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picture of JimIs it true?
It's autobiographical in an anachronistic way, with amalgams of characters,so if you recognize yourself, you're probably the head on someone else's body. A lot of it didn't happen and is totally made up or exaggerated or just stuff I'd like to do, like train-hopping and some of the fights. I interviewed my friends who had more experience in those areas. Things I've done that are in the book: drugs, dealing, messengering, falling in love with a stripper punk rocker poet, jumping out of a plane, getting beat up, learning street fighting, hanging in a NYC squat, getting kicked out of my apartment while my parents looked on in horror, having crushes on drag queens, and being on tour. Michelle Tea would like you to know, the whole gumming scene happened just like that, but it was Michelle who threw the mustard jar.

Documenting us
My friends have told me fantastic stories that I just had to put in the story and have Jim do. I learned from Kathy Acker that plagiarism is honorable, and I may not be such a dedicated robber baron as she was, but I like to tell stories that are told to me. It's the way I document my people's secret lives. Queers, people of color, working class folk, punks, nobody knows what we do. Our lives are invisible. I like to cut little windows and let the rest of the world look in.

A bad example
It started out as a cathartic exercise. That's why there's a lot of what looks like gratuitous drug use in the beginning. That was just me letting it go, admitting that although I knew drugs almost killed me, there were parts that I would really miss. So it was a dear john letter, a good-bye to a bad lover letter. I get nervous that kids will look at that and think it's cool, but I can't afford to be didactic. Good writing comes from a deep need to purge something, and editing out all the parts that might be dangerous to society makes for bland prime time TV. Writing isn't good for the reader unless it's changed the writer. And this novel is a record of, as well as a facilitator of, intense changes in my life. Hopefully the thinking reader will see that although the hero's bent on self-destruction, she eventually recognizes it as such and stops.

Someone whose llife has led them to the brink of addiction isn't going to read Pollyanna, or be diverted by it from their purpose. I want to keep the graphic shooting up stuff to a minimum in the film though, as I'm senstive to such things myself, and can't even watch Trainspotting or Drugstore Cowboy.

Rapture
I didn't want this to be a how-to-quit-using manual, so Jim doesn't go to meetings. She sublimates. She goes on tour, she has passionate sexy affairs, she learns how to defend herself. I want this to be a how-to-find-the-exhilaration-in life manual. How to go crazy without killing yourself. How to let your heart break open. How to be a freak and not only survive but strut your stuff. How to face life fearlessly but not stupidly and still get a rush.

Live shows
Whenever I toured with Sisterspit, I always read a whole chapter or a good chunk of one, and since the novel's episodic, that meant every show was a story. But this one freak show tour is the Philosophies of Jim, a string of Jim's crazy whacked out ideas about life that aren't really so far from your own. And so you won't be bored looking at me, although I am pretty funny looking, above my head will be flashing rad slides by Jozie DiMaria of Psychedelic Wedding, and Chloe Sherman. There'll be beats and rockin samples from Killer Banshee Studios to spice up the same old tired words. You may not have heard them, but i've been reading various versions for 9 years. And although there are tons of tasty new parts that emerged in the last year of edits, I need some condiments. because when I'm having fun, you're having fun.

Plot Turns
The tour sequence of chapters was actually written on a seven-week Sister Spit tour, so that it replicates the disjointedness of falling asleep in one state and waking in another, and the experience of a community of oases in a cultural wasteland. It actually records the incidents as they happened, one after another, not dependent on each other, held together only by the fact of a tour. The tour itself is a vehicle, represented by the physical vehicle, the tour van, which transports Jim out of his body and away from his problems, in addition to bikes, cabs, cars, and skateboards, all of which allow Jim to move, travel, run away, as do drugs, love, sex, and violence. Toward the middle, the plot seems to fall apart at first glance, because even though he keeps insisting She's the reason for living, traveling, staying clean, fighting, not fighting, she really isn't. The thing that starts out to string together events changes into a search for something so much more important, and therefore so scary, he can’t bear to admit it until the last
page. Godspeed is a love story that becomes a chronicle of spiritual evolution. The plot doesn't fall apart, it's just that we, Jim, as well as the reader, are all so attached to getting the girl, we'll only take the higher road begrudgingly.


ONE FREAK SHOW

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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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