The man in my driveway and yes, I’ve lost two best friends

Recently one of my friends asked about the past best friends in my life and I told her how two of my last closest friends had died. She had a hard time with that.

One of those friends grew old enough for his big, ancient wool sweaters to hang off his scarecrow shoulders when I took him to doctor’s appointments. One died cooking breakfast for visitors at an inn, his gorgeous heart taking him away.

And this past Friday, another friend fell to the floor and never regained consciousness. She had done so much for me when we were Rotary International zone coordinators together and it still seems impossible that she’s gone.

I miss my friends all the time, but I always feel so lucky that I had them in my life. My friend cried about this. I didn’t. When I told my daughter about it she just said, “You’re resilient, Mommy. That’s okay.”

“I am?”

I’m not sure if she’s right, but I know those men, Grady and Don, are stories that I’ve pulled into my own heart, stories that I can pull out when I need them, remember, and bask in the warmth. Karen will be like that, too. But not all stories are quite like that. Not all of them have known endings.

About ten years ago for about a month, every night when I walked my dogs, there was this guy standing in front of my driveway. 

This would be okay, but he never spoke.

Seriously.

Like Scotty the dog would run right towards him and the guy just stood there….

And I would say, “Oh! Sorry! My dog likes people. Too much.”

The man? He just still stood there….

Then I’d say, “Yeah … Sorry! Have a good night.”

The man? He just kept standing there.

I tried to figure out if he was doing normal standing there outside man things such as:

1. Talking on his cell phone.
2. Smoking a cigarette.
3. Mumbling to himself about the zombie apocalypse.
4. Debating whether or not Dancing With The Stars or The Voice is fixed. 

But he wasn’t.

At all.

He was just standing there. He always turned and faced me too when I came out, but because it was so dark where I lived, I could never actually make out much of his face.

And then I blogged about him (on LiveJournal, it was awhile ago) and he never came back.

He became an unsolved mystery, a constant presence that just–poof!–disappeared.

There is more than logic at work at times like this. Our brains know the possibilities, the complexity of reasons why a man might be randomly standing at the end of a stranger’s driveway, might shirk away when she tries to communicate–how big, how far apart–realities can be. But there is also a beautiful kind of magic in the possibilities–the whispers of potential communication, the stages of a life, the stories of it.

I’ll never know. For some reason, a man stood at the end of my driveway every night, always when I walked my dogs, even when I varied the times. For some reason, my two best friends are not here, breathing, on this earth anymore. For some reason, I am resilient.

Night in rural Maine is dark and it’s hard to see people’s faces, but when tourists visit and they remember to look up, they see skies full of beauty, stars shining out, tiny bits of past lights, so many potential stories. You remember how little you can be and also how big, how the world can make you feel so isolated and also so connected. All at once.

Maybe everyone has a random man at the end of the driveway. If we notice him, maybe he notices us, too. If we see the outline of him and he doesn’t wave back, it doesn’t matter because he was there before he was gone. Just like we are. A story we might not never know the end of, but still a story that we can try to make big and beautiful.


The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones (That’s me. If you click the image, it will bring you to the Amazon page!)

The third book in Rosie and Seamus’s story of adventure, mystery, and death is here!

I hope you’ll support me, have a good read, and check it out!

great new mystery
romantic suspense set in Bar Harbor Maine

Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .

When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.

Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?

What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.

To buy it, click here, and let me know! I might send you something!

Elusive or Scared? When a Bird Lands on Your Shoulder.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Elusive or Scared? When a Bird Lands on Your Shoulder.
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Our house is styled a bit like a farmhouse even though it’s in the middle of Bar Harbor, across the street from the YMCA’s back, dirt, and (until recently) unused parking lot, secure behind a row of tall ,cedar bushes that hide our porch, our windows, our selves.

There is a deep urge in me sometimes to just hermit myself and just do the work, to write, to cook, to paint, to help others make stories, and I’ll occasionally freeze in terror when someone knocks on the door or calls on the phone, or whenever anyone shocks me out of the realization that I am not alone. 

“You are a bit elusive,” one of my friends told me when we were walking through town together, past the storefronts full of t-shirts and mugs, the ice cream shops and restaurants, the big mailbox full of free masks.

I said, “Oh. I don’t mean to be elusive. I’m just scared.”

The day was scented with salty ocean air and all the houses and stores that we passed had lights on and the hum of music and videos and laughter.

“Scared of what?” she asked.

I didn’t know.

But I did know that I didn’t want to be controlled by those fears, that I wanted to sit out on the front porch and talk to people as they passed by rather than hunkering in my backyard.

In our backyard, we have a couple of bird feeders that Shaun (my husband) put up and is in charge of. My parents divorced when I was three or so, and my mom was horribly afraid of birds—all birds, even cartoon birds. So, we never had bird feeders. And the crows cawing in the trees, the jays making the feeders rock with their weight, the graceful hovering of hummingbirds, and the tiny steps of finches thrill me like they are magic, forbidden magic.  

My mother would not be able to go in our backyard.

All my life, I’ve wanted to have a bird land on my hand. I’m not sure where that urge came from. A passing romanticism? A proof that my soul was good enough for a bird to trust? A way to convince myself that I was linked to something bigger and more profound than I was?

Sometimes when I go out into our backyard, the birds startle and rush into flight and I coo to them, “No. I’m not a threat. I’m not a threat. I’m just here. . . .  Um, we gave you the food in the bird feeders. Friendsies?”

The pigeons are usually the boldest and they’ll just watch me from the eaves of our house and sometimes they’ll coo back. A tiny trickle of adrenaline will rush through me and I’ll whisper, “Yes.”

Sometimes, I think that the backyard birds are elusive, but they probably just want to be safe like I do. But sometimes in that urge for safety we miss opportunities. We are stuck wondering: What is it to be whole?

It’s so much easier to answer: What is it to be broken?

When I was little, after my stepfather died, I would go out into the woods and flop in the tall ferns, smell the New Hampshire soil above the hard granite and stay absolutely still.

Waiting.

If I was still enough, I hoped, a bird would think I was just part of nature, that my cords were dirt and my K-Mart shirts were flowers or stones. If I was still enough, I was sure, a bird would come and land on me. We’d be—connected.

The world would go on all around me. Squirrels would hop from pine tree to spruce to oak to maple. Chipmunks would scurry along the ground. Birds would alight and gather. Deer would tiptoe by.

And I’d be waiting. Hoping a bird would come along, land in my small, upturned palm and claim me as part of it all—connected.

But I already was. I just didn’t realize it. A deer smelled my hair. A chipmunk scurried across my stomach. A squirrel would drop acorns near my feet. My spine rested against the ferns, the moss, the soil and for hours would feel the rustlings of a world beneath me, rooting. Connected.

Sometimes, my mom would come and find me and yell, “What are you doing out here? You’re going to make yourself sick.” She’d hurry me back home, complaining of the dirt on my legs, the flicks of moss, the ferns that had somehow twined themselves into my hair. “Look at your fingernails, Carrie! What am I going to do with you?”

I’d be ordered into the bath or shower, to clean my nails, wash my hair, and be just myself again.

To be whole is to be afraid, to long for safety, but also to stretch beyond it. To be an artist or a writer or even a person is to remember that we are not just individuals, scared all by ourselves, acting all elusive even when our hearts pine for connections. Mortality is terrifying sometimes. Pain? Not so fun. Fear and rejection and ridicule sucks.

Like the birds often fear us for our predatory natures, we can really fear each other, fear exposure to trolls, to negative-nellies, to grumpy people in restaurants, shops, or even our own Facebook, Twitter or TikTok pages and of bigger villains who do unspeakable things.

When we try to connect, we can be admonished by people who love us and look after us, people like my sweet, fearful mom who worried about the dirt I was collecting, the potential bugs, ants, ticks, predators.

But we’re bigger than those fears. We’re more than our resentments, our pain. We’re more than our flaws and egos. We are part of something huge and connected and divine, connections so massive that it’s hard to comprehend sometimes.

A bird can’t land on our hands unless we show them our palms.

We can’t heal or help or love other people unless they step outside.

This weekend, I went on the hammock in the backyard to read a book for work and less than a minute after I flopped down there, a sparrow alighted on my shoulder. She was barely on me for five seconds and her wings fluttered and beat the whole time.

But she was there.

It’s okay to be elusive sometimes, even fearful sometimes; it can help protect us, but we don’t want our fear to become our prison. We are bigger than that, our whole nature is bigger than that. We just have to reach out our hand and let the bird land in it and settle for and rejoice in a shoulder, and we have to be the bird and not always fly off or hide away, building our nests bigger and bigger until we can’t find the way out.

There is a way out if we want. We have to want it.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

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

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

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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

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


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

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

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

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


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

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

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

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

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

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

It not just about thinking positive; it’s about doing positive.

We’ve all heard that if we just think positively everything will be better.

We have journals and lists that we create every night or morning of how we’re blessed.

Then there’s the mantra, “Change your thoughts, change your life.”

And sometimes when I see these things I get a little ragey because it isn’t always that easy. It’s hard to always think positively when your dog has just died or you’re in a war zone or your being hurt.

We’re all allowed to be a little ragey sometimes or sad or gleeful or even covetous. That’s because we’re human, but it’s also because of something even more important that we all need to remember.

WE ARE NOT OUR THOUGHTS.

We can think, “I am Jesus” all day long but that doesn’t make us Jesus. We can think, “I am Beyonce” or “I am the president.” But it doesn’t make us so.

What makes us who we are?

The things we do.

I have a friend who does one act of kindness after another, who cares passionately about the people she loves. But people can annoy her sometimes. Injustices REALLY annoy her.

And after she has a judgement-free rant, she’ll say, “I’m so awful. I know! I know!”

But that’s the thing.

She’s not awful. She’s amazing. She’s one of the best people I know. And that’s because who she is isn’t just about her thoughts. Who she is stems from her actions, her choices, her decisions.

When she needs to persist or overcome, she doesn’t give in to her thoughts of doubt, her insecurities, or even her anger. She acts. She makes a difference.

How cool is that?

Yes, it’s important and super healthy to have a positive outlook. But it’s not always possible, and when you don’t achieve that? It doesn’t make you bad. If you think you’re bad, then you’re just going to end up in another negative thought spiral.

You’re too awesome for that.

And you can’t sit around waiting to be happy, hoping that this will be the day where you aren’t in pain, or someone isn’t a troll, or the basement doesn’t flood. You have to make the choice to be happy and take the actions that help you feel that if that’s what you want to feel.

You can think about changing all the time, but actual change come from doing the work, the actions, making the choices and going for it.

You can do that.

So, how do you do that?

DO THINGS

Acting/doing/participating in something takes you away from negative thoughts and thrusts you into the action, gives you focus. People in Asia and Europe have talked about the flow state for a long time. People in sports tend to call it being in the zone.

But it’s a place, and damn it’s beautiful.

To get there though, you have to do the action. That might be running, writing, painting, climbing, figuring out a theorem, creating a blog post, but it happens because you are doing an action. Do the things.

PUT YOUR THOUGHTS IN THEIR PLACE

Really. This isn’t new either, but it works. When you feel that negative thought spiral coming on, call it out. Say, “Yo. Negative thought. Just because I forgot to close the bedroom door before we made the sex and forgot my avo and Aunt Rose Marie were coming over does not mean ‘I am so stupid.’ It just means I was so in the moment that I forgot to close the door.”

You’ve got to try to see those negative thoughts for the bullies they are and sometimes all they need to chill out is just to be noticed.

I have wicked social anxiety. It’s like a weird kind of stage fright. And the only way for me to battle it is to just act right through it. So I get in the car and drive to the party and tell my negative thoughts that nothing horrifying will happen and my actions won’t make people go to jail. I go to the board meeting. I do the live podcast. I buckle up and stare down the negative thoughts and once I’m doing the actions? It helps tamp down the anxiety. But if I hesitate? That fear builds up and up, gaining so much power that it’s a vicious battle to tamp it back down.

And I love people. I love the joy of public speaking. I love moving people and inspiring them in person, right? So, it’s almost like my fright is excitement gone terribly wrong. It’s almost like a part of me thinks, “Who am I to get to do this? To be this happy? To have people listen to me?”

For a kid with a speech defect (and now an adult with one), that’s a pretty amazing thing. Middle-school Carrie would have never imagined it.

Pay Attention To The World Like A Tourist or a Poet Would

I know! I know! Poets and tourists don’t seem to go together, but they both search for experiences and explore their worlds.

A Roman emperior, Marcus Aurelius, would detail the world like the best of writers or artists. Ordinary things became extraordinary under his pen.

Noticing things is an action. Seeing things is a gift. Empathy and understanding can be byproducts of observation. Be present. Don’t overlook the ordinary. You’ve got this.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

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

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

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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

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


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

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

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

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


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

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

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

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

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

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

 

Be Brave Friday

Over on Facebook, I do a think called BE BRAVE FRIDAY because I’m trying to be a human being who:

  1. Evolves
  2. Does things that I’m afraid to do (in little and big ways)

One of those things was podcasting and now we have over 202,000 downloads of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE. I was afraid to do that because I have sloshy-s’s and have been tormented and bullied about my voice for a long, long time.

Another thing that I’m afraid to do is share my art. That’s for a bunch of complicated reasons, but it just makes me feel really vulnerable. So, now I’m sharing it.

Here’s today’s post.

It’s Be Brave Friday


Today, I watched many of my friends be brave and say that they’ve or their family has had Covid-19. They shouldn’t have to be brave to say that.
Society needs to love instead of ostracize. We need to work together to build the communities we want to be a part to of. That building should be about love and access not shame and fear.


Today, I also chanted under my breath while I was working, “I’m good. I’m good. I’m good. I’m good.”


And I’m thinking this probably means that I’m not so good? But I am still lucky and blessed to be alive, to have shelter and food, to have people that I get to love. I hope you get those things to. I hope you hold them close to you – those blessings.


Here’s this week’s painting. I hope you are being brave and true. I hope you can chant to yourself the stories you want to hear and live the stories you want to inhabit. Love to all of you. <3


Dogs are Smarter Than People

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Direct Link to Fiona’s Interview! on DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE. She’s a poet, coach, and awesome human.

Last week’s interview with J.L. Delozier, a Pennsylvania doctor and writer who is on the CoVid-19 frontlines and her debut novel was about a virus killing half the planet.

This week’s regular episode – The Two Second Relationship Rule

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday”

Remembering the Good Even on September 11th

This is what I post around Sept. 11 of every year. I am so sorry if you’ve read it before. A lot of things have changed in my life in eighteen years. I went from being a newspaper reporter and city councilor to a newspaper editor to unemployed to a New York Times (and internationally) bestselling novelist. My baby girl grew up into a butt-kicking, brilliant Harvard graduate and field artillery officer in the army.

But how I feel about heroes will never change.

Ben died in 2016, after years and years of being a hero to the people of Shelter Island, New York, years and years of being a paramedic (one of the oldest in the country) and not only just saving people, but being the last one to comfort and touch the living.

The picture here is the one that ran with his obituary. I am not sure who took it and if you did and you want me to take the photo down, I will! Just let me know. It’s a great photo.

++++ +++++++ ++++++++ ++++++++

It’s hard not to think about September 11 without thinking about loss.

That’s how it should be. But I do know that so many heroes that we never hear about worked hard on that day. It’s important to remember them too, because they are, I think, what it truly means to be an ideal American and an ideal person.

My former uncle, Charlie, who lives in Maplewood, NJ was just across the shore when he saw the plane go into one of the tall towers in New York City. He was over 80 and a doctor. He was in World War II. He hates war.

He told me when he saw that plane full of people go into that tower full of people he said, “Jesus Christ … Jesus Christ …”

He mumbled it for a second, a prayer, a plea, a name, a hope. He said his heart sank right into the bottom of his feet as he stood there watching. He said like he felt like he stood there on the shore forever. He didn’t. He moved after a second. He went right over towards the towers, towards the death and the hurt and the terror and the screaming, and the whole time in his head he kept repeating those words, that name …. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ.

He started to help people. He was over 80 breathing in all kinds of horrible things into lungs that were already tired and aged, but that didn’t stop him. He’d helped people all his life. He had served his country all his life. Nobody would have thought anything if he had turned around, walked away, got in his car and drove back to Maplewood.

But Charlie would have thought something though if he did that.
He could have never done that.

My former father-in-law, Ben, also over eighty, is an EMT. He became one when he was sixty-five. After years of being an executive, he wanted to feel like he did something good in his life, something helpful. He was part of the Red Cross disaster team. He went over to the site too, got grit out of people’s eyes, helped them breathe, helped them cope.


You ask him what it was like and he shakes his head slowly and says in his deep/hoarse voice, “God, that was an awful scene. Just an awful scene.”

Charlie and Ben weren’t firemen on duty or police officers like so many heroes that day were. They weren’t official first responders.

What I love about them is that they made the choice. They chose to go. They chose to help and they didn’t give a poop about how old they were, about how many people they’d already helped. They didn’t care about the ache in their bones or the fact that both their hearts were starting to fail. They cared about something else. They cared about people. So they went.

They will always be my heroes. They are just two of many, many stories that happened on that day and on other days. People can do awful things. We can hurt our loves, bomb each other, scream words of hate, glorify ignorance with bats and cars, ignore a smile of a cashier, be too busy to pay attention to a child.

But we can do beautiful things, too. We can love, and heal; we can put others first, rush to a scene of mayhem, put ourselves in peril on the off chance that we might be able to save a life, get grit out of an eye, give comfort, give a hug. And that… that is what makes people worth it. That is what makes people magic. That is what makes people heroes over and over again.

So, I will remember Ben and Charlie and so many others today. I won’t ignore the hate and pain and sorrow that happens on Sept. 11 or on any day of war or violence, but I choose to remember the good, too. I choose to remember the heroes. And it’s their names that I will say over and over again. Ben Jones. Charles Crandall. Ben. Charlie. And so many others.

Smelling Like Pee Near Hotties Because My Life is Embarrassing

So, in the ridiculous life that is my own, I’ve decided to revisit my old blog posts for about ten days and it turns out – most of my blog posts are embarrassing.

Yet, I am posting them anyway.

Sparty the Dog: Don’t do it, Carrie! It’s not worth it.

carriejonesbooks.blog

Sorry, Sparty, an authentic writer has to do what she has to do. Plus, I need to blog.

The set-up:

I was in seventh grade.

My stepfather had just died. It was my brother’s wedding.

I was totally in love with Tim, my much older (at an ancient 22) step-cousin. He had nice hair and really white teeth. That’s all I needed for it to be love. I am easy to please.

The dress:

Was two sizes too big. I lost a lot of weight because my dad died.

Was this Pepto-Bismol pink color of evil.

Required a hoop skirt. Yes. Yes. I am serious. The hoop skirt became part of Confederate symbology and was protested in 2015, but this was New Hampshire so I don’t know why it was part of the dresses.

Had fake flowers for shoulder straps.

Was tiered like a wedding cake.

It vaguely looked like this: 

Crossed with this: 

What happened:

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

The dress sagged everywhere, including where my breasts were (still are, actually. My breasts have not. I repeat: HAVE NOT moved) and the maid of honor was trying to duct tape the side in. It was frantic because I looked bad. SO bad.

The taping didn’t really work and the tape was scratching because it wasn’t fashion tape, but was actually duct tape.

Everyone gave up.

“It’s okay,” the Mother of the Bride said through gritted teeth. “You look fine.”

The Mother of the Bride was not a good liar.

Then when we were heading out to the car I picked up their dog, Midge, for comforting dog snuggles because I needed them. It turned out you were not supposed to pick up Midge. Why?

Midge peed.

Midge peed all over the dress. There was this dark stain, going down the side of my pink atrocity. My cousin Tim was totally going to see me in this dress that now had PEE on it! PEE!

Cue: Mother of the Bride swearing.
Cue: Maid of Honor yelling, “YOU PICKED UP MIDGE! JESUS! JESUS!”

They rushed me inside, dabbed at me with a face cloth and then dried me with a hair dryer and sprayed a whole lot of Lysol on me. It was fragrant and killed airborne bacteria, but it didn’t mask the smell of the Midge.

Me: I smell like pee.
Mother of the Bride: YOU. SMELL. FINE.

Father of the Bride: She smells like piss.

Cue: Maid of Honor spraying lilac perfume all over me, which combines with the Lysol.

It was not a pleasant smell.,

So, I went to the wedding smelling like Lysol, lilac and pee. My super cute step cousin asked me to dance. I was in Heaven. He leaned in. I was in Super Heaven of Awesomeness. My step cousin of the handsome hair was leaning in. I am ready to die of bliss.

He sniffed the air. “Does it smell like urine?”


BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!

Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.

You can also support the podcast monetarily (cough) via this link . Your support helps us justify doing this and also buys dog treats.

BLOG BREAK – SORT OF

It’s a big holiday week here and so Carrie is going to be taking a bit of a blog break for the next two weeks. There will be a new podcast next Tuesday, but other than that? It’s a little time for Carrie’s brain to recharge and rest. So, she’ll be posting random blogs from her past. Thank you for understanding!

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mockup-8408a5d6.jpg

TIME STOPPERS!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is My-Post-copy-6.jpg

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

31702754 copy

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

WRITING COACH

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

WRITING BARN

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 786d9806-f7ed-494b-83a4-a5c0d4d0ddee.jpg

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

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Carrie and the Campaign Pot House

I’ve decided to spend the next few days or so reposting blogs from my past because what better way to celebrate a new year (insert sarcasm here) and this one is about what it was like to run for office.

A lot of you know that I was once a city councilor and then I had a failing bid for the Maine State House of Representatives.

I was a horrible politician. I felt intrusive knocking on doors. I was not efficient when listening to people’s stories. I’d stay too long and not get to other doors.

The other party said I was too soft to deal with the mean realities of politics. (Not the other candidate. His party) and so on.

So, in my effort to spread a little enlightenment on what it is to be me, Carrie, when I was a failed politician in a state race I bring you this….

As those of you who read CARRIE AND THE CAMPAIGN PENIS and CARRIE AND THE CAMPAIGN PSYCHO might remember, part of being a candidate for political office involves knocking on doors.

A couple weeks ago, Joe Pat (we gave him a hillbilly name because his dad is a doctor) is driving me around in his old Saab. The first house we go to is a modifed trailer, slightly off this dirt road called Pioneer Farm Way.

I go up to the door. I knock.
A roundish kind of guy opens the door. 
I say who I am.

He’s all, “Hey… Cool. I don’t live here. I’m just Joe’s caretaker…I mean… dude… Caregiver.”

And I’m all, “Cool. Can you give this to him and tell him to call me if he — “

From this back hall comes a froggish voice, “Let her in.”

Caretaker/caregiver guy gets panic look. “Um…”

“Dude,” the phantom voice says, “Let her in.”

This guy who is soooooo tan that he’s like beef jerky rolls his wheelchair into the front part of the trailer. He’s only wearing tiny khaki shorts.

He winks at me and says, “Come on back.”

I do.

I follow him down this long, long hallway.

Everything starts smelling pretty interesting, but I’m not really registering it because there are all these sounds of people scurrying around. It’s like I’m in the Boogie Nights movie or something. There is fake wood paneling everywhere and that smell… That smell that I can’t quite place.

Half-naked guy wheels himself to the head of this big table. There’s a teen sitting there. Caretaker/giver sits down.

Half-naked khaki guy goes, “Sit down. You mind if I smoke?”

“Sure. It’s your house.” I look right in his eyes because he is half-naked and I am repressed and from New Hampshire. He smiles and picks up a cigarette. I realize it is not the regular kind of cigarette. It is pot. I look next to me and there is this gigantic box (like 3 x 3) full of special cigarettes. There’s got to be like 500 in there. Then I look on the other side of him and realize that the ginormous bag of plant matter is not cat nip. It is weed. I have never seen so much weed, not even when I was reporting on drug busts.

Half-naked guy inhales. He inhales a lot. He tells me that he has MS, so it’s legal for him to grow. 

Half-naked guy adds, “I’m on disability and disability doesn’t pay much, you know.”

“I know.”

People scurry in back rooms. Someone giggles.

Half-naked guy says, “So, you know that it doesn’t pay enough to survive on. It’s legal for me to grow ’cause of the MS.”

I stare at his eyes. They are red, but happy.

Half-naked guy says, “I’ve got a lot of friends who stop by, you know. They stop by…”

Me (finally getting it), “OH!”

Half-naked guy smiles really big and says, “You can stop by if you want. You don’t have to partake but I can tell, you and me, we’re on the same wavelength you know.”

This is possibly true because I am one of those people that drunk and high people insist is drunk and high when I am in fact completely sober. My brain is just wired that way.

Half-naked guy then tells me a massive list of reporters, cops, teachers, etc, who come by and ‘visit’ him. 

He tells me names!!!! People’s names! They could be summonsed or arrested or something (back then because it was totally illegal) and he tells me their names and I know all of them. All. Of. Them. If I was an evil politician, I could blackmail people. I am not an evil politician. This is possibly why I was so bad at being a politician, actually.

Anyways, it takes him a long, long time to say a sentence. All this time pot smell is sticking to my hair and clothes. The caretaker/giver guy and teen boy keep getting up and leaving and coming back. Half-naked man keeps smoking and rolling, smoking and rolling.

And me? I am suddenly getting the munchies and I have the urge to say, “Dude… Man… I just love you, dude. And your MS totally sucks, but man… I love you.”

I manage to resist the urge, but just barely.

So, my chaperone and keeper, Joe Pat realizes that I’ve been gone awhile and he comes in. They bring him back to me. Joe Pat looks like he is in Heaven. He can’t stop smiling.

Half-naked guy looks up at Joe Pat and says, “You want a toke?”

Joe Pat blushes and goes, “No. No, man. I’m good.”

I get ready to leave and half-naked pot man makes a fist for me. We touch fists. And he goes, I am dead serious, he goes, “Pot for Peace, Carrie. Pot for Peace.”

Joe Pat and I get back into his Saab and Joe Pat is grabbing the steering wheel, not really saying words but just sort of all manic energy before he finally says, “Holy sh–t! That was amazing. Did you see all that? I’ve never seen so much pot in my life. And I’m a drummer.” 

I start cracking up. I can’t stop. 

Joe Pat backs out of the driveway and says, “You have a contact high, Carrie, don’t you? Oh, crap. *Will is going to kill me. Do you still want to do doors?”

I hold out my hair. “Does my hair smell?”

He sniffs in. “Hell yeah.”

I nod, think (which takes a long time) and say, “Yeah, I better do doors. I’ll just tell people I went to a pot house.”

So that’s what I do. Overall, it was one of the most mellow doors night I’ve had, but no, I wasn’t very efficient and possibly talked way too much about the pot house, healthcare, and why my hair smelled.

Yes. Another reason why I didn’t win.

*Will was my campaign manager.

Be a Part of the Podcast!

Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into our podcast, “Dogs are Smarter than People,” record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.

You can also support the podcast monetarily (cough) via this link . Your support helps us justify doing this and also buys dog treats.

Blog Break – Sort Of

It’s a big holiday week here and so Carrie is going to be taking a bit of a blog break for the next two weeks. There will be a new podcast next Tuesday, but other than that? It’s a little time for Carrie’s brain to recharge and rest. So, she’ll be posting random blogs from her past. Thank you for understanding!

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

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

TIME STOPPERS!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

Flying

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

WRITING COACH

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

WRITING BARN

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

APPLY NOW!

My Daughter Wants to Quit Sixth Grade

IMG_4934


I found this old Livejournal post from December 2005, from my first month blogging, from when people actually commented on my blog and I actually knew everyone who did. All very weird. It’s a continuation in my 10 days of throw-back posts.

Here it goes.

My daughter wants to quit sixth grade.

Yesterday, as a result of a student rep meeting, the school stopped serving cookies.

Em, my daughter, said at the student rep meeting that it seemed strange to her that the school sells cookies for a quarter and salad for a dollar, when there’s this big “Healthy Eating Campaign.” She said it made it easier for rich kids to eat healthy because the rich kids have more money. Plus, you can get four cookies for the price of one salad, which makes you think it’s a much better deal so everyone who has a dollar buys four cookies.

The principal wrote in the minutes, “Kids question cost of healthy food vs cookies.”

The cook read it, thought, “They want no snack food. I’ll get rid of the cookies.”

The cook did.

Now, there are no more cookies. Now, there is no more ice cream. Not Em’s intention. Nor did she know it was happening. She likes cookies. She loves ice cream. She just doesn’t eat them all the time.

So, yesterday, a mean eighth grader named Sebastian spent all of recess running around demanding to know whose fault it was. Someone said Em mentioned something about cookies at a rep meeting. Sebastian with an ever-growing gang of followers (all eighth-grade boys) found some of Em’s friends and surrounded them.

“Do you know Emily?” they demanded. “Where is she?”

“She’s in Mr. Stackpole’s room, working on an essay.”

The bell rang. Three eighth grade boys sprinted for Mr. Stackpole’s room, where ring leader, Sebastian yelled in Emily’s face, “There are no cookies! There are no cookies! Bitch!”

Em had no idea what he was talking about. Because she is totally tough, she tried to ignore them. They didn’t stop. Her classmates filtered in.

“You took our cookies!” Sebastian screamed. 

Em gave in, looked up at the face of a big eighth-grade boy, who easily outweighs her by a hundred pounds and said in her takes-no-prisoners way, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Yes, Em does say sentences like that with that kind of Liam Nieson composure. I hear them all the time, especially when I ask her if she’s ready to wake up for school.

So, another classmate tells them to leave her alone and the boys leave when the teacher comes. Em is filled in about the cookie thing. All the 7th and 8th graders are angry at her. The sixth graders get it. The principal talks about it at the honors banquets. Emily, really, really, really does not want to go to school again.

“I do not like eighth grade boys,” she tells me this morning. “I really do not like them.”

“That’s okay,” I tell her. 

“Is that what men are like?” she says. She waits because I haven’t answered and then she repeats, “Men?”

I nod. “Not all men. Not all boys. Not all people are like that. Girls are mean too, right?”

“Yeah,” she says and stares out the window, “I guess.”

She doesn’t seem convinced.

And as I’m re-reading this post in the now, I’m sort of wondering how this event helped shape Emily into the awesome person she is today. How awesome?

1. She could be my body guard. She’s taken Krav and she’s a field artillery officer. I am serious.
2. She went to Harvard and has a super-high GPA but she is still nice and not pretentious and won awards for her thesis.
3. She still thinks healthy choices should be as inexpensive as not-so-healthy choices

I am proud of her, so super proud of her. Not because she is strong or smart, but because she has so much integrity and so much will, because she battles it out in crappy situations and doesn’t publicly lose her cool. I am proud of her because she is such a warrior. And because she thinks about things like healthy choices, because even in sixth-grade when someone huge and angry called her a bitch, she didn’t flinch.

She didn’t flinch because she knew that she was awesome.

I want everyone to be like that.

I want to be like that.

But I’m also so proud of her because she didn’t quit sixth grade. She came through it. And as a parent, it’s so hard sometimes to believe that your kids will make it through really tough times. Sometimes they don’t. And all we can do is love them and try to be empathetic and strong for them. And sometimes we don’t do that perfectly. That’s because we’re human. We’re all human. And we all need to love.

We like to think that we can control our kids’ choices, always heal their pain, but we aren’t all-powerful, none of us. We can’t fix so many things and we definitely can’t control outcomes and feelings of other people. And that’s hard to come to terms with. We want to save the world. We want to save our family. We want the power to fix all things and we don’t have that. We can only make our own choices and hope.

All we can do is do our best. Speak our truths. Love our loves. Respect and listen to other experiences and stop judging so much when other people’s experiences and thoughts and loves and life choices aren’t our own.


BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!

Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.

You can also support the podcast monetarily (cough) via this link . Your support helps us justify doing this and also buys dog treats.

BLOG BREAK – SORT OF

It’s a big holiday week here and so Carrie is going to be taking a bit of a blog break for the next two weeks. There will be a new podcast next Tuesday, but other than that? It’s a little time for Carrie’s brain to recharge and rest. So, she’ll be posting random blogs from her past. Thank you for understanding!

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mockup-8408a5d6.jpg

TIME STOPPERS!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is My-Post-copy-6.jpg

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

31702754 copy
Flying

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

WRITING COACH

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

WRITING BARN

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 786d9806-f7ed-494b-83a4-a5c0d4d0ddee.jpg

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

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APPLY NOW!

Top Signs of Author Sell-Out also known as Desperation

It happens to so many writers we know and love. Holidays. Birthdays. The amount of money in their checking account has decreased exponentially and they suddenly realize that they need to make more money, quickly, somehow.

The situation becomes desperate.

Here are the signs. Know them so you can support your own sweet author family and friends.

  1. You’ve started having all your characters drink Coke while posting on Instagram in every scene in hopes of a sponsorship.

“Mmm, this Coke is yummy,” Chloe said, quenching her thirst and then staring at Brad as the realization sunk in. She quickly took a selfie to capture the moment. “What do you mean, my dad is a koala?”

“He’s a koala, I swear. I saw him drinking a Coke with Principal Johnson,” Brad said, sipping his own Coke. “They were using bananas for straws.”

“Liar!” Chloe threw her Coke at Brad. Precious Coke spilled over the floor. Cola, the dog, quickly lapped it up. Chloe snapped another shot and posted. 

The Book That Sucks

2. You’ve started signing all your picture book query letters to agents, “OBAMA” or “BRENE BROWN” or “MADONNA” or even “THE BEIBS” in the hopes that someone will read it.

Note: This is likely to be more successful if you also dress up like Madonna and send a photo of yourself in that pointy bra thing she used to wear in the 1980s. This works for both men and women.

Hint: Try not to send Audio Files of yourself singing “Material Girl.” Only your mom finds that cute. Really. This is also true for both men and women.

3. You agree to put full page ads for diet pills in your tween novel about girls in cliques who like hair products and spas. Just for the heck of it, you put in hair product advertising spreads on pages 229 and 123-124.

4. You post a mantra on your computer: IT’S NOT SELLING OUT. IT’S JUST  ENSURING FISCAL SUCCESS.

5. You sit at the coffee shope, sobbing, holding a placard that says, “WILL NAME CHARACTERS AFTER YOU FOR MONEY” and another one that reads, “WILL KILL OFF YOUR EX-BOYFRIENDS IN MY BOOK IN A HORRIBLE WAY (Death by dinosaur? Hamster suffocation? Bombing by fireside? Your choice..) FOR A LATTE.”

Be a Part of the Podcast!

Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.

You can also support the podcast monetarily (cough) via this link . Your support helps us justify doing this and also buys dog treats.

Blog Break – Sort Of

It’s a big holiday week here and so Carrie is going to be taking a bit of a blog break for the next two weeks. There will be a new podcast next Tuesday, but other than that? It’s a little time for Carrie’s brain to recharge and rest. So, she’ll be posting random blogs from her past. Thank you for understanding!

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

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

TIME STOPPERS!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

31702754 copy
Flying

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

WRITING COACH

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

WRITING BARN

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

APPLY NOW!

When Women Come Together Things Get A Little Bad Ass

BAR HARBOR, Maine — “I love that you are doing this,” Erica Brooks, associate broker at the Swan Agency, announces as she approaches a table where Nicole Ouellette, owner of Breaking Even and Anchorspace, sits as she creates a computerized map of women-owned businesses on Mount Desert Island. The women are just two of many at the Women-Owned-Business Expo in the old gym at the MDI YWCA.

Behind them are various tables all featuring women-owned businesses. The range from financial planning to real estate, arts to mortgage services. Marketing materials, art work, drums, examples of their work decorate the tables.

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The women here will tell you that business ownership changes you. Every interaction, every solicitation, every success and failure, brings with it an experience, a toughness, a life lesson. And these women? They leave an impact on their clients, their students, their community. Those impacts? They matter. The sounds of the women are joyous and insightful as they talk and help each other set up.

Ouellette asks Brooks to sign up for a raffle of business books. All the books are written by women and stacked on the table, right behind an entry form and sign-up sheet. Brooks happily adds her name.

“I think this event attracts women who want a book with the word, ‘badass,'” Ouellette says, lifting one up that has that exact word in the title.

Brooks agrees, laughing, and then even as the other women continue to set up, Brooks segues into something pretty poignant for early on a Saturday morning in a small coastal Maine town of only about 5,000 year-round residents. She starts talking about how real estate is her passion and how part of that is empowering women, two ideas which most people don’t immediately hook together. But after a negative life event, when she was able to buy her own house, she felt incredibly empowered.

“Financial freedom… equity in real estate,” she says. It means something to her.

Ouellette agrees, “I spent my entire twenties trying to get my friends to open an IRA.”

Owning a business for many of the women is about doing something they enjoy, a passion, a love, but it’s also about making money, supporting themselves, making connections and empowerment.

One of Ouellette’s businesses, Anchorspace, is cohosting the event with the MDI YWCA. Her business’s tagline is, “Where Downeast Maine gets to work,” where she hopes people will work smarter, healthier and together. One of her many passions is apparent at the Expo, it’s bringing people together so that they can support each other, shout out each other’s successes and hook them into new revenue streams and friendships.

“I’m meeting so many women, really cool women,” Elise Frank of Edward Jones says.

Surely that kind of joy and connection is both important for the women themselves as well as the community they work with. Maybe networking and friendship skills should be taught in schools as well as at home. Maybe learning to listen to a new friend should be learned when you’re learning your ABC’s and then again with a refresher course in high school. The world would probably be a better place.

That’s what is happening here.

The event is held at the MDI YWCA, whose mission is empowering women and promoting diversity. Throughout the three hours there’s a lot of happy networking happening. Women keep adding more and more names to the map of local women-owned businesses, trying to remember everyone and not leave anyone out.

“That seems impossible. There are so many… so many women,” one lady murmurs. “It’s pretty incredible.”

At the same time, new clients are potentially met, and friendships solidify.

The talk keeps turning back to certain themes. Mothers. Potential. Abilities. The desire to become something, to create something, and to reach their own best potentials. Liz Cutler, owner of ArtWaves. talks about her mother’s brilliance in mathematics and how she gave up a promising career when she became a mother.

“She was wonderful,” Liz says, but she also has to wonder how hard that was.

Becky Carroll talks about her desire to become more artistic like other members of her family, about exploring new talents . Women murmur about fitting in, striking out, holding each other up even while remembering their relatives who may not have had those same opportunities.

After three hours, the business owners say goodbye to Ouellette. Sherri Dyer of MDI Mortgage offers to help Cutler carry her paintings and easels out to her car. But before they leave, they join in a chorus of women thanking Ouellette for the opportunity.

“Thank you.”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you.”

It’s a chorus of appreciation for a kindness and an event meant to empower women, create friendships and promote each other. It’s a litany of thanks for an event the world needs more of, an event that’s about lifting each other up instead of pulling each other down, about community and opportunity, about learning more about your neighbors than you knew before.

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Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Timestoppers3_005

I’m WRITING BARN FACULTY AND THERE’S A COURSE YOU CAN TAKE!

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

 

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Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.