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THE TRAVELERS GIFT

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					    A Book Proposal for




THE TRAVELER’S GIFT


      Andy Andrews




       Represented by

      Chip MacGregor

     MacGregor Literary
                                 THE TRAVELER’S GIFT

                                        Andy Andrews




    Each generation produces a story with a powerful message that can transform the

    reader's life. In this tradition, The Traveler’s Gift is destined to influence count-

    less lives.



I. THE CONTENT

  A. Premise:

     Og Mandino is the most widely read inspirational and self-help author in the world today.
     Thousands of people from all walks of life have openly credited Og Mandino with turning
     their lives around and for the miracles they have found in his words. His books have sold
     more than 25 million copies in 18 languages. Og Mandino passed away in the fall of
     1996. He left a great legacy for us all in the form of his many inspirational books.

     Andy Andrews, the inspirational and self-help author of the new Millennium, is a proven
     master storyteller with the ability to identify principles that will enable people to achieve
     the extraordinary riches of life.

     The Traveler’s Gift is a soon-to-be-classic—an invaluable guide to a philosophy of better liv-
     ing. The Traveler’s Gift weaves history with spirituality into a much-needed message of inspi-
     ration in this culture of self-promotion. Andrews believes that to be a fulfilled person, you
     must believe in yourself and the work you are doing. It is a simple but profound spiritual phi-
     losophy about how to succeed in the world—easy to understand and to take to heart.

  B. Benefits:

     After completing The Traveler’s Gift, readers will:

      Be encouraged to bravely and successfully begin and finish the journey.

      Take unstoppable action in every area of their lives toward what they want.

      Embrace each day happily and joyously.

      Learn how to become more effective leaders.

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THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                             Proposal Overview




      C. Features:

          Highlight seven fundamental strategies for creating a successful life.

          Let everyone from all walks of life know that it’s okay to experience setbacks, fail-
           ures, and hardships—that it’s a natural part of the process of succeramatically im-
           pacted and adjusted. Like David Ponder, we too cannot remain unchanged, but will be
           renewed and energized.

      D. Overview:

         David Ponder is at a major crossroad in his personal and family life. He has been selected
         to travel the ages gathering wisdom for future generations. He is given the chance to visit
         seven familiar historical personalities, who will be at that moment experiencing a personal
         crisis. David will have the opportunity to question them and observe their methods of
         dealing with life’s challenges. Each of the seven people will have prepared a written page
         for their visitor detailing a particular Fundamental for Success. As David finishes reading
         one, he will immediately travel to the next destination.

         Immediately after his seven historical visits, David travels to his future, where he gets a
         glimpse of the success he has achieved and the changes brought about in the world because
         he shared the gift of The Seven Fundamentals for Success.

         The perspective of our own set of circumstances cannot help but be dramatically impacted
         and adjusted. Like David Ponder, we too cannot remain unchanged, but will be renewed
         and energized.

      E. The Manuscript:

         1. Manuscript status: Completed

         2. Word count: 35,000 words.


  II. THE MARKET

      A. Characteristics:

          People who purchase and read self-help, inspirational books.

          Business people who read motivational books.

          People who are multi-level distributors (Amway, New Vision, Mary Kay, etc.).


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THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                               Proposal Overview



          Former readers of Country America magazine where Andy’s articles have been fea-
           tured.

          Millions of others who have seen Andy on television, in Vegas, on cruise ships, at
           Corporate Events and at concerts with Kenny Rogers, Joan Rivers, and others.

          People who subscribe to the following magazines: Success, Entrepreneur, Readers’
           Digest, Guidepost, Saturday Evening Post, and other publications of human interest.

      B. Competition:

          Books related to self help, inspirational, motivational, story teaching books. Books
           like, The Greatest Salesman in the World (all of Og Mandino’s books), The Instant Mil-
           lionaire, by Mark Fisher, and Legend of the Golden Scrolls by Glenn Bland.


  III. THE AUTHOR

      A. Background:

         What do a Las Vegas comedian, author, motivational speaker, corporate entertainer, na-
         tional television celebrity, and a serious fisherman all have in common? They are all
         Andy Andrews! Being known as a clean comedian separated Andy from the pack to the
         degree that Paul Harvey took notice on his national ABC radio network show. Two times,
         Andy has been requested to perform for Presidents Reagan and Bush. For President Bush,
         the performance was from the Ford Theater and broadcast nationally on ABC TV. He has
         received smash reviews from his stints at Caesars Palace, The Mirage, and Bally’s in Las
         Vegas. These performances have been sandwiched between Andy’s tours with such stars as
         Kenny Rogers, Joan Rivers, Cher, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Bob Hope and USO tours
         to Iceland, Greenland, Cuba, Honduras, and Panama.

         As an author, Andy has created the Storms of Perfection series. Storms of Perfection I, II,
         III, and IV are collections of real stories, real life, real courage, and triumph. Collectively
         these volumes contain personal accounts from extremely successful individuals. In their
         own words these successful men and women tell us of their darkest hours on the road to
         success. With nearly 400,000 in print, in two languages, being sold in seven countries, it’s
         obvious there are messages in these books the world is hungry to hear. Tales From Saw-
         yerton Springs, a series of short stories (first released in Country America magazine over 2
         ½ years) written by Andy, has been published as a collection in a book of the same name.
         These wonderful stories have been recorded as a tape set, bringing Sawyerton Springs and
         it’s cast of wonderful, loving characters to life.

      B. Previous Writing:




                                                  3
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                              Proposal Overview




          Title                              Publisher                Pub Date             LTD Units
          Storms of Perfection I             Lightning Crown             6/91
                                             Publishers, Inc.

          Storms of Perfection II            Lightning Crown             6/94
                                             Publishers, Inc.

          Tales From Sawyerton Springs       Lightning Crown             5/95
                                             Publishers, Inc.
          Storms of Perfection III             Lightning Crown           5/96
                                                Publishers, Inc.
          Storms of Perfection IV              Lightning Crown           10/97
                                                Publishers, Inc.

         * Total Sales To Date: nearly 400,000



      C. Personal Marketing:

         1. Andy is a professional speaker and comedian reaching over 100,000 people a year,
            creating a built in marketing plan.

         2. Being a noted speaker in the Amway/Quixtar business, Andy has a tremendous plat-
            form. His cassettes have been extremely popular, selling over 500,000 copies.

         3.    Scream Marketing, the same record company that has released Jeff Foxworthy’s
              CD’s, will be releasing a new CD in the early spring 2002 by Andy Andrews, My Life
              So Far!

         4. David Brokaw, of The Brokaw Company in Beverly Hills, will be handling all public-
            ity.

         5. Dalmatian Press will be publishing a series of four children’s books by Andy, entitled,
            Go For It! They will be released in early spring 2002.

         6. Andy will be on tour with the, My Life So Far, in nearly 30 cities throughout the na-
            tion.

         7. AndyAndrews.com is the official web site and will continually drive additional e-
            commerce sales.

         8. He will be available to promote this book in every appropriate way possible.


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THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews       Proposal Overview




                                      5
                           THE TRAVELER’S GIFT

                                  Andy Andrews


                                INTRODUCTION


THE TRAVELER’S GIFT tells the story of David Ponder, a forty-six year old executive who,
with his wife Ellen and twelve-year-old daughter Jenny, lives in Dallas. As the narrative be-
gins, David has been laid off after twenty-three years of service for the same corporation.
Devastated, he is unable to secure employment for a period of months until, finally, he ac-
cepts a job as a laborer in a hardware store. His wife Ellen is now cleaning houses.

On the day David finds out that his daughter needs an operation to remove her tonsils, he is
also fired from his job at the hardware store. The operation will cost eleven hundred dollars,
money David doesn’t have. With no insurance, credit cards maxed out, no income, and no
chance of a loan, life seems at it’s darkest to David Ponder.

While driving outside the city, David considers the possibility of suicide. His life insurance is
still in effect and, he reasons, Ellen and Jenny could make a new start. As he contemplates
this option, David’s car hits ice on a bridge, spins out of control, and impacts a tree.

When David awakens, he finds himself unhurt and in the temporary office of President Harry
Truman. It is July 24, 1945. Truman is in Potsdam, Germany in meetings with Churchill and
Stalin to determine, among other things, whether to use the atomic bomb on Japan.

The President, who was warned in a dream of David’s arrival, explains to him that he has
been selected to travel the ages gathering wisdom for future generations. He will visit seven
people who will be, at that moment, experiencing a personal crisis. David will have the op-
portunity to question them and observe their methods of dealing with life’s challenges. Each
of the seven people will have prepared a written page for their visitor detailing a particular
Fundamental for Success. As David finishes reading one, he will immediately travel to the
next destination.

Truman presents David with the First Fundamental for Success. It is a work written in first
person detailing the value of tribulation in our lives and the importance of taking responsibil-
ity for one’s own actions. It begins: THE BUCK STOPS HERE.

King Solomon, after threatening to cut a baby in half with his sword to determine the mother
of the child, talks with David about the power of association and the necessity of growth and
change. His scroll, the Second Fundamental for Success, starts with the words: I WILL
SEEK WISDOM.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a Colonel in the Union Army, is in the heaviest fighting of
the Battle of Gettysburg. During a lull, he speaks with David about failure, it’s lessons, and


                                         6
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                     Proposal Overview



             the process of making effective decisions. He also gives David a small, blue tobacco pouch to
             use in carrying the written words he has received. The Third Fundamental begins: I AM A
             PERSON OF ACTION.

             David watches Christopher Columbus deal with a mutinous crew after sixty-four days at sea
             without sighting land. Columbus teaches David about vision, passion, and the importance of
             conviction. The Fourth Fundamental for Success opens with: I HAVE A DECIDED
             HEART.

             As David arrives in the annex hiding Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, the Gestapo
             are probing the outer walls. As they leave for a time, Anne takes David to the attic where
             they discuss the strength to be gained through endurance and the utter worthlessness of self-
             pity. The Fifth Fundamental, written on a page torn from Anne’s diary, begins: TODAY, I
             WILL CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.

             Abraham Lincoln enters a tent where David has been waiting. There are thousands of people
             gathered outside waiting for the President to make his memorial address at Gettysburg. It is
             five months after David first visited the battleground. Lincoln talks with David about han-
             dling unjust criticism, leadership, and inspiring others to greatness. His Sixth Fundamental for
             Success states: I POSSESS A FORGIVING SPIRIT.

             David appears in a vast storage facility filled to overflowing with pictures of families, clothes,
             birth certificates, roofing shingles, pianos, money, and titles to homes and cars. He is totally
             confused until the Archangel Gabriel explains that this is the warehouse where heaven keeps
             all the things that were about to be delivered just as someone quit working and praying for
             them. The Seventh Fundamental for Success: I WILL PERSIST WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

             David then travels to his future where he gets a glimpse of the success he has achieved and
             the changes brought about in the world because he shared the gift of THE SEVEN
             FUNDAMENTALS FOR SUCCESS. Not knowing how to get back to his family or travel
             again, David wanders around until he finds his old car—with the key in the ignition. While
             driving, he once again encounters an icy patch of road and, in exactly the same manner as be-
             fore, hits a tree.

             David wakes up in the hospital to find his wife and family surrounding him. He has been in-
             jured very badly, they tell him, but the doctors have assured them that he will be fine. After
             talking with Ellen, David is convinced that what he experienced was a powerful dream. As
             the family leaves, a nurse brings in a bag containing David’s personal effects taken from him
             in the ambulance after the accident. As David empties the bag onto his bed, he sees his wed-
             ding ring, his wallet, some loose change...and a small, blue tobacco pouch containing The
             Seven Funda mentals for Success.


Chapter 1:   THE BEGINNING




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THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                  Proposal Overview



             David Ponder is a forty-six year old executive who, with his wife Ellen and twelve-year-old
             daughter Jenny, lives in Dallas, Texas. For twenty-three years he has been a dedicated em-
             ployee of the chemical plant he went to work for after graduating with an MBA from Iowa
             State. As the story opens, a buyout has taken place and the corporate reorganization sud-
             denly leaves David without a job.

             After missing Jenny’s birthday party, David comes home late. In his daughter’s bedroom,
             while she is sleeping, he relates to his wife the events of the day. He tells her how the keys
             to his office and company car were taken and how he was escorted to the front gate where a
             taxi was waiting to bring him home at his own expense. She tries to reassure him, but with no
             job prospects, a second mortgage on the house, and very little money in reserve, David’s fu-
             ture appears bleak.


Chapter 2:   SEVEN MONTHS LATER

             Seven months later, the Ponder family savings are exhausted. Ellen has taken part time work
             cleaning houses while David works as a laborer at a local hardware store. More than two hun-
             dred resumes have been rejected or unanswered. Three months behind on the house payment
             and two on Ellen’s car, David is driving a twenty-year-old, faded silver and black Dodge Colt
             that he bought from a high school student.

             Receiving a call at work from his wife, David finds out that the constant sore throat Jenny
             has suffered recently is tonsillitis and that she must have an eleven-hundred dollar operation
             to cure the problem. As he tries to explain to Ellen that there is no more room on the credit
             cards and no prospect of a loan, his boss, the owner of the hardware store, becomes increas-
             ingly angry at David’s lack of attention to his work. After hanging up on a crying wife,
             David argues with his boss and is fired.

             Driving aimlessly and dangerously fast, David finds himself on a two-lane highway on the
             outskirts of the city. He thinks of his family and how he feels he has let them down. He
             wonders if the life insurance he has maintained would be enough to allow Ellen and Jenny a
             new beginning. At the darkest time in David Ponder’s life, the car hits a patch of ice on a
             small bridge and spins out of control. As he sees an oak tree looming before him, David
             screams “Why me?!” And then...darkness.


Chapter 3:   TRUMAN

             As David awakes, he finds himself on the floor of an ornate office being helped to his feet by
             an older gentleman who seems none too happy to see him. Demanding that David be silent
             for a time, the man returns to his desk and the work that has been interrupted. David is to-
             tally confused. Remembering the accident, he thinks he may be in some sort of hospital, but
             after an inspection of his surroundings and a brief exchange with the man behind the desk,
             David is convinced that he has somehow materialized in Potsdam, Germany on Tuesday, July



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THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                   Proposal Overview



             24, 1945. The man behind the desk is the current President of the United States, Harry
             Truman.

             Truman, in Potsdam to meet with Churchill and Stalin, is in the process of deciding whether
             to use a new type of bomb in the war on Japan. Refusing any foretelling of the future from
             his visitor, the President instead talks with David about responsibility for one’s own actions
             and the value of tribulation in our lives.

             In his conversation with President Truman, David is shocked to find that he had been ex-
             pected. In fact, Truman has prepared for David’s arrival by writing a “Fundamental for Suc-
             cess” as a gift for his visitor. When David reads the paper, the president explains, he will
             immediately travel to another destination. There, he will meet a second person who will also
             be expecting David’s arrival. There are seven stops to be made. These seven people will also
             be prepared with a specific Fundamental for Success. These seven success fundamentals,
             Truman says, are all to be committed to David’s heart. As David reads the first, it begins:
             THE BUCK STOPS HERE!


Chapter 4:   SOLOMON

             David finishes the Truman paper and feels himself beginning to release from his surroundings.
             Falling through the floor, he lands in a large hall filled with hundreds of people. He arrives
             just in time to see King Solomon decide which among two arguing women is a baby’s real
             mother. After the famous decision is made, the crowds disperse and King Solomon motions
             for David to follow him into a room behind the throne.

             There, David eats with the king while admiring the gold and ivory shields displayed on the
             walls. Solomon talks about his father, King David, and laughs at the awe his guest feels when
             he realizes he is speaking and understanding an ancient language. Remarking that the lan-
             guage is not so ancient to him, King Solomon explains that David will be fluent in the lan-
             guage of his host wherever he might travel. David also finds that he can only be seen and
             heard by the person he is intended to visit.

             After a discussion about the power of association and the necessity of growth and change,
             Solomon presents David with a small leather scroll and leads him out of the room to the
             throne. As the king departs, David sits down upon the throne, unrolls the scroll, and begins
             to read. The Second Fundamental of Success begins: I WILL SEEK WISDOM.


Chapter 5:   CHAMBERLAIN

             David arrives in a standing position amidst the loudest noise he has ever heard. Suddenly, he
             is grabbed and pulled down into the dirt by a soldier, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
             Chamberlain’s regiment, the 20 th Maine, is defending a hill called Little Round Top. These
             men are the extreme left of the Union army—presently fighting the battle of Gettysburg.




                                                     9
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                   Proposal Overview



             During the lull between the noise and horror of Confederate charges, the Colonel talks with
             David about failure, it’s lessons, and the process of making effective decisions. He gives
             David a page he has written the night before and, almost as an afterthought, tosses him a
             small, blue canvas tobacco pouch. Worn smooth from continued use, it is held closed by two
             buttons on a flap. Just above the buttons, David sees, embroidered in gold thread, are crossed
             swords—the symbol of victory to a fighting man.

             Soon, Chamberlain receives word that his men are out of ammunition and that the rebel
             troops have begun massing for another push up the hill. The Colonel knows that if the Con-
             federates overrun his men, the whole Union army will be flanked, insuring that the battle, and
             most likely the war, will be lost. In a stunningly successful ploy, he gives his own men the
             order to fix bayonets and charge. From his position on the ridge, David watches less than
             two hundred soldiers with no ammunition capture almost a thousand enemy troops.

             Leaning against the rock barricade on the ridge, David tucks the tobacco pouch into his
             pocket and reads the words given to him by Chamberlain. They begin: I AM A PERSON OF
             ACTION.


Chapter 6:   COLUMBUS

             David finishes reading Chamberlain’s words and closes his eyes. Never feeling the time shift,
             he opens them and realizes that he has already arrived at his destination. It is quite obviously
             the middle of the night and David can see that he is on a boat. Despite the darkness, a small
             man finds David and urges him to follow. Quickly, digging the tobacco pouch out of his
             pocket, he folds Chamberlain’s paper together with Truman’s writing and the scroll of King
             Solomon. Placing these pieces of work into the pouch, David shoves the whole thing back
             into his pocket and hurries after the man who is waiting impatiently near the center of the
             boat.

             Climbing the rigging of the mast, the man leads David into the crow’s nest and introduces
             himself as Captain Cristobal Colon—Master of the Santa Maria. They watch the sun rise to-
             gether while hoping to sight land by looking to the west. For sixty-four days Christopher Co-
             lumbus, his men, and three ships have been at sea searching for a new trade route to India by
             sailing to the west. While onboard, David experiences some of the hardships of life at sea
             and marvels at the skillful way Columbus deals with a mutinous crew.

             The famous explorer teaches David about vision, passion, and the importance of conviction.
             He talks about his unyielding spirit and how he is laughed at because of his ideas. As David
             unfolds the parchment he has been given to read, Columbus keeps his elbows on the edge of
             the crows nest and his eyes on the western horizon. David reads the first words: I HAVE A
             DECIDED HEART.


Chapter 7:   ANNE FRANK



                                                     10
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                   Proposal Overview



             This time, David finds himself standing in a tiny room with eight other people. They are all
             so still that, at first, he is not certain they are real. A man and woman are seated at a small
             table, two teenagers are sprawled out on the floor, and the rest appear to have been stopped
             in mid-stride. Every person has a look of terror on their face. Hearing knocking on the wall
             nearest him and voices on the other side, David notices a small girl of perhaps twelve or thir-
             teen with dark, wavy hair almost directly in front of him. He had literally overlooked her be-
             fore. Slowly, she raised a finger to her lips, and with her dark eyes urged his silence.

             David is inside the annex—a hiding place used by Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi
             occupation of Amsterdam. It is early December, 1942. As the Gestapo stop probing the
             walls and leave, the Frank family and their friends go about their interrupted routine with ob-
             vious relief. Anne leads David into an attic cubbyhole where, by looking through a muslin
             covered window, they can see the Westerkerk clock tower.

             Anne talks with David about the strength that is to be gained through endurance and the utter
             worthlessness of self pity. David marvels at her wit and easy smile under these terrible cir-
             cumstances. As their conversation draws to a close, Anne pulls a small red-orange checkered,
             cloth bound diary from her dress pocket. Ripping a page from the booklet, she hands it to
             David. Reading the beginning line, he glances back up in awe of this courageous girl. Telling
             her goodbye, David begins again to read: TODAY, I WILL CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.


Chapter 8:   LINCOLN

             David arrives sitting alone on the dirt floor of what proves to be a large canvas tent. The
             heat is stifling. Three wooden chairs and a small desk are the only furnishings present. David
             gets to his feet, walks to the door of the tent, and opens the door flap exposing a view of
             sweeping fields. To his left, about a hundred yards away, several thousand people are gathered
             around a stage listening intently to a speaker. To David, the surroundings seem eerily famil-
             iar.

             After sitting down and pouring a glass of water from the pitcher that has been left on the ta-
             ble, David looks up to see a tall, lanky man entering the tent with a black, stovepipe hat in
             his hand. Abraham Lincoln is using the tent as a waiting area before giving his memorial ad-
             dress at the Gettysburg battlefield. It is now more than five months after the battle.

             The President discusses the handling of unjust criticism, leadership, and inspiring others to
             greatness. At one point, after Lincoln has mentioned the bloody ground on which they are
             standing, David asks if the President knows of a Colonel in the Union Army by the name of
             Chamberlain. The reply is negative.

             Lincoln is summoned to the stage, but before he leaves, he gives David a page that had been
             tucked into the inside band of his hat. Written on the back of a program printed especially
             for that day, the writing begins: I POSSESS A FORGIVING SPIRIT.


Chapter 9:   ANGEL GABRIEL

                                                    11
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                 Proposal Overview



          David is enveloped in a fog of swirling white mist as the tent around him disappears. He feels
          as though he were floating and slowly turning until finally, the mist clears and his motion
          ceases. A shiver runs through him as he glances around. He is standing on the floor of the
          most massive building imaginable. As he looks forward, to the right, to the left, and behind
          him, aisles literally run farther than he can see.

          The building is some sort of storage facility, David reasons, for on either side of every aisle
          stands shelves and racks filled to overflowing. There are winter coats of every size, shape,
          and color—thousands—hundreds of thousands. David walks along the main aisle and sees
          food of every sort on one side and money on the other. Investigating, he notes that the
          money is stacked in individual piles of varying amounts. Five dollars here, five hundred dol-
          lars there, and occasionally more money is amassed than he can even identify. Birth certifi-
          cates, marriage licenses, and titles to houses and cars stretch out into another area. There are
          thousands of pianos and beds and roofing shingles. Nothing here makes any sense, David
          thinks, but as he looks above him he is truly stunned. He cannot see a ceiling. The shelves,
          the racks, medicine, shoes, pictures of families together—everything is stacked as high as his
          vision will allow.

          With his mouth open, David feels a chill run up his spine as he gets a glimpse of a figure
          walking toward him. From far down the main aisle, off in the distance, the person ap-
          proaches. The man is tall—much taller than David, who at 6’1” is not a small man. The
          man turns to straighten a wheelchair to his right and David almost passes out. He has wings.

          He introduces himself as the Archangel Gabriel and during their time together shows David a
          bit more of the warehouse. This is the place, he explains, where all the things are stored that
          were about to be delivered just as someone gave up and quit working and praying. He talks to
          David about hope and the miracles produced by faith. As he leaves, Gabriel hands David the
          page he has prepared and says, “Always remember, God’s delays are not necessarily God’s de-
          nials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out.” The first line of Gabriel’s words, the Seventh Fundamen-
          tal is: I WILL PERSIST WITHOUT EXCEPTION.


Chapter 10: THE FUTURE

          David reads this last scroll unsure as to where he will travel, but he appears facing an arena in
          the downtown area of Dallas. Excited to be home again, he is nonetheless compelled to enter
          the huge auditorium.

          Moving into the coliseum, David is awed by the number of people, but quickly finds a seat.
          There is a man onstage speaking about the search for success. As David listens, the speaker
          tells the story of one man’s decision that changed the course of world history over a century
          ago. That man was Union Army Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Had Chamberlain
          not made the decision to charge that day at Gettysburg, the Confederacy would have won that
          particular battle and ultimately the war. “We would have been two countries,” he explained.
          “ There would have been no superpower to protect the world from such men as Hitler and



                                                  12
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                 Proposal Overview



          Hussein. What a different place in which we live,” he said, “and all because one man of ac-
          tion had the courage to charge!”

          As the orator continues, David is shocked to hear his own name. “And what kind of world
          would this be,” the man asked, “had David Ponder not given us the gift of the Seven Funda-
          mentals?”

          As the evening ends, David is the last person to leave. Uncertain exactly how to leave since
          he was not given anything to read, David walks around outside the arena and contemplates
          the things he saw and heard that evening. Suddenly, David spots his old silver and black
          Dodge Colt, sitting all alone in the vast parking lot. The key is in the ignition so he tenta-
          tively gets in, cranks it up, and drives away.

          Driving around Dallas, David sees a huge office building that he doesn’t recognize. The bright
          green letters atop the structure identify it as the home of Ponder International. Nearby he
          sees a sign for the new Jenny Ponder Zoological Park and a twelve story medical building be-
          ing built on Memorial Drive is the future home of the Ellen Ponder Children’s Hospital.

          Before long, David is driven by curiosity to see where he had the accident that began his se-
          ries of travels. Steering onto the straight stretch of road near the site, he strains to see the
          big oak tree in the dim headlights. To his horror, exactly as before, the car goes into a spin
          on the bridge. David’s last conscious thought, as the car swerves into the tree, is of Ellen and
          Jenny...and how much he wants to live.


Chapter 11: HOME

          Feeling something soft and cool on his forehead, David opens his eyes to find Ellen gently
          touching him. He is in a hospital. Jenny and his parents are also there. Ellen tells him that
          he has been in an accident and that while it was touch and go there for a time, the doctors
          have assured them now that he will recover. He tries to tell her something of what he saw or
          hallucinated, but she insists that he rest and not talk. “We will have plenty of time later to
          hear whatever you want to tell us,” she says.

          After a nurse enters the room and announces the end of visiting hours, his family kisses him
          goodbye and leaves. David lays awake by himself and marvels at the feeling of hope that is
          now washing over him. He looks at his bandaged legs and broken right arm. With his left
          hand, he touches the heavy bandage on his head. It was all a dream, he decides, and drifts off
          to sleep.

          Later, he is awakened by a nurse placing a bag beside his bed. She apologizes and explains that
          she had forgotten to give it to his wife. These were his personal effects, she explains, that
          the paramedics removed in the ambulance on the way to the hospital; his wallet and wedding
          band—that sort of thing.

          The nurse leaves the bag on the table next to David’s bed. For a time, he dozes off and on
          until, wondering what time it is, he realizes that his watch is not on his wrist. Knowing that it

                                                  13
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                    Proposal Overview



             must be in the bag the nurse left, he pulled it from the table onto his bed. Unable to raise his
             head adequately, David reaches in the bag for his watch, finds it, and using the fingers of his
             right arm, slips it onto his left wrist.

             He is about to place the bag back on the table when he decides to also put on his wedding
             band. Feeling around in the bag, David suddenly freezes as his hand brushes a familiar cloth.
             As his heart pounds and his breath comes in quick shallow gasps, David grasps the bottom of
             the bag and slowly empties it’s contents onto his chest. There, he sees the ring, his wallet, a
             scattering of loose change...and a small, blue canvas tobacco pouch. Worn smooth by con-
             tinued use, it is held closed by a two buttons on the flap. Just above the buttons, David sees
             through his tears, embroidered in gold thread, are crossed swords—the symbol of victory to a
             fighting man.




*Chapter numbers will be used in the final book, but chapter titles will not, to give the element of surprise
to the reader.




                                                     14
                               SAMPLE CHAPTER




                                   CHAPTER 1


Headlights swept the house as the taxi turned out of the driveway. David Ponder stood alone
on his front lawn looking at the home where he and his wife, Ellen, had lived for more than
twenty years. Slowly, David lowered himself onto the grass. Nausea poured over him as he
felt panic enter his very soul. Like a serpent easing up his spine and wrapping itself around
his throat, it wasn’t a quick, devastating attack, but a slow, gripping realization that life, as he
knew it, was over. He was forty-six years old. He had no job. He had no money. He had no
purpose.

A short time later, David stood in the doorway of his daughter’s room. It had literally been a
month since he’d seen her awake. Lately, his work schedule had been frantic. As a last-ditch
effort to save his employer from takeover, he often left home before daylight and rarely re-
turned until well after his family had gone to bed. Several times during the past few weeks, he
had not come home at all.

Quietly, David placed his briefcase next to the dresser and moved toward the bed. His only
child’s breathing seemed loud in the quiet room. Sinking to his knees, David reached out to
stroke her hair. It was so soft. The Cinderella night light she’d cherished since her fourth
Christmas cast an angelic glow on her perfect face. Jennifer Christine Ponder. “My little
Jenny,” he murmured. David remembered the very moment she had been born ... twelve
years ago today. He glanced at the clock on the nightstand. 2:18 a.m. Okay, he thought
disgustedly, so it was twelve years ago yesterday. A tear slipped down his cheek.

“David?” It was Ellen. Moving into the room, she touched his shoulder. “I thought I heard
you come in. Is everything all right?”

David looked up into his wife’s face. Her hair was a mess from sleeping, and of course, she
had on no make-up. She wore a long, white T-shirt that contrasted with her medium length,
dark hair. Her brown eyes were sleepy, but she was as beautiful to him as the day they had
met twenty-five years ago.

Ellen knelt beside her husband. With her fingers, she brushed the hair from his forehead.

“David,” she said again, “Are you all right?”

He took her hand in both of his, brought it to his lips, and said simply, “No”.

At 5a.m., Ellen lay asleep on her side with her head on David’s chest. David was on his back
wondering how she could possibly sleep. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever sleep again. For almost
two hours, he’d told Ellen everything that had happened that evening.

Late that afternoon, David and a team of management personnel had gathered in the execu-
tive conference room. By five, they had begun working the phones, feverishly soliciting
stockholder support. It was a desperate, last-ditch attempt to prevent a hostile buyout by a


                                         15
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                 Sample Chapters



          predatory conglomerate. Final notice reached the conference room shortly before midnight.
          Despite their best efforts—tears, pleas, prayers, and curses—the takeover had been com-
          pleted. All executive and supervisory positions at the plant were terminated effective imme-
          diately.

          A security guard had entered David’s office less than fifteen minutes after the phone call and
          offered to help clean out his desk. Within the hour, David was at the guard house near the
          plant entrance, waiting for a taxi. After twenty-three years of service, David had been asked
          to immediately relinquish the key to his office, the key to the gym, and the key to his com-
          pany car.

          As he lay awake, David thought about his life. He and Ellen had met the day after they both
          graduated from Iowa State University. David had a degree in business and was determined to
          make his mark with a Fortune 500 company, while Ellen, with her degree in education,
          wanted to teach. For two years they dated. People often asked if they were brother and sis-
          ter. David’s height was their only difference. He, at six-foot-two, was taller than she, but
          the dark hair, brown eyes, and thin body type did give them a similar look.

          They would have been married sooner if not for David’s insistence on finding a career job be-
          fore settling down. He worked in his father’s shoe store as a stopgap measure while sending
          out resumes all over the country. Ellen had already been teaching fifth grade for almost a
          year when David was accepted as a management trainee for a chemical company in Dallas.
          They were married almost immediately.

          David became immersed in his work. He felt that he had found a position that would allow
          him to be in control of his family’s future. Ellen enjoyed teaching and taught right up until
          Jenny was born and then never went back. Financially, the family struggled a bit on one in-
          come, but it was a sacrifice they were willing to make to have one parent at home full time
          for their daughter.

          “Ellen,” David said as he squeezed her arm.

          “What, honey?” she mumbled.

          “Is Jenny mad at me?”

          “What?” Ellen asked.

          “Is Jenny mad because I missed her birthday?”

          Ellen put her arms around David. “No, honey. Jenny is fine.”

          “I’m pretty mad about it, you know ... honey ... Ellen?”

          David sighed. Ellen had already drifted back to sleep. The world could be coming to an end,
          and Ellen would have no problem sleeping. He never understood how she did that. She usu-
          ally laughed and said it was because she knew he’d always take care of her. If that was true,

                                                 16
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                  Sample Chapters



          David thought, how was she sleeping now? Wasn’t it obvious that he was failing miserably in
          that department?

          Staring into the darkness, David remembered walking the moonlit beach on the island of St.
          John. Their honeymoon to the Caribbean had been a gift from her parents. Ellen’s dad
          owned a lawn care business and had insisted on dipping into his savings for the honor of be-
          ginning his daughter’s marriage in a special way. And it was special. They walked on the
          beach and talked for hours. At one point, David remembered, he had taken Ellen’s face in his
          hands and said, “I promise you everything,” and she had not laughed. He had been serious,
          and she knew it.

          For over ten years they prayed for a child, and when Jenny came along their life seemed
          complete. David put his energy and focus into providing a home and lifestyle in which his
          family would prosper. His work at the plant, while it did provide a living, never seemed to
          provide a life. As David told a friend one day, “I’m working so hard to live where we want to
          live that I don’t actually get to live there.”

          As the years passed, savings were slowly depleted. A computer business David put together
          with an old fraternity brother was gone in two years, and rising interest rates had soured their
          real estate investments. Subsequently, the college fund that had been started for Jenny when
          she was born was used to put braces on her teeth only six months ago. David tried vainly to
          recall if the price he had paid the orthodontist covered everything. Funny, the things one
          thinks about at a time like this, David mused. If I haven’t already paid for having them re-
          moved, Jenny just might be wearing braces when she’s thirty.

          David’s mind drifted back to the beach on St. John. “I promise you everything,” he had said.
          He felt the bile rising in his throat. David looked at Ellen, still sleeping peacefully beside
          him. I promised you everything, he thought, and now I’ve provided nothing. Quickly, David
          got out of bed, stumbled into the bathroom, and threw up.

          Around seven, Ellen woke up alone. Putting on her housecoat and slippers, she went into the
          kitchen where she found her husband sitting at the breakfast table. It seemed strange to her
          to see him in jeans and a T-shirt. For years David had been the first one awake in their fam-
          ily, and by this time, he had always been ready to walk out the door in a coat and tie. It was
          obvious to Ellen that he had not slept at all. “Good morning, dear,” she said.

          “Jenny’s not up yet,” David said. “Coffee’s made.”

          She looked at him for a moment. “David,” she said, “everything will be fine.” He turned and
          stared out the window into the backyard. “David,” she said again, “everything is going to be
          okay. We’ve been through tough times before.”

          “I’m forty-six, Ellen,” David said. “Forty-six-year-old executives are not being hired any-
          where except McDonald’s. We have a second mortgage on this house, you know? Your car
          is not paid for, and I



                                                  17
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                              Sample Chapters



          don’t have one anymore. I get no severance from the plant because I didn’t opt out in the
          package deal they offered last year. We don’t have any money, and I don’t know where to
          borrow any more. This is more than a tough time, and we have not been through this be-
          fore.”

          “So what are we going to do?” Ellen asked.

          “I don’t know,” David answered. “I have no clue.”




                                                18
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                 Sample Chapters




                                           CHAPTER 2




          Seven months later, David felt like a beaten man. The health insurance coverage from his
          former employer had run its course, and the part-time job David took at a hardware store
          provided little more than minimum wage. Ellen was making more money than he was. She
          had placed hand-printed advertisements on bulletin boards all over town and was now cleaning
          houses five days a week. Every day for months, David continued to search for a job. The
          seemingly endless stream of rejections confused him. At least I’m on my way up, he kept
          telling himself. It can’t get any worse. But it did.

          That morning had dawned cold and hard. It was everything David had always hated about
          winter. The sky was the color of dirty water and the below freezing temperature, carried by a
          nasty wind, cut David like the thrusts of a thousand knives. Struggling into the used car he
          had bought with a loan from his father, David cursed at nothing and no one in particular.

          The car seemed to David a constant reminder of his failure. He had answered an ad in the
          newspaper and paid a high school kid nine hundred dollars for what he had hoped would be
          temporary transportation. It was a two-door Dodge Colt, mostly faded silver except for the
          right fender, which was black. The brake lights quit about ten minutes after David completed
          the sale and the heater had never worked in the first place.

          Shivering as he drove to work, David’s mind was as numb as his body. Ellen had been up most
          of the night with Jenny. The child had suffered with a fever and sore throat now for three
          days, and with the lack of sleep, none of them were feeling well. Jenny, however, was truly
          sick. This was the fifth or sixth time she had been ill this winter. David had lost count.

          When he had gotten out of the shower that morning he heard Ellen hanging up the phone.
          “Who was that?” David asked.

          “It was Dr. Reed’s office, David,” she said. “I’ve got to take her in to see what’s wrong. Ty-
          lenol isn’t handling this.”

          “What kind of parent am I?” David asked himself as he pulled the Colt into a parking place
          behind Marshall’s Hardware. “What kind of person am I? What has happened to me?”

          When Ellen had mentioned the doctor, he had blown up. Where did she think the money was
          coming from, he had yelled and, of course, she had yelled right back that she’d steal it if she
          had to. This was their daughter, she had shouted. Didn’t he give a damn about that any-
          more? As David left the house, he went by Jenny’s room to kiss her goodbye. She had big
          tears rolling down her face. Jenny had heard everything.




                                                 19
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                 Sample Chapters



          About ten that morning, David was loading shingles on a flatbed truck in front of the store.
          He was grateful for the activity. The shingles were heavy, and they gave him somewhere to
          focus his anger. “Ponder!” someone yelled. David looked up. It was Mr. Marshall, the
          owner of the store. A tall, lanky old man with curly white hair and a red nose, he was leaning
          out the back door motioning to David. ”Phone call,” he barked as David strode past him into
          the warm store. “It’s your wife. Make it quick. I’ve told you about personal calls.”

          “Ellen,” David said as he picked up the phone. “Where are you?”

          “I’m at home,” she said. “We just got back from the doctor.”

          “What did he say?”

          “David, it’s her tonsils.”

          “Okay?”

          Ellen paused. “Honey, Dr. Reed said her tonsils have to come out. He said we need to have
          it done right away.”

          “Ponder!”

          David looked around. It was Mr. Marshall. “Lets go, son,” he said. “I got a driver waiting
          on you.”

          “David? Are you there?” he heard Ellen ask through the phone.

          “Yes. Yes, I’m here,” he said. “Ellen, we have no insurance.

           “I’ve already checked,” she answered. “ The operation, including the hospital, will only cost
          eleven hundred dollars.”

          David was stunned. “We don’t have eleven hundred dollars,” he said.

          “We can put it on a credit card.”

          “Hey, Ponder. This is the last time I’m going to tell you ... get off the phone,” the store
          owner warned.

          David put his hand over his ear trying to concentrate on the conversation with his wife.
          “We don’t have any room on a credit card, Ellen. Every card is maxed out.”

          Ellen started to cry. “ Then we’ll just have to borrow the money, David. Jenny is sick.”

          “I know Jenny’s sick, honey, but we can’t borrow anything. We’re a month behind on the
          house, two months on your car. No bank will touch us. My parents don’t have any more
          money to loan and God knows yours don’t. With your Dad’s lawn business, they struggle
          through the winter just to make it themselves.”

                                                 20
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                  Sample Chapters



          Ellen could hardly talk through her tears. “Oh, God. David, what are we going to do?”

          “Don’t worry,” he said. “I will get the money somehow. Maybe I can work overtime here.
          Or maybe I can get an advance. I will get the money.” As Ellen continued to cry, David
          pleaded with her. “Honey, please calm down. I have to go. I’ll take care of this, I promise.
          I love you,” he said and hung up the phone.

          Turning to move from behind the counter, David met Mr. Marshall face to face. “I’m
          sorry...” he started to say but the old man cut him off.

          “Your next job, you need to pay attention to the rules,” Marshall said.

          David was confused. “Excuse me?” he asked.

          “You can come back on Friday and your check will be waiting. I’m letting you go.”

          “I’m ... I’m fired?” David stammered. “I’m fired because I used the telephone?” Marshall
          stood there with his arms crossed. “My daughter is sick.” The old man didn’t say a word.
          David was incredulous. He pointed at the phone. “ T hat was my wife calling because my
          daughter is sick.” David paused, then said once more, this time in almost a whisper, “My
          daughter is sick.” Raising and lowering his hands in a helpless gesture and shaking his head,
          David turned and walked slowly out the door.

          Reaching the car, David fumbled for the keys and laughed. He had experienced a brief mental
          flash of the car not starting. “Mr. Marshall,” he saw himself saying. “My car won’t start.
          May I use your phone?” Twisting the key in the ignition, David laughed again as the car
          roared to life.

          Obviously, he thought, I am laughing because I am cracking up. As David wheeled out of the
          hardware store parking lot, he wondered: If I’m sane enough to recognize insanity, does that
          mean I’m okay after all? He laughed again. This time he actually laughed until he cried.

          Driving on the interstate, David drove past the exit for home. Traffic was light and it was
          only 11:15. No reason to go home and share the big news with Ellen just yet. Ellen doesn’t
          deserve this, David thought. And Jenny certainly did not choose me for a father. A year
          ago, I was on top of the world, and now, I can’t even provide for my family.

          David pulled off onto the shoulder. Bowing his head over the steering wheel, he clasped his
          hands together. “Oh, God,” he said aloud. “Oh, God ...” He stopped and was silent for al-
          most a minute. “Oh, God ...” he began again. After another minute, he put the Colt into gear
          and moved back out onto the highway. I can’t even pray, he thought.

          On an impulse, David took the Parkerville exit. Almost forty miles from home, he was driv-
          ing to nowhere in particular. Just like my life, he thought, going nowhere in particular, no-
          where special. Didn’t I used to think I had a purpose? David wondered. Wasn’t I accom-
          plishing something?



                                                  21
THE TRAVELER’S G IFT / Andy Andrews                                                  Sample Chapters



          David looked at the speedometer. It read seventy. There were no vehicles anywhere in
          sight. He pressed a little harder on the accelerator. Eighty … eighty-five. As he flew over
          hills and around curves, David became oblivious to the speed. Ninety miles per hour. His
          thoughts were also racing at a furious level. Ellen was still young. She was beautiful. If he
          weren’t around, she could find someone to take care

          of her and Jenny. I still have life insurance, he thought. Would they be better off without
          me? Would everyone be better off without me?

          Without any conscious thought, David’s foot had the accelerator jammed against the floor-
          board. The little car screamed as David gripped the steering wheel, trying to drive away from
          his life. With tears streaming down his face, he rolled the window down and steered into a
          straightaway. The freezing wind seemed to clarify his thoughts. “Why am I here?” David
          said aloud. “Why is this ... why is everything happening to me?” He pounded his hand on
          the steering wheel, let his foot off the accelerator for a second, then stomped it to the floor
          again. “Why ... me?” he screamed. “Why me?!”

          At that instant, David’s moment of despair intersected with an icy bridge. Covering a small
          stream, the bridge was no more than 50 feet long, but the black ice sent the speeding car ca-
          reening into a spin. Tires screeching, David bounced off the guardrail as he crossed the short
          bridge and found himself still on the highway. He fought desperately for control as the car
          fishtailed from side to side and finally swerved off the road.

          Many people, when faced with a life or death crisis, talk of seeing their past scroll before
          their eyes. They experience childhood, adolescence, and many years of living all in one split
          second. In that moment, one person might feel remorse while another gains an acceptance
          of the inevitable and receives a peaceful calm. David Ponder, on the other hand, had only
          questions in his heart as his car caromed helplessly toward a giant oak tree. With his remain-
          ing conscious thought, David removed his hands from the steering wheel and raised them as
          fists to the sky. “Please, God!” he cried. “Why me?”

          And then ... nothing.




                                                 22
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