Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Mexican Sunset - Book Tour


The Vision Quest of a Modern Day Explorer


Date Published: May 26, 2022

Publisher: MindStir Media

 After the unexpected death of his thirty-eight-year-old stepfather, fourteen-year-old Rick embarks on a five-year journey that begins in the Midwest's Edenic Driftless Area canoeing a mysterious wild river in eastern Iowa.

While embracing the idealism of the 1970s counterculture, he seeks to discover himself in pursuit of his escapism. Amidst the backdrop of reconstructing his deconstructed Christian faith, sharing adventures with friends, his interior conversation gives a glimpse into the author's inner growth during these years. If anything kept him moving forward, it was the delusion of his magical thinking: his imagination and wanting, and the wandering search through the looking glass of his impressionistic mind, slicing through glacial meltwaters of northern forests in a canoe and other evocative childhood memories.

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On Colorado's high chaparral, just as he begins to reconcile his industrialist roots with his curious artist's soul, Rick falls in love with a girl from Sinaloa, Mexico. After high school, he hitchhikes back and forth across the country, visiting old friends before returning to Mexico to find the girl. Traveling the back roads of Mexico with new friends, looking down from the top of an active volcano, and taking a dangerous acid trip at the edge of Cholula's Great Pyramid, he comes to see his life's trajectory reflected in the struggles of his ancestors and buried in the secrets of Mexico's past.


Editorial Reviews


"A debut recollection of teenage existential angst and travel in the Age of Aquarius."

— Kirkus Reviews


"A deeply poetic book, far-reaching in its complexity, 'Mexican Sunset' is a fascinating look at the connectedness of peoples, nature, and their origins. It is unreservedly recommended!" 

- The BookViral Review


About the Author

Rick Jebb is a neuro divergent author who writes about adaptation: multigenerational influence, the power of community, art and nature. He has been called an “artist trapped in a businessman’s body,” and has striven to transverse the realms of ecology, geography, history, literature, fine art, neuroscience, religion and business.

His life often focused on the question: how to go-on when you want to quit? He deals with death, depression, mental illness and love.

Rick’s literary influences include: Herman Hesse, Anthony Doerr, Barry Lopez, Fredrick Buechner, Phillip Yancey, Christian Wiman, William Kent Krueger, John McFee, Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, Frank Herbert, Ralph Emerson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and Emily Dickinson.

An avid world traveler, and wilderness camper, since the age of twelve, he has led numerous canoe and hiking trips ranging from three to twenty days. As a canoeist and white water paddler, from age eleven through thirty, Rick paddled over 2,000 miles on lakes and rivers mostly throughout Ontario, Canada. He has run numerous white water rivers, and hiked mountain trails throughout the eastern United States.

He has been seriously writing since 2010, with seven essays published in The Boundary Waters Journal, Fathom, and Ekstasis magazines since 2019.


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 Where to begin? I had been born and bathed in the sunrise that spread

across an artist colony on the Florida coast like an impressionist painting.

The first soil I touched was sandy. My childhood memories were the

smell of salt air, exploring undeveloped places, launching out into the Gulf Stream

with my father in a homemade boat, hot chocolate, and predawn fishing off a pier

as the sun broke along the horizon.


My first pet was an alligator, then a stray dog. Then the dog was gone.

Run over by a car. Then the alligator escaped, and my neighbor’s character “Al

Alligator” helped bring the Florida alligator back from extinction. In his eighties,

Pat was my best friend, a political cartoonist, and environmental activist. My

childhood was boats, beaches, and planes, and while I searched for my identity in

these, their sum was something less than the trajectory of my soul. Then, a friend

was hit by a train, and everything changed.


But there was a little more backstory. It seemed important: I was born to a

beautiful artistic mother in her early twenties, the daughter of a Chicago meatpacking

family, and the man she met on the beach at spring break. He had been

compelling enough for her to break off an engagement in their rush to marry. They

had only known each other for a few weeks.


After six years and four kids, she threw in the towel. His insanity had broken

through his charming crew cut, ukulele serenades, and that big Buffalo industrialist

pedigree. So, we moved to an affluent Chicago suburb to be close to my

mother’s family, where my mind focused on almost anything except the present,

on to the next thing before the work at hand was complete. I was a seeker of what I wasn’t sure, if it wasn’t for hope. Preoccupied with the past and the future and

the woods. And I was a weaver of delusions.

But that wasn’t the opening… Then I had it, the story began with a loss: At

fourteen, I came to a place of doubt, my trust in God ironically shattered by death.

And this wasn’t the first time I’d found myself stuck in a dark hole. The question

wasn’t how I would find my way out (I had strategies for that), but why the losses

kept piling up just as I was trying to become my own person?

In the midst of the counterculture of the seventies, my five-year vision quest

spanned the continent of North America; fueled by escapism and drawn by the

magnificence of the mountains and the lakes and rivers where I found individualism,

independence, and confidence. The problem was how to infuse those feelings

with survival in the sophisticated world.

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