Wine bottles, movie posters and hot tow truck drivers

Car Stuck in Driveway

My car, stuck across the driveway. AWESOME quality of life here in New England. Why live anywhere else?

I used to write a newsletter. I’ve now decided I can barely keep my blog going, so instead of trying to do both—and failing at both—I figure I’ll combine the two, and this way I can only fail at one.

I have decided that hell looks like a snowstorm. I have a long, hilly driveway and I don’t drive in the snow. So since we got back from Disney on January 28, I’ve basically been a shut-in (three to four snowstorms a week. Seriously?). Allowed me to catch up on lots of CSI:Miami (I only watch it in the winter; it’s taken me three winters to get up to Season 8), but still made me want to run screaming into a pile of razor blades.

On the writing front, Stacey Longo sent me her latest piece for feedback (it’s going to appear in Insanity Tales 2 and yes, it’s a quirky, fun read! Quite refreshing after slogging through tons of poorly-written magazine submissions), and Nanette Blake and I exchanged stories with the intent to give each other feedback. I haven’t had a steady group in about a year—the last one was a six-hour round-trip drive and it just got to be too much, even once a month—and I’ve found that piece-mealing among a few writers I trust has really worked for me. Nanette and I will be sharing our critiques over the phone. We hope to invite a few friends and do a Google hangout or Skype meeting every month, but we want to make sure we can stick to our own guns first. If you’re a writer and don’t have a group, consider the one-on-one exchange. You might be surprised.

Jaws IV Soundtrack

I know it’s a blurry picture. I was so excited when it arrived I had some wine. But you get the idea.

I write to movie scores, and I’m thrilled to report the complete score on CD for Jaws 4: The Revenge arrived! My friend Michelle and I broke it in on Wednesday night. Yes, the movie is terrible. Yes, the book is terrible. I don’t care. I love Jaws. I love the whole franchise (especially 3-D!). I’m excited to add this to my movie score collection.

Sometimes “working on writing” isn’t “working on writing.” I’m heading to ANTHOCON in June (can you believe that’s less than 12 weekends away? I always count in weekends. You realize how fast things are going and how short your life is getting).

The ticket I purchased includes the opportunity to put a promotional product into the “swag bags” (bags of goodies that are given out to attendees). Of course, little miss promotional-product junkie over here can’t just do pens or magnets again. I wanted to do something stand-out that would connect with what I was promoting.

With my budget set around $300 max for 200 pieces, I looked into custom decks of cards for my novel Bad Apple (Scree plays speed solitaire). Really neat, and I’ll definitely order – but way too pricey for 200; it was almost double my budget. I looked into Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate bars for my novella This Poisoned Ground (dark chocolate figures into the story) but at $2/per bar (or, buy the label and re-wrap your own candy, which’d probably cost more and is really unsanitary), that came in at over $400.

What also figures in This Poisoned Ground is red wine. I thought doing those little mini-bottles would be cool, so I called Brookfield Country Wine & Spirits – owned by Louis Venezia, who lived on my street growing up – for a price. Turns out I could get 200 for just a little over my budget, and then I can print the labels myself. I spent the day designing the labels. Here’s a sample. What do you think?

Saturday was sunny and warm, so I decided to take the car out to run some errands. I got about as far as backing out; I slid down an ice flow and careened into a snowbank, completely blocking the driveway. No shovel, pile of sand, or flattened Amazon box was going to work, so we called AAA. When the tow truck arrived, we heard the driver scream “What a pain in the ass!” as he was trying to come up our winding driveway backwards (that was hilarious! Right on!), and he was quite pleasant while he hooked my car up to the winch. Truth be told, when I saw his Yankees baseball cap, I knew it’d all work out. It was as though my late father was looking out for me.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t home to help you,” Nathan said.

I told him it was okay. The driver was hot and I gave him a nice tip.

I don’t think my husband cared for that.

Finally, I got a start on cleaning out the basement – we have a Tiki Bar that’s been “in process” since 2002 (talk about procrastination!). This is the year it opens for New Year’s Eve. This week’s project was pulling together all the various rolled-up posters that are all over the place and get them in one spot. I picked up two laundry baskets at Target (the suggestion of friends Suzanne and Adam Zuckerman, who use tall laundry baskets for storing wrapping paper), and the job’s done. I’m so proud of getting at least one task done I took a picture.

Posters in Basement

Seriously, I could plaster every wall in a skyscraper I have so many posters. What you don’t see is that each of these rolls has at least 10, and one roll  contains at least 40.

Have a magical week!


About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at

Posted on March 7, 2015, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff, The Writing Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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