The Thing About Trauma

It’s not as easy
as being Something That Happened to You,
a package you opened once.

You will wake up in a new ZIP code,
have to wander your way home,
carry a few of the things you love
to this new place
you live in now.

& so you buy throw pillows.
You put up twinkle lights
and have a big celebration,
point at the open windows
and tell everyone who has ever seen you crying,

look,

look how I have not caged myself,
look what I have made
out of two paint buckets
and the blessing of my still-here body,

but, of course, trauma leans into the bar cart.
Spills a drink on the new rug.
Breaks off the door handle on his way out.

Trauma sends you letters,
without warning,
for the rest of your life,
usually disguised as something else— 

a medical bill, maybe,
or a box of photo albums packaged up by your father,
just so you remember
trauma knows exactly where you live—

who did you think built the house?

The Ultimate Dystopian Playlist

Need some music to get your creative juices flowing? We’ve got you covered!

1. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

2. Bones by Ms Mr

3. Uprising by Muse

4. We Are Responsible by Anna Johnson

5. Anything Could Happen by Elli Goulding

6. Renegades by X Ambassadors

7. Resistance by Muse

8. Stompa by Serena Ryder

9. It’s Time by Imagine Dragons

10. Lantern by Josh Ritter

11. Human by The Killers

12. Final Masquerade by Linkin Park

13. Escape by Kongos

14. Drive it Like You Stole it by the Glitch Mob

15. Edge of a Revolution by Nickelback

16. Crystals by Of Monsters and Men

17. Hero of War by Rise Against

18. Search and Destroy by 30
Seconds to Mars

19. Secrets by OneRepublic

20. Monsters by Matchbook Romance

21. Invincible by Skillet

22. Gold by Imagine Dragons

23. Human Race by Three Days Grace

24. Into the Fire by Thirteen Senses

25. Vox Populi by 30 Seconds to Mars

26. Human by Christina Perri

27. Some Kind of Monster by Neon Trees

28. What I’ve Done by Linkin Park

29. Away From the Sun by Three Doors Down

30. State of My Head by Shinedown

31. Cough Syrup by Young The Giant

32. Sick Of It by Skillet

33. Centuries by Fall Out Boy

34. Mountain At My Gate by Foals

35. Castle by Halsey

36. Pompeii by Bastille

37. Save the World by Swedish House Mafia

38. Who We Are by Imagine Dragons

39. I Own You by Shinedown

40. Collective Amnesia by Rise Against

41. Viva La Vida by Coldplay

42. Inferred by Placebo

43. Young Volcanoes by Fall Out Boy

44. Burn by Elli Goulding

45. Derezzed by The Glitch Mob

46. You Make Me Want to Die by The Pretty Reckless

47. Glittering Clouds by Imogen Heap

48. Outcast by Shinedown

49. Oh, What a Life by American Authors

50. It’s About Time by Young The Giant

51. Kingdom of Rust by Doves

52. Somewhere Only We Know by Keane

53. Kerosene Dreams by X Ambassadors

54. Recondite mixed by Wahbi Abderrahamane

55. Aftermath by Muse

56. Ready, Aim, Fire by Imagine Dragons

57. Empty Gold by Halsey

58. Believer by Imagine Dragons

59. Meet Me On the Battlefield by SVRCINA

60. Feed The Machine by Nickelback

61. The Bad in Each Other by Fiest

62. Warrior by Beth Crowley

63. Midnight City by M83

64. Not Afraid Anymore by Halsey

65. Yamaha by Delta Spirit

66. Beast by Nico Vega

67. Polarize by Twenty One Pilots

68. Gasoline by Halsey

Tips and Ideas for Writing Post-Apocolypse

Writing post-apocalypse/dystopian future can actually open a large range of possibilities and original ideas but there are some things we should try to keep in mind. The problem with this genre is that is a heavily research-based genre, it requires a lot of information so a lot of things can slip up or be forgotten.

Limits of the Body - This is something that seems to be largely forgotten unless in extreme situations. Yes, humans are tough, but they are also weak. We have that balance of nature within us. People can keep going whilst in a lot of pain, but something like a headache could knock them senseless. I knew someone who got shot in the leg and ran three miles because he thought he had been hit by the brick. The second he realised he had actually been shot and was safe to do so, he collapsed in pain. Quickly establish what your characters can and cannot do.

Children - Children are more robust than so many people give them credit for, they wouldn’t make it to adulthood otherwise. Children are emotionally stronger than they are physically but many children have a lot more endurance for their size than adults because they have to keep up with adults. Two good examples are The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

Hygiene - Namely with periods and stuff. It is hard work keeping the body clean, so personal hygiene will be poor but people tend to stop caring at a point when they realise how hard it is to maintain. A lot of people would revert to old fashioned methods of vagina health as well, so people would use reusable cloth or diva cups. The only book I know of that covers this is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Simple Killers - More people died of the Spanish flu than in the First World War (source). It is surprising how often it is “little things” that kill people off. An emotional death does not have to be all that dramatic, no bloody death or major killer. Something as simple as a small cut that festered will kill someone if not treated correctly. An asthma attack, diabetes, things we see as treatable would make quick work of us without medical aid. Also most deaths are really simple and sudden.

World Limitations - What is this obsession with guns and everything happening in the summer and unlimited cans of food? No, let’s be honest, none of these are realistic. Guns will not last, can goods will be snatched up by the shop loads, most natural disasters will happen in spring or autumn. Remember to do the key thing, make your world real and people are more likely to believe it.

Take a Page - Who are most renowned for their post-apocalyptic stories? British pre-1950s authors. Why? Their worlds are real, the possibilities of what could happen in those worlds are real. Some where and still are scarily accurate, they looked at the current and possible state of things, creating a world too similar to our own. Great examples like 1984 by George Orwell, The Death of Grass by John Christopher, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, Soylent Green and the Mad Max Series.

Signs in a Zombie Apocalypse

The fearless leader who is done with crap and somehow knows what the hell is going on: Capricorn, Sagittarius

The one with the guns and blowing crap up: Aries, Gemini

Goes on a risky supply run because they don’t care about crap they just care about food might as well die trying right: Taurus, Leo

Screams but bashes zombies’ heads in anyway: Libra, Scorpio

Hides in the cellar or attic or some random house and boards up all the windows: Pisces, Virgo

Is the zombie: Cancer, Aquarius