So you can read my books

Monday, April 1, 2013


Ghost of Mark Twain here.

And no, you ain't seeing things backwards, children. 

Roland lost a bet with me at Meilori's, so I get to start the A-Z CHALLENGE ball rolling.

Why, wouldn't life be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen?

So I thought I'd start at Z and leave it to Roland and his other ghostly friends to work to A.

And if that riles you, I remind you who the beloved literary genius happens to be t'wixt the two of us!  :-)

Which brings me to ... Zombies!

Whoever thought those critters with terrible table manners would be as popular as they are in this cross-eyed age?  Certainly not this pilgrim.

Now, I am sure part of their popularity in this loving, compassionate society is the fact of seeing violence gleefully performed on seemingly deserving subjects:

Zombies can be killed in no end of creative ways, and since they don’t feel pain and are already dead, there’s  no real need to feel guilty about it ...

and life for most folks these moral-dented days it seems is running from the very concept of guilt, don't you know?

But I further propose, children, that your fascination with zombies represents a subpressed understanding that something is wrong—

morally wrong—with our culture.

Why, zombies represent the appetite divorced from nigh everything else. They are incapable of judgment, self-awareness, or even self-preservation.

Though they still move and act, they are not really alive.

They hunger and are never filled ... much like your average Congressman!

And why they ain't just hungry for anything—they specifically want to eat the living, and even more specifically the brain, seat of rationality and self control.

I submit that this rise in popularity of zombies reflects a rise in anxiety over the elevation of appetite in modern life,

a popular recognition that appetite has gotten out of control, and that unchecked, unreflective, and immoderate appetite is a form of the worse death imaginable.

What do you readers think?


  1. I'd rather live in a zombie-free zone. Nice reverse start.

  2. Hi Roland .. Zombies are us - I could agree there for many of the peoples .. love the cast iron weapon though.

    Mark Twain has earned the right to go backwards ... sure - it'd be interesting to meet him ...

    Cheers Hilary

  3. I vote for vegetarian zombies! Yay! Take care

  4. I hope I never meet one in person. They look like they smell really bad. Enjoyed your Z.

  5. Z-A... the most creative take on the Challenge I've seen yet.

    They certainly have a problem keeping their appetite in check.

  6. Nice start to the challenge. I simply love Zombieland.

  7. Not into zombies, the idea frightened me as a child, never like them since.

    Posting backwards eh, why not?

    Any problems in the A to Z let me know.


  8. Hi, Roland,

    You, rebel, you... starting with Z.... Now don't go hiding behind Twain's ghost. I always knew you had it in you. LOL.

    Zombies not really my thing, BUT at least it gives writers an outlet to stretch their imaginations on something other than the norm...

    HAPPY A-Z!

  9. D.G.:
    Definitely, a zombie-free zone for me, too! Mark wanted to be different -- and who was I to say no?

    You would love the ghost of Mark Twain, and he would love you. :-) Yes, the skillet is a universal tool!

    Hollywood actually did a vegetarian who became a zombie and fought for the female Army officer he had a crush on! :-)

    The Wayward Gifted:
    My Victor Standish is in love with a Victorian ghoul, but she has kept her intelligence and all of her shapely body parts! Good to see you!

    Mark thanks you for the nice words. But now, you've given him a big, ah, make that bigger head!

    Printed Portal:
    It's said that they are going to make a TV series of ZOMBIELAND, though really it were the stars that made the film.

    Zombies aren't my idea of a fun date either! I thought to be different this year. :-)

    Honest! The ghost of Mark Twain did make me do it. :-)

    Since I am part Lakota, I may be a Heyoka that does everything backwards!

    Victor ran into zombies at the age of seven in VICTOR STANDISH MUST DIE! The thought of dying as "fast food" did not appeal to him! LOL.

    Have fun this challenge; I plan to!!

  10. Zombies freak me out!!! They give me the heebie jeebies! That is, before they try to eat my brain. Not cool!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  11. Laura:
    Zombies are not my idea of a prom date either! :-) Mark Twain was just musing on why we are so fascinated with them.

  12. Roland, look at you...starting with Z! Love it!
    My older son has a fascination with zombies. Me: not so much.

  13. Susan:
    I lost that bet to the ghost of Mark Twain, and I had to! Don't ask what the bet was!! :-)

    Mark seems to think there is deep philosophy to our fascination with zombies -- that, or he is pulling our leg! Have a great challenge!

  14. I really dislike zombies, so any method of killing them is good for me, lol!

  15. Like your average congressman - funny!
    You had me worried. Thought I'd missed the whole month already.

  16. Zombie congressmen. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

    I'm taking a skillet to Washington.

  17. Today's fascination with zombies puzzles me. My son said it is from the mass apocalyptic fear. I say it is because the Twilight saga ended, vampires ran their race, so now new horror arises.

  18. HA! I love that you're going backwards! I am very picky about zombies, but I do love Zombieland. ANd I've heard compelling arguments for why PEOPLE in a zombie situation are interesting.

  19. are you challenging the challenge by starting at the end? ;)

    loved the post!

  20. How fun to go backwards. Very clever A to Z approach, Roland.

    I've never been much of a zombie fan, but I like Sam's social-psychological explanation of their popularity. Zombies and congressmen—yeah, I definitely get
    that. :)

    ~VR Barkowski

  21. ELISE:
    Mark is of the same mind! :-)

    It is April's Fool's after all. Mark couldn't resist! LOL.

    One skillet in Congress won't be enough I'm afraid! :-)

    I've read that zombie popularity goes on the rise when the country is facing crises of some kind. It is a way of channeling our fear of the dangers.

    Backwards R Me! Yes, we look at a zombie film or tv program and imagine what we would do in such a scenario. It was why CHUCK was so popular: the everyman thrust into the James Bond world of espionage.

    The ghost of Mark Twain is challenging the challenging -- and he likes how you phrased it. :-)

    The ghost of Mark Twain thought it would be fun -- and if I got into hot water, it would be even more hilarious for him! Beware of ghostly friends!!

    Mark was and is quite a thinker, especially in his essays. I think Congressmen might profit from some jail time! :-)

  22. Interesting take on the current Zombie culture. I would also add that we don't have any real, significant predators, so they serve that function handily.

  23. Rebecca:
    The ghost of Mark Twain might say Congressmen are America's brand of predators! Thanks for visiting, Roland

  24. Hey, I never wrote about Zombies but have watched films and played Zombie games online. This is the first blog of its kind that I have come across. A different style of writing and definitely interesting. Need to go through more of your blog posts. See you around.
    Happy A-Z challenge! It's my debut participation this year.

  25. Jeesh, won't the A-Z police catch you starting so brazenly with Z? This will set you apart from the crowd.
    I've never understood the fascination with zombies, but your theory helps me get a handle on it. (((shiver)))

  26. Anuradha:
    My ghostly friends are waiting for you to visit them in my prior posts, and some of my fictional friends like Alice, the Victorian ghoul, and Victor the French Quarter gypsy. I think you'll like them! Thanks for visiting.

    The ghost of Mark Twain chortles thinking of the trouble he may be causing me. He says hot water is good for scrubbing the soul clean!!

  27. Hi there! Good idea about the ravenous hunger, like consumers these days are never satisfied. I think Zombies came back, because they were something different. It started with vampires, about the time I decide I was going to start writing Werewolf stories, they became overglutted- so then I thought, hmmm zombies, well lo and behold! I wonder what the next Big Thing will be... Any guesses? Visiting on the A-Z

  28. Shayla:
    Serials I believe are the next big thing. I have written of a romance between a normal boy and a flesh-eating ghoul -- no movie studio has bid on it. LOL!