One More Life for Jonathan Livingston Seagull

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT has been published today in other places, and I think it needs to be published here, too.

——

My name is Richard Bach.  In 1970, after 18 rejections by major publishers, the book about our little friend, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was finally published. 

He startled publishers around the world by simply becoming himself, and flying into the hearts of readers who saw his life as a mirror of their own.

As he strived every day to exceed the best flying he had ever done, his readers found this was true for us, too.  When he discovered that he could only do this by loving the principle of flight itself, so we could discover and love the principles that matter for us. 

Jonathan didn’t care about food, didn’t care for recognition in the eyes of the Flock, he cared only to learn the secret ways of flying higher, longer, faster than he had flown before.

Sure enough, when we found our way to excel in sports, in the arts, in business, in the technologies of our time, in anything and everything, our own excellence is the joy that we search for, all our lives.

We survived the injuries it took for us to do this, survived the distress of our loved ones, we became different from everyone else because of our attraction to that which we loved.

Even today, Jonathan is changing once more.  He came to us in books, in films, in the comments of those who won the races that they cared for.

Now he’s expressed in our latest technology, too.  In an application for mobile devices that brings Jonathan to life on our own screen, his story is told again by interactive action.  We’re with him as he learns, as he fails, as he struggles, as he survives.  Through this application, we can direct him in the altitude and the direction to fly, we can watch him practicing at high speed, at night, and discovering aerobatics.

We can discover how to do what we need to for ourselves, right now, in this lifetime.  We hear the important rule Jonathan’s been hearing: “Practice, practice, practice!” 

Learning to be the master of any subject, we feel the joy of doing it well, doing it beautifully.  In time, our principles won’t need technology.  They’ll live in our hearts and we’ll become our own instructors. 

There’s nothing that can keep us from being the free souls we’ve yearned to be, from the day of our very first flight.

 

The new book has disappeared…

Today Life with my Guardian Angel is gone from Amazon.com.  I wonder why th…

Because it is soon to be published by Rainbow Ridge Books.

The publisher will take a few weeks, and then the e-book version of Guardian Angel will appear on Amazon.com and a few other places on the Internet.  Later it will appear in a lovely paper version which will be found in bookstores and on the Web, too.

More information and dates, as soon as I know.

Richard

Is It Possible

that we (that is, some of us) are finally given a chance to rebuild the world?

Well, OK, not to rebuild the entire world, but to rebuild our world.  Our own private personal world, our own belief of events that seem to come into our awareness, into our consciousness.

  1. Is it true that our world has been split into divisive groups of people, angry with each other, one in which wars keep blossoming here and there around the planet, that nature itself is retreating from the acts of human beings? 
  2. Are there are islands of discarded plastic containers and boxes and bottles, collecting, forming in the Pacific ocean?  
  3. Are cheetahs and giraffes and elephants next on the long list of endangered animals? 
  4. Was the destruction of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, was that a false flag event that our own government planned and executed?

If we agree to only two of these questions, then sure enough, our world needs to be rebuilt.

There was a time, less than a century ago, when “Radio” became the first technology.  People would gather around their radios, and listen to disembodied voices, telling us stories, telling us what others thought was happening all around a world we didn’t know. 

I’m one of the last several millions still alive, who remember this.  What once had been a strange novelty, could be found in every home.  Parents echoed the radio: “Lands sakes, Dickie, the world is so much smaller, these days!”

I clutched my little zebra doll, unaware of the truth my mother had spoken.  Before the radio entered our home, that little zebra was a huge event in my life, in my world.  Mom, of course, was most of my world, my dad was someone I could dodge, my older brothers the same.  Other people, other places, they were stories about transparent ghosts, they didn’t really exist. 

Seven decades later, my guardian angel told me the same thing that Mom had said:

      “We have the power of vanishment of our beliefs, in this world as well as in heaven! 

      “Mortals caught in extreme violence, mortals in a crash like yours, they’re the same,” she said.  “You use your skills at vanishment to erase parts of your dream.  You aren’t aware of any crash, any violence when you died.  All at once you’re in a different dream, you arrive at the gates of your heavens.”

It took me a while to know that she was right. 

When my wife Sabryna had told me about the difficult events in our lives, those events were gone — I couldn’t remember a single one.  I thought this could have been a case of General Memory Collapse. 

Yet when she mentioned the lovely times we had shared, the walks in the forest when she had found and carried one pinecone of the thousands of pinecones around us, or the time thirteen years earlier, when Jasmine Ferret and Zsa-Zsa Ferret had an argument over a tiny piece of ferret-food, I remembered those events as clearly and bright as she did.

We all have the Power of Vanishment!

How can we use that power in the indefinite number of worlds around us?  I tried an experiment.

When Sabryna was away on business for a month, I stayed home.  We had taken our television set to the dump, on September 12, 2001.  We own a radio, but since I didn’t turn it on, it was silent. 

I promised not to listen to any news of any kind on my computer.  I used it as though it were an electric typewriter and a private telegraph to friends and to my website. 

Seems simple enough.  What happened?

Zero news.  Not one word about wars, about politics, about people being killed for no reason at all.  My total news sources were the windows of this house.  If it was raining, I knew that.  If it was night, I knew that.  When snow filtered its silence around the house, I was aware of that news.  If I needed groceries, I spent some time with oranges, lettuce, dog food and soup.

Me, two Shelties, the windows and a super-modern typewriter.

I guess you know about the world I lived, for that month.  As a matter of fact, I’m here now.  There are no wars in this world, no crime, no conflicts, no injustice.  All because I stopped.  I turned off every technology, every machine that can track a different world onto my carpet.

This simple experiment taught me that such a thing is possible.  It’s easy and it makes no noise.

Crazy?  Probably. 

Insane it may be, but listen to this:

It works! 

 

Life with my Guardian Angel

This new book is… DONE!

Everything I said about how easy it is to write a book?  

Those words need just a little correction, a little addition at the end.  “Any book is easy to write, as long as it’s already finished.”

Lucky for us, there’s something that happens in the mind, one day after we write the word “- end -” and have placed it centered and two lines after the last words on the last page of the book.  A hidden vacuum cleaner, comes out of the closet then, and vacuums-up all the terrible work that just about killed us, the day before.  

For all these months, I’ve been writing. After that I hoped to find a publisher for my new book. 

Didn’t work.  Nine publishers decided either not to publish the book or they decided not to respond to me at all. 

Some of my friends in the New York publishing industry have died, some publishing companies I knew years ago are no longer in business, others have been bought by huge international companies.  So instead of being an old friend, I’m some kid who’s bothering them with some little book they don’t have time for.

What to do?  It used to be that self-publishing was called the vanity press, and the books were rarely of interest to readers. 

Wow, has that changed!

Amazon.com appeared in the 90’s, first as a vanity press, then very swiftly it became a serious competitor for what we now call The Legacy Publishers — the ones who need huge Manhattan offices, and require at least a year to publish a book.

Amazon.  publishes.  books.    Period.

It’s up to the writers to decide if their books are quality or trash.  Not the New York Times, not the reviews by literary experts… the market will be the final judge of quality.  If a trashy book sells millions of copies, that book is high-quality trash. 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions were early examples.  Many a sophisticated reader had a difficult time when they found these trashy books, at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.  Were there rejections for these books?  Legacy publishers sent me 18 rejections slips for Jonathan alone, and one had a hand-written note at the bottom of a printed slip: “Oh, dear No!”

That doesn’t happen these days.  Today, writers will get an email rejection or they’ll get silence. 

Or at last, like I did, they’ll publish their book on Amazon.

Life with my Guardian Angel, a book which didn’t exist yesterday, all of a sudden it’s for sale at Amazon.com.  www.amazon.com/Life-Guardian-Angel-Richard-Bach/dp/1549840118 

Just as with conventional Legacy Publishing, I froze in horror when I found a typo (not really a typo, but a space-o) after its pub date, today.  There are probably a number of ways to fix that space-o, but right now, I don’t care.

In reading the book (yet again), I thought that I could make a list of the ideas in this book that I’ve never seen or said before, and I may do that. 

Yet a first-time experience (publishing a book at Amazon) requires a whole lot of energy, and for now, instead of making that list or finding that space-o and fixing it, I’d rather ask this: “Do you think Life with my Guardian Angel was worth the effort it took to write it?”  

It’s OK, if you tell me No.  I’m only a few steps from the top of a cliff.  And with the next step comes a 300-foot drop, straight down.

 

A New and Modern Vision of Jonathan’s Forever Principles

Featured

Kind Heart Productions has created a modern and uniquely engaging way to experience Jonathan Livingston Seagull as an Interactive Audio Book App for mobile devices. You can learn more about the Jonathan Livingston Seagull 1 App and download it by clicking the links below.

Get the App on Google Play

 Get the App on iTunes

“Instead of imagining, we and our children can see Jonathan’s flight under our eyes, on the very pages of spoken words. We can become seagulls ourselves, turning, soaring, even flying upside down, whenever we wish! Kind Heart Production’s App is a modern vision of the forever principles of the book. This is a perfect expression of enlightened entertainment!”       – Richard Bach

 

Thanks to everyone

WHO HAS ENJOYED our talks and the hours we’ve spent together here.

I hope that one day in the future I’ll return.  For the time being there are other projects that I need to finish.  Wishing you love, always.

Richard

If It Weren’t

IF IT WEREN’T for our own belief in the reality of the physical world and all things physical, what else might make a difference to us? If we were spirits, the kind of beings that some say we are after our lives as mortals are finished, what would we care about?

A short list of What They Care About, for spirits:

Bodies? No

Money? No

Intimacy? Yes

Family? Yes

Air? No

Water? No

Continue reading

Temporary Ending of the Film called _Illusions_

THERE!

I’ve just now finished my education in the class called Films Today.

I began studying years ago, and now at last I’ve graduated. Why, you may ask, did it take me four decades to finish the course? I hate to say this, but the reason is: I’m slow.  Year after year, I thought a story that so many book-readers enjoyed could be a good motion picture (of course once it had a fine screenwriter, an excellent director and a cast who loves the action).

My instructors kept reminding me, “Money! Don’t forget, it takes money to make a movie!”   I thought, of course it takes a little money to help it to happen, but when it came to a test for me to understand this, I failed.   So many books I’ve written, I thought, so many of them would make terrific movies!

A couple times there was the money, but as you know, that doesn’t guarantee a good film. The source of the trouble, was me. I chose a wrong person to direct the film, or I didn’t recognize or object when scenes were included instead of being cut.

So I kept on coming to class for the pleasure of the subject, yet I kept on failing every test. Now I’ve learned that failing, is graduating.

It used to be that there could have been a wonderful film of Illusions. Just a few million dollars, some biplanes, some fields for them to fly into, a few actors and a script, then just thirty thousand feet of film or so, and it would be finished!

Not now.  For the last half-year, I’ve talked with screenwriters, directors, producers, studios and independents, foreign movie studios, actors — and nothing has happened. I’ve been told that the film industry is not anywhere it used to be — the old film industry, they told me, is gone.

Nowadays, motion picture projects need huge amounts of money, in the first place, and in the second, the source of the money needs to be certain that the film will be successful. The best way to do that, it seems, would be to film a sequel of a picture that was a success in the first place.

Deciding not to shoot a sequel, to make an original film even after a successful book, is to make a gamble with one’s money.  To make an original film that is not intended to appeal to teenage viewers today is a Big Gamble.  To make an original film that is not intended to appeal to teenagers and computer graphics now is a Very Big Gamble.  To make an original film that is not intended for teenagers, does not use computer graphics and doesn’t smash things into little pieces along the way, is a Major Very Very Big Gamble.

If you’re an invester in motion pictures today, then, would you choose to put your money into a sequel, or into a MVVBG?  Once in a while your bet will pay off after a long time (The Princess Bride).  Usually, though, the money will rise to vanish above the cooking of its own production.

So in the last half-year I had all these people, even apparently a couple of major stars (though they never spoke a word to me) mildly interested in the film of Illusions.  Nothing happened.  Then by itself, I realized my story would never be made until the film industry changed the way it makes and distributes motion pictures.  That means, to the best of my knowledge, that the book Illusions will never be a film.

Now I’m content.  The book continues to do well, finding readers all around the world. Only a few of our major novels have whispered their stories as well or better than this little book has done it.

So here’s an announcement: The film of Illusions (shy of some miracle) will never happen in our lifetimes.  I might be born, say fifty years from now, as president of a major film studio, and make the gamble then.  Illusions could be a huge success (or go bankrupt) by my bet on the edge of a spinning dime… (Oh.  In fifty years, there won’t be dimes.) …on the edge of a spinning thousand-credit coin.  No miracles required.  Just a few people who know it could be fun, and their money, waiting on the table.

 

 

 

An Ending

THANK YOU ALL, for talking with me these days when ideas have become strings of letters between our computers.

I don’t leave today because of difficult times for me, just that we have proven that there are others so much like us, all through our world.  I hope I’ll be writing more books, and that we can find each other and touch again on those pages.  Lacking the pages, though, I’ll remember that there’s a trace of us in everyone we have met, in everyone we shall meet in the belief of time, and in the lands far beyond that belief.

With you always,

Richard

At Last! The New Book (for Other People)

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TODAY IS THE PUB DATE for Part-Time Angels. As of a few minutes ago you can find it with photos in color as an Kindle e-book at Amazon.com,

http://www.amazon.com/Part-Time-Angels-Others-Richard-Bach-ebook/dp/B010J00118/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1435577471&sr=8-2&keywords=part-time+angels+ebook

and as a black-and-white trade paperback at:

http://www.amazon.com/Part-Time-Angels-Others-Richard-Bach/dp/1514385562/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435530830&sr=1-1&keywords=part-time+angels+paperback

These links worked for me, though they are not supposed to be ready till a few days from now.

The subtitle says that there are 75 other stories in the book, but in fact there may be more. After all that writing, I didn’t feel like counting that high. It has 426 pages, which is a lot of pages, for me.

Most of the stories came from this website, so you’ll probably decline to get this book. But I thought other readers might like it. Some of the stories, after months of reading over and over for typographical errors, can still make me smile.

All the work of the art and design and the technical problems for making them into a book was done by my friend Anne Louque, who did Curious Lives and Illusions II.

Thank you, dear Anne!