You might have wondered where I went after the AtoZ. I didn’t even really finish that, but the truth is, I’ve been working on changing *waves at everything around me* in a very piecemeal way in the last couple of years, and having spent a whole YEAR in limbo of ‘should I do this, could I do that,’, I finally pulled the cord, hit the detonation button, pulled down walls, slegehammered a pile of crap…
And ended up, after all that, facing down the fact that (a) I said this in 2018, when my adopted sister died, only to be saying the same thing now that I’ve lost one of my best friends.
Remembrances…I’m not good at them
One of the major issues that I hit last month was that just as I was about to pull the last safety guide off my publishing ‘stuff’, one of my best friends died. It was, I guess, quite sudden. Sure she’d been unwell, but nothing she’d said told me it was mortal. I’m not sure even she really knew, not till right up to the last. Valerie Douglas, as you know, is someone I’ve done lots of projects with, won awards for our work alongside, and was someone I talked to and worked with *a lot*. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always, in the end, right. I was her webmistress and formatter for her last books, and we often talked about collaborative stuff we could do…tomorrow.
Well, tomorrow is here, and there’s only one of us left. And I found out the day I was supposed to upload the next tranche of self-publishing books. That was just two weeks ago. It feels…a lot longer.
I’ve been in a tailspin ever since.
In fact, I was in denial at first, until I got in touch with people that lived in her village. Then, the reality started to settle in (though, I’m not sure it’s really HIT me. I know when Katie-Anne died, I didn’t post about it *at all* for months). She died on the 26th, and was interred on the 27th. It seems like they don’t hang around in Italy, which is where she was living for what turned out to be the last few years of her life, since moving there during the latter end of the Pandemic.
Like I said…terrible at this
I’ve still got no idea what I’m supposed to say – is it unseemly to do the virtual version of falling to my knees and beating at my breast, demanding that it be changed, that the author of our lives backspace these last two weeks and try that one again, they’ve killed off a major character? (do you think it’ll work?)
See, that I know doesn’t work. If it did, I’d have made them remove cancer, give back both Katie-Anne and my gran, and other friends and family I’ve lost and…like everyone else, I think I’d have done things differently. Truth is though, we don’t know, we wouldn’t know, so the instinct to ‘do it differently’ wouldn’t be there.
And that’s the ultimate truth in all of this. One of my closest friends died two weeks ago, and I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to work out how to undo it, while telling everyone she’s gone, sorting out the things I can and have access to, and worst of all, sleepwalking through all of the plans I also scrapped and relegated to the storehouse of ‘might be’.
The thing is. I keep scrapping stuff. I’m pretty sure that I’ve cancelled more projects than I’ve completed, and it’s not a good trend. So, over the next few weeks, I hope I’m going to start putting things back together, working out where everything *fits*, taking up the slack at the Indie Author Group, as I’m the only founder left (though, not the only original member) and I’ll move on from this. And miss Valerie terribly.