Be Brave Friday

While I was working a little, white kid on the sidewalk outside yelled, “I’m going to run you over. Right now!”

A little white girl hurried out of his way, skittering, almost tripping over her feet.

Their daycare provider then announced, looking at my house, “If that was my house, I’d tear down those trees.”

In less than ten seconds, I heard a threat, saw fear, and then judgement and an apparent disregard for our little baby ecosystem in the cedars.

It made me think about my reaction to things and how important it is to not be a Judgy-Pants especially about other people’s property, but also to not always hurry out of the way when someone threatens you and wants to be where you are.

Usually on Be Brave Friday I share art that I’m working on, but I’m not working on any right now. This whole week I haven’t picked up a paint brush. But I have clacked away on my keyboard, so this is the best I have to offer you today.

It’s a random poem I wrote. If you know anything, you’ll know that poems are almost as hard for me to share as art.

I feel my tooth now that it’s gone,

A hole inside my mouth, stuck

Between the survivors, a gap and fuzzy pain

Reminding me of things.

I said I wouldn’t 

Cry. Damn it all to hell. 

I am not a person who sobs. 

Not over a tooth.

I stared at the surgeon as he sewed me up.

I stared at the white light above him, thinking

About out-of-body experiences and how

The people who return always talk about

The white light. I can’t keep staring at it. 

I try not to think about things.

I try to not remember how I’ve become the person I am. 

“Don’t present as insecure,” other women tell me. “You’re strong

And talented.” And I just want to say, “Bitch, those are not mutually exclusive.”

I don’t care about followers.

I don’t care about how I present 

I don’t care about well-natured advice telling me not to be me. I touch

The letters of my soul like they are traps, but they are magical, offerings of 

Hazelnut charms, nine letters encircling themselves meant to be placed on a door

To keep the evil out. If only it were that simple, right? 

I feel my tooth now that it’s gone. 

December is the month of birthdays of the dead I knew. 

Father. Brother. Jesus. Me.

Try not to skitter. Try not to threaten. Try not to judge. We can all share, okay? And leave the damn trees alone.

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday”

Be Brave Friday

This week is always the week of loss for me. My mother and bonus dad both died this week in June. My first cat. I expect death to show up.

When people you love die? It hurts. It resonates and it ripples and you can sometimes associate love with loss.

But you still have to love.

People are beautiful and broken, flawed and therefore perfect. They might hurt you or uplift you or do it simultaneously, but it’s so important to love. That goes for yourself too. Nobody knows your flaws better than you do, but you have to be brave enough to not dwell on them, to love yourself despite them or even because of them.

You deserve to be loved. You deserve to love. Yes, it’s scary. But you’ve got this.

Here’s my random painting. It’s still so hard to show these! Some day I hope it will be easier. Thanks for bearing with me!

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday”

Be Brave Friday

It’s Juneteenth, which is the anniversary of the day when so many enslaved people in Texas realized finally that they were free. That knowledge happened two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Knowledge is power, right? And when you want to keep people oppressed, you take away their knowledge.

Today, I hope you educate yourself about your self, about your community, about things outside your circle. Today, I hope you find bravery in your thoughts and deeds as you seek the knowledge of who you are and your part of your community and society.

Today, I hope you will be brave with me as we think about people who are now being so brave in so many ways. Today, I hope you will hope with me and work towards a future where bravery isn’t always quite so necessary, where it can be a choice instead.

Here’s my random painting. Much love to all of you.

Eyebrows and Taking Chances

A long time ago, I got new eyebrows.  That’s right. I did the eyebrow shaping thing. If you know me in real life, you will realize that this is stunning news. I’m going to write about that eyebrow event today. 

And yes, I could post something intelligent about the anti-multiple plot point aesthetic in young adult novels, or how discontinuities and detours excite me, but noooo ….

It’s all about eyebrows and taking chances. I have a really hard time doing certain things:

  1. Sitting still
  2. Looking at myself in the mirror.
  3. Spending money on myself.

    Let me tell you, this was a big-deal thing for me at the time because you have to sit still while professionals pluck your eyebrows and they do it in front of a mirror and they charge you, so grooming my eyebrows was hitting all those three things. In good news? I look A LOT better with new eyebrows. 
    And it DID NOT HURT.

    The nice eyebrow professional lady smiled at me as I checked out her lovely eyebrows and avoided looking in the giant mirror.

    I said, “I do not want old lady non-existent eyebrows. I do not want penciled-in eyebrows. Please do not do that to me.”
    She said, “I hate those.”

I whimpered. 

“It’ll be okay,” she said.
“Is it going to hurt?” I asked.

She nodded. “Probably.”

Then she put the goop on and yanked and it was SO ABSOLUTELY FINE! 
“That didn’t hurt,” I said.
“I used the small strips.”
“That’s amazing,” I said as she showed me the hair she yanked off. 

Then I started to giggle like I was, um, five years old and just saw the bottom of the cutest kid in kindergarten.

I could not stop giggling the entire time she did it, which was … probably four minutes at the most.

She said, “I love it when you come in.”


I giggled more.


She said, “You just kill me.”


Then she showed me my eyebrows and I bounced up and down.

And for some reason, I never went back again! I know! I know! It’s because I’m cheap. I couldn’t get over that part.

But the thing is. We can’t grow if we don’t take chances, if we don’t rip out our extra, ugly spots and examine them. We can’t grow if we don’t scrutinize ourselves and invest in ourselves.

That’s important because I know we all want to be the best people we can be even if that means checking out our reflection and seeing bits of ourselves we don’t want to see.

Take a chance. Scrutinize. Invest. Love yourself enough to grow yourself, weird eyebrows and all.

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 233,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.

Last week’s episode.

Last week’s bonus episode with Anne Marie Pace, author of Vampirina Ballerina.

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

Be Brave Friday

Over the years, I’ve talked about the time my dark-skinned dad and I were fishing at a stream in New Hampshire and white men surrounded us, got aggressive, and called my dad the N-word. I was eight or so. I am very white and I had never seen overt racism before. When I was a couple years older, I volunteered for Jesse Jackson and saw it again and again and again, so much so that they wouldn’t let me do doors with the other workers because they were protecting me, the random, little, white kid.

I have always been shocked at my white friends’ shock that racism exists in big ways and small, in our society and ourselves.

That’s it. Because this is not about me and it damn well shouldn’t be. It’s about learning, growing, and doing what we can do to be active allies in making our communities and our selves better, united, equitable, and just.


It’s Be Brave Friday and here is a work in progress because aren’t we all works in progress?

Be brave, friends. I am so sorry when you are forced to be brave and proud of you when you choose to be.

Here are some links where you can help, many of which come from Inside the Kandish (linked below)

Donate: 

If you’d like to help the families and people who loved George FloydAhmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor

Organizations doing good work: 

The Bail Project

The Minnesota Freedom Fund,

The Florence Project

the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Communities United Against Police Brutality,

The American Civil Liberties Union

Protest:

Vice has a great list of the  following precautions that you might want to check out if you’re protesting.

Places To Learn:

The Brown Bookshelf.

The Brown Bookshelf’s Anti-Racist Resources for KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The Racial Equity Institute

Bowtie Leadership founded by Dr. Todd Jenkins

Dr. Jenkins’s motto is inspired by St. Augustine. 

“The world is like a book… those who do not engage, unravel, and connect to better one’s self and others, only read one page.”

Be Brave Friday

Being scared doesn’t mean you’re weak.


Admitting that your anxious, afraid, upset? That’s called being honest. Being honest isn’t weakness no matter how many people might try to deny your truths and tell you that it is.


Being honest is being brave.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines bravery as: “the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty; the quality or state of being brave; courage.”


I know you are all being brave in big a ways and small, facing danger, fear, difficulties and I so admire you.


Act with love not fear, okay?

Create safe spaces for yourself and for others. Be a warrior about it. Be a love warrior. A bravery warrior. You can do this.


Here is my painting for BE BRAVE FRIDAY. The oil is still wet. But you’ll forgive me, right? It is still terribly hard for me to share these whenever I do, I feel like I’m about to explode into flames.


<3 So much love to all of you.


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 216,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.

Link to Jose’sbonus interview.

This week’s episode link. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.


IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!

My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!

Gasp!

It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

Be Brave Friday

Hey, it’s Be Brave Friday over on my Facebook and now here too and I don’t have a finished painting to share, so you’ll have to see one that’s in progress. It’s garish and raw and not even cropped, which is how I feel at the moment. 

But more important than that, in this time of COVID-19, in this week where I’ve seen one friend lose her young husband to a heart attack and another lose his family camp to a fire, I just want to tell you that there are so many levels of being brave. 

And just continuing on? That’s tremendously brave. 

To be human, to live, is to be brave. 

Thank you all so much for being brave with me. I am so lucky to have you and know you. So much love to all of you.

Raw Exploration

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 212,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw, weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


RECENT EPISODES OF AWESOME AND BONUS INTERVIEWS

This week’s episode link. 

Last week’s episode link 

Link to Sam Spellacy’s interview.

Link to Cara Sawyer (librarian of awesome) interview.

A bonus interview with Dr. J.L. Delozier, Pennsylvania doctor and writer. 

bonus interview with poet and coach Fiona Mackintosh Cameron. 

Be Brave Friday

Over on Facebook, I do a think called BE BRAVE FRIDAY because I’m trying to be a human being who:

  1. Evolves
  2. Does things that I’m afraid to do (in little and big ways)

One of those things was podcasting and now we have over 202,000 downloads of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE. I was afraid to do that because I have sloshy-s’s and have been tormented and bullied about my voice for a long, long time.

Another thing that I’m afraid to do is share my art. That’s for a bunch of complicated reasons, but it just makes me feel really vulnerable. So, now I’m sharing it.

Here’s today’s post.

It’s Be Brave Friday


Today, I watched many of my friends be brave and say that they’ve or their family has had Covid-19. They shouldn’t have to be brave to say that.
Society needs to love instead of ostracize. We need to work together to build the communities we want to be a part to of. That building should be about love and access not shame and fear.


Today, I also chanted under my breath while I was working, “I’m good. I’m good. I’m good. I’m good.”


And I’m thinking this probably means that I’m not so good? But I am still lucky and blessed to be alive, to have shelter and food, to have people that I get to love. I hope you get those things to. I hope you hold them close to you – those blessings.


Here’s this week’s painting. I hope you are being brave and true. I hope you can chant to yourself the stories you want to hear and live the stories you want to inhabit. Love to all of you. <3


Dogs are Smarter Than People

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Direct Link to Fiona’s Interview! on DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE. She’s a poet, coach, and awesome human.

Last week’s interview with J.L. Delozier, a Pennsylvania doctor and writer who is on the CoVid-19 frontlines and her debut novel was about a virus killing half the planet.

This week’s regular episode – The Two Second Relationship Rule

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday”

Being a Pennsylvania Doctor, Writer and Disaster Specialist During Coronavirus – BONUS INTERVIEW WITH J.L. DELOZIER

Being a Pennsylvania Doctor, Writer and Disaster Specialist During Coronavirus – BONUS INTERVIEW WITH J.L. DELOZIER

 
 
00:00 / 00:24:28
 
1X
 

With Carrie today is Dr. J.L Delozier who has the afternoon off and instead of resting, she was talking to us.

J.L. Delozier submitted her first story, handwritten in pencil on lined school paper, to Asimov’s magazine while still in junior high school. Several years later, she took a creative writing elective at Penn State University and was hooked. Thriller writer, physician, and cookie addict, we were so glad that she didn’t rest and spent some time with us.  

How cool is she?

Dr. Delozier’s first thriller, Type & Cross, debuted in April, 2016 and was nominated for a “Best First Novel” award by the International Thriller Writers

Type & Cross, is about a virus that starts in China and kills half the world’s population.

If you listen to the podcast, you’ll find out that Dr. Delozier has the writing chops and the medical knowledge to write that book. She worked for the federal government about disaster preparedness and now she’s working at a Pennsylvania hospital dealing with Covid-19 and trying to lift the spirits of both her patients and the staff.

Listen, and you’ll realize that you might want to move to Pennsylvania and have her be your doctor, too.

Here are some places to find out more about J.L.

Her website.

Her Twitter.

And here’s a link to her newest book, CON ME ONCE. It’s pretty amazing just like her.

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

This week’s episode link. 

Last week’s interview with writer Jordan Scavone!

My newest adult novel.

New Year’s Gifts and Open Hearts

Open Hearts at Grocery Store

Two years ago, on the last day of 2017 (the no-good, terrible year), I was in the grocery store line and the cashier said something nice about me making a good meal for my man and how cute we are together and then she said, “You’re best buddies. Best buddies forever. Me and my — ” Her voice caught on grief. “We were like that.”

And my heart broke right there.

And I said, “C–, you’re breaking my heart and you’re working and I can’t get over there on the other side of the grocery belt thingy and hug you because you’re working.”

The bagger girl at the end of the lane looked away. I don’t think she’s good with emotion.

But C– just smiled at me and said, “It’s okay. It’s okay. I have a new man in my life and he’s so sweet to me and he showed up just when I needed him and my J–, I think he sent him to me.”

Her J — is her long-time, forever buddy, her husband who died.

So, I basically emoted all over the place while she rung up my crackers and I was like, “C–! You are killing me. I’m crying because I’m sad. I’m crying because I’m happy for you. I’m crying because you’re so beautiful. And this is all… it’s all so… It’s poignant.”

She laughed.

The bagger kept looking away.

And when I walked out of the grocery store, this person I don’t know, he touched my elbow to make me stop my mad-fast hustle to the car. It was -2 out. It was cold.

The guy who was all bundled up and wearing some Carhartt’s said, “You know. When you have a heart as open as yours, it’s going to hurt sometimes.”

And I said, brilliantly, “Oh.”

“It’s worth it,” he said. “Do good out there, Carrie. Do good.”

I was a little freaked out, but I thanked him, got to my car and sat there, and I just stared at this cold, Maine, parking lot and the people rushing through the grayness that seems to sometimes overwhelm everything during winter and my heart got so full that I started emoting everywhere again because that random Carhartt-wearing man took time out of his day to talk to me. He stopped in the cold to talk to me.

This guy knew my name somehow, but bigger than that? This guy knows about hearts.


Gifts Out There

So, here’s the thing – there are gifts out there (big gifts and little ones) and they can come from the weirdest places. They’re connections. They’re motivations. They are these tiny times where you get to see inside other people’s minds and hearts.

Savor them this year. Try to dwell on those good things as much as we all dwell on the bad.

And let both the good and the bad inspire you to make a difference in your own life and maybe even other people’s lives (big ways and little ways).

cat, cat wisdom, catandkitten, kitten, Maine cat, maine
cat, cat wisdom, catandkitten, kitten, Maine cat, maine

Thank You

Thank you all for everything you’ve done for me this year. You’ve listened to me worry about things like suddenly being a full-time mom again.  You’ve celebrated with me about book stuff and podcast stuff. You’ve mourned with me when Charlene died.

You haven’t mocked me too hard because Grover (the muppet) is my internal cheerleader and John Wayne (dead cowboy movie star) is my internal editor. You’ve been brave with me on Be Brave Fridays when I shared my art, which is still scary by the way.

Some of you have bought my books and become my patrons. On social media, so many of you have been so kind over and over. And you haven’t unsubscribed to my newsletter. That’s such a big deal to me.

Thank you.

I really appreciate how kind and giving you’ve all been and if I write any more I’ll start crying. And there’s no random stranger guy here to make me feel better.


But there is Gabby….

Gabby’s New Year Wisdom

Love is being right in the moment. It’s about enjoying everything around you. And really feeling it, being open to it.


This includes the couch.

It even includes squirrels.


It’s not giving or taking, but who you are in relationship to all else (especially the couch) at that moment.


Love.

Gabby Dog


Last week’s podcast

This week’s podcast link.

Continue reading “New Year’s Gifts and Open Hearts”