Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Silence Is Golden

We are often asked “What is the number one thing that I can do to survive a zombie apocalypse?” Our answer is always the same “STAY QUIET and out of sight!”

Zombies are predators and they rely heavily on their sense of hearing in acquiring prey. They listen intently to their surroundings and to the activities of other zombies. If a zombie hears a noise, they will investigate to determine if it is a human making that noise. If a zombie hears another zombie give off what we term a “prey alert signal” (that is, the moan a zombie makes when they have spotted prey) they will travel to that zombie and join them in the hunt. Zombies are keen listeners.

During a zombie apocalypse you become the hunter and the hunted. If you can’t hear them coming, you’re not going to be able to spot and terminate them. If you’re making a racket you’re going to attract every zombie in the land. We mean that. The first zombie that spots you is going to give off a prey alert signal and draw in all other zombies within ear shot. Likewise, the newly attracted zombies will also give off a prey alert signal and draw in even more… which of course leads to a Zombie Black Hole.1 That bucket you just kicked over that caught one zombie’s attention? Yeah, well, it just caused you and your group to be surrounded by 10,000 never-tiring, ever-vicious zombies!

During the initial phase of a zombie apocalypse all sorts of noise will be occurring: humans being chased and devoured, racing engines, car alarms, explosions and general mayhem will create a massive din that will mask and envelope most local/individual noise sources. As the initial chaos dwindles, however, the world will become a very quiet place. The everyday noises of modern civilization we take for granted will die off and every noise you make will become a bright beacon that attracts zombies. One need only take a trip to a wilderness location away from the hustle and bustle of civilization to replicate an apocalypse noise scenario. Go deep-woods camping and turn a radio on – you’ll see what we mean!

Care must be given to sound-proofing your survival shelter!

Once the zombies are roaming the land, every day activities must be completed in near-silence or within a properly sound insulated structure. Chopping wood, doing dishes, preparing meals, showering/bathing, talking, playing games, etc. must ALL take place INSIDE properly sound-insulated structures. All noise making activities must take place inside – outside of the structure all sounds must be non-existent or muted.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of sound dampening insulation do you have planned?

Do you and your group practice hand signal/silent communication?

Do you have room to chop wood/wash dishes/prepare meals/live for an extended time indoors?

Have you stocked pads, pens and pencils for writing notes to one another?

Does all of your communications gear have ear pieces for private listening?

 Have you stocked duct-tape for lashing down noisy pack buckles, belts and wrapping around metal to dull “clinking” noises?

Do you own and practice with “silent” weapons such as bows, crossbows and suppressed rifles/handguns?

If your answer is “no” to any of them, get cracking and get silent! 

The next time you are running a preparedness drill or simply washing the dishes, listen to how much noise you are making and consider that the hubbub you’re putting out could be your last.

Lastly, for heaven’s sake, if you are scoping out a zombie intruder for a perfect headshot, please keep in mind that the rifle shot may be the starting gun for a zombie marathon with your shelter as the finish line! That one shot can lead to you being surrounded by more zombies than you have ammo for – aim once but think twice before firing.

Stay quiet and out of sight, folks. Peace.  

About the Authors: The Madore Brothers are internationally recognized zombie researchers. They make their internet home at http://necropology.com . The authors would like to thank Elizabeth Akin Stelling for inviting us to do a guest post on Z-Composition. Z-composition offers up a pleasant poetic alternative to most gore-centric zombie sites and we’re very happy to be a small part of it.  

References: The Physics of Zombies: Madore’s Rules of Zombie Cohesion, Zombie Cells and Super Cells, Zombie Black Holes, Zombie Cell Stress-Fission and Zombie Quirks – (2011) David Madore, Robert Madore, Necropology.com http://www.scribd.com/doc/57439058/The-Physics-of-Zombies-Madore%E2%80%99s-Rules-of-Zombie-Cohesion-Zombie-Cells-and-Super-Cells-Zombie-Black-Holes-Zombie-Cell-Stress-Fission-and-Zombie-Qui

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are You Ready For An Emergency?

The building is surrounded by brain eating friends and family and strangers. You’ve been living without fresh food and water and any way of doctoring your wounds for over a week. The body is either too cold or overly warm with a chance of things getting worse. You know the tight crawl space you ingeniously thought of for a hiding place? Well it has no escape route, and if it did what would you take with you?

There is one thing you keep rolling over and over in your head, “Why didn’t I prepare for this moment?”

Someone is thinking seriously? Yes, yes we are serious. Even experts like Necropology- The Madore Brothers admit they think about where to hide. We are sure they have a survival kit ready.

 Z-comp is just looking out for our readers. We can't save you from afar, can we? We're not just an edgy literary magazine looking out for writers and visual artist; we genuinely want to support all other creative types and sites looking out for the public's interest. By doing so we plan to check out survival products. And we’re passionate about the undead.

Remember, there are many other emergency reasons to begin making plans.

The first step in emergency preparedness it to purchase a reliable emergency kit for oneself and ones family. In the event of a catastrophic disaster, we cannot rely solely on emergency personnel, since they will be unable to assist the many people who will need help. Following a major disaster, stores and financial institutions will be closed, utilities will be shut off, and buildings and roads may become too dangerous to use.

A search took place and Zombie SAK (Survival Assistance Kit) * was found. We asked if they would share their product with our team, so Z-comp could see firsthand if we felt one might be prepared.

There are plenty of preparedness and survivalist websites and books in print offering advise, but few companies offer zombie apocalypse survival kits, bags, rations, and supplies. Zombie SAK is a well put together and ready for most basic kinds of emergencies.

 Inside our kit we found- 
  • Zombie SAK Minimal Bag 
  • Zombie SAK Water Bottle 
  • N95 Mask 
  • 10 Water Purification Tablets 
  • Survival Knife 
  • 6 in 1 Multi Tool/Chow Set 
  • 29 Essential Survival Kit 
  • Magnesium Flint
The minimal kit will help set you up with basic items that you need, and includes an easy marked carrying bag, along with basic tools and water purification. Just keep in mind that this kit does not include any food rations. So either pick some up separately or be ready to scrounge! (Information taken from website)

We were excited when the box from Zombie SAK arrived. Opening it and rummaging through the supplies provided for it's $29.99 price tag, we were pleased. For fifty dollars more you can receive their Trekker Zombie SAK with extra items. Avid hikers and outdoor persons will love the durability of its content. Most impressive- the six in survival knife. Very pointy and Sharp! We believe it could take out a zombie, maybe one good hard fast penetrating thrust would do it. Aim for the brain.

I'm not sure we want to be that close, but you never know where one might have to hide and in a tight space it would help one to feel secure.  You can customize your kits. We do suggest they offer a few of the best survivalist/preparedness handbooks for their kits. Or read a few on your own, and be ready! Taking a class wouldn't hurt either.

Another suggestion Zombie SAK team- add us a pencil, sharpener (knife might work) and a note pad. One never knows when the poetic or artist muse might strike, and keeping notes on best scrounging sites is a good idea. Otherwise we feel this Zombie SAK is a great start for preparation for most emergencies.

The photo above presents what you will find in the 'NEW' minimal Kit, which Zombie SAK just started offering. 'Minimal Kits' are more affordable and located HERE- Zombie SAK.

(it can be used on multiple orders, no minimum amounts!)
*Zombie SAK was provided at no cost to our team, and we are not being provided compensation for this post

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why Prompt Writing Is A Good Thing

What makes this a great prompt picture?

One that cries out to tell a story, but not overly crowded with subjects? I'm not really sure how to explain it,  but I know when one grabs me and there are people out there that do. In an interview, Amy Grier of Living Poetry shares her thoughts on 'One Writers Mind'...

Bryce- "What do you think makes for a good writers prompt?"

Amy- "A good writing prompt must spark imagination, emotion, and intellect. The prompt should make you go “Oh!” and immediately deliver an imaginative focus. It needs to prod you to start thinking organically and naturally, not something that feels like homework. Not every prompt will do that for everybody, but a good prompt should attempt it."

Go over and read the rest of the interview. They talk about spelling out a prompt such as "write a poem or story about a girl, a boy, and someone following them through a busy city" will not help most writers. Visuals that are not specific and vague in writing. But photos work great. I often find when in a slump, I go back to old photos, often finding one like the one above, well they do grab me.

Amy also mentions  in her last blog post- turn off the computer, sit back with a good poetry book, and with a beverage and just relax. When I do this I have to force myself to finish, because I am flooded with ideas and characters for a story only after a few chapters, maybe poems. A word will even spark new ideas.

Why am I even touching on writers block? Because it happens.

I cannot imagine what writers twenty or more years ago did when they locked themselves in a cabin to finish their novels. We have way to much stimulation today, which makes 'writers block' more of an issue. It can be the opposite issue and why we should not have excuses "nothing is inspirational enough". I find it almost too stimulating and distracting. All the social media going around, phone apps, and other internet viewing.

Turn the television and games off and write. Don't forget the cell phone too. Your friends will understand when you publish that first novel you keep talking about.

BTW, what does this pic say to you? I found it on a French movie critiques website, and very SEXY. I am not sure, but almost certain it is a scene from Matrix. But don't let that stop you from writing your own version of a story...

Unfortunately Amy Grier hasn't kept up her blog since last May 2011, but we hope and wish her well and thank her for letting us share the interview. She still has some great writing wisdom over there for us to use.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's Your Turn

There are ten signs that you're turn(ing) into a Zombie-
  1. You start to notice that some people not only have good taste... but taste good too. 
  2. It takes you ten times longer to walk to the mailbox (to avoid your NaNo... writing deadlines).
  3. People avoid or run from you 
  4. (after you self-promoted your last book or published work).
  5. You start to develop a pronounced dragging on one side of your body (from sitting in the office chair tweeting all night). 
  6. You start hanging out at the mall with groups of strangers (AGAIN, shamelessly self-promote). 
  7. Your deodorant doesn't work anymore (you tried using those extra copies of your chapbook instead of the regular stuff). 
  8. You have nightmares about shotguns (because you're the target). 
  9. You order steak rare... like in still moving. 
  10. You think George A. Romero does documentaries. 
  11. You doctor diagnosed you with onset Rigor Mortis (once you found out Pinterest isn't a real world, only pretend). 
After finding this on the internet months back (cracked.com- '6 Signs Your Becoming A Zombie'), we realized this could be more related to 'Writer's Block', and can easily be turn(ed) around. More often than not at all prompts are a great way to get the flow going again. For example:

Does this evoke a story...what lies beyond the fence...what lurks in the mist...

Did that work for you? Now get writing and send us something soon. Submissions are open right now for our April 2012 issue. Read our requirements at 'Submit', and look at whats already been published in our February 2012 issue.

Remember, we like Zombies, but we are not centered around them by any means. They hang out behind our fences at all hours, moaning and groaning about how unloved they are. Not true. Zombies have a fan base that far exceeds even our imagination. However there are other things just as or scarier waiting to be discovered.

How will that happen?

When a writer like you begins to etch out every detail, and then gets it published on an Ezine just like ours...

Speaking of photographs. We also take original artwork and photography!