• Member Since 11th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago


I'm older than your average brony, but then I've always enjoyed cartoons. I'm an experienced reviewer, EqD pre-reader, and occasional author.



In the community around the rock farm, it is tradition, upon coming of age, to venture out into the world and see if it holds more interest than home. Cloudy Quartz’s journey took longer than most.

Thanks to Themaskedferret and Present Perfect for pre-reading help. Cover art by shilzumi.

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Read the side story Fulcrum by Orbiting Kettle!

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 63 )
Author Interviewer


If you're looking down at the comments and wondering "Should I read this fic?" the answer is YES YOU SHOULD IF YOU LIKE ADORABLE PONIES SMOOCHING THIS IS GREAT XD

And thus far, it's the only story with the Cloudy Quartz tag. :applejackunsure:

Hey, you want to wait until EqD actually *features* it before adding your usual tag? :P

I already got the approval email, so I figured it wouldn't hurt. Plus I have a crappy memory, so I thought I'd better do it while it was on my mind.

*shakes fist at Augie for not following the schedule!*

Well, her tag's only been available since... maybe last Sunday? And I don't think there was any publicity whatsoever when it got added. Plus, I've got another fic with her on the back burner. So:

But I digress. This story is off to an interesting start. I'm curious how closely this might or might not track with the events of The Perfect Pear. I'm intrigued by what's here, though, to echo 8931948. I feel like there's just enough to set a strong hook and get me invested.



There's a schedule? :scootangel:


You get an upvote purely for knowing what Rumspringa is. Though the less common kind still a good idea.

Added to the tracking list. Looking forwards to May 24.

Oh, this is fantastic. It already explains so much while adding intriguing new wrinkles, and I can't help but wonder what might have been if the Apple parents had live to the current day. Eagerly looking forward to more.

Poor Major Mare, this could be hard on her. Let's hope for the best, though.

As for the rest, this is absolutely adorable.

Still, it was kind of funny, I guessed. A “prank,” Buttercup had called it. Celestia forgive me for partaking in one, and if I ever had children, I’d make sure they knew not to engage in such a disrespectful endeavor.

Mmm, that's good dramatic irony.

It's fascinating to see Cloudy's daughters in her behavior. Marble's shyness, Pinkie's personability, Maud's dedication... now I have to wonder what Limestone got from her mother. And I may find out depending on how the modeling career goes.

Also, I definitely recognize the reference to the other story. Interesting choice. I like it.

I imagine Limestone's inheritance has something to do with an appreciation for tradition.

Honestly, I wouldn't have examined the characters the way you did. If you just make a character well-rounded enough, they're likely to have something in common with any other given character, so I'd like to be able to say I planned that part out deliberately, but I didn't.

I did not expect her to take up the offer, I am curious to see how this pans out.

It is kind of against her personality, but she's so focused on that goal of "try new things" that she feels she has to go as a matter of principle. Though she may certainly find that ponies elsewhere aren't as accommodating as those in Ponyville.

No it makes total sense, when you start chasing "new" you can get carried away.

This story is magnificent so far. I particularly like how you've written Cup Cake. And that 'deflated' was so sad :fluttercry:

Very different to the first two chapters but even more intriguing to see :raritystarry:

That went pretty well...

At least she's doing exactly what the Roam-Springa is for.

At least it all works out in the end, though it's going to be rough in the near future.

Yes, this is a rather valuable data point for her. She had remembered correctly that Prim said the train left at noon, but she wasn't sure, so when Glitter Glow said 3, it wouldn't even occur to someone like Cloudy that anyone might lie to her. Glitter probably barely even entertained the possibility that it'd work. Not that she's going to lose any sleep over it. But this is a rather tough lesson that Cloudy needed to learn.

A stallion ambled along the counter, wearing a button-up shirt rather reminiscent of the fashion from last year—how in Tartarus had I learnedthat?

This was a great touch!

Would you be able to say roughly how many years before the show this is set? I had a thought a full generation, but just how long has Ms. Harshwhinny been in that job?

Author Interviewer

Ms. Harshwhinny: hero to many.

I didn't explicitly go through and figure a specific age for everyone, but I figure this is about 20 years before present day. Ms. Harshwhinny is about 30 here, and she's been on the job for 5-10 years, though of course she wouldn't have been the chairmare that whole time.

8972867 Sorry, I meant not so much to have risen that far, but for her to still be in that same role by the time the series rolls around.

Also, I forgot to say: this was a really nice chapter. I liked how you characterised Ms. Harshwhinny, and particularly the climax of her relationship with Cloudy.

:D You invoked the Campsite Rule, I see. I just found that one last week while I was working on my own fic.

And then came a professional angel...

I do wonder what Prim thought had happened to her latest find. I suppose she might have sent one of the other models to wake her, but still, no message? Not even one of dismissal? Ah well, Ms. Harshwhinny is a far better guardian in Manehattan, especially her advice on the different forms of love. Now to see what Cloudy does with this greater wisdom.

I can see Ms. Harshwhinny take issue with Prim's staff. They dodged quite the bullet there, and may never know it.

Lovely chapter:raritystarry:

Damn. The way you're writing them, I'm kind of shipping her with Mayor Mare more than who she ends up with :/

Threesomes will still solve this.

Heh. To spoil a teeny bit of chapter 6, Mayor Mare does suggest that, but she's joking. She is joking, right?

Hmm. Just who is that young mare? Also, I can only imagine the Pie sisters' reactions to this, depending on what parts they already knew. And if Rarity ever finds out that Cloudy modeled for Prim Hemline...

Wonderful conflict with Prim and Harshwhinny, especially how it resolves in the end.

...he’d crack such a big smile and have Mother roast the prized rock in the field for a banquet...

This is a wonderful mental image, and I thank you for it.

Nice detail with the wipes for the bank pen. Mouthholding does come with certaon considerations, after all.

In all, a beautiful chapter. Looking forward to whatever's left.

As much as we giggle when Cloudy starts making out with people, Harshwhinny really nailed why it's happening, and it's actually really sad. She sees tepid acquaintances and full-on suitors, and hasn't really figured out that any kind of affection -- romantic or not -- exists in between.


So, did Harshwhinny and Prim hook up?

This has been really enjoyable. I really like seeing into Cloudy's head and I am liking how I can see her personality traits in her eventual children. For instance her trouble with dealing between freindship and romance and I could see that being the case with say Pinkie Pie. Is Pinkie on her trial attempt of being outside her old home or did she already make her choice and decided to stay away from the farm? Did Pinkie go through the choosing stone ceremony and did it tell her anybody? I could see Pinkie's times with Rainbow Dash being potentially as confusing for her as the Mayor, Harshwhinny, and Cup Cake were for her mom. If that was the case would she go a different path than her mom by choosing essentially the Mayor option rather than going back home (and that is assuming the stone chose somebody back home at all who knows how it works).

Your story just opens up a lot of potential for stories about the Pies and I think that is great. I could see a story following Igneous or possibly Pinkie and I think with your style those could also be great. Definitely following and have an up vote it is well deserved.

The story's not over yet...
Ditto, though while there's going to be references to those other characters' roam-springas (or lack thereof), it's not treated in any detail.

A meeting with Adagio would have been interesting, certainly.

Still, I really like what you've given us. This felt very rich to read, and I enjoyed it very much.
Thank you.

Author Interviewer

When the morning sunlight makes Cloudy sneeze twice almost every day? I've been like that ever since I was a toddler.

Who knew you were so adorable? :V

A lovely conclusion. It still leaves doors open for other stories, but it put a nice end to a lot of threads.

Cloud Quartz was adorable even when she fumbled and lost her way, but then that was the objective right from the start. The losing her way thing. Being adorable was a bonus.

Thank you for the story.

An interesting and touching story, thanks for writing it.

I’d very much like to see a spin-off of Limestone’s roam-springa, partly to discover how she was able to come back to the farm after a few weeks rather than ending up in jail :pinkiehappy:

I liked how you didn’t have her make amends with High Heels or the other models and crew at the end. And I’m not quite sure Cloudy’s fondness for Pear Butter fits, given how stilted she and the rest of her family were towards the Apples in Hearthbreakers; I would have thought there’d be more trying to engage with Granny Smith. Unless Cloudy blamed her for Pear’s struggles?

Adagio is the best thing a story can have in it, of course, but I can’t really see her and Cloudy getting along all that well.

I'm honestly surprised Limestone took that long to decide.

In any case, a wonderful capstone on a fantastic exploration of an underutilized character. The payoff with Dovetail was especially nice, as was Cloudy getting to meet Matilda. And while it's a shame the siren logistics didn't work out, now I want Pinkie to get Twilight to offer transdimensional roam-springas, even if that leads to even worse logistical nightmares.

In all, a fantastic read and celebration of just how much good a good pony can do. Thank you for it.

See: 9008670. Limestone was in jail.

Quite a sweet story. It really felt like it changed over time, even though Cloudy was narrating the story after the fact we could still watch her grow and change as we read it.

On a smaller note, I love the idea of Marble's Roam-Springa consisting of her parents pushing her off the border of the property, and her waiting right at the edge until the next morning, when she can come back.

Dammit. PP already talked me into writing a brief side story of how Limestone's roam-springa went, and now I'm going to have to incorporate this into it. I hope you're satisfied. :twilightangry2:

Definitely caught the "Poetry of Politics" reference from the start. Actually, when I saw the Harshwhinny/Hemline ship on the horizon (suspected once Harshwhinny entered the story, stone cold certain the instant Prim showed up at the bar) it had me thinking of Present Perfect's short story with the two of them, which I loved. So it's nice to see I wasn't just projecting a nice memory onto this.

On which note I have difficulty imagining PP objecting to things related to butts. XD

And yeah, good call not trying to shoehorn in Adagio.

On the whole, this was a wonderful, beautiful story filled with heartachingly good characters. Cloudy's perspective does so much for it, and the way she lets the best of everyone else (with a couple exceptions in the modeling gig) shine captures part of what's great about the setting, and the romance/slice of life narrative holds it well. If I may offer one point of criticism, I did find the degree and frequency of Cloudy's self-blame to be a bit heavy, if generally a good fit for her characterization.

Great work, and thank you for the story!

This story was a joy to read.
It's not that often you see a story focused on Cloudy.

It was like a journey that Cloudy pulls us through as she narrates her tale. Her travels and interactions touching the hearts of ponies and donkey in ways she never imagined.

I recall something similar happening to me when I gave advise to a stranger and years later we meet again with him thanking me.

Though i didn't get how Dovetail fits in this story and her connection to Cloudy. Does anyuser mind explaining?:twilightsheepish:

Poop, yes, but butts, no. PP is a steadfast boob man.

Dovetail doesn't have a personal connection to Cloudy. It's just that Cloudy discovers Dovetail is from a similar community and is documenting her own and others' roam-springa experiences before she returns home. So they have a shared situation and appreciation for it.

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