September 29 – the audiobook for “Xanadu“, narrated by Darla Middlebrook appears on Audible.
November 2 – the audiobook for “The Last Hurrah“, narrated by Darla Middlebrook appears on Audible.
November 25 – Christina publishes “Freedom Inc.“, her longest novel to date, at 100,180 words.
January 7 – Christina takes delivery of her first ever new car – a flamboyant red Mahindra KUV 100, and drives it off the showroom floor!
January 11 – the audiobook for “Prodigal Sun“, narrated by Darla Middlebrook, is released.
January 19 – Christina receives the sad news of friend and publisher Brandon Mullins’ death. With Brandon’s death, Moon Books Publishing is also thrown into disarray and essentially stops publishing new material. His widow undertakes to manage the royalties payments and to take down Christina’s books from KDP so that she can upload them to her own KDP account. The audiobook for “High Steaks“, already complete and uploaded to ACX by the narrator, remains in limbo, with no-one to click “approved”.
February 21 – Hally Park finally releases “African Assignment” and “A Way Of Life” by Christina’s father, Theo in eBook format. She is disappointed by the lack of distribution reach provided by the local publisher.
March 30 – in an article for Sci-fi and Fantasy Network, Geoff King lists 7 South African sci-fi & fantasy writers to look out for, including Lauren Beukes and Christina Engela.
April 20 – Christina presents a lecture via Google Meets to a class of the University of the Western Cape on invitation of the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice.
April 25 – Christina obtains a release from Hally Park Publishers who are struggling to survive in the face of ongoing economic failure resulting from the COVID pandemic. This allows her to release new titles independently once more, without being tied to Hally Park.
May 07 – “Sentinel“, book 4 in the Galaxii Series is released. Christina has undertaken to republish as many of her books as she can via her own KDP account, and encounters resistance from KDP in some cases due to duplication issues. Moon Books Publishing is transferred to Brandon’s widow Elizabeth, but for the time being the entire matter remains in limbo and Christina is essentially stymied in terms of re-releasing existing titles independently via KDP.
June 01 – SA’s COVID madness finally comes to an end.
July 27 – Christina publishes “We All Fall Down“, book 3 in the Panic! Horror In Space series, to replace the previous version entitled “Dust”. The latter appears within the volume as part of the content.
October 7-10 – Christina republishes updated eBook versions of all her mom and dad’s books on KDP.
October 10 – Darla Middlebrook, narrator for the Panic! Horror In Space series continues to attack the obstacle of uploading the audio files for “Static” to Spoken Realms in the face of the platform’s idiosyncratic processing software.
October 19 – It looks as if Christina may lose all 14 audiobooks that were published on ACX/Audible through Moon Books due to ACX not accommodating authors from South Africa. Meanwhile, the process of tracking down Brandon Mullins business bank account in order to settle outstanding royalty payments to all MBP’s authors continues.
November 8 – Christina wakes up at 4am inspired to write a short story entitled “It Happened In Late October”.
November 11 – all but three audiobooks have already successfully been migrated from Moon Books ACX account to the producer account of Nigel Peever, who narrated her first 2 audiobooks. The process continues. Nigel has agreed to act as Christina’s producer for the time being. Brandon’s widow Elizabeth has also made the first royalty payment outstanding since February.
November 12 – Nigel Peever sets up Peever Publishing to manage Christina and other authors from Moon Books Publishing’s audiobooks.
November 16 – “High Steaks” audiobook is finally published almost a year late. This is in order to facilitate transfer to Peever Publishing on Audible/ACX.
December 1 – Christina finishes a new short story called “The Lights Of Corramantee”.
December 30 – Christina finishes revising “The Traitor Loyal“, a 1 act play she originally wrote in 1991, for potential release.
December 31 – Christina finishes writing “The Pirates Of Carthagena”, a new short story.
January 11 – Christina is honored with an invitation from the University of KZN to peer-review a paper relating to a Christian response to “Satanic Ritual Abuse” based on her expertise demonstrated by writing “Satanism: The Acid Test” on the subject in 2013.
January 19 – Christina submits the peer-review she was invited to conduct of an academic paper to the University of KZN, and decides to use the material she has written in response to create several more papers of her own on the subject.
May 01 – Christina signs a publishing contract with Hally Park Publishers (KZN, South Africa) to publish most of her books under their label. Benefits include a 50% royalty payment on sales, paperbacks and eBooks as well as Hally Park sourcing books for the SA Department of Education and new material for the SABC.
June 28 – Christina completes “Hotel No-Tell”, a short story for Panic Horror In Space.
July 28 – the audiobook for “Black Sunrise“, narrated by Darla Middlebrook, is released.
September 24 – Christina completes “Opsaal“, a recollection of real life family horror experiences.
November 11 – the audiobook for “Space Sucks“, narrated by Jennifer Pratt, is released.
November 12 – the audiobook for “Dead Man’s Hammer“, narrated by Darla Middlebrook, is released.
November 13 – Moon Books Publishing releases “Opsaal” in paperback and eBook, with the audiobook version being recorded by Darla Middlebrook.
December 28 – the audiobooks for “Loderunner“, narrated by Darla Middlebrook, “Dead Beckoning” narrated by Edmund Bloxam, and “A Way Of Life” narrated by Jay Osborne, are released on Audible and Amazon.
March 24 – “Dust”, book 3 in Panic! Horror In Space is published.
March 26 – South Africa enters an oppressive lockdown period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, fraught with corruption, government authoritarianism, security force over-reach and brutality, prohibition nonsense and general unrest. During this period, Christina dons a mask for common sense precautions, and spends lengthy periods of time in the safety of her home while the death toll soars and social and political insanity run rampant on a global scale.
July 09 – “Blachart” book 1 in Galaxii is released in audiobook format! Narrated by Nigel Peever, the story is dramatized with music and sound effects and is 10 hours 26 min long! This is the first of Christina’s novels to be turned into an audiobook! The audiobook goes on to make 42 sales in the course of the next month – a massive record for Christina in terms of monthly sales!
July 11 – Christina leaves Lulu.com due to recent changes made to their platform interface which made it vague and difficult to use and impossible to track the sales and distribution data she was used to gathering. She redistributed her titles from Lulu to other service providers like Smashwords, EBooks2go, Draft2Digital, StreetLib and Payhip instead, also ceding publishing of all paperback versions to Moon Books Publishing, up to and including eBook distribution via Amazon.
July 27 – Although Christina signed a distribution and sales agreement with Hally Park Publishers (South Africa) to distribute her eBooks on their website on June 26, her books only appeared on their website on July 27. She concluded the arrangement in order to extend her reach into the South African market.
August 07 – “Lifetime“, a novella by Christina Engela is published by Moon Books Publishing.
August 12 – Christina replaces “Duck Blind” and “The Next Room” with a single combined offering, “Mirror, Mirror“. The cover is designed by Brandon Mullins of Moon Books Publishing.
August 20 – Moon Books Publishing releases “Horror Anthology V”, a horror anthology edited by Christina. Also on the same day, the publisher releases “When Darkness Calls” in audiobook form narrated by Miciah Dodge.
August 31 – “Demonspawn“, Galaxii book 2 is released in audiobook format, narrated by Nigel Peever.
September 11 – the audiobook for “Malice!” is released, narrated by Michelle Innes.
October 15 – Christina completes a sci-fi thriller short story entitled “The Day The Sun Went Out”.
November 09 – Christina founds the Port Elizabeth Writer’s Club in a Facebook group. A website is created later the same month. Lack of interest and participation results in this being a no-go, and the group and site are taken down during the following year.
November 20 – Christina’s articles from her website “Innovation DIY” begin to appear in a weekly column in the Weekend Post newspaper called “DIY on a Dime”.
December 03 – A short story called “The Day The Sun Went Out” appears in “Axevictims”, an anthology edited by Roxbrough, as “When You Wish Upon A Star”.
February 20 – As part of her ongoing revision & improvement program, having completed the revision of the Galaxii Series in 2018, Christina starts work on the Quantum Series and releases the Fourth Edition of ‘Black Sunrise’.
March 04 – Christina releases the Fourth Edition of ‘The Time Saving Agency’ .
March 16 – Christina releases the Fourth Edition of ‘Dead Man’s Hammer’ and streamlines her listing of titles on her websites. “The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1: Into The Abyss” is removed, as is “Into The Abyss”, the omnibus of Quantum Series titles.
March 24 – the revised 3rd Edition of “Loderunner” is released.
March 29 – the revised 2nd Edition of “Prodigal Sun” is released.
April 03 – the revised 2nd Edition of “High Steaks” is released.
May 29 – having already reached her goal wrt revising the Quantum Series, Christina embarks on the remaining books. A new updated version of “Space Sucks!” is released, with the goal of launching the sequel within the year.
June 06 – Christina retires “Lange’s Legacy” and republishes the story as part of “Life Signs”, in the new updated version of
Panic! Horror In Space. Christina retires the original version of Panic! Horror In Space, and releases the new updated version – books 1 and 2: “Static” and “Life Signs” tip the scales at over 60,000 words each.
June 19 – Christina publishes “The Upside Of Sadness”, a collection of 165 poems, replacing her much earlier poetry collection, “White Picket Fences”.
June 25 – Christina publishes “Malice!”, a collection of horror short fiction.
June 27 – “Season’s Change” a collection of poetry by Wendy K. Engela, edited by Christina, is published.
July 05 – Christina publishes “Pearls Before Swine”, a collection of her quotes and philosophy to replace the previous “Candid” collection.
July 09 – Christina publishes “The Pitfalls Of South African Self-publishing”, a guide.
July-August – Christina completes and publishes 8 short story previews (“The Galaxii Guide To The Terran Space Fleet”, “The Quantum Guide To Deanna”, “Mercury Rising”, “Broken Promises”, “Going Quantum”, “Overkill”, “A Badfeller’s Tale”, and “A Nine In Time”) to be used as free promotional items, which prove to be very popular on Smashwords.
September 21 – Christina’s short story “The Storming Of Area 51” is published by Moon Books Publishing, a small press in the USA, in their anthology “See Them Aliens! : An anthology of what waits during the Area 51 Raid” in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats. It marks the first time Christina had heard her own work read by a professional narrator!
October 18 – Christina publishes an eBook version of “Waiter, There’s A Bigot In My Soup!”
November 16 – Christina is approached by Moon Books Publishing to put together and edit a sci-fi anthology called “Strangely Compelling Sci-fi”, including the foreword as editor.
December 04 – Christina finishes writing “Duck Blind”, a sci-fi novelette of 21992 words – the story is set aside for inclusion in “Strangely Compelling Sci-fi”.
December 06 – Christina and Brandon Mullins of Moon Books Publishing make an arrangement to publish virtually all her books in paperback format, with select items being earmarked for audiobook versions as well.
December 09 – Christina starts and completes “The Ghost And The Machine”, a short story of 3069 words in a single day – the story is set aside for inclusion in “Strangely Compelling Sci-fi”.
December 14 – Christina’s books begin to appear on Amazon in paperback format, starting with “Blachart”, courtesy of Moon Books Publishing. Within a week, all titles of Galaxii, Quantum and Panic! Horror In Space follow, with others still in the works. The agreement with Moon Books includes audiobooks, which are likely to follow, starting in early 2020.
December 26 – Moon Books Publishing releases “Christina Engela’s Strangely Compelling Science Fiction Anthology: Book 1”.
March 06 – Christina Engela resigns from the Executive Committee of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA), having been a member since 2012. The resignation is precipitated by a very public falling out with SAPRA founder and front-man Damon Leff, who has been drawing the Pagan rights organization (and by implication, the SA Pagan community) into South African race-politics and to advocate the viewpoint that all white South Africans ought to be burdened with the guilt of people long dead for the legacy of Apartheid.
March 10 – Christina Engela and Wendy K. Gloss are married at a private handfasting ceremony!
March 16 – Christina re-releases “Bugspray” and publishes “Keep The Lights On!” (formerly “Don’t Get Left In The Dark” and also formerly “How I Built My Home UPS (& How You Can Too)!”) via Lulu.
March 17 – Christina publishes her father’s third novel “Shakandazu Valley” as editor.
March 19 – Christina re-releases a collection of her father’s short stories “African Assignment” as editor.
April 02 – Christina publishes her father’s first novel, “A Way Of Life” as editor.
April 08 – Christina publishes a collection of her mother’s Afrikaans poetry (97 poems) “Op Vreemde Weë” as editor.
April 11 – Christina publishes a collection of 81 of her mother’s English poetry “When Day Is Done” as editor.
May 10 – “Blachart” is re-released via Lulu and Smashwords (5th edition), with extra material and illustrations.
May 27 – “Demonspawn” is re-released via Lulu and Smashwords (5th edition), with extra material and illustrations.
June 12 – “Dead Beckoning” is re-released via Lulu and Smashwords (2nd edition), with extra material and illustrations.
June 13 -“The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1: Into The Abyss” in the new format, containing “Blachart”, “Demonspawn” and “Dead Beckoning”, is re-released via Lulu.
June 24 – Christina’s short story “Wiggle Room” appears in Phantasmagoria Magazine Issue #5.
July 13 – “Lange’s Legacy” (a lengthy rewrite of the short story “Space Vacation”) is published at over 39,000 words as the fourth title of the Galaxii Series. “Space Vacation” is retired simultaneously. “Lange’s Legacy” is later retired in 2019 and included as part of “Life Signs”, the second title in the Panic! series.
August 09 – Christina releases her first short animated film “Bang! Splat!” which is based on her short story “Innocent Minds” – which is shortly thereafter revised and re-released under the title “Bang, Splat!”
August 14 -“Christina Engela’s Book of Candid Quotes” is published (It is later re-released as “Pearls Before Swine”.
August 28 – Christina finishes a flash fiction short story of 1750 words called “Good Evening, Mr. Gleeb”.
January 02 – Christina completes a revision of ‘Code Red’, a short story written as a high school composition in 1988.
January 04 – Her short story ‘The Thirteenth Ship’ appears on a list of reading recommendations for stories written by female authors about female pirates called ‘Kickass Women Who Are Pirates‘.
February 09 – Christina completes the final edit of ‘Prodigal Sun‘ and makes final preparations for publishing the title.
February 13 – Focus Mid-South Magazine publishes an article about Christina’s writing.
February 17 – the final edit of ‘High Steaks‘ is completed.
February 22 – An interview with Christina Engela by Steven Byrd of “Byrd is the Word” for his column “Expert of the Week” is published.
February 23 – ‘Prodigal Sun‘ is published in paperback and Kindle formats.
March 08 – Christina finishes redrafting a short story she first wrote in 1987 called “The Curse”. She renames it “Mercury Rising“. Because she enjoyed writing it so much, and on the suggestion of her fiance’ Wendy K. Gloss, she decides to make it the first of a series of short stories based on the same characters and circumstances. She immediately continues to write “Mercury Resurgent” as the sequel. This is the origin of the “Panic! Horror In Space” series.
March 09 – Christina and Wendy K. Gloss get engaged!
March 11 – Christina paints her first acrylic on canvas painting (A4), called “Bleeding Hearts”.
April 04 – “Mercury Resurgent”, the sequel to “Mercury Rising” is completed.
April 06 – “Panic! Horror In Space #1” is published, containing “Mercury Rising” and its sequel “Mercury Resurgent”. (Now out of print)
April 30 – Horrified Press publishes “Trumpocalypse” featuring “State Capture”, a poem by Christina Engela as contributing author.
May 02 – “Dead Center” the first short story for inclusion in “Panic! Horror In Space #2” is completed.
May 08 – Christina publishes “The Peed-Off Peasant’s Collection Of Awesome Parking Memes” (Now out of print).
May 29 – “Through A Dark Glassy” the second short story for inclusion in “Panic! Horror In Space #2” is completed.
June 01 – Christina publishes “High Steaks” the 6th Quantum Series novel!
June 23 – “Galaxii – Into The Abyss”, an omnibus of the first three titles in the Galaxii Series is published in 6×9 inch format (Now out of print)
July 05 – “Keep Off The Crabbygrass”, an omnibus of the first four titles in the Quantum Series (Now out of print).
July 29 – Christina facilitates her first meeting at the head of the Out!ology volunteer co-ordinating committee at Salt. It marks her brief return to LGBTI activism while she keeps the seat warm for at least two executive members of the board while they are indisposed for a number of months. This act of charity becomes an issue of regret for Christina since the organization both takes advantage and is fraught with internal disputes.
August 10 – “Panic! Horror In Space #2” is published. At this time, Christina has 21 individual published titles. (Now out of print)
November 18 – “Panic! Horror In Space #3”, Christina’s 22nd book is published. (Now out of print)
November 22 – “Ramalama-Side Up!”, an activity and coloring book, is published.
February 10 – “Bugspray” is published by LightBearer Publishing.
February 27 – “Wiggle Room” is published in an anthology of horror, M v F: Death Personified.
March 3 – A collection of Christina’s father’s short stories, ‘African Assignment’ is published.
March 09 – Christina enters into a romantic relationship with longtime friend, poet and artist, Wendy K. Gloss.
March 19 – Christina is awarded the “Ribbon on the Witches Bouquet” by the SA Pagan Council for her activism.
May 16 – JEA cuts all non-horror-purist writers from their label, including Christina Engela and her titles and her father’s book on May 16. Rather than seeing this as a setback, Christina decides to return to indie-publishing.
October 04 – Christina Engela completes “Prodigal Sun” the fifth title in the Quantum Series, and immediately continues to write “High Steaks“, the second part of a trilogy and the sixth title in the series.
28 October – Christina is interviewed live on GaySA Radio on Friday, by Hendrik Baird about her activism and writing.
November 16 – Christina is interviewed by Focus Mid-South Magazine, a bi-monthly print and online publication targeted at the LGBTA community of Memphis, TN and surroundings.
November 22 – “African Assignment“, Theo Engela’s collection of short stories as edited by Christina, is once again released through LightBearer Publishing.
November 23 – Christina completes the first draft of “High Steaks” and begins the editing phase of “Prodigal Sun” and ‘High Steaks’.
December 01 – Christina’s dog Skippy dies at over 16 years. Skippy served as a model and inspiration for the character of Vluffy, the little dog of Dr. Von Gleichstein in “The Time Saving Agency” and “Bang, Splat!“.
December 01 – Christina completes an edit of ‘When Darkness Calls’, a retelling of paranormal events she experienced and witnessed during December 2011, in short story form.
December 03 – Nocturnicorn Books announces that Christina Engela will be the Editor of ‘Embracing Justice’, its benefit anthology of short fiction and poetry about the rise of fascism and homophobia in the USA and around the world, under the company’s ‘Riot Pink’ label. Unfortunately, the manager of Nocturnicorn suffers a breakdown and book is never completed.
February 12 – Short story ‘The Thirteenth Ship’ included in JEA anthology ‘Inanna Rising: Women forged by fire’, published.
February 18 – Completion of short story ‘Death By Vampire’.
June 20 – Christina wrote the foreword for ‘For Love of Leelah’ anthology on request of the publisher. The anthology also included a specially modified version of her short story ‘Beyond’, in which the lead character name was changed to ‘Leelah’ in honor of transgender woman Leelah Alcorn..
July 08 – Completion of short story ‘Wiggle Room’ for JEA staff ‘Male vs Female’ writing contest.
In February, Michael, the son of Christina’s late friend, Kae Colley, dies of a burst appendix while in surgery, at the age of 18. He had only just finished high school in the previous year. Christina’s story “Loderunner” had started out as a board game imagined for Michael.
Completion of novel ‘Dead Beckoning‘. The novel is uploaded to Lulu.com and goes live for only a few hours before being pulled by Christina herself – she has just been offered a publishing contract with a traditional publisher!
All fiction titles of the Galaxii Series available via Lulu.com are taken down by Christina in order to comply with contractual agreements. All are expected to be re-released by JEA in good time, but only two are ever released under their label.
September 07 – Completion of short story ‘Midnight Station’.
September 10 – Completion of short story ‘Little Green Men’.
October 07 – Short story ‘Homecoming’ included in JEA anthology ‘Autumn Burning: Dreadtime stories for the wicked soul’, published.
March – Prompted by a disturbing rise in “satanic panic” in local media, Christina begins work on an academic work called ‘Satanism: The Acid Test‘. The work is for the Alternative Religions Forum, where she is listed as ‘chief researcher’. The 480 page first version of this document is distributed worldwide to stem the incidence of media and public ignorance around religious minorities and subcultures frequently accused of ‘satanism’, as well as to provide facts on misunderstood religions and subcultures, with the endorsement of these entities. This is a unique piece – nothing like it has ever been done before. The item is released in June as a free download via the ARF website as well as on Academia.edu, where it remains popular with academics worldwide. Christina is rewarded with an immediately noticeable moderation in the way that so-called ‘occult-related crimes’ are reported on, at the very least, in South Africa.
October 24 – Christina’s mother Yvonne dies at the age of 79 in St George’s Hospital, Port Elizabeth after spending 5 weeks in the ICU. Christina views this as the worst day – and the worst year – of her entire life. In fact, after this, everything changes – she no longer cares what anyone thinks of her on a personal or judgmental level. She loses interest in the mundane aspects of daily life – and the doings and screwings of Human society, and becomes gradually more and more a recluse.
Christina joins a local Jujitsu academy and, combined with her weekly paintball sessions, begins to lose weight and tone up. She becomes popular at the dojo, and her determination help her to impress her classmates and the sensei.
Christina participates on invitation as a member of the steering committee for the NMB World Aids Day event, held at the Port Elizabeth City Hall, under the auspices of the contemporary Mayor, as an LGBT community representative.
In December, Christina suffers a mystery viral infection from a spider bite and despite various ineffective medications and treatments, spends up to a month sick at home experiencing convulsions and fever. Despite six sets of blood tests, all that is shown is an unknown viral infection. She is hospitalized, and if anything, grows weaker. Her doctors seem unable to find a solution, and Christina prepares for the worst. Realizing she was in trouble, as a last hope, Christina contacts friends in the local Vampyre community for assistance in killing the virus by astral-feeding off it – for which she credits her rapid recovery after that point. She returns home only after the fever appears to be broken – just three days later. Even so, she continues to suffer unexplained body aches and pains and mysterious infections of lymph nodes and sinus cavities for several years afterwards.
Under Christina’s guidance, ECGLA has has grown to the height of its popularity. In September, the organization hosts the highly successful first ever Pride parade and party for Port Elizabeth.
Christina has become tired and fatigued by nearly ten years of constant activism, and calls it a day with ECGLA, stepping down a few weeks after the Pride, in September.
Christina’s uncle, Johnny van der Westhuizen, dies suddenly of cancer at the age of 86.
Her long time friend, Kae Colley, who was also a distant cousin on the Engela side, and who inspired her to write the story ‘Loderunner‘ dies at the age of 39 after major surgery in Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town.
The terrifying events described in her series of articles ‘In Darkness And Light’, and in a horror story entitled ‘When Darkness Calls’, occur during December 2011.
Completion of short story ‘Homecoming’.
Christina is the winner of the Ebook Diva writing contest. The short story ‘Homecoming’ received the most votes as the winning short story.
Christina makes an appearance at Cape Town Pride as an invited guest to speak at the “Book Lounge” about her LGBT character-writing.
Christina joins a Port Elizabeth LGBT organization called Eastern Cape Gay & Lesbian Association (ECGLA) in February, and is given the activism portfolio on the committee. Within 6 months, she is elected to be the Vice-President of the organization. By the end of the year, the President abandons the organization in the interests of her own business brand, leaving Christina to take the reigns as President. She redefines the position as ‘Director’ instead, and runs the organization very successfully until her resignation in 2011, after she had brought the very first Pride event to Port Elizabeth.
By the end of 2009, Christina is also the defacto face of SA GLAAD, and acts as the Director of that as well as ECGLA.
Christina embarks on her activist writing career by writing articles for her blog “Sour Grapes: The Fruit of Ignorance“. Her articles are picked up and circulated worldwide by numerous other activist organizations (Truth Wins Out, Sex Gender body, among others). She is too distracted and exhausted by activist writing to work on her fiction projects or promotion until at least 2011.
Christina is outraged by the newspaper column ‘Call me names, but gay is NOT ok…’ by Jon Qwelane in July 2008. She joins with other outraged members of the LGBT community to form the activist organization GLAAD SA (changed a month later to SA GLAAD). She takes on the role of Media Liaison at first, but rapidly rises to lead the organization.
May 14 – Christina receives a royalty check for books sold through Lulu.com – the very first time she has been paid for her writing! The check amounts to $78.40 – she receives almost R300 after conversion.
Completion of novel ‘Loderunner‘. Uploaded to Lulu.com.
Completion of novel ‘Demonspawn‘. Uploaded to Lulu.com.
A new series of covers is designed by Christina for all titles on Lulu.com and uploaded.
An extensive rewrite of ‘Galaxii’ is begun as a prequel to ‘Blachart‘. She again abandons the project partway, and ‘Blachart‘ is once again restored to first title status in the Galaxii Series.
January 10 – Christina endures 6 hours of gender reassignment surgery in Bedfordview Gardens Hospital in Johannesburg. She endures an epidural anesthetic and light sedation during the surgery. Afterward, while back in the ward, she has an allergic reaction to a painkiller injection and almost dies as a result.
Completion of short story ‘I, Mac’. Christina worked on this story while recovering at home in bed from surgery, with her desktop PC and CRT monitor perched on a chair at her bedside!
Completion of short story ‘Innocent Minds’ (later redrawn and renamed “Bang, Splat!” in 2019), with illustrations.
Christina publishes ‘African Assignment’ a collection of her late father’s short stories on Lulu.com on a separate profile in his name.
Christina undergoes a bilateral orchidectomy at what is left of the old Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth. This is the first surgical step of her transition.
Encouraged by her mother Yvonne to ‘do something’ with her writing again, Christina types what will become the final draft of ‘Blachart‘ onto a PC for the first time, working from the most recent original notes dating from 1998. She follows this up with an edit and digitization of her already completed short stories.
After much introspection and great personal upheaval, Christina begins her physical transition through HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and begins to face up to a lot of prejudice from former friends, family, co-workers and the general public as encountered. Christina writes very little other than poetry about her transition during the next few years.
Christina seeks gender confirmation surgery, and begins with a process of first seeking a diagnosis of gender-dysphoria, which she obtains.
One night, while on duty at work, Christina starts and finishes writing an entire sci-fi short story called ‘Beyond’ about a transgender woman in a military environment, in which she appeals for tolerance and acceptance for transgender people, indirectly and anonymously for herself – as at this time, she is still very much closeted.
Christina is involved in a major car wreck. A Mercedes traveling at high speed fails to stop at two consecutive stops and hits her car side-on in an intersection. The other driver is killed. She survives the accident with with amnesia, short term memory loss, and head, shoulder, neck and back injuries. It takes her almost a year to recover from that, and some of the injuries linger for years.
Completion of short story ‘A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion’.
At work, Christina completes a promotional course and is promoted to Corporal.
In December, Christina undergoes corrective knee surgery to repair torn cartilage inside the joint suffered while loading 60 truck batteries at work. It takes her another six months of intensive physiotherapy and gym to recover full strength in her right leg.
Christina writes ‘The Devils in the Sky’, her first serious, commercially viable short story. Although earlier works exist, they remain unedited and virtually forgotten until 2016. Consequently, ‘The Devils in the Sky’ is still viewed as her first comprehensive, significant work.
On January 10, Christina reports for a year of compulsory military service. This could be regarded as a ‘lost’ year, but despite everything, she still manages to add a lot of material to a redraft of ‘Galaxii’ and other stories. She also realizes the sheer amount of story material nestling in a military environment, and takes notes.
After six months as a private in the SADF, Christina is nominated to attend a junior NCO course and is consequently promoted to Lance-Corporal (PFC) in August. She completes her year of national service and has impressed her co-workers and supervisors so much so that they make a concerted effort to get her a contract working in the Permanent Force. Unfortunately, recent political changes prevent any new permanent appointments to the PF, and she is given first a 3 month contract, followed by a 6 month contract, and then yearly contracts after that, until she accepts a civilian post in 2009.
Christina is asked by a work colleague to write a one-act play for a church or Sunday-school environment, and begins work on a religious play called “The Lion of Destiny”. Since it is sci-fi oriented (her field of expertise at the time), the client is disinterested, and the project is shelved indefinitely. As for Christina, she disavows Christianity later, and as a result the play remains incomplete.
‘Galaxii’, the original first title in the Galaxii Series is typed into a legible printed format by Christina’s mother, Yvonne.
The first chapter of ‘Galaxii’ is entered into a local annual writing contest held in Port Elizabeth, but receives no recognition.
Christina writes a very workable and interesting one-act play called ‘The Traitor Loyal’, set in WW2 Nazi-occupied France.
Christina submits copies of her father’s novels to local publishers for consideration. None respond with interest.
For the very first time Christina realizes that she is different from gay males in that her desire is to actually be physically female. Up to that time she had lived under the impression that all gay males shared a desire to be female. This can be attributed to a lack of publicly available information prior to the advent of the internet at the time.
Christina’s poem ‘Surrender’, about German reunification, appears in the school yearbook for 1991.
Christina hits upon the name for her series of planned and unfinished novels – it is the Galaxii Series. The first novel is shifted to the right, and is replaced by an ambitious work, complete with illustrations, blueprints and manuals, called ‘Galaxii’. The first written draft is completed by the end of 1990.
‘Dreams of Innocence’ (formerly ‘The Red Star’ and ‘Overkill’) becomes ‘Blachart’ for the first time. Parts of the story are taken out to become what would later be ‘Demonspawn‘.
Christina writes her short story “Dysfunxion” and “The Traitor Loyal”, a one act play.
Christina works on three fantasy-based stories, called “The Beginning Of Nonsense”, “Natural Causes” – and “Hamockery”, which is supposed be a spoof of Hamlet.
Christina enlists as assistant director for a school play, but since the director goes AWOL a month before the play is due to hit the school stage, she demonstrates her latent leadership skills by pulling the fragmented cast together, supplies many of the costume items and props herself, and acts as director. The ex-director attends the performance and upstages Christina by accepting full credit for all the hard work she put into making the play a success. It is the last time Christina participates in a play of any kind.
Christina’s Afrikaans composition titled ‘Ek Wens Ek Was ‘n Posbus’ (I wish I was a mailbox) appears in the school yearbook for 1991. This is the first time her work appears in print in any form.
Christina writes her first inspired poem. After that, she quickly develops a reputation at high school as a talented poet and short story writer.
Christina writes her short story “The Sickle” and “Villa Of Terror”, a one act play.
Christina’s aunt (Lettie, 63) and grandmother (Helena, 91) die a month apart in the same year.
The proto-Galaxii Series in the form of a notebook with ‘Overkill’ scribbled on its cover, gets re-written and divided into three new notebooks, with ‘The Red Star’, ‘Overkill’ and ‘Right to Die’ scrawled on their covers.
Christina writes her short stories “Code Red” and “U.F.O.” as school compositions.
‘The Red Star’ is redrafted to become a more sophisticated story, renamed ‘Overkill’. Major plot changes and redrafts take place.
Christina dabbles in writing a play, a comedy called ‘Ballad for a Nutter’, which should give you some idea of the content. It is never finished.
Christina writes her short story “The Curse” as a school composition. In 2017 the story becomes the foundation for “Mercury Rising” and becomes the first part of Christina’s new sci-fi-horror series “Panic! Horror In Space“.
Christina starts high school at Pearson High School, in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth.
Christina begins working on the forerunner of the Galaxii Series, a story called ‘The Red Star’.
Christina, bored with dull South African history in the curriculum, completes a self-imposed school project about the American Revolutionary War and submits it to a teacher for marking. Although it doesn’t count towards her grade, she receives high marks for it.
February 01 – the morning of Christina’s 12th birthday, she leaves number 7 Hampton Court in Pearson Street, Central Port Elizabeth, and walks to school. In the meantime, the household moves to the house her mother has bought in Richmond Hill. Later that afternoon, she walks home to the new house.
Christina, ever the history buff, starts working on a story about Roman soldiers. First called “The Roman Eagle in Gaul”, she later renames the story “Ostrogoth Roundabout”. Before the year is out, she is bitten by the sci-fi bug and abandons it altogether.
A teacher at Greenwood takes issue with Christina’s handwriting, and his bullying tactics result in her almost experiencing a nervous breakdown.
August 16 – Christina’s father Theo, dies at the age of 55 in Port Elizabeth’s Provincial Hospital.
In January, after being at Cape Recife School for 3 years, Christina returns to Greenwood and rejoins her old classmates – only to be bullied by some of her peers and a teacher. It is a bitter disappointment.
February 01 – Christina is given a small birthday party and free ice cream by the manager at the Maverick Spur, a restaurant in the Kine Park center beside the block of flats where she lives.
At age 10, Christina writes a (very) short story about hamsters. A class teacher is so taken with the story and Christina’s talent that she reads it out loud to the rest of the class, both to her embarrassment and delight. She becomes the target of bullying for being “a nerd” simply for being creative.
Christina undergoes an emergency appendectomy at the Provincial Hospital children’s ward, Port Elizabeth.
By the end of 1983, Christina is judged by her parents and Cape Receife School to be ready to return to her previous school.
In her second year at Cape Receife School, Christina moves up to Standard 2, but is mistakenly placed into a class for children experiencing difficulties with language skills instead of mathematics. She spends a whole term in the wrong class group before the mistake is discovered and corrected.
Christina participates in class plays at Cape Receife School, dancing and despite the strongly Afrikaans social environment, enjoys the dressing up as a cat, with a mask and tights.
Christina starts writing (or rather typing) a story called “The Friendly Vampire” on an old manual typewriter. The story never gets to be more than a few paragraphs long!
After two EEG’s spaced a year apart (1980 and 1981) the staff report that Christina’s tests reveal several anomalies which they are unable to explain, but conclude that she is of ‘very high nonverbal intelligence’.
Experiencing difficulty with mathematics, Christina is sent to Cape Receife School – a special attention school for above-average IQ children with learning or physical problems.
Christina, inspired by reading Enid Blyton stories like “The Secret Seven” and “The Famous Five”, starts experimenting with writing compositions about a group of children holidaying on a yacht on a river, playing pirate.
Noticing that Christina appears to be struggling with mathematics, teachers recommend to Christina’s parents that she be sent for testing at the local university laboratories.
Christina starts school life at Sub A in Greenwood Primary School in Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth. She frequently gets ‘lost’ from class, preferring to hang around with the pre-primary class, playing in the Wendy-house with the wooden kitchen props and dolls.
Christina’s parents, Theo and Yvonne, divorce. Christina lives with Yvonne.
Christina begins to experience gender dysphoria. Due to the negative reactions she receives, she internalizes her feelings.
Christina attempts to teach herself to read and write. Encouraged by the ‘wisdom’ of contemporary teaching methods, her parents are dissuaded from teaching her how to read or write themselves, being advised to hold her back until she reaches school-going age. “Teaching children to read and write should be left to the professionals”, they were told.
While in hospital for surgery to remove her tonsils, and despite her mother’s warnings to the pediatrician, Christina is given an overdose of Vallergan Forte – four times the strength of ordinary Vallergan. She goes into a coma during surgery and the nurses struggle to resuscitate her. It is later theorized that she might have suffered a brain injury due to oxygen deprivation during this incident.
Christina Engela is born on Thursday Feb 01 at 0830 at Sandford Maternity Hospital in Mount Croix, Port Elizabeth.