This morning I woke up to the news that a fellow writer, and member of the Novel Racers, passed away yesterday afternoon.
I only met Lisa once - at the Novel Racers meet in Manchester last year - but I was a regular follower of her blog Hesitant Scribe and greatly admired her determination, her strength of spirit and her passion.
The blog world feels quiet today, now it's lost such a unique voice, but Lisa left all writers a great gift at the end of her final blog post. She wrote, "Writers...write!"
In 2006 I lost a very dear friend. She was only 33 and had her whole life ahead of her. I'd never lost anyone so young before and her death hit me hard. I felt like my world, and my understanding of life, had been turned upside down. But she too gave me a gift. She taught me that life is short and that we have to chase our dreams while we can.
That's why, several months later, I sat down and wrote the first draft of novel 1 in just under four months. It's so easy to procrastinate, to make excuses, to let life get in the way but if you want something, if you really, really want something you have to chase after it like there is no tomorrow. Because sometimes there is no tomorrow.
As I read Lisa's last few blog postings I realised that I'd been taking life for granted, that I was letting the little things bring me down and looking to the future instead of enjoying the moment. What I should have been doing was relishing the fact that I was young, healthy...and alive.
Lisa reminded me that life is to be cherished, not wished away and for that I thank her.
If you'd like to make a donation to Cancer Research in Lisa's memory please do so here.