Zombie apocalypse survival tip: recognizing an outbreak

Hey, kids! Getting ready for tomorrow’s premiere of Walking Dead on AMC! I assume this means YOU are, too! But getting ready for a TV show is a heck of a lot easier than getting ready for an actual zombie apocalypse (duh) because, in most instances, people DON’T prepare for any kind of apocalypse, let alone zombies.

I mean, there are those among us who do prepare for some kind of apocalypse. What the means is they usually stock food, medical supplies, and guns and ammo. This is not a bad idea, but it also precludes mobility, and that may be one of the options that you have to exercise.

At this point, I defer to Max Brooks, who is surely the zombie mas-tah with regard to today’s tip. What I’ll talk about today is how to recognize that there might be a zombie outbreak in your area and to assess what, if anything, anybody’s doing about it. You can find this in his excellent Zombie Survival Guide.

source: Powells

Curious? By all means, read on!

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In Training (for an apocalypse)

Hey, fellow apocalyptids!

Yesterday I was thinking about trains. I was thinking that I sure wish this country had a better (and high-speed) train system, because I love traveling by train. I like getting up and walking around in a train, and going to the snack bar and watching the landscape fly past out the windows. Love that. We here in the States are deprived of super awesome train travel. Not to diss on Amtrak, or anything, but seriously. We need more tracks, more trains, and we’d be able to get around this country a lot easier, I think.

Anyway, I’m getting to something, here. Seriously. Bear with me.


And clickie to read more.

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Excerpt (and yeah, some zombie-related stuff)

Hi, peeps–

Yesterday I posted an excerpt from a work in progress over at my other hangout, Women and Words. It’s the third chapter of a F/F romance I’m working on (WHUUUUUT? Andi writes novel-length romance??? Dunno yet–giving it a try). You’ll also find links at that post to the first 2 chapters, so have no fear, I’m not forcing you to hunt for ’em! So go on and clickie that linkie up there to have a looksee, if you’re in the mood.

Moving along…

Howsabout some post-apocalyptic vehicles? The only problem I can foresee here is fuel, but perhaps some intrepid inventor somewhere is working on getting one of these up and running on something other than fuel.

Check ’em out at Jalopnik. 10 vehicles for your perusal.

I’m kind of digging the MaxiMog:


Although the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle is the shizzle, too. Did you see the movie Stripes? If not, get it. You’ll see the EM-50 in action.


These vehicles are “post-apocalyptic,” which could be any kind of apocalypse, including zombies. And yes, the link mentions zombies, so clearly, some of these vehicles can help with that, if you’re fortunate enough to have one and if fuel isn’t that big a deal acquiring.

All rightie, happy reading, happy writing, happy Saturday!

Zombies might already walk the earth

I was thinking this morning that one doesn’t need to be undead to be a “zombie.”

Specifically, I’m thinking here of that awesome zombie flick Shaun of the Dead (2004), which if you dig a little deeper under the surface is kind of a metaphor about how if you’re not careful, living can actually suck the life out of you, and not in a good way. You wake up, you go to a soul-draining job that you’re not totally happy about, you go home. The next day, you wash, rinse, repeat.

In the movie, there’s the scene where Shaun wakes up the morning after the zombie-fication starts, and he’s not entirely awake, but he wanders down to the corner store where he usually buys a paper and a drink or a snack and already, the audience can tell there are zombies about, but he doesn’t make the connection that something’s freaky, even freakier than the night before when he and his buddy were at the pub, doesn’t notice that there’s a bloody handprint on the door of the cooler he opens to get his drink, doesn’t think it too weird that the clerk at the store is missing and the store’s kind of a mess. Shaun just leaves his money on the counter and goes back home, oblivious to the people wandering aimlessly around the street or some of the destruction.

Here’s a good compilation somebody did that juxtaposes Shaun going to the store when things were normal, and when things weren’t. He doesn’t seem to notice much…


Point being that you can actually be a zombie without being undead, that your life can actually kind of drift along, you stuck in a job you hate, doing the same things over and over again, until before you know it, you’re so locked in you don’t even notice that an actual zombie apocalypse is under way because your synapses have been dulled by the anesthetized life you’ve been living.

So here’s your zombie survival tip for today: if you find that you are already living a zombie existence as I’ve described here, it might be time to try to make some changes. Get a new hobby. Play some sports (the physical conditioning will serve you well in an actual zombie apocalypse). Take some drives in the country. If you have access to awesome public transportation, go to neighborhoods in your city you don’t normally visit. If you’re in this country, take an Amtrak trip somewhere you’ve never been. If you’re in Europe, take a train somewhere you’ve never been. You’ve got to get past the zombie-fication that every day life can lead you to, so you can be sharper for the rest of your life (whether or not a zombie apocalypse occurs). You need a new perspective, mates. Go get one!

Happy Saturday!

Zombie Saturday and some food for thought

Hi, all–

A couple of quick things today. First, if you’re looking for a slightly different take on a zombie tale, try Gina Ranalli’s Praise the Dead (2010).


Gina’s a bizarro/horror writer who injects her work with sly little winks and quirks. In “Praise,” you’ll meet Andrew, a kid who discovers he has the power to bring things back from the dead. The problem is, they’re not quite right when that happens. But Andrew’s ability leads him on a scary power trip and a showdown with a group of people who have to stop him. For more info about Gina, you can find her here, at her website.

And the other thing I was thinking about has to do with overall health of not only you, but the nation, especially if you want to be fighting zombies effectively. Overall health of the nation is something that concerns me personally.

New stats were just released, and as usual, the American South is the unhealthiest and most obese region in the country, but it’s not the only unhealthy part. America, as a whole, is unhealthy. Mississippi is considered the worst off; almost 34 percent of residents there are obese. Almost 32 percent of the residents of the state of Alabama are considered obese. That’s A THIRD. 9 of the 10 fattest states in the country are in the South.

There are also racial, ethnic, and class disparities at play here, and access to foods that are beneficial rather than damaging. Here are some of the other issues that a fat and unhealthy nation contributes to.

Click on to see.

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Zombie Saturday

Hey, kids–whew. Okay, so here’s my tip today. Seriously.


Because in a zombie apocalypse, there will be no doctors’ offices, no hospitals, no pharmacies that are operating. You need to be able to outrun zombies and other survivors, you need to be able to climb and jump, and hide.

You also need to learn how to take care of minor and possibly major medical problems with materials at hand. And your chances of finding a doctor to help you do that are pretty slim. That’s a grim outlook. So get your cardio in order, start eating right, and learn some first aid. As cool as the video games make it seem — that zombie killin’ stuff — the fact is that every time you put yourself in a risky situation, you’re in danger of an injury and in this post-apocalyptic world, a minor scratch can lead to major infections. And if you sustain a major injury because you thought it would be fun to crawl around rubble and fight zombies, well, I hate to tell you this, but you’re probably toast and you have no one really to blame but yourself.

All right!

Stay safe!

Chill Gear for the Zombie Apocalypse

Hi, folks–

Hope this weekend is treating you oh, so groovy. I thought even those of us dealing with the ZA might need a little break. So in case you’re needing a respite from the hard work of avoiding zombies and survivors once all hell breaks out, I found this delightful wine that might be able to help you unwind, as you’re hunkered for the evening in your darkened, cramped, stuffy attic (remember, no lights at night).


Is it good? Probably not. But ask yourself this. You’ve been running, dodging, hiding, living on the edge of hell for a few months. You haven’t had a decent shower in months, or a meal that didn’t come out of a can or an MRE package. You probably have bruises, scratches, scrapes, and some creepy itch from running around in the woods. Are you REALLY going to care what this wine tastes like?

I thought not. So get yourself a bottle for the ZA and take a few minutes of chill.

Happy surviving!

Zombie Apocalypse lore

Okay, so maybe it’s not quite “lore” in the classic sense of the word, but it IS a quirky tale of “life” during the ZA, as captured in haiku by someone who is turning into a zombie and then becomes a zombie.

This clever documentation of the ZA is Zombie Haiku, by Ryan Mecum, published in 2008 by How Books.


Zombie Apocalypse via haiku. Who knew how much fun this could be? For those who don’t know what a haiku is, it’s a form of poetry that is three lines, each line with a designated number of syllables. In this case, 5-7-5. That is, 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third.

So a lovely zombie haiku from the cover of this book is:

Biting into heads
is much harder than it looks.
the skull is feisty.

source: cover of Zombie Haiku

The premise of this collection is clever, as well. It starts with a few lines of description of a survivor of the ZA. He originally started the poetry journal as a way to “capture the beauty of the world” through haiku. But then along comes the ZA and he writes hastily: “To whoever might find this, my name is Chris Lynch, and I’m pretty sure I’m dying. In face, if you are reading this, then I’m probably already dead. Not that anyone will be around to read this…from what I’ve seen, I’d guess this is the end of everything.” So as you start reading the haikus he’s written, it starts out all happy happy joy joy and then you notice he’s documenting the ZA, though he’s not aware that this is the case. He haikus about something in the news that says people are acting weird, but he turns if off. Then,

As I start my car,
my neighbor just keeps staring
and doesn’t wave back.

(p. 7)

He doesn’t realize, even with all the car wrecks and traffic and “drunk guy stumbling into traffic” what’s up. He gets to work, nobody’s there and one of his coworkers is “eating spaghetti in her car without utensils” and she smashes her head through the glass and tries to grab him, with glass sticking out of her neck. Anyway, our hero ends up not so lucky, and in the hands of a zombie mob. You see his metamorphosis through his clever haikus:

My skin is drying,
my veins are much ore pronounced
and I’m turning gray.

(p. 30)

one thing on my mind,
only one thing on my mind.
I’m going to eat you.

(p. 32)

Somehow, this zombie haikus being a zombie, and the illustrations and “dirt” and “blood smears” on the pages only add to the macabre, dark, hilarious fun in this book. The author’s handwriting morphs, too, and you end up seeing the world through the eyes of a zombie, whose haikus are short and sharp, like the staccato bursts of gunfire and the single-minded focus of an eating machine, which is what zombies are.

A seriously fun, clever, and wonderfully twisted book. See the ZA through a zombie’s eyes!

Happy reading, happy surviving!

No Rapture, but how about a Zombie Apocalypse tip?

Hi, kids–

Well, I suspect you’re still here. News reports are saying NOTHING IS HAPPENING cataclysmically. No word, either, from the predictor of said Rapture, Mr. Harold Camping. Family Radio is playing nothing but devotional music and hymns, unrelated to the Rapture.

This is why stuff like this makes me think of cults. Seriously? A guy in New York blew $140,000 of his personal savings to put up ads and billboards and posters. [shaking head]

Anyway, this is just a funsies post about the ZA (which of course is WAY MORE REAL than the Rapture [I’m laughing]), but there are also good tips for basic disaster preparedness.

The CDC got into the “preparing for a zombie apocalypse” thing with this post, because they realized that whenever somebody mentioned Zombies in a Twitter feed or Facebook or something comparable, traffic went up. Zombies are popular, so the CDC used ’em to get us thinking about disaster preparedness.

Here are some tips from the CDC release, FYI:
Water (1 gallon per person per day)
Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)

So, no Rapture, but it was cool that the CDC got into the zombie fun.

Happy Rapture Day!

Zombie-licious tidbit: housing!

Hi, kids! Happy Saturday! So my ever-alert sibling sent me the most awesome link yesterday. It’s the zombie-proof house. OMG.

Here is the link, from All That Is Interesting. (shout-out to ATII!)

And here are a couple of photos, to give you a sense of it all:

When it’s locked down:


Not very appealing, is it? I mean, in terms of zombie-proof-ness, that’s pretty decent. But wouldn’t you love to have a fab living space, too? Well, ta-da!


There’s also a drawbridge between building one and building two (building two houses a swimming pool).

I did a little research, and thanks to ATII, the designers of this “safe house” (probably not intended, necessarily, to fend off zombies but rather warfare or some such) are the firm KWK Promes. This house is located outside Warsaw, Poland. Here’s another link that gives you a ton of info about the house, along with more photos, thumbnail photos, and the plans of the house.

Seriously awes-matic, friends. The house is like a plant. It opens up in the morning and closes up at dusk. CRAZY! I couldn’t find a price for this pup, but at 6100 square feet with all those amenities and fortifications? I’m sure we’re talking serious moolah.

The only drawback to a place like this in a zombie apocalypse is if you don’t have access to food/supply lines. Because sure, the zombies will be gathered outside your giant concrete wall, but who cares? You can pick ’em off at your leisure, I guess (there’s a disgusting, macabre image for you) while your kids are frolicking in the yard or the spouse is taking a few laps in the pool. But again, if you don’t have access to supply lines and no way to get to ’em, the house proves to be a prison as well as a castle.

However, I find myself strangely drawn to this thing. Seriously decorative protection.

There you go! Happy surviving and happy weekend!