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Zombieholics Anonymous

Where there are never enough steps to help us all…

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Monday Meeting

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Shock

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

Did anyone else watch the fall finale of The Walking Dead? Oh and beware there are spoilers below so if you haven’t watched it, and you continue reading, it’s at your own peril

There’s a part of me that knew someone was likely going to die and having got almost to the end of the hour without the death of a character, I began to wonder if it was going to happen.

And then they went there.

If you watched it, did it shock you as much as it did me?

Are you sad that Beth is now gone? While she wasn’t my favourite character, I’m very sad to see her go. And just when she was coming into her own as a strong individual who was willing to do what had to be done to ensure her survival.

Beth

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Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Zombies Everywhere!

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

There are zombies everywhere lately and trust me, I’m not complaining! I recently attended Horror-Rama in Toronto and definitely got my fill. From meeting Rob Sacchetto (finally!) and Brett Kelly, co-writer and director of My Fair Zombie, it was a great weekend!

Then on The Walking Dead that night, we learned what happened to Beth and got a glimpse at what might be coming down the pike for those at that hospital. I can’t wait for tonight’s episode, and while I admit I want to know more of what’s going on in the hospital, especially now that Carol is there as well, I’m excited to see how far the group gets on their trek to Washington.

But I have to ask—is it just me, or does anything else think that things are moving really quickly? I think I’ve been lulled into a set pace with season’s two, three, and the beginning of four, only see the ramp up in action. I’m not used to this AMC!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly not complaining—I love that we’re seeing more and exploring story lines fast and hard. But there’s a small part of me that’s finding my heart in my throat at times, thinking to myself ‘they didn’t just do that!‘, or screaming at my television ‘Holy Sh*t! That just happened!‘.

So I ask, how are the rest of you enjoying this season? Do you like the new pace? Or is it just me that’s finding things are moving along at a pace you’d think would occur after the end?

Leave your thoughts for me below—I’d love to hear them!

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: The Concept of Commitment

Hello my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

What does commitment mean to you? How far would you go to carry it through?

Do you think commitment would get in way if the world as we know it descended into chaos?

I’ve been pondering this very question for a few weeks now and I have to wonder how my level of commitment to certain people would wane if the end were to come about. We all have loved ones, people who it would be hard to forget, but what if you had to forget them… I honestly don’t know the answer to my own question, but I would love to hear all of your thoughts on it!

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: I Got My Fix Last Night!!

Hello my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic!

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

If you have AMC or managed to catch it online, we all got our fixes yesterday. Since it’s mid-season return, The Walking Dead has amped up the action and I’m beginning to find myself completely invested in the show again.

There have been many moments that disappointed me, but then they come back with an episode that blew me out of the water. This past episode was one of them. So in the interest of not spoiling it for any people who have yet to see it, I’d love to know your favourite parts of the episode! Heck, tell me your favourite parts of seasons past. Those of you who haven’t watched it can consider yourself warned to not read the comments!

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Survival Strategy According to Me

Hello, my name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There’s a pause as the rest of the Zombieholics chant “Welcome Julianne.”)

Thank you for joining me today as we will be talking about strategies to help you survive during a Zombie Apocalypse. What I have to offer is simple and is not going to include telling you to pack a bug out bag. That’s common sense and while important, it’s just not part of the scope of this session.

There are six main strategies and they are all important. As we have no idea when the proverbial sh*t is going to hit the fan, shall we get started?

Don’t Wait: Okay, I’ll admit that seems somewhat self-explanatory but it’s probably the most important. Waiting is only going to allow your city or town to fill up with hordes of those ravenous Zombies. Recognizing that there is a problem and reacting to it quickly is only going to help keep you alive. If you turn on your television one day and hear that the dead are again walking the earth, don’t wait. Waiting is bad. Get moving. Now.

Don’t Dismiss Travelling On Foot: We all know that travelling by car is faster, offers more protection and is more efficient. Zombies can only walk as fast as their oxygen starved, dying muscles will allow them to. So why shouldn’t you dismiss travelling on foot? Everyone is going to panic, get into their cars and head out of town. What is that going to cause? Gridlock. Accidents. Cars running out of gas and adding to the gridlock. It’s going to be hell on the roads and each moment that you are stuck in gridlock, unable to move away, is only going to allow the hordes more time to catch up with you. Moving on foot allows you more freedom. As long as you can walk faster than the horde, you’ll be okay. Just remember that a car is easy to navigate around while on foot, especially on a crowded roadway. The benefit to moving on foot is the fact that you don’t need to stick to roads either. The world is your oyster; let your feet help in your survival.

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid: If at first you don’t succeed, avoid. Seriously. If you don’t need to interact with the Undead, don’t. It’s fairly straightforward. You cannot get bitten if you don’t place your body within the proximity of their mouths. You cannot get infected if you never come into contact with them. Simply avoid them. Avoid at all costs. Avoidance will help to keep you alive.

Observe, Never Assume: One of the first things during Z-Day that will kill you is assuming that you know all there is to know about zombies. We have never faced down a horde of the living dead so how can we possibly know what is likely to happen? Sure, you’ve watched the movies and read the books but what you’re absorbing is only someone’s opinion of what could happen. Are you going to allow that to be the death of you? Absolutely not. Observe what the Undead are doing and how they are behaving. That doesn’t mean engage them either. Consider this strategy as one to be performed in conjunction with avoiding the hordes at all costs. Let someone else engage them and learn from their mistakes. Surviving is important, but surviving smartly makes you the expert.

Not Everyone Is Your Friend: Just because you meet someone while you’re out foraging doesn’t mean that you should accept their lip smacking invitation for dinner. If your instincts are not screaming “Stranger Danger”, they’re broken. Without an uncontaminated protein source, you just may end up the guest of honor at a feast with your seat just a little closer to the fire than may be comfortable. If you don’t get my meaning, there might not be any hope for you. Plain and simple, other survivors could represent a multitude of horrors. Piracy will be rampant as other survivors begin to covet what you’ve got. Cannibalism may become a little more accepted as hunger does strange things to the psyche. Hell, a member of their group may even be harboring the infection, getting sicker and sicker until death finally occurs…. BAM, you’re dead! Or worse, infected. If you find yourself being invited over for dinner, trust no one – trust me on this one.

Keep Moving: You may have found yourself the perfect place to wait out the end of the world. It’s got everything you think you’ll ever need; strong walls, unobstructed views for three hundred and sixty degrees, and a stockpile of food and ammunition. It’s perfect – or is it? What happens when the Undead come knocking… and trust me, they will find you. How are you going to kill them all without attracting more? Who knows if they can hear gunfire? Or if they have a sense of collective consciousness? Something else to consider would be the fact that your stronghold may actually belong to someone else. Someone with bigger guns and the desire to use them. The war between the living and the living dead is horrible enough. No need to go adding another war into the fray. The only way to get around this is to keep moving. Sure, you can replenish your supplies, I’m not against that. What I am against is complacency. It kills. Keep moving – that’s what the Undead are going to do.

Survival is important and frankly, optimal. Keeping these six strategies in mind will help you to survive. I don’t want you to wait or dismiss travelling on foot should the situation arise. If you avoid the Undead while observing them, never assuming that you know what they’re going to do next, you should be okay. Just remember that not everyone is your friend out there and that they may have less than honorable intentions. If you keep moving, you’ll always stay one step ahead. Good luck!

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Fast or Slow?

My name is Julianne and I’m a Zombieholic.

(There is a pause as the rest of the group chants “Welcome Julianne.”)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about what’s better: fast zombies or slow zombies. It seems like an odd question because better is such a positive term. If I had the choice, I’d really rather never meet a zombie in real life and I’m pretty certain that would be the case with many of you. (Liking the genre doesn’t mean we literally have to sacrifice ourselves to it and I understand there will always be the exception to the rule. But even then, I think the novelty of the living dead would wear off pretty quickly in a survival situation.)

So what are the ‘benefits’ of both? Good question!

SLOW ZOMBIES: Many purists would argue slow moving zombies are really you’re only option. When thinking about physiology, a decomposing body just isn’t going to move quickly. And then you need to take into account the fact no oxygen would be getting to any of the muscular tissues to help break down lactic acid as it’s built up with muscle use. And it’s reasonable to expect that lactic acid will build up as the glucose already present in the muscle tissue is used up for energy production. It’s also reasonable to expect this will increase the rate of decomposition. Not great for individual zombie longevity, but great for your average survivor.

There’s also a sense of hope that exists when you’re dealing with the slow zombie. And hope is an important thing in terms of psychology. If you knew you’d never get away, why would you even try? At some point your psyche would kick in and you’d give up. But slower moving zombies, give you appearance of a chance and no one can tell you that’s not an important aspect.

FAST ZOMBIES: Sure the fast zombie makes movies more interesting if you’re looking for action and gore, but what if you want a story too? Yes, that’s a bold statement, but a true one if you really think about it. If everyone succumbs to the fast zombie, either by chance, getting caught out in the open, being too out of shape to escape, or because your mind gets too tired to fight and just stops.

In my opinion, the fast zombie shouldn’t really be able to exist, but different vectors of disease could cause a multitude of different ways zombification could occur. That being said, anything really is possible, and those possibilities scare me. Does the fast moving variety make for a better thriller? In some cases yes, but I have to say I’m not going to want to come up against a horde of them.

So fast or slow, they each have their ‘benefits’ but I’d rather stick with my slow ones, thank you very much! What about you?

Julianne’s Monday Meeting: Why?

Hello, my name is Julianne and I am a Zombieholic.

(Hears the chorus of other Zombieholics in the room chanting “Welcome Julianne”)

I’ve been asked by a few people in my life why I love zombies so much. To me the answer seems simple, but I can see why others may question it. Look at the subject matter – decaying husks that were once the family and friends of people in the world. Who could love that? But I think one needs to look deeper.

Sure zombies gross and at times terrifying, but you need to look at what they once were, who they once were. Us. That’s terrifying and if you can’t see that, I think there might be something fundamentally wrong with you.

And I’m not taking that stance lightly either. Forget for a moment the different aspects of media we’ve been exposed to: books, movies, games, graphic novels, etc. Put yourself into a situation where you’re in a world with actual zombies.

Many say that will never happen, but what do we truly know? Perhaps it really is the future? So imagine yourself there, fighting tooth and nail for survival. Could you do it?

Could you kill a loved one if that meant your own survival?

I wrestle with that often. I look at my family and friends and wonder if the thoughts of who they once were would run through my mind as I stared them in their grotesque little undead faces. Would I pause? Would I hesitate in delivering the final blow? Would I leave one of them behind in order to escape?

I can’t answer those questions because it hasn’t happened yet and that’s what scares me. I’ve seen responses from people who maintain they’d have no issues dispatching those who they once loved, but I question that resolve. I’m not calling it a lie outright, they very well may be able to put a bullet through the head of what was once their child. What I am saying is that how can one truly know until they’re in that situation, holding a gun in one hand and trying to fend off a loved one with the other. Surely you can all agree there would be a war waging within each of us.

So that’s the thought I will leave you with today. Would you be able to do it?

Monday Meeting with Julianne, Founder of Zombieholics Anonymous

Hello, my name is Julianne and I am a Zombieholic.

(Hears the chorus of other Zombieholics in the room chanting “Welcome Julianne”)

It’s been way to long since I stood in front of you all and just talked. I’ll admit it, I love zombies. Everything about them. Admittedly, I wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark alley without some sort of weapon on me, but that’s for a different post.

So why did I start Zombieholics Anonymous? I wanted a place for others who can’t get enough of the genre to come together and share their experiences. If you’re a writer, it could be a place to share your work, and a place for the readers to connect with you. A place for everyone to discuss the different elements that exist within the genre and for you to declare, in front of the world what your favourites are.

Me? I love the original Night of the Living Dead. I think Romero had a lot to say with that film and while it was released 10 years before I was born, it speaks to me. I saw it when I was 6 and it opened up a whole new world – one that I am proud to call myself a part of. I write in the genre and currently have two books released with 2 more coming later this year. I run a very successful website that jump started my series and publish pieces of flash fiction each and every week. Zombies have been good to me and I’m not ashamed to say it.

So join a meeting, tell the rest of the community about your addiction. We’re all in this together. One shambling step at a time!

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous. She writes within the realms of speculative fiction, has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. Julianne has pieces of short fiction in publications from Sirens Call Publications, Open Casket Press, 7DS Books, James Ward Kirk Publishing, Coffin Hop Press and Hazardous Press, and upcoming collections from May December Publications, 7DS Books, and Firbolg Publishing. The Carnival 13, a collaborative round-robin novella for charity which she contributed to and helped to spearhead was released in October 2013. Her collection of zombie short fiction, Glimpses of the Undead is available online at all major retailers.

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