Ivan the wonderful

September 14th, 2009 | Uncategorized


If you’ve never caught one of Ivan Coyote’s live performances, I’m sorry for you. But you can get a free download here of the studly storyteller’s book Loose Ends. Plus a discount on all her other books. If you don’t know her stuff, check it out. She’s a gentleman and a sweetheart. And spins a smart yarn. Here’s a little sample of a scene where her neighbor, who’s mistaking her for a 16-year old boy, gives her some advice about cars.

“Nice looking car,” Anton said when he saw my Taurus. “Good shape. Good car. She a ’93?”
I nodded. “It’s not the sexiest ride, but I travel a lot. I can still sleep in the back, room for the dogs. I still miss the Valiant.”
He scoffed and shook his head. “That piece of garbage. I wanted to throttle you some mornings, listening to you trying to get that thing started. Getting where you’re going on time is sexy. You get a little bit older, son, gas mileage will become what is sexy to you. You did a smart thing, to buy yourself a decent car for once.”

54 Responses to “Ivan the wonderful”

  1. Lea says:

    Wow she’s cute and handsome :-).
    The car story is great.
    Never heard from her before (I’m from Germany).
    But I will check her page.
    Thanks for leting us know Alison!

  2. Lea says:

    oops sorry my English is a shame…

  3. Renee S. says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, AB! Looks like I’ll be buying some more books. Already jumped on the free download.

  4. Simone says:

    Hi! I’ve read Fun Home many times and I love it.
    Now I’m reading Dykes, great!
    I’ve also wroten a smart review about Fun Home on my blog, I hope you enjoy it,
    greetings from Italy,

  5. Ginjoint says:

    So I went to Ivan’s site and got distracted by “The Cat Came Back” listed on her CV which reminded me of a cartoon I saw at an animation festival 20 years ago so I went to YouTube to find it and there it was so I spent almost 10 minutes watching that and laughing my ass off and then YouTube suggested the Muppet Rowlf’s song with the same name but different tune so of course I had to watch that and now I’m out of time to actually read you know Ivan’s work which was the real point of Alison’s post and which I will do when I get back from my seeing my therapist who told me last week she’s moving to France.

    Ah. Such is the nature of the web. And Lea, your English is better than my German. You have nothing to be ashamed about.

  6. Acilius says:

    “Lea, your English is better than my German. You have nothing to be ashamed about.”

    And Simone, your English is better than my Italian!

  7. Ready2Agitate says:

    LOL Ginjoint, you crack me (although a relocating therapist ain’t so funny, sadly – laugh or cry, right?)

    Lkg fw to having time tomorrow to check out Ivan. I already know I will love her. AB keeps us on the cutting edge!

  8. Kate L says:

    Oh, baby! First, kd lang, now Ivan Coyote!!! 😉

  9. Kate L says:

    Uh… I mean, what fine people come out of western Canada!

  10. kate says:

    I have loved Ivan’s books for a couple years and am so glad to see others find her too… keep on writing Ivan!

  11. Ian says:

    Oh dear. On first glance, without reading the blurb underneath, I really did think Ivan Coyote was a cute gay guy! I really like the shirt and tie too. Ah, preconceptions, preconceptions …

  12. makky says:

    #47 Kat, my grandmother is also turning 94(I think?) on the 17th. She is not an “educated” person but nevertheless, she is stil a keenly intelligent woman. 1915, right? We are blessed, no?

  13. Kate L says:

    Hey, =I= drove a ’93 Ford! Heck, I’m STILL driving it! I’m just saying this because it make me feel like Ivan and I share this very special experience…

  14. meldyke says:

    Goddess, I love this blog. I just gave this book to my fabulous butchy wife for our one year wedding anniversary (you know, paper for the first year and all that traditional stuff). She loved it. 🙂

    @ Ian, when one of my gay cousins first saw a picture of my wife he made the same mistake (“what a cute gay guy!”). LOL

  15. Simone says:

    My English is better than your Italian?
    My vocabulary thanks! Without it I cannot do anything;)
    I’ve read yesterday “Suspense” in Dykes!
    Harakiri with a coffeespoon? Tender and exhilarating! I’m laughing still since Yesterday!

  16. Kat says:

    1915 was a good year for righteous women, apparently.

    My grandma just told me that she got to watch Herbert Hoover’s inaugural parade. What does she remember? Silk top hats.

    “Getting to where you’re going on time is sexy”
    …..I so fail at sexiness, then!

  17. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    St. Jerome perked up when he saw Ivan. Guess he has thing for cute coyotes.

  18. Ready2Agitate says:

    omg women (and all) – Ivan is totally awesome, talented, gorgeosity, and hot! Yeehaw!

  19. I had the privilege of sitting through a too-brief writing workshop with Ivan at the Butch Voices conference in Oakland.

    I have to report, she left me a little flushed…

  20. Ali says:

    I am smiling at all the lovely whittering that goes on on this site :).
    But I am not smiling because when i click the free download it downloads just blank pages – I have a Mac Os 10.3 ( I know dark ages) any ideas?
    Also for you veggie growers I know who log on – I grew the climbing French bean Cobra this year – highly recommend -tasty plus beautiful big leaves and lovely lilac flowers – Any way I left some pods to mature to use the beans whole and they were blue!! – verging on black navy but because I was impatient some weren’t quite mature and they were blue!!! Magic beans or what? I feel like My Mother is going to throw them out of the window and call me jack!

  21. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ali (#20)

    Not sure what browser you are using… Safari? I use and recommend Firefox, no matter the OS (although some folks really seem to like Opera, I haven’t found a need to switch).

    Anyhow, try clicking on the link below (or perhaps right-click), to download. It’s an Adobe Acrobat .PDF file.


  22. Ali says:

    P.s. I am not a huge fan of the smiley face things ( too much acid inthe 90’s) – but appreciate each to their own – so deliberately did colon right hand bracket and then a garish yellow one appeared on my post – an upgrade too far? Any way I am back to work today after 5 months off with stress – they finally agreed to change my linemanager who is tetchy to say the least and officious to the nth degree. I got my work clothes on wihtout being sick ( a first) and am even going in with a very soar throat and the decorators in ( that phrase – another first?!?!)
    I am an educational adviser and train teachers – who are definitely the worst pupils – you wouldn’t believe it!!!! I think most of them would implode if a child dare to do a fraction of the mucking around some of them do on the jolly jaunts – they view courses to be. Give me 30 screaming 8 year olds with ADHD anyday and don’t get me started on head teachers!!??!!
    Anyway back to work for the first time in 5 months without vomit issuing – so I’m sure you all join me in wishing myself goodluck – just the journey there to do with out the bile rising now – let you now how i get on later. Hope you all have a great day too!

  23. Ali says:

    @ Hairball – you get up early girl!!
    I am never ceased to be amazed with your practical powers – however – still blank.
    How do I go about getting firefox for my mac? I do use safari and it quits on my all the time.

    Thanks Ali

  24. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ali (#23)

    Here’s the link to the Firefox download page:


    They also have another browser strictly for Max OSX, called Camino. I’ll have to put that link in a separate message or this will end up in blog limbo.

  25. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ali (#23)

    Here’s the link to Camino:


    Minimum requirements are Max OSX 10.3.9 or later, 50Mb hard drive space. It’s a platform-neutral universal binary, meaning it will run on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

  26. Ready2Agitate says:

    Ali – good luck, girl.

    HoHope, keep resting those typing fingers/wrists/hands.

  27. Ali says:

    Thank you R2A and HOH
    Camino is great but alas the pdf still downloads as blank pages. !76 glorious pages but all blank without even a comma for company!?
    Work went really well – I got bought cake!
    So as far as this download goes you win some you lose some.

  28. Andrew B says:

    Ali, I don’t know how hard you want to work at this, but another thing you could try would be to click on the Apple icon and look for a menu item labeled “Software Update”. In 10.4 it’s the second item down in the list. It might be in the same place in 10.3 or it might be hidden in a sub-menu, but it has to be there somewhere. In OS X, the operating system itself generally handles pdf. Most likely Firefox and Camino are relying on OS X to display the pdf document. So you want to look for system updates or an update that specifically mentions pdf.

    You want to do this from the fastest connection you have available, as whatever you download will be largish. If you come across any security updates you have not yet installed, you should probably install those, too. OS X is not quite so perfectly secure as the cool Mac dude in the advertisement would have you believe — well, I think you’re not in the USA, so I don’t know if they show those ads wherever you are. Anyway, it’s not so perfectly secure as Apple likes to boast.

    You could also try poking around support.apple.com — try searching for something like “Panther 10.3 pdf”.

    If you haven’t been doing updates, you’ll have a long list to sort through! If you have been doing them, or letting them happen automatically, this may not help. I have not tried to dl the free book. Alison appears to use Macs at least most of the time, so I assume the book is viewable with some Mac configuration. Good luck, anyhow.

  29. Christina says:

    This has nothing to do with Ivan, but check out today’s Persephone Post: http://tinyurl.com/m3bknx

    Is this AB’s work? It sure looks it!

  30. Ali says:

    I’m all informationed out today – it has been a big day – but thank you all. @Andrew I will try what you say later – thanks.
    By The way HOH it is just a pity you don’t live in England I think you must be the perfect partner. Although I think I’d have to join a long line of your admirers from this site.
    When I do get to read Ivan I am sure it will be worth it. I liked the attitudes and accomplishments on her web site.
    I am intrigued that she is a gentleman – it reminds me of many velvet park articles/discussions on gender identity.
    I recently – finally- read Sarah Water’s Night Watch – I feel the character Kay would relate to being mistaken for a young man – as Alison herself has recorded. No one has mistaken me for a boy since my Mum stopped cutting my hair at 12 – but before that it got embarrasing – being on the femme side of gender identity myself. especially when my Grandma held me down and cut round a basin!!??!! – in the late 80’s no less.
    So what do others think about gender identity themselves?

  31. WannabeV says:

    How do I follow your blog?

  32. WannabeV says:

    oops sorry boo-booed on the website

  33. --MC says:

    Anybody here remember when DC Comics tried to update Wonder Woman’s image in the 1970s, so they took her out of her luchadora costume and put her in a white jumpsuit and had her fight crime in contemporary NYC? You might also know that Samuel R. Delaney wrote a couple of issues of the comic during that run. Well anyway, here’s a panel from one of that era’s stories — the writer was Denny O’Neil, and he was a hipster (he wrote the stories on drug abuse for Green Lantern that DC had to run without Comics Code approval), so he MUST have known that showing Diana Prince swinging a labrys would have cultural resonance unknown to most people — but a lucky few:

  34. Renee S. says:

    @MC #34
    What a gem!

    @ Cristina #30 If it were AB’s work, I think she would have spelled out the “effing” word, rather than censor it…

    @ Ali #31
    Yes, I have taken a number and am in the HOH line.
    (unfortunately my number has 3 digits and there’s only two digits on the counter)

  35. Brazenfemme says:

    Thanks for highlighting some Queerly Canadian talent. Ivan also did a tour with S. Bear Bergman (Butch is a Noun). If you love butches, and good writing, check them both out.

  36. hairball_of_hope says:

    @MC (#34)

    “…so they took her out of her luchadora costume…”

    Lucha libre, eh? Where’s the Fabulous Moohlah when you need her?

    @Ali, Renee

    Jeez, I’m starting to feel like the smoked fish counter at Zabar’s… take a number and wait. Of course, for New Year’s they do have an express caviar line that doesn’t require a number (no, I am not making that up).

    In any event, I’m WAY far from perfect. Any delusions I had of perfection were zapped by the felines in my life. Cats (and children) can humble anyone. Cats pity us because we are furless clumsy oafs who are good for only a few things… cleaning the litterbox, opening cans, and shining the laser pointer. We are also convenient warm cat furniture.


    I have an assortment of custom orthotic splints for my hand/wrist, one of which is called a dorsal functional splint. It keeps my hand/wrist orientation in the correct position, and I can type with it. It also serves to retrain me to keep everything in the correct orientation when I’m typing without it.

    I seem to recall a photo of you from long ago, and you were either holding or wearing a wrist brace. I assume you’ve dealt with carpal tunnel syndrome. My CTS lessened as the swelling from the injury and the tendon stuff subsided, helped by time and theraputic modalities, so no CTS release surgery for me. I only use the dorsal splint occasionally these days, and I haven’t slept wearing the other splints in almost a year, but I do have a system to keep things from getting out of hand (bad pun) while I sleep.

  37. hairball_of_hope says:


    I finally downloaded the .PDF, and I suspect that whatever version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (and browser plugin) you are using can’t read the file, which is why you are getting the blank page. It’s a PDF v.1.5 file.

    Try updating your version of Acrobat Reader.

  38. S.D says:

    Ivan was one of the first doors opened to me that gave me a reflection, and language of the experience of being genderqueer and/from working class. Every copy of Ivan’s writing borrowed or lent out of my library has mysteriously never found it’s way back… and for good reason. Y’all should read this kids writing, it’s sexy, delicious, heartbreaking, and will make you piss yer laughing pants all in one sitting.

  39. Ali says:

    @HOH up at 4 am then still going at 10.31- if not the perfect partner – you’d certainly win great employee potential.
    @ SD I now really really want to read Ivan – so will check the adobe acrobat thing – Thanks Hairball.
    No one biting on my discussion of gender identity. I am serious – as an appreciator of butch women I am torn between cheering when an individual opts for gender reassignment and mourning the loss of a woman. I like women because of many great qualities that tend to come with that gender and not with the other – but obviously not exclusively so. But to me wrapped up in a gentlemanly female they are far more attractive than in an effeminate male.
    I guess what I am trying to ask/discuss is where is the line between having boyish charm and wanting gender reassignment?
    Not that it is really any of my business – but it would help me to understand more.

  40. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ali (#40)

    “…if not the perfect partner – you’d certainly win great employee potential…”

    Right now, I’d be happy with the great employee potential. I had a job interview yesterday, but the outcome is likely a verdict not in my favor (my employer is downsizing, and we are all scrambling to find jobs within the extremely limited set of remaining positions).

    Besides, I’d think most folks would be happier with a partner who spent more time in bed. ;).

    (N.B. I too hate those damn yellow smiley things. I experimented and found I can supress the Walmart look by appending a period after the emoticon… e.g. 🙂 vs. :). )

  41. Andrew B says:

    HoH, 38, and Ali: PDF is OS X’s native graphics format. There is no Acrobat plugin — at least, none is necessary. This is what I was trying to explain in 29 (and obviously didn’t do a good job). It’s OS X itself that is failing to display the book PDF. That’s why I suggested Ali try looking in the “Software Updates” for an operating system update. I bet (but don’t know for sure) that Apple did produce a free update for this, but it would be an update to OS X itself, not a plugin.

  42. Ready2Agitate says:

    >>>>I seem to recall a photo of you from long ago, and you were either holding or wearing a wrist brace. I assume you’ve dealt with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    What – that thing that people thought might be a handy tool or a magical toy of some sort? Yeah, my wrist splint. You are sharp as a tack, HoHope. I’ve had a range of repetitive stress injuries, so you’re right that my motherly urgings that you take it easy come from some personal experience. Happy New Year, btw. (yellow smiley here)

  43. Ready2Agitate says:

    #40 I’ll bite. It’s not the loss of a woman if an individual never felt himself to really *be* a woman in the first place, but rather, a man trapped in the wrong gender. Butch women is different identity altogether. Lots of butch women love being butch, love being women. Some have only in recent years realized that they were in the wrong body all along, and now that transitioning is an option, have done just that.

    I realize it’s a much more nuanced discussion, best had within communities of queers of all sorts, but that’s my take in a nutshell.

  44. Kate L says:

    Happy Jewish New Year, everyone! A woman I know just gave me some apple dipped in honey in celebration of Rosh Hashana. Dipped in honey! I almost bought a t-shirt once with those words (and some others) on it…

  45. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#45)

    Apples dipped in honey are very traditional, signifying wishes for a sweet year.

    Now you can impress your friend with the traditional greetings… (with syllabic and emphasis markings to help the beginner)

    Generic holiday greetings:

    Chag sameach (Chag sa•me`•ach, the ‘ch’ is the guttural sound one makes when attempting clear phlegm in the throat)

    Gut yontif (Gut yon`•tif)

    Rosh Hashanah greetings:

    L’shanah tovah (L’sha`•nah to•vah`)

    L’shanah tovah tikatevu (L’sha`•nah to•vah` ti•ka•te`•vu)

  46. Ready2Agitate says:

    …but technically isn’t a “chag” not just a generic holiday but a feast, Hairball? You wouldn’t say Chag sameach on Chanukah, which is a historical holiday, would you? Just on the feasts. Least I thought so.

    Kate – thank you! I love that this blog is so open to discussions of Jewishness.

    And still… Ramadan blessings – (is anyone here fasting?)

  47. Ellen Orleans says:

    I’m not sure if this has already been mentioned, but I just found out that The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. Very cool.

    I’ve started listening to Frankenstein on my iPod and reading Middlemarch. Going for a traditional autumn, apparently.

    Speaking of tradition,round challah with raisins(challah isa rich bread made with extra eggs) is another Jewish New Year’s treat. Also, brisket.

  48. Ali says:

    We blow the shofar at Rosh Hashanah
    Tekia Gedola – Le shana Tova
    Dip the apples in the honey
    Don’t let them drip or you’ll upset Mummy.

    Now is the time for a celebration
    Happy New Year to the Jewish Nation
    Everybody shout and cheer
    Chag sameyach – Have a great New Year!

    This is how I teach 7 year olds in Primary school in England about the festival – it has a pant swinging tune to go with it too.

  49. Feminista says:

    I’m making honey cake using my great-aunt Belle’s (Bella) recipe. She was the main cook in the extended family,and a very kind woman. I am,however,tweaking it a bit:cutting down on the sugar and honey,omitting cloves and using more cinnamon.

    I have a small wardrobe of hand thingies for my arthritis and carpal tunnel. Today I feel fine,but have decided I must cut down on the typing in order to let my fingers rest.

  50. Ivan Coyote says:

    Just wanted to thank Alison for the nod, I found out about this from my webwoman, because we had to up the bandwidth on my website to accommodate the unusual spike in hits. So thank you Alison, again, for your support, and know that the respect and admiration goes both ways. I have been a fan of Alison’s work since I was a little baby Ivan, and was proud like a hockey dad when Fun Home came out and was so incredible and received such high (and deserved)accolades and brought her a bigger audience for her work. Her support of other artists is so much more than just a nod, too, it helps bring new readers and book buyers and work and means that I can continue to have a sustainable productive career as a full time writer.So thanks, Alison, you are a champ, and I hope we get to read together again one of these days.



  51. ksbel6 says:

    Re: #51: I was excited about the chance to get an autographed copy of those books. It was really cool that AB posted the link.