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  • Writer's pictureTelênia Albuquerque

Starting with a 2022 roundup

Summing up this year: chaos.

I don’t want to start a long list of complaints though. Even because when I really think about it I’m surprised I completed any pages at all (and I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t have years ago). Besides, I might not have had many direct results to show, but there were other necessary developments going on.

I took more time to study and organize how I do things. I had the courage to take the first steps in exciting new paths. And by not having a webcomic going for most of the year my brain had the space to entertain new ideas, which is really the base of any creative work. Maybe most important of all, a long time coming graphic novel proposal has gone to submission! (a long process in itself, send your good vibes~)

Now I want to share a couple thoughts on The Azaleias and Soft.

This cute family. I was in need of something absolutely bright and positive, like a Ghibli movie, and the Azaleias gave me that. But I feel because of this need I rushed into their story and ended up stuck. It was a difficult process, I remade the cover and the pages so many times. At least it was planned as an episodic kind of thing, so it’s a less dramatic situation to leave it hanging… Hopefully at some point I can correct that.

Oh Vanessa… It was her who made me realise I had more to tell than the two initial pages or even a short story. Now she pulled me back in again. I confess it was exhilarating to draw this page, guess it shows I wasn’t ready for diving into new characters this year…

Well, I’m grateful to end a year like this healthy and somehow feeling more hopeful and cheered up. Plans for the near future are to finish ‘Soft’ (I suppose it’ll be finished for real this time?)(also I believe Part 4 won’t be as long as Part 3); rework my Patreon a bit and at some point figuring out my relationship with social media from now on; and resume developing some of the projects I didn’t have the energy to keep up this year (and hopefully will share with you soon).

But before anything, I’ll rest!

AND enjoy my Christmas present for myself. I’ve always wanted to learn to play piano and some months ago I decided “Why the hell not?”. I seldomly give myself anything, besides I need a real hobby (seriously!). So I bought a digital entry level one (cause I’m not rich) and now I’m excited like a little kid waiting for it to arrive~

 

My favs

Here’s some of the stuff that helped me to survive this year~

Books

I picked nine (because Substack’s gallery only allows nine pics so I went with that) in no particular order:

The author is Brazilian and the story happens in my state! It beautifully showcases our culture, especially the food (the main plot it’s a feud between two bakeries), and that alone made me read a straight romance. lol I really enjoyed it (which again is surprising for a straight YA), there’s a lot of drama but it works well in a Romeo and Juliet retelling.

This book destroyed me. It’s certainly not the book if you want a nice YA romance with a HEA, but it’s meant to be hopeful nevertheless, and I loved it. It’s also in the same universe of ‘Last Night at the Telegraph Club’ which was maybe my favourite book from last year, but a very different book from this one.

(Probably unpopular opinion but I still think teenagers can only fully appreciate it when rereading ten years later.)

Jae is one of my favourite sapphic authors and ‘Just a Touch Away’ is fighting hard to become my favourite by her. It’s the sweetest, coziest and most pleasantly wrapped romance. And that because before starting I thought the premise was bland!

I know it’s not for everyone, I can’t even explain it and I don’t want to give possible spoilers. Anyway, Müir just impressively delivers like always. It left me afraid for the last book though…

(I wanted to directly include some fanart but I was hitting the size limit on this thing, but you can check it (beware of spoilers) here, here and here.)

A quick read that was really satisfying in a light and warm way.

I love how Tooley always manages to make the magic in her worlds feel so fresh and beautiful. Already looking forward to her 2023 one.

I have a fascination for the characters everyone ignores like Anne, so I was pleasantly surprised by this fresh sapphic take on her. I confess I felt a bit frustrated by how the last third of the story was wrapped up, but this was still a nice read.

Another straight addition, but I finally read this! And what can I say? Madeline Miller is in a whole another level. Plenty of trigger warnings though.

A sweet novella about two butches in their 50s, how rare is that???

 

Webcomics

So many GLs ended this year (I was crushed by Re-Blooming, if this world was fair it’d become a dorama instead of being canceled i_i). But ongoings I totally recommend:

Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer

Knight’s tourneys in space + lesbians! The art is so consistent, it’s the sort of read I often spend an extra time looking at the pages.

Another one with great art and very fun. Kinda like Inu-Yasha but sapphic.

Very chaotic hacker shenanigans? I’m still not quite sure where this is going and I’m not caught up, but I’m enjoying the ride.

Night Owls and Summer Skies by Rebecca Sullivan and Tikklil

Cute summer camp story with equally cute art.

 

Webnovels

Just go read my friend Teddy’s The Saintess and the Villainess and The Warmonger Duchess and her Female Husband if you enjoy a good isekai. Both are on Tapas or you can go to her Patreon for more.

 

I realised I didn’t read any graphic novels this year. Actually I haven’t read or watched as much stuff as I usually do, especially movies. Well, one more consequence of this year’s disarray.

 

TV

The two amazing 1st seasons:

‘A League of their Own’ and ‘Heartstopper’

These two were absolutely everything to me this year, the sort of thing you feel was tailored for you, to heal your soul. I could write a whole essay about ALOTO (or someone please just hire me to make a graphic novel). And now I really need a sapphic Heartstopper! (On a side note, have you read Loveless? It’s the only Oseman’s novel I’ve read but I really liked it).

 

The much awaited return:

‘Derry Girls’

Peak comedy in a catholic school, in a small town, in the 90s. This show has my heart.

 

The best fantasy show of 2022:

‘Willow’

Look, it hasn’t even finished yet but what really grabbed me was how it feels like an 80s/90s fantasy movie. It’s light, it’s fun, unpretentious (I definitely miss stuff like that) and there’s a canon princess/lady knight ship! What more can I ask? Bonus points for the princess being the jerk jock while the guys are all sweet in different ways.

What great things have you watched/read this year?

 

Fun facts

I decided I’ll always close this newsletter dropping some fun facts about Brazil and/or some interesting historical thing I come across. And the holidays are the obvious theme this time. (Of course, have in mind this is a big country, with many cultures mingled, so I can only give a general view of any festivity.)

Christmas (Natal) is the yearly main family gathering, a supper on Christmas Eve generally being the main point. Some common dishes are turkey, farofa (<3), salpicão, empadão (<3), arroz à grega (huge contention over the raisins), queijo do reino (<3 more of a northeastern thing), french toast (<3), cookies (<3 love baking these), brigadeiro (<3), pavê (victim of one of the most outrageous dad jokes), fruit cake and panettone (really popular, you’ll find it in grocery stores and bakeries months before and after Christmas).

The New Year (Ano Novo or Reveillon) is more about partying with fireworks (although some cities are trying to tone that down) and superstitions, especially if you spend it on the beach (our end of year obviously doesn’t include snow). People will jump 7 waves, eat 7 grapes, eat lots of lentils… To wear white it’s the classic, but people put on clothes or underwear in any colours that represent what they want to attract in the new year.

Do you have any special traditions or something you particularly love during the holidays?

 

Hope you’re enjoying the holidays, and if not, I hope this newsletter could cheer you up some.

See you next month (year)!

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