My Little Nightmare – Part 1

My little falcon is four years old and well into My Little Pony.

Halloween is coming and she wishes to portray Nightmare Moon.

Evil Alicorn Alert!!

As both a loving and a crafty mum, I’m making her a costume.


We started with research and creating a Pinterest board. There are some very cool interpretations out there. I decided on a decorated set of sweats.

Child, for scale


We bought embellishing fabrics. It took me ages to find a periwinkle to match the illustrations.  Everything was lavender, which is too red, or light blue, which is too blue. We also found some sweet, spangled tulle – upper right in the pic – that I can match with some regular tulle for the mane and tail.



Starting point

We washed the fabrics, some by hand, some in the machine. Got them ironed and then set out to get the design done. I went with freehand sketching and it’s coming out really well.

Fun fact about me, I have an interior voice that is always looking for the ways that I’m not good enough. It told me that being “able to draw” meant that one should be able to draw something with no reference – just hey presto, with no model or anything. This is, naturally, bullshit.


I measured the sleeves and legs to get the right size. I got some reference images up on my phone and traced out the hoof guard motif onto paper and breastplate design right onto the hoodie.

img_20161020_200630Then I transferred the breastplate onto paper, added another sheet and traced out the back of the breastplate. I’m going to have one piece wrap around and I’m feeling very clever about it.


She has school Halloween on the 28th, so that’s my deadline. More to come!

Stand back, you fools!


The Middle Sister is Made of Meh – CannonballRead #8 – Review #1


Read – Review – Fight Cancer

The Songbird’s Call by Rachael Herron Book 2 in the Songbird Trilogy

Romance – Contemporary – Smut level: Pretty hot.

Why this book? I have been following Rachael Herron since before she was a published author and was just a somewhat random knitting blogger. I had the opportunity to join her review team and got a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for posting a review (full disclosure).

This is the second book in the Songbird Trilogy series. The Darling Songbirds are a fictional musical trio of sisters –think Dixie Chicks from Bolinas. When we start our story, the band has been broken up for the better part of a decade and the sisters are slowly making their way back to Darling Bay. This book focuses on Molly, the middle sister.

Molly is chunky. Is she actually fat or is she just not super Hollywood thin? I couldn’t really get a picture of her in my head. A lot of Molly’s character is wrapped up in her weight, controlling her weight, people commenting on it, etc. It’s the chain that other people use to yank her around – regardless of their intentions. It’s very definitional for her and I understand that for a lot of women in the US weight is a huge _thing_ in their lives and identity. It’s not in mine. I have a really hard time connecting to contemporary female characters who are weight focused. I hate the propensity in “light” women’s fiction for female characters who are presented as psychologically normal to think about food in a pathological way. Molly knows that she doesn’t have the healthiest relationship with food and her self awareness helps to mitigate how much I was put off by her food talk.

So Molly has come home for Christmas after having been away from Darling Bay for more than ten years. The sisters have inherited a bar with attached hotel and cafe from their uncle. Adele, the eldest sister (and subject of the first book) is running the bar. Molly returns home from working on a cruise ship for six years and decides to re-open the café.

While poking around the abandoned café in the middle of the night she meets Sheriff Colin McMurty when he tries to arrest her and she throws her phone and hits his head.

This almost killed the book for me. It seems like every week I hear about another black person being gunned down by police while doing absolutely nothing wrong and this little bitch (the character) can fucking assault a sheriff and get a date out of it? The fucking privilege of even being able to conceive of this scene in this day and age literally made me nauseous.

To be honest, if I was not committed to writing a review, I would have stopped reading right there.

Now, knowing the author’s background helped me back up a step. She was a 911 dispatcher for more than a decade. Her perception of and relationship to law enforcement as a whole and individual members of LEOs is much different than mine. She was illustrating a side of law enforcement that she has seen and values.

Colin’s big issue is that he is bossy. It’s sort of his job to tell people what to do but it gets in the way of his ability to have functional relationships. His father was also the sheriff and for a guy who doesn’t want to be like his father he sure doesn’t seem to have tried to steer himself very far from the tree. There is a lot of fatalism in Colin that reflects a fatalism in Darling Bay. People from certain families end up in one way or another. It’s part of the small town trope that Herron uses but it’s depressing as fuck to think of all these poor people trapped by destiny.

Not the fun kind either

Molly and Colin feel instant attraction and that’s all very well and good. Because I don’t have a lot in common emotionally with either of them I had a hard time connection with their conflict. Colin’s bossiness, which is a deal breaker for Molly, wouldn’t be for me. Molly’s internal journey felt very jerky. They dance around each other. Or really, Colin sort of boils in his own skin and Molly weebles until they come together.

The lead up to the climax felt like it was tacked on, or maybe it was the start that was tacked on to the climax. Everything is moving along with Molly and the café and then BAM! She decides to start a second, far larger, far more ambitious project and it was jarring. I thought “Where the fuck did that come from? You can’t do both of these things!”

Spoiler: You are not going to start and run a national domestic abuse assistance hotline and website within six months of starting your own restaurant business.

It really felt as though Herron was trying to fulfill her theme of each sister running part of the old family business and at the same time create huge stakes for Molly and Colin to come together over. It didn’t work for me. Either Molly is a small town woman who had some time being larger than life but was fine going back to where she started or she is fully embracing that she is a world renowned music star and goddamnit she’s going to use her powers for good.

I think she might have used this while writing…

Wrap Up: There are one of two laugh out loud moments but this was not Herron’s best effort.

Grade: C

“Please by my vampire wife, mmmmkay?” – Cannonball Read #6

Immortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands. I read this so you don’t have to.

Valerie Moyer is kidnapped and held captive in a basement with several other women. She frees herself and manages to call 911 before jumping out of a window. Anders (his first name will be addressed a little later) is an Immortal who works to contain other immortals who rick exposing themselves and all their kind by preying on humans for blood.  Anders and his team respond to Valerie’s 911 call and our romance is off to the races.

Continue reading “Please by my vampire wife, mmmmkay?” – Cannonball Read #6

Polygon is Kind of a Terrible Web Site

Polygon: The Wii U proves you should wait before buying a new console

Yet another stupid stupid STUPID premise from Polygon, home of the scored console review. Guess what: the WiiU proves that if you are interested in next-gen gaming, and particularly in the IPs locked up by a certain console, YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BUY THAT CONSOLE OR NOBODY WILL MAKE GAMES FOR IT. The damned thing came out, sold OK on goodwill from the original Wii, and once everyone realized there was nothing to play except ZombiU and ports of 360 games, sales tanked. Once sales tanked, WiiU games started getting canceled left and right, and then you have a death spiral. Nintendo is making heroic efforts to finally drag the WiiU up out of the basement by cranking out their own games, but it’s a solo effort; 3rd party enthusiasm from big companies like Activision and Ubisoft has all but dried up.

Yes, the consoles will be cheaper and will have more games worth playing later on. Sheeeeit, they’ll probably even have revised hardware with better failure rates, smaller cases, more sensible features, you name it. Waiting has its benefits. But early adopters drive trends in tech, you cannot argue that. If you want to see electric cars, AR glasses, and proper console gaming then you need to vote for that shit with your dollars or the companies who are putting out the early tentative models of those things are gonna look somewhere else to make their money. Industry cannot read our minds and does not owe us the future we don’t ask for.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Alongside the news that Disney is buying out Lucasfilm from George Lucas/Lucas is buying his way into Disney using his company as collateral, numerous web sites are reporting that the buyout announcement is accompanied by news of Star Wars Episode VII, the pointless continuation of a perfectly-concluded film trilogy that many Star Wars fans have probably already got a homemade script for, and which will be derided by each and every one of those fans for not being true to the franchise due to even minor variations from their ironclad expectations.

Sorry to disappoint those fans, but we have the script for the first Disney-produced Star Wars film, and it is… probably not what you are hoping for.

Leaked first scene of the script to STAR WARS EPISODE VII
By about 8 script doctors, with creative input from GEORGE LUCAS


It is a time of great upheaval. The destruction of the second DEATH STAR and the death of EMPEROR PALPATINE at the hands of his apprentice DARTH VADER have signaled the end of the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE. The forces of the REBELLION continue to fight pockets of Imperial resistance, but the vast majority of the galaxy is now free from oppression.

With freedom, however, comes the opportunity for crime and farcical misbehavior. On the run from his former employers, the HUTTS of Tattooine, Corellian smuggler CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW and his motley crew of miscreants are seeking a treasure that could bring them the greatest prize of all: eternal life.

With both the forces of the disintegrating Empire and the victorious Rebellion in hot pursuit, Captain Jack and the crew of the BLACK PEARLY FALCON desperately race to stay one step ahead of their enemies and reach the prize first…



Continue reading Be Careful What You Wish For

Chat Box: Special Guest Chat

Sig Fem Seks: So when are you getting LA Noire?
Sonic Rob: $40
Sonic Rob: or the GOTY edition
Sonic Rob: I want the one that has all these extra cases
Sig Fem Seks: That’s a shame
Sig Fem Seks: You could be playing it right now
Sig Fem Seks: and enjoying it
Sonic Rob: I have heard lots of good things
Sonic Rob: seems like a good time to buy Red Dead Redemption ;P
Sig Fem Seks: You still haven’t played that, have you?
Sonic Rob: neeeope
Sonic Rob: I am always about a year behind
Sig Fem Seks: You are a fucking criminal
Sonic Rob: I am immune to hype
Sig Fem Seks: You love missing out on fun!
Sig Fem Seks: You are not immune to that!
Sonic Rob: It is the modern equivalent of mortification of the flesh
Sonic Rob: It brings me closer to 8-Bit God
Sig Fem Seks: You know what brings me closer to 8-Bit God? A HEMI!
Sig Fem Seks: I… what
Sonic Rob: uh
Continue reading Chat Box: Special Guest Chat

Chat Box

FyreHaar: I don’t know man
FyreHaar: my energy just got sapped
SonicRob: I am tired
SonicRob: I don’t want to be here anymore
SonicRob: today
FyreHaar: ditto
FyreHaar: let’s make a pact
SonicRob: we must bring salvation back
SonicRob: where there is love
SonicRob: I’ll be there
FyreHaar: what song is that
SonicRob: “I’ll Be There”
FyreHaar: did you just wuote Michael Jackson at me?
FyreHaar: WTF man!
SonicRob: uh
FyreHaar: and why do you know that?
SonicRob: would it be better if I quoted Mariah Carey at you?
FyreHaar: no!
SonicRob: The Baker listens to Kiss-Fm! I can’t help it!

Front On

Hey, ShackNews has brand new information on Front Mission Evolved, the latest in the long-running mech strategy game that I used to really like back on the PS1! It’s supposed to be coming out any day now, so I’m really looking forward to some really polished pre-release publicity stuff! Let’s dig in:

Previously due during the vague “Spring 2010” timeframe, Double Helix’s mech-tastic action game Front Mission Evolved will now arrive at North American retailers in PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 form on September 14, 2010.

Oh. Dang. Well, I guess they’re taking the time to really do the game right!

Alongside the release date, publisher Square Enix offered up a new trailer and several new screenshots, plus word that the PC edition will be playable in stereoscopic 3D.

I… wait, what? Why? What could adding 3-d headache-o-vision add? I could see it maybe being relevant for an action title, but certainly not for a turn-based strategy title.

Evolved marks a departure from traditional Front Mission entries, focusing on real-time third-person action instead of the turn-based strategy the series is known for. In addition to its single-player campaign, Evolved will also pack four multiplayer modes and the ability for players to customize their “wanzers” with a variety of parts and weapons.

So instead of the nichey little strategy title with the ridiculous length and deep squad customization that I was looking forward to, you’re doing the second most played-out genre possible – right after FPS – and tossing in a schlocky flavor-of-the-month technology gimmick as well?

*Sigh* If I was uninterested in Front Mission Evolved before, I’m downright incurious now. I’d be willing to give it a chance on its own terms as a new action title, but all the franchise goodwill I had saved up is out the window now.