|Welcome to the capital of Too Much Information Land, population:
Me. The national flower here is the Forget-Me-Not and our mascot is the Looney Bird. It's
a nice place to visit, especially if you've spent any time at all down the road, in Clear
Your Throat Directly Into the Phone Town. My husband is the mayor there, and my mom runs
the General Store. Now back to me.
Sometime after I learned
to hold a pencil in one hand and steady a Big Chief tablet with the other, I decided I
liked writing little true stories about my cat. Then someone said, "You can't be a
writer; there's no money in it."
So I kept writing, but got some day jobs, the last one of which was
at this funny little company where it was not only allowed, but kind of mandatory to cry
at the weekly meetings. The people there were downright lovable, and the culture was nothing less than revolutionary. If you didn't want to go to work on a particular day, you didn't
have to call in using your sick voice pretending to have Ebola when all you wanted to do
was watch "Bewitched" all day; you just had to say you were taking "a well-being
day." Except for having to drum up a reason to cry
every week, I liked my work and the excellent, nice people there. I might add that there
was absolutely no money in it.
After about two years there, I went on maternity
leave and kept right on leaving. Because as everyone knows, the
stay-at-home-mom gig is a piece of cake and extremely lucrative, especially if you can
figure out how to sell dirty diapers on eBay.
Regardless of the money situation, I still write non-fiction that sometimes wins awards
and gets published. And sometimes the critics agree: My work is better than a case of
flesh-eating bacteria. I'm working on a collection of what I'm calling "micro-memoirs" now, which I'm pitching to small presses. But because I'm all for sharing and crowdsourcing and using OpenSource thinking for traditionally closed and secret processes, you can get your very own copy of The Dork is in the Details in electronic or print form by emailing me.
There you have it. And because I'll probably never be one of those reclusive authors who writes one best-seller after another from her cabin on Lake Winnepesake, I'm also a
bunch of other things.
...like a mom
To a girl named Sophia, although we have been known to call her Soaf, Sophie, or in
formal situations, The Soafmaster General. She was born September 23, 2004--also the
birthdays of Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Ray Charles and my cousin Shawn. While she is
sleeping I like to put my face to hers and smell her breath.
And a greeting card magnate
Speak! Greetings was going to be a forthcoming line of greeting cards celebrating the life and
wisdom of the late, great, incredibly soft dog, Bobo Reale. But like many of my great ideas, I only got as far as ordering the domain name and designing a logo. But--but!--you can still order the existing line of Bobo greeting cards; proceeds go to
the Denver Dumb Friends League.
...and a merchandise maven, too!
Reading The Vagina Monologues in 1996 inspired me
to write a family of slogans Madison Avenue will never--ever--use, even though they are
unspeakably excellent. (Eve Ensler herself loved them and auctioned them off to rave reviews at her first-ever VDay benefit in New York City.) The good news is that you can support them anyway, and in turn,
celebrate women and the people who love them. Check out or buy some original Jody Reale
wares and join the revolution.
As advertised, I'm a woman
As much as I resented the clothing choices I faced as a young girl, I never made good
on the promises of gender reassignment that I made during my fifth birthday party. I never
liked wearing dresses, and still find them a might impractical, but the good, fancy
underwear we get to wear makes up for the fickle finger that is women's fashion. Just as an aside, I'm pretty sure the devil wears Dockers, not Prada.
So I stuck with the girl thing, which leaves me free to consume as many self-help
materials as I like without having to explain myself. And, I
admit, I am guilty of being just a bit of a shoe whore.
When the '80s came, I decided to hardly bother with clothing at all. Such a philosophy
garnered me a 10 nanosecond spot in the Def Leppard video "Pour Some Sugar on
Me." I'm the one with the big hair that was looking for blond in all the wrong places
by way of a product known as Sun-In. Please pass the Jean-Nate After Bath Splash.
In the early- to mid-'90s, before "business casual" reared its khaki head, I
wore pantyhose and a suit every day to my corporate America job. I survived the urge to
cozy up in bed with a can of spray paint and a paper bag by participating in community
theatre and pagan rituals at night.
1997-2003 marked the all-important Vagina Years, the period of time that brought you such
treasures as the aforementioned merchandise and my award-winning essay, "Ask Me About
My Vagina!" which I was certain would jettison me to the heights of literary stardom. Then I met an agent, who told me she thought that vaginas were
yesterday's news, not that she ever thought she'd say that.
Since then, for reasons that may or may not have anything at all to do with what someone
else may or may not have said, I've been transitioning into a new era of womanhood--or
personhood--that I have yet to give a snappy title. Themes in the running include,
"My dogma bit your co-pilot's honor student," "I eat carbs and I
vote!" and, in a moment of vagina nostalgia mixed with political activism, "It's
2007. Do you know where your Bush is?" (Now that the Bush Administration is a bygone era, the fruit just doesn't hang as low as it used to.)
My vagina is, for now, just super. Thanks for asking.
Boy, am I married
To an alien named Alex from a planet called Upstate New York. As someone who had never
been east of the Dakotas until 1995, I found him strangely exotic, very Republican, and
slightly Jewish. Somehow we've found a way to get along. He likes to eat sandwiches over
the sink while wearing boxers and black dress socks. I love him.
When he was young, Alex went to summer camp and hasn't shut up about it since. And every
time we go somewhere, we meet someone from his old neighborhood. (Don't you people from
New York ever stay there?) What we do best is teach each other things, sometimes in the
most annoying ways possible. Thank goodness I met him; he and the dog I adopted before I
met him really need each other.
But wait! There's more...
I'm a fencing prodigy, a knee reconstruction survivor and I make a good
meatloaf, but that's not all. I also play guitar, but I happen to have the worst-ever
taste in music, which I make up for with my scorching rendition of Gloria Gaynor's "I
Will Survive" whenever I have the chance to sing karaoke. I am a dog person. I can paint a Renaissance Fair-quality butterfly on your child's face. I refuse
to watch or read the news. I am a registered independent, but will take credit for coining
the phrase, "Don't blame me, I voted for Pedro." I've never been interested in
politics, but I was once a mayor at MomsTown. And now that
I'm thinking about it, there's more.
I'm a shameless horn-tooter
Mosey on over to Samples for some free
and easy reading.
Published at Tuesday Shorts, SinglesFAQ.com, Lit.Org, Wazee: New
Independent Writing, Sites
and Services, SFWP.org, Quillbillies, Progenitor,
"Broad's Eye View" columnist for the Boulder Weekly.
National nonfiction winner, Mary Roberts Rinehart award,
George Mason University, 2003.
Second place winner, Northwest Denver Literary Challenge,
Finalist, Santa Fe
Writers Project literary awards program, 2001, 2002, and 2005.
Finalist, New Millennium Writings awards, 2001.
Finalist, Writer's Studio literary awards, 2007.
Past editor and co-creator of the Web 'zine Saucy Chicks.
Web site writer and editor, COhomefinder.com.
"Keep growing, thriving, and
exercising your passionate
"The real treat inherent in Jody's essay is her paradoxically bold
delicacy as she confronts uncomfortable topics. We are compelled to continue reading
between the splayed fingers covering our eyes - our recognition overwhelming our
-Daniel Locke, Wazee Nonfiction Editor
"You are the queen
of educated insolence, Jody. You're the first place I
go when I need a fix."
John R. Maxim,
Just a Small Town
Is for sale now, and it's only 2
In the tradition of David Sedaris, Laurie Notaro, Dave Barry and others, Just A Small Town Girl tells the ticklish
true story of a girl's first important decision.