Thursday, 5 May 2011


The Human Body -- CancerImage by n0cturbulous via FlickrI've started work on the next book, which is about a man who has cancer. That's all I'm telling for now. It's one reason why this particular topic caught my eye when @ahmednaguib slung out a tweet about it.

When I read Derek Miller's last words to this world (on his blog), I was moved to eye-prickling silence. This was a brave man, an incredibly brave man. Possibly braver than the man who inspired the character in my book, although that's a hard call as I didn't really know either of them. I knew my guy more, he stayed with us in Sharjah for a couple of days on his way to meet a skinny bloke hefting a scythe. As for Derek, I didn't know him at all: my only knowledge of him and his family comes from the last words he penned to be posted the day after his last breath left his body.

If Derek was right about his soul's progress, then all is gone in a last moment of peace: eternal darkness and, yes, rest. If he was wrong, his soul is in heaven looking at that blog post and going 'Oh, shit, I didn't mention Shirley and there are too many I's in the damn piece'. Or something like that. Because the act of posting is (for me, anyway) the act of realising you've missed an apostrophe or the sticky S key on your damn laptop has meant you've posted that Modhesh is a hit.

The link to Derek's post is HERE. It is a remarkable thing that hit a massive, ten-fingered, end of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band chord for me. There are all sorts of things to get from this, from whether you'd pre-write your past* blog post (yes, I would, but I'd have a lot more to say about all you complete bastards out there) to what you'd say (maybe I'd focus on more important things than the bastards) and to how you'd say it (*ulp*).

But to sit at a keyboard and frame your last words? That's a very hard thing to contemplate.

* See? That was supposed to have been 'last'!!!! (See? Part two: the original post above had a broken link!)
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Kenna said...

Hey hey there's something wrong with the link, it's directing to instead of just :)

Mita said...

I had tears too when I read that - it was so well written. I cannot even imagine the emotions the guy went through writing it.

Good luck with the book.

Sara said...

how incredibly sad while being wondrously beautiful... Thanks for sharing

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