Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Tag

Doorknobs and Bodypaint 2012   Leave a comment

 

Red Shoes

Red Shoes (Photo credit: garlandcannon (on hiatus))

 

Doorknobs and Bodypaint 2012

 

Doorknobs and Bodypaint is a great online flash journal, where for each issue the editors set up certain parameters that submissions need to match for each section. For example, there might be a word count limit, a line or phrase that must be used, or a certain setting.

 

For their most recent issue the guidelines for the Tapas section required a story be 250 words or less, have a subtheme of weariness, and include the phrase, “they’ll burn you”. They not only accepted my story, The Red Shoes, but gave it top billing!

 

The Red Shoes is an ancient fairy tale where the desire for material gain leads to the protagonist’s demise. She is doomed to dance in her ill-gotten red shoes endlessly until she is worn away to nothing.

 

In my modern take, the protagonist is seeking an end to an illness, and the red shoes in this case are the medications and subsequent side effects that keep them from rest. It is an internal dialogue jumping, skipping, and dancing between the origins of clichés, exhaustion, and the false promises of doctors.

 

I was able to draw from my own recent bout with a serious illness in writing the story. Some of the medications I was on would make me restless, unable to concentrate. Writing it out in a flash was pretty much the only thing I could do to gather my thoughts enough to voice my frustrations.

 

To read my story and to check out the next challenge set for by DK&BP, click here:
http://www.iceflow.com/doorknobs/DOORBODY2.html

 

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The Legendary 2011   Leave a comment

Coffee and Sunshine

Image by Frank Gruber via Flickr

The Legendary had a special Flash issue in March, and included two pieces of my flash fiction. I love being in the Legendary, because every issue is well put together, the stories and poems are always excellent, quality work. Katie and Jim have a good eye, a good ear. Thanks guys!

Male/Female is a flash about the maybes, the could have beens, that occur in our lives every day. A moment between coworkers allows a woman, trapped in an unhappy marriage, to imagine what life would be like with the IT guy. Personally, I’ve known some perfectly wonderful IT guys, and gals for that matter, but none I’d necessarily like to date. At least, not yet.

Hermit is a flash from the mind of someone terrified of the world. Written as stream of consciousness, they go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and survive the trip to tell the tale. Again, not necessarily a situation I’ve found myself in. I’ve been at parties where I’ve wanted to shrink into the wallpaper, but never while purchasing fast food.

It’s a fun challenge, writing from a perspective that isn’t exactly yours. Taking experiences, twisting them, expanding them in a way you’d never take them in your normal everyday life.  For example, in the novel I’m writing now, the protagonist is in the middle of a divorce from her husband, who happens to be a zombie. Divorce I’m all too familiar with, but I don’t know many zombies.

Today, try to write from a different point of view. Write from a different race, or gender, from your own. Take something you’ve experienced, and imagine how someone else might handle that same experience.

 

To read these stories, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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.

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?

Haruah: Breath of Heaven   Leave a comment

Northern lights on the road

Image by Tom Olliver via Flickr

To read this poem, click here

2007, when “On the Shores of Gitcheegumee” was published in Haruah: Breath of Heaven, seems like a lifetime ago. Even more distant is the even that inspired this inspirational piece about grieving, loss, and hope.

My grandmother died almost 20 years ago, but the trip to Montana my family took is fresh in my mind to this day. Growing up we made the trek to Montana by van many times, but this particular trip was fraught with roadblocks along the way. The minivan broke down in Michigan, the part needed had to be ordered, the only campground nearby with a spot for us was run by a crazy old man who hated kids.  It was like something out of a movie, but the best, and worst, was yet to come.

At weeks end, we sped across the prairies, not stopping at night, my parents taking turns sleeping. During one of the brief stops along side the road so Mom could wake up and take Dad’s place, we were blessed to see the Northern Lights, my sister and I for the first time. The next day we learned that my grandmother had passed around the time we witnessed Aurora Borealis.

My family, my life, have always been a main source of inspiration for me, and this poem is representative of some of my earliest work, drawing on one of the bigger moments. Over time, of course, I have to delve further, draw from memory buried over time, more subtle. It’s nice to look back and remember a simpler, bittersweet time.

How deep into your own memory do you go for inspiration? Have you simply skimmed the surface in your writing, or have the layers slowly been peeled away? Do some free writing, quickly writing down scraps of memory, phrases, words, see what might be hiding, waiting to come into the light.