Writing every day is actually going really well. The hour (or more if I get on a roll, in theory) blocked out was worked great so far. Or at least it was when I typed this up a week ago. Hopefully it is still going well. The quality of my work isn’t all that great. Though one or two ideas have come out and in any case the real purpose is to simply train myself to write every single day. Sometimes pony, most of the time not. Been trying to do a few scenes of stories I’m working on. Though none of them are actually good enough to be included in those stories. Just important to me to try and keep them fresh in my head and try out this idea and that idea. The strategy so far, which has actually been successful in keeping my focus and interest, has been to keep myself to the same starting time each day. Which is 8pm in honor of that being the old time I would be sure to be awake back when my sleep schedule was utterly random. Then I write at least 1000 words of new stuff, usually just free writing on whatever scene or subject I can get my brain to cough up. After that I keep writing if I’m on a roll. If I’m not I allow myself to do writing related activities for the rest of the hour. Editing, or typing up handwritten stuff, or writing out this blog where I show you what I just wrote.
Anyway, here is a bit about Equestria post office craziness. Though not in or around the post office themselves. I’m pretty sure I swung around between several writing styles and narration points of view. So reader beware. Some of it is stuff I’ve mentioned here and there. Like Sunset Shimmer having a Canterlot newspaper subscription and that’s why she knew about Twilight Sparkle having the element of magic tiara. Plus the whole delivering the Gala invitation to Discord’s place. I think the main takeaway I liked from this is actually not even related to that at all. I came up with the idea that Princess Celestia raises the ambient temperature of her surroundings. But not like a lot of people have Celestia and Luna affecting their immediate environment. I’m talking like the entire city she is like ten degrees more than it should be. Or in Princess Luna’s case, possibly slightly colder than it should be. Something so gradual that ponies wouldn’t even associate it with the Princess. Except for the weather ponies that have to deal with the complications of having a heat source interacting with the cold mountain air and making their jobs harder.
Canterlot was a place of spender and magnificence. Being the home of the one who controlled the sun, whom everyone adored, meant that all the richest ponies lived there and tried to outdo each other in trying to impress Princess Celestia. Which was for the most part good. Such extravagance meant that even the non-rich ponies who lived in the ridiculous city hanging on the side of a cliff got to enjoy the finest things in life most of the time. Clothes were so plentiful and fashions changed so quickly that luxurious clothing could be bought for cheap, as long as you were willing to wait a few months for it to go out of fashion. Several ponies had carved out niches providing retro clothing simply by buying a good amount of each style as it went out of fashion and waiting anywhere from a few months to a few years for it to go back in fashion and they could sell the slightly used clothing that had been in storage as vintage. The list goes on and on. Almost all the ponies who could stand the snooty rich parts of the population got to live in a decadently decorated fairly tale city of opulence.
All things, however, have a down side. The service industry was less than thrilled at all the rich ponies trying to outdo each other. Traffic routes were constantly changing as one building or another grew, shrank, disappeared, or appeared. Streets were never the same two years in a row. Which was fine since the general layout remained the same and most ponies didn’t mind taking a new path to get to where they were going on a day to day basis. For delivery ponies who needed every efficiency and bit of speed it got frustrating. The weather ponies had to deal with everyone trying to get specific weathers for this opening or that outdoor show. Not to mention that the temperature flows around the city were a nightmare to deal with. High mountain air, nice and cool. Diarch of the sun that for some reason increases the temperature of the entire palace by about ten degrees, more if she’s in a mood. For some reason Princess Celestia has never noticed this and the weather ponies haven’t brought it to her attention. Sure, everypony knows that if Princess Celestia gets annoyed or frustrated the temperature in her immediate vicinity tends to jump up. Yet only the weather ponies have noticed that the general temperature for about three city blocks in all directions around Princess Celestia was higher than the surrounding air. Which meant so much work as the hotter air around their princess interacted with the cool mountain air. An area of heat that shifted slightly depending on where Princess Celestia was in the city. Not suddenly, but if she decided to take a two-hour lunch at some cafe the heat would slowly re-center around there. Only to shift again when she headed back to the palace for the afternoon and evening work. One of the perks of being a weather pony in Canterlot is that those who paid attention actually had a pretty good feel of how Princess Celestia’s day is going. Mostly by how much extra work they had to do corralling clouds and wind patterns as that ambient temperature went up and down.
However, one of the most frustrating jobs in the city is that of the post office. The postal ponies who have to deliver the mail to all the huge mansions and all the little places in alleys all around the town. Big packages that are a pain in the back. Little secret packages that some noble or another insists on being delivered in an out of the way spot of the city at night. The worst of which is the palace route. Which only has a half-dozen locations in the palace to drop packages. It’s not the security that’s the bother (though since the Changeling event the security procedures have gotten even longer) or even the fact that you have to deliver bad news to some of the most powerful ponies in all of Equestria on occasion. Having to deliver a envelope to Dotted Line having a bad day, with Dotted Line expecting the envelope to have even worse news in it, is not for the faint of heart. Though the occasional delivery directly to Princess Celestia is always nice. No, even the chance to speak with Princess Celestia in pony is not enough to counter the worst part of the Canterlot Palace delivery route.
The worst part is having to go over …there…
Sure, getting the mirror to work is always tricky except for the easy days every other year or so. The transition isn’t even that bad once you get used to it. Just… Over there is weird. With the walking on two legs and having those weird finger things and not being able to fly or telekinesis or feeling the world under your hooves. Or even having hooves! At least wearing clothing isn’t all that bad. The post office uniform gets all the delivery ponies used to having fabric around their bodies and being naked over there in that place is just weird by itself. That smooth bare skin is pathetic at insulation and feels like you’ve just been shaved all over.
The paranoia of the single recipient over there isn’t a joy either. Every new delivery pony gets interrogated and investigated on their first trip over there. Not to mention the constant attempts to get how to open up the portal even outside of the natural three days every other year. Which is a post office secret and we can’t be giving those out to civilians. If the civilians find out, then the guard will find out, there will be a whole lot of noise and complications for us messing with their secure parameters, they will change the wards and spells protecting the royal vaults and the post office will have to find another way to do the weekly newspaper delivery to that one subscriber. Again.
The Canterlot route beats delivering anything to Discord though. He orders really weird things from the weirdest places. They almost never fit in the standard post office saddlebags and are often things that no sensible pony would want to touch with their mouth.
Delivering the newspapers to the moon for the last 400 years when the palace bureaucracy signed up both Princesses because they used one of the old forms that included both Diarchs and had the delivery point as ‘where ever the Princess is’ was a bit tricky, but mostly simple and straightforward. At least there wasn’t a pick up point way up there, so the delivery ponies could just drop the newspaper and return without having to pick up any mail or get any requests from the lunar Diarch. Not that it would be all that easy with the lack of air for speaking with up there.
The post office holds to it’s oath. To deliver things to where they are sent no matter what. It’s a tradition centuries old and has only been violated in the most trying and desperate of circumstances. Or when a Pegasus moved their cloud house somewhere without telling anypony where they went. Again. Thank Celestia for form 57-p: Pegasus House Location Unverified, Return Item To Previous Address Local Office.
King Sombra was a horrible pony in every other respect, but in the post office we tend to see him in a bit better light. He filed the right paperwork for a indefinite hold on all Crystal Empire mail not long before the whole city disappeared. Saving us the trouble of having to find and deliver things there. Though the stasis spells on the warehouse we keep all the Crystal Empire mail are a bit expensive to maintain and re-cast every century or so. Hopefully it will come back and somepony will file the paperwork for the resumption of mail so we can clear that place out.