TopShelf Blogs

going to have company next week


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Well, Sharon has told us that its confirmed that she will be going in for surgery, and so we will be hosting my daughter for at least four days - Friday through Monday.

This is going to be the most time I've spent with my daughter since we separated, and her mother is super against my transition and no doubt has pushed that view on Samantha, so I am kinda nervous ...

Organic Charity?


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I am wondering if anyone here has heard of a charity which offers organic or, at the very least, non-GMO food to homeless people? I mean a shelter or even just a soup kitchen.
I have truly been thinking about wanting to set something like this up if it doesn't already exist. I think most of you might have an inkling of how I feel about GMO's so I would ask certain members here NOT to start debating me about GMO's in this posting.

A Personal Request


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Hi Everyone. There have been a few times when I was in a jam and the wonderful users here @ BigCloset have helped me out immensely. Whether it was helping me buy a new mattress/boxspring for Bill and I when we were stuck in a motel during the mold cleanup, or helping me setup a fund to get a vehicle and get my life back on track, and even helping us come up with the security deposit for the apartment we are in.

So it's now that I come to you with my hat in my hand, and my heart in my throat, asking for help once again.

No Rules returns!

Finally, I get to post here again!

I'm still working on my novel for traditional publication, but my stories for BigCloset keep pulling at me. I've finally gotten to the end of chapter 5 of No Rules, and I present it for you, hoping I haven't been totally forgotten. *grin*

Bon Apettit!

Trans-focused suicide hotline

Several of my (cis) friends shared this article link around earlier today, and I thought I might bring it to the attention of you all. While I might wish that no one on this site would ever need such a thing, I know that's far from likely.

New Suicide Hotline Dedicated to Trans People Now Open for Calls

Happy Thanksgiving to my family at Top Shelf

To all my friends online, to all the people who make this site such a welcoming REAL home to many, to all the readers, commenters, authors and to a very special group of people who I love dearly, you know who you are, HAPPY THANKSGIVING and I wish you all a very happy holiday season as well.

Be careful out there and be safe. You are all very important to me. "God Bless us, every one."

Holiday huggles,
Catherine Linda Michel

Travel Time

The third stanza of Culture Clash will be available from tomorrow in ebook, print and Kindle versions! Lots of stuff going on in this volume so take a chance and have a look.

As I mentioned last time i'm away for the next couple of Wednesdays so this week you get three chapters on my website! Take your time over them, they have to last a long time! The next chapter is here, you'll need to follow the links from there.

See you in December,

Ultimate compliment


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On facebook I belong to a group that revolves around playing the game Real Racing 3 (awesome game by the way) and I am quite active in it. I was talking to one of the people who play the game and we got to talking about my books and that led me to revealing that I am transgender.

Their response:

You want to be a guy, I don't see it.

Priceless. With all the dark and dreary, I needed that.

Delay with The Transit of Venus


Sorry about the slow recent progress but I've been having a hectic time preparing for a period to come away from internet. I hope to be able to get back to the adventures of Venus in a couple of weeks.

Thank you all for your support with the story so far and your patience


Unintentionally Hilarious

When I was in junior high I skipped a lot of school, and one of the shows that was still going around on basic cable was the dreadful Mission Impossible. I never saw this particular episode until a friend mentioned it over dinner last night. Barry Williams (Greg Brady!) in drag with Leonard Nimoy, with both of them doing unforgiveable latin accents.

A Thumbs Up Button

I Don't understand I've been Here over Seven years and why is it I see stories have say over 900 reads and only get less then 10%Thumbs up WHY . I think that just about every story posted here should get at least 80% score of the over 900 reads. I will admit I'm not a writer of stories here but I have edited for several writers here and have requested not tobe acknowledge for my help, but all writers here should get a better score then then 10% for their effort of writing these stories we read almost everyday. This is just my Thoughts on this subject have good day! Richard

Trying not to be contentious here

But some authors are putting up several stories/episodes at once. This is a bit unfair as the front page is somewhat taken over with these stories and gives other authors less time on the front page and listing on the shortcuts.

Once a story goes off the front page, read counts go down considerably, so the longer a story is visible, the better chance an author gets for her work to be read.

Please think of others when posting several things at once.


TG Day Of Remembrance rhyme

Since the 20th is coming up I might meet fate and partake in the chance to wake a dreamer. Remember these terrible follies and stop shaming ourselves as human beings. It can seem even the most awake has the ides of March in their eyes. This terrible malady truly places them in a snit, fit to fall in such a terrible trap. These societal jaws tear flesh from maws or toy with one. I ask you not to forget and be well met to keep a light on and your eyes upon more than the form.

Family buried Transwoman daughter as son...

I was read this story on Huffington Post, about a trans-woman that died and her family had her put in the casket dressed and made up as man. Not only was I disgusted at what the family did, but the comments were equally disturbing. I could actually hear the banjos playing in my head from reading what some people said.
I may never transition, but if I do, I would like to be buried as I was presenting myself to the world.

Freaking out


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I finally got the referral for the PICC line and am now on antibiotics for the next 6 weeks. Each morning I have to go in and get a daily IV as well as carry around this pump that gives me IVs three times a day.

They put the PICC line in and I promptly proceed to tear half of it out getting into my car (It got caught on the seat or something as I leaned getting in). Doctor is still using the line though it's now at the mid point, he might change it by wednesday.

A place for us in society.


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I promise, NO Drama.

Since 2005, I have been determined to forge a place in society for myself and those like me. I've stubbornly insisted and fought for a place in society as a woman, and to an amazing extent, that dream has been realized. It has been a long time since anyone has challenged me on the street or off it.

In spite of my total lack of understanding, the Mormon members around me have been kind and healing and supportive. That the upper management of the church has issues with those like me, actually arouses the ire of the members.

A long time ago in a world far away (sort of)

I posted my very first novel "The Frozen Balance" here on BCTS, starting in 2009.

Recently Erin has been immensely kind and added the updated version that I submitted for the Amazon annual competition to the Hatbox. It's exclusively available there for the next six months (at least) as I wanted to offer something back to the site that started me on my journey and for the many friends, including the sister of my heart, who have so generously helped me along the way.


OK. Updates.

Hope I'm not TOO treading water here

Moving 'Dead Ringer' and Summer of Love along ever-so-slightly.

It feels more like a tease .... an appetizer without a meal.

....The meal's still on the stove...

I'm confident that it will still be a meal, but (much like the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner) it's more an aroma and a promise than the eventual fulfillment.

Still, I promise a fulfillment.

I just haven't worked out how to get from the bag-full-of-groceries to the inevitable food-coma yet, ;-)

But, I have no doubt that I WILL....


Gah! Stupid muse.... ;-)


Just burned off a chapter for 'Summer of Love' that I'm really happy with, but it's too far into the story.... I haven't gotten nearly close to the plot/character development to use this... but, wow.... I wrote it, slept on it and revisited it a couple of days later, and it still has the emotional ...punch... I felt when I wrote it. Or maybe transcribed it is a better word, because I only half-joke about the muse. Sometimes I read stuff and think. 'I was only the typist. I'm not capable of stuff like this.'

Jennifer Gable's death


I've a really sad story to tell. A young woman named Jennifer Gable, transitioned from a man years ago. That's the last time I will mention her as trans.

So, she was apparently a customer service rep for Wells Fargo, in Idaho. Wells Fargo hires anyone they wish as long as they can do the job. She attended Boise State, studying Art and Drama.

She unexpectedly dropped dead at work with an aneurism. Doubly sad is that her father had her hair cut and had her buried as a male.

"Conversations with a rattlesnake"

I am reading a very good book on recovering from trauma called "Conversations with a rattlesnake".

Its by former NHL hockey player Theo Fleury, and in the book he (along with therapist Kim Barthel) covers how to retrain your brain as you recover from your past.

The book contains some frank discussion of rape (Fleury was molested by his hockey coach), so gentle people prone to triggers will struggle at times, but it really is worth the read.

Sorry - had to go out this evening

I had to go to a colleague's leaving do so haven't had time to write Bike for tonight. Hopefully will be back to my usual boring self tomorrow to describe in tedious detail another few minutes in the life of Cathy and her family. Bonzi had offered to do it for me but the daft old bugger got shut out and was soaking wet when I returned from the restaurant. Why couldn't Whizz do it for me, I hear you ask, but her spelling and punctuation is worse than mine.


Little Boy-Girl Saga the Stories

This is my first time in a long time writing a story.
This story came about back early this year when a girl i was with came up with the name Nicole.
When I came up with the names Sabrina, Jamie and Junior.
Jenny , Amber, Samantha, Sara Beth, Michael, Missy and Marie all came about later.

I was interviewed


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Not too long ago I was contacted by someone from Poland about doing an interview. Can you imagine? Poland? Didn't know I made it there, guess I should put another thumbtack in the big map I have. Anyway, they run a pretty big blog and have interviewed a lot of notable people and decided to include me. I guess to some I'm a heroine. I hope I'm not too addictive.

If anyone cares, and I can't imagine anyone not caring, here is the interview link. Share a comment here and there.

Going forward with transition.


Wonderful news.

After my first consultation with my psychiatrist on October 22nd I have been classed DM 5 and he has agreed I am suitable for GRS. Letter has been sent to my GP and she has prescribed Oestrogen plus Spiro.

We have agreed to suspend any breast augumentation because my breasts are growing nicely and it is better to wait and see where they end up before deciding what augumentation (if any) they need. So far they are close to 36/38 B to C; they still appear to be growing and very noticeable..

TDOR a surprise


I spend a lot of time on Facebook talking about things that matter to me. Oddly, I have yet to be confronted on TG issues, and this is surprising to me because I have pictures and everything right there.

A couple different people including the TED group put up things about Transgender folk and gratifyingly they were supportive and not snide at all. Perhaps things are turning around for us?

Sure, there were those who demonstrated their hate and ignorance. I think the anger was mostly manifested by the profoundly ignorant.


Fallen (for Transgender Day of Remembrance)




The fallen are remembered today

All of Those who've passed,

Persecuted for just wanting life

lost, Through their own hand or another's.

What does society say

As We continue to be harassed,

Our every day filled with strife

remembering all the others.

Being true to ourselves every day

No judgments at last,

Lives with honesty and rife

With happiest ever afters.

Dealing with issues of my job and how it is affecting me personally.

I am a Co-Facilitator of a 'Vet 2 Vet' Peer Support Group at two of the VA Hospitals in the Boston area for Transgender Veterans and other LGBT Veterans that wish to join us also. I have not super active with the group for a while, because I was in school for 9 months and had to miss meeting due to classes. Then I became homeless and entered a program myself at the VA to deal with some of my own personal issues. Now I am missing the groups, because I am taking a Certification Program, offered by the state.

Good news, bad news


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Well, I got some good news, and some bad news.

First, the good news - My birth certificate arrived today, so I am one step closer to getting a passport to go to Arizona for my consult.

Now, the bad news - Sharon called saying it looks like she might be getting her surgery in December, and she called about having me or mom take time off work to look after Samantha. Problem is, both my mom's work and mine don't give time off in December, and so now I feel like a failure as a parent ...

A glimpse at Editing.

Below is a picture showing the first page of JG Ballard's Crash. The marks all over it are the author's edits. When I'm doing my own edits, I do this. I print out my work to edit in a different font (and font size) so that it doesn't look the same as it does on the screen. I've read and can testify from experience that changing how the text looks can help see it fresh. It can help you see those things that you gloss over from familiarity and such.

I also thought it was just neat as hell.

Why are stupid people in charge?


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I can't take this any more. I am near tears.

The ongoing saga of my foot will not end.

So, they need to do a ct scan to confirm that I have a bone infection and also to know how to cut it out. I'm sure it's not every bone and probably not the whole bone so they have to be careful. The specialists have been pretty nice and on top of things so I hate that part of my frustration gets taken out on them.

Ashleigh Blayze Where Are You?

Ashleigh Blayze:

So, in trying to find her, it seems that the last time she visited this site was in June of 2012. Has anyone here had contact with her? I am not thinking of badgering her for more of her science fiction, but would like to know how she is doing and to wish her the best.


PS: I have a strong suspicion that Ashleigh Blayze is one of the authors here who chose to write in a different voice. All I can say is bravo!

Following story links

So often I see blogs from authors talking about their stories. Maybe they're bemoaning the number of comments or kudos. Maybe they're talking more generally.

But so rarely do they provide a link to the story. If I click on their name, it doesn't take me to a page showing their titles.

They may think everyone knows the story they're talking about. We don't. Please provide a link so we can quickly look up your story.


Just in time for the holidays

Just in time for the holiday rush. All 4 books of the God Bless the Child saga are on sale for $.99 each. While your out shopping and fighting the madness, an awesome collection of books can await you on your kindle, tablet, or android phone.

This may be one of the best transgender series ever written, and that's not just me talking. Maybe others would like to chime in. Be sure to have a box of kleenex, you'll need them


Indeed, after several quite hectic weeks this current seven day has been very quiet, no trips, no deadlines, work has been exceptionally quiet too. The weather has been quite poor, fog, rain and otherwise overcast which hasn't helped my chesty cold one iota! in short its typical November weather.

It does mean that I've got five Gaby chapters written so the next run is well on schedule for its end of month release.

Of course its only two weeks before my Rheinland Weinachtsmarkt trip and just five weeks until the day itself - where did the year go?

Buffalo N.Y. is closed!

My heart goes out to our sisters and brothers in Buffalo. The whole upper and western northern part of N.Y. got clobbered by a winter's worth of snow overnight.

I hope you're all safe and warm up there. I'm in Jamestown N.Y. and all we got was some cold temps. it's 9F here right now.

Catherine Linda Michel

At my breaking point

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Three months ago I wound up stepping on something and cutting the bottom of my foot. It might have been a nail since that was about the time I was having work done on the house to open up the living room and remove a bedroom. Long story short, foot got infected.

Anyone else having probs with the home page?

Is anyone else having probs getting the home page to load completely? On my machine right now, I only get the story lists, but none of all the other stuff. Blogs, comments, ads, the In Memoriam list, who's online right now,a ll that stuff just won't load. I'm using the same MacBook that I've always used and havein't done anything that I could think of to cause this prob.

Catherine Linda Michel

Lost Story.

So, I thought her name began with an "A", and she wrote what I think was the most marketable Science Fiction I have ever seen on this site. She wrote about TG in a way that would be acceptable to the general public and that is what I want to see more.

He was a colonist whose world was attacked by pirates. He ran and got up into some woods to hide out and lo and behold, stumbled into a space ship that transformed him into a Princess with strengths of megalithic proportions.

Anyone have a clue?



It might be fake


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So this is interesting, or at least I think so.

Today I got a certified letter in the mail. It is an invitation for me to try out for a reality television show. It appears that one of the networks wants to put on something to rival "The Biggest Loser" and because of my sports background they think I'm a good candidate.

Tammy's continuing story

As I said a week and a half ago, Tamara's Debut ends with the next posting. Writing for the next installment (Tamara's First Christmas) has now reached 40,000 words but I want to finish it before I start posting so there will be a gap. In story terms, however, Debut finishes on December 12th and the Xmas story starts on December 13th.

What I have not yet decided is how to release it, whether one day at a time, in cliche cliffhanger (ie Bike) style, or as a novel. Debut, as a completed story is 108,000 words and I'd expect Xmas to be a similar size.

A big thank you to everyone


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You know, if you had tried to tell me five and a half years ago when I first joined Big Closet, that one day I'd be standing in front of a group of people at a church and telling them about being trans, I never would believed you. But it happened, and a big reason why is the love and support I've received on BC and elsewhere online.

So, to all those who have sent me support over the years, let me say ...

Thank you all so much.

Every one of you rocks.

And huggles for everyone!

Congrats to the Eagles

What a FINE game against the Green Bay Packers... NOT!

The FIRST time in the 94+ year history of Green Bay where they scored over fifty points two games in a row AND Philly's worst loss since the 1970s.

Remember Green Bay is the smallest small market team in all of American pro sports AND the only not-for-profit.


Mom is doing a second happy dance in her grave. Badgers AND Packers crushing their opponents on back-to-back days.


Other than the snow shoveling.

John in Wauwatosa

No Bike tonight

I've just got off the phone to my needy friend who had bent my ear for the previous 90 minutes. I feel washed out, so hopefully tomorrow I should have time to write. Apologies to my regulars. I've been rereading back numbers of Bike and some of them moved me to tears and one or two episodes had me laughing out loud--and I wrote them. I had completely forgotten bits, so anyone who hasn't yet tried ordeal by Bike, it might be more pleasurable than you thought.

My anniversary snuck by me.


My 10 year anniversary snuck (sneaked for those of you across the pond) by me last month. I'm an avid reader and sometimes author/contributor here. I have made myself a promise to get more of my stuff posted here. I have several stories completed that had been posted on my now defunct web site and need to be cleaned up a bit before I post them here. I really need to get motivated to do that.

OK...Does anyone else hate the 'nines' as much as I do?

So...I write for ME... No, really, I do...

I enjoy writing... It is FUN!

I can put into words my fantasies, me desires, my NEEDS...

It is not about whether anyone appreciates my Is ALL about me getting my 'feelings' out there... Right?

Yeah--that is it!!!!

So... Why does it bother me so much when my 'likes' top out at a 'nine'? You know... 79...89... Or, the WORST...99?

Why does that last 'like' matter so much? Who knows...

I've spent nearly a third of my life on BC

So, according to my account page I've been on here 7 years 10 months.

Next month I turn 28. So, let's say 28 years old and 8 of those years have been spent as a member of the site. I'll also be honest and say that, of the time I've been a member of the site, I've stayed logged on pretty much constantly, at least during the times I've even had a computer to log on WITH.

And so it gooes...


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Just found that I was official member of BCTS for 2 and half years. I was following stories on this site for much much longer. Basically, since Crystal's site stopped updating. And... I had registers here twice before but forgotten logins/passwords...
I never consciously tried to be troll on this site, but as I was recently banned from several sites for asking people to explain their position and to provide substantiation to their claims I can say that I am a semi professional internet troll :-) Can't claim to be professional as I never received any money for my posts online :-)

a move toward tolerance of trans people?


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I was listening to the local Christian radio station, and they play some kid-friendly shows on Saturday, including a show called "Adventures in Odyssey".

Well, I had missed part of the program today, but I heard a student and teacher talking, and the teacher said, "In computers, you have hardware and software. The hardware is how the computer is made, the software is what makes it run. Gender is like software, and its changeable, especially nowadays."

writing Update


Last May/June I spent three weeks in the Rockies travelling around and taking lots of Photos (5600+).
Whilst driving from Laramie to Yellowstone I had an idea for a story. Now after a prolonged period of gestation I've nearly finished it. So far around 20K words have been typed.
Now I'm about to start the editing but I have my 2015 Photo Calendar to get off to the printers first.
The provisional title is 'The Good Samaritan' but I not happy with it so it might change.

With a bit of luck I'll start posting it in a couple of weeks.

feminizing fungi

Strange science fact of the day:

There is a kind of fungi that attacks male crabs, effectively feminizes them by causing them to lose their fighting claws and create a womb-like structure that the fungi can then use to create more of itself.

There's probably a story for Big closet in there somewhere ...

And so it goes...

So I bricked my netbook. Maybe permanently. I'm researching things to try. What that means is no more writing. Posting a blog on this tablet or spending a little time in chat is okay, but I can't write on this thing. Not to mention that all my projects are stored in iCloud, and this tablet is Android.

Healthwise I'm having more pain than usual. I'm getting recurring pain from either side of my abdomen, on top of the back and foot pain I've had for years now.

This site and my friends here keep me sane. Thank you all.

Edit: My netbook is a Dell Mini 9.


I wanted to get Twice Removed done by the end of the month but I have ben having the worst case of writers block on it the past week. So I'm going to do what I usually do and take a bit of time away to let it percolate in the back of my mind while I work on other things this week. Hopefully I'll have it going strong again by next week.

*hugs to all*


Out Of Comission


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Just an FYI, I'm going to be out of comission for at least a couple days.

I currently have both an Middle Ear, and Outer Ear infection, which is causing me extreme pain which even the prescribed pain meds aren't helping. My left ear is so swollen that they had to use an "ear wick" so that the drops get to where they need to go.

I'm on both an ear-drop antibiotic, and an oral antibiotic as well as Ear drop pain relief and oral pain meds.

New Book Published - Dead End - On Amazon

Phew! What a summer.
Well, having been through the mill, I am out the other side and back writing again. My new book (actually, it's taken far too long!) is called DEAD END and is the sequel to the Candy Cane Club. It is the continuing story of Nikki, now Lady Nicole Calder, who, as a detective constable, is on the murder team of a spate of killings of TG prostitutes. If that wasn't enough, Robert Telford, late of the Royal Marines and inside HMP Isle of Wight as a serial killer - escapes and is heading to complete some unfinished business.

Order by Kudos

I wonder whether there's any chance of enabling a sort by Kudos on the My Stories page?

For me, this is the most important order - ie which of my stories are popular and which are not - but paradoxically, it's the only column which can't be sorted! It's by examining Kudos counts that I can really tune in to what readers most enjoy.

When IS the last time anyone heard from Ellen Hayes?

I got a very nice comment from her back when I was posting the Little by Little stuff (though I think I lost her respect in the PMs that followed,) and the last Tuck note says that a new chapter SHOULD have been out last September.


Does anybody keep up with her, and know if she is doing okay? Seeing more of the story would be nice, too, but just knowing she hasn't dropped off the face of the earth takes precedence.

Melanie E.


After celebrating the failure of terrorists and frightening the spirits, this week, in Europe at least we've been remembering the dead of two world wars and more recent conflicts. Today we aren't threatened by other nations but by extremists hiding behind religion to kill and terrorise the innocent and force their idealogy on others, our military personel continue to die in the pursuit of peace, we should thank them and remember their selfless sacrifice on our behalf.

Just a little heads-up

As far as Anmar is concerned, then I am delaying posting the next episodes of JoB (#38, #39 and #40 are already completely written and #41 is well under way).
AO #2 is also ready.

However, as each, in their ways, refer to the main story, I like to pass them all through Penny's scrutiny before posting, in case Penny feels I have misjudged some Alaesianisms or Palarandisms. This, of course, then delays poor Penny from getting on with her own stuff.

Passing of the torch


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Today is as special day of me and my husband. Today we watched our two daughters graduate from the US Army Airborne School. For us it has a special meaning for our family. You see when I first came to the US I joined our military to help gain my citizenship. While I served I won those same wings, so you can see why this was so special to me. For my husband who is from the UK and had served in their military as a British Paratroop it was doubly so. You see his father and his grandfather were also British Paratroopers going all the way back to WW2.

To old friends at BC


Yes, both of you...

A few of you know the last year and a half have been a challenge for me as my cataracts overcame my eyesight. Reading and writing became difficult if not impossible. I had the surgery in July. It has a 99% success rate but I was in the 1%.

On the 29th I had PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) also called ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation). For someone who loves to read and write this has been a real trial. I was warned of extreme pain and a slow recovery: Weeks, months, maybe a slow year.

Transgendered or broken?


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In my own situation, growing up with nasty, brutal men, I hated them, and I hated being one of the enemy even worse, and did not accept that idea without struggle. Then, what did I do but marry a young woman who herself had been abused awfully, and in her adult years became a rabid feminist. So after a while, I could never be right, or even OK. Looking back, I just wanted to be on the winning side. It was a choice to just walk away from her like so many other young males did at the time.

The Bestseller ~ Part 2 -- Duplicate Posts...

Hi Everyone,

I REALLY apologize for the multiple postings of chapter 2 today. I don't know what is going on with my computer... Anyway, I have asked Erin to remove the duplicates.

As for the voting on how to proceed: Well, I wrote both versions of how I felt it could go forward and liked BOTH so much that I am going to meld them. The good news for those that like the story, I guess, is that it will add another chapter or two to the whole series.

Again, sorry for the confusion!


To quote Jack Parr....


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"...As I was saying...." (Google it if you're under a certain age or not a fan of ancient television)

I'm mortified that my last fiction updates were nearly 3 months ago.

Yes, I've been having 'muse troubles' (she vanished without a trace, leaving me to slog along on my own), but I managed to eke out a bit more of both Dead Ringer and Summer of Love.