My Head – It ASPLODES!


My Head - It ASPLODES!

Dramatic photo is dramatic! OMGWTFBBQ! Also, holy damn, I just realized my hair has gotten really long. Thumbs up for long hair!

Dropping in with a reeeeeeeeally quick line – usually I at least make an attempt to be a little more witty and engaging, but let’s face it, I’ve got a 9-5 job I gotta be at in…*checks wrist*…26 minutes. So I’m taking the prosaic route.

There’s two articles that hit the net today about me.  Reuters and O.C. Register (for which I’m on the front page.  Hi, Mom.)

If you found me through those articles, welcome!  If you’re a returning reader, feel free to like/share/Tweet/etc. either of those articles!

Things are crazy busy.  I read something from one (otherwise positive) reviewer who seemed sad that I don’t post as much lately, and I swear it’s on my “improve” list.  But I’m sort of working what feels like 3 jobs at the moment…my regular job, promoting the book, and I’m also involved with the World Homeless Action Movement and World Homeless Action Day, so you can imagine that’s keeping me hopping.  As well as the email inbox/Twitter feed/Facebook news feed crammed full of kind words and well-wishes that I still need to respond to (oh, it’s coming.  And it will be EPIC!  OK, not really, it’ll probably be me just dropping you an email and saying “thank you so much”, but for some reason I felt the need to really build that up).

Plus, I’m gonna be doing some book promotion in NYC next week (I’m always so excited to get to go back there!) so look for me on the Leonard Lopate Show, New York Nightly News, various radio programs across the U.S. on May 16th, and on the Colbert Report (OK, in the audience of the Colbert Report as the camera pans really quickly over the audience in the beginning…thank you so much for the tix from Stewart Nurick, who works on the show and read The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness and enjoyed it!)  Now, Stephen, on the slimmest chance that you’re reading this…you should definitely have me on as a guest.  Or, you know, I’d take Jon Stewart, too.  I have a massive fangirl crush (not the creepy kind, just the admiring-of-your-brilliance kind) on both of you.  And I promise to set aside my shyness and throw my all into charming and witty banter/repartee.  (Which will be not at all like this hastily cobbled blog post, but at least a gazillion times more dazzling).

So, to recap:  Running in circles.  Sorry for lack of post-age.  Working on it!!!  You readers are the awesomest!!!  EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!  Not reveling in Z-list celebrity status or anything, just head exploding from overwork.  But having fun, of course, or trying to, when I’m not stressing and being neurotic  ;)


  1. Mary McK says:

    I still get your posts emailed to me, so I’m ok. As long as I don’t miss one. I just want to know that you are doing good, and living life to the fullest. I believe you are!

    • I just finished your book this very second. You remind me so much of my 22 year old daughter! She is heading out to California (from Rochester, NY) to try to sell her music. (
      I’m freaking out a bit over the idea of her being so far from her family but she’s so resourceful…and after reading your story, I know she’ll be OK.
      It is such a travesty that some of your family members have missed the opportunity to really know such an amazing young woman. I don’t know what the current situation with your mother is, but if she hasn’t figured out that she should be proud of you, let me just say, I’m proud of you!
      If the book is made into a movie (it sure as hell should be) consider my daugher for the sound track. I think you are the same person, she just got a hell of a lot luckier.
      Best of luck to you!

    • kristy breitbach says:

      Brianna, I feel a certain kinship with you, mostly in your adult life though. My childhood was very uneventful and much like a tv sitcom like “Leave it to Beaver”. Mom the homemaker and dad off to work everyday and home by 6 pm sharp where dinner was always ready. I’m quite a bit older than you but I still relate to many of your feelings and insights about the world and the people who inhabit it. I’ve felt as though I’ve always had to stay one step ahead of being homeless, paycheck to paycheck . Lose my job and there it all goes. My heart was broken many years ago but I managed to raise my son and keep everything going and became a strong independent woman. I too do not like to ask for help or “bother” others with my problems, but as you say, people for the most part are very compassionate and don’t mind helping. Very great read you wrote. All the best to you. Kristy

  2. Bri: I’m so happy for you and proud of you! All good things are coming to you!
    You are truly an inspiration!
    All the best!


  3. suellen says:

    I’m on page 138 – REEEALLY like your book – I don’t like your mom nor Bob – You are so smart and capable – Best luck!

  4. Meg Brizzolara says:

    Brianna you totally rock. What courage you have; brains too! My kinda gal. Please contact me if you ever need anything. Someone like you should never have to suffer again.
    I know of what I speak and have horror stories regarding Jehovah’s Witness family members and atrocities! I am not homeless but I work w homeless (I’m a psychiatric nurse in the SF Bay Area) and totally get what you lay out in your book. Please look me up if you are ever in the Bay Area.

  5. Just finished reading your book. Didn’t notice anything was off with you and Matt until you said you’d take the last name Barnes and the cover used Karp. Beyond that, an utterly unexpected story that was very moving, and I feel like I was able to experience homelessness through your personal journey. I had no idea I’d enjoy the book as much as I did when I picked it off the shelf at Target. Good luck with your future endeavors!

    • Ashley Louise says:

      Oh man. I just Google’s brianna to see if they were still together. I’m assuming they’re not. But I’m only when they first moved to the ranch. Unfortunately I know it doesn’t work out. Its exactly like my ex fiance. I was crying reading it BC of our own long distance relationship (military) and how perfect and right everything was… right down to the wedding. After changing the date several times, he broke up with me (via phone call) on what was the initial date for our wedding. The way she wrote that story… I feel it coming. I’m having a difficult time reading it because its so close to my story.

  6. I’m not sure what to say here. I finished your book about a week ago and have been looking up different sites you mentioned at the end of it ever since. I’ve just been….taking it all in I guess. At the moment all I can think of…all that I know I need to say is thank you for sharing your story. You have an amazing talent for storytelling so I hope you never stop (I’m a writer too but unlike you I’m not published :p I just want to be)

    I felt this kinship with you while reading your book. I’ve been through some of the same things…and didn’t realize how much of it I was really holding in until then. It was painful to have to take a look at all of it. But I’m glad I did. I feel like a different person now. Stronger. More capable. I feel inspired. I know that no matter how bad it gets I can dig myself out. I always knew this in the back of my head but you SHOWED that to me over and over again.

    Keep rocking girl! And even though you’re busy and hell now…Sounds like you’re pretty content at the moment! And that’s all that matters right? Your life is in a better place…and you are helping people. Showing us things we didn’t know about homelessness. And in my case…maybe even showing people things they didn’t even know about themselves!

  7. Stacey Zimmie says:

    Dear Brianna,
    I just finished reading your book. WOW! What an amazing story. You are such a strong person and such an inspriation. I have so much that I want to say to you but do not even know where to begin. What has been most on my mind is are you still homeless as of now or do you have a place? I hope that you do. You have endured so much and I truly hope that life is better for you these days. You are so brave to tell the world your story. Now that I have read it I am going to keep reading your blog and following your progress. You have touched me as I am sure that you have touched many. Keep up the good work! The book was amazing and you truly deserve success!!!

  8. Hi, I just read your book and wanted to say that you are amazing! You let the things you went through make you stronger instead of bringing you down! Now it is your turn to shine. Admire your strength and courage! Good luck in the future!

  9. Stephanie says:

    I just read your book over the weekend and…! I was sobbing so hard, my husband was really concerned (it may be the pregnancy hormones, but I am sure I would have cried either way!). We are the same age and although I have never been homeless or been through half the things you have been through, this book- your story- touched me very deeply. It’s like I can’t get you out of my head. I think I need to stalk you! (just joking!!!)

    I am amazed by all that you have gone through and that you just keep plugging on and getting your life back together. I feel like I am meant to do something with these emotions I am having about your book. After thinking about it and hearing a radio interview with a famous person who is very much into helping the homeless, I think that I want to become a better advocate for the homeless in my community. I am not sure how yet as the idea just came to me this morning, but thank you for everything!!

  10. Brianna! I myself am currently homeless and have been for roughly 30 years! I’m so happy I stumbled across this blog while doing research for my own. I’ve only recently discovered the internet and I’m already finding an enormous amount of support for people in my situation. I’m going to check out the links you’ve posted to helpful organizations in my area.

    Your writing style is fantastic and you’ve certainly inspired me to improve mine! I’ll have a look for your book in the library I’m typing from. It sounds like a good read.

    I’ve been a drug addict most of my life but today I’ve promised myself I’m going cold-turkey. A promise I’ve made countless times before but the ol’ fingers are crossed that it’ll finally stick this time.

    Reading and blogging are my new addictions! My blog is pretty meek at the moment but hopefully I can get some readers and perhaps some people will point me in the right direction (in terms of promoting my writings and helping me regain my footing in this crazy world).

    Thanks and good luck with your book!

    - Bubba, the homeless blogger

  11. Dear Brianna,
    I just gave my copy of your book to my softball coach. Had the whole team in tears! You are a powerful woman. And you are really a awesome. I hope you write a 2nd book about your whole new adventure!
    Respectfully, CC

  12. I am joining the chorus of “just finished your book”-ers to say thank you – I laughed, I cried, and I missed you terribly the moment I finished the story. Thank you for being a voice – a wicked clever, beautiful, inspiring voice – for so many who often go unheard. And hooray (!), we’ve survived the apocalypse and your story will have plenty of time to do the extraordinary good I suspect it will do. Hopefully your book touring will lead you up to Portland, OR at some point (I guess I could check the map and figure that out) because I suspect you and Fezz would like it up here (dog-friendly coffee shops, infinite free WiFi, a surplus of open minds, some spectacularly fabulous box-made redheads, etc. etc.).

    You are lovely, and I am so adding my very best “You go, girl!” to those of the many folks already in your corner. Godspeed.


  13. Jenny Wanderin' says:

    Wow! Thanks for writing your story. There are so many of us ‘flying under the radar’ that needed to know we are not the only people trying to survive in an unconventional manner. Your positive additude is inspirational.

    After spending 11 months in a camper aka The Palace..(79′ Dodge Honey…think Scooby Doo)..I have also discovered that

    1. Starbucks wifi ROCKS….
    2. I can hook up a water heater in a camper…
    3. Walmart is only temporary…
    4. Big houses are over-rated…
    5. Coin laundries are important…
    6. and, people are really good at closing their eyes to the world around them.

    Thanks again for telling your story!

    (Curiously, JW has failed to leave literature on the camper door…)

  14. I just read some articles about you–you made Yahoo’s front page!–and I have to say that you are an amazingly strong woman! I really hope you get back on your feet soon, you deserve it!


  15. I saw the article on Yahoo about you and your blog and was very interested. Although I have never been homeless, I have been in some very low points and have been thisclose to it before. Even though you have been thru hard times, you seem to have a good head and your youth is an advantage (and the fact that you don’t have kids to support). The life skills that you have learned will stick with you throughout your life.

  16. Chris Smith says:

    i think your really attractive it is lame i know but i hope all goes well

  17. I just read about you on Yahoo…and wrote a long supportive post. But, I’m a dork. How do I follow your BLOG or is this it? Best of luck and happiness for you NOW and in the future. Maybe because I am older (than you) I feel like saying I am so PROUD of you.

    • Brianna says:

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you so much; that’s very kind of you. This is my blog – it just got a facelift a couple weeks ago! You can subscribe via RSS if you like (it’s the orange button in the sidebar).


  18. Your blogs are inspiring . . . I am crying and smiling at the same time. God Bless you :-)

  19. I am so impressed by you. I was feeling pretty down about the situation I am in and your story really made me realize that the only person who can pick me up and take me out of this is me. Thank you for being such a beautiful person Brianna and sharing your story with all of us

  20. There is such a vast difference between you and the “true” homeless person(s). I find what you are doing and have done is nothing short of exploitativeness. I say vast difference because you have resources to fall back upon and you did, you were walking the high wire of homelessness with the safety net firmly in place~~unlike those who are “truely” homeless w/o safety nets. I don’t doubt for a second the condition you had found yourself in, but reading about how you found yourself there it had been of your OWN choosing and making poor decisions~~unlike those through NO fault of their own find themselves under a tree for shelter. In circus terminology you’d be commonly known as a “gilly”=an outsider~~a gilly is part of the circus but is an outsider. I empathize what you had gone through, but there will be thousands who will die before they find their way out because they lack the safety net of resources you enjoyed.

    • Brianna says:

      Thank you for your comment. I have noticed that every homeless person I have met (of ALL backgrounds – including mental illness, current/former drug addiction, other mobile homeless, etc.) has been nothing but warm, supportive, and welcoming, so I respectfully disagree with your “gilly” assessment. I also don’t think there’s a vast difference between me and the “true” homeless person at all. I’ve found that my story is actually not particularly exceptional at all.

      I have exploited nobody; merely told my story. The circumstances and reasons behind homeless people are as varied as the people who are homeless, and statistics disagree with your stereotypical assumption of what homelessness means, who is homeless, and why they are so.

      I am in no way homeless by choice, and I don’t agree that those who are homeless because their families are physically/sexually/emotionally abusive cult members are homeless because of bad choices. I also believe that homeless people need and deserve help regardless of *why* they are homeless.

      I’m the co-founder of World Homeless Day, which boasted participants and events in over 100 countries last year, raised awareness and helped feed/shelter homeless people across the globe. We’re looking to increase our reach this year and help even more people. What have you done to try to make a difference, exactly, besides leaving snarky comments on blogs, unsupported by even a modicum of factual research? I’m doing what I can with the resources I have at my disposal.

      ~Bri Karp

      • I disagree with Tommy’s assessment. Hardly anyone ever brings up the issue of homelessness beyond a simple “we need to do something about the homeless ‘problem’.” Brianna has brought attention to the issue and has inspired many. It’s as simple as that. Every mention, no matter the context, puts the issue into people’s minds. That’s where it has to begin.

        Don’t take the negative comments too hard, Bri. Keep on keepin’ on.

      • Haha, nice post to tommy’s comment.

    • You just sound like an ass Tommy! How do you know that the millions of homeless people “without safety nets” as you so callously put it didn’t start out just like Brianna. Oh sorry Brianna but since you’ve not been “Really Homeless” your just a “gilly” wanna be. WTFreak. Exploiting the plight of the homeless! Yeah way to exploit homelessness, that honorable, delicate, protected stronghold of this country.. what a sell out. Do you know how stupid you sound?

  21. I sure hope you have strong shoulders, the comments left by others on your Yahoo column are so sad. If more people would realize no one wants to be homeless, it is just the times and understand many of us are just a paycheck from the streets, perhaps compassion would fill their hearts.

    I was homeless in the 80′s, had a full-time job, ate at work, showered at work…just didn’t have a home for several months and didn’t qualify for low income because I was working…the dog chasing its tail I guess.

    I wish you the best!

  22. Christine S. says:

    I would love to read your book, but I can’t afford to buy it. I’m homeless and would love to make a comment but would rather wait til I’ve read what you’ve experienced instead of going off and saying wrong things. Did you ever stay at any shelters? Have you ever slept in a park? I would love to know, have many questions but too little space!

  23. I have just lost my job. My husband has been out of a job and on unemployment for 2.5 years. His unemployment benefits have now run out and we are trying to make ends meet for a family of 4 on my unemployment alone which pays less than my rent. I still feel blessed, however, for never having to go into a homeless situation myself. I don’t have much at all but I have a real passion for people in need like yourself. I have not read your book as I just read the story today on yahoo news. I DO have an important question for you, however. How can those of us who can’t afford much but still feel the need to help others, who have a home for someone to shower in or just come for a hot meal and share some friendship, find/be in contact with those like you who are not scary people who just need a help up not a hand out and may be homeless. At this time I love to work for the local and my church “food bank” who gives emergency food to those in need but I feel I have to do more! … Please advise how we, your readers, can help!

  24. Erica B says:

    For fear of seeming like a creepy internet person for having facebooked, tweeted and now commented on your blog all within an hour or so of finishing your book, I will limit my coments to two-

    1.) Thank you for your words, your spirit and your bravery in sharing your story
    2.) The Colbert Nation NEEDS you…… I think all of your followers should get together and tweet and Facebook to Colbert and get you on that show…… I am sure it can be done. I have sent a tweet to get it rolling – I figure a few thousand more and you are in…..

    Let’s get Bri on the Colbert Report!

    Peace today and always


    • Brianna says:

      Hi Erica,

      I’m so glad you were that moved by the book! That’s very kind of you ;) I am madly in love with both Colbert and Jon Stewart and would kill to get to meet either of them and talk about my book and homelessness with them. I did get to see a Colbert taping about a week and a half ago while I was in NYC doing some media promotion, so I did get within a few feet of him, haha, and it was one of the most entertaining experiences of my life. But alas, we did not meet. Perhaps next time. I would definitely not oppose the Colbert Nation giving me a little push, though!


  25. Sabrina says:

    Dear Brianna,
    Your blogs are so inspiring, I hope you are ok! I was always thinking about reading your book “The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness”! I hope you are living your life to the fullest now!

    P.S. You are Awesome!

  26. I was moved very much by your story. I NEVER comment on stories but you live so close to home and I drive past homeless daily. I am caught up in my own world to look upon th homeless and realize that everyone needs help regardless of thier situation. You were right, it is wrong to assume how you became homeless and not having a home means that you can’t do things a person can do. Thank you for sharing your story and please keep up the great work you are doing to have the world recognize that it is a problem we should ALL be ashamed of that our people are living in the streets and that should NEVER be tolerated when we have the means to help them before we fight wars in other countries.

    Good luck and Bless you,

    Lil B

  27. Well done, Brianna! From a fellow homeless, but soon to be “homed” blogger.

  28. Almost finished with your amazing book. I started it yesterday and haven’t been able to put it down since. You tell your story in such an honest and compelling manner, you really do put a face on homelessness and make it so real for your reader.

  29. I know you’ve heard it time and time again, but your page is a huge inspiration. Even if an individual isn’t or wasn’t homeless, your courage and drive can inspire anyone. Inspire them to never give up and that the situation that may have us down, could be a lot worst. We got to be thankful for the things we have, and also appreciate it for what it’s worth. Not only that but live each day to our fullest. I know that’s pretty cliched, but there’s a huge truth to it, when you stumble upon stories like yourself. I will be looking around your website, and checking out stuff to see what other things you have on here. I just wanted to say how inspirational, yet again, your blog is. Will definitely be bookmarking it =)

  30. Brianna, I just read your book. Wow! You’re an amazing woman! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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