My last exchange with Robin Young

I knew him as a writer only. He passed this last week.


A man with his own style. A character in some ways . His excellence at wordplay and pinpoint, acerbic wit endeared him to me, and others. I also enjoyed his critiques of my writing. As a struggling writer, which is what I am, his crisp, on point, reviews of my stories changed my prose.

He was in for his second battle with cancer. When I visited him, he still had good color, a clear mind and was writing.  His passing was sudden and surprising.  I have no details at this time. Perhaps one of his creations came to life and took him to a better place.

As promised in the title, my last exchange with Robin:

doug [2:04 PM]
Where do they have you now?

robin [5:07 PM]
Robin spat the stinging dryness of the high desert sand out of his mouth and realized his was no a good place to beta-test the latest DragonDictate.

doug [5:07 PM]

You would have to retrain the entire profile for speech recognition

robin [5:13 PM]
“They spirited me out of that nasty Bucharest ‘mental hospital’, stuffed me in the back of a rattling aluminum box with a couple of Mousafah’s bully boys and tossed me out on the street in front of a down on its heels named “Cross Cancer

doug [5:13 PM]
You so need to write this

So you are at the U of A?

robin [5:14 PM]
Two wordsCross Cancer

doug [5:14 PM]

robin [5:14 PM]
Room 3142

doug [5:14 PM]
Roger Roger

robin [5:15 PM]
That was fun – thanks!

I leave you and myself with the words The Great Poet:

Be cheerful, sir:
Our revels now are ended 
These our actors,
As I foretold you were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all of which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind:
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
~ William Shakespeare

A Good Man, I will miss him.
Be Well


The First Ten Pages

In less than two weeks I need to get the first ten pages of my first novel into the hands of several people. As a first time writer looking at what i have written, none of it is now good enough. A couple of months ago I really enjoyed reading it, now, its crap. So I am re-writing, and re-writing and being frustrated. My biggest struggle is what I call the “This” or “That” dilemma .   Right now I have two openings for the book, I like both, so I have blindly sent them off to two friends to see what they like. That in itself is scary enough. (I am using the word first way too  much, I should change that first)

And to top it off, I am having terrible problems with verb tense and point of view. AGH! I need help!


The above was written 10 days ago, and I am happy to say that I got the pages out to several people and have received some responses already! Friends are wonderful.

First of all I got some great feedback from a college English teacher who went through and helped me clean up punctuation and some verb tenses. On top of that she likes sci-fi and believes there is hope…

I suspect that I will spending the better part of the summer reading about verb tenses. What was most interesting to me was how much I didn’t know. I am amazed that I graduated…GAH! [Please note that AGH! and GAH! are different and not typos of each other]

Three other brave souls have the 10 pages: A Co-Worker, A Friend who is an author and a professional writing coach. Only time will tell if I am crushed or not. My mother always said that I was a fragile child.

On the MORE GOOD NEWS FRONT , I have almost another 5000 words done and I haven’t had to kill any characters recently, unlike some authors who believe that blood and gore are all the rage. [Take That GRR].

This update is done and off to the ether of the internet.

Be Well, dcd