- Christina Engela is born on Thursday Feb 01 at 0830 at Sandford Maternity Hospital in Mount Croix, Port Elizabeth.
- 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’s parents, Theo and Yvonne, divorce. Christina lives with Yvonne.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 emotionally ready to return to her previous school.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- ‘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.
- 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.
- Christina writes her first inspired poem. 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.
- 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.
- ‘Galaxii’ is typed into a legible printed format.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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. As for Christina, she disavows Christianity later, and as a result the play remains incomplete.
- 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 significant work.
- At work, Christina is promoted to Corporal.
- In December, Christina undergoes corrective knee surgery to repair torn cartilage inside the joint suffered while loading truck batteries at work. It takes her another six months of intensive physiotherapy and gym to recover full strength in her right leg.
- Completion of short story ‘A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion’.
- 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.
- One night, while on duty at work, Christina starts and finishes a sci-fi short story called ‘Beyond’ about a transgender woman in the military, 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 seeks gender confirmation surgery, and begins with a process of first seeking a diagnosis of gender-dysphoria, which she obtains.
- After much introspection and great personal upheaval, Christina begins her physical transition 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.
- Encouraged by her mother 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.
- Christina undergoes a bilateral orchidectomy at what is left of the old Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth.
- Completion of novel ‘Black Sunrise‘, ‘The Time Saving Agency‘ and ‘Dead Man’s Hammer‘ – all in the space of three months! It is a streak of inspiration that leaves Christina creatively exhausted for some time afterwards!
- Christina publishes on Lulu.com for the first time, uploading ‘Blachart‘, ‘Black Sunrise‘, ‘The Time Saving Agency‘ and ‘Dead Man’s Hammer‘ simultaneously.
- Christina publishes ‘African Assignment’ a collection of her late father’s short stories on Lulu.com on a separate profile in his name.
- 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 (Pethadene) 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 perched on a chair at her bedside!
- Completion of short story ‘Innocent Minds‘, with illustrations.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. For some time afterwards, she is too distracted and exhausted by activist writing to work on her fiction projects or promotion.
- Christina is outraged by the newspaper column ‘Call me names, but gay is NOT ok…’ by Jon Qwelane in July. She joins with other outraged members of the LGBT community, to form the activist organization GLAAD SA (later SA GLAAD). She takes on the role of Media Liaison.
- 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) 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 successfully until her resignation in 2011.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 article ‘In Darkness And Light’, and in a horror short-story entitled ‘When Darkness Calls’, occur during December 2011.
- Christina joins a local Jujitsu academy and, combined with her weekly paintball sessions, begins to lose weight and tone up.
- Christina is invited to participate 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 an insect 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. Shortly before Xmas, she is hospitalized for three days, and if anything, grows weaker. Her doctors seem unable to find a solution. Realizing she was in trouble, as a last hope, Christina contacts friends in the local Vampyre community for assistance – for which she credits her recovery. She returns home only after the fever appears to be broken. Even so, she continues to suffer unexplained body aches and pains and mysterious infections of lymph nodes and sinus cavities for several years afterwards.
- Christina begins work on an academic work called ‘Satanism: The Acid Test’ in March. 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.
- Christina’s mother Yvonne dies at the age of 79 in St George’s Hospital, Port Elizabeth on October 24 after spending 5 weeks in the ICU. Christina views this as the worst day – and the worst year – of her entire life.
- 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.
- 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!
- Christina signs a contract with a small press “traditional publisher” – J. Ellington Ashton Press (JEA) for the re-release of the Galaxii Series under the ‘Hardwired’ label, starting in August 2014.
- 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.
- Short story ‘Homecoming’ included in JEA anthology ‘Autumn Burning: Dreadtime stories for the wicked soul’, published October 7, 2014.
- Completion of short story ‘Space Vacation’.
- Completion of short story ‘Little Green Men’.
- Completion of short story ‘Midnight Station’.
- Novel, ‘Blachart‘, title 1 in the Galaxii Series, published by JEA on October 29, 2014.
- Short story ‘The Thirteenth Ship’ included in JEA anthology ‘Inanna Rising: Women forged by fire’, published February 12, 2015.
- Completion of short story ‘Death By Vampire‘ (20150218).
- Novel, ‘Demonspawn‘, title 2 in the Galaxii Series, published by JEA on April 24, 2015.
- 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. June 20, 2015.
- Completion of short story ‘Wiggle Room‘ (20150708) for JEA staff ‘Male vs Female’ writing contest.
- Bugspray is published by LightBearer Publishing on February 10, 2016
- Wiggle Room is published in an anthology of horror, M v F: Death Personified on February 27.
- A collection of Christina’s father’s short stories, ‘African Assignment’ is published on March 3.
- 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.
- Christina splits the Galaxii Series into two distinct but related sci-fi series – the Galaxii Series and the Quantum Series.
- 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.
- Christina publishes ‘Space Vacation’ as a stand-alone novelette and re-publishes ‘Space Sucks!‘ and two titles in the Quantum Series, ‘Black Sunrise‘ and ‘The Time Saving Agency‘ on May 24 via Lulu.com.
- Christina re-publishes ‘Dead Man’s Hammer‘ and ‘Loderunner‘ two titles in the Quantum Series on May 25 via Lulu.com.
- May 26 – Author Alex S. Johnson describes Christina’s return to self-publishing as “the quickest recovery from losing a publisher I’ve ever seen”.
- ‘Blachart‘ and ‘Demonspawn‘ are re-released by Christina via Lulu.com on 28 July.
- ‘Dead Beckoning‘, part 3 in the Galaxii Series is published for the first time on July 29.
- Her children’s book about homophobic bullying ‘Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You‘ is published on August 18.
- September 25 – Christina begins working on the first story in a new trilogy in the Quantum Series, ‘Prodigal Sun‘.
- 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.
- Christina is interviewed live on GaySA Radio on Friday, 28 October 2016 by Hendrik Baird about her activism and writing.
- 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 on November 16.
- ‘African Assignment’, Theo Engela’s collection of short stories as edited by Christina, is once again released through LightBearer Publishing on November 22.
- Christina completes the first draft of ‘High Steaks‘ on November 23 and begins the editing phase of ‘Prodigal Sun‘ and ‘High Steaks‘.
- On Dec 01, Christina’s dog Skippy dies at over 16 years. Skippy served as a model for the character of Vluffy, the little dog of Dr. Von Gleichstein.
- Also on Dec 01, Christina completes the final edit of ‘When Darkness Calls’, a retelling of events she experienced during December 2011, in short story form.
- On Dec 3, 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.
- 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”.
- April 30 – Horrified Press publishes “Trumpocalypse” featuring a poem by Christina Engela as contributing author, “State Capture”.
- 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“.
- 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.
- July 05 – “Keep Off The Crabbygrass“, an omnibus of the first four titles in the Quantum Series.
- 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.
- August 10 – “Panic! Horror In Space #2” is published. At this time, Christina has 21 individual published titles.
- November 18 – “Panic! Horror In Space #3“, Christina’s 22nd book is published.
- November 22 – “Ramalama-Side Up!”, an activity and coloring book, is published.
- 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 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 “Don’t Get Left In The Dark” (formerly “How I Built My Home UPS (& How You Can Too)!”).
- March 17 – Christina publishes her father’s third novel “Shakandazu Valley”.
- March 19 – Christina re-releases a collection of her father’s short stories “African Assignment”.
- April 02 – Christina publishes her father’s first novel, “A Way Of Life”.
- April 08 – Christina published a collection of her mother’s Afrikaans poetry (97 poems) “Op Vreemde Weë”.
- April 11 – Christina published a collection of 81 of her mother’s English poetry “When Day Is Done”.
- 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. “Space Vacation” is retired simultaneously.
- August 09 – Christina releases her first short animated film “Bang! Splat!” which is based on her short story “Innocent Minds“.
- August 14 -“Christina Engela’s Book of Candid Quotes” is published.
- August 28 – Christina finishes a flash fiction short story – “Goodnight, Mr. Gleeb”.