Friday, January 30, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 93: The Writing on the Wall

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

After being at a low ebb for many (well, several, anyway) months, the spam's coming back with a vengeance.  Luckily, the capcha seems to be doing a good job of keeping the comments from showing up where any of you have to see them.  And more good news!  If I ever get behind on posts, one "Suzlie" has offered to contribute some content from her advice blog, which I haven't checked out yet because the last thing I want to do is fill my backup computer with malware while the good one's still getting fixed I'm just so busy, you know?, but which she assures me is endorsed by Brigham Young University and is full of stuff related to my blog--you know, like templates to create your own family tree!  It's good to know I've attracted such attentive, helpful followers as Suzlie here.  For now though, I'm still on top of my schedule, so feel free to click on down below the break to read my review of Horse Voice's The Writing on the Wall.

NOTE: This review contains ending spoilers. Don't worry, they're behind a spoiler tag you have to click to read... but since I can't figure out how to put multiple spoiler tags into a single post, that means that today's star rating is unspoiled. Just FYI!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 92: Cracked Beauty

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

One thing I see in a few students every year is that "I'm going to send you to the office if you don't stop ______" doesn't have any effect... but "go to the office" results in a perfect 180 in behavior, shortly followed by shock and anger that yes, they still have to go to the office.  Once I say "go to the office," it's too late to dodge the consequences!  I sometimes wonder if this is just what they've learned based on their home life, or if there's a more fundamental developmental reason they have this expectation that those consequences will be rescinded (I've heard people claim both), but either way I figure they need to learn sooner rather than later that listening to warnings is far better rewarded than trying to get punishments overturned.  Ah, life lessons.

Click below for my review of Slate Sadpony's Cracked Beauty.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 91: The Appledash Project

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

I'd like to submit a proposal to the Powers That Be in reality TV programming: put the Tim Gunn Rescue into every reality/contest show.  Tattooing shows, cooking shows, King of the Nerds, whatever; in every season of every show, Tim Gunn should come on at the end of one episode and announce that he's bringing back whoever just lost and is about to go home.  Let him be the glue that binds a fractured cable TV audience together!  Until then, we wait.

...And to pass the time while we wait, feel free to click down below the break and check out my review of bookplayer's The Appledash Project.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 67

I've been sick-but-not-enough-to-really-complain-about for more than a week now--you know, the kind of sick where you feel kind of cruddy sometimes, and you know there's something wrong, but you aren't sick sick.  Anyway, what's really getting me is this dry, hacking cough I keep getting every night.  It always kicks in around nine or ten, and lasts until I manage to get to sleep.  How does that even work?  How is time-sensitive illness even a thing?  At first I thought it might be something in the bedroom, but nope; same problem, same time, even when I stayed out in the living room.  What kind of garbage is that?

Okay, whining over.  Click down below the break for thoughts on what I've been reading for fun lately.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 90: To Be a Better Stallion

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

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day!  I didn't even know that until yesterday afternoon, but I'm completely pumped to celebrate it.  Said celebration will consist of of putting out an extra ear of corn on the squirrel feeder, then appreciating the squirrels as they viciously try to keep one another from actually eating any of it (and failing miserably).  Sure, it may not be nearly as important as the other holiday we (Americans) had this week, but just like big things are worth fighting for, sometimes little ones are worth celebrating.

My review of Autumn Wind's To Be a Better Stallion, below the break.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Proud Owner of One (1) Brick

Which would be great, except that brick used to be my computer.  Taking it in  tomorrow, and hopefully everything is good after that.  Otherwise I'm stuck with just this phone, and  just getting this post going has taken 11 minutes so far... I'm old and bad at technology, I guess.

Hopefully, we'll be  back in business come Wednesday.

UPDATE: I need to get my motherboard hard drive, which is not the same thing but my annoyance stands, replaced.  The computer's a year and a half old, and it needs a new motherboard.  Really?  Really?

Anyway, the good news is that, until I get that fixed, I've borrowed an older desktop from a friend, on which I'm writing this.  It's not much, but it should be plenty for my day-to-day purposes for the time being--including, most importantly, writing reviews.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Carts and Horses

Today, I want to take a time-out from reviewing to talk about writing.  Specifically, I want to talk about what is or isn't a good idea for a story.  Not in terms of good plot/bad plot, but even more fundamental than that: what is a story idea vs. what is a story element.  Click down below for my thoughts on the matter.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 66

...On the subject of writeoffs, it occurs to me that there are a bunch of stories I read in write-off form which were published to FiMFiction later, and which I haven't reviewed.  So today, I thought I'd hit a few of those!  Come see what I thought of the gussied-up published versions of a few of those stories, below the break.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 89: One Last Quest

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

The writeoff's over, and my story ("110%") came away with first place!  But there was a bit of sad news to report, too: of the (several!) body-function stories which people submitted, not one person guessed me as the author of any of them.  You all know what this means, right?  I'm going to have to write a story about poop, so that folks won't be so confident about not guessing me for gross-out fare.

But let's move on to a story in which the words "fibrous nuggets" never once appear next to one another.  Click below for my review of Vanner's One Last Quest.

Friday, January 9, 2015

More First Sentences In (Fan)Fiction

This was fun experiment last time, so I'm going to try it again!  Once more, I'll be looking at the first sentences from various fanfics--this time, I've selected eight of the most well-known ones that I've reviewed from the old 6-star group--and seeing how they stack up as first sentences using my patented HEITSIBPMFTSIATRAEMTCR ("how effective is this sentence in both preparing me for the story I'm about to read, and encouraging me to continue reading;" pronounced like its spelled) scale.  As a reminder, a one on that scale corresponds to "makes me less interested in continuing than I was before I read it," three is "does its job, but not memorable or gripping in and of itself," and five is "not only evocative and memorable, but a perfect fit for the story as well."

Each story will be posted with title, link to my review and how many stars I gave it (the story), first sentence, and some commentary on that sentence.  Tally ho!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 65

I don't know how things are in your part of the country/world, but things have gotten cold over here.  In fact, they've already canceled school for tomorrow (which, since I'm typing on Tuesday afternoon for a Wednesday post, is now today!) because of the temperature.  Don't want those kiddies to freeze, after all!

In unrelated news, I counted more than a dozen of "those kiddies" walking around in shorts yesterday.  Me?  I broke out the thermal underwear back in November.  Whatever; if they want to freeze, that's on them.  Anyway, mini-reviews, below!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 88: Petriculture

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

In addition to the books I talked about a few posts back, I also got a throw blanket for Christmas.  It's got a bunch of sappy-looking big-eyed kittens on it--it was intended as sort of a joke gift.  But I can always use another throw blanket in the winter, and it turns out my cat really, really loves the thing, so he's spent the last few days leaping into my lap whenever I sit down and pull the thing over my legs.  Eat it, gag-gifters!  I'll enjoy your present whether you like it or not!

Anyway, Petriculture review by Kwakerjack by me, below!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 64

In addition to the books I mentioned a couple of posts ago, Christmas also brought me a new throw blanket.  It's bedecked with several of those creepily big-eyed kittens that seem to be popular despite nobody actually liking them, and was intended as a gag gift.  Joke's on the gifter, though; I could always use another throw blanket in winter, and my cat is thinks it's the greatest thing ever.  Score!

On an unrelated note, here are some short comments on several things I've read recently for my own edification.  Check them out, below the break.