Category Archives: The Writing Life
The Dark Discussions podcast network did an interview with me about my work and my horror faves here in their Horror & High Heels interview series!
You can read the interview here: https://www.darkdiscussions.com/articles/horror-high-heels-interview-with-kristi-petersen-schoonover/
Want to read the rest of the articles in the series? You can do that here!
Elizabeth Black, horror writer
Mariam Michael Draeger, Hostess of The Grimm Exchange
Holly Amber Church, Film Composer
Nora B. Peevy, artist, photographer, writer
There are weeks when, as a writer, I don’t feel so accomplished. This morning, I had one of those moments … and then I did a tally of what I got done this week:
Gave feedback on a friend’s synopsis
Gave feedback on another friend’s short story
Gave feedback on Chapter 1 of yet another friend’s novel
Designed and mailed out the 34 Orchard Issue 3 announcement postcards
Created the back cover copy for Tidings (my husband did most of that—he used to market books, so …)
Watched Aliens and recorded the 10th anniversary episode of Dark Discussions (I can’t believe it’s been a decade!)
Completed edits on several of the stories for 34 Orchard
Finished several sets of tiny newspapers for my annual holiday chapbook mailing … I have to make 320 sets; I have only 114 to go!
I guess I really did deserve that bottle of wine and a nice early bed time last night!
Back to work!
I love presents. I love giving them (there are people who will tell you I do it too much), and I love getting them, too. While any present is magical no matter what it is, sometimes you get one that just stands out.
With COVID having shut down our day-job office except for a couple of us holding down the fort (yes, I’m one of them), our holiday celebrations weren’t happening. One of my co-workers, though, brought me a really interesting gift:
…get it? WEED and ROACH CLIPS? She’s only a little older than me. What cracked her up the most was that she had to explain to her twenty-something children what a roach clip was (I guess kids now are all into edibles. Just … I’m sorry, not as much fun). “Ah,” she said, “the good old days!” Heck—I remember when we wore them in our hair in the 1980s. I was 12. My parents weren’t happy.
Anyway, I love my roach clips, and I think this is just about one of the most creative presents I’ve ever gotten. My husband the exterminator? Not thrilled. Doesn’t enjoy opening up the cabinet and seeing them crawling on the chips … which means more for me, right?
Earlier this week, NecronomiCon Providence—a celebration of Lovecraft and Cosmic Horror which takes place every other August in the city of Providence, RI—announced that it was postponing this year’s event. It will now be held August 18-21, 2022.
NecronomiCon is just plain awesome. It’s four days of Lovecraft-related panels, performances, art, short films, walking tours, writing, and unique parties like the Eldritch Ball and the Cthulu Prayer Breakfast. While I know that there are many people who are disappointed, since the event typically draws a couple of thousand people (possibly more), I think this is just a smart thing to do at the moment—although another issue is that this intricate event takes a lot of advanced planning, and with the world still in its uncertain place, Read the rest of this entry
Recently, I posted a quote that read “Decide what kind of life you actually want. Then say no to everything that isn’t that.”
Two weeks ago, I had an existential crisis—well, I suppose it’s safe to say, another existential crisis, because honestly, if you’re doing this writing life right, it happens more often then you might think. There’s a reason for the “tortured artist” stereotype. Questioning what you’re doing with your life, why you’re doing what you’re doing, is actually quite normal.
I’ve dabbled in many different things, but I’ve decided what kind of life I want: I want to write, I want to read, I want to surround myself with everything that’s connected to that. It’s what I’ve always wanted. They say you shouldn’t date anyone that isn’t ‘fuck yeah, you’re it!’ about you. Conversely, you really shouldn’t be doing anything in your life that doesn’t make you want to rocket from bed in the morning and go, ‘fuck yeah, let’s get started!’
I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic short work in literary magazines lately—in my opinion, there’s a lot of undiscovered genius out there—and I want to publish the stuff I enjoy reading most. So I decided to found a new dark literary journal that will pay its writers. It’s called 34 Orchard, and the first issue will launch in April of 2020.
I’ve edited a couple of journals, and I know how stressful and rigorous this path can be—where most small journals can fail, honestly, is in the area of balancing all of the work: eventually, it’s so much arduous work, so much struggle and pain to keep up with it or deal with the grief of daily business (which sometimes isn’t pleasant), that the passion just burns out (kind of like a toxic or one-sided relationship). I had to come up with a detailed plan for something that would be sustainable in the long term, and I did.
Yes, it will be a major time investment. But unlike a toxic or one-sided relationship, I’ve figured out how to manage things so that I can just enjoy it. It will be drama free, full of joy, and make me want to rocket out of bed every morning and go, ‘fuck yeah!’ 34 Orchard is going to be the love of my life.
Our website is LIVE, and our Duotrope listing was approved and posted fewer than 24 hours after we were ‘internet official.’ The journal will be free to read for the time being, but donations are accepted. You can also sign up for announcements to come right to your email (it won’t be a blog. There will be only a few scattered announcements when there is news to share) so you’ll know when our first issue is up!
I hope you will join me in celebrating, and I hope you’ll support the journal in any way you can—share it, read it, send us comments, send us your work, donate, tell a friend. Thank you!
Main Page: https://34orchard.com/
Publishing information: https://34orchard.com/issues/
Writer’s Guidlelines: https://34orchard.com/guidelines/
Duotrope Listing: https://duotrope.com/listing/27544/34-orchard
Yeah, I know. Y’all were getting used to having some content from me every Sunday, and then I disappeared. What happened?
I’ve been writing short fiction—a lot, and honestly, I’m not the type of writer who can do both. While most of the year was spent on my novel Tidings, my muse let me down on that one for little bit, but inspired three new pieces. “Omniscience” and “Threading the Needle” are out for submission; a third, “Temporary Inconveniences,” is being workshopped, and after that, I’ll be finishing one I started last year post-“Wrecking Malcolm” called “Feast or Famine.” Ideas for new pieces are coming out of nowhere, and I mostly have to give them all of my attention except for necessary adult things like bill paying, cleaning the house and getting the windshield repaired on the car: a novel I can work on and balance life. Short fiction? Not so much. It’s pretty much bye-bye Krissi.
Of course, around all of these projects, Read the rest of this entry
…I didn’t like being interrupted while I was writing back then, either. This was taken in the early 1970s. I wrote my first “short story” when I was about five (which I might still have someplace–it was about a tree who killed itself and consisted of a couple of drawings and three sentences), so this photo makes sense for that time frame.
My first job out of college was as an obituary writer for the Putnam Reporter Dispatch in Carmel, NY.
Obituary writer! You’re thinking, “like someone who writes those long things in The New York Times!” Well, you’re right, but not really. I was more of a compiler than anything else. Nowadays, it’s more common that the families write up a tribute, give it to the funeral home, and then get charged to run it in the newspaper.
Back in the early 1990s, nearly all obituaries were put together Read the rest of this entry