TopShelf Blogs

An encouraging retrospective on the journey from real life


Blog About: 

I was trawling through my hard drive this evening (yes… I know… utterly boring… until I reread what I had written).

Just over four years ago I started my journey to acceptance and transition. Rereading what I wrote then made me think… it might be useful to someone on the path. So here it is.

An Epiphany on the Journey – 13th October 2011

gaby book 12 chapter die ersten!

So as one or several of you asked nicely I've posted the next Gaby chapter today, the first from Book 12.

Its also been pointed out that people are having issues finding stuff on Lulu after they changed some settings so if you go to you can access all of the stuff I have on Lulu.


As far as I know, Grover is home.

I haven't heard from Paula in a few days, but when last we talked, she expected to have Grover back home by yesterday, barring any unforseen complications.

I am SO relieved toknow that my dear friend, my sister, has come through this trying time and will be home with Paula where he can rest and recuperate. Thank you God.

Catherine Linda Michel

Is it just with my mobile devices?

Some weeks ago all of the non-ASCII characters on all of my mobile devices became broken. I mean umlauts, French and German accents, and German specific letters.
Just going through Maddy Bell's Nena stories once again and all of the non-ASCII characters {which are numerous as all of the action takes place outside of USA) are displayed as 2 or 3 unicode characters.

I need help finding a story, please

I am trying to find a story, and my brain is farting on the name. It involved a Batman-like superhero who could teleport in shadows who gets turned into a girl only to have it revealed he was always trans on the inside.

Loved it, loved the humor, the feels, but I cant remember the name, or the author, or if she will ever finish the story


Sacred Feces!!!

As many of you might know by now, an astounding and miraculous event has occurred in my country. It is the most important event to occur since 1937 in the 'young' history of where I live. The people of the Republic of Ireland have voted for an amendment to the constitution allowing people of the same sex to get married.

Blog Entry 24th May 2015- Everybody Doesn't Love Charlotte?

The first story I ever wrote on BC was Charlotte- which came from an idea I had for a TG story where a boy wakes up one day as a girl, and along the way discovers that life as a girl has its own set of advantages that are much better than his previous life as a boy. The story has since expanded fairly dramatically- part 10 of the story even saw the protagonist undergo SRS- but it has always remained one of my least popular stories here on BC.

I made my boss tear up today

Well, I managed to make my boss tear up today.

See, I had my poem "Dear God" published in a free newspaper my church gives out, and to celebrate, I took a copy to my work and showed the store manager the poem.

She teared up, and asked if she could hug me ...

In honor of this achievement, I am going to post a link to the poem below:

Land of my Heart

I just finished reading LAND OF MY HEART BY Browen Welsh . I feel the need to post that if you have not read this story you need to give it a look .
The story starts with a young boy in Britain called "A Foreign Country" and the adventures there in to becoming a 50's Woman in the Australian out back .
VERY GOOD READ but you must start at the first story. KUDOS to Author .
Hugs to all Richie2

Bikini Beach: Of Hopes and Dreams.

For those that are interested I have reposted my story Bikini Beach: Of Hopes and Dreams, of Friendships lost.

This, for me was a major revision of corrections, a few additions and hopefully better writing.

So if interested take a look see. I hope to have the other half edited and done soon.

Link: Bikini Beach: Of Hopes and Dreams, of Friendships Lost Part 1 of 2



more good news from Canada!


Blog About: 

Two pieces of good news from Canada!

First, Parlament passes a bill to protect trans people:

Second, the Canadian Football league now has its first openly gay player:

People just make me shake my head sometimes


Blog About: 

So the other day I was talking the GM of my McDonald's I am a shift manager at the McDonald's that I work in. I was pointing out that the toys that we have at this time are the most split that we have ever had. ((Skylanders//My little pet shop.)) They are the most that I have seen girls asking for the boy's toy and boy's asking for the girl's toy granted in some ways these toys are gender neutral though little pet shop is geared to girls boys little animals as well. And skylanders is for both boys and girls.

A slight personal victory and a goodbye


I don't know whether it is the weight or the constant attacks, but I've become quite the recluse. I hardly go out. I save the shopping for Felix, I don't to church any more, and I almost didn't go to the doctor's yesterday because the thought of someone seeing me made me a bit mental.

Swyre Syndrome or XY gonadal dysgenesis


Blog About: 

It's frequently a fantasy of transgender readers to imagine what it would be like to be inter-sexed or androgen insensitive or some other unusual genetic manifestation. On today's Guardian website is an account of a woman who suffers with Swyre Syndrome or XY gonadal dysgenesis which has caused her problems much of her life.

victory in Edmonton for trans girl


Blog About: 

Well, its been an interesting week for trans people here in Edmonton, as the news has been full of stories about a young trans girl who was being denied the right to use the girl's washrooms at school. Since the school is run by the Catholic church, who aren't big fans of us, it seemed that they were going to force the girl's parents to take them to the Human Rights court, a process that would take years. But one of the trustees for the school district spoke out against the policy, and now the school has backed down, meaning the girl will be allowed to use the girl's washrooms.

Has any one heard from Sarah UK?

Hello this fish029:
I am not big poster. I love the reading stories more, here on BigCloset they are some many excellent stories and universes to read here about. I am worried about Sarah UK. Has any one herd from Sarah UK? Is that she ok or has she stop writing. If she stop writing it sad to hear that.

Grover's Hospital Adventures

The following is Grover's Adventures in Hospital Land thus far:

Tuesday, May 19:
Grover finished walking the dog at around 10:30 AM, and had some shoulder pain. Thinking it was just muscle pain due to weather changes, he took some Tylenol. However, the pain did not go away after 30 minutes and his fingertips started feeling numb.

Grover's Hospital Adventures

The following is Grover's Adventures in Hospital Land thus far: Tuesday, May 19: Grover finished walking the dog at around 10:30 AM, and had some shoulder pain. Thinking it was just muscle pain due to weather changes, he took some Tylenol. However, the pain did not go away after 30 minutes and his fingertips started feeling numb. !--break-- He called me at work, and said he might need to go the ER, but didn't want to interrupt my workday. What a silly goose. I immediately left and took him to the nearest ER, where we waited for about two hours for him to be seen.

Girl Scouts do Good for Trans-Girl

Blog About: 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


Another Anti-Lgbt organatization has started hating on people.
The American-Family-Association(AFA), is a little late joining on the dissing of Trans-girl in scouts, and they want them out.

But, there is serious good news, the GSA (Girl Scouts of America) instantly defend the Trans-Girls, as both belonging and girl that just have to take a more unique path, that scouting can help them with.

Bless 'em all.


Blog About: 

From the Guardian a story about how one parish convinced a diocese to put a proposal to the General Synod of the Church of England about renaming ceremonies for transgender Christians. While I'm unlikely to consider it as an unbeliever, I welcome what looks like the slightest movement of progress for those who do, and I wish Blackburn Diocese good luck with their motion.

Grover is scheduled for surgery today.

Grover's wife, Paula, just called to update me on his condition. He seems in good spirits although weak and, of course, being bored in the hospital and unable to access the internet since the hospital appaarently will not allow contact with Top Shelf.

She told me how much all your good wishes/prayers/good vibes mean to them both. She said that you can contact them through their facebook pages. I will, of course, continue to be a go-between, keeping you all informed on Grover's surgery and progress back to health.

TED video - My daughter my wife our robot and the quest for immortality

There's an interesting TED video given by Martine Rothblatt which talks partly about her transition at Ted talks click here.

However, there's a whole lot more about how she moved from being a satellite communication engineer to form a medical company to keep alive her daughter who has a life-threatening illness, and about digitally saving our minds so we can be reborn at some time in the future!

For those that don't know of them, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the website contains videos of well-presented lectures on all kind of fascinating subjects.

discovering gender conditions that I never knew exist and yet I might actually have.


Blog About: 

So, I was listening to a podcast from the new NPR series, "Invisibilia" and on one episode they describe a condition which causes a the sufferer to mentally switch genders at whim. They even interview a Trans person who initially suffers from it and they are repulsed by the body in the mirror after a shower to the point of nausea, because it did not match who they are mentally at that time.

They actually start to transition to make themselves more androgynous, only to find their switch stops flipping and they seem 'Locked' into their new gender and finish the transition.

Taking paracetamol in pregnancy may harm male foetuses


Recent research from Edinburgh University suggests that use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) in pregnancy may lead to reproductive problems in male foetuses by affecting testosterone levels causing such things as undescended testes.

OK, I'd Forgotten


what writing like this was for me.

Crap! Sit down at the laptop and a couple of hours later 5 or 6 thousand words come out!

It's cool and all, and it is the way the first 10 chapters came into being, but damn it's tiring.

But that has my draft of Chapter 16 done. Now to go back and edit it all.

But, glad to see my muse has returned for a while.

Today was my first day at my new job!


Blog About: 

Crazy times have been had the last few weeks, but I am now employed again!

I'm back at Wal Mart, though this time in Mountain View rather than Heber Springs. The upshot is that it's less than 5 minutes' drive or 15 or so walking away from my aunt's, where I'm now staying, so gas costs are no longer an issue at all. I'll also be making more an hour than I ever have before, AND working a relatively stable schedule since I'm an "IMS Associate," from 10 PM to 7 AM.

So, yayness! Money! Progress! WOOO!

Melanie E.

Worst nightmare.

Blog About: 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


Well, it finally happened. My worst nightmare. As I have proudly proclaimed for a while. I'm quite confident in being out and about in my neighborhood and around town.

Tuesday, week before last, I was sent to get birdseed (and some other things) at Bi-mart after work. This time, I opted to stop by the house and change into appropriate clothing and not appear there in my overly masculine work uniform.

Grover is in Hospital.

Grover's wife just called me and told me that Grover is in hospital and will be undergoing triple bypass surgery within the next day or two.

Let's all take a moment and send good thoughts, vibes and/or prayers for one of the most prolific and imaginative writers out there.

My prayers have already gone out and will continue to do so until Grover, my friend, my sister, is past this crisis. Lots of hugs to Understanding Wife, Grover's wife as well.

Catherine Linda Michel



Blog About: 

Sweet flying spaghetti monster, I thought I'd never have to deal with this again. Especially not from one of our own.

As I was making my way home from my monthly transgender support group meeting, I ended up behind someone obviously transgender herself--someone vaguely familiar.

It turns out she lives in the same apartment complex I do. After years of being the only transgender tenant, apparently I have company.

My Nice Kids


Blog About: 

This past Sunday we went and met my boys for a lunch for Mothers Day / Fathers Day . My younger son paid for the lunch and then a nice surprise from my older son . He went to the Seminole Casino the week before and won $3000.00 at the back rack table so as we where leaving to go home he handed me some money folded with a $100.00 bill on the outside with 4 more on the inside very nice to get $500.00 for mom day and dad day. He has done this before we he wins big , he is a CPA and is ahead of the casino's with the winnings .

Please help. I don't know what to do now


Blog About: 

I finally did it. I acquired pure capsaicin crystals. And I then tried them. Not straight mind you. You can actually put all the pure capsaicin crystals you want in your mouth. They're not water soluble and require a fat or oil to dissolve so saliva won't work. The stuff came with a tiny bottle of glycerine which I did mix them into and try.

Not as hot as I thought it would be. The previous highest scoville unit thing I had was this 4.4 million sauce. The 16 mil is hotter, but it doesn't seem by much.

Best Dressed at the 2015 Met Gala


Some of the ladies thought it was Halloween??? I swear some of those outfits made me physically shudder. Only way I would ever be caught in many of those dresses I looked at was if I was dead. Has everyone forgot what class is or is shock the new normal? Looking at a few of the ladies caught in the background I saw many who still had the idea what a woman should wear to an evening event.

Story update & bio

It;s been a few days since I posted a new chapter for either of my ladies. I'm afraid I've hit a block with Gains that needs a rethink but I had no desire to write over the weekend. Hopefully a new Testing Times will hit the news stand on Tuesday (that's today if you're East of the Meridian)

Be my guest - enjoy a rant.


Another article from the Guardian about guns. Everyone, should by now, know how opposed I am to them but there are some interesting statistics, especially the increased risk of injury or death to women if guns are kept in the home.

For those interested:

Please keep the responses civil.

A small treat for Unreachable fans

Since I am posting Worth Fighting For, I figured that enough time has gone by that a repost of Unreachable might be a good idea to remind everyone where Desiree has come from. So, for the duration (and as long as no one alerts Amazon) I will make Unreachable and Reaching Home available to everyone (without posting chapter by chapter). I hope people will enjoy and I still wouldn't mind if people posted reviews on Amazon for me (I'd like to hit 100 reviews).

So, while you still can (most likely a month), enjoy one of my better received works.

Another lap around the sun


Blog About: 

As those of you who engage in the Great Waste Of Time known as Facebook may already be aware, today marks my completion of another lap around the sun - not that I feel any different to yesterday or appreciably older. Just an ordinary day at work attempting to make sense of a pile of social care data, hoping to massage it into shape by the end of the week ready for the annual government return.

Battle For Earth: Infiltration epub & pdf

For those that are still interested I've uploaded the epub for Battle For Earth:Infiltration. You can grab it from the outline page or download it directly from this link. As with Battle for Earth: Resistance if you want the pdf I will send it to you via email. Just send me a PM with your email addy and I'll get it sent out.

pictures of the past


Blog About: 

Well, we have finally got pictures on our walls, so my mom is happy.

Many trans people would be a little upset at seeing pictures of themselves pre-transition everywhere, but honestly, I find I don't mind all that much.

The boy I was raised as is a part of me, my history in boy world helps shape the woman I'm becoming, so why should I be ashamed of him?

Just my thinking, what's yours?

Blog Entry 17th May 2015- Birthday Songs


Blog About: 

Apparently a lot can be said about someone by the song that was #1 in the charts the day they were born. I can certainly agree with this, as #1 the day I was born was 'Woman' by John Lennon (foreshadowing? Maybe). It's a good job I wasn't born a few days later or it'd have been 'Shaddap You Face' by Joe Dolce. Whilst this isn't a thought exercise so much as a trivia exercise, I thought it'd be interesting to go over what was #1 for my girls and boys on the days they were born (using the UK charts as I'm a proud Brit, lol).

New Universe

Now that The Unusual Clownfish is coming to an end---at least the first part of it, I want to move onto something different. For a while now I've been teasing the possibility of starting a new universe and now I think its time to do so.

I'm going to be taking a foray into a superhero universe. I don't have all the specific details of it fully hammered out but I'm hoping to get the first story up and done as soon as I polish off the last 3 chapters of Clownfish Part One.

Hatbox Funds Needed


Thanks to everyone who has contributed, seriously, we could not do this without you.

We still have close to $2500 in bills to pay in the next week or so and about $1200 in the bank.

As usual the links to the Hatbox page and the Janglewood page can also be found in the right hand column under the picture of the kitty.


Time stands still

Hello all:

I've been a reader on this site for several years now. I love the mental vacation it provides. I comment frequently about stories I read and prefer. I'm a simple working girl who lives my life as I see fit and the world be damned, this includes most of my family who have tossed me aside as if I'm dead.

I'm glad to be here

I see that my approach to storytelling is welcome here and for that I'm glad. I prefer a lighthearted approach to issues related to gender identity and sexuality but by no means do I think they are frivolous. Sometimes a series of light touches is the best way to explore difficult subjects. On top of that I do enjoy making people smile once in a while.

B B King, A Legend Who Now Belongs to the Ages

B B King died this past Thursday at 89. I saw and heard this great Blues Guitarist perform live several times. He also was an influence to other musicians over decades. God is in Heaven and listing to a great jam session.

He was also a WWII veteran. These heroes are getting rarer.


Clownfish Update Again

Sorry about no chapter this week. I was having some internet issues the last few days. Actually it was connectivity issues, the internet would stay on sometimes for a few minutes then shut off for a few hours. I was told there was a problem with one of my lines. I think I managed to fix the problem on my own. So far things are still going very well internet wise.

I'm halfway through Ch.12 as I write this.

Helping Doppler Press rise

Doppler Press has had some nice success to start off. Heather O'Malley's 300 Rains, Lana Lee's Suit Yourself and Sue Brown's Soccer Girl have all hit best seller status. Katie Leone just published Worth Fighting For and that is doing okay for us too. But there are things that the Big Closet community can do to really help not only increase our visibility on Amazon, but drive traffic (more readers for all our authors and perhaps a few new authors to post stories to boot) to the site.

Gabycon 2015

Okay folks

here are the details as they stand

Dates 3/4/5 July 2015
Location Dorchester

programme tbc

Friday evening - meal in Dorchester
Saturday - optional cycle ride (non riders can drive of course!) to Weymouth/Portland followed by Gaby readings and evening meal
Sunday - visit to Yeovilton Air Museum, lunch with Gaby readings before departure.

There is a wide variety of accommodation in the area

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria: Meeting Maria Bello

Picture of Myself, Maria Bello and CapturedByThePastSo I recently got the chance to meet Maria Bellow during the book tour for her new book "WHATEVER... Love is Love" and thought I'd share my experience. I just recently posted it to my rarely-updated WordPress blog.


A final part of a story... A Girl can but Dream...

It was brought to my attention that I had managed to forget to post the final part of a story - A Girl can but Dream

It is now posted here, and of course is still available on in Kindle format.

Friendly Warning

Hey there...

I just wanted to let you all know that I am going to be pulling Transitioning Home as soon as Joyce can get to it. I plan on reworking some things based on my research and then seeing if I can do the thing with the publish. But, since you all might get surprised by it simply vanishing I felt that letting you all know that was going to happen would be a kindness.

Transgender stigma.


I was sitting in a writer's group a couple weeks ago talking about writing TG content out of stories I plan to publish. Surprisingly, it was the consensus of the group is that TG stigma is all but gone. And, it seems that the general public wants to know more about being TG and Intersex. I do not know how Amazon is doing it, and what choices there are but most of the group felt that publishing these stories in General Public is acceptable.

A strange dream


Blog About: 

Well, today I wanted to share a dream I had during my move.

In the dream, at first I found myself in a classroom, and a drill instructer of a teacher was making a boy parade in front of the class because he had come to school previously in ripped pants. We were to sacastically applaud the fact that today he had chosen to wear pants without a rip in them.

Then I looked down at myself, and at first I thought I was wearing red pajamas, so I thought I would be next to be humilated, but the instructor ignored me, and instead clapped his hands together.

The Ice Saints


Blog About: 

The Ice Saints (Die Eisheiligen in German) are saints named for 4th and 5th century martyrs and so on.

This year the Ice Saints' Days start today, according to German-speaking countries. Other countries modify the 'rule'!

This year:

11th May - Mamertus
12th May - Servatius
13th May - Pankratius
14th May - Bonifatius
15th May - Kalte Sophia

Why is this important?
Well, according to farmer's observations over hundreds of years, these days are the last fling of winter, after which no more frosts and no more snow.

It seems amateur cyclists are doping as much as the pros


Blog About: 

Why am I surprised? Probably because I'm incredibly naïve and don't understand why anyone would want to do it. It's dangerous and pointless. What's the point of bragging rights, which apparently alpha males enjoy, if you cheated to get them? Some people seem to think it's worth it, I'm saddened especially as it's rife in youth cycling. Whoever is responsible should be jailed for a very long time - it's tantamount to child abuse and these are the people we want to develop in fitness, technique and ethics. Winning is not all.


For several years I received a stream of Gabyverse fanfiction which for the most part seemed to be received very well and enjoyed by many. Apart from specials by Angharad for the Gabycon's (this years event is the first weekend of July), this has dried up so that the arrival this week of a new interlude was quite unexpected.



I just want to say that I'm encouraged and discouraged both by recent discussions of unpubbing stories, kudos, criticism and the like.

I've demoted two blogs concerned with those subjects off the front page, not because they were unimportant but because I felt that they were both beginning to attract comments that some people could feel were unfriendly.

In general, people are trying to say things they think are encouraging or helpful but I've been doing this for fifteen years and I have a sense of when something is being said that can too easily be misinterpreted. So....


So, over a long period of time a few authors have unpublished their stories, and I always wondered why. Yesterday's blog about that has me examining my own stories and considering what to do. None of my own stories have over 50 Kudos and in the climate of the BCTS world that is humiliating.

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. :)