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One Man's Life Work: Lucky Jonah

One Man's Life Work: Lucky Jonah

For Glenn Desjardins, writing is not a hobby–it is his life's work. Desjardins' love for words began in early childhood, and his passion for storytelling has followed him his whole life. Even so, he c

For Glenn Desjardins, writing is not a hobby–it is his life's work.

Desjardins' love for words began in early childhood, and his passion for storytelling has followed him his whole life.

Even so, he considers his character Lucky Jonah Jynx the greatest achievement of his career.

"I would much rather create one really great book, than ten good books," says Desjardins. "Lucky Jonah Jynx is my best creation and it was very, very difficult to create."

In 1992, Desjardins published The Life of Lucky Jonah Jynx and his Grateful Guardian Sea Turtle. The illustrated tale is a story about luck, perseverance, hope and success. The story was written by Desjardins and illustrated by Stu Hogan.

Although it was written much later in his life, Desjardins has been collecting elements of the story his entire life. In December of 1984, he went down to Stuart, Fla., with a friend and found a great white shark's tooth in a nautical shop. He brought it back to Maine and had a goldsmith put a gold clasp on it.

A photograph of this necklace was used as the cover image for The Life of Lucky Jonah Jynx and his Grateful Guardian Sea Turtle.

Later, Desjardins received an American Heritage dictionary as a gift. He was reading through the letter "J," and was struck by the definitions of both the words "Jonah" and "jinx." Jonah was defined as "one thought to bring bad luck," while jinx was defined as "someone or something thought to bring bad luck."

"Lucky Jonah Jynx is an oxymoron," says Desjardins. "Lucky Jonah Jynx is the only person with the power to break a very strange curse. The theme is all about creating your own luck."

In June of 1992, Desjardins got serious about plotting stories. He teamed up with Hogan, and Lucky Jonah Jynx was born.

The story follows Jonah, born the smaller and weaker twin to his brother Solomoon. At birth, his father Bluemoon wants to kill him, but his mother begs for his survival. His father bestows upon him a perfect arrowhead necklace, which contains a curse: Jonah must carve a perfect arrowhead before he can take the necklace off.

Desjardins got the inspiration for this strange curse from his friend Glen Downs of Cutler, Maine. Downs grew up in Scarborough, Maine, on Blue Point. As far back as 5,000 years ago, the Abnaki Indians once thrived in this area, says Desjardins. Downs found several perfect arrowheads in the soil, and gave one to Desjardins as a gift.

Growing up, Jonah proves himself by killing the largest alligator in the forest. Jonah lives to the ripe old age of 100 years, when he meets Ponce de Leon, drinks from the fountain of eternal youth. Then the story really begins.

"The story is adventurous and gutsy, humorous and serious, and it's got a real storybook ending with a she-saves-him twist," says Desjardins.

In June of 1997, Desjardins went to New York City to attend the Licensing International Expo. He shared his work with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, who said it "looks like it could become a classic."

"It's not about how many books a writer can write," says Desjardins. "I have got thousands of dollars into this dream, and I will never abandon it."

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