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Douglas Spencer

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The best unbirthday present [Sep. 26th, 2006|08:15 pm]
Douglas Spencer
[crossposted with my GJ]

Tomorrow is my birthday.

This evening I found a large, thick envelope in my post. Obviously a birthday present, yes?

No. It's "Sins and Virtues", a M*A*S*H slash zine from janecarnalljanecarnall; two short stories of seven thousand words each, a thirty thousand word novella, and a ninety thousand word novel. One of the short stories is dedicated to Susan, and at the end of the book Jane writes about how Susan provided the inspiration for her work.

Susan died on June 15th this year. She was 39.

When Sam, Susan's brother, asked me for some words to include in her obituary, I wrote "She often encouraged others into trying to write, and was always pleased to help them improve their work." When I later reported the exchage on my LiveJournal, I said "That's not a particularly eloquent sentence. Other people could say it better, I thought."

Some of Jane's work, as represented in the book I received today, is a far more eloquent expression of Susan's ability to inspire than I could possibly offer. Jane closes by quoting what I write here, when I encourage people to help local charities in aid of cancer research, cancer treatment, palliative care and the hospice movement.

I thank Jane for this wonderful gift, and I thank Susan for all she did and all she was, to me and to other people. I cant find better closing words for this post than the four that Jane uses to close her book.

Remember Susan. I will.

[User Picture]From: watervole
2006-09-26 08:49 pm (UTC)
Bless Jane.
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From: ex_the_major316
2006-09-26 08:51 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: bibliofile
2006-09-26 11:07 pm (UTC)
I think of Susan whenever I surf past M*A*S*H on television, among other times.
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From: ex_metamorph847
2006-09-26 11:41 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday for tomorrow, as I'm likely to forget!
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-09-27 08:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: momesto
2006-09-27 06:41 pm (UTC)

The unbirthday present

Douglas, thank you for this posting. It took my breath away. If I may,I will consider it my birthday gift on September 30.
We are making another gift to cancer research,please accept it as a birthday gift to you from our family.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-09-27 07:08 pm (UTC)

Re: The unbirthday present

It is, as you say, breathtaking. She was an inspiration.

I'm finally going to send the collected donations I've had from the British end of things to Sam's paypal address in the next day or so. I'll email you a list separately.
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[User Picture]From: peaceful_fox
2006-09-28 09:56 am (UTC)
I will never forget Susan, either. She was an inspiration for me - not in writing, but in many other personal ways.
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