Could You Survive a Zombie Outbreak?

I’ve been watching/reading a lot about zombies lately and it got me thinking . . . would I survive an outbreak of zombies?

Now I know most people would probably answer ‘hell yes!’, but I have to wonder if they truly thought it out or simply jumped on the let’s kill things bandwagon. Because let’s be honest here, living through an actual zombie uprising would suck.

Imagine losing your friends/family (possibly even having to kill them yourself), could you do that? What about having to constantly be on guard? The unending terror? The fact that any day could easily be your last?

How long could you stand being alone, or worse . . . being surrounded?

Sure, it’d be fun for a little while -getting to play with dangerous toys and basically doing whatever you want-, but do you really think that would last? Once the novelty wore off, and it undoubtedly would, what would you do?

Most of the stories out there focus on the survivors, the ones who learn to adapt, and rarely show what happens to those who don’t because, lets face it, there’s no need to point out the obvious. But every time I see how many people they’ve kept alive I can’t help but shake my head. Do they really think that many would survive?

Not me. If the zombies don’t get you lack of supplies or those hell bent on living will. And if by some stroke of luck you do manage to survive, well, you’ve got to wonder how long you’d want to keep it that way. Honestly, how many ‘people’ could you put an end to before turning the gun on yourself?

Everyone has their breaking point . . . how long do you really think you’d hold out?

Later.

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The Suicide Diaries.

I’ve recently written a collection of short stories called The Suicide Diaries, and while I know the topic is a touchy one, I felt it was something I needed to do. The free collection so far consists of three separate “books”, all of which can be downloaded here, and each telling a short story about someone who has decided to kill themselves. The stories are not lighthearted, they are dark and depressing, and always end with the person’s death, so keep that in mind if you decide to check them out.

While these stories are fictional, the subject and situations are very real and my hope is that by reading them people will start to open their eyes to what is going on around them. Perhaps you’ve never hurt someone like that before, perhaps you have, but the point of theses stories is to help people realize that their words and actions have consequences, and sometimes what you think of as a simple joke may be the final straw that sends someone over the edge.

Like I said, it’s a touchy subject, but if even one person can be helped by me putting these stories out there, then it’s more than worth any backlash I may receive.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Later.

Self Publishing.

I’m not what you’d call an excellent writer, someone whose books will become national bestsellers, but I think my stories are pretty good. The only problem with ‘pretty good’ stories is you’re not very likely to find someone willing to publish them. So where do you turn when you want to get your book out there but the major companies aren’t an option? You self publish.

Now I know it sounds daunting, but to be honest, it’s not really all that difficult. Depending on how you do it that is. I know when you think of published books you immediately conjure up images of bound books sitting on bookstore shelves, but for those of you out there who are like me and don’t have the money to pay for the expensive process of having the books printed, I recommend making them into eBooks. I know there’s not a huge market for them yet, but give it a few years and printed books will be a thing of the past, bought only by those who truly enjoy the feeling of turning each page. I doubt they’ll ever disappear completely, but with each passing generation they become less and less popular since it’s so much simpler to download one and read it on a reader/laptop/IPad/etc.

I’ve been selling books for a few years through Barnes and Nobles Pubit (now called Nook Press) and while I haven’t made a whole lot, I’ve managed to sell a few. Recently though, I’ve found the site Smashwords, and I like it much better. Not only does it have an easy to use setup (Nook Press is simple now too), but if you get into their premium catalog they’ll ship your books off to several major retailers. Both sites are completely free to use, but Smashwords gives you the option of listing things for free as well which, let’s face it, is essential if you want to really get your name out there.

I will likely continue to use both sites, there’s no reason not to, but if you don’t have the time or patience to keep track of two different retailers I’d highly recommend using Smashwords for the simple fact that you’ll probably get more exposure.

Later.

Travels in Europe.

Just got back from spending almost two weeks in London, and while I’m glad to be back, I had a great time exploring all the city had to offer. I hadn’t planned on going to Europe for several years, but when I managed to get tickets to a play based on one of my favorite movies I figured why not. Thankfully I’d saved up some money otherwise I’d never have been able to do it since the dollar isn’t worth much right now; everything I bought cost around 1 1/2 times more.

I saw all the typical tourist sights (Big Ben, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace) while wandering around, and even managed to get to Portobello Road, the Sherlock Holmes Museum and the London Zoo which were a little out of the way but definitely worth it. I actually went to the Zoo on my birthday, which was a great way to spend the day since you get to get up close and personal with almost all of their animals, and then afterwards went to see Wicked at one of London’s many theaters.

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Since I had a bit of free time I went up to Scotland for the day and then down in to Paris for a day as well. I enjoyed Scotland, it reminded me a lot of home, but France . . . not so much. I did get some pictures of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower that I think turned out pretty good though so I wasn’t too disappointed.

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All in all it was a great trip, long, but good.

Later.

Living With a Fear of People.

I can’t stand being around people, they freak me out (I think the clinical term for it is Social Anxiety Disorder, but I’ve never cared much for labels). I even get my own version of panic attacks if I’m in a large group for too long. I haven’t always been like this, I was pretty outgoing when I was a child, but somewhere in my adolescence that all changed. Before I knew it I was avoiding crowds and becoming very withdrawn. Even dealing with people over the phone was hard for me to do.

I hated going to the grocery store, and even walking down crowded streets was daunting. I practically never went into a mall when I was a teenager because there were always so many people that I felt claustrophobic. The only way I managed to get by was to make sure there was always someone else with me whenever I went somewhere. I don’t know why, but I found if I focused on a person I knew I could block out the masses around me. Not completely mind you, it still felt like I was being smothered, but it was better than nothing.

I thought that maybe over time it would get better, but it didn’t. It actually became worse as I got older. Probably because I found myself having to do more and more things without a “buffer”. Not having someone else around just seemed to to make the crowds seem larger and more suffocating.

I’ve managed to get a little better over the years by forcing myself into situations I’d usually rather avoid. That’s not to say I enjoy being around people more, I’ve just learned to cope with it a little by sticking with jobs that don’t require me to be around too many people, and using music as a way of blocking out those around me when I go out shopping. I’m still not comfortable wandering around with crowds, and I prefer tagging along with others when I go someplace, but I can function out in the world for the most part so I guess that’s all that really matters.

Later.

Why Give an Anonymous Review?

What is it about anonymity that makes people be such jerks? It’s like, ‘oh look, you don’t know who I am so I’ll be rude and obnoxious as I try to crush your hopes/dreams/feelings’. If you can’t say whatever it is to the other person’s face don’t slink around in the background talking crap. Any time someone does this to me I laugh and think how pathetic they are that they don’t have the guts to be like, ‘yeah, this in my opinion, deal with it’. I mean seriously, anyone not willing to take credit for their own opinions probably shouldn’t have them to begin with.

If you want to praise something, by all means, reply anonymously. But if you feel the need to give constructive criticism, plain old criticism, or even attack what they put time and effort into doing, don’t hide behind some “guest” account so they don’t have the option of asking about what you said. Sure, this may mean that you get scathing remarks and whatnot back, but if you’re willing to dish it out you’d better be able to take it too.

Later.

PNB’s Nutcracker Ballet.

I’ve been talking about going to see the Nutcracker ballet for several years and I finally got around to it last week. It’s not that I’m a big fan of ballet or anything like that, it’s just something I thought I should experience at least once. Aside from an excellent location; the hall had killer acoustics, the orchestra was amazing, and the sets and costumes were very well done. I even thought the dancers did a pretty good job; of course I wouldn’t know even if they messed up so I guess that’s not saying much. All in all it wasn’t a bad experience, and I don’t feel it was a waste of either my time or money. Having said that, I doubt I’ll go see a ballet again. It’s just not my thing.

Later.