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Friday, November 16, 2018

Post Mortem

Recently, I received several emails from concerned readers asking about TexanLady and the future of her stories. This has forced me to summarize what has happened since last I wrote ...

The last time I had email from TL was October 24, 2016. She said she'd been in the hospital for the prior five weeks. She spoke of a small mass on her esophagus and having to have it removed but fortunately had not been cancerous. The sutures tore a few days after she was released and she went back into the hospital with an even worse infection. She promised to send updates that evening that I never received. I never heard from her again.

TL was not a computer savvy person and attachments were often missing or blank. Her mother said several chapters were on her laptop and she'd ask her granddaughter to find them and send them (while TL was still alive) but they never came and there was a lot of confusion as to what were chapters vs. other writing projects she might have been working on. TL would simply label a chapter 'chapter' and this led to a lot of confusion for her mom. She was also starting to pull away from her publisher due to low sales. She felt she could do better elsewhere and at one point her mom mistook me for her publisher (a situation I immediately corrected!) which made me aware there were indeed other stories TL was working on on her laptop that she intended for publication elsewhere. She was filled with story ideas! A sad loss.

I have to assume TL has passed. She was always good about responding to email from me, no matter what her health. All I know is she went into the hospital with this esophageal mass. Her mother wrote me twice to say she hoped she would be coming home soon. And then her mom stopped writing after she sent word that TL had had a stroke during yet another surgical procedure. She said TL was recovering although she'd need speech and physical therapy. That email was dated March 10, 2017 which means she died soon thereafter.

I have tried to reach TL and her mom repeatedly. 30-40 times? More? Begging, pleading for news. Nothing. Her mom was not Internet savvy, it sounded like the only one who was was TL's daughter she adopted when her sister passed in that awful car accident years ago. I have no way to reach her. All I had was TL's email addresses and it looks like both are no longer operational. I knew TL's real name, I knew she lived in Texas, I never found out where and Texas is a huge state. I know that sounds surprising considering the long friendship we shared, but TL had been hounded by threatening emails she assumed were from FFNet readers who objected to her story content and this made her intensely secretive, even with me. I recall at one time these threats got so bad she had to call her local police. Some of the threats were so malicious she feared for her life.

Her health issues were ongoing. I recall coughs that developed into the need for hospital stays. She hadn't been in good health for years. The girl who used to enjoy participating in rodeos became incapable of doing so.

It has now been well over a year and not a word.

Her stories remain unfinished. As I do not know how she intended to complete THE ARRANGEMENT, all I can say is it did intend to have a happy ending but not until after a lot of strife. I can give you small tidbits she shared with me:

  • Jason was never going to be saved. Sargon was going to engineer a fight between Jason and Eric and force Eric to kill him. Sargon was going to do this to push Sookie into hating Eric. TL wanted the scene to really hit readers so they'd understand that there was no line Sargon wouldn't cross to get what he wanted. And he wanted Sookie.
  • Sargon was about to kill the Pythoness in a bittersweet meeting she'd have with him. The Pythoness would invite Sargon to a chat in a friendly manner and be shockingly offed while in it. This scene was causing her problems in setting the mood and I was going to rewrite it to match her intent. I never got it. This would have been the next chapter you would have read.
  • Sargon was going to expose Frannie as the first traitor and force a confrontation between Eric and Sookie over her.
  • Lafayette was going to find lasting love with Claude.
  • Dr. Ludwig was going to be found to be a traitor and loyal to Sargon.
  • Sargon and Ahmose were going to face off. Ahmose would be killed.
  • Nora and Sookie were about to get into another fight.
  • She planned a scene where Sookie would meet Salome when she went to the Council and would hear her inside her head.
  • Eventually, at the very end of the story, Eric would realize how much he loved Sookie who had saved him from Sargon. I assumed this to mean that Sookie killed Sargon at the end. The final moment would have Eric stroking her as their infant son coo'd nearby.

I wish I'd known more and could relate it to all of you readers who were so involved in the story. It pains me to not be able to complete it but, while I knew the whole arc, I have no idea what her plans were for many of the characters or all the details that would have come between. To leave this story with Sookie discovering Eric has off'd Bill is heinous, I know. :(

Sadder still, if that is even possible, she had intentions for a followup story.

I am sad that TL didn't fulfill her promise. She was so young and filled with aspirations of becoming a writer full time. Her life careened off track when her sister and brother in law died in that car accident with the kid who was texting while driving and ran into them. Suddenly, her future as a writer was cut short. She had the weight of the farm on her shoulders and her sister's child to raise. Things were very tough financially for a long time and the sheer physical labor the farm required took up most of her time. In one sad email she asked if this was all there was, if her life had dwindled down to constant financial worries and working 12-16 hour days because they couldn't afford the farmhands to work the place anymore. She pushed herself mercilessly even though she had health issues that should have had her taking better care of herself. I have often wondered what's become of the farm now. If her daughter is attending college, how her mom is doing.

I repeatedly have searched for her, taking small sections of Texas at a time and looking for her name in the obits of local papers. I've scoured pet fairs (she used to breed snakes and buy and sell them through fairs), rodeos and horse breeding farms. All in vain.

I contacted her publisher who had no information. He was disgruntled she hadn't finished a gay vampire story she'd submitted the first two promising chapters of. She had wanted to do a serialized story and he was against it and dug in his heels and never published it. I'd whipped up two covers for her they both liked but the project fell apart. Her sales got/get deposited in a Paypal account and he has no way to know if the money is withdrawn afterwards. I wrote her mom that she needs to contact the publisher so monies get transferred to her daughter now but no reply was made. So another mystery.

So that's it in a nutshell. All her stories will remain unfinished, there is no more to be published. Occasionally an errant email will hit her inbox on my computer and I'll freeze in shock. Computer glitch. I've hoped against hope that she is alive but just burned out on fandom ... but she'd have let me know if she were. She wouldn't let me hang and worry like I have. I loved this woman and shared so much with her in the years we had together.

I will keep this site up, as I have, for as long as I am able. Very recently Blogger wrote me to ask if the pages were still operational and I had to send back a reply to keep it going. I suspect periodically I will get these emails so I am keeping up our joint email address attached to the site for that purpose.

I wish I had better news. I mourn her loss and the truncated end of all her stories. I loved being involved in the saga that was The Arrangement, in particular, and personally grieve its loss.

~ nycsnowbird

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Still no word.

I have tried repeatedly, every couple of weeks, and there is no reply to either of her email addresses. I don't know what is going on. I tried doing a lookup for her to see if she passed away, my concern is that great, but found nothing.

Meanwhile, my fiancé died on the 29th of last month. He didn't have just prostate cancer, turns out he had bladder cancer as well. There wasn't even a moment to register the shock. He went into the hospital suddenly unable to stand or walk at all and they observed him for almost 5 days. I watched him go through several episodes of delirium which made me wonder if he had had a stroke. A CT scan said no. I asked for a CT scan of his pelvis and abdomen as he was about to go through his 4th chemo infusion and the oncologist needed to know if it was effective (it was, on the prostate side) and that's when the very VERY advanced bladder cancer was discovered.

His kidneys were swollen and filled with toxin, unable to drain through the compromised duct work running into the area of the tumor and that is what was causing the delirium. With no hope in sight, he was transferred to a hospice and died 4 days later. How his urologist AND oncologist missed this massive cancerous tumor is beyond me. I hope to have a lawyer weigh in although I don't have a legal leg to stand on as we were not married.

I am alternately numb and weepy and angry and despairing. Trying to push past the tremendous loss of him and regain a footing in simple day-to-day things. Complicating matters, our medical expenses have run through my savings and I can't move back home because I don't have the funds for it. So I remain in the Midwest for the foreseeable future. I have been adopted by his family who love me and maybe these friendships are what come out of my relationship with him. Trying to play the Pollyanna glad game here.

I will continue writing TL and hoping for a response. If I hear anything, I will post at once. The situation does not look good. It has been too long without a word.

~ nycsnowbird