Kissing Under the Dung Twig and The Glaring Woman at the Grocery Store

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Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Kissing Under the Dung Twig and The Glaring Woman at the Grocery Store

This week in honor of the holiday season, we’re going to talk about a time Carrie did a very Carrie thing at a grocery store in Ellsworth, Maine. It will eventually relate to books, we promise.

One day in the grocery store line a lady behind me dropped her  bag of Cheetos. I picked them up.

She dropped her box of Wheat Thins.

I picked them up.

She dropped her onion. It rolled over to me, shed some purple skin, and hit my foot.

I smiled. I picked it up. I gave it to her.

“I must be missing the belt,” she said.

So, then, it was my turn with the clerk. I opened my bag and my wallet was not there. My check book? Check. But the wallet? MIA.

I told the cashier, terrified.

She said “If you’ve written a check here before, you don’t need an ID.”


So, I said, “I don’t know if I have.”

I spent the next three minutes alternately explaining that I had visions of my red cloth wallet hanging out by the 12-grain organic bread in the bread aisle, or in the post office where I’d just used it, or in the middle of the parking lot, or, gulp, in some evil wallet-snatcher’s hands. I looked for sympathetic glances from the food dropper behind me, but she no longer liked me.

I wrote out the check. The machine beeped. The cashier looked at me, apologetically. “You’ve never written a check here before.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll run out and check in the car.”

So, I raced outside despite the fact I was not wearing a sports bra, and unlocked the car, and… no wallet. I gasped. Really. I stepped back and there, beneath the tire, was a flash of red. I snatched it, clutched it to my chest (still without the sports bra) and raced back to the store.

“That was fast,” said the clerk.

“You found it!” said the nice guy who came to finish bagging.

Glare, said the dropping stuff lady who was behind me in line. Glare. Glare. Glare.

It’s like what I imagine happens to my books. I start off really well, everyone likes what I’m doing, and then — bang — I screw up. Drop the voice or something, make a character do something nobody wants her to do.

And then what?

Glares from one. Sympathy from others.

The Carrie Story


Everything can help inform your story and make a scene to use later on.


Be kind when other people are struggling, not just when you are struggling.



The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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