My Top Ten Posts of 2013

For my final post of 2013, I’m reflecting on the 10 posts that got the most hits this year. Yes, I’m doing a lazy Best-Of clips episode. Read on!

Image via Flickr, by Porto Bay Events

10. The Quandary of a High Femme Feminist

So when you see me in my pink ruffles, don’t assume I’m less driven and ambitious than the woman in a pantsuit. When you see my twirly floral miniskirts, don’t assume I’m waiting for a prince to call me pretty (or call me, period). And someday when I have a daughter and I call her my beautiful princess, don’t assume that I don’t also call her smart, strong, creative, hard-working, compassionate, and brave.

Because that’s my idea of a princess. And if I choose, I can be all of those things while decked out in pink and purple.

This post, which is actually from 2012, is still one of my favorites. If I were to write it over again, I might make it a little less ranty, but I definitely stand by the sentiment. I hate patriarchy and I love girly glamour. This really shouldn’t be a noteworthy position.

9. Pinterest Fiction: My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter

And in Spring 2014, Quinoa is coming to bookstores! As a fellow web creator, I’m totes not bitter always glad to see something that started as a social media joke seriously why the hell didn’t I think of it gain this kind of success. :D

I wish Quinoa the best in 2014, so that traditional publishers will continue to see Things That Started On The Internet as a profitable genre.

8. Frigga, Sif, Darcy, and Jane

I love Sif. Why does Sif have to love Thor? I mean, I know she and Jane Foster are both canon love interests in the comics, but why? Why does there have to be a love triangle at all? When two very different women who want very different things out of life are written as rivals for the same man, it reinforces the idea that all women ultimately want the same thing out of life. That thing being mating privileges with the Alpha Male. Can’t we just enjoy seeing a beautiful female warrior and a beautiful female scientist in the same movie without essentially making the hero declare one more desirable than the other? I have absolutely no problem with strong women wanting relationships (with men, even!), but there’s no lack of powerful male hotties in this story. Why bother making Sif and Jane compete when there’s enough to go around?

Thor: The Dark World is still one of my favorite movies of 2013. Looking forward to Captain America’s sequel next year, especially since it’ll be costarring Black Widow!

7. Casting Thalia’s Musings: The Twelve Olympians

Disclaimer: There is currently no plan in the works to bring Thalia’s Musings to film or television. None of these actors have been contacted about such a project. This is pure fantastical speculation on the part of an indie author with delusions of grandeur. Please don’t sue me.

Welcome to the first of my Casting Thalia’s Musings posts! Join me as I compile my dream cast for a Thalia’s Musings film project that will certainly not exist in reality any time in the near future. If you want to see who I’d cast as Thalia, Apollo, and Calliope, click here. If you want to see who I’d cast as the Twelve Olympians, scroll down.

Glad to see at least one of my Top 10 posts was actually about my writings. And I have to wonder how many people who clicked on it were wanting casting rumors for Percy Jackson. 😛 I’d originally planned to make these posts into a much longer series, but then I started a Pinterest board for Thalia’s Musings and moved all further imaginary casting there. I like Pinterest a lot better as a platform for this kind of thing.

6. Dear Glee, Please Don’t Kill Finn Hudson

Glee, you cannot handle real, long-term, lasting tragedy. So please don’t try.

It’s not a bad thing. Like you’re constantly telling your characters and your audience, know who you are and embrace it. You are fun, campy, bubbly, over-the-top, ridiculous, not-remotely-reality-based escapism. That’s what I’ve always loved about you. When you play to your strengths, it’s wonderful. But when you try to be something you’re not, it’s painful for everyone. Not in the touching, poignant way you’re going for, but in a bad American Idol audition way. So, please, don’t try to deal with Cory Monteith’s death by dealing with Finn Hudson’s death. You cannot pull it off. You just can’t.

As you may know, Finn’s death was written into the show this season. Glee both did and didn’t defy my expectations. “The Quarterback” was one of the most well-done episodes in the series, possibly because the writers were forced to handle a real tragedy in a real way. On the other hand, aside from a brief mention from Rachel in “A Katy or a Gaga”, the rest of the season has dealt with Finn’s absence by totally ignoring it, even during a Christmas episode ostensibly set while he was still alive.

5. Nicola Tesla, Vampire: NBC’s Dracula

Overall, I put this miniseries in the Guilty Pleasure category. It is a thick slice of red velvet cheesecake served on “vintage” Victorian china from Anthropologie. Don’t watch if you’re wanting more Sleepy Hollow. Watch if you want pretty people in pretty neo-Victorian costumes, suave throat-slitters/blood-drinkers, almost-couples who are too brainy for their own damn good, and steampunk. I hope to enjoy every decadent slice of this cheesecake as much as the first.

You may notice that the Lucy/Mina pairing is completely absent from my review of Dracula‘s pilot. That’s because I didn’t notice it. Well, I kind of did, but I wrote it off as queerbaiting/straight male fetish fuel. So far I haven’t been thrilled with the queerness on Dracula. I’m all for more representation, but please don’t write us in just to make us lovelorn borderline predators or tragic suicide victims. I’m also not sold on Drac as an antihero. While the Order are great villains, I find myself only wanting Drac to prevail against them in a the-enemy-of-my-enemy way. At this point I just want Lucy to run away to Paris or something and ditch everyone else in the cast. Though the fact that I can make this assessment obviously means I’m still watching.

4. Hey, Dan Savage – I’m Not Like That, and Neither Are Our Conservative Allies

I think Savage’s challenge, though well-intended, misses the mark on many levels. Mainly in that, while he doesn’t outright state that there are no queer Christians, his wording does play into the idea that LGBTQ and Christian are mutually exclusive identities. They’re not. I, for one, am a bisexual Christian. Of course, Savage doesn’t think bi people are sufficiently queer anyway, so who knows what that’s worth to him. Regardless, there are plenty of Christians out there who are higher on the Kinsey scale than I am.

And here’s the thing: not all of them are liberal. Heard of the Gay Christian Network? It’s an international ministry with thousands of members that reaches out to LGBTQ Christians and their communities. Its executive director, Justin Lee, is an openly-gay conservative Southern Baptist. Conservative preacher boy Matthew Vines went viral this summer with his sermon on how he reconciles his gayness with his faith in an inerrant Bible.

Not all straight allies are liberal, either. I know many evangelical right-wing Christians who personally believe homosexual sex acts are sinful, but who still support civil rights for LGBTQ people. Perhaps more importantly, they treat LGBTQ individuals the same way they treat everyone else, i.e. the way they want to be treated.

It appears most people who found this article were searching for some variation of “bisexual Christian.” A common one is “bisexual liberal Christian.” I am both of these things. However, as I tried my best to communicate in the post, I think it’s extremely important for LGBTQ affirmation to not be presented as a liberal vs conservative issue. A Southern Baptist grandmother who just found out her granddaughter is engaged to a woman shouldn’t feel like she has to choose between her church and her granddaughter any more than if her white granddaughter were engaged to a black man. If Grandma’s church is forcing her to make that choice, they are at fault and deserve to be called out. But I feel like if I, as a liberal Christian, were to tell Grandma to leave the church she’s dedicated six or seven decades to and join me at a Unitarian service to support her granddaughter, I’d be giving her the same ultimatum. American evangelicalism has all but forgotten the days when it fought for “Biblical” slavery laws and “Biblical” miscegenation laws. I’m hoping the fight over “Biblical” marriage isn’t far behind.

3. Open Letter to my Future Spouse

Whatever your best qualities are, whatever made me fall in love with you, someone else in the world has those qualities, only better. And someone else has the opposite qualities, which may also be attractive to me. You’re not the only person in the world that I could’ve happily married. No matter how compatible we are, I will, at some point in our relationship, have a problem you can’t solve and an emotional need you can’t fulfill. I’ll like things you hate and hate things you like. I’ll want to try something in bed (or elsewhere) that you won’t, and I’ll veto something you want to try.

But I will always choose you. Out of all the women and men and everything in between that I could’ve had, you are the one I’ll decide to spend my life with. You are the one I’ll want to be the mother/father/parent of my children. And I’ll make that choice for the simple, inexplicable, irrational reason that you are you and no one else is, and I’ll have fallen in love with you.

This was one of my more vulnerable, pour-my-heart-onto-the-page posts. I’m glad it’s resonated with so many readers. A lot of the hits on this post are from when Samantha aka forgedimagination featured it on Defeating the Dragons. You should check out Samantha’s blog if the spiritual journey of a recovering Deep South religious fundamentalist is relevant to your interests.

2. Steven Universe, aka Amethyst And Those Other People

What really makes this show fun to watch is the sense of familial affection that permeates it. Rebecca Sugar named the title character after her younger brother, who does background art for the show. I totally see my 10-year-old nephew in Steven. I see a little of myself in all of the Crystal Gems. Garnet’s decisive confidence. Pearl’s cool-headed logic. Amethyst’s unapologetic lack of damns to give. And her name. Her beautiful, fabulous, awesome name.

I never would have guessed that this post, which is barely over a month old, would be one of my most-read posts of the year. It seems to help that my blog title features the name of one of the main characters in the show. Like I said, I watched and reviewed Steven Universe in the first place because a character being named Amethyst caught my interest, but I wasn’t even thinking of the SEO potential.

1. Sleepy Hollow #Media Mondays

And how about those demon hunters? We have a beautiful Brit from another era who is both a soldier and a scholar, paired with an equally beautiful policewoman who is a strong character without being a Strong Female Character™. Both have compelling backstories that make you want to learn more about their past, present, and future.  Some fans are shipping Ichabod and Abbie, i.e. “Ichabbie,” already. Others want to see their relationship stay platonic. Personally, I could see it going either way (just PLEASE don’t screw up their dynamic by giving either one an unrequited crush on the other!). Their interactions are always fun to watch. They’re both quick with the snark without either one coming across as antagonistic or mean-spirited. There’s something rather endearing about Abbie’s efforts to help Ichabod acclimate to the 21st century. I have no idea why it’s so freakin’ cute when Ichabod calls Abbie “Leftenant,” but it is. Maybe it’s because it took an upper-class white man from the 18th century all of two minutes to accept a black woman as a gun-wielding, badge-wearing authority figure. (Oddly enough, he took longer to get over the fact that she wears trousers.) Abbie’s reaction when Ichabod proudly identifies as an abolitionist is priceless.

Speaking of SEO potential. Click that link. Go ahead, click it. Look at that lengthy, thoughtful review I wrote. Check that analysis of race and gender issues. Behold the stellar contemplation of Sleepy Hollow’s treatment of distinctly American apocalyptic mythology. Or, if you’re like most of the people who found this post through search engines, skip to the part about why Ichabod pronounces Abbie’s title “leftenant” instead of “lootenant”.

That’s right. The vast majority of hits on this post, by far my most popular one since starting this blog, are from searches for some variation of the question “Why does Crane call Abbie Leftenant?” All because of that one little throwaway line in the paragraph I quoted above. And the postscript directly addressing the question, which I added after the term kept coming up on my dashboard.

So, what have I learned about blogging this year? To keep writing whatever the heck I want, because there is absolutely no way to predict what the internet is going to latch onto.

Happy New Year!

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