Popping my Zombie Cherry

A writing group I’m a member of *waves @ plot bunnies* decided to have a wee low pressure gift swap this Christmas, in the form of a 250 word flash fiction. Those participating gave a prompt, these were dished out, and I wrote for Melissa using this prompt:

topic: christmas morning
setting: fresh fallen snow
character: flesh eating zombie

Now I’d never written zombies before, I don’t read zombie stories, my zombie experience is limited to a couple of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and that movie with Woody Harrelson, so I went in completely green…and tried to do cute and fluffy.

Well that didn’t work.

So I went with this:

Filmy eyes stare at me through the windshield. Her shirt is torn, there’s a sickening yellow bite beneath the ruined sleeve.


She hunches over, clenches her fists and lets out an ear splitting scream.

Her feet cut a stumbling path in the fresh fallen snow. She screeches again, I expect the horde to return but this time I won’t have my mother to shield my eyes and cover my ears as they rock the truck and scrape the windows with blood-crusted nails.

A tall figure lurches into view. Every few halting steps his head swings to look behind him and I see his face. His eyes are dead and his lips are stained with gore.

Behind him, a tiny thing that trips and stumbles and jerks throws it’s head back and screams in infantile frustration.

Momma shuffles over to the tiny thing and tries to pick it up.

Three of them turn as one. Fingers stiffen into broken claws and they open their mouths. From each jaw-breaking maw comes a screech that hurts my ears.

I can barely see for stinging tears, I think my heart will explode from the fear, but I climb out of the truck and meet them, the deathly, deadly things that once were my Momma and my Daddy and my baby brother. I am alone, and despite the horror I want what they have, because whatever they are, at least they have each other.

I want to be with my family for Christmas.

Which is probably terribly indicative of my zombie experience. But it was fun doing something a bit icky, which I don’t do a hell of a lot, and now the cherry is popped. I can never say ‘I’ve never written zombies’ again.

I also offered up a prompt:

Topic – something has been or must be hidden
Setting – a church
Character – an emo kid

It was written by Tessa, and I could have kissed her it was so perfect. She even managed to give a hint of kink that she didn’t even know I had 😉 Thank you so much, Tessa!


Review: The Back Passage

The Back PassageThe Back Passage by James Lear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adored this book, so much so that I devoured it in a day. Not really a mystery reader, but perhaps the constant sex distracted me from the fact it was a mystery, and in the end I think I rather enjoyed the format.

I had to giggle a few times at the fact that every male character turned out to be gay, though it was most convenient for the narrator.

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Review: Sins of the Cities of the Plain

Sins of the Cities of the PlainSins of the Cities of the Plain by Jack Saul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh I do love a little Victorian gay porn. No romance here, it is basically a memoir relating debauchery after debauchery, so it differs from Teleny rather a lot, and some of the words used to describe parts of the anatomy or sex acts just make me giggle, but I did enjoy it.

Of course I’m perhaps a little obsessed with the Victorian era, and so I think of this book as a little like reference material or research.

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Victorian Porn and Falling off the Face of the Earth

I’ve been writing.  The kind of story that takes me away from my housework and my social life (which consists mainly of friends and communities on the internet–yep, I’m a sad little monkey).  And it may also be the kind of story that I never share, and that’s okay, because there is a story inside that needs to come out, and I can’t rest until it does.

It’s somewhat of a companion piece to another story I wrote about a year ago, give or take. I’m enjoying the visit with my characters, seeing how they’ve changed and grown–or not grown, as the case may be. The reason I may or may not ever share this story is that it’s a bit of a personal catharsis. I find this ‘I may not ever share it’ attitude to be very freeing. Who cares if it’s complete arse, it doesn’t matter if that word isn’t perfect, or that paragraph is chock full of adverbs and participles, because no one but me has to see it. It’s an attitude I need to embrace more often in my first (or zero) drafts, and not just in the technical aspects, but in the story. I have a tendency to stress over what is and isn’t ‘done’ or ‘acceptable’ or ‘in good taste’, and it slows me down and it stalls me when I’m writing. And if I’m trying to twist the story to suit anyone other than the story itself, it invariably fails. But I keep doing it *eye roll*

Where was I going with this? Oh, right, disappearing. Yes, so involved with the story that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. It’s okay, I figure I’ll be back sometime around Christmas, when I envision I’ll be done.

Oh, I have been doing a little reading. I’ve just discovered a couple of Victorian novels of gay erotica. Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal is a true erotic romance, and The Sins of the Cities of the Plain is flat out porn. I found them both for kindle on Amazon for $1 each, and I’ve been devouring them when I get a chance to read.

Teleny (1893) is beautiful and I adored it. Sins (1881) is peppered with colourful expressions like ‘mancunt’ which had me in fits of laughter, but it’s very interesting for the Victorianness of it. I’m both a Victorian era enthusiast and a gay porn enthusiast, so both these books are just my thing.

NaNo, thank god it’s over!

A vastly different experience from last year, I really couldn’t care less about this years characters. Last year I was IN LOVE with my boys, this year, meh.

But, I’ll give the story a few weeks or months and then dive back in and do my best to salvage something from the madness.

In the mean time, I have some editing to do. 3 shorts to revise and edit (two of which have to be done in December).

Then I’ll be on to my ‘finish stuff’ mission. One of my unfinished’s has actually crawled back into my brain, so I might not be able to resist a little writing, and that’s fine with me.

And I’m gonna read some books, dammit! First on the list is Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield,  I believe it’s also top of Becca’s list for post nano, maybe I should poke her for a read along or something.

Writing Goals

I had a big old post written out about my entire lack of attention span, but I got distracted, so I’m doing this instead 😉

I’m a little addicted to a particular writing podcast called Packing Heat. I’m kinda sad that it’s all over now, so I’ve been consoling myself by going right back to the beginning and starting again. Well, I’m up to number 006: Setting Goals, and it is three years old, but Jordan’s talking about setting writing goals for the new year. Well, it’s coming up 2011, and I do so like making New Year’s Resolutions (even if I don’t remember ever keeping one), so I figure I might as well do just that.

Now I could say ‘I’m going to write 2k per day’, or, ‘I’m going to write for two hours each day’, but I’ve kind of already got those things down.

I have bigger long term goals. Ultimately, getting published would be nice, and perhaps it’s that I don’t want to tempt fate, or I’m afraid to fail, that I say it in such a wishy washy way.

It’s ridiculous. I can write fictional sex scenes that require heavy content warnings, and yet I have so much trouble coming out and saying: ‘I want to be published. It is my goal to be published.’

So, anyway, I said it. To do this, I have to submit stuff. To do this I have to finish something (talked about my issues with that in the short attention span post which I was distracted from by this one).

So, I have a couple of half finished novella’s and a couple of barely finished novella’s, plus the zero draft of my nano novel to work with (I include my nano because it might as well be a very detailed outline for all the actual quality writing it contains).

So, finish those.

I actually have a little mini goal before the end of the year. I have the first draft of a little short story that I plan to revise and edit and submit to a magazine before the end of the year.

I need a little checklisty thing, don’t I?

  • revise short and submit the damn thing
  • rewrite nano into a decent first draft
  • finish two half finished novella’s

I’m not putting the editing and submitting of those two novella’s on the list because finishing things is my biggest issue right now.

Hmm. Methinks wordpress needs a wee to-do list sidebar widget. How cool would that be?

The End

Photo of the first page of All's Well that End...

Image via Wikipedia

I wrote the final scene of my nano novel last night.

I’d been stalling for two days, tearing my hair out about it, having no clue how I was ever going to get my boys out of an impossible situation. None of my options were realistic or believable. I didn’t believe them, anyway, so I couldn’t write them.

But I forced myself to put pen to paper (the handwriting process makes my brain work differently), and without looking at the scene I was in the middle of writing before I stopped, I took it up in the middle, and within about 200 words, I ended my book.

And now, because I know how it ends, I know how to fix all the weird bits throughout, I know everyone’s motivation, I know how to fill in the gaps, I know WHY the damn king sends his son and heir off with his boyfriend in the first place!

I feel so good. Now, whether this is a cop-out ending or not (which it could be perceived to be), I don’t care. I feel like it’s the truth. That’s why I was struggling the entire time, because I was striving for something that in my mind, just wasn’t possible.

So, yay!

NaNo Procrastination

What a bloody good excuse for a first post.

Well, I’m still writing, just not what I’m meant to be writing. I still have time to finish my nano story, and I really do want to finish it–because I want it to be over already. God, I’m so sick of it. I feel like I’ve written it about a hundred times…and I’m probably not far wrong.

Worst story ever. That’s about the size of it.

So, current preferred method of procrastination, writing something else! I have completed a short story, done some pre-writing on another, and picked up an old thing which I’m intending to complete. This has captured my interest far more than my nano proper ever has. Which, frankly, sucks.

But, oh well. I am back into a healthy habit of writing. Every evening for the last, what? 24 days? I have put my butt in the chair between 10pm and midnight, and written. I generally get out about 2k, more or less, in that time. Which is pretty damn good, I reckon.

If I write too much more than that per day, I go stupid. Which is probably why my nano proper went to shit so fast.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, procrastinating. At least I’m still writing, yeah?