Sunday, February 28, 2010

Twitter is great

I've found a lot of people to connect with regarding this blog via twitter (@Zedblog) and I hope I can continue to foster relationships and find zombie fans, writing fans, fans of fiction and just generally fun people.

I've started a list on twitter of people who write about zombies in any way - I'm loving the new exposure to different kinds of zombie fiction.  Follow the list if you're interested in finding places to read about zombies! You can find it on my twitter page at

Last night when I went to bed I had over 300 followers and as of writing this, I'm up to almost 400.  It's entirely too easy to spend enjoyable time interacting with zombie fans and fans of writing, shirking writing duties. I've been trying to think of other ways I can make this blog grow into something worthwhile, and I'm considering reading, reviewing and featuring zombie literature.  I've been finding that there isn't all that much user generated zombie literature out there - I'd love for someone to prove me wrong on this - so I wonder if this might be a useful place to collect and catalog what I can find for zombie lit.

As always I'd love to hear from any zombie fans or fans of writing, there's a million ways to get in touch with me but the easiest is probably just to leave a comment here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Really having fun researching

I'm really digging some of the survival discussions I've been able to find ont he internet, and I wanted to start to share some of the more fun discussions and places to find them:

This particular article is really great and is part of a discussion on "Bugging In" - the Zombie Survival and Defense Wiki's term for setting up a stronghold/place to live.

Chapter 2 getting a lot of work into it

Writing of the second chapter of the story is going really well - I wrote for a while last night and have allotted some time today to do more. I know where I'm going with the plot, at least for now, and I have a good idea of what the characters are like.

I've been working on this chapter for longer than my first, unless I'm mistaken, so I expect it may be a bit longer than the first. I'm having fun writing this chapter and I don't think I'll cut myself short when I've reached the length of the first chapter. I'm looking forward to writing some more later on tonight, and may make another post after I've done so.

I'm going to be writing about the characters' interacting with zombies for the first time in this chapter, and I have been doing a lot of "research" to try to give my writing believability - I've been watching all of the George A. Romero zombie movies while I write and if I have the time I'm going to watch 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. I'd love to be doing some zombie reading along with this movie watching, so I'm on the search as always for good zombie fiction, and would really welcome comments from anyone recommending any zombie literature.

My characters will be trying to find someplace to hunker down and survive over the next few chapters, or the next couple at least, so I'll be getting to do some fun research and thinking into how characters would set up a stronghold against zombies. I'd also welcome any advice/comments/fun facts regarding this topic, as well - please be in touch if you think you have some unique ideas!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to get in touch, more vague chapter 2 details

I learned a lot about blog and online writing promotion last night, having spent a lot of time doing research. I also found a lot of unique and interesting ways to interact with people online that I never knew existed.

It's going to take a lot of work but I'm hoping to connect with anyone who might be interested in this blog - I've been looking for groups of fiction writers who publish their work online, as well as any place that I might be able to get my writing criticized/critiqued. If you're reading this and you have any feelings positive or negative about my writing, have any advice to offer or ideas or suggestions, please feel free to email me at reviseyourself at yahoo dot com, DM me via twitter (@ZedBlog,) leave a comment here or get in touch by any other means you can devise.

I also did a bit of writing this morning. Chapter Two is slowly developing and should be ready later this week or this weekend. I have to make choices about the characters in this chapter and reveal their level of preparedness for dealing with zombies.. which I need to decide. Now that the characters will be interacting with zombies in upcoming chapters, I'll need to also make choices about the zombies themselves - how fast they move, how intelligent they are; what sort of mental and physical capabilities the zombies have will be influential on the whole plot line - methods of coping with zombies depend almost entirely on observation of the zombies themselves, and Jeff is going to discuss this.

I by no means intend to portray seasoned zombie slaying machines as my main characters - the compelling aspect of this genre for me is the survival in a new world and adaptation to circumstances outside of the characters' control. As we see in a lot of zombie movies and fiction, characters don't always make the right choices in dealing with zombies and there are consequences to such failures - how much my characters will succeed and how much they'll fail is going to be a mix I determine over time - the right mix, I hope, will lead to more compelling fiction.

Again, I'd love to hear from anyone I'm reaching, so please get in touch by any means possible!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Promotion and writing continue

I've been trying to spread awareness of this blog through a number of means, and I hope you've found your way here looking for some zombie fiction.  As the top of the site says, I'll direct you to the right hand links if you want nothing but the story.

Promoting something like this is a necessary evil, unfortunately - if you want to write a fictional blog, you might as well try to cultivate some readers.  It would be great if there were a website that already had a huge base of user-generated zombie fiction on it that I could tap into and try to use to promote myself, but so far I have not found many places that come close to that description, let alone any that fit it exactly.  I'm using a lot of resources in a variety of different spheres - looking for other blogs with similar content, other fictional blogs, using twitter, etc.  This is a lot of work, but like every blogger I hope to cultivate a readerbase eventually, and that takes work.

I'm working on chapter 2, and developing ideas of what's going to happen deeper down the story line.  I'm going to reveal more about the characters in the group and have Jeff write about an interaction with zombies for the first time.  The characters will deal with searching for sources of water and continue to try to find a place to settle down and start building a life - every zombie survivor's dream.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chapter One

Now that we've finally parted ways with Jay, things have gotten a lot easier. We knew we wouldn't exactly miss him, but he ate a lot and used more of our supply reserves than I'd like to think about. You'd think even someone as inept as Jay would realize that things are different now than before the zombies, but he kept on eating "till he was good and full" all the time, and wasting ammo on anything that moved and a lot that didn’t.
You can't do that anymore - you can't forget things are different. Not in the moment, like letting your guard slip down and being noisy going into a public bathroom. And not for the long term either. Jay was stuck in the past and was probably never going to make it in this New World of ours - that's why he thought he could stuff himself all the time, and why he never thought more than a day or so ahead.
There's a lot of rules or codes or mottos or dogmas or commandments you can try to live by, to get by, but things are definitely different.
I found this laptop and a bunch of batteries at a store that was in such a bad spot for retail, it was never even found by looters. If all goes according to plan, I'll be able to keep a record of what happens to us and how we lived. I don't know who I'm keeping it for - some people these days would see this as weak like I saw Jay's eating as weak. They'd probably ask "what you hopin’ for, the zeds learn to read?" There are a lot of thoughts you push aside when you get them these days, and the one I push aside as I write this is the thought of what might happen to humanity's history if that sort of indifference occurs everywhere.
The more we survive in this new age, the less we resemble humans from before the zombies and the more we resemble something new. Something slightly more animal, less intellectual. The dawning of technology and industry led man in many parts of the world to forget what it's like to struggle and fight to survive. I was born in an age and place where man's fathers fathers were never really in danger of starvation or lack of shelter. In America, where I grew up, it seemed that everyone found their way to easy shelter, food and clothing.
Now I live in the ruins of several generations of pioneers that were so successful in their venture they became complacent. Modern men would seem gods to ancient man. Modern man was capable of flight, slaying any other being at great distances with no effort, entering the cosmos and viewing up close what the closest things in space look like. Communicating with anyone anywhere in the world at any time. Forget about just communicating with one person anywhere in the world, modern man was accustomed to being spoken to by disembodied voices all day long - the telephone at work, the radio in the car, the television in the other room at home, the conductor on the intercom on the train, the meaningless announcements in airports, etc, etc.

Modern man, thoroughly interconnected a thousand times over via technology, estranged from reality and immersed in the ideas and "creativity" of corporations, is long gone. Pick a period of time - a week, a month, 5 years. Will whatever is left on Earth after that period of time remember modern man? There is good reason to think they might - his sprawl was endless and evidence of his having been here is global. To the grizzled new veteran of the zombie era, I say to you, I am "wasting my time" toiling here to see that whatever is left remembers this time in between. Because modern man is gone and we are his descendants, it falls to someone to preserve our history. Modern man's history is recorded amongst his sprawl, but every day I can't help but think nothing will tell our tale if I don't.

My name is Jeff. Since Infection Day, I have not met another Jeff who wasn't craving the blood of the living. We did see a zed with one of those stickers that said “Hi, my name is Jeff.” – Jay thought it was hilarious. For the record, however, my last name was Obrist. It is at this point that modern man would have exclaimed, "Jeff Obrist, the son of Felix Obrist?!" and he would of course known that Felix Obrist was the CEO and majority owner of Double Felix International, a top pharmaceutical company. Modern man thought Felix Obrist was kind of a big deal.

Felix Obrist was indeed my father, but it's turning out in these fun new times of ours that Felix Obrist was not so big a deal.

As I alluded to previously, modern man was well accustomed to seeing the faces and hearing the voices of others on their televisions, etc. My father's was amongst them - his face was well known, his success as a businessman giving him something of a celebrity status. It was for this reason that a number of camera crews were following my father on the day after Infection Day; he had just exited a very important press conference announcing a merger between his company and whatever other pharmaceutical it was swallowing this month. This was seriously a big deal. This was seriously a big deal until my father, Felix Obrist, only made it half way from the glass doors of One Financial in Boston to his limo. His progress was impeded along the way by a zombie that had just strolled out of the subway, chased by MBTA police whose less than stellarly-aimed bullets had little effect on the trunk and limbs of the things.
I must have seen footage of my father being chewed on half a dozen times before television transmissions stopped. If for some sick reason I wanted to see it more, it would have been available on the internet, which survived a couple weeks longer. Without anyone to maintain them, servers eventually shut down along with their power grids, until soon there was no more interconnectivity. If all the websites you know are gone and there’s no way to search what’s left, and no internet service providers remaining, you’d have to really know what you were doing to accomplish anything with a computer. Marty knows what he’s doing with a computer and already gave up on this laptop, not wanting to build false hope.
I can only report on what I’ve seen myself in the Brave New World. Hearsay and new mythology and gossip intertwine to make information from other survivors almost worthless. There is no way to know what this is all really like for anyone but ourselves, so here I will record the things that happen to us and do my best to give a depiction of life today, so that maybe someone will remember.

We were looking for food today. Four mouths to feed means a certain amount of food every day. All the readily available, pre-packaged, preserved food that the people of my country, if not much of the world, have eaten for generations - we took it for granted. All that food was so easy to get, modern man forgot how to get his own food.

Beyond that, man almost forgot how to survive. Maybe that's why there are so few of us left. That morbidly obese guy who lived down the street? When the neighbors turned zed, they must have kept some scrap of their brainpower, because within 10 minutes fatty was heavily chewed upon and being dragged into the street by the neighbors and their kids.

Fatty was fat, but like I was saying, he also never found any of his own food that wasn't on the supermarket or convenience store side of a cash register. If fatty suddenly went broke one day, he would not have been able to pick up his rifle and go live off the land, let alone survive a few nights without shelter. Fatty probably would have given up before crawling through dumpsters, fighting off packs of dogs for whatever they might be feeding on, or wandering into a supermarket almost definitely full of zeds that he would be fighting off as he frantically searched for some unspoiled edibles. Fatty was not equipped to handle many if not most of the situations that our Brave New World has provided for modern man. Fatty was modern man embodied, and modern man was mostly unequipped to handle anything like this. Modern man didn't even need to try to survive, why should he bother know how?
Anyone who questions modern man’s inadequacy to deal with a zombie uprising need only compare the modern soccer mom and her children to men of old. The mother and children in a soccer mom’s minivan cannot be said to be as violence-ready as mothers and children of old. When men fought with rifles that carried only one shot, it wasn’t uncommon for a wife and children to be reloading and handing off a cache of rifles to their husbands and fathers who fought wilderness, natives and each other to survive. These people would probably have already put down a zombie uprising with the vigor of a good old fashion witch hunt.

Probably not unrelated to these flaws of modern man's, rural houses always seem to be better equipped for the Brave New World than anything urban or suburban. Fatty relied on the rest of society to clothe, feed and shelter him, but these rural people were less society than Fatty or the rest of modern man. These people in the boonies relied less on other people and more on their knowledge of survival and the land. They grew some of their own food, some more than others. They dug wells and kept them clean and usable. They kept animals. They kept clean, working and efficient projectile weapons. In addition to the simple fact that they were less densely populated, these people started off in this Brave New World much better equipped than modern man. We’ve been working since the beginning to escape the cities and suburbs of modern man to get somewhere populated only by these better equipped folks. Maybe if we ever find such a place, we can remember what safe is.
Traveling amongst some such homes, all save one of them today abandoned by survivors, we found a homestead/farm that had some livestock wandering amongst the premises. They were surprisingly well fed, so we could only make some assumptions. The residence showed signs of relatively recent use - much more recent than Infection Day, for certain. We also found a couple of the pigs rooting around one of the food troughs, so we guessed that the previous residents, upon abandoning the premises, left a supply of food in the trough for the animals. Their compassion and attachment to the animals was our good fortune.

As time goes on, it becomes harder to be in touch with that part of modern man that would have struggled to deal with our situation today. In this New World, there are few rules to govern or dictate behavior. The cops are not coming, and 911 is something we joke about ("Zeds approaching, someone call 911!") - a number people called when they couldn't solve their own serious problems. Now the zeds seem to show up whenever you have serious problems. In any situation such as the sudden acquisition of a fenced farmyard full of livestock, you are left to make up the new rules as you go. Obviously though, we need to survive, and all attention is paid to survival these days. Like I've said, there aren't many of us left. Those of us that are left? We like to think we've got our shit together, and that means thinking more like a much older version of humans than like modern man. Modern man was primarily concerned with things like bank accounts, mile per gallon and celebrities and had distanced himself well from things like how to kill, gut and preserve the most useful portions of a pig.

Modern man probably wouldn't have been this well acquainted with the blood, either.

Obviously, I've had to kill my share of Zeds to make it this far. I'm still unsettled by, but at least acquainted with, the violence and blood that have been so pervasive since Infection Day. I'm still looking forward to the next day when I won't have to slay what's left of a human being that I most likely would have had no quarrel with. That part of my humanity that I have struggled to keep alive - believe me, so many that aren't zeds have nonetheless lost their humanity - is probably what objected to slaughtering those pigs.

None of us ride horses, so we let those go. We argued briefly about trying to learn how to ride, but ultimately my objections about how dangerous that could be were heard – falling from a horse made a casualty out of Superman long before any zeds showed up. I hate to think of them trying to survive what we've had to survive, but I tried to picture those horses kicking some zed heads in, rather than being overtaken by zeds. I think there were five horses - the farm had a nice little stable with lots of riding gear, those horses were probably well loved. Realistically, they'll probably feed a dozen zeds and maybe take out one or two, but they were running out of food in the fenced in farmyard anyway.

There were four pigs. We had planned on killing them all and trying to salt and package as much of the meat as we could. We could only bring ourselves to kill two. I went first, in no way anticipating how difficult it would be to deal with the gurgling, thrashing and awful, awful bleating when I slit its throat. This Brave New World has fortunately frayed my nerves and heightened my reflexes - or so I like to think - because I was fast. The moment that bleating hit my ears, I found myself flipping over the barn stool I'd been sitting on and raising it over my head to end the awful sounds. Mercifully aim, velocity and placement of the strike all worked out to one blow being required. I couldn't even look, Marty had to tell me it was over.

Marty looked sort of shocked, so I can only imagine how I looked. The idea had seemed simple enough - even if we weren't going to be eating its head, we shouldn't waste any ammunition on it. My machete jumped out as the best idea, first. We never thought of bludgeoning it, and that was that. Time was always short now, and you just had to act - it hadn't seemed necessary to spend time thinking of another way when the machete would get the job done. I wish we had spared ourselves that bleating - we're haunted by enough these days.

Marty was ready to waste ammo when there was still plastic wrap and salt after the first pig. I wouldn't help him. We were fortunate that the previous occupants of this farm believed in preservation - food, not environmental. There was a whole setup for making and jarring jams and jellies and preparing and packaging meat. Soon, there won’t be any plastic like this left unused in the country - or maybe there just won't be anybody left to finish up using it all.

We got a lot of meat, some jams, jellies and peanut butter and a few pounds of jerky from the farm, and these days that's incredible. The previous residents must have had their fair share to carry, to leave so much behind. As heavy as peanut butter is, I was happy as a clam to carry it - we haven't had a score this big yet. Usually we consume what we find because there's not enough to bother saving and carrying with us. Modern man's instinct might have been to gorge his starved ass on that food, but like we talked about with fatty, things are different. I spent an hour on my first foot long strip of jerky. I chewed the last everloving fibers out of that jerky, savoring the juices and substance of each bite as long as I could. Modern man had probably lost the sensation of renewed energy after eating substantially for the first time in days, too.

We've got to make it last. We don’t know how much longer we’re going to have to be on the move before we find someplace we can try to make a stand. Making a stand is what this all feels like – against zeds, against nature, against the other survivors, and against the ineptitude of modern man.

Jeff Obrist, at least 5 weeks after Infection Day.

First entry complete, disclaimers

My first installment of my zombie blog is complete and typed out. I am taking a break from editing it to do some administrative things like mention the following:

Anything written here other than the ads is entirely my work and cannot be reproduced in any way without my express written consent. All work here is copyrighted.

Any resemblance between characters and real people is entirely coincidental, all characters are fictional.

I'm going to add a "Story" tag to each post on this blog that is actual fictional content, and I intend to try to find the easiest way possible to direct people to the Story and feature this prominently - I anticipate more interest in my fictional work than my other writing about writing.

I anticipate posting the first installment within a couple of hours, once some further editing of the webspace and story conclude.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Research and writing continues

I've been doing a lot of reading about zombies recently. To create a believable (I couldn't use the word realistic here, despite myself) zombie situation my characters are going to need to utilize some serious survival techniques to get by in a situation and climate where most haven't. To be believable, therefore, the characters will need to know their stuff, which means I need to know my stuff.

Fortunately, there's no shortage whatsoever of survival websites and specifically zombie survival websites out there. Various people are attempting to catalog the various techniques and ideas that people have come up with, with varying degrees of success. Without any permission from their owners, I would like to thank some and link some sites I've found particularly useful. I've tried to cast a wide net and interact with a lot of different types of media on zombies, so without further delay:

George A Romero movies - I've seen most if not all of the Of The Dead movies, and was first introduced to the genre through them. Up until I was introduced to George A. Romero's Land of the Dead I was always under the impression that zombie movies were distasteful and poorly done. I never considered the survival aspect of zombie movies, or at that time, horror movies in general. Romero highlights the changes in society and the fight for survival that zombies would create, and lays a lot of the groundwork for how we should combat and deal with zombies.

The Zombie Survival & Defense Wiki - A great site with a lot of user contributed ideas and thoughts on what a zombie apocalypse would be like

Zedpocalypse - A site with a lot of user contributed fiction regarding Zombies - I'm hoping to become acquainted and involved with these guys in the near future.

Zombie Research Society Blog - has a lot of fun and unique content regarding zombies, worthwhile

These are some but not all of the places I've been getting ideas and inspiration from.  I'm not looking at these sites directly for ideas so much as I am to put me in the zombie state of mind, thinking about what such a situation and world will be like when I create it.

With all that said about nothing, I've completed what I think will be the first blog post made by my protagonist, and I'll be typing (I use pen and paper?!) and editing it tomorrow (Friday) and this weekend.  I'm already well on the way with the second post as well, and I hope to have things underway soon - I'm thinking I'll release the first installment sooner rather than later, so I have some content worth reading (unlike these ramblings about the writing process) and teasing.  Adieu.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Work in progress

I'm finding more and more that this is going to be a long work in progress much more than anything easy to churn out, which is what I had originally imagined. I'm well along in the creative process but not very far in the writing process. I'm finding that a lot of work goes into creating characters, a setting and a plot.

I'd like to create as "realistic" a zombie apocalypse situation as possible, so I'm having to spend time thinking about things like:

-how do the characters defend themselves?
-how do the characters find sustainable sources of food and water
-how do the characters shelter themselves safely?
-etc, etc.

I'm spending time thinking about these things because I don't want to write a cookie cutter plot/situation because that would essentially be someone else's creation. If this project is going to be worthwhile, it would only be right to create my own ideas about the entire world I'm creating, rather than picking and choosing ideas from the creations of others.

I had originally thought I'd already be churning out readable content by now, but that's not realistically going to be the case. I have a lot of thinking and writing to do before I want to let people into the world I'm creating. I wouldn't be starting this project if I didn't plan on letting anyone in, so we'll see where this takes us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New idea, starting tomorrow (today)

Starting tomorrow I'm going to be blogging from the point of view of a fictional character surviving a zombie apocalypse. He'll recount his story on a day by day (or post by post, we'll see how often they are) basis and we'll see how the story unfolds. I still intend to write a short story, so we'll continue to see how that goes, and I'll eventually post it here if I ever do complete it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Story underway, details ironed

I've ironed out some more details about what I want this all to be about and I've begun writing the story. The details are as follows:

I'll start with a short story so I can see how awfully others perceive my writing

I've started developing a stable of characters first before writing any story, and I have an idea of what will be going on in this short story.

The short story will be a part of a greater story about the lives of the characters following a zombie apocalypse. The story will be a portion of a greater story of their lives that I may or may not write.

I think I'm going to complete my works before I publish them here. I look forward to using this mostly as a tool for publishing completed works - I briefly entertained the idea of publishing to this blog everything that I've written, even work in progress, however I think it will be much more useful and compelling for people to see completed works. I haven't completed anything yet, though, so I won't have anything of substance to put here for a bit.

If anyone does accidentally find their way here, they'll at least know what this webspace is for now, at least.


I'd really welcome any sort of contribution or tips regarding the start of the creative writing process - I don't have any formal training on it and would love to hear from people, especially zombie lovers.

The Beginning

As I bet happens with most blogging, I enter this uncertain. I'm uncertain how much I'll be committed to this project and where it will go, but I've come this far and it's only been 5 minutes, so onward!

I've come up with the idea of a creative writing project, possibly collaborative, to write about zombies. I like zombies, I like to write and I like to read stuff that I've written, so perhaps I could write about zombies.

I have a small amount of experience creative writing, but I intend to explore my capabilities with it much further than I ever have before with this project. If it goes anywhere. (There's that uncertainty we spoke about. I can't stress enough the suspicion that this is likely to proceed directly nowhere. Just so that's clear.)

If anyone reads this thing, I'd be curious to know how much zombie "fanfiction" and free writing is available out there. I've always believed in the freedom of the internet and sort of like the idea of creating something people could enjoy for free via the internet. Is this going on anywhere else? Somebody out there in the world knows all about this and can enlighten me. I wonder if you need to create an account to post a comment in response to this. Which brings me to the next topic -

This choice of blog locations is by no means permanent and I'm really just trying it out. I'm writing the aforementioned story and intend to release it in pieces at a later date. For now this will serve as a placeholder and perhaps a blog about my creative writing experience.. along with some tips for zombie survival interspersed.


I was able to make it so anyone can post comments in response, here. I prefer this way until someone gives me reason not to do it this way.
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