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  • And in some of the strangest places .... this quote ....
  • "When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen -- there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."

The Gull Sees Farthest Who Flies Highest or The Higher You Get, the HIGHER You Get.

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It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea ...........

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Richard Bach, Marabel Morgan and David R. Reuben each wrote one bestseller. Then, despite subsequent efforts, each slipped from the limelight.

Los Angeles Times Monday February 1, 1993
Home Edition
View, Page 1

It's the dream of authors, the lifeblood of publishing and talk shows. It's the "phenomenon" bestseller, a book whose huge success few predicted but many will gladly explain.

In a classic case, the book starts with a limited printing and less promotion and "just takes off," moving up the charts, out into worldwide sales in the millions. And the little-known author makes the tours, takes the money and quickly tries to extend the "phenomenon."

The word is phenomenon because whatever grabbed the public, it wasn't a major new literary talent. It was an idea, so right for the time and the public temper that it could sell two, four, maybe even more sequels in rapid succession, describing a long coda of substantial but declining sales until the basic idea was finally used up.

To the general public, what sticks is the book that started it. They'll ask, whatever happened to the guy who wrote that book about the sea gull? The "Total Woman"? The doctor who wrote "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex"?

For starters, that's not all they wrote. . . .

At first, Richard Bach couldn't sell anyone his story of a sea gull dedicated to flying "for the joy of flying" and not just transport. "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" was short, precious and heavily inspiring. ("The gull sees farthest who flies highest.") It was universally rejected.

The Long Beach minister's son hadn't written it so fast either. He started it at age 23 in 1959, when the beginning appeared to him, mystically, "in Cinerama on my wall," and he "mulled it around" for eight years before the ending came to him. During that time, he did a lot of flying and a lot of writing, including three books about flying--flying airplanes.

Just when his agent advised him to drop this book about the bird, an editor at Macmillan who also flew planes and liked one of Bach's other books wrote to him. The result: Macmillan (which had once turned "Jonathan" down) did a first printing of 7,500 in 1970, and "orders kept coming in, with no promotion, all word of mouth," says Bach. "People were seeing things in 'Jonathan' that I had no idea were there."

"Jonathan" has since sold an estimated 30 million copies in 3 dozen languages. What's more, Bach had more books in him, and more bestsellers--from 1977's "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" to 1984's "The Bridge Across Forever" and 1988's "One." The last two sold a mere third of a million copies each--creditable but no "Jonathan." Almost all, says Bach, "use flight as a method to reach inside my heart."

He was also good at the TV shows and the tours. "I could talk about Jonathan," he says. "He was a dear, dear friend who could teach me a lot."

Unfortunately, he who flies highest also tempts fate. Bach, he says now, was "not anywhere near ready to live the consequences of the commercial success." He made millions, couldn't handle it and "did what many did, found a friend and said, 'You handle this.' " By the end of the '70s, he'd lost a fortune, owed a fortune in taxes and declared bankruptcy.

But like Jonathan, he has prevailed. With the help of his second wife, Leslie, whom he married in 1981, he got "extremely organized" and is now not just solvent but also very comfortable. He lives near Seattle and flies a para-glider--"the closest thing to real flight I've found."

Trying to strike a balance between "overexposure" and "keeping a hand in," Bach only occasionally gives public talks now. As for writing, "every book seems my last, until along comes one I can't run away from and I'm waking up at 5 a.m., writing notes."

Meantime, his 25-year-old son--Jonathan (of course)--will take a turn. Morrow, Richard Bach's current publisher, is about to come out with Jonathan's "Above the Clouds," a book about his relationship with his father.

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From: Nicolas
Subject: Credits on JLS' movie????

Hi Bob,

It's the second time I write to you after visiting your page. Btw, I heard the midi file of Enya and I Liked it. I have the album myself. I constantly visit your page about Jonathan Livingston Seagull. What can I say: I'm like you, I need to know more about this man

So yesterday, by pure chance, I went to a video store to find out if I could rent the movie (haven't read the book entirely yet because I always thought it was more "childish" than R. Bach's other work - and boy was I wrong). And I did! Yesterday, I rent the movie, plus two movies of Leslie Parrish-Bach (the one in Star Trek: TOS, the ep. was "Who Mourn For Adonais?"; than the classic "Lil'Abner". Finally I get to place a face and a voice with a name (Leslie Parrish-Bach).

They are few anecdotes that got my attention:

When I watched JLS and was amazed with the way they filmed the movie. And then, I heard a voice of a women I'm almost sure it was Leslie Parrish: do you remember "Moreen", the bird that Jonathan met toward the end that helped him to fly higher and faster ? Well I was almost sure it was Richard's wife, Leslie.

Can you help me on this please? Was it her? I'm aware of IMDB's existence but I also know they are allow to make few mistakes.

Second of all I didn't see Richard's name on the credit. Not even a mention of a "based on the book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach". And though I'm sure I read on one of his books that he personally helped on this movie. Can you help me on this too?

I'd appreciate alot any reply as I am in search of answers:-)

Thanks in advance.


p.s.: do you have a scanned picture of Richard Bach (except the one at the back of his book "The Bridges Acroos Forever") ?

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