There’s Nothing Wrong With Breaking Down

The tourists will start to leave our town any day now. Our daughter will go back to Harvard for graduate school. Our other child will probably get kicked out of eighth grade at least twice as they readjust. My husband woke this Saturday morning, sad, tears in his eyes.

“I can’t talk about it,” he said, dutifully putting dog food into bowls. “If I talk about it, I’ll break down.”

“There’s nothing wrong with breaking down,” I said. “Sometimes you need to break down to build back up.”

He kept feeding the dogs, moved on to making tea. The tears collected there. They didn’t fall. He wouldn’t let me help him with the chores and he wouldn’t talk about what was created such huge sadness.

There’s nothing wrong with breaking down.

New moments will begin any day now. October will come and leaves will fall, routines will become. Last year October didn’t even feel real—No big Halloween, no in-person school, but there were certain less worries, too. We didn’t have to worry about anyone getting triggered or kicked out of school because there was Zoom.

Any day now can become a mantra in our lives sometimes.

COVID will be over any day now.

Things will get back to normal any day now.

We’ll make progress any day now.

We’ll get a break any day now.

I’m not supposed to write or even Facebook post about our other child because their mother gets too upset and can’t handle it. I’m not sure why. During COVID she barely called or texted. Even now, our kid has to text her to get to visit. One visit maybe every two weeks and only if asked. It’s not a lot. And there’s a sadness that comes from her choices.

There’s nothing wrong with breaking down. There’s nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed sometimes and scared for your kid especially when your kid doesn’t fit in to society’s norms. But my husband refuses to break down.

Here’s the thing. Breaking down doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. October comes. January comes. But so does May and July. Our lives and worries ebb and flow and we can’t always be strong. Breaking down is part of evolving and rebuilding yourself and your life into something bigger and better.

Any day now if you just keep working towards it every day.

Peter Korn wrote in Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman. “I was becoming aware that a good life was not some Shangri-La waiting to be stumbled upon. One constructed it from the materials at hand.”

In order to build something powerful, you have to know where the pressures points are in the structure. Defining those, locating them? That’s not weakness. That’s what gives you the strength to sturdy up the frame, to put in brackets to handle those pressure points. Novelists know that they have to go through their stories with a critical eye looking for places that need to be shored up, revised, layered, or taken away. Carpenters, engineers, they do that as well.

That’s what we have to do with our lives too, build them step by step, moment by moment, hope by hope.

“It’s okay to cry,” I told him.

“But what if I can’t stop?”

“You will. We always do.”

He finally told me that he was worried about the about-to-enter-eight-grade child. Would they be okay? Would they get kicked out? Triggered? Would their anxiety overwhelm them and then they’d overwhelm their teachers and peers.

Probably. And then we’d deal with it and move on, move them on, work on things over and over again. And that’s okay.

There’s nothing wrong with breaking down especially when it’s because of love. It’s strong. It’s being strong enough to realize how much you love and feel and hope and worry. There’s nothing wrong with breaking down because it means how beautiful you really are.


I just want to let everyone know that INCHWORMS (The Dude Series Book 2) is out and having a good time as Dude competes for a full scholarship at a prestigious Southern college and getting into a bit of trouble.

Here’s what it’s about:

A fascinating must-read suspense from New York Times bestseller Carrie Jones.

A new chance visiting a small Southern college.
A potential love interest for a broken girl obsessed with psychology.
A damaged group of co-eds.
A drowning that’s no accident.
A threat that seems to have no end.

And just like that Jessica Goodfeather aka Dude’s trip away from her claustrophobic life in Maine to try to get an amazing scholarship to her dream school has suddenly turned deadly. Again.

What would you do to make a difference?

After his best friend Norah was almost abducted, Cole Nicholaus has spent most of his childhood homeschooled, lonely and pining for Norah to move from best friend to girl friend status. When birds follow him around or he levitates the dishes, he thinks nothing of it—until a reporter appears and pushes him into making a choice: stay safe at home or help save a kidnapped kid.

Cole and Norah quickly end up trying to not just save a kid, but an entire town from a curse that has devastating roots and implications for how exactly Cole came to be the saint that he is.

Can Cole stop evil from hurting him and Norah again? And maybe even get together? Only the saints know.

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the NEED seriesSaint is a book about dealing with the consequences that make us who we are and being brave enough to admit who we love and what we need.

BUY NOW! 🙂 I made a smiley face there so you don’t feel like I’m too desperate.

The cover. Creepy, right?

You can read an excerpt right here.

Don’t Give Away Your Shot. Kick to Win.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Don't Give Away Your Shot. Kick to Win.


A long time ago, our daughter Em was taking karate, which was the only martial art available then in our town.

She was eight years old and tiny.

The instructor was Shaun size – sort of – and bald, super intimidating. He had all the little ones line up and kick rectangular strike pads. Em’s kick was so unexpected and powerful that the adult holding the pad fell over.

Did they tell her, “Good job?”


They made her sit down.

“What did I do wrong, Mommy?” Em asked.

“Nothing, buddy. Nothing.”

And a mom next to us whispered, “You were too strong. They don’t know what to do with women who are too strong.”

Em got called back up and got to join the group again. This time the kids were kicking the instructor’s shin. It was Em’s turn. She wound up and executed the kick perfectly. The instructor lurched backwards, held his shin, and told her to sit down.


Em was smaller than the rest of those kids in there, but she was powerful and they didn’t know what to do with that. They couldn’t even understand it. How could this perfectly behaved, tiny child be so strong?

And sometimes that happens with us throughout our lives and our writing. Our power surprises even us. We’ll wonder where it came from? We’ll wonder what it means. And sometimes other people will not know what to do with it. Those people might be our mentors, or our families, or strangers on the internet.

But here’s the thing.

Don’t let them make you sit down or sit out. If you surprise them with your power? That’s on them. It’s not on you.

Writing Tip of the Pod:

Don’t be afraid to dig deep to get your power.

Dog Tip for Life:

Don’t let the other dogs out-alpha you. Pick your battles. But win. Don’t give away your shot.


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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.


NEED is on sale for Kindle sales on Amazon for a mere $1,99 this month. Snatch it up!

ENHANCED, the follow-up to FLYING is here! And the books are out of this world. Please buy them and support a writer.

31702754 copy

The last TIME STOPPERS BOOK is out and I love it. You should buy it because it’s empowering and about friendship and bias and magic. Plus, dragons and elves.


How to Get Signed Copies: 

If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email for Sherman’s or email and let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!

Art Stuff

You can buy prints of my art here. Thank you so much for supporting my books and me and each other. I hope you have an amazing day.

A new episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the quirky podcast with writing tips, life tips and a random thought comes every Tuesday! Check it out, like and subscribe!

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