Writing

See folks, I didn’t forget about this website/blog! I wanted to ramble for a few minutes on a couple of developments here at The Ponderosa. First, I am now working with Arkhaven Comics in an official capacity. For those who aren’t familiar, they’re a smaller comics imprint comprised of writers that’ve broken away from DC and Marvel because of the political wokeness that the two major imprints are now pumping into their comic books. The folks at Arkhaven simply want to tell stories without worrying about the current social nonsense of 2021.

Second, I have really missed writing. It’s strange because you can shut the laptop and decide to take a break from writing, but the stories never stop. I fully expect to be working on something writing related very soon, and it’ll probably involve zombies. I don’t have an official title, cover art, or street date, but that will all come with time. Right now I am committed to writing and the rest will work itself out, it always does.

Cell Block C

Yes everyone, YouTube has formally banned me from posting on Prepper Nation for the week and my release date is nearing. My crime? When talking about the vaccine I said “do your own research” – nothing more. After being hit with the YouTube strike I thought I would appeal this nonsense but nope, my “lawyers” were unsuccessful and they brought the gavel down on me anyway. One week in the slammer for you, sir.

I ask, what kind of society are we living in where group think is not only encouraged but to speak out against group think is a crime? Did I ask people to avoid the vaccine? No. I simply asked them to do their own research, rather than placing their faith in science on a system of proven federal liars that have a track record of abusing the general public.

This week in YouTube prison was meant as a way to shut me up, to teach me a lesson. Sit in your Internet prison cell, John, and think about what you have done. Well, I’ve done just that. And, in hindsight, I would do it all over again. My stance hasn’t changed one bit. If you want to take the vaccine, take it. By all means, do what is best for you, but come to the conclusion yourself. Don’t be swayed by a billboard with Kamala Harris smiling, don’t be shamed, intimidated, or bullied into group think.

I am formally released from “prison” on Sunday morning but will be in the woods camping. Monday morning, the Prison Break Special will air on Prepper Nation and it will be can’t-miss. Without free speech we have nothing. Not hate speech, mind you, but free speech – the ability to think logically and speak freely based on the collection of our thoughts. It is time to hold the line!

The Future

Well folks, it has been a very strange month. I finally earned my degree, which is awesome (except the part where I have to pay for it now), and I thought it would free up ample time to write. It hasn’t. Honestly, I have plenty of stories in my head and will continue to write as I can, but I’ve also come to realize how much the YouTube and podcast have been neglected. Therefore this website (blog, whatever) will be subject to some major changes.

Outside of faith and family, reading and writing are my true loves. There’s no way an author just “hangs it up”, I don’t care what anyone says – it doesn’t work that way. But I also need to be a realist. There’s just no way to handle all of the other business and then churn out four or five novels a year, zero chance. Instead, I’ll be taking my editor’s advice (thanks Hammer) and writing as I can.

It’s crazy in a way, because I have two amazing kids and two amazing platforms in writing and podcasting. I already know that my daughter is the heir apparent when it comes to the writing, she was born to do it, and my son is brilliant when it comes to YouTube and other forms of social media. He’ll likely be sitting in the Prepper Nation host’s chair one day. Until then, I have to build both platforms as I can and give the proper attention where it is needed. When the next story does release it will blow you away – promise.

I’m Done!

I am officially finished with college! Done! Finito! It feels strange blogging here on the writing blog (that I haven’t blogged on forever) because it has been such a whirlwind handful of years. I mean, I’m officially a historian, we saw the Covid-19 rear its nasty head, and my once ragamuffin YouTube channel has exploded – the people at Prepper Nation are awesome!

Here’s the thing…in some strange way this all reminds me of Michael’s journey during NBC’s The Office. I mean, I spend years writing and chopping away at YouTube and for years the books took off but the YouTube didn’t. I basically left the profession of writing (which I didn’t plan on doing) to attend college. As I type this I feel like Michael standing at the wedding finale. I look a little different, a little older – I’m a little wiser and a little more accomplished. Yet it feels good to be back.

The writing community is my Zen. I know deep in my heart that this is what I was meant to do. Those of you that write for a living know the struggle: Some months you are eating steak and other months you are eating mayonnaise sandwiches without the bread. Yet I have always found inner peace here. Writing is the one place that I can go where rules don’t exist and creativity is encouraged. It has always been an outlet for my creativity and I’m happy to be back.

Next up? Dracula and a host of other novels based on very old and forgotten horror stories. As of right now we are trying to get this website/blog up to speed and I’m spending time at Prepper Nation while also gearing up to re-launch the audio only version of the Book Commander Podcast. I’m very proud of this moment I’ve reached and I’m very excited for the future.

I know, I get it, there’s something fundamentally wrong with a guy that podcasts about doomsday prepping, writes zombie fiction, and also plays video games. Right? Allow me to explain.

I have a bit of an 80s obsession and a lot of that has to do with the older arcade games. When these games hit home consoles (I’m looking at you, Atari!) they literally saved my life. I watched as my good friends, one at a time, either became addicted to drugs and died or wound up in prison – that’s no lie. My childhood was hard. We didn’t have a lot and I would often look at the arcade artwork and begin scribbling stories that popped up in my head. I owe my career in writing and potentially even my life to these older games.

Walter Day (the first official ESports referee) heard about this, found my writing, and included me in an actual trading card set of science fiction authors and gaming legends, which was an absolute honor. This also led to a friendship with World Pacman Champion Billy Mitchell. Most of my childhood friends had drugs destroy their lives, yet here I am tweeting back and forth with the PACMAN WORLD CHAMP, right?

A handful of my friends made the same life choices and we obsess a little bit over the retro games. It is what it is. Travis is the main brainchild behind Channel 3, which launches September 2021. “Caveman” James is riding with us, as is our friend Robbie. Thing is, we have these heated, passionate arguments over which retro games are the greats and which ones suck. It should be interesting to watch. Yes folks, this is how I spend my downtime outside of writing and prepping.

People are often surprised to find out that I make my living by writing about zombies and space ships. I’ve been writing full-time since 2011, folks, and it’s one of my absolute passions. Long story short, I read a book once upon a time and realized that I could do better. Why not me, right? So I started slinging ink into notebooks and after a year of writing, Gunship was born. Was it an instant classic? No! At least not in my opinion, but readers disagreed and kept buying it until it was charting as the #2 overall book in science fiction.

Since that first book I have written 34 more stories, including collaborations with other bestselling authors and even an official movie novelization. Writing has opened a lot of doors for me but man is it a lot of work! It’s a pretty lonely profession too, which is why podcasting and gaming are the perfect hobbies during the downtime.

The moniker “Book Commander” you ask? During a very public spat with actor Jon Cryer that was ultimately picked up by Fox News, one of his trolls threw the name Book Commander at me like a slur. I won’t lie, I fell in love with it and adopted it as my very own. At the time, Cryer was portraying DC’s Lex Luthor between his episodes of Trump bashing and I actually have a Redneck Superman themed coffee mug around here somewhere. It reads “I Defeated Lex”.

You might know me as the host of Prepper Nation! Each morning at 9AM EST and every Saturday Night at 9PM EST we (and I do mean WE) talk all things prepping, from spiritual prepping to firearms. Unlike most prepping channels, which exist to further the channel owner’s online “cred”, Prepper Nation is an actual community. Trust me when I say that I could care less about online “cred”.

Being an “influencer” in the prepping community is weird to me because I honestly never wanted to be one. I’m just a regular guy who sees a need to prepare for the worst as I understand that the next disaster is just around the corner. Companies continue to send me free gear to review, which I guess is cool. My kids rave about their dad being an influencer – the “dad cred” I will take. As for the rest of it? “Meh.”

My favorite part of this whole gig is getting to know the people at Prepper Nation. I enjoy speaking my mind and hearing from other preppers – I have honestly learned a lot! Hopefully you’ll consider joining our motley crew of community members. If so, be sure to let me know you read through this entire page of rambling, trooper.

Donations

Sadly, it has been brought to my attention that a handful of creators on YouTube believe that I am either making a killing, or not donating money. I’ve posted screenshots from PayPal indicating donations with dates and amounts.

Two things to note here: The $500 donation has the name marked out because this individual is a friend of mine and could not afford proper podcasting equipment. Kristy Hardie donated the money for this, PayPal took a cut from her donation and I actually chipped in $22.50 of my own money so we could donate a flat $500 to this individual. It was the right thing to do. Second, the donation to Alaska Prepper was given during his food drive last Christmas.

I would like to add that it is a sad day when I have to explain this to Prepper Nation because of a handful of other creators who are both envious and lacking any sort of moral character. Moving forward, I will continue to do God’s work because I truly believed that He opened this door for me. My only regret is that I cannot afford to do more. I will continue to take the high road and want everyone in Nationland to know that my primary source of income is writing about zombies, not talking about prepping. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to email me at johndavisbooks@gmail.com.

The Bugout Bag

Yes, I use the above rucksack personally when it comes to the bug out bag. I have “bugged out” for approximately a month (the longest single trip) and what I can tell you is that bugging out is exciting for about 2 days. After that, it’s an inconvenience that eventually becomes a miserable experience. There are 3 things you do NOT want to cheap out on when it comes bugging out: Your bag/rucksack, your tent, and your knife. All 3 must be ultra dependable and function flawlessly, otherwise you’re in trouble.

Can you cheap out on other things? Absolutely! Duct Tape from the Dollar Tree is fine. Cheap paracord or even fishing line is better than nothing at all. You obviously want the best equipment possible, but you can cut corners on everything else – not on the bag, tent, or knife. Want to make a bad experience worse? Put your family into a cheap tent that leaks and watch the fireworks. Nurse the bad back because your rucksack doesn’t fit right.

Here’s a basic list of other things I would encourage you to add to your pack:

Duct Tape, freeze dried or canned food, water, a Lifestraw or Sawyer Mini, waterproof matches AND Bic lighters, a ferro rod, a tarp, wool blankets, a cookpot or metal cup, flashlight, crank flashlight/radio with solar, paracord or fishing line on a budget, fishing hooks and sinkers, rock climbing clasps, basic first aid kit, map and compass, extra socks, emergency blankets – there’s a good starting list. You’ll add more according to your climate and style. If it’s cold you’re probably packing extra wool. If it’s wet, an extra tarp or poncho. You get the idea.

The key to a good bugout bag is finding the balance between taking what you need and taking what you can actually carry over a long distance. Real estate inside of that bag is everything! If an item serves 2 or more purposes it’s a good item to consider. I chose the above rucksack because it’s military issue and the Molle attachments allow me to add side bags, medical bags, etc. on the exterior of the bag, giving me more real estate. The rack evens the weight and makes carrying it much easier.

Old School Blog!