Wonder Boi Writes

Guest Blogger: Catherine Friend

Hello Blog Readers,

Last week I blogged about my vast love of all things Catherine Friend, especially her new book Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet. This week I have the great pleasure of having Catherine herself doing the blogging.   This is a real treat for me and I’m happy to share her with you, so without further ado, here’s this week’s guest blog by Catherine Friend:

Last week Rachel shared her version of the first time we met. I have my own version, but first I wanted to thank her for having me as a guest blogger. Since my new book is a memoir, I wanted to chat about lesbian memoirs. I think there have been enough published that they can be considered an actual sub-genre. My first one came out the same year as Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home. (She’s working on another, but I’m not sure a pub date has been scheduled. I found my second memoir really hard to write, and I didn’t have to worry about illustrations!)

There are now oodles of lesbian memoirs—check out the books shortlisted every year for a Lambda—and it’s inspiring that so many lesbians are telling their stories.  I think it helps everyone. I’ve had straight women tell me that Hit by a Farm turned their understanding of being gay upside down. Because I wrote about my life as if it were—get this—perfectly normal, they suddenly realized: Hey, it is perfectly normal. The book helped a lesbian in Puerto Rico connect with her judgmental mother, and it became a bridge for mending their relationship. Gay and lesbian farmers reached out to me from all corners of the country. I’d had no idea there were so many of us! These stories aren’t why one writes memoir, but they are amazing side effects.

In Sheepish, I found myself writing about being in the middle of things—a farm, a long-term relationship—and wondering if that was really where I wanted to be. Just like the middles of beds (and bodies!), I think the middles of our lives can get kind of saggy, and it’s a struggle to get through them. And don’t get me started on the whole menopause thing—in the book I included three episodes where I gave young men a dose of Minnesota Menopausal Cranky. Felt good.

Thanks to all of you who buy not only lesfic, but also spend money on nonfiction books about our lives. If people keep buying them, publishers will keep publishing them. In the fall watch for Rachael Herron’s memoir, My Life in Stitches (she’s a knitting freak and a 911 dispatcher and a very cool person). It’s yet another example of how interesting our lives can be.

So, back to the GCLS, Atlanta, 2008. Just before the conference, Rachel had said something online about being a pregnant butch. For some reason, the combination of those two words struck terror in my heart. Butch and hormonally stressed out? Yowza.

And there she was at the conference, very pregnant. Even though I towered over her like some sort of Nordic tree, I was on my very, very best behavior. I was smart enough to know you don’t piss off a pregnant butch.

Of course, I soon learned she wasn’t terrifying at all. Rachel, I look forward to seeing you at the 2012 GCLS conference in Minneapolis. I won’t be so afraid this time!

Rach here again- I love the idea that anyone could be afraid of me,  I find the image of a pregnant butch to be more comical than anything else, though if she’d so much as suggested that I actually looked “very pregnant” at the time she might have had reason to be scared 🙂

Anyway, since I’ve so enjoyed chatting, blogging, and reading with Catherine over the last couple weeks I hate for this time to come to an end but its also my great pleasure to spread the  love and announce that the winner of an advance copy of the Catherine’s new memoir Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet is Joy Argento!  (Joy shoot me an e-mail to Rachel_Spangler@yahoo.com with you adress and I’ll get the book to you.)

If you aren’t Joy, you can take solace in the fact that you can now pre-order Sheepish for yourself wherever fine books are sold.

And just in case Catherine and I haven’t yet convinced you that you have got to read this book, here’s  short video from Catherine herself.


April 8, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. […] Catherine Friend posted a guest post at Rachel Spangler’s blog. […]

    Pingback by Link Round Up « The Lesbrary | April 13, 2011 | Reply

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