In Memory Of My First Fan


Just before Thanksgiving last year, I lost a friend. I am still having a hard time dealing with it, and her death has left me questioning things in new ways. As of right now, I haven't come to any sense of peace with the loss I know so many feel, and I ache for the three little children she left behind.

That said, I have found some comfort in my memories which is why I am posting this here. She called herself my "first fan." I had taken about a decade break from writing when I had my children. Getting back into it was scary, of course. Carolyn always encouraged me, and therefore she was my only friend to read that first manuscript. She took this "honor" as she called it very seriously. She called me with her page of notes after. She gave me the honesty I needed, good and bad for which I will ever be grateful. That was one of the first stories I sent out, and so it was also one of my first rejections. But, my friend was so encouraging. She said, with her unfailing faith in me, that when it did get published she wanted a signed copy that was written to "my first fan."

When I did get my first contract (which was not for that first story, of course) I will never forget the moment I told her. It was outside of our son's school, and she shook and cried with her excitement as she hugged me. Her reaction touched me and will ever stand out in my mind when I think of that time.   I have the picture you see here of us hanging up in my house so that it is the first thing I see when I walk into my writing room.

In January of 2009, I got to hold my first print book in my hand. And, in that anthology was a greatly revised version of that first story Carolyn read for me. It made it even more bittersweet. Despite my unanswered questions, I will always keep with me her enthusiasm, her support and her love to just name a few things that made her the amazing spirit that she was to so many.  She was such a gift, ask anyone who knew her.   She touched so many.   Now, I can't give her that signed copy, so I guess I am writing it here to her instead.

To Carolyn, My First Fan,

Thank You for your help, 
your encouragement, 
your excitement and your friendship.

You are one of the few who 
helped this book truly to be.

I will love you always,