The Sin of Procrastination by Irene Peterson

                The Sin of Procrastination

I’ve started this post twice already. Had to stop to put a load of wash in the dryer and make supper,

but here I am, back at the computer and rarin’ to go.

Let me say this first. A writer should not procrastinate. Every thought left hanging in the air is bound to get lost unless one is careful to make notes.  Except when it’s midnight and you’re really sleepy.  Then, instead of getting up and writing down that fabulous idea, you put it off until morning, when, of course, it will be gone.

I speak from personal experience, of course.  I can’t tell you how many great ideas I’ve lost, but then, we’re all pretty much guilty of putting off things.

Six years ago I started a book about a widow who goes to the seashore during the very end of World War II.  Of course, I went gangbusters and polished off six chapters immediately.  I had lots of notes and did months of research since I couldn’t write about the war personally, missing it by three years. I even traveled to the seashore to note the color of the ocean, went to two museums and gleaned all the facts and interesting war anecdotes I could.  The notes piled up.

Then, I got sick.  I mean seriously sick and this great idea got put on the back burner.  For five years. It burned in my brain, of course, along with other chemical nastiness, but while I did write some weird stories based on my pharmacologically induced dreams, I did not touch the WWII book.

My friends kept bugging me to work on it.  So, occasionally to shut them up, I’d write a scene that I felt would really get them going.  Unfortunately, these scenes were just as I thought them up, not in order…those first six chapters were never really continued.  But I had progressed, in a backwards sort of way.

To my credit, I created a timeline. It took me days to write, because the story was now jumbled up and random.  Stirring scenes, but they went nowhere. My therapy was done and my hair grew back and, though I knew the illness could come back at any time, I started to get back into life.
However, about this same time, I got the idea that, if I should finish the story, I would die.  Dorian Gray’s portrait, sort of. Only in my case, the never-ending now four year old story was my picture in the attic.

My friends started bugging me in earnest to finish the story.  My mother wanted me to finish it.  I wanted to finish it, but I would find any excuse not to work on the story.  It was all in my head, I would proclaim. I can finish it at any time.  But I didn’t.  Instead, I wrote two other novels and two novellas, but those poor characters stuck at the seashore at the very end of the war stayed where they were.

Then Facebook happened.  What a great way to waste hours and stay in touch with hundreds of lovely people I didn’t really know.  And their cats. So easy to sit at the computer, look over those sections of the story I had, glance at my copious notes and think…and look at cats and respond to writers who were selling their books and posting clever cartoons.  Mostly about cats.

So, this story has been in the works for six years or more.  Two weeks ago, I made a vow to myself to finish the story before the New Year.  Even though my house underwent the complete destruction of two rooms, I have tried to write a few thousand words every few days.  I have absolutely no idea how many words I have already or even if they will fit in the timeline. Facebook continues to lure me away and domestic duties keep me from writing every day, but I have put things off long enough. World War II took less time than this book. I have made a grievous mistake writing the way I have, but I do expect the timeline to redeem me.

Procrastination is a deadly sin for a writer. What should have taken me four months has taken far too much time.

But, I did manage to write the novellas and they’re pretty good, even if I do say so myself. Dead Dreams and Dead Meat are unvampire stories.  The hero is a man whose job it is to eradicate vamps.  You’ll like him.  Of course, the third episode of this intended trilogy has yet to be written, but I’ve got copious notes for it and some day, after I finish the war story, I’ll get around to writing it.

Irene Peterson is a women’s fiction author from central New Jersey. She is a freelance editor, anglophile, and Godzilla fan. A graduate of Montclair State College, she never wanted to be a teacher, always dreaming of being a published author instead. So she taught for a couple of years. And she wrote poems, short stories, touching subjects ranging from science fiction to fantasy to romance.

She has vowed that nothing will keep her from writing, not even two bouts with cancer. But sometimes, real life does intrude.

Visit her at her website:

Buy her latest release Dead Meat on Amazon now!

Irene Peterson Talks About Vampires…

I’ve about had it with vampires.

I’ve been reading about them and their supposed charms for a long time.  Everybody got the idea that vampires were wonderful when Anne Rice published her famous interview with them book and after the movie with the ever gorgeous Brad Pitt, vampire novels became all the rage.

But not for me.  Call me queasy.  The vampire book series by another author, one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, made me sick.  This author’s idea of the vampires making love was to have them slit open a bit of chest and allow the lover to feed on the blood when they were doing it.  UGH!  If that floats your boat, well, fine, but ICK!  Think about it.  You get to feel a cold dead guy’s hand on your nice plump warm body and then you have to cut yourself and suck blood? Dead guy’s blood?  And this is sexy?

So, after years and years of reading vampire related stories, someone asked me to guest on her paranormal blog. I called it something along the lines of How to Kill a Vampire and in it I outlined all the various ways throughout time that have worked to dispose of the walking dead.  I did plenty of research because, unlike the mythos that has been changed thanks to television and the cinema, I wanted my mythos to be the truth, the actual way of killing off deaders and keeping them dead.

The stakes have to be made of a certain wood, though in the long run, any wooden stake will do as long as it reaches its mark.  The head must then be severed.  Dead vampires do not sparkle, but they can reunite with their severed heads if the heads are left near the neck or the heads are not buried between the vamp’s legs.  Better yet, bury the vampire’s body under a waterfall, body facing down, not up, so if they should reanimate, they will dig down into the earth instead of up into freedom.

There are also so many things a vampire cannot do: can’t cross running water, can’t stand garlic, can’t walk on sanctified ground, cannot venture through a ring of salt, and most important of all, they absolutely cannot tolerate sunshine.  They will burn to a crisp if exposed to sunlight and no blanket or sunscreen can prevent that.

With all this knowledge building up in my brain, it seemed inevitable that I write a vampire story.  Only I decided to make this a true vampire story in which the undead stinks of rotting flesh, it cares nothing for humans other than a source of food and it lies.  I came up with a man whose job it was to dispose of vampires, came up with a Latin name for him and had him work for an Archbishop. 

Dead Dreams features Jim Ryan, a man whose own parents died because of vampires, raised at first to become a priest, but whose innate anger causes him to be chosen to do away with vampires.  His job title is Lignariuswhich is Latin for “one who works with wood” and “one who fixes things”.  His little quirk is that, in order to do his sacred job, he feels that he has to remain pure of heart and body and mind, so, at his age, he is still a virgin.

Of course, I needed to make his life more difficult when he runs into the vamp he has just decapitated.  

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Teaser Tuesday with Irene Peterson

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with Irene Peterson, Author of Dancin’ in the Dark.

Enjoy & Comment!

Carly is Bourbon John Preshin’s newly found daughter. Only it’s six years after Glory Days and Carly is all grown up. She’s even been trusted to take over Preshin Investigations (in the office ONLY) while John and his wife Liz (the redhead with the knife) are in California to testify against her ex. Carly feels very sophisticated after her college graduation and trip to Europe…she thinks she can handle anything, even go out in the field.
Her first day on the job, she meets the scruffy new kitchen help from the restaurant downstairs and is not impressed. Sure, he’s a wounded veteran just home from Iraq, but he rubs her the wrong way. Then she meets the gorgeous lawyer who wants to hire her father to locate some people. Of course, she can handle the job by herself…the guy is so cool and rich and seems to like her. Besides, she needs a date for her best friend’s wedding and wouldn’t he be perfect?

Every time the double doors swished open, Carly sat upright. The nurses and pencil pushers ignored her. This went on for hours until Carly, curled up in the uncomfortable chair, dozed.
A hand on her shoulder woke her with a start…the heart-kicked-into-action, body-on-full-alert kind of start that caused heart attacks in older folks.
Carly straightened herself and tried to stand when she saw the unfamiliar face of Dennis, the kitchen help.
“You awake?” he asked, innocence and ennui in his tone that belied the concern in his eyes. He played with the keys, jingling then catching them in his left hand.
Despite the mixed signals, Carly cast him a sour look. She was crumpled, cramped, drained and he was acting as if his arrival should be the cause of great rejoicing. Celebration with whoops and hollers to say the least.
“What are you doing here?” she grumped.
His brow lifted and his whole body shrugged. “If that’s the way you’re going to be….” He left the threat unspoken.
Carly wiped at her eyes. “Forget it. I’m not in the mood to be polite. I’m waiting to hear if someone who means a great deal to me is going to live, not that it matters to you.”
Dennis folded his long body into one of the vaguely padded orange chairs next to hers. “Yeah, I know all that. Flo sent me to bring you home. She said it was late and the hospital was no place for you to be hanging around at night. Doesn’t seem to be any point in you lingering.”
At this, Carly snapped.
“No point? Only life or death of somebody who got shot about six inches away from me. Six inches, no more!” she indicated the distance with her spread fingers. “Yeah, I’m such a shit I’d just leave without finding out… finding….”
The tears gushed out of her, accompanied by anguished wails and her mashing her fists into her eyes in an attempt to stem the tide she’d held back for hours.
Dennis stared at her, his eyes wide in horror. Carly leaned over to him and clung to his shoulders while burying her face in his chest.
For a few seconds, he did nothing. She shook against him. He pursed his lips and raised his arms slowly… hesitating for too long before placing them around her. Gently. As if she were on fire.
Feeling his tentative touch, seeking some comfort, Carly turned her face to the side and just let him hold her. Hell, it was only Dennis, but right now, she needed to be held.
Around two, a doctor still wearing operating scrubs came out of the swishing doors and looked around. He turned, about to go back inside, when Carly jumped up and called out to him.
“Please,” her voice dropped to a whisper. “I’m waiting to hear about the priest. Is he going to be all right?”
The doctor frowned at her. “Are you a relative?”
Carly nodded. “I’m his niece.” It was easy to lie with her father’s permission.
Dennis joined her, standing with his hands behind his back but close. She could feel the heat from his body.
“He’s a lucky man. Very lucky. The bullet went through some of the thickest muscle of the human body and nicked his hipbone, but your uncle will be fine. Won’t be able to sit for awhile, though.”
Carly’s brain tried to grasp what the doctor was saying, but it didn’t seem to register. “There was so much blood,” she ventured.
The doctor nodded. “He was shot. Gunshot wounds make big holes in flesh. They bleed profusely, but in a way, that’s good. Nature’s way of cleaning the wound.”
That seemed a little offhand to Carly, a little callous, but as long as Fr. Mike would be okay, that was all that mattered.
The doctor nodded again and turned to leave.
Carly couldn’t make herself move.
Dennis thanked the doctor then took Carly by the arm and led her outside to Flo’s car.
“I don’t understand.”
Dennis started up the ancient Ford Tempo and eased it out of the parking lot. “What’s not to understand?”
Carly rested her head against the window. Her eyelids were so heavy she just closed them for a little bit. “There was so much blood. I thought he would die for sure. Maybe it was some kind of miracle.”
Dennis stomped on the brake, pitching Carly forward against the seatbelt. “Oh, for crissake, Carly. It wasn’t a miracle. He was shot in the gluteus maximus.”
“Huh?” Carly’s sleep-benumbed brain couldn’t grasp what Dennis was saying to her.
Easing up on the brake, Dennis steered onto the main road.
“He’ll live, Carly. In this day and age, very few people die from getting shot in the ass.”

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