Portrait of the Artist as a 43-year-old Spinster

Pictured above is what I looked like yesterday morning on my actual birthday when I woke up after not enough sleep and spending six and a half hours the night before at my favorite bar with most of my favorite people on the planet.

Not too shabby, really, for a forty-three-year-old spinster with bedhead wearing the shirt she wore the night before. A shirt that made FFJ exclaim “I’ve never seen you wear pink!” and Wolfdogg crack, “I knew that without the shirt.”

So here I am at 43 still standing like a resilient motherfucker after a year filled with great personal heartbreaks, financial setbacks, and a metric shit-ton of professional self-doubt. I am a testament that you can go it alone and still come out the other side okay.

I feel like nothing and everything has changed simultaneously.

Thursday morning I talked to a literary agent on the phone and she said such nice things about The Beast that I think I kind of blacked out for awhile. It was strange to talk to someone who wasn’t Christa or a Black Sheep about the book, and find them so complimentary. It was so rad to be praised for my writing and my encyclopedic rock knowledge and my dialog.

It was pretty spectacular.

But don’t get too excited. I don’t have an agent yet. I have a woman who is willing to write me an editorial letter to so I can make The Beast better and then maybe sell it. She warned me rock books are a tough sell, specifically rock books by women about women. But she said maybe if we loved it enough we’d find a small, rabid fanbase of other like-minded rock and roll women who will love it too.

I am 100% positive that we can find those women. I know they’re craving a book like the one I wrote. I know this, because I’ve been searching my entire fucking life for such a book and I am not alone.

So now I am 43 not so much older really, but a teeny bit wiser, and suddenly on the cusp of everything.

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  1. Lesley 07.Jun.15 at 1:19 pm

    I forgot your birthday is the day after mine. Happy birthday Gem. If you write it i will buy it. May this be your breakout year in the many aspects of your life – a book you can sell, a love you can depend on, and an endless stream of words that want you to put then in an interesting order to be read by strangers. And plenty of cash money.

  2. LeAnn 08.Jun.15 at 12:32 pm

    Happy birthday! And I would totally be down for a book like this, especially written by you. Have you said before and I missed it, is it a YA book? Maybe I have just always thought that because you have such close relationships with MN YA authors?

    1. Jodi 08.Jun.15 at 7:56 pm

      LeAnn, it’s a “grown-up” book for lack of a better term, but you’re right my writing group is filthy with YA writers.

  3. Nicole 08.Jun.15 at 6:55 pm

    Hi! I just wanted you to know I’ve stalked your blog for a long time. I originally stumbled across it as a Replacements fan and stayed because I like your book reviews. I am a woman and I like rock books and I never knew where to find those books so I read a lot of books you reviewed. So we’re out there and at least one of us hopes to buy and read your book one day.

    1. Jodi 08.Jun.15 at 7:57 pm

      Nicole, thank you so much de-lurking! We rock & roll reading female Replacements’ fans need to stick together.

  4. Susanna 28.Jun.15 at 11:16 am

    As far as I can tell, agents say EVERY kind of book is a tough sell — which is probably true. I hear from women all the time that they want to read about women’s experiences with music. And not only women want that — men are reading this glut of women musicians’ memoirs, too. So YAY!


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