Skip to main content

Vince Flynn and the Immortal Ranks....

Just a few hours after we opened the bookstore yesterday, we got confirmation that Vince Flynn
had passed away from prostate cancer... he was 47. I was surprised by the announcement since I was unaware he'd been sick and saddened because he was so young. I can't honestly say I've read anything he's written (his genre of choice isn't one I gravitate toward), but, his is a name I'm familiar with, so his passing did impact me.

It's strange how we are affected by the passing of people we "know"--- whether actors or sports stars. We know their names, we've watched their careers, we've learned their histories--- and apart from actually meeting them, we feel we are an integral part of their lives...they're definitely an integral part of our own lives.

Hours after the announcement, one of our regular customers walked through the store--- this is a man I've seen, nearly every day, for the past three years--- he approached me and as he passed, he choked out, "no more Vince Flynn books." Though he wasn't crying, the tears covering his eyes were very real. I tried to reassure him that maybe there were a few books in the works before his passing..."maybe he'll have a couple titles released posthumously, they've done that for several authors in the past," I said.

The emotion in his face, I realized, was a mirror-image of the grief I felt at the passing of Ray Bradbury and Brian Jacques. And, it wasn't until he spoke of no more Flynn books that I realized what the issue was--- everyone is affected by the passing of people we "know." For readers, however, the passing of a beloved author can be visceral. We are keenly aware that the world these masters have created for us will no longer have stories added to them. We are distraught to realize that the characters these diviners have breathed life into will suddenly stop--- their histories will still be there, but, there will be no future. For readers who give themselves wholly to the fantasies/lives/trials/triumphs of these creations, when their world stops, so does ours.

And yet....

The worlds they formed are still there, the past stories they've weaved are still vibrant. There is a veil of immortality for someone whose name is still spoken decades after their passing. Just like actors who never really die because they've been captured by the movies they starred in, writers never die so long as the words they've put down are read by the generations coming after them.

I can remember, years ago, when I first started putting words to paper--- around 11 or 12 years of age. In my young mind there was something magical about a book. I knew I wanted to write and I knew what I wanted to get out of the writing. I didn't dream of Best-Selling novels or fat advance-checks or royalties that would finance my trip around the world---- no, what I wanted was a book that would be read by future school children, like me.

I won't say I was a precocious or gifted child. Yet, I had some innate understanding that death would mean the end of my life. However, if I had a book that was loved by school children (like the books I had read and loved) then, I wouldn't really be gone. People would still be speaking my name and reading my words---- I don't think I realized, at the time, how powerful that actually could be made immortal.

We may lose the ones we love, but, so long as we are still held captive by their words, they really never die....


Popular posts from this blog

I is for...

... Iron Maiden

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe

---and not the English heavy metal band from East London...

Day 2 in the realm of morbid/macabre torture devices finds us back in the Middle Ages (there was definitely a fashionable trend of imaginative torture devices during this time). Though, the Middle Ages isn't really when we should be turning our attention when we discuss the Iron Maiden. In fact, there has been some debate as to the exact appearance of this monstrous creation.

It's probably easiest to relocate such a torturous thing back to a time when it seemed everyone was as skilled at exacting a confession as they were at creating the tools to exact those confessions. It's easier to blame ancestors from several hundred years ago than to accept that anyone of civilized disposition would be capable of doing such horrible things with such terrif…

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

V is for...

... Vrolik Museum

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe

How about a morbid museum?

Still used by the medical faculty and students at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrolik Museum is a unique collection of odd bones and skulls, pathogenic specimens, and an assortment of anomalous embryos.

The collection was amassed by Dutch anatomist, Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859) and continued by his son, Dutch anatomist and pathologist, Willem Vrolik (1801-1863). And since Willem's death, various donations have expanded the collection even further. Most specimens are human, though a few zoological specimens have trickled into the collection. Preserved remains, plaster casts, and various models show an assortment of congenital deformities and malformations.

This is one of those places that isn't for the faint of heart---certainly not for those who are easily moved or triggered by…