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Dogs Are Smarter Than People via Anchor

Dogs Are Smarter Than People via Anchor

By Carrie Jones
Welcome to Dogs are Smarter Than People with NYT and internationally bestselling quirky human author Carrie Jones, her slightly more normal husband, Shaun, and their dogs. Life tips. Writing tips. Dog noises. It's all here.
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Literary Agents Behaving Badly
So, there’s a lot of scuttlebutt in the children’s book world about agents behaving badly, which sounds like a Spring Fling Road Trip kind of thing, honestly. But it’s more about agents being dicks and unprofessional. One recent superstar agent has been outed for allegedly “no longer agenting ethically” and not telling clients about their foreign rights, submissions, and speaking badly about authors to other industry professionals or being sexually harassing, bigoted, racists schmucks. There’s a weird power dynamic that happens between traditionally published authors and their agents. The agents are really gatekeepers to the industry even if they don’t want to be, and it’s good for writers to remember that they can expect to not be treated like crap. Things you don’t want your agent to: Ghost you. Be such a tool that most editors don’t want to work with them. Give you hives. Not telling who your book is being submitted to. Sexual harass you, be racist, be too burnt out or wigged out on drugs or alcohol that they don’t represent you well. Be too busy that they don’t represent you well. We aren’t going to call out agents here because that’s not what we’re about, but here are myths about agents that new authors really need to understand: They work for you. You don’t work for them. They are human not gods. Be gentle with them, but expect them to be professional. Though it’s awesome when they are, it’s not their job to be your bestie. They may not be your agent for life. So what is their job? Get book contracts for you. Negotiate those contracts for you. Submit your manuscripts to get those contracts. Protect your interests. Doing all this they should always: Respond in a timely fashion to your inquiries. But don’t be a punk and spam them. Tell you where they are submitting your stories. Tell you when your stories are rejected or accepted and relay feedback. When you look for an agent, you want to: Research the hell out of everyone and find your top ten. Make sure they actually represent the kind of book you’re writing. Check to make sure they aren’t villains. Check the proper way to submit to them. Query them in a professional way. Writers Beware is an awesome site for understanding what agents should or shouldn’t do. The link is here and in our podcast notes. You should check it out. Writing Tip of The Pod Don’t be a schmuck. Don’t let your agent be a schumck. Dog Tip for Life When you look for treats, make sure to give them to everyone. 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. Thanks for listening! 
22:40
February 23, 2021
Keep Your Cat Out Of Tinder and Other Sucky Advice
In our Random Thought section of the podcast (Notes not transcribed), we talk about how straight men aren’t supposed to let the world know they like/have cats on social media. Shaun has thoughts. More here.  The rest of the podcast follows. Every weekday Carrie posts on her personal Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin, inspiring quotes from our dogs and cats. Sometimes they are just about bacon and naps because bacon and naps can be inspiring. But it made us think of famous writing quotes and whether or not they are kind of b.s. And how very privileged some quotes are. Like Marianne Williamson, who we are sure is an incredibly lovely person wrote this: “Nothing binds you except your thoughts, nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.” Which is lovely and partially true, but it comes from the perspective of a really lucky person who is white, who is good looking, who had a lot of advantages as a white American, right? It’s hard to say nothing binds you except your thoughts to a political prisoner who is legit in chains, to a Black man or woman in the U.S. who is jail for pot, for someone who has paralyzing fear because of trauma that’s happened to her or him or them, right? Generalizations can be so inspiring and they can have truth in them for some people and sometimes even for most people, but it’s never going to work for everyone. Writing advice and quotes are like that, too. Like even the most amazing Ray Bradbury wrote “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” That’s a good quote, right? Us writers are easily destroyed. But being drunk on anything all the time usually means for most of us that we’re not helping create a solution to problems. Instead, we’re being drunk, putting lampshades on our head and saying, “Nah. Nah. Nah. I can’t hear you.” It’s not the best look, really. But sometimes the advice is pretty cool. “Be strategic and resilient in the pursuit of your dreams. That sounds like a cheesy quote, right? But nah, I’m serious. Resilience is one hell of a quality to master and not many have the skin for it.” —Tiffany D. Jackson “People are going to judge you all the time no matter what you do. . . . Don’t worry about other people. Worry about you.” —Jacqueline Woodson “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” — Henry David Thoreau “Write what should not be forgotten.” — Isabel Allende “Healing begins where the wound was made.” -Alice Walker (The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart) WRITING TIP OF THE POD Blow off the b.s. And realize where it’s coming from. Sometimes it’s coming from people whose lives and brains are nothing like yours and sometimes it’s just coming from people who want to make a butt ton of money selling their advice to you. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Cats are okay. They’re good to snuggle with, too. 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 a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE! We hope you'll check it out! Here’s the link. It's live Fridays. 
24:01
February 16, 2021
Werewolves on Bikes and Stupid Bad Writing and Life Advice
RANDOM THOUGHTS In our random thought, we talk about werewolves on bikes and what would happen if SuperBowl players dressed up like zombies and vampires. Who would win? The photos we promised are here along with the rest of our podcast notes that don't fit here.  The Advice Part! So, advice is cool, right? It’s other people sharing their wisdom, but sometimes advice? It just sucks. This goes for writing advice and life advice. CarrieI was driving from Manhattan to Long Island with my boyfriend and his parents. These were wealthy people with a really expensive car. The dad was a partner at one of the top firms in the city, and he was brilliant. He was not, however, the best driver. On this drive, my boyfriend and I were in the backseat and suddenly the car was bumping along. We looked up and his dad was legit driving his car on the median of the road, the bumped out divider thing. His mom was screaming and he was just totally oblivious. The traffic was flowing, but heavy and there are signs in the median. “Jimmy!” she screamed. The sign is getting closer and closer. And he said, “It is fine.” He swerved off into oncoming traffic. People screamed. He swore. He veered back up onto the median. The sign was still there, waiting. I was clutching the door handle. My boyfriend yelled, “Dad! You’re going to hit the—” His dad slammed on the breaks. We waited about five minutes for his mom to stop swearing and for someone to let us to get back on the road. And he said, I swear to God, “Let this be a lesson to you kids. Roads are not for everyone. You find your own damn way.” Bad advice, right? Sometimes it’s okay to stay on the road. When you deviate off, you want to deviate safely and not run over signs or almost get people killed. I also had a relative who told me college was for fools and that I read too much so I wouldn’t get anywhere in life. Also the thought does count, but it usually doesn’t count for the person you’ve kind of failed. And credit cards aren’t free money, Mom. THERE’S GOOD LIFE ADVICE OUT THERE TOO LIKE: Check your credit card and bank statements a lot. Don’t make big decisions when you’re super angry. Don’t not do things because you’re afraid of rejection. Don’t not speak your mind because you’re afraid of trolls. Floss your teeth so you can keep having teeth. AND THERE’S BAD WRITING ADVICE OUT THERE TOO LIKE: You always have to outline. If you see “always,” it’s probably going to be a bad piece of advice. You should never outline. If you see “never,” it’s probably going to be a bad piece of advice. Adverbs are always demons. You really don’t honestly want them to be totally almost every other silly word, but you can totally use them sparingly. Sorry! I couldn’t resist. Semicolons are always demons. They aren’t; sometimes they help when a conjunction just doesn’t work. Write the way you talk. This isn’t necessarily a good idea if you’re a person who talks like Carrie. Plus, it’s limiting. Do you want every character to sound exactly like you? Every book? 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. And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, starting on Saturday, which we’ll stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.
20:43
February 9, 2021
Florida Man and the semicolon is too sexy for its own good
Okay, recently I’ve been working on a lot of people’s stories that are fantastic except for one thing—one easily fixable thing—they have semicolons everywhere. The semicolon is that little bit of punctuation that looks like there’s a comma on the bottom and a period topping it. And judging from people’s use of it? It’s an addictive, sexy beast. Most people think they understand the semicolon. It’s a period topping a comma, right? You use it to do something or um … yeah …? Here’s the thing, a semicolon is a divider. It’s like a comma and a period that way, but it’s not. It creates a different length of the pause for the reader between the words that it divides. Yes! There are different levels of pause. Here check it out. We’ll do it with three sentences. The first is a comma, but it will be a minimal pause. Shaun wanted to talk about naughty things, but Carrie was not going to let him do that today. Here is that same sentiment but with a medium-weight pause. Shaun wanted to talk about naughty things; Carrie was not going to let him do that today. Here is the same sentiment with the pause heavyweight fighter, the period. Shaun wanted to talk about naughty things. Carrie was not going to let him do that today. Your punctuation choice controls the pacing of your paragraph and sentence and if you put 18 of them in one paragraph? You’re going to slow down the pace of your story and also make readers get crinkly noses and hate you. So how do you use semicolons? There are three major ways to use this sexy beast. One. To connect a certain kind of thing. Semicolons connect two independent clauses. You know something is an independent clause if it can stand alone as it’s very own sentence. It’s like using the conjunction and between two independent clauses to show they are really related. Shaun is wearing big boy pants; he has been for forty-five years. To read the rest of our notes (which won't fit here), check out our website here.  WRITING TIP OF THE POD So there you go. Don’t put semicolons everywhere because that’s a flag to agents, editors or readers. Use them when you need to because they can really help for clarity in lists, but remember too much of a good thing is a bad thing in writing. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Embrace the semicolon. You can change direction in your life, lean into the pause, but not into the end. Check out Project Semicolon and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). RANDOM THOUGHTS In our random thoughts section at the beginning of the podcast, we talk about the people in South Carolina filming their procreation acts everywhere and wonder why there is no Maine Man when there are so many Florida Men. 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. Thanks to all of you who keep listening! Please share it and subscribe if you can. 
23:03
February 2, 2021
Making Your Story Believably Bad Ass (and your characters too)
A lot of time you’ll write a story and a beta reader, agent, editor or reviewer will say, “This is not believable.” And a lot of time, you’ll tweet something and some rando on Twitter will say, “WTF. You lie.” And a lot of time, you’ll just be telling a story at a party (or during Zoom in COVID times) and people will say, “No way! No freaking way.” This can be annoying especially when you’re trying to sell a book and you get that note. Why Does This Happen? Sometimes people react that way because their world and experience doesn’t mesh with your own and they don’t understand that everyone in Downeast Maine calls everyone else “Darling,” even straight men say it to other straight men. Sometimes it’s because you just haven’t suspended disbelief for them. This happens in real life, too. Sometimes Lies Aren’t Believable This man who used to be a Houston police officer (He resigned January 14.) went into the Capitol Building on January 6.  And when he was interviewed, he told the federal agents that he wasn’t really part of the riots. He just wanted to see the amazing art. He was only in D.C. to help out his wife who had a business (cooking). But his phone (which the agents looked at) showed a bunch of videos and photos of him. The photos and videos were allegedly in a deleted folder. But the folder was not all the way deleted. And he was arrested because his story? It wasn’t that believable to those federal agents, right? I’m sure that when Shaun used to be a cop, he heard a lot of stories like this, too. One time our youngest daughter who has autism and likes to make really big stories told other campers at the campground that we went to Disney but she had to sleep in a chair. The other campers gawped at us and said, “What?” They didn’t believe her because it wasn’t believable. It didn’t match the people we were. Every time she does this, we say, “Buddy, if you’re going to lie, which we hope you won’t, you kind of want to make it more believable.” And then I tell her about the girl I met in college who told everyone during freshman orientation that her parents died in a plane crash in Alaska. About two parties later that morphed to a plane crash in Hawaii. Then during homecoming weekend, her parents showed up in their BMW very much alive. Don’t be that girl. In life or in story. How To Make Your Story Believable and Bad Ass Michael Hauge over on “Story Mastery” has some great, easy ideas on how to make your story believable. They are pretty basic, but important to remember and those notes don't fit here, so check them out  (and our resources and citations) over on carriejonesbooks.blog, okay?  WRITING TIP OF THE POD Make your character do things that make sense for your character. DOG TIP FOR LIFE If you have to play it out and hype it up too much, it often isn’t believable. Don’t forget, the humans aren’t going to believe you’re starving if they are the ones who know how many treats you get. Backstory and evidence matter. 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.
31:19
January 26, 2021
Are You Brilliant but Things Still Suck? F Your Way Through February
There are people out there who are just brilliant. Their brains are amazing. Their art is gasp-inducing. But they can’t seem to achieve their goals. These are the people who know twenty-two languages, have maybe five masters degrees, and shrug it off like it’s no big deal. They can quote Derrida and Angela Davis in the same breath and make the connections between the two. According to writer/blogger Jessica Wildfire, some people are ‘too good for their own good.’ She calls this the Cold Mountain Effect. She writes: Someone can know too much. They can be too talented. They’ll turn any project into an epic journey through the Himalayas. They don’t get tired of working. They don’t want to see the end. They’re not even perfectionists. They just love their work too much. This stems from the story of the writer of Cold Mountain. It made history in 1997 with a 61-week run on the New York Times best-seller list, moving 3 million copies. Based on its success, Charles Frazier got an $8 million deal for his second book, with nothing more than a 1-page proposal. Cold Mountain swept the award scene that year, and went on to become a hit film that earned seven Academy Award nominations. Sometimes it takes an intervention. You probably don’t know that Frazier spent almost a decade working on Cold Mountain. According to lore, he couldn’t stop. One of his friends finally snuck an unfinished copy of the manuscript to a literary agent, who signed Frazier on the spot. That’s the only reason anyone knows anything about Charles Frazier. It’s hard to imagine how long he would’ve kept revising it. It’s not perfectionism that keeps them going, she argues, but the fear of their own success. Or it can just be the joy that they get from creating and doing and not wanting that joy to stop. We don't have enough space to put the rest of the notes here, but you can check them out on carriejonesbooks.blog also so many apologies but Shaun gets a bit naughty in the podcast and Carrie gets a lot frustrated.  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. Resources https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201101/fear-success https://www.msn.com/en-au/lifestyle/smart-living/the-cold-mountain-effect-explains-why-the-most-talented-often-dont-reach-their-potential/ar-BB1cNpoV
26:55
January 19, 2021
Making Sexy Mission Statements and Writing Platforms
On thought of the podcast, which is not transcribed here, Shaun gets a bit mad at political things. If you’re not into that, you might want to skip to the eight-minute mark. Okay, first things first. What is a writing platform? An author’s platform is basically just the author’s presence on the web. Your website. Your TikTok, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram, your podcast, your blog. Unlike Coke or Spanx, your platform isn’t faceless. It’s all about you, the writer. As the foundation of your brand, you have to figure out what it is that you want to do and achieve. Most writers want to tell stories. That’s their goal. So as an author your platform is going to be about how to tell your stories and how you tell your story, especially the story of you, the writer. I’ve failed at this a lot because I’ve historically not been into talking about writing. I prefer to just write, but that put me in a weird little vacuum, a void. A lot of writers worrying about their platform get started with a mission statement. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT. According to Tim Berry (link on the podcast notes), “A mission statement is a simple statement that explains your company’s goals. It’s a summary of what your company does for its customers, employees, and owners. It explains how you do what you do. And, it focuses on why your company does what it does. Some of the best mission statements also extend themselves to include fourth and fifth dimensions: what the company does for its community, and for the world.” And Blake Stockton wrote: “A mission statement is a short, meaningful sentence (or several sentences) that summarizes the purpose that drives your business. A good mission statement says why you do what you do.” It’s kind of a weird existential thing on some level because you’re basically asking WHO AM I and WHY DO I EXIST? There are also people who absolutely believe that a mission statement should be one short sentence without a lot of fluff. Once you have a mission statement, you think about how you can push your presence out there and what you actually want to do, Berry’s fourth and fifth steps. Those steps are over on the blog. And more that won't fit here.  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.  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 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! Thanks so much for being one of the 254,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!
29:44
January 12, 2021
Picking the Writer Wedgie and Transitions
In life and in story, you have these things called transitions. Places were things change. You go from one place to another, one scene to another, one chapter to another, one husband to another, one president to another. A really good transition is really just a bridge that helps the reader go logically from one section, scene, chapter to another without it being awkward like a bad date or making their brain hitch where they say things like “We were just in space and now we’re at Wal-Mart? What the heck?” Some people are amazing at transitions. Some people have awkward transitions. Some refuse to acknowledge there even is a transition. But in the writing world, you want them to be smooth and there are a bunch of transitional phrases and words that authors fall back on to help them do that.  Our podcast notes for this episode are way too long to fit here, but you can check them out here.  DOG TIP FOR LIFE If you never, get off the couch, you never have a chance for treats from the pantry. If you snap every single time someone strartles you awake, you get less love. Embrace the transitions. They are opportunities for growth, to evolve, to learn new stuff, and potentially get some veggie bacon. 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. 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 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! Thanks so much for being one of the 254,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!
26:08
January 5, 2021
THE SEX TALK FOR WRITERS
Eight Sexy Ways to Write Sexy Carrie’s been editing a lot of erotica lately and despite her uptight New England ways, we thought it was time to give you all a few hints about writing sex scenes. Gasp! I know! I know! Here we go… Hint #1 It needs to make sense. We’ve all seen really un-sexy writing, right? You’re reading the passage and they are in a kitchen in a house in Wyoming and doing it on the counter and then—poof—they are in four-some on some beach in Belize. And you’re reading this and you go, “What the what?” The sexy parts doesn’t matter because the rest doesn’t make any sense. Hint #2 Don’t make it vanilla. Most readers aren’t reading because they want to hear about the same old missionary sex that they’ve been doing with their own partners for the last thirty-two years. We read books to experience new things. We read books to live out fantasies we might never have in our own life. We read books to feel like characters who aren’t us, to empathize, learn, and discover. We read books to get what we can’t always get in real life. So make it hot. Hint #3 Make your character interesting and not just um… someone who is having sex, rutting in various places. Hint #4 Be into it. No matter what your personal feelings are about sex, you want to write about it like you’re really into it. You want those endorphins to be out there on the page. You can be male, female, agender, gender nonconforming, gay, straight or pan to write sex. You can be any race or religion or ethnicity or social class to write sex. Sex is pretty much a thing that a lot of adults do. That’s why we have babies and the species hasn’t died off. Anyone who tells you that one demographic is better than the other at it? They’re being a bigoted punk. Don’t be a bigoted punk. Hint #5 Show It. Don’t Tell It. It’s all about the details. Fornicating is the point in erotic fiction, right? But it’s all in the details. You read, “Two people have sex” and you think, “Yeah. Okay? Whatever.” That’s telling, right? And it has no details and it’s super boring—so boring! We want our characters to have dimension, to be human or vampire or zombie, but detailed. We want to root for them or cry for them or cheer for them when they scream, “Boo-yah!” into the bedroom when they’re done. Hint #6 Dialogue is your friend. Teasing, the promise, the verbal foreplay? It makes the actual act way more worth it. You can be silly. You can be creative. You can be naughty. You can use a double entendre (say one thing, mean sex) and have fun. Hint #7 Have fun. Just like in real life. Fornication can be funny. Use that. Shaun’s Hint #8 If there’s any doubt, try it out. WRITING TIP OF THE POD All the hints. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Do your research. Pound the streets. Watch other species. Know what you’re writing about. 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. LET’S HANG OUT! JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.
26:25
December 29, 2020
Having a Manly Christmas, Martial Law and How To Show Character
CHARACTER VS CHARACTERIZATION Robert McPhee has a bit in his book, STORY, where he talks about character and characterization and one of my favorite aspects of that discussion is just this simple quote, which will hopefully be of some use to you: TRUE CHARACTER is revealed in the choices a human being makes under the pressure—the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature. We show who our character is by putting her/him/them under that pressure. Are they brave or wimpy? Empathetic or narcissistic? Cruel or kind? We see them through their choices. And we see who they are the most when the risk is large. Inserting choices into the emotional arc and plot really pushes it to another level and that’s something that you can really do with stories. You can show someone’s character—who they really are. Characterization is just a bunch of traits all tied together. It’s like a demographic. You know I’m a white woman with a MFA in Maine who writes. But my psychographic is a bit different, right? I’m someone who gives money to certain causes, who stops when I see an accident, who cries every time she sees a dog video but chooses to watch it rather than look away. That’s my character. Our written characters are like that, too. Put them under pressure, give them choices, let us see who they are from that very first chapter so that we can see them change. RANDOM THOUGHT To hear about manly Christmases and martial law, you have to listen to the podcast, not just read the notes! Sorry!  WRITING TIP OF THE POD Show who your characters are by their choices and actions. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Don’t trust words. Trust smells and movements. Also, trust the person who gives you bacon. 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. 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 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! Thanks so much for being one of the 253,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen! 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? JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.
20:35
December 22, 2020
Don’t Be So Wordy, Punk, plus Stabbings and Vampires
A lot of us humans and writers spend a lot of time trying to impress people by being extra wordy. And it seems like we’re all trying to avoid the word “because.” This is extremely cruel to the word “because,” which probably gets hurt feelings, but it’s also super cruel to your readers and/or listeners who deserve clarity. They need to understand what you’re putting down. So, when it comes to “because,” we do not need to say: The reason is because (that’s redundant). Due to the fact that On the grounds that On account of If you sound like a lawyer in a bad tv procedural? You’re trying too hard. HERE IS CONTRARY ADVICE…. “BECAUSE” OR “SINCE” CAN SOMETIMES FORCE YOU TO BE WORDY. With the words ‘because’ and ‘since,’ you can almost always use either one. They are interchangeable BFFs. Here are some examples. Because I hate you, I decided to date. Since I hate you, I decided to date. They both mean “because” here because they are synonyms. But sometimes “since” means “from the time’ instead of ‘because.’ Since we went to Disney, I’ve been crushing on Pluto. That means “ever since the time they went to Disney” not “because.” But you might not know that, right? So, instead you might want to be wordy. You don’t want to be ambiguous and have people wondering if you mean “because” or “ever since the time they went to Disney.” The whole point in writing and talking is for people to understand you, so don’t be a schmuck. Be clear. WRITING TIP OF THE POD Don’t be wordy and know what your words mean and what they’re conveying to the reader. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Listen more than you speak. Look for clues in your environment and people’s actions so you can really understand them. RANDOM THOUGHT To hear about punks, stabbings and vampires, you have to listen to the podcast file. Sorry! We only put the advice part in the notes. 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. 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 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! Thanks so much for being one of the 253,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen! HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON On Carrie's Patreon site she reads and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. She also shares some writing tips, part of the  WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME and sends people art. It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see Carrie's weirdness in its true form. And she's starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.
20:42
December 15, 2020
It Doesn’t Matter If The Rock Retweets You
Okay, you all. We know this is harsh, but it’s truth time.  Life isn’t about random interactions. Success isn’t about it either. When Carrie became Andrew Yang’s Twitter friend, it made her super happy, but it didn’t actually do anything for her. When the Rock retweeted her tweet about disabilities… Full disclosure: Carrie has no depth perception and also has epilepsy. …but when that happened? It was cool because it was the Rock, but it didn’t make her suddenly more successful or cooler. The Rock would never remember that retweet. Andrew Yang isn’t going to remember being Carrie’s Twitter friend. It was a nice moment, but Carrie doesn’t really need that moment to make her feel cooler or more validated as a human being. That’s because though she presents as really insecure, she’s actually pretty cool with herself. And other people’s perceptions – even when they are the Rock or Andrew Yang? They don’t matter. There’s a guy in our town who is a bit off and he thinks we are basically Satan incarnate. Does Shaun care? Not one for one freaking second. Why? Because he knows who the hell he is. He’s cool with himself. For the same reason when there are rumors about him or Carrie or even his bffs, does he care? Nope. That’s because he knows he’s the sh*t. He knows who he is. It’s confidence, but it’s also about knowing that you can’t control what other people think about you all the time. But there’s another side to this, too. You want to connect with your people, your readers, your audience, your friends, by being you, your authentic self, and you can’t do that if you’re busy worrying about what everyone else is thinking about you. When you’re all ME ME ME all the time because you need to be an influencer or sell your book or whatever, you lose who you are and any connections you get? They aren’t even about you. They are about the false perception of you. But it’s more than that, too. When all you care about is people’s perceptions of you, you stop caring about people. And then, you’re basically an egotistical sh*t. Is that who you want to become? No. So, focus on the work. Focus on making connections where you care about the other person. Having the Rock retweet you doesn’t mean you’re going to be a movie star or an international bestseller. What makes you succeed is the work you do, the care you give, the problems you help other people with. Carrie is a successful novelist. Her books have won awards, been NYT and international bestsellers, but that’s because she took the time to learn to write and to understand people. She now uses those skills to help other people write their own books. And those people? The ones she coaches and teaches and gets to know so well as they make their stories? Those are the people that matter to Carrie, that make her a success. Not the Rock. No offense to the Rock!  Pretending to be someone else, being preoccupied with others’ perceptions of you? It destroys you. Don’t be destroyed. Celebrate who you are and who other people are too. Dog Tip For Life Be the dog you’re meant to be. Have your values align with your actions. And bark a lot about it if that’s your thing. For the rest of the tips and notes, check out Carrie's blog here.  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.
16:53
December 1, 2020
How To Invest In The Most Important Thing In Your Writing Career
Here’s the spoiler: The Most Important Thing You Have In Your Writing Career Is You We know! We know! You were probably hoping for a cool app, or the perfect book about plot beats, but nope. It’s you. You can’t write if you don’t exist. You write best when you’re doing pretty fine. So here are the ways to actually invest in yourself. Stay healthy for your brain It’s pretty hard to write when you feel like crap because when your brain is all broken. As Harvard Healthbeat says, “First it is important to remember that you need a healthy body to have a healthy brain.” How do you do that? According to Harvard: Step 1: Eat a plant-based diet Step 2: Exercise regularly Step 3: Get enough sleep Step 4: Manage your stress Step 5: Nurture social contacts Step 6: Continue to challenge your brain Stay happy or at least okay. Relationships matter. Stay happy or at least okay. Relationships matter. Your relationships with other people are really important. They help you evolve. There’s a thing called the dependency paradox. As Kyle Benson writes, “Our partners powerfully affect our ability to thrive in life. They influence how we feel about ourselves, what we believe we are capable of, and they ultimately impact our attempts to achieve our dreams. “Even Mr. Self-Actualization (Abraham Maslow) himself argued that without bonds of love and affection with others, we cannot go on to achieve our full potential as human beings. “Once we choose a partner, there is no question about whether dependency exists or not. It always does. “Countless studies show that once we become intimately attached to another human being, the two of us form one physiological being. “Our partner regulates our blood pressure, our heart rate, our breathing, and the level of hormones in our blood. The emphasis of independence in adult relationships does not hold water from a biological perspective.” There’s a link to Kyle’s post in our notes and it’s just so good, but the part that really rings true for writers and other creatives is this: “When a partner is supportive, we are more willing to explore and our self-esteem and confidence gets a boost, which allows us to go after our deepest desires. This not only improves the quality of our lives, but it also deepens and enhances our satisfaction within the relationship and our physical health. “But as many of us know, sometimes our exploration leads to failure, rejection, and painful experiences. When these bad events happen, our biological programming creates anxiety that leads us to seek proximity (physically and/or psychologically) with the person we love. “If they are supportive during this stage, our stress will go down and we cope with our problems faster, which ultimately leads us to overcome the problem and continue to go after our deepest desires.” So find those supportive partners and get rid of the rest! The rest of the hints are over here!  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.
21:13
November 24, 2020
Make Your Books Like Wedgies and Commitment is Not a Dirty Word or Is It?
Seriously. The best books are like wedgies. You can’t ignore them. They get right up inside you and into places they aren’t supposed to go. And sometimes it’s hard to get them out. This week Carrie talked to a lot of her writers about how if you don’t long to write your scenes, your readers probably aren’t going to long to read those scenes either. And recently the New York Times talked to Steve Martin (actor, writer, comedian) about books. He’s allegedly addicted to audiobooks, which is cool. He said, “I’m also a sucker for the magic of opening paragraphs. I’ll never understand what the sorcery is in literature and movies that engages you immediately and makes it impossible to look away.” A wedgie engages you immediately. And a book can do that too, sometimes. But sometimes it’s not like a wedgie; it’s more like a bad 8-hour Zoom meeting about land use ordinances and setback requirements in a town you’ll never visit. So how do you keep your book from being boring? You wedgify it. Yes, we made up that word. HOW DO YOU WEDGIFY A BOOK? You go all in. Make the conflict as big as possible. You have dynamic scenes where things happen. Not just the character’s meandering thoughts about Zoom meetings. You make us care. Wedgies matter because your bum matters. WRITING TIP OF THE POD Go all in with your stories. Make the conflict (internal or external) huge, presidential huge. But more than that, make us care about who the conflict is happening to. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Won't fit here! Go check it out here But it's all about commitment. Shaun gets testy!  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.
22:40
November 17, 2020
Is Passion a Bad Choice? A Job A Career or a Calling.
This week during the blitz of U.S. election news, there was an article gaining some traction called “Seven Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn Sooner Rather Than Later” by Nicholas Cole who Carrie wants to call Nicholas Cage because she is old like that. Carrie has a tendency to hate these kind of articles because she thinks they are trite and insipid. But his first point hit home. It was, “If you want to ‘do what you love,’ you have to work three times as hard as everyone else.” N.Cole“Most people do not get to spend their lives doing whatever it is they love. Instead, they do what they are told they should do or what their parents or town or friends or peers suggest that they do. Or they simply pursue nothing close to their heart at all.” Is this you? Do you love something? Do you do it? He said, “But if you want to do what you love, you need to see that as a privilege, not an expectation.” Which is interesting. What does that mean, right? Carrie does what she loves. But to be fair, Carrie loves everything she does whether it’s being a YMCA gymnastics coach, a church secretary, a student, a newspaper editor. “I love all the things,” Carrie says. Cole never says anything about his assertion that you have to work three times harder to do what you love. And we're not sure where that comes from because he doesn’t source anything. It might just be a generalization, but we wanted to make sure. WORST CAREER ADVICE EVER? Despite an exhaustive internet search of five minutes, we couldn’t find anything that backed Cole’s assertion, but we did find an article by Jeff Haden, which said the worst career advice is to do what you love. He quotes Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love. Cal Newport"Telling someone to follow their passion--from an entrepreneur's point of view--is disastrous. That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined... because that's not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses. "Passion is not something you follow," he adds. "Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world." According to Haden, passions are a bad choice because: They take time to cultivate. It’s rare to actually have a career passion. Passion is a side effect of mastery at something. Working hard and improving your skills is more important than finding the perfect job. Haden“Roughly speaking, work can be broken down into a job, a career, or a calling. A job pays the bills; a career is a path towards increasingly better work; a calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. (Clearly most people want their work to be a calling.) “According to research, what is the strongest predictor of a person seeing her work as a calling? “The number of years spent on the job. The more experience you have the more likely you are to love your work. “Why? The more experience you have the better your skills and the greater your satisfaction in having those skills. The more experience you have the more you can see how your work has benefited others. And you've had more time to develop strong professional and even personal relationships with some of your employees, vendors, and customers.” For the rest of the podcast notes (which don't fit here), check out www.carriejonesbooks.blog
23:08
November 10, 2020
Be Brilliant About Money When It Scares You
ou will find a lot of popular content all about how to make money. There are a lot of random blog articles about HOW I MADE 8 TRILLION DOLLARS IN PASSIVE INCOME A MONTH or 22 AWESOME PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS. Which is lovely. But a lot of us writers are thinking, “What are these even talking about?” What Is Passive Income? Passive income is money that happens and builds from things that already exist. They can be from investments (like you rent a room in your house or an entire house or you open a savings account or CDs). It can also come from the investment of effort and time in something you build. This could be a YouTube channel or your eBook once it’s up and running. It could be affiliate marketing or selling prints of your art. What is Active Income? Active income is money that someone pays you when you do something for them that’s a service. It can be your salary at the grocery store. It could be an hourly wage at a bookstore. It could be a commission. It could be a tip. So what’s all this have to do with writing? According to a study by the Authors Guild, the average full-time writer’s median pay was $20,300 in 2017. That’s full-time. For most of us that’s not a big ton of money. There’s no real standardization of pay and that number doesn’t account for pay discrepencies for sex and race. We go way more into this over on the blog with helpful hints.   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. 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 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! HANG OUT WITH US! HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER? JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN. CARRIE’S TEACHABLE CLASS! I have a quick, pre-recorded Teachable class designed to make you a killer scene writer in just one day. It’s fun. It’s fast. And you get to become a better writer for just $25, which is an amazing deal.
24:46
October 20, 2020
Writing Pet Peeves and Why You Don't Want Writing Tips From Stephen King
Carrie’s number one writing pet peeve is when authors write, "I thought to myself." Seriously. You are always thinking to yourself, sweet writer, unless you’re telepathically communicating to a zombie hamster and then all bets are off. But the thing is that I, Carrie, get why authors like myself do this. It’s because: We’re worried that the reader isn’t going to get what we’re saying. We’re padding our daily word count totals for NaNoWriMo, national novel writing month where you try to write a 50,000-word novel in November. But here’s the thing. Your readers are smart or smart enough to know that when your characters are thinking, they are doing that to themselves and not anyone else. Cut those words, sweeties. Trust the readers. Trust your writing. If you say, “I think” or “I thought,” everyone knows it’s to yourself… unless, you know, telepathic zombie hamsters. So how about you? What are your writing pet peeves? In the podcast we also talk about the "me and my" issue and how you really don't want to say, "I am nauseous."  WRITING TIP OF THE POD Trust your readers. Don’t write down to them. Believe in your words. DOG TIP FOR LIFE You don’t need to be insecure. Be proud of what you’re doing, who you are and what you’re putting down for the world to hear. 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. 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 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! Thanks so much for being one of the 252,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen! CHILL WITH US HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?  JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN! NEW BOOK ALERT! My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is coming out October 1 and if you pre-order it now, you can get the Ebook for .99 before the price goes up to $2,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly. There’s a bit more about it here.
28:02
October 13, 2020
ARE YOU TENSE? Getting the Tension Out of Your Life and Into Your Story
This is a continuation of this week's blogs about adding tension and suspense in your writing. It's a bit short today. Sorry. Or maybe that's a good thing.... Here goes: Is My Voice a Little Tense? Tension in writing can also come from your voice. Not your speaking voice, but your writing voice, your style and your pacing. Author Justine Larabeister has a series of posts on her blogs about how she alternates action-packed scenes/chapters with more introspective scenes. Author William Reynolds calls it a roller coaster ride and says, “It works for pacing your writing as well as your scenes.” I’ve talked about this before especially when I critique things. Sentence length and sound impact the reader’s experience of action and introspection. While we’re having nice introspective wonderings about things to give the reader a break and/or a build-up we can have long, winding sentences wondering if anyone is actually reading this blog post at all and we can also natter on about it for a bit with no white space, and with long-long paragraphs. But… Action comes. And as Reynolds points out: “Sentences are short. Paragraphs too. Maybe there isn’t even time to – Get the picture?” WRITING TIP OF THE POD Short sentences. Short paragraphs. White space. Action verbs. That's what makes it tense, baby. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Don't be tense. Don't add tension to other people's lives. Know how your presence makes other people feel. HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER? JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.
17:47
October 6, 2020
Stop Giving a F-Word and Succeed, Writers and Humans
The other night Shaun and I imbibed some alcohol and I declared that to not have a who-gives-a-swear-word attitude is to be compliant. This made Shaun really happy. I said it because I was talking about authors and politics and being afraid to say what you think because you are afraid of backlash. I’ve been listening to a lot of entrepreneurs and marketers who all preach putting your authentic self out there so that your group of supporters are supporting the real you, not some fake, shadow version that’s trying to appeal to everyone. Shaun said “Google authors who struggled and said, ‘F-it, did a 360, and found success.” This was hard to do, actually. There was no nice search results for that. But one thing it brought up was the infamous book called, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*&k.” In the article of the same name (Link is in the podcast notes), Mark Manson wrote, “Chances are you know somebody in your life who, at one time or another, did not give a f- and went on to accomplish amazing feats. Perhaps there was a time in your life where you simply did not give a f- and excelled to some extraordinary heights. I know for myself, quitting my day job in finance after only six weeks and telling my boss that I was going to start selling dating advice online ranks pretty high up there in my own “didn’t give a f-” hall of fame. Same with deciding to sell most of my possessions and move to South America. F-s given? None. Just went and did it.” Our notes are too long to fit here, but you can see them on Dogs are Smarter Than People or Carrie's website.  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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
17:22
September 29, 2020