I received an email this morning that Kelly O'Guinn, aka Kielle, died of cancer recently. I hadn't heard anything about her in years, but she was such a wonderfully vivid personality that my memories of her sprung to mind immediately.
It was about nine years ago, when I'd only recently discovered things like "the Internet", "fanfic", and had barely started to form the idea that I could construct plots, prose, and dialogue together into stories. I wrote a couple of things--a Doctor Who story, a Green Lantern fanfic, a big dumb DC cross-over to cancel out another big dumb DC cross-over that had irritated me--and I more or less dumped them onto the Internet with a thud.
Kielle loved them. She sent me praise, and since at the time she hosted a huge fanfic site, she made a couple of them "stories of the week" which made other people read them and send me praise. She sent me email encouraging me to write more, she laughed at my jokes and told me so, she at one point fell off her chair laughing at something I'd written, or at least she claimed to. We didn't keep in touch, but she was a wonderful person at the exact time when so many writers need wonderful people and too many don't find them. I believe I owe her a lot.
She's dead now. I didn't want to believe it, because she was just too alive a person to be dead. People like her shouldn't be allowed to die.
I don't think I've got any more words about this. I think this is the point where words run out, because you either know this place personally and they're not needed, or you don't and they're hopelessly inadequate.
So goodbye, Kielle.