Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Angels, Wars, and Why Do You Do What You Do: IWSG Edition


THANK YOU, CO-HOSTS!

The awesome co-hosts for today are Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, and Joylene Buter,

Led by Ninja King, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

BUT FIRST, a huge shout and thank you to J. Lenni Dorner--for the fabulous 5 star review of Moonless, but more so listing me in a top ten list of authors and blogs. Whew! Totally feeling the love.

Have you ever had that "aha!" moment where suddenly you get why your mind works the way it does?

I had one of those this last week as I was preparing for a school presentation. While pondering what really got me into writing, I faced the age-old question: Why do I write about fantasy/sci-fi/historical subjects? Anything but the normal, contemporary world?

And I got an answer.

In the past, I always figured it was because I wanted to escape from the monotony of every day life. And it's true. I LOVE books that take me somewhere new, but that's not the reason.

Now I've asked myself this question a million times and gone back to my roots, but it wasn't until now I got it.

Writing/reading is about compassion. (And maybe entertainment.) It's about seeing the world through other people's eyes and understanding their perspective. Back when I got serious about writing, I was being bullied. Badly. I projected my misery into another world, onto a character, and made her circumstances the worst I could think of to prove to myself that it could always be worse. I started writing off-world, or in another era BECAUSE I had to prove to myself that the human condition is the same, no matter when, where, or how it's faced. The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. Everyone suffers.

For me, it's about showing how no one is truly evil. No one is 100% good. We're all just people struggling to find happiness, and if we could see everyone around us that way, life would be infinitely better.


Last week, Tara Tyler shared CRADLE ROCK along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed the lie correctly was entered to a print book, eBook, or swag. (Their choice.)

The game:


1. I sang at a friend's wedding, but didn't practice nearly enough so I mixed up two of the verses. I don't think anyone knew... it was from an opera.
2. I sang at the funeral of a friend's mother - hardest thing I've ever done, was shaking and tearing up, barely made it through.
3. In college I had a solo for our "Spring Sing" - was young and fearless and hit that high note with a vengeance, the video is priceless.

The lie: #2.  

From Tara: I couldn't do it at all. It was too overwhelming and I declined. And I was glad I didn't try it, because I couldn't keep it together enough to sing it in my head at the funeral. I get emotional when I sing... It's part of the enchanting, sometimes therapeutic experience.

Apparently Tara is AWESOME at lying, because not a single person guessed the lie correctly. *gasp* So, everyone who guessed got an entry. And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Marcy Hatch!

Congrats, Marcy!

And now, for a book with one of the most beautiful covers I've seen:

Being crowned homecoming queen and enduring a week at the center of her classmates' attention is eighteen-year-old Julia White’s worst nightmare—even with Cole, her long-time crush, as her date. But when Julia is attacked by a green-blooded demon that vanishes in a plume of smoke, she comes face to face with what real nightmares look like—in the flesh, and all of the homecoming stuff hardly matters anymore.

As a frightening wave of crime infiltrates her small Wisconsin town, Julia tries to avoid Nicholas, a brooding, infuriating relative of Cole’s, who insists she’s the reason behind the corruption. He claims the culprits are demons who are after powers that only she—a human-angel hybrid—possesses. It’s unbelievable, of course, until he takes her to a hidden battlefield where warrior angels train to fight soul-siphoning demons—and her own angelic wings unfold.

When angels and demons draw battle lines, endangering everyone in their way, Julia has to find a way to protect them all, including herself. Because as it turns out, she’s the devil's most powerful weapon against the angels, and he’ll stop at nothing to claim her. 

The final battle between Heaven and Hell has begun.

When Ash Rains Down is the first book in debut author Cecelia Earl’s Kingdom Come series.

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

Cecelia Earl is the pen name for Christy from Erica and Christy (http://lynneawest.blogspot.com/). She graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold. She’s a teacher by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic.

Christy's favorite cheese is a toss up between Sartori's Bellavitano Merlot,  LaClare Farms Chandoka, and Springside Cheese's aged cheddar...and their award-winning cheese curds (They are the squeakiest and best!). She married into a cheese-making family and recently accompanied her husband on a trip to Chicago for a cheese festival and manned his company's cheese table with him. At the time he'd had a cheese he'd made that hadn't been named yet, so he labeled it Project X. It was the hottest selling cheese that day and they had fun with all the cheese tasters who offered up their own name ideas. He sold out of it and has yet to make more, or to name it, though she keep offering up HER name for it. Naming it after his wife sounds like a winner, right? She loves eating cheese, cubed, with cubed green apples, and bread dipped in oil with a glass of Malbec. Best appetizer ever.

Cecilia/Christy 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 their choice of a PRINT BOOK (US only) or an eBook. (For international winners.)

You have until Tuesday, February 14 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on February 15, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I've run a couple of miles...with no clothes on, and even saw a professor run in the nude once.
2. I've taught more than 300 children how to read and write.
3. Rather than visiting the normal sites to see when travelling through Europe and Great Britain, I chose to see cemeteries instead. Who needs to snap pictures of the Eiffel tower, Big Ben, or the Colosseum when there are graves to put flowers on?

So sleuths, which is the lie? Have you met Christy? Do you like angel stories? Have you figured out what you do what you do?

209 comments:

  1. I think reading and writing speculative fiction is another way to deal with reality. The human condition is universal no matter where.
    Crap, those are difficult. I'll guess the third but I have no idea.

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    1. Reading and writing fiction is definitely a great way to escape real life!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story - I'm sorry you were being bullied but amazing you were able to ultimately transform such a painful experience into something so life-affirming and positive.
    That is a gorgeous cover! Congrats to Cecelia!!

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    1. Hey, we're meant to overcome, eh? What doesn't kill us...

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    2. Thank you, Julie! <3 Cecelia (also...Christy)

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  3. Yes! I like that statement. Writing and Reading are about compassion. So true.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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  4. Thanks for sharing When Ash Rains Down today, Crystal. Sorry to hear you were being bullied, but I think it's great you're turning it into something positive by writing and helping others by speaking about it. Christy

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    1. I think we all have experiences like that. It's a question as to whether we recognize them as a challenge, or crumble.

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    2. Yes, finding strength and realizing we're not alone, whether that means to seek help or to offer it.

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  5. Loved learning why you are writing, Crystal. That's such a great reason to do it. Reading has always been my friend that gets me through the hard times. I didn't have many friends growing up so escaped into books any chance I got. Still do.

    Loved learning more about Christy. Congrats on your new book!

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  6. What a wonderful post - thanks so much for sharing your story! It sounds like Christy might be your twin sister with her love of cheese :-) I bet #2 is the lie. I have a feeling she's taught a lot more kids to read and write than 300.

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    1. Right!? Christy and I totally need to get together and cheese it up.

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    2. I should probably send you a gift box filled with cheese... Have you mentioned which is your favorite kind before? (My memory is horrid.)

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  7. Fantastic post! I love hearing why you write. It is about compassion. I think the lie is #1.

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    1. Thanks, Christine! Here's hoping you guessed it right. =)

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    2. It is really fun to hear what people choose as the lie!

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  8. I love how you've connected compassion to your writing, that if each of us were to realize we all suffer and all long for happiness we would discover how much we have in common. Certainly the world would be a better place if we did.

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    1. Totally. It's unfortunate that we are so easily separated by fads, trends, or politics.

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    2. Like writers and our insecurities, it is true that all people have many of the same challenges and fears. If only we would have more patience, less judgement and stop to listen to each other.

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  9. We're all a blend of good and bad.

    I'd say #2. If she's taught for more than 12 years, that would be more than 300 kids.

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    1. It's true--hopefully more good than bad.

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  10. My favorite characters to read about and to write about are often the ones who are complex and not easily defined as the good guy or the bad guy.

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    1. Agreed. They make for the best stories, eh?

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  11. I had a wonderful "aha" moment a few weeks ago while working on my current MG mystery. I think I know why I love middle-grade fiction especially mysteries. It brings me back to my pre-teen days and all the fun pranks I did and the crazy times I had in middle school. Best Days Ever.

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  12. They say that reading fiction makes people more sympathetic. I like that.

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    1. Me too. It's definitely one of the BEST perks. =)

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    2. I suppose it's because of all the time we spend in other people's "heads" listening and walking a book in their shoes...

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  13. This post resonates a lot with me. I had the same "aha" moments and epiphanies at least once a month for a couple of years. I can be awfully hard to convince of things sometimes. LOL! It finally clicked for me last year though. Going back as far as I can remember, I've always been drawn to paranormal themes. Growing up and even now, my mind is always inventing the craziest things to be afraid of. And sometimes I just get carried away with fantasies in general. What if this or that could happen? I get obsessed with them. Writing is my way of getting those fears and obsessions out of my head. It keeps me sane-ish. :)

    Haha, #1 is hilarious! ^_^ Hmm, going with #3 - maybe she does both?

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  14. I've been asked the same question: why do you write what you write? And I love your answer! It's a way to shed the normal, the expected, and let characters battle demons in unfamiliar lands. When that happens, we, the readers, see our own problems clearer. We write to show others the way out.

    As for the lie? I'm going with number 1 only because I actually do number 3 when I travel and I'm sure as a teacher she's taught many kids to read and write 😄

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    1. Here's to shining the light and illuminating the realities of life, eh?

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  15. I'm so glad you triumphed over that bully. I do think the human condition is the same, wherever we go.

    Congrats to Tara and Christy! #1 seems too obvious as the lie...so I'm not going to pick it. I say #3 (though cemeteries in Europe are super awesome to visit.)

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    1. Lol. Bully? Let's try half a classroom of them. =) Total Goliath Vs David story.

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  16. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. :(

    The choice this time are hard, but I'm choosing #3.

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    1. You know, I'm not. Anything hard we go through makes us stronger, better, more compassionate. I often looked back and wondered why, but the older I get, the more grateful I am for those circumstances that shaped my outlook on life.

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  17. I think I write because I have these ideas in me and I have to find a way to release them. Since most of those ideas are rather fantastical, I guess I'm kind of stuck writing fantasy. Glad you figured out the answer to your question.

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    1. I used to feel that same way, Ken. Many, many years ago. Okay, that's not true. I still feel like I have stories bursting out the seams, but I think the key is understanding the why beneath the action.

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  18. Congrats for the five star review, Crystal.

    We read and write for different reasons. I write because there are so many characters and stories inside my head, they would drive me mad if I didn't write about them.

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    1. I hear you there. Have to keep the sanity, eh?

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  19. That's a great revelation! Writing is all about understanding the human condition, and humans themselves.

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    1. It's really all about the connection, eh? And that's why some people connect with books, and others don't.

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  20. Great answer to why you write fantasy. I so agree with you about no character being 100% good or bad. That would be boring.

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    1. Yup. We need to complexity that exists in the real world.

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  21. I'm guessing number one is the lie, but these are all tricky...

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    1. Right?! Some people come up with the best lies.

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    2. Ha, and I worried my truths and lies were terrible... :) Guess I stumped a few people.

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  22. What an awesome cover...and the book is set in Wisconsin. Not only am I from there, but - CHEESE! I guess #1, just because I do the third and the second is too sweet not to believe. ;)

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    1. Cheese all the way. Christy has the corner market on this one.

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    2. Yay, Wisconsin!!! Happy to meet you, Kai! Christy

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  23. Such a beautiful story behind your writing. Thanks for sharing.

    As for the lie... I think it's #1. ^_^

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    1. Now I'm all self conscious about it though. =) Ah the joys.

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  24. Your reasons for writing are great ones, Crystal. It is good to show the flaws that make us human, and how we can still be good to each other regardless of them.

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  25. Hi Crystal and Christy ... gosh she picked the right hubby! Sad for us cheese lovers, still they are creating great new cheese concepts for us ...

    The lie # 2 ... running that far naked ... strange but true perhaps ... one of those I'll be back to find out! Cheers Hilary

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    1. I know, right? I just got a chef. I should have waited for the cheese maker! (Kidding, kidding. Wouldn't have it any other way.)

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    2. But a chef can serve you each night and you never have to cook! That sounds...wonderful.

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  26. Your insights about what led you into a writing life are very valuable. Such honorable and meaningful purposes should give you even more fire to continue.

    I'll guess that #1, that couple-mile run in the nude is the fib.

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    1. LOL. But can that motivation stop time? That's the real question.

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    2. It took me the entire day to stop just now after this comment to remember why I started teaching. I had a best friend from second through sixth grade that was very mean to me. She got mad at me every other day and I never knew whether or not when I got to school if she'd be my friend that day or have a trio of girls against me. When I chose teaching, it was ultimately because I wanted to help my students and to foster their friendships, keep this from happening to others. You know, I think I've lost sight of this after seventeen years, as I prepare my academic goals for each day. Tomorrow, I will not forget.

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  27. Hi Crystal, I love your post today. I am with you. Everyone has made mistakes and it's what you do when you get up that matters. Hmmm...I am guessing the first one is a lie but only because it would devastate me to run in the nude...lol

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    1. Too true. If only we could hush the noises echoing through the world so EVERYONE could hear that message.

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  28. Congrats on the great reviews. How exciting! The Kingdom Come series looks amazing too. Thanks so much for hosting this month.

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    1. It does look great, right? I'm excited for the next installment.

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  29. Going to guess the third is the lie...
    I love that you turned something so awful into something so possible. That's an important lesson to learn; it could be worse.

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    1. Too true, right? We either let life crush us, or we fight back.

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  30. You post is as beautiful as you are both inside and out. There is never anything negative here. You are truly a master at making lemonade. It's always a pleasure to come by and read what you have to say. I truly also appreciate the encouraging comments you leave at my space and others that I see. Now, please go an enjoy some cheese.

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    1. LOL. I think I will. You're so sweet! The blogosphere is only meant to be an encouraging, uplifting place, isn't it?

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  31. Great post. I've been reading quite a few historical books and so many feature women fighting oppression of the times. It's kind of exhausting to read, but inspiring at the same time. Seeing characters fight back in fiction gives me hope in responding to modern day issues.

    Here's my February IWSG post: Stephanie Scott How I Read Now

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    1. Yeah, no matter the age, women have always been oppressed. Darn male ego.

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  32. Congrats to Marcy! Your reason for writing is sad, although I'm super glad it helped you through the hard times. I'm the opposite. I'm impossible to bully and spent some of my school years befriending the mentally-challenged, the chronically ill, and the type of people who WERE typically bullied. I made sure they got the support and kindness they needed. But I noticed that in the world we live in, evil wins too often. Things aren't fair, so I set about writing books where good always wins and evil people get their just deserts with no mercy. No gray areas for me, just black and white: virtuous, ethical, good people or not. So I write the world as I wish it to be.

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    1. That's awesome. We all go through what we need to make us who we are, eh? Because of my experience, I became the friend of the outcast, always searching for that odd person that didn't belong and making them a part. High five to us!

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  33. I was bullied, too! It's easy to see how that trauma would impact you and catapult you into a writing fury. Perfectly natural to me, as I'd turned to poetry when similar circumstances occurred. Writing is a soothing medicinal prop for any sort of trauma.

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  34. Tara's book is all over the blogsphere!!! Sounds amazing. And I love Cecelia Earl's book cover and it also sounds awesome! Wishing them both great success!!

    Crystal, thank you for sharing. You turned something bad (being bullied) into a productive writing career! Great Post.

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    1. That wasn't the intention, but it goes to show that the human spirit is resilient, and good can always come out of bad circumstances.

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  35. Um...I guessed number two as the lie for Tara Tyler's two truths and a lie. But that's okay. Put me in for an extra entry on something else.

    I love when people share their reasons for writing what they do. People are so varied and their inclinations are all part of their life experiences. I love broadening my perspective.

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    1. Seriously? I don't know how I missed it. I scoured through those answers and was scratching my head. So yes, you officially rock and next guess, you've got two entries.

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  36. Your bullying experience makes me sad. I'm glad you could use it in a positive way, to forge you into a future career. :) And YAY! for Christy. I'm so stinking excited for this book. Fell in love with the cover and her travel. Both are gorg! Congrats, Marcy!

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    1. It happens, and it happens so invisibly through social media these days. It's an issue all parents should be aware of, and one they never tolerate.

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    2. :) Thank you again! I tried and failed to contact you to thank you "in person". I will try again later tonight or tomorrow morning! Christy

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  37. I agree with what you said about having to prove the human condition to yourself. I also think people just need escapism. Internalizing something removed from us makes our reality easier to deal with. Great insight! 💖

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    1. I completely agree. You have to take it to a safe environment in order to see/hear/experience things that are too difficult for reality.

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  38. The cover is gorgeous, and I love angels. A definite must read for me. I'm guessing #1 is the lie. I never get it right. :)

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    1. Honestly, I would never guess it right if I didn't know. Hold on though, changes are coming. =)

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  39. Congratulations on the five star review and awesome ranking, Crystal!

    It’s no coincidence that so many writers are introverts. You’re right, writing allows us explore our emotions while escaping the danger zone of the real world... thank goodness!

    Is #3 the lie?

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Amen! Everyone needs that escape place. =)

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  40. Hey Crystal. That is indeed a great reason to keep writing. I think at the core of it all, we are all different, but still the same, if that makes any sense. We can definitely overcome a lot, as humans. We are rather resilient. I know I write to escape reality:)

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    1. And if that's the only reason a person ever writes, then it's validated. We all need an escape.

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  41. Very good reason. It's true, life is never just black and white, good or evil. It's good to know you took a negative experience and turned it into such a passion. :)

    Congrats on the 5 star review.

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    1. Thanks, woman! If we let all the awful things in life beat us down, we'd be a bunch of pancakes wobbling around.

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  42. Thanks for sharing about writing to see another person's perspective. That's always been important to me too. I'm sorry you were bullied.

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    1. I'm not. Great lessons learned from the experience.

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  43. What a great way to address bullying. I will be sharing your (anonymous) story with teachers I work with.

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  44. I think you're right. Most people have a goodness somewhere inside them. It just needs to be found. Those that are "evil" are probably hiding a deep hurt.

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    1. They really are. So many young kids act out because something is wrong in their lives and they don't know how to cope.

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  45. I'm going to guess that #3 is the lie. I think that's what I love about books, it's lets me into a whole other world, other lives, and feel it from a wholly different perspective.

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  46. Oh my gosh. Now that you said that, I started writing for the same reason. First, I gave my MC what I wanted then put her through things that I didn't think I'd get through, but she does. Great post!

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  47. I like the message: no one is truly evil and no one is 100% good. It's so true. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  48. Congratulations on the success of Moonless! There is nothing like a good review. I haven't written a book yet, so don't know the feeling of getting one for good, entertaining craftsmanship, but it does make me happy when we get them for being amazing house and pet sitters.

    I love "aha" moments - they don't happen often, but the feeling of understanding when they happen is as if it is other-worldly. Something you know all about writing the way you do. :-) I love your statement about writing/reading: "It's about seeing the world through other people's eyes and understanding their perspective." I hope to achieve that with my memoir. Thanks for swinging by my blog!

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    1. I'm hopeful for your memoir. Keep at it! It's going to be wonderful when completed.

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  49. the spy is also one of web's leading places for all things fantasy, sf and historical :)

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  50. Love your commentary on why you started writing! So very true. I find it frustrating and sad how many people need to realize that those around them ARE thinking, feeling human beings in the first place. If more people understood that, and felt it, I do think this world would be a much better place.

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    1. Agreed. But it's so easy to get stuck in the NYC mentality where you live in your own closet and keep just to yourself, never looking beyond the door.

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  51. You did an amazing job taking the negativity of bullying and turning it into the positive of writing!

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    1. Something good can come from any circumstance if you ask me.

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  52. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade, you rock! (Sorry, I couldn't think of any examples with cheese.) Writing is a wonderful thing, for so many reasons. Congrats to Cecelia!

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  53. I think the lie is #1.
    I do like angel stories. I also write them ;)
    I like your reason for writing specfic. It makes sense.

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  54. It's a hard question to answer, because we usually give such an easy answer to it that we either hope is true, or want people to believe its true.

    For me, why do I write, is because it's just in my head. Once a week I think up a new story idea, and have a folder on Dropbox filled with story ideas. And when I'm not thinking about that, I think of stories I've read or watch and analyze them to the nth degree, making others believe I'm unable to enjoy a good story.

    I write, because it is in me, wanting to come out. It causes me pain not to write them.

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    1. I had a stage like that too, many years ago. I was still investigating the reasons why.

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  55. Wow, I'm all warm and fuzzy inside. That was a damn great story on why you write, and we do need more compassion. I've always felt that the best stories show that the villains do have good sides and that the heroes do have bad sides... not everything is so black and white, even in fiction. Bravo. Well said.

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    1. Thank you much. It's definitely something I believe.

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  56. Crystal, I love your reason for writing and your aha moment... I was relentlessly teased when I was growing up, kids can be so mean... It wasn't until I was older that I realized what you did... everyone is dealing with their own issues, some of us are better at not taking it out on others... hopefully they will learn that too xox

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    1. Exactly. It helps if they're at least taught to try and understand that concept when young. That's part of the message I'm taking to 4th & 5th graders soon.

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  57. That whole "mile in someone else's shoes" thing is definitely part of why I read. And writing is great therapy as well, exploring your emotions in a safe environment. Good post!

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    1. Agreed! I don't need to travel. I don't need to meet someone from every culture. I just need to read.

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  58. That's similar to why I write fantasy and other-worldly stories!
    Happy Writing, Crystal!

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  59. We really are just people doing our best to do the next thing. There is nothing like exploring the world through someone else's eyes!

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    1. Forgot my guess! Going with #1 as the lie! :)

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    2. Agreed. In fact, I have a character who sees through others eyes. I tell you, that's a fun one to write.

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    3. Yes, exploring the world through another's eyes is definitely a reason to read and to write! Crystal...that would be incredibly fun to write. Love that premise!

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  60. Hey Cheese Girl! Oh boy, I'm still blown away by Christy's cover. How absolutely gorgeous! And I've known her through her blog for years. How lovely that she's published! Can't wait to read it!

    Now about writing. I love your reasons. Now you make me think...what about those of us who write in multi-genres...a bit of fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, a bit of romance, a bit of this and that. Personally, I like a book to have a central issue or which makes me think...and I try to write that way.

    Have a great month! With that great review from J Lennie Dorner, you're all set.

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    1. I agree. Thinking books are the best. Literature should leave us examining life in one way or another.

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    2. Thank you so much Denise!!! <3 <3 <3 I think taking a central theme and examining that same theme across genres is a fascinating way to explore it.

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  61. Congrats on your 5-star review.
    Gorgeous cover with the angel, you're right.

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  62. I like your perspective on why you write fantasy/sci-fi/historical. I haven't really asked myself the question to the depth you went. Now I'm curious about how I would answer. Hmm...

    Congrats to Cecelia!

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    1. And it took some digging to get there. Major digging. Have fun with that adventure!

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    2. A great question to contemplate an answer to while you write! Thanks, Kim!

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  63. I've always been an escapist reader and writer. I like to get away from the real world for a little while and I hope my books do that for others.

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    1. I'm betting there's a deeper psychological reason. Like I said, you present monsters is a way that could reach anyone's heart. There's something behind that.

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  64. Great epiphany. Funny how the answer comes when you're ready for it.

    Lie... I'll guess #1.

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    1. Too true. Or rather, when I'm ready to share that insight with a bunch of school-aged kids.

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    2. Too true. Or rather, when I'm ready to share that insight with a bunch of school-aged kids.

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  65. Congrats Crystal on all the book love, Tara for her book and singing voice I need to hear like yesterday and Ceceilia on her novel. Books and writing can mean so many things to each of us. Glad you found out your reason for writing how you do Crystal. Love you!

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  66. In my writing group last night we went off on a conversation about how all stories are about good verses evil for two hours. My head started to hurt and I have no idea if we made any sense. What a lot of good book stuff in this post! I have no idea why, just a gut feeling #3 is the lie.

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  67. I'll go with #1 as the lie. Epiphany moments can be so unexpected. I like what you have to say about stories showing no one is all good or all bad. It's true.

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  68. Wow, awesome books! Congratulations on the review!

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  69. It's a great feeling getting those 5 star reviews. Congrats!!!
    I love that you said that reading and writing is about compassion. I hadn't thought of it that way before, but you are so right.

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  70. I think the lie is #1. I think writing is most people's way to make sense of the world - whether you set your stories on this world or another. I bet there are a lot of writers trying to make sense of the world today!

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    1. I like that thought. Writing is a way to make sense of the world, either this one or another. That's quotable, Annalisa!

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  71. Seeing the world through a different perspective has always been one of my favorite things about reading. Love how you infuse your work with compassion like this, Crystal!

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  72. Very true, there is always a different perspective, some more wrong or right than others sometimes, but then that all depends on one's perspective too.

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  73. What wonderful insight! It kind of leaves me in the dust. I mostly write to escape to a place I like much better than my desk. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  74. Hello Crystal, congratulations on the review & inclusion in a top ten list of authors and blogs, it must have been very gratifying to receive two such lovely accolades. Well done!
    I’m guessing the lie is the first one. I do love the truth or lie questions, although I’m not very good at guessing.

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    1. I don't think I've ever guessed one correctly! :)

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  75. Isn't it great when we get those 'light-bulb' moments. I have definitely used writing to help me process things from my own life.
    Congrats on the review.
    As for the lie - I'm going with #1

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  76. I love the thought that writing is about compassion. Finding the ability to be compassionate, even in the worst of times. I'm going to hang on to that for a while.

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  77. Wow! You were just on top of writing great quotes yesterday!

    "No one is truly evil. No one is 100% good. We're all just people struggling to find happiness, and if we could see everyone around us that way, life would be infinitely better."

    <3.

    I'm glad you were able to find an escape to the bullying you experienced through writing. I certainly hope your bullies eventually found an escape through some type of hobby or otherwise, so that they could improve the world rather than make people feel badly about themselves. (Though, obviously, they did find a way to improve the world through what they were already doing, by "encouraging" you, in the lowest form possible, to write.) Isn't it funny how life works out sometimes in the least expected ways possible?

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  78. I write fantasy because I love magic, pure and simple :)

    Yay for Christy! I think #1 is the lie :)

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    1. Thanks, Alexia! Hmm...I wonder how well you know me...?!?

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  79. Go, Crystal, Go! I sing, too, but solos really freak me out. I've done them, but not at weddings and funerals. That would be scary!

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  80. I was painfully shy as a little kid. Having my nose stuck in a book stopped people from talking to me and gave me somewhere to be. I suppose writing evolved from that.

    I'm going to go with streaking as the lie. And I agree, that is a gorgeous cover!

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  81. Congrats to Christy!

    Crystal -- I love when I make connections about why I write what I do. It sounds like a satisfying moment for you!

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  82. Thanks Crystal for sharing why you write!!!
    Truly a beautiful book cover and the story sounds amazing!

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  83. Is Erica a 'cheesehead' then? My male lead in my current WIP might know her then. [I'm a Packers fan.] My guy thinks that the Lie is 1...because of the professor who must have worn headgear - they all seem to ;-)

    Hate bullying not just as I was on the receiving end at one school. I know too many who suffered themselves. Made me more of a reader, I think.

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  84. Hi Crystal, I enjoyed your #IWSG post for this month. You've given me food for thought about why I chose to start writing.

    It's too late to join the true-false contest but I don't think Cecilia ran in the nude! Just wanted to say "hey" to a fellow cheesehead!

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  85. Love your conclusion: compassion. That cover's gorgeous!

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  86. What an inspiring story. I think the bad things that happen to us in life make our writing stronger in one way or another. It's just tough to see it when we're going through it!

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  87. Really enjoyed reading your post and reasons for writing. Excellent.
    Happy IWSG Belated Day!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  88. Woman, how are you doing? Hope all is good.
    I love your thoughts: no one is truly evil and no one is 100% good. That about sums it up.

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  89. I am glad you had a moment of clarity about why you write and the characters you create. So sorry to hear about the bullying you went through. It sounds like you found a good outlet in your writing.

    ~Jess

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  90. That's a beautiful reason on why you write what you do, Crystal! Congrats to Cecelia!

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  91. So sorry to hear about the bullying. :/ But it is wonderful that you found writing through that (and an awesome writer you are too). ♡ :)

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  92. Good to hear you found writing as an outlet and way to deal with it.

    -Kati

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  93. What a fantastic reason to write. You made a bad experience into a really positive one. Good for you, Crystal!! Congrats to Cecelia. The cover looks great! I reckon number #1 is the lie. Have a great week.

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  94. I can definitely relate to writing what you see, feel in the world around you. I can also attest to the monumental release it is to one's soul to pour yourself out through writing, and though I know what you have is a 'calling', it made me smile to read your reasoning. You certainly put it to good use!
    Congratulations, Cecilia - great cover!

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  95. "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." --George R. R. Martin

    I'm not sure if compassion and empathy are why I read and/or write, but I know that they're part of the experience. And I think it works both ways - I know I want to create characters that other people can see themselves in, especially who don't usually get to see themselves as the heroes.

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  96. Writing to discover (and rediscover) the good in folks is a legitimate task.

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  97. Fascinating to read about the origins of your writing. Really, we're always writing about the world around us, even if our characters are on a totally different one. I'll have to go for #1 as the lie!

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  98. It was nice learning more about you. Congrats on your 5-star review! Gorgeous cover!

    Julie

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  99. Love, love, love your reasoning. It makes me want to read and write more books!

    Hmm, I'd say #1 is the lie...

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  100. That's great news about your review and being listed in the top authors and bloggers! I think it's all well-deserved! Writing is an outlet for a lot of people - a way to deal with issues that are difficult to handle in real life.

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  101. What a beautiful realization, Crystal. I think happiness is a great equalizer in the sense that it all up to us to find or make it. We can have everything we need but if we don't have gratitude or contentment, we will never be happy.

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  102. I think it would be very hard to sing at a funeral. I'm not usually an emotional person, but funerals really get me in tears--the hymns especially.

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  103. It's interesting to think of every book or story as a world unto itself. I was sad to read about the bullying you experienced. Even though it lead you to write, it's still something that kids should not have go through period. I love what you wrote about compassion and the exploration of light and dark in every human. Once we figure out a person or a character's motivation, then we are able to understand their actions and in doing so we're able to understand more about ourselves.

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  104. I like what you wrote about what brought you to writing, though I'm sorry you were bullied. That's terrible. Yes, compassion is so important. <3

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Hit me with your cheese!