Bear in the Outhouse. Chapter Titles and You

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Bear in the Outhouse. Chapter Titles and You

This week on Carrie’s blog,, she’s talking all about chapters and so we’re talking about them on the podcast, too, because Carrie’s controlling like that.

And what we’re talking about specifically is chapter titles.

You can divide your books into chapters and just label them numerically, 1, 2, 3… But you can also give them a title like:

Chapter One

Surviving the Podcast

Here’s the thing.

Chapter Titles Help Your Readers

How do they help your readers? In a lot of ways.

Grab attention.

You put these bad boys at the top of the chapter. And the reader thinks, “Ah! Look at that! I am paying attention.”

Tell readers who they are focusing on now.

If you have a story with multiple point of views, you can put who this chapter is focused on here.

Show location or time changes.

You can give the reader some help. If you have a time jumping, place jumping novel. You can use this space to say, “Hey, we are in sexy Scotland in 2021.” Or you can say, “Look, we’re in Zambia in August.”

Show theme or the future.

It’s like a happy little spoiler where the reader goes, “Oh, that’s what this chapter is about.” This can be about theme, too.

Show Echoes.

A chapter title can be a first sentence.

Summing it up: And there you go. A quick bit about chapter titles and what they can do for you.


Chapter titles are good tools. Use them.


Use whatever you can to communicate things to your human. Wag. Growl. Bark. Spin in circles. Hit them with your paw. They are stupid and need a lot of help understanding what you’re putting down.

In our Random Thoughts We Talked About

Bears in the outhouse

Snake in an Inhaler


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. This week’s podcast is all about spontaneous combustion and poop styles.

Poop Texting Fail

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Poop Texting Fail
a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, two weeks ago the podcast featured poop texting and writing, but somehow only our random thought was uploaded and not the full broadcast.

Carrie feels this may have been her mother refusing to allow such things be out in the open. She raised Carrie better than this, honestly. No decent woman from New Hampshire talks openly about poop.

Shaun feels Carrie just messed up.


Sometimes you get married and you’ve been married for a long time and you remember that the beginning of your marriage is like a poem and there’s white space and new discovery in every line. 

Sometimes you’ve been married a long time and it’s a routine, a science experiment that can be replicated. There can be beautiful comfort in a rut or a routine. 

Some people want life to be poems. 

Or not.

Some people want life to be expirments. 

Or not.

Some people like patterns to their lives and their books, but some people don’t.  


As writers and people, we have to decide if we want to be science experiments, or do we want poem moments again. Listen to the podcast to hear Shaun talk about poop texts, poop talks, Hallmark-quality texts and makes up brilliant poems and admits to excessive emoji use. Also, we haven’t really been married too long. 


Random things in your childhood come up in your poems and stories. It’s okay to not realize this until your siblings tell you.Also, poop is funny.  


Dogs smell their poop. They are proud of it until they kick grass on top of it. Dogs are not afraid of the poopy side of life. Embrace your dark side, but then know that the things you poop away should stay away.  


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.



My next book, IN THE WOODS, appears TODAY!



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! 

You can 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


You can buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 

Carrie Jones Art for Sale


You can get exclusive content, early podcasts, videos, art and listen (or read) never-to-be-officially published writings of Carrie on her Patreon. Levels go from $1 to $100 (That one includes writing coaching and editing for you wealthy peeps). 

Check it out here. 


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’ve Got A Feeling that these are Black-Eyed Peas Of Dopeness – Cooking With a Writer

Yes! There is cauliflower in your black-eyed peas. Do not judge!

Print Recipe
I've Got A Feeling that these are Black-Eyed Peas Of Dopeness
The original recipe that this has been adapted from is here: It's been featured in other places, too. It's just that good.
I've Got A Feeling that these are Black-Eyed Peas Of Dopeness Vegetarian Recipes of Awesome Quirky Fun by NYT Bestseller Carrie Jones
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time what the what is this thing called passive?
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time what the what is this thing called passive?
I've Got A Feeling that these are Black-Eyed Peas Of Dopeness Vegetarian Recipes of Awesome Quirky Fun by NYT Bestseller Carrie Jones
  1. Get a big pot and heat oil on medium-high heat. Ignore the haters who have noticed cans of black-eyed peas. You'll show them. Sauté onions and green peppers in that oil until they are soft. Inhale the smell of onions and green peppers. Shout to the haters, "DOESN'T THAT SMELL GOOD?"
  2. Realize the haters are your own family members and not trolls on Twitter. Realize this might be a problem.
  3. Add cauliflower to the mix. Stir it all until it is lightly browned (5 to 8 minutes). Ignore the man standing over you who just said, "WHAT IS CAULIFLOWER DOING IN BLACK-EYED PEAS? WHERE THE HELL IS THE HAM?" Forgive him for his bias. Hum Black-Eyed Peas songs. Actually, no sing the chorus about your 'lovely lady lumps.' Tell him those lovely lady lumps will be off limits unless he stops with the judges attitude. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Cook 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Add the peas. Add the tomato sauce, water, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Yell to the man who is STILL COMPLAINING and decide you will only speak to him in Black Eyed Peas lyrics for now. To begin this new enlightened age of conversation shout, "Don't Phunk With My Heart." Reduce heat to medium. Simmer the veggies and your anger, uncovered. Do this 10 to 15 minutes. Shout things like, "Where is Love?" and "Pump It," and "I Gotta Feeling" until man apologizes and admits everything smells delicious.
  5. Taste it. Announce in your best Fergie voice, "Just Can't Get Enough." Serve. Make maple butter if you think the family deserves it. Forget it. YOU deserve it. "Hey Mama. Rock that Body" because this recipe? It is "Dopeness."

As you may have noticed by now. I’m trying to convince the man in the house to be – gasp – a little bit healthier by eating more vegetarian meals.

Since his favorite self-made meal is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with meat mixed in (He has affectionately named this meal the swear-word for excrement) this hasn’t been easy.

But this recipe? After much mocking (as heard on our podcast, Dogs are Smarter than People) was a massive hit.

Man Verdict: I LOVE IT SO MUCH

Dog Verdict: We can’t even try this.

My Verdict: This is the first time, I’ve actually liked black-eyed peas.


Dogs are Smarter than People the writing podcast
Dogs like meat, you know.


Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. 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!


Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.



I do art stuff. You can find it and buy a print here. 

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You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy


The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

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Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

31702754 copy


I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.


I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn

There are only two spots left and sign-up ends January 18th.

So are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

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Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here


Dogs in Wigs.

I saw a dog with fake hair on the Cute-internet today, and I have to say that it’s terribly depressing that dogs are wearing people wigs.

I mean, dogs have fur! They have fur! But they are covering up their beautiful natural fur-i-tude with fake people hair. Isn’t there something wrong about this? I mean, yes, she is cute….

but seriously. Shouldn’t she be happy with who she is as a dog? Shouldn’t she embrace her fine doggy self instead of walking over to the side of salon visits, guava conditioners, and dolphin-decal manicures?

And sometimes… sometimes… the wig goes horribly wrong…

My Post-6 copy 2

Okay. Human readers you can stop listening now. We have a message from Gabby the Dog


It is okay to embrace your doggy self. If that means running around in mud flats and drooling. It’s okay.

Rolling around in dead skunk? Okay.

Eating split pea soup and then kissing everyone? Okay

And, yes, if it means wearing a wig, even a Hannah Montana wig, that’s okay, too, but remember the cats are watching, and they are snickering.

(What me snicker? I am a cat. I blog about it…. and only then I snicker.)

So, your Marise the Cat Monday motivation is this people: 

Live big. Wear wigs. Don’t wear wigs. Embrace your inner dog or your inner weird. Don’t let other people trample down your quirky with their disdain. Disdain? Judgement? Raised eyebrow looks at your awesome bewigged dogs?

That’s what’s boring.

Cats know.


Random Marketing and Book Things Since I Need To Make Money to Survive

My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!

Kirkus Review says:   A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.

The Spy Who Played Baseball








The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that will come out Tuesday. That’s tomorrow! If you subscribe, you will never ever miss one.

To be fair, Shaun and I are more like um… these guys… that pro podcast people. Just keeping it real because it’s impossible for us not to.

And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.

Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

If you feel like buying it, that would be so amazing? And if you review it? Even better! Well, maybe not better, but also super kind of you. No pressure though!