Monday, April 29, 2013

Equestria Daily, Fanfiction, and You: A Survey: A Response

I assume most people who visit this blog also visit Equestria Daily on a regular or semi-regular basis.  That being the case, I'm guessing you've all already seen this post, with its survey about the future of fanfiction on EqD.  If you haven't already taken it, you should definitely find a little free time to go do that; I've already done so, but I thought I'd take a little time to lay out my opinions on a few of the broader questions, as summarized by me, in a more public place.  Below the break, as always.

Friday, April 26, 2013

By Order of the Inquisition: Show vs. Tell vs… Respect?

And now, the long-awaited conclusion to that post from two days ago.  Click below for show vs. tell II: the re-redefining-ing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By Order of the Inquisition: Show vs. Tell vs. Engagement

Hrm... Background Pony is long.  Very long.  And unlike with Fallout: Equestria, I don't have a two-week vacation over which I can devote hours upon hours to reading.  

Luckily, Inquisitor M has stepped up to the plate!  You may have seen him contribute guest columns before, and now he's got his own take on one of the most misunderstood, most discussed, and most debated subjects in ponyfiction: show vs. tell.  Click down below the break for his perspective.

Oh, and a word of advice: even if you're sick to death of talking about show vs. tell, you should give this a gander; I think Mr. M's come up with a unique take on the subject, no small feat given how frequently it's talked about.

Monday, April 22, 2013

And Now, a Fanfic Reader PSA

I was helping a couple of married friends set the table the other day, and the husband of the pair was setting out the utensils incorrectly.  I told him what side the forks, spoons, and knives were supposed to go on, and he shrugged and said he'd probably have forgotten by next time.

I replied, "There's an easy trick to it.  You seek, 'fork' has four letters, just like 'left,' so it goes on the left.  'Knife' and 'spoon' both have five letters, just like 'right,' so they go on the right.  Now then, 'knife' has an 'i,' like 'inside,' so it goes nearest to the plate, while 'spoon' has an 'o' like 'outside,' so it goes on the outside."

At that point, his wife (who had been listening with some amusement) chimed in that all you actually have to remember was that the utensils go in reverse alphabetical order.  Apparently, I've been remembering my table settings the hard way all this time.

No real point to that story; just thought it was funny.  Click down below for a totally unrelated (but hopefully worth reading) bit about commenting on fanfics.

Friday, April 19, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part 140: Antipodes

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

You know those idiot amusements which lurk in the lower-rent sections of your head?  The ones that can't even be called "inside jokes" because they're not so much "jokes" as "things that make you smile for no good reason?"  Well, here's a story about me: When Antipodes first got posted on EqD way back when, I looked at the title, and suddenly thought to myself, "If you put a hyphen in there, it could be Anti-podes."  Then I started wondering what the anti-podes were like, why they hated podes so much, whether they were able to sit at the same Thanksgiving table with pro-podes without getting into family-destroying arguments, and the short version is that every time I see this fic mentioned anywhere I always giggle while thinking to myself, "heh, anti-podes."

Click down below the break for my review of PK's (sadly pode-less) Antipodes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 8

Much of my fanfic-reading time is filled with 6-star stories, it's true.  But sometimes, I want to read fanfics while there are distractions in the area (the TV's on, I'm reading out in public, etc.).  Sometimes, I want to read fanfics right before bed, or at some other time when my concentration might be suspect.  And sometimes, I just need a change of pace.

Below are links to a few stories I've recently read, complete with a little bit of commentary and a short review.  As always, feel free to parse my selection process for insights into the way my mind works and/or to make fun of me for the inevitable word derp or two that's bound to creep in.  One thing about writing reviews for an audience with high (linguistic) standards: you'll always hear about it if you use the wrong to(o).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Filler Post

Sometimes, when I don't have a post ready, it means that I'm reading a door-stopper of a fanfic.

Sometimes, it means that work has been more demanding than usual, lately.

Sometimes, it means that there's something going on with my family that requires my attention.

Sometimes, it means I've been working on a fanfic of my own, and it's taking away from blog-writing time.

Sometimes, it means I got season one of Game of Thrones from the library, and have been sinking an hour of my rarer-than-I'd-like free time into it most nights.

Sometimes, it means I'm a lazy bum, plain and simple.

And sometimes, it means all of those things at once.

Ponder the zen of my excuses for the next 48 hours; I'm not yet sure if it'll be the review of Antipodes or not, but I'll have something worth posting by Wednesday.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What Have I Learned?

I've seen more than a few impassioned essays from ponyfans detailing just how My Little Pony and/or the fan community have made them a better, happier, more wholesome person.  I'll be honest: as much as I do enjoy the show, the fanfiction, and the people I've met online via this phenomenon  I can't say I feel like I'm a better or happier person for my time here.  I was pretty happy before ponies, I'm pretty happy now, you know?

But I have been thinking about a few of the things I've learned as a writer from this community.  So below, I've compiled a short list of a few of the lessons I've picked up from other authors, editors, commenters, and others.  Head below the break to see just how much I managed to absorb.  Not to mention how much I needed to absorb.  There are many more, no doubt, but those are the ones that came immediately to mind when I sat down to type this:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 7

Do you ever have one of those moments where you're staring at your computer screen, and you know academically that you should be typing, but there seems to be some sort of disconnect between your brain and your fingers?  I've been having a lot of those moments, lately; hopefully, it doesn't linger.

Click below for my slightly-longer-in-production-than-should-have-been-strictly-necessary thoughts on a few fanfics I've recently read.  As always, these are reflective of my casual reading experience, rather than any concerted effort on my part to delve into the stories' fundaments, but hopefully they're still enough to inform your ponyfic experience.

Monday, April 8, 2013

6-Star Reviews Part 139: The Pony of the Opera

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

I can't seem to think of anything interesting to put up top here.  No matter; pop on down below the break for my review of Miyajima's The Pony of the Opera, about which I assure you I do have something to say; with any luck, it will even prove to be something interesting.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Roger Ebert Accidentally Created One Man's Pony Ramblings

I'm pre-empting the review of Pony of the Opera to talk about some news I just heard: Roger Ebert, after more than a decade of battling cancer and two days after announcing a "leave of presence" from his reviewing job, died Thursday.  Click down below the break for some of my thoughts on the man.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Priming the Canons

I hope you all had a pleasant Easter, and that your April Fool's Day is going just as well.  I can't think of anything to do with the blog for the occasion that would be more entertaining than annoying, but feel free put your finger to your chest, look down, and then flick your nose on my behalf if that'll make your day feel a bit more complete.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been thinking about the official but non-show FiM materials which Hasbro has been putting out lately.  Click below the break for a few thoughts as to how it pertains to fanfiction.