Toxic People at the Grocery Store

This post is about choices.

I just walked to the grocery store to get three things.

And all the lines were incredibly long, which was not the grocery store’s fault. It’s a small place and we have a ton of tourists.

In happy news, the line moved quickly and I was almost out of the aisle 12 with all the toilet paper and about to get one of the self-check-out machines when I turned to say something to the man behind me apologizing for my false starts. I kept thinking one of the men at a kiosk was leaving when he wasn’t.

The very tall man behind me in his polo shirt looked all the way down at me, didn’t respond to what I said and instead questioned, “You haven’t been here. Did you step in front of me?”

“Of course not. I’ve been standing in front of you all the way down that aisle.”

I’m pretty sure I smiled and even said, “I’ve been here.”

He looked down his nose even harder, saw my mere three items in my arms and said, “I’ll let you go.”

He’ll let me go?

How absolutely lovely of him.

I’m a conflict-averse person except for when I’m defending other people (and then I’m all in) and so I deflected and tried to joke because that is how the people in my family deal with conflict and I said, “I’m kind of short, but I was here. Maybe you just didn’t see me.”

He harrumphed. This man exuded that stereotypical wealthy white man vibe. I would cast him as an older investment broker who plays golf and tennis a lot, but doesn’t make quite enough money as he should be making. In a Law and Order-style show, he’d die early on and people would shrug.

I get to my kiosk. His wife joins him and he is now at the kiosk right next to me. She’d been off collecting items while he held their place in line. She bumps me while at the kiosk and apologizes.

I say nicely, “Oh, that’s okay. I’m invisible today.”

Because apparently I am?

But then, as I’m leaving the store, another local woman recognizes me and says, “Carrie. I saw that man. I had your back. I was about to say something. But I had your back.”

And that makes it all better. She has my back. I didn’t even know she was there, but she had it. How cool is that?

Even when some people demean us, make us invisible, accuse us of things that we haven’t done, if we’re lucky there can be someone who sees us, who is ready to jump in.

While we are talking, the man and his wife leave the store, turning a sharp left into the parking lot. He lifts his arm super high in the air and gives me the finger.

Me? I laugh. Because it must be amazing to be so clueless, so full of yourself, and so unable to see the people standing right in front of you for a good seven minutes.

And I laughed because this man’s anger means that I get to bond with another woman who probably feels invisible sometimes even though she’s so amazing and kind and talented.

I laughed because people like him are truly missing out. He could have spent time laughing with me in that line. But instead? Instead he chose to be angry. To wrongly feel slighted.

We all can choose to go out into this world looking for enemies, but life is SO much happier when we go out looking for friends.

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!

Finding My Religion and My Story

Last week during our podcast about the strange things parents do, a lot of the people listening mentioned growing up very religious as Jehovah Witnesses or Pentecostals or Baptists. My husband grew up this way off and on, too.

But me?

Not so much.

My family wasn’t very religious

My mom caught her Methodist minister cheating at bowling. He refused to admit it. She never went back. She expected her spiritual guides to not be cheaters.

My little hobbit dad came from a family of very staunch agnostics and atheists.

My bonus dad came from a family of Catholics but he firmly believed that we were already in hell, right now, here on Earth. He also firmly believed that you might as well make the best of it.

But me?

I wanted a church so badly that I went out trying to find one myself. Imagine a six-year-old going to Calvary Baptist Pioneer Girls every Friday night. Imagine that same kid begging people to take her to temple in Manchester, to CCD classes at the little Catholic church sort of by the highway, to Sunday school at the white Presbyterian church on the hill that dominated the town with its austere beauty.

In college I stopped two priests walking across the quad between the giant trees and asked if they could help me be Catholic and they said, “Oh, no, child. Our religion is not for you.”

And I thought, “I have been rejected by priests. Priests! I thought they let anyone in!”

My longing for religion meant that I even applied to seminary and was accepted. I didn’t have the money to go and we ended up here on coastal Maine.

Before that, when I was pregnant, I was a church secretary for a very liberal Unitarian Universalist church that I think took me in just because I was pregnant and needed a job. I rarely had anything to do. My baby girl ended up being baby Jesus at their Christmas pageant that year.

Even though they were so kind, I never found my place. A place where I would fit in.

When I was little, church communities seemed absolutely magical to me like they were communities of good. Rabbis, ministers, priests would stand up and speak of fellowship and of good, of grace and faith and doing what is just and merciful, of pilgrimage, of service. People hugged and shook hands and the kids did crafts. How could I not want to be a part of that?

Plus, a lot of time there were cookies and sugary drinks in Dixie cups.

Mostly I just wanted someone to help me find my way and to belong somewhere because I never really belonged in my sweet family.

I didn’t get that sense of fitting with the group. I was always the outsider, looking in, being welcomed, but not belonging, not part of the group.

That’s okay.

Religious Undertones or Overtones?

One of my books about to be released is a contemporary paranormal slight romance called SAINT and it has a lot of religious undertones going on.

When I started publishing, all I ever heard was that your book can be violent but it can’t be religious. So, I’m breaking that rule a bit because the lead character, Nick Cole, is very much someone who was raised in the Catholic church.

And though it has religious bits, there is some swearing and there is definitely a boy lusting for his bestie.

So, that book won’t fit in either, won’t belong, but that’s okay because it might make a connection with a random person. And that’s all I can ask for really. Well, that and dependable health care.

Touching People You’ve Never Seen

The amazing French artist, Christian Liberte Boltanksi died last week. In 2017 he told the New York Times, “I hope that when I shall be dead, somebody that I don’t know in Australia is going to be sad for two minutes. It would be something marvelous because it means you’ve touched people you’ve never seen, and that is something incredible.”

What a goal to have—to touch people you’ve never seen. And that’s a bit what both writing and religion is about. Touching people’s hearts and souls. Can there be anything better than that?

Yes, it would be nice to win awards again.

Yes, it would be awesome to have a solid income.

But somehow making people remember you or your art or your heart or even your tweet? What a magical, beautiful thing.

Looking for Formulas and Perfection

A lot of writers that I teach look for magical outlines or formulas to get their books to fit into the expectations of readers and publishers and stress out about hitting those bench marks (the inciting incident at 10 % in, the midpoint at the actual midpoint) rather than enjoying the process of growing and exploring organically.

Their story, they think, has to be perfect and that perfection? It’s determined by an outside source—a reader, an agent, an editor, a mentor.

And I want to hug them all just like I want to hug past Carrie who was aching so badly to fit in, to find a spiritual community, a home, a family.

Here’s the thing: your story is yours.

And that can be the story of how you find good or spirituality or religion or how you find your story. There is no one path to completion. There is no one way to perfection. There is no one way to be perfect.

But how wonderful would it be if you could sit back and know that somehow, somewhere along the way, your story, your journey, your words, your spirit touched someone.

I bet it has. I bet it will.

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.


The Best Kind of People (especially writers) Notice Things

There is a fantastic blog post on Tim Ferriss’s blog about the work and thoughts of professor/writer Sam Apple. I have a link at the end of this post because you should probably read it in its entirety if the act of noticing as a writer resonates with you. Or maybe even if it doesn’t

When I mentor people and edit them, I often tell them to go specific in their details (but don’t overload those details), and in order to go specific, you have to become adept at noticing things.

Apple speaks of what it means to ‘notice as a writer.’

I like to define it as “the combination of close observation and insightfulness.” 

Sam Apple

He then explains ‘close observation.’

Close observation is easy enough to grasp. Let’s take an example: As I’m typing this sentence, I might look down and notice my hands moving over my keyboard. That’s “noticing” in the ordinary sense of the word—what you might think of as “first-order noticing.” To notice my typing hands in the way of a writer, I have to be far more specific. I might notice the rhythmic rise and fall of my knuckles or how the tendons on the back of my hand bulge and twitch with each keystroke. I might notice how some keys are almost silent while others respond to my fingertips with a pronounced—and somehow satisfying—clack.

Sam Apple

So, then we have that second aspect — insight.

Great writing typically involves more than description or a simple narration of events. Writing is also a search for meaning. Sometimes an observation or image speaks for itself. But often writers need to be able to say something about what they’ve noticed. 

Sam Apple

And that’s where I think being a great writer and a great human overlap. If we can notice the worlds and details, the feeling and aspects of other people, animals, landscapes big and small? And then if we took that extra step to let insight bubble and sprout from what we’ve noticed?

How big a deal would that be?

How deep? How growing?

Apple teaches a class on noticing at John Hopkins and in the blog writes:

For my class, I ask students to keep a “noticing journal” throughout the semester. Sometimes I ask them to notice objects or actions, as in the typing examples above. Other times, we apply the same observational and imaginative powers to our own lives and emotions. When we turn to the noticing of others, it can lead to remarkably empathetic writing. It is hard to truly hate people if you’ve spent enough time observing them and wondering about them. The celebrated fiction writer George Saunders captures this notion perfectly in this essay on “what writers really do when they write.”

Sam Apple

You don’t need to be a writer to train your noticing skills or your empathy, but both writers and those of us who don’t write, can really learn from this.

We can learn from noticing, observing and wondering. And maybe that’s one of those steps we can take to make ourselves better people and this a better world?

RESOURCES

https://sam-apple.squarespace.com/

Continue reading “The Best Kind of People (especially writers) Notice Things”

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.

 

You don’t have to be perfect to be awesome.

 Look.

You don’t have to be perfect.

Here’s the harsh truth:

You’re not going to ever be perfect to everyone.

 That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to evolve, to care, to succeed, to be awesome, it just means that you can let your quest for perfectionism pull you down into despair.

When I was a little kid, I would sometimes be afraid to draw things because I would have to erase the mistakes every time I made Snoopy’s head a little wobbly.  That only happened when one of my older siblings laughed at my drawing, told me it looked like crap, and to go put my head back in a book.

Now, I don’t care too much about drawing Snoopy perfectly. I just explore with form and e texture and color and those positive and negative spaces.

Here’s another not so harsh truth:

Every day is an opportunity to live.

That’s right. Each day we get is a day we probably have to work and deal with people, but it’s also another day to just get out there and live, to live each moment and think, “Holy poop. What’s going to happen next.”

When we worry too much about how we look in our bathing suit, we lose the opportunity to jump in a Maine lake with our friends.

When we worry too much that our book’s copyediting won’t be perfect, we lose the opportunity to share our story.

Our perfectionism about our work, our body, our minds, our selves keeps us from playing, from joy, from wonder, from living in the damn moment and living beyond that moment.

When your life goes a bit out of control? That’s when your perfectionism really does you in. You have to cultivate the playfulness inside of you that allows you to spend each day as an opportunity that you can approach with curiousity and wonder and maybe even joy.

I know! I know! What kind of wildness is this? Joy?

Yes, joy.

When you feel stressed because you feel like you aren’t good enough, try approaching yourself and the problem differently. Applaud yourself for every little victory you have the way we applaud toddlers for taking their first wobbly steps, first full word, first full sentence, or even first time they make it to the potty.

Allowing ourselves to approach ourselves with wonder and acceptance is really an amazingly strong and brave thing.

I am Tired of Hiding.

Real love is when we see the crud in someone else, in ourselves, and we love our way through that anyway.

What if you weren’t afraid?

I know! I know!

Stay with me here. But what if you weren’t afraid to do things that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been holding yourself back because of possible ridicule or ‘failure?’

What if you weren’t afraid of your own goodness and light?

What if you actually believed in it, believed in yourself?

As most everyone knows, I was (and sometimes am) a person who gets scared of things a lot and I avoid them. I do Be Brave Fridays to force myself to show my art and that side of my creativity.

I write novels even though I’ve spent a lot of time being terrified of bad reviews.

I’ve talked a lot about my voice and my sloshy s’s and how that kept me from singing and acting and public speaking because I just couldn’t handle the potential ridicule.

I once had a teacher tell me that nobody would ever hire me or love me, that I’d never get into college or get married because my voice was so ridiculous. I was little. It hurt. I believed them.

To be fair, even as a successful grownup, people still mimic and mock my voice sometimes. It still hurts a bit, but mostly it makes me sad for them. Once I was lucky enough to talk to a man on NPR about just this and he said, “It’s better to have a distinctive voice. We love that in radio. It makes you stand out.”

Standing out can be scary, can’t it?

Anyways, that’s why we started the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE and then our LOVING THE STRANGE podcast. It forced me to have a voice. And it forced me to listen to my own voice when I mixed down the audio and get used to it.

But despite these bit leaps I’ve made in two years, I still notice things that I do that might be based in fear, that might be me trying to hide anything shiny in myself because of fear.

My fears:

  1. Being super poor again.
  2. Ridicule.  
  3. Being thought of as arrogant.
  4. Hurting other people by being too vulnerable, out-there, shiny, honest, whatever.
  5. Not making a difference

Those fears are probably why I have such a hard time with videos, why I assign my own daily motivational/inspiration thoughts to my dogs and cats on social media posts, why I’d rather be behind the camera instead of in front of it.

So, I obviously still have some work to do, right?

But that’s okay. Work is a good thing. Growth is a good thing. And allowing yourself to realize that you are more than adequate, that you can create yourself, that there is something shiny inside of you and you need to uncage that, cultivate it, let it flow?

That’s a big ass deal.

When you let your own self be shiny, be real, be kind, you give other people a chance to be lights too.

In a way, it’s selfish to hide your shininess, your belief because not only is it holding yourself back from making the biggest contributions to your family and your world, but it’s also teaching by example.

If I hide my light, you can hide yours.

If I show mine, you can show yours.

We all have goodness and crud inside of ourselves, right? Real love is when we see the crud in someone else, in ourselves, and we love our way through that anyway. Love and acceptance are huge things. So much of the darkness inside of us is about fear, anxiety, pain, trauma. And there are so many shiny, gorgeous humans who have been through so much and they still light up the world.

Shouldn’t we want to be one of them?

This is so important that I’m going to repeat it. When you accept how amazing you can be, how good you can be, then you show other people that they can do it, too.

People get addicted to fear. We watch scary shows. We search for the rush of adrenalin. But what if we could turn our stage fright, our minor anxieties into excitement? How cool with that be.

What if we could allow ourselves to see the good in ourselves and other people, to step away from judgement, admit mistakes, be okay with being embarrassed and transform?

I think we can. We can love our way through it, right?

best writing coaches
animal friends being shiny

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.

Finding a way past fear using love and death

Sometimes, when I am afraid of what might happen, of mistakes I’ve made, of mistakes I might make, I tell that fear that I know it’s there, but that I know I am there, too. And that’s okay. You don’t need to be fearless. You just need to be you.

Who we are is something deeper than the things that have happened to us. It’s an essence that you can feel.

There are two instances that help me describe that feeling—that soul knowledge of myself or someone else.

When our dog, Bethlehem died, she was just under two years old and a giant Komondor/Great Pyrenes mix. My husband (at the time) wouldn’t come with me to the vet for her final moments because he had to work and he said he couldn’t handle it. So I carried her 150-pound mass up these tottering wooden stairs to the vet’s office. Cars zoomed by outside. I struggled until someone pulled into the lot, ran up the stairs and helped me, taking her back legs so we can carry her inside.

            I’m not the physically strongest person and I couldn’t thank him enough for helping.

“My soul wouldn’t have been able not to help,” this random man said.

I’ll always remember that.

My soul wouldn’t have been able not to help.

He didn’t even have an appointment. He just saw us struggling and came.

            Bethy was our first family dog and adorable. Em, our daughter, adored her. She let us dress her fluffy self up as a ballerina, as a firefighter, she let cats sit on her back. She barked at any and all threats.

We all loved her so much.

She grew a cancerous mass the size of a football on her leg. It took two weeks to go from nothing to something massive, something that the vet said had already invaded her system. She faded so quickly.

            We had no choice, they said.

            So I made the appointment and after that man helped us up the stairs, I sat on the floor with her, holding her head as she stayed still on the floor, sideways. I cried silently. The vet’s assistant started to weep. The vet teared up.

And the moment Bethy was gone, the entire room filled with peace. It was as if Bethy’s soul had taken up the entire space.

I will always remember that feeling and cling to it when I doubt about things like souls and essences and life after your body is no longer useful.

            The other instance is a bit more chill. You know how sometimes you are only barely awake and you turn to the person you’re sharing a bed with and your brain can’t even form their name yet or you can’t even remember who they exactly are or look like, but you just recognize them there in the dark next to you?

            It’s like that.

            That’s what our souls are like.

            They are an essence, a recognition, a comfort, a realization. They can fill up an entire room and also speak to half-asleep brains in the dark.

            Sometimes, when I am afraid of what might happen, of mistakes I’ve made, of mistakes I might make, I tell that fear that I know it’s there, but that I know I am there, too. And that’s okay. You don’t need to be fearless. You just need to be you.

            Fear can protect us from actual dangers (like running into the woods at night when you hear a predator) or stepping in front of a bus. But it also can keep us from taking some more lovely chances and opportunities.

            And sometimes people in power use that fear to twist us into hating other people.

            Fear has got a lot going on.

            But love has got a lot going on, too. And that’s what you’ve got to cling to–the love part–even when the fear is calling to you to sink into its hollow. You’ve got to go for the love and the light and cling to it whenever you can.


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.


If you like what you read, please heart it below or share it, it means the world to this writer. x0- Carrie

Assumptions Suck in Books and in Real Life

Loving yourself and loving your way through it has a lot to do with forgiveness, but it’s okay to sometimes struggle with the concept of forgiveness, whether it’s about forgiving yourself or other people.

My husband is a tall, rugged white man. People look at him and assume that he played football, not just in high school, but college. Sometimes they assume he was pro.

            Those assumptions don’t stigmatize him, but that’s because he’s pretty lucky.

            We aren’t all that lucky all the time.

            But it’s important to look beyond people’s outsides and not make assumptions or to give advice like it’s absolute edicts. We all live in slightly different bubbles with different backgrounds and sometimes those worlds aren’t going to jive or mesh or even make sense.

When I was talking to him about some editing work I was doing on a self-help book, he looked at me and asked, “It must be nice for these people to be able to have the time and money to run off to a yoga or meditation retreat for three weeks.”

“I know, right?”

“Does this person think everyone can do this?”

“Kind of.”

            Both of us come from poor even though we aren’t poor now. Our parents were hard-working and our mothers were mostly single, but they didn’t have the ability to move beyond their economic brackets. His mom was derailed by lupus. Mine was derailed by diabetes and some bad decisions.

            The point is that both of them would have loved to have spa days and meditation and yoga retreats, chances to pamper their minds and bodies. But they were too busy surviving to find the money to spend on that.

            There are a lot of people posting Medium articles and blogs about how to balance work and life. They are often written by single guys in their late twenties. And it seems like they have it all figured out.

            And I hope that they do because that would be wonderful for them.

            But here’s the thing: Nobody else’s journey and circumstances are going to 100 percent work for you.

            Here’s another thing: Even your own methods and journey aren’t going to work for you 100 percent of the time.

            That’s okay.

            There’s no one path to love, to happiness, to success, or even to publishing a book, let alone writing it. There’s no one way that we are supposed to be. You’ve got to embrace that, embrace who you are and persevere.

Loving yourself and loving your way through it has a lot to do with forgiveness, but it’s okay to sometimes struggle with the concept of forgiveness, whether it’s about forgiving yourself or other people.

            It’s really good to try not to force other people to prescribe to your timetables about forgiveness. We all move at different speeds. That’s okay. We need to give ourselves and other people the space to determine their own damn pace.

            It’s important for us all to remember that our advice might not work for everyone and give space to our assumptions that it will. Not everyone who looks like a football player was a football player. Not everyone can practice self-care via a three-week meditation retreat. It’s okay. We are all okay.


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.


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.

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.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

HOW I MANAGE TO BE HAPPY

My husband Shaun just showed me a video he took of me when we were in Belize on a wheelchair project with Rotary International a few years ago. It was during an absolutely terrible time in my life.

But on the video, I’m swimming with some sharks in the warm water, thrilled. In another one, I’m at a restaurant laughing at the amazingly beautiful dessert I’m about to eat.

I’m happy.

“This time sucked for you,” Shaun said as hunkered over the laptop screen, watching. “But look at how happy you are.”

“I’m pretty resilient,” I said.

The reason I’m resilient is because I know exactly who I am.

My daughter Em said on Thanksgiving, “Last summer was a bad time for you. I was a little worried.”

“It was. But I bounced back,” I told her.

Litany of Terrible Things Paragraph

Like a lot of other people, some terrible things have happened to me in my life and I’m not the most prime physical specimen. I have to wear knee braces to hike or run. I have no depth perception, epilepsy caused from a virus that a rapist gave me, constant shoulder pain. I’ve seen a lot of people die in person. I have no parents or grandparents left.

Enough of That

But there’s a reason I bounce back and can usually find my happy place again. It isn’t because I’m awesome or special in any way that is different from anyone else.

Why Do I Always Find My Happy Again?

It’s because I know who I am. My values and beliefs? They are so strong that they can be pretty damn annoying, honestly.

Let me rephrase that: I can be pretty damn annoying, honestly.

No Pretending

I don’t know how to be who I’m not. I don’t pretend on social media and I don’t pretend in real life.

Live In The Moment

I live in the moment, every single moment, and occasionally worry obsessively about money or the health of the people I love or the state of the world, but when I do? It’s always a worry consistent with my values and beliefs.

That’s the secret.

We can’t wait for something huge to happen and shake us out of the monotony of our lives or our selves, to make us evolve into someone who will behave in a way that actually reflects their values.

We have to put in the work every day.

And sometimes (Okay, a lot of the times) I screw up and when I do?

I get sad and disappointed in myself.

And sometimes the people I love screw up and when they do?

I get sad and a little disappointed but then I forgive them.

Why? Because that’s one of my values: forgiveness.

And that forgiveness that we give to other people? It has to extend to ourselves.

Your Values And Actions And Happiness Are Connected

Your values have to dictate your actions if you’re going to be happy. That’s going to annoy some people in your family or your coworkers or your friends. But there’s no other way. To be happy, you have to live the way you think matters, you have to hold onto your integrity.

It matters.

You matter.

And so does your happiness.


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.

The Battle For Word Count

 I am having a hard time writing today.

John Wayne in My Head: Understatement of the year, right there, Little Lady.

Thanks Mr. Wayne, dead movie star, and inner Carrie Jones critic aka internal editor aka mean voice in my head. Nice of you to show up. Your eyes look VERY blue in that picture.

JW: Well, I was alive then.

True. Anyway. I’m having some issues. What kind of issues? I’m worried about female stereotypes in the middle grade I’m writing. All of a sudden on word 20,667 I’m thinking, “Is Lily strong enough? She likes math. How do I keep her from being a stereotype of a girl who likes math?”

Oh no, am I oppressing my co-women? Crud. 

JW: You’re just supposed to write. It’s your first draft. Don’t make me have to threaten ya.

I know! I am, but it’s hard. I have issues.
JW: Issues don’t bring home the bacon.

Do you mean, bread, Mr. Wayne?
JW: No, I mean bacon.

Why do I think you mean bread?
JW: Because your brain is on strike because you aren’t writing. Now get a move on.

Fine. Fine. It’s all going to be garbage.
JW: True, but it’ll be your garbage.

In a stereotypical heterosexual American relationship, the man takes out the garbage, you know. That’s your role.

JW: What do you think I’m doing right now?
Talking to me?

JW: No, I’m trying to take out the garbage also known as self-doubt in your little writer brain.
Oh! Oh. That’s so nice of you. Stereotypical, but nice.

JW: Little Lady, I aim to please.

For all of you doing, National Novel Writing Month right now, good luck! You’ve got this! Battle for that word count and stomp down the stereotypes and that self doubt. They don’t get to control you, right? You control you.

Cough. Off to listen to my own advice.

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.