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the Chronicles of Fenmere, the Worm
Links Personal Entries - Philosophical Rants - Grass Dog News - HFR News - Dumb Stuff - Grass Dog Comics - Fenmere's Buddies - Fenmere's Groups January 2016
 
 
 
 
 
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Wed, Jan. 27th, 2016 08:34 pm

I should start posting here again. It has been too long. But, I am not sure what I will post. I am seriously considering re-branding this blog. For now, have a nice photo of me.

Awesome Selfie 20160127

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Sun, Oct. 11th, 2015 07:55 am

October 11 is National Coming Out Day. I am not entirely sure it is a day for actually coming out to people, but it is a day when queer people of all types seem to share their stories of coming out, partly to educate the public, but mostly to celebrate who they are and to help those who are still in the closet to figure out how to go about leaving it, when they are ready.

I remember when a group of my queer friends, gay, bi, and trans, all started sharing their stories while we were sitting around drinking coffee and drawing cartoons like we do. The question they had asked themselves was, “Do you remember the reactions of your queer friends when you came out to them?” It was a really fun conversation, and I felt honored to be able to sit there and listen to all of it. As the cis male that I thought I was at the time, I could still feel the solidarity to the degree that I felt like I was part of the group, even though I knew (er, thought) I wasn’t.

Nearly ten and a half years later, I got to experience my own version of one of those stories, with that very same group of friends. They were the first ones I called, once things started to become clear to me, because I was hoping that I could get good advice on finding a counselor and a doctor. We spent a lot of extra time that day hanging out and comparing stories about our experiences. It will remain one of the most special days in my whole life. The day I found my people, the Dragon People whom I had been dreaming about for decades. That was in January.

There were a lot of more somber and more careful discussions with everyone else in my life after that. I wasn’t just turning away from death to tentatively walk down the possible path of being trans, I was scrambling and clawing with every ounce of my desperate will to run up the cliff face of the existential hole I’d been buried in. And every single person in my life has been a vital hand hold in that struggle. And so, I came out publicly as a trans woman on Easter of this year.

I have not spent a lot of time in the closet as a result. Prior to this year, it could be said that I was in the closet even to myself. My gender identity was so locked away in my subconscious that it only effected me in the most basic levels, with instincts that never matched my external identity and gender roles, and a general dysphoria that grew to critical levels of pain. But, I never really learned what it was like to consciously hide something from everyone out of fear. I mean, I did sort of work this out at fourteen. But I thought it was just sexual fantasies that were harmless and something everyone mostly kept to themselves, too. I would talk about them during lighthearted confessional conversations with close friends, and dismiss them as kinky, intellectual curiosity. So, I still listen with reverence when my gay, lesbian, or bi friends talk about their experiences. And I lean in with rapt attention when my trans friends share theirs. And I still learn from all. In many, many ways, I am still quite privileged. The most important way being that I can afford to be out to my whole community, and find myself welcomed with open arms by almost everyone in it. Most of us don’t experience that.

So. Being transgender has seriously dominated my life since I came out to myself. And it will continue to do so for the next year or two, as I unpack myself from the tiny mental storage box that I crammed myself into when I was small. But, it isn’t the only significant way in which I am queer.

I’m also, if you haven’t figured it out (or read in one of my previous posts), quite gay.

Not a gay man. A gay woman. A lesbian. I mean, I might be bisexual or pansexual in reality, but my excitement for women far exceeds all others right now. Actually, my interest in sexual attraction itself has increased in general since clearing up my gender issues. But, I have always known my chosen partner would be a woman, and it feels right.

Gender and orientation are independent. They are linked in a semantic sense, in that if I identified as a male I would be heterosexual. But I don’t, so I am not. Being attracted to women doesn’t make me a guy, or even a tiny bit masculine. It makes me a real, live, proud as hell lesbian.

So, there’s that, too.

Happy National Coming Out Day!

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Sun, Jun. 28th, 2015 06:50 pm

As I begin writing my autobiographical blog and transition journal, I find myself thinking about how being transgender has already effected my creative processes.

Everybody is influenced some way by their unique identity, of course. But very few people have quite as profound of a change in perspective as a trans person who comes out to themselves later in life. I am starting on month three of my hormone therapy just two months away from my fortieth birthday. Growing older with testosterone and thinking of myself as a cis straight white male has made some indellible marks upon me, and the vestiges of that perspective and those feeling can be clearly seen in my writing and artwork.

But, there are clues, signs of my subconscious trans identity as well. Things that I wasn’t fully aware of until now. In fact, there are plot structures that I began weaving into my great story, the Epic of Sally, that with just a tiny tweak will become profound allegories for the trans experience, from being in the closet, to coming out, to being apart from society before and after, to the altering of perspective and growth that comes with it.

But, the very direction my imagination took from when I was very young is a direct result of suffering the physical dysphoria long before I knew what it meant. I spent huge amounts of my childhood pretending to be animals other than human, to get away from the pain of simply existing. Then, I found dragons. Dragons were the answer because, in being magical, they could desguise themselves as human. So, it was possible that I really was a dragon and that I’d be able to take my true form at puberty (possibly draconic puberty, which I figured might happen as late as 40 years old…). And, most importantly, even male dragons have internal genitalia, conforming to a body configuration that felt refreshing and correct to me.

At the age of eight, I emersed myself so deeply into the world of dragons, I have never been able to leave it. And every story I am working on right now is a direct development from the daydreams and imaginary friends I created in the following years.

—–

This post is the public part of a greater project that I am working on. To read stories from my childhood through my transition, and to support the creation of this illustrated Autobiography of a Pacific Northwest Trans Woman, please subscribe to my Patreon, and share liberally! Thank you!

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Fri, Jun. 26th, 2015 01:16 am

In reflection of my life, this blog is going to undergo a massive transition. It will still be the hub of my work, but I am going to begin using it as my personal journal, because that is my work now.

More specifically, I am going to be using it to talk about my experience as a trans woman.

Most of the posts here will be of the current-events/editorial/personal-observation kind. Each with a link to my new Patreon page, where the subscription only part of the blog will be located. That blog will be updated more often, actually, and will be an autobiography proper! Starting with fun details about my birth, and going through the things I remember, including diaper changes and memory quirks, as well as how genuinely cool my family has been.

This will be a rough draft, with my family’s veto on any post. But my goal is to compile a book about my transition and the development of my creative endeavors. Not because I’m some shining example of a trans artist, but because one more narrative from a trans person can help give greater perspective on the diversity of human life. And, while I have had a truly blessed life for someone who neither wealthy nor famous, I have been close enough to death due to my struggles that I am personally appalled and flabbergasted that anyone has it worse off. And they do. Maybe the contrast between all our lives can help to bring more sympathy to the world of my trans siblings.

Thank you!

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Sat, Jun. 6th, 2015 10:36 am

click to visit larger image

Memorial Illustration for Doug Smith

From the Fenworks

I met Doug when he was part of my dad’s band, Radio Free Lynden. I worked with him when I joined my dad’s business, Fairhaven Communications Company. Doug was the first person to demonstrate to me the personal value of donating your own time to something you feel is deeply important – my dad explaining to me what pro-bono was while Doug printed materials for the Rainbow Coalition. And, some of the last, smallest acts of kindness that Doug performed in the past year were quite possibly some of the most profound acts of help I have received.

He loved my artwork, but never asked for a piece. I wanted to make him something and give him a hug. Well, here is something, at least. Let it be known that he was one of the people in the past year that saved my life.

Thank you.

These words probably describe his life and struggles far better than I ever can.

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Sat, Apr. 11th, 2015 11:16 pm

So.

I've come out to the rest of the internet, I might as well make sure my long, nearly but not quite forgotten friends over here in LiveJournal land also have the run down.

The reason I've been so quiet lately is because I've been dealing with increasingly bad chronic depression, anxiety, fatigue and pain. It got to the point that I was sleeping nearly 18 hours a day and on the edge of suicide or horrendous self mutilation. And then, about two and a half months ago, something amazing happened.

I figured out that all that goes away, instantly, if I finally accept the fact that I'm actually a girl.

Or, more specifically, if I stop actively ignoring the physical dysphoria caused by having a huge mismatch between what my brain expects my body to be configured like and what I was unfortunately born with, the depression, anxiety, fatigue and pain goes away. But, if I actively stop ignoring the dysphoria, I then experience the dysphoria. And it's pretty bad!

So, for the sake of my mental health, I will be physically transitioning over the next couple of years.

I am also beginning the process of changing my legal name from Jonathan William Sodt to Jonna Anne William 'e Sodt. I've grown to like "Jonathan" and its variations, and don't really want to give that up. I'm proud of my past, as much as it has hurt me at times, so I'm keeping a feminine version of the name. "Anne" is the name my parents would have given me if I'd been identified as a girl at birth, and it was also my grandmother's middle name, and I like it quite a bit. In fact, I'm sort of requesting that people use that one to address me, but "Jonna" and "Jonna Anne" are also really effective ways of getting my attention! ("Fenmere" still works, too, though I identify even less with him as an alter ego and more of a child of mine). 'e is the name of Fenmere's mother. And I'm keeping "William" because it is both my dad's and my grandfather's name, and I've always liked it. And I'm keeping Sodt, because I am one. And the initials of the whole thing spells JAW'S, which makes for an excellent signature for artwork! :D

I've got a whole lot to share about this experience, and I've written nearly a hundred different times in as many slightly different ways while coming out to individual family members and friends. I'm planning on compiling a public version of it someday, possibly soon, and I will share it here as well.

Because this account is under Fenmere's name, I'm switched "his" pronoun to "they". I never really stuck to writing in his voice here, like I've managed to do on my Tumblr account, but I do feel like I've shared this space with him, so the pronoun "they" in this case is actually plural! I am a "she", a girl, a trans woman. And pretty damn freaking happy about it, too!

- Jonna Anne

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Fri, Nov. 7th, 2014 02:11 pm

review of a graphic novel in progress by Ms. Morri

http://themorrigan.smackjeeves.com/

My copy of the first comic book of The Morrigan arrived in the mail two months ago. It sat proudly in my bag for two weeks before I cracked it open to read it. Not because I wasn’t eager to start reading this comic, but because the rest of life just wasn’t letting up yet. And then, after reading it, I had to collect my thoughts. Oh, that sounds ominous! Portentous maybe? Like a crow in the form of a sentence…

Let me take a moment to note that the book itself feels like a comic book. The kind you get on Wednesday. But, still, an indy book, with the quality necessary to make it stand above mass produced work. I don’t know where she got it published, but she got a lot of that part right. Now.

The Morrigan, as the name suggests, is about the ancient Irish goddess of battlefields and death, and her place in the world today. Ms. Morri takes us into her world first by following the Morrigan as she does her job, using a fallen soldier’s questions to help introduce us to just what she does and why. Fans of Gaiman’s Death will find some comforting similarities to her duties and attitudes, but the Morrigan is even more down to Earth and focused on her business. More importantly, at least compaired to my own research, Ms. Morri gets it pretty close to right. This is a fine characterization of the pagan goddess. Not just a characterization, our hero. The story is about her.

I’ve had the honor of speaking to Ms. Morri last year, while she was working on this book while attending the B.S. of Comics (my glorified doodle support group that meets weekly), so I had some idea what she’s putting into this work and something of where it might be going. I know she’s done her research. But she’s clearly engaged in her character and story and taking them both to new places and difficult trials and potential disaster.

For some reason, even seeing her draw angels and the Morrigan bickering in a throne room, I didn’t expect the Morrigan to get entangled in the Christian Divinity! I guess, during our discussions, I was just too focused on talking about the Irish mythology! But it’s fitting, it makes sense, considering the strange relationship ancient Irish mythology has had to have with the church since Christianity found Ireland.

The cool part is that, after doing her homework, Ms. Morri gives it her own spin and makes it personal. And to me, when it comes to mythology, the personal, the human, is what make the gods hero material, worth siding with, worth caring about. I am proud to own this book, and I am definitely going to keep reading the comic.

Like me and our peers, Ms. Morri is crafting this comic entirely by her own hands. The artwork has some of the same charm and cricks and awkwardness of the early Tick series, which is totally forgivable to me (hell, I’m one to talk — glancing at my early “comics”). This is part of the joy of reading independent comics. You get to see the hand of the artist in the work. And Ms. Morri spends a lot of effort putting her hand in her work. The shading and coloring, the sense of space, the design and the layout all outshine any quibbles I have with anything else. And as with any other similar project, it will be a joy to watch her develop her style as she finishes it.

And while T.V., novels, movies and comics have all presented various takes on living comparative mythologies, the Morrigan presents both a perspective and a story I have not encountered before. And that alone excites me.

Good work!

You can read the ongoing story of The Morrigan and order her books on her website.

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Sat, Oct. 11th, 2014 11:54 am

How to talk about basic spacial relations in Fenekere

In Fenekere, there are two ways to talk about spacial relationships. There are various artists of manipulating or engaging in spacial relationships, and you can learn their names and use them for verbs, adjectives and adverbs, which is the pure way of speaking Fenekere. And as those names are added to the database, you can search for them here. Or, you can do what most Ktletaccete do and use the prefixes, which are also listed on the search page for your convenience.

In order to make a few of the most often used prefixes easier to memorize, I’ve created the following diagrams. Also included are some sample sentences, so that you can see the prefixes in use:

Above, we see Benejede, the Story Telling of the Ktletaccete. You’ll note that each prefix means either the position in relation to Benejede or the corresponding side of Benejede. The way that is interpreted is based on which word you attach the prefix to. If you attach the prefix to a noun, then it acts like an adjective meaning “the noun in the [position]-most location”. If you attach the prefix to a verb, it means, that the subject is verbing to the [position] of the object. The most common such use is to attach the prefix to the verb for “is”, like this: Fe girluubedodeha gegega – “I am ahead of you.”

In this diagram, we see Bededehe, the Artist of Being. It is his name that we use for the words for “is” and “are” or “being”. This diagram is laid out to describe Bededehe’s right and left. So his left hand is marked left. In the diagram below, I’ve written sentences that speak both of his perspective and our perspective, so you can see how that works and what the differences are.

click to view full sized image

So, to speak of Bededehe’s left, you must use the adjective/possesive form of his name, “bedudohe”, and mark it to modify the verb, “nirlaabedodeha”. If you had put Bededehe in the object position of the sentence, as “Bededahe”, it would have been ambiguous and most readers would have assumed their left, though they wouldn’t object too loudly if you clarified yourself afterward. Note that we didn’t use that kind of clarity for Benejede’s position, because it’s very clear that he is to Fenemere’s back in the image.

In order to be absolutely clear that you mean that Fenemere is to our right of Bededehe, you might incorporate the pronoun for “where/there”: Fenemere rlinaabedodeha rrerrerra Bedudahe – “Fenmere is-to-the-right of Bededehe’s position.”

The next lesson will be cardinal directions.

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Tue, Oct. 7th, 2014 03:18 pm

Ostrich with coffee desktop icon.

It’s rather fitting that this is the one I’m left to share today. This is pretty much how I’ve been feeling most of the day. I got over it, so I’m posting it.

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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Mon, Oct. 6th, 2014 12:30 pm

Yak with coffee for sale!

This entry has been crossposted from Drawing Contraption. You may comment here or there, it's all the same!

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