Friday, December 22, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Christmas Edition, Round Five of Five!

And so, the runup to the holiday ends.  As usual, I'll be taking the 25th off to be with my family, and I urge you all to do the same--whatever "your family" means to you, spend some time with those people who make your life a little better, and who are there for you when you're at your worst.  They won't be around forever, and can be gone without warning; let them know you love them, in as many words.  Letting the people you love hear that simple truth is never a mistake.

And now, one last seasonal fanfic before we adjurn for holiday.  Merry Christmas, and I'll see you all on the 29th!

Wassail, Wassail!, by Skywriter

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Cheerilee is not the pony she pretends to be for her students.  But perhaps that's okay; who we are and who we aspire to be needn't be impossible to reconcile.

A few thoughts:  Like the best of Skywriter's works, this story combines a quiet despair with humorous presentation for a heartrending but smile-worthy effect, before putting a gratifyingly uplifting bow on the whole affair.  Although I've never been quite in Cheerilee's position, I can relate well to the gist of it (you can't be the same person when you're teaching young children that you were in college, unless you were a really weird college kid), and perhaps that feeling of personal connection enhances my appreciation of this fic.  Be that as it may, Cheerilee's discontent is palpable, and the mildly self-destructive way she handles her feelings rings very true.  And that's all without getting into the Wassailing, and the way it introduces a bit of Earth Pony lore which gives just the right weighty accent to a tale of self-acceptance.  This story was a pleasure to read.

Recommendation:  If you enjoy melancholy humor, especially of the sort where the latter element doesn't diminish the former, you'll find it here.  It's also a good choice for readers who appreciate a story which can hold to a human scope while capturing a sense of ineffable grandeur.  Also for CheeriMac shippers, I guess, but the rest of you don't have to worry; that part's played lightly, and like everything else in this story, beautifully.


  1. I was happy to be the pre-reader who approved this one for Equestria Daily, and that means I both got to read it in the first place and got to help Skywriter fine-tune it a tad. Definitely a story I'd recommend to others.

  2. Merry Christmas, Chris. Hope you're doing better after everything, and that you're enjoying the holidays.

  3. I think we could all use a little Wassail. 300 million people in the states and I think they all caught a cold this year. (me included)