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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  March 2, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Sandra


Ariel Davidson

My favorite work by Sandra isn't actually a story, but rather a thought piece entitled "Mental Exercise'. It takes the form of an internal discussion between the author's male side, female side, and what might be described in Freudian terms as her super-ego. It's a bit difficult to follow at times, but its well worth the effort. The insight and honesty of this short work make it a very rewarding reading experience.

"Labyrinth" is a more traditional story, a pure fantasy. Although it doesn't really involve any magical transformations, it contains its own sort of magic as it describes a transformation that many of us wish would happen to us. The main character is a young boy who unburdens his heart to his mother and confesses his deeply held transgender dreams. Unlike the reality that most of us have faced, the mother in this fantasy world encourages these dreams and helps bring them to fruition.  Judging from the read count, many of you have already discovered this charming story. The image at the end is nothing more than icing on the cake of this already delicious tale.

"Another Christmas Story" is exactly what it claims to be. In all fairness, Christmas stories aren't my cup of tea and I'll have to say that I didn't enjoy this one any more or less than the others that I've read. It does seem true to the tradition, though.

"I Must Go Away, Sis" (co-authored with Pickles) follows in a similar pattern to the other stories. Those looking for realism with an edge will have to look elsewhere. I would describe Sandra's works as sweet, sentimental and soothing to the wearied soul.   I wish that all my challenges could be resolved so easily..


Julia Manchester

I must admit that until I was asked to review Sandra’s work I had never read any of her stories. She has posted only a few tales, one of which was co-authored by Pickles, as well as a short collection of thoughts, entitled "Mental Exercise," which is really not a story and will not be reviewed here.

Though Sandra’s native tongue is German she has done a wonderful job of translating her thoughts into English. In fact, her last two efforts are far more readable than many stories by English-speaking authors. Aside from a few, small and insignificant errors, her stories are generally grammatically correct and her later works are almost poetic. Her stories flow smoothly and her dialogue is believable and seamless.

"Labyrinth" was her first effort, and the sentence structure has a decidedly Germanic flavor to it, and there are some translation errors, but Sandra’s message transcends national borders or minor language concerns. Her writings are very emotional, and she has the ability to convey her feelings in a manner that leaves the reader convinced of her honesty and vulnerability. One cannot read Sandra’s works and not be moved.

"Another Christmas Story" is definitely not just another Christmas Story. Using parallels to the famous Dickens Carol, Sandra gives us the unique perspective of a father coming to grips with his son’s transsexualism -- with the help of several spirits. Sandra is able to convey a lot of information and emotion in just a few short pages, which is an art in itself. This is an excellent read, regardless of season.

"I Must Go Away Sis" is another fine short story, dealing with the very real despair and feelings of hopelessness that transgendered teens go through all too often. It was co-authored by Pickles, but the story is definitely Sandra’s, and it sounds almost autobiographical.

In many ways Sandra’s stories embody the best of TG fiction. They are not preoccupied with sex or raunchy behavior, and deal with the feelings and emotions of transsexuals exactly as most stories portray the hopes and aspirations of other characters. She treats us as real human beings instead of caricatures or freaks, and manages to convey the despair, longing, fear, hope, and conflict which many of us know all too well, in a few short lines. Her stories, unlike real life, all seem to have a happy ending, though there are references to suicide and the ordeals transsexuals face when they "come out."

While Sandra’s stories are not perfect, they are very, very good, and I recommend them to anyone who reads for TG fiction for more than a cheap thrill. If I sound like a fan, I guess I am, and I will certainly be looking for Sandra’s posts in the future. 

Editor - Heather Sinclair


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