Archive for the ‘writer’ Tag

New Year’s Resolutions, So How Am I Doing?   Leave a comment

Pen & Ink

It’s time to get writing! (Photo credit: mbgrigby)

Depends what your expectations are. If you expected me to be golden every single day, then I’m not doing great. If you think any improvement is better than none at all, then I’m fantastic, thank you very much.

In the past week, I’ve written two pretty decent short stories, and I’ve edited about five others as well as two poems. This has given me, all told, about 3000 words. I also do a lot of copy writing for my Etsy store, so that’s given me about 100 words an item, so somewhere between 200 and 500 a day. My freelance work can get me another 500 words or so. This means that some days it’s really easy to meet my goals; I can do it without having to start a new story or poem. Other days, I have to add a project to the list. I find that if I have a specific idea or something I want to edit that day, it makes it easier to stick to my writing schedule. Lists are our friends, people. Learn to love the list.

I’ve submitted material to four places, two of which are new to me, one that’s a contest. I’ve always looked down my nose at literary contests, thinking they were just easy ways for magazines to gain revenue while getting up the hopes of desperate writers who could use 1000 extra bucks in their pocket, thank you very much.

But I know people who have won contests. I’ve received submissions to Waterhouse that included wins in the writers’ bio. It makes me think, shoot, if this person can win something, surely so can I. So, here and there, I’ll enter something.

I’ve also made the decision this year to only submit to markets that pay. Which pains me, it really does, because there are a lot of really great places to publish out there that don’t pay. That can’t pay. At this point in the game though,  my dues have been paid. It’s time to move to the big leagues, or so I’ve been told.

So, there we are. I’m getting it done, but I’m not beating myself up about it. Bravo 2013, let’s keep this up.

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The One Website Every Writer Should Know   2 comments

"Writing", 22 November 2008

“Writing”, 22 November 2008 (Photo credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle)

When people find out I’m a writer, they’re full of questions. They tell me about this one poem or story they’ve written or thought about writing, but they don’t know what they’d do with it after it’s written. Should they publish it? Isn’t that risky, especially if they publish it online? How would they find a place to send it anyway, and how would they submit it?

For all these questions and more, I send them to duotrope.com. Duotrope has a database of 4,360 publications that are currently accepting work. These include both print and online literary journals, publisher of fiction, non fiction, and poetry, paying and non paying markets. Each listing has a treasure trove of information on the guidelines of each publisher, response statistics, and a link to the website for further information.

Duotrope also provides a submissions manager to allow members to keep track of where and when they’ve submitted work. There is a community presence, offering market news, writing prompts, calendars, and in depth interviews with the editors of publications listed. Even our own Waterhouse Review is listed. You can read the interview with fiction editor Gavin Broom and me here: https://duotrope.com/interview.aspx?id=5149

Duotrope has also introduced me to a number of great markets, like Niteblade. In fact, you may be reading this post because of the Niteblade blog train. You probably came from http://idreamagain.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/niteblade-blog-train-stop-15/, and next stop is, http://www.markrigney.net/Rigney/Blog/Blog.html
So if you’re in a rut and don’t know what to write or just need a new market to send your work, please check out https://duotrope.com/index.aspx

The Joys of Marriage for Writers   Leave a comment

 

Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Gavin Broom and Helen R. Peterson.

Writers are a fickle bunch. By necessity, we grow a tough skin, but we can still be sensitive to criticism, especially from other writers. I’ve co-edited projects with other writers with whom I’d been best friends before the project began, and no longer on speaking terms with after. It happens. So just imagine living and working with another writer. Co-editing a transatlantic literary journal. Lots could go wrong in that scenario.

It doesn’t always work, sometimes when one of you gets a story accepted in that journal that NO ONE gets accepted into, the other one can’t help but ask, “why not me?” But it’s nice to have an extra pair of eyes in the house to tell you when you’re getting it right, and wrong. It’s good to live with someone who understands, when you’ve got the notebooks and pens out, when the laptop is turned on, they shut the door, take the kids out for ice cream, and give you your space for a few hours.

Gavin and I have, so far, made it work. We were friends when we started working on Waterhouse together, and we’re still friends. More than friends in fact. We look forward to seeing how our life together is reflected in one another’s writing from now on, and seeing how working so closely together will improve the Waterhouse further.

We invite you to share this journey with us, by keeping an eye on this blog, the Melons and Memory Facebook page, and the Waterhouse Review ( www.waterhousereview.co.uk  ). Let’s enjoy this ride together!

Zygote in my Coffee April 2012   1 comment

Rossetti was interested in figures locked in e...

Zygote in My Coffee April 2012

 

To read the issue, go here: http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue137contentsradnads.html

 

First, let me just say how happy I am that Zygote came back. They were one of the first to publish me, and so many of those early online zines have gone dark. I’m ecstatic they’ve published my poems, Sapiosexual and Glottophagy, this month in issue #137.

 

Both Sapiosexual and Glottophagy continue the series I’ve been working on of Three Dollar Poems, poems that have long and/or archaic words for titles that then go on in the body of the poem to define the word in some way.

 

A sapiosexual is a person who is turned on by another person’s intellect, and not their physical appearance. Glottophagy is a term that refers to when a language is completely taken over by another, so that the words themselves are lost. This is commonly referred to as language death, but glottophagy, let’s admit it, is a lot more fun to say.

 

I am so excited to see these two poems published together, as they are both inspired by the new man in my life, and the impact these changes have had in both my point of view and in my writing. Glottophagy especially encapsulates this, since I had been in such destructive relationships previously, it was hard for me to reclaim the language necessary to write poems and fiction that reflect happiness and true love. Working through the poem was a gateway for me to a whole new range of images and metaphors that had been closed off to me before.

 

I am eager to see what new poems will be inspired by this amazing new journey in my life, and I can’t wait to share them with you, my fans and supporters. I think, in times like these, we can all use a few more happy poems, don’t you?

 

 

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.

The Legendary, 2009   Leave a comment

Grandma's underwear

Image by raldski gimo via Flickr

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

The Legendary loves me, and I love the Legendary.  In 2009, they published three flash by me, “The Cheating Kind”, “Goin’ Commando”, and “Missy Lee’s Enlightenment”.

The Cheating Kind, well. It’s four sentences, mostly of dialogue, but I think, I hope, it packs a punch when you read it, similar to the shock to the system the protagonist gets when she realizes she is, indeed, married to the cheating kind.

Goin Commando is a Baby Girl story, but instead of the younger, sassy, middle aged Baby Girl, we get to meet the Grandma Baby Girl. It was fun, trying to imagine this character I had created initially in her twenties, then wrote about again in her forties, turn sixty and become Maw-Maw. The story I adapted from something my sister did at the age of five, not me. Honest. I swear.

And Missy Lee owes her name to a good friend of mine with the last name of Lee. Sassy, Southern, and comfortable in her skin. Her actions, however, stem from autobiographical frustration I had with a previous relationship. The beauty of being a writer is, you can write out the things in your life you don’t understand until they begin to make sense.  You can harness your anger and create with it, birthing characters that may reach out to others in your position, give them hope and allow them to see the beauty in themselves.

The Shine Journal   Leave a comment

Baby eating baby food (blended green beans)

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.theshinejournal.com/petersonhelen.htm

The Shine Journal published a story of mine last month called “Baby Love“. The story is based upon experiences I’ve had with all three of my children, but was written when all I had was my oldest, who is now 12. As a baby, wherever we went people would be offering him gum, candy, stopping us in the middle of the supermarket to goo-goo at him. What was funny was usually the offered treat was completely inappropriate for an infant without a single tooth.

Because this was my reality for so long, grocery shopping trips that would take me five minutes alone taking 30 minutes or more, I had to write about it. I did. however, give it a little twist, thinking about how the adult behind the baby might benefit from all the attention given their little one, and how someone NOT used to having a baby would handle it when an infant is thrust upon them for whatever reason.

What is your reality today? What occurs in your day to day life that is mundane to you, but could be interesting to someone who lives a different kind of life. Switch places with them, use your imagination and write it out.