Monday, August 25, 2014

News to the Page, Goodbye Dear Tina, Movie Trivia Answers, and Ninja News

I have the awesome Julie Musil here today!

I also have a special tribute to a dear blogger buddy who is no longer with us…

From the News to the Page

I remember the moment when inspiration struck for my latest YA release, The Summer of Crossing Lines. I was watching the local Los Angeles news. A small white pickup truck led police on a high speed chase, and by the end of the chase, two teens were splayed out on the freeway. Spotlights shone down on them as cops moved in. A cache of weapons had been found in their truck.

My writer brain went into overdrive. That news event became a major scene in my book.

How can authors steal “ripped from the headlines” events and make them story-worthy? Try asking these questions:

Who are these people?
How old are they?
Where did they get those weapons/bruises/ratty shoes/extra children?
What led them to that point in their lives?
What happens next?

Once we’ve brainstormed intriguing answers to these questions, we can take a regular news article and build an entire story around it. If you’re watching a crazy news event you may first wonder, Who in the heck would do that? and then you could think, My character, that’s who.

Have you ever based a story on a real-life news event? Which one? Did you add it to the beginning, middle or ending of your book?

Julie Musil writes from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her YA novels The Summer of Crossing Lines and The Boy Who Loved Fire are available now. For more information, or to stop by and say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Find The Summer of Crossing Lines on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Ninja News

Today’s Themes that Rocked the Challenge features Rhonda Albom who posted AmaZing Photos from around the world. Check it out at the A to Z Blog.

Found a cool site called Book Goodies and already have CassaStorm listed. (Still need to fill out the interview.) But I think it’s something a lot of you guys could benefit from using, so check it out.

Michael Di Gesu is putting together an anthology to benefit Melissa Bradley and Gilda's Club Chicago, an organization that helps women fight cancer. See his site for details. You can also click on the big button in my right sidebar to donate directly to Melissa.

Out now in print and eBook – A Sawmill’s Hope by David Silexare

Sean McLachlan got to attend the seventy-second world science fiction convention, WorldCon. He shared this photo and you can see many more and read about WorldCon in his article at Blackgate.

Out now – The Real Thing by Cassie Mae






80’s Trivia Answers

1 – What city did the LA Clippers move from in 1984? San Diego
2 – This band’s debut single was Goodbye to You. Scandal
3 – This famous actor played Chris in the soap opera Another World. Brad Pitt
4 – This MLB manager managed a National League (Phillies) and an American League (Indians) team in the same season. Pat Corrales
5 – Robert De Niro said the line ‘Sarrano’s got the disks’ in what movie? Midnight Run
6 – Comedian Sam Kinison released a remake of what Trogg’s song? Wild Thing

Goodbye Dear Friend

Many of you saw this on Sunday – we lost a very dear member of the blogging community on Saturday, Tina Downey. She was a huge part of the A to Z Challenge Team and her blog was called Life is Good because she really believed it. Tina experienced some health challenges this year - you can read what happened at her blog.

What I want to share isn’t what Tina did or even who she was to everyone online. Many of you knew her and realized how much she touched the lives of others. She leaves behind kids and a husband, and I can't imagine the pain they are enduring. I could not go on without my wife. But that's not what I want to share.

What I want to share is what Tina meant to me.

Tina was more than a friend. She was like a sister. She was the rock of stability. Within the A to Z Team, I always said Tina was the one who held us together. Which is why it’s so hard to think that glue is gone. Her wit and whimsy are silent. Never again will I get a long, snarky, no-holds-barred email from Tina, one that makes me chuckle for hours afterwards. Right now it feels like a really deep void. I’ve lost blogger buddies in the past, but this time is the worst.

I’ll make it no secret I loved and adored Tina, and I shed tears for her and her family this weekend. She told me once that I was as real to her if not more so than any real-world friend, and I felt the same way about her. If I had to count the blogger friends on one hand whom I trusted as the dearest friends on earth, Tina would've been one of those people.

I know you’re with the Lord now, Tina, but I am really, really going to miss you. I hope your family leaves your blog in place so we can continue to enjoy the wonderful stories you shared over the years. I promise to keep giving my all to the A to Z Team, although I am certainly no super glue. Not like Super Tina.

You’ll always rock, Tina. And we’ll meet again one day.




Have you based a story on real life events? Can you contribute to the cancer anthology? Get any of the trivia right? Did you know Tina? Feel free to share your thoughts here...

Due to Labor Day, I won’t be posting again until September 3 for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I hope you’ll stop by then, as we have an incredible announcement for our three year anniversary.

183 comments:

Mark Koopmans said...

Alex,

I'm sure Tina is looking down from Heaven and if she could, I know she would want to leave you a comment full of hyphens that would make you (and all of us) chuckle just one more time.

I didn't know Tina very well, but what I did know makes me understand a little how your feeling.

Blessings upon her husband, sons and extended family as they work through this most tragic of times.

Miss you, Tina - and I am so damn sorry I was too lazy to get you that silly little picture request you asked for.

Rest in Peace, Tina, and yes, Life is Good, but just not today...

Elise Fallson said...

I got to know Tina a little better through the Tree of Life project last December and she was a lovely blogger. I remember one quote in particular she wrote in her Tree of Life excerpt: "A voice whispered in her soul, “Freedom! Take the freedom!” That quote holds so much more meaning to me now. My heart goes out to her family and friends, she will be missed.

Annalisa Crawford said...

The amazing thing about blogging is that people around the world can become close friends (something that non-bloggers don't really understand). I'd known Tina for a couple of years, since the 2012 A-Z challenge. Her passing will leave a big blogging hole.

Vanessa Morgan said...

I'm in shock. I didn't even know Tina was unwell. Rest in peace, sweet lady.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - Tina's leaving us for pastures new is such a shock ... I know she was a great rock to many of us ... and we always had a good laugh via emails.

You're right she was the glue for the A-Z in many ways and drove us forward ...

My thoughts are with the family she totally doted on and her parents ... as too friends and family - she will remain with us, this blogging community, to inspire us onwards. We won't forget her ...

Brian Miller said...

thanks for the tribute to tina...she was def a sister to me...and a few years ago we wrote a short story together...i knew tina before most..she had maybe 2 or three people reading her when i asked her to write that story..i knew she was good people...

sorry i did read the rest, but lost any thought of it after reading your trib to tina

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I didn't know Tina, but I am sorry that the blogging community has lost one of our own. Thank you for this lovely tribute, Alex.

Clarissa Draper said...

I was very sad to hear about Tina. I cried myself. I went to her blog and went back through some of her posts. She posted just a month ago about how she was worried about blogging. How she was worried she would lose followers because of her time in the hospital. I know that she would be so happy if she knew how much she had touched the lives of others.

I have based some of my story on real life events. I hope Julie does well with her book.

Liza said...

So sorry to hear about Tina's loss. These friendships are real, even if they only happen through cyberspace. Oh, I wish strength to her family...and to you too, Alex.

mooderino said...

That's very sad news about Tina, but a lovely tribute to an obviously very lovely person.

Brinda said...

I loved reading about Julie's inspiration. I often see news and think I could write a novel based on a tidbit from our bizarre world. I'm sorry to hear about Tina. I didn't know her online, but I can tell she was simply a wonderful and supportive friend.

Miranda Hardy said...

Tina will surly be missed by her friends, family, and author buddies.

Julie's books sound fantastic and I love hearing true stories that inspire our creativity.

Rusty Carl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tina. Heartbreaking.

Sandra Almazan said...

I didn't know Tina, but it's always hard to hear of someone passing, especially when they left children behind. My thoughts go out to the family.

Cathrina Constantine said...

It's amazing the friendships I've acquired by blogging, and I'm sadden by the loss of Tina.

SA Larsenッ said...

Great story reflecting questions to ask ourselves, Julie. So happy for your latest release!

Dearly sorry to hear about Tina's passing. <3

Rhonda Albom said...

I didn't know Tina well, but enough to feel sad. As for the rest - thanks for featuring me this week. I only got one trivia question correct. Although here is a piece of trivia from your answers - I went to the same Uni as Brad Pitt and even went to the same party once. Of course, he wasn't famous yet.

Jo said...

I am still tearful about Tina and love your tribute to her Alex. There is a wonderful outpouring of love on her site which just shows how beloved she was. We will really miss her, our very good friend. I too am in shock, I knew she was ill, just didn't realise how ill she was.

Using news stories seems like a good idea to me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mark, I will miss those comments of hers...

Elise, she is now truly free.

Annalisa, non-bloggers don't understand.

Hilary, she was very much the glue.

Brain, she always had great things to say about you.

Clarissa, she would be very touched.

Rhonda, you're welcome, and that's cool.

Mason Canyon said...

Julie, there are some crazy news items that leads one to wonder all the things you mentioned. Wishing you much success.

Alex, I didn't know about Tina until this morning when I got the blog post in my inbox. So very sad. I hadn't been visiting Tina's blog long (for that I'm deeply sorry), but in that time I had found her to be so energetic, outgoing and super friendly. The blogging world has lost a bright soul. Sending prayers for her family.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

News stories will often give me that bump of inspiration and have me asking all sorts of questions....

I didn't really know Tina but when a member of our blogging community passes on, it really does leave a hole. I'm sending prayers to her family and friends....

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tina. My own mother died when I was fourteen, so I can imagine what they are going through.

On a happier note, congrats to YOU on your award at the eFestival of Words. Best SciFi!

J.L. Campbell said...

Congrats to Julie and yes, the novel Contraband came out of listening to a news item.

Nice cover on David's books and wonderful effort by Michael on behalf of Melissa and Gilda's Club.

Tina, by the sound of it, is a wonderful persons who touched people in a special way. May she rest in peace.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Well said, Alex. I know you're hurting and I'm sorry. I'm glad you shared with us.

I do base so much of what I write on real events and I do try to get facts and info from direct sources to add realism to my books. I hope its working.

If you want to do the Shelfie Blog Hop you could always make Mini-Alex take pictures with your books!

Heather

Bish Denham said...

I didn't know Tina, but from what I've been reading about her she must have been the genuine artcle. Remember her with joy.

kaykuala said...

I don't know Tina. But I thought I could have responded to her comments during the A to Z challenge. I'm not so sure though!

Hank

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Alex, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm regretting more and more that I didn't get to know Tina better. Yet I'm getting to know her through yours and others' words. She was one of a kind.

Much love to you.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tina was a really special person. Glad I got to know her a little when I was on the A to Z Team.

L.G. Keltner said...

I was sorry to hear about Tina. She brightened the blogging community immeasurably. Her optimism about life could inspire anyone who was having a rough day, and she will be missed.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I really wish I'd gotten the chance to know her better. In the short time I knew Tina, she really made an impact on me. I hope she's in Heaven surrounded by a field of sunflowers.

Christine Rains said...

Beautiful tribute to Tina. She was a bright shining light in the community.

Great guest post! I have picked out bits and pieces from news stories and used them in my writing. Real life is stranger than fiction sometimes!

Charles Gramlich said...

Inspiration certainly comes from stories in the news, and from folks you meet. It's the questions that arise that take you to the tale.

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to meet Julie. Thanks for the intro, Alex. Thanks also for the news for the week.

So sorry to hear about Tina. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

Pat Hatt said...

I just found that booksite last week, got two right with trivia. Great tribute, one blogger I never knew, but sounds like a great person indeed

Kirsten said...

I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about Tina. Her upbeat and joyous posts were always a fun read, and her spirited support of the A to Z Challenge was one of the reasons I joined up. I will miss her.

Al Diaz said...

It is amazing how close persons can become in spite of the miles of distance between them. I really wish I could have done more for her. Tina was one of a kind.

Karen Walker said...

I didn't know Tina very well, but it is so so sad. And yes, blogging friends are as real as real can be. I am astounded at the closeness that can happen when you've never met someone in person. I am sorry you lost such a dear friend, Alex.

Shell Flower said...

Sorry to hear about Tina, but I know she's on to bigger and better things. Great inspirational post from Julie. I started a story about a teenager causing a deadly car accident after this happened in my neighborhood once. It's a great way to deal with your feelings, too.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Your tribute to Tina warmed my heart and brought a few fresh tears to my eyes. I could not have said it any better.

She lived near us, and we'd always traded long winded comments about how we wanted to go meet up some day, tour a beer brewery, and blog about it. Today, with heavy hearts, we plan to have a beer in her honor and raise our glasses to her. She was an incredible woman and an amazing friend.

DAVID WALSTON said...

Tina was special, she will be mised...

Birgit said...

I did not know Tina but many of you have and I can see how much she has deeply touched your soul and others as well. It is not fair when one who is young and positive in mind and spirit is taken so quickly. I wish her family and you and others who knew her well and i am certain another angel is smiling down and watching over her family. I didn't get any trivia right and I am certain many people use some real life event as inspiration

Leovi said...

Yes, your very good farewell to Tina Downey, I join in this tribute and I appreciate what you have shared with us! A hug!

Julie Musil said...

Alex, what a beautiful tribute to Tina. Having 3 teen sons myself, of course I think of Tina's kids, and can't imagine how this affects them. My prayers go out to her family.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm so missing Tina. I can't even imagine what her family is going through.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, I don't think anyone realized she was that ill.

Donna, thank you! I didn't even know I'd won until this morning.

Heather, I will do one with Mini-Alex.

Robin, she was truly special.

SL, I'm sure she is!

Al, inviting her to be in the Fellowship was a great gesture and I'm sure she appreciated it.

Brandon and Bryan, shame you never got to do that. She said the two of us needed to hit a Rush concert some day...

Tyrean Martinson said...

So sad for Tina's family and friends. I knew her a little and she always made me smile. I loved her attitude! Life is good - and I'm sure that eternal life is really good. I know she's enjoying that kind of awesome life now, but we're all going to miss her. I'm praying for her family.

And yes, I have based a few stories loosely on real life events that caused me to ask "what if?" I think "what if? is one of the best questions for any writer. :)

Morgan said...

Alex, you're making me bawl. Too many tears!!! Your words were perfect and are filling up my whole heart right now. Thank you for this beautiful tribute and message. Tina's passing has really affected me. I'm so heartbroken for her family. I hope that they realize how sincere we are that we love Tina very much.

<3

S.K. Anthony said...

I was so sorry to read about Tina's passing over the weekend, she will surely be missed. Much love and prayers go out to her family, and as her friend, big hugs to you too, Alex.

ilima said...

I was so sad to hear about Tina's passing this weekend. This is a beautiful tribute, Alex. My prayers are with her family.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

so unbelievably sad to hear about Tina..what a wonderful tribute. She's feeling the love, I am sure.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

The World Science Fiction Convention sounds like something I would love. I love anything sci-fi. So sad to hear about the loss of Tina. I've been seeing tributes to her in blogland all morning. I wish I had known her.

mail4rosey said...

Just a note that I went to Julie's Facebook page and became her latest follower.

Also, I'm very sorry you've lost a friend. :(

Arlee Bird said...

The loss of Tina is so sad for so many. We at the A to Z Team had a special privilege of getting to know her so well and enjoying her sense of fun and good humor. I'm glad she was a part of us and we could be a part of her life.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Carrie-Anne said...

Very sorry to hear about Tina's passing. It's never easy to get a reminder of how very fragile this earthly life is.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I never really knew Tina, but she was beloved by many.

David P. King said...

My one regret is not knowing Tina sooner. I truly appreciate the support she's given me over the last few months. I will greatly miss her.

Suzanne Furness said...

A lovely tribute to Tina, I was so sorry to hear the sad news.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

My thoughts are with Tina's family. She sounds like a truly wonderful person. I wish I'd gotten to know her.

D.G. Hudson said...

Yes, I have written two scenes into a suspense novel that came directly from the news (with a few minor changes). And one critiquer questioned it's validity. I pointed her to the news.

So sad to hear of Tina's passing. She was a stalwart of the blogging community and the A to Z Challenge. I didn't know her well, but liked her humor and her posts about family.

Nancy Thompson said...

Congrats to Julie & Cassie. And I'll definitely look into Melissa's anthology. Mostly, I'm just so sorry for your loss, as well as her family & friends'. But don't think for a minute that she won't remain the glue that holds the A to Z together. That's part of her legacy. Still, hugs to you, Alex. And congrats in your Best Sci-fi win at Best of the Indies.

RaShelle Workman said...

What a lovely tribute to an amazing person, Alex. (((hugs)))

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tyrean, I bet eternal life rocks.

Thank you, Morgan. I hope her family knows.

Rosey, she will appreciate that.

Lee, she made the team special.

DG, did she believe then?

Thanks for letting me know I'd won, Nancy. And that will be her legacy.

Huntress said...

Tina had a marvelous attitude about life. We will miss her.

Catherine Stine said...

Congrats to Julie.
And sympathies to Tina's family. I didn't know her, but she is surely well-loved! And, Alex, have a fun Labor Day weekend hiatus!

Angela Brown said...

Some of my stories have been written with tiny tidbits of real life inspiration tucked into nooks and crannies of the tale.

And Tina will be missed but the seeds of life she's planted shall sprout and grow on and on.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yay for Julie and her new book! :)

So sorry to hear about the loss of Tina. She sounds like an amazing woman

Dean K Miller said...

Although freinds pass on a schedule we don't understand, it always seems to soon. Prayers for Tina and all who knew her well.

Looking forward to Julie's new book, enjoyed her first.

I got one trivia ? correct. (shame)

See you on the 3rd.

cleemckenzie said...

It will take a while for the Team to knit together without Tina's amazing cohesive ability. But I know she set the standard that everyone will work to follow.

Congrats to Julie. And how wonderful that Michael is working on creating an anthology to in support of Melissa.

This is quite a group of kind, caring people.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Though I didn't know Tina well, I couldn't help but be drawn to her enthusiasm for A to Z, and everything else she poured her heart into. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear friend, Alex. My thoughts and prayers go out to Tina's family. This was a lovely tribute to her.

Julie

annakindt said...

So sad to hear about Tina. My prayers are with her. Just makes my daily blogging life seem kind of trivial, but I trust the Lord to take good care of Tina.

Cherie Reich said...

What a touching tribute to Tina!

Nicki Elson said...

I'm so sorry you lost someone who meant so much to you, Alex. Somehow online friends always seem like they'll be immortal, don't they? I guess in a way she will be because she touched so many people & continues on this earth through them.

Congrats to Julie on her book. Very interesting inspiration.

L.G. Smith said...

Very sad news about Tina. And, yes, some of the friendships we develop online can be just as special and important as any in "real life".

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Angela, that is a wonderful thought!

Dean, no one got them all right if it makes you feel better.

Lee, she did set the standard.

Nicki, we will keep her immortal.

Laura Clipson said...

The news of Tina's passing is so sad, I still can't quite believe it. I'm going to miss seeing her posts pop up on my feed.

Stephanie said...

So sad to hear about Tina's passing. Your post is a beautiful tribute to her.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I didn't know Tina was sick either. Sending prayers and sympathy to her family. It's a hard thing when the heart of the family leaves. Hopefully they'll find solace in knowing how much we all adored her.

Cate Masters said...

So very sorry to hear about Tina! Sending prayers to her family.

Gossip_Grl said...

Very kind words for Tina. When I was first new to blogging and then a couple months later I did the A-Z Challenge I had a lot of questions about A-Z and blogging and she helped me a lot that very first year.

Sarah Foster said...

Your tribute was lovely, Alex. I only just stumbled upon Tina's blog through the last IWSG post. I'm sorry that I didn't get to know her better.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I didn't know Tina as you did, Alex, but your tribute brought tears. What helps us get through such loses is the real belief that we will see them again in a better place.

Carrie Butler said...

I've been praying for her family, but I'll throw you in there, too, Captain. I didn't realize you were so close. I'm so sorry. :(

On a lighter note, congratulations on your eFestival of Words award!

Andrew Leon said...

I got an email from her in the middle of last week, but I hadn't responded to it, yet. I feel so sad about that.

Loni Townsend said...

Alex, That was a beautiful note you wrote about Tina. I didn't know her as long or as well as you did, but I could see much of what you describe in my short interactions with her. She will be missed.

Elephant's Child said...

That was a lovely tribute to Tina. I didn't know her, but the outpouring of love for her I have seen makes it very clear that I am the loser there.
My heart goes out to all the people who are missing her, aching for her, grateful to have known her...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joylene, she was the heart for many of us.

Gossip Girl, that sounds like Tina.

Susan, yes we will.

Carrie, thanks.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congrats to Julie and her new book. Yes, I based a story on a newspaper article. It became my YA novel Life on Hold.
Congrats to all the other new books out.
I didn't know Tina, but she sounds like an awesome lady. God bless her family. Her memory will live forever.
Have a great break, Alex.

Chemist Ken said...

I didn't know Tina, but it's always a loss when anyone leaves good friends behind.

Robin said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Alex. There are some people we meet in the blog world that impact us in profound ways and it sounds like Tina was that for you. Many folks have written about her since she passed and they all miss her so very much. That says to me that she reached out and touched many lives... can we hope for more than that??? My deepest condolences to those that loved her best.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I was so saddened to hear of Tina's death. My heart goes out to her family. Having lost my husband earlier this year, I know the pain they are going through. Having the great support of this community will hopefully give them some comfort.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

So sorry to hear about Tina. That was a lovely tribute to her memory, Alex.

Julie--the headlines (and local news) hold a wealth of inspiration for me! Great starting blocks there.

Spacer Guy said...

Tina sounds like a lovely person gifted with ability and really witty. Its always heartbreaking when the good ones leave us.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, I didn't know Tina, but if she was that special to you she must have been a super special person. I am so sorry for your loss. I'll go to her blog and learn more about her.

Thanks for all you do and for the many connections you make in the blogging world!

Mary Montague Sikes

Stephanie Faris said...

Your tribute to Tina brought tears to my eyes. She sounds like she was an amazing person. And she was lucky to have found such great friends like you.

Patricia Lynne said...

I didn't know Tina, but I remember reading a few posts by her during the A to Z Challenge. It's sad that's she's gone and my thoughts are with her family.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robin, I'd say that's all we can hope for.

Mary, please do.

Stephanie, thanks. I was blessed to know her.

Lynda R Young said...

Congrats to Julie!
Tina will be missed by many. My prayers go out to everyone feeling her loss.

Jenni Enzor said...

What a touching tribute to Tina. I didn't know her, but reading all the tributes on the web right now makes me realize I really missed out. I will be praying for her family.
I also enjoyed Julie's guest post.
Enjoy your Labor Day!

Lynda Dietz said...

I enjoyed Tina's blog very much. I didn't know her as you all did, but I think your tribute to her was lovely.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Life is so fragile and so short. We live in denial of that to the detriment of appreciating beautiful people like Tina while they are still alive.

Mother always said, "Give me roses while I am alive to smell them."

Whenever someone who knows you dies, you lose one version of yourself.

Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be.

Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us,

and their several knowings slant the different facets of our characters like diamond-cutter's tools.

Each such loss is a step leading to the grave, where all versions blend and end.

I want to say, "Alex, you are a blessing in my life, and I am richer for your friendship."

Botanist said...

I didn't know Tina but I felt the pain in your heartfelt tribute, Alex. Losing such a special friend always leaves an unfillable hole. My thoughts are with you, and with Tina's family.

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

I'm so shocked about Tina's death. This is definitely painful.

Truedessa said...

I did not have the opportunity to meet Tina in the blogging world but,
I am positive her soul lives on..wishing her family peace.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm so sorry about Tina. I only visited her blog a few times and wish I had known her better. Her posts showed a vibrant spirit.

Kristin Smith said...

Alex, what a wonderful tribute to Tina. Since I'm new to the blogosphere, I didn't know Tina as well as I would have liked. But I think the title of her blog says it all, "Life is Good." Her positive attitude was contagious. My heart goes out to her family and friends at this difficult time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, that was really amazing. Thank you, my friend. You are a blessing to me.

Kirsten, she was always positive, no matter how much crap life threw at her.

Denise Covey said...

So sad to hear of Tina's passing. A lovely tribute from you Alex. It is hard to imagine going on without our partners.

I hope to contribute to Michael and Melissa's anthology, but writing a funny story about cancer is a big ask.

Denise :)

E.E. Giorgi said...

I joined the group too late to get to know Tina, but I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss Alex. My thoughts go to Tina's family and friends. What a great tribute, I'm sure wherever she is she heard you and right now she's smiling.

Bossy Betty said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend Tina, Alex.

Trisha F said...

I was so sad to hear about the loss of Tina - I'm sorry you've lost one of your dearest friends, Alex. It sucks!

J. Lenni Dorner said...

Tina's loss is very sad.

Great post opening about "ripped from the headlines."

Enjoy the rest of summer!

Nick Wilford said...

Really awful to read about the loss of Tina. It seems she touched many hearts and was a warm and giving presence. She definitely made the most of life.

I'll check out Michael's anthology, see you in September.

Michelle Wallace said...

I connected with Tina via the AtoZ challenge. Then I got to know her better through the Tree Of Life Collaboration last year.
You're so right about her being the glue that kept the group together. She did the same with the collaborative project.
I can remember before the AtoZ this year, we had e-mailed one another because she wanted to post my 2012 AtoZ promo post on the site. Mine was the 3rd last post before the challenge kicked off this year. She was really busy at that stage... running around like crazy but always positive!
I was saddened by the news... still can't believe it. Too sudden...

Murees Dupé said...

Sorry for your loss, Alex. Tina was a wonderful person and she will be dearly missed.

Rachna Chhabria said...

What a touching tribute to Tina. Feel saddened by the news. She will be missed dearly.

Julie, is a close blog buddy. Feel happy to see her book here. I am going to base a book on a real life incident. Julie's points will come in useful.

Carolyn Brown said...

Thanks for the info on Book Goodies, will check it out.
Congrats to Cassie Mae and the other authors with new releases.
Very sad news about Tina's passing, I am sure she will be missed.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Denise, it is.

EE, I'm sure she is.

Michelle, that sounds just like Tina. She always went above and beyond.

Ellie Garratt said...

What a beautiful tribute, Alex. I didn't really know Tina, but I can tell from yours and many other comments/posts I've read what a wonderful person she was. She brought light and joy to all those she knew. She will be missed.

Al Penwasser said...

Hopefully, Sean didn't cut the hell out of himself when he sat on that throne.
I think I'm a bit of a nerd that I know that.

Yolanda Renee said...

My heart breaks for Tina's family. Your tribute is filled with the love and friendship you so eloquently described and brought tears, and while I did not know her as well as many here, the loss of such a beautiful individual touches us all.

Thank you Alex, you continue to set an example for all of us.

Jennifer Lane said...

Great to hear from Julie and what a moving tribute to Tina.

Lisa said...

You have a way with words and I'm sure Tina appreciates them right now. I didn't know her very well but she accepted me in to the group and made me feel welcome, as if she'd known me for years. I truly felt inspired by her cheery "voice" and the way she brightened everything even though she was so challenged. I will miss her and her support. I pray for her family and the life they must live without her body, but always with her bright loving spirit. She embodied the meaning of laughter.

Decadent Kane said...

Alex- Big hugs- my thoughts are with you and her family. I didn't know her- I knew of her- had seen her around the community.

I wish you and those who new her healing.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I've got both of Julie Musil's books on my to read list. And this is a really touching tribute to Tina Downey, Alex. It's such a shock to lose a friend like this, and hard to believe someone so young and vibrant can succumb to illness. My heart goes out to her family.

Melissa said...

What a touching tribute, Alex. I'm hurting with you and for you.

Mark Noce said...

A wonderful, heartfelt tribute...well done:)

Patricia Stoltey said...

So sad to hear about Tina. Life is good, and it appears Tina did her best to live it to the fullest. My condolences to her family and her blogger friends.

Leovi said...

Yes, it's wonderful inspiration Julie Musil, great imagination and creativity!

Chrys Fey said...

Goodbye, Tina! You'll be missed!

Your tribute was lovely, Alex.

I found out about Book Goodies when Hurricane Crimes first came out. I did the Author Interview. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I decided long ago that God takes the best of us first. Some of us earn our wings early and get to move on.

Toinette Thomas said...

What a nice tribute. I didn't know what it seems she will be dearly missed.

Jeff Chapman said...

Good tips on how to turn a news article into a story. Great tribute to Tina, Alex.

Susan Kane said...

I did not know Tina, except through the A to Z. Your tender words lead me to rejoice that she is with God and singing praises. thanks, Alex.

Writing true stories can be so wrenching.

farawayeyes said...

Beautiful tribute to Tina. I didn't know her as well as most of you but I have interacted with her around the blog-o-sphere. My prayers for her family.

I also appreciate the updates on Melissa Bradley and what is going on in her behalf. Trying to put something together for her anthology. What a wonderful idea.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Al, I'll have to ask him!

Yolanda, thank you.

Lisa, that she does.

Patricia, she did live it to the fullest with joy.

Chrys, I still need to do mine...

Elizabeth, that's a wonderful way to look at it.

Susan, that she is!

Faraway, glad you're working on something for the anthology.

jamieayres.com said...

I didn't know Tina, but your words moved me to tears and I was very sorry to hear of her passing. I always find Psalm 23:4 very comforting in times like these: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-they comfort me. <3 <3

DMS said...

What a beautiful tribute to Tina. It is so hard when we lose someone we love and care about. Sending good thoughts and wishes to her family and a hug to you.

It was great to learn about where Julie got the idea for her book. I haven't used any news events in my book- but I have used events that have happened to me in life. Wishing Julie the best of luck.
~Jess

Suze said...

I am so very sorry to hear about Tina. I have a feeling the A-Zers will put together a fitting tribute for her nexy year. My sympathies for your loss, Alex. Though I didn't know her, I just read her last post. It's beautiful that her sister took her on the climb in the form of a sunflower.

Mina Burrows said...

Those are wonderful words you've written about Tina. I didn't know and thank you very much for this post. Such a loss for us, but a gain in heaven to be sure.

Bless her and her family.

Donna Hole said...

I didn't know any of the trivia, and I'm sure the blogverse will miss a cherished contributor.

Have a good weekend Alex.

Patsy said...

I do sometimes use parts of real events in my stories - sometimes without meaning to.

Susanne Drazic said...

I enjoyed Julie's guest post. I have her book, The Boy Who Loved Fire, which I look forward to reading.

Alex, that was a wonderful tribute to Tina. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

My heart goes out to you Alex and her family and friends.

---

I think I have used scenes from real life in my writing -- and then make them turn out the way I want. ;)

Crystal Collier said...

I was totally shocked about the new with Tina. Totally. I guess you never know when it might be your time, eh?

I love Julie's idea of taking a news article and fleshing it out. I've done that with observed moments on the street, but never the news.

Liz Blocker said...

Oh Alex, I'm so sorry. That's a beautiful tribute; I wish I could have known her. My thoughts are with you and everyone who loved Tina.

Julie Flanders said...

I'm so sorry to read about Tina. What a terrible loss for her family and all who loved her. So sorry you lost such a dear friend, Alex. Take care.

Sherry Ellis said...

Oh my gosh! I had no idea Tina was sick. This is major sad news! She will certainly be missed!

I have used news headlines in my stories. In my recent manuscript, Trouble in the Moscow Underground, I use a recent violin theft as the idea for my plot.

Jennifer Hawes said...

So sad to hear about the death of Tina. It is a wonderful thought that we will meet again! Death is never final.
As for writing stories based on real life events, let's just say most of my upper MG books are based on my boys. Never a dull moment in our household:)

M Pax said...

Real life is so weird, it's constant fodder.

Thanks for the link to that site. I'll check it out.

Hope I can come up with something for Melissa, but not sure...

Sorry to hear about Tina. I like to think that whenever I think of someone who has left my life, it's them checking in on me.

JJ said...

Julie's book sounds fantastic. While I rarely read YA books, I will make it a point to purchase this one and discuss it with my students.

I followed Tina as well. RIP, my friend.

Leovi said...

Yes, I like the cover of The Real Thing by Cassie Mae!

Mason T. Matchak said...

I'm sorry for your loss. >_<

And I've never based a story on real life events; most of what I write is unique to the world/worlds it's set in, so stuff from here in the real world doesn't quite match up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Jamie.

Suze, that was a wonderful thing her sister did for her.

Mina, Amen.

Crystal, we aren't guaranteed tomorrow...

Jennifer, it isn't final!

Mason, same with my work.

Erin L. Funk said...

I've never based a story on real life events, but I have plenty of sci-fi story ideas filed away that were inspired by articles I've read on emerging technologies and that sort of thing. Interesting question!

So sorry to everyone who's grieving for Tina. I only encountered her through a Blog Blitz, but she sounds like a lovely person.

Emilyann Girdner said...

Really sorry to hear about Tina and praying for her family and friends. Thank you for opening up and sharing such a difficult time; you will also be in prayers, Alex.

SC Author said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss, Alex. It's incredibly hard to lose a dear friend. So many people would think online friends shouldn't be wept over - but the fact of the matter is that the closest online friends are better friends than many we've met in real life. My condolences :(

Fundy Blue said...

What you wrote about your friend Tina was lovely, Alex. How terribly sad for her family and friends. It's wonderful that you have strong faith to sustain you at such a painful time. Her last post really hit me ~ she was so proud of her sister for summiting Longs Peak. I hope Tina's family does leave her blog in place, so I can read more of her stories. Take care!

Liz Fichera said...

Hugs for Tina...

Susan Oloier said...

Julie's book sounds so good. Think I'm going to have to buy it before the holiday weekend.

So sad to hear about Tina. My heart goes out to her family. The loss of a loved one is forever changing. I pray for peace for her family and friends.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

SC, many of them are indeed.

Fundy, we hope so as well.

The Spooky Whisk said...

Sorry to read about your friend.

River Fairchild said...

I didn't know Tina but I'm seeing the outpouring of love for her. She lives on in many hearts and that's the best tribute of all.

Cassandra Wise said...

Hello, my name is Cassandra Wise and have just started a blog some friends gave me your name and said to look you up.
Love the idea of The Underrated and hope to take part.

Lovely post to read very heart rendering about Tina.

Cassandra Wise

Theresa Milstein said...

Alex, I'm so sorry for you and everyone who misses Tina Downey. What a nice post you wrote for her.

Liesel K. Hill said...

Condolences on Tina. I didn't know her well but it's always hard to lose a member of the community. I'll keep her family and friends in my prayers.

klahanie said...

Good sir,

Poignant reflection shall continue in the spirit of our beloved friend, Tina. She touched the lives of so many. The epitome of kindness. I have had the honour of much interaction with Tina. Bless her as the love she shared will live on forever.

Thank you, Alex.

In kindness,

Gary

Mark Means said...

I never got the chance to meet Tina, unfortunately, and I'm very sorry for your loss. God bless her family in this trying time and you're right...you will see her again.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Cassandra!!

Gary, you were always one of her favorites.

Mark, yes I will!

Lisa said...

I didn't know Tina but I missed her reading your beautiful tribute

Leovi said...

The song The Troggs - Wild Thing is one of the great songs that will be remembered in the history of rock!

Milo James Fowler said...

Tina will definitely be missed.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I've based several stories on real life events. The one that comes to mind was a teeny snippet of an article in the paper in which an elderly woman attacked a younger woman in the parking lot of a grocery store due to something that happened in the store. She cut the girl's nose with a pocket knife. I wondered what could have possibly pushed her this far, and thinking this led to the story. I submitted (ages ago, when I very first tried submitting and gave up), and was told it was unrealistic that someone would do this. And I'd built in a ton of circumstances and buildup over the day in the story. Anyway, I thought that was funny.

We'll be missing Tina for a long time to come.

jaybird said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Tina. Regretfully, I did not know her. I'm so sorry for her family and all of her friends who will greatly mourn her loss. I am sending you my thoughts, prayers and hugs Alex.

Jennifer Chandler said...

Alex,

Tina is still with you and the A-Zers. There's no reason why heaven wouldn't have an A-Z Challenge. Think of all the amazing topics! My heart goes out to her family and friends and my prayers are with them as they cope with this loss.

Looking forward to Wednesday and the announcement. Have a wonderful Labor Day. I hope you're able to enjoy it and rest.

Jen

Cindy said...

Sorry to hear about Tina.

Real life experiences influence my writing, but so far I don't have anything based on it. Maybe one day.

Leovi said...

A great initiative of Michael Di Gesu to fight cancer!

Chrys Fey said...

Your message about Tina was beautiful and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing with us what she meant to you, to the A to Z team.

I like what Jennifer said about there being an a-z challenge in Heaven. I bet Tina is setting one up now. :)

Kelly Polark said...

So sorry for your loss and the loss to the blogging community. I didn't know Tina, but she was connected to many of my blogger friends and seems like she was a special person.

Sarah Allen said...

Such a huge loss to you and to the blogging community. She will be sorely missed.

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Mary Aalgaard said...

So sorry for the loss you are feeling for your friend. We are real people out there, no matter how we met or connect. Yes, I know her blog and her positive energy. Prayers for her family.

Truedessa said...

Alex,

Missed your weekly blog post. Hope you had a nice long weekend.

Cynthia said...

I'm really sorry to hear about the passing of Tina. My condolences to you, and to her family and friends.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Sorry for coming so late to this Alex....

Lovely tribute to Tina...

And thanks for the shout out on The BIG C HOP....