Sunday, January 08, 2006

In Memory of Maryanne

As a struggling writer who is friends with many other struggling writers (published and unpublished), I have the pleasure of reading many chapters or scenes from stories that may or may not ever be finished, or published.

As a contest judge, I've read 40-55 pages of countless entries in various contests.

As a critique partner, I've read the stops and starts and chapters of many books that are on their way to being published, or have not been finished. I've met characters and loved them and been sad to see them languish in that world of never-finished stories.

As a member of the Wet Noodle Posse, the finalists of the 2003 Golden Heart contest sponsored by the RWA, I've read the beginning chapters of most everyone's finaling manuscript...and then some.

And then there are the hundreds of books I pick up and read--or at least start--each year.

Sadly, there are times when the characters and scenes don't stick with me. There have been some contest entries I've barely been able to get through, and unfortunately, some published books that haven't kept my interest.

But then there was Maryanne Cappelluti's entry in the Golden Heart contest: Bachelor #2. I only read the first chapter...maybe two. But I remember loving it! I wanted more. And I knew she had acquired a well-known agent who would get that book published. So I knew that some day I would read the rest of the story.

Maryanne became ill, and put her writing career on hold. Every so often, I would remember Bachelor #2 and wonder what happened in the rest of the book. It truly was one of those stories, premises, and character setups that stuck with me.

I learned last evening that Maryanne succumbed to a severe form of scleroderma, and passed away. She is survived by her husband and teenaged children.

My heart and prayers go out for Maryanne's family. She was a funny, warm, enthusiastic person. A wonderful writer and I'm certain, a loving, caring mother and wife.

With Maryanne's passing, not only do I say good-bye to a humorous, fun-loving woman, but also to the characters in Bachelor #2. They will forever be an unfinished story to me...just like Maryanne's short life.

The Wet Noodle Posse remembers our sister:
Remembering Maryanne: A Tribute by Diane Perkins


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