Be Brave Friday

This week is always the week of loss for me. My mother and bonus dad both died this week in June. My first cat. I expect death to show up.

When people you love die? It hurts. It resonates and it ripples and you can sometimes associate love with loss.

But you still have to love.

People are beautiful and broken, flawed and therefore perfect. They might hurt you or uplift you or do it simultaneously, but it’s so important to love. That goes for yourself too. Nobody knows your flaws better than you do, but you have to be brave enough to not dwell on them, to love yourself despite them or even because of them.

You deserve to be loved. You deserve to love. Yes, it’s scary. But you’ve got this.

Here’s my random painting. It’s still so hard to show these! Some day I hope it will be easier. Thanks for bearing with me!

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday”
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Holly Schindler! Lit Junkie and the Rhythm to A Story

Holly Schindler! Lit Junkie and the Rhythm to A Story

 
 
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Hey! Welcome to a bonus interview episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the usually quirky podcast that gives writing tips and life tips. I’m Carrie Jones and with me today is 

Holly!

Holly Schindler. Holly’s an award-winning, cross-genre author, dog lover, coffee addict and I’m pretty sure she has a ph’d. She likes to write under Missouri shade trees.

Holly’s been writing since she was a little girl, right? We talk about the rhythm to a story, beats, plot points and all sorts of sexy stuff. And we also talk about the magic of moms who make writers out of us.

Holly’s blog has a ton of resources and links and projects. Helping potential writers is so important to her. Check out her advice! Holly’s website!

Holly’s INVENT YOUR OWN SUPERHERO!

And her shorts! FUNNY MEETING YOU HERE!

And Holly’s awesome adult books in a nice group.

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 240,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.

This week’s episode about creators, dirty feet and archetypes.

The Poet Who Saw Me

When I was a kid at Bates College, I spent a lot of my time feeling like less. My family had been kind of poor after my stepfather died. My nana would stand in line to get us big orange blocks of commodity cheese for the week to supplement our $30 grocery budget Every  week my mom would yell at her that we didn’t need that. She always took it.

My mom didn’t answer the phone because she was so afraid of credit card companies calling.  She’d make me do it and lie that she wasn’t there.

I still hate answering the phone, even the cell phone, even when it has caller ID.

Then College Happened

Anyway, when I went to college, I wanted to forget all that. I wanted to be an intellectual like everyone else. I wanted to have gone to private school in Manhattan or Conneticut, have a summer home in the Hamptons and clothes that weren’t from K-Mart, which was sort of the WalMart equivalent back then, but worse.

I got over all that because I knew it was pretty shallow. What I had a harder time getting over was class issues that had less to do with materialism and more to do with hatred and intellectual history.

In a Theater Class

In one of my directing classes, one of the sexier straight guys actually announced about Beckett, “People who are not wealthy don’t care about this. A truck driver doesn’t watch public television or listen to NPR. They don’t care, they’re too busy humping and eating and drinking.”

My dad was a truck driver. He watched public television. He listened to NPR. I didn’t want to think about him humping. He ate food. He didn’t drink. His parents had been prohibitionists.

In a Playwriting Class

In one of my playwriting classes the professor announced, “The working people of this country don’t give a shit about nuclear power. They don’t give a shit about a man of color.”

And I wondered if he meant working men couldn’t be BIPOC? Were working men only white?

When I was in elementary school, my dad would bring him with him to protest the same nuclear power plant that my step-dad was helping to build. He helped me try to get New Hampshire to recognize Martin Luther King Day and do a hundred other civil rights things. He cared.

With My Friends

And one of my college friends would love to say in front of me, “Carrie is too poor to be pro intellectual.”

He’s a minister now. That still doesn’t make what he said right.

In a Poetry Class

And one of my female poetry teachers told me over and over again, her voice trilling up with her patrician accent, “Carrie, you have the potential to be a poet, but your voice is too raw, not refined, not artistic enough.”

My voice was poor. My cadence was public school. I was not from rich. Every sentence I spoke showed that.

They still do.

Words are Voice

Those are just four of the incidents that made me both angry and intimidated and focused, but in the back of my head it just inflamed my self doubt. I could never be a poet because I wasn’t wealthy, private-school educated; my parents weren’t intellectuals. I could never move people with words because my words were too stark and my sentences too short. I would never fit in because even though I have the privilege of being white, I didn’t have the background that most of the other students had.

Poets who Changed Me

And then two things happened. I read Sherman Alexie, a not-wealthy Spokane and Coeur d’Alene who despite his issues with women, impacted me positively because of his words and cadence. And maybe because I never met him in person.

And I met Seamus Heaney in real life.

Enter Heaney

Seamus Heaney came to our college at the invitation of Robert Farnsworth, who was an awesome poet and professor. He met with students, he gave a reading and we all got to hang out with him at a reception.

“I can’t go,” I told my boyfriend at the time.

He bit into his pizza. He was always eating pizza. “Why not?”

“Because it’s Seamus Heaney,” I answered staring at the little bits of sausage on the pizza before I plucked them off.

“So?”

“Seamus Heaney!”

“So?”

I didn’t know how to explain. Seamus Heaney was THE poet, the Nobel Prize winner. He was Irish for God’s sake. Those people were gifted with words. They had so many amazing poets … Heaney, Yeats, Wilde, Clarke, Moore.

I was from New Hampshire. We had Robert Frost but pretty much every New England state tried to claim him.

Heaney wrote things like:

“A hunger-striker’s father

stands in the graveyard dumb.

The police widow in veils

faints at the funeral home.

History says, Don’t hope

on this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

the longed for tidal wave

of justice can rise up,

and hope and history rhyme.”

Seamus Heaney

“You will regret it if you don’t go,” my boyfriend said. “I’m going to just be playing Leisure Suit Larry anyway.”

Are You a poet?

So, I went, as anxious as if I was going on stage myself. Heaney transfixed me with his amazing baritone and bear-like presence. And his words… Of course his words… And when I met him afterwards, I was terrified until he grabbed my hand in his and said, “So you are a poet?”

And I said, “No.”

And all he did was nod and say, “Oh, yes you are.”

But in his eyes was this knowing, this connection, and maybe it wasn’t really there. Maybe I just saw it because I wanted him to understand me, because I wanted someone to get who I was and who I wanted to be. Or maybe not?

I don’t know, but one second later my professor said, “Oh, yes she is. I told you about her. She is like you.”

And then one of them said something about growing up not wealthy and I can’t remember the exact words, but what I do remember is that I finally felt understood. Later, I looked up Seamus Heaney’s past, about how his dad was a farmer and neither of his parents were big on words really, not in the intellectual way that everyone at my college seemed to be. I found out that he was like me a little bit not because he was a poet and I was trying so desperately hard to write just one decent poem, but because we were both human, that we both came from humble places, that we both looked in people’s eyes when we said hello.

That was Enough

And that was enough for me. That was enough for me to believe in myself.

Seamus Heaney performed a miracle when I met him. He made me believe that I could be whatever the hell I wanted to be and that it didn’t matter how hard I had to fight or work or not fit in. What mattered was that I wanted the miracle of being a writer, of metamorphosis from Carrie the poor neurotic kid from Bedford, New Hampshire into Carrie Jones, the neurotic best-selling author who lives on the coast of Maine.

He gave hope and miracles in his poems and in his person and I am so thankful for his existence and so sorry for the world’s loss when he left.

“The main thing is to write

for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust

that imagines its haven like your hands at night

dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.

You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.

Take off from here. And don’t be so earnest.”

Heaney

Addendum

I wrote this post back in 2013 when Seamus Heaney died, but in one of my student packet’s this week, I referenced Heaney and the other night I wrote a poem and I realized that though I am a writer, I still don’t put my poems out there. And that is because of fear still. And that is because my poems are raw, trembling things. And that is going to change. I’ve made a big choice and commitment about this and I’m excited. More soon, I promise.

But my point here was always to use your voice, sing your songs, make your stories and especially shout, sing, whisper, and declare if it seems like nobody wants you to, if you feel like you don’t fit in, if you feel like not another soul is listening. That’s when we most need to hear it.

Here’s Seamus Heaney reading his own poem, “Blackberry Picking.”


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 240,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.

This week’s episode link!

Creators, Dirty Feet, and Archetypes

Creators, Dirty Feet, and Archetypes

 
 
00:00 / 00:26:54
 
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For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about writing archetypes for our characters and how they also apply to the real life humans we used to meet and interact with before Covid-19.

There are lists out there all over the place about this. Most have slight variations on the number of archetypes or the names of the archetypes. 

Oh! If you haven’t heard in our past episodes, an archetype is according to MasterClass:  

An archetype is an emotion, character type, or event that is notably recurrent across the human experience. In the arts, an archetype creates an immediate sense of familiarity, allowing an audience member to relate to an event or character without having to necessarily ponder why they relate. Thanks to our instincts and life experiences, we’re able to recognize archetypes without any need for explanation.

MasterClass People

Last week we talked about the seducers, the week before we talked about the misfits and mavericks. This week, we’re going easy on you with the creator. 

According to MasterClass, the creator is, “A motivated visionary who creates art or structures during the narrative.”

They make things! Like writers! They usually have willpower. They are sometimes self-involved. Or they suck at practical things. 

Over on ArielHudnel.com, it says (all bold their emphasis), 

“Also known as the artist, innovator, inventor, architect, musician, and dreamer, the Creator is solely focused on examining the boundaries or our reality and perception. As a character, they often take the position of the well-meaning scientist, or savant artist.

The Creator carries an inexhaustible imagination, often excelling at their chosen vocation. When presenting as a mortal character in a reality-based world, he is often portrayed as a man ahead of his time. There are often better examples of this archetype in the real world (Galileo, Einstein, Mozart, Steve Jobs) than in fiction!

Mediocrity is the Creator’s worst fear. Whether this result comes from concept or execution doesn’t matter. The creator wishes to be an authentic voice in a world of white noise. They gain rivals easily, answering those challenges with innovation in their work, and their personal outlook.”

ArielHudnel

Zeus. Dr. Frankenstein. Iron Man. All creators. 

Phoebe in Friends. Jo in Little Women. Creators. 

The Issue

All of these characters are white. When researching this, we were overwhelmed by the lack of examples of BIPOC. It’s another glaring example of a lack of diversity in books and movies. And it’s super frustrating. 

Over on the Character Therapist, they list the creator’s goals and fears:

LIKELY GOALS

To create things of enduring value
To see a vision realized 
To hone artistic control and skill
To create culture through self-expression  

LIKELY FEARS

To have a mediocre vision 
To only execute a vision half-way
To believe all is an illusion
To remain unchanged/unmoved by beauty 

Writing Tip of the Pod

We need all types of stories. When you create, think about who your archetypes are. If you are creating and expressing yourself, are you doing so in a way that is beautiful, clear, and fair to the rest of the world? 

Dog Tip for Life

Single minded obsession is never good unless it’s about making bacon. 

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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.

DOG INSPIRATION

Every weekday, our dogs have inspirational or motivating tweets on Carrie’s Twitter. Go check it out and be her Twitter friend.

The kittens felt left out.

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 239,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Another episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

Last week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars. 

A bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you. 

A bonus episode about being a cop’s daughter in Maine and a dance mom in Pennsylvania with Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller.

And this week’s episode link if you’re reading this via email.


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

My Mom’s Eulogy

I have a weird fear of June. It’s because one of my dad’s died in June, my first cat died in June, one of my grandmothers died in June and my mom died in June. To me June equals death even as summer blossoms and becomes abundant.

I go through the month holding my breath, waiting for something terrible to happen instead of rejoicing in the fact that I am still here, that so many of us are still here. Birds grace the boughs of trees. Seedlings break through the dirt stretching for light. Dogs rejoice in walks. June is beautiful.

But I’m super imperfect and I tend to go back around to death again. And to remember my mom, I’m going to put the eulogy I wrote for her here. I miss her terribly much.

Eulogy Of BEtty Morse, MY Mom.

Our mom, Betty, was propped up in a hospital bed in Manchester, NH just about a week ago today, and if she saw herself then she would have had a fit. Believe me. She didn’t like to be out of the house if her hair wasn’t combed or her lipstick wasn’t perfectly applied. I can not begin to tell you how many times I sat in her car, waiting to go to the grocery store, the library, a birthday party or even the dump and counted the seconds while she reapplied her lipstick in that painstaking way that mothers have.  Let’s just say that she took her time, and I was a very impatient kid. But there was a reason she wanted to put that lipstick on: She wanted to make sure she looked beautiful.

And in the hospital last week, ravaged from illness, with her heart trying so hard to beat, with her lungs trying so hard to breathe, my mother wouldn’t have thought she was beautiful. But she was.

She sat up in that hospital bed and Bruce and Debbie used a plastic spoon to feed her some chocolate and vanilla ice cream from a tiny Styrofoam cup. The moment that first spoonful of ice cream hit her lips, our mother, with her eyes closed and her heart failing, broke into a smile that lit up her entire face with a joy so sheer and absolute that it brought tears to everyone’s eyes.       She was beautiful.     She was always beautiful, but that beauty didn’t come from her lipstick, or even from her smile. That beauty came from her soul. That beauty came from her love.

Our mother was an expert in love. “I love you with every ounce of my being,” she would write on birthday cards, Easter cards, those little tags that go on Christmas presents and emails.

And proud? She was brilliant at proud. Every grandchild was a trophy to her – shiny and gleaming full of light and importance. She polished them with her love and words and pride in their deeds. Keith, her firefighting hero boy, her handy man, the first of her grandbabies. Kevin, the one she thought looked the most like her – so smart and now a hero boy police officer who helped bring her the great grandbabies that she thought were so beautiful. Kayla. She would tell me sooo many soccer stories about Kayla but her favorite story was how when Kayla was in first grade or something like that she learned sign language because a little girl in her grade didn’t have anyone to talk to. She was so proud of Kayla’s kindness and intelligence. Brooks, the grandson who made her laugh with his quick wit and indomitable spirit and zest for life that matched her own. She was always hugging on him when he was a baby, and when he was a toddler, and talking about how neat he was. And Emily, the youngest of them, who she saw the moment she was born and declared, “She’s so smart. Look at her eyes. She’s taking everything in. Oh… she’s so beautiful. She looks like a Morse.”  Nana was so proud of you, Em, proud of the love you gave her, your goofiness, and your accomplishments.

My mom’s pride didn’t just extend to her grandchildren. She was so proud of her children and friends as well. I remember one day after one of the 80,000 holiday or birthday parties that Debbie hosted so effortlessly, I got in the car with my mom and she started to tear up. She was always tearing up. Deb and Bruce take after her. We are weepy sort of people given to strong love, strong sorrow, and strong joy.

Anyways, I asked her why she was crying. I was probably impatient about it again, but she said, “I am just so proud of my Debbie. She works so hard. She is so good. She is such a good mother.” It was her highest praise. And then she wiped away her tears and reapplied her lipstick.

She recognized the beauty in Debbie and rejoiced in it so much it made her cry like she’d just read a Hallmark card with the word love in it.

One time we were at a wedding and Bruce was in the wedding party and these women in the pew behind us were gossiping about the gorgeous usher with the dimples and my mom turned around and proudly announced to those women, “That’s my son! He has my dimples.”

“He’s so handsome,” the girls said.

“He has a kind heart,” my mom said. “He has a beautiful heart. And beautiful dimples.”

My mom loved deeply and without reservation. She loved her friends, so many of them are here today. Thank you for being here Mel and Steve and Marie and Clem. Two of you both claim to be my mom’s first boyfriend. I’ll let you fight that out amongst yourselves.


My mom also loved her husbands. Her first love and her second husband was my stepdad John, and their love was a beautiful forever thing. Her funeral is exactly 29 years after his on the same date. There’s a symmetry in that, and a beauty to their love. But what really shows how remarkable she is was her relationship with my dad, Lew. They chatted and gossiped pretty much daily, even though they were divorced for decades and decades, they were supporting each other constantly even until the very last days of her life. Once, they came to visit me in Maine and people compared them to the Costanzas on Seinfeld. They talked simultaneously, teasing each other constantly, voices getting louder and louder. When I said they were divorced, people wouldn’t believe me because the link between them was so strong. Their friendship was a forever thing.

My mom was born 77 years ago to a brilliant woman and a talented man, grew up with two brothers that she loved and was proud to call siblings. She was a wife, a homemaker, an office manager, a Welcome Wagon Lady, a town employee, a real estate broker, and then worked for the Bedford school system. But those are just titles, just occupations. Those aren’t about her soul. She could slam doors with great passion for her small frame. She could laugh hysterically over things as silly as saying ‘in bed’ after you read a fortune cookie. When she got mad she would yell, ‘sugar diabetes,’ the disease that would eventually take her body. She would gossip with her friends about the results on Dancing with the Stars and argue her political opinions without reservation. She was a firecracker and a charmer, spunky and sweet, funny and intelligent, and always, always interested in people’s stories.

It is hard to watch someone dying and in the time that Emily and I spent with my mom I noticed something interesting in her murmurings. She called a lot for her brother Richard who she adored. She often said with her eyes closed, “I see you Richard. Richard. Richard, is it okay?”

I imagine he told her that it was okay. I imagine that he took her hand and then gave her a hug, the way she would have hugged anyone at anytime. My mother was the kind of person who hugged her children and grandchildren for ages. We would call it entering the hug-off with Nana and joke that she never let go first.  My mother didn’t let go of people, not of her dear friends, not of her family members. No matter what we did, she held on to us, was proud of us, listened to our stories of joy and pain and goofiness. She hugged you as long as she could physically, and when she couldn’t hug you with her arms any more, she hugged you with her head, loving you no matter how many miles were between you and her.

Her hugs lasted forever. Her love was that way, too.

But one of the other things my mother yelled when she was dying was a little bit different. She yelled for toast. Honestly, she hollered for toast like it was a long lost love. “TOAST! TOAST! TOAST!” And when she got it and took a bite she whispered to me, “So good. Do you want some?”

And it is such a goofy thing, and so sweet, and in a way encapsulates a major aspect of her personality. She liked to feed people toast and roast chicken and chocolate chip cookies and Boston Cream Pie. She liked to give sustenance. She liked to give.  Whether it was food or love or hugs or an ear, my mother was a giver.

We can all learn from a life like that, a life where one woman created a web of love that connects very different people and friends across space and time. It was a life where love trumped all, a life where helping friends and family ruled, where it was important to  listen to the stories of children as they went into a dance studio or teachers calling on the phone asking for subs,  where it was natural for her to smile at nurses and doctors no matter how much pain she was in, a life where she wanted so badly to know everything that went on in the lives of her loved ones because she cared so very much.

And we care about you Mom. And we were proud of you. And you were and are very loved.

So off you go Mom, off you go, holding the hands of the people you have loved you, with those of us who still love you, waving goodbye, singing you songs, telling you stories, making more stories for you to enjoy from your perch in Heaven and eating lots of toast and Boston Cream Pie and chocolate chip cookies in your honor. May the wings of the angels wrap you up as one of their own and may we all live our lives as you did – with love and pride and beauty.

* I totally stole the ‘off you go’ line from Kevin Costner.


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 239,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode  (x2) about archetypes and falling out of cars.

Last week’s episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

Last week’s bonus episode with a former Mainer and current super mom.

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

Be Brave Friday

It’s Juneteenth, which is the anniversary of the day when so many enslaved people in Texas realized finally that they were free. That knowledge happened two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Knowledge is power, right? And when you want to keep people oppressed, you take away their knowledge.

Today, I hope you educate yourself about your self, about your community, about things outside your circle. Today, I hope you find bravery in your thoughts and deeds as you seek the knowledge of who you are and your part of your community and society.

Today, I hope you will be brave with me as we think about people who are now being so brave in so many ways. Today, I hope you will hope with me and work towards a future where bravery isn’t always quite so necessary, where it can be a choice instead.

Here’s my random painting. Much love to all of you.

Dance Mom, Former Mainer, Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller

Dance Mom, Former Mainer, Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller

 
 
00:00 / 00:30:08
 
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Hey! Welcome to a bonus interview episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the usually quirky podcast that gives writing tips and life tips. I’m Carrie Jones and with me today is Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller, a dance mom who is used to driving 14 hours every day but now she’s stuck at home because of Covid-19, I think.

A former Mainer living in Pennsylvania now and her motto is basically, “I can’t, my daughter has dance.” 

In every post Allyson has, it’s super obvious how much she loves her family.

I asked her if she thought there was a certain vulnerability that happens when you love someone so much? Check out her answers and more.

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” – Gilda Radner


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 235,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


This week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.

Last week’s episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

This week’s bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you. 

A Little Inter-Species Romance

So, sometimes I wake up and this is what’s happening, and it has nothing to do with writing, but you’ll forgive me, right?

Marsie the Cat: Shhh! Act like I wasn’t just kissing your muzzle.


Sparty the Dog: Does this look natural?


Marsie the Cat: No! Look like you want to eat me!


Sparty the Dog: Like this?


Marsie the Cat: You are the worst actor ever.


Sparty the Dog: We all can’t be Santa Paws, you know. We all can’t be Lassie.


Marsie the Cat: Santa Paws was hot.


Sparty the Dog: 


Marsie the Cat: You know he was.


Sparty the Dog: Baby, you know how to hurt a dog.

Despite Marise the cat’s totally hot-i-tude for Santa Paws, Sparty the dog sleeps with his paw touching her.

He’s all, “I keep you safe all night long, baby.”

I am starting to feel like the odd-species out. You know? Like when your best friend gets a significant other and you all do stuff like go to the beach or a concert, but they are always kissing and making cutie-faces and you’re just sort of … Um, hey? Anyone want to talk about existentialism?… but nobody does because they are too busy sucking face? 

That’s what it’s like. Only it’s like that in my house on my bed.

And on the couch.

And on the floor.

Pretty much everywhere, honestly. 

And the thing is? All that love is beautiful.

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” — Audrey Hepburn


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 235,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


This week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.

This week’s episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

This week’s bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you. 


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME – THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

Are You a Seducer or Do You Fall Out of Cars?

Are You a Seducer or Do You Fall Out of Cars?

 
 
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Ah, yes, the archetype. Last week we talked about the misfits and the mavericks because they are sexy as hell. 

Again, Merriam-Webster says archetype are: 

“The original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies.” 

Good ole Merriam-Webster

Archetypes, according to Tami Nantz, help us understand what makes our characters tick. She says to ask:

What does he fear?

What motivates him? 

What does he care about most? 

Tami Nantz

And while I’m afraid to talk about this on the podcast with Shaun because his mind goes . . . places, this week we’re talking about the seductress. 

Over on the Reedsy blog, the seductress is explained pretty well.  

“I’ll give you whatever you want,” is the refrain of the seductress — a character that comes in all shapes, sizes, and genders. They might offer power, sex, love, money, or influence but remember, these things always come with strings attached. If a seductress is involved, the moral of the tale is almost always, “Don’t believe anything that’s too good to be true.”

Strengths: Allure, charisma, lack of morals.

Weaknesses: The emptiness of their promises.

Desires: Control.

Examples: Mephistopheles in Faust, Delilah from Samson and Delilah, 90% of the female characters in The Odyssey.

Reedsy blog

Some more examples would be Mystique in X-Men and Meg in Hercules.

Valeria Black, writing for The Writing Cooperative had a very definite take on the Seductress, which seems a wee bit reductive. She said,

The Seductress cares deeply about being in the spotlight. She loves attention and the way people fall head-over-heels for her.

But most of all, she loves being the most admired woman in the room.

Valeria Black

Why?

Because, if you dig deep enough, she is a child and a dreamer at heart who craves constant stimulation in the quest for her one true love.

This hidden quest for lasting love is the main reason why it seems like she strings people along. But in reality it’s because she just gets bored quickly.

And this is so cool to think about if you have one of these characters or one of these people in your life. And I think we all know one of these seducer or seductresses, the person who is all about the sexual and physical validation, and doesn’t know what to do without it. Their self-worth comes from capturing as many admiring looks or hearts as possible. They are dependent on other people’s affection and attention. And that makes it hard sometimes for both them and their friends. Their dark side is like the femme fatale like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, right? 

That same Reedsy blog has some really great advice about archetypes:  

For authors, character archetypes are a useful concept to understand — if only to save you from tying yourself in knots, trying to create stories and characters completely unlike anything that’s come before. Every story has already been told, so focus on what matters most to readers: creating rich, specific worlds populated by people living specific lives, whose struggles are so grounded in realistic human behavior that their stories become universal — no matter where the reader is from.

But the thing is that this is true about life, too. When you understand those three questions we talked about in the beginning, you can understand your friends, family, and enemies a lot more. What motivates the people you love? 

Also, Shaun is totally not cool with the gender bias implicit in this archetype, which gets him bonus points from me. 

Sparty is worried about archetypes

Writing Tip of the Pod

Think about the motivations of your characters. Is there a seducer in your story? Maybe there should be. 

Dog Tip for Life

Living for other people’s validation is a really hard way to live. When you are all about capturing as many people’s affections for your own self-worth, what do you do when you are rejected? For many of us, being sexy only lasts so long, right? 


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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.

DOG INSPIRATION

Every weekday, our dogs have inspirational or motivating tweets on Carrie’s Twitter. Go check it out and be her Twitter friend.


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 235,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

This week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.

This week’s bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you. 


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

Family Wanted Please Apply Now

So, given the massive amount of people in my family who have left the mortal plane (also known as croaking), I am now feeling kind of family-less.

It is no fun being without a family. Okay. It is much more affordable to not have to buy Christmas presents and Hannukah presents and birthday presents and Father’s Day and Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day presents and stuff, but who wants life to be affordable really? I think it’s much better to have to buy your dad a random tie or something.

Not like I would have bought my #1 dad a random tie. He would just have used it to tie back a lilac tree that had low-lying branches or something like that anyway. My dad was a little Hobbit. He appreciated food presents and tweed hats from Ireland and postcards from Hell (a place in the Caribbean – not the Lucifer hang-out). My mom just pretty much appreciated anything. My grandmothers were cool with flowers and vases and porcelain things. My grandfathers were a bit? Um. One was an adorable jazz drummer. The others were a bit. Cough. Odd.

I have already imported a grandfather, Devyn Burton, who is totally cool as a grandfather despite the fact that he is like 25 or something.

But there are a lot of other openings.

I always wanted to be from one of those super huge families that had 12 kids in it. But in my family everyone else was a lot older than me (14 years, 15 years and 17 years were the closest) so I felt like an only kid.

I still kind of feel that way.

And I always thought that I’d be one of those people who had like five kids to make up for it and I would live on a mountain in a log cabin in a field and somehow not have allergies. I would trade those allergies in for goats or something and a grizzly bear would visit and we would be friends and the grizzly would not want to eat any of my offspring.

Yeah. That didn’t happen either.

But I thought I’d at least have family barbecue events for forever (our at least after Covid-19) and people sending me birthday cards and calling me at inappropriate hours (prior to noon) to just say hi and complain about things like everyone else in the family.

So, if you would like to put in an application for sibling status, parent status, or kid status, or grandparent status, feel free. I promise to send you dorky birthday cards and the religious holiday of your preference cards. You have to do the same though or I’ll pout and tell all the other family members that you’re blowing me off and not invite you to Thanksgiving or something.

*Much thanks to Marie Overlock for once pretending to be my mother during my Subaru crisis. And to Devyn for always being my grandpa. And to Christine Allard Bristol for volunteering to be my sister.

FAMILY APPLICATION QUESTIONS:

1. Family Member Position you are applying for:

2. Reason for applying

3. Do you promise to never tell Carrie to stop snorting pixie dust?

4. Do you promise to never accuse her of taking the bigger piece of birthday cake? Or bowl of ice cream?

5. Do you promise to not think she’s a freak if she cries at pretty much every movie ever? If she can’t make it through WAR HORSE? Or any novel read on an airplane? Or, hell, any Charlaine Harris novel either?

6. YAY!

7. Do you promise to love her even if she says “YAY!” far too much for an old person?

8. Do you like dogs?

9. Do you promise to try to be more about loving people than be defensive about who you are?

10. Cats. How do you feel about cats? Manatees?

Continue reading “Family Wanted Please Apply Now”