L.K. Madigan's real name was Lisa Wolfson. The title of this blog post is deliberately ambiguous. While Lisa had many friends who miss her deeply, I missed out on knowing her at all. I knew of her but, despite her living close by in southwest Portland, and having a son at the same school (different grade) as my oldest son, our paths never crossed.
She was only 47, the same age as me. Reading her website after her death, I came across these lines in her bio. "I hope to write and publish many more books in the future … I have more story ideas than time to write them all."
Typing those words brings a lump to my throat. It is the cruel dichotomy facing the writer: we are urged by all the industry professionals to go slow, to not query until all the 'i' s are dotted and the 't' s crossed, to work and work and work writing those million words until we are ready to be published. And yet... none of us knows how much time we have left. I may have fifty years; I may have fifty minutes. The sound of "Time's winged chariot" is always in our ears. Sometimes I feel a crazy sense of urgency regarding publication, the writer's chance at immortality. What if I don't make it?
Does anyone understand this?
Lisa Wolfson left us too soon. She actually felt herself to be lucky, as twenty years previously she had survived breast cancer. And, really, we are lucky--those of you who knew her, and those of us who missed out. Because her words will live on. Her books will be read.
Every time a reader picks up one of her novels, L.K. Madigan lives.
|L.K. Madigan, reading at Powell's Books|