Mom in something like 4 hours, steam cleaning, the status of my writing projects (NaNoWriMo and that way-past-due poetry compilation)

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Summary: Got my apartment steam cleaned today, which is more awesome than you can imagine (here's a hint, if you can imagine awesome, you are probrably going the wrong way), my mom is due up here at any moment, and my writing projects are stalled in the water. Ah, well, it's not all bad.

Friday, 16 October 2009

(14:33:16 CDT)

Mom in something like 4 hours, steam cleaning, the status of my writing projects (NaNoWriMo and that way-past-due poetry compilation)

Guess how much work I did on my poetry compilation since mentioning it a few days ago? Are you thinking zero? Goose-egg? Nothing? Nada? Zip? Absolutely squat? If so, then you are a winner! You win, unfortunately, an amount equivalent to how much work I've been able to do on aforementioned poetry compilation. See above for a relatively high estimate on how much you just won. It is due, I admit, to laziness. Not the genre of laziness where you sit around, scratching your genitalia, watching your TV, and complaining about how little energy you have. More laziness of the sort where you go to work, do a handful of things, stay overall productive, but run out of personal motivation when it comes to just one more thing. The poetry comp is my "one more thing" and I am going to have go in swinging if I want it done. Here's hoping for Sunday.

While I am on the subject, I am thinking of doing, possibly "unofficially", the old NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. Let's see: NaNoWriMo Official Site!. The idea, in a nutshell, is that you write an average of 1666.67 words a day (roughly 5.6 double spaced 12-pt pages), every day, for the month of November and you end up with a 50,000 word novel. A short novel, for sure, being only about 170 printed pages, but still, technically, a novel. Any genre and any form is accepted, it is only word count that they considier. You can plan ahead, but you cannot write ahead. You can write more, you can write afterward, and you can most definitely edit after the month of November, but you must finish the 50,000 words during November to succeed.

It will surprise no one, and I do mean no one, that my concept involves zombies. There are just a couple of things that I wanted to add into the genre mix for my own edification. First off, the main characters are going to be well-trained professionals. No Max-Brookisms where heavily trained military personal are wiped out because of panic and confusion. Secondly, they are going to be equipped to match. Not just firearms, but armored as well. Full body chain mesh suit with glass visors to protect the face and ceramic shell for the rest of the head. This suit will contain an explosive device attached to the back of the head, set to drive a cone into the brain stem if the heartbeat stops for more than a minute or so. This prevents them from having to take out recently infected troops. You cannot remove the device once you enter the field, only certain officers not in threat of being infected can do that.

The virus has been lessening since the beginning. Now only about 1 in 20 zombies can even spread the infection with a bite (saliva dried up) and so as long as you do not injest infected flesh, you are most likely ok. Several of the dead have "shut down", just dropped out of animation. Only about half of the original numbers are up and walking, and more are shutting down everyday.

Ready to take back the Earth, survivors have organized a "Caged Bait" program. The CBs (officially called Canary Birds) are let down via strong chains from helicopters in modified shark cages. They are used as bait to attract the now ravenous undead, and proceed to "kill" as many as they can. Once the more active ones are dispatched, they less active ones can be killed by more conventional troops. If the hordes are too big, they retract the cages and do more surgical strikes to whittle down the numbers. Any CB who gets bitten is offed by his own TABRED (TActical Biorhythm REsponsive Device). [Note: for those paying attention, I chose this as a reference to the movies Sreamers where Tabs and Reds are important to surival. Screamers is a good example of "well-trained soldiers facing overwhelming odds".]

During a run, and what seems to be a rather easy one, six CBs are down in a field near Birmingham, AL when a few unexpected things occur (I have them in mind, but I'll save that as a surprise). Five of them survive, but their Drop-Cop is down for the count. While they are somewhat content to just hole up, two story-line arcs come into play. The first involves one of the CBs growing up near the crash site and having left his wife behind, a few years back, during Z-day. He now feels it is his duty to go and find her and be the one who kills her. He sets off on his own, despite the complaints of the others (not sure how he gets away, just yet). The other four find out that a rather rapid mutation is taken place amongst the other zombies, one that pretty much guarantees that all the hard work is for nothing. They race north towards...where-ever the base is going to be, Nashville, maybe, or nearby. They will probably just take I-65, a path I know pretty well. Both story arcs will be entangled with some straight up hot survivor-on-survivor deathmatch action, most likely, but I am not 100% how I am going to work that in.

That's the start, though. Not sure of everything but that is the whole idea. What it does allow me to do is to pit a group of guys who should all be the "Your are teh zombie survivor!" earning folk on all the quizzes, who have the battle down the science, and then I am going to make it near impossible for them to survive. Rather than cripple them with bad decisions, or clear emotional defects (except the one guy who is obsessing over his wife, but that's going to be the emotional basis of the story), or being overwhelmed by the forces against them; I am going to make guys who are the archetypal survivors and I am going to torture them as things get worse. We need smart horror, gosh-darn it, and I am willing to take up that mantle. Plus, think of the possibilities. Zombie survivors would have a totally different loyalty matrix. What counts as teamwork is something completely different to them.

Enough of that, though, my mom is coming up to visit today. That's kind of awesome. She has not been up to see me since that trip involving the flooded camping trip I talked about a few days previous. I have seen her since then, but not too regularly. I have probably made about five trips down since 2000, maybe seven. I will get to meet her new beau, and show off some local flavor to her if the weather holds.

Partially due to her coming up, we went ahead and had our carpet cleaned today. Man, isn't that a mess of a thing? Having to get as much up as you can, and over, and all that, and then tip-toe around wet carpet for an hour or two. When I left for work, we had the thermostat cranked up to 76 or so and three fans going to help dry it up. Alas, in the middle of all of that, Sarah's keys have become buried, lost, ran-off, or something. Because that is what you need when are dealing all sorts of stress and excitement: more stress and excitement. It's like ordering a double cone of crap, and getting a triple.

Si Vales, Valeo


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Written by Doug Bolden

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