Today’s story will keep you coming back for more.
[Slice of Life] • 3,436 words
In all his years of running his own shop, Doughnut Joe has seen thousands of ponies. Some he knew, most he didn’t, and many he would never see again. But he never minded that, for he always had his regulars.
FROM THE CURATORS: Right from the first paragraph, The Regular caught our attention with its lush yet approachable prose. “I’ve gotta give it props straight off the bat: this is the first time in recent memory that I’ve read a weather opening that I don’t hate,” Horizon said. “The descriptions here are right in the sweet spot, vivid without being purple. The story’s got a great touch for details.” That quality continued throughout, as Present Perfect noted: “The style caught my attention straight away, and didn’t disappoint.”
But there’s more to this tale of sugary commerce than its sweet turns of phrase — and the characterization of its store owner and its OC patron were especially savory. “The story builds up a wonderful picture of the two main characters out of a few quiet conversations,” Horizon said, and Chris agreed: “It works nicely as a glimpse into Joe’s life, and we get to see the characters grow over the course of the story.” Present Perfect praised not only that character work but its economy of detail when he introduced the story to us. “What drove this nomination is how much we’re able to glean from the regular‘s reticence,” Present said. “He says little about himself, but suggests so very much more.”
Simply put, The Regular was a beautiful read. “I love the picture of Canterlot and Joe’s life this story paints,” JohnPerry said. It kept some surprises in store for us, as Present Perfect noted — “the final scene sets up a tantalizing juxtaposition that says a lot about a particular show character” — but it was the story’s core strengths which carried it through to a feature. Present Perfect summed it up: “This is the best Donut Joe fic since A Cup of Joe.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Ruirik discusses hat horrors, viking chieftains, and spoilers in artwork.