Archive for the ‘language’ Tag

Danse Macabre 2011   Leave a comment

Snow White

Image by Official Star Wars Blog via Flickr

http://dansemacabre.art.officelive.com/SummerPoetry.aspx

My good friends at Danse Macabre offer a triple play of Peterson this month, offering a reprint of my story, Snow White : Sadist,  and two $3 dollar poems about 2 timing men, What’s the Scuttlebutt Betty? & Illywhacker.

If you’re thinking the first one sounds familiar congratulations.  You know your iconic REM songs. In fact Betty started life as Kenneth,  but I thought a female name fit better with the theme of woman done wrong. Look for a smattering of other fun words, like bugaboo bugbear and torque.

Illywhacker is a little more fun and a little less personal,  which is what you’d expect from archaic Scottish slang. Special thanks goes out to the folks at writingraw.com for introducing it to me.

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The Legendary   Leave a comment

Sunnyside Trailer park in West Miami, Florida

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.downdirtyword.com/authors/helenpeterson.html#tp

You can follow this link to every little thing I’ve ever published in the Legendary, but for today I’d just like to talk about the two poems published this year, and leave the fiction and nonfiction for another day.

A writer has to draw on everything they know, they have to listen to the language around them, both at home and away.  Both of  these poems, “What it Means to be a Whore’s Daughter”, and “Popcorn Ball Blues” reflect my own listening skills, especially as a child spending her summers in either the Southern US or out West with relatives, grandmas, uncles, that I didn’t get to see the rest of the year, and that talked in words and inflections in ways quite different from the Connecticut Yankees back home.

Not that home didn’t play a part in it as well.  My own feelings of betrayal and heartache birthed the Whore’s Daughter, using the pen and the keyboard to vent as a woman scorned causes, I hope, a lot less bloodshed than taking a sword into the trailer park. Popcorn Ball Blues on the other hand is just plain fun, one of the first flash poems I ever wrote after joining Scrawl back in 2007. They’re polar opposites, these two poems, but they work well together. It’s as if Popcorn was the hot Friday night, and Whore’s Daughter is the morning after, full of regrets.

Enjoy these, and the other work by myself and others in the Legendary. It really is a good read, every issue.

Thumbnail Magazine   Leave a comment

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Issue/97500

Sometimes I am fortunate to get my work into a print magazine. I say fortunate not because I think print magazines are better than online. I say it because print, especially literary print, is a rare breed these days. Thumbnail is a relatively new print, this is their first issue, and bravely printed one of the few nonfiction pieces I have ever written.

The piece is a postcard in words, painting a visual of the Third Thursday street festival. The language is poetic but the images and people are as real as it gets. Some years ago the Hartford Courant gave the world a completely different view of Willimantic CT. I hope in this piece to give balance to those negative views, and humanize a town I’ve always been quite fond of.

You will need to buy an issue to read it, so please click the link and do so. Let’s keep print alive, one issue at a time!!

Carcinogenic Poetry   Leave a comment

http://carcinogenicpoetry.blogspot.com/

Carcinogenic Poetry, the online journal of Vigorgray Press, published two of my poems today, “Mighty Tempting” and “Hopeville”. Mighty Tempting is a poem written in the voice of a character I sometimes use, known as Baby Girl. Her life is completely different from mine, her poems have a unique voice that is missing in my other work. Even when I read Baby Girl poems and stories aloud, I am told that not only does my voice change, my posture and facial expressions change as well.

Where does Baby Girl come from? I’m not sure, but I think I draw a lot on my Southern grandmother and her family for the vernacular Baby uses. She’s got an edge my Grandma didn’t have when I knew her, but I like to think, knowing bits and pieces of my family history, that she did have her strength as a young single mother in the back country of the panhandle.

Where Mighty Tempting is steeped in the South, Hopeville is a snapshot of New England. Written based on notes on a summer day at the pond, it captures the day better than a photo ever could.

Today draw on your region of the country. Write out a snapshot of it, what makes it special to you. Listen to the music of the language surrounding you. What makes this language different from anywhere else? Write a story or poem in that language.