• Member Since 13th Jun, 2012
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I've been writing and selling stories for longer than a lot of folks reading this have been alive. Check Baal Bunny for more!


Being an up-and-coming business pony's not easy—Carob knew that when he opened his plant nursery in his hometown of Ponyville. But since the local librarian became a princess, he's found it much more difficult to focus on, well, on just about anything other than her...

Inspired by the 4th and 5th prompts in Obselescence's Most Dangerous Game contest—"Second Person Perspective" and "An OC and a major canon character (such as one of the Mane Six) fall in love with each other"—the original version of this story ended up in 10th place out of 66 entries. The cover image was commissioned from DarkerSounds.

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 35 )
Author Interviewer

Oh god and you did second-person. :D I can't wait to read this.

Second person and OC/Mane Six romance? Madness! :pinkiegasp:

And apparently, "I" am a bit clueless. But at least not Brony Hero of Equestria levels of clueless. :pinkiehappy:


It was indeed:

Madness. Though I found writing in present tense to be the hardest part of the whole exercise.

And, yeah, the cluelessness. I'm drawing on long years of personal experience there... :eeyup:


Not bad, actually.

And the bit with the library tree, I'm guessing that was a reference to Groundbreaking?



I considered marking this as a sequel to "Groundbreaking," actually, but finally decided not to. Besides, if you can't steal from your own stories, what's the point of writing them? :scootangel:


This is perfectly in the spirit of Obs' contest — an oasis of excellent writing in two forms that are literary wastelands. Color me impressed.

I particularly like the parallels you set up with everyone mauling each other's names, and the way that the dual unrequited love keeps some tension lingering even after it's clear that the story's going to end with a relationship blossoming.

(Plus, of course, the narrator's not a complete jerk, but if you'd flubbed that one I'd have had to wonder what changeling replaced you and where they'd stored the original Augie.)



I had way too much fun with this even though I did keep messing up the "present tense" narrative as I was typing it out--I'm pretty sure I finally got all the '-ed's pulled off the verbs, though. :twilightblush:


This was really well done! Loved the bait and switch, and the list (awesome touch), and how he's believable. He has his moments of brilliance, and his moments of... well, not-so-brilliance. :rainbowlaugh: All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this. I don't have a hat on, but if I did, I'd take it off to you.

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

Magnificently done! You packed in a little bit of everything, and it all works quite well. You've definitely met the contest's challenge, and you wrote an enjoyable story to boot. Thank you for it, and good luck. :twilightsmile:



I've always enjoyed writing OCs because, well, the law says you have to use your own characters in order to sell any of your stories. So it's a handy skill to cultivate... :scootangel:


Well now that was a delightful romp! Characters, pacing and length all just right, tone and theme charming enough to be one of the show's better episodes. And the second - person narrative voice felt very natural for your protagonist.

Oh dear! Mr Carob is even more clueless than I am, and that’s saying a lot!

I really enjoyed this entry, it was absolutely charming. The 2nd person POV worked well – the main character had his own very distinct personality which is something that so many of these sort of fics fail to achieve (I felt he was equal parts clueless jerk/lovable gentlecolt, which was a really interesting balance). Also, the pacing and the tone were just right, as was the ending. I wanted to give a little cheer when Carob finally realised how much Fluttershy was into him, and the little reveal about the list made me smile.

That cover art is adorable by the way. I love his expression :pinkiesmile:



I'm thinking I should make up business cards that say "Romps R Us," but, well, I'm not plural for one thing. Still, these snappy sort of stories are my favorite kind to write, so I'm glad folks like 'em.


Okay, I liked the OCs name and I can probably guess why he changed-it-but-not-really.

This one did well for its charm. The tension was remarkably well-maintained, and the romance aspect was done as smoothly as conditions could allow. Good reading all the way, I enjoyed it!


The name stuff was:

Wunna those happy research accidents, actually. I'd already decided that the character was going to run a nursery and that his name would be Carob, so I looked up carob on Wikipedia to see what it had to say. And as soon as I saw the references to locust bean gum, the whole "name change" aspect of the character just sprang into place, and I was off and writing. :twilightsmile:




Thinking back, I've come to realize that I did once do a high school writing exercise in 2nd-person, present tense, but in the 30 years since then, I've never once considered telling a story this way. It was pretty fun to put together, though, so I thank the contest for that. :eeyup:


Author Interviewer

I'm not sure this is a particularly noteworthy piece of second-person fic, but as "OC falls in love with canon character", it's tops. :)



The romance stuff was easy, but since everything I write on the site here is me experimenting with something or other and 2nd-person is just such a nutty way to tell a story, I figured this'd be the perfect opportunity to try it.

I really doubt I'll be trying it again... :twilightblush:


Author Interviewer

That's okay. :O

However, you succeeded in getting this story stuck in my head. Why in the heck did he change his name? That's maybe the most compelling part of this admittedly compelling story.


Thanks again!

I kinda felt like I was cheating a little, doing the "OC" prompt since I've been writing stories with all original characters--like that one about the talking cow--for nearly 25 years now. But I did it anyway! :scootangel:


I actually liked this a lot. It was sweet, wasn't too heavy handed with the romance, and ended in the perfect place. Good job!



I tried hard to keep everything balanced--I mean, as balanced as a story can be when it features giant crocodile flowers... :eeyup:


Dude! I agree with the guys below me! (Or above, depending on your settings). Wonderful stuff here!



It didn't make the finals in the contest, and I'm thinking about maybe rewriting it to remove the 2nd-person stuff since that's what EqD objected to. We'll see. :pinkiehappy:


Those are crocodahlias!

You are a bad man and I love you.

Still, the second person thing is a horrid crowbar and a setup where the non-pov character is already fixated on the pov character is cliche in it's pejorative form. Still kind of impressed at how it pulled together, though.

If I were really to complain about anything, though, it would have to be that the dialogue is quite stilted, especially when it comes to exclamation marks forcing a tone that just doesn't seem to fit with the wording.

Yet, I've still come away smiling and fairly amused. Perhaps it's my bias for Fluttershy showing.




I think I was trying to tackle too many tropes and cliches at once here, and several of them slipped through my fingers. I've plans for a large-scale revision down the road, one that will hopefully add even more smiles to the mix, but a couple other stories are kicking me in the metaphorical shins right now, so I figure I'd better deal with them before I start limping too badly... :twilightsmile:


Hey, I wrote a review for this story. If you are interested, it can be found here.

Overall, I liked this quite a bit. This is some quality shipping for sure, even if the second person wasn't particular useful.



On my list of things to do is go back and revamp this a bit by adding a frame tale to explain why the whole thing is in 2nd person. I think it might even work! :twilightsmile:


5467086 Sounds interesting! Looking forward to see how that goes.

Adorable, way to go Carob! Got yourself a keeper!

Ah! It's very interesting to see the different effect that the change in perspective has on the story; I enjoyed the original, but I think I like the revised first-person version better.



The 2nd-person was mostly so I could see what it was like. I have an idea for a 3rd-person version, too, but that'll probably take me another year to get to. :twilightsmile:


I reviewed this story!

My review can be found here.

Nice to see fluttershy being a little devious, and it’s sometimes hard to see what’s truly in front of you when there’s a princess in a person’s sight.

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