Monday Motivation – How I Survived My Bullies and Tips So Maybe You Can, Too

When I was a little kid I talked funny. If you’ve heard me in person or listened to the podcast, you can tell that I still do, but it was way worse then. I slurred my s sounds. It wasn’t a lisp. It was more of a slur – like my tongue was kind of lazy and just didn’t want to do all the work.

How I survived bullying
The tongue – my mortal enemy

 

So, in first grade for the whole first week, Jay Jamison (almost his real name) made fun of me. I’d raise my hand and answer and he’d lean over his desk and repeat whatever I said only super exaggerating the bad ‘s’ sounds.

So, if the answer was Sunday, I’d raise my hand and say, “Sunday.”
And then he’d lean over and go, “Ssssssshunday.”

And something inside me would tighten up. And something inside of me would want to cry, so I’d have to press my lips together really hard. And something inside of me would die a little bit.

Then, things got worse. Jay got his friends to mock me too at recess. They’d stand around me and say ‘s’ words, copying my voice, making their voices really high, laughing. They made fun of my last name, which was Barnard, and call me, “Carrie St. Bernard.”

It was pretty bad. Sometimes they’d pull at my jacket or my hair. Sometimes they’d monster hug me, which meant they’d try to squish me. The entire time they’d make fun of my voice, my s’s, me.

So, I stopped talking. I stopped raising my hand. I stopped answering questions.

I’d talk to my best friend Kathy Albertson and that was pretty much it. They had silenced me.

And I also tried to be invisible because I figured if they didn’t notice me then they couldn’t hurt me. I wanted more than anything to have invisibility be my super power. I would pray for it every night.

How I survived bullying Carrie Jones Books, NYT bestselling kid lit author of children's books
This is what I’d say

Pretty much all of first grade I didn’t talk. It was too scary to talk. I didn’t ever raise my hand even though I always knew the answers. And when I did talk I would try really hard to find words without ‘s’ sounds. (David Sedaris has a great essay about this. He did it, too). And the teacher thought there might be something wrong with me in a developmentally divergent and/or emotionally challenged way. And she told my mom. And I promised my mom I would talk more in second grade.

I spent the whole summer trying to learn how to talk better. I was home alone most of the time so I needed a model. You couldn’t hear people when you read books so I turned to the television.

We were super poor and we only got two channels – sometimes three.

One channel was soap operas and kissing, which was grosser than gross.

The other channel was mostly game shows, which was so tense. I had issues watching people almost win things and then not win things.

I was the least tough kid ever, basically.

This left one channel – PBS.

PBS is full of kids show, and back then it was also full of Muppets.

Yes, like the brilliant kid I was, I watched Sesame Street over and over to learn how to talk, so yes, I modeled my voice after Muppets, which pretty much explains my voice now.

Helpful Hint: It is not the best idea to model your voice after Elmo and Big Bird and Grover if you’re trying to fit in and not be bullied.

 Yes, I taught Carrie how to talk.

Obviously, Sesame Street did not fix my s’s, but it did tweak my accent AND make me sound like a Muppet, which means that in second grade people still made fun of my voice, but my teacher, Mrs. Snierson gave us a haiku assignment that I totally aced and she realized I was smart, and pretty much protected me all that year.

Say what?

Say “writing changed my life” is what.

How I survived bullying Carrie Jones Books, NYT bestselling kid lit author of children's booksHow I survived bullying Carrie Jones Books, NYT bestselling kid lit author of children's booksHow I survived bullying Carrie Jones Books, NYT bestselling kid lit author of children's books

I also learned that if you give your snacks away to the kids who never had enough money for snacks they would protect you, too.

And I also learned that if you asked people what was wrong when they cried, they’d protect you, too, once they were done crying.

And I also learned that Timmy Bourassa also liked smelly stickers, so I gave him some and then he protected me, too.

It was weird, but it was how I dealt. I coped by taking care of other people. I coped by buying protection with food and stickers.

The price of my protection?

  1. Empathy

  2. No lunches for me

  3. Smelly stickers

And things got better for a long time. People stood up for me when Jay was mean. Jay eventually became a kid named Chris. Both of them gave up when other people stepped in for me.

No.

I never stepped in for myself.

I didn’t know how.

Things were better though because my caring about other kids returned as they cared about me. ,

But then in seventh grade after years of speech classes that didn’t help my s sounds at all, one of my teachers made me stay during recess and said, “Carrie. You are never going to succeed because of your s’s. You’re a smart girl, but you’ll always be a loser if your voice sounds like that. “

He told me I had no hope.
He told me that there was no point in me trying or going to college or even finishing high school if I didn’t get those ‘s’ sounds fixed.
He told me I would never succeed.

I cried a lot in the hall and another teacher asked what happened. I still remember how red that other teacher’s face got when I told him.

I remember him hugging me while I sobbed.

I remember him storming into the first teacher’s room and yelling so loudly the whole school heard.

That teacher saved me. My mom saved me too.

She went to the school and complained. Nothing happened to the first teacher, but I knew my mom cared and that was important. But no matter what either my mom or my nice teacher, or any of my friends said, that first teacher’s words echoed in my head and in my soul for a super long time. They still echo there sometimes and I hear those words in that teacher’s voice, and Jay’s voice, and those recess boys’ voices, and sometimes I hear them in my voice and that’s when it hurts the most. It hurts the most when I, myself, am thinking:

I have no hope.
There is no point in me trying.
I will never succeed.
I am a loser. 

My books have made  New York Times bestseller lists and bestseller lists in France and I’m published in a bunch of countries and I get fan mail, but I still can hear those bullying words sometimes – not all the time – but sometimes.

And I realize I cringe every time someone makes fun of speech impediments on tv or movies or books.

And I realize that I still do what I did in second grade – I surround myself with people who protect me by making me feel better. If I’m really hurt, I’ll friends-lock blog about it and people are always so kind. That’s how I cope. But other people? They aren’t so lucky for a bunch of reasons.

Sometimes you are too hurt to help other people.

Sometimes sharing a lunch or a smelly sticker isn’t enough.

Sometimes the pain inside of you becomes so big that there is no way for you to help other people because your own heart has fractured so much.

Life advice, writing advice, dogs. Carrie Jones talks about bullying and how she survived it
Need series

So, thanks to all of you who have ever helped me through a bully experience. I hope you know how awesome you are.

WHAT I’VE TRIED TO DO

So, I can’t save anyone, really. All I can do is listen, give out smelly stickers, and share my own stories. Sometimes those stories are super fun and inspiring, like the NEED series or TIME STOPPERS or THE SPY WHO PLAYED BASEBALL. 

Sometimes those stories? They are full of pain.

I’ve recently contributed to the anthology THINGS WE HAVEN’T SAID and Megan Kelley Hall and I co-edited another anthology, DEAR BULLY, which was an effort of writers, readers, bloggers and people to raise awareness about bullying. The money we raise from Dear Bully’s royalties continues each year to support programs meant to raise awareness about bullying and support those who have suffered. I am so grateful for that opportunity.

But it doesn’t feel like enough, you know? Nothing ever feels like enough.

If you’re a survivor of bullying, please know that you aren’t alone. Check out this website for some resources. And if you are a person who bullies? Try to get some help too. Your life can be so much better than it is now.  Let’s change our culture into something better.

 

carriejonesbooks.blog Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones

Writing News

The Class at the Writing Barn

The awesome 6-month-long Writing Barn class that they’ve let me be in charge of!? It’s happening again in July. Write! Submit! Support! is a pretty awesome class. It’s a bit like a mini MFA but way more supportive and way less money.

WSSTypeWriter-300x300

Praise for Carrie Jones and Write. Submit. Support:

“Carrie has the fantastic gift as a mentor to give you honest feedback on what needs work in your manuscript without making you question your ability as a writer. She goes through the strengths and weaknesses of your submissions with thought, care and encouragement.”

“Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”

“Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”

People are saying super nice things about me, which is so kind of them because helping people on their writing journeys and their craft and supporting them? That’s pretty boss, honestly.

Dogs are smarter than people - the podcast, writing tips, life tips, quirky humans, awesome dogs
The podcast of awesome

The Podcast

The podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE has a new episode about life tips, dog tips and writing advice tomorrow.

 

 

Book Expo America 

I’ll be at Book Expo America in NYC on June 1. From 11:30 to 12, I’ll be signing copies of The Spy Who Played Baseball. If you’re going to be there, come hang out.

Moe Berg The Spy Who Played Baseball
Moe Berg

Flying and Enhanced – the Young Adult Science Fiction Series

Cross Buffy with Men in Black and you get… you get a friends-powered action adventure based in the real world, but with a science fiction twist. More about it is here. But these are fun, fast books that are about identity, being a hero, and saying to heck with being defined by other people’s expectations.

This quick, lighthearted romp is a perfect choice for readers who like their romance served with a side of alien butt-kicking action School Library Journal

Sparty knows all about that. More info about FLYING is here and the rest of my books? Right here.

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The Dog Takes Over the Blog Because Carrie Has Writer Waiting Syndrome

Everyone, Carrie is not paying attention to anything because she’s in Writer Waiting Mode.

So, I, Gabby the Dog have taken over the blog when I’m not busy barking at nothing. Spoiler Alert: I am almost always busy barking at nothing.

Carrie Jones Books
Gabby’s normal expression when she’s not barking

Let’s talk about Carrie though. She’s in the place called Writer Waiting Mode, which is what happens to writers when they are done typing on the flat thing and wait for someone to respond. That someone might be an agent, an editor, a teacher, a critique partner, or Chris Evans. Who knows? Writers make no sense.

But Carrie’s got the sickness full on.

How to take care of your pathetic writer - some dog tips
Owls are cute

Writer Waiting Mode symptoms include:


1. Panic eyes.
2. Failure to eat or increased appetite. It depends on the writer.
3. Pacing, which leads to callused feet.
4 Constant barely coherent murmuring, “Please let the editor like it. Please let the editor like it. Please let the editor like it.”

So basically this doggy needs some love as does my author. But let’s talk about me.

I would like to announce that normally I look like this:

Carrie Jones Books NYT bestselling author's writing tips and life tips. Plus, dogs.
This is a happy dog

But lately I’ve been looking like this:

Carrie Jones Books NYT bestselling author's writing tips and life tips. Plus, dogs.
I look a little bit like I’ve been doing naughty things, don’t I?

See the difference? My eyes are narrow and I’m hazy and the whole scene is tinted brown? THAT IS BECAUSE CARRIE IS SO OUT OF IT!

There are certain proper care and maintenance steps that you must do to ensure your writer survives this waiting game. They follow below:

  1. Bark at them until they take you outside. Writers need air and exercise. Make sure to put the leash in their hand so you don’t lose them. Writers in this head space tend to wander.
  2. Bark at the refrigerator so that they remember to feed you and themselves.
  3. Bark at the bed so they don’t stay in it all the time.
  4. Bark at them so they remember they are alive.
  5. Cuddle with them. Writers need a lot of love.

So, wish her luck. Wish me luck! I’m going off to go bark at her now.

NYT bestselling kids book Carrie Jones gives writing and life tips.
Dogs work so hard for us

Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.

I KNOW! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO ADMIT IT. 

My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

Kirkus Reviewsays:  A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

The Spy Who Played Baseball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The podcast,DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that came out Tuesday. All the episodes links are on this page.

This podcast is weird, quirky, and totally authentic. I mean, you can tell we are goofy people just trying to share some writing tips and life tips and we are not sitting in the NPR studio. I mean look at us. We’re total dorks.

And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones
Look, they made a pull quote!
Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones Time Stoppers, Book 2, Quest for the Golden Arrow, middle grade fantasy based in Maine
Look! They made another pull quote.

Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

Cooking With A Writer – Dude, There’s a Burrito in my Spaghetti Squash

I convinced The Man and The Dogs to let me try another vegetarian recipe.

“It’s for the blog,” I said.

“Does the blog earn us any money?” The Man asked.

“Does this vegetarian recipe have bacon bits?” The Dogs asked. “Bacon bits do not count as meat.

“No,” I said. “And no. And yes… chopping meat into tiny bites and bits does not take away the qualities of meat.”

The Dogs decided to sleep through the recipe, which I understand. They’d had a hard day of barking at UPS drivers and squirrels, drooling on windows, and longing for meat products.

The Man did not sleep through the cooking.  He had questions, sort of like a copy editor or something… So many questions about every little detail.

“Does this mean you’re finally going to get rid of the gigantic spaghetti squash that’s been in our bread box for months?’ The Man asked. “Because then I am good with this recipe as long as we can go get pizza later.”

I have a lot to put up with here. Obviously.

carriejonesbooks.blog

This bad boy recipe is really loosely adapted from a much grander recipe from Cookie and Kate. You should check them out and applaud the beauty that is their website.

For background if you are new to this part of my blog:

Everyone always talks about writing being like cooking.

Clarification: By everyone, I mean writers. Writers like to talk about themselves.

Anyways, there are a million blogs about how writing is like cooking, but not really anything about cooking like a writer. So, our new Thursday segment is now COOKING LIKE A WRITER.

https://carriejonesbooks.blog

What does this mean?

It means I’m going to share one recipe with you each Thursday and it’s not going to be shiny and pretty and slick. It’s going to be real, people, because writers of kidlit are authentic AF.

Here is your Thursday recipe. The hardest part is cutting the damn squash, honestly. It was so hard! I had to get help.

Burrito Bowl inside a Spaghetti Squash! Say What the What?

Writers! YOU CAN DO THIS! You can make a thought into a story. Of course you can make a squash into a burrito! 

Also, the calories are on the upper end of the scale because I’m imagining you’re using a lot of toppings because writers are like that if we have other jobs. If you don’t have another job, you probably won’t use cheese, right? Because cheese is expensive! And maybe not as many beans? Then your count is going to be in the 250 range. 

THESE ARE THE ROASTED SQUASH INGREDIENTS – ACT ONE

  • 2 squash – medium, take out its innards and seedy things.
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt – dash
  • pepper – a few dashes

THESE ARE THE SLAW INGREDIENTS – ACT TWO

  • 1 package cole slaw mexican salad mix OR two cups of green cabbage shredded
  • 1 can black beans, drain it because it's icky if you don't
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion – all parts white and green, we love all parts here
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 3 TBSP lime juice

THESE ARE THE SALSA SAUCE INGREDIENTS – ACT THREE

  • 3/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1 avocado – make it ripe, dice it up
  • 1 TBSP lime juice – yes, again with the lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt – yes, again with the salt
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, you've got it, again with the cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic

Random garnishes if you are into that – cheese, more cilantro because we're trying to increase the livelihood of those who produce cilantro, I guess?

    1. I am so sorry. But you have to cut the squash in half. I know! I know! This is hard. This requires muscles. Writers’ only muscles are in our fingers. This is not enough to chop spaghetti squash in half. 

    2. Recruit help to cut the squash in half. This is like a beta reader. It’s okay for a writer/cook to have back-up. Just make sure they are strong. 

    3. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit because that’s important. You can do this. This just requires finger muscles to set the degrees. You’ve got this, writer! 

    4. Spread the olive oil on the squash. Pretend it is the tears that have coalesced after rejection letters. Look at you! You’re tears are making something delicious. 

      Add salt and pepper because why not, honestly? 

    5. Flip the squash over so that the inside parts are now down against the baking sheet. Think about how this is like your own inside parts, hidden inside your story. This is you, this squash! This is your heart and soul hidden from the reader but turning into something beautiful. 

    6. Put the pan in the oven! THIS IS IMPORTANT! Use those writing muscles and eat the time for 40 minutes, but it might take an hour. Squash like stories don’t really follow perfect schedules and some take a little longer. It’s done when a fork can pierce through the flesh.

    7. DO NOT MAKE THE SQUASH YOUR OBJECTIVE CORRELATIVE! I promise. It is not you. It is not your writer soul. You do not need to be pierced easily with a fork. You must remain intact. Take a moment to breathe. You’ve got this. 

    8. Okay. Are you okay? Make sure you’re okay. Don’t think about rejections or bad reviews. Take the slaw mix. Add black beans, the red pepper, the cilantro, the lime juice, the olive oil, the salt, the tears. Toss it around. Let it marinate. This is just like writing a book, isn’t it? Leave it alone for a bit. Do not check it out. It’s good. It’s parts are mixing up and complimenting each other like plot and setting and action and voice and dialogue. Actually, maybe walk away from the kitchen and post an Instagram poem about squash and flesh and forks and marinating slaw. 

    9. Okay. It’s salsa time! Do you feel happier? Did you write a poem? Did anyone like it? Find a blender. Borrow a blender if you don’t have one. It’s like borrowing a plot – totally not a big deal. Cough. Okay. So in the blender put the avocado, the salsa verde, the cilantro and lime juice. Add the garlic because this is not a YA novel set in Seattle. No sparkly vampires here, baby. 

    10. Writer. Um… I forgot to tell you to plug in the blender. Put the top on. Press BLEND. Watch things blend. Blend it till smooth. Marvel at how all these random bits come together to make something yummy. These bits are like your thoughts! Wow…. That’s deep! 

    11. Dude. You are amazing. You have made three parts of something! IT IS LIKE THE OLD BORING THREE-ACT STRUCTURE OF A STORY! Whoah… Mind blown. Do a happy dance. You’re amazing.

    12. Assemble it! Fluff the squash innards up. Put slaw into the hollowed out squash places. Put the salsa verde mix on top. Dang. Look at that. Garnish if you want. Eat your masterpiece! You did this, writer! You! 

    https://carriejonesbooks.blog Recipes with a Writer. Cooking With a Writer

    Man’s Verdict: That was surprisingly good actually and hearty. Probably because like you know the beans and the spaghetti squash has some density to it. The slaw is like a binder. Through some hot sauce in there.

    Dog’s Verdict: Why do you hate us?

    Carrie’s Verdict: This was pretty yummy, but cutting a spaghetti squash is so super hard. There must be an easier way to do that. Wait! I should check the internet for ways to do that.

    Squash cutting
    Squash cutting is serious, people

    The ways are here, thanks to Trial and Eater.

    Also, my middle grade fantasy series, TIME STOPPERS, is totally out there in the world thanks to the wonderful people at Bloomsbury.  It’s about two kids finding love and acceptance and friendship even though their lives have been super horrible. One of them was raised by trolls pretending to be people. Apparently, there are a lot of trolls out there.

    Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones
    Look, they made a pull quote!

    It’s sort of Harry Potter crossed with Percy Jackson crossed with Inkheart, but set in Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor, Maine and it’s full of magic and adventure, but mostly it’s full of friendship. Because friends? Friends matter.

    To find out more about it, you can go here. I hope you all have an amazing day and eat yummy food and nobody torments you too much. Watch out for trolls.

     

     

    Revising a Book Is Sort of Like Hell, Basically, So Take Care of Yourself

    Back in 2009, I had just finished the revision of CAPTIVATE (sequel to NEED), and after I happy danced, I pretty much passed out.

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    The revision of that book was the hardest revision I ever had to do, basically because during that revision I had to work my brain really hard and I was still pretty new to writing novels.

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    DURING THAT REVISION:

    1. I cut about 40,000 words in two-revision passes.
    2. I added about 20,000 more words.
    3. I lost all word retrieval skills.
    4. I  called everyone I saw BABY  because that was the only word I could retrieve.

    5. I lost one friend who didn’t like that I called him BABY and failed to call him back 8,0000 times.
    6. I gained three more friends who were into the whole BABY thing.
    7. I wondered why I was a writer 74 times (a day).

    My whole life went on hold I made lists like this:

    Tomorrow I will have to:

    1. Call my father who thinks I don’t love him anymore and doesn’t understand that I can’t talk to him in the middle of work when he always talks for at least an hour and it totally ruins my ability to think.

    2. Email my mother who is much more understanding.

    3. Do push-ups.

    4. Pass out again.

    5. Reply to blog comments.

    Yes, that’s how bad it was. I put ‘pass out’ on my list of things to do.

    Revision can be tough especially when there’s a whole lot of pressure on you. To be the best writer and person you can be, you have to take care of yourself, not just your book.

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    So here are some tips on how to stay healthy while revising

    Get Some Sleep

    I know! I know! Writers are supposed to write until they are slumped over their desk and drooling on their keyboard, but this is not actually healthy!

    Your brain becomes less efficient the more it needs sleep. So no all-nighters, writing friends.

    Have Healthy Snacks, Not Sugary Ones.

    Sugar makes you fluctuate between big highs and lows. Nobody wants that.

    Stand Up A Lot

    Sitting at the desk forever isn’t good for you. Stand up and work whenever you can or at least take breaks from the sitting.

    Get Exercise

    This is right there with not sitting at your desk all the time, but I made it two separate points. If you take the time to work out before you do your actual writing work, it helps keep you focused and awake.

    Drink Water

    Dehydrated writers are writers who faint. Fainting is romantic in books, but in real life it leads to concussions. Concussions lead to missed deadlines. Nobody wants that.

    Do Good Wednesday

    Be a kindness ambassador. I know! I know! It sounds corny, but I’m so super serious. Leave a note, a present, anonymously somewhere in your town or school for someone specific or anyone at all.

    Need a specific idea on how to do this? There used to be a blog called Secret Agent L (I think) where the person in charge of the blog went around their town doing this sort of thing. It was cool.

    The link is here.

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.

    I KNOW! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO ADMIT IT. 

    My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

    Kirkus Review says:   A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

    The Spy Who Played Baseball

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that came out Tuesday. All the episodes links are on this page.

    This podcast is weird, quirky, and totally authentic. I mean, you can tell we are goofy people just trying to share some writing tips and life tips and we are not sitting in the NPR studio. I mean look at us. We’re total dorks.

    And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

    Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

    There are Storms in My Brain

    BRAINSTORMING?

    Even the word sounds a little creepy. Like there is a storm inside your brain. It sounds… It sounds sort of violent and hazardous and windy. In this podcast, we talk about the storms inside our brain and how those storms can become story ideas.

    Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones
    Five Ways to Brainstorm Story Ideas

    Five Ways To Get Story Ideas

    Some authors have a really hard time just getting an idea for a new story. They burn out. They can’t find anything that they think is ‘good enough.’ They just don’t know where to start and that lack of a start makes them blocked.

    This is so sad! There are ways to fight it.

    ONE WAY TO STORM IS BY ADMIRING OTHER’S WORK

    Think about ways that other people’s stories influence you. If you’re an Outlander fan, think about why. If you were to write your own kind of time travel story would it be like that? With a lot of spanking and stuff? Or something totally different. How would it be different?

    ANOTHER WAY TO INCITE A HAILSTORM OF QUESTIONS

    Ask your self questions. It’s all about ‘What if?’ What if Trump wasn’t president in 2018? What if everyone had blue hair? What if the earth had two moons? What if dogs were really space aliens?

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    Sparty the Dog: Wait. You mean they aren’t?

    Carrie the Human: No, buddy… I mean… I don’t think so?

     

    THIRD WAY WHERE THE WIND IS SO STRONG IT PUSHES IMAGES INTO YOU

    Some of my best ideas have come on a treadmill watching the country music network or MTV or some random YouTube channel with the sound off and just seeing images. Eventually, an image will hit me so hard that I have to write a story about it. The happened with my story, Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape).

    FOURTH WAY OF ICY UNDERSTANDING

    Figuring things out. This is sort of like Another Way, but instead of deliberately asking yourself off-the-wall questions, ask questions about things that matter to you. A lot of my stories are because I don’t understand something. Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend was because i couldn’t understand a hate crime that had happened. I mean, you can never understand that kind of hate, but this one incident was so bizarre that they only way I could deal with it was to write my way through it.

    FIFTH WAY – AN EMOTIONAL BLIZZARD

    Get emotional. What is it that always makes you laugh, cry with joy, weep with anger? What are the situations that pull at your heartstrings. Think about that as story. Write.

    DOG TIP FOR LIFE

    Inspiration is just attention. Notice what’s around you. Then ideas will come.

    Dog Tip for Life
    Dog Tip for Life

    WRITING TIP OF THE POD

    Once you have your seed of information and your brain has successfully stormed, don’t second guess your idea. Write it down. If you are a plot-first writer, think up the questions to flesh out your idea – who is the protagonist. What is she up against? What’s her goal? How is she going to get it? Write it down. Do it. Don’t block yourself.

    Writing Tip of the Podcast
    Writing Tip of the Podcast

    All the podcasts are linked to this page right here. You can find out more about us and the podcast there.

    How To Survive When Your Skirt Falls Off In Front of the World

    All of my friends know this story, but I think… Well, I want  you all to learn from my mistakes, so I’m telling it again.

    Ready?

    I am going to give a little word of advice to all writers going to Book Expo America (BEA) for the first time:

    Ready?

    Are you really ready?

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    Here is my big sentence of wisdom: WEAR A SKIRT THAT FITS!

    Seriously. That is the take-away from this.

    That isn’t just a word of advice for writers, but for everyone except nudists, really. If you’re going to a big, important event, make sure your skirt fits.

    I know this from experience because when I first went to BEA my skirt fell off (YES! PAST MY KNEES!) when I got out of the taxi in front of a bunch of people queuing in a line for the taxi. I was feeling all cool and jaunty. I was in New York City and not Maine. There were people everywhere. I was there as an author. A real live author person and my publisher was actually spending money to have me be there.  I felt sort of posh.

    I was so psyched.

    I must never be so psyched.

    Because I am not posh. I am not all cool nor am I jaunty. I am a woman who dresses up like a lobster in the Fourth of July parade.

    Bar Harbor Fourth of july lobster parade
    I have practice being embarrassed.

    Also, I should never be let out of Maine because people in the real world of cities do things like: 

    1. Look posh
    2. Wear make-up on their face
    3. Actually purchase make-up
    4. Wear matching socks
    5. Do not have skirts that fall down

    Yeah. Never let me out of the state because I do not fit in a the world where flannel and fleece and lobster costumes aren’t the go-to clothing choices.

     

    Carrie Jones books Writing Tips
    Stay focused!

    Anyways, back to the story! I’m a writer! I should stay focused.

    NYT kids bestselling book author carrie jones gives writing tips, survival tips, cooking and dog advice in her blog
    So focused

    Book Expo America is this HUGE industry event that authors really get psyched to have their editors/publishers/marketing team send them to. It’s this super big deal.

    And this is where I had my skirt malfunction. There. At the super big deal place. The place full of people who are posh, make-up wearing, with clothes that fit. The place full of people who could make or break my career.

    I stepped out of the cab. The cab driver was super nice because he wanted a tip. I talked to him a lot because he kept asking me questions about the memoir he was writing because all cab drivers are writing memoirs.

    I stepped out of the cab.

    That was a mistake.

    My skirt abandoned me like a filthy butt-head. Or maybe she was shy? Maybe NYC was too much for her and she’d just given up? Who knows. All I know is she fell. She fell all the way down to my ankles.

    My ankles!

    Spoiler alert: I was not wearing tights.

    Fortunately, there was no paparrazzi, and nobody pulled out their cells so my shame did not go viral. Instead, the people who totally noticed were my cab driver (His eyes got really big and he stopped asking me questions about how to get published) and a father with his eight-year-old son (WHO WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!). The boy totally saw the whole thing. His mouth dropped open. He saw my underwear, seriously saw it. He was like five feet away. My bottom and his head were on the same level.

    The same level!

    *Hides head in shame*

    This experience made me realize that I should not be let out of Maine. Obviously the people at Bloomsbury (my publisher) agreed with this since they did not send me to B.E.A. the next year.

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    So, anyway there I stood outside the taxi right in Broadway, right in front of the hotel trying to yank my skirt up while

    a. Paying the taxi driver guy
    b. Not falling down dead from mortification
    c. Juggling three massive bags full of ARCS (That stands for advanced reader copies, non-writer people)
    d. Realizing that hotel security cameras probably totally caught the skirt fall action.
    e. Thanking God that I am not famous and therefore not worthy enough to have the skirt DISASTER image blasted all over the internet.

    I bet you didn’t know that BEA stood for Behind Exposed to America.

    NYT kids bestselling book author carrie jones gives writing tips, survival tips, cooking and dog advice in her blog
    My life is embarrassing. It’s okay. The first step is awareness.

    Well, when you are me it does.

    So, please, authors, remember that if you will be carrying free books, that it may cause you to lose a few pounds, so wear a belt! Please…

    But where is the motivation in all this, you might wonder? This is supposed to be a Monday Motivation post.

    It’s this – I survived.

    Seriously.

    Yes, I may have scarred that poor child and the taxi driver, but I went on and survived and nothing went viral and people still bought my books. And I got a story that I can laugh at a lot when – you know – I’m not crying.

    Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones
    Totally judging you, human.

    That’s what matters. Cats know that. They fall off the counter? They bounce back up, shake it off, and glare at anyone who dares laugh at them. Cats are resilient. We should be more like that.

    But also, we should make sure our skirts don’t fall down.

     

    Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.

    I KNOW! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO ADMIT IT. 

    My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

    Kirkus Review says:   A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

    The Spy Who Played Baseball

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that came out Tuesday. All the episodes links are on this page.

    This podcast is weird, quirky, and totally authentic. I mean, you can tell we are goofy people just trying to share some writing tips and life tips and we are not sitting in the NPR studio. I mean look at us. We’re total dorks.

    And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

    Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones
    Look, they made a pull quote!
    Writing tips and help from NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones Time Stoppers, Book 2, Quest for the Golden Arrow, middle grade fantasy based in Maine
    Look! They made another pull quote.

    Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

    My Mom is Dead, But It’s Her Birthday

    It’s my mom’s birthday today, but she’s dead.

    And that’s weird.

    It’s been a few years now, and I’ve got to admit. It’s still weird.

    A lot of time we talk about the writing life as if it’s this entity that exists out of regular life. So many of my students spend a lot of time apologizing for not writing for a week because they were out living, having a vacation, dealing with a hurt or sick loved one, or just visiting people they care about.

    There are some writers who can only write if everything in their life is amazing.

    There are some writers who write because everything else in their life is miserable.

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    There’s no one way to be a writer just like there is no one way to be a human. We just live. That’s the best we can do.

     

    For years and years I’ve wanted to tell the story of my mom’s complicated, passionate, messy life and I’m finally writing a fictionalized version of it. And it’s hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

    This is my mom surrounded by her brothers. She has another half brother and some half sisters because my family is complicated like that. My mom was 5-1 so we are short people.

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    This was my mom’s eulogy that I gave at her funeral. 

    Our mom, Betty, was propped up in a hospital bed in Manchester, NH just about a week ago today, and if she saw herself then she would have had a fit. Believe me. She didn’t like to be out of the house if her hair wasn’t combed or her lipstick wasn’t perfectly applied. I can not begin to tell you how many times I sat in her car, waiting to go to the grocery store, the library, a birthday party, or even the dump, and counted the seconds while she reapplied her lipstick in that painstaking way that mothers have.  Let’s just say that she took her time, and I was a very impatient kid. But there was a reason she wanted to put that lipstick on: She wanted to make sure she looked beautiful.

    She always did though. She always looked beautiful.

    And in the hospital last week, ravaged from illness, with her heart trying so hard to beat, with her lungs trying so hard to breathe, my mother wouldn’t have thought she was beautiful.

    But she was.

    She sat up in that hospital bed and my brother and sister used a plastic spoon to feed her some chocolate and vanilla ice cream from a tiny Styrofoam cup. The moment that first spoonful of ice cream hit her lips, our mother, with her eyes closed and her heart failing, broke into a smile that lit up her entire face with a joy so sheer and absolute that it brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

    She was beautiful.

    She was always beautiful, but that beauty didn’t come from her lipstick, or even from her smile. That beauty came from her soul. That beauty came from her love.

    Our mother was an expert in love.

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    “I love you with every ounce of my being,” she would write on birthday cards, Easter cards, those little tags that go on Christmas presents and emails.

    And proud? She was brilliant at proud. Every grandchild was a trophy to her – shiny and gleaming full of light and importance. She polished them with her love and words and pride in their deeds. Keith, her firefighting hero boy, her handy man, the first of her grandbabies. Kevin, the one she thought looked the most like her – so smart and now a hero boy police officer who helped bring her the great grandbabies that she thought were so beautiful. Kayla. She would tell me sooo many soccer stories about Kayla but her favorite story was how when Kayla was in first grade she learned sign language because a little girl in her grade didn’t have anyone to talk to. She was so proud of Kayla’s kindness and intelligence. Brooks, the grandson who made her laugh with his quick wit and indomitable spirit and zest for life that matched her own. She was always hugging on him when he was a baby, and when he was a toddler, and talking about how neat he was. And Emily, the youngest of them, who she saw the moment she was born and declared, “She’s so smart. Look at her eyes. She’s taking everything in. Oh… she’s so beautiful. She looks like a Morse.”  Nana was so proud of you, Em, proud of the love you gave her, your goofiness, and your accomplishments.

    My mom’s pride didn’t just extend to her grandchildren. She was so proud of her children and friends as well. I remember one day after one of the 80,000 holiday or birthday parties that my sister Debbie hosted so effortlessly, I got in the car with my mom and she started to tear up. She was always tearing up. Deb and Bruce take after her. We are weepy sort of people given to strong love, strong sorrow, and strong joy.

    Anyways, I asked her why she was crying. I was probably impatient about it again, but she said, “I am just so proud of my Debbie. She works so hard. She is so good. She is such a good mother.” It was her highest praise. And then she wiped away her tears and reapplied her lipstick.

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    She recognized the beauty in Debbie and rejoiced in it so much it made her cry like she’d just read a Hallmark card with the word love in it.

    One time we were at a wedding and my brother Bruce was in the wedding party and these women in the pew behind us were gossiping about the gorgeous usher with the dimples and my mom turned around and proudly announced to those women, “That’s my son! He has my dimples.”

    “He’s so handsome,” the girls said.

    “He has a kind heart,” my mom said. “He has a beautiful heart. And beautiful dimples.”

    My mom loved deeply and without reservation. She loved her friends, so many of them are here today. Thank you for being here Mel and Steve and Marie and Clem. Two of you both claim to be my mom’s first boyfriend. I’ll let you fight that out amongst yourselves.

    My mom also loved her husbands. Her first love and her second husband was my stepdad John, and their love was a beautiful forever thing. Her funeral is exactly 29 years after his on the same date. There’s a symmetry in that, and a beauty to their love. But what really shows how remarkable she is was her relationship with my dad, Lew. They chatted and gossiped pretty much daily; even though they were divorced for decades and decades, they were supporting each other constantly even until the very last days of her life. Once, they came to visit me in Maine and people compared them to the Costanzas on Seinfeld. They talked simultaneously, teasing each other constantly, voices getting louder and louder. When I said they were divorced, people wouldn’t believe me because the link between them was so strong. Their friendship was a forever thing.

    My mom was born 77 years ago to a brilliant woman and a talented jazz drummer, grew up with two brothers that she loved and was proud to call siblings. She was a wife, a homemaker, an office manager, a Welcome Wagon Lady, a town employee, a real estate broker, and then worked for the Bedford school system. But those are just titles, just occupations. Those aren’t about her soul. She could slam doors with great passion for her small frame. She could laugh hysterically over things as silly as saying ‘in bed’ after you read a fortune cookie. When she got mad she would yell, ‘sugar diabetes,’ the disease that would eventually take her body. She would gossip with her friends about the results on Dancing with the Stars and The Voice and argue her political opinions without reservation. She was a firecracker and a charmer, spunky and sweet, funny and intelligent, and always, always interested in people’s stories.

    It is hard to watch someone dying and in the time that Emily and I spent with my mom I noticed something interesting in her murmurings. She called a lot for her brother Richard who she adored. She often said with her eyes closed, “I see you Richard. Richard. Richard, is it okay?”

    I imagine he told her that it was okay. I imagine that he took her hand and then gave her a hug, the way she would have hugged anyone at anytime. My mother was the kind of person who hugged her children and grandchildren for ages. We would call it entering the hug-off with Nana and joke that she never let go first.  My mother didn’t let go of people, not of her dear friends, not of her family members. No matter what we did, she held on to us, was proud of us, listened to our stories of joy and pain and goofiness. She hugged you as long as she could physically, and when she couldn’t hug you with her arms any more, she hugged you with her head, loving you no matter how many miles were between you and her.

    Her hugs lasted forever. Her love was that way, too.

    But one of the other things my mother yelled when she was dying was a little bit different. She yelled for toast. Honestly, she hollered for toast like it was a long lost love. “TOAST! TOAST! TOAST!” And when she got it and took a bite she whispered to me, “So good. Do you want some?”

    And it is such a goofy thing, and so sweet, and in a way encapsulates a major aspect of her personality. She liked to feed people toast and roast chicken and chocolate chip cookies and Boston Cream Pie. She liked to give sustenance. She liked to give.  Whether it was food or love or hugs or an ear, my mother was a giver.

    We can all learn from a life like that, a life where one woman created a web of love that connects very different people and friends across space and time. It was a life where love trumped all, a life where helping friends and family ruled, where it was important to  listen to the stories of children as they went into a dance studio or teachers calling on the phone asking for subs,  where it was natural for her to smile at nurses and doctors no matter how much pain she was in, a life where she wanted so badly to know everything that went on in the lives of her loved ones because she cared so very much.

    And we care about you Mom. And we were proud of you. And you were and are very loved.

    So off you go Mom, off you go, holding the hands of the people you have loved you, with those of us who still love you, waving goodbye, singing you songs, telling you stories, making more stories for you to enjoy from your perch in Heaven and eating lots of toast and Boston Cream Pie and chocolate chip cookies in your honor. May the wings of the angels wrap you up as one of their own and may we all live our lives as you did – with love and pride and beauty.

    * I totally stole the ‘off you go’ line from Kevin Costner. Hopefully, he doesn’t mind.

    Random Life Tip: Hug like my mother, damn it. Also, don’t worry about how many times you’ve been married. Worry about how big you’ve loved.

    Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.

    I KNOW! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO ADMIT IT. 

    My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

    Kirkus Review says:   A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

    The Spy Who Played Baseball

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that came out Tuesday.

    And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

    Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

    Cooking With a Writer Potato Tacos of Awesome

    Everyone always talks about writing being like cooking.

    Clarification: By everyone, I mean writers. Writers like to talk about themselves.

    https://carriejonesbooks.blog Recipes with a Writer. Cooking With a Writer

    Anyways, there are a million blogs about how writing is like cooking, but not really anything about cooking like a writer. So, our new Thursday segment is now COOKING LIKE A WRITER.

    What does this mean?

    It means I’m going to share one recipe with you each Thursday and it’s not going to be shiny and pretty and slick. It’s going to be real, people, because writers of kidlit are authentic AF.

    https://carriejonesbooks.blog

    It’s also going to be vegetarian because I’m not about death of animals even though EVERYONE else in my family is about animals as food. So part of this is my quest to convince them to go the vegetarian way. Not the vegan way. They are so not ready for that.

    carriejonesbooks.blog
    He did not really eat the potato! I promise!

    I decided to start off easy with Crispy Potato Tacos. I found the recipe on shelikesfood.com, which is possibly the most authentic name of a website ever. I’m sort of jealous.

    She said it was a ‘super and easy weeknight dinner that’s also really flavorful and delicious!’

    She used an exclamation point. I was good to go. I’m a writer. I know all about punctuation and life and I want to live my life as an exclamation point. I changed the amounts of the ingredients, however, because we are a household that needs a lot of flavor. So. Much. Flavor. And also, I converted the instructions for ‘writers,’ because this is… um… about cooking with a writer.

    https://carriejonesbooks.blog

    Potato Tacos of Writer Awesomeness

    This recipe is adapted from shelikesfood.com

    • 2 large russet potatoes
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 12 corn tortillas
    • optional toppings (lettuce, tomato, salsa, onion, peppers, cilantro, tears )
    1. You need to find a knife. Do not think about suicidal confessional poets from the 1960s. Just find a knife.

    2. Use the knife to cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Don’t ponder about what ‘bite-sized’ means. Don’t riff on how different people have different mouth sizes and therefore different bite sizes. Just cut the potatoes. Cut them on a cutting board!

    3. Get a large pot. Put the cut-up potatoes in the pot. Fill the pot with water. Think about this. Are these the characters in your story, perculating under your subconscious? Ready to make something happen in your plot? Yes. Yes. They are.

    4. Boil those characters for 15-20 minutes. They should be fork tender. What does that even mean fork tender? Aren’t we all fork tender, us humans? So easily hurt.

    5. Cry.

    6. Drain the potatoes, those poor tender potatoes. Pause to write a poem. Make sure when you come back that those little sweet potatoes are pretty dry.

    7. Cast aside your feelings. It’s time to get serious. Find a skillet. Do not comtemplate the last time you used a skillet as a prop device in your murder-mystery staring your ex boss. Instead, turn the stove burner on to medium heat. Put that skillet on the burner. Yes, the same burner that you’ve turned on.

    8. In the skillet, put olive oil, potatoes, and spices. Double up the spices if you aren’t afraid. You want depth to your story. I mean recipe.

    9. Stir it up like it’s a good plot.

    10. Cook it for 3-5 minutes. Flip it. Cook it on that side for 3-5 more minutes. You want it crisp, but not burnt. Use your own judgement about what constitutes crisp. You can do it! I believe in you!

    11. Find the corn tortillas. Put potatoes in them. Put the other toppings in them. Hope for good reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. I mean, hope your family likes them.  

    The Man’s Rating: This is not enough food for dinner but it is delicious. How many of these can I eat and not be a glutton.

    My Rating: This is more than enough food for dinner, but I had to peel potatoes. I don’t like peeling potatoes.

    Look! Potatoes were peeled.

    The dogs were not impressed because there was no bacon involved. But look! Here it is! Note the giant man hand. Is it any wonder he was all, “NEED MORE FOOD?”

    carreiejonesbooks.blog

    Prom Parties Can Make You a Writer & Teach You About Pacing

    Since I have no shame what-so-ever, and since I enjoy humiliating myself I am going to post my old prom pictures here.

    So, here it is:

    This is me with Joe. Joe is gay. He wasn’t out yet here. He was the best boyfriend ever obviously since he went to the prom with me despite the fact that I was wearing this pink monstrosity of a dress. From now on the dress will be referred to as BERTHABELINDAGOGOS.

    Check out the bottom part of BERTHABELINDAGOGOS! You could make five dresses for Beyonce out of that… that… Not that Beyonce would allow that, obviously.

    Oh! What is the name for the bottom part of a dress? You can tell I am no good at dressmaking terms. Oh… yeah… hemline?

    Also, please try to ignore my hair and the fact that we are holding my dog, Shelly Belly, and gazing at each other in a total Lifetime Movie sort of way and that Shelly Belly is ALSO GAZING AT JOE IN A TOTAL LIFETIME MOVIE SORT OF WAY!!! Shelly Belly! I never knew.

    (Yes. Those are two different pink dresses. Yes. Joe and I went to two different proms together, two years in a row. Yes. My mother made us pose in front of the fireplace EACH TIME!!!)

    Cleansing breaths, Carrie. Cleansing breaths.

     

    Here are Joe and I post prom at Hampton Beach in NH, which is where everyone went if they:

    1. Didn’t go to a hotel to be skanky
    2. Didn’t go home to be lonely
    3. Didn’t go to the post-prom party to be good kids approved of by the school administration and parents everywhere.

    Although, actually we did go to the post-prom party and it was there that my German teacher (who is QUITE similar to the German teacher in TIPS) dunked me in the swimming pool repeatedly. I have not forgiven him for the repeated dunking (Water up the nose is NOT fun, Herr Wells!), which is why there is a German teacher in TIPS.

    Note in the picture that  the cool U2 shirt, and Chris LaSalle passed out behind us. He is the lump in the sand.

    Note that the Emster hates this picture.

    Note that I am posting it anyway because my chin looks good.

    Note that we went to the post-prom party because you could win things (I WON A SAVINGS BOND, WHICH PAID FOR A COMPUTER, WHICH SET ME ON THE COURSE OF BEING A WRITER) and  because there was free pizza!

    Moral of the story: Always go to post-prom parties if you want to be a writer or get free pizza.

    Where is the Writing Wisdom in all this, you might ask. Is this not Writing Wisdom Wednesday and also Do Good Wednesday? Yes… yes… it is.

    https://carriejonesbooks.blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/My-Post-6-5.jpg

    Writing Wisdom Time

    Books are like prom experiences.

    No two proms are going to be the same even if you go with the same person. Proms have different levels of thrill and different levels of boredom. Some are hell on earth. Some are fantasies out of 1980s movies complete with awesome soundtracks.

    Books are like that, too.

    There is no one way to be a book. But all books, and all proms have a certain pace to them. You expect for them to fall into one of the types of pacing and action:

    Some will be a slower, mellow time. Think a quiet, literary novel.

    Some will be all razz-ma-razz action, blowing your hair back. Think a loud movie about Marvel characters, only as a book.

    What happens is you get an expectation of pace that happens from your very first page and voice and tone, or the moment your prom date shows up with a clown wig and another woman on his arm. You set up the cause and effect, the action and reaction, and the speed between those two elements.

    If you think of it as plot points, then you want to have a consistent distance between plot points.

    Plot Point One…. 5,000 words happen…. Plot Point Two… 5,000 words happen. 

    And so on.

    But then the plot speeds up right before the climax, and then it slows down right after a huge revelation or plot point to allow for emotional reaction.

    Pacing is a tool you get to use to make the best story possible. How cool is that?

    carriejonesbooks.blog

    Do Good Wednesday

    In honor of Joe and all the people I love and adore and respect, here is your Do Good Wednesday link. All you need to do is get informed. That’s it.

    I once had someone look at TIPS; it was an industry professional and he lived in NYC and he’s super liberal and he said, “Carrie. This isn’t a believable premise. Hate crimes against gays don’t happen anymore.”

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    He was obviously wrong then. He is still wrong now. We have only just had the first teen gay romance movie, right? We are still growing and as we grow? Sometimes hate lashes back and out harder than ever. So, just read about it, especially if you’re straight. Think about what it is to be a child of love.

     

    Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.

    I know! I’m not supposed to admit it. 

    My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

    Kirkus Review says:   A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

    The Spy Who Played Baseball

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that came out Tuesday.

     

    And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

    Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

    Dogs in Wigs.

    I saw a dog with fake hair on the Cute-internet today, and I have to say that it’s terribly depressing that dogs are wearing people wigs.

    I mean, dogs have fur! They have fur! But they are covering up their beautiful natural fur-i-tude with fake people hair. Isn’t there something wrong about this? I mean, yes, she is cute….

    but seriously. Shouldn’t she be happy with who she is as a dog? Shouldn’t she embrace her fine doggy self instead of walking over to the side of salon visits, guava conditioners, and dolphin-decal manicures?

    And sometimes… sometimes… the wig goes horribly wrong…

    My Post-6 copy 2

    Okay. Human readers you can stop listening now. We have a message from Gabby the Dog

    ATTENTION ALL CANINES!!!!

    It is okay to embrace your doggy self. If that means running around in mud flats and drooling. It’s okay.

    Rolling around in dead skunk? Okay.

    Eating split pea soup and then kissing everyone? Okay

    And, yes, if it means wearing a wig, even a Hannah Montana wig, that’s okay, too, but remember the cats are watching, and they are snickering.

    (What me snicker? I am a cat. I blog about it…. and only then I snicker.)

    So, your Marise the Cat Monday motivation is this people: 

    Live big. Wear wigs. Don’t wear wigs. Embrace your inner dog or your inner weird. Don’t let other people trample down your quirky with their disdain. Disdain? Judgement? Raised eyebrow looks at your awesome bewigged dogs?

    That’s what’s boring.

    Cats know.

     

    Random Marketing and Book Things Since I Need To Make Money to Survive

    My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

    Kirkus Review says:   A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

    The Spy Who Played Baseball

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that will come out Tuesday. That’s tomorrow! If you subscribe, you will never ever miss one.

    To be fair, Shaun and I are more like um… these guys… that pro podcast people. Just keeping it real because it’s impossible for us not to.

    And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

    Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

    If you feel like buying it, that would be so amazing? And if you review it? Even better! Well, maybe not better, but also super kind of you. No pressure though!