ZZ World Domination Update

World Domination

Well, friends; it’s been a little bit of time since I last posted. I’ve been a wee bit remiss, I know. However, we are approaching a state of somewhat semi lucidity, and may be able to continue the work we’ve started a few years ago. We can now re-ignite our plans for World Domination.

Taking over the world is hard work. There’s a lot involved in initiating and keeping the ball rolling on world domination. You can’t just sit back all the time and expect the time table will continue to roll on by on its own. It needs to be managed, cajoled, carefully caressed into a state of efficient, productive, forward moving momentum. The empire will not build itself.

Alas. Big sigh.

So, what does any self respecting (and I use that term rather loosely, as our body parts sometimes do tend to loosely become detached) zombie do? Where do we go? What magic eight ball do we rub (hehehe) to achieve the desired goals as set out in our manifesto of doom?

So, I turn to the Internet; the Web; the world of Social Media.

Come on, world!

Tell me: Would you follow my lead, and let me take over the world? It would be easier if you just handed me the keys. I’m going to get them anyways.

As always, have fun, be Brightness and remember: If you’re not sharing the cookie, then the zombie is eating you!

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Zombie Zak Advice Post

Eating

Zombie Zak’s Advice Post – How To “all that and a bag of brain dip”.

Ok, so, I was challenged and lo, I have come to the table.

I, by no means am an expert, and by no dint of my own hand, do I claim to know all the answers. And, moreso, in no way shape or form do I even think to profess to be the guy who can tell you, in four easy steps, how to “do it and be great.” I can, however, share what I’ve observed over the last few years and hopefully, provide some clues as to what to look for and how to get a little bit better ahead.

Make Friends:

Lots of them. I don’t mean go up to every freak on the street and try and grab their hand and force them to like you, no (that will land you in an unpleasant place.) However, I do mean, talk to people, interact. In real life, on the web, in forums, on social media, wherever you can. But, understand that everybody else may be doing exactly the same thing. Now, many people are shy, or leery of doing this leg of the game. But it’s important. If you don’t get out there and socialize, why would anybody want to read your material? Sure, it might be the best thing on the face of the electronic world since the invention of neural net interfaces, but who’s going to care if they don’t see it? By interacting with the world, you bring the world to your doorstep. By being a nice person, you attract people to your world. And where possible, ask questions; not intrusive ones. And don’t be surprised if some experts or those to whom one idolizes, are abrupt or otherwise, as they probably get asked a lot of such questions. Everyone “out there” is looking to do likewise, so be different, be original and innovative when approaching people.

No one can accomplish success on their own. Other people are part of the equation. Publishers, editors, distributors, ad infinitem. By making friends with enough people, the statistical law of averages brings to bear, the very real possibility of hitting the right connection that can help propel your work to the forefront of someone else’s eyes, and continue to build on that body of work. “Overnight success, does not come overnight; it takes years of hard work to create the opportunities that allow one to become successful.” Or something to that effect.

PS: Go to conventions, too!

Social Media, the Online Revolution:

Use the tools available, but do so with a sense of calm and consideration. FaceBook, Twitter, GoodReads, etc are great places to “spread the word”. But, if you do it poorly, you’re going to look silly. Don’t post every 30 minutes, don’t spread your posts on everybody’s page. Doing so is likely to get you banned in some sites, and drive a lot of people into crazy land. As I mention above, interaction is the key art to develop here. Sign onto everything you can, and slowly, calmly build a history of interaction.

Now, I’m not talking about making friends just so that you can “use them” to get ahead, like a ladder of souls risen from the dead. No, it’s a part of the game of give and take. You want to succeed at your chosen profession, so do “they”. If you and “they” are playing the same game, and both are bringing something to the table to share, then both are getting ahead. I had a former boss tell me something about his personal point of view on success and how to get ahead, and I’ve always remembered it.

(Gonna paraphrase …): “Don’t be afraid to give a hand to the other guy trying to get ahead; and don’t be afraid to ask for help from the other guy to get ahead yourself. One never knows who’s going to end up in front, you, him or somebody else. But, if you’re a person of integrity, and you help someone else get ahead, don’t you think they will help you when it turns around? And, if you’re the “mean person” or they’re the “mean person”, what happens when one of you is on the way down?” So, my thought here is: Be friendly, be nice – it comes back.

I hear from some people, that this is something they don’t like to do. “It’s a burden,” to go out and chat with people; they just want to write and become successful and dang all the rest of that. But, the reality is, in today’s world, there are thousands of people trying to do exactly the same thing, in this world that keeps getting smaller and smaller by the year, the electronic world is scrunching all of the creative content creators into smaller and smaller boxes, and those who can differentiate themselves, can bring something truly great to the world.

Research:

You need it to write, you need it to understand what you’re working on, you should do it when you look to publish, too.

Check the publishers that you want to work with, check out those who are published that you admire, see what they have in common, and try to ally along those lines. There’s a lot of good people out there trying to bring the best work that they can, but there are also a number of nefarious people out there who want to run their own agendas. If somebody will “help you”, but you have to fork over cash to get that help, then, they’re probably not really trying to help you (they might be, but they might not be.)

Read publishers posted criteria for submitting work. Really read it. Don’t assume that you or your work is what they want, without checking out their guidelines. I’ve heard it often mentioned that publishers and editors and submissions checkers just absolutely love to receive thousands of submissions; and, it makes their tasks infinitely more easy to do, when they can easily and simply say “rejected, does not meet guidelines” and move onto something that does meet the guidelines.

Persevere:

It’s hard work trying to be successful, and it sure as sugar cakes doesn’t happen over night. You will produce crap, you will produce gems. A popular current theme states that (paraphrasing here): “You have to get your first million words out of you, before you can start making truly great literature.” If you can see that adage as it is, that the reality is, nobody starts making magic from the get go, right at the beginning. One needs to put in a lot of hard work, and effort. One must continuously improve, get better at the craft and never surrender to the dark cries that scream out to give it up.

There is lots of talk about self publishing, small press publishing and established (the big six or other oft used euphemism) publishers – about what is “best” and most appropriate at what level ad infinitem. Bottom line, what works for you, or for someone else, is not necessarily what will work for you, or for the other person. There are many publications put out via every form of publishing – some of them are “less than exemplary”, some of them are the “cutting edge of innovation and desirable literature for the contemporary mind.” Find the one that suits you best, and work it as best you can.

All it takes is one good, opportune moment to let your inner demons out and shake up the world. That’s when the magic begins. So, the main thing is, once you’ve decided that this is the gig you wanna pursue, keep doing it. Circumstances may prevent things from taking hold as strongly as you might want it to at the beginning; it may take years before one even sees the glimmer of realized potential sprouting against the backdrop of mediocrity. However, if one gives up when it’s tough, one cannot carry on through to when it succeeds.

So, those are my handy tidbits of advice on how to become a better author. Note, I didn’t talk about how to write better, nor how to learn more about the art/craft of writing. I’m talking about how to get ahead. I’m not there yet; but I’m certainly not going to stop until I’m either dead or there … (Uhmm, ok; rethinking that: “until I’m there, forget the dead part.”)

But, most important thing of all; the thing that, if no other thing rings for you from what I say; the thing, that if all else fails and the world spirals into a screaming vortex of rot, ruin and oblivion … the thing that matters most: Have fun with it. As a writer, we make worlds … and hope that others enjoy living in them. How cool is that? Personally, I think it’s very cool.

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My Journey to Hell – Rogues in Hell

Rogues in Hell

My mind’s eye, shuttered, shuddering with the expectation of surcease. A crystal ball splatters, the shards of dust and glass, the miasma of a life spent in ill purpose spewed forth. There is a shadow, it looms between the darkness and the doom. I can hear it’s breath, quietly, calmly, close – speaking words of villainy and despair. It cries out, it cries out, and the land is laid bare. It mocks me, with its simplistic thoughts, it’s maddening bent towards destruction – but I cannot stop listening. Its beat patter, rhythm, rhyme, the countless otherworldly time, boom boom boom, splat!

The names of generations of lost souls, spiraling down into the Abyss, purpose and goals lost and forgot in their descent. Past hope, past glory, past the possibility of redemption towards a place of no soul except that which is brought. A din of cries, a chorus of screams and countless maligned dreams. Witness the net result of perfidy, the final culmination of demesnes dire.

Well, if that ain’t enough of a cue, I’m talking about Hell. And guess what? I’m going to Hell! (Possibly in a hand-basket – those arrangements have not been made as of yet, but one can say that that would be spiffy!) And I’d like to share some of my journey there.

But, for those of you who may not be aware (or living in a distant space-time continuum in which these things do not occur), there is a series of books that began in the 1980’s called, “Heroes in Hell.” The main premise of the series is a compiling of stories of various famous (or rather infamous) historical characters and mythological beings, creatures, concepts, etc. and their myriad exploits in Hell. Because, that’s where the damned end up, right? In Hell. Tis no place for light, no tuppence, nor spirits bright.

The shared world anthology Heroes in Hell series, created by Janet and Chris Morris (originally published in from 1986 to 1989 by Baen) contains 12 books, of which 5 were full length novels and the remaining 7 were anthologies with contributions from various authors of the time (including: Gregory Benford, CJ Cherryh, Nancy Asire, David Drake, Robert Silverberg, Martin Caidin, Bill Kerby, Michael Armstrong, Robert L. Asprin, Brad Miner, Alexandra Sokolov, Lynn Abbey, Diana L. Paxson, Robert Sheckley, George Alec Effinger, Richard Groller, George Foy, and, of course Janet Morris and Chris Morris.)

I began reading this series when it came out; the covers captured my attention early on. (Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with the “dark” worlds and permutations thereof.) It was fun; there was Julius Ceasar, Napoleon and Wellington, Gilgamesh, Attila the Hun, Macchiavelli, Louis the XIV, Shakespeare, hundreds, thousands of classically recognized characters playing upon a field the size and breadth of … Hell! I remember thinking at the time, that this was a backdrop for a story that could have nearly infinite scope and the capacity to explore any type of story that one could possibly come up with. A story about the “good guys” would be boring, but here’s an entire Universe dedicated to the “bad guys”. The stories appealed to me …

So, that’s the back story. The history, as it were of why I’m writing this blog post.

Now, fast forward to last year. I was having a discussion with a friend online about books from the past, things we’d read and enjoyed. I told him about the Heroes in Hell series and who much fun the stories were. He had never heard of it before, so I used my Google-Fu and dug up some links and references to the series to share with him.

And then I read that the series was coming back, with a new book coming out in 2011!

I was, in current commentary, “OMG!” I had to know more … so I searched more, I looked and found some FaceBook pages talking about the series, and there was a number of posts with classical art pictures. I like art; I like to comment on FaceBook. So I started throwing random comments on the images, and that’s how I met Janet Morris online. At first, I did not know it was Janet; I was just having conversations with somebody online. From there, I was invited to join the group of authors currently gathered undergoing Hellish new story lines and more stories about Hell! Because, that’s where the fun is!

So, now I’m in Hell. Rogues in Hell, to be more precise. I have a story in this book, the 14th in the series, entitled, “Scent of a Weapon.” It’s a wee tale of Fionn mac Cumhaill’s travail to find the Spear of Lugh, a living weapon named Areadbhar. Along the way, with Brigid, he meets and befriends Caliban, son of Sycorax and together they find themselves in a frigid Hell of Anwnn … Fun, ensues.

I’m very jazzed about being in this book; to be included with an excellent bunch of awesome authors, and to be included in a series of such standing. It’s cool … I giggle with giddiness every time I think about it.

So come along, come with me, see what we can see as the zombie (that’s me) is out and about and having fun … in Hell!

On the Kindle: RIH – Kindle
On paper: RIH – Paperback

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Word 2012 – By Zombie Zak

Splatter

Word.

Start with one. Tickle it, dance with it, sing it a song of six pence and carry it around the room. Thrill to its existence, and be mired within it’s life force. Its power, its nature, its core essence the vitality you give unto it. Spirit touched, demon infused, beast kissed and femalien sliced, the word it is within its own right, its own fight. Flitter and splatter and run amok, this little thought and that little word is more than just the tick tock tick tock of the great grandfather clock.

From the shadows, I hear the voice with red, it’s dawn breaking upon the night, I dread, it’s rough hewn voice, the song of the dead, its might.

Rise up, from within your soul, and find the meaning, explain its choices without demeaning, and endure the dark for all, if it is just pure fiction, a lark. Take up with great trepidation all of your fears and bundle them together with joy and tears. This page of outstanding mummery is comforting in its blithe blithering baseball nunnery. Nonsensical, yet lyrical, a song, a dance, a swallow’s grace and a butterfly’s bitter embrace. The end is near and the near is so far away as I see the horizon settle upon the edge of my nose.

Tickle me a tuppence a feeling of suppliance, inebriated, stuck to the world of my imagination, the scatter of belief, the muse of joy and grief. These moments, encompassed in the shell of words, the beauty of life encased in these worlds, all a scatter and all a blather within and without the well of twirls. A simple soiree and I think today might be the day, in which I bend upon the scale and find another way.

A way to look at the world, at the words therein, to take from them as much as what I have to them, given. The image, that I craft, by word and by draft, is strong as much inside of me, as it is upon the page upon which I spill it. I do not know its final desire, nor the barrel of fuel to which it may fire. I am, without a doubt, a part, of this linguistic rout, sitting upon the edge of my own imagination, peering into the dark well, and thinking past the pagination.

I hear with my heart the words that have been split apart, and I know with my brain, the matters to which I need explain. There is no uncommon thing left within the soul of a dead man, to which any bloody fool knows is more than a complex zombie plan.

Red splatter, brain matter, what matter, we’ve got brain splatter!

Word.

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Self Made Manifest – by Zombie Zak

Sunrise

In a world of the brainless, tis folly to be brainy.

Dedication of purpose is more than just a statement of intent – it’s a follow through of execution to that effect.

I know that there are fireworks within my head. I know that there is more to my living than merely a means towards what I will be until I am dead. I grapple constantly with the war against mediocrity. I contest against this wall, this wailing life that appears full of insincerity. I wonder at its purpose, to travail against a community of living souls all intent upon their own destruction, their extinction. We as a species are incapable, it seems, of looking past our own paltry selves as individuals to seek a broader horizon, one of freedom from the debilitating effectiveness of entropy and decay. We who name ourselves living, are not such: We are merely the dead walking towards our individual ends. At some point in the future, unnamed, possibly unremarked, we will achieve that spectre, that threshold of understanding whereupon we may be free of the bonds of our physical selves; but yet, we remain chained to our lives, these short lengthed jaunts down the stream of being. Enslaved by our words and our truths and our dichotomies and the labels we put upon the various varieties of self, of group, of person, of social entity. We are animals, still strutting through the forests, looking for answers in the skies, in the fires, in the blood and entrails of other fallen beasts.

And yet, all answers lie within oneself, if we but reach in and make the courage to do so. There are no solutions greater than the beginning, that first step. We cannot make the world a better place, unless we are willing to do so. It starts with a word, a thought, a single desire to want to change the world. There is good within all people, great, small, invisible to many, or visible to all. The power to unlock that is yours, it’s mine, it’s all of ours. We merely need to choose to let it be free; and free it will be. If you wish to continue to living chained to your blemished paradigms, that is your choice; not mine.

I want to change the world. I want to create something larger than myself. I want to build something that is more than the sum of all my bodily depredations upon this physical plane of existence and saturates all of time that follows mine. I want to imprint upon the ceaseless, careless, chaotic sea of existence, a measure of what lies within my soul, and I want to breach the walls of this mediocrity and smash those barriers into insignificance. There is no answer other than yes; there is no other desire, than to do. The means, the methods, the mechanics of what this will be still eludes me, but I will find it. My preference would be that you would accompany me on this journey, on this path, on this walk through dark and impenetrable forests of peril and misdeeds, into a future where opportunities are not taken, but shared.

Give life, give death
All it takes, is one infinite breath.
Choose a path that brings great joy
And know that everything that follows
Is one that plays well in Life’s employ.

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Word

Why so serious?

The screen, it mocks me. It glares with whitened intensity as it burns its phosphors into my brain. I cannot look away, I cannot bend my brain in a different way. The intensity of this expression of discernment is boggling in its method of delivery. Paralyzed, fractured, broken – looking at this page, still blank, burning my mind’s eye with fear and dismay. The word next that I write, upon this page is the one that will define the idea, define the page, define the story that I may write upon this page. It must needs be neat, complete, replete with meaning and noise, complexities and linguistic toys. There needs to be a beginning, a middle, an end to this thought, to be splattered upon this page; and yet the screen still laughs at me, beckoning me with its white noise spin. It mocks me, and taunts me to folly and furtiveness. I must put a word down, I must start the thing, if it is to be done. But the word must be chosen precisely, with merit and with meaning; it must be the one word, that most defines what next must come. And yet, the fear, the fear of success, the fear of failure, the fear that nothing, absolutely nothing will appear .. hangs heavy within my fingertips, pointing, pecking, primed for a precise choice word to be exploded, uploaded, decoded upon this page … I hunger for that word, that thought, that idea that will erupt from my brain deciphered for the world to see.

And yet, I remain, in front of a page still blank, on the brink of something exquisite … waiting, wondering, watching for a word.

Word.

I know thee naught, and yet, in thy complicity, I know thee well.

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Brightness Again

Bright Lights

Of all the places that exist upon this Earth, no two remain the same. Each its own merit, its own flaws, the difference upon the surface, the similarities beneath the crust. And to each place, there are people born. With hope, with fear, with all the gamut of emotional escapades.

Does Humanity truly bear witness to the greatest or the least, to the myriad performances of Life and the Beast? We travel these paths, mindless and wiseass in search of final respite, always wondering upon the day, upon the night.

We are beings of great magnitude; we have the capacity for spectacle and aptitude. But we waste this potential, fighting ourselves, our own greatest enemy, the shadows that lurk behind our masks. We eschew our responsibility to ourselves, to be that which we are, rather than that which we might want to be. We are, we are what we are. And in changing what we are, are we choosing a path that makes us better than we were, or something … other?

Times are dark, these many years. Misfortune and famine shine brighter upon our futures than the depth of the sonorous dolour that colours our days. There is no escape, we say, we think, we fear. But there is always hope, if we but listen for it. A bitter kiss, a simple goodbye, hides the unreasoning certitude of hope and how near it could be.

The pattern of chaos, the discordant symphony of distrust and diaspora can be switched, can be given new direction. But, as a species, we must want it to happen. I’ve seen many things on this world, I’ve been privy to thoughts and words and the repeating of actions cast in darkness upon its face. I have doubts about the possibility; however, I will hold out one last chance.

I see the “might be” that the species can be capable of, but again, it’s a choice that must be made from the heart. We sit here now, upon the precipice of chance, upon the precarious edge of choice and its fulsome dance. With these words, I cast them far and wide; to every corner of the Earth, to each place from every side. I cannot say, whether their merit or their intent shall be read or explored. However, I can but hope, that some part of these thoughts will make it past the minutiae of the life of a horde.

The darkness holds many secrets, many salves to the soul. But Brightness holds all of those, and many more.

Reach out to yourself, past the doubt and the discord. Find yourself, and make the Brightness upon this landscape unfold. You have the power to do so, if you but choose to do.

Be well, be zombie, be Brightness!

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Wondering …

I wonder at the world. It spins, it clatters, it sucks out the life from the things that walk its surface. The world does not wonder back at me, for obviously, if that were the case, then maybe I could talk sense to it, or even better, it could talk sense to me.

I wonder at the things in the world. They make so much natter and chatter on and on and on at things and things that make no sense. The things in the world, don’t wonder back at me, or maybe I’m in error, mysteriously.

I wonder at all of life, and ponder the meaning of its strife. I know there’s reasons, I know there’s issues that matter. But in the end of it all, is not all these multi cellular organisms just so much splatter?

The end result, the thick of this think: There is always merit in everything, be it small or gargantuan or something otherwise notable. And in the same vein, by a twist of perspective, all that can and will and has been done, ultimately is only relevant within the context upon which it was born.

Be, and be Brightness….

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… red rum …

Turn the page … time stops … red rum … Turn the page … motion blurs … red rum … Turn the page … everything comes closer into view.
Sweat the stones … steam rises … red rum … Sweat the stones … dust falls … red rum … Sweat the stones … Time bleeds anew.
Time is birthing anew, another kind of mutated sinew. There will be horror, there will be cookies, there will be the things we speak of in hushed tones and darkened shadows.

There will be something … new.

The crux of it is, though .. we have to wait for it ….

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2011 Fades … What Movies Did We Watch?

Well, 2011 fades into the darkness of oblivion, these are the movies that I watched this year …

These ones I liked, and can classify as my Top Ten for the year … in no particular order:

Bunraku
Captain America
Conan, The Barbarian
Hobo With A Shotgun
Immortals
Quarantine 2: Terminal
Red Riding Hood
Rubber
Stakeland
Thor

These, well, they are the rest of them. Not so much stellar, one or two that probably should be classified as not so much, but, what the heck, I watched them anyways …

AniMen
Bad Teacher
Battle: Los Angeles
Cowboys & Aliens
Downstream
Drive Angry
Fast Five
Fright Night
Green Hornet
Green Lantern
Harry Potter And the Deathly Hollows, Part 1
Harry Potter And the Deathly Hollows, Part 2
I Am Number Four
In Time
Mechanic, The
Middle Men
Paul
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Priest
Real Steal
Red State
Scream 4
Sucker Punch
Super
Super 8
The Vanquisher
Thing, The
Ward, The
X-Men First Class
Your Highness

Beyond that and something about a cat, have fun and remember, the next year always promises more!

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