Tipsy Fairy Tales Blog Tour!

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Join me September 21st through 28th as I tour various other corners of the blogosphere as a guest writer, along with reviews of my Tipsy Fairy Tale books, including my latest release, Restless Spirit! Details to come… I’ve got some fun stuff I am dying to share.

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

9/21 Novel-ties Review
9/21 RJ Sullivan Fiction Guest Post
9/21 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Top Ten’s List
9/22 Green Gates Entertainment Review
9/23 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! Top Ten’s List
9/24 Sheila’s Reviews Guest Post
9/25 Deal Sharing Aunt Author Interview
9/26 Jorie Loves A Story Review
9/26 Magic of books Review 9/26 Cabin Goddess Top Ten’s List
9/27 Jordan Hirsch Review
9/27 The Seventh Star Author Interview
9/28 Jorie Loves A Story Guest Post

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Gen Con is here!

Well, almost, anyway. Figured I’d do a little something for Whiteboard Wednesday in honor of my favorite convention!

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Happy Birthday, Heather!

Heather is like family to me, and was one of the people who first believed in me as a novelist. A fan of my Road Ghosts Trilogy, she may have been written into the story. She’s the Queen of the Reigniacs, and reminds me of her own hero, Wonder Woman. Her actual birthday is on Friday, but she celebrates all month long, so hopefully this being a Whiteboard Wednesday isn’t too out of place. 

All Heather asks anyone do for her birthday is to pay it forward, do random acts of kindness. I have done so in my own quiet way, but I’m still celebrating her birthday by remembering her, and immortalizing her on the whiteboard.🙂

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Birthday greeting from “R.J.’s Angels”!

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Happy birthday to my author buddy R.J. Sullivan! How convenient for his birthday to fall on a Wednesday this year, giving me an excuse to do a Whiteboard Wednesday featuring his characters. Shown here are Fiona “Blue” Shaefer, the ghost of Maxine Marie, and paranormal investigator Rebecca Burton, celebrating the day together.

If you want to really wish R.J. a happy birthday, go check out his books and blogs at his website:

https://rjsullivanfiction.com/

If you’re familiar with his fiction already, why not go give him a review on Amazon?

http://www.amazon.com/R.-J.-Sullivan/e/B004TGPAB0

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LAUNCHED TODAY! Restless Spirit, another Tipsy Fairy Tale!

It’s here! If you pre-ordered the ebook, you should have it on your Kindle or Nook right now! You may also buy the paperback starting today. I will also be debuting the book in person at InConJunction science fiction convention here in Indianapolis Friday-Sunday July 1-3. I am SO proud of this book. If you didn’t know, it is the sequel to Blue Spirit, and it’s set here in Indianapolis, at Big Con, an (totally fictional) enormous geek/game convention. Plus there’s trolls and zombies and Machiavellian fairy folk in the mix. Plus Gonzo and Frannie from my Road Ghosts. And don’t forget the Wonder Booze.

Here is the official announcement from Seventh Star Press:

http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2016/06/restless-spirit-latest-tipsy-fairy-tale.html

Restless Spirit Cover HQWhen Skye McLeod is asked by her pal Phil Jenson if she wants to cosplay at his game company’s booth during Big Con Weekend—and get paid for it—she jumps at the chance. Besides, Skye’s hit a rocky patch with her girlfriend Annabelle, who wants her to stop drinking and act more responsibly.

Then Skye gets a call from paranormal detective Rebecca Burton for another job; something big is going on at the convention, and she needs Skye to be her eyes and ears there. So now Skye’s getting paid to have fun—twice!

Then The Night Duke, a creep from Skye’s live role playing days, shows up and uses some weird mojo, seemingly turning pretend zombies into real ones. After barely escaping an attack, Skye learns the fairies and trolls within the magical realm are getting restless, and her old friend, the Transit King, is in the middle of it.

Skye decides to once again enlist the aid of her fairy companion “Minnie.” For Skye to enter the magic realm, she needs to get tipsy. Then she’ll just have to control the powers within her and contain the outside forces that threaten to spin into chaos. How can she possibly screw this up?

Book Two of the Tipsy Fairy Tales Trilogy

Restless Spirit Paperback on Amazon

Kindle version of Restless Spirit

Restless Spirit on Smashwords

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InConJunction 2016 here I come!

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As I have done for the past several years, I’ll be selling books and in panel discussions, along with Speculative Fiction Guild friends, John F. Allen, R.J. Sullivan, and Matthew Barron! We are joined this year by Maurice M. McKiernan. It will be an amazing time.

My latest Seventh Star Press book, Restless Spirit, a Tipsy Fairy Tale  will debut at InConjunction. If you liked my Blue Spirit, you will love this second book in the Tipsy Fairy Tales series!

Here’s  my schedule for InConJunction this year (July 1-3, 2016):

Event Day Starting Time Other Panelists
Shared, Mirrored, and Swapped Bodies Friday 8:00 PM Matthew Barron; E. Chris Garrison; Shannon Eichorn; Katina French; Ms Marian Allen
Geek Girls Unite! Reflections on Female Characters Saturday 5:00 PM TammyJo Eckhart; E. Chris Garrison; Katina French; Ms Marian Allen; Sara Deurell
The Economics of Self-Publishing Sunday 12:00 PM E. Chris Garrison; Christopher Kennedy; Zen DiPietro; Kyle Schenetzke

 

Please come see me! No admission needed to just visit the Vendor room at InConJunction, but the whole con is definitely worth checking out!

Posted in conventions, Events, friends, Fun Stuff, Guest, Hydra Publications, Publishing, Seventh Star Press, Silly Hat Books, Speculative Fiction Guild | Tagged

Giving Blood While Trans

EDIT: The experience I describe below was at an Indiana Blood Center blood mobile. See my update at the end of this article on the Red Cross rules for blood donation, which are MUCH more favorable for trans people. Of note, gender is self-identified, among other things.

The horrible thing about disasters is that we all feel so helpless as we watch from afar. I watched the news from Orlando unfold on Sunday, and my heart ached. I cried for those who were murdered, the wounded, and their friends and families. I recognized them as my own community, though I’d never been to Pulse, and I live 1000 miles away in Indianapolis. I cried for the LGBT community. I didn’t know what to do. I wrote an article, but still felt a hollow ache.

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My friend Elizabeth and me

So, when a friend of mine suggested we could go together to the Indy Pride Blood Drive for Orlando this evening, I said yes, even though I had no idea whether I’d be turned away.

SPOILER: I was able to donate. But I had to swallow my dignity to do it.

NOTE: The staff was friendly, sympathetic, and professional at all times. My complaints are to do with the process, not them. They did the best they could within the FDA rules*. Also, I should mention that I can only speak from the experience of a transgender woman, I can’t tell you what a transgender man would face.

The first snag was, having donated before transition many times, my driver’s license number was in their system, so my deadname (the one given to me at birth) glowered at me from the terminal’s screen. I insisted they change that, and they did. I am not sure how they could refuse, since that’s what my ID says, and I could produce a court order and my social security documentation to back me up. However, despite the lovely “F” on my driver’s license, they said they needed “birth sex” on the forms. It was suggested that someone could die if they put anything else.

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Figure 1. I am not actually male, but I was assigned male at birth.

I need to verify this fact, but I didn’t want anyone to die, so I grit my teeth and seethed as I filled out forms where I was forced to fill in “I am male” more than once.

The screening form also asks you to review a list of “red flag” meds that if taken anytime in your life are to be reported. Proscar / finasteride is on that list. I reported that I had taken it, but since it had been more than a month, they allowed me to donate anyway.

Trans women who are having hair removed by electrolysis take note: it is treated like getting a tattoo, since needles are involved, if you’ve been zapped you’ll have to wait a year before you can donate blood.

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Figure 2: Whether it’s ink or zapping hairs, no needles for a year.

Non-celibate straight trans women are theoretically not eligible to donate either, since they have to mark “I am male” and also answer whether they’ve had sex with “another” male, even once, since 1977.

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Straight trans women: the FDA thinks you’re basically a gay man

I understand there probably are medical reasons behind these rules. I couldn’t say what they might be. I also get that there are millions of frustrated gay and bisexual men out there who are very upset that they couldn’t donate at all, so I understand I have that much privilege.

But what about transgender people who don’t want to be outed? What about those who would be so upset that they’d lie on the forms rather than suffer the indignity and humiliation of having to write their birth sex on a form and risk staff misgendering them. I was braced in case someone said “he” or addressed me as “Mr. Garrison”, but to their credit, the staff just called me Christine and referred to me “she” and “her”. Very professional, and I appreciate it very much. In the end, I was able to donate blood successfully, waited 15 minutes, got my cookie, and went on my way home.

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All done!

 

I think there must be a better way to work this system. Better wording on the forms at the very least. Perhaps “assigned male at birth” or “born male” would soften this a bit? Or make the questions gender independent and make the screening process identify the important, evidently potentially lethal, characteristics. And if it turns out that blood isn’t actually gendered, then that makes this even simpler.

Are you a doctor or a blood expert? Please comment below or click “home” above to find my email address to give me the facts. I’ve got a contact in a local trans health organization who is researching this for me as well, but tapping the hive mind seems like a good way to get more information.

I hope this has been useful to someone, and I hope that the process will change to be more comfortable for trans folks in the future. I’m glad I donated, but I’m honestly not sure how I feel about going back and having to do that again. And it’s not the needle stick that’s the issue for me.

* UPDATE:

After posting this, I got a potentially useful response. On the Red Cross website, it says:

On December 21, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued final guidance for deferral criteria for men who have had sex with men (MSM). AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the Red Cross support the FDA’s decision to change the MSM blood donation policy from a lifetime deferral to a one-year deferral and additionally for the purposes of blood donation gender is self-identified and self-reported, which is relevant to the transgender community.

So, this suggests that you should be able to self-identify your gender (but they would not change my marker that was in their system by my driver’s license number, despite that having changed on my license already) and if you haven’t had sex with a man for at least a year, they should not refuse you. I suspect they still would have, however, and I don’t know how to argue the point with them in person, if they are programmed to follow an antiquated policy.

Despite what was on my forms, I was also told that electrolysis is not a one year deferral if it was done with sterile/single-use equipment. Again, that’s not what I was presented with in person.

I should also note that I gave blood in Indiana, and some of these policies vary from state to state.

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