Welcome back. This year's going to be a good one.
My plans so far involve writing this year's fantasy novel as a wedding gift for Kitten42 and HeraldoftheAbyss (SFFmuse handles, not sure if either is on LJ).
For Kitten42: Horses
For HeraldoftheAbyss: Wizards, epic battles, dragons
For both of them (something both of them like in fantasy) Smart characters who aren't stupid, who have a mouth on them and make sarcastic witty comments and have a great deal of common sense.
So far my tentative plan is that the smart character with a sarcastic wit is the horse, and that he might be the point of view character and hero of the book. A magical horse who's not a mystical Companion and not a humble servant, but a mouthy sarcastic stallion with an equine outlook on life and a lot of horse sense. His romantic interest might be an elven steed mare, beautiful, magical and mysterious.
So that's my sketchy premise. My opening conflict is something like the cavalry charge at the end of The Two Towers, cavalry on a hill charging down at (No way! Those are PIKES down there, bub, did you notice that steady row of pikemen down there under our charge, all braced and poking sharp pointy things at us horses? This is a lousy tactic. I'm gonna die...) and then he has to find a way to survive that and maybe turn the tide of the battle. It was the one implausible thing in the film -- those orcs should have broken the tide of Eomer's cavalry. If they had other weapons, they wouldn't have, but pikes against a cavalry charge kill the horses before they can get to the pikemen.