Archive for August 2010

Lit Up   Leave a comment

http://litupmagazine.wordpress.com/new/

Lit Up is an awesome online journal that has published a few things of mine, most recently a poem entitled “To the Mother of All Mothers”  I wrote it for a Christmas card, and they published it in the summer time, which was pretty ballsy on their part.

I wanted to do something humorous for Christmas, and not just do the whole sentimental thing as in years past. I’ve always liked writing poems to stick into birthday cards, Christmas cards, shower cards, you get te idea. It makes me really think about the person I’m gifting, and turns a generic Christmas card into a personal gift of joy. Which, after all, is what Christmas is all about.

I have three kids, ages 2, 4, and 12. So I know a thing or two about how children not free from sin behave, and imagined how nice it must have been to bring up Jesus. Typing this now, I begin to wonder how Mary and Joseph dealt with their other children after Jesus. I may just have to write about that. Hmmm……

Today, think about the people in your life who could really use a card from you. Someone you’re thankful for, or who is having a birthday, or is unwell. Why not write a poem or a short story for them to stick in the card?

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Southword Journal   Leave a comment

http://www.munsterlit.ie/Southword/Issues/18/contents.html

Southword Journal is an online literary zine out of the Munster Literature Center in County Cork, Ireland. Landing a story there was huge for me, because they pay well, and because it was my first Irish publication.

Ireland, especially Dublin, has a special place in my heart, as it was the location of my honeymoon. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the marriage will survive, but my love for Dublin will never die. I’m a huge history buff, a bibliophile, so visiting the National Library and seeing the James Joyce exhibit, visiting the Book of Kells, nothing could have topped the thrill of that for me. Dublin is dripping with culture, good people, great food, and so it was a given that I would write it a love poem or two. This one, “The Honeymoon is Over”, morphed from a prose poem to more of a flash fiction piece. Some people will tell you there’s very little or no difference between the two, but, for me, the language I use in flash is more narrative, less descriptive than my prose poems, although if you follow me at all, you know that very rarely do I write anything that doesn’t have a hint of the narrative in it.

So, I wrote a love story to Dublin, and added around the edges a bittersweet, and very personal, tale of a marriage that was doomed from the start, cursed as it was with addiction and codependency on both sides. It’s a victory march, the beauty of letting go, moving on. So, in many ways, it’s not only a love story between a girl and a city, but a love story between a girl and herself as well.

How about you? Is there a place on the map that inspires you for whatever reason? Tell me about it, write about it with love, and discover some new things about yourself along the way.

Tales of the Zombie War   Leave a comment

Fallen angels in Hell

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2010/08/10/little-surfle-grrrrrl-by-helen-r-peterson/
Today’s poem is called Little Surfle Grrrrl, a poem about zombies. A poem about surfing over a wave of zombies as they march forward in their quest for brains. No, really.
I didn’t start out to write a zombie poem, though I’d written a few before. I’ve been working on a project using unusual words, inspired initially by David Foster Wallace‘s dictionary. For more information on that list you can click  here:http://www.slate.com/id/2250784/. The word surfle, however, came from Weeb Heinrich of http://writingraw.com , who posts daily words of the day on his Facebook page. The word surfle means to wash, as the face, with a cosmetic supposed to have been prepared from sulphur or mercury, called surphuling water. When I think of cosmetics, I think of women, mostly teenaged women who typically experiment with weird concoctions to put on their face to remove acne. I myself slathered my face with mayonnaise, eggs, lemon juice and toothpaste between the ages of 13 and 18. When I think sulphur, I think of Hell, so I imagined a teenager in Hell, how she would try to have fun in that environment. Then a certain Beach Boys song came on the radio, and the rest, as they say, is history. The zombie slant was added in revision, as I tried, and failed, to explain how someone in Hell would be able to find a surfboard. A teenage zombie became much more believable. No, really.
I hope you click the link and enjoy everything zombie poetry has to offer. Afterwards, write down some of your favorite words from the Wallace list, look up their definitions, and weave your own poems and stories around them. Feel free to share them here. See you tomorrow!

Poetic Diversity   Leave a comment

http://www.poeticdiversity.org/main/poems-fea.php?nameCode=helenpeterson&date=2010-08-01

Poetic Diversity is an online poetry journal from Los Angeles California that published two short poems of mine this month. Both poems, “This Car Climbed Mount Washington” and “Window-Framed” were written during flash sessions with fellow writers on an online workshop. Flash occurs twice a week on this specific site, when a member posts words and images, and other members write for a set amount of time inspired by those words and images. The flash could be an hour-long, or 24 hours long, depending upon the person who posts the prompts. It’s a fun way to get your creativity going. There are days when I look at the screen, or my journal, and nothing comes. When you’ve been given the gift of three or four little words, you can mold them any way you want to. I encourage everyone to have a Flash session with friends, or randomly open the dictionary, close your eyes, point to a few words, and fly Flash solo. I would even encourage you, if you feel like sharing, to post your own Flash experiences here in the comments section.

In fact, allow me to share the prompts that inspired these two poems, and see what you can do with them on your own. The word prompts for Window Framed were velvet, hammock, and indecision. The prompts for This Car Climbed Mt. Washington were cotton, speedometer, and mountain. Enjoy a little brain exercise on me. I look forward to seeing your results.

Getting to Know Me.   Leave a comment

Hello there. My name is Helen R. Peterson, mother, writer, volunteer, former librarian. I started this blog so that, when people ask me where I’ve been published, I can point to one place where, eventually, they can find it all. Each day I will post a link to a site where I’ve been published, and then let you in on the inspiration and technique behind the piece. While I mostly write poetry, I also do a lot of flash fiction as well. If you are unfamiliar with flash, it’s very very short fiction. Some say it has to be under 100 words. Some say 1000. Whatever. Just very, very short. Bigger than a tweet, smaller than War and Peace.

So, please come back and read every day. I hope you may find something to inspire you to write poetry and fiction of your own.

Posted August 28, 2010 by mspetersonexplains in Uncategorized