss Dinky?”

“…sorry?”

A heavy sigh. “Please understand. I’m honoured, but we are one thousand years apart. I can’t comprehensively convey my old experiences to new minds. The differences between then and now are too great.”

“I disagree.”

Surprised, Somnambula caught Dinky’s determined scowl. “Indeed?”

“Time, culture, tea: that’s surfacey stuff. Cheerilee says all ponies are ponies inside.”

Eventually, Somnambula beamed at her new friend. “Wise scholar, this Cheerilee.”

“You bet! Now, about this sphinx…”

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Around Spring time, I usually take this temporary job for a company that makes yearbooks. They pay well, encourage overtime, and deals with schools from all across the states. I love getting glimpses in the yearbooks for the many creative, cleaver, and smart choices each school made.

However, there are also some bad choices they've made. We can't correct them because it's their choice, so we just have a laugh and move on. There was one decision a school made that had to be the dumbest choice I've ever seen.


It seemed like a smart idea at the time

"You wanted to see me, Principal Celestia."

"Ah Spirit, head of the year book committee, right? I've been looking over the proofs and I was wondering about this."

"That? That's something the team thought up for the first years. You know how the seniors get a 'then and now' pictures, well we thought of giving the freshmen 'now and will' pictures."

"You made them look like they're in their golden years. And you don't even have the 'now' pictures."

"We ran out of room."

"*sigh* I can't accept these. The parents of the students will be looking for their children within these pages, and when they see their child looking like senior citations, we'll be hearing a backlash and will be expected to remove the pictures and replace them with the proper ones."

"Alright, Principal Celestia. We'll replace them immediately."

"And next time, don't replace the absent student with flowers."

6494088
I just really wanna know which said dumbest choice was... also, that sounds like a neato job.

Also, YES! :yay: Got enough stories now for my next flashfic anthology. It's a good thing too, because I haven't released a new fic since mid-April. How nice it is to see my writing habit waking up again.

6494224
You ain't the only one who now has enough flashfics for an anthology. :scootangel:

6493605
I usually wait until the bitter end, but I'll post my entry early this month, in which we see the AU crime-fighting prowess of Pinkie Pie and King Sombra. 150 words exactly. What were you thinking!?

Detectives Pinkie Pie and King Sombra are on the Case!

“So who’s this Gabby Gums?” Pinkie asked.

“We can narrow it down,” Sombra replied, so she sat to listen. “Journalism is central to this case. We should take a cue from reporters and ask what whey would.”

“What, where, you thinking?”

He nodded. “Who, when, why, and how as well.” Then his stomach growled; she passed him a cupcake. “I used to be able to resist those.”

“What, were you thin, King?”

“Yes. Anyway, look at the scuffs on the paper. An old press, no doubt.”

“What, wear, you thinking?”

“And the colors are uneven. Smacks of inexperience.”

“What, were youth inking?”

“Precisely!” he shouted with a pound of his hoof, which squashed his cupcake.

“How could you conceive of doing that?”

He stared at her a moment. “For some reason, I thought you’d say, ‘What were you thinking?’”

She only shrugged. “For some reason, I thought you’d say, ‘Crystals!’”

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“And here is where they mine crystals.” Cheerilee said as the class passed the mine.

A tall stallion approached. “We’re blasting a tunnel about three hours from now. You best not be around when that happens.”

“I know the schedule, mister miner,” she said. “Our tour will be already over by that time.”

“Okay, just letting you know. We might actually postpone it. The charges are still being set up. We’re way behind the schedule.”

“Why must school be so boring!” Sweetie Belle sighed.

“Remember what Twilight said,” Apple Bloom tried to cheer up her friend. “Studying is all about motivation. The more you have it, the more and faster you’ll learn.”

“I have zero motivation, so this obviously doesn’t apply for me,” Scootaloo broke out of formation and entered the cave.

“Hey, wait for me.” Sweetie Belle ran after him. “I have zero motivation, too.”

“Hey, you shouldn’t go in there!” Apple Bloom screeched but followed after her friends. When she made her way around the corner, Scootaloo ran past her toward the exit. She saw Sweetie Belle rise up a hoof above the lever. “What are you...”

Sweetie Belle smiled at her, “Do I think I’ll get a miner cutie mark if I push down this lever?” She pushed it.

A loud explosion echoed through the tunnels.

“There were ponies in there!” Apple Bloom stuttered. “What were you thinking?”

Sweetie Belle shuffled a hoof on the ground. A tear drifted down her cheek as a skull appeared on her flank.

6493605

I jacked in, let my eyes settle. Ear twitch here and here, and I was there. Orange’d pay good for Apple intel, and if family was hurt, what of it? A cred was a cred.

The ice on the site was bog-standard. Fine if you weren’t expecting trouble, but there was always another corp around the corner, and a good decker could find a way to make a profit.

A standard ice-breaker did the trick. Saw a flash, but nothing showed on a scan. Easy as pie.

The maze beyond was trickier and a mind was behind the attacks, but I still broke through to—

Nothing? Faint laughter. A trace!

I cut the connection, looked at my empty account, and swore. A message blinked.

“Too slow, Babs! You need creds, come visit your family sometime, hmm?”

I guess now I’ll have to.

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My small offering.....

----------------------------------------XXXXX----------------------------------------

Rejected Offers

Miss Cheerilee remained seated at her desk stony faced despite an over whelming desire to commit a violent act towards the pony stood before her. What is the penalty for striking a princess with a chalk duster?

Twilight finished her proposal with a flourish and a winning smile. “….and I am confident that this will meet with Princess Celestia’s approval.”

“No!” Cheerilee snapped. “What where you thinking Princess? That I would roll over and play nice for friendship?”

“I have every ponies best interests at heart.” A startled Twilight replies.

“Not mine! You start an unaccredited free school with out the good graces to consult the only professional teacher in Ponyville and now you want to take control of mine!”

“Merge them Cheerilee. You can take that offer with the Manehattan School of Performing Arts, your students are all in favour.”

“I’ll bet thy are! Get out Princess before I……...”

6493605

Untitled, by KwirkyJ

Sunset sat alone, the words on the page passing unread for the fourth time. All she could see was the disapproval on Princess Celestia's face. The accusation. The fear. Yes, the fear. Sunset knew her well enough to see the fear.

She had hated the banquet. She hated the food, hated the stuffy dignitaries, and hated being invisible and without purpose. A porcelain Sunset doll. At last, she erupted. And then she had fled to her books.

The stench of burning fish still filled her nostrils. She replayed the scene in her mind. To her surprise, she didn't feel guilt. Only empty. Drained.

Lost.

Sunset had just wanted out. Had wanted to be seen. Wanted… Wanted something to do. Wanted to have a reason to be somewhere. But now even her books denied her that.

"Idiot. What were you thinking?"

Loganberry
Group Admin

Because as there's an episode today, I'm bound to forget otherwise...

Two and a half days to go to submit your entries! Remember, this month the deadline is Monday. :twilightsmile:

Don't know if this'll cut it, but here's what I wrote.

Flash sighed as he walked out of the school doors. He didn’t want to do this, but he had no other choice. After all, a few bad grades were insignificant compared to the imminent Decepticon threat at hand. And if Megatron and his goons won, there most likely would not be a school to flunk out of. His mind was settled. He would have to find some way to drop out of school and assist the Autobots full-time.

He spotted Arcee amongst the other cars in the parking lot, and started making his way down the steps toward her. But before he could get on, a familiar voice said, “You’re not considering dropping out, are you?”

Flash looked up to see Sunset Shimmer standing up in front of him, her arms folded out in front of her and a displeased expression on her face.

“What were you thinking?” she asked.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6517293
I'm afraid crossovers are ineligible (rule 7), because it's almost impossible to judge them fairly when I'm not familiar with the other fandom. However, if you want to submit a different piece, that's fine -- just edit your post before the deadline (which is in just under 21 hours as I type).

Loganberry
Group Admin

35 minutes to go! Any last-minute entrants will need to get their skates on!

Loganberry
Group Admin

6494074 6494088 6496354 6496482 6497310 6499946 6500283 6513736

Okay, everyone, your time's up! Eight submissions this month, plus one that was unfortunately invalid. Not a bad turnout -- thank you to everyone who entered! :twilightsmile: I shall now retire to consider my verdict; I will announce the result on Thursday.

Feedback is now open!

Well since I'm the one that asked for this months prompt, I think I should participate in the feedbacks.

6494074
Oh, that's a concept that I don't hear very often. An interview with an ancient legend for a homework assignment. I'm having visions of "Bill and Ted" right now.

6494088
Oh, it's you. The lazy cheater that won last month. I don't care if it was creatively innovated; you either play ball like the rest of us, OR GET THE F♯₵& OFF MY PLANET!!!

6496354
You clever goose. All of those variations based off of the prompt and ending it on Sombra's infatuation on crystals. Reading what your first comment said, I'm assuming that Logan hates pun?

6496482
That was interesting, I couldn't quite get what you were going for though. At first, the CMC make it sound like that this story was going to be a lighthearted comedy (what with Sweetie Belle saying she has zero motivation), but the sudden twist of a grim fate make it seem like a dark comedy. Whatever the form of comedy, it does leave an impression.

6497310
This is one of the reasons why I usually don't comment on the stories of others; I have no clue what's happening (funny now that I think of it compared to my own last month). I think they're playing a game of hide and seek in a more modern day setting, but I'm not quite sure. It was cute though.

6499946
This made me chuckle, I know how it feels to deal frustrating people on a regular basis. Take my word, don't work in the fast food industry.

6500283
It's charming, it's something I would like to see in the show more often. They are a bunch of teenagers, so getting each other into these awkward situations are both humorous and encouraging.

6513736
I think I'm following what's happening. Sunset did something (burned a banquet I think) and she is regretting it. Maybe I'm seeing the events of Sunset disowning her pupil title to Celestia before she escapes into the Equestria Girl's world, but this does get the mind jogging.

A word of advise that my teacher once told me; never title your piece of work 'Untitled'. People always do that, so if somebody likes your work, finding the work by title would be a nightmare. He often referenced William Burroughs' work when it came to this issue and told us one of Will's famous works, 'Naked Lunch'. As he states, Will couldn't think up of a name; so he called a friend at a suggestion. Immediately he stated 'Naked Lunch' because he was naked and having lunch. Weird story, but the point is to title your work even if it has no connection to the content of your work.

6517293
I can't help but think that I brought you here through that forum over at the struggling authors group, so I defiantly feel obligated to give my opinion about your story.

While the story here has nothing wrong with it, it does lack any real depth at keeping the reader's thoughts guessing. We're limited to 150 words, so cutting details is a very common thing here; but I'm going to make the assumption that you may have instead added to make 150. Instead of telling the reader the issue of what's happening, perhaps having the reader figure it out and understand through a conversation between Sunset and Flash might gain more interest at catching readers.


I'm a little bit surprised with all the entries. True that I was expecting some that I never saw coming, but I thought a few would write ones of a youth making a mess because of an overactive imagination, or a parent changing their foal's actions after envisioning them as an adult, or maybe a young stallion loosing himself in a mare's eyes; only to be brought back into existence when she asked if there was something on his mind.

Even though I'm a little disappointed, all of the entries were a pleasure to read.

6518630

SweetAI Belle
This is one of the reasons why I usually don't comment on the stories of others; I have no clue what's happening (funny now that I think of it compared to my own last month). I think they're playing a game of hide and seek in a more modern day setting, but I'm not quite sure. It was cute though.

One reason I don't comment a number of times is that I feel like I should comment on all of them, and then the threads already died down by the time I feel like I have enough time to post.

I do kinda feel like one of the things I may have sacrificed to the 150 word limit on this one was the ability to understand it if you aren't familiar with the cyberpunk genre, This story is pretty much what you'd get if you were playing/reading something in the Shadowrun universe, or more generally the type of thing William Gibson writes or any of countless imitators.

I kinda love the mental image of Babs Seed decked out in computer gadgets, hacking into computer systems and doing corporate espionage while controlling vr with ear twitches...

It's one of these cases where while I'm not sure about the execution, I like the idea itself enough that I'd be tempted to either expand it or write something larger in the same universe.

--Sweetie Belle

Loganberry
Group Admin

6494074 6494088 6496354 6496482 6497310 6499946 6500283 6513736

Okay, it's Thursday here now, and I believe some of you will be at conventions this weekend, so I'll get this posted quickly. The honourable mention goes to Pascoite. That was remarkably silly and made me giggle stupidly. Assuming it's the same thing you were thinking of earlier, I'm not sure why you thought I'd hate it, given that a) I love puns, and b) it neatly skewers two of my own fics. I can only applaud! :pinkiehappy:

The winner this month, though, is Ceffyl Dwr. I've been there, on both sides of the exchange, and that scene really reminded me of such occasions. Really hit home, and that's why it's my choice for this contest. Nice to see (some of) the Student Six here, too.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to Ceffyl Dwr! :twilightsmile: As usual, please think up a prompt for next month's contest and then post it in this thread.

Feedback remains open for anyone who wishes to give it.

6520346
You didn't seem to like feghoots, but I entered them anyway. This is just as stupid.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6520359
I have a strange sense of humour. This was established some considerable time ago. This one made me giggle, and that counts for a fair bit. Quite a few full-length [Comedy]-tagged fics haven't managed that.

6500283

Congratulations for the win, Ceffyl Dwr. I look forward to seeing the next prompt.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6523467
I'm really enjoying the Student Six, so I'd be all in favour of an episode like that, too. Like you, I think it's unlikely to happen in canon, though.

Anyway, thank you for the prompt; I'll get the August thread up on Tuesday or Wednesday. Of course, your win does mean you definitely won't have to think of one next month! :rainbowwild:

Loganberry
Group Admin

By some miracle, I haven't forgotten to put up the August thread. In fact, it's up nearly four hours early! Here y'go:

https://www.fimfiction.net/group/212112/flashfic/thread/368072/flashfic-150-august-2018-the-most-important-things

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