Blogging A to Z Day 30: Zombies!

As Sourcerer’s resident horror blogger, it should be no surprise that I am a zombie fanatic. I watch zombie films, I read zombie books, I keep up with The Walking Dead and iZombie and virtually every other zombie show or flick out there, and I sometimes play zombie games.

There are, of course, a host of things that help to account for our fascination with zombies:

fear of disease, fear of death, fear of losing our mental faculties, etc. We seem at once aware of the zombie as a fictional character and concerned about the plausibility of a zombie outbreak. And the result of our fascination is that zombies have become a multi-million dollar industry.

As for me, there are three simple but terribly true reasons that I find zombie stories compelling. The first is the world that gets created when everything fails-the government, and by extension education, social welfare, prison systems, road maintenance, etc.; and modern inventions, including electricity, the Internet, GPS, running water, and telecommunications.

The second is the failure of modern notions of childhood, morality, and socioeconomic status to hold up under the pressures of a post apocalyptic world. In Zombieland, one of most disturbing erosions of culture is the loss of names; in The Walking Dead, it’s the loss of childhood embodied by Carl, Judith, and Carol’s decision to teach the children about knife safety and zombie killing during story-time; in 28 Days Later, it’s ownership of the female body. These conversations mirror conversations that we have daily, that we rehearse in our arguments about these concepts.

And the third thing is the complexities that arise when we see something human that isn’t human. Or that we don’t think is human. In Shaun of the Dead, the undead are able to be trained to perform simple tasks. In Warm Bodies, they retain something of their prior selves and can think and feel. And there is a repeated scene in which someone must kill a loved-one-turned-zombie, one that turns up in virtually every piece of zombie fiction ever.

And so, here at the end of A to Z, and on a Thursday, no less, I give you a Thursday 13 of my favorite zombie flicks:

13zombiefavorites

This post is by @parttimemonster of Part Time Monster and Sourcerer contributor. For more A to Z geekery, check out Part Time Monster!

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Sourcerer: Now With 20% More Contributors!

Here’s a preview of the next week of blogging here. This is the beginning of our return to form. We’re far enough ahead with content now that once the networking stuff I’ve been doing these last few weeks settles down a bit, we should be set for a nice, long run of blogging to carry us into the spring.2015_free_wallpaper

Rebecca Bradley‘s first crime book review runs on Monday. You do not want to miss it, especially if you are one of those friends who remember when I was trying to make the personal blog about books and writing. You will love Rebecca’s reviews.

David will bring you an Agent Carter post on Tuesday. We still haven’t decided whether we want to call them recaps or reviews. We may take a page out of Luther’s playbook and call them both. You should know David and Holly, and their fabulous blog Comparative Geeks by now. At this point, they truly need no introduction.

Arrow-arrow-cw-fanpopMelissa Barker-Simpson has a delicious review of the mid-season finale of Arrow to run on Wednesday before the U.S. premiere. Melissa’s a friend, and I don’t know which of us is more excited about the fact that ARROW IS BEING BLOGGED AT SOURCERER. There is much awesomeness to be had here.

Diana of Part Time Monster fame, who is also my sister if you are just joining us, will wrap up the season of American Horror Story on Thursday. But not to worry. She’s already thinking about Penny Dreadful. She will be back.

On Friday, Melissa returns with a review of this week’s episode of Arrow.sourcerer

Weekend music on Saturday. There will be Tuesday Texture and a Wordless Wednesday as will. Then we do it all over again only with Will on Wednesdays and light blogging on Thursdays for a couple of weeks.

What do you think? Sound like a blog you might want to keep on your radar? 😉

The Improved A to Z Plan

I’ve scrapped my original A to Z plan. I am not doing the challenge at Just Gene’O. I’m only doing it here, and I am throwing a generous amount of Tolkien into the mix so I can link to some of my Tolkien pals who I’ve promised to promote during A to Z.doctor evil

If I’ve invited you to do a post, you are still invited. If we reached the point of a topic discussion, your topic is still good if you want to do it.  If you’ve changed your mind or decided not to accept, but haven’t mentioned it yet, please let me know.

Here is how Sourcerer will do A to Z.

  • We will run our regular features in April at their normal morning times.
  • We will follow those up with afternoon A to Z posts.
  • I may post late photos and use them as a teasers for the next day on some days.
  • This eliminates the need to rigidly structure the A to Z topics.

They still need to be pop culture posts. But, for instance, we don’t necessarily have to make all our Wednesday A to Z posts comics posts. So everyone who’s agreed to write one can keep their topics if they still want in, but I’m committing to writing as many of the posts myself as necessary.

These posts will need to be short and light so as not to step on the early post and hopefully generate scroll-down reads. Ideally, they’ll be less than 400 words and will link to one or two other posts either here or at a friend’s blog

sourcerer_imageReasoning, etc.

  • If some of our contributors need to take a break to get through A to Z at their own blogs, me guaranteeing A to Z here ensures we will have at least one post a day in April.
  • Our contributors and the people I invited are welcome, but I’ll do any or all of the posts and if you’d like to adjust days or topics, I am open to that.
  • I’m not straight-up asking any regular contributor for more posts, and I do not want to suspend the morning post routine once we get it rolling again.
  • The original idea is way cool, but it has too many moving parts. We can pull it off, but we aren’t to the point of doing smoothly yet. I don’t want to overextend myself or anyone else.
  • My concern here isn’t lack of support. I have the support, but not sure the original plan is good for us long-term.
  • Given the changes I’ve made at both blogs, their relative sizes, and the Facebook progress, posting every day in April at Just Gene’O will only help a little and it will only help me.
  • Bringing A to Z readers to Sourcerer every day in April will help the larger project and will help a lot of other bloggers.

Keep in mind my goal here. It’s Sourcerer I want readers for the most. My entire social media is set up to serve that end. I’m happy with 30 to 60 daily views at my personal blog forever as long as a high percentage of my readers are friendly bloggers and as long as Sourcerer is growing.

Sourcerer is now set up to be inviting and mobile-friendly. The archives are so well-indexed with pull-down menus that a person who is interested in any part of what we do here can get lost in them for hours. It’s designed to attract social media followers and to help people discover contributors’ blogs.

Close friends and contributors who do the challenge can have their own A to Z headlines displaying in sidebar widgets at Sourcerer. I am already set up with lists to give A to Z and friends who do it my full support on Twitter and on Facebook. I am primed to register the second the list goes live. Think about that for a minute.

The best course is to only register one blog, make sure it succeeds without overtaxing me or anyone else, and reblog selected A to Z posts at my own blog for friends. I want an A to Z Survivor badge for Sourcerer so much I can taste it.

This is my personal survivor badge. I earned it fair and square. No one can take it away from me. Sourcerer needs one of these.

This is my personal survivor badge. I earned it fair and square. No one can take it away from me. Sourcerer needs one of these.

Just a note about my planning methods for those of you who follow along. When I plan months in advance, I always make the biggest realistic plan possible with the full knowledge that it will probably need to be scaled back. I do that because I never know when 100 people might jump on board and help me pull off something huge. When it’s time to get serious, I think about contingencies, take stock of my capacity, and adjust. I don’t get bummed out when I need to scale back. I’m just grateful I have enough people on board with me to make the planning worthwhile.

This is a minor adjustment. No worries.pirateflag

But do let me know where we are on the A to Z if you’ve been involved up to this point.

I need to have this figured out in the next month so I know how many posts I need to write my ownself. 🙂

Catch-up Week Has Arrived!

It’s been a rough six weeks, but I’m almost back on track. It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. on Thursday, and I have a couple of hard days to get through at the day job before I take the holiday on Wednesday. You won’t see a lot of blogging from me here this week, but that doesn’t mean I’m not working on blogstuff. Our weekend features will run as normal. Here’s where we are, and what I am up to this week for those of you who are interested.

1. My email inbox is full of  unanswered messages from bloggers. I’m planning to get those caught up on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. If you are waiting on a response from  me about anything at all, please be patient with me. I haven’t forgotten about you, and I suck at email.

I've mastered the "social" part. Still learning the "media" part. Hear me out and give it a chance!

Just a photo of me to break up all this text.

2. Aside from a couple of quick posts and a few retweets, you won’t see me on the social media on Wednesday or Thursday. I’ve set aside Wednesday to deal with my out-of-control photo stock. I have enough original photos to post an image per day on two blogs for a year at this point. But most of them aren’t sized for sharing and they aren’t organized. I need to go ahead and get this done so I can start blogging photos again without it taking an inordinate amount of my blogging time every week. And Thursday is a family day, all day.

3. I’ve settled on a redesign plan for Sourcerer. More on that over the weekend. I’ll mock up the design on a blog I’m using for development and will invite comments before I make it live.

4. Next week I plan to begin the process of figuring out whether or not we should try and do the April A to Z Challenge with Sourcerer. If you are a contributor here, or if I have invited you to guest post here in April, you’ll be hearing from me next week or the week after. December is almost here, and registration opens in January, so we need to make this decision before Christmas. The schedule as it stands right now is here. If I’ve told you you have a day reserved, it is reserved. If your name isn’t listed, it’s because we’ve not talked about this since I invited you, and I don’t want to put people on the spot.

5. Unless I hear differently, I am guest-hosting the #SundayBlogShare link party on Twitter this coming Sunday so Suzie can take the day off. If you enjoy #SundayBlogShare and would like to help me out with that by popping in and retweeting from that hashtag, you’re welcome. This isn’t the announcement, just a heads up for those of you who routinely help me out.

Orange Rose with Bumblebee by Gene'O

photo by Gene’O, 2014.

6. As I mentioned several weeks ago, I’ve realigned my Facebook presence and set it up to interact specifically with bloggers. That’s paying dividends already. If you’ve joined me as a Facebook friend recently, welcome, and I am happy to chat with you over there any time. I’ve got to spend a little more time on Facebook than usual over the next couple of weeks getting some things set up. This is all under-the-radar stuff that takes time away from the blogging, but it is absolutely necessary because it will allow me to get to know a LOT more bloggers and figure out ways of supporting them.

7. We have the support we need to proceed with planning for another round of Feminist Friday discussions in 2015. If you missed it over the weekend, you can find the planning post here. Thanks to everyone who’s helping to keep this project going. If you’ve expressed interest and haven’t received a response, you will hear from me on Wednesday.

Happy Thanksgiving if you’re in the U.S. If not, happy blogging!