Working on: Edits for Sold
Listening to: mixed CD
Reading: Whitethorn Woods, Maeve Binchy
The news yesterday about Blake Snyder affected me so deeply in part because our family lost a friend earlier this year quite suddenly, and very close to the same age. It does feel very much like a life cut short. And the older I get, the more news like this feels closer to home. My siblings are in their late 40's and early 50's. It makes a person think.
I checked back in my saved e-mail and sure enough, I had saved those communications from Blake right after I'd read Save The Cat. I believe I had mentioned what a big hit he had been in San Francisco at RWA Nationals last year, and this is part of his response to me:
"Yes, I had a ball at RWA wow what a great time and what a wonderful group of proactive, optimisitic writers! I wish my screenwriter buddies were half as upbeat!"
The thing is, what leaks through in every word he wrote to me is enthusiasm. He was a man who was doing what he loved. He was excited about it. Heck, in his last post on his blog only hours before his death, his first words were "I love writers." He loved writing, and craft, and sharing that love with other people that just GOT IT. His door was open, even to strangers like me, telling me to keep in touch and e-mail anytime. We shared a few thoughts about the Romance genre and his future project, Save The Cat Falls In Love. I'll bet there are tons of other romance writers out there with similar stories too...those that met him and dropped him an e-mail to say thanks, or those that, like me, read Save The Cat and loved it.
I can hear my critique partner's words to me back in April...when our friend died and only a few days later we learned my minister back in Calgary had also passed. Both in their prime of life. One only a month away from early retirement. She said that the only think you can do is live. Time will keep passing...it's what you do with it that matters.
I am so fortunate to be doing a job I adore...I hesitate to even call it a job, although some days it definitely feels like it. Writing isn't a job, it's a way of life. And I'm lucky enough that I get paid to do it. I get to live out my dream every day, with fantastic kids, a loving husband, surrounded by grass and trees and nice neighbours.
But there is a lot I haven't done, and that is what strikes me so much about Blake. And Rick. And Linda. It is the force calling tick tock. It is the bit reminding me to look after myself as best I can. To live every moment. To take pleasure in the small things. There are things left to come that I'm not done with - seeing my girls graduate, get married, making me a grandma (hopefully in that order). Writing more books. Traveling with my husband. Death isn't what scares me. It's not living.
Some of those things I can't rush, so I just have to hope and pray I get the chance to see them. The rest - well, in the words of Eminem:
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.