Monday Mythos – Early Zombie Awareness

As some of you know, I’ve been picking away at a mythology-based series for…oh, the last few years, at least. Yes, it’s largely based on Greek mythology, but I’ve also looked at the old stories of other cultures for ideas.

I will be upfront: this series does not contain zombies. At least not in the classical sense. But while researching I learned something interesting: the ancients were as concerned about the dead eating the flesh of the living as we are. I bring you what is perhaps the first piece of Zombie Awareness we have.

In Ishtar’s Descent Into the Underworld, the goddess of love and war heads to the realm of the dead. The gatekeeper doesn’t want to let her in. Ishtar, like any good badass, threatens her way through:

“Gatekeeper, ho, open thy gate!
Open thy gate that I may enter!
If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living.”

The dead will eat the living. And outnumber them. And all this between 1900-1600 BC, a considerably long time before Night of the Living Dead. This fear — or fascination — is old..

This is the Akkadian version, which is shortened considerably from its original Sumerian form. The Sumerian version is far more detailed and elaborate, and Ishtar is known as Inanna…but Inanna does not threaten to kick in the door or unleash the dead, which is kind of a bummer, because damn.

So what prompted its inclusion? I haven’t dug into any research on this one, but I find the threat fascinating. Not just because it seems like a direct forerunner to “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth” but because it’s so specific. I’m going to do this this and that, oh yeah, and flesh-eating fiends are gonna rule the planet.

Did some scribe think, Wow, I bet the dead eating the living would be shocking, or…perhaps…work with me here…somewhere along the line…the dead rose up and ate the living, and it was added to this story after the fact?

…I guess I’ve got my next short story idea.

And that, friends, is the first edition of Monday Mythos. And do yourself a favor. Next time you’re questioning how much you really want something, remember this: To get what she wanted, Ishtar would let the fucking dead up to devour the living.

She’s fascinating, by the way – in all her incarnations. Google her!

Batter my heart…

…deep-fry my lungs.

I finished the rough-rough draft of GNW3. It’s not brilliant, but the point of the rough is to get the storyline down and figure out how everything works. I have that. The second pass (which will happen after I’ve stepped away) will flesh things out, add detail…make things funny…all that good stuff.



Grave New Draft 2

43k/65k. Just over halfway there and ramping up to what I’m hoping is an action-packed finale.

I’m averaging about 5k a day, maybe a little under. I like this Fast Drafting because it makes me get the bulk of the story out on paper fast. Does it read atrociously? In parts. Does it need lots of revision? God, yes. But I’ve already stopped and started on this book twice. It’s time to get the damn thing down and I can revise the hell out of it later.

With that said, I’m mentally tired. I’m helping my parents out with some matters at home, and that plus additional paid work means the 5k is starting to wear on me a little bit. Still, just 22k to go before I call it a finished rough draft.

Then I get to chuck the thing aside for awhile and let it percolate.

Things I’m noticing…the basic plot I picked does work, though elements are coming to life as I scramble for words. It’s fast, loose writing — similar to the way I wrote the first book. Once I go back and complete the revisions I think it might turn out to be very entertaining.

Fingers crossed, anyway.


Look, I’m posting twice within a week! The stars must be aligning.

Well, no, not really. I was doing my taxes and had some vague idea that I would post more once they were complete…I’m almost done with them, actually. Once they’re off, I’ll get the formatting done for Starfall, hopefully (maybe) get that up by Friday. I also have some cosmetic updates I want to make to GNW and DBG, and hopefully by then Echoes will have worked its way out of Nook Press Purgatory. Nook Press reports it is looking into the issue.

Beyond that, not much to report. Saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and really enjoyed it. Still not big on superhero movies, but I do dig Captain Rogers.

Rumors of My Demise…

There are two reasons why I don’t have a tattoo. The first is because my mother is secretly a Bolton and a would take a tattoo as a sign to flay me alive.

The second reason is because I cannot imagine committing to anything enough to want it inked onto my skin forever.

This sort of relates to my seeming inability to blog regularly. I guess I fear commitment of any kind.

So I’ll just get to it. I have been writing, just not for me; I’m doing a lot of ghostwriting these days, which hasn’t left a ton of time for my own work. And to be honest, there’s a limit on how much creative juice I’ve got in me per day. The work I do for my clients always comes first, which means if I’m mentally wiped by the end of the day, well, my books can wait.

The end result of this is I haven’t released a Blackmore book in almost two years. I am pretty sure whatever readers I have left have given up. I did manage to get off my ass long enough to read the Nook Press agreement, sign it in blood, and get the zombie books back up on B&N. So I’ve got that going for me. Echoes is stuck in Nook Press processing hell, which apparently happens (and B&N doesn’t seem interested in answering my emails) so I’m still in a holding pattern there.

Anyway. The dry spell is about to end. It’s not zombies, but it’s a book. And it’s very close.



I forgot to update my spam-blocking plugin, and woke up to lots of fun Penis Enhancement comments on “Welcome Home” and a couple of other posts. Fun!

Always update your spam blocker, folks.


Good Times with Netflix

I’ve been watching World Without End on Netflix. I’m digging the costumes and the music, but the storyline…well, I’ve heard the book was much better and the miniseries has deviated quite a bit from the novel’s plot.

The miniseries, from what I can see, is about the long-suffering Caris, who only has one facial expression, and Godwyn, who was brought up by Miranda Hobbes Petranilla, and between the two of them, they engage on a merry killing spree through Kingsbridge and beyond. All in the name of God and family, of course.

Hmm. Merry killing spree makes the show sound better than it is. This isn’t some sort of medieval crime spree. More like a family saga gone horribly wrong.

With that said, I am enjoying it.

Holy shit, Godwyn just bit Matthias.

Is it wrong that I kind of hope this turns out to be a closeted medieval zombie flick? Hey, it is the Black Death.


I admit it: I ragged on this movie when I first saw the trailer because Darth Maul is in it.

I’m not kidding, by the way. Check out the comparison pic I linked to above. Maul didn’t die, he just grew out his hair (what he could of it) and headed to Earth, where he makes an honest living terrorizing children gifted at astral projecting.

Look, it’s hard for a Sith to find work these days, okay?

Kidding aside, the movie had some good scary moments, and once it was over…well, I couldn’t sleep because every time I dozed off, my subconscious became legitimately afraid that a crazy old demon lady was going to come and possess my body while I dreamed.

So I kept waking myself up.

Folks, it was not a good night.

I did see that Netflix added a bunch of new horror movies, so I’m sure I’ll check out some of them. Supernatural stuff tends to get to me more than the blood n’guts (Insidious had very little gore), so maybe I’ll indulge in some good ghost movies.

Or maybe I’ll decide sleep is important and save the scary stuff for the weekends.

In other news, I’ve become obsessed with Dragonvale.


RIP Roger Ebert

Never really watched Siskel & Ebert or Ebert at the Movies, but I loved reading his reviews. The man was one hell of a writer and it seems, overall, a pretty good dude.

Rest in peace, good sir.

“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

Roger Ebert