Typewriting in Bermuda: The Report of an Introverted Writer

WE DIDN’T GET LOST IN THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE! I’m kind of disappointed because I expected to be like Gulliver and wash up on an island of mini-people. But then I realized it’d be super hard to contact my publisher from there because the computers would be way too tiny to type on.

So I have returned. (My dear publisher . . . I demand that you love me for this sacrifice.) I have returned with many stories, one of which involves . . .

Bringing a Typewriter Aboard

Many of you know that I lugged my typewriter (aka: “Classy Beast”) onto the cruise ship. (Oh yeah, didn’t you know I’m writing my next book via typewriter?) No, airport security didn’t arrest me. Yes, I was terrified to actually use it in public. Do you have any idea how loud those things are? Imagine bringing a foghorn into a library. No, wait, two foghorns. That’s what it felt like. Not a good situation for a timid writer. Nadine = extroverted talker and socializer, but introverted writer.

But one of the greatest things I’ve learned in becoming an author is that I have to be bold in some of the situations that make me want to vomit (like telling people I’ve written a book, or speaking in public, or . . . like . . . promoting stuff. Barf.) Tweet this. It took me all the way to day 5 to finally bring the typewriter out of my tiny little ship cabin and write on it in public.

I was so tense that I could barely move my fingers to type. Every time someone walked by, I’d dive into my purse to pretend I was doing something else so I’d look busy and not draw attention. (Right, because the GIANT TYPEWRITER SITTING ON THE TINY TABLE was so inconspicuous . . . )


Then I started to lose myself in the story. I started to realize how much I’d missed writing. Even more, I started to realize how much I haven’t been writing. I was brought back to the hours I spent in my apartment when going to graduate school, writing up A Time to Die when I should have been writing up speech therapy lesson plans.

Conversations with others became less terrifying. You might not believe me, but people are actually…pretty nice. 😛 (It helped that the average age of the passengers on this particular cruise ship was 71. Totally my typewriting crowd.) People stopped every two minutes or so to inquire or make a comment. Any time I started fumbling with my words, hubby would give me a wink. (What a man!) Some comments got so funny I started keeping a list:

  • “What a noisy computer.” 😉
  • Elderly cruisers frequently stopped to share their word-per-minute scores. (Sometimes it turned into a one-upping game if others were present.)
  • “I didn’t know they made those anymore!” — Um . . . they don’t. It’s from 1936. 😛
  • “What brand is that?” – L. C. Smith and Corona, if you were wondering.
  • “You’re a good typist.” — This gentleman then randomly offered me a chocolate covered strawberry. My dont-take-candy-from-strangers red flag popped up, but I ate it anyway. What can I say? They’re a weakness. And I survived.
  • “Oh wow, that thing came over on the Mayflower!”
  • “You do know they’ve invented computers, right?” – Wait . . . what?!

I got high fives and “Atta girl”s from some of the older cruisers. And then some raised eyebrows and “It doesn’t make sense to me” comments from others. But my skin grew thicker and I just laughed.

The second day, I wrote for six-hours straight. (In public! In public!) I set out bookmarks and business cards as well as the one copy I’d brought of my own books. By the end of the day, I ran out of bookmarks, business cards, and I sold the single copies of my books. LOL. I also got to share a bit of the gospel with several people who wanted to know about my story. *jaw drop* And I didn’t flee like the coward that I am! What is this magic?!

When I finished and returned to my cabin with a stack of typed up pages, I declared myself officially addicted. When I started this typewriting venture, it was for the purpose of exploring the art of writing. I didn’t realize how much of a ministry (and marketing) opportunity it would be when I hiked up my britches and brought it out in public.

God’s cool like that.


(I also became besties with the coffee lounge staff who showered me with the tastiest drinkies EVER.)

Bermuda Report

Oh, wait, you want to know how Bermuda was? This post isn’t supposed to be all about typewriting? Fine, fine, I’ll indulge you. 😉

Bermuda-adventuring-authorIn a word, IT WAS TOTALLY EPIC. Bermuda was like a mini-England with red phone booths and pubs with fish and chips. Old architecture rose up castle-like on the hills. The beaches were white and perfect with the clearest blue water you’ll ever see. Cobblestone streets and old-english store signs. *swoon*

Hubby and I went scuba diving and explored three sunken ships. I’m ready to write a mermaid story now. 😉 We also ate in a famous pup called “The Frog and Onion” (which we called “The Frogion”) and our table was inside a giant fireplace filled with about 30 candles. It was so cool. I felt very British.

We refused to take taxis and instead explored a bit of the island, had the best pina coladas ever in existence, and returned to the cruise ship looking like burnt little lobsters. Despite all this awesomeness, we’ve learned that we were not made to be tourists. It wasn’t until the typewriting took over that we started to breathe a little easier about the trip. I guess we just have to be doing something that feels a bit like investing in eternity. And being little cruisey tourists didn’t do it for us.


Us big-nosed dorkies.

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVED sailing across the Atlantic and seeing the unbelievably-blue sea. But . . . yeah. I’ll write a blog post about this someday.

10 Truths and 2 Lies — THE ANSWERS

10-truths-2-lies-ya-authorIt’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. (Okay, maybe not ALL, but at least 49 of you. 😛 ) You all blew my socks off last week with your guesses for the 10 Truths & 2 Lies post from last week! What fun! I’m about to reveal the answers. (If you want to run over and guess before seeing the answers, better hurry and do it!)

Tweetable: The answers have been revealed! Where you right about Nadine Brandes’s 10 Truths & 2 Lies?

After 49 different comments of guesses, only TWO people (Lydia Barnes & Samantha Sallee) guessed ONE of the correct lies. O.o I guess I made it too hard? (Though I don’t know how I could possibly take the blame, since it’s just a list of info about me.) Those two sneaky geniuses will each receive an envelope of swag. 😀

Now, without further ado…


The correct answers are #3 & #12.

  1. I HAVE DRIVEN A MOTORCYCLE. – Yup and it was terrifying. I crashed it, multiple times, too.
  2. I DON’T DRINK COFFEE — I really only drink coffee if that’s the only thing offered. I prefer tea.
  3. I’VE BEEN IN A HOT AIR BALLOON – LIE! I wish, but am still hoping to someday.
  4. I’VE ALMOST BEEN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING — Yup. And it’s a super exciting story that I will tell you someday. 😉
  5. I DON’T LIKE CAKE – Unless it’s my mommy’s carrot cake. But pretty much . . . no. Give me brownies. Or Oreos!
  6. I’VE SCUBA DIVED IN A SUNKEN SHIP — Yes! And this was before our most recent Bermuda trip. 😛
  7. I HAVE ENOUGH SHELVES FOR MY BOOKS. — I guess maybe I’m not a certified bookworm. But . . .YES. I have enough shelves. I’ve also been downsizing my book collection *gasp*
  8. I DON’T LIKE PEANUT BUTTER. – No! Yuck! Ew! Give me Nutella! (I’ll eat peanut butter if I HAVE to on a PB&J)
  9. I’VE NEVER CRIED READING A BOOK. — I’m sorry everyone. :'( I’m heartless, I guess. I’ve come close, but I think my tear ducts are broken. I bawl during movies, though. Does that redeem me?
  10. I’VE PILOTED AN AIRPLANE. – Yup! Tried to get my pilot’s license, actually, but made myself too airsick to finish the program! LOL.
  11. I TRAINED AS A BARISTA IN ENGLAND. – Yes and it was the most epic thing ever.
  12. I BOW HUNT. – This one was kind of mean since my FB photo is of me with a bow and arrow. But . . . no. I’m totally not a Katniss. Never hunted in my life (but I like cooking game!)

Thanks to everyone for guessing! I think I’ll try to do these more often. 😛


Phew! This long post is over . . . for now. 😉 Thanks for bearing with me. I had fun sharing what God did on a tourist cruise. I managed to write 6,000 words, meet new people, and make memories while watching God work. *happy sigh*


Your turn:

What sort of things (like typewriting in public) intimidate you? Where in your life do you think you could be bolder? (Tweet this)

Were you surprised about the 10 Truths & 2 Lies reveal? 😛


About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Great post! I think it is awesome you even had opportunities to witness because of publicly using the typewriter.

    But, never cried while reading a book?!?!? Surely you have never read Where the Red Fern Grows. I still cry when I read that book and I have read it dozens of times. And no, crying during movies doesn’t count! Lol. Sigh. *shakes head*

    If Where the Red Fern doesn’t do it for you, try Alex: The Life of a Child. It is about a little girl that had cystic fibrosis and was written by her dad, Frank Deford.

    Those are my two favorite books. The first, just a great story. The second influenced me to want to be a nurse. I saw the movie when I was about 8 and never forgot it. A couple years later, I somehow ended up with a copy of the book.

    • Aww thanks Carrie! It was an awesome trip.
      Yeah. I think there’s something broken in my little emotional heart that I haven’t cried with a book. I’ve gotten SO CLOSE. But I also haven’t read Where the Red Fern Grows. So…maybe I ought to pick that one up. 😉

  2. Welcome back!!! 😀 I’m glad you had a good time, and the whole typewriting and marketing and sharing Christ? Awesome!!! 😀

  3. WOW! It’s so cool that you worked up the courage to write on that typewriter in public like that, and God turned it into a great opportunity to share the truth with others! Also, sounds like a great marketing opportunity. 😉

    And yeah, that 10 truths and 2 lies list was so hard…

  4. How cool that you were able to share the gospel with people!

  5. Oh that is so cool! I don’t know how I could survive writing in public at all even on a laptop because if anyone catches a glimpse of my writing I am like hide! die, get away, shut everything!

    • LOL, I hear you! I was totally writing a half-death scene on the typewriter when people stopped by. I WAS SO SELF-CONSCIOUS! Especially when an elderly man started examining the “grouping” of my letters. I was like, “DON’T READ THEM!” 😛

  6. This is awesome. ^-^ Way to go!

    Also… Wow, I was very wrong on the two lies I guessed. 😛

    I don’t like peanut butter either, though. xD Just sayin’.

    Your trip sounds epic.

  7. Also, it’s bizzare, but I’ve cried with a couple books (not very many) but never cried during a movie. Hm.

    It’s funny how you’ve never cried while reading a book… And yet I cried while reading all of the ones you wrote… 😉

  8. You seriously have enough shelves for your books?! What?? You obviously don’t have enough, then. They are supposed to overflow until they are borderline tumbling out and there are random stacks of books all around your house. Didn’t you know this? 😉

    • Ha! Well my hubby likes to keep buying me bookshelves. 😉 And I’m a book-murderer in that I scourge my shelves every few months and get rid of books I don’t like. 😛

  9. Wow. 🙂
    Did not expect those answers.
    I thought for sure you did not have enough bookshelves, ya know? Considering almost every bookworms doesn’t… 0_0
    Well, I don’t. I have books overflowing my one single, lonely bookshelf. I really should get another one.
    And the crying during a book. I, personally, have not yet, but I figured because you’ve read so many books, surely at least ONE made you cry? But I suppose I was wrong ;P

    • Does this mean I’m not a certified bookworm? 😛
      And not sure why I haven’t cried with a book yet. Self-consciousness? That can’t be it because I totally laugh out loud in public places. A lot. While reading.

  10. That. Is. Awesome!!!!! I wish I had a typewriter… Hehe. It was also awesome it was a partial ministry -God is so sneaky!

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