Remembering Patty

The news came this evening by phone—Patty died yesterday. This was a double shock in that I’d known her health was bad, but I didn’t realize it was that bad. You never know.

What I do know is that Patty wrote as Patty Glen. Go find her books—there are only one or two. They’re funny and sexy and a lot like Patty—bigger than life and great to have around. But Patty is no longer here, and that great big western epic she was planning will not be written. Nor will so many other stories she had in mind. You never know.

I also know I’m behind on my own stuff—I put it off, I dabble, I waste hours. But, you know, I don’t count one of them spent with Patty as wasted. We used to meet up sometimes at a local Mexican place that did great margaritas, and we’d fill up on chips and salsa. She also did the most fun thing of having Cinco de Mayo parties during which we’d drink beer and then shoot at the empty bottles with B-B air guns (Corona was preferred since it didn’t have paper labels and so gave a more satisfying shatter). She also was a great idea person, and worked a lot in Hollywood, researching and selling stories. And she’s left behind sons who will miss her—a lot. And a husband who adored her. Not a bad legacy. But I still wish I had more. You just never know about this stuff.

We met years ago when the Romance Writers of America conference was in Anaheim—it’ll be there again next year. I’m sorry she won’t be there to meet me for drinks—we hung out in the bar and swapped stories. She’d come from Utah, so had my mum and her family. We laughed a lot, we both bitched about the market, and we talked about everything we would do. I was really looking forward to her coming to visit me in New Mexico where I’d moved. Yet another thing that will not get done.

But it would be very wrong to look at Patty’s life as things not quite gotten to—very wrong. She’s left some good work behind, and some very good people—she made both better with the stamp of herself. That’s something worth hanging onto. That’s one thing you can know—you make a difference to a lot of folks. So go out and hug someone you love, go write those pages you’ve been meaning to get to, go call a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.

Because you just don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Shannon Donnelly

Now at Book View Cafe:

A Dangerous Compromise

A Compromising Situation

Under the Kissing Bough


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