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Twinkle Shine (or Twinkle, or Twink, or (as particularly close friends like to call her) "Twinkie") is an astronomy enthusiast from Canterlot who moved to Ponyville a little over a year ago. She makes her living working with glass, where her specialty is making lenses, though she's quite adept at forming it into whatever shape is needed. She can be found in her observatory or on top of Bonecrusher Hill most nights, and in her workshop or around town most days.
A relatively outgoing pony by nature, Twinkle does her best to be friendly with the ponies around her. She's a terrible mare for timing and is almost always late to things unless her friends intervene to get her there on time. What she really likes is trying and discovering new things, so she's almost always up for doing things with her friends that she's never done before. When she's alone, she has a habit of talking to herself, or sometimes to her astronomy equipment.
Twink's house is located on the southern side of Ponyville, near the edge of town so as to avoid most of the town's brighter lights for her stargazing, and not far from Sweet Apple Acres so that she can get to Bonecrusher Hill more easily. It didn't used to contain an actual observatory, outfitted instead with balconies on both the east and west sides that allow her to get a full view of the sky. Recently, Compass built her an research grade observatory as a gift. Her telescopes and all of her astronomy equipment live there now, and she's constructing a new telescope for use in the observatory, the most powerful one she's created yet. The second floor houses her bedroom, her now-obsolete observation decks, her now-empty astronomy room, and her barren telescope room. On the first floor are her dining room, kitchen, living room, and guest bedroom. Her glass work shop is in the basement, which is twice the size of any other floor. Half of the workshop is devoted to a glass production (melting, molding, etc.) while the other half is for shaping, cutting, grinding, polishing, and otherwise finishing her glass works.
Twink's business isn't really one you shop at. Most of her work is supplying windows to Ponyville's shops and houses and lenses for glasses to the local optometrist. However, it isn't uncommon for her to get orders from regular citizens of Ponyville for custom glass instruments, be they decorative or functional. If you've got something you need made out of glass, from a mundane window to a fancy scientific liquid distribution system, drop by her house and let her know! She'll be happy for the business.
When she was a filly, Twink was always terribly fascinated with the night sky. During a particularly relevant trip to the library, she discovered a book about telescopes and was immediately intrigued. She spent the next month collecting parts and building a telescope of her own to observe the stars with. When her project reached fruition and she got to see the stars in more detail than she ever had before, she knew immediately that that sense of wonder and discovery was what she wanted out of life, and her cutie mark appeared. She holds true to that dream to this day, observing the stars nearly every night for that sense of awe, and taking part in everything she can with her friends for the excitement and adventure.
Twinkle grew up as the eldest daughter of an average middle-class family in Canterlot. She has two younger sisters, Sun and Silver, and no brothers. She attended Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns after showing promise with star magic, but those skills never advanced beyond a trivial and instinctual level. Still, she was intelligent enough to remain at the school and became fairly adept at magic, though nothing terribly special.
While attending the school, she met Spice Winds (who was Colgate at the time), and the two became fast friends. Spicy's version of the events maintains that Twink found her asleep in a gutter and helped her get her life back together while Twink is adamant that it was a park bench and she just invited Colgate for a cup of coffee to hear her story. The truth is probably somewhere in between. The two spent much of their free time together while in Canterlot, particularly during school breaks. Rumor has it that there are several wild stories behind those school breaks. They've remained good friends after their simultaneous-but-unrelated migration to Ponyville.
Though she met Daisy Floral not long after moving, she only met Roseluck recently, and never knew Daisy very well. Nevertheless, she's been spending quite a lot of time with them lately since Colgate is staying with Daisy, and she has quickly become good friends with both of them. She's also a regular at Horte's Café and has been known to go out of her way to visit him on occasion.
The Shine family consists of Twink's mother Ivory, her father Alabaster, and their three daughters. Twinkle is the eldest daughter, Sun is the middle, and Silver is the youngest.
Twink's relationship with Sunny has always been tenuous. As the older sister, Twink has always sort of out-shone Sun Shine without really meaning to. Twink was admitted to Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns; Sunny wasn't. Both have been interested in astronomy since a young age, but Twink's always been ahead because she started earlier. They share a lot of the same hobbies and interests, and Sunny can't help but compare herself to Twink, trying to measure up, trying to be the best, but seems to fall short of her older sister most of the time, which she finds infuriating. Twink feels bad about this and wishes they were closer, but doesn't know how to improve their relationship, since Sun takes most offers of assistance or friendship as an assault or gesture of pity.
Silver on the other hand has always been bright and bubbly. She has a powerful passion for life, and is interested in an endless variety of things. Her brain goes a mile a minute, making connections most ponies don't and keeping time to her own drum. Her older sisters, and her parents too, don't really understand her, but she makes them smile with her sunny disposition and her unique perspective. She's never worried about competing with her older sisters, instead choosing to find her own path, which just happens to be a dozen paths jumbled together.
As she grew, Twinkle came to want more and more powerful telescopes, an expense that her family's modest income couldn't often justify. To support her desire, she learned to make her own glass lenses and became quite adept at it. She rarely uses measuring devices when she constructs lenses now, having progressed the science to more of an art, and she's rarely off. Though she's particularly skilled at producing lenses, she's extremely competent in producing most anything out of glass. She's once stated that she's not very good at glassblowing, but that depends on your perspective: it's easily her weakest glassworking skill, but she's far from bad at it.
Twinkle's star magic is mostly a mystery to her. She really has no idea what she is or isn't capable of and finds it very difficult to even make attempts at using such magic, let alone doing anything with it once it's been used. The one thing that she can consistently control from this section of her magic is her ability to identify stars. When looking at a given star, a simple point of her horn will allow her to name it, and if she's looking for a particular star, a brief flash will allow her to point it out precisely.
Twinkle's never been especially interested in stallions and in fact has never even had a friend who was a stallion (a Mr. Horte Cuisine being the first). She's quite happy with her stars and her mare friends, the company of whom she enjoys greatly. She's got nothing against stallions, she's just always been partial to mares.
Twink has been an item with Compass for quite some time now. The two met one evening and immediately hit it off. After some time, Compass moved in to live with Twink at her house on the outskirts of town. On Twink's birthday, October 17th, Compass presented Twink with a ring, and the two officially became engaged.
After completing her first telescope, she took to it as though it were a pet or a stuffed animal. She was certain that Scopey got cold at night, so her mother humored the little filly and knitted a pair of pajamas for the telescope. Since then, she's always had a pair of pajamas for each of her telescopes.
She still has every telescope she's ever owned, despite the fact that most of them are obsolete now, and each of them has its own name (in addition to its own set of pajamas). She keeps most of them in a side room from her observatory.
Twink has recently started answering questions through some Tumble thingy. You can ask her a question and see her answers to previous questions through it. She says she'll draw something for answers sometimes, but it'll mostly be just her writing back when the Tumblr birds bring her a question.
Twink was recently seen (by her Tweetbird) with a book full of mementos from her past. Specifically, she was seen adding a flower from Roseluck's birthday party to the book and reminiscing over several other of its items. She has since showed the book to Colgate, which was a very personally meaningful thing for her.