I was saddened yesterday to hear that Terry Pratchett, one of my favourite authors, died. He was one of the first authors I latched onto as I grew to adulthood and my reading tastes grew alongside his book releases.
I stopped reading his books a couple of years ago so that they wouldn’t influence my own while I write them, so there’s still plenty to catch up on, but to know that’s now limited feels like some of the magic has gone from this world.
For those fans of his Discworld books, the perfect epilogue to his life came via the Twitter account.
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
Just a little update for you guys.
The last time I posted here I was going to have a look at some suspect chapters with a view to relaying their information in other ways. In total I cut three short chapters from my book, dropping its word count by around seven thousand words. The information has been nicely melded into other chapters and spread around in such a way that it’s not so blatant that you should be paying attention to these things anymore, so that’s a bonus for me.
Following that major edit I went ahead with the next sections of the book, building it up to forty chapters for the third time in the process and fleshing out the outline for the final section before the Christmas period. Filled with roast beast and whisky, I settled down and finished the last chapters in January leaving me with a 410 page, 122,033 word first draft. Concerned that I’d written too much and would need to edit it down, I gave that problem to Future Mik and then took a little time to myself to play video games and binge watch shows on Netflix.
Read the complete post on World Of Cinders.
I read a study a while ago that pissed me off. It talked about the difference between offline and online relationships, with a focus on the chemical reactions that happen in the brain. The general point that the article was making was that online friendships aren’t worth as much because we don’t get the same chemical reactions from clicking “Like” as we do from actually talking to someone.
Now, I take issue with this because the study was obviously bias towards a certain form of online interaction and then put every online interaction under the same umbrella results. It has no space for those of us who honestly care about those friends we only speak to online. It has no idea of the joy that you can feel when you see two people you care about find happiness together. It had no room for the pain you feel when someone in another country is going through hell and you can’t do anything to help them. And, most depressingly, it looks at online friendship as little more than a form of entertainment that will one day simply disappear; a favoured television show about to be cancelled, if you will.
This morning I found out that Dennis, one of my oldest online friends, died in a car accident. I found out when my fiance came in, floods of tears falling, to wake me. I met most of you guys on Opera, but Dennis knew of Kim and I from the site we used before that. In spite of that we’d never really spoken until we met on Opera. We were different enough for it to take a while to get to know him, but eventually we became friends. I don’t think it’ll come as any surprise to anyone that this affects us quite a bit more than the cancellation of a television show.
There are limitations to online friendship, of course. I knew some of his past but, not being in his daily life, I couldn’t tell you what sort of clothing Dennis wore, or his favourite foods. Perhaps he mentioned them at some point and I simply forgot. Perhaps the shock of his passing pushed those details from my head. Perhaps the conversation simply never got there while I was around. But I don’t look at that sort of thing as anything that really matters in the long run.
What I can tell you are the things that actually matter. I can tell you that he always held onto a smile, even as the systems that were supposed to be helping him screwed him over. I can tell you he genuinely cared about his online friends in ways that study could never hope to quantify. And I can tell you that, though he was never as good as he aspired to be, he was a good man and will be missed by his friends.