Monday, June 30, 2014

Teaching Yourself a Lesson You Always Knew

Writing is, at its core, about exchanging ideas.  Sometimes those ideas are new to us, other times they're new spins on well-worn ideas, and still other times they're lessons that we know well, but which bear repeating (sometimes they're none of those things, but... well, that's not ideal).  What I'd like to talk about, though, is what you can learn from writing, and it usually seems to fall into that third category.  Click down below the break for my ramblings.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 42

I forgot to mention this earlier, but there was another minific contest which I bestirred myself enough to enter last weekend; you can see and vote for the entries here--the former indefinitely, the latter through this weekend.  Still, less than 15,000 words isn't really that much, especially when you consider that I'll be concurrently bulling my way through all 180,000-odd words of The Irony of Applejack.  If you're looking for something else to read, though (jeez, there's just no pleasing you), click on down below the break to see my short thoughts on a few recent fics I've read.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 58: Forever Is Forever

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

My sister was recently overseas, and (mostly to make fun of my pony interest, I'm guessing), she got me a Croatian pony magazine as a present.  Joke's on her, though; it came with a little plastic Rainbow Dash that actually looks pretty decent.  He'll be hanging out by the computer for now.

Speaking of Rainbow Dash, get some Dash (and Applejack) stuff with my review of Fon Shaolin's Forever Is Forever, below the break.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Columnists Needed! Details Inside...

Those of you who've followed me for a while know that, both of the last two years, I've skipped off to Arizona for a few weeks in summer, and left this blog in the capable hand of a variety of guest columnists.  If you haven't seen some of the stuff I've gotten, browse through the guest column tag--there's a lot of wonderful advice, opinion, and reviewership collected under that heading.

This year, I'll once again be spending two weeks AWOL, and I'm once again planning to put up some guest posts over that break.  But this year's going to be a little different.  Click down below the break to find out what's going to happen, and how you can get in on it!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 41

When I read a story, it's usually after I download it to my e-reader, rather than on an actual computer screen.  So, since I'm downloading it anyway, I'll then save a copy to the computer itself, in addition to the one I put on the reader (which I almost always delete after reading--otherwise, it gets too cluttered).

Anyway, the point here is that I've got something like a thousand epubs (from FiMFiction) and HTMLs (from gdocs) of fanfics I've read since I started doing that.  I dunno, I feel kind of weird having that much fanfic on my hard drive... but I'm not planning to stop, so I guess that number's only going up.

Anyhoo, here are a few of the more recent additions to that ever-growing list.  Below the break, just like always.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 57: In Celestia We Trust, All Others Pay Cash

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

After seeing that they'd added a "My Little Pony" category, I tried going a few rounds at it on the smartphone app Quizup.  I quickly discovered that I'm remarkably bad at it for someone who's seen every episode, most of them multiple times.  Ah well; normally I'm pretty good at trivia games, too.

Anyway, my review of Georg's In Celestia We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, below the break.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 56: Project: Sunflower

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

If any of you are fans of Bob from Bottles' stories, you might want to go check his FiMFic page--he's re-uploaded most of his writing.  Glad to see that back; I hate to see things disappear from the internet, even if it's only kinda-sorta disappearing, and he's got some gems to boot.

But we're not here to talk about his old stories!  We're here to talk about one of Hoopy McGee's old stories.  Specifically, we're here to talk about Project: Sunflower, the talking-about-which you can find below the break.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Bit of This and That to Tide You Over Over the Weekend

The next Fandom Classic on my list is Project Sunflower, which clocks in at over 200,000 words.  Since (due to work/con last week) I just started reading it on Tuesday... yeah, I'm not close to done yet.  I'm pretty sure I can finish in time to review it on Monday, though!  In the meantime, here are a few odds and ends to see you through the next 72 hours:

1)  You've probably already seen it bandied about elsewhere, but Obs is running a contest: write a story with one or more ideas which are traditionally derided as awful.  As is my curse, I came up with an idea yesterday that I kind of liked... but which I don't think I have any chance of getting it done in time.  Oh, well; it should still be fun to see some other authors' takes on it.

2)  You know what's a good feeling?  When you take a look at your FiMFiction profile and find that you've got half a dozen new notifications... and when you go to see what they are, you find that someone has, over the course of several hours, read and favorited half of your stories.  That's happened to me a few times (and once recently, hence why I'm mentioning it here), and it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to think that someone just blew an afternoon binging on--and enjoying!--something(s) I wrote.

3)  I watched a World Cup game on Thursday.  Well, it was on in the same room as I was in, anyway; I think I'm to stereotypically American to enjoy soccer.  And while I realize this is a minority opinion, I thought the vuvuzelas from last time around really added something.  They made the event feel more exotic and spectacle-ish, you know?  Ah well, maybe not caring about it will give me more time to write about my alicorn OC and/or finish reading this fanfic.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 40

We pre-empt this intro with some late-breaking news: Equestria Daily and Collins English Dictionary can go straight to hell.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled mini-reviews, below the break.

Monday, June 9, 2014

MLP-MSP: a Retrospective

So, I spent all day Sunday at Minneapolis's first pony-themed convention, MLP-MSP.  The short version is: it was far more fun than I expected, and I had a wonderful time.  If you aren't into tl;dr versions, though, I wrote up my experiences below the break.

My Momma Always Said, Filler Is as Filler Does

If you're seeing this post, it means I haven't yet written up my retrospective on my Sunday trip to the MLP-MSP convention.  It'll go up once I finish writing it, most likely tomorrow morning or afternoon (so, 12-18 hours after this), so look forward to that!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fandom Classics Part 55: Fiddlesticks!

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

This is a long weekend coming up, but one I'm really looking forward to.  The end of the school year means crunch time to get everything all gussied up and to put bows on the lot, but at the end of that road lies... well, summer!  Plus, I'll be spending Sunday at MLP-MSP--if you're going to be there, say hello!  Sadly, I'll miss the first two days (see: crunch time, end of school year-induced), but I'm still looking forward to checking out one of these "con" thingamabobs.

For now, though, click on down below the break, where I've put together my thoughts on Tigerhorse's Fiddlesticks!

EDIT: Review now comes complete with title!  What a deal!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 13)

This week being what it is, I've done relatively little reading for pleasure.  Granted, it's still around an hour a day, but it's remarkably little by my normal measure.  But that doesn't stop me from being in the middle of a number of things all at once.  Let's take a glimpse at what my non-ponyfic reading material looks like at the moment, shall we?

Notably not included: the newest Dresden Files book, Skin Game.  While I enjoy the series, I don't quite "shell out 20-30 bucks for the hardcover" love it.  And sadly, I forgot to put an early reserve in for it at the library, so it looks like I'll be waiting until I move up the list or the paperback comes out, whichever comes first.  Still, other books!  Below the break.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mini-Reviews Round 39


It's the last week of school, and it seems like every day I'm finding out something new that I either need to do before class lets out on Friday, or that needs to get done before I can get on with Summer.  Somehow, the end of this year is a lot more hectic than last year.  That's not how this is supposed to go; it's supposed to get easier as you go!

So, yeah, mini-reviews below the break.  Enjoy three short thoughts on three short fics while I go back to stressing.