Friday, October 31, 2008

Glamour: Order yours today!

Out of curiosity, I went to several bookstores online and typed in my name. I squealed when my book popped up. This is really happening!

Although the official release is November 18, you can order yours now.

What stores carry it?
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Hastings and other fine establishments.

Would you guys help me out? Garrett keeps telling me he wants a Maserati and doesn't seem to believe me when I tell him there are more professional baseball players making it in the U.S. than professional writers. With your help, though, I may be able to get him the Matchbox version for Christmas.

Here's how you can help:
  • When you read the book, please post a review online (I'm all for constructive criticism, but in this case, if you can't say anything nice....) at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books a Million, and anywhere else that has them available.
  • If it's not on the shelf, ask for it and help me get it there.
  • Let me know if you or your group is interested in having me for a book talk, writing workshop, book signing, school visits, etc. I'd love the opportunity to sell more books and meet people who will actually read them. Contact me at brandi at
  • Remember that Glamour will make a great holiday gift for some lucky tween!

Journal: Cribtonyte

Everyone has a weakness. Superman has Kryptonyte. Superbaby? Cribtonyte.

Journal: Write about a weakness.

And have a happy and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tale of Superbaby

In the spirit of the season, Max decided to visit Sleepy Hollow and Washington Irving's home, Sunnyside, last Sunday. He expected a calm outing.

He took this photo of his grandmother by a bust of Washington Irving.
They all checked out the house--and were slightly annoyed that they weren't allowed to tour the upstairs because it was "a busy weekend." Geez, what a waste of money!

But the land around the home truly was beautiful and exactly how The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is portrayed on film and imagination.
It was a nice day.

But then Superbaby heard the call. Someone was in trouble.

Thanks to cell phones, no one uses phone booths anymore. Yet, he managed his transformation.

Look! Up in the sky!

It's a bird! It's a plane!
It's Superbaby!

While attending a Ragamuffin Parade where kids all wore their Halloween costumes, this woman thanked Superbaby for keeping her from going near that raging river seen in the background. Instead, he made her cuddle him. Thanks, Superbaby!
It's all in a day's work for Superbaby.

Still, he was happy to go home and relax in his chair.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Journal: sleepless nights

Lately, a baby boy who whimpers every few hours has caused me to lose beauty sleep. For some reason, he insists on diaper changings and feedings several times during the night. Sleepless nights aren't new to me, though.

Every Christmas Eve was difficult when waiting for Santa's arrival. I thought if I stayed awake I might get to meet him. I remember hoping to ask him for a baby brother. Even though my teacher helped me put it on my Christmas list, she said I needed to talk to my parents about it. I figured if I talked to Santa in person, he might grant my wish. Of course, I fell asleep--but it couldn't have been for long. I was always groggy when my big brother jumped on my bed, whispering loudly, "Brandi! Santa's been here. There's presents! Go get Mama and Daddy!" I guess he was too "big" to share his complete excitement and wake them himself.

Other times I remember being so happy with anticipation I had trouble sleeping. Strangely, they had to do with uniforms. In elementary school, we wore our Blue Bird uniforms to school on the day of the big meetings. In middle school and high school, we wore our cheerleading uniforms to school on game days. Each of these were placed over a little red rocking chair in the corner of my room. Before prom and before my debut in the marching band, the corresponding clothes hung outside my closet door. Instead of sleeping I stared at them.

Of course, I've lost sleep to less happy times as well. I've spent a lot of nights awake with worry. Whether it was a test I didn't study for or a meeting I dreaded or simply something I knew wasn't going to turn out well, I've fretted my night away.

But lately, getting to sleep isn't the problem... it's staying that way.

Journal: Write about a single sleepless night. What caused it? How do you feel? What do you notice about your environment that differs from during the day?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club.

I loved the movie. I loved the book even more.

So, when I was looking for address labels at Staples, imagine my surprise when one of the packages caught my eye.

Avery 8293 Matte White High-Visibility Labels for Inkjet Printers shows a sample address:

Tyler Durden
420 Paper St.
Wilmington, DE

If you don't get it, I'm sorry I can't explain. "The first rule of Fight Club is..."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Journal: Fall for the weather

Outside my window, bright yellow and orange leaves are falling. The squirrels who have played in the tree all summer are busy gathering nuts. The air is as crisp as the crunchy leaves on the street.

I hate winter because I hate being cold. However, autumn can be nice. My favorite kind of weather is when you can wear shorts and a sweatshirt or jeans and a tank top and feel perfectly comfy. Right now, we're in that zone.

I have great memories of this time of year. Football games, school spirit, and hot chocolate were major parts of my autumnal experience in high school. My class had only 103 students in it, so we were fairly close. Working on the homecoming floats was always fun. The fact our float never won was entirely beside the point.

Although I still refuse to watch scary movies, I always gave in once a year to being terrified. Near Halloween, a group of friends inevitably gathered for a "howl" of a time . Although we went to "haunted" houses a few times, my favorite frightening adventure was the hayride. I loved breathing the fresh air mingled with the sweet scent of hay. The fact that a masked man with a chainsaw jumped from behind a tree and inevitably grabbed me as his "victim" was a small price to pay. But like I said, I only did it once a year.

In college, my hubby's fraternity always had a party called Barn Dance. The pledges built a barn in the frat house yard where we two-stepped to country music and wore western wear purchased for the occasion. Most of the guys, including my husband, didn't like country music but they embraced it that weekend. Whenever I feel the temperature chill, I feel a bit nostalgic and listen to country music.

I'm hoping to explore pumpkin patches in the next couple of weeks. I want to get a picture of Max surrounded by pumpkins. If I can find a Halloween costume for him to wear--well, even better.

Journal: Write about a fall event.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Washington DC day 1

We took a road trip to Washington D.C. last week. Congress was in session and everyone was trying to figure out how to handle the economic situation. We, however, were tourists.

We spent the first morning trying to take a tour of the city's memorials. Apparently, there is a fabulous trolley tour that you can hop on and hop off of around the city for 35 bucks/person. We stood in line for at least half an hour. While Max and I hung out, Garrett went to Starbucks and returned. I downed a chai frappucino before we reached the front of the line. They assured us that taking a stroller on board wouldn't be a problem.

Yeah, right.

We went outside and stood in yet another line. We missed the first trolley because it was rather crowded, and we didn't think we could break down the stroller in time. Soon, another trolley arrived, but we weren't fast enough. People raced past us as we wrestled with the stroller and all of our baby stuff. The trolley was full and we were left standing on the sidewalk with our useless tickets and time wasted.

Garrett said, "I knew this wasn't going to work."

That did it.

"You did, huh?" I snapped, "Well, you should have said something earlier."

My husband isn't one to complain much, so I should have just ignored it. I'm sure he'd already ignored several of my snide remarks by that point.

Even so, I took off with Max and the stroller, and Garrett must have thought I was crazy. I marched us right up to the line we'd stood in for so long and started selling our tickets. Guess what? No Americans carry cash these days. I'd reached a mother and daughter visiting from Italy before I was able to sell the tickets. I'm sure everyone thought I was some sort of lunatic ticket scalper using my baby as an angle.

Still, the morning wasn't a complete waste. Check out who we met in Union Station:

After fortifying ourselves with lunch, we hopped on the Metro again and headed toward the Mall. Garrett had downloaded an app to our iPhones that located all the station stops and told us how to get there with GPS technology. It was cool and helpful. After a stressful morning, we finally arrived.

We saw where Forrest Gump ran into the Reflecting Pool.
We saw the Lincoln Memorial.
We saw the Vietnam Wall.
We saw the WWII Memorial.
We saw the Washington Monument.

We saw other memorials as well. D.C. really is a beautiful city. A line from America the Beautiful kept playing through my head as we walked around: "Thine alabaster cities gleam...."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Journal: road trip

Road trip!

As a kid, my family traveled the highway on all our vacations. (Whether this was because my dad really loved to drive or because my mom was really afraid of heights remains a mystery.) I remember the late nights as they drove around looking for a hotel room--who needs to plan for these things? My dad just drove until he couldn't drive anymore. It was always an adventure.

One year we wound through the smoky mountains. Signs abounded that told us not to feed the bears. Suddenly, traffic slowed. A woman had her KFC lunch box opened and was dangling a chicken leg out the window of her car to an adorable baby bear. As we passed, I remember someone saying something about not wanting to be there when Mama Bear showed up.

On another trip, the whole family and our dog Yoda piled in our supercab truck to go to Florida. After our third flat tire/blowout, my dad yelled at my brother and me to take down the sign we had posted on the vehicle that said Disney World or Bust.

And he claims he's not superstitious.

In high school, I loved short road trips with pals. Whether it was driving to Tulsa for prom dresses or hitting the open road for various camps, I relished the freedom. As an adult, I've enjoyed road trips with friends and my hubby.

There's something about being in a car for an extended time period that really makes you learn about people. Do they take snacks? Are they frequent pit-stoppers? Do they plan a play-list on their iPod? Do they pack a book of questions? Do they go catatonic as soon as the engine revvs? Do they pull over to see local sites? Do they sample local food or stick to chain restaurants? Do they create an agenda or wing it?

Journal: Create a scene that occurs on a road trip.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who belongs in the White House?

Politics can be dull.

Politics can also be confusing.

Luckily, this looooong election has been exciting. Each presidency is historic, but this time I can almost feel it on my skin--the very real-ness of it. I love how so many Americans are involved and interested in our next leaders.

Maybe you've watched all the debates and heard the media's spin on each little thing. But do you know the basics?

Do you know who you're supporting in November?

Do you like taking quick tests?

Do you enjoy cartoonish pictures of candidates in silly situations?

Try this link.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Were you born in a barn?

I'm thrilled that the new television season has arrived. It's great to check out what our DVR has stored up when we get time to watch. Watching the returning shows is like reuniting with old friends.

Yet, these "friends" bring their bad habits. The one that peeves me the most shows up in show after show season after season. There must be a reason for this absurdity. Whether a blizzard is going on outside or someone enters a therapy session, the same annoying thing occurs...

Have you ever noticed peope on tv don't shut doors behind them?

Watch. They don't.

I bet it will drive you crazy, too.