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The First Steps At Dawn

Hello! My name is Rickey Jackson Jr, author of the fantasy novel: The Edge of Snow and Dust (releasing this winter 2017). Welcome to my website dedicated to the series. Here I will share my journey from taking a story swirling around in my head to sharing it with the world. Each post will update you on my progress from tentative writing to tablet publishing. I have already written several drafts but like any bold venture, you eventually have to cross that line, make that leap from cautious to courageous.

 This website is that leap. Even now as I write this, my first blog entry, I am taking that first anxious step at dawn to commit to telling this story. So I hope you will join me as I walk the path of an aspiring writer!

A Life is a Story

Hello! Hope you are all well. I have nearly finished another draft of The Edge of Snow and Dust. In this version I was taking great care to ensure the characters were telling the story. Of course how I feel and what I think will most likely be felt in the novel, but I wanted to eliminate the feeling of a structure to the story. I recently watched a video on YouTube on the secret to a successful movie. Movies are moving stories so I decided to take a look. Now first off I do not think there is any secret to anything. There is no secret to a perfect relationship, there is no secret to a perfect life, and there sure is no secret to a perfect story.

The video was detailing the key elements to the three Acts in a story that will artificially hooked the audience. I watched the speaker a little stunned at the arrogance of his supposed mastery of audience puppetry. I grinned as the speaker confirmed a trend I had been noticing for quite a while; that expressions of art, music, writing, and theater, can be manufactured. If a song followed a formula it will become a hit. A movie needs these specific moments to become a blockbuster.

I truly believe some of the most memorable songs, movies, and stories; are borne out of passion not built-in a factory. And those songs and stories are often born messy. Think about a story you told, did it follow a special structure? Did you make sure the critical moment in your story was at the midway point? When a friend ask you to hear the first hint of a song, was the chorus the correct length with the right number of syllables. None that I have ever heard.

So when I reread The Edge of Snow and Dust I made sure to have a keen eye for any artifacts of myself as the writer. The people in this world, struggling to rise above the mess but still take the moment to cherish living, they are telling the story not me. Their moments do not have a special structure that would check off boxes in storytelling.

Life is a story containing endless stories. And life is messy. It is coarse and rough at times, and yet a smooth soft moment can appear out of nowhere. That I think is what makes life interesting. If life was perfect in its predictably, manufactured to mimic other lives, it could not be called life. It would be a product, and I do not what my story to be a product for you.

I want The Edge of Snow and Dust to be these characters’ stories. I want it to be their lives.

 

 

Characters Laboring to Stand

Hello again! Hope you had a nice Labor Day and a good week so far. Schools and colleges are starting back up, new chapters in a lot of lives. There are new challenges, new people, new responsibilities. And as much as we try to prepare for them, you never know if you are truly ready until you are in the thick of it, until you have that moment of “oh boy” and you are in over your head. Or you say “I got this” and know you will be all right. But really you stand between the two, murmuring to yourself “oh boy” and then finding that moment when you grunt “I got this”.

I have a lot of those moments in my life, of not being fully prepared for something. I thought I had things well in hand, that I knew myself and knew the stakes. Then once I was thrust into the situation, I realized I was not just drowning but the surface to the mess was ten feet above me. I would turn to television, video games, and movies for inspiration, to see those characters ten feet under and swim their way to the surface, climb out no worse for wear and succeed.

I felt I had a story like that, But I felt not everyone has their matters in order, they are not ready to swim to the surface. No, the challenges wait until you are already down on one knee before it drowns you. And while you’re drowning, you can hear the frantic pleas around you asking for help. You try to choke back that “oh boy” but you know you are in it.

The people in The Edge of Snow and Dust, are already wounded and down on that one knee when a challenge comes and drowns them. Journey with them as they struggle to get off that one knee, answer the pleas around them and push for the surface. Take care!

A Fantasy Novel of Enduring Inspiration

Happy Friday! First let me say thank you to everyone who liked and shared my post. I can not thank you enough. All day I kept getting notifications that someone else found my website or liked my Facebook post and that just energized me. So, now that I have your attention I should tell you what The Edge of Snow and Dust is about. See the novel’s blurb below and tell me what you think. Next week I will tell you what motivated me to tell this story.  Take care!

The world is . . . barely alive. Expanses of wastelands surround tiny beacons of civilization where life struggles to survive. Towns in the Periphery, where the young Anila lives, sacrifice freedom for the slightest aid. People like Garekk, a soldier facing not men but deadly creatures, live under the iron grip of the three last remaining kingdoms. Their people desperately try to prove their worth or risk finding themselves outside their protection. Dyeslyn, a nomad searching for a connection to the past, is vigilant of marauders lurking in the dead spaces in between these pockets of life. But most of this is moot when it is luck that a Wave of vicious creatures from the Fatal Sea of Endless Green has not engulf them, and even then, luck at some point runs out.

This is the life they have known and yet in this struggle there is still hope. Hope found in the soul’s capacity for defiance. Hope in knowing the old folktales of bold men and women standing for something bigger than them, are not stories of ancient times but are witnessed events against the abundance of threats.

However those inspiring this hope must endure the burden of keeping the tiny beacons of life shining. When the brutal Fatal Sea of Endless Green’s sudden aggression risks breaching the Periphery’s defenses and the surviving kingdoms rush to prepare for threats just as deadly but hidden from view, a small group of men and women use what might and magic they can muster to shine bright among the darkness.