The Trail of Tales

Book Reviews, Summaries, & more!

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About Us

Founded April, 2024

Picture of Devon, the Founder of The Trail of Tales

Devon Kubacki

Founder, CEO & Book Enthusiast

Meet Devon

Hi! I’m Devon, the Founder, CEO & major book enthusiast of The Trail of Tales! I’d like to introduce myself to you so that you have a better idea of who I am as a person. To make things a bit easier to see, I’ll list things off:

  • I am an avid fan of video games, particularly those with a great story. My top five favorites are:
    1. The Legend of Zelda Series
    2. The Final Fantasy Series
    3. Path of Exile
    4. Diablo Series
    5. Rocket League
  • I enjoy many genres of music, but my favorite has to be Alternative Rock.
    • Nickelback
    • Five Finger Death Punch
    • System of a Down
    • 3 Doors Down
  • I am a writer at heart
    • I’ve written over 240 articles on a blog about live streaming before I sold it
    • I’m currently working on my own fantasy novel, which I may or may not publish here as a web novel series.

I hope that you enjoy the content I create here about the books I’ve read! If you want to know more about me, read below, as I’ll get into my life a bit!

Why I Started The Trail of Tales

The Trail of Tales started as a YouTube channel that I used to create videos about Fantasy and Sci-fi books that I’ve read. The idea was to tell a story from the perspective of a character within the book and get people interested in book series that are obscure, or less known, bringing them to the limelight. After all, If I was able to enjoy the book, I’m certain others would as well.

Since starting that channel, I’ve had the itch to start up the written portion of the content on a blog, like the one I ran that taught people how to live stream on Twitch, Streamer’s Haven. I had sold that site due to financial hardship, and since then, lost a part of myself that loved to write and help people. So, I decided that it was time to restart the blogging process once again, only this time, about a subject I engaged in every night before bed.

A Story of My Past

There are many complicated stories that make up my past – but one in particular takes the cake for forging who I am today as a person. This story is about my health and the impact it has had on my life.

See, I have died before – arrested for 9 minutes on the cath table. Why did an 18-month-old child need a cardiac cath lab? The answer is simultaneously incredibly simple, yet vastly complex – Shone’s complex, that is. You’ll have to Google that one, because If I were to explain every aspect of that heart disease here, you’d have a very different kind of book on your hands.

But to put things simply, I have a congenital heart disease, in which multiple defects to the formation of my heart caused its function to suffer dramatically. Pressures in the heart were at impossibly high levels, over 200 in places they should be zero. It was nothing short of a miracle that I was even alive in that condition. When the Cath surgeon saw these values he decided to balloon my Aorta, which was crimped, in an attempt to relieve that pressure. Unfortunately, when he did, I went into cardiac arrest, or to put it simply, my heart stopped.

Legally, they can stop after six minutes and declare me dead, but he pushed through, every minute passing causing more damage as my blood congealed and clotted. Ultimately, he succeeded in restarting my heart after those nine grueling minutes, but it was too late to prevent those aforementioned clots from inflicting damage in the forms of two minor strokes and a major one, causing complete left-side paralysis.

I lost the ability to walk, which I gained not long ago. I lost the ability to talk, which I had been working on. I lost the ability to use my left arm in its entirety. My 18-month-old self had no idea how to react to this sudden loss of control over my own body.

How It Affects Me Today

This single event that happened over thirty years ago still has a profound effect on me, though much of the paralysis has been overcome with years of ongoing physical therapy. I can walk, and talk, and my left arm and hand are usable. However, the degree of usability is, well, not exactly normal.

I want you to take your hand and put it up as if motioning someone to stop. Easy, right? All your fingers do is come together, and your wrist rotates a little.

Well, I can’t do that. All I can manage is a sort of paw-like shape, as my brain takes shortcuts to get the movement through – If I put my wrist flat, I can do the motion, sort of. I still can’t get my fingers to touch.

Now, try to make the peace sign. Again, easy, right? For my right hand, yes. For my left? Not a chance in hell. It contorts like the Crazy Hand end boss from Super Smash Brothers from the motion and shakes from the strain of my muscles trying to comply with the motion my brain is asking for through an impulse filter of electrical garbage.

The muscles and nerves are all there in the arm. They all work perfectly. The problem stems from the area of my brain that handled motion that is now irrevocably, dead – starved of oxygen from clotted micro-veins.

How I Adapted to a World Built for “Normal People.”

Despite these challenges, one word best describes me – Adaptation.

The world is designed for people who have use of both their hands. Video game controllers are a prime example of this, where optimal control comes from both your hands working in harmony.

I’ve had to adapt to this, and by utilizing a “claw style”, where I mount the controller in one hand and use my right to handle the inputs entirely, I can perform at a level comparable to someone who has use of both hands. In no game is this more evident than in Rocket League, where I utilize a dualsense controller and play at a level of Diamond 2,3-Champion 1.

Of course, we all have bad days, and I can sometimes play at Platinum 2 level too…

Then, I have the Stream Deck, an immensely helpful tool to make my life easier. Some keyboard shortcuts are incredibly difficult to pull off, such as ctrl+alt+shift+M, where my right hand has to hold ctrl alt and shift, while my left hand has to cross over and hit M. Weird example, but an effective portrayal of some of the challenges I face just to use my computer to do the work that I do.

I also type one handed, with my right hand flying across the keyboard in a blaze of motion, causing a lot of strain on my forearm and bicep over time. I can’t rest my arm on the keyboard to relax the muscles. If I do use my left hand, my ability to get things done is compromised, and I’m simply too slow. My adaptations often completely throw comfort and ergonomics out of the window.

If nothing else, the fact that I can drive is amazing, thanks in part to a brodie knob.

Finding Work I Can Do is Difficult

Jobs have been one of the biggest struggles due to the damage inflicted by the stroke. Many entry-level jobs that are readily available require lifting 50 pounds up ladders or staying on my feet for a long period of time. Apart from the Shones complex, and reduced cardiac efficiency, the stroke is a big detractor in my ability to do these sorts of jobs.

I can’t balance a load between two arms, and often, heavy boxes come plummeting down due to my left arm just giving out from the strain of a 10-30-pound load. In addition, many jobs require excessive physical labor which my heart condition excludes me from.

So I took to the tech world. I can develop websites, like the one you’re using right now. I can write and have written hundreds of articles detailing complicated ideas in simple terms.

And that is what I’m leveraging with The Trail of Tales. I am trying to use these skills that I have built over the last eight years to try to create an income with them. I will not lie to you – The Trail of Tales is For Profit, a dream to create a way to live in this expensive-to-live world.

The Journey Towards Financal Stability – I’m Looking For Work!

Everything considered, I’m still looking for something to give myself a bit of financial security. I like finding ways to break software, and have been acting as a Software Quality Assurance Test Specialist for my best friend, who is a Software Engineer working on her own projects. But She is only one person, and can only develop features so quickly, so the income from that gig is sporadic and entirely insufficent to call it a living wage.

So If you’d like to leverage my writing ability to write test cases from regression testing, smoke testing, featute testing, and more in a Jira environment for your software in development, let me know! My Linkedin is linked in the profile card above!

With all that said, I’d like you to meet my friend, Chinmay, who I’ve known for a few years now who is interested in getting started in this world as a writer and virtual assistant.

Meet Chinmay

Hello, I’m Chinmay. I am Indian, but I learned to speak English fluently by reading books and communicating with friends online. I am a child at heart and still love to watch cartoons and read children’s and young adult books. But that doesn’t mean I won’t get my hands on a book for adults!

Apart from that:

  • I am self-learning web development,
  • I cook simple meals for myself
  • and I enjoy conversing with my friends online!

I am into Anime as well – Some of my favorite series include:

  • The Girl Who Lept Through Time
  • Death Note
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • And Full Metal Alchemist

I also enjoy playing chess, though admittedly on a fun level, rather than competitive.

I help Devon by writing review articles for books that I’ve read, and I create some of the product designs here on The Trail of Tales.

Quikos

Chinmay

AI Art Director, Product Designer, & Assistant Writer