The Magic of a Green Velvet Side Hustle

best writing coach Carrie Jones

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. 🙂

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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!



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.

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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