end of the year round-up–of a sort

okay, so this month–this year–has been super-rough on me (really, on all of us), so things have not moved apace the ways that i might have wanted.

that being said, this is not that kind of post:  this is a collection of the bits and bobs i’ve enjoyed this year, the events that have been super-cool, and the things that need to be celebrated.

before i get into those lists, i’m still trying to figure out what my projects should be for 2017, so if y’all have suggestions, leave a comment, yeah?  i’m thinking another sketch-a-day, but i don’t know what else.

on to the weird lists of lists.

the bits and bobs:

  1. so, let’s start off with freakin’ critical role:  nerdy ass voice actors rolling dice and playing dungeons & dragons.  this live-action, old-school d&d campaign has been a revelation–and, i say this as someone who played their first d&d campaign at, like, 5?  6?  (my much elder brother was my first dm.)  it’s influenced my writing and my art and has just generally been this comforting thing that’s simultaneously the best sort of nostalgic and the best sort of relevant to my interests–especially since games like d&d are the most participatory of participatory culture and really caused me to understand where some of my own interests and beliefs about the importance and necessity of participatory culture and fandom originated.  it’s gonna suck you in and hold on to you in ways that you’re not going to expect and hurt in ways that only your best and worst fandom experiences hurt.  watch the thing; love the thing.
  2. the other massively important to my everything this year, media-wise, was maggie stiefvater’s the raven cycle.  this is the other thing that really impacted my writing (and my thinking) this year.  there’s nothing like a group of characters who have such an intense mutual respect, awe, and affection for each other who each simultaneously think that they’re garbage.  the gangsey are beautiful flawed and fractured and fit together in ways that only soulmates in the truest sense fit.  there are queer characters, privileged characters (who are very aware of their privilege), strange characters, amazing characters, awful characters, characters of color (and an argument that there are a lot more characters of color than some people would think) and the loving depiction of underage drag-racing and delinquency all mixed up and sewn together with magic and intrigue, devils and psychics, and the search for a welsh king that’s really as much a metaphor for searching for one’s self as anything else.  and, there’s kavinsky.  thing high atop the thing, do i love my dumpster-fire son.  you’re gonna hate him and love him and hate him more (and probably love him even more if you’re like me).
  3. okay, for the record, i read the magicians (book) and basically came away with the firm belief that lev grossman actually hates the entire fantasy genre like whoa.  however, that being said, i absolutely adore the magicians tv series.  i love (most) of the choices that they made–choices that, to me, made more sense in a narrative sense–and the choices that i don’t absolutely adore are things that came from the books that were arguably necessary for the integrity of the plot and universe, but yeah, i still could have lived without them or have had them shifted to other characters.  yet, whenever one of these choices came up–and, yeah, these are massively fucking triggering choices–there was always ALL THE WARNINGS as well as helpline and hotlines provided.  it’s one of the most kind, caring things i’ve seen in mainstream media since west wing‘s post-9/11 episode “isaac and ishmael”.  but, quentin is actually tolerable–more than tolerable, really–and his realization of how actually awful chatwin is and how that tears apart the love of a world and work that chatwin created (but not really because fillory is real, after all) was so important and reflective of things that came to light this year.  penny is an actual asshole, but he’s also actual awesome.  margot, who’s a combination of a couple of characters really, is just–she’s just so awesome in so many ways and is so aware of how broken she and the world is.  margot’s everything is a gift.  alice, while being frustrated in her retiring shyness, is such a literal badass and doesn’t deserve anything that happens to her–much like julia who was so absolutely determined that she would have the magic of brakebills that made certain that she remembered and then learned to be a magician.  again, badass.  and, then there’s katie, who i love and need more of, and let me just say, eliot is a literal gatsby party and is going to become more of one from the looks of things.  the first season is up on netflix, and the second season starts soon.
  4. again on the “i didn’t really like the book(s), but omg, the tv adaptation is amazing” is the shadowhunters.  based on cassandra clare’s *spits* the mortal instruments series–which its existence is an entire novel of issues in its own right and something to be aware of if you’re a fandom kid–it does things that i could only have hoped for from the novels and does not fuck about with malec.  just–this is lovingly created and well-written.  give it a try.
  5. stitchers.  it’s a scifi crime drama that is just–i don’t know.  it’s amazing and thoughtful and has an amazing diverse cast, and i’m here for it.  i’m gonna just leave it at that.
  6. and, while we’re in scifi-land, sense8.  okay, i know it was 2015; i don’t care because the christmas special makes it 2016.  created by the wachowski sisters, there are problems with it and narrative and aesthetic decisions that could have been meditated upon more thoroughly, but i wholeheartedly adore this show that has an interestingly new twist on an older trope:  group, shared consciousness.  except, that this group consciousness is shared between people in groups of eight, groups known as clusters who are being hunted and used (mostly against each other) and just–yeah.  the cast is diverse in culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and interest, and their group experience scenes (which are occasionally very nsfw) are amazing and touching and everything that i really wanted.  seriously, watch the videos about how they film the scenes with multiple sensates in it because it’s fucking amazing.  to quote riley, “we took our first breath together; now, it’s time to celebrate that breath together.”
  7. deadpool.  seriously, i’ve loved deadpool forever, and the movie was everything i wanted minus a french maid’s outfit.
  8. furious 7.  freakin’ sucked me into the entire fast and furious universe, and i love and hate everything.  (i know it was 2015; i don’t care.  it still makes me happy and is still causing me to be sucked into everything.)
  9. mad max:  fury road.  since i basically grew up with these movies, i was just so absolutely pleased with everything about it and, yeah, punch-pleased.  (i know it was 2015; i don’t care.  it still makes me happy and is still affecting my life.)
  10. star wars:  the force awakens.  you love swtfa, or you’re wrong.  (i know it was 2015; i don’t care.  it still makes me happy.  also, i haven’t seen rogue one yet, so let me have this.)
  11. ghostbusters.  seriously, if you didn’t enjoy the new ghostbusters, you should probably show yourself out right now because holtzmann is my everything, and patty is amazing.
  12. person of interest, which i totally was late to the game for, is exactly the foucauldian surveillance nightmare that i love.  the final season aired, but i’m currently too afraid to watch it.
  13. the welcome to night vale novel–which, yeah, came out in 2015, but i didn’t read it until this year (well, listened to it because, really, you listen to wtnv)–was something that i as a hardcore fan of welcome to night vale loved.  i understand that it might have been too much for non-wtnv readers because, really, there’s a fuckton of mythology that just doesn’t make sense if you haven’t been listening to the podcast forever, but i loved it, and it was everything that i wanted.
  14. steven universe.  still is the most thoughtful, heart-wrenching, heartfelt, amazing show.
  15. miscellaneous tv shows and movies and things:  stranger thingsstar trek:  beyondvoltron (reboot), pokemon go, revisiting digimonsailor moon crystalgravity falls (i was late to this), dark matterlucifer (i’m really behind), the last witch-hunter, and penny dreadful (also, very behind).
  16. there’s also a fuckton music (new and old and previously obsessed with and obsessed with again):  hamilton (the broadway recording and the mixtap–if you haven’t listened to hamilton yet, you are totally missing out), chvrches, the chainsmokers, halsey, birdy, florence +the machine, portishead, massive attack, lana del rey, lorde, twenty one pilots, hayley kiyoko, grimes, marina and the diamonds, kavinsky (not the same as the raven cycle), daughter, mikky ekko, rufus wainwright, the naked and famous, hannah fury, johnny hollow, sky salt, nouvelle vague, and heather perry and the ______s (who i actually went to art school with and have eps that aren’t actually available anymore).

there so could have been more books in here, i think?  i just–kinda got distracted by other things, but i have been reading things, just not traditional media?  i might also be super behind on my comic book reading, video game playing, and tv watching?  *whistles*

awesome events:

this was my first year of being a con-kid, and while it could have gone better, it definitely went well.  but, my favorite event continues to be nerdcon:  stories.  of course, it might not exist anymore, and i’ll be very sad if it goes the was of the dodo.

the brown county library comic con was definitely the runner up.

i mean, being able to essentially play for a living (not that there’s currently much of living in it, but i’m working on it) is a privilege, but don’t for one minute think that playing for a living doesn’t equate doing work.  honestly, having a normal day job would be a lot less stressful and a lot more profitable, but that’s not why one takes up a career in the arts.

i feel like the sub-heading here is super misleading.  *hands*

things to be celebrated:

  1. okay, again, my first year of being a con-kid.  i’m still kinda sitting over here going WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO, but at the same time, i’m here for it.
  2. successful completion of nanowrimo, which was my ninth or tenth year participating.
  3. the creation of a glittering venery, which was my nanowrimo project as well as a large part of my sketch-a-day this year.
  4. self-publishing my first illustration book, which was part of a glittering venery.
  5. being brave enough to post bits and pieces of my nanowrimo a glittering venery novel as i wrote it on one of my imzys.
  6. and, then cross-posting it to my ello.

so, yeah, there’s a partial round-up of stuff and things.

if y’all have suggestions for one-a-day projects this year, or just suggestions in general, please leave a comment.

2016 is almost over.  we’re gonna make it.


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