Random Updates and Musings

Just as the title says, I’ve got some random updates to pass on for those who are interested.

First and foremost, I’ve hit 300 followers!  To all of you who’ve decided to play along here, a most sincere thank you.

Related to that, I spent a lot of time hovering nearer to that 300 mark, and then all of a sudden people just showed up.  I’m not complaining here.  This is fun!  And a bit humbling.  I’m just trying to figure out the pattern of what I did, assuming there is one.  I know it’s not that people are reading my weekly Sherlock Holmes posts.  Those don’t seem to get many hits, but the core audience for those is most definitely consistent.  Near as I can tell, the new followers mostly showed up as a combination of coming out of the closet, music, Shakespeare, and Hobbits.  So… I should post about transgender Shakespearean Hobbit music?  Is there such a thing?  0.o  Clearly I’m not well.  Moving on…

Speaking of, for those of you who are looking forward to my Shakespeare posts, I have started on King Lear.  No idea how long it’ll take, but that’s typically how that works out.  Can’t give the Bard short shrift.  It’s just not done.

Next up… for those of you returning with me to Middle-Earth, a reminder that one week from today is our first post for Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales.  A few days ago, I got all spaz-monkey’d over the first section of this.  It wasn’t pretty.  I’m happy to report that whatever loose wiring was shorting out the system, I’ve figured it out and wrapped my head around it.  I honestly don’t know what happened back there, but I’m going to blame a lack of sleep or something.  Whatever.  I’m also happy to report that I’ve already got draft posts at the ready for each of the sections, so that’s one less thing for me to worry about.  I know… that’s real exciting reading there, but hey, that’s a major step behind the scenes!  Leaves me free and clear to actually concentrate on the material and keeps everything all nice and consistent.

At the pace of one section every two weeks, it looks like we’ll be spending some considerable time in the First Age.  I hope everyone loves Túrin.  lol.  I’ve decided that in the case where the stories have already been documented in our journey through The Silmarillion, I’m going to more or less reference back to those earlier posts and keep things simple, document the changes, that sort of thing.  Just based on what I’ve been looking over this week, I’ve noticed that Tolkien is the absolute king of starting over.  It would appear that in most cases, if a draft goes unfinished, he starts again from the beginning when he returns to the tale instead of picking up where he left off.  The story of the fall of Gondolin seems to be the grand exception to this, hence a collection of Unfinished Tales.  If I’m wrong about this, I’m sure someone can point me in the right direction, or I’ll figure it out later.  Either way.

Last but not least, I had a behind the scenes request that I review more transgender books, seeing as how this is Pride Month.  I’m certainly not opposed to this.  If anything, I’m flattered that anyone thinks I might be a voice worth listening to on this topic.  Not that being TG makes me an authority on such matters.  I’m human too, and I’m far from having that one figured out either.  I’ve got a small stack of TG books that are unreviewed as yet.  Before I came out of the closet, I think I reviewed only a couple of them.  That said, I’m not entirely certain if the request had to do with fiction or nonfiction.  Until yesterday, I’ve never read TG fiction, and I still can’t really claim that I’ve done that given that the notion was sort of tangential within those pages.  My stack of unreviewed books along these lines are categorized as either gender studies or memoirs.

As to the Pride Month part of this… am I the only one that thinks the concept is a bit offensive?  Don’t get me wrong here, I support the idea of spotlighting the problem in the hopes of educating the masses and making great strides towards equality… in principle.  But it almost feels like the situation gets ignored the other 11 months of the year.  Same could be said for any of the spotlight months.  There are so many niches when it comes to identity and politics that it seems overwhelming sometimes.  It’s like those ribbon campaigns.  Everyone’s got a ribbon, and outside of a small handful of them, I never remember which color goes with which cause.  Maybe this is where the larger disconnect comes into play from those who aren’t a part of a given slice of life.

Please forgive a little mini-rant here, but I can’t say I’ve heard of anyone yet who’s actually proud to be transgender.  Proud of their progress in dealing with it, certainly, but that’s not the same thing.  I know I’d rather not deal with it, but it’s not like I had a choice in the matter.  Dysphoria’s not fun, surgeries and therapy aren’t cheap by any stretch if imagination, the idea of living on hormones for the rest of your life isn’t appealing, the social stigmas that go with it rank right up there with worst history has ever offered, and… that list just keeps going.  It’s the hand some of us were dealt.  No one said we had to like it or the bullshit that goes with it.  Based on the suicide and murder rate of TGs, I’m going to say that few enjoy it regardless of where in the gender spectrum anyone stands.  But one positive thing I can say about it: there are some truly amazing transpeople out there making a world of difference.  I can’t help but admire their courage.  It’s inspiring.  If it requires a special month for others to be inspired, so be it.  I just wonder sometimes who’s listening.  Are we merely preaching to the choir?  Does it actually make a difference beyond a single moment?  It’s disheartening to think about it sometimes, but this is why I study history.  Over time, it’ll count for all the right reasons.  I just wish it would be in my lifetime.  Now would be a good time.

On the subject of TG fiction… if anyone has any recommendations of some high quality novels in this category, please let me know.  I really have no idea where to begin on that front.

Enough for now.  Middle-Earth beckons.

11 thoughts on “Random Updates and Musings

  1. Congratulations for hitting 300 followers! I don’t quite recall, but I think I began following you with your posts about music? The series on the music that had influenced your life. I stayed because I enjoyed the writing, and the depth within them. Furthermore, addressing the later half of your blog article, its sobering to read your words on the weights transgender people carry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just coming back to something – have you tried “the left hand of darkness” by ursula le guin? I’m reading it now and it’s smashing my thoughts, about gender especially. If you ever have time (it seems like you’re running a fair few projects right now), I’d also welcome your thoughts on “the lonely city” by Olivia laing. This second one because it is very precious, and I’d welcome your thoughts on it. it is, in essence, one woman’s exploration of loneliness through art.

    I realise now, having read my comment, that I just dropped a stack of books on you out of nowhere… Whoops. Hope you’re doing well 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve not tried those. Left Hand of Darkness is on the short list, absolutely. I’ve not heard of The Lonely City, but now I’m curious. Loneliness through art… I can relate to that. Never apologize for book recs. I always appreciate such things, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes… I read the lonely city perhaps a month ago, and found it altogether remarkable and poignant. Its the one book I nearly stole from a library, I wanted it near me always. The author knows loneliness intimately, and she feels and explores and empathises through artwork + writing + and the lives of their creators. I only read your “about me” section today, and given your connection to art, I thought perhaps you’d enjoy it?

        It’s a bit difficult writing this over the Internet, and you don’t know me at all, so I really hope I haven’t overstepped here 😅

        Liked by 1 person

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