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Hello everyone and welcome to the official Drakov Kinski Author Page!      I have been writing sci-fi and fantasy novels for several year...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

G.I.Joe Convention Chattanooga June 2018

     Well, it appears that some of the forces that be are working with me and others are against me.  In our quest to find a new forever home, I am happy to say (fingers crossed) that my wife and I will be closing on our new home in mid June.  And as happy as I am about this, it has thus prevented me from attending the Final JoeCon in Chattanooga.  With the closing date hovering between June 14th and the 21st there is no way that I can do both.  So, as much as I would like to see all my friends, hang out and talk Joe, buy convention exclusives and the like, there is no way that I can do both.  As a result, yesterday with a heavy heart, I cancelled my flight, hotel reservation, and switched my convention set to "Home Front Hero" status.  I am hopeful that some of my friends will be able to hook me up with the exclusives, but I am not holding my breath.
    Hope everyone has a great time!

Cheers

Drakov

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Projected release date of "Enter the Headhunters"

Hello everyone,

I have been busy with an array of things as of late.

  • Refinancing my rental property
  • Selling our condo
  • Purchasing a new home


     So needless to say, my writing and editing has taken a backseat.  But...On the bright side.  I found some time on Saturday and Sunday to do some editing.  As things now stand I have roughly 65 pages left to edit out of the 420 plus that I have slated towards my current release.   With that said, I am confident that given another ten days that my new G.I.Joe novel in the "Armed and Dangerous" series will be uploaded to KindleWorlds and available for sale. I will post an official announcement here and on all my other social media platforms when this all comes to fruition.

Thank you for all your continued support and understanding.

Cheers!

Drakov

Friday, March 23, 2018

Book Two Update (delayed again)

Hello everyone,
    I would like to apologize for:
 1. My lack of blog posts and
 2. Not releasing my second book at the promised time.

     As we all know, life has a unique way of rearing its ugly head and getting in the way of the best laid plans.  An issue with my current living situation, has caused the wife and I to go in search of a new home with greener pastures.  As a result of this and a tight timeline, my writing time has been greatly reduced.  It is also crunch time so to speak at the school with April Benchmarks, end of the 3rd marking period, and the end of the school year fast approaching. 
    Believe me, I know it's no excuse and have been doing what I can in terms of editing when time permits, like during jury duty two weeks ago. (Almost wish I had to go back on the second day)  My new G.I.Joe book is currently going by the title "Enter the Headhunters" and will feature several well-known as well as some obscure Joe and Cobra characters.  Expect cameos by Ghost Bear, HeartWrencher, Wraith, Tracker and Law and Order to name a few.  There will be returning favorites and continuing story lines started in my first title, "Armed and Dangerous." (Kindleworlds 2017)
    Current word count is  up around 77,640 and counting; with close to 400 pages of  action packed scenarios.  Current editing has me around page 282 with over a hundred pages to go.  Work has been slow, but ultimately, I want to provide my fans with a much deeper novel than the first installment in the series.  "Enter the Headhunters" will feature more mature themes. Expect a darker story with more realism.  Expect some of the quirkiness of the Sunbow characters, but more importantly expect a story that will leave you wanting to read more.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully I will see some of you in Chattanooga for JoeCon 2018.

Cheers!
Drakov

Monday, March 19, 2018

I Don't want To Grow Up I'm A Toys R Us Kid.

   
     Last week, Toys R Us announced that they would be closing or selling off all of their 800 stores located across the United States.  Toys R Us at least for me, has been a source of happiness and good memories over the past several decades.  It was the place that I would walk into on a day where I was not feeling completely happy, and come out in a much better mood. 
     As a child of the 1980's, I would travel to the gigantic toy store with my family and spend what felt like hours staring at the enormous selection of action figures and games.  In their heyday, Toys R Us stores would have aisles dedicated to each major toy line.  Some of my all time favorites to look at were G.I.Joe, Masters of the Universe, Sectaurs, Thundercats, Hot Wheels and anything Dungeons and Dragons.  I can still remember saving the five dollars my grandmother had given me to spend on my school class trip in order to buy Zartan and his Swamp Skier Chameleon. 
     "What a great day it was to go home with the color-changing Master of Disguise."
       Although it wasn't a normal occurrence to come home with toys when I was a kid, the enjoyment of simply being able to look at all the possibilities was enough to fuel and fill my holiday and birthday wish lists.  Even the Toys R Us Wish Book that would come in the sunday newspaper or the mail was awesome to peer over.
     When I was a teenager and old enough to drive, I would travel to my local Toys R Us stores almost weekly.  I had a well-paying part time job and other than gas and food, my paycheck was mine to spend. My favorite place to look would be the clearance aisles.  I bought many items over the years which included almost all of the 15th anniversary G.I.Joe figures and vehicles, a Mantua HO scale Super Bowl train set, and all the Dragonheart figures and monsters.  I amassed quite a collection of MOC figures, many which I still own today.
     One other days, my good friends and I would simply go into the store to challenge each other to two player games like Virtua Fighter.  One of my best memories is my friend Troy saying, "Do you know what KO stands for?" 
    Me "N, what?"
    "Kicked Oss!"
     We still laugh about that to this day. 
     At other times we would go in an have Nerf wars, or ride bicycles around the store.  It was a more innocent time and salesperson's were friendlier and much more accommodating. 
     In my mid twenties and even my early thirties, I would visit my local Toys R Us on Thursday mornings when the store was opening.  This was the day that new items would be on the shelves and if you wanted them you need to be the first person in the store.  I collected all five of the G.I.Joe five packs this way.  I was so happy when a 4 of 5 and 5 of 5 were sitting on the shelf for me to scoop up one Thursday over the summer.  I also bought all the new Thundercats figures this way.  The clearance aisle was still a place to check regularly, as rare gems would show up  hidden among the things that apparently no one wanted.  I purchased a second Crimson Chopper with the twins Tomax and Xamot this way for a whopping $7.00.
     One of my last acquisitions in a Toys R Us store was the three pack of Thundercats Dorbs.  At first it appeared as if there were none available. Then as I was also searching for Destro and Flocked Beastman from the recent Comic Con, behind some Minecraft packages I found them. Total score!
     Toys R Us has always provided me with a place to discover things I never knew existed like newer board games and even some of the more scientific lab kits and models.  There is truly no place left like it among all the brick and mortar stores.  I bought awesome games like Lord of the Rings Stratego, Dungeons and Dragons Clue, Star Wars Monopoly, Hero Quest and Battle Masters.
    During my life, I have experienced the demise of Lionel Kiddie City, ChildWorld, Kay B Toys and now I will see Toys R Us fall.  It is a sad day indeed.  I hope that I can make it into my local store one last time to take some pictures or videos for posterity.  Although not the same layout of the days of the 80s, there are still many gems hidden in the aisles of the store, and I fear that future generations of children will miss out on the memories and good times that this once great toy giant have provided for countless Toys R Us kids the world over.  Where else will children be able to find anything from Playmobile, to Lego, to boardgames, and the "Slip and Slide" all under one roof?

     "From bikes, to trains, to video games,
       It's the biggest toy store there is.
       I don't want to grow up, cuz baby if I did,
       I wouldn't be a Toys R Us kid!"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Reformat, Edit, Rewrite, Rip up, Repeat: The Life of an Author

     Anyone in the self-publishing market knows the importance of creating a worthwhile literary piece.  The process at times can seem daunting, as writing the first draft of your story is actually the easiest part.  When the story is coming together, it flows quite readily from your mind to the pages of your notebook, or onto your computer screen.  Days, even months go by and you continue to grow your tale.  the pages and chapters add up. Then, the day of reckoning arrives.  You write the last line of your story and a temporary relief washes over you, followed shortly by a wave of sheer terror.
     You have poured your heart, your mind and your soul into your new literary masterpiece.  Some of you have even given blood, sweat, tears, hair and lack of sleep to your worthy cause.  Was it all for naught?
    My advice to you is simple.  Once you have finished your book.  Walk away and read someone else's book.  Take some time away from your book, in order to distance yourself from it and create some unfamiliarity.  This might mean taking anywhere from a week, up to a couple of months away.  This is important so that when you read over your manuscript the next time it will be like you are looking at it from an outsider's perspective.
    We all want to believe that we are the masters of or literary universe, but in reality this is not always the case.  What we are masters of, is the process we choose to follow when writing, editing and eventually publishing our new book.  Not everyone can afford an author for a book which may only capture mere pennies on a dollar for you in overall sales.  Even if you can afford an editor, you don't want to send them an unorganized, slip shod writing mess and have that be the impression they get of you as an author.

    So, what do you do?

    You do what every author before you has done, and attempt to edit your work.  A good friend of mine and fellow author suggested the following practice.  Read the words you have written on your page aloud exactly as they are.  Make believe you are a voice actor reading for an audio book recording.  I guarantee that you will come across mistakes that you didn't notice on your first pass.  Maybe even record yourself, so you can listen back in your car on the way to work, or on your ear buds at the gym.  You'll be happy you did.

    Then get a scratchpad and get to editing.

     Look for the following things:

1.  Sentence Flow.  This will be determined by commas, periods and other punctuation.  "Never underestimate the power of a perfectly placed comma."

2. Subject-Verb Agreement.  Do your subjects match their verbs in terms of singularity or plurality?  This is a commonly overlooked writing error.  Not sure?  Google it.

3. Continuity.  Does your story follow a specific time line?  Does it flow effortlessly, or are you constantly jumping around?  These are other things you may notice.  Was the sun rising on the first page of the chapter? Only to set three pages later?  What happened in between?  Fill in the blanks for the reader, or rewrite the section to make more sense.

4.  Correct Tense. Does your story shift from one tense to another?  Most writers tend to write completely in the present, or the past tense. Others tend switch between the two.  Do you do this correctly?  It is important to keep your reader informed of what has happened, what is happening and what may or may not happen in the future.  Do you use flash backs? Inner dialogue? and Conversation?  These things need to be correctly denoted using quotation marks or italics.

5. Typos.  You may find a lot of these by reading what's on the page and not what you think you wrote.  This is why it is important to step away from your story, and return to it after some time has passed.  Is there a double word?  Did you write "to" instead of "the" or "in?"  So many times, the mind is in hyper drive when we are first writing that the fingers cannot keep up, resulting in typographical errors.

     Don't let the dread of editing, destroy the joy you experienced from drafting your new story.  The read aloud and listen back is an invaluable and inexpensive tool to catapult you into becoming a better author.
Good luck and happy writing!

Cheers!
Drakov

Special thank to @geekfurious


Thursday, February 22, 2018

What on Earth TV series, My New Addiction

     So, I recently discovered this television series due to the fact that the Winter Olympics have crippled new showings of some of my regular viewings over the past two weeks. With nothing for my DVR to record, I was forced to explore channels and shows that I had not viewed before.  I discovered the "What on Earth" series on the Science Go channel.  They were running a half day marathon so to speak this past Sunday, and I recorded eight consecutive shows.

 Image result for What on earth
What on Earth



     The episodes are roughly an hour in length, and cover information gathered about four to six odd photographs captured by the 4000 satellites orbiting above the Earth.  Scientists and other special investigators use the odd images to determine their cause.  This leads the viewer to many unique and previously unheard of world locations.
    As a fictional writer, I have found some of the information presented to be worthy of story inclusion.  Just to divulge some topics:  evidence of previous villages removed from the Earth, unexplained animal convergences, strange colored bodies of water, signs of civilization in uninhabited regions of the world, and unknown wreckage found on land or underwater.  I absolutely love this type of X-files type show, but only this is real.
   I highly recommend the series for anyone looking for some obscure information on the unknown.
Follow the link to view some of the series.


Cheers!
Drakov

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Strange Pairings 2018, Ash Wednesday, Valentine's, Easter and April Fools

    2018 is host to a couple a strange event pairings. The two I will discuss are a little controversial and morbidly entertaining at the same time.   
     For starters, Saint Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday are on the same day this year.  So a day that is commonly associated with chocolate, lavish dinners and lustful acts is on the same day that Catholics are supposed to be fasting and preparing for Lent.  An odd pairing which has left many self-proclaimed Christians with a problem. 
      The Archbishop of new York Timothy Dolan addressed the issue and said that Ash Wednesday takes precedence and that Catholics should find other ways to show their love of God by committing selfless acts of charity, instead of fasting.  "Giving love to those who don't have it."  Others like the news have delivered the message that since it's only this year, that you can go back to your normal Valentine's traditions next year.  In all actuality, the last time this pairing occurred was 1945.  So I guess god-fearing people can adapt.





     On the flip side, horror fans have made a joke of the whole situation by posting gifs of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Ripping out their lover's hearts, and using images of Ash from the Evil Dead to celebrate "Ash" Wednesday.  The whole situation is amusing to say the least.

     The other celebration that coincides with another holiday this year is Easter Sunday, the holiest day in the Catholic calendar, and April Fool's Day.  Talk about a strange pairing and an opportunity for tricksters and naysayers to mock an important religious holiday.  Get ready for people who would not normally wish you a "Happy Easter" doing just that, only to renege with an, "April Fools" a moment later. 





    Hard core atheists will use the coincidence to mock the resurrection of Jesus Christ, proclaiming that "even the calendar knows it's a farce."  To add to the fun, parents and guardians can make other claims such as hiding Easter eggs for a back yard hunt. After their children search frantically for thirty minutes, they can then break it to them that it was all nothing but an April Fool's Day joke.  the same can be said of Christ's resurrection and the Easter Bunny.
    I can see some of these pranks getting a little out of hand.  Regardless, it is a pairing that hasn't happened since 1956 and won't happen again until 2029.  The following is a list of past and upcoming pairings:  1714, 1725, 1736, 1804, 1866, 1877, 1888, 1923, 1934, 1945, 1956, and will coincide again in 2018, 2029, 2040, 2108, 2170, 2181, 2192, 2238, 2249, 2260, 2306, 2317, 2328.  
     Just my thoughts.  What are yours?

Cheers!
Drakov

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Top Five Reasons Why United Airlines Sucks

     I have been flying around the globe since I was a youngster.  I have been many places including London, Budapest, Jamaica, the Bahamas and at least twenty of the fifty continental United States and Hawaii.  Over the course of my travels, I have flown with anyone from Evergreen to Pan Am, Continental, Delta, United and Jet Blue.  I currently live in the tri-state area and commonly use Newark Liberty International for my flights, which just so happens to be United's hub. Over the past five years, I have been pretty much forced to fly United when I wish to travel, but in all honesty, "They Suck!"  and if you haven't flown United Airlines, I'm going to tell you why you shouldn't.

1. Schedule Changes: I am on top of vacation and business travel reservations.  Many times, I book my flight six months to a year in advance.  In the past five years, the representatives at United Airlines have changed my scheduled departure and arrival nine out of my last ten flights. To make it worse it's never earlier, and almost always later.  My most recent complaint affects my upcoming trip to Chattanooga in June.  I picked from one of only two flights offered in September.  I chose the evening flight (7p.m.) so I could arrive with enough time to make it to a trade show.  I received notice that my flight was rescheduled to two hours later just this week! Now, I will not be able to make it to my desired location at an acceptable time. Unreal!  Once they changed the entire day of my flight wanting me leave the day after I needed to be somewhere.  I mean seriously United...."You Suck!"

2. Flight Delays: If changing flight times isn't enough to deter you, add in unscheduled delays.  Anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours seems to be the norm with United Airlines and quite frankly is not acceptable.  I can understand weather delays, wind, rain, but many times it has to do with none of these and well United...."You Suck!"

3. Seat Size and Leg Room:  I'm six feet tall and 200 pounds, I am by no means obese, but the seats on the typical United 747 will make you feel oversized.  Not to mention, lack of reclining and lumbar support.  I refuse to fly anywhere on United that is more than five hours away, because the lack of comfort isn't worth the price tag.  Not to mention, if you want added leg room, you can purchase non reclining seats in the emergency exit row for 75-100 dollars more.  Pay more for less.  I don't think so and that is why United..."You Suck! Once again."

4. Cleanliness:  Still reading?  Here is reason number four.  United Airlines jets are down right dirty.  The delays and schedule changes apparently equate to lack of time for the flight staff to clean the cockpit.  Garbage on the floor, in the seat backs, and even in the overhead compartment bins leave little to brag about, and just another reason to say United..."You Suck!"

5. Lack of Customer Service:  Since United Airlines pretty much has a monopoly at Newark Liberty International Airport, they do very little to keep their guests happy.  Questions and complaints usually fall on deaf ears and if you don't like their service they really don't care.  call the 800 number and chances are you will talk to one of their outsourced employees who in many cases are difficult to understand.  At the airport itself, add in a "state of the art" terminal where everything, even the bar, is automated with iPads and lack of service personnel, and I really can't find any good reason to continue using them. Other than the fact that they are the primary airline servicing my region, they leave little to applaud.  So once more I will say it United...."You Suck!"

     So, if you are in the market for an airline that regularly changes your flight times, runs late, lacks comfort, is dirty, and doesn't care about your opinions.  By all means fly United Airlines, but don't say you haven't been warned.  United Airlines..."You Suck!"

Cheers!
Drakov

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Five Reasons Why Technology is Ruining Society

     It's 2018 and everyone, who is anyone, has more technology in their pocket than ever.  Smart phones, iPhones, tablets, smart watches, and the like abound.  Heck! I've even seen preschool students with their own electronic devices, but at what cost?  What are we starting to lose as a society as a result of all these devices aimed at making life simpler?
     The epidemic has created a world where people lurk hidden behind a touchscreen. Online phishing schemes, cat fishing on dating sites, scams on Craig's List, and cyber bullying on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat, and whatever will be the new fad tomorrow, are becoming more and more of a common place occurrence.  Ultimately, what is society losing,while making all these "gains"?

1Social Interaction Skills:  Elementary students, middle school students, teenagers, and twenty-somethings have all grown up with internet based cell phones. They would find it impossible to imagine a world without them.  Take away a teenager's cell phone today, and you would think that you stole their favorite puppy.  They experience anxiety and lose the ability to focus on anything, but the device that they think contains their life. They spend so much time on Snap and texting, that even when they sit next to one another in the cafeteria at lunch, or at a diner, they communicate through their hand held device.  If you send them into a social situation that requires talking like an in store purchase, ordering food at the diner, or asking for directions, they lack the ability to initiate and carry on a coherent conversation. This in turn can lead to Number Two.

2. Public Speaking:  Hiding behind a touch screen and using your thumbs to communicate has made a stressful situation like public speaking an Everest for the newer generations.  their inside voices lack volume, confidence and they have the inability to make eye contact.  Are these individuals really on the spectrum? Or have we as a society taken away their confidence at public speaking? Many people experience so much anxiety at the thought, that they refuse to speak in class, at public meetings, in front of their teams, etc.  This is slowly creating  a generation of social followers.  hanging on to every written word that they read online ,or worse, nameless, faceless individuals who lash out online and block others when they disagree with their opinions.  Which leads me to Number Three.

3. Lack of Respect:  Freedom of speech is one thing, but it was originally just that.  People would stand up in a public forum and voice their opinions in front of their peers.  Today, much of this has changed.  The public forum has become an intangible place called the internet.  Countless people can hide behind the anonymity of their device, and troll other people.  They read their posts, stalk others, look at their pictures, and in many cases lack a filter when posting their hurtful comments.  "Your opinion sucks!  You look like a "such and such".  You're ugly!" and these are tame in comparison to what people really write.  They forget that there is an actual person on the other side who has feelings just like them.  This is not cool! It's not funny! and it's not how many of the older generations were raised.  We didn't hide behind a phone and torment others.  We didn't harass others from the safety of our private servers.  If you insulted the wrong person, there could be swift and fierce consequences.  We grew a backbone, and knew when to open our mouths and when not to.  I don't feel this is the case for the people living on their smart phones today.  lack of face to face confrontation has created a world of cyber bullies who respect no one but expect to be respected.  Unacceptable!

4. Knowledge and Common Sense:  Constant connection to Google, Bing and other search engines like Alexa and Siri have given people the excuse not to retain any information.  The way I can still recite over fifty percent of the Preamble to the Constitution, is the way today's children can't remember what a verb is after twelve years of school.  And forget doing mental math, people today can't figure out what 10%, 25% or even 50% off means without using the calculator on their cell phone.  Having a countless amount of information at our fingertips should be making society smarter, not dumber.  It's no wonder that America is slowly falling behind other world powers in terms of business, technology and innovative ideas.  Having a Smart phone doesn't necessarily make the user smart. In many ways it makes them LAZY. Knowledge is still obtained by studying, reading, critical thinking ,rote recall, and hard work.

5. Spelling and Grammar:  Twitter and Instagram are littered with sentence fragments and atrocious spelling.  Blog posts are sometimes so poorly written, that I stop reading after only a few lines.  Come on people, use Spell Check and Grammar Check, or how about actually proofreading your posts?  Auto correct is NOT always your friend! Just look at some of the online postings involving some auto corrected texts. Since people can't see you face to face, they are more inclined to judge you based upon your social writing skills or postings.  If I have to see one more "your" the best instead of  "You're the Best," I might start going all Grammar Police on people, but I promise, I won't go all Number Three on anyone.

Just my daily rant.  I feel a little like Lewis Black. ( Insert brrr mouth sound here.)

Cheers!
Drakov

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Top 5 Mistakes Self-published Authors Make

     The past few years have seen a huge influx of self-published authors.  Online platforms like Kindle Direct, Lulu, Createspace and personal blogs have become household words. Many leisurely writers are foregoing traditional methods of publication and taking matters into their own hands.  Now, I'm all for being your own boss, but there are somethings that other people do better than I can because they were trained to do it.  With that being said, I am a self-published author and I like every other self-published author have made mistakes.  I have compiled the following list of the top five things I feel could be helpful to new aspiring self-published authors who are just starting out.  So without further delay......

1.  Don't Rush Through Your Manuscript-  One thing I have noticed is that many authors rush through the creativity process in an effort to just get their story out. Even though they may have had an awesome idea, they did not give it a chance to ferment into an intoxicating tale.  I have read quite a few self-published works that are riddled with spelling, grammatical, and formatting issues making them difficult to read.  Take your time and do a second, a third, even a seventh proofread of your manuscript before hitting the submit button.  If the first book you put out if not well=written it can greatly deter the public from looking at your future titles. Which leads me to number two.

2.  Not Getting a Proofreader or Beta Reader:  Writers like many other professionals, can be a proud bunch and want to believe that every word they write is literary gold.  Well, the truth is, they're probably not.  Don't be afraid to let others read your work after you have written your first draft and performed your first edit.  A fresh set of outside eyes may see errors, or plot holes, that you may have missed.  If you don't want to share your story with a friend or stranger, send off a sample to one of the many online editing companies for a free 2000 or 3000 word edit.  Even if you don't decide to hire them to edit your entire book, they may have some valuable notes, which can be applied to the rest of your W.I.P  (work in progress) on your next edit.

3. Writing Because You Want Fame, NOT Because You Enjoy It:  This is probably the most important thing that many self-published authors forget.  In an effort to gain fame and fortune, they forego the enjoyment of writing and fabricating a believable and tantalizing tale.  When we write only to earn a pay check, writing becomes a J.O.B., and stops being our passion.  We all write because we are passionate about our craft. If you write an awesome story, eventually other people will find it and read it. this takes time. As much as no one wants to hear it, how many famous authors only became well read and known after their death.  You have all heard of Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Franz Kafka, and H.P. Lovecraft, just to name a few.  Terrible, I know, but isn't it more important to leave behind a legacy?  And a well-written one?

4. Not Researching What You Don't Know:  We all possess knowledge about certain topics that are foreign to others.  Each of us is an expert at something or several things.  I know quite a bit about automotive repair, mythology, education and forensics.  I tend to write about fantasy worlds populated with mythological creatures and G.I.Joe characters fighting futuristic, military battles.  There are many things that I am unfamiliar with, and that I need to either consult an expert on, or research online.  There is an awful lot of reading and research that goes into good writing. Realism will only add to your work and create a more encompassing experience for your readers to indulge in.

5.  Not Promoting Your Work Before Release:  More times than naught I see self-published authors promoting their work after its already been published.  I'm not saying this is completely wrong, but you need to establish an audience, and the best way to do that is by offering tantalizing nuggets of your current W.I.P to your would be readers.  This can be done in your blog posts, on your Twitter, Facebook, or any one of a dozen author web sites like the Marketlist.com or an Amazon author's profile. You don't have to give away full plot lines or even chapters.  Equate this practice to movie trailers, the good ones that leave you with questions and wanting more.  Apply this concept to your book updates and add some splashy pictures to whet the appetite of your fans.  A picture can be worth a thousand words and a thousand new readers.

    Hope this helps some of you out there.  Thank for reading. Have comments or other ideas to share?  Feel free to leave them here and share this article with others.  Until next time.
Cheers!

Drakov

Monday, January 29, 2018

Top 5 Things to do on a Day Off

     Everyone, who is anyone, in this day and age knows the value of time off.  Most of us spend so much time at our J.O.B.s, that we forget what free time actually is.  Well, I'm here to remind you that even the hardest working individuals need time to relax and call their own; but what do you do on these days off when you are so accustomed to the daily grind?  Here is a list of my top five suggestions.

1.  Sleep In:  Most of us go about our daily activities by way of the alarm clock. Here's a novel idea. When you actually take a day off,  turn off the alarm clock and take an opportunity to spend a little extra relaxation time in your bed.  Most of us spend thousands of dollars on a good mattress and box spring, but don't take any additional time to appreciate it.  On your next day off, just lay in bed and enjoy it.  Feel the comforter, re-fluff your pillows, or just allow yourself to fall back asleep without the dread of being late for work or school.

2. Read a Book:  Many of us don't take the time to unwind with a good book any more unless, we're poolside and on vacation for at least a week.  I'm here to change that.  On your next day off, take some time to engorge yourself in a good book.  With so many genres out there, it's hard to come up with a miss.  Mystery, fantasy, history, romance, or even a good graphic novel, allow yourself and your overactive mind to relax with a good read and take yourself somewhere outside the confines of the office.  Let yourself experience a foreign world devoid of your daily responsibilities.  There is no greater escape than the pages of a great book.

3. Spend Time with Family:  Many of us spend most of our year and our lives working, that we forget about why we work.  We work to provide for the people we love.  On your next day off, spend some time with the people you claim to be working for.  Have a romantic, sex-filled day with your spouse or partner.  Take the kids to the movies, or the mall, and spend some quality time reconnecting with your loved ones.  Stopped by your parents, or in-laws for lunch or some coffee.  You'll be glad you did.  Life flies by and everyone ages in the blink of an eye.  Find the time to spend with your loved ones while they are still here with you.

4.  Devote Time to a Hobby:  Many of us have neglected hobbies.  Whether it be fixing your car, manicuring your lawn,  learning a new recipe, or catching up on your favorite shows.  These are the habits of value that many people forget to experience on a weekly basis.  In the long run, countless Americans retire every year bored with nothing to do because they spent the last 25-40 years devoted to their jobs.  Don't let this be you.  Find time every week to do what you love.  Our jobs are important, but they're not forever.  Everyone would like to retire at some point in their life and spend some time smelling the roses.  A little extra effort now, will keep your appetite whetted with new projects and goals for the future.

5. Finish a Neglected Project:  The house needs painting, the shelves need dusting, the car needs to be washed, vacuumed and waxed  On your next day off, find some time to do the things that you keep putting off because your work week is too busy.  There is no bigger feeling of accomplishment than finishing that 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, or tidying up the junk drawer.  There are so many things that we say we should do, that we don't.  On your next day off, try to vanquish some of these demons that have been hanging over your head for the past six months or longer.  It can also help in alleviating some unneeded stress fro your life.

     Regardless of what you choose to do on your next day off, take some time to devote to things that you want or need to do, but just haven't been able to find the time for.  Don't take a day off just to go to the doctor or get the oil changed in the car.  Life goes on with or without your participation.  Be an active participant and not a passive observer.  You'll be glad you did!

Cheers!

Drakov

Monday, January 22, 2018

Possible Title Change for book two.

Hello Joes and Janes,

     So I have been working on the edits for my second G.I.Joe novel in the Armed and Dangerous series, and am starting to think the title is not befitting the material.  I originally entitled the work Cobra's Cesspool with the assumption that I would be focusing on the backstory of Cesspool and his company's involvement with Cobra.  Although the story does dive into the character of  Doctor Vincent D'Alleva, I am not yet ready for his biologically-induced transformation by this book's end.  I now envision that happening further on into book 3.  Therefore, I am considering a title change and reserving Cobra's Cesspool as the working book 3 title.  My current WIP  really focuses more on the emergence of the Headman and his band of organized drug dealers the Headhunters, and the need for the DEF.
As a result: I am contemplating renaming this book, "Enter the Headhunters."

Would love to get your thoughts on this.

Cheers!

Drakov

Friday, January 19, 2018

Update Cobra's Cesspool entering editing stages

Well Joes and Janes,

     I was a little behind schedule, but I think there is still a chance that I can get book two completed by month's end.  I typed the last words of the epilogue this afternoon.  Major "Bulletproof" Morris is quoted as saying:
"Things just got interesting."
     This is true in more ways than one!  I am now moving on to editing the 300 plus pages.  The current novel is a bit lengthier than I originally imagined, being close to a 70K word count, and is broken up into 23 chapters.  I'm thinking that something will change here and, I will end up with an even 24 chapters, but we will have to wait and see.
     If I can edit two chapters a day between now and the end of January, that will give everyone a February release date on KindleWorlds.  I am quite happy with the progression of the series and cannot wait to get it out to you ALL of you to read.  The overall tone of this book is much darker and serious. I have done a lot of background research to present you with a more rugged and realistic account.  Armed and Dangerous sets the stage and is a much more light-hearted read.  Cobra's Cesspool  tackles more serious societal problems and leaves room for further developments in Book three, currently untitled.

Thanks for reading,
Cheers!

Drakov

Friday, January 12, 2018

Cobra's Cesspool Book 2 Update

Ok Ladies and Joes.
    I am getting down to the last three chapters in my upcoming G.I.Joe novel.  I am a little behind schedule, but some things at work and my personal life have delayed me a bit.  For those of you looking for an update here goes:
     The story starts off roughly six months after "Armed and Dangerous" and is set in and around 2010 and now.  Heroin addiction and opioid abuse is at an all time high, and the U.S. government has called upon the G.I.Joe team to lend some of their talent to create the Drug Elimination Force or DEF.



     Zartan is currently under deep cover and his second in charge is leading the Dreadnok organization stationed in Sydney Australia.  Bacro Industries is run by doctor Vincent D'Alleva, who is facing strict government regulations and is in danger of being shut down until a mysteriously well-dressed man makes him an offer he can't refuse.
     Cobra is still in its infancy, but gaining power and operatives daily.  CC is in the process of infiltrating a major group of dissenters in the middle East.  Meanwhile, the Headhunter Organization is growing in leaps and bounds in the U.S. and abroad. 
     "Cobra's Cesspool" will continue many of the developing story arcs started in book 1 and follow the training and development of new operative Armed  (PFC Kordos) and Dangerous (his partner an orphaned cheetah).  Being an origins story, the reader will be treated to a lot of backstory and character development with cameos by the Headman, Hotwire, Heartwrencher, Zanzibar and several other currently untapped characters. 
     Stayed tuned for more.

Cheers!

Drakov

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Voltron Legendary Defender Dreamworks Netflix

Hello All,

     Needless to say, yesterday was not that great on the home front so, I have opted to give my wife time alone and simply send her a few messages letting her know that I am not giving up on "Us" and that "We" will work our way through this.
     This situation and my not feeling well on Sunday has allowed me some time to binge watch the new series of Voltron on Netflix.  Being a child of the 80s, I had a front row seat to the original series and greatly enjoyed it back as a wide-eyed ten year old.  I later rewatched the entire original series on DVD as an adult in my early 30s.  It was a little cheesier with some plotholes, but still enjoyable due mostly to the nostalgia.and the legendary characters of Prince Lotor and the witch Haggar.

   
     Now, I am a bit older and have recently acquired Netflix.  After some browsing, I remembered that Voltron had been rebooted.  I reluctantly searched for it and began to watch the hour long introductory episode.  Although some of the character voices have changed, the animation of the main characters is easily recognizable.  Sven, has been replaced by Shiro (original character in the Japanese version) and is an older space explorer who was recently captured by Zarkon.  He escapes and makes his way back to Earth where he is rescued by four young space academy cadets.  These four are really wet behind the ears with little experience.  This is a different take than the original series, but they at least gave us a little bit of a backstory here.
     The team of four eventually discovers the Blue Lion on Earth which bonds to Lance ( movie-star want-a-be).  He's a little annoying and a bit of a womanizer, but he grows on you.  Keith is a rebel, but we are given little reason why, Hunk has severe motion sickness and likes to eat (go figure), and Pidge... well is still Pidge, the character that you were never really sure of his/her identity.  There is chemistry between the group and it is oddly reminiscent of the original team despite the differences.




      Eventually, the team ends up on a foreign planet due to the Blue lion's homing abilities and this leads to the discovery and reawakening of Princess Allura and Coran after a 10,000 year slumber in a cryogenic chamber.  The Princess in this series, is much more mature and exudes confidence and leadership.  Coran on the other hand is a bit of a buffoon and has an annoying voice.  I prefer the more fatherly and stately Coran from the original series. Without giving away too much, they have to eventually find, awaken and bond with the other four hidden robot lions in order to bring back Voltron to defeat the now Emperor Zarkon and the Galra Empire (previously the Drule).
     There are some great updates to the story, the members of the Voltron force are called Paladins (mythical good knights), they carry bayards instead of lasers that create a unique weapon for each bearer.  The Castle of Lions is a spaceship that is not on Planet Arus.  The space mice are used minimally, and Zarkon is a much darker villain with a past linked to Voltron and King Alfor.  My problem with Zarkon is he really doesn't resemble the original closely, and "how is he still alive after 10,000 years?"   Prince Lotor is true to character and appearance, although I am not a huge fan of his voice characterization, but at least he's not as emo as he was in the original series.




     All in all, I am enjoying the series and have a season and a half left to view.  i can already see how some things will play out in order to align more with the original and for that I am even more impressed. It has been a pleasant surprise and a outstanding update to the original without straying too far from its roots. A great mix of old and new, with some quirky humor, oddball characters, classic anime facial expressions, and some serious plot and character development.
     Awesome job Dreamworks at remaking a classic!!!  Now, how about a live action movie?  Please??

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome 2018! The penguins have left!

Happy New Year Everyone!

     I am happy to be back on the east coast once more, but do sorely miss the 80 degree weather of Hermosa Cove , St. Ann Parish, Jamaica.  I came home to find 19 degree weather, a layer of snow on my car, and a rotted shower drain pipe at my rental property.  Fun, fun, fun! but in reality-- "What can you do? It's life as usual."
    What i do feel I can complain a little bit about is showing up to work this morning to find that the school building i work in is as cold inside as the weather outside.  My classroom has been a balmy 44 degrees and NOT rising since 7:45 a.m.  we have spent the better part of the day seeking warmer areas of the school building in which to simply babysit our students. 
     We are currently in the upper tier of the auditorium, AKA the balcony.  It is fifth period and I have yet to have an actual class period of instruction much to my chagrin, but to the delight of my students who have been on Facetime and Instagram all day now. Such a waste.
     Happy New Year everyone, here's hoping your first day back is better than mine.

I left a note on my classroom door that reads as follows: (see pic)

"It's cold in here and even the penguins left."



Friday, December 22, 2017

Writing in Jamaica

Hello All!
      I hope and trust that we are all having a wonderful and blessed holiday season thus far.  With the timer steadily ticking down to both Christmas and the new year, I thought I would take this opportunity to wish you and your families a joyous, safe, healthy and happy countdown to the holidays!
     We all have so much to be thankful for, that we often take for granted.  The roof over our heads, the refrigerator and cabinets full of food, the automobile that we drive, and the income we are receiving, wherever it may be coming from.  Many of us at times focus more on what we don't have, and forget everything that we do have.  I myself, like many, have much more than many families worldwide. Much more than my parents had at my age, and much, much more than my grandparents and their parents.
     My biggest blessing truly comes in the form of family, friends and pets.  If we have these, we are truly rich in spirit and soul.  I do not know where I would be today without the love, support and encouragement that I have received and continue to get from the important people in my life.
    As the title states, I will actually be taking a vacation with my wonderful wife shortly after Christmas.  We will be spending some much needed rest and relaxation on the tropical island of Jamaica.  One of the best things about going on vacation is I will have extra time to do what I love doing which is writing.  With no other real obligations, other than deciding when to wake up and what to eat during the day, I will have plenty of extra time to let my creative juices flow.
     I am currently 262 pages into "Cobra's Cesspool," which is roughly four chapters from completion.  The sun and fun will allow me to devote extra hours to writing and editing and keep me on track to releasing  book two by the mid to end of January 2018.
     Thank you to my readers and supporters, and I hope to see many of you in Chattanooga, TN for JoeCon 2018.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Your Friend,
Drakov

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Annual Christmas Viewing List

     Although I try to be as creative as possible with my spare time, I feel I would not be the writer I am today if it were not for some of my television viewing habits over the years.  As I have made note of in a previous blog entry, 80s cartoons played an enormous role in the development of my imagination and in helping to fuel my inner child.
     The holidays have always been an inspirational time for me as well in terms of classic viewing content.  Every December, my wife and I have a ritual in terms of what we watch; my wife more-so than I in terms of days and number of viewings.  I thought I would take this time to list some of the movies and animated specials that I simply must watch each holiday season.  So, here goes.  Feel free to comment on or add to this compilation.  Enjoy! as these are in no particular order.

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. Disney's A Christmas Carol 2009
3. Elf
4. A Nightmare Before Christmas
5. The Christmas Toy
6. A Muppet's Family Christmas
7. Nestor the Long-eared Donkey
8. Krampus
9. Gremlins
10. Christmas with the Kranks
11. A Glo-Friends Christmas
12. Mickey's Christmas Carol
13. Disney's Prep and Landing
14. The Santa Clause
15. The Christmas Raccoons
16. He-man and She-ra's Holiday special
17. Cobra Klaws are Coming to Town
18. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
19. The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause
20. Little Rascal's Christmas Special
21. The Polar Express
22. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

Let me know your thoughts.
Cheers!
Drakov


Sunday, December 17, 2017

As promised an Excerpt from, "The End of Realms."



PROLOGUE
            The ground trembled as powerful shock waves of energy coursed through it. The surrounding air suddenly filled with a most horrid, decaying stench and fog.  Nearby trees and shrubbery wilted under the onslaught, while inhabiting creatures scurried off for the safety of their underground abodes.  Amidst the dank and filthy cloud, two enormous glowing blues eyes could be seen, yet oddly, no bodily form could be discerned.  A deafening roar erupted from the dismal fog, and then… nothing.
            Mamatar Rognar was sitting in his antiquated study, amongst a pile of books and ancient scrolls.  The aging dwarf had an uneasy feeling welling up inside of him.  The countryside had been peaceful and serene for most of his two hundred and fifty three years of life, but now something was dreadfully wrong.  “Beware!  Beware!” A disturbing and shrieking cry emerged from the corner of the room.  Fla’ziel the raven, one of his most-beloved and ancient friends, grew tense and full of dread on his window perch.   The bird had seen so many winters that his feathers were now edged with silver. Mamatar was trying to calm his avian friend, but he knew this warning meant the beginning of a whole new world of turmoil, both for him and the denizens of this realm and others, some he had heard mentioned only in whispers.  He could only hope that the signs and talismans he was viewing were still in their early stages, yet somehow, he knew, deep down in his heart, that this was untrue.
             He peered out of his enchanted window to observe a lone screech owl perched calmly in the high boughs of the great oak tree that had anchored itself outside his home some hundred plus years ago.  The owl was staring at him. In fact, he seemed to stare right into his inner being.  It was then that he received the telepathic message.
 I will do what is necessary. Be prepared Mamatar Rognar!  Our days may all be numbered. For soon we may need to prepare ourselves to enter the Halls of the Gods.”  Mamatar shook his head to free himself from the vivid, disturbing mental images that had been sent telepathically to him by the Owl King. Images of: fires, wars, and his own beaten and bloodied body lying broken on the once lush green countryside.  Children were left crying and motherless, only to be bludgeoned by the whole-hearted swing of a spiked club.  These images made him wince.  His suspicions were now confirmed; Mamatar knew what he had to do.  He began to make the necessary preparations while casting an all-knowing glance at his trusted, feathered visitor.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fantasy/ Dungeons and dragons Tweets

Fire elementals make terrible ice cream delivery persons.

Displacer beasts cheat at hide and go seek.

Bullywugs make great pets. They will not give you warts and can help control the mosquito population.

Never enter into a staring contest with a beholder.

If you blink, you might miss these dogs.