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dear lynnee,

so about a year ago i moved to san francisco and got a job at manic d press, where i copyedited your "lynnee's skool for boyz" piece, and everything was going great, except i was drinking my face off, hating on myself all the time, and generally doing the piece-of-shit-at-the-center-of-the-universe stomp. i liked "skool for boyz," so i got myself a copy of godspeed, and it rocked me. twice. the first time i read it, i'd take it out back with me to hang out and smoke cigarettes with the dog and the trash, and i would look at the stars and tell myself that it was probably time to stop with all the fucked-upedness and self-destructiveness, already. i would curl up around the book and cry for jim and for myself, because i was going to be so lo-ho-ho-nely and unsuperhero-like without alcohol, and i couldn't imagine that being any other way but sucky.

i finished godspeed in a couple days, and i kept drinking, but the book stuck with me. san francisco felt blank to me when i first moved, and jim sort of inscribed it for me. i'd be trying to get my bike to the top of bernal heights, seeing little flashy lights in the corners of my eyes, and i'd think about how jim went there, and what jim had to say about the pleasures of being able to ride your bike up big hills without wanting to kill yourself at the top. i'd walk past black & blue tattoo, or the 500 club, and they would seem a little more benignly familiar. and smaller stuff too- i'd get out of the shower and look at my face in the cloudy mirror and remember how jim liked the way ally's makeup looked all smudgy after she got wet, and even that would make me feel less lonely.

i woke up after what i didn't realize then was my last night of drinking, and thought about godspeed. and i kept thinking about godspeed, so i read it again, and wouldn't you know, it's even better sober. thank you for writing your ass off. thanks for articulating all this stuff about punk and addiction and redemption that's so hard to hold onto when you're stuck between the asshole you've become and the asshole you're scared you're going to turn into. thanks for writing the book that's been like a good friend to me since i moved to san francisco and everything changed. i recommend it to everyone i'm close to, including my aa-zen-warrior dad, who i'm sure will love godspeed if i can get him to put down larry mcmurtry long enough. you're awesome.

the hard and the squishy,
sierra

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how fucking awesome
'Godspeed' is (and was). As cheesy as this might sound, reading your book
helped me gather the balls (no pun intended) to finally come out to my family at
24. I guess being beaten and raped by my stepdad a few times made me want to
shut up, huh? Heh.

I agonized over this for years, even attempted suicide...it was looking
pretty shitty for awhile. You get the picture. Long story short: between
writing, punk rock, and the dumb luck that befell upon me when I met my girl Taylor, I'm still here. Thanks for being who you are, SERIOUSLY.

Sorry if this is too weird....it feels like I know you, even though I only wish I knew you.

XOXO. Take care. :P
Runt

Hey lynnee, I just wanted to finally write and tell you what I thought of
your book. Damn. It was fucking amazing. Your writing reads like poetry. The
story was wonderfully disturbing, sad, and funny. I think our generation finally
got it's own Stone Butch Blues. I am telling everyone to go buy and read it. It
was well worth the wait!!!
Deah

Hi Lynn Breedlove,
I got your book as a Christmas present from my friend, Nikki in New York. I just wanted to say that I finished it in three days nights because I couldn't put it down. (I would have finished it in a day but I have a kid to take care of.)I love Jim. She's so human and vunerable but such a jackass sometimes too. It was great. I wish books had more characters like that. Are you planning on making a sequel? Or another book? I have to admit I was quite hesitant when Nikki told me she was going to give me a dyke book for Christmas, but it was actually a good book.
-Vivian

i've read and re read your book and i just wanted to tell you that it's
probably my favorite book of all time. i just re purchased the book and once
again, i can't put it down. reading this book made me want to be a bike
messenger. so....i bought a bike. i live near nashville, but not near
enough. i moved from indianapolis where the scenery is bland and flat where
riding bikes is as uncomplicated as a dick and jane book. riding here is a
fucking struggle. there's too many damn hills here!!!! (but i still do it
and get chased by the inbred mutt dogs everyday)

i'm at work actually, reading your book.......again.

anyhow....if you're ever in or around nashville, please play or read...anything!!!!

i hear you're working on a screenplay for godspeed.........fucking rock.

cheers, beers, and queers,
.caitlin

Hey
I just finished reading your book in 2 days. It blew me away in many ways.
Congratulations and thanks! A lot.
I thought you did an amazing job of not only telling adventures and events
but also creating a person that evolves a lot, begins to see themselves more
clearly and was totally charming even on the page.

Cheryl Brown

Hey Lynnee,
I'm halfway through Godspeed, and I can't put it down! You are such a fabulous writer - I can't stop telling Ellen how much she's gonna love this book. Thank you so much for putting some of your art down on paper - see you soon.
Love, Jeanie

PS Just finished it last night, and I'm positively swept away with your beautiful writing. I couldn't put it down, and I'm still in the book, even though I'm through the first reading.

Lynnee,
As promised, I'm sending you a summary of the comments of the MWCA Club book group about your book. Our book group meeting was not large that day, but we had a wide range of opinions (as usual), ranging from one person who couldn't finish the book to others who thought it quite good.

The drug culture put off at least one member of our group, as did the whole punk/hag culture. But of course you read a novel in part to experience a different life than your own. Those of us who had heard you read had a quicker grasp of the "voice." In my case, as a 30-year urban bicyclist I was hooked on the first few pages and that connection carried me through the parts some others had problems with.

Most important, we came to care about Jim, though that caring took awhile to develop. Her occasional vulnerability made her humanness slowly emerge from the hardness of her life. The caring kind of sneaks up on you, which made it more powerful when the reader realized it. Subtlety is a characteristic of the plot and character development, in interesting contrast to the subject matter.

It's not clear whether that contrast is a stroke of genius or did it obscure the plot. Opinions varied. Jim's underplayed transition in the end from her quest for Ally's love to realizing that she was no longer available - or desireable - was too subtle for some. For them it didn't carry strongly enough through the middle of the book to show the movement in Jim's attitude; they thought it was too much buried in details. There was a slow part in the middle where the action was "too
much the same." And, when Jim finally realizes that Ally isn't Ally anymore, that kind of got by some people.

Jim's repeated lapses and high-risk behavior with drugs were the places where we suddenly realized how much we cared about her ("No, Jim, don't do it!"). I was sure she'd discover she had AIDS or Hep-C by the end. Many of us were also struck by Jim's vulnerability in the boxcar. I was probably the only one who realized the bicycle-related risks, which definitely set my teeth on edge.

We had some disagreement on the meaning of the ending (a good thing). I felt
that Jim was finally taking control and responsibility of her own life, moving away from the city, the drugs and Ally, and toward nature (the ocean) and a simpler, cleaner existence. It signified hope. And she has to work for it - going uphill. However, the risky light-crashing behavior was also part of that "natural" high, introducing doubt. It made me waver in my hope for her, but it was more realistic. A person who changes direction is still moving through the same vicinity. If she keeps moving, she may end up in a different place, eventually. So we hope for Jim.

Susan Calico

For the MWCA Club book group
Hi Lynnee - hey, I just wanted to say that "Godspeed" is one of the best books I have ever read. In fact, as soon as I finished reading it I started re-reading it and
am savoring every bit. Your writing is so clevah and just plain right on. (sorry for lack of illiteration - trust me the love is there).
Take Care,
Broch

Hi Lynne,
Unabashed fan letter first paragraph - I love 'Godspeed'. One of the most  exciting books I've read in ages. Haven't had that feeling of loss when finishing a book so much for a long time.
Anyway... attempt at professional sounding second paragraph - is it coming out in the UK? If so, I'd like to see if I can get a review of it in somewhere, or maybe an interview if I could set up somewhere half-decent?
Cheers,
Joe Luscombe

a few months ago my friend bean told me to read your book. finally, last wednesday, i acquire 'godspeed' and read it continuously for five hours.[only breaking for potato salad and tampon changes]

i read over two hundred pages. thursday - twenty / thirty pages.

i was at the point where i didn't want the book to finish [something that happens to me anytime i read a book that i enjoy tremendously]. my plan was to read the last page and start over.

friday night came.
i went to a show.
i threw beer on my friends.
we shoved our hands down our pants and slapped each other in the face.
we stumble to my car.
and that is when i find out that some stupid cunt-rag crackhead robbed me. they took stupid shit like my cd player and cds................but the worst blow was that they took my bag. my bag that i carried my sketch books, my icelandic phrase book, and 'godspeed' in.

i was thirty fucking pages away from finishing.
i have literary blue balls.

bean told me to write a review about 'godspeed' on amazon. but, i figured i would write to you first. i'm not sure when i'll be able to get another copy for her, and one for me [hopefully this weekend], but i wanted to tell you that i thoroughly enjoy your novel. it's not everyday that i sit for five hours, entranced in a novel. [usually it's only two or three]. -it made my eyebones hurt. in a good way.

thus is my short story.
filled with happiness, drama, sadness, and lack of satisfaction for my brain
bullets.
bang. bang.

and so, i thank you and bid you au revoir.
-miss e

I just wanted to write to say that I just finished reading Godspeed, which I finally found at a bookstore in Seattle this summer (Calgary, Alberta doesn't seem to have it!), and that it was the most exciting thing I've read in a while, and I freakin' loved it.It was totally legitimizing and I wish there were more books like it in the world. I will now make the mix tape to accompany the book and pass it around to all my friends, making sure that they go out and buy their own copy to covet afterwords, or at least make sure that they buy a Tribe 8 album to support you guys! Oh, how I would love if your documentary came to Calgary somehow. I saw Tribe 8 play here when I was 17 and it rocked my world. Awesome! Keep it up!
~sarah~

Hi Lynn,

Here's one of the "reviews" from the hole.com messageboard. Written by a girl who calls herself nefarious_muse. Hope you enjoy it. Will find the other(s) and send separately...Love, Gina

GODSPEED by lynn breedlove (tribe 8)

i think valencia recommended this to me and its fabulous. i've been a fan of tribe 8 for years (for those who dont know they are the radest hardcore punk dyke band you'll ever see, complete with strap-ons and chainsaws in their live shows), and lynnee proves herself to not only be a great frontwoman but an even radder story teller.  this book centers around jim, a junkie dyke who's in love with a stripper named ally. jim's a bike messenger when she actually makes it to work and into balls-to-the-wall hardcore living.

i love this book mostly because i know some of these people..smash is obvious. etherteen if you read this its so stacey right? and ally is anna joy from cypher in the snow. i also love all the san fran references and the bike messenger stuff because i did that for awhile too (everyone does who lives there i swear).

just read it i guess. its a page turner and will make you jumpy for more.

Meg Posey

Literary critic
The Leader

It used to be that William S. Burroughs and Ken Kesey wrote the best books about drug use, and that the Beat poet kings had a lock on the use of what Kerouac called "spontaneous bop prosody." Of course, it also used to be true that novels about lesbians had to agitate for or against the butch/femme ethic, while at the same time providing their readers a lot of good vanilla sex. Thank the gods for "Godspeed," then, in which we are introduced to Gentleman Jim, a punk rock-speed-freak-bike-messenger-boy-dyke in love with a stripper. Jim is not interested in butch or femme, she's more intrigued by boi/grrl, but her affection for the blood rush of a hit of speed is the bestdrug fiction in a generation.

Authored by punk goddess Lynn Breedlove, founder of Tribe 8, "Godspeed" follows Jim's efforts to win back the heart of her best girl, a stripper named Ally. Some of the book's best writing has to do with Jim's noble heart, but even better are the stretches describing her life as a bike messenger. As much addicted to life at 40 mph on a bike with no brakes as she is to the needle-borne highs of her drug, Jim does nothing slowly. "Godspeed" is fueled with high-octane writing; it never slows down, instead choosing to shoot up first and take names later. And because Jim is such a smart, wickedly sweet protagonist, even the harsh parts are charming.

While Jim starts out as a bike messenger, a profession she misses when she's doing other things, a large section of the novel is devoted to Jim's life as a roadie for a punk band called Hostile Mucous. Hostile Mucous is your basic everyday punk rock dyke band, touring from San Francisco to New York by way of the Deep South, and the long road trip offers Jim an excellent escape from her brokendown life in San Francisco. Jim makes friends, picks up girls, and starts to clean up her act, all the while trying to be as cool asthe members of the band itself. After buying a stack of redneck bumperstickers so their van blends in, Jim and the band discover that they feel even more alienated at a lesbian bar ("...guess what. They're not dykes. They're LESBIANS! We're freaks. They DANCE! We slam. They hate us, we hate them, we can't win") than they do driving across the depths of Texas.

And it's not just in Texas that Jim's boyish antics raise hackles. Gender is a huge issue throughout the book, even more prevalent than drugs. Jim is a girl, technically, but calls herself a boy. Her friends and associates are as androgynous as she is; like Max, who's a female-to-male transsexual; or Esty, "the tallest, blondest, lingerie-draped tranny" Jim's ever seen. With her friends, Jim "talks about being neither and both, sisterhood and abandonment, no man's land, passing, and pronouns." There are parts of the book in which Jim flashes back to her childhood, and to her Marlene Dietrich-obsessed mother, and some of those bits are heartbreaking, despite Jim's innate humor.
Make no mistake; this book is not for people looking for a gentle walk in the park. It's a new queer masterwork, full of sex, drugs, and blistering rock n' roll. Also, because Lynn Breedlove is such an icon in the punk community, the use of the young punk dialect is true and steady, and never comes off like a regular person trying to sound edgy. She's a smart writer, fierce in her loyalty to her protagonist, and able to line up any number of pop culture references without leaving a bad taste in the reader's mouth. In Jim she has created a new type of hero, a newfangled Salinger creation, half Holden Caulfield and half Franny Glass.

Mostly, though, "Godspeed" is about Jim's inability, or unwillingness, to choose between drugs and the girl she loves. Sure, the reader can commiserate with Ally, when she gets over sending Jim out for Chinese food with a twenty, only to hear from her two days later when the high wears off. Even better, though, we get to ride along with Jim while she figures out what she needs from Ally, and more important, from herself.

Just wanted to let you know I've finished your book-- I had to read it in between all of my reading for school. While I must say it was truly disturbing, it was also some of the best writing I have read in a long time. I hope you are proud of having written it!

Thanks again.
-Deborah

Hi Lynnee,
Damn!...

...you must have all the goils at your feet!

:-)

It was great meeting you the other nite at Cody's. I enjoyed your reading and Q&A session. Well worth the trip over the bridge. Have you ever considered stand up?

Anyway, I hope the community opens up their hearts (and wallets) and supports your work. What a treat for dykes to have their own Hunter S. Thompson.

Hugs,
Maggie

Curve Magazine
June issue Rachel Pepper

"The biggest literary surprise for me recently has been the discovery that Lynn Breedlove of the notorious dyke punk band Tribe 8 is also a novelist. Many years and road trips in the making, Godspeed (St. Martin1s Press $24.95) is the story of Jim, a drug-addicted dyke bicycle messenger living in San Francisco. When Jim loses her girlfriend to her addiction, Godspeed becomes more than a simple girl-loses-girl tale. Awash in the type of urban dyke language scarce in lesbian fiction, this novel will take a place of honor alongside Eileen Myles and Michelle Tea on city girls shelves.

You’ll learn a lot about drugs and their power over certain people in Godspeed. If you’ve done this trip, fall into this novel and expect a nonstop rush till the last page. For the uninitiated, welcome to the underbelly of lesbian society: strippers, junkies, squatters, punkers, and thieves. But don’t think that because you’re clean you’ll remain unscathed by Godspeed. Breedlove’s gritty but gorgeous not to mention funny tale will hook you till this book’s last pages. While the plot per se is minimal, girl does drugs, loses girl, travels cross-country to get clean, comes back, the odyssey is what counts, and it’s recounted with all the vim and vigor you’d expect from the lead singer of Tribe 8."

Godspeed the movie!!!! This is so exciting.
I know nothing about movie making, but would love to be involved in one way or another. A cameo maybe? I play a mean "person in restaurant" or "older riot grrl type walking in the background!" hahaha Are you gonna be in it? I can't really
imagine anyone else as the lead. Well maybe Kristy McNichols....
Xoxoxox
kathleen

well worth the cost
Every moment I wasn't pouring over this wonderful novel, I wanted to be. Jim
makes you want to slap him upside the head and mother him with warm bowls of
soup at the same time.
Katrina

Hey my name's Raine and I just wanted to let you know that I thought Godspeed
was completely mind-blowing. It was great my totally ultraconservative dad
picked my copy up one day and thirty minutes later he was like "You just can't
put it down. I've never read a book with this style of writing. You're right there." LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!! And Stacy and I really think you need to COME TO HOUSTON!! I was talking to him and he was like "You HAVE to read this." So I went and bought it and was hooked. Stacy says he wants an autographed copy
and the other day we were saying how it would make a totally awesome movie.
And I think it's so awesome that you're doing what you're passionate about and I really hope you continue to have success w/ your writing & music.Oi!
~Raine

ONE FREAK SHOW

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FLUFFY HAS 2 MOMMIES,
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PDFs
 
The Big News about Godspeed.

News item number one, Godspeed is available as an unabridged audiobook, read by Lynnee herself. It is being released by Killer Banshee Studios on February 1, 2006.

News item number two: Godspeed is currently in process of being written into a screenplay. Check back here for more news about Godspeed The Movie as it becomes available.

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