Star Trek FanFic? Bring it.

These 10 days are all throw-back blogs because my brain is tired from the holidays.

This one is a story I tell a lot of kids when I visit schools. It’s about how writing isn’t always awesome. But that doesn’t matter.

It’s also about the first thing I ever wrote, which was Star Trek Fan Fiction. Yeah, huh. I know, right?

Here goes:

The first thing I ever wrote was back in fourth grade and it was fan fiction for my much older brother’s birthday (14 years older, actually) . I thought he liked Star Trek because he once got stuck baby sitting me for a whole weekend and it rained the entire time and so he just sort of plopped me down and made me watch Star Trek, the original series, because he didn’t want to actually have to do stuff with me. I don’t blame him. I was totally annoying. I slurred my s’s and had glasses and was kind of pudgy and totally had this self-righteous hero complex and had never watched a single episode of Star Trek before this. I was more of a Doctor Who human.

Anyway, his birthday was coming up and I needed to get him something awesome so he would love me, but I was in fourth grade and had NO INCOME AT ALL, so I thought in this brilliant epiphany moment, “I shall write him a Star Trek story starring a pudgy girl who has glasses and slurs her s’s and has this self-righteous hero complex.”

So, for the next 10 days or so, I brought all these notebooks and my magic markers out to the woods and instead of looking for Big Foot (my usual pastime), I wrote this story for my brother, in long hand. It ended up being about 423 pages of this girl whose name was Cassie Bartlett (my name was Carrie Barnard) who saves the entire universe, but not before Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Sulu, and Spock fall in love with her. Yeah. Even Mr. Spock who is supposed to not have uncontrolled emotions (even though he TOTALLY has uncontrolled emotions for Kirk) falls in love with Cassie Bartlett/Carrie Barnard.

I thought this was pure genius.

You know Spock would totally go for me rocking this vest in the best fourth-grade way possible.

I even had her die in the end saving the entire Star Trek universe. Everyone cries. Even Mr. Spock.

But when I gave my notebooks to my super jock, Varsity-letter-in-three-sports brother, he sort of frowned and tried to sound nice and said, “What is this, Squirt?”

He called me Squirt. This was sort of evil.

And I said, “It’s a Star Trek story! I wrote it for you for your birthday! It’s 423 pages and it stars this girl, Cassie Bartlett and she has to — ”

And he said, “I don’t like Star Trek.”

Then everyone had birthday cake and ice cream. Except me. I had a belly ache and went in my room and cried.

Back then, I didn’t know that not everybody is going to like your story. And I didn’t know that sometimes writing your story is way more fun than publishing it. And I didn’t know fanfiction existed or what it was or that I just wrote it. (According to the online Merriam Webster dictionary, fan fiction is: “stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the Internet —called also fan fic.” Now I know! ).

And I didn’t know that even if your brother watches Star Trek with you all weekend, he may not like the actual show, he just might not want to hunt for Big Foot with you in the backyard for 15-hour stretches at a time in the rain because he is cooler than that.

His reaction didn’t stop me from writing forever though.

I cried.

Okay, I totally cried a lot, but next year in fifth grade I kept winning the Author of the Month contests that we had in Language Arts class. And even later in fourth grade I wrote a lot of really bad poems like: Cassie’s not feeling well today/ Some boy stole her heart away. (For the record, that boy was Jamie Schneiderheinze). And even now, when I get rejected or someone posts a review on Amazon that says Nick in the NEED series is ‘totally not hot,’ (SIDE NOTE: HE TOTALLY IS HOT! DUH), I keep writing.


I don’t know how to stop really. I don’t know how to not write. I try and I get cranky and feel lost. I try and I act like a vegan at Whole Foods who has only eaten kale all week. You do not want to be near me.

I don’t stop because I am addicted to story, addicted to getting better as a writer, and addicted to making worlds where I can sort of control things, which is so different than my real life that it is kind of silly.

But I think it really comes down to these two things: 

I write because I think it’s really fun

I write because it’s how I understand the world a teeny bit more.

And believe me, I have a really hard time understanding the world. So, if you want to write? Do it. If your teacher or your brother or your spouse or your boss hates it? Whatever. Seriously. Whatever. It’s just not for them, that story.

Do you know who that story is for?

It’s for you.

So, go write it.


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.

You can also support the podcast monetarily (cough) via this link . Your support helps us justify doing this and also buys dog treats.


It’s a big holiday week here and so Carrie is going to be taking a bit of a blog break for the next two weeks. There will be a new podcast next Tuesday, but other than that? It’s a little time for Carrie’s brain to recharge and rest. So, she’ll be posting random blogs from her past. Thank you for understanding!



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


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!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published


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!

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

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Writing Wisdom Wednesday

So, I’ve been reading a lot about marketing and social media lately, mostly because of my volunteer position at Rotary International, where I’m the public image coordinator for Eastern Canada and a bunch of the Northeast United States.

And it made me think about how much I absolutely fail as a writer and marketer.


I am no John Green.


Me = Not John Green

Anyways, I found this old interview with Cynsations, a blog run by the incredible Cynthia Leitich Smith where she asked me:

How do you balance your life as a writer with the responsibilities (speaking, promotion, etc.) of being an author?

It’s horrible. I grew up in New England and we are the kind of people who gasp and hold up garlic cloves and a cross when we hear the words, “self promotion.” I think M.T. Anderson (author interview) said something about that in an interview once, and it really resonated with me because it’s so ridiculously true.

So, I joined the Class of 2k7, a cross-publishers marketing group of debut authors, because I figured I could at least tell myself that I was promoting other people as well as myself. That made it a more altruistic thing, but it also takes a lot of time because I signed up for too many committees. Note to all other debut authors and my fifth-grade writing self: Sign up for only one committee.

Most of my time is still spent writing. The problem isn’t necessarily balancing the other aspects of the business in terms of time spent, but more keeping my mind from obsessively worrying about the other aspects of the business (the sales, the reviews, the promotion) so much that it affects my ability to write.

I still think this way. A lot of writers LOVE marketing. It makes me nervous. I can sing out the awesome stories of other people all day long? But when it comes to promoting myself or my own book? I shudder. I’m trying to be better about that but even right now, I’m all…. should I put in my website link? There I did it. (Seriously, I stared at it for five minutes).

Should I say, “Hey, there’s all this talk in the New York Times about ufos and the government investigating it and that’s totally what my book FLYING is about?”

It’s weird how hard this is.

But in happier writer news, look what I got at a holiday party this weekend. HANDERPANTS!!!

Yes… yes… I do write in them now.  Many thanks to the awesome Keri Hayes for the present and the photo.


In that same interview, Cyn also asked: If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were beginning writer, what advice would you offer?

Current Carrie: Hey! You! Writing in that notebook.

Fifth-grade Carrie: Ew! Am I really going to look like that? Where are my bangs?

Current Carrie: At least your glasses are gone.

Fifth-grade Carrie: Cool.

Current Carrie: Okay, listen. I have writing advice. You know how you’re having Captain James T. Kirk fall in love with your banged hair, glasses-wearing heroine?

Fifth-grade Carrie: Yeah.

Current Carrie: And how Mr. Spock is also in love with same heroine…

Fifth-grade Carrie: Uh-huh.

Current Carrie: And how the Dr. McCoy guy is in love with her too?

Fifth-grade Carrie: What’s your point?

Current Carrie: It’s not all that realistic, sweetie.

Fifth-grade Carrie: It isn’t?

Current Carrie: No, honey. I hate to break it to you. It’s just not. My writing advice to you is that not everyone can be in love with your heroine, unless you’re Laurel Hamilton and your heroine has the ardeur or something.

I still think that’s solid.

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