Thursday, 5 February 2009

To Lisa.

It's with a great amount of sadness that I write this post.

And please forgive me, as I'm not very good at this sort of thing.

Just a few minutes ago, I read on Facebook that our very own Hesitant Scribe, Lisa Ratcliffe died this afternoon.

She was brave right until the very end and I feel completely honoured that I met her at the Novel Racers Meet in Manchester last year. I will remember in great fondness how she laughed at my weird toes and my 'wanker!' story.

I think it would be a fitting tribute to dedicate this post to her instead of a coffee break post.

Lisa, you were a true inspiration and you'll be sadly missed. xxx

51 comments:

Sarah*G* said...

Well said Paige. You must have been writing your post as I was writing mine. I met her at the same meet as you and she was lovely. She will be missed.

Leatherdykeuk said...

She will indeed be missed. Poor Lisa. She was an amazing woman. Fare thee well.

KeVin K. said...

Is there any way to send messages -- something more tangible than e-mails, I'm thinking, though it may be no more than that -- to her family? I never met her, but I enjoyed her posts and comments. (Her last entry on her own journal a few days ago was about all her parents do for her and feeling better -- though she had no illusions about it being for long.)


ps: I'm on Facebook, too, but evidently not connected to anyone.

Paige said...

Kevin - There's The Novel Racers group on Facebook you can join and you'll find some of us there.

L-Plate Author said...

I aren't on facebook but have just read Tams post. I am devastated. She is so young.

Paige, your words are so right, she was a true inspiration.

I'm not often lost for words...

RIP Lisa, at least you are no longer suffering x

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

KeVin, I think if you send an email to Lisa's email address, which you can find on her profile, it is likely to reach her family. I expect they will also read comments on her blog. I hope they may post there in time.

I am not surprised, but I do feel so sad. Lisa was the first Novel Racer with whom I started an email friendship, long before she fell ill. I learned from her blog that she and I had several things in common, I emailed her about an issue she'd raised and a friendship grew, you know how it can. I'm sure I'm not the only one, she was so good at reaching out to people. I was delighted when she made it to Manchester. That was the only time we met in person; she said in a comment on her blog a few weeks ago that she would like to meet up with me again, and I emailed her to say that I would happily visit her if she wished, but she didn't get around to replying. I would have loved to see her again.

Paige gave us a great post about procrastination last week. I think one of the reasons I rarely procrastinate is that I regularly hear tales of regret at aspirations left unrealised. The main regret that Lisa expressed on her blog was that she hadn't got to grips with her writing sooner. The last words she wrote to us were 'writers...write!' If we want to honour Lisa's memory, and the legacy she has left to us, there is no better way to do so than by making progress with our own writing work.

wordtryst said...

I am so sorry to hear this, and shocked too, although I shouldn't be. She was so positive and brave that I suppose I expected miracles.

I agree with Kevin; it would be great if we could do something meaningful as a group, something non-cyber. Flowers? A donation? If it's at all possible count me in.

Kate.Kingsley said...

Such tragic news ~ Lisa was such a lovely, warm person. I hope her family can take some comfort from knowing how much people thought of her.

Thank you Paige & Sarah, for posting about this, and thank you also Zinnia for your compassionate comments about honouring Lisa's memory.

B said...

Me too. I didn't get to meet her, but I am still so so sad that she hasn't made it :( She was so brave - I couldn't believe how strong she was. I'd like to donate to a collection for her.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I've set up a page at http://www.justgiving.com/lisaratcliffe which is ready and waiting for donations to go to Cancer Research in Lisa's memory. Maybe I should have gone about this more democratically, apologies if I've offended anyone by taking action. But I really, really wanted to DO something. Hope that's OK with you all.

Kate.Kingsley said...

That's great, Zinnia ~ thank you for doing that

Paige said...

Zinnia - Your way with words is amazing. Thank you for setting up the page - I think it's a wonderful idea.

wordtryst said...

Thank you, Zinnia. This is a great way to mark Lisa's passing. It gives us the chance to do something rather than just feel sorry and useless. (Well, me anyway.)

Tam said...

I'm not a novel racer but I think that's a lovely thing to do, Zinnia.

JJ said...

Lovely post Paige.

I'm not surprised but still shocked by it happening at all.

She was incredibly brave, courageous and the most generous of people. I will miss her.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
L-Plate Author said...

I think it's a great idea too Zinnia, I'm glad we have you on board!

I have Lisa's home address, she gave me a business card when we met in Manchester. Zinnia, I know you will probably have it but shall I post it onto our private place so that people can send cards, if it isn't already there?

SpiralSkies said...

Yes, Coffee Morning to remember Lisa is exactly the right thing. And Zinnia, well done for setting up the JustGiving page.

Could we send some flowers from the novel racers? I'm happy to arrange it if someone lets me have her home address?

*Sigh* There really aren't the words, are there?

Debs said...

Thank you for the post Paige, and for the link, Zinnia.

I didn't know Lisa as well as most of you, but I'm so sad to hear this news. She was so brave and honest with her posts about what she was going through.

Caroline said...

I am lost for words and truly upset.

I don't know if we can find out funeral details or even if public will be welcome, but some of us may wish to go.

My thoughts are with her very beautiful family this morning x

sheepish said...

I had just left a comment on her blog without knowing she had died so I have left another comment. I feel so saddenned by this news and I know how her family must be feeling. Very thoughtful ideas from Zinnia and Jen and Paige.
Nothing more to say at this moment

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Glad you're happy with the JustGiving link. I've just put a post up on the private blog, Mel, please could you edit it to add Lisa's address? Thanks.

DOT said...

Very sad news indeed. I didn't meet Lisa but read her blog regularly. She was an exceptionally brave and cheerful person.

My thoughts are with her family and friends.

Cathy said...

Such sad news. Lisa was truly an inspiration.

Thank you Paige for posting it here and to Zinnia for her words and the JustGiving page.

My thoughts are with Lisa's family.

Cx

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh no, I'm so so sad to read this. I read her blog and knew things didn't look good but all the same... she was always so brave and eloquent, I found myself wishing and hoping things would turn around for her.
Her poor children and family - it's just unbearable to think what they're going through.

Lane said...

Thank you for setting up the Justgiving page Zinnia and for finding the right words.

When I clicked on Lisa's blog yesterday, I inadvertently clicked on archives and saw this -

I will go with the sentiment though - to say to everyone, remember to love yourself and your life, and to make time to do useful and purposeful things that make you and others feel good.

Yes she was an inspiration. And a damned nice woman.

liz fenwick said...

Beautiful post Paige and perfect actions Zinnia. I knew in my heart when there were no posts before I left for the UK that things were not...well.

Lane her words that you quote are so beautiful and so her. I know that my life - every day and writing has been enriched by 'knowing' her.

I am looking out on a landscape blanketed in white and somehow it feels so right in its simple beauty. I will hold onto the image as I think of her and her family.

Kate said...

I have been offline and to read this this morning is so, so devastating. Cannot find much to add to what has already been said but Lisa will always be an inspiration - and someone I am honoured to have known, even though sadly it was only in the virtual world.

And Zinnia, thanks for setting up justgiving, off there now.

Flowerpot said...

Paige and Zinnia - thanks for that. I didnt know Lisa but she was, as has been said, a true inspiration. That quote from Lane sums up a wonderful attitude to life. Her attitude. May we all bear that in mind.

Captain Black said...

Goodbye Lisa, at least your suffering is now over. You will be missed by a great many people, some of who wish they'd had the privilege of meeting you in real life. As for your blog name, I never agreed with it; there was nothing hesitant about your writing, it came straight from the heart.

Zinnia, thanks for setting up the donations page, you're a star (and a flower).

ChrisH said...

Paige, Sarah, thank you.

You know in your heart that someone as ill as Lisa was has got the odds stacked against them but you just keep hoping that they're going to beat them. What I will take from her last posts is the love of life that leapt off the screen. I'm so sorry that she's gone.

Juliette M said...

Lisa was a lovely, gutsy woman with a cracking sense of humour. I can't say better than Zinnia:

"The last words she wrote to us were 'writers...write!' If we want to honour Lisa's memory, and the legacy she has left to us, there is no better way to do so than by making progress with our own writing work."

I never read Lisa's work but I'm sure her bright, fun-loving spirit would have shone through in her words as well as it showed in her life.

Goodbye Lisa. The world is a poorer place without you, and we will miss you among the Racers. I am honoured to have met you and shared the time we had at the Manchester Meet.

Rowan Coleman said...

Oh no, this is so sad. I met Lisa in Manchester too, and although I didn't know her well, like all of you I found her so funny and positive and really lovely instantly likeable vibrant woman who was passionate about writing. My sympathy and love go to her family who will miss her so much. Thank you Zinnia for setting up the link and thanks to Paige for dedicating this post to Lisa. I was only telling a friend yesterday how much I value knowing the racers, connecting with you on line makes me feel like a link in a chain of support and goodwill. Now one of our links had gone, but you are all right, its up to us to keep going and keep writing like Lisa always wanted to.

Clare Sudders said...

Oh no, such sad news. I didn't know her that well either, but did meet her in Manchester and was struck by how vibrant and positive she was. And was impressed by her words whenever I read them. I'm so glad that we can all honour her in this way, and my deepest sympathy goes out to her children and family.

Captain Black said...

I've added a donations widget to the side-bar.

Fiona said...

Farewell, brave Lisa.

Zinna, thanka you for setting the donation site.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Oh brilliant CB, thanks, well done, I didn't think of that. Isn't it great being part of a group like ours at times like this? We may be scattered around the globe, but we can sure as hell support each other when we need it.

Ellie said...

This is such sad news. She sounded so positive on her blog when she last posted that it seems very strange to think she won't be posting again. She will be much missed by all the Novel Racers, and my thoughts are with her family.

Thank you Paige and Zinnia, and Sarah for letting us know.

Calistro said...

Oh no! It's such terrible news. I met Lisa in Manchester and we didn't get to talk much but I loved reading her blog. She was so strong and positive. Now I feel like a voice has been hushed.

Thanks for setting up the donation page Zinnia.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Devastating. Always full of life, forward looking. A genuine inspiration.

KAREN said...

That's so incredibly sad. I often dropped by her blog to see how she was doing, and she struck me as a truly inspiring person.

KayJay said...

I'm so very sad. I never met her - but I felt I knew her through her blogging - I was incredibly inspired by her, she had such hope and such warmth, humour and stoicism.

L-Plate Author said...

I've just added her address at our private place.

Helen said...

This is such sad news. My thoughts are with her family.

Damian said...

Lisa was a great friend to both my wife and I, who continually encouraged us when we were both at uni not so many years ago. She really was an inspirational to all who knew her. The world has lost someone very special

Annieye said...

Thank you Zinnia for setting up the 'Just Giving' site and to the Captain for adding the widget.

It's so hard to find an answer for the unfairness of such a vibrantlife cut tragically short, or to express to Lisa's family just how much sympathy I have for them. Lisa was so brave to carry on blogging and to give us the opportunity to share the last days of her life.

The photograph of Lisa with the baby was poignant and spiritual and one I shall remember always.

Allan said...

Lisa. Kind, Strong, Vibrant, Gone.

I knew Lisa from when she was a small child. I even babysat her on occasion. She came to live with us in her teens when the force that pulled her towards her destiny finally took hold. It carried her on the journey that made her writing rich through experience. Experience that, at times, she seemed to ride like a surfer rides a wave- not in it, but on it. That wave has now folded over her.

To those of you who never met her in person, her fellow scribes, I ask you consider this.

Although we believe we touch each other as we pass through life, the real magic is in the spaces between. That place where words fly. As sound, ink, or as with this, pulses of power exchanged at the speed of light. I am very aware of this space. It is before me now, and seems greater without Lisa. That is a gift she has given us all, the space between us now she is not here. A place where words can fly in her tribute. Fill this space now, and in the future with her sense of energy, and her kindness.

To Nigel, whose gentle strength gave Lisa the support to achieve; my thoughts are with you and for you.
For Agnes and Mike, who as Lisa’s parents illuminated her with the light of their love and pride, you are in our payers.
And for N and F, the best of all she created and left behind, there is always space for you in my heart, my home, my life.

Allan.

Leigh said...

I found myself always thinking that she was going to be all right. I think that's why it's such a horrible shock that she isn't.

Very sad. Thank you for posting Paige and Sarah.

CC Devine said...

Terribly sad news. I never got to meet Lisa but her blog posts were always inspiring. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

Sad news indeed and what wonderful tributes.

NoviceNovelist said...

I've just read this and feel very heartbroken for her family - I often read Lisa's blog and was inspired by her courage. It shouldn't be a shock but it is.