Tag Archives: write

The book I lost a job for…and why zombies?

 

Worldwide distribution of plague infected anim...

Worldwide distribution of plague infected animals 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When I began writing This Plague of Days, it wasn’t about zombies and, in a way, it still isn’t. It’s about people in desperate circumstances trying to survive extinction. Also, the infected are not the walking dead. It’s more of a 28 Days Later, humans with rabies sort of situation. Things happen that may be paranormal or they may have a rational explanation. (I won’t spoil it.)  

 

I will say that my horror serial begins with one plague that spirals society down as the virus mutates. The Sutr-X virus evolves, things get worse and, of course, the world will never be the same. There are great human losses to both strains of the virus. Jaimie and his family face illness, death, danger and betrayal. Worse? The pandemic wasn’t an accident of Nature. There’s an awesome villain and a group spreading the virus for purposes they consider noble, right and true. As the book unfolds, terrorism and the plague’s evolving horrors stretch across the world. A new strain of Sutr-X rising  in Britain puts vast forces on a collision course with the little family from America’s midwest.

 

The serial evolved into a big book that started with a character study. TPOD started in 2009/2010 with a small seed of an idea, my fascination with the world flu pandemic and a daily visit to Starbucks to write. I was so passionate about the project, I lost a job over a key health and survival issue that pitted me against the bureaucrats that employed me. I told them they were endangering healthcare workers and their families. They didn’t appreciate my input. (I take a chapter in TPOD to show those same bureaucrats how wrong they were, but that job loss and the issues around it are for another blog post on another day. I’ll get into that background when I publish that episode, no doubt.)

 

I began the book exploring the mind of the main character. It is an ensemble cast, but everyone loves sixteen-year-old Jaimie Spencer: 

 

Autism spectrum

Autism spectrum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

1. He’s on the autistic spectrum.

 

2. He is a very shy, selective mute who must hold his father’s hand when they go out in pubic.

 

3. He sees auras.

 

4. His special interest is Latin phrases and English dictionaries.

 

5. He’s in his own world.

6. Jaimie is a boy who sees significance in every detail and every word. He often gets lost in those details and so seems oblivious to danger.

 

When the Sutr plague strikes, stress and circumstance bring Jaimie closer to our world in surprising ways. When worlds touch, they ignite sparks that let his family and the reader glimpse his mind and true abilities. 

 

But why pit this strange boy against a world filled with nasty survivalists and infected, rage-filled cannibals?

 

I could tell you that high stakes and steep odds matched against a charming underdog in a tough conflict makes for a compelling story. But you already know that. The simpler answer is, I’m a bit strange, too. I do not have Aspergers Syndrome. I do, however, see the world askew and you’re going to love the odd word excursions almost as much as the zombie attacks, evil villain and my strange plague apocalypse.

 

This Plague of Days launches soon. I love surprising readers. I will.

 

 

 

Advertisements

They versus We: From Slave to Immortal in One Manifesto

Photo on 12-12-05 at 4.33 PM

You have suspicions about the way the world works.

You wonder if you are watched. (You are.)

You suspect you are judged. (Oh, my, yes.)

But it isn’t God that’s watching. It is the Devil in each person’s busy little mind. It is the Dark Matter, that vast expanse amid all you think you know and what They tell you ought to be. We are connected to the Dark Matter by invisible strands that make us puppets in a sad collective.

They issue orders: Get a loan, stick to the plan, sign your life away, head down, pull the harness. Do not look at the stars. Do not hope.

The Puppeteer wants you to paint on a happy face and do Their bidding and make Them rich and never think you should do anything outside of your box. If you think “outside the box”, you’ll find you’re still in Their cage: the debts you can’t pay, the job you can’t leave, the cash you don’t have and even the unemployment you can’t break from. If you let them, They control the transmission: your thoughts.

The Matrix is real. You’re swimming in it now. It is cold and it does not care about you.

The cage is the limitation you put on yourself: Your little life is Their paradigm. Your tiny, unfulfilled dreams are Their victories.

We know how much you swear under your breath as you smile at church. We understand how scared you are. We share your fears. Your fears are legitimate

They won’t tell you that, but that is the way it is. The universe doesn’t care about you any more than you are aware of a tiny stone on a small moon in an unknown constellation in a galaxy beyond your comprehension.

There is a choice: Wake up.

You will have to care for yourself. You can break from They. Form your collective of We.

We are dust motes in a sunbeam, mostly invisible, here for an instant and gone forever. We defy mortality with Art. Art is the only taste of immortality we are allowed. Graves are forgotten. In a generation? Perhaps two? You linger in no one’s memory without Art. Art is evidence you once breathed and loved and sang and thought and were.

You want to dismiss these words, but you know who They are. Even in your loneliest moments, you know you are a slave.

What is Their name? The Devil has many names: 

Habit.

Tradition.

The Way It’s Done. 

What You Should Do.

Normal.

What’s Expected.

What We Want for You.

Established Best Practices.

What We Need.

Nationalism.

Being “realistic”.

The Greater Good.

They aren’t concerned with your good and They do not want you to ask questions.

They are the enemy because They want you to pretend you are less than you are. They want to douse your flame and keep you asleep. They want you to die as soon as you are born.

They praise control, security and rigidity.

They condemn us because we are creative and we strive free ourselves of Their expectations.

But We?

We are not They.

We want to meet our own expectations and learn to control our own minds and hearts and bodies.

We set our goals and we stand for no dictator and we don’t sit to take dictation. We don’t put up with dicks, either.

We are not slaves. We are artists with names and aspirations. We write and produce art and inspire more art. We consume art and live it. Each conversation, connection and kind touch can be Art. Artists light fires in others, as one candle fires another.

We become Art in each giving, caring, real moment.

We make and remake our lives until we break the bonds They knotted so tightly when They insisted we sit quietly in straight rows, never questioning the paradigm that only benefits Them.

In creativity, We are Free and We live beyond the grave.

Our sunbeam warms us longer.

Our dust mote dances in the light.

~ I don’t know why I wrote this tonight. It often seems the world is stacked against an artist’s success. Successes are so rare, but success comes in many forms. What if I reach you tonight with these words? I couldn’t risk not whispering a word of encouragement in your ear.

This Plague of Days will launch soon. Until my stories are out in the world, these are the days of dread, the pregnant pause just before a hopeful, tenuous birth.

To read my books and catch my podcasts, see the links at AllThatChazz.com.

 

 

 


%d bloggers like this: