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95 Brohoofs


About VelvetDivan

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    Dayton, OH
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    MLP: FiM, reading, writing, Nerfsmithing, movie prop replica building/collecting, photography, cooking, furries.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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  1. Did you ever wonder what Rarity went through preparing for the Sisterhooves Social race? Wonder no more! Rarity wades through mud, grape juice, egg yolk, and a certain freckled farmer's attempts at encouragement, all in the name of sisterhood. While we all know how it turned out, you may not know how close Rarity came to calling it quits during the harrowing ordeal. Only love for her sister could help her stay the course.
  2. Well, there's a difference between poor characterization, and taking a character in a different direction. I remember one fic (a Scoota-orphan one) that depicted Mr. Cake as a pretty nasty guy when it came to keeping sorts he regarded as unsavory out of his shop. He actually attacked Scootaloo with a broom. I couldn't read a fic featuring Mr. Cake without being mad at him, for weeks. He remained his canon-self around actual friends/paying customers, so while many of us might feel behavior like that goes against his nature, we've never seen him in a situation like that in the show. It's possible he would react that way, showing a different side of himself. As long as we can suspend disbelief, the writer can get away with it. Other fics just don't have a good grasp on the characters, their personalities, quirks, and their motivations, so the cast come off 'wrong' or worse: everyone feels like the same character with different names. Other writers who are just starting out make the mistake of not digging deeply enough into the characters, and their own copies of the ponies ring hollow. They'll fixate on superficial characteristics (Rainbow Dash's competitiveness, Twilight's love of books) and decide that's enough to set the characters apart. Two-dimensional characters are poor vehicles for plot, and a good way to drive off readers.
  3. Applejack has tried everything she can think of to turn things around at her family farm, but every month brings disappointing sales and further expenses. She feels the weight of responsibility for the farm and its imminent failure bearing down on her harder every day, and every failed attempt to fix things drives her deeper into depression. Old habits kick in, and friends' searching questions are deflected, sidestepped, and eventually even answered with outright lies. Sweet Apple Acres, the Apple family, and even the Elements of Harmony are all in greater danger than all but one mare knows, or will admit. (This story began as my 2013 Nanowrimo novel, and it took me almost a year to finish revising it to a point I felt comfortable calling it finished. I hope you'll give it a shot and let me know what you think.)
  4. In case anyone's into the whole silly MLP RP scene on twitter, I'll leave my newly-minted account link here. My couch-smithing carpenter stallion's off to try to make a living in Ponyville!
  5. Agreed, you really need to work in colloquialisms and the occasional rustic saying. You don't want her to come across as a total hayseed, because she isn't, but she does move in those circles and she's picked up a lot of lingo that more urban creatures would describe as quaint or 'charming.' Or even 'colorful' occasionally, if you worked her up to the point of cursing. Here are a few links that might yield some useful phrases for us...or not. o,O (Some of these are indeed...colorful.) Lot of repeats in here from the link above, but a few gems, like 'I'm feeling as low as a toad in a dry well.' More useful: a dictionary of southern slang, Less about accent and more about vocabulary, here's some pruning vocabulary if AJ ever gets technical about the trees she's bucking: General apple orchard operation information, which isn't terribly useful vocab-wise, but could be useful making AJ sound like she knows what she's talking about. Just keep in mind her production season is probably longer than we could expect given the pony-controlled weather.
  6. I'm in the midst of writing a fanfic starring Applejack, and because I find her accent one of the most endearing things about the character, I've been working phonetically-spelled words (as well as truncating others with an apostrophe) into her dialog to reflect her accent. I don't want to overdo it, her accent isn't overwhelming, but I want readers to hear AJ in their heads when reading the lines I've written for her. Reading a few topics on FiMFiction however, it seems there's a good bit of push-back against this practice, and some people would prefer you write cleanly, leaving the accent and any drawl totally in the reader's mind. What do you think? Would you prefer to see AJ's accent spelled out somewhat, or does that distract you? Examples of replacements: I = Ah I've = Ah've Going = Goin' What are = What're Along those lines.
  7. While I did enjoy it, I think you constrain yourself artistically too much by trying to hunt for scenes that literally reflect the song's lyrics, especially in the first portion of the video. I think you'd end up with a more powerful, cohesive video by sticking closer to your theme/setting (in this case Canterlot, and anything that evokes desert/oasis/faded luxury/quiet menace) even if it meant the scenes you showed seemed to ignore the lyrics. Scenes that exhibit the spirit of the song resonate just as powerfully if not moreso than literal lyric-matching, as entertaining as that can be sometimes. I loved the clip of Spike tossing away the menu after Gustav rattled on about not having the wine. That was worth a departure. Very nice timing.
  8. Just learned of a new one today, called Candy Box. It's ascii art based, and definitely a feel-your-way-through sort of game, but it seems interesting. Lots of 'oh neat, now I can do THIS' moments.
  9. The name isn't just a name either. The game mocks pretty much everything and every one at some point. Hippies, frat boys, Trekkies, furries, Linux enthusiasts, Harry Potter fans, Twilight fans, Whovians, the list is endless and so are the puns. They add new quests and areas, and upgrade old quests/areas with fair regularity. Did I mention the game has an absurdly rich crafting system? You can craft food, booze, weapons, armor, accessories, familiars, potions, and more. There's a wiki to help you out if you get stuck, but helpfully, the game keeps track of the recipes you've discovered already so you needn't figure out what you had to combine to make eggnog, all over again.
  10. What are some free in-browser games you bronies enjoy? I'll post a few of my favorites. is my top favorite. It looks terrible, with stick-figure art and so on, but that's intentional. The writing is hilarious. Usually I can convince people to try it based on the character classes you can play, alone. Seal Clubber, Turtle Tamer, Pastamancer, Sauceror, Accordion Thief, and Disco Bandit. It's a game with a lot of replay potential, because when you finish the main questline you have the option to 'ascend' and reincarnate, potentially keeping one of your skills from your first playthrough. You can give yourself handicaps in subsequent playthroughs that will give you greater rewards if you finish *that* playthrough. Like most of these games, you can pay real currency for in-game items if you wish, but you're limited in how much progress you can make each day regardless. While there's no multiplayer as we'd tend to think of it, there is optional PvP, and you can join a clan/guild, and clans can purchase access to clan dungeons, which you cooperatively explore/conquer...though each player still plays on their own. The interface doesn't provide a way to form a party. A graphical rogue-like, this game reminds me a lot of Minecraft with its crafting system. Give it a try, wander around. Try not to let a giant spider kill you. (That's my recruit link. If you don't want me to get any kickbacks, just use ) is a veeeeeeery slow-paced mining game. Not terribly exciting by any stretch, but if you like the excitement of unearthing who-knows-what and think you have the patience, give it a try. I've never seen a game this slow before, and at least you don't have to pay much attention to it! is an...electronic republic. There are elections, constant wars, and factories pumping out goods everywhere. It was more of an interesting idea when it started, when politics was actually something approaching *real* politics and the parties apparently had different ideologies, but it's still a bit fun. This one really pushes you hard to spend money to get ahead.
  11. Yes, the game was a bit glitchy. For instance: I had Legion problems. At some point, even if you've ticked off the Legion royally, a representative is supposed to contact you and give you an item that lets you reach their fort so you have a chat with the head honcho. That dude never made an appearance. So...I used the console to give myself that item, right? It, erm, didn't do a thing. Everyone in the fort wanted to eat my head. So, I used the console to manually change my reputation with the legion. That didn't work either. I was totally unable to pursue any non-violent options or even see dialog with the Legion because of this glitch. It didn't make the game unwinnable, but it did break the chain of how my character had handled things up 'til then, and disrupted a climactic point in the plot. On the flip-side, I really liked how NV's choices were far from black and white morally-speaking. You really had to think hard about whether what you were doing was 'right' or not. You had to adjust your moral frame of reference to match that of someone living in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. You could forgive and forget things which we would scream demands for execution in today's world, and feel okay about it...while on the other hand shooting someone in the face for trying to steal your meager possessions starts to sound totally reasonable.
  12. Someone taught me a simple, horrible-for-you but tasty ramen recipe I've played with over the years. Cook your ramen noodles like usual, but omit the seasoning packet. While your water is boiling, etc. open a can of cream of mushroom soup, and either heat it on the stove (boo, time consuming) or cook it in a covered bowl in the microwave (yay, instant gratification!) Either way you go, add a can of drained tuna to the soup, and some ground coriander (the seeds, not the herbs, for our UK bronies.) When the ramen and soup mixtures are both cooked, drain the ramen (you don't have to get every drop, just make sure it isn't waterlogged) and combine them, stirring well. This is the stage I would add fresh-grated parm or romano cheese if you'd like. The resulting mess looks like BRAINS but it's delicious. If you have company, you can make a casserole version! Follow the above directions but double everything, (don't bother cooking the soup/tuna) and pour the resulting mixture into a rectangular casserole dish. You can add peas, or broccoli florets to make it slightly healthier. Instead of mixing the cheese into it (or in addition to, 6,6 ) top with parm/romano or even sharp cheddar, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and for the last 5-10 minutes of baking pour on some French fried onions. Watch them carefully, those suckers love to burn. WARNING: this casserole is extremely dense. Eat slowly, or you will find yourself feeling like you've just eaten a cinder block. As Brisineo mentioned, when cooking more conventional ramen you can crack a raw egg into the cooking noodles and it will cook right there with your ramen. Try to add the egg in a slow stream instead of a big plop, or the egg will sink to the bottom of the pot and stick there. x,x
  13. As for the price of cherries people keep harping about, I postulate that Ponyville doesn't have much in the way of a cherry supply. Wouldn't cherries be sold in bags or little cartons otherwise, rather than individually? You can buy apples locally all day long, but there may only be a handful of cherry trees, inflating the price of cherries. I wonder if that's another reason Sweet Apple Acres seems to barely scrape by sometimes: they're such a big orchard serving such a small village. They can't keep up with the demand on their cider true, but you've seen how many apples AJ bucks. How many bushels do you suppose she sells? Even assuming some pass behind the scenes to shop owners like the Cakes for use in their treats, it seems inevitable the price of apples would always be depressed because of the surplus.
  14. You see a spider on your ceiling or wall near your bed, and keep a wary eye on it, but you lose track of it before bed, and have to sleep, knowing it could be planning an expedition down your throat. Passing a gas station on the way into work, noting a good price and making a mental note to fill up on the way home...but on the way back, the price has jumped 30 cents. The dried-milk crust that forms in the screw-cap threads of milk cartons and flakes off when you open it, or worse, sticks to your mouth when you drink from the carton (I bet most of you do it too, don't lie.) The bananas in Runts candies. Waking up every 13 minutes and staring at the clock the night before something important that YOU NEED to be well-rested for.
  15. Farming is a business with high overhead, generally, but (if you're smart and the weather cooperates) high enough profits to stay afloat. Maintenance of your equipment and facilities, purchase of seed, fertilizer, insecticide, additional labor when necessary for plowing/harvest, plus fees for washing and packaging your produce and transporting it to your site of sale. The Apple family may not have to endure all of these costs, but as was noted above, they have to put up with some additional ones, like Pinkie Pie & Derpy damage...parasprites, Discord, etc. It's fortunate they have two reasonably unique, hit items (zap apple jam and cider) to sell or their books may never edge into the black. (The harsh reality is that as hardworking as the Apple family is, there's just too much work to be done for two adult ponies, a creaky granny, and a filly. AJ is too involved in the day-to-day work of the farm to spend much time thinking up new ways to market their products, or how to reach new markets, or even how to take advantage of modern technology and magic to cut down on labor. She's working hard but not smart, and that's why Sweet Apple Acres teeters so close to disaster. I love AJ, but she is not a savvy businesspony. If she were, I doubt many of us would like her nearly as much.)