42. Favorite song that was released this year?
Tie between Taylor Swift’s ‘The Lakes,’ and Fleet Foxes’ ‘Featherweight’
43. Favorite song you listened to this year?
KT Tunstall ‘Little Red Thread.’
4. Who is your favourite female television character of all time?
5. Who is your favourite male television character of all time?
16. A show that you hate to love?
House Hunters. I hate listening to the people who go on the show, but I love looking at the houses.
17. A show that you love to hate?
…I can’t think of one? If I really don’t like something I do my best to put it out of my mind and never think about it.
15. Any old hobbies you took up again during lockdown? Playing video games was one. Definitely knitting, although that took several months for it to stick. Writing emails and letters to friends. I tried to get back into reading, but that’s still a hit-or-miss area for me.
20. Have you been able to go on any holidays this year? I almost said no to this because I was so focused on the word holidays and then I was like ‘wait that’s not true.’ I had the extreme good fortune of a friend inviting me to Kitty Hawk NC for a weekend in March and again for a week in June. Easily some of my favorite and fondest memories from this year.
(I suppose taking a month hiatus from work also counts as a holiday of sorts lol)
25. Favorite online shop? Does Uber Eats count? I purchased a couple of Edible Arrangements for friends when they were having rough days this year, that was fun.
30. What did you only start to appreciate because lockdown took it from you? BEING ABLE TO PHYSICALLY TOUCH PEOPLE. Touch starvation takes on a whole new meaning when you have almost none of it for 2 months, and then another 5 months shortly after that.
Also my…always having options, having friends and family and community to go to. I’ve never been alone on holidays because I’m blessed with an abundance of people in my life. I still have those people, but not being able to spend time with any off them taught me a lot.
25. a fic you read this year you would recommend everyone read
26. number of favorites/bookmarks you made this year
i am so bad at favoriting/bookmarking anything tbh so like… 2
27. favorite fanfic author of the year
@mygalfriday is my eternal babe
28. longest fic you read this year
29. shortest fic you read this year
30. favorite fandom to read fic from this year
I mean River/Doctor is always gonna be my go-to I love them so much I hate it
How many books did you read this year? i officially noted down 42 books on my list and I think i can get in 2 or 3 more before the year ends, although I read a lot more than that while doing research for my thesis. this is about half of what i read in previous years, and i’m blaming covid.
Did you reread anything? What? rereading formed the bulk of my reading this year, especially after i was sent home from campus in march. faves include the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by douglas adams and sally rooney’s novels, conversations with friends and normal people
What were your top five books of the year? this is all over the place but of the new-to-me books, these were the best: imagined communities by benedict anderson; the dud avocado by elaine dundy; playing the whore by melissa gira grant; bellweather rhapsody by kate racculia; enter the aardvark by jessica anthony
Did you discover any new authors that you love this year? i’m obsessed with the author of enter the aardvark, jessica anthony, and i’m excited to see what she writes next
What genre did you read the most of? romance, weirdly, as i’m not a person who thinks of herself as reading a lot of romance
14. What books do you want to finish before the year is over?
The Uptown Collection by Ruby Lang - it’s a collection of three loosely connected novellas and I’m partway through the third which is called House Rules.
The Baker Thief by Claudie Arsenault - I’m not very far in this yet so we’ll see if I get through it before the end of the year or no. I’m very intrigued by the premise though - Arsenault wrote it in part to “reframe romance tropes within non-romantic relationship and centering aromantic characters”. There’s also a whole range of queer characters in it.
15. Did you read any books that were nominated for or won awards this year (Booker, Women’s Prize, National Book Award, Pulitzer, Hugo, etc.)? What did you think of them?
Hmm, I definitely read some things things that were nominated for or won a Hugo.
I read A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine which was great and I really enjoyed. I just re-read it and I’m super excited for the second book in the series which is coming out in March.
This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladstone - thank you for the rec! - I really enjoyed this a lot, especially the way the letters work. But it’s an all-around great book.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark - I think I read this this year and not last year, anyway it was nominated this year so I’m including it. It was very compelling and interesting and I enjoyed it a lot.
I definitely recommend all three of these.
I tried Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir but it just wasn’t grabbing me for some reason.
I’m not seeing anything on the other awards lists mentioned that I read.
16. What is the most over-hyped book you read this year?
I think the closest I got to something that might fall into this category is Gideon the Ninth, although I think I only got through one chapter of it. It was obviously speaking to a lot of people, it just didn’t speak to me.
17. Did any books surprise you with how good they were?
Having read The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia I was confident I was going to likeThe Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows but I didn’t realize it was going to have so many things that I wanted out of an f/f Regency romance. It’s a near-perfect book for me.
1. How many books did you read this year?
2. Did you reread anything? What?
3. What were your top five books of the year?
Already answered. But here are 5 more that I absolutely loved.
- The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
- The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
- The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark
4. Did you discover any new authors that you love this year?
Already answered. But here are a few more people I’ll be checking out books from: P. Djèlí Clark, Una McCormack (she has mostly written Star Trek novels and honestly they look fun - I read a novella by her toward the beginning of the year and I’m still thinking about it), and Alastair Chisholm.
5. What genre did you read the most of?
If you count graphic novels as their own genre, then that’s the answer. I also read a lot of historical fiction/alternate histories.
15. Any old hobbies you took up again during lockdown? reading does that count looool i have actually been reading more, other than that i can’t really think of anything
17. Favorite mask you own? done this one! although this is making me realise i should probably buy some new masks
23. Any small business you support? so many artists who i’ve found via insta!!! these are few of my fave: facesinresin, lazy_disco, dewdrops jewellery, eva malley !! i LOVE hello vonk so so much, they do the best t shirts + the artist who does all the designs is extremely lovely. a few of my etsy faves are: 2bmcr, hiffy ulrich, eliott bulpett, loulou reed. this artist does AMAZING dani/jamie, hill house, killing eve + i’m excited to buy some things from her soon!!
26. Dumbest impulse buy?
Ummmm, I now own the Autostraddle gal pal shirt in both grey and black. However, I could argue that this purchase not dumb and moreover was extremely well thought out. Gal pals are my entire brand!
31. Favorite book that was released this year?
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. OH MY GOD. My book club read it right after it came out this summer, and we had an amazing discussion. Sometimes it’s livelier to discuss a “bad” book or a book that sparked a lot of really divergent opinions throughout the group, but in this case we had a fantastic conversation despite every single member really loving the book. <3333
38. Favorite artist this year?
I’m just gonna smile serenely and say Taylor Swift. There are artists who are more my favorite than Taylor, but she released two beautiful, interesting albums since the pandemic started and my fic titles and rare trips out in the car have never been more emotive.
I did not have writing goals for 2020. 2019 was a very hard year, and it followed several other hard years, and goals I had for 2020 were framed around recovery - any writing I managed would have been a bonus. I had done a little writing at the very end of 2019 that I was pleased with, and maybe vaguely hoped to carry some of that energy with me into the new year.
Of course, 2020 was then not the year any of us expected it to be. On a personal level, some things were harder and some things were not and everything was extremely different.
So the writing I have achieved this year has pretty much been entirely a surprise. It hasn’t been a huge volume but it also hasn’t been insignificant for me, and I think that’s largely because I used fanfic, both reading and writing, as a massive source of comfort and as a prop over the year, and it has been immensely helpful on that front.
There are some goals I want to think about with writing in the future, but this year I needed it to be something that mostly felt easy and good, when not much else did.
33. Miracle - CHRVCHES
This one is on my Beauyasha playlist, which has been a fairly constant feature of my listening for the last couple of years!
44. Write You a Song - Mary Lambert
I love Mary Lambert. I am a queer cliché and I do not care. ;D
55. Battle Cries - The Amazing Devil
I think Spotify recommended this to me quite recently, and it was really an alarmingly good recommendation. I love a lot of folk music, and the lyrics to this have felt very fitting this year.
As a reader - fics where one of the characters is injured/deathly ill and the other has to save them/declare their love. Inject. It.
As a writer? I’ve had a look back at the fics I wrote at particularly stressful points in my life, and the answer seems to be food/cooking descriptions, found family and forgiveness.
1. Fake Relationship. FAAAAAAAAAAAKE RELATIONSHIIIIIIIIIPPPPP. The Absolute Peak Idiocy™ required to propose/agree to it. The fear of pining becoming too obvious, while also being in awe of *how easy it is* to fall into pretend. The nobody-else-being-surprised-they-are-together and WhY iS tHaT.
2. Misunderstanding/miscommunication when it is done well and preferably for comedic effect.
3. FRIENDS 👏 TO 👏 LOVERS 👏 IS 👏WHERE 👏 IT’S 👏 AT 👏. The respect. The layers. The emotional intimacy already in place. The true seeing of each other. The slow dawning realization of more. AGHHHH FUCK ME UP BARTENDER POUR ME ANOTHER ROUND.
4. Hurt/comfort. Someone once profoundly pointed out to me that the appeal is seeing a character you love have their hurts validated and cared for in ways that you might not have been, and it really struck me. It’s become one of my favorite tropes because it really shows you who the characters truly are.
5. Not sure if this a trope actually? But AUs. I used to be very against them (and actually for a few fandoms I still just can’t) but now I love getting to see how certain personalities could be reformed in different circumstances and how callbacks to canon are created. Fascinating.
Works that still blow me away:
1. (fic) Perseverance by sensitivebore. (Downton Abbey/chelsie). I read it at least once a year for…ages now, maybe as far back as 2013-2014ish? The voice, the style, the story itself and how it just fucking slays you in the softest moments. It was really hard for me not to just ditch my own writer voice and devote all my efforts to just recreating theirs bc it’s so brilliant and beautiful and eloquent and elegant.
2. (fic) Stay by storybycorey. (x-files/mulder/scully) I actually just read this one this past week bc @lady-of-the-cunts sent it to me–NEITHER of us are even in that fandom but it’s such a well written story that it’s just brilliant to read (also they do have a femslash story for The Fall and it’s pretty fire too). The style and pacing have just stayed with me. I read it and immediately went back and read it again bc I knew there was so much I missed by being in awe of another section or line. I wasn’t wrong. It’s beautifully constructed.
3. (book) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I honestly didn’t expect it to live up to the hype. But oh, to be so pleasantly surprised! This was a book where I had to go back and re-read a sentence–not because I didn’t understand it, but because the construction and imagery were so mind-blowing that I just needed to experience it again.
15. does it bother you if a character shares the same name of someone you know well?
I don’t know that it’s happened much, so I’m not sure! I do have a good friend who shares a first name with Jenny Paige, but she spells it differently, so it has been a little weird saying it out loud to her a few times, but it feels different enough in writing that it’s not an issue. And thinking about it, my @cosmic-llin also shares a name but with a different spelling with a specific Star Trek character, but it feels different enough that it’s never bothered me!
17. are there any tropes you wished were used less often?
I am very picky about what AUs I like, and high school/college AUs almost never work for me, partly because they’re usually based on a US school experience, which is not familiar to me and I feel like I’ve seen enough of it in media, and partly because if the characters are adults in canon, I’m just not often that interested to see them be teenagers. Those are particularly very popular in CritRole fandom, and I rather wish they were less so!
Why do you have two glasses?
The ones on my head are prescription sunglasses! I don’t have transitions, they don’t agree with me (and they are $$$).
!!!!! Hello! This makes me so happy to hear omg 💚
I really do feel like they have so much they could work with if they decide to make them canon, and they compliment each other’s personalities in a beautiful way. Thank you so much for the kind words!
2. 3 movies you have rewatched many times
4. 3 topics you’d love to learn more about
7. 3 fruits that you love the most
This is hard because there are so many delicious ones, but…
Yet another thing from a Hackle AU:
Ada smiled, glad that Hecate was allowing her this time to compose herself without any questions. She could still feel Hecate’s worried gaze when she thought Ada wasn’t paying attention. The problem was that when it came to Hecate she was always paying attention.
I agree 100%!! My friendship with Cass is also one of my favorite things! lol She’s really one of the sweetest people I know! She’s so supportive and encouraging!! I know I say that a lot but it’s true!! I feel like she’s helped me break out of my comfort zone quite a bit with my art and she’s also brought a lot of joy and happiness into my life! Whether it’s just being her delightful self or sharing things she enjoys!