Strange Stuff You Can Buy on Amazon

Loving the Strange
Loving the Strange
Strange Stuff You Can Buy on Amazon
/

Seriously, peeps.

There’s a lot of weird stuff out there.

LINKS WE REFERENCE

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/g28649116/weirdest-products-on-amazon/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/weird-amazon-products

https://www.amazon.com/ideas/amzn1.account.AFCU73MYXIUKLVDR2AAMONYJDMFA/KRF3G0YN1V8L

https://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/weird-amazon-products/

https://blog.cheapism.com/weird-things-on-amazon/#slide=9

Loneliness

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Loneliness
/

Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!


Loneliness

He is known as he enters the emergency room, jeans sagging off his waist as an orderly ambles

To meet him. He is hunching at the precipice between lobby and hall, intake and bathroom, and

Ready to be seen. It is hard to be seen these days in a little Maine town full of tourists

If you are Old. It is only easy right here, right now, in the liminal space before becoming

A patient. We watch him totter, trying to decide. Go in? Stay out? Become

Or remain. Before we arrived here ourselves for broken bones; children who gulped down

Their own therapies in too many numbers; corneas scratched by tree limbs; we had to make

Those decisions, too. Did we want to save ourselves or should we just embrace

That all we are is pain and numbness and pain? We came, but others didn’t.

We sought help. And waited and waited for it, looking at our origins in heart beats

And blood levels, skeletons pinned and set straight again, stomachs pumped,

Eyes numbed with drops we are told not to get addicted to. In his room now, just curtains

For walls, the hunched man yells, Hello. No answer to his polite entreaty. Hello. Hello.

There is no easy cure for him. Hello. He gives up, changes tactics, and bellows. I have to pee.


WordPress won’t really allow me to format this the way I’d like so I’ll show you a screenshot of how it is meant to be.


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

While Carrie only posts poems weekly here, she has them (in written form) almost every other weekday over on Medium. You should check it out!

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

You can totally hack into other people’s heads

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
You can totally hack into other people’s heads
/

You can totally hack into other people’s heads. It sounds dastardly, right? But you can tweak other people’s memories.

On Mind Hacks, Heather Fishel cites the work of Dr. Jon Lieff and writes:

“Once an event occurs and time moves on, it becomes a part of your memory. Each time you recall that event and its details—smells, sounds, details, and so on—you’re not, in fact, remembering the original moment. Instead, you’re recalling the last time you remembered that memory.”

But it’s more than that. We tweak those memories to make better stories:

Fishel says:

“Wired writer Jonah Lehrer points out, human nature makes us love stories, and the more exciting and engaging a story is, the more we’ll want to share it. As a result, when we recount our memories both internally and to others, we ignore any facts that don’t suit the plot. Our minds allow us to toss aside any information that we dislike, replacing truth with pure fiction. Why? We simply want to fit in, and unless we change what we remember, our stories will suck.”

We will tweak our own memories so we don’t look dumb, so we fit in, so we tell a better story, and we usually don’t even realize that we’re doing it.  And sometimes we have totally false memories.

What is a false memory?

According to VeryWellMind, false memories

“are misremembered, distorted, or fabricated recollections of past events. Such memories can be trivial, such as mistakenly remembering where you put your car keys, but they can also be much more serious.”

The big time consequences of false memories are the stuff of novels and tv shows: false convictions, financial loss, lawsuits, children dying in heated, locked cars.

But it is also a smaller scale thing. You are sure you left your cell phone on the desk. It is not on the desk. It is on the table. You have to wonder how many poltergeist cases are rooted in false memories, right? You think you shut the closet door, but the closet door is open. You are positive you locked the door. The door is unlocked.

You think you saw Bigfoot when you were six, but did you really, Carrie?

Ahem.

I’m the first to admit that I’m no longer sure.

Verywellmind has three strategies culled from researchers to help deal with false memories, which we are quoting here.

Use imagery: Researchers have found that when people use imagery to create a visual representation of information, their memory for that information is better and less susceptible to false memories.10

Search your memory: Experts also suggest that selectively searching memory for mistakes and falsehoods can sometimes be helpful.11

Evaluate and corroborate memories: If you find a memory that you aren’t sure about, evaluating it based on your expectations and then collaborating it using other people’s recollections or other historical data can help verify or disprove it.11

But what’s really wild is that psychiatrists like Elizabeth Loftus have found that there’s a misinformation effect with memories. So, if you witness or experience an event and then talk about it, are questioned about it in a leading way, view tweets or news stories, or are exposed to the wrong information repeatedly? It can change your memory of that same event.

Novelists can use this to help develop plots for novels. Mystery writers do it all the time making a detective call out the inconsistency in a witnesses’ testimony, and sometimes in real life and novels people confess to a crime because of a false memory, believing they have committed a crime even though they haven’t.

But people can do this to each other too, as Fishel writes:

“Try lying to them in a different way: tell them they didn’t complete a task that they, in fact, did. For example, if your roommate can’t seem to understand that doors need to be locked when leaving home, point out the unlocked door every single time you leave. Do this repeatedly over time, and your roommate will start double-checking and questioning himself every time he leaves home. “Did I lock the door? Did I completely forget?”

What are the ethics here? Some people believe that this can be a force for good. But is controlling another person ever a force for good? It’s like gaslighting but tweaked, right? So, use this knowledge wisely, friends.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Only manipulate your humans for good.

LINKS WE REFERENCE

https://nypost.com/2018/09/27/scientists-discover-evil-people-share-a-dark-triad-of-traits/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/weird-yellow-brick-road-discovered-at-bottom-of-the-ocean/ar-AAX4kJd

SHOUT OUT!

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 are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

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

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

Maine is Strange

Loving the Strange
Loving the Strange
Maine is Strange
/

It isn’t just because Stephen King lives here, Maine can be a bit on the strange side. And that’s not because we live here either.

Come hang out with us as we delve into pilots hanging out of airplanes, weird Maine sayings and some goofy laws.

https://kidadl.com/articles/fun-facts-about-maine-how-much-do-you-know-about-the-pine-tree-state

https://matadornetwork.com/pulse/mini-guide-maine-english/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Thomas_Knight

Subordinate Clauses – a quick, sexy guide

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Subordinate Clauses - a quick, sexy guide
/

Hi, welcome to Write Better Now, a podcast of quick, weekly writing tips meant to help you become a better writer. We’re your hosts with NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones and copyeditor extraordinaire Shaun Farrar. Thank you for joining us.


SUBORDINATE ME, SANTA CLAUS

Subordinate clauses are baby clauses that can’t stand all by themselves as complete thoughts and they demand a certain kind of punctuation – or lack of punctuation.

HERE ARE EXAMPLES:

If I can find Santa, then we can go party. 

We can go party if Santa ever freaking shows up. 

So, in both of those sentences there is a clause can’t stand alone as a complete thought: 

If I can find Santa

If Santa ever freaking shows up.

A subordinate clause or supporting clause is basically a clause that’s supporting the show-stopping regular clause, right? These clauses do not get a comma before them if they are at the end of the sentence. 

HOW TO DEAL

There are words that always lead off these clauses. What I do is go back and do a find/replace in my work (or client’s work) when I’m copyediting. 

Helpful hint for writers: If you include the comma in the find/replace search, it makes it so much easier. 

Those words are…

THESE CONJUNCTIONS: 

After, although, as, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order that, once, provided that, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, whether, while, why, for, therefore, hence, consequently, and due to.

And these relative pronouns that make the world of the clause even trickier. They are part of relative clauses but then these overachievers? Well, they are part of a subculture called restrictive or nonrestrictive clauses.

THESE ARE THE RELATIVE PRONOUNS

that, which, who, whom, whichever, whoever, whomever, and whose

ARE YOU RESTRICTIVE OR NONRESTRICTIVE MR. CLAUSE? 

These pronouns start either restrictive clauses or nonrestrictive clauses. Restrictive clauses also like to be called essential clauses because they are alpha like that, but also because they are – you guessed it – essential to the sentence meaning and shouldn’t be separated by a comma 

Do you enjoy watching Santa Claus employ lots of elves that wear sexy sweaters?

No comma before that because the sentence needs to know the qualifier for its meaning.

But in a nonrestrictive clause? Well, you don’t have that happen. Here’s an example: 

Watching Santa, who employs a lot of elves wearing sexy sweaters, is pretty freaking awesome.  

Bonus material for paid subscribers (it’s super cheap) is over on my Substack or check out how I can be your editor or writing coach at carriejonesbooks.blog


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

Pot Food at the Wedding and Positive Motivation Theory

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Pot Food at the Wedding and Positive Motivation Theory
/

Last week on WRITE BETTER NOW, we talked about fear for our characters as we write, and not all of you are writers, but I bet a lot of you are characters. Sorry! We couldn’t help teasing you there.

Anyway, FEAR is great when it comes to writing novels and short stories and getting our characters to do things proactively on the page.

But in real life? Eh . . . It can be a problem.

A lot of us use fear to motivate us to do things. Sometimes we do this consciously. Sometimes we do this subconsciously. But it’s basically the act of doing things because we don’t want an outcome that we’re afraid of.

Like what?

We go to work because we’re afraid of losing our house to bankruptcy.

We go on a diet because we’re afraid of people’s scorn if we’re at our maximum density.

We are kind to our spouse when they are being a putz because we’re afraid of being alone.

And all those things? They are stressful.

It stresses you out if you’re always doing things because you’re afraid. And it also stresses you out if you’re always not doing things because you’re afraid.

Fear may keep you employed, fit, and in a relationship (albeit a potentially toxic one), but it’s not super helpful if you’re trying to not be anxious and stressed.

So, how do you motivate yourself instead?

One cool way is protection motivation theory.

What’s that?

According to CommunicationTheory.org,

“The theory therefore says that in order for an individual to adopt a health behavior, they need to believe that there is a severe threat that is likely to occur and that by adopting a health behavior, they can effectively reduce the threat. The individual should also be convinced that he is capable of engaging in the behavior which should not cost him a lot.”

Wait, doesn’t that sound like some fear-based motivation?

A bit. But a big part of it is that there is both a threat appraisal and a coping appraisal.

As the Warbleton Council writes

1. Threat assessment

Fear of illness or injury predisposes to act (for example, when you are smoking and coughing a lot).

In turn, this element is made up of the perception of severity (the possible harm to be suffered) and susceptibility (the level of risk the person is at), in addition to the intrinsic benefits of risky behavior.

2. Assessment of coping behavior

It is the probability of success perceived by the person, that is, the perception they have that their response will be effective in reducing the threat, in addition to the perception of self-efficacy (the person will be able to adopt preventive measures).

These variables will provide in the person a perspective on the costs and benefits of performing the behavior.

When you appraise the threat and coping mechanisms, you start to figure out if you should make change and what amount of changes you should undergo.

The Communication Theory article breaks all this down pretty brilliantly, so you should check it out, but it’s about intention and how you keep yourself safe and change your behavior when you perceive threats.

There’s a fascinating article about this theory and food purchasing behavior during COVID-19 and our shopping habits.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Just go for it, damn it. No fear.

LINK WE MENTION IN RANDOM THOUGHTS

https://www.ladbible.com/community/bride-slammed-for-entering-wedding-walking-groom-on-a-leash-20220423

SHOUT OUT!

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 are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

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

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

Mourning

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Mourning
/

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

While Carrie only posts poems weekly here, she has them (in written form) almost every other weekday over on Medium. You should check it out!

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

The Big Scary Fear Monster Is Really the Rock Star of Your Novel

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
The Big Scary Fear Monster Is Really the Rock Star of Your Novel
/

Hi, welcome to Write Better Now, a podcast of quick, weekly writing tips meant to help you become a better writer. We’re your hosts with NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones and copyeditor extraordinaire Shaun Farrar. Thank you for joining us.


One of my favorite writing exercises is super simple. I take a bunch of novelists and ask them:

What is your protagonists more afraid of happening than anything else in the whole freaking universe?

We authors talk a lot about what our characters wants are, their yearnings, their goals, but we often forget about the dark side. Cue scary ominous music.

The fears are linked to a couple of really important things:

  1. Obstacles
  2. Motivations

Obstacles are easy. As the novel’s hero goes out in search of his goal to get his love, there are things that obstruct him. A terrorist. A snake. His sexy best friend who likes the same person. The obstacles GIVE him fear that he won’t get what he wants—the goal of the story, his perfect result, the yearning. The fear MOTIVATES him to keep trying.

But fear motivates in another way as well. When you make your character imagine the worst thing in the world—the fear can also hold him back from getting what he wants.

When you think about your character’s biggest fear, the deepest fear, the conceptual fear, the root fear, the FEAR OF ALL FEARS, you realize that it’s this fear that MOTIVATES the character. He isn’t just running to something. He’s running away from something.

Is it death? Isolation? Humiliation? Loss of wealth? Actual success? Failure? Humiliation? Aging? The big unknown?

Whatever it is, that root fear pushes your adorable character into the arms of the story, searching and working toward things that take him away from that big scary fear monster.


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

Are you really a couple if you don’t drink each other’s blood and how not to be overwhelmed

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Are you really a couple if you don’t drink each other’s blood and how not to be overwhelmed
/

In our random thoughts we talk all about drinking each other’s blood. Thanks, Megan Fox and MGK.

Here’s the rest of the podcast though.

So, this is going to be a short podcast because we’re going to give you some super simple advice this week. Ready?

BLOW OFF YOUR PHONE

Your phone rings? You don’t recognize the phone number? Don’t answer it.

Seriously.

Every single time your phone rings and it’s not a number you know, it means it could be a spammer wasting your time.

More than that though, each of those calls in an interruption that you aren’t expecting and you aren’t wanting. Even if it’s someone awesome, you aren’t in a position to deal with that call to the best of your ability.

Make them leave a message.

If it’s important, they will.

CHECK OUR EMAILS TWO OR THREE TIMES A DAY, NOT AN HOUR

The same thing goes for email programs. Don’t check it all the time. It’s a distraction. Yes, sometimes the emails are super important, but most of the time it’s Texas Tamales telling you that you have only twenty-four hours left to get a fantastic deal that includes queso.

You have to prioritize your to-do list and your time. For that reason, don’t check that email first thing in the morning either. Get something else that is super important done.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Constant distractions make you lose your goal.


SHOUT OUT!

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 are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

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

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

Every Day, a poem

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Every Day, a poem
/

Every Day

The puppy galloped through the garden

While the Fed-Ex guy told me about how

His brain was fried. People keep offering

Me beer, he says. They say they’ll hide it

in my water bottle, but one accident

and I’ll lose my job. God, I need it though.

The tourists make everything harder as they walk

Down the center of the streets. Cruise ships

Anchor in the harbor. One has a giant slide

That goes all the way around the ship, even on the outside.

I feel like I’m on that every day, just going down.

Hey. Is that your puppy eating something?

I tell him, She chews at the roots of things, too.

Every day.


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

While Carrie only posts poems weekly here, she has them (in written form) almost every other weekday over on Medium. You should check it out!

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

%d bloggers like this: