My seven topics from lilyayl below the cut.
Can't say I've had much exposure to the concept - there was one book I read as a kid, about an elf.... or fairy... or something like that, who was seen by a human and as punishment left in place of a baby. I suspect it was something of a subversion of the usual changeling stories. After all, who focuses on the Other? It's always about recovering the Normal who was stolen. But, if I remember correctly, in this book both changeling and child had been so irrevocably changed by their time in the other's world that they couldn't go back. Which wasn't the ending our changeling had expected - the whole point of her journey was that she felt Wrong among humans and thought she'd found her answer when a human recognized her for the elf/fairy/whatever that she was. But lo, we have a subversion of expectations again! this time of the expected resolution.
This book was pretty cool, on reflection. Wonder if my parents still have it...
I don't hold much by tarot and it's like, but I do find the themes interesting. Particularly Death as change, an end of one state of life in exchange for another. It's not what you'd expect at first glance, but when you think about it, it's really quite suited. I've seen tarot used as cheap foreshadowing several times, and while it doesn't always work (Castle, I'm looking at you and your flip-floppy conclusions about a murder based on the Death card), sometimes it can be really well done and clever (I'm thinking Torchwood here, though I don't know how closely it sticks to generally accepted tarot interpretations).
I've written fic referencing tarot, but it was really not deeply researched on my part, to my shame.
3) The Perfect Day
My perfect day? Spring or autumn temperatures, lightly cloudy, with maybe a little rain at some point? I find the sound soothing.
As far as any events that day, it'd have to be heavily planned out in advance, or I'd just end up laying about doing nothing. So, say I've planned out a day - it'd probably be a day trip into the city, Philadelphia or maybe NYC if train schedules play out right. I'd have printed out a map outlining the places I want to visit, nearby restaurants (Japanese cuisine a plus), and the fastest routes between them. If I'm in Philadelphia, I'm visiting a museum of one kind or another; if I'm in New York, I'm going to a show. And, you know, if I pass by an interesting store, a bit of (window) shopping isn't out of the question. I found a copy of the official translation of Nodame Cantabile that way in NYC, actually.
Anyway. I explore the museum/the city at my leisure, which is not something I ever get to do when I go places with company, on vacation or what have you. They're always racing to the next big display, while I want to see everything. Eventually I finish up at the museum/go to my show, have dinner that is exactly what I was expecting and wanted (a steak, if I found a Japanese place for lunch; if not, some sushi/katsu combination platter), and head for home. I arrive to find someone's recommended a story of mine on a popular rec community, leading to dozens of new kudos and comments, and spend the rest of the night responding to comments and finishing up the last edits on a new fic, to be posted right before I go to sleep.
4) Worst Cliches
Depends on the medium.
For example, I've grown to hate the way crime procedurals are formulated, where you've got a suspect that get arrested and interrogated only to reveal some vital information about the context of the crime that a) helps lead to the real criminal, b) makes the suspect look more suspicious. That whole "I didn't tell you because I thought you'd suspect me" schtick is so tired. It makes no sense, it's obviously just a way to stretch out the story to fit the hour, and no matter how suspicious you think it'll make you to reveal that information, it looks more suspicious if you say nothing until you're cornered. Plus, you know, there's this thing called evidence? It tends to only exist if you're guilty of a crime? Looking suspicious doesn't really hurt you much.
In fanfiction, I hate the idea of soul bonds, people who are just ~destined~ to be together no matter what. If you actually think about the implications of that, it's pretty terrible. What if you never meet them? What if you don't actually like them? That aside, it's just a really boring, contrived way of writing romance; it's you telling me they should be together, without giving me a real reason why, or showing me that they're in any way good together, or for each other.
...so, I guess overall I dislike those cliches that give an easy way out of some Doylist problem? You need better justification for why things happen than the reasons we so often get.
My favorite time of day. It's quiet, dark, I'm generally awake and capable of rational and sometimes creative thought. I'm not expected to go or be anywhere, and almost no one's awake to bother me.
An interesting concept, but one that I think too often actually erases the person underneath the hero, at least in the eyes of the public. We refuse to see any flaws in our heroes, to the point of blind ignorance or rage when some such flaw is made widely known. The idea of heroes and heroism is great, it gives people hope, but if the person given the title "Hero" isn't as perfect as expected, that hope can too easily fall apart.
7) Ends and Means
One doesn't justify the other, I don't care what people tell themselves. There are some choices that are morally undebatable, and any attempt to excuse those actions as being done for the sake of something good will not fly with me.