skew_whiff: (keep calm and carry on)
thing 1: Happy new year!

A little late, but who's counting? Hope everyone had a decent night - I went to a party at a friend's house, which was perfectly reasonable and definitely an improvement on how I saw in 2012 (drinking gin by myself and singing very loudly along to Kylie Minogue songs).

My resolutions are pretty much the same as they always are: work harder, be braver. They're reusable resolutions partially because they're quite open-ended (one can always do more), and partially because my life is basically one long doomed struggle against my own laziness and cowardice. I won't set the bar too outlandishly high, but if I can continue to improve my cooking and my musical skills, and write more than I did last year - and possibly find a hobby which gets me out of the house and socialising? - I will consider that a win.

In 2012 I was beset by a lot of minor incidents of bad luck but was in a better state mentally than I've been for a long time; 2013, I suspect, is going to be very hard work and involve a lot of panicking over paperwork, but it'll all come out good in the end. Probably. Or if it doesn't, at least being deported will make for an interesting anecdote one day.


thing 2: Yuletide reveals!

So, I wrote two things this year.

My assigned fic was The Election (The Clangers), which is both one of the shortest fics I've written, and one of the most difficult. I'm pleased with it, overall, and it was a lovely canon to revisit, but I've learned my lesson - when one's fic tends to be rambling and dialogue-heavy, it is not a good idea to volunteer to write for a canon that has ten-minute episodes and characters that don't speak in actual words.

I also wrote The Land Beyond The Shelves (Black Books), because I read a prompt involving Bernard Black meeting fairies and couldn't help myself. It was written in two days and mostly on public transport, which probably shows, but hell, I had fun.


thing 3: EVERYTHING IS DWARVES AND NOTHING HURTS

So after watching The Hobbit I re-read the book while at my parents' for Christmas. Then I managed to dig out my old paperback copy of LOTR. My Tumblr dash is full of screencaps and gifs of the cast being magnificent, and I spent most of the dead days between Christmas and New Year reading the kinkmeme.

And oh god, I'm in love. It's both stirring up lots of nostalgia for my childhood and early teens, and also giving me that lovely shiny new fandom feeling I haven't felt in a long, long time. It's a bit bizarre and daunting, as large fandoms always are, but I'm happy to just lurk around on the edges and dabble here and there. It's befitting that The Hobbit fandom, like the film itself, seems a whole lot sillier and less serious-business than LOTR fandom (though then again, the very first fic I ever read was a copy of The Very Secret Diaries that a friend printed out and passed around our class, and that's about as far from srs bsness as it's possible to get), and I'm rather amused by some of the recurring themes - I can take or leave the inevitable incest and mpreg, but I love all the speculative takes on dwarvish gender politics, and I'm really tickled by how preoccupied with hairstyling the fandom seems to be. For years now I've been joking about people writing fics where guys sit around braiding one another's hair, and now I encounter a fandom where that is not only genuinely the case, it actually makes a fair bit of sense!

I've got a couple of short fics in the works now, and more ideas gathering together into coherent plots - rest assured, I still consider the war miniseries to be my fandom home, but it's nice to have something new(ish) to get fired up about. It's gonna be a long damn wait until part 2.
skew_whiff: (that's why i came to france)
So somehow it's six days into the holidays already (I'm counting weekends), and it's just flown by in a vague haze of relatives and cake. So many relatives. So much cake.

The day itself turned out to be a bit underwhelming, which was entirely my own fault for spending so long getting all hyped up and also for never getting round to telling anyone what I might like, so present-wise all I really got was chocolate and money. Not that I'm complaining about either, mind you. It wasn't unbearably awkward and Christmas dinner was delicious, and that's the main thing. (At least as far as I'm concerned.)

Asides from that...


- Yuletide! I've barely even got started on reading and commenting on the bulk of what was posted, but I got really lucky and received three lovely stories this year - two for the Thin Man, one with zombies and one with Time Lords, both with all the wit and charm and sparky dialogue you'd expect, and also a wonderful, subtle, thought-provoking character piece involving Faiza Hussain, my favourite character from Captain Britain and MI:13 (plus some cameos from the Avengers!). All well worth your time, if you've not seen them yet.


- Christmas TV! Doctor Who was good fun (especially the Sontaran) and I'm intrigued by what's going on with this new companion, though bits of it very much seemed like things we'd seen before. Victorian London, check. Much-loved secular Christmassy thing turns bad, check. Unusually attractive, intelligent and fearless woman leaves Doctor bemused, check. Not that this last one is pre-emptive character bashing, I'm sure Clara/Oswin/whatever her name turns out to be will have facets that distinguish her from Amy, River and, indeed, Irene Adler (there's the souffles, for a start) - it's just Moffat certainly has a type, doesn't he?

Downton was, well, the usual mixture of nostalgia, charm, wry humour and shaking one's fist at the television that it usually is. WHY WILL YOU NEVER LET ANYONE BE HAPPY, FELLOWES. At least there was Thomas's continuing progress towards being a decent human being and Molesley's drunk dancing to make up for things.

And other than that, I don't think I've caught much TV, though I did watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and How To Train Your Dragon. Underwhelmed by the former, I think because I know so many people who love it and so went in with unduly high expectations; really liked the latter, though I was unnecessarily distracted by the fact the kids have American accents and the adults have Scottish accents. And they're meant to be Vikings. Okay, Hollywood...


- Hobbits! So I've seen the Hobbit. Twice, due to different friends wanting to see it with me. And, well... it's not LOTR (and what could be), but despite its silliness and CGI-heaviness and the fact it could really do with being half an hour shorter, I really did love it, and along with the LOTR rewatch I did in the weeks leading up to the release, it's rekindled my love for Tolkien and fantasy fiction in general in a big way. I'll no doubt talk about this more later, because right now I'm mostly still in a 'cheerfully incoherent flailing' sort of mood about the whole thing. (It's also nice that for once my mood appears to be falling pretty much in line with that of fandom, in that I loved Fili and Kili to bits, and Bofur kind of came out of nowhere and stole all the scenes he was in with his snark and ridiculous Derek Smalls-esque facial hair. Loved Thorin, too, although thanks to Robin Hood, I just can't quite ever take Richard Armitage seriously in anything.)

I'd like to write some fic, some time in the nearish future, but nothing's come to mind as yet, other than a faintly ridiculous WWII AU, and a few casual doodles I have of warrior dwarf Harry Welsh and elven bard Hillbilly Jones. But give it time, we'll see how it goes.


...right, that's about it for now, I think. And how have you all been?

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