Category Archives: My Life as a Cicada

Cicada: Is It Si-KAH-Da or Si-KAY-Da?

They came. They Shrieked. They mated. And then they were gone. We tweated, Facebook wall-posted and blogged about them. We named ourselves after them. (E.g., CicadaMania, CicadaPhobia, BuzzCicada, etc, are all well-known Twitter handle and Internet pseudonyms.) We created new word for their visit: Swarmageddon.

But there is an eternal argument that will never go away, even long after the Brood II swarmageddon’s over. And that is the pronunciation of the word “cicada.”

So do you say si-KAY-da, or si-KAH-da? Before you jump to your quick conclusion, watch a short and fun video of Zoe and Jennifer, who cross swords in a you-say-to-MAY-to-and-I-say-to-MAH-to duel: (Scroll down to the “Book Description” section to watch the video.)


While you are here, cast your vote on whether “cicada” should be pronounced as “si-KAH-da” or “si-KAY-da.”

A Five-Year-Old Reviews “My Life as a Cicada”

A reader, by the nickname of “Happy Mom,” has posted a review on “My Life as a Cicada.” It is a two-part review, with comments from her five-year-old and herself. The review can be found here:

I found the five-year-old’s review particularly encouraging and inspiring. It says:

 “That story is cool. The teeth on the bad termites: I didn’t like them. They scared me a little bit. The whole story is about sometimes when I meet new things, not being accustomed to them, I’m afraid like the cicada. I liked the whole rest of it, too. I wish I could see it again someday. And I love the whole story.”

In the book, I portray the termites as the street bullies and a symbol for the menace of the subterranean world. Apparently, that’s taking effect on the juvenile readers. And if I’ve ever successfully packaged a polemic message in the book, it has been summarized well by this five-year-old: it’s about our fear for strangers.

Just like what Epictetus told us: What scares us is not the things themselves; rather, it is our perception of things. With “My Life as a Cicada,” I intend to present these infrequent yet en masse visitors as vulnerable creatures.

Confucius says: Isn’t it a joy when a visitation from afar is upon us? Let us rejoice at the sight of cicadas. The swarm of these mysterious bugs reflects the wisdom of God or Nature. We should accord them the same peace and respect we do to God’s or Nature’s other creations.


Robin Lee, Niece Like “My Life as a Cicada” and Give it a 5-Star

Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “My Life as a Cicada” together with her niece and given it a professional review. She’s given the book a 5-star rating. You can see her review here:



The following is the review Robin has posted on Amazon, verbatim:

I downloaded this book to read with my niece…School is over but this has been a topic the teachers have been talking to the students about in her class the last few weeks….This story about the “Cicada Bug” and it’s life cycle is adorable..It’s the easiest way to explain to little ones about these very large and loud bugs with big red eyes that they may be scared of…Especially, when they start hearing the shrilling sounds, or finding one lying on the ground…Beautiful, bright colored, large illustrations showed up really nice on her kindle….Plus the story rhymes, which are her favorite type of books and make her giggle….

The story starts out with a baby nymph, crying underground knowing she is now 17 yrs old and wishing she could be a beautiful butterfly instead….She knows once she changes she will be ugly and scary looking to people…This will show how cute they really look and how harmless they really are…The “Cicadas” tell children they more scared themselves because of natural predators like termites and birds….

This sweet book will show you that a “picture is worth a thousand words…..My niece loved it…..I highly recommend this book for all children…..


Red Lanterm Press Publishes “My Life as a Cicada” by M. Eigh

A bug’s life told in beautiful prose and pictures.



Jun. 14, 2013 – ARLINGTON, Va. Red Lantern Press – an Arlington, VA based independent Publishing house specializes in niche imprints – has published “My Life as a Cicada” by M. Eigh.

“My Life as a Ciacada”( is dramatized but truthful illustration of a 17-year periodical cicada’s myterious yet dramatic life cycle. People say a picture is worth a thousand word, well, this book as 24 beautiful pictures. That is worth 24,000 words!

This book is produced and written by M. Eigh and illustrated by Bogdan Lucut. It tells the long journey of a cicada nymph trapped underground for seventeen years; the friendly and hostile subterranean creatures he encounters; and last but not least, his triumphant debut in the above-ground world of the sun, the moon and open air to fly in.

It’s suitable for both adult and children. Parents and kids and enjoy a cicada’s life story together.

About M. Eigh

M. Eigh was born in China and, before getting an MBA, he received a BSc from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, where most modern day Chinese ruling elites obtain their academic pedigree. But the alma mater is about the only thing he has in common with the techno-dictators of today’s China.

In his younger days, M. Eigh was a published poet in Chinese; at the age of fifteen, he won the first-place award in a prefecture-wide youth literature competition.

Other than “My Life as a Cicada,” M. Eigh has a short fiction collection, titled “Bitter Tea and Braided Hair” on sale.( His latest Science Fiction thriller, “The Cicada Survival Guide,” is a Amazon hit.(

M. Eigh has al written a non-fiction that makes sense of all things curious in today’s China, entitled “Revolution is a Dinner Party — Rogue Pluralism in China.” (

Media Contact:

M. Eigh
Red Lantern Press