Archive for the ‘relationships’ Tag

Another Day, Another 1000 Words   2 comments

Mr Zombie

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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.

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Out of Our   Leave a comment

Homeless Hoarder

Image by richardmasoner via Flickr

Read the issue here

Out of Our is a great, gritty, print zine out of San Francisco that isn’t afraid of throwing a bit of its grit on the internet as well. In my publishing history I have it down as a 2009 credit, but I actually  had two poems in the January 2010 issue.

Both “The Collector” and “It’s All Over” are sad poems illustrating a sense of loss. The Collector has never had love, and so he fills his life with things, trash picked from the ground, to compensate for the lack of people in his life. Sadly, the more trash he collects, the more humanity avoids him.

“It’s All Over” was written while watching a couple eat together at the local casino. It was obvious that while they were together, they weren’t “together” any more. Both were in their own little worlds, avoiding contact with one another, barely speaking. At that point in my life, I was used to eating alone, and was deeply affected watching this deterioration. I vowed I would never again allow myself to be caught in such a relationship. Sadly, I have not been able to keep that vow.

Today, go people watching. Don’t try to write a poem or story as you people watch, just jot down short notes you can use later. Hypothesize about their lives, put yourself in their shoes. Create.

Sugarpants: the Scrawl Blogazine   Leave a comment

http://www.stwa.net/blog/2010/08/13/drunk-poems-series-helen-peterson/

In my post about Poetic Diversity, I mentioned that I belonged to an online writers’ workshop. That forum, called Scrawl:The Writers’ Asylum, also runs a blog that showcases some of the work of the members.  Last month they posted a poem of mine called “When He is Drunk on Me” in a series of drunk poems by various poets.

Like most creative people when they get together, writers like to riff on one another’s work. Someone writes something, someone else draws on similar experiences, and writes something new. This can continue on with someone else, or the first person can build again on the second person’s work. You see this a lot with musicians, the guitar player puts some chords together, the drummer builds a back beat to carry it, the pianist weaves her own notes in and out. We do the same, just with words.

In this case, it started in a topical thread about what people do when they are drunk, mostly humorous anecdotes came out, but then one brilliant poet and all around wonderful person named Sue Miller posted that when she is drunk she thinks about Wyoming. Then she wrote a poem with a similar title, and posted it in the poetry workshop. From there others posted Drunk poems thinking about other places, and sometimes, like me, about other people.

For me, the word drunk is heavy with the regret of a failed marriage. Being the wife of a full-blown alcoholic meant that moments that should have been beautiful were tinged with ugliness.  It is not a happy poem, it is not a pretty poem. It rips off the scab, hard, and I almost didn’t want it to be posted in a public forum. I was afraid to allow a peek under the covers, so to speak, how people might change their perception of me, of him. But then I thought of the other women out there in the world who might have gone through similar experiences, of wanting to make love, hold their husbands close, feel loved. Instead, they gag on the fumes coming from his mouth, the dirty sweat, the blacking out. I thought, perhaps, it might help them if they come across this poem to know they aren’t alone, that it’s ok to feel disappointed with the way things have turned out.

I hope, as you read this poem, you don’t think less of me. I hope you can fall back on your own good experiences in love and romance, enjoy them, and never take them for granted.

Battered Suitcase   Leave a comment

Алина никогда не моет посуду, если ей сказать:...

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http://www.vagabondagepress.com/00901/V3I2PT7.html

Battered Suitcase is an online journal run by Vagabondage Press that has a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first places that published me  when I was starting out. They’ve done me the honor of accepting another poem, this one entitled “When Even the Neighbor’s Cat Feels Sorry for Me”, a good one for today, when I am down in the dumps.

This was a napowrimo poem. What is napowrimo? National Poetry Writing Month, the month of April, when I, and a number of other poets in the US, challenge ourselves and one another to write a poem a day, for the whole month. It’s a momentum I wish I could maintain all year. During April of 2009, I had just moved into a new place, had chosen to end my reproductive years, and was looking at a relationship in decline.  On this particular day, I hadn’t found my poem yet, was washing dishes, listening to the Beatles, when “Fool on the Hill” came on. Music is a huge influence on my writing, as are tasks that have a rhythm to them, such as scrubbing dishes. Close your eyes and think of it, the sounds and movements. Scrub scrub, rinse, stack, scrub scrub rinse stack. Sccrit, scrrit, woosh, clanck, scrrit sccrit, woosh, clanck.

The beauty of ordinary things, washing dishes, humming a tune, is good therapy to cure the blues. You either write a poem or take a nap afterwards, but either way, you’re feeling good. It all swirls away down the drain with the tortilla crumbs.  Take some time today to become aware of the rhythms of your own domesticity, and put it down on paper.