TG Universes & Series:
Even an itchy märchen
is an aphrodisiac to a maiden.
is an aphrodisiac to a maiden.
I want to be wrapped up in your
gentleness now and then.
I'm just always joking, but
...my heart's becoming transparent
(...someday it'll be transparent)
For the first time, for the third time.
She straddles him. Squeezes with her thighs. Squeezes with her cunt.
His hands on her waist. Fingertips trickling. Down; over hip, over ass, over thigh. Caressing up.
The Cowgirl had been her favourite position when their genders had been reversed. She’d liked looking up at his face and at his breasts. She’d really liked looking at his breasts, and how they’d vibrated and bounced as he rode her, their sway as he leaned forward, and the contrast between his tan and their cream skin, how they filled, overfilled her hands.
She’d liked to initiate by coming up behind him, hugging, pressing into his back, reaching around, cupping. Sometimes she would close her eyes and pretend that she’d pressed all the way into his skin and that she was holding its breasts with its hands. Frequently, she masturbated to this fantasy.
Their first time, their first-first time, they’d started out with the kind of spontaneity that she’d long written off as Hollywood fiction. He’d tilted her head with a thumb and forefinger beneath her chin. And then there’d been the sort of mad passionate dry-humping that fades to black that fades-in to the guy with the sheet up to his waist, and the girl her armpits. And then he was peeling off her chicken cutlets, and, oh god, she’d been wearing track pants, and her ratty, blue “Whaling Sucks!” shirt, the slogan almost flaked away, the material stretched where she liked to tuck her knees under.
His hands on her chest. Palms pushing up. For a moment she has something that’s almost cleavage.
A nipple disappears into the trench between two slightly parted fingers. They gently scissor the areola and the sensitive skin around it.
Two days after the first tape had transformed them. After hover-handing awhile, she’d put her arm around him. He’d made to kiss her on the cheek, withdrew. She’d made to kiss his forehead, but, again, no contact.
She’d watched the sheets wrinkle around her body. He’d looked past her, to watch the ceiling fan above.
They fuck and he climaxes.
His limp cock slides out, flops onto his belly.
His hands leave her breasts, tie the condom, toss it towards the waste basket.
He begins to finger fuck her. Their third-first continues.
This is how it started:
He ejects your tape from your player.
Her skin is bronze, her nipples a rich brown, and his skin is the colour of her nipples. He has balls like a bullfrog’s throat. He’s uncircumcised this time around. She watches him peel back his foreskin.
She wiggles her toes. Her legs are long. Runner’s pins.
She looks at the pictures on your walls; you’re so comfortable with your changes and look it. Maybe, she thinks, this time we will be too.
Maybe, but it’s still to early to tell.
He hugs her from behind, presses, reaches…
And the sex, at least, is good.
Don’t Make Me Wild like You
A TG MIXED TAPE
(Edited by PersnicketyBitch)
A Post-Apocalyptic Story
Can't Stop the Music
By Jenny North
By Lyodor Tolstoyevski
Sleeping in the Enemy
By Varian Milagro
Vicki Stood Up For Herself
Voice of Madness
The Mixed Tape Interview: Maggie Finson
Musings on the Depressed Mind
(Edited by PersnicketyBitch)
A Post-Apocalyptic Story
“I really liked the one you were co-authoring,” she said. “Is that ever going to be finished?”
During the pause, I arranged a coaster and the three remaining slices of Meatlovers/Hawaiian half-n’-half into a facsimile of the radioactive symbol, Christine sipped her third vodka and coke.
“I don’t know.” I replied. “Kitty’s sort of dropped off the interwebs.”
“Oh.” My sister bit her lip. “Was she like you?”
My younger sibling has always seen me as representative – first of all boys, then of all gay people, now of all transwomen. “Was she like you?” meant, “She was, wasn’t she, and she failed at dealing with the same things you did.”
To which the answer was, “No,” followed by an, “at least, I don’t think so.”
Though, like Christine, I too imagined that there was some serious Not Good going down in Kate’s life. I hoped that she was OK. Us transfolk don’t have a monopoly on soul crushing psychic shit. We’re not the only people who write silly body swap stories.
I took the last slice of Meatlovers.
My sister’s phone chimed. She checked it.
“It’s Jan,” she said to me, “we’re picking her up from Abram’s.”
I asked if I’d be taking Jan’s boyfriend in too.
“No, just us girls. Remind me to grab the Game of Thrones Box Set as we head out, I said I’d loan it to him. Maybe you two could make an evening of it while you wait for the pick up call.”
Abram had been super supportive early on, and lately. Between times, a few years back, we were at a hottest 100 bash, all deep in our cups. Abram called me ladyboy and Christine laughed. I left early with Hugh, my boyfriend at the time, and the two of us counted down the top 10 together in his new apartment. He danced to Get Lucky with moves that I’ve been trying to pull off ever since, and stripteased to Lorde. I won’t say what we did to Vance Joy. Later that night Christine called from Ab’s phone and gave me an earful. I retaliated with some indiscriminate fuck you (and you and you and you too) texting.
“Maybe,” I said through a mouthful.
“You know Nina,” Christine raised her glass at me, “we should go out some time, me and you, as sisters.”
I said nothing.
“C’mon. It’d be fun. Or we could stay in and just have a few drinks. Like old times. Colab on a story, like that Animorphs fic we did when we were teeny-boppers.”
I poured myself a Coke. “I’d like that.”
“Great!” she said and checked the time on her phone. “Well, looks like I’d better start making a move on.”
Her chair scraped on the floor and she stood up. I looked at the two slices of pizza remaining. As I waited for her to call me to help zip her up, or to ask what I thought of her outfit, I rearranged them.
PersnicketyBitch is the creator of the Mixed Tape Anthologies. She is Australian, but don't hold that against her. If you do she will sic her pet drop bear on you.
The young girl looked down at the soapy water, bored and frustrated. She pulled the brush out of the water and on her hands and knees continued scrubbing the floor. Her breasts swung loosely under her dirty dress, no longer a distraction, as she focused all her frail strength on scrubbing. For the next hour she worked her way closer to the room at the end of the hall, the room that was only used by the Sheik.
Shouting from the compound drew her attention and the girl hurried to a nearby window. A small convoy of three vehicles entered the courtyard. A pair of Toyota trucks converted to carry a mounted light machinegun in the bed guarded a Mercedes sedan. The guards from the convoy were greeted by the men of the compound, and then a tall man in rich robes climbed out of the sedan.
“Kalila, what are you doing girl! Stop gawking and get this cleaned up.”
Kalila spun around embarrassed at being caught looking out the window. The matron’s stern expression didn’t changed as Kalila picked up her bucket and brush, and headed to the stairway. As she passed Majidah, the matron grabbed her elbow. A boney hand tilted Kalila’s chin up so that the curtain of dark hair fell back.
“You’re pretty, Kalila,” then she reached forward and groped Kalila’s breasts. The young girl couldn’t help flinching back. “You have grown since the Sheik’s last visit.” Suddenly, as if having made a decision she spun Kalila around, “Hurry, to the kitchen and help the cook. Tell her that you’re not to serve at tonight’s feast. You will stay in the kitchen.” Then she added, “Oh, and put on a thicker dress, and bind your breasts, or you will risk losing your maidenhead before you find your marriage bed.” Kalila felt a surge of fear and embarrassment, two nights ago a guard had found her alone in the laundry. Kalila shuddered to think about what might have happened if not for Majidah’s timely arrival.
It was past midnight when the cook sent her, with the night’s garbage, to the refuse dump behind the compound. Dressed in a black burka she faded into the night but instead of going to the dump Kalila moved to a pile of rubble. It took a minute to dig up the Sat-phone.
“Tango Lima is home.”
Without a backward glance she headed down the street, it was a long dangerous walk to the safe house, especially for a woman at night. Just as she knocked on the door a loud explosion rocked the village, followed by gunfire, and the sound of helicopters. The door opened and an old man glanced at her, and stepped back to let her inside. In perfect English he said, “It looks like you were successful, Mike.”
“Yeah, David, it took three damn months, but we got him.”
“Our extraction is set, we’ll swap back into our bodies at the Air Base in Turkey.”
Zapper started writing in December 2011 and has contributed a number of short and long stories to various websites. A few of his TG stories include: The Security Consultant Trilogy, The Bounty Hunters Trilogy, "Conan and the Blade of Costa" and his first story, "A Favor for Anna."
Can't Stop the Music
By Jenny North
Our big story continues to be the indie girl band "Skanky Euphemism," which came out of nowhere and rocketed to the top of the charts with their debut album, "Deal With The Devil." These hard-rocking girls have captured everyone's attention with such tunes as, "My Boyfriend Wears My Clothes," "His Cheating Heart (In A Push-up Bra)," and of course the new hit dance single, "Wannabe Girl."
The band's unstoppable music has also inspired a surprising new fashion craze among young men and teenage boys, who have started coming out in droves wearing dresses, high heels, and makeup. At first this seemed limited to their concerts, but increasingly boys have been challenging dress codes in schools and everyday life with their girly outfits as they raid the closets of their mothers, sisters, and girlfriends.
But not everyone is thrilled with the fad. Mrs. Gina Crothers of the "Coalition to Protect Our Children's Childhood" has become an outspoken critic of the band and this new fashion craze. "This 'music' is poisoning the minds of our vulnerable children!" she claims. "My daughter went shopping for a prom dress and found her boyfriend already there, trying on gowns! What's the world coming to?"
When asked about the recent sighting of her husband and 22-year-old son at a local dance club in matching dresses, Mrs. Crothers had no comment.
Recently, objection to the music has also come from another surprising corner--the band itself! In an unprecedented move, Skanky Euphemism has tried to pull their own hit songs from the market. In a press conference, Skanky lead singer Jessica Jasmine said, "Guys, please! You gotta stop listening! We just wanted to get back at our boyfriends, we didn't mean to release these tracks. There's...something in the music!"
But industry insiders aren't convinced. Many believe this is another publicity stunt to drive up interest and credit the band with fanning the flames of the craze with their repeated denials.
In related news, Hot Topic, Forever 21, Wet Seal, Aeropostale, and Victoria's Secret have all posted record profits.
And now, back to the music! Again by request, here's "Wannabe Girl" by Skanky Euphemism!
Hey there, boy, you know it's true I really want to know the inner you But then you threw me for a whirl When the inner you turned out to be a girl You put on a show trying to be a guy But your pouty protestations were all a lie Come on and show the world who you are inside Your glitter gowns and glamour heels are too pretty to hide! Wannabe, wannabe, wannabe girl You're way too real for the real world You look so sexy and you look so fine And I wanna wanna wanna wanna make you mine You tried so hard to be a boy But now we know that was a ploy So put on your sparkly princess dress And shout to the world that you must confess That you're a wannabe girl...
Hey there, boy, you know it's true
I really want to know the inner you
But then you threw me for a whirl
When the inner you turned out to be a girl
You put on a show trying to be a guy
But your pouty protestations were all a lie
Come on and show the world who you are inside
Your glitter gowns and glamour heels are too pretty to hide!
Wannabe, wannabe, wannabe girl
You're way too real for the real world
You look so sexy and you look so fine
And I wanna wanna wanna wanna make you mine
You tried so hard to be a boy
But now we know that was a ploy
So put on your sparkly princess dress
And shout to the world that you must confess
That you're a wannabe girl...
Jenny North was bitten by the writing bug in late 2013 to turn her stockpile of crazy story ideas into actual stories, which she lately posts on Fictionmania. She enjoys writing engaging characters, plot twists, whimsy, and the occasional bimbo. She's very proud of her multilayered "Broken Echo" story, and suspects that "Mockumentary" hasn't found its audience yet. She’s also enjoying speaking about herself in the third person.
By Lyodor Tolstoyevski
"Your favorite color is pink."
"No it's not." I puzzle at the receiver just before I hear the telltale click that says I've been hung up on. I shrug. "Well, that was weird."
And I put the receiver back on the cradle that sits on the desk in my office.
"Erin, did you connect a call to me about half an hour ago?"
"No, sir, I only just got in."
Erin's never lied to me before. No reason to think she's lying now. She's wearing a pink headband. My eyes are drawn to her head, and I follow it until the door closes behind her. What was I thinking about? Oh yes. The phone call.
I look at the receiver there on the cradle that sits on the desk in my office.
The room is stifling. Something is nagging at me, pulling my attention away from work. I find my thoughts drifting, my vision losing focus.
I pick up the phone.
"Erin, I need to pick a few things up. If anyone needs me, I'll be back in an hour."
And I toss the receiver onto the cradle that sits on the desk in my office.
The shopping bags make crinkling sounds as I drop them beside my desk. Each item, whether it be a desk calendar, a pen, a clock, a decoration, each one is bright pink. I set them all up around my office, and then the phone rings.
And I pull the receiver off of the cradle that sits on the desk in my office.
Something is wrong.
I've wasted the better part of a day for no good reason. My thoughts are jumbled. Why am I acting this way? I rub my temples and squint my eyes, trying to work my way through whatever haze has taken me. Pink. The phone call. The voice. Why did I recognize that voice? I slammed both hands flat on the armrests of my chair.
And I flung the receiver, along with the cradle, off of the desk in my office.
It's almost time to leave for the day. I can see other people packing up their desks to go home. Can I usually see people at their desks? Isn't there usually a door in front of me? I turn around. The door is behind me. That feels right.
Erin steps through the door and smiles down at me. I can't take my eyes off of her head. Her headband.
"You've been staring at this all day," she says to me as she takes it off. "I think you should have it. Your favorite color is pink."
That voice. Something. She hands me the headband, and I tentatively pull it over my head, adjust my hair beneath it. The phone rings and I pick it up. Dial tone.
And I put the receiver back on the cradle that sits on my desk at the office.
Lyodor Tolstoyevski is going through strange period in life. Is he truly writer? Is he truly TG writer? Is there appreciable difference between transgender fiction and gender transformation fiction? Lyodor does not know answer. But maybe if you buy “Inside the Girls’ Room,” now available on Amazon Marketplace, it will help him find answer.
Sleeping in the Enemy
By Varian Milagro
I slammed my feet against the wall of my confinement. It yielded, slightly. My captor was on the move again. I did not know her plans, but I intended to thwart them; her goals were not mine. I kicked again and was rewarded with a groan, which reverberated all around me. My prison continued to sway. I knew not where she headed; my prison had no windows, nor any light. I’d been in darkness since my imprisonment many months prior.
I pushed again, with both feet and hands. Success. She stopped. I heard a familiar, muffled, male voice from outside. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, I never could; hers were the only words I’d comprehended since my confinement.
“No, I don’t need to sit,” my enemy said.
I rotated my body. Turning in the tight confines was nearly impossible, but I wanted better leverage. I braced my shoulder against what I suspect was her pelvic bone and kicked upwards, repeatedly.
“On second thought, perhaps sitting for awhile would be a good idea. She’s pretty active today. Can you get me some water, honey?”
I sensed movement again, but instead of swaying, we seemed to descend for a moment followed by an abrupt halt, then stillness.
“There, there little girl,” she said.
I felt pressure against my feet. She was rubbing her belly, giving my feet a massage. It felt heavenly. I unlocked my knees, reflexively.
“I know you’re still mad; you probably think it kinder had I killed you as I was regretfully forced to do to your men. Executing you was the popular choice. No, that would have been a foolish waste. You are too bright, too resourceful, too inventive; the world needs people with your talents.”
I tried to continue my assault, but between the soothing sound of her voice and her comforting, indirect touch, I could no longer fight. I’d been deprived of outside contact, robbed of all human interaction, save hers. Despite my hatred, I absorbed any stimulation she gave me. Her every utterance bore into me, tearing at my self-will, undoing my very self. It was a kind of super charged Stockholm syndrome.
“Yes, this way will be much better, you’ll see. You will be reborn into a better life and raised with a loving family. You’ll grow into a woman who will benefit society instead of being that nasty man who preyed upon it. And, I’ve always wanted a daughter. Good night, my little angel.”
And with that she began to sing and I knew I’d lost another battle. Her sweet, melodic voice enveloped me. My cares evaporated and my eyes grew heavy. I’d resume my fight after a short nap. My thumb found my mouth and I began to suck. As I drifted off to sleep to my mother’s loving voice, I wondered if she’d continue to sing me to sleep after my birth. I hoped so.
Varian Milagro has written two TG stories to date, "Just Pretending" and "The Purse Came First", both of which are posted on FictionMania. All of his posted stories, including non-TG stories, can be found on his blog: http://varianm.blogspot.com/
As I enjoyed the feel of her lips around my shaft, I searched for a way to tell her. To tell her that she hadn't always been the woman of my dreams. Just last week, she'd been my best buddy Ron, and we'd been fishing. Ron had been six-foot-three, two hundred and twenty-five pounds, and now Ruby was five-foot-two, one hundred and fifteen pounds. It was an amazing transformation. Ron's peach fuzz-like light brown hair had grown out into Ruby's waist-length red locks. His hair covered, muscular chest had ballooned into a pair of the firmest double D-cups I'd ever felt. It was magnificent.
She took her lips off of my cock for just a second and kissed me. I smelled the cum on her breath. I pulled her close, one of my hands on her tit, the other on her ass. I squeezed both, making her moan through the kiss. Her cunt found my dick, and then something felt wrong. I pulled away in shock and saw that the hand that had been groping her tit was now slender and feminine, with fingernails that now shone a deep red.
Unfortunately, it wasn't just my hand. I saw the effect creeping up my arm, changing it, mutating into almost a mirror of what Ruby had become. I glanced at my other arm and the same thing happened. I tried to scream, but the sound that burst from my cocksuckers - my lips! - wasn't what I wanted it to be. I clamped my hands over my mouth and saw Ruby just smiling. What the hell had she done to me?!
Whatever she had done hadn't stopped. My cock was shrinking, painfully, and in seconds it was gone, replaced by a juicy pussy. One of my hands moved from my mouth to my cunt and, almost instinctually, two fingers slid in. A moan escaped my cocksuckers. I was sweating now. Why was this happening?!
That feeling moved from my juicy spot up to my chest. I felt a stinging pain in my nipples. Both my hands moved to my chest as the flesh underneath my nipples expanded. In nothing but a few seconds, my fun bags - breasts! - were even bigger than Ruby's, growing to at least an E-cup. I tried to cover them, but it was impossible, they were just too big.
I felt my hair growing out, lengthening to my naked ass in no time at all. I needed to find a mirror, fix my make-up - see what had happened! - but there didn't seem to be one around. Why had I picked this spot to grind with Ruby?
My head felt so light, now, like I was having a hard time thinking. What was I doing? Where was I? Who was I?
"What's the matter, Bunny?" Ruby asked, and everything I'd just thought about erased itself.
I giggled. "Nuthin', cutie. Now, get the strap-on out, I wanna enjoy what's left of Valentine's Day doin' sumthin' naughty!"
Hikaro has been reading transgender stories for some years now, but only broke into the writing business in late 2011, when he posted his first story to TG Storytime. Since then, he's garnered critical acclaim (in his own mind) with stories like "A First-Person Account" and "Brave New World". An odd sort of man, he likes to claim he has drinks with Elvis on the Titanic during the weekends.
Vicki Stood Up For Herself
Recollections of a Bystander
Don’t let them do this. Don’t let them turn you into a victim. One last glance in the mirror. Vicki loved the new pantsuit. Okay, it was a little tight but it looked good on her. The color – a Kelly green was perfect. Matching shoes and bag, she was ready to go. You can do this.
The No. 3 train from Brooklyn got her close to criminal court. Security was light when she arrived, no one paid her any mind and she asked where her courtroom was. When she got there, they told her to check in at the prosecutor’s table. Yes, she was Vicki Smith and yes, her purse had almost been snatched. No, she hadn’t been hurt when she was knocked to the ground. No, she never gave up her purse and yes, she had hit the man as hard as she could. And yes, that was the guy sitting in the third row.
When the judge came in, they called her case first. That was great because she had to get to work. Everything was going so good until she saw the detective in the back of the courtroom looking just at her. She almost stammered when the judge asked her a question but she recovered herself and held on. What was it? Why was he looking at her like that? Did he know? Why was he looking at her hands?
The lawyers were talking to the judge but she couldn’t focus. The prosecutor came over and told her that she could go. The judge had made clear that the purse-snatcher was going to be found guilty, and there was no reason to make her miss work. She would have to come back for sentencing and she would. Steeling her nerve, Vicki held her purse against her chest and stood up to go. The detective was looking right at her and Vicki could see a new recognition in his eyes. Did he know? She found herself walking up to him, ready to say something but he spoke first. “You did real good on the stand, Miss. Glad you got the chance to put things right.” He held the door open for her, a gentleman and then he winked. “Have a good day.” Vicki smiled back, straightened up and proudly left.
[And then there’s this to end the story. I was police, there on a different case and I saw it all. The story is true, although with some artistic license in the telling. It was 1979 and for transgender people things were different. I never found out who Vicki had been before and I never saw her again to ask. I still can see a young black boy standing up in open court, demanding to be recognized and respected as the girl he truly was. Let’s hope the reward for bravery was a long and happy life.]
Toxis writes stories about transformation, how events change people, make them something they weren't and leave them as something else. If you like this story, you might also like “Bianca Paragon” and “Spellbound” on Fictionmania, “Race Queen” at mcstories.com, and “Everything's Good” at Bdsmlibrary.
Voice of Madness
A Spellbinder Universe Tale
‘Bathe in his blood!’ she said as I collapsed to the ground.
I heard the guard’s feet clomp on the floor followed by the clank of the cell door closing behind him. I rolled onto my back panting and clutching at my side where I was certain his repeated kicks had resulted in broken ribs. Each time I drew in breath, the pain which was normally a dull throb swelled to the point I felt myself growing faint.
‘Get up! Fight, kill, burn everything!
“I-I can’t, I don’t know how!”
‘Let the magic burn inside of us!’
My vision flashed a brilliant bright white and gasped and gritted my teeth as I sat up. I could use magic, but given my current state I wasn’t sure I could live with the consequences. I flexed my hand, the female one, and watched fascinated and in disbelief that it could be mine. I cupped my breast and gasped, letting my hand drop back down. There was a jagged split down the center of my body, like two of my victims sewn together in a bizarre mishmash of male and female.
So many years, so many experiments, and it had all come down to this. It all started with twins, but it’d gone far beyond that. How many victims did I abduct over the years? I always had such a clear image of their faces in my mind, but now I could only recall a handful. I’d lost my passion for the work and instead became obsessed with power, specifically magic. Men were denied it’s use, but I’d been determined to find a way to make it mine and… I did.
I’d never been given the time I needed to test it, they came before I could and I’d been forced to inject myself to save the formula. It’s how I found myself in my present predicament, a prisoner of the Nordic empire.
‘Let it course through us. Burn our enemies to ash and cinder!’
“No! I-I can’t. I won’t! It’s too dangerous!”
I hadn’t called upon the magic, but I could feel it boiling just under the surface. It was said that it took years to master the power of the seidh, but the pure destructive force could be harnessed by the untrained if they were willing to take the risk.
‘Let the power burn!’
“YES!” I screamed my resistance slipping away as I let the magic just wash over me. It whipped and whirled. It burned… oh how it burned. I let it go swirling out of me a whirlwind of destructive fire and rage that blasted my little cell into oblivion.
‘We are free!’
The voice had been so right, all this time I had fought it, but she had known. The magic consumed me, eating away at male flesh, but I didn’t care. The voice and I howled out in unison until… I couldn’t discern her voice from mine. We were Mengele.
D.A.W. is a fan of science-fiction and fantasy who brings his love of the genres to TG fiction. He is the author of "Facades" and the "Ragnarok Rising Trilogy" ("Incompatible: Birth of a Spellbinder", "Transfigured: Ascension of a Spellbinder" and "Destiny: Legacy of a Spellbinder"). He has contributed to several shared universes including Enemyoffun's DarkRealms Universe ("Hunger Pangs") and Morpheus' Twisted Universe ("Virtually Twisted").
The Mixed Tape Interview:
Subject: Maggie Finson
[Transcript prepared at the request of Arnold Whelan HM, Dean of Admissions by Sonia Jackson]
Q: What books have influenced you most a writer?
M: Good question there and I can’t single out any in particular here. I’ve always been an omnivorous reader, though have a love of the SF and Fantasy genres. So I suppose there have been quite a few that did. One day I just decided that if others could do it, so could I, so I just started on it.
Q: What authors and stories would you recommend for fans of your work?
M: The ones that come to mind first would be David Weber and CJ Cherryh. Then Tom Clancy even if he does get a bit wordy at times. Dean Koontz is another. MaryJanice Davidson and Patricia Briggs for their whimsey. There are so many but those will do for now.
Q: You’ve been publishing stories since 2000. How do you think you’ve changed as a writer?
M: Well, I’ve learned to do more than the humor that my first posted story used for one thing. This question is asking about an internal growth that I never really mapped out or thought about much as it happened. I had my first story written and ready to go, then spent a month getting up the nerve to post it so I guess you could say I’ve gotten much more comfortable with writing and more confident about the results over time. Oh, sure, I’ve picked up things along the way: Improved my grammar and things like that, but I think overall it has mainly been my own changing outlooks and willingness to pursue things that made me uncomfortable at times. For example, ‘Spectre: Shades of Grey’ and ‘The Price of Betrayal’ to mention a few. I know that probably sounds kind of lame, but it’s the best I can do here since it’s not something I ever really considered.
Q: Most useful piece of writing advice you've ever received?
M: Two things actually. First, write what you know. I know, I know, I tend to write about some fantastical subjects, But knowing your location for the story, even if it is fantasy takes some world building just to know the more mundane events and locations in the story. So what if you’ve pulled the surroundings out of the air, so to speak. Knowing the where is important to keeping the story consistent all the way through. Also know your characters, so those things qualify for Write what you know. Also most of characters tend to be modeled in some way by people I know or have known.
Second, a good character can carry a story. As Lorilie in ‘Heaven and Hell’ and Deirdre in ‘Maiden by Decree’. Get a character that people like and can hopefully identify with helps a story a lot.
Oh, a third one, dialogue is important. The first thing I think of there is make the characters talk like real people. Use contractions such as I’ve instead I have. Dialogue that doesn’t do that seems stilted and, I think, actually slows down the story because people get annoyed with overly formal speech in stories these days unless it’s a really formal instance where such things are needed. Fit the dialogue for characters to what they are like. For example if a character is a sarcastic ass, make sure the dialogue shows that. As for stories without dialogue? Ever feel as if you’ve been wading through the biggest infodump you’ve ever seen?
M: Can you talk us through your writing process?
Q: Chaos. No, not really. I get a story idea, make my characters, have a good idea where it’s going and how I want it and, make notes to fill in the gaps then turn my characters loose. I get the framework set up along with the characters then just have fun with the thing. Very disorganized, I know, but it works for me.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Whateley Universe?
M: Sure. It would take more than a few words to really describe things. There are so many available powers, other abilities and problems in the universe that make it very diverse and the sheer number of active and old characters is kind of mind boggling along with the situations they get themselves into. The Whateley Bible (Sorry only available to canon authors) lists hundreds of characters from major to minor. We also generally have an overarching meta plot that the individual stories fit into in time. The four of us who originated it Bek D Corvin, Scranbler J, and Babs Yerunkle spent two years getting things together before any of it saw the light of day for readers. We all had read stories or seen movies that got us interested in seeing how we could do the same theme(s) so decided to set up a whole Universe to play in. It’s complex, widely varied in story content, and I’m told is extremely addictive.
Q: What are some good entry points for new readers?
M: At the beginning, of course. I’d start with Enter the Chaka, then Fey’s first stories, along with early Jade and the ones for Ayla. I don’t recall off hand where it is, but there is a story list that shows those that isn’t all that hard to find. [see:http://www.crystalhall.org/stories.html]
Q: How has it evolved over the years?
M: How hasn’t it evolved would be a better question here. The growth and popularity of Whateley took all of us original creators completely by surprise,as I mentioned earlier. There is now any type of character you could imagine there, along with a dedicated site to the universe with open forums and even fan fiction. Our child is bigger than we are. But it is fun, never ceases to surprise you, and is a challenge that new writers seem drawn to. Overall, it’s become something way beyond what we, the original four, ever imagined it could be.
Q: Superheroes are a staple of TG fiction, why do you think that is?
M: For onething, don’t we all have that secret desire to be someone who can overcome obstacles against insurmountable odds? Someone who strives to make things right? To rise above ourselves to accomplish something extraordinary? Also, though I’m not trying to categorize anyone here, the TG community as a whole tends to get ignored a lot, denied basic rights that everyone should have, and be generally denigrated all around. Being a superhero still sets them apart, but in a good way.
Q: What are some of your favourite non-Whateley superhero stories?
M: Morpheus’ Legacy universe, definitely.
Q: And outside our fictional niche?
M: George R.R. Martin’s Wild Card series. Shared universe with a lot very good writers contributing.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say?
M: Hmm. Mainly that I have been humbled by the response to my writing over the years and wish to thank all my fans. And to new writers who have a story you think is pretty good. Put it out there for people to see. Regardless of the response, the only way you can improve is get your child out there for others to see, and hopefully, enjoy.
Musings on the Depressed Mind
One of the worst things depression does is turn your imagination against you. It puts it to work constructing worst case scenarios and byzantine trains of rational seeming, deeply illogical thought to persuade you to further isolate yourself within its confines. It warps your fantasies – not only the sexual, but daydreams and aspirations too – into toxic, unfulfilling comforts. To get any relief from them you have to indulge them to an unhealthy degree. If you’re able to. (And often you aren’t).
Other people baffle and irritate the depressed mind. It doesn’t understand how they can be so effortlessly all the things that it isn’t. For me the desire to be like other people evolved into the fantasy of literally becoming someone else. I latched onto the idea that, if I could stop being me, all my problems would be solved. Reading body-swap and transformation stories scratched that itch.
For a brief period of time, I was obsessed with the idea of escaping the prison of my inner and outer self and existing as another person. It became difficult to see other people as anything except potential vessels. I was driven to distraction by if only’x and what if’s, and constantly frustrated by the knowledge these could only ever be thought experiments.
I’ve never written body-swaps and transformations as fix-all in my stories. On an intellectual level, I do this to create narrative spaces that best facilitate compelling characters and incident. But there was, and maybe still is, an element of rebellion to the choice as well.
It’s difficult to say whether or not writing shaped the relationship with the fetish that inspired it into something healthier. The quirks and obsessions of the depressed mind are many and multifaceted, and for me, they come and go one or two at a time. Shortly after I started writing, several long dormant neuroses came back in a big way, supplanted my swap and transformation fixation, and I hit rock bottom.
My situation didn’t improve because I worked through my issues in my writing. I know that’s not how this story is supposed to go. I know a lot of people find solace in putting their thoughts into words, but I never have. In my case writing truthfully about subjects like anxiety and depression while they dominate my headspace is a masochistic act. It requires me to give those parts of myself power in exchange for insight and further psychic harm, so I don’t do it often.
The Talking Cure is something that works for me, as does simply being around sympathetic people. When I was no longer able to hide my problems from others, I found to my surprise, horror, delight and consternation, friends, family members, and acquaintances in my life who were willing to accompany me on my incremental journey back to wellness. The depressed mind wants help just as much as it wants to reject any and all assistance when it’s offered (that is, more than anything). Because of this, if you find yourself in a position where you think that you might be able to help a depressed person and are unsure of what to do next, you need to accept that whatever you do, you will, at some point, fail. Maybe a lot. The depressed mind is a master of misinterpretation; it perceives kindness as sarcasm and compassion as contempt; it finds gaping holes in the logic behind every reasonable statement and argument. You need to accept this and act anyway. Helping a depressed person, like recovering from a bout of serious depression, is a three steps forward, two steps back type ordeal.
Amazon Studio’s Emmy Award Winning Transparent examines identity and how it’s shaped by the parts of ourselves we hide from others or deny. It’s an excellent program, but also a frustrating one; it has the potential to be even better. At times Transparent’s treatment of its theme is poignant and uncompromising, at others it’s a rickety framework used to prop up (mostly entertaining) Prestige Soap antics (your mileage may vary. If HBO’s Girls does nothing for you, you’re probably not going to like Transparent much).
Transparent is at its best where it counts, though. Jeffrey Tambor is a revelation as Maura (formally Mort) Pfefferman, a transitioning trans woman, and the source of the program’s title. Though often outwardly reserved and soft spoken, through small gestures, and variances in tone of speech and expression Tambor lays bare the character’s inner personality and strength. The sequences detailing her entry into the trans community are wonderful, and raise the bar for future representations of trans individuals on-screen (Tambor is the only cisgender actor playing a trans character on the show).
If you watch only one episode of Transparent, make it episode 8, “Best New Girl,” which takes place 20 years prior to majority of the program’s narrative and revolves around (the at that time closeted) Maura’s experiences at a crossdressing camp. Not only does this episode showcase many of the most outstanding moments of an outstanding performance, it works just as well when removed from the context and continuity of the series, and includes a profoundly unsettling b-plot involving Maura’s youngest child, Ali, which is among the program's best non-Maura-centric material.
Ali (Gabby Hoffman and Emily Robinson) is the only of Maura’s children to be consistently well served by the show’s creative team. Like her brother Josh (Jay Duplass and Dalton Rich), Ali is a directionless, thirty-something, self-absorbed, free-spirit. Ali’s story offers compelling insights into the character and why she is who she is, and it matures, even when she doesn’t. Transparent’s treatment of Josh’s life skews soapier and the first season frustratingly concludes his story with a great big “oh, come on… really?” reveal. Amy Landecker, who plays the oldest of the Pfefferman siblings, Sarah, is given the weakest material: a divorce plot in which her children, and her new partner’s ex and their kids, are total non-entities, conspicuous in their absence.
By most measures Transparent is fantastic television (or is it a webseries - I don’t know, the lines between these things gets blurrier every day), some of the best of 2014, and it’s failures are the failures of a lot of first season tele - and of most tele - indeed a most fiction, period - the failure to consistently meet the standards it sets for itself; the failure to integrate all its characters and their stories seamlessly into a cohesive work; questionable storytelling choices made to prolong a semi-episodic, long-form narrative, with, as yet, no set ending. In spite of these issues, Transparent is always engaging, moment to moment, and assured in its depiction of its heroine and her inner journey. As long as Transparent continues in this vein, it could very well be an all timer.
This article has been around for a while but it remains an excellent primer regarding the similarities and differences between the trans and drag communities.
Good news, there’s a computer program that can help you writer betterer! Sort of. Slick Write is fantastic tool that draws attention to how you grammer and recommends a lot of great resources to help you improve.
(I Write Like, on the other hand will not help you improve. At. All. However it’s always good for a laugh. According to I Write Like, my Transparent review is written in the style of HP Lovecraft. As a general rule, if IWL’s algorithm spits out David Foster Wallace, you’re writing is probably shit. If it spits out Chuck Palahniuk, it’s probably not bad. Whatever IWL says, you almost certainly do not write like either author.)
Just for Laughs
As always I hope that you found something that turned you on, or that made you laugh, or made you think in the collection that you just read.
I’d like to extend a big thankyou to all the authors who contributed. They have been very patient (next time you gals and guys won’t have to wait so long to see your work out in the wild, I promise). Please reward them with your comments.
Jenny North, Lyodor Tolstoyevski, Toxis, thankyou for your insightful and supportive comments regarding my depression essay.
Submissions for March’s Mixed Tape are due on the 16th of that month.
Guidelines for fiction submissions:
~ Stories are to be no longer than 500 words.
~ Write what you want to write.
~ Stories are to be accompanied by a short About the Author or Also By This Author blurb. Write one of those too.
Guidelines for nonfiction submissions:
~ Pieces are to be no longer than 1000 words.
~ Possible topics include trans issues, sex and sexuality, cross-dressing tips and tricks, writing, and books, movies, TV shows and comics about or featuring Transgender characters. If you can make a case for anything else, you can write about that.
~ Regarding style: informal is fine, and preferred. These pieces shouldn’t be a chore to read. Write your chosen topic the same way you’d talk to a friend about it, or write about it in a blog, or in an effort-comment or forum post.
As a contributor you will be able to read and feedback other contributions as they come in. If at any point prior to publication you wish to withdraw your work, that’s OK.
The finished anthology will be published on Big Closet, TG Storytime and Fictionmania. Make sure you have accounts set up on all three sites (all are free to join). I want to get as many authors credited on each site as possible.
Email submissions to [email protected]
Until next time, or until I hear from you.
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