The Story Behind My Scar

If you ever meet me, you will instantly know that I am not a supermodel. Actually, you just need to see a photo to get that.

And that’s a good thing (except I’d be much wealthier) because if I was a model I’d worry about all my random scars.

My best scar is on my right forearm.

Ignore my hair follicles, please.

So, we had this massive ceramic planter thing. It was huge. And we did not take it into the garage one winter because we were lazy and it was heavy. So it cracked. There was this big hole in it. 

But I am cheap.

How cheap?

I thought, I will just use the old dirt and put it in smaller pots. It’s still good dirt.

So, I reached in the hole in the pot and scooped out dirt. This went well for an hour. But then, there’s this thing called structural integrity. It is a concept that my brain doesn’t understand. My brain was still frozen and cracked from winter, too.

So, the planter broke more while I was scooping dirt out of the hole in the side.
This part fell on my arm.

I stared for awhile.

I thought, Hhmm…. that’s a deep, long jagged cut that’s almost down to the bone, when is it going to bleed?

Then it bled.

Then I thought, Hhmmm…. shock is such a cool thing, because this doesn’t hurt. Wow. I love shock. I’d better go inside and clean all the dirt out and stop the bleeding.

So, I stood up and went inside. Blood dripped all over the garage floor. I left a trail of blood!

This is like a murder scene, I thought. I bet I can use this for a book. Wow. Look at all that blood.

So my ex-husband looked up from the tractor thing he had for some unknown reason and he was doing something on it. He and his tractor friend were way up on the hill, and he ran down the hill. He was obviously psychic.  He burst into the kitchen. He did not pass out. He cringed. He applied pressure. He swayed and turned pale. He didn’t like blood.

Then my daughter, Em, went into her I should be an ER doctor but they don’t make enough money mode and cleaned the wound. It required a lot of cleaning because of this….

I  refused to go to the ER even though my ex-husband was a hospital administrator. Let’s say we weren’t always perfectly compatible. We pulled the wound together with Band-Aids. How cool was that? 

Going to the Doctor

On Monday, the ex forced me to go to the doctor’s and get a tetanus shot. He actually followed me there because he didn’t trust me to actually go. And once we got there he showed everyone his copy of TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (EX) BOYFRIEND, my first book.

The office manager yelled across the waiting room to me, “Have you had many of those?”

Everyone in the waiting room looked up from their out-dated copies of GOOD HOUSEKEEPING.

“Yep,” I said.

“Me too!” she laughed. “I mean, well, I think he was…”

Then everyone started talking about gay ex boyfriend or girlfriend stories, except for this cool lady who talked about how her ex-girlfriend said she was gay, but on the continuum was really more straight. It was actually pretty fun. Except for the part where I had to explain that I was injured by a pot. 

And then it turns out thatI had a reaction to the Band-Aids. I blistered all over from the Band-Aids. How can you live so long and have a reaction to Band-Aids and not realize this?

Sometimes I really wonder about myself. 

But I wonder about the doctor more because he said, “Yeah, you should’ve gone to the ER, but once when my twins were two, one threw a rock and it smacked his brother right in the skull. Blood was everywhere. We didn’t go to the ER either. I took his hair, all around the wound, and I tied it together in knots to pull the wound together. It worked pretty good, too.”

Stories are Everywhere

You have to love it here in Maine. You just have to. Because we all have our stories and we all have our scars. And that authenticity and lack of plastic? That’s what connections are about. That’s what friendship is about.

Be who you are. Tell your stories. The good ones. The bad ones. Pretending to be things you aren’t only hurts your soul. That lack of perfection? It makes you perfect.


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.

Direct Link to Fiona’s Interview! on DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE. She’s a poet, coach, and awesome human.

Last week’s interview with J.L. Delozier, a Pennsylvania doctor and writer who is on the CoVid-19 frontlines and her debut novel was about a virus killing half the planet. 

This week’s regular episode – The Two Second Relationship Rule

More About My Books and Writing Course Below the READ MORE cut

Continue reading “The Story Behind My Scar”

The Inspiration Behind My Book & What I Learned About Myself Publishing It

I learned a lot about who I was when I wrote this book. I’m not talking about who people think I am, but the actual me.

That’s because I did this book all by myself. I never do things all by myself especially not books. I write them. I have a team at publishing houses who tweak and market and create covers.

Not this time. This time I didn’t even show the story to anyone else. Not my agent. Not an editor. It was all me on my own.

And I learned that this is scary because there is nobody else to take responsibility if things go wrong.

And I learned I liked that.

What Inspired Me To Write It?

I wanted to step outside my own walls and do something that felt scary and vulnerable. This book felt scary and vulnerable. Why? Well, here is why.

Bad Guys Built on Real People

You know how sometimes people seem to be super nice and friendly and lovely. But then you see the mask drop? All of a sudden something shifts in their eyes and you think, “Holy crud muffins. This person could be a serial killer!”

There is a person in my town like that.

Actually, there are a couple of people in my town like that. When their mask drops and you see their true self, it makes you gasp.

The bad guys in this story are some of those people significantly tweaked and mashed-up together to create characters that are real, vibrant, and creepy.

Wanting to Mix Genres

When I wrote THE PLACES WE HIDE, I wanted to have some of the standard conventions of romance and thrillers, but give it that first-person-raw feel.

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

Wanting to Write Good Women Based On Real People

I also based a lot of the women in my story on women like me and my friends – quirky, struggling, real, persistent.

I wanted Rosie and her friends to feel like the moms you actually meet in coastal Maine.

Romance NEEDS

I like love. I like it when people find each other. What can I say?

I wanted to write a story like that.

High Stakes

I can’t help myself. If I’m not writing literary fiction, I tend to write about alien invasions and pixie apocalypses. I wanted to challenge myself to write a realistic story with truly high stakes.

What I Learned

I love writing kids books, but this was so much fun. And it was also really fun to step outside of traditional publishing, which I also love, and do it all myself. It helps me understand what my clients and author-friends who choose self-publishing go through. There’s so much responsibility and control that happens. It’s really a great adventure.

I learned that self-publishing is hard, but freeing. You don’t have to listen to other people helping you make your story better. You don’t have the safety net of the publisher. It’s just you out there – raw and vulnerable.

I learned that self-publishing is addictive. My aunt Athalie died this November. She was really glamorous and lived in California (We were in N.H.) and she was married to a celebrity dentist and then an Oscar-winning art director. She was an artist and believed in reincarnation. All of this was a very big deal to three-year-old Carrie.

She stared at me once as I was doing laps around our living room buck naked and announced loudly, “Carrie is an exhibitionist. Look at all that energy just flow right out of her. Wow.”

Nobody in my family has ever thought I was an exhibitionist. I was (and am) the person who sits on floors instead of chairs so that I can watch everyone else. I hide behind the camera and take pictures of others. I am a writer, for Pete’s sake.

Here’s the thing: Athalie was right.

Self-publishing pushes me towards that exhibitionist side. By marketing everything myself, by having the book be just my voice and my story, I show more of who I am to the world. And I’m okay with that. It’s scary, but all the good things are.

Truth Bomb

It’s really scary sometimes to put your work out there, or to just be who you are – the real you – unpolished sometimes, dorky, self-righteous, befuddled, passionate, fangirly, angry, sad, anxious you.

But it’s so much easier than living a life of pretending and of lies.

Authenticity is brave and vulnerable, yes, but it’s also pretty damn empowering to just exhibit who the heck you truly are to the world and let the world deal with it.

I hope you’ll be an exhibitionist with me. Exhibit who you are. Be who you are.


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 order it here. 



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.

This week’s episode link. Over 170,000 people have downloaded episodes of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, you should join them.


My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!


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

Sparty Dog Inspiration for Thursday

Sometimes it feels like even when you are in a perfect ‘sit,’ you’re never going to get a treat.

But you. Right there. You.

You deserve one.

I believe in you & your humanity.

Let’s make amazing stories & give each other treats, okay? We’ve got this.


Sparty Dog

This week’s podcast.

Gabby Dog and Cloud the Kitten Friday Animal Inspiration

Sometimes the world seems a bit … much?

Hang onto love and friends. Let go of the stuff that keeps you from being strong. Hang on.

Hang on.

This world needs good. You are the good.

Also, please remember not to poop in the sink.


Looking at you, kitten.


Gabby Dog and Cloud the Kitten


This week’s Cooking With an Author – vegetarian recipes with a quirky, author twist is here. It’s all about hangover burritos. You do not have to be hungover or to ever have had alcohol to enjoy them. 

Writer recipes


Last week’s podcast

This week’s podcast link.



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.”

Continue reading “Gabby Dog and Cloud the Kitten Friday Animal Inspiration”

Sparty Dog’s Thoughts on a Tuesday

You and me?
We are here to transform ourselves and the world. Right now.
Yeah, rolling out of bed is a difficult first step, but we can do this.We have to do this.
Inside of us is something special. It’s called our hearts. Let’s use them. Hug first though?

Sparty Dog


Gabby Dog on Christmas Eve Day

Your truths aren’t everyone’s truths and everyone’s truths aren’t yours.

Be proud of who you are – flaws, beauties, moments, actions, loves, silences, words.

You are so beautiful just as you are. You.

Look at yourself.

You’re stunning and so full of light.


Gabby Dog

Gabby Dog Inspiration


It’s you!

On a Monday.

And you know what? You’ve got this day.

Nothing about you is lacking.

Breathe. Let go of all those judging thoughts.

You are so beautiful and full of stars. Can you feel them?

They shine.

You shine. You’ve got this.

Gabby the Dog

Sparty Dog Inspiration

Look at all the stories you’re seeing, the dreams you’re doing, the lives you’re living.

Breathe out. In. Out.

You are making moments and they all make you. Not one moment. ALL the moments.

Go make more.

Breathe out. Breathe in. Look up. See stars.


Sparty the Dog

Kitten Inspiration

How does your heart survive sometimes? I don’t know. I’m just so glad that it does. That we are in this world together. It’s okay to rest. It’s all okay. Do what you need to do to thrive. I am rooting for you and your heart.
Kitten Inspiration

How does your heart survive sometimes? 

I don’t know. 

I’m just so glad that it does. 

That we are in this world together. 

It’s okay to rest.

It’s all okay. Do what you need to do to thrive. 

I am rooting for you and your heart. 


Cloud the Kitten

Friday Love

daily dog inspiration with rescue dogs
daily dog inspiration with rescue dogs

Hey there.

I see you.



Right there.


Look at you.You’re so shiny.

Do you see it? Because I do.

You make my eyes starry.

YOU are starry.

Don’t forget it, okay?

Let’s go get this Friday.


Gabby the Dog