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Dear Shipswap author,
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Like last year, let's do a Year in Fic! I didn't get involved in nearly as many challenges this year and also had a rough time with being diagnosed with MS and also moving, so I only wrote like 150k this year versus the 250k from last year. I did manage to write in 41 fandoms, even if several were just for the 3 sentence ficathon. Not including the 39 of those, I wrote 98 fics this year.
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This has been my Year in Fic, 2013.
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Today's topic: Harlem Beat!

Harlem Beat is awesome and amazing and is one of the first sports series I read. I know I started picking up the manga around the time that MIXX Media became Tokyopop, much like several other series that were in the reversed format. I fell in love with the characters, the art, the way it approached everything... It wasn't long before I was really starting to get into other sports series and truly recognized just how different Harlem Beat was in a lot of aspects. It's a little on the dirtier side, one of the main characters pretty much screams "not heterosexual", it's written by a woman and actually has women's basketball in the later volumes, etc.

I really need to go back and read the series again. (Well, what very has scanned since I gave her my volumes to demolish and scan so I can share them with the world.) I can remember quite well the feelings that the series brings up in me and things like loving how one of the main character's best shots is learned from a hairdresser, and how the basketball is slightly more realistic than you often see, and how all of the characters are utter dorks and just... Wow. It really makes me happy to think about the story, but sad to think about how few fans it has.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here. Otherwise, this is the last one.)
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Today's topic: Talk about the direction you see fandom going in (livejournal to tumblr, etc) and if it's a good or bad thing!

I think fandom has, over the past decade, gone all over the place. Yes, tumblr is the new thing and I see it continuing to be popular because it is a very easy way to share fandom. It's easy to control which fandoms you see, but also easy to get exposed to new ones. However, it is not the ideal platform for truly getting to know people. It's not really meant for communication, though. That's why other things in fandom persist.

Livejournal will continue to be something of a fixture just because there are a lot of people who have been there long enough that they don't want to move. However, Dreamwidth seems to be slowly gaining more hold for things like kink memes because of the longer commentboxes, and fandom will always go where the porn is.

Facebook commands a portion of the fandom, too, though it's a relatively tiny one. And things like Yahoo! Groups continue to hold on, though they don't have nearly the importance they once had.

Pretty much gone are the days of people making their own little angelfire/geocities/tripod/etc. website so share their fandom love. That's pretty well gone. You want to post fic? That's what AO3/ff.n are for. Want to post art? Deviantart or pixiv or tumblr. Meta? Tumblr or a journal site. Each site has pluses and minuses and they cause different people to get involved with different things.

It's a bad thing that fandom doesn't cluster like it used to where you could have a thriving community about just about anything. But it's a good thing that is now exists across so many sites so that there's a better chance of catching someone on the day their shields are down so they might try a little of Fandom X. It allows the people who aren't rabid fans to still enjoy the fandom experience without getting burnt out on it, I guess?

I do, to a point, like that fandom has done this. It means that I can experience fandom in a lot of different ways with a lot of different people. However, it also means that I don't get as close to people I meet in fandoms now. Those circumstances tend to be the exception rather than the rule now. But, as I've never been the type to go out of my way to collect friends, I'm still pretty satisfied with the friends I've got.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here. I think I just have one more?)
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Today's topic: Youtube recs!

I'm boring. The only things I watch on Youtube other than recommendations are music videos and I'm pretty stringent in my adherence to watching mostly Hello!Project PVs. Other people can intelligently discuss all kinds of Youtube bloggers and LPers and everything and I'm over here more concerned about the fact that there's a Biyuuden PV that I had to upload because the only version that was on Youtube had been mirrored for someone to learn the dance.

It certainly doesn't help that, at the moment, my internet sucks too much to really support streaming video.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Persona 4!

Let me start off by saying that I am not much of a gamer. Puzzle games? Awesome. Ace Attorney? Totally. Cooking Mama? Yes! But RPGs were the kind of things that I might like to watch, but didn't really play. I'd lose interest or they'd be too hard or just... something kept me from getting involved with them when I was younger, so when I got older, I just let talk of a lot of games just pass me by.

Then... several friends from Hikago started talking about Persona 4. I was linked to the Giant Bomb Endurance Run. I watched all of it and generally groaned at how bad the guys playing were. I kind of got a little obsessed. XD Then I got the game as a gift (just the PS2 version) and went to town. I also got P4A at the same time and went to town on that. I discovered I was actually pretty decent at both which helped bolster my love. (Nevermind that I went in a little later and played some Twilight Princess and did pretty damn well at that, too.)

So, yeah. Tried the anime and didn't really like it? But the game... <3 I don't love all of the characters, but I love most of them quite a lot. I'm pretty fond of the game mechanics, too, and it was just a ton of fun to play and a ton of fun to progress down different paths.

I adore Yosuke, Rise, and Kanji above all of the other characters and I really dislike Chie and Yukiko in the relationship sense. You go down that route with them and they just get so... blah. Rise gets clingy, but stays fun and just, uh, wow. I love idols so I think maybe that's why I understand her character so well? I don't know~, but I adore her. Kanji's just adorable. And then there's Yosuke who's an ass, but he's such a "real" character.

I went on to borrow Persona 3 FES from a friend and played it. (P3 is much easier to try to do all of the social links without a guide; even dicking around, I finished almost all of them. The battle system is fucking annoying even for how similar it is to P4, but that's mostly just because setting character X to heal/support always seems to make it where they do zero healing! And, seriously, fucking Marin Karin. But, the really shallow stories everyone had in P3 made me appreciate the depth of the stories in P4 even more.)

I have a newfound appreciation of houndstooth and the color yellow. It's crazy. I don't normally fangirl this hard about something so consistently for so long, but... I figure that I invested all of the time into the canon so I kind of have to geek out about it for a while, right?

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's Topic: Top 5 favorite fics!

Standard edition:
* Limitless by solaciolum - Assassin's Creed - This is literally the only bookmark I have on AO3. It's Altair/Malik and is affectionately referred to as the "stump fuck" fic. Yup. I love it.
* Constructive Criticism by aoigensou - Hikaru no Go - This is probably one of my favorite non-serious fics. Liz never disappoints.
* Pine by very - Hikaru no Go - Legit my favorite "solo exploration" fic of any fandom. So good I had to podfic it.
* Boys and Girls by Bianca & Ariana - Gundam Wing - Heero magically changes sex. It's humorous, but it's also a really great look at how a few of Gundam pilots might view gender.
* Five Times Kyoko Did Not Expect Fannish Shipping Explosions by ryfkah - Skip Beat! -

Hard mode(above 50k):
* Falling Into College by TheBugGuy - Daria - This is the best fic I've seen that follows Daria after high school. It's very long, fleshes out a lot of characters, has OCs who don't suck, etc. It gets a little cliche at times, but never so much to override my enjoyment of it. All told, it's closer to 500k.
* And Then There Were Three by Amy - Harry Potter - The Courtship of Severus Snape, basically, but ends in an OT3 scenario with Harry/Draco/Snape.
* Lingering Days by Kumiko and Tzigane - Gundam Wing - AU wherein Wufei is a Chinese boy from Georgia and Zechs is a Minnesota Viking type working as a goatherd and a schoolteacher at a historical compound. Full of silly stuff and in-jokes, but tons of fun.
* Nocturne - Harry Potter - AU wherein Snape is a vampire and Harry basically helps find the cure? Really interesting world building.
* In Which Tony Stark Builds Himself Some Friends (But His Family Was Assigned by Nick Fury) by scifigrl47 - The Avengers - Flying Roombas, sentient toasters, and Stark Snark. <3

Vanity recs (by which I assume Liz means stuff I wrote that I'd rec?):
* Skinship - Hikaru no Go - There might only be a few people who love this fic... but I'm one of them.
* Sharing is Caring - Hikaru no Go - Because smut? Ogata and Isumi and Waya and Yashiro. Oh my!
* A View of the Sunset - Assassin's Creed - Written for Porn Battle, but I like it. Altair/Malik rooftop handjobs!
* WANTED: MUST LOVE CATS - Prince of Tennis - I don't know why, but I really like this InuKai fic I wrote. It's an AU, but it makes me smile.
* Heart Beat - That Thing You Do! - Of all of the fics I wrote last year for Yuletide, this was my favorite.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Favorite Christmas traditions!

I don't think I go too crazy with Christmas traditions, so a lot of it is stuff that a lot of people do, I think? But my favorite thing is just the Christmas meal which, well, is basically just the same as the Thanksgiving meal but sometimes with ham. As far as the new traditions? I like that penguin stuff is what everyone has glommed onto to get for me. <3

I also have a tradition of annoying the heck out of my husband by singing Christmas songs all the time. XD

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Because of things being crazy for the last few days, I'll be doing 3 of these today. XD

Today's topic: Harry Potter!

My very first exposure of Harry Potter was in 11th grade. I was editor of the school paper and had to proofread the article a girl wrote about it. I remember cutting out paragraph after paragraph and thinking that it really didn't sound like my thing at all. Fast forward a little bit to where I was getting into Gundam Wing hardcore and the friend who introduced me to that was talking about writing Harry Potter fanfic and had me read little pieces she was writing. That summer, I went to visit her in Tulsa and, that first night while she had a remedial geometry class? I read book one. In the week I was there, I read the next two, as well. (The fourth had just come out, but I got it from the library ASAP once I got home.)

I started out loving Harry/Draco and thinking a lot of other pairings were pretty meh, though I've read some of a little bit of everything, I think. JayKay's "Too Wise To Woo Peaceably" was my first Harry/Snape and it was mainly just because of the Shakespeare. Suddenly, I found myself loving that pairing. A lot. XD

A lovely artist named Yukipon has actually done art for 2 of my fics: my first Harry/Snape called "Chalk Dust" had a few sketches in an art compilation doujin she did and then, later, she made a whole doujin based on my Harry/Draco fic called "Erised Never Lies". They are doujin that I will never sell. :)

I have quite a bit of Harry Potter "stuff". Hardcover and paperback versions of all of the books except Beedle the Bard. Over a dozen shirts. A bunch of little knick knacks scattered here and there... I used to have a lot more, but a lot of it was stuff people got for me because they knew I liked HP, but not necessarily what I liked about it.

So, what I do like? Quidditch. The successful balancing of something like 4 generations of characters. The foreshadowing. How many levels of villains there are (because the villainy of Pansy Parkinson is not like Bellatrix Lestrange's, but Dolores Umbridge will eat your heart with a grapefruit spoon off of a mewling kitten plate). That there are female characters who are significantly more awesome than their male counterparts. People being complicated and stupid and never so inexorably badass that they cannot fail.

The world is so deep in HP that it really feels like an immersive experience to me. There are problems, sure, but I tend to not like high fantasy but I still really like HP. <3

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Talk about your writing process!

I am the type of writer who gets an idea and then just goes full-tilt at it until it's done. Start to finish. I might go back afterward to do some edits to make it flow better, but even my longest fic (Skinship) was done that way. I don't do rough drafts or outlines or really much of anything. I have a bare bones idea and I start to write and just try to fold it all in together. I'm very much so an "ideas" person, so that's what works for me. I swear I talked about this some more earlier this month? I don't know~. It's 1am and I'm tired. XD

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Latest anime/manga recs!

I'm so horrible and haven't kept up with, like, anything? The only newish thing I've watched is Free! which I do recommend, but pretty much everyone does.

The last thing I remember making a point to watch before that was B-Gata H-Kei or something like that which was cute and fun and ecchi because it's about a girl who wants to go ahead and lose her virginity so that she can have sex with a ton of guys, but then she keeps having silly problems.

My internet connection right now is crap for streaming and my toddler goes full tilt at all times, so I just keep not watching things. But... I'm also really picky? XD

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Kuroko no Basuke

People who know me even a little bit for my fandom ways know that I gravitate toward sports/games anime/manga. It's just my thing. So, seeing other people get excited about this basketball series made me decide to give it a shot.

Now, I've had experience with a lot of other series involving basketball (Harlem Beat, Slam Dunk, I'll/CKBC, Dear Boys, etc.), so coming into KnB, I found myself being maybe a little overly critical. I found the first half season of the anime a little dull (probably in part due to the overuse of the Kuroko-being-invisible gag), but I found that I really liked a lot of the characters (Midorima, Kagami, Aomine, Riko, etc.) so I stuck with it and did find myself really invested by the end of the first season. Then I went and read the manga, though I fell behind at some point because life happened.

The second season of anime has started and because of things like crap internet and my computer being choppy when trying to play the downloaded episodes, I've only seen the first episode. I will watch more, definitely, but I just haven't yet.

Some of the things I really like about the series? The guys are not super skinny. To a point, they're almost drawn a little too thick in the waist? But that's better than the waif-thin!super-muscular!type that exists in a lot of things. The relationships tend to be pretty dynamic. Kuroko can be a bit of a wet blanket and Kagami is true to type as that Sakuragi Hanamichi-like character (but instead of being girl crazy, he's afraid of dogs, and also further along in his "journey"). The series does a good job of making it obvious that every other Generation of Miracles member kind of forgets about teamwork which is what tends to be their downfall. That said, though, the very idea of the Generation of Miracles seems a little silly. Even for as good as they were, they were in middle school. Yet, in the series, they are treated as some mythical phenomenon or something. Does their skill deserve mention? Yes. Does it deserve the pious devotion the series gives it? Probably not.

KnB will never be my favorite basketball series, but it probably is in third place after Harlem Beat and Slam Dunk? And several of the characters really won me over. I'll never like Murasakibara and I will likely roll my eyes at Momoi and Akashi a lot before the series is over, but the series has definitely won over a piece of my heart all its own. <3 (And, seriously, I ship it. All of it.)

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic (and I missed yesterday, so I'll be doing another one right after this): Share one of your favorite recipes and why you like it!

I don't normally do recipes except for baking, but I was at a friend's house and she made white chicken enchiladas. They have become a staple in my house because, wow, delicious.

For this, you need:
Tortillas (I usually make about 8-10 of these enchiladas at a time because that's what fits in my casserole dish)
Shredded cheese (the original recipe calls for monterey jack, but I find colby jack is easier to find already shredded; you'll need at least 2 cups)
Shredded chicken (pull off of a rotisserie chicken or toss a boneless skinless chicken breast or two in the oven with a little seasoning and then chop it into long thin pieces)

Take a tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese across it and then layer chicken on top. Roll up and place, seam down, in the pan. Do this until your pan is full. Don't crowd them too much so there's room for the sauce to get between them. (Spraying your pan with cooking spray first is a Good Idea, but I almost always forget and it never makes too much a mess because of that.)

Now, the sauce (this amount will cover a traditional lasagna-sized casserole dish):

3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth (hot)
1 cup sour cream
1 small can green chiles, chopped (optional)

Make a roux of the butter and flour. (So, melt the butter and stir in the flour.) Add the chicken broth a little at a time until it's a nice thick sauce. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream, mixing it until smooth. (You can add the green chiles here if you want them; I'm a spice wuss, so I go without.) Pour this over the tortillas in the pan and then add cheese over the top of them.

Top in the oven for 25 minutes. If you like a softer enchilada, leave it at this point. If you like your cheese browned, turn your oven to broil for a few minutes.

These are such a warm and hearty meal. I make up a package of "Mexican Rice" mix with them, maybe some roasted potatoes (I chop them up in a large dice, add a fair bit of seasoning salt and a good drizzle of oil, then toss them and bake for about 25-30 minutes (so, if you get them going first, they can just roast while you're baking the enchiladas), and I have a nice Mexican-influenced meal that doesn't burn my tongue off (becaus, seriously, I'm a spice wuss).

The sauce on the enchiladas is really nice and thick and tangy and compliments everything with it. It's pretty simply to make, doesn't require buying a ton of ingredients (generally, I have to buy the tortillas, cheese, sour cream and then some rice mix, but that's $5 I'll spend for a meal for 2 plus leftovers that actually reheat pretty well), and it's easy to make for a crowd. (You can make less enchiladas and still the same amount of sauce, too, and then have extra to mix into the rice or dip potatoes in.) I actually made this yesterday, but had a sweet potato on the side instead of the roasted potatoes. I just tossed the sweet potato in the oven in foil while I started to defrost chicken, then tossed it in the pan I'd be using for the enchiladas covered in foil and baked until done, then used the resulting "drippings" as part of my chicken broth.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Hikaru no Go!

Other people who are fanatical about Hikaru no Go already understand exactly why I'm fanatical about it. But other people kind of nod and smile and just don't get it. Even people who enjoyed the series don't seem to understand what it is that elevates it up, for me, to my favorite.

It's basically everything, though. I already like things about sports/games. That dynamic between characters who are a team versus ones who are rivals is great. But, since go is an individual thing, you get these various alliances that sometimes get trumped because of that desire to win. Additionally, the characters are pretty much all amazing. There are a lot of series about sports/games that don't really get in depth about what makes the characters who they are. Because of that, sometimes they read like caricatures. Hikago has a few characters who end up falling into caricature territory, but they're almost all older characters. The younger ones might show, at first, that they're like thing X, but they are dynamic characters. They change. They turn everything on its head. That is why they're the New Wave.

Also, there's just so much heart in the series. Plus, AkiHika. Shippy or non-shippy, however you see it, it's just an amazing relationship. The way they grow and develop? <3<3<3 I can recognize the problems I find in the series, but they just never even begin to overcome what I adore about it.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: What is the best way to seduce you into a new fandom?

Show me pretty art, explain to me what you love about it, relate it to a fandom I already love, and catch me when I have the time/energy/etc. to watch it. There is a fine line between hype and overhype, but if you cross that line a little? I probably won't hold it against you. If you have a proven track record of reccing things that I don't like, however, you're probably going to need other friends of mine to rec the same thing. <3

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here.)
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Today's topic: Getting old (I'm making up stuff now since no one else gave me topics.)

I'm 30 now and part of me is definitely starting to feel it. I'm sure part of that is just the various things wrong with my body that manifest as pain or discomfort. Arthritis in the ankle that broke, bursitis in my right shoulder, plus MS... There's a lot of suck there.

But at the same time, the rest of me feels younger than ever because passing 30 seems to have let me give considerably less fucks about what people think of me. At 30, I'm more of a fangirl than I've ever been and encompassing a far broader range of fandoms. Basically, life is interesting and I enjoy it? XD

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here. Otherwise, I'm out of things to post about.)
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Today's topic: Favourite Mythical Animal?

Veela. :p Oh no, my Harry Potter love is showing!

Seriously, though, the Veela feel like a modern-day interpretation of Sirens. In the books, you don't really see anything about male Veela, but they kind of have to be there? Anyway, what interests me is that they're closely related enough to humans for there to be people who are part Veela, but then there are full-on Veela who will fuck you the fuck up if you don't do what they want because, wow, the fact that you can even get over their power of suggestion or whatever...

Your more "traditional" mystical animals like unicorns and phoenixes and even dragons... I find that my interest just lies more in people. Any work of fiction that has those elements, I've always felt more interest in characters as they have an interest in those creatures rather than in the creatures themselves.

(If you'd like to make a suggestion on something for me to post a day this month, add it as a comment here. Otherwise, I'm out of things to post about.)
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