Cascadia Blog

If somebody ever tells you writing their first book was hard, slap ’em. That’s somebody who wasn’t much interested in selling it. Writing may be difficult, and somewhat enjoyable – if you can find an editor you trust to fix your punctuation and tense issues – but the real challenge lies in learning to promote and market.

Writing my first novel was fun, but I still want it to succeed, and the measure of that success is people willing to buy it and give it a good review. That’s the trick: finding people to entice to read it and review it.

You’ll notice a pretty decent gap in the blog articles from March to May. That’s the phase where I went and hired someone to design my cover, format my interior and re-build my flailing website. When becoming an indie-author, you’re not just a writer – you become an editor, a business planner, a marketer, a social media influencer and a web-master. All that before you even release the thing to sell. 

Anyway, I will be turning this blog into my personal brain-dump, spewing my humor and thoughts onto the inter-webs in a fun and unique way – JUST like everybody else… 

Character Profile – Payton

Character Profile – Payton

NAME/AGE: Payton Olivia Walker, 30, born March 19 JOB: Swing-shift deli worker at Safeway STORY ARCH: Payton is a 20-week pregnant mother going through a break-up when the disasters strike. Even after the Hammer hits, she lives in denial about the state of things. A...

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Who Starts a Blog in 2019???

Who Starts a Blog in 2019???

Well, I'll answer that by saying I don't always have the best judgment. Case in point: I have a tattoo of the nickname "Cooter" on my right forearm. I guess deep-down, I'm one of those "negative attention is better than none" kind-of guys... Anyway, the more I learn...

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Vehicle Gear 1: “The Can”

Vehicle Gear 1: “The Can”

As the book release approaches, I’m tempted to take a small break from the food storage series to discuss items that Phil has in his truck in the early chapters. What is this… “Can” you mention??? Get-Home Bags and Bug-Out Bags have been done…all over the internet…to...

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Character Profile: Charlie

NAME/AGE: Charles Foxglove Reeves, 40, born on April 3 JOB: Graveyard Sergeant for the sheriff’s office for the central part of the county. STORY ARCH: Charlie is one of the main deputies for the county and is staying at work for extended durations. He is witnessing...

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Character Profile: Carmen

NAME/AGE: Carmen Martinez, 20, born on August 7 JOB: Cook in the Navy on the carrier USS Halsey STORY ARCH: Carmen bands with a doctor she met at the airport to try to get back to Slaughter County together. They trek with each other for several days and then a bought...

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Food Storage, Part 3: Buckets o’ Fun

Food Storage, Part 3: Buckets o’ Fun

Continuing our series, we may have a slight recap of O2 absorbers and mylar bags. Be warned. The #1 rule for buckets is to only use food-grade plastic. “Isn’t that the ‘2’ inside the recycle-triangle?” Kind-of… While that happens to be on every HDPE plastic bucket, it...

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CHARACTER PROFILE: STU

NAME/AGE: Dr. Stuart Schwartz, 47, born December 31 JOB: Plastic surgeon to the stars. STORY ARCH: Stuart must work with Carmen to get from SeaTac Airport back towards Slaughter County. They spend several days trekking south, then stay in the woods with some homeless...

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CHARACTER PROFILE: SANDY

SANDY MCCALLISTER, 62, a 5’ 0”  leader of the Slaughter County DEM MOTIVATION: Sandy was just a few scant months from retiring. Her motivation shifts from living a normal life, to shaping the local government the way she thinks it should be from now on....

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Food Storage, Part 2: Mylar Bags

Food Storage, Part 2: Mylar Bags

As we transition from O2 absorbers to mylar bags, don’t think we’re completely done talking about the little iron packets! Like a toothache or a bad episode of 80’s television, they’ll be back around. People often wonder when to use a mylar bag... when don’t you have...

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Character Profile: Tony

NAME/AGE: Anthony Wendell Manners, 37, born on February 3 JOB: Delivery driver for Azul-Aqua, bottled water and cooler service STORY ARCH: Tony was delivering water to Phil during the initial quake. He makes his way south to check on his wife, who reminds him that...

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Food Storage, Part 1: Oxygen Absorbers

Food Storage, Part 1: Oxygen Absorbers

As a former instructor, I believe in to-the-point articles and lots of pictures for class-room settings. I obviously can’t speak to you in-person, or provide you a hands-on training session. This will be a multiple-post series, usually on Saturdays, to discuss the...

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Character Profile: Phil

NAME/AGE: Phillip Edward Walker, 55, born June 22 JOB: Executive Officer, Chief Instructor and Range Master of the West Sound Sportsman’s Club. He normally has Monday’s off. He is salaried, with fixed add-ons for teaching classes. He has the option to schedule off...

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Character Profile: Marie

NAME/AGE: Marie Darnell, 51, born on February 26 JOB: Commanding Officer of Washington State Naval Shipyard STORY ARCH: She must make life-and-death choices that will have a direct impact on national security. After the initial quake, her response was centered around...

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2019 Puget Sound Preparedness Expo

The 1st Annual PSPE was a smashing success, including breakout lectures by authors Shelby Gallagher and Glen Tate, and AmRRON founder John Jacob Schmidt. There were 22 vendors in all, including world renowned tactical and security trainer Fort Discovery and author...

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Gear Failures

Gear Failures

In Tahoma's Hammer, former Marine Phil Walker uses quality (not cheap) gear for his packs and Minuteman Kit. He understands you get what you pay for. Have you ever had to fix a pack-strap out in the field? I have—it sucks! Even quality gear can fail, though. The cover...

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I Have an Editor!

I know I've been silent for a bit. Been busy getting through enough drafts to warrant hiring an editor—which I have. I'm proud to announce that I've hired a teacher from Texas named Emily Rollen to edit Tahoma's Hammer for me! I hope to get through everything and...

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You Don’t Need a Bug-Out Bag…

You Don’t Need a Bug-Out Bag…

"Not another bug-out bag article," you're groaning... Nope. Consider this the anti-article. I'm going to pull that writer's trick—you know, the one where I talk about stuff by saying I won't. You've heard most of it a thousand times already: "go practice carrying...

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Snow ≠ End of the World

Snow ≠ End of the World

Words like "Snowmageddon" and "Snowpocalyse" took Cascadia by storm [pun definitely intended] this week. The stores went barren in hours. We had an unusually warm winter, so the February surprise caught those who laugh at preppers off-guard. Let it breathe!Dual-band...

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Tacti-Cool? or Tactical…

Tacti-Cool? or Tactical…

FROM Chapter 21: Having travelled for several hours, Phil estimated it was now about 0400 hours—he was reluctant to turn on his light and check the time. The original, slightly overgrown trail had ended, but the people—animals, Phil was telling himself—had not been...

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“Camp Yardbird”

“Camp Yardbird”

FROM Chapter 8: Ash was definitely falling. At first, Crane thought he was imagining things. He’d first noticed what looked like a mild snow falling, a dusting that was noticeable as it floated by the shipyard’s street-lights. The lamps put off a yellowish hue. Now...

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The most over-looked prep: Comms

FROM Chapter 26: "... Plus, I got an interesting message.” “Oh?” Phil’s curiosity was piqued. “What’s that?” “Ships,” Jerry said, as if the one word explained itself. “Ships,” Phil repeated, trailing his voice. Anddd… “And a lot of them. Up north. They showed up...

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Thirst Will Make Anyone Dangerous…

Thirst Will Make Anyone Dangerous…

From Chapter 10: He had to keep an eye on the upside-down umbrella, to make sure that not too much ash was getting into his rain-water. Slaughter County Sheriff Sergeant Charles Foxglove Reeves, 40, was thirsty. Thirst. It takes a man about three days of true...

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