Warning: SPF required

Put on your sunglasses, ‘cuz I am beaming! If you haven’t checked it out yet, stop over to Jonathan Maberry’s blog and read his interview with ME! www.jonathanmaberry.com

While you’re there you can read the first chapter of the book I’m currently shopping, a YA paranormal romance titled FLASH.

I am so very lucky to be able to participate in a workshop with Jonathan, and have learned so much about the writing industry from him.

Also, did you know he’s working on a two-book YA Zombie story? I’m trying to wait patiently for ROT & RUIN to come out in Fall 2010, but when have I ever managed to even fake patience?

So if you end up with sunblindness or sunburn from my million watt smile today, I apologize. At least it will make me easy to identify at the BEA TweetUp tomorrow night and in Javitz on Saturday. Look for the smiling, spaztastic person who’s creating unintentional lines and accidental mischief.

That’ll be me. Get your sunblock ready.

These are life lessons, people!

And survival skills too.

It was math class and my students were diligently working their way through some operations with positive and negative numbers. I was playing with the Sony e-book reader that my colleague, Mr. Techie, had dropped off for me to explore as I continue to dither about if and what type of e-book reader I want/need.

I answered a question, handed out a few ‘good jobs’ and a ‘get back to work’ as I paged through Techie’s book selections. He had Pride & Prejudice, so I gave him + 10 cool points. He had all the Meyers books, which just made me laugh.

And then I got to last page in his catalogue and gasped: “Schmidites. Writer’s notebooks. Front rug. Nooow!”

Did I mention it was math class? And that I didn’t even have my whole homeroom and that some of the kids didn’t even have writer’s notebooks? Whatever. It’s called problem-solving.

The kids assembled themselves on our sharing rug; they were full of anticipation and questions: “What’s up?” “What’s going on?”

“I have something important I need to teach you. Now. This might be the most important thing I teach you all year.”

“What is it?”

“Kiddos, get the lights. “

And then I began to read to them from: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.

“There’s no such thing as safe,” I read to them, “only safer.”

We read about forms of transmission: bites, an open wound exposed to the virus (this begged for the comment: “Oh, so the next time I get a papercut, I shouldn’t go rub it on the nearest zombie?”), or if a zombie explodes on you. We read about the timeline of the disease’s progression: starting with fever, eventually death, then reanimation.

And then math class was over. “Writer’s notebooks!” I announced as the rest of my homeroom stumbled back in, bleary-eyed and drained from pre-algebra. Come to think of it, they looked a little zombified until they read the buzz of excitement and ran for their notebooks.

After we’d read about how to evaluate your zombie killing weapon, how to protect your home & school, and the list of items to have on hand (our favorite: earplugs to block out zombie moans), I turned the lights on and shared their writing prompt: “In your notebook, respond to the following: Zombies, dangerous or not?”

They would’ve written all afternoon if I let them. Many of them will write all weekend and share their zombie stories on Monday.

I felt like this was a book I had to read. After all, zombies are attacking… or at least infiltrating. Prior to October I’d lived a zombie-free life.

Now…

  • There’s the Austen thing
  • Then there’s Generation Dead by Daniel Waters (Kiss of Life comes out in May). I read this book in one night in October. I gave it to a co-worker the next day and haven’t seen it again because it’s been passed from one reader to the next.
  • And what about Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry? This doesn’t come out until March 3rd, but I was lucky enough to read it early. You need to buy it on Tuesday (along with a copy of Brook’s book).

And who would have thought I’d plan on attending a zombie night – complete with zombie movies? Now that I’ve read the Zombie Survival Guide, I know I can handle it. (I hope). If you see me there, feel free to sit next to me. I’ll gladly keep you safe… until I run from the room screaming and crying for my mom.

© Copyright Tiffany Schmidt - Designed by Pexeto