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Hello readers,

Thanks for stopping back in! I know I promised you the blog, “How NOT to Write a Book,” but a few days ago, a writer-friend of mine died after a protracted battle with cancer. I felt worse than simple sorrow–I had planned on seeing Bill (Bill Butterworth, whose pen name is W.E.B. Griffin) Monday night, but another friend talked me out of it.

“Go tomorrow after school,” he advised. “He’ll probably be feeling better, and we’ll go together.” I listened to bad advice instead of listening to what my gut told me; Bill died Tuesday morning while I was at school.

For those of you who write (or wish to become published authors), there’s no replacement for someone who guides you along the writing process, with all its attendant milestones and self-doubts. Bill encouraged me for nearly four decades to do my very best. He also warned me about how publishers were becoming more and more for themselves, and less and less for the authors’ interests. Every bit of advice he gave me was spot-on; every bit of encouragement he offered was when I was at my lowest ebb in regarding to believing in myself and my writing.

His son, Billy Butterworth IV, has also been my friend. He’s been writing (co-authoring) his dad’s books, and has also been a source of encouragement for me, although he may not know it.

It’s true: you never know when the last time you see someone is THE LAST TIME you see them. Tell them how you feel about them. Give that person a hug. Look them in the eye and tell them how much they mean to you in your life. Help them to feel valuable.

And next blog, “How NOT to Write a Book.” I promise.

Until then, faithful readers,