Werewolves on Bikes and Stupid Bad Writing and Life Advice

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Werewolves on Bikes and Stupid Bad Writing and Life Advice
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RANDOM THOUGHTS

In our random thought, we talk about werewolves on bikes and what would happen if SuperBowl players dressed up like zombies and vampires. Who would win?

Here are the photos we promised.

The Advice Part!


So, advice is cool, right? It’s other people sharing their wisdom, but sometimes advice? It just sucks.

This goes for writing advice and life advice.

I was driving from Manhattan to Long Island with my boyfriend and his parents. These were wealthy people with a really expensive car. The dad was a partner at one of the top firms in the city, and he was brilliant. He was not, however, the best driver.

On this drive, my boyfriend and I were in the backseat and suddenly the car was bumping along. We looked up and his dad was legit driving his car on the median of the road, the bumped out divider thing.

His mom was screaming and he was just totally oblivious. The traffic was flowing, but heavy and there are signs in the median.

“Jimmy!” she screamed.

The sign is getting closer and closer.

And he said, “It is fine.”

He swerved off into oncoming traffic.

People screamed. He swore. He veered back up onto the median. The sign was still there, waiting.

I was clutching the door handle.

My boyfriend yelled, “Dad! You’re going to hit the—”

His dad slammed on the breaks. We waited about five minutes for his mom to stop swearing and for someone to let us to get back on the road.

And he said, I swear to God, “Let this be a lesson to you kids. Roads are not for everyone. You find your own damn way.”

Carrie

Bad advice, right? Sometimes it’s okay to stay on the road. When you deviate off, you want to deviate safely and not run over signs or almost get people killed.

I also had a relative who told me college was for fools and that I read too much so I wouldn’t get anywhere in life.

Also the thought does count, but it usually doesn’t count for the person you’ve kind of failed.

And credit cards aren’t free money, Mom.

There’s good life advice out there too like:

  • Check your credit card and bank statements a lot.
  • Don’t make big decisions when you’re super angry.
  • Don’t not do things because you’re afraid of rejection.
  • Don’t not speak your mind because you’re afraid of trolls.
  • Floss your teeth so you can keep having teeth.

And there’s bad writing advice out there too like:

  • You always have to outline. If you see “always,” it’s probably going to be a bad piece of advice.
  • You should never outline. If you see “never,” it’s probably going to be a bad piece of advice.
  • Adverbs are always demons. You really don’t honestly want them to be totally almost every other silly word, but you can totally use them sparingly. Sorry! I couldn’t resist.
  • Semicolons are always demons. They aren’t; sometimes they help when a conjunction just doesn’t work.
  • Write the way you talk. This isn’t necessarily a good idea if you’re a person who talks like Carrie. Plus, it’s limiting. Do you want every character to sound exactly like you? Every book?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

All advice is not created equally.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Live your life for yourself sometimes.

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 have a new 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.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.

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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

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.

Making Your Story Believably Bad Ass (and your characters too)

In both real life and stories, you don’t want to make things so unbelievable that you don’t make sense. Things need to be logical.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Making Your Story Believably Bad Ass (and your characters too)
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A lot of time you’ll write a story and a beta reader, agent, editor or reviewer will say, “This is not believable.”

And a lot of time, you’ll tweet something and some rando on Twitter will say, “WTF. You lie.”

And a lot of time, you’ll just be telling a story at a party (or during Zoom in COVID times) and people will say, “No way! No freaking way.”

This can be annoying especially when you’re trying to sell a book and you get that note.

Why Does This Happen?

Sometimes people react that way because their world and experience doesn’t mesh with your own and they don’t understand that everyone in Downeast Maine calls everyone else “dear,” even straight men say it to other straight men.

Sometimes it’s because you just haven’t suspended disbelief for them.

This happens in real life, too.

Sometimes Lies Aren’t Believable

This man who used to be a Houston police officer (He resigned January 14.) went into the Capitol Building on January 6.  And when he was interviewed, he told the federal agents that he wasn’t really part of the riots. He just wanted to see the amazing art. He was only in D.C. to help out his wife who had a business (cooking). But his phone (which the agents looked at) showed a bunch of videos and photos of him.

The photos and videos were allegedly in a deleted folder. But the folder was not all the way deleted.

And he was arrested because his story? It wasn’t that believable to those federal agents, right? I’m sure that when Shaun used to be a cop, he heard a lot of stories like this, too.

One time our youngest daughter who has autism and likes to make really big stories told other campers at the campground that we went to Disney but she had to sleep in a chair. The other campers gawped at us and said, “What?”

They didn’t believe her because it wasn’t believable. It didn’t match the people we were. Every time she does this, we say, “Buddy, if you’re going to lie, which we hope you won’t, you kind of want to make it more believable.”

And then I tell her about the girl I met in college who told everyone during freshman orientation that her parents died in a plane crash in Alaska. About two parties later that morphed to a plane crash in Hawaii. Then during homecoming weekend, her parents showed up in their BMW very much alive. Don’t be that girl. In life or in story.

How To Make Your Story Believable and Bad Ass

Michael Hauge over on “Story Mastery” has some great, easy ideas on how to make your story believable. They are pretty basic, but important to remember.

“1. In every sequence of your story, ask yourself, “Do my characters behave the way people with their backgrounds would normally behave in this situation? Is this their most logical response to the danger they’re in, to the desire they’re pursuing, or to the actions of the other characters?”

If you’re in doubt, ask yourself, “Is this what I would do if I were in this situation?”

2. Don’t confuse credibility with documented reality. One of the weakest arguments you can make in support of your characters’ actions is, “But that really happened.”

3. Foreshadow the characters’ actions and abilities. If you want your hero to use karate in a fight with the villain, reveal her martial arts talents before it’s important to the plot. Show her practicing in the dojo early in the movie, when it doesn’t seem important, or open the novel with her beating down a mugger with her martial arts skills. That way, when it counts, your audience will subconsciously say, “Oh, that’s right. This everyday school teacher has been learning karate.””

4. Openly admit the incredibility of a scene. If, against all logic, your hero pursues a lover who might be a hit man, have her best friend say to her, “Are you nuts? This guy could be a cold-blooded killer!” Then your hero can explain her actions in a way that is consistent with the personality and background you’ve given her. Subconsciously you’re telling the audience, “Look, I know this seems unbelievable, but let me tell you why it isn’t.”

5. Dazzle the audience with pyrotechnics. This is definitely the last resort solution to the problem of credibility. But if you keep the action moving fast enough, or if the setting is big and spectacular enough, the audience might not notice some lapses in logic.”

Michael Hauge

I’m not so sure about that last tip, honestly, but it probably can help. But sometimes those big spectacles can’t divert us enough. I bet you can think of a couple of superhero or science fiction movies that do this.

In both real life and stories, you don’t want to make things so unbelievable that you don’t make sense. Things need to be logical and stuff.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Make your character do things that make sense for your character.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

If you have to play it out and hype it up too much, it often isn’t believable. Don’t forget, the humans aren’t going to believe you’re starving if they are the ones who know how many treats you get. Backstory and evidence matter.

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 have a new 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.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.

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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

RESOURCES

https://www.justice.gov/opa/page/file/1357336/download


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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!

THE SEX TALK FOR WRITERS

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
THE SEX TALK FOR WRITERS
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Eight Sexy Ways to Write Sexy

Carrie’s been editing a lot of erotica lately and despite her uptight New England ways, we thought it was time to give you all a few hints about writing sex scenes.

Gasp!

I know! I know! Here we go…

Hint #1

It needs to make sense.

We’ve all seen really un-sexy writing, right? You’re reading the passage and they are in a kitchen in a house in Wyoming and doing it on the counter and then—poof—they are in four-some on some beach in Belize.

And you’re reading this and you go, “What the what?”

The sexy parts doesn’t matter because the rest doesn’t make any sense.

Hint #2

Don’t make it vanilla.

Most readers aren’t reading because they want to hear about the same old missionary sex that they’ve been doing with their own partners for the last thirty-two years.

We read books to experience new things.

We read books to live out fantasies we might never have in our own life.

We read books to feel like characters who aren’t us, to empathize, learn, and discover.

We read books to get what we can’t always get in real life.

So make it hot.

Hint #3

Make your character interesting and not just um… someone who is having sex, rutting in various places.

Hint #4

Be into it.

No matter what your personal feelings are about sex, you want to write about it like you’re really into it. You want those endorphins to be out there on the page. You can be male, female, agender, gender nonconforming, gay, straight or pan to write sex. You can be any race or religion or ethnicity or social class to write sex.

Sex is pretty much a thing that a lot of adults do. That’s why we have babies and the species hasn’t died off.

Anyone who tells you that one demographic is better than the other at it? They’re being a bigoted punk. Don’t be a bigoted punk.

Hint #5

Show It. Don’t Tell It.

It’s all about the details. Fornicating is the point in erotic fiction, right? But it’s all in the details.

You read, “Two people have sex” and you think, “Yeah. Okay? Whatever.”

That’s telling, right? And it has no details and it’s super boring—so boring!

We want our characters to have dimension, to be human or vampire or zombie, but detailed. We want to root for them or cry for them or cheer for them when they scream, “Boo-yah!” into the bedroom when they’re done.

Hint #6

Dialogue is your friend.

Teasing, the promise, the verbal foreplay? It makes the actual act way more worth it.

You can be silly. You can be creative. You can be naughty. You can use a double entendre (say one thing, mean sex) and have fun.

Hint #7

Have fun. Just like in real life. Fornication can be funny. Use that.

Shaun’s Hint #8

If there’s any doubt, try it out.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

All the hints.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Do your research. Pound the streets. Watch other species. Know what you’re writing about.

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 have a new 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.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.


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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!


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

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

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.


FREE BOOK? YES! I AM SERIOUS.

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


Resources


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

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

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

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.

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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!

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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

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.

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

FOOTBALL, HOCKEY, YOUNG ADULT LIT AN UPSTATE NEW YORKER IN DETROIT – BONUS INTERVIEW WITH KIM SHOWALTER

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
FOOTBALL, HOCKEY, YOUNG ADULT LIT AN UPSTATE NEW YORKER IN DETROIT - BONUS INTERVIEW WITH KIM SHOWALTER
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This week’s bonus podcast features the amazing Kim Showalter, a native upstate New Yorker who moved to Detroit.

It’s a homage to moms, books, football, hockey, and the Bills. I hope you’ll give Kim some love and have a listen!

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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, 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 have a new 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.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.

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

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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!


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

Facing the Facts About Wedgies, Soccer Coaches, and Elections

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

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.


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

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

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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!


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.

Show Us Don’t Tell Us, Baby.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Show Us Don't Tell Us, Baby.
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So in writing one of the biggest tips that you start hearing starts in around third grade and it’s “SHOW DON’T TELL.”

And it’s sound writing advice, but it’s pretty sound life advice, too.

How many of us have heard the words, “I love you,” but never seen the actions that give proof to the words. You can tell someone you love them incessantly for hours, but if you don’t show them it too, it’s pretty likely that the words aren’t going to rock that person’s world.

Telling is like this:

Shaun was a hotty.

Showing is like this:

Carrying four grocery bags and a kitten, biceps bulging, Shaun walked through the parking lot, approaching a couple of older men. The smaller man gawped at Shaun, staring at his chest, the kitten, the bags, the biceps.

“Wow,” the man said, pivoting as Shaun strode by. “Just wow.”

The man licked his lips. His partner hit him in the back of the head lightly and said, “I am right here.”

What Does This Mean?

Both examples illustrate that Shaun is a hotty, but one states it as fact (telling) and one elucidates with examples (description, reaction, action).

Here’s One More Quick Example

Telling

The lawyer liked to use big words to impress people.

Showing

Carpenter stuck his thumbs into the waist of his pants, lowered his voice and said, “Pontification is one of the more mirthful and blithe aspects of the juridical system.”

IN REAL LIFE IT MATTERS TOO.

In life, you want to show too, not just tell all the time.

You can say, “I love you.”

You can also grab someone’s hand and say, “I love you.”

You can also scoff and turn away and step on an ant and say, “I love you.”


WRITING TIP OF THE POD

The actions matter. Showing matters.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Showing and telling simultaneously in life (not writing) works to get treats.


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 have a new 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.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about loving places and feeling called to them when you have never been there before.

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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!


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!

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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!

Rules for Writers and Money (and everyone else too)

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Rules for Writers and Money (and everyone else too)
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You will find a lot of popular content all about how to make money. There are a lot of random blog articles about HOW I MADE 8 TRILLION DOLLARS IN PASSIVE INCOME A MONTH or 22 AWESOME PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS.

Which is lovely. But a lot of us writers are thinking, “What are these even talking about?”

What Is Passive Income?

Passive income is money that happens and builds from things that already exist. They can be from investments (like you rent a room in your house or an entire house or you open a savings account or CDs). It can also come from the investment of effort and time in something you build. This could be a YouTube channel or your eBook once it’s up and running. It could be affiliate marketing or selling prints of your art.

What is Active Income?

Active income is money that someone pays you when you do something for them that’s a service. It can be your salary at the grocery store. It could be an hourly wage at a bookstore. It could be a commission. It could be a tip.

So what’s all this have to do with writing?

According to a study by the Authors Guild, the average full-time writer’s median pay was $20,300 in 2017. That’s full-time. For most of us that’s not a big ton of money. There’s no real standardization of pay and that number doesn’t account for pay discrepencies for sex and race.

On Publishers Lunch, Erin Somers, looks at average earnings instead and wrote,

“For the 63 percent of authors who reported receiving book related income in 2017, the average total income was $43,247, which paints a very different picture . Over 2,000 authors had average publisher royalties of almost $32,000; close to 1,700 self-published authors reported royalties of just over $31,000, and a smaller group of about 700 authors also had average ebook subscription service earnings of over $13,000.”

Somers

But that’s only the writers who actually survived and didn’t give up. About a quarter of the authors that the guild surveyed received no money at all from book activity that year.

So, yes, most of us writers have to have other sources of income outside of writing. And that my friends, is why we’re writing this blog.

Being constantly terrified of not making money makes me, Carrie, a stressed-out writer who sometimes worries more about money and profitability than the actual craft. And a stressed-out Carrie equals a cranky Carrie. Nobody wants a cranky author.

So here are some examples of passive income investments when you have money to spend

  • Buy an investment property and rent it.
  • Invest in a high-yield savings account.
  • Check out crowdfunded real estate with REITs. Sites like Fundrise are a great place to start.
  • Peer-to-peer lending like on the Lending Club where you can loan money to others and get a return.

Examples of passive income investments that are more initial work than initial money.

  • Affiliate marketing on your blog. When people click through an ad that’s on your blog, you get a commission when they buy something that’s affiliated with that link.
  • YouTube – if you get a big enough following you can monetize your YouTube channel and have ads during your content.
  • Create an Online Course – Teachable and Udemy are great places to show off your skills.
  • Sell your art prints or your photos. Shutterstock Is a great resource for photographers.
  • Make an eBook – Seriously, especially if it’s nonfiction.
  • Rent out some storage space or your car or a room in your house.
  • Sell your clothes. Thredup and Poshmark will often give you cash or credit on their site. And it’s good for the environment, or at least better for the environment.

OTHER WAYS TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MONEY SITUATION.

Those are ways to make extra income, but it’s also about not spending too much money and saving, right?

Live Like A Student

Mark Cuban (the guy from Shark Tank) is a big cheerleader for living beneath your means. Don’t buy all the things. Pretend you have less money than you have.

His yacht is anchored outside our town a lot and his yacht is HUGE so I’m not sure that Mr. Cuban is doing this? But I guess maybe he could have an even bigger yacht? It’s good advice for the rest of us though.

Step Away From the Credit Card

My dad was always murmur-screaming, DO NOT USE CREDIT CARDS! THEY ARE EVIL DEMONS FROM HELL! And he was right. Don’t use them if you don’t have to. Use your debit card.

The interest rates on these babies are horrific. You end up owing these companies so much money. Try to pay off or pay down your bill every single month. And then step away. Lock them in a gun safe or something. Seriously. Try not to use them.

Gather Information

Reading blogs and books (much more in depth usually) can give you the information you need and generate the ideas necessary to move your life or your business or your writing to the next level. A $25 investment with a potentially thousand-dollar return? That’s kind of a no-brainer.

Be as informed as you can be so you can make the best possible decisions.

Don’t Be Afraid

Because I grew up poor and because I heard a TON of stories about the depression and the stock market crash of the 1920s (my grandfather was a stockbroker allegedly and watched one of his friends die), I became a bit terrified about stocks and things.

There are three rules that help me deal with this and invest my money.

  1. I ignore everything that’s happening in the stock market when it comes to my portfolio. I pretend that once that money is invested, it’s just gone. This lowers my anxiety even as I plug in $25 a week automatically to a random Edward Jones account.
  2. If you want to invest in something scary, only invest 5-10 percent of your total investments in that scary possibility.
  3. Standard & Poor’s mutual funds are good places to put a bit of money into. But go for the cheapest ones possible.
WRITING TIP OF THE POD

It’s okay to talk about money and to be smart about it.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Do not gobble all your box of dog treats (or writing advance) in one big gulp.

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 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 256,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

HANG OUT WITH US!

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?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about cats on Tinder and other bad advice click here.

Our first episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is here. It’s about loving places for no logical reasons.

The visuals for our podcasts are all on Carrie’s YouTube channel. You can like and subscribe there, too!

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.