TJ Webb

I want to say a special thanks to my husband TJ for the time he took to edit my story. He read and reread and then read again. He probably read all 23,691 renditions until the story looked nothing like what it did when it started. When something was wrong, he brainstormed with me. And he never took over the project. He'd let me pick and choose which suggestion worked, and he was always there to talk something out.

On top of all that, he worked double shift with the kids, put up with me studying or writing, and cooked and cleaned and did laundry when I had my nose in my lap top. When I wanted to quit, he didn't let me, and when I stopped believing in myself, he still believed I could do it.

This book never would have happened if it wasn't for him.

Toag

I like role-playing games. Let me qualify that--I like character-driven, plot-oriented, role-playing stories led by a GOOD story-teller. Like my husband.

One summer, we were playing a really great game with an anime-like world, run by our friend Jacob. There was an NPC that he kept referring to as "the old guy."  Eventually, the old guy became TOG, and in his honor, we now have The Old Advisor Guy, or toag.

Personally, I think Wazir would be a bit offended if he knew what his title really meant.


The Climb Up the Mountain

Barra's climb up the mountain and her almost fatal fall (chapter 3) was a true story. That happened to me.

Before my husband and I got married--in fact we'd only been dating a few months--we were out hiking. Our path took us to a cliff where ten feet below there was a ledge, and below the ledge, there was a fifty foot drop. Well, there was an orange rope, tied around the base of the tree, that led down to the led.

I had seen movies and such where people walk down walls or cliffs by holding a rope. Well, it doesn't work as easily as it seems. I grabbed the rope and went over the side.

And slid down down down the entire length of the rope.

Head first. Backwards.

You know that old saying, "Don't pet a strange dog because he might not be friendly." Well, I'd like to make a new saying. "Don't grab a strange rope because it might not have a knot on the end of it."

I was lucky. Blessed. My rope had a knot. It was quite a jarring effect when my hands hit the bottom, but I didn't care. I landed--somewhat safely--on the ledge. Otherwise, it would have been a wonderful fifty foot drop. Like Barra, the only ill side-effect I had was rope burn on my hands. And oh, being very shaken up.

And so much would have never happened. A wonderful marriage, three little girls, my book, and the fulfillment of my dreams.

And I'd like to add another new saying, "Don't show off to your date by jumping off cliffs."