Originally posted in December 4, 2001

Most of you know that Adam's step-mother, Paula Purcell, wrote us a wonderful thank-you note some time ago. Shortly thereafter, Adam's wife Jennifer did the same. Today I received an e-mail from Adam's mom, Vicki. I had received a message from dann back at the beginning of last month indicating that she wanted to get in touch with me, so I sent her an e-mail to let her know how to find me. And late last night, she finally did.

Although the many words that she wrote to me were very personal, I wanted to share with you a few of them that pertain to all of us. I don't think that she would mind.

I am so grateful that Adam had found you and Everything2. That he had the good times in Boston and Sparta - when I thought he was so alone. I am amazed, overwhelmed at the love and care and concern that poured forth from across the country - from you in Florida, up the east coast and all the way to "Raising a Glass" out west. E2 is truly a wonderful - phenomenal - community/FAMILY. I feel blessed, and honored for Adam.
Vicki went on to talk about how "For every dream that's shattered, another one comes true," referring to the recent birth of my nephew, and she shared with me some very touching memories of when Adam was a small child and the love he had for his uncle David, her brother.

I have written all that I can write about Adam. To try and pull any more out of me would be more than I could bear. But reading his mother's words tonight, my heart has opened up again, and while I do not normally write daylogs, I wanted to share a few things that have been on my mind. They don't seem to fit anywhere else.

And as it so happened, Andy paged me tonight just as I began writing this. I rang him up and talked with him for a while. We spoke at great length a few nights ago about his current situation, and I listened and gave advice, and listened some more. I've been down this road before myself, as many of you have, and although the circumstances are different and the people are different, the path is very much the same. We are lucky if we can see to see through the fog of "now" that the muddy trail we tread upon has been beaten down by those that stumbled this way before us. Help is sometimes hard to find; the trick of it is to just keep looking until you do. And to never give up.

Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill, 29 October 1941

My point is this:

Life can kill you. It can, and it will. We all die in the end. Every one of us will be food for maggots. It is a certainty as true and profound as taxation and the sun rising in the morning. Every force of the universe is dead set against us some days, and the weight of the world will beat you into submission just as sure as you let it. It never stops. Entropy is king. And whether you believe in God or not, whether you love Jesus or not, whether you smoke dope or drink or write poetry or curse at the moon or engage in promiscuous sex, whether you pray on your knees or tithe or give money to charity or abstain from sinful vices or put your trust in government, every one of you will certainly perish. Our world is ephemeral. There is no escaping it. Our time here is fleeting, and the clock ticks seconds past even as you read these words.

But you must not give up. Never give in. Fuck all and fuck the world and fuck these enemies you fear which tear you down little by little every breath you take. You must fight; even when your enemies are those who love you and even when they are ones you love. You must fight for yourself and cling to those things that give you strength: your faith, yourself, your knowledge that no matter what may happen to you right in the here and now, the sun also rises tomorrow.

Too jaded to care? Think you're too hopeless to matter? This is a message that has been conveyed by far greater writers than me, many many times throughout history. Why must I repeat it here? Why do I bother? I repeat it because it needs repeating. For me. For Aresds. For Vicki and Andy and dann and FOR YOU.

Adam gave up. Don't make his mistake. Don't let the bastards grind you down. Keep fighting. Grit your teeth and go on. It will get better, because everything changes. That much you can rest assured of. Never stop fighting. Never, never, never. We love you, dammit... don't give up.

I never would’ve thought last September while I was attending KillerCon Convention in Las Vegas, that only a few months later, I would be writing a blog for my author site. I accompanied my husband, as I had the year before, and was looking forward to catching up with friends from the last con and spending some quality coupe time. I also planned to take the SkyJump off the Stratoshere, which I had been looking forward to since the previous year.

I did all of those things and I had a great time. But, as I went around to the panels and took a couple of classes and in general soaked up all that creative energy and support, I began to believe that, perhaps, I actually could become a writer.

There are some fun, creative challenges held at KillerCon each year. There is the gross-out, which was most hilarious and the erotic writing competition was titillating, but the stories written in just 15 minutes for the 200 word horror short fiction challenge were amazing.

To begin this challenge, the writers are given 5 words and a phrase that must be included in their story. I didn’t formally participate in the challenge, but I wrote down the words and the phrase and got about one hundred forty seven words of a story written.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, I was going through our business records for last year and mixed in amongst the hotel and food receipts, hastily scratched out on a hotel note pad, were those one hundred and forty seven words. Something about them just struck me, and I was able to see the rest of the story, complete in my head; all I had to do was write it down.

I started writing in October, but I hadn’t fully committed to it yet. I was afraid. Afraid of judgment, afraid I wasn’t good enough, afraid I would edit my work to death. Afraid of so many things, I ended up being afraid to try. November wasn’t much better as I failed NamoWriMo, but managed to get over four thousand words written. It’s more than I wrote in October, I tried to reassure myself. December dissolved into holiday frenzy and I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to write five hundred words a day, five days a week.

That, I felt I could do. As I picked up on the stories I had previously started, five hundred words didn’t seem too difficult. I was keeping up, and as I placed my word count into my tracker each day, I felt excited and proud, and soon I had written over five thousand words for the month!

My husband had been accepted into an anthology and he said I should write something for it. I started a new story, with this anthology’s theme in mind, and had close to eight hundred words completed on it, when I found the one hundred forty seven words from KillerCon.

Using those words, I wrote the story for the anthology in 2 days. It is approximately fourteen hundred words in length and was submitted, accepted, and published. Suddenly, I was an author.

Never give up on yourself, especially before you even try and don’t throw away any of your ideas, you’re going to need them someday.

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