Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Begining

   In the past this blog has been about stories I am thinking of doing. As of today there is a new path I shall take it on, it shall now be about self promoting me and my current works and the day in and day out struggles a new author, who is a father and is unemployed, has to endure daily. Sure some of you who may read this may be saying 'boring' but, let me assure you, 24 hours in my shoes is anything but that.
   But for today I am going to start slow, i'm not going to 'bore' you with all those petty, mundane experiences a person such as myself has to go through from sun up to sun down. Instead, instead i'm just going to let out a large 'WHOOPIE'. "Whoopie?" you ask, why "whoopie?" Well, because quite frankly I can but more too the point, after 3.5 years of unemployment in the United States of Obama, I finally have recieved some good news. As of August 4th 2012 my first solo book will finally see print.
   So, all of you who read this please, spread the word, past it on your Facebook wall, your works water cooler and any where there is high visability and trafic. August 4th 2012, Knightwatch Press and Michael C. Dick presents
and as a final note to this small entry, anyone in the Northern Virginia area, on August 25th at Porter library in North Stafford Virginia, there will be a local authors book signing from 11-2, please join us. Later in the year, October 7th i believe, i'll be in sunny Buffalo, New York at the Comic Con doing book signings as well....SURE HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bowie V. Ibarra has done me a great honor.

I blame Freddy Krueger.
And it’s not because I’m a Jason Vorhees fan, either.
I blame Freddy Krueger for making jokes out of horrifying deaths.  And I blame Freddy Krueger for taking the ‘scary’ out of Halloween.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.
There was a time when Bill Cosby would make jokes in his early comedy routines about staying too late at the monster movies and having to walk home in the dark.  One night he knew he was out too long because it was 8pm.  That’s when the monsters came out.  Having spent the day watching the classic werewolf, vampire, and mummy movies, his imagination had been charged with monster mania.
The slashers came and went in the 80s, giving way to the comedic catharsis of Freddy Krueger, cracking a joke while eviscerating one of his victims in his dream deathland.
What happened?  Why the need for humor during a horror movie?
Let’s face it, laughing is good for the soul.  And as far as we can tell, we’re the only species on the planet that can laugh or understand humor the way we do.  The only other animal is the monkey that has been known to play jokes or rough up its friends in a silly manner.  And let’s not forget the YouTube video of the chimp that decided sticking its finger in its butt and smelling it was a good idea before throwing its hands up in the air in melodramatic shock and falling off its tree limb. 
It’s great to have such high-functioning brains.
And yet we humans take the joke a bit further.  Our high-functioning brains can take a ‘smell my finger’ joke just that much further.  I was once in a summer stock theatre show in Palo Duro Canyon many years ago, and there was this guy I’ll just call “Corey’.  Corey enjoyed goosing his friends by sliding his index finger up the pants portion of people’s butt-crack.  And while the people are in the middle of making that silly grunt of a surprise goose, he would stick that same finger under the victim’s nose and say, ‘smell that’.
Ah, yes.  Jokes and the high-functioning brain.
With the evolution of horror movies comes the evolution of humor, too.  We’ve always laughed at things that crack us up, and every individual finds humor in different things.  Mel Brook’s ‘History of the World’ makes light of laughter during the caveman days, where a caveman tries to act silly to no response from the tough crowd.  But when a dinosaur (!) appears and eats the caveman in the middle of his act, the crowd laughs out loud.
The mixing of humor with drama or tragedy is also nothing new.  Shakespeare used to inject humor in the middle of his darkest tragedies like ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Hamlet’.  It added to the peaks and valleys of the story, and was a great way to ease tension before ratcheting it up again.  I used that same convention in my zombie horror story, “Down the Road: On the Last Day” and “Down the Road: The Fall of Austin”, with a duo of characters (two friends in ‘On the Last Day’, and two clownish gang members in ‘The Fall of Austin’) to bring a little levity to the zombie apocalypse.
So just like in horror movies, the old comedies of yesteryear (Keystone Kops, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello) would elicit barely a chuckle with kids, or adults for that matter, like the shows probably did back in the day.  Humor, like horror, has also evolved and changed over the years.
 And that’s where this lovely humorous tale comes in.  Set in the world of Halloween Hallows, ‘When Good Holidays Go Bad: Rise of the Fiend” is like Goosebumps after an all-night bender.  It’s a good-natured parody of scary monsters of yesteryear with the humorous sensibility of an ‘Airplane’ movie.  It’s like Monty Python ate R.L. Stine and then wrote a book.
You will enjoy the laughs and you will enjoy the characters.  But most of all, you will enjoy the story. 
And you won’t have Freddy Krueger cracking a bad joke after dismembering someone.
So grab your favorite beverage and get ready for a fun read and plenty of chuckles.


Bowie V. Ibarra
Author of the ‘Down the Road’ zombie horror series

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Zombies Are People Too: THE BULLY

     It's been quite awhile since I last posted and to those that follow I'm sorry, been busy working on a series of books titled WHEN GOOD HOLIDAYS GO BAD. The first part of the story is at the editor, the cover art has been designed by the great and imaginative artist named Peter Fussey and hopefully will be in print within the next couple months. In the meantime I also have been kicking around an idea for a childrens series called Zombies are people Too. The shall deal with current problems our kids have to deal with growing up. The first is about bullies and the second about thinking they need to be popular. Below is the outline for the first instalment called ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE TOO: THE BULLY. Please give it a read and let me know what you think. Not about typos, just the man theme and any ideas on how to improve it. Your comments and critiques have been greatly appreciated in the past and will always be. Enough of my prattling...ENJOY.
Zombies Are People Too: The Bully

     “Good morning class, I would like you all too please welcome Ronald to our class. He just moved here so let’s make him feel welcomed alright!” Mrs. Jenkins the fourth grade teacher announced.
     “Good morning Ronald” some of the students greeted him while others yelled out “nice to meet you” but, out of all the students, two of them remained silent, starring at Ronald from across the room with a mean look on their face; elbowing one another knowingly.
     Ronald sat at his desk in the back of the class and slowly raised his hand and waved in greeting to all the kids who had pleasantly greeted him. As he lowered his hand, the young boy sitting next to him leaned over and whispered “Hey Ronald, stick with me buddy and I’ll show you around, okay?” For an answer Ronald smiled at Michael, the friendly boy, and then turned around to pay attention to the teacher.
     Later that afternoon, during lunch, Michael joined Roland at the lunch table and soon the two boys were talking about some of their hobbies and favorite television shows. As they sat and talked their pleasant conversation was interrupted by a loud, BOOMING, voice “Well, well, well, it looks like little, biddy Mikey finally has a friend, isn’t that sweet” Jay, a much larger boy than either Ronald or Michael teased as he elbowed his friend Todd in the ribs. “What do you think Todd, are there wedding bells in their future?” he continued.
     “BAA, HA, HA, HA and HA” Todd laughed loudly “that’s a good one Jay” he continued much louder than they were supposed to talk in the cafeteria “which one do you think will wear the dress, I’d bet it be Ronald-Ann, his lovely red hair would look so pretty against his pretty white dress. Hey Jay, get a load of that, I don’t know which is redder, his face or his hair” the two boys continued to laugh as, after grabbing both Ronald’s and Michael’s deserts, left.
     The remainder of the day went by miserably slow for the two new friends but eventually, much to their relief, the final bell sounded.
      “Quick Ronald, grab your books and follow me” Michael urged his new friend. Only seconds after the bell sounded both boys were out of their classroom door and weaved their way through the crowded hallway and outside of the school house.
     “What is it Michael, why are we almost running, did I miss something?”
     “Look Ronald, you need to trust me on this okay, just keep moving as quick as you can and as we walk, tell me where you live so I can make sure you get home by the quickest, safest route there is, okay?”
      For an answer Ronald simply nodded that he understood and as they approached the crossing guard they were both forced to stop while they waited for her to come over to help them cross the busy street. As Michael stood waiting he nervously looked over his shoulder back in the direction they had just come and at the school, worse yet, the two bullies, Jay and Todd as they quickly closed the distance in-between them.
     “Oh please, oh please oh please hurry up Ms. Crossing Guard” Michael started to mumble as she slowly crossed from the opposite side of the street to theirs. Before she had made it completely over, Michael took one more fearful look over his shoulder back in the direction of the two bullies then, grabbed Ronald under the arm and stepped out to meet the crossing guard in the street.
     “Now Michael, how many times do I have to tell you, you’re not supposed to step off the curb until I have come completely over” she told him “you’re not setting a very good example for your new friend you know? The next time this happens I’ll be forced to tell the principle who will probably tell your parents” she scolded as she finished walking the two boys to the opposite side of the street just before Jay and Todd had arrived. Safe on the other side of the street Michael took off running again, followed closely by Ronald. Soon the two boys tired but luckily, Michael new a good hiding spot and they hide there until Jay and Todd had past them by.
     “Michael, can you please tell me what that was all about?”
     “Look Ronald, there are some things that you really need to know, the first and most important is, avoid Jay and Todd at all times, especially after school.”
      “Why?” Ronald asked confused.
      “WHY, WHY” Michael shouted then caught himself as he quickly looked out of the bushes they were hiding in to make sure he hadn’t been heard “because those two are the biggest bullies you’ll ever meet. What they did today in lunch was nothing. This one time last year they cornered another new kid during recess and started picking on him. Well the new kid didn’t like it very much and told them to stop and then…” Michael stopped suddenly, too frightened to continue.
      “What? What did they do?” Ronald asked nervously.
      “No one knows he was never seen again.”
      With that both boys crawled out of the bushes and started making their way home again. Two more streets up Ronald suddenly said “Well Michael, this is where I need to turn; my house is five houses up the street. Hey, maybe if you ask your Mom and Dad you can come over and…” he stopped when he saw the frightened look on Michael’s Face. “What is it Michael, what’s wrong?”
     “You…you…you” Michael fought to speak “you live down there?” he finally got out.
     “Yes…why?” Ronald asked worried.
     “That’s the street Jay and Todd live on. Look Ronald, I’ve got to go before my Mom and Dad get worried about where I am, I’ll see you tomorrow in school” he hurriedly said then turned and ran away, waving to Ronald as he did.
     The remainder of the week in school got progressively worse for Ronald but, much to Michael’s relief not for him. Over the last few years Michael had been the target of Jay’s and Todd’s bulling but now there was a new kid to take that abuse. Sure Michael felt bad about it and he stuck by Ronald’s side but still, he didn’t do or say anything to help his new friend when Jay and Todd where mean to him.
     On Tuesday Jay and Todd cornered Ronald on the playground and pushed him off of the swing.
     On Wednesday they tripped Ronald as he was walking in the cafeteria carrying his lunch tray.
     On Thursday they caught up with him only a couple houses away from his own home and knocked him down in a mud puddle.
     Finally, on Friday, the stopped him before he got to school and tore up his homework before throwing it in a puddle of water.
     The weekend finally arrived, much to Ronald’s relief but, he was so sad he didn’t want to get out of bed. At ten o’clock Michael stopped by to see if his friend wanted to come out to play but Ronald’s mom said he was still sleeping. When Michael came by at eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock and lastly one o’clock Ronald’s mom told Michael she thought he was sick and wouldn’t be out the rest of the day. On Sunday, Michael tried again but met with the same result.
     Ronald’s mom was starting to get worried and late in the afternoon on Sunday she sat on the end of Ronald’s bed and tried to find out what was wrong. Ronald just shrugged his shoulders and told her he had a belly ache and he hoped he would be feeling better soon. Ronald’s mom had no idea that he felt so bad because of how bad he had been picked on during the week and she just assumed he was sick because of how he looked. Monday morning Roland trudged to school with Michael eventually catching up.
      “Hey Ronald” Michael called out “are you mad at me about something” he asked.
      “Yes Michael” his sick looking friend replied “you’re supposed to be my friend but as soon as those bullies started picking on me, you were nowhere to be found, why? If we’re friends then you’re supposed to be there for the bad and good times, not just the good, you left me alone…your no better than they are” he said sadly.
      Ashamed Michael just hung his head because he knew he had done wrong but then, his head sprung up and a smile quickly formed “I’ve an idea if you would care to hear it” he asked hopefully.
     “I’m all ears” Ronald said.
     After another day of having to deal with both Jay and Todd’s abuse, Michael staying by Ronald’s side the entire time, the school day ended and Michael and Ronald stayed after to talk with their teacher. After a long and lengthy explanation, making sure not to leave out any details of the suffering they had to deal with, the teacher stood and thanked them for bringing the bulling to her attention; both Michael and Ronald left the school confused that their teacher didn’t say anything else.
      The next morning after saying the Pledge of Allegiance the principle stayed on for a special announcement “Can Todd and Jay please report to my office immediately, thank you.”
      A hush fell over Ronald’s and Michael’s class as Jay and Todd stood up slowly and was escorted to the office by their teacher who returned five minutes later alone. The school day proceeded as usual except deep down in everyone’s mind they wondered ‘What happened to the two bullies?’
     That week went smoothly seeing as the two bullies didn’t return to the class that entire week. Michael and Ronald were so happy about there not being in school that a change seemed to come over both boys. There happiness was forgotten the following Monday when they returned to class to find the two bullies had returned however, they were both unusually quiet until recess.
      As Michael and Ronald played catch suddenly two large shadows fell over them then they were pushed to the ground from behind. Quickly both boys turned over and starred up at the two bullies that loomed over them.
     “We know it was you who told on us and we’re going to make you pay” they said menacingly. As the two ranted and yelled at the two boys on the ground, unknown to them, the rest of the class was slowly gathering around the two bullies, listening to the threats they were making.
     They yelled and screamed and kicked dirt at the two boys for almost a minute until at last three of their classmates stepped forward and shouted to be heard as far away as the classroom “You better knock it off Jay and Todd or we’re going to tell your mother’s, the principle and the teacher.”
      “Oh yeah?” Todd and Jay yelled spinning around only to be starring at the entire classroom confronting them.
     “Yeah!” they said
     “Yeah!” Two more voices joined the class as Michael and Ronald stood up and confronted the bullies.
      “Yeah!” two other voices said. As Todd and Jay turned to confront the two additional voices they were stunned to see the principle and the teacher outside watching the two boys bulling first hand. “Well boys I had hoped that giving you some time off from school might have changed your ways but I guess I was wrong. Head to my office, we’re going to have another meeting with your parents again.”
      “No not that!” both bullies started to cry “we promise we’ll never do this again if you don’t call them, please we’ll do anything you say” they begged.
      Michael and Ronald both stood there and looked at one another “Sir” Michael said.
      “Yes Michael?”
      “Ronald and I were wondering if Jay and Todd promise not to do any more bulling do you think that maybe you don’t have to call their parents.”
       “I don’t know Michael you see that even though their parents knew about it before they still did it again.”
      “Maybe they did it just because they were mad. Todd…Jay, if the principle doesn’t call your parents are you going to stop picking on everyone?”
      “YES!” the yelled in unison. “Thank you, thank you both” they cried further.
      “Alright” the principle said “but if I hear anything more about you two bulling I will call your parents, now everyone, back to class.”
      The remainder of that day a strange transformation took place with both Michael and Ronald. They felt truly happy for what they had done and a huge burden seemed to lift off their shoulders and, the nice thing about everything that had happened, Todd, Michael, Jay and Ronald became really good friends.