Personal

Zombie Revisited

In the not too distant past, I wrote about a small fenced-in, Texas city called Gospel which played host to several military families after an incident that stole the lives of several children. Now don’t get up and Google that shit as I can assure you that you’ll find nothing on the matter. Since writing that entry, several video games and half-assed written stories have covered a similar plot outline. I suppose it was only a matter of time before somebody connected the fungus and zombie apocalypse to make a quick buck (though, in the matter of video games, the stories are actually, you know, good). Still, with NaNoWriMo on the horizon, old characters shamble out of the woodwork, moaning for me to tell their stories. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t partake in NaNoWriMo, or take on long projects.

It’s a funny matter, though. Every time I pick up Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, my mind always revisits Gospel, Texas and the epidemic that swept through the hospital ward, killing several children and adults twenty-one and under. I think about the military officials stationed there, and how they quarantined the hospital. And I think about the fire that broke out and spread quickly, killing all those trapped within. I think about the families of those children who never received on iota of explanation from the government, the CDC, or the World Health Organization. I remember that years after the fact, the military presence, as well as, the medical teams stationed there remain in Gospel like phantoms in the night. And with the border fence erected around the river, Gospel, Texas is a city trapped from the outside world.

I think about all this, and I wish I could just sit at home for a month and just write about it. But homeboy has to work and get the bills paid.

In Other News
The Dangers of Making Blood
The Dangers of Making Blood

Halloween is creeping up, and this year Jeanna and I agreed that Shaun’s costume would be Shaun (as in Shaun of the Dead). I purchased him a plain white polo shirt after giving up hope that we’d find a dual-pocket, short-sleeved, button-up shirt. Along with fabric transfer paper (by Avery, and I don’t recommend EVER buying it), I created pockets (one with a red ink stain) and his Foree Electric name tag, which I kindly borrowed from here. While the pockets worked (sorta) the name tag didn’t. Upset because now the shirt has a jacked-up name tag forever painted above his fake pocket, I racked my brain on what measures to take to solve the problem. Lo and behold, I remember I have adhesive spray which makes pretty much anything into a sticker. I dug through items at work (it’s not exactly stealing if we’re not using them, is it?) and found a rectangle pin. At home, I printed (for like the umpteenth time) the Foree Electric name tag, cut it out, applied the adhesive spray, and applied it to the pin. I taped down the edges because the spray wasn’t catching and pinned it to the shirt he’ll be wearing for the next two days (as tomorrow—being Wednesday in non-WordPress time—is out “Halloween” puppet show at work).

I went to work with the fake blood, which, to my utter annoyance, proved my mother right. While Shaun’s shirt will be stained with the blood, I advised Jeanna not to apply any on his skin as it will stain. The blood is non-toxic and edible (it tastes of chocolate), and you can find the recipe here.

I’m uncertain what Jeanna’s dressing up as, but I’m sure it’ll be sexy and leave me longing for her nice. Me? Well, considering that I work with children, I can’t be scary or anything fun (boo on you!), so I decided on a down played zombie I found on Spoonful. Though, whether I’ll be willing to wake up to actually apply the make-up (which should only take five minutes, according to the title of the post) is up in the air as anything that disrupts my morning routine is looked upon with scorn. I’ll apply a bit of blood after work if I do wind up dressing up.

Writing & Writers

Undead Revisions

Love is lame, so let me brain

Friday, I started working on revision for ZITO – for those who don’t know the acronym, it stands for Zombies in the Outfield. The origin of the story came from my work last year at the stadium. I’d spend long hours after the stadium to get all the clothes washed and ready for the next day. Because I had to go back and forth from clubhouses, I got to see the stadium in the dark. The creepy setting started working on my overactive imagination and blamo! After several versions of the beginning, I started writing a version of ZITO I liked earlier this year. I released it into the world via Tumblr – the story has since been taken down – and asked for criticism and suggestions. Perhaps only one or two people actually gave me something I could work with. The following are the changes I’ve made:

  • Henry is no longer slow-minded, making him a more believable leader.
  • Venus is no longer infatuated with Big Ted
  • Big Ted and Tony are no longer soldiers, but former baseball players – made things less complicated and allowed me to create a back story for Big Ted’s contempt for Henry.
  • Henry now leaves the stadium with the search party.
  • Introduce another character, stemming from a previous zombie story I was drafting – but never finished due to so many complications that I confused myself and cried in a corner.
  • Removed the Green Zone dream, only hinting it with the new character.
  • I introduce the fence kink – as well as other kinks – at the beginning rather than something I just threw in out of nowhere.
  • Tony is dead before the story opens and is only mentioned once.
  • I introduced the concept of zombies into the story, though they creatures are called ghouls throughout it. Only once does a character refer them to zombies, due to his philosophy background.
  • I spent too much time reading and watching all things zombie.
Still working on the kinks of the story, but it will keep a similar ending. Less background/history is given – there’s no me going out in tangents about some character that’s already dead. Once the draft is gussied up, I’ll place it back on Tumblr and release it back into the world.
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.

 

Television

The Walking Dead

 

The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth

 

Nothing on AMC has caught my attention like The Walking Dead. Mad Men? I never gave it a chance. Rubicon? Eh, conspiracy shows aren’t my cup of tea. Breaking Bad? I wanted to get into the show, but I couldn’t divorce Bryan Cranston his Malcolm in the Middle character (I’m still working on that). And it’s not a big surprise that this series, of all the great ones that have premiered on this network, grabbed my attention. Can’t guess why? ZOMBIES, MOTHERFUCKERS!

The premiere wasn’t a let down, but it’s too early on to tell if the show will manage to remain fresh past the first season.

Change of subject: It didn’t feel much like Halloween. Jyg and I didn’t do our Halloween thing. We went to JoDi’s party last night along with Izzy, Esmer and Jerry. We headed out to a rumored haunted cemetery, but it was locked up. We built ourselves up for disappointment. No matter, the party was fun.

I started writing my little side project, hoping it sparks some more creation along the way. I’m not stating that it’ll be something worth reading, but at least it’s fun writing. Don’t ask to read it; it’s going into my vault.

Books · Writing & Writers

Jervis Tetch

 

via: WeHeartIt

 

The writing bug bit me early Saturday morning. I just didn’t know what it wanted me to write about. So I spent the early part of the day reading Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber because it mixes two of my favorite things – Star Wars and the undead (I’m a keeper!). Out of nowhere, I got the urge to read Batman, however. Because I only own one book of Batman – The Dark Knight Returns – I decided that I’d see what was available to me online.

The name Jervis Tetch kept coming back to me, over and over again. For those who don’t know much about the Batman universe, Jervis Tetch is better known as his villain moniker, the Mad Hatter. Based on the Lewis Carroll character, the Mad Hatter is one of those lesser focused on characters due to his goofy features. Like most characters in the Batman world, he’s grown darker with the years. Still, few people think awesome when his name comes up on the roster.

I looked up our friend Jervis Tetch on Wiki (both Wikipedia and DC’s Wikia) and jotted a few titles that might be of my interest. Then I went to the web to see what I could find. During which, I also noted to find a copy of Through The Looking Glass as I already have a copy of Alice in Wonderland sitting on my shelf. However, I couldn’t find a copy on Amazon that wasn’t attached to Alice in Wonderland so I decided to download the free Kindle e-book. Now it’s found a home on my Blackberry Curve.

I don’t know what my sudden fascination with Jervis Tetch means, or if it has any relation to my sudden writing urge – can we all say fanfic? – but at least I got myself a few comic books and an e-book off it (all free, I should add). But who really cares? I’m reading and happy again. I think that’s all that matters. And what will come out of my research? Who knows. I’m just going forward to write some of my thoughts down. And if they bloom into anything of interest, then I’ll be content. If not, then it’s not like I’m losing anything. With the exception, maybe, of my mind.