Oh, Yeah, I Forgot…Oops!

Photo credit: Kyria Abrahams

So with all the whirlwindy dervish stuff going on at the moment, it absolutely failed to attract my notice that both my blog’s birthday and my own have whizzed on by without commemoration.

So, to recap: February 23rd, my blog turned two years old. February 26th, two years homeless/in accommodation limbo. March 6th, turned 26 years old. Eep. I think I just rolled into “over the hill” status.

By a funny coincidence, I ended up spending my birthday in NYC.  My editor flew me out to New York for a couple of business meetings regarding the book release on April 27th.  It was the first time I’d ever met my editor and publicist in person (they are the kindest, sweetest women ever!) and the first time I’d seen my agent since meeting him while I was in NYC a year and a half ago for the Today Show.

They were super sweet and not only flew me out and put me up in a hotel (which was like luxurious nirvana…a real, soft, fluffy bed!!!) but pulled out all the stops to give me a great birthday by introducing me to some of the most fashionable cafés in town.  And my “adopted mom” in London, Vicki Day, called the hotel and had them order me a chocolate cake from the Amish Market up the street, and put it in the fridge for me.  When the concierges heard it was my birthday, they upgraded my room for free.

It was kind of amazing.  I was, predictably, depressed to have to get back on the plane home.  But that’s life; back to reality, nose to the grindstone, etc.  I’m so lucky and grateful that I got to have an experience like that, though!  Thank you so much to Deb, Shara, Chris, Vicki, and Alice!


Socrates Sculpture Park in the rain. Photo credit: Kyria Abrahams.

While in the city, I also hung out with my friend and fellow author (of I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed) Kyria Abrahams, who lives there.  I got lost in Grand Central Station, saw the Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Build It Green!, and was treated to wine and cheese at some adorable little hole-in-the-wall Italian bistro.  Kyria, a photographer, is building her portfolio, so she insisted on taking a bajillion photos of me, which generally tends to make me really really really uncomfortable, but she’s a pro at what she does and isn’t above sometimes being sneaky to get a great shot (she’ll totally dart in and snap one when you’re just strolling along, talking, and not expecting it.  Or drying your hair in the hotel bathroom.  Yeah.)  She also drove me to dinner with my agent, which makes her a braver woman than I.  I could never drive in NYC traffic.  Thank you for the great time, Kyria!  (Read her book, people. Seriously.)

It was raining in New York.  I love the rain.  I love New York City.  Together it was all sort of perfect.

* * * * *

So now I’m back on the lot and such, still loving the theatre, etc.  The company sent me to work a festival today in Fullerton.  I love Fullerton as a city, but I hate going there now.  It’s where I grew up and my mom lives about a mile and a half from the college where the festival was.  It’s paranoia-inducing any time I go into Fullerton now, especially after the close call last time.  My car is too distinctive and my mom is not above keying a paint job or even getting a little stabby-stab happy with tires.  I’ve seen some things, people.

But the festival was lots of fun and it was the first theatre festival I’ve ever been to in my life; enjoyed it immensely.  I did see one of my high school teachers there, which was kind of weird.  I feel so old.  All the little high school and college kids were adorable and sooooo innocent and pumped up and silly and sweet.  I wonder if I was that cute when I was young (probably not.  I was pretty sullen/angsty/awkward, if I recall correctly).

* * * * *

Photo credit: Kyria Abrahams

Publishers Weekly reviewed The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness this week and the review was pretty glowing for PW.  They called it a “candid and wickedly humorous memoir…Karp’s voice is instantly appealing and her message that basic respect shouldn’t disappear when you lose your home is a vital one.”

I waited for the “…but”.  It never came.  There was nothing negative in their review.  I thought this was very cool, but didn’t quite understand the magnitude of it (not knowing the ins and outs of the industry).  It turns out that PW is like the Coca Cola of the trade papers and it’s the one review that gets posted smack dab in the middle of your Amazon page and some other retailers’ pages.  It’s the first review of the book that you see, and the most important.  And I guess PW has a reputation for occasionally being kinda harsh/snarky/tough on books.  Especially by new authors.

Now that I know all this, I am very, very thrilled.  And scared.  Mostly thrilled.

Guess what makes me even happier?  The following quote from Augusten freaking Burroughs appears on the back cover:

“Brianna Karp is the perfect example of how a person can triumph not in spite of adversity but as a direct result of it. This smart, pragmatic young woman takes us inside the new face of homelessness in America and her dramatic memoir guides us through our assumptions, fears and judgement into a place of understanding, compassion and respect. Truly essential reading.”

Augusten Burroughs has read my book.  Augusten Burroughs, the author of Running With Scissors, You Better Not Cry, A Wolf at the Table, and Dry…liked my book enough to say super-kind things about it. *brain short circuits*


Yes, I am a fangirl.  I can’t help it.  Authors are my rockstars.

If Jeannette Walls liked it also, my heart would stop and my head would explode and I would die the happiest person on earth.  (Hint, hint, universe.)

So I think I’m going to list some of the advance reviews I’ve gotten on the Read the Book page over the next couple of days, including from ARC galley readers who work at bookstores and such and have reached out to me (don’t worry; if you’re one of those people, I won’t use your name if you emailed me privately, just what state you’re in.  If your review was public though, on a blog or in the media, then I will properly attribute and link it).  I also promise only to quote professional reviews or reviews from strangers who have reached out to me; nothing from friends, because that would be cheating – they’re sort of obliged to tell me they like it, even if it’s a lie!

Exciting, exciting things happening.  Picking up speed.  The next two months are set to be the craziest in my entire life.  I’m game.  Let’s do it.

* * * * *

(Note:  I’ve got a moving story from Rev. Cynthia Eastman of Common Ground Worldwide, about altering perceptions of homelessness, that I’d like to make into a guest post this week.  Cynthia has agreed to this; so stay tuned!)



  1. William and Benedict at the Alex were just superb and Shara did tell us where you were staying ….
    We wished we could have jumped out on you in the hotel bedroom ……

    The pictures Kyria took are amazing and the best bit they show you being a happy , normal , smiling person not laden down with worries …..
    Can’t wait for the book to come out and everyone see how awesome you are
    Love “mom”

  2. Truly awesome! So glad for you. I can’t wait until it comes out! :)

  3. Mary McK says:

    What a wonderful update! I’m so glad for you that you got to go to NYC. God’s gift of live is a wonderful one. Continue to live it to the fullest, each and every day!

  4. Mary McK says:

    “Life” not live. Sorry!

  5. You are adorable! Kyria Abrahams got the photographic evidence to prove it. :cD I love the pictures.

    I need to order your book today and maybe one or two of those that you recomend. I think I will get your book for a friend of mine, as well, she will LOVE it, as will her daughters.

    Take care.

  6. Bri, I ADORE the “That Girl” photo of you w/ the umbrella – FABU! Am quite sure that you are right on the edge of life-altering, profound metamorphosis. Here’s to SOARING!!! “Up, up, & away,” Kiddo…

  7. I entered our book club through Readinggroupguide.com in a contest for what books our group liked the best for discussions for 2010. I won!! They sent me 12 copies of “A Girl’s Guide to Homelessness” for our book club to read before it officially comes out. I have finished the book and loved it!! It really makes you think about our perception of the homeless. I will be handing the book out tonight to our members. I hope this book gets you the Victorian home you have always wanted!! Give Fizzik a hugh hug for me.

    • Hi Judie,

      Thank you so much for writing! I think your friend Roz e-mailed me this morning, also. (I’m going to write her back soon, but I just got out of the dentist – wisdom teeth out – and I’m still a little out of it…the Novocaine is wearing off and the pain is starting to kick in.)

      I’m so pleased that you like the book. If it makes even a handful of people think differently about homelessness, then I’ll feel like it’s done it’s job. I’ve already had a couple advance readers write me and say that it has, so I’m thrilled. The house would be a bonus, of course, but what more can I ask for, really? :)

      Thank you again so much for your kind words! I will pass on the hug to Fez and I hope your book club enjoys reading the book as well. I hope you’ll stop back on the site again!!!


  8. Hey there! Gret to hear that things are going well. Love the photo of you with the brolly – Kyria’s got a lovely eye.

    If you ever find yourself in London again you should arrange a reading – there are lots of people who would love to hear your work :)

    Best wishes,

    @narrowboatlucy :)

  9. Awe, yay! I had so much fun showing you around Astoria! I wish that we had more time for thrift shopping, but of course you’ll be back soon.

    I finally started in reading your book again last night, by the way. It’s such an odd experience on so many levels. I can’t wait to finish it and get a full review up.

  10. @Lucy I definitely plan on coming back to London at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later! I would love to do a reading or a signing while I’m there. I know they’re planning to work on the foreign rights at some point after the book launches in 3 1/2 weeks.

    @Kyria I had such a great time! Yes; there must be thrift shopping when I get back! I hope you enjoy the book. Though I know it must be weird reading books by people you know, huh?

  11. The coolest thing of all is knowing at some point in the book, you read my book.

  12. Yup, a couple weeks after becoming homeless, actually! It was released in March-ish of ’09, right? Or at least that’s when I think I found it.

  13. hey,sounds like things have gotten exciting for you! Congradulations…Im going to keep following your blog! nathan.

  14. I haven’t read your entire blog yet but I was just scrolling through looking at the pictures. While doing so, I came across the picture for this post and went OMG! I TOTALLY HAVE THOSE SHOES! Mine are just low tops. Anywoozer, Love your blog! :D

  15. I just finished your book last night….one of the best I have read in a long time (and I’m obsessed with books, so that is saying something!). Not only did the summary interest me, but Augusten Burroughs is my favorite author! So we he gave you mad props, I knew it would be a great book! I gave the book to my dad to read now and he made a comment about how I read books about bad things that happen to people, which yes, is kind of true, but they usually end up showing how strong the person is and how we can all overcome whatever is put in front of us. You have an amazing story and I’m so glad you wrote this book to help others who are facing the same obstacles. Also, Matt can suck a fat one! I was so mad after I read what happened I couldn’t sleep! You deserve so much better and you will find it one day, or not, because either way, you will be just fine. ;)

  16. When I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when
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