Monday, December 30, 2013

Episode Talk: S4E7, Bats!

Today's post was going to be my next fanfic review.  I had the header all typed up, even.  It was going to say, "I don't have anything to say about the newest episode, because I couldn't think of a single thing I liked about it."

But dangit, I do want to say a few things about it.  Also, I eventually realized there was one thing that I liked about the episode (one thing specific to this episode, that is--any praise which could apply to every episode of MLP I'm taking as a given).  So, click down below the break if you want some slightly after-the-fact Bats!-themed venting.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 27: The Golden Armor

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

Benman wrote a story for me yesterday; a 700-word vignette about Carrot Top being home for the holidays.  Check it out if you need something short and sweet to top off your Christmas week.

If you need something a bit more substantial, though, today's review is of a novel-length tale.  Is Comet Burst's The Golden Armor one to read?  Click down below the break for my thoughts.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Much as I manage to unironically enjoy MLP despite all the attendant baggage which the franchise brings--something many of you can relate to, I'm sure--I truly, sincerely love Christmas.  It's easy to get lost in the maze of commercialism, politicization, and smarm that comes with the season, but what Christmas means to me is being with the people you love, and letting them know just how much you love them.  As corny as it sounds, I know of nothing that feels--that is--better.  Those are things you should do year-round, sure, but they're also easy to lose sight of.  Christmas is my chance to remember.

So I'm taking the holiday off.  This ought to go up on Tuesday, and is taking the place of the regular Monday and Wednesday posts.  I'll be back to my regular schedule come Friday, but I'm going to spend Christmas eating cookies, drinking eggnog, caroling, roasting marshmallows on an open fire (far better than chestnuts), and being with my family and friends.

Merry Christmas, everyone.  And remember: if you love someone, take the time to tell them.  Even if it's corny, even if they already know, even if they "don't need to hear it."  It's always the right thing to say.

Friday, December 20, 2013

For a Change, Let's Talk About Actual Books (Part 11)

A.k.a. "Chris is coming down with a cold, so here's something to keep you off the streets over the weekend while he cuddles up under his electric blanket which, sadly, doesn't go to 11 like it really ought to."  Below the break, as always.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 26: Daring DONE!

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

In my bout of angsty apathy on Monday, I failed to say anything about the newest episode, Flight to the Finish.  Honestly, I didn't care for it.  The song was underwhelming by FiM standards; it leaned far more towards the "teen pop" side of composition than usual (between this and the Babs Seed song in season two, I wonder if the CMC haven't been consciously delegated this role), and the tune outside of the chorus was so unmemorable and un-catchy that I can't actually recall how it goes, even after seeing the episode twice.  Beyond that, there were a few things I enjoyed about the episode (Carrot Top and her boyfriend at the train station remains adorable; Silver Spoon explicitly acknowledging how little the show writers have done with her and Diamond Tiara ("But how do we stop them? We already called them blank flanks!") was great; I do think that making it clear that Scoot can't fly, and that this is, at least, unusual, adds to her character).  But, between the stroke Ms. Harshwhinney was apparently having (there is a point at which goofy faces stop being cute and start being annoying, and this season has already dashed that line to smithereens), Dash's inner monologuing (that felt forced; for goodness' sake, just have her say the lines sotto voce if you need them that bad), and the fact that I've just never gotten on board with the CMC to the degree that the rest of the fandom seems to have, this one wasn't one of my favorites.  Oh well, they can't all be great.

ANYWAY, click on below the break for my review of Aragon's Daring DONE!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Few Thoughts about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

...So, if you're interested in some grumping, some self-pitying, a little bit about the newest Hunger Games movie, and my patented brand of semi-coherence, you can find it below the break.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mini-Reviews Round 24

I've recently picked my on-again-off-again dalliance with online poker up once more, and I'd just like to say that there's a special place in hell for the *cough*holes who go all in on the first hand of a tournament, double (or more often, quadruple) up, and then turn on auto-folding and leave the table, hoping for their stack to last through enough blinds to get them a payout.  

Don't be those people.

Anyway, mini-reviews below the break!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Several things which add up to one post

At least, that's how I'm counting them.


1)  I was introduced to another site which does fanfic reviews yesterday!  The City of Doors posts irregularly, averaging 1-3 posts a week and reviews mostly MLP fanfiction, along with some original fiction and D&D-related material.  The reviews are mostly concise, and balance observations and personal impressions.  Personally, I found them very readable in their own right, and the page is definitely worth checking out.  I've added it to the links page, but if you're looking for some reviews to tide you over until Friday, you should make a point to go see what Griffin has to offer.

2)  Just a friendly reminder: if you didn't get an advent calendar in November like the punctual and forward-looking person you no doubt are, you can probably get for, like, half-off right now.  Plus, you get to eat the first ten days worth of sweets all at once!

I'm not saying you have to celebrate Christmas, and certainly not that you have to do it with an advent calender.  I'm just saying that any holiday tradition which revolves around waking up and immediately shoving a piece of chocolate into your mouth is one I can get behind.

3)  I lost my fantasy football league again.  I know, nobody cares, but I've got to vent to somebody.

4)  Back on nominal blog topic, to wit, ponies: What's the deal with all the video reviews of episodes that have been popping up on Equestria Daily lately?  I haven't ever watched one of these, so I'm really clueless as to the appeal here.  Is this something that's this prevalent in other TV-based fandoms?  Why are they all so long?  Seriously, it seems like half are 8-12 minutes long, and the other half are longer than the episode they're analyzing (all numbers pulled straight from my nether regions, I admit, but that's my impression).  Maybe some of these are really impressive or allow viewers to appreciate the show on a whole new level, but I'm thoroughly flummoxed by the way so many seem to have sprouted up.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 25: Friendship is Optimal

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

The next time someone asks me why I tend to prefer slice-of-life/problem-of-the-week episodes to epic adventure/worldbuilding ones, Daring Don't is going to be my exhibit A.  While I really liked some of the interplay between Dash and Doo (and Dash and Twilight--arguing arcana while the "normals" look on in bemusement was great), throwing Ahuizotl and company into "real Equestria" not only makes for a poor thematic fit, but introduces a whole bunch of questions without any really good answers.  I was still able to enjoy the episode (indeed, it exceeded my expectations--if only because the teaser image of Dash and company jumping into a book had me expecting even less sensical happenings), but I liked Daring Doo a lot better when she was an Indiana Jones parody, and not a "real" character.

Anyway, click on down below the break for my review of Iceman's Friendship is Optimal.

Friday, December 6, 2013


The title of this blog post notwithstanding, this is the slightly-delayed how-and-why-it-was-written followup to my new story, To Make a Spark.  If you haven't read that yet, I urge you to go check it out before diving into this post--I'd rather you read the story before you read this, all things being equal.  But, if you're ready for a little authorial explicating and blog title accounting-for, click down below the break.

I'll warn you, though--it's a long one!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A New Story from Me

The tale of Cadence's ascension to alicornhood.

That's right: almost a year after my last published fanfic (and after multiple "it's almost ready" false starts), I put a new story out yesterday.

I have quite a bit to say about the writing of this story, and I'll put it all into a big post on Friday... but for multiple reasons, I'd really prefer for you to read it before reading about it, in this case.  Well, for those of you who intend to read it at all, anyway; I can't exactly force you all to want to give it a look.

Still, if you do check it out, I'd love to hear what you have to think in the comments, here or on FIMFiction.  Feedback--positive, negative, or otherwise--is always welcome.  I hope you all enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fandom Classics Part 24: Distorted Perspective

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

Read my review of Vimbert the Unimpressive's Distorted Perspective, below the break.

...What?  Let's see you write pithy intros three times a week.  Today, we're going in cold!