Thrill Me, Baby. Thrill Me. Let’s Talk About Story Tension.

My first three books are hardly suspenseful in that Marvel movie way. There are no car chases. There are no end-of-the-world scenarios. They’re stories about identity and love with a little angst thrown in the side. They aren’t even in the typical story’s narrative arc.

So, you’re probably wondering why I’m blogging about suspense.

Because I like it.

I’m one of those writers who likes to try new things… ALL THE TIME. I am very easily bored, so back in 2008, I thought about what one of the hardest things for me to do would be. The answer was easy: WRITE SOMETHING SUSPENSEFUL.

And because of that? It’s why my NEED series was created.

It was hard. It was SO hard. But worth it. My first attempt (while not up at the suspense level of Stephen King or that guy who writes those books that become Tom Cruise movies) came out with Bloomsbury. It’s called NEED.

So when I was trying to figure out to do, I found a great article by Carol Davis Luce called WRITING SUSPENSE THAT’LL KILL YOUR READERS. For a couple of weeks, I’m going to talk about Carol’s points and hopefully expand on them.

And I’m inserting some old photos of my daughter, Em, and our old dog Tala to make it fun.

So, how do we write something suspenseful? 



The first part is tension.


Tension is what keeps us reading.

Tension is what keeps us reading at 3 a.m. when we have to get up at 6 a.m. and go to school or work.

Tension is what makes us read a book while walking between classes. It makes us ignore the hottie across the cafeteria or even in our own bedroom. It makes us ignore the cute doggy next to us, the one who really wants to get walked.

Tala the Big, White Dog says, “I am the cute dog she’s talking about.”

Poor Tala.

Tension.

Without it, a book gets put back on the shelf, abandoned on the kitchen counter, forgotten in a locker, or possibly flushed down the toilet. Without it, dogs get walked.

According to Luce, “Tension is the act of building or prolonging a crisis. It’s the bump in the night, the ticking bomb; it’s making readers aware of peril.”

Or it’s what William J Reynolds calls, “I gotta know!”

Why Do Readers Keep Reading?

Your readers keep reading because the need to know what happens next is there. The tension is there. He calls a story without suspense “like coffee without caffeine – no kick and not very addicting.”

So, that’s what we’re going to be talking about for a couple of blog posts: Tension. Suspense. How to turn nice, normal readers into addicts who will open that door in your book (I mean turn the page) no matter what horrors might be there or what dogs might resent it.

The next few entries will be about techniques to put the tension back into your love life… Oops, I mean your stories. Your written down stories! Geesh. I’m sorry I couldn’t find anything to read last night and I had to read some book about love and relationships by the guy who started Eharmony. I have no idea how it got in my house, but it’s obviously impacted me.

Anyway, stay with me, and we’ll interview horror novelist Steven Wedel and some others. It should be a fun, tension-filled couple of posts.


Carrie: So tell me Tala, what do you think about suspense?
Tala: Woof.

Carrie: You think it’s over-rated?
Tala: Woof. Woof! Snort. Kashow. Yip. Woof!

Carrie: You think that a dog’s life is hard enough and that the suspense of when we are going to actually take a walk… that suspense… that suspense is killing you and therefore I should stop blogging about how to put suspense in stories? 
Tala: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..

Carrie: Okay. Um, where’s your leash?

Tala: Good human. Good. Finally you get it.

*One of the biggest tensions may be whether or not I get all these posts up and posted.


NEW BOOK ALERT!

My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is coming out October 1 and if you pre-order it now, you can get the Ebook for .99 before the price goes up to $2,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly.

There’s a bit more about it here.

OCTOBER FIRST IS TOMORROW! IT IS ALMOST TODAY!

Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Random Plea For You To Vote For Local People, Too.

Seriously. I know that we all care so much about the national election (Well, except for those of us who have thrown up our hands and started glutting ourselves on strudel because we can’t take it any more.) but local races? They matter.

Why?

1. It’s the local races that often start the candidate pool that leads up to the big races. Not always obviously. Our current president didn’t do this, but most politicians do.

 

Sheep: Dude? Why do we all look the same? We are not all the same!

2. Local issues matter. No. Really. They do.


Gabby the Dog says: The only issue I care about is tongue length and cookies for all canines? Will you vote with me? 

No matter what your political leanings are, it’s easy to get all huffy and upset over what presidents do, but local issues matter too.

It’s stuff like school funding, energy programs, how high your property taxes are, what kind of development goes into your town, whether you have a playground or not, whether or not you can put a sign on your business that doesn’t have to be pre-approved, fire and police budgets, if you can put a fence in your backyard.

It sounds silly, but the consequences of local decisions (for example sprawl due to lack of regional planning leading to higher childhood obesity rates leading to higher costs of health care) are really far reaching.

Sparty the Dog: The only issue I care about is One Dog = Eighteen Daily Walks. Is that local enough?

I’ve met a couple people when I’ve knocked on doors who have told me that they probably aren’t going to vote because they don’t like either of the main parties’ presidential candidates.

That kills me. Seriously. I can understand not liking any presidential candidates. It has happened to me almost every four years, but there are other races. There are U.S. senators and city councils and people going onto library boards who might want to ban books. Honestly… a woman in Texas once got to be constable because she was the only one who showed up?!? That kills me, too.

3. You Have A Responsibility

People fought and protested to get the right to vote in this country. We didn’t all just magically have it the moment the country started. People risked their health, their lives to be able to participate in the decisions that impact them and their lives. People still do.

Imagine if someone told you that you couldn’t vote because of your gender, your race, your economic status, your sexuality, your level of physical ability, because you were too poor? That’s what used to happen. Do you know how you keep that from happening again? You vote.

Here’s a handy site that tells you where to do that in your state or district.

And sometimes people still don’t get to vote. If you can do it, please do.

Insert Begging Here.

VOTE!!! Vote for all parts of the ticket not just president. It’s so much cooler than not voting at all.


PREORDER MY NEW NOVEL!

It’s a little book baby and it’s out October 1. It’s sparse and stark and makes me cry. I hope you’ll preorder it for .99. So cheap! So cheap for tears. After Oct.1, the cost goes up to $2.99.

Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

TIPS ON SURVIVING BANNED BOOKS WEEK

posted this back in 2006 when maybe fifteen people were reading my blog and I knew them all in person, I think. But I thought it might be good for this week, too.

The official Banned Books Week is Coming Up! Are you ready?

Sparty Dog Inspiration
Sparty Dog Approves These Tips



TIPS ON SURVIVING BANNED BOOKS WEEK


1. Remember, it’s okay to get ridiculously mad that people ban George by Alex Gino or Captain Underpants or Judy Blume’s Forever or Brent Hartinger’s Geography Club or The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas or anything by Carrie Jones (Okay. I added this last one in.)

2. Remember, it’s okay to think that it’s stupid for people to think kids (and adults) are so weak of mind that reading about a boy being a wizard will make them become Satan worshipers or that ready about potty mouths will make them about potty mouth and etc…

3. Wonder if you’ve ever met a satan worshiper. You know you’ve met a potty mouth.

4. Decide to google (YOUR STATE) Satan worshipers. Then decide not to, because it’s too freaky.

5. Go back to being angry about Banned Books.

6. Why do this? So you can be intelligent while you’re angry read: Kathi Appelt’s exceptional essay about the interplay of fear and banned books. If you can’t find it (Okay. I can’t right now), read someone else’s. 

7. Tell your friends about the essays you’ve read.

8. Argue with someone who thinks it’s okay to ban books. Try not to swear at them and to not go all potty mouthed. It may be hard. Try not to lose your temper. That may be harder.

9. Think about how my favorite line from Kathi Appelt’s essay is “Fear, of course, has a twin: hatred.” Then go all fan girl over Kathi Appelt.

10. Go check out the always the important and insightful American Library Association’s banned and challenged book news and information.

11. Read a banned book. Do better than that. Read three. Buy one. That’ll show them. Who is them? The book banners. That’s who.

My Scary Story Is About To Be Theater!

Very soon a little ghost story that I wrote will be performed and available via the magic of the InterHell (I mean internet) via the Penobscot Theater and I’ll post about that as soon as it happens because I’m super excited about it!

But it made me think of all the random ghost stories that have happened in my life that I tend to be pretty chill about. I’ve mentioned some here, but not a ton because I don’t want to be known as CARRIE JONES, THE AUTHOR WHO HAS TOO MANY GHOST STORIES.

Anyway, the quick one I want to talk about was when Em and I were in the living room gathering up her stuff for school and the TV just switched on all by itself. Seriously. Both the remotes were in full view. Nobody was anywhere near the TV or the remotes. No cats. No dog. No humans. 

And it flipped onto this video of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley all in black and white singing a duet . I’ve embedded it here. But to make it even freakier these were the lyrics they were on:

FOR MY DARLING, I LOVE YOU AND I ALWAYS WILL. 

Am I Klutzy? No? Yes? What Are The Truths About Ourselves, Really?

A long time ago, my now-dead mom called and the first thing she said on the phone was not:

1. Hello.

2. Hi. This is Mom.

3. Yo.

4. Pant. Pant. Pant.

No, the first thing she said was:

“Well, now I guess I know where my klutzy daughter got it from.”

my mom

I had no idea who she was talking about. My brain just blanked. It was kind of like when you’re going through an internet wormhole and a page has a hard time loading and you get that page where it says there’s a server problem and the site can’t be viewed. Or you get that little sand glass thing to indicate the program is thinking, thinking, thinking but there’s a good possibility it just won’t connect and it’ll probably freeze.

Finally, I thought,

“Klutzy? Me? I’m the klutzy daughter? Not Debbie?”

Carrie the confused.

I asked everyone else I knew, who know the Carrie Jones I am now, and they all said, “What?”

With genuine shock.

Which was cool because I like to think of myself as a graceful queen of the house,home and kayak.

But what’s really got me going is how different people can have totally different perceptions of who we are? And who is right? Are we who we perceive ourselves to be? Or are we who the consensus thinks we are? Both? None?

Apparently, C.S. Lewis tackles this in his book, Till We Have Faces, which I have not read because I’m not really a big Lewis fan. Gasp! I know!

But it all intrigues me so much.

When I was a little kid, there was a girl who thought she was a fantastic singer and had perfect pitch. She was not. People cringed when she sang and she sang a lot. But it didn’t matter to her. She believed that she was amazing.

I was always so afraid that I was like her. That I would believe something about myself that was the opposite of the truth.

There are people out there who believe they are the epitome of good and there are people who think those same people who are the epitome of evil.

One of my daughters has a dad who thinks she is clumsy while I think she is the least clumsy person I’ve ever met.

And I guess it’s perspective. And I guess figuring it all calls for a definition of truth. But those things — perspective, truth — those are big things that are somehow no longer all that easy to define.

Continue reading “Am I Klutzy? No? Yes? What Are The Truths About Ourselves, Really?”

Imaginary Land and The Parallel Zone

A long time ago, the awesome Megan Crew posted about this imaginary world she created with her friend in fifth grade. It involved unicorns and stuff. It made me wonder how many of us do this? How many writers? How many people who are not writers?

When my best friend, Jackie, and I were in seventh and eighth and (a-hem) ninth grades we created two entirely imaginary worlds and very complicated love stories that went with them. We would expand on these on the telephone every night and I’d be all, “And then Bruce looked at you in that way.

And she’d go, “What way?”

And I’d say, “You know that way.”

The Bruce she was talking about was him:


I, strangely enough, had this guy for my major love interest in the Parrallel Zone (PZ for short)



And this guy in Imaginary Land (IL for short)


How embarrassing is that? I mean, seriously, I liked a guy with striped pants. He was a Doctor Who.

Actually, Jackie and I were so embarrassed by our secret addiction to IL and PZ (We added to the story EVERY single day.) that we swore we would never EVER tell anyone we did this. 

Yep. I told. She did too though, really! 

Did you do this? Do you do it now? Is this a writer thing or a people thing, do you think? 

Did yours involve going through metal detectors at Logan Airport at the EXACT same time as Bruce Springsteen and Paul Young and therefore being zapped into a parallel universe where they totally loved you and thought you were hot? 

Not that ours did or anything. 🙂


 

Continue reading “Imaginary Land and The Parallel Zone”

When Children’s Book Writers Are Supposed To Dance Things Might Not Be Pretty

Back before COVID-19, I went to my first big writing conference (as a speaker) in L.A. (California) and I learned that there was a big gala thing and all of us children’s book writers (published and prepublished) were supposed to dance and schmooze there.

Despite the fact that my aunt owned a dance studio and I started dancing when I was two and despite the fact that author/poet/musician/playwright Ozzie Jones once gave me the best compliment about my dancing ever at a Bates College party and despite the fact that I’ve been in far too many musical theater productions, I get uptight about dancing.

Cough.

This is awkward to admit.

And I was supposed to hang out in a group of 900 children’s book writers who were going to be dancing? It was already super obvious who the extraverts are in the children’s book world and let me tell you? It’s the dancers. It’s the schmoozes. It’s the people who introduce themselves to you and aren’t awkward about it.

It is not me.

I thought children’s book writers were my people. Apparently, I was wrong. The whole situation was a lot more like a middle school dance than I thought it would be.

What I learned

1. Some writers can actually dance. I mean, they bend backwards. They throw off shoes. They are not me.

Get your boogie on and shuck off those ukeleles, authors!

2. Author John Green blushes and sort of crumples in half when kids tell them they’ve read Looking for Alaska‘s scene that involves a penis.

I am not spoiling here, but… I’m sure you can guess the scene. The truth is that scene has a bit of the Judy Blume phenom going for it. Kids I knew flipped to it, shared it with friends, even before or after they’ve read the whole book and I could go on for awhile about this and how it’s a very okay thing, but that would be a much longer post for later in the week. 

Also, despite a lot of lady writers asking him to dance, John Green managed to not dance. I envied him.

See, John. This is almost as steamy as your scene, and Raintree County is ancient, although steamy. 

3. It is hard to find people you know in a crowd of 900 and sometimes you just have to give it all up and hang with people you barely know. When doing this, try not to talk about the positive beauty of fleece TOO much. They will run away. 

4. Holding a beer makes dancing easier. I did not do this, but I should have. Thanks for the tip, Lisa Yee!

5. Once you tell people that you’re running off to get someone else to come dance it is REALLY REALLY hard to find those people again. Try not to worry that they think you were blowing them off and you are an evil mean girl or something.

I’m so sorry I lost you! I was busy dying inside from social anxiety.

6. Author Lisa Yee tells amazing stories. Many include peeps. Some include pee. Does there seem to be a connection?

I found this photo on Pinterest. Thank you, Pinterest!

Rock on, Little Peep. Rock on!

7. It’s okay to stand in the big grass circle by the taco makings instead of dancing because there will be other people there who aren’t drunk enough to dance either. These are some of your fellow introverts. Embrace them. Ask first though because not everyone likes embracing.

8. Even when there’s lots of room to spread out people will clump up to dance. I am not sure if this is because it is fun getting elbowed in the head or just for the hiding-your-dance-skills in a bunch of other people factor. Or maybe it’s just the hope for getting lucky is greater the closer you are to other bodies. Does anyone know? Is this an extrovert thing or an introvert thing?

9. Sometimes people can do amazing things with aluminum foil. Sometimes people can’t. This can be dangerous when the foil is used to make clothing. No. I am not posting a picture of this here. But also foil-clothing and dancing can lead to some NSFW photos of writers. Don’t enthusiastically dance if you’re only wearing aluminum-foil clothing unless you’re okay with other writers seeing body parts that are usually covered up and stuff.

10. Writer Cecil C (BEIGE) can hold while dancing:
    1. Plate of food.
    2. Eating utensil
    3. Massive funky-cool bag/purse
    4. Video camera
    All at the same time with a still-healing wrist, which obviously qualifies her for this status

 Yes, she is the dynamic force of both Wonderwoman and Superman combined! That’s super power.

And there you go. Helpful hints for when you go to a conference and there are a bunch of children’s book writers dancing.

Continue reading “When Children’s Book Writers Are Supposed To Dance Things Might Not Be Pretty”

The Dog Peed on My Bridesmaid Dress

Sometimes things happen that you can’t control. We call this chaos, usually. But chaos is a part of our lives and our societies and sometimes? It comes in the form of a small dog.

The set-uP

  • I was in seventh grade.
  • My stepfather had just died. It was my brother’s wedding. 
  • I was totally in love with Tim, my much older (22) step-cousin. He had nice hair. It was silver. Plus, he always tried to make sure I didn’t fall off boats. You’ve got to respect that.

The dress

  • Was two sizes too big. That’s because I lost a lot of weight because my dad died. 
  • Was this Pepto-Bismol pink
  • Required a hoop skirt.
  • Had fake flowers for shoulder straps.
  • Was tiered like a wedding cake.

What happened


Right before the wedding, at the house of the parents of the bride, I put on my horrible gown.

This mauve gown sagged everywhere including where my breasts were (still are, actually. My breasts have not. I repeat: HAVE NOT moved) and the head maid of honor lady was trying to duct tape the sides in because you could see right down it.

The attempt to keep my dress from gaping didn’t really work and the tape was scratching. I was super paranoid that everyone was going to be looking down my dress and my mental state? It was like super anxiety blow-out.

Then when we were heading out to the car, I picked up the bride’s family’s dog, Midge. It turns out you are not supposed to pick up Midge. Why?

Midge pees when you pick her up. Apparently, Midge also had anxiety.

I did not know this.

Midge peed all over my dress. Yes, this happened while I was wearing it. There was this dark stain, going down the mauve. It hit the duct tape. It hit everything.

Hell Breaks Loose

Cue: Mother of the bride swearing.


Cue: Maid of Honor yelling, “CARRIE!!! YOU PICKED UP MIDGE! JESUS! JESUS! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

They rushed me inside, dabbed at me with a face cloth, and then dried me with a hair dryer. 

Me: I smell like pee.
Bride: YOU. SMELL. FINE.
Father of the Bride: She smells like piss. 

Cue: Maid of Honor spraying lilac perfume all over me. I associate lilacs with pee now.

So, I went to the wedding smelling like lilac and pee. My super cute cousin asked me to a pity dance. I was in Heaven. He leaned in. I was in super Heaven. I was ready to die of bliss. 

Super Cute Cousin: Does it smell like urine?

Me:

Super Cute Cousin:

Me: Lilacs. I smell lilacs.

So smooth.


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 251,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


This week’s episode about poop, dentists, surgery, flavored alcohol and Jung.

LAST WEEK’S EPISODE about slug bait, sages and archetypes. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce


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.

One Time My Kid Got On the Wrong Plane

I am and always will be one of those moms who wants their kids to be independent and have adventures and not be coddled. But I am also one of those worst-case-scenario moms who stresses the heck out whenever I am not with them. So, apparently because of this, my daughter, Em, does super stressful things throughout her life:

Be the flyer for cheerleading

Jump off buildings in stunt camps

Go to Israel to study Krav Maga when there are missiles

Be female.

Join the Army.

There’s a trend here, right? Almost always, Em is okay because she is smart and competent and most of the time my mommy fears do not happen, but one of my biggest mommy fears happened on this date.

My daughter got on the wrong plane at a NY airport and I was not there. She was fourteen. FOURTEEN!

It happened.

So the Emster was done with this super cool Fresh Film Program in New York City (more about that in another blog) and she was flying home. She did everything right:

1. She got a car and had money to pay it. She got in the car at 8 a.m.
2. She told the driver she wanted to go to US Airways at Laguardia Airport.
3. She buckled her seat belt. Gold star, Em! Gold star!

But then things went wrong. There was an accident. Traffic stalled. She was stuck there for about an hour. But finally they moved again. The driver dropped her off at the airport, but wait — He dropped her off at the United terminal. Em realized this once she gets inside because she was/is brilliant.

She asked for help. Twice. She ran to the shuttle for the other terminal. The shuttle bus doors had just closed. She looked hopeless. 

 Em is the one smiling with teeth. 😉

Hopeless didn’t work as a look. What could she do?

So, instead she goes into Looking Cute mode. The shuttle bus doors magically opened.  She asked the driver for help. He told her to hop on. She did.

There were a MILLION stops but they finally arrive at the terminal. She rushed to the kiosk to get her boarding pass but she didn’t have a credit card because she is a kid and she can’t pay the $20 for her luggage. Someone else helps. She gave them cash. How cool is that person? Super cool, honestly.

The airport people didn’t even make her weigh her suitcase. Score! (Note: Shoes are heavy. Em likes shoes). 

She found the Security Screening all by herself. She made it through. She found her gate all by herself.

It was 9:30. Her plane was supposed to leave at 10.

There was nobody milling around like normal. Em, being the astute little camper that she is, went to the woman at the little podium/counter thing and asked if this was the gate for the Bangor, Maine flight.

Woman: That flight is closed.

Em: !!!!!

She decided to look cute again.


Woman (speaks into walkie-talkie): MUMBLE MUMBLE.

Em: ?????!!!!

Woman (to Em):
 Okay. You can go out. The plane is on the tarmac.

They let her through the doors. She is rushed to the airplane, and she climbed up the stairs, got on, looked at her ticket and then said to the flight attendant: 
Is this the plane to Bangor, Maine?

Flight attendant person: No. This is the plane to Buffalo.

Em:

Flight attendant person:
 The Bangor plane is behind us, I think.

So Em ran down the stairs, across the tarmac and towards a plane that was completely obscured by the Buffalo plane. She dropped things on the tarmac. She picked things up. She ran. She scrambled up the flight of stairs and said, “Is this the plane to Bangor?”

It was.

But wait! 

Her seat was gone. 

“NO!!!!!!!!” Em screamed.

But they let her sit in the exit row all by herself. She buckled up and made it. Nobody kidnapped her. She did not fly to Buffalo. She flew home. 

She is amazing.

And cute.


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 250,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


LAST WEEK’S EPISODE about slug bait, sages and archetypes. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce

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.


 

Why Do Politicians Hug Me and Other Weird Facts & Questions

I’ve been working super hard creating things and helping other people create things and I’ve been ridiculously stressed worrying about people’s health and systemic inequalities in our health care system and even about my income because of Covid-19 and I don’t have it in me for a serious blog post today. I hope that’s cool with everyone. Instead, I’m going to give you random tidbits about me.

  1. My debut novel TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND has the word gay in it, which made some people squeamish.

2. That makes me lose my chill, but in a chill-inspiring way my ex-boyfriend from high school has a really lovely, very religious, very Catholic mom who BOUGHT IT. Yes, her son is gay. She proudly showed the book off to all her friends and that? Well, that made my heart sing. I’m so glad he has her for a mom.

3. I used to be the youngest female city councilor ever elected in my city and I never EVER dated any other city councilors, or politicians although ex presidential candidate Gary Hart once winked at me and I’ve been hugged by Jesse Jackson and Jerry Brown and George W. Bush and Mike Michaud and Paul Lepage and Susan Collins and John Glenn and too many NYC mayors to list. Politicians apparently hug across parties. Also, I’ve been hugged by a lot more male politicians than women. This does not seem fair.

4. I have one ex-boyfriend who is now a writer. He published before he was 30 and wrote for the NYT and Village Voice. I try not to hate him. Just kidding! I don’t try. No! No! I don’t actually hate him at all. I’m super happy for him actually.

5. I have one ex-boyfriend who was in TIGER BEAT MAGAZINE because he was on a Nickelodean TV show before college.  And I find this hysterical.

6. I have one ex boyfriend from fifth grade whose name was Bertram, but he wanted to change it to Steve. He was so sad about his name. He also wanted to be a knight. I hope he at least got to change his name.

7. I have one ex boyfriend who chewed tobacco and spit it into a Pepsi can and thought nobody knew. EVERYBODY knew.

8. I just realized I will never have another new ex-boyfriend, which is weird, just weird…And I also realized that because of Covid-19 politicians won’t be hugging people as much this year, which has a lot of weird ramifications, too.

How about you? Do you have random facts that you never share? It feels weirdly good to remember and share them.

Continue reading “Why Do Politicians Hug Me and Other Weird Facts & Questions”