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  • T Hard Reset

    Twilight gives her life to stop a changeling invasion. Repeatedly.
    37,399 words · 41,757 views  ·  4,807  ·  70
  • T A Stitch in Time

    A sequel to Hard Reset
    70,648 words · 22,866 views  ·  3,430  ·  48
  • T You Can Fight Fate

    Twilight discovers that the Elements of Harmony aren't as benevolent as she thought, and crosses time and space in order to stop them
    61,759 words · 13,966 views  ·  2,691  ·  38 · sex · gore
  • T A Taste of the Good Life

    A down-on-his-luck chef from Manehattan moves to the rural town of Ponyville as part of a get-rich-quick scheme. But he gets a bit more than he bargained for.
    70,814 words · 9,737 views  ·  1,549  ·  21
  • T The Moon Glows Gently

    Luna always follows her heart. That's not necessarily a good thing.
    8,774 words · 3,237 views  ·  549  ·  6
  • E Birds of a Feather

    Owlowiscious has seemed distracted ever since Twilight started spending more time in Canterlot. Maybe Luna can help figure out why.
    2,388 words · 2,341 views  ·  444  ·  5
  • E An Important Letter

    A love story, waiting for an ending
    1,702 words · 2,889 views  ·  369  ·  4
  • T The Sun Burns Brightly

    Celestia is in complete control of her emotions. That's not necessarily a good thing.
    5,775 words · 5,041 views  ·  864  ·  15

Blog Posts71

  • 1w, 2d
    The Dos and Don'ts of OCs

    OCs. An acronym that sends a cold shudder down the spine of so many long-time FimFiction readers, and not without good reason. Nary a day goes by without the ‘New Stories’ box being graced with a story wherein some new pony wanders into town and befriends our beloved cast. And for the most part, these stories are... less than good. Which is a shame, really, because a good OC can open a ton of doors for an author to take their stories in directions that just aren’t possible if they restrict themselves to the canon personalities of established characters. And since I’ve been turning over questions about when and where they’re properly applied this evening, I figured I might as well share (read: inflict) some of my wisdom (read: bullshit-laden ramblings) onto all my adoring fans (read: people who sneezed mid-click and accidentally ended up here) while I try to hash out the things I’ve done right and wrong in the past. Some of the conclusions I’ve reached are common sense, while others are a bit counter-intuitive. And like all ‘Rules for Writing,’ the best stories are often ones that know when and where to break them.

    DO: Make sure your OC has a life and identity of their own

    Nothing makes a world start to feel claustrophobic like a network of characters who all share some pre-existing connection. The mare who just happened to be Twilight’s classmate back in Canterlot. The stallion who became a champion lasso-tosser after he just happened to watch Applejack win some tournament. It’s cheap and lazy characterization, and it defines your new character only in relation to another one. Imagine meeting a real-life celebrity on par with the Mane Six. Sure, they expect that you’ve heard of them, but going on and on about how you went to kindergarten together and you still have a scrap of the blankie they drooled on during naptime and omigosh isn’t it just kismet that we’re meeting again like this is a great way to get a complimentary escort out the back door by a large, burly man wearing a three-piece suit and an earpiece.

    Bottom line: Your character should be able to carry a story that never intersects with the canon cast at all, at least in theory. If you do need to break this rule, try to do it retroactively. See Cheese Sandwich and the events of Cutie Mark Chronicles for reference. The connections are already existed, but the characters would be interesting even if they didn’t. It’s the gravy rather than the meat, is what I’m saying.

    DON’T: Clone an Existing Character

    ‘My OC Tabula Rasa is a total nerd and bookworm! She’s usually pretty level-headed, but she can get totally crazy when she thinks she might disappoint her mentor, Brincess Belestia.’

    Yeah, we already have that character. If you’re using an archetype that’s easily filled by an existing character, an OC might not be the right tool for the job. The exception is when your OC can serve as a shadow archetype to an existing character, a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ warning who differs from the established character in only minor ways but ended up going in a totally different direction. A Sunset Shimmer to your Twilight, or an Algae Bloom to your Cloud Kicker. These sorts make great antagonists or anti heroes, generally.

    DO: Beat the Shit Out of Them

    Want your audience to like your original character? Make them suffer. Not randomly, mind, but as a direct consequence of one of their own screw ups (corollary: make sure your OC screws up from time to time). It’s a bit of a balancing act; an OC sentenced to death for littering is only going prompt eye rolling from your readers, but when in doubt harsher is better. Actually, I’d suggest making all your characters suffer as a general rule. Letting your universe knock them over and then kick them when they’re down only for them to learn a lesson and get back up again stronger than before is pretty much always compelling. Who doesn't love rooting for an underdog? It can be tough to follow through on this, especially since you probably like this character and want to coddle them. Fight that impulse. If you fudge the die rolls for them, so to speak, your readers will pick up on it. Do you want a Mary Sue? Because arranging events so that they always work out in your OC’s favor for no good reason is how you get a Mary Sue.

    DON’T: Tell Me I Should Like Them

    What makes readers think a character is awesome? That character does awesome things. That’s it.

    Obvious, right? But a lot of people put the cart before the horse and just expect readers to like their OC because they give them attributes that they think are cool and expect it to rub off. If any of the following phrases appear when you’re describing your character...

    ‘Invented a groundbreaking device that gives him the power to...’

    ‘Received numerous awards for...’

    ‘Super-genius’

    ‘The best [whatever] that [authority figure] has ever seen’

    ‘Alicorn’

    And so on and so forth

    ...then odds are I probably won’t give a damn . Nobody cares who your OC is going into the story. What they actually do on the page is a thousand times more impactful. Really, it’s just the old ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ advice gussied up in a new outfit. And don’t think you can slip these sorts of things past readers as long as you give your OC flaws to ‘balance them out.’ This isn’t some sort of point-buy RPG system, it’s a story. Give them core traits and beliefs, sure, but those things can lead to positive or negative characteristics. It’s actually better when strengths and weaknesses both feel like outgrowths of the same attributes.

    DO: Buy a Slow Cooker and Learn How to Use It

    This one has nothing to do with writing, I just really love my Crock-Pot. You can convince a truly absurd number of people you’re some kind of cooking savant when the limit of your ability is actually ‘chop stuff up, toss in pot, set to LOW for 10 hours.’


    Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

    63 comments · 944 views
  • 3w, 5d
    Character Roleplay Meme: Azalea and Twilight Sparkle

    Same deal as last time.

    WHO ARE YOU? WHAT’S YOUR RACE/AGE?

    Twi: I’m Twilight Sparkle, alicorn Princess of Equestria. I’m 28.

    Az: Like there’s anypony out there who doesn’t know who you are at this point. We can barely go two weeks without your picture showing up in the paper.

    Twi: Heh, yeah, I guess I have been a public figure for a good while now. You get used to it after five years.

    Az: Five years since your coronation. You weren’t exactly unknown before that.

    NOW WHO’S YOUR LOVER? WHAT’S HER AGE/RACE?

    Twi: That’s actually kind of complicated. Pegasus, obviously, but age is trickier.

    Az: Depending on how you count, I’m some combination of 22, 37, and 6. All us former changelings have the same problem. But hey, three birthdays a year!

    Twi: You might think she’s kidding, but we actually do celebrate two different ones. You’re so spoiled.

    Az: Rotten. And you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

    Twi: Never in a million years.

    Az: They’re really more like half-birthdays, though. All the friends and family I knew back in Trottingham celebrate the one from the pony I used to be, but here in Ponyville we have a different one. Pinkie really goes all out, but then there’s quite a few of us who consider it our ‘official’ birthday.

    Twi: The first few years I was pretty down on it, but as time goes by I find I’m glad that it didn’t just end up being the anniversary of the changeling invasion. Better to have happy memories associated with it than bad ones.

    WHAT MAKES YOUR LOVER SO SPECIAL?

    Az: Geez, what doesn’t? I hit the jackpot when I landed her. To think I nearly sabotaged the whole thing for myself by psyching myself into believing she’d never look twice at a pony as bland and ordinary as me.

    Twi: There’s nothing bland about you. If anything you’re even more special than I am. There are four Princesses, but there’s only one pony who can calm me down when I get a little manic the way you can.

    HAVE YOU EVER DOUBTED YOUR LOVER?

    Az: I had a really hard time believing she was actually interested in me. And there have been times when she pushed me out of my comfort zone that I thought she was just completely crazy. Which she is.

    Twi: Hey!

    Az: In good ways, dear.

    Twi: Hmph. Well I guess that’s alright then.

    Az: Mostly good.

    Twi: Anyway, after we got off to that rocky start there were definitely things I hesitated about confiding in her.

    Az: That was partly my own doing, considering how I reacted the first time you dumped something big on me. And it’s not like I wasn’t hiding stuff from you at the time myself.

    Twi: That was probably for the best, all things considered. If you’d mentioned your past on the first date there wouldn’t have been a second one. I was still an eensy bit of a bigot toward changelings at the time. You should have seen my right after I broke out of the loop.

    Az: Yes, Butterscotch told me about the dinner with your parents where you nearly tore his head off.

    Twi: Not my finest moment.

    Az: Should we change the subject? Because it sounds like the moral of this story is ‘if you’re a racist and lie to your special somepony, you’ll end up ascending to be a Princess and fall in love.’

    Twi: I’m not saying that! Bite your tongue or Press Release will have my head. He already lectured me for an hour about what would and wouldn’t be appropriate to say for this interview.

    Az: I can see the headline now: ‘An interview with Princess Sparkle and the six-year-old who impregnated her.’

    Twi: Don’t use that headline. In fact, don’t even write that... you’ve already written it down haven’t you?

    Az: On the plus side, if there’s a coup and you get overthrown I’ll finally have you all to myself.

    DID YOU EVER USE PICKUP LINES ON YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHICH ONES?

    Twi: We actually met on a blind date, so it wasn’t really necessary.

    Az: Oh really? I seem to recall somepony trying to get me to come into her library with ‘Want to see if we can extrapolate this trend line?’

    Twi: I can’t believe you remember that.

    Az: I remember every second of that night like it was yesterday. Every one.

    Twi: Well, I seem to recall being told that I ‘really knew how to make a mare all wet.’

    Az: We were in a lake at the time, for context. Oh, and of course we do have pet names for one another. Isn’t that right, water walker?

    Twi: Absolutely, grounding wire.

    WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT YOU’VE EVER HAD WITH YOUR LOVER?

    Az: Remember the time Cloud Kicker almost walked in on us ‘assembling a bookshelf?’

    Twi: I try very hard not to. What about the marriage proposal that ended up with both of us in the lake? Again.

    Az: I’m not letting you change the subject that easily. Of course, it’s a good thing Cloudy wasn’t a few minutes later or she’d have stumbled on me calling you ‘Darkness Nightsha—’

    Twi: Next question, please.

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN WAITING UNTIL AFTER AFTER MARRIAGE TO HAVE SEX?

    Az: Nope.

    Twi: Very nope.

    DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIRES YOU’D LIKE TO TRY WITH YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHAT?

    Twi: Most ponies have heard that in the months after the Regalia melted I started eating a ton of food to fuel the ascension process. What’s not as well known is that wasn’t the only... uh... enhanced appetite I experienced. Most of the fantasies got checked off the list pretty quickly.

    Az: That’s not a figure of speech. There’s an actual checklist she keeps in her nightstand. Me, I’m just looking forward to her not being fat anymore.

    Twi: I didn’t complain when you were the pregnant one, you know.

    Az: If you’re ever looking for new ideas, I’m sure Cloudy could suggest a few.

    Twi: I don’t know, she’s mellowed quite a bit since she got promoted into Rainbow Dash’s old job.

    Az: Maybe not as much as you’d think. My cousin has stories that are definitely not appropriate to print in the paper. They get up to things you wouldn’t believe.

    DO YOU KNOW YOUR LOVER’S WEAK SPOT? DO THEY KNOW YOURS?

    Az: Twilight here has a history of freaking out a little bit when she thinks somepony she cares about might be in trouble. She tends to make some rash decisions, and she can get a little controlling. Like the time she tried to have me thrown in the dungeon.

    Twi: What did you expect? I’m hundreds of miles away negotiating trade arrangements with a pack of Diamond Dogs when I get a letter telling me you, Rarity, Cloudy, Morning Glow, and Shooting Star are heading out to the edge of the freaking Badlands to look for a changeling nest.

    Az: They needed a guide who knew what to look for. You weren’t there; Rarity would have gone out there all by herself, the state she was in at the time. I can promise you Princess Celestia wasn’t thrilled about the idea either.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FIND YOUR LOVER WITH ANOTHER MARE? HOW WOULD YOU INTERPRET THAT? FAMILIAR? FRIEND? CHEATING?

    Twi: There were definitely some jealous pangs for a couple of months whenever you hung out with Cloud Kicker, especially since you two used to date.

    Az: That was a whole other life, and I wouldn’t exactly call it dating. More of a very sensual interrogation.

    Twi: To be fair, though, you’ve never been the biggest fan of Star Gazer.

    Az: That’s different. First of all, she hurt you pretty badly back then. Second, you two were married.

    Twi: If it’s in an alternate timeline, it doesn’t count.

    Az: I guess I should just be happy you came back with less baggage than some of your friends after all that. For all I know they could have gone and turned you straight or something.

    ANY FANTASIES WITH YOUR LOVER? PERVY ANSWERS ALLOWED.

    Twi: Like I said, we’ve experimented pretty liberally already.

    Az: Actually, after what you’ve told me I’ve always been a little curious about Princess Luna. Maybe she’d be up for some excitement once Star Swirl finally kicks the bucket.

    Twi: Azalea! That’s a terrible thing to say. I know you aren’t his biggest fan, but he really is a genius.

    Az: He’s a jerk.

    Twi: Those aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Az: We’ve never really seen eye to eye, and he made a heck of a first impression that morning in the marketplace.

    EVER HAVE FIGHTS?

    Twi: Now and then. Lately over what I’m allowed and not allowed to do while I’m pregnant. And she says I’m the controlling one.

    Az: You are the controlling one. And it’s not unreasonable to forbid somepony in your state from jumping into a freaking volcano looking for a magic eggbeater.

    Twi: Spatula.

    Az: Whatever. But there have been others. The first conversation we had after I ran out on her because of the changeling venom thing was probably the biggest one.

    Twi: Yeah, any fight that ends with accepting a date from another mare out of spite is a bad one. Although if I’d known what Algae Bloom was like I wouldn’t have.

    Az: Turned out just fine in the end, though.

    Twi: I guess. In hindsight, I wish I’d handled that whole debacle myself instead of dumping it on Cloud Kicker. Maybe things would have turned out differently and I wouldn’t have had to throw Rainbow Dash in jail a few months later.

    Az: It was only for a few weeks. And she did kind of bring it on herself. The whole Applejack thing had her pretty out of control for a while there.

    Twi: Or what about the time you nearly took my head off because I leased your shop?

    Az: Oh, I was furious. That whole Badlands trip had just put me through the ringer physically and emotionally, and then I get back and you basically dictate to me that I have to move in with you and start putting money towards rent payments I had never agreed to make?

    Twi: I didn’t tell you that you had to move in with me. I just calculated the financial implications of a number of different possible scenarios is all. But I’ll admit that you running off like that did make me want to sort of tie you down in Ponyville. I was really scared.

    Az: Welcome to my life! You think I never worry about you when you do exactly the same thing? But I really did almost break up with you right then and there. Thank goodness for Bon Bon.

    Twi: Yeah, I’m glad she was there to defuse it like that. Although I do feel bad that it spoiled the surprise she’d been working so hard on.

    Az: Lyra said yes anyway, which is all that really matters in the end. I’m sure she was annoyed at the time, but someday it’ll just be a funny story that they can tell their daughter.

    HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR LOVER’S FAMILY? DO YOU KNOW THEM?

    Twi: They’re great! It’s quite the extended clan, and they were all really warm and welcoming the first time we met. Although I wasn’t exactly the center of attention on that trip.

    Az: Yeah, my parents pretty much fell in love with her the minute they found out about us. Then again, bringing their child back from the dead goes a long way towards winning their approval.

    Twi: You hit it off with my parents pretty quickly too.

    Az: The one pony that I was most nervous about winning over was Celestia, actually. Being invited for a three-hour private tea with a mare who you clobbered in the back of the head with a baseball bat before she casually flung you out a window on your last encounter made my heart skip a few beats.

    Twi: I was most nervous for when she found out you had been a changeling once. Then of course it turns out she knew that since before I’d even met you.

    Az: The rest of them were a cakewalk by comparison, and we get along great. Cadance was one of our bridesmaids, and even talked me down from a minor panic attack on the wedding day. Best sister-in-law ever.

    SPEAKING OF FAMILIES, DO YOU WANT TO START ONE TOGETHER?

    Twi: Way ahead of you. In fact, we’re about to expand it from three to four.

    Az: We decided to keep the sex and race a surprise this time, although I know my parents would be thrilled to have an earth pony for a grandchild. Not that they don’t love Leafy horn and all, but my extended family definitely leans in that direction.

    Twi: Based on the how hard he kicks, I think there’s a good chance they’ll get there wish. Oof.

    Az: You’ll get no sympathy from me. Try having something with a pointy, stubby horn on its forehead squeezed through your birth canal, then we’ll talk.

    WE’RE FINISHED, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

    Twi: I have some paperwork I should really finish.

    Az: Before you do, feel like grabbing something to eat?

    Twi: Do you even have to ask? I ate three hours ago and I’m already starving again. Deli?

    Az: You read my mind. Dibs on your pickle.

    16 comments · 697 views
  • 4w, 4d
    First World Author Problems

    Cataloging the suffering of all us poor writers with thousands of followers.

    "My story was only in the feature box for three days? Didn't anyone like it?"

    "God, I hate that one tiny pixel of red in the likes-dislikes ratio."

    "It's so awful to reply to all your comments, refresh the page, and find that fifteen more have been added in the last five minutes."

    "I'm so well-established that the top ten entries in my story box never change. It's getting so repetitive."

    "Would the EQD pre-readers please stop spamming me with e-mails telling me my story's been accepted?"

    Any I forgot? Add them to the comments or do a blog entry of your own! If two or three of us do I'm sure we'll reach at least half the readers on the site.

    43 comments · 737 views
  • 4w, 6d
    Character Roleplay Meme: Main Course and Ebony Glimmer

    Well, since Wade tagged me in his blog post, I thought I’d give this a shot. Might be fun. You can read the rules over there, and I’m sure you can guess who the characters are. I’m going to shake it up a bit, though. I’m going to skip the ‘Tag other authors’ step since I generally find the whole chain-letter style ‘challenge’ to be annoying. If you want to get in on it, just jump in with a post of your own! Second, I may decide to do a second round of these ‘In-character answers’ with fan-submitted questions. If you have a particular Q you’d like Main and Ebby to A, stick it in the comments. I’ll use whatever questions are most upvoted.

    I may also do one of these for Twi and Azalea. And before you ask, no you won’t get a straight answer about the weathervanes.

    So without further ado...

    WHO ARE YOU? AGE/RACE.

    MC: My name’s Main Course. Earth pony, turn 36 next week. I run the Grassy Knoll here in Ponyville, it’s not technically affiliated with the one in Manehatten, at least legally. Not any more, at least. Although I am a silent partner so you could say—

    Ebby: I think they’ve gotten the point, dear.

    MC: Right, sorry. Next question?

    NOW WHO’S YOUR LOVER? WHAT’S HER AGE/RACE?

    Ebby: Your lover! Ooh, doesn’t that make it sound exciting? Like we’re sneaking out for secret trysts. Like, ‘Well, hey there tall, dark, and sexy. Why don’t you ditch that nag of a wife and come be with a real mare?’

    MC: Hmm... tempting offer. You know she even tried to kidnap my daughter once?

    Ebby: That witch!

    MC: But seriously, though, this unicorn is technically Lady Ebony Glimmer, but everypony in town knows her as Ebby. As for age...

    Ebby: Think very carefully before you answer that question.

    MC: ...she’s in her late—

    Ebby: Ahem!

    MC: Like I was saying, she’s in her mid-thirties. Next question. Quickly, please.

    WHAT MAKES YOUR LOVER SO SPECIAL?

    MC: Strongest, toughest mare in Equestria, right here. Fighting the toughest fight in the world for... what’s the count?

    Ebby: 2,397 days. But you’re exaggerating about how tough it is. It’s there, but it’s a lot easier than it used to be. My turn: I married a stallion who sees the best in everypony. The number of little ways he’s saved me... well, I can’t even begin to count that particular number. Everything I have today, my friends, my home, two wonderful foals, I wouldn’t have any of it without Main. I probably wouldn’t even be breathing.

    MC: You’ve paid me back ten times over. All that was you. I just cheered you on when you needed it.

    HAVE YOU EVER DOUBTED YOUR LOVER?

    MC: ...

    Ebby: We should be honest, Main. It’s okay.

    MC: I certainly don’t anymore. But yes, right after she reconciled with Scootaloo and we started dating, there was a part of me that didn’t trust her. I would find excuses not to leave her alone with Scootaloo, even though I knew I was being ridiculous. I thought... sorry, would you give me a second?

    Ebby: No, Main, don’t... if you start crying them I’m going to start and then where will we be?

    MC: I thought it might be another act. I thought one day I’d come back and you and my daughter... I’d never see her again.

    Ebby: The important thing was that we worked through it together. We’d recently been seeing the same therapist, and he did couples counselling too. Dating three weeks and already in couples therapy doesn’t exactly sound like a promising start, does it? But I think we both already knew by that point we were in this thing for the long haul.

    MC: Like I said, when my wife sees something worth fighting for, she fights for it. Tooth and nail.

    DID YOU EVER USE PICKUP LINES ON YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHICH ONES?

    Ebby: Can’t say I have. Kissing him and then punching him in the stomach worked better anyway.

    MC: There’s some relationship advice you won’t read in Cosmare.

    Ebby: You might be surprised, actually.

    WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT YOU’VE HAD WITH YOUR LOVER?

    MC: There were definitely a couple of very dark, very low moments early on, but not really the kind of funny-embarrassing you’re asking about.

    Ebby: Yes, Main Course humiliated me quite a bit right after we met. And I know that the connotations of that word are pretty negative, but that’s not really what I mean by it. I mean he got me to humble myself, and to realize that I didn’t necessarily deserve to have something just because I wanted it. That was... pretty different from the way I was raised.

    MC: Geeze, this is getting depressing. I’m gonna say that my official answer is when we had to tell my sister that we needed to rush the wedding because I had... uh... Ebby was slightly pregnant at the time. Didn’t hear the end of that one for months.

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN WAITING UNTIL AFTER MARRIAGE TO HAVE SEX?

    MC: I think my last answer pretty much covers this one too.

    Ebby: We didn’t even wait until we were dating.

    DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIRES YOU’D LIKE TO TRY WITH YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHAT?

    MC: We’re actually pretty vanilla in the, er, intimacy department. But whatever we lack in quality we make up for in quantity!

    Ebby: Main! Goodness, now everypony reading this is going to think I’m some kind of nymphomaniac who’s lousy in bed. What my husband means is that we make it a point to be physically intimate with one another whenever possible, and I don’t mean just sex. Hugging, cuddling, nuzzling, that sort of physical contact with another pony is something I denied myself for a very long time. I... being touched by a stallion was an issue, let’s leave it at that.

    MC: Right. And especially given what Scootaloo grew up around... I want to set an example for her, you know? I want her to get that ponies who are in loving and healthy relationships do that for one another, and I hope that she’ll be able to open herself up in the same way. We’re not answering the question, are we?

    Ebby: Actually, for me the answer is I’d like to travel more as a family. Ginger’s getting old enough that we can start taking him on longer trips, and I do miss travelling from my pre-Ponyville days. The problem is that somepony will never take a vacation.

    MC: The Knoll is a lot of work!

    Ebby: The only way I got him to take his last vacation was to have Pinkie fire him for a week.

    MC: She can’t actually fire me. I just decided to humor her and didn’t come in for a few day.

    Ebby: Mmhmm. Of course, dear. I’m sure that’s exactly what happened.

    DO YOU KNOW YOUR LOVER’S WEAK SPOT? DO THEY KNOW YOURS?

    MC: I think probably Scootaloo and Ginger for both of us. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost either of them.

    Ebby: I agree. Except I know from experience what I’d do, and it isn’t a pretty picture.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FIND YOUR LOVER WITH ANOTHER MARE/STALLION? HOW WOULD YOU INTERPRET THAT? FAMILIAR? FRIEND? CHEATING?

    MC: I would never assume cheating. Both of us have worked too hard for what we have together to risk even making the accusation, much less committing the act himself.

    Ebby: I don’t know... some of your waitresses are awfully attractive... and you and Pinkie do spend some late nights at the Knoll together...

    MC: Come on, Ebby, don’t even kid about that.

    Ebby: Oh, all right. Yes, I’d trust that it was something perfectly reasonable and innocent. Even if it were Rarity.

    MC: What do you mean ‘even if it were Rarity?’

    Ebby: You don’t have to play dumb. The two of us talked it over mare to mare and we’re still friends.

    MC: I legitimately have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Ebby: Really?

    MC: Really.

    Ebby: I thought for certain that you knew. Let me put it this way; if I hadn’t entered the picture when I did there’s a better than even chance that you’d be married to her now instead of me.

    MC: What?

    Ebby: You’re both good friends, you both own small businesses you’re passionate about, and you’re both physically attracted to one another. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.

    MC: You’re the only mare for me, honey.

    Ebby: I appreciate that. Oh, and one other thing. If, Princesses forbid, I were to keel over dead tomorrow, she has dibs.

    MC: Excuse me?

    Ebby: Well, I would want you to remarry and not just wallow in grief. Ginger and Scootaloo need a mother figure, and Rarity’s the mare that I would pick if it were up to me. I think you’d be happy together.

    MC: I cannot believe we’re having this conversation.

    Ebby: If you want to pick a potential future replacement husband for me, you’re welcome to. Fair’s fair.

    ANY FANTASIES WITH YOUR LOVER? PERVY ANSWERS ALLOWED.

    Ebby: Just to break my husband’s brain a little further after that last answer, I’ll say a chance for him to see what being married to Rarity would mean physically. Except of course I wouldn’t want to be left out...

    MC: I had an answer, but that one’s better.

    EVER HAD FIGHTS?

    MC: Absolutely. Sometimes even screaming matches. But never in front of Scootaloo and Ginger, and never without being able to say ‘I love you’ and go to sleep together that night. So I think that means we’re doing pretty okay.

    Ebby: For me, I think one of the hardest things to accept was that, well, I’m not Scootaloo’s favorite parent. I know she loves me but... if I’m being absolutely honest, she’s more your daughter than she is mine at this point.

    MC: That was never my intention.

    Ebby: It’s fine. For goodness sake, Main, she works her hooves to the bone in the kitchen just to impress you. You have more in common with her these days than I do, and she just glows with happiness when you even so much as smile at her. My daughter loves me and she’s happy. What sort of mother would be dissatisfied with that?

    MC: I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that while we might not always agree with one another, parenting-wise, we always back one another up. If there’s a disagreement we hash it out in private. Even if, say, somepony tries to ground our daughter for the rest of her natural life.

    Ebby: I know that was an overreaction, but you understand why it struck a chord, right? Plus it led to a good conversation between us.

    MC: She experimented. There was nopony at that sleepover who wasn’t trustworthy. Would you have rather she tried it for the first time around ponies she didn’t know?

    Ebby: I would prefer if she’d never tried it at all.

    MC: Two mugs of hard cider is pretty tame, Ebby.

    Ebby: I know, I know. Let’s just... can we get the next question?

    HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR LOVER’S FAMILY? DO YOU KNOW THEM?

    Ebby: Oh my goodness, yes! Of course Silver Scroll is here in Ponyville, and even if she was a little wary of me at first she came around. Now she practically begs us to let her foalsit Ginger, and she and Scootaloo go up flying at least twice a month just to catch up. And I was so nervous when I met his parents, but they’re the sweetest couple! I hope Main and I are still so very in love at that age. And his Mom even knitted me a Hearth’s Warming sweater! I couldn’t ask for a better set of in-laws. Sorry, I’m babbling. Main, did you want to talk about meeting my parents?

    MC: ....

    Ebby: Main?

    MC: Speaking of my parents. one of the things they taught me growing up was that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

    SPEAKING OF FAMILIES, DO YOU WANT TO START ONE TOGETHER?

    MC: We’re married with two foals. I think we’re slightly past that point.

    WE’RE FINISHED. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

    Ebby: I guess... I guess we should finish helping Scootaloo pack.

    MC: Probably. Can you believe that she’s leaving for culinary school in just three more days?

    Ebby: ....

    MC: Whoops.

    Ebby: I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE’S LEAVING AGAIN! What if the others are mean to her? What if she gets homesick? What if... what if...

    MC: We should probably cut this short. She’s been like this for weeks whenever this comes up.


    And done! That was fun! If you have questions you’d like to see Ebby/Main answer, or suggestions for Twilight/Azalea questions, stick them in the comments below.

    17 comments · 701 views
  • 7w, 2h
    Why I Took Down 'Magnum Opus Dissonance.'

    So, if you were on late last night/early this morning, you might have seen the latest story I wrote in a sleep-deprived, ninety minute haze: Magnum Opus Dissonance, about a suicidally depressed Octavia lamenting that one of her works had overshadowed all her others, and chronicling the depression and intrusive thoughts of violence that lead up to an ambiguous choice to OD on painkillers and commit suicide. You know, just a little light and fun reading at four in the morning.

    It no longer appears on my story list.

    Blame my mother (Hi, Mom!) who called me up a little while ago worried about what I'd written and what the consequences, both for me and my possible readers, could be. Now my mother has known about my presence here for a while now, and while she's not exactly thrilled about it she's been willing to put up with it as long as it doesn't negatively affect other aspects of my life. For her, the story crossed a line. If never been one to shy away from writing about dark and uncomfortable subjects, but not really this viscerally and not in a way that might affect somebody or read as an encouragement to take negative action. I'm not really afraid that someone is going to read No Good Answers and go out to rape someone. Or read Reign and... uh... trap themselves in an unresolvable time loop? I guess? But, and I'm not saying any of you would do this kind of thing, I can see how MOD might read as advocating or glorifying suicide. Obviously it resonated as something that felt true, based on the comments asking if it might have been partly autobiographical. It isn't, thank goodness. At least it might seem like I'm advocating it to the twisted sort of mind who might be susceptible to considering it in the first place, or on a more practical note it might look that way to future employers or anyone who manages to link this profile to my real-life identity, which probably wouldn't be hard to do.

    If, as a brief aside, you or someone you know EVER has those kind of persistent, intrusive thoughts then GO GET HELP! The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is just a phone call away.

    Anyway, the story's gone now, or at least is no longer visible on the site. Those of you who didn't get to read it, don't worry too much. It's hardly some forbidden masterpiece. And don't worry about this becoming a recurring thing, either. It's not like Hard Reset 3: Thinly Veiled Excuse to Write Pornography That Incorporates Time Loops is languishing in my Google Docs list because of some sort of maternal censorship conspiracy.

    I mean, not more than twenty, maybe twenty-five thousand words of it at least.

    Still, wouldn't hurt to put something a little more light-hearted out there instead of some of the darker/sadder one shots I've been putting out lately. We'll have to see if my muse can pull herself out of the funk she's been in lately and try to come up with a little rom-com for good measure.

    Anyway, TL;DR the story's gone and you shouldn't kill yourself

    85 comments · 1,124 views
  • ...
 715
 4,873
Source

This story is a sequel to You Can Fight Fate

Time loops? The end of existence as we know it? Fate itself conspiring against you? Who has the energy to deal with that kind of thing?

Not Cloud Kicker, that's for sure. She's a mare who knows what she wants out of life. An easy job, a nice house, and an endless supply of potential banging partners. Then one day a simple little flower vendor moves in down the street and everything starts to change.

As a side story to the main Time Loop Trilogy, you can expect massive spoilers in the comments for both the original stories and unwritten chapters of this one.

First Published
30th Aug 2013
Last Modified
23rd Aug 2014
Comment posted by Pinkie Motherfucking Pie deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by Pinkie Motherfucking Pie deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014

Huzzah, it's up. I quite enjoy seeing your take on Cloud Kicker.

Comment posted by iloveportalz0r deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by Pinkie Motherfucking Pie deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by iloveportalz0r deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by Pinkie Motherfucking Pie deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by iloveportalz0r deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by Pinkie Motherfucking Pie deleted at 7:25pm on the 13th of June, 2014

I predict sunshine and rainbows, all around.

There is no possible downside to falling asleep, cuddled up to a love-sucking insect. A really cute, loveable love-sucking insect. A really cute, loveable, love-sucking insect, while yourself being the motherlode of affection. A really cute, loveable, love-sucking insect from space, while yourself being a motherlode of affection.

I'm not so sure about that last addition, but it's probably true.

#11 · 60w, 5d ago · 32 · 41 · What's Not to Like? ·

Oh.... yay. More insight into Ponyville's flattest, most one-note character.

Nope. No, thanks, Eakin, friend. Winingverse aggravates me to no end, and "Kicky" here is the icing on the shit cake.

And now I sit back and wait for the flood of downvotes and hate for speaking out against that character. As for why I am even posting this, I am a friend of Eakin, therefore am letting him know that I do not plan on reading this story, one friend to another. Why do it here? Because I don;t feel it warrants a PM, and yes, I do like having my voice heard. I'm a PA Broadcaster, I like to hear myself talk.

>>3128782

...Calling slight bullshit on that last bit.  If you just wanted to let him know, and had no interest at all in provoking people, a PM would serve your interests far better.

>>3128782  There's no mistaking that BS for McDonald's Secret Sauce, and you know it.

You don't fool us Winningverse fans for a damn second.

>>3128821>>3128826

Provoke? No. Merely stating my opinion in a public manner. You are more than free to ignore me.

Also, McDonaldswut?

Comment posted by iloveportalz0r deleted at 7:26pm on the 13th of June, 2014
Comment posted by Pinkie Motherfucking Pie deleted at 7:26pm on the 13th of June, 2014

>>3128782

Well, I have a few ideas on how to give her a little more depth beyond just rampant sexcapades, but if you aren't interested you aren't interested. There'll be other stories.

>>3128836

Mmm... There is a very fine line between "Intentionally stating an opinion that I know others will loudly disagree with in a public manner" and "Provoking people."  In fact, some might be inclined to argue that there isn't one at all.

Regardless, your opinion is your own, and you are free to have it.  I just felt the need to challenge your logic there-- while it's fine by me if you want to be a troll and generally provoke people (because I can ignore you if I so choose) I do believe it's good to at least be aware that you're doing it.

>>3128782

CK Actually gets major character development after chapter 10 of the Life and Times of a Winning Pony. Give her a chance and you'll find a surprising amount of depth.

>>3128782

It must suck, living in a world that forces you to consume content about characters you don't like. :fluttercry:

Knighty should really make a system whereby you can click on a link and read something else instead. But alas, such is the realm of a distant and enlightened future.

My heart, it breaks for what you're forced to endure.

So far so good.  Had to lol a bit at the "Twilight would never steal her from me" line... not that Twilight actually stole her, but still... :twilightsmile:

>>3128782

Hmm - while life and times does go for a little while before real depth of character comes, by the current chapter Cloud is fleshed out and 3 dimensional.  YMMV, and it's cool if it's not your thing, but your comment seems a bit aggressive and rude if all you wanted was to say:

"Hey man, love your work but Cloud kicker's not really my thing, catch your next story"

>>3128853

Hmm...

See, that's my problem with her. Full disclosure here, I only read "Study," never her other stories. The thing is every single time I see her used by some other author, at the original's permission, she is the exact same:

"Hey, wanna bang?"

"Have we banged?"

"I think we should bang."

"Why don't you just bang him/her/it?"

"I'm gonna go bang X."

Add that with the whole "Mare/mare reproduction because of the power of lurve and fuck biology because who needs males" just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Now, if you say you can make her more appealing...

>>3128836  Kids these days... :facehoof:

You wrote the Time Loops trilogy, Eakin. If nothing else, that would be enough.

But you also wrote this, when you could have let it lie.

And that… is awesome too.

>>3128880

Wait, you're basing your whole opinion of Winningverse CK off of 'Study of a Winning Pony?' Half the point of that story is exaggerating that facet of CK's character because Twilight is an unreliable narrator.

Maybe check back in when I've got a few more chapters written. The interesting stuff should start after the Cloudy/Kicky split around the time of Hard Reset chapter 5

>>3128863>>3128866

Hmm, the snark is strong with you. I like...

I am not trying to drum up some shit. I actually hate getting into these kinds of comment wars. By the by, that is why this is going to be my final comment, unless Eakin himself talks. However, I, as well, am well-trained in the ways of The Snark, as is evident by my style of reviews and my blogs.

Now, you may call this being rude... which I guess could be true. I more think of it as stating my opinion in a smart alecky way. Again, you are more than free to ignore me.

>>3128874

Again, I am not trying to be aggressive, merely snarky. I apologize to you all if I cam across as such. :twilightsmile:

>>3128907

No, I also go by what I see in other's works, as I said, and word of mouth. She appears to be a boring, stereotypical character. That, plus the reasons stated, give me little incentive to read on. Add on the whole universe started with Inter-mane six shipping, which I don't like, and... yeah, not my cup of tea.

BUT! You are durn good at this, so maybe you can sway me. I shall check back in a few chapters. :ajsmug:

>>3128915

In any case, I rather like Eakin's version of Cloud in this one. She's got a bit more... manipulative well-wishing about her in this iteration. Letting that part shine gives a very different feel from the ultraheavy relationship and psychological drama of Winning Pony.

But even in the primary Winning Pony canon, it's not like she's a one-trick pony.

Yes, her being promiscuous is certainly a big defining trait. Like Pinkie's defining trait is being a genki-girl party pony. Or Rarity being obsessed with high society. Or Twi loving books. And it's what fans latch on to for kicks.

But like with the Mane 6, plenty of backstory, relationships, quirks and personality traits get added to make them more than just a caricature.

So, this is basically a Time Loop Trilogy / Winningverse crossover. Written by Eakin. (Yes, Eakin, you're important enough to be italicised, you've made the big leagues!)

I may weep with happiness.

Favourited, love the first chapter, I cannot find any criticisms, everything's done so well.

This is going to be AWESOME.

>>3128958

As close as I'll ever get to writing such a thing. There's a few major differences from Winningverse canon like the fact that CK's mother is still alive and well, but certainly the same character. There's even a tiny little bit of Optimalverse in there (in that I recycled a minor character from ASB).

Well, so far we're seeing a few things we ought to recognize, but it's good to get the whole story from the start.  Or is it? :rainbowderp:

And of course I'm waiting to see if InuHoshi will grace this with some of her work.  I imagine some will almost be too adorable to stand...

Good start. I hope this turns out as good or even better then the Time loop trilogy.

>>3128880

Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of Study of a Winning Pony either. As pointed out, much of it was Twilight being an unreliable narrator, but the fic still just doesn't handle CK's character very well imo. The last chapter I read was the one where CK and Twilight went out as friends, and after that one I basically gave up in disgust. In fact, Eakin himself wrote the comment that caused me to decide "Fuck this story", and you can find it here. This is probably the best way to reassure you that I can find.

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/53958/12/the-study-of-a-winning-pony/the-notdate-with-a-winning-pony#comment/2855037

It seems very unlikely, given this comment, that Eakin will go in anywhere near the same direction as Study of a Winning Pony unfortunately did. He clearly knows where it went wrong and disagrees with the approach, and he's more than good enough as a writer to avoid falling into that trap accidentally. You should give it a shot :)

Well, this was unexpected.  Still though, the style's pretty spot-on, and overall it's fun.

Gee, bitter about changelings much Azalea?  Man, it's going to be great when Kicky shows up :D

>>3128983

As stated, I just might come back in a few chapters.

:twilightsmile:

Sign me up! How far back does this story start anyway? It is before Twilight starts her time loop in Canterlot right?

Interesting reaction to the mention of changelings. Me thinks the lady protests to much?:unsuresweetie:

>>3129026

This is probably a couple weeks to a month or so before the Hard Reset time loop. CK won't be in Canterlot for that particular disaster, but the consequences of what the EoH do and Ponyville's reaction will be important.

After staying up this last week reading the entire time trilogy from Twilight's POV, (Which I enjoyed.) I think I've had enough time manipulation for a while. (Never was a big fan of the time travel genre. I just hate thinking about those 'what-if' alternate timelines and paradoxes.)

Though this time it's from the angle of a mare that's cemented where she should be in the timeline. Is this one also going to have a lot of "timey-wimey" stuff, or will it give my brain a rest from it?

>>3129041

While Twilight's crazy time jumping will be in the background, the personal drama of Azalea, Cloudy, and Kicky will be taking central stage.

>>3129054

Exactly what I wanted to hear.

Suck it Skeeter!

Also, absolutely fantastic. Keep it up!

>>3128974

Yeah, pretty much everything related to Cloud's mom and Changelings from Winning Pony has to go just to keep this fic internally consistent with the rest of Time Loop Trilogy. After all, Eakin's take on Chrysalis and the Changelings is very different from what we've got going in the Winningverse.

>>3128983

One thing worth noting, Ponibius wound up making substantial revisions to those chapters because of feedback from Eakin and other readers.

as my over starts to heat up

oven*

Not even Cloud Kicker can handle Pinkie Pie :pinkiecrazy:/:pinkiehappy:

Fall asleep in cuddles. Wake up in goo.

Just another normal night in the life of the Winning Pony. :rainbowlaugh: :twilightoops:

>>3129041

Never was a big fan of the time travel genre. I just hate thinking about those 'what-if' alternate timelines and paradoxes.

You should go play Majora's Mask. :trollestia:

>>3129270 that game is a masterpiece. I has to be my favorite Zelda game. Also he should watch "Groundhogs day".

Ah, I see Azalea has been a changeling since long before even this story began (wasn't sure when Changing Lives takes place relative to Hard Reset).

Nice touch with have her (not-so-)subtly gather intel and talk with Kicky. And her immediate reaction to the topic of changelings (the I-hate-them-they-should-burn attitude) does give one perspective of how changelings believe Equestrians view them.

I do look forward to just how your story will progress into the Hard Reset story.

Anyway... on with my usual bout of... OCD-ness.

I’ve gotten quite good at making a meal big enough for three on the spur of a moment. I once had a partner of mine tell me, half joking (but only half) that the main reason she kept coming back was for the food.

should be hyphenated, no?

Turning my attention to the contents of my refrigerator, I take stock of what I can do with it.

Don't think the latter phrase works... in that "taking stock" refers to what she has, not "what [she] can do with it, as the sentence says. An inventory check so to speak.

Granted, it might just be a phrase I am unfamiliar with.

They’re a younger, less experienced crew, part timers who just do weather work to earn a couple extra bits.

hyphenate

His red coat utterly fails to hide his blushing.

Ah... should be "blush" shouldn't it? I mean, I guess I have heard it in spoken language, but this is narrative.

Half an hour after the food is gone and the budding couple have left; together I might add. It’s time for me to begin going about my day.

This section is a bit off, in that the first sentence is fragmented. Half an hour after both of that... what? You then ended the sentence.

What I would do is frame "together I might add" with emdashes (alt-0151) as an insert. But basically, this part should be made into a single sentence (albeit a long one).

My family got rich the old fashioned way, by not spending money on stupid crap we didn’t need.

I think it should be either a colon or a semi-colon...

It was something my mother took care to beat into my head at an early age and it stuck.

She gestures that she’s ready and we head into town for a shopping trip, chatting away.

comma here

I skipped lunch knowing that any Pinkie party will be well catered

hyphenate

“Hiya, Cloud Kicker!” says Pinkie Pie, rushing over to greet me as I walk into the room, “thanks for coming to the welcome party for my new friend Azalea. Let me introduce you to her.”

". Thanks"

Since if we remove the narrative aspect, we get "Hiya, Cloud Kicker! Thanks for coming..."

Also, I found Azalea took Pinkie's invitation to a party a little too well in stride. Like, "where the heck did you come from?" "Here's a party invite" "Oh, ok, guess I'll be there.", y'know?

>>3129270

Oh yeah, fun game.

Hm... I guess it's more the thinking of the consequences of time travel and trying to figure out exactly what happened, is happening, and could happen after I'm done reading/playing/watching that drives me to dislike the genre of storytelling. When I finish a story, I sit and think about everything that just happened in detail. If it has time travel, I just want to skip the sitting because the concept of time travel cannot be comprehended, or at least by me.

The journey itself: fun. I liked reading Hard Reset quite a bit.

Here's a funny fact. Just yesterday after I finished reading the Hard Reset time trilogy, I decided to get my mind off all that timey stuff by starting up and play through Bioshock Infinite for the first time. Guess what that game's story was full of? Seems I can't escape it. Freakin' Lighthouses.

>>3129300

I have to agree, MM was in nearly every aspect a better game than OOT. One of my top favorite games of all time.

[/gush] :derpytongue2:

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