TopShelf's 2015 Summer Vacation Getaway! Story Contest


Entry Submission Dates are from March 15, 2015 until May 22, 2015.

Voting on the Submissions should tentatively occur between May 24, 2015 through May 31st, 2015(midnight Pacific Time),
with the Winner Announcements on June 1, 2015.

The Prizes are: 1st Place $100 x 2, 2nd Place $75 x 2, 3rd Place $50 x 2.
(prizes subject to increase with notice!)

Server Orchestration Pains....

Blog About: 


Sorry for the 503's today folks.

We've been limping around for the last few months on a partially operating setup, that I didn't want to mess with because it was still operating.

I recently managed to pull a rabbit out of my hat, and bring the entire cloud setup and outlying systems to full health without physical interaction :) (yay me!).

Hatbox broken

I don't know what to say. I have bills, Piper and Cat have bills and BigCloset has bills. There is money that comes in next week but that is already spent in the budget. The constant money problems drag me down. After six months of being ill, I'm having trouble functioning. Money in the Hatbox would not cure my depression but maybe I could sleep without waking up at 3 a.m. for an appointment with worry.

There is less than 400 in the company accounts and less than 300 in my personal ones.

If you can help, it will be appreciated. Thanks.

Hatbox funds very much needed

We're current on our site bills, though that put us negative to start the month and we have no money to pay ourselves for paying personal bills. This is getting serious.

I'm still sick and unable to work the usual 6 to 12 hours a day I put into the site, though I am still getting in 2 to 4 hours a day. Piper, Cat and I have not been paid our usual stipends this month.

Hatbox and Patreon still a bit short, last chance to help in December


Last chance to help us out this month. We're a little short.

I post something, art or story, nearly every day to either BC or Patreon. About half of the stuff at Patreon will be Patrons only, though most of that will be reposted to BC eventually. You can join Patreon here;

If you can help out, it will be appreciated. Thanks again.

We're still here, still operating a friendly place for authors and fans of TG Fiction.


Earlier Outage

Blog About: 


Sorry about the outage earlier folks. The virtual boot image for one of our front-end servers recently corrupted so I pulled it out of the hunt group while I work on it. Around the same time I decided to process upgrades on the remaining 2 front ends, using the standard rolling reboot pattern that I usually do but with one server down I forgot that we were short coverage while the front ends finish their boot process and really get rolling.

We're broke and overdrafted, Hatbox funds needed


Thanks to everyone who has been able to help out. We've got almost two weeks left in the month with $1000 in bills due by Friday and only -$15 in the accounts. I can cover the overdraft but a bit of help will be welcome. Thanks again.

We're still here, still operating a friendly place for authors and fans of TG Fiction. If you can help out, it will be appreciated.


Hatbox STILL $1000 short at end of month


There's still about $1000 in bills due or owed by this Friday and we have about $70 in the bank. We got hit by about $500 in credit and debit card fraud (two different cards) so that has complicated things. It will probably be resolved in our favor within a week or two but it is a pain.

We're still here, still operating a friendly place for authors and fans of TG Fiction. If you can help out, it will be appreciated.


Email problems, changing passwords and new members


For the last two, almost three, weeks, BigCloset email has been intermittent. Sometimes not sending emails for people signing up or changing passwords or sending blank messages. It took us a while to even notice it but for the past week or so we have been working on this problem.

We think we've got it solved so if you tried to sign-up or change your password in the last couple of weeks and never got the email to complete the process, or got a blank one, please try again.

The Mermaid's Treasure -6- Mermaids Don't Have Legs


Latest chapter of The Mermaid's Treasure available at Patreon/BigCloset

The Adeline

I marveled that I had been able to get through the rather narrow door between the two cabins with a butt like that. I turned around and looked at it over my shoulder, pulling my hair out of the way because it was long enough to obscure the view.

Need cash for immediate bills; things like food and medicine

Blog About: 


We're going to ask for an early start on our June goals because of reasons below. We've got bills this weekend and only about $200 on hand so there is an immediate need to. Our big money will arrive next week and we should be able to get current on bills but right now is a problem.

The service on our debt is killing us. I'm afraid I'm going to have to temporarily increase how much we ask people for. I don't want to do this but I really can't borrow any more money. If you can help, it will be greatly appreciated. I'm going to separate the Hatbox into two counts, one for expenses and the other for debts. 25% of what is brought in from gifts and subscriptions will go toward debts and the count in the sidebars will reflect this.

Our ebook business is growing, check us out on Amazon at: — We believe that producing ebooks for the TG community and eventually for a wider audience will eventually solve our financing problems.

Thanks and hugs to everyone,
Erin and the gang

Not to put too fine a point on it but we're broke; also Hatbox funds low

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


The service on our debt is killing us. I'm afraid I'm going to have to temporarily increase how much we ask people for. I don't want to do this but I really can't borrow any more money. If you can help, it will be greatly appreciated. I'm going to separate the Hatbox into two counts, one for expenses and the other for debts.

Hugs and thank you.

Info for giving to the Hatbox is below.

Thanks and hugs to everyone,
Erin and the gang

A little more month left than money in the Hatbox


We're still short on the month's goal, and on paying ourselves, so if you can help out, it will be greatly appreciated.

If you won't have money until after the first, you could consider making a pledge at Patreon as those monies are collected after the 1st of the month. And our Patron page at Patreon is jumping. I've committed to posting new chapters of Fantastic Mars and Bian there at least three days before they post here at BC. In fact, chapter 5 of the Mars serial is up there now.

Hugs and thanks,
Erin and the crew

Use this link to send us a gift:

One-Time Gift


Recurring Gift

Emergency need for Hatbox funds


We have a situation with a bogus charge, a large one, larger than our balances, on our accounts. The bank is working with us to straighten it out and the merchant who the charge came in from is co-operating and proactive, they had already canceled the charge from their end when I called them about it. But it may take days before we can again access the funds in our account. Meanwhile other charges will be coming into accounts that are empty.

Hatbox funds needed


The results of our upgrade are good. Our analytics show that the site is faster (just a smidge) and that this is despite more people visiting and staying longer. We have a few rough spots to smooth out, I'm sure Piper will work out the minor problems now that we have the major ones solved.

We spent right up to the ragged edge of what we could afford on hardware in order to buy us another two or three years before we need another upgrade. This leaves us a bit tight for the month. We're not broke but it's close. :)

Tweaking Stuff... and Hatbox

Hi Everyone, Most the serious down times should be done for the time being. We've tweaked out most the BIG bugs and are just hunting down a few small ones. Some of these have existed for a long while but we've been unable to find them due to failing infrastructure issues.

As we go along outages should become less and less, while speed and overall reliability should increase.

Short of $$ at Month's End - Hatbox Funds Needed

The month's end has caught us a little short again with some unexpected bills for software and a forgotten bill or two. I've again used credit cards to keep us current but it would be nice to have some cash in hand for the weekend. - Erin

Below are Piper's comments on the upgrade:

Stuff Is Broken...

I know most of you are going to look at the site and be like "No shit Sherlock", but trust me when I tell you that you have no F'ing clue how broken shit is.

What we have now, is probably what you will see for the next couple days. My days are taken up by something else, but don't think I'm not putting my whole into getting BigCloset back up and operational, I am.

I did a lot of sleeping yesterday because after 38 hours or so, you need to sleep...

I will get shit straightened out, I promise but please bear with me while I do so.


Merry Christmas to US!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Presents are here!

Well let me clarify, our 4 new servers are here!

I will be dragging a friend with me to do heavy lifting, but the servers are headed to the Datacenter in Bridgewater, NJ tomorrow.

Over the next several days I will work on imaging them and spinning up a database backup, and then transferring load to the new MySQL Cluster. After that I will work on building the new front-end cluster and move that live, and in the process I will be re-configuring the existing servers for Tertiary services.

Updates on Stuff and Things

Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to update on a few things.

There are several things going on at once. One is that we are being spidered by several sources and they seem to spin up bots just as fast as we can have them blocked.

Another is that we think someone is intentionally trying to keep us offline, and anyone that knows me knows I won't say that lightly.

So we have done several things to try and keep things up and stable.

We've Gone Cloud!

BigCloset has Officially completed it's Cloud-Transition!

This isn't a fully virtualized cloud for BigCloset, but more of a hybrid-cloud setup where we still have multiple physical database servers that are clustered together for replication and performance needs while the front ends, the bits that compile the data from the database and make the pages you know to be "TopShelf", are fully virtualized with Scalability, Stability, and Redundancy in mind.

Hatbox Story Contributions Needed


This is different. :)

We're getting ready to launch a new and somewhat improved Hatbox as a repository of premium stories donated to us. For that, we'd like to have some new stories. I'm working on a couple myself. If you're interested in contributing stories to be read first as Hatbox Premiums, you can contact me or Cat Lochley via PM. Stories made available to Hatbox subscribers can later be published to BigCloset (for free) or DopplerPress (to earn royalties).

Erin and Cat

Phishing Scams



I've been getting phony emails purporting to be from Docusign asking for my signature on a document. Problem immediately is we don't use Docusign; although we do send out documents for signing, we use a different service.

Also, Docusign's place on the web is These emails come from a website that is NOT Docusign.

Beware. At least one of the one's I received claimed to be an attempt at a money transfer which, if I had opened it, would probably have turned out to be an attempt at getting my bank info.



These guys: seem to be publishing stories from BCTS without permission. Everything here is automatically copyrighted in the name of the author so these guys are violating federal law. At least two authors have complained to me and I have sent a takedown request via the site's Contact Us link.

I am sure that several other authors are having stories posted without their permission. Have a look and send them a takedown notice.


SmallScale DDoS

Blog About: 


This is just an FYI. We have detected, and are currently mitigating, a small scale DDoS attack against one of our VPS host nodes. Because this VPS host currently hosts assets for YourBigCloset it could possibly affect the performance of BigCloset as we host some of our VideoAds from YourBigCloset. This is just an FYI and we don't know if it has any relation to Bigcloset.

Hatbox update: My furnace died


Update evening Dec 13: Furnace is limping along after $75 repair (thermocouple) but squirrel is old and toothless. Getting bids on more permanent repair or replacement tomorrow.

Update late morning Dec 13: We have received money and I have the furnace repair guy on the way. Thanks and hugs.

Update morning of Dec 13. We had $1.44 in one account, $7 in another, about $20 in a third, and less than $300 in an account that will be hit for $254 on Thursday. And my furnace just died.

Possible Downtime but Upgrades . . .

Hey Everyone!

This is just a note to let you know that we are getting ready to release some new features and upgrades to BigCloset. Some of these upgrades have been attempted in the past and broke a lot of our custom changes to the front page.

So it is entirely possible they will break again, but I promise you I will be working just as fast as possible to get everything working again.

Unfortunately while I've tried to put off these upgrades because of the havoc they may cause, they have recently become urgent.



Because Sephrena is an important part of the community here, people should know that there is a situation involving her that may turn more serious or may be soon resolved. We're not comfortable sharing details at the moment but will try to keep everyone appropriately informed.

Hugs to all,
And especially Sephrena,
Erin and the crew

BigCloset Downtime

Hey Everyone.

I wanted apologize for the delay in getting the site back online today.

What happened is that one of our many elves happened to click a wrong button causing all of the "Author Taxonomy" to disappear. That may sound like an easy fix, of just rolling back the database, but in doing so we would have lost a couple new stories, and blogs that we didn't want to disappear.

October/November Story Challenge - Everyday Costumes

Time for a small story challenge before people get serious about the Christmas contest. The theme is Everyday Costumes and it's up to you what exactly that means. We've had a few entries, check them out by clicking on the tag in the header above.

Some suggestions:

A superhero's costume is altered by an evil tailor.
A crossdresser's wish comes true in an unexpected way.
Two people dress as each other for Halloween.
A character in a long running soap opera comes to life.
A special Halloween costume shop is run by an old guy in a bathrobe.


Subscribe to Administrator