The Four Elements Of A Successful Relationship

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever
Shaun Farrar

Carrie and I just finished eating our dinner and I was wondering what I should do now that we had cleaned up and I might have a bit of relaxation time. Then I had this horribly sinking thought, Sh*t, you forgot to do your blogpost! Carrie is going to kill you if she has to edit and post this late in the evening.

It is now 6:42 p.m. and what you have read is exactly what I have written. I am so afraid that my hands are going to start shaking in just a moment. You don’t know Carrie like I do!

I am just kidding. She’s a pretty good soul and won’t be all that angry with me. Actually, she won’t be angry at all. You know why? Because she loves me (or at least she says so). I believe this to be true, however. It’s because of Carrie that I have figured out the true meaning of love. Well, maybe not the meaning but the formula for long-lasting love.

Of course, there are a number of elements, and for the purpose of this blog, there will be four elements. I list them out below in no particular order.

  1. Mental attraction.
  2. Physical attraction.
  3. Emotional attraction.

Now those are your three base elements but there is one more very important element. This one is the key to the long-lasting part of love. What is this all-essential element?

Forgiveness.

That’s the big one! It doesn’t matter how many of the basic three you have or how strong those basic three are because without the fourth element, forgiveness, your clock is ticking.

So, just remember that nobody is perfect including ourselves. With plenty of exceptions, there is nothing that we can’t forgive of those that we love.

The real point of this blog? My lovely wife Carrie has an incredibly large amount of the fourth element and for this, I am very thankful!

I have to get this emailed to her before she has to forgive me again.

Peace and remember to Always Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Let’s Go Live on a Sailboat!

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever
Shaun

So, Carrie has been bugging me all day to get this blogpost done. Right before dinner, she tells me that we should spend 5-10 years living on a sailboat, just cruising around, and enjoying life.

I said to her, “Hell yes! I am all for that.”

Then we sat down, ate dinner at the coffee table and watched some YouTube videos about live-aboard sailors while we ate. It was great! After dinner, Carrie cleaned up while I attended to some other responsibilities that were pending in my life. After the chores were complete, we both, almost simultaneously, sat down in front of our computers.

I said, “I am going to see what’s for sale in the world of used sailboats in Maine.”

Carrie replied in a very happy voice, “That is the best idea I have ever heard of! While you do that, I will check on mooring fees in the nearby vicinity.”

“Hey, look at this one!” was my response, because I was already knee deep in the used sailboat online market.

Then she started to read off some rates for moorings in our general area and then started telling me about the pros and cons of each different area.

I was getting excited! I mean, honestly, this is like one of my lifelong dreams. Sailing around, earning money with an online career, swimming naked in the crystal clear, warm water of the Caribbean . . . all with a beautiful wife. Who could ask for anything more?

As my mind began to fog over with dreams of my dream finally coming true (in a few years of course) I heard this crystal-clear siren call of a voice break through.

“Hey! You working on that blogpost or what?”

I jumped so hard it was like awakening from a falling dream. “Uh, uh, yes ma’am.”

But you know what? As soon as I send this off to Carrie via email so that she can get it posted (sorry it’s late, baby!), she will be right back on track to planning the dream. And the thing about Carrie is that once she has an idea in her amazing brain, she won’t let it die out! Especially if she knows that it will make me happy.

That is why I am still the luckiest man in the world.

Peace kids!

Remember to always Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Weird Hitchhiking Stories and How to Punctuate Dialogue

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Weird Hitchhiking Stories and How to Punctuate Dialogue
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In last week’s podcast we started to talk about how to punctuate dialogue because we’re sexy like that. And we’re continuing that discussion this week.

A great source of how to to punctuate dialogue is from theeditorsblog.net

They are calm and lovely and explain things really well.

And for a reminder: A dialogue tag is just the bits like “they said,” “she whispered,” “he yelled.”

Single line of dialogue with dialogue tag and action

So, for this, you’ve got quotation marks around your dialogue with the dialogue tag following what was said. But before that, right before the end quotation mark, you have a comma. There’s no capital letter for that dialogue tag. Why? Because it’s the same damn sentence, that’s why, and you can’t just randomly capitalize things in there. A period goes at the very end of the action or beat.

“Shaunie is a cutie face,” she said, hoping Shaunie would look her way and smile.

Quotation Marks + Capitalized First Word + Comma + End Quotation Marks + Lowercase First Word in the Dialogue Tag + Comma (usually) + Action/Beat + Period.

You can switch that around and start off with the action/beat and the dialogue tag.

Hoping Shaunie would look her way and smile, she said, “Shaunie is a cutie face.”

Action/Beat + Comma + Dialogue Tag + Quotation Marks + Capitalized First Word + Period + End Quote

So, then you have the interrupting dialogue stuff that writers love.

This is when the dialogue is all the same sentence, but it’s interrupted by the dialogue tag. When that happens, you want a comma before the last quotation marks in the first part of the sentence and then again after the dialogue tag.

“Shaunie is a cutie face,” she said, hoping Shaunie would look her way and smile, “but he doesn’t ever notice me.”

Or

“Shaunie is a cutie face,” she said, “but he doesn’t ever notice me.”

Quotation Marks + Capitalized First Word + Comma + End Quotation Marks + Lowercase First Word in the Dialogue Tag + Comma + Action/Beat + Comma + Quotation Marks + Lowercased first word + End Punctuation (not a comma) + End Quotation Marks.

Two sentences interrupted

Or you can get all emphatic and make it two sentences because it’s dialogue. Then the first sentence has a period before the end quotes and dialogue tag. The dialogue tag ends with a period. The second quote section starts with a capital letter. Whew. That’s a lot. Ready?

“Shaunie is a cutie face,” she said, hoping Shaunie would look her way and smile. “But he doesn’t ever notice me.”

Quotation Marks + Capitalized First Word + Comma + End Quote Marks + Lowercase First Word in the Dialogue Tag + Comma + Action/Beat + Period + Quotation Marks + Capitalized First Word + End Punctuation (not a comma) + End Quotation Marks.

Whew, that was a lot. Our brains are fried? Your brains okay?

Writing Tip of the Pod

Be sexy. Know your punctuation.

Dog Tip for Life

Don’t just bark at people. It’s easy, but it doesn’t get you what you want.

LINKS WE REFERENCE IN THE RANDOM THOUGHTS PART OF THE PODCAST

https://omaha.com/news/national/roadrunner-going-faster-ends-up-in-maine-after-hitchhike/article_4ce788b0-ef17-50ea-b260-36325130663c.html

https://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-hitchhiker-stories/isadora-teich

SHOUT OUT!

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.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

The Magic of a Green Velvet Side Hustle

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

Green velvet is an amazing thing!

I was having trouble, once again, thinking of a topic for today’s blog. Of course I enlisted Carrie’s help and she managed to jog a memory in my wee, little brain.

Nowadays, pulling forth memories is akin to filling my hand with sand and not spilling any. 

But, back to green velvet.

When I was a kid, yes, this is a tale of bygone eras, my grandparents had a set of matching living room chairs that were covered in green velvet. I don’t remember caring much for most particular chairs, as I was more of a couch sprawler, but they had value to me.

These chairs, and the couch to a lesser extent, were how I made my living between the ages of five and seven. You see, when you sat in these chairs, which also had a removable seat cushion, your pelvic structure was tilted backwards.

Back in the old days, kids, people used to actually carry cash on them. In order to spend cash and make everything equal upon payment, you usually received change in the form of metal tokens called coins.

I discovered that when people sat in these magical green velvet chairs their change seemed to flow out of their pockets and fall into the crack behind the back of the chair and the cushion. I simply had to come along behind them, lift up the cushion and bam, instant candy bar!

It was like the ancient equivalent of a side hustle.

My single mother and I lived with my grandparents at this time, as did their other three adult children, so I got to check the cushions often. Because there were so many adults in the house, there were lots of adult visitors. I called them foreign investors and they almost always made a contribution to my secret snack fund.

One day I came home from school and found my grandmother vacuuming under the cushions of my magical green velvet chairs. I was stunned. As soon as my grandmother saw me she shut off the vacuum to say hi and as she turned I noticed that her hand was clinched into a fist.

“Hello my sweet, amazing, handsome and best ever grandson,” she said with a smile on her face.

I just stood there in shock, barely able to even respond. “Hi.”

She opened up her hand as she held it out to me. “Look at all this change I found in the cushions of the chairs.”

Then she dropped it in her pocket and went back to vacuuming.

Not many days in my youth were as drastically horrible as this one. Now somebody else knew my secret. I mean, I was sure this must have been the one and only time Grandma had ever vacuumed the chairs. Maybe she would forget about it quickly and I wouldn’t have to get up at some unearthly hour to get to the chair stash before she did. I mean, she was a “housewife,” never worked and therefore probably enjoyed the spoils of the furniture as much as I did.

But fortunately, I was wrong. I continued to harvest proceeds from the chairs until Mother and I eventually moved from that house.

Later in life, when I was a teenager, I discovered why my grandmother never had a need for my change. She would, on occasion, give me money to spend so that I could have fun. You know, buy beer or whatever.

Once when she was giving me some cash, I asked her how she even had money since she didn’t work. My enterprising grandmother told me that as the runner of all errands and keeper of the house, she had her ways. She then went on to explain that her loving husband would give her a certain amount of money to purchase things, like groceries, and that she was a very experienced shopper.

Basically, my grandmother was embezzling funds from her own husband and just not balancing the books appropriately. Good for her!

There is no real point to this blogpost other than the telling of a fond childhood memory. But sometimes, those are the best kind of memories. The memories long forgotten and still cherished upon remembrance. Maybe soon I will tell you the tale of how I used to try and get my grandmother to quit smoking. It never worked, cost her a substantial amount of embezzled cash and was probably the one thing that regularly made her mad at me.

Thank you for helping me remember the “good old days” and as always, remember to always Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

ALSO CARRIE HAS A NEW BOOK COMING OUT!

It’s super fun. An adult paranormal/mystery/romance/horror blend. Think Charlaine Harris but without all the vampires. Instead there are shifters and dragon grandmothers and evil police chiefs and potential necromancers and the occasional zombie.

It’s out November 1, which means the pre-orders are up now, and I seriously love it. So, it would be cool if you bought it so I can be all motivated to write the next book.

Oh, and it’s quirky.

This is because most of my books are quirky.

Be ready to resurrect your love of the paranormal in the first novel in the Alisa Thea series—the books that give new meaning to quirky paranormal.

Alisa Thea is barely scraping by as a landscaper in small-town Bar Harbor. She can’t touch people with her bare skin without seeing their deaths and passing out, which limits her job and friendship opportunities. It also doesn’t give much of a possibility for a love life, nor does her overbearing stepfather, the town’s sheriff. Then along comes an opportunity at a local campground where she thinks her need for a home and job are finally solved . . .

But the campground and its quirky residents have secrets of their own: the upper level is full of paranormals. And when some horrifying murders hit the campground—along with a potential boyfriend from her past who may be involved—Alisa starts to wonder if living in a campground of paranormals will end up in her own death.

Join New York Times and internationally best[selling author Carrie Jones in the first book of the Alisa Thea Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.

It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s kind of like Charlaine Harris, but a little bit more achy and weird.

What Not To Say To Your Wife

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

I am not a writer by trade and I don’t have the grammar skills nor writing craft that many of you have. However, I am here now to give you some advice on how important the proper choice of words is. This is extremely important, not just in writing but in everyday life, so listen up!

Choose your words carefully! Use them in an appropriate manner to get your true and intended point across. The ramifications of not doing so can be very detrimental to your audience and sometimes even yourself.

Please allow me to give you a perfect example of one gargantuan blunder that I made just a few minutes ago.

First, a little backstory. Carrie has been sick for a week, maybe even a couple days more, depending upon when she actually admitted to not feeling a 100%. No, she does not have COVID, it’s more like a common cold with all of the accoutrements, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, tiredness and last night, a slight fever.

Now, I love my wife more than anything, ever! I have tried to take care of her and make sure that she has what she needs. I have been forcing her to work less than normal and rest throughout the day. Hell, last night I even made her chicken soup (from scratch) with leftover stuffing dumplings.

But all of that tenderness and affection can be destroyed in but a moment!

I will start with the point that I was trying to convey to my lovely wife as she sat in her office chair working, coughing, blowing her nose and generally looking miserable.

This is what I tried to say:

“My dearest, I am so incredibly sorry that you have been feeling so horribly for so long! It seems as though this cold will not go away as quickly as I was hoping and it literally breaks my heart every time that I gaze upon you beautiful face and see you so obviously feeling like crap. Is there anything that I can do for you right now?”

And this my friends is what I said.

“Aw, I hope you feel better soon/ I’m getting tired of looking at you and you looking like shit.”

Yep, even though it was said with the most love, tenderness, and empathy, my word choices still made it a little less than desirable. And it was most definitely not the message I was trying to send.

So, while you ruminate on these words of wisdom I am going to try to get my wife to speak to me again.

No worries, I am sure that we will be okay (because my lovely wife is incredibly forgiving) and I am sure that Carrie will be feeling better soon.

This is why I always say, “Love Your Way Through It!”

Peace,

Shaun

NEW BOOK ALERT!

INCHWORMS, the second book in the DUDE GOODFEATHER series is coming out September 1!

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.

You can buy it here!

The Death of Shaun’s Computer

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

Ugh, so last Friday I was preparing to begin our live podcast, Loving The Strange, when Carrie realized that my laptop’s camera had stopped working. It was very close to the time when we were supposed to go live, so I brought my computer and sat next to Carrie and we shared her computer for the podcast.

I had brought my computer along with me because I was using it my research, in the form of internet sites, on it. So, here we are, happily doing our podcast, when I look down to reference my computer and realize that I now have the dreaded “white (grey) screen of death!”

I said something; it wasn’t the “Holy F***!” that I wanted to say to Carrie and showed her my dead computer screen.

We managed to get through the podcast and after we were done, Carrie was able to get my computer into some mode that neither of us was comfortable exploring.

I shut the cover and mentally sprinkled some dirt on my computer while praying that the computer gurus at the local repair shop we use could at least salvage most of my data. The following Monday I took it in and dropped it off. The receptionist said that they were extra busy lately and it would probably be two or three days before I heard back from them.

It was three days and on Thursday, today actually, she called and said that my computer had actually started up fine for the technician and that I could come and get it. Boy, was I excited! Not so much that my computer was working, but that I would have the opportunity to salvage the majority of my important data from it. Because, you know, unless you absolutely cannot afford it, you should always buy a new computer once you start experiencing major failures on your current one. And I was definitely planning on buying a new one!

So, I went and picked up my computer, paid a very minimal charge and was super happy…until I got home.

I plugged my computer in, opened it up, and pushed the power button. It started up and immediately went to the white (grey) screen of death once more!

Hmmmmm, sometimes things just don’t work out as good as you are expecting! Damn it!

So, now the shop is closed, tomorrow is Friday and I will undoubtedly be taking it back where it will sit for the weekend. I am quite positive that I will be ordering a new computer over the weekend and simply hoping that they can get my old one running again long enough to salvage my important stuff.

That’s the way life is though, sometimes things just don’t end up like you think they would.

However, you just read this blogpost! Sorry if it was boring and totally inconsequential to your life, but you read it. That means that you are alive! That you have the time to be reading boring blogposts by some random dude! That you, like me, may have tons of stuff to bitch about. But why?

But why? Why whine about the little things in life? Why not realize how lucky and/or blessed you are? Why not remember that you are not in a garbage dump picking through other people’s trash to survive?

You, my friend, have a lot to celebrate, even if it seems small and trivial.

Be happy!

Make the very best of your life every day and enjoy whatever it may be that you have!

Peace!

And remember to Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

NEW BOOK ALERT!

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.

Flexible Love is the Best Love

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

These are the things I have heard in the last thirty seconds in my house.

Carrie, after turning around and seeing my completely blank blogpost Word document, “Oh my God that is a naked page!”

Me handily offering up an intelligent rebuttal, “Yeah, look down here at the bottom. Isn’t this every writer’s worst nightmare? Page one of one, zero words.”

Carrie then points across the office. “Oh my God, there is a furball blowing across the floor!”

I was having such a hard time trying to figure out what to write today! I knew that I wanted it to be about love, in some way at least. However, I just couldn’t latch onto an idea that was striking me both in the heart and the funny bone.

Then Carrie had the gall to try and check in on my blogpost writing progress! I mean, yeah, she is the one who has to do all of the pre-posting work and whatnot, and is totally dependent upon me, “the talent,” to pen a masterpiece, but come on. Then it struck me.

Love is all about mental flexibility! Love is about not giving one crap if you just made a hilarious joke and the person listening to your joke doesn’t even acknowledge said joke, let alone laugh.

“Oh my God, there is a furball blowing across the floor!”

Love is all about taking a picture of the cat lounging on the couch cleaning her privates and then showing that picture to the object of your love. Object of love then chuckles and says, “She has the same look on her face that you always look at me with.”

I say, “I was trying to get her to give me a ‘what the hell are you looking at face.’”

Object of love says, “Yeah, that’s the one I mean.”

Then we both chuckled a bit. At least I think she did, but either way, we went on loving each other.

See what I mean? Love is the ability to be flexible! You either have to be mentally flexible enough to roll with the swell of the waves or mentally flexible enough to convince yourself that the other person is that mentally flexible and forgives you.

Actually, I am just kidding. That doesn’t usually work out to good after a while. Be mentally flexible! Remember that nobody is perfect and your way is not the only good way.

Have a very flexible week and remember to always Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

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.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

Break the Rules of You

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

Today, somehow, I allowed Carrie to successfully wake me up at the unholy hour of 5 a.m.

When I was a child and a teenager, I was a morning person. Now, not so much! But, she was able to rouse me out of bed and we decided to take our two dogs, Sparty and Gabby, on a walk about town.

I enjoyed it! I really did. In our town, which is a tourist dependent town, it gets crazy in the summer. The roads are crowded and the sidewalks are crowded. The grocery store? Forget about it.

Guess what?

At 5 a.m. there is almost nobody else out. Amazing! The town employees had just recently hosed off all of the sidewalks so they were clean and empty. The dogs relished their walk through unfamiliar territory and we thoroughly enjoyed not having to walk around other people or wonder why the person walking next to you just coughed.

We had the entire town to ourselves it seemed.

The dogs had such a long walk that they got tired towards the end and were truly trudging along like a three year old at Disney World.

But me, I was great! I mean it took me a good half hour to forgive Carrie for getting me up at fivev, but after that I was really enjoying myself. We were sharing the sidewalks with only the occasional early morning jogger and it was so strangely wonderful.

All of this with no coffee!

Blah, blah, blah, you say. So, what, you got your lazy butt out of bed and went for a walk without coffee. Do you want a medal?

I can sense all of these things that you are thinking, but I really do have a point.

My point?

Do something different once in a while. Allow yourself to be convinced to break the rules of you. Take the risk of getting out of your groove and experience something different. It is refreshing.

We all need refreshing once in a while!

Peace and remember to always Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

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.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

Writers are Like Dust Mites Five Important Things Writers Need To Know

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Writers are Like Dust Mites Five Important Things Writers Need To Know
/

So, here on the podcast we try to be helpful sometimes.

I know! I know! It’s hard to believe, but we thought this week, we’d give you a little insight about the writing life and writers. And lay down some truths.

WE WRITERS ARE EVERYWHERE LIKE DUST MITES

There are a butt ton of posts on what writers need to know. And you know why that is? Because there are a lot of us.

Chuck Wendig wrote, “The internet is 55 percent porn and 45 percent writers.”

And that means we aren’t alone.

But it also means that we should freaking support each other. Don’t have your whole Twitter feed be “buy my book, buy my book, sweet mother of all things holy buy my book.” Writing is communication that’s actually two-way. We write. Others read. Sometimes they write back.

It’s good to remember that writing isn’t a solo gig.

NO TWO WRITERS MAKE IT THE SAME WAY

Well, they might. But everyone’s journey is different.

I got a publishing contract one year after entering my MFA program at Vermont College and 18 months after quitting my newspaper editor job. I was lucky. But I was also working on my skills.

I have clients and friends who worked for ten years before breaking into traditional publishing. They are great authors. It just took them a bit longer to get there. But they might stay publishing longer than I do. Or not. Who knows?

That’s the thing. We all take different times and routes to get our books out there and get readers.

Similarly, in the world of independent publishing, there are people whose books are absolutely awful making $10,000 a month and some whose amazing and brilliant books are making $5 a month if that.

The takeaway here? The writing world is weird as hell.

PEOPLE CAN BE MEAN TO YOU

Writers (much like superstars like Chris Evans or Beyonce) have lovers and haters. Sadly, we don’t have quite the support team to boost up our egos after someone has trashed us or our book or rejected it before we’re published.

You’ve got to believe in yourself enough to put on your own Band-aids. You don’t want to be a hardened butt face and lose the beautiful empathy that makes you a good writer and person, but you do want to be able to survive.

IT’S A FREE-RANGE LIFE

As a full-time writer, you often don’t get a steady paycheck.

If you self-publish, your earnings depend on finding readers. In a traditionally published world, you get paid an advance on your royalties and then after, you get checks (usually twice a year) if you earn out that advance.

That’s a little harrowing for some of us who grow up thinking that steady paychecks and 401k investment plans are the thing.

YOU HONESTLY SHOULD LOVE WHAT YOU DO

I see so many writers complaining about writing and I want to hug them up and give them some ramen or maybe an ice cream sundae. Look. If you hate writing, don’t write. Your life is too short to shove yourself in front of a computer and pound keys. You want your life to be happy. Do things that make you happy. And it’s okay if writing isn’t one of those things right now, you know? You can find a different way to connect, to tell stories, and influence the world, okay?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

All combined, what we’re saying is this: Support the other dust mites, don’t be a dust mite unless you love it and be okay with being in charge of your life despite the harrowing finances of being a dust mite and that insecurity. Do what you love.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Your journey is your own. You might be a dog who walks a straight line or you might be a dog who meanders around telephone poles and trees. Don’t worry about how the other dogs live. Just be you.

SHOUT OUT!

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.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Resources From This Episode

https://news.sky.com/story/fathers-day-thousands-of-funny-fathers-submitted-their-best-dad-joke-this-was-the-winner-12336765

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/07/08/serval-captured-Atlanta-Georgia-Kristine-Frank/5981625770896/

Be Brave Friday: Don’t Small Down Your Self or Your World

Carrie Jones Books
Carrie Jones Books
Be Brave Friday: Don't Small Down Your Self or Your World
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On BE BRAVE FRIDAYS, we share other people’s stories (unedited) to build a community of bravery and inspiration.

Please let us know if you want to share your story with us and we’ll read it here and post it on our social media and website.

This life is too short to not be brave. We can do this together.


This week’s Be Brave Story is from the wonderful Sheri Boggs!

Sheri, thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

You are so brave and so wonderful.

xo Shaun and Carrie


I have a story of bravery to share. It isn’t big, bold physical bravery but rather small, mild bravery in which my foe WAS MY OWN MIND. 

I took violin for a few years as a kid and started taking adult violin lessons in my late 40s. I was not great and probably would have given up a long time ago if not for my teacher, (let’s call her Ms.X), who is hilarious and reminds me of Candace Bergen. Half the time my lessons consisted of us ranting about politics or her telling me some marvelously gossipy story about when she played with our local symphony.

A few months before the pandemic we decided I was ready to join the New Horizons Orchestra. New Horizons is an international organization with orchestras in cities all over the United States. Anyone is welcome, regardless of experience or skill, and their motto is “Your Best Is Good Enough.” My first time there, however, I realized I would need significantly more than my best. Everyone seemed to be a music teacher, a retired symphony member, or someone who practices for three hours a day. I stared in bewilderment at the sheet music (a medley of tunes from Chicago) and struggled to keep up. My bow was barely able to land on the right string much less hit the right note. 

Needless to say, when everything shut down I was relieved not to have to go back and be so noticeably behind everyone else. I also quit taking violin lessons, falling into a Covid-related funk and reasoning that Ms. X would only want to deal with Zoom for her most promising, high school and college-aged students. I didn’t touch my violin for a full 15 months. 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Ms.X emailed me to see how I was doing and to let me know New Horizons was starting up again. I wrote back that everyone had been super nice but I’d felt embarrassed the few times I went, I never had time to practice, and I wasn’t planning to go back. She wrote back that she would “entreat me to reconsider,” claiming that, “some of those people have no talent whatsoever and I would know because I taught some of them.”  She assured me that New Horizons is about the joy of playing and that I was already way ahead of some of them, even if it didn’t feel like it.

So, much to my own surprise, I went to my first practice this week! I was again completely lost in the sheet music and unsure what key we were even playing in but it felt good to be there. Everyone was so welcoming and if anyone heard me scratching away at the wrong string with my bow, they didn’t say anything. I came home, practiced, figured out the key, watched videos of other people playing the pieces, and practiced some more. I plan to go back next week. 

The takeaway for me is how, when I’m anxious, I try to make my world smaller and talk myself out of things where I have to experience being awful at something, but what actually helps me is to keep pushing outside of my comfort zone, and letting my world get bigger. I had fun, seeing a few familiar faces and occasionally hearing my violin blend in with the violins all around me. 

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

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.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

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

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

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