Untitled Poems 1 – 4

Yesterday, I began sorting boxes my parents delivered over a year ago after Jacob and I moved into the house. One of these boxes was a mix of school papers, including some of my earliest poetry. These are the poems I’d forgotten about.

Based on the folder, they were written sometime between 2000 and 2005, so I was between ages 10 and 16. As I go through these some will be hilarious and worth keeping for that reason alone. Some are insights into the mind of an adolescent alive during that time period and the observations they chose to write down.

I’m started with a series of four untitled poems, four lines each. Now, enjoy some childish, painful forced rhyme.


Poem 1

Sometimes I’m jealous
Of those who win
All the things
That might have been


Poem 2

We tend to love
What time we waste
The past is delicious;
Time? An acquired taste.


Poem 3

Oh Glory Be! In times we say
As all hope drifts far away
It is the clouded sea she took
And my heart – a little brook


Poem 4

Sometimes the world just passes by
A shock so sudden we can’t cry
With each candle on birthday cake
Comes regret with decisions we make


Thank you for taking the time to read these today! Without you these posts don’t carry the same meaning. Have you ever found any of your old writing? What did you think of it? What do you think of these? I’d love to hear in the comments!

If you’d like to see more of my forgotten poetry, please like, comment, and/or share this post. It helps me know what content my readers are most interested in seeing, so I can better know what to share here.

New Short Story: The Vacant House

Photo by Sidney See on Unsplash.com

Up now on Coffee House Writers is my short story The Vacant House.

This is an experimental piece I’ve played around with since its first draft in 2015. Since then it morphed into what it is now and I decided that it was time to throw it out into the world for some feedback. My editor didn’t have much to provide, so maybe others can help?

The initial idea:

How can I tell a story from the perspective of something that would normally not be given the benefit of thought and perception?

How would a house try to communicate with its occupants?

I had to make certain decisions that frustrated me, such as the house being able to read and understand English. This introduced a supernatural element that, while I am already pushing things by talking about a house capable of thought and perception, seemed a bit too farfetched.

Another thing that frustrated me about this piece: the house’s existential crisis.

What are your thoughts on the piece? Do you have feedback?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

If you enjoy my work, please take a moment to like, share, and/or leave a comment. This helps me know what y’all are most interested in seeing and how I can best engage. Without you, these letters mean nothing -– your brain assembles them in a way that generates meaning and decodes the way my brain encoded this information as I typed this out. It’s viewable on brain imaging studies on language processing!

Twitter Is A Strange Tool For Geospatial Analysis Of Emotion

The Sentiment Tool

Previously, when I discussed onemilliontweetmap.com I left off a feature from my discussion. Today, I’m going to show you why.

Source: onemilliontweetmap.com 2:38PM 30 July 2020 US MT – baseline sentiment

Time for The Sentiment Tool.

To get an idea of how people feel about a certain keyword or hashtag you can look at how it is being used in association to the connotations of the words in the same tweets. The idea is that words within a language have connotations that can be used to convey how someone is feeling on a subject. The above map is the baseline prior to implementing any keywords or hashtags to narrow it down.

For these I decided to include the Daytime/Nighttime layer since this is a 24 hour visualization. I’m not doing top 5 countries for these images, and instead am focusing on the overall sentiment patterns and I’m going to explain why I’m not the biggest fan of this tool.

1. Keyword: Party

Source: onemilliontweetmap.com 1:45PM US MT 31 July 2020 keyword party

This one is fun because it is so ambiguous. “Party” can be related to a birthday party or a political party. Some would claim the word “party” has a preexisting positive connotation. Some regions of the world are more negative than others. Africa and the Americas are the most negative based on the tweets from the past 24 hours.

What’s fun about this tool is that you can zoom in on specific tweets to see what some of the positive vs. negative examples are. What I did find was that there’s a lot of inconsistency as to what is counted as “positive.”

Here’s a false positive via Hawaii:

Well… that doesn’t seem very positive.

Let’s try another one! This tweet turned out to be a true positive and is way more wholesome:

What about the negatives?

Oh, well that is sad. A Back To The Future V watch party would be fun.

2. keyword: Election

Source: onemilliontweetmap.com 1:56PM US MT 31 July 2020 keyword election

Well, more people feel negative or neutral, rather than they feel positive on a global scale. That’s… not good? Maybe the world hates politics! Election itself has a fairly neutral connotation, so I would have expected a neutral sentiment overall.

Based on example 1, we can tell that tweets inclusive of the string “Hitler” can still be detected as positive with a combination of words that still convey a positive connotation by the sentiment algorithm used by onemilliontweetmap.com – so, there’s some work that can be done in regards to reliability.

In summary, many of the positive, negative, and neutral tweets in the US have to do with the suggestion that Election day be moved. Due to consistency, I’ll spare the examples.

Let’s do something more fun!

3. Keyword: Chocolate

Source: onemilliontweetmap.com 2:05PM US MT 31 July 2020 keyword chocolate

The assumption often goes that everyone likes chocolate, right? Maybe not! I assumed chocolate would have a neutral or positive connotation to it because it’s food and not everyone likes the same food. But 70% of the world is tweeting “positive” things about chocolate. Delving into the connotation question more, it seems that this is a major barrier for ESL speakers and authors, particularly because the words selected, though direct translations, may not be appropriately based solely on connotation instead of denotation.

4. Keyword: Sadness

To get an idea of how untrustworthy the sentiment tool is I decided it was time to do a test.

Source: onemilliontweetmap.com 2:09PM US MT 31 July 2020 keyword: sadness

Okay. Hold up.

This was meant to be my 100% of people don’t think this is happy. Something isn’t right here. Let’s look into this.

False Positive #1:

False Positive #2:

Most of these false positives are celebrations of life – cases where positive language is used in combination with language of grief. Clearly this confuses the heck out of the sentiment tool.

5. Keyword: Fantastic

source: onemilliontweetmap.com 2:54PM US MT 31 July 2020 keyword: fantastic

So what about false negatives? Well, those can happen too! Using the keyword “fantastic” with the assumption of 100% positive results, I was able to find an example.

In this case it looks like the algorithm may have been confused by the word “missed”? Otherwise, I am uncertain as to why this tweet was counted as a negative sentiment.

The Sentiment Tool In Summary

It’s important to remember how flawed these tools are in the face of judging human emotion. While it’s powerful to be able to look at large populations to gain an understanding of their overall attitudes, as you begin to break it down everything falls apart. There’s too much nuance to trust an algorithm to determine what is objectively positive, negative, or neutral without additional data. Each connotations is determined by social research that is flawed and fails to capture the diversity present within language, instead focusing on a standardization model that homogenizes word sentiment. This is done by some set of people deciding the connotations for words within the sets their algorithms scan for.

Connotations around language are based in culture and regional dialects, rather than the denotations found in dictionaries. Here are some examples of positive things to say where I grew up that would not be interpreted that way elsewhere:

  • Well, she/he/they ain’t ugly.
  • This food is just terrible – I’ll do everyone a favor and finish it.
  • I’d hate to meet you under better circumstances.

What are some regionalisms from where you grew up that don’t match up with the assumed connotations of words? Do you think these would be confusing to someone not from there?

What is your opinion of the sentiment tool? Would you find it helpful in writing? Do you think it’s helpful or does it introduce more confusion?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day. If you like what you read, please consider liking, commenting, or sharing. This helps me know which posts my readers enjoy the most. And as always – thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to spend with me.

Free Books And Guest Blogs!

What’s Happening?

From October through December, 2020, I will be making room for 1-2 guest posts per week. These guest posts will be of the following theme:

Critiques of Best Sellers & Famous Historic Authors

These critiques can be silly, serious, sassy, analytical, historical context focused, and, most importantly, entirely up to the choosing of the individual writing it. Each of these posts is a chance for readers to connect with a new and different author or book reviewer’s blog. They should be a minimum of 500 words and of high quality.

They cannot be: excessively rude, hateful, threatening violence, or anything that crosses over the line away from comedy into areas that make this not fun for readers or the person running this website (me).

The Fine Print On Who I Can Ship To: Unfortunately, due to current situations, this is limited to addresses within the United States. I’m sorry 😦 As global conditions improve I hope to offer more opportunities that are inclusive of other countries.

To participate, please follow all instructions. Any emails not following instructions will be deleted.

Instructions:

  • Select a book from this list – I will keep it updated as books are no longer available.
  • Send me an email with the book title in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email provide the following:
    • A U.S. shipping address
    • A link to your website and social media
    • A brief description of your approach – it’s 100% okay if this changes once you have read the book.

Once a critique draft is completed, I will work with individuals on necessary edits for quality control.

Disqualifications:

In the interest of fairness, those that cannot participate are:

  • Non-US authors and bloggers (unless you arrange the remaining shipping from a US destination)
  • Authors I have previously featured or reviewed (if your book is currently in my TBR, you are absolutely welcome!)
  • Authors and bloggers that have previously provided guest posts
  • My personal, real life friends and family (though friends of friends and acquaintances are fine)
  • Clients of my writing services (I love you, but I can’t show preference)

I will ship out all book requests by 15 August, 2020 in the order they are received. I am paying shipping.