Category Archives: The Writing Life

Off to write at Rudyard Kipling’s Carriage House

I’ll admit it’s not been a great year for me. To put it plainly, I was sick most of the year with bouts of nausea that turned out to be the result of an out-of-control ovarian mass. Taken care of…a week before one of the busiest Septembers of my  life. In fact, I write this on August 25, two days after surgery. I’m dreaming of Thursday, September 7, when I’ll be leaving to go up to Rudyard Kipling’s Carriage House in Dummerston, Vermont, for a much-needed writing retreat with my friends Meghan and Stacey.

As you’re reading this? I’m picking up Meghan at the bus station and we’re on our way! You can take a photo tour and get a feel for our visit last year here: https://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2016/09/27/the-landmark-trust-properties-for-writers-the-perfect-quiet-places/

Although it says it “sleeps four,” we really feel that it more comfortably sleeps three, as one of the rooms has an old-fashioned full-sized bed (which is really close quarters for two people to sleep on). There is ample room in the living room, I suppose, to throw down an air mattress, but the couches aren’t something you really want to sleep on, either.

Last year, Meghan had to unexpectedly cut her stay short by one day, leaving me and Stacey in the house alone for the last night.

That’s when things got a little weird. I’ll leave you with Stacey’s rendering of it–way better than mine–here: http://staceylongo.com/my-blog/retreat

 

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THIS WRITING LIFE EPISODE 10: DAMNATIONLAND is up!

Episode 10 This Writing Life

This episode of This Writing Life road trips to Portland, Maine!

For me, being a writer means always studying other media—film, music, art, whatever. One of my favorite things to do is attend DAMNATIONLAND—a horror film festival which showcases short films by independent Maine filmmakers. I probably did more partying than studying…but come take the ride with me! Watch This Writing Life Episode 10: Damnationland here: https://youtu.be/1ro3aNkm89M

If you wanna do it for real? You can check out the dates for 2017 on the Damnationland FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/Damnationland/?ref=br_rs

Damnationland Art 2

Coming soon! INK STAINS JANUARY 2018: DECAY

Ink Stains Update 2

I spent the first six months of this year as a guest editor for an upcoming issue of Dark Alley Press’ Ink Stains anthology series, and I’m pleased to announce that, except for a couple of rounds of proofing and the fact that the cover isn’t complete, it’s in the can!

This was my first stint as guest editor, and it was nothing short of a magical experience. There was something special about not just cherry-picking pieces for a collection from a slush pile, but curating a collection; tapping talent for some unpublished stories that had haunted me for—in some cases—a quarter of a century, or always anticipating that moment when that perfect story I have to have! would appear in the submissions manager.

In addition, every writer I worked with shared the vision; it was an enlightening journey in every sense of the phrase.

The theme of the issue was my choice—decay. It’s a pervasive Read the rest of this entry

THIS WRITING LIFE EPISODE 9A: SNOWBOUND WITH ZOMBIES is live!

Episode 9A Snowbound with Zombies Blog Art 1

One of many amazing Halloween items at Cracker Barrel. I left with an almost empty wallet.

This Writing Life Episode 9A: Snowbound: with Zombies is live! You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/BE0wZM3cTtk

Snowbound: with Zombies 03

Copies of Snowbound on the Dent sisters’ display table.

In this episode, we jam the Snowbound: with Zombies release event into a full weekend! Snowbound: with Zombies is a collection of scary stories by several New England writers, and 100% of the proceeds benefits the Whittier Birthplace Museum in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Available in both print and Kindle. Get it here: http://bit.ly/SnowboundPrint (Kindle link posted on that page too). Oh…and we also find a cool Cracker Barrel.

Snowbound with Zombies - Tales of the Supernatural Cover

Don’t know much about Whittier but want to? I recommend The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: A Reader’s Edition, edited by William Jolliff.

http://bit.ly/WhittierIntro. Or plan your visit to the birthplace! Visit http://www.johngreenleafwhittier.com/

There’s now a second collection for mystery lovers! If you love mysteries, give back to the community and pick up Murder Among Friends (which contains my story “The Cricket in the Wall”) here: http://bit.ly/MAFCricket

THIS WRITING LIFE EPISODE 8: TOTAL BRAIN ERASURE

So…writers are thinking. All the time. How do we turn that off? Here’s one way to do it on Episode 8: Total Brain Erasure! You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/68NnQlQahm0

Keep in mind that just about any location you love that gets you to relax and focus on other activities besides writing will work. While I’ll say the vacation was incredibly effective in turning off my brain–as most Disney vacations are for me–I will say that cutting down the several hours of video I had while trying to tell an effective story in under five minutes was more than just a little challenging! Have fun!

THIS WRITING LIFE EPISODE 9: TAPING THE TACO SOCIETY

In the latest episode of This Writing Life, Stacey Longo and I hit the road for New Hampshire, where we will be featured on an episode of the YouTube series The Taco Society. Some things we do as writers are more play than work (fighting with cocktail swords comes to mind) … and damn, green screens are cool!

Episode 9 Art 1 A toast

Toasting to a job well done following the taping of The Taco Society Episode 12!

The Taco Society is a crew of writers (Tony Tremblay, Philip Perron, Sydney Leigh and Gardner Goldsmith) who interview other writers of dark fiction. Some episodes also feature readings of the writers’ work. You can check them out on their channel here.

Episode 9 Art 2 Stacey Longo

Getting gussied up…writer Sydney Leigh brought us the coolest nail art to put on before the interview! Writer Stacey Longo checks it out.

Writers: SCRIBEDelivery March Unbox!

March Scribed Unbox 4

The March 2017 SCRIBED Unbox…underneath, from left, the Kukuyo Notebooks and the Smock Workbook. Writing instruments, from left: the Tombow Mono Drawing Pencil, the Kokuyo Beetle Highlighter, the Sailor G-Free Ballpoint Pen, and the Tombow 8900 Drawing pencil.

SCRIBEdelivery is a monthly box of themed goodies especially for writers or lovers of notebooks, pens, and the like. Each “box” is carefully curated by people who love the stuff just like we do. I’ll let Chris and Holly tell their story in their own words…you can find out more, and get your subscription, here: http://www.scribedelivery.com/.

That said, here’s the March Unbox…the theme of which is Read the rest of this entry

Writers: SCRIBEDelivery February Unbox!

scribed-feb-unbox-1

The SCRIBED “boxes” have thus far arrived in padded envelopes.

SCRIBEdelivery is a monthly box of themed goodies especially for writers or lovers of notebooks, pens, and the like. Each “box” is carefully curated by people who love the stuff just like we do. I’ll let Chris and Holly tell their story in their own words…you can find out more, and get your subscription, here: http://www.scribedelivery.com/.

That said, here’s the February Unbox…the theme of which is “Sharing” — each product in the box supports a cause. Check it out!

Who doesn’t love to find…

amazon-box

…an Amazon box that was delivered to your house, never opened, and shoved in the basement when you were cleaning up for a party that you completely forgot about? I found this one a year after it was delivered.

I had to open it to find out what was in it, but I can’t can’t tell you what it was. Turns out it was intended to be a Christmas gift for someone, who will get it this year instead.

Out they go…

Bad Apple Kristi Petersen Schoonover 1

This stack of drafts was in a copy box in my basement. The novel was edited/revised seven times. One of the drafts is missing because I bound and gave it away to a reader.

One of the toughest things about being a writer is getting rid of clutter. While it’s a given we need our project materials, as well as the things that inspire us (anyone remember that picture of Ray Bradbury’s office?), there’s more: old projects and stacks of drafts.

While it’s gotten much easier since the age of electronic documents (I can keep drafts in a compact form now), there are still times when paper accumulates…and forget about years ago, when everything was done on paper. My most recent project has been to take paper drafts of stories, scan them into PDFs, and store them that way.

Bad Apple took two years to write and revise, then another two years of polish once the novel was sold to Dark Alley Press. What resulted were seven giant drafts peppered with notes and Post-It flags, wine and coffee stains. A few years back I took one of the early drafts, bound it, and gave it to a reader as a gift–but other than that, they were all there.

Scanning these all to PDF, I felt, was going to be a waste of time and energy–am I ever going to look at these again?Who is going to give a crap, anyway? So…I made a deal with myself. I photographed the pile. Just so I’d always have it to remember.

Then off to the shredder it went.

Bad Apple was published by Dark Alley Press in 2012. You can get your copy here: http://a.co/htRbr9v

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