Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night

So, usually on Be Brave Friday, I share art that I’m working on because I am catastrophically shy about sharing art due to…um…family issues and negative scripts in my head that tell me I couldn’t ever possibly be (gasp) artistic.

But this Be Brave Friday isn’t about that actually.

What’s It About, Carrie?

This Be Brave Friday is about me and balance. Not the physical balance that keeps you from falling off a bicycle, but emotional balance that keeps you from stressing out every night.

As you may know if you know me at all, I grew up pretty poor even in comparison to my older siblings. My mom got me a credit card so she could use it and then not pay it was our kind of poor. My nana would stand in line and get us big blocks of government cheese kind of poor. Don’t answer the phone kind of poor. But we had a house and a car so we were super lucky that way. There was just a lot of stress.

And I went to college (thanks to financial aid and scholarships) and even graduate school, and I have my own house and no creditors calling and I can buy fancy cheese.

But I’m Still A Mess

Still, I freak out sometimes about making money because writers don’t get paid on a regular basis. And traditionally published writers get money once or twice a year if their advances sell out.

And that? That’s not so good for my psyche.

Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night
Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night – This is me, the mess. 🙂

Things Get Worse

Then Covid came and one of my family’s main sources of income is renting our two houses. The house we live in and the house we used to live in.

We couldn’t do that much this summer because of Covid. And I went into disaster panic mode, trying desperately to think of ways to use my skills and add income streams.

And I’ve done that.

But what’s happened is that I get sick every night. Physically sick. I vomit. And vomiting is pretty gross and no fun. I tried to fix it and figured it might be some sort of food I’m ingesting.

Red meat? I want to be a vegan anyways. It’s gone. Pickles? I have a weird intolerance according to my DNA. Gone. Fatty foods? Gone. Wine? Gone. Soda? Gone. Tomatoes? Those are acidic. Maybe that’s it? Gone.

Nothing helped.

And then my daughter Em came home for a month and I only worked in the mornings, cutting back, hyper focusing so that I could spend time with her. I started biking again, running a tiny bit, getting outside.

I didn’t vomit for a month, which is fantastic because Em is a bit vomit-phobic since an incident at Friendly’s in fourth grade.

And then she left for school and I started getting sick again. Every night. I became afraid to have dinner and believe me, I love dinner. Maybe I have an ulcer, I thought.

I took medicine for that.

It helped for two days.

Epiphany Happened

And then I had the epiphany that I didn’t get sick when Em was here, but it wasn’t because Em was here. It was because I wasn’t working from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with only a break for dinner and fifteen minutes for lunch.

I was doing the method where you work 25 minutes and take 5 minutes off. I was doing it all day long until I made dinner.

I know! I know! I’m American. I am supposed to be all about being too busy and work ethic and blah, blah, blah. I’m also from poor and I’m terrified that I’ll be poor again so there’s that?

“Could this be actually making me sick?” I thought.

And I did what everyone too cheap to go to the actual doctor does. I googled it.

What I Learned

It turns out that for some of us humans, if we work all day and never take a break, our stress levels rise and rise and rise. And at night when we finally stop working, that stress can manifest as muscle pain, vertigo, headaches and… vomiting.

Gross! Gross! I know.

So there you go, my Be Brave Friday admission is that I’m so stressed out about making money that I get sick every single night. I’m so stressed out that I get anxious about taking more than a five-minute break.

So What To Do?

But people need money, right? Which is why I’m trying to start a class on Teachable where it’s not quite so much one-on-one couching. And I’m going to try to take bigger breaks in the afternoon.

I talk about balance to other writers all the time and it’s about time that I get back to it myself. To stop living in fear of losing everything. To start remembering what it is to breathe and step outside and feel actual wind.

Last week, someone told me that I produced more content than anyone else they knew. I don’t make money at most of that content, not really, and that content they were talking about doesn’t even include editorial and coaching letters. And I have to find a way to find that balance and this step? The admitting-I’m-so-not-perfect-that-I-actually-throw-up-daily step? I hope it sets me in the right direction.


Please feel free to tell me how you handle money stress, balance, and whatever you feel like asking about.

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night”

No Stress Vegetarian Quesadillas

So, I’ve been super stressed out lately – not in an anxiety way, but more of a “Oh My Freaking Word I have no time” way.

Which is never fun. So I needed a really fast vegetarian recipe that didn’t have:

  1. Spinach
  2. Avocado
  3. Tomatoes

Why? Because Mr. Meat Lover hates those things. Me? I love them, but whatever.

So… I decided to make corn and black bean quesadillas. It’s quick.

The end.


Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas of No Stress

For the stressed-out writer with no time

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 TBSP onion (diced)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz or so, drained)
  • 1 can whole corn (drain this bad boy, too)
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar (yum)
  • .25 cup salsa (pretend salsa isn't made from tomatoes)
  • 2 TBSP butter (split in half)
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1.5 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, jack or a mix)
  1. Writer, you have no time. I get it. Big breath. Get read to cook

  2. Get saucepan. Do not drop it because of nerves. It is okay. 

    Put burner on medium.

    Pour oil into saucepan.

    Step back.  

  3. You can do this. You have deadlines. You have kids. You have pets. You have yourself and life is moving too fast but it is totally okay, writer.

    Stir in onion.

    It takes about 2 minutes to soften.

    No. Two minutes is NOT too much time.

    Calm down.

  4. See? Two minutes have passed. 

    Stir in corn.

    Stir in beans.

    Stir in sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes if you feel like them. Like 1/4 tsp.

    Curse me out for not putting that in the directions.

    Cook for 3 minutes, which is how long it takes to heat.


  5. Yes,  you’re write. Yelling at you doesn’t help. You have frayed nerves. You have emotion. You have deadlines. 

    Repeat after me, “It will all be okay. It will all be okay.”

    Get a big skillet. Put on medium heat. Melt a little of the butter in there. 

  6. Put a tortilla in the skillet.

    Sprinkle cheese over it.

    Top with bean mix from other pan.

    Put tortilla on top.

    Cook until it’s a nice gold, like a medal you will win for your writing. It is even round like a medallion! Wow quesadillas are awesome.

    Once it is gold on one side, flip it, cook until it is GOLD on both sides.

    Do this for all the tortillas. You may need more butter.

    But you did it, writer, no stress! 


Man Verdict: I love this. Salsa does not count as tomatoes

Dog Verdict: Yum

Carrie Verdict: Salsa is MADE of tomatoes usually.


Yep, it’s the part of the blog where I talk about my books and projects because I am a writer for a living, which means I need people to review and buy my books or at least spread the word about them.

I’m super good at public image and marketing for nonprofits but I have a much harder time with marketing myself.

So, please buy one of my books. 🙂 The links about them are all up there in the header on top of the page on my website  There are young adult series, middle grade fantasy series, stand-alones for young adults and even picture book biographies.

Write! Submit! Support! Begins Again in July!

There is a quick webinar (free) on Tuesday about the Write! Submit! Support! class that was created at the Writing Barn in Austin. You can sign up for that here.

It’s not easy to create a thriving writing career in the children’s industry, but what if you didn’t have to do it alone? Write. Submit. Support is a six-month program designed by author and Writing Barn Founder Bethany Hegedus. Classes are led by top creatives in the children’s industry field; they’ll give you the tips and tools you need to take both your manuscripts and your developing career to the next level. Think of it as an MFA in craft with a certificate in discovering (or recovering) your writer joy! – Writing Barn 

And more about the class I specifically teach? It is right here.

Here is what current students are saying:

Carrie is all strengths. Seriously. She’s compassionate, funny, zesty, zany, insightful, honest, nurturing, sharp, and…Wow, that’s a lot of adjectives. But really, I couldn’t praise Carrie enough as a mentor. I’ve long respected her writing, but being talented at something doesn’t automatically mean you will be a great mentor. Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching. Aside from the specific feedback she offers, she also writes letters in response to the process letter and analyses. These letters have been so impactful for me as I writer that I plan to print them and hang them up. Creepy? Maybe. But they are so inspiring. And that, in the most long-winded way possible, is how I would summarize Carrie as a mentor—inspiring.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People

And finally, the podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE is still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of.

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