My Favourite Things: 2020

For the past few years, I have begun my annual favourite things post by talking about what a hard year it has been and how glad I am it’s over. You would not be wrong in expecting me to start this year’s post the same way. After all, it is 2020. But although it’s been a difficult year (perhaps the most difficult), I have found much for which I am grateful.

My small family has always been close. We’re separated from our relatives by continents and oceans, and so used to celebrating holidays alone. To being three of us against the world. We didn’t, therefore, find isolation all too hard. We had moments of friction, as all families do, but I’ve never been more grateful for my husband and daughter. We held each other up this year. We forgave more easily, learned to communicate more clearly, and have almost mastered the art of letting each other exist in their own space for a while. (Or I have. Sometimes.)

I’ve also been amazed and delighted by the joy others have found over the past year. The news has often been universally bad, and yet someone, somewhere, has always had something to share. The wonder of small things has never been more true. 

The other aspect of being home all year has been more time to devote to my hobbies. And what I read and watched and listened to is a reflection of that. 

As always, we’ll start with what I read.

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The Things They Don’t Tell You

As far as I know, there is no definitive manual on how to be an author. There are hundreds of books about the craft of writing and dozens of places to go for advice on how to write a good query letter and synopsis. You can take a course on everything from nailing that first line to marketing your backlist. But there are still surprises. There are aspects of being an author that you’ll only figure out after you’ve been doing it for a while.

It’s like raising a kid. You’ve heard a rumor you might be up at three in the morning cleaning pink vomit off the carpet on the stairs, but you didn’t think it’d happen until it does. There wasn’t really supposed to be pink vomit, was there? Not when no one had eaten anything pink.

This is my list of things I sort of (definitely) wish someone had told me.

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Remember When I Said I No More MMOs?

I really meant it last time. I also really meant it when I said I was giving up cheese. (Why is it so hard?)

So, here I am to report failure on two counts. I’m still eating cheese. I’m also playing another MMO. In my defense, The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t the most MMO-y of MMOs. You could, quite happily, exist in a solo bubble. It’d be a sad way to play, though, because like the best multiplayer games, ESO is better with friends.

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Ordinary Heroes

When the world shut down and everyone learned to make bread, we decided to re-watch Star Trek: The Next Generation from beginning to end. It is, quite literally, the best thing I have done for myself this year.

I remember watching TNG when it first aired. Later, if I caught rerun, I’d nearly always sit to watch it. There were episodes I saw several times, and episodes I missed. I felt as though I knew TNG and its characters pretty well. I have always been a confirmed fan. But watching it again, from beginning to end, has been an entirely different experience, and I am now more than just a fan.

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