Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Epiphany, The Bone Treaty, and Easter Bunnies?

Some days you know you're maturing, right? Like the days you get slammed with a piece of wisdom that belongs with wrinkles and white hair? (Not that I've anything against my wrinkles or white hairs...)


I was teaching a group of teen girls, ages 12 to 18, about things that really matter in this life. Now I've accomplished some pretty cool stuff--been a studio singer, written a musical, finished nine full-length books (the second of which will be published this fall), rubbed shoulders with producers and lived through the big city AND small town experience. It's been amazing to hear people rave about my performances, music, and books, but in truth, it's terribly fleeting. I'm SUPER stoked about those things one day and down in the dumps the next. Do you know what gives me a lasting high?

My kids.

When one of them accomplishes something that was difficult for them, or does something nice for someone else, I swell up with pride. My heart nearly bursts with joy, and it doesn't go away.

Long after the accolades of professional accomplishment fade, I know where my happiness will stem--from seeing the little people I've devoted so many years and so much effort to succeeding in life. Will I be happy about my own successes? Sure. But nothing measures up to seeing them excel.



Ready to guess the lie and win a book? 

Last week, we broke from tradition to celebrate my new cover reveal. Everyone was given the chance to share their favorite supernatural creature for a chance to win an eARC of SOULLESS, and the winner is...

...DRUM ROLL...

Gary
And his supernatural creature, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar.

Congrats Gary! You'll be receiving your book as soon as ARCs July 28th.

And now to today's feature, from my amazing and incredibly supportive buddy:

A power as old as King Solomon awakens when a seventeen-year-old girl marks the brooding-hot abductor ordered to seize her.
Addie Heaton’s not your average high school student. Orphaned at two, she’s spent most of her life reading the emotions of others. It’s a little trick she likes to call color-vision. But lately, a stranger has been trailing her, putting off shades of black and red—colors Addie hasn’t seen since the night her parents were killed—colors Addie never wanted to see again.  
But when Addie comes face to face with Conal Reed, owner of the terrifying shades, she learns her stranger’s a little different too. He’s brooding hot, mysterious, and all too elusive. Conal loves to materialize, and then vanish at all the wrong times. Nice.
 Not.
After years of keeping her ability a secret, Addie’s found another person with gifts, someone who may know what she really is. But Conal’s not talking. He’s having more fun showing up uninvited, teasing her senses, and disappearing at all the wrong times. Instead of finding answers, Addie finds herself reconsidering ever being alone and naked again.
This is where I confess I got to critique some of this book early on, and it was  AWESOME. So much attitude and voice. I can't wait to get my copy. Add it now.



T.C.Mckee is the author of The Bone Treaty. She loves fiction, Great Danes, laughing babies, oatmeal cookies, and coffee. Owns two small business, one that has absolutely nothing at all to do with writing, and BookFish Books, a small publishing house that has everything to do with writing. She lives with her family in Virginia.

Her favorite cheese is Muenster. She can be found munching on it at home or at this local sandwich shop that melts two slices of it over a ham sandwich with cole slaw. (She says: "OHMIGOSH! It's heaven.") 


T.C. gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an eBook of The Bone Treaty

You have until Tuesday, July 29, at 1 p.m. EDT to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer on July 30.

TRUTH OR LIE

1. When T.C. was seventeen, her friend stole 50 plastic Easter bunnies from a nearby neighborhood and stuffed them in the back seat of her car. They rode around with them for a week. Sometime she can still see their faces staring at her from the rear view mirror.
2. She reads the labels of almost all products and if she can't pronounce the name or doesn't recognize the ingredients, she won't buy it. Her house really is all natural.
3. It took her one whole year and seventy-seven days to write The Bone Treaty. 
LASTLY, sign up for my blog tour. 



Which is the lie? Have you had any epiphanies lately? Where do you find your greatest happiness? Doesn't The Bone Treaty sound great? 

127 comments:

  1. I think it sounds like you have your priorities right where they need to be: family first. You're right—the cheering is wonderful, but if you come to depend on it for joy rather than happiness, you'll end up on a real seesaw of emotions.

    The book sounds fascinating! I'm going to guess #3 is the lie, because #2 sounds like so many people I know, and #1 just sounds too cool not to be true.

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    1. At least I hope I have my priorities right. Every day is a new chance to get it right though, eh?

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  2. It's fantastic that when you look at your accomplishments, your kids are at the top of the list. :) From one mother to another, I applaud you.

    I'm guessing the lie is #1. It was probably closer to 60 Easter bunnies. :)

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  3. It's lovely you keep everything in perspective and find the accomplishment you enjoy the most is your family. Everyone should be so lucky - and mature enough to realize what to be grateful for. :)

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    1. Ooh! You just called me lucky. I'm going to keep that one stowed for the next time the hubs questions my luck-tasticness. =)

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  4. Sounds like your biggest accomplishment has been raising some pretty amazing young adults! :) Congrats.

    The lie? Hmmm...I'll go with #1. Maybe 10 plastic Easter bunnies. I'd believe 50 if they were plastic Easter eggs.

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    1. I think they're pretty amazing, although I wouldn't define any of them as young adults yet. :)

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  5. I like your priorities!

    Oh man, another awesome sounding book. How do we keep up. To be different I'd cast my vote for #2.

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  6. Crystal, I think the key difference in the examples you gave is really the accomplishments themselves versus other people's accolades. The latter are fleeting, but your own reaction to a real accomplishment is lasting.

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    1. It's true. Definitely. Still, I guess I can throw more confidence behind something my children have accomplished than something I've done.

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  7. I just love how you've accomplished so much but your family is still the most important thing to you.

    The Bone Treaty sounds fantastic! I'll guess #3 is the lie.

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    1. Always and forever. Family is the heart of life, eh?

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  8. Your epiphany is really beautiful, Crystal. And you ARE accomplished. Congratulations!!! And congrats to T.C., too!!

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    1. LOL. It's one of those things where you make a goal, then see the next one and the fact you just accomplished the first milestone doesn't matter anymore.

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  9. I love how you're keeping things in perspective.

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  10. Your kids are lucky to have such a great mother. T.C.'s book sounds cool. I'm guessing the lie is #2.

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    1. I think I'm lucky to have such great kids. =) (Her book is fantastic.)

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  11. I love what you said about your kids. I've tried to keep in mind that although I can write at any age, my kids will only be kids for a short time. So I try to keep that in mind when writing threatens to take over.
    Great post and congratulations again on your beautiful cover!

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    1. Oh that forever battle, eh? Keep up the good fight, Jenni!

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  12. Crystal, you are a wonderful mother. Your children are very lucky to have you leading them in their lives and vice versa. It is such a gift to watch them grow and succeed right before our lives. We always want what is best for them. I'm sure your little darlings beam with compassion, creativity and amazing talent.
    I'm going to guess number three is a lie=)

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  13. WOW those are seriously some impressive accomplishments Crystal. You are very very inspiring :)

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    1. *blushes* You're very kind. I tend to make them sound more impressive than they are, being an author and all...

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  14. Not to knock your own accomplishments, but raising good kids, kids that can happily function in the real world, is a list-topper! Keep on spending that quality time and listening to them. :-)

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  15. I was a teacher for 35 years so I understand the happiness and pride thing in young people's accomplishments. Never underestimate how much your belief means to them.
    I don't think the stolen bunnies is true.

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  16. Wonderful epiphany!
    One of the reasons I retired from teaching this year is that writing had become a full time job on top of the other full time job of teaching, which left almost no time left for me to be a mother and wife. We are going to have less money starting next year, but the family is going to get more of me, and I am happy for the change.

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    1. And I applaud your for the change. It's definitely a good one, eh?

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  17. Which is the lie? That's tough. I'll say the last one. That plastic bunny story is too funny not to be true.
    That's cool you get more excited about what your kids accomplish. It's what others achieve that matters.

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    1. It's definitely easier to have joy in their accomplishments than my own.

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  18. Those are some pretty serious thoughts up there! Yes, I think seeing your kids accomplish things and do well, is one of the best things ever. You sound like a great mom!

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    1. Inspired by some of the best. (Looking back at you.)

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  19. I'm not a sports person, but I love to watch my daughter play softball. She's pretty amazing. And I love listening to her play the accordion.
    It's amazing stuff.

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    1. Accordion and softball? That's a pretty epic combo. You should be proud.

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  20. The whole kid thing isn't new for me but I'll tell you a secret. You get to have it all over again with your grandkids.

    I'm going to guess number two is the lie. For no reason at all, just guessing.

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    1. Looking forward to that grandkid stage...provided we survive this one. ;)

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  21. Love the Easter Egg story, but I'm going to say #2 is the lie. That'd be so hard to pull off! and you're right about the kids, they are a constant joy - even on those days where one wonders if they really are ;)

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    1. It's hard to find perspective when you're standing in the valley, eh?

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  22. Gamble today. #1 is hilarious, I hope it's true! I'm going with Lie #2? :)

    You've had so many great accomplishments! My books and hobbies are my kids. There are ups and downs and frustrations like with anything, but when I'm immersed in it, I don't know, it's just feels like I don't need anything else in the world. ^_^ Of course I do, like my family and food and water, lest I pass out, but it's still a great feeling.

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    1. It's so true. It was a completely different dynamic before I was a mom. The story world is amazing.

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  23. Relationships and a good life are better than the accolades. Although, fan mail is super swell. :)

    How fun to steal the rabbits. I actually do #2. Honest. So I'm going to guess #3. Maybe it took her longer or shorter to write this awesome book.

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    1. I'm with you. I won't say no to fan mail. =)

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  24. Your epiphany is right on target. There is nothing more fulfilling than having grown children who are not only terrific human beings, but wonderful spouses and parents, too. And like LD said, grandchildren give us the opportunity to "do it all over again."

    Hmmm, fifty plastic bunnies, huh? That's a LOT of bunnies. Although fifty rabbits stuffed into the back seat paints a funny image, I'm gonna guess number one is the fib.

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    1. Each stage has it's joys, eh? I'm looking forward to enjoying them all. =)

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  25. I think it's tough when you're in a creative field because we're emotionally attached to our work. If we were attorneys or business people and we suffered a setback, it would bother us, but it isn't the same as a bad review on a novel we spent months writing. You really have led an interesting life...but your post shows that no matter what we accomplish, family is always the most important thing.

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    1. It's true. We definitely get more emotionally involved in our work than some professions. =)

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  26. I think the lie is about the Easter bunnies. Anyway, I'm not good with ebooks. Something traditional or it doesn't get read. Perhaps, this would be different if I owned the right gadget.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

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    1. I totally understand, Joyce. I would go totally paper if it weren't for the convenience factor. The erevolution is amazing.

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  27. I did have an epiphany lately. I have been puzzled about why singing is so important to me when I don't have a particularly great singing voice. But I realized it's not about that. It's that singing brings me such joy it connects me with the essence of who I am.

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    1. That's awesome, Karen. There's nothing like purging your emotions through music, eh?

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  28. #3 is the lie because #1 sounds awesome. Please let that bunny thing be real. Being happy for others is a blessing you have to feel to experience. Mature and accomplish even more Crystal. Neither of us are done just yet. Oh and congrats to you and T.C. on your books. Bone sounds intriguing and creepy all at once.

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  29. I'm like you and get such joy at watching my daughter grow as a person. I'm not so focused on what I might accomplish. It 's not as important.

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    1. And it's just as thrilling, if not more. =)

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  30. Our kids have a way of bringing what's important right in front of us. Your cover is cool. I didn't catch it last week. And...Great Danes. I've always wanted one and hear they have awesome personalities and are so gentle.

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    1. Yay, thanks, Barbara. Here's wishing you a wonderful Great Dane.

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  31. My epiphanies tend to come in packs. It's been a while since I had one of those packs, so I'm probably due.

    I'm going to say the lie is #3.

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  32. Nice that you've done so much, but your kids are what's paramount. I think my husband I feel the same.

    Nice to see Ms. McKee here. You're not alone in the cool cover department!

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    1. I know! Isn't hers great? And what's inside is even better.

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  33. You've accomplished so much, yet still keep your priorities in order. Kids are a blessing and a joy. There's nothing better than seeing them grow and excel!

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  34. Thanks for your nice comment. I can just imagine how happy you would be when your kids do well. I don't have any, so I have had to find that in other places. Nature is a great solace and inspiration for me.

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    1. That works too. It takes all kinds to make the world go round, eh?

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  35. P.S. Forgot to say that you have accomplished so much and it is good to know that the fleeing things don't impress you. However, you did good and there's reason there to be both happy and proud of your accomplishments. These words of wisdom from a white, well silver-haired, wrinkled, old lady.

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    1. Shall I tell you my secret? I have some white hairs and wrinkles too. More every day. =)

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  36. Congrats on the release of the second book in your series :) and the cover of the Bone Treaty is really cool and different, it has a certain mood that reminds me of a Play Station game I used to adore "Medievil"

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    1. Hm. I'm going to have to hunt the game down. All I know is, the book is awesome. =)

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  37. I think the first one is the lie - but we'll see...And I know what you mean about your kids :)

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    1. It's amazing how different they make life, eh?

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  38. My latest epiphany was a plot breakthrough I had on Monday, so yes. ^_^ I had it when I was doing a courier run for work, so I had to repurpose work forms as note paper to make sure I didn't forget the new ideas. My boss would understand. :P

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  39. I agree completely, Crystal. When I see my son succeed, it makes me so proud and happy. :) Congrats to Gary! And congrats to T.C.! My guess for the lie is #1.

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  40. Hi Crystal. I'm with you--everything else pales into insignificance when compared to the achievements of our children, especially when they are hard fought. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, especially. I taught my daughter how to read three times, but when she finished the Harry Potter series within a couple weeks, I couldn't have been prouder.

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  41. Yup, when my little guy does something he's never done before(or learns a new word- that one's a biggie!) it is such a great feeling. And, hmm, I think the lie is #1. And ugh, like always, I'm struck w/crippling doubt! I really don't know- but I'll still stick w/#1. ;)

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    1. LOL. Hey Leandra, do you want me to slip you the cheat sheet? ;)

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  42. I really, really hope that #1 is true, because that's just epic. I'm going to guess #2 is the lie, because, really, someone needs to try Nutella :)

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  43. And that goes to prove how unselfish and lovely you are. There is no greater joy than your offsprings achievements.

    I believe number 2 is the lie :)

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    1. *blushing* You're just as proud of your daughter.

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  44. This was a nice post! :) I think you're lucky in a way ,'cause if you have a bad day in terms of getting a petty review or something, you can always turn to your kids and feel that swell of pride!

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    1. LOL. Or clean up their mess and wonder which is worse. Kidding, kidding. They do give me hugs on those bad days.

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  45. Family always comes first.

    Very few people, at the end of their life, have regrets about spending too much time with their kids and loved ones -- it's typically that they did not spend enough.

    Still -- there is some balance needed. I've known several people who put so much energy into their kids that they found themselves completely at a loss once their kids left home. So keep that in mind, keep some nurturing energy left to be able to nurture you, maintain a strong relationship with your spouse, and plan ahead for those empty-nester years.

    Like, you could start a hobby now so you have something to put your passion into once the kids are gone. Maybe even write a book... Hey, wait a minute! :)

    I guess #2 as TC's lie.

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    1. Too true. Balance is the key...though admittedly, I've always leaned toward the professional/hobby end of the spectrum, so it's a good place to be--this invested in someone else.

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  46. My children make me so happy that it probably makes other people nauseous.

    Love,
    Janie

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  47. Great accomplishments! But I agree nothing gives a high like our children, seems you've accomplished making them awesome tiny humans! :D

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    1. =) Cultivating. I don't know that making adequately sums it up--if you know what I mean.

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  48. Great part about the kids! I think that our children are some of the few things in life that truly matter. In the end, the people in our lives are what make life worth living:)

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  49. High fives Crystal! I couldn't agree more on the kiddos. Not a single accomplishment in this life matters if I fail my kids. They are my number one priority.

    Hmm. I'm going to go with the bunnies being a lie. Seems out of place with the other two.

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  50. I have yet to get one of these right, but I'm going to keep trying: #2 is the lie.

    Congratulations, Crystal! You're a very accomplished woman. Like Elizabeth said, Motherhood comes first. If only all Moms had the same perspective.

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    1. It would be a very different world, wouldn't it?

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  51. I admire your priorities. Keep it up!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  52. #1 is the lie... perhaps her friend stole one or two, but I doubt it was 50. Although, if it was 50, then I'm impressed.

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  53. I agree it is wonderful to see how our children grow and to have them realize their potential is lovely...

    You have accomplished so much Crystal... that is amazing. :)

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    1. Thanks, Launna. More to come, eh? That's what we have to realize. There's always further to reach and higher to stretch.

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  54. Kids are by far the best. Watching them grow is so rewarding.

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  55. I guess #3 for the lie.

    And I agree that the accomplishments of your kids are in a totally different league to those of your own.

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  56. Wonderful post. I couldn't agree more with the kid comment. Totally rewarding! Congrats on all your successes, Crystal! Well done!

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  57. You've got your head screwed on right, kids are our true legacy. It's true that everything else is fleeting.

    Congrats to TC! Great premise. I guess #2 as the lie because it sounds too sensible. #3 isn't unreasonable for a book, especially if you count edits or if you had other projects at the same time.

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    1. Fleeting like the wind, eh? Ooh, I feel a song coming on...

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  58. I'm impressed with all of your accomplishments, and your kids are lucky to have you! Congrats to TC! I'm also thinking #2 is the lie, but I'm horrible at this.

    Julie

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    1. I'm horrible at this too, but I love good sports.

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  59. I think #2 is the lie.

    Congrats to Gary.

    It's wonderful to look back on accomplishments and also feel proud of the next generation.

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  60. I'm so excited that Gary is the winner! He's such a nice chap.

    Crystal, you never cease to amaze me.... :D

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    1. Likewise, Sharon. We're all amazing, eh?

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  61. Yes, I agree. My boys are both doing really well now, and that gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Love that McKee book cover, BTW.

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    1. Seconded. Nothing better than when your kids are succeeding.

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  62. Thinking #2 is the lie if she eats coleslaw at the local deli -- hard to have mayo without anything unpronounceable in the ingredients!

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  63. I think it's Truth Lie Truth! :)

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  64. Congrats to T.C.! That is one amazing cover.

    Also, I got such an "awww" moment when you mentioned your kids. It's one thing to feel your own accomplishment, but to feel it of the ones we love, it is indeed an entirely different experience. :)

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Hit me with your cheese!