There were believed to be two distinct varieties of Vegetable Lamb: a bizarre plant that produced tiny lambs inside pods, and an equally-bizarre hybrid creature that consisted of a whole, full-sized lamb, which lived suspended from the ground by a small stem!
Chris Littlechild, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not
People believed this for centuries, right? Centuries.
What does this have to do with writing? When we write, we bring our pasts, our systems of belief and it ends up on our pages. Our work reflects our society and it reflects our own morality and beliefs. To be a good writer, we have to know what our truths are but also be willing to be challenged about them.
Writing is a communication, a social contract between the writer and the reader. We’re asking our readers to share our story, but also more subconsciously, to hear about our world views and thoughts. We’re inviting them in.
Writing Tip of the Pod
It’s good for us to look at our own beliefs and morality occasionally. What do we believe in? Why do we think that’s right or true? How is that showing up in our stories?
Dog Tip For Life
Dogs truths are simple. Love is good. Food is good. Sleep is good. Squirrels are evil. Don’t be afraid to gel your beliefs down into simplicity.
HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON
On February first, I launched my Patreon site where I’m reading chapters (in order) of a never-published teen fantasy novel, releasing deleted scenes and art from some of my more popular books. And so much more. Come hang out with me! Get cool things!
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
I’m Carrie Jones, quirky Maine Author, and I want to bring more of my stories out into the world. Most of you who read my blog know that.
That’s what I want. That’s who I am. Making stories and the art to go with them is my favorite thing ever. Even though I’ve been a New York Times-bestselling and internationally bestselling author, the publishing world is slow. The self-publishing world is scary and what I crave is to get to work with my friends and readers in a more constant, interactive way.
Creating stories and reading them via podcasts and sharing them, my writing wisdom, and my art is a dream. I love doing it. With your help, I can bring stories into the world more often AND pay my health insurance, which is a big deal to me because I have epilepsy.
The Last Gods
Ericha’s spent her entire high school career taking care of her sick mom, their horses, and making sure that she’s interesting and perfect enough to get out of their small Maine town and into Harvard.
She risks it all to save an injured deer outside her high school – a major break in the school’s rules – and starts a chain of events that puts her and her friends on the radar of some old gods, ready to battle last time and make the world their own, for good.
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HEREthat explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
What I’ll Use the Money For
Hosting for the podcast and the website. I need a decent hosting plan to support the podcast and blog so it doesn’t crash when it gets busy. This is horrifying when it happens. MailChimp. The service I use to email posts out to the subscription list. This fee grows as the email list grows.
Adobe suite.This costs a ridiculous amount of money every year, but it has great tools for creators and so… I pay for it.
Supplies. Art costs money. WHY? It is one of the great wrongs of the universe that a tube of oil paint costs so darn much. Weird fact about me (One of many): I’m a writer who needs to paint in order to write.
Me.I really need health insurance. I am living in a terrified state that I’ll have a seizure someday and bash something or break something, plus I need to continue to eat food, I guess, and feed the dogs and the cat and the gecko.
Better Podcast Equipment. We need one of those windscreens for the microphone and a pop filter because our b’s and p’s are popping. Also, we’d like to expand into video and for that we need a drone.
The Levels Available – SO MANY CHOICES!
HEAR MY BOOK BABY
$1 or more per month
What is this magical tier? For it, you’ll hear me reading the podcast of my unpublished books, one chapter a week as well as patron-only posts.
Yes, you have to listen to my goofy voice reading the book, but you get to be a part of it. You’ll get some downloads of adorable dogs being motivational and be a part of the community. And it’s a community where your voice is just as important as someone who donates more than $1 a month.
So, we’ll send you a link and if you want to you can be part of the ‘inner confidant’ email list of awesome people who I email when I need help or suggestions. Or you can just let us know when I’m being too naughty or talking about dogs too much.
And you’ll get a special, magical, ad-free podcast every month where I talk about writing things and life things and be a dork.
So, for $1 you get to support a NYT-bestselling dork and hear a cool story that the rest of the world doesn’t get to hear. JOIN $1 TIER
READ MY BOOK BABY
$3 or more per month
Every month, I’ll email you a pdf of all the chapters that I’ve read on the podcast so far. Yep, words written down into story chapters. How cool is that?
Honestly, you are an angel and this might make me get all verklempt and cry. But here, you get to be a part of the patron-only feed. We hang there.
We’re talking serious money here and you are basically sacrificing a cup of monthly store-bought coffee and that’s a big deal to me. Thank you so much.
This means you’ll get a random surprise (probably art) in the regular mail (if you’re cool with giving me your mailing address) and be entered into the monthly FREE ALREADY PUBLISHED BOOK RAFFLE where you get a signed book.
So, here you’ll also get every episode of the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE (my other podcast) podcast a day early and with no poopy ads.
THANK YOU’S EVERWHERE AND RANDOM MAILED SUPRISES AND A BOOK (In real-printed form)
Wait. This is a really big deal. This makes a huge difference to me and my life and I want to tell you how big a deal it is.
It is a big (insert strong adjective of your choice) deal.
So, you obviously get all previous rewards, plus, you’re named in the back of my next traditionally-published bookafter IN THE WOODS (as a thank you for helping me survive); your name in the thank you section of all podcasts after you start supporting, random occasional surprises in the mail.
And if you support me at this level for 12 months, I’ll send you a free, signed book (of mine) in the mail. JOIN $10 TIER
MONTHLY HANG-OUT, BABY and ORIGINAL ART
$25 or more per month
Are you an investment banker? Heiress? Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Here, you’re invited to a monthly ZOOM hangout where you get to hang out with me (or us) and we’ll chat about whatever you all want and maybe give you a random tour about some aspect of our life. You know you want to see the basement where I make art. The lawn where the dogs poop?
And you after two months, you can also opt-in to receive a piece of art (the physical kind) that I’ll mail to you. Plus, all the previous rewards, obviously. JOIN $25 TIER
$100 or more per month
Cough. This is serious money here. Every episode you get a shout-out and written credit at my website. You have saved my family. We will drink apple cider in your honor! Okay, Shaun will drink Bud Lite.
You get a half hour of monthly feedback on a private video chat every month (or written feedback if you are shy) if you send me 20 pages of your writing. I’m actually a kick-butt writing mentor. Who knew? You can check out the testimonials on my website. Plus, all the other rewards, obviously.
And finally, at the end of every podcast, we’ll read your personal sponsorship or dedication message.
About 10 days ago, I posted on Facebook (Yes. I am still on Facebook. Don’t judge) about feeling like a failure.
It wasn’t a big depression or anything clinical, although a lot of people thought it was. It was more like a transitory moment caused by a career thing.
I actually bounce back pretty quickly from this stuff (the tiny glitches in life), but I know that everyone doesn’t and when I feel badly – Whew. I do feeling badly really well.
Sparty Dog is my objective correlative here.
One of the ways I deal with my own suckitude and my own sadness is that I try to figure out how to use my experience to help other people. I think my theory is, “If you are going to feel bad, do it for the better good.”
So, I posted about it. And I asked for tips about how people deal with those moments in their own lives, when they feel like they suck, like they are on the wrong path, when they are down.
So many people helped. So many people were beautifully willing to offer advice, and moments of their own lives.
It was awe inspiring honestly because they were just doing that because they wanted to help.
That’s a big deal.
They wanted to help.
They took the time to think and type and respond.
We are constantly barraged by bad news, by evil deeds, by acts that lack humanity and civility, and knowing about these things, these flaws in our society is important. But it’s also important to remember that so many people commit acts of kindness every day.
Always, I’ve posted some of their advice here and here.
But here are some more tidbits and advice and tips on how to feel better when you are having some down moments.
Just put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on. Help somebody else to.get out of your own smog. Pray. Ask for help and accept it gratefully. Reciprocate when you can. Don’t but telemarketed travel packages. (Trust me on this one.) – Jeanne Bracken
My company uses the terms “fail forward” that I really enjoy. It’s essentially saying it’s okay to fail. We all do it. But you should try to fail forward and learn from your mistakes. Move past it by addressing it, resolving it and growing as an individual. – Michelle Ivall
And Matt Baya shared this fantastic infographic that he found on line.
Failing is hard. We try to remember that it’s about the journey, about the joy of doing and existing and not about outside metrics of what it is to have ‘success,’ but sometimes even the most balanced of us falter. That’s okay. You’re okay.
I’m super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.
This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.
Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There will be a new episode tomorrow! Yay!
Carrie offers solo writing coach services, but she’s also teaching a Write! Submit! Support! six-month class online via the Writing Barn in Austin. For details about that class, check out this link. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.