Messages From Ghosts

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Messages From Ghosts
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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!

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

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.

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

Those malicious mo-fos aren’t evil, they are just stupid

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Those malicious mo-fos aren’t evil, they are just stupid
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Over on Medium, Michael Lin has a post of short tidbits that he’s learned from reading 100 self-development books.

That’s a lot of books.

And it’s a lot of two-three sentence tidbits that he has, but one of them leapt out at met his week.

And it’s this:

“Don’t attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity. Most of the world is not trying to fuck you over. Most of the world can do stupid things though, especially me.”

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

You might expect everyone to throw you into the dog pound or the UPS man to come steal your bacon, but it’s just fear. Not reality.

LINKS TO LEARN MORE

https://news.yahoo.com/woman-mistakes-seasoning-packet-for-bath-salts-has-very-weird-bath-i-just-turned-myself-into-literal-soup-203340089.html

https://medium.com/curious/how-i-turned-my-fears-into-my-greatest-weapon-c40781643f97
 
https://medium.com/@michael-lim/40-short-life-lessons-i-learned-from-reading-over-100-self-development-books-4f6c4a75d914
 

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.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream 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 poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Listening to Butt Faces and Writing Dialogue

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Listening to Butt Faces and Writing Dialogue
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This podcast we quickly (so quickly) talk about writing evil people’s dialogue.

And a great link that we reference is right here. There are a ton of resources as Matt Bird’s site that you can check out.

Thanks for listening to Write Better Now.

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.

For exclusive paid content, check out my substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the other tips and submission opportunties and exercises are there.

Kitty Pee in the Pantry, The Chicken Man and Scale of Positive Experiences

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Kitty Pee in the Pantry, The Chicken Man and Scale of Positive Experiences
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Let’s say your cat gets trapped in the pantry overnight and manages to chew through two bags of cat nip, spread it throughout the pantry and then have a panicked pea on top of a bucket of cashews before knocking over a vase, which smashes to the ground alerting you to the fact that she’s been stuck in there all night.

Or let’s say you’re a guy who decides to eat 40 whole chickens for 40 days.

You can take those experiences and be . . . something? This episode we look into the chicken man and the cat peeing in the pantry and the scale of positive and negative experiences.

SOURCES

NYT article

Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi. D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (In press). New measures of well-being: Flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research.

https://psychologyroots.com/scale-of-positive-and-negative-experience-spane/

Schimmack, U., Diener, E., & Oishi, S. (2002). Life-satisfaction is a momentary judgment and a stable personality characteristic: The use of chronically accessible and stable sources. Journal of Personality, 70, 345-385.

Schimmack, U. & Reisenzein, R. (2002). Experiencing activation: Energetic arousal and tense arousal are not mixtures of valence and activation. Emotion, 2, 412-417

Schimmack, U., & Grob, A. (2000). Dimensional models of core affect: A quantitative comparison by means of structural equation modeling. European Journal of Personality, 14, 325-345.

Diener, E., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2008) Happiness: unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

The “Y” An Overheard Poem

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
The "Y" An Overheard Poem
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Here’s this week’s poem.

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

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.

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

Writing Isn’t About Being Clever; It’s About Story

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Writing Isn't About Being Clever; It's About Story
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This week’s podcast focuses on some advice from Roy Peter Clark. I hope you’ll join me for one of our short weekly writing tips!

Thanks for listening to Write Better Now.

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.

For exclusive paid content, check out my substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the other tips and submission opportunties and exercises are there.

Eat a Frog For Breakfast And Being More Efficient

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Eat a Frog For Breakfast And Being More Efficient
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This week’s episode is all about special dog dinners and eating frogs for breakfast. So, yeah, basically time management.

Come hang out with us!

REFERENCES

https://apnews.com/article/san-francisco-restaurants-dogs-a6c1ba368023209a1bb5afd027b76742

https://liberalarts.tamu.edu/psychology/2019/09/26/what-is-time-blocking/

https://betterhumans.pub/4-unsexy-one-minute-habits-that-save-me-30-hours-every-week-5eb49e42f84e

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.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream 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 poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Truth by Grammy Barnard

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Truth by Grammy Barnard
/

It’s another poem by Grammy Barnard. She was well into her seventies when I was born and lived to be over 100. She wrote a lot of poems about people being unfaithful. Poor Grammy.

Here you go!

Grammy Barnard Poem. The original. It’s not blurry because of the focus. I think her typewriter was low on ink.

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

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.

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

Be Brave Friday – Spanx Are Not Meant to Be Worn Backward

BE BRAVE FRIDAY

I was going to write about so many people being brave in our high school’s lockdown this week, but I’m not ready for that yet, and this came out instead.

It’s long (I write novels), but I hope you’ll give it a look anyway.

I was talking to a man at the Chamber of Commerce dinner this week and I hadn’t seen him in a while.

Okay, let’s face it. I haven’t seen anyone in a while unless you count Halloween and picking up the farm share and going to the farmer’s market.

And I told him how terrified I was about going up to get an award for being someone that the Chamber president thought did good things for the community or that they admired or something like that.

“We’ll be rooting for you, Carrie,” he said. “You’ll be great.”

“God love you for a liar,” I said.

“No! No, you will.”

Two minutes before I got the award, I went to the bathroom and realized that I put the Spanx underwear I’d bought on backward and the lacy parts were not on my front, but on my butt, making my already non-existent butt even less existent.

“No,” I half yelled.

A woman in the next stall made a shocked noise.

I was not alone. I was with someone who made shocked noises.

Here’s the thing: I could have done one of two things. I could have taken my underwear off, turned it around, and have her see in that space below the stall me trying to yank up my underwear over my big, knee-high boots that are supposed to make me feel like Wonder Woman.

There in the bathroom stall of the Atlantic Oceanside, I did not feel like Wonder Woman. My boots were highly recognizable. She’d totally figure out that it was me who yanked her underwear off and did a switch-around in the stall.

I imagined going up on the little stage and having her stand up and shout, “THIS WOMAN JUST TOOK OFF HER UNDERWEAR AND SWITCHED IT AROUND! SHE CANNOT EVEN PUT HER UNDERWEAR ON CORRECTLY! DO NOT GIVE HER AN AWARD!”

I did not have that kind of courage right then, and I yanked those stupid underwear right back up backward and flushed the toilet and opened the stall. I washed my hands, but I couldn’t even look in the mirror.

“Coward,” I whispered. Not very self-love, I know.

A tiny bit later, Nina Barfuldi St. Germain said a bunch of super lovely things about me and my news blog and I heard none of it. She said my name. I stared. A million years passed. Well, they did in my head.

Alf Anderson, the director gave me a sympathetic look and for a second, I thought he knew about my Spanx, but no. He knew about my stage fright, which happens before I speak, but especially happens in front of people I know locally. The smaller the crowd, the worse I am. Shove me in a school, put me in another state? Put me in front of 1,000 strangers. I rock it. But my own community? With backward Spanx?

I stood up. I walked over. I got on stage somehow, hugged Nina and thought, “Her shoulders are so tiny, how does she do so much, how does she hold so many things together?” And then I thought, “I bet she isn’t wearing her Spanx backward.”
But I looked at Alf and Nina and the lovely man from the beginning of the meeting and Shaun, and they gave me safety.

The award was supposed to be about me, but I knew it wasn’t. The award was about community and people loving you and you loving them even when your Spanx are on wrong and everything might seem backward.

While up there, I told this story about how my daughter and I were once stuck in a flash flood in Charleston and how we hunkered under an awning, watching water spew, filling up the road, thundering down around us, and a kid looked at me and said, “ ‘Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced,’ Soren Kierkegaard.”

And I was sort of flabbergasted because here I was in a flash flood in Charleston and a pre-teen, barely teen, guy was quoting Kierkegaard at me. I wasn’t flabbergasted that he knew the old philosopher because I know teens are smart and amazing. I was flabbergasted that he gave me that quote like an offering. It was a special offering because in one of the book that I had coming out, the teen protagonist is a big Kierkegaard fan.

And my own little quote came to me, “Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.”

I gave that to him and he smiled. He said, “You either brave it or you don’t. But I will root for you.”

And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about rooting for each other and sometimes our own selves. It’s about giving offerings like Nina of the strong but tiny shoulders did. It was about all those people in that room, working hard, being brave, supporting each other and the kids and the employees, and places like the library, and making community.

Helping others is an act of bravery because it’s an act of hope.

Caring about others is an act of bravery because it’s an act of empathy.

Rooting for others is too because sometimes they might not be wearing their underwear correctly.

I promise that I will root for you through all the forces, hidden and unhidden, and I truly hope that we can all root for each other—in good times and bad—and maybe especially bad. I will root for you. And sometimes that’s a little brave.

*These paintings are some of the first I did and they are on bookshelves because I thought only ‘real’ painters used canvas. And I’m sharing them here because for me they are about hope and becoming. And they remind me of all the people I’m rooting for.

My art shop is here. 🙂 My news blog is here.

The Power of Personal Narrative

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
The Power of Personal Narrative
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Hi, I’m breaking format this week, for once. Our high school had a credible and serious threat yesterday, staff and teachers and kids were locked down for hours and I want to talk about how people telling their stories makes things much more real than cut-up newspaper reports.

And that’s important.

Don’t forget how powerful writing is, okay? Don’t forget how powerful you are either.

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