Category Archives: Life advice

Zombie Apocalypse: Fast Food Zombie

Ever wonder what authors would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the answers to that question on my blog…

This week, author Jane Whittingham weighs in on her zombie apocalypse survival plan.

What is your best skill in the case of a zombie apocalypse?

 

MY SPECIAL SKILL

On first glance I might not appear to be the best person to have on your team in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I’ve never held a gun. I’m not particularly strong or fit. I have no outdoor survival skills. And I’m not exactly a dab hand with a baseball bat.

What I do offer, though, is a very special skill set gained by watching countless hours of cooking competition shows on television.

Stay with me here. In the aftermath of a zombie attack, food will likely be scarce and hard to come by. As the saying goes, though, an army marches on its stomach. How are we going to feed ourselves with no fast food outlets to rely on?

Friends, this is where my special skill set comes in. Thanks to all those episodes of Iron Chef and Chopped, I will be able to take the most random assortment of ingredients and turn them into something (somewhat) nutritious and (hopefully) delicious (or at least edible). I’ve seen chefs turn ground beef into delectable desserts, so I think I’m well prepared to handle even the most challenging culinary scenarios.

Now, this might not seem like the most vital skill in the face of global annihilation, but nutritious meals will help survivors keep up their strength (and avoid disastrous food poisoning), while tasty dishes will help build morale.

So hand me that tinned asparagus of questionable age, those bags of squished marshmallows, that bottle of cola and that squirrel you just trapped and let me work my magic!

rain city

Jane Whittingham is a children’s book author and librarian. Her debut picture book, Wild One, was published by Pajama Press in Canada in November 2017 and will release in the United States in March 2018.

In addition to books, she’s also passionate about travel and does share the occasional travel-themed post on Raincity Librarian. She also adores anime, Korean dramas, strong black tea, sushi, and her home city of Vancouver (aka RAINCITY).

 

Zombie Apocalypse: Long Legs as a Weapon of Choice

Ever wonder what authors would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the answers to that question on my blog…

This week, up and coming author Laurie Crookell weighs in on her zombie apocalypse survival plan.

 

 WHEN ZOMBIES COME TO TOWN

 Warwick Castle. Warwickshire, England. 2018.

The castle’s walls rise from the ground like oversized tombstones. Majestic towers guard each corner, as if giant knights carved from stone. An entrance way beckons, the drawbridge extended like a hand of greeting. I stroll into the courtyard, where overgrown rose gardens soften the harsh, stone walls.

Thunderous clouds loom overhead. Lightning bolts flash through the sky. Gnashing teeth clatter. Are prisoners still languishing in the dungeons? I glance about. Augghhhhhh!

Zombies! Everywhere. Clawing at me. Grasping for my limbs. Has the apocalypse arrived? Blood oozes down the zombies’ decomposing faces, their matted hair hanging like rats’ tails dripping in sludge. The stench of rotting flesh and putrefied skunk spray rushes up my nose. The zombies moan. Low. Deep. Guttural. Spine-shivering.

Fear slithers through my body, squeezing my insides with gut-wrenching dread. My heart plunges, thumping to the erratic rhythm of panic and fear. Thud-thud. Thump. Thud-thud-thud. Pound. My heart flips inside out.

I run, feet hammering the ground, my brain racing like a Formula One race car. What am I going to do? How do I get rid of zombies? They didn’t teach that in Economics 101. Help, I’ve never even seen a zombie movie. Quick. Think. Wait, that’s it. My long legs! I can outrun and out-climb those zombies any day. To the towers!

The zombies surge forward, their ragged clothing flapping against their limbs. I run even faster. The nearest turret rises before me. I scramble through the open four-foot thick, wooden door, pushing it shut behind me. Thud. Clunk. I bolt the door, metal clanking on metal, as the bolt slides into place.

A spiral staircase swirls to the top. I sprint up the turret stairs, two at a time. Up and up, whirling around in a dizzying coil. My sneakers grip the worn, stone steps. Sunlight filters in through narrow slits along the turret walls. I pant. Beads of sweat drip down my face. I push myself upwards, only a few more stairs.

I reach the top, shove open the wooden door, and then bolt it shut behind me. Clank! I stroll to the edge and gaze out at the vista below. Emerald green grass, like velvety moss, stretches before me, masking the battles of historic times and drawing my attention away from the teeming zombies below.

I’m safe. At least, for now!

Nighttime flies in on raven’s wings. Black. Eerie. Ominous. Shadow’s twin, lurking, like a cloak over earth’s noble throne. Zombies gnash their teeth, while moving en mass against the turret door below. I slump to the cold, stone floor. Hunger sneaks in, my stomach churning. Does anyone deliver pizza this time of day? I pull out my cell phone and dial.

“Air delivery, please.”

A deafening crash echoes through the night. The zombies break through the first bolted door. The apocalypse at ground level has begun. Will my pizza arrive before the zombies?

Before long, a helicopter swirls overhead. A rope drops with a pizza box dangling on the end.

“Hey!” I holler. “Can I hitch a ride out of here?”

The pilot nods. I grab hold of the rope. The helicopter lifts up, its propellers whirring overhead. I hang on tight, swaying back and forth as I dangle midair. Zombies burst through the door and swarm onto the top of the turret.

I laugh. “So long, you zombie devils! My long legs will beat you every time.” I fly off into night’s ebony silk sky, luminescent stars twinkling over my victory. “Take that, you flesh-eating zombies! I win!”

laurie

BIO: Laurie Crookell is an up and coming writer, with 13 awards from provincial, national, and international writing competitions, along with 14 published newspaper and magazine articles. She hopes to soon land a publishing contract for her picture books and young adult novel, after which, perhaps she’ll write a movie script about zombies.

Zombieapocalypse: Knit Your Escape!

Zombie Apocalypse: Knit Your Escape!

Ever wonder what authors would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the answers to that question on my blog…

This week, author Eileen Cook weighs in on her zombie apocalypse survival plan.

What is your best skill in the case of a zombie apocalypse?
This is a difficult question to answer. Right off the bat I know my biggest downside- an active imagination. I’m the MASTER at imagining the worst case scenario, which means I would be picturing zombies popping out of every possible dark corner. I would be that person who was always screaming: “ACK Over there! Over there!”  and then once everyone ran over and realized there was nothing but a shadow would start to ignore me, or leave me behind because my constant screaming was both annoying and attracted the wrong kind of attention.
The one useful skill that I could bring is that I can knit. In most zombie shows I can’t help but notice everyone’s clothes look pretty shabby. Not that being fashionable is the most important thing when attempting to outrun the un-dead, but you don’t need to look bad either. Plus, I can make socks. If you spend a lot of time running you’re going to want comfy socks. And, not to freak anyone out, but knitting needles are big giant pointy sticks. I’ve never tried this on purpose, if you stabbed a zombie with one, it would hurt and into the eye would be a sure fire way to kill one. I have managed to stab myself (granted never through the eye) by accident and I can vouch it doesn’t feel great.

 

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Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, THE HANGING GIRL, came out in October 2017. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.

Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Thrice a Zombie Weapon…

Zombie Apocalypse: Thrice a Zombie Weapon…

Ever wonder what authors would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the answers to that question on my blog…

This week, author Sylvia Gunnery weighs in on her zombie apocalypse survival plan. And she does so as a story! Sylvia is one of the authors I’ll be doing workshops with at the SD73 Young Authors’ Conference in Kamloops on May 4th.

 

Zombie Apocalypse Challenge

It’s midnight (of course). The wicked winter wind howls around the corners of my house and the angry Atlantic Ocean pounds against the rugged shoreline. Salty spray is hurled at the trembling windows. All dire warnings. But is anybody listening?

Snow swirls out of the darkness like desperate, lost ghosts.

Or zombies.

A sudden knock sounds on the front door. Eerie. Eager. Then again.

Through the frosted window I think I see, in the dangerous darkness, a crowd (more of a small collection, than a crowd, actually) of desperate zombies, huddled helplessly together. They plead with undead eyes for me to let them come in out of the apocalyptic storm. The winter nor’easter, my first weapon, has grabbed the zombie spirits by their fleshy (er..I mean…) creepy throats. They are already faltering in their gruesome intentions!

But the zombies are not yet conquered. (Of course not.)

My second weapon is ready.

I open the door. Zachery (I already know his name because I’m the one writing this scene) stands at the head of this zombie collection. He’s the one who came up with the brainy (yummmmm) idea to appear at Crescent Beach on this winter-storm night. Zachery nods to his nearly dead followers. Like a group of ten-year-olds at Hallowe’en, they crowd into my porch. I close the door against the wild wind and frigid, foreboding night.

Grey eyes stare out of decayed faces. Grey and blistered lips curl across pointed and purposeful teeth.

“Hu…” I stop myself (before it’s too late) from asking if anyone’s hungry.

“Thi…” I stop myself (before it’s too late) from asking if anyone’s thirsty.

My second weapon has begun to work its magic. Silent. Invisible. It oozes into their brittle zombie bones. Finally, their grey and gruesome zombie thoughts slowly begin to melt away in the warmth of the fire in the wood stove. (Note: slowly begin to melt away.) It’s not over yet!

I have one more weapon left! (Three is always a good number in story structure–you know, like three wishes, or three little pigs, or three blind mice. Or, in this scene, three zombie-conquering weapons.)

With my third weapon, I will turn this boney band of beleaguered bodies into a calm collection of curious creatures!

“Sit down, everyone. Make yourselves comfortable,” I say. “Do I have a story for you!”

It was a dark and stormy night…

About the author…

Sylvia Gunnery first took herself seriously as a writer when she attended the five-week Banff Centre writing session in 1976 under the instruction of W.O. Mitchell, Alice Munro, and others. Since then she has published over 25 books for teens and children as well as professional resources for teachers of writing. A recipient of a Prime Minister’s Teaching Award, she has presented at conferences, libraries, and schools across Canada.  In 2016, she was honoured with a WFNS Legacy Membership.  Sylvia lives at Crescent Beach, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  Her newest YA novel is Road Signs That Say West (Pajama Press 2017).

Zombie Apocalypse: Zombie Escape Artist

Ever wonder what authors would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the answers to that question on my blog…

This week, author Karen Spafford-Fitz weighs in on her zombie apocalypse survival plan.

Full disclosure: I have never watched a zombie movie in my life.

I don’t really understand what zombies are, or what they’re capable of doing. So I’m possibly the least qualified person to write about how I’d respond during a Zombie Apocalypse. Nonetheless, I’m surprised by my strength of conviction about how I’d survive such an attack.

First of all, I am NOT a morning person.

In fact, I have been described as [wait for it….] a ZOMBIE in the morning. Doesn’t that already give me an edge? So if the Zombie Apocalypse were to happen in the morning hours—and my odds are 50/50—any zombie warriors would simply assume I was one of them and would pass me by. Because we’re talking zombies—not cannibals, right? (PLEASE tell me zombies aren’t cannibals too. Otherwise, I’m hooped!)

Just in case I’m wrong about the cannibalism thing, I have a second skill that would surely prove invaluable:

I am profoundly directionally-challenged. In fact, the only thing more non-existent than my knowledge of zombies, is my non-existent sense of direction. My daughters even have a rule when travelling with me: “If Mom says to turn left, just turn right and you’ll be fine.” My directional challenges are virtually on the superpower level. I defy anyone to figure out why I just turned left, veered right, hopped over a fence, or made any other directional move. Even I am without explanation for them. I am one-hundred-percent unpredictable and would baffle even the smartest—or the dumbest—zombie going. Take that, Zombo!

If, on the slightest off-chance, neither of the above happened to work, I’d do something else supremely clever. Like, I’d eat a clove of garlic or I’d wear a cross. Because that would work too. Wouldn’t it?

Karen

Karen Spafford-Fitz is the author of three middle-grade and teen novels: Saving Grad, Vanish and Dog Walker. Her two new books, Unity Club (Orca) and Push Back (Lorimer) will be released in fall 2018. Karen lives in Edmonton, Alberta where she anticipates adding “Zombie Escape Artist” to her resumé.