Sassy Sweet

Muffins
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About Sassy Sweet

  • Rank
    Muffin
  • Birthday October 15

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

  • Best Pony
    Fluttershy or Rarity
  • Best Pony Race
    Crystal Pony

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Georgia, US
  • Personal Motto
    Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • Interests
    Netflix, Music, Writing, Roleplaying, Sweet things (candy, cookies, ice cream, etc.), Learning for the sake of knowledge, Astrology, Mythology of different cultures

MLP Forums

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  • Fimfiction
    https://www.fimfiction.net/user/301868/Anaphora
  1. So yeah, I am not exactly new but awhile back, around June or July, someone hacked me and pretty much destroyed every aspect of my online life. I mean we are talking about deleting the bigger stuff like blogs and folders in Google Drive to logging in to a bunch of my accounts whose passwords were saved and creating havoc to get me banned. It took a ton of explaining and figuring out just what was affected and where. I guess that MLP forums was not on their top priority to create chaos on and it sort of got lost in the shuffle. I feel bad for saying that but at the same time, it is great because no one here thinks I am crazy. Lol, they'll just think that I was lazy for a few months. But having spent so much time away... I feel like I should re-introduce myself. I started watching MLP as a kid, collecting every pony I could (including some knock offs). I guess that will give a hint to how old I am but one should never ask a lady her age. When I had my oldest daughter, Friendship is Magic started coming on not long after. At first I started watching it out of nostalgia and used it as a kind of babysitter while I did stuff around the house. It wasn't until A Canterlot Wedding did I really start to pay attention. Sure, it was fairly obvious that this MLP was not like the MLP I grew up with but that episode got me hooked on actually watching with her. Before, all the big bads of MLP you got from movies and the smaller baddies were... well... pitiful. I loved the music, I fell into a deep obsession over Chrysalis because if you think about it, she was /./ <-- that close to winning. As she grew, so did her interest in the franchise. We got picture books, chapter books, comic books, etc. I have also always been an avid roleplayer so when Roleplaying is Magic hit, I was head over heels and was part of a Skype group where we sort of managed a pen and paper game. But all good things must come to an end and when RiM closed up their shop and the show continued, we sort of threw our hands in the air because there was so many little subtleties before that were up in the air and open to interpretation that slowly became set in stone or retconned. I started looking for a place to do pbp online but all of the sites I found were really kiddie and full of either really immature people or teens... then there was also the dark side that I will spend very little time on; I will never hear clop the same way again. Anyways! So yeah... I have two "ponysonas". Clio is my nerdy side (and first ponysona/character) and Sassy Sweets is my outgoing side. I've been working on a side project called Tall Tales that some people will call insane. It gives a lot of history and fleshes out details of the ponyverse. I love writing. I also love all things art, even though I am horrible with it. I can't draw a stick figure but give me an outline and I'll paint/color you something on Lisa Frank meets Picasso. This means drawings of my OCs will pretty much be bases. I guess that's it, enough for a hi again sort of thing.
  2. Tall Tales is a pet project of mine (and my daughter's) that is set in the MLP Poniverse. It has been shaped by innocent questions like "Where do Sirens come from?" or "Is there more than one Changeling Queen?", to Roleplaying is Magic created characters and stories, to bedtime stories told over about seven years to my daughter who shaped them with her interruptions. Even though it won't be licensed, I am actually working on a little anthology book that I will have made for her. It has been 100 years since Twilight Sparkle was crowned as the Princess of Friendship. Celestia had always told Twilight that she saw potential in her from the beginning and there was a reason she became a princess. What she didn't tell her was that Twilight's strong magical talents and her positive outlook would be needed in the future. Now that future has come. Anaphora is a pony who was born in Canterlot. Like most unicorns, Anaphora was always been a bit bookish. She has an innate magical ability that is very strong but it can be a little too strong. Even some of the most well-intentioned, simple spells have a tendency to backfire on her or those around her. Her talent can best be described as bringing out inspiration in others. Though her talent comes with a price; if somepony or creature isn't open to it, then it can hurt them if she uses it against their will (even if she was just trying to help). Nothing too bad but it will result in headaches at the least and nose bleeds at the worst. While substituting at Canterlot's School for Gifted Unicorns, Twilight begins to see herself in Anaphora who was starting to become a recluse. Rather than take her on as a student, Twilight sends her off to become her Ambassador of Friendship. She sends Anaphora off to the city of Tall Tales with the intent of having her reach out to some of the more unique species of Equestria in an attempt to build bridges and mend fences. In her travels and talking to others, Anaphora begins to find out bits and pieces of Equestria's history and the lands beyond. There is much more going on than meets the eye... TALL TALES WILL SEE More about the Elements of Harmony The rise of new Alicorns and the return of others (remember the unnamed Alicorn in the Hearts and Hooves day story?) A civil war in the Crystal Empire Exploring the lands to the West and South Finding a new species and building relations with ones that have been introduced A more detailed history Slice of Life stories from Vanhoover to Our Town, from the Frozen North to the Oubliette. Tears in reality and worlds TALL TALES BASIC INFO Tall Tales draws from a ton of sources, including the show, books, comics, Roleplaying is Magic, more popular fandom lore, and mythology As it stands now, Tall Tales has about 50 "unique" characters. Keep in mind, Tall Tales was actually just me and my daughter making up MLP themed bedtime stories as we went along so some of the characters are eerily similar to some of the Mane Six, at least on the surface. Now that Ariana is older, she is wanting to add more science and more updated technology too it. While it sounds strange at first, her reasons WHY such things exist are actually pretty understandable. (Just as an example, game systems and computers do exist in the Poniverse but if the ponies relied on them too much, then the ecology would fall to pieces. Just imagine what would happen if Celestia and Luna decided to binge out on Skyrim and the sun and moon weren't raised?) With 50 characters at a minimum and more being added, there can only be so many original names, talents, and color schemes. Sorry if you have an OC named Cherry Blossom with a similar color scheme. In the real world, people share names, may look similar [blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin], and even jobs. If "unique talents" were really entirely unique, then one pony would be incredibly overburdened so some ponies who have similar talents (with their own unique spin on it) may share jobs. I.E. Rainbow Dash helps with weather but is unique because of the Sonic Rainboom. Tall Tales actually has a timeframe. A "moon" is 30 days (29.5, the time frame from new moon to new moon). Yeah, she is getting THAT specific with stuff. Strangely, some of these characters which are my own, started off as only jokes and trolls (one in particular) but then I ended up using them again for a story and actually fleshed them out in a way that they work well. So yes, some have connections to canon characters. Others are directly related to secondary characters. Some may seem a bit Mary Sue... but that's because they were at one time, lol.
  3. Being lazy now that summer break has hit.

    1. Snow

      Snow

      Hard to blame you, I hope you enjoy yourself. ^_^

  4. I very much agree with this particular post and this thread in general. First off, just going by MLP fandom OCs, the level of the character is normally reflected in the age of the person behind the screen. Yes, if you have some 10 year old playing an OC, then that character MAY be all sunshine and lollipops. If not, then that tends to be sort of iffy depending on how much that person has gone through to properly pull from their backstory. But if you have someone more mature who has a character with a tragic past, then the character they play is going to be more mature. However, the same is true... you sort of have to have some sort of experience or really have a good idea of how to use your character's background. Like @BlueDiamond said, there are several ways to use your backstory well. Read books about the subject, talk to others who have gone through it, pull a little from your own past, et cetera. It also depends on what is meant by "tragic". To me, the orphan is a bit of a trope and a bit cliché because people who have orphan characters do usually just play the abandonment edge from what I have seen. But AJ, Big Mac, and Applebloom are all orphans and has only really come up once or twice over seven seasons. Fluttershy was bullied when she was younger and one could argue that that is where she draws her kindness from, by learning a lesson about how to treat others. Same with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Even though they seemed to feel bad about it at times, they mostly just dusted their shoulders off and didn't let it get to them. I actually like characters who have a bit of tragedy, or at least experienced some kind of loss, because (and yes, the characters are fictional but still) makes them more realistic. To me, it is the characters who have only happy stories and are always optimistic that make my brain hurt. There isn't really a way to relate because nothing is like that, not in real life and though MLP is lighter, we have seen that bad things happen. Bad ponies do exist and while quite a few of them have changed for the better, some of them seem to stay the same (Flim and Flam) or we don't really hear from again (Suri) but the ponies who were around them learned from their mistakes.
  5. I feel like doing a damn essay. What I Learned from Wisdom Teeth are... that they fucking suck! Oh my god! Remember how shortly after I joined, I said that I would likely just go back into lurking mode? I know I haven't really been around long enough for anyone to miss me or notice that I was gone (more than likely) but I didn't mean to drop off the radar for almost two weeks. I also didn't know that your wisdom teeth, which hadn't given you a problem for years, could suddenly just go batshit crazy and make you want to take a drill to your mouth. temporomandibular joints Go to the ER, refferred to an oral surgeon who is out of town. The guy tells me I have something called temporomandibular joint disorder in addition to just having a small mouth cavity in general. Surgery was required. I was put so far under. It was insane. The room they had me in was painted in a sky scene. The walls were blue but I don't know if the person who painted it did it on purpose or not, I assume so, but there were very subtle shades of blue. Some areas looked darker, some looked lighter, some looked layered. They did the same with the clouds. There was also a red and yellow hot air balloon painted towards the bottom corner of the wall I was facing. They gave me some gas first. The gas alone was what made me notice the shades of blue. Then the "sky" started to look like it was moving. Then the IV drip came... they told me to count backwards slowly from 10 to 1. I got to 7 before I got engrossed by the hot air balloon that was now floating. It seemed like I was staring at it minutes on end but the surgeon said I did count down to 5. My jaw had to be dislocated. I had to have all my wisdom teeth removed and my last molar on each side. Cavities and night grinding. The pain pills they gave me had me knocked out for pretty much an entire week. This week, I'm still on one of them, not on two different ones so this week has been a little better than the last. I'm starting to get used to them at least and I can actually form some decent thoughts and keep them on some semblance of a coherent track.
  6. First off, what is your definition of "dating"? I know it may sound like a stupid question but apparently, it does have different meanings to different people. Some people define dating as seeing other people in a non-committal way and say they are "in a relationship" if they are only seeing one person. Others refer to just flirtatious texts and phone calls as them dating someone. But anyways, to the point and regardless, the answer would be yes. You, yourself, may be ready for marriage and someone else may be as well, but that doesn't mean the two of you would be able to make a marriage work between you. You may find out you have different goals in mind, different ideas of just what marriage means, and say... even if you want kids, you may have different ideas on how to raise them, and what happens when your kids don't work out like they did in your head? When you find out that your two-year-old is way smarter than you are and can get into every single thing that is baby proofed? And do you even want someone who agrees with you all the time (and risk getting bored) or have someone who challenges you (and risk arguing all the time)? And then what about really huge unforeseen circumstances no one wants to think about. Serious illness or injury? Marriage is not something to be taken lightly. My husband and I have been together going on 15 years, only 5 of them married, 13 of those living together with 2 of those years be living with roommates. Lol, we started dating in high school but it was soooo not the typical high school sweethearts love story. We've probably been through most of the ups and downs possible in our relationship (including that one "hypothetical" about the kid being smarter than the both of us and having to change up our parenting styles). We have some pretty major fundamental differences. Politics, philosophical beliefs, hobbies, social styles... but we work in spite of it all because part of our bond was the fact that we built up trust and understanding through all the experiences we went through while dating. Eh... it depends. The concept may be ridiculous to some but then there are some awesome legal benefits that come with it (and science has even proven physical and emotional benefits). Why do you think same-sex couples fought so hard to be able to actually get married, not just be content to live with civil unions and domestic partnerships? Outside of the whole, they damn deserve the same treatment but that is a whole nother topic.
  7. As I type this, it is 3:40am. I should be sleeping. But I am not. I'm eating Thin Mints between cigarettes. It's a bad habit; never pick it up. Sometimes I wonder why the more dangerous things are perfectly legal and other things that shall not be named are not. The husband (Bryan) and I figured out at our old, old house that smoking inside is horrible. We didn't have kids then, so we were fine with killing our own lungs. The smell still gets stuck in fabrics and white walls end up looking yellow with time. Now we're mostly outside smokers. It's only the beginning of May and already we're in the 90s in the afternoon. It makes for crappy, hot days but it feels wonderful at night. We've been in this place just a little over 8 months. It's easy to keep track of because we moved in exactly two weeks before my newest (Elena) was born.on a 1st of the month. The place is really a shit hole, but we're working on something new every week to make it feel like a home. It's close to the family I like and right down the road from where I spent my high school years. It's out in almost the middle of nowhere. Twelve minutes from real down and about eight minutes from the part of town that you only go to if you have to. It's actually bigger than the place we moved from but the layout makes it seem smaller. But hey, I'll take the front and back deck, an actual yard, the gorgeous garden tub, and extra bedroom that is supposed to be a nursery. I'm idealistic, what can I say? The bassinet ended up staying in our room and the little sneak somehow managed to end up sleeping in our bed with us. A king size bed and Bryan and I both are reduced to about a two-foot space because Ms. Wiggleworm always ends up sideways and splays out like a cat so one of us is getting punched in the ribs and the other is getting kicked in the back. Even though it alternates, I'm usually the one getting kicked. Though, right now she is being adorable and making me realize why I don't mind her in the bed. Her head is resting in the crook of my arm and her little fingers are tangled in my shirt. Never rent from family by the way; it leads to awkward conversations about who is responsible for what. After the first month or so, those conversations fade away because you realize they are doing you a favor. I mean, seriously, two months before Elena was born, our management company changed and rent would go up $100 a month and they were instating a no pet policy. We were scrambling. Apparently, everything you learn as a kid about money is wrong. Who uses cash anymore? It's all about plastic and balance transfers to make it look like you have more money. Buy what you can't afford and carry a balance on that card, but only a little one. And use some complicated mathematical algorithm to figure out the max you really have on each card, because even though you carry a balance, you can only use a portion of the card. It makes you look both responsible and needy at the same time to banks so they'll make your credit score go up. The Thin Mints are gone. Don't worry, it wasn't a whole box. Not even half a sleeve. One hour before alarms start going off. Two hours before I get the oldest (Ariana) up for school. She's freaking out about being tested for O.E. and gifted classes. She's too much like me. If ADHD and anxiety incarnate. Left to her own devices, my second grade (at the time) kid was reading chapter books that my sixth-grader cousin was having trouble with. She might not have known how to pronounce the words right, but context clues gave her the meaning. And if it didn't, who cared? There was always the next sentence. But try to get her to spell out words? Hell, sitting down was the biggest accomplishment. Ask her to tell you what a story about a dog was about and she'd end up talking about birds. And math? I'd rather jump off a cliff. I tried to deny it but I saw the signs since Pre-K. Husband fought against me for getting her tested and seeing what other options there was beside medication. Those helped, but didn't help enough. I got a little less "pills are horrible!" when I had to start taking them for seizures. I'm fine with adults taking mood stabilizers, but kids? I couldn't ever see it... until I did. We tried the smallest dosage of the weakest medicine possible. The day of the math part on one of the bigger standardized tests, I picked her up from school and asked her how did it go and she said it went great. "I could concentrate so much better! I didn't know I had it in me, Mom!" That did it. I mean, I'll admit, I'm a little biased because she's my daughter, but I look at her and see this amazing, intelligent, astoundingly creative ball of endless potential. She is seriously good at anything if she actually puts her mind to it. Like, she's only just turned nine and has like, no less than ten "hobbies" that she excels at. Let's see. There's gymnastic, dance, chorus, gardening, all things fashion (designing, details, sewing), jewelry making, swimming, track, writing, drawing, already learning basic computer coding?!... and I know she's gorgeous. I've turned down about five people who've actually approached me to sponsor her for pageants, have her model custom dresses, photography ads. I want her to know she's beautiful but I don't want to put a crazy amount of emphasis on it. So I let her do one, maybe two, things every couple of years. The dress modeling was her favorite because she got to keep them. And I liked the lady even more because she was a small time designer so she actually let Ariana design her own once and helped her make it. But yeah, anyways... all of that and she tells me she didn't know she had it in her to do well on a math test, or felt like she did well when it was a skill she used all the time without realizing it. I guess it is different if the math is incorporated into something you want to do versus having to do it in school. But we'll go through the standard morning routine whenever important tests come up. I get up early, or in this case, just stay up all night to make her two eggs, lightly scrambled with milk and cheese in the eggs, two slices of bacon, and two waffles that she will later fashion into a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I'll try to sneak in a random review, which she will call me on and complain about, then go into meltdown mode until I start to get frustrated and tell her to go to her room to calm down. She'll come out dressed and ask me to do her hair. She'll apologize for freaking out. I'll accept her apology and tell her I understand for one because I went through it, and second because we do this same dance every time. She'll ask me "Really?" and I say yes and go back to something she said or did at a previous time, or point out what was on tv when she fussed about going to her room. She'll remember. We'll get in the car and I'll drop her off, wish her well and she'll say thank you and want extra hugs and kisses for good luck. I'm on the "Awesome Mom" level of the Soccer Mom type circut, so she doesn't care if people see really though she may grumble about it a little and THEN whisper her quite "love you too" as she walks off. So now it is 4:53. I've gone out to smoke twice. That's why this may seem all disjointed and rambling. I'm going to try to cat nap before the alarm. Today I'll actually get a character or two up... maybe one of the stories from Tall Tales. I'll need to find someone to do a cutie mark for Anaphora. The Twilight Sparkle of Tall Tales, who will not be acsending to an alicorn, just discovering the nature of Equestria with her weird special talent that I'm not even sure what it is really. She's Ariana's character really. I just put the world together.
  8. Being an incredibly light sleeper and insomniac plus living in a house full of deep sleepers and toss-turners?  Does not make for happy mornings.

  9. A few things should be noted first: I have a major in creative writing; I seriously have OCD (and it sucks), and I'm crazy with details and inspiration. With that out of the way, I have been asked before (on other forums for now, but maybe on this one in the future) how I come up with some of my characters. For some people, it is very easy. They get an idea, spend a couple of hours developing it, and boom... finished product. For me, it can be a little more complicated (read that as a lot more complicated). First off... I don't really worry about names. They usually come together during some point of the creative process or either they come about at the very end. This can be a major deviation from what a lot of people are used to. How can you work on something that you don't have any way to identify? I guess my brain is both detailed AND abstract enough to be able to make this work somehow. But I either start off with a vague idea or a vague image. Those are usually my two starting points. To flesh out an idea, I usually go to my wonderful roots in table top roleplaying. Don't know how many have heard of it, but yes, MLP did have a fandom made table top game called Roleplaying is Magic. Even though I've found RiM sheets don't work very well online, I still like to have a firm set of numbers to play around with so I can use it later to use for comparison. It sort of helps me be like "Alright, is this pony someone who is going to get physically exhausted after a run or is thing in my head bordering on Iron Pony strength? It also keeps me from too off track in my creation process. Sometimes I'll get to focusing too much on one thing so I try to spent about 15 minutes on each part (Design, Aspect, Statistics, Headway) in the beginning. Race is usually the very first thing that comes up (if it hasn't already). Age also is pretty much a given since there is no real "age" in MLP. I mean sure: baby, foal, "standard", and elderly. One could always argue that the Sassy Saddles, Celestia, Luna, Cadence type are mature adults... but to me, that is a little mix of age AND body type. I mean, think of Fluttershy's parents. They certainly don't have that look and they're old enough for two kids. Sassy Saddles isn't a princess but she shares their body look. In the show, age also comes with traits of maturity rather than a number. I peg the Mane 6 as in late teens to mid 20 somethings with Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy being the youngest. Pinkie has very little sense of responsibility; Fluttershy hasn't doesn't seem to have been out in the "real world" to build up much self-confidence. So I sort of go by, "What all have they accomplised up to the starting point? What are some of the things they are good at (not specifically cutie mark talent unless it is one of those things that was sort of in the idea at the beginning)? How do they "earn their keep" so to speak? Currency is rarely shown but it does exist... but not in the money making sense but more of they need something to do rather than sit around being lazy. Hobbies < Skills < Talents < Special Talent. Where were they born, have they moved/been anywhere, where are they living now? What is their personality? What are some of their goals (I usally go with Short, Mid, and Long Range timetables)? What is the general direction I have in mind for them? The above may sound like a lot but remember what I said before, it is something you can ALWAYS go back to if you feel like it needs more fleshing out and I like to keep it very simple in the beginning... like just a bullet point list of answers. Plus, you don't want to write yourself into a hole. If you are going to be using them to RP with, or even a damn book of your own later down the line, you don't want to end up contradicting something you already established. It hasn't happened with pony things, but other fandom RP sites I've been a part of that require you to come up with a character, I left myself almost no room for growth either way... just interactions. And while that is perfectly okay, what makes a character compelling are the subtle changes and development over time. Trust me on this one. I've been on sites where you only need one or two paragraphs to needing at least a 1,500 word bio for someone who is supposed to be about thirteen. Then I spend some time thinking about general look. You know how the ponies in General Zoi Creators are start out with the same basic colors? I don't know if in my lack of artistic talent I have just used them so much that it becomes all I see or if I learned that colors end up getting a lot of work on their own so it is better to just pick three or four basic (I try to stick with just mane/tail, body, eyes at the beginning) ones to start out with and come back to it later. What type of mane/tail style do I want them to have? Long or short, straight or curly, do they wear it any certain way? Again, for now, keep it simple. You can go into detail later in the "polishing" phase. Next I move on to their Cutie Mark. At first it just seems like some more personality development but I do try to keep them separate. Unless I'm creating a character with its own... thing, I really like to go back to Roleplaying is Magic for this one. They use this thing called Guiding Elements. I like to take it a step farther and give them their own "Aspect" of Harmony. What is the ONE word that I would use to describe the force that guides most of their actions? A quick throw back to the basic outlining stage, if during some point of this, you haven't come up with a "Fatal Flaw", do it now. And I'm not talking about flaws in like "Oh, she's scared of spiders." I'm talking about flaw as in bad habit of personality. Like... I'll use a few of the Mane 6 for examples. Rainbow Dash might be loyal to her friends, but she lets her pride get in even their way at times. She is boastful and sometimes a little too arrogant for her own good and even though she might not mean anything by it, it could lead to hurt feelings in others. Twilight is so worried about lists and doing things by the book, she doesn't give people enough room to be themselves. Applejack can let her industriousness get in the way of just relaxing. These things happen time and time again in all different sorts of situations. It is so deeply ingrained into their brains, that even though it can be useful, it leads to bad stuff happening more often than not. But back to the cutie mark. I actually like throwing these things into to the design of it (maybe a nod to symbolic meanings of colors) and the story of how they got it. An example of this would be Fluttershy's cutie mark of butterflies but her talent is animals. I see butterflies, I don't think kindness. I don't think of all sorts of other animals. I think of gentleness, delicacy. Both of which could be considered part of her Element of Harmony, but at the same time (and maybe this is just me overthinking things) go back to her fatal flaw of being too timid, too "delicate" and too soft spoken for her own good. Again, since I totally suck with art of my own, yay for words! I keep it simple to give myself wiggle room in this department later down the road... to me... all of the above go into the "development of an idea" phase and leads into the next part, that can be flip flopped if you start off with a vague image in mind. So, sometimes you start off with a visual image in your head. You see the pink pegasus, with bows and braids, who has a storm cloud for a cutie mark who creates lightning. You already have the visual part down and you just need the details. But for me... the visual idea is the one that usually ends up backfiring. The first things that pop in my head are usually the things that I've seen done most often, sometimes to the point of to death. Maybe that's the reason I've just started seeing my ponies as the brown, standard stance, simple mane/tail style. But this point is where the tweaking, color schemes, and all that comes into play! The most important thing for me is to try to do something that hasn't been done much before, if at all. To guard against it, I follow pick at least four images to pull color schemes from: a piece of artwork that you feel is your "character in art" (and art doesn't just have to be a van Gogh piece hanging in a museum, it can be a digital piece from an amazing artist on DA, a comic book page. For example, I used Neil Gaiman's character Delirium as my inspiration for Willow Wisp), something from nature that relates to the pony's talent (in either photo, digital media, or traditional artwork form), an anime or manga image (anime girl with silver hair, or anime girl with flowers. Anime and manga pieces tend to use more vibrant colors where as other pieces of art and/or photographs might not, and finally the image that I end up using as basis for their cutie mark (because more often than not, the colors of the cutie mark are incorporated into a pony's colors). I take all four images and run them through this wonderful little tool called Chip It by Sherwin Williams. It creates a color palette of all the paint colors they carry that best compliments the image. The basic image will give you five colors but I always go to the "Edit Colors" option. It gives you ten colors rather than five. You have to think, I use Chip It for a totally different purpose than it was created. It's made to, y'know, paint rooms with so you're going to get a lot of "Highly Reflective White" and "Tricorn Black". The other colors are the colors that compliment the image. I make a list of all the colors that come up. More than likely, you'll see some repeats of the same colors unless everything you chose were just totally not related at all. I grab any that were repeated multiple times and maybe two or three of my favorites. Maybe a couple of others for "back ups". Unfortunately, Chip It doesn't give you color codes. So I download the ones that had repeated colors and my other colors then head on over to Get Colors From Image and snag the hex code. (Some programs and sites use RGB codes instead, and if that happens for whatever reason you can use Hex to RGB to convert it.) If I'm feeling just super lazy, I head over to a site called Colour Lovers and grab a pre-made basic color palette. Though, this rarely happens. The insanity described above is what usually happens. Then, again being I totally suck at art, I head on over to good ol General Zoi and actually use both of the pony creators. The older one to see what the cutie mark looks like with the color scheme and the newer one for poses. I dislike a lot of the mane/tail styles on the newer one, even though there are a couple I like but I find myself using the same ones for almost all of the images I come up with. I save the image and the pony code for my own reference or so I can give it to others down the line. Then I hop on over to my other genator image, Pony Lumen 3D to work on shading colors. Manes and tails are limited but you can check out some different effects which I like. It is also good for different eye styles and the changeling shell. Either during the General Zoi/Pony Lumen process (or base process which comes in a little bit) I'll end up using Paletton to maybe tweak some colors. General Zoi sticks you with its own outline color based on the color code but it may look better with something else, or you may want three main colors, or more choices for accessories so I use it a lot more in the base process. Pony lumen has no outline but does allow for some shading and gradients options. After I have the color scheme pretty much down, it is back to the Google Image search where I do admit to shamelessly snatching up two or three mlp images (either ponies in the show or OCs) for better looking mane/tail styles. I play around some to see if I can either sketch them out myself or break it down in an image editor to use bits and pieces of to come up with something similar but not a totally blatant rip off. You can also find some pretty decent looking styles and line art guides on DA. I'm still not great at them, but it has helped IMMENSELY. I usually stay on DA where the search for a base in a pose I think fits well comes next. At which point, I try to pull something decent look off using a mix of using mainly GIMP but I have started playing around with Paint.NET and Inkscape. Luckily, I have a hybrid tablet/laptop so I can do some touch screen "drawing" rather than just relying on mouse work and a very unsteady hand. But I don't know if it is just GIMP being a resource hog, pressure sensitivy, some crazy setting I don't know about or what... but I even have issues with that sometimes when trying to actually put on the mane and tail. It doesn't always line up right or there is a long delay. So sometimes, the base images come out looking almost as bad as the generator images. Then comes the finishing touches. Going back to the development and adding in the details and connecting the dots in that bullet point list mentioned above. By now I have a good bit of the character and images already fleshed out in my head so just getting it down takes about thirty minutes or so. Maybe a little longer depending on their level of complexity. And by the end of it, I have a long winded character sheet and three or four images I can give to an awesome artist for a comission piece.
  10. So to begin with, I'm not exactly sure where this goes on the forums. This seems to be the best place for it but if it needs to be moved, I'm totally okay with that. These are just the main tools and resources I use on a regular basis. I can barely draw a stick figure, so I mostly use line arts and bases. Paint Programs Not free, but totally worth it Paint Tool SAI - If you're like me and you have a laptop or tablet with a touch screen, this is definitely worth shelling out a little bit of money for a software license. Unlike Photoshop, which is also totally worth it but needs a monthly fee, this is just a onetime payment. (*NOTE on SAI: An online friend of mine who is also into GFX work said they managed to find a free version of SAI. However, it lacks most of the "premium" tools that I think make it worth paying a little for. If you do have the bravery and time to go looking for this one, be very careful where you download from. Deviant Art P2U bases - Deviant Art has some really awesome P2U bases out there. Unfortunately, some of the best ones art strictly SAI and/or Photoshop. Though there are many that will work on GIMP with some extra effort and hassle.) Corel Painter X - Okay, so this is probably a good chunk of money and I wouldn't suggest getting it if you are only wanting to do Pony OC things. There is also one hell of a learning curve; changing one little thing can cause your computer to go insane. Free Art Programs I use GIMP for raster pictures and editing bitmaps. I actually prefer GIMP because it allows for actual pixel control Inkscape/Ponyscape is good if you're working with vectors. I just started playing around with these, but it would probably be ideal for a "final product" type of image. Depending on your level of techie knowledge and GFX and basic skills (I can't draw a circle to save my life), there can be a pretty big learning curve to Inkscape. I really suggest reading all of the tutorials with the program and this place has some extra. Paint.NET, I can't say to much on right now. I just started peeking around at it myself but it seems pretty good so far. It's free, less hardware intensive than GIMP, easier to learn than Inkscape. And it has a layers function, yay! For Colors I'm a big inspiration person. A lot of my "ponies" start off from other images. I have a weird process of finding an anime picture, nature painting, whatever that I like first. Sherwin Williams has a program called Chip It. It is far from perfect, because it only uses paint colors that they carry to come up with palettes. It starts out with 5 colors, but you can use "Edit Colors" and it will show you 10, which is good because you'll almost always get some for of white or black. The bad part? It doesn't give you HEX or RGB codes for the colors, which is where http://html-color-codes.info/colors-from-image/ comes in. Upload an image, pick an area of the image and it will zoom in. Pick your pixel and you'll get a color code for it. Depending on your paint program, you may have to use either HEX or RGB. You can use http://www.rgbtohex.net/ (which also flops to hex to rgb) to get color codes. Here comes the fun! I absolutely adore http://www.colourlovers.com/! I use it a lot for inspiration. If you have a basic idea in mind, Colour Lovers can help you pinpoint palettes (using five colors) that work well together. It also has a good section of basic shapes that you can use for putting together a Cutie Mark. And to take it one step farther, for things like shading and gradients, I use http://paletton.com/. It's actually more of a tool for website design, but I use it for more details on palettes. It is also good for more basic palettes too since you can get monochromatic, adjacent 3, color triad and tetrad. You can use the "preview" and it will give you an idea of how your color pattern will look on different backgrounds. I see people getting crap for using certain colors because they "look bad". Well, maybe they do if you're looking at them with a highly reflective white background which can make them seem more neon. But if you're on a darker page, like a DA upload with transparency, your eyes may perceive them in a less intense way. (Random Rant: Not saying that there aren't some colors that are just garish together, but one thing I learned from web design is that there are a LOT of things that can affect how one's eyes perceive light and color. And it doesn't help that someone's eyes are usually as unique as they are and where someone may see blue-green another person might see greenish blue. Yes, there is a difference and it can be very frustrating.) Clipart for CMs if you totally suck at drawing OpenClipart.org is good if you have a program that can open SVG files. clker.com is a personal favorite because of the different file types available and a filter engine. Clipartlord.com Sweetclipart.com Mycutegraphics.com (also has background, color pages, and animated gifs which can be useful) Free-clip-art.com Webweaver.nu free clipart section. It doesn't have a search filter, but you can look through basic categories. pdclipart.org has some good stuff of varying quality I personally enjoy WikiMedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) because if you can't find something, you can always request an image. I also have sunk to ferreting through clipartpanda.com. There is no search which is a pain but it looks like it just grabs popular clipart from around the web. Quite a few of these have their links on the image itself, so you can sort of website hop. Also, if you see an image on one of the pay for clipart sites like fotosearch or 123rf, try looking at clipartall.com using the same tags. There is a very good chance that it will come up without a watermark. You can also use Google Images (mentioned below for different reasons) but be prepared. If you search by a watermarked image, you'll likely find that the first results are watermarked versions of well but I have also seen where a non-watermarked image will pop up too. Also, something I learned. ALWAYS use Google Image Search (https://images.google.com/) to look at your chosen image for cutie marks if you didn't make it yourself. When I first started trying to get my pen and paper characters online, I would just type a description in google and look through images until I found one that fit really well with what I had in mind. And it turns out some of them were custom cutie marks on DA that people had paid for. It is also helpful because sometimes you will run into the opposite. One person who came to me had "paid" for what wasn't even a tweaked clipart piece that was uploaded YEARS before her custom cutie mark was made. I still didn't use it anymore... but you'll find that, unfortunately, it happens quite a bit. Best tip I can offer is, sadly, go to google first and try typing in a term then looking through images but ALWAYS check your sources and terminology. If you specifically search for Cutie Mark, you're going to get images from DA that were created for others. Other Things https://burner.bonanza.com/ - It isn't great and you may have to go in and do some tweaking up but this is pretty decent for removing white backgrounds from jpgs. If you have a more complex image, like one with little swirls, you may have more of an issue.
  11. Hooray for another fellow fatalist! I found myself a little disturbed with King Sombra's FIENDship is Magic and the entire Seige of the Crystal Empire arc. I mean, like you brought up, if you don't fit into their mold, they break you for the "betterment of society" kind of way. If Princess Amore would just have been honest with Sombra and tried to help him rather than leaving him to his own devices... I'd be pretty pissed and go on a rampage too. It set a whole series of events in motion that seemed to backfire. Then you have Radiant Hope, who even though she was misguided in her intentions, was doing everything she could for a friend and the Mane 6 seemed to hate her for it.
  12. I'm thinking that it is 4:00am here and I should totally be going to sleep... but my head won't be quiet whenever I lay down. Yay insomnia!
  13. Whenever I am on an MLP fandom forum, the question inevitably comes up. Why am I an adult fan? Everyone has their reasons, I am a bit more blase about giving some of the reasons that others may be more used to hearing. I was a wildly obsessed with it when I was a little kid. I mean, come on, what little girl who grew up in the 80s and 90s is not willing to admit to loving all the colorful designs, cutesy names and themes, and styling the manes and tails of the pretty little ponies? But little girls grow out of the "girly" stage and the cartoons and movies themselves lost their appeal. But I was also a collector from a young age. I collected ponies like other kids collected rocks, cards, and coins. Every new design that came out, I had to have because COMPLETED COLLECTION!!! Unfortunately, I moved quite a little bit. So when I found out that people were buying up ponies I had sold previously at yard sales for like $2.00 a piece, I started keeping an eye on the market like the ever opportunistic preteen I had become. And then we come to our first really personal reason. When I was thirteen, I went through a streak where I stayed sick. I also learned that you don't just get mono from kissing. You can pick it up from sharing drinks if your immune system is weak enough. As I fought off mono, I also developed a sinus infection that my shitty doctor didn't do a very good job of monitoring. It got so bad that it abscessed and fluid started backing up and pressing against my brain to the point it was also affecting my motor skills on the right side of my body, making it weak to total paralyzation for minutes at a time. I had to go to the hospital and have a major surgery. In an even worse twist of events, I turned out to be highly allergic to the only antibiotic that treated the infection. By the time everything was said and done, they said there was a 73% chance that I would never regain all of my movement. I hated having to do physical therapy but my mom remembered that I loved doing my ponies hairstyles. It required more fine motor skills than things like Barbies, so she would bring one in every few days. Since it was something I had done before and I could stop when I wanted, it didn't feel like physical therapy and she made sure never to call it that. I have to give her credit, parents can be crafty when it comes to the health of their kid. I ended up having my own daughter in 2008, Ariana. I was young, younger than I should have been. I also was in no way prepared. I did some pretty horrible things to myself and my body. I was told that my chances of even getting pregnant were slim to none and if I ever did manage to get pregnant, the chances were even less that I'd be able to carry to term. I had nine months of hell and complications. I had what is called a postpartum hemorrhage after delivery so I didn't even get to hold her right away. I'd wake up two days later in ICU and on massive pain killers so I was afraid to hold her for too long when I finally could. A therapist would tell me later that I missed out on a "crucial bonding" stage. Whenever she was a toddler, I happily used the television as a babysitter. I stumbled across Friendship is Magic. She was enthralled by the songs and colors; I was happy to have a moment of peace. I started out only halfway watching it when it was on. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't the same sickeningly sweet show from my own childhood. It was a reboot I could actually tolerate. As she grew up, so did the stories. I was going to school for a creative writing degree so whenever she would ask for bedtime story, I took it as an opportunity. It started off with a character called Northern Lights and her sister Diamond Dust. They would paint the skies with beautiful effects and were students of Luna, like Twilight was to Celestia. Eventually, she would start adding to the story too. We made a game out of it. We would give each other a name and have to come up with a character... a cutie mark, their special talent, their job. I had spent so much of her days being distant and being more of a passive parent. And here is this show that was growing with us, with her. Locations, types of characters, more elements to stories than just friendship lessons... it became our ritual, our special thing and it continues to be. Now we have 8 sets of our own characters, in our own little worlds. And even more characters who they may make an appearance here and there. I'm currently doing even more with it than she knows. I know it will never be "official" and a lot of it goes against canon, which I get a lot of crap for, but I'm working on making her her own book based entirely on fandom of our own works with some ideas taken from other big fandom things like Siansaar's, an artist on DA and world builder who has done a lot with changelings and a lot from the IDW comics. So yeah... I guess as first entries in a blog go, this works well. It's telling, a little personally revealing, and gives me something to look back on to keep me going when I start to doubt myself. I'm a fan of MLP but it has become less and less about the show and more about what it has turned into.
  14. I'm in total agreement with this. I can't use the 3DS for health reasons (yay seizures) and I absolutely despised the size of the original 2DS. It was pretty unwieldy for me as an adult, so I can only imagine little kids trying to use it. Also, it was almost impossible to find non-Nintendo accessories for it like covers and cases. Even then, Nintendo seemed so focused on clampshell design that it just didn't put much out for the 2DS.
  15. Two stories. Perhaps my most traumatic animal attack came in the form of a family pet. I forget how old I was exactly, maybe eight or nine. My grandmother had an American Bull (medium sized dog) that was totally freaking adorable. For some reason, one ear stuck up constantly while the other drooped down. I had practically grown up with her and there were times we would rough play and other times I used her as a pillow, she was always fine with either option until one night when I laid down beside her on the couch. I had been laying there maybe about an hour or so, not really moving much so I guess she just had a bad dream and turned around and bit me on the face. It was pretty quick and she didn't latch on but apparently, any head and/or facial wounds will bleed profusely. But it was also bad enough to give me a couple of minor scars, like, I have to point them out to someone for them to even notice. So here I am, body covered in blood, my grandmother freaking out and cleaning off my face to see if she needs to take me to the hospital, and the only thing I am crying about is the fact that I thought the dog didn't love me anymore. My feelings hurt worse than anything. The funniest is... I was driven out of my own vehicle by a damn tiny ass little bird. It was actually my husband's truck that I had been driving. The electric window was broken so it would slip down about half way into the door a lot. You could push it up, and he was the only one who could get it to stay in position for awhile. I had driven it earlier that day and of course, hit a bump, window slid down. When I went to run to pick my daughter up from school, I got in and cranked up and this evil little thing flew up at me from out of nowhere. I freaked out and managed to open the door, literally falling out onto the ground. I left the door open thinking maybe it had just gotten stuck in there and couldn't figure how to get out. It.would.not.leave. Then I figured, okay, maybe I just scared it so much it doesn't think it is safe so I opened all the doors and went back inside. Came back out an hour later (after having to call my mother who lived all the way on the other side of town to get my kid) and looked around. I didn't see it so I started to get back in to run to the store. Same thing as earlier only this time when I got out, I saw it go under the seat. Now with a grudge, I went to reclaim my car. I banged around on the seats and watched as it went from one area to another. I didn't want to hurt it, but I wanted it out. Again, it would not leave. This little bird that was the size of my fist just kept hopping around in nooks and crannies that I didn't even know existed. Finally, it flies up into this hollow area that was behind the cupholders and under the radio (again, some place I didn't even know about till I saw it go up there). Banged around on it, turned up the radio to try to chase it out with noise, cranked up the car to try to scare it out and nothing. Luckily, I had a neighbor who worked on cars a few doors down from us. He came down and had to start taking my front console apart. I saw that this little demon bird, that ended up attacking both of us when we pulled off the console as it flew out (finally), had started building a nest there. It didn't look like it had fully made a home yet, but there was straw, grass. and a few twigs. I felt sort of bad at first as I cleared it all out, because I could understand the fact it was just trying to defend its home. But then as we were piecing the console back together, it went after my neighbor and actually pecked a piece of flesh off the back of his neck. Then I just realized the thing was some crazy, evil, demon bird that hated me.