Friday, February 16, 2007

You may have noticed a new look around here--I updated my blogger account, and suddenly all the fruit disappeared from the top of the page, and all the text was drowning in an unreadable sea of green (like it always annoyingly did in the comments section). I had to choose a new template; I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet--it does coordinate with my main website, but I miss the fruit! Until life calms down, though, it will have to do.

You can read an article about me and my writing in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Just a reminder--I'll be up and down the West Coast next week. Hope to see you along the way if I'm in your neck of the woods:

02/19/2007 07:30 PM - Powell's Books
2720 NW 29th St.
Portland, Oregon 97210

02/20/2007 07:00 PM - University Bookstore
4326 University Way
Seattle, Washington 98105

02/21/2007 07:00 PM - De Colores Bookstore
507 Washington St. SE
Olympia, Washington 98501
(This is my cousin's wonderful bookstore! Check it out at Note that the reading is at 7pm, not 8pm as I listed before.)

02/22/2007 07:00 PM - A Great Good Place for Books
6210 La Salle Ave
Oakland, California 94611

02/23/2007 07:00 PM - Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista
Corte Madera, California 94925

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In other New York news, I'm going to be reviewed in the freaking New York Times tomorrow!!!! I have GoogleAlert to thank for giving me this sneak peek. I'm flabbergasted, in the best way. Or maybe I should say I'm feeling insouciant (who knew I was so insouciant?! This is the second review of Self Storage to contain a variation of that word.) A delightful Valentine's Day present, to be sure.

(And in honor of Valentine's Day, here's my latest CODEPINK alert: Make Love, Stop War.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In case I don't have a chance to write a full report on my trip to New York (which was fun, nourishing, and very inspiring), I at least want to give you the fabulous Lauren Cerand's window into my reading at Bluestockings. A wonderful night all around!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Speaking of YES, you can read my essay about choosing to weave the word YES into Self Storage over at the ultra-cool Moleskinerie.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The word YES figures very heavily into Self Storage. My main character Flan bids on a single box during a storage auction that turns out to be empty inside except for the word YES. This word sends her on a quest to discover what can make her say YES in her own life.

I am launching a SELF STORAGE YES CONTEST today. To enter, all you have to do is tell me, in 100 words or less, about the truest source of YES in your own life. What makes you light up, wake up, feel most alive?

I am giving away signed copies of Self Storage, along with items won during a self storage auction, to five winners.

You can send your entry in one of three ways:

1. Post it as a comment with this post (if you don't have a blogger account, be sure to include an email where I can reach you)


2. Post it as a comment on


3. Send it by email to gaylebrandeis at gmail dot com, with YES as the subject line.

However you send it, please do so by March 1, 2007.

Maria Ruth gave her husband the orange YES above for Christmas one year. She tells me "It was not a quote from the last line of James Joyce's Ulysses, but the answer to the usual questions husbands ask their wives" and writes:
The same overwhelming power of YES--from tips of toes to tingling scalp--came when I decided to write Rare Bird: Pursing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet. As I wrote in my book, I just couldn't say "no" to this bird, nor to the telling of its strange life history, nor to the scientists who had been working so hard and so long to unravel the mystery of its secretive nesting site. Getting to "yes" is a real victory for a writer, don't you think?
Yes, indeed.

I look forward to hearing what makes YOU say YES!
More lovely reviews:

New York Daily News
where I'm reviewed with Patry Francis, who I know from Readerville, and whose blog is a must read (it appears that her new novel, The Liar's Diary is, too!

The Tampa Tribune
Thanks to Bob Batchelor for telling me about this one! I have a short story in the new anthology Bob edited, Literary Cash: Unauthorized Writings Inspired by the Legendary Johnny Cash. It's a fabulous collection--I'm honored to be part of it.
I love the motto of this site:
Embracing Self
Pursuing Passions
Showing Strength
Celebrating Spirit

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Flabob Airport Cafe is a regular breakfast destination for our household. We've met many other regulars there, including Joe Reyna, who sent me this wonderful image to mark the release of Self Storage. I wonder how much it costs to actually advertise on a blimp...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Some photos from the reading!

The first one is me listening to my sweet introduction. The others are a small sampling of people with their cool auction loot...
Here's the link to the video connected with the Press-Enterprise article (the link is also embedded now in the article itself).

My reading last night was an absolute blast. What a beautiful way to launch the tour. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me--I was so touched by the packed room. Mark Nemetz of Bucksworth was the perfect opening act (two of his songs--"Thingsfoundwalkinwithyourheaddown" and "Don't work so well"--feel especially connected to Self Storage). Kathryn Morton was the perfect host, as always (she even filled the refreshments table with gorgeous dishes of flan, along with bowls of nori crackers, in honor my characters Flan and Nori!) And bringing an unopened self storage auction added such a cool level of excitement to the night. I invited anyone who asked a question to come up and choose an item from the box; everything was wrapped in newspaper, so there was an added element of surprise. The box was labeled "Bedroom Nic Nacs" (I love the spelling!) With a label like that, the contents could have potentially been of an--ahem--intimate nature, but the box ended up being full of all sorts of tchotchkes--a ceramic bell, lots of Coca Cola memorabilia, a dish full of jewelry, a dream catcher. When I have a chance, I'll upload some photos of the evening, of people unwrapping their unexpected treasures. Self Storage auction finds are so bittersweet; there is that wonderful sizzle of possibility in the boxes, but there is also the sadness of a life laid bare, a life dismantled. We acknowledged that, but the evening was definitely not a sad one--it was a real celebration, and I'm grateful to everyone who made it so lovely.