Monday, 27 September 2021

Eight months later.

Well, I've finally finished my book and it will be out in January. This is what it will look like:



As you'll notice, it's a chess book. It has nothing to do with gender. And yet...

About the author: ‘They have been investigating and writing about opening theory for over 30 years.

Yes, that's “they have” not “he has”. Right.

Similarly, unless referring to someone specifically gendered, I use neutral pronouns throughout. No “he or she” nonsense. Just “they” and “their”, and even “themself”. Because why the fuck wouldn't I do that?!

Furthermore, the book ‘is based to a large extent on my own investigations and practice’, so I reference a lot of my own games, including those played online – where I mostly use the handle “tsmenace” (and have been doing since I started playing online in 2004). As I explain in the Introduction: ‘Other instances of “tsmenace” online are not me, though the source is likely to be the same, and I still have the t-shirt.’ Readers here, if not there, may already recognize that source...

From Wikipedia: ‘The Transexual Menace (...) was a transgender rights activist organization founded in New York City in 1993. It was the first direct action group of its kind, and grew to be a national organisation with 24 chapters.’ My t-shirt adds the words: “Great British Chapter”. I got it from PFC back in the day.

Damn, that seems a lifetime ago. Do we even use the term “transsexual” any more? It's a long time since I wore the t-shirt too – I keep it in a drawer as a souvenir – but when I did, the reactions were... entertaining. I never, as you might think, got any actual abuse. Instead, I saw people's eyes drift expressionlessly down to my chest and then back up again. I stared expressionlessly back. But that was back then. In the current trans-hostile climate I probably would get abuse. It'll be interesting to see whether there's any response to any of this once the book comes out.

Those last two words are apposite because the book is a sort-of coming out too, in that it puts my gender issues into the public domain. Albeit a tiny part thereof and only incidentally. After all, it is a chess book.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Lockdown #2

Or is it #3 now? I'm finding it hard to tell. I'm also finding this one much harder than the last.

Again, my life has hardly changed really. I still sit at home at the computer all day. But I'm now doing less and less while sitting there.

I'm still writing a book. Or rather, should be writing a book. I'm doing that less and less too. Early morning walks are out because it's dark, cold, very often wet, and the bunnies are probably all asleep underground anyway. I'm still practising the recorder on and off.

I've bought a few things courtesy of Facebook advertising. None of the stuff in my post. All from the store mentioned in the comments, including (since the link there has gone dead) one of these:



Fabulous. Who knows when I'll get the chance to wear it.

But the main event this time has been taking photos of the River Trent, from Gunthorpe Bridge to Torksey Lock and Littleborough, in various types of light and states of flood. I can't really see what I'm doing; the viewing screen is too small. I just point the camera in the right sort of direction and click. But that's the beauty of digital cameras. You can take as many pictures as you like. Some of them are bound to turn out okay.

Check my Twitter account for an ongoing selection if you want, and if you can bear to scroll through the rest of the junk to find them. They go back to 22nd August 2020. For those who can't be bothered, these are perhaps my four favourites:


Torksey Lock (7th November 2020)


Hazelford Ferry (12th November 2020)


Dunham Lakes (2nd January 2021)


Carlton-on-Trent (18th January 2021)

The third is my current desktop wallpaper :)

But seriously, fuck the Tories.