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Light up, Light up, as if you had a choice

by on January 12, 2014

That’s the excellent Snow patrol song of course, although most will probably remember the Leona Lewis version: one of the few examples of a cover being better than the original. Fever, by Peggy Lee is another of course (with the original Little Willie John version almost sunk into the depths. Even someone called Beyoncé has had a go at this one, apparently although I’ve never felt inclined to seek that out)and I prefer the UB 40 version of Red Red Wine to Neil Diamond’s. Who wouldn’t?

Anyway, I’m digressing again as usual when I’m supposed to be writing about my friend and fellow member of The Alliance of Worldbuilders, Lindsey J Parsons who was sadly and unexpectedly taken from us last weekend. I was proud to be her friend, but since I’m a bloke two of my other friends (who aren’t) have already beaten me to the starting line by writing fantastic, moving tributes to Lindsey. I’ve already posted them here as there’s absolutely no chance of me meeting their quality standard, so I’m not even going to try. Lindsey lit up the place like a firework wherever she went, and had lots of interests and will have made lots of friends wherever she was: because she was that kind of person, one who will stay in the memories of those whose lives she touched.

That’s really the aspect of her sad passing that I’m going to muse on this weekend. The digital age has changed the world in many ways, but in particular there is one change that is for the better (amongst the very many that are for the worst). It is often, and rightly, said that no one truly dies until those who knew than have either forgotten them or died themselves. Lindsey was a writer – and a damn good one – and she has written and released two books. Now until a few years ago that saying could easily have been extended to add – and until no one reads their books anymore. Some books, the classics as they are called, are still read and their authors have achieved either a notoriety or fame that lets them continue to be read today. But it was always for the favoured few. We can still read Caesar, Aquinas, Pliny, Plato, Bronte, Shakespeare, Mallory, Tolkien, Christie because they had been made so well known that their work survived in an age of print. Thousands now forgotten have drifted into history’s dust with their books unavailable and unread. Now those of us who don’t achieve fame have joined the classic writers, courtesy of the internet and the digital age. Lindsey’s books will be available forever online (and so they should because they are good enough to have survived in a print only age although misogeny would probably have prevented that as George Elliot would agree)and that’s a form of immortality isn’t it? Before you submit your next manuscript to your publisher, before you upload your text to Amazon, KOBO, Smashwords or D2D and press the little button marked ‘Publish’, reflect well on this: You are just about to become immortal, and is that how you want your legacy to be seen in a hundred years?

Raise a glass with me to Lindsey, who was kind enough to giggle at my silly jokes about teenagers, and encourage me when I was in a darkish place and needed a few kind words. It’s a universe of infinite possibilities, and somewhere the Dragons dance with delight in the morning sun – and I hope that Lindsey is dancing with them.

Lindsey

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10 Comments
  1. Carol permalink

    Thoughtful tribute Will. Lindsey was obviously a special person to many people, to her family, to her friends both real life and online ones, to her readers and fans as well as her acquaintances…with all and those people, and for those yet to read her stories, she has left a legacy. Just a tragedy she couldn’t have left even more as we would have happily wanted.

  2. This was lovely, Will. And even though it was only for a short time (though it could be argued that eternity with Lindsey would be short), I’m glad I had the chance to know her and all of you. Long live the Alliance, the best place on the web, no matter where we are!

    • Thank you, Kay. And you are right, I consider the day I joined the Alliance to be one of the most important days of my life! I’ve made friend with the best people.

  3. That is a fantastic post. Immortality. It’s a lovely idea and very true.

    Cheers

    MTM

    PS, on a more frivolous note, I have to correct you on the best version of Red Red Wine. It is, as we all know, the old 60s ska version by Tony Tribe. The one UB40 copied but just.. brilliant. Look it up, you’ll love it. And if you can’t find it let me know, I’ll play it to you at author con.

  4. That was a lovely tribute, Will, really lovely. Lindsey would have approved! I love Snow Patrol and especially that song, it seems very fitting for Linds, as she was such a human torch of positivity and light. I’m sure she is dancing with dragons… 🙂

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