Monday, January 13, 2003

A Death in the NaNoWriter Family

Just before I left work, I surfed over to the NaNoWriMo boards to see if anything was up. Something was.

JoAnn Wortz, our own beloved Ebola Smurf, died in a one-car accident on New Year's Eve.

Here's the e-mail from her executor:

My name is Tom Marshal. I'm writing to you from JoAnn's e-mail account because I found your addresses in her address list, and as her executor, I felt it was my responsibility to let you know what has happened.

She was involved in a single car accident on New Years Eve. From the tracks, it appears she swerved to avoid a deer. The autopsy indicates she died instantly when her car hit a tree. No one else was in the car.

If you know of anyone else on the internet who should receive this information, please pass it along.

For various reasons, her computer hard drive will be reformated as soon as I have examined it completely. The various sites and boards she created will remain intact, and I encourage anyone subscribed to them to continue using them.

JoAnn was funny, bright, and talented -- and her NaNovel; was titled Life, Death, and Other Nonsense. It began with a funeral.

I never met her in person, never heard her voice on the phone, have no idea what she looked like. But she was a friend and colleague. We went through the gruelling thirty days of NaNoWriMo together. We posted back and forth -- mostly on the over-40 thread. I liked and respected her, and she's gone, and now I grieve that we will never meet in person, that someone with such vibrancy and talent should be gone.

(Why "Ebola Smurf"? She got the name from a Smurf name generator online, liked it, and kept it.)

Please, people: Remember that life is short. Live well. Love hard. And drive very very safely.

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