Thursday Dog Inspiration and Cooking With An Author

Every time you have a choice, choose love.
Every time you have a choice, choose the outside.
Every time you have a choice, choose treats.
Every time you have a choice, ditch the leash.
xo

Gabby the Dog

Here’s this week’s Cooking With an Author recipe. The man in the house is still not a vegetarian. All appears lost. 🙂 Every time he has a choice, he chooses meat.

Print Recipe
Potato Cheddar Soup of Bad Dialogue
Cooking With a Writer - Cheddar Potato Soup of Bad Dialogue #writing #cooking
Course soup
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Course soup
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Cooking With a Writer - Cheddar Potato Soup of Bad Dialogue #writing #cooking
Instructions
  1. Boil the water.
  2. Ignore the agent's beta reader who said your dialogue was forced. HAS SHE EVER LEFT HER HOUSE? It's Covid-19 time. Everybody's dialogue is forced.
  3. Make sure you're boiling the water in the soup pot.
  4. Once the water is boiling (like your temper. Bad dialogue? Seriously), add potatoes, onions, salt and celery.
  5. Put a cover on that soup pot. Put it on medium heat because if things boil over it gets messy. (This includes your temper.)
  6. Leave it for 15 minutes.
  7. Write some dialogue. "I hate you with the passion of a thousand kitty mugs, Dirk." "And I love you, Karen, with the love of a thousand social media posts never gone viral."
  8. Find another pot, maybe a saucepan, the kind that holds two quarts.
  9. In that pot melt the butter. Make that a low heat. Butter burns just like criticism over dialogue.
  10. Add in a really slow way the cheese. Add flour next.
  11. Now slowly add the milk, spices, herbs and use a whisk.
  12. Practice dialogue on the whisk.
  13. "I love you with the love of a million political pundits," you tell the whisk.
  14. "And I you," says the whisk. "Which means I love you not at all."
  15. There! That was good, right?
  16. When it is all blended, add the cheese to the potatoes and onions in the big pot.
  17. Add tomatoes.
  18. Stir it all up.
  19. Put it on super low heat for fifteen minutes. This time do not have the cover on.
  20. Stir a lot because cheese, butter, and flour like to burn.
  21. Done!
  22. Go buy a book on writing effective dialogue and eat your pain away.
Recipe Notes

This is taken from my favorite vegetarian cookbook of my youth, Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan and it got me through many sad times. It's super comforting. 

Memory is a Special Magic

Last night, I attended my aunt’s Zoom remembrance/memorial/whatever you call these things now. And it was lovely because she was lovely. It was full of brilliant, funny stories and anecdotes and kindness.

But one person stood out among all the beautiful articulate people who spoke. It wasn’t the Congressmen who did a lovely job. It wasn’t the head of a nonprofit or the athletic director of UNH.

It was a five-year-old girl named Grace.

She sat on her mom’s lap, stared patiently at the computer, waiting her turn for well over an hour. Or at least it seemed like she did.

And when her turn came? She blew me away. You have to imagine Grace’s quote with this clear, articulate, pausing-between-most-words, five-year-old’s voice, absolutely convinced in the confidence of her statement and that confidence? It’s deserved.

Here’s what Grace said.

I’m here to tell you that Aunt Max is still alive. She’s in our memory. Memory is a special magic that survives in your whole life.

Grace

So many of my friends hurt today and so many days because they miss people, because they blame themselves for other’s deaths, because they long and grieve.

But here’s the thing that Grace knows and I want you to know.

Memory is a special magic that survives your whole life.

And that memory keeps people alive and it can keep the ideas of those people alive. What they loved. What they worked for. What they believed. Their intrinsic values.

That works for countries and communities too.

The job of the living is to embrace that special magic but also use it to shape ourselves, your own families, our communities and our futures.


Dog Tip for Wednesday

It’s easy sometimes to give everyone (especially cats) some side-eye, but giving back to your community, your world?

It’s more than writing a check. It’s about taking a chance, making a life connection, touching someone.

You don’t have to be perfect. Just reach out.

xo

Sparty Dog

Dear Bully, You Are Ruining Things Because We Are Awesome And You Are Not

Dear Bully, You Are Ruining Things Because We Are Awesome And You Are Not

 
 
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So about nine years ago, DEAR BULLY, the anthology of authors telling their stories of being bullied, or standing by, or being bullies was released. Carrie was the co-editor for this anthology.

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

HEY YOU! AUTHORS! I AM PROUD OF YOU!

For a lot of them, 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. 

I was thinking about that right now because our country (The U.S.) is having some major difficulties and bullying is the norm despite all the efforts and advocacy that happened back in 2009.

And there are truths in every single story of that anthology that resonate. 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. 

And there are differences in the experiences too. Some authors hurt more than others. Some used the experience to try to become stronger. For every one of us, 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 or listening on the podcast that means that you have lived through too.

And here’s the thing. You must keep on living and fighting and trying to remember that you are awesome even when people are hating on you.

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. 

And the opposite is true. You don’t get to hate, to decide other people’s worth, to be violent and disrespectful either. We have to be the shiny light that we want in our lives.

Writing Tip of the Pod

What’s this have to do with writing? Well, it was an anthology of true stories from writers that Carrie co-created, but it’s also about what makes the best stories.

Hint: It’s not just having a beginning, a middle, and an end.

It’s about having a point. It’s about believing in something. It’s about being honest and having something to say, something that might be hard to say but needs to be out there.


Dog Tip for Life

Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. It’s as simple as that.


SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


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 as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. 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 252,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!


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

IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!

IN THE WOODS, appeared in paperback in July with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

My Patreon site I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT. I also share some writing tips that are also going to be on Teachable as the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME and send people art.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

Saint, a YA supernatural thriller. Sort of. 🙂

ART.

I do art stuff. You can find it and buy a print here. 

Why You Gotta Hate Like That Bad Guys In Writing and Life

Why You Gotta Hate Like That Bad Guys In Writing and Life

 
 
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This week we’re revisiting the idea of bad guys in our lives and in our writing because lots of us actually have bad people in our writing and our lives. These antagonists run the gamut from people who make us scream at their Facebook posts of Fakeness to actually physically hurting us and our community. Politics is full of making the other party the bad guy. People at work tend to make other employees or bosses the bad guys. We make bad guys everywhere.

Sometimes we make entire groups of people the bad guy like this week on Facebook a guy who manages an inn had a post that said,

The Facebook Post That Started It All

I have a couple staying with us, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The woman came to tell me how she loves the Inn, but has been treated horribly by so many locals. Being told “go home” and have had obscenities shouted at her and her husband. I’ve seen posts in this group and others from people discouraging tourism. My question is.. .Do we want our town to be known as openly hostile towards visitors? Is this how the level of discourse is supposed to be?

Facebook person

And the responses were all over the locals. People saying locals were the bad guys. People accepting and expecting that those tourists’ side of the story was right and the locals were the bad guys. This might be true. It might not.

It’s like everyone just took one story, without verifying it, accepted it as truth and then jumped on the bad guy wagon.

The question is why? Why do we do this?

I’m sure the original poster believes that woman and that woman may absolutely telling the truth or at least her version of it, but why do we all jump in and take it as reality when it’s hearsay and just that woman’s side of the story. I mean, she obviously doesn’t want to think, “Hey, all these people are swearing at me. Maybe I’m actually doing something wrong.” Instead, she cast herself as the victim and the others as being the bad guys. Which could be entirely accurate.

We don’t know.

And that’s just it. In real life, a lot of the time, we don’t know. Things aren’t always as simple as good and evil; absolute right and absolute wrong.

Although, sometimes it really is. There are certain things that are just evil.


One of the biggest questions a lot of new writers have is this:

Do I need a bad guy?

Yes.

But your bad guy can be yourself or your main character.

Like in our random thoughts, Carrie is often showing that she is her own worst enemy. Watching tv gives her anxiety, but she almost always watches tv at night for a couple of hours.

When it comes to life or writing stories, this can help you figure out what the antagonist is.

Here are the steps:

  1. Figure out what your goal or your main character’s goal is.
  2. The bad person is whatever stands in the way of your character (or you) achieving your goal.

So, in life Carrie is her own antagonist because her goal is to not feel anxious at night, yet she still watches television for an hour or two. That’s an example of an inner-antagonist or bad guy.

Also in life, when Carrie doesn’t let Shaun watch American Pickers and makes him watch Pen15 or Teenage Bounty Hunters? She’s Shaun’s external bad guy, keeping him from his goal to chill with those picker guys.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Every story needs conflict. Sometimes that conflict and opposing force (what’s keeping your character from their goal) comes from the character themself.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

There are enough bad guys in the world. You don’t have to make them up.

Sparty Dog
Sparty Dog, our rescue who saw way too many bad people out there.



SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


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

Continue reading “Why You Gotta Hate Like That Bad Guys In Writing and Life”

Hungover Writer Burrito

Everyone. I’ve decided to try my COOKING WITH A WRITER POSTS again. Let me know if you want me to stop.

And this one is one of my last ones. I’m channelling back. 🙂

Sometimes your writer self (the vegetarian kind) might need a bit of a pick-me-up after a long night of channeling Hemingway or any of the other dead authors of the 1900s or living authors of the 1980s.

Here is our offering, tweaked and twisted from a really good recipe (see the notes) and super yummy.

BRAVE THING I’M DOING

Pretty soon, I’m going to have a Teachable class all about the scene. It’s going to be pretty cheap and hopefully you’ll sign up and like it.

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a group class that involves coaching and edit, and I straight-up edit things. Find out more here. 


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 252,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


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

This week’s episode! Five Writing Quotes to Make You Feel Better About Things!

A bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

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

Print Recipe
Hungover Writer Burritos
Man Verdict: YOU do NOT have to be hungover to eat this. Or a writer. My Verdict: All vegetarian burritos are good burritos. Dog Verdict: They'd only let us eat the plain rice and the tortillas. No fun at all.
Burritos
Cuisine american
Keyword burrito
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups • cooked rice that you’ve already cooked or cook it now
  • 2 whole • limes (Juiced like the Energizer Bunny man – but not. Oh, that’s gross now that I think about it. Juiced like highly motivated and squeezed out, okay?)
  • 2 tablespoons • fresh cilantro Chopped. I like to scissor mine.
  • half whole onion Diced
  • 4 cloves garlic Minced or whatever.
  • 2 tablespoons • vegetable oil
  • 1 can • can black beans or pinto beans (drain those bad boys like a writer who is trying to gether last 1 666 words of her 234,500-word novel about narwahl egosa post-Instagram age), 15-ounce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • .5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon • hot sauce (Or more if you’re pro spicy. I am pro spicy. It makes me remember that I’m alive. Less if you’re my mother. She is dead so I hope you aren’t my mother.)
  • Any • Salt if you’re into that.
  • Some • Flour tortillas because this is not a Keto recipe.
Cuisine american
Keyword burrito
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups • cooked rice that you’ve already cooked or cook it now
  • 2 whole • limes (Juiced like the Energizer Bunny man – but not. Oh, that’s gross now that I think about it. Juiced like highly motivated and squeezed out, okay?)
  • 2 tablespoons • fresh cilantro Chopped. I like to scissor mine.
  • half whole onion Diced
  • 4 cloves garlic Minced or whatever.
  • 2 tablespoons • vegetable oil
  • 1 can • can black beans or pinto beans (drain those bad boys like a writer who is trying to gether last 1 666 words of her 234,500-word novel about narwahl egosa post-Instagram age), 15-ounce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • .5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon • hot sauce (Or more if you’re pro spicy. I am pro spicy. It makes me remember that I’m alive. Less if you’re my mother. She is dead so I hope you aren’t my mother.)
  • Any • Salt if you’re into that.
  • Some • Flour tortillas because this is not a Keto recipe.
Burritos
Instructions
  1. 1. Toss the rice and cilantro. Do it in a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t just toss it. You aren’t still drunk are you? NYE was two days ago, writer! Get a grip!
  2. 2. Drizzle lime juice on it. Think about how the word drizzle is a cool word.
  3. 3. Drizzle.
  4. 4. Put it in the microwave for 45 seconds or so.
  5. 5. Take it out of the microwave.
  6. 6. Stir it, but not super enthusiastically. More like a last revision pass where you’re just putting in the time and trying to find out how many times you’ve made your characters nod. 87? That’s too many.
  7. 7. Back to cooking. In a big skillet, saute garlic and onion in oil for ttwo minutes. The onion wants to be soft like the protagonist’s skin in a romantic thriller featuring damsels and pirates. The damsel is the protagonist.
  8. 8. Lower the heat (medium-low). Add beans. Put the cumin, hot sauce, and chili powder on there. Roll with salt if you’re into that. Let it cook for five minutes.
  9. 9. Put rice into tortillas. Put bean mixture in tortillas. Realize you did not warm up the tortillas.
  10. 10. Warm up those tortillas in the microwave (under paper towel that’s damp for 15 seconds) if that’s how you roll or in an oiled-pan on the stovetop (low heat) if you’re like that. It really depends on your level of lazy. If you’re still hung-over, I’m guessing that lazy level is high.
  11. 11. Eat.
  12. 12. Watch Hulu or Netflix or something while you eat. Claim it’s book research. Realize that in 2020 writers lie like that to themselves. That’s why they do fiction. Be glad you write fiction
  13. 13. Eat more.
  14. 14. Go get a beer to go with it. Actually get the whole case so you don’t have to get up off the couch too many times.
  15. 15. Realize you’ll have to make this again tomorrow. Decide you’re okay with that.
Recipe Notes

This is adapted from a much better recipe on the amazing website of awesome called Spruce Eats. You can find it here. 

 

Five Writing Quotes To Make You Feel Better About Things

Five Writing Quotes To Make You Feel Better About Things

 
 
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Carrie is a bit burnt out this week so we decided to take a fast look at the advice and quotes that writers give to each other.

Quote #1

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
—Stephen King

Mr. King has strong feelings about adverbs. He has strong feelings about a lot of things. Just because a successful man has strong feelings about things doesn’t mean he’s correct.

Quote #2

“Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.”
—Allegra Goodman

This is just here because it has the word ‘fetish’ in it, but the truth of it is pretty obvious. Don’t write because you want to be John Steinbeck or God or Toni Morrison. Write because you want to be you.

Quote #3

“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”
—Doris Lessing

Many agents, editors, readers and critics would disagree with Doris.

Quote #4 A and B

“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

“I don’t know about lying for novelists. I look at some of the great novelists, and I think the reason they are great is that they’re telling the truth. The fact is they’re using made-up names, made-up people, made-up places, and made-up times, but they’re telling the truth about the human being—what we are capable of, what makes us lose, laugh, weep, fall down, and gnash our teeth and wring our hands and kill each other and love each other.” – Maya Angelou

These are my favorite quotes about writing ever. Writing is about being understood and communicating truths that go straight inside of the reader and helps them see their truths, too, truths and connections.

Quote 5

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.”

― Lisa See

Like any craft, when you read other people’s stories, it helps you see how to construct your own.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Advice can be take it or leave it, but try to remember to be yourself.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

You can learn a lot about your craft by seeing other dogs’ techniques. Don’t be afraid to be learned.

SHOUT OUT

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

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


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 252,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


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

This week’s episode about generalizations and what men want. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

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

Marriage is Gross and Just Say Yes!

Marriage is Gross and Just Say Yes!

 
 
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Carrie has talked about this in her blog before, but we decided that it’s time to talk about it in the podcast thanks to an inspiring presentation writer Sami Main made for the Writing Barn last week.

It’s about one of the basic tenents of improv comedy and how you can use that for your writing and/or your life.

Do both! Overachieve.

Anyway, it’s amazing how Patricia Ryan Madson’s Improv Maxims, apply to writing and life and love and all that sexy stuff.

Her first maxim in Improv Wisdom (New York: Belltower, 2005) is basically, “Say Yes.”

In improv, when two characters are doing a scene, both characters have to be positive, to say yes to each other’s suggestions.

If one guy stands up there and says, “Let’s go party.” And then the other guy says, “No way.” Well… the scene falls on its face and everyone goes home saying they hate improv and the improvers think they suck and everything is just BAD, BAD, BAD.

So, writing is like that too.

When our characters want to take us to new unexpected places in the plot, we just have to go with it. If we don’t, our story stagnates.

We have to be willing to say “yes,” to take risks with our characters and our plots and our language.

According to Madson, “Saying ‘yes’ is an act of courage and optimism; it allows you to share control. It is a way to make your partner happy. Yes expands your world.”

I could go on about this forever. Like, how we get in ruts. Such as, my characters always have a love interest. And it’s always a boy. How cool would it be if the love interest were a cat? Or a hamster? Or a fig tree?

Okay. I know. Banned book.

Or, how we get into habits with our writing just like we get into habits with our lives. How cool would it be to break a writing habit and make a better writing habit? To get out of the safety of routine, change our process and expand? To just say yes?

Writing Tip of the Pod

Say yes to new ideas. Don’t be in a writing rut or hold to your preconceived notions of what your story or writing life should beDog

DOG Tip for Life

Try new things. Eat food off the floor. Go for it, humans!

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.


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

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


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.


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

This week’s episode about generalizations and what men want. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

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

GROWING UP WITH GRIT A BONUS PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH CHANTAL WATTS

GROWING UP WITH GRIT A BONUS PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH CHANTAL WATTS

 
 
00:00 / 00:21:39
 
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Award-winning news producer, blogger, podcaster, human, Chantal Watts is a bit of a force and she joins us on the podcast today and talks about her growing up, which reminds me so much of Jared Leto, and also how to be gritty and strong.

She’s amazing and I hope you’ll check it out.

Chantal’s Links of Awesome.

Chantal’s Instagram

Full Frontal Nerdity!


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


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.


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 I Smell Like A Dog

Let me preface this by saying that even before Covid-19, I was one of those people who wash their hands all the time and also one of those people who floss.

My flossing at the campground restroom last summer inspired someone to scoff in disbelief. I’ve repressed most of the incident because I repress all bad things, but basically she said something like, “I didn’t think people actually did that.” Or maybe it was, “You’re one of those kind of people.”

Spoiler alert: I am one of those people who are pro dental hygiene and anti bad breath.

That was a heck of a lot of lead up to this.

My point:

I have been awake merely one hour today, washed my hands three times and they still smell like a dog.

Mostly, they smell like this dog:

my hands smell like dogs
She isn’t even that smelly.

Can someone please explain why?

Oh! Also, the wonderful humans at 88 Cups of Tea hosted me for a guest blog about work and life balance. They are all wonderful and you should check them 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 222,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.

This week’s episode.

Continue reading “Why Do I Smell Like A Dog”

Broken Brains and Where Shouldn’t You Start Your Story

Broken Brains and Where Shouldn’t You Start Your Story

 
 
00:00 / 00:24:45
 
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A lot of writing coaches talk about story structure and plots and inciting incidents, which is all well and good but Carrie is burnt-out this week. 


Carrie: I have worked too hard and my brain is broken. 

So, instead we are going to tell you what NOT to do. We are going to be the story police and harsh out the rules. 

Carrie: I don’t like rules or broken brains, but let’s do this. 

What Not To Do According To Conventional Wisdom Right Now

Do not start with dialogue.

This used to be super popular, but MySpace also used to be super popular. Things go out of style and it is not super popular anymore. 

Here’s an example: 

             “I like elephants.”

                        “Awesome. Me too.”

                        “No way?”

                        “Actually, I am lying.” 

EXAMPLE OF AWESOME

You’ve no clue who is talking, where they are or why they do or don’t like elephants and you probably don’t care. We want readers to care from the very beginning of the story.

An alarm clock buzzing. 

Who even has an alarm clock anymore, actually? But no alarm clocks or cell phone alarms or whatever. Waking up is dull. 

            My alarm buzzed and I groaned. 

                        “Another day, another dollar,” I said to my cat, Muffin. 

                        Muffin hit me in the nose with her paw. She’s tired of my clichés. 

Another Example of Awesome

The whole IT WAS ALL A DREAM start.

Unless this is a paranormal or fantasy where the dream is a key part of the power or the threat? Then it’s okay even if people say ‘never ever.’

Cough. You don’t want to be super invested in a story and then find out that it was all crap and not real even to the character. 

Amazing thing happens. More amazing things happen. More amazing things happen for five pages. Oops. It’s all a dream. 

Example of dreamy

Being dorky without meaning to. 

This is when you accidentally make a super silly mistake or state something obvious in the very beginning of your story. Gasp! I know! You would never do that, right?

Spoiler alert: We all do this.

She knew she had to wear a mask in a pubic place.

Try to avoid the typos.

“I love to love you,” I think to myself.

This is an example. We all think to ourselves. Cut the ‘to myself.’

All narrative all the time. 

There is no dialogue anywhere in the first ten pages of this story and instead everything is just a solid block of text in which I, the author, tells you exciting things – well at least they are exciting to me – about the story, but honestly it’s just a lot of navel gazing. Did you know that people get lint in their navels? Did you know that a lot of that lint is actually random fibers from your clothes, if you wear clothes, and dead skin, and then it gets stuck there and mixes all up together. I wonder if you care. I wonder if you care that I care. And so on.

Agh. Did you even read this example? It ruined our SEO readability score.

Writing Tip of the Pod

Don’t start off on the wrong writer foot. 

Dog Tip for Life

It’s okay to start over.

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.


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This week’s episode.

Continue reading “Broken Brains and Where Shouldn’t You Start Your Story”