General Non-Fiction posted January 22, 2021

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Keep the light alive

Fanning The Flame

by giraffmang

One of my favourite pastimes is writing. Hot on its heels comes procrastination. Mind you, it’s not really a favourite but does appear to take up an inordinate amount of time. Many folk will tell you that procrastination is the bane of a writer’s existence. Not so, I say. I’ve had so many ideas strike me when I should have been writing something else. However, procrastination is not the subject of this post, but did however play the major role in formulating it. Interested? Read on.

I only use about four websites on a regular basis, one of which is Facebook. I say regular but it’s usually just popping in a few times a day to check on things – and of course to manage my cult, but that’s a whole other story. The other day (19th January) I was allegedly working on a chapter in my novel when I decided to pop onto Facebook. There’s something quite nice when you see the little red dot notifying you that you have messages or notifications. So, in I clicked.

Right there at the top was a notification of a birthday. This stopped me in my tracks. You see, it was the birthday of someone who was no longer with us. Furthermore, it was the birthday of a member of FanStory – Michael Cahill (michaelcahill on FS). It was a bittersweet moment. But then a notion struck me.

The Facebook page was still active which reminded me that the author in question had made use of FanStory’s ‘Eternal Flame’ option. This meant their portfolios were still live on the site for anyone to read.

Another thought hit me, is anyone reading them? Do newer folk know this exists? Does anyone care?

Now, that last one may seem inflammatory, but it’s not meant to be. On site, we frequently get caught up in our little side of things, whether that’s posting, forums or whatever. A lot of us ‘play the game’. We’ll review for funny money to better promote ourselves or chase rankings.

But… what if we just stop for a moment? I’ll bet most of us started writing because we had a love of reading. I know I certainly did. And that brings me back to the ‘Eternal Flame’ and our departed friends.

Do yourself a favour and plunder the back-catalogue of one of these fine writers. Here’s how to find them:

Go to the ‘Community’ tab, select ‘Find A Member’, then when the page comes up, the second category there on the top left states ‘Eternal’.  Click on it… you’ll find only seven names at present. You’ll be glad you did.

I can testify to three of the names on the list personally.

michaelcahill – the man whose birthday prompted this post. A prolific and exceptional talent in both poetry and prose and an all-round superb fellow. Different, quirky, brilliant. He helped me no end when I joined the site with support, constructive advice, and enthusiasm.

Dean Kuch – it’s hard to say anything about Dean without using the word masterful. The Resident Horror Master for many years but there was so much more to the man. Endlessly helpful, knowledgeable, and supportive. Most of his work has a distinctly dark edge but remains as beautiful as the lighter moments whether poetry or prose.

adewpearl – if the site has had a better poet, teacher, and wonderful person, I’ve yet to meet them. Never a harsh word but constructive and helpful. Give her sublime poetry a read.

I’ve not read much from the other four on the list, but I plan to as those folk in the know assure me I’m in for a treat.

The flames have been lit for these folk… let’s fan it and keep their light shining.




Feel free to share any anecdotes or impressions of these fine folk in response.
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