From waiting tables to writing novels

Jody Brown

One of Rochester’s newest published authors may have taken your order the last time you went out.

Jody Brownhas been waiting tables for years, the last few at Sontes in Rochester. She drew on her experience — she has waited tables in five different states — for her debut novel "Upside Down Kingdom.

"It’s a great way to get to know people," she says. "As any aspiring writer will tell you, the money doesn’t hurt, either."

Brown has a bachelor of arts degree in poetry writing from the University of Pittsburgh and has lived in Rochester for almost 10 years.

"I moved to Rochester with a laptop, a pile of books, and some winter clothes," Brown says. "I planned to turn an email I’d written to a friend into an entire novel.


"Strangely enough, that’s exactly what I did."

"Upside Down Kingdom" takes place in Washington, D.C., and centers on a young professional named Amy, working her first job out of college and moonlighting as a waitress.

Brown first released her novel in February and will be having a release party at 7 p.m. April 19 at Sontes, 4 Third St. S.W. The party is open to the public and is a chance to meet the author, buy copies of her book and get them signed.

Lanesboro artist receives McKnight Grant

Lanesboro's Liz Bucheit, award-winning jewelry designer, goldsmith and owner of Crown Trout Jewelers in Lanesboro, recently received a McKnight Established Artist Grant.

Bucheit, who is originally from Iowa, holds a master's degree in metal working and jewelry from the University of Iowa. She has studied all over the world and has been a goldsmith for 28 years. She has lived in Lanesboro for the past 17 years.

Bucheit says Minnesota "has been very good to me in my development as an artist. This is a great state that really supports the arts."

Known for her Scandinavian-inspired bridal crown and filigree jewelry, Bucheit has received numerous awards over the years. She also was a finalist in the Gold Virtuosi 2002 Design Competition (dubbed the world’s "Oscars" of gold jewelry design) and has received several grants for the design and construction of her bridal crown, pendant and belt pieces. She loans these out to brides, echoing the Norwegian tradition of crowning a woman "queen for a day" on her wedding day.


Through the McKnight grant, Bucheit was awarded money to have her newest collection professionally photographed in preparation for a solo show called "Traditions in Transition," which will take place next year.

In regard to her jewelry, Bucheit says she works to create a "more contemporary version of traditional techniques."

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