All posts by Sherrie Petersen

About Sherrie Petersen

SHERRIE PETERSEN still believes in magic and she loves reading and making up stories that allow her to go on wild adventures. In addition to writing middle grade novels, she moonlights as a graphic designer, substitute teacher, freelance writer, school newspaper advisor, yearbook advisor and mother of two children.

Creativity Under the Gun

DeadlineThere’s nothing like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing, at least for me. This summer I signed up for an online screenwriting class. Reading Save the Cat! (on more than one occasion) has helped me focus my story ideas and I figured taking a class would push me one step further.

Did it ever!

I’ve been working on a sequel to my first novel, Wish You Weren’t, and got stuck in the same place I always do: the climatic scenes where all the car chases, explosions and against-all-odds rescues are supposed to take place. Except that wasn’t happening in my story. The end of my outline sounded stupid. The climax scene wasn’t working. I was bored. And frustrated.

So when my teacher assigned us to write a two-page treatment and then turn it into a five-page script, I decided to take my concept for my sequel, Borrowed Time, and use it for my assignment.

By Monday noon I was sweating bullets. The assignment was due Monday at 5 p.m., but that deadline was irrelevant because my computer was about to die and I’d forgotten to bring my cord on vacation. As I watched the battery percentage drop, I came up with a crazy idea. A flight of fancy that totally fit the spirit of the story. Not only for the homework, but for the book.

I hurriedly finished the assignment and emailed it to my teacher, eager to dive back into completing my book. Once I get a new power cord…

Has your writing ever been inspired by a deadline? From an unexpected source?

(This blog post brought to you courtesy of my husband’s laptop!)

Thank Your Lucky Stars

FI was not born under a lucky star. I mean, I’m no astrologer, but based on life experiences, I think it’s pretty safe to say there were only regular stars floating around the night I was born. Those lucky ones waited for a different night to appear.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had plenty of fantastic things happen in my life. And like many people, I stop to reflect on the things I’m thankful for at this time of year. I have my short list that stays pretty much the same: I’m thankful for my family, my health, my home, the things that have gone well for me this year. I’m also thankful for good books, good ice cream and spinning class (to counteract all the ice cream).

And it might sound odd, but I’m thankful for the tough things I’ve gone through, things I’ve survived and learned from. In some ways, going through an awful experience makes us that much more appreciative of the good things that come our way. Who knows, maybe getting through life without any stars in your corner makes you a stronger person.

I haven’t stopped looking for my lucky star. First star, shooting star, evening star, morning star: they’re all full of good luck as far as I can tell. But lucky stars or not, I’m thankful for all that I have and the people I get to share it with. What are you thankful for this holiday season?

SherriePetersen-SmallSherrie Petersen writes about shooting stars, wishes gone wrong and traveling through time in her debut novel, WISH YOU WEREN’T. Learn more at sherriepetersenbooks.com