The Jake Smith Ranch Series - IS - History "in the making"
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THE JAKE SMITH RANCH SERIES— unique family-series, concerning epilepsy
This is a fictional eight-book series (thus far) by Neebeeshaabookway, about Jake Smith, a modern-day Montana rancher (in the fictional town of Old-Town) from Lyford, Texas (in childhood). He and his fraternal twin-sister Jade, are facing his recovery after a bull accident (and rescue, gone wrong)—a recovery that involves facing seizures (epilepsy) and head injuries (TBI – traumatic brain injury), and tongue-loss and all its issues. Jake is “mute” as to speech, and must learn to communicate, though he is hindered from his head injury, due to the fact that he has lost his reading and writing skills. Jade works to get him back to facing people again—through her and his ex-rodeo buddies, they overcome through love, honor, respect, and with many a loyal friend by their side.1
-The first three novels deal with Jake reaching his goal for a stable future.2
-The fourth novel deals with 40 years later, after the Texas novel, for a conclusion.2
-The short story books, entitled, Steppingstones Through Jake’s Ranch (in on-going volumes) 3 deal with daily episodes that would fall in-between the first three novels and the conclusion novel, at various time intervals.4 These stories also highlight a variety of other issues, both due to Jake’s injuries, and life in general connected to them5 And, not only for Jake, but f or his twin, Jake’s gang of ex-rodeo buddies, their family, the youth that pay for his trail-ride service, his friends in Old-Town, and—even those in Texas.6
-It is a 2004-2009 (thus far) self-published set, as on-going as the author would desire7, published at the Lulu.com web site (thus far).8
“INTRODUCING...” was first self-published (by Xlibris9), as a forerunner, and is now published at Lulu.com, in its revised version—its a collection of a mixture of the short stories taken from the Steppingstones Through Jake’s Ranch, short story collection,
GENERAL BACKGROUND: Epilepsy awareness is being pushed harder as the years press on, for a better future for adults that are now suffering from seizures and for the hope of a better future for the children that now suffer it, as well—and for deeper respect for them, in their lives.11
There had been very odd, or even bad, portrayals of those with seizures (epilepsy) in fiction literature of the past, some based on legitimate reasons, such as building a story about a character’s life touched by these issues: such as no support-care leading to meager ways to function in life (and a downhill slide, even mentally)—which, sadly do exist, in real life. But, many of these negative portrayals are due to harmful reasons—such as building a story due to false assumptions about seizures and those affected by them, and lastly, also due to an author’s whim or story-line along these same stereo-types.12 During the more recent years (for a point of reference, in general, from 2000 onward) various branches of the Epilepsy Foundation have been pushing for a more correct and wider revelation concerning the folks that suffer from seizures.13 For example: these folks that have epilepsy/seizure disorders, are not to be feared, they are not demon possessed, and they are not unwilling to work (free-loaders), and many DO function in society, and at home, and have just as much to offer others, in life, as anyone else does.14 The majority do face many side-effects from medication, much sleep lost, and the general aftermath of seizures upon their body, so they do have a harder struggle in life—it would nice if the public could learn and understand this. 15 One way to spread awareness as to who these folks are, and how they live, is to provide knowledge through media, and books.16 And, yes, there are now many more new books surfacing about how folks cope with epilepsy, and through self-publication—not to neglect the mention of those by known publishers. Many self-published books are being done by folks that have had epilepsy themselves, or, have had it in the lives of their loved ones, and these non-fiction books are making facts known to the public, in order for folks with epilepsy to find more open doors in life, in spite of their seizure disorders.17
So, with epilepsy coming out into the light18, in true daily living, so should it rightly be displayed in a more wider-range, in literature, such as fiction novels, where much confusion has been shown, in so many cases—yet, not many story-lines on overcoming epilepsy through knowledge, proper support, and family love, are seen.19 *The negative portrayals, and even mockery, have now moved from wrongly learned thoughts, on over to television and movies20, and all due to such ignorance or past stereo-types and fears. 21
The JAKE SMITH RANCH SERIES was written with these thoughts in mind and seeks to portray a fairer “playing field” for self-esteem normal dignity to nurtured on.22 Thus far, from internet research, no other fictional family “saga” type series has surfaced that has devoted itself fully to the main character’s life in the midst of epilepsy/seizures (and head injury), and how various family members embrace this, as they are affected, react, fear, help, or share with the public, and seek to overcome by family values.23
Due to that search (so far, as of 2009), this is open to more research, but—if no contradictory information surfaces, this series is a history-making marker, in epilepsy fiction literature, as to an on-going family series about epilepsy as part of the main story theme, through the characters full-term life, and, with a good role-mode, in the lead. 23 Jake Smith—taking one uncertain day at a time—he’s an everyday, different kind of “hero”, just trying to reclaim his life, even as any beloved family member would want to do, when encouraged by love.24
SPECIFIC BACKGROUND: The JAKE SMITH RANCH SERIES is a series of four fiction novels, and ongoing short story collections (in eight volumes, thus far) that display a character that is “normal”, and works, and interacts with local youth-programs, and who is trying to overcoming his seizures, and is a thus a new role-model in fiction, to broaden the scope on people that suffer them25. The character suffers from the aftermath of head injuries and tongue-loss (glossectomy), as well, but is still shown as a participator in social life.26 The four novels are:
Jake (‘I’m thinkin’...’)
Jake And Sofia
Jake Hugs Texas
Jake’s Ranch And The Second Gate (Conclusion )
The short story collection is:
Steppingstones Through Jake’s Ranch VOL. I, VOL. II, VOL. III, VOL. IV, VOL. IV, VOL. V, thus far.
(Listed as ongoing). 27
They were all written by Neebeeshaabookway28 (pen name). They were written for seizure awareness and head injury (TBI-traumatic brain injury) awareness, as well as awareness concerning tongue-loss issues—and to also display the beauty of American Sign Language (ASL) and its use as a new skill for those that have lost speech.29 The majority of the profits are for fundraising, if and when they sell—foremost, being summer camps for children with seizures. Secondary, for donating for heat for Native Americans on reservations, for those in need of such (and/or food supplies). 30