On… working with a baby

Working with a baby isn’t that hard for anyone who has worked in advertising.

I mean, I spent years surrounded by screaming infants.

And a baby only ever wants to feed, burp or sleep. It’s not exactly hard to manage. It’s far easier to manage than the average creative in advertising, who wants to bitch about a client / play Rihanna on the pan flute they just bought on a trip to Romania / bitch about an account manager / throw a whiffle ball the entire length of the creative studio over and over again / bitch about a job they’ve been given 29 rounds of amends on / organize a cake and dance-off for someone’s birthday and crack open the beer and then gossip loudly about who picked up at the pub last night and then draw a penis and write the account director’s name on it and then put on John Denver’s Greatest Hits very, very loudly.

Advertising was damn fun, now that I think about it.

But in advertising, I never had a work break that looked like this.

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Maybe I would have stayed a copywriter if I had.

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On… Delia Ephron

I just read the most delicious book. SISTER MOTHER HUSBAND DOG (ETC) by Delia Ephron. She has a lovely chapter on – well, actually, they’re all lovely chapters.

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Here’s one paragraph that I thought you guys might like:

“If New York is for you, nothing else will do. The beauty, the excitement, the friction. The thrill of mastery – not simply navigating the subway system, for instance, but knowing exactly where to get on a train so that, when you reach your destination and get off, you are exactly opposite the exit. I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel, that I know something that no one else knows except another New Yorker. Mostly, however, loving New York is personal: the validation of identity. New Yorkers are born all over the country and then they come to the city and it strikes them: “Oh, this is who I am.”

 

 

 

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On… The Grand Budapest Hotel

I can’t wait to see this movie.

)

Wes Anderson movies are unique and hilarious and surprising and charming and oh, about fifteen other adjectives. They’re all brilliant, but you haven’t seen any of them, then find The Royal Tenenbaums right now and watch it. Seriously. Walk out of the office and watch it right now. Your boss will understand.

)

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On…. ANGIE is out in the UK!

In the US it’s called LOVE AND CHAOS. In the UK it’s called ANGIE. It’s the exact same book. I know, I know, crazy, but darling, the world is a crazy place. (Gazes into space, nods sagely.)

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ANYWAY. It’s available from your favorite retailer right now! But why wait? Get it on Amazon.co.uk or get instant free worldwide delivery from The Book Depository. I mean, you know, if you want to, it’s totally up to you, my friend. The internet is full of great things to read, so frankly, I’m almost surprised anyone ever reads books anymore. I’m really enjoying the Hairpin right now and I always love CupOfJo. But when you’re in the mood to climb into bed with a herbal tea / box of Maltesers (depending on which side of Lent you roll), and nothing but a book will do, then my loves, try Angie.

 

 

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On… my book is out!

So my latest book, LOVE AND CHAOS, came out this week.

LOVE AND CHAOS is a New Adult book about smart girls making bad decisions.

Here is where I should be giving you a big author sales pitch, but that’s just not my bag. Instead, to help you decide if my writing will frost your cupcake, I’ve collated a bunch of my best (uh, least mediocre) blog posts.

By the way, when I started this blog about four years ago, I was living in London with my boyfriend Fox and working as a freelance copywriter in advertising. Then I wrote THE DATING DETOX and A GIRL LIKE YOU and BROOKLYN GIRLS and a movie called LAST GIRL STANDING and a TV show called BABES and a bunch of other stuff that, um, wasn’t very good. Today I live in New York City, with my husband Fox, am a full-time author and screenwriter, and have a two-year-old son named Errol and a brand new baby named Ned. Whoa, that’s surreal, isn’t it? LIFE. Oh how she changes.

So: some posts introducing me, again, about the BROOKLYN GIRLS book series, about editing, about writing, more about writing, and about what other writers say about writing and lastly, a survival guide for new authors.

Here are some posts I just thought would be fun subjects to write about: the rules of breaking up, comfort reads, romantic books, dirty booksangry dancing, the working writer’s wardrobe, and deciding what to be when you grow up.

Some posts about our wedding, and Errol, and Ned, and being pregnant, and pregnancy obsessions, and baby books.

Sometimes I post about make-up, and hair, and clothes, and perfumes, and lipstick. Sometimes I write about that stuff for magazines, just for fun.

I also post about awesome TV, and other awesome TV, and seriously awesome TV, and movies and more about movies.

If any of those links don’t work, email me and tell me I’m an idiot. I don’t mind. gemma@gemmaburgess.com – or find me on Twitter (@gkateb), Instagram (gemmakburgess) or Pinterest (gemmakburgess).

x

 

 

 

 

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On… LOVE AND CHAOS

Well looky what we have here.

In ten short days, your new favorite novel is available from Amazon US.

LOVE AND CHAOS.

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Yah. Totally. You know you want it.

And just a few days later, it’s available from Amazon UK (and the Book Depository for international delivery!). In the UK it’s just called BROOKLYN GIRLS: ANGIE, by the way.

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And then within the next few months in Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Slovakian….

I hope you guys enjoy it. I… (stares into space, lost in thought about how much people might NOT like it). I loved writing it. Out of all my books (uh… the other three), I think that LOVE AND CHAOS is the most fun. It’s about Angie, and it’s the one that made me laugh the hardest when I was writing and editing it, the one that I think (/hope…) is truly inspiring and empowering and exciting and romantic in a non-lame way. I really hope you think so too.

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On… meet Ned

Introducing Ned William… the 7 lb 11 oz mewling who arrived last Friday.

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He is perfect. So happy. More soon.

 

xxx

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On… the perfect Christmas stocking

Okay, so this is a stealth post.

It’s for you to send to your boyfriend/husband/sister/mother/father/beh-eff-eff, so that they have some extra hints about inexpensive little somethings to put in your Christmas stocking, if you are Christmas-stocking inclined.

But it’s also for Fox, who is not blessed in the art of Christmas stocking composition, but who valiantly endures my Christmas stocking obsession and agrees to do it every year. He’s unexpectedly away for work this week, thus inevitably making his Christmas shopping as last-minute and stressful as possible, probably culminating in a stocking-filler dash to the pharmacy across the street on Christmas Eve where he’ll panic-buy a box of Antacids, some ancient Lily Of The Valley bath salts and a roll of surgical tape to stuff in the damn thing. (“How did Santa KNOW?!”) So here you go, my lovely Foxatron.

The Perfect Christmas Stocking For A Grown-Up Woman:

1. Lip balm

FACT. Women can never have too many lipbalms, these are a slam-dunk of a stocking-filler. No, put the Carmex down. I realize that you find an ancient pot of the damn stuff in your ski jacket every year and so it’s top of your mind when someone says ‘lip balm’ but really, there are many better options. Most independent pharmacies will have a funny little one from Avene or La Roche Posay or someone marvelously French like that, alternatively, Maybelline BabyLips, I’ve been wanting to try it since forever.

2. Studs.

A pair of gold (or silver, if you’re not me) earring studs – for some reason, I think every Christmas stocking needs a pair of earrings. There are lovely little studs from Gorjana at Shopbop, and they’ll deliver anywhere in the world in three days.

3. Magazine

A rolled up magazine with a year-long subscription to the same magazine. As you know I already have a slightly ridiculous number of magazine subscriptions – hey! I’m a reader – but maybe try The Atlantic, or LOVE. But remember, no People or Star or US: gossip magazines make me feel sticky. And not in that nice sexy way.

4. Chocolate coins.

You can usually get these at any corner shop in Britain, or any pharmacy in the US. Can’t find them? Get this Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate, it’s the best chocolate in the damn world. But chocolate coins are more Christmassy and therefore stocking-appropriate. (Incidentally, this is where someone usually chimes in with a plea for the eternally awkward Terry’s Chocolate Orange, or a Toblerone just in case you want your chocolate to HURT, or, worst of all, an entire bloody orange, I mean literally, a piece of fruit. There is no room for fruit in my Christmas stocking. Ever.)

5. Childhood sweets

Everyone has sweets that remind them of their childhood. For me, it’s Super Lemon and White Rabbit chewy sweets that you can get at any Aji Ichiban, and/or Australian chocolate-covered licorice bullets. You might also try AQuarterOf if the stocking recipient grew up in the UK and is mad for flying saucers and space dust, or Old Time Candy if you’re in the US and aforementioned recipient will squeal with joy about Nerds and Bottle Caps. I also really miss some London stuff like Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, by the way, but I can pick them up anytime I’m in the West Village. (Fox grew up in Ireland, and therefore becomes tearfully nostalgic about Taytos, a powdery potato chip. If anyone knows where I can buy them in NYC, let me know.)

6. Bath mitts.

These are better than any bath scrub for truly smooth skin, though if you’re feeling generous, Bliss Hot Salt Scrub is spendy but utter heaven in winter. You can buy bath mitts anywhere but the ones from The Body Shop are my favorite. Incidentally, I was a freelance copywriter for The Body Shop for a while in my 20s, till I ran out of ways to say ‘nourishing’. (Actually, I was working for a woman who was so highly strung she practically vibrated, and after a few months of absorbing her stress I thought ‘fuck this’ and went somewhere else.) The big secret at The Body Shop, by the way, is that their lovely natural unguents are returned all the time because they grow MOLD. (Or is it MOULD? I’m not sure and I am too lazy to check.) Anyway, all of this is completely beside the point. The point is, smooth skin needs scrubbing.

7. Pens.

I’m a writer and yet I can never find a fucking pen. Ever. I am pretty sure you steal them, Foxy, and have them hidden away somewhere, but let’s not get into that right now. A nice big stack of gel-tipped ones like this, please, in blue or red so that it shows up when I review and edit manuscripts.

8. Hair elastics

I don’t know how, as I must have purchased 46, 002, 498 hair elastics in my damn life, but I’m permanently on the verge of running out. H&M ones used to be the best, but they’ve cut down on the stretch in them so now they’re shit. Anyway, just try plain black ones from oh, anywhere.

9. Miniature travel-size toiletries.

This is particularly good for GemGem as she’s about to go into hospital to have a baby, but it’s probably good for a non-preggers person, too, and yes, sometimes GemGem just refers to herself in the third person for no particular reason whatsoever. You can buy nice mini toiletries next to the till at Sephora in the States, or at big Boots in the UK. Think: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste. Don’t bother with body moisturizer. You know I’m a dedicated user of this, this, and this. I used to be dedicated to The Body Shop Body Butters but well, you can guess why I stopped.

10. An eyemask.

I always wear these, I have since I was a teenager. Mostly I just use ancient economy class ones, or the nice ones that you give me when you fly at the pointy end of the plane for work, you lucky bastard. So a really hot shit sleep-happy eye mask would be so cool.

Hope this helps, my little sugar plum fairies! Have a veh merry Christmas. I’ll be back when I have photos of a new little mewling to share with you…

(And just imagine, Foxerama, if I put this much thought into my OWN Christmas stocking, how much thought I’m putting into yours…)

xxx

 

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