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Mental illness lies to us about isolation

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Hi, my name is Carla, I’m 46, I’m a podcaster, I have 2 dogs…and I have chronic primary and secondary depression and anxiety. What I mean by this is that I have them as stand-alone diagnoses, then have them compounded as both symptoms of, and then also natural consequences of, my chronic illnesses of EDS, fibro, and POTS. Triple whammy. I also have some PTSD issues even now from the assault I described and unpacked in episode 34, “This Girl Just Had a Bad Date”. Depression and anxiety (and PTSD) are liars, and one of the most insidious lies is that you are alone in this pain, and that you are alone in this—inability to cope? Inability to bootstrap yourself? Inability to YOLO? So I made a list in my #commonplacebook, which goes with me everywhere, of successful, “happy” people who do or have struggled with mental illness, often multiple disorders, like me. A couple of them, like @ladygaga, are also chronically ill like I am. Now, next time depression or anxiety tries to tell me I am all alone or desperate, I have receipts. I hope this list helps someone else, too. Add me to the list, and add yourself to the list. As Rumi said, we’re all just walking one another home. I will put a picture of the full list on #depression #anxiety #mentalhealth #strength #bujo #bulletjournal #neveralone #horrorpodcast #truecrimepodcast #bookpodcast #literaturepodcast @braintrustfm #chronicillnesspodcast #chronicpainpodcast #spooniepodcast #spooniepodcaster #zebrapodcaster #zebrapodcast #braintrustnetwork #cursiveismagic #chronicpain #chronicillness #PTSD #beyourownheroine

A post shared by There Might Be Cupcakes (@theremightbecupcakes) on

full image of spread:


Quote I referred to in the Instagram description:

We are all just walking each other home.


Recommended reading:

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott

Prozac Diary by Lauren Slater

my Goodreads chronic illness bookshelf (to be read and read)

These books added to the podcast’s bookshelf on Goodreads | please feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads

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Episode 16: I’ve Got Something in My Pocket

This entry is part 3 of 2 in the series Girl Scouting

Girl Scouts banner

On my honor
I will try
to serve God and my country,
to help people at all times,
and to live by the Girl Scout Law.

my mom swearing me in as a Brownie, aka me, saying the Girl Scout Promise for the first time

I will do my best to be
Honest and fair
Friendly and helpful
Considerate and caring
Courageous and strong
Responsible for what I say and do
And to respect myself and others
Respect authority
Use resources wisely
Make the world a better place
And be a sister to ever Girl Scout.

Felt’s tricky to cut, y’all.

official bio of Juliette Gordon Low

I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!
–Juliette Gordon Low, 1912 Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

My Cadette troop’s cookie sale advertisements. Smart girls: they sold up at Wintergreen to snowboarders with the munchies.

Dirty Dancing 30th anniversary special edition
This is the “Hey Sylvia/Love is Strange” by Mickey & Sylvia video I referenced in the episode; they are dancing in the upper story of the arts and crafts cabin.

Dirty Dancing soundtrack


Audible book suggestion for this episode

My Life by Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, narrated by Patrick Swayze. You can either get it for free, along with a no-hassle thirty-day trial membership to Audible, through my sponsor link–and by doing so, support my podcast, thank you so very much, or through Audible’s partner, Amazon, in either the same audio format, Kindle, paperback, or hardcover. Any of these purchases through these links helps support both my sponsor and me, and I thank you.


Campfire charcoal Dutch oven chicken pot pie. Yum. I love Girl Scout recipes.

Were you a Girl Scout? Sign up via email to the Girl Scout Alumnae Association. I did!

Want to be a Girl Scout? Join GS USA! Join Girl Guides Canada! Join Girl Guides International!


My husband made a cookie-sales goal wager with our Cadettes. They won. At our campout, they got to shear his braid and shave his beard.
…and there goes the beard.

Want to visit Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low’s birthplace?
10 E. Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401, Tel: 912 233-4501

Map and street view thanks to Bing


My leader pin. 5 years as a Scout (3 Brownies, 2 Junior), 2 years an assistant leader), always an alum!

Oh, and what do I have in my pocket? I’ll let Iris tell and show you:

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Episode 11: Wonder Woman and Highway 29

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Against the Peace and Dignity of the Commonwealth

When I was eight I had a friend with a pirate’s smile
Cyndi Lauper, “Sally’s Pigeons”

me and Anisa (r.) on my Girl Scout sleeping bag. She was sleeping over at my house. That poof behind her head on my bed is one of my ballet recital costumes. Anisa loved to try them on and pretend she were a queen or a goddess.

The missing and the murdered

  • Alicia Showalter Reynolds: missing March 2, 1996 while traveling to Charlottesville, VA from Baltimore, MD; found May, 1996
  • Julianne Williams and Laura “Lollie” Winans: murdered May, 1996 in Shenandoah National Park
  • Anne McDaniel: missing September 18, 1996; found September 22, 1996
  • Morgan Harrington: missing October 17, 2009; found January 26, 2010
  • Samantha Clarke: missing September 13, 2010
  • Sage Smith: missing November 20, 2012
  • Alexis Murphy: missing August 3, 2013
  • Hannah Graham: missing September 13, 2014; found October 18, 2014

Please click on each one of these to view full-size, and feel free to save to your own device or computer in order to share, or you may point people back to this link:…n-and-highway-29/

Highway 29 itself

detailed info with photos and maps at

photos of, I think, every intersection and bypass of 29 at wikicommons

interactive at Google Maps

If you have any information on these open cases

If you have any information in the case of Alicia Showalter Reynolds, please call Virginia State Police at (540) 829-7400 or by email at

If you have any information about the cases of Julianne Williams and Laura Winans, please call Virginia State Police at (540) 829-7400.

If you have any information in the case of Samantha Clarke, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 540-672-1200.

Anyone with information in the case of Sage Smith is asked to call Detective Wright Settle at (434) 970-3274 or Virginia Crimestoppers at (434) 977-4000.

If you have any information about the location of Alexis Murphy, so that she may be brought home, please contact the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at (434) 263-7050.

If you knew these young women, any of them, and want to share something about who they were as people on the podcast, please contact me at I would love to speak with you.

Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film by Sharon Gosling

Anisa and I on one of our many trips with my parents to Surfside Beach. I’m the one holding Baron, the dachshund.

other things that it has bothered me to enjoy without Anisa, along with Wonder Woman–I have actually felt guilt and/or anger:
The Hunger Games books and movies:

The Tolkien movies:

Typing these lists made me both angry and sorrowful.

Anisa (left) and I at one of my birthday parties

Quoted in this episode

Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time
  2. A Wind in the Door
  3. A Swiftly Tilting Planet
  4. Many Waters
  5. An Acceptable Time

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle

Audible recommendation for this episode

Strange Piece of Paradise: A Return to the American West to Solve My Attempted Murder and Solve the Riddle of Myself by Terri Jentz: audiobook purchase through Audible’s partner, Amazon, or get it free for trying Audible for 30 days. Either way, thank you so much for your support, as always.


In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate, Shayna Weiss, make a cross-country bike trip. They pitch a tent in the desert of central Oregon. As they are sleeping, a man in a pickup truck deliberately runs over the tent. He then attacks them with an ax. The horrific crime is reported in newspapers across the country. No one is ever arrested. Both women survive, but Shayna suffers from amnesia, while Terri is left alone with memories of the attack. Their friendship is shattered.

Fifteen years later, Terri returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered, on the first of many visits she will make “to solve the crime that would solve me.” And she makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Slowly, her extensive interviews with the townspeople yield a terrifying revelation: many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst. Terri then sets out to discover the truth about the crime and its aftermath, and to come to terms with the wounds that broke her life into a before and an after. Ultimately she finds herself face-to-face with the alleged axman.

Powerful, eloquent, and paced like the most riveting of thrillers, Strange Piece of Paradise is the electrifying account of Terri’s investigation into the mystery of her near murder. A startling profile of a psychopath, a sweeping reflection on violence and the myth of American individualism, and a moving record of a brave inner journey from violence to hope, this searing, unforgettable work is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Anisa Jamal Matthews, 1971-2000

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Episode 10: Boo Without Goo: Scary Movies For the Squeamish

Hecate: O! Well done! I commend your pains,

and ever one shall share i’ the gains…

Sec. Witch: By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

Open, locks,

Whoever knocks!

Macbeth, Willam Shakespeare

Scary movies for the squeamish: the list of 31 films

  1. Paranormal Activity (2010)
  2. Paperhouse (1990), based upon the young adult novel Marianne Dreams, by Catherine Storr
  3. Lady in White (1988)
  4. The Changeling (1980), with the amazing George C. Scott
  5. What Lies Beneath (2000), with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pffiefer
  6. 1408 (2007), the first Stephen King on the list–original story from the collection Everything’s Eventual
  7. Storm of the Century (1999), and there’s the second Stephen King (screenplay)
  8. The Others (2001)
  9. Dark Water: both the original (2002), directed by Ringu and Ringu 2 director Hideo Nakata, and the American remake (2005) with Jennifer Connolly; based upon the short story Floating Water (浮遊する水; Fuyū Suru Mizu from the collection From the Depths of Dark Water Honogurai mizu no soko kara (Kanji: 仄暗い水の底から) by Koji Suzuki
  10. Rose Red (2002), lookee, Stephen King again
  11. The Haunting (1963), based upon Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House
  12. Skeleton Key (2005)
  13. The Ward (2010)
  14. Summer of Fear, sometimes also known as Stranger in Our House (1978), based upon the young adult novel by Lois Duncan
  15. The Ones Below (2015)
  16. It Follows (2014)
  17. Jessabelle (2014)—warning for one dead goat carcass shown
  18. The Caller (2011)
  19. Return to Oz (1985), based upon the second, third and fourth books in the Oz series: The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz
  20. The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
  21. Emelie (2015)
  22. The Visit (2015)
  23. Rosemary’s Baby (1968), based upon the novel by Ira Levin
  24. The Blair Witch Project plus the short Curse of the Blair Witch (1999)
  25. Unfriended (2014)
  26. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), based upon the novel by Ray Bradbury
  27. The Good Son (1993), script written by novelist Ian McEwan, famous for Atonement
  28. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)
  29. The Houses October Built (2014)—this is a remake of the 2011 original by the same filmmakers, I have not seen the original. This is one of those movies that you will finish watching and swear it was gory. I promise you—no gore. None.
  30. One Hour Photo (2002)
  31. The Woman in Black (2012), based upon the novel by Susan Hill

bonus movie that I apparently inserted off the cuff during production: The Witch (2016)

All books added, as usual, to our bookshelf at Goodreads


Suggested book this week from Audible, my lovely sponsor:

Danse Macabre, by Stephen King, narrated by William Dufris. You can purchase it here, through Audible’s partner Amazon, or get it for free through my sponsor link from Audible, by signing up for a 30-day trial of Audible’s services. Either way, you are helping to support There Might Be Cupcakes, and I thank you heartily and humbly.

If you would like to purchase it in print, and still support me, you may do so by buying it through Amazon in either Kindle, hardcover, or paperback format, and thank you! I highly recommend it–it is my favorite book on the history of horror, what’s good about it (and what should be avoided)…and it reads like you’re having a beer and conversation with a good friend.

Fairuza Balk, Return to Oz (those are not podcast headphones)

From the list:

Addendums to Rose Red

not without goo:

book: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life At Rose Red, and accompanying movie

Addendum to Something Wicked This Way Comes

the books:

series order:

  1. Dandelion Wine
  2. Something Wicked This Way Comes
  3. Farewell Summer
  4. Summer Morning, Summer Night

Addendum to Dark Water

the book tangents:

Koji Suzuki is also the author of the Ring novels:

  1. Ring
  2. Spiral
  3. Loop
  4. Birthday

Addendum to Rosemary’s Baby

The novel has a sequel: Son of Rosemary. If you cannot figure out the riddle given in a reasonable amount of time, hit me up.

My podcast recommendation this week: Faculty of Horror, Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West’s monthly graduate course on horror movies. Do your homework; here there be spoilers, and they grade on the curve of a knife.
Music used in this episode: “The Haunted Metronome”, by Pixyblink


Quoted in this episode (and not already mentioned)

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Episode 8: Toxic Doxology

Toxic Doxology Filicide: Books quoted

Recommended books on mothers mentioned

All books, as usual, have been added to the podcast’s bookshelf on Goodreads.

related: episode 2: Casey Anthony and Bonnie MacNara

All of the bluegrass albums that are not Season Travelers albums that have Uncle Hubert’s credits, either as a musician, a composer, or both.

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Episode 5: Haunted Me and the Red Book

…and a true crime mystery from Carla’s past to solve. Truly!

In which Carla extolls the haunting music of the musician she has been highlighting in episodes, bemoans the dentist appointment that makes this episode short (but 1 of 2 this week!), and reads you a Scottish folktale explaining how evil was loosed unto the world.

Haunted Me:

  • Bandcamp, where you can purchase his three EPs, Pale One, Pleasure, and Humming Ghost
  • Facebook page
  • video for his song “Floating Stones”


and books! of course! All added to our bookshelf on Goodreads:

Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales, by Kate Forrester

The Folklore of the Scottish Highlands, by Anne Ross

Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales (Illustrated), by George Douglas

Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore, by Ellen Evert Hopman

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Episode 3: Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long Legged Beasties…

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Paranormal

True ghost stories as told by Carla, round one:

Books recommended in/for this episode (all added to the podcast bookshelf on Goodreads):

book which I used to verify my experiences with hearing family members go through their routines yet not be home:

Grave’s End, by Elaine Mercado

true ghost stories:

Ghosts by Hans Holzer — This is a no-joke read, both for time investment and the author’s investment. Holzer was a serious investigator, and can be called the first “ghost hunter”, if one goes for that term. He can be considered the next person after William James to go seek the hauntings themselves in order to learn. I own the paperback, and it is so substantial I cannot lift it on a high-Ehlers-Danlos pain day. I fear I might dislocate a wrist. No kidding, this book might be a go-to weapon in case of a surprise prowler. I have no doubt I could knock out a grown man if I took him by surprise with this book.

and The People in the Attic by Doretta Johnson with Jim Henderson. It’s out of print, but that is to your benefit–gently-used copies start on Amazon at under a dollar. It’s well worth the read.

and fiction:

Of course. the impeccable The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. I am blessed to have befriended several horror writers, and have discussed the perfection of the opening and ending paragraphs of this novel with a few of them. We all heartily agree that these might be the most perfect beginning and endings to an American novel ever, right up there with The Great Gatsby and Lolita. That’s dem fine company, to paraphrase a certain evil wizard-wannabe uncle you might have met along your reading journeys. I recommend the audio version, narrated by the sublime Bernadette Dunne; she truly understands Jackson’s work on a deep level. She also wonderfully narrates Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, another novel about another demented domicile, haunted in quite a different manner from Hill House…and in some ways, the same.

Demented domicile is my pet term for a house that is wrong. It might be haunted, it might be cursed, or built on cursed land. It might even be sentient. The reason may never be known. But no good comes to those who live there. It’s my favorite subgenre of horror.

The House Next Door, by Anne Rivers Siddons

The House, and The Haunted, both by Bentley Little

The House That Jack Built, by Graham Masterton

read in episode:

Emily Dickinson


music in this episode:

“Humming Ghosts” and “She Comes Through the Fog” by Haunted Me

See you next week for more personal ghost stories, and more reading recommendations. There’s no shame in sleeping with the lights on.