Wasteland Wednesday #2

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday will include foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.  I’m talking f-bombs, men with tentacle appendages, and joy-puking.

Wasteland Wednesday

Welcome back to Wasteland Wednesday!  Last week we tipped our hat to Michail Mamaschew and revealed his progress on the kick-ass cover artwork he is doing for Wastelander: The Drake Legacy.  Also, Drake knocked down the doors of my imagination and raised a tiny bit of hell.  I wanted to talk about the world today, but I know for a fact Drake is currently occupied, so let’s take a Wednesday and peel away one of Drake’s layers.

Before we do that, let me share some updates with you all.  I’m happy to report that the cover artwork is finished.  Michail couldn’t have done a better job.  Unfortunately, I’m not going to give it to you all at once.  I’ll give it to you all in snippets and explain the relevance.  Can’t an author get a little foreplay?

Secondly, I’ve managed to snag Michail for illustrations in the complementing novella: The Wastelander Survival Guide.  I’ve taken a couple weeks off from my writing projects to recuperate, but during my “free” time I have been sketching out storyboards and will be passing those along to Michail so he can get cracking on the line art.

All right, let’s talk about Drake.  Here’s the original concept cover featuring Drake if you missed last week where he explained what he was doing in this scene.

Wastelander Concept Art
The concept cover art for Wastelander: The Drake Legacy. This image is owned by Corey Truax. Any manipulation or use of this image without written permission from Corey Truax is not permitted.  Do you have a first-born?  Maybe we can barter – contact me

Today I wanted to direct your peepers to Drake’s left hand.  You’ll see something there.  A malformed snowball? A thirty year old puff pastry?  Nah, it’s a baseball.  Not just any baseball though.  A baseball named Sammy.  Here’s a better look for you.

Sammy (the baseball)

When Drake’s journal was converted into books, Sammy was introduced to the reader in Chapter 1 of both.  Here is an unedited excerpt from Drake’s journal.

“On a side note, some people might think it strange to include a baseball in your wasteland survival loadout.  Some people are idiots.  Why huck a rock when you can sling a baseball?  What if you can’t find a rock?  You gonna toss some other piece of gear?  Why not always have an item with you designed to be thrown?  Anyways, I digress.  So with Sammy in hand, yes my baseball is named after the late Sammy Sosa, I tossed a nice high ball straight up into the treetops to garner some attention from the clueless hunters.”


So now we have a name, Sammy, and a little bit of backstory from Drake.  Now Sammy is an important item to Drake.  Beyond basic function (throwing), the baseball serves other purposes.  If it didn’t, why would this Sammy be the 17th of its kind?  The first Sammy had an original signature on it from Sammy Sosa.  All the following baseballs had Sammy’s signature on them, too.  The only difference is Drake forged all of those.

I‘ll let you sort out the value of a baseball in the wasteland if/when you read the book.  But today, let’s look at how the wasteland can bust your balls (or lady parts), both literally and metaphorically.

  • Sammy #1 Stolen when shot in head.
  • Sammy #2 Fell into a fire.
  • Sammy #3 Boiled and eaten to survive winter.
  • Sammy #4 Discarded while Sammy #1 was being reclaimed.
  • Sammy #5 Blown up.
  • Sammy #6 Lost him.
  • Sammy #7 Stolen while asleep.
  • Sammy #8 Stitching gave up and he fell apart.
  • Sammy #9 Fell into river.
  • Sammy #10 Got drunk and wagered him.  Lost the wager.
  • Sammy #11 Destroyed while Sammy #10 was being reclaimed.
  • Sammy #12 Modified into explosive and destroyed.  It was glorious.
  • Sammy #13 Inbreeder ate him.
  • Sammy #14 Traded him for food.
  • Sammy #15 Destroyed while Sammy #14 was being reclaimed.
  • Sammy #16 Was crushed into a million tiny pieces.
  • Sammy #17 Current Sammy.

That’s your sneak peak into Wastelander today.  I’m enjoying sharing some of this trivial information with all of you.  It’s tricky revealing information that is intuitive, but not going to spoil the book.  I’m doing my best to keep it entertaining though.

question markI‘m not sure what we’ll talk about next Wasteland Wednesday.  Heck, the world may be a wasteland by then.  Who knows.  Drake has his baseball and some other bits and bobs.  If the world was going kablooey tomorrow, what items would you take with you into the wastes?  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

35 responses

  1. I know! A new book about Sammy and Tom Hanks’ Wilson? Call it “Ball Busters”….(jeesh, that idea even made ME blush.:)

    On another note…liking the concept art. The “little” things like the inclusion of Sammy makes for a more interesting character. Looking good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha! 😀 This made me laugh. I think you have just generated an idea for another novella…

      Glad you liked the little bit of flavor. I tried to add some elements to the cover that the reader might read about in the book and look at the cover again and go, “Hey! That’s just not a misplaced baseball, that’s Sammy!”

      Thanks for the kind words, making me laugh, and for reading today!


  2. HAHA! Sammy has had quite the experiences. He goes through quite a few but I like how he loses or discards some while reclaiming previous ones. Xp

    Drake sounds fun and interesting. Thanks for sharing this with us. I was shocked it was already Wasteland Wednesday. I was like oh shit! That was fast! Been a crazy fast week.

    Cheers! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for swinging in and reading. I know what you mean about it being Wednesday already. I got up to start working on the days post this morning and was already two paragraphs in when I realized it was Wednesday. I had to save that one as a draft and redirect to task.

      I’m almost 100 percent certain this isn’t in the book, so I don’t mind sharing. The baseball was just a baseball initially. When Drake traveled to Ohio to compete in the shooting competition his son stashed the baseball in his luggage. Of course he would never see his son again thanks to ye olde nuclear apocalypse. After that, the baseball obviously took on a more important meaning to Drake. Regardless, to him it was still a baseball. A precious baseball, but just a ball.

      Now when he got blasted in the head and his brain got broken the baseball become more than just an object, it became Sammy. The rest is spoiler alert territory.

      Here’s to the next week being a little slower 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed sir! I LOVE your sharing this insight. That is deeply emotional in my opinion. My having a son just makes it more so. I would be lost without the little guy. I can say with certainty if I ever lost my family, I’d lose myself completely.

        This makes me relate to Drake more. I can relate to a main character who’s story I’ve not even read yet. I’m really looking forward to this book. You are doing quite the great job selling it. 😉

        Keep up the amazing work and I sure hope the week slows down. I have an (early) bday celebration with the in laws for my son on Sunday likely. So once that’s done, work again…hmm…I was at work today on my long day, and it felt super short! I was in shock!

        I think things are speeding up because I’m excited at the notion of moving. We gave our 30 day notice today, so now it’s just the old countdown.

        Anyways, thank you so much. I love your posts! I’m really into “Wasteland Wednesday”! I wish you a wonderful evening.

        Cheers! ^_^

        P.S.- Oh look at that…I guess I wish you a great night then. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Best of luck with the move! We move every 3-4 years with my wife being in the military. And I was in for 8 years before her. So that’s twelve years of moves. I guess what I’m saying is, I understand what a pain it can be.

        I don’t know how often you have moved, but given you have 30 days I would just try to break the packing down into stages. Spend a little time every day to pack non-essentials up, even if it’s just a box or two. I’ve done it that way (which was less stressful) and I’ve also been bamboozled with a move too. One time we found out we would be moving to an entirely different part of the country within the week.

        Also, if you want to save money you can dumpster dive. Selectively of course. I usually drive out to the local mall, Lowe’s, or Walmart and drive behind the building in my truck. They usually have a cardboard bin full of boxes that have simply been broken down. That is the cheapest way I know of finding perfectly clean and normal boxes. Also Lowes will have gigantic appliance boxes (for refrigerators and freezers) which are nice because they are extra thick. You can cut them down and shape them to protect oddly shaped items – like a flatscreen tv if you don’t have the original box anymore.

        That’s the poor mans solution to not buying boxes and using that money for other things (moving trucks, tape, bubblewrap, beer, pizza, aspirin).

        I’m glad Drake is working out for you. It’s nice to know my character is starting to resonate. I wanted to create a character who people could attach to, but also would cringe at some of the decisions he makes. We’ll see how it pans out 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for all the packing and moving tips. I’m pretty used to it. I grew up doing nothing but moving all the time. We often moved several times a year, so it is nothing new to us.

        I’ve grown into adulthood and here we are still moving. Only this time with a family of my own. My have times changed and flown by. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for Drake! Yes, I’m that excited!

        I appreciate the insight both in terms of moving tips and thoughts on your character and process. I must try and get what little sleep I can once again.

        Cheers! ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel sorry for the Sammys that sacrificed themselves to the service of Sammys gone by…
    In answer to your question about what I’m taking with me? Paint. Never know what you might need to mark. Stumble across some ruins, paint your way out. None of this ball of string nonsense. Some nutter has managed to get a helicopter working? Paint out an LZ.
    Paint. Your wasteland essential.
    Another great post. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paint! I love it. Paint might be useful for crafting explosives as well 😉 Especially if it’s spray paint (which I’m assuming would be easier to lug than a big ol can). One thing Drake preaches is that every item must be worth it’s literal weight to the user.

      Here’s an unedited Drakism from the book:

      “When selecting gear, you have to realize any idiot can wander around carrying a 40-pound death dealing heavy machine gun, but he’s just going to die tired.”


      “Condoms. All kinds of uses for those, in addition to the obvious. You don’t want the rare chance of getting lucky in the wastes to leave you just the opposite.”

      Thanks for leaving some motivating words and sharing a wasteland survival tip with me. I thought you were going to say a saddle for radioactive cockroaches of unusual size…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent points. The thing about small can over spray can is that with a small can you have an effective melee weapon as well. Paint can diplomacy can be a real boon in the wastes.
        Also, I wasn’t sure if the cockroaches had made it as far as Drake’s neck of the woods yet. But if you want a decent cockroach saddle, you want to go and see Mama Corrigan. Best saddles in the wastes.


  4. While beta-reading this. I thought Sammie was a nice human touch. I’m probably seeing more symbolism in that, but I have small box of things that represent some of my most cherished memories. It’s not exactly Batman’s trophy case, but it’s important to me. Sammie is such a mundane thing with such a personal name. It reveals a lot about Drake in its own way.


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