Are you greedy for content from some of your favorite JordanCon track directors and guests?
Well then do we have the panel for you! From the good offices and fertile imagination of Tiff, the JordanCon fantasy track director, and John Hartness, the publisher at Falstaff Books, who joined me in a recorded discussion of Wandavision, which debuted earlier this year. Wandavision picks up the story of the MCU’s Wanda Maximoff as she tries to move on with her life in the wake of the events of Avenger’s: Endgame and the death of Vision, with whom she had a relationship.
The following is a tiny bit of spoiler:
Tiff, John, and myself discuss Wandavision, focusing on the aspects of grief, trauma, and how it affects those around you. We all share our thoughts on the series and the characters, discussing our impressions and the moments that spoke to us as individuals. It is not a spoiler to say we all enjoyed the series, and we hope that you will enjoy our discussion of it. The talk does touch on trauma and loss, so a heads up if you are dealing with similar issues in your personal life.
We hope you enjoy this taste of what is to come. See you in July!
The Jordan Con Gaming Track will run two games on April 24th at 8:00 PM and April 25th at 1 PM. We have two offerings for the weekend, depending on your tastes and availability. The games are open for the first 4-6 players to sign up; sign ups are open now.
A Tale as old as Tyme
GM is Ryan Szesny, and he will be putting on a spin on an old favorite. D&D 5e is the system and the players are going to be hired by the eccentric artificer, Morice LeFey, to retrieve his daughter, Belladonna Marie LeFey (Bell to her friends), who traded herself for her father’s freedom. The Crumbling Chateau has a beast roaming the ruins and a cast of odd and dangerous servants cursed for their master’s sins. This Beauty and the Beast inspired game will pit 4-6 players against the Beast, his over zealous servants, and the village “hero” Gaston, and deal with a damsel who is in less distress than she seems at first glance. Played on roll20.net on April 24th, 2021 at 8:00 PM Eastern.
For the King!
GM is Kevin Smoot, and he will run a Arthurian Dark Ages game using the Savage Worlds System. The king himself has charged the party to recover the sword Galatin from Vortigern and his Saxon mercenaries. Take on the role of a knight or their retinue as they do as chivalry and their king demands. Blood and honor await players in this dark fantasy role playing game. Game is open to 4-6 players to last 2-4 hours. Played on roll20.net on April 25, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern.
While reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I fell in love with many of the characters. Spensa and Skyward Flight are fun worth spending time with, if you have not read the book already. The non-human characters became my absolute favorites. After Isaac Stewart created an amazingly cute depiction of Doomslug, I had to create one for myself. The little yellow and blue space slug can pull at you with her gentle fluting. This November, readers find out more about Doomslug in Starsight. In support, I thought others might enjoy creating their own space slugs.
My mission was to create a slug pattern to create a cuddly Doomslug that mimics Stewart’s design. After some experiments with dart lines, curves, and other sewing tricks, I hit upon the proper shape to mimic Stewart’s rather rounded artwork rather than using a pattern that looks like an Earth slug (footnote 1).
Making your own space slug requires a handful of tools and a moderate skill level at sewing. The included pattern and instructions will walk you through the process.
½ yard of primary material
½ yard of accent material
½ yard of fusible interfacing medium weight
Spools of thread of matching colors
Cotton or polyester stuffing
Black fabric material for eyes
Black and white embroidery thread
Walking Foot for your sewing machine – Highly recommended.
Roller cutting blade
Metal ruler/flat edge
1/8 yard Double sided interfacing for eyes
More Optional supplies for an internal weighted pouch:
Reason – This gives the slug more heft and allows it to balance on its own better.
¼ yard of third cotton material
Poly-fil pellets – up to 1 pound
Cotton or polyester batting
Note on Material:
Any material can be used to create your space slug: cotton, fleece, flannel, velveteen, etc. When working with the thicker sections, a walking foot will save you a number of headaches. If your fabric has a nap, including velvet or micro fleece, it’s best to cut your pattern pieces one layer at a time. Double check that the nap direction is the one you want. Ideally the nap will flow smoothly from the front to the back. If you plan to use velvet, please read this helpful tutorial before cutting your pattern pieces.
I bought a bright polyester velvet for many of my space slug creations. The one shown with straight spines was made with pure plush fleece, which is incredibly soft.
The pattern is printed on three pages of 11”x17″.
It will create a slug approximately: 6” tall x 13” long x 16” around.
Scale up or down to change the size of the slug. The ruffle and spines pattern need to be altered less, they are fine for a 15% +/- in size change. Brandon Sanderson said my original design was “just a tad too big.” The original design was 10% larger, creating a slug: 8” tall x 15” long x 20” around.
Lay out the Body Pattern pieces on the main fabric. Match the nap of your fabric if applicable.
Cut matching pieces on interfacing as well. The second cut should be a mirror to the first.
Body Pattern pieces are:
Mirror of the pattern pieces 1D.
Body Side (1A) – cut 2
Body Base (1B) – cut 1
Face piece (1C) – cut 1
Top curve (1D) – cut 2
Top side (1E) – cut 2
Head Top (1F) – cut 1
Eye (1G) – cut 2
Accent Pattern pieces cut on accent fabric:
Body Ruffle (2A) – cut 1 – Cut on a double fold – Needs to be at least 40″ to go around the body with extra gathering. For a fuller ruffle, cut a longer piece or sew two pieces together.
Spines (2B) – cut 4 – Zig-zag spines should be cut on a double fold – Need to be between 50″ to 60″ to have enough length for deep loops.
Internal pouch – no pattern, no interfacing – simply cut a rectangle 20” long by 4” wide.
Note: The accent pieces are all long rectangles. It’s easiest to square up your fabric on a self-healing mat. Cut in strips with the help of a straight edge and using a roller blade cutter.
Before you start making your space slug, you need to decide which style you are going to make. Besides fabric choice, each creator chooses the style of eyes and spines they want to make. For the eyes, pick if you want to use fabric eyes or if you will embroider them.
The spines are the harder choice, and often driven by your fabric choice. Thicker fleece will be very difficult to turn into the zig-zag loops.
Spine option 1: Zig-zags – Requires more material and more sewing skills. Your spine strips will each need to be between 50” to 60” in length. Thus the “cut on the fold” note for the pattern could represent a double fold. This design better mimics the official Doomslug design, but are not true spines.
Option 2: Straight Tubes – Requires the spine stripes to be the length of the slug’s body, about 14” each, if you don’t resize the pattern. These are much easier and quicker to attach.
Two different spine designs. Opt. 1 – Zig-zag (right) and Opt. 2 – Straight (left)
Body pieces have a seam allowance of ⅜”
The full sewing directions with helpful images are found here and can be printed easily.
The basic sewing order of operations are:
Sew the spine tubes together – four of 2B
Sew the Ruffle – one of 2A
Iron the interfacing to all the body parts – 1A to 1F.
Pick the type of eyes you want to create. Attach or sew them onto the face piece 1C.
Sew the lower body together: 1A (2 pieces), 1B, and 1C
Sew the ruffle 2A onto the lower body piece.
Pin the Spines 2B to first 1D for each side.
Lay 1E on top of the spines, sew together.
Attach a Spine 2B to Half of 1F.
Attach 1F to one side of the top body.
Layout and attach the Spines to the joined 1F and 1E piece.
Attach the other side of the body to finish the top half of the slug.
To attach the two halves together – Right sides of fabric together, line up the center of the piece 1F to the face 1C. Pin around the body. Be sure to leave an opening at the back or on a lower side for turning the body right side out.
Create the internal weighted pouch by sewing a simple pouch.
Fill with poly-fil beads, then sew closed.
Wrap pouch with batting, stuff into the slug body.
Use cotton or poly fiberfil to stuff the slug body to the density you wish.
Sew the opening closed. I hand-stitch mine.
Bottom and top half of the space slug body before joining them together.
Enjoy taking your space slug on adventures!
Brandon Sanderson with Doomslug at DragonCon
Gathering of Doomslugs at DragonCon, 2019.
If you make a space slug, please share your creation with me, Deana Whitney, either by emailing me at Workshop@jordancon.org, sharing it on Instagram at JordanConInc or Doomslug_Adventures, or showing it directly to Isaac Stewart at Izykstewart.
Note: This Space slug pattern is for fun and personal use only. You may not use this pattern to create a for-profit item. Deana Whitney is the creator and owner of the sewing pattern. Copyright of Doomslug is held by Dragonsteel Entertainment, Inc.
All photos copyright by Deana Whitney, 2019.
My first version of Doomslug was made for the signing party, but it looked like an earth slug. To create it, I enlarged the Delilah Iris by 200% to create a 8” long slug. The back spines are a rectangle piece accordion folded, whipped stitched closed, attached to the back piece, then cut in random spikes. The bottom ruffle was another enlargement of the base pattern piece.
Hello and welcome to the first ever Fantastic Friday blogery! (I can make up words if I want, it’s called LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT and WORLD BUILDING!) I am your host, Tiff, the director of the Fantasy Track at the most awesome Convention on the Con Calendars!
I finally have a moment to catch my breath and reflect on the amazing weekend of programming that you helped us build this year and I am still in awe! Our track welcomed lots of folks to every panel slot we had, including a packed house on a Sunday panel. We will be rehashing panels in future posts and discussing directions for them to wander next year, so keep your eyes out for those in the coming weeks!
I wanted to use this first post to give a shout out to everyone who made our track room a great place to hang out this year! Starting with my irreplaceable assistant, Amy Tolley. She holds babies, finds food, reviews topics, moderates panels so I can find food, and counts heads so we can keep our documentation up to date and keep me sane all weekend! Thank you for all of your help, support, and never ending smiling face.
Thank you also to all of the authors who sat down behind the mics, some knowing what to expect from my panels and some wide-eyed and unsure of how serious I was about one question or another. I couldn’t have carried those conversations by myself and I greatly appreciate all of your expertise and opinions. Yes, I even mean you, David Coe. You’ll never be able to use your age as a bar to a panel… regardless of whether your books kill chihuahua’s or not!
Thank you to the guests who sat on panels, too! Whether you were lined up with our guest authors or just sitting next to me for an hour, I appreciate your knowledge and drive to discuss fandoms and universes with us.
And last, but definitely not least, thanks to everyone who came to hang out with us at one point or another this year! Without you, filling panels with authors and guests is pointless and your questions and insights keep the panels moving, which is a great help to the moderator!
We are already working on our goodies for next year and will be running ideas by you as the year progresses. I hope to see you participate in the discussions here as much, if not more, than in person! The clock has been reset, but the fun doesn’t have to stop!
Wow, this chapter was a doosie! We have Kip and Sanson, who were
floating down the river and got to the bridge that crossed it to connect a small
island full of animals to the mainland. There was a drafter there with his
apprentice and, already, the building was on fire. The fire was driving the
animals wild as they tried to escape from it, but the two men were blocking the
other end of the bridge.
Rats jumped in the water, small enough not to be noticed by
the two men on the bridge as Kip and Sanson swam for the fence blocking the
water fall. I’m not sure why the Drafter started beating his apprentice and I
read that part three times! I have a sneaky suspicion we need to know his name
for later, since Weeks made a point of using it, repeatedly. Zymun.
Zymun said something to his master and the man stopped
beating him, then drafted red and with a hand clap made animals on the other
side of the bridge explode. Literally explode, as if they had bombs inside
them. Zymun did the same thing, with the animals moving to the center of the
crumbling bridge. Larger animals weren’t broken apart as much as scared into
the water, swimming or thrashing wildly. Naturally, this brought the drafter’s
attention to the two boys at the fence and Sanson urged Kip over the fence as
the drafters threw more and more shots at them.
They escaped, skirting the waterfall. When Kip started
looking through the sides of his eyes, Sanson asked what was wrong with his
eyes, then blew it off as the pressure came at them to move again. They made
their way to a neighbor’s farm, where they found the destruction of the farm
and death of the family that lived there. The farmer’s boat was still tied up
at the docks, though, so the boys hurried towards it. They were stopped by ominous
voices saying that the soldiers’ orders had been to capture him, but now that
he’d killed two of the King’s men, they were going to kill him, instead.
AND Week’s ended the chapter there… AGAIN! I’m sitting in
the hospital while I write this and I just freaked the nurse out by my blood
pressure being up. Seriously, dude! I asked him to come back in a few minutes
when I’ve got it under control and just blame that one on Brent Weeks. Sure, he
looked at me funny, but I’ve learned that the General Doctor that’s overseeing
my case is a fan of Brent Weeks, so I know he’ll understand. ?
So, what I think:
I think Kip just showed Sanson he could draft. I’m
not sure what color his eyes turned while he was using his peripheral vision,
but it was visible to Sanson. I think we’ll find out next time we get the two
I’m kind of annoyed that they’ve come all that
way and have been captured so close to freedom! I’m sure that’s exactly how I’m
supposed to feel, though. The optimist in me wants to find some way for the
boys to escape before this idiot kills them. Maybe the King will learn that Kip
is so much more than a drafter? Maybe Gavin and Karris will arrive and save the
Chapter 15 – Gavin
Score another one for Tiff! WHOO HOO! GO
ME! Karris saw the smoke as they were crashing the condor and Gavin flew (if
you want to call it that) over the mountains towards Rekton. Karris saw the
boys, Gavin noted one was a green drafter, and they bolted off to help.
As they drew closer, Gavin realized they
weren’t going to make it time to save the boys.
CLIFF HANGER AGAIN.
Now, this chapter review was short because
the chapter was short, but also because there was a lot of filler in here.
Gavin is very worried about Karris reading that letter and he’s already
planning on how to convince her it’s a lie. He calls Lina (Kip’s mother) a
lying whore and is already dreading telling the kid that his mother lied to
him. There is a lot of talk about the crashing of the condor, catching updrafts
over land and comparing it to birds flying and Karris taking over the control
of the tail so they didn’t crash immediately. It’s all very interesting, but if
I were to tell you everything, it would be plagiarism… or, at the very least,
break laws about copying stuff. If you’re an engineer, you’re going to love the
part about the Condor over land! My husband is an airplane nut and I’m debating
whether he’d enjoy it or just look at me like I’m batty. Hmmm…
Chapter 16 – Kip
Kip tried to fight back, to give Sanson
time to get away. When he saw the Condor crash (no, he didn’t know what it was,
but we do!), he used the distraction to get Sanson moving. The guards didn’t
stay distracted for long, though, and one chased after Sanson while the other attacked
Kip. Kip fought back, but as untrained as he was against a Red Drafter, he didn’t
stand a chance. He was knocked to the ground by a “bomb” and held in place by
red sludge the drafter had covered him with so he didn’t run away. He saw the
other drafter stabbing the ground with a spear and relaxing. Kip believes Sanson
is dead. Maybe it’s just denial, but… NOT SANSON!! ☹
Then, Kip noticed a blue dot on the drafter’s
ear that moved making the red drafter roar. He was thrown backwards, away from
Kip, being ripped in half as he flew. The sludge holding Kip disappeared and he
stood up, looking down at the carnage that used to be the red drafter and was now
just red jelly. He quickly looked away from that and into the forest to find who
was responsible for his rescue.
Gavin had dispatched the Mirrorman who was
about to kill Kip and turned to check on Karris. Karris had already killed one
Mirrorman and flung herself onto the horse of another, burying her knife in his
face, and pulling them both off the horse again. Gavin watched as Kip
disappeared, searching for his friend. Gavin says they were too late to save Sanson,
too. Boo! So, Kip has no one, now?
Before he could do anything else, like tell
Karris to get the heck out of there, King Garadul shows up and demands to know
what’s happened. Of course, he recognizes Gavin, too.
Now, given that Garadul is anti-Prism and he’s
out to destroy any city that doesn’t back him and, instead, backs the Prism, this
will not go well. The King has a good portion of his army with him and, while
Karris is pretty kick-ass, I’m not sure that she and Gavin can take on the King
AND his army. If they do, what about Kip? They can’t leave him, now that he’s alone
and they’ve saved him.
This is a fine mess you’ve gotten yourself
Gavin is escorting Karris to Tyrea in this chapter. Before I
start discussing what happened, here, let me say that I am torn at whether or
not I should like Gavin or not. Yeah, according to the back of the book and the
amount of time dedicated to him, he’s the main character, but I’m a little back
and forth about whether he’s actually a decent guy or not. Or, rather, I’m
afraid to like him. Does that even make sense?
In this chapter, we get to see Gavin NOT being the Prism,
which I think is stinking adorable. Maybe it’s the baby hormones? We get to see
their relationship a bit better, see a bit of their history, and what really
hit me about this chapter is seeing how Gavin really feels about Karris. Which
makes me wonder why he broke it off with her to begin with.
So, my questions at the end of this chapter are:
Why did Gavin break off the betrothal with
How is it possible to draft two colors together
at the same time and do the properties of the colors cancel each other out?
(ie, if you draft red and blue… what happens?)
Alright, let’s take a walk through this chapter and try to
piece some answers together.
First, let’s look at the relationship between Karris and
Gavin. Before this chapter starts, we know that they were betrothed but broke
it off, and that they’re still on pretty good terms with each other. We know
this because Karris plays pranks on him and he notices every move she makes
when she’s in a room with him. He’s also VERY concerned about her reading that
note from the White before he can get to her because he isn’t looking forward to
her finding out about his son. This tells me that they both still care for each
other, in one way or another. Are they just burying their feelings or have they
Well, through their little adventure across the water, Gavin
is continually trying to impress her. He’s drafting colors quickly and then modifies
his scull (small luxin boat?) with his own adjustments to make it less taxing
and more efficient. When she asks if she can try, he lets her and then goes a
step further to share something he hasn’t perfected with her. He creates the
condor so they can glide through the air and even admits that he’s not good at
landing, yet. Instead of just doing what he’d promised he’d do, he’s spent this
entire trip, albeit a short trip, trying to make her smile and laugh.
That’s not all, either. He relishes each laugh he gets, marvels at the smell of her hair and the sight of a single dimple in her cheek. He enjoys the feel of her pressed against his back and wishes she’d let herself relax enough to snuggle into him. Then, the feel of her hand squeezing a tempo into his so they can row at the same speed makes him remember the night they met. He admits that all it took was one dance to make him fall in love with her, even though he was under strict orders to be nice and that’s all. Based on the plan his father laid out and the fact that she was betrothed to Gavin and not Dazen (his brother has a name and it only took ten chapters to learn it!) as his father had arranged, tells me that he defied his father’s wishes in order to get her. Then he worries about her finding out about his son, because it meant he’d lied to her when he said there was no other woman when he broke up with her and that there hadn’t been while they were betrothed. The war, obviously, had happened after the betrothal, and his son had been sired after the battle in Tyrea. He even mentions (to himself) that this was while they were betrothed. To be fair, when he’d received the letter about Kip, he hadn’t believed it because he didn’t remember sleeping with anyone after that battle. So, either Kip isn’t his or he was… drunk? Who knows? He seems to have accepted it at this point, either way.
Oh, and he knows she won’t forgive him when she finds out
and he laments that, thinking he was going to miss her with a note of sadness.
So, why did he break it off with her? We still don’t know.
The second question… let’s talk about drafting two different
colors for a moment. Given that polychromes are rare (he mentions fighting over
them and that there are only two other people in the Chromeria who would be
able to do what he did with the reeds), I’m going to assume that drafting
multiple colors TOGETHER, not merely at the same time, is something that others
probably know, but the people who can do it are a bit too important to waste
time doing it on a personal water craft? Gavin is doing it, but then, the White
fussed at him about his traveling without protection, so he probably has time
where no one is watching to indulge in one of his seven feats.
So, his reeds, which he created out of Blue and Green luxin
for strength and flexibility, with red here and there for pinpointed strength
to keep them from shattering. Three colors drafted and the by-product used to
create hollow oars that he could shoot magic through to propel the craft
faster. It didn’t mention how the luxin was put together to make the reeds,
though. I like to think I’m overthinking this and that it’s more simple than I’m
giving it credit for. Occam’s razor and all leads me to want to just shrug it off.
Either it’s easier than I’m making it out to be or I missed something. We know
that’s not impossible (blue drafting a few chapters ago, remember?).
So, we’re left knowing it’s possible, but not how or why. We’re
also left knowing that, even though Gavin’s done it, being only one of the
three people in the Chromeria who would be capable of creating the reeds to
begin with means they probably haven’t explored this use for them. After all,
the others probably never leave the Chromeria and Gavin SHOULDN’T be leaving
Basically, NO ANSWERS. It’s ok, though, because we get a
healthy serving of understanding the very human Prism who is very much still
carrying a torch for his former betrothed.
Also wrapped up in this chapter is a few pieces of
information that may have slipped through your attention.
Gavin’s father was the Prism.
Gavin is older than his brother, Dazen and destined to be the next Prism.
Dazin was supposed to be married to Karris so that Gavin’s marriage could better bring prestige to the family and yet the marriage with her would solidify the bonds between the two families.
No real cliffhangers for this chapter for a change. The next
one is about Kip, so we’re not going to get any further with this storyline for
a moment. It does make me wonder how Karris is going to respond when she gets
to Tyrea and sees the town destroyed and the people murdered, though. Will she
assume that the kid is dead and go home? Hmmm…