Catherine Linda Michel

Well, here I go again.

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Every so often I reach a point of surfeit. Where I've taken on too many other people's problems and woes and I need time to find me again. I am not leaving Top Shelf. I am, however in desperate need of time alone so I can get centered again. Losing Holly seems to have brought me to the point of finality and I just can't deal with any more problems or concerns right now.

Today I am angry.

I find it incomprehensible that some people can't be decent when commenting or blogging. Remember, when you WRITE something, there is nothing that indicates anything but the WORDS you use. There are no other indicators that could soften the impact of words that appear unkind or severely critical. Normally, when people communicate, there are visual and verbal cues that can soften the impact of words that might otherwise seem unkind. When you write, all there is, is the words.

Beverly Taff's Mom in law has passed.

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In the wake of our loss, Beverly's mom in law passed rather suddenly as well, just the day before we lost Holly. Beverly is a warm, talented and loving member here and I felt it behooved me to at least make you all aware of this fact.

Holly Happy Hart is seriously ill and...

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is in hospice care as I type this. According to the best information I have right now, she is not expected to live much longer unless hospice care can bring her back.. Apparently the cancer was worse than we knew. This might be the hardest thing I've ever had to write.

My comment on the BET issue is hard to find, here it is.

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I cannot believe all the negative comments on this article... and about Transsexuals. This person was DISCRIMINATED against for being who she is! Hello? Any of that sound vaguely familiar to anyone else? Gee, what about the Blacks and their fight for THEIR rights? What about women and THEIR fight or their rights? I suppose all you negative folks here think that all blacks should still be slaves and all women should be barefoot and pregnant, huh? Remember this. The same things you all are saying about Transsexuals, were said about blacks and women who were fighting for equality!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN!

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Today is a special day for our beloved Sitemom, Erin Halfelven! It's her BIRTHDAY! She has given up so much for all of us and has given us a place where we don't have to worry about someone putting us down. A place where we can all be who we want or need to be. A place where we can display our writing talents and where we can connect with others to help or be helped.

She has been a major influence on so many, myself included. Without her I wouldn't be a published author.

So let's all join in a rousing cheer for someone who is special to us all.

I got a gift at the V.A. Clinic yesterday.

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After my blood tests were finished, I got on the scale just to see what it might indicate. To my shock, it showed that I had lost 25 POUNDS over the preceding couple of months!!!! No, I'm not suffering from some exotic wasting disease, not have I been ill in any other way, save for being sick of heat and humidity.

Okay. I know I'm somewhat strange,

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but I find myself wondering... How many of you have done what I do? While walking through the mall, I look for the SRU store. Not seriously, mind you... well, sort of not seriously. I actually wouldn't know what to do if I actually found one. I know it's just fiction, but... you know?

Catherine Linda Michel

Cousin located. Phone conversation yesterday.

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Thanks to Pippa and her bulldog-like dedication, I DID locate and talk with my first Cousin in New Mexico. He was, of course, quite surprised to hear from me since it has been almost 35 years since last we spoke. Our separation wasn't for any personal problems, but more a case of moving around. Myself through the military, and him because of family and business opportunities.

Anyone out there in Albequerque N.M.?

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I'm trying to locate my cousin who, at last knowledge, was living there. I am, when it comes to using search engines on the internet, a complete dummy... clueless if you will. If you live there or near there, please contact me for his name. I haven't seen or heard from him in over 30 years and we were, or at least seemed to be, close pals when we were kids and teens.

Thanks in advance.
Catherine Linda Michel

Policy change from the Social Security Offices?

I found this through my local Trans support network.
TRANSGENDER PEOPLE AND THE
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
June 2013

Okay. Big time question.

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So... I'm at a store where I shop regularly. Well, maybe I'd better preface this. First of all, my transition has gone so smoothly that I can't believe it. There have been a handful of people I knew "before" who haven't accepted it, but almost everyone has simply adjusted and moved on with their lives with me still in them.

If you have received an email from me, DELETE IT!

It appears that both my gmail and yahoo mail accounts have been hacked by some nondescript asshole in Pakistan. I have sent NO emails in recent memory from either account. Furthermore, I have cancelled my gmail account and changed my password on my yahoo account.

Catherine Linda MIchel

I know that sometimes we all get down on life.

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This song and video by Colin Raye really says it all. Life is precious and every one lost, lessens us all. Watch the video, listen to the words and take them to heart.

Somewhat ominously, the Wiki page for FM now begins with,

and I quote: "Fictionmania was..." which indicates one of two things to me. One, Fictionmania might be gone forever or, Two: Wiki is being it's usual fallible self and spreading rumor and assumption.

I DO hope it's the latter. Even though FM has it's "one handed fiction" it also has some of the best works by some of the best writers in the genre.

ATTN Buffalo T folks. I need help. Not monetary.

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I have a transman in Buffalo who is at his wits end. He is a friend and has been run around by Social Services and every other agency he's tried to go to for help. I need a therapist who can help. You can PM me here at Top Shelf. He has no insurance and barely enough money to get by each month... barely.

This is someone I've known since his birth, the child of one of my best friends who can't help either because he's in Japan and struggling to get by there.

Please, I am begging. Someone point me to someone who can help.

Adding to The Hartlepool Dictionary/ Jenny Pope's Britionary

Jennifer Jane Pope posted this extensive listing of Brit terms/slang a few years ago at Crystal's Storysite. I thought that if one has interest in the Hartlepool Dictionary, they might want to add this to their lexicon as well.

I haven't heard from Jenny in several years, and don't know if she is still writing or, in fact, if she is still among the living. We used to talk quite a bit in the chatroom at Storysite, but she went somewhat quiet owing to some business problems she was having and eventually she just stopped coming by the chat and sort of dropped out of sight.

Three Cheers for Erin, Piper, Sephy, Cat,

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and ALL the rest who work SO hard to make and keep Top Shelf not only the BEST TG fiction site on the web, but such a wonderful place to meet and chat! You all work SO hard for us, and I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate all you do. We sit out here like a bunch of junkies, waiting, nay praying for our next fix, and you all never disappoint. Whatever you have to do to keep our internet fix coming, you go right ahead and do. There's no need to apologize to us. We will wait however long it takes.

HIP HIP HOORAH!!!

HIP HIP HOORAH!!!

I'd like to ask a favor of the readers.

If you've purchased a copy of my book, HEADLIGHTS GIRL, or if you've read it online, would you please go to my amazon page and leave a review? It doesn't have to be anything long, just a few words and a rating.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/103-5305...

I'd very much appreciate it. Thank you so very much.

Huggles and love,
Catherine Linda Michel

Anyone know where Scott Ramsey is?

I've been re-reading GENOMORPH by Scott and it's a great story. The first story arc is complete, but there is a teaser for arc 2, yet no stories have been posted. There was a link to Fictioneer for Scotts page, but it no longer exists, and Scotts name is not on the Fictioneer list of authors.

More than a bit breezy here this morning.

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Woke up this AM to winds blowing trash cans and various bits of lawn furniture about the yard and streets. Seems like we have gusts of over 50 MPH here although some seem higher than that. Kinda worried about losing power at some point if this keeps up, since usually if a squirrel farts sideways we tend to get brownouts. (pun intended)

Comments from me, in general.

Let me say, at the outset, that comments from me are spotty... sporadic, if you will. When I first started writing I was, quite unashamedly, a comment whore. I lived and breathed for the comments on my stories. I DO understand, therefore, the importance of comments.

Recent site outages. Thank you Erin, Piper, Samantha & Cat,

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for all your hard work and vigilance in keeping the site up and running. Erin, Piper, Samantha, Cat, my eternal thanks for all you do for us. Top Shelf is my home on the net. It means almost as much to me as my real life home.

Huggles and love and gratitude,
Catherine Linda Michel

A bitter lesson learned.

In years past, when my Dad was still alive, I couldn't quite connect with his feelings when one of his friends passed away. I guess it never really occurred to me that Dad had any lifelong friends...I don't know why. Maybe it was partly because he was always too busy working 2... sometimes 2 and 1/2 jobs to keep his family fed, clothed and sheltered.

A Transsexual Summer. Youtube videos.

This series of four videos follows several transsexuals on several weekend retreats as they discover who and what they really are, and how to deal with it. The EXPLICIT warning refers to actual surgery scenes in one or two of the videos. As I watched these videos, I found myself becoming involved with the guys and gals as they become friends and, at the end, when they depart from the retreat for the last time, I actually felt tearful as they parted company and went back to their real world lives.

My speech from our TDOR Observance

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We are gathered here tonight to mourn those of us who have been taken from us by hatred, violence, and ignorance, but in a larger sense, we are here to celebrate their lives. That we might not have known any of them personally, does not lessen our sense of loss or our disgust for the way they were taken.

Firefly Marathon on the Science Channel

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The Science channel is, right now, running a Firefly marathon, followed by the final two episodes and then a reunion of the entire cast. The reunion is titles "Browncoats Unite" and will show at 10PM.

Catherine Linda Michel

Edit made. My mistake about the SciFi channel. CLM,

I seldom do recommended reading things, but

if you've missed reading "Susie and Jeffrey", by Jamie Hayworth, you've missed out on one of the most riotous romps of humor I've read in a long, long time.

Storm update from Western New York State.

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We are located about 70 miles south of Buffalo and about 20 miles from the lake Erie shore. We got virtually no problems from the storm. Just some rain and light winds. There are some power outages, but very few. Some schools are closed and a few trees are down. We're protected from a lot of weather related stuff, with the exception of lake effect snow, because of the ridges surrounding us, and because all of the wind from this storm came from the north/northeast.

If you're getting emails from me,

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they are false. DO NOT OPEN THEM!!!!! Some puke who lives in his mom's basement has apparently hacked my email account. Unless the subject line of an email from me contains the word H E Y, WITH the spaces, ignore it. my email addy is Cathy _ t _ 99 at yahoo . com

My apologies to anyone who contracts any bad things from one of these false emails.

Catherine Linda Michel

A very special Happy Birthday to Piper

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Today is a very special day because it's Piper's Birthday. Piper has done SO much for all of us and she deserves our most profound thanks for all she has done. She's a very special lady and I count her as a friend, and am very humbled to think she might think of me in the same way.

Right now she is having a difficult time in her life, and I know that all of us wish her nothing but the best of luck. She's a talented young lady, and I know that she's gonna come out of this time in her life successfully and continue to be one of the best there is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY!

Update on Close Call For Me

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The cops actually think they have the guy who tried to get into my car! Nothing is positive yet, but they told me that the hospital called, it's routine with unusual injuries, I guess, anyway, they have some clown in custody who showed up with three broken fingers and a dislocated thumb. I guess he didn't let go fast enough when I peeled out of the parking space. There is no proof that he's actually the one, and I didn't get a long enough, good enough look at him when it happened.

An important message for all here at Top Shelf

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I've been online for over ten years now. From the very beginning it amazed me that the level of acceptance and compassion was as high as it was, and is.

Yet ANOTHER close call for me!

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I left my home about 20 minutes ago to make a quick stop at the grocery store. When I came out of the store, I clicked my remote to unlock my car doors and, as I got in, I clicked it again to lock them. As I inserted the key to start the car, someone came up on the passenger side and tried to open the door. I looked over to see a male pulling on the door handle. He shouted that I better open the door or... I didn't stick around to hear the rest. I dropped the car into drive and floored the gas pedal, almost hitting two other cars on the way.

American Transgender and I Helped My Teen Son Become A Girl

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Two uplifting Youtube videos that highlight us as who we are

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwZgCsRSn3Y American Transgender

OT: Movie review. The Avengers.

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Well, at long last, the movie I have been waiting for since I heard it was going to BE a movie, came out for rental today. The Avengers! I have to say, in all honesty, that it not only lived up to it's hype, but surpassed even my high expectations. To see, on the screen, the heroes I grew up reading about in the "comic books" and witness the incredible effects and acting displayed by the cast, just blew me away.

Need permission to use poetry written by Top Shelf Authors

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The leader of our local support group is looking for poetry to use in our Day Of Remembrance meeting/event. I have seen some very poignant verses written by you, the writers here at Top Shelf. If you wouldn't mind having some of your work used for this purpose, please let me know. NO poems or verses published here will be used without permission by the author of same.

If any of you know of some other works, please link me to them? Of course, none of this is being done for profit, and nothing used will be published in any way whatsoever. It's only for our event.

Thanks all.

Happy Birthday Erin!

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How especially fitting that, following the recent unpleasantness here at Top Shelf, along comes a day that we all can appreciate, Erin's Birthday!

From a happy, satisfied customer, sometime writer, fan and a friend, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN!!

May the next year be free from strife and full of the love that pours in from your family, friends, and all who enjoy and appreciate your hard work and dedication.

Birthday huggles, love and respect,
Catherine Linda Michel

Shutter/Shudder A pet peeve.

Okay look. I am by NO means perfect when it comes to word usage, but there are some common mis-usages that occur on a regular basis in a lot of stories.

Lose-Loose

Heel-Heal

Waist-Waste

and on and on.

One that just makes me SHUDDER, is using shutter, or vice versa. One may shudder, but one CANNOT shutter unless it involves a window one is shuttering. Fear can make one shuDDer, not shuTTer. One can shuTTer a window, but cannot shuDDer it.

When I run across one of these mis-used words, it jars me out of the story sometimes.

Meteors stop fight against a Forest fire?

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Okay. A news story this morning has me wondering, nay, in fact astounded!

It seems that there is a forest fire somewhere in the U.S. Not unusual, right? However! the report stated that some aircraft which were involved in fighting the fire were grounded because of METEORS in the sky, which would have endangered the aircraft!

Is this the beginning of some subtle invasion from "out there" somewhere... the beginning of the raprture again? The harbinger of the forecasted end of the world on Dec 21st?

WTF?!?!?!

METEORS interrupting the battle against a forest fire??

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