Girls Think Tank Community Picnic!

Girls Think Tank Community Picnic!

Girls Think Tank Founders. Image Credit:


I am in San Diego right now because I will be speaking at the Girls Think Tank Community Picnic tomorrow (Oct. 15), which will be taking place in Balboa Park from noon to 4:00 p.m.  I’d love to meet you, talk with you, and/or sign a copy of your book (there will be a few copies available for purchase, as well, I believe…like 20 or something).  There will be several homeless services orgs from the San Diego community in attendance, and I’m told that Occupy San Diego may be in the park as well, so this should be very interesting.  One of Girls Think Tank’s major focuses is accessible water and sanitation for all homeless people (the United Nations has declared these basic human rights).  I’m pretty sure that’s something everybody can get behind.

Did a quick segment today on San Diego Living Channel 6 with the very kind and sweet Renee Koch about the picnic tomorrow and also had the privilege to have a phone chat with an über-lovely ladies’ book club in the Los Alamitos/Seal Beach area, which are some of my old stomping grounds because that’s where my mom grew up and we spent a lot of time there while I was a kid.

And then on Sunday (Oct. 16) I’ll be doing a reading/signing/Q&A at the Katie Wheeler Public Library in Irvine at 2:30 p.m., 13109 Old Myford Rd., Irvine, CA  92602.  If you’re in Orange County and you’ve never been to this library, you seriously need to go.  It is fucking adorable.  In this warm, sweet little historic building.  The first time I ever went in there was to drop off some postcards for a South Coast Repertory show, and I did not want to leave (OK, I never want to leave libraries, but this one had an extra-charming je ne sais quois).

I had the absolute best time at the Tustin Public Library reading last week – both the staff and the attendees were just some of the warmest, kindest people I’ve ever encountered.  I’m discovering just how much I love “book people” and want to get to know more of them because they’re among the easiest people for me to relate to and we have endless topics of conversation available once we get on the subject of reading, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to encounter so many lately.  Looking forward to repeating the experience at Katie Wheeler Library.

Quick PSA:  Support your local library, people!  I mean, I know there’s Kindles or Nooks or whatever (still can’t bring myself to buy one) but libraries serve such an important purpose and function in communities far beyond what a Kindle could ever offer me, that I don’t want to live in a world where libraries and used/indie bookstores have become obsolete – and my agent will probably strangle me for saying this (very politely though, as he’s a total sweetheart), because I think I might actually get a higher royalty percentage off of e-books than hard copies…but fuck it, I don’t care.  (*obligatory backpedal* Love you, Chris Schelling.  Please don’t ever leave me).

Next time you’re in a library, tell the librarian that he/she rocks and is appreciated.  Because these are seriously awesome people doing seriously awesome work.

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That’s about it for now.  Here is a photo of a mastiff being used as a footrest:


Sleep, my minion.


  1. Great having you speak at our event Brianna. Very positive day with special guests, supporters, politicians and SDPD all agreeing we need more 24/7 access bathrooms available to the homeless in downtown. Its been over a year of kumbayah since getting four units approved and funded. Now we need to get it done people! We have 4000 homeless folk trying to abide by the many street regs but as David “Waterman” Ross said, ‘what goes in has got to come out’….its a law of nature, not a choice! Is obscene that these people aren’t allowed to pee and poop like the rest of us, with some privacy and some dignity.

  2. Hi Brianna,
    I am currently 2/3rds of the way through your book. I applaud you for your strength and honesty. I have also been through hard times to the point that I have often thought “if God only gives me what I can handle, then he must think I can handle a lot.” So many things in your book have hit home so far, thinking that could easily be me. Forgive me, but I almost laughed out loud reading about your struggles with receiving unemployment, about them being backed up, and waiting on hold forever. Not laughing because it is funny, but because I am in a completely different state and HAVE EXPERIENCED THE SAME THINGS. I too have worked since I was very young (14) and have not collected any other assistance (even though I have three children and probably could), however I will not feel guilty about collecting unemployment after all of the deductions out of paychecks for the past 26 years. I don’t feel I am entitled to much, but that, I have earned that help. You are a shining example of the “working poor”. And an example that bad things can happen to good hardworking people. I consider myself an open minded person, but you have opened my eyes to so much I haven’t even thought of. Again, I have not finished the book yet, but glancing at your blog it appears you are doing better and hopefully the footrest dog is Fezzik. Brought me a bit to tears because through some of my own difficult times my dog has saved my life. Not to discredit my children, family, husband, and amazing friends, but something about the love of a pet hits close to home to me. Especially because my own dog is a shepherd/boxer/mastiff mix but a big baby and also has had issues with fear of men in her past – she is a rescue dog. Anyhow, I am rambling. I just want to thank you for writing with such honesty and being an example of a strong and determined woman. I was fortunate not to have gone through some of what you experienced through your life, but I definitely can relate. Best of luck and best wishes and support.

  3. I, too, have been homeless. It’s such a strange situation to be in, not to mention to even talk about with others who aren’t homeless or have never been homeless.

    • If a person hasn’t been homeless they probably don’t get it. Here’s a thought : what if the law says you must have a fixed address? You could go to prison for being homeless!

  4. Saw a great peace on children of homelessness on 60minutes tonight,that centered in explored the fears their parents have about the kids being taken away.they interviewed a 12 or 13 yr old girl who reminded of you so much,that I thought this little one was way ahead of her time….thought you would like to know…chuck

  5. Hi Brianna,

    I just had a quiet moment and was wondering what to do, wanting to see something positive and I thought of your blog. It has been too long since I have been here so I have been enjoying catching up with you and Fez. I am so happy that you have a home again and that you are adjusting to this emotionally, I know it will take time. I was hoping to be one of the first to buy your book but things keep coming up with my jobs as wife, mom, and art school student but I have asked for it for Christmas.

    i am supporting my local librarians and some distant ones too. In my recent English Comp class I needed to see an article from a Vancouver magazine. I emailed the Vancouver Public Library and one of their research librarians, Goldie, found the article, scanned it and emailed it to me. I am sending her a copy of my essay as a thank you. I am supporting new librarians too, a close friend of mine will graduate with her Masters in Library Science this coming spring. I need to get Maggie, my friend, to read your book, I think she would find a kindred spirit in you.

    I think this year I will put a reminder on my calendar to come and check your blog once a week so that I don’t miss out on marking another Homeless Day. I hope you will come to St Louis in 2012 so that I can come by and say hello.

    You and Fez have a Merry Everything season.


  6. Lauren Martin says:


    I just finished reading your book. It really opened my eyes. I will no longer be so quick to judge. I myself am 1/2 a paycheck away from being homeless most of the time. I hope you will find someone who has only the best intentions for you and you will fall in love again. I was crying when reading about your miscarriage. How awful for you. Anyway, thanks for the great book!

  7. Here comes a shameless plug for “Girls Think Tank” and for Brianna’s great book. We are giving away a signed copy (signed by Brianna herself) of “The Girls Guide to Homelessness” to the first 10 people who donate $50 or more to our online fundraiser today and tomorrow. There’s still time to get your copy. Just go to: Thanks to all our supporters and to Brianna for her continued compassion and humor.

  8. Donna Peterson says:

    Wow Brianna – you are amazing! I rang in the New Year as I was reading your book, gave my husband a quick kiss, thanked my lucky stars we have a roof over our heads, have jobs and healthy kids. Then I continued with your book until I finished at 1:30 am. I couldn’t put it down. I’d love to know if your financial situation is better, if the book helped you financially and if you’ll ever get back into that sweet little cottage you described. You so deserve it – and so does Feznik – what a beautiful dog you have and I’m glad you still have him. I will continue to check on you – just can’t help it – you truly are an inspiration and so brave. Happy New Year!!!

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