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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another Writing Sample: Save Me From Myself

(Author's Note: This was also written in 2004. I guess I wanted to do a piece about zombies. This was from a Play-By-Post game I did on Yahoo forever ago.)


Being on that base in Okinawa armed with a baseball bat, some bastardized Molotov Cocktails and a Beretta Elite pistol. The swarms were getting closer, the stench of death hung heavy in the air. Dressed in her Omega jumpsuit and utility vest, Cameron was currently hiding behind a stack of boxes, trying to make no sound...she'd managed to control her breathing, and as much as she willed her heart to stop pumping so damned fast, it didn't
listen. Her pulse raced through her ears, drowning out the constant moan of....things...hungering for fresh meat. She'd seen many of her friends fall, torn apart by the damned zombies. Jon, Simone, Mike, Mark, Dan, Savannah, Alex, Jason, Hackboy, Papa Bear.....even Tyrone, Gavin, Nick, Jack and Iris.

Night had fallen, and Cameron felt like she was the only survivor left on the base, a crumbling shell of a military stronghold. She prayed for help to come soon, but had a feeling that come dawn, she'd either be a meal, or have joined the ranks of the bloodied zombies scouring the base for anything to eat. She kept one bullet in her pocket, knowing that if it came down to it, she'd turn the gun on herself...

The moaning got a little maddening after a while, and she poked her head up to see where they were. Hiding under a stack of boxes was probably not the smartest thing to do, but sadly, it was what was closest and somewhat secure
at the moment. She knew there was a bunker about a hundred yards away. Had it not been for the piles of bodies, gutted cars and occasional fires, it would have been a clear shot. She also noticed about five zombies milling
about, moaning and checking for bodies. Parts of them were rotted out, intestines dragging behind them as they loped around. Cameron would have vomited, if she hadn't done it an hour before upon seeing Mark being torn apart by about ten of them. Her stomach ached due to the vomiting and the fact she hadn't eaten in two days, and even then, it was a few power bars she found in a glove compartment. Instead, she peered over her fortress of crates and boxes, wondering if she chose to run now, would she have enough bullets to dispatch the five, plus however many more would follow in their wake? Only one way to find out...

She crept out of her fort silently, and as soon as it was clear, hauled her blood-streaked ass about ten yards before she saw fifteen more of them heading over. Fuck...this is it. She barreled into three of them, feeling like a quarterback crossing the fifty yard line before lighting one of the cocktails and lobbing it in the direction of a group of five, setting them all on fire. She let out a victory cheer, then dodged three more, shooting them in the head. Her had started to laugh maniacally. She'd essentially been alone for the last two days, remaining silent, so as not to attract the hunger of the undead. But now, it was the last stand. She would take as many of the damned things out before reaching the bunker or die trying.

Here and now.

She saw three of the fiery ones drop as they limbs burned off, but they crawled...rotting, burning masses of flesh and bone, the aroma of charred flesh adding to the sickeningly sweet scent of rot in the air. With a whoop, she charged forward, now breaking the halfway point. She ducked behind a car, seeing the body of Simone Kelly next to her. Cam clenched her eyes shut for a total of five seconds before reaching out to close the eyes of her best friend. But as soon as the hand passed Simone's mouth, the eyes flew open and Major Kelly grabbed Cam's hand, bringing it to her slack jaw. Cam jerked her hand away, sending her boot to Simone's skull until a wet crunch was heard. Then, she ran, firing off another cocktail at one of the cars, as the fuel line had been cut. The car exploded into flames, sending Cameron about
thirty feet....in the wrong direction.

Her fall was broken by a pile of bodies, half-consumed and left to decay. She got up, then started to run again. But the remaining zombies were closing in.....and as she fired her gun, the chamber went 'click'. She had run out of ammo. Even with one bullet left on her, it wouldn't be enough. It's only purpose would be to take herself out. Her cocktails were gone, and the baseball bat was in a makeshift holster on her back. She holstered the gun and grabbed the bat, swinging at anything that came close. She finally reached the door of the bunker, and turning the knob, could only scream at
what she had seen within...

Jon Byers, her commanding officer, skin a sickly mottled gray. One of his eyes was missing, as was an arm. Blood and various other fluids covered his jumpsuit. He reached out for her, groaning as the other zombies in the direct vicinity began to close in. His remaining hand grabbed her shoulder, and his teeth followed, biting in. Cameron felt the bite, the tiny organisms that caused everyone to change into this...shell...of a human being. She felt the Akuma enter her blood stream, and knew that it would only be a matter of hours before she joined them.

With a shaky hand, and as the others began to join in the feeding frenzy, she pulled her gun and loaded the single bullet. Between the shouts of pain she managed to unleash, she brought the gun to her mouth, reciting the only
appropriate quote she could think of.

"When you have a gun barrel between your teeth, you only speak in vowels."

And with all of her former friends, now husks, biting down on her, tearing...she pulled the trigger....

And as she felt the bullet enter her mouth, she could hear a faint ringing...which sounded like The Crystal Method's 'Busy Child'. The ringtone kept getting louder....and louder....when finally, Cameron's eyes snapped open and she gasped for breath. She looked down at the desk, her phone sitting dangerously close to a pool of saliva. She slowly picked up the phone and wiping sweat from her brow, answered in a shaky voice, "Hello....."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Writing Sample: Denial's a River in Egypt

(Author's Note: This was started in 2004, with an ex of mine. Cameron Grant, the one having lunch with Simone, will be appearing in the NaNoWriMo project I'm doing next month. Going forward, I'm going to be posting my progress of the novel I'm working on.)

So there I am, enjoying a nice Tuesday lunch with Simone Kelly at Carmine’s, and we’ve decided to share an order of pasta. Simone’s mother is Italian, and that Chianti-tinged blood of my best friend dictates that this is one of the few acceptable places where one can order Sunday Gravy on a heaping pile of Fettuccine.

“So, tell me why you’re fucking glowing.” She says between mouthfuls. I blush a little. Damn, is it that fucking obvious why I’m glowing?

“I got laid last night….shut the fuck up, Kelly.”

“Look, I know you got laid. I figured you got laid at the club Friday night…so be honest….the guy’s cool, right?”

“You fucking set me up!” I take a sip of Chianti and groan. I fucking knew it…can’t find a good man without my gay best friend having a hand in it. I hate her sometimes.

“No, I did not set you up. I just assumed you met a dude….I’m sorry, I was too busy trying to score with Reyna that night to pay much attention to your wishes of everlasting love, Miss Grant.”

Goddamn I hate her right now. “Yeah, so I met an Irishman. You know I’m on vacation for the next week and a half, right?”

“Yeah…whatever happened to ‘Oh, I have to get the Security OS up and running’?” She asked, taking another bite of meatball. I grunt, and then leisurely take a bite of food.

“Whatever happened to ‘Live each day as if it were your last’? I’m offering Sean my services as a tour guide during his stay here.” I humph for extra emphasis. Yeah, that’ll show her!

“Tour guide of your body?” Simone bites down on a breadstick and sips her water. “Cammie….come on now…Quit bullshitting me and just tell me the three day marathon made you wuss out of work.” 

“Saturday we decided to go to Central Park and wander around, getting to know each other. We were sober, clean, hung-over, and he’s attractive. We actually had a nice conversation about why Americans are total fucktards and we did it over hot dogs. If I were a traditional woman, I’d be totally retarded for the guy by now. But I’m not a traditional woman…I don’t get retarded for the boys, remember? They seem to want to be all up on me.” I shrug. This is how it’s always been.

“That’s because you’re hot, Cam. So, how was the fucking?” I really hate her now. So much I spit a mouthful of red wine onto my Batman T-shirt. Joy. I will go home smelling like a total lush.

“It…” I cough. Stupid wine going down the wrong pipe. “It was great.” Oh sure, kiss and tell about this dude? Hell no! This is MY fling. Not hers. “Just what I needed.”

“Cam…I can tell by the look in those slightly slanted eyes that you are bullshitting me.” Simone looks like she might hurl the rest of the plate at me. I blush again.

“Best sex I’ve had in the last year.”

“Hello? ONLY sex you’ve had in the last year!” She corrects me.

“What do you have to compare this to?”

“Please. Remember that Christmas party with Jason’s roommate Bob….the one I gave head to?”

“But did you get off?” Simone asks very pointedly. I still hate her.

“No.” I stammer. “He didn’t even offer to return the favor.”

“Then it doesn’t count.” Simone looked a little too pleased with herself. For someone who only sleeps with other women, she sure is way too interested in the inner workings of the male libido. “It only would have counted if he’d done something besides run his hands through your hair as you were sucking him off and telling you how you had the best tongue action ever.”

I sigh. I’m reminded once again that while I long for a man to hold me night after night, make love to me and be GOOD at it, and occasionally surprise me with flowers or the new issue of Wired once in a while, as long as I keep myself distanced, signs point to ‘Not Bloody Likely’.

“So how come all the men here are worthless excuses for manly parts?” I finally reply.

“Because most of the men I come across are all led around by those parts. And you seem to follow those manly parts around with reckless abandon. Look, you’re thirty-two. Don’t you want to settle down eventually and get married?”

“See, here’s the problem.” I push my plate away and light a cigarette. “First of all, my job is such a security issue that I would either have to marry someone inside the company or else quit first if I wanted a civilian. Second, I’ve got more fucking faults than the state of California. Third, I’m not a girl….I’m a dude in a chick’s skin. I think like a goddamned guy, Simone…more than you. Fourth, I’m the biggest goddamned geek you’ve ever known…aside from your brother, who has a sweet ass, by the way. Now, for me to be able to continue this, I would need those gay guys on TV to make me look like a fucking princess, I’d need a guy like Sean to start working at WorldTec, and I’d have to get rid of a couple million dollars worth of Comic book and movie memorabilia. I’d also have to start watching Sex and the City, reading Bridget Jones’s Diary, drinking cosmopolitans and wear Seven jeans with the trendy little Tommy Hilfiger top. Oh, let’s not forget about the Louboutin stilettos and the Louis Vuitton bag. Simone, I’m so low-maintenance it’s disgusting. I’m actually enjoying taking Sean around and showing him shit that’s not in a fucking tour book.”

Simone was laughing. I just poured out my guts and she’s laughing at me. I think she needs to be socked. “Cam….you mentioned Sean twice in that little speech. You’re fucking retarded for him.”

“I am not. I’m showing him a little more of the Apple than I think he was expecting.” I shrug it off. The last time I was in love with a man was when I saw The Life of David Gale and watched Kevin Spacey talk….oh, I think of the things he could do to me and I just sort of…

“Cammie, I get it. You’re just showing the Irish guy a little fun.” In our speak, ‘A Little Fun’ usually includes sex. Preferably dirty, nasty, classier than a porn star, but not so much that people would assume you’re selling it in the shit parts of Times Square. “Innocent fun, right?”

Innocent Fun was the kind of sex that makes these guys write in to Penthouse about the woman who just blew their mind. Sometimes I wish the guys would be honest and tell about how they were lousy in bed and only had lasted for a good five minutes before the inevitable.

“Yeah, but the difference between the usual selection and this guy is that he seriously made my toes curl. I swear, I was in the fetal position afterwards. And he even ran a bubble bath….I watched him shower this morning before I ended up joining him.” I smirked.

“You’re fucking retarded for him. Just admit it.” She sighed, shaking her head in frustration.

“I’m not!” I can’t be…this is just fun. “Look, how in the fuck am I supposed to fall in love with a guy who has to go three thousand miles in two weeks? It’s not like I’d be able to just drive over there in no time…”

“I think you already did, Cam.”

“I think you’re wrong.” I stood up, fishing some money out of my wallet. “Look, I have to go pick Sean up and find him something nice to wear. I have tickets for Avenue Q tonight.”

This will be the second time I’ve taken in this play. When Sean had mentioned he’d never seen a Broadway play, I knew he’d enjoy this. I just didn’t tell him it had puppets that sang about porn and racism without a second thought.

“Cam, pretend he’s a guy who will be gone tomorrow and spare yourself the hurt. I don’t want to have to tend your broken heart again.”

“It won’t be a problem, Simone. Be good. Tell everyone I said hi.” I kissed her cheek and hugged her and went to fetch my car from the valet. I drove back to my penthouse and found my new friend napping on my couch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Favorite Things: Doctor Who

In this installment, I show some love to one of my favorite TV shows.

So I first remember watching when Tom Baker was The Doctor. His run lasted from 1974-1981. I recall this one as early as me being five years old.



Now being so young, I don't quite remember the adventures he had, or who his companions were. I just remember the guy with the big hair and the scarf. I also remember the TARDIS.

Let's fast-forward to 2005, shall we?

Sci-Fi Channel announces a new Doctor Who series. I'm intrigued as it stirs up memories of my youth (well, this and Godzilla movies) so I decided to watch. In this version, we're introduced to Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. Some of you playing along at home will also recognize him from 28 Days Later...(an amazing film. Expect an entry about my love for zombie flicks later on.)



This is also where I was introduced to Rose Tyler, his companion. She seemed pretty cool, and they worked well together.

But when The Doctor regenerated (which I think is defined in this series as 'The Doc either has wants out of his contract or the writers are bored with the guy'), it truly brought about the beginning of an era.

It introduced the world to The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.



Rose stuck around during Tennant's first season as our favorite Time Lord. But eventually Rose's adventures with the fan favorite Doctor drew to a close with a tearful goodbye.

Season Three rolls around and Tennant is still The Doctor. His companion this time around is Martha Jones.



Personally, Martha was my favorite companion. She had the spunk and attitude where it counted, like Rose. But she was also hella (yeah, I said it) smart. After all, this woman was training to be a doctor, but not of the Time Lord variety. Martha left us at the close of Season Three...but neither she or Rose stayed out of the picture.

When we get into Season Four, Tennant's still rocking the brown overcoat and Chuck Taylors. His companion this time around is Donna Noble (who we met during the Christmas special in season three 'The Runaway Bride').



Donna struck me as a little too common. But I also came to realize that the ladies The Doctor chose as his companions were missing something in their normal lives. Whether it was adventure, a stable family life, the recognition of family, these ladies had something that for whatever reason, stepping into that Police Box filled.

The end of season four came with the announcement that Tennant would be moving on to pursue other interests. The fans began to mourn as we all wondered who was going to fill the shoes Tennant had managed to with this manic quirkiness along with a touch of sadness.

Rose, Martha, Sarah Jane, all made appearances at the end of this season. It was wonderful to see all of the friends he'd made.

There were some specials, and Tennant's run came to a close with 'The End of Time', which brought back an old enemy and was a very emotional goodbye when Tennant hung up that overcoat for good. (I'm going to admit here I cried like a baby when he regenerated.)

Currently, we have Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor, along with his companion, Amy Pond.



Now I'll be honest here. I'm not sure I like Matt Smith as The Doctor. I really adored Tennant's version (I'd compare it to how I feel about Egon Spengler.) so I walked into this one with great reluctance. I love Amy, she's got some major spunk. I am hoping for the possibility of some reunions with previous companions. But truth be told, Matt seems to be still growing into this role. Maybe he hasn't decided how he's going to roll with it yet, but I suppose I shall have to really just park my ass down and watch it.

But the revamp of the series has left a mark on me that will never go away. I dream sometimes of The Doctor (it's always Tennant in my dreams) coming to whisk me away in that Police box to worlds far away. We could watch the end of the world from aboard a spaceship, meet Madame du Pompadour, witness Shakespeare write 'Love's Labour Won' and of course battle some Cybermen and Daleks along the way. But if the Sontarans show up, I won't complain.

When the husband and I got married, we got custom made Chucks to honor our favorite Doctor. I carried a Sonic Screwdriver in my bouquet. This series made such an impact on our relationship that we had to pay homage.

And in about a month, I will be donning that long brown overcoat and pinstriped suit Tennant did during his run. I will do it with love, respect and adoration for one of the best damn characters I've ever seen on TV within the last five years.

I can't wait to see the fellow Con-goers asking me for pictures. But for the time being, I have quotes to learn and facial expressions to practice!

As always, if you've got something to say, please let me know!

Be Well,

-Jen

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Favorite things: Ghostbusters

I figured I'd start off with short essays of specific things I love and why I do. This way you guys can get to know your happy blogger and I can share a little too.

So we're going to start off with my absolute favorite movie of all time and how it affected a very creative 8 year old girl.

Ghostbusters was released in 1984 and from the moment I heard about it, I was intrigued. I remembered Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd from Saturday Night Live sketches I'd heard on a cassette my folks had.

For Halloween that year, I had a very crude Ghostbuster costume, which was a GB T-shirt, and my proton pack was a foil covered box with a light in it that blinked. The particle thrower was a squirt machine gun attached with some hose. My dad helped me make it. It certainly wasn't screen accurate, but I'd helped make this and was pretty damn proud of it.

I finally saw the film on cable the following year, and always watched it when it aired. At age 9, my parents got me my own copy on VHS, which I probably watched more times than I can count. My mother hated watching this with me, for I was memorizing the lines and would nearly repeat the movie verbatim.

When we entered the DVD age, it was the first DVD I purchased, and also snagged it when we finally went Blu-Ray earlier this year. I could watch this movie any time and be transported back to being an impressionable eight year old who had an infatuation with Egon Spengler, but was too young to know what those feelings were.

I'd always loved Egon. He was the straight man to Venkman's charismatic jokes or Stantz's childlike view of the world. Even when Janine kept trying to throw herself at him, he was always more interested in building things and eating junk food.

I'd learned a very short time later that I was actually related to Annie Potts, who'd played Janine. Due to my former residence in New York, I'd managed to nail down a pretty authentic impression of her.

When my husband and I started dating, I offered him the Litmus test of this film. If he loved it as much as I did, he was a keeper. After that first viewing together, we decided that his personality was most like Peter Venkman. It's been my pet name for him ever since. Some people ask why, but I always reply with a smile, 'Venkman got the girl at the end.'

Twenty-Five years after the release of the film, we got a video game, which was pretty much a wet dream for anyone who'd ever dreamed of strapping on a proton pack and saving New York City from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This was also the year that I got to make a costume that would win a prize.

Thanks to the help of my buddy Jeff (who will always be my Stantz), we built a proton pack. I toiled for some time to sew patches onto three jumpsuits (Spengler, Venkman and Zeddemore. Stantz had moved by then) and gathering the little details for my suit. I was determined that twenty five years after the first time I'd donned a backpack, I was going to do it again, and I was going to do it right. My Inner Child treated this like Christmas morning. Halloween arrived, and my work was holding a costume contest. I knew I'd have to bring my A-Game if I even wanted a shot at winning. So I slipped into my suit and pretended I was Egon Spengler. I discussed the Twinkies, talked about how print was dead and for a few moments, felt like the love and adoration I'd had for this film was coming full circle.

For my efforts, I walked away from that contest with a new iPod, which I thank that Proton Pack for every day (which is in my bedroom as I can't lock that baby up in my storage unit. She's too pretty!).

When Venkman and I got married this year, we knew we wanted to wear Chuck Taylors (Due to Doctor Who, which will be another essay) in our wedding colors. The nicknames we chose for the back were Venkman and Spengler.

If there is room in the GB3 script, I'd like to ask that I be cast as the love child of Janine and Egon. Granted, I will be a pierced and tattooed punkass, but I think my inner child would be fully satisfied.

I will proudly hang my Ecto-1 license plate up in my home, rattle off lines from the film, and even have the occasional fantasy of getting under Egon's jumpsuit and making him all hot and bothered. I'll even make sure my figures stay Mint In Box and keep the cat away from them.

But to those four guys who, after getting kicked out of Columbia University, went into business for themselves, I salute you. Your blend of scares and laughs, the wonderful characters, and setting it all in my home state have endeared this film to me, even 26 years later.

And I even liked Ghostbusters II. I can't help but smile anytime I hear Jackie Wilson singing 'Higher and Higher'.

Got anything to say? Let's hear it!

Be Well,

-Jen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E3 Madness, Part One

Due to some paperwork SNAFU, I was unable to attend, but the beauty of the internet means I can sit in my comfy chair, my cat batting at my ankles with his teeth and a can of Pepsi while I watched press presentations from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. (Note to self: GO NEXT YEAR!!)

The press things are where each of the companies reveal new games, announcements regarding their consoles and you usually get the scoop on all the goodness coming to the console of your choice.

Can I say right now that it wasn't Killzone 3 or Medal of Honor that had me having geekgasms all over myself?

No, they did not. I did not feel the slightest bit tingly in my neither regions.

But here is a list of the things that DID result in passionate moans, gripping my chair and even had me knock over a soda!

-Kinect for XBOX360. Kinectimals sold me with the little girl and her pet tiger, Skittles. I am enamored with having a cute virtual animal because this means he will not require a commode for me to scoop assorted lumps out of, I will not have to deal with him racing around my house at 4AM, and he will not cough up hairballs on the clean clothes I lay out right before I go take a shower. I also believe that this pet will also actually listen to me and not bite me when I try to touch him, unlike the feline we currently have, who does all of this AND also has a penchant for tearing posters off the walls.

-PlayStation Move. Support for Heavy Rain made me happy. Games like Heroes on the Move had me cheering. (Jak, Daxter, Ratchet, Clank AND Sly Cooper in one game? Yes please!) This might remove my need for a Wii altogether.

-Metal Gear Solid: RISING. Fuck guns. You get a SWORD. You can Ginsu all the bad guys and obstacles into julienne French Fries! Blades don't need reloading.

-Portal 2. 'I hope we can put our differences behind us...for Science. You MONSTER.' GLaDoS's voice seriously made me spill a can of Pepsi in my lap. I have been trying to get my mother to play the first one. I think everyone should try Portal if they haven't yet.

I'm awaiting some announcement from BioWare regarding Mass Effect 3. I demand some naked Shepard, and would request that the voice actor for everyone's favorite Spectre call and read me Green Eggs and Ham. The voice gives me epic goosebumps...the good kind. It is likely Jason Statham will be removed from my Bench and replaced with Commander Shepard.



Yes. Way hotter than Jason Statham IMO.

I'm gonna go take a cold shower. More later!

Be Well,

-Jen

The Introduction

So I'm choosing to add my voice to the thousands of other blogs out there. What would make this better than the others? Time will tell.

I intend on discussing my favorite things, from comic books, video gaming, LARPing, TV shows, movies, books and pretty much anything that comes to mind. It is probable I will post on a variety of different topics, and I'll be sure to not spoil anything for you.

This is a girl who likes Sci-Fi and Horror. She is just as comfortable watching Gossip Girl as she is with Doctor Who. She can't choose between Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark.

I do have to credit my husband for the push to do this. He knows I like to write. He knows I am passionate about the geeky things I love. After all, the best way to a man's heart is with a melee weapon.

I hope to touch on the many different facets of being a girl, but also a huge geek. Maybe share my love for the things I do. I also hope that by doing this, I can encourage other ladies to say it loud and say it proud: We're geeks and we're proud, dammit!

Be Well,

Jen