123 members follow Impossible Numbers

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Guilds and Societies

Specimens of Interest

  • A Cup of Joe Our Pony Joe runs his doughnut shop, chats with his regulars...and lives in the shadow of a memory. by The Descendant 17,431 words · 8,136 views · 911 likes · 13 dislikes
  • Binky Pie by Miyajima 53,100 words · 14,220 views · 849 likes · 13 dislikes
  • Canterlot Follies Young Birdy is sent to Canterlot to steal an artifact and bolster Prince Blueblood's reputation. by LadyMoondancer 51,500 words · 24,476 views · 92 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Daring Do Bakes a Cake Dinner with Daring Do and her mother. by Lucky Dreams 6,365 words · 5,326 views · 223 likes · 6 dislikes
  • Derplicity Derpy Hooves is secretly a changeling. Nopony particularly notices, or cares. by Skywriter 7,984 words · 31,508 views · 3,104 likes · 44 dislikes

Specimens of Interest

  • En Fuego A conversation with Applejack spurs Fluttershy to check up on Twilight's mental well-being. Twilight's reaction to her encouragement, however, is probably not what she had in mind... by Mayclore 13,296 words · 6,691 views · 465 likes · 8 dislikes
  • Excerpts from a Filthy Diary Excerpts from Filthy Rich's diary, shedding light on a side of him you probably didn't know. by SR Foxley 20,834 words · 2,706 views · 101 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Fluttershy's Bad "Hare" Day Fluttershy turns into a rabbit by Pegasus Rescue Brigade 58,950 words · 17,544 views · 1,347 likes · 21 dislikes
  • Guardians of the Old Forest For centuries, timberwolves have guarded their secrets in the deepest corners of the old forest, but that may change when Roseluck stumbles in. A war is brewing under the shadows of the trees. by ocalhoun 17,659 words · 814 views · 75 likes · 3 dislikes
  • Gummy Tries All Day Long Gummy struggles to reach the Ponyville River. All of Ponyville tries to stop him. by Cloud Wander 5,873 words · 3,251 views · 299 likes · 3 dislikes

Specimens of Interest

  • Rainbow Dash's Tallest Tales Rainbow Dash and the Wonderbolts get tangled up with a gang of pirates. That's what Dash says, anyway. by Sciz 31,268 words · 1,934 views · 56 likes · 3 dislikes
  • Rites of Ascension Twilight makes a new spell and starts the gears of fate with her ascension to alicornhood. (Writing started before Season 3.) by CvBrony 447,594 words · 27,271 views · 2,498 likes · 65 dislikes
  • Short Cakes The Cake twins discover Ponyville. by Cloud Wander 5,885 words · 4,674 views · 355 likes · 3 dislikes
  • Sunny Skies All Day Long Celestia's Day Off by PhantomFox 8,536 words · 84,122 views · 8,670 likes · 141 dislikes
  • Surface Deep Rarity is Ponyville's most elegant pony. What made her that way? The answer lies beneath the surface by TheSlorg 5,652 words · 2,601 views · 122 likes · 5 dislikes

Specimens of Interest

  • The Contest Fluttershy returns to defend her title as Quiet Game world champion. by Cold in Gardez 6,714 words · 36,463 views · 1,791 likes · 25 dislikes
  • The Rummy Business of Old Blooey What ho! Big doin's on the night of the Grand Galloping Gala! by Cloud Wander 8,541 words · 2,118 views · 193 likes · 4 dislikes
  • The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments Sweetie Belle must find Twilight by travelling through different Fanfic worlds... by Wanderer D 427,339 words · 34,228 views · 2,988 likes · 58 dislikes
  • Whip and Wing Daring Do & Indiana Jones battle each others' enemies in a race to save their worlds and themselves. by Fernin 55,000 words · 18,019 views · 1,501 likes · 26 dislikes

Welcome Centre and Landmark Attractions

Notable Exhibits from 2016

  • Eights Week Princess Celestia, forced to endure yet another tedious major event, reminisces over much better times. by Impossible Numbers 1,685 words · 302 views · 39 likes · 2 dislikes
  • Hive Versus Hive Seabreeze wants nothing more than to stay at home and relax with his family. But after his lucky escape from the Big World of the ponies, he's gained some unwelcome attention, and not just from overawed Breezie neighbours... by Impossible Numbers 46,644 words · 116 views · 10 likes · 0 dislikes
  • Practical Nightmares Only Golden Harvest always takes pains to be the sensible one for others, but that's easier said than done when Muffins has something "ambitious" planned for Nightmare Night. by Impossible Numbers 9,608 words · 219 views · 9 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Splash Dash Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and the one and only Rainbow Dash chill out in the river, and thrash out a silly story amongst themselves while doing it. by Impossible Numbers 9,822 words · 692 views · 43 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Villainy Abroad Two henchmares-for-hire, Carmine and Vanilla, are out on yet another assignment for some artefact or other. It was supposed to be just another routine "pick-up", but then henchmares don't have the best job security in the world. by Impossible Numbers 20,390 words · 111 views

Contestants in the World-Building Alliance Competitions

  • An Old Tale in a New World At this turning point of history, a new frontier is colonized from across the seas. One orange farmer's foal is stolen away, and a new tale arises when three unlikely creatures all meet at the Duende Inn. by Impossible Numbers 12,558 words · 178 views
  • Diminished When the Queen of the Changelings refuses to stick her neck out for a dying soldier, Moulder’s passionate love drives her beyond convention to seek a deal with the dreaded Sorceress, who seems more interested in a fairy tale from long ago. by Impossible Numbers 9,576 words · 215 views · 11 likes · 0 dislikes
  • The Last of Lapis Lazuli Lazuli is just another slave, one of many of the Crystal Empire. Her king keeps her fellow ponies safe from a dangerous foe, or so it seems. Yet, her treasonous thoughts refuse to lie, and there's only one other she can turn to for one last talk by Impossible Numbers 4,566 words · 610 views · 21 likes · 0 dislikes
  • Laurels The crystal ponies have captured a trespassing diamond dog, but for Electra, there's more at stake here than simply wondering how best to treat an old pest in a new world... by Impossible Numbers 4,358 words · 1,059 views · 52 likes · 2 dislikes
  • Monster Catchers Jitters the donkey is a professional monster catcher in his village, but doesn't take well to the news that his next commission involves teaming up with a newcomer from the city against a particularly tricky customer. by Impossible Numbers 5,317 words · 254 views · 10 likes · 1 dislikes

Museum of Unnatural History: Free Admission

  • E Metal Celestia

    During the early days of Equestria, Clover the Clever's friend Duchess Celestia accepts a mission to safeguard the new union. Unfortunately, someone is unhappy with said union, and especially with her...  · Impossible Numbers
    20,648 words · 74 views  ·  10  ·  1
  • E Healing Properties

    Lotus Blossom: merely the owner of the spa in Ponyville? No. Before life in Equestria, Lotus was living in a country where, among other things, she was a princess. One who hated royalty. Of course, steam baths were still important. Vitally important.  · Impossible Numbers
    15,632 words · 82 views
  • E Transient

    Pinkie and Rarity reluctantly venture into the strange caves of the far reaches of Equestria. The map must have sent them there for a reason, after all. Hopefully, they'll live long enough to figure out what it is.  · Impossible Numbers
    15,434 words · 176 views  ·  14  ·  0
  • E Beautiful Lives

    Zephyr Breeze has just died due to his own neglect. This isn’t surprising, even to him. What IS surprising is what happens next.  · Impossible Numbers
    9,562 words · 437 views  ·  34  ·  0
  • E As Winter Dies, So Spring Is Born

    On the day of Equestria's first Winter Wrap-Up, the pegasus once known as Private Pansy – now promoted to Captain Pansy – leaves the celebrations early to face her former commander. Who is now in prison.  · Impossible Numbers
    4,599 words · 248 views  ·  22  ·  0
  • E The Web Untangled

    Enjoying a peaceful end to a hectic week, Fluttershy contemplates the nature of Twilight's latest diplomatic mission. All while entertaining some unusual house guests!  · Impossible Numbers
    18,435 words · 119 views
  • E Stinging The Trail

    Sky Stinger wonders how his relationship with Vapor Trail could have survived such a big and embarrassing secret. They're both still friends. He's sure of that much. But now he's actually starting to wonder why.  · Impossible Numbers
    3,470 words · 172 views  ·  14  ·  0
  • E Raven Night School

    I’m bad. My life’s bad. My future is bleak. And I should probably tell you about these weird dreams I’ve been having lately…  · Impossible Numbers
    6,667 words · 94 views  ·  15  ·  0
  • E The Icing on the Hearth's Warming Cake

    Coriander Cumin and Saffron Masala prepare for their first Hearth's Warming Eve pageant. He is less than excited to be attending... but not for the reasons you'd think.  · Impossible Numbers
    8,418 words · 76 views
  • E White Lightning and the Elite Pony

    On Hearts and Hooves Day, White Lightning and Ponet get together at the café, as usual. They exchange gifts, as usual. They hide their own deepest, darkest fears and miseries from each other, again as usual.  · Impossible Numbers
    10,400 words · 69 views
  • E Petalback

    Twilight and Spike are summoned by Rainbow Dash to Zecora's hut. It quickly turns out that an incident in the Everfree has left Fluttershy with a parasitic plant on her back.  · Impossible Numbers
    28,630 words · 303 views  ·  23  ·  2
  • E Her Song of Jubilation

    Coloratura struggles after losing the odious manager Svengallop, and does what she can to get her life back on track.  · Impossible Numbers
    10,252 words · 195 views  ·  13  ·  0
  • E Friends of the Ponies

    Ember wants to see the rise of a smarter, friendlier dragon society in the future. For her dragon subjects, this presents quite a steep learning curve.  · Impossible Numbers
    1,716 words · 419 views  ·  44  ·  0
  • E Eights Week

    Princess Celestia, forced to endure yet another tedious major event, reminisces over much better times.  · Impossible Numbers
    1,685 words · 302 views  ·  39  ·  2
  • E Floral Issues

    The Flower Trio brave the Everfree for the sake of their craft, and soon regret it.  · Impossible Numbers
    4,161 words · 184 views
  • T Magical Deathmatch

    Ponies are missing! Kidnappings terrify Equestria! During preparations for a fundraiser fashion show, Applejack and Rarity become victims too. Once captured, they are forced into a hellish fighting tournament. Their only chance? To win their freedom.  · Impossible Numbers
    25,013 words · 122 views
  • E Hive Versus Hive

    Seabreeze wants nothing more than to stay at home and relax with his family. But after his lucky escape from the Big World of the ponies, he's gained some unwelcome attention, and not just from overawed Breezie neighbours...  · Impossible Numbers
    46,644 words · 116 views  ·  10  ·  0
  • E Practical Nightmares Only

    Golden Harvest always takes pains to be the sensible one for others, but that's easier said than done when Muffins has something "ambitious" planned for Nightmare Night.  · Impossible Numbers
    9,608 words · 219 views  ·  9  ·  1

Blog Number 27: A Spring In My Step Edition

Quarterly Report 2017. Three months down, nine to go...

Season Seven is on the horizon, as is a movie that isn't about anthropomorphs unless you count the cat. I dare say that, at the very least, there will be some episodes in Season Seven which I will treasure, and who knows? Maybe the movie will be a spectacular success, though I personally suspect it'll be slightly above average at best, with possibly one or two gem moments.

As you can guess, overall I don't find myself particularly enthused about either. What little has been leaked makes me think "meh" or "oh dear, it's becoming the Starlight Glimmer show".* Given the autonomy of the fandom and the strength of the earlier works**, they both seem like courtesy details at this point.

* That said, the Maud episode looks pretty interesting. If it's similar to "The Gift of the Maud Pie", I might add it to my favourite episode collection. In some ways, I'm a very undemanding audience.

** I don't think I'm being a knee-jerk nostalgic here, at least not entirely. Many Season Six episodes more than make the cut as far as I'm concerned, and as much as I think Season One is the best, I'll admit that it doesn't really reach full throttle until about halfway through. It also lacks a bit of the edge and variety that makes the later seasons especially entertaining at their greatest; could we really imagine "Rarity Investigates", "Stranger Than Fan Fiction", or "Viva Las Pegasus" in Season One?

So what is going on in the fandom? Well, at least in the fanfiction arena, or more narrowly the part of the fanfiction arena which currently occupies, I'm a little more involved. See the gory details below, past the contents section.

Also, I've peppered the blog with a few tangentially related pictures, if for no other reason than to break up the eye-watering walls of text. Apologies in advance if they're a bit distracting.

Princesses: Imposing Sovereigns and Imposing Deadlines

Prompts: Group-Plugging Time

Prompts: The Monthly Contest Group

Private Pansy: Founders of Equestria

Private Pansy: My First Group

Princesses: Imposing Sovereigns and Imposing Deadlines


I hardly need introduce this contest, do I? Who am I going to reach who hasn't already been reached?

Consider the story of the explosion: FanOfMostEverything started a contest, apparently through a combination of Daedalus Aegle's reading and FoME's own simple whim. Initially, it garnered a modest if respectable amount of attention, intended only for one week and with maybe a dozen people applying for prompts. Then FoME was asked to extend the deadline another week, some of the bigger names got involved, and within days it snowballed into a huge event pulling seemingly every fanfiction bigwig from seemingly every corner of the site. It was almost beautiful watching it grow into something so far-reaching, almost like a community event that struck gold.

I of course was one of the earliest applicants, and a more laughable trainwreck of participation would be hard to imagine. Initially accepting the "Celestia the Schemer" prompt, I started off a little overconfident and proudly proclaimed that I would finish my piece within a week according to the original deadline. Little did I know at the time that Metal Celestia would not be tamed; though I started strong and even shouldered the rapidly increasing word length, a couple of days before the original deadline I crashed and couldn't write another word. Perhaps this is what happens when you explicitly compare yourself to Lightning Dust, and then ignore the ending of "Wonderbolt Academy".

Swallowing my pride, I accepted the deadline extension, but as one hydra's head fell, another lunged forwards. Now the story was expanding at a rate that would make an utter mockery of even the initially generous word limit. Roughly halfway through the second week, I stared at the growing novella and swallowed the last few crumbs of my pride which hadn't gone down the first time. I regretfully surrendered the prompt.

Which in hindsight was stupid, as I learned afterwards that incomplete fics were perfectly acceptable. Figures. :ajbemused:

Of course, that's not a good time to throw yourself back into the mess, and in desperation I landed upon the Spa Ponies - Lotus Blossom and Aloe Vera - and the "Warrior" prompt, which was the one I felt was the most open-ended of the bunch. Truth be told, the choice wasn't completely random; I've had a Spa Ponies fanfic idea developing for years, and some of its details leaked into this parallel incarnation, most obviously their country of origin being Spatsa rather than Equestria***. Besides, it's frankly shocking how often the tag is used on the site for quote-unquote "Mature" fics. If it wasn't for those fics, the poor ponies' tag would be eligible for the Time Action Glory Challenge, which specifically deals in underutilized characters.

*** Granted, in Healing Properties I had Aloe Vera originate from Tshekhovia. In the original concept, however, they were sisters from the same nation. Most of the other details, such as their differing personalities and the grimness of Spatsan life, remained intact.

Source: modified screenshot

Just before the deadline struck, I spent three frantic days trying to pour out as much world-building, characterization, and plot development as I could fit into the word limit. History swung round again and slapped me round the face; the fic exploded once more and threatened to turn into a second novella. So many details fought for attention in my head that, in hindsight, I'm not surprised "incoherence" was a repeated criticism of the result. Given that the final fic is almost 16,000 words long, that equates to almost five hours of writing a day.

And frankly, I loved it. For a given definition of "loved".

It was quite a rush, though. One thought led to two more, fission begat fission, and the chain reaction kept the story up as new ideas and details filled my mind. A scene in which Lotus gets hit with a deadly curse while erecting a national flag led to a scene in which she has to confront Aloe's antipathy for the title of "princess", which led to another scene in which Lotus defies medical care and watches both a demonic entity and a pirate fleet on the horizon. Say what you will about the nonsensical connections between them, but make no mistake those connections were forged in fire.

But yeah, I hit the deadline and basically handed in the introduction to a story rather than an actual fic. I think mine is the only one that's incomplete, and it's still the second longest of the bunch.**** No idea where it placed among the thirty-nine other contenders, but given the competition and the severe problems with the fic's flow and presentation, I'm not betting much higher than the bottom half. Of course, it was around this point I slapped my forehead and cried, "Gadzooks, I could have submitted Metal Celestia incomplete all along!" A very strange end to what, after all, has been a very strange contest.

**** Aragon handed in the longest fic of the bunch: Evil is Easy, Governing is Harder. It's the only one to surpass the "do not surpass" limit of 16,000 words, so I'm laughing at this lack of self-control. Aragon also won the contest in a landslide victory, so I'm laughing very, very quietly.

If it sounds like I suffered during it, then perish the thought. I had a whale of a time during it, I did a good amount of writing, and I cannot wait to leap back into the fray once more. What an event!

Er... True, it compromised some of my own writing plans, not least of which was my own prompt challenge on the Time Action Glory Challenge group, but that's a small price to pay for the fun. A "Second-Born" version of the event is continuing, with no prizes or limitations, for those who only heard about it too late or who never finished their works on time, and I may yet go back to it for inspiration.

FanOfMostEverything et al are going to claim a rest, the pansies. But as for me, heigh-ho! I'm ready to begin my next assignment. After all, throwing yourself against your limits with no thought for the consequences worked so well for Lightning Dust, now didn't it? :raritywink:

Prompts: Group-Plugging Time


It's just as well I'm good to go, because a couple more challenges have just come along for the month. True, I actually created one of them, but causality schmausality. The point is: they exist.

Recently, bookplayer made an interesting if saddening point about the underutilized tags like Mr Stripes' and Zipporwhill's; there may be a vicious cycle keeping them down. They're relatively obscure characters with few if any followers, who presumably get disheartened by the lack of attention and stop looking for fics, which in turn reduces the incentives (specifically those to do with garnering attention) for writers who might otherwise keep them coming. The end result is that, if Mr Stripes ever gets any fics, they'll be so rare and sporadic that his tag will remain a virtual nonentity.

Now, I can't speak for Mr Stripes myself, if only because I'm wondering how he was considered a tag-worthy candidate to begin with. However, it's a genuine crying shame for many of the tags, because all told, those characters are on par with their colleagues in the hundred-stories and thousand-stories arenas. I'll be blunt: if Lyra can get a few thousand fics mostly because she sat on a chair funny and bounced a lot in Season One, I think established side characters like The Smooze, Pony/Doughnut Joe, the Our Town citizens, the staff of The Tasty Treat, Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail, Coloratura, Seabreeze and his Breezie tribe, Trenderhoof, Moondancer, Hoity-Toity, Cherry Jubilee, Suri Polomare, the Griffons, and the Founders of Equestria itself can safely be described as "hugely overlooked". I'm not saying I'd prefer quantity over quality, but when they're not even getting the former, I think something has gone a bit askew and needs addressing.

To that end, I've started the biggest prompt yet known to the Time Action Glory Challenge: Obscure No More!***** Since another possible reason for the lack of interest is lack of integration, the aim of that prompt is to mix it up with other groups and produce fics that service both.

***** OK, OK, this isn't a hard limit to cross, but work with me here.

For example, maybe Gabby and the Griffons would get more attention if their fics also coincided with the aims of the World-Building Alliance, fleshing out the lands of Griffonstone and the culture of griffons as a whole. Perhaps an interest in the Equestrian Historical Society would see the comics-related tags get their dues.

A lover of classic literature, and thus a member of the Classic Literature Lovers group, could find a way of retelling A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, arguably the first time travel story, and then add a twist by throwing the Tantabus into the mix.

More prosaically, Quibble Pants and Sassy Saddles might get more attention if reimagined as "friendly enemies" with more popular characters like Twilight Sparkle and Rarity, and so also add to the corresponding character groups. Marble Pie in a Mystery group? Moondancer for the Hope, Love, and Care group?

Or, more ambitiously, Princess Twinkleshine the Schemer as a contender for the Imposing Sovereigns' "Second-Born" challenge? Seriously. Princess Twinkleshine. No one sees the potential in that? :trollestia:

So, wanna test your imaginative mettle against cold hard limits, or just fancy a lark and wouldn't mind contributing any old how? Then, as a totally-not-biased-party-and-creator-of-said-challenge, I bid you join in, and good luck to you. The challenge ends when the year does, so take your time if you don't feel like committing just yet. Or tear your way through with a dozen fics a month, if you prefer. It's entirely up to you.

Prompts: The Monthly Contest Group


Naturally, it would be most unbecoming of me to promote only my own contests, and this is a legitimately interesting one besides. Over on The Monthly Contest Club, SPark has begun a new challenge to get that group back in the game.

I'll probably just be reiterating their points, but I'll try to put it in my own words. Here's the gist of it:

The theme for the challenge is "Fairy Tale". This has been left deliberately open to make the contest more flexible, so please don't jump in asking what the heck that actually means. Besides, there's such a thing as Wikipedia.****** And Disney basically produced a bunch of fairy tales. You must have grown up with Disney, right?

****** Also, TVTropes makes for a good resource. They even break the fairy tales down into tropes so you can start twisting the parts and asking the mechanic's immortal question: "What happens if I fiddle with this bit?"

The fic is restricted to 6,000 words maximum, which, according to this site's estimate of 250 words read per minute, makes a 24-minute-long fic, or a longish episode's length. Presumably, this is to avoid the fate that bedevilled FanOfMostEverything to the point that his results blog came a week later than intended. Other conditions include: no mature fics; new stories only; no limit to the number of stories you can submit; stories will be judged based on five categories, listed on the OP for said contest.

Lastly, the deadline is April 22nd, so you've got less than three weeks to tackle this should you be so inclined. To put that into perspective, that could be one week for planning, one week for writing, one week for editing. There are other guidelines, such as "submit the story in the right folder, for Pete's sake", but you can deal with that nearer the time or just straight-up ask SPark for clarification.

Obviously, the final verdict for joining or abstaining rests with you, but I am a strong believer of the philosophy of Troilus and Cressida: "what's won is done; joy's soul lies in the doing".******* Seriously, it could be a good bit of fun to jump in and take part. Friendship is Magic practically runs on bits of fairy tale logic, and even if you dislike the genre********, there's always the Fractured Fairy Tale to beat it over the head with. It's only a small story, after all. Practically a writing exercise, which would pump up the authorial muscles and get a healthy flow of imagination going.

******* Well, of that out-of-context quotation, really. The play as a whole is OK, but a miserable experience I wouldn't wish on most people. However, since I met that line out of context, its unintended meaning stuck, and I've always had a soft spot for out-of-context scavenging. Call it creative repurposing.

******** Although that raises bizarre questions concerning your involvement in FiM to begin with...

Besides, somebody has to retell The Little Mermaid with Pinkie Pie. :trollestia:

Private Pansy: Founders of Equestria


I'm starting to feel like an advertising column, but without the gross payment. Ah well, 'tis good news and all.

Having mentioned the Founders of Equestria, it's incumbent of me to point out that Titanium Dragon has recently created a new group: Founders of Equestria. And bravo to him! Of all the overlooked characters, these seem to be among the most deserving of more fics. In fact, "Hearth's Warming Eve" is one of my favourite episodes of Season Two, between its simple moral of intergroup harmony, its tantalizing world-building details, its simplistic but potential-creating cast of founders, its creative re-imagining of Christmas in another setting, and its suitably wintry and haunting windigoes*********. Admittedly, a lot of it is a game of "How much do you like watching Rarity, Rainbow, and Pinkie argue with each other?", but I always feel good whenever I rewatch this particular episode.

********* By the way, how in blazes do you spell the plural? I've seen it with the "e" and without the "e", but never definitively one way or another.

It's currently trending as THE group, members-wise, but why settle for good when you can do better? If you wish to show solidarity with the history squad, then head on over and join the ranks. Founders of Equestria cries out for devotees of Ancient Roman Pegasi, Medieval Unicorns, and Renaissance Earth Ponies.

Private Pansy: My First Group


Having seen Titanium Dragon's announcement for the aforementioned group, I was puzzled by his claim that it was the only one, and so went to have a look. There are, as it happens, a smattering of related groups, including ones devoted to specific founders. Clover the Clever and Princess Platinum have their fans, though I wonder if most of that is because Star Swirl********** is an associate. Commander Hurricane obviously gets some attention, because if there's one thing a fandom of cute and friendly ponies loves, it's a warmongering jarhead whose title is a few letters away from being "Caesar". And surprisingly, Smart Cookie's group exists too, though barely. I doubt her subtle snark played a part in that one.

********** Yet another spelling headache. Is it "Starswirl" or "Star Swirl"?

Yet Chancellor Puddinghead and Private Pansy don't have groups at all. I confess I was severely disappointed with this state of affairs, but then among the founders they also have the lowest story counts. I mentioned this oversight in a reply to the blog, but then a thought struck me. It went something like this:

"Instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else to make the group, why not do it myself?"

"Well firstly, because you've never done it before and you have little idea what it entails."


"Also, you'd have to feed it and clean it out and flush it down the loo if it died."

"You know what? Why not? I'll go ahead and do it anyway. Besides, if it goes wrong, there's always the loo."


And thus was born my first group. I've tried to make it at least a little more interesting than such groups can be, but it's still in its rudimentary stage, and the unbelievably high story count is mostly because I organized them by genre tag, and some stories (i.e. all but one) have more than one of those.

For now, I've sent invitations to those who have actually written fics for Pansy, on the basis that this demonstrates a tentative level of prior interest in the character. Beyond that, I don't feel comfortable with the idea of sending more in case it comes across as badgering, but any advice and tips would be most welcome.

Lastly, there's not much on it at present. The forum contains an introductory thread, a list of Private Pansy fics (which currently consists of a couple of hyperlinks to tag page and search page, but it's a work in progress), and a post with links to related groups of potential interest. I may post more interesting discussions and activities later on, but I figure I should take baby steps with this group.

And obviously, if you want to join up, that'd be just dandy. It is "Fluttershy meets Spartacus", after all. :yay:

That's all for now. I should darn well think so, considering the essay I put out above. Until next time, Impossible Numbers out.

Source: modified screenshot


List of Fics Accepted by Equestria Daily

Splash Dash has given me hope again; it was accepted and published, with some good reader responses. :scootangel: Also, I apologize to my pre-reader for procrastinating over the changes they recommended. I'm not ungrateful, I swear. I'll get around to the editing at some point. Just not sure when. :twilightsheepish:

New Stories?: Three. Transient is what happens when you think "Well, I got featured for a horror fic; maybe there's something in that genre." Healing Properties I've already discussed above. Metal Celestia was the fic that could have surpassed it in the contest if not for my bumbling. And no, the title is not a reference to the musical genre. It has a deep thematic relevance to the story.

Well OK, and I literally took the Metal Gear Solid route of, and here I paraphrase Honest Game Trailers, "smashing some awesome-sounding words together". It is, after all, a fic about political skulduggery, attempted assassination, and an awkward friendship between a spoiled princess and a mage who can't afford a decent hoodie.

New Updates: Petalback got a new chapter, its longest and arguably darkest to date. This also came with a good reader response, though sadly not to the same degree its debut received.

Story Count: 51

My Total Story View Count: 40,916

Age: 1,937 days, or 276 weeks and 5 days

My Follower Count: 120. Now that's a good sign. I am as ever grateful for the following, even if half of them haven't been seen in weeks!

My Followed Count: 79

Oh, and one more picture, because why not?


Behold Princess Twinkleshine.

Seriously! She's got Celestia's old colour scheme! She's a time-travelling princess! Fanfic idea right here, you guys!

Report Impossible Numbers · 63 views · Story: Metal Celestia ·

Blog Number 26: Reviews and Relief Edition

Now there's the stallion we'd all love to strangle.

First of all, I have a milestone to report; my latest story, Beautiful Lives, hit the Featured Box yesterday/today depending upon timezone, the first time this has ever happened with one of my fics. And of all the fics it could have happened to, it of course had to be a fic basically pointing out how much Zephyr Breeze, a character I actually quite like, is a waste of space. My life continues to throw me curveballs.

This is a good bonus, and I hope to get such an achievement once more in the not-too-distant future. Chuffed as I am with that result, however, the reader response is even better. I delight in seeing people say what was so vivid about the story for them, or even just give it a positive adjective. If only this sort of thing happened more often, because it is a wonderful thing to see my efforts become more than I'd hoped for.


Anywho, on to the main course of this metaphorical meal. Please select your preferred dish from the menu below. Or not. Who cares?*

* Seriously, Coriander Cumin needs a happy day. Or at least an hour.

Featured Fic (hint: look up, stupid)

Underutilized Tags, and the Time Action Glory Challenge!

FanOfMostEverything's Contest

Relief: Productivity!

Reviews of Honour

Underutilized Tags, and the Time Action Glory Challenge!

Statistics for character tags are fascinating, at least if you've got the patience. Take out the "OC" and "Other" tags, and the Queen of Character Overuse is none other than Princess Celestia, appearing in roughly a quarter of all stories on the site. Work your way down via the main characters, and the distribution shows some jumps, both unsurprising (Twilight's right at the top, but then the show all-too-often seems to be hers) and downright saddening (Rarity is at the bottom, lower even than Discord!). Then, broadly speaking, you've got the most popular background characters and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and then as far as I can tell, after that it's a free-for-all.

I mention this because the really depressing part comes when you go and see the lowest of the low. Of course, I'm not really going to get emotional or pretend not to understand why this happens. Some characters are gravitationally strong, attracting all sorts of stories and interpretations. Other characters require a bit of bending before you can get much work out of them, or just don't leave any impact. Heck, background pony tags are basically OC stand-ins, for all the characterization the show gives us. And ultimately, the whole thing is probabilistic, as open to the random contingencies of the fan climate as the real climate is to everything under the sun (and including the sun too).

Nevertheless, it seems vaguely unjust to me, for instance, that Seabreeze has a prominent role in one of the 143 released episodes of Friendship is Magic, and thus a representational percentage of roughly 0.7%, yet features in only 22 out of over 100,000 fics, or barely 0.02%! He's not a bad character, and I'm confident the combined talents and creativity of the fandom could produce for him the sort of varied and spectacular fics rewarded regularly to other character tags. Even focusing on the recent glut of tags, the lopsided distribution and low story counts make me think a lot of potential remains untapped. After all, a major key to diversity and any kind of evolution involves finding a niche and thriving in it. I really believe it can be done for these overlooked cast members.

That's where the Time Action Glory Challenge group comes in. Their main purpose is to take these overlooked tags and give them their time in the spotlight. Their frankly ambitious aim is to ensure each tag has at least one hundred stories under it by the end of 2017, though if you ask me that's nigh impossible without a fantastically high production rate, or at least most of the fandom getting involved. Therefore, I consider it at least worth trying for the target and accepting a consolation prize: as many fics for each neglected tag as possible. Let not the good tags fade into the shade.

Each month is expected to have a certain theme: this month's is "Marching Forth", an open theme allowing for many kinds of interpretation. Tangentially, FanOfMostEverything has invited its members to contribute via his own Imposing Sovereigns contest, though see his own blog for the terms and conditions of that particular challenge. And I myself intend to begin a prompt later this month.

So, if you believe there's a tag that's woefully underappreciated, or if you wish to find a poorly-tapped niche in the fandom, or just want an arbitrary challenge, remember the name: Time Action Glory Challenge. The only inspections we pass are yours.

FanOfMostEverything's Contest

Oh yeah, and FanOfMostEverything has a contest on at the mo: Imposing Sovereigns. Apparently, he got it from a book or something. Don't ask me. All I know is that his contest involves taking a princess (he's very loose about what counts as a princess), taking a role from a list (Schemer, Warrior, Partier, etc.), and then writing a fic about them before the end of this week. That's the abridged version: if that's not enough to fully win you over, check out his own blog on the subject and see if there's an opening for you. Also, cash prizes are involved.

To give you a preview, here's a list of the roles more fully fleshed-out, and the current slots available and taken. I'm afraid it is limited to one user per slot, and you have to claim in the comments section of his blog, but hopefully there's something here to grab your attention:


• Warriors: Princesses Who Fought Their Own Battles

• Usurpers: Princesses Who Grabbed Power in a Man's World

• Schemers: Princesses Who Plotted and Planned

• Survivors: Princesses Who Made Controversial and Questionable Choices

• Partiers: Princesses Who Loved to Live it Up

• Floozies: Princesses Notorious for Their Sexy Exploits

• Madwomen: Princesses Who Were Likely Mad, or Close to It.

Sign-Up List (as of this moment of publishing)


• Celestia: Foals Errand

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight: River Road

• Flurry Heart: Lise Eclaire

• Platinum: Carabas

• Pumpkin Cake: Daedalus Aegle

• Others:


• Celestia:

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight:

• Flurry Heart:

• Others:


• Celestia: Impossible Numbers

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight:

• Flurry Heart: Georg

• Ember: Masterweaver

• Others:


• Celestia: SirNotAppearingInThisFic

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight: PegasusMesa

• Flurry Heart: ReluctantBrohoof

• Platinum: Silver Moon

• Starlight Glimmer: Czar_Yoshi

• Others:


• Celestia:

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight:

• Flurry Heart:

• Platinum: bookplayer

• Others:


• Celestia:

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight: Thought Prism

• Flurry Heart:

• Others:


• Celestia: Aragon

• Luna:

• Cadence:

• Twilight: DarkSpark

• Flurry Heart:

• Ember: Bugsydor

• Others:

I've ruled out the slots that have already been taken, and if you find that limitation too much, don't hesitate to tell him. He explicitly welcomes feedback. Please do read his rules, though, if you want to take part.

Relief: Productivity!

Anyway, back to narcissism mode. To my own surprise, I have just emerged from an uncharacteristically productive month. Seven fics in one month is, to put it bluntly, not something I was expecting to achieve even when I was starting out in 2011/2012. Especially not during that slump in 2014. So I am immensely gratified to see the muse has done a workout since then!

The fics of honour are listed below, because if there's one thing we can't get enough of, it's lists.


White Lightning and the Elite Pony

The Icing on the Hearth's Warming Cake

Raven Night School

Stinging the Trail

The Web Untangled

As Winter Dies, So Spring Is Born

As for this month, I doubt I'll match that level of output, as it would require an average rate of one fic every four or five days. This may well be a simple fluke, and of course it's about quality, not quantity: no point rushing out a dozen fics if they're a load of dingo's kidneys**. But hopefully this will still be a good month for writing. One can only hope... and one can do some actual writing, of course. :twilightsheepish:

** Darn, but I wish Douglas Adams was still alive. Now there's a writer who needed to be more prolific.

Reviews of Honour

As if to compliment my increased output, this year has also seen an increase in the number of reviews I receive, though that was hardly a difficult achievement. But reviews on all over the place! Yay!

Seriously, these are immensely gratifying, not only for the valuable critical feedback and pointers for improvement, but for the sheer pleasure of seeing people appreciate all the effort devoted to these stories. Comments so far have been encouraging too.

Incidentally, the Big Master Review List (link goes directly to spreadsheet, FYI) is a great resource that links to various reviews. That said, it currently only has four of mine up (should I nudge Singularity Dream about this?). So more comprehensively, I'll list my own reviews here in no particular order:

Louder Yay blog has given me two of them. In fact, it was because of Loganberry's first review of one of mine that I first became aware of the Big Master Review List, as my story Practical Nightmares Only was added, resulting in my receiving a notification. A bonus upon a bonus, indeed. The two reviews were: the aforementioned fic in a Carrot Top Edition post (three stars out of five, which seems respectable enough to me); and Lapidify: To See and Die (four out of five) in a Royal Canterlot Library Edition post. So far, so good!

In fact, Lapidify did quite a few rounds recently. It has been covered by PresentPerfect (recommended), the Royal Canterlot Library (um... I think this one's self-explanatory), Seattle's Angels (you know you're in a good place when your fic's being compared to the raptor kitchen scene in Jurassic Park), Shrink Laureate's blog post here, and even this dude, whoever the heck he is. All it needs is a review from City of Doors, OneManPonyRamblings blog, Titanium Dragon, PaulAsaran, Pleasant Reviews!, John Perry, The Royal Guard, Soge, The Goodfic Bin, Meridian Prime, MLPmatthewl149, Cerulean Voice, Inquisitor M, Foals Errand, and the Pony Fiction Vault, and I'll have the whole set!***

*** Tricky, considering at least two of those on the list are no longer active.

For completeness' sake, here's some older stuff too:

Griffon a Load of Bull, reviewed by Seattle's Angels and briefly mentioned by theRedBrony in a signal boost post. I still find it a bit unfortunate that this is apparently my top-rated fic of all time. That's probably due to longevity and this unexpected shout-out, but given what else I've written, I think it's way overdue a dethroning.

Last but certainly not least, I'd like to give a hearty thanks to xgfhj for their rankings, both in blog form and via their library additions, which have consistently challenged me to finally try and get a higher rank than four stars.****

**** Even if I still think All of a Fluttershy wasn't bad enough to deserve just two... :applejackunsure: Ah well, different palates, I guess. It's hardly my proudest achievement either way. On the other hand, The Campaign for Extra Trixie is something I think needs either chopping up or scrapping altogether, though I'm not sure which, hence its continued survival.

Well, that's most certainly all for now. If this post seems a little too self-indulgent, then my only defense is that I'm enjoying my own minor renaissance while I still have one. I've got huge gaps to make up for.

Until next time, Impossible Numbers, out!


List of Fics Accepted by Equestria Daily

Nothing new to report since last time. Although I have submitted Splash Dash, I'm still not feeling entirely confident after my last mistaken bout of optimism. The obvious solution would be to edit Villainy Abroad, but sentimental as I am, I just can't bring myself to do it. My resolution instead is to try harder with future fics.

New Stories?: Six. Again, rain check on any advanced analysis, though it should be obvious the Time Action Glory Challenge influence was strong here. Also, I marvel at how a Fluttershy fic about the wonder and solace of spiders gets less attention than a fic about a barely noticed Hearth's Warming Eve character.*****

The Icing on the Hearth's Warming Cake

Raven Night School

Stinging the Trail

The Web Untangled

As Winter Dies, So Spring Is Born

Beautiful Lives

***** I'm not being fatuous; the spider one was inspired by watching an episode of a David Attenborough series, Life in the Undergrowth, and subsequently got more attention and effort from me. By contrast, the Private Pansy one was a result of a moment's inspiration and completed more or less in a day. Based on that, I honestly anticipated wholly different reactions to the ones these two fics actually got.

New Updates: No

Story Count: 48

My Total Story View Count: 38,429

Age: 1,910 days, or 272 weeks and 6 days

My Follower Count: 105

My Followed Count: 77

Report Impossible Numbers · 75 views · Story: The Web Untangled ·
  • Viewing 26 - 35 of 35
#35 · 9w, 4d ago · · ·


No worries. I'd been wondering about White Lightning's tag ever since it appeared on the list, and when I discovered she hadn't really garnered much fandom interest before now, I thought I'd fill a vacant niche and try my hand at a little characterization exercise. After all, the fandom's done more with less before now.

By the way, I'm part of a group dedicated to giving underused character tags some more attention: Time Action Glory Challenge. Whatever ideas you have for White Lightning or for anyone else, they could be realized during one of our prompt challenges, or they can be written any time at your leisure. It might be right up your alley, if you'd like to join in.

#34 · 9w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

I just saw your latest story, White Lightning and the Elite Pony, pop up somewhere in my feed.

Before I get around to reading it, I just want to say:

Someone finally posted a story using the White Lightning character tag! :yay:

Unfortunately, I couldn't really come up with any story ideas for her myself yet, but I've kinda been looking forward to seeing her tag used for a while now... :twilightsheepish:

#33 · 10w, 1d ago · · ·

New Benchmark: 100 Followers as of Friday 10th February 2017, yay! :yay:

Now get me another hundred. :ajsmug:

#32 · 13w, 4d ago · · ·


No worries. I found it through the Royal Canterlot Library. For a short fic, it packs some impressive psychological insight, social commentary, and atmosphere-building into a simple thousand words or so. Good stuff. :ajsmug:

#31 · 13w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Well, thank you for the following. I'm glad you liked A Good Filly:twilightsmile:

#30 · 16w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2368567 Ah, thank you so much. And happy holidays! :twilightsheepish:

#29 · 16w, 2d ago · 1 · ·


You're welcome. The Legend of the Gift Horses contained some fascinating ideas, and was an entertaining read. Thank you for writing it. :twilightsmile:

#28 · 16w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

Ah, thank you for the favorite! ;3

#27 · 100w, 4d ago · · ·


:ajsmug: No worries. You earned it with The Flower's Dream.

#26 · 100w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Thanks for the watch! :pinkiehappy:

  • Viewing 26 - 35 of 35
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