Little boy orders a thousand dollars worth of Grubhub and how to actually get your goals

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Little boy orders a thousand dollars worth of Grubhub and how to actually get your goals
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A lot of people set goals or resolutions and not all of us complete them. This is especially true about resolutions where only about 9% achieve them.

Sometimes that’s about a fear of failure. It becomes such a big fear that it keeps us from moving forward.

You have to fail to succeed.

There’s a lot of belief out there that if you fail at something, that failure labels you, defines you.

This episode we talk about the strategy to get your goals and also about a six-year-old boy who hid in the basement and ordered $1,000 of Grubhub on his dad’s cell phone one night.

And also a woman who started breathing at a funeral home.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Sparty never stops trying.


Don’t let anyone call you anything you don’t want to be called especially if they are calling you a failure. Go after your goals and don’t worry about the ridicule.

https://apnews.com/article/oddities-detroit-michigan-business-5ade1109c559a09d42190f3a2b7ead42

https://apnews.com/article/new-york-state-government-7caaefc9d212da3556e4c163a7a29f6c

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/28/tony-robbins-use-this-4-step-strategy-to-achieve-any-goal.html


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! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

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 raw poems every other week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

The Sea Smoke Rolls

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
The Sea Smoke Rolls
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Hi! This year (2023), I’m continuing my quest 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.

Elements of Pacing Your Novel

There are a lot of components to pacing in your novel. You can think of it as:

  • The big picture, how fast and slow your whole novel goes. How scenes link together.
  • The scene, how fast and slow the individual scene moves
  • The page, how sentences and white space and even punctuation influence how quickly or slowly the reader moves through the story. This is the pacing of each line.

It’s linked to your novel’s structure in those individual scenes and how those scenes cycle through your story (some more active and others not so much). It’s also linked to your style and tone (your sentence length, word use, paragraph length). It also is linked to genre expectations.

When we settle in to Outlander or Game of Thrones, we’re expecting a slower pace than if we’re opening up a Tess Gerritsen novel.

So, it’s a lot, right?

It’s up to us writers to know the expectations (potentially even subverting them) and then slowing the speed up or down.

Typically, the story is the fastest paced at these moments:

1.     In the opening

2.     In the middle

3.     In the climax.

The story tends to go faster when:

1.     There’s action happening. So, an action scene. Most authors try to avoid long sentences full of clauses and detailed description and transitions here.

2.     Dialogue without a lot of setting details, transitions or other things involved.

3.     When there’s a cliff hanger. That’s basically just when the reader is compelled to turn the page to find out what happens next in the story.

4.     Scene changes.

5.     Scene changes in rapid succession.

6.     Shorter chapters.

7.     Shorter scenes.

8.     Your words are simple and concrete and your sentences are short.

9.     Your words are harsh. What do I mean here. Just when they have hard sounds. Like Gs and Cs and Ks.

The story tends to go more slowly when:

1.     There’s no action happening. So exposition or setting or a pondering scene.

2.     There are a lot of setting details, internal monologue (in paragraph form), backstory and exposition.

3.     Longer chapters.

4.     Longer scenes.

5.     Your words are complex and abstract and your sentences are long and full of colons or semicolons and clauses.

6.     Your words are softer. There aren’t those hard consonants and they make you think of more mellow things, so passive language.

Wow. I went very list-focused for this post. I hope you don’t mind. If you ever want me to explain anything more (in this post or any other), just let me know in the comments, okay?

Fried Chicken Incense, Farts, and Not Letting Your Worries Master You

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Fried Chicken Incense, Farts, and Not Letting Your Worries Master You
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This podcast is about farting, worries, and fried chicken incense. What other self-improvement podcast can give you such smelly happiness? None, right?

Come hang out for a bit!

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Fried Chicken Incense, Farts, and Not Letting Your Worries Master You
They often let things rip

If it’s farts or love declarations or a loan application, don’t be afraid to let it out. Yeah, it might not go awesomely, but it’s better than not knowing. All movement matters. You don’t want to hold it in. Especially the farts.

LINK WE MENTION

https://www.uexpress.com/oddities/news-of-the-weird/2023/01/27

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! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

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 raw poems every other week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

The Anti-Bucket List: Strange Things We Would Never Do

Loving the Strange
Loving the Strange
The Anti-Bucket List: Strange Things We Would Never Do
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This week we talk about the weird things we would never do, so basically the anti-bucket list.

So many thanks to everyone who participated! You all are fan-freaking-tastic! And it was so good to see you!

SHOUT OUT

The music you hear in our intro and outro was provided by the amazing Stubhy Pandav. He’s brilliant. You should check him out.

LINKS WE MENTION

https://www.boredpanda.com/anti-bucket-list-things-people-would-never-do-again/?utm_source=duckduckgo&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=organic

Don’t Drink 40 Shots With The Undertaker. The Voices In Your Head Craft Your Success

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Don't Drink 40 Shots With The Undertaker. The Voices In Your Head Craft Your Success
/

“God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of each other.” 

― Ray Bradbury

This episode is about the stakeholders in your head and how they shape your success and also about drinking 40 shots with wrestling guru the Undertaker.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE!

Only listen to the good voices and don’t drink 40 shots.

Our Puppy Ate A Lot of Tampons
Our Puppy Ate A Lot of Tampons, She Survived. She shouldn’t have listened to those voices.

LINK WE MENTION

https://www.thirstyfornews.com/2023/01/17/undertaker-made-rookie-wrestler-drink-40-shots-with-him-after-stealing-lex-lugers-girl/

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! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

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 raw poems every other week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

To My Trolls, Coming Into My World

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
To My Trolls, Coming Into My World
/

Hi! This year (2023), I’m continuing my quest 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.

The Vulnerable Gnome

Be Brave Friday

Yesterday, there was a package.

And the package was addressed to me.

Inside that package wasn’t actually a present I ordered for someone else, which is what I was expecting. Inside that package was the unexpected; it was a present for me.

Not just any present. A handmade present.

Not just any handmade present. A gnome.

I love gnomes almost as much as manatees. That’s a big love. And here was this brown, adorable gnome that had travelled in a dark box surrounded by packaging, taking this journey where he didn’t know his reception, didn’t know his outcome, didn’t know if he’d get there, didn’t know if he’d be loved when he did.

Jumping up and down, I hugged the gnome to me and started tearing up, because I am so lucky and I know what it’s like to feel like that gnome: boxed in, afraid, not really knowing where I’m headed and getting bumped around a bit in the transit.

Maybe you feel a bit like that sometimes, too?

the most excellent gnome

But in the package was also a handmade card about being brave that I truly needed this week. It was like getting the best, biggest, unexpected hug (if you’re a person who likes hugs).

When you write books or a news blog, when you share your art, when you share your thoughts, you put yourself out there and that is vulnerable. I’ve been feeling pretty vulnerable these past two weeks.

This vulnerability is especially when you aren’t perfect. Believe me, I am SO far from perfect. And my ego wants me to never make a mistake. Ever. But my heart is so lucky and blessed when people let me know that I have. I am often shocked by how kind and gentle people are with me when I misspell their names.

Despite that, the other night I went to bed thinking about the news blog and the ways I earn money (not the news blog, I put out all that content for free because I want people who can’t afford the news to have at least some news), and I had such a crisis of faith because of a small error.  

“I can’t keep doing this. Why am I doing this?”

I whined. A lot. Luckily, the dogs didn’t mind.

And the next morning, I woke up feeling the same way, which never happens. In the shower, I thought, “I need a sign from the universe about whether to keep doing this.”

The first email I saw was from a journalist subscribing to my news blog and thanking me for the straightforward reporting. And then I received another kind email about the same thing. And then I realized what I dork I am.

It is sometimes so hard to believe in yourself. It is sometimes so hard to forgive yourself when you aren’t perfectly perfect. And then—whoosh—in sweeps the universe on the backs of kind humans who go out of their way to say something kind.

How amazing is that?

I’m very lucky. Not only do I get gnomes in the mail. I get kindness and correction with kindness. How cool is that? I know so many people in local government who get the exact opposite every day.

I hope they get kindness and I hope that you get that too, and I hope that you can be brave enough and vulnerable enough to go out there and learn new things, run for political office despite people spitting venom at you, support your causes, create words and art and story and friendships. Because sometimes it all can seem so overwhelming.

In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown writes that the biggest myth about vulnerability is that it is weakness.

She also says, “Vulnerability isn’t good or bad: It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness.”

I am so lucky that I have the gift of knowing so many of you and for knowing Susie via the dynamic duo of Art and Liz. I hope you all get to have a lot of Susies in your lives. And gnomes. I hope you all get a lot of gnomes.

How To Get Moody In Your Story

So, I’ve been talking a lot about creating the atmosphere or mood in a story because it’s really super important. Two weeks ago, I talked a bit about creating mood or atmosphere in your story, and last week, I shared some cool ideas from other humans.

This week we’re going to summarize and expand a little bit. So, let’s get moody together.

SETTING

Talking about the world outside your character really helps people get the mood of the story.

But to do that effectively you need . . .

MOODY WORDS

Seriously. Word choice is key when creating atmosphere and mood.

I walked to the bar. I ordered a drink. I sipped it.

Pretty dull, right? Kind of reads like bad stage directions. But look what happens when we start trying to show the character’s mood and the atmosphere of the setting.

I sashayed to the bar’s disco-ball lit corner.

“One super hot and sexy turtleneck sweater with extra cuddles,” I announced to the super hot and sexy bartender. He took my credit card with five quick fingers and a wink.

Two seconds later, the warm mug was in my hand, the smell of mint and rum wafting into my nose.

Let’s try another mood.

My feet stuck to the beer-soaked, beer-dried, beer-imbued wooden floor as I pushed past the giant football players that formed a wall between me and the most disgusting, germ-filled objective in my recent future: the make-shift, plywood dorm room bar that Bill and Ted set up in the edge of their quad.

“Dude? You want some?” Bill surfer drawled when I got past the barrio of testosterone and Axe body spray. He held out the keg’s hose. Something brown crusted near the nozzle. Something brown that was definitely not beer.

Swallowing hard, I managed to stay upright as someone pushed behind me. My palm struck the plywood. A splinter tore into the flesh and stuck there.“Yeah. Yeah, I guess I do.”

The difference here is the details and the words, right? In both bits someone wants a drink and goes to the bar to get there but they are very different moods.

A walk is not a sashay is not a tiptoe is not a gallop is not a slog. Whenever you can use verbs, nouns, adjectives and details that convey how your character feels.

To become a magistrate of words, you can check out a thesaurus. It feels like cheating, but it’s super helpful.

Those little word choices are subconscious hints to the reader that tells them things. They think, “Oh, sashaying, how happy they must be, how confident.”

Dialogue

When our characters talk to other people and they are the thrilling or overbearing or confusing or just plain quirky or mean, it helps create the mood that’s happening in the story.

If your characters have to whisper that can change the mood. The same goes for yelling, screeching, singing, preaching.

Sentence Structure and White Space

Readers subconsciously pick up on a lot of things that us writers put out and one of those things is sentence structure and white space (the part of the page where no words are).

The shorter the sentences, the higher the tension and faster the pace the reader goes over that page. That can make things feel more tense, more agitated, more suspenseful.

The longer the sentence and bigger the paragraph creates a more languid feel and slower mood that the reader has.

DO NOT TELL THE READER THINGS.

In my example of the bar earlier, one of the main differences is I didn’t do a ton of telling what they were doing. But I did in that first example where there was no mood:

I walked to the bar. I ordered a drink. I sipped it. I felt happy because I was going to get a drink and was looking forward to that Shirley Temple.

The details that us writers choose are meant to show the reader things rather than constantly telling the reader things.

I pretty much sashayed over to the bar, hand up, credit card out. “Hey, girlie!” My voice skipped over to Donna of Shirley Temple mixing fame. “I am so ready for my daily fix!”

Different right? I never say that she’s happy, but we can feel that she’s happy. And that’s what atmosphere and mood is really all about. We want to make the reader feel things.


The Butter Canal And Finding Your Personal Values

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
The Butter Canal And Finding Your Personal Values
/

We know! We know! The title? It will all make sense in a second.

Hopefully . . .

Join us!

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Sparty hiding in the grass

Your personal values can change. That’s okay. That’s growth or personal evolution.

LINKS WE MENTION

https://www.lifehack.org/866227/personal-values

https://www.foxnews.com/us/wisconsin-historic-canal-filled-with-butter-after-dairy-plant-catches-fire

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! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.

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 raw poems every other week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

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