Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

People remind me that I’m female. Sometimes those reminders aren’t nice.

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A long time ago (I’m talking years) I was tagged by Varian Johnson 

This is the ALA version where I say, I did not win any awards today, but I did win an Independent Book Publisher’s Award once! Then I put google eyes on it. This is probably not the most respectable thing to do.

My IPPY Award. I call them, Ippy. Totally original, I know.

Congratulations to all the authors who won awards today and to all the authors who have created books and stories and beauty. You matter. You make a difference.

The rules for the MEME: Each participant shares five little-known facts about themselves. Those tagged are asked to do the same as well as reiterate this guideline. All select five folks to be tagged and list their names. (Leave a comment letting them know that you’ve tagged them and that they may see your blog as an example.) I am not tagging people because I am shy.

Here we go.

Five Little Known Facts About Me

(Since I am “little known” MYSELF, it feels as if all facts are indeed little known, but whatever…):



1. I was once a city councilor. 

I was the youngest ever in my city, and one of a handful of women who have ever made it to the big, plush chairs. Sometimes, I would doodle things on my memos like: I HATE THIS. I HATE THIS. I HATE THIS. Very mature. But I did hate it. I resigned when the newspaper chain I worked for made me the editor of the city’s newspaper, which gave me an obvious conflict of interest, but really just a ridiculous advantage over the other local paper.

Yes, I have ethics.

2. I am female 

and that’s about the only label that I’m 100% sure of, but even then I don’t think, “I am female.” I tend to think, “I exist.” Or, “I am human.” People remind me that I’m female. Sometimes those reminders aren’t nice.

3. I get massive crushes on comedians, but not in a sexual way.

It started off with Robin Williams when he was on Mork and Mindy. Oh boy, do not wear rainbow suspenders around me…. I will trail you around waiting to see how your mind works and how you make funny things.

4. And animals. 

My first crush was on Ben, the grizzly in the old Grizzly Adams TV show, and then there was Scooby of Scooby Doo and Boo Boo on this Yogi Bear cartoon. Again, not in a sexual way. I just wanted to fall in love and cuddle.



5. I am terrified that no one will read my books AND I WILL GO BANKRUPT. 

Oh, that’s just so obvious that I’ll add another one…

6. I was in a song and dance company from seventh grade through high schooL

Shut up! Do not laugh! We got paid.


Anyway, we started out performing at Chuck E Cheese (on the stage) and at the Masonic temple and eventually beaches and other places. We’d sing songs from FAME! for one of our shows. Another was all about American Pop or something embarrassing like that.

The actress/comedian, Sarah Silverman , was in it too. Her mom and my mom used to worry about it staining us and making us into bad girls who did drugs. Sarah had Mork and Mindy suspenders and I was SO JEALOUS! I think my lack of those suspenders is why I ended up a writer and not a comedian. Plus, um, lack of talent. 🙂

Bridget Walsh, who was the first Annie to tour the country was in our song and dance company, too. She swore a lot and ended up being on this MTV dance show. Go figure.

Sarah ended up being Sarah.

And I ended up being me, Writer of Books, Terrified of Nobody Reading Those Books.

Do you want to play? I would love it if you did, but no pressure!

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, PREORDER NOW!

My next book, IN THE WOODS, appears in July with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

You can preorder this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

Hear My Book Baby (and More) On Patreon

On February first, I’m going to launch my Patreon site where I’ll be reading a chapters (in order) of a never-published teen fantasy novel, releasing deleted scenes from some of my more popular books. And so much more.

WHAT IS PATREON? 

A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you. 


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


BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!

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

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

Here is the link to the mobile app and our bonus podcast below.

ART.

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

Bar Harbor Painting Schooner
Bar Harbor Painting Schooner

TIME STOPPERS!

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

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

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

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

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

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

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them here or anywhere. It’s fun, accessible science fiction. Who knew there was such a thing?

31702754 copy
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Mushy Dialogue Sucks

There. I said it.

Mushy dialogue sucks. It’s nothing space in your story and sometimes it’s nothing space in your life. You know what I’m talking about, right? You meet some cool human at a coffee house and talk to them and it goes like this:

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

“How’s it shaking?”

“It’s shaking well, thank you.”

“Yeah. Weather is nice, right?”

“It’s quite sunny.”

“Cool.”

“Yes, it’s lovely.”

Random bad dialogue that I just made up

One of my writers in the Writing Barn class that I’m teaching for the next six months, directed me to a blog post about the Five Biggest Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them and one of those mistakes according to James Scott Bell is marshmallow dialogue.

Bell believes that dialogue is one of the best ways to make a story better or make it absolute trash. He advocates fast-paced dialogue full of tension. Blah dialogue he says is ‘puffy,’ and ‘overly sweet,’ and everyone sounds the same no matter who is speaking.

Bell kindly gives hints about how to make characters sound different from one another.

Those include:

  • Making documents written solely in one character’s voice.
  • Keep working on it until every character sounds different and you can distinguish them at a glance (I added that)
  • Make sure there is tension going on. What do people want? Why are they talking? Do they want the same thing?
  • Make your dialogue simpler. Get rid of extra words. You can cut and copy dialogue into another document and then hack away at it.

He uses the following example of compressed dialogue.

“Mary, are you angry with me?” John asked.

“You’re damn straight I’m mad at you,” Mary said.

“But why? You’ve got absolutely no reason to be!”

“Oh but I do, I do. And you can see it in my face, can’t you?”

The alternative:

“You angry with me?” John asked.

“Damn straight,” Mary said.

“You got no reason to be!”

Mary felt her hands curling into fists.

Bell’s example

I’m annoying and I send my apologies to Mr. Bell, but that example is wonderful at compressing dialogue, but those people? They still sound the same to me. In the first example, they both sound like middle class people who are having a hard time expressing their feelings. In the second example, they sound like people who are expressing their feelings in exactly the same way and are probably are still the same social/economic/education background.

Look at what happens if you keep one character’s original lines and one character’s new lines.

“Mary, are you angry with me?” John asked.
“Damn straight,” Mary said.
“But why? You’ve got absolutely no reason to be!”
Mary’s hands curled into fists.

Or….

“You angry with me?” John asked.

“You’re damn straight I’m mad at you,” Mary said.

“But why? You have absolutely no reason to be?”


Mary’s hands curled into fists.

Revision

I’d argue that’s even better. For more about how language and dialogue changes with the speakers, check out our Dogs are Smarter than People podcast from last year. And good luck with your dialogue!

Links that go with the podcast (the important words are here and here.




HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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


BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!

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

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

Here is the link to the mobile app and our bonus podcast below.

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

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

Bar Harbor Painting Schooner
Bar Harbor Painting Schooner

TIME STOPPERS!

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

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

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

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

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

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

FLYING AND ENHANCED

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

31702754 copy