Author: <span class="vcard">Carrie</span>

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful to have my work included in two wonderful books!

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-8-02-25-amThe Montana Natural History Center has put together a collection of Field Notes from its long-running radio program on Montana Public Radio. Once upon a time when I was a grad student in Missoula, I wrote a Field Note about Sphinx Moths for this program and read it (yes, out loud!) for the radio show. I’m so pleased that my Note is now published in this collection, along with 111 other nature-lovin’ writers’ observations. You can order your copy here.

My poem ‘Moose Bell’ is included a new anthology of Wyoming writers, Blood, Water, Wind and Stone, published by Sastrugi Press and available on Amazon. As I’ve written before, I have wandered away, but always keep coming back to live in Wyoming since I first set foot inside its four straight lines back in May of 1996. It is dear to my heart for ‘Moose Bell’ to be part of this project with the work of many talented Wyomingans (Wyomingites? Wyos?). If you’re in Jackson on December 10th, stop by the Valley Bookstore for the Gala Opening at 5pm to celebrate Blood, Water, Wind and Stone. I will be there! And there will be refreshments!

Photo of Sheep Mountain by Acroterion from Wikimedia Commons

field notes read me

Hey y’all, here’s another of my poems out in the world.  Foliate Oak has kindly published “Noxious Weeds.”  Go HERE to read it!!

Nope, it’s not a scientific paper on invasive species. But if you’re into that sort of thing you can go look at pretty pictures of the non-native plants taking over Wyoming. I wish I could direct you to an excellent essay, the amazing “Planet of Weeds” by my favorite science writer David Quammen, but it looks like that’s no longer easily available on the Harper’s website. Pouting.

“Noxious Weeds” was written in collaboration with my alter ego, who is perhaps a little rowdier and more pissed off than me. I wrote this poem during the Summer of 2015. There’s earthquakes and a talking grouse and more gritty surreality than you might expect from me…maybe?


Spotted Knapweed photo By Alan Vernon (Flickr: Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Well hello! It’s been a while. Since last spring actually – whoa!

I have been busy – it is summer in Wyoming, after all, and I am enjoying myself immensely. I’m also really excited to share this poem with you, thanks to the kind folks at Gravel magazine publishing it in their September 2016 issue.

You can read “Moose Bell” HERE.

And just to tease you, get ready for another one of my poems coming out soon at Foliate Oak. Something completely different to keep you guessing about me. Stay tuned! In the meantime, I’m going outside to play.


Lady Moose photo By Magnus Johansson (female moose) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

field notes read me

Back in 2001, I left Jackson, Wyoming and a really sweet library job to get a Master’s in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana in Missoula. I’d read a lot of Terry Tempest Williams and written some sappy poetry, and I really wanted to be a Nature Writer and save the planet. Less than a year later, I ended up a defeated, depressed dropout with a student loan, working on an organic farm in Whitefish, Montana for a hundred bucks a month plus room and board. No way could I have envisioned that 15 years later I would be back in Jackson with my own freelance bookkeeping business, finishing the novel about the farm that I started so long ago.

Nor would I have thought that I’d dust off an essay I wrote for one of my grad school classes, with the initial intention of turning it into a blog post. We had to choose an extinct or endangered species and write a brief, creative nonfiction essay. I picked a tiny warbler from the coastal plains of the American South. Maybe I chose Bachman’s Warbler because I grew up in Georgia. Maybe I chose it because I wanted to go small. And not simply size-wise. Bachman’s isn’t famous. But I have never stopped thinking about this lost little bird.  I did a massive amount of research while I was a writer in residence at Hypatia-in-the-Woods in Shelton, Washington – and I did my damnedest to craft an essay that I hope honors one fragile strand in the great web of life. And I am overjoyed that Zoomorphic is publishing “Last Known” in its fifth issue.

I’d really like to thank the field biologists and Bachman’s experts who took time out of their busy lives to respond to my emails and phone calls. Paul Hamel, Sidney Gauthreaux, Chuck Hunter, Robert Norton, Bob Ford, Kenneth Rosenberg, thank you all.  Isabella Kirkland’s hauntingly gorgeous oil painting deserves contemplation.  And mostly especially, a big thank you to Craig Watson of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, who read my drafts, sent me his own personal copy of Paul Hamel’s book Bachman’s Warbler: A Species in Peril as well as a precious dvd film of the warbler, and provided invaluable feedback.

You can read “Last Known” here on the Zoomorphic website.


Painting of Vermivora bachmanii by Louis Agassiz Fuertes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

field notes read me

I love listicles and they’re easy to post. Enjoy!

Right now here’s what I’m into:

HalfBaked Harvest  I have to admit, this website inspired me to start this weekly (lofty goal…weekly…we’ll see) post of “oh how I love thee’s” – but seriously y’all I adore this cooking site, so many luscious recipes to try. Next up for me is the Crockpot Creamy Cashew Chicken. Ummmmm.

Vieux Farka Toure Live Sometimes I can’t handle the overload of my giant itunes library, so I throw on the iHeartRADIO website. No ads, and plenty of free music. My favorite station right now is inspired by Ayub Ogada, a genius in his own right, but recently a track from Toure’s mindblowing live album got tossed into the mix and I am in love. Which reminds me…I love this song too by Baaba Maal.

River  Netflix, you just keep comin’ at me with some amazing original shows, and this is one of your finest. Yes, I love a British police procedural, but this is….well…River is phenomenal.

Bone Tomahawk  Richard Jenkins, that’s what I have to say. Richard Jenkins, people.

2 Poems by Maggie Woodward at The Fem  Woooosh – these knocked me sideways.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown  Last week I got together with a bunch of friends for our semi-irregular Insane-in-the-Bourdain viewing nights, and we watched the Ethiopia episode. There is so much here to sink into deliciously, whether you’re new to the Bourdainverse or a veteran foodie. The foooood. Marcus Samuelsson, whose book Yes, Chef I’m now listening to on audiobook (Samuelsson himself reads it…so wonderful). And the music of Mahmoud Ahmed, perfect.

My Taxes  Okay so no, I’m not bananas about this at all; doing my taxes this year sure made me go nuts. High five if you’re on my wavelength.

Two banana recipes Well of course, this post is about going bananas. Cookies and cake, oh yeahhhh. I am always looking for recipes to deal with overripe brown-spotted oogey bananas that I refuse to peel-n-eat but won’t throw out. Here’s one for cookies and here’s one for double chocolate banana bread (let’s just say it, this is cake, not banana bread – no complaints).

Featured Photo By Matt Reinbold from Bismarck, ND, USA – Monkeys on a Banana, CC BY-SA 2.0,

grab bag

I wrote a poem last summer called “Crux” – and it’s published today at Atlas and Alice!

One of these days I hope to perform “Crux.” I wrote it mainly in my head over several weeks, while out running the bike path near where I live. I can imagine belting out “Crux” while standing on a table in the back of a dark roadhouse. Everybody might ignore me, and that’d be okay. This is a poem about being lonely in a social place. Or maybe it’s about art. Or Jesus. Or Jesus art. Or maybe it’s about tears in your beer and divine drunken revelations. Or maybe it’s about Yacht Rock, because I was doing way more Easy Listening last summer than any human being should. If you listen close you can hear a Judee Sill song in there, too – though I came by it through the great Warren Zevon version. No really, it’s about all of the above.

You can read “Crux” here – and I hope you’ll tell me what you think in the comments.

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Ludolf Bakhuizen – 1. Google Cultural Institute2. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Public Domain

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Look, everybody, it’s ME!  I’m back.  Okay enough about my blog hiatus.

I’ve been watching vampire movies, and that calls for a post. Helloooooo!!! This year I actually quit watching The Originals and The Vampire Diaries (still love those shows, but who has time?). Of course that didn’t stop me, and I ended up watching Only Lovers Left Alive, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, and What We Do In The Shadows this very month! Oh – I also watched Vampire Academy, but…that one was mostly while I was folding laundry and doing the dishes and meh – other than Claire Foy, a bit of a letdown.

I have to rank Only Lovers Left Alive at the next-to-bottom of this vamp-pile, because despite Tilda and Tom, the film was booooooring and way too in love with itself. Get over your own perceived hipness, Jim Jarmusch. I love Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, too. Some haunting lonesome forlorn cinematography of rundown nighttime Detroit, but otherwise blahhhh, big effing deal that your vampires can dig on science and poetry. Spooky action at a distance? You’re not impressing me.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night – YES. Not just because we’re talking Persian vampires, not just because it’s got some of the creeeeeeeepiest vampire stalking scenes ever, not just because black and white arty done right –  but because it’s beautifully shot, it’s got a Westside Story gritty glam romance to it, and hey….the awesomeness that is Mozhan Marnò. You can see her in this movie gem on Netflix streaming!

And then there’s What We Do In The Shadows. I didn’t realize until I saw this movie that I wanted a hilarious vampire film. I do! I so do. I don’t think I ever want to see a serious vampire anything ever again. How does it get better than Jemaine Clement as Vladislav the Poker saying “I’m going for a look that I call Dead but Delicious.” Yaahaaahahaaha.

Pretty much everything is outrageously funny in What We Do In The Shadows. Everything. I was giggling and snort-laughing the whole time. Have you ever had roommates? Were they vampires? I guarantee even if you’ve had regular human roommates you will find something to identify with here. And laugh your ass off. And then…slowly…realize you’re watching a reality TV show that’s more human than most.

Wait – I didn’t answer my original question. Vampires – why bother? I don’t know, it’s up to you, what you do in the shadows. “Just leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet.”  “What are you bidding on?”  “I’m bidding on a table.” HAaaaa! Let’s put the dead back in deadpan!

Photo By Screenshot from “Internet Archive” of the movie Dracula (1958), Public Domain,

get reel

I don’t often write short stories, because when I write I’m verbose and have trouble breaking up with my characters. BUT I do dabble in doorstopper novel-writing, and sometimes when I’m knee-deep in a book, characters show up unannounced. That’s pretty much one of the best things in the world, as far as I’m concerned, and it happened with my protagonist Tracy Hawthorne. She’s the alter ego I never knew I had, and my short story “Roundheels” features her in one of her first “paranormal detective” encounters.

Tracy’s not 100% a supernatural PI, she’s a singer and a guitar player and a sailor-mouthed burlesque dancer and somebody I’d love to hang out with. She’s tough and funny and she’s got this gift for tapping into the ethereal plane, so I just let her run with it. She steals the show in two novels I’ve written, and I hope you enjoy her in “Roundheels.” I can now say I’m published in Canada, woohoo! and you can buy the 100th issue of On Spec here (featuring some seriously killer Cthulhu cover art by James F. Beveridge).  I hope you’ll check it out and support this wonderful magazine of speculative fiction.


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I know, a reading list about scary books in time for Halloween has nothing to do with quantum physics’ spooky action at a distance, but I couldn’t help using it for a post title. Indulge me.

I’m a cruelly picky reader, so putting together a list of recommended reads is always a difficult task for me – especially books with a theme. The following is a selection of novels that fulfilled my threefold hardcore criteria: 1) Couldn’t put it down (or hated pressing pause on the audiobook so I could do necessary self-maintenance like sleeping and showering); 2) Gave me major chills or laughs or both 3) I wanted to be friends with the heroines and heroes of the book.

The Quick There’s all this stupid whingeing scattered over the internets about the “twist” of this book – there’s no twist. It’s a book about vampires. I’m not ruining anything by telling you this. And I insist that it’s one of the best vampire books I’ve read. And you get two poignant love stories, two resourceful, sharpwitted female characters, and some seriously creepy monsters – human and otherwise.




Mayhem – Stephen Crossley’s narration is audiobook listening at its most sublime. He simply is Dr. Bond, and that’s that. A brief digression: Stephen King wrote a fantastic review of the audiobook version of James Ellroy’s novel Blood’s A Rover, telling how he listened to Craig Wasson’s narration while driving and it was soooo damn good it was a privilege to be in a car. That’s how I felt listening to Mayhem – I never wanted to hit the pause button and return to real life. There are plenty of books out there riffing on Jack the Ripper, but this is one of the best – for me, probably due to the supernatural element. A synopsis can’t do justice to the nuances of Mayhem‘s story and cast (yes! there’s a sequel with these wonderful characters). Read it.

London Falling  A cop caper with gritty, snarky dark magic on the streets of modern-day London. A quartet of constables gains some magic mojo enabling them to see ghosts and various other nasties, including an ancient witch obsessed with football (you know, soccer) and murder. Somehow it really rocks, and these coppers are great company.




Midnight Riot aka Rivers of London This is another urban fantasy (of the gore and ghosts and angry Old Gods variety, not fluffy unicorns and fairies) that has humor, horror and heart (most still beating) and a delightful protagonist, PC Peter Grant.  Apparently there’s some controversy about the American version of the book, which I wish I’d known before reading – grab the UK edition if you can. Heck, grab the UK edition of almost anything, as far as I’m concerned.




Murder as a Fine Art  I wasn’t sure about a book that twists history into fiction by using Thomas De Quincey (Confessions of an English Opium Eater) as a revamped fictional hero and would-be Sherlock, but this absolutely worked, and the character of De Quincey’s daugher and protegé Emily is worth the entire read. And say WHAT – the author is David Morrell, who wrote First Blood. Yes, Rambo.


Even more suggestions (some I can endorse, some I haven’t read yet) can be found on my goodreads Gaslight list – including the wonderful Lyndsay Faye, Barbara Hambly’s Benjamin January books, and Stephen Gallagher’s Sebastien Becker series.

I guess I can include spooky watching herein as well, since Hulu finally got Season 4 of Whitechapel, definitely the strangest and most ghosty of the series, and oh my wailing and lamenting that this show was cancelled. You might also enjoy Copper, Ripper Street, and Elementary. Also my guilty pleasure of late: Witches of East End.


“1790-church-gravestones-autumn-leaves – West Virginia – ForestWander” by Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 us via Wikimedia Commons

book reviews

I’m so excited to see one of my poems about Texas published online at The Tishman Review.  I really love this new literary journal and I’m honored to be included in their fourth issue.

I wrote “Horse Lubber” after driving across the Lone Star State in October 2014 on my way to Texarkana.  Texas is like another planet to me, and I say that fondly. Have you experienced Texas? Have you ever seen a Horse Lubber grasshopper? They’re both HUGE.  My poem is small (unusual for me). Please go read it and let me know what you think.

In fact, The Tishman Review has a Readers’ Favorite contest for each issue – with cash prizes! Go HERE to vote for “Horse Lubber” and help me win some $money$. Maybe I will take you out to dinner if I win.

Photograph of Horse Lubber By Jerry Kirkhart from Los Osos, Calif. (Horse Lubber Grasshopper (Taeniopoda eques)) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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