Knowing When To Be A Writer Show-OFF

I ended up talking to some of my writers about this, this past weekend, so I thought I’d share it with everyone. It’s pretty fun stuff and a helpful thing to know.

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it,” said novelist Elmore Leonard.

Sometimes writers fall in love with words, and that seems like a lovely thing, right? Words are writers’ commodity. Writers are word merchants. They deal in words, flinging around and ordering about on the page in the hopes of creating an army of sentences that become a story.

But sometimes writers (like everyone else) show off.

And that showing off makes readers go, “Blech.”

Readers who go ‘blech’ are readers who probably aren’t going to keep reading. No writer wants that because then their words and stories don’t have a chance to motivate or distract or move the reader. Plus, crap reviews.

In his book, Writing Tools, Roy Peter Clark writes:

“Most writers have at least two modes. One says, “Pay no attention the writer behind the curtain. Look only at the world.” The other says, without inhibition, “Watch me dance. Aren’t I clever fellow?”

He likens these to understatement (the first mode) and overstatement or hyperbole (the second mode).

You don’t want your readers to be noticing all your writing adroitness and flourishes and showing off.

You also don’t want to be so underwhelming during really important moments that the reader shrugs and says, “Should I care that the universe imploded and Lassie died?”

Clark creates a little rule that he says works for him.

“The more serious or dramatic the subject, the more the writer backs off, creating the effect that the story tells itself. The more playful or inconsequential the topic, the more the writer can show off. Back off or show off.”

Here are a couple of examples where I’m writing about the same thing.

So, I was at the Boston Marathon today to take pictures of my friend, Lori, running and then crossing the finish line. Before the marathon I had lunch with my daughter Em. She was nervous.

“I have a bad feeling,” she said. “You need to be careful.”

“You have no faith in me. I am a perfectly capable person.”

“I just am worried.”

“I will be fine,” I told her. I insisted it, actually.

But I did several things that I don’t normally do. I didn’t take the T. I chose to walk from Cambridge to mile 25.5 or so of the race route. I figured out the T route and everything, but I just didn’t want to go on it. Walking was healthier, I figured. I was going to watch a marathon.

Pretty understated, right?

Here’s me writing that flamboyantly.

It is the kind of day where people blossom into heroes in Boston and become a part of a legend, a story bigger than themselves, the day of the marathon, a day of heaving chests, heartbreak hills, strangers cheering them on for just moving forward, step by step, mile by mile, until the make it (or don’t) to the finish line. My friend Lori was one of those people—the hopefuls, the push-your-way-through-its, the runners.

While she was on mile eighteen or so, my daughter and I were having lunch in Cambridge before I’d leave her to the doldrums of college and head out to the race route, somewhere around mile 25.5.

Before I left, my daughter hugged me. She smelled of hummus and coconut shampoo, her windblown hair flinging itself into my cheek as she said, “I have a bad feeling.”

You see the difference, right?

How do you work on this in your own writing?

Look at other people’s writing. Newspapers are great examples of this. What stories are on page one because of how they are written versus how newsy they actually are.

Take one of your own scenes and rewrite it like it’s spare bones. Then rewrite it like you’re trying for a very flowery Pulitzer.

Read humor. Great humorists have really mastered the difference between hyperbole and understatement and use it so well.

I took this when I was running this week. It’s so beautiful here.

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 BEAUTY OF NOT FITTING IN. LOVING THE STRANGE

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
THE BEAUTY OF NOT FITTING IN. LOVING THE STRANGE
/

This week’s episode is called THE BEAUTY OF NOT FITTING IN. And one of the big aspects of understanding that is understand what it is to feel belonging.

According to harleytherapy.com, a counseling site from the UK.

“Belonging is defined as feeling part of a group, whether that is a familya set of friends, or a workplace.”

They quote psychologist Abraham Maslow, who worked on human motivation and created a ‘the Hierarchy of Needs’ models, saying that he “saw ‘love and belonging’  as so important he placed them third only to our basic ‘physiological needs’ like food and shelter, and ‘safety needs’ like employment and good health.””

So feeling like you belong is important, but it’s also a way a lot of us feel and there’s a certain freedom and beauty in not belonging.

Over on heartstories, writer Crystal Gronto says

“Feeling like you don’t fit in with the crowd teaches you to see and appreciate differences in people.  It teaches you empathy and compassion for others who are on the outside.  It gives you eyes to see things that the crowd, can so easily miss.”

Tiny Buddha’s Anne Bechard writes:

“Everybody tries to fit in because they desperately want to feel at home wherever they are. But fitting in will never get you home. Fitting in is about trying to adapt to a world that’s not your own. You don’t belong there.

“Belonging is about inhabiting the world as the real you. And the hard reality is that you’ll never fit in where you don’t belong. Here’s what it actually takes to truly belong where you’re meant to be—even if you don’t seem to fit in anywhere.”

Writer Marianne Cantwell has made a life work out of telling people that ‘weirdness is your edge,’ and ‘your hidden advantage.’

We look at people with a million followers and have perfect hair and smiles and speaking styles, but those people often didn’t start like that or felt like they belonged or felt comfortable who and where they were.

She said often, “they were the different ones” who didn’t fit in. She looked to her own identity as an empathetic, very sensitive person, who didn’t fit in the business world, which was a bit more straightlaced. And once she adapted and adopted that, she began to be successful.

All over the web there are tiny stories about Famous People Who Didn’t Fit In

  • Anna Wintour – who was allegedly fired for being too edgy is now a fashion editor at Vogue
  • Oprah – who was allegedly fired for being too emotional when reporting is now Oprah!
  • Taylor Swift once said: “I remember when I was in school, the whole reason I started writing songs was because I was alone a lot of the time. I’d sit there in school and I’d be hearing people like, ‘Oh my god, this party that we’re going to is gonna be so awesome on Friday. Everyone’s invited except for [Taylor],”
  • Lady Gaga – wanted to be Boy George and often talks about not fitting in when she was in school
  • Zayn Malik – has spoken a lot about not fitting in and feeling bullied
  • Hunter Hayes – cried himself to sleep because of not fitting in and bullies.

Over on the https://www.learning-mind.com/dont-fit-in/ it talks a bit about the good things that matter about not fitting in.

1. Finding your tribe is more important than ‘fitting in’

2. Learning what makes you happy is more important than trying to fit someone else’s idea of a successful life

They write,

“It sometimes takes great courage to stop and think about this path and decide what elements we truly choose for our own lives. If we define accomplishment as having these things, we limit what success can be for us. Perhaps success for you is having an afternoon each week to paint, or hike in nature. Or maybe it is having a great circle of friends who really ‘get’ you and where you truly fit in.”

3. Aim for a meaningful life

“Much of our focus on outward signs of success such as making money or shopping might come from an underlying fear that our lives are meaningless. Viktor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, said that ‘When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.’”

So, ask yourself, what is meaningful? Does this thing that I’m doing right now mean something to me?

 

4. Choose to serve your own values rather than society’s

We grow up in families usually and those family’s praise some things and others? Not so much. One family might think competitive sports are the bomb. Another family might not. Even if your own family you could have those divisions. Those systems of attention and reward push all certain ways, so it’s good sometimes to step back and think, “Holy crap. Am I only a writer because of this thing that happened to me in second grade or because my mom praised it a lot?”

Do I play softball because my mom did? Do I art because the only thing my dad praised me for was that?

As they say on learning-mind.com,

“And countless studies have shown that materialism doesn’t make us happy anyway. I’m not saying that having a steady job or buying nice things is wrong, I’m simply suggesting that you question everything and act upon your own desires rather than society’s expectations.

“When you choose to do the things that serve you, rather than politicians, big businesses, and even family and friends, you will being to live a more authentic life and discover a deep sense of belonging that can never be found by merely fitting in.

That feeling can come from abusive relationships, medical issues, and trauma, but sometimes it comes from a lack of confidence or belief that who you really are is unworthy, which is why we’re going to talk about some awesome stories from Buzzfeed compilation by Allie Hayes about dumb things people do even when their smart.

Look, we all have moments of dumb and weird. It’s better to just embrace that stuff and be the person you were meant to be, the person you are, and be proud and joyful that there are things about you that make you beautiful and unique and so shiny.

OTHER LINKS MENTIONED

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alliehayes/dumbest-thing-smart-people-have-done-reddit


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.

Continue reading “THE BEAUTY OF NOT FITTING IN. LOVING THE STRANGE”

BE BRAVE FRIDAY – RINGING THE BELL AND CHANGING MEDICATION FOR DEPRESSION

So, today is our first BE BRAVE FRIDAY featuring the stories of people who are not Carrie.

Why are we doing this?

We’re doing this because in a world where everything can feel like crap and overwhelming sometimes, it’s good to celebrate and lift each other up.

We don’t censor these letters and stories. We read them verbatim. You can be anonymous or like Dee and Tez, you can tell your name.

Let us celebrate you. Let’s inspire each other, okay?

I hope you’ll take a second to listen to Dee and Tez’s story.

Trigger warnings: Mental health, cancer, ill parent.

Awesome warnings: Braveness. Persistence. Facing your fears.

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.

Don’t Look At Yourself Naked After You’ve Had a Burrito: Writer Insecurity Syndrome

Awhile ago, I had this nasty bad cold and when I was almost better, I tried to write and realized that everything I was writing was absolutely horrible and would always be awful and what was the point.

This is called Writer Insecurity Syndrome. It usually happens when you’re sick, when you feel like you’ll never get 50,000 readers, or when someone trolls you on Twitter.

“What am I doing?” I whined to S. who pulled the laptop off my lap and gave me tea.

He smiled at me and shook his head.

“You’re not suppose to look at your work when you’re sick,” he said. “No matter what you do or how good it is, when you’re sick it always looks hopeless and pointless and it seems like you stink.”

I said, quite intelligently like the woman of words that I am, “Oh.”

“It’s like eating a bean burrito,” he said.

“What?”

“You never want to go look at yourself naked in the mirror after you’ve eaten three or four bean burritos,” he said. “It’s like that with doing your job or thinking about your life when you’re sick.”

It makes sense.

Sort of.

“You can eat three or four bean burritos?” I asked.

“Yep,” he said, all proud.

“And you’ve actually looked at yourself naked afterwards?”

He quietly left the room.

When things are bad, it’s easy to spiral down. Try to lift out of it. Most of the time, our feelings and circumstances change. Hang onto that and believe in yourself even after you’ve eaten four bean burritos.

Hey! I hung out over at Dad Without a Dad’s podcast this week. Check it out here.


NEW BOOK ALERT!

My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is out and it’s just $1,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly.

There’s a bit more about it here.

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.


Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com


CARRIE’S TEACHABLE CLASS!

I have a quick, pre-recorded Teachable class designed to make you a killer scene writer in just one day. It’s fun. It’s fast. And you get to become a better writer for just $25, which is an amazing deal.

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!

FAITH IS OUT!

It’s my baby book’s birthday!

And I have been a nervous wreck. It shot to #1 in a random new release category, which was super cool.

Thank you if you preordered it because I know that’s why. It’s because of you.

My new little novella FAITH is available for $1.99 if you order now (US, ebook https://amzn.to/34cuTIS) (CAN https://amzn.to/2HvsqkO).

And thank you SO MUCH to all of you have been so lovely and supportive about this little story. It’s really not like most of my writing, but it’s helped me win a couple of awards and things and it’s a story of my heart. Those are always so hard to release into the world.

Order Carrie Jones’s new book. It’s not BE BRAVE FRIDAY anymore, but I like this image. 🙂

The soul-wrenching story starts here….

Becca’s young life is about to change when she meets a boy in the playground, a boy who seems too magical to be real. Barely surviving at home, Becca’s new friend quickly teaches her what it means to have hope and faith.

A compelling novella that’s sure to resonate from the international and NYT bestselling author.


IMPORTANT BIT

It’s a really emotional small story so if you have any childhood abuse or trauma you may not want to read it.

Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

BE BRAVE FRIDAY – PREORDER MY NOVELLA, Please

So, I am terrible at promoting myself because apparently I am an introvert. I know! I know! I don’t present that way at all, but I am a person who cringes when the phone rings.

But I am going to be brave and try because I love this story so much. Why? Because it’s about hope and faith even when things are impossible.

I HAVE A NEW NOVELLA!

But I have a book coming out October 1. It’s just an ebook because it’s small. It’s incredibly different from all the other books and stories that I’ve published, but I hope you’ll take a chance on it anyways because I love it terribly much.

It will be .99 on pre-order and 2.99 once it’s live.

And did I say I love it very much?

HOW YOU CAN HELP ME.

  1. You can spend .99 cents and make Amazon think, “Wow! People are buying Carrie’s book.”
  2. That will basically give me .35 cents. I can buy a stamp with that! So, that means when I send everyone holiday cards, you’re helping! Oh! You’re helping me and the post office.
  3. You can write a review on Amazon after you read it. This actually really helps authors a lot. So much. Insert begging voice, “Please buy my book and review it.”

THE BOOK

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

The soul-wrenching story starts here….

Becca’s young life is about to change when she meets a boy in the playground, a boy who seems too magical to be real. Barely, surviving at home, Becca’s new friend quickly teaches her what it means to have hope and faith.

A compelling novella that’s sure to resonate and leave a lasting impression.

Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

HOW I AM BEING BRAVE

This story won a few awards a long time ago, but it’s too short for traditional publishing really and it’s so different than what my readers expect from me that it feels…? Scary. It feels scary.

It’s hard to write something radically different sometimes.

And it’s also the story that helps me through my own grief, which is a deeply personal thing. So, maybe the reason I’m so scared is because it just feels so incredibly personal? Who know.

But I hope you’ll take a chance on it, check it out, and like it. And if you don’t like it? I hope you’ll still like me after you read it anyways.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

How are you doing this Friday? Are you being brave? Scared? Is there something you’d like me to cheer you on about? Just let me know!

How Cosplay & Book Boyfriends Make You Brave: Bonus Interview with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
How Cosplay & Book Boyfriends Make You Brave: Bonus Interview with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez
/

Vivian Garcia Rodriguez is a secretly the queen to pixie Astley from my NEED series, but we’re not really going to tell anyone, right? Sadly, fate currently has them in different worlds but luckily for us, Vivian is in our world today! Math tutor, cosplayer with a flare for everything, I’m so psyched to have Vivian with us today. 

Vivian talked to us while she was in lockdown because of Covid-19 and in her home in Puerto Rico. We talk about how cosplay makes her more confident and forces her not to pick the farthest seat away from the board at school and how different books help build up people and friendships. 

I hope you’ll check it out! 

And I hope you’ll check out Vivian’s Bookstagram, Mayushiibooks.

Vivian’s instagram of beautiful books.

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

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

Join the 234,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.

This week’s episode.

Extra Thought

So many apologies for not posting a bonus episode. I (Carrie) have epilepsy and I had a bit of a seizure last week after a really long time of no seizures (Yay!) and posting a bonus podcast was the thing that had to fall off my to-do list.

Monday Exists and So Do You

Look at you. Working towards your goals. Dreaming big dreams. Inspiring.

Doing.
One word forward.


Another one.


Look at you go.


xo

Gabby the Dog


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

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

Join the 218,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.

Link to Jose’sbonus interview.

This week’s episode link. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.


IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!

My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!

Gasp!

It’s 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!

What I See When I Write My Stories

So, a lot of times writers have vision boards for their stories. We fill these with images that represent the theme or the thought or the character. I do this a lot by painting, but sometimes I make real boards somewhere (like Pinterest) too.

Like this would be one for my adult mystery, THE PLACES WE HIDE.

This works really well for the image system of your story and image systems are super cool. Let me know if you want me to blog about them.

And this is the one for one of the stories I’m working on right now. It’s basically a campground for the undead and other strange creatures. The working title is brilliantly called, CREEPY CAMPGROUND STORY. Yes! Yes! I know! Genius title.

And this one would be for the YA story I’m revising, which is a bit of a time travel story, but still awesome and not confusing.

And this one would be for IN THE WOODS, which I cowrote with Steve Wedel and came out this summer.

So, yeah. That’s a peek into the weird image part of my story writing process.

For more about a couple of the stories, check out behind the jump.

But before you go, let me explain. When I write my stories, I hear them inside my head first and then I see the images. Not all writers are like this. When I try to get to the heart and soul of my story and its characters, it is the images that pull me there. Not the words. So in my first draft, I hear the story, but when I revise, I feel the images.

Continue reading “What I See When I Write My Stories”

What Was It Like To Get a MFA When You Are From Maine and Have Social Anxiety

If you guys don’t know, Vermont College of Fine Arts offers a master’s program specifically for writing for children and young adults. This is a very cool thing. They actually accepted me and I got a degree there. Eventually, I was even awarded a Distinguished Alum degree at a surprise event in D.C, which was ridiculously cool and a great line for my obituary.

But when I started? I didn’t think I would ever get that far. That’s because I get super shy and social anxious about public events. I present an extrovert, but I basically have stage fright about things like singing in public, or going to board meetings or parties. I still go, but I get anxious ahead of time.

I was so anxious about going to Vermont. I was a newspaper editor. That is not the same as writing books for kids and I would be surrounded by people who were devoted to the craft of writing and that seemed so scary.

What was going to Vermont like?

Um…. It was great. No plots were stolen. I did not go to jail or die. All in all? I’d say it was a success.

But when I first got there it was a more than a little scary. I was petrified. You know how when you go into the cafeteria and realize that you know absolutely nobody. No, seriously, and everyone else looks like they know everybody else and so you just stand there with your tray … wondering how you can go into the kitchen and eat with the cooks because they seem really nice … the cooks. 

And then you meet all the other people in your class and it feels like everyone is SOOOOOOOOO much cooler than you are and they all sort of have roles.

There was HE WHO WRITES YA SEX SCENES and SHE OF THE PEACEFUL POETRY and MAGICAL URBAN FANTASY WOMAN and PICTURE BOOK GURU and I AM FLUFFY and then of course, THE ONE CUTE GUY. This is a children’s writer’s program. There is usually one cute guy. There is also usually one ridiculously beautiful woman.

(Note: We were a rocking class because there were actually three cute boys out of our 18 writers. There was also three beautiful women. This made our class ultra-cool.)

Anyway, I felt like I didn’t fit in because everyone else was so cool,  and basically I almost had a complete nervous breakdown the first residency until Lisa Jahn Clough talked me down and said, “Carrie, writers never feel like they fit in. That’s why we’re writers.”

And I said, “But I’m from Maine. I’m not used to all these people talking everywhere about writing. Actually, I’m not used to people, which is part of why I wear a parka inside buildings at all times. You can hide in a parka and pretend to be a snowman or something.”

And she said, “I know. I’m from Maine too, but it’s good. Really. It’s sometimes overwhelming, but it’s good. And parkas are fine.”

And it turned out she was right. 

Everyone in my class at Vermont helped each other and HE WHO WRITES SEX SCENES eventually WROTE PEACEFUL POETRY, occasionally and MAGICAL URBAN FANTASY WOMAN wrote an occasional picture book, and everyone in my class just basically loved each other, creating a happy ending much better than any 1980s teen movie and we eventually all crunched up together and looked all emotional and dramatic but right together. And we connected and learned.

And I kind of miss it because as Molly Ringwald (1980s actress always wearing pink or black) said in the movie, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone“Us loners got to stick together.”

And you know? Writers wrote that line. And they also wrote that movie. Which is why we all need to support each other because sometimes… well… we writers stink.

Anyway, I really miss learning about craft instead of teaching about craft and becoming an exponentially better writer because of these other amazing writer/teachers.


And I really miss throwing cookies at people in the cafeteria and then looking all happy-faced.

Us loners got to stick together, baby, and that counts for writers and readers both, and writing programs give us writers a place to do it. So congratulations to all my friends who are starting programs, and to all my friends who aren’t. Because, basically, we all have our own paths and they are all cool. 

Well, almost all of us.

As C. JoyBell C. says,

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 

This week’s episode link. 

Last week’s episode link.

Last week’s interview with writer Jordan Scavone! 


Continue reading “What Was It Like To Get a MFA When You Are From Maine and Have Social Anxiety”