Archive for November 2010

Just a Friendly Reminder….   2 comments

http://www.bowerypoetry.com/  Today, 4 pm. Come as you are or watch via the web.

Posted November 21, 2010 by mspetersonexplains in Uncategorized

3K Down, and No Ending in Sight!   2 comments

Zombie Love Forever

Image by Walt Jabsco via Flickr

Writing during the week is difficult. By the time I get home, get kids, get everyone fed and washed and asleep, there isn’t much drive left. On the weekends, however, even with kids, I get a nice little gap of time to write. Naptime is my time, and I squeeze as much as I can out of it. Today, that squeeze got me over 3ooo words, and 6 pages. I don’t think I’ll have a whole novel at the end of the month, and I haven’t even touched the project I went into NaNo with the first week, but progress has been made, and I’m grateful for the push into longer projects.

Today I introduced new love interests for both of the main characters, creating two separate love triangles. Oooo, tensiony, right? I mean, especially considering two of the four people involved are zombies??? Jane has a best friend as well,  and her favorite pizza is Hawaiian barbecue chicken. The back story is just about wrapped up, and a lot of the action is going to pick up very, very soon. Considering I myself don’t have a clue as to where it all ends, I’m pretty pumped.

Alas, tomorrow the project goes on  the back burner, as I will be in NYC at the Bowery Poetry Club at 4 pm doing a reading. If you’re in the neighborhood, you can come. If you aren’t, you can watch it live. Find more here: http://www.bowerypoetry.com/#Event/85825

Another Day, Another 1000 Words   2 comments

Mr Zombie

Image via Wikipedia

My love affair with zombies continues, everything else is going to have to wait until I figure out where this story is going. When I started it, it was a cute little flash, but then I kept adding more. I still don’t have an ending in mind, I’d always assumed, since there’s a horror element in there, that someone was going to have to die, or get chopped up into itty bitty pieces. Now I’m thinking, maybe they just get through the divorce and go their separate ways.  Both seem feasible right now, but I’m still just enjoying the ride.

Last night I added 1000 words or so, expanding my writing time from 45 minutes to a little over an hour. It was tough to get started, and since it was at the end of the day, I forwent the timer and just watched the clock. It was fun, I introduced hints that there were problems in the marriage even before Max became a zombie, I explored the details of how he became a zombie. I added more zombies.

Thinking about endings, even if you’re not there yet, it can help to brainstorm all the different ways a story could go. You don’t have to commit to just one, but having an idea can help determine which way you’re going to go.  Try brainstorming all the different ways your characters can meet the end of their stories the next time you get stumped. Keep the list handy.

Time Out For NaNoWriMo   Leave a comment

sculpture: a dead man's hand

Day two of timing with the timer, and it worked again. Passed the thousand word mark on the zombie story, still not sure where it’s going to stop, but it’s still a pleasure to write. Putting poetry and Cain on the back burner for now seems to have been the best idea.

Writing is therapy, more than anything. I write because it makes me feel good, like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m hoping that come December 1st, I can keep this momentum going. Writing 45 minutes a day, you never get burnt out. It never becomes a drag.

Of course, what do I know, this is only day two of timed writing?

Good things that came from today’s writing, besides the thousand plus words:

The two main characters now have names, Jane and Max

Max has a job

Zombies prefer to be called the bodily impaired

Whatever you’re writing, or putting off writing today, think about the occupations of your characters. Have you given them one yet? Perhaps it’s something about their jobs, their coworkers, how they got there, that will give you the angle to open your stories up further, get you excited about writing again.

A Sheepish, Triumphant Return to NaNoWriMo   Leave a comment

An old timer

Image by * hiro008 via Flickr

So, I’ve been bad the past week. No writing got done. Zip. Zero. Recovering from the GREs last weekend took longer than I thought, a brain dump of mass proportions. Reading good books helps, but then all my free time is caught up reading, no time left for doing my own writing. One night I was up until 2 am reading Emma Donoghue‘s newest novel, Room, (which, btw, was fantastic!). Read Sara Gruen‘s Ape House, then Water for Elephants. A little sheepish I hadn’t read Elephants back in ’06, when everyone was reading it.Mucking my way through Franzen’s Freedom.

Anyway, what I eventually had to do today to get writing is put myself in time out. I set the timer for 30 minutes, and then told myself I couldn’t do anything but write during those 30 minutes. Of course, about 15 minutes into it, my daughter woke up from her nap with a poop. So I had to get her cleaned up and back to sleep, then added another 15 minutes. I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but I did get another decent page or so for the zombie divorce story. I’m really liking these characters a lot, thinking they may stick around longer than a short story, which is exciting. I didn’t get a poem written, and I didn’t even open up the Cain files, but I’m also writing in a way that doesn’t feel forced, it’s almost a freewrite exercise, but with purpose behind it. It’s a good feeling.

It’s funny, I do NaPoWriMo every year in April, and every year, I don’t have any problem sitting down and writing a poem a day. Perhaps it’s the time of year, more face time with the sun. I think it may also be, with NaPo, there’s a focus and a freedom that’s missing in NaNo. You’re starting fresh each day, you aren’t going back and working on something you stalled on the day before. You’re also not trying to maybe divide yourself between projects.

Whatever the cause for success or failure, I’m going to put myself in timeout again tomorrow. At least thirty minutes, nothing but writing. If you’re having trouble starting, keeping to a schedule, try the timer. It worked for me, and I live with five kids.

 

Thank You, Vagabondage Press!!!!!   Leave a comment

look on the bright side of life

Image by Leonard John Matthews via Flickr

For writing about moi today:

http://vagabondagepress.blogspot.com/2010/11/author-insides-helen-r-peterson.html

Seriously, it was a nice boost, especially on a day like today when my youngest woke up wheezing like an old woman whose been smoking 6 packs a day since 1932.  Needless to say, not much writing got done. I didn’t even go online to see the interview until this evening, when she conked out, vaporizer buzzing, Vick’s rubbed on her chest.

Another bit of craziness, my little pink flash drive is missing somewhere in the house. The most recent ms for Cain is on that flash drive. Ergo, can’t work on it. Taking it as a sign that I should go with my gut and cut out this new character, either that or at least go back to where he was introduced, before it got all campy like a bad 80s movie with nuns. (Think Eric Idle, not Whoopi). With that in mind, I’m going to devote at least a slice of time tomorrow to digging up the old draft and writing for at least ten minutes. More if it gets good and the house doesn’t burn down.

Poems about chicanery and skulduggery also didn’t get writ, I’ll do that tomorrow too. Maybe. See above.

Catching Up…   2 comments

Students taking a computerized exam

Image by Extra Ketchup via Flickr

Will be hard to do. Taking the GRE, and the extra study time I put in right before it, sucked up all the energy I had to write yesterday. I could tell you about the essays I wrote for that, but I’m sworn to secrecy. Seriously, they might take my grade away if they even knew I was talking to you.  They even made me spit out my own gum, substitute one of their own hard candies, and then throw away the wrapper right in front of them.

I have ideas for words like chicanery and skulduggery, so if you’re needing a prompt to get you through the weekend, there you go.

Good night and good luck. Write on!

Day 4   Leave a comment

N00728 H-1- medullary sponge kidney

Image via Wikipedia

So, I’m studying for the GREs, which I’ll be taking tomorrow night, and I’m finding that while I ace the majority of the verbal section, the whole blank is to blank as blank is to blank part is kicking my butt. It’s kind of ticking me off, because I recall being quite good at these many moons ago on the SATs. Bigger vocabulary now, and this test, from what i heard, TRIES to trick you, trip you up.

So, I used one of the analogies to write a poem tonight. (No, still no progress on the novel. Or the zombie story. Next week, I promise. Maybe.) The one I chose, the title of my poem, is

Excretion: Kidney

No, my kidneys have been causing my heartbreak and pain from a very young age. My ureter needed to be re-implanted at the ripe old age of seven, due to frequent kidney infections. My right kidney reminds me it’s there every single day. So how in the heck did I get this question wrong? By trying to out think the test. I figured the correct answer, Respiration: Lung, couldn’t possibly be right because it was too obvious, being the only option that included another organ of the body. So I chose Information: Media, like a yutz, because kidneys distribute excretions, and the media distributes information. Right? Evidently, no.

So, I threw together a short wee poem to vent my frustration after a long day of studying. Hopefully, if all goes well tomorrow, I’ll have the rest of the month to fiction write with rigor.

Day 3   Leave a comment

Plate with various land slugs

Image via Wikipedia

Today’s word is torpid, because sluggish is how I feel after running five kids every which a way after work. You’ve got to be so fast, when you finally get to slow down, the hurt catches up to you.

To be honest, it was like pulling teeth just to keep my head up long enough to write a poem. Meh. The novel and short story can wait another day. Or two. Still 27 days left in the month, no?

NaNoWRiMo, Day 2   Leave a comment

A Chinese buffet restaurant in the U.S.

Image via Wikipedia

The word today was halcyon, a place or state of calm. I free wrote ideas for a poem during lunch at a local Chinese buffet, which was at that hour quite calm and peaceful for me. Those notes evolved into a poem about zodiacs and grandparents.

I did not get to Cain. Due to a sugar crash from pilfered Halloween candy, I just wasn’t able. I plan on getting to it again tomorrow. One problem is, is that the part I’m working on involves a character I’m just not invested in. He’s quite a cliche, a stereotype, so I’m thinking of cutting the whole section, but I’m not sure. Ergo, no action whatsoever taken.

In the works as well this month, continued work on a short story I began a few months ago about a woman divorcing her zombie husband. It’s good, and deserves some face time. So, maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow if I’m still on the fence about Cain’s latest disciple.

Halcyon, it’s a good word. At the very least, use it in a sentence sometime tonight or tomorrow. Find yourself a halcyon of your own to work in. Escape the misanthropes.