A LOOK BACK AT 2015

Lake Wallenpaupack

AMBER LOVE 23-DEC-2015 I kept a spreadsheet all year long of most of the entertainment things that I consumed during 2015. Here are some of my FAVORITES OF THE YEAR!

IRL ROLE MODELS

Bree Newsome (@breenewsome) climbing up a pole and taking down the Confederate flag was my favorite news image of the year. Another newsmaker that I’ve admired is Deray McKesson (@deray). They continue to be inspiring every single day.

BREE NEWSOME
BREE NEWSOME

DOCUMENTARIES

I went through Netflix and watched a bunch of documentaries on things like filmmaking, TV writers, and art. My top picks are:

* HOW SHERLOCK CHANGED THE WORLD
* DREW: THE MAN BEHIND THE POSTER (Drew Struzan)

TV SHOWS

I stay current with quite a few shows, but mostly, I wait for Netflix so I can have big long marathons. I watched THE OFFICE in one week and CRIMINAL MINDS in three. Unfortunately, CASTLE has gotten pretty weak, but I’m still hanging in there and watching it. My drama consumption is tied up in EMPIRE, HOW TO GET WITH MURDER, and NASHVILLE. But SCANDAL has improved for me this season and the way they addressed women in power was the best they’ve done. Don’t worry – I’m still #TeamCookie too.

Frankie_NoBra

FAVE SHOWS OF THE YEAR:

* GRACE & FRANKIE
* GOTHAM
* IZOMBIE
* SCANDAL
* SUPERGIRL

iZombie-SmellCallGirl

Most comforting TV shows this year have been GRACE & FRANKIE, THE OFFICE (took me a while to warm up to it and now I put it on often), PARKS & RECREATION, and LEVERAGE.

BOOKS

Of the 15 books I read, I confess that two of them I abandoned and one I’m still reading. I’m not sure why I didn’t feel the drive to keep going with those two; they were fine and interesting, but I had a lot of months where reading (and doing anything really) was quite hard to accomplish.

felicia day book signing

For my birthday, I got to stand in line in the sweltering heat and see Felicia Day at a signing. That was a highlight, but I wish it had been better: I wish I hadn’t felt like passing out, that I hadn’t been stupidly overly fangirl nervous, that I had worn a better outfit, that I had gotten in line a lot sooner to stand with a friend… but I got to meet her and read the book in a few days.

DIETLAND

FAVE BOOKS OF THE YEAR:

* DIETLAND by Sarai Walker (fiction)
* YOU’RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET (ALMOST) by Felicia Day (non-fiction)
* MORE FORENSICS & FICTION by Dr. Lyle (non-fiction)

COMICS

I’ve cut way back on reading comics – like I said, reading was hard for me this year.

* Bitch Planet (Image)
* Black Science (Image)
* Trees (Image) – not sure what the heck happened to that but I haven’t seen it in months
* Hero Cats of Stellar City (Action Lab)
* Archon (Action Lab)
* Planet Gigantic (Action Lab)
* Black Magick (Image) – only read #1 and it started off so strong, really looking forward to more.

FAVORITE CONVENTIONS

I didn’t get to many comic related or other conventions in 2015. Even when I had an “ok” time, I wasn’t having a mindblowing time like I used to. I was pretty sick most of the year. As far as actual comic shows, Garden State Comic Fest was probably the best one I attended for a few reasons: close to home, small and not overwhelming, and I saw my friends. But again, it felt “ok” and not “zomgfabulous”. Same thing with Flame Con and NJ Comic Expo though I had the added bonus of speaking at those. My favorite event was our annual Superhero Weekend at Comic Fusion.

spwf

But my favorite con was Steampunk World’s Fair. I was able to follow the Victorian Gothic Occult track the entire time and enjoyed almost everything about the show. There was so much to do that I missed because I stuck to that one track of panels which I recorded and presented as Vodka O’Clock episodes.

FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARDS

* Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet Fan Art
* K.M. Weiland’s Impossibly Great Research Tidbits
* Ben Rose’s Real Women in Real Armor
* Tatted Latina’s Dia De Los Muertos
* Crown Publishing’s Literary Weddings
* Net Galley’s A Place for Every Book
* Book Riot’s Purrfect Reading Buddies
* Artsy Chica’s Write On: Steamfunk

pinterest cats

PATREONS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT

* FeministSonar Essays, gaming reviews, game design, & public speaking
* Sarah Donner Music
* Thomas Boatwright Arts, Design, Crafts
* Monica Gallagher Cartoons
* Marcus Williams Cartoons
* Under the Knife with Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris
* Caitlin Doughty Death Videos

Of course, there’s mine, and please share the link often. It’s going through a transition and will be revamped in January.

MY ACHIEVEMENTS

I have to say, it doesn’t feel like I got a whole lot done. I revised my first novel, CARDIAC ARREST, with the help of two friends who sacrificed their time for me. My dear friend Thomas Boatwright even designed the cover when I asked and hopefully, we’ll get a working copy that suits printed books too so I can publish it. I started the sequel, FULL BODY MANSLAUGHTER with this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I also got THIRTEEN LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT CAM GIRLS up on CreateSpace so now paperbacks of it are available.

The comic I wrote about Amelia Earhart was finally published by A-Z Learning for their classroom comics. It’s short, specially about Earhart’s transatlantic flight.

LearningA-Z-Earhart image

I was published in the massive anthology PROTECTORS 2 along with some friends and some literary legends. Proceeds benefit Protect.org.

I wrote and recorded the novella, VODKA O’CLOCK NOIR, which you can listen to now.

I had two essays (on lies and nude modeling) published at Femsplain, an incredible place for women to talk about their lives; also at Women Write About Comics regarding DC/WB’s portrayal of mental health which brought attention to an issue that they fixed!

I carved a couple pumpkins this year. It was hard getting back to doing things that I once loved so much. Depression can make a person lose interest and motivation in even their favorite things.

My cosplay was limited to only a handful of appearances. I wore Moonstone (Dark Avengers which I made), Catwoman (original, mix of homemade and closet), Amaterasu (closet cosplay) and Queen Neva (homemade). I LOVED putting together and wearing the Queen Neva outfit because I got to hang out with Eric Grissom, one of her creators. It’s a beautiful design which I’m sure could have been done a lot better than the way I did it, but I loved it.

My favorite costume of the year happened to be the easiest one to throw together: Presidential candidate Leslie Knope of PARKS & REC! That costume had the added bonus of me couple-cosplaying with my BF as Presidential candidate Lex Luthor.

AmberUnmasked cosplay