Why do zombies want to bite us? Nutrition or Reproduction?

Why, exactly, are zombies so darn eager to take a bite out of humans? On the Walking Dead, zombies have it good. They survive all sorts of injuries except direct shots to the head, some zombies have been locked in rooms for years before Our Guys find them and the zombies are still doing good without food for all that time.

We assume they want to bite us because they are ravenously hungry and want to consume our flesh for food. But zombies don’t seem to need food to keep going. How hungry can they be?

Plus, zombies don’t have a beating heart or working lungs. They don’t need air to survive. They don’t even need their bodies to survive— remember Herschel’s head? So we are supposed to believe they have functional digestive systems without functioning hearts and lungs to support them?

Without a functioning digestive system, what zombies eat would just accumulate in the zombie gut until the undigested mass got so heavy that it would overtax the fragile zombie skin and tissue and the guts would fall clear out.

But there is another reason zombies might have an instinct to bite: zombies cannot reproduce sexually. You’ve never seen a pregnant zombie giving birth. If a male zombie tried to have sex with a lady zombie, could he even do it without breaking off vital bits?

The only way a zombie has of making more zombies is to bite a human. And he can’t bite off too much. If zombies ate a human right down to the bones it would not be able to reanimate as a functioning zombie.

So, when a zombie is coming at you with intent to bite, it’s not that he thinks of you as food. It’s just that the zombie really likes you a lot and wants you to join the herd. It’s flattering, really. But it’s best to blow the zombie’s head off anyway.


What’s new: I’m on Wattpad now. Wattpad is a social media for readers and writers, where writers share stories and other things for free. My profile on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/NissaAnnakindt I’m currently putting up one of my poetry books for free there, but I’m working on a zombie story to put up there.

 

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How to show Christian worldview in fiction, part 1

When asked what they like about Christian fiction, people often say ‘it has a Christian worldview.’ They don’t say ‘when I read the book it felt like getting a really nice sermon.’ But how exactly do you go about showing a Christian worldview? This series of posts will help show you. [Note: ‘Christian’ here includes all followers of Christ, including Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, Moravians, and LDS.]

One essential is this: Christian fiction takes place in a certain type of world. In this world, God is real, discoverable, and loves you. What does that mean?

God is real. Not maybe real or might-be real, or real-for-me-not-for-you, but real, like a nuclear explosion and the science behind it. The secular world likes to divide the world like this: there are the hard-nosed, logical, scientific-method thinkers who are all secularists-like-me, and the airy-fairy ‘spirituality’ sort who make a ‘leap of faith’ into the land without logic. Don’t you believe it. For the hard-nosed logical, scientific-method Christian, becoming a Christian isn’t based on ‘blind faith’ but on a logical examination of the evidence.

God is discoverable. There are two ways God is discoverable by man. One, God has revealed Himself in certain events— such as the deliverance of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The events of that delivery— the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea— are commemorated among the descendants of the Israelites, modern-day Jews, to this day. And there is the event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There have been people who sought to debunk Christianity by examining the events of the crucifixion and resurrection as recorded in the Gospels, who have instead come to the conclusion that Christianity is true. There are also the words of prophets raised up by God, who in many cases have predicted events that have come to pass.

Another way that God is discoverable is through nature. St. Paul writes that even the Pagans have knowledge of God. “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19, 20

God loves you (& all mankind)

We believe that God is not a Creator who made us, lost interest, and moved on to other things ages ago. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16  God, for whatever reason, cares about us, not only as part of a collective like ‘the children of Israel’ or ‘the Church’ but loves each of us as individuals.

What this means for fiction

Christians, real or fictional, don’t have to be embarrassed about our belief in God when faced with the local atheist. Atheists are not better than us, smarter than us, or cooler than us. We should look on an atheist the way we look on a guy who hasn’t learned his multiplication table all the way through yet— as someone who does not yet know vital facts about the world.

Christian fiction writers should not perpetuate the old myth of the logical atheist/secularist and the emotional/illogical ‘person of faith.’ This trope needs to die, disappearing like a soap bubble in the light of the truth like a vampire in sunlight.


Part 2 is coming soon  — in two weeks, on April 9th. But if we have enough response with people sharing, Tweeting and otherwise spreading the word about this post, I may get on the ball and get it posted in one week.  Comments this post are, as always, welcome.


Wattpad: I am syndicating my poetry book, Where the Opium Cactus Grows, on Wattpad. My profile there is: https://www.wattpad.com/user/NissaAnnakindt

One of the books I’m reading on Wattpad is Unicorn Western by Sean Pratt and Johnny B. Truant. It’s kind of like Stephen King’s Dark Tower. And like High Noon. Not Christian fiction, but so far it is a fun story.

Cyndi Carter: Faith is a Gift (guest post)

Today’s post is a guest post by Cyndi Carter, author of the fantasy novel ‘The Road Home‘, which I am currently reading.

Everybody loves getting gifts. Shiny, neat packages, wrapped with ribbon and topped with a bow. Sometimes people get stealthy, take a gift marked for them, and start shaking it to see if they can guess what’s inside. And it’s not just children – adults do it too. There’s surprise, excitement, and pleasure, both for the recipient of the gift as well as the giver of the gift.

When I was a child, I spent most of December waiting on pins and needles for Christmas to arrive. What was in the burgeoning numbers of boxes piled embarrassingly high under our Christmas tree? On Christmas Eve, my brother and I tore into our pile of gifts at breakneck speed. And on Christmas morning, there were still gifts from Santa to open.

Have you ever seen someone who didn’t like getting gifts? I have. I watched a kindergarten class exchanging small gifts just before Christmas. The gifts were piled in the middle of the circle of children sitting on the floor, and they were to take a present from the pile when the teacher called their name. But there was one child who, when his name was called, just sat there, staring straight ahead. Even though the teacher encouraged him to go get a present, he remained immobile, staring fixedly in front of him, the entire time.

In Ephesians 2:8, Paul says that we are saved by grace through faith. He goes on to say that we don’t even have the ability to have faith – it’s a gift from God. It’s not having faith in faith, but faith in Jesus. In Romans 3:22, he says that our righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ. From start to finish, it’s a gift from Him. And after we place our faith in Jesus for salvation, and acknowledge Him as Lord and Master of our lives, we live each day by that grace and faith. We can’t do anything under our own power. Things we do part from faith in Him leave a taste as satisfying as cardboard.

I believe God offers the gift of grace and faith to each and every person. However, not everyone opens that gift, or receives it. Just like that kindergartener, we can refuse to open the gift. Sometimes it’s because we don’t even want it or believe it exists. Maybe we don’t believe the gift is ours (“You must have gotten me mixed up with someone else who deserves this gift”). The result is the same. The gift is actually ours, but we leave it sitting there, all wrapped up its paper and bows, unopened.

My friend, open that gift of grace and faith. Tear into it the way my brother and I did at Christmas. Shred the bows, rip the paper off. Because the gift is yours, if you’ll only open the box.


Hi! It’s Nissa, back again. Thanks to Cyndi for her guest post, and also thanks to the new people who signed up for my newsletter, which is coming out tomorrow. It includes a kitten picture, a book recommendation, and a little blogging secret I’ve learned. If you want to sign up, either use the dreadfully annoying pop-up or go to: http://eepurl.com/FN2hr before tomorrow morning.

‘Pilot Episodes’ for a novel? #writing

Write a pilot episode for your novel? I first read about the idea in ‘Write. Publish. Repeat.’ by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. The writing team had about 6 ideas for novels/novel series and couldn’t decide which to pursue. So they wrote a ‘pilot episode’ for each of the ideas and let the readers decide by which idea they made more popular.

That sounds like a good idea to me. Not the writing six different ‘pilots’ to decide which to pursue. But starting with a shorter ‘pilot’ to gage audience reaction before whipping out a series of 9 books. And people who liked the pilot might feel more invested in the story if they are part of the audience who supported the ‘pilot’ that got picked.

My problem as a writer is that I’m too creative. I come up with dozens of ideas for a given writing project and the project gets too complex to write. By focusing on writing a ‘pilot’, maybe I can keep the project more doable.

The downside of writing a ‘pilot’ is that you have to do as much worldbuilding for something that is the length of a novella as you would for a whole trilogy. But then again you get feedback before you ever have to put out a trilogy.

I’ve recently gotten back into my old Wattpad account, and am serializing my poetry book ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows’ there. I’ve been thinking that might be a place to put up a ‘pilot’ episode. The Wattpad community is mostly teen girls who write fanfic, but there are a few name writers. I think Margaret Atwood, author of the famous anti-Christian hate book ‘A Handmaid’s Tale, was on Wattpad. And Hugh Howey.

My ‘pilot’ would be for the zombie apocalypse series I’ve been working on ever since I started watching ‘The Walking Dead’ obsessively. But some ideas go back to my other survivalist stories that go a long way back in my past. It’s centered around a small group of survivors trapped in the northernmost part of Menominee county, Michigan, led by a ‘warlord’ type that’s a bit like Negan in ‘The Walking Dead’, only my story would have hope/redemption in it. Other characters will include a cousin of the Lead with Asperger’s Syndrome, who reads a lot, doesn’t actually talk out loud to anyone much, and is the Lead’s advisor, and a black man who is a convicted murderer who is the Lead’s sidekick.

Anyway, I’m tentatively planning the story and writing character notes and scene ideas for it. I’ve named the community, Lemgo, after a town in Germany near my grandpa Langemann’s home town of Detmold. Lemgo is famous for a witch hunt they had in the 1700s and I went to the Hexenmuseum (Witches Museum) there once.

Wattpad: What I did wrong on Wattpad before was to start posting stories that were not finished there. I’ve heard it recommended to finish the story (or ‘pilot’) first before you start posting. That way you can post parts on a regular schedule and find readers on the site. (One also has to promote the story on your blog & social media so your current ‘fans’ will know about it.)

Where the Opium Cactus Grows: Explosive Poems for Weird People   Are you weird like me? Then you might like to read this on Wattpad. If you like it, or feel sorry for me because I have too many cats, please think about giving it an up-vote. And you can tell me what you think of the odd green book cover I am currently using.


Questions: Have you ever thought of doing a ‘pilot episode’ for one of your writing projects first? Is the idea something you might try? And have you ever used Wattpad? What was the experience like for you? If you comment, you will really be making my day. Even if you disagree with me.

The Antimatter Insider newsletter will be coming out this Monday with exclusive content for the true friends of this blog. If you haven’t signed up yet, use the annoying pop-up, or go to: http://eepurl.com/FN2hr

How I do my email newsletter

I’ve read all the advice books about promoting books and building your ‘brand’ as an author and they say we all ought to be starting an email list with aWeber or MailChimp to collect email addresses in order to send out newsletters to our ‘true fans.’

And so I signed up for MailChimp and added that incredibly annoying popup to this blog and got a few signups. And then went a long time without sending out a newsletter, until last December.

The good thing was that only one person unsubscribed, and five opened the newsletter, so it wasn’t a total failure. Most people who get email newsletters never open them.

And so, on to this month’s newsletter, which is called Antimatter Insiders or some such. I wrote it up this morning, and scheduled it to be emailed out to whoever is on the list early Monday morning.

According to the books I’ve read, you should not use your newsletter for a lot of ‘buy my book’ advertising. You are supposed to write things that your readers will find of value.

So in this month’s newsletter the main article was on a little secret I discovered about blogging. I also mentioned Jon del Arroz’s new book, and instead of trying to sell one of my poetry books, I showed a way that newsletter readers could read my more expensive book for free. And of course there was a cute kitten picture.

Interested in the newsletter? Go to http://eepurl.com/FN2hr before Sunday is over with and you can get the newsletter for yourself. Remember, there’s a kitten picture!

 

Yeah, this is me. Picture was taken in a photo booth in Heidelberg, Germany, near the Heidelberg Woolworth store. Author photos are not a sign of author vanity— I’m vain enough, but I hate how I look in photos— but a way to connect with your readers as a real person.

Jon del Arroz: Faith in Writing

The following is a guest post from Jon del Arroz, the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction.

For a long time, I was hesitant to mention my faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the context of my science fiction writing. Within the halls of sci-fi conventions and within the major author community, there’s a scorn that’s held for “those backward anti-science” types, which is how they think of us. For years, I would be silent while I’d attend panels at conventions where they praised paganism, actually ran panels like “combating Creationism,” and created a hostile environment for Christians. It intimidated me, and actually succeeded in keeping me from talking about my faith as an author.

I feared that people would see my faith, and it would turn them off from reading my books, which I simply wanted to be fun science fiction for everyone—and I still strive for that within my books. But last year I made a determination not to hide who I was for the sake of the few who would get outraged. They did. They are some of the loudest people in science fiction and on the internet, but at the end of the day, their influence is small, and that’s what I found encouraging.

As I feared, my outspokenness has caused me to lose several of the contacts who I was afraid would. My sense on that was correct, but my perspective on it had changed. If these people who spent time with me broke bread with me, and shared my hobbies with me were going to hate me for being me—it’s a fault with them, not with me.

That mindset was freeing. It allowed me to speak what’s on my mind without fear, which is what’s important. Fear only holds us back, it doesn’t do anything for us. Living with fear makes it harder to produce good work and good art, and it’s not what God intended for us. How do I know this? Because fear is the opposite of love, and the scriptures clearly say that God is love. If you operate without fear, you free yourself from shackles, and that’s exactly what God’s grace is intended to do.

We’re also intended to praise Him. When you start to be more open about your relationship with the Lord, it starts to feel better inside, and it also helps you to more consistently think about Him, pray more, and live your life more as He intended. It really is a snowball effect where everything piles in a good way, and it starts with making a commitment to yourself to not be afraid, to trust God and not worry about your speaking being offensive to the non-believer.

It can be tough out there in the entertainment field, but I say this a lot and it also holds true—the more of us there are who are vocal, the less “odd” and “stand out” it tends to be. This is a good thing, because it also creates less fear of the other from the people who are vocally opposing Christianity when they see so many of us. As it stands now, very few are willing to take the slings and arrows, and for good reason, as they can be many, but the more we’re present, the safer it becomes for us to be able to speak our minds, and most importantly, create art that is true to ourselves. When you get to that point where you’ve got no critic who matters to you but God, your creativity can flow better than ever before, because you are made in the Creator’s image.

Jon Del Arroz is the leading Hispanic voice in Science Fiction, a multi-award nominated science fiction author. His new book, The Stars Entwined, is out now.


Thanks to Jon del Arroz for his post! I’ve enjoyed his books and follow him on Twitter. Go thou and do likewise!

Cyndi Carter: Follow their Example

The following is a guest post by Cyndi Carter, author of the teen/young adult fantasy ‘The Road Home.’

Follow their Example

I hope you have a favorite author (or two) that you enjoy reading. I enjoy the characters in the stories, and it’s like visiting with old friends. I feel like I’m getting to know the author, too, and it’s like spending time with him or her.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I believe that. Reading and rereading my favorite stories has enriched my thinking and my speaking. I hold these writers as dear friends. When we moved into our house six years ago, one of the first things my husband and I did was to unpack the books and put “our friends” on the bookshelves.

Learn from your favorite authors. What do they do that you like? Do you like their sense of humor? How do they make a character or a scene come alive? How do they weave the story – chronologically, parallel plot lines, or flashbacks?

If you want to be a writer, be a reader.


Cyndi Carter lives in Clearwater, Florida with her husband John and dog Max.  She enjoys reading, history, language, cooking, and almost all kinds of music.  Celtic and traditional music are special loves.  They make her heart sing.

Cyndi’s website: http://www.theroadhomesite.com/

Cyndi’s Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/HiddenVale/

Cyndi’s book: The Road Home