Unplug Yourself and Bark Back and Find Your Agency

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Unplug Yourself and Bark Back and Find Your Agency
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There’s an Anne Lamott quote that says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes—including you.”

And that’s a lovely quote and quite true in so many instances, but also sometimes? Sometimes it can feel next to impossible to unplug.

Sometimes that unplugging has to be a dramatic event where you realize that you have to rescue yourself from the habits that are controlling your life, or the people controlling your life and you have to actually take your own control of your life.

I know! I know! Terrifying.

But the first question is: how do you actually take control over your life?

Over at the greatergood, there are some potential possibilities that we’re going to share here. It’s a great article written by Anthony Rao and Paul Napper back in 2019.

Controlling Stimuli

They write:

“Agency begins with what you let into your mind—meaning what comes in from your environment. If you are lacking agency, it’s likely your attention is being hijacked and you need to figure out how to restore it.”

A phone next to you when you’re reading? It’s probably going to distract you, they say. But walking outside? It lets your brain recharge.

Same thing with email notifications. 

Another thing they suggest is . . .

“Associate Selectively”

They write:

“It’s impossible not to be affected by those around us—it’s easy to “catch” their emotions, for example, and our brains tend to synch up when we associate with other people. That means you should set boundaries with difficult people, disentangle yourself from negative online interactions, and be more conscious of how you might be vulnerable to “groupthink”—pressures to behave or think in ways that are contrary to your values.”

How do you do that when that person is your kid? It’s a good question. But they suggest making sure you have a lot of interactions with people who want to help you cultivate your skills and talents, grow to your potential, and help you with your positive beliefs. Volunteering and just chatting can help.

Move Around

Get up. Off the couch. Off the chair. Stretch. Walk. Dance. As often as possible.

Learn

They write: “People with high levels of agency are continually learning more and expanding their capacity to learn by adopting a more open, collaborative approach to everything in life.”

There’s a whole lot more we’ll talk about next week too, but for this week, try this:

  1. Put your phone in another room while you work.
  2. Go outside and walk if you can.
  3. Get up every 40 minutes and move around for five. Set a timer.
  4. Chat with someone positive or sign up to volunteer somewhere.
  5. Sign up for a free class or even listen to a podcast like this. Take some time to learn something.

And think about this:

“You can’t buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind,” Anne Lamott says in a TedTalk about being sixty-one. “It’s an inside job, and we can’t arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world. They have to find their own ways, their own answers.”

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Bark. Communicate your needs and sometimes the neighbor will bark back and you’ll feel less lonely.

Sparty

LINKS WE USE IN THE PODCAST

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_to_feel_more_in_control_of_your_life

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/help-i-found-a-weird-way-to-calm-the-dog-next-door-my-neighbor-is-furious-about-it/ar-AAVAHvE

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.

AND we are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

The Time Our Dog Peed On the Christmas Tree

Because I’m a little stressed out because of the holidays and the state of the world, I’m recycling this blog from 2007. HELLO! Ancient times.

Back then, we had an awesome dog named Tala (a Great Pyr), who wrote the whole blog because my dogs are like that. So helpful. Here you go.



Hello. I am Tala. I am Carrie’s dog. This Sunday I took my humans on a little adventure.

Aw, yes… the love.

So, Sunday I convinced the fam to go get a Christmas tree because there was a monster storm coming Monday. I could feel it in my doggy bones. They get some creaky when the barometric pressure changes, you know.

So, I explained to the Emster (the little human) that I was not going to be doing much work. I was merely a supervisor. She’d have to do the heavy lifting.

Of course, she said. I’ll do anything for you, Tala. You are the most awesome-ist doggy ever.


I concurred.

I found the perfect tree and barked it down with my awesome doggy breath.

 My work here is done.

I then convinced the humans to haul it out of the Christmas tree patch while I sniffed around for bones, dead rodents, old poo, and other yumdilicious things.

They said:  We’ll do anything for you, Tala!

Yes, humans, you will. One little puppy-dog pout and it’s all over. No use pretending.

And then I peed on a tree. An eight-foot-tree, and Carrie (the bigger human with long hair) screamed and quickly pretended like it didn’t happen.


Is this good, Tala?
Yes, little human. It is.

And look how happy she is, just thinking about picking up the tree. That’s not my car by the way. I don’t like silver. It blends in with my white fur too much and I look pasty.

It was a bit of a haul getting the tree out of there, but I made those humans march fast through motivation.

March, humans! March! Hurry! Snow is coming!!! And I might pee on another Christmas tree!

 They hauled the tree a long, long way. They really did it. They hauled that tree. And everyone says humans aren’t good at anything other than brushing out hairballs, picking up little mistakes and putting them in paper towels, and giving out doggy treats while saying “Sit. Sit. SIT!” over and over again. I’ve proved those nay-sayers wrong.

And they hauled the tree out just in time, too… because the next day looked like this…

Hhmm. We’ve got lots of potential tree hauling and peeing opportunities around here.

Note: Do I not look like a Snow Dog? Yes. Yes. I do.

Unfortunately, though, the youngest human, worn out from the events of the day before, passed out while sledding.

 No more, Tala. No more. I’ve given you all the dog treats I can find. And you keep hogging the sled.

Don’t you worry. I buried her some good.

 I’m just that kind of dog. The helpful kind.


It’s hard not to miss that dog. It’s a good thing a lot of her spirit lives on in Gabby.

Gabby Dog carrying on the tradition of peeing in inappropriate places
And making goofy photos by Christmas trees.

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.

Maybe It’s Time We All Help Each Other Instead of Being Jerks

One day when I lived in Ellsworth, Maine (I don’t any longer.) I threw on some ballet flats and jumped in my MINI, zipped up my driveway hill and there was my dog (Scotty) barking and protecting the driveway from a car that had fallen into a ditch and the man trying to shovel the car out.

I jumped out, put Scotty in the car and said, “Can I help?”

The man was Joe, an older guy who has some major health issues and lived down the street.

He was like “oh yeah.”

A white-haired lady inside the car looked at me and said, “Please.”

She had a front-wheel drive car. It had no super cool studded tires like the MINI. And she’d tried to get up the snow-covered monster hill that was my road and slid all the way down. Her car was tilted at this funky angle that no car should have to endure.

Joe and I got behind it and pushed.

We pushed some more.

My ballet flat went in the snow. I fell down. Joe fell down. The car didn’t move.

We tried again. We tried again. And again.

I lost feeling in my butt since it was so cold because i didn’t put a jacket on or anything and my hair was wet from  the shower once I realized there was a problem out on the road.

I had never lost feeling in my butt before. It was pretty weird.

This whole time that Joe and I were fighting against the wicked machine that was Mrs. Austen’s unbudging car, I was thinking about helping people and books and writing because let’s face it … you get bored pushing cars that don’t move.

So a lot of the time when people start to criticize books they get really … um … agitated (and rightfully so in a lot of cases) if they think the female character gets rescued too much.  And people are sort of SUPER sensitized to it so much that they flip out if anyone helps out the female character ever. 

And I get that.


I get that female readers need to know that they can rescue themselves, that they don’t need a boy to do it, and that if girls think that then it makes them dependent. I mean, I thought about that all the time when I wrote the NEED books. And Zara (my main character) thought about that all the time. I think about it when I write the Rosie mystery/thrillers and Alisa’s haunted campground story.

But it also makes me worried.

Because the truth is that we all need rescuing constantly. We all need help. Boys need help. Girls need help. Authors who are neurotic about their next book coming out need help. And I want a balance in books and in movies. I want different genders and ages and races and religions and physical abilities to help each other, to respect help, to be able to receive help.

It’s about balance and intention and not being a stereotype or trope.

And the thing is that in real life? You just do it. You just help (hopefully, unless you’re in a reality show or something and think it’s all about you).

I wasn’t about to ignore that older woman in her car because she was:

1. Older
2. Female

3. Judging from her bumperstickers a different political party than I am.

I didn’t think, “Hm … Perhaps, I shouldn’t help her because she should get that car out of the ditch all by herself even though she does have a cane and a fake hip that hasn’t fully healed yet. If I help her, I am actually oppressing her.”

And Joe who almost died the year before didn’t think that either, I bet. 

Yesterday was an election in our town. People got all riled up. People were mean to female realtors, but not male realtors. People were cranky and unkind on political posts about local politics.

But the thing is? Almost all those people are going to be there helping each other out when help is needed. How do I know? Because I’ve been a reporter here and I’ve seen it over and over again.

Helpfulness is just as natural as hate–if not even more so. It just doesn’t get as much press.

So, I guess that’s my point.

Go help somebody today! And thank somebody who has helped you.

Here is mine: Thank you to everyone who has rescued me from writer insecurity this year, who have saved me from sad, who has made me laugh, who bought a book or let me edit your story or supported me on my patreon.

You have totally been my rescuers and I owe you! YAY YOU!!! xoxxo

NEW BOOK OUT!

It’s super fun. An adult paranormal/mystery/romance/horror blend. Think Charlaine Harris but without all the vampires. Instead there are shifters and dragon grandmothers and evil police chiefs and potential necromancers and the occasional zombie and a sexy skunk.

It’s out November 1, which means you can buy it now, and I seriously love it. So, it would be cool if you bought it so I can be all motivated to write the next book.

Oh, and it’s quirky.

This is because most of my books are quirky.

Be ready to resurrect your love of the paranormal in the first novel in the Alisa Thea series—the books that give new meaning to quirky paranormal.

Alisa Thea is barely scraping by as a landscaper in small-town Bar Harbor. She can’t touch people with her bare skin without seeing their deaths and passing out, which limits her job and friendship opportunities. It also doesn’t give much of a possibility for a love life, nor does her overbearing stepfather, the town’s sheriff. Then along comes an opportunity at a local campground where she thinks her need for a home and job are finally solved . . .

But the campground and its quirky residents have secrets of their own: the upper level is full of paranormals. And when some horrifying murders hit the campground—along with a potential boyfriend from her past who may be involved—Alisa starts to wonder if living in a campground of paranormals will end up in her own death.

Join New York Times and internationally best[selling author Carrie Jones in the first book of the Alisa Thea Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.

It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s kind of like Charlaine Harris, but a little bit more achy and weird.

best maine paranormal carrie jones
Almost Dead Series – Meet Alissa Thea, a sexy skunk, a haunted campground and a lot of quirky

I’m Farting Carrots. Oh, the Mondegreen

Always take a piece of meat with you.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
I'm Farting Carrots. Oh, the Mondegreen
/

We’ve all done it. We’ve misheard song lyrics or actual words. We’ve argued about whether someone was saying Laurel or Yanni.

But there is an actual term for that.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a mondegreen is “a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung.”

I had a whole character in my first book that did this all the time.

Sylvia Wright made up the word in 1954 when she wrote an article about it for The Atlantic or possibly Harpers (these are the two most common citings), “The Death of Lady Mondegreen.”

She’d loved this Scottish song or poem that went

They hae slain the Earl Amurray
And laid him on the green.

That last line sounded like Lady Mondegreen to her.

According to an article in the New Yorker by Maria Konnikova,

Hearing is a two-step process. First, there is the auditory perception itself: the physics of sound waves making their way through your ear and into the auditory cortex of your brain. And then there is the meaning-making: the part where your brain takes the noise and imbues it with significance. That was a car alarm. That’s a bird. Mondegreens occur when, somewhere between the sound and the meaning, communication breaks down. You hear the same acoustic information as everyone else, but your brain doesn’t interpret it the same way. What’s less immediately clear is why, precisely, that happens.

The article goes on to say,

A common cause of mondegreens, in particular, is the oronym: word strings in which the sounds can be logically divided multiple ways. One version that Pinker describes goes like this: Eugene O’Neill won a Pullet Surprise. 

Other times, the culprit is the perception of the sound itself: some letters and letter combinations sound remarkably alike, and we need further cues, whether visual or contextual, to help us out. In their absence, one sound can be mistaken for the other. For instance, in a phenomenon known as the McGurk effect, people can be made to hear one consonant when a similar one is being spoken. “There’s a bathroom on the right” standing in for “there’s a bad moon on the rise” is a succession of such similarities adding up to two equally coherent alternatives. 

NME’s site has an article on the top forty misheard song lyrics and it’s hysterical.

It’s a British site and you should check it out, but their top three are:

Number One – Dire Straits’s “Money For Nothing.”

Wrong lyric: “Money for nothin’ and chips for free.”

Correct lyric: “Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free”

Number 2 Wrong Lyric – Paul Young’s “Everytime You Go Away.”

Wrong Lyric: “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you.”

Correct lyric: “Every time you go away take a piece of me with you.”

Number 4 Wrong Lyric (Yes, we skipped three) – Starship’s ‘We Built This City.’

Wrong lyric: “We built this city on sausage rolls.”

Correct lyric: “We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll.”

Writing Tip of the Pod

It’s fun to play with words, to think about sounds.

Dog Tip for Life

Always take a piece of meat with you.

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.

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.

AND we are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

LINKS OF STRANGE NEWS MENTIONED

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/05/06/britain-Leaf-cafe-Liverpool-England-1913-menu-ceiling/6881620329800/

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/05/04/Guinness-World-Records-marshamallow-mouth-catch-distance-Dallas-Anderson-Jon-Paleka/7501620145182/

Love Your Way Through It

Compassion and empathy makes you stronger. You don’t need to walk through this world with a big stick, scream from a bully pulpit or sermonize with fear. Empathy and kindness for even those who hurt you—or those who try to hurt you—only makes you stronger.

It’s really easy to get all wrapped up in status and ambition, to fall into the syndrome where you think the grass is always greener everywhere except your lawn, to be jealous at other people’s accolades or family’s or looks or luck.

            Shakespeare said that comparisons are odious. And that long-dead white guy was right.

            Comparisons make you feel like poop.

            I know that a lot of people try to make themselves feel better by comparing themself to others and find the others lesser.

I’ve had people do it to me all my life. I bet you have, too.

My husband before Shaun was a hospital CEO in a small, local hospital. I was volunteering to decorate for one of the hospital’s two annual fundraisers. I was up on a ladder wearing my favorite Snoopy shoes and jeans, hardly hospital CEO wife clothes, but good stuff for climbing ladders, hauling tables and putting out poinsettias.

My hair was its natural color and in a lopsided ponytail. I had no make-up on.

I’ll never forget these two wealthy ladies about two decades older than me loudly saying, “What does he see in her?”

            I tottered on the ladder a bit and the person helping me knew that I heard. It would have been impossible not to hear.

            “Don’t listen to them. They have miserable small lives and they’re jealous. Just jealous shrews,” the helper said.

            She might have been right, but it didn’t matter right that second.

I heard their words and for a moment they hurt me, but then I just felt so sad for them. How lonely their lives must be if they had to say that about me. How sad.

All I could do was love them when I thought about the hurt that they must have had inside of their hearts.

            Neither of those women probably even remember that moment, but I do, and I also remember that I made a choice.

            I could have luxuriated in that hurt instead of acknowledging it, seeing it, and then letting it pass through me.

            I could have lashed out at them and matched their pettiness with my own.

            But instead I chose empathy. I had the luxury and safety of doing that because I’m secretly pretty secure in who I am. I love myself even when I suck. I chose to love them when they sucked, too.

            A translation of Dhammapada verse 223 makes it so that  Buddha once roughly said, “Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth.”

Some translations use ‘overpower’ rather than ‘silence.’

Overpower the angry man with love.

            Love your way through it.

            Compassion and empathy makes you stronger. You don’t need to walk through this world with a big stick, scream from a bully pulpit or sermonize with fear. Empathy and kindness for even those who hurt you—or those who try to hurt you—only makes you stronger.

Let’s all be strong together, okay?


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!


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.

Do You Have To Find Your Bliss?

A woman named Maggie S. had a great post about why she sets goals on the same week that Meg Cabot had this great post about putting on your big girl panties and dealing with things.


Another writer friend, Lisa, had this post of awesome about how you should follow your bliss.

And articles about goals and finding your bliss are constantly all over Medium.

Which made me think.

Note: Me thinking is somewhat dangerous.

But it made me think about what I want out of life and I realized that I have no idea what my bliss is or how to follow it.

Yes, I am blissless!

I mean, I am not like Eeyore and looking sad and finding negatives everywhere.

Eeyore: I can’t believe you used me as an example.
Me: Sorry Eeyore.

I am a pretty happy person actually, but I have never consciously thought to myself: SET GOALS. FOLLOW YOUR BLISS. PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL UNDERWEAR.

Does anyone else not like the word ‘panties?’

I really don’t like that word. Especially when men over 72 say it.

Anyway, I just sort of live and not worry about bliss and it’s worked for me.

But now I want to have some bliss to follow. Not a Tiger Woods kind of bliss where I eschew all responsibility and just sort of follow my libido to the land of porn stars and cocktail waiters because… um… EW!

Not a politically motivated bliss where I ignore all opinions and facts outside my own bubble because also … ew.

But some sort of nice, legal, personal, without-negative ramifications bliss.

And I have to wonder… Am I the only one out there who doesn’t know exactly what her bliss is?

I sort of just find bliss all the time, in random things like Gabby my dog rolling in the snow…

Gabby: Hey! This isn’t a snow picture.
Me: You blend in with the snow in all the snow pictures.
Gabby: True. I will give you that one and add that my bliss is basically these things: squirrels, cats, squirrels, Sparty Boy (my doggy boyfriend), Cloud Kitty (my cat girlfriend), when chicken falls on the floor, car rides, belly rubs, squirrels
and the Fed Ex man with the beard, the one who gives me treats.

Sorry for the Gabby digression.

But I find my little bliss moments with her or Sparty Dog or the cats humiliating themselves by jumping on the counter and missing

best ya authors

Koko the Cat: I am going to go to sleep and pretend you did not mention that event, which should never not be mentioned, Human!

Or getting to touch a copy of DAD WITHOUT A DAD, which came in the mail.

He made this! Isn’t he talented?!?!?!

Or getting this amazing ornament from one of my other friends, Alyson.

SHE MADE IT! Isn’t she talented?!?!

Or just getting some awesome Christmas cards from amazing people like Cheryl and Akiko.

But maybe finding little bliss all the time isn’t how I should be. Maybe I should working for a big bliss, a followable bliss.


Do you all have a bliss?

Is it silly even to ponder this?


Should I just put on my big girl underwear and move on?

Or should I just be psyched that I have some amazing pets and friends and tiny blisses all around me? I think I know the answer, but what about you?


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.

How To Invest In The Most Important Thing In Your Writing Career

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
How To Invest In The Most Important Thing In Your Writing Career
/

Here’s the spoiler:

The Most Important Thing You Have In Your Writing Career Is You

We know! We know! You were probably hoping for a cool app, or the perfect book about plot beats, but nope. It’s you.

You can’t write if you don’t exist. You write best when you’re doing pretty fine.

So here are the ways to actually invest in yourself.

Stay healthy for your brain

It’s pretty hard to write when you feel like crap because when your brain is all broken. As Harvard Healthbeat says, “First it is important to remember that you need a healthy body to have a healthy brain.”

How do you do that? According to Harvard:

Step 1: Eat a plant-based diet

Step 2: Exercise regularly

Step 3: Get enough sleep

Step 4: Manage your stress

Step 5: Nurture social contacts

Step 6: Continue to challenge your brain

Stay happy or at least okay. Relationships matter.

Your relationships with other people are really important. They help you evolve. There’s a thing called the dependency paradox.

As Kyle Benson writes,

“Our partners powerfully affect our ability to thrive in life. They influence how we feel about ourselves, what we believe we are capable of, and they ultimately impact our attempts to achieve our dreams.

“Even Mr. Self-Actualization (Abraham Maslow) himself argued that without bonds of love and affection with others, we cannot go on to achieve our full potential as human beings.

“Once we choose a partner, there is no question about whether dependency exists or not. It always does. 

“Countless studies show that once we become intimately attached to another human being, the two of us form one physiological being.

“Our partner regulates our blood pressure, our heart rate, our breathing, and the level of hormones in our blood. The emphasis of independence in adult relationships does not hold water from a biological perspective.”

Kyle Benson

There’s a link to Kyle’s post in our notes and it’s just so good, but the part that really rings true for writers and other creatives is this:

“When a partner is supportive, we are more willing to explore and our self-esteem and confidence gets a boost, which allows us to go after our deepest desires. This not only improves the quality of our lives, but it also deepens and enhances our satisfaction within the relationship and our physical health.

“But as many of us know, sometimes our exploration leads to failure, rejection, and painful experiences. When these bad events happen, our biological programming creates anxiety that leads us to seek proximity (physically and/or psychologically) with the person we love.

“If they are supportive during this stage, our stress will go down and we cope with our problems faster, which ultimately leads us to overcome the problem and continue to go after our deepest desires.”

Kyle Benson again

So find those supportive partners and get rid of the rest!

Get some skills!

Carrie resisted the urge to put a z on the end of the word skills in our podcast notes, but here’s the thing: The more you learn, the less you settle. The more you learn, the more capable you become.

Learning and skills come from classes, from reading, and from experience. Mix it up. Learn in different ways.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

There you go. You write best when your brain works, when you’re happy, when you have skills and are learning about how to make the best stories possible. So invest in yourself, people. Take care of your health, your relationships and learn.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

You can go through your life just barking at thing, but you want to expand your brain and your repertoire and really immerse yourself in what makes you and your body happy.

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.

AND we are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

FREE BOOK? YES! I AM SERIOUS.

Click here to subscribe to my weekly newsletter and get a free pdf of my book!


Resources


Is Passion a Bad Choice? A Job A Career or a Calling

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Is Passion a Bad Choice? A Job A Career or a Calling
/

This week during the blitz of U.S. election news, there was an article gaining some traction called “Seven Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn Sooner Rather Than Later” by Nicholas Cole who Carrie wants to call Nicholas Cage because she is old like that.

Carrie has a tendency to hate these kind of articles because she thinks they are trite and insipid.

But his first point hit home. It was, “If you want to ‘do what you love,’ you have to work three times as hard as everyone else.”

“Most people do not get to spend their lives doing whatever it is they love. Instead, they do what they are told they should do or what their parents or town or friends or peers suggest that they do. Or they simply pursue nothing close to their heart at all.”

N.Cole

Is this you?

Do you love something?

Do you do it?

He said, “But if you want to do what you love, you need to see that as a privilege, not an expectation.”

Which is interesting. What does that mean, right?

Carrie does what she loves. But to be fair, Carrie loves everything she does whether it’s being a YMCA gymnastics coach, a church secretary, a student, a newspaper editor.

“I love all the things,” Carrie says.

Cole never says anything about his assertion that you have to work three times harder to do what you love. And we’re not sure where that comes from because he doesn’t source anything. It might just be a generalization, but we wanted to make sure.

WORST CAREER ADVICE EVER?

Despite an exhaustive internet search of five minutes, we couldn’t find anything that backed Cole’s assertion, but we did find an article by Jeff Haden, which said the worst career advice is to do what you love.

He quotes Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love.

“Telling someone to follow their passion–from an entrepreneur’s point of view–is disastrous. That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined… because that’s not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses.

“Passion is not something you follow,” he adds. “Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”

Cal Newport

According to Haden, passions are a bad choice because:

  1. They take time to cultivate.
  2. It’s rare to actually have a career passion.
  3. Passion is a side effect of mastery at something.
  4. Working hard and improving your skills is more important than finding the perfect job.

“Roughly speaking, work can be broken down into a job, a career, or a calling. A job pays the bills; a career is a path towards increasingly better work; a calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. (Clearly most people want their work to be a calling.)

“According to research, what is the strongest predictor of a person seeing her work as a calling?

“The number of years spent on the job. The more experience you have the more likely you are to love your work.

“Why? The more experience you have the better your skills and the greater your satisfaction in having those skills. The more experience you have the more you can see how your work has benefited others. And you’ve had more time to develop strong professional and even personal relationships with some of your employees, vendors, and customers.”

Haden

So, yeah? So, no? What do you think? You can hear what we think in the audio of our podcast and hear the random thoughts from our daily lives, too.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD:

To be the best writer you can be, write. But more than that, figure out why you want to write? Is it a job? You’re doing it for some cash, hopefully. Is it a career? Or is it a calling?


DOG TIP FOR LIFE:

Don’t let random people subvert your passion. Just because they wrote it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. That goes for us, too.

SHOUT OUT

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.

AND we are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

LINK TO HADEN’S ARTICLE:

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/worst-career-advice-do-what-you-love.html


LET’S HANG OUT!

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.

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!

CARRIE’S TEACHABLE CLASS!

I have a quick, pre-recorded Teachable class designed to make you a killer scene writer in just one day. It’s fun. It’s fast. And you get to become a better writer for just $25, which is an amazing deal.

Gabby the Dog’s Advice About Voting

I know a lot of you in the U.S. are a bit stressed out about the election, but I Gabby, the dog, am not stressed.

Can I tell you why I am not stressed?

It isn’t about Carrie hugs, though those always help.

I am not stressed because DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE IN THIS COUNTRY!

Yes. It is stunning, but true.

I personally think that all dogs SHOULD be allowed to vote because we are great judges of character.

We can tell if a politician is lying by his or her smell.

If he/she/they are lying, then they smell like canola oil.

We can tell if a politician has been doing naughty things by his or her smell.

We can tell if a politician has cancer just by his or her smell. Seriously. We can.

I personally can identify all people as threats or non-threats JUST BY HOW THEY SMELL!

Note: If he smells like graveyards and old eggs and lilacs, which equals SUPER HUGE THREAT. DO NOT EVER VOTE FOR HIM. Go figure. They might look nice enough, but it’s really about the smell.

Still, despite my super ability to discern character, I do not get to vote. Sigh.

But you do! I urge you to vote and elect leaders who understand the importance of smell and the importance of dogs. It’s important. It’s not an issue they talk about a lot, but IT SHOULD BE!

And don’t give up even if your candidates do not/did not win this go round.

Dogs never give up.

We dogs do not get to vote about the economy or health care. We do not get to vote about wars or climate change or human rights. We do not get to vote about bank bail-outs. And all of these things affect us dogs, just like they affect you. I can’t tell you how many dogs I know who have had to go from Iams to Shaw’s generic brand dog food because of the economy or how many dogs have watched their owners suffer because they couldn’t afford health care. Please, do not make me tell you about the dogs who have sadly wasted away on their porches because their owners have gone to war.

It isn’t fair.

And, finally, you should always vote even if you don’t like the choices for president or for senator or for judge of probate. You should vote because people fought for you to vote. People died to protect your right to vote. You should vote because it is still a struggle for some people to vote. You should vote because you are lucky enough to have the legal right to vote, to make a choice.

You should vote so that you have a voice, a bark, a howl.

And you should also send dog treats. Just saying.


HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

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

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

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!

NEW BOOK ALERT!

My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is out and it’s just $1,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly.

There’s a bit more about it here.

CARRIE’S TEACHABLE CLASS!

I have a quick, pre-recorded Teachable class designed to make you a killer scene writer in just one day. It’s fun. It’s fast. And you get to become a better writer for just $25, which is an amazing deal.

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.


Facing the Facts About Wedgies, Soccer Coaches, and Elections

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Facing the Facts About Wedgies, Soccer Coaches, and Elections
/

Once, one of our kiddos had two soccer coaches.

And one time at the game, her jv coach yelled at her. She cried the entire way home. She refused to cry on the bench because she’s stoic like that.

Carrie talked to the varsity coach the next morning and he said, “Yeah. I had to do damage control on four or five players after that game. He had them all crying.”

It is hard for us to handle my kid crying about soccer.

One because in the big scheme of things it’s not important. But also, having someone yell at you is like having them give you a wedgie. It’s embarrassing, you feel the opposite of awesome and it can hurt.

That’s the thing reality hurts.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who wrote, FINDING FLOW, says, “To achieve excellence, we must first understand the reality of the everyday, with all its demands and potential frustrations.”

Crying because of soccer coaches counts as the reality of the everyday moments. 

So does not putting the filter in the coffee maker right so that eight cups of water and coffee grinds spill all over the counter and the floor. 

So does getting a wedgie or trolled on Facebook by your Great Aunt Mary’s best friend who thinks wearing masks is a conspiracy sent by aliens from the planet GoodSpa.

So does realizing your WIP is in need of serious help.

Part of improvisational comedy and improvisational life is facing the facts even when those facts suck.

That’s Patricia Ryan Madson’s seventh maxim in her book IMPROV WISDOM is about facing fact.

Carrie really hates facing the facts, sometimes. But she likes the facts (even when they aren’t in her favor) because the facts aren’t lies.


We have to go with what truths we have and sometimes what we have is a middle school jv soccer coach who makes people cry. Or a politician or a family member who does the same thing

Sometimes the truth is a ton of coffee-stained water on the floor or a dog who peed when she woke up and somehow that pee created a big puddle under your king-sized bed.

Sometimes the truth is a WIP that needs serious help. Sometimes it’s a relationship that needs that, a country, a community.

And today, the day, we’re releasing the podcast is election day in the United States and it’s not an understatement to say that the U.S. is having a difficult year and a lot of us are really worried about today.

But worries and wishes? That’s not where it’s at.

As this brilliant woman says,

Wishing things were different simply wastes time. The improviser can’t afford unrealistic thinking. Instead, she builds bridges over rocky terrain and turns lemons into lemonade. She works with what is actually in front of her, setting aside the temptation to dwell on what is not.”

Patricia Madson

She is so smart.

Now is not the time for just worrying and wishing. It’s a time for action. Write your books. Protest. Vote for your candidates. Create the community and laws and system that seem fair and equitable to you.

But do it. No matter what

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Wishing your story into existence doesn’t make your story exist. Dig in. Write it. Write it now.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don’t laze around on the couch and let all the other dogs do the work. Bark. Guard things that are important to you. You can’t complain that you don’t get any treats if you never make an effort.

SHOUT OUT

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.

AND we are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You’ll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

NEW BOOK ALERT!

My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is out and it’s just $1,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly.

There’s a bit more about it here.

Cool Book I Wrote

Let’s Hang Out!

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.


CARRIE’S TEACHABLE CLASS!

I have a quick, pre-recorded Teachable class designed to make you a killer scene writer in just one day. It’s fun. It’s fast. And you get to become a better writer for just $25, which is an amazing deal.

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