Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mardi Gras Zombies...

(Picture from the Shreveport Times website of Peanut in the lion)

Last night, we had the privilege of being a part of the Krewe of Centaur parade here in Shreveport. The boy's kung fu school, Lee's Kung Fu, did some awesome performances during the parade and we were happy to be a part and help out. We have several parades to celebrate Mardi Gras here, but the Centaur and the Gemini are the big ones, and last night was the first. So the crazies and the drunks were out in full force! We are so worn out today!

Most of the parade, the first half actually, was okay. The kung fu and tai chi students, kids, teenager and adults alike, entertained the crowd with lion dances, kung fu stunts and the really cool dragon that takes 9 people to operate. Meanwhile, some of us stayed on the very nicely decorated trailer and played the Chinese instruments - drum, cymbals, gong. Unfortunately, before it all started, I played around on the drum and showed them I knew the I was asked to play the drum several times during the parade. Which was fun...but arms hurt! Not just from that, but from throwing beads to folks! I also played all the other instruments, as did Sammy and eventually, Mikey even picked up some cymbals!

Sammy was the star when he was on the drum, though. Everyone cheered and screamed for him - it was awesome! And when he saw his friends on the sidelines, he really got into it!
Several times, grown men sat on the trailer to ride along, only to be poked in the butt by a kung fu spear (once by me!) and crazy and/or drunk people tried to play instruments, take weapons, dance with the lions, take various things, people!

The best thing (said sarcastically) was when a crowd of crazy folks got too close and were trying to beat the gong on the trailer. Mikey was trying to break them up when someone reared back and threw some beads in his eye just as hard as they could! It actually scratched his eyeball! He didn't see who did it, lucky for them, because he might have done them a lot more damage than they did to him! It's really painful for him, on top of already having a broken arm right now!

On that note - folks watching the parade - behave! They are just plastic beads! And the people on the floats and trailers are sometimes kids and teenagers - stop trying to dance up on them!

Other than the crazy people in Shreve City and toward the end, we had fun. It was an experience, for sure, for the kids. They had never been in a parade before, whereas Mikey and I did them all the time in marching band in high school, even in New Orleans Mardi Gras in the 9th grade. Man, that's a whole other blog there! I remember somebody jumping into to hotel swimming pool fully clothed.....

Have a great week, everyone...and Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cool beans...zombie beans, that is....

So many cool things have been happening lately! Where to begin?

The book that I co-edited last year, with Joe McKinney, Dead Set, is on the preliminary list for the Stoker Ballot! It's not official as a nominee yet, but I think it's pretty ding-dang cool to be a prelim, right? In a few weeks, we will find out if it makes the ballot! Fingers crossed!

Also, I blogged a few weeks ago about what a wonderful time I had in Jefferson, TX at "Girlfriends Weekend," which is a yearly conference of sorts for the national book club I am in, The Pulpwood Queens. I met so many wonderful people and authors, but was truly excited to meet Carolyn Turgeon, author of best-sellers "Rain Village," "Godmother" and the upcoming "Mermaid." We chatted for a bit...I am afraid I might have gone a little "fan-girl" for a second there...hope I didn't freak her out too much! I guess I didn't because after mentioning to her that I wrote a short story about the zombie Little Mermaid, she asked for my contact info to interview me for her blog. I got the interview questions a few days ago and have sent them in to her, along with a picture that my best friend's son, Sean Adams, drew at my request. Here it is, the zombie Little Mermaid that goes along with my story!

Isn't it amazing? I love her purple hair also! Sean is an awesome artist, and only 15 years old! I have watched him grow up over the years and carry around his sketch book - I knew he was a budding talent and the one to draw my zombified Little Mermaid!
In case you are interested, the story will be appearing in "Feary Tales," from Library of the Living Dead Press this summer. It's a zombified tale of the little mermaid, from the Hans Christian Anderson original story, not the Disney version, although I do poke fun at that a bit.

What else?? Hmmmm....OH! Yes, here is a good one! My friend Chris, who works for the Louisiana Tourism and Travel Bureau, contacted me a few weeks ago with a cool offer! Family Circle Magazine, yes, that one you always see in the check-out aisle with flowers or food on the cover, contacted him and wanted to find a family to feature in their June monthly article called "My Hometown." It features a town in America, and family that lives there to represent it. Chris wanted to recommend my family, and after discussing with the hubby, we said yes! I did an interview with the article writer and a photographer will be snapping my family within a few weeks! I think it is super cool that Shreveport is being spot-lighted - and the writer was very intrigued with me being the coordinator of the Shreveport Zombie Walk! I hope we get lots of attention on that because more publicity equals more zombies equals more FOOD for the local food bank! The issue will hit stands on May 10, so be sure to pick up a copy!

Now, onto my kids. My oldest son, Michael, who is 13, is a budding film maker. He created a short film, titled "PTSA Training Video" for the PTSA Reflections contest and entered it at the regional level. He came home a few days ago and told me that it won at the regional level and is going to compete at the state level! I am so proud of him! Sammy, my 11 year old, had 2 poems printed in a local publication that is released yearly for students, called The Seedlings. It is an honor to be printed in The Seedlings, even more to get an Honorable Mention, which he did, for a poem called "Crayons." Here is his poem:


So colorful and bright,
Making pretty images
The more ideas grow
the shorter they get.
Running on paper
Leaving a trail of color
So many to choose from
but all very colorful and bright.

Isn't that clever? "The more ideas grow the shorter they get." Brilliant, kid! Sammy also received a lot of awards and pins at his Cub Scouts Blue and Gold Banquet yesterday. Way to go, McCrary boys!

Well, I suppose that is enough gushing for now. Onto the plugging!
If you haven't read my BFF's blog yet, please do! Carey is an awesome writer and has great insight!

I also have another writing venture going on. It consists of short memoir-as-it-happens blogs of a survivor of the zombie apocalypse. It is a great way for me to write more frequently and in short bursts...which is good for my ADD....LOL! Here is the link to the blog:
Funny side note...I actually wrote the first post on my cell phone on a Notepad app on the way home from a trip to Dallas a few weeks ago! Hence the idea for using a smart phone to blog about zombies! Don't know if it's been done yet, but there it is! Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for reading my blog - check out the links contained for more great reading!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A story....with blood....

Hi mom!
My mom is my biggest fan, so this is for her. You can read it too, you might get a chuckle out of it.
She tells me, and everyone that will listen, that ever since I was about four years old, I have been telling scary stories. I only slightly remember some of them, but they were short, like the ones currently write. Last year I was told by my neurologist, after taking a long and boring memory something, something test for my multiple sclerosis, that I show the signs of adult ADD. This surprised me at the time, but looking back at my life, I can totally see it. I will be lucky if I ever actually sit down long enough to write an actual book much less a short story that is more than five thousand words!
Back to the stories...oooohhh...something shiny, oohhh a pony!
But I digress.
Mama says all of the stories I told ended with the same four words: "...and blood came out."
Yes, even as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed elementary schooler, I was trying to shock my friends and family with minimal gore and twist-endings.
I actually remember a few of these stories, so I will give you a few of them here today. This is for you mama, for always encouraging my writing, and beaming with pride every time I sign a book to you with those four little words. I haven't made it big yet, but if and when I do, it will be because you always told me that I could do it, no matter what! You never made me feel strange or weird for liking horror, like some other people do. Thanks Mama, you're the best! I love you!

The Christmas Present

It was Christmas morning, and all the little girl wanted was a new bow and arrow. She had asked Santa for it special. She was so excited when she opened her gifts and there it was: a shiny new bow and arrows to go with it. She also got a new target with a bright red bullseye right in the middle. The little girl wasted no time and took it outside to try it out. She set the target against a tree, stood back, and steadied her bow. She shot an arrow. She walked over to look at the target to see if she hit it. The arrow had hit the bullseye right in the middle.....and blood came out.

The Vanilla Wafer

The little girl came home from school and was really hungry. She wanted a snack so badly. She kept bugging her dad for some chips, but instead he gave her some vanilla wafer cookies. She told him it wasn't what she wanted, but he made her eat them anyway. The little girl took a vanilla wafer cookie and put it into her mouth. She took a bite...and blood came out.

Hahaha! Those are all I can remember right now. The Christmas Present really stands out the most to me. But the cookie one? That's just gross! Where did I come up with THAT? Let me know what you think, and Mom, if you can remember any other ones, let me know!

Later readers!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stoked about Stokers! it's not an official nomination, but a preliminary ballot, so I can't say that I am "Stoker nominated" but O. Em. Gee. The anthology that I co-edited with Joe McKinney (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology) and also have a short-story in, is on the preliminary list!
Check it out here:
This is not the final ballot, and you have to make the final cut to officially say you are a "Stoker Nominated" writer, editor, etc...
So I am not getting ahead of myself and going there, because it is not a cool thing to do. Although it is an honor to make the preliminary, among so many talented and deserving people. It's kind of overwhelming. The president of the Horror Writers Association friended me on Facebook and sent me a message inviting me to join the HWA. I had already considered it but didn't know if I fit the qualifications. After looking them over, I do fit for a supporting membership, and maybe after a few more of my short stories are published, I can move up from there.
Wow, this is inspiring. I'm off to write more scary stuff, so see you guys and ghouls later!

....and blood came out....