TopShelf Blogs

Fear of mediocrity?

Real life has really slapped me upside the head lately.

Virtually everything mechanical that I own, or use, has broken down in the last month. My wheelchair, my digital camera, my landline phone, and incredibly, my refrigerator. Luckily, I had very little food to lose--thanks to the foresight of the state of Wisconsin, my laughably meager food-stamp pittance pretty much ensured I wouldn't be able to stock the refrigerator with much anyway.

There are certain advantages to living in an apartment building, however, the most important of which being I (thank goodness!) don't have to hunt for a replacement refrigerator--the apartment management takes care of that. Medicaid took care of the chair, and for the moment I'm relying solely on my cell phone.

Therefore, I can get back to what would normally be my main concern. Namely, writing.


So... I'm angry. Those of you who know me, probably know I have anger issues. I joke about it and say I'm Irish (which I am) and that I've got the stereotypical temper (which I do). I have a hard time getting past anger. I don't forgive easily. I hold grudges. Maybe I'm being petty. I don't know, and I just don't care.

This is why I'm leaving BCTS. For how long? I don't know. Maybe for good, maybe not.

Hatbox Funds Needed Soon


We have about $3000 in bills due before the end of the month and the HatBox has only about $600 in it, including the $300 or so received so far this month. So anything that anyone can send will help us pay our bills on time.

Next month, Amazon changes the way things work with their Payments interface and we hope to have our new version of the Hatbox up and running well before that. We think you are going to like it and it should make helping us pay our bills more pleasant and maybe even more fun. :)

Blog entry 7th May 2015- Election Special

Hi all!

With the general election taking place in Britain today, I thought it'd be a good creative exercise- and a bit of fun- to 'get under the skin' of my characters and see how they'd vote.

Jamie was 18 in 2010 but didn't vote, being unemployed, all but homeless and utterly directionless at the time. In 2015, however, she's very much a supporter of encouraging people who have fallen on hard times- just as she did- and utterly abhors right-wing social policies, so she'd vote LABOUR. Her parents, however, are very much Conservative voters.

Regarding Battle for Earth epubs and pdfs.

Well, those who've followed my stories for the last several years are probably aware that I often provide pdf and epub versions of my stories for folks to download here on bigcloset. Unfortunately, I won't be able to provide PDF documents this time around as the file sizes are much too large (bigcloset has a max file upload size of 2 mb). I could reduce them by producing inferior images or removing from the images from pdf altogether, but that's something I very am very keen on doing. If anyone is interested in a pdf download I am willing to send them a copy of the file.

An interview with Trans Comedianne Julia Scotti

Julia says some very interesting things about her life and her transition as well as being trans and open about it.

Catherine Linda Michel

A hard blog to write


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You know, doing this blog, I've noticed that some entries are easier for me to write than others. In today's case, its super hard, so please be kind.

I had a good conversation with my pastor Tuesday. First we talked a little about the meltdown I had at church two Sundays ago, then we talked about a number of subjects including my past, my present, and my hoped for future.

It was in regard to the last that she wanted to give me some ideas to think about, especially in two main areas of concern.

5 years, 12 months


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Well, according to my account feature, I've been here for "5 years 12 months", so I guess its happy anniversary to me?

I am very grateful I found this place. Its given me a chance to read good stories by great authors, to try my hand at writing myself, and to make some wonderful friends who I cherish.

My thanks to Erin, Piper, and all those who work behind the scenes to keep this place going.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose - Bruce Jenner and the Chevalier d'Eon

An article caught my eye that reminds me that someone has always been there before.

Whether it's Bruce Jenner or the Chevalier d'Eon matters not. Journalists will swarm like bees to honey ( I was going to type 'flies to..' but decided it wasn't polite).

New chapter of Debriefings posted

Firstly, I'd like to thank Jessica Nicole for her kind assistance with the dialogue in the scene from Brandon's German language class.

The next chapter of Whose Irish Eyes Be Smiling? is well under way for those of you who are still waiting for it. Also, I'm trying to make progress rewriting a few tales stolen along with my smartphone.

For those of you who wonder why this chapter took so long, I'm recovering from surgery on my right shoulder for a torn rotator cuff. My arm is now out of the sling and I'm slowly beginning to use it again.

Let it Go….


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Has anyone else actually listened to the lyrics for Disney's 'Let it go' and thought that it would make a great TG anthem?

As a silly competition idea does anyone have any other suggestions for an off the wall TG anthem ( e.g. Rodney Atkins "If you're goin' through Hell")?

P.S. First place will automatically go to Andrea as she does this all the time! :)

Exciting news - really friggin big


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For those who don't know, I'm fat. I mean really, really fat. I used to be fat when I was in high school, but I'm way beyond that now. When I won districts my senior year the newspaper read "slimmer heavyweight wins title". I thought the article was about someone else because I was at the high end of the weight class at 275lbs. But the article was about me and was littered with fat jokes and how I struggled keeping under 275. Oh, how I wish I weighed that now. Instead, I am 615lbs. God I wish that was a typo. But it is a fact of life.

Apologies for story.

For those of you that have read my recent submission of a Bikini Beach story. I want to apologize for it. Not for the story itself, but for the grammatical errors that are littered throughout the story. To be honest the story wasn't ready for prime time.

Even though I had caught some items before and even 'revised' it. It still does not meet certain standards and I rushed it. And for that I'm sorry.

Where did the time go?


Reading that Grace Lee Whitney who played yeoman Janice Rand in Star Trek just died I wondered about Uhura who was my first role model as an example that you could be different without being a doormat. Somehow since those days Nichelle Nichols who played the part has become 82 Where did the time go?




Years ago, I wore Suntan Garter style stockings and then they became unavailable. Recently I bought 6 pair from Stocking and wore the first set today, with my blue suit and 3" heels.

I don't like pantihose because the hips and waist are too tight and they are so hot that I get claustrophobic. Self stay ups, either don't stay up or make painful welts on my thighs.

breathing a sigh of relief


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Well, once again my anxiety was far greater than a situation required.

My landlord not only didn't comment on the name on my lease, he came down and helped me set up my mom's computer for her.

I continue to be amazed at the forbarance, tolerance, and grace I have received in this journey ...

Free Comic Book Day

Today is a fun and free Holiday to those that enjoy Graphic novels and Pictorial Books.

In other words it is "Free Comic Book Day"
How does this holiday work you ask?
It is easy you go to a comic or one of many hobby stores and ask for a copy of a Free pre-approved comic book.

Number of readers

I noticed a strange behaviour yesterday, the number of 'reads' for one of my stories differed from the total hit for the same story on the 'my stories' page.

This morning, Chapter 11 of Unaccounted Gains 3 has 491 reads on the front page and 699 in My Stories (the same number is shown within the story itself). So, why would the front page counter differ? I'm also pretty sure this is not related to my account having checked a few others.


facing serious anxiety


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Well, just when I thought I could start to relax after the stress of the move, I have a new anxiety to deal with.

See, my new landlord has given my mom and I a tenancy agreement form to fill out, and as it is a legal document, I'll have to put my legal name down, basically outing myself to him.

So I am trying really hard to not dwell on the possiblity of him freaking out over it, but I'm not succeeding all that well ...

Just stopping by to say hi


Hi everyone. I've been MIA for a while. Not sure if anyone noticed, but for those who have, I'm still around. Sometimes I just lurk in the shadows while sorting through some of life's challenges. All is well, and have overcome some hurdles in my absence. Drop by and say hi, let me know how all of you are doing, would love to catch up with some of you.

Love Megan.

Calling all Spoonies/Survivors

Is anyone here a "spoonie" or afflicted with things such as fibromyalgia or other conditions that cause chronic pain? I'm going to be seeing a pain management doctor soon, and I'm wondering what to expect.

Those of you who don't know what the "spoon theory" is, here is a link

A report on transgender female sex workers in China

This is a very interesting article, including a link to the full 79 page report about transgender women working in the sex industry in Shanghai and Beijing by a group called Asia Catalyst, which I found while poking about on the Guardian website. It appears that the Chinese generally are not very accepting of transgender people so treatment to transition and so on is not easily found, plus the establishment while not making it illegal is not very helpful either.

For Abuse Survivors


Though Focus on the Family may not be transgender friendly yet, they do give great advice on some areas of life. I make it a habit of listening to them every morning, even though they are off on some issues. I thought today' episode was quite good and without naming names, I thought it might help some people in the community.

This broadcast is about overcoming being a victim of molestation. It is only the first part, but I will piggyback the link for the second part tomorrow when it becomes available. I hope this helps some people.

Time for some fun !


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Okay, enough doom and gloom, time for something fun!

Dorothy Bellion presents ... Why Hollywood should make a movie of my life!

1: Hollywood loves Bio-pics - It's true. Some of the biggest movies in the last few years have been true stories about real people. So why not me?

2: Hollywood also loves underdog stories - People cant seem to get enough tales of people overcoming handicaps or tragedy to succeed, and my life has had a few tough moments, so I'm perfect for the movies!

I'm really struggling


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I am really struggling with the fact I am finding dudes attractive now. I think it would be hard enough with just the fact that I never found them interesting before my transition, but my past sexual abuse is making it much harder.

Not sure what to do, honestly.

On the nature of hate


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I will be the first to admit that I have a lot of pent up anger and hate. I have had a lifetime of resentment. Most people don't know the things that have happened to me, and I'm sure most, if not all, of you don't really care. Anger and hatred are quite valuable tools. They insulate you from a harsh and brutal world that seeks nothing more that to destroy you. It gives you the strength and resolve to soldier on through the quagmire that is everyday life.

Not a good idea to be transgender in Brazil


A link to the Daily Wail showing some graphic pictures of the brutal treatment of a transgender prisoner by Brazilian police, who have a reputation for being rather violent. Like all violence it seems pointless.

Hatbox Funds Needed


About a week left in the month and we are at about 70% for our goal for April.

Please, if you can contribute, use one of these links to send us a gift thru Amazon or thru P**P** on the Janglewood page.

We're going to have some great things happening in the next few months. :)

Thanks and hugs,
Erin, Piper, Cat, Katie and Sephrena

Why all the hate


I've been following some post on Bruce Jenner for quite some time, just watching and waiting and rarely adding anything to the conversation. I notice a lot of anger and hatred towards him (using the pronoun he referred to himself as) and I don't understand it. I thought the interview was quite good from the clips I've seen and am surprised no one has brought it up on the site. He was candid and honest and thought did a nice job explaining his journey. So why are there so many people out there that are looking to tear him down? I would really like it explained.

On another note

The worst kept secret

So Bruce Jenner has finally come out - whodathunkit, what a surprise - yawn!

I wish her no harm but honestly this family of z-listed celebrities could bore for the USA and get the gold medal every time.

Don't Say It Can'tHappen Here, IT HAS

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the massacre of Armenian by the Turks. The Turkey government still denies their culpability. Neither the U S or Brittan can claim innocence if similar acts. Please note that the Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20) is designed to prevent future violence on us. I have met the granddaughter of one of the survivors of the Armenian massacre. She told a Yom Hashoah event a few years ago of how her grandmother was the sole survivor of an extended family of over 100. I also know know descendants of the Trail of Tears.

060) Checking in...

I know. It's been a VERY long time since I've logged in here. I've been reading stories as and when I can, but my internet hasn't and still isn't particularly reliable. For about a year there I couldn't get my laptop to go on the internet at all, and my phone screen is just way too small to view this site well.

Illness update.

So. When last I posted I had caught some kind of virus. Wellll... it's turned out to be something that must have escaped from three mile island... or chernobyl. It's laid me up fair and proper for the better part of two weeks with no real end in sight. The only bonus seems to be that, combined with an anti-smoking drug, I have, after 50 years, quit smoking.

Contributions needed, still short of our Hatbox goal for April


A number of people stepped up in the last week and contributed almost $1000. Thank you all, thank you very much.

Because of gifts from our readers we are able to continue to maintain this site and support other sites in the community. It costs money. This last week, we have paid out in excess of $2000 in co-location fees, software license fees, purchase of hardware for upgrades, payments on loans and miscellaneous little charges. Almost half of that comes from our advertisers and sales of books but the other half came from readers and contributors to the site.

Very Pleased

A number of years ago Amelia R and I made the decision to donate Peaches to Erin to allow her to sell copies for the benefit of this site.

Peaches was a work of love. Both Amelia and I wanted to get out strong message of love and acceptance.

Today I noted the blog from Doppler Press regarding the top selling LGBT book on Amazon being a Doppler Book.

I went to Amazon to check out the book. As Amazon does, several other books were listed as being something I might want to buy. Much to my surprisse, one of them was Peaches.

Another Time Around

I frequently go back to my stories to review, edit, and look for ideas or situations that might lead to other stories. I was reading Simoné and the Second Time Around a few minutes ago and was reminded that no one commented on who Johannes, one of Simoné's lovers, was. The story has mystified me as it has been one of my favorite shorter works while not being favorably received by the readership.

Bek D. Corbin joins Kindle Authors!

I am SO VERY happy to announce Bek D. Corbin has joined the family of Sapphire's Place Kindle Authors!

The first of MANY of his stories published is " Skeleton Crew"

"Doctor Zheng was a burned out has been doctor, stuck on a run-down patched together star freighter that was just a slower than light boat to nowhere. He wasn't the man to save the entire crew from a horrible death. But maybe he is the right woman for the job"

This is part of the Quickie series of shorter fiction, so it's only $2.99 and can be bought through this link.

UK Scrabble champion kills herself



We all remember the pictures of Mikki in her pink wig and PVC dress winning the UK Scrabble championships and wondering if it was just a joke or was she transgender. It seems she was the latter and she suffered abuse from the public in Carlisle where she lived.

It appears she was very unhappy and took her own life last November. I hope she is at peace now.

Suit Your Self bestseller in LGBT Sci-Fi on Amazon

Suit Your Self
One of our DopplerPress publications has achieved and kept a nice distinction at Amazon: Lainie Lee's Suit Your Self is the #1 BestSeller in LGBT Sci-Fi and has been for most of a week. And which book did it take that crown away from? Another DopplerPress ebook sensation, Heather O'Malley's 300 Rains. :)

Gaby Chronicles


So I bought Maddy Bell Gaby books all the way up to Wunderkind planning on takng my time reading them. But I read through them all in a week. I still have book 12 and 13 to go but no funds. Gaby is soooo good im climbing up the walls till the first when I can purchase the last of them. Seriously they are sooooooooo good. Total inspired me to go bike shopping to

Chapters or Complete Story, that is the question?

I have finally been able to write a new story! But, I have a conundrum, to publish it as chapters or a complete story? The story really isn't that big, it's about 48,000 words and 8 chapters, The chapters range from about 4,000 to 8,000 words. Do I, publish the complete story or publish it chapter by chapter?

How Things Work: BigCloset and DopplerPress Edition

So with the posting of a simple question there has been a lot of discussion lately about who is involved with BigCloset, and Doppler Press and how everything works with the new corporate structures.

Because of the confusion we thought we'd post a blog explaining how it all works, for the most part.

Evil thongery

So, I was only just reading a story in which one of the protagonists was wearing a thong, which called to mind my own experience with said garment, if it could be called that.

Mein Gott ! After a while it felt like butt floss, like I was being sawn into from my lower utmost to my cranial vacancy. Later after I finished with this instrument of torture, it went straight in the garbage chute.

I enjoy stockings with a hold up belt but never more a thong! Never more !


Authors works list

Could it be arranged so that when an authors name is clicked on authors list, a list of links to there works, available on BC, would appear. Some authors are nice enough to keep a link to such a page near the top of their blog, but others I find nearly impossible to get to any of their stories. Maybe I am missing a better way to approach this?

Beta Reader.

I am currently working on a story for the BB universe. I am looking to see if someone will be willing to read over the story with critical input. They 'must' be familiar with both Elrod's BB universe and with 'my' characters.

I would say don't be discourage or hampered if I do not reply immediately as I am still in the process of doing some editing an so forth. I will reply to all those interested of course.

New database server online


The new database server is up and running and will help BC keep up with our ever-increasing traffic and expanding archive of stories.

There should not be anymore outages today, though the risk is higher than ordinary until a shakedown period with the database is done. If the new server fails, it should just drop out of the local net and not cause an outage and changes have been made to the config to allow future three-wheeled and two-wheeled operation of the local net when necessary without outages.

Writing Opportunity!

So there is a call for Sword & Sorceress stories for an anthology. It pays 6¢ a word. It's a legit call for stories. While fantasy isn't everyone's cup of tea here, there are several authors here who probably should submit for this.

Webpage for more info.

The catch? Deadline is May 15th.

Short outage expected, some time today or in the morning


We're installing a third database server and during configuration, we will have to take the site down for a short time to synchronize the new machine with the other two. This should be no more than 15 minutes or so but might have to happen more than once if anything goes wrong. Just wanted to warn everybody.

Erin and Piper

Story Help, Please

Story about an old, past his prime cop whose mind is transferred into that of a developmentally disadvantaged girl. She breaks the controls put on her, takes down the evil guys, falls in love with a soon to be ex-gangster's daughter. Excellent author who subsequently posted another very good tale about an alternate universe and the sex change involved with going back and forth.


What is the matter with people?


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I was appalled to see this on the MSN website, especially from someone who should know better. Even if there was a local problem with feral cats, this behaviour is unacceptable. It seems the ladette culture isn't confined to Europe and the offensiveness is primarily about the bragging by this nasty female of an act of cruelty.

In the UK shooting any living creature with a bow is illegal.

John doing happy dance... Sniffanie tests negative


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The FeLV and FIV tests came back negative while the control was positive so she is not infected.

Since she was due in a few months we updated her shots and started the first of two shots to protect from FeLV.

In three weeks she gets the booster fir it and e==we will have a fecal sample tested to make sure she is free of parasites.

Then we can get her a companion cat or two.

I am very relieved.

John in Wauwatosa

Here she is back home and healthy. And weighting 9.6 LBS. Might be time to cut back on the food!

Pray for our Sniffanie, she is getting tested later this morning


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In les than half an hour out last kitty will be tested for two nasty viruses, FeLV and FIV.

The preliminary tests done on Simon this Monday showed either a large lymphoma or a large cyst. Maybe both.

The simple biopsy the vet did suggested lymphoma though the radiologist thought it was a cyst.

As Simon died so quickly there was no point in cutting him open to be certain.

Nor to do more expensive lab work.

So soon we will learn if she is healthy and we can get her a companion cat/cats. Or if she is infected and will need to live alone with us.

Contest is still on

I had taken a lot of abuse from site users for 3 weeks steadily hammering at me, and then there was a behind the scenes thing that left me devastated. I'm taking a few days break. No I haven't removed anyone's posts (I haven't been on since Tuesday). At the time, I was so depressed over things, I looked at the contest before I left and saw so few entries I decided to can it. That was a bit much.

I did pay out the awards (Except for DVH - you need to contact me). Despite that I canned it, everyone else wants it to run. Im not against it, I just don't know what to do.

Taking a break, seriously frustrated.

I put a LOT of work, time, lack of sleep, feelings and emotions into a piece that doesn’t have a point anymore.

This hurts, and I don’t really have the spoons to deal with losing this along with other things.

So yeah, I need to take a break from posting.

Thank you all


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for the B'day wishes. Unfortunately some kind of mutant virus decided to take up residence inside me aand I am experiencing all the "joys" attendant to such an occurrance. To wit: fever, body aches, nose leaks, "other" leaks (need I say more?), general weakness, shakes, coughs, exhaustion and Oh yeah, nausea. Funwow.

Nevertheless I would have been remiss if I had not thanked those who took the time to send a quick "Happy B'day" so, Thanks to all of you.

Catherine Linda Michel



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Hi folks,

Easter weekend and the week following it were far busier than I had anticipated so I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on all the Hyperverse stuff i was doing. Add to that the fact that part 2 of Shocking Developments is turning out way longer than I anticipated and yeah not as much has been done as I would like.