He was walking next to me, one step ahead, turning to face me, pausing so I could keep up. “You’re going to a bar? Off campus? With people who aren’t students?”

“I am.”

When I was in college, I got to get out of my college bubble because I dispatched as part of my work-study. I was poor, so I had work-study, grants, aid, and a small loan. Being a security dispatcher meant that I talked to and hung out with people who weren’t students, professors or staff. My college was pretty great. But honestly? Between that dispatching job and interning for Janet T. Millsfor two summers when she was the Androscoggin County District Attorney? It’s where I learned the most about the world and people.

The other student stopped, turned to face me and said, face full of raised eyebrows and slack lips. “Why?”

“Your face is a question mark,” I told him.

“You are devastatingly weird,” he huffed and walked on. A second later, he said, “You didn’t answer my question.”

“Why not?” I liked the people at work and at my internship.

“Because it’s unsafe,” he said. “You don’t—They are older than you.”

“Not all of them.”

“They aren’t students.”

I stopped now, right on the edge of the campus where the student housing ended and the Lewiston apartment buildings began. “So, students are safe, but regular people aren’t?”

He didn’t have a real answer. I went out to that bar because I was always doing things back then that made me uncomfortable, that made me learn, and I watched a coworker sing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” with a skinny, pale guy on the fiberglass karaoke floor in a bar that smelled like 90s cops’ thick deodorant, chewing tobacco, and beer. Half the bar was cops and people from the DA’s office, though not the DA, and the other half were people that the cops had arrested before, that I’d seen in the courthouse. They all mingled together. Or at least they did that night.

The guy my coworker was singing with had a criminal record and a frame that barely held up his skin; brown hair leaked past the ridge of his t-shirt. She sang a song she hated, but she knew her voice sounded good when she crooned out Streisand, even when she had too many.

“Thank you,” she said to the totally inebriated guy and to the drunk audience. She thanked the guy out of professional courtesy not because he sang well. He didn’t.

“Welcome,” he replied so loudly that it came over the microphone and we all laughed. He took a bow.

He didn’t leave her side when she walked back to our table. He ordered two margaritas and paid.

“I might sleep with him later,” she told me, leaning in, all alcohol breath.

He said to her, still so loudly, “You’re beautiful singer.”

“Thank you.” She flipped through the book of karaoke songs and the guy was off to the john. She looked at me. “You never go up there and sing.”

“Can’t do it,” I said.

“Why not?”

“Too scared.”

“Of singing?”

“Of sucking.”

On the way back, he-who-was-not-afraid-of-sucking clapped along and took the microphone away from a man serenading some fishnet wearing girl with a country song I didn’t recognize. He strained to wiggle his hips to the rhythm while he sang. He couldn’t. He tried some pseudo sexy pelvic thrusts.

“Carrie is afraid of singing,” Jessie announced.

my art that I’m always so afraid to share.

He eyeballed me and his hand clung to the curve of Jessie’s back. “Carrie looks like she’s afraid of a lot of things.” He leaned forward so all I could smell was him; beer sour, tobacco stained-breath. “You are afraid of your own damn voice, aren’t you?”

I was. Jessie wasn’t. He obviously wasn’t. But I was and I still kind of am, but I’m working on it.

Every week, I’m trying to learn that it’s not the end of the world to get a small detail wrong and that you can correct that detail and that it’s way more important to focus on the act of speaking, writing, singing, reporting, doing. It’s way more important to enjoy and be a part of the process.

But it’s so hard sometimes.

How about you? Are you finding ways to be brave, to put your voice out there, to sing and not worried that you might not sound awesome? I hope so. I hope you do.

Also, I made a QR code for my art place. How cool is that?

Be Brave Friday

It’s Be Brave Friday and I’ve not had the bravest of days, really. That changes now with this post, right?

Here’s a painting on wood (a board from a bookshelf originally from a wonderful woman’s house, which was previously owned by a family of other friends of me).

It’s raw like my feelings right now. It’s a bit haunted like the world right now.

But it’s there–created. And like me, probably not done.

As most of you know, sharing anything I’ve painted is really hard. But I’m all about rewriting those negative scripts and rewriting new ones and cheering each other on while we do. If you are trying, thriving, grieving, becoming, celebrating, evolving? I’m rooting so hard for you, for all of us.

And if you want to support me, please buy one of my books (links above in the BOOKS category) or join my Patreon, it’s really fun! <3

Be Brave Friday – Three Ways To Help You Be Brave.

Being brave means that you go after what you want, you evolve into the person you want to become and you don’t let those fears stop you.

Carrie Jones Books
Carrie Jones Books
Be Brave Friday - Three Ways To Help You Be Brave.

Because our daughter is home for the week, we’re taking the week off in posting BE BRAVE FRIDAY video and podcast and also our LOVING THE STRANGE podcast because we want to make family time a priority for this one week.

I know! We never miss a week.

And sometimes I have a tiny bit of anxiety over that, but it’s worth it. Family is worth it.

So instead, I thought I might quickly talk about what it means to be brave. Ready?


It’s pretty simple really. Being brave means being tough enough to face your fears.

Being brave means knowing something scares you but wanting to defeat that wall of fear, climb over it, chip away at it, knock it down brick by terrifying brick.

Your fear may be about failure, about self-doubt, about spiders. Your fear might be about ridicule or judgement. Fears come in all forms.

Mine mostly come about sharing my art, speaking in public, good, old public ridicule, being poor again, and making the world a worse place.

Being brave means that you go after what you want, you evolve into the person you want to become and you don’t let those fears stop you.


As a lot of you know, I’m terrified of showing people my art, but I’ve always secretly wanted to be an artist even though my family laughed at this idea or rolled their eyes or scoffed. I never took an art class until right before COVID and that was an hour-long session about felting. Oh. Wait. That’s a lie. I took a class about drawing at the Y but quit after a session because I was too scared.

Still, I had these wants, you know? I wanted to paint. I wanted to get the images in my head onto canvas or wood or napkins or whatever, and I wanted to share them. Or at least–I didn’t want to be afraid to share them anymore.

So, BE BRAVE FRIDAYS was born and I would show people my paintings-in-progress every Friday and my PATREON was born where I would show people chapters in progress every Friday and our podcasts were born where my voice would be out there to be ridiculed every week (now three times a week, wow).

Someone told me on Facebook last year, “Carrie, people on here are so supportive of your paintings. How can this be a brave act for you?”

That’s the thing. It’s still hard. Every damn week, it’s hard. But it’s getting slightly less harder most of the time. It’s a chipping away at it moment.


They do the thing they are afraid of even though they are scared, even though they might fail.

You can’t achieve if you don’t take a risk.

They are honest about who they are and their fears.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback over the years, usually by well-meaning, well educated, white women who are a decade or two older than I am who tell me not to be so open about my insecurities.

Spoiler alert: Judging me for being insecure or telling me how to ‘be’ is a sure-fire way to NOT make me more secure.

But it’s also a sure-fire way to make me a bit angry. I am okay that I’m not perfect. I know I’m a work in progress and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that. Why would I want to not admit that?

Once you start pretending to be someone you aren’t, you get so wrapped up in that lie that it becomes exceptionally hard to be who you are.

It becomes exceptionally hard to be brave.

Authenticity and being open about your flaws and weaknesses? It’s a brave thing.


Brave people think about the potential amazing outcomes that can happen if they succeed not just the potential horrible outcomes if they fail.

Spending all your time thinking about what could go wrong, means that you aren’t spending anywhere enough time thinking (and taking the steps) to do what you want to go right.

So, I hope you’ll be brave with me and share your stories. Here are my paintings this week. You’ve got this, okay? You really do. Be brave with me.


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.




Email us at


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


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