The Bus, the Rowboat, the Helicopter and Seven Million Books

11 Sep

There is an old parable, okay maybe a new parable and it goes like this:

A man is in his home and a flood is coming.  This man is devout and he knows in his heart that God is going to save him.  He prays to God for salvation, and he waits.  Along comes a bus, it stops at his house.  Please get in they say, a flood is coming, you need to evacuate.  I have been praying answers the man, and God is going to save me.

The water starts to rise and the man moves to the second floor, along comes a rowboat.  Please get in they say, the flood is here, you need to evacuate.  I have been praying says the man, and God is going to save me. 

The water gets deeper and the man climbs onto the roof, along comes a helicopter.  Climb the ladder they say, this is your last chance you need to evacuate.  I have been praying says the man, and God is going to save me.

The water gets deeper and the man drowns.

When he arrives in heaven he looks at God and asks, “Why didn’t you save me?”  God answers, “I sent a bus, a rowboat and a helicopter, what more did you want?” 

Sometimes our angels/guides here on earth are hard to recognize.  When something is sent to me in threes or more I always try to look at it as a message.  Perhaps they are my bus, rowboat and helicopter, but how do you recognize your angels and guides amid all of the noise and chaos of everyday life?

I have been sought out by what I have become to think of as three messengers, in the past month, each one a parent that has been knocked to their knees by a tragedy regarding their child. As a result all three of these parents have independently risen to the challenge and started foundations that are doing a lot of good in the world.  For each of them it has become their full time commitment. I have been humbled by their presence.  It started me thinking, “Am I not doing enough?”

I went to dinner the other night with a dear friend, she advised me that my tag line, one book, one person at a time was not big enough.  The universe she says, gives you back what you ask for. Do I really only want one book, one person at a time to read The Year of the Cicadas? Hmmm that got me thinking, am I not thinking big enough?

The next day Steve and I were doing our “local author brownbag Friday” event at the Portland Public Library. It was an honor to be invited and to have The Year of the Cicadas shelved at this library. It was a laid back intimate gathering, a few good friends and a couple of new ones. After listening to us for a few minutes a retired college teacher, turned community activist, breaks in.  (I think this is fair to say since he had bumper stickers cut out and stuck to his shoes so that he could be a walking sandwich board for his causes). He rambles on in an aggressive tone, shouting that we are not doing enough, that we are not thinking big enough! We all look at each other, each one realizing that he is a radical, but perhaps he has a valid point: “Are we all doing enough, are we thinking big enough?”

We shrugged it off and went about our way, a few days later we met with a member of one of the indigenous tribes of Maine, a well-respected story-teller of his people’s history.  He spoke with us and in his quiet gentle tone, told us:  There are so many more people that you need to reach with your story, your message.  The number is 7,000,000.  You need to put that number out there into the universe, put 7,000,000 books sold on your refrigerator.  “We were not thinking big enough!”

I don’t want to pass up any busses, rowboats, or helicopters Sometimes the world seems really simple, but oftentimes it is a bit more complicated.  Seven million seems like a lot of books to me, but I’m heading home to put that  number on my refrigerator.  Wow, seven million, we are going to need a bigger bus, boat and a helicopter too, for the continuation of our “Most Excellent Book Tour Adventure.”  We are going to need a lot of angels to reach that number, please tell a friend or two, or three about our story.   Please help us to spread the word, just maybe you can be the angel/guide that helps your friend, or two or three out of a flood.



Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or our

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen ShowOprahThe View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.


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