In This Writing Life Episodes 11 and 12, things are fine–until I have a nightmare, which could result in a great short story that would work for a looming deadline (but only if I can pull myself together).
You can watch both episodes below.
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!
I’ve started a new YouTube series called This Writing Life (and the title speaks for what it’s all about). Every other week (or so), I’ll post a new episode, which I try to keep super-short (did you know the human attention span is now only twice as long as a goldfish’s?) and absolutely ennui-inducing talking-head-in-front-of-my-bookshelf-for-what-seems-like-forever free. If you’re interested, you can check out the theme below, then head over here to EPISODE 1: LIFE’S BETTER AT THE BEACH. If you like it, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel? Would you do it for a Kit Kat?
The week kicked off with a much-needed change of scenery in Rhode Island: a couple of days with my friend Heather, whom I’ve known for years. The good news is we chilled out! And…the bad news is we chilled out. We enjoyed a nice CRIMINAL MINDS binge-watch session, ate Chinese food, and reveled in the fact that most of the snow had melted…what a difference a week makes!
I also got some feedback on a short story I’ve been working on (Heather and I have been critiquing each other’s work for years). A piece called Read the rest of this entry
I’ve just finished stage managing a production of Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays at Theatreworks New Milford in Connecticut. This murder mystery is set in Gillette Castle, which was the real-life home of William Gillette (who brought Sherlock Holmes to the stage) in nearby East Haddam.
It’s open to the public, so some of the cast and crew field tripped it. Our experience walking through the rooms brought a new level of realism to our performance; at the castle, we could see where the scenes take place; on the set, we could imagine the true backdrop as we worked.
Writers want to do the same for readers — we want to bring the world alive for them; make it three-dimensional and real. While it’s often noted the secret to success in this area is the use of the five senses, I find it’s more specific than that. Here are the five keys to creating a vivid setting (in no particular order): Read the rest of this entry
Flashbacks can be useful tools if they’re used properly. Here are five tips for doing it right I’ve learned along the way over at Jester Harley’s Manuscript Page (the official blog of writer Anne E. Johnson): http://anneejohnson.blogspot.com/2014/01/kristi-petersen-schoonover-on-writing.html
There are loads of articles about good submission practices. As a co-editor of Read Short Fiction, I’ve picked up on a few things that many articles don’t mention as often regarding submission etiquette. So here they are. Read the rest of this entry
If your life’s been anything like mine lately, you might be feeling overwhelmed with too much to do to the point at which you’re facing—or are already in—burnout.
March’s issue of The BroadSheet—the journal of Broad Universe, a national organization that promotes science fiction, fantasy and horror written by women—features my article “Building Better Balance: How to Pulverize Pressure and Plus Productivity,” which was originally printed in writer Tamara Linse’s blog on March 4, 2010. To read the article, visit here: http://www.broaduniverse.org/broadsheet-archive/building-better-balance-how-to-pulverize-pressure-and-plus-productivity-march-2012-bs-c
The BroadSheet’s March issue has articles and information that may be helpful if you’re a writer looking for advice on craft, marketing and other topics. You can check it out here: http://www.broaduniverse.org/the-broadsheet-magazine/broadsheet-march-2012
If you’re a woman who writes science fiction, fantasy or horror and is interested in becoming a member of Broad Universe, visit here: http://www.broaduniverse.org/join-renew/join-renew.
Paranormal Researchers of Fredericton (Canada) recently interviewed me for a feature on their website! If you’d like to read the interview—about, of course, ghost stories, things that go bump in the night and a few odds and ends and advice about the writing life, visit http://paranormal-researchers.com/?p=453.
Interested in paranormal research or better yet are you up in the Frederictonarea? Be sure to check out P.R.O.F.! http://paranormal-researchers.com/
To those who don’t live it, there’s something sexy about living the writing life. Thanks to famous (or infamous) classic writers like Hemingway, Shelley, Byron and Poe…and many others…it’s assumed we’re all haunted by tragic childhoods, have a string of dysfunctional relationships, go to wild parties, smoke, drink, and do everything to excess. Even today, I often sense that when someone talks to me about my life as a writer, they may be asking about how I get my ideas, how I juggle the craft around everything else in life, how I get my work published, et cetera—but let’s face it. What they really want to know are details about the secret, glamorous life I must lead (right, I hear all of you writers out there laughing now).
Still, I won’t lie and say that some of that isn’t true. In today’s world, it probably isn’t true for most of us on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean anyone wouldn’t glimpse the ghost of it when once a year you throw two hundred of us together in hotel—even we like to role-play.
So here’s a trip to last weekend’s first annual AnthoCon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I’m already looking forward to next year.