Three Years Down the Road

Anything interesting happen to you on this day, Cassidy?

Why, I’m glad you asked…

7 July, 2014, I headed out to Sterling, NJ, to see a doctor.  Actually, I was seeing her for the second time in two weeks because I’d had an initial consultation with her at the end of June.  This time I wasn’t going back for a check up, or for another consultation, or to even discuss possible medical options.

I was going there to get a shot.

As many of you know, during May of 2014 I decided to take a big step in my transition and get on the Estradiol train.  As Kerry can now tell you, Estradiol is the primary hormone found in that soup known as estrogen and it’s the most powerful of the lot.  You start taking that and before you know it, your body starts heading off down Girl Street.  And that was where I wanted to head, so the time came that in order to go that way I had to find a doctor.  Which I did.  In New Jersey.

And three years ago today I received my first injection.

It was really kind of interesting to watch her, my doctor, go through the steps I’d need to follow in order to inject myself in the leg.  I watched, I learned, and I sat there while I got the needle in the leg.  It was a life changing experience, it really was, and I was in sort of a daze all the way on the two-hour drive back to Harrisburg.

And since some of you don’t remember what I was like back there, here’s a reminder.

Man… I have a hard time believing I was this person.

 

Yep, that was me right after I returned home, fraying wig, old glasses, and bushy eyebrows to complete the look.  At this point in my life I was still going to work as “that other guy” and the next day I dressed like the person I used to pretend I was and headed off to work.

Only I was a little different.  And I’d get more different every day.

Two weeks later I had to return to my doctor’s office for another injection, only this time I was required to do the injection.  Which I did.  My doctor told me at the time that she expected me to get it right the first time because she knew I would.  I’m glad I didn’t let her down.

And that brings me to this point in time.  Three years later, I’m pretty happy with myself.  I’ve worked on a political campaign, I’ve marched against the Orange Menace, I’ve gotten more left and aware, and I’ve joined roller derby.  Oh, and I’m still writing after all these years.

Plus, I certainly look a lot better now than I did three years ago.

Yeah, I’m almost quite the looker right after rolling out of bed.

 

I don’t know what’s ahead.  Three years from now I’ll be 63 and likely doing much of the same things I’m doing now.  Maybe I’ll be published by then–maybe not.  Maybe I’ll have competed in a derby game–maybe not.  Maybe I won’t even be here–maybe not.

I don’t know:  I’m not Deanna so I can’t see the future.  All I can do is live from one moment to the next and hope for the best.

And when my fourth anniversary rolls around I’ll talk about it and shoot another picture of myself, just so I know what I look like.

Though I look a little strange when I’m shot through a dirty lens.

 

Lunchtime in London: Embankment Bound

The last couple of years on this day, which is Coming Out Day, I had video cued up and ready to go.  Guess what?  No such luck this time.  I could have done one yesterday and had it ready to go today, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that I didn’t have much to say this time around.  Maybe I’ll have something by this weekend, but at the moment I’m at a loss for words.

Well, not where it comes to writing.  I stopped the day just short of one thousand words, which is a pretty good total for me.  And now that I have the kids in London, on their own, they can eat and do whatever else they like–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Though they could eat anywhere in London, they both agreed that having lunch at this Russel Square sandwich shop brought them back to the time of their first solo excursion together. They ordered their lunch and drinks and took their time eating and talking while watching people pass by their window table. It gave them both to snap photos of each other with their phones which Kerry then downloaded to his tablet that he carried around in his backpack. He even asked a customer if she would be nice enough to take their photo together, and the woman did so using Annie’s phone.

After lunch they took the Underground to the Victoria Embankment Gardens. Neither had ever visited their when in London and they felt today was a good day for some afternoon time in the park. They exited the Embankment Station and took their time wandering the garden, walking over to the water gate and examining a couple of statues before finding a shady bench across from the Embankment Cafe.

 

The Victoria Embankment Gardens extend for a ways alone the north bank of the River Thames and like a famous park in Chicago, it’s pretty much all landfill.  The water gate mentioned in the preceding paragraph?  That was one of the accesses to the Thames, as it sat on the then banks of the river.

The water gate is by those trees in the center top.  All that below--it was water.

The water gate is by those trees in the center top where it says Watergate Walk. All that below–it was water.

On a clear, somewhat cool day–15 C is about 60 F for us non-Celsius people–this is a nice place to come and sit and get away from the city proper.  And that’s what they do:  they come here to sit and talk:

Right there on the bench on the right.  I know my locations.

Right there on the bench on the right. I know my locations.

And what are they going to talk about?  Well, Annie has something in mind…

 

Annie had considered asking Kerry if he wanted to grab a cool drink at the cafe, but the moment they were seated she saw that he would likely prefer the semi-privacy of their current location—and given some of the conversation they shared since the restaurant there were several things on her mind which she began sharing the movement they sat. “I can’t believe your parents are calling you a magic user.” She crossed her legs. “What’s wrong with witch? It’s what you are.”

“I know, but—” He sat back and sighed. “This all comes from my mom being a control freak. She’s uncomfortable with me being a witch—”

Annie turned up her nose. “Which I do not understand.”

“—and so she’s decided that rather call me what I am, she’ll call me what she likes.” He crossed his arms over his stomach. “It’s the way she is.”

“And your father won’t say anything?”

“Nah. He’s lost too many fights to her, so when he gets home from work all he wants to do is relax.  He’ll just nod the moment she starts going off on stuff.”

Annie reached over the wooden armrest separating them and took his left hand. “They didn’t even have anything to say when they saw you’ve learned how to correct your vision?”

Kerry snorted just under his breath. “Dad said it seemed strange that I would do magic to change my eyesight; mom said I should go back to wearing glasses because Harry Potter wears them.”

“You’re kidding.” Annie turned withering side glare upon her soul mate which he knew wasn’t for him. “You did tell her he doesn’t exist?”

He chuckled. “That was the first thing I told her. She didn’t care for that.”

“Too bad.” She turned her head so he could see her full face. “You’ve done marvelously, my love: I love you without your glasses.” It was her turn to snort. “Your mother is an idiot.”

“Yeah, well…” He gave Annie’s hand a squeeze. “Welcome to my life. The whole freakin’ summer’s been this way. First it’s don’t say anything to me, and right before I head back to school they decide they’re gonna let me know they find my entire situation unusual.” He leaned over and rested his head against Annie’s. “At least they know the truth about you, Darling.”

 

“Your mother is an idiot.”  Way to start building that bridge toward the woman who’ll be your future mother-in-law, Annie!  Can’t wait for the first time she calls Annie a “magic user” or just shades the “witch” a little too hard–yeah, future family gatherings are gonna be so much fun.

If I don’t get too burned out at the phone bank tonight we’ll learn a little more tomorrow.  We’re lucky we got this–

'Cause I was wandering about The Burg after lunch with three glasses of wine.  Yeah, I go there.

‘Cause I was wandering about The Burg after lunch with three glasses of wine. Yeah, I go there.

Up In the Anniversary

Interesting times for sure.  Nice dinner yesterday, made it home and caught up on a couple of episodes of Sense8–and let me tell you, I am so glad I have the equipment to stream these days, because I didn’t know what I was missing–and then I hit the editing, and managed to do maybe fifteen hundred words of editing as well.  Oh, and I set up an Instagram account, which means I’ll probably shuffle most of my phone pictures off to that area when I don’t want to keep them on my computer.

Fun times.

It’s first breakfast time on the first full day at the School of Salem, and I can remember how hard it was to write this part back during NaNo 20013.  I’m great at seeing things in my mind, but getting them onto the page isn’t always the easiest thing, you know.  I thought to myself at the time, “Yeah, these descriptions are a little doggy, I’ll fix them later.  Okay, so it took two and a half years, but I fixed them up.

Now, a couple of scenes which were among my favorites because one showed how different things were, and how Annie likes throwing out little jabs that show she’s on a completely different level that Kerry.  Also, we learn something important about her:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

“I don’t know. Over a hundred for sure; maybe close to one twenty-five? Can’t really tell.” He turned back to his breakfast, launching into one of the strips of bacon he’d picked up. “Man, this is good.”

Annie had eaten bacon on a couple of occasions, and while she didn’t mind it she did not possess any strong feelings for the dish. However— “I like pork. There are some marvelous Bulgarian pork dishes.”

Kerry spoke between bites. “I’d love to taste them. I love trying new food.”

“There is plenty of new food for you in Bulgaria—oh.”

The same woman who’d taken Annie’s order only a few minutes before was standing next next to the table with a plate in her hand. “Here you are: two printsessi.”

 

The girl does not like bacon, though she does like pork.  Mostly in Bulgarian dishes.  Which she would be happy to show Kerry, probably in Bulgaria.  While she’s a Bulgarian wife.  But Kerry hasn’t picked up on this yet, and we have a few hundred thousand more words of him stumbling along before he really knows what’s going on.

And then we get to meet some of the staff and see something that was just touched upon, in the story, the night before:

 

Kerry recognized some of the people at the tables. There was Professor Semplen, a few tables over on the left, sitting with a woman with long, straight, brown hair. The blond woman from the plane and her friend sat together near the west wall, and the black woman from the Rotunda was sitting with the other dark-haired woman they met on the trip over, and who was also in the Rotunda gathering up new students. Isis sat with a petite woman who looked so young he thought she might be a student—and that was when Kerry realized just how young Isis appeared in the light of day. The same could be said of Nurse Coraline—who sat next to a studious looking guy in a three-piece suit—and a few others up front.

He leaned towards Annie. “Some of those instructors look like they just graduated.”

One of Annie’s eyebrows shot upward, which was something he noticed she did after he’d made a rather obvious statement. “Yes, I know.” She smiled and turned her attention back to the front.

 

There’s that whole thing again about how young everyone looks, something that doesn’t seem to bother Annie all that much.  And why should it?  After all it’s something she’ll likely have people saying about her one day–

"I'm so qualified to watch over security. I mean, I've killed people with my mind--can you do that? No, I thought so."

“Don’t worry, I’m extremely qualified to do this job. I mean, I’ve killed people just by looking at them–can you do that? No, I thought not.”

Don’t worry, Kerry:  the upside to this is that when Annie is 30 she’ll still look like she’s 18, and that can be cool or creepy, depending on how one looks at things.

Now, on to the quick personal news.  Today,  7 July, 2016, marks my two year anniversary of being under hormone replacement therapy.  My first shot was on this day, and my forty-eighth was last Friday on 1 July.  This means I’ve pretty completely this part of my “real life experience”, and I pretty much hit all the bullet points on the WPATH Standards of Care sheet.

What does this mean?  Well, it means that if I ever get up the money and/or insurance, I can take that next big step, which some call–in whispered tones, of course–“The Operation.”  This is really what I want, but those finances don’t allow for it right now.  So I gotta play the waiting game and hope that at some point in the next few years I win the lottery or something.

When I logged on to my computer this morning the Windows 10 splash screen came up with the time of 5:03, which, as some of you know, reflects my birthday of 3 May.  So it’s a bit auspicious to have my one birth date come up right over the date I sort of consider my other birth date.  I’ll probably celebrate both from here on out, because they are both important dates to me.  And that means I took pictures walking into work:

Here I look a little grumpy.

Here I look a little grumpy.

 

Here I look much happier here.

Here I look much happier.

And so you get an idea of the changes I’ve gone through in the last two years, here’s a little side-by-side.  The picture on the left was taken the moment I go home from getting my first shot, 7 July, 2014; the one in the middle came after my twenty-forth shot a year ago, and the one on the right I took Sunday morning, 3 July, 2016.

As you can see someone is changing and improving.

As you can see someone is changing and improving.

The most important point, though, is that the picture on the right was taken in public, and there’s nothing in my demeanor to indicate I’m shy or worried about how I look, or that I’m even out.  And that’s because I’m finally comfortable in my own skin.  There are still things I want, and things that make me bothered–

But being a woman isn’t one of them.

The Walk of My Life

Was there editing last night?  Yes, some.  I didn’t finish want I wanted to edit, in part because I was tired.  Why was I tired?  Well, I was out on a walk.  Though it’s not the sort of walk you might imagine . . .

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days you’re aware of what happened in Orlando Sunday morning.  I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to say something, but since hearing about this I’ve been a bit numb.  Externally I got a bit drunk Sunday noon, and yesterday I was sort of like, “Oh, how am I supposed to feel right now?” for most of the day.  You know, all the work stuff and whatnot.

But what do you say to something where over a hundred people are killed and wounded?  Oh, I know what a few people I know is saying:  “Islamic terrorism!”  Yeah, right.  The more you dig into the shooter’s life, the more you discover he was an abusive husband, a racist, that he had a whackadoodle for a father, and now, the biggest tip in of all, he was a regular at Pulse, he was using gay dating apps on his phone, and he was once so drunk in the club that security tossed his ass out.  It sound to me like another self-hating gay man so deep in the closet he sent out mail from the Narnia post office couldn’t take it anymore and snapped.

I’m still a little numb, but I’m getting angry.  Why?  The last few months have seen a rise in the hate:  against immigrants, against people of color, against the LGBT community and the push to legally discriminate against us, and, specifically, against transpeople like me, who have been labeled a danger to anyone who uses a public bathroom.  The guy on a FBI watch list who goes out and buys an assault rifle, no, he’s not a problem:  me taking a piss in pubic is, it would seem.

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been spared a lot of hate.  Sure, there was the scree left by some assnoggin a few weeks back who was trying to get me to answer him so he could likely spam my comment section with hate–and who got sent right fast to the Memory Hole–but that’s the exception to the rule.

However, I know the stats.  I know that I’m twice as likely as a csiwoman to be assaulted, and have a fifty percent greater chance of being murdered.  I’m in the group with one of the highest levels of suicide in the country–if I were a transwoman of color I’d be in the highest–and suddenly I find myself among one of the most demonized groups of late.  It’s a lot to fall into after two years of transitioning; you give up your man card and put a target on your back.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was out to a vigil and walk last night.  It’s really the first time I’ve done something with the LGBT community other than attend my support meetings, which have because less over time, and in a way it was nice.  Sad, so sad, but nice to feel the solidarity.  I was there with several hundred people–probably around five hundred, maybe more–and Gov. Wolf was in attendance, as was our physician general Dr. Rachel Levine, who is also a transwoman, and even though my feet and legs were sort from standing for so long, I stuck it out.  Because I can.

And after that we walked just under a half mile to one of the main gay nightclubs in the city of Harrisburg and did our thing, which included chanting, cheering, and reaffirming that, yes, we are here, we are queer, and we will not disappear.

Photo by Vicki Vellios Briner, PennLive.

Photo by Vicki Vellios Briner, PennLive.

Yeah, that’s me on the left in bright blouse and skirt.  Right out in front ’cause I wanted to be seen.  And that’s probably the biggest contribution I can make:  to be out every day just being me.  ‘Cause if you see me, you can’t ignore me.

And if you can’t ignore me, then you have to accept me as a person.

To See the Invisible Girl

Today I’m ripping off a title from Robert Silverberg, only because when you steal, you should always steal from the best.  But only the title here:  the rest is all me.

Yesterday was a pretty good day, and a long one, too, as I was up until midnight watching Sunset Boulevard and Ace in the Hole, both great, classic movies.  And before that–well, during much of Sunset Boulevard–I wrote my next to last Season 4 recap for Orphan Black.  But before that I was at my job, which is where I program computer for the State of Pennsylvania.  That’s the job that pays the bills, at least for now.  Who knows in the future?  I certainly don’t.

Since I live in the city of Harrisburg I walk to work.  It’s about a mile/1.6 kilometers, and takes me about twenty to twenty-five minutes, depending on how I hit the lights.  A nice thing about my walk is that I go right through what is known as the Capitol Complex, which is what we call the area where all the state business gets done.

Which looks something like this.

So I come in at the bottom right of the picture, walk through the park and across the front of the capitol building, then head off somewhere to the upper left.  That’s my usual walk, and with minor variations, I’ve done that for about two and a half years, some shine, rain, or snow.  I always walk alone, and until yesterday, I figured no one ever noticed me–though of late I’ve had a few catcalls from guys, which really sucks.

Yesterday I also had my camera with me, because I wanted to get a picture of myself in a particular outfit so I could show a friend, who had just picked up the same skirt and wondered what it looked like with brown flats.  (And if you really want to know, that person was The Real Annie.  See?  I even help her out.)  As yesterday after work was nice as hell, I decided to get a picture on the way home–

I was taking selfies with timers on cameras before it became mainstream.

I was taking selfies with cameras timers before it became mainstream.

And about a minute after snapping that picture I started on my way home.  I’d walked a pretty short distance when this guy, who was approaching me, asked for a moment.  At first I thought he was going to ask for directions, but as a few of my friends pointed out, it’s a guy:  they don’t ask for directions.

What he did tell me was something completely unexpected.

He told me that he’s actually seen me walking back and forth to work for a couple of years–and given that he was dressed in pretty sharp suit, I figure he worked somewhere in the complex as well–and that he’s noticed my, well, changes during that time.  As the conversation at that point went:

 

Him:  “For a while there was this one person walking, and then one day you were–“

Me:  “Different?”

Him  (Both laughing at this point):  “Yes.”

 

He told me that he applauded me for being true and brave, and I thanked him for his word, and we went our separate ways.  I didn’t want to say that, no, I don’t consider myself brave because I’m just being me, but maybe that’s really all there is to being brave:  just be yourself in the face of possible adversity.  I know the stats on violence to transwomen, so whenever I’m out I am aware that things might go sideways on me for any number of reasons.

But it’s something incredible to think that someone has actually noticed me.  There are a few people I’ve seen going to and from work every day, and I have never thought of stopping them and telling them something personal.  You never imagine that people see you, that people notice you.

You get used to spending your life being invisible.

Before I arrived home I decided to snap a few more pictures, because why not?  And because it’s one more chance not to remain unseen by others.

After all, this one never gets old..

After all, this one never gets old.

And this one happened where I spent a cold night crying and thinking about jumping off a bridge, but that's another story--

And this one happened where I spent a cold night crying and thinking about jumping off a bridge, but that’s another story–

The Final Solo: Hangar Checkout

There’s a bit of butt dragging today, as I was very tired last night and fell into a deep sleep the moment I hit the pillow.  This was brought on by a long day at work, a run out for food, and then writing up a two thousand word recap that required a thousand words of note the night before.  *sigh*  I know:  I should be working on my stuff, right?  Well, recaps are my stuff, so boo!

Oh, and I had to pay my taxes.  Yeah . . . that’s another story.

I did start the next scene, all three hundred words of it, but that’s three hundred words closer to the end than I was the night before, yeah?  Damn right.

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie walked out of the locker room adjusting her balaclava and comm helmet. She stopped for a moment to make certain the helmet strap was tight enough without cutting into her chin before checking that her gloves were she left them in her arctic parka, stuffed in each pocket. Satisfied that her clothing was in proper condition, she made her way to the spiral staircase and headed downstairs to the Hangar.

She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and gave the Band on her wrist one last examination. By now she’d worn it enough that it had become a part of her, and she’d sometimes taken to wearing it through the day just as she did her locket and charm bracelet. A few people asked her about it, and now that people were aware of her Flight Gift they were curious anything they could associate with her ability. Discussing her Band was simple: since it wasn’t any different from the HUD on a broom, it was possible to explain everything in less than three minutes.

Besides, her flying was never about the equipment: it was about being free.

Satisfied there wouldn’t be any issues with her Band, Annie clipped her gloves the sleeves of her parka and headed towards the Hangar entrance. She didn’t wait for Kerry: they’d already spoken and decided to wait for each other at the entrance. Whomever arrived first would wait for the other, and since she immediately noticed that Kerry wasn’t already in place, that meant he was finishing changing into his cold weather gear and should appear shortly. Given that he was such a stickler for starting on time, Annie wasn’t concerned that he would keep them from leaving on her final solo flight on time.

 

Tonight Annie will take to the sky and head out on her longest and hardest solo, with her dutiful chase pilot right behind.  I know I’ll get to the writing tonight, you can rest assured of that, even if I do feel like I’m about to fall asleep.  Maybe I’ll get a nap first, but at the moment I feel fine.

Now for a quick change up . . . today is the Transgender Day of Visibility, when we show support to the transgender community and recognize their accomplishments.  It’s a day of empowerment, and today I feel it because yesterday was two years I’ve been out as me.  Why, it only seems like last year I was getting a picture in Valparaiso, IN:

Valparaiso, IN, 30 March, 2015.

I believe it was this one.

And since I was running a little ragged I popped off a quick one once I returned home, taken a year after the one above.

Harrisburg, PA, 03/31/2016

Harrisburg, PA, 03/31/2016

I look tired, the makeup isn’t as good, and there’s still a bit of scaring from the electrolysis, but I’m me.

Also, I snapped a picture last year when I was out for lunch at my favorite cafe back in Indiana:

Out and About as myself since 2014.

Again, looking like I’m relaxed and comfortable in a state which, at that time, wanted business to discriminate against me.

And given that I like having photos of myself as I move forward on my journey, I snapped a few on my walk into work.  A couple in front of the Pennsylvania capitol building:

 

Really working on the RBF here.

Really working on the RBF here.

And a couple more in the plaza next to the state history museum and the state archive:

Transgender Day of Visibility 03312016 004

Smiling much more here.

Smiling much more here.

Thank you for all the support, and trust me:  I am getting my books finished.  I am.

After all, if I was joking I’d tell you that tomorrow.

Taking the Dark to the Next Level

It’s a slow going morning, that’s for sure.  Last night I went out to our local Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is one of those unofficial holidays that have popped up over the decades.  The TDR is meant to shed light upon those transpeople who were murdered during the past year, and those who killed themselves because there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel–and if you’ve followed the blog, you know I’ve had a few of those moments myself.

The event sees the names of the known dead read off, and this year, my first, I read the second of twenty-five names.  It’s not meant to be a happy moment; it’s meant as a reminder that just by being who I am my chances of being murdered increase by about fifty percent over the odd of ciswomen, and those odd literally double for transwomen of color.  Which is why when someone tells me this is a “lifestyle choice” I now ask them on the statistics of people who were killed because they were hispters, or who killed themselves due to being discriminated over their preference to drink PBR.

But it’s not my intention to bring you down today, not after finding out it’s World Hello Day.  So hello!  Let’s get to the writing.

I didn’t write anything last night, and this morning I haven’t exactly burned up the keyboard today.  However, I do plan on writing throughout the day between doing the wash and getting lunch and taking a nap:  all the normal stuff, you know.  But what I have written–ah, shit.  Yes, it’s not some happy time stuff, that’s for sure.  It’s just under three hundred words, but it’s going to set the mood for this scene like few others have set one.

What am I talking about?  This:

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Unlike normal Mid-Level Sorcery classes, the B Levels assembled at the Firing Line instead of starting this Thursday morning at The Witch House. Few of the students were happy with the change—the walk to the Firing Line wasn’t any shorter than their normal walk—and some students got lost in the tunnels on their way to class, as they weren’t certain of the route to the building.

No one was certain of why the change of venue occurred, for the message detailing the change showed up as an email sent just after the previous evening’s dinner. Then again, few bothered challenging the thoughts and intentions of the Head Sorceress, as that usually led to grief the questioning student didn’t desire. More that a few students pointed out that it was better to say nothing and play to her whims than speak up and find an angry Kiwi glaring from a few centimeter beyond the tip of your nose.

At eight sharp Professor Lovecraft walked into the main section of the Firing Line where the students had been asked to gather. There was a low mummer among her students as a few commented softly on the sliver-colored sweater she wore under her ever-present leather duster, and that she had her black jeans tucked inside her high-heeled boots, something she only did on those occasions when she wanted appear extra menacing.

She stood before the gathering of students and regarded them for almost ten seconds. Finally she stuck her hands firmly within the pockets of her long coat and clicked her tongue before addressing her class. “Today I’m going to show you how to kill another person.”

 

Hey, good morning, kids!  Did you have a nice breakfast, ’cause I’m certain I can make a few of you toss that shit before class is out!

"Yeah, bitches:  time to show you what I do best."

“Yeah, bitches: time to show you what I do best.”

Before this scene is out you’re gonna know a little more about sorcery and these crazy death spells, and that’s what I’m gonna be working on today–

So you’ll have a bit of easy reading for your breakfast tomorrow.

Speeding Through on Darkened Thoughts

As some may have noticed I was back on the air last last night, this after a long trip back through the wilds of the Midwest and into the Near East, the later of which was done in straight-up darkness.  Not that I’m not used to driving from the Ohio border to The Burg in darkness, but . . .

At least it wasn’t raining like hell as it did one time when I returned and the road was so black I couldn’t really tell where the pavement ended and the shoulder started.  Though there were a ton of notices up about deer being in the highway–as well as a few of said remains to let me know the notices weren’t joking.

So this means the only writing I did yesterday was the morning post–though I did take a great picture before leaving home.

It was Wednesday, so I wore pink, because on Wednesdays . . .

It was Wednesday, so I wore pink, because on Wednesdays . . .

An interesting point about driving long distances now:  I can’t work out scenes in my head the way I used to do them.  There was a time when I’d get behind the wheel, roll on the power, and about ten minutes into the trip I’d start working out plots and points and stuff like that.  But now:  it seems like about an hour into the trip I’m looking for ways to keep my mind off the fact I’m gonna be on the road for half a day, and I start wandering in my own head.

However, I did work out–for the most part–a new scene that comes after the one I’m in how, and how that scene affects something in scene after.  I mean, I didn’t work it all out:  I’ll do more when I’m walking home from work, but for right now I have the basics laid down and I know how it’s going to proceed, although this means I need to make up some more shit because I have something in the next scene that you may have seen before.

That said, I’ll get to finishing my “Say Goodbye to the Polar Expressers of 2013”, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.  I had like four hours of sleep last night and I’ve had to deal with a lot of crazy already this morning, so I feel I’m going to be on the verge of a major crash out by seven tonight.  But I will do my best, I really will.  Because I have people waiting.

This last four or five days have really been a bit of a step away from writing, and I’ve felt like I needed the break.  Not that I don’t want to get back into the novel and finish it, but the stress of the last few months was taking a toll.  Now, I can do my best to concentrate on writing, because everything is done and there weren’t any hiccups along way.  All is totally copacetic as they say.

So, back to the grind of torturing my kids for a few more months–

I think I’m good with that part.

Stepping Into Thirteen

The Great Indiana Change Trip is nearly over, and this will be one of the last things I do in this state before packing my stuff and heading back to The Burg in a few hours.  With all the anxiety I felt before driving the the thousand kilometers to get here, everything went smoothly.

I’ve already discussed the court hearing and getting a new Social Security card, and yesterday involved getting a new driver’s licence.  Other than the fact there was some sort of data connection issue between Valparaiso and Indianapolis, the licence change went without problems, and after an hour I managed to get the registration on both cars changed, and my name and gender marker adjusted.  So now the state of Indiana recognizes I’m a woman, which means Yay!  And I changed all my banking information and received a new debit card with real name upon the surface.  Even more Yay!

All that remains now is to contact everyone who knew me by the old name and get them to change everything over to the new.  That’s probably going to happen over the rest of the year, but that’s the breaks, right?  So it is written, so it is done, and this shit is over and done.

Now to get back to life as I know it . . .

Hey, speaking of this novel I’m working on, I wrote some last night.  School is up and running for that long ago year of 2013:  that means stuff and things are happening.  Like–

All these things here.

All these things here.

Several things happened here last night.  First, I changed the name of the chapter.  Second, I changed a wrong time.  Third, I had to reason up something that happens here that won’t become apparent until the next novel, bwah hahahaha! because I know and you don’t.  And forth, I added a scene because it made sense to add a scene.

But what about the writing, Cassie?  What happens in this Express Farewells?  Let’s see together, shall we?

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

It took a few seconds for Annie to realized that she was being awoken, and the person waking her was doing so with light kisses. She kept her eyes closed and enjoyed the sensation, and only began to smile once the kisses moved from her lips to her check and then to her neck. “Ummmmm.”

There was nibbling on her ear before she heard the voice. “You like that?”

Her eyes still closed Annie rolled on to her side and wrapped her right arm around Kerry. “Yes, I do.” She wanted to add A time will come when you’ll be awoken the same way but she left that out of the conversation: this wasn’t the time to speak of the future.  “I love that.”

“I’ve only done that a couple of times.” Though they’d spent the evening together more than a couple of times, on most occasions when it came time to wake up they were up and about with little fanfare—or one of them woke up and let the other sleep in for a few more minutes. “I’ll keep this in mind for the future.”

“As will I, my love.” Annie sat up and looked about the empty ground floor commons of Cernunnos Cover. “No one’s around?”

 

So now we’re seeing that Annie loves being woken up with kisses, and she’s reminded that a time will come at some point in the future when she’ll wake Kerry up the same way.  Not that she hasn’t done this already, but that time she’s thinking about involves her having a new last name, if you know what I mean.  Little romantic witches in love:  gotta love it.

And no one’s around?

 

“The two A Levels were still here when I crashed—that was about an hour ago.” He shook his head.

“Must have went up to the first when we were napping.”

“Quite likely.” Annie threw back the comforter and stretched. “I take it you’re ready?”

He smiled back as he stood. “Only when you are.”

“Since you’re holding my robe—” She found her fur-lined snow boots and slipped them on. “I take that as a sign you’re ready for me to get ready.”

Kerry’s cheeks flushed bright red. “Yeah, well . . .” He looked down at the ground. “I guess I am.”
“No need to be embarrassed.” Annie took her robe and slipped it on seconds after standing. “I understand how excited you are.”

Kerry led Annie away from where they’d napped on the sofa in front of the commons fireplace towards the center of the coven floor. “You wanna take the tunnel over, or walk outside?”

“Temperature still around zero?”

A few hours before the temperatures were hovering just over one degree Celsius, and Kerry couldn’t see them dropping much more. “Probably.”

“Outside will be fine, my love.” She wrapped herself around his left arm as they proceeded towards the door leading to the inner Pentagram Wall. “We won’t be in the cold for long, I’m wearing my flannels, and I can use you to stay warm.”

He waved the door open and tightened his robe before stepping into the wall inner corridor. “I will do my best.”

“You always do.” Annie waved the door to the Pentagram Garden open.

 

So they were napping, and now they’re off into the night towards–well, if they’re heading into the Pentagram Garden, there’s only one destination . . .

 

They walked quickly from the tower to the Great Hall, not meeting a person along the way. Annie didn’t expect to meet anyone, at least not heading to the coven. Right now, at twenty minutes before midnight on the first Thursday school night of 2013, everyone was either in their towers sleeping or in the Great Hall, and she expected they would be among the last to arrive for the event about to occur. They weren’t about to miss anything, however: Kerry and she knew the event schedule as the schedule had been known since Monday.

They entered the Great Hall and headed for the Dining Hall. The scene inside was far different from the other times when it was used for eating or for the Midnight Madness. This time there were several tables covered with backpacks, brooms, and miscellaneous equipment, all kept separate from the seventy or eighty students who’d appeared to watch the proceedings. Annie spotted Vicky speaking with Holoč, Erywin, and Headmistress Laventure, while Isis and Wednesday appeared to be making some last minute checks to equipment with the help of a few of the higher level students, the majority who appeared to be from the racing teams.

Standing near the northwest entrance to the Dining Hall, Annie wasn’t certain what to expect to see in the next twenty minutes—she was, however, pleased that this year Kerry wasn’t one of the students departing on the Polar Express.

 

Now, finally, we get to see something about the already somewhat famous Polar Express.  Just so you know:  Kerry isn’t leaving, not this year.  More is going to get said about it, but for now be content in knowing that the 2013 Polar Express is about to begin.

However . . . I likely won’t post that new information tomorrow because I’m leaving out of Indiana about ten in the morning, and I don’t expect to arrive in Harrisburg until almost twelve hours later.  But as I know the real reason Annie and Kerry are there, I don’t have to give it much thought–I just gotta write it down.

Don’t worry:  I’ll get to it real soon.

…And Call Me Cassidy

This is one of those posts, where I run off the rails and talk about personal stuff.  But then again, the reason I’m back in Indiana is wholly personal, and I’ve not hidden that fact.  Anymore, the only reason I am in Indiana is for personal reasons, but that’s another story.

Yesterday was Name Change Day.

First off, don’t believe I’m ripping off Caitlyn Jenner with this title.  Mine comes from the title used for the serialization of Roger Zelazny’s Hugo Award-winning novel, This Immortal, proving I’m far cooler and geekier.  I’ve always liked the title …And Call Me Conrad better than the one the book was given in final publication, and so did Zelazny when he was alive, so I’m in good company.  And I am cool and geeky, so it fits me perfectly.

Anyway . . . it was my time in court, and the first time I’ve stood inside one since my old traffic court days when I used to drive a little too fast and crazy.  But I was up early, getting stoked on music and a few well wishes from others who were aware of the day.  I dressed pretty much the way I normally dress for work, right down to bringing out a pair of nice pumps for the date.

As you can see, Resting Bitch Face was the order of the morning.

As you can see, Resting Bitch Face was the order of the morning.

You can see the folder with all my paperwork sticking out of my purse, which meant I was ready for action.  And when you’re that ready, the only thing to do is get it in gear and head out for your appointment with destiny.

At least I managed a smile this time.

At least I managed a smile this time.

Court was not like I expected, but then I had no idea what to expect.  I do feel something was up because when I walked into the judge’s office to tell them I was there, the woman at the front desk turned and yelled to the judge’s bailiff, “The name change is here!”  That was the first thing that made me wonder if it was standard practice to do things like that around the main courthouse of Porter County, Indiana . . .

I handed over my paper from the paper where the ad announcing my change was place and my birth certificate and went to wait outside.  A few minute later someone from the office came out and returned my birth certificate and gave me the lowdown on protocol:  my hearing was at ten-thirty, but they had to wait for fifteen minutes to see if anyone showed to object to the change–yes, this is something that is legal and can happen.

It was during that time that all the shackled prisoners who were in the criminal court next to me were led out of morning court for their transportation back to the local lockup, and I do which I could have snapped a picture, but cameras aren’t allowed inside the courthouse.  Orange jumpsuits and Crocs–yeah, not for me, thanks.  I couldn’t be seen dead in Crocs, for one thing . . .

At ten forty-five the bailiff called me into court where I was the only person.  I was given the rundown:  the judge would come in, ask me questions, ask for documentation, and that would then be that.  I was like, “Oh, cool,” and tried to settle down because I’ve been nervous as hell for a while waiting for this moment.

I had the full treatment:  a judge–not the one I’d requested, but another one who was filling in pro tem–the bailiff who’d been so helpful to me, a court reporter, and two court deputies.  I mean, this was really a big deal for me.  I was asked everything on the forms I filled out–are you trying to deceive creditors, are you a registered sex offender, are you currently incarcerated, which, by the way, had most of the people in court laughing as it was evident I wasn’t–and I was asked to present my passport and licence to the judge for examination, which one of the court deputies was happy to do for me–after all, I wasn’t supposed to get out of my chair.

And there was the one question I knew I was going to have to answer in open court, “What is the purpose for this name change?”  The answer was and is simple:  “I’m a transgender woman and I’m changing my name to allow me to conduct business legally as myself.”  Right?  I mean, there are other reasons, but you need your name if you’re gonna do business in this country.

After that question court was over:  I was told to wait outside as my change was processed and they’d be returned to me shortly.  I was outside the courtroom for about three minutes before I heard, “Okay, Cassidy–”  Yeah, that was nice.  It was also over.  I headed out to my car and decided to send a message to one of my friends back near The Burg to let them know the change was done, and to tell her to let all the people in my crocheting group who’d wished me well that day that I was out of court.

We all need our Big Girl Papers, yeah?

We all need our Big Girl Papers, yeah?

As you can see, court lasted less than thirty minutes, and most of that time was spent waiting for someone to show up and say I was doing something wrong.  After court I went to the Social Security office and filed to change my card (that took thirty minutes), then had lunch and returned to court to amend my birthday certificate, a process that took about fifteen minutes of filling out papers.

What remains today is to head over to the BMV in about two hours and apply for a new license.  New name, new picture, and a new gender marker.  That last I may need to argue a little on, but I’ll get it.  Once that’s done it’s a trip to the bank to get my name changed on accounts, and then I’m finished with Indiana business; I can head back to Harrisburg tomorrow, which I’m going to do anyway.

And I'll have this paper in hand--probably the most important one of my life.

And I’ll have this paper in hand–probably the most important one of my life.

I’d considered a lot of different things to say on this day, but when it came right down to it, there wasn’t any point in reflecting on my past self–who I don’t even recognize anymore, even when I look at old pictures–there’s just staying on the path to the future.  This isn’t the end of my transition:  oh, there’s plenty more to do.

But from here on out I do everything as me.  Myself.  I.

Cassidy’s the name, and I’m finally here to stay.

A Year Down From Coming Out

Let’s talk about the last year.

Last year was the time when my transition was shifting in high gear.  I’d finally started on hormone replacement, and I’d started coming out slowly in person, to the point where I was sorta living as a women pretty much everywhere save work.  Pretty much everyone on line knew I was out, and most of them were asking questions about what it was like to go through the craziness.

It was then, last year, that I created the post Welcome to My Trans World, which all actually arose from questions about what I need to do every two weeks when I perform my hormone shot.  I filmed them on the Friday afternoon after returning from work, and spent nearly the whole night uploading them to YouTube so I could get them into my blog the next day.

The funny thing is, at that time I didn’t realize that I’d posted them on 10/11/2014, because 11 October is National Coming Out Day, when those who are still hiding their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are encouraged to let those around them know the truth.  On this day in 2012 I altered all my on-line presence to reflect my new identity, so I’m pretty familiar with the concept of getting out of that closet.

I’ve actually planed on doing a follow-up for some time now, because why not?  Some people are still interested in what I’m going through, and the changes that have occurred in the last year have turned out to be pretty extensive.  I was told that last year’s videos were fairly informative, and I thought, “Maybe I can help others get a handle on what they’re going through as well if I do more.”  Just remember, kids:  it’s the thought that counts, but actually doing something helps a lot more.

So here we go:  four more videos talking about the good and the bad of transition and HRT, and some of the things I’ve experienced and are experiencing right now.  Hope you find them informative, and perhaps a little helpful.

 

First off, though, we get down into an intro, so if you don’t want to continue you can stop right now:

 

Now we get to the business.  Here I talk about what has been the good part of hormone replacement therapy, after being on it for more than a year:

 

You can’t have the good without the bad, and there that comes roaring down:

 

Here are some of the things related to my transition that have nothing to do with hormones, but are nonetheless good, because they are a huge part of my transition:

 

And finally, a few final feelings about what I’ve went through, more or less, in the last year, and why transitioning was important to me.  This also gets pretty emotional in parts, so be ready:

 

There you have it.  I hope, if you went through each video, you enjoyed what I had to say, and took something away from this.  And for everyone else who simply shows up to look at the excerpts of my novel, don’t worry:  that’s coming real soon.  I only gotta write a few hundred more words and you’ll get totally hooked up.

Would I lead you astray?