Archive for March, 2011

The Katalina Blog Challenge #7: Let’s Talk About Sex

Sexy Pinup

Image via Wikimedia Commons

* For more details on the Katalina Blog Challenge, click here and more on this specific challenge, click here

Sex in writing… makes me think of Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory” when he re-discovers his text adventure games. He said something along the lines of “it uses the most powerful graphics chip ever made: the human imagination.”

That’s how I feel whenever I read a sex scene in writing. Actually it’s like that with all writing, but it’s somehow different with sex scenes. Writing them is also somehow different from writing other R18 scenes, be they murder scenes or scenes with foul language.

Sex isn’t something we should be ashamed of. It’s one of our core functions as human beings. Keep that population up. But it’s more than that. Most swear words out there are based in or around it, Fuck, Dick, Cunt, Motherfucker, Asshole (for some anyway)… you get the idea.

Yet despite this, most people get nervous when speaking about it. Some books that I have read use descriptions of genitalia that actually just show how uncomfortable the writer was with the scene, and this makes the whole thing seem awkward somehow.

Admittedly talking about it makes me blush a bit at times, but I haven’t really ever struggled with talking about it. Sometimes I take things a bit too far… but rather that than feel that it is something to be ashamed of. Please don’t mistake this for being rude or crass about it. I just feel comfortable (mostly) talking about it.

I’ve practiced writing a few sex scenes, during my morning pages, for the 12 weeks of “The Artist’s Way“. Some of them were just downright dirty, dirty enough to go into Playboy or Hustler actually, and others were actually pretty decent. I had a few in my NaNoWriMo novel last year as well. Nothing more than a few pages, but it was a lot of building up to the act.

One thing that I feel pretty strong about is that sex, even more so when writing about it is that it is more than just the act itself. It’s the building up of the tension between the two lovers, the little moments that make you wanna scream out “Fuck me now!”, the teasing, the… you get the point. If all you’re gonna do is describe the actual scene, you’ve got it all wrong and shouldn’t even bother. You have to get inside their heads. The reader needs to be the character and feel what they are feeling for it to be an effective scene.

I can’t recall which book it was, but about a hundred pages in, the author had written three sex scenes that just described the room and talked about penetrating rods and such nonsense, without actually making it seem erotic at all. It’s like the partner that just lies there, it just doesn’t work.

In my epic novel series, mentioned in the previous Katalina Challenge, I intend to have some pretty mindblowing sex scenes; to go along with the massacres of humans, zombies, aliens, cyborgs and many other strange and wonderful scenes. Until then, practice makes perfect :)

If you aren’t sure how to proceed with a  sex scene, Google it, Google is your friend. There are plenty of guides out there.


RAGE!!

Road Rage

Image courtesy of Flickr

As I get older, I feel my dark side surfacing more and more. And I’ve figured out the reason. For the last year or two, I have become very impatient on the road with bad drivers and with general stupidity. Other than that I’m pretty chilled. I don’t get upset with bad service too much, I don’t snap at my friends. As long as you’re not a stupid idiot or driving crap nearby to me, you’re pretty safe.

That said, my definition of bad driving is very broad. As is my definition of idiots. So most days, getting to work and back involves at least three sessions of severe profanity or steering wheel bashing. The problem is that I got my license as soon as I turned 18, started working in a job that involved driving for most of my 12 hour shifts (for five years or so) and did defensive driving and advanced driving courses. I’ll admit that I may not follow speed limits, and may not always indicate (normally when it is obvious where I am going or there is no-one around that needs to know where I am going), but even though I may be a very aggressive driver, I am not a bad driver.

Some things that piss me off include: driving slowly, not observing what is going on, tailgating, not knowing how to use a traffic circle. I could go on all day, but you get the idea.

Then we come to stupid people. Bill Engvall has the whole comedy routine about stupid people and how they should be given signs warning us that they’re stupid.

I couldn’t agree with him more. I don’t have time for stupidity. Even from myself. Now the problem is that I work in IT, and for some people when it comes to PCs, they suddenly lose all their brain cells. I can understand if you don’t always know what is going on with a new piece of software or it’s something that you haven’t done before. But. And it is a big BUT. If you do the same thing wrong every day, or if I’ve sent you a guide with pretty pictures explaining everything, and you still want to phone me and say you can’t get it right, you can really just go screw yourself. What gets me even more frustrated is people who think they know what they’re doing, but don’t. If I send you a “how-to” guide and you don’t read it and screw up something, you can figure it out yourself. If you don’t change your password when it’s due to expire because you don’t have time, and then it expires, I will make you wait longer just to prove a point. I thought I was alone in this regard, but after speaking to a colleague in another branch and found out he is even more hectic about some things.

It’s not only at work that I pick it up. Even on the road, stupid people translate into bad drivers. They give you bad service, they annoy you with stupid questions. The list is endless, but the principle is the same.

I guess that simply put, stupid people and bad drivers are a blight on this planet and if they didn’t exist, the world would be a much better place. Harsh? Yes, but I stand by this…

Stupid People


The Katalina Blog Challenge #6: My Writing Self

* For more details on the Katalina Blog Challenge, click here and more on this specific challenge, click here

Why is writing an important part of my life? Why do I do it? Simply, it is an important part of who I am. In the Katalina Blog Challenge #4, I shared how I got into writing, so I’ll skip over all that.

I like to think that I lead quite a busy life. But despite all the distractions and possible excuses I could make not to write, I could not imagine not writing. Whether it be sneaking in a few minutes here and there at work while I’m waiting for something to finish running, or when I sit in my car at lunchtime or even sitting in bed at night. I *WILL* always find a few minutes everyday to write.

It keeps me almost sane. If I could not write, I don’t think I could make it through every day. Whether it be writing about zombies killing people when I’m in a bad mood or writing poetry to clear my head, if I didn’t write I think I would have probably turned out to be a sociopath or a proper crazy person. Like crazy crazy. I like to think of myself as a little crazy, but not madhouse crazy. I think that little bit of craziness helps with my writing.

Of all the things I do write, I only ever share about a tenth of it at most. I have severe doubt in my abilities. No-one has actually ever told me I was crap, but that is not the issue. Some of the stuff I write is just way to personal to share. Some of it is just me writing random thoughts. Mostly though, I just feel that some of it isn’t good enough. I’m working on it, but at least some stuff I am willing to share, so be happy with that :)

I write because I hope that one day, sometime in the future, this series of novels I have floating around in my head will become a reality. I started writing one part of it during NaNoWriMo last year and I realised that I wasn’t really ready for it just yet. I also don’t think I should do it during NaNoWriMo though, it just wouldn’t be doing it justice to rush through it. I will do it one day, but when is a completely different issue.

Basically, I just love writing…


Revenge of the Zombie Girlfriend: The River

Part 7:

Note: For the previous part of this story, click here, or to start from the beginning, click hereFor the full story, click here, or click here for the next part

Our hero jumped into the cool water. In was a painfully hot day and he couldn’t handle the heat anymore. Karen and Alex didn’t feel like swimming, but they lay on the river bank taking advantage of the break they had been given. Ever since they had reunited a while back, they had been on the run from not only zombies, but also a gang of psychotic maniacs intent on killing them.

During the last four days, they had also begun to have serious issues with zombie wildlife. Just that morning they had struggled to fight off a pack of zombie-wolves. Alex had almost been bitten, but fortunately the infection made the wolves a little less agile & vicious, and he had managed to evade the wolf. Their strength and determination for flesh however were not affected in the least and it had been quite a fight.

For now they were just relaxing while they still could. The section of river they were at now was quite far off the beaten track and besides a few normal animals running around, which was a pretty good sign on it’s own, they were pretty much alone. Karen watched her brother going crazy in the water, and wondered what the hell he was doing until he came up holding a rather large fish. He then swam back to them and threw it down on the grass next to them.

“So how about some fish for lunch?” he said, looking rather proud of himself. “Do either of you know what fish this is though?”

Karen and Alex looked at each other and shrugged. Karen spoke for the both of them, “Not a clue little brother, but it looks fine. I’ll start a small fire for us.”

With that she walked off to the place she had seen some dry wood and started bring a few pieces to make a small fire to cook the fish. Alex had in the meantime started to clean the fish with relative ease. He had clearly done this before and was just being his usual quiet self and not bragging when asked if he knew what type of fish it was. Within ten minutes the fire was going and the fish was cleaned and cut. Once the fire had subsided a bit they fried the fish in a pan they had started to carry around with them. They had even had some herbs and salt that they could put on.

A little while later as they were getting ready and packing everything back in to move on, they heard a noise coming from the forest. They then saw there was a woman being chased by something. She soon emerged, followed rather closely by a zombie dog. Alex whipped out his shotgun, took aim and shouted out, “Get down!”

As the woman dived to the ground, Alex took his shot and the dog went flying backwards. Alex then heard Karen scream out, “To your right!”

Our hero, however, had already noticed the three zombies emerging from the woods and he shot them in quick succession with his crossbow. He was quite proud of his PSE TAC15i crossbow. He had found it a few weeks back and after a bit of oiling and cleaning, it had worked like a dream. He could shoot through steel at close range and even from a distance, it would penetrate skulls. One kill had been from over a hundred metres with the scope.

The lady that had come out of the forest seemed to be okay, but they had no time to check properly for cuts, scratches or bites. Alex’s shotgun had probably drawn way too much attention to them, so they took the last few things that hadn’t been packed and threw them into the Willy’s Jeep they had recently acquired. Soon they were driving along the dirt track through the forest. As they drove, they saw zombies appearing like flies out of the forest. If they had stayed just a few minutes longer, getting out of there may have been slightly difficult. As it was they had knocked over about ten zombies that had wandered into their path.

Soon they arrived back at the main road. They now had time to speak to the new member of their posse.

“Hi there. My name is Charlie, this is my sister Karen and the quiet one in the back is Alex. What can we call you and what the hell happened?”

“My name is Lisa and I am truly indebted to you and your friends. I am part of a group of survivors who have made an old army base home and have fortified ourselves to the best of our ability. Every once in a while though, we need to go look for supplies and I was with some of the others collecting fruits and vegetables we had started growing out here. We didn’t even hear them coming, but soon we were attacked by a group of human and animal zombies larger than we could handle. This area had always been rather zombie-free. That’s why we planted here. I was the only one who made it out and then I ran into you.”

“Did you say there are a group of survivors in an old army base nearby, but more importantly, are you sure none of your friends are still out there” Karen asked.

“They were all dead within minutes, but there is nothing we can do now. And yeah, we’ve been at the base almost from the beginning. Well some of us anyway. Over time we’ve grown a bit, but not so much that we couldn’t handle it. Could I please ask you to take me back. I know I can’t expect it, but we could possibly assist you in some way. You need to speak to our leader though, Bob. I need to tell him what has happened as well.”

“Sounds like a plan, we’ll take you back and maybe you can let us rest there for the night. It is getting quite late and I doubt that we’ll be able to find a place to prepare for the night in time.”

“I am sure that can be arranged. Maybe I can sit up front and direct you Charlie?”

“Sure. Would you mind big sis? he asked his sister.

With that she climbed into the back and they made their way to the base as the sun started to set in front of them.


What a Weekend!

Bushmans River Mouth

Image Courtesy of virtualtourist.com

This past long weekend, I was invited along with my girlfriend to Boesmansriviermond (Bushmans River Mouth) to stay at one of her friend’s house. Of course any weekend away is great, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as awesome as it was.

Bushmans is about an hour and a half from Port Elizabeth along the R72, depending on traffic or what roadworks they’re busy with. I think my girlfriend started to worry about me at some parts when I got stuck behind trucks and other people that really shouldn’t be on the road because of the way they drive. Nonetheless we arrived at suppertime, in one piece (and without causing vehicular manslaughter), after only having left after work on Friday.

You’re kinda forced to relax from when you arrive. There are very few shops and over weekends they all close at 2pm (of course you could drive to Kenton-On-Sea or Port Alfred but you’re so chilled out, that even that seems like an effort. There is a local pub called the Bushmans Pub & Grub (previously Buccaneers?). The Gateway Tourism Centre at the entrance also has some amenities such as a internet cafe and restaurant. Up until the 80’s there wasn’t even electricity or water in most houses, but even so, you should take your own drinking water.

We spent our Saturday swimming at the river and having a braai while the rugby was on. We played some pool for Ship Sherry (drink a shot if you lose, and I lost quite a bit…). We did very little else. Sunday was spent cruising up the river on a speedboat – the whole day actually. Just cruising up and then back down, stopping to cool down for a dip in the river once in a while. We went up quite far but not as far as we could have. Supposedly you can go up about 30km or so. Surprisingly, even though we went up quite far (about 20km?), the water is still salty (and kind of chilly!).

It was really an awesome weekend and a big thanks to Enzo, Aluschka and the rest  for a really epic weekend. Also thanks to Marcell (sic) & Co for the brilliant boat trip!

For more info on Boesmansriviermond, go look at their website. If you’re looking for a nice relaxing holiday, look no further!


The Katalina Blog Challenge #5: Sophisticate Me

Schopfer Infinitas

Schopfer Infinitas Yacht

* For more details on the Katalina Blog Challenge, click here and more on this specific challenge, click here

 

This challenge had me stumped. What 25 things would indicate sophistication and success in my life? I’m a really simple guy, I just want enough to get by comfortably and have all the gadgets I want, but I don’t just want to put down a list of gadgets I want. Don’t get me wrong, I would be completely happy without having most of the stuff on this list, but in a perfect world, this would be me. So in no particular order:

1) First up, a fully stocked wine cellar

2) A walk-in humidor with a large selection of quality cigars

3) Speak a whole bunch of foreign languages

4) A wide selection of tailored suits

5) An Audi (RS5 ,R8 or Q7)

6) Or even better – A rare sports car (Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Pagani)

7) A Schopfer yacht

(Ok now I’m getting ridiculous, so back to reality)

8 ) Serious cooking skills; I know how to cook, but I want to know how to COOK

9) Travel… just travel without a care. No worries about budgets and work and all that other stuff life throws in our way

10) Being able to give less of a damn about other people’s issues with me

11) A kick ass entertainment system

12) Financial freedom

13) My zombie series of novels finished and on the bestseller lists

14) Have a PA

15) Lots of gadgets!!

(Alright, I admit that by now I’m starting to grasp at straws… I told you that I’m a simple guy)

16) Every bit of Zombie paraphernalia that exists

17) In case you didn’t get how serious I am: Every bit of Zombie paraphernalia that exists

18) A beach house

19) A cabin in the mountains (in the middle of nowhere)

20) Being able to tell people what I REALLY think of them.

21) Did I mention gadgets?

22) My own little happy family

23) Not having to make lists

24) Just in case you still don’t believe me: Every bit of Zombie paraphernalia that exists

25) A really successful blog


Are you Ready for the End?

Nuclear ExplosionA friend posted her “How to Survive the Coming Apocalypse” guide on her blog yesterday and it got me thinking of all the possible ways that the world could end and if I was really ready for that.

Of course being Zombie Boy, I have a Zombie Preparedness Plan, but how would I adapt that plan to be suitable for any situation. Let’s be honest here anything could happen, China might attack Taiwan, which would force the US to come in guns blazing. Similarly, North Korea could attack South Korea or even launch their alleged nukes. There is just so much that could go wrong these days. Just look at the recent  events in Japan to see how quickly things can change…

Most apocalyptic scenarios can be divided into two broad groups being:

1) Acts of God: This can be any type of natural disaster that was caused by circumstances out of our control. Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroids hitting earth, meteor showers and lots of similar events fall into this group. These normally occur with little or no warning. Small scale occurrences such as the earthquake & tsunami in Japan or the flooding in Australia do not count as apocalyptic acts of God. Think of the movie 2012 or the asteroid that took out the dinosaurs.

2) Man-made: Any type of event resulting from our own stupidity, greed or mistakes. Think world wars and viral outbreaks. The Zombie Apocalypse will most likely fall into this group. Generally speaking there should be warning signs allowing you more time to prepare than the previous group.

My Zombie Preparedness Plan has always been very minimalist in nature, because in the event that something does happen, you probably only have a short time to get the initial part of your plan implemented. Don’t expect me to share any details of my plan, but this guide should help with your own plan.

If I look at my plan, it has five basic stages, but to make it suitable for any scenario, I need to trim it down to four stages being: Escape, Survive, Resupply, Fortify.

Escape:

When the apocalypse comes, the most important thing that you need to do is escape. Get out of large metropolitan centres and head towards mountainous, sparsely populated areas. Make sure you have enough water and food, but water is definitely the priority. Have a couple of those 5 litre bottles on hand and ideally something like the SteriPEN as well.

A decent selection of tools and multipurpose weapons, such as an axe or self-powered power-tools, which can also be used for other purposes, are also a must.

This is not the time for you to worry about other people. Be selfish. See a beautiful lady being attacked, leave her. Families are a definite no, unless it’s your own. The only exception would be if you see someone better prepared and with more supplies than you. Most likely he will tell you to bugger off though, because you will just drag him down.

You also need to have a small, agile vehicle capable of off-road travel. Think of things like motorbikes, small SUVs and small cars with decent clearance like the VW Cross Polo or Renault Sandero. They should be able to handle themselves on any reasonably rough terrain.

If you’re not going to tackle this alone, make sure your posse is also kept up to date with the basics of your plan. Not your whole plan though, otherwise what use are you?

Survive:

After you have escaped, you will either need to find shelter, or if properly planned you should already have a idea where you will escape to. It doesn’t matter if it is your place or not, but make sure that if it’s not yours, that when you get there you won’t have to fight off a shotgun wielding owner. Look for places inhabited by elderly people or others who would not fight back once you claim it. Depending on the situation and your plan, you can take them under your wing, or throw them out to fend for themselves.

Once you have a shelter, you need to start preparing for long term survival. Plant your own food, go hunting, do everything to last as long as possible. This needs to be at least a few weeks, allowing the panic and chaos to subside a bit. In the case of a World War, this could be even longer, especially if it was nuclear warfare.

Remember no-one, besides you posse, is worth the effort. If it came down to them or you, you will draw the short straw, so screw them.

Resupply:

After a few weeks, shit should be a bit more settled, depending on the type of apocalypse. Don’t expect it to be all nice and cozy though. It’s gonna be chaos out there. At this stage you need to head out though and get more supplies and whatever you forgot. Make sure you are well armed and will be able to handle any attack.

You also need to decide during this stage if your current shelter is good enough for the long term. If not, this stage also involves looking for a proper shelter that you can use for the long term. Stock up on renewable sources of food such as vegetables, livestock, etc.

In preparation of the final stage, also look for anything that will make your shelter a bit more secure – metal sheets, pipes, wood boards, rope and wire, welding equipment and any tools you don’t have. While you are at it, look for books and magazines that will allow you to learn new skills. Don’t know how to weld? Don’t know how to tie knots? Learn.

Fortify:

Now it is time to prepare for the serious long-haul. Secure you shelter as much as possible. Lay traps, reinforce the doors and windows, do anything to make your shelter impregnable. You should be able to survive for a least a few days without leaving your shelter if attacked.

If you leave your shelter for any reason, make sure that no-one can get in there, because even if you decide to leave permanently now, things might change in the future, so always have it as an option. After all you probably put a lot of work into it.

*

Of course, this guide is nowhere near to a complete plan. You should have checklists and everything packed ready to go. If you’re not going to do it alone, you need to make sure your posse is also ready.

Just having a plan is not enough either, you need to be willing to adapt. You will most likely need to kill at least one person. You will be way out of your comfort zone. Shit will be different.

Be mentally prepared.


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