• Member Since 3rd Apr, 2014
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Sketcha-Holic


A goofy little miss that's here to write and draw to her heart's content. Her imagination doesn't know when to shut off.

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Hearth's Warming is considered the most wonderful time of the year. It's especially true in Our Town, where the holidays promise an opening of a new ski resort and a plethora of family reunions. Everypony is anxious to rebuild old relationships and show them their home, and spend the snowy days in the comfort of their homes and the warmth of family love.

With the exception of Sugar Belle, who doesn't want anything to do with her father.

When Party Favor realizes that Sugar Belle would be lonely on Hearth's Warming, he, Double Diamond, and Night Glider conspire to have their friend be a part of each of their families for a short time, so that she would have somepony to celebrate with.

Still, with Party Favor still having tensions with his own father, Night Glider clashing with her sister, and Double Diamond trying to make sure the opening goes smoothly while simultaneously keeping his siblings under control, Sugar Belle is not sure that plan would go smoothly.


Warning, ship alert! This story has a bit of SugarFavor, so read at your own risk.
Takes place before The Cutie Re-Mark.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 53 )

I haven't had the time to read brotherly bonding time yet. Should I wait on this story? (I don't want to wait.)

6693249 No worries, reading Brotherly Bonding Time isn't required. I'm going to try to keep the references to a minimum.

Too tired to give you a proper comment here -- I may later on Friday or something -- but I really liked this story, and I like the further development of the families of the Our Town Ponies.

The funny thing is that today I was outlining possible stories for the Moonlight Nights series (my name for stories set in the alternate world where Nightmare Moon won) and one of them is

"Path of the Storm"

When the terrorist group Storm Cell attack Moonlight Castle, Rainbow Dash and the other Shadowbolts must fight to defend their home against a powerful autumn storm!

The membership of Storm Cell?

Storm Front, Cashmere, Echo Fleetfoot, NIght Glider and Night Miner (no relation to Night Glider).

Interesting coincidence, eh?

D'aawww. SugarFavor. VERY cute. I really need to catch up with Brotherly Bonding Time, but it'll have to wait for the holidays. I have read some of your Party Favor stories, though, so I know who Kazam and Silk Shimmer are and the backstory there.

I caught the Star Catcher thing. Did you come up with the idea that Fleetfoot is Night Glider's sister? I wonder if Night Glider knows about Fleetfoot's embarrassing head-injury induced crush on Big MacIntosh.

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This looks interesting, especially the part where we learn Night Glider and Fleetfoot are sisters. :yay:

Sleeping on it, I think it's going to be essential for you to elucidate in some part of the story just why Sugar Belle does not like her father. Her negative emotion seems pretty strong for someone normally as nice as Sugar Belle, and Ponies would normally have the opposite opinions of their fathers, unless they were very bad fathers indeed.

Stephen King did not like his father: he talks about this in his autobiographical essays and you can see the consequences in several stories he writes in which fathers become insane or evil. His father was a violent and irresponsible drunkard who abandoned his family when Stephen King was just old enough to remember and resent it, and of course said father was no great prize to have around before then. Stephen King never found out what happened to him, either -- presumably, he died before Stephen King became rich and famous, because he never showed up on King's doorstep.

There's more than a little hint in The Cutie Map that Sugar Belle's not all sweetness -- that she has some anger bottled up within. First there's whatever caused her to become desparate enough about her life to go to Our Town in the first place (I like the idea that she had considerable baking talent but little business sense and hence failed at her attempts to make a success of her own cafe back in civilization, though that may have been only part of it). Then, there's the way in which her basement wound up as the meeting place for the dissidents. Finally, she seems to enjoy pelting Starlight Glimmer with snow-cakes entirely too much.

But then she almost has to have a certain intensity to her to have wound up one of the dissident leaders. And I rather like the idea of her being feisty if she's going to be a match for Party Favor, who is (despite his self-doubts) one of the most obviously-Talented Ponies on the show (given what he can do with those balloons).

Sugar and spice, maybe?

6693507 Nah, I'm not the first to use the "Fleetfoot and Night Glider are sisters" thing. I just read a couple of fics where they were, and it ended up getting ingrained into my mind.

I totally expected you to throw us for a loop and call Double Diamond's little sister 'Ski-wee' instead, :rainbowkiss:
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A very cute little fic, you're always really good at building families of characters.

I would certainly not mind if this ended up a full-on SugarXFavor holiday romance.

The clanging of utensils and dishes moving about created a strange sort of melody, especially under the teal aura of the pink unicorn's magic. Sugar Belle was entranced in a little dance of her own, humming along with the music she made as she mixed ingredients, set them into pans or cookie sheets, and shoved them into the oven, taking out a freshly baked cake or batch of cookies in the process.

I had this playing as I read this, which made this bit far more hilarious than it should be.

He's a party pony, Sugar Belle. Asking him not to eat sweets is like asking a fish not to swim.

Black Diamond's working for the Pies? Well, not necessarily. They're clearly not the only rock farmers in Equestria. Still, he seems like a potential match for Limestone... though I pity any child of theirs.

Oh. Joy. My least favorite pegasus. :ajbemused: With a sister like that, it's no wonder Night Glider joined a cult.

In any case, definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes. The absence of the Romance tag makes me a little sad—you have me convinced that Party Favor and Sugar Belle make an adorable couple—but I'm sure it'll still be a great slice of life.

Fleetfoot really needs to work on her ego, though I get the feeling she and Blue Square might get along well with their pretentious attitudes.

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Partly because my fanon for Echo Fleetfoot is a combination of four rather inconsistent sources -- the show (where she's a rowdy extrovert), Ask Echo the Wonderbolt (where she's a shy, blind introvert with active-sonar powers), Letters From the Front (as above, but she's a good friend / lover of Storm Front's) and Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair (where she gets hit on the head and irrationally falls for Big Mac) my concept of her is as rather a nutcase, lurching from one personality extreme to another depending on the situation. Oh, and hypercompetitive (note that her fantasy of wedding Big Mac was in part about how everypony else would envy her).

I could have, of course, pared away the contradictory elements, but having her be an emotional basket case with a very poorly-integrated personality, who is very competent at her chosen profession, and very good at appearing normal to other Ponies, is more interesting. Plus, I've known people like that. Far too many.

I would imagine that Sketcha's version of her is much more normal than mine, but in either case I can see how Night Glider got so messed up.

Green Square is Best Sweets Ninja, :heart:

I think Quasar Rune is interesting here. He's evolved from "disappointed Dad" to "Dad who is still disappointed in you, but has learned to live with it." And he actually likes Sugar Belle! Now I want to see him pushing her on Party Favor during their part of the week.

6694629 I think it would've also been clever to call her Bunny Hill.

Sketch, I like what you did for Green Circle's cutie mark. A wreath is still a green circle, after all. :rainbowlaugh:

The cousin of Chipparooney

Can... can we call him 'Dalester'? :rainbowderp:

You are planning to continue this, right? This is too good to just leave it here!

6797213 I do intend on continuing it. I just might be a little slow because of other things I have to do...

I guess baking really isn't the forety of the Diamond family.

Next up is Night Glider's family, including Fleetfoot the ego maniac. That'll be a joy to watch. :ajbemused:

I really like the headcanon personalities you made for each of the four ponies, and the interactions with the families are always fun to watch.

And can I also say that I adore the relationship between Party and Sugar, whom I ship to the moon and back?

When Princess Twilight and her friends had returned home after the town's liberation, they had requested that the railroad be extended to the little village, so that ponies could come and go more easily as they pleased, whether it be for little vacations, commerce, or just moving in or out of town altogether. The project had been started the next spring; by July, the railroad had its extensions, and a train station had been built on the edge of the village. The station had also served as a post office, for them to send letters to any family that might miss them or for any business dealings.

When I did my chronology, I set The Cutie Map in early April YOH 1505, because Our Town is clearly far north of Neigh Yoke -- I decided north even of Kon-Neighda in the Crystal Mountains, just on the safe side of the mountains from the Frozen Wastes -- this was because Starlight Glimmer wanted to put it far from the beaten path, all the scryshields in the world wouldn't do eher any good if every other traveller stumbled across it. Being located so far north, it would naturally be very cold in winter, and early April is the earliest I can see the place being accessible. It's in a dry valley like some of the ones you find in Antarctica; a miserable place for anything save for winter sports in spring through fall, which can be easily found by going up the mountains (they didn't have to go very far up the mountain in the ep to get to snow-choked terrain.

The town may have been even colder and snowier before the Return of the Crystal Empire, whose Crystal Heart is steadily pushing back the Frozen Waste toward the limits it had in the 5th Century, before Sombra betrayed Equestria to the Windigoes in my continuity. (It's a lucky thing in my world that Snowdrop Flakewright Wind was born, but that's another story entirely). The combination in vanilla canon of dry valley and snowy heights just screams "high plains desert," like the Gobi or the drier parts of North Dakota or Washington State.

So if I plug your worldbuilding into my chronology, we get:

Early April 1505 - Twilight Sparkle and her Companions overthrow the warlock Starlight Glimmer and liberate Our Town (The Cutie Map).

Mid April 1505 - Twilight Sparkle and her Companions return to Ponyville and recover from their ordeal; Celestia and Luna teach Twilight Sparkle the strategy and tactics of temporal fighting. Erratic behavior on the part of the Mane Six (Post-Traumatic and "Castle, Sweet Castle")

Mid to Late April 1505 - Twilight Sparkle corresponds with Double Diamond and other leaders of Our Town, makes arrangements to extend the railroad to Our town.

June 1505 - Realm approves extension of railroad to Our Town. Initial work begins; the year will be spent surveying and initially grading the proposed new line.

Summer 1505 - The Sandwich Brothers visit Our Town (Brotherly Bonding Time) If this should actually be in fall, please tell me! At this time, Starlight Glimmer is on the lam, conspiring with various other rebels and amassing the mystic might and erudition to cast a powerful temporal spell.

October 31st 1505 - Starlight Glimmer flakes off numerous variant time lines in attempt to defeat Twilight Sparkle in Time Battle. Twilight talks her into surrendering. (The Cutie Re-Mark).

November 1505 - Starlight Glimmer, as part of her reformation, apologizes to her former followers at Our Town, and is forgiven. She however remains at the Castle of Friendship in Ponyville as Twilight's apprentice and parolee.

Winter 1505-1506 - Starlight Glimmer helps save the Crystal Empire, is reunited with her old friend Sunburst (The Crystalling).

Spring 1506 - Railroad starts driving north toward Our Town; a bridge is built over an intervening river gorge.

July 1506 - Railroad reaches Our Town.

Late December 1506 - Events of Hearth's Warming Is Merry in Our Town.

Am I basically right on this, though you'd probably use a different year-counting system?

So Night Glider tried out for The Wonderbolts too? Fleetfoot really acts like the younger sister, how she was able to make it into The Wonderbolts is a marvel in and of itself. :facehoof:

Wow, Blue Square is a really annoying and overly precise perfectionist. He might even get on Twilight Sparkle's nerves. He's like Twilight with less social skills, and probably not as intelligent.

I'm guessing The Tale of Mr Chocolate and the Blender is such a sad one that Sugar Belle doesn't tell it often. Notably Double Diamond didn't know it, and he's known her for years. Though for some of those years they were hardly the best of friends.

Whoa. Herb is a major nasty jerk. Why was he so mean to poor little Sugar? Did his friends push him around, and he pushed her around because she was the only one he could push around?

Your concept of the weather ornaments is really beautiful. And seriously, the kind of beauty that can only exist in a fantasy world like Equestria.

Too bad the relationship between Night Glider and Echo is rather ugly. But that's their fault. If you ask me, the sisters are right about each other. Night Glider is immature and Echo is a bitch.

'Mayor' Double Diamond? Well, he's moving up in life, though he was basically Starlight's trusted lieutenant before he turned sides.

Poor Sugar Belle, she just said the words that means nopony else will be leaving her alone throughout the holiday, even as they continue to have family squabbles with one another.

If Blue Square is a mean perfectionist, and Sugar Belle's father, who she hates, was also a mean perfectionist, I can't see this ending well.

Kind of really gloss over the backstories for why some of the ponies gave up their Cutie Marks, I see? At least Double Diamond seems to be making up for lost time with his ski resort.

Well, that fight happened. With an army of squirrels.

Also, Sugar Belle really needs to learn how to read the social scenario and not bring up things like her pet mouse getting blended to death :pinkiesick:

Yep, Sugar Belle's dad is a major douche.

Poor Double Diamond, being made to taste-test his family's treats, which turned out universally not-good :trollestia:. That cockroach made good timing though, rushing into Green's dough for the few seconds it was on the floor.

The Weather Ornaments idea really is honestly quite nifty.

By the way, character tags are up for the Equal Four so you can tag them in this story now.

7863784 They are actually called the Smart Set

This isn't canceled, is it? :pinkiesad2:

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Oooh, sorry about that! :twilightsheepish: I was just focusing more on a long-runner I have. That, and inspiration for a Hearth's Warming story is usually at its strongest during Christmastime (I'd have written more last December, but I was sick). And don't get me started on how I'm trying to recover motivation for anything involving Sugar Belle after a certain recent episode... :twilightangry2:

Anyway, I do want to finish this story. I just wish I had a clone to take care of it while I take care of other stuff.

8210281 That's great.

And don't worry about that episode. I don't shipping to seriously (and I'm a pretty diehard Partybelle supporter), which means I'm enthusiastic about seeing this story completed.

Can't wait until next winter!

What? Did Party Favor take a page from Starlight Glimmer when it comes to kites? :rainbowlaugh:

Poor Party Favor. He's getting punted around a lot by the powers that be these days!

But still, that scene with him teaching Sugar Belle to skate was just adorable. I love how you write them!

A tiny bit off venom rolled off her tongue during her quoted phrase

The first “off” should be “of”. Just FYI. I love your writing!

Amazing! The Abominable Snowpony would have been a cheap dramatis ex machina in any other situation, but you made it work, and made it work well. The climax of the Snowpony leading to the other climax of the arguments was masterfully pulled off, and the underlying tension goes well into this. I can't wait for the next chapter!

If Sugar Belle's father was voiced, what would he sound like?

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The voice in my head for him is an angry Danny Devito or JK Simmons.

Party Favor continues to be the buttmonkey. Heck, he even gets a shot in the MLP movie where he goes all 'noooo' when somebody destroys some party balloons. At the least, having Sugar Belle around will give him and his father a little bit of a buffer so they don't continue to work one another up with their dysphoric relationship.

Now, if Party Favor happens to catch a cold, Sugar Belle may have to nurse him back to health :moustache:!

There's nothing quite like having an evil animated abominable snowpony for everypony to have to team up and fight off to bring them all together for Hearth's Warming Eve. Exceeeeept that lasted about as long as they actually had to fight it, then everypony fell apart. That was a nifty action sequence at least, but now everypony seems to have been driven further apart.

I suppose Double Diamond's ski resort will have to be the plot device to bring everypony back together if he's to get it open for tomorrow.

It's a little late in the winter but early in the year ro be reading this, but why not?

And...Blue Square just triggered her PTSD.

I'm sure they'll all laugh about it by the end of the week.

I'm sure the four of them will turn this around too. Also, I hope Party Favor is going to be okay.

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