Doing all the firsts by Gun Brooke

This blog entry might be a little sad, but it is also a testament to profound gratitude and thankfulness, which, even if I’m Swedish and not celebrating Thanksgiving, applies to the season.

Writing has always been as much an emotional  outlet as tremendously fun and rewarding for me. I started out in the fanfic realm, typically Star Trek Voyager (Janeway/Seven) and then branched out to original stories. One of the things I’m grateful for is that I’m still current and appreciated when it comes to fanfic, and since I added The Devil Wears Prada fanfic to the mix, I have yet another faithful readership to call my friends. Some also buy my books, which is completely awesome.

Writing science fiction, whether fanfic or original works, demands you have a reasonably good footing when it comes to science and physics. I’m a happy amateur when it comes to this, and I used to rely on my darling Elon for fact checking and for sources…and now I have lost his fantastic input and good ideas. Elon died in September and now my family and I are going through all the firsts without him. We had his birthday, All Saints’ day, and Swedish Father’s day so far…and of course we’re approaching the holiday season.

I will also have to find a way to continue writing science fiction while missing his voice. He was so well read regarding this genre, he could pinpoint if my idea was original enough, remotely feasible, and interesting, just from a brief synopsis. I loved talking shop with him about these stories and he would sometimes throw out some what-ifs that gave me enough epiphanies to fill a notebook.

On December 1, my latest science fiction novel, Lunar Eclipse, a standalone story, will become available for purchase at Bold Stroke Books and I never thought it would be the last one Elon ever read. He loved the premise of the story and the characters, even more than usual. I sometimes read passages out loud and he would comment, laugh, or nod approvingly.

Is there such a thing as the first time you don’t do anything? Yes, of course. I will keep writing and know that wherever Elon is now, he is more or less demanding that I don’t stop. He was proud of me way back when I became a nurse. He was even prouder when I signed with Bold Strokes Books. His unwavering support won’t stop just because he couldn’t hold on to life any longer. How could I not be thankful for that? How could I not be grateful for having a soulmate that, according to one of my best friends, “looked at me as if he could barely believe his luck.”

Every year, for the last sixteen years, I have put up a Fanfiction Advent Calendar on my web site, where each day you open a door and find a new part of a story. Twenty five parts, most of them with pretty ostentatious cliffhangers, which has rendered me the title of Queen of Cliffhangers in some circles. At times, I’ve gotten emails where people in jest have offered me money, chocolates, massages (!), etc, if I’d only open a door early. I can hear Elon urge me to “take the cash” and jokingly scowl at me when I claimed to have principles. 😊

If you are interested in reading my fanfiction advent calendar story, do pop over to my website on December 1 and read for free. I hold a raffle for e-books toward the middle of December through the calendar, which can be good to know. 😊

I debated this year whether to do a calendar, not sure if it would be too hard, too much…but that’s when I asked myself “what would Elon say” and knew that he would encourage me to do this first—a calendar without him. Just as I knew he would say that I keep doing my art and writing my books. And, as very often, he would be right.

Then there is the not-so-small thing of my setting an example for my children. They miss their father so much and if I put life on hold, what does that tell them? Same with the grandchildren who miss their grandfather. Grandma can’t just quit birthdays, holidays, writing, painting, drawing… Elon would scowl for sure if I did.

I do look forward to the holidays, actually, because I know I’ll enjoy being with my children and grandkids. I’m blessed with a close knit family, for which I’m so very grateful. There’s so much love and we share almost forty years’ worth of memories of Elon, which will make him present.

I wish the very best for all of you for the holiday season and onward. Keep each other warm and close, read a book, there are tons of amazing stories at Bold Strokes Books, and I plan to spend the days after Xmas Eve in my recliner just chilling and reading.

Much love,

Gun Brooke

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