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When I decided to write this story, I placed the above quote on the bulletin board by my desk. The
words proved true, and I am truly thankful for the many wonderful people drawn together to help make this happen.

To my dear friends, Ronnie and Joe Biondo, my heartfelt thanks and love for believing in me and supporting
my efforts every step of the way. I am forever grateful for this journey we have taken together.

For the creation of the story’s visual life, an enormous thank you to Lindsay D. Nery for her stunningly
beautiful illustrations. Your talent, skill, intuition and lovely spirit continually astound me.

To my brilliantly talented friend, Michael Rice, thank you for your inspiring song, "Fireflies and
Shooting Stars," and for your spectacular arrangements and masterful piano accompaniment.
Oh yes, and thanks for the laughter!

Very special thanks to renowned author and editor, Emma Walton Hamilton, for her invaluable editorial consultation and advice. Your incredibly thoughtful, wise and poignant suggestions were matched only by the genuine honesty and kindness with which they were presented. It was an honor and pleasure to work with you. My story and I are all the better for it.

My deepest appreciation and thanks to the very talented performers who brought the characters to life with their shining voices at various performances and on the recording, including Lynne Wintersteller, Harrison Cohen, Scott Hayward, Jennifer Smith, Gina Milo, Amanda Smith, Ronnie Biondo, Perry Payne and Klea Blackhurst.

Many thanks to my good and trusted friends who provided feedback for the story and who were always enthusiastically ready for an impromptu performance of the music or a look at the newest illustration, including Joan and Albert Waldman, Sarana and Joe Biondo Jr., Elizabeth Geitz, Shari and Art Cirkus, Rebecca and Richard Lindsey, Ellen Silverstone, Celeste Simone, Amy Ferris, Duke and Joan Schneider, Greg Johnson and Brian Swallow, Rocky Slonaker and Don Friedman, Mary Decker and the women of the LitWits book club.

On the production side, my sincere thanks to the following:

Peter Millrose of Millrose Music for recording and mixing the music expertly and patiently. What a great, creative and fun experience!

Andy VanDette of MasterDisk NYC for mastering the recording and kindly assisting me through the process.

Peter Bowerman of Wellfedwriter.com for his very informative advice and friendly consultation in the publishing process.

John Brink and Chris Purcell of Torque Advertising + Design for their imaginative, smart and wonderful design of the book, book cover, CD and web site. You’re the best!

Mim Eisenberg of Wordcraftservices.com for her prompt, accurate and stellar proofreading.

Sue Bray and the very helpful team of Bookmasters/Atlas Books for their excellent printing, fulfillment and distribution services.

Bob Levine and Adam Rosen from the legal team of Levine, Plotkin & Menin for their professional help and guidance.

A very special acknowledgment to Scott Hayward Eck for sharing every moment, boundless encouragement and your magnificent voice. My gratitude and love to you always. And thanks to Maggy, who always pointed out the
joy and wonder in the simple things with every wag of her tail.

Finally, love and thanks to Mom and Dad for their endless hopes and wishes.

No wonder the universe conspired to assist.

Thank you, all!

Ed Raarup
August 2012