Thank you to all my fellow writers and friends who commented or emailed after reading my remembrance of Jack Scovil. Most of you are writers who knew him; some of you — writers or not — had no connection. Wherever you fit, you’ve taught me some important lessons. What a sense of loss for all of us — but your company was solace as we honoured one of those rare individuals who understood and encouraged our vulnerable calling. What a relief to read your stories, to look into them as mirrors in which I saw reflected the truth of my own experience, multiplied by all of yours. Our time with Jack was a wonderful moment that passed through our lives like a current switching on a string of lights. The lights remain. Thank you.
Curious, I visited your blogs and websites and I saw a fantastic array of talent — mystery writing, TV writing, personal memoir, literary fiction — and it brought home to me what I too often forget: that even as a solitary soul, I’m one of a tribe of hard-working people who nurture and love what they do. It reminded me once again that this work isn’t about being famous (although acclaim is wonderful when it comes) or rich (although an income is always more than welcome). The writer who hits the jackpot is as rare as a supernova, but it’s rarity that makes news, and that news sometimes defeats us. Yet in discovering your work, I started to realize that writers live by different rules. We’re farmers growing tender shoots, toiling in the vineyard for the day when fine wine’s ready to be poured. Farmers don’t make headlines, but their work hums under the surface of life and makes a whole life possible. So it is with writers.
We’ll never replace Jack, but we honour him in our writing. So thank you all for the seeds you plant and grow.