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Monday, January 3rd, 2011 12:22 am
Hey, you know what I did in 2010? I read some books! This may not seem like that big of a deal, but since I've been reading less and less every year more or less since graduating high school, it's a big deal to me.

I originally wanted to read fifty books, and I fell seriously short of that mark- but that's okay, because it gave me a starting point, and now I can do better this year.

So, in 2010, I read and finished:

The Drowning City, Amanda Downum
Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian
Going Postal, Terry Pratchett
The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo
The Wordy Shipmates, Sarah Vowell
The Egyptian Earth, Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawi
Bonk!, Mary Roach
Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansari
Shards of Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold
Barrayar, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Warrior's Apprentice, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vor Game, Lois McMaster Bujold
Cetaganda, Lois McMaster Bujold
Brothers in Arms, Lois McMaster Bujold
Mirror Dance, Lois McMaster Bujold
Komarr, Lois McMaster Bujold
A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Habitation of the Blessed, Catherynne Valente
The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Cross and the Prodigal, Kenneth Bailey
With a Bullet, M. Chandler

This doesn't include the dozen or so books that I started and never finished, because I'm terrible about that. It does, however, include a whole bunch of re-reads, but I'm counting them anyway, because hey! There was reading! Of books! And most of those were read in the last three months of the year, after I got my Kindle, which means that if I can keep that momentum going, thirty or forty or even that original goal of fifty books doesn't seem that daunting.

In conclusion, yay books!

The other thing I did in 2010 (I mean apart from all the other stuff, but whatever) was write fanfic. So, here's a meme I've seen floating around and about varying places:

Total number of completed stories: 10

Total word count: 22,277 (But when you include the 22,714 words of unfinished/unrevised drafts, you get 45,001 total words of fanfiction, which I think is pretty damn impressive, all things considered. I realize that lots of people accidentally sneeze that many words on a regular basis, but I've never been a particularly prolific writer.)

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?
Considering that I haven't written fic since early 2008, and had more or less dropped out of fandom entirely by the end of 2009, yes! I wasn't expecting to write any fanfic this year.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?
I didn't expect to get back into Assassin's Creed- I actually spent a lot of time actively avoiding the fandom before it reeled me back in. I also never would have seen myself writing het- much less explicit het, much less for multiple pairings. Definitely wouldn't have predicted my fierce and all consuming love of Altair/Maria.

What's your own favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?
Happiest is kind of a loaded term, isn't it? Most of my stories don't make me very happy, even if I am satisfied by them. Probably All the Gardens I Have Ever Gazed At, because it is the kind of fluff that I like to read, and a lot of the dialogue, despite being slightly over-the-top in places, makes me smile. ("I gave you maps!") Also, it wins the award for Most Pretentious Title, and I'd have to love it for that alone.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?
I think writing and posting publicly were probably my biggest risks- getting involved was a huge step for me, and it's one I'm glad to have made, exhaustion aside. As far as writing goes...well, Limitless. And to a slightly lesser extent, Virtus. Writing non-conventional smut was eye opening and actually kind of awesome. I don't know that I'm quite writing the stories that I want to read yet, and I don't know if I'll ever get to that point, but I feel like I'm moving closer and closer to that particular asymptote.

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?
Good god but I want to finish some things. My multipart kinkmeme things especially, but also the sequels to Scientific Method and ENDA, and the electric sex pants story because I feel like I owe it to C, even if he will never read it. I really want to write that FTM!Desmond vignette that's been sitting in the back of my head for a while. And the Maria backstory fic, because Maria is my favorite. I also want to try writing femslash because there isn't enough of that, and there are so many fantastic ladies in these games. I also want to write less porn, I think; I've started to feel obligated to write sex scenes, and that may be hampering my productivity, despite how much I do enjoy writing smut at times.

From my past year of writing, what was...

My best story of this year:
I kind of want to say Limitless; it's certainly the story I am proudest of, although Virtus comes pretty close on its heels. (This is probably because those are the most recent things that I've finished, and I haven't had a chance to start hating them yet. *sad glance at Abstersus Est*) I like that I can point to both of those stories and know that there is nothing quite like either of them in the fandom. And maybe that's not that big of an accomplishment considering the size of the Assassin's Creed fandom, but it pleases me nonetheless.

My most popular story:
Scientific Method, unsurprisingly, given that it's a bit of fluff for the most popular pairing.

Story of mine most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
Gemini, which is just a pair of disparate scenes and a crossover to boot, which means no one has read it. But I love it, and I think the fusion of Assassin's Creed and Final Fantasy XII is a beautiful, brilliant thing, and I love the universe it created in my head. I wish there were dozens of other AC/FFXII crossovers out there.

Most fun story to write:
ENDA. I am still ashamed of some of those jokes, and they read a lot more awkwardly to me now than when I was writing, but I love them anyway.

Story with the single sexiest moment:
Hoo, I've gotta go with Virtus, actually. Though I feel like the finished product lost a lot of the visceral eroticism of some of my earlier drafts- or possibly I just became immune to it after so many rereads while working on it. I don't know! I have a hard time judging the hotness of my own stories after that initial "guh, cocks" moment in the writing process.

Most "holy crap, that's wrong, even for you" story:
Honestly, not very much of what I wrote in 2010 was all that horrifying, relatively speaking. I wrote some seriously fucked up shit in 2009, for instance. And I've written necrophilia, which I'm pretty sure automatically trumps the wrongness factor of everything else that I will ever write, for the rest of my life. (I was young, it was NaNoWriMo, these things happen.) In comparison, 2010 was pretty tame- but if I have to pick something from this past year, I guess I'll go with Limitless, as evidenced by the fact that I'm not willing to repost it on a public archive quite yet.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:
This is kind of hard, because it's not like I have one single perception of the characters; half the reason I write fic is to explore my own different interpretations. But actually, I think ENDA is the story that made Shaun and Rebecca real for me and kind of cemented my love for the 2012 assassins. So I'll go with ENDA for this one.

Hardest story to write:
Heh. If it's finished, it wasn't all that difficult to write, relatively speaking. I think the story that I rewrote the most (that I've finished; Disjunction would win, hands down- that story gives me hives, but goddamnit, I am going to finish it eventually) was Virtus. But it still wasn't difficult, I just had too many ideas to squeeze into a single story.

Most disappointing:
Scientific Method; I wrote myself into a corner that has made writing the sequels very awkward, and I think the story as a whole ought to be much better.

Biggest surprise:
Limitless. Both the writing of it, and the positive response it got. I mean, I knew when I saw the prompt that I was completely capable of writing the story. But the actual process of researching and writing it was painful; doing revisions to the final draft for reposting gave me a panic attack. I really wasn't expecting to have that kind of reaction to a story, but it got under my skin in very particular and traumatizing ways. I also wasn't expecting anyone to read it- it was a bizarre prompt meant as a joke, and I turned it into something monstrous and serious. But people did read it, and they liked it, and that has gone a long way towards making all the pain the story gave me worthwhile.

Most unintentionally telling story:
I pretty much feel like everything I write leaves me exposed and transparent, so I dunno that anything is unintentionally telling. I think the most telling stories in general were the het ones (Virtus and Terms of Endearment especially)- looking at those, one might get the idea that I enjoy dominant women and unconventional gender or power dynamics! Goodness, I can't imagine how that happened.
Thursday, January 6th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Um, okay, hello! I'm sorry for being creepy and all, but I came here via AO3, though I remember reading All the Gardens I Have Ever Gazed At from the first AC kink meme. I'm pretty thrilled to have found you un-anon'd because, omg, I completely adore that story. I think I have partly you to blame for making me love Altair/Malik, instead of them being just a passing fancy.

But it looks like you've had a great year writing fanfic! I look forward to reading the FTM!Desmond plotbunny and Maria backstory if you get to them!
Friday, January 7th, 2011 06:49 am (UTC)
Oh man, thanks! I was nervous about writing anything on there, but I'm glad it turned out all right. And now I can't quite stop, so. Yeah. :|||

Hee, I love your portrayal of them, all snarky but grudgingly sweet at the same time. (I think the problem with Altair/Malik when I ran into it for the first time was all the ANGST and HATESEX and D/s themed stuff; there's only so much I can take before I want them to, you know, genuinely like each other.) And you don't short-change Maria at all! I can totally get on that OT3 too.

Best of luck on your WIPs! I am shamelessly cheering you on.