Monday, March 10, 2014

Meandering on Monday With Janet Lane Walters


Meander 1 - This one is a hard one to write. My friend, goad and sometimes writing partner Jane Toombs died this past Wednesday. I'll miss her companionship though in the past few years it's been more on the phone. Jane and I were Astrological opposites. Her Capricorn and My Cancer somehow found a way to balance our opposite approaches and also found some the same. I wouldn't be published again if Jane hadn't stepped in. I first met her when Hudson Valley Romance Writers had a one day conference across the river from my house. A few years later I felt frustrated since all I received was rejections for my stories. She, during a meeting with one of her editors, sold my book. Though that line faded, Jane kept at me and sent me into exploring electronic publishing. She was completely convinced this was where the publishing industry was headed. Together and along with many others published electronically fought the slings and arrows of other writers who refused to believe this was where the publishing industry headed. Jane moved from the Hudson Valley but we met at conferences run by The Electronically Published group. During one of those times we. in a silly mood, created the titles for what finally became out joint book Becoming Your Own Critique Partner. We had the titles and I'm not sure we ever intended to write the book. Then I was giving a talk about showing not telling. I wrote what became the chapter and sent it to Jane. Not to be undone, she edited and added some suggestions and sent me the second chapter. I returned the favor. Finally we'd completed the book and sent it off to publishers. In 2003 we won the EPIC Award for the best non-fiction book. Not expecting to win, we had no speech prepared and managed to fumble through. We did collaborate on another collection called Moon Pool. But mainly out conversations centered around helping each other with ideas and talking them out. Her significant other Elmer said the other day when Jane answered the phone and said "It's Janet." He knew there would be at least an hour of conversation. I'll miss these times. I'll also miss a great writer and new books she won't have the chance to write. Most of all I'll miss my friend who constantly prodded me to try new avenues in my writing career. The only area she never managed to guide me into was horror. She was a mistress of the scary story with satisfactory endings. I'll never be able to express all the things our friendship over the twenty plus years meant.

Meander 2 Promotion. I've decided to start catching up on promoting my stories and doing all those little things I've neglected in the past by doing one thing of each a day. We'll see how long this lasts.

Meander 3 Moving toward the end of the final write on Melodic Dreams and then all I'll have to do is check for mis spellings and other errata. Then I'll begin Toth's Pharaoh.

14 comments:

Gianna Simone said...

Janet, I am so so sorry for your loss. I also had a lot to thank Jane for, but you and she shared a special bond. Just think of her now as your guardian angel - she'll still be prodding you. :) She was a special person, in so many ways.

*hugs*

G

Stephanie Weber said...

Janet- Sorry for your loss. As everyone has mentioned you've always spoken so highly of her. Wish I'd had the chance to meet her other than through email.

Steph

Juliet Waldron said...

So sorry to hear on BWLPP about Jane's passing. How well we all remember those early days of e-pub and the great frustration just before it happened. Your blog today was a fond reminder of a talented writer.

Karen Wiesner said...

I could feel the pain of loss in your tribute to Jane, Janet. Thank you for sharing memories similar to my own when it comes to Jane. She was so wonderful and I also grieve all the stories she planned to write and now won't.

Karen Wiesner

Elizabeth Shore said...

A wonderful tribute for a wonderful friend.

Sydell Voeller said...

I'm sure Jane would be pleased to read the wonderful tribute you've written for her, Janet. It's always so sad to lose a fellow author.

Sandy said...

Janet, I'm sorry for your loss, too. Jane contributed so much to the writing world it's sad to lose her.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

I knew Jane through WisRWA, though it's been years since we were blessed to have her at a Green Bay area meeting. Wishing you fond memories, and every once in a while that bump in the night that gets your heart racing might just be Jane, smiling as you jump. :)

Melissa Keir said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Jane's passing. She was an amazing lady and author.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Janet,
I was saddened to hear of Jane's passing, she was a great author, and for such a long time.

Regards

Margaret

Beppie Harrison said...

I have always heard Jane Toombs spoken of with respect and affection--after your wonderful (and heartfelt) tribute I regret never having had the opportunity to know her myself. Friends like that are like gold that glistens in your fingers long after the person who brought it to you is gone.

Tara Andrews said...

Hi Janet - Thank you for sharing your memories of Jane. What a strong, long-lasting friendship you had. Very touching.

Marion Ekholm said...

Dear Janet,
I remember when you and I met in writing classes so long ago in New Jersey. Thanks for telling everyone about Jane's passing. We were often roommates at conferences so long ago, before Elmer, and I haven't been able to contact her in the past few years. Last time I saw her was in Reno at an RWA conference back in 2005. She was a writer's best friend and helped so many of us learn our craft.

Charmaine Gordon said...

Janet, the loss of a close friend and confidant is so difficult. You have my best thoughts and comfort in this sad time. She will live forever in everything you write. What a great friendship.