Sunday, November 27, 2011

Zombie boot Camp

This is not a post about zombie going through boot camp to run faster and overall eat people better, although that could be interesting, it is an Idea I had just the other day. I was reading some tweets and one link caught my eye, it was a Run for Your Life link. If you have not checked out this site, I would do so now here: . I read into it and instantly fell in love. Then, I went to youtube and found some videos from their 10/22/11 event. Even now I am excited just thinking about it. This looks to be so much fun, and with races next year I could try it myself.

The issue I have though is this, I am out of shape and it may just kill me to do this run. This is where the boot camp idea comes in. I think it would be great to have a place that could help people train for this type of thing. But just running would not be any fun, I would have to make it an experience people would want to come to and maybe even pay for it. So, here is my thought on how a three day trip could be.

Day one: The guests arrive at location. They find right away that this is not going to be a cake walk, as everyone is thrown into some type of PT right away. Obviously guests can opt out of that, but where is the fun in that? Once that is done, we must set up camp. We would actually have to set up tents and start fires. All of this would be survival type of training. Once camp is set up, we take a journey over to the shooting range and get right down to taking a few shots with some guns. Afterward would be dinner and rest. A Campfire would be available for all to sit around and chat it up.

Day two: Early wake up with another bout of PT. Once that is done, we start course training. This would be a simulation of obstacles that one would find on the 5k, and I would even have zombies available to help set the mood. I can assume that this would take most of the morning. Lunch would be followed by combat training. Basically, paintball. Teamwork with different scenarios would be done. One scenario in particular would have some of the people becoming zombies trying to infect others by touching them. Only a shot to the face mask would stop them. Whichever team was left would win it all. I can imagine these games would go on for hours. Dinner and relaxation would follow on this.

Day Three: Again morning PT. Afterward some more obstacle training (different, harder ones). Followed by some training in preparedness. he last day would be filled with camp being broken down and everyone heading back to main base. I am thinking relaxation and food for everyone before they go to leave.

Each day would have other odd training involved, whenever there is some downtime. This is similar to boot camp, but without the really mean drill instructors. It would be fun and engaging at all times. I could easily add in more events into the days, or at night. Such as movies on a screen or even night time games.

That was my thought. What do you think? Would you sign up for a Zombie Boot Camp?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We give thanks

My nostrils filled with the wonderful smell of roasting turkey, my eyes though were caught by my mother's glare. I had arrived late to my mother's house and found that indeed I was the last person to get there. Luckily though I did not miss any of the meal and was able to finally sit down with the family.

My father spoke grace and we all went around the table to state what we are thankful for. As usual most of the answers had to do with loving family or a job, all that corny stuff. When it was finally my turn, all I could come up with was that I was thankful for the girl I had romped with the night prior. Not one person spoke after I finished, and I felt a little weird with everyone staring at me with their mouths open. Finally, my sister broke the silence with her thanks and we started dinner.

I ate so much food I thought that I was going to burst at the seems. I think I polished off one whole turkey all on my own, plus potatoes and stuffing. Of course i would not go unpunished for indulging that much, as I had the worst indigestion for an hour after the meal was over. During which time all I could do was sip some milk and pepto bismal. Once my body finally found the time to catch up on its digestion it went away, but I was assaulted with the usual sleepiness that comes from eating turkey.

It didn't take me five minutes before my eyes were drifting downward that I had passed out. It felt like I had slept for quite some time when I was awoken by the sound of the fire alarm. I immediately jumped out of the chair to look for the smoke and what was going on. My eyes began to water as I found the source of the smoke. I could feel the heat coming off the stove where it looked that a pan or cloth was on fire, the flames reaching higher until they licked the ceiling and were about to spread.

Instinct took over as I ran to the extinguisher and started to spray the flames until finally I had put the fire out. "Why didn't anyone else see this?" I asked of my family, but no one answered me. It was strange that no one would be there, but maybe they had left him. I opened the window to finally let in some fresh air and to vent the smoke from the room. It was cool on my face and cleared my vision. A sound from behind me caught my ears and I looked to see who it was.

What I did see though was not what I was expecting. There, not ten feet in front of me was the turkey we had all eaten for dinner. It was missing all of its meat and was just a skeleton being held together with little bits of fat. In one "hand" it held a large fork and the other had a carving knife. This knife scared the shit out of me, which looked both menacing and amusing in a turkey's hand. Blood dripped down it and onto the floor.

I made a move to the left, but it followed me. I moved to the right, but again it was with me. Seeing as how this bird was between me and the exit, i was not going to play this game anymore. I feinted to the left, drawing it that way then dodged to the right. I was lucky that it fell for it and I was around it before it was able to correct itself.

I ran for the door, hoping that I was going to get out of this place. Behind me I could hear the sound of the turkey running along as well. A quick glance back and I nearly crapped my pants. It was coming at me so fast that if I didn't concentrate I would never make it out alive. Unfortunately I was not looking and I found myself flying through the air as I tripped over something. It only took  a quick look for me to recognize the body of my uncle.

I hit the ground hard, knocking the breath from my lungs. As I gasped for air the turkey leaped onto my chest. With a last ditch effort I put my arms up, trying to block and parry any attack that it may do. I felt pressure on my arms and it felt like I was going to die from the pain.

"Hey, wake up!" The voice was yelled into my face. I opened my eyes and saw my cousins gripping my arms tightly, trying to shake me awake. "You fell asleep, and you were screaming." It must have been a dream after all.

"Oh thank god." I said. "I am really so thankful for you, and really all of you. I just want to apologize for the way I have been acting." With that I hugged my cousins, truly thankful that things were not too bad. Everyone seemed glad that I had snapped out of it and was now being a part of the family. With all the holiday cheer though, nobody noticed the turkey reach over and grab the carving knife.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daddy Zombie

Daddy Zombie by Belgerith
Daddy Zombie, a photo by Belgerith on Flickr.
Well, this is how much I love zombies, I would be one. Just thought you would enjoy it.

Creatures that Go bump

I am working on other short stories at this time, and I was thinking about the direction I wanted to take. Now mind you, I have written a number of stories that involve zombies, but I need to expand my horizon of tales. I love writing about zombies, but I cannot continue writing short stories about them. My novels will be great, I know it, but I just cannot think up anything else with zombies and shorts.

There are plenty of other things thought that I can write about. I thought about mind control or telekinetic abilities, but those sometimes feel over done. Maybe a doll possessed by a serial killer? No, that was done once already. Maybe I shall stick closer to my own thoughts and genre. I have always liked vampires and werewolves. Ghosts and goblins, maybe a troll or two.

OK, let me give it a whirl shall I?

The light flashed so bright Kyle lost all sight. The sensation of weightlessness overcame him for several seconds, each second lasting many times longer than a year felt. A rib cracked and the wind left his lungs in a whoosh as his body hit the ground finally. The smell of gasoline and burning flesh assaulted his nostrils while the heat of flames baked his skin and curled his hair. On instinct Kyle moved away from the heat, still attempting to see but his eyes grasped at nothing but white light.

Kyle's ears lost the ringing sound that had filled them, only to be greeted with the sound of screams of the wounded and dying. Still pulling away from the heat, Kyle's hands grip someone's leg. Horror breaks out across Kyle's face as he realizes that this leg is not attached to anyone. The taste of bile overcome all of his senses with his stomach up heaving everything that he had ever eaten.

The world turned fuzzy as Kyle' vision finally returned, and a scene of dread opened up.....

I think this is a good start to something, now I need to figure where it is going. Maybe next time I will continue with this thought process. Till then, stay safe.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Why do Zombies eat people?

This is one of those questions that has been eating at me for some time (yes, that was intentional). Why is it that the walking dead, the undead, zombies, zed heads, or whatever it is you want to call them, why do they look for and eat us the regular people of the world? Well, and this is just my thoughts, I believe there are two different scenarios that we should look into. The first being the "Hollywood" reasoning. The second one would be more "Scientific" in nature.

Hollywood. We seem to see a lot of zombies running around movies these days and most of them are different than their counterparts in other or older movies. We have slow walkers, mindless wanderers, zombies that can run and those elusive thinking zombies. The one thing these all have in common though is they eat people. Hollywood must have heard this from somewhere, but where?

To find that answer I look at the history of zombies in movies. Night Of the Living Dead (1968) truly is the first indication of what we think of when it comes to a zombie, but it all did not start there. Romero was influenced by others, and brought those influences together. Prior to this time we had several different genres of creatures in our hands. On one hand was the vampire, the blood sucking creature of the night. Vampires were also able to turn others into vampires with a bite. On the other hand we had stories of the voodoo zombi. This was a mindless creature that either was brought from the dead or inflicted on a living person. Usually this person would be under control by someone else.

If you take these two main themes (and add in a few other stories and movie ideas from those before) you find yourself with a mindless wandering creature that feeds on human flesh and spreads the disease through their bites. If you really want some more info on this try here: for they have a great history.

That is Hollywood and fiction, now let us delve into the world of science and real possibilities. Although this is not an exact science, I hope my ideas can possibly help direct the conversation on this to new ground. I also will be using the thoughts of Bob and Dave, the Madore brothers. You can find all their work here: . I would highly suggest reading their papers before looking at my thoughts.

They mention in their papers a virus and bacterial pair that does some of the physical changes to the body. The thought I am having though is that viruses and bacteria are not that great of keeping their hosts alive. I know, they are zombies, but a large portion of the cells in the body must remain intact if it is to function at all. A cell reproduces by taking over a cell and destroying it. Usually, if the virus does not have a new cell to take over, it dies off. Bacteria can split and live a bit longer, so I think that they can continue their current role in this.

Now, we know that a virus would end up destroying it's host. There is one thing though that tries not to do that, a parasite. I think that this virus is acting more as a parasite than as anything else we would see. More than likely the virus enters the body and starts to reproduce like mad. Once the levels within the body reach a certain number though (about the time of reanimation) the virus slows or stops reproducing at those high levels. Within a body there are a lot of cells one can use, but it is no longer a renewable source. So now our virus starts to conserve cells to extend the period of time that it can remain active in the body. Add to this a long life in general and these viruses could last years within a host.

But, just like every other thing on this planet, it wants to ensure that the species continues onward. And this is where I think zombies eating people really comes in. I think the virus programs its victims to spread its seed for them. So, I become infected and am now loaded with this virus. Eventually I will die off and so will the virus, but until then I am now a moving transmitter to try and get this virus into as many other hosts as possible before I expire. The easiest way to transmit anything? by direct fluid contact. The human mouth has a ton of germs in it, and one bite can introduce those into another body. Replace those with the virus and Bam! you have a way to spread around.

Now, you may ask me one question: Why eat people? Why not just bite them? OK, that was two questions, but they have the same answer, human beings. Here is the thing, biting others is a no no to anyone not raised by wolves. But, as the stories have said, when it comes to survival of the body we will eat each other to survive. The virus just wires us into thinking that the only way we can survive is to eat other live people. This drive is now so strong that any other thought processes are now gone.

As a recap, we have a virus that acts as a parasite. In an attempt to spread itself to as many hosts as possible it creates the urge to feed in us so strong nothing else matters, creating a biting and eating mindless zombie.

I don't know about you, but that thought kind of scars me. I don't want to be some incubator for a virus. And now I find myself longing for a visit to the gun shop..... Well then, until next time everyone, stay safe.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How I make my characters real

While taking the time to get back into the habit of writing, I realized that it is not all about just getting all the words in my mind onto my screen. There are things that I have to do to create a fantastic story. I have to build a string foundation of characters and history, create walls of drama and a roof of conclusions. Only by doing all of these things can I finally say that I have written something that I would want others to read. Of course, there are a ton of different websites and guides on how to write. This is not on of them. You may find some insight here, but this is more of a glimpse into my world more than a teaching tool.

Of all the books I have ever read it was the characters I fell in love with way before I fell in love with their adventure. Of course you say, the characters are way more important than the story itself. Any story can be great with the right characters. Yes, I say, but do you know how I make great characters? No?. I role play.

Yes, I role play. Nothing dirty mind you, I role play the characters themselves. If you ever think about role play usually you think of geeky gamers making up these warriors or mages fighting in this fantasy world. Although there are large role play groups that do just that, I believe that all writers are role players themselves. We all make characters up, we put them in situations, then we use the characters to work through the situation. Not only do we give these characters adventures, we come up with these histories for them as well. From my point of view, all writers are role players.

To be a great role player, there are a few things that you must do before you use your character, create them. This is exactly what am doing and will write in upcoming blog posts. I come up with some basic information about the character such as age, sex, height, occupation. I also look into the character's personality a little bit. As I do this, a history for the character begins to form in my head. Once we have this basic stuff all hashed out, I interview the character.

Just like an interview on a news show, we go through and ask the hard questions. These can help to really open up the character, for us to understand how these people work and how they would react in different situations. These interviews are what I am going to be posting here on the blog.

There really is no wrong way to go about creating these characters and giving them a history, as long as you do do it. Our ultimate goal is to create a character the reader can fall in love with, hate and relate to all at once. This means we accept these characters for the good that they do and their flaws. Especially their flaws. They would not be interesting if they were perfect. It would be like Superman without the Kryptonite, no one could beat him. There would be no reason to even read the story then.

I think I have rambled enough here. This was a little glimpse into the workings of my mind, it is a little distracting at times, but I do get some pretty good ideas out of it in the long run. My next post will be an interview with Jo. If you have read any of my other posts you will recognize him from the Prologue of my WIP.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Long Time Gone

It has been over a month since the last time that I wrote a blog post. The reasons are plentiful and valid. To fill you in, if you did not know, My wife has been pregnant for some time and in the last month or so has been at the end. because of this, add work and other children to that as well, I have not had any time to write. It turns out though that the pregnancy was not to last and she gave birth to out little girl on November 3rd, 2011. he is healthy and amazing.

Most are probably wondering how it is that if I didn't have time to write before, how could I possibly have time to write now? The easy answer to that question is this, I am the only one awake in my household. Every one else is napping and I get a little bit of time to myself, so I felt it was a good time to write a bit.

I had so many projects on my plate previously that I was overwhelmed. I had several stories from others I was supposed to read and write about (sorry guys) and several stories I was writing as well. I even was going to get one published into an ezine, but that did not work out as I didn't have the time to edit the stories. That is all going to change now though as I concentrate on one thing at a time.

What I really am hoping to do is to take my short stories and put them together into one collection and put it on Amazon. This is not going to be something that will be done within a couple of weeks, or even months. I plan on this taking me a long time to complete. The reason being is my available time is very limited. I will most likely find time to revamp and edit the stories that I have already written and make them perfect. Once that is done, I will write a couple of new ones to ensure there are about 10 stories in this book.

I will also hopefully find time to continue to write here on my blog once a week for now, if not more. At least then we can all be updated.

Also, I would like to direct anyone interested to Dan King and his book that was released last month.


This man has touched many people's lives. Although we may not all be Christian's or religious, I am sure we can all take away some lessons from him. At least give it a shot as it is well written and could inspire any of us to do better.