It all begins at five in the morning. I wake up, make a protein packed breakfast and watch parts of documentaries while I eat. I’ve watched documentaries on Hitler, Bigfoot, social media conspiracies, economics, magic, and basically anything I can find on Netflix that interests me at the time. Anyway, after I eat/watch I finish getting ready for my day and then make the drive to work.
Sometimes these drives to work are the best part of my day. Anytime before six in the morning, the roads are desolate, the mornings are cool, sun is usually rising, and it is just a good time to ponder about things. There’s something about seeing a fresh new day begin that I love. Maybe it’s because all the angry, muckiness of the world is still asleep. I don’t know, but early mornings, as hard as they are to get up for, are some of the best things to experience.
So, after my morning drive, I head into my day job which consists of a lot of heavy lifting and calculations of length. I work at a labeling manufacturing business where I coat and die cut the various labels for our clients. You’d be amazed at how heavy paper is. In rolls of 10,000 feet and sometimes more, these things can be up to two hundred pounds. For the most part, I like my job. It’s a keep-to-yourself kind of job and me being the anti-social one I can be, it gives me the opportunities to listen to music and podcasts. In fact, a lot of my research for books happens in my eight hour shifts at work. I download a set of podcasts I think will be relevant to what I’m trying to write, and then I listen to them. I really can’t ask for a better time because after I get off work, my day doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room.
After my shift, which ends at about two in the afternoon, I bust my way on over to the gym. My workouts are pretty intense, two mile runs at least, three to four mile bike rides and then a half hour of heavy weights. I’m really trying to get ready to compete in a triathlon, so my workouts have to be pretty frequent or I’ll never train my body the way it needs to be.
Now this is where it gets kind of crazy. I’m a high school football coach as well and practice starts at 4:30. So I have just enough time to work out, rinse off, and get a quick bite before heading over to the school to yell at kids. I love it! The sport, the atmosphere, the kids, the other coaches I work with. It’s one of the best opportunities that I’ve had come across my way. I was hesitant to take on the responsibility at first, with the craziness of my writing and work as it is, but it’s seasonal and I couldn’t pass up the chance to get back into the sport.
Practice lasts until about seven, I get home at about eight, eat, and maybe get some writing in. Mostly though, I’ll wind down and watch an episode of the office with my wife or we’ll just talk and read together. The evenings, like my mornings, are a chance for me to think, process what’s happened in the day. Maybe write them in my journal if I have enough to say. After or before the hustle and craziness of the day, it’s in these times when I’ll turn to my scriptures to get guidance, peace, and reassurance (or chastisement—it all depends on what my attitude has been that day).
After having wrote this, I realize how packed my day is. I think the important thing, no matter how busy we are, is we need to make sure we have our priorities in the right place. For me, it’s: God, Family, Country. I know if I put God first, that’ll only strengthen my resolve to take care of my family, and if I know my family is taken care of, I know I can then make decisions to take care of my country and community.
Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.
The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.
In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.
Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.
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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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