Jennifer Le Zotte
The Cockettes, circa 1970
Commander of the United States
Salvation Army, Evangeline Booth, circa 1906
Well, it is October 2015, and I am sending my book off to my editor. As of next week, From Goodwill to Grunge: Secondhand Styles and Economies will be out of my protective custody, at least for a while.
I can already feel the weight of 400+ manuscript pages wedged beautifully into the postal package. I can feel the ambiguous lightness as I walk home empty-handed.
Writing and revising is lovely, lonely work--in a different way than digging through the archives at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco or The Salvation Army National Archives and Research Center in Alexandria, VA., getting surprised by unexpected letters or images--like the ones on this page, of the U.S. Commander of the Salvation Army, Evangeline Booth, arrayed in rags, circa 1906; and the psychedelic drag troop The Cockettes glamming it up in true hippie genderfuck style in 1970. There are still surprises at this stage, but they are less peopled; the sentences are my company, and sometimes they are darned reticent.
I know it's jumping the gun to get nostalgic. I'll have more revisions and details to tend to over coming months. But I'm already starting to feel less--possessive?--of the historical characters who join me in describing the economic and cultural intersections in the world of secondhand materials.
And, I'm ready to reach-out to new times, new objects, and new historical participants. Tune in again soon to hear about upcoming projects!