I appreciate the opportunity to muck up Besser’s blog. As I write this I am currently involved in the Winter of Zombie blog tour. I’m pushing my short story collection, ZOMBIES BELIEVE IN YOU and a short story I have in ZOMBIES: MORE RECENT DEAD with Prime Books. Links to those books are at the end of this post.
I’m also doing NaNoWriMo trying to produce the first book of what will end up being an ongoing zombie series. I’m knocking out and starting freelance and ghostwriting jobs hoping to catch up on rent. I’m also joining Richard Chizmar over at Cemetery Dance in his project of rereading all of Stephen King’s work. In my version of the #StephenKingRevisited challenge, I am rereading all of Stephen King’s novels in the order that they were published. I’m hoping to learn something about long fiction through this process. I will blog before and after each book with what I pick up from this experience for those who are interested. I will also link to Chizmar’s posts on the official site and Bev Vincent’s brief history posts he is writing for Chizmar as he reads each book. You can get to those from my link in the next paragraph.
I don’t know what I am doing. I am struggling to put together the word counts that I used to produce somewhat naturally. Some of that is due to struggling with my health. Some of it is being up in my head instead of just producing on the page. The rest of it is doubts about my ability to keep doing what I am doing.
The title of this post comes from Becca giving me free reign to unload on all of it, so here it is. As I fall short a few days on NaNoWriMo, I’m looking at drafting for a few days without tracking the word count. I will then look at the end of the week and see how “just writing” has worked for me.
I don’t think it is writer’s block. I also hold to the new philosophy that writer’s block is just fear and doubt translated into inaction. My job and identity are as a writer. I decided that before I was making a living at it. Now that I’m seeing a bit of success at that I seem to be trying to balk with doubts of my own ability.
Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. I love having so many of the people I care about gathered around sharing what we’re thankful for. I just absolutely love what the holiday represents. I don’t want to get into the history and the politics of the holiday, I only want to speak about the spirit of it. It’s very important to take the time to appreciate the things around you. With our busy lives we so often forget to take that time. Sometimes we take the people, and things, we love most for granted.
Also, the food frigging rocks. Succulent turkey (or tofurky) with that crisp buttery skin, steamed Brussel’s sprouts topped with butter, creamy mashed potatoes with thick gravy made from the giblets, cinnamon sweet potato casseroles with toasted marshmallow topping, ended with the tangy spice of pumpkin cheesecake… Bliss.
So, in the spirit of being grateful and sharing, I’m grateful to share this NC-17 short story with you – Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your families and friends be healthy, happy, and grateful for you.
Turkey Day by Jaime Johnesee
Every year we would go to the Jacobsen’s farm and pick out a turkey. I hated the screaming of the bird when Mr. Jacobsen would grab it to lop its head off. Every damn time that turkey would scream and every year I would beg my dad not to take me back there. I didn’t like it, didn’t understand why we couldn’t just buy a frozen turkey from the grocery store. He didn’t listen, and so, year after year I had to participate in the slaughter of a poor, defenseless, admittedly tasty animal.
Although I shouldn’t say defenseless because this one time Jacobsen got his ass handed to him when a big thirty pound tom decided to fight for his life. The turkey broke his nose and punctured his right eye before a farm hand managed to pull the thing off him. I was rooting for that turkey. I’d like to think he went to his grave a hero. He was absolutely delicious as a sandwich, so I guess he had that going for him.
Dad died before Thanksgiving this year and, as I held the frozen Butterball in the aisle of our local grocery store for the first time ever, I found myself oddly missing that much-loathed trip. I put the store brand turkey back in its place on the frozen pyramid and walked out of the store. I’d go to Jacobsen’s and get the turkey myself. My wife and I would dedicate the dinner this year to Pop and we’d make sure all his favorites were on the table.
I waved goodbye to the cashier, my neighbor, and headed for my car.
“Looking for a turkey, mister?” The boy approached on my right and startled me. He couldn’t have been older than sixteen.
“Yeah, I’m going to Jacobsen’s right now, actually.”
“I can get you just as good a bird for cheaper. Won’t make you watch the end, neither. ”
That appealed to me greatly and I stopped and faced the kid. I’d never seen him around before.
“Which farm do you represent?”
“Oh, uh, Smythe’s.”
“Are the turkeys organic?”
“Are they what?”
“Organic. No antibiotics, hormones, fed a good diet, allowed to run free?”
“Sure thing, mister.”
“Lead the way, kid.”
We got into our cars – his a beat up, blue and gray 1977 Jeep Honcho. I followed him to Oak Street and grunted as I realized he was taking me out of town. I preferred to buy as local as possible so this wasn’t something I was comfortable with. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I wanted to get the turkey and get home quickly. I had a case of beer back home that wasn’t going to drink itself. Holidays were stressful times and the only times of the year I actually drank. Then again, family will do that to you.
The boy drove to the edge of the county and just when I was about to turn around and head back (any savings on the turkey would be offset with the amount of gas my SUV would guzzle), he pulled into a driveway that led through a dense patch of woods. I began to feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing. As my car slowly drove through the thicket lining either side of the tatterdemalion drive I felt sure that there was no way someone could possibly live there. The driveway looked like it had been overgrown for at least two years. I ignored my instinct to back up and head home, certain I was going to get a turkey, go home, hole up with my case, and drink the whole damn weekend away. Uncle Fred hitting on my wife was not going to bother me this year. It’d still bother her though, for sure.
I pulled up into a yard that was just as overgrown and choked with weeds as the driveway. The house sat derelict and broken. The windows were boarded up and the porch roof had collapsed. Nobody lived here, nobody could – the second story had collapsed into the first. I stopped the car and threw it into reverse, but I was too late. Another truck blocked me in. It was the twin of the one in front of me. Fuck, I thought to myself. They were going to rob me, or worse. I’d seen Deliverance I knew what crazy guys did to sane ones. I felt no urge to squeal like a pig. I locked my doors. It was stupid and pointless as I was basically in a windowed box. If they wanted in they’d get there.
A man climbed out of the Honcho behind me and came to my window.
“You looking for a turkey, son?” He was old, at least seventy, and I relaxed a little.
“Why you looking so nervous, boy?”
“Well, sir, I’m blocked in at a house I don’t know by two people I don’t know. It’s a mite uncomfortable.”
“Aw, yous just a poor baby, ain’t ya?” He chuckled.
“Sir?” I was certain the squeal-like-a-pig moment had arrived and I screamed at myself not to cry.
“What sorta turkey you want, son?”
“Twenty-pounder would be nice.”
“Oh, yeah, bird like that’d be real nice for sure. Bet it’d cook up nice, buttery, and crispy on the outside, moist and juicy in the center.”
“That’s what I’m hoping for. My family just loves Thanksgiving.”
“What decent family don’t?” He gave me a mean sort of squint and I nodded my agreement. I took a quick look at the boy who had lured me here and saw him get out of his Jeep. He went around to the back, took out a tarp, an axe, and a bag of apples. It reminded me of some crazy Wile E. Coyote trap and I just stared, transfixed as he began setting out the tarp. A small TV tray came out next and on it the boy assembled a myriad of odd tools.
“What are those for?” My voice came out much smaller and squealier than I had expected.
“For guttin’ the turkey. You can’t take a turkey home with the innards left inside. Why, that’d ruin the meat.” A small bead of drool appeared at the corner of his mouth.
What the hell had I gotten myself into? I was starting to feel slightly panicked when the boy grabbed a cage from the back of the old man’s Honcho and set it on the tarp. There was a turkey inside. I almost sighed with relief.
“He be ready soon. You gon’ watch him end that bird’s life, right?”
“He told me I wouldn’t have to.”
“If you’re to be takin’ a soul’s life then you ought to look ’em in the eyes while you do. Dontcha think?” He looked at me hard and I felt like I was sitting in my old family home getting chastised by my father. My horrible, evil, rotten father. Suddenly, I hated this man. I despised his very being.
“Stupid fuckin’ turkeys,” I mumbled.
I was never able to face the truth behind what really went on at the Jacobsen farm with my dad. That’s why he created me. I was there to step in for him at those moments.
When the old man stuck his face closer to mine in an effort to hear me better I grabbed the pen from my shirt pocket and thrust it up through his jaw. He started trying to scream, but the blood pooling in his mouth made screaming near impossible. This wasn’t my first time wielding a pen. I prefer close kills. It’s something Daddy taught me. Well, drilled into me, really. All those neighborhood pets he got me started on. Yes, sir, every Thanksgiving we went out and found us a turkey. As much as we liked the Jacobsen’s family, the meat we got off them was getting too stringy. The homeless that showed up to work their ranch tended to be way to lean to make good turkeys. This year was different. This year there’d be two.
Oh, I couldn’t have taken the two together, but I have a good chance with the boy now that the old man is gone. I opened the door of my car and stepped out, moving closer to the boy with every step. He had his hands wrapped around the turkey’s neck and didn’t even see me pick the axe up. I swung it overhead and let gravity do my job for me, it slid into his skull and he doubled over, releasing the turkey in the process.
The bird looked at me and said, “Hey, thanks, man” before running off into the woods.
“Happy Thanksgiving, bird,” I called as I went to load my turkeys into my car. The family would be eating good tonight. We had so much to be thankful for this year.
Visit my interview with Jaime Johnesee to learn more about her and her “Bob the Zombie” series:
Bec: Welcome to my blog! Please start by telling everyone about yourself –
Rhonda: Oh, man. Way to start out with a super tough questions. LoL I’m totally going to cop out and just post a 1st person version of the standard bio I’ve been using lately. 😉
I am driven by a desire to do All The Things. I have been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and am the editor of several anthologies including (most recently) Fae and A is for Apocalypse.
In addition, I am a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium.
Bec: What is your most recent release(s)?
Rhonda: I’ve had some poems and short stories published in various places in the past few weeks, but my most recent publication where mine is the only name on the cover would be White Noise. White Noise is a collection of a whack of poems I wrote about the zombie apocalypse. They are mostly reprints (meaning they’ve been published elsewhere first), but this is the first time they’ve been gathered together in the same place.
Bec: What genres do you most like to read?
Rhonda: Everything. I’m not kidding. I read everything. For Niteblade and anthologies I read a lot of short speculative fiction and novel-length spec fic fills a lot of my leisure reading as well, but I don’t ONLY read that genre. I also love nonfiction, literary fiction, classics. P.G. Wodehouse and Charles Dickens are very near the top of my list of favourite authors, for example. Though that love of classics isn’t very well represented in it, here’s the list of books I’ve read so far this year according to Goodreads. Quite a variety, but no more than I’d expect on anyone’s bookshelfs. J
Bec: What genres do you most like to write?
Rhonda: I think I prefer fantasy and horror because while there are definitely rules, they feel far more bendy than when I’m writing something which is more strictly “mainstream” (for lack of a better word choice).
Bec: I know you’ve recently been to a couple conferences… Would you like to share a little bit about those with us?
Rhonda: This year I attended three conventions: When Words Collide, World Fantasy, and Pure Spec. All three had awesome and totally different things going for them. When Words Collide is where we launched (and sold out of) FAE, an anthology I edited for World Weaver Press. It was also the first time I was ever on a panel at a convention so that was frightening in the best possible ways.
At World Fantasy not only did I get to meet up with people I’d only seen before online (which is what happens at every convention, amirite?), but also both anthologies I edited this year, FAE and A IS FOR APOCALYPSE were represented in the readings. And I got to talk to people about them, and sign copies. At one point, I even had a line of people who wanted me to sign their books. Okay, okay, it was of three people, but dudes – it was a line!
Pure Spec takes place right here in Edmonton, within walking distance of my house even. That alone makes it pretty awesome, but it’s also fantastic to get a chance to hang out with local friends and talk about work and everything else. J What’s more, this year at Pure Spec was the first time I read any of my work out loud in public. I was taking part in the Character Death Match (which is as awesome as it sounds) and I was eliminated in the first round BUT I read my whole excerpt without fainting or throwing up so I still count it as a win. LoL
Bec: Which holiday do you like better: Thanksgiving or Christmas? Why?
Rhonda: Christmas, most definitely. I kind of feel like Thanksgiving isn’t as big a thing in general up here in Canada than it is in the US and I could be wrong about that, but it’s definitely not as big a deal in my family. Christmas, or as I prefer to call it, Giftmas (because we celebrate a secular version of the holiday), is something I look forward to all year long. My extended family is very large and when I was younger Christmas was a raucous affair with loads of relatives, tons of presents and far, far too much food. Now my immediate family (husband, daughter, and myself) tend to make Giftmas a much more low-key affair, but we still have tons of presents and far too much to eat and drink.
Bec: What is your favorite Christmas themed book?
Rhonda: I’m a huge fan of Dickens’ Christmas stories. Not just A Christmas Carol, but also The Cricket on the Hearth and The Chimes (I haven’t read his others yet). I also love The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and, though I haven’t re-read it recently, I loved The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Rhonda: I’ll add in the obligatory promo part. LoL
Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing yourself with us. Have a great holiday season!
Find out how to stalk Rhonda Parrish below:
“Rhonda Parrish is a shapeshifter with talents to match her every incarnation- magpie tenacity for picking the shiniest submissions, nightingale notes for crafting tales, and bright, feline eyes for seeking out her photographic subjects. She balances on the knife-edge of darkness and light, a sorceress of both realms.” – Sara Cleto
Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.
Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.
The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for…
But time is running out… Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late…
I also have an adult zombie novel featuring a historical person and a real life crime that I just finished and am now sending out to publishers. It’s quite… different.
Bec: How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?
Christine: Relaxing with family and friends. It’s always a nice time.
Bec: If someone were to give you a book (or ten) as a present, what titles would you like to receive?
Christine: Wow, I have so many I want to read. I want to read Stephen King’s recent books, Mr. Mercedes and Revival; Angela Scott’s Anyone; I have several from Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series to catch up on. And I want to read Fall of Night, Jonathan Maberry’s sequel to Dead of Night. I know there are many others but I can’t remember them all. Then there are tons more on the Kindle to read yet. I have enough to read until I am 80 I think.
Bec: How many books do you currently have out?
Christine: Several as I write in different genres: I have a nonfiction, how to book for miniatures collectors, In Miniature Style II; a kid’s mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery; and stories in several anthologies – the latest is in Athena’s Daughters. Plus the stuff I am still working on.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Christine: How many pets I have? (One dog right now. We used to raise dwarf seahorses, too, but they don’t live long.)
How I came up with a character who’s part zombie? In GIRL Z: MY Life as a Teenage Zombie, I didn’t want to do an all-out disaster and zombie fighting book as I figured there were enough of those. I wanted to show what happens to a girl when her life is turned upside down when she turns part-zombie. So the book has a character with a bunch of odd quirks and teenage angst plus adjustments to make. And there are bits of odd humor.
Bec: Thank you for being my interview victim! Have a great holiday season.
Christine: Thank you! And I hope your holidays and new year are also wonderful!
An old lady Z in a ratty housecoat, the puffs of hair left on half of her head still sporting pink curlers, her mouth ringed with blood like she’d missed while applying her lipstick, limped toward us from the opposite direction.
She stumbled along, taking mincing steps in dirty pink slippers. A small plastic handbag dangled from a chain around her arm. I watched her progress, unable to shake the thought of somebody’s grandma heading to a tea party before she went missing.
Carm’s poke at my arm barely registered, my focus solely on Grandma Z shuffling along. “Bec? You good?” my cousin asked.
I shook my head, but didn’t trust myself to answer. My eyes blurred and got a little moist. I’d never expected this sudden stab of emotion. Up until now the Zs hadn’t bothered me, but this little old lady was different. She could’ve been anybody’s charming little grandma who unfortunately had somehow become infected.
I couldn’t do it. Not this time.
As if she sensed my hesitation, Grandma Z gave another little growl and reached for me with chubby hands, her fingers pocked with rot, bits of bone sticking out. I stared at her and screamed when Carm pushed me aside. “Bec, watch out!”
Carm pumped her gun, the paintballs hitting the senior Z full in the face. She made mewing sounds like a baby and grabbed at her dripping flesh.
It was too much for me. I averted my gaze. The sight of her agony and the reality of her body falling to pieces bothered me like it never had before.
Bio: Christine Verstraete is a big Halloween fan who enjoys a good scare or two. Her short fiction has appeared online and in anthologies including Timeshares and Steampunk’d from DAW Books, and Athena’s Daughters from Silence in the Library. She also is the author of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. Learn more at her website, http://cverstraete.com or her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com.
The man walked into the dark room and closed the door behind him. He put on the headphones and sat down on the stool. Images of zombies flashed on the screen in front of him. He ignored them and opened the binder on the stand. He pulled the microphone a little closer and waited.
In the darkness, a voice came over the headphones and said, “Go ahead and read the title card again for us slowly so we can set levels.”
The man read with particular slowness and articulation, “Dead Doc. Productions presents The Legend of Tiny “Mud Music” Jones in association with After World Broadcasters and Reaniment America, a subsidiary of the Reclaiment Broadcasters Company, with permission of the Reformed United States Federal Government Broadcasters Rights Commission.”
He waited silently after he finished.
The voice finally came back on, “Sounds good. We’re going to get coverage on the main text for alternate takes. We’re also going to have you read the quotes as placeholders until we get character actors to replace them. Read them normally without any affected voice. If we need another tone or tempo, we’ll let you know and we’ll take another pass at that section. There is also some new material we are adding into the documentary.”
“Okay,” the man answered.
The voice ordered, “When you’re ready, go ahead with section one, then stop.”
The man took a drink of water, swallowed, and then waited for a couple beats. He began, “Dead World Records was one of the first music companies to come online after order was restored. They were recording and signing artists during the height of the zombie plague. Tobias Baker and Hollister Z are credited with founding the company.”
“They operated from a trailer and storage building on Tobias’s family farm, surviving off the land, and clearing zombies from the property between recording and editing.”
A black and white image of zombie pits scrolled across the screen as the guys in the booth ran the images to check timing. The man ignored it.
He continued, “They do deserve credit for recognizing the continued value of musical culture and history while everyone else was focused purely on survival. They had the vision to gather and record the unique musical evolution of the Dead Era which shaped all music that came after it.”
A grainy video of the men working in their studio rolled on the screen. The man stopped and watched as he waited.
The video froze and the voice said, “Skip to section four. The text is edited from the last time your read it. Read it over once and tell us when you are ready.”
The man obliged them by scanning it over. He said, “Ready.”
The voice said, “We’re rolling on section four.”
The man took another drink before he began, “The real unsung heroes of the rise of Dead World Records Inc. are clearly the collectors that agreed to bring the recordings back to the studio. Many of them were musicians themselves and trekked hundreds of miles through zombie infested territory to find musical gatherings of the various unique pockets of survivors.”
A picture of Tiny flashed on the screen with his name under it. He was wearing shorts, hiking boots, and holding a walking stick. A picture of another man wearing a helmet and carrying a bat replaced it. The name below it was Satchel Mouth Murderman.
The man continued, “Music from this period is clearly defined by both isolation and strange mixtures of people and cultures. The gatherings of these musical laboratories (many of which were destroyed and lost long before the zombies were) is the legacy of men like Tiny “Mud Music” Jones.”
Stills of Tiny with arrows pointing him out passed over the screen.
The man read on, “Tiny traveled farther and gathered more than any other collector. His introverted style and musical talent won trust and entry into enclaves of people no one else could penetrate. Some historians believe much of what we know of Dead Era culture is built off the exploration of Tiny Jones.”
* * * * *
The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014
Bec: Welcome to my blog! Please start by telling everyone all about you –
Mark: Thanks for having me! I’m an author from England, I’m crashing my way towards forty, and I like fried chicken. Pretty much me in a nutshell. I have a day job to pay the bills, and use my authorly rewards as pin money. I use 17th Century terminology. I say ‘dude’ too much. I act like a child when I want to. I like to poke around in grocery stores and try new foodstuffs. I like to act like a child in grocery stores. I once got barred from McDonalds.
Bec: Tell us about your most recent release(s) –
Mark: It’s been a busy year this year, actually. I’ve most recently released a short story collection of some of my previously released short stories. Things I’ve had in anthologies. It’s all horror. Everything from Christmas stories to deals with the devil. Not for the weak of heart.
Bec: Have you ever built a gingerbread house with a gingerbread family and made them act out horror scenes with you as a giant monster that bites their limbs off?
Mark: No. But I will now.
Bec: How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?
Mark: I’m working right up until Christmas, Christmas day with the family, and then they’re all coming over to ours for Boxing Day. I’m a real kid. I love Christmas. Soon after Christmas? Honeymoon, baby!
Bec: What’s the scariest gift you’ve ever given?
Mark: My family isn’t into scary like I am, so I tend to stay away from gift giving in that vein. But I get a lot of that sort of gift given to me. People buy me weird gore trophies all the time, and I keep them all in the loft. Scary place, my loft…
Bec: If the Devil had a hand-basket, what would he carry around in it?
Mark: The tattered dreams of dead children.
Bec: What parts of your body would be used to make the best snowman face?
Mark: I have creepily long fingers – I look like Nosferatu from a distance – so I have nose material there. Alternatively I could peel off my face skin and slide it over the cold, hard, ice like a balaclava. Or maybe all of my skin. Put it on the snowman like a bloody jumpsuit. It would be a bloody, hairy, jumpsuit. Or a bloody hairy jumpsuit. I also look like Chewbacca from a distance.
Bec: Are Christmas elves good or evil, and why?
Mark: In my short story You Better Not Cry they were good. They were good because the elves make toys and are generally benevolent. Santa, in this case, wasn’t. I’m not sharing what he did to those on the naughty list.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Mark: I’d like to share the links to Small Cuts, if I may. Buy my books! No, seriously. BUY MY BOOKS! Small Cuts to the Psyche contains You Better Not Cry. The only true way to know what happens is to read the book.
Bec: Thank you for being one of my interview victims! Have a great Christmas!
Find out how to stalk Mark Taylor below:
Mark Taylor’s debut novel, Shutter Speed, crash-landed on planet earth in 2013. Its dark brooding style benchmarked his writing and has led to further releases of novel and short story collection alike.
While most of Mark’s work is macabre, occasion has it that he will write about kittens and daisies. Just not very often.
Some say he is a product of his environment, others, a product of his own imagination.
Whichever it is he works happily, portraying dark existences on this planet and others. He relays his fears and doubts on his characters, so always has a smile. If Mark is real, as some say he is, you might find him in England.
Send an email to me from the checkout confirmation page at Amazon (send to: projects @ rebeccabesser.com – without the spaces around the @). Make sure to include your name and return email address so I can notify you if you’re the winner.
After you have the first entry you can get a second entry by tweeting the link to the ebook on Amazon with “@BeccaBesser” and the hashtag “#UDTenter” in the tweet
The giveaway for paperbacks is only open to residents of the United States.
There will be only ONE winner of the TWO signed copies.
There will be THREE runners up, who will win ONLY a signed copy of the re-released paperback (second edition with new cover – black and green).
You can only be entered for the second entry after you have the first entry.
Each person can only have two entries total.
The contest closes December 31, 2014 at midnight EST.
The winners will be chosen at random. Each entrant will be given a number. The numbers will be drawn from a bowl.
I will try to contact the winner(s) with the information provided to me. If I cannot reach the winner(s) within 30 days after the contest is closed their prize is forfeit.