It’s okay to sully a good reputation sometimes.

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 or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂 And lots of times his jokes get me all embarrassed.

best podcast ever

I am having a really hard time with this blog today. I feel badly because Carrie can’t post it until I have written it and I hate being the last thing she does at night.

Unless it’s in the bedroom!

Hopefully you laughed at that, because right now, as you read this, even if it’s three days later, I am still getting berated for sullying her good reputation. And deservedly so!

Sometimes I can’t help myself. I say things that are funny! Okay, they are funny to me. I tend to think, in comedic terms, as if I am a very popular (and wealthy) stand-up comedian. Yet, after all of these years, I still forget that most successful stand-up comics who make jokes about loved ones probably run these jokes by said loved ones.

That will be my new excuse when I get in trouble for making a joke that involves Carrie. “I was just trying out a new joke for my stand-up routine, baby.”

I will give you a perfect example. The other night, we were talking about how we both still wanted to go on an extended backpacking trip. Part of the Appalachian Trail or five nights out in the woods anywhere, for example.

I looked at Carrie with longing in my eyes and she said, “Of course you will have to carry most of the weight for our supplies.”

And this is a true statement. I am bigger and stronger than Carrie by nature and sheer physical size. However, Carrie also has chronically pained shoulders and bad knees. As in, both knees. As in she has to wear knee braces when running or hiking.

So, I know that if we ever go on a hiking trip where we spend the night or multiple nights in the woods, camping, I will indeed be carrying most of the weight. This does not bother me one iota! In fact, it makes me feel good and proud. All of those manly things that make us macho, caretaking, personality types feel good about ourselves.

And I looked Carrie in the eye, very lovingly, and I said, “If you were a pack mule, we would have to put you down.”

She laughed! She laughed so hard that she was holding her stomach and rolling on the couch. Then she got a gleam in her eye, an evil gleam!

She looked at me. “I am going to post that.”

“Okay, just make sure you give some back story.”

No, response from Carrie who was busy typing away on her phone.

We had a good rest of the night and I got up the next morning and I go on Facebook so I can share Carrie’s posts and I see this:

Shaun just told me that if I was a donkey I would be put down. I honestly don’t know how we are still married. Edited to add: Oh! I know how! Because I am patient and forgiving like a good pack animal. Lol

I am a lucky man! I love my wife more than anything! I do and I just want to say that love is about forgiveness and understanding!

I don’t know who had more forgiveness and understanding in my story, but it doesn’t matter, without, nothing works well!

Remember that and remember to always LOVE YOUR WAY THROUGH IT!

Now, go make somebody laugh,

Shaun

The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones (That’s me. If you click the image, it will bring you to the Amazon page!)

The third book in Rosie and Seamus’s story of adventure, mystery, and death is here!

I hope you’ll support me, have a good read, and check it out!

great new mystery
romantic suspense set in Bar Harbor Maine

Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .

When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.

Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?

What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.

To buy it, click here, and let me know! I might send you something!

Man, That’s a Beautiful Mullet and How To Pace Your Novel

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Man, That's a Beautiful Mullet and How To Pace Your Novel
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Just like hanging out with a friend, or listening to an instructor drone on and on about the beauty of a mullet, the keys to controlling your novel’s pacing are language and conflict and scene sequence and stakes. We’re going to talk about those today.

What’s pacing?

It’s how fast or slow the story goes for the reader.

LANGUAGE IS A BIG WAY TO IMPACT PACE

Let’s start with word choice. The words you choose can speed up the reader or slow them down. The way the words are grouped on the page? Same thing.

  • Dialogue.
  • Short paragraphs.
  • Short sentences.
  • Action.

Those four things speed things up.

And these things below? They slow that story down.

  • Descriptive passages.
  • Long paragraphs.
  • Long sentences.
  • Abstract language.
  • A lot of talk about feelings.
  • Flashbacks.
  • Information dumps.

Special Help: If all your sentences are the same length and are constantly parallel in construction, you lull the reader to sleep. No sleeping readers, okay? You fall asleep, you run the risk of getting a mullet.

CONFLICT AND STAKES IS ANOTHER WAY TO IMPACT PACING

In the scenes you choose, there needs to be some stakes and some conflict.

Stakes happen when your reader cares about the character and is worried about what might happen to them if they don’t reach their goals. In every scene that stays in your book, there needs to be a stake and a goal.

You can’t just have your character chilling with her bestie if there’s no point in that chillin. You need obstacles and tension and the reader needs to think, “Yikes! What happens if they fail?”

It’s really one of the biggest things about pacing. Because not having conflict and stakes and tension? It makes the reader stop reading.

Scene Sequence Also Impacts Pace

And here it is. The big one. In your story, just like in your life, there will be action moments and turning points and then moments where you think about those big action moments.

Dwight Swain called these moments in a book scenes (the action moments) and sequels (the reflective moments).

Or as I like to call them, LOUD scenes and QUIET scenes. And you want these scenes to be balanced so that the reader doesn’t get bored or the opposite, scream “THIS IS TOO MUCH!!! AH! ANXIETY!”

Randy Ingermanson of the Snowflake method gives three components to each:

Active Loud Scene

  • Goal
  • Conflict
  • Disaster

Quieter Sequel Scene

  • Reaction
  • Dilemma
  • Decision

Pretty cool, right?

So, how do you put all this together?

  1. You want to look at the structure of your story and break it down. Make scenes and chapter cards or just a list.
  2. Look at where the story ramps up and slows down.
  3. Use those sentences and paragraphs and chapters and scene lengths to manipulate that pace.
  4. Think about if your characters are too introspective.
  5. Think about if your writing lacks any detail or does it have too much? Do you wax poetic about the mullet on your main character for 12 pages?
  6. Think about each of your scenes. Do they show character or plot development? Are there obstacles going on? Does your main character want something in the scene?
  7. Have people read it and ask if the story felt rushed or too slow and where?
  8. Remember we need slow paced scenes, too! Not just fast ones!

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Control your pacing; control your story.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Humans are always go-go-go. Life is too fast paced. Slow your roll so you can enjoy your belly rubs, walks, and treats.

LINKS MENTIONED

https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2021/10/10/pasco-4th-grader-in-the-running-for-america-s-best-mullet?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axioslocal_tampa&stream=top

https://mulletchamp.com/

https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/kid-mullet-champion-named-meet-allan-baltz-2021s-winner/I47UA62EZJAINHKCMEW2PJEN3Y/

https://www.dazeddigital.com/beauty/head/article/44884/1/mullet-subculture-hair-history

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link.

best positive podcast - Be brave friday
Send your Be Brave Friday stories to us here! Just hit the contact form or message us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

Simple Story Structure, Pokemon Oreos and Do You Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching You?

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Simple Story Structure, Pokemon Oreos and Do You Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching You?
/

There are lots of fancy and complicated ways to figure out story structure.

There’s Save the Cat, the Snowflake Method, the Five-Act, the Four-Act, the Six-Act.

But sometimes all of those complicated methods bog some of our writer brains down.

So today we’re going to give you a super quick guide to story structure for your novel. You ready?

Step One:

Name it. This does not have to be its forever name, just a way for you to find the computer file. It can be THE EVIL NOVEL THAT HAS NO NAME RIGHT NOW. That’s fine.

Step Two:

Find a hero. Name them. Put them in a jam or a bad place. Maybe they suck at making commitments? Maybe they need a promotion. Maybe they live under the stairs. Give them a problem.

Step Three:

Think about what has to occur in order for them to ovary up enough to try to deal with that problem.

Step Four:

Now decide what is going to change once that hero gets proactive and tries to deal with that problem or once they take action.

Step Five:

Are things different for our little hero now? How?

Step Six

Okay. Something else needs to happen so that the story takes a turn or a veer to the right or left. What makes it go in another direction?

Step Seven

Make things worse for our poor hero. How are they worse?

Step Eight

Okay. If this is a positive change arc where the hero ends up in a better place, what is it that inspires them to make a big effort and go for that win?

Step Nine

What is the big win (positive change arc) or the big loss (negative change arc)

There you go, how to figure out your novel’s basic structure in nine easy steps? Do you feel heroic, writer? You should.

Writing Tip of the Pod

It’s okay to make it simple when it comes to story structure. It really is.

Dog Tip for Life

When your people turn your head and look at you and you realize you’ve been caught, it’s time to stop because then they just think you’re a creeper.

Resources

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/26/1040779728/pokemon-oreo-cookies-ebay-pikachu-mew

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link.

best positive podcast - Be brave friday
Send your Be Brave Friday stories to us here! Just hit the contact form or message us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

What Does It Mean to Be Brave

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
What Does It Mean to Be Brave
/

No video today! Sorry!

This week things got a bit hectic. Apologies. But we wanted to quickly talk about what it means to be brave and of course, ask you to send in your Be Brave stories. Because we are still on a mission to share these stories and sing your praises with the world.

The Oxford Dictionary defines bravery as:

Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.

And that’s pretty interesting because there are three components going on there:

You’re ready.

You’re going to endure something.

You’re showing courage.

The ability to endure is really about the ability to persevere, to face our fears and/or our circumstances and still be ready.

Ready for what?

Ready for whatever is heading towards us, the good, the terrifying, the empowering, all of it.

A lot of us spend a lot of our lives worried about worst case scenarios, rejections, falling down, and all of that energy we spend worrying? We can spend it actively moving towards our own moral and/or creative evolution and our goals.

Imagine: How cool would it be if you spent all the time you currently spend worrying about failing and instead use that time towards actively going after the things you want, the life you want to have, the person you want to be.

That’s what enduring is about. It’s about overcoming. And sometimes it’s about persisting. And almost all the time it’s about dealing with the fear that’s holding us back.

So much of the time the fear that’s holding us back? It comes from us.

Being brave means living in the moment, speaking with compassion.

Being brave means standing up for what you believe is right even when nobody else thinks the same thing.

Sometimes being brave is something as simple as responding to a Facebook post, or being compassionate, or reacting with empathy instead of anger.

Sometimes being brave is reaching out to someone else and saying, “This guy is a creep.”

Sometimes being brave is looking at yourself and know when you’re holding yourself back.

Being brave is truly defined by you and what you think it takes to persevere, to endure, to be ready and to shine.

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?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


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 263,000 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.

How one ex-cop has mellowed out

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 or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

Shaun squinting.

I recently read a Facebook post by someone who lives in my community about not letting love and kindness die in today’s confrontational world. This post struck me as important and also something that I have recently adopted. Actually, reinvigorated may be a better word for how I am approaching the “random acts of kindness” way of thinking.

Let me just say that I am not writing this as any type of ego-boosting or self-congratulatory dribble!

Every decent thought or act that passes through my brain and body is solely due to other people who have influenced my life. Most recently, and perhaps most greatly, that person would be my amazing wife, Carrie Jones. Before her there were others, my mother, my grandmother, and especially my grandfather, but all of the credit belongs to them, not really me.

So, here is the thing.

All of us, or at least most of us, seem to always be in a rush. Rushing here, rushing there, thinking only of ourselves and our own perceived priorities. I am almost always that person. I am the human who hates waiting in traffic or getting stuck talking to someone who wasn’t a previously planned contact.

These kind of events make get me perturbed, angry even, and it happens quickly, or at least it used to.

You can ask Carrie and she will tell you how I act when I am driving and other drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists don’t act or react in the way that I think is most efficient. It isn’t pretty!

We must take a quick commercial break for some backstory.

When I was in my early twenties, somebody once said that I was the most calm person they ever met. I was.

I was like a stoner who didn’t smoke weed. I rarely showed anger. I rarely cussed. I rarely ever let anyone see an emotional reaction that wasn’t calm.

Then I became a cop. Then I had a dysfunctional marriage (not with Carrie!). Then I became a high context person who didn’t even try to contain any negative emotion or reaction. If I was not in a good mood, everyone in the room would know it when I walked in without me even saying a word.

What a waste of a lot years that was!

Now we return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

It has taken me five years to shed that shell. But, I am super glad that I have.

Now Carrie may argue this point a bit … but there is a difference between public persona and intimate knowledge of a person . I will readily admit that I am still high context at home but hopefully, as I like to believe, it is not such a negative high context.

I am definitely enjoying being more mellow about life and all of the things that make us humans feel rushed all of the time. I don’t get mind-blowing, swear-word-inducing mad when traffic isn’t flowing at a constant ten miles per hour over the speed limit. I  am happy to stop and let someone pull out in front of me or cross the road in front of me. Even if they didn’t bother to walk the extra ten feet to actually get into the crosswalk!

I am trying not to mumble under my breath or dance in place with anger because the person at the self-checkout kiosk doesn’t have their crap together.

I am holding the door open for people again, even though we are still basically in a COVID crisis and half of the people I hold doors from have apparently not heard of masking.

And most importantly I am enjoying the reactions that I get from people who I stop for or hold a door for or even just say hello to in a nice voice. I like to believe that a “thank you” or a smile means that I have made someone’s life a little bit better. I don’t care if it makes them more happy for the rest of the day or for two minutes until they have to face their next crisis.

I did my part.

Just think what would happen, what a better place the world would be if we ALL did our part! Amazing!

So, give it a try. Mellow out and throw out some kindness and love, randomly! See how you feel after and pretend that the recipient feels one miniscule amount better because of it.

Remember to always Love Your Way Through It!

Peace,

Shaun

The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones (That’s me. If you click the image, it will bring you to the Amazon page!)

The third book in Rosie and Seamus’s story of adventure, mystery, and death is here!

I hope you’ll support me, have a good read, and check it out!

great new mystery
romantic suspense set in Bar Harbor Maine

Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .

When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.

Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?

What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.

To buy it, click here, and let me know! I might send you something!

Play Projects for Writers – Find Joy in 30 Days

The process feels completely counter-intuitive at first because it requires that you stop fretting about your ideal work or how you could ever get paid – and start doing something.

Last month I decided that I was going to write a poem a day and post them on Medium.

This was a big deal for me because:

  1. My first published writing was poems even before I went into the newspaper world.
  2. I really wanted to be a poet when I grew up.
  3. I am super vulnerable when it comes to sharing my poems (even more than my art, actually).
  4. I have a lot of hang-ups about being a poet. Poets have a voice. I didn’t think I had one for a long time. I was too poor, too raw, too lacking in a million ways.

But I called it a play project and I did it. And it was so much fun. It was fun to take a break from novels and editing and coaching and just play at something totally different, something with no expectations.

A lot of writers I work with forget to play with their writing. They spend a lot of time fixated on one project or one purpose/goal—to get published, to get to 80,000 words, to get an agent.

That’s all lovely.

Until it isn’t.

Sometimes, our hyper-fixation on goals (when it comes to art or writing) and our desire to make a living at it, keeps us from playing and exploring and growing.

Some of us don’t want to grow or play and that’s fine, too! There’s no one way to be a writer and no one reason to and a lot of us only do it to make a living.

This post is probably not for those writers though. Sorry!

So what is this play project thing?

I first saw the idea in Marianne Catwell’s book, but it emerged at least a decade ago.

According to John Williams (from his website, Screw Work, Let’s Play):

The core of the programme is getting the participants to launch a play project – a 4 week project that will be fun to do and explores an area of work or creativity they feel drawn to. 

He continues by saying:

The process feels completely counter-intuitive at first because it requires that you stop fretting about your ideal work or how you could ever get paid – and start doing something. If you are stuck on that very first question “What would I enjoy?” you will benefit hugely from this. At a later stage, you can create further play projects to move you towards getting paid.

Here’s why Play Projects are the bomb-diggity:

You get into action at last so you don’t feel powerless over your life any more

You find out what you enjoy, what you don’t, what you’re good at, what you’re not so good at – all extremely useful information for your future work direction

It’s fun – you get your creative juices going again – and this is a much better state in which to make career decisions and make them happen. As one participant on our programme said “This has affected every area of my life – people are commenting that I haven’t looked this good in ages!”

Once you’re out in the world on the move, you meet a lot more interesting people and opportunities – sometimes you even land some paid work without really trying to!

What are the rules?

According to Marianne Cantwell and Williams:

  1. Pick a project that gets you excited.
  2. Make it something you can complete in 30 days.
  3. Have a tangible product at the end — Like three blog posts, 20 poems, 3 picture books.
  4. Make time for it. Put in 30 minutes a day or just three days a week. Be all Nike ad and “just do it.”
  5. Start

The key is to give yourself the freedom of thinking of these as mini projects, as play, but focused play. And then as you do it, it’s cool to ask yourself questions like:

Is this fun?

Why am I avoiding doing this?

Holy crud, do I hate this?

And for me? I found out that I loved writing poems every day.

Actually, I love it so much that I am still doing it (with weekends off) and I’m having the best time making new friends on MEDIUM (where I’m posting those poems) and exploring new groups of writers and poets and myself.

So, how about you? What’s your play project going to be?

He Built a Guitar Out of His Uncle’s Skeleton And Over-explaining Makes Bad Writing

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
He Built a Guitar Out of His Uncle's Skeleton And Over-explaining Makes Bad Writing
/

Authors, let’s just admit it. We’re insecure.

Writing is communication and we want to make sure that our readers are getting what we’re putting down (Translation: Understanding what we’re saying).

So, what do we do?

We over-explain.

And that over-explaining slows down our pacing and makes our reader not want to read anymore.

There are lots of bigger ways of overexplaining.

And what is overexplaining? It’s when you just keep adding things on to make your reader get what you’re saying.

Like this:

Shaun punched the wall. He was so angry he could spit. His hands clenched into tight fists. “What kind of butthead are you?” he roared.

So, all four of those sentences tell us the same thing.

Shaun is angry.

You can cut down that to one or two and the reader is still going to get it. Trust the reader’s brains. Trust yourself.

Here’s a rewrite.

Shaun punched the wall. “What kind of butthead are you?”

But it’s not just in long passages that us writer people do this. We do it in short bits too.

Here are some big ones.

            She shrugged her shoulders. (She shrugged)

            He nodded his head in agreement. (He nodded) or (He agreed)

            They shook their head no. (They shook their head)

            He looked at his watch to check the time. (He checked the time)

Other things we do is

            Tell something that we just showed. (Shaun punched the wall. He was so angry.)

            Add in a dialogue tag that we don’t need, (the she said/they asked) when we don’t need it.

            Add in silly adverbs that we don’t need.

            Add in a bunch of statements all saying the same thing. (See that original example).

Acting like the reader is stupid. (Of course we know the person is nodding their head. We don’t think they are nodding their butt.)

            Info dumps

When you do this over-explaining thing you:

  1.  Slow down the pace
  2. Ruin the subtext.
  3. Break my heart.
  4. Make the scenes dull. Over-explaining takes out the pizzazz.
  5. It takes away the immediacy and the forward motion of the plot and scene.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Be all one and done, people. Trust the reader to get it. Trust your skills to communicate well.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE.

If you want a treat, sit in front of the pantry and drool on the floor.

LINKS WE TALK ABOUT IN THE PODCAST

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article254523322.html

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article254523322.html

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link.

best positive podcast - Be brave friday
Send your Be Brave Friday stories to us here! Just hit the contact form or message us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

Full-time Writer and Thinker – Martin Vidal QuarterLife Crises Led to Full-time Writing Career

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Full-time Writer and Thinker - Martin Vidal QuarterLife Crises Led to Full-time Writing Career
/

I was lucky enough to interview author and writer, Martin Vidal, and pick his brain. I hope you’ll check out the video or podcast and give this man some props.

I hope you’ll listen to one of my favorite interviews yet with one of my new favorite people.

Here are some highlights to entice you to listen.

On Martin’s website he says that he loves to write and figure things out, which really struck a chord with me because that’s what I do, too.

Martin’s Ambition Handbook is all about self-examination and self-transformation. And it’s a bit more of a holistic look at how to find success rather than a listicle.

Decision making, the choices we each take, that seems to really matter to Martin and he speaks a bit to that and so much little

On our own podcast, we have a thing we do on Fridays called BE BRAVE FRIDAYS where we try to share other people’s bravery stories, stories where they stepped out of their comfort zone or the box they’d been put in. It can be little. It can be small. It can be huge.

Martin talks about one of the events in his life that he looks back on and thinks, “Whoa. I was really brave there.”

Spoiler: It’s that quarter-life existential crisis.

Martin’s other book, THE FLOWER GARDEN, is releasing soon and I got a bit of a peek and it’s just this lovely sauntering through the moments of humanity. He touches on narcissism, grief, love, so many things that matter. And in the podcast he tells us about how he moved from THE AMBITION HANDBOOK to THE FLOWER GARDEN?

We also talk about a great memory in his piece “Social Anxiety Made Me Who I Am” that I think a lot of us writers can relate to.

I remember at 9 years old when I did my first creative writing assignment. The teacher told us to write a paragraph or two starting with “I found an egg in the yard…” We had 30 minutes, if I recall correctly. I wrote three pages and would’ve gladly continued writing more. Whereas my anxiety had muzzled me, the written word flowed out in a torrent. The teacher loved my writing so much she insisted on reading it aloud. Once again, I went to hide in the bathroom while she did.

He wrote in that same piece:

But there’s something malfunctioning inside of me. I’m not afraid of people, but my body is. It tightens up; I lose my ability to focus, to be still — to be me. I can’t think of anything but to get away.

Maybe one of the big reasons I adore Martin is that he really embodies the Nelson Mandela quote

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Where to find Martin:

Why Your Writing Might Be Too Good to Be Popular

https://martinvidal.co/social-anxiety

Website:

www.martinvidal.co

Books:

The Ambition Handbook

Flower Garden

On Medium:

https://martinvidal.medium.com/

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?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


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 263,000 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.

Alligator Romance with Darth Gator and the grammar behind the words in to vs into

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Alligator Romance with Darth Gator and the grammar behind the words in to vs into
/

So, now that we’re into the helpful part of the podcast and no longer talking about women in love with the alligators that attacked them or dogs and cats breaking records together, we thought we’d take a quick look at a big grammar mistake.

And that’s when INTO is one word or two.

Is it . . .

Dude, I am so into you.

Or is it . . .

Dude, I am so in to you.

Here’s how it works.

INTO all as one word is a preposition, which means it’s showing MOVEMENT of one thing to another thing.

But IN TO (two words) has two grammatical bits going on right there. The IN is an adverb and the TO is the preposition. And they aren’t like snuggled up in bed like a cohabitating couple, they just tend to show up in the sentence next to each other.

Here are some examples:

INTO as one word:

Baby, I made it into the office today, but only just barely because… cough… you know.

Lordie, look what Santa put into your stocking.

That alligator went into that woman’s head, man, like took total control.

INTO usually tells you WHERE something is happening.

IN TO as two words

Look, I am standing in to make a statement to our senator.

Santa came in to say a hearty hello.

The dog and cat rode in to break that record on that damn scooter.

IN TO usually can be substituted with IN ORDER TO.

Easy, right? Consider yourself grammatical.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Two words are different than one.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Sometimes taking chances pays off (like when you jump on a scooter with a cat) and sometimes it doesn’t (like when you bite your handler’s hand). Choose your risks wisely. And that goes for copyediting too. Unless you’re super sure you know all the grammar, don’t copyedit your own story.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link.

best positive podcast - Be brave friday
Send your Be Brave Friday stories to us here! Just hit the contact form or message us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

LINKS WE MENTION IN THE RANDOM THOUGHTS PORTION OF THE PODCAST

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/09/16/canada-Guinness-World-Records-dog-cat-scooter-Lollipop-Sashimi-Melissa-Millett/5691631809102/

https://news.sky.com/story/woman-attacked-by-alligator-says-i-love-him-and-it-shouldnt-face-any-consequences-12385890

Throwing Poop on Your Landlord, Demon Texts, and Making Happy Endings

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Throwing Poop on Your Landlord, Demon Texts, and Making Happy Endings
/

Carrie reads a lot of novels in progress and helps writers make those novels better and one of the big things that happen that keep a book from being super star status is an unsatisfying ending.

Yes. Yes, that is about books, not sex, Shaun. But some of the same principles apply to both.

You want your ending to be satisfying even if it’s an unhappy ending.

So, how do you make your ending satisfying?

Ah, just like the copulation, it’s all about fulfilling your promises to the reader in the lead-up to that ending, right?

Your reader has been hanging out with you for 50,000 words at least (usually) and that means that you owe them what you’ve promised them–a complete story with a damn fine ending.

Here are the things to know:

The character at the end of the book should have changed enough to react to the events in a way that they wouldn’t have reacted on page 10.

Most books that are satisfying have a main character that changes. They evolve (positive change arc) or devolve (negative change arc). Their situation is different at the end of the book and you, the author, want to recognize that and show us readers — WOW! Look at how Sparty the Dog is so much stronger now. He’s dealing with that squirrel in a way he never would have on page 10.

All the events that have happened prior to the climax and the ending have made Sparty the dog that’s able to handle his arch nemesis like a boss.

There needs to be emotional growth (or regression) in your main character at the end of this story.

And this growth at the ending has to be shown in the gorgeous story in between the beginning and the ending.

If we imagine the story as three acts, then the ending is where we see how Act One (the set-up, who the character used to be, their original want) and Act Two (where the character’s world changes and they proactively go after their wants, messing up, succeeding, learning and evolving) makes the character who they are now.

Do they get the girl? Save the world? Defeat the evil demon? Throw poop on their landlord?

Do they come to terms with grief?

The ending matters because of everything in the story that the hero has gone through to get there.

They have to earn that ending and when they do? Oh, boy, is it satisfying.

The Ending Doesn’t Matter Much if You Don’t Make It Matter

You want to give your readers the answers to the questions that exist in your story. No loose ends. No mysteries that just end with a ‘to be continued’ because you’ve hit 70,000 words.

It is all about satisfying the reader. If you promise the reader a sexy romance and there’s no sex and the significant other slinks off on the last page to go wrestle guinea pigs in Ireland with someone else? You’re breaking that promise to the reader and totally not satisfying. You are being a bad lover. I mean writer.

Nobody wants that.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Think about what your reader wants. Aim to please your lover/reader.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Sparty says it’s more satisfying to earn your treat rather than just be given the treat. The journey makes the ending more satisfying.

LINKS MENTIONED

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/priest-demons-figured-text-messages-24898111

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/12/28/23-of-the-strangest-things-that-happened-in-florida-in-2020/

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link.

best positive podcast - Be brave friday
Send your Be Brave Friday stories to us here! Just hit the contact form or message us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird