With work commitments going crazy I've been away from the ATT for a year and a half, and it feels a lot longer. With things calming down I looked forward to coming back to the Tank, checking out some stories and catching up on the gossip. In short, having as much fun as before. And I find these four words.
White Howler is dead.
Before I started writing this post I was sitting here for almost half an hour just staring at the screen in disbelief. I read White Howler's thread with a great deal of interest due to the great characters she created, but also because of the sense of humour and joy and enthusiasm in her writing - not just in her backgrounds but in simple posts like replies. Once she asked for feedback on a character she'd created and I gave her some, which she replied with thanks and a compliment. I really had the warm fuzzies from Beth's kind words, but what really struck me was that she acted that way towards everybody. I never read a post where someone had a nasty word for White Howler or where she had a mean word for someone else. In today's world that's damn rare.
I wasn't one of Beth's close friends. I didn't correspond regularly with her or collaborate on ongoing projects, like MD Snowman and Pandaman did. I think we only swapped posts a coulpe of times, but the news of Howler's death has hit me like a cricket bat to the guts, and judging by all the comments posted by other members of the ATT on this thread I think we've all been hurt by what's happened. From everything I've seen and heard Beth was the kind of person who had a smile for everyone and who could make anyone smile.
My deepest condolences to the Holt family and Beth's close friends on this board - Pandaman and MDSnowman are the only ones I know of, but I'm sure there are lots more I've missed. I barely knew White Howler and I'm already missing her something fierce, so I can't imagine the depth of the loss and sorrow that her friends and loved ones are going through. My words seem so banal and useless as I write them but I don't know what else to offer.
Requiesat in pace, Beth Holt. I wish I'd known you better. We will miss you, we will mourn you, and we will remember you.
"Death smiles at a man. All we can do is smile back."