The Real Flannery O’Connor

I’m fostering a little dog named Flannery O’Connor.

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She’s a quirky little pup from the mountains on the Virginia-Tennessee border, so the name fits.

I spent an inordinate amount of time creating Continue reading “The Real Flannery O’Connor”

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How One Small Terroristic Threat Can Really Ruin Your Day

In fiction, it’s the conflict that generally drives a plot. It’s what keeps us reading – wondering if a character will get what’s coming to them, survive the threat hanging over them, or have a fight with the crazy ex-girlfriend.

butting heads

But in real life, it’s human instinct to avoid conflict. Sometimes, though, conflict finds you.

When I got up yesterday, I was in a good place. Continue reading “How One Small Terroristic Threat Can Really Ruin Your Day”

What Do You Want? How Post-its Can Help Start the New Story of Your Life

I’ve felt a change brewing in my life, not just physical (although I am at the age for that lovely experience), but emotional and mental and spiritual.

For the past 52 years, I’ve been pushing and pushing myself to do more, be more, accomplish more, and always (always) make the most of my time. But I find I’m craving space and quiet and stillness. Dreaming of it and imagining a life reliant on and responsible for – no one.

It’s become an itch I must scratch, like the sweat trickle down the inside of your helmet. I can’t ignore it any longer. Continue reading “What Do You Want? How Post-its Can Help Start the New Story of Your Life”

I Am Completely Beside Myself

The last few months have been a whirlwind of launching Another Good Dog into the world. It’s been beyond my wildest imagination, surprising me again and again.

I’ve done enough TV now that I’m finally getting better at not blinking so much while talking and actually answering the question that was asked (as opposed to rambling on in questionable English while my mind is screaming, “OMG – I’m on TV!”).

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I’ve even made peace with the fact that Continue reading “I Am Completely Beside Myself”

Cara Goes to Hollywood: The Adventure Continues…

Here are the notes I wrote to myself this morning on my phone while waiting in the trailer for my turn on set:

I can do this.

Breathe.

This is not some test or race or desperate attempt to impress.

This is just me. Talking about the dogs I’ve fostered and how if more people fostered dogs – we could save more dogs.

This is a message I know deep in my core. It’s why I wrote the book.

Now, if my nerves could just take a seat and stay out of the way, this should be easy.

Larissa is a really cool person. This is just a conversation with her. I need to forget the cameras and audience and talk with her.

I can do this.

Breathe.

****

Later that afternoon: Back in the hotel room.

My head is spinning and I really can’t tell you if it went well or not. It went fast.

Getting to the set this morning was more challenging than I anticipated. Continue reading “Cara Goes to Hollywood: The Adventure Continues…”

Cara Goes to Hollywood

I’m trying to go at this like it’s just a fun adventure. This going to Hollywood thing.

airport leaving

I’m channeling my daughter who took herself to Denmark for four days just because. Normally, I’m a nervous traveler – my brain fuzzes over when I see the barrage of signs in the airport. I panic over and over again. My nerves race when I give my ID and boarding pass to the security guard and I’m anxious waiting for my stuff to make it through the Xray machine—what if my loose tea looks like drugs? It’s not pretty. None of it.

Usually, I have my travel-savvy husband with me and I just follow him. I don’t have to think much, just keep track of my ID and my boarding pass and my phone (in case I get separated from him.)

Thankfully, Reagan National Airport was very straight-forward. There weren’t even any lines. I moved through seamlessly, as if I was a person who did this all the time, strolling through with my roller bag and backpack purse, confidently striding towards Gate 45.

I found an empty standing desk and plugged my computer in and right now, I could be anywhere instead of a nervous woman waiting to board a plane to LA to go to Hollywood to be on a set at Universal tomorrow. (I’ve been trying not to say that or think that too much this week – it makes my pulse race.)

My inspiring view:

airport

But now, standing here, moving over occasionally as one harried traveler after another asks me to make room for their charger on the outlet in front of me, I’m working on an attitude adjustment.

This will be fun.

This will be an adventure.

It will be a pleasant 80 degrees and sunny in California (something it hasn’t been in PA at the same time for months).

I can do this.

I’m an adult and I’m intelligent. Most importantly, I know how to ask for help. So, when I arrive at the Universal City Hilton (nice, right?), I’ll find the concierge and chat him up. I’ll figure out how I get to Gate 4 at Universal tomorrow and then I’ll find the directions I printed out (and saved as a note in my phone and bookmarked the email with the same information) and I’ll find my way to the set.

Once I’m there, I think it will all be good. Larissa, the reporter who picked my book to feature on The Home & Family Show, already feels like a real friend. She is a rescue advocate. She asked all good questions in our planning meeting. I’m excited to meet her. I even packed a copy of each of my novels to give her because she’s told me she’s a reader.

This is just another cool life experience, another adventure this book and my dogs have taken me on.

I’m ready. Ready for whatever happens.

(And if I get in a tight spot, I’ll call my daughter who can handle anything.)

Gotta run they’re calling my flight….

p.s. This feather appeared beside me on the table, but everyone who has placed their device beside me to charge it this afternoon has vanished. Should I take it? Do you think it’s a good omen?

airport feather

Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.

Honored,

Cara

If you’d like to know more about me, my books, and where you might run into me, check out my website, CaraWrites.com.

If you’d like to subscribe to my (sometimes) monthly e-newsletter, click here.

If you’re a dog lover, check out my other blog, Another Good Dog. And discover my latest release at AnotherGoodDog.org.

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, and I’m thrilled to get email from readers (and writers), you can reach me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

Released Aug 2018 from Pegasus books:

Another Good Dog cover

You Really Don’t Need to Tell Them

My youngest son is a good writer.

In fact, all my kids are good writers. (so sayeth their proud mama.) But my youngest son invites me to edit his writing on occasion so I have more opportunity to read what he writes.

Like many high school students schooled in the art of the five-paragraph essay, he’s been trained to – tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.

And he’s very good at essay – particularly argumentative essay (don’t know where he gets all that passion from….)

I was comfortable with that format when I was a teenager. It made writing a little less subjective. Clear objectives make me happy. I like to know what I’m aiming at.

5 paragraph xmas

The formulas that work in essay-writing don’t apply as well to fiction writing (or memoir).

It should be more like – Continue reading “You Really Don’t Need to Tell Them”