In our Cure for the Holidaze episode #150, Emz chats with Loren Rhoads. Listen below and check out her new book, 199 Cemeteries to See Before You.
Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. She writes about graveyards for the Horror Writers Association and blogs blogs about cemeteries as vacation destinations at cemeterytravel.com.
“Conventional music laws” absolutely doesn’t describe my music… It’s more like musical impressionism, instrumental, not based on melody at all, but rhythms are the interesting thing about those tracks. Rhythm, in my creation, is an ALGOrithm, which a listener need to think about and figure out. Combination of math and music. So when the listener figures out the “abstract” beats and bars, it gives him more than a satisfaction from the sound, melody, atmosphere, etc. but also a feeling like solving a mystery. Obviously, the listener would have to play the track more times so he could think about that… Algorithm instead of normal, 4/4, boring, for ages overused rhythm gives a new dimension to the music.
So I explained all the weirdness about my music and now I should be more specific about the “genre”. Instrumental, an atmospheric/abstract, dark/horror, cacophonic, low tuned sharp guitar sound (the main guitar sound is played on bass guitar with hard distortion) combined with a sweet soft guitar that makes a contrast. Dirty bass, regular drums, piano, some sythns.Sounds good when home alone, or walking in a city at night…
Bio: Karel Fošumpaur, CZE, 17 y.o. “Hormones” (one-man-band). Track “Gland” from the first self-titled album “Hormones”.
The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, but it is also a time of chaos. Imagine what would happen if during all of the holiday’s sales a zombie apocalypse occurred? That would be a very Black Friday, indeed. Surviving the Zpoc would be a whole new level of Holidaze. The thought of Pumpkin Spice Zombies frightens me more than anything.
When dealing with zombies and other apocalypses, one thing that I find is often missing is a discussion of keeping yourself fed. Sure, weapons and shelter are important. Fighting off hunger and thirst is crucial however to keep fighting off the undead hordes.
Both are reliable resources that read like experienced prepper’s guides. Both have thorough chapters on improving our survival skills. They aren’t gimmicks, either. I think even the Boys and Girls Scouts would learn a thing or two. Les Stroud would be proud.
The included recipes differ dramatically, however. The Walking Dead Cookbook’s recipes are inspired primarily by characters and locations from the series. (Like Carl’s Chocolate Pudding or The Kingdom’s Breakfast Cobbler.) The Zpoc Cookbook, however, has more relatable recipes but with the usual campy names. (Like The Wok-ing Dead Stir-Fry and Wasteland Cupcakes.)
In many ways, the TWD Cookbook is an updated version of the Zpoc Cookbook. The chapter structure is a bit more organized and it simplifies a few concepts. It is also, of course, packed full of references to the characters of the TV show.
One thing that the TWD cookbook has that the other lacks is a whole chapter on alcoholic beverages. The Zpoc Cookbook does have a recipe for a mead, which would be excellent for barter, but that’s it. Conspicuously absent from both is a classic Zombie recipe, though TWD has a killer drink called The Walker which looks tasty. TWD also describes how to make mead. I think they both missed the opportunity for more instructions on how to make other boozes.
For example, I was at first excited to see the recipe for Cherry Moonshine in the TWD, but this is actually just how to take Everclear and fortify it with cherry syrup. Tasty for other cocktails, true, but learning basic distillation, like say to make applejack, would be a useful skill. (Yes, distillation is still illegal in most places, but during the apocalypse, I think prohibition is going to be the least of anyone’s worries.) Distilling alcohol can be useful as a way to make fuel as well, which will be handy in a post-apocalyptic gas shortage. For that matter, distilling water would be a vital skill, but while the Zpoc briefly mentions a solar still, the TWD only discussed boiling and filtration.
While both books do cover fishing and hunting and recipes for such wild game that you might catch (each has a squirrel recipe, for example), neither cookbook heavily features recipes using the food you have foraged, grown, or preserved yourself. There was one recipe in TWD Cookbook for chocolate chunk cookies that does make use of applesauce, and later provides a recipe for making and preserving your own applesauce for stocking up during harvest season. However, the majority of the recipes assume you have a decently stocked pantry and icebox and that you are willing to use your rations. For example, I think you’d be hard-pressed to sacrifice eggs and milk to make a homemade batch of chocolate pudding rather than stock up on canned chocolate pudding. I’m sure Carl would understand.
The Walking Dead Cookbook is an excellent coffee table cookbook. The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse is a standard paperback size which would be more practical in a Bug-Out-Bag. They would both be fun gifts this holiday season. Really the question is are you a fan of The Walking Dead or a zombie fan in general? I think The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse may be the better resource, and it is less expensive if that matters. Both books have Kindle versions available. If you can’t decide, you can always buy both, like I did.
As Lauren says in The Walking Dead Cookbook, “Living or dead, there’s one thing that unites us all—hunger.” During the zombie apocalypse, holiday gatherings with your family, friends, and fellow survivors will mean more than ever.
“Dance of the Sugar Plums” “Night of the Krampus” “Coventry Carol” “Winter Storm” “Up on the Rooftop”
Russell asked, he received.
holiday shopping ugliness, relative madness, horrible family experiences, helping the needy – what about me? best horror gifts, snowglobes, nightmare before christmas, vampire gifts, buffy the vampire slayer board game, walking dead glasses, they live, walking dead yahtzee, firefly yahtzee, horror gift guide, movie tickets, ulta, paxton gate, skeletons, taxidermy, bones, pirate store, diy, craft store, etsy.com, evil dead, regretsy, homemade gifts, amazon gift certificate, midnight syndicate, frankenstein salt and pepper shakers, forever knight season 3, monster fluxx, booooopoly, take friend out, chat about horror, loren rhoads, 199 cemeteries to see before you die, ipso facto, goth show, morbid curiosity, highgate cemetery in london, cremation, honoring the dead, morbid meals, zombie cookbooks, the walking dead cookbook and survival guide, flesh burgers, brains, theme song band, game, guess the thing, courtney mroch, haunt jaunts, haunted shops, restaurants, castles, crazy skeleton lady, wax works, jekyll island in georgia, spooky holiday events, escape games, serial killer in your mailbox, hellraiser, evil dead, nightmare on elm street, underworld, scream, phil rickman, dickens, king, woman in black, lucy blue the last winter night, dead mail, jeff, IT, exorcist, pennywise, stranger things, amanda, midnight texas, karysa, krampus, a christmas horror story, silent night, deadly night, jack frost, russell, post halloween depression, vincent price cookbook, danny elfman, night of the comet, ginger snaps back, the thing, snowglobe, herbig brown eyes, dead like me, reaper, new movies coming, another wolfcop, shape in the water, guillermo del toro, insidious the last key, cloverfield, winchester the house that ghosts built, strangers prey at night, ready player one, a quiet place, slenderman, the purge, hotel transylvania 3, the nun, predator, meg, cadaver, the little stranger, goosebumps horrorland, the house with the clock in the wall, edward gorey, john bellaires, Halloween H40 and more… have a great spooky holiday!
It seems surreal that I have the best job ever, writing, teaching, and speaking about horror as a creative, a fan, and an academic. I have a confession, though: I’m an accidental horror blackacademic.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known I was a writer. I couldn’t not write. Ever. Stories haunted me day, night, and whatever falls in between. So that was a definite career goal. I’ve also always had the gift of gab. As a child, I wasn’t too sure that folks would pay me to talk, so I didn’t factor it into life planning. And I’d always been told I’m good at teaching people stuff. A stint in banking confirmed this, and for years, I was paid to be a corporate trainer. All other facets of my life included some type of teaching, so I embraced it on a small scale.
But then I met Dr. Kinitra Brooks. I’ll never forget that moment at World Horror Convention 2013 that had me moving through the halls of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans and running into another black woman, not a common sight at horror events I’ve attended. A thrill coursed through me as I saw that she was talking to someone at the time. I decided to just linger in the area until she was done. And then I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned around to face a brilliant gaze and beautiful face. I was hooked.
If it sounds like a cheesy “love at first sight” kind of thing, that’s because it was exactly that for me. Over the course of the conference, we spent some time together. She did my make-up for the awards show…my face was BEAT! We had lunch together a couple of times during the conference and I was enamored of her. One of those lunches was with the ever fabulous Linda Addison and I struggled with that meal to not go all creepy fan girl on both of those amazing writers.
This chance meeting had an invaluable impact on my life. I was looking forward to receiving my graduate degree later that month. I came out of the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University a much better writer. I also literally came out as a horror writer during my stint there. Having met Dr. Brooks gave me a focus for my academic career I hadn’t originally considered.
She and Linda Addison later contacted me about a project they were working on, an anthology of horror written by black, female writers. I was super excited to talk with them. One of the best edit suggestions I’ve ever received was when I expressed concern over the length of my short story and Ms. Addison basically told me, ”The story is as long as it needs to be.”
I now find Dr. Brooks’ research and writings to be the main anchor on which I base my own research work on the horror genre and black femininity. I’m now, proudly, an accidental horror blackademic.
R.J. Josephisa Texas based writer and professor who must exorcise the demons of her imagination so they don’t haunt her being. A life-long horror fan and writer of many things, she has recently discovered the joys of writing in the academic arena about two important aspects of her life: horror and black femininity.
When R. J. isn’t writing, teaching, or reading voraciously, she can usually be found wrangling one or five of various sprouts and sproutlings from her blended family of 11…which also includes one husband and two furry babies.
R.J. can be found lurking (and occasionally even peeking out) on social media:
Excerpt and Story Notes II: “Mama’s Babies” by R. J. Joseph
I smelled expensive cologne on him and knew he was probably lying. If he left, I couldn’t even load up the kids and go to the pharmacy myself. “The café doesn’t open until nine. It’s only four now.”
“I got stuff to do, Zenobia. Get off my back about it.” He left out, slamming the screen door behind him.
I turned to my babies, lined up in the kitchen behind me, Evaline moaning more incessantly than usual. “Okay, Mama’s babies, let’s go put in a movie. Ray, Jr., it’s your turn to pick.” My sweet-faced baby boy smiled at me with uncharacteristically tired eyes and ran into the living room. I unlocked her wheelchair and followed Janey to the couch.
Two movies later, Evaline and Janey were burning with fever. I thought Ray Jr. felt warm, too, so I gave them all fever reducer before putting them to bed a little earlier than usual. After my shower, I sat in bed with a book, too preoccupied to really read it. Instead, I stood and went to the bedroom window. The room overlooked the backyard, which bordered the Brazos River.
I hated that old stinky river, hated the river critters even more. I was glad to only have to chase two kids out to the fence. Janey and Ray Jr. always wanted to take Evaline with them on adventures, and I was glad her wheelchair made them move too slowly to get completely away from me. They loved their sissy and I knew they’d take care of her when I passed on. We really couldn’t count on their daddy to do much of anything.
After I finally fell asleep, Evaline cried out loudly. I stumbled into the girls’ room. Her bed was full of diluted blood, still leaking from her eyes. The fever seemed to be breaking, but she thrashed around like she had severe gas pains. Janey tossed in her little bed, too, but she seemed to stay asleep. I changed Evaline’s sheets and rocked her until she calmed. Then I lay her back down and pulled up the bed guard. Ray Jr. slept peacefully in his room.
“Mama’s Babies” found a home in the anthology Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Volume II after haunting me for years as a nightmare that needed to be exorcised. One of the most horrific aspects of navigating life for me is through the various terrors of parenthood. Those fears rode me like the demons they are in this story.
Excerpt and Story Notes: A Woman’s Work by R. J. Joseph
Jamarcus was on that crazy tip before he hit the door. I could smell it on him, underneath the sweat that drenched his dingy wife beater tee.
He clumped into the kitchen, sucking his teeth. “Hamburger again?” He slammed a plastic grocery bag of empty, stinking food containers into the sink, ignoring the clean dishes already there, waiting to be rinsed.
Ten years of marriage had taught me that the conversation could go badly, whether I answered or not. I remained silent.
“You don’t hear me?”
I waited a couple of beats while my own anger leaped inside my chest. My neck prickled from the fire bubbling inside my skin.
“The whole block hears you.” I turned from the sink and faced him. He needed to back off. He didn’t always. Jamarcus was a handsome man, with chocolate colored skin that stretched over tight muscles and gleaned from his long day at work. I had loved him dearly once, warts and all. But I was getting tired of his shit.
He stared at me a moment and threw himself into a chair like a petulant child. “I work hard, you know. I’m sick of eating the same old thing every night.”
“It’s the best I can do, Jamarcus, when you spend money we don’t have on that bike of yours.” I placed a plate with the hamburger meat and macaroni in front of him.
“Oh, I’m gonna get my bike tricked out. And you nagging won’t stop me from going to Bike Week next month, either.”
“Do I ever nag you, Jamarcus? You do whatever you want all the time and I don’t say a word.” He wouldn’t meet my eyes and mumbled under his breath instead.
I held myself in check long enough to gently set a glass of ice on the table next to him, along with a pitcher of fruit punch. A roach scurried underneath my feet as I walked down the hall towards the children’s room.
The furious tears I’d held at bay slipped down my face as I ran my hand along our oldest son’s cheek. He’d been running a fever earlier, and I was thankful he felt cooler. I didn’t know where the money would have come from if I’d have had to take him to the urgent care clinic. Jamarcus would have told me the boy was alright, and to not baby them so much. But I knew when they were really sick, and Jr. was fighting some kind of kid cooties.
“A Woman’s Work” appears in the anthology Transitions and Awakenings and has a pretty dark history. Borrowed heavily from a kernel of an idea, I wanted to play around with the idea that feminine agency often looks monstrous in our society. What evolved from that was the story of a harried housewife who struggles with fitting into the boxes society would have defined her existence.