Author Topic: Lilies for Donald (zombie story)  (Read 17269 times)

jrderego

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on: September 19, 2007, 04:27:17 PM
Free to read at Tales of the Zombie War. Available now.

Comments welcome :)

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2007/09/19/lilies-for-donald-by-jeffrey-derego/

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Russell Nash

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Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 04:33:06 PM

OK, everybody read it and then if you want to hear it on PP send your emails to Ben and Alasdair.



Russell Nash

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Reply #2 on: September 21, 2007, 06:00:10 PM
Jeff, that's sick, man. 

I want to hear it on PP. ;D

I'll start harrassing Alasdair right now.



jrderego

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Reply #3 on: September 21, 2007, 07:48:11 PM
Jeff, that's sick, man. 

I want to hear it on PP. ;D

I'll start harrassing Alasdair right now.

LOL, okay! :)

Sick, but did you like it?

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
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Russell Nash

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Reply #4 on: September 21, 2007, 08:05:04 PM
Jeff, that's sick, man. 

I want to hear it on PP. ;D

I'll start harrassing Alasdair right now.

LOL, okay! :)

Sick, but did you like it?

I've already sent a PM to Alasdair telling him to reconsider it, so I guess I like it.



lowky

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Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 08:34:32 PM
I also sent off a message asking for it to show up on PP.


jrderego

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Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 05:33:48 PM
Free to read at Tales of the Zombie War. Available now.

Comments welcome :)

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2007/09/19/lilies-for-donald-by-jeffrey-derego/

This story just won the top prize at Tales of World Wars biannual fiction contest!

I'm $50 richer!

Thanks to all who read it and enjoyed it!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 05:44:06 PM by jrderego »

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


DKT

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Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 05:39:47 PM
Now you're an award-winning author :)

Although, you might already be one, I'm not sure  :-\


jrderego

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Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 05:44:52 PM
Now you're an award-winning author :)

Although, you might already be one, I'm not sure  :-\

always a nominee, never a winner... at least as far a the NH Small Press Association goes.

But it's more fun to write about zombies than it is to write about city hall meetings and zoning legislation!

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
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Anarkey

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Reply #9 on: October 13, 2007, 08:22:20 PM
Free to read at Tales of the Zombie War. Available now.

Comments welcome :)

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2007/09/19/lilies-for-donald-by-jeffrey-derego/

My comments are spoilery; you have been warned.

I'm late to the party, but I've just read your story, Lilies for Donald, and I wanted to let you know I liked it.  Your descriptions are vivid and convincing.  This line in particular, I thought, was very good: "Corrupted skin sloughs off his legs and the right side of his chest."  I have to admit I felt the headcount was a red herring, since we never quite got there.  You ended in a fine place, I suppose, but I felt like the main character was completely static...dead, you might say, and I wanted there to be some trajectory for her, some emotional blowback from having to kill Donald that you didn't provide.  A little of the long dialog with the Reverend in section 4 read a little stiff to me, but overall your dialog was great, and that between Phyllis and Linda really worked.

In essence, a good story, carefully written, with lots of beautiful details, even the horrific ones.

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Chodon

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Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 11:22:26 AM
That's the kind of disturbing story I would like to hear on PP!

I need to go take a shower...

Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither.


Russell Nash

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Reply #11 on: October 15, 2007, 11:50:40 AM
That's the kind of disturbing story I would like to hear on PP!

I need to go take a shower...

I tried taking a shower after I read it.  It didn't help.  An acid bath and a sandpaper towel off is more like it.



jrderego

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Reply #12 on: October 15, 2007, 01:55:19 PM
Free to read at Tales of the Zombie War. Available now.

Comments welcome :)

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2007/09/19/lilies-for-donald-by-jeffrey-derego/

My comments are spoilery; you have been warned.

I'm late to the party, but I've just read your story, Lilies for Donald, and I wanted to let you know I liked it.  Your descriptions are vivid and convincing.  This line in particular, I thought, was very good: "Corrupted skin sloughs off his legs and the right side of his chest."  I have to admit I felt the headcount was a red herring, since we never quite got there.  You ended in a fine place, I suppose, but I felt like the main character was completely static...dead, you might say, and I wanted there to be some trajectory for her, some emotional blowback from having to kill Donald that you didn't provide.  A little of the long dialog with the Reverend in section 4 read a little stiff to me, but overall your dialog was great, and that between Phyllis and Linda really worked.

In essence, a good story, carefully written, with lots of beautiful details, even the horrific ones.

Thanks for the comments Anarkey :)

I did want to address two things you brought up - (SPOILER ALERT!!!! FWEEEP FWEEEEP FWEEEEP FWEEEEP!!!!!)

Lilies for Donald is the first in a series of at least 3 stories. One of which will deal more openly with the Headcount, but I wanted to get the idea out there in this one.

The second point is that of the character of Linda. She's already mourned for Donald when he actually died. When she says it's as if she's watching someone else put the gun under his chin and pull the trigger, she is, she's watching herself before the apocalypse. By now though, and because of all that's gone on, she knows he's just a thing and not her husband. She's already beyond the anger at his infidelity. She's also stronger than she was, remember, she couldn't bear to shoot Donald when he initially died. She locked him in the crypt. She never confronted him about his infidelity when he was alive even though she knew, but now she does when it's brought back up. Finally, you can see how she's thinking pragmatically when she doesn't shoot the lock off the bedroom door because someone else might need the house and its fortifications now that Phyllis is dead.

That said, it's always inferred that a writer is the worst person to describe or analyze their own work, so take the preceding comments with that in mind. :)

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


jrderego

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Reply #13 on: October 15, 2007, 01:56:01 PM
That's the kind of disturbing story I would like to hear on PP!

I need to go take a shower...

:)

Me too!

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


jrderego

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Reply #14 on: October 15, 2007, 01:57:36 PM
That's the kind of disturbing story I would like to hear on PP!

I need to go take a shower...

I tried taking a shower after I read it.  It didn't help.  An acid bath and a sandpaper towel off is more like it.

ROFLOL! Admittedly, I get the heebie jeebies when I read it, even now.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Anarkey

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Reply #15 on: October 16, 2007, 03:15:53 PM
Lilies for Donald is the first in a series of at least 3 stories. One of which will deal more openly with the Headcount, but I wanted to get the idea out there in this one.

Oh, good.  I hope you'll link up the second and third installments when they're available.  I'd like to read more in this world.

Spoilery follows:

Finally, you can see how she's thinking pragmatically when she doesn't shoot the lock off the bedroom door because someone else might need the house and its fortifications now that Phyllis is dead.

I particularly liked that bit, and thought it went to character.  Even after you explained all the other internal character workings, though, (and all your explanations make sense and jive with what I read on the page, so well done), I still would have liked to see some movement on Linda's part inside the here and now of the story.  The only change that you described (her inability to shoot Donald then becoming an ability to shoot him, years later) halfway happens offscreen, because the burial is flashback.  Maybe I wouldn't have needed much, maybe just a moment of reflection "I can do this now, and I couldn't before", but as it was I felt that within the story itself (not counting history and flashbacks) Linda didn't change or grow or shrink or transform.  Surely there's some sense of loss that accompanies completely letting go of Donald, or of the self that couldn't quite shoot him?  Or maybe there's a satisfaction in closing that part of her life permanently?

Not to pick at you.  Like I said, I quite liked it, and I'm looking forward to the next installments.

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jrderego

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Reply #16 on: February 11, 2008, 10:32:35 PM
The second tale in this series is now available as a free read at Tales of the Zombie War.

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2008/02/11/the-marionette-by-jeffrey-derego/

Enjoy.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Thaurismunths

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Reply #17 on: February 12, 2008, 12:42:03 AM
The second tale in this series is now available as a free read at Tales of the Zombie War.

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2008/02/11/the-marionette-by-jeffrey-derego/

Enjoy.
Wahoo!
I was just thinking about this story today, wondering when you were going to write a sequel. Lilies for Donald was one of the most amazing zombie story I've ever read/seen/heard and I am eager to read this one. :)

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


Russell Nash

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Reply #18 on: February 12, 2008, 02:27:42 PM
The second tale in this series is now available as a free read at Tales of the Zombie War.

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2008/02/11/the-marionette-by-jeffrey-derego/

Enjoy.
Wahoo!
I was just thinking about this story today, wondering when you were going to write a sequel. Lilies for Donald was one of the most amazing zombie story I've ever read/seen/heard and I am eager to read this one. :)

Is this one as gross as the last one?



jrderego

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Reply #19 on: February 13, 2008, 01:49:38 AM
The second tale in this series is now available as a free read at Tales of the Zombie War.

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2008/02/11/the-marionette-by-jeffrey-derego/

Enjoy.
Wahoo!
I was just thinking about this story today, wondering when you were going to write a sequel. Lilies for Donald was one of the most amazing zombie story I've ever read/seen/heard and I am eager to read this one. :)

Is this one as gross as the last one?

More zombies, fewer maggots

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Russell Nash

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Reply #20 on: February 13, 2008, 04:58:35 PM
The second tale in this series is now available as a free read at Tales of the Zombie War.

http://talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2008/02/11/the-marionette-by-jeffrey-derego/

Enjoy.
Wahoo!
I was just thinking about this story today, wondering when you were going to write a sequel. Lilies for Donald was one of the most amazing zombie story I've ever read/seen/heard and I am eager to read this one. :)

Is this one as gross as the last one?

More zombies, fewer maggots

I'm there.



Thaurismunths

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Reply #21 on: February 13, 2008, 11:18:44 PM
It's official. You were well on your way before, but this latest installment has put you way over the top.
Having throughly reviewed all pertinent materials and after much discussion with the Holey Sea, I, Thaurismunths, High Priest of The Church of R-ssell N-sh, am proud to Canonize you: "Saint DeRego. TCoRN Patron Saint of Fiction; Zombie, and Superhero."
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 11:29:36 PM by Thaurismunths »

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


jrderego

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Reply #22 on: February 13, 2008, 11:56:23 PM
It's official. You were well on your way before, but this latest installment has put you way over the top.
Having throughly reviewed all pertinent materials and after much discussion with the Holey Sea, I, Thaurismunths, High Priest of The Church of R-ssell N-sh, am proud to Canonize you: "Saint DeRego. TCoRN Patron Saint of Fiction; Zombie, and Superhero."


Excellent. My plan is nearly complete. Soon Heaven will be mine to rule!

glad you dug the story!

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Thaurismunths

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Reply #23 on: February 14, 2008, 12:27:23 AM
It's official. You were well on your way before, but this latest installment has put you way over the top.
Having throughly reviewed all pertinent materials and after much discussion with the Holey Sea, I, Thaurismunths, High Priest of The Church of R-ssell N-sh, am proud to Canonize you: "Saint DeRego. TCoRN Patron Saint of Fiction; Zombie, and Superhero."


Excellent. My plan is nearly complete. Soon Heaven will be mine to rule!

glad you dug the story!
In all honestly it really was amazing. I was WAY more creped out when he was locked in the closet then when the zombies came. I could really sympathize with the whole scene because it played on a lot of my own fears of claustrophobia and abandonment, and childhood memories of getting locked in to places by my siblings.
I believe you said there was a third one, but have you considered of going farther with this story line?

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


jrderego

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Reply #24 on: February 14, 2008, 12:59:13 AM
It's official. You were well on your way before, but this latest installment has put you way over the top.
Having throughly reviewed all pertinent materials and after much discussion with the Holey Sea, I, Thaurismunths, High Priest of The Church of R-ssell N-sh, am proud to Canonize you: "Saint DeRego. TCoRN Patron Saint of Fiction; Zombie, and Superhero."


Excellent. My plan is nearly complete. Soon Heaven will be mine to rule!

glad you dug the story!
In all honestly it really was amazing. I was WAY more creped out when he was locked in the closet then when the zombies came. I could really sympathize with the whole scene because it played on a lot of my own fears of claustrophobia and abandonment, and childhood memories of getting locked in to places by my siblings.
I believe you said there was a third one, but have you considered of going farther with this story line?

Oh sure, I've got another one three quarters written, and the situation and town are well developed enough to keep the stories going for a long time. Like the Union Dues stories, there are characters and events that carry over from one story to the next without necessarily creating an arc.

I got the idea for this story, a visual idea really, of women's feet walking on air. The story sort of wrote itself from that image out. In case you're ever on Jeopardy and the category is "useless trivia about Jeff DeRego" I wrote the rough draft in longhand on the back of old training outlines in the cube I currently occupy at a job I loathe, that will mercifully be ending on the 22nd of this month. Plus, I wanted to show a contrasting character to Linda, who was so self sufficient in Lilies for Donald, Pleasant Hollow needed a jerk to balance things out.

I've got plenty of ideas for the residents of Pleasant Hollow (and the surrounding area). I am just hoping that Tales of the Zombie War continues to accept them, or barring that, a paying magazine agrees to run them (cough... cough... pseudopod... cough...). Zombie fiction is a really hard sell these days and I am not totally inclined to write for a non-paying market, or what I am certain will be virtually impossible to sell. But, and this is a big but, the readers of Lilies for Donald have been so awesomely enthusiastic for the Pleasant Hollow stories that I enjoy just seeing them out there for free and open access.

Besides, who knows, an agent or film/TV producer might stumble on it and dig it and I'll be able to write them for as long as I like without having to look for work like I'll have to start doing again on the 25th of February.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html