We Got Our Shots and Damn, We’re Lucky

But, you know what? Prior to COVID, and I am sure that it will be the same after, there were millions of people whose everyday existence was not far off from what mainstream society has been so truly shaken by this past year. Remember this!

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

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.

An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine
An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine

Some days are not like the others. Some days are days you never really thought that you would have to live out. Carrie and I got our first round of COVID vaccination today and I don’t think that we are going to post about it on social media, we are just not that kind of people.

Getting the vaccine is exciting in a way, but mostly just having a sense of security that if we do get COVID, you know ten or more days after our second dose, that it may not be that bad and most likely won’t kill us.

However, I must say that it was really a great experience and the hospital running the setup at the Cross Insurance Arena in Bangor, Maine really has it down. We were there a total of 45 minutes and 15 of that was waiting for the doors to open because we were the first appointments of the day. So, a big shout out to all of those professionals and volunteers making that happen!

Basically we had a good morning. Then this afternoon we had to go see our tax man.

Bummer dude!

I think this particular visit fits under both categories, days not like the others and days you never really thought that you would have to live out. I shall say no more other than we are fine and really, we are truly lucky that we owe Uncle Sam so much money. We are lucky that we are not having to choose between food or rent this month. We are lucky that we have friends to talk to on Zoom meetings once or twice a week. We are lucky to have another human being in our house to say, “thank you, I appreciate you and I love you” to us and for us to say the same to them!

It has been a very strange year and hopefully we are coming up on an incredible turning point.

People need a break! People need to work, go to school, get out of the house, travel and just be able to socialize like before COVID.

But, you know what? Prior to COVID, and I am sure that it will be the same after, there were millions of people whose everyday existence was not far off from what mainstream society has been so truly shaken by this past year. Remember this!

Remember that there are people who need you to say hi and smile at them for no reason.

There are people who need to socialize and have friends.

There are people who need to feel loved.

I truly believe that if every single person would take the opportunity to say hello and say one thing nice to a stranger every day, the world would be a much better place!

Not only do such actions make the receiver feel better, they most definitely help the giver feel better as well. I challenge you to try this every time that you are out in public or have contact with someone whom you do not see on a daily basis for a week, or a month if you don’t get out much, and see how much of a difference you can make.

Thank you for reading my feel good post, which I really do believe in, and I hope you will give it a go.

As always, Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

LOVING THE STRANGE

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 Problem With Zoom and Dogs

Why is it that the only time my dogs pant really hard is when I’m on the phone with people I don’t know or leading a class/session/workshop/anything on Zoom?

Like the moment I unmute and say, “Hi, Carrie Jones, and I’m so excited to be…”

The cute dog will nudge my hand by the computer and go PANT PANT PANT.

And then I’ll say something like, “That panting? That’s not me.”

it is me. It is how I say ‘hi.’ 

And then there will be this awkward Zoom moment where someone will say something like, “……”

Or “Sure!”

Or, “Mmhmm… right.”


And I’ll say, “No. Really. It’s not me. It’s my dogs.”

And they’ll say, “Okay. No worries.” 

But, I know what they are really thinking is: 

 I do not believe you! 

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 new books 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.

Love Your Way Through It

We don’t need to be in love or to even feel love in order to make another feel loved or cared about, we simply need to remember that the most powerful love is the love that we give to another, without expectation of obligation or return.

 This morning I realized that it has been exactly one year since we traveled as a family.

This week is a school break week here in Maine and last year at this time Carrie, myself and our youngest daughter, Kittiey, drove to Georgia to see our oldest daughter, Emily, who was in the Army and stationed at Ft. Benning at the time.

After spending a couple of days with Emily we drove to Florida to spend the remainder of our vacation and see my family.

Shortly after returning from that trip, Carrie and I managed to spend a weekend in Portland Maine for her birthday. Since then, none of the three of us (Emily is currently isolated at Tuck University getting her MBA.) have traveled more than forty miles away from our house.

Both of those trips out of the house were for specialized dentist appointments and other than those joyous trips to the dentist, none of us has gone more than twenty miles away from the house and all of these trips are for curbside grocery pickup at the nearest Walmart. Curse you for this involuntary hermitic existence COVID-19! 

While it may seem as though I am complaining, and I am a little bit because we all love to travel and see new people and places, complaining is not what this blog is about.

It is about love, the miraculous fact that while we are in constant contact with each other (Kittiey is 100 percent remote learning), we all still love each other and nothing has drastically changed in how we feel about each other, unless it is a deeper understanding of patience.

To me, that is a testament to the power of love!

After all, love is the mother of all things good; kindness, empathy, compassion and understanding. Honestly, I am a little surprised by our success in continued friendship through this last year and I am supremely happy about the results!

For those of you who may have suffered far more than anyone should ever have to, I offer my greatest condolences and wishes for better times.

Even without COVID-19 the world faces a myriad of disasters every day and somehow humans have always managed to survive the unthinkable forces working against us.

Why?

Because we are capable of loving one another.

We are capable of being compassionate and empathetic to one another. We are capable of respecting one another.

We don’t need to be in love or to even feel love in order to make another feel loved or cared about, we simply need to remember that the most powerful love is the love that we give to another, without expectation of obligation or return.

We must simply remember and realize that love is the greatest gift and the greatest investment! Always, love your way through it.

Shaun


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 new books out! Yay!

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

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

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

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

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

What Happens to Your Mom When You Hit the NYT Bestsellers List

So, I thought I should tell this story about what happened with my mom when my books debuted on the NYT Bestseller Kids Lists. This was back when my mom was alive and everything.

First off, I should probably say for the five years or so before this my mom had been super sick with diabetes and all these horrible complications from it. She’d almost died a couple times. She’d been in the hospital a ton. And basically, that stunk.

The point is that she’d been through a lot.  

And when she called me after hearing the news about the whole New York Times thing she screamed into the phone, “Oh my gosh. Ohmygosh. Oh God, Carrie. I’m hyper. I’m hyperventilating. I’m hyperventilating I’m so excited. Oh my gosh, I’m hyperventilating. I am so proud of you. Oh, I am so very very proud of you.”

Which pretty much cracked me up because it was cute!

Anyway, she had to get infusions or transfusions or something that same week.

She talked to the lab tech/nurse lady one day (the day before the NYT thing) and then the lady called back the next day after my mom had learned.

The woman who was super nice said, “Betty? What’s going on? Something happened. Your voice is different.”

At this point my mother had her prou- mom moment and told her. The woman was all excited for her. It was hard not to be excited for my mother. 

My mother’s appointment was the next day and when she walked into the waiting room the receptionist said in a frantic tone, “She’s here! Betty’s here.” 

Then everyone who worked at the lab came out and started applauding as my mom walked to the check-in desk.

One of them, she said, yelled, “It’s the mother of the New York Times bestselling author.”

So, I have to say three things:

1. I think the best moment in all of this totally belongs to my mom and I am so happy about that.


2. I hope all of you who are trying to be writers or have other awesome goals get a moment like that where you achieve something with someone’s support, and they get to celebrate too. 

3. Even before COVID-19 healthcare workers, grocery store workers, farmers, first responders, teachers? They were making impacts. They were making a difference. They were making people like my mom feel so special. We should make them feel special too.


HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

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 new books 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.

Porches and Last Lines

I closed my eyes, head drooping, like a person drunk for so long she no longer knows she’s drunk, and then, drunk, awoke to the world which lay before me.’

Kathy Acker, Don Quixote (1986)

Most of my friends know that I have some hermit tendencies. I am socially anxious before I go anywhere. I’m fine once I actually get there, but sweet mother of big foots, you do not want to see me right before an event. I am a pacing, fast-talking bundle of angst with stage fight. It never stops me, but it’s a pain and I’m pretty positive it’s the reason I never went into the performing arts even though I adore the performing arts.

Anyways, the weird thing about Covid-19 in Maine where we are all still pretty good about wearing our masks and socially distancing is that our front porch is now cool. 

No Anxiety

And I don’t have time to get social anxiety and stage fright because people are suddenly there.

Seriously. We have a big-ass front porch and people are stopping by and talking. We maintain more than the six-foot distance, but we are hosting people in a way that we have never hosted people before. 

On our porch. And sometimes in our driveway, honestly.

This is not the scene I dreamed of. Like much else nowadays I leave it feeling stupid, like a man who lost his way long ago but presses on along a road that may lead nowhere.

J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)

And every time people leave, I want to hug them goodbye, memorize their faces, make sure that I have them ingrained inside of me, their stories, the sound of their voices, their laughs, just in case I lose them. I memorize the things they say as they leave. What I say. Our last lines.

Every moment, every line, feels like a gift.

About ten years ago, The American Book Review, published what it determined were the 100 best last lines from novels. And the books are mostly adult novels, written mostly by white men. It made me think about that dominance in the industry, but also about all the last lines out there. Do you have a favorite? Please share it with me. The Review’s list is here if you want to check it out.  

It was a fine cry—loud and long—but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.

Toni Morrison, Sula (1973) 
Continue reading “Porches and Last Lines”

The Rural Librarian and the Closet of Doom

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
The Rural Librarian and the Closet of Doom
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This week’s bonus episode is all about the Librarian of Awesome, Cara Sawyer, who talks about the beauties and problems of being a small town librarian with a $36,000 budget (including her salary) in the time of Covid-19.

Cara’s doing a lot of programming from her house. Check it out here.

To find out how Cara manages and learn about the Closet of Doom, listen to the podcast 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 209,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw, weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


RECENT EPISODES OF AWESOME AND BONUS INTERVIEWS

This week’s episode link. 

Last week’s episode link 

Link to Sam Spellacy’s interview.

A bonus interview with Dr. J.L. Delozier, Pennsylvania doctor and writer. 

bonus interview with poet and coach Fiona Mackintosh Cameron.