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One Last Time

I wrote the following on 8/7/2021 and saved the draft until I was ready to share it with the world.

Right around Thanksgiving last year I got a call letting me know that my older sister – the middle child of 5 children and the middle born sister – had been diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder. She was told her odds of beating it were good, but not great. In April things were still going well and she was through chemo and was scheduled for surgery to finally remove her gall bladder and part of her liver. When they went in, they found tumors where that had not been found before. Nothing was removed and biopsies where taken. They did some more testing and she was accepted into another therapy program with okay odds. Then last month she went into the hospital again after become very ill. They thought it was the new form of therapy causing the issue. It was not. It was the beginning of the end.

Carol and I took a trip together before Covid hit in February of 2020. After she dropped me off from the trip, because of COVID and the cancer, I did not see her again until last Sunday, the 1st of August. Sure, we talked on the phone from time to time, but not face to face.

So Sunday afternoon I went to the hospital to say goodbye. I did not say the actual word ‘Goodbye”, but we both knew “I love you” meant so much more. I promised her some things, things I will spend the rest of my life doing for her.

Today, not one week later, she is gone. The decline was rapid, and I am thankful that her suffering is over. She is rejoicing in being Home with her Savior and is reunited with our mom.

Last Saturday evening, when I knew what was coming the next day, I tried to gather my thoughts “on paper” so I would be prepared to tell her what needed to be said. The poem I’m sharing below just flowed out of me. (My mom was the poet in the family. I’ve never done much with trying to write this kind of thing, because it always felt forced.) I’ve tinkered a very little with it, but this is a peek into my heart, as raw as it can be.

July 31st, 2021

One Last Time

How do you say goodbye to a sister? Where do the words come from that can even begin to express the love you have in your heart? 

Tomorrow I go and see my sister for probably the very last time. Sure, I’ll try, and I know I will cry, but the words won’t be enough. 

I’ve had one of these conversations before, when my mom was failing. It was so hard. I didn’t say enough then. How could anyone ever say enough? 

Maybe it’s the tears that speak. They are a liquid testament to the emotions of pain, loss, sorrow, and grief. Maybe.

It’s just too soon. Much too soon. We were supposed to have more years to call and talk to each other on the phone. We needed to take another trip together. We needed more time to just be sisters.

I know someday we will see each other again and we will have an eternity with our Father in glory. I just wanted more time here in this earthly home.

But tomorrow will have to do, because that is what is granted to my sister and me. I will take this gift, of one more time, to say what I can say. I wasn’t sure I would have the chance to say goodbye. But I do.

All I can do is try. 

And cry. 

And tell my sister that I love her. 

One last time.

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Stolen! Update

I finally received word from Amazon that the stolen story is being removed. Thank you to all who contacted me about this. I share with your frustrations that someone has done this, and I really have questioned whether to take my stories down from some sites. For now, I will leave them as they are. I’ve never wanted to turn my love of writing JAFF into a profit making venture. Instead I’ve chosen to leave them up so that, perhaps, they may inspire someone else to discover their writing voice through our community and our shared love of Janes Austen’s characters. So whoever stole my story, shame on you. And unfortunately, I feel like living proof that “No good deed ever goes unpunished.”

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Goodbye, Tish

It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you all know that my faithful, amazing, awesome, giving editor, Charlene Dargay, passed away early this morning after a lengthy battle with health issues. Charlene wrote to me out of the blue one day offering to help me when I first started posting my JAFF. She saw something in me that was worth her time and that was possibly the greatest compliment I have ever received as a writer. You see, Charlene made her living with words, both as a speech writer and as an editor. That she so graciously gave her time and expertise to helping me still blows me away. I’ve donated every penny – not that there have been many – that I have earned on stories she helped me with to one of her favorite causes as a thank you. She was patient with me, laughed with me, cried with me, and talked me down off the shelf several times.

I will miss you, Tish. You were a trailblazer and a lover of all things LSU. I will always cheer for your beloved Tigers in remembrance of you. Of course, unless they are playing my Devils. I know you understand.

L

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Stolen!

I was notified yesterday that someone had stolen No More Tears and published it on Amazon under the title Romancing Mr. Darcy. I have notified Amazon of the issue and hope to have it resolved in the next few days. Thank you to all of you who let me know. I’ve left it online for free so that people could enjoy it the way I was able to enjoy some amazing Jane Austen Fanfiction when I discovered it 17 years or so ago. I may be revising that stance now that this has happened, at least for No More Tears. We’ll see. I’m sorry it took this to make me come out of hibernation. Life has been very busy for me, COVID aside.

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Yes, I know, I sucketh much

I had no idea I would be nearly 7 months between posts. What can I say but this story title should not apply to waiting for posts…

Life has been busy. This was my son’s last season to march drum corps and I had no clue how much his life would take over mine. I found myself following his adventure on his Instagram page and waiting daily for texts from him. I even got a couple of surprise phone calls. They were good phone calls with great news. He ended up winning his part of solo and ensemble competition on the trumpet and his corps, the Concord Blue Devils won their 18th world championship 3 days later. What a way to go out. We took our vacation to watch him perform that last week and I sobbed when their final show was over. My dear husband just held me and let me get it all out. I was fine afterwards and just so proud of my son when the scores were finally announced. Such joy on his face and in my heart.

All that to say here is the next 8 pages of my story. It’s completely unedited by anyone other than me, so expect a few typos!

patience is a virtue part 3

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Hello… is anybody there?

Okay, I’m a long time overdue posting anything new. I started a 30 hour a week job at the beginning of September and kept my very part time job at the same time. It’s helping us pay the bills and start to pay down some debt – which turned out to be not one but two car loans.

Anyway, I’ve been working away, albeit slowly, on a new (to you folks) story and still (slowly) editing letters for publication some day. As an incentive to try and get writing more frequently, I’ve decided to start posting the (very) rough draft of Patience is a Virtue. This story has surprised me in how complex it has become. I’m not sure I got my back story the way I want it, but it can be tweaked later if need be.

So to set the stage, Lady Catherine is desperate for Anne to wed Darcy, and for good reason. Enter Elizabeth Bennet, who unwittingly becomes a part of a very different sort of love triangle. Yeah, I’m writing a love triangle. Trust me, I was shocked when I realized what I had done. Don’t worry, you know me, our favorite couple will not do anything immoral. There will be HEA for them. And we’ll have to wait and see how many characters I end up killing off. As of other traditional pairings… meh. I’m still not sure who will end up with whom other than Darcy wins Elizabeth before its all said and done.

Part 1 of Patience is a Virtue

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Help Wanted Ad

My wonderful editor has some health issues. This means I’m at a standstill getting Letters edited. Soooooo… I’m looking for someone (or two) who is interested in joining my team and providing feedback. I am NOT looking for a proofreader. That’s the one area I have completely covered, but I do need some critique of the rough draft. I’d prefer some experience, but I’m willing to give you a shot if you can convince me to.

If you’re game, shoot me an email through the link on the Contact Me page, or leave me a comment here.

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Do you live near Concord, CA?

I confess, I’ve not done any writing in months. It’s track season and, well, it’s track season and it is over in 3 weeks.

The next thing on my to-do list is to get my son off for the summer with The Blue Devils. Through the generosity of many folks, including a few from here, we were able to raise enough money to pay for his dues and his transportation costs.

The one remaining headache is that his housing for his pre-tour rehearsals time from mid-May to Mid June just fell through this week. Sooooo…

Once again I ask for a little help. We are looking for a room to rent for 5 weeks that is within a 30 minute drive of Concord from approximately May 12th through June 20th. He’ll be at rehearsal for 6 days a week starting May 21st. If you have a lead on a room we can rent, would you please leave me a comment and I can contact you through your comment.

Thanks! And yes, once track season is over I will have a lot of time on my hands for writing…

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I’m still alive and looking for a little help…

It’s been a few months.

Since then I was given a large enough Christmas bonus to replace my laptop that I constantly wanted to throw through a window. I once again have a MacBook and I’m much happier.

Letters is still with my editors. They have lives too and theirs decided they was much more important than mine there for a while. Work still continues and I hope to have a book ready soon.

Writing on Patience is a Virtue continues as well. The new laptop means there are no more excuses and I’ve started to set goals several days a week to keep me going. I had a major case of writers block that I am doing my best to bust through with the writing goals. SO far so good. I now have roughly 38,000 words typed in and things are progressing. Lady Catherine is a revelation and I think you will enjoy how she is turning out. I admit I have a soft spot for the haridan, and she just keeps proving she has unexpected depth.

As you have probably heard, plagiarism is a huge issue in our fandom right now. I have struggled with what to do about it and have decided to leave all of the stories completed before 2013 free online for the foreseeable future. Most have been there for years and I really do not want to take them down just to publish. To me they are a gift repaying those who went before me.

I’m to the point where I am writing to publish. Ive said that before. I need to pay for my son’s car insurance!

However, there is another expense that is more pressing and if you have enjoyed my writing over the years and would like to help, it would be appreciated.

I’ve talked about my son over the years. He is a talented trumpet player with a passion for the marching arts. He’s a sophomore at Arizona State University majoring in Music Education. It is a very prestigious program for his degree and very difficult to get into, especially on trumpet. Additionally, he has 2 years of eligibility left in Drum Corps International (marching band on Steroids). For him, drum corps is more than a love of performing, it’s also an internship and as well resume building for his future career as a music educator. He earned a spot with the 17 time world champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2016 season. He will spend three months rehearsing, traveling and performing all over the US with the corps. This takes money – over $3400.00 worth for him. If you would be willing become a sponsor for him, either leave me a comment or email me and I will give you information on how you can do so. Every little bit helps. If we pay in full by February 28th, we even get a $400 discount.

Thanks for your consideration and your continued patience with my sometimes MIA muse!

~Linnea

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