If you’re going to write or communicate, it’s really cool to know what you’re writing or talking about.
What? I know, right? Mind blown.
It should be self-evident, but sadly it seems that this is not self evident.
Here’s the thing. You think that you know everything until you realize that you don’t half as much as you thought you did. We live in a time period where everyone is yelling, ‘fake facts,’ and ‘false news’ and ‘liar.’ We live in a time period that’s amazing because so many of us have things like indoor plumbing, internet access, prescriptions, food. But we also live in a time where people think they are omniscient.
None of us are omniscient. We all see things from our own perspectives built upon by our culture and our experiences. Yet, some people think that they know everything and lay down these edicts about what the right way to vote, to write, to think, to create, to live is.
But these same people don’t know the difference between unfazed and unphased. Don’t be one of those people.
When you write, when you live, when you troll people on social media? Check your words and your facts. It makes your argument and your story and your opinion so much stronger when you can spell things correctly or when you have stats to back up your arguments.
And there is nothing bad about realizing that you’re wrong, about growing as a human in your thoughts. Evolving is a good thing. We promise.
It’s okay to break the rules, but know the rules you’re breaking. Study your craft before you start telling people there is only one right way to do things.
Know what you’re barking at, man. Don’t call a blowing bag a squirrel.
Write about a character who thinks that he/she/they know everything about something but they are terribly wrong.
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.
Note: We hunt for ghosts and talk about douchebags in our random thoughts, which are not transcribed here.
Over 170,000 people have downloaded episodes of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, you should join them. There will be a new episode tomorrow!
I have a new book out!!!!!! It's an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should.
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.
You can order it here.
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
You know how sometimes you need a real-life friend of awesome who torments you so that you evolve? And sometimes you don't know how to say that friend's last name. That's Sam for me. Sam is a research technologist at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and she joins me to talk about evolving, being brave, and how hard it is to be my friend. Just kidding! Just kidding! Sort of. Sam does some pretty exciting research with Ron Korstange and the lab itself is doing tons of research and testing related to Covid-19. RECENT EPISODES OF AWESOME AND BONUS INTERVIEWS This week’s episode link. Last week’s episode link . Link to Sam's interview. A bonus interview with Dr. J.L. Delozier, Pennsylvania doctor and writer. A bonus interview with poet and coach Fiona Mackintosh Cameron. ...
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 ...
Over on the random thought part of the podcast, we hear about Carrie being passive-aggressive at the campground bathroom, Shaun sing, and random people at Smokey's Barbecue and Lobster. But here is the more intellectual stuff. Um. Slightly more intellectual stuff? This guy Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book Outliers and in it he outlines his belief that if you practice something for 10,000 hours and do that in a deliberate way, then you’ll become a top performer. Who are the outliers? They are the best and the brightest. We don’t want you to freak out over that 10,000 hours bit because that’s like saying, “Hey Shaun, I know you can’t run more than 60 seconds right now, but this Friday you’re going to run for 93 minutes.” Spoiler alert: Shaun ran for 93-minutes straight on Friday. Carrie did too. Anyway, this guy named Danny Forest who writes on Medium breaks it down to something that feels a bit more doable. He says that he can learn soft skills in about eight hours and breaks it into working 30 minutes each day on those skills. That seems a lot better than 10,000 hours, right? There’s a difference between competence and brilliance, but that half-hour concentrated focus is how so many of us build our skills. Even dogs. So, inspired by Mr. Forest, the Farrar has three things he wants to learn: Make movies on ...