Don’t be a Life Diva: You Gotta Edit the Book to Find Out What Happens

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

Today is a rarity. Usually, I am begging my brain for ideas to write about, but today, today I seem to have a plethora of ideas. Now my problem is which one to pick!

Since today is Carrie’s newest book’s birthday, I have decided to go with the one that I thought of last night. Mind you, this was not an “idea” so much as a direct quote out of Carrie’s mouth.

Last night, Carrie was talking about her book release for October, The Treasures We Seek and how excited she was because she got to actually work on it yesterday. Then she wanted to tell me the overall premise of the book and I, as the world’s best husband responded, “Please dear, do tell, I have been waiting for this moment, with baited breath, for an eternity!”

Carrie smiled a big smile and released the basic premise of her book with a verbal flourish that would have made Niagara Falls jealous. Then, right when she has hit the good spot, the sweet spot we have all been waiting for … nothing.

I said, “What happens when…?”

Carrie responded with, “You will have to read and edit the book for me to find out what happens!”

I started laughing and looked at Carrie expecting her to laugh too. Nothing. Dead serious she was!

And you know what? I can’t wait to read that book and edit it to the best of my limited middle school ability! For the past few months, Carrie has been on a quest to self-publish one book a month until December on Amazon.

She has tasked me with being her editorial assistant. I won’t mention that I also format the books for all versions that Amazon offers, but I love having the opportunity to read Carrie’s books first.

I don’t have much to offer, my grammatical skills are rudimentary, but I am really good at continuity of plot and sequence. So, I read every story that is to be self-published and I help in every way that I can. I also create a character bible because most of her stories are sequels and you know, you have to keep track of those characters and those characters’ arcs.

So yeah, I have to help edit the books to find out how they end. But, man am I lucky! I am lucky to be able to find out what happens before it does. Cause nothing in a book happens until it is officially publicly published, right?

And, it’s just like life. You must read the book, the script, and make constant edits, constant adjustments, if you want to be able to find out what happens. Don’t be a life diva, listen to your internal editors and make those changes. Don’t be scared!

Go edit something and remember to always Love Your Way Through It,

Shaun

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?

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


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 261,000 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 a new book out! Yay!

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

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

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

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

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

How To Deal With WHITE ROOM SYNDROME

One quick revision note. There are still some scenes in here that could use a little bit more grounding detail so that the reader can see Emily and her friends/relatives interact with the world and setting.

So what is this again? This white room syndrome?

According to inventingrealityeditingservice.com:

Rather than fully imagine such a world, some writers instead create a quick, unformed facsimile of their own. For example, they start the story with the line, “She awoke in a white room.” The white room is the white piece of paper facing the author. This is known as white room syndrome, a term coined a few year ago at the Turkey City Workshop in Austin (a group that has included authors William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Lewis Shiner, Rudy Rucker and Walter Jon Williams).

They officially define white room syndrome as “an authorial imagination inadequate to the situation at end, most common at the beginning of a story.” In short, because the world wasn’t fully imagined, it can’t support the story that unfolds from it.

Or as Lauren Mullen says:

The scene is coming together just as planned. Your dialogue is snappy, witty, and poignant. The action is electric, carrying your characters from one spot to the next. You can see it all unfolding to you as if it were happening on a screen…but the setting details are absent. As a result, all your character’s amazing dialogue and action happen in a blank space.

But what I really like that she says is here:

Think of when you go over to someone’s house for the first time, how they decorate and treat their home says a lot about them. Are they the type of person who cleans up when expecting guests or not? Do they keep a lot of books? Collect art? Fan memorabilia? Are there any pets? What are they? A dog owner says something different about a person than a hamster owner. You learn a lot about a person by how they decorate and treat their home, likewise this is why description and setting are so vital to good storytelling. 

When done properly, the world in which your characters inhabit can take on a life of their own. It is important to spend as much time fleshing out your setting as you would a persona. This helps the space in which your characters exist feel grounded and real. 

So, how do you keep it from happening? Or how do you fix it?

There are some good ways!

  1. First make the decision about how you want the reader to feel about the space where the scene is happening.
  2. Add details that make that happen. Is it a crowded space? A quiet café? A darkly lit jazz club? Are the tables sticky? Does the office smell like onions? Do you hear the fast clickety-clack of coworkers keyboards? Do smells come from another cubicle? From the coffee shop’s kitchen?
  3. Think about how you learn about people from the first time you walk into their homes? Give that feeling to the reader. Is it well lit? Shadowy? Are the salt and pepper shakers shaped like manatees or plastic? That sort of thing.
  4. Allow yourself to set the scene as a stage where the details you choose reflect the emotional struggle of the character and/or the plot.
  5. Use the five senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) and try to use three of them in each scene. Oh! And don’t have the three you use be the same for every single scene.
  6. Don’t overdo those senses, but do use them a bit.

Why is this important again?

It’s important because:

  1. It keeps your characters from just being talking heads.
  2. Setting is a tool that you can use to create ambience, tone, reality.
  3. Readers like to know where the characters are.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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.

  1. It allows your reader to be fully in the experience of the character of the book.
  2. It’s a tool. The setting can be a metaphor for your character’s internal struggle. If your character is having an anxiety attack and stuck in her job and life, making her hide in a bathroom stall is perfect as metaphor.
  3. It can be a character in your story. The city of Chicago or New Orleans can influence the plot and character a lot. The city can grow too as the character grows.
  4. It helps create tone and conflict. If you’re writing a novel about an apocalypse, the details you choose in your scene’s setting help show that.
  5. It shows class and divisions in society, too.

BE BRAVE FRIDAY – WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!

BE BRAVE FRIDAY – WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!

I spend a lot of time with a little hiccup of fear in my throat.

I’m afraid of hurting other people. I’m afraid of doing something wrong despite good intentions. I’m afraid of drama–like really afraid of drama and conflict–because I grew up with so much of it.

BE BRAVE FRIDAYS has always been about me doing something that I’m uncomfortable with, of being more authentically who I am, weirdness and anxiety and self-deprecation and all.

I know! I know! Nobody thinks self-deprecation is a good look, but whatever. Despite everyone’s emails telling me to not be open about my ‘issues,’ I’m going to still be open about my issues.

Why?

Because I don’t believe in hiding behind facades and lies and fear.

And because I have more emails from people who tell me that my being open about being scared or nervous or anxious helps them to be brave too. And that’s why next week we’re going to start sharing other people’s stories via video. We’ll read them. You write them. We want to build up a community where we share stories of triumph, of big and little steps forward.

Why?

Because there’s enough places that share stories of hate. And if we can push forward towards good, inspire one person? All the work will totally be worth it.

Love is a powerful force and that even when you rage and sob, even when anxiety makes you pace across the bedroom at 2 a.m., you can still survive and that love? Love’s the reason that you can. Love and hope and belief.

That’s why I do BE BRAVE FRIDAYS here and on social media. And why I want it to be about more than me, but about you too.

Here’s the painting I’m working on this week.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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 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?

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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 Sixth Step of Revision? Writing Killer Scenes

Ready for step six in my Revision Series of Awesome?

Spoiler: I’m not sure how awesome it truly is. I kind of just made up that name.

For summary or recap. Imagine a montage like they do before an episode of your fave series. Imagine really big crescendos and music too, okay?

The first step was taking a breather.

The second step was doing the read-through.

The third step is really making decisions.

Step FourDeciding if your changes are huge or tiny? Start with the huge ones that impact the whole book. Fix those things.

Step Five is reading through it all again after you’ve made the changes and tweaking some thing. What? I know! I know! What a beast!

WE ARE ON STEP SIX!!! We’re so close, my friends!

Okay, now we’re onto my absolute favorite part – the scene. I love scenes SO MUCH that I’m actually teaching a course about them at the Writing Barn next fall!

So in this revision step, we look at the scene and we remember some really core and important things.

  1. Does the scene move the plot forward? No? You might have to cut that baby.
  2. Does the scene more the character forward? Are they evolving here? No? You might have to cut that baby.
  3. Does that scene have people who matter to your plot? No? Maybe cut the baby.
  4. Does it have the right point of view? No? Revise it so it does.
  5. Does it have silly, boring dialogue? Cut it.

What is silly dialogue?

It’s this.

Carrie: Hi.

Writer: Hi.

Carrie: The weather is nice.

Writer: Yep.

Carrie: I like manatees.

Writer: Yeah, okay.

Bad Dialogue by Carrie 🙂

Let’s go back to our list. Let’s make a new one!

  1. Does your scene use all the senses? Can you feel where they are? Make sure you can!
  2. Are there talking heads in the scene? Give your character tics, habits, things to do. Have them interact with the world?
  3. Is it a big info dump? Yes? Fix it! Any time that you see the word ‘dump,’ it’s usually not a good thing.
  4. Does everyone sound the same? Fix that!
  5. Does your scene have a beginning, middle, and end? It should!
  6. Does it seem like the characters only just start living the moment that you start the scene? It shouldn’t!

WHEW! I swear! I swear! You’ve got this! Your book is going to be so 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?

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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 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?

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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.

What if We Weren’t Afraid?

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.

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.

That’s why we started the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE 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.

And then we started a live podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which was even scarier because:

  1. It’s live.
  2. My face and my sloshy voice was out there.
  3. You can’t control live things especially not when your husband is the other person there with you. And that lack of control? It can be scary.

LOVING THE STRANGE is important to us though and that’s because we truly believe that people should feel okay with getting their strange on, to fly their strange flag proudly, to own it, right? You get to love who and what you want to love. No judgement. Just love.

How cool is that? Now, it’s just about all of us inspiring each other to live that, right?

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.

It’s 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, insecurity. 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.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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 weird things people eat

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
The weird things people eat
/

Hey! Welcome to episode 13 of LOVING THE STRANGE where we talk about the strange, weird things people eat and why.

In very happy news, we just stopped KETO because Carrie the Carbosaurus got a rash. Yay rash! Yay carbs!

In honor of Carrie’s rash, we’re talking about the strange things people eat!

Hear more by clicking on the YouTube link or listening to the podcast.

Thank you all so much for listening! The extra shout-outs go to our high level patrons who also read Carrie’s books in progress and get some art in the mail sometimes.

Autumn Gin

Claire De Brey

Jenn Duffield

Pam Leffler

Joan Stradling

Nancy Stone

Sam Spellacy

Toni Floback

Shay Altair

Rachael Azbill

Resources for this week’s podcast!

https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/the-top-25-weirdest-foods-in-the-u-s

https://www.roughguides.com/gallery/weird-food/

Banish Negative Thoughts

Have you ever felt like you’re riding a bike really hard, but you’re not getting anywhere? Like all your effort and work and energy hasn’t moved you at all. Then you look down and remember you’re on a stationary bike. Your tires are just spinning. But you aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t moving forward.

And your inner critic is saying, “You suck. You must be an idiot to think you can do anything, be anything, that you matter at all. You don’t. Nothing you do is good enough. You aren’t good enough.”

So basically your inner critic is Morrissey or Nick Kershaw or any alt 1980s singer from the U.K.

You’ve got to get Morrisey to shut the hell up.

We spend our days communicating with other people and with ourselves. We can get away from other people pretty easily, but it’s a lot harder to get away from ourselves.

A New Zealand study reports that people have over 60,000 thoughts every day. Not all of those thoughts are “I have to poo” or “Uh-oh. I just let one rip.” A lot of those thoughts are negative. Too many.

According to a 2005 study by the National Science Foundation, “Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.”

Then there’s this—

A Cornell University study in 2005 found that only 15% of what we worry about actually happens and a good 79% of the people they studied realized that they could absolutely handle whatever it was that happened.

They decided that 97 % “are baseless.” Those thoughts are just us being pessimistic, negative Eeyores.

So the question becomes how do you manage your own mind, keep it from spending all that time in the negative spiral?

  1. According to the tlex institute, “The secret is in our Breath. Through breathing techniques validated by modern science, we effortlessly quiet, empty and calm the mind, at the same time increase attention and focus. This state of relaxed-awareness is the Flow state, when we are our most creative, effective and happy.
  2. Say something positive to yourself the moment you wake up. Go all Stuart Smalley on your day. Say, “Today is going to rock.”
  3. You know all those people who #soblessed, #countingblessing, #graitutude? They are onto something. Focusing on even the tiniest of good things helps you deal with the crap things. Say some buttface passes you on the double yellow lines and gives you the finger? You can think, “Hey, at least that buttface won’t rear end me now.”
  4. When things suck, crack jokes. Find the light in the darkness. Find the funny in the horrible.
  5. When you start talking whack at yourself, turn it around. Instead of thinking, “Yeah, I never shut the drawers because I suck,” think “I am just super efficient and left that drawer open because I knew I’d have to go right back there.” Think this even after you slam your hip into the drawer.
  6. Don’t think about the past. Don’t worry too much about the future. Think about you right now. Right this second. Live in the now.
  7. When you fail at something, be chill. Pull out your inner Elmo and think about how you can learn from this and still get hugged. Most things aren’t end of the world.
  8. Surround yourself with people who aren’t assholes. Seriously. If everyone around you is an Eeyore or a cannibal or a backstabber, it’s going to get to you. Positive people help make you more positive. 

Live like an optimist especially if you’re a writer.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2020/07/new-study-reveals-just-how-many-thoughts-we-have-each-day.html

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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.

Make Your Setting Sexy

In my work as a writing coach and an editor, I read a lot of stories that don’t feel real. That might be because there are no senses involved. But the other big culprit is setting.

Every story takes place somewhere.

That’s right. Let me say it again.

Every story takes place somewhere.

And our job as a writer is to show the specific details of that setting, to give setting a presence in the story just as much as we give the plot and characters a presence in the story.

I’ve written before:

Setting has lovers and haters. It can be quite the polarizing part of the writer world.

The haters think of setting and the thing of description. Or they think of massive amounts of description that continues on forever and ever. The think setting equals boring.

The setting lovers think setting is the best thing in the whole universe. Their stories start with paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of mood and setting.

But no matter what camp you’re in, setting isn’t something that should be tacked onto a story. Setting is more than describing the living room. It creates the feeling of a story and its time, where it happens, its bit of the world. Poets and novelists of the past often make the landscape a character in their poem or their narrative. The claustrophobia of a small town like in Peyton Place or even Twilight’s moody darkness is part of the story and is an important aspect to the main characters’ moods and choices.

Writers who can visualize the setting and put that on the page are writers who transport their readers.

How do you make your settings amazing and sexy?

Make it surprising. Make how your characters interact with it matter.

We all expect someone to be moved at a sunrise or sunset’s beauty. What if your character is afraid of it?

Let your readers know what’s going on.

Keep them oriented in the scene. Don’t have the characters just floating out there in talking heads dialogue with no details or just all internal dialogue. Characters need to interact with the space.

Make your character interact with the setting on a big and small level.

Has your character been in their town their whole life and feels like it’s crushing her soul? Show that. That’s big-picture-interaction.

Does your character keep trying to scrub the dog drool off her wood floor? Show that. That’s small-picture-interaction.

Use All the Senses

I wrote about this earlier. It’s easy. Humans smell, feel, see, touch, hear and taste. Your characters should too. What they smell, feel, see, touch, hear and taste? That’s part of the setting.

Make it interesting

Every place is unique. Every setting has an aspect of difference. Bring those unique details out and have them matter to the story.

What Are The Three Types of Setting?

Wait what? Yep. You read that correctly. There are three types of setting.

Temporal – the era that the story is happening in.

Environmental – The geographical area

Individual – specific place in that area

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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.

So Many People are Poor and So Many People Don’t Care.

We live in a world where celebrities wear $350,000 watches and nobody thinks of it.

We live in a world where a billionaire parked his $590-million yacht off our Maine island during a pandemic and people mostly shrugged and said, “That’s cool.”

But is it?

“I currently feel like there’s tremendous injustice in this society,” Alexandra Korry said in her final interview before her death from ovarian cancer. “There is ridiculous inequality between the rich and everybody else. And we all have an obligation to do something about it.”

But mostly we just gawp at it. Or most of us do.

We watch Kardashians.

We long for expensive watches and yachts, second and third homes when many people don’t have first homes.

And the gap between the income levels in the U.S. is growing and growing.

I grew up poor even though my older brother and sister grew up middle class. We had credit card companies calling every day. My poor mom would weep about money, struggling to hang on sometimes. My sister and brother didn’t know this or live this and I’m so glad for them.

I have slept in an apartment where the ceiling was caving in and it sucked, honestly.

And I spend a lot of my time trying to make sure that I’m never back in that place. And I spend a lot of my time worrying that I will.

I’m not alone. More and more people are living that fear right now. Living it.

In 2019, the top 20% of the population earned 51.9% of all U.S. income.3 Their average household income was $254,449. The richest of the rich, the top 5%, earned 23% of all income. Their average household income was $451,122.

The bottom 20% only earned 3.1% of the nation’s income. The lower earner’s average household income was $15,286.4

Most low-wage workers receive no health insurance, sick days, or pension plans from their employers. They can’t get ill and have no hope of retiring. That creates health care inequality, which increases the cost of medical care for everyone. Also, people who can’t afford preventive care will wind up in the hospital emergency room. In 2014, 15.4% of uninsured patients who visited the ER said they went because they had no other place to go.5 They use the emergency room as their primary care physician. The hospitals passed this cost along to Medicaid.

The Balance

And then there are the racial inequities. Black Americans have been exploited and discriminated against for centuries. A white household’s median net worth is about ten times more than a Black household. That’s not just not right. It’s a big wrong.

And then there is gender.

In the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap’s 2017 report, “U.S. women own just $0.32 for every $1 a man owns. That amount is even lower for Black and Latina women — mere pennies to every dollar owned by white men and women.”

The Fool

What does that say about us as a country? What does that say about us as individuals?

So What Can You Do and What Can You Do When It Feels Like You’re Barely Hanging on Yourself?

All the way back in 2015, Talkpoverty.com has a great post about fighting income equality. You can check it out and get informed.

john a. powell also has an interesting post about legislative policies here.

The New York Times has a really interesting discourse about what we can do about it. You might want to check it out.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book 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

It’s Be Brave Friday!

As you know if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I get super anxious about sharing art because my family wasn’t very supportive about art.

It was all I longed to do (other than go outside and look for Big Foot), but it wasn’t what I was supposed to do.

I will always remember me giving paintings to my two adorable parents as an adult and them exchanging looks that absolutely meant, “What the hell is this?” Lol.

But Faulkner said, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

I hope you find new horizons and thank you so much for being so supportive as I find mine be it art or podcasting or showing my face in a photo. I appreciate you all so very much.



LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

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

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


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 261,000 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 a new book out! Yay!

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

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

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

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

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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

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


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

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 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 a new book out! Yay!

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