Courage in Unlikely Places – How Thinking of Others Helps You Be Courageous

Today is Be Brave Friday, and I don’t have a ton of insight. I know! I know! Way to sell a blog post, Carrie, right?

Me and Em not being scared.

So, I thought I should look to some wordsmiths instead.

Courage is found in unlikely places.

J.R.R. Tolkien

There’s something that compels us to show our inner souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know.

Maya Angelou

Courageous people do not fear forgiving for the sake of peace.

Nelson Mandela

I am no Tolkein, Angelou, or Mandela, but there’s a great compulsion in me to edge toward peace at all times, to expose my innermost self, and to learn and learn and seek, which is why I hope to find courage in unlikely places as I contemplate some big writing leaps this weekend.

It’s a time for new projects–projects I’m a little afraid about, honestly.

And speaking of projects, this is a giant (for me) painting that I’m working on. I’m not done with it yet, so try not to judge too harshly.

Unlikely Places

Courage is sort of an elusive beast for us sometimes. I get anxious just posting, but what helps me to move past anxiety and fear is to stop thinking about myself.

I’ve been so lucky because I get kind people giving me feedback that my random thoughts and bits of brave have helped them get brave, too. That’s mind blowing to me actually. But it helps me to keep posting and keep revealing.

Here’s the thing: If you only think about YOU, fear starts taking over.

When fear starts taking over, it’s harder to act.

I could never post a poem or painting or podcast because I’m scared about being ridiculed or exposing my vulnerability, but when I stop focusing on me and what could negatively impact me, I allow myself to make connections with others and hopefully help them, too.

One of the easiest ways to take action, to move forward, to be courageous is to think about other people, the world outside your brain. If you have a sense of purpose (even if it’s to make someone else less awkward at a board meeting), then you can eat away your fear.

Caring about others, caring about helping others helps us shift the focus away from ourselves, but it also helps us push down our fear to a back corner in where it belongs.

POSTS AND PODCASTS THIS WEEK

And just to catch up, here are the posts from this week!

Shaun blogs about the four elements of a successful relationship.

I blog about our poor fence and the poor trees that keep come smashing down.

On Write Better Now, how to make your writing more intense.

On Carrie Does Poetry, I read the aptly titled poem, “You Aren’t Allowed to Write About Me.”

This week’s humorous, but yummy recipe was Microwave Raspberry Sauce of Wordle and Wine.

On Dogs are Smarter Than People, we talk about pot brownies, intention and the Rock. Yowza.

And our live podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, we talk about the weirdest songs ever.

And if you haven’t checked it out yet, my author interview with Tony Quintana on Dogs are Smarter Than People’s bonus edition.

POEMS EVERYWHERE!

Over on Medium and my social media, I post motivating daily thoughts from my animals. On Medium (and only on Medium), I post poems that I’ve written (usually) every weekday. You should check it out! And clap or something so I can make $1 over there this month. 🙂

How About You?

There you go! And how are you doing? Are you hanging in? Being brave? Thinking thoughts? Sharing new things?

NEW BOOK OUT

It’s called THE PEOPLE WHO LEAVE and it’s the latest installment of the Dude series. Shaun (the husband) and I are currently arguing about whether it’s the last installment. I say yes. He says no. Feel free to weigh in if you’ve been reading it.

Be Brave Friday! It’s a New Book Baby, Art, and a Weekly Round-Up

Hey! It’s BE BRAVE FRIDAY and um . . . I’m not sure what I’m being brave about right now.

No. No, that’s a lie.

I’m going to be brave by sharing a huge painting that I’m working on and I’m going to be brave by telling you that I have a book coming out tomorrow, which I’ve done absolutely nothing to promote because I suck, and I’ve been working too much on OTHER people’s books.

Curving towards hope.

But here is the book . . .

It’s called THE PEOPLE WHO LEAVE and it’s the latest installment of the Dude series. Shaun (the husband) and I are currently arguing about whether it’s the last installment. I say yes. He says no. Feel free to weigh in if you’ve been reading it.

WHAT IT IS ABOUT

A heartbreaking and romantic must-read thriller from New York Times and internationally bestselling author Carrie Jones brings a Maine teen’s past into a terrifying present.

Jessica “Dude” Goodfeather’s mother walked off and left her and her kind stoner dad when she was just a little girl, but after a mysterious email leads to some serious questions, Dude and her friends realize that her mother might not have willingly abandoned them after all.

The third book in Carrie Jones’s exciting Maine mystery series forces Dude to grapple with the ghosts of her family’s past so that she can finally head towards a hopefully brighter future.

Join New York Times and internationally bestselling author Carrie Jones in the third book of the Dude Mystery Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.

POSTS AND PODCASTS THIS WEEK

And just to catch up, here are the posts from this week!

My author interview with Tony Quintana on Dogs are Smarter Than People’s bonus edition.

On Write Better Now, we talk about the biggest thing holding back you and your writing.

On Carrie Does Poetry, I read the aptly titled poem, “Mean People Suck.”

This week’s humorous, but yummy recipe was WHIP THAT SEXY FETA, HONEY.

On Dogs are Smarter Than People, we talk about toxic masculinity. Yowza.

And our live podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, we talk about the strange reasons people have called 9-1-1.

POEMS EVERYWHERE!

Over on Medium and my social media, I post motivating daily thoughts from my animals. On Medium (and only on Medium), I post poems that I’ve written (usually) every weekday. You should check it out! And clap or something so I can make $1 over there this month. 🙂

This scandalous photo didn’t make it into the week day motivating thoughts. I was too afraid to post this on Twitter. Plus, so much fur on the blanket.

How About You?

There you go! And how are you doing? Are you hanging in? Being brave? Thinking thoughts? Sharing new things?

Be Brave Friday, Money Worries, Trying New Things

Hi!

It’s BE BRAVE FRIDAY!

And it’s been a week in our family full of kid drama (they are totally okay; they just had a hard week at school) and me doing my annual stress out of:

WHY DO I WORK FOR MYSELF? WHAT IF I MAKE NO MONEY.

I do this every single year. The truth is that I’m actually super lucky. I get to make content all the time (sometimes I even get paid for it), write books, and help other people write their own stories. And I still have a house and food, so you think I’d chill out, breathe deeply, and not worry so much about supporting my family, right?

Wrong.

Full admission: Every month, I look at my sheet where I keep track of income and think, “What if I make no money this month?” And anxiety creeps into the palms of my hands and makes them tingle. This anxiety is even worse at the beginning of a new year, and guess what? It’s the beginning of a new year.

Logically, I know that I’m fine. That I could transition to another type of job if I stopped making money, but I still get that creeping anxiety that tells me, “Do more! Do more! Do more, Carrie. Don’t waste time.”

Sigh.

Does this happen to you?

This is the painting I’m working on. Obviously, it’s totally not done and kind of flat like my panic. Just kidding! Sort of. I’ll try to remember to post the updated version.

IN OTHER THINGS LESS ANXIETY-FILLED

In an effort to not overwhelm you and your email (those of you who subscribe), I’ve made podcasts a different kind of post rather than automatic-to-the-inbox posts. That way you can click on the links of the ones that interest you.

And hopefully they will! I’ve started a bunch of new things this year and I’m hoping that you’ll like them and that they’ll take me in new, exciting directions.

CARRIE DOES POETRY

This brand-new podcast starts of with a quick poem by me, read by me. “Santa’s Apology.”

best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

This week in Dogs are Smarter Than People, we talked about how addictions are taking over our lives.

Best weird podcast for writing tips

WRITE BETTER NOW

And on the brand-new Writer Better Now, we talk about how to use foreshadowing in the opening of your story.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers

Over on Medium and my social media, I post motivating daily thoughts from my animals. On Medium (and only on Medium), I post poems that I’ve written (usually) every weekday. You should check it out!

My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Be Brave Friday – The Year I Wrote Too Much

So, this Be Brave Friday is on the last Friday of 2021 and I’m starting a whole lot of scary stuff this year.

Scary Stuff I’m Starting

  1. I’m starting my own classes to teach people online about writing and they are super cheap because I want people to be able to learn even when they aren’t wealthy. Yes, this makes me worried about my own bank account. That’s why it’s being brave. 🙂
  2. We’re revisioning the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and starting a new one called WRITE BETTER NOW.
  3. I’m been writing poetry on Medium and I’m going to keep writing it, but also sharing it in a podcast. CARRIE DOES POETRY. I couldn’t think of a cool title.
  4. I’m going to keep writing and not give up. Sometimes, I think that’s the bravest thing of all.

But since it’s the end of 2021, it’s also a time where I should be brave and reflect for a hot second. This is the year I wrote too much.

I decided to have an experiment and try to put out one novel a month, every month, all year long. And I did it.

But at what cost?

Probably at the cost of my brain. No! No. Just kidding.

I learned that:

  1. The pressure to write does keep me writing, but I also learned that 50,000-75,000 words times 12 months? It’s a lot of words. Especially if you add in what I do on my patreon.
  2. I’m still not good with criticism.
  3. I’m terrible at marketing my own books.
  4. That I miss doing things like going outside.
  5. I miss painting.
  6. I should have used a pen name to not impact my traditional publishing career. Oops.
  7. I’m really good with deadlines and pressure. Thank you former newspaper career.
  8. I really really need to write sex scenes. And I really really haven’t.

And I also learned that:

  • I still love writing.
  • I miss writing things that are a bit less genre and I can’t do that in a fast turn-around. I have two, really complicated stories that I want to get done and I haven’t had time to do that.
  • Writing adult novels is fun. And I apparently need to put in sex scenes. Yes. I am repeating this. Who knew? Not this uptight human.

The Bad Things About Writing Too Much

But the big thing is that I maybe wrote too much. Because I didn’t just write and revise my own novels, I wrote blog posts and podcasts and editorial letters for the writers I edit, mentor, and coach, and that? It turned out to be a lot of writing.

My typing fingers ache a little bit.

And I’ve gotten in a bit of a rut from my self-imposed experiment and the pressure of doing one big novel a month and getting it out there.

And I started thinking, “Keep producing. Hurry. Make it good. It isn’t good enough. Oh my freaking word, Carrie. Earn money to support the family. HURRY! HURRY!”

Which has made me:

  1. More anxious
  2. More cranky
  3. Even more obsessed about making enough money.
  4. Very American, I think.

Sounds healthy, right?

And I’ve had some big fails.

  1. Our Be Brave Stories podcast (where we share other people’s stories about being brave) has floundered because I didn’t market it enough to get people to actually SHARE their stories.
  2. I’ve failed to solicit sponsorships for our other podcasts.
  3. As I’ve recently mentioned, I totally failed about marketing anything and everything.
  4. I haven’t done nearly enough author-to-author podcasts.
  5. I haven’t done nearly enough painting or poems.
  6. I haven’t magically owned a book store.
  7. I never say things like, “Hey! If you appreciate this podcast episode or blog post, send me a $1. I know it feels like nothing to you, but it means everything to me.” I think this is because one set of my grandparents lived in Canada and I somehow got the “DO NOT EVER ASK FOR MONEY GENE.”
  8. I am at my body’s maximum density (for me) because I sit in the chair way too much.
  9. I suddenly look old. And my knees hurt. And my hips hurt. And my ego hurts. Like it snuck up on me. Is this from squinting at the computer too much?
  10. I am still not any braver. I mean, I try so hard to do things that I am afraid to do and I do them all the time, but I haven’t become any less anxious about putting books out, talking on podcasts, or writing the books of my heart.

Here’s the thing though: If you love something, you need to do it. If you want to make a living at something, you need to find people who support you doing that. If you are making a living at it (like I am), you need to remember to be thankful and gasp in the moments where things are going well and allow yourself to be happy.

I am very bad at that.

It’s good to experiment, to push boundaries and to also take stock and say: Um. Maybe twelve novels in twelve months isn’t the best idea? And change it up to six. 🙂

How about you? Brave things going on? New leaps? New adventures? New worries? Am I alone?


My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Getting Naked: How To Be Unstoppable: BE BRAVE FRIDAY

A lot of people ask me how I get so much done. And a lot of other people think that I don’t do anything during the day at all, which is pretty funny, honestly. Those people are mostly my surviving relatives.

When I was in seventh grade, I didn’t want to shovel and one of my siblings said I was lazy. They said the same thing when I quit my job at fourteen when I was mugged. It had an impact. But more on them than on me. And that’s one of the reasons why I firmly believe we can never let other people define us. Only we get to define us.

But despite that sibling’s belief about me, I pretty much work from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day at a minimum. Sometimes I don’t stop until 10 p.m. That’s when I teach at the Writing Barn on Tuesdays.

To be fair, I do the Pomodoro method, which helps me survive.

My average week involves:

  • reading and editing 1,000 pages of other people’s writing,
  • writing about 100-200 pages of feedback for writers,
  • writing five poems and posting them on Medium,
  • creating 3-4 blog posts here,
  • co-hosting, editing, writing two podcasts, even though my voice is the biggest thing I am uptight about thanks to bullying,
  • writing about 5,000-10,000 words of my own stories,
  • sharing chapters as I write them (on one story in progress) on my Patreon,
  • sharing weekday quotes from my dogs and cats on social media,
  • deleting a lot of junk mail. 🙂

It can be a lot and I tend to get burned out every November/December. The holidays don’t help because I suffer that ‘mom holiday syndrome’ where I have 8,000 traditions and food and worries. And then I revive and get psyched to do more.

But here’s the truth: I kind of love it.

I don’t like being inactive. I don’t like stopping. And I use my free time (when I have some) to be with the people and animals I love.

It’s all pretty cool. And I’m lucky.

Now it’s time to be brave, get naked, and be real.

I’m so driven because I live a life where I’m currently the primary wage earner, and I am terrified of not being able to support my family, of losing my house, of not being able to feed and clothe everyone.

As the much youngest child (fourteen years), after my stepfather died, my mom raised me alone for most of my life and I remember what it was like to tell bill collectors she wasn’t home, to eat commodity cheese, to feel guilty to need things, to listen to her cry about money, to sell the house my dad built so we could live in one that was cheaper and had less property taxes. She ended up having to sell that one too.

That fear has driven me for a long time. And there was a short time in my adult life when I slept in the car in the winter in coastal Maine because I was too afraid of sleeping with my husband.

Hot tip: Big, furry dogs are good at keeping you warm.

But getting everything done is only partly about my fear. It’s also about habits.

Tim Ferris writes:

“The life you want is built on habits. There’s no way around it. What you do consistently will determine who you become in 5 years. What I’ve realized is the hard part isn’t habits. No.

“The hard part is habit maintenance.

When tragedy or bullsh*t strikes the temptation to give up your best habits for a day, week, month, or year is tempting.

“The days you don’t want to do your habits are the days you must. The trick isn’t to become a navy seal and develop a mind like a fortress. All you have to do is show up for 15 minutes and reinforce the habit on a bad day.

Habits maintain the belief of who you seek to become.

That’s how you become unstoppable. You strip yourself naked, show your fear, face it slowly or in big lumps, do the things you want to do so you can become who you want to be, and keep going and going and going.

But it’s not the only fear that drives me to have those habits and to try so desperately to evolve.

I’m also a little afraid of stopping.

I’m also a little afraid of having people realize how much I actually love writing my own stories, how invested in them I am, how I worry that they will vanish into obscurity, how I worry someday that I won’t get to share those worlds I make up at all.

Fear can lead to paralysis.

I’ve seen that before with my sweet mom, with a lot of friends that I love, and writers that I meet, and I know that I can’t let that fear stop me though, just like I hope you won’t let your fears stop you.

To get what you want, you have to journey into places that you haven’t been before and that can be scary sometimes.

To get what you want, you have to create the habits and do the work and that can be tiring sometimes (and scary too).

To get what you want, you have to be willing to face the discomfort, the fear, the yearning and that can be absolutely terrifying sometimes.

Is it worth it? Hell yeah. I think it is.

Ferris writes in that same article:

Success is the willingness to feel vulnerable

Many things in life make you feel vulnerable and like you want to curl up into a ball:

Saying no

Presenting a new idea

The prospect of marriage

Having kids

Accepting failure

Starting a new project

Getting a new job

Challenging leaders

Telling it how it is on social media

If you can’t lean into these vulnerable situations, you live life at a massively lower level. You avoid discomfort. Eventually you no longer feel like yourself anymore. It doesn’t make sense.

We all have to lean in and lean in hard if we want to grow. We have to face the discomfort and anxiety that greets us and embrace that Nike slogan and just do it.

Next year, I hope to continue doing and expanding and doing things I’m afraid of:

  1. Start another podcast.
  2. Feature more author interviews though they make me nervous.
  3. Have a writing retreat here in Maine if COVID chills out. Let me know if you’re interested.
  4. Write more poems even though they make me feel naked and exposed.
  5. Write more books including a book of my animals’ inspirations.
  6. Write some really different stuff under a pen name.
  7. Keep on fighting my fears.
  8. Maybe start a local news blog.

So, thank you for helping me to keep on keeping on being a writer, a podcaster, an editor, a writing coach. Thank you for helping me keep bill collectors away and feeding my family. I appreciate it and you so much.

What habits do you have? What habits do you want?

What fear is holding you back?


My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Be Brave Friday

It’s Be Brave Friday and I’ve not had the bravest of days, really. That changes now with this post, right?

Here’s a painting on wood (a board from a bookshelf originally from a wonderful woman’s house, which was previously owned by a family of other friends of me).

It’s raw like my feelings right now. It’s a bit haunted like the world right now.

But it’s there–created. And like me, probably not done.

As most of you know, sharing anything I’ve painted is really hard. But I’m all about rewriting those negative scripts and rewriting new ones and cheering each other on while we do. If you are trying, thriving, grieving, becoming, celebrating, evolving? I’m rooting so hard for you, for all of us.

And if you want to support me, please buy one of my books (links above in the BOOKS category) or join my Patreon, it’s really fun! <3

Dear Bully, Ten Years Later

So, Megan Kelley Hall and I released DEAR BULLY, the anthology of authors telling their stories of being bullied, or standing by, or being bullies ten years ago last month. We were co-editors.

My involvement in the project was mostly inspired by two girls. One was a five-year-old, Jazmin Lovings who was relentlessly tormented by some other kids in her Brooklyn, NY kindergarten class. The kids even cut her hair without her permission.

Her story absolutely broke me. And I know (and knew) that I didn’t have enough power to change the world, but I had to at least try to do something, some small part.

Megan and a lot of the other contributors (and me) were also incensed and motivated by the story of Phoebe Prince, a young woman who had been bullied by schoolmates and who committed suicide.

We did a lot of interviews, but this one on NPR is lovely because it talks to a lot of us about being bullied AND being a bully and the lasting impact.

And I am still so proud of all the authors in there. 

HEY YOU! AUTHORS! I AM PROUD OF YOU!

For a lot of those authors, it was a big act of bravery to tell their stories. For a lot of them, it was a big act of bravery just to survive. For some of them, the bullying was so destructive it made them want to be invisible, to want to not exist.

And there are resonating truths in every one of their stories. Those truths are that pain is real, that actions and words can shatter us, that it’s hard to remember how awesome you are when people are telling you that you aren’t. 

Just in case you want a definition (and because I get all excited about sources), Bullying is defined by the American Psychological Association as:

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions.

The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” the bullying.

Though all the authors’ stories in DEAR BULLY involve bullying (stunning!) there are differences in the stories too.

Some authors hurt more and more often. Some used the experience to advocate for good. Some couldn’t recover.

For every one of us in there, the story is our own, and it is different. But one of the biggest, and greatest truths in those stories is that each and every one of us survived. We all lived to tell our stories.

And if you are reading this right now, you have lived too. You have to keep on living and fighting and trying to remember that you are awesome. 

People hating you doesn’t change that you have worth.


People being violent towards you, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve respect, and tolerance and love.


People ignoring you on purpose, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to exist.

BULLYING ON MEDIUM?

It’s a decade later and there is still bullying everywhere. Obviously on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and TikTok, but it’s also even on writing platforms like Medium. On Medium editors of publications often rail against new writers and their lack of professional grammar skills.

Here’s the thing: Your expertise doesn’t give you the right to pull other people down, to rail against them, to crush their dreams.

We all do a lot better as humans and as a society when we applaud each other for trying and working and evolving.

I’m not sure why people don’t get that.

Here’s Robert’s story about what’s happened to him over there.

Robert was lucky because he was massively supported by other writers, but sometimes? Sometimes even when other people support you against your bullies, the angry, mean voices are the ones that continue to take up space in your head.

James Rodemeyer 

Right when Dear Bully came out. James Rodemeyer couldn’t take it any more. He was in a IT GETS BETTER PSA. He was 14, tormented with anti-gay taunts like this: 

“JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT AND UGLY,” it said in one post. “HE MUST DIE!”

And before he died, after a year of constant cyberbullying, he wrote on his blog in 2011, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”

We have to tell our stories, but we also have to be strong enough and empathetic enough to listen to other people’s stories.

And we have to stop hating. We have to stop thinking it is okay to post anonymous hate. We have to stop thinking that kindness doesn’t matter. Kindness matters. So much.

The world lost Jamie. It’s lost so many beautiful people. But it hasn’t lost Robert; it hasn’t lost those 70 authors in Dear Bully; it hasn’t lost me and it hasn’t lost you.

To read more about Jamey and the Cyberbully Census launched after his death and inspired by him, check out here and here.

What Can You Do?

You can think about whether or not you might be bullying people?

Do you tease a family member mercilessly even when they ask you to stop and say it’s just joking? Do you help people when they are being bullied? Do you know what you should do to help?

There are some great resources here and here and here. I hope you’ll check them out.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

What Does It Mean to Be Brave

Carrie Jones Books
Carrie Jones Books
What Does It Mean to Be Brave
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No video today! Sorry!

This week things got a bit hectic. Apologies. But we wanted to quickly talk about what it means to be brave and of course, ask you to send in your Be Brave stories. Because we are still on a mission to share these stories and sing your praises with the world.

The Oxford Dictionary defines bravery as:

Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.

And that’s pretty interesting because there are three components going on there:

You’re ready.

You’re going to endure something.

You’re showing courage.

The ability to endure is really about the ability to persevere, to face our fears and/or our circumstances and still be ready.

Ready for what?

Ready for whatever is heading towards us, the good, the terrifying, the empowering, all of it.

A lot of us spend a lot of our lives worried about worst case scenarios, rejections, falling down, and all of that energy we spend worrying? We can spend it actively moving towards our own moral and/or creative evolution and our goals.

Imagine: How cool would it be if you spent all the time you currently spend worrying about failing and instead use that time towards actively going after the things you want, the life you want to have, the person you want to be.

That’s what enduring is about. It’s about overcoming. And sometimes it’s about persisting. And almost all the time it’s about dealing with the fear that’s holding us back.

So much of the time the fear that’s holding us back? It comes from us.

Being brave means living in the moment, speaking with compassion.

Being brave means standing up for what you believe is right even when nobody else thinks the same thing.

Sometimes being brave is something as simple as responding to a Facebook post, or being compassionate, or reacting with empathy instead of anger.

Sometimes being brave is reaching out to someone else and saying, “This guy is a creep.”

Sometimes being brave is looking at yourself and know when you’re holding yourself back.

Being brave is truly defined by you and what you think it takes to persevere, to endure, to be ready and to shine.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

Helping Toxic People Even When They Didn’t Help You – Be Brave Friday

Carrie Jones Books
Carrie Jones Books
Helping Toxic People Even When They Didn't Help You - Be Brave Friday
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It’s Be Brave Friday where Shaun or I (from Dogs are Smarter than People and Loving the Strange and just being an author in Maine) share people’s unedited, unfiltered stories, so we can all celebrate the big and little brave things we do all the time.

Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re being brave.

Here’s Jordan’s brave story and we are so grateful, Jordan, for you trusting us and sending it in. So much love to you.

So I don’t know how long this is going to take me to put this together. I’ve really thought a lot, back and forth, about whether or not to even reply with this, but I think I’m going to, just for a sense of talking to someone outside of my normal circle.

I know this isn’t probably what you were looking for when you mentioned a story, but this is something that’s just been weighing on my mind for a little while now.

Back in 2014, when I was still a freshman in college, I made the decision to start coming out to my family. My mom had been estranged for reasons that is a whole other story. She’s not the same person she was when I was growing up, so it’s hard to really gauge who she is as a person at any given day.

When I wanted to open myself up a bit and come out to her, she responded in a way I assumed she would, being married to a southern church-going bible-thumper–she told me “I don’t agree with that” and to not bring it around my sister (who was 10 at the time).

I was very disappointed and went on with my life. I kept my mom at a distance because if she didn’t want part of my life to be highlighted, I wasn’t going to filter that. She just wasn’t going to get any of it.

I went through my college career. Struggled, thrived. Made friendships and experiences that have changed my life completely. I reluctantly invited her to my graduation, not even knowing for sure if she’d come–simply because that meant that she would actually have to make the trip.

Cut to 2020, where it’s the hell year for everyone. I’ve moved back to where I grew up to be closer to a few family members of mine. My mom begins communicating with me to inform me that her marriage has fallen apart due to infidelity and other personal things going on.

My concern only lied with my sister. She’s a young adult now but she still has no skills of being able to navigate the craziness that will surely come about with my mom. My mom never knew how to do anything for herself, and she always burned any bridges she made with people, so no one was ever at the ready to help her if she needed it. I knew that if I didn’t step in, my sister was really going to have an even worse time than she was already.

I took time off of work to get my aunt (her sister) to help me find a place where my mom could live. Having no income and no job experience in the last 18 years was going to be extremely tough, but time was of the essence. I managed to find a place and help her get moved in.

Honestly, I wanted either two things to happen. I wanted her to just leave it at that, and not communicate with me any more, or I wanted her to change back to who I knew she was when she was someone I looked up to.

I find it hard to find that kindness inside myself and have to go out of my way to constantly help her when she chooses to not help herself. I don’t know if its actual “trauma” but there are so many hurtful things and happenings that she doesn’t acknowledge or anything.

In her mind, she may believe that it never did, but the things she said, she still said. My mom has never accepted any kind of responsibility for herself and that just takes a toll after a while.

My mom has shoulder surgery next week and I’m dreading it more than anything because I know she’s going to need help and the only one who can offer it or is even remotely even willing to, is going to be me. It’s hard enough working in the public during an ongoing pandemic, in a southern state where the government could care less about the constituents dropping like flies.

Now I have to find a balance of keeping my income at a steady rate while also babysitting my impossible mother.

The past year and a half or so, I made a vow to myself to try and keep a positive outlook and not to lurk so much in negativity. This situation kind of makes me feel like I can’t do this without kindness but it’s so hard for me to feel like I can put kindness forward in this. I know this isn’t your problem, and this may be heavier than what you expected in any kind of responses to this?

I’m not even 100% sure that this message is a solid, coherent thought. At times in this scenario, I feel like I’m a bad person, but at the same time, I don’t care if it does. Even growing up, I always felt like the kingpin of my family. Like, if I wasn’t there to hold everyone together, it would all just fall apart and the damage couldn’t be undone.

To the point where, now, I would rather be isolated and alone than have to worry about it. I guess my question through all of this is how can you put forth kindness in a situation that just constantly drains you? I know it’s not really a comprehensible question but a part of me just wanted to type these thoughts out because I feel like if I mentioned it to anyone close to me here, it would make me seem (for lack of a better word, this really isn’t the right one) like a sociopath.

I think you’re a wonderful person, Carrie, and I’m very sorry if this was exhausting to read or just too impersonal in any way, but thank you for even just presenting me with the idea of being able to just send a thought out to another person, whom I weirdly I feel I can trust with that thought. I hope life is treating you properly, and I am wishing you all of the peace and joy that I can. 

– All the love,

  Jordan

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

It Isn’t Too Late to Be There For Your Kids Our Most Personal Be Brave Friday Ever

So all of us need to reach up, reach out, be responsible. Inaction is often just as horrible as bad actions, but we can always climb our way out of the hole we’ve dug by making those good choices, those kind choices (even when they are so damn hard).

Carrie Jones Books
Carrie Jones Books
It Isn't Too Late to Be There For Your Kids Our Most Personal Be Brave Friday Ever
/

It’s Be Brave Friday where Shaun or I (from Dogs are Smarter than People and Loving the Strange and just being an author in Maine) share people’s stories, but this week, I’m sharing ours. It’s the first time I’ve talked publicly about this and it’s kind of hard.

Trigger Warning for parent issues (not us).

We have an adorable kid who has autism and ODD and ADD. And here’s the thing. They are funny and creative and have big emotions about their world.

That isn’t the easiest thing to handle for some people.

And we get judged about them all the time. Their ADD manifests in wanting to do a project all night long when they’re really into it. Their ODD manifests in not dealing well when we tell them they need some sleep. Their psychiatrist has said on multiple occasions, “This is not the bridge worth dying on.”

They’re right.

But people don’t get that.

And they judge. A lot.

And whatever. I’m fine with that because though I’m self-deprecating to the point that I tend to drive other feminists crazy, I’m confident that I’m a parent who is full of love and appreciation for her kids. The judging doesn’t matter because what matters is the human who is growing and learning and becoming.

That’s not what this post is about though. This post is about our kid’s other mother. The one who gave up on them two years ago. The one who has to get texts from the kid in order to even think to visit with them. The one who is trained as a teacher but didn’t even send a text to their own child to ask them how their first day of school in a new school system went. And two weeks later, still hasn’t.

This post is about anger, honestly, because I am so angry on behalf of our kid. And I not usually brave enough to talk about this or my anger. I’m a pretty conflict averse human except when it’s about things that hurt others.

But this post is also about hope. We all have moments every single day to do the right thing. To reverse the path that we’re on and actually be responsible and good, to reach out with kindness and with love.

That’s hard sometimes when you’ve sucked for two years. But it’s going to be a lot harder after you’ve sucked for twenty.

So all of us need to reach up, reach out, be responsible. Inaction is often just as horrible as bad actions, but we can always climb our way out of the hole we’ve dug by making those good choices, those kind choices (even when they are so damn hard).

We can all do this. Every single one of us. In order to make our families, our communities, our nation and our world better? We have to.  

Here’s the video where I don’t stick entirely on script because I suck at that, honestly.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

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