Monday, November 24, 2014

Guest Blog - Rebecca Besser

This week, I am happy to have fellow author, Rebecca Besser, as a guest blogger on my site.  This is great for several reason:  1)  I am a bit buried under with Nano (and about 2,000 words behind as of this moment. It was a long weekend and I didn't have a second to spare);  2)  It's a chance to share some of Rebecca's awesome horror/zombie books and stories with you all.  Even if you are not a horror connoisseur, you should give her try.    

Enough of me, have a great week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving.  I'll catch up next week.  


Out of the Box Zombies
By Rebecca Besser

Zombie culture has taken the world by storm. We have everything from cell phone commercials to The Walking Dead (the main cultural phenomenon that has everyone at the edge of their seats asking for more – if they’re a fan, that is).

But, with this surge of interest in zombies comes a problem. What is it? Well, I’m going to tell you.
The problem is that the reader/watcher gets the same scenario over and over again in almost every zombie story.

The people in zombie stories seem to always be trying to fight the horde of the undead while they are scraping by day to day just to survive. The survival is what keeps people captivated (and the gore!). If you’re anything like me, you put yourself in the character’s shoes and see if you could do better. You’re in awe of some of the character’s survival knowledge, which actually comes from the author; these are the things that make each author and story just a little bit different. It’s all in the perspective.

The problem with the plot repetition though, as far as commonality, is that it’s easy to get bored with the same regurgitate plot over and over again. Especially when there’s no new survival info introduced. This gives zombie writers, like myself, a real challenge. Those of us who have been writing about zombies and want to hold our own in the genre need to think outside the normal zombie box, so to speak, and come up with something new to “Wow!” our audience. We need to give the readers new angles…new stories.
And that’s what I strive to do in my books.

In my book, Undead Drive-Thru, there is one zombie. Yes, you heard me, one zombie. The story is about a man who comes home to his wife as a zombie, and she loves him too much to kill him, or let anyone else kill him. What does she do? She keeps him like a pet until things get out of hand and others get involved. The book is more about the story of a human heart dealing with the change of a loved one and the dangers that could bring, than the classic “survival” zombie tale.

Another of my books, Cursed Bounty (a novella available for Kindle), is about one zombie as well… Or it is to start out. There are more by the end. But, in this case, I give you a voodoo zombie who is being used by a politician for personal gain, set in the Old Wild West.

So…if you’re interested in some zombie tales that are out of the box, you should check out my books.
Now, when it comes to short stories… I stay old school and go with the hordes of zombies and people trying to survive. There’s still fun to be had there, it’s just harder to be original. In my story, To Walk the Halls (now available to read on my blog), in the Code Z anthology, I take the hospital outbreak scenario on a whole new journey of horrific and wrong. It’s sure to…er…turn your stomach (pun from the story).

But, even if the stories are something from outside the zombie box, or old school survival, keep reading zombie fiction! Zombies are always fun, right?


Excerpt from Undead Drive-Thru:

Betty Jones was setting the table for supper when her husband, Sam, stumbled through their apartment’s door. His clothes were torn and duct tape was hanging from his wrists, knees, and ankles. After only five steps through the doorway, he fell hard onto the floor with a grunt.
Sam!” Betty screamed and ran down the hall, dropping to her knees beside him. She lifted his head and cradled it in her left arm, stroking his cheek tenderly with her right hand. “What happened?”
His eyes fluttered open and he looked up at his wife with pain etched across his face. “Betty . . .” he breathed and then passed out, his head lulling to the side.
Betty shook him and yelled, “Sam! Wake up!”
He didn’t respond. As she moved to lay his head gently on the floor so she could call 9-1-1, she noticed two things: 1) The tape that had apparently been used to bind him, had been cut and not ripped; and 2) There was a small red circle on the side of his neck. On closer inspection, she noted that there was a tiny hole in the center, reminding her of an injection site.
Without thinking on these discoveries for any longer than a split second, she pulled herself to her feet with the help of a small table set in the hallway and rushed to the phone to call for emergency assistance. She’d just gotten through to an operator when Sam suddenly woke up with a loud, startling moan.
Betty dropped the phone into its cradle and darted back into the hall to help Sam to his feet, because his movements were slow and awkward.
She gasped when he was finally standing and she could look up into his face. His eyes were glazed and cloudy – almost completely white – and slobber was running down his chin, dripping onto his shirt.
Sam, what happened to you?” she asked on a gasping sob. “Please, tell me!”
He leaned closer to her and sniffed loudly before a crooked grin spread across his face, the drool increasing in volume. Without warning he lunged forward and tried to pin her to the wall as his jaws snapped open and shut, seeking flesh.
She spun slightly when he tried to attack her and broke free of his strong grasp, falling to the floor between the hall and the bathroom. The strength of his forward advance flung him headfirst into the bathroom, leaving him sprawled on the tile floor. Quickly, Betty rose up on her knees and gripped the doorknob, yanking the door shut as the phone began to ring, trapping him.
She was sobbing uncontrollably and leaned back against the door for support; she was shaking too badly to hold herself up on her own. She screamed every time he slammed against the solid wood with the entire weight of his body, hissing and moaning.
Slowly, she crawled over to the phone and answered it; the emergency dispatcher was on the line. Betty fought for composer and forced her mind to work. She knew if she told them about Sam, they would come and take him away. After all, she’d seen enough zombie movies to know what he’d become. They would either use him as an experiment – which she thought someone already had because of the tape and the wound on his neck – or they would simply kill him.
In the most controlled, assured voice she could manage, she told the operator that she’d accidentally dialed the wrong number and apologized.
After hanging up the phone, Betty let the sobs she was holding back break forth again.
Once she again regained some composure, she stood and walked shakily back to the bathroom door where the banging continued. She placed her palms flat on the smooth, white, painted surface of the wood and rested her forehead between them.
Sam,” she called out, “I don’t know what has happened to you, but I’ll be here for you forever. I love you . . .” She paused as her voice caught on a sob. “. . . so much. I’ll take care of you as long as I live, and won’t let anything or anyone hurt you. I promise!”
On the other side of the door, the hungry zombie who’d once been her husband continued to try to get the food he knew was just out of reach; pounding, moaning, clawing, hissing, wanting . . .

Find out how to use your purchase of the ebook to be entered to win two signed paperbacks of Undead Drive-Thru:  http://rebeccabesser.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/udt-rerelease-giveaway/
Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They've come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She's best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She's entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.

Find out more about her:

© Rebecca Besser, 2014.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Introverts and Social Gatherings

Over the weekend I had to attend an event with my Seren, which basically means, she gets to do all kinds of fun kid things and work hard dancing with exciting people.  While I get to sit on the concrete floor for eight plus hours surrounded by strangers, people I may know but aren’t friends, almost friends, and then thankfully a few friends (one).  For me, a getting worse by the day introvert, this day was absolute torture for me. 

Why?  How hard can it be?  Sitting around talking all day with a bunch of people that have so much in common with me, in that our lives revolve around our dancers.  Well, because, I spend all day second-guessing myself about everything I said and did.  Then I get home and spend all night second-guessing myself.  For instance, I made a simple comment about there being a good reason why my two children are so far apart in years, in that our first child was very hard. 

I spent half the night thinking and being upset that I had insulted my first-born.  That wasn’t what I meant, and of course anyone that knows me and my first born would know that was not what I meant, but as I said, most of these people aren’t my friends, so no, they wouldn’t know that.  My Sidney is so sweet and loving and giving, even now as an adult and a mother herself she never changed.  She was hard because she was fearless.  She didn’t have a bit of care about getting hurt, trying something new, jumping off a couch if she decided she could fly.  She was hard because she never stopped moving, and she had to know and learn things on her own.  Every thing on her own.  People that haven’t lived through that type of child, think that’s a great thing. I should be proud.  I should be grateful for her inquisitive nature and natural curiosity.  Those people are idiots.  I say it now, and I mean it.  Ironing a pair of pants, and telling her, “Don’t touch honey, that is hot and will burn you.  It will hurt.”  Thinking she understands, and the next moment, she reaches out and touches it anyway just to see for herself.  It was the same thing with the curling iron and the stove and the hot water heater.  It didn’t matter what you did or said, she had to find it out on her own.  You could tell her if you do ______ you will die a horrible death full of writhing pain and she wouldn’t care.  She would have to find out herself.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Every. Single. Thing.

The Peter Pan stage was one of the worst I lived though.  She knew, just knew she could fly.  It didn’t matter what I said or did, she wouldn’t hear it.  She could fly and that was that.  Short of tying her up to my leg, she was diving off of everything that was off the ground.  The coffee table.  The couch.  Chairs.  The entertainment stand.  I spent more time diving to catch her than you would imagine.  I remember sitting in my pediatrician’s office sobbing to the poor man, that I didn’t know what to do with her.  I remember clear as day almost two decades later, him laughing at me.  Laughing and telling me to stop trying to protect her.  Let her fall down.  Let her get hurt.  Now think of putting that into action.  Allowing your children to be hurt…even when you know you could stop it most of the time.  Yeah, I couldn’t do it. 

That fearless nature didn’t make her a bad kid.  She is still full of life and willing to try anything.  It scares me.  But even all that, she is wonderful and always has been.  So, as you can see, even a full day later, it’s still on my mind.  That is only one instance that I worried about all afternoon and night.  I won’t even begin to go through all my moments and mistakes, during one short day.  It’s why social things are so hard for me.  I’m worn out today. 

Thankfully, that is the last social gathering I have to get through until December 7th, when I have an author’s event at Orange Library in Lewis Center.  If you would like to see me in full color and action, come on out from 2-5.  I’ll have books and who knows what else.  Now to get back to worrying about what I said and did yesterday.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interior Snapping Hip Syndrome - What the heck is that?

What is on my mind this week?  A lot.  Especially:

Internal Snapping Hip Syndrome

(aka Dancer’s Hip)

So what is this? 

The big worded answer is that it is a condition where you feel ’snapping’ or a grinding sensation in the hip while doing certain activities such as swinging the leg around.  You can actually hear it from the outside as it pops and snaps around in there.  It can be painful and cause discomfort and soreness.  The pain should decrease with rest.  However, the sound is gross, fyi.  

Internal snapping hip is caused by the Lliopsoas Muscle as it snaps around the front part of the pelvis (Iliopectineal eminence). This type of snapping is more likely to produce pain. Nice eh?

What is Cause snapping hip syndrome

There are several things that can cause this Internal snapping.
·                     The most common is the iliopsoas tendon sliding over the iliopectineal eminence, while the hip suddenly moves into extension from a flexed and externally rotated position. 

·                     The tendon may also snap with sudden movements over the anterior inferior iliac spine or the bony ridge on the lesser trochanter.

·                     Less common causes include movement of the iliofemoral ligaments over the femoral head or anterior capsule of the hip.

·                     Or in people terms, if a dancer turns out her leg and lifts it up past 90 decrees, it grinds and snaps and makes me queasy.  Or while doing Fuentes, and many other types of words that I can’t spell for movements that I can’t do. 

Who is most likely at risk of

developing snapping hip syndrome


·                     Ballet dancers DING DING DING…yep.
·                     Gymnasts
·                     Horse riders
·                     Track and field athletes
·                     Soccer players
·                     Excessive weightlifting or running

Snapping hip is mostly seen in the age group of 15 to 40 years.  That’s a big range of ages eh? 


Now that you have the lesson on what it is and who is at risk, why is this on my mind? Because my Seren has it and it is causing her issues lately.

Why did she get it?  The short answer is that she grew too fast for her muscle to keep up.  It’s not due to injury or doing something.  She’s growing.  I can’t stop that.  We just have to learn to correct it.

What can we do? Since there is no way the girl is going to sit on her butt and rest it, she gets to spend hours and money and time doing physical therapy to get that muscle/tendon stretched out enough that it flows correctly in there.

Does anyone else know more about this issue?  Share, advise, tell me!  I have been on google for days now weeding through the big words and dumbing them down for myself.  I’ve seen more photos of pelvis and hips and tendons that I think I may be becoming an expert. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's Up - Week 2

Randomness to get me through Nanowrimo:  

1.  “Don’t worry”, ranks up there right next to “calm down”.  Some people…  Oh and no worries, I am not worried or need to calm down, just something heard on my commute to work today.  I felt like sharing an eye roll with the woman being given such great advice, but I try not to make eye contact with strangers. 

2.  I want to read all the time.  Even this month where most of my spare time (ha, spare time, as if) goes to writing for nano, I want to read.  I make deals with myself that if I only get my word count in for the day in the morning, I could have some time to read at night.  Or, the one that kinda messes me up and gets me in trouble:  If I read for an hour now, I have to spend at least an hour writing later.  Oh that one is too funny, as I will crack open the book and any time I had is spent lost in the fiction of that story.  I’ve just wasted the day for writing.  It’s a problem.

3.  Reviews.  I need reviews for my books.  I assume other authors do as well, yet, I’m really lazy and will only do the star part of the review.  I hardly ever write an actual review.  I’m a hypocrite.  I admit it.     

4.  I am currently on word count at 4200 words.  Granted that is only for the first two days of nano, but I have set aside one hour tonight at 9:30 p.m. to get my 2000 words in today and hopefully all week long.  We will see how well I do.  I get cranky and tired by the time Thursday and Friday hit.  Maybe I should start drinking soda again, just for nano.  It’s a thought…