We drove to Ontario this weekend past to attend a family funeral. Since then, I've been drinking cup after cup of strong black tea (milk in first) in memory of many laughter-filled, tea-fueled kitchen table conversations that spanned four decades.
Here's a little story that came from one such conversation.
Over 30 years ago, I decided to try my hand at writing. Women's fiction was booming at the time, and it seemed a likely, sensible place to break in. So I wrote 3 or 4 manuscripts and sent them to a beta reader--a family member who was also a dear friend and an avid reader of romances. After reading my most recent attempt, she bluntly announced, "Girl, you don't have a romantic bone in your body. Face it: You're weird. You should be writing science fiction or fantasy or something like that."
This thought hadn't occurred to me, but it felt right. It fit who I was, what I loved, and how I thought. The very next day, I saw a tiny ad in WRITERS' DIGEST magazine, an open call for a new story line in something called the Forgotten Realms. I put together a proposal for what would become ELSHADOW, my first novel. Serendipity, sure, but I wouldn't have been looking in this direction if someone hadn't pointed out that maybe I should.
This was a life-changing little chain of events, but as memories go, it's only about average, just one of many. The life that ended last week has enriched the lives of everyone around her in more ways than I can list, both simple and profound. I feel blessed and grateful to have known her.