[ Bag ]
Special thanks
Dear mom, you've been
by my side through it all.
Failures and success
of all ilk, great and small.

From art classes to doctor appointments,
homemade meals and all-nighter homework—
not to mention enough teenage rebellion
to make even the sanest go berserk.

And now you’ve done it again,
still by my side, even as an adult.
You're my rock and my guide,
always there when I need to consult.

For the past six years, you've been
my trusty editor-in-chief,
cheering me on to the finish of this bloody
book whenever I got stuck in disbelief.
Ever since I was small, you were always the designated
concert chaperone—there to feed my creative appetite.
You’ve always stoked my love for art—even hosting (and
Eugene-sitting) when I needed a retreat to get away or write.
Emily, it’s no secret that having a sister I adore
as much as you was this book’s greatest inspiration.
How wild that after it was written, you had twin girls too—
Ada and Iris, you’re our star twins for the next generation.
Mile, my king, thank you for
your partnership, humor, and love.
I'm so lucky to share a life with
someone I will always stand in awe of.

Your feedback, ideas, and encouragement
pushed me to a new height.
You're a true artist who knows if you have
a dream, never let it out of your sight.

You've seen me at my best but more
importantly also at my worst,
and when I need support
you're always there first.

And if that wasn't enough, you still
found time to help me edit and design.
Please forgive the cliché, but always
know I love you until the end of time.
Barry, thank you for gifting me Pirsig’s seminal work—
our friend Phaedrus gave me the confidence to go my own way.
And it was your honest feedback that prompted a much-needed
rewrite of the old ending—which was quite far-fetched, I daresay.
Uncle Rob, A.K.A. Critter
Uncle Rob, your vast knowledge and love for both wildlife
and the outdoors helped me with a much-needed revise.
Thank you for all your factual corrections so every
real bow hunter won’t be completely rolling their eyes.
Frank, thank you endlessly for somehow making sense
of the first draft of what, at the time, wasn't even a book.
I still don't know how you did it (wine?)—but without
your sage feedback, this manuscript would be gobbledygook.
Tina, Lys and friends
Tina, Lys, dear loved ones, family and 
friends—(you all know who you are),
thank you for being my steadfast cheerleading crew—
if I need a pick-me-up, I never have to go far.
Hunter, Michael, Frank, and Mary
Hunter M., Michael V., Frank C., and Mary C.—
ye brave friends who have published books before—
thank you for shining your light on my path and
helping me uncover the right channels to explore.
Dave and Michael
Dave and Michael R., thank you for
all your generous audio advice.
You're as kind as you are professional, offering 
decades of expertise without even thinking twice.
Holly and Hollis
Hollis, Holly (and Oats—woof!),
my true and trusty denizens of Erie,
thank you for your priceless fact checks
and helping answer my every local query.
My sweet little Eugene, you're the greatest
snuggle buddy that there ever was.
You've purred on my lap for all those late nights of writing—
what would I do at 3 AM without your impossibly soft fuzz?