Writing & Writers

“Love is lame, so let me eat your brain”

Blog to keep track of my progress (currently private)

I started writing “Zombies in the Outfield” earlier last week, which takes place in the same world as my Gospel, TX project. Earlier today, I finished a really rough draft of my story which I posted on Tumblr just a little while ago. The Gospel, Texas Project is a blog dedicated to my zombie tales, though it’s not open to the public for the time being. The story deals with – you guessed it – zombies, called ghouls in the story. But really, it’s about a group of six survivors who are living inside a baseball stadium. The question of who is really in charge begins to tear their little world asunder.

I see ZITO as a film, rather than just a short story, but there are no rules that say it can’t be both. Of course, whatever the rough draft turns to be, it won’t be posted online. It won’t be posted at all, anywhere, save if I sell it.

The characters consist of narrator Henry (whose last name never revealed), a simple kid who’s been working for the baseball stadium for a few years. He’s smarter than he lets on, but because of a learning disability, he never feels like he’s amounted to anything – except that his mother kept insisting that he was meant for greater things. Venus (last name also never revealed) acts as a love interest. Helena is your typical, Southern Baptist, daughter of the church pastor. Al Johnson, who may or may not be African-American, acts as Henry’s bodyguard, always standing up for him when others are putting him down. Big Ted, the new guy in town who pretty much thinks he should be in charge of the ballpark. Raylan Jenkins isn’t really shelled out character wise. He doesn’t represent anything I hate in people other than he’s a follower of whoever is in charge, rather than whoever has the most logic. Other characters include the older man from Wisconsin, the former general manager; Lawrence “the Law” Hendrix, former field manager turned ghoul; Daniel Mercado who was the clubbie before Henry; and Henry’s Mom and sister – Yvette – who are only featured in his flashbacks.

Jason Walsh "Pericardium" (click to purchase)

In other news, while typing the rough draft, I was listening to Jason Walsh’s Percardium, which you can purchase here. I can’t review just yet because, as you could possibly tell, I’m burned out word wise and need to rest my thinker. But in one word, itisaverygreatalbumandyoushouldalljustpurchaseitrightnowbecauseIsaidso.

Writing & Writers

Alone, Dead and Moving

 

My birthday's coming up. I'm worth it, aren't I?

It was sometime last summer when the idea of writing a zombie story that takes place within an abandoned baseball stadium. As some of you may know, I work (seasonally) at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium, home of the Edinburg Roadrunners – a minor league baseball team, apart of United League Baseball family. I’ve only worked for three seasons, going on my fourth this summer. I started off back in 2007 when it was the Edinburg Coyotes, before they reverted to the original team name. I worked at the toll collector, the janitor and now the clubhouse manager. Several stories and ideas spun from my years there. Back when I was toll collector, I realized just how easy it was to sell drugs while on the job. No one ever – especially the police – questioned a toll collector taking money in a dark parking lot of a stadium. So I wrote a story.

Because most of my work last year took place at night, I walked back and forth between the clubhouses. Once alone, I allow my imagination to run rampant, which it did. I started seeing zombies everywhere, imagining a group of survivors living there. It was a good place, too. Plenty of places to sleep, walk in freezers filled with food and drink, a water filtering system, bathrooms and showers. So the writing project I quipped “Zombies in the Outfield,” started festering. I’m proud to say that I started writing the story earlier today.

Written in a first person narrative, the story follows six survivors as they make sense of the newfound world they’re residing in. Of course, tensions start to rise when it is brought into question who the real person in charge is.

Oh well. I’m gonna hold back on the details and head back to writing. I just wanted to post something about what I’m doing.

 

Writing & Writers

“They Only Want You When You’re Seventeen”

Haunting

There’s a small town in the most southern tip of Texas. It’s a 20 mile drive from the nearest town of Romero. Only four miles from the Rio Grande. The population is 1395. And for the last fifteen years of its history, the town of Gospel has been gated.

In 1992, the town was hit hard by an epidemic that killed several of the younger residents, while sparing adults over the age of 21. For this reason, the media called the virus the “baby flu.” While several of the early symptoms of the “baby flu” mimicked those of the influenza virus, common treatments weren’t capable of curing or stopping the virus in its tracks. Death took place within three days of the virus – though some succumbed sooner than others.

Due to the media sensationalized fear, the US government quickly quarantined the small town of Gospel. The sick were kept in the local hospital – no larger than a common city’s day clinic. The three level building was heavily guarded by military personnel. Parents and loved ones of there sick were not permitted to visit. No one who wasn’t military or hospital staff was allowed in with the building.

In the early morning of Tuesday, 27 October 1992, gun shots rang out over the town. Parents who’d been camping were startled awake as the gun fire grew in a heavy array of crescendo and chaos. Military personnel moved in to quiet the situation – though only those within the hospital witnessed the incident first hand. Thirty minutes after the heavy fire began, one witness present at the scene noticed the bellowing smoke from a third floor window. Following shortly after, several explosions shook the foundation of the building. In the building imploded, spilling debris into the parking lot and the air. While several were injured outside, there were no survivors from within.

To this day, it is speculated that the kills were government sanctioned. No answers were given to the public. And the media, turning its focus on the 1992 elections, buried the story. While the virus was considered eradicated, the military presence still remains within the town of Gospel.

Books · Doldrums

Technology Killed the Bathroom Proposition

Unbeknownst to this man, Craigslist no longer allows the manufacture of personal boysenberry jam

I might be the only one here who feels this way, but I miss the good ol’ days when you read “Tiffany sucks real good,” or the every simple “For a good blow job, call Ray 555-0269″ on restroom stalls and/or walls. Scribbled in lipstick or a Sharpie.

The first of these Internet scribblings happened around the same time I saw (not really) someone eating hot cakes while taking a dump. I was attending college at the University of Texas, Pan American when I saw the fellatio offer with the contact web address – it was a Myspace page. Soon, I found addresses to Facebook pages, Livejournals and, finally, Craigslist listings.

Because I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for the old school way of doing things, I was tempted to write a proposition of my own – “For some awesome head, call [Meester Binx’s Number redacted],” just to see how many people would call – and if Meester Binx would tell me that it was happening. Of course, I didn’t do it because I knew he wouldn’t be too happy with me if I had. Mostly because I’m usually the prime suspect when it comes to shit like this.

Despite its title, this book is not an actual instructional manual

Yesterday, Monica and I went book hunting. I already set my mind on not spending too much. This quickly failed when I purchased Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs at Barnes and Noble (North 10th). From Books ‘n’ Things, I purchased the Elmore Leonard novel, Pronto. From The Book Stop, I grabbed FLCL vol. 1, Grace Slick‘s Somebody to Love? and James Patterson‘s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – which was purchased for my mother. We had lunch at China Cafe, which was surprisingly good. We ended our day at Barnes and Noble (Ware). There aren’t enough book stores in the area, I tell you what. Of course, there was Georgia’s Thrift Store – which appeared to be under new management and was closed until the third, despite what the contradicting sign in the window suggested. I wonder if Mike’s book store will still be found within the walls of the store. I certainly hope so. Otherwise, that’s another store that will vanish. 

Books

“Anything can be anywhere”

"I can spend a day. I love to talk about this."

I cannot live without books. —Thomas Jefferson

It’s not that much of a secret – I’m a book hunter. I hunt books. I’m a junkie itching for the next fix. In any condition, as long as their legible. I have a blog dedicated to my habit. I keep track of those I read on GoodReads. I photograph the fruits of my hunt. I have shelves filled with contemporary and classic fiction, nonfiction, poetry, religious, philosophy, horror, instructional, fantasy, erotic, sexuality books. Some public domain copies printed and bounded by yours truly. Tomorrow, I’m going book hunting with a close friend. I’ll bring home four or five more copies of books that’ll take me a few years to come around to reading. My reading queue runs into the next decade. I’m a stone’s throw from having a problem, which is a sheer indication that I already have a problem. I fear, like a Collyer brother, I will be crushed to death beneath cathedral of novels.

Earlier, I received some wonderful great news from GoodReads. Not only had I won a copy of a novel in a giveaway I signed up for, I also received an offer for a review copy of a novel of a giveaway I lost. I can’t wait to get them in the mail. Can’t wait until I crack open the book, breathe in the new book scent and lose myself in undeniable ecstasy.

I truly have a problem. One I’m not willing to resolve.

Title from Cadillac Jack by Larry McMurtry. Caption quote by Haven O’More. Thomas Jefferson quote from “Letter to John Adams, 1815.” All of which can be found in A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bookmanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes.