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Kludging through life.

Field Notes In/On Transition

Kludging through life one clump at a time

I completely missed doing a transition blog post in May. I don’t think I have gone so long without posting something. I did do a few movie and comic book reviews on my media review blog. I guess I was constantly saying, ‘tomorrow’, or after this certain event happens, then i will have more to write about, etc, et al. All the things that I detailed as coming up, in my end of april entry, about getting my crowd funded memoir going have happened, except I haven’t quite launched yet. the budget is pretty much worked out, and I think pretty reasonable, even if it seems like a lot of money, it’s actually not.

One of the biggest upsides of self publishing in the 21st century and using the print on demand model is that you don’t have to do a humongous print run, and thus can save a lot of cash.You only print as many books as you need to fulfill the orders from the crowd funding perks. All my items for perks, are things I can print on demand. Even if I print and ship to myself every book, and then ship each out myself, I won’t be losing money at all. As the books are already paid for by the person ordering said perk. Once the orders are filled, I can get my books onto Amazon, and itunes, print and digital, without needing too much or any stock really. Hopefully I can get some publicity when crowd funding, that I can get some momentum going on bookstores, and amazon, and whatever digital retailing I can do.

The part that has had me stuck, and maybe a week or so behind my ‘schedule’ on this project is the pitch text. Copywriting myself on this has been difficult, which is weird, as I see it as not so different than a cover letter for a resume, which, I think I usually do decent job of. 

Also I have to admit that I am a bit hesitant about negative responses to my crowd funding, and being even more of a presence online. To be able to be effective at marketing, getting people to see my campaign I am going to have to be a bit more conscious of my social media things, and actually engage more on tumblr, twitter, and instagram. Oh as well as my 'author page on FB, which I can never remember to update) I tend to be all about facebook most of the time, and that is important too... but to really do it right, I think I am going to have to really engage a bit more. Being a Trans* woman makes me a bit nervous about the kind of nonsense I will likely have to filter out. This part truly has me a bit stressed, and well it is going to happen even if I don’t get much traction. 

Haters are out there. I feel pretty good about not attracting too much of that here on my blog, I think in part because my hashtags are crappy, and I strictly monitor every comment. i have only had about a half dozen trolls over the whole time I have been doing this. I decided on the first day, I was not going to put up with it. I moderate the comments before they ever see digital life. Seriously, this is going to be my policy with the crowd funding too, as much as I can, I am moderating everything, deleting hateful things. Why engage with someone whose opinions are never open to debate.

Anyhoo, onto less annoying things.... There have been a couple of great ‘Femme Fridays” event at the Heartwood Cafe. Also I read at heartwood on May 15, at a Trans centred event geared to raising money and awareness of how expensive and kafka-esque it can be to get your ID changed in BC. It was a well attended reading and there were some wonderful readings, songs and testimony from one trans woman who told the room of her really difficult struggle to come out and be trans, to become a woman in the early 90’s. It was some tough stuff to hear, but sadly a typical story from that era. 

I didn’t transition at that time, or even later partially because I saw the pain that many of the trans women I saw in the world were having. These are folks who really trail blazed for those of us who for many reasons just couldn’t, weren’t ready, back then. I would not have had the strength of this woman who gave her story to us all. I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t waited until I did. we all have our own paths and I am grateful to women like her, who have gone before, and made it a bit easier for us late comers.

My own reading, I really wish I had thought o get someone to record. I went first, as I almost always do in these kind of events, and I really felt like I was in the zone, performance wise. I did my ‘signature’ 90’s piece “Like Bukowski In Drag” which was also the title to my first chapbook. (which is rare, I only have 2 copies myself) and my first self published book, which you can buy in the link on the title above. (note you will find it’s published under my old name, which is no secret)....a couple of other pieces really seemed to grab the room, especially

 “Your mom Comes Home Early”

your mom comes home early
she’s drunk but your mom 
catches you in her room    
poorly planted on
wobbly toes crushed together 
in her too small for you 
ruby red shoes 
you wait to be slowly struck 
from the family photos 
for wearing her lipstick 
she decides not to toss you 
out the door in her pearls
and that glittery disco dress
she wouldn’t be caught dead 
: it’s your princess dress 
makes you ecstatic 
just to see 
let alone have it
caress your pubescent body 
she instead 
lectures you 
on stealing and
(she pauses) Gawd   Dammit”
you think to say she no longer wears it
but just as you open your mouth 
her eyes narrow 
and she tells you 
when you say
she slaps your 
bloody lips
she calls out quietly 
while she wipes 
your mouth gently 
swiping her lipstick from your face 
with oblivious cunning 
your mother 
        asks you: 
                      “ do you really want to be a princess ?” 
and of course you smile 
bunch up the dress in soft 
half painted fingernails
                      “yes”  you say:  “please please”
she is crying  and so 
you pull the shimmering dream 
over your head and place
it gently at her feet as
she gets violentlydrunksick 
over your illusion of her dress 
her own so carefully painted toes :
she asks 
             “are you gay?” 
while you’re standing there 
wearing her black satin panties 
and an old torn white bra
you found in the woods 
behind the house 
you confess
                “it’s just really, that i am really, 
(you pause)  a girl ”
her smile is so meek 
that it makes you cry as she
unsnaps the bra 
and holds you 
close in a kind of hug you 
have never gotten 
you feel 
embarrassed as 
you take off 
her underwear 
and she turns away 
offering you
her lovely pink bath towel 
the one 
you are not allowed to use     ever

© 2015 Josie Boyce 
(published in 2013 in the book “The Wickedness Of Flowers” by Josie Boyce)

This poem is in no way autobiographical, as I was never caught, but once (vaguely detailed in a different poem) trying on ‘girl clothes’ as a kid. I was pretty darned good at avoiding detection of my secret self. This piece is more of a what if, idea of what could have happened, had I been caught en femme. Read my upcoming memoir if you want more details on my early forays into becoming my femme self. Several folks came up to me after the reading to tell how much this particular piece resonated with them. I have only read it out in public a few times and thought maybe it was too cliched. It’s nice to get some validation on it.

There were a few other performances, including from the host some Dame Edith Sitwell, a relation of the host. They thought maybe no one remembers Edith, but I did and loved their reading old Edith. Also another friend did a wonderful dramatic reading of a melancholy story of youth and eating your veggies. All in all it was an interesting, and successful event. I was entertained, and educated at the same time.

What else has been going on, well my choir “The Femme City choir” had our final two concerts of the season in what we called a Femme-Stravaganza. I made the programme for the event, as well as helped create and hang the decorations. The shows featured some femme-tastic opening acts both nights, as well as our ‘choralography heavy’ renditions of classic and contemporary pop songs. many of our arrangements were done by our choir master, and we really knocked it out of the park in my opinion. 

one of the best moments of the weekend!

We didn’t sell out tickets at either show, this time around, but many more people saw us, and we got some publicity, and it was a real show in a real theatre. Interesting side note, one of the back stage techs, I recognized from my old Fringe stage managing days, I think. I knew her name before she said it. I never bothered explaining who I used to be, though as we were enjoying hanging this particular show, but I was a bit nostalgic about the old Fringe days (1989-93ish) when I stage managed fringe plays. It seems another life, and it was. also to be heavily featured in my upcoming memoir, the days of lights and cues...

So, where am I right now? Well, I have to go out to Hell’s half acre tomorrow morning to audition to be a background performing zombie for some tv show. Early morning train and bus riding to get to south Burnaby, and do some zombie walking and maybe get a day or more on a set. It would be nice to get a bit of income... 

I have had a lot of generosity, financially, and emotionally from friends, and some unexpected sources, as I have struggled to pay the bills the last few months. I am very thankful that I had my RRSP to drain so that I could live around this not getting any work period that I am in. It makes me feel like my decision to do the crowd funding and earn for myself is doable, achievable. I am hoping to get the pitch finished, some of the perks finalized (they say its good to add new ones as the campaign flows) and the pitch video made this week sometime. I have some really groovy ideas for the video. It definitely will not be one of those dull standing against a white wall, detailing things out type of video. I want to make the video a bit of an art piece, because that’s what I do.


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