75 episodes

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. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

Dogs Are Smarter Than People via Anchor Carrie Jones

    • Society & Culture

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. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    Don't Vomit in the Taxi and How to Tell a Good Story in Three Quick Steps

    Don't Vomit in the Taxi and How to Tell a Good Story in Three Quick Steps

    This week Carrie was in Georgia hanging out with her daughter who had just had an operation. Her daughter is fine! Anyways, on the way to the airport at 4 a.m., the taxi driver told her story after story, mostly about the drunk people from Fort Benning who had ridden in his cab.

    He was an amazing story teller and I realized that sometimes writing is just like telling a big anecdote. And you don’t want to be boring. We all know the people who have super boring anecdotes that just go on and on, right? You don’t want to be that person!

    The Three Quick and Simple Steps For Telling a Good Anecdote or writing a Good Story
    Hook them in
    This is the attention grabber.

    Tell an actual story
    Tell a real story, not just a bunch of random details. Let it have a beginning, a middle and an end.

    Give a Moment to Let the Message Sink In
    Your story has a point, right? Let us understand what that point is. Don’t rush the ending. Show how your anecdote or your novel or your story reflects a bigger piece of life. Let it resonate.

    Writing Tip of the Pod
    Give your story a point.

    Dog Tip for Life
    Do whatever you can to get their attention. Hook them in.

    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.

    WHERE TO FIND US
    The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

    Big News!
    I’m about to publish a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up? It's a mystery. It has romance, Maine, death, and high stakes. 

    You can preorder it here. Please, please, preorder it.

    So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.

    LEARN WITH ME AT THE WRITING BARN!

    The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here! 

    “Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    • 19 min
    How to Be A HAPPY writer, Big Foot, Statues that Pee

    How to Be A HAPPY writer, Big Foot, Statues that Pee

    This week’s podcast is about something really important. It’s about remembering to have fun. For a lot of us, life has a ton of stressors and responsibilities. We have to make enough money to survive. We have to take care of our family and ourselves. We have to deal with a world and not succumb to constant catastrophic thinking about the state of the world.

    It’s easy to forget to have fun.
    Or to feel guilty about having fun.

    Or to feel guilty about having hobbies.

    And here’s the thing. It’s great to be a professional writer and make money at something you love to do, but you don’t have to make money at it. A lack of financial rewards for your efforts doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you aren’t getting money.

    And money, my friends, is not everything.

    What is everything? Having fun. Growing. Enjoying your damn self in this short amount of time you have on this world, making yourself wiser and stronger and embracing your moments of joy. Everyone who sings in the shower isn’t expected to make money at singing in the shower. That should go for those of us who write too.

    Here’s the truth: You can write solely for the joy of writing.
    Don’t let other people’s opinions or standards give you or your writing validation. Don’t let the pressure for external measures of success (publication, an agent, an award, 100,000 social media followers) ruin your joy in creating stories.

    Here are Five Quick Steps to Reclaiming That Joy

    Rest when you need to. Take care of your body. Eat food. Drink water. The simple things that all us living organisms should be doing.
    Don’t have buttheads for friends. Be with people who make you happy and support you and inspire you. Ditch the others.
    Go outside. Seriously. Go out of the building. Feel the air. You are part of this earth. Remember this and take care of it, too. Study a flower, a rock, a tree. It’ll make you a better writer, too. Notice the whole.
    Be grateful for the good stuff that happens. What do you have? You’re reading this, or listening. That means you have enough that allows you to do that. Pretty cool, right?
    Open your mind and your heart. Try not to be so super judgmental. Be generous and chill when you can.

    Writing Tip of the Pod

    If writing isn’t your profession and isn’t feeding you and your family. It’s okay to stop if it’s not giving you joy. Wait until it gives you joy and go back to it. Also, remember that y-o-u-r  (your) means belonging to you and y-o-u-r-apostrophe-e(you’re) means you are.

    Dog Tip for Life

    It’s good to have a pack of humans to clean up after you. That way you can enjoy life and be messy when you slobber on the windows barking enthusiastically at the Fed Ex guy. Try to find a good pack of humans to be your clean-up crew.

    Sponsor

    This podcast was sponsored by BookNotes and this link sets you up for a free seven-day trail.

    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.

    NEW BOOK COMING OUT! 

    The Places We Hide arrives Feb 1. Preorder now! Romantic. Thriller. Mystery. Maine. Sounds good, right? 


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    • 18 min
    How to Deal with Distractions like Trolls and Panting

    How to Deal with Distractions like Trolls and Panting

    Dealing With Distractions

    How do you write (or live) when you’re surrounded by distractions? Recently, a great teacher was talking to me about me being his writing coach, but he was hesitant to start right now because of his new class load.

    I’m a seize the moment kind of human because I always expect to die tomorrow. That ticking-clock point of view keeps me moving and going despite distractions, but I know not everyone is that way.

    When I was a newspaper editor and Em was little, I was always dealing with distractions and I would write anywhere – at a planning board meeting, at a swim meet, at the Y on the bike, waiting in the car to pick Em up after school, in bed, standing at the counter, anywhere and everywhere. Noise was everywhere. Ten-year-olds would be having sleep-overs. Dinner would need to be made. Dogs would be barking.

    And I would write.

    I knew that if I wanted to write, then I had to write. And to do that? I had to force my brain to filter though the distractions and be in the flow.

    So how do you do that?

    According to an article on the Entrepeneur by Deep Patel, which we’ve linked to in the notes for this podcast, there are several decent methods for dealing with distractions.

    Make It Chill

    He says to, “Begin building habits that help you eliminate distractions and stay focused. Start by creating an environment in which you’re less tempted to get preoccupied with something other than what you’re working on.”

    That means make things quiet. Close your door. Turn off the cell.

    Make Pretend Deadlines

    Deadlines make us focus. Make small time limits for you to get your work done instead of giving yourself all day to get your priorities done. I (Carrie) do this all the time, actually and even stress about my completely self-imposed deadlines. That anxiety sucks, but that focus? It makes me get a lot of things done.

    Get into The Pondoro Method

    What is this? It sounds sort of x-rated, right? It’s not.

    Patel explains it as a method “in which you set a timer and are completely focused on a task for a period of time, such as 45 minutes straight. Then allow yourself a 15-minute break.”

    It’s actually another thing Carrie does all the time, only she’s a 50-10 split. She also makes herself stand for that 10 minutes because she’s afraid of Dead Butt Syndrome, which we talked about in an earlier podcast. You should look it up. It’s wild in a dead-butt kind of way.

    There you go. Three hot tips to help keep yourself from being distracted in 2020.

    Writing Tip of the Pod

    Don’t let distractions become your attention.

    Dog Tip for Life

    Pant throughout the podcast, look cute, and rest your muzzle on someone’s knee.

    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.

    Please like, subscribe, and help us be goofs. We're everywhere like Apple Music, iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.




    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    • 24 min
    Subordinate Me, Santa Claus

    Subordinate Me, Santa Claus

    Subordinate clauses are baby clauses that can’t stand all by themselves as complete thoughts and they demand a certain kind of punctuation – or lack of punctuation.
    Here are examples:
    If I can find Santa, then we can go party.

    We can go party if Santa ever freaking shows up.

    So, in both of those sentences there is a clause can’t stand alone as a complete thought:

    If I can find Santa

    If Santa ever freaking shows up.

    A subordinate clause or supporting clause is basically a clause that’s supporting the show-stopping regular clause, right? These clauses do not get a comma before them if they are at the end of the sentence.

    HOW TO DEAL
    There are words that always lead off these clauses. What I do is go back and do a find/replace in my work (or client’s work) when I’m copyediting.

    Helpful hint for writers: If you include the comma in the find/replace search, it makes it so much easier.

    Those words are…
    These conjunctions:
    After, although, as, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order that, once, provided that, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, whether, while, why, for, therefore, hence, consequently, and due to.

    And these relative pronouns that make the world of the clause even trickier. They are part of relative clauses but then these overachievers? Well, they are part of a subculture called restrictive or nonrestrictive clauses.

    These are the relative pronouns
    that, which, who, whom, whichever, whoever, whomever, and whose.

    Are you Restrictive or Nonrestrictive Mr. Clause?
    These pronouns start either restrictive clauses or nonrestrictive clauses. Restrictive clauses also like to be called essential clauses because they are alpha like that, but also because they are – you guessed it – essential to the sentence meaning and shouldn’t be separated by a comma

    Do you enjoy watching Santa Claus employ lots of elves that wear sexy sweaters?

    No comma before that because the sentence needs to know the qualifier for its meaning.

    But in a nonrestrictive clause? Well, you don’t have that happen. Here’s an example:

    Watching Santa, who employs a lot of elves wearing sexy sweaters, is pretty freaking awesome.

    WRITING TIP OF THE POD
    Subordinate the proper things.

    DOG TIP FOR LIFE
    It’s not about domination. It’s about understanding restrictions.

    And there you go. Grammar Moment with Dogs are Smarter Than People. Happy Holidays!

    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.




    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    • 29 min
    Santa, what are your eyebrows doing? Telling Details, Christmas Parties and Taco Bell Smells.

    Santa, what are your eyebrows doing? Telling Details, Christmas Parties and Taco Bell Smells.

    The Magic of The Eyebrow and Telling Details

    What is this thing? This telling detail?

    It’s a phrase or an image or a word that illustrates something about a character. It’s pretty exact. It’s a magical moment of showing rather than telling.

    It’s usually pretty short.

    And it’s the opposite of a telling description.

    Here’s a bad description:

    He was nervous and scared and sad all at once.

    Here’s a telling-detail description:

    He soothed himself, rubbing the tips of his own ears over and over.

    Telling details make the characters and settings feel real. If we say, “Shaun lifted his eyebrows?” Well, that’s a cliché, but also it’s not quite enough to be a telling detail no matter how much people communicate with their eyebrows.

    Here’s a bad description:

    They walked into an almost empty bar.

    We don’t really see the bar, do we?

    Here’s something a bit better:

    The bar smelled of beer and lilac bushes somehow. The Sonos speaker tottering on the edge of the reclaimed wood bar blared “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. A man leaning between ferns used a pencil to smash a hole into the bottom of a Bud Lite can and chugged it all down. He crushed the empty can between his hands and belched out the alphabet to cheers.

    “Wow. This place is weird,” I said and grabbed the door handle, ready to bolt.

    Writing Tip of the Pod
    When you’re revising think, “Can I make this shorter? Tighter? Quirkier? More authentic?”

    Dog Tip for Life
    Notice the eyebrows. The difference. The details. And use them in your stories.

    This week's podcast
    Last week's podcast
    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.

    WRITING NEWS
    LEARN WITH ME AT THE WRITING BARN!
    The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here! 

    “Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”

    “Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    • 25 min
    Are You A Drama Queen or a Melodrama Queen

    Are You A Drama Queen or a Melodrama Queen

    At its most basic a story’s components are these – a beginning, a middle, an end.

    The beginning is the situation or set up.

    The middle are the complications.

    The end is the resolution.

    Our lives are like this too. We begin in certain circumstances. We live and encounter complications and then we end.

    But even within that simplified construction there are divisions. There are vertical stories and linear stories, which is a fancier way of saying stories that are character driven or plot driven.

    Linear – plot driven
    Vertical – character driven.
    But the key word is up there twice and that’s – driven. We drive the stories we write and we also have to drive the stories that we live, controlling our own destiny so that we can handle the murky middles and complications and so that by the time we get to the resolution, we can feel satisfied by who we are and what we’ve done.

    We tend to think of stories as either or. They are plot driven or they are character driven, but the truth is that most stories are intertwined.

    And then there’s drama and melodrama. I think people can be roughly categorized as these types, too, but we can oscillate between the two.

    A drama is usually more realistic. People will ponder things. The set might be a bit depressing or quirky or dull because – well, because real life involves these things, too.

    A melodrama usually involves a chase sequence.  The scenery rushes by quickly. There are things – all the things – happening.

    What kind of story you’re writing is an important first step to think about even if you’re a writer who doesn’t outline ahead of time. What kind of life you’re living? That’s an even more important thing to think about honestly.

    So what are you? Are you drama? Or are you melodrama? Are you linear or vertical? Do you oscillate between them all?

    Writing Tip of the Pod:
    Think about stuff.

    Dog Tip for Life:
    Be the drama or melodrama or middle-drama that you want to be? Also, it’s okay to be a drug cocktail.

    The New York Post article we reference in the podcast is by Lindsay Putnam.

    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.

    WRITTING NEWS

    The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here! 

    “Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”

    “Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”

    IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!
    My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!

    Gasp!


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    • 21 min

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture