Thursday, March 17, 2005

Life is Too Short

I’ve heard that a million times, in conversations, in songs, in movies. I haven’t thought a lot about it though. Even though I’ve had health problems for a few years now, and I know death happens. I’ve lost my mother, my father, a brother, all of my grandparents, and more aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends than I can mention. I still figured, mostly, that I had plenty of time left. (I bet we all think this.)

And then a couple of weeks ago, a fellow romance writer who I knew through some on-line groups, died. She didn’t have cancer, she wasn’t old, there wasn’t a terrible car wreck, she simply got the flu, and then things went down hill from there.

I spent some time looking through old messages she had written. They were normal messages. The kinds we send out every day about writers block, falling off the diet wagon, plans for her next book...just totally normal stuff. And then she was gone. It was like someone just erased her away, and her website is there, but she isn’t, and no more messages come from her e-mail address, and when I send a question to one of the groups we belonged to together, she doesn’t reply.

I know her novel is sitting in her computer unfinished. Her notebook of ideas for articles and stories will never be jotted in again...and she’ll never get the chance to finish that novel, or start another piece of writing. What’s done is done, and what’s left undone will stay that way.

Those thoughts made me open my own folder of ideas. I glanced through them, and there are some good ones in there. (Smile) I looked at the MSS I have started, and I realized that I don’t want to leave them unfinished. I like my characters and I want to tell their whole story.

So I’ve decided to work a little harder, maybe write a little faster, and to let some other things slip. Who says there’s anything wrong with a sink full of dirty dishes, and the world won’t fall apart if I don’t judge a contest for a while, there's really nothing wrong with saying no, and I doubt I’ll be missed that much if I suddenly start posting fewer messages on those on-line groups.

I have a great excuse after all; I’ve got stories to tell. (Smile)


Tess said...

Charlotte, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. That's horrible. And so scary.

And you're right - makes me think as well about all the stories I have in the planning stages. We may not like thinking about such heavy things, but sometimes we have to.

Again - sincere condolences on your loss.

Charlotte Dillon said...

Thanks, Tess. Time for us to get those stories out of just the planning and get to writing! (Smile)

Linda Winfree said...

Charlotte, I just discovered your blog, and I'm so thrilled I did! I'll definitely be back. (And I'm going to link it over at mine, if that's okay.)

This post especially called to me -- in 2003, I had a very good friend and her husband who did die in a traffic accident. As you said, all of a sudden, this dear friend and my partner in crime when it came to fanfiction, was gone. That's one of the reasons I came back to writing for publication after a long sabbatical. Because you never know.

Charlotte Dillon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlotte Dillon said...

Thanks Linda! Sorry for the loss of your friend. Odd what it takes sometimes to make us see what we should have seen all along, and make us get in gear and do what we know we should be doing.

Feel free to link to my blog. (Smile)