Today I learned that Cris, AKA @crisontumblr, passed away on 10/10/2018.
I tried to go back on tumblr to see when we first became friends. That info isn’t even available anymore. The best guess is 4-5 years ago, sometime when we were both very into Bioshock Infinite and writing down all of our angsty feelings about it. Turns out talk about ripping holes in space time and messed up bastards drowning their sorrow in whiskey makes for fast friends.
Cris was an awesome one. She was always happy to talk long into the night about theories and story ideas, character treatises both serious and silly. We didn’t always go for the same characters, or if we did sometimes it was for different reasons, which could make for fascinating conversation. She was funny and sarcastic, but also deeply supportive and kind.
Cris was a great penpal. Seriously, I don’t know where some of it came from but she sent me some bitchin’ swag. I have a homemade splicer mask and ADAM and EVE vials she sent me, an Agents of SHIELD lanyard, Cullen art. And of course, we enjoyed the occasional fic exchange with forays into each others’ universes.
She was a gamer, through and through. Her gaming interests were varied and wide. She streamed and shared her videosof a multitude of games, but ultimately I think she most loved games that you could hang a story on, which she did with aplomb.
Cris was a cosplayer of epic proportions. You have only to see how she utilized her wheelchair in some incredible cosplays to be impressed – I mean, who else could cosplaythe Motherfrom Dragon Age: Awakening, or the Dollar Bill vending machinefrom Bioshock Infinite? She took joy in others’ cosplay, too, and one of her sweetest posts was justifiably bragging about her mom’s insanely good Maleficent cosplay.
Cris was a fantastic writer. Just see her Tabristair Masterpost if you don’t believe me, or her AO3 account. Her stories featured deft characterization, biting humor, gentle romance, realistic passion, enthusiastic consent, and gripping action. She also used her work in fandom to touch on real-life issues of race, language politics, otherness, sexuality, and mental health, but never in a way that felt preachy or forced. Instead, her examination of those topics arose naturally by staying true to her characters and their journeys. She also showed some incredible worldbuilding in her work on the politics and structuring of the Grey Wardens, and I know she must have had notebooks full of her ideas that didn’t all make it onto tumblr.
She was a cheerleader in the best sense of the word – if she knew you were hard at work on a story, she was happy to edit it for you for maximum effect and emotion. She wasn’t shy about telling a person what she liked about a story. Her reviews were so honest, so specific, and so absolutely lovely they often reduced me to giddy blushing. It’s rare to receive good feedback in the fanfiction world, and knowing that, Cris would make her appreciation of your work beautifully plain. She was extremely encouraging.
Cris was also a great dog mom. Her little fella, Delta Sinclair, is the handsomest, goodest Chihuahua mix and obviously was her treasured companion from day 1. He brought her immeasurable joy and I’m so glad she got to love on him during their time together.
Cris was disabled. She fought vociferously against stereotypes about disabled people, smacking down both well-meaning ignorance and straight-up maliciousness. She cheerfully explained how her wheelchair was awesome because it allowed her to explore the world; she shared her medical stories to help demystify aspects of her life that were unknown to most abled people. She advocated for the disabled community, and advocated for herself to be thought of as valued, present, and real, which she was, every day.
Cris, I’m going to miss you a great deal. I’m sure you are PISSED right now that you didn’t punch Death in the throat this time around. You’d already cheated him several times, though, which is still extremely impressive. If there’s an afterlife, I hope you are cussing Death the fuck out because goddammit, this isn’t fair.
I’m going to miss you, Cris, and all the stories from you I’ll never get to read. But I’m glad to have known you. You were a badass, you do realize? Still are, in my book.
I’ll leave this post with a quote from a postcard you sent me. You listed it as your favorite.
“To create a mythology, you have to be an open book.”
Friends, folks, people, look at what our talented and lovely @kawereen did for me!!! I was so lucky to have the opportunity to commission this great artist, and she exceeded my expectations as always. Words can’t express how much I love this picture and how honoured I am Reen did this for me!
This is picture celebrates the 4th birthday of my Tumblr.
4 years full of friends, great contents, and… Cullen Rutherford.
So here we are, Demetra and I, ready to go hand in hand for other 4 years and more!
Thank you to all the amazing people who accompanied us until here!