slow cooker cheesy garlic herb mashed potatoes of first line anxiety

Things might not be going all that well here at the Jones-Farrar household. Between NaNoWriMo, remote schooling, COVID, being trapped with each other and not travelling for ten months?

I’ve got some writers block and a need for starch. Keto be damned. It’s almost Thanksgiving in the U.S.

How about you?

Print Recipe
slow cooker cheesy garlic herb mashed potatoes of first lines
Cooking With a Writer
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Cooking With a Writer
Instructions
  1. Look writer, you need to get things started. It is almost Thanksgiving in the U.S. and you signed up for National Novel Writing Month, which means you have to write 50,000 words.
  2. You have written none.
  3. That’s because you can’t think of a first line.
  4. You are having first line anxiety. This is normal. This is very writer of you.
  5. So, be even more of a writer about this and procrastinate by cooking potatoes in a slow cooker.
  6. Put the potatoes, parmesan rind (if you have something that fancy) heavy cream, milk, garlic, and sage into the slow cooker.
  7. Um. Plug it in, honey. It needs electricity.
  8. Okay, now put the cover on and press the numbers for either high (4-5 hours) or low (6-8 hours).
  9. Stare at your computer’s blank document for all that time, trying to be all Hemingway and create the perfect sentence.
  10. Give up and check on the potatoes.
  11. Are they fork tender?
  12. If yes? Coolio. Turn the heat to warm. If not? Cook more and check again.
  13. Drain potatoes. Do not burn yourself. Do not drain the cream.
  14. Throw out the herbs and rind. Like adverbs, they have served their purpose in this first draft and you are CUT CUT CUTTING them out.
  15. Put the potatoes through a ricer or mash them.
  16. Put them back in the pot. If you go the mashing route, you can do this in the pot to make less dishes. Less dishes equals happier writers.
  17. Add that 1.5 cups of cream you didn’t toss. Add the butter.
  18. Does it not look right? Add more cream until it does. The potatoes are like a first sentence. You’ve got to revise it until it’s snazzy.
  19. Add salt and pepper to snaz it up.
  20. Now, enter the world of best sellers and add cheese. Look at you, you rock star! Stir it up. Put the cover on. Cook for 15 minutes. The cheese should be melted.
  21. They can stay this way for four hours.
  22. Eat them.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cooking sites in the universe. The Half Baked Harvest. Head over there to see the recipe in non-writer (sane human) form and the variations for insta pot and stove.

EAT THE MASHED TURNIP IT IS DESPERATE TIMES, AUTHOR – COOKING WITH A WRITER

I am a potato fan. But all our potatoes lately have been – gasp – green. It’s desperate times, my friend, so I’m trying to convince the carnivores in the family that mashed turnips is an okay substitute.

EAT THE MASHED TURNIP IT IS DESPERATE TIMES, AUTHOR - COOKING WITH A WRITER

If you are trying to do this in your own home story, do not let the other cast of characters see the actual turnip before you mash the bugger.

Also, um, buy my books. 🙂

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

Print Recipe
EAT THE MASHED TURNIP IT IS DESPERATE TIMES, AUTHOR
This is adapted from THE SPRUCE EATS, one of my favorite recipe sites. https://www.thespruceeats.com/easy-delicious-mashed-turnips-2217302
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people who aren't annoying about turnips
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine american
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people who aren't annoying about turnips
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Find turnips out there somewhere. Do not judge them by their looks. Admire their looks. It's like an ombre.
  2. Give the turnips a bath like they were at Burning Man for weeks.
  3. Peel the turnips. Think about peeling back the layers of character motivation.
  4. Cut turnips into big pieces. Make those pieces the same size.
  5. Wonder why things must be the same size to cook evenly. It seems unfair. Try not to feel too much empathy for this cut up, peeled, and cleaned turnip pieces.
  6. Cry because you really wanted potatoes and you can't do this any longer.
  7. Why must everything be so hard?
  8. Cry more and go write a sonnet about hard times and turnips.
  9. Put turnips in a pot.
  10. Drown them with cold water.
  11. Recite your Turnip Sonnet Eulogy. Make sure to mention muses and potatoes and feeling like you're never good enough, darn it. Never!
  12. Cry and bring to a boil.
  13. Put salt in the water.
  14. Don't let the water boil over because that will be a starchy mess like your tear-stained face and sonnet.
  15. Cook those babies until fork tender. This takes around 10 to 15 minutes post boiling.
  16. Find another pan.
  17. Heat the milk in it over low heat.
  18. Add the butter. Let the butter melt into the milk. Take it off the heat. Convince yourself nobody will notice these are turnips and not potatoes just like nobody noticed that your erotic novel was a christian allegory.
  19. Drain the turnips.
  20. Put the turnips back in their pot.
  21. Shake it a lot for three minutes while singing that Taylor Swift song about shaking things off. Wonder if you can incorporate that into your turnip sonnet. Shake things for 2-3 minutes. Things mean turnips, pots, your bum.
  22. Mash the turnips.
  23. Add via stirring the milk and butter mix.
  24. Add salt. Salt is good. Salt should be in the sonnet.
Recipe Notes

Again, this comes from Molly Watson at The Spruce Eats and the link is here. 

Refried Beans of Revision Crockpot Style

Sometimes, you just have to refry things in a crockpot. Okay? Don’t judge. I’m from New England. We like our crockpots.

Also, please buy my baby novella.

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.

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

Print Recipe
Refried Beans of Revision Crockpot Style
Course side dish
Cuisine vegetarian
Servings
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine vegetarian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. See all that stuff? It's what makes your book -- I mean beans -- awesome.
  2. Admire the beans. They are characters. Admire the water that holds it all together.
  3. Put all those ingredients in the crockpot.
  4. Try not to think about it.
  5. Cook it in the crockpot on high.
  6. Think about people who have InstaPots. Judge them. Feel old school.
  7. Realize you aren't old school. You're just too poor to buy an InstaPot.
  8. Try not to care.
  9. Keep cooking. Ignore it just like you ignore all deadlines, plot holes, bad dialogue and your excessive use of the word "then."
  10. Check it at five hours. It looks cool.
  11. Check it at eight hours. It's mooshy! YAY!
  12. Put it in a blender if you're an overachiever.
  13. Put some in a skillet and fry in oil if you're a human.
  14. Adjust for salt and stuff.
  15. SMASH IT ALL IN YOUR MOUTH AND REJOICE!
Recipe Notes

I have been making a version of these from the Moosewood Cookbook ever since I got the Moosewood Cookbook in high school. 

This specific version is adapted from Courageous Joy, which adapted it from Moosewood. Here's the link. 

Baked Bean Quesadillas of Raymond Carver Minimalism–Vegetarian Recipes


Print Recipe


Baked Bean Quesadillas of Raymond Carver Minimalism--Vegetarian Recipes

Course Main Dish

Servings


Ingredients

Course Main Dish

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Find a pan.

  2. "You probably need to eat something," you say to the pan. But no. The pan can't eat. You can though.

  3. Wonder if this is minimalism yet.

  4. Wonder if the act of wonder deletes the minimalism.

  5. Find a corn tortilla.

  6. Channel Raymond Carver. Offer it a drink.

  7. When it doesn't answer, put the tortilla in the pan.

  8. "How's that?" you say. "How do you feel being topped with beans?"

  9. Put the beans on top.

  10. Say, "Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this."

  11. Add, "So is mashing. But not too much."

  12. Find a spoon, flip it around and use it to mash the beans just a bit.

  13. "It’s good to eat something," you say to yourself, to the pan, to the beans mashed on the tortilla.

  14. Put on cheese.

  15. Put the heat on medium-high, and heat until the cheese begins to melt.

  16. While it melts, think of Carver, say "let's 'speak of loneliness, and of the sense of doubt and limitation that had come.'"

  17. Inhale.

  18. Put the other tortilla on top.

  19. Press down a bit like you are pushing down tears and loneliness and doubt and limitation.

  20. Flip that quesadilla over.

  21. Heat until cheese is totally melted.

  22. Put it on your plate.

  23. "Smell this," you say to your nose. "It's good to eat something."


Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from the NYT. It is much easier to follow there. 

Half the quotes are from Raymond Carver's "A Small Good Thing," which you can find an excerpt of and the whole PDF over on Pencake.  

And you can find out more about me here. 

The Cream of Tomato Soup of Romance Writing

Print Recipe
The Cream of Tomato Soup of Romance Writing
The man who lives here hates all things tomato (except spaghetti sauce and ketchup). We made this anyway. Romance is not dead. Is it?
Course soup
Cuisine american
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course soup
Cuisine american
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Find a BIG saucepan. Think about writing romance. The word “BIG” always seems to be in romances.
  2. Imagine the saucepan is representative of all your future readers longing for a sexy, romantic book that you will give them. Feel good for a hot second before you realize that you’re just imagining.
  3. Put the saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Be impressed still. Look, you’re trying right? Prepublished is just published with a pre. Imagine the plot of your romance. Will there be a pirate? No. Too done. A female pirate? Maybe. A nonbinary pirate. That sounds pretty cool, actually.
  5. Melt butter. Put onions in butter. Saute it until the butter is wilty like your sexy pirate’s heart when they meet the naval official determined to stop their pillaging. Worry about the hostile overtones of words like ‘pillaging.’ Keep writing.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, basil, thyme, oregano, and pepper; simmer for 10 minutes, stir it a bit. You could do so many sexy things with tomatoes, sugar, paste, and salt. Make your pirate a chef just like you. Pirate chefs are sexy.
  7. Add flour and 3/4 cup broth or water. How will you make the government official sexy? Decide this is hopeless as a love interest. Substitute in a merperson. Way better. Maybe a manatee sidekick?
  8. Mix that until it forms a smooth paste. Pretend that paste is a plot.
  9. Admire your work. It smells pretty sexy, doesn’t it?
  10. Stir that pasteyness sort of slowly into the tomato mixture.
  11. Put the rest of the broth in there, too. Sigh in a sort of seductive way as your soup sighs at you.
  12. Make that boil like the unbridled emotions inside of you and also inside of your pirate chef.
  13. Stir for two minutes, or until it gets thick like a sexy sexy pirate chef.
  14. Reduce heat.
  15. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes of will they or won’t they get together.
  16. When tomatoes are tender take it off the heat.
  17. Find the cream. Dump it in. Stir it up. Serve. Feel pretty satisfied.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home and my Grammy Barnard. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/fresh-cream-of-tomato-soup/

Potato Cheddar Soup of Bad Dialogue

“Your dialogue is bad.”

Ugh.

It’s possibly the best most comforting soup and one of the most annoying criticisms an author can hear. Combined.

I hope you like it!

Print Recipe
Potato Cheddar Soup of Bad Dialogue
Cooking With a Writer - Cheddar Potato Soup of Bad Dialogue #writing #cooking
Course soup
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Course soup
Cuisine american
Servings
Ingredients
Cooking With a Writer - Cheddar Potato Soup of Bad Dialogue #writing #cooking
Instructions
  1. Boil the water.
  2. Ignore the agent's beta reader who said your dialogue was forced. HAS SHE EVER LEFT HER HOUSE? It's Covid-19 time. Everybody's dialogue is forced.
  3. Make sure you're boiling the water in the soup pot.
  4. Once the water is boiling (like your temper. Bad dialogue? Seriously), add potatoes, onions, salt and celery.
  5. Put a cover on that soup pot. Put it on medium heat because if things boil over it gets messy. (This includes your temper.)
  6. Leave it for 15 minutes.
  7. Write some dialogue. "I hate you with the passion of a thousand kitty mugs, Dirk." "And I love you, Karen, with the love of a thousand social media posts never gone viral."
  8. Find another pot, maybe a saucepan, the kind that holds two quarts.
  9. In that pot melt the butter. Make that a low heat. Butter burns just like criticism over dialogue.
  10. Add in a really slow way the cheese. Add flour next.
  11. Now slowly add the milk, spices, herbs and use a whisk.
  12. Practice dialogue on the whisk.
  13. "I love you with the love of a million political pundits," you tell the whisk.
  14. "And I you," says the whisk. "Which means I love you not at all."
  15. There! That was good, right?
  16. When it is all blended, add the cheese to the potatoes and onions in the big pot.
  17. Add tomatoes.
  18. Stir it all up.
  19. Put it on super low heat for fifteen minutes. This time do not have the cover on.
  20. Stir a lot because cheese, butter, and flour like to burn.
  21. Done!
  22. Go buy a book on writing effective dialogue and eat your pain away.
Recipe Notes

This is taken from my favorite vegetarian cookbook of my youth, Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan and it got me through many sad times. It's super comforting. 

Hungover Writer Burrito- Cooking With a Writer, Vegetarian Recipes and Stuff

Everyone. I’ve decided to try my COOKING WITH A WRITER POSTS again. Let me know if you want me to stop.

And this one is one of my last ones. I’m channelling back. 🙂

Sometimes your writer self (the vegetarian kind) might need a bit of a pick-me-up after a long night of channeling Hemingway or any of the other dead authors of the 1900s or living authors of the 1980s.

Here is our offering, tweaked and twisted from a really good recipe (see the notes) and super yummy.

Print Recipe
Hungover Writer Burritos
Man Verdict: YOU do NOT have to be hungover to eat this. Or a writer. My Verdict: All vegetarian burritos are good burritos. Dog Verdict: They'd only let us eat the plain rice and the tortillas. No fun at all.
Burritos
Cuisine american
Keyword burrito
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups • cooked rice that you’ve already cooked or cook it now
  • 2 whole • limes (Juiced like the Energizer Bunny man – but not. Oh, that’s gross now that I think about it. Juiced like highly motivated and squeezed out, okay?)
  • 2 tablespoons • fresh cilantro Chopped. I like to scissor mine.
  • half whole onion Diced
  • 4 cloves garlic Minced or whatever.
  • 2 tablespoons • vegetable oil
  • 1 can • can black beans or pinto beans (drain those bad boys like a writer who is trying to gether last 1 666 words of her 234,500-word novel about narwahl egosa post-Instagram age), 15-ounce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • .5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon • hot sauce (Or more if you’re pro spicy. I am pro spicy. It makes me remember that I’m alive. Less if you’re my mother. She is dead so I hope you aren’t my mother.)
  • Any • Salt if you’re into that.
  • Some • Flour tortillas because this is not a Keto recipe.
Cuisine american
Keyword burrito
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups • cooked rice that you’ve already cooked or cook it now
  • 2 whole • limes (Juiced like the Energizer Bunny man – but not. Oh, that’s gross now that I think about it. Juiced like highly motivated and squeezed out, okay?)
  • 2 tablespoons • fresh cilantro Chopped. I like to scissor mine.
  • half whole onion Diced
  • 4 cloves garlic Minced or whatever.
  • 2 tablespoons • vegetable oil
  • 1 can • can black beans or pinto beans (drain those bad boys like a writer who is trying to gether last 1 666 words of her 234,500-word novel about narwahl egosa post-Instagram age), 15-ounce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • .5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon • hot sauce (Or more if you’re pro spicy. I am pro spicy. It makes me remember that I’m alive. Less if you’re my mother. She is dead so I hope you aren’t my mother.)
  • Any • Salt if you’re into that.
  • Some • Flour tortillas because this is not a Keto recipe.
Burritos
Instructions
  1. 1. Toss the rice and cilantro. Do it in a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t just toss it. You aren’t still drunk are you? NYE was two days ago, writer! Get a grip!
  2. 2. Drizzle lime juice on it. Think about how the word drizzle is a cool word.
  3. 3. Drizzle.
  4. 4. Put it in the microwave for 45 seconds or so.
  5. 5. Take it out of the microwave.
  6. 6. Stir it, but not super enthusiastically. More like a last revision pass where you’re just putting in the time and trying to find out how many times you’ve made your characters nod. 87? That’s too many.
  7. 7. Back to cooking. In a big skillet, saute garlic and onion in oil for ttwo minutes. The onion wants to be soft like the protagonist’s skin in a romantic thriller featuring damsels and pirates. The damsel is the protagonist.
  8. 8. Lower the heat (medium-low). Add beans. Put the cumin, hot sauce, and chili powder on there. Roll with salt if you’re into that. Let it cook for five minutes.
  9. 9. Put rice into tortillas. Put bean mixture in tortillas. Realize you did not warm up the tortillas.
  10. 10. Warm up those tortillas in the microwave (under paper towel that’s damp for 15 seconds) if that’s how you roll or in an oiled-pan on the stovetop (low heat) if you’re like that. It really depends on your level of lazy. If you’re still hung-over, I’m guessing that lazy level is high.
  11. 11. Eat.
  12. 12. Watch Hulu or Netflix or something while you eat. Claim it’s book research. Realize that in 2020 writers lie like that to themselves. That’s why they do fiction. Be glad you write fiction
  13. 13. Eat more.
  14. 14. Go get a beer to go with it. Actually get the whole case so you don’t have to get up off the couch too many times.
  15. 15. Realize you’ll have to make this again tomorrow. Decide you’re okay with that.
Recipe Notes

This is adapted from a much better recipe on the amazing website of awesome called Spruce Eats. You can find it here. 

 


BRAVE THING I’M DOING

Pretty soon, I’m going to have a Teachable class all about the scene. It’s going to be pretty cheap and hopefully you’ll sign up and like it.

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a group class that involves coaching and edit, and I straight-up edit things. Find out more here. 


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 252,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode about poop, dentists, surgery, flavored alcohol and Jung. 

This week’s episode! Five Writing Quotes to Make You Feel Better About Things!

A bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce

Print Recipe
Hungover Writer Burrito- Cooking With a Writer, Vegetarian Recipes and Stuff
Burritos
Servings
Servings
Burritos

Writers! Eat Your Coffee in Brownie Form Recipe!

This recipe is adapted from Billy Parisi’s and Billy’s is much more easy to follow! He also has beautiful photos on his website so you should check it out! 

Print Recipe
WRITERS! EAT YOUR COFFEE, BROWNIES!
coffee in brownies
Cuisine american
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine american
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
coffee in brownies
Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on to 350°. Not in a sexy way. Just set it to that temperature. Realize you need coffee.
  2. Dump the kitten out of your big bowl. Replace her with all the ingredients. Combine it. Wish you had coffee.
  3. Think about the writer Honore de Balzac who allegedly drank 50 cups of coffee a day! He would even eat the grounds to get caffeinated more quickly.
  4. Feel badly for him.
  5. Although, to be fair, people ARE still talking about him hundreds of years later.
  6. Coat a 9x9 or 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  7. Pour batter into the dish. Think more about coffee. Go make some. It worked for de Balzac.
  8. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. That brownie center should be slightly firm. No mushy middles for our manuscripts or our brownies, writers!
  9. Think more about coffee. Make another cup. Smell the brownies.
  10. Cool to room temperature. DO NOT SNORT OR INGEST the hot brownies! Do not do a de Balzac! Have patience, writer friend. No burnt mouths and noses here.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from Billy Parisi's and Billy's is much more easy to follow! He also has beautiful photos on his website so you should check it out! 

 

Refried Beans Recipe – Yang Gang Style

Recipe Inspiration

So, my quest to make the family eat less meat and be more vegetarian is kicking mostly because meat cost so much! This made me think about presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Universal Base Income and how many cans of beans this writer could afford if I had a guaranteed $1000 a month.

But also the environment and the animals and commercial farming and all the other real reasons for me to move towards this choice.

As always – this is meant to be silly, but the recipe works and is delicious!

Print Recipe
Beans, Refried like Revised but Better
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mince the cilantro, garlic, parsley. Stay true to your vision. Don't think about the cilantro haters. They won't know it's in there if you don't tell them just like NO READER will ever figure out that the evil mayor in your magical town in your middle grade fantasy is actually the president. Oops. They know now.
  2. Dice the onion and tomato. Don't think about the tomato haters. They are always whining. This is why they have no Twitter followers. Stay true to your vision.
  3. Open the cans of pinto beans. Yep. Open them. Don't just toss them around and juggle them like your subplots. Drain excess liquid and think about how draining is such a mean-sounding verb. "DRAIN THE BEANS!" Wonder if this could be a campaign slogan if you ever transition from writer to politician.
  4. Cough uncomfortably. You'd secretly like that, wouldn't you? All those cool speeches. People would APPLAUD your words or write mean tweets about you, but you would get attention - real attention. Imagine how many Twitter followers you could have. Maybe you should write about this.
  5. Go write. Think about UBI and how many cans of pinto beans you could afford if that happened.
  6. Actually come back and make the food. Put oil in a pot.
  7. Set the temp to medium.
  8. Saute the garlic, onion and tomato in there.
  9. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano.
  10. Add the parsley and cilantro.
  11. Cook 10 minutes or so until onions are translucent or about 10 minutes.
  12. YOU CAN WRITE YOUR SPEECH IN THIS AMOUNT OF TIME! GO WRITE!
  13. Make sure to get "DRAIN THE BEANS" in there.
  14. Add beans.
  15. Stir.
  16. Add 1/2 cup water.
  17. Lower temperature to a simmer that resembles your new political aspirations.
  18. Realize you have a chance at this if you use the hashtag #yanggang on a all social media.
  19. For 30 minutes write your political thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag. Watch your following grow.
  20. Eat.
Recipe Notes

UBI stands for Universal Base Income. You can find out more about Andrew Yang's proposal here

Man Verdict: Anytime you have beans or rice I love it.

My Verdict: HE DIDN’T NOTICE THE TOMATOES! Also, I could totally afford cilantro if Andrew Yang became president.

Dog Verdict: We should probably not give the man this many beans. Evacuate!

Sparty’s Daily Doggy Wisdom

Look at how beautiful you are.

Yes you.

Nobody else gets to be you, know you the way YOU know you.

So enjoy who you are.

You’re beautiful.

Yes. You.

Just own it.

You’re made of stars and magic and imagination. You deserve snacks.

xo Sparty Dog

Writing News

I’m about to publish a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?

The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones

I have a new book coming out!

Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.

But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor. 

As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.

You can preorder it here. Please, please, preorder it. 

So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.


This week’s writing podcast.

WHERE TO FIND US

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.

LEARN WITH ME AT THE WRITING BARN!

The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here! 

“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.”


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!

Order 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?

In the Woods
In the Woods

ART NEWS

Liminal Ascent

Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 

Cooking With a Writer – Ghostly Pizza

As you know, I’m trying desperately to make the family vegetarian and I am TOTALLY failing.
But here is my recipe for Halloween pizza. Halloween is a frantic night for us because we get about 800 – 1,000 trick-or-treaters. So, I tend to make things that are fast and easy like calzone snakes or mummy Stromboli, but this… this, my friends, is the ultimate in easy. It’s sort of embarrassingly easy. Stay tuned below for the story of my first-ever ghost sighting.

Ghostly Pizza

So, sometimes I cheat because on Halloween things get hectic here.

  • 1 lb Frozen Pizza Doug (do not judge)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • .75 cup pizza sauce
  • .5 lb mozarella slices
  • some little capers (for the eyes)
  1. Realize that you have no time to make food that isn’t candy.
  2. Preheat oven to 475ºF.

    Spray bottom of a 16-by-11-inch rimmed baking sheet with the stuff that makes things not stick. Or use olive oil, but olive oil is expensive, so maybe don’t. I mean olive oil is awesome, but we’re already using pre-made pizza dough here so pretension is gone, right?

    Spray the darn sheet.

    Celebrate by eating candy.

  3. Stretch that dough evenly to cover bottom of sheet.

    This is a lot like stretching your 20,000-word story into a 50,000-word novel. You might have to take a couple of rounds, and rest in between to get this stretched.

    Do not give up.

    Celebrate by eating candy.

  4. Open the jar of sauce.

    Cry because you have no wrist strength.

    Celebrate when you finally open the jar. Celebrate by eating candy.

    Spread that sauce over the dough. Try to make it even. Leave a border on all sides of the rectangle. Try to make that border a 1-inch border.

    Celebrate with candy.

    Set a timer. Put it in the oven.

  5. Bake about 15 minutes.

    Celebrate that. Celebrate that with candy.

    Now, you get to have fun! Yay, fun! Remember fun?

    Scrounge up a ghost-shaped cookie cutter and cut ghosts out of cheese.

    That is so cool.

    Put the ghosts on the pizza. It is hot. Be careful. Obviously these ghosts have been hanging out in hell. The sauce is like red flames. And the whole scene is hot.

    Celebrate liberating the ghosts from hell with candy.

    Hide the candy wrappers in the garbage during the final five minutes of baking.

  6. Take the pizza out. Look how cool that is!

    Put caper eyes on each ghost.

    Let is stand for five minutes. Eat it. Eat it with a celebratory side dish of candy.

Man Verdict: It needs meat and more cheese.
My Verdict: Seriously? I’m so full from the candy.
Dogs’ Verdict: We agree with the man. If you’re going to dress us up, the least you can do is add more meat.

Writing News

Last Time Stoppers Book

I love this book baby and 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.

Timestoppers3_005

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness 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!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get publishedWriting Coach

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

COOL CONTEST OF SPOOKY AWESOMENESS!

Um. MacMillan is having a super cool sweepstakes where you can win the book I wrote with Steve (IN THE WOODS) and four other scary books.
Go enter! Go win! I’m rooting for you! 

IN THE PAPER, BABY

I was just in the newspaper and I think the photo of my head is actually larger than my real-life head. Go figure. It was super kind of them to notice me and to write about me. Here is the link.

LEARN WITH ME AT THE WRITING BARN!

The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here! 

“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.”

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!

Order 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?

In the Woods
In the Woods