Blood Sweat & Words Launched

Well, I did it. I launched my first podcast. I ran into a few, last minute speed bumps, but I made it.

Podcast Link

And there are glitches. Like, where the heck did my podcast logo disappear to? But, hey, I’ll find it. I think it’s like socks in the dryer. It’s out there somewhere. lol. (It’s 3 in the morning so if my humor is off, you can understand why.) Also, I can’t for the life of me get my name centered on the front page. “Wrinkles,” I tell myself. “These are just wrinkles.”

Also today:

  • My September Newsletter can be found here.
  • I’m hosting at the Once Upon … Facebook Party (10-2). If you aren’t part of the group pm me on FB and I’ll add you. I’d love to chat. I have four contests set up.


Would you like to know more about my podcast, or read a cool new book for free?

I have a deal for you: Weekly Podcast Newsletter Link

My gift to you

Why are Most Podcasters Male? #Mondayblogs

My short answer: I don’t know.

I read somewhere (and of course I haven’t been able to find the spot again)) that 80% of podcasters are male. I can’t find any stats to support this claim, but looking through the lists of podcasts, I have to say there does appear to be more men than women behind the mikes.


Is it the topics? … the tech involved? … an identity thing? Do we prefer to hear male voices? What’s the deal?


You can find a podcast about anything, so it can’t be a topic issue. I rule that one out.

The Tech?

I have to say, setting up a home for my podcast, Blood, Sweat and Words took way more tech-savvy than I expected. Being married to a programmer, I’ve had a computer since the eighties and I’ve set up several websites and blogs, so I thought making a cozy home for my baby podcast would be easy.

No, just no. It’s not.

I had to marry WordPress, GoDaddy and Blubrry to get the result I wanted. It took time, patience I didn’t have, and time. There’s a reason it’s called, Blood, Sweat and Words.

I’m now working with a support group btw, called Podcaster’s Paradise.

Getting back to the issue of whether the reason there are more male podcasters than female, I have to point out that there are lots of tech-savvy women out there, so “tech issues” alone shouldn’t be the problem.


Is it “cooler” to be a podcaster dude, than a podcaster gal? That sounds so ridiculous. In an age when we’re finally recognizing identity is larger than all that. But still, there are cultural norms that are pushed on us that make us think weird things. I wonder if podcasting doesn’t have the same draw to women, as it does to men.


Voice matters. Ask Siri. She always sounds sincere.

Voice matters.

I have a favorite story about that. I used to commute to work on a provincial ferry. Every sailing an announcement would come on telling passengers in a boring voice, where they were going and warning them  the ship’s horn was about to blow. One day they put on the same message spoken in a female, sultry voice. I loved it. Everyone I talked to loved it. It made us all smile. Brightened our commute. It was pulled within a month. Yes, voice matters.

But I doubt that podcasts have failed to start, or failed afterwards, because of voice. Furthermore many major communication voices are female. Just ask Siri.

Taking the Leap

Is it a leaping issue? Are men more willing to jump off the cliff and try something new than women? Ew, I hate to think that would be the case, but I wonder.

My Best Guess

I’m going to be not politically correct here. I think it’s a combination of the tech challenges and willingness to leap.

What do you think?

Up for pre-order for 99 cents

Death by Tarot

When the cards are stacked against you, run.

Who would be crazy enough to send death cards to people in Sunset Cove, a small, Pacific Northwest town famous for things that goes bump in the night? Single mom, Abby Jenkins is hired to find the culprit, and while she is a witch and private detective, she hasn’t a clue about who would deal such a gruesome hand.

Unease settles into the town as tarot cards arrive on doorsteps. No one knows who stacked this deck. Everyone waits for the next card to drop. That is until the first recipient drops dead.

Are all the death cards harbingers of murder?

With the help of a Viking with existential issues, a Casanova man-witch and Spark her snarky familiar Abby unravels a deadly deck of secrets. Can she catch the murderer before the dealer turns another card? link

Not in the US? Not to worry. It’s available on all Amazon sites.






Do you Believe in Magic?

A great blog post from Marion Ann. Check it out.

My Name Is Marion Ann

I believe in magic. Creativity is magic and I definitely believe in creativity.  Creativity is an alchemy of words, paints, clay, music, energy and any medium brought together to tell a story. If that’s not magic I don’t know what is. I also believe in muses, angels, any form that brings the story and whispers it in my ear. There are many stories from writers who share that the idea popped into their mind. Maybe their muse had been planting the seed over time and then all of a sudden something clicked and the story was clear as day.

As I refer back to Steven Pressfield’s, The War of Art, I am reminded of my muse. Steven shares how he envokes his angels of creativity. He refers to a passage from Homer’s, Odyssey, the T.E. Lawrence translation. Pressfield also shares one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do, or…

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My Summer Newsletter

I don’t know about you, but I find life goes along on an even keel for the most part and every so often kicks up, or down, and then returns to its calm, somewhat predictable, meander through time. My creative life is much the same.

Except recently it exploded.

Check out my newsletter for the details. 

Getting Ready to #Podcast #Mondayblogs

Remember the joy of learning something new?  I swear there’s nothing like it. I’m thrilled one moment and terrified the next. I can’t stop ideas flowing through my head.


IMG_20180719_133308I’m launching a podcast, Blood, Sweat and Words, in September.

Right now I’m learning how to record and edit audio using Audacity and studying everything I can find on creating podcasts. It’s thrilling and a wee bit scary.

Persistence is paying off, though. I’d like to say it’s brains or talent, but I’ll be honest, it’s relentless persistence.  After a week of pulling my hair out I can  do the basics with the audio software, my concept of the podcast is solidifying and my duckies are in a row for a new website dedicated to the project.


Here is the welcome message I’ve created for my new podcast website (which is under construction).


Welcome to the home of Blood, Sweat and Words, a podcast about writing today.

My name is Jo-Ann Carson. I’m a fiction and non-fiction author, blogger and podcaster.

There’s never been a better time to be an author, because the opportunities to share our work is growing exponentially. But it’s not easy. The constantly-changing nature of the publishing world is difficult to navigate. If you’re like me, you worry that your stories will drown in the rising tide of new books.

This podcast aims to make sense of the writing world today. Some episodes will be monologues. Others will be interviews with other authors or experts in the field. Episodes run weekly, on Tuesdays, and they are absolutely free.

Imagine, a weekly podcast about writing today. Current. Relevant. And above all honest. Let’s talk it to the bone. That’s what Blood, Sweat and Words is all about.

shutterstock_104723360 (1)Your Turn

I’d love feedback.

My First Audiobook Has Launched!!!

I’m over the moon thrilled to announce that my first audiobook has launched. For news about it, a fascinating interview with the amazing narrator, Lisa Reichert and some fun contests, check out my latest newsletter:

Jo-Ann’s June Newsletter

Writing = Weight Gain? #Mondayblogs

Standing on the scale can be a horrific experience. The truth is many of us watch our weight rise as we spend more time at the keyboard.  A sense of helplessness and guilt plagues us, and worst of all, having another chocolate doesn’t help.

Does it have to be this way?

I usually refrain talking publicly about my weight loss adventures, because it’s so personal. I think you know what I mean. Who wants to talk about something that makes them feel like a total loser? Or should I say gainer?

My History

I was an athletic, skinny kid, the kind who could eat anything and did. Around twenty horizontal-2071320_1920 my body changed, and started storing weight. What a traitor!

At twenty-four I had my first baby. I gained fifty pounds, because estrogen loves me that way.  I didn’t think I’d have any trouble losing it. Wrong. I never lost it. At twenty-six I had my second child. I didn’t gain as much, but my body never went back to its maiden form.


In my late thirties I adopted an eating/exercise program that involved severely limiting calorie-intake and walking for an hour a day. It felt great to see the pounds slide off. I looked younger and felt proud.

But the weight came back.

I didn’t give up walking, but I found the low calorie diet too difficult to sustain. In my forties I tried the Weight Watchers plan, which involved counting points assigned to certain foods, which mostly related to calories. I lost 25 pounds. I thought I had finally won the battle! I was eating healthy and losing weight.

But it came back.

I think our culture and media plays a factor in our weight and self-perception.

Next I tried the South Beach diet, which is a high protein and fat, low carb regime, similar to the Aiken’s diet. It amazed me how quickly the first ten pounds dropped. In total I lost twenty pounds. I kept telling myself I loved it, but the low carb diet frayed my nerves and slowed me down.

And the weight came back.

Next I went to the L.A. Weight Loss Diet, a low calorie regime focused on eating well-balanced healthy foods in small quantities. This one was, to my mind, the most successful. I lost forty pounds and felt great, and I learned the most about good eating habits. The low calorie part got to me yet again.

And the weight came back, with a vengance.

I retired from my day job and started writing. Weight gain became even more of a problem. I exercise regularly, but it doesn’t keep it off. I try to eat right, but it doesn’t make much of a difference.

I told you weight-loss stories are boring. They start with hope, middle with hard work and determination and end with a predictable punch line: the weight came back.

This  brings me to now.

My Latest Venture

I’m trying the IF lifestyle. They don’t call it a diet. IF stands for Intermittent Fasting, but 51+D-QqWP+L._AC_US218_I like to call it by the name of a popular book on the subject: Delay, Don’t Deny. Yes, I’m going to intermittently starve myself. Why?

It makes sense. Yes, I know the others did too, but listen to the science of it and tell me if it intrigues you. Please, excuse my over-simplification. I’m not a scientist.


51hhpJJxocL._AC_US218_Low Calorie Diets Don’t Work because: “The message of eighty years of research on obese animals is simple and unconditional … obesity does not come about because gluttony and sloth make it so; only a change in the regulation of the fat tissue makes a lean animal obese.” (Gary Taubes, Why we Get Fat, p. 103)

Insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose, is at the center of the weight gain drama, but the hormones ghrelin and leptin also factor in.

“In order to lose weight successfully, you need to figure out how to lower your insulin levels so that your body can access your stored fat efficiently.” (Kim Stephens, Delay, Don’t Deny, 15% on my Kindle)

The IF people believe that, “When your body becomes adapted to fasting …you become a fat burning machine during the fast.” and best of all, “Your metabolism does not slow …” as it does with low calorie diets. It allows your cells more time to get rid of waste and it allows your hormones to balance out. So goes the theory.

Intermittent Fasting can be done in many ways. The variations fall into two categories: ones with eating windows and ones that require the person to eat some days and not others. I’m trying the 8/16 eating window option.

What Does an 8/16 Lifestyle Look Like?

I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want for a set eight hours. Currently it’s 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. The rest of the time I’m fasting. I drink water and green tea.

I’ve been on this plan for just over a week. I haven’t killed my husband yet, though I admit to grand moments of hanger.

On the plus side, I’ve experienced: greater mental clarity, extra energy, body warmth. the bumps on the back of my arms are gone, and best of all I feel full after meals. I can’t remember the last time I felt full. That alone could lead to success. I hope.

On the negative side: I have had my hanger moments and the occasional headache, but they say that passes within the first two weeks. My weight has fluctuated up and down by three pounds.

Will it work for me? I’ll let you know.


Photo Sources: for photos, for creating the meme

Information Sources:

Taubes, Gary. Why We Get Fat, Gary Taubes. First Anchor Books, 2010 (note he doesn’t talk about IF, but he does talk about insulin and how it effects our weight gain.

Stephens, Kim and Power, Kenneth. Delay, Don’t Deny,