GOOD GIRL Q&As round one: scents and sounds

with every issue, we ask our contributors sometimes intimate, often inane questions in order to get to know them better. in this first round, crawl into bed with Agatha French, Penelope Gazin, Jackie Pick, Colleen Itani, and Hannah Johnson.

what's your strategy for pulling yourself out of a terrible, no-good, very bad day?

AF: I wish I had one! I'm a wallflower. I take to my bed. 

PG: meth & prostitutes :)

JP: something salted caramel and singing along to The Bobs. if that doesn't work, I snarl until bedtime.

CI: red wine and Buffy.

HJ: I really believe in the healing power of music, especially because it can be so specific to whatever I'm feeling. if I'm angry, I can put on something loud. if I need to let go of some anxiety, I can put on piano instrumental tracks. if I'm sad and need to feel it, I can sing along dramatically to some ballads, and if I'm sad and need to distract myself, I can put on some guilty pleasure pop music. singing along to songs can be such an outlet. you don't even have to sing well; I've found that just using your voice to let go of physical and emotional energy is a huge help.

which of the traditional five (six?) senses are you most driven by?

AF: touch. my kingdom for a snuggle.

PG: touch.

JP: sound. I hear the world. my memories are almost completely auditory. I don't visualize things, I hear them. 

CI: sound-- everything is either triggering a memory for me or is the creation process of future memories. I love that.

HJ: I'm a scent girl. most of the inspirations for my poems start with a smell that triggers a memory. I've heard that scent is the sense that's most closely connected to the memory center in our brains, and that's certainly true for me. once, I started crying in public because someone walked by me who was wearing the same perfume my ex-girlfriend used to wear, and smelling it just triggered something in my brain. 

what's your first memory of accomplishment as a kid?

AF: the summer I spent training myself to be able to raise one eyebrow.

PG: I don't know what accomplishment means...

JP: I was driving my parents batty one rainy day, so they sat me down with my Sesame Street Magazine. the end of the magazine had submission opportunities for art work. I drew an apple, my parents mailed it in, and viola! my first published piece at the age of 4. I haven't drawn since -  how can I top that? I also don't eat apples now, but I'm fairly sure that's unrelated.

CI: saving up enough AR points from reading books to "buy" a day out of class, spent in the elementary school library. 

HJ: I was lucky enough to have incredibly encouraging parents, so I'm sure that most of my childhood was filled with feelings of accomplishment, but my first specific memory of it would be winning a school district writing contest when I was in the 4th grade.

do you respond better to words of kindness or tough love? 

AF: a very delicate and specific balance of each, I'm afraid. I need tough love (but not SO tough that I take to my bed) followed by words of kindness (but not SO kind that I suspect they are pandering.) it's a tightrope walk. my poor therapist. 

PG: tough love. I ain't no pussy.

JP: I work with a lot of people who believe tough love is the only honest kind of love, that kindness means someone is holding back truth. I can't accept that. even the harshest of truths can be delivered kindly. I believe we all have more than enough practice giving ourselves the toughest of love; maybe people appreciate it because it matches their inner voice; however I don't want my inner tough love voice affirmed. but always please tell me if I have something in my teeth (in the nicest way possible).

CI: kindness 100%, the only tough love I want to hear is by jessie ware.

HJ: I need about 80% kindness and 20% tough love. keep it real, but don't be too harsh about it or I'll shut down and be unable to do anything.

stay tuned for round two!


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