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Three Months is a Lifetime: A Tia L. Brink Tribute

August 27th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

by Keith Dugger

Three months is a lifetime.

That’s how long I knew Tia L. Brink. That’s how long she had to teach and guide me and mold me into a better storyteller. And to stop me from using so many ‘ands’ to connect so many thoughts. She was good at a great many things, but my ‘and’ habit is an addiction.

Three months is a lifetime.

Tia loved a great story. She loved reading fiction of every genre and she especially loved it when one of her fledglings pulled off something weird. More than anything, Tia saw the writer in me even when I was blind to it. She pushed me to write tighter prose, to simplify, and on most days of those three months she succeeded. On the other days, she was there to prop me up, beat me into submission and get my fiction back on track.

Three months is a lifetime.

Tia was a champion. Once she got the very best from me, she would set it out into the world. She’d advertise it, cross-post it, share it with her friends and family, and be giddy for me. If a new writer can possibly have a groupie, then Tia was just that. A happily crazed fan that saw the diamonds in spite of the crap. In spite of me.

Three months is a lifetime.

Tia was a brainstormer. No, not a barnstormer, though that’d be great to have seen. She knew how to generate ideas from those around her. She would ask the right questions, pose the perfect scenarios. She’d push and pull and prod until the creative ooze dripped onto the paper. And then she’d edit it down to the best. She was always excited about new projects, or new concepts. Always. We’d bounce email after email back and forth for some new idea for hours and days and months. Gently working it into something worthwhile, something that might succeed.

Three months is a lifetime.

These three months are the shortest 90 days I’ve ever lived as a writer. It was 2,160 hours of creative freedom that I am better for having experienced. It is three months that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but I’d buy back if ever given the chance. The next three months of memories, coping, and recovery are going to be a hundred times longer than the previous three. Yet I smile when I think of the time ahead because I am happy for the time gone.

Tia, a Twizzler-wielding editor that could whip the most defiant writer into shape and push us all to be better at whatever it is we do. This is not goodbye. Every time I get lost in a new story and use too many ‘ands’ and get a little long-winded, I smell the fresh scent of Twizzlers and I know that Tia is out there somewhere guiding my writing. And she’s loving every minute of it even with all the ‘ands’.

Three months is a lifetime, Tia. Thank you.

Categories: Tia L. Brink
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